10 Happy Things

Here I was on Wednesday yammering on and on, waxing poetic about the "happy lists" from the blogger days of yore. They're always so positive and uplifting, so very "I didn't just survive this week, I lived this week" – akin to a Lululemon shopping bag, don't ya think? The only blogger I know who does these consistently now is Cider With Rosie - such a cheerful Friday read every week! 

My Happy Ten of the week ––

// Squatting... okay, "squatting," at a vacant apartment, the three of us squeezing like sardines onto an air mattress, with eight blankets piled up high after our butts got too sore from sitting on nothing but wood floors for too long, eating chips and queso and fries with Date Night playing in the background. "Is this what our future looks like?" we wondered, gazing around the empty, echo-y room.
// Racing from SF to Mountain View to make it to Pitch Perfect 2. Made it with two minutes to spare, and that was after buying an ICEE and sour candy! Was Anna Kendrick worth potentially getting a speeding ticket? Noo...maybe...YES. But of course.

// A lovely dinner with my two awesome internship supervisors at this delightful little French restaurant, where I had a whole friggin' pile of mussels (yum) and a hefty stack of french fries (hahaha because FRENCH GET IT).

// Playing Head's Up for houuuurrrrrrrs with my friends. Way into the early morning hours, with mimosas to help us along. Our favorite decks? Celebrities. Movies. Accents.
// Creating a joint Neopets account with three of my friends and playing our favorite games from our childhood for hoooouuuurrrrs. Our favorites? Meerca Chase, Extreme Herder, Cheat, Pterattack, Bullseye. And you bet your bottom Neopoint we went to the Plateau to get our free omelette. Also, it doesn't sound like it, but sometimes my friends and I get around to doing productive things... or maybe actually we really don't.

// Brunching in the rain.

// Tuscan lunch this week. Our chef prepares us meats and cheeses and quiche and Caprese salad and spinach phyllo pastries and lentil soup and Farewell Felicia I'm going to go dig me up some leftovers.
// "I have a surprise for you," Leah whisper-yelled when I came home the other evening. She dragged me upstairs, opened the door, and my jaw dropped. She and Cassandra deep-cleaned our whole room (made my bed even, those little angels!) (Leah doesn't even live with us. Yet she cleaned our room. Let that marinate for a moment). Pig sty no more!

// As we waited for our food in the Taco Bell Drive Thru, someone yelled our names and thus we realized our friend's car was in line behind us. Turns out midnight Taco Bell runs are the office water cooler stations of college.

// Today marks the day that Cassandra and I leave for our annual roadtrip down to LA for the long weekend. This year, Leah's joining us as well. Please check my Instagram and Twitter periodically to make sure we haven't all killed each other somewhere along the way. Gracias.

Do you know of any bloggers who do happy lists still? Pass 'em along!

How Selfish Are We Allowed To Be As Bloggers?

Every blogger's favorite post to read is a post about blogging. Me included. (Is it not your's?) Recently, I've stumbled upon two great articles that shine a light on slightly varying perspectives on lifestyle blogging: Blog Brighter's The Mistake Lifestyle Bloggers Make When Trying To Grow Their Blog and The Well's The Future of Blogging, An Update – in particular the section on the OG bloggers. (PS. Both are awesome blogging resources!)

You guys, we know The Rules of Blogging. Get your Bloglovin' profile hoppin' and poppin'. Become a social media guru and shamelessly self-advertise... but not too much! Add value to your content. Be original. Have your own voice. Use your firstborn's college fund on a DSLR and Photoshop.
But you know what? Sometimes I get really good at procrastinating on schoolwork, and I go way way way way back in the archives of some really big blogs (or medium, or small blogs too for that matter). I read their one-line photo-less posts. I see their simple 10 word happy lists. Their grainy, blurry, pixelated pictures. And honestly? These are kind of my favorites (uh, after a post about blogging, let's not get crazy now).

How wonderful it is that we're allowed such a real, imperfect, unedited, un-curated peek into someone's lives! How amazing is it when we hear their unfiltered words, feel the joy and the pain and the pride and sadness and exhaustion that emanate across screens?

Don't get me wrong. I do appreciate today's blog landscape. The editorialized layouts - so pretty. The breathtaking photos. I can scroll for days. The thoughtful posts. The helpful posts. Instagram, Pinterest – I live for those shenanigans! And blogworld has increased so dramatically in number and influence that some of the noise do need to be cut. I can only take so many gross photos of hummus before someone peaces out, or else I'll be the one judging them.
But what if ... What if sometimes I'm just really over coming up with the most SEO friendly blog post that includes value, originality, humor, and a touch of quirk? What if I just want to post about my friends and I making pizzas over the weekend and how okay, it was really pretty dumb, but it was SUCH a happy time... the pizzas were ugly and way too salty and yes the triple layers of cheese was NECESSARY, but it was just so. dang. fun. And sometimes I don't want to be bothered to repackage that into something more meaningful than what it was - a heckuva good time.

The point of this blog is to document my life as I transition my way through some unfamiliar terrain, to remember ten years from now what it felt like to be here at this one point in time. This blog has been such an enormous part of my life for the past three years because I've been doing just that, and I've been reading back periodically and it excites me each time I come across a little moment I've forgotten, or a milestone I want to replay in my mind. And what if I'm willing to give up a certain number of post pageviews to have that completely authentic experience? Does that make me a selfish blogger for taking up valuable Bloglovin' space on my readers' feeds if sometimes my posts can veer towards the unedited and the imperfect?
Chime in! What do you think - should lifestyle bloggers tailor their posts with their audiences in mind and give them what they're wanting to read, or should they be allowed to be selfish every now and then and post about things that are completely irrelevant?

Bay to Breakers: San Francisco's Annual Can't Miss Event

Many a late night hour in the past weeks and months have been spent pondering over The Future. Should I have pursued this or that career path instead? Was going straight into graduate school actually a wiser choice, and did I completely screw up by not taking advantage of that? Where am I going to live?

San Francisco has been on its very best behavior recently, and as a result, I've felt more and more compelled to stay in the Bay Area. The majority of my friends will be staying in the area, it's where all the career opportunities are, and MOST IMPORTANTLY

Where else on this planet will you find a city whose absolute pride and joy is an "athletic event" turned city-wide party – there are people (very, very impressive people) who run the whole 12K. But the majority of the tens of thousands of participants stroll leisurely from the Embarcadero on one end of SF to Ocean Beach on the other end, hydrated with buckets and buckets of early morning *wink* "water," donning everything from animal onesies to superhero costumes to creative group costumes (our favorite was a pack of "old ladies" in hair curlers and nightgowns) (and the Three Blind Mice) to general, colorful rally gear, to nothing at all (so! many! naked! people!) ... from eighty year olds to eight month olds to eight puppies on a leash, the whole city is out to play.
The whole thing starts real early – most of the South Bay people arrive in hordes after pre-gaming on the 6am Caltrain, and it's over by noon... but it's the best morning of people-watching, randomly meeting up with various friends along the course as some groups speed up and some slow down, spontaneous dance breaks and lemonade stands, and amazing conversations with the strangers walking next to you. 

All of this, on top of a Saturday night spent trying not to wipe out at a disco roller derby in an abandoned church, an afternoon wrapped in blankets at a neighborhood biergarten, and a morning DIYing mimosas at a brunch shack facing the water. San Francisco, I can't quit you just yet.

But the best part of Bay to Breakers?
Grinning and bearing it through a 2x surge price Uber in order to reach the burrito of my dreams. As you can see, I literally bought the darn thing and then plopped myself down on the sidewalk outside to eat it because I was so desperately starving.

And then, there's the sleeping-away-the-entire-afternoon part. Worth it.
Can you spot the overstimulated, overexhausted, overindulged human in that blanket nest of a snuggle fest we built? 

Sooooo, my friend, the lesson for you: if you're planning a trip to San Francisco, forget about seeing the Golden Gate Bridge or trekking it to Chinatown. Fisherman's Wharf is fine and dandy, Pier 39's whatever. Alcatraz, sure why not, The Mission okay if that's your thing, I won't stop you. But if you really, really want to see what San Francisco's all about? Don't miss next year's Bay to Breakers.

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