The Journaler

This, in some ways, is a window to my soul: my book is open. This is an honest reflection where I embrace the highs and lows, ups and downs, roller coaster of emotions I am often riding, the good, the bad, and the extremely ugly...but this is me, and this is my adventure...By revealing myself honestly I hope to inspire and encourage, because we all struggle sometimes and it's nice to know we're not alone. This is my experience as a small town girl living in a big city, trying to make my way while taking lots and lots of detours...

November 2, 2011

My so called "Bucket-List" begins...

Back in the day, like in Elementary School and Middle School - before our dreams could be crushed and scrutinized by reality (sorry for the pessimism) - we had dreams and made daring goals for ourselves. I remember actual projects where we had to write out all of our goals and things we wanted to do in life. My list was grand, to say the least, but does "grand" mean unrealistic? Why should I stop dreaming and striving to do the things I want to do? Lately I feel like we "dream big" when we are young and when we are old; what about in between?

During this "in between" time where I constantly feel like I am stuck in a rip-tide struggling to make it out alive and find smoother waters, I've realized that my priorities may be a little off. I'm so focused on trying to achieve/figure out/defy/accomplish that I haven't really thought about things that I want to do, not to "get ahead," but to be happy and to feel vital (I really like that word these days). I know I can't be in lala dream-land, but why can't I continue to dream and strive to check off some of my "life goals" right now?

So while it's on my mind, let's start that "Bucket-List." But instead of rushing to tick everything off during the last 10 years of my life, I think I'll start now...

1. Take cooking classes...(go big or go home)....in Paris!

  • Become an excellent, creative, and innovative chef who can whip up something like this:


Pumpkin Gnochi: Photo courtesy of Broke Ass Gourmet
2. Travel to Singapore (see my last post!)

3. Do "Yoga on the Water"

...This of course is just the beginning. I'll add to it whenever I feel inspired.

November 1, 2011

Next on my list...

...is Singapore!!!! I just learned that it is one of the world's happiest places to live 
(along with San Luis Obispo, CA!). I have actually been to Singapore's airport, 
which was in-and-of-itself, sublime.
Photo courtesy of National Geographic
Singapore Airport - "10 Best Airports in the World"

October 12, 2011

October 2, 2011

Hardly Strictly

Hope everyone in SF found some time to enjoy the sun, music, food, and most importantly, people watching(!), at the Hardly Strictly Blue Grass Festival this weekend! I am fortunate to live directly across from the festival, which I must say, is pretty awesome. I never had to use a porta-pottie and didn't have to worry about parking. In fact, after seeing the long bathroom lines I was toying with the idea of charging to let people use my bathroom. But I decided against my "get rich quick scheme," for obvious reasons...



Lily!

I went out for two solid days. We got some blankets together, bought some cold beer and took in the festivities. It was lovely. I also had my cheat day! How could I not? This festival is known for having some delicious grub - I couldn't pass on the gastronomy.



The highlight was Robert Plant and the Band of Joy! People packed in to see them, and for good reason; they are amazing. My cousin and I also saw Broken Social Scene and even though I wasn't familiar with their music I was impressed. They had something like 11-12 instruments on stage, good vocals, and a great sound all around.

Contemplating plum.
Eating Plum.

Another highlight is of course, the people watching...such a diverse crowd at this particular festival. There are the hippies (who are always fun to watch) families, older folks enjoying the blue grass, indie/pop people (like my description?) crowding the stage to see Bright Eyes perform, and those who just love a good festival! The beautiful sunny weather added to everyone's good mood as well. Hope the sun sticks around for October....looking forward to the next festival season!

September 29, 2011

A Crooked Face

Hello. My name is Eliza, and I have a problem. You see, I have a crooked face apparently, and can't seem to find sunglasses that fit my face. This is a problem on a daily basis. So if you see me roaming the streets - yes, I know my sunglasses are crooked....


September 28, 2011

Just because I'm a "vegan" doesn't mean I can't make Sangria!!

Day 3 of being a Vegan and I am having no problems at all. Seriously, and I'm feeling good! I got out to the Civic Center Farmer's market today and picked up a few tasty items. I'm really into mint these days - in salad, smoothies, perhaps a mojito to celebrate the beautiful sunny weather that has finally hit SF!

I threw some into a smoothie today. I highly recommend this recipe, it was so yummy:

frozen mango (about 2 cups)
1/2 of a banana
1/2 cup soy milk
a few mint leaves
a touch of raw agave syrup

Being a Vegan seems like it may be limiting, but hey, at least I can make sangria, which I will be enjoying momentarily up on the roof....

This batch was especially fantastic! I discovered a new recipe you see...

1 bottle white wine (I used sauvignon blanc)
1 bottle red (cab for me!)
1 orange sliced
1/2 apple chopped
1 pear
1 kiwi
a bunch of grapes (halved)
1 mango sliced
1 lemon squeezed
about a 1/3 cup of rum, gin, or brandy (I used rum)
1/3 cup sugar
top off with some juice - orange, tangerine, pineapple...whatever you've got!

Let it all marinate for a couple of hours (or until you just can't wait any longer!)





Although my current situation is temporary, I'm trying to enjoy it, and really can't complain. Today was hot and glorious so I joined the other "odd-hour" workers at the beach. Ahhhhhh, I haven't been to the beach in my bikini in probably over a year, which is a huge crime in my book, so I was a very happy girl today : )

September 27, 2011

Going Vegan

After a wonderful and relaxing, albeit gluttonous few days at home in Ventura, I'm back in SF and looking for a new cleansing challenge. So I've decided to try being vegan for a month. My plan however is to allow myself one cheat day, and if my cheat day comes and goes without my noticing, well that will be even better. So how does a girl who loves meat and all things dairy become vegan? And how will it make me feel? I will keep you updated! But don't expect me to post nearly naked pictures of myself to "display" my progress...hell to the no, thank you!

Yesterday was Day 1:

For breakfast I had 2 pieces of whole wheat toast with organic peanut butter: remember to stay away from processed foods and buy organic whenever possible; seriously it's so much better! There is a fantastic whole wheat bread at Trader Joes - with only three ingredients: organic whole wheat flour, filtered water, and sea salt - this bread is delicious!

I thought it would be a good idea to make a delicious lentil soup that I could enjoy for days...so I went to Trader Joes (my fave aside from farmers markets) for some ingredients. Here is what my first ever all vegan shopping list looked like (again, organic whenever possible):

soy milk
mint tea
vegetable broth
onions
celery
carrots
oregano
cilantro
1 can diced tomatoes
arugula 
grape fruit
corn
lemons
meatless balls (they are surprisingly very yummy)
brown rice
sunflower seeds
bananas
plums
frozen mango
garbanzo beans
sunflower seeds

While I shopped my lentils were soaking in water, so they were ready for me when I got home. I got out the crock-pot (never used one before) and threw all the necessary ingredients in. Just google any lentil soup recipe and you'll find a good one. I let it simmer for 8 hours and it came out delicioso! I was very pleased. 

For lunch I made a yummy raw salad with arugula, garbanzo beans, grape fruit slices, corn, avocado, sunflower seeds, cilantro, and carrot. I'm really into easy home-made dressings so I'll usually just squeeze half a lemon, some olive oil, and a little raw agave syrup directly onto my salad with salt and pepper. mpwah! (fingers together on lips and explode outward...mpwah!)

om nom nom
For dinner I ate that scrumptious soup and made some brown rice to go with it (you could also have that whole wheat bread {pictured above} with some almond butter spread). I also drink lots and lots of tea and water all day long.

Day 2 (today):

I got my social media education on and watched a live webinar via MarketingProfs while I drank tea and ate cream of wheat with soy milk, chopped up banana, and cinnamon. 

I went for a long run (70 min. wooo!) all the way down to the beach and did a bit of interval walking - it has been glorious (I never use that word but find it appropriate at the moment) weather here in San Francisco. I can't believe I was in southern California and all I got was a week of nothing but fog; then I come back to SF and find the sun. It must have been hiding here all along! What are the odds? I guess this is the Indian Summer everyone talks about. I love it! I actually saw surfers down at the beach; "surfer speak" was music to my ears : )

I snacked on a granola bar, and then for lunch had a salad (much like the one from the previous day). For dinner tonight I plan on eating my soup and maybe making some sweet potato fries! I have the best and easiest recipe:

1 - 2 sweet potatoes sliced (to look like fries)
A whole lotta: paprika, cinnamon, and kosher salt
Olive oil

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Throw the ingredients into a bowl and mix it all together then spread evenly on the sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Be sure to toss and turn ingredients every 10 minutes. Voila! Perfection. Your welcome.

I am also brewing my very own Kombucha...you heard me! Kombucha! This stuff is like $4.00 a bottle, but it is so easy to make. All you need to get going is a scobi, which supposedly isn't easy to find but if you know someone who makes Kombucha you're good. The scobi basically expands each time it's brewed and you can simply peal off a layer and give it to anyone who wants it!

My cousin is a Kombucha expert. Check out her blog (if you've gotten this far...geeezus sorry about the long post) to learn more about it and how to brew your very own:

http://pipperipembo.tumblr.com/post/6649455132/kombucha

Also, you may be asking yourself, "what the hell is Liza doing?" Well I'm not so sure I can answer that at the moment. All I can say, is that if my persistence pays off my patience will as well.

A lot has been going on, and I promised to always be real, honest, and personal with you all and I intend to do that, so I'll be playing catch-up on here for a while...stay tuned.


September 14, 2011

Dance

I never even knew this picture existed! And in a newspaper none-the-less. View the 
online publication and read the article. (That's me on the left.)
Ventura College Dance Dept. presents Dancing on the Edge (2007)




September 13, 2011

Hilarious giggle fit

This is probably old news, but if anyone hasn't seen the clip of Anderson Cooper loosing it on national television, you have got to watch this! It gets me every time....


September 11, 2011

Sushirrito

Okay, so there's this new place -  just opened in January - 
and I think it could possibly take over the world...just sayin.

It's sushi and a burrito. What? I know, it sounds strange, but here it is.

El Tigre Sushirrito - Photo courtesy of Pop Sugar SF

Sushirrito lovingly creates "sushi-burritos" or "sushirritos," with super fresh ingredients brought together in an innovative way. This is not your average sushi roll...or burrito. 

For example, I had the Casanova: Steelhead Salmon, baby arugula, avocado, daicon radishes, tomato salsa, green onions and toasted pumpkin seeds (yum!). Sounds like an odd combination of ingredients but I thought it was very tasty and the sushi was fresh and had that "melt-in-your-mouth" quality. I'm anxious to try some of their other options, including a vegan roll.

Sushirrito is an eco-friendly company as well, which is great. They buy local and organic whenever possible, and actually describe where their produce comes from (how it is caught) and more about ways they implement sustainable practices in their restaurant. It is on the website under "impact."

It is lighter and much healthier than your average burrito. However, a friend of mine tried Sushirrito and found it to be a bit too much, because sushi is supposed to be, well, sushi. So for purists this may not satisfy your palet. I however am a huge fan of hand-rolls, so to me it is a ginormous hand roll. I also think the ingredients and recipes are very different from your average sushi roll, so the distinction makes it something entirely unique and something I can appreciate and enjoy.

I say yum and yes please!

September 9, 2011

Happy Birthday to the woman who gave me life


Hehehe thanks for that Mom ; )

Happy Birthday to the greatest Mom in the world - the support, encouragement, and love you've shown me throughout the years has kept me going. Seriously, I couldn't do it without you. You've always pushed me to be ambitious and live life vigorously, while also being their to lend an understanding ear and a shoulder to lean on (and in my 20's - to cry on. a lot. jeeezuss). You've always encouraged me to do the best thing for myself and I can't tell you how much I appreciate that and appreciate you.

I love you Mom!

sister, mom, me

My cute Mom

Sassayyyyyy!!


September 5, 2011

3 day weekends would make the world a much better place.

.....That is my theory and I'm sticking to it!

Day 1 to run errands, day 2 to just relax/take it easy/be lazy/do nothing/RECOVER from the shenanigans of the night before, and day 3 to get out and play!

This weekend was lovely and relaxing and I discovered a few new places around the city. And when I say "discover" I mean, for god's sake, where have I been all this time whilst all these great little gems were just sitting there being enjoyed by everyone but me!??

I finally tried Philz Coffee and was not disappointed. I had the "Philharmonic" - it is not an understatement to say that upon first sip I had a symphony in my mouth. Yes. I went there. It was the most amazing coffee I've ever had. They brew each cup individually and stir it into frothy, creamy perfection. Yum.

Other highlights of the weekend include happy hour at the Burritt Room in the Crescent Hotel, Shanghai King for gastronomical deliciousness, going to The Old Clam House with my nor-cal family, seeing Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the Bali exhibit at the Asian Art Museum, Civic Center farmers market, and a little exploring in Pacific Heights (love that neighborhood).

What am I looking forward to in the coming months? Well for starters, how about a summer? I feel as if I was robbed of that this year - maybe it's because I literally got to enjoy 3 summers last year (due to traveling around the world), so now Mother Nature is going, "Hah! This year you'll get no summer at all!"- hmmm. So I am looking forward to an Indian Summer in SF, which I've heard so much about and am anxiously for (if it doesn't come I may want to kill myself) (jk) (but seriously). 

Happy week! Hope it's a sunny one.

August 27, 2011

Some Italiano please

Friday after work Katie and I came over to Bernal Heights to try Vinorosso, an authentic Italian wine shop, bar, and eatery, home made pastas and all. I've been wanting to try this place for the longest time because it looks so cozy and inviting from the outside and I love wine and Italy so.....duh.

We split the cheese plate: 3 delicious cheeses for $10, not bad! To some people the portions may seem a bit small, but to me it was perfect, and hey, that's how they do it in Italy - indulge regularly but modestly.

We also shared an order of dates, which were amazing. It would be nice if they offered one of those delicious stuffed date options that some restaurants do so well - you know, when they're stuffed with blue cheese, drizzled with honey and served warm - any variation on that will do. Mmmmmmm.

The wine was perfect. We tried the Lambrusco, a deep red sparkling wine. If you've never had it, you must try. It's light and so refreshing. We also had a glass of red and unfortunately I can't remember what I had - something described as being full bodied with plum and blueberry notes (often my favorite) - and Katie had the Chianti which was a little too dry for her, and maybe not for drinking on its own, however with a little cheese or a hearty meal, delish.

We unfortunately missed their happy hour, which is every day from 4:00 - 6:00, but will definitely be back to enjoy more wine and try the homemade baked pastas. Happy happy hour everyone!

August 5, 2011

"Summer in SF"

It is depressing and it's making me sick. Literally I cannot stay healthy for longer than a couple months! I blame Muni, the grossly excessive overuse of air conditioning in most buildings, AND the fact that it's freaking windy and cold all the time.

BUT, due to my illness, today I got to do something cool - work from home! (or WFH as the cool kids call it). I had a very productive day, just like being in the office, except I was in pajamas and close to my kitchen, all day long : )

It's exciting that working remotely is increasingly more common and even encouraged in some cases. I think that that is exciting. Because truth be told, I may have been a little worried that I would get too distracted working at home, but I wasn't. I had stuff to do, calls to make, etc, etc, and it filled my day exactly as if I had been in an office. But the beauty is that for some people the standard hours of 9:00-5:00 are just not possible for their lifestyle. If you have kids, another job, things that must get done during the day, whatever, you can do it because the hours are flexible when you work from home. As long as you don't abuse the special privileges and continue to work hard, everyone will be happy and everyone wins.

I like that work is evolving into a more accommodating and less rigid structure. Some people don't like to  be sucked into a monotonous routine, and the ability to work remotely allows us the freedom to be a little more inventive with our time. Sounds good to me! What do you think?

July 30, 2011

Sweet Cheeks: SF Edition

go Marcus, go Marcus, go go!
Last night I got to see an old friend from high school do what he does best, and that's to bring love, soul, variety, and tantalizing beats to the dance floor! He has always loved music and has been DJ'ing for as long as I've known him. I remember back in the high school days he used to put some crazy things together, like Mr. Rogers and Michael Jackson! Always inventive and creative...
Marcus rocks! Or I should say, MAWCUS

When I arrived to Madrone Art Bar (love this place!) he was already in the zone, and it was amazing to see what he could do and hear how his style has developed since his Ventura days. I was impressed and I wasn't the only one...every time he transitioned to a new song the crowd would acknowledge it by looking around at their friends as if to say "can you believe how awesome this guy is!??" And they echoed their approval, in awe of his inspired choices. One girl shouted, "this DJ is sick!" And I wanted to be like, "that's my friend!"

Currently in San Diego, he's always loved SF and wanted to bring his creation, Sweet Cheeks to the music loving people of the bay. I think it was well received so hopefully I'll be seeing my musical friend more often! I had a great time, thanks Marucs! <3

July 29, 2011

Who wouldn't want to work here!?!?

I certainly would, and did! This is where I've been freelancing. 
This space epitomizes the trendy and cool, uber design-centered, urban work environment that comes to mind when thinking about San Francisco'ans at work....take a look!

July 25, 2011

Video: Stewie welcoming me home!!

But first, a little rant followed by an uplifting "pat on the back / keep your chin up" sort of thing...(insert winky face and cheeky grin here)

Today was tough, not gonna lie. It's interesting....I feel like it's hard to be passionate and truly involved in your work unless you really get to know your organization, but this doesn't happen over night. There are road blocks up right now and I just want to take a sledge hammer and tear them down; instead I have to be satisfied with slowly chipping away - eventually I will break through but it will take time.

I'm frustrated because I'm not picking things up as quickly as I'd like to at work. Computer language is difficult for me. I have a hard time filling in the blanks - I need to know all of the background information, I need to fill in all the gaps and understand "why." Some people just get it, they speak the language and it comes naturally. We all have our strengths. I know I'll get there, I'm confident in that, but for now I can't be afraid to make mistakes and ask questions - it's the best way for me to learn, honestly. 

I try not to get down on myself when I don't understand something right away; I know I'm trying my best and that's all I can do, but it's hard not to feel critical sometimes. And I know I can be way too hard on myself.....and for what!?? At the end of the day, what really matters is that I tried my best; and what really really matters is that I'm happy and living each day with joy. Besides how can I be unhappy when I think about this little bundle of joy....

I went home for 10 days this month. I am so blessed to have such a loving and seriously awesome family. Some of my best friends were also in town making my time at home truly feel like the good 'ol days. And of course, my puppy! 

video

This video is the greeting I received when I came home and saw Stewie for the first time in 2 1/2 months. Now this is a homecoming done right! (Sorry about the lame edits - it ran a little long...and I'll try to get a better quality video up later -- read "i don't know what i'm doing")

July 24, 2011

Blogger's block...

Blogger's block....much like writer's block. I feel less than inspired these days to continue writing the way I have been - I'm feeling like my style/content/overall feel needs to be reinvented. I'm thinking about switching to wordpress, but am not quite there yet. Regardless of whether one person is reading my blog or 100, I like to write and will definitely continue. I just need a little direction, I think. 

Hoping for a good week; just got back from a beautiful weekend in Yosemite where I went on a 13.5 mile hike and camped with my awesome fam. It's always hard when times like that come to an end - in fact, I really struggle with trying not to feel so sad and depressed when transitioning from great times with friends and family to facing a difficult work week (or the like) - I need to learn how to let the good times fuel and energize me rather than bring me down (because ultimately, I would just like to be on vacation with my family and friends for the rest of my life....can I get paid to do that?? Obviously I can not). 

Happy birthday to my gorgeous, awesome, and freakishly adorable cousin! You are amazing and I loved spending the weekend with you. Looking forward to an interesting week ahead....good luck facing the monday blues everyone!

June 30, 2011

Juggling jobs!

Quickly, I want to say that this girl (me) has been juggling 3...no 4 jobs and hasn't had a day off in....I don't even remember the last time I had a day off! I know this is rather uncharacteristic of me - I happen to believe in days off, relaxing, and recreational fun time - but it seems, finally, that my hard work is paying off.

My job as a server is no more (thank god almighty I hated that job!), and I actually turned down an offer with my current internship to transition into a permanent role, which was an extremely difficult decision to make as I really like the company and people I work for. So why the hell did I turn it down? Well, I landed a second internship with a company I am over-the-moon happy to be working for. The company is Viator.com! Viator is Latin for "travel" and so, obviously it's a perfect fit! I'm a marketing intern and learning so much already about social media strategy, online marketing, and am even getting to do a bit of writing. I'm so happy with this position it's ridiculous. It hasn't been an easy road to get here though, and I am thanking the Universe for delivering something that really excites me. Thank you!

So now I am working full-time between the two internships; nights and weekends belong to me again....so grateful for the opportunites that are coming my way. I finally feel like I believe in myself again - I mean, I must have been doing something right to get to this place!

June 9, 2011

SFMOMA

Interspersed conspicuously along the beautiful streets in downtown San Francisco is an abundance of cultural riches to be explored. I haven't always enjoyed museums, probably because my mom swore by the joys of slowly perusing old artifacts, grand pieces of art, and everything in between; literally she would inch along at a snails pace. When finally she crossed the threshold into another room she would find my sister and I sprawled out all over the random pieces of furniture you often find in museums - I can't imagine they serve any other purpose than to provide a place for whiny kids (and husbands) to plop - complaining our heads off, "my feet hurt! this is sooooo boring! i'm hungry! how can you possibly stare at one piece of art for SO LONG!??" You can tell I still feel this way on occasion....

Over time however, in my later years (oh god), I have a deeper appreciate for such museums and interesting exhibits particularly when it comes to photography and strangely enough, "modern art." I have quite the love-hate relationship with it actually; when mulling over which museum to take myself to on "free museum day," which includes a multitude of places around SF, I felt drawn to the SFMOMA where one will often discover some very interesting things. There's usually quite a lot of photography, and I like that sometimes there is a shocking and almost vulgar quality about the art, which I find compelling. However, another part of me just doesn't get about 80% of what I see....for example:


Which of course is creatively entitled....


I found it entertaining however to watch people go up to it; stare at it; consider it; and thoroughly inspect it. Someone had taken some chalk and smeared it on the wall....hmmmmm. This is a work of art!?!? I just don't get it, but if anyone can enlighten me I would welcome the perspective.

Once again however, the love-hate aspect emerges in a way that surprises me - I don't really get it, AT ALL, but I am entertained by it somehow, even if it's only because of people's interactions with it; I hate it, yet I really sort of like it. Modern art!
Overall it's a very cool museum, and I would recommend checking it out, especially when it's free! They have a beautiful gift shop as well actually, which normally I venture into, but decided it would be best for my wallet if I stayed away. 

If anyone is looking for fun and cheap things to do around the city, here is an awesome website I found:


I'm trying to get myself out into the city more and this is a great resource to have on hand. San Francisco is such an incredible place, I don't want to take for granted the fact that I live here now and become one of those people who starts humming the same tune..."oh, that sounds great...i'll check it out one of these days..." Summer in SF is full of festivals, music, food, culture, art, bottomless mimosa brunches and beers out on the deck....I plan to live it up!

June 5, 2011

mmmmKAY I'm back!

Cousin Ian frolicking in Portugal "yipee!"
First things first, I really hate posts without pictures, but my busy butt didn't have time to take any so today's totally irrelevant picture is there simply because it makes me happy. But while I'm on the subject, I'm going to make it a goal to start carrying around my camera and get "picture happy." I feel like I don't take photos anymore - SO not good - from here on out I'll be that annoying person who always wants to pause for group photos....



I just got the call asking if I would like the day off?.....yes please, yes paaleeeeeeeeeze! I could always use the extra money, but after working a few 12 hour days, the blisters on my feet and dark circles around my eyes won fair and square. What's with the 12 hour days you ask!??? Seems unlikely "Liza behavior" you say.....well, not this Summer - it's going to be bi-zay!

Things at the restaurant are good - I really like some of the people I work with, major plus! The managers are great, however, I am a bit frustrated about the way we do "service;" it could be so much more efficient - servers could be walking out with more money - guests would be happier and more satisfied with the overall experience, and I think everyone could potentially make more money, SERIOUSLY. I've worked in a lot of different restaurants and definitely have a feel for achieving ways to maximize the efficiency of "flow" and increase customer and employee satisfaction. I could say a lot more on this, but I know it's super boring to anyone but me, so there, I'm done.

This girl finally landed a marketing internship! It's at a really awesome IT company (Information Technology) that is all about helping organizations to increase and enhance their capacity to do good. We work primarily with non-profits, schools, and organizations striving for a "greener" approach. I really like the people I'm working with and think that it will give me some great experience to get involved and increase my knowledge / understanding of marketing. I've done a bit of freelance as well, hence the 12 hour days, but it's all good because I'm meeting great people and could use a bit of organized chaos in my life.

I've also been reconnecting with some old friends from Sonoma - I can't even express how happy this makes me. I met some seriously incredible people during those early college years. It does my heart so much good to reconnect.

Oh, I completely forgot to update you all on the CLEANSE. Well, I went for three days strong and it actually was easier than I thought it would be. On the third day however, I worked at the restaurant and felt totally sluggish and a little faint...to follow would be 6 more days of work, so I just couldn't do it without a little nutrition. But I really didn't get headaches surprisingly, and I think the fatigue would have gone away by day 6 or 7, and be replaced with an abundance of energy (apparently this is the effect....). I will definitely be trying this again when I don't have to be running around a restaurant, carrying heavy plates, and having cheery interactions with guests. I have also been sick on and off three times in the last month, so haven't been doing much running unfortunately...back at it tomorrow!

Last but not least, I saw The Hangover 2 last night and actually, I think I liked it better than the first one! The sequel focuses even more on Ed Helms (Andy from The Office), and he is super laugh-out-loud / make-everyone-stare FUNNY in this sequel. Loved it.

That's all for now, much more in the way of pictures and fun posts to come!

May 24, 2011

CLEANSE

So, I have started a cleanse. I'm not sure if it will be a good thing or a bad thing. Which cleanse you ask? Well, it's a tweaked version of the Mastercleanse...ya know, that psychotic lemonade thing only crazy people do; yeah, that one. Why oh why you ask??? Well it is summer, and I've been feeling a bit tired and low lately, so I felt like a cleanse might just help.

My tweaked version allows me to also have miso soup with homemade vegetable broth. I also may allow myself the occasional fruit smoothie, because headaches are no bueno for me.

Today is actually day 2. Yesterday I woke up with no appetite whatsoever (stress I think) and thought, might as well start today! Day 1 came and went without any problems. Today however I had an emotional meltdown that fell on the wrong people (I'm sorry). I know going without real solid food can cause one to become a bit grumpy, but if that continues I will have to call the cleanse off. Nobody wants a grumpy Liza!!

I've also just been stressed lately. I had a conversation with one of my best friends, and we talked about how we felt as if we hadn't been truly truly happy and content for quite a few years. Not that I haven't had extended times with a glowing and gleeful disposition, I have, but overall the 20's are rough.

Anyhoo, am I hoping to do the cleanse and come out a changed person? Yes! Will that happen? Probably not, but hopefully it will extract some good energies and sense of rejuvenation. Huzaaaawwhhh!! hehe : )

Let's hope I make it to day 3....my roommate's making paella tonight, and it's been a rough day...can she resist??? I'll let you know how it goes! Anyone else doing a summer cleanse??

May 19, 2011

Dance a little more...

In the middle surrounded by gorgeous dancers
Dance...

Dance......

Dance!!!
Why don't we all do this? Is it because we forget? We forget how good it feels? How happy and free it makes us feel?

Sometimes I think I should reserve a half hour AT LEAST out of every day to just dance in my living room or kitchen (seems to be my preferred places of dance in my house). But then again it's so....good when it's spontaneous - when you suddenly feel your heels instinctively taking to the beat, creeping up your legs, into your hips, up your torso, flowing out your arms and suddenly your swinging your head, hair flying from side to side! Eeeeeyahhh!

I need to do this more often! Seriously, how fun is it to shed your inhibitions and dance. Be silly, be sassy, be sexy, be crazy, be happy, just dance! If you can't shake it in front of other people, it doesn't matter just fit it in somehow. Feel the music and move. If anything it's an element you can add to your day to relieve stress and remind yourself what it's all about. I get so caught up in "seriousness" sometimes I forget that this is my life, and I only get one chance to live it.

It's so important to remember to have fun! Man sometimes "fun" seems like a chore; how horrible is that sentence! But we just get caught up and start to feel like we don't have time for fun - "Oops, sorry, can't fit in fun because I'm too busy being serious serious serious!"

I'm not saying that life is a circus - that we should throw our responsibilities out the window - I just want to encourage everyone to remember that fun and happiness should be equally if not the biggest priority. Try to squeeze it in. Make this a goal: be able to look back on your life and feel like you took care of your loved ones AND yourself; you lived it to the fullest; you pushed the boundaries and sought joy in absolutely everything you did. 

Remember to dance and see how happy it makes you!

May 16, 2011

Recap of fun festivities in the past week...!

This past week has had its ups and downs. I've been a bit sick, and trying to take care of myself so only went jogging twice as it's been really cold and probably not a good idea for a sicky like me. I finally took a trip to Whole Foods, first time ever. I know, what!?! I got a ton of organic foods and have been trying to eat "raw" whenever possible. I've been trying really hard to be more mindful of what I put into my body. So for the last week I've been eating a lot of green smoothies, salads, cliff bars, granola, yogurt, and detoxing Yogi tea. Yummy yummy. I've also been trying to stay away from sugar, but for goodness sake I've got a sweet tooth that just can't say no. Aaaaaand there have been some emotional ups and downs, but hey, it happens.

ANYHOOOOOO

Let's recap the fun SF happenings of the past week!

1) Last Sunday was Mother's Day! While I didn't get to spend the day with my own mother, I got the next best thing. My Aunt Shelley came into town and I spent the afternoon with her and my awesome cousin Lily. We wandered into Golden Gate Park and feasted on Lily's picnic-perfect garden-fresh salad, dried white peaches, kettle chips and dark chocolate. If this doesn't make you want to shout with glee, well I don't know what would. Then we went to the de Young and visited the Balenciaga and Spain exhibit. Fashionistas be warned - drooling may occur. It was fab, and a lovely day.
goodies from Lily's garden
2) Monday I got out and ran, yeah! EX-ER-CISE! BEACH BODY NOW! MAKE BUTT FIRM! GET SEXY! (This is my mantra....i'm kidding, but really....) Then I went to the garden at Lily's school and she helped me pick - and when I say "helped me pick," I mean she did everything but hold the container; this girl is a hot commodity AND a gardening pro - some delicious lettuce, leeks, kale, and oregano, which I have been feasting on all week.



3) Tuesday I had two interviews and got one job! I'm still waiting to hear back about the internship, crossing my fingers and toes. But anyway, one job obtained "on the spot" is something to celebrate! I also attended my roommate's writing workshop, entitled "Words Which Work." She is a seriously talented writer, and soon to be published journalist!



4) Wednesday I went to an awesome concert venue: Bimbo's 365. I love the feel of this place, very classy / art deco meets edgy and cool. Loved it. An old friend of mine had an extra ticket to see an amazing band called Pinback. I had never heard of them before (a little behind in the music scene), but I guess they are from San Diego and wow, they rocked! It was so great catching up with an old friend as well and feeling as if no time had passed.

5) Thursday I went to a Giant's game!! I've been wanting to go to one since I got here. AT&T Park is awesome! We sat in the bleacher seats, which for 15 - 20 bucks really aren't bad at all. The seats are behind the outfield positions, but they're surprisingly close to the field. And the bleachers are filled with all the crazy hell raisers! No, just kidding, but really they've got some spirit. It was a great time.

6) Friday I shopped in Union Square all day to piece together my all black ensemble for work then came home and did 3 loads of laundry. I've also been fighting a cold so it was early to bed for me.

7) Saturday I trained at the new job, came home and went jogging with my roommates, then went to see an interesting documentary in 3D called, The Cave Of Forgotten Dreams. It is about the somewhat recent discovery in France of the oldest cave drawings or markings ever found, dating back some 33,000 years ago, which is more than twice as old as anything found prior. It was pretty cool in 3D, but isn't worth this feature if the theatre itself isn't up to par on the 3D front. My Uncle Brian treated me to the movie and then we went to dinner in the Mission at a great German restaurant, Schmidt's. We indulged in delicious beer along with tasty delights like pretzel rolls, crab cakes, shaved asparagus salad, and of course, bratwurst and sauerkraut. Mmmmmmm. The ambiance was modern and chic with a cozy European feel. 


So those were my adventures for the week! Let's see what unfolds for me this week.... 


May 11, 2011

You're hired!

Yesterday I heard two words that hadn't graced my ears for quite some time; "Your hired!" I can't say I landed the job of a lifetime, nothing even close to resembling anything of that nature....that's right, it's back to the restaurant business for me! But don't worry I'm not giving up on my goals. I just realized that while freelance and internships are awesome and definitely my top priority, I need to be able to rely on a steady paycheck in order to survive up here.

Serving is a great way to make the most amount of money in the least amount of hours. So time to dig out my all black ensemble and get ready to plaster on that smile and bouncy energetic persona that all good servers must possess (if they want to make the money that is). I happen to really enjoy working in a restaurant and will absolutely embrace the opportunity to make some new friends and of course, not have to worry about paying rent.

So how did I get the job? In the last couple weeks I have been rather unlucky: from getting my car towed, to little things like leaving 24 rolls of toilet paper in the Target parking lot, accidentally driving over the Bay Bridge during rush hour traffic on a friday and having to pay the toll with my quarters for laundry, and other odd things here and there causing me to utter aloud "how unlucky..." The more I hear myself saying these words, the more I realize I've been a bit down on my luck. Well yesterday luck was finally on my side!

The restaurant I  wanted to apply to was having open interviews for three days this week. So I showed up only for them to meet me briefly and tell me to fill out an application, but they weren't holding any more interviews because they were a bit behind. I looked around and realized that I was one of many hopefuls, which of course was discouraging. I brought back the application an hour later and the hostess said, "Oh, you're from Ventura? I'm from Ventura!" A few seconds later the General Manager came up to us and snatched my application from her hands, then asked if I had time to chat. 20 minutes later and I had the job! They weren't even going to begin considering candidates until a couple days later! I was astonished to say the least.

So now I have a job, and the best part is that I was honest - I'm not going to sacrifice my career aspirations for a server position (not that there's anything wrong with that AT ALL, I have so much respect for servers, but I have other dreams). I made it clear that I was looking to work 3-4 days and wanted this job to supplement my income. So yeayahh!! Show me the tips! Now I'll be able to afford to start dancing again and doing fun things in the city, yay : ) Luck has a funny way of showing itself when you least expect it....

May 6, 2011

The "Waiting" Game

This is an old picture of me "waiting"....that's all....yeah.
Recently I realized that I really hate to wait. Sound like the intro to an extremely boring post? Possibly, yes; but hopefully not - I do have a point.

I've been in SF now for just under 3 months. In this time I've gone to Bartending school, started freelancing at an awesome creative marketing firm, moved into an apartment, stepped up my exercise regime with Bikram Yoga and running, interviewed for and turned down a job, allowed my blog to take shape and become something I am proud of, and now possibly landed an internship!
Not too bad for three months time, hey??? hey????

When I step back and admire some of the strides I've made, I feel pretty good about where my ambition has lead me. But if I look back on the last three months and think about how I felt each day in terms of my success and how much my efforts were paying off, I would say, "ughhhhhhhhh, I feel like I've accomplished nothing!" Which so isn't true, but sometimes can feel this way. Why? Because there is so much waiting involved. Even if it's only for a day - that day can often feel like an eternity. What I've learned about myself is that I really hate to wait, and I think that's because I have ambition and WANT to be doing something that is pushing me forward in life. If opportunities are not immediately knocking, I feel anxious.

When I got rejected from grad school I felt extremely depressed not necessarily because I didn't get in, but because the thought of putting my mind towards another goal, in a totally different direction filled me with anguish and fear of failure. I thought about how long and difficult it was for me to come to the decision to go back to school, and now I had to find a new path. Why not just get any old job and do whatever gets me by? Well, my life is important, it is my mission to be both challenged and "in love" with whatever I do.

I dwelled on this for a while, but luckily I began freelancing quite often, and loved the industry I was becoming more familiar with. So I almost immediately had something to fill my time instead of worrying about 'where I'm going and what I want to do with my life.' But then again, it's freelance so obviously not working on a permanent basis means time to dwell.....eventually.

Earlier this week I did what I normally do, try to fill the void with something immediate, anything. So I looked up babysitting because I have tons of experience, but for many reasons have long wanted to move away from that niche and pursue my passions and career. But out of slight desperation to earn money, and mostly the need to DO SOMETHING NOW, I lined up a job.

Then I had a realization. I didn't come to SF to simply "get by" and I certainly didn't come here to babysit. So I canceled the job because I believe in myself and I have hope that if I keep trying, keep following my heart and pursuing my goals, I will be successful, AND happy.

So that being done, I put a ton of effort into working on applications for internships and am super excited because I actually got an interview! I'm thrilled with the company, and hopeful for the opportunity to immerse myself in the industry. Oh by the way, I would be a Marketing Intern. Yay!

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that, things don't always happen right away, in fact they almost NEVER do, but give yourself the allowance to wait, and never stop trying. Don't give up on your goals. If for some reason your goals change along the way, which can be very hard and difficult to deal with emotionally and mentally, you just have to roll with it. It will be okay as long as you believe in yourself and continue to find ways to improve your capabilities. If you want something, no one is going to hand it to you. You have to go and get it, and in this pursuit, be someone or strive to be someone that you can be proud of. It comes from within.

This may sound contradicting, but I believe you should pursue your goals and never give up on finding success and happiness, however allow yourself time to wait and have patience because if you try your very best things have a way of coming full circle and working out eventually. Sometimes things, ideas, goals, dreams, ambitions, whatever, just need to sit for a while and brew. Try not to get desperate and give up just because it's "easier" in the moment.

May 3, 2011

FUNNY YouTube!!

I know this is a lazy thing for a blogger to do, but truth be told, I just don't really feel like blogging today, yesterday, and possibly tomorrow. There is much to write about, but unfortunately I feel like I've exuded too much mental energy the last few days and I just don't want to force it.

So this is a bit of fluff, but it is FUNNY and relevant to my recent traffic citation. This YouTube star Natalie Duran, i.e. "Ndtitanlady" shows us the humor in unfortunate circumstances such as a bloody ticket. Unfortunately I'm not talented enough to make a video, which is undoubtedly better than my rant, but hey, whatever works!

Please watch, I promise it will make you Laugh Out Loud! And I know some of you, myself included, could definitely use a good laugh....

I Got A Traffic Ticket

April 28, 2011

FML

I know I definitely should not be using this internet coined expression, but it just seems to be the only appropriate (or obviously inappropriate) way to go. I just....man oh man; this post I will tell you right now is a rant - I am truly "journaling" right now as I tend to feel most inspired to write in my journal when I am feeling particularly peeved. HUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

So what's the big drama you ask??? There I was going about my week - having a great one I might add - working away, getting things done, getting ahead, only to then discover that my car had been towed. My roommates are out of town so I had to call a cab....sure, ya know, just add it to my tab...and I was told by the people at the tow place that unless I arrived within 20 minutes, the cost for my car to stay in their huuuge empty lot was gonna be majorly bumped up. I should add that as I was going to call the cab my phone decided to shut down; it's cool, ya know, just keep it comin, keep throwin those lemons at me, see if I care!!! I have already had 2 parking tickets this month, so like I said, put it on my tab, b****!

To my grateful relief, 1) the cab took cards, and 2) I arrived 20 minutes after the "20 minutes," because well, I live really far away but the lady was so nice, she didn't bump up the already sky high price. Thank you wonderful lady, bless you. Curse you awful person who towed my car claiming it was blocking your driveway when I am 150% sure that it was not and have the pictures to prove it! That's right! I drove back to the exact spot I was parked in, parked my car, and took pictures, because I guess I am crazy, but I wanted to prove that I was totally wronged, if only to myself and my family.

I know I'm being way overly dramatic. But pretend like this is my "reality show" and I'm just tellin it like it is.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh goodness that felt good. Thanks for listening, and please feel free to vent to me anytime, I'm a great listener : )

Now, I am brushing it off and walking away. In the long haul this matters zip, zilch, zero, nada, nothin.

And now, I feel bad because having been super busy today at work I didn't hear a word about the horrific tornadoes in Alabama until now. Perspective Liza, perspective. Getting my car towed is like a blessing in comparison to what these people have been and are going through. I have absolutely nothing to complain about. Nothing.

I am sending all my thoughts and prayers to the people in Alabama, and I want to encourage my readers (Mom....Dad.....sister....maybe best friend) (haha) to put things in perspective and be grateful for our good fortune, because things could be so much worse. I am blessed. Life is precious. Don't take anything for granted.

April 26, 2011

Are risks worth the risk?

Yes, worth it, way worth it! It's good knowing when to play it safe, but our intuition is a driving force for clarity; why ignore that (sometimes pesky) inner voice?

I recently made a rather risky decision - depending on how you look at it - but I got some great advice, followed my intuition, and I don't think I'll regret a thing.

I'm so thrilled to be where I am right now. I'm loving the whirlwind that has engulfed my life. It's crazy to think that just a year ago I was globe-trotting -- wandering around aimlessly to my heart's content. I love traveling and am always looking forward to the next adventure, but for right now, I'm ready to get a little settled. Not settled in the 'lets get married, have kids, move to a suburb and grow a garden' kind of way, but in the sense that I'm ready to be grounded and in one place for a while.

I love where I am right now. I've been wanting to move to SF for SO LONG, and I'm finally here! I love meeting new people and am having a blast as a freelancer working for a fabulous company.

How did I finally get here? How was I able to make the move rather than just talk about making the move? Well you asked, so I'll be honest. Ultimately I came to SF knowing I wanted to live here, but my application to grad school at SFSU is what actually got me here. I came with the presumption that I would undoubtedly be accepted. I even began Bartending School because I thought it would be the best job to have as a grad-student. As fate would have it, I did NOT get in (bitches....jk!). Actually, I'm happy I didn't get in; no really, I am! Because if I had been accepted, I would have probably wound up back in school. But the thing is, in my heart of hearts I knew what I truly wanted to do, and as fate would have it, I am doing it!

School is great, but it's round the clock....and so much work....for no pay! Not saying it's a bad thing, not at all - it's great for a lot of people, and I may find myself back at it one day, but for now I am right where I want to be. I am working for an awesome company, living in a fabulous apartment with some of my best friends (in SF no less), earning money, and having fun. No papers to stress about or tests to study for. I loved school, but I was ready to move on and I couldn't quite do that in Ventura. Here in SF I can, and I am. Yaay!

When we take risks, particularly the kind that are motivated by our gut instincts and heart, the positive will soon unravel, sometimes in unexpectedly exciting ways. Who knows if I would have ever made it to SF had I known that I would not get into grad school. It would have been a lot harder to justify coming all this way.

Sometimes in life it's better to go with the safe bet because security is important; other times risks are worth taking. There is something very exciting about being in the here and now with every move you make; I am a surfer riding the wave of life - sometimes I'll fall but I'll always get right back up and enjoy the ride.

April 22, 2011

Movie Review: "Limitless"

One of my favorite things about Ventura is the $3.00 Regency, previously known as the Mann. It used to be a regular, downright expensive movie theatre, until someone had the bright idea to make it affordable. It was a great marketing decision as they couldn't quite compete with some of the nicer and newer theaters popping up in town. Now they are more popular than ever with great deals a'flowin. Wednesday is $10.00 "Date Night:" 2 admissions, 2 popcorns, and 2 sodas; good deal, no? And of course their all beef hotdogs are only a buck all day everyday. I myself do not partake in this hotdog deal; too good to be true? Eeeeyeaaahhh I would think so, but I'm a skeptic about such things - dollar hotdog screams "health hazard, eat at own risk!" to me - but many people think they're delish.

Anyway, on to my review....

Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper (*sigh*), love those blue eyes, Abbie Cornish, and Robert De Niro. I had never heard of this movie, probably because I don't get TV in San Francisco, which in and of itself is a good thing, so I was pleasantly surprised. Cooper, always the nice, fun, party guy, shows us a different side to his forte. De Niro is, well De Niro, and we love him for always being solid.

Cooper plays an aspiring writer who suffers from years of severe writer's block. Unable to produce a single word on paper, he wanders the streets looking like he belongs there with scraggly hair and dingy clothes, nothing to inspire him besides the comfort of a cool stiff drink. Dumped by his girlfriend who loves him but essentially tires of picking up the pieces of his crumbling life, we see a man who is really down on his luck.

That is until he bumps into his ex-brother in law who gives him the gift of an $800.00 a pop pill, ultimately unleashing the dragon within. The concept behind this magic pill, is that it gives one the ability to use every part of their brain. It is believed that humans use only about 10% of the brain. So you can imagine the serious advantage one might have if one could use their brain to the fullest capacity. He is suddenly "clear, " and quickly realizes that everything he's ever seen, known, or heard is perfectly organized into the file cabinet of his brain, and instantly retrievable. He learns the piano in three days, and half listening to a foreign language becomes fluent almost immediately. Suddenly the world is at his fingertips and there is nothing he can't do. He becomes, "limitless."

Nothing seems impossible, until of course, the consequences catch up with him and the fun begins....

On our way home from the theatre my family fought about what the "coolest" part of the movie was (haha). The cinematography is amazing and "motion" effects, unbelievable. My dad kept saying he felt like he was on a ride. In my opinion this is one of the more original films I've seen in a long time. It plays with an idea that hasn't really been toyed with before, not that I've seen at least. In one word it is "fun." I would see it again today! It's definitely a rental if you miss it in theaters, just be sure to watch it on the biggest screen you can find; buckle your seatbelt and enjoy the ride!

April 20, 2011

Forget waxing, bring on the cotton thread

Thought I would cue you in to my latest obsession, ya know, since I am so up-to-date and in-the-know -- a fierce trend-setter -- all about the latest-and-greatest, strut'in my stuff thinkin I got swag when everyone else is like "NAGL" (for those of you not hip to the fashion-street-beat, that is an abbreviation for Not A Good Look....duh!) don't hate!

.....WOW I just had way too much fun with that sentence. I'm not "fierce" (although I can be, rawrr); I'm usually the one thinking "NAGL" about others, but not to judge of course - it's bold for people to dress in a way that others don't necessarily....get? I usually secretly covet the image of those with serious glam power who can pull off looks I could never in a million years. I think it's cool. Power to the cheeky, spunkadelick,  swag-tacularglamalicious people!

Clearly what this post is really about, is the desire to create my own language (imagine my surprise when I actually found "definitions" - some don't really fit but you get the idea).

Sorry I digress....

A few days after threading, no irritation, and the beginnings
of an actual arch. Note, I have 2 completely different
eyebrows, so yes, I know they're not symmetrical, but
getting there! Slowly getting there!
This post is about Eyebrow Threading. And I love it. I am someone with very bushy eyebrows that grow like weeds. It's obnoxious. I look back on pictures when I'm 12-14 years old and shudder at the Frida look I was obviously trying to pull off at the time. Since then I have been plucking, and I mean everyday, it's such a never ending hassle. Literally to go more than one day without plucking my brows would mean....gahhh, let's not go there. Bottom line, it's annoying. But I've tried waxing, and to be honest, I would rather pluck. I always leave feeling greasy and irritation in the form of redness and little bumps almost immediately follows. And ultimately, it doesn't last long.

Threading is an ancient method with origins in the Middle and Far East. It doesn't use any irritating chemicals or oily creams making the process much more affordable as the only tool they use is a cotton thread. The only way I can think to describe it is, picture a Cat's Cradle. Remember that game with the string? When in the basic position, it forms an X and by pulling your hands further apart the X becomes  more narrow. If you can imagine it, this is how they remove the hairs, by sort of twisting and removing the hairs from the follicle. It's a very quick, albeit painful process. But you get used to it, and hey, no pain no gain!

I have had my eyebrows and upper lip threaded, and I'm telling you it lasts so much longer than anything I've ever tried. Aside from a random little hair here and there, I went for 2 weeks without needing to even think about my brows! Do you hear me!? TWO WHOLE WEEKS! You all probably think I'm crazy, but for me this is miraculous, I can't even tell you. I was impressed. And there is no redness, no irritation - just 5-10 minutes of tear-jerking pain (you can take it!). They will usually add some aloe, or a gentle cream at the end.

Sometimes they will also give you a nice little eyebrow massage, depending on where you go.

I am really into this, incase you couldn't tell. I think it's great. If anyone out there is like me and does not like to spend so much time plucking away those annoying little hairs, but does so to avoid resembling Groucho Marx, consider threading!

Here is a link to the SF Salon: M&M Thread Salon SF
-$10.00 eyebrow
-$10.00 upper lip

Salon in Ventura (I know, there's a threading salon in Ventura!??): Layla Threading
-$11.00 eyebrow
-$6.00 upper lip

Word to the wise, let them know it is your first time and you'd like someone who is gentle and experienced. In SF you'll have no problem, but I went to Layla's in Ventura and had a woman who was fine, but rushed through the process (making it a bit more painful) and I noticed that it wasn't quite as clean as when I went to M&M in SF. Just be sure to tell them exactly what you want. I say that I don't want my brows to be any thinner, just clean 'em up and a little shaping. Give it a try and tell me what you think!