Christmas DIY Project

Every year, my mom, Jeri comes up with creative but simple presents to give to her friends. Every year, it seems, they get cuter and cuter and every year I get more and more jealous that I didn't think of them myself. This year, I did some Pinteresting for a Craft Night some friends and I had and ran across these - painted (with Annie Sloan paint)  Ball jars vases and I THINK I may have one-upped her! (but not even close)

It's a super easy process: I just painted the jars with two coats of Annie Sloan's Old White (three would look even better) with a regular paint brush. After they dried, I applied a tiny bit of gold gilding wax to the screw part of the jar (at the top) to add some Christmas flair. (note: I did NOT wax them). Then  I  sanded the parts that were raised allowing the glass to show through for a distressed look. To finish them up, I tied a little gold raffia around the top, threw in some sprigs of greenery from around our house, and called it a day.

What do you think? Cute, right?


DIY - Chevron Desk (Completed)


I am absolutely obsessed with this desk. I found it on Craigslist for basically nothing and my initial intentions where to paint the whole thing white. While looking on Pinterest for inspiration, I saw a few posts that featured desks, credenzas, and dressers that were painted while still leaving some of the original wood. I figured I'd give it a try using masking tape to create a chevron pattern. I would normally explain the process, but I literally just eye-balled it. I never have patience for things like that, but honestly it looks pretty good.

I talked a bit about the process here. Hope you like the final product! (Now I just need a chair bc not I have to kneel. The. Worst.


DIY - Picture Collage


I have been on a DIY roll lately, but to be honest I'm not surprised at all. It's been over a year since I've owned my house and I've been waiting all this time until I found an apartment that I loved to execute the projects that have been building up. I love the space I'm in now: dark original wood floors, light gray trim and molding, and 12 ft high white walls. I love this clean, elegant look so as I move forward decorating my room, I'm using primarily light colors, simple silhouettes, and lots of white space.

Above my bed, I wanted to do something a little different (and something I had seen on Apartment Therapy when the did a tour of my friend, Allie's home.  However, since I don't have a ton of pictures and polaroids lying around, I used Printstagram to print some of my favorite Instagram photos. Literally they are amazing. (Instagram handle: @matthewcara) I've used them several times before for various projects/gifts and I HIGHLY recommend you check them out.

This is what I did:

1) nailed a thin strip of metal into my wall above my bed which is what your magnets will attach to (you can also use cork board and wooden push pins for this part)

2) arrange your pictured sporadically using small magnets (I used these) as you go to keep them I'm place. Adjust and arrange to get a "controlled chaos" look

3) there is no step 3. It's that simple

MawMaw Dominates San Francisco

Literally, I loved every single second of this.

MawMaw, my mom's mother is (without a doubt) the chicest, witty, funny, go-with-the-flow, always-ready-for-a-cocktail, open-minded woman I know. In essence, I want to be her when I grow up. She came to visit me a few weeks ago and it was SO great seeing her. Let me just say, she took SF by storm. At the end of days, just as I would get ready to say "Should we take a nap before dinner" she would pipe up "Should we get a martini or glass of wine?". Like - everything. Honestly, I feel like the majority of the trip was eating and drinking and I wouldn't have had it any differently. She had been before so didn't need to see the usuals. Instead, she did get me out of the Castro and into new areas of SF that I had not seen. Again, loved it.

MawMaw, if/when you're reading - I love you and had a BLAST!


Annie Sloan - Chevron Desk (BEFORE)

Get ready. This desk is complete but you'll have to wait for the "AFTER" pictures. For now, I want to show you the progress pictures. I bought this old desk from someone on Craigslist after I immediately fell in love. I was attracted to it's simple and effortless design and I knew that I could do something amazing with it using Annie Sloan's paints/waxes. Also, it was $30.

Since the chevron pattern is really trending, I decided to give it a try. It was literally the biggest pain the ass, but totally worth it. I would explain the process in words, but I suggest simply YouTubing it. Much easier. Make sure to keep checking for a post about the final product and hopefully you'll love it as much as I do.


So I've Moved...

Yes. Again. I have moved. Of course I'm still in San Francisco (like I'd ever leave), but now I'm in an apartment that I'm truly proud to call home. I've reunited with 12ft ceilings, stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, and an IN UNIT washer and dryer. There will be a whole post dedicated to my new apartment, but for now, please know that I am back to DIYing using Annie Sloan's line of paints and waxes, and I couldn't be happier. For so many reasons, my new apartment just feels like...home. Above, I've included a picture of my room (that's still in progress) and some of the pieces I've been working on. Obviously, keep reading for the finished products.


I Literally Run this City.

San Francisco is great for so many things and depending on who you ask, the answer is almost always different. Some love the food, others the culture. People will argue the weather is best, yet still some will say the views. I think for me, it's the combination of it all. I've started killing two birds with one stone (if you will) and running to SF landmarks thus knocking out taking advantage of the beautiful weather and still seeing as much of the city as possible.

This past Saturday, I ran from China Beach across the Golden Gate Bridge and back again. I've driven across it a few times, but there's nothing like running across it (except maybe biking or walking, obviously). I wasn't rushed trying to take a picture through a sunroof which made it much less stressful (yes - it happens literally every time I drive across it). Then Sunday, it was WAY too nice to just go to the gym so I did another running day - this time out to Ocean Beach. It's one of my favorite routes as most of it is through the stunning Golden Gate Park. Regardless, here are a few pictures from my adventure. Enjoy!


Let the Rain Fall Down...

I don't know why I'm so excited considering I bike for part of my commute to work everyday, but I'm thrilled that we're finally starting to get some rain. It's not that I'm necessarily "sick of" the perfect weather CA has to offer. No offense - I just want to wear my rain gear. Above are the two looks I've worn the TWO days it's rained in the past (essentially) 3 months. Please - don't mind the selfie...

1. J.Crew trench, chambray shirt from The Gap, H&M half zip, J.Crew jeans, L.L.Bean 8 hole Duck boots, vintage infinity scarf

2. Levi's jean shirt, Levi's sweater, Uniqlo rain jacket, J.Crew jeans, Hunter boots


Work, Lately

Hello my friends! OMG it's been forever!

I've been incredibly busy recently as I just transitioned roles from a Client Services Consultant onsite at EA to a Senior CSC onsite and Rambus and Synopsys. It's a great promotion and I absolutely love my new manager and clients. However...there are a few perks that I've had to learn to live without since leaving EA: onsite gym, shuttle from San Francisco down to the peninsula, lavish cafeteria, and...cute people. Now, I bike 3 miles in the morning to Caltrain which I take from San Francisco to Mountain View. Then from the train station, I bike another 3 miles to whichever client site at which I'm sitting that day. I've got it down to one hour and twenty minutes door to door, though Cute.

I've said this before, but now that I have so much time on the train each day I'm going to be much better at posting on a more regular basis. Talk soon!


Ryde or Die

I literally cannot. (Of course I mean "literally" in it's nontraditional, but it's "still in the dictionary as "figuratively", but to prove a point" sense.)

Roughly 15 of my SF friends and I drove over to the Easy Bay to Ryde, CA for a "glamping" weekend. I say glamping rather than camping because we stayed in a country estate rather than tent, ate top quality, homemade meals rather than pork'n'bean out of the can, and had like 13 toilets to choose from rather than...I don't know. Like...a bush? It was absolutely insanity from the second we arrived. Spirits were high, tank tops were in abundance, and the liquor (especially Fireball?) was was flowing. Mornings usually started with a shot of Bullet bourbon accompanied by scrambled eggs, homemade hashbrowns, sausage and bacon. That let into total jock life realness activities including full team volleyball, throwing the football, kicking the soccer ball,...rage cage and survivor flip cup. In all honestly, it looked like we were filming an episode of Fratpad.

Basically, is was my favorite weekend thus far in San Francisco. I had a chance to meet and bond with some absolutely incredible guys and build relationships that I otherwise would not have had the chance to. #rydeordie!

Things that happened:
- Sat on the curb drinking slurpies we mixed with alcohol
- Changed into tanks and jean shorts (SF gay rummer uniform) in a gas station parking lot - got some looks
- Jump danced in lawn (4 am) while Vogueing with two speaker balls
- Jump danced in the house
- Man, I feel like a Woman!
- I came in like a wrecking ball. Literally. (don't ask)
- Piano and acapella sing along sessions
- Bonfires and s'mores (yassss)
- Late night pond swimming/kicks to the face
- Multiple trips for more alcohol (you should have seen what we started with, too)
- Apple pie from scratch WITH ice cream (I had 3 servings)


I Got Naked

Oh yes. Katherine (my closest friend in SF) and I went to Baker Beach this past Saturday. Baker Beach has a nude section and we though - no offense, but I mean...why not? I think it was the most liberating thing I've ever done. There's nothing quite like being naked in front of a bunch of strangers (especially when a group of Asian tourists walk by).

We started the day in Hayes Valley (clothed) for Ritual coffee and pastries from La Boulange. While there, we decided to be tourists in our own city and visit Coit Tower in Telegraph Hill. The views are AMAZING from there. There, it was obvious that the weather was just too nice to not get a little tan, so Baker Beach it was. We stopped for snacks and headed out. The day was everything and the night was just absurd. I don't know how I found myself at the top of a hill overlooking the whole city in Noe drinking from a bottle of champagne in my underwear with my best friends...but there I was. Basically - best Saturday ever.


Am I a Vegetarian?

The answer is no. BUT I am making a conscious effort to eat less meat. Honestly, I really don't eat too much red meat, but I was eating chicken twice a day which, after a while, got old. So as a challenge to myself, I'm cutting all that out - at least for a while. So what's for dinner these days? Pan seared tofu and peaches, and fresh avocado. Literally - SO GOOD.


Stinson Beach

Saturday morning, I was just in the middle of saying that I'll never drink again when some friends texted saying we're going to Stinson beach for the day. #getinloserweregoingshopping After squeezing into the car, it was windows down, Gay Top 40 blasting (and a few show tunes and Disney, obviously), and enjoying the stunning views along the drive. It was everything.

Activities included: throwing the frisbee, playing football, basket tossing each other into the ocean (yep), playing cards, scaling rocks while managing to hold on to our wine because we're professional alcoholics, buying more wine, and swan diving into waves.