Saturday, December 31, 2011

A new year

I tried to fill out a "getting to know you" post after Meredith tagged me in hers, but I found myself getting stuck. Since it's that fresh start, resolutions time of year, I am borrowing from Jenn instead and reflecting a bit on my year.
  1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before? I quit my "real" job for the first time, and I did it for my own happiness and sanity without having a concrete plan (unlike in the past, when I would quit part time jobs in order to go off to college or because my courseload was too heavy). I traveled more alone and for longer than I ever have before, across four destinations in one trip. I got a new job without the hand-holding of the new college grad process. I moved in with Tim (while I did move in with a boyfriend once in college, it was a disaster before it even began, and this feels like such a different, more mature situation).
  2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Not entirely. My resolutions changed a lot during the year - finding a job that makes me happy trumped some of the ones that I listed in last year's post. I did make some decent progress on getting rid of extra stuff and getting a few new, nice things. As far as next year, I'm mostly keeping track on a combination of lists (which will be combined back into two - food and general - next new year). See my 101 general goals from the summer, my new cooking aspirations for the coming year, and a new haphazard list of goals and resolutions.
  3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My sister-in-law Carrie had my nephew, Evan, this summer, and I got to meet him in October. I love them when they are tiny.
  4. Did anyone close to you die? No, thank goodness.
  5. What countries did you visit? I just stayed here, unfortunately, despite making a goal to travel overseas every year.
  6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? Definitely a dog. I've been wishing I had one for years and things might finally be settling down just enough. Also a sense of a more permanent home. Two full moves (plus a good amount of time spent mostly moved in with Tim at his old place) have left me a bit burnt out.
  7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched in your memory, and why? August 5 - my final day at Google. I should have left long before I did, so it was such a relief. November 21 - my first day at ModCloth, basically my dream job, and everything Google wasn't for me. December 23 - move in day for my San Francisco home with Tim.
  8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Quitting my job. It was terrifying and took a lot of hyping myself up, but I finally made the huge decision on my own.
  9. What was your biggest failure? I always have trouble keeping up any sort of exercise routine, and this year was no different. Honestly, this year was one of many successes, and most of my "failures" became learning experiences.
  10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Aside from a terrible sore throat that lasted for a few days over the summer, I was healthy, like most years (I have a kickass immune system).
  11. What was the best thing you bought? Although I haven't used it in a few months, my sewing machine is pretty amazing and should last for years to come.
  12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My friend Alex has been through a lot of shit this year, and she remains one of the most fun, upbeat, and mature people I know. Although I wish things weren't so rough for her, I'm glad that it has at least brought us closer together and given me a great female friend for once.
  13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I still get overly irked at arguments on the internet. Either due to a misunderstanding or trolling, it seems so easy to get into a heated argument and fight my hardest for something I hardly care about. This isn't directed at a single person - rather, most of the internet, including me.
  14. Where did most of your money go? Most of the money I spent this year went to rent (as usual), as well as health insurance during my time off (if you're wondering, I used COBRA). Well worth it, but I am sure excited to have more coming in than going out again.
  15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Basically everything in answer #1. Quitting, taking time off, getting my dream job, and moving in with Tim were all amazing, exciting things. I think that this may have been my most excitement-filled year ever.
  16. What song will always remind you of 2011? This is a tough one, as music has never been a key part of my life like it is for many people. I did listen to Girl Talk's All Day on repeat for about 2 months during a pretty stressful (but also somewhat exciting) time in my life, so I think it will always remind me of this year. (PS That link has a free download! Totally recommend the album!)
  17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
    1. happier or sadder? happier
    2. thinner or fatter? thinner, but only slightly. I fluctuated a lot this year.
    3. richer or poorer? probably evened out between saving and time away from work.
  18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Physical activity - biking, dancing, yoga.
  19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Watching Law & Order marathons on Netflix, having panic attacks.
  20. How did you spend Christmas? Unpacking from my December 23rd move back to San Francisco, as well as some low key quality time with Tim.
  21. Did you fall in love in 2011? It was an odd year for love. We'll go with yes.
  22. What was your favorite TV show? It changes every couple of months, but at the moment, Community.
  23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Strong annoyance, yes, at times. Hate, definitely not.
  24. What was the best book you read? I borrowed The Art of Non-Conformity from a friend and it was super inspiring. I'm honestly not sure whether I would have quit my job without it. Thanks Ava!
  25. What was your greatest musical discovery? I'm still listening to my favorites from high school, so I'm going to have to skip this one.
  26. What did you want and get? A career change.
  27. What did you want and not get? A puppy.
  28. What was your favorite film of this year? Black Swan... Did that even come out this year? I don't know if I saw anything that came out this year, and I saw Black Swan this summer and loved it. Totally exceeded expectations.
  29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 25 this year, and I hosted my second-annual Oktoberfest birthday party, complete with a Princess Cake (a new and non-German addition to this year's party). I love this tradition and hope to continue next year and beyond.
  30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I'm ending this year on a really high note, so this one is tricky. Maybe a switch to the dev career path (instead of the current test engineer role).
  31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? I became more aware of my style this year. I started following style blogs, blogging my own outfits from time to time, and now working at a women's fashion / e-commerce company! I feel like I hit my peak in the first half of the year and would like to delve into that again in the coming year.
  32. What kept you sane? Not gonna lie - therapy. Sometimes it's really nice to have someone to talk to without fear of judgement or imposing on them. Also Tim, for sure, and baking.
  33. What celebrity did you fancy the most? Zooey. She may be so last year, but I love her to death. And her terrible/amazing new show.
  34. What political issue stirred you the most? The fact that gay marriage is illegal in most of the US still really upsets me. I hate that it's such a process to grant what I believe should be a basic right, and I'm saddened that so many people are opposed to something that really shouldn't affect them.
  35. Who did you miss? My high school friend Meredith (who I did get to see once, in October!), my family - mom, sister, and my brother and his wife and kids (I hate that I'm not around while they grow up) - and Jenn, who moved away just as we started to become better friends!
  36. Who was the best new person you met? I had a rather up and down relationship with Scott, who I met in February (despite having mutual friends for years). Things weren't always sunshine and roses but I definitely learned a lot about life and relationships, and I hope that we can stay friends despite him moving far away.
  37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011. Take risks. Sometimes the risk of failure isn't as bad as taking the safe path is.
  38. Quote a song that sums up your year. Honestly, don't listen to enough music to have something come to mind. I wish I did!
Happy new year. Here's to 2012 being the best year yet! (as cliche as it sounds, I'm really hoping that's the case!)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Post-Christmas Sunshine

Isn't this dress sunshiney and cheery? I sorted my closet by color this time around, and I noticed that I really only have: black, navy, purple, red, gray, and white. No green, orange, yellow... until this lovely piece (which I only got on Friday!).

whoops, camera strap. Tim is still getting the hang of being my photographer. <3

Kind of an outtake as I came over to get my camera back. But I like it!
dress: Modcloth; sweater: Gap (a few years ago); tights: old, no idea; shoes: BC from Delia's or Alloy (also a few years old)

After coercing Tim to take outfit photos, we took a walk to my old San Francisco house to check up on my former roommate's bunny, Duncan. Tim and Duncan are basically best buddies, so it was fun and adorable.

the Castro is adorable.
Visiting me in the kitchen.
Tim feeding Duncan craisins.

A closer look at my shoes. And Dunc!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A glimpse at my (soon to be former) home

I've lived by myself in a small studio apartment since July, and even though it was only a short term home (five or six months total) it was really cozy and made me feel at home, something I never seem to be able to get with a housemate. Now that I'm moving in with Tim (who I don't think counts as a "housemate" in that non-homey sense), I may be giving up the bachelorette pad forever (ha)... at least, that's the hope when moving in with a serious boyfriend, right? I'm thrilled to move, but this little place has treated me well during my short time here, so here are some parting photos.


posters from an 11th grade trip to the actual Moulin Rouge

vanity made from an IKEA mirror and lights and an old dresser
cheap wooden board + tiny nails: necklace organizer
view of the "bedroom" (as seen from the kitchen portion of the studio)
cluttered shelves, which double as a living room/bedroom divider

Living room:

Larousse Gastronomique was a fantastic $4 purchase at a used bookstore in San Francisco 

I own more cookbooks than all other books combined, I'm pretty sure.

I love any excuse to pull out some fall candles, especially the ones from Bath & Body Works

Dining "room"
My entire apartment, as seen from the kitchen
and in the other direction (bedroom to kitchen view)

I love my pinup calendar so much. (and yes, it has taken me two months to post these photos)

The Bathroom:

my bathroom is hardly big enough to have any sort of decoration, but I somehow managed to fill it with owls

Shower curtain, mat, and toothbrush holder all from ModCloth (pre-job) 

Holiday Festivities

Amidst the job/moving madness, I somehow managed to cram a few festive activities in (food-centric ones, of course). Most of my friends are traveling for the holidays, so this was my chance to celebrate with them.

1. Pre-SantaCon brunch: Every year a bunch of my friends participate in SF's SantaCon - thousands of people dress up as Santas (and related creatures) and go on a giant bar crawl throughout the city. I skipped the bar part, but I did head up for brunch beforehand.

I made the mistake of trying to bike across Potrero Hill in San Francisco. I got some nice views,
but the biking was pretty much a failure. I was constantly going up or down a 45° hill.

We stopped by La Victoria for some baked goods to share. There were so many yummy things to ooh and ahh over!

The lovely Alex, ready to go!
This time with matching hat.
me and Alex. and an elf.

Me and my buddy Carmen (whose mohawk matches her sweater!)

2. Eggnog party: That same night, some other friends hosted an eggnog party - they made the nog, I brought mulled wine and sugared cranberries, and there were other lovely things to snack on as well.

Carmen came to the nog party too - two hangouts in one day!

Forced Christmas cheer with Tim

Deciding whether she likes nog


Carmen had derby prom after the party, and she dressed as a glowing jellyfish

Sugared cranberries, one of my favorite Christmas treats. So pretty!

3. Grub and Garb at ModCloth: A combo of holiday potluck and awful Christmas sweaters. <3 my job.

Cupcakes, by yours truly 
Chocolate with Bailey's buttercream
Vanilla bean with sugared cranberries

Coworker Hannah with her bloody axe sweater (including blood drops knitted onto the back).
Me, Rachel, Hannah. 
Some of the testing team - me, Syma, Jingting
Leftover sugared cranberries - yes, I made another batch just for the cupcakes.
My Christmas sweaters arrived after lunchtime that day, so they barely missed the photos, but I'm hoping to force a few more opportunities to wear them this year!