I went to San Francisco this last weekend to attend Matt’s company holiday party and had the best time in the city. I’ve always loved San Francisco but this trip was extra. Partly because I’m adventuring with my old college boyfriend (who I’m crazy about) and partly because I love the city life in the rain! Cities are so photogenic with a sheen of water over them. Add some holiday lights and they get even better!
Of course, I love a party so when Matt invited me to be his plus one, you know I was all over that. Time to dress up and dance! Woot Woot! I’ve been wearing this black dress to every single event lately. I’m done with buying something new over and over. I will wear this LBD until it pills up and falls apart. Just think of all the money I’ll save! It’s perfect for just about every occasion. I can dress it up with heels or down with converse or dance the night away in some shiny patent leather Mary Janes!
The next day we visited The Mission. I love the gritty color of this neighborhood. It’s everything that Irvine is not and what my inner city-girl craves. Color, grit, funky old architecture, paintings on the ground, graffiti everywhere!
I can see myself living there. You are probably all wondering why I don’t just move up there already. Believe me; I want to. But I also want Bug to finish high school in her hometown with all her friends. So time will tell.
It wasn’t very crowded because it was pretty early in the evening (morning people problems), and apparently, it just opened and is not really on anyone’s radar yet. Don’t you love finding a cool place before it blows up on Instagram, and you can appreciate it without waiting in line with everyone and their cousin? I’m so over places getting too hyped. I shouldn’t even blog about this because I’ll only contribute to the problem but I’m counting on not many people reading this.
We met the general manager, Nick, and he gave us the royal treatment. It started because I asked him if he had anything close to a Paloma on his menu. Instead of brushing me off and telling me to stick to the menu his eyes twinkled and the next thing I knew he was creating a sixteen-step concoction with grapefruit juice, rosemary tinctures, lychee juice, a half rim of black salt, and the prettiest cut orange peel you ever did see for a garnish. I was delighted! We called it the “Brendarita.” Though between you and me this was the Princess of all Brendaritas. If you go there and Nick is working, you’ll have to tell him I sent you and special request it.
It was the best time and it was over too quick! Before I knew it I was back on the plane and flying home. Wah-waaaah.
Good thing I have these fools to come home to.
But yes, I am missing San Francisco!
It was a blur. A big orange and pink blur of happiness. I turned fifty, invited all my friends and family and I had a fabulous bash! All that preparation and it finally happened.
First I should start off with the balloons and the party prep at my apartment before the party because how can I not share these adorable photos of my great niece? It’s like having toddler Bug around to photograph all over again. She does not take a bad picture.
Then let’s talk about the elephant in the room: my haircut. I went big. Yes, I did. I walked into my hairstylist’s salon with a printout of several hairstyles I liked and we picked. One choice was particularly risky. I hemmed and hawed and she got all bubbly and excited and I thought, If I can’t go big at fifty will I ever? So I took a huge risk and hacked all my hair off into a “wolfie” style AKA a mullet. It got kinda scary in the chair, my natural curl kicked in, and the next thing I knew I had a David Bowie wig on my head. My stylist added more product and more product and straightened it with a straightening iron and it just got worse and worse.
I wasn’t devastated. I’ve had a similar haircut before (when I got married in 1999 and almost left Toby right before we got married… it’s a theme). I know it’s not the end of the world. I just need to remember not to cut layers above my ears because my hair likes to fluff upwards and be free like Marge Simpson’s blue do.
I left the salon to my stylist’s dismay (poor girl even called me after all worried) and decided I’d sort it out at home. As I was rushing around my house getting all sweaty from running up and down the stairs and carrying various party things in and out, I felt grosser and grosser. The product and sweat were combining into a sticky mess and it was not pretty. Bug said, Just take a shower and style it like you normally would. It’ll be fine.
Normally I’d love to keep that fresh out-of-the-salon look. That’s why I scheduled a haircut on the day of a party but you know, I live on the edge and I picked a freakishly new and fresh style that is a little too new and fresh for my vibe. So I took another risk and washed all the product out. It was a little better.
Then I put on tons of retro eye make-up with a bold blue eyeshadow and BAM! All better! Crisis averted!
I really had no other choice. No time for tears now!
It’s time to pump it up…. with bubbles!
And photos! The vector wall is back! I gave it to a friend because it doesn’t fit in my small apartment but she lives close by and I can borrow it whenever I like.
See what I mean about this girl? Have you ever seen anything cuter? Her mom put some semi-permanent pink dye on her hair and she was so happy. She got to have pink hair just like her grandma. It melted my heart.
My mom was in charge of making sure everyone was fabulous enough. We packed two vintage suitcases with various scarves and hats and costumes for any guests that might show up looking too ordinary. Nobody did. They got the memo.
Then we hammed it up like the Instagram stars we are. I jest.
Do you like this three-person mumu? I found it at a vintage store? It’s so amazing. I’m going to have to take it on a shoot in the desert sometime. It has way too much potential.
I wanted a fabulous party to take pictures at. When I sat and thought about what I really wanted I waffled between sending myself on a spa trip or hanging with my friends, being fabulous and taking pictures. You know me. I love to art direct beautiful images but of course, I was the hostess with the mostess and I didn’t hire a photographer so I didn’t get the shots I wanted because I was partyzilla with her head cut off. But I tried!
Next time: hire a photographer!!
We did take a lot of pictures. And we definitely had a lot of fun posing for a lot of bad pictures (Not the above…I’m just talking about the 50 or so shots I am not sharing because my double chin decided to steal the show.) A lot of old friends showed up and met my local friends. It was a reunion of All my favorite people together. Of course, a lot of people couldn’t make it but that’s to be expected these days. Nobody wants to go to a rager super spreader. Not even me.
We had brendaritas and champagne and nostalgic potluck food from our childhoods. There was jello salad and hotdogs and rice and my favorite three-layer-casserole that my mom makes that instantly takes me back to 1980. It was so fun to have a smorgas board of all our comfort foods and family recipes. Eat and share the memories!
Posing posing posing… more fun pictures… Look at that vintage crock pot! I love a theme party and so do my friends.
The kids even got in on it.
Then the big cake moment came. I specifically asked Bug to be in charge of the cake. I had an image in my mind of her carrying it all lit with candles and glowing pink. I didn’t count on the kids going in the pool and her showing up dripping wet but you know, we can adapt. I can slide that art director hat off and live in the moment. She was so sweet to lead the singing in a room full of people. I know she was a little shy but she pulled it off with her perfect pitch.
Then I blew germs all over the cake and we ate it! I’m joking but I do regret blowing on the cake. We need to come up with a better tradition. Maybe germs are good for us?. The pandemic has me all paranoid. Anyway, it’s been a few days and nobody has come down sick as far as I know so I think we’ll be okay.
By the time we finished eating cake it was time to clean up and get out. Everybody helped me clean and we locked up without any security guards kicking us out or charging me for the minutes we went past the curfew. Nobody was even there to tell us we were late! I wonder if we could have kept the party going. But you know me, I’m not really a night owl anyway.
All is well. Hello Fifty.