a Taylored Approach
I've been craving creativity. There's something to be said about finding a little fun in recreating a space with what you have and looking at something differently. You take a step back, give it the benefit of the doubt and usually the moment you stop thinking about it, things click. A refresh. My studio and I had that moment. So romantic, right!?
I've always loved to be surrounded by pretty things, have baubles displayed for days and using a somewhat unconventional piece in a decor moment. AKA a lion head door knocker next to my window because it can't be on my pink front door just yet. And as I look around, my studio is kind of like living in a store, so it's no surprise I've ended up working in retail. Everything has a place, a meaning (even if it's silly) but each piece plays a role in the vignettes I've created. And funny enough, I love the element of whimsy in my home even though I tend to be a bit serious and analytical outside #203. My hope is the space I've created makes you think about channeling your inner child, take a page out of a fashionable coffee table book or sling a coyote fur across your back while you stare out the window, hopefully with a glass of bubbly or four. This apartment has become the vision board for what I aspire my future home to be.
The mission. I had two in mind when I spent a gloomy Saturday staring at the studio version of a Rubik's cube. In a small space, you have to get crafty. The first; open up the bay windows. I wanted more natural light and luckily, my desk had already become an area I love to sit, write, sip a glass of wine and stare out into what every night is a different sunset. Each window sill had something against it creating barriers. I took a long running table under the furthest window, shifted it behind my couch and added a little reading area with an adorable white Acapulco chair. I slung a serape blanket from the Saguaro Palm Springs hotel on it to remind me every day I need to make a trip back.... stat. And I can't even tell you how this has changed the way light streams into my place. It makes you linger just a little longer, or so I hope. The coyote fur will always be special. It was a fab find when I first moved to San Francisco in my Nordstrom days. I think I've worn it twice outside this apartment but it's luxe, looks perfect against the desk that was a labor of lacquered love and reminds me of where I've been.
The second mission; re-merchandising my bookshelves. It's one of your first stops in my studio. I discovered a major game changer with color coding books and I've cultivated quite the collection that will someday be featured in my walk in closet. Don't worry, just geeking out over here but I love how it adds clean lines through the shelves. Pretty sure during an earthquake this will crumble but until that moment happens, I'm just sitting on my palm print couch admiring this beauty.
5 fun facts about what you can find in 5 stories of shelves.
1) The bottle of Veuve was from my 30th birthday. I was ecstatic when I found giant palm leaves at Ikea to sit with her. You can find a few sprinkled throughout my apartment.
2) The gold birds were a find from my mom, Kimmy. I vividly remember her calling me at brunch during my sister's Bachelorette weekend when she discovered them. I missed her call and by the time I reached her she left the store. But of course, immediately asked if she should head back to snag them to which I screamed a resounding, "yes!" They were destined to live with me. Birdie beauties, I heart you and my inner old lady is swooning.
3) I'm not the most experienced cook. If it's not grilled cheese, scallops or poached eggs, I'm not your girl but the stack of colorful and pretty cookbooks inspires me to try new things in the kitchen. Maybe craft something else besides a dirty martini.
4) A framed Leo's Oyster Bar menu. You guys, I'm obsessed and made a girlfriend of mine steal it.
5) The Chanel bag. It was a right time, right place kind of thing. She is vintage, special and has even met Palm Springs.
The color coded shelf needs it's own picture because includes books I gravitate toward. I'm not the best reader. I always start books and never finish them unless they are career related. Snooze. But they inspire me to be better and never settle in my job. The latest teal one I can't wait to read. I added a large stud of a necklace because these pages are royalty in my mind.
When you change your perspective, things around you can shift even if it's something as simple as what you are surrounded with everyday in your home. You can make change, be creative and escape. For me lately, that's been key. Take time. Think about things and your next move. Come back with fresh ideas. It's what I come home to everyday. It's the Taylored Approach.
Hello West-nut residers, my TC approachers and those looking for a little something to distract you on this gloomy Wednesday night. This is a story of a girl who realized work won again. Don't worry, it's got a great ending, some cheeky words of advice and a new goal.
I don't think I could tell you the last time I admitted I needed a break. As much as I love to think I'm superwoman and tough as nails, I found myself in a place where I was on auto pilot. No thinking, just doing. The second I paused, I realized how hard I had been pushing myself without doing much to reward me. I wasn't inspired. Every email made me angry (well the Tay version). Call it unreasonable expectations but when you realize there is nothing else left to give, you know it's time to force yourself to take a break. And thanks to my perfectionist Virgo nature, I tend to carry a poker face when the self critical part takes over and thinks she's not doing enough. She fears being vulnerable and showing weakness. But alas, I knew it was time to get away, even it was just for a night. To escape in my city, be alone and love it. To get lost, have no agenda and only answer to one person... me.
Easter weekend brought the perfect opportunity to do just that. I had been flirting with the idea of hiding away in an of course, instagrammable hotel, where I could have a little self care, indulge in maybe one too many dirty martinis but do something to treat myself. Have an experience instead of investing in another apartment knick-knack or designer dud.
I stumbled upon the Scarlet Hotel on Hotels Tonight. The old bitty in me was too nervous to book on the app. I'm old school and still have to buy things on a computer but I ended up pulling the trigger 3 days before which is a big deal for any that know me. Planner to the max. I happened to mention I needed a room with a view, heck why not ask? And the Scarlet totally delivered. I was in a corner room, couldn't tell you what direction I was facing... East and West is hard for this gal but I found myself on the 11th floor overlooking the park and waving to the Fairmont. It was heaven and the perfect setting. I checked in around 3 pm, watched a little of the NCAA tourney (I'm trying to expand my reach from Bravo) and then explored Nob Hill for a bit. Aka visit the Fairmont, find a vanilla latte and admire the Cherry Blossoms.
After lasting about an hour in the chilly SF afternoon wind, it was time to take myself out for some drinks. Fun fact and maybe a silly one, I've never sat a bar by myself before. So I got brave and made my way to the swanky Big 4 bar where I was met by the cutest old man aka my martini maker. Chanel and I cozied up to the corner of the bar and had ourselves a few. No blue cheese olives but the best time chatting with him. He was surprised to see a Marina girl posted up "in these parts" and was so sweet to make sure I ate. To my right was an older lady living her best life; Savy-B and a crossword puzzle. She was a regular and goals all around. A modern day Blanche without the dudes. After the Martini happiness set in, it was time for a charcoal mask, 24k gold eye patches I am newly obsessed with and Office reruns. You would have thought I was staying for a week with the little things I brought from home to keep me company but hey, that's the point of a staycation right? Gang's all here and no accessory left behind.
And when my 12 pm checkout time arrived on Easter Sunday, I was so sad. But 24 hours tucked away allowed me to discover a few things about myself.
1) I am super structured and have an internal tug of war with last minute decisions but I felt liberated in doing so. It wasn't as scary as I thought. And I get this is just about driving 15 minutes away but give me a little break here. It's progress.
2) Self criticism is all in your head. DUH. As I've gotten older, I'm beginning to understand how hard I am on myself. I am not nice to Tay. Once I had enough time to let the last year sink in, I had a huge "aha" moment. Work Tay is a bad ass. The gal who now will tell you she resides ala West-nut (thanks to the addition of Howell's bar) is still working on it.
3) I need more trips in my life. Whether it's a night away in Healdsburg, a trip to LA or a mid week jaunt to Palm Springs, time away to reset is important to mentally escape. And for TC, let loose a little and be open to something new.
And that's the story of TC & CC taking Nob Hill. Time away is more important than you think and after you walk out of office at the end of the work day, your minutes should be spent plotting the next hideaway, the next photo op or the next moment making sure you take care of you.
6 years. 2,190 days. 3.1 million minutes. Let's just let that sink in for a second and yes, I did the math. I think back to the girl who pulled the trigger 312 weeks ago to make a leap to a city she had no idea she would like. She followed a dream and I sometimes wonder... what happened to this girl? She was timid. She was unsure. She was ready for change and had no idea how to get there. But she had one thing, believe in herself things would work out. I've figured out over the last 6 years as a Marina dweller that is the game of life. And no, I'm not scheming to get a blue peg in my pink car just yet (well, kind of) but really, I think back to the girl who had her parents packing her two bedroom Scottsdale apartment to fit into a studio and I have never taken a moment to thank that tan, blonde girl. Don't worry, I've thanked my parents. But alas, this girl didn't question life, moved to a city with no apartment and no idea of what the future would hold and amazingly, she had no worry. Instead, she was optimistic and had faith. Faith that family was the right thing to bring her back closer to home and as she drove down the Embarcadero on many past city visits, she knew someday she would find herself at the Gap Corporate offices. And guess what, that's what she did.
As I sit here and realize math has become one of my best friends at work, it's put my 6th city anniversary in perspective. If I could talk to that Scottsdale TC, I'd share a few facts with her from San Francisco TC:
1) Dirty martinis should always be a basic food group.
2) Blanche is a perfectly acceptable and necessary alter ego.
3) A studio apartment is a blank canvas and glimpse into the personality of your future home.
4) Your career is one vehicle to your trademark in the world but no matter how hard you work to climb the corporate ladder, it should never define you. Instead, it should be flamingos, sequins or a pink door.
5) If you surround with the best of the best gals, you've made friends for life.
6) As much as you try to be superwoman, everyone has a moment of weakness. It's ok to feel lost. Accept it. Get over it and move on.
7) There will never be a shortage of pink houses. If it's front of mind, you'll always fall into it.
8) The man who makes you forget you want to be a boss in the office will be the one you hang onto.
9) When you find that mental "click" as you are tourist in our city, get out that camera and capture it. Heck, use it to decorate your house.
10) It's easy to be your own worst critic. Take a moment to leave those thoughts behind and thank yourself. You are right where you need to be. Bold that one.
Ironically as I googled wedding gifts for year #6, they could not be more opposite; candy + iron. Sweet and reliable which if I looked San Francisco TC, she's turned out be. Her mind is like iron, almost too strong. It doesn't take a break, cut her any slack and always has her thinking she should strive for more. She's never done and never settles. You guessed it, the work side. Then, there's the sweet. The personal side. She's too nice and should take a page from the bold iron boss. Sure she might be cute but inside, she could cut you if she chooses too but that sweet candy side gives you the benefit of the doubt. I would be lying if I said Maddie, my Mac on Chestnut, wasn't playing Mandy Moore's Candy as I'm writing this. It felt right.
Cheers to San Francisco, Chestnut Street and the amazing journey I've cultivated in my 6 years so far. I get emotional when I scroll through photos from the last 1.8 billion seconds (thanks Rent).
Little did I know, you would give me the key to be me.