Oscars Rundown

25 Feb

I thought the Oscars fell flat this year. Seth Macfarlane proved to the world that he is better suited staying behind the cameras and The Onion had probably one of the worst F-ups I’ve heard of. Who the hell thinks it’s funny to call a 9 year old girl the C-word?  Apparently some d-bag at  The Onion who is now probably VERY fired. Despite the snooze/cringe fest that was the 2013 Oscars, I can always count on the fashion and photo perusing the day after…

“Best Dressed Award” As usual, these  two gals are always on the top of my fashion love list….

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“Biggest Pleasant Surprise” award goes to Miley Cyrus. I never in a million years thought I would ever say this girl looked great but well…never say never.

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“Best Partiers” I would love to drink with these ladies…

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“Biggest Sweetheart” goes to Mr. Ang Lee. I gotta see Life of Pi!

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Who knew Borat was actually somewhat attractive in real life but what’s up with the pinky ring?

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John Hamm mad dogging someone…

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Dopey Zooey bringing a new look that I’m kind of liking although I still cannot stomach watching New Girl…

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Amy Adams looking stunning again…

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While I love awards shows, I’m glad this season is over….mostly because it means I will not have to listen to another cringe-worthy, nausea-inducing speech from this annoyance…

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As Q. Tarantino so eloquently said in his speech last night…

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PEACE OUT!

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The Best Weekend of My Life

29 Jan

On Friday morning at Muir Beach Overlook, David Opel asked me to be his girl for life. What I thought would be another great weekend in wine country ended up being the best weekend of my life. It started like this: It was Friday morning (we had both taken the day off ) and we went to our favorite breakfast spot on Divisadero, the glorious Eddies! I remember thinking that for all the years I had frequented Eddie’s, these were the best  mugs they’d given me to date…

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We hit the road for what I thought was a trip to Guerneville and a stay at the Applewood Inn. Turns out D. Opel had been making some fake elaborate plans for the past couple months to throw me off. We headed across the Golden Gate Bridge and he said he wanted to show me this place with a cool view called Muir Beach Overlook…

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It was one of the prettiest places I had seen and growing up in a California coastal town, that isn’t an easy feat. The weather was completely perfect and we were the only people there. I was so taken aback by how beautiful the place was that I took this picture of Dave. Despite my private Pinterest board and my obsession with TLC wedding shows, I can honestly say that in that moment I had no idea what he was about to do….

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We walked to the very end of the overlook trail looking at the sea and I turned around and he got down on a knee ❤

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Yay self-timer camera…

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We headed to The Marshall Store in Tomales Bay to celebrate!

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Doing his best Ryan Gosling pose by the rental car…

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We got back on the road and it was then that he told me we weren’t going to Guerneville but Yountville instead. We had spent our anniversary there last year at a cute little B&B and I fell in love with the charming fairy tale-like town. He then proceeds to tell me that we’ll be staying at Hotel Yountville  and having dinner at Auberge de Soleil. Holla! I then asked him where we were having dinner the following night and he says French Laundry to which I said “Shut the f*ck up!” Closest I had been to going to French Laundry was just sitting on the bench across the street looking at their garden. I remember thinking that I must go there before I die. We’ll get to the FL a little more later! First, I informed Dave that I had not packed well enough for the French Laundry and being the gentleman that he is, he was patient with me while I made a mad dash around the Napa Premium Outlets. We got to the hotel and then went to dinner at Auberge where we had the best table in the place.

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The next morning we had a breakfast room service picnic in our hotel room and then took a stroll around Yountville…

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Dave geeked out over the French Laundry garden…

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We stopped and smelled the roses…

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We walked around some more and had a light lunch at Bardessono where we drank a very pretty cocktail and  ate some really good shrimp

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Headed back to the hotel for a nap and then at around 9pm we walked over to the French Laundry. No biggie!

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Trying to be cool, we only snuck two pictures inside. One of which was this cheese dish from heaven….

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The French Laundry has a lot of hype surrounding it. After eating there on Satuday, the hype is 1000% warranted. It was without a doubt the best meal and dining experience of my life. I was afraid it would be stuffy but our server was friendly and made us feel comfortable right away. I also appreciated how they paced the courses. It’s one of the only times I’ve left a restaurant feeling great after eating rich food and multiple courses. Our waiter was so nice that a round of our wine was compliments of the house and a congratulations on the engagement. He also gave us a tour of the kitchen after our meal. It was surreal going back there, seeing Thomas Keller’s office, and watching all of the chefs huddling around planning the next day’s menu. The French Laundry doesn’t need to go out of their way to make a young couple feel special on their engagement weekend, but they did. And that combined with their glorious food makes French Laundry my favorite restaurant of all time.

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The next morning we got some pastries at Bouchon. All weekend it seemed we were lucky and always 15 minutes ahead of the crowd. We had Muir Beach Overlook to ourselves for a whole 15 minutes and by the time we walked back up the trail, there were crowds of people coming. We had no line for Bouchon and 15 minutes later there were 30 people lining up to get into the bakery.

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And then there’s the ring! All weekend I kept staring at my ring which I am in LOVE with. Turns out all those times Dave expressed no interest in my Pinterest or rings, he was actually paying a lot of attention and with the help of a jeweler in San Diego he designed this crazy beautiful ring…

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When I left my house on Friday morning, I didn’t realize what the weekend had in store for me. I’m still floating on cloud nine and will be for a while. I can’t wait to marry my best friend and the love of my life. David Opel, you are my guy and I am the luckiest girl in the world that you chose me.

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(I had no idea when this picture was taken 4 years ago that I was sitting next to my future husband)

Golden Globes

15 Jan

Last night’s Golden Globes did not disappoint. My favorite awards show of the year, I popped a mini bottle of Korbel (so glam I know!), turned on the space heater and took it all in. I think I love the pre-show the most especially watching all the awkwardness that ensues between Seacrest and the celebs (anyone see dumb rock Megan Fox throw insults at Ryan?). Or what about Taylor Swift’s sore loser/bitch face when she lost to Adele? How about the shit show also known as Quentin Tarantino and his extra cringe-worthy speech? I was super excited that Lena Dunham was the night’s big winner. It’s odd to see someone so normal-looking up on that stage. She’s a breath of fresh air. Speaking of which, I thought Tina and Amy were the best hosts the show has seen in a while. See below for my thoughts on the biggest winners and losers of the very golden evening——>

Best Hosts:

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Best Dressed:

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Prettiest Couple:

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Most Fun/Who I Would Want To Hang Out With…

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Biggest Jackass/Worst Speech

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Worst Dressed

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Biggest Sore Loser

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Winner of the Most Annoying Soul at the Golden Globes…

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Make-up Makeover

13 Jan

This year I’ve decided to be a little more adventurous with my make-up routine. I especially want to perfect a good base look which means my sunscreen moisturizer + clinique powder may not cut it. Often tempted to try a dramatic lip, this video with my gal Mandy Moore  gave me some inspiration….

Farewell 2012

12 Jan

2012 is over and we are almost half-way through January. Time is moving fast people! Since I did not post my pics as promised of the Christmas season, here is a recap of my December. First off, our tree Sandy. She looks great here but toppled over a week or so after—->

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A really beautiful sunset view from my office

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Bo making eyes at at all the Broderick St. gals at the Urban Holiday Brunch

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Celebrating the season the night before—->

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You can get some good pictures spending your day lazying around Alamo Square….

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Christina celebrates turning 28 at Golden Gate Fields for the horse races!

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Flew back home to Redondo a few days later! I got to spend 10 whole days back home which was so nice.

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Brought a little piece of SF back to Redondo as my mom also loves her ornaments

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Celeste and I took in the oceanic sights.

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We stopped at my favorite store Fringe in the village. I got a little crazy with their ornament sale. This is only half of it…

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I got a book on Savannah for Christmas. Dave and I are talking about going back in a few months. Woohoo!

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My city-dwelling life has made me quite the neurotic about driving especially on freeways but I conquered my fear and drove to San Diego to spend a couple days with Dave and his wonderful family ❤ One of my favorite parts was our trip to the San Diego Wild Animal Park…

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I got to walk around one of the avocado groves with Dave and Mr. Rick (aka his dad)

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I also got to visit the most photogenic little angel on earth Baby Ben! Look at the shirt Uncle David got his sweet little nephew.

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A picture of little David from 22 odd years ago. A real cutie!

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The hometown view that never gets old….

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Rang in the New Year and celebrated the engagement of Amy and Ian! IMG_3841

All in all 2012 was a good year. I feel like I did a lot of growing (sounds cheesy I know). Some highlights included a new job, the trips to wine country with my guy and my gals, friends moving back to the city, my first visit to Lake Couer d’Alene, Giants winning the World Series for the second time in 3 years, discovering Breaking Bad (Walt and Jessie 4ever) and yes Honey Boo Boo too. 2012 also threw some unexpected curve balls but I survived them and I can’t wait to see what the New Year brings. Afterall, 13 is my favorite number.

The Last Couple Months

1 Dec

Despite having received back my fixed and very blank laptop from the Apple store a couple months ago, I didn’t transfer any of the 2000+ photos on my iPhone until this morning. Thanks to my phone, I’m reminded (in chronological order) of all the good times I’ve had lately.  While Fall is my favorite season of all, a close second is the few weeks before Christmas- holiday parties, tree decorating, Starbucks holiday drinks. It’s supposed to rain all weekend so my only plans are to watch hours upon hours of Breaking Bad (i’m obsessed) and buy a Christmas tree with the roomie. Last year we got our tree Chippy (named after Chipotle which we ate after picking Chippy up at Home Depot) so we are on the lookout for Chippy 2.0 this time around. I’ve become a serious collector of ornaments or as I like to call them “ornies” so I can’t wait to see them in all their holiday glory hanging from the tree. Until those holiday pictures are posted, below are some of my Fall haps.

First off, Allie and I  helped Hilary check off her Bucket List before her move to NYC. We ate at Beretta (amazing) and then had some dranks….

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Bo got a new bed which he clearly loves….

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Dave and I decided to have a healthy Sunday and tried walking from Fishermans Wharf to the Golden Gate Bridge so that we could walk across it. On the way there, we saw this boat which spoke to me. About 6 years ago, I picked up a Wacky Jacky shirt (with a picture of a boat on it) from a thrift store on Haight. I stumble on the inspiration for that shirt. Full circle moment!

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After a long walk, we get closer to the GGB. He will kill me for posting the pic below…

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We finally got to the bridge but after 2 hours of walking, we decided to take the bus home and save the actual walk across the bridge for another day. Love this red orange bridge with all my heart!

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Had a reunion with the CNET gals at Park Tavern (Katherine, Jenny, Em, D whattup!) and we hung with the hipster-in-training Mr. Callan!

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We had some crazy hot weather and enjoyed a beautiful sunset in an unusually warm Alamo Square…

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We continued our tradition of going to the P Patch at Clancy’s. So many good memories.

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I got a beautiful Fall flower surprise….

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In return, I surprised Dave with his very own surprise courtesy of the Woodkins booth I stumbled upon at the  Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival

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My Country music guilty pleasure that I have been hiding all these years grew stronger than ever after seeing Carrie Underwood in concert. That combined with my new obsession with the show Nashville is making me fantasize about moving to the country one day. I mean I almost bought a People Country instead of my usual Life & Style for gawds sake…

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Got typsy at Burrit Room which made for a fun night but a not so fun hangover the next day.  Love this place.

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Giants won the World Series!!  I didn’t have a great view of the parade like I did in 2010 😦 This is pretty much all I was able to see…

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We took a weekend getaway to Carmel and stayed at my cousin’s cottage. I love this little town by the Sea. I had one of my all time favorite moments at Carmel Mission Ranch (the photos with all the sheep). After taking the scenic 17 mile drive, we arrived at the ranch for cocktail hour at 4. We sat on the patio where we  we took in the amazing views of greenery, ocean, sheep (my new fave) and an unforgettable sunset.

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The following weekend Amy, Cavey and I headed to Healdsburg for some winetasting fun…

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I headed home for Thanksgiving break last weekend. It’s always nice to take a break from the city and head home. First up was a trip to South Coast Plaza with mamacita…

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Dave visited the hometown where I showed him some of my fave spots included Terranea for lunch at Nelsons and Gable House Bowl for some bowling (he got a Turkey and I lost a bet). He’s bringing his San Diego thuggy side in this photo…

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Mom made a great turkey which she soaked in champagne. Holla!

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Celeste showed me this amazing trail in Palos Verdes. It felt like we were walking above the clouds…

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My Dad and I took one of our many walks on the Esplanade. It was a good trip home. I’m glad to be back in the city but I look forward to coming back here in a couple of weeks for Christmas!

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Ratty’s Best of SF

30 Oct

After 9 years of living in San Francisco, I’ve collected a list of favorites and must-sees. Whether you’re new to the city, been here a while, or just visiting, I highly recommend all of the places below. Ladies and gents, I present to you Year of the Ratty’s Best of SF 2012.

Favorite HotelThe Huntington

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I love everything about the Huntington Hotel which sits on the top of Nob Hill overlooking Grace Cathedral and Huntington Park. Having been around since 1924, it’s got the old-school charm and glamour that I love so much, especially it’s dim-lit restaurant and bar The Big 4. They also happen to have what I think is the nicest spa in the city. You really don’t have to leave this hotel to have a good time.

Favorite Restaurant and Cocktails: Aziza

Located somewhat off-the-grid in the Outer Richmond, Aziza has amazing food, decor and cocktails unlike any I’ve had before. I suggest doing the tasting menu and ordering the “red bell pepper” cocktail (bonal, cocchi americano, rye) or the “celery” (sage, agave nectar, gin). Other favorite restaurants: BixTekka, Kokkari

Favorite Park: Golden Gate Park and Alamo Square

Favorite park is Golden Gate Park. I’ve been posting it in front of the Conservatory of Flowers (pictured above) since I was a Freshman at USF. Whether it’s the Japanese tea gardens, the rose garden, Stowe Lake or the DeYoung, this park is always a magical escape for us city-dwellers. Next on the list is my frontyard Alamo Square. I still can’t believe that I live on this wonderful park that overlooks like famous Painted Ladies or as most of us know it “The Full House houses.”

Best Place To Treat Yourself: Earthbody

I can’t get enough of this day spa located in the heart of Hayes Valley. I went for the first time back in April and it was an incredible experience- hands down the best massage of my life. I became a member and I’ve been coming back to get my Earthbody fix each month. I love everything about this place from the not pretentious yet not too hippie vibe to their skincare line and website. Before you get a massage, you are greeted with a hot towel, an amazing elixir and a mini envelope with a proverb/quote. Sometimes ya just gotta do you and treat yourself to a wonderful experience at Earthbody.

Best Brunch: Zazie

I finally went to Zazie this past weekend and OMG. I’m not one to wait in lines so we got there 15 minutes before they opened and I knew something must be special once I saw that I was joined by 13 other people waiting to get in. We were taken to the wonderful outdoor patio where we enjoyed the best eggs benedict ever. We also got got their housemade cream cheese coffee cake to go and it was sinfully delicious. Not too sweet which I appreciated. Dave and I agreed Zazie made for one of the best meals of our life. I now get why people are so into brunch.

Best Neighborhood: Alamo Square

Again with my love for Alamo Square. I’m still in disbelief that I get to live in one of the 35+ buildings that line Alamo Square Park. The view never gets old and I feel so fortunate to have snagged my apartment on the park back in 2008. I love having my local corner store, nail spot, bar, diner (Eddies whattup!), music venue, coffee shop and restaurants like Nopa, Little Star and Nopalito just around the corner. It just doesn’t get much better than Alamo Square.

Best Bar: The Burrit Room

So you have to walk through a boutique hotel’s lobby and then up some stairs to get to The Burrit Room. Once you’re there, you enter the dim-lit speakeasy-esque bar that I love so much. The drinks are strong, the walls are dark, and they often have a LIVE  jazz band. In short, it’s awesome.

Best Museum: The Walt Disney Family Museum

Located in the Presidio, it’s not easy for tourists or even locals to get to. It looks like a quaint, humble museum from the outside but you could spend an entire day here. My mom and I were blown away by this place. Whether you are a super Disney fan or not, this museum paints the Disney picture brighter than I could have ever imagined. I especially loved the miniature model of the original Disneyland that took up half of one of the museum’s rooms.

Best Freebie: City Guides Walking Tours

SF City Guides is San Francisco’s free neighborhood walking tours. I first learned about this nonprofit when we did an ad project for them in my college advertising class. It’s a great way to spend the day if you want to be active, save a little money, and learn a great deal about the wonderful city of San Francisco. I’ve done at least a handful of them: Mission, Victorians, North Beach…. I love being transported back in time and picturing what it was like to be in the city all those years ago.

Favorite Movie Theater: Sundance Kabuki

This theater is a great place to spend a rainy afternoon. It’s also the best place to see a movie in town. Where else can you drink cocktails and eat decent food at the movies? It’s not cheap but this unique San Francisco gem is well worth it.

I have so many more SF favorites that I would love to share with you so keep your eyes peeled for a second installment of Year of the Ratty’s Best of SF 2012!