trip to wine country

Posted on: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

over the weekend, I went up to wine country with friends and had the best day! typically, I usually visit sonoma county since it’s a little closer, but this time, we trekked to napa valley to taste. we visited Turnbull Wines in Oakville, Clif Winery in St. Helena and Chandon (champagne! 🥂) in Yountville.

Turnbull was our first stop and we did a mini tour of the property and learned more about the family-owned, small production winery. this place was SOOO cute and quaint. we sampled their incredible reds (including a cab franc, E’s favorite!) and snacked on fresh peaches, cheeses, and nuts. everything about this place was A+. 🍷

Clif has an amazing farm-to-table bruschetta food truck onsite and we were able to pair the bruschetta with Clif wines. We tried three: porchetta (pig, herbs, Pecorino, aioli, red onion), funghi (mushrooms, fontina, chives) and cured (smoked salmon, smashed avocado, cilantro, crème fraiche) and they were all delish! I don’t typically eat meat and I don’t love mushrooms, but tried both of those and they were 👌🏼👌🏼.

on the way home, we visited Chandon for rosé! the entire day was casual but so fun, relaxing and enjoyable and definitely reminded me that I need to make the trek up to napa valley more often! highly recommend all of the spots we visited if you’re heading that way sometime soon. more pics from our sunday below! xx

ps, I brought this new Verloop Knits bag with me and it was perfect for the day trip. this is their ‘market bag’ which is knitted with leather handles. I love the bright colors and how big the bag itself is – it fit my water bottle, random snacks, Jack’s accessories and more!

Thursday Thankful List

Posted on: Thursday, June 15, 2017

i haven’t shared a thursday thankful list in way too long, so wanted to share one today! i find that when i’m feeling especially off (negative, grumpy, short tempered, fearful, stressed, etc.), it often stems back to a lack of gratitude. taking a few moments to type out these things i’m grateful for – big and small, seen and unseen, important and seemingly not-so important – makes my life better and ALWAYS helps me get out of a funk.

so, here’s what I’m thankful for today:

taylor swift being back on spotify (this is huge for me)
chocolate mousse for dessert
my sisters
choosing courage over fear
going through old friend pics from college (also kind of terrifying)
trying new-to-me restaurants and coffee shops
pizza with honey (looking at you, paulie gee’s in greenpoint!)
that it doesn’t get dark until like 9pm
BAGELS (can you tell i’m onto a food theme, here?)
central park prettiness
exploring NYC with E this week!
this reminder: perfect love drives out all fear
my sweet little nugget jack
friends who watch said sweet little nugget while i’m traveling
visiting the glossier showroom
finally, a pair of denim shorts i actually like
my amazing friend jamie for letting me crash with her for a few days
upcoming roadtrip to vancouver to visit courtney + dave!
REAL SUMMER WEATHER (something we don’t get in san francisco)

Creative & Cultivate Recap

Posted on: Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Earlier this month, I traveled to NYC with my bestie Aimee to attend Create + Cultivate! C+C is an amazing one-day conference for female creatives and entrepreneurs that happens a few times in a year in different locations, like NYC, LA, Dallas and Palm Springs. The conference covers topics like influencer marketing, branding, promotion and pitching yourself,

It was my first conference I’ve attended on behalf of myself/my own company Lucky Collective and it was total inspiration overload. One of my favorite #fangirl moments was attending a panel with the cutest mom blogger Naomi from Love Taza. We also met Insta-famous dog @toastmeetsworld! 😍😍 Since I work with a lot of brands on influencer partnerships and events, it was also super interesting to see how different brand activations came to life at C+C. More about that is below.

A few favorite brand pop-ups:

Saje Wellness‘ pop-up area allowed you to apply (and reapply…and reapply…like Aimee and I did) different essential oils throughout the day. That energy essential oil was key! 🙏🏻  I have several of their oils and am completely obsessed.

Birchbox had a build-your-own Birchbox station where attendees could add different makeup, hair and skincare products to a box to take home. 💋

Vital Proteins had fancy waters and different drinks, like matcha lattes mixed with their collagen. It was super refreshing and a gorgeous space! I also discovered their new Collagen Beauty Water products and now am obsessed with the Cucumber Aloe one.

Laura Mercier’s makeup station was key – literally Aimee and I were so tired by the afternoon so getting our makeup refreshed made us both definitely look and feel much better. 🙂

La Croix‘s booth was probably the most Instagrammable (look at the pics of their La Croix flower wall!), plus they had epic swag like pins, bananas and cute postcards.

I can never resist wearing a flower crown and loved this MASSIVE one from Urban Stems. Overall, while it was a SUPER long and kind of tiring day overall (networking is hard, y’all!), I’m really glad I went to the conference! It was amazing seeing firsthand everything C+C put together and how well curated the speakers and brand activations were.

Thanks for reading! xx

travel adventures: carmel valley

Posted on: Friday, April 28, 2017

when my sister kerry visited in february, we did a little weekend trip down to carmel valley and had such a fun time! E and I have been down twice before, and really love the quaint small town and amazing, relaxed tasting rooms. Carmel Valley is just a quick 15 minutes inland from Carmel, and a pretty easy 20 or so minute drive to Bixby Bridge and into Big Sur. and, since i’m heading down that way this weekend (see you Sunday, Big Sur 5K! 👋🏼), I wanted to share a few recommendations on places to go in Carmel Valley and photos from our recent trips.

if time allows, I would recommend doing a weekend visit, but you can also do a day trip from SF if you prefer. what was super fun about Kerry’s visit was that we spent time wine tasting and relaxing in Carmel Valley, but also explored downtown Carmel for brunch, drove along the beach and 17 Mile Drive in Carmel, and drove to Bixby Bridge. Another time E and I spent a Saturday afternoon in Carmel Valley, did dinner in downtown Carmel and then explored/hiked in Big Sur / Point Lobos area on Sunday. this area of California is truly the prettiest and there’s so many amazing things to squeeze in!

the town of Carmel Valley itself is a totally walkable town and super dog-friendly – pups are everywhere! it has that small town vibe and truly incredible wine, without the sometimes pretentious vibe you can get wine tasting in areas like Napa. 😬 all the people i met during my trips there were super friendly and kind.

Without further ado, here’s some Carmel Valley recs!

{WINE, WINE & MORE WINE 🍷}
PARSONAGE – the southwestern, bohemian decor in this tasting room is so dreamy! i recommend getting a glass of wine (vs. a flight tasting) and sitting in the cute window nook to people watch what’s happening downtown. if you do want to do the tasting flight, it’s $10 to try 5 wines.

CHESEBRO this spot has super reasonably-priced wines (and wine club membership) with a modern barn interior. it’s right next to parsonage, so you can hit up two spots just a few steps away from each other. we did the tasting menu here, and I was surprised how much I liked the white wines they poured, as I’m usually not a big white wine fan! tasting is $10 and you get 6-7 wines, so easy to share with a friend.

COWGIRL WINERY – this is a female-run tasting room with a MASSIVE outdoor area with bocce ball courts, picnic tables, chickens running around and tons of areas to walk around and explore. inside, there is a really cute area of curated products like cookbooks, cheese boards, etc. this spot is also open until 6pm, which is an hour (or more) later than other tasting rooms in the area! this is a great spot for groups, and I recommend getting a bottle of the super reasonably priced ($18) and tasty house red to share.

GEORIS – this tasting room is in a huge 1930s adobe with a funky garden area and tons of outdoor seating areas. the tasting fee is $20 and you can order food and snacks made fresh from Corkscrew Cafe next door (more on that below!)

BOEKENOOGEN – we are members at this winery because we looooove their Pinot Noirs! They have a small(ish), rustic garden patio area and are right in the center of downtown. tasting fees are $10 to try 5 wines and $15 to try 7 flights. the wine here is realllllly good; it’s one of those places where every single wine I tried, I loved.

CIMA COLLINA – this past trip was my first time at Cima Collina and I was absolutely IN LOVE! they had 2-for-1 glasses of wine, so we opted for that inside of a traditional tasting and sat out on their glorious patio. they also have a massive outdoor fireplace, which is perfect spot to hang out when it starts to get chilly.

{FOOD, ETC.}

CORKSCREW CAFE – this is my favorite restaurant in Carmel Valley! They have amazing pizzas, cheese plates and other delicious snacks, plus a great local wine selection. They have a large patio, lined with brightly colored tables and hanging lights, plus a separate patio for people who brought their dogs along.

STIRRUP CUP PIZZA & RUNNING IRON DIVE BAR – Yummy, casual downtown pizza spot connected to an amazing dive bar. They bring your pizza over to you and the bar has a great selection of California beer.
EARTHBOUND FARM’S FARM STAND – this is on my to-do list for next time! you’ve probably seen this produce brand at the store, but I just recently discovered that they are based in Carmel Valley. you can eat at their all-organic kitchen and tour their gardens or go on a guided flower walk, which sounds super fun to me. if you’d prefer, you can pick up produce, gourmet groceries and flowers to go…which leads me to my next recommendation…
PACK YOUR OWN PICNIC! – Okay, obviously this isn’t a recommendation on a place to go to eat, but most of the time when we visit Carmel Valley (and wine country areas in general), we just pack picnics. just pick up bread and crackers, fruit, cheese and other goodies, pick any of the spots above with outdoor space and enjoy a meal in the sunshine!

{WHERE TO STAY}
BLUE SKY LODGE – this is where we stayed! it’s a little outdated, but it’s right downtown and inexpensive, and we loved the hot tub and pool area and that they had complimentary local coffee available each morning. // CARMEL VALLEY LODGE – this spot wasn’t available during our last trip, but it looked really cute and was also inexpensive. the garden area and cottage rooms looked super quaint and relaxing! // BERNARDUS LODGE – this place is more upscale, but looks totally dreamy and like a little spa (!!) haven in the middle of Carmel Valley // CARMEL MISSION INN – this hotel is located centrally located right on Highway 1, so it’s a great spot to stay if you’re only planning to do Carmel Valley for an afternoon and want to do other things in the Carmel/Monterey/Big Sur area during the evening or next day. it’s about a 15 minute drive to downtown Carmel Valley and a quick 5 or so minute drive to Carmel. the hotel itself was nice and we loved the hot tub and pool area. // AIRBNB – this is always my go-to for group trips and there’s lots of great options in the area!

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