Entries Tagged as 'San Francisco'

farewell, san francisco & personal reflections

Posted on: Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Eeep! We only have a couple days left in San Francisco and the past few weeks have felt like quite the whirlwind. While I’m excited to do something new, to live somewhere different, to have a new pace of life, it’s so so so hard to leave San Francisco. I’m going to try to capture it all in this blog post, but truly don’t think I have all the words for the jumble of emotions I have about this place. I also couldn’t even begin to choose photos to perfectly capture my time here (hello, hundreds of Instagram photos / Facebook albums and thousands of photos on my phone) so I just picked a few that have been my profile photos over the past almost 8 years.

I moved to San Francisco when I was 22 years old, right after graduating college. I didn’t know anyone, hadn’t been to SF or California or really anywhere west of Arkansas, and to be honest, I had zero expectations or plans. I told myself I would give it two years and re-evaluate. Before the move, I didn’t really do a whole lot of planning or researching. I wasn’t Googling all the SF things, or asking people on Instagram the coolest neighborhoods to live, or where to go. I’m really grateful that I moved here when I was young and fairly naive and that I possessed the “let’s see how this goes!” attitude.

A friend of mine I met (online only) through blogging, Rayne, offered to “take me in” and let me live with her and her husband north of the city for a few weeks. She picked up clueless, slightly terrified me from the Oakland airport and taught me the California ropes, explaining different SF neighborhoods to me, taking me wine tasting for first time, walking me through public transit, etc. She helped me move into my first apartment a few weeks later. Thank you, Rayne, for taking me under your wing and for cheering me on.

San Francisco is where I started my career. I moved here for a job at Edelman Digital that set the course for my professional career thus far. I’m grateful for my first manager, Jenna, who has become a long-term friend and personal/professional mentor. She took a chance on hiring a random girl from Ohio based off a few phone interviews, and really helped me grow as a communications and creative professional. I met most of my “first SF friends” at Edelman, and we explored the city (almost all of us as transplants); many of them I’m still super close with. These are people who have helped me (so much!) professionally, who give me baby advice and makeup advice and workout advice and life advice, and are just good friends. I’m truly forever grateful that the job I moved here for has enabled so many amazing opportunities – personally and professionally. Since that job, I  worked at two startups and learned A LOT. I worked at Facebook for two years and now, I’ve had my own business, Lucky Collective, for about two and half years. I couldn’t have asked for a better city to spend the first 8 years of my career and work in fulfilling, interesting, and frankly, cool jobs that have helped me grow.

San Francisco is where I cultivated my deepest and best friendships. A few months after I moved, some of my best friends from OU, Courtney and Aimee, moved to SF. The following year, another best friend, Ali, moved too. I was friends with all of them in college, but living in San Francisco together in our early 20s created a bond like no other. We explored, brunched, daydrank, OKCupid-ed, MUNIed, and wandered our way around the city. There are many big and monumental moments, and even more small, ordinary and everyday moments and memories here in San Francisco I have with them. Without them, my experience in SF wouldn’t be the same.  It may sound cheesy, but our time here really shifted us from “college friends” to sisters. I’m not going to let myself go down a rabbit hole of emotions about my friendship with these gals in this blog post, because it’s not bound solely by San Francisco or living in the same place. All of that being said, I am so glad that San Francisco was the backdrop and stomping ground of our time together. And, outside of these three friends, there are so many other people I’ve met in San Francisco — through work and blogging and baby + mom yoga and the dog park and random friend-of-a-friend connections — that have become great friends. Some of them are like family, like Rob, who went from being a random friend I met via Courtney to being one of my first roommates and one of my closest friends. Or like Christine, who went from being my “work friend” to someone who knows everything going on in my life, babysits Jack and Lucy, and tweets with my sisters.  The people I’ve met here are what I’ll miss most about the city.

San Francisco is where I met “my person.” I met Eric when I was 24 at a music festival in the park. We went on what was pretty much a blind date a few weeks later, and immediately started dating. To me, he is quintessentially California — he grew up here and loves surfing, hiking, fishing, and doing all the other outdoorsy things. I really started exploring California more with E —  trips to Big Sur, Mendocino and up the coast, wine country, Yosemite, Southern California, and so on. All of these places in California (including tons here in SF) that we went together have so many special memories attached to them from our first few years as a couple. He proposed two years later on a beach in Big Sur (here’s the story). We turned our tiny 650(ish) square apartment smack dab in the middle of the SF in the Lower Haight into a home. We adopted Jack. We kept exploring – San Francisco, California, Vancouver, other parts of the U.S., Central America, Europe. I’m so grateful that our adventure started here in San Francisco and for the five years we’ve spent together here together.

San Francisco is where I became a mother. In May 2017, in my teeny tiny bathroom, I took a pregnancy test and everything changed. There was a “before baby” and an “after baby” and I believe it started right then and there in the bathroom. I spent my pregnancy trekking around San Francisco, taking Jack to the dog parks, doing urban hikes with E and friends, meeting friends for coffee or lunch. During my pregnancy, I would drive past the hospital where I would deliver, and I would say a little prayer every time – just asking God to take care of my baby, and to watch over whatever was going to happen to us in that hospital when she was born. In January, little Lucy Grey made her grand debut (here’s her birth story)! She’s spent the first seven months of her life as a true San Francisco baby. She’s had lemon ricotta pancakes at Plow and bread from The Mill and rice and (cooked) salmon from our favorite sushi spot, Domo. She goes on frequent walks at the beach and swings at Alamo Square Park and has playdates in Dolores Park. A few weeks ago, my friend Rob said  “Lucy is so lucky that she gets to tell people she was born in San Francisco.” I couldn’t agree more. As a mom in SF, I’ve met so so so many amazing moms who have become a support system and “in it” (motherhood) with me. I don’t know if this exists in other places, but I’ve learned everything from these moms — the best stroller for travel, teething tips, how to babyproof, etc. I’m so grateful that SF is where we grew our little family.

SF is the city where I became an adult and grew into who I am today. I moved here in 2011 with a couple of suitcases, not knowing anyone. I’m leaving with friends that have turned into family, a husband, a dog, a daughter, incredible professional experience, and millions of amazing memories. The city has stretched and grown me, and truly I feel like SF is part of my identity.  I’m so used to saying “I live in San Francisco!” and it feels so weird to think that I won’t get to do that anymore. I’m excited and hopeful about the move, but also really scared and overwhelmed. It’s so bittersweet to leave this place. I wouldn’t be who I am right now without the millions of moments and experiences that have shaped me over the last (almost) 8 years in San Francisco.

If you know me personally, I’ve probably told you this story, but as Rayne was driving me to her house after the airport, she said something and it’s stuck with me. She said “bravery and courage are always rewarded.” Little did I know how very true that would be. I made a brave choice to move to San Francisco almost eight years ago, alone and clueless about what was ahead, but the rewards have been so so so worth it and beyond what I could have ever imagined. Grateful for the city that I’ve had the opportunity to call home for the past 7.5 years. 

Onwards!

life update – we’re moving!

Posted on: Thursday, August 16, 2018

Life update! We are moving to Nashville!

Cue: all the emotions! 🤗😬

So, a little backstory on the move: I lovelovelovelovelove San Francisco, but didn’t ever think SF would be my forever place. When I first moved, I gave myself two years and told myself I would re-evaluate after that. Nope, two years wasn’t enough (not even close) — some of my very best friends had moved here and I met Eric and tons of other friends-turned-family and the city just felt like home. At that point, I always said that leaving San Francisco (when and if I did) would be the hardest decision I’d ever make.  I hadn’t really thought of leaving again until after Lucy was born. Then, we decided we would most likely leave San Francisco proper before she entered preschool (and not because of the lack of space…mostly because the preschool +  public school lottery system in SF is bananas and because I want my children to hopefully grow up close to family). We didn’t know if that would be somewhere else in the Bay Area or elsewhere. We weren’t looking to move right this second, but Eric recently got the opportunity to relocate to the Lyft office in Nashville, where most of his team works. It sort of just felt…right. Of course, it’s scary and weird and overwhelming and emotional, but also, good. A new chapter and adventure. Closer to my fam and lots of friends in the Midwest/East Coast. More space and a yard (!!) and laundry. A new city and part of the country to explore! We are going into the move not knowing if Nashville is our “forever place” (as we want to live abroad for a year and eventually be closer to my fam in Ohio), BUT excited for what’s to come with this move!


We’ve visited Nashville a ton because Eric travels there a lot for work, so now we’re just figuring out where to live based on neighborhoods we like, and managing the moving-related logistics. We’re actually moving a lot faster than we’d like (on September 7th), but strategically planning it so the movers come get our stuff a few days before we fly to Europe for vacation. Since we’ll be in Europe for 3 weeks, we’re going to have our stuff moved out while we’re gone (since it will take 2-3 weeks) and then we’ll to pick up Jack in LA ( follow url OBVIOUSLY) and fly to Nashville. We felt that coming back to SF after vacation and then immediately turning around and moving to Nashville would be really difficult emotionally, logistically, etc. We’re sort of “ripping off the San Francisco band-aid” all at once, so we can get all the move stuff done and then truly unwind and chug copious amounts of wine 🍷 in Europe to drown our sorrows (#kidding). But, we think timing the move this way will be a really good to start fresh in our new home post-vacation. ☺️ 

As you may know, I’ve lived in San Francisco for almost 7.5 years, and moved here right after graduating college. I didn’t know anyone, I hadn’t ever been to SF / California / west of Arkansas, but decided to take the leap and move. While I’m really excited for a new chapter and adventure with my crew, it’s also is neurontin an opiate like lortab really really hard to leave SF and very bittersweet. I’m working on a separate post reflecting on my experience here. Just working on putting my feelings into words…but stay tuned for that. <3

I wanted to share a blurb I wrote on my blog in March 2011, as I was about to graduate college and move to San Francisco.

can you buy Lyrica in mexico “Although I’m excited for new changes and transitions, it is a little scary. Rather than surround myself with fear of the unknown, I will surround myself with hope and excitement. I wouldn’t be who I am without the last four years, and I probably wouldn’t be looking for the same future opportunities I’m pursuing now. This has been such a key time in my life to grow up and grow into the person I was created to be.”

29-year-old me doesn’t have a ton more to add on to what 22-year-old me shared in that post.  💛 I’m scared and nervous and worried and so sad about leaving San Francisco, but also hopeful, excited, grateful and optimistic about what’s to come in this next chapter.

Here’s to what’s ahead! ✨

xx
Andi

P.S. I asked my good friend Tory to snap some photos in our apartment to announce our move and because we don’t have any family photos with all four of us! 👩🏼👨🏼👶🏼🐶 I’m so glad we have these to remember this little apartment where we started our family. Check out Tory’s portfolio here – she’s the best. 💛

SF Gems: Laundré, the chicest laundromat (ever)

Posted on: Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Let’s talk about laundry. I’m going to share about this new laundromat (or “laundry experience”) here in SF called Laundré , but first, I want to take a step back and talk dirty about this whole laundry topic.

I’ve lived in San Francisco for 6+ years, and never had laundry in my actual apartment unit. Sigh. For those of you who don’t live in SF, you probably think this is INSANE (and it kind of is), but it’s pretty common here. The “lucky ones” have a washer and dryer or two somewhere in their building. Often the laundry in these buildings is located in a creepy basement (at least that was the situation at my last apartment) and you still have to pay for laundry with quarters. WHO HAS ENOUGH QUARTERS SITTING AROUND TO DO LAUNDRY, ANYWAY? 😣 And, I know just a few people who have laundry inside their actual apartment unit, but that typically only exists when people live in new construction.

The SF rental market is insane, and E and I knew we would have to compromise on certain things when we moved into our place. While we love a lot of things about our place (our location, hardware floors, garage 🙏🏻, natural light and big windows…), laundry didn’t make the cut, unfortunately.

For the past two-ish years, we’ve tried a few different laundry solutions.

  1. Neighborhood laundromat – oh wow. What a life adventure this is. The one in my particular neighborhood is where a lot of homeless people hang out (which I get, since it’s warm and dry in there). Half the time, several of the machines don’t work, nor does the change machine work. One time, I was doing laundry and someone walked in and tried to steal someone else’s clothes from the dryer. The laundromat pretty much gives me more stress and anxiety than any other physical location in existence
  2. Services like Rinse – expensive ($1.75/pound plus delivery fee), 2-3 day turnaround and extreme inconsistencies in the quality of the wash and what clothes look like when they come back. I’ve had good experiences, but other times when the clothes literally just aren’t clean 😐
  3. Wash and fold service – the best option of the three at about $1.25/pound for wash and fold, but this can still add up, especially if have a lot of laundry. Plus, larger items like towels, sheets and comforters are heavy, so the price can add up quite quickly. Sometimes, they charge a flat rate for items like blankets, bath rugs, etc.

 

So, no matter what, laundry is pretty terrible. But….enter another (WAYYYY better) new solution that makes laundry at least a little more enjoyable- Laundré . ✨ I’m super jazzed about this place for so many reasons! Laundré is a new laundromat concept in the Mission (Mission Street x 20th) that has, of course, laundry service, but is also a coffee shop cafe. Here’s the details:

THE LAUNDROMAT:

The back portion of the Laundré space is an elevated, upscale version of your neighborhood laundromat. The machines are much higher quality and faster than “regular” machines, so when your stuff comes out of the dryer, it’s almost fully dry, so you are only spending 20ish minutes waiting for clothes to dry vs. the usual 45-60 minutes. Laundré has five different sizes of washing machines (even one that holds 75 pounds – EIGHT loads of laundry 😱) so you can get A LOT of laundry done in a super short period of time.

They also give you free soap with every wash, so there’s no need to bring your own and you don’t have to pay with quarters. 👏🏻 They accept credit cards, or you can preload funds onto an app and pay that way (kind of like the Starbucks app). And, if you reallllly want to pay with quarters, you can. 😉 And, this better quality and service, as well as much better overall environment, doesn’t mean it’s more expensive than your “regular” laundromat.

The prices are right in line with what you would usually pay for laundry; washing and drying two loads of laundry costs about $6-7 total. E and I went to do laundry this past weekend and did about four loads of clothes and every towel, sheet, pillowcase and duvet cover that we own. It took an hour TOTAL from start to finish, and cost us less than $30.

Laundré also has Wash and Fold service if you just don’t want to laundry, period. During the month of November, it’s only $1/pound (INSANELY CHEAP) but after that, it will be $1.50/pound for a two day turnaround.

THE CAFE:

Here’s the extra fun and unique part! The front of the Laundré space is a massive, minimal and gorgeous coffee shop and cafe. They serve coffee from Sightglass and pastries and quiche from cult-fave spot Vive La Tarte (which has some of the best pastries in the city). This is the ONLY place in the city you can get Vive La Tarte pastries outside of VLT itself! 😱  They have wifi too and lots of tables and seating options for you to get work done or just read and relax. The cafe gets great natural light with the massive window walls, and it sits right on the corner – perfect for people watching!

This past weekend, while we waited for our laundry, we just read and drank coffee up in the cafe section,. For those of you who work from home or coffee shop hop during the week, working from Laundré would be a great way to multi-task – catch up on email or work while getting your laundry done. Win-win. ✔️

TO RECAP!

We all have to do laundry. For a lot of people (in SF especially), laundry isn’t super accessible. Laundré is a place where you can:

Get your laundry done IN LESS TIME than you would at a regular laundromat

Get your laundry donee with better quality service (in terms of the way your clothes look after you’re done) and in a much better environment

Get your laundry done, all at once, at the SAME PRICE as the not-so-great / gross local laundromats

Enjoy delicious pastries and coffee from arguably two of the best places in the city (Sightglass and Vive La Tarte)

Multi-task! You can read, catch up on emails, sip a latte, whatever while waiting on your laundry because the environment is truly gorgeous and serene.

Thanks for reading! Check out Laundré’s site here and on Instagram @laundre.

trip to the color factory!

Posted on: Monday, August 21, 2017

Last week, I finally went to the Color FactoryColor Factory is an incredible pop-up color experience here in SF. Basically, it’s an Instagram dream, as it’s a two-story interactive exhibit within a warehouse, with different rooms dedicated to different colors and materials. All of the creativity and thought that went into each exhibit and the space overall truly blew me away and we had SO much fun acting like a giddy little kids playing around in the space. In light of everything going on in the world, we kept saying how magical and special it was to spend even an hour in this space – it was like an escape from the “real world” and an epic glimmer of joy and happiness in one place.

A few highlights: the insane rainbow ribbon installation (10,000+ ribbons), the giant yellow ball pit (with over 200K balls in there!), the super fun confetti room, the scratch and sniff wall, snacks (you get a sprinkle cookie when you enter and a mini ice cream cone when you leave), and the disco ball room. Pretty much, I need a disco ball room and confetti room in my apartment asap. But truly, the entire space was INCREDIBLE and I’m so glad we went! Oh, and when you leave, you get a neighborhood map showing other fun color experiences out in the city (like rainbow stairs and fun murals) to check out.

Right now, tickets are sold out for the rest of August and September, but sign up for their mailing list in case they extend through the fall (which I hope they do, so I can go back!). For more Color Story magic, follow on IG @colorstoryco. Here’s more photos from the visit that I snapped, along with ones from my besties Ali + Aimee!

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