fabulous friday #44

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve done a fabulous friday post around here… excited to get back to it!

Here are 5 things I’m loving right now:

1. Being home and soaking up time with my sweet family. Greg heads back to USC tomorrow {for his final semester of business school… craziness!} and we are going out to dinner as a family tonight. We’re going to try out an Indian restaurant downtown that Greg has been eying for awhile. I haven’t had Indian food for a looooong time, and I’m looking forward to some quality time with three of my very favorite people!

Irish pub fam

murray

{And Murray knows he is my favorite pup!}

2. My sweetheart made it safely to Kenya, and he and his group successfully summited Mt. Kenya! They only have sporadic Internet access, so I haven’t been able to communicate with him very much, but one of his group-mates posted this photo on Facebook of them all at the peak of Mt. Kenya. {There he is, second from the right!} I’m really proud of him, and excited to hear about all his adventures when he returns home in about a week!

mt kenya

3. Allison Williams. We watched her interview with Jon Stewart last night and I was completely charmed. I only knew her from the Peter Pan Live special, but now I’m seeing her everywhere — including on the cover of the Glamour magazine!

glamour allison williams

I loved what she said about the importance of knowing yourself before looking to others for outside validation:

“I’ve just figured out who I am. I am now rarely confronted with a feeling, physical or emotional, that I can’t place. … Part of getting to know yourself better means that all the relationships in your life improve: friendships, family, fiance, all of it.”

Also, while watching the Jon Stewart interview last night, my dad said, “Hey Dal, she kind of looks like you!” Maybe I’ve finally found my celebrity doppelganger?

4. Alexandra Franzen included a link to this amazing singer-songwriter, James Bay, in her latest newsletter. I can’t get enough of his soulful voice and lyrics!

5. This past Wednesday, I went to the book launch party for Jennifer Niven’s new YA release, All The Bright Places. It is a really wonderful book — like The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor & Park meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower — and Jennifer could not be nicer or more gracious. It was so exciting to meet her!

all the bright places

BONUS: I have some writing-related news to share with you!

  • My YA romance ebook, “How I Became a Coffee Addict,” is available for FREE through January 10th on Amazon! Grab your copy here.
  • My short story “Receiptless” was recently published in the literary journal The Literati Review; you can read it online here. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Questions of the day:

  • What are you loving right now?
  • What are your plans for the weekend?

fabulous friday #43

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you’re having a great morning! I don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time believing it is already Friday… not to mention already December 19th! Tomorrow is the lovely Dana‘s birthday, and then on Sunday I’m heading home to So.Cal to spend the holidays with my fam! And on Monday, my amazing brother Greg turns the big 2-5! Birthdays galore around here, I love it.

I’m super excited for all the joy and festivities and family and friend time this upcoming week brings! In the meantime…

Here are 5 things I’m loving right now:

1. Christmastime in San Francisco. Allyn and I went into the city for a date night, and it was absolutely magical. Union Square is lit-up so beautifully and we were lucky enough to score a table at Burger Bar that had a terrific view. After dinner we rode the glass elevators at the Westin St. Francis Hotel up to the 29th floor to look out at the entire city. Then we got hot chocolate to-go from a restaurant that was closing up. {The man was kind enough to give us the hot chocolate free of charge because he said he was just going to throw it away otherwise! How nice is that??} We sipped our hot chocolates as we held hands and watched the ice-skaters and listened to the holiday music. It was perfection.

union square

me and al xmas

westin xmas tree

union square xmas tree

2. Celebrity doppelgangers. I am fascinated by this! Perhaps because I’ve always had a hard time figuring out who my look-alike is. The person I’ve been told most often is Claire Danes, which I consider a huge compliment because I think she is wonderful. What do you think, do you see a resemblance? Could I be her much-less-glamorous kid sister?

me claire danes

I got onto this topic because when Allyn and I were watching the ice-skaters in Union Square, a woman said out of the blue that Allyn looked like a celebrity to her, but she couldn’t place who. I suggested Kevin Bacon, but she said it was someone else.

al and kevin bacon

We left before she figured it out, so I guess it will always remain a mystery!

3. My Grandpap’s choir Christmas performance last night. They work so hard practicing for months leading up to the holidays, and it shows! They go all out with costumes and presentation, and the cheerful holiday music always brings a smile to my face. Plus, I love watching my Grandpap when he sings — he always lights up with joy! It was fun that Allyn could make it, too.

grandpap choir concert.jpg

4. This quote from Heather Waxman {especially apppropriate and meaningful during this time of year!}

“Healthy boundaries aren’t about building walls around yourself. They’re about building doorways of love around your energy field. Boundaries are not meant to separate you from other people. They’re meant to build doorways for you to attract the right people into your life.”

5. Tonight Allyn and I are going to see a local production of A Christmas Carol. It is one of my favorite stories. Though I have read the book and have seen a number of movie versions {including the classic Disney cartoon version!} I have never seen a dramatic performance of A Christmas Carol, so I am really excited 🙂

Have a terrific weekend, friends! And don’t forget to…

leave sparkle

Questions of the day:

  • What are you loving right now?
  • What are your plans for the weekend?
  • Who is your celebrity doppelganger?

the t.swift concert + my celebrity starbucks encounter

Last night, Holly and I headed into downtown Nashville to see our girl Taylor Swift in concert!

red tour bus

It was an amazingly fun night! Holly and I have loved T.Swift since college and we have gone together to two of her concerts before, so she is a special thread in the fabric of our friendship. The Nashville crowd was friendly and cheerful — my kind of people! It was the last show of the entire “Red” tour so there was an extra charge in the air. Hunter Hayes was a special guest; he came onstage and played his new song I Want Crazy, which I love. I had the best time singing and dancing with Holly to all of our favorite songs! Taylor even played some songs from her previous albums, which felt like a surprise treat. The entire concert lasted more than three hours, but it felt like it flew by in a flash. Here are some of my favorite snaps from the night:

holly nashville

tswift dcoke

preshow

super excited

me and hol

That last picture was taken right before we left the house and I think it captures our friendship so well!

Before T.Swift came onstage, there were two warm-up acts: Casey James and Ed Sheeran. Holly and I both like Ed Sheeran’s radio hits, but I think we were even more excited for Casey James. American Idol fans might remember Casey from a few years back … neither Holly nor I are huge American Idol people, but the season Casey was on we both got sucked in for whatever reason. It was the year after we’d graduated from college and we were living halfway across the country from each other, but we watched American Idol every week and talked often about our favorite contestants. Holly was always a huge Casey fan, and especially loved his shoulder-length curly hair; I thought he was pretty cute but that he’d be even cuter if he cut his hair. (I’ve always been attracted to guys with short hair!) He became an inside-joke celebrity crush between the two of us.

46th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards - Concerts On Fremont - Day 1

Flash forward to last week, when Holly texted me with the exciting news that Casey James was going to be one of T.Swift’s opening acts! It felt like a gift from the concert gods just for us.

But the excitement doesn’t end there. On Friday morning Holly headed off to class and I went to the Starbucks right next to Vanderbilt to write. I was standing in line, not paying the slightest attention who was around me because all my energy was focused on trying to decide whether I should try the new chocolate chai latte or stick with my tried-and-true regular chai latte {I ended up sticking with my regular go-to… has anyone tried the chocolate chai? How is it??} I ordered and paid for my drink, and then the barista lit up with a smile and said, “Hi there, Casey! What can I get for you this morning?”

I turned, and there he was, standing right behind me — Casey James! All I could think was, “Why is Holly not here with me???”

He ordered a bunch of drinks, including a particularly fancy one that I like to think was for T.Swift herself. Then we both stood by the counter waiting for our drinks. The Starbucks was relatively empty and nobody else seemed to recognize him. I was torn between star-struck shyness and the knowledge that if I didn’t at least say hello, I would kick myself later. So I summoned my courage and said to him, “Not to be weird or anything, but I just wanted to let you know that I am a big fan of your music.” {His song Crying on a Suitcase is one of my favorites! So good!}

He flashed me a big smile and said, “Thank you so much!” I told him that Holly and I were going to the concert on Saturday and asked how the Thursday night show had been. We talked for a good five-to-ten minutes while we waited for our drinks. He could not have been nicer or more down-to-earth. I was a Casey James fan before, and I’m definitely an even bigger fan of his now. It was so neat to see him playing at the concert last night. He was fantastic!

After the show, Holly and I walked around downtown and stopped at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville for drinks before heading home. It has recently been pointed out to me that I drink out of a straw in the side of my mouth … does anybody else do this, or is it just me?

straw side mouth

Anyway, it was a truly incredible night and I am so grateful that I got to experience the concert with Holly! Now we’re soaking up the final hours of my visit before I catch a flight back to the Bay Area tomorrow morning. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!