Tag Archives: Travel

FAVORITE MOMENTS OF 2014

poshfest photo booth

That time I help put on PoshFest and spoke on a panel.
Before I say “bye Felicia” to 2014, I wanted to share some of my favorite moments of the year, many not yet featured within Sparkle Meets Pop’s virtual pages. It’s tough, however, to capture a year in posts, pictures or songs. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of words: achievement, heart, bonds, goodbyes, growth, adventure and sass. Yes, friends, there’s always sass. People are known to get down on themselves and resolve to be better. I’m confident from my past that each day gets better, so I feel a mixture of hope, excitement and peace for the days to come.

For kicks, I thought I’d share my top five posts of 2014:

  1. Green Blue, High Low
  2. This Is 30
  3. Brunching With The Best
  4. #HowWeWear: Black & White
  5. Business Lion

But wait, there’s more. The SMP love fest continues with a year-ending playlist to share with you. Much of this is what I have been listening to for the past few months, but have yet to share. May these jams be a way to have a safe, healthy and happy New Year. Thank you so much for reading.

xo,

Emily

st regis princeville cocktail

That time I impulsively booked a much-needed stay at the St. Regis Princeville. 

stanford theater palo alto marquee

That time I shared a love of old movies with friends, and thought for a few seconds thought that maybe, just maybe that the Titanic wouldn’t sink and the movie would have a happy ending.

chloe wine matt leblanc boston common magazine red carpet

That time I held hands with Matt LeBlanc. Just kidding! Or am I…?

washington square park san francisco girls picnic

All those times we went to the park for wine, people watching and basking in the glorious San Francisco sun.

shot of whiskey cup of tea quote

That time I raised a shot of whiskey and said cheers to this truth.

poshmark blogger san francisco fashion photoshoot

That time the Poshmark blogger babes were featured in Racked SF and on the Yahoo! homepage. 

san francisco golden gate bridge view

Those times I looked out my window, gazed at the Golden Gate Bridge and was in awe.

beach side st regis princeville

That time I shamelessly ordered piña coladas all day on the beach in a leopard print bikini. 

fierce quote

Those times I was brave, driven, unstoppable and smiling.

IN TUNE

peony bloom in tune

Oh, January. What a funny month you are, bringing about the strangest qualities in people. All of this self improvement drawn while looking back and gazing forward is enough to make a girl dizzy. Yet, I can’t say I’m above all of the reflection and good intentions because when it comes down to it I’m tired of being so busy with a mind and body operating on autopilot. And who wants to experience life in some sort of highway hypnosis?

So it’s time to do something about it, right? Well, it’s at least time to give the situation some thought. It was a strange and slightly pathetic realization to have, but it’s true. It’s likely ingrained in my DNA and strengthened by years of bad habits: I can’t really relax. Oh, I know. Poor me.

Yet, it was so bad that lately my body and mind have had to shout in order to be heard. It’s not the best way to get the message that you should slow down. If that’s you or could nearly be you, please know that there is no prize for being busy, stressed or whatever keeps you ignoring your basic needs.

In order to find a solution, I tried to recall a recent moment where I was truly in tune with my mind and body. Let’s go back in time, to my visit across the pond in August when I felt transported to another world. My friend and I celebrated my birthday at Thermae Bath Spa by lounging in pools and enjoying facials. It wasn’t my first spa experience or treatment, but it truly was bliss. My in-tune moment was during that facial and leaving the room was a slow transition from dreamland back to reality. I was so relaxed that I had trouble walking and talking. Everything I saw and heard was glowing and opaque and I was transcendent. It was like some sort of spa-induced peyote trip that required a room to recover from your extreme relaxation.

Obviously that solution isn’t truly the answer, but it reminds me that it’s possible. Like anything, being calm and listening to your body and mind takes practice. While going to yoga is cliche in January, I think all those people are onto something. I’ve been doing it at home and just signed up for a month of classes. I’m starting to take note when I’m tense and allow myself to ease up and breathe deeply. So far it seems better and I’m hopeful that good habits can eventually replace bad ones. If you have any tips or want to share in this idea of being in-tune, please share!

1

EXPLORE SF: CONSERVATORY OF FLOWERS

explore-sf-conservatory-of-flowers

The next stop in the Explore SF train is at the Conservatory of Flowers. This past Saturday was my first time there, despite it having been on an unofficial SF to-do list for years. I’d always seen photos of the iconic conservatory and surrounding garden, but hadn’t realized just exactly what was inside. Now, I’m not going to say that the plants will blow your mind, but there are some interesting species that may come close to doing just that.

Bring your camera – I’m kicking myself for being stuck again with my sub-par phone camera – and be prepared to leisurely stroll room by room looking all around admiring nature’s beauty. It’s the perfect sunny afternoon activity. Plus, I hear they open it for private parties. Someone throw one and invite me, won’t you?

 

 

explore-sf-conservatory-of-flowers-2  explore-sf-conservatory-of-flowers-3

 

Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, 100 John F. Kennedy Drive, San Francisco
415-831-2090
Flowers and plants, sprawling laws and gardens, pleasant afternoon
$7 tickets, street parking, bring a blanket to nap and chill on the lawn†

THE SKIES I’M UNDER

I know I promised recaps, but something different was on my heart today. It’s a bit more real than I typically get, but thanks for letting me share with you.

…………………………

Wasn’t it only yesterday that I cut through clouds stretching from the Pacific to the Atlantic and beyond to be reunited with my friend in London?

While in reality I was simply plucked from one continent to another, I was truly transported to another world not entirely different, but complete with palaces and princes. Its shop-lined cobblestone streets had an element of unfamiliar magic that enveloped me.

20130808-221107.jpgAs someone who isn’t entirely comfortable being alone in the unknown, this trip was a personal challenge to overcome some fears. Just getting there would be a personal triumph. And boy, did it feel good to be free of those fears. (In full disclosure, however, I basically followed my friend around once I got there.) Before I knew it, the notion of getting lost had left me and the comfort in discovery took its place.

This newfound freedom from fear was partly aided by digital disconnection, save plenty of Instagram sharing. Is it harsh to say that days later I continue to find most social media to be too noisy? And I know what you’re thinking – yes, I did just go to a blogging conference. I’m surprised at myself, too.

Stranger still than an over-sharer with a self-inflicted muzzle, the person who had always let fear dominate her decision-making had learned to feel at home amongst the clouds. At some unknown point she fell in love with London and the idea of exploring the world.

Then on Monday, the day before I was to head home, I traversed the city knowing that this enlightening adventure was nearing its end. My time was measured and a heaviness in my chest began to grow. How could something so great ever end? How was I so inexplicably crushed to be saying goodbye?

For the first time in a long time, maybe ever, home didn’t carry as big of a weight. Its gravitational pull wasn’t nearly as strong. Home didn’t define me as it had before. My life at home seemed smaller and mundane. I felt like a stranger in the familiar, in the life I had made for myself.

Some days I think it’s too late for me; that I have missed out on the limited amount of adventures and opportunities afforded me. My delayed exposure to the “travel bug” has somehow limited experiencing new countries and cultures and allowing them to shape me. A long vacation combined with a milestone-nearing birthday and a delayed root touch-up can do that to a person, I guess. It can make you feel unreasonably old and pessimistic even when you are having the time of your life.

20130808-221307.jpgBefore going to bed on my last night in London, my friend and I watched the newly released Mumford and Sons Hopeless Wanderer music video. We laughed over the surprise stars and it was a nice moment between friends, even if there was the unexpected weighty sadness that I couldn’t keep from residing in my chest. While I would never have described myself as hopeless or a wanderer, the words sank in and the sadness pulsed.

“I will learn to love the skies I’m under.”