Wondering and waiting.

I love watching friends and family take on life. We have a finite amount of days on this earth. To find joy and infuse meaning into some of that limited time is a beautiful privilege we cannot take for granted.

It seems like I am wistful on the daily, seeing people take on passion projects–casting aside fear, leaving behind judgment, and diving into what sets their souls on fire. Often times, these ventures align with my own desires. I feel bad for neglecting my writing for so long and wonder if I will ever commit to this dream. I get a tinge of jealousy that someone has managed to beat me to the punch. I ruminate on my experiences, qualifications, and skills. Where do I start and how can I start over?

And then I realize, preparation and aesthetics be damned, I must go for it.

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zazie san francisco storefront brunch cole valley

Baes in the Bay | Ladies Do Brunch

It’s been a while, friends! I’ve got some thangs in the works, but life hasn’t stopped and I haven’t stopped living it. Got a passion project coming soon and I think you’ll enjoy it :)

As life goes, impromptu trips are necessary. This past weekend, I hopped on a bus to the Bay to see a friend who was visiting from NYC. Yes, this seems a little extreme for a brief reunion, seeing as I’ll be in New York in 2 weeks. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this post-grad life, it’s that you should do anything and everything to maintain relationships that are important to you. Spending three days with fabulous, inspiring folks was beautiful, necessary, and refreshing. We caught up with each other and rolled with the punches, making plans on the fly.

Saturday morning cravings called for brunch. My tourist instincts sought out the best brunch in every single SF neighborhood and one of the girls chose the spot in Cole Valley: Zazie. We knew it was meant to be when a parking spot opened as we pulled up to the packed restaurant. A 45-minute wait with no reservation at noon on Saturday was reasonable enough.

zazie san francisco storefront brunch cole valley

Zazie was this chic little french bistro with some outdoor seating, a handful of indoor seats, and a sweet garden patio in the back. The five of us were seated in the middle of the restaurant’s hustle and bustle.

zazie san francisco brunch cole valley thrillist

The place was lined with French production posters and artwork. High ceilings made for a comfortable, sunlit setting to meet up with friends.

zazie san francisco brunch cole valley thrillist

Ain’t no shame is Brunch Spirits! I had the Le Metro, which is Zazie’s signature champagne refresher finished off with real lavender. Great way to start off a weekend.

zazie san francisco cole valley brunch drinks

A cup of delicious butternut squash soup helped me get acclimated to the SF chill–it was nice to get out of the SoCal heat for a while! The creative paper garnish was much appreciated.

zazie san francisco brunch cole valley butternut squash soup foodporn foodie

I did one St. Trop poached egg (wild smoked salmon, capers, and red onions), which was the perfect portion after starting with a drink and some soup. Everything was super nomz, but I’m no food critic–as evidenced by my choice of adjectives. Their choice of flatware rounded out the cozy, welcoming vibe.

zazie san francisco cole valley brunch foodporn foodie eggs benedict

Catching up with these fierce womyn over brunch was amazing–and in the perfect setting! [Not to mention this place was built up by some powerful ladies as well!] We definitely felt grown discussing child-rearing techniques, cooking hacks, and career trajectories over brunch. Post-grad, who? Zazie serves brunch everyday (I know, right) from 8am-2pm. Definitely worth the stop, whether you’re a local or just visiting.

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Love these ladies!

Impulsive Buyer Probs

I’m still learning how to manage my money. Such is a key woe in the life of a twentysomething. Sometimes I look for bargains on a few goods I need or enjoy… for the past couple of weeks, that’s been lipsticks. I used to buy candy all the time–if it was being sold where I was, you better believe I bought some. I didn’t wanna stay on the road to Diabetes Central, though. Anyway, these small purchases do add up. But after these latest ventures, I think I’m through buying these for a while. Long story short, splurge a little on yourself… it’s okay as long as the purchases are something you will consistently use!

I’ve had full lips all my life. Au naturel, baby! In my years of learning to apply make-up (which are still occurring), I always shied away from lip color because I thought I would look like a clown. But recently, I decided to own it!

This morning, I left my apartment with these in my purse. Depending on the day, this might be 4 too many lipsticks.

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I eventually found myself at Target picking up some last-minute travel necessities. Then I remembered I’ve been meaning to find some lip primer. I usually like to stand in the aisles and research some products on my phone. But I was short on time, hungry, and had to pee so today was not the day to find the best lip primer bang for my buck. After quickly scouring lipstick sections, I found a single lip primer for sale.

NP Set Lip Primer, $14

NP Set Lip Primer, $14

I normally put on chapstick before lipstick or gloss, but my lips get dry quickly, giving my lip color a cracked, uneven look. When I got home, I spread some of this new lip primer on (without any chapstick) and then applied some of the dark lipstick I recently bought (NYX Butter Lipstick in Licorice color). Hours–and some snacks!–later, the dark lipstick is holding steady! I’m pretty excited about this, as I have a weekend full of adventures and new lip colors coming up.

After I settled in for the night, PJs and DVR on lock, I got to showing my mom my purse full of goodies. Realizing it was only 8pm, we moseyed on over to CVS for some more lip awesomeness. I had decided on 4 colors, but Mom picked out 2 more for me. “They’re so cheap, who cares if you don’t like them?”

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I’m certainly hoping these drugstore buys don’t have too many harmful chemicals in them! But I do plan on adding some higher end pieces one I find the shades that really suit me. Refinery 29 provided a great place to start–definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for some killer lipsticks.

Sure, I am getting out of control buying all these… Okay, yeah, it’s getting out of control. But my birthday is coming up and I think I will be satisfied with 10+ color choices for a while. Also, I’m about to paint my nails, which means I’m not spending money at the nail salon.

Thank you for sitting through this rant of vanity. Now go out there and buy some lipsticks! Or whatever relatively cheap products give you fleeting happiness. Happy weekend, all!

Post-graduate Limbo

I’m currently in between major chapters in life, if you can call them that. I finished my undergraduate education 2 months ago and I’ve got one month until I start my internship at GQR. Remember that random job interview I spent hours blindly preparing for? I accepted the internship with hopes of transitioning into a full-time position after the 8-week program. While I am excited to embark on a new journey, I’ve been caught in a slump trying to figure out what I’m about and who matters.

Here’s what I do know: I am extremely fortunate to have a job opportunity secured before my commencement ceremonies. I have a family and boyfriend who love and support me all the way. I have everything I could possibly need and if I get my head in the game, I can set myself up for success. It’s all about my work ethic at this point… or the point where I start working anyway. I put my 8a-4p schedule into my iCal and I am making work my top priority… when I get there. I need to live frugally for a while, seeing as I don’t have a stable income yet.

Since I secured the position, I’ve been in limbo. Do I regulate my sleep schedule or enjoy sleeping past noon and staying out til the wee morning hours? Do I attempt to read up on hedge funds and investment banks or just run with it when it starts? I’ve been enjoying endless hours of sleep, adventuring to some new places, and figuring out who really matters in my life. Do I live by myself with no distractions or with a roommate to save a little money? Where do I even live? With a long distance relationship, a huge transition from school to work life, and the potential for hard-earned success at my fingertips, I’ve found it’s easy to feel alone. With a ton of free time, I find myself reflecting on friendships and wonder who will stick it out with me through this crazy time when we’re all moving fast on winding paths.

Trivial things start bothering me, such as not being personally invited to a party or having to clean up a mess that isn’t mine. But again, I am fortunate to have stupid worries like this. As my wonderful friends Matt A. and Jason Smith always preach, “Self-advocacy!” If I wanna be somewhere, I can invite myself and if something needs to get done, I better do it myself! True, this is not the be-all and end-all of life. But this is The Donnaly Natividad Show and I am the star! Those friendships I am convinced are false in my solitude are alive and well. And they two-ways streets. Just as I got caught up in graduating, finding a job, and traveling… others are doing the same thing and maybe it’s time for me to reach out. All I know is that this is a huge process, not a finite agreement between people.

In this state of limbo, I have MANY things to do.

  • Read everyday. A book, magazines, the news… everything.
  • Watch more Sons of Anarchy.
  • Work out and eat healthy for health’s sake. NOT starve myself and run constantly to fit in the smallest possible size.
  • Play with Teddy a lot.
  • Live out my ride-or-die roles and push others to do the same. Come on now, it’s me. Being my ride-or-die is fun.

This is happening.

If you’re absent during my struggle, don’t expect to be present during my success.