I had an amazing time during my maternity photoshoot with Sara Jennings Photography. My goal was to have the iconic Golden Gate Bridge co-star with my beautiful baby bump! We shot on a spectacular, windy San Francisco evening at Crissy Field. It was a lovely day to be photographed with the Bridge as it was the GG Bridge's 79th anniversary. I had the dress made for me by LysaBo. Find her shop on Etsy! Here are a few shots in this special place which captured this special time in my life. Can't wait for my Little One to see these photos!.
I am recovering from a wonderful weekend full of love and support from friends and family! It was the weekend of my Baby Shower......ummm I mean Baby Brunch: My last big event before I get ready for my special delivery!
I kicked off my Baby Brunch Weekend by teaching my last Bodypump class before I enter the new phase of my life as a mommy. I made it through 31 weeks of pregnancy teaching three classes a week: Turbo Kick and two Bodypump classes and I must say as much as I will miss my beloved participants, mama needs a break!
On Sunday my friends and family gathered at 1300 Fillmore in San Francisco for a Jazz Baby Brunch......not a shower.. but a BRUNCH in my honor. Why a brunch? Interesting fact about me. I can't stand Baby Showers. I have no problem with anyone who loves them but they just aren't my cup of tea. The games.....the gushing......ugh I just can't! I just wanted an intimate, classy gathering where people that I really care could join me in celebrating my upcoming special delivery. Thanks to my lovely friend and hard core Bodypump participant, Maddie, I was able to get just that! Maddie did a fantastic job of hosting the event and it was better than I even imagined! Enjoy a few pictures from my fantastic Jazz Baby Brunch! Thanks to everyone who came out and supported me. I love you all! xoxo!!
A few months ago Bella and I collected a fantastic, exhausting, frustrating yet hilarious experience! We hired a fabulous photographer and went on location in San Francisco's Mission District for Bella's first professional photoshoot! Bella has been a wonderful "insta" puppy model where I was the photographer and my instrument of choice was my iPhone. However, on a real shoot with a real camera and flashing bulbs and that "shutter" sound Bella proved she may NOT be America's Next Top Dog Model after all! After 3 hours and two locations, our patient photographer Mark Rogers was able to make magic happen and immortalize my beloved Bella B. He captured the real Bella that I know and love and for that I will always be grateful. If you are in the Bay Area and want wonderful pictures of your fur baby, I highly suggest Mark Rogers Photography. Oh and by the way, Mark recently published a book called "Thanks for Picking up my Poop" .
Enjoy a few pictures from Bella's photoshoot!
There is a coffee war brewing up in deez streetz! The streets of the FiDi....That's the Financial District of San Francisco (just in case you aren't down and speak the lingo). And we all know when it comes to coffee, Cultured Americana is deep in the streets. So anyway, I have worked in the FiDi my whole career. There have always been places to grab a cup of Joe. Starbucks on every corner with a few Peet's Coffee's sprinkled if you are really serious about that specialty coffee life! Now....they have really changed the game! And thank the roasted gods because once I traveled to Italy, I decided that most American coffee is crap. So here is the FiDi coffee line up: Philz Coffee, Blue Bottle Coffee and Coffee Cultures.
Philz- One of my great Turbo Kickers and friend, Jan would rave about this place called Philz that was in/near Civic Center. Basically, it was a no-go as it was out of my way. Finally, during a a three day weekend my boyfriend and I were in Palo Alto and we decided to check out this location. How can I describe this place? It was crazy like a trading room floor! Tons of people yelling out their orders, high energy, hands waving and you wonder how anything is getting done but somehow there is order in the chaos and everyone gets to enjoy a fantastic cup of coffee personally brewed for them. I looked at the boyfriend and said "they need one of these in the FiDi....NOW! Well my dreams came true a few months ago when I spotted a Philz Truck parked right on Sansome and Pine down the street from my office.
The Philz truck is a scene! There is always a long line. If you are standing in line at the Philz truck you already feel kinda like a rebel because you aren't about to take a 15 minute coffee break! I said the line is long right? You will be in line for 15 minutes standing there feeling like a boss thinking "i ball so hard m*&^%f*&&s tryna find me" because you are about to extend that 15 minute break to a 30. Being there is an event in of itself. I recall a time where I could hear 2Pac's Hit 'em up (explicit version) wafting from the truck as the talented, charismatic baristas putting on a show.....demonstrating their precise, yet artistic pour over techniques.
Ok so what about the actual coffee? It's amazing. Incredible, unique blends of coffee. They specialize in hand crafted single pour speciality coffee. My favorites are Jacob's Wonderbar, and Ambrosia Coffee of the gods! I get mine with almond milk and no sugar because I'm about that fitness life but I can imagine how decadent it would be with sugar considering how fantastic it is without. You can also purchase some of their coffee to brew at home. I pass on this because i'm an espresso only girl at home...A nespresso girl but that's a whole blog post on it's own.
Blue Bottle Coffee- So one afternoon, I was walking away from the Philz truck with my small cup of Jacob's Wonderbar, pitying the people walking toward me toting their Starbuck's cups proudly ( as Maya Angelou told Oprah....Ya know better, ya do better!") I saw an empty building on Sansome and Bush with a familiar logo of a blue bottle and a sign that said "Coming Soon!" Of course I snapped a pic and posted to the gram to alert the caffeinated connect! I looked down the street at the Philz truck and thought "Blue Bottle is comin' for ya like Nas came for Jay on Ether". That's a little hip hop beef reference. If you don't know now ya know....I digress. Anyway, Blue Bottle coming to the FiDi really raised the coffee stakes.
Why do we care about Blue Bottle? Blue Bottle Coffee is fantastic! They cater to those of us that love good coffee (as opposed to the doctored up syrupy stuff at some other coffee shops). The coffee we drink from Blue Bottle gets from the roaster to us in less than 48 hours! Additionally, they serve fresh, fabulous waffles and other treats. The new Bush Street location is chic, elegant and like Philz, there is always a line out the door.
What does Cultured Americana get at Blue Bottle? They are known for the New Orleans Iced Coffee which reaffirms that there is a being greater than myself. But like I said, I'm about that fitness life so I usually save this drink for special occasions and opt for iced coffee with a splash of almond milk. Still marvelous!
Coffee Cultures- Known for serving Counter Cultures Coffee, I found this gem of a coffee shop on Bush street when I started taking a new route to work. I love their simple menu and quick and professional service. Additionally, they have a reward program where you can earn points that go towards a free beverage. This is a rarity for smaller coffee establishments. My favorite order here is an almond milk cappuccino.
Finally a shout out to Espressamente !Where my Italian lovin' Illy coffee lovers at???? This cafe serves the coffee of Italy, Illy and really was the only place I wanted to get coffee when I got back from Italy . Vorrei un cafe` por favore! They aren't in the "Coffee Corner" but very near by on Battery Street. Enjoy your morning brew!
Hello! Ciao! Hola! Welcome to Cultured Americana. The past few weeks I have been working on creating a lifestyle blog about collecting experiences! Who is the the Cultured Americana? A lover of culture who is passionate about traveling throughout the United States and abroad. I love any place that has a rich history, high art culture, culinary culture and last but not least coffee culture! My philosophy is life is about collecting experiences as experiences are truly the most precious treasures one can own. If a country has the attributes I've listed above, it is high on my priority list. See you this Fall, Spain!
I'm fortunate enough that I live in a cultural mecca known as the Bay Area! When I have no trips planned I can just tour San Francisco, Monterey and the Wine Country to name a few places.
Besides travel , food and the arts I am passionate about fitness. By day I work in Corporate America but after work I am a high energy fitness instructor! I would love to share all of these adventures with you.
This blog is in its infancy so stay tuned as we explore what can be done here! Let's collect experiences, inspire and be inspired!
-----The Cultured Americana