Daily Life

  • Daily Life,  Startups

    I Don’t Do That Job Anymore

    Something has changed, permanently, in me. I’ve been trying to figure out how to express it, because the transformation has been so interesting, unexpected, and meaningful to me. If you are a first time founder, or planning to be, this might resonate. I’d love to know if you’ve had a similar experience and what that was like.

    Jobs I Don’t Do Anymore

    These aren’t job titles, but roles I’ve played in the past that I no longer care to play. During YC (Summer 2012) I made a clean break from a lot of these things in order to totally focus on building Referly, and after letting those activities go for a few months I discovered something cool: I don’t want them back in my life at the same level of importance as before.

    Professional Extrovert

    For 3 years I was paid to be many things at Twilio, and one of them was what Mark Suster calls a “Conference Ho”. I’m not cynical about it, it was necessary and I made sure I was damn good at it. I did that job so that the three Twilio founders could completely focus on building the company, but I don’t do that job anymore.

    I don’t feel like being around people all the time, and never have. Friends who know me understand that there is a deep divide between my public face and my private life. People who don’t know me that well assume I am so transparent online that there couldn’t possibly be more below the surface. I was paid to be extroverted, and I loved it, but I don’t do that job anymore.

    Professional Hobbyist

    I love hackathons and always will, because they were the first place where I really felt the warm embrace of the hacker community. I came to developers I respected, hat in hand, and asked for help and advice and a safe place to ask stupid questions and I am so grateful. I didn’t have to worry about my code being elegant, and I only built little prototypes to demo the Twilio API for cool videos and live demos at conferences. Now I write code 50% or more of my time, and it has to work. So I don’t do that job (of being a professional hobbyist) anymore.

    Startup Mentor

    I sometimes thought I knew how to pick the startups that were winners, but as time passes and companies I referred to investors or invested in myself struggle, I realize I still have no idea. I could say that picking Twilio was my stroke of genius, but in truth it was a lot more of luck meeting preparation. I like mentoring founders, but more to help them with personal struggles than company struggles. Lately I’ve taken a big step back from mentoring and decided to double-down on people I already have relationships with. I don’t do that job anymore.

    Marketing “Guru”

    Twilio was the first place I ever had a marketing job. I’m not a marketing guru, and when Jeff hired me it was to do customer support and make blog posts and video. I told him we should put a reasonably senior job title on my business card so I could get meetings, so we did. I wasn’t really operating like a true Director-level person until probably the last year I was there. I was an avid student of marketing, and I wanted to earn that title and stop feeling like the business card was a lie. I achieved that, but I don’t do that job anymore.

    I’m Taking Me with Me

    When I say I don’t do these jobs anymore, it isn’t that I don’t take their lessons and skills with me. I carry them every day, to every conference, conversation, interview, coding session, morning walk, phone call, lunch with a founder, late night freak out. I loved those jobs, and when I did them I believe I did them well and gave them my all. But now I am learning to do new jobs, and I have new interests. I am passionate about making things – both with code and with prose. I’m either building Referly or using it to create content, and that’s all. I’m working on being a good CEO, good product person, and better developer.

    So if you’ve pinged me about stuff related to any of the jobs I don’t do anymore, and haven’t heard back, I hope you understand why. I don’t do that anymore.

    This blog post doesn’t really convey how strange it feels, to let go of things that were so important to me. Things I worked on and worried about and shaped my identity. But if I hold onto them and stay the same, and just get better at those things and lean on them then I know I won’t grow… so I’m putting them away for awhile. It kind of feels like breaking up, that’s the closest experience I can compare it to.

    This video kind of sounds like what it feels like:

  • Daily Life,  Playlist

    “Slow & Steady” by Of Monsters and Men

    The lights go out, I am all alone
    All the trees outside are buried in the snow
    I spend my night dancing with my own shadow
    And it holds me and it never lets me go

    I move slow and steady
    But I feel like a waterfall
    Yeah, I move slow and steady
    Past the ones that I used to know

    My dear old friend, take me for a spin
    Two wolves in the dark, running in the wind
    I’m letting go, but I’ve never felt better
    Passing by all the monsters in my head

    I move slow and steady
    But I feel like a waterfall
    Yeah, I move slow and steady
    Past the ones that I used to know

    And I’m never ready
    ‘Cause I know, I know, I know
    That time won’t let me
    Show what I want to show

    I move slow and steady
    But I feel like a waterfall
    Yeah, I move slow and steady
    Past the ones that I used to know

    And I’m never ready
    ‘Cause I know, I know, I know
    That time won’t let me
    Show what I want to show

  • Daily Life

    Don’t Waste a Single Moment

    I’ve embarked on a new adventure as CEO & Cofounder of Referly – a startup that is helping anyone earn rewards for referring products they love and generating purchases.  We are in the YCombinator class this summer.  Learn more at http://refer.ly

    Lately I’ve been waking up really early, and working “farmer hours” (StarCraft caster reference – there are farmers who have 9-to-5 schedules, and gamers who get up late and stay up late).  It started back in October when I made my first extended trip to London to launch Twilio into the European market, and then I would come back and keep the early morning schedule so I would be awake to talk with the team and partners I was assembling.  I needed an alarm clock at first, and I would set it for 6am and 7:15am.

    If I woke up at 6am and felt good, I’d hop out of bed.  If I woke up and felt crappy (usually if I’d had some drinks the night before) I would get up, brush my teeth and wash my face, and give myself permission to go back to bed until the next alarm.  I used the 2nd alarm only 3 times in the first two weeks.  Something strange happened.


    I started waking up naturally, before my 6am alarm.  I woke up feeling good, and I really prefer waking up without the blaring sound of an alarm so I was able to gracefully put my mind and body together.  The most amazing thing, when you work in tech, is that from 6am to 9am NOTHING HAPPENS.  Of course there is news, but there are few emails or phone calls that you’re expect to handle during that time.  None of your employees or coworkers are awake.  You’re completely free to do whatever you want, for a solid 2-3 hours.

    I also have a healthy disdain for mortality – and I truly appreciate now what adults used to say when I asked them why they got up so early.  “I can rest when I’m dead” is the refrain.  My previous sleep schedule had me getting up between 8am and 10am (with multiple alarms) and going to bed around 1am.  My schedule now has me getting up at 6am or earlier (without an alarm) and going to bed to at 11pm.  I always believed I was one of those people who just needs 9 hours of sleep, but I am now easily rested on 6-7 per night and reclaiming 2-3 hours a day.  So assuming I’ve reclaimed 2 hours of waking hours that is 730 hours a year – and I use about half of that time to do work, so I’ve given myself about 45 more 8-hour workdays in a year.  More time to hustle!

    I adhere to this schedule 7 days a week – I don’t see the weekend as a time to “catch up on sleep” as many people do.  Partly that is because I don’t really have a weekend and haven’t for many years while doing startups – Referly is the third in a row.  Saturdays are the “light day” on our team, but for me I find it much easier to just get up the same time every day.  On the weekends I let myself waste time on sites like People.com or Pinterest, which I severely limit during the week (thanks to RescueTime which helps me monitor my social media use and make sure I am using it in a goal directed way for the business).  I also tend to use the weekend early hours to catch up on all the feeds I have set up on Flipboard, or stuff I’ve saved through the week to read about the industry/competitors/etc.


    I had another habit I wanted to break – checking my phone for texts, emails, Facebook, Twitter, and news as soon as I woke up.  I wanted to stop doing this because it pulled me into the reactive world of other people’s needs, focuses, and demands on my sacred morning hours.  I got a dopamine hit from scrolling through all the tweets mentioning “Twilio” overnight, and on rough mornings looking at that was great motivation to get out of bed.  But it was becoming a crutch.  I needed something else to look forward to in the morning that was more internal.

    We moved from SOMA to Potrero Hill 3 months ago (and just moved to Mountain View this weekend), and both places offer something I didn’t have in SOMA – a place to safely take a long walk before dawn.  For me, early morning sunlight and birdsong feeds my soul.  I don’t entirely know why it is so soothing, but I spent the first 19 years of my life with nature in my day-to-day routine and I don’t think I considered the impact of moving somewhere so urban.  When I was a kid, my mother would clip roses in the front yard wearing her robe and slippers soaked through with dew, and a coffee cup.  She was always so proud of her fresh vase of fragrant blooms on the table, and I see now that this was her morning ritual before my sister and I woke up and made the house crazy with our energy.

    My routine was simple, roll out of bed and throw on the nearest sweatshirt, walk down the huge hill to Starbucks and grab breakfast, walk halfway up the hill and sit on the stoop of the pilates studio and watch the sun rise over Oakland, walk home and sit on the fire escape drinking coffee for 10-20 minutes and think about anything (basically meditate).

    Adrenaline & Stress

    Waking up stressed out is the worst – its great to have a sense of urgency around the day, but I went through periods where I was so anxious to get started on work that I would literally make myself sick.  If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, think about when you wake up late for a flight or a really important test or meeting and that wave of disgusting panic rolls through your stomach and makes your body shake.  A few times it was so bad that it would quite literally bring me to my knees.

    The most annoying thing about this, is that it gets in the way of exactly what you want to do: get to work!  I really have no idea how many people are afflicted by this feeling, and for me it tends to come and go with how much other pressure I have to deliver on business goals, but I did talk about it with a handful of people and discovered several successful people who suffer from this overblown sense of urgency first thing in the morning.  The best analogy someone gave me to work with is that adrenaline, once in your bloodstream, is like any other powerful drug you can take — you need to learn how to trip.  Once your body has dispensed you a jolting dose you really have no choice, so you can either enjoy the ride or exhaust yourself by fighting it.  Much easier said than done, but here is what works for me and of course I am not a psychologist and your mileage may vary:

    0.  Preventative – make peace with the limitations of time and your body -if you are giving 14 hours of work plus active monitoring and engagement to your startup online then you are maxing out.  If you feel like this isn’t propelling you forward then re-assess *what* you are doing, don’t blame it on *how much*.

    1.  Forgive Yourself – you wake up a ball of stress, heart pounding, hands sweating and thoughts immediately fly to “ugh not this again, why can’t I just get control of myself and this won’t happen anymore…” you have to let it go.  You are already in this, don’t pit your mind or body against itself.  But how to let it go?

    2.  Talk to Yourself – You need something to occupy your mind while you quickly get through the rituals of getting ready for the day – I am a big fan of talking to yourself.  Stop worrying about if your spouse or roommates will think you’re crazy – you ARE going a little crazy, and this can help.  Things I talk to myself about range a lot, but most of them are topics that I can easily get lost in that distract me from my stress:  practice introduction of myself and company – even going so far as to mock interview myself, practice a talk I’m working on and extemporaneously come up with next content, talk through my plan for the day, week, sprint, launch etc. in step by step detail, describe in detail something I saw or learned recently.

    3.  Triage the Damage – Generally my anxiety falls into two camps: things I can control (yay!) and things I can’t control (damnit!) which means that for the things I can control there are actions I can take, and I need to capture what those might be so that they can become work items.  But the bigger thing is to deal with the things you can’t control.  Anxiety isn’t a freak accident, its your bodies way of throwing up a major red flag – and its going to keep throwing it up until you acknowledge it.  Things you can’t control might be: a conversation that you had that went poorly, a situation you wish you could go back and handle differently, a sense of foreboding about a decision that was made where you felt a red flag but didn’t raise it, an argument you had that you fear damaged an important relationship irreparably.

    4.  Apologies & Thank Yous – (This section could be a whole blog post on its own)  So imagine you’ve triaged the stuff you can change, and that’s in your working queue and you’re on your way to the office feeling much more composed.  Don’t forget the last step – now you have this nagging frustration with something you wish you could redo/undo.  For this example let’s say I lead a team brainstorm session last night, and now I am worried I marginalized the concerns of one of my team members in the interest of getting to action items faster.  I’m concerned that I sent a message to the entire team that I’m not actually looking for their creative ideas, and that I’ve got my own agenda and just want them to rubber stamp it.  Ugh – these are the worst, when actions and intentions don’t line up.

    I’ve been an employee and managed people for over 10 years now, and it is a humbling thing.  I’ve resolved hundreds of conflicts, had hundreds of really difficult conversations, given and received painful but true negative feedback, and one common thread that runs though a lot of  this is a need for better appreciation on both sides of the table.  As a manager, I need to make sure I’m saying thank you often [for something meaningful and specific] and “I apologize” [and clarifying intent vs. action] occasionally (instead of never).  Its not weak to say you’re sorry.  Its honest.  Being honest is the best possible way to earn and keep the respect of the team.

    So that’s great as a manager, but what about as an employee?  The same rules apply but with a twist.  If you aren’t getting the appreciation or treatment you believe is right, you need to ask for it.  Take an active role in the relationship with your manager and let that person know how they can win your trust and respect.  Conversations like “I felt that when you said _______ you didn’t understand/appreciate/listen/etc. and that makes it difficult for me to do my job” or “I am working hard on _______ and want to make sure I’ve shown you how its make an impact against [some goal]” are awkward, but they need to happen. Especially – ESPECIALLY – in a startup with a bunch of 20-somethings who have never managed let alone been employees until 2 years ago.  This is basically “managing up”.

    I remember being a little kid and crying when my Mom told me to “go say you’re sorry to your sister for pulling her hair”.  I also remember my parents had to remind me to say thank you, and I could be really stubborn.  That kind of mystifies me now, and I see other young kids do it, but saying sorry and thank you get a lot easier now that I do them a lot more often.

    Don’t Waste a Single Moment

    I’ve seen the incredible power of time passing and the importance of the small choices we make every day.  Its crazy to realize the success or failure of a company is a collection of days and the things we decided to do or not do on those days.  But that’s it.  It really is like poker or chess – trying not to make mistakes that will undermine days, weeks, years of effort.  Trying to take our days, weeks, years and make them add up to something meaningful.  We are what we focus on.  Never have I seen this more clearly than at Twilio, where the company’s ability to focus and move toward several goals with singular determination is what makes it so formidable.  I will spend my entire life working to build companies like that, because in that environment you never feel your effort is wasted.

    Things that look like small actions can be huge in sum, and every moment is another chance to turn it all around.

    Waking up early has changed my life.  By reclaiming a couple hours a day I can take the time to be thoughtful, solitary, and answer the hardest questions.  Edit: I can also fall asleep at night (though I still struggle sometimes), knowing I have reached the physical limit of what I can achieve in a day and that I have maximized my opportunity to win. When I am unsure what is next, I can work through it with a little less pressure from the outside world.  And when I know exactly what I need to do, you will never catch up to me.


  • Daily Life,  Referly,  Startups

    Saying No

    I love saying yes.  I love helping people, and being generous with my time whenever I can.  I love being a mentor.  I love the brain dump, having my brain picked and picking others, coffee, chats, happy hour, walks around SOMA, lunch, drinks, late night drives and all the other social activities that I’ve used over the years to build relationships, dispense advice, and make memories and connections.

    I love my friends, our regular spots to eat out, drink, brunch, lunch, gossip, bitch, support each other, and hang out.

    I love my family, our regular 4th of July drunkeness around their pool, riding the horses, fireworks on the Indian reservation across the street, driving the truck to the dump and smoking a cigar with Dad, the driving range, the “golden hour” and sitting by the burn barrel appreciating the light, walking around the yard in my PJs clipping flowers for the morning table, handmade Irish soda scones.


    Guess what?  I’m not going to be doing any of this for awhile – at least for the summer while Referly is in Y Combinator and probably slowly phasing these things back into my life slowly in the next 6 to 12 months after that ends.

    I’m going to be saying no to answering long emails, writing long comments on personal blog posts, taking intros to people who want help with developer marketing and developer evangelism, giving career and startup advice, and hundreds of other things.  I’m not going to do inbox zero.  If it doesn’t relate directly to the metrics I’m driving for the company, I’m not interested.

    We both know its nothing personal.  I’ll try not to be terse about it.  Thanks for understanding.

    We’re moving to a house in Mountain View this week, and the team will be living together and cranking for the next 6 months – I’ll miss you SF but its for the best!

    (Yes, I am still advising all the companies on my AngelList profile — I have carved out dedicated time for them each month.  If you are on that list, do not fear.)

  • Daily Life,  Food & Drink

    My Favorite Drink: The Kir Impérial

    Editors Note: A lot of you mentioned that I had a very strange glass for a champagne drink and you’re right – but usually I am drinking and working at my desk on the weekends when I have this… so the Bodum double walled tumbler is perfect. It keeps your drink cold much longer without ice. YMMV


    Want to know the fastest way to make my day?  Order me my favorite drink, or know how to make it.

    What’s in a Kir Imperial?

    • 6 parts Champagne or sparkling wine
    • 1 part liqueur framboise (raspberry)

    It’s really simple actually, and this picture should give you a sense of how pink it should be.  It should still taste like champagne, just with a nice juicy splash of fruit.

    Ingredients: Champagne

    This drink shouldn’t be pricey to make at home, but it is a treat so pick good ingredients.

    First, I like to select a good California or Washington State sparkling wine.  Mumm Napa Brut Prestige is great, and you can get it on Wine.com for $20.  Let me tell you a few important things about champagne/cava/sparkling wine.  Don’t just buy the “good stuff” for other people.  If you are going to bother, spend at least $20 when you buy it for yourself.  Don’t buy Korbel.  You’re ruining the whole point.  Think what the French would say.  Actually, they’d probably say go for the Korbel!  Such confusing people… (Benoit!)

    But in all seriousness, I love this sparkling wine because it is primary pinot noir grapes (did you know pinot noir is white until they add the grape skins in?!) and it has some good acidity which you’ll want to cut through the sweetness of the liqueur.  If you pick a syrupy sweet champagne, this will be an entirely different drink.

    Ingredients: Fruit Liqueur

    Next is the liqueur.

    For people looking to make the class Kir Royale you should get the classic creme de cassis, which is black currant liquer, is a bar staple and you can get it in Bev Mo or any liquor store.  Extra points if it is actually from the Dijon region of France (see below on history). If you are committing to make this drink part of your repertoire, then stock your home bar with a presentable bottle (read: NOT Monin or anything cheaper than that, and yes I am judging you).  But seriously, if you are going to bother with a bar please put some thought into it because this is a bottle that will last a couple years.

    Personally, I have experimented quite a bit and prefer raspberry liqeuer for my Kir, which is why it is an Imperial and not a Royale).  I am loving Alfred Schladerer’s Himbeer Liqueur – actually a German producer (natch! — see history again).  And yes, I just linked to an Amazon product that is out of stock, but you really should wishlist it.  I got mine at Bev Mo for $30, so I imagine it is in other liquor stores too.

    FAQ: History & Name

    This is a French cocktail that got popular after World War II by the mayor of Dijon, named Felix Kir, who served it to international delegations as he worked to rebuild his region.  Creme de cassis was a local product, and he let local producers use his name.  Wikipedia tells us:

    According to Rolland (2004), the reinvention of blanc-cassis (post 1945) was necessitated by the German Army’s confiscation of all the local red Burgundy during the war. Faced with an excess of white wine, Kir renovated a drink that previously was made primarily with the red.

    Pretty damn scrappy if you ask me.

    FAQ: What’s the difference between a kir and a kir royale?

    A kir is made with white wine, and a kir royal is made with champagne.

  • Daily Life

    And Suddenly It Is August… Again

    For someone whose life revolves around the internet, you’d think I would update this website more regularly.  I keep looking at that phone purse entry and thinking, “oh that wasn’t that long ago” when in fact that was May, and this is August.  As usual, a ton has happened in the interim and I have lots of blog post stubs to prove it.

    What I’ve Been Up To

    • Fell in love with TurnTable.fm for music listening, sharing, and social discovery
    • Rented a beach house with a bunch of Kevin’s extended family and bonded with my new niece, Isabella
    • Became a ranked StarCraft II player (15 wins so far this season!)
    • Had the usual crazy-fun time at my parent’s house for the Fourth of July along with Meg and her boyfriend
    • Joined the board of advisors for Seth Blank’s startup Trove
    • Launched Twilio Client, an SDK that enables developers to build apps that make/receive calls directly in the browser (!)
    • A damn fine launch party in the coolest sequin covered dress ever!
    • Bought a whole bunch of Maggy London dresses on Amazon to “pivot” my style to a more grown up Mad Men inspired office glam
    • Had an epic night of karaoke courtesy of Roger Niner at Butter

    And of course… a soundtrack for my life…

    What’s Coming Next

    First, let me just say that having Twilio Client released for the world to see after 9 months is really awesome — it always gets unbearably hard to hold back talking about an awesome new product release and its nice to not have to worry about it being leaked anymore.  As for what is coming next from Twilio, there isn’t really much I can say… other than that our usual process is to release something and then focus on customer feedback and plan our next move based on what we learn.

    In other news, here are some of the upcoming activities and goals I’m looking forward to:

    • Figuring out how to put my hair into victory rolls
    • Celebrating our 4 year wedding anniversary with a trip to Hearst Castle
    • Figuring out what kind of shoes go with all these dresses
    • Adding the next round of improvements to one of my side projects, refer.ly
    • Getting re-leveled to the gold league in SCII and made even playing an IRL tournament
    • Folsom Street Fair is coming up in my neighborhood Sept 25th (link is NSFW)
    • Getting back into cooking
    • So much more…

    All in all, life is good and I think after this weekend I will be fully recovered from “launch mode”.

  • Daily Life,  Travel

    Reflecting on “Stuff”

    As I make the move to the Bay Area, dealing with my “stuff” is a big thing.  Going from a 4,000 square foot house to a 10′ by 12′ room in a friend’s apartment has been an adjustment both physically and mentally.  But more interestingly, its lead me to reflect on all the stuff I have and what it really means to me.  This Paul Graham essay on Stuff from 2007 also resonates with me.

    The Story of My Stuff

    In 2004 I purged everything I owned except for what would fit into the Land Rover I bought, and moved to downtown Seattle.  That felt great, and being free of stuff also kept my mind free of clutter as I embarked on the beginning of my career.  While I was making $9 as an hour, I had no money for buying anything except for the occasional professional clothing item or meal out with a friend.  If I was spending money, it was on experiences.

    By 2006 I was making good money, and dating the man who would become my husband.  I had moved into a penthouse studio apartment and wanted to impress him (duh) with my taste, as well as enjoy the freedom of not having to conform to the tastes of a roommate.  Ikea furniture, books I had been storing at my parent’s house, kitchen utensils, clothes, SHOES… the “stuff” began to accumulate, and soon the studio was feeling pretty cramped.

    We got married in the summer of 2007 and moved into his bachelor pad, which had even less personal space than my studio.  The cheap Ikea furniture had to go and once again my personal style was subordinated to someone else’s idea of “home” – which at the time was uber-sparse and uber-expensive (and uber-masculine) urban chic.  I got rid of my car too, which was wonderful at first but later felt stifling, in favor of his Audi.  In all, from a materialistic point of view my entire lifestyle was upgraded when our possessions became shared.  All I really brought my ever-growing book collection, and enormous collection of designer shoes and fabulous clothes.  For two newlyweds, this was a lot of stuff to manage.

    So what did we do?  We bought a bigger container for our stuff, in the form of a 4,000 square foot house in the suburbs.  What started out as curiousity about what was on the market turning into me finding our dream house.  We moved in on Halloween 2007, a mere 3 months after getting married.  Our stuff began to expand again… we left all the furniture at the Seattle condo (we were renting it out) and took on a bunch of furniture from my parent’s house that they had been saving for us, as well as piano, 8 person dining room table, and new couches, bar stools, etc.  AHHH!  We were in stuff acquisition mode, shopping every weekend for stuff to make our not-so-little nest feel like a home.

    And then the economy tanked.

    I wish I could say that we’d been frugal with our acquisitions, but with Kevin’s job at Microsoft and my investments flying high we weren’t too concerned.  I was working for a startup, making a startup income, but we were still a two income household without anyone depending on us.  My walk in closet was stocked with fabulous outfits, I wore labels, and we threw dinner parties almost every week.  While the market crashed we were in Las Vegas, treating my little sister to a memorable 21st birthday.  Looking back, that was probably one of the best ways we spent money that year.

    Traveling Sets Me Free of My Stuff

    On Friday, I flew from SFO to Seattle with my most important “stuff”: my black Kate Spade purse, MacBook pro, iPhone, engagement ring and necklace my husband gave me for Valentine’s Day this year, my passport and some cash.  I could have flown anywhere in the world and started my life from that moment in time with the items in that bag.  That’s a pretty empowering thought, and lead me to think that the lack of “stuff” might be part of why people find travel so liberating – it certainly is for me.

    What I’ve Learned: Buy Experiences, Not Things

    Enabling great experiences and memories, shared with people I enjoy, is the most important leisure activity in my life.  My rule of thumb now is that my “stuff” needs to enhance or enable experiences in some way, or it isn’t valid.  Additionally, the more expensive the item (both in terms of money and amount of trouble I go to keeping it) it better generate lasting and repeat value.

    Another important thing I’ve learned is that owning expensive things is great, but only if you use them.  Each time you use them, its a part of the experience of owning something.  If you know me, you know that I have a thing for expensive leather purses and shoes, and that’s because when I use/wear them the luxury and stylishness of the items creates an experience for me personally.  I love that.  It’s the same for things like owning silver and china, or crystal.  Use it or give it to someone who will.

    10 Things I Need to Travel the World

    1. Internet (Sprint mifi)
    2. iPhone & charger (Apple)
    3. MacBook pro & charger (Apple)
    4. jeans & a t-shirt
    5. expensive & indestructible purse (Kate Spade)
    6. expensive & durable/comfortable shoes (Tory Burch)
    7. all-in-one makeup kit (Lancome, buy it at the airport)
    8. passport
    9. cash (or access to cash via ATM card)
    10. my wonderful husband Kevin
  • Daily Life

    The Great SF Apartment Hunt Begins

    While not quite as epic as searching for an apartment in Manhattan, this is the first time in 3 years that I’ve been looking for a place to rent and this time it is in a city that I don’t know all that well. I’ve been reading up on neighborhoods, asking everyone’s opinion, driving around when I get a chance – all hoping to figure out the answer to the elusive question, “where do I want to live?”

    It took me a couple tries to get my location right while I was a renter in Seattle, so it would be nice not to go through the trial and error process again. I’ve been renting a room in a friend’s apartment in Potrero Hill for about six months now, but somehow renting a room just isn’t the same as having my own place. Fortunately, it also means that I’m not in a huge rush to find something – more focused on getting it right. I am driving my car down to San Francisco from Seattle early next week, so I need to find a place with parking (willing to pay extra). I’m debating a couple things:

    • studio vs. 1 bedroom
    • month-to-month or short-term lease vs. 1 year commitment
    • does being walking distance to work matter?
    • laundry in the unit?
    • secure garage?
    • could I survive without a dishwasher

    To Rent or To Swap?

    We have a house in Kirkland and a condo in Seattle, so if we’re able to find someone willing to swap with us that might be a viable (and money-saving) option.