New thing #24: Spontaneous Road Trip


Today was my birthday, and besides for taking the day off work and having dinner with my mom and brother, I had no plans for the day. I’ve been so busy that I didn’t think much about what to do on my actual birthday. This is very unlike me. As evidenced by this blog, I’m a planner. But as I try to remind myself often, sometimes it’s better not to have a plan.

I was so exhausted from yesterday (not to mention from this whole month) that I slept in till noon and didn’t feel much like doing anything. When I finally managed to drag my ass out of bed, I knew I had to get it together enough to pick a new thing. I lazed around the house, took my time getting ready, and before I knew it the day was half over. I thought, just get in your car, and see where it takes you. After all, I did put on my new things list “something spontaneous,” because I definitely could use the practice.

As my car headed towards Clayton, CA, I thought how nice it was just to drive. I spend a lot of time in the car every day on my commute, but driving feels a lot less like a chore when you have nowhere to be. So I decided to just keep driving.

For any good road trip— even short, impulsive ones— you need the following: good music (Road Trippin’ Radio on Pandora), snacks (stopped at CVS to pick some up), and a scenic road (luckily I was headed in the right direction). I started driving down Marsh Creek Road, and just kept going. I didn’t make any turns, I drove straight ahead till I felt like turning around. It was a perfect Spring day for it too. 75 degrees, miles of green hills, blooming poppies, and every kind of animal. I saw the typical ones for this area: horses, sheep, cows, birds, squirrels, etc. I also saw a rabbit, a deer, and even a tarantula, yikes!

After that I went home for some dinner, cupcakes, and a movie with Mom and Mason. Check out the card Mason got me (see in the pic below), so perfect. All in all, a lovely birthday.




New thing #23: The Cliff House, Sutro Baths, and TATTOOS!


Today was one long, great day.

Ria, Veronica, Domi and I started the morning with brunch at the Cliff House in San Francisco. I’ve never been to this local landmark but have always wanted to go. It has a long and detailed history that I won’t include here, but I will say that the first Cliff House (it has been renovated multiple times over the years), opened in 1863.

I felt a little spoiled going to two meals in a row at fancy restaurants on the water, but oh well, what are you gonna do? It’s a $50 flat rate for brunch, where you get unlimited food and (more importantly) champagne. We lost count of our champagne refills at some point… probably around the same time we started uncontrollably laughing and didn’t stop till we left. There were many awesome moments at that meal, one of them being when the live harpist played happy birthday for me.

Right next to the Cliff House are the Sutro Bath ruins, which we were able to walk down to and look around. The Sutro Baths was the world’s largest indoor swimming establishment that opened in 1896. Shortly after closing due to high maintenance costs, the building was abandoned and then burned down in 1966. All that’s left today are the “ruins”, which consists of concrete walls, staircases, passageways, and caves. I loved it here! Not only was it beautiful, I have so much fun exploring places like this. I could have spent all day there, but we were in a hurry to get to our next appointment…


Yes, I got my first tattoo. This is a big deal for me because for most of my life I have had zero interest in getting one. It’s not so much the pain that deterred me, but I couldn’t imagine wanting anything on my body forever. I just never felt like the tattoo type.

This changed last year, when my four best friends (who all have tattoos already) and I decided to celebrate 20 years of being friends by going on a trip, and getting commemorative tattoos. This is the first tattoo I could ever imagine getting. I love those four girls to the ends of the earth, and I know that even if we ever somehow drift apart, I would never regret a tattoo designed with them in mind.

Our “friendiversary”  trip unfortunately has been postponed, but 3 out of 5 of us did get our tattoos today (Roxanne and Katie, your turn next!). We had tossed around a few ideas, and settled on a star. It was simple, which mostly appealed to me, and it has five points and there are five of us. After more discussion though, the ideas got more complicated and we acknowledged that we didn’t all want the same thing. I wanted to stick with the simple star idea, and Ria and Veronica went with compass designs.

Ria’s friend Earl was our tattoo artist today. He was cool, and didn’t make me feel lame for wanting something small, but he did convince me to do the star a tad bigger (I wanted it really, really small). We played around with the idea of coloring it in, but once he put on the outline, I really liked it that way. It’s perfectly suited to my simple tattoo tastes.

I went first, and I was nervous as soon as I sat on the table. There was really no need though, because it literally took two minutes. It hurt, but it wasn’t that bad. Not even close to the bikini wax pain. And it made me happy to see how happy my friends were that I was actually getting a tattoo. You should have seen their faces. I’m almost sure it was two of the best minutes of their lives.

Veronica went next, who got a compass on her ankle, then Ria, who also got a compass with some roses and a quote from Peter Pan on her back. My tattoo is boring compared theirs, but I love it. I felt proud when Earl admitted that although the others were more detailed, that he was the most nervous to do mine. Perfectly straight lines are not easy to get right.

We were at the tattoo place for a total of 6 hours. I’m exhausted and I can’t wait to go to bed- wake up on my official 31st birthday, and have a relaxing day off work. And I’m positive that I will spend a significant amount of time tomorrow looking down at my new star.

I can’t believe I got a tattoo!

New thing #22: Skates on the Bay & Treasure Island

Made with Repix (

For my annual Machado family birthday dinner, we went to Skates on the Bay in Berkeley. I have wanted to try this place for years, and there is no better time than a birthday to try a new restaurant. I always feel guilty picking an expensive place, but my family is good about insisting that I shouldn’t.

I’m a sucker for any place near the water, and this one is so far out on the water that it felt like we were eating on a boat. I had the Filet Medallions, Oscar Style (steak topped with crab, asparagus, potatoes, and béarnaise sauce… pretty much all my favorite foods on one plate), and it was sooooo gooood.

After dinner, Dad drove me, Mason, and Grandma to Treasure Island to look at the city view. And guess what? I’ve never been to Treasure Island! It was a gorgeous view, and it was also freezing cold, so we only stayed a few minutes.

Thanks fam for another awesome birthday dinner! I promise that next year we’re going dirt-cheap. Burgers and beer all the way.

New thing #21: Facial

IMG_5089Last weekend my friend Debbie took me out for an early birthday dinner (we tried a NEW restaurant too), and she gave me a gift card for a facial at Trio Skincare, where she works. I’ve never had a facial, so it was a perfect new thing to add to the list.

I had the Enzyme Facial, which is designed to eliminate bacteria and lift away dead skin cells to smooth and polish skin.

I usually feel a little weird about strangers touching me, which is probably why I’ve never done this (I’ve never had a massage either), but my esthetician Roxanne put me at ease right away. Plus, after the bikini wax, there’s no sense in modesty anymore.

I’ve noticed that doing all these new things has made me more chatty with people I don’t know. I told Roxanne all about my new stuff. I told her about all the goofy messages I’m getting on I talked about my past relationships, and even told her about my current crush (not a guy). Who knows, it could have been something in the “enzymes” opening my pores as well as my mouth, but I think it’s the new things project.

Thanks Debbie for an awesome birthday present!

New thing #20: Ancestry DNA


As I’ll reiterate from one of my random “About Me” facts, I have been researching my family history on and off for a couple years. I started just for fun on a trial membership to, and the more I learned and the longer my family tree got, the more it became like solving a mystery or going on a treasure hunt. You gather facts, search for clues, make discoveries, and figure out how you are connected to all these people you never even knew existed. It floored me the first time I really saw on paper how many people are a part of my own makeup, however small that part may be.

My research has been on hold ever since I canceled my membership to (it’s too damn expensive), but I’ve been toying with the idea of buying their DNA testing kit for a long time. Today, I finally gave in and ordered it.

When you receive the kit in the mail, all you have to do is follow the instructions on how to send back a saliva sample, then within 6-8 weeks, your DNA test can tell you:

– Exactly what ethnicities you are. “AncestryDNA generates an estimate of your ethnicity as part of your personalized results page. Explore your results on a colorful, interactive map. View pie charts, graphs and explanations that can give you a glimpse into the story of your ancestors.”

– If you have relatives you may not even know. “Your DNA results include an ongoing list of DNA member matches with real-time updates, leading you to new relatives, ancestors and answers to your family story.”

I can’t wait to get the test and see the results.

Honorable mention new things:

– Had lunch with a co-worker I’ve never had lunch with, at a place I’ve never been to. It’s amazing what getting away from your everyday work routine will do for the rest of your day. Note to self: at least once a day… step far away from the cubical.

– Saw a new movie: opening night of Divergent. I wasn’t impressed, and no one who read the books will be either, or anyone who likes a good movie for that matter. Thumbs down!

New thing #19: Bikini Wax

My first bikini wax story in GIFs. Enjoy!


I’ve never had ANYTHING waxed before, not even my eyebrows!








I know, crazy right? I don’t know why. Maybe because my tweezers and razor work just fine.

Or maybe it’s because I’m a little scared.











When I arrived at my Brazilian Wax appointment, I told the lady I was a waxing virgin, and she said,

“Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as they say.”








She had a nice, soothing way about her, so I believed her.







But then I had to undress from the waist down with her in the room.









I know she sees this every day, but I’m feeling kinda awkward…







but I lay on the table and put my brave face on!









She puts the HOT! wax on…











Then, with no warning, the first RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP!










Okay, just breathe, it wasn’t that bad… RIIIIIPPPPPPPP…


























After about 3-5 minutes of ripping (I didn’t cry/scream/Kelly Clarkson her, but I did feel my knees shaking),

she said, “Okay, we’re done…”









“…with the front, are you ready for the backside?”







“Are you sure? That’s only a full bikini wax, for a Brazilian we have to…”








“Would you like to book your next appointment now?”











And if you think I’m the only wimp… check these out…

– Sherri Shepard gets her first bikini wax on The View

– Crystal’s first Brazilian

– Wanda Sykes- Waxed

New thing #18: New Gym Routine

IMG_5056This new things project has kept me busy this month, and consequently has kept me out of the gym. I won’t pretend like otherwise I’m a super committed gym rat or anything, but when I do go, I love it. It feels good to move around, sweat a little, and plug into my kick-ass workout playlist.

I also love my routine at the gym. So much so, that I even have specific machines picked out as favorites. And I don’t mean specific kinds of machines, I mean specific machines. The elliptical by the window with the best TV view. The treadmill in the third row under the fan. The upstairs ab tower, not the one downstairs in the weight room, etc. I do about 40 minutes of interval cardio, then about 20-30 minutes of various weight machines and ab exercises. I do know that’s a good thing to switch up your workouts, I’m just not that great at it. So tonight, I decided to try all new machines and new exercises.

Favorite new cardio machine: The Stair Climber

Favorite new resistance bands: The Kinesis Wall

Biggest lesson learned: You look like a weirdo taking selfies at the gym. But if it’s for your blog, you gotta do whatcha’ gotta do.