Christmas Parties & More Dates

Last week due to the horrible LA/Ventura County fires (you can donate/help here!) our school was closed so I had a few days off of work! It was nice to be able to stay home and spend the extra time with Luna cleaning and relaxing.

 

This weekend was also filled with Christmas festivities, we visited the LA Zoo Lights which were pretty cool! I felt that it could have been more elaborate but it's for a good cause and they had churros & hot chocolate! If you want something more inexpensive/casual and less crowded I definitely recommend Candy Cane Lane or any of those cool neighborhood lights you can walk through for free :) 

We also went to a fancy cocktail soiree at our friends' incredible Long Beach home. It was sooo much fun and pretty sure my side still hurts from laughing so much! There's just something magical about getting together with friends during the holidays and oh you know the magic of a good holiday cocktail :). It really put me in the holiday spirit leading into the last few days before winter break!

 I have linked my dress HERE!

 

 

 

 

29

I turned 29 last week, and I have to be completely honest and say that I really don't love my birthday. Don't get me wrong, my parents spoiled me and continue to do so - a tradition my husband obviously has taken up as well. 

But, for some reason (yes, I know i'm young) I get really anxious when my birthday is approaching and every so often it falls on Thanksgiving which I like because then I am distracted. However, this year for the first time in 3 years I was totally not busy and had to face my birthday on a normal weekday. I found myself feeling just slightlyyyy irritable leading up to it and really tried to remind myself that I learned so much in my 28th year of life. I have so much I still want to accomplish and I get lost in the thought of "Well, I just thought that by this age...." and it's a constant struggle to remind myself of Jeremiah 29:11 and that my "plan" would have never led me to my sweet sweet husband, my "plan" would have never led me to the life I have now, which I enjoy so much, and if I learned anything in 28 years on this planet - it's that you never end up where you thought you would.  

Once Friday, November 24th arrived I was pleasantly surprised to find that my anxiety began to fade and I embraced the fact that yes, I am one year older and no, I have not yet done that yet but I am surrounded by love, blessings, family, so SO much support and I cannot even begin to express how much joy I have in my life. 

Appreciating where I am now and respecting where I will be in the future, I am embracing my age and where I am in life.So, I am taking it as no mere coincidence that Jeremiah 29:11 is the verse I needed most leading into year 29 of my beautiful life on this earth! Thank you to everyone for the lovely wishes!

Mental Health

It's definitely been one of those last few weeks where I have had to sit down and literally take 5 (or 30) to catch my breath. I've had to start pretty much every morning with a little prayer asking for calm. This time of year is usually fairly busy for both my work life and personal life as there are so many graduations, weddings, holidays, birthdays, etc. In fact, I can't recall a May or a June where I had nothing going on. That's all fine and well, and I usually thrive off of being busy but these last few weeks have been different. I considered writing about this in the thick of it all earlier but the mere thought of it made me feel like puking. But now, in the spirit of being open and holding true to my reason for starting a blog, I just felt that I should share with you all.

I have had anxiety for the better part of my life, and found that taking the time to pray and reflect on what is really bothering me, basketball, working out, and having a good routine have helped me the most. Don't get me wrong, these aren't a cure but rather a way of managing stress, which causes me to have the worst kind of anxiety: the kind that manifests itself in my body. Well, the last couple weeks have been kind of chaotic with moving, finishing up the school year, and some family & health things that are (thank God) getting better. As much as I love putting things out in the open I am by nature a private person, and I have a hard time really being an open book about the things that affect me the deepest. I like to say that the optimist within me usually triumphs over the pessimist. It usually feels better to say "this too shall pass" rather than "of course this is happening to me" even though this month has been tough it is not going to define who I am as a human.

My anxiety does not make me a weak person, despite what I was led to believe as a youth. I wanted to share that remembering this constantly has helped me cope, even just slightly during the days when i. just. can't. I just wanted to put this out there, in the open space of the internet and share that while we may not all face the same mountains, we do face mountains all our own that feel insurmountable and can really cause us to lose our sense of self. Hold on to the things that make you feel steady, calm, and take it one step at a time. The hardest part of anxiety (for me) is the panic and the fear that you can't share your feelings with others, but believe me, you can - and you should. They might not always understand but take it from a reformed "bottle it up-er", it does more damage than it does good. 

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*this post was written in May of this year and I held onto it as a draft for quite some time. I am sharing this in the hopes that it opens the door for more discussion about the things that make us human. Thank you so much for stopping by!  

Seattle Seattle Seattle

We just took what has seemed to become our yearly trip to Seattle this past week. The weather was AMAZING (we seem to get lucky that way.) The majority of our trip was spent eating and drinking coffee of course, but we did manage to venture out to Bainbridge Island and Snoqualmie during our stay! I absolutely love Washington, the people are so nice and there really is nothing like being surrounded by trees. It was Valentine's day during our stay and the whole city seemed to be bursting with flowers, hearts, and lovers so that of course was wonderful to take in! :) We also found ourselves some cool new spots in Fremont and did some karaoke! I of course am biased but I would say that this is the perfect little vacation destination if you are a city lover like myself. 

I snapped a ton of pictures, enjoy! 

No ma'am

Anyone else a huge worry wart? I certainly am. I've lived the majority of my life not being able to let go of things I can't control. I think that it stems from both my culture and the fact that I am the oldest sibling and that's just the way that it worked out for me. But the last few years or so I have really begun to let go of things that I simply cannot change and have learned to walk away from situations that I feel are mine personally to fix. This has been such a process because I hate surprises and I cannot bear letting people down. I don't like the feeling of unrest you get with uncertainty. I have to say that now, finally, I feel that I am at a point in life where I catch myself saying "no" quite a lot more than I used to. And I have a confession to make: it feels good! I never imagined that things would pan out in a good fashion after saying no because frankly I rarely allowed myself to say, "no, sorry I can't" or "that's just not gonna work." I look back on things, projects, people, etc. that I should have just said no to and I truly think that while I didn't have the courage then I have it now and I am so so okay with that. :) I can say that I have said yes to things that have taken me out of my comfort zone and I have experienced profound growth in areas of my life that I never imagined. But the things I have grown the most from are the things that I genuinely felt I could be invested in. I still intend on saying yes to new experiences and adventures but I am making it a goal to say yes for me and not to please others - even if it's hard sometimes. Why am I sharing this? Because I think that all too often we tend to hide our imperfections and are ashamed of the things that make us human. Well, I am a human and while 23 year old me would have said "don't share this with people" 28 year old me is saying YES to me. :) 

End of Year Musings

Normally Christmas seems to take forever to get here but for some reason, it feels like Thanksgiving was JUST yesterday and it's crazy to think that it's already over! At the end of the year I truly like to reflect on what i've accomplished/didn't accomplish (sorry guitar!) and I kept coming up with things but what mostly stuck with me was how much change we've had this year! We moved out of the place where we both lived for over 20 years, I started a blog - it took my 3 years but I finally did it, I finally wrapped my masters program, and G jumped into the world of being an entrepreneur! Moving has been hard (I miss my parents often) but it's definitely put things into perspective. I now appreciate so much of what I thought I truly wouldn't miss. I have found myself lately just feeling incredibly lucky for what I have every. single. day. As with everything I try and do, I want to write to encourage others and if you find yourself doubting what you've accomplished this year - or if this year feels like every other year - or if you feel like it's been an amazing, stellar year; give yourself a nice big ol' high five/pat on the back. 2016 was truly a year of change and perspective, and what's more - it's not over yet and there is still time to make someone else's end of year wonderful. :) 

Finding Seasons

I am LOVING all of this foliage! I know, it's not as beautiful as Central Park or as crazy rainy as Seattle but this OC girl hasn't ever been around this many leaves! I love nature and I love hiking so this has certainly been a big plus for me. :) Not to mention I get to wear some pretty chunky sweaters lately! My fave! If you've never been out to Malibu Creek State Park in the winter it is so worth the trip for the quiet, calm, and beautiful scenery. :) 

Here are some photos from the last few weeks: (links to some of my outfits at the bottom)

Cardigan: Topshop sold out similar here and here. Shirt: Urban Outfitters . Jeans: Topshop. Hat: Hinge.

Blue knit sweater: sold out, similar here.

 

 

Thanksgiving & 28!

This year my 28th birthday and Thanksgiving were on the same day. I had the most relaxing week off of work (thank you educator-life!) and spent plenty of time with my friends and family! I hope you all enjoyed a relaxing, fun, food-filled time with your loved ones as well! I always love to see the traditions my friends have with their families (thank you instagram/snapchat!) We are going to decorate the tree soon, safe to say I'm officially in the Christmas spirit!

Quick Trip to Santa Barbara

The Mr. had two random days off this week (maybe because he worked 12 days straight last week :) ) so I was able take two days off myself and enjoy them with him in Santa Barbara! Funny enough, despite living close enough to visit often we rarely head out that way! 

We stopped in Carpinteria for breakfast at this place called Busy Bee Cafe, which is family owned and delicious! We spent some time on the beach and then headed to Santa Barbara for a little relaxation and shopping! 

Days off with my husband are my FAVORITE, especially when we get to eat some tasty food and take in some new scenery. :) 

 

 

Palm Springs, again!

We spent a lovely weekend in Palm Springs with a few friends for the Palm Springs Comic Con! It was a blast and we definitely weren't ready to come back to work! Despite not being a huge fan of the heat, I enjoy Palm Springs because we generally have slow mornings, have breakfast on the patio, hang by the pool, and just have a really relaxing time. It's definitely not a busy time at all. :) 

I highly suggest Thai Smile if you are in downtown Palm Springs at all, we went there twice it was so good! We grabbed some coffee at Ernest Coffee (they have Stumptown!) and Kings Highway at the Ace Hotel is also amazing of course. :) 

Always a good time in the desert. :)

Sunday in a Comfy Dress

This Sunday we went to the Malibu Farm Cafe and parked realllllyyyy far so we could walk and enjoy the views. I enjoy Malibu but I will say that Sunday's are crazy busy so if you are looking to ever go there, try and avoid the weekend. :) Today while I'm teaching I will most definitely be daydreaming about lattes on the pier with my hubby!

Dress: Zara. Sandals: Steve Madden

Dress: Zara. Sandals: Steve Madden

DIY Denim

I love thrifting Levi's and turning them into shorts when they're not long enough for me! 

I usually just trim them about 3 inches from the bottom of the pockets and shorten if I need to! You can use a razor, scissors, or a box cutter for distressing them. :) I found this Pinterest tutorial as well. 

Side note: If you have not tried Coffee Bean's Nitro Brew, you should! It's delicious. :)

Shoes: Nordstrom. 

Shoes: Nordstrom

60s

I normally stick to "quiet" colors and don't like super bright patterned things but when I saw this on sale at Zara I decided i'd mix it up a bit! I'm usually drawn to black, white, and stripes (I own about 100 striped shirts, dresses, and blouses) and less feminine attire. Anyway, I was out and about on a 90+ degree day and this was as comfy as could be for the weather/occasion! 

I got a ton of compliments on it so I guess the moral of the story is: step out of your comfort zone and you'll be surprised at the outcome :)

Romper: Zara. Shoes: Adidas. 

Romper: Zara. Shoes: Adidas. 

Downtown Day

This Sunday G and I spent some time in Downtown Los Angeles after I took some headshots for a client. There was barely any traffic and we got to walk everywhere since the streets were pretty empty! I genuinely enjoy walking around and really don't love driving so it's nice to just park and walk.

We sure love our adidas!

We sure love our adidas!

We stopped by Olvera street for a little bit of shopping (I love their huaraches!) and walked over to Little Tokyo to grab some pastries and shop some more. :) 

Hat: Brixton. Shirt: Old Navy. Shorts: Target. Shoes: Adidas. 

Hat: Brixton. Shirt: Old Navy. Shorts: Target. Shoes: Adidas. 

Overalls, always

I love Venice! Specifically Abbott Kinney! I love grabbing coffee and walking around all the little shops. There's a ton of art and fun things to do/see. It makes for the perfect day date! 

For a comfortable day of walking around and being in the sun I love overalls and my trusty Urban Outfitters hat. :) I purchased these overalls for less than 20 dollars at Target. Steal!

Overalls: Target. Shirt: Zara. Bag: similar here. Hat: Urban Outfitters, old. Sunglasses: Karen Walker.

Overalls: Target. Shirt: Zara. Bag: similar here. Hat: Urban Outfitters, old. Sunglasses: Karen Walker.

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Rockenwagner is one of my favorites here. Their cold brew, gluten free almond muffin, and salads are amazing!

Shirt: Obey. Hat: Pop Funko.

Shirt: Obey. Hat: Pop Funko.