Date Night with Santa Monica Place!

The holidays have arrived! That means lights, decorations, giant trees, hot cocoa, and with all the Christmas shopping a girls gotta do I chose Santa Monica place to try and tackle my list this weekend and ended with a date night at True Food Kitchen :)

G & I spent a ton of time at Nordstrom buying some gifts for our moms and aunts! (Do you guys want to see a gift guide?) We also found some super cute stuff at the Disney store & Bloomingdales of course - although some of it wasn’t gifts…:) There’s also a Free People & a Ted Baker so before we knew it it had been 4 hours!

The True Food in Santa Monica is my fave & it was perfectly festive and cozy out so Garrett and I enjoyed a wonderful evening of amazing food & drinks. I just love the holidays!

*this is a sponsored post

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. 


*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!

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


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.


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.