It’s Fall, Y’all

It’s fall!…almost. I could not be more excited for the change in weather and scenery. Although southern California doesn’t change drastically during the fall season I still love all of the fall-time activities and traditions. This year I’m making a fall bucket list to make sure that I can get in all of my favorite fall activities before winter sets in! Read below for more deets…

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  1. Visit a pumpkin patch. I did this last year and had so much fun! Even if you don’t end up taking a pumpkin home, experiencing a pumpkin patch is still a favorite fall tradition of mine, especially when cider is served on the premises haha.
  2. Try out different fall-time drinks. Although Starbucks is not my favorite place to grab coffee (too many artificial ingredients in my opinion), I do love their pumpkin chai latte. My goal this year is to try different variations of fall drinks (apple cider, chai, pumpkin drinks) at different coffee shops around L.A.
  3. Spend an afternoon at the nearest bookstore or library. One of my favorite things to do in the colder months is visit the nearest bookstore or library and snuggle up for a few hours with a book.
  4. Host a movie/hot chocolate night! I love hosting movie nights especially with some close friends in tow. I would love to host a movie and hot chocolate night and watch some holiday-themed movies when November and December roll around.
  5. Attend a hot yoga class. This is one of my favorite activities when it starts to turn cold. My favorite hot yoga courses are the candelit courses taught at CorePower.
  6. Go to the beach! This might seem odd but going to the beach in the fall when the temps cool down is one of my favorite things. It would be so much fun to bring a blanket and picnic to the beach in the early evening and watch the sun go down.

 

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My Favorite Summertime Activities

Today marks the first day of September and I could not be more excited for the change in season. I absolutely love summer but the recent heat wave that we’ve been experiencing in SoCal has me longing for crisp fall days. Because summer is coming to a close, I wanted to share some of my favorite memories from the past few months. This summer has been one for the books and I’m so lucky that I was able to soak up the season in beautiful Southern California.

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  1. Checking out coffee shops. Although I spend the majority of my time during the summer working as an orientation counselor for my college, when I do have free time, I love to hop off campus and explore different coffee shops. I’ve compiled quite the list of my favorite almond milk lattes (my go-to drink) in both Los Angeles and Orange County. I also love having coffee shops dates with friends and catch up over some caffeinated goodness.
  2. Schedule beach days. Santa Monica is an easy drive from my school so I always love escaping to the coast and indulging in a beach day. Although Santa Monica Beach is typically super crowded, there have been days here and there were there isn’t a single soul on the beach. I love smelling the salty air and feeling the soft sand on my feet.
  3. Reading/relaxing inside. The older I get, the more I appreciate the quiet time that I have where I can just be on my own. I recently invested in an oil diffuser and it has completely changed my world. One of my new favorite activities, especially on those warm summer days, is to read a book/magazine and turn on my oil diffuser.
  4. Riding my back/finding alternate modes of transportation. Los Angeles is not the most walkable city but I still do enjoy walking as much as I can in the city. When I go back home on the weekends, I also love taking my bike out and exploring my neighborhood.
  5. Having a spa day. Just like I mentioned in #3, I love taking the time for myself during the summer. This past summer, I’ve had a couple spa days where I’ll do my nails, put on a face mask, and just relax for a few hours. It’s amazing what a little time to yourself can do for your mood and perspective. 🙂

 

The August Edit

How is it already the end of August? This month is just flying by and I can’t believe that my junior year of college is quickly approaching. Although this summer has been great, I’m  really looking forward to fall. Bring on all of the cozy sweaters, boots and pumpkin everything! Today I wanted to share some things that I’ve been loving on recently. Have a great rest of your weekend!

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  1. Adidas “Superstars”: I told myself that I wouldn’t hop onto the Adidas bandwagon since everyone has them. I’m not the kind of person who goes along with every trend (still not a fan of crop tops) but when I saw the Superstars in pink, I caved in and bought them. I was surprised to see how comfortable they are and how they can add a little extra fun to an otherwise plain outfit.
  2. Fresh Sugar Lip Balm in “Rose”: I have super dry lips so I’ve been on the hunt for a lip product that would keep my lips hydrated while also adding some color. Although the “Rose” shade is not very pigmented, it is so moisturizing and provides just the right amount of color.
  3. Urban Outfitters “Emma” Sunglasses: I’ve always been a big fan of Karen Walker sunglasses but I didn’t want to fork over a couple hundred dollars for sunglasses. Urban Outfitters has a great dupe that comes in a variety of colors and are a great price.
  4. Nars “Orgasm” Blush and “Laguna” Bronzer: I wanted to try out a new blush and bronzer and picked up this duo when I was checking out of Sephora the other day. I love how easy both of the products are to blend and that they provide just the right amount of color against my pale cheeks.
  5. Everyone Essential Oil Diffuser: An oil diffuser has been on my wishlist for a while but I didn’t want my first one to be super expensive in case I ended up not really liking it. I found the Everyone oil diffuser at Target for $30 and am really happy with it so far! I picked up some essential oils from Whole Foods and have loved experimenting with different scents. Everytime someone comes into my room at school they instantly notice how wonderful the scents smell. Definitely a favorite this month!

What are you loving this month?! Is anyone else super excited for fall? 

Life Lately

Life has been good recently! I’m having a great summer so far by working a really rigorous but rewarding job while also meeting some amazing people along the way. The past few weekends I’ve really been savoring my time off and am looking forward to another great weekend in Los Angeles. I went home this past weekend with my boyfriend and we had the best time grabbing coffee at some of our local favorites, taking my dog for long walks, and enjoying the beautiful (and warm) weather we’ve been experiencing in SoCal recently. We even ventured out to Laguna Beach (one of my fave places) on Sunday for a little r&r.

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Happy

For some reason, I’ve been feeling really, really happy recently! I’m typically a very happy person in general but I’ve just been feeling extra invigorated within the past few weeks. I think it might be because of the positive attitude that I’ve attempted to adopt into all aspects of my life. I try to stay positive not only in myself and my goals but also in the relationships I share with others; I want to spread my joy to those around me, which I think is apparent in the job I currently have as an orientation counselor to incoming freshmen students.  Today I wanted to share some of my tips for keeping the vibes positive and making the most out of every day. Check out some of my tips below!

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  1. Drink a big glass of water the second you wake and keep this up for the rest of the day. This is the best way for me to wake up naturally and I notice an amazing difference in my skin and in my mood when I drink more water.
  2. Wear what you want! I know this sounds pretty obvious but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worn clothes that I think made me look more presentable but I was actually very uncomfortable. Believe it or not, you can find comfy clothes that still look professional (for my working girls out there!) and this has been one of the best things to keep me feeling confident and positive all day long.
  3. Buy flowers for yourself. One of my favorite things to do on the weekends is to go to my local grocery (typically TJ’s) and pick up a bouquet of flowers for myself. My favorite way to decorate my room is with a sweet-smelling bunch of sunflowers!
  4. Treat yo self. Sometimes the best thing you can do is take a few hours off during your day or week and treat yourself to a cup of joe at your favorite coffee shop, get a massage, or scope out a new nail salon in your neighborhood. Investing in little luxuries is a well-deserved break from the craziness of everyday life.
  5. Find another mode of transportation. I absolutely love my car but I always like to switch things up and find other ways of getting around town. I have a beach cruiser that I love to ride around my neighborhood. Another favorite way of getting around is by walking, which is sometimes a much-needed way of getting some fresh air and exercise.
  6. Put your phone on airplane mode. I always put my phone on airplane mode when I go to bed but keep it that way for at least an hour in the morning after I wake up. I find that this helps me avoid going on my phone first thing when I wake up in the morning and keeps me focused on my plans for the day. I also tend to feel more positive when I’m not glued to my phone and am taking in the world around me instead.

What are some of your tips for staying positive/energized throughout the day? How do you maintain this positivity? Let me know! 

My Best Friend Came to Visit!

I’m writing this blog post while lounging in my room in my robe and p.j.’s,  listening to John Mayer, and winding down after a super fun and fulfilling day…does it get much better? I don’t think so! I wanted to share some photos from this past weekend when one of my best friends from high school came to visit. It’s always such a treat to have friends from home come to Los Angeles to spend time with me, especially during the summer months when I have a little bit more time on my hands. My bestie, Tenny, has only been to L.A. a handful of times so we wanted to make our short time together as memorable as possible. In less than 24 hours we had two amazing meals, walked all around Beverly Hills, and even attended a party at my college. There was no shortage of fun that weekend! Also –  keep your eyes peeled for a new series on my blog or even a new blog (!) that me and Tenny collaborate on about our experiences with attending college in two different cities.

On Saturday afternoon around 1 or 2 p.m., Tenny arrived at my dorm. She unpacked her stuff and tidied up before we headed out for the day. The two of us then took an uber to Rodeo Drive and spent the next few hours just walking up and down the street and popping into stores every so often. It was so fun to be a tourist in my own town! Tenny and I are both fashion lovers so we had a great time seeing all of the designer stores and window shopping. That particular day was a scorcher in L.A. so me and Tenny decided to take a little pit stop to grab some iced coffee and an espresso at a small cafe on Rodeo. We ended up finding 208 RODEO, which had amazing looking food as well as drinks! The people watching was also great.

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After chatting for about an hour, we walked a little bit further around Rodeo and in the surrounding area. Along the way to the cafe, Tenny and I came across an amazing art gallery that was filled to the brim with so many famous artists. My art history-loving heart was oh-so-happy. All of the walking helped me work up quite an appetite so we meandered over to a restaurant that had been on my radar – Il Pastaio. The food and the atmosphere brought me right back to my time in Tuscany a few summers ago. Tenny and I split the calamari and I had the basil and tomato spaghetti. It was insanely good!

With our bellies full, we still found a way to make room for gelato, which we found at a darling little cafe named Amorino. Although the rose design of the gelato was pretty impressive, I thought the gelato was a little overrated. Maybe it’s because the gelato in Italy is just on another level!

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After gelato we took an uber back to my dorm and relaxed for the next few hours with Gossip Girl and a little dance party. We somehow garnered the motivation to go to a party that some friends were hosting that night, which ended up being super fun!

The next morning we slept in and then made our way to the darling Cafe Chez Marie, located in Westwood. The cafe was almost completely empty when we got there, which was so nice because we had the entire back patio to ourselves! I ordered the classic scramble with toast and potatoes and it was so good. I would definitely recommend this little cafe for a filling and super pleasant brunch.

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All in all, I had the most amazing weekend with my bestie in La La Land! We’re already planning our next girl’s weekend – have any recommendations?

Embracing Authenticity

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Hi loves! Get ready for a long post. This topic is really hitting close to home right now. Today I wanted to talk about something that I’ve been struggling with recently, which is along the lines of being true to myself and embracing my identity. Being in college has been a bumpy road and now that I just completed my sophomore year, I wanted to reflect a little bit on how college has shaped me thus far. I am a self-proclaimed grandma and prefer to sit inside and watch a movie as opposed to party all night any day. I think a large reason why I’m not attracted to the party scene in college is because of my friend group growing in high school and the type of influences that I’ve had throughout my life. I completely respect my friends who enjoy drinking and partying, but it’s just not the right thing for me. And for some reason this is such a hard topic to talk about

While some people may have gone to parties/been exposed to alcohol quite a bit in high school, my high school was the opposute. I went to the most amazing arts high school where I was able to meet students who also had a passion for the arts. I studied both dance and creative writing at my high school; because of my rigorous arts curriculum and heavy academic schedule, I never had the time to go to parties on weeknights or even on weekends. The friends that I had were all very serious about their art form/academic life and therefore never spent any time engaging in the party scene.

Upon coming to college, I really struggled to develop a new social group, especially because for the past 6 years, I had made such deep bonds with other students at my high school. College is also a completely different playing field in terms of partying. College parties can sometimes have hundreds of people and can easily spiral out of control. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – everyone has the right to do whatever they chose, but drinking/partying is just not right for me.

What I’ve discovered in the past two years of college is that finding open, authentic individuals as friends is truly rare. I cherish the friends that I have, whether they be close friends or people I don’t see very often. My parents are my very best friends and they remind me on a daily basis how important it is for me to stay true to myself. Although I sometimes feel pressure to go to a party for the sake of exploring outside my comfort zone, I just choose not to. In college especially, there is so much pressure to do what everyone else is doing. And if you’re not going out, you’re seen as a loner or as anti-social, two very inaccurate descriptors of who I am as a person.

Basically I felt the need to write a post about authenticity because this blog is all about my journey during my college years and beyond. I also find that the more I write about something that’s bothering me, the better I am at understanding what I’m going through. Writing about my feelings is so, so good for my soul. Hopefully journalism remains a future career prospect. 😉 Anyway, I hope that for some of you who are struggling with a similar issue that this post brought you some insight. I am always looking to meet others who share a passion for developing relationships outside of an environment that involves alcohol and partying.