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.

Loving Wholeheartedly

FESE9297I have seen so much negativity recently, from things I notice around my school’s campus to what I witness in the news on a daily basis. I see people mistreating their friends, their co-workers, and even complete strangers all the time. It is so disheartening to see how poorly some people treat their peers especially because 99% of the time you don’t know what kind of a battle someone is facing. My friend and I were catching up over breakfast yesterday and she was telling me about all of the gossip she’s been hearing recently about one of her close friends, from other close friends of hers. If you can’t trust your close friends, who can you trust?

I had the best example of kindness growing up. Both of my parents are very affectionate people who would do anything for the people they love. I am so thankful to also have a close-knit group of friends who all have such a positive influence on my life. Being kind is not difficult and does not take any more energy than being negative does. I felt the need to make this blog post because I feel like kindness is something that everyone could improve upon. I try to bring kindness and love everywhere I go, even the places in which I am disrespected or not treated fairly. So please, let’s just all be kind to one another!

Let’s love wholeheartedly. 

May Playlist

How is it already the second to last week of May?! This year is just speeding by and before I know it, I’ll be a junior in college! What?! I’m in the midst of preparing for final exams and essays over the next few weeks so I’m trying to keep a positive attitude, which has been aided by the absolutely beautiful weather we’ve been experiencing over the past few days. I also was able to zip down to my hometown from Friday-Sunday to spend some quality time with my older sister (hey Caroline!) before she graduates with her Master’s degree this June! Anywayyyy, my saving grace during finals week (besides working out and lots of coffee) is a good playlist. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite tunes that a perfect for a good study sesh and some good-vibes songs when you need some pep in your step!

Study Sesh

*How Would You Feel by Ed Sheeran

*Pretty Words by Crissi Cochrane

*In the Blood by John Mayer

*XO by John Mayer

*Will I Ever See You Again by Makana

*Under the Umbrella by Andrew James

*I Need A Forest Fire by James Blake + Bon Over

Pep In My Step

*Still Falling for You by Ellie Goulding

*Sunshine by The Knocks

*Light by San Holo

*Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers + Coldplay

*Runaway by Galantis

*Rise Up by Andra Day

*Barcelona by Ed Sheeran

Life Lately

Hi loves! I can’t believe that we’ve already reached the middle of May! I love the month of May because I can almost taste summer! The weather in L.A. has been really weird recently – think lots of super chilly temps at night and gloomy mornings. This past weekend I took a long-awaited break and spent some time catching up on Friends and catching up with friends and family. I wanted to share a life lately post because I’ve had a lot of fun activities over the past few weeks. As finals and the end of the school year approaches, it’s always nice to look back on some great memories from the past few months and reflect on my second year of college!

We finally got back some of the photos from my sorority’s photoshoot in Santa Monica a few weeks back! I absolutely loved the way that they turned out because they perfectly capture the vibe of our house – happy and carefree. We all joked that we looked like we were taking engagement photos because we were on the beach and all wearing white! 🙂

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^This is my little! Is she not the cutest human ever?! 

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My roommate and I from freshman orientation finally got around to our long overdue brunch! We had a delicious meal at this French bakery in Beverly Hills. This girl has the greatest sense of humor – she had me laughing until my stomach hurt!

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^There was a Blue Bottle Coffee right across the street from where we were eating so of course I had to stop in! I’ve heard so many good things and it definitely lived up to the hype! 

Last Sunday was my sorority’s formal event, Diamond Ball. It’s always so fun to see everyone get dressed up and re-live our high school prom days! I had the best time with my boyfriend Wilson, who was so patient when I made him take photos haha! If you can believe it, these photos were taken right outside my dorm!

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^He’s always cracking me up! 

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^If you can believe it, I snagged my dress from a consignment store! It’s by the brand Milly, which is one of my favorite designers. May I almost mention that it was less than $30?! Still not over that, lol! 

 

Spring Picks

I’ve been on a major shopping kick lately, most likely because of the warmer weather and therefore more opportunities to wear skirts, dresses, and shorts! I have a Francesca’s in my local neighborhood, both at home and at school, and they have quickly become my go-to for cute, affordable clothes. I pop into their store at least once a month and always find something that I want to take home. Also, they’re always having sales so that’s a huge plus. I hopped into their store this morning and found two super cute things, but trust me, I wanted so much more! If you’re in need of a dress for a graduation, bridal shower, wedding, etc., Francesca’s is your one-stop shop. Today I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites from their site. Happy shopping!

1. Helena One Shoulder Floral Maxi ($48): I saw this one-shoulder maxi dress in the store and it is so gorgeous. Paired with a clutch and a tan pair of sandals and you’re ready for any garden party this spring and summer! I’m kind of kicking myself for not picking it up.

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2. Serena Floral Maxi ($54): Wrap dresses are so versatile and look flattering on lots of different body types. I especially love the floral print of this particular dress and the length.

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3. Caylee Lace Shift ($48): I picked this dress up today and I seriously cannot get over how cute it is. It fits TTS and is perfect for any occasion. I can’t wait to wear it for my sister’s graduation in June!

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4. Sophia Wrap Top ($38): I’ve seen this wrap top everywhere but Francesca’s offers the most affordable option! I love the voluminous style and can see this paired with skinny jeans.

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5. Adi Scalloped Lace Wrap ($44): This lace kimono is downright dreamy. This would look gorgeous with just about anything – from jeans and a basic tee to a summery dress.

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6. Metallic Rhinestone Sandal ($25): These rhinestone sandals can be worn tons of different ways. I love the lighter, blue/gray color.

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Life Lately

Hi! It’s been a crazy April around here with winter quarter ending, spring break, and then the beginning of spring quarter. Spring quarter is my favorite quarter of the year because it means summer is near and the days are longer and brighter. I also love nothing more than warm temperatures coupled with a comfortable breeze. Don’t get me wrong – I love summer – but L.A. can sometimes be ungodly during the summer months. I have a really exciting summer ahead of me. Although I won’t be doing any big traveling this summer, I’m looking forward to immersing myself in a new job and making new friends along the way. Now, onto what’s been going on in life recently.

1. Coffee dates with my favorite guy. In my opinion, there’s nothing better than long walks around our school’s neighborhood, chatting with this guy, and an iced latte in hand. This picture was taken at one of my favorite coffee places in the L.A. area – Intellegista!

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2. My best friend just finished up with school for the year and I can’t wait for her to come visit me up at school this summer! She’ll be visiting over the weekend a couple times this summer and I already see lots of brunch and shopping in our future!

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3. I went home last weekend and was greeted by some really gorgeous weather. Around summertime, we also get some pretty amazing sunsets.

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4. Frolicking around Santa Monica made for a blissful beginning to my weekend. Last night, a bunch of my sorority sisters and I went down to the  Santa Monica Pier and had a photoshoot! It was so fun and a great bonding experience. Santa Monica at sundown is also pretty magical.

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P.S. Is this not the most amazing bougainvillea you’ve ever seen?! I shot this right outside of the restaurant, Ivy At the Shore. I’m definitely adding it to my L.A. bucket list!