Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts


In the last few days of 2019, I spent most of my waking hours lost in thought. In between fun outings that included a day trip up into the snow covered San Bernardino mountains, dancing with my in-laws at an outdoor concert, and generally enjoying the stasis between Christmas and New Years, I couldn't help but reflect on the decade that shaped my life.

Here are some quick highlights:

2010: I graduated with a BA in Human Development from Cal State San Marcos
          (First in my family to attend college)

2011: I moved in with my boyfriend of a few years and he proposed during a birthday trip in Las Vegas
          (I had no intentions of ever getting married after my parents divorced)

2013: We got married and bought our first condo
          (We ultimately sold the condo, a regret we now have. It could have served as extra income)

2016: I quit my job of 6 years without any real plan
          (The anxiety was too much, but I miss working with the kids)

2019: Nate started a business, a dream he's had since he was a teen
          (A huge risk, and only time will tell what happens next)

In between the highlights, there were plenty of lows as well. Even in looking at my list now, it seems rather lackluster on the page. So much of life is routine, and milestones become rare as you move along in adulthood. All we can hope for is to keep advancing, improving, and evolving. Time has a mysterious way of propelling us forward, even when we feel stuck. I have felt stuck more often than not, but something I've definitely learned in the last decade is we are never truly standing still. Life goes on.

I don't have any sweeping changes in mind for 2020. I'm just not giving into the pressure. Every January we are inundated with articles and ads about losing weight and getting fit, creating positive habits in our daily routines, drinking more water, setting new goals. Realistically, we should be doing these things year-round, constantly re-evaluating. So what is it about a new year that makes us want to do and be better versions of ourselves? Psychologically speaking, I think it's all about the perception of beginning a new year with a blank slate, starting over on January 1. It's a powerful force, one that fills us with hope and promise. Even if you feel like you're doing well in your life, there's always room for improvement. If you're not content and had a tough year, the wanting of transformation is even stronger. I get it, I really do. I'm all for making positive changes, and I do believe that we have the power to change what we want to. The problem I have is that in the past, I focused on trying to reinvent myself. "Oh if I do x, y, and z, then I'll finally be successful and happy!" Instead of improving myself, I really just started turning away from myself - trying to act in ways that weren't me. Looking back, I think it actually hurt me. I want to become more of myself, not less. I want to be proud of the person I see in the mirror.

As for this blog, I'd really just like more interaction with you. It's always been my favorite part about this community, but I'll admit that I haven't been as engaged as I used to be and I'd like to correct that. I'll begin by replying to every single comment I receive, something I neglected to do last year. If there's ever anything I can improve on, don't hesitate to let me know. I spend a lot of my days alone, and hearing from you always brightens my outlook and helps me feel less lonely. I hope this year is wonderful for all of us.

One week has already gone by in 2020. What will the rest hold?


Well hello there!

Listen, I have to be honest. I didn't mean to neglect my blog for almost a month! I had every intention of finishing out 2019 strong, but every time I went to edit some photos or attempted to write, my brain shut off and I found something else to do. I feel guilty, but I really wanted to enjoy the last few weeks of the decade with family and I'm so grateful that I was able to do that. I hope you were able to as well.

Before I move on to a new decade and a new year, I always like to look back on my favorite posts from the previous one. Although I didn't post as frequently in 2019, I did feel good about the content I created. I often struggled with what direction to go in, and that was frustrating, but ultimately I did the best I could. It seems that my readers like a mixture of things that include outfits, beauty products, and lifestyle posts so definitely expect to see more of that in 2020! I have quite a lot to say and will catch you up on my plans, but for today, I'm keeping it short! Here are my favorite (and from my analytics, yours too) from 2019.

Favorite Outfits: From an orange wrap to a cobalt blue beauty, dresses were my go-to in 2019! Don't count out an easy sweater and jeans combo though.

Beauty: Last year, I mostly stuck with products I've used for a long time. But I also fell in love with eyelash extensions and the niche brand The Ouai.

Favorite lifestyle posts: I loved the trips I took in 2019, especially our road trip across the western states during the Summer.

Thank you all so much for stopping by, reading, and commenting. I appreciate your support more than I can say. It means so much to me. 2019 was a great year, but I'm even more excited for the possibilities that 2020 holds. Happy New year!


Can you believe that Christmas is one week away? I sure can't! The holidays fly by, and with each passing year I vow that I won't procrastinate on buying gifts, sending out cards, and figuring out what I'm going to wear to a couple events. I did pretty well this time, aside from mailing out any cards (oops) but I'll give myself a pass!

In lieu of my usual monthly edit, I decided to instead do a holiday edit. I know this is a bit last minute, but I wanted to share with you a couple outfit ideas that you most likely already have in your closet, along with some other things I like to enjoy in December.

Christmas in Temecula, CA

Outfit ideas: I keep seeing a lot of sparkle as outfit inspiration, and I agree that sequins are always fun for the holidays. But let's face it, not all of us are going to any fancy celebrations. If I showed up to my in laws decked in glitter they'd assume I had too much spiked eggnog already. Instead, I favor a more subdued outfit that's still pretty and polished.

Casual look: A cozy chic sweater, my favorite comfortable jeans, and these gorgeous cognac booties I scored on major sale!
(sold out Madewell booties but I'll keep checking)

Dressed up: Instead of something shiny, I think a little black dress is perfect for a holiday party. You can always add some fun statement earrings to elevate the look even more. Nate's birthday is December 30th and this is what I plan on wearing for dinner at our favorite spot. Add tights and ankle boots if you live in a colder climate! This dress also comes in other colors if you want to stand out a bit more. It's a beautiful classic piece to have in your wardrobe. It's true to size.

Beauty: When it comes to beauty in December, glowing skin comes to mind. You can refer back to my post from last year since my philosophy (and many of the products I used then) haven't changed much. I will say that I'm not going for a dark red lip this time around because Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk collection has me permanently hooked! I'm all about dewy skin and plump sexy lips.  

Ultimate holiday treat: I can't take credit for this recipe but I can definitely share it! Warm gooey brie, puff pastry, and sweet fruit...what could be better? I can make an entire meal out of just this! Photo and recipe courtesy of The Recipe Critic. I get after it with a fork, but some people put theirs on a cracker. Either way, delicious!

Non-traditional holiday music list: I listen to music every single day, but I'm not too keen on traditional Christmas music. Yes, many songs are beautiful and some also quite meaningful, but when I want to get in the holiday spirit, I tune into these (mostly) romantic songs instead. They make me want to curl up on the couch next to the fireplace.
Adele - Hello
Chris Stapleton - Tennessee Whiskey
Vance Joy - Lay It On Me
The Lumineers - White Lie
Sam Smith - Stay With Me
The Fray - Look After You

Last minute gift ideas I actually own and love: I didn't do any in-depth gift guides this year, but if any of you are still scrambling to find last minute gifts, I swear by these! Click on each to shop.

I hope you enjoyed this! Please feel free to share any of your own tips, ideas, and traditions you like doing for the holidays! Linking up with On The Daily Express and Straight A Style.


"All good things come from gratitude"

My November edit is a little late! I planned on getting this up earlier but the week has been so busy that I almost forgot to do this post entirely. I hope you're all doing well and are gearing up for Thanksgiving if you celebrate. 

Nate and I still don't have plans tomorrow because we do Thanksgiving on Sunday each year in order to accommodate family members. We're thinking about going to a movie and getting dinner somewhere because the weather forecast shows rain. Otherwise we'd definitely hit the beach! 

November was a pretty quiet month around here so this recap will be shorter than others. It was still a great month, even if it felt more routine. There were some noteworthy items though:

Decorating our mantle a bit earlier than I normally do! I love simple Christmas decor, although I feel like it still needs something! Just not sure what exactly. My favorite part are the stockings, especially Nettie's. How do you like to decorate for the holidays? We're getting a real tree next weekend and I can't wait to have the gorgeous pine scent fill our home. 

Watching a show on Netflix called Ozark. There are two seasons and we just finished season one. Wow! I find it so fascinating. The basic premise involves a man named Marty Byrd played by Jason Bateman. He's a financial planner that gets tangled up in money laundering, so he and his family move from Chicago to the Ozarks in order to pay back his debt to a Mexican drug cartel. It's so entertaining and really captures your attention in each episode. Highly recommend!

Cooking Greek-style chili for a friend's chili cook off and our recipe won! Miraculously might I add...I really didn't think ours was that great but it was different than the average Texas red so maybe that had something to do with it! I've mentioned before that Nate's side of the family live in Ohio where Cincinatti chili is a big deal. This is the spice packet I used

Shopping for some furniture during the Black Friday deals. I've been wanting to get a new television stand for our living room basically since we moved in. I have a few in mind and will share it next month. It's so hard to stay away from all the sales, but I'm doing my best. My willpower has gotten strong over the last couple years. Are you doing any shopping this weekend?

Cuddling up with Nettie and this throw that my mom already gifted us. She said she couldn't wait! Nettie agrees.

Planning my blog content for the next month. I'm excited to do a holiday edit for you complete with holiday outfits, some gift ideas as well as charity ideas, and maybe a look at our tree once it's all decorated. Sound good? 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'll be back next week. 


Ah, the east coast. I hear it's decidedly more beautiful in the Fall, with all its changing leaves in fiery shades of red, orange, yellow, and some leftover green. I've been to New York in June, and I distinctly remember how sticky and humid it felt to walk around the hustle and bustle of the city. This trip, in contrast, was an absolute pleasure to walk around in. And walk we did. My feet are still recovering one week later.

In putting these photos together (and this isn't even half of them), I realized that doing a travel guide would be much too daunting. I feel like I'm not the best at them anyway because when I travel, all I want to do is wander around to wherever my heart takes me, stop in to places that look like they offer good food and drinks, peek into little shops, and when I'm being hosted by friends, I like to surrender and let them take me where they want to go. I don't think I've ever done a guided tour...maybe in college? Frankly, getting lost is my favorite way to explore a new place and New York City is no exception. I actually think it was made for that.

I will say that this 5 day vacation was enlightening for me in many ways. I discovered that I don't hate sneakers as much as I once did. Nate was thankful because the amount of complaining I would have done otherwise...I also loved New Jersey much, much more than I expected I would - it truly is a gorgeous state.  Another thing, I can get by on very little sleep (two nights we didn't sleep at all because we had to commute from Jersey to the city when our friend went in to work). It was nonstop go, go, go from the moment we got off the plane in Newark. Oh, and I rode on the subway which I totally dreaded because you know, social anxiety and all that. My old dark friend was no match for the overwhelming excitement I felt. There really was no time to be anxious. We crammed in as much as we could in those 5 days. It was a complete whirlwind.

The first half of our trip was spent with friends who graciously let us stay with them in their home and who showed us New Jersey and the countryside of New York state. The second half they had to work so that's when Nate and I spent time on our own in NYC.

These photos, or postcards if you will, are all in chronological order so you can get a real sense of what we did and saw each day of the trip. I hope you enjoy!

Seaside Heights (Jersey Shore)
It rained all day until serendipitiously as we set foot on the beach, the rain let up.

We took the train to Cold Spring New York 

Central Park

The Met Museum
We walked the first floor for 3 hours. So much to see!

Chelsea Market

The High Line area was one of my favorites.

The Oculus and WTC 
So incredibly moving. Our friend works close by so we rode into the city with him and got to watch the sun come up over the 9/11 memorial.

Brooklyn, probably my number one favorite area 
Sezane where I bought a little black wallet I'll share in another post.

Overall it was an A+ vacation and all of my Autumn dreams have been satisfied. The only real question remaining is...when can we do it again? But if you have any questions for me, feel free to ask!


"Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go."

I keep saying this to everyone I've spoken to lately, and I'll say it again to you; this month has been epic! I didn't think October could top the excitement of this Summer, but after our whirlwind trip to New Jersey and New York, I take back what I said last month regarding Fall. It may not be a thing here in California, but if you live in a state that actually gets to experience the beauty of it then I completely understand the allure. October on the east coast is just magical. 

I'll have a complete photo diary of the trip next week so I don't want to be repetitive in this post. I'll admit that I'm still trying to catch up on sleep and everything else, so let's just dive right in!

Visiting NYC this time of year was an absolute pleasure. Nate and I sat at the Highline Hotel for about an hour taking in the sights and sounds of the city. 

Camping at Vail Lake with friends at the beginning of the month was the perfect way to kick start Fall. We enjoyed the mild weather, watched our friends' kids dress up and go trick or treating throughout the campgrounds at night, and grabbed some of Vail's famous bloody Mary's at the cafe in the morning. This camping trip is a tradition so we look forward to it all year long! 

Eating my fair share of soup now that it's cool enough to do so. My favorite is French onion (look at all that cheese). I've never made it myself but now I'm on a mission to see if I can attempt at least a decent one! If you have a recipe, please share it with me. 

Packing for our trip proved to be pretty successful. I will say that we did such an extraordinary amount of walking that I wore my Nike sneakers the whole trip. I've never been a sneakers girl, but who has time for blisters when there's so much to see! Plus, I like how sleek this particular pair looks so you may be seeing them on me in a proper outfit post. I did wear some slip-ons on the plane and for the first day, but I'm just happy I'm at a point in my life where I'm not a slave to uncomfortable shoes anymore. 

Watching Peaky Blinders season 5. In my opinion, best season yet! There are only 6 episodes though so we went through it pretty quickly and I'm a bit annoyed by that. I could watch Cillian Murphy Here's the trailer if you want to catch up.

Thing(s) I Liked In October: 
 I finished personal training sessions at an athletic sports club that Nate goes to. Man oh man was it tough, but I pushed myself and realized that yes, I can do hard things despite the fact that I'm not athletic at all. I still have yet to start taking the group classes with Nate, but I'm challenging myself to begin next week. After all the food we ate on our trip, my jeans are tight.

Thing(s) I Didn't Like In October: 
There were many times that I didn't feel like blogging, so I didn't. Which is fine, but it can also be frustrating. I find that I've been self-censoring a lot lately, meaning I have things to write about but I've seen such an increase in people sharing way too much on the internet that it's honestly embarrassing. There's a fine line. I don't know, maybe I'm being a prude and overreacting but sometimes it seems like nothing is private anymore and I just can't wrap my head around that. 

That's it for now but I'll be back next week. Happy Friday!


"A fallen leaf is nothing more than a Summer's wave goodbye."

Happy October ladies! As usual, I have no idea where the year went but I'm just plugging along. Sometimes I think we focus too much on seasons and it all begins to feel contrived, but who am I to judge? This world feels like it's gone mad some days, so if pumpkin patches and football games give people joy then more of that please! I've actually been feeling a little blue about Summer ending, but I know I'll snap out of it soon.
It does feel like Fall here in the early mornings and at night, and I'm realizing that there are plenty of holes in my wardrobe that need to be filled before Nate and I go to New York City in a few weeks. I made a small list of things I need, and I'll share that in my next post. I cannot wait to experience Fall on the east coast!

In the meantime, here are some highlights from September.

Exploring local boutiques has become a recent hobby of mine. I went to a San Diego based shop called Pigment, and it was a bohemian dream. Tons of plants, home decor, accessories, books, fun and unique gifts. I picked up a baby shower present but I plan on going back and getting this coffee table book.  They have three locations but I went to One Paseo in Del Mar. If you're ever in the San Diego area, you must go.

Shopping at Sephora for a new perfume. My sweet friends Gina and Caryl gave me a gift card for my birthday and I wanted to use it to get something special. You guys know I love my Kai perfume oil and have worn it for years as a signature scent, but ever since trying Ouai products on my hair I have been obsessed with how amazing the products all smell. Brilliant to create corresponding perfumes. I had a hard time choosing between Melrose Place and North Bondi, but ultimately went with North Bondi. Both are floral, with North Bondi having notes of Italian lemon, bergamot, jasmine, and white musk. Melrose Place is well...heavy on the rose. Which I do really love, but North Bondi just dried down and settled better on my skin.

Who am I kidding, I could have bought both! I literally walked out of the store, thought about it, walked back in and still had trouble deciding. Anyway, Kai will always be my signature fragrance, but it's fun trying something new.

Eating all the Italian food. The bruschetta from Robert Renzoni Winery in Temecula is drool-worthy with pesto, prosciutto, sweet tomato, spicy pepper, and oil. Divine. I had a similar bruschetta at Isola in Little Italy just a couple weeks later while visiting Katie, so clearly I'm on a kick.

Drinking Irish whiskey on the rocks! I'm not sure how or why I decided that I like whiskey after years of thinking it tastes like gasoline, but Nate is very proud of me since it's his drink of choice. Instead of having a glass of wine while watching some of our favorite shows at night, I now enjoy a double pour of Jameson and drink it s l o w l y. The mural below is coincidentally located at One Paseo so I had to snap a picture after leaving Pigment!

Watching Succession on HBO was our Sunday night ritual in September, and there are only two episodes left of the season. It was a slow burn in season one, and it took awhile to get going but now I'm hooked. I also watched Unbelievable on Netflix that broke my heart, but the acting was outstanding and the ending leaves you feeling hopeful.

Overall, I loved September and I'm sorry that it's over but here's to looking forward to making the most of the last months of 2019!

How was your month? Any big plans in October?