Abbot Kinney Guide

Over the past few months, I’ve been to Abbot Kinney enough times to really explore the different shops and restaurants on the street. It’s such a fun place to spend a day, especially if you’re into all things trendy and artsy. There is so much amazing street art to take photos of, delicious restaurants to eat at, and stores to shop in. Here is a mini guide for places I really like that you should check out when on Abbot Kinney.flower-wall-copyimg_7549Not gonna lie, I love finding street art for photoshoots. They make any photo look artsier so when my friends and I found this flower wall,  we were pretty stoked. This wall art is on the corner of Main St and Westminster Blvd.ajelinaWe went to Gjelina’s for lunch. Ask for patio seating. I love the vibes here and the food is so delicious. I got the eggplant pizza this time around and it was incredible. I came in the past for a friend’s 25th birthday and really enjoyed their meatballs and salads too. Honestly don’t think you can go wrong here.

bluestardonutsScreen Shot 2016-09-25 at 6.17.34 PM.pngblue-star-2closeupWe went to Blue Star for donuts and coffee afterwards. I got the Lemon Poppy Buttermilk donut and omg, it was so good. I love coffee but only when there’s at least a little cream and sugar in it. The Stumptown Coffee was refreshing on the hot summer day, but too bitter for my liking. butchersdaughterI don’t have a picture of what Butcher’s Daughter looks like inside, but this restaurant is goals. I went for brunch after a surfing class and funny enough, got the Surfer’s Breakfast. It was filling and yummy, but would definitely add Cholula/hot sauce in the beginning of the meal, rather than when I was almost done with it lol. The restaurant’s design is incredible. Processed with VSCO with acg presetwallnicolette.jpgHere’s another wall art I found that I love. It’s right next to In Heroes We Trust boutique on Westminster Ave and Alhambra. tacosdrinksfinal.jpg

And last but not least, I can’t help but share such a fun story. There was the Abbot Kinney Festival a few weeks ago and my friends and I were walking around when the brand marketing director (don’t remember his exact title) of Kit & Ace literally came up to us asking if we wanted free tacos and drinks. We had already eaten, but we couldn’t resist the offer and so we went it and had such a fun time. My very overdue item on my bucket list was surfing and funny enough, the store was hosting a surfing event the following weekend so I finally surfed for the first time!!

Check out some of these places when you’re on Abbot Kinney ❤

 

Home Inspiration

Ahh I feel like it was just yesterday when I was getting ready to move in to the dorms. I just moved into my first home ever a few weeks ago!! I’ll be living with three of my friends and I cannot wait to decorate my own space with them come fall. I’ve been doing nothing but pinning a ton of photos onto various interior design related boards on my Pinterest! Here are some photos for inspiration for my new home.

bedroom.jpgBedroom: I’ve been on the hunt to find the perfect rug. I’m thinking something patterned, striped, or geometric. My sheets and duvet are all-white so I want to add more color with a rug. I also want different texture for my bedding so it doesn’t look so one-dimensional. I love greenery in any space so can’t wait to fill it with plenty of plants and succulents. My room has so much wall-space so can’t wait to fill it with tons of artwork and mirrors!

Untitled-1Bathroom: Growing up with two sisters, I actually never had my own bathroom. But in this new house, I have the master so I have my own! It’s very well lit with natural lighting so I’m very happy about that.

Want: Towels, cute rug, jars, succulents.

Interior Design.jpgLiving Room wants: plenty of spaces to take ‘grammable photos (yes I said it) with my roommates. Cozy couch area. Candles. Books. Artwork. Greenery.

Office spaceWorking Space: To be honest, I have no idea what to do with this space yet. I already bought a white Ikea desk and clear chair (also from Ikea). I like the look of the third photo the most. The shelves would allow for cute bookends, storage, and photo displays.

I’ve already taken before photos so I cannot wait to share the after photos when my room is complete! 🙂

College Edition: The Greatest Lesson I Learned

I created this blog about 1.5 years ago, intending to post regularly, but after about a month of having it, I slowly started posting less and less and less. I took about a six month break while I was adjusting to my first semester of college, but cutting the BS, I was just lazy.

My first semester at Chapman University was definitely eye-opening and full of great experiences. I joined a social sorority (Kappa Alpha Theta), stayed on top of all my classes, and developed incredible friendships. I’m lucky to be in Southern California and surrounded by such amazing people and talent. Having looked forward to college for the majority of high school, college definitely surpassed my standards – however, in a different way than you may think.

My first semester of college wasn’t rainbows and butterflies. The first month was perfect – all the new experiences thrown at me was so exciting. I was always going out at night, meeting cute boys, going to new places, etc. I was on a constant high. The prospect of a new start was thrilling and leaving Arizona was liberating. However, like everything else in life, once the newness started to fade, reality kicked in. Everything that once appealed to me appeared to have flaws and even the slightest mishap in my day caused me to feel so sad. It was like I was experiencing withdrawal.

The feelings I experienced was not Chapman specific though. This could’ve easily happened at any other college or in another situation with completely different circumstances. However, the lesson I learned was that I cannot depend my own happiness on external factors – a simple advice or so it seems. This advice is not a new concept for me, but it definitely is one that takes a lot of awareness and reminding.

While I started the semester off very confident and optimistic, that began to fade as the months went on. I fit in at Chapman and like(d) it but after months, I realized that what I truly wanted was different than what I had. I came to Chapman thinking there’d be more racial diversity than Scottsdale, but that was definitely not the case and frankly, I didn’t feel like there was enough passion or competition among the students. For someone who thrives from the energy around me, I felt like the lack of it was not pushing me hard enough academically.

I think another big thing that held me back in my first semester was the constant, lingering thoughts of USC over my head. I compared what life would be like there to here and I don’t think I was able to fully appreciate and absorb Chapman because of it. However because USC is my dream school to this day and I still believe that’s where I’m destined to be, I applied again. Now whether I’ll get enough financial aid (the determining factor for attendance) is up in the air, but for now, I’m applying to scholarships and living life.

As I begin my second semester, I want to go into it with the same positive attitude I had going into Chapman my first semester. I want to continue to strengthen the friendships I’ve gained with friends and professors, and meet even more people who I could connect with on a deeper level. More importantly, I want to focus more on pursuing my passions and taking care of myself.

When I say college surpassed my standards, I don’t mean it because it was perfect, but because I was able to learn so much from the (not so good) experiences in college. It allowed me to develop a greater sense of identity through lots of intellectual conversations and time soul searching. On a positive note, college is so much fun, friends are amazing, and I’m happy.

Explorin’ LA

If you’ve read my previous blog post, you’d know I’m working on being more adventurous and traveling more often. I came to Chapman University with hopes to explore Southern California, but unfortunately, I tended to stick to one familiar area of town rather than branching out. So, almost five months after starting college, I finally drove up to LA with my roommate to explore the city a few weekends ago.

5:00am: We thought it would be a good idea to beat the LA traffic by starting our day early and watching the sunrise. We got ready and got to the Hollywood Bowl Overlook at around 7 am, just in time for the sunrise. Unfortunately, although the photo looks stunning, there wasn’t really a sunrise cause it was really cloudy out (thanks VSCO for cool edits).

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7:30am: Because the hollywood hike is a few minutes drive away from the overlook, we decided to hike the mountain for about 30 minutes just to say we did it! I’ve done it before so I knew what I was getting myself into, but definitely need to go back and complete it because I love hikes.

8:30am: For breakfast, we hit up Go Get Em Tiger. We both got eggs on a biscuit and coffee which was bomb. There’s limited seating inside so we sat outside, but still really enjoyed the environment.

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9:30am: Since LA has some cool street art, we decided to check them out and took some great photos in front of them.

Cisco Home, 8025 Melrose Ave. (at N Laurel Avenue), West Hollywood

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11:00am: We hit up LACMA after, the museum known for Urban Light, the white lamps pictured below.

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I loved LACMA and definitely wanna check out The Broad museum next.

PS I decided to wear heels and my feet hurt so much. Don’t make the same mistake I did!

2016 Goals

Happy New Year everyone!! 2015 was awesome and I’m so excited what 2016 has in store for me. These are some goals/resolutions I want to work on this year. I may or may not continue to update this list throughout the year. Let me know what your goals for the year are 🙂

  • Wake up and go to bed earlier – spend more time in the morning preparing for the day
  • Drink more water
  • Be more spontaneous and say yes more often
  • Practice more yoga and mindful meditation
  • Don’t swear so much
  • Go somewhere or try something new once a month
  • Do an international trip with my own money
  • Spend my money more wisely
  • Take more photos and document more of my life
  • Live more in the moment and loosen up
  • Don’t flake on people and respond to texts faster
  • Only make promises I can make
  • Be kinder and more patient to myself and others
  • Improve my french and feel confident enough to hold a conversation
  • Learn how to use my DSLR (esp. in manual mode)
  • Take a coding class
  • Film and produce at least one video
  • Go surfing
  • Take a new profile picture for Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Wear contacts for shorter amounts of time – my poor eyes are so bloodshot and dry by the end of the day
  • Read the news more and familiarize myself with presidential candidates so I can vote in the new year

Places I Love in Arizona

As much as I love college, it was so nice going back home to Arizona for Thanksgiving break. I needed a week to relax and be with my family and friends. I missed all my favorite spots back home so I decided to share a few of the places I love in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area of Arizona. Also, for all these locations, parking is free.

Pinnacle Peak: I absolutely love hiking because of the workout and pretty scenery. This hike is by far the most beautiful hike in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. It’s a pretty easy hike but I was still a bit sore the next day! pinnacle peak.pngIMG_2281IMG_2279

The Henry: A Fox restaurant never disappoints and The Henry is no exception. I usually go for brunch and sit on the patio or bar top. There are plenty of photo opportunities whether it’s a food pic or posing by the entrance so I’d go camera ready! As with any other Fox restaurant, it’s very busy so you might want to plan ahead and make reservations. Also, there’s a designated area for people to work so you can enjoy coffee and pastries while getting work done. I’ve never worked there personally, but it seems like a very nice work environment. henry

Lux Central: Lux and the library are the only places I’m actually productive and get work done at. It has such a great work environment, making me feel so much more motivated. There are also plenty of food and drink options — you have to get their mac and cheese, it’s to die for. It’s usually always busy, so it might take a few minutes to find parking. I know this may seem obvious, but don’t park in front of the fire hydrant — I got a parking ticket for it (the parking cops are merciless lol). Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 presetlux1

Squaw Peak: Squaw Peak has always been my go-to hike for a great workout. It’s not as scenic as Pinnacle Peak, but I like that it’s a tougher trail. It requires more balance and strength! This takes me about 1.5 hours to complete. Unlike Pinnacle Peak where the trail is smooth, this is full of rocks and stones so be careful!IMG_2284-1

Whether you’re a native to Arizona or just visiting the area, I recommend checking out these places! 🙂

Summer Reads and Movies

Happy July! Let me know what your favorite books and movies are 🙂  Summer Bucket List 11. Paper Towns // I love John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars book and movie, so I have high expectations for this one. The trailer looks so good and I look forward to seeing both Cara Delevingne and one of my favorite actors, Nat Wolff.

2. The Knockoff // A book about an editor of chief of a magazine finding her company ruined by her former assistant. It’s a total chick-flick and easy read.

3. Ted 2 // I thought Ted 1 would be stupid, but it was surprisingly funny so I’m excited to see the sequel!

4. Peace, Love & Misunderstanding // It looks like a cute movie and Nat Wolff is in this movie (and Chace Crawford) haha.

5. The Power of Habit // I love self-improvement books so I thought I’d give this book a try.

6. Dirty Rush // Another easy-read type of book but I’m excited for this one. I’m thinking about rushing in the fall and reviews say that this book is exactly what a sorority is like.

7. Heart Breaker // A professional “heart breaker” is hired to break off the wedding of a couple and he ends up falling in love with the girl. I think the majority of this movie is in French which is what initially drew me into wanting to watch this movie. I’m really want to be fluent in French one day.

8. Lean In // Motivational, self-improvement book written by a very highly-respectable woman, Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook).

9. Trainwreck // So excited to see this movie. I love romantic comedies.