The Reality of Post Grad Life: Friendships

Hey everyone! Hope you’re all doing very well. I know some of you over on Instagram are in the high school to college age range, which has made me want to discuss some thoughts about post grad life. I have a similar post here, but there’s something a little more specific I wanted to talk about: friendships. One of the major perks about college (especially when you live in dorms) is the fact that your friends are all in close proximity to you. I loved the years when my friends were right across the hall and I could see them every morning or every night. It was so easy to keep in touch with people when you had similar schedules as well.

However, all of that changes after graduation. Everyone spreads out to their respective locations and start focusing on getting a job or furthering their education. I now have friends all over the United States, which sounds cool but can be a bit hard at times. Going from seeing your peers consistently everyday and going on adventures to having friends spread across the country is a bit shocking. It’s not easy all the time, and it’s not something that is commonly talked about during life after college.

However, it’s not all a bummer! The dynamics of these friendships simply change and patience becomes a factor. Everyone is working full time, which means being intentional with every friendship becomes a must. Schedules become crazy and sometimes seeing your friends is difficult. This is where texting, calling, or FaceTiming comes into play. Pick up that phone whenever you have a free moment and call that friend! While seeing your old friends might not happen as often as before, you still must put in the work to keep in touch. Which by the way, is so fun! I love catching up with friends I’ve had for years and hearing about all the things they have going on. It’s a great escape from work (or school if you’re pursuing grad school).

So here’s a few things you can do to keep in touch with your friends across the country or maybe even across the world!

  • Send a text as often as you can, just checking up on them or seeing how they’re doing.
  • Send an actual letter! I know I personally love receiving letters in the mail, especially because it’s not something that is often done anymore.
  • Schedule times to FaceTime. Every person has access to a phone, so figure out a time with your friend to call or FaceTime, which is much more personal (and fun) than constantly texting
  • Send a small care package. If your friend has just bought their first apartment in a new city, sending them a small care package to let them know you’re thinking of them is so thoughtful and shows you care.

Post grad life can be a big adjustment, but being ready for these changes is everything. I’ll admit a lot of things end up changing, but that simply means you’re growing. Some friends may stay and others will go. For whatever the reason, just know it’s a part of life and you never know the good things coming for you. I hope you guys enjoyed this little post about life after college. I was thinking it could be really beneficial to write a few different versions of these, all about different topics discussing post grad life. So if you guys have any specific questions about what it’s like after graduation, please leave them in the comments below or send me a DM on Instagram! Talk to you all very soon! xx

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My Winter Makeup Routine 2018!

Hello everyone! It’s been a little bit. For so long now I’ve been wanting to get another video up on my YouTube channel. Making a video takes a lot more time than getting a blog post up, but I’m so excited I got another one done! I’ve specifically been wanting to create a makeup routine, and with the holidays coming up, it seemed like the perfect time to finally make it. Being in the middle of winter, I prefer not to wear too much heavy makeup. For example a full coverage foundation or tons of eyeshadow. I’ve also been having some difficulties with my skin again, so I’ve been trying to wear as minimal makeup as possible. In this video is a simple routine that is very easy to follow. I like my brows natural and my wings subtle. With that being said, here is the video!

With each new video I’ve made, editing has becoming an easier and quicker process. It’s been awesome to see my skills improve each time, so I really hope you guys have been enjoying! I believe that even with bad skin, you can still have fun with makeup and I hope that’s apparent in my video. While most of my issues deal with scarring which can easily be covered up by concealer, I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with makeup and finding new ways to get creative. Especially with Christmas coming up tomorrow and the new year just days away, it’s the perfect time to try something new. Let me know what you thought of the video below in the comments. Maybe drop a like and subscribe if this is the first time you’re seeing my videos!

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How I Make the Perfect Cup of Hot Chocolate (Blogmas Day 11)

Hey everyone! Happy Tuesday, I hope you’re all doing well. I’ll be honest life has been super busy lately and I’ve been quite tired. Waking up at 5:30 every morning has been an adjustment but come with lots of perks as well. For today’s Blogmas, we’re going through the exact ingredients you need to make a bomb cup of hot cocoa! Hot chocolate is one of my favorite beverages since as you guys know, I can’t control myself around sweets. I usually only drink it during the holidays, so it’s definitely something special.

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So to kick it off here are the few ingredients you’ll need:

• Trader Joe’s Organic Hot Cocoa mix
• Mini marshmallows
• Whipped cream
• Mini gingerbread men
• Candy canes (normal size or minis)
Optional: Candy canes & cinnamon

One of the easiest ways to make hot chocolate is to buy packages of the mix. It’s definitely not the healthiest, but the quickest! Not to mention, I recently found this organic mix from Trader Joe’s and it’s some of the best I’ve ever tasted. Sometimes the mix packets can end up too watered down or not flavorful. However, this is my new favorite product and tastes absolutely amazing and so sweet! Pour this in a cup and add hot water to start off.

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Once you have your full cup of hot chocolate in your favorite mug, take your whipped cream and pile that stuff on top! This is Christmas people, don’t hold back! Plus, the more whipped cream, the prettier the cup. Next, take your mini marshmallows and add a few to the whipped cream. These will add much more texture and look great in photos! Now for a little twist I decided to add in this year: top with a mini gingerbread man. Who doesn’t love some cookies with hot cocoa or tea??

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Another couple things I will add to my hot chocolate every year is a candy cane or cinnamon. Unfortunately, I had no candy canes available to me while taking these photos, but they add the perfect amount of peppermint to any cup. If you have mini candy canes, toss those right into the hot chocolate and let them sit. If you have a normal sized one, let it sit beautifully out the side of the cup. The minty taste will always remind you of the Christmas season and is so refreshing! Cinnamon of course is the perfect touch to any holiday beverage, even cider!

I love adding all these Christmasy ingredients to my hot chocolate, especially when I’m sitting down for a movie in front of the fireplace. We don’t get snowy nights here in California, but it’s fun to imagine that we do! What do you guys top your hot chocolate with?? Let me know down in the comments! xx

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It’s Time to Tell You Guys…

Hello guys! Well, it’s official. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now and I think it’s time to finally announce it…I’m doing Blogmas 2018!!! I was going back and forth on whether or not I wanted to participate this year. With my work schedule and things just being so crazy right now, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it. I never want to commit to anything I can’t follow through with, but I think the thought of failure was holding me back. I successfully posted everyday from December 1st through December 25th last year and it seriously helped my blog. Not only that, I loved seeing everyone take part in this fun online challenge and reading other Christmas posts!

Even though posting everyday can be a bit challenging (especially towards the end) it allows me to do something creative everyday and I think that’s important. This time of year is so special and it’s celebrated so differently around the world. My blog is my little slice of the internet, so I want to share with you every aspect of a California Christmas! Look forward to lots of cozy posts, ideas on fun things to do this holiday season, and much much more! Let me know if there’s anything specific you guys would like to see, as I’m still scheduling out posts in advance. Whether that be makeup looks, Christmas OOTD’s, recipes, or videos. I’m up for anything new!

I’ll admit I’m still a little afraid of missing a day or two, but I’m going to try my absolute hardest to post from December 1st all the way to Christmas Day. Wish me luck and I look forward to reading Blogmas posts from all my blogger friends on WordPress! Talk to you all tomorrow on the first day of Blogmas!! xx

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All About My Hair! (Products, Styling, & How I Keep It Long & Healthy)

Hey everyone! Hope you had a fantastic weekend. It’s Sunday and almost time to start a new work week. I know sometime it’s hard to face Monday, but I have a new video out that I think you guys will love! You all have been leaving me a lot of comments on Instagram about my hair, and I so appreciate it. I honestly don’t think too much about my hair but I figured since there were some questions about it, I would let you in on some tips and tricks. Check out the video below, drop a like (if you liked) and subscribe if this is the first you’re seeing of my videos!

In the video, I let you guys know what type of hair I have as well as what I ask for when I go into the salon. I’m pretty particular about the tone of my hair, as I always like it on the cooler side. I’ve also found a few holy grail products that I’ve been using for years, so I left a full list of the products I mentioned in the description of this video. So in case you want to try them out for yourselves, it’ll be easy to search! Let me know what you thought of this video down in the comments or if you have any other questions. I’ll be reading through and answering all of them! xx

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How I Edit my Instagram Photos! (Step by Step Tutorial with Apps I Use)

Hey everyone! Happy Monday! Hope you all had a fantastic weekend and are ready to start a new week. You guys have been leaving me the sweetest comments on my Instagram about how I’m editing my photos. I’ve been using some new processes and loving how they’ve been turning out. I think my photos are getting a fairly similar look, so I thought I’d go step by step with what I’m doing. Some apps I use you must have an Adobe Creative Suite account and others are completely free to use without an account like that. I’ll be editing a photo I took the other day down by the pier. You can find the version I posted here. With that being said, let’s jump right into this edit!

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Alrighty guys so here is the original photo, straight from my camera, untouched by any editing apps. This was taken vertically, which I normally don’t do but wanted to get as many of the palm trees in the shot as possible. PRO TIP: I prefer to take my photos from farther away or zoomed completely out because I can always crop them later. As you can see, the colors are kind of dull and this just seems like an average photo. Until editing comes in of course!!

So to start off this edit, I’m going to open my Lightroom CC app, which is part of the Adobe Creative Suite, but most of these adjustments you can make on any other editing app. I simply use Lightroom for the filter I bought on Etsy, which I have an entire post on. IMG_1564.jpeg

So firstly, I will import the photo into the app. The first thing that I like to adjust is the size of the photo. I normally will do the 1:1 ratio crop, which makes a perfect square and will fit Instagram perfectly. However for this photo, I will customize the crop length and go for something more vertical so the palms will be included. Cropping is something you can do on literally any editing app or even in the Photos app which is configured on your iPhone.

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Next, I will apply the filter I use on every one of my photos. This one is called “Golden” and it’s from a preset pack I bought from Etsy. In the post I linked above, you can learn all about how I got this filter into Lightroom from Etsy. As you can see, once the filter is applied it changes the colors quite a bit. It’s a little less saturated and the tones have shifted a bit. I prefer my colors a little less saturated and tones more on the cool side, which you’ll see later on how I achieve that. The cool thing about the Etsy presets is that you can still adjust aspects like saturation, brightness, contrast, white balance, etc. So what you see here is not set in stone. Every photo is different so the preset will actually be altered depending on the photo.

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So now I will go into detailing. It’s a bit hard to see here, but my skin actually has some red splotches and I look white as a ghost (which yes, I’m not extremely tan right now but don’t @ me, LOL). So I will go into the “Light” section at the bottom of the screen, where you can find shadows, whites, blacks, brightness, and anything to do with lighting. Since this preset makes my skin look extremely white, I usually have to bring down the shadows and exposure. It’s honestly all about playing with these options and figuring out what works best for a specific photo. I probably spend the most time in the “Light” section trying to fix any bugs the preset may have applied. Normally by the time I’m done the odd marks on skin or anywhere else is gone and we can move on to the next step.

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So now I head over to the “Color” tab at the bottom. I usually have to change the luminance in the red tones, which helps fix that reddish color in my skin. Usually the orange tones need adjusting as well, which helps bring a little more color back into your skin tone. I’ll then head over to the teal and blue colors for adjusting. I’ll bring down the hue of both of them, which changes the color of my jeans and the sky quite a bit. I prefer them to be more on the teal side than the navy side. Of course, my jeans aren’t actually that color as you can see in the original, but I personally think it’s a great color and matches my Instagram theme. If you look closely, it changed the hue of anything that was the color of my jeans in the photo. For example the ocean is now more teal as well as the lining of the roof in the background and the blue in my flannel.

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Now for the final step (in the Lightroom app) is to make small adjustments with vibrance and saturation. If I think any of the colors I changed are too much, I simply bring down the saturation or vibrance. Similarly, if I think the colors just aren’t there yet, I’ll bring up the saturation and vibrance. So simple! As I mentioned before, it’s all about playing with these settings and finding what works best for the colors in your photo. I will also keep in mind some of the colors that are already in my feed and try to match them as best I can. Once all of this is done, make sure to SAVE what you’ve just edited.

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Okay guys we’re switching it up and heading over to the Afterlight app. This is where I apply subtle dusty filters, which gives a bit of a vintage effect. It’s something you can see on almost all of my photos on Instagram, as well as many other Instagrammers. These filters in Afterlight are accessible to anyone. At the bottom you’ll see a little film icon, which is where you’ll find dusty filters, light filters, and more! I go to the dusty section, where there’s a ton of different types of “dust.” Some have more specs, some have less, some will apply a faded effect to your photo, others will darken. It honestly all depends on the photo for which dusty filter works best. For today’s edit, I used #9, as I thought the placement of the dust specs looked nice. You can rotate and flip the filters depending on your photo. You can totally skip this effect, but it’s simply an extra step I like to take with my photos.

IMG_1574.JPGIMG_1575.JPGSo here is the final edit and a side by side! As you can tell, a lot of the ones have changed a bit to my preferences. Editing photos in this way definitely takes some time, but I personally find it very fun to watch a photo transform and added to the rest of my theme. It’s all about finding fun in being creative and not simply “doing it for the gram.” Let me know what you think of this edit or if this post was helpful to you! If you guys have any questions regarding editing, please leave them below! Talk to you all soon and have an amazing week! xx

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An Autumn Weekend OOTD!

Hey everyone! Guess what?? IT FINALLY RAINED IN SOCAL! I was driving to work the other day (it usually takes me about an hour to get there) and it started pouring rain. I kid you not, it was POURING. I know to most people this is a fairly normal occurrence but to me it was straight up magic. I absolutely love rainy days but they rarely happen here. It was one of the only times I was glad I have a long commute because I could just enjoy the sound of the rain. This weekend has also been slightly chilly. There’s been no rain but I can feel the air is getting cooler. I thought I would bring out another fall OOTD, one that is still quite casual and something I would wear on a weekend during autumn. Continue reading for photos and outfit details!

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As the weather is definitely getting chillier, the sun still pops out once in a while and will literally bake your face if you stand outside for too long. To compensate for the occasional heat, I prefer to mix my summer pieces with fall favorites. I’m a sucker for a giant cozy sweater in the fall (as most people are, LOL) but putting a little California spin on it is my fave. I bought this jean skirt last fall actually and it’s been one of my staples ever since then. It goes with absolutely everything and I love channeling my inner 90’s kid (shoutout to all my 1996 babies). Image.jpgSo with my favorite jean skirt I threw on an oversize auburn sweater. I’m always super into this color when fall begins and it goes well with most outfits (you’d be surprised). My coloring doesn’t do well with anything full on red, so I opt for burgundy, wine, or auburn tones like this sweater. This specific style is tight at the arms and is oversized everywhere else. In order to give my body a little more shape, I tucked in the front of the sweater since the skirt tends to make me look a little square in shape. I’ve been doing this with most of my outfits lately. It’s funny because as a kid I wore uniforms at school everyday and they were very strict about tucking in your shirt. I hated the rule and felt like such a rebel having my shirt untucked. Oh how times have changed!

Since purchasing this skirt, it’s also gotten a little big on me so I usually have to wear a belt. I love this black one because of course it goes with any outfit and this specific design has been super in style recently. I love the silver detailing and how it looks with a shirt or sweater tucked in. I’m learning more and more that with fashion it’s all in the little details, even if that means tucking in your shirt to show a cute belt. So simple but transforms a look!

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As for other accessories, I wore a dainty gold necklace that says “Wish” (even though you can’t see it in the photos) and a long rock necklace. I’ve really been trying to accessorize more, even if it’s with one long necklace. I’m finding it makes an outfit more special, even though I’m one to go for simpler pieces. The earth tones in the rock (or is it a crystal?) pair so well with the auburn sweater and I love it for this season! This necklace is also painted with gold on one side! Next, since this is a casual weekend look, I threw on my classic black vans. As you all know, I love a girly look with something more edgy or even masculine. I like to achieve this vibe with my shoes most times, and you can bet you’ll always be comfortable in Vans! 

That’s about it for this OOTD. We oftentimes forget that being comfortable can also be made very cute. Adding small details or changing the way you wear certain pieces can really help transform any look. So get creative with fashion and have fun with it! It’s such an amazing way to express yourself and if you love something, WEAR IT! Let me know what you guys think of this look down in the comments! xx

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