Christmas at Santa’s Village by the Sea (Blogmas Day 3)

Christmas at Santa’s Village by the Sea (Blogmas Day 3)

Happy Blogmas Day 3 everyone!!! We’re still going strong! I’m actually really excited about today’s post. Not only because a lot more work went into it, but because this event is sure to get you in the Christmas mood! Living in south Orange County, my city puts on an event every year on December 1st. The city is often referred to as the “Spanish Village by the Sea” but to transform it for Christmas, this event was called “Santa’s Village by the Sea.” Great marketing in my opinion! The shops along downtown are all open with some sales and decorated with Christmas lights. Some of my favorite shops even offered Christmas cookies, champagne, and charcuterie. Everything was so lit up and beautiful. It was also quite the chilly night so us Californians got a little taste of what a cold December night is like, LOL.

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I bundled up in one of my favorite holiday sweaters with some boots and a beanie from Topshop. Downtown was way more busy than I expected but it was awesome seeing so many people out celebrating. Lots of shops had little kiosks that lined the streets. Hot chocolate and coffee was of course being sold (and you know your girl couldn’t pass that up.) If you were in the mood for a snack, kettle corn and cotton candy was also being sold. This event was a great opportunity for small business to sell their jewelry or homemade goods as well. It’s always fun to support a local business! One shop even had a small skate ramp for the kids (you can see that in the video) and was probably one of the cutest things I’ve ever set my eyes on.

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It was honestly so fun just walking around, taking in all the sights and shopping around some of my favorite clothing stores. It really did feel like a winter wonderland (minus the snow of course because we’re still in California people!) This would be the perfect date for you and your special someone if you’re ever in the area next year. What would make this event even more special would be a small ice skating rink or fake snow! So without me rambling on about this awesome event, check out the video below to watch all the fun, Christmasy things that went on! Talk to you all tomorrow xx

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How I’m Trying to Improve My Health

Hey guys! Happy Sunday and I hope you are all doing fantastic! Since I am so busy Monday through Thursday with work, I love taking time on the weekend to take care of myself and focus on what truly makes my heart sing. One of those things quite recently has been working out and finding different ways to get my body moving. For today’s post I want to talk a little bit about my health journey and where I am now. My hope for this post is that it gives you fresh ideas on how to better your own health and give you motivation to improve solely for yourself and to feel good!

My Active & Healthy Past

As I grew up, specifically through elementary school and junior high, I was an extremely active kid. I tried every sport my school had to offer and I played soccer for 8 years, pretty well if I might add. Soccer (or football as some of you out there call it) was my sport and I put a lot of time into it. I worked up the levels and ended up playing club soccer as a forward or midfielder. With practices at least twice a week for a couple hours each, I knew how to work out and push myself alongside my teammates. Through sports, I was taught how to stretch correctly and how to condition my body to run farther, faster, and beat the competition.

I never had health issues when I was younger, which I was very blessed with. I also never had rock hard abs, probably because I was young and exercised for the sake of having fun and being with my team, not to build muscle or improve my still small body. My family didn’t eat fast food very often and my mom cooked almost everyday. The one flaw I (and some of my family) has always had is a sugar addiction. That stuff is actually like a drug and it’s still something I struggle with everyday.

A Downhill Fall

As high school arrived, I quit playing soccer. There were many reasons for my quitting but one being I was the smallest on the field and although I was the fastest, I was getting hurt often by taller and stronger girls. I decided to pick up tennis through my school (a little reluctantly I will say) and it was a much slower pace than the sport I was used to. I was also growing up and didn’t change my eating habits. I’m sure a lot of you can relate: as you get older you MUST change your eating habits. There is no way you can eat like a child and have a slim figure in your teens or 20’s, am I right? I also ended up on birth control because of my sever acne. I’ve touched upon this topic a bit on my blog, but let me know if you’d like a separate post about it. It’s something I’m quite open about.  One of the side effects is weight gain and while looking back at photos now, I can see when it physically hit me. Long story short, I wasn’t that fit little girl anymore and I don’t think I even realized it.

College Years & Health Realizations

Without me even knowing, I had gained a bit of weight. It snuck up on me out of no where and I honestly didn’t even understand to what extent until college. People around me were going to the gym very often or taking workout classes, which wasn’t even on my mind in the slightest. It wasn’t really until junior and senior year that I started taking my health a little more seriously. I was uncomfortable in my body and didn’t know exactly how to fix it. The summer before my junior year I started researching veganism and although I never went vegan, it taught me a lot about food and health. That summer I did see very small changes once I put the effort in. I was going to the gym as consistently as possible (every other day) and trying to eat as healthy as I could. At one point I completely cut out eggs and tried to eat minimal cheese. I grew up on almond and rice milk so drinking cow’s milk has never been an interest for me.

The summer before senior year, I went to Europe as many of you know. I lost about 6 pounds in those three weeks simply by walking 5-6 miles everyday and eating strictly three meals a day. That is what our schedule allowed for when we were abroad and I barely noticed I was dropping some pounds. Of course, when I got back to the states I wasn’t exercising nearly as consistently as I was in Europe and snacking in between meals. I gained those pounds back, which was extremely disappointing for me. Although I hadn’t lost a massive amount of weight, I hadn’t seen a difference in the scale like that in a long time, shockingly. But it gave me a sense of what worked and what I needed to do.

Senior year I had a gym membership and started going as often as I could. It started to become a bigger part of my life and I could slowly see the difference it was making. Although these changes were tiny and most times I couldn’t see any change on the scale, I was feeling better in my body and stronger overall. Feeling strong was an amazing feeling and it became addicting. Of course, with classes and my graphic design portfolio project I still wasn’t as consistent as I could be.

What’s Up with My Health Currently?

Similar to the summer before, I went to Europe again this year and had a similar situation happen. I came back and had again lost 5 or 6 pounds. This time, I was determined to keep it off and use it as a kicking off point for more weight loss. Going to the gym or going on runs is increasingly becoming more important to me. While I’m still getting used to my work schedule, I work out at least two times a week. Which I know isn’t enough if I want to see significant changes, but I’m in no rush. If this has to be a slow process in order for it to become a permanent lifestyle, so be it. I’m in this for my own health and I know it’s going to be a bumpy road.

I’m still not at the health level I want to be at, but I’m taking the time to learn what works for me. I work so hard at the gym and actually enjoy going now! I like challenging myself to do better and push it a little further each time. Another way I’ve been working out is by attending classes and genuinely investing in my health. I recently took a spin class which kicked my butt so hard but was a great way to switch up my workout routine. I’ve also been looking into barre, yoga, and pilates classes. Some days after work I will also go on a beach walk, which is only about 2 miles but so beautiful at sunset! Find things that interest you and will add variety to your life. Hopefully you’ll find something you enjoy so much that it won’t feel like exercise!

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Long story short, I’m still on my health journey and I have a ways to go but I’m determined to make this a lifestyle and not fall into fad diets that don’t last. I want to be healthy and live a long life. That doesn’t mean I’ll slip up once in a while, but that’s where my mind has been lately. I think one of the most exciting things is noticing my clothes fit just a tad better and I feel more comfortable overall! Here’s to your health and kicking some butt! Let’s have a conversation down in the comments: let me know your favorite ways to workout or some of your favorite healthy meals to make! Talk to you all soon! xx

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My Wishlist: Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Palette

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve made a “My Wishlist” post! I started this a year or two ago to allow myself to shop around online and talk about the best things I found in order to reduce the need to actually buy them. The temptation is real with online shopping, and I get a chance to showcase more of my personal style with you guys. Usually it is focused on apparel, but this time I thought I’d bring back these themed posts with a makeup product. So let’s get to it!

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Recently I found a collaboration palette between the makeup brand Morphe and Jaclyn Hill. I was just perusing around YouTube when I found a few reviews on this palette. Now I have only ordered a few brushes from Morphe and I just recently bought a highlighter called Champagne Pop that Jaclyn Hill helped create (I have a full post about that highlighter here, it’s amazing!) So although I am not extremely familiar with many products from these brands, I absolutely fell in love with all the colors from this palette.

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Seriously just take a minute to appreciate that perfection. Every single color in these palette is absolutely gorgeous. From the mattes to the shimmer shades, from the nudes to the electric blues, this palette absolutely has it all! I went to research how much it was retailing for, and unfortunately it is out of stock (I sort of expected that, considering how freaking gorgeous it is). Check out Manny MUA’s review of this palette, its a really great summary. And of course check out Jaclyn Hill’s own review of her palette, she just seems like the sweetest person ever!

I signed up on the Morphe website to be emailed when it is back in stock. Because girl, I NEED this palette in my life! The more I see it and research it, the more I’d love to have it in my makeup collection. Especially if you watch Jaclyn’s video, be prepared to have a new obsession. You have been forewarned. I think this palette has the perfect range of shades. You have the warmer pinks, mustards, and reds for the summer season and blues and purples for the spring. Then the burgundy and browns are spot on for the fall. Lastly the greens and darker shades will be optimal for the winter season. There’s just so many different combinations and looks you could create with this palette. I know if I had my hands on it, there’d be endless makeup looks on this blog!

So congratulations to Jaclyn for making such a stunning selection. In her video she mentions just how long it took to create it and how much of her heart she put into it. It definitely shows and it’s something to be proud of. Here’s to hoping I can purchase it sometime soon in the future! Let me know what you think of this palette down below in the comments or if you have it yourself, what are your opinions on it??

Healthy Alternatives for the Junk Foods You LOVE!

Hey everyone! So if you’ve kept up with me the last few months, you’d know I got my very first apartment! With this new beginning and the dramatic change from dorm living to apartment living, I’ve tried to make personal changes as well. Eating better has been one of my main goals and I’ve tried to stick to it as much as possible. When I did my first big grocery shop for the apartment, I stayed away from junky foods and forced myself to only buy what is healthy. Because if it’s not in the apartment, I don’t have the opportunity to indulge in unhealthy things. With McDonald’s and a 24/7 Mexican restaurant right on the corner, I’ve had to make an effort to not drive through when I’m feeling lazy and drained from the day. So even though I’m exhausted very often, I’ve made myself choose the healthy options and cook if need be. So I thought I’d make a mini grocery haul for you guys, to show you how easy it can be to make the healthy (and delicious) choices. Here are some great alternatives to foods I need in my life.

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Okay I need to begin with this product because of how amazing it is! As a college student knows (and any working person, really) having time for breakfast can be rare. Getting to those early morning classes barely gives you enough time to apply makeup and get dressed. However breakfast is a very important start to your day and I’m always bummed when I can’t fit it in. Yogurt is a great thing to grab on the go, but the dairy isn’t so great for your skin or your health in general. I have the fix for you! Coconut milk yogurt people! There is no dairy in these yogurts, making it aye okay for your skin and vegan as well! I picked this blueberry flavored one from Trader Joe’s and I kid you not, it is BETTER than regular yogurt. It’s sweet, the perfect consistency, and totally healthy! I’ve tried another brand of coconut milk based yogurt and it was good, but this brand is 100 times better. I cannot rave enough about it. The next time you’re at Trader Joe’s or any grocery store, look for yogurt like these! I wouldn’t recommend anything to you guys that I didn’t think you would like, so please try this out and let me know what you think!!

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If you’re anything like me, you absolutely, 100%, without a doubt NEED chocolate in your life. I’m not sure how I would function without it. Unfortunately, I’m sure without chocolate and sugar in general, my skin would be clearer and I’d lose weight a lot faster. So instead of going to Target and picking up the family size bag of Buncha Crunch that I so desperately want everyday, I’ve been leaning more towards a bit of dark chocolate or Powerberries. I’ve known about Powerberries for as long as I can remember, and they are to die for! Essentially what they are is an acai, blueberry, pomegranate, and cranberry ball dipped in dark chocolate. They are the perfect soft consistency that you want candy to be, while being much healthier than actual candy or chocolate bars. Dark chocolate (when eaten in moderation) is actually beneficial to your health. I am not a health expert by any means, but this is just a fact I’ve heard. I picked this up at Trader Joe’s and of course I have to mention the packaging. I love the colors and the way it’s designed and I always know the product when I see it.

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Another one of my favorite food products! And this one is vegan as well! Earth Balance is a fantastic brand that offers organic products, including this alternative for butter. I don’t know about you guys, but I love butter! Spread on a baguette before dinner, on toast, or used on a pan to make eggs, I seem to need it for so many things. However, butter is a diary product and again not good for your skin. This Earth Balance “fake butter” is the perfect replacement and tastes exactly like regular butter. This always seems to be in my fridge at home, and for some reason I just recently found out it’s fake butter! That’s how similar it is to the real thing. The product in the red container is even soy free, since soy isn’t very good for you either. (What IS good for us nowadays??) As I mentioned before, these products are completely vegan and also Non-GMO.

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One item specifically I’ve been trying to cut out is white bread. I absolutely love my white bread, but there are other choices I could make that would be more beneficial to my overall health. Rice cakes are a great alternative, and you can do a lot more with them! I love to put peanut butter, jelly, and banana slices on top of these which makes for an awesome breakfast or a quick afternoon snack between classes. Other great toppings could be peanut butter, almonds, and agave or even some avocados with chia seeds on top. Rice cakes are cool too because they are 100% vegan and even gluten free! Such a great combination and so delicious as well!

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Now if I really can’t escape the need for bread, there is a very healthy option that doesn’t make me feel as bad. Ezekiel bread is the perfect alternative for you! Not to mention, the Bible verse on the front and the little dove in the corner is too stinkin’ cute! Again, this is an organic product that I picked up from Trader Joe’s. There are different variations of this bread, but I tend to lean towards the low sodium version. I’ll be honest, it’s not as flavorful as white bread, but your body will thank you for making the healthier decision, right? Right!

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So this next product isn’t one you can necessarily buy in stores. It’s one you can make right at home! I’ve seen so many people do this so I thought I’d whip it up myself: frozen banana ice cream! It was so simple to make: take a couple of bananas, milk (I chose rice milk instead of cow’s milk), and whatever other flavor you want, blend it up, and freeze the mixture. It’s that easy! For the combination above, I chose to add in frozen strawberries to make banana strawberry ice cream. I also made two other flavors: banana coconut and peanut butter banana. So easy and very refreshing! Comment down below if you’ve ever tried this out!

So that’s all for today, let me know if you guys enjoy these food inspired posts or if you’d want more recipe suggestions. Hope you all are having a great end to your week!

Pasta Recipe + Meal Prepping!

Hey everyone! I have another new recipe for you! It was great to see the feedback from my last summer salad recipe post. You guys really love that healthy salad as much as I do! This recipe may not be as healthy as that kale and grape salad, but it is just as delicious and can be modified to be more health friendly. It is one of my favorite dishes that my mom always makes when I come home, so I thought I’d try making it in my apartment! I also made extra of everything so I would have it for the first week of school. I have a small meal plan this year, so I’m planning on bringing my lunches mostly everyday. It was super easy to make and great to take on the go! Keep reading to learn what ingredients you need, how to make it, and how I organized the extra food for the week!

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What You’ll Need

  • Farfalle pasta
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Ranch dressing
  • Salt (optional)

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  1. To start off, simply cook the pasta! (I put salt in the water so it boils faster and that’s good to do when cooking pasta).
  2. Cook the corn and peas (cooked separately and not in the same pot).
  3. Toss together the pasta, corn, and peas.
  4. Once those three ingredients are in a bowl, add in however much ranch you prefer.
  5. Add on some parmesan cheese, again to your own liking.
  6. Mix together and you’re done!!

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Time to Meal Prep!

Here’s the part I’ve been excited for. Since it’s a new year, I bought nothing but healthy things at Trader Joe’s. I want to start off on the right foot with meal prepping and knowing exactly what’s going into my food. I brought a ton of tupperware for the apartment, so I split all the extra food into separate containers that are easy to take on the go. All I’ll have to do is add on the ranch and a little parmesan before I leave and I’ll have a fresh lunch! I’m planning on meal prepping on Saturdays or Sundays so I’ll have meals and snacks for the entire week. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up, and I really hope I can to stay healthy!

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I know to some this recipe may seem a little different, but I kid you not, it is DELICIOUS! It’s one of my favorite things ever and such a nice treat. Try it out let me know what you think. If you end up trying it, post it on instagram and tag me @sageoliviablog! I’d love to see what you guys think! Hope you are all having a lovely week and if you’re back to school, hope you’re having a nice fresh start! xx

Simple Summer Salad Recipe!

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Hello all! You guys probably aren’t aware, but I am by no means a master chef. Actually, I’m pretty trash when it comes to cooking. I haven’t practiced that much, so naturally the list of delicious meals I can cook is limited. However, there is hope! This summer I have been obsessed with this one recipe, I just had to share it with you guys! A summer salad with fruit, kale, and so many more yummy things is what I’ve craved all season long. And it takes no time to make! Without further ado, here is what you’ll need:

  • fresh kale
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  • oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • grapes
  • roasted (or just sliced) almonds
  • raisins
  • salt and pepper (if you’d like)

Pretty simple list right? I’ve seen this sort of salad at many restaurants, in fact the photo below is from a restaurant called Active Culture, which is a very healthy, quite delicious place to eat. Their version of the salad was absolutely amazing, but they used actual salad dressing, whereas I prefer simple oil and vinegar. So here are the easy steps to take to make this salad:

  1. If you bought fresh kale from the grocery store, your first step is to clean it. Then, break off a bunch of pieces to create the base of your salad.
  2. Cut up some grapes! You can either throw in whole grans or cut them in half, which I prefer because they’re easier to eat. Throw those in the bowl with the kale!
  3. Add in some of those toasted almonds or plain almond slices. You can buy these by the bag at grocery stores.
  4. Add in the raisins! I usually don’t add these in at home, but they were just so delicious at the restaurant!
  5. Lastly for toppings, sprinkle in the parmesan cheese. I try to go light on the cheese, since dairy is not the best thing for your body. If you are vegan, leave out the cheese for the perfect vegan meal!
  6. Add in some drizzles of olive (or avocado) oil and balsamic vinegar to act as the dressing. It is super light, yet extremely flavorful!
  7. Toss that up and you’ve got the perfect fruity salad.

And that’s the whole recipe! Really its just throwing a bunch of ingredients into a bowl, mixing it up, and it’s done! I honestly love recipes like this though because it’ll be perfect to make in my apartment and even save the next day for lunch if I have leftovers. Leftovers are a girl’s best friend while in college! Let me know if you’ve ever had a salad like this before, I know they go great with strawberries and blueberries as well! Comment down below, I’d love to hear your thoughts! xx

How to Get an Internship + My Experience!

This summer has been a season of many firsts for me. Traveling and having new adventures was only half of it. One thing I had lined up for the summer was an internship! In order to graduate from my college, I have to have at least 1 unit of internship credit, and I have to complete 40 hours per unit. I actually ended up completing 2 units this summer, which means 80 hours where I interned.

Where did I intern? 

Since I am majoring in Graphic Design, naturally I searched (for a while I might add) for a place at a design firm. I’m not sure if I am allowed to mention the name of where I interned, so I won’t to avoid any questions or comments. But I will say it is a fairly large design firm compared to others I’ve researched. The environment is very professional, yet casual and very inviting. The buildings and interior offices are perfect to inspire creativity and were clearly created from a graphic designer’s mind. It is an architectural graphic design firm, which means they make signage and directional information for parks, billboards, community centers, etc. Signage is something we don’t think about super often, but it all needs some major designing when it comes to layout and even picking the materials. It was something I didn’t know much about before this internship, so I’m glad I got a chance to peek into this professional world of environmental graphic design.

Tips on How to Get Your Perfect Internship

So I’m going to be completely real with you guys. Getting an internship was not an easy thing. I emailed so many different firms, I probably couldn’t count them on both my hands. However, with all your effort, someone is bound to respond to you. And that’s exactly the mentality that I had. I knew if I emailed enough places and had some patience, I would get an internship sooner or later. And that definitely worked for me because here I am on my last day at the firm! I would like to throw in here that I did have a connection at this firm, which probably helped me some. In most professions, connections and networking play a huge part in your success. Not to say that your effort isn’t enough, but making connections and talking to people will make your job a lot easier. Talk to professors or teachers at your school, they are usually more than happy to help. I know my professors and advisors are always there to answer questions or give advice when I need it. Don’t be afraid to speak up, people want to help!

It might also be good to mention my school’s program that helps students with their resumes and getting jobs during school and after graduation. It is called OSV, Offices of Strengths and Vocation. As students we can go to them for internship, job, and career advice. I’m sure many other colleges have a similar program and it might be helpful to reach out to them if you are struggling finding an internship.

My Opinion on Internships

Honestly, I think internship are extremely beneficial to your future. It gives you the ability to establish connections early on and gives you a head start on your career. My internship was unpaid, which was perfectly fine because the experience was more valuable to me than getting paid. You can get a random job at any point in your life, but getting an internship in your specific field, even if it is unpaid, will be well worth it in the future. Even if your school does not require any internship credit, I recommend searching for one anyways. Take a semester off from working, and get some real world experience. You won’t regret it!