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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Expectation vs. Reality: Living in Southern California

Hello loves! Wow, life has been seriously so hectic lately. Like, busier than I’ve been in a long time. On one hand, it feels so good to have a routine again and on the other, I’ve been simply exhausted and sore from being on my feet all day. I’ve also been applying and interviewing for lots of companies from graphic design to social media. Post grad life has truly been a whirl wind and a roller coaster to say the least, so I’m just trying to keep my head above water right now. It’s all good things, but it feels even better to sit down and write a blog post. So for today, I thought I’d do an expectation vs. reality post! Which I’ve never done before, but it will be completely California themed. I’ll be debunking all the myths about living in Southern California and confirming anything I believe to be true. Straight from the mind of a Californian!

Expectation: Let’s start with something that has taken LA, Orange County, and San Diego restaurants by storm. Californians eat avocado everyday, without fail. They are all OBSESSED with it! 

Reality: While avocados are delicious and good for your body, not all of us have fallen head over heels for the fruit. I’m a person who enjoys the occasional avocado toast (complete with an egg and salsa) but I’m actually slightly allergic to avocados. I know others who are from California who seem to have the same intolerance. I’m actually super bummed I have this issue, because they are filled with healthy fats for your bod. So unfortunately, not all of us Californians have an avocado addiction.

Expectation: Oh, you’re from California! Do you surf?? 

Reality: True and false! Well, probably mostly false, depending where you’re from. I grew up with most of my friends spending mornings or entire days at the beach surfing. Especially in the summer, the water is filled with surfers at my home beach. It’s something I love most about my city! However, if you’re asking someone who lives more inland, they might not have ever surfed in their life. Most of the state is not near an ocean, so most likely the majority of Californians will not label themselves as surfers. It is a very frequently asked question, but simply depends on who you’re asking.

Expectation: California can totally be shortened to “Cali.”

Reality: I’ll keep this one short and sweet. You will never ever hear a Californian say “Cali.” It is simply a big old nope for us, LOL.

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Expectation: People from California always put the word “the” in front of freeway numbers.

Reality: Absolutely, undeniably true! I’m not exactly sure why we do this, but it would sound weird if you didn’t say this in California. Very frequently I end up saying, “I’m taking the 5” or, “You have to take the 405.” I take these freeways everywhere! Down to San Diego, to Los Angeles, and even to work everyday. It’s a part of life here in Southern California, and I don’t know what we’d do without the 5, 405, 101, or even the 73.

Expectation: In N Out is every Californian’s favorite fast food location! 

Reality: This is a definite myth for me. While many people come to California for the beaches, the sun, and In N Out, I’m actually not the biggest fan of the restaurant! I usually get their grilled cheese sandwich, once in a while with french fries or a chocolate shake. These are very rare occasions though. In N Out usually has an extremely long line, no matter what time of the day you’re going. While the food is by no means bad, its simply not the place I’d chose if I had to eat fast food. Personally, I’d way rather have Taco Bell! Anyone with me on that? I do love that In N Out  is a Christian company though; they have little Bible verses on the bottom of their cups! Check it out next time you drive through!

Expectation: California always gets hit by earthquakes, it’s so scary to live there! The state will break off the continent one day!

Reality: We definitely experience the occasional earthquake. I’ve lived through a few in my lifetime that have been a bit scary, knocking down ceiling tiles and small objects. I remember being in my English Honors class during high school, which was on the second story of the building. Everything shook and we experienced a rolling feeling. That’s another thing: there are many different types of earthquakes that are more damaging than others. Luckily, I’ve never lived through something extremely devastating and the aftershocks are usually not as bad. I don’t feel it’s a valid reason to not live here though, since earthquakes are pretty rare. While “The Big One” is set to happen some time in the future, I don’t think we should live our lives in fear of something we can’t control. If you move to SoCal and experience an earthquake, you will be totally fine!

I hope you guys enjoyed this little expectation vs. reality post! It was super fun to reflect on my life here in Southern California and debunk some stereotypes of Californians. I feel very lucky to have grown up here and it’s definitely where I want to raise a family one day. Let me know if there’s any other expectations about living in California you’re curious about, I’d love to answer more down in the comments! See you there!

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Talkative Tuesday: New Chapters

Hey everyone! Hope you all are doing well and had a fabulous Thanksgiving filled with laughs, family, and friends. For this week’s Talkative Tuesday, I wanted to go over some thoughts that my roommate and I were discussing a couple of days ago. Which is, ending certain chapters of your life to begin new and exciting ones!

Those of us who went off to college have either kept a group of our high school friends or simply lost touch with most of them. Personally, I am so grateful for the friends I met here in college and even for those who are only a part of my past. Most of my college friends I met freshman year in our dorm hall and I’m so lucky a group of us are still so close. They have been there for me through thick and thin and I couldn’t imagine my college experience without them. Many people feel this way about high school friends as well, which is totally awesome! But my message to you this week (especially if you are getting ready to go off to college) is that it’s okay to want to start a new chapter. It’s okay to need to let go of certain people to better or change your future.

I get the feeling that many people expect to keep their high school friends for their entire lives. And some lucky people do! But right now I hope to be that friend that will tell you the truth. Every one of your friends is going to change once you enter college and I mean that in the best of ways! These years will help to shape you into the adult you will become and if that means closing one chapter of your book to open a new one, then that’s 100% okay!

Some people may feel guilty about doing this, but honestly it’s only going to help you make your future what you want it to be. I know in my case I have chosen to end one time in my life to get to a better and more exciting one filled with new friends and new experiences! That’s what college is all about. This time is meant for YOU and what YOU want or need. I’ve been told time and time again that it’s your time to be selfish (not in a negative way, of course) and to dial in on exactly what it is you want to do with your life. If you need to let some friends go, whether you were only acquaintances or if they were a toxic friend, that’s okay. Be open to new people and don’t focus on what is in the past.

I know I’m still learning how to do this, even in my third year of being at my university. Being in a long distance relationship has helped me to not focus so much on the past and try to look forward to the future. As hard as this is, I think I’m learning more every day. If you focus on things you miss or on your past, you’re not giving your future a chance. In fact, you’re not giving yourself a chance. Only thinking about one chapter of your life isn’t healthy, try taking the future one day at a time and finding excitement in it!

I hope this post was clear and helped any one of you. Being the oldest sibling, I never had an older sister or brother to give me short tips like this or to tell me that it’s okay to let go. That it’s okay to be excited for what’s to come! I hope you’re looking forward to your future and pursuing whatever it is that you love! ❤

Pumpkin Pancake Apple Rings Recipe!

Pumpkin Pancake Apple Rings Recipe!

Hi friends! I’m so glad I’m finally getting the chance to post. I’ve missed blogging so much while my life just seems to get busier and busier. I couldn’t pass up writing about this amazing recipe though! I found this Apple Rings recipe from Facebook and altered it very slightly to make it gluten free and easy for anyone to recreate! It’s perfect for the fall season, especially with Thanksgiving coming up, but also for busy moms who want to whip up a quick and healthy snack for the kids. So let’s jump right on into the recipe:

Items you will need:

  1. Apples (if you’re making these for multiple people, buy A LOT of apples)
  2. Gluten free pumpkin pancake mix (you can buy this at Trader Joe’s)
    • you will need 1 egg, butter, and water for the pancake mix
  3. Cinnamon
  4. Maple Syrup

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To start off this recipe, clean your apples and cut them horizontally to create thin apple circles. Next you must create rings out of these circles but stamping a hole in the middle of the apples. You can do this by simply cutting a circle with a knife or in my case, I took a tiny circular measuring cup and punched a hole out with it. Refer to the photo below for exactly what they should look like!

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Second, mix up your pancake batter. The Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes have instructions for how to put it together. Only 1 egg, melted butter, water, and the mix is needed. Make sure not to over mix the batter! Now it’s time to place your apple rings into the pancake mix and place them on your pan. I use a low heat since the pancakes tend to cook super fast and it’s easy to burn them. Flip the apple rings like you would a normal pancake.

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Once they’re cooked, place them on a plate and drizzle some cinnamon over them to add some extra flavor! Add some maple syrup on the side and voila! They’re done! They can be eaten just like waffle sticks and dipped into the syrup by hand. It’s a perfect breakfast or snack for kids before school or on an autumn Sunday morning.

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This recipe is 100% gluten free and safe for anyone around you who stays away from gluten. But it can also be made with whatever pancake batter you like, even if it’s not gluten free. It’s a very flexible recipe and took about 10-15 minutes to make. The more you make them, the better they taste! Let me know if you try out this recipe by commenting below! Hope you guys are having a great November and had a fabulous Halloween! ❤

Talkative Tuesday: Halloween Fun This October!

Hello loves! I am so stoked that we have finally entered the fall season! Even in SoCal, the weather is starting to chill out a little bit (thank goodness!). I wanted to make a short little post about great places to go to celebrate Halloween and autumn in general! There are endless amounts of things to do and places to go but here is a list of my favorites:

1. Pumpkin Patches! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to go to a pumpkin patch every year, but it’s a great place to get some fall themed pictures and spend your time doing something cute and interesting.

2. Corn Mazes! You can usually find a corn maze right next to a pumpkin patch. They kind of go hand in hand. Whether you want to take a stroll finding your way through the corn during the day or spooking yourself out at night, it’s a great activity to do with friends!

3. Getting your costume together! This isn’t much of an activity, but I love thinking about what I’m being for Halloween and getting my costume ready for the 31st. Even though Halloween is on a Monday this year, I’m making sure I have a great costume with kick butt makeup (per usual). I won’t reveal what I’m dressing up as right now, but you can bet there will be a post all about it!

4. Watching scary movies with your significant other or with friends! I’m not much of a horror movie viewer throughout the rest of the year, but during the fall time, I’m down for a psychological thriller. I’m not so much into the gory films as much as I’m into the “mess with your mind” type of movies. For example, The Birds, Gremlins, The Shining, or even The Sixth Sense. Sitting down with some popcorn and hot chocolate (or better yet, a Pumpkin Spice Latte) with a scary movie is the best during this time!

5. Pumpking Carving! I almost forgot this one but I’m glad it wasn’t left out! Most years I will carve pumpkins and make jack-o-lanterns. It’s a very creative activity for those of you who are on the artsy side. I know I’ve always loved the super detailed pumpkins on the porches!

6. Knott’s Scary Farm! I’ve only been to Knott’s during Halloween a couple of times, but it is so dang enjoyable! When I went the first time, I was afraid it would give me a lot of anxiety, but going with my boyfriend and friends added some comedic relief and it was actually super fun! Even if you’re slightly afraid to go, I would recommend you try it out. It makes for some hilarious and spooky memories!

Activities from this list can make some of the best memories, no matter how old you are! I can definitely say I enjoy every one of these! Let me know which one you love most or any traditions you have for this chilly season down below in the comments section! Thanks guys, stay spooky! 🙂

Talkative Tuesday: Fun Things To Do With Your Friends In College!

Hello loves! Hope your Monday went well and that it was a great start to your work/school week. Us college students usually have so many things to check off our To-Do lists on a Monday. I know with my school schedule Mondays are always super busy for me. However, my week starts to die down around Thursday and I finally get a chance to take a breath. This is the time I like to cater to my social life and see what my friends are up to. A lot of the time, we like to just stay in and find something fun to do at the dorms. Because as you would expect, we are exhausted from our week. So here’s some things we love to do when staying in and I hope it gives you some ideas to try out with your own group of friends!

1. Watch a movie + popcorn!: This may seem like an obvious one with the technology we have nowadays. But there are times when all we want to do is sit down together and pick a movie off of Netflix. The dorms here have a place called “the box” where you can buy candy, popcorn, and usually any sort of junk food (not so healthy I know, but once in a while I’ll cave in). We’ll buy a bag or two from there if someone doesn’t have any already bought. Sometimes a simple hangout with a movie is all it takes to relax and spend quality time with your favorite people.

Bonus tip: While we’re on the subject of movies/television, some of my friends and I love to keep up with a T.V. show. For example when it’s on, we love to keep up with The Bachelor or Bachelor in Paradise!

2. Do our nails/hair: Surprise! Shocker here…NOT! This could sound very stereotypical of girls and what we consider fun, but I know if we have any free time, some pampering is always a good idea. Personally I bring to school a bin of many different colored nail polishes. I can’t use them all myself and I know my friends loving looking through the colors. It’s fun to just sit around with your friends painting nails or doing our hair for the next day of classes. It’s super simple but you never know when you’ll get free time again!

3. Order in: Sometimes when its dinnertime and already dark out, you don’t really feel like going off campus to get something other than cafeteria food. Ordering up a pizza to split together can be fun. Chinese food is another good alternative if you aren’t feeling up for all that cheesy pizza. (Make sure the place has good ratings before you order. I speak from experience when I say it’s not fun to get borderline nasty Chinese take out when you’re starving). That’s a good habit to get into anyway when you’re trying something new: always check for good or bad ratings on sites like Yelp!

4. Do something creative: My friends and I have done this once where we will paint together outside our dorms. This is a creative and memorable activity to do with your friends and may even open them up to something fun and new. Maybe do some watercoloring or calligraphy to add some art to your white walls in the dorm room. It definitely makes for good use of your time and it’s a great memory to share with friends. Doing something artsy will always be something fun to look back on once you’re all graduated and living different lives.

5. Take photos: This is something I need to get in the habit of doing more often. When you’re in college, take tons of pictures! It’s something I’ve really been making an effort to do more because I want to look back and remember the happy memories with great people I met over the years. Even if you’re doing something totally normal like talking with friends in your room, go ahead and take that selfie. Whenever you’re out to dinner or walking around campus, that’s a good time to pull out your phone and take a couple Snaps or post a photo to Instagram.

These are such simple things to do with your friends but they really do make for the best memories. Some of the selfies or old photos I’ve found from my freshman year really take me back. The years are flying by and the best thing to do is take advantage of the time you have. Talk to you guys soon! ❤

Talkative Tuesday: Things I’m Looking Forward To This Fall!

Hey there, guys! With September upon us, that also means some lovely fall weather is on its way! Now I know my part of California doesn’t get a lot of change between the seasons, but we do have a couple weeks where it gets cold and rainy. Those are the weeks I look forward to during the autumn time, because believe it or not, I love a good rainy day. My blog has always been focused on California culture, fashion, and trends. But I like to change it up a bit during the fall and winter with the colors I wear to a slight change in my aesthetic. For example, I plan to replace one of my pillows this fall with a fluffy/furry one I got last year to match the feel of autumn.

So here’s a little list of things I’m especially excited about for fall (I’m sure most of you can relate to them, so hopefully your favorite thing is in this list):

1. Neutral/autumn colors: Orange, black, beige, mustard, brown, burgundy are all perfect colors for the season and I can’t wait for them to back in trend!

2. Pumpkin Spice Lattes: Okay, I’m going to be real honest here and say I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte last week…I know, a white girl who hasn’t had one every year?! Shocking! Starbucks just released their classic autumn drink recently and I’m hooked. If you’re wanting a warm, pumpkin drink to warm you up, definitely try it out.

3. Cuddling up with a blanket and a book while listening to the rain: This is probably one of my favorite things to do in the fall. On a cold, rainy day there’s nothing better than a big warm blanket, tea, and a book/Netflix. During school it’s hard for me to find time to read for leisure but I’m hoping to find time this autumn!

4. Going to eat pho with my boyfriend or friends on a chilly afternoon: So pho is kind of the new thing I’ve been obsessed with. If you don’t know, pho is a vietnamese dish that consists of rice noodles, broth, meat, sprouts, mint, and Sriracha sauce (for myself, I get the vegetarian pho since I don’t eat meat, so there’s a ton of veggies to replace it). I have never been a soup fan, but this has surprisingly won me over. Thanks to my boyfriend for getting me hooked and I have a few friends at school who love it as well! Perfect to warm you up on that wind blown day.

5. The smell and feel after it has just rained: A lot of things on this list have to do with rain because we don’t get a whole lot of it here and it never snows. It’s our little taste of the fall season that most Southern Californians look forward to. Watching the rain is a beautiful thing, but the smell after it has passed and the feel of the air after a downpour is one of my absolute favorite things!

That’s it for this week’s Talkative Tuesday! I hope you enjoyed my favorite things about the fall and that it got you into the September mood. I’m ready to say goodbye to the heat and hello to cuddly, chilly days. 🙂