BIRTHDAY MONTH: WISH LIST.

IT’S SEPTEMBER!

Didn’t August just fly right on by? Since I was so busy, I hardly had any time to blog. Also, with school starting- it’s been hectic. I’m officially a college SENIOR! It’s been a long time coming! “One more year left” is what I keep repeating to myself when things become too overwhelming. Although I CANNOT wait to be done- I’m going to try and savor the last moments of being a college student. {it’s been so nice to make my own schedule & not working}

Besides that- It’s my BIRTHDAY MONTH! I am turning 25 years old on the 30th! Now that is something I cannot wrap my head around.  Mid-twenties. WHAT? A lot of people I know are having babies, getting married, have “adult” jobs, and  it’s just crazy to think that this is an age where these things start happening. But I’m looking forward to twenty-five! I’m curious what new things I’ll do this year/ where life will take me.

Here are some cute things I’d like to have/ or really like at the moment:

SPERRY QUILTED DUCK BOOTS.

 

PATAGONIA WOMEN’S COTTON QUILT HOODY.

 

 

 

 

PATAGONIA WOMEN’S CLEAN COLOR SWEATSHIRT.

 

 

 

 

VASQUE BREEZE HIKING BOOTS.

 

 

 

THE NORTH FACE ISABELLA DAYPACK.

 

Notice a theme? I really want to get more involved outdoors: hiking, camping, etc. I need a pair of hiking boots! So that would be an amazing gift!

 

xo

 

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK & HUME LAKE.

This past weekend I went camping with my twin, brother-in-law + our dogs. We drove to Sequoia National Park & spent a relaxing weekend there, hanging out. It was perfect summer weather. Since I’m starting fall semester again Aug. 24th, this was my last summer trip! I can’t believe summer is basically coming to an end, and Autumn is creeping around the corner. I’m ready for Fall though, it’s my favorite season.

Here are a few pictures from our time in Sequoia National Park & Hume Lake:

 

We got to see the biggest tree on earth: General Sherman. It was amazing!

 

 

I had a really nice time, without cell reception. Sometimes you need to disconnect from everything and relax. I hope to go camping again soon- I want to explore more places I’ve never been to. Lola was a little bit of a handful, but then again she isn’t used to being outdoors in the woods. haha! I think she’d do fine in a cabin though. I’ll have to remember that for next time.

I hope you all have a lovely  day.

 

xo

25TH BIRTHDAY IDEAS: WINE TASTING IN SONOMA COUNTY.

It’s officially August! Which means my birthday is next month! And not any birthday, it’s a milestone birthday: twenty-five! Craziness. So I have been trying to think of ideas of what to do. I’ve been to Napa Valley for wine tasting (even celebrated my 21st there), but I’ve never gone to Sonoma. I think this will be the perfect place to celebrate officially being in my mid-twenties: drink delicious wine and enjoy the gorgeous scenery.

I’ve narrowed the list down to 5 wineries I’m interested in visiting, for the weekend getaway:

 

1. FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA WINERY | Geyserville, Ca.

 

 

2. VIANSA SONOMA | Sonoma, Ca.

 

 

3. FERRARI CARANO VINEYARDS & WINERY | Healdsburg, Ca.

 

 

4. GLORIA FERRER CAVES & VINEYARDS | Sonoma, Ca.

 

 

5. JORDAN VINEYARD & WINERY | Healdsburg, Ca.

 

 

If anyone has been to Sonoma, and has any good winery recommendations that I haven’t listed, I’d love to know what they are. Also any hotel/restaurant/coffee shop recommendations would be greatly appreciated as well!

xo

PIGEON POINT LIGHTHOUSE.

This past weekend I had the urge to go on a little adventure; I wanted to drive along the coast, and explore a place I’ve never been to. So I chose to visit Pigeon Point Lighthouse in Pescadero, Ca. Although it’s late July, it was very foggy & chilly (just along the coast), as soon as you go a few miles inland it’s sunny and a lot warmer, but this is typical in Northern California.

This lighthouse was built in 1871, and is the tallest on the West Coast. (so cool!)

The actual lighthouse is unfortunately closed- due to it’s bad condition. There’s corroded iron- and it is not safe for people to be inside anymore. But the light station is open to the public and has the actual light from the lighthouse inside (shown above). Hopefully one day they can restore and reopen it to the public.

If you’re a fan of lighthouses- I recommend seeing this one. The views are spectacular- I can only imagine what it looks like on a clear day. I love exploring more of my state, especially the coast. I have a goal to see every lighthouse in California- and I’m glad I can check this off my list.

Want to see what I’m up to? Follow me on INSTAGRAM!

 

xo

 

 

MADEWELL: CURRENT WISHLIST.

I’m obsessed with everything from Madewell. Too bad I don’t have the money to shop right now! So instead, a girl can dream… here are a few things on my wishlist:

 

 

 

striped off-the-shoulder shirtdress $110

 

 

 

striped melody off-the-shoulder dress $88

 

 

 

the callie slipper flat in leather $108

 

 

 

medium transport tote $158

 

 

 

ribbed knit jayna bralette $29.50

 

 

 

lily ruffle dress in sea floral $69.99 (on sale!)

 

 

 

xo

 

BEDROOM INSPIRATION:

It’s official: I signed a year lease to live in Santa Cruz! I’m excited for this new chapter in my life, and looking forward to exploring Santa Cruz, and all the surrounding beach towns along the coast. I live two blocks away from the beach… my daily walks just got a whole lot better! I expect to take full advantage of being right next to the ocean- watching sunsets, going on hikes, tanning, and long walks on the beach. The thing I’m most excited about? I now have a little backyard for my Lola girl! She is going to love it so much. She will spend most of her days outside sunbathing, while I tend to my plants. SO HAPPY.

So now that I’m moving into the new house, I want to get a few new decor pieces for my new bedroom. I have a big window, and would love to get some sheer curtains to add a bright beachy vibe (like these ones):

I bought some new things for my room like this rug, this chair (in blush pink), and this san francisco native map (in blue + gold).

Things I still need to purchase: dresser, bookshelf, full-length door mirror.

Some room inspiration I have been loving & looking at thanks to Pinterest:

xo

 

PRODUCTS I WANT TO TRY: SUNSCREEN.

With my 25th birthday creeping around the corner (September 30th), I’ve been doing more research about skincare. I’ll  be in my mid-twenties (when the hell did this happen?), and that means I really need to start the “prevention” stage. Prevent fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, and aging skin. It actually stresses me out a little- but I don’t want to be one of those women you see with horrible sun-damaged skin! It’s not a good look.

So, with that said I’ve been on the hunt for a good face sunscreen. I’m totally one for drug-store products, but I think splurging for skincare is an investment, so I don’t mind spending a little more $$. I also want to start buying more products that are cruelty-free & don’t test on animals!

  • Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35 PA+++

I have never heard of this brand until stumbling across it on Sephora. I was doing a “top rated” search on face sunscreens and this one came up. I looked into the brand & was impressed. They are a Japanese brand that do not test on animals. This bottle retails for $65.00 & when I get some extra money, I will be purchasing it.

 

  • Farmacy Green Screen Daily Environmental Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen with Echinacea GreenEnvy™

I have used Farmacy products before, and I really liked them! They do not test on animals, which is a huge plus; and this bottle only retails for $36.00! If you don’t have a lot of money to splurge, this is a great option. It has 4.7 out of 5.0 stars on Sephora, I think it’s worth testing/trying out.

 

  • Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA++++

Another option that is cruelty free & not tested on animals: Murad. I have never used Murad products before, but have only heard the best things about them. This bottle retails for $65.00, and has 5/5 stars on Sephora’s website. If I don’t try out Tatcha’s product (see above, #1) then I will try this product out.

 

If you have any face sunscreen recommendations I’d love to hear them! I’d love to try anything with an SPF of 30 or higher! Or if you have tried any of these products- tell me what you thought about them, I’m super curious & want to buy the best one possible.

 

xo

EATING IN THE CITY.

One of my favorite things to do is trying new places to eat. I’m huge on aesthetics/decor when it comes to restaurants or cafes. How do I find the cute gems if it’s not a recommendation from a friend? I use Yelp! No, seriously. Yelp never really disappoints- and I use it ALL THE TIME. Who doesn’t use Yelp nowadays?

This past week I hit up 3 adorable places, one being a cafe. I thought I’d share, just in case anyone wanted to try these places out. They are all in San Francisco.

  • PALM HOUSE. (cow hollow)

What did I order? Huevos Rancheros. Worth it? Beyond worth it, so freakin’ good. Not pictured, but try the Caribbean Iced Coffee- oh my.

  • SOUVLA. (NOPA)

What did I order? Pork salad, Greek fries & a glass of Rosé. Worth it? Absolutely! This huge bowl of salad filled me up, and they were not stingy with the pork. SO DELICIOUS. It had fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, kale, pickled red onions, and feta cheese. I’m totally going back- and the great thing is they have multiple locations in the city!

  • THE MILL. (NOPA/alamo square)

What did I order? Latte & cinnamon toast! Is it worth it? Yes, if you love a fancy latte & a place to come relax/ hang out with a friend/ do some schoolwork. They make all their loaves fresh (yum) and even have pizza night from 6-9pm every evening (which I haven’t had… yet).

Do you have any recommendations for me- not just in San Francisco, but in the Bay Area? I would also love some spots in Los Angeles (since I visit frequently)! Stay tuned for more Eating in the City posts.

xo

Studying Abroad in Paris, France.

I’ve been home for a little over a month, and I think it’s time I write my “study abroad” experience blog post. Where do I even begin?

What an incredible experience. I am SO HAPPY I took the plunge and decided to follow my dreams of studying abroad. I think I picked the BEST place to study. I fell in love with Paris, but let’s be honest- who doesn’t fall in love with the city of lights? It’s charming, the wine is amazing, and everywhere you turn it’s visually pleasing. The Parisian buildings, famous landmarks, and museums made me never want to leave.

I had picnics by the Eiffel Tower (something I’ll never forget) with wine, cheese, and baguettes, enjoyed wild nights out in Bastille with amazing friends, and enjoyed drinking coffee at my favorite cafe called Radiodays. Life in Paris for 4 months was a complete DREAM.

I found myself there. I gained my confidence back, I learned how to be independent again, and I chased adventure. For the first time in a very long time, I felt happy and free. I felt like I could accomplish anything. This is my biggest take away from studying abroad. I was able to reinvent myself, and focus completely on myself. I had just gotten out of a long term relationship, and going to Paris when I did was the best thing ever. It put a lot of things into perspective, and for the first time in years, I was single!

I made friends for life. Before going abroad, I was so nervous to meet new people. I am pretty reserved and mostly always to myself, so to my surprise I made a ton of friends. I traveled to different countries with them- and we experienced different cultures together. It was hard saying goodbye to these people, because most of them live on the East Coast! But one day, I plan on visiting them all and having a little reunion. I miss them all so much.

I finally can say I’ve been to Europe. For the longest time I’ve been itching to travel to Europe. I’d watch “House Hunters International” on HGTV, and record the episodes that were specifically in Europe. Places like Paris, London, Madrid, Milan, Prague and more were calling my name. Studying abroad in Paris meant that it was easy to travel to other surrounding countries (a huge BONUS)! So, as you all know from prior blog posts I was able to go to: Amsterdam, London, Barcelona, Nice & Cannes, Venice, Rome, Naples, and Marseille. This was me traveling on a budget and having limited money… I was so fortunate to be able to see all those beautiful cities. I cannot wait to go back and explore the places I didn’t get to visit. Now that I’ve had a little taste of traveling, I want more!

School/Fun ratio was perfect. The American Business School of Paris is where I attended for Spring semester. I took a full load (12 units), and had more than enough downtime to travel, have fun, and enjoy the city life. I had class Tuesday, Thursday and Friday’s. I loved having three day weekends; it truly was the best. I liked the school, and loved how many different nationalities went there! I got to meet all kinds of people, from all over.

If I could go back to Paris, I would in a heartbeat. I’m actually still dealing with withdrawals and coming down from my Paris high- as I call it. I hope to go back to Europe when I graduate from college next fall. I’d love to backpack for 3 months or so, but obviously that all depends on finances & where I’m at in my life. BUT- that’s the goal. I must go back! Some places I’d love to see that I didn’t? Switzerland, Greece, Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Austria, Czech Republic, Portugal,  Scotland, Ireland, Wales, should I even go on? I’d be down to go ANYWHERE!

I’d tell anyone thinking about studying abroad to DO IT. Jump in, head first. It really did change my life, and opened my eyes to a whole new world. If you have any questions, or would love some advice about Paris- I’d be happy to share my knowledge and experiences. This was a special blog post to write, I hope y’all loved it.

 

xo

ROME, ITALY.

After spending a few days in Venice, I took a train to Rome! I have to say, I had THE BEST TIME in Roma! It was so HOT, and I did so much walking- but so worth it.

Where do I even begin? So, as I said before- Italy was my SOLO-TRIP! I stayed at the yellow. It had a bar right next door, so it’s a great way to meet people! I highly recommend staying there if you want to have a good time. The bar has different theme nights, good drinks + food.

There were a couple of things I just HAD to check off my list:

  1. The Colosseum
  2.  Trevi Fountain
  3.  Spanish Steps

   

If you know me, I’m a HUGE Audrey Hepburn fan, and Roman Holiday is one of my favorite movies. Sitting on the Spanish Steps was so surreal. It was beyond beautiful. I wish I got a picture of myself sitting on the steps– but truthfully, I didn’t trust giving anyone my iPhone! That was my only lifeline (I used google maps to get everywhere! & that was my only way to stay connected with friends + family). So, when I go back to Rome, I’ll for sure get more pictures with myself in them. (i’m assuming i’ll be there with someone! ha!)

 

Now, more gorgeous pictures from Roma!

 

I loved Rome so much. I cannot wait to go back, one day.

 

xo