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

VENICE, ITALY.

My last adventure living in Europe was my solo-trip to ITALY! I flew into Venice & stayed a few nights. I stayed in a quiet hostel, with 2 other people in the room. It was called Dimora Il Valiero Romantico. I always book my hostels through Hostelworld, so if you’re interested take a look at their reviews & ratings.

I had the best gelato & pizza I’ve ever tasted! The gondolas were adorable (but pricey) so I didn’t take a ride on one! But if I was with a partner, or friends I totally would have!

 

I island hopped from Murano to Burano & I highly recommend you see it if you go to Venice! It was only about 20 euros to go to both islands. I definitely loved Burano more, because it was so charming with all the colorful houses (you’ll see from my pictures)! But Murano was great because they are known for their Venetian glass.

 

MURANO

 

BURANO

 

 

Venice was a magical city, and something I’m so glad I got to cross off my list of places to see. I know Venice won’t be around forever, so I’m thrilled that I got to experience it.

 

xo

SOUTH OF FRANCE: NICE & CANNES.

As my time in Europe is coming to an end, I had to make my way to the South of France. It was going to be my last trip of the semester- but I pulled the trigger and booked my flight for one last destination… which I can’t wait to blog about (stay tuned!)

My time in Nice & Cannes was amazing. I was blown away by how beautiful the ocean was! Gorgeous aqua blue waters, rustic buildings, and the cutest restaurants.

CANNES:

 

NICE:

Nice had the cutest flea market, I was dying for the pink chair. Too bad I couldn’t take it home with me!

 

The weather was nice! Most of the time I wore a sleeveless shirt. I managed to get a little bit of a tan, too!

 

 

We climbed up to see the views of Nice & the waterfall. It was so worth it! It feels really good to be able to add this to the list of places I’ve seen. My favorite part of the trip was spending time with my girlfriends. Good company, good food, and the best views- what more can a girl ask for?

 

 

xx

BARCELONA.

March 31st- April 4th I made my way to Barcelona. Originally, Spain wasn’t on my list of places I was going to see… but all of my friends kept raving about how gorgeous the city was. So, I said to myself, “why not go?”

The city truly is beautiful, I loved hearing people speaking Spanish & English. The hostel that we stayed at was called MEDITERRANEAN YOUTH HOSTEL. I highly recommend this hostel, as it’s a short metro ride to everything. The staff were very helpful and gave us a map of fun things to see/do, and even gave us recommendations of places to eat. The day we got to Barcelona I had to get some beer, paella, and tapas. We went to a place called BCN Birres i Tapes. It was so GOOD & affordable.

This trip I really wanted to relax, and not jam-pack my day with things to do. I wanted to just walk around the city, eat, and have fun. It worked out perfectly!

Here are some great shots I got in Barcelona:

 

It rained a little bit when we were there, but for the most part it was sunny & warm! I would love to go back to Spain and explore more of Barcelona, and actually make my way to Madrid, Valencia, Granada, and Ibiza.

 

 

We went to Granada Familia, Montjuïc Castle, Parc de la Ciutadella, walked along the beach, went to some clubs, and made friends at our hostel. The Gothic Quarter is also super fun to walk around! Barcelona was everything my friends told me it was, and I was not disappointed! My bloodline on my father’s side is Spanish, so it was fun being in a place where my ancestors came from.

Next trip is probably going to be my last trip, sadly. I’ve had so much fun in Europe, it’s been an absolute dream. I’m forever grateful for these memories and trips.

 

xx