READING GOALS FOR 2020.

I’m so glad I’ve gotten into reading, and making the time to enjoy a good novel. Reading is a great way to unwind after a long day, and my reading pile keeps on growing. This year my goal is to read 30 books (I think it’s attainable with a one year old). January is about to be over, and I’ve already read two books: We Met in December by Rosie Curtis & Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. I’m onto my third book: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I’ve heard such amazing things about this novel- as it is a VERY popular read! I’m only on the first chapter and hope to finish by the first week of February. Would anyone be interested in book reviews?

 

Some books on my reading for the next few months include:

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What books are on your reading list & if you have any good book recommendations, please feel free to leave them in the comments!

Follow me on instagram for reading updates @krystalinthecity

I’ve also made a new instagram account selling affordable used and new books @lolacolettebooks 🙂

 

I hope 2020 has started off great for you all!

 

xx

Saying goodbye to 2019.

Christmas is officially over, and things have calmed down. I have been reminiscing a lot about 2019: there were many highs and lows. 2019 was a huge year because it was my first official year of motherhood. So many emotions! My patience has been tested, so many lessons I’ve learned along the way. As I look back, I cannot believe it went by in a blink! Where did the year truly go? I have no idea… Eloise has been my main focus and it’s so bittersweet looking back on photos of her being a tiny sweet newborn. Time truly waits for no one!

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My sweet girl only a few months old!

 

 

Another high of 2019: I asked my partner to be my husband! I PROPOSED! If you missed that post you can read it HERE. I loved our engagement… a warm March day by the ocean. Muir Beach in Northern California will forever hold a special place in my heart. 2020 is going to be the year we finally say “I DO”! It’s exciting… and long overdue.

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2019 we did a bit of traveling: Northern California, New England, Colorado, and Utah (for some national parks). I have to say… New England during Autumn was hands down my favorite trip of 2019! It was PURE MAGIC! It was also Eloise’s first plane ride, and she did so amazing. (I stressed out for nothing!) I’m really hoping 2020 brings more adventures… and I’m crossing my fingers it’s international. Some places I’d love to visit in 2020: Hawaii (Maui of course!), the Bay Area- to visit friends and our old stomping grounds, and Europe (hoping we can go to the Netherlands & France). I know that’s a lot to hope for… but I’m putting it out in the universe. 😉

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A pic from New England… pure beauty!

 

 

I am also pleased with all the reading I did in 2019. I’m going to officially make a “reading” goal for 2020- be on the lookout for that! My favorite books of 2019? The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides you can find HERE. Also The Editor by Steven Rowley you can find HERE. I actually met Steven Rowley at a book signing in Pleasanton, California. He was so friendly, and gave good advice on anyone aspiring to write their own novel (yup, I asked). I already have a stack of books going into 2020 that I want to read- I’m so excited! I signed up & am officially a member for BOOK OF THE MONTH. If you’d like to sign up too- CLICK THIS LINK. 🙂

 

This year I turned 27 years old… and I feel content growing older. I lost a lot of weight, but want to focus on feeling healthier and stronger. I’m hoping I can stop my lazy ways, and start a workout I am truly passionate about. I start school again in FALL 2020! I have one year left until I graduate, and that’s probably the biggest goal set for myself. FINISH SCHOOL: COMPLETE MY BACHELOR’S DEGREE. It’s been a crazy journey, but taking time off from school to focus on being a mother has been the greatest blessing. I am fortunate to stay home with Eloise- but I need to finish what I started. I need to show Ellie that no matter what struggles and hardships I endured: mommy finished strong!

 

 

I have been lagging on my blog this entire year… it took the backseat because I’ve been so busy or tired adjusting to mom life. But I want to explore my creative side more! I want to do fun posts about fashion, food, motherhood + travel. I want 2020 to be the best year yet… and venture outside of my comfort zone. I hope you all have an amazing New Year! What goals do you want to accomplish this New Year? Any travel plans? I’d love to read them. I wish you all good health, happiness, success, and lots of love. See you in the New Year!

BRING IT ON 2020!

 

 

xo

 

 

ELOISE TURNS ONE: BIRTHDAY TRIP TO COLORADO!

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HAPPY DECEMBER! I cannot believe we are in the last month of 2019… are you ready for 2020? I am really looking forward to the New Year!

Eloise had her FIRST birthday on November 30th & I truly cannot believe we hit this milestone! Instead of having a big birthday party- Dex and I decided to take a family road-trip to Colorado and rent a nice Airbnb. My two sisters and their partners also came! From where we live, it took around 15 hours to drive to Carbondale, CO (which is super close to Aspen). The drive there we made a pit-stop in Utah at Arches National Park. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen! Huge rock formations, it made me feel like we were in Star Wars land or something. haha!

 

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We got to explore Snowmass & Aspen for one day and it started snowing like crazy! I was so excited to see snowy mountains, people skiing and snowboarding. Aspen is a gorgeous place and I would definitely go back.

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It was so nice to spend quality time with my family, and just celebrate Ellie turning ONE! I swear it’s the weirdest feeling having a one year old. I feel like I just gave birth to her, how did time fly by so fast? It’s beyond bittersweet!

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On our way back home, the drive was KILLER. We decided to stop back in Utah and visit Zion National Park. I’m so glad we did! Another gorgeous National Park with beautiful rocks, deer, and red cliffs. I’d love to explore more national parks in the future. But the rest of the drive home was brutal… I think driving 6 hours in a car is my limit!

 

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I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I’m really looking forward to Christmas this year with the kiddos. We are having Christmas dinner at home, and I cannot wait for all the delicious food. Talk to you guys later!

xo

Our family trip to New England:

We just got back from the most amazing trip to New England! We visited Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire for the first time. It was also Eloise’s first trip out of California and on an airplane. I was so nervous for the 5 hour flight- but to my surprise, she slept the entire time and didn’t cry. Night flights for the win! We flew into Boston Logan airport, and picked up our rental car. We spent a week driving, exploring, eating lobster rolls, and basking in the Autumn beauty. I’ve never experienced Autumn like this before- the vibrant colors of orange, yellow, and red everywhere. I was in heaven. It was pure magic!

MAINE:

Some places we visited in Maine was: Portland, Freeport, Brunswick, Cape Elizabeth.

Maine was the whole reason of coming to New England. Dexter knows it’s been on my list of places I’ve been dying to see for years. Everywhere we turned, there was beauty! We drove up to Freeport to visit the L.L.Bean Flagship store! I got a sweatshirt, and some matching shirts for Eloise and Adelaide. It was massive and everything in the store was so cute! I truly LOVE how people in New England dress: comfortable, warm, outdoorsy. You probably think I’m weird for saying this- but it’s so different from California (and of course it’s because they dress according to their weather). We had the best lobster roll in Cape Elizabeth from a small food truck called Bite into Maine. WOW. If you ever get a chance to eat a lobster roll from them, do it. You won’t regret it!

NEW HAMPSHIRE:

Some places we visited in New Hampshire was: Portsmouth, all of the Kancamagus Highway, and Hampton Falls.

New Hampshire was downright stunning. When we arrived at Portsmouth I had a mini heart attack! I couldn’t believe how old and charming this port city was. The downtown area was lined with cute shops and restaurants. We grabbed a bite to eat at Portsmouth Brewery, and called it a day. Kancamagus Highway was my favorite part of New Hampshire! The White Mountain National Forest was such a sight to see: trees everywhere! All shades of yellow, burnt orange, red, and green. Although there was a lot of traffic on the highway (it was expected since it’s a popular attraction this time of year) I think it was worth the 2-3 hours! If you go to New Hampshire during Autumn, you have to see this at least once in your lifetime. You won’t be disappointed. We took so many photos! We even managed to stumble upon a cute pumpkin patch, randomly when we were driving through New Hampshire. It was perfect!

MASSACHUSETTS:

Some places we visited in Massachusetts: Salem, Boston, Greater Boston, Melrose, Wellesley, and Cape Cod.

We had a blast exploring Massachusetts! One of things I’ve been dying to see is the Hocus Pocus House (in Salem) & it was so cute! I cannot believe my childhood dreams came true! Haha. I had to snap a picture outside of it. Boston was also fun to explore- but I really enjoyed the quieter/smaller towns this trip. We enjoyed driving outside of Boston, and seeing the suburbs. Cape Cod was a dream. Since it’s off-season, we had the entire beach to ourselves during the sunset. I LOVED Cape Cod… it was definitely a sight to see! It is so quaint and beautiful— all the homes were to die for. We spent the night at Ocean Club on Smugglers Beach, and I would definitely go back again. Cape Cod is a gem!

Overall, the trip was a major success! If you follow me on Instagram (@krystalinthecity) you’ve probably seen most of these photos! But I can’t help but share them, we took so many good ones.

I loved that we kept our plans pretty flexible. Eloise was incredible on our trip; we did a lot of driving and she proved to us that she’s the best travel buddy. My heart was filled with so much joy that we were able to enjoy our first family vacation, during my favorite season. I am truly missing the East Coast… and how there are Dunkin’ Donuts everywhere. Haha! My go to order is an iced coffee with cream & caramel. Yum, I had one every single day of the trip! 🙂

We have one more family trip planned during November and I cannot wait! We will be road trippin’ some place we’ve never been before… stay tuned. Have a great week!

xo

ELOISE’S FIRST TIME TO DISNEYLAND!

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It’s officially Halloween-time at Disneyland, and we celebrated my 27th birthday at the happiest place on Earth! It was also Ellie’s first time to Disneyland and she did SO good. We knew we wouldn’t be able to go on many rides- but that didn’t stop us from having fun. (Side note: Elle turned 10 months on my birthday!)

 

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Eloise loved the carousel so much! She was screaming, and throwing her head back the entire time. She also went on Winnie the Pooh and Pirates of the Caribbean. For being a Monday, it was pretty busy! We definitely have to go back so we can take her on Dumbo, It’s a Small World, the Jungle Cruise, and go explore California Adventure.

 

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It was fun spending time with family, eating delicious Disneyland treats, and finally seeing Star Wars Land! WOW. It is definitely my favorite part of the park now! Dex and I tried the blue and green “milk”, and it’s worth buying both! I personally loved the blue milk more than the green. YUMMY! I can’t really describe the flavor… but it’s subtle and has a great consistency- sort of like a slushy.

Also- if you’re a nursing or pumping mama, Disneyland has a baby care center with a room you can comfortably feed your baby. You can also change your baby’s diaper (or take your toddler to go potty), and a place to make a bottle (with bottle warmers). This baby care center came in handy for my sister and I!

 

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I can’t believe I’m 27 years old! Officially in my “late” twenties… woah. I hope this year brings happiness, new experiences, growth, and more amazing memories with my little family. Dex and I are planning a New England trip this month- and I’m so excited to visit Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire! It’ll be our first time there, so if you have any recommendations send them my way! Have a great rest of the week.

 

xo

APPLE PICKING IN OAK GLEN.

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Happy Autumn, everyone! My favorite season is finally here… and I couldn’t be happier! Now that I have a baby, I really wanted to dive deep into making new family traditions. We decided to take a drive to Oak Glen (which is about an hour & a half away from where we currently live) and go apple picking for the first time!

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It was our first time in Oak Glen, and it was the cutest little mountain town. They had little shops to buy souvenirs, apple pie, and other yummy treats. We went with my sister, her husband and my niece. We ate at a place called Apple Annie’s, and grab apple pie from their bakery to go (soooo good). We walked around, grabbed some apple cider, then made our way to the apple orchards. If you’re near Yucaipa, I recommend stopping in Oak Glen to check out the little town (especially this time of year).

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We chose to visit Willowbrook Apple Farm and they had the most beautiful apple trees that were over 100 years old. They had chickens, a mini donkey & horse, and a little baby piglet named Delilah. SO ADORABLE. It was such a nice day spending time together as a family, and a great opportunity to take pictures! I’m so excited for more Autumn trips this season.

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Hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week!

xo

BARNES & NOBLE SALE: BOOK PURCHASES

Barnes & Noble had their huge #bookhaul blowout sale & I jumped at the opportunity to splurge! I’ve been reading all summer- whenever I’m not occupied by E. I recently finished The Editor & it was SO good! I’m currently reading In the Country (couldn’t link it from B&N, but I found on Amazon) and it’s VERY good (it’s a series of short stories, based on Filipino characters). I highly recommend both books!

Now onto my mini book haul:

 

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

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Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

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Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

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Have you read any of these books listed? Also- if you have any good book recommendations for me, feel free to leave them in a comment below! I’m always looking for new things to read.

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week! I cannot believe we are in September… it’s my birthday month! I’m just ready for this weather to cool down, as we are still melting down here in Southern California! Ahhh… off to go read, bye!

xo

 

MAPLE HOLISTICS: APPLE CIDER VINEGAR SHAMPOO REVIEW

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Happy September everyone! I’m so pleased to be working with maple holistics again! This time they sent me their apple cider vinegar shampoo to test out… and once again, I am not disappointed by their products!

I’ve mentioned before how I tend to get buildup on my scalp- or dry scalp. This product removed the icky buildup I had, and left my hair/scalp feeling fresh and clean. I am a huge fan of apple cider vinegar, as it has tons of benefits! ACV soothes an irritated scalp, restores shine, and helps prevent hair loss. Some of the key ingredients in this shampoo includes: apple cider vinegar, sunflower oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, rosemary oil, wild mint oil — and it’s made from 98% natural ingredients. These oils nourished my hair, and my hair felt fuller and healthier! I also love the way it smells; so minty fresh!

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I love using Maple Holistics’ hair products because they are sulfate & paraban-free, cruelty-free, and vegan. It’s important to me that the company I use products from has values- and Maple Holistics has a new Recycling Program that you’ve got to check out! For every 6 bottles of Maple Holistics products you return by mail, you will receive a free bottle of shampoo or have an equivalent donation made to an environmentally-friendly charity. Make sure to click that link for more information!

I hope you all have a wonderful month ahead!

*thank you Maple Holistics, all opinions are my own.

ELOISE IS SEVEN MONTHS OLD!

 

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I’m SO late! Eloise turned 7 months old (June 30th) & she is actually turning 8 months old tomorrow! We’ve been so busy over here (and I haven’t been in the blogging mood lately). I managed to take some cute 7 month pictures, but as you can see- Eloise was sleeping the entire time.

As much as Eloise is growing, not much has changed (as far as milestones). She still loves my milk, enjoys playing with her toys, and being outdoors. She is such a good girl on car rides, and we love taking her to the pool!

She is still not a huge fan of baby food, but we are working on it… even if she takes a spoonful or two, that is fine! Her favorite show is still Sesame Street, but I sneak some Peppa Pig here and there! I also love reading to her, I have a ton of baby books for her! My favorite place to get baby books from is TJ Maxx or Barnes & Noble. Elle still naps 2-3 times a day, and sleeps through the night. No teeth yet… I’m certain one will pop through soon enough!

 

 

 

 

 

Since this post was so late, expect her 8 month update in a few days! This blogger rut, has me so uninspired and not in the mood to write. Hopefully that goes away, because I do enjoy writing and sharing our life. I really wish we were going on vacation this year… only small weekend getaways are planned (I’ll post about those). Anyway, happy Monday!

xo

Life Update: NorCal to SoCal

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These past couple of months have been so crazy. After 6.5 years of living in Northern California, it’s time to say “see you later”. We have officially moved down to Southern California! It’s so bittersweet- on one hand, the Bay Area has become my home and I love it so much. On the other hand, all my family is in Southern California (including my twin sister and niece). Moving down here isn’t a long term decision, as we haven’t decided where we want to plant down permanent roots. Do we stay in California? I can’t see myself living in Los Angeles long term… maybe eventually move out of state? Not sure! We are keeping all our options open, but for the next 3-5 years we will be here.

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Truthfully, I didn’t want to move at all- but it was best for our little family. I want my daughter and niece to grow up together, and have them be best friends. It’s time to make new memories, and to open a new chapter in our lives. So, for now, Southern California is home again!

 

Some things I’m looking forward to:

-exploring Santa Barbara

-going to Catalina Island

-exploring San Diego

-getting a Disneyland annual pass

-driving along Pacific Coast Highway (lots of beach days!)

-exploring some vineyards (Temecula + Malibu)

-Solvang + Ojai trips

 

I already have a list of places and restaurants I want to try; I can’t wait to explore + share some of our adventures on the blog.

Until then, see you for Eloise’s 7 month update!

xo