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Things That Have Happened In The Past Two Weeks

I feel like this is a post that has been a long time coming because I am basically the only person who has yet to address it. So let’s just get right to the point?

I live in LA now! 

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I feel like half of you right now are like “Wait, didn’t you already live in LA?” But no, I am originally from Northern California, aka NorCal. Long story short, I was offered a job that gave me less than a week to relocate from NorCal to here, and I DID IT. I don’t exactly have an apartment yet, that’s a work in progress, but it will happen. But anyways, things that I have done thus far in LA:

A) Found a SoulCycle instructor that I love and cherish. This was my first priority, obviously.

B) I found Trader Joe’s. This was my second priority, obviously. Just kidding I only found it today and I’ve been here for a week and a half and have had to subside to Whole Foods & Vons food, so I am in infinite happiness now that Trader Joe’s potstickers and naan are back in my life.

C) Made a new friend. Tiny accomplishments, people. Tiny accomplishments.

D) Successfully have not gotten lost yet. Granted, I haven’t ventured out of the suburb where I work because LA is HUGE and I don’t know where anything is or how to get there. So that’s cool. Maybe this weekend…. Maybe.

It has been very difficult to write this post because I keep staring at that gif of Emma Watson. Like, I don’t even know why I had that saved, but I think it fits very well, dontcha think?

Anyways, I have tons more posts planned, so be on the lookout for those. And by ‘tons more’, I mean like one post and then I’ll figure it out from there. The usual.

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Beach Essentials

I’ve honestly been wanting to write this post since I got back from Hawaii in February, but I figured that the large majority of the population does not go to the beach in February, so I have patiently waited until now to compile this guide for you. Even now I think it’s a little early but we are just going to skim past that small fact.

First of all, we’ve got the BEST beach bag of all time, which also happens to be a cooler. It really just doesn’t get any better than a watermelon cooler. And then we’ve got the shoes that have been on my radar since Keds released them. And of course some sandals for those sandy days. They’re both perfect casual slip-ons that require no effort whatsoever. Moving forward, I want to highly recommend Benefit’s The Big Easy for any and all of your beach endeavors. It has an SPF of 35 and is a liquid-to-powder formulation so it mattifies your skin with one simple step. I’m the shade Light/Medium. A cheaper alternative is the Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream.

Next up is the cutest portable phone charger you’ve ever seen, some sunglasses, and the book that I saw sitting on a table in Hawaii that I really wanted to steal and read. As for beach attire, it’s all about the dresses that you can just throw on and head to the beach. I’ve selected this one and this one from Dailylook. As for swim suits, this one from Wildfox is pricy but it’s so adorable that I think it might actually be worth the splurge.

Are you headed off to the beach any time soon? Lemme know!

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The Only Exercise Tip You’ll Ever Need

Author’s note: this was written like two or three weeks ago.

This morning I woke up more sore than I have been in months… So much, in fact, that when I laid down on the couch this morning, it took significant effort to get up because my legs were just like “Nope! Sorry! Not today!” For clarification, I was helping my brother ask somebody to prom, which obviously requires lots of physical exercise and exertion. I’ve created this simple 7 step plan for you to fast track your exercise regimen since I am so knowledgable now. Just consider me your own personal trainer. Your own personal trainer who has not gone for a run in eight months.

Step 1: Lace up dem’ sneaks! (Put on your running shoes)

Step 2: Make sure that it’s 7am because that’s the best time to do these kinds of things, obv.

Step 3: Do a trail run at your favorite hiking spot. (Honestly, it was more like a run/walk for me because my body revolted on me since I haven’t actually been running in what seems like decades, as mentioned.)

Step 4: Carry massive balloon letters with you so that you can get lots of questions from fellow hikers. The balloon weights will also make your journey that much more enjoyable.

Step 5: Make sure you have much less time than you need so that you’ll have to sprint to the top of the hill and then sprint back down.

Step 6: Good job, you! Wait one day and you will become one with the couch.

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The Book I’m Currently Reading

Usually how this works is that I finish a book, and if I like it, I write a post about it. But the book I’m reading right now is taking me so long to finish that I really just need to post about it because it’s so good that I can’t bother to wait until I finish it to rave about it. You know?

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is a book that I didn’t like the first time I picked it up. It seemed, for lack of a better word, boring. Painstakingly boring. But then it was just sitting on my bookshelf, so I started it again on whim and I am completely captivated. I am currently on page 349 of 529. All of the chapters are somewhere between one and three pages long, so it’s a very fast-paced form of storytelling. It is mainly told from the viewpoint of two different characters, Marie-Laure and Werner.

Marie-Laure LeBlanc is a blind French girl who is living in Paris with her father. Every day she walks with him to the Museum of Natural History, where he works as a lock-master. When the Germans occupy Paris during the onset of World War II, everyone flees the city, including Marie-Laure and her father. Her father is entrusted by his boss to carry a highly-valued diamond with him for safe-keeping. He doesn’t know if it is the real diamond or one of the duplicates that were made, but he must protect it with his life. Together, Marie-Laure and her father travel to Saint-Malo, a small town on the coast of France, where her Great Uncle Etienne resides in a tall, narrow house by the sea.

Werner Pfennig is an orphaned German boy who has a fascination with radios. Unfortunately, he is destined to work in the mines when he turns 15, there has never been any other option for him. Nonetheless, he spends his nights listening to radio shows in the attic with his sister Jutta and taking apart and putting back together radios in order to learn the ins-and-outs of how they work. Eventually, people start coming to him with their broken radios so he can fix them, and when an affluent family across town learns of his talent, they commission him to fix their radio. After seeing him at work, they secure him a spot at an elite academy for Hitler Youth, where he meets a boy named Frederick and is given special attention due to his skill for fixing radio transmitters.

Eventually, Marie-Laure & Werner’s paths cross, but I wouldn’t know that because I’m 60% done and it hasn’t happened yet. But that’s what the inside cover says so I’m going to trust that it will happen. The fact that they haven’t even met yet and the book is still so overwhelmingly captivating is really a testament to how good the writing is. Doerr took over ten years to complete the book, and I recommend it whole-heartedly.

Have you read All The Light We Cannot See? Thoughts? Find out more about the book here.

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Those New Makeup Brushes I Bought

I’ve been going through some sort of existential crisis with this blog lately, trying to figure out which direction I want my content to go in…. So that kind of explains the lack of posts as of lately. BUT WITH THAT BEING SAID, I just had to post this review/rave of these new brushes I got at Ulta the other day because they are amaze-balls. They are called The Core Collection, and the set retails at $18 for four full-size brushes.

First of all, the Buffing Brush (far right) is made of nothing less than unicorn hairs and Lucky Charms marshmallows. For those of you who are concerned, no unicorns were harmed in the making of these brushes. But nonetheless, it buffs liquid foundation into your skin better than any brush I’ve ever tried before. It basically makes you look airbrushed.

Next up, the Contour Brush (second from left) is something that I never expected to like, but now the light in the tunnel has been turned on and I don’t plan on turning it back off anytime soon. I don’t use it for contouring as the name suggests (I’m not talented enough to use such a precise brush for the task). I use it for blending in under-eye concealer and for applying highlighter. And it’s magical. I really wish they sold this brush individually instead of in a set so that I could have two of them…

As for the Pointed Foundation Brush (second from right) and the Detailer Brush (far left), I don’t know if I am going to really use them at all.. The foundation brush is a little bit small to be of use and I don’t do complex enough eye makeup to have any use for the detailer brush.

Have you tried any of these brushes? Thoughts? Lemme know!

 

May-Essentials

May Essentials

It’s my favorite time of the month for blogging, the time when I get to compile a list of items that I think perfectly defines the month ahead… For May, I’ve gone ahead and decided that it’s all about pastel colors and items that make you want to go on vacation. I just want to wear sundresses all month long, honestly.

Let’s just jump right into it with this crossbody bag in the most gorgeous color that ever did exist, and the newly released (and overwhelmingly adorable) agendas from ban.do. And don’t worry, the calendar starts in August 2015 so you wouldn’t be wasting any months. As for beauty products, this YSL Volupte Tint-In-Oil contains a blend of oils for maximum hydration and shine for your lips.

You can throw your boots back in your closest because it is SANDAL SEASON! The best season of all, dontcha think? These gold leather sandals from ASOS are dying to get some wear-time. And then we’ve got the most gorgeous floral maxi dress that would be perfect for any weddings you have coming up, and this gorgeous pastel blazer/shorts combo from ASOS that belongs in your closet. Two-piece sets are all the rage this season, I’m told… And who says you can only update your closet for Spring? This Sonix cactus phone case is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. For May reads, Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen is definitely one to check out. That dark blue carousel cover alone makes me want to pick it up..

Oh! And I almost forgot to mention this rose gold necklace from Kendra Scott….. SO PRETTY, EH? Happy May!

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Pain Demands To Be Felt

To say that I had a rough weekend would be putting it lightly…..

Death. It’s a funny thing that I’ve never really had to deal with thus far in my life. At least, with nobody in my immediate family that I knew well. But this past Saturday, we had to put our dog Oliver to sleep. And he was basically a family member.

I could get into the nitty-gritty details about how I had to drive to put him to sleep by myself and how I started sobbing at the wheel two miles away from the hospital, etc… but you really don’t want to know all of that, trust me. There’s one thing that I realized over the weekend that I want to share.. Well, two things.

1) Talenti ice cream is worth the purchase in times of need, especially when you’re grocery shopping post-hospital visit.

2) The thing about pain is that it demands to be felt. Yes, that is a John Green quote, but I feel like it is relevant in this situation. Even when you think you’re totally fine, when something earth-shattering walks through the front door, you can’t control the emotional luggage that comes along with it. And pain can look like a lot of things. It can look like breaking apart, it can look like falling to pieces, and it can look like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. But in retrospect, I think that pain actually saves you. It saves you from living an unimpassioned life, from blindly trudging through your days without thinking about the time that is passing with every step that you take. It reminds you of the colors of the leaves on the trees, the whisper of the night sky during a storm, the feeling of the hot concrete under your feet when you forget your shoes. Pain reminds you that you are alive.

So make time for the people that make time for you. Do things. Hop on a trail, a bike path, or a highway. There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored by somebody. And that somebody is you. Do it now, because one day something will happen and you won’t be able to.

And to Oliver, I love you and I will always love you, but you already know that. Hope you’re running with the squirrels up there in heaven.

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Extraordinary Means Tag by Robyn Schneider

I saw The Beginning Of Everything author Robyn Schneider do this tag yesterday on her YouTube Channel, and I wanted to do it myself because the questions are so fun. Watch Robyn’s video here, and read my answers below!

  1. I would give up the internet for a month for a signed first edition of this book: A signed first edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I’ve been to the cafe in Scotland where JK Rowling wrote it (travel tip: they have excellent waffles there), so I think that would really be like coming full circle to have that. JK Rowling is the most charismatic example of somebody who comes from nothing and achieves massive success, so it would be a constant source of inspiration.
  2. I would give up pizza for a year if it meant I could sit next to this author on a long plane ride: Don’t you love it when the Universe haphazardly places you on a collision course with another human being, whether that’s standing in line at Chipotle, walking your dog down the same street, or next to each other on an airplane of all places? If I had to give up pizza for a year, it would be to sit next to the authors of Graduates In Wonderland, because I really think that we could be best friends. It would be on a flight to London (obviously) because they both live in London and those flights are horribly long yet horribly wonderful. And then after becoming best friends on this flight, we would go out for afternoon tea in London. Duh.
  3. I would sit through a thousand hours of commercials if it would ensure that Hollywood made this book into a movie: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare. Technically, they’re making a TV show out of the series, but it’s all new actors so Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower will no longer play Clary Fray and Jace Wayland, as they did in the first movie, and I just don’t know how to wrap my mind around that. So I’m saying that I wish they continued the movie franchise so that I could have six movies of it instead of just one.
  4. I would never read a new book again if it meant I could live inside this book: Speaking from a place of logic and consistency, I would have to say The Mortal Instruments series (same as above). It’s a fantasy world constructed within the streets of New York City so it wouldn’t be a total departure from my real life, it would just be much cooler. Also, Clary and I would be best friends and possibly roommates, and I would be a Shadowhunter, and everything would be great.
  5. I would let my Google search history be made public if it meant I could be best friends with this author: Mindy Kaling, obviously.
  6. I would donate everything I own to goodwill if it meant I could date this book character in real life: Thomas from The Maze Runner, simply because Dylan O’Brien plays him in the movie adaptation. Like, that’s reason enough.

So there you have it, a little trip into the depths of my brain. Anyways, I tag everyone to do this! Would love to see your answers!

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Social Media Deconstructed

To be completely blunt, social media is a machine. It’s a living, thriving, organism that can be difficult to hack into if you aren’t completely sure how it works or how it you can contribute something meaningful to its success. So today I wanted to break down the world of social media for all of you! Let’s get started.

Twitter. Twitter is my favorite form of social media, hands down. I created my account May 1st, 2009, almost exactly six years ago today, and my first tweet was “hi.” Not capitalized, no context. Just “hi.” I view Twitter as a social online diary. You’re sharing your day, your views about the world, your unfiltered thoughts. Twitter is a platform that humanizes people. There’s a degree of transparency that you don’t get on other forms of social media. I’ve made actual friends on Twitter, which sounds kind of crazy, but it’s a completely normal concept to me at this point. It can connect people from all over the country and the world. As a final note, if you haven’t read Things A Little Bird Told Me by Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter, I highly suggest it. It’s a combination of how Twitter was conceived, and how to thrive creatively in your own life.

Tumblr. Tumblr is a very convoluted platform to describe. There’s two kinds of content. 1) The online vision board: the dreamy interior design photos, the picture perfect vacation spots, the crop tops, the pictures of a life you wish you lived. 2) The “Internet people”: the ones who speak in gifs and memes and are overly, obsessively passionate about things. There’s relatable content on Tumblr that connects hundreds of thousands of people over one text post.  Basically, you reblog things to your own page that you relate to. That can be a picture of a beach, a quote, celebrity fashion, etc. Tumblr is kind of a wild card, but a good wild card once you figure it out.

Pinterest. I first discovered Pinterest because my roommates in college were ob-sessed. And with good reason. They were the people with DIY projects on the wall & the craft supplies all over the floor on the weekends. Pinterest is literally a collection of online pin boards. You can have a variety of boards ranging from baking recipes, DIY projects, calligraphy tips, and cute pictures of kittens. It’s your one-stop shop for anything creative, and a way to gather all the best things you find on the Internet.

Instagram. Instagram is a fascinating platform because on one side, it’s a backstage look into your life, but on the other side, you control what you’re showing people. You may be having the worst week of your life, but you can post a picture of the ice cream cone that you buy for yourself. But that being said, I love Instagram because it really is a personal look into the lives of people all over the world. You can see the behind the scenes working of your favorite brands, travel photographers capturing the best landscapes known to man, and the everyday individual just living their everyday life.

What’s your favorite social media platform? Let me know!

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Taylor Swift’s Morning Routine

6:00AM: Taylor’s cat, Detective Olivia Benson Swift, summons her for her morning stretches and meditation.

6:30AM: Ellen Pompeo arrives for Taylor’s morning checkup. Ellen pleads that she is not an actual doctor, she just plays one on Grey’s Anatomy, but Taylor refuses to accept her petty excuses. Ellen performs emergency surgery on the paper cut Taylor got while cutting out Ina Garten recipes.

7:00AM: Taylor eats breakfast with her cats, who sit with her at her kitchen table, obviously. She eats three Low Fat Frosted Strawberry Poptarts. No more, no less.

8:03AM: Taylor gets ready for her day whilst blasting Beyoncé’s “Flawless on surround sound throughout her apartment. She chants “BOW DOWN, BITCHES!!!” from the windows, and her screams reach every square inch of New York City.

8:40AM: Karlie Kloss models her potential outfit choices for her on a rotating, circular stage while Taylor sits in a massage chair and takes notes on the influence of her crop top choices on the general public.

9:13AM: Taylor calls her publicist to let her know that she will need medical staff at all of her shows because some of her fans may not make it through her performance of “Bad Blood.” Her publicist agrees immediately.

9:18AM: Taylor drinks a Skinny Vanilla Latte from Starbucks, which is delivered to her by carrier owl every morning. Her carrier owl is Hedwig, who never actually died in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Taylor paid off J.K. Rowling to ensure that she could use him for her own personal coffee needs.

9:36AM: Her advisory board gathers in her living room to vote on which fans Taylor will send care packages to next. Lena Dunham suggests that Taylor waits until Christmas because there are no more holidays coming up. Taylor presses a button and Lena falls through a trap door. Ellen Degeneres cowers in the corner.

10:00AM: Taylor sits in front of her television, tears flowing down her face as she watches the Derek Shepherd montage from Grey’s Anatomy. She must watch this every morning so that she can never forget the tragic breaking of #TeamMerDer. She deletes Shonda Rhimes’s number from her iPhone.

10:27AM: Taylor sips a Diet Coke with a straw and works on the opening monologue for her upcoming world tour. In the monologue, she will remind everyone that it is indeed a world tour because her influence knows no limits.

11:00AM: Taylor’s security team arrives and they head out the door together to a flock of paparazzi. She smiles at them and steps into her Escalade, where a bottle of SmartWater has been properly chilled to a temperature of 35 degrees.

This post was inspired by Matt Bellassai’s post on LiterallyMatt.com

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