California is so beautiful. I’m very blessed to have gotten to visit Jon and to have a visual for every story he tells. :) I’m dedicating a wall for memories of 2015 Travels, and I’m so excited to see what the new year has to offer. I’m trying to keep it as minimal as possible, and to capture my most favorite moments from the trip! Atlas, a short farewell letter..
You have been very much good to me. You gave me an endless amount of Ghiradelli chocolate, so you’re pretty great. And, a cute boy lives there too, so that’s that.
But, Texas has my heart. It’s me, not you. Texas foreverrrrrrr.
And (of course) Hook em’
Here’s some pictures from my visit in Santa Cruz, CA! Sadly, I got sick during our small road trip, but, luckily, was able to explore the city during the day! As I was traveling around the Bay area, I realized each city had a distinctive personality. San Francisco was the super-hip-but-doesn’t-admit-it hipster, San Jose was the rich kid from high school, and well, Santa Cruz was the cute beach boy that had awesome hair. That’s how I saw each city, anyhow. ;)
Out of all, Santa Cruz really stuck out to me. It’s actually a small tourist city that I thought had so much heart and a distinct style. Everywhere I turned, plaid and hoodies were everywhere- and I loved it. Jon and I went during off-season, so the city wasn’t too crowded. With the bright string lights, everything felt like a dream and was, well, just so perrrrfect.
I’m super bummed we had to leave; I got sick :(. But, until next time!! Here were some of my favorite spots we’ve explored…
1. Verve Coffee // 1540 Pacific Avenue
A modern, well-brewed coffee shop tailored to college students and yuppies- I dig it.
2. Pacific Avenue Shops // Downtown
A street with adorable shops (+ multiple surfer shops), a local bookstore, coffeeshops, and a small theatre! I took some pictures below! I think the Christmas string lights made everything so dreamy. I told Jon he was suppose to be romantic during our date here. :P
3. Linda’s Seabreeze Cafe // 542 Seabright Avenue
Erghhhh, I really really really wish I wasn’t so sick to finish my food! This local brunch place was very much a mom and pop shop with cute knick knacks everywhere. We waited 45 minutes for a table, but the friendly staff served free coffee outside. Although the menu was really diverse, I generally loved the atmosphere there.
Can’t wait to share more favorite places!
What’s your favorite place in the Bay area? I’ll love to hear! :)
Holy moly, guacamole. Isn’t this beautiful?
A couple of weeks ago, I traveled the Bay area to see Jon. I was really amazed at, well, everything. Having never traveled by myself before, I felt so small, like a child almost. I finally grasped how many things I have yet to seen, to smell, to experience. I call it the small town syndrome, where Chili’s is the bee’s knees.
Since Jon only moved to California a couple of months ago (and I had no idea about anything), we pretty much Yelp’ed everything. I mean, EVERYTHING. I stumbled upon Land’s End through Yelp, and I’m so glad I did. The view was breathtaking, although it is a huuuuuuuuge tourist trap. I loved it. It’s a short one mile and a half hike that beginners would have no problem walking.
I didn’t realize traveling would make me so curious to experience new things, even making myself want to go outside my comfort zone. I made it a goal to stop spending money on material items so I can travel, even selling clothes to gather some extra money. Sigh, #brokecollegestudentproblems.
Also, a fun fact I learned from a Lyft Driver….Yelp started in San Francisco, California so every restaurant/bar pretty much has awesome ratings (from thousands of reviews- whaaaaaaaat). You really need to dig through the reviews to see if the restaurant is any good. I just thought that was super interesting! :)
I can’t wait to share the rest of my trip with ya’ll! What’s your favorite place you traveled?
Last year, I signed up for the Austin half marathon. I was determined to become a better person, and, well, running has always been my outlet for stress, happiness, and every-other-emotion. It feels like an old friend, like my comfort zone. I can’t really explain the adrenaline, but I did my best to try.
For a creative assignment last semester, my class was assigned to have a date with- yourself. No phones, no distractions, nothing. The whole point was to immerse yourself in an activity and become more aware of what you’re doing.
And I chose running. It’s pretty much embarrassing on my part, but all very true.
“For starters, I’ve started running as a junior as a high school. I was never into cross-country or track. I didn’t know how to operate the gym machines and was too uncoordinated to do anything else, so I did what I know. I ran. Since then, running has been my ‘me time’ and I would run 3+ miles a day. Last year, I transferred into UT and failed to realize the time commitment in studying. With my poor planning skills, I haven’t really had the same runner’s high since I started to UT. I really miss it.
Now, I usually run in an indoor track, but for my romantic date night with my sassy self, I decided to run outdoors and just, well, run. For the first time in a long time, I decided to free my schedule and run freely, without keeping track of time.
My date was a typical date: awkward and exciting. In the beginning, I couldn’t catch my breath and my knees screamed at me to stop. Because of this assignment, I became very aware of what I usually don’t: trees, the birds, an abundance of trash, the beating sun, my sweat blurring my vision and PAIN. Yes, pain was the most noticeable distraction. However, after around the third mile, I noticed I was running to my music and the melody. The sun suddenly seemed brighter. My mind became blank and I didn’t think. The pain stopped. The current song ‘The New Atlas’ played and I dreamed I was in a forest wonderland. I was flying.
It was really refreshing to just, well, not think. When I do run, I focus on my surroundings and I dream the most imaginative scenarios possible. One idea that particularly stood out was the invention of nutter butter (from Trader Joe’s) ice cream sandwiches. I like to call them genius, moneymaker ideas. Other than that, this run felt extremely uplifting. I forgot how running can alleviate any stress I do have. It’s something I plan to prioritize more, just to maintain my sanity. Also, I saw too many cute dogs, and puppy fever shortly followed.”
See? Embarrassing. Yet, what’s funny is one thing never changes…I lose track of time on top of everything else when running and it’s pretty freaking awesome.
Despite my love of running, I’m not running my half-marathon this year. At first, I felt like a failure and an embarrassment (I pretty much told everyone I was going to do it.) Now, I just feel proud of my journey thus far and I’ll tell you why.
1) My priorities have changed.
This semester, I focused on school. I focused on going outside my comfort zone, explored hobbies I haven’t done in years, but most of all I wanted to focus my efforts in my internship. The trick? Time. My body forced me to choose. This semester, I was fatigued, which is probably the reason why I would get sick so often. When I was most stubborn, I would choose working out over sleep, which in return would result in a lingering cold sore on my face. So, my body won. I realized I cannot do it all, that I had to choose what was the most important goal. I chose my career. That being said, for my first time at UT Austin, I got dean’s list- AND IT WAS PRETTY DARN EXCITING.
2) My body isn’t ready for it.
When I was training for my half marathon, I would train myself too hard because I was trying to cram in as much miles as I could (three months before my marathon). My knees gave out. I learned that I’m not willing to compromise my knees or joints because I failed to schedule my work outs better.
3) I got sick.
This past couple of months, I was sick, either with a cold, stomach virus, migraine, something- blah. Again, I was too stubborn and went to the gym anyways. I ended up almost fainting, so lesson learned.
4) I traveled, heeeellllo California!
I really have no excuse for this one, besides the lack of a routine (and motivation on my part.) I really don’t feel bad for ‘scheduling in a workout’ when I was traveling the Bay area for the first time!
Some people may see this as an excuse, and that’s okay. I know myself and my body, and I WILL run a half marathon someday. Although I do feel some remorse for my lack of planning and disappointment in following through with the half marathon, I’m learning to look at what I accomplished in place of it. It’s a trade off, and I’m really glad I made this trade off. Don’t be too hard on yourself and listen to your body.
I’m a big believer in moving forward, even if things don’t live up to expectations. This year, I’m starting to slowly detach myself from social media. Although it’s such a huge component of the industry I want to be in, I think it’s important to capture a moment as is, not through a lens. And, well, I didn’t realize how much time I actually spend on my own phone. When I don’t want to make small talk. When I want to zone out. When I have nothing to do. When I feel awkward. When I’m on the bus. When hobos on the sidewalk ask for money. Yep, not making eye contact. My phone game is pretty on point.
…Two hours later, I’m still on Pinterest. Yeah, cool. Not cool. Productivity level -1. So, as you can see, this is sort of a problem.
I’m starting to read again. It’s like starting a workout routine. Painful, boring, but at the end it feels great. In all honesty, I don’t think I finished a book by choice…since high school. Maybe, reading’s not your thing, but if so here are my favorite reads at the moment!
1) Design Basics Index
Stolen from sister. Fundamentals for graphic design for beginners. As an advertising major, I want to know the essentials of design, especially composition and typography. I forgot how learning on my own is pretty fun. :) Go productivity!
2) Wild by Cheryl Strayed
The cashier at Whole Provisions convinced me to buy this book, and I’m happy I did. I’m still on the third and fourth chapter, but the author’s sincerity and rawness is very transparent. Expect a lot of curse words and fuck’s. Lol.
3) Darling Magazine
What I love most about this magazine is it refers to real issues, other than tips on weight loss, sex, and fashion. It’s appeal is to all women in hopes of empowering one another. What’s even better? Nobody in the magazine is retouched.
This month, I’ve visited Jon in California for my first time. It was scary, new, and exciting. I honestly never yearned to travel, but my curiosity for something more than Texas has heightened. But, in the meantime, I’m enjoying the small things, from the past year. Also, my cousin traveled back from Peru this year and brought back this Alpaca. This Alpaca has made me so happy. Isn’t it adorable? :)
Holy guacamole, year 2015 starts tomorrow, and I’m so pumped for it. Bring it on, 2015. I have my planner by my side, and nothing can stop me, hehe. While planning long term and short term goals and a to do list, I’m just trying to take it all in.
But first, I think it’s important to reminisce over the year and learn from your mistakes and count your blessings. I feel really different from the beginning of the year, a little older and a little wiser. Taken from the movie Happy Thank You More, Please, “no matter how much time passes, we’ll always look back and say, wow, I was a fucking asshole last year.” For me at least, this rings true. I’m not sure why, but it does.
My biggest regret was my use of time. I’m most upset I didn’t allocate my time better. I missed time with my family and friends, because I was tired from going out, work, or school. Although, I know it’s normal to be busy, the word lazy shudders down my back, and my thoughts circle “Am I trying hard enough?” I’m a big believer in the statement ‘you make time for people who are important to you, no matter how busy you are.’ Maybe I’m too hard on myself, or maybe it’s true, but I’m going to really try to find a better balance for my friends, family, school, and work. No more staggering on social media when I could spend it doing something more productive! :)
But that being said,
My biggest blessing was the people that came into my life. I’m so grateful to have met and have truly sincere and understanding people in my life. I learned to look at the glass half full and to breathe positive thoughts. I read somewhere it’s contagious, and why wouldn’t you want to make someone’s day a little better? Pay it forward- I did. There’s nothing quite like making someone smile after a long day, and it makes me really happy.
It’s going to be an awesome year, and I can’t wait. :)
As you’ve noticed, I’ve taken a liking to writing. Who knew? Certainly not high school me, lol. Not until recently, I started journaling, and it’s, well, kinda nice to express yourself through words. I would classify myself as a visual person, so incorporating this medium is something new and exciting for me.
Last month, the amazing girls from A Beautiful Mess Blog started a journal prompt and I wanted to see if any readers would like to join this series. This month, the prompt was to narrate one crazy dream coming true.
& Here’s my story:
(Also, since this is a journal prompt, there will be more slang than I would like, but, you know…)
You know the cliché story line ‘when someone unknowingly changes your path in life.’ Very common plot line. Movie potential. Not real life. Yeah.
Well, two Halloween’s ago, that cliché sort-of happened. At a coffee shop, I was doing school work (yes, on Halloween, cause responsibilities, you know?). I was a hot mess at the time trying to get into UT’s advertising program, and calculating the probability I might not reach that goal. But, determined, I thought I’ll be damned if I don’t. In that semester, I haven’t felt that much pressure to reach a goal, because that was my plan B. I didn’t plan for any other options.
As I grabbed for my second cup of coffee (caffeine addict here), I caught someone’s glance from across the table. Awkward. Eye contact, yuck. I don’t really know how we struck a conversation but we did, probably about something extremely random.
As talked about previously, I’m new to sustainable fashion, and for Christmas, I thought it was perfect to buy gifts that give back this year. Although typically thought as a cliche, it’s extremely important for me to give back to the community (in any form possible.)
While interning at Raven + Lily, I came across a brand called Fait La Force, a company that provides handcrafted goods from hardworking artisans in Haiti. Not too long ago, I bought a simple, leather keychain from Fait La Force, and I absolutely adore it so much I had to share on my blog. I was surprised by the high quality and durability of the leather, and i’m now deemed a huge fan. :)
Here is a list of some of my favorites from Fait La Force.