Hi. It's been a while. Let's catch up.

I feel like I've been falling into this routine every day. Wake up, write in my planner, go to class, study, go to meetings, eat, sleep. There's nothing really special about each day and time seems to fly by. I hate that feeling of just going through the ebb and flow of daily life and so to remedy that, I've been trying to do something meaningful each day. I've been waking up and setting daily intentions and carrying them out throughout my day and it's been wondrous. 

February was a big month for me. I grew more in the past month than I had my entire first semester in college. This month, I began to find myself. I used to never get it when people took time off to 'find' themselves. What does that even mean? Where do they have to look? Were they lost? 

It's so difficult to let go of things. It's human nature to hold onto things that we've grown accustomed to, and we become a creatures of habit that we often times don't notice when something no longer serves us. In fact, we're so easily captivated by the comfort of routines that relationships can grow toxic for an extended period of time before they come to our attention. I got out of a toxic relationship this past month, and while I know in my heart that I did what was good for me, it was something that I had grown accustomed to for a very important (and long) period of my life and the lack of having a person there just made me hurt. I had been in that relationship for so long that I emerged without having a sense of who I was as an individual and that was when I realized that I did have to find myself. 

What does finding myself mean for me? It meant finally meeting the people who lived in my building, picking up books that caught my attention, and buying the French tulips for myself from the cute flower stand. I wrote down a list of places I wanted to travel to, foods I wanted to try, and jotted down my rambling thoughts. I hadn't really spent a weekend by myself in a really long time that it just felt so good to be alone. 

Even so, I don't think I'll ever truly find myself. And I don't think I ever will. After all, part of life's journey is to find yourself, isn't it? The difference now is that I'm finally embracing the journey of finding myself and the things that bring me joy a little bit more each day. I'm beginning to find myself. 

Until next time,

The Truths of College (So Far)

Hi! I'm alive! I moved into college a couple of months ago, and after a somewhat moderate adjustment period, I'm ready to share a couple of lessons I've learned in my 2-ish months of being a full time college student.

Here's my dorm! My roommate is the sweetest and decorated the room for my birthday, hence the balloons! 

1. Try everything before you cross if off of your list. Rushing for a sorority? Follow through with rush, you might just be surprised! Running for a position? The worst thing that can happen is not being elected! Student government? Be involved! 

2. Go to all of your classes, and if you don't, at least watch the lectures online and do the readings! Nothing is worse than having to catch up on all of those lectures two days before your midterm.

3. Plan in advance and plan efficiently. Space out your time as needed, and remember to give yourself a little bit of self-care time every day. Whether that be a nap, a mani-pedi, or coffee with friends, do something every day that isn't centered solely around academics or extra-curriculars. 

4. Snack smart! I found out the hard way that I can't function properly on Oreos and mini Kit-Kats. Now I use a service called Naturebox, which allows you to pick a selection of snacks to be delivered wherever you are! I have a box delivered once a month, and my favorite snacks are the Aged Cheddar Lentil Loops, Strawberry Figgy Bars (for those mornings where you're running to class), and Sriracha Cashews! You can get 50% and free shipping on your first box using the link here: http://fbuy.me/eCaPQ. 

5. You'll never regret time spent with friends. You only have four short years in college, so make the best of your time and use it on experiences you know you'll remember years from now.

6. Failing isn't the end of the world. I've always been the Type-A student, but I've learned very quickly that just because you failed a midterm doesn't mean you'll fail the class. Most likely, the test or class in general will be curved.

7. A Sunday well spent brings a week of content. Use your Sundays wisely to plan out the week ahead, pack snacks, and catch up on sleep and assignments! 

8. Develop yourself professionally. Sign up for Linkedin and begin adding connections, and find places where you can take professional headshots. Update your resume and cover letter- you never know when an opportunity will arise and it's best to be prepared!

9. Your attitude defines your college experience. Be open-minded, kind, and curious.

10. The hardest person to please is yourself. Accept that you'll make mistakes, and learn from them! 

Life Lately

Happy Tuesday!!! 

I figured I would post an update post because 1. why not and 2. I'm blogging mainly to look back on everything a couple of years from now so I want to keep this blog updated! 

Here are a couple of things that I'm looking forward to (!!!!!!): 

Berkeley: I'm so, so, so happy and excited to be going to Berkeley for the next four years!!! After months of applications, essays, and waiting for decisions to come out, I'm so glad to be able to call Cal home. Some of my friends are current students there, and a couple of my friends are going as well so it'll be nice to see some friendly faces around campus! YAY *cue happy dance*

Senior Year: I. can't. wait. to. graduate. With less than a month and a week left of school, I'm counting down the days until I can bid adieu to high school and hello to the real world!! Woohoo I'm so excited!! The only things I have to cross off are AP tests (AKA the grossest thing ever and I can't wait to be done with standardized tests- at least until September), prom, senior breakfast, and then graduation (and grad night, but like, same thing)! 

Trips: My oh so wonderful parents surprised me with graduation trips as my graduation presents! It'll be so crazy because I'll be gone for a month-ish! 2 hours after I get home from grad night (AKA 5 AM- yikes) I'm flying to Japan on the first leg of an Asia trip! It's also a family trip, so it'll be interesting and I'll definitely keep this blog updated during that time. Maybe I'll even vlog. Who knows? Anywhoooo, after the Asia trip, I'll be back home for 4 hours until I leave for Italy with all of my friends! We're going to Venice, Cinque Terre, and Florence, and then I'm leaving the trip a little early to go to Berkeley for orientation! 

Dorm: Since I'm moving to college in a couple of months, I've been looking forward to decorating my dorm! Like really excited because 1. my roommate (who is so lovely and adorable!) decided on a color scheme like 20 minutes into Facetiming for the first time and 2. it's my favorite color combination (pink and navy) and 3. since I'm not moving houses next year like I anticipated, all the decor I bookmarked for my new room can now go in my new dorm! 

Life/Moving: Not just moving to college, but like moving moving! It isn't for a while and it isn't set in stone but wOWZA am I excited!! (I'll probably make this into a blog series too because that would be so cute!) The quote I attached is so true and while it'll be sad saying goodbye to the house and the condo,  I'm so excited!  My parents spilled the beans a couple of weeks ago, and I'll probably be flying back from college to visit them by the beach! 

SO many things to look forward to, and I'm beyond excited and giddy! 

Treat Yo' Self: Tips and Tricks to Make It Through This Week

I have AP tests coming up for the next two weeks (and one of my tests is the very, very last AP test on Friday the 13th- yikes!!) so I've been spending a little more time studying and cooped up in coffee shops. I get a little jittery when I've been sitting for too long (AKA in class) so I've made a list of a couple things I do to treat myself for studying or doing homework for a long time. I've been trying to do one of these things every day and it just makes me so much happier and peppier and ready to get things done!! 

1. yoga class: I've been going to CorePower Yoga so much in the past couple of weeks that I got a black tag membership and it's seriously so amazing! My favorite classes are the Sculpt or the CorePower Yoga 3- they're set to really upbeat music and I get motivated to finish whatever work or studying I have to do after! If it's like a day where I just need to de-stress, I take the Restore or CorePower Yoga 1 class. Some yoga favorites: these yoga pants, the cutest yoga top, the best headband, and a super fun and glittery glass water bottle

2. plan: I. love. planning. And that's like an understatement. It makes me happy to organize all my plans and to see everything I have to do, and stickers are just so bright and cheerful. I'll probably do a planner post (or video) soon but in the meantime, here are some cute planners that are sure to brighten your day: 1, 2 (I have this one and love it), 3, 4

3. go to the beach: Obviously this isn't possible for everyone, but going out and staying in the sun for a couple of hours is the best! I recently went on a 'kini shopping spree in anticipation for all the beach days ahead! Here are some of the ones I ordered and can't wait to wear and some that I have pinned on a wishlist: 1, 2, 3, 4 (but in black), 5, 6, 7, 8

4. get a new skincare regime: I love trying out new skincare products, so when I'm in a rut, I try and change up my routine to see if something works better. I just bought this Tatcha cleanser at Sephora and it's the most amazing cleanser I've ever used- plus, it removes makeup too!! 

5. go hiking: There are so, so many trails by my house and some of them are really short hikes that take no longer than an hour! I'll text my friends to bring their dogs and we'll hike and grab food after! Plus, it gives you an excuse to order mac n' cheese. 

6. go grocery shopping: This definitely isn't for everyone, but one thing my friends and I love to do is go to Whole Foods or Sprouts to get snacks and whatnot! We'll try new cheeses (we love cheese) and slightly questionable vegan dupes of food (like vegan hot dogs- 0/10 recommend those). 

7. treat yo' self: Ok, who doesn't like online shopping in comfy PJs while snacking on chocolate covered acai berries? (except when you check your bank account and you have like $42.01 left in your checking account. then you probably wouldn't like online shopping) If I have something I want in mind, then I'll just order it online as opposed to shopping at the mall. I recently treated myself to new sunglasses, and they're super cute (even though I look like a bug in them). Or better yet, have a treat yo' self day (a la Parks & Rec)! 

 I hope you found some of these helpful!


Tips for High School Seniors

As I begin the very last chapter of senior year, I've been doing a lot of reflecting on the past year- scared and excited of where I would end up the next year, and just barely dipping my toes in the waters of applying to college. I've recently committed to my school and it still doesn't feel real to me. Senior year was such a big year in so, so many facets. Even though I had to endure a painstaking amount of AP classes, draft a myriad of college essays (that really began to sound repetitive, yikes!), and dread opening up my college decision emails, I also had more fun this year than I did any other year in high school. Now that I am on the brink of graduation and becoming an official college student, I wanted to give a little bit of advice on not only applying to college, but making the most of your senior year. 

Trust the College Process: You can literally ask anyone I know and they would tell you that I was stressed out to the max my senior year. I had applied early to a school, and the entire week leading up to decision day I didn't eat or sleep much. Even though it was a pretty rough day (and that's an understatement), I was a little more relieved after the first round of decisions. I knew that I would eventually end up somewhere I belonged, and the college I had applied to just wasn't for me. This realization made me approach the second round of applications with what everyone else had told me before- to trust the process. It's definitely a lot easier said than done. Trusting the process makes the application cycle less stressful because you can remind yourself that 1. once you have submitted all of your applications, everything is completely out of your control so it's pointless to stress over it and 2. at the end of the day, you will end up at a place that is perfect for you. 

Stay on Top of Your Game: I made the mistake (like many other first semester seniors) of thinking that I didn't really have to try much my senior year. Thankfully, I had someone remind me that your colleges look at all of your grades, even those from senior year. (which was honestly such a duh! moment for me but I'm grateful for it) Two pieces of advice- 1. put in the necessary effort to get the absolute best result you can possible produce and 2. deadlines are not due dates. You can't be upset over a bad test grade or a rejection letter if you know that you didn't put in the necessary amount of work, and I definitely learned this the hard way. To my second piece of advice, make sure that you finish your entire application (the profile, supplements, essays) a couple of days before the deadline so you don't panic at the last minute, or don't have the chance to submit your application right before the due date. I've heard so many horror stories of application portals crashing minutes before midnight, and not being able to find an essay because it wasn't saved properly. Although some due dates are flexible and you can talk your way out of them, college deadlines are not and colleges will not have a single ounce of sympathy if you try to submit your application at 12:01 AM on January 2nd. 

GSD(E) {Get stuff done early}: Sure it's great and all to stay on top of things, but it's also crucial to finish things early. If you'll indulge me with a brief detour, I can tell you why this is probably the hardest thing I had to learn my senior year. Days before New Year's, I had already finished and submitted most of my college applications, with the exception of one, because the essay prompt was quirky and just so different from all the other prompts. I ended up being busy with family and friends over winter break that I had barely gotten started on the essay. 30 minutes before I left for a New Year's party, as I was getting ready in my friend's bathroom, I typed up the essay and submitted it without second thought. It was an application for a reach school, and I ended up being waitlisted. Even though I've already committed to the school of my dreams, I still wonder if I would have been waitlisted if I had just put a little bit more effort into my application. So, yes, get your applications done, but get them done with ample time to have someone proofread your essays, spellcheck your supplements, and submit your applications. You'll feel so relieved going into the holidays and finals week, so just get them done!!

Actually, like, work: I feel like with each one of these blurbs I say that it's the most important piece of advice you can take away, but it's really (like I can't stress it enough) to put in a lot of effort your senior year. Senior year grades do count- and especially the first semester. It's so easy to get buried under your school work, college applications and the never-ending cycle of essays, and other extracurriculars. If a college is on the fence about you, your senior year grades will make or break your application because they're the most recent and accurate indicator of the type of student you are. Colleges can rescind applications when they see a drop in grades, so try and keep them up (even though it's second semester and all you want to do is go to the beach and brunch at Urth Cafe. oops.)

Push yourself: This isn't just a senior year thing, but more of a life thing that's definitely applicable in this circumstance. It's easy to play it safe with college applications and only apply to colleges that are targets or safeties. I had applied to 20 schools on the Common Application, and a couple more on the UC portal and private portals. All of my Common Application colleges were primarily on the East Coast, and only schools I applied to in California were a handful of the UCs (Berkeley, LA, SD, SB, Davis).  Berkeley was a reach for me, as I'm sure it is for most people, and it's definitely not a school that you can just assume you'll get an acceptance to. Because of it's competitive nature, I hadn't thought about Berkeley much, but in the end, I ended up committing to Berkeley. I can't imagine where I would've ended up going if I hadn't gone out on a limb and applied to all of my reach schools (including Berkeley). If I didn't give all the schools that caught my attention a chance, there would have been a looming "what if" going through my head. 

Make lasting memories: Cliché? Yes. Totally true? Yes. I had the best year in high school my senior year (and I can't wait to make more memories at prom and graduation) where I made the greatest friendships, went on the most fun and spontaneous adventures, and the most wonderful memories. Go out of your comfort zone! Go on that last minute hiking trip, talk to the cute boy, drive and explore the nearest city, skip a little studying to catch up with your friends over coffee. Because in the blink of an eye, a year will go by and everyone will be saying their goodbyes and going off to college. Second semester is your last big hurrah before you and your friends go your separate ways, so make the most of it!!

Best of luck to all you soon-to-be seniors!


Lovely Links

Crossing #83 off of my 101 in 1001 days checklist! 

One// Nightly Routines of 15 Successful Women 
I loved this compilation of the nightly routines of successful women from different professional fields. I couldn't agree more with Blake Lively's mantra of having chocolate everyday and I love how Emma Roberts reads every night sans social media!

Two// Hottest Heads of State 
A list of all the presidents of the United States in order of hotness + pictures + funny captions. You're welcome, government junkies.

Three// Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray
I've never really tried dry shampoos enough to love them, but my hairstylist introduced me to Oribe's version a couple weeks ago and it's amazing. Since I'm usually pressed for time in the morning, dry shampoo saves valuable breakfast time (more time for waffles!).

Four// Two-Ingredient Ice Cream Bread
Yup. This is a thing. You can make a cake-y loaf of bread with just a pint of ice cream and some flour! The perfect excuse for having cake for breakfast!!

Five// @FrenchieButt
I love ending these posts with a link to something cute- preferably something pup-related, and Milo's Instagram is no exception! (plus he's also an alliteration addict!) Speaking of puppy Instagram accounts, I follow way too many. *cough Marnie cough*

A Year in Review: 2015

Wow! It's been such a long time since I've written a blog post (like a whole year!! haha), and I honestly couldn't think of a blog post to write so I thought I could just start off with a year in review! Now that I'm all done with all of my college apps and my first semester of senior year, I have a lot more time now to blog and do cool things that I can blog about and whatnot! Hopefully this sticks and I'll write up another one of these next year (if I don't forget to blog again- jokes, I probably will a whole lot this year!).

ps: a lot of these pictures will be kind of blurry/out of focus and it's because they're probably candids and I think they're a lot more organic and fun than a staged picture! Also, I don't really remember all the little details from last year so this look a lot of Facebook-album surfing!

pps: I would like to add that I'm publishing this on March 20th and I started this post on January 25th (oops!!) 

January 2015

I didn't actually do much this month besides having multiple study dates at Panera and Starbucks because it was my first semester of junior year! Junior year wasn't as stressful and terrible as it was all cracked up to be and I had so much fun! I also ran for Attorney General in Youth and Government (and lost) but I had a blast campaigning and I saw all of my Y&G friends again at Fresno!

this was taken at Fresno!

February 2015

Like January, I was wrapping up my first semester of junior year so I didn't do too much, but one of my biggest highlights of the month (and the year) was the 68th Youth and Government conference in Sacramento. It was my 3rd year and I had so much fun being a Supreme Court justice!

my lil FLIP mentee!!

Supreme Court justicing!!

March 2015

This was one of my favorite months of the entire year! I was super busy the entire month and I loved every single second of it. At the beginning of the month I went to Camp Roberts as an MUN Secretariat and I was so happy to be able to spend another weekend at such an inspiring place! The next weekend I flew to DC to compete in the National High School Moot Court Competition at American University's Washington College of Law. I didn't expect myself to do very well (re: signing up at midnight the week before and not going over the case materials until the plane flight there- everyone around me in the plane was so over my color-coded flashcards) but I made it to the semifinals and had such a great time! I also met Mary Beth Tinker in DC, and if you haven't heard of her, she's the plaintiff in Tinker v. Des Moines School Board, a landmark 1st Amendment case. I began interning for her in March and got to learn a lot more about how the courts rule on cases regarding students' rights in schools. I also spent an entire week staying at George Washington University and Georgetown to tour the schools and explore the area. I ended up going to a couple of classes there and I had the most wonderful hosts (who made a bucket list beforehand so I would be able to go to all the cupcake shops in the area and take a midnight tour of the National Mall)! The college town is so quirky and adorable (plus there's a J. Crew and Kate Spade!).

I got a black eye...chaperoning a middle school dance...

off to DC!!


April 2015

Another favorite month of mine! This was the month that I started my blog on a whim when I was in a train that broke down in New Haven. I flew to the East Coast over spring break with my mom to visit colleges and to explore the area and I loved it (the weather? not so much). I highly do not recommend packing nothing but flats and heeled boots and thinking everything would be ok because chances are, it'll probably be raining a lot in the spring and you'll be walking (a lot). Super cold weather aside, I lived out my Blair Waldorf dreams and had more Lauderee macaroons than I can count. Right after, I flew to DC to attend a Levo Group event and let me tell you, the weather was so much better and DC is so pretty in the spring and the cherry blossoms make the entire city pink!! Some major things happened this month and my dad moved the location of the restaurant by our house, so his work is a lot closer now and he's not as much as a stressed out human bean right now and that makes me so happy! 

my friend Amanda and I were at the restaurant all month long!!

taking on subways with my momma!!

May 2015

This month was a lot like January since I spent the majority of my time outside of school at Panera and Starbucks (AP tests-yikes!). I tried every single bowl from Barefoot Bowls (and I would totally recommend the Maui Wow-me or the Peach Party acai bowls) and honestly just tried to survive junior year. Right after AP tests, my friends and I planned a cute Mother's Day brunch for our moms at Mariposa and it was lovely! Honestly, it was really just a keep-my-head-down kind of month so I didn't do too much! 

I was at Barefoot Bowls WAY too much (clearly)

June 2015
Finally wrapped up junior year this month! School didn't end until the 20th, so I spent the rest of the month going on beach trips with my friends and a ton of fun dinner dates to catch up because I felt like I hadn't seen any of my friends for quite a while! My friends and I made lists of places we wanted to eat at and explore, and we managed to complete the list by the end of the month. I also chopped my hair into a lob (re: long bob) because I wanted a change and then realized that short hair isn't for me! Major yikes but so glad I figured that out sooner than later!

my entire month revolved around food (oops!) :)

July 2015

Wow, this was another busy month (I feel like I say that about every month, haha). At the very beginning of this month, I moved across town to a condo because exciting news (!!) my parents are rebuilding our old house and I'm so excited because I get to redo my room (which is also super exciting because it was so, so, pink and now I get to make it more neutral and I'll look forward to it a lot more when I visit from college!). I spent the Fourth of July with my friends at Pelican Hill and we had so many pool parties and bonfires that week! I also went to LACMA for the first time with my friends and braved LA traffic. For the very last week, I was in Chicago for the National Judicial Competition and I had one of the best weeks ever (no joke). I met the most incredible people, broke my vegan diet, and went on a whole bunch of adventures (scary tour of Chicago with the most peculiar tour guide, walking 7 miles to Wildberry AKA the best pancake and crepe place ever, and a baseball game). Of course, we did appellate court and whatnot but the highlight of my trip was meeting and getting to know everyone- I met some pretty incredible people!

Fourth of July weekend!

more Fourth of July!!



August 2015
For the majority of August, I was just going on beach trips and hanging out with my friends in preparation for the last couple months of high school. We went on staycations in Newport, paddle boarded, and biked around the beaches! For the rest of the month, I was busy golfing because it was my last ever season of Varsity Golf, and since I was captain, I had to made sure that I was somewhat decently prepared going into season! I had my first day of senior year in August as well!

hiking in the hills!

I realized I don't have any cute golf pics, just snaps!!

September 2015

One of my absolute favorite months! I thrive on having a full schedule, and this month was no exception! I had golf tournaments every day after school, practice on the weekends, and I also started mock trial again this month. I had activities every single day and it was so much fun! September's also my birthday month, and I went on birthday brunches and dinners with my family and friends.

my friends + mom were super sweet and surprised me on my birthday!

senior pictures!! I can't believe I'm graduating this year!!

"young and sweet only 17"

October 2015

I finished my last ever season of high school golf, and it was so bittersweet! I certainly won't miss waking up at 5am for practice but I definitely will miss going on the course as often as I did and playing with wonderful people. As soon as golf season ended, mock trial began to pick up with daily practices after school and on the weekends, so needless to say, I was busy the entire month. I had a really fun Halloween party to wrap the month up and it was definitely worthy of being a highlight.

football games!!

lots and lots of coffee dates!!

Rana and I at the Halloween party!
November 2015

This month really revolved around mock trial, but I wouldn't have had it any other way! Competition season finally started, so in addition to the daily practices, we had trial twice a week. For a weekend in November, I went to Fresno for Youth and Government's 1st conference of the year, and it was one for the books!

some cute Polaroids of N + me from the conference!

mock trial with my friend Ana!

ok, so not the most aesthetically pleasing picture- but Thanksgiving with my super cute cousin and grandma!!

December 2015
December was a lovely month! I was so relieved to get a break from school since I had college applications piling up and I had absolutely no time to get to them! This month also marked the end of my very last season of high school mock trial, and while I was sad to leave my team, I'm so excited go forward to bigger and better things! I spent the majority of winter break at home with my best friend working on college apps, but we had a plethora of sleepovers, Whole Foods shopping sprees, and cheese platters to make typing up essays fun! If I had to pick my absolute favorite day out of the entire year, it would be Christmas Day- it was such a lovely day!

this is probably super obvs...but Disneyland!

I *attempted* to snowboard over winter break...0/10 recommend