My 25th Birthday Wishlist

I turn 25 tomorrow. Over the weekend I had planned to take outfit photos including a cute set of birthday themed photos for the blog. I had a giant to do list filled with tasks I wanted to complete before Tuesday but of course I found myself coming down with a cold on Friday and practically bed ridden on Sunday. Oh life! It’s so cliche but I feel like my 24th birthday was just last month and the 23rd was just a month before that. It’s true what they say, life moves faster as you grow older.

Speaking of time, Christmas feels like it was literally five minutes ago so it feels crazy to even be day dreaming about my birthday gifts. I haven’t even put all my Christmas gifts away yet (but hey I’ve been on vacation so I have an excuse). But I do love putting together a pretty wish list and sharing the pieces I think are pretty or useful or dreamy.

One| Goop Clean Beauty– Call me crazy but I adore Gwenyth Paltrow. I’ll admit she is so out of touch with reality when it comes to the lives of the average person but her health and beauty tips are so fab.

Two| Fresh Rose Face Mask– I am so grateful for my recent trip to California and the Bahamas but you know what isn’t? My skin! Between different climates and the recycled air on planes my skin is feeling reptilian. I tried a sample of this Rose face mask from Sephora and I am dying for the full sized product.

Three| Kate Spade Jewel Button Wool Coat– I’m in a total jacket phase lately. I want a closet full of chic, feminine jackets to keep me warm all winter long. I’m currently crushing on this one on sale at Kate Spade but can’t quite justify purchasing it for myself. It is pure girly girl perfection!

Four| Frieda Rothman Metropolitan Ring– I’ve become so obsessed with accessories over the past year (mostly thanks to Rocksbox). Believe it or not it took me until age 24 to realize how much great accessories can change an outfit. This ring fits my boho loving style without being too gaudy or over the top.

Five| Club Monaco Annina Skirt– The color and pleating of  this skirt make it both modern and feminine. I love that this skirt is long enough to be appropriate for work without feeling dated and stuffy.

Six| Kate Spade Carima Loafer– Transitioning to a new position in my career I am expected to dress more professionally. I love that these loafers are on trend but feel appropriate in a business casual office setting.

Seven|Genifique Serum– I usually use the Kate Somerville “Quench” serum before applying moisturizer but I received the Lance Genefique serum as a sample last spring. Since then I have wanted to try the Genefique serum as a daily source of moisture and vitamins. If you use it I would love your reviews!

Eight| Erin Condren Life Planner– My Grandparents sent me some birthday money and I ordered myself a new Erin Condren life planner right away. I’ve used a variety of planners before but Erin Condren is still my all time favorite. I can’t wait for mine to arrive!

Nine| Club Monaco Wisten Sweater Dress– This fit and flare sweater dress is cozy enough that it feels like pajamas while still looking put together for work, brunch or a day out and about. I adore the blue on blue option best!

Ten| Manolo Blahnik Flats– Okay so this one is a bit of a luxury wish list items but my inner Carrie Bradshaw couldn’t resist. I love pieces that add a touch of glamour to a day to day outfit. These flats are what fashionista dreams are made of. Sigh…someday! (;

 

I have the day off today, so even though I am sick I’m planning to have a little fun. I’m meeting my mom for pedicures later this morning and hoping to meet up with a girlfriend to shop for my “first day of work on my birthday outfit”. I mean if you start a new job on your birthday you totally deserve a new look right? (:

 

Happy Monday!

4 Years of Blogging

Just days shy of my 21st birthday I published my first blog post, a recap of my year. I was just a couple months into a big transition. I had transferred universities, moved to a new city and was living with a boyfriend for the first time. My life was new and exciting but I felt isolated and lonely. I was optimistic on the outside but second guessing all of my decisions pretty hardcore on the inside.

I had the intention of being the next College Prepster though my style was not naturally preppy in the slightest. Needless to say I fumbled trying to find my own blogging voice for awhile there. All the blogs I read were based on the East coast or in the South so it really seemed as if all bloggers were meant to collect Lilly and J.Crew like maniacs. Later I came to understand the idea of regional style and though I still own pieces from both Lilly and J.Crew I have to say a hot pink dress covered in sea horses and lemons looks pretty ridiculous over here in Seattle (not that that ever stopped me). Four years have passed since my first blog post and I can’t help but feel that four years seems like an impossibly long time.

Eventually I reached a space that was comfortable for me. I was able to write candidly and build genuine connections with people I had never met. For someone who is as socially awkward and as bad at building connections in a crowded room as I am blogging was life changing. I learned to emote freely and bleed my introspections onto the page. Blogging has helped guide me through some serious rough patches and come out stronger and wiser on the other side. I will forever claim blogging has been the most therapeutic exercise I’ve ever adopted (topping even actual therapy).

Reflecting on four years of blogging the past few days has brought up a lot of memories!

Now that I’ve been blogging for four years (what?! How did that happen?) it’s interesting to look back and recall how my blog has changed over time. I’ve definitely gone through phases over the years. There were moments when I thought I wanted to be a fashion blogger or a full time blogger. I put more or less emphasis into marketing my blog, more or less emphasis into SEO, blogging groups or advertising. I can’t say 100% how I’ll feel about blogging or what my strategy will be a year from today but for now I’ve once again settled into a blogging style that works for me.

I like writing about feelings and random introspections than about blogging itself or fashion trends or beauty tips (good thing too because I am just not good at makeup). I like sharing outfits from time to time but I certainly don’t expect anyone to rush out and copy my style because I have some serious misses along with the “hits”. I still hate mentioning my blog in real life, and self promoting makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I like writing the fiery posts that have my heart racing and fingers tapping violently against the keyboard. I like sharing the intimate longings of my heart but I also don’t mind drooling over all the shoes I’d like to fill my apartment with.

Over the next year I really don’t have any big goals for my blog. I’m so grateful for those of you who have chosen to follow along and especially to anyone that has stuck around over the years. There isn’t a single day that goes by that I am not thankful for this creative outlet and supportive community, but my goal is no longer to be a blogger girl boss, it’s just to write. I mean no disrespect to all of the women who have taken their blogs and built a real brand, I think that sort of blogging is awesome too, but I’ve found that for me, aiming to turn something that is essentially a diary into a mini business takes the joy out of it for me. So my one wish for the next year of blogging is to blog candidly, to blog with my heart whatever that means. I want to write in a way that is emotive and open and raw and I want to throw some cute dresses and shoes in there every so often alright?!

With that, it’s time for me to cease my nostalgic ramblings, at least for today. Eskimo kisses and champagne toasts to everyone who has been a blogging friend to me over the years. Blogging has changed me for the better and I am eternally grateful! Have a great weekend lovelies!

Doing it all.

When I sat down to write my new year’s resolutions (not the ones I shared on the blog but a list of more specific personal goals) I was so tempted to list out everything I wanted to see change in my life.

My manic list of things to do in 2017 looked something like this: Buy a house. Pay off all of my debt. Write a novel. Run a marathon. Travel to 25 different countries. Waltz around in head to toe looks straight from NYFW runways. Meet Taylor Swift. Get Gigi Hadid’s bikini body. Single handedly deal with global warming and all the girls who don’t get to go to school. Research every cult that has ever existed and write a book analyzing the psychology of religion. Get into law school. Perfectly curate my Instagram with fabulously staged photos mimicking the pages of Vogue. Ha!

I may be exaggerating a tiny bit but I think my point is clear. So often I want to do it all and I want to achieve everything so quickly. One of my greatest weaknesses is my perpetual desire for freshness, newness and change. While life should be in part about experiencing new things, shouldn’t we take time to cultivate the metaphorical gardens we planted just recently?

Big news! I’m starting a new job at a law firm next Tuesday (my 25th birthday). I’ve done a lot of job hopping since I graduated college and while I am grateful for all of the experiences I’ve gained I am ready for a career I can settle into and learn the ropes.

I’ll be honest, it’s really hard for me not to chase down every passing fancy that crosses my mind. When a new subject or idea interests me I become obsessive. I’ll dive head first into researching a new subject only to find another interest to obsess over a month or two later. I’m speaking candidly here when I admit that this quality of mine worries me. I’m not sure how to balance drive and commitment with curiousity and exploration. How do I pursue new interests while sticking it out through the difficult times we all face in pursuit of our goals?

Moving forward I want to hold myself more accountable to my commitments without forcing myself to stick to petty goals and ambitions. While there is no reason to finish that book on the nightstand that continues to bore you, it’s important to recognize that every job has bad days and every long term friendship faces disagreements or challenges.

This year I won’t be able to do it all. I can’t start saving money while still buying every pair of Stuart Weitzman boots I see on the legs of a Victoria’s Secret Angel. I can’t work overtime, buy a house, get engaged, run a blog, start law school, travel across the globe and volunteer weekly with every organization that means something to me. I have to maintain my sanity and aiming to achieve all of my big goals in one year does not make me a #GirlBoss it makes me impatient.

I’ve noticed we really like to glorify the “do it all now” mindset (myself included). Start a business, travel abroad, get married, star in a reality television show, open an Etsy shop, take acting classes and blog your dreams all RIGHT NOW. This mindset is a great drive to get going, but I think it also sets us up for disappointment. What happens when you push everything to happen too fast and end up selling yourself short? Do we do everything half way without giving any task the real attention it deserves? I’m not suggesting we give up all of our ambitions but rather that we recognize we can’t always do it all at once.

Realistically a lot of my big goals should be five year goals not one year goals. By looking at what I want to accomplish over a slightly longer period of time I can reach for my goals without selling myself short or jumping into something before I can really get my “ducks in a row” so to speak.

Looking at my life with an endurance mindset instead of a sprint mindset is very freeing. I’ve felt the tightness in my chest dissolve just typing out this post. Note to self: breathe deeply and keep persisting even if it feels like the results aren’t immediate. Instant gratification is fun but achievement that comes from long term hard work is so much more fulfilling.

How do you think about goal setting? Do you sometimes aim to do too much into short of a time frame? How do you stay motivated to reach goals that won’t be achieved over night? I would love love love to hear your thoughts on this topic, I’m certainly not an expert!

All aboard the Meteor: My Bahamas Adventure

After kissing 2016 goodbye at the Castello di Amarosa’s New Year’s Eve party in Calistoga, my aunt, uncle, bestie and I caught a flight to Nassau on the evening of January 1st. Along the way we met up with my cousin and close friend, Genevieve, and my boyfriend who flew out of Seattle.

Our week long trip through the Exuma islands was definitely the vacation of a lifetime. We had the opportunity to sail on my uncle’s boss’s private sail boat complete with a crew of 9 (including a chef who prepared all of our meals). It was such an honor to be invited and a total luxury to be treated like a real life princess for an entire week. Why my Aunt and Uncle chose to invite us is still beyond me but I am oh so grateful!

How do I sum up our trip? Do I begin with all of the delicious Rose? The hours spent in heated debates over each meal? The water sports? The five star beach picnic? The untouched beaches and turquoise waters that seemed to expand forever? Honestly my writing could hardly do the trip justice, it was such a fantastic experience and I feel so lucky to have started the new year with such a lovely group of people.

There were so many iguanas who ran out when they realized we had food!

Could those waters be any more gorgeous?

 

Some of the highlights included eating lunch at a restaraunt with sand covered floors, feeding iguanas on the beach, snorkeling into a grotto, a game of Trivial Pursuit in which no one scored any points, inner tubing for so long that my hands started to cramp, wakeboarding for the first time (& actually getting up), meeting a lemon shark during our beach picnic, swimming and frolicking with a clan of pigs, racing jet skis into the sunset, facing my silly fear and jumping off the front of the boat, a tequila induced dance party on the back of the boat, and watching Jordan dive with nurse sharks fearlessly (while I watched from the shore). Can I rewind and live it all over again?

I can’t thank the boat’s crew enough for how special they made us feel. Each meal was more delicious than the last, the table settings were always beautiful and all of our needs were met with a smile (yay for lattes and fruit plates and chocolate all day long). The staff on private yachts are really hard working and intensely dedicated people. They work long days often with demanding and egotistical clients (my words not theirs haha), they spend months away from their friends and families and they’re on call for guests 24/7. My aunt worked in yachting for a few years so I had the chance to visit her on some pretty glamorous boats while also listening to her first hand account of how unglamorous her life was. The Meteor crew even gave us piggyback rides from the tender to the shore so our shoes wouldn’t get wet. Is anyone used to that kind of pampering?! These people deserve customer experience medals!

We snorkeled at the crash site of a plane and in a grotto built for mermaids.

One of the many lovely table displays from our trip. There was a new display at every meal.

The Exumas were stunningly beautiful and I highly reccomend visiting if you ever get the chance. Though my view was a bit slanted as we were on a boat I couldn’t help but note the entire trip how secluded and uninhabited these islands seemed. We saw very few people the entire trip and had no trouble accessing uninhabited islands with gorgeous beaches. I felt like a real celebrity!

Of course the company I was surrounded with was by far the best part of the trip. My Aunt, Uncle, bestie, boyfriend and cousin all make the “my favorite people in the whole wide world” list so having them all in one place made my heart really happy. We didn’t all do every activity together; my aunt and uncle occasionally took some time to themselves, Gen stayed behind for jet skiing, Jordan and my uncle snuck away to work every so often and I enjoyed a latte and a magazine while Gen and Nicole swam around the boat each morning. Yet, our time together was never boring! We debated politics and ethics, the future of technology and celebrity crushes. We recited our favorite poems over dinner, shared a lot of laughs and even more champagne. As cheesy as it sounds I could not imagine a better trip and I know will remember this vacation for the rest of my life.

We tried to jet ski every day, it was such a blast!

Of course playing with pigs on the beach was my favorite part of our adventure (I seriously could not stop talking about it leading up to the excursion) so I am dedicating a whole post to the experience. Be on the look out for a plethora of cute piggy photos coming soon!

Oh my lanta! Did I post enough pictures for you? If you made it through thanks for reading! I know today’s post was super photo heavy but I really wanted to share my favorite photos from my adventure (believe it or not this was limiting myself). I hope you enjoyed a mini photo vacay to the Exuma islands (:

2017: New Year’s Resolutions

Has it started to feel as if I am droning on and on about the new year? I pinky promise this is my last post dedicated to all things 2017 related but I am just so inspired by fresh starts and new beginnings. I love making small goals all month long as I find these sort of goals easier to stick to and generally more attainable. I often share monthly goals in this space as a way to hold myself accountable and potentially connect with you guys. I did set a few overarching new year’s resolutions this year that can be broken down easily over the next 12 months.

Save!

Follow a monthly savings plan.

I’ve always been more of a spender than a saver. Even as a kid if I had money I had to find something to buy…it burned a whole in my pocket every time. This year I’ve really tried to adopt healthier financial habits and I’m finally ready to get serious about saving. My savings account won’t be much compared to most people but I am determined to pay my bills and set aside money for emergencies and future goals instead of just filling my closet with shoes.

Invest in quality pieces.

It’s safe to say I’ve reached a point where I recognize the value of quality items over quantity. I’m certainly not rich but I’ve realized how much happier I am with one cute dress than five okay polyester pieces from Forever 21. I’m not a clothing elitist but I do want to choose pieces that will last more than a couple of washes.

Travel!

Travel abroad.

This year Jordan and I are hoping to visit Spain. Barcelona is calling my name! I definitely need to brush up on my Spanish to help us get by and avoid any food blunders (which I had to laugh at in Paris last year). If we aren’t able to go to Spain together for some reason I hope to travel to get abroad with a friend or two!

Explore a new city in the United States.

Charleston is currently on my “must see” list as I’ve never really visited the south. I would love to take a long weekend this spring or summer to see what the colorful city has to offer.

Give!

Find a way to volunteer consistently.

I think giving back to the community is incredibly important. I love opportunities to volunteer and want to be sure to make time to help my community more in 2017. I am looking forward to a one time volunteer opportunity at the end of January then I am hoping to find ways to volunteer at least once a month for the rest of the year.

Focus!

Study for the June LSAT.

I just received my December LSAT results and though I did well enough I didn’t hit my goal score and was enough below my average practice test score that I want to go at it again. While I was initially a little discouraged I actually enjoy studying so I am excited for another excuse to curly up in a coffee shop and hit the books.

Blog consistently with quality.

Between working full time, studying for the LSAT, working out and a social life it has become more difficult (and less of a priority) for me to blog five days a week. I still love the blogging community but I am less interested in branding my blog as a business and more interested in ensuring the posts I do publish are meaningful to me. This year I’m refocusing my blog a bit and striving for fewer quality centric posts.

Love!

Send more letters to family members.

Express Gratitude.

Surprise someone.

Give flowers often.

Make a solid effort to make someone’s day.

What are your goals for 2017? Do we have any of the same aspirations? I can’t wait to share more about my recent trip to the Bahamas with you later this week.

 

P.S. Don’t forget our join Kristin from the Blush Blonde & I for our Tutu Tuesday link up. In case you missed it, we’re hosting an Instagram challenge this month. Feel free to jump on board by using the hashtag #jadorejanuary.