BFF Weekend

Hello, hello! Thank you for all of the birthday wishes this week. I turned 26 on the 17th and spent the weekend prior celebrating in Los Angeles with my friend Nicole. We both love photos so we took advantage of the warm weather and beautiful beaches to take a few best friend photos with a local photographer.

Nicole moved to Los Angeles in the fall and I have been dying to visit her ever since. Even though we’ve seen each other briefly every month since she left, it was really nice to have a whole weekend in her new home town. For my birthday celebration we booked a room, enjoyed dinner out at a handful of delicious restaurants, went shopping, and even made the biggest clothing purchase of my life (more details coming soon).

Nicole and I met at cheer try-outs in high school. I immediately fell in love with Nicole’s adorable freckles and we were the best of friends ever since. Throughout our friendship we have enjoyed MANY photo shoots. In high school my next door neighbor was a photographer. I loved trading babysitting hours for photoshoots with my friends, consequently, Nicole and I have taken quite a few photos together. Now, I love that Nicole and I essentially have yearly best-friend shoots. We have coined our own signature poses (like eskimo kissing and pretending we’re having a really funny conversation). We’ve even learned each other’s good sides and what sort of lighting works for our different skin tones. I like to think our experience is similar to Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, ha (;

A girls’ weekend in southern California is the perfect way to welcome another year of life. I already have so many exciting plans for the next year (including a site revamp), I can’t wait to share more details and of course see the surprises the year has to offer. If 26 is as magical as 25 I am one lucky girl!

My 26th Birthday Wish List

With a birthday less than a month after Christmas there usually isn’t much I want or need come January 17th. This year my friends and family spoiled me rotten making it even more difficult to compile a lustful list of items I am craving. The following list includes a handful of items perfect for winter birthdays. After my cousin and bestie both bought me items off of my blog birthday wish list last year I feel I have to add a disclaimer to all of my supportive friends and family members that read here. This list isn’t meant as an actual list of gift ideas meant for my friends and family to purchase from but rather as inspiration for your own winter purchases (and of course insight into the items I may purchase for myself over the season).

One| Skincare Massager

As you guys know I am a skincare FREAK. I love experimenting with new oils, products and concoctions! While browsing Dermstore recently I stumbled upon the highly rated ReFa, it is definitely a splurge but the glowing reviews make it seem like a wonderful skincare tool. However, Lauryn at The Skinny Confidential speaks highly of the Clarisonic facial massage brush head, since I don’t believe the head is comparable with my Clarisonic Mia 2 I’m not sure it’s worth the purchase of another Clarisonic BUT it’s worth some investigating. If you have experience with any facial massager pretty please send your tips my way. I’m trying to give myself at home facials on the daily!

Two| Silk Sleep Mask

I’ve had my eye on silk eye masks forever. Jordan often works next to me on his laptop in bed and the blue light noticeably impacts my sleep. I want a silk eye mask to block out the light so I can still snuggle up with Jord without sacrificing my precious beauty sleep.

Three| White Gold Hoop Earrings

I wear my rose gold Kendra Scott hoop earrings more often than any other earrings, they seem to go perfectly with everything. I’m sure a similar pair in silver would receive nearly as much wear (and give my rose gold hoops a much needed break).

Four| Gray Skinny Jeans

You’d think I would have hopped on this trend a year and a half ago when I went to Paris…but I’m a little late to the party. Chic gray skinny jeans feel fashion forward and casual. I like this pair for everything from a dinner date, to studying to wearing through the airport. This pair is a bit more casual but SO flattering. I’ll definitely splurge on these for myself for my 26th birthday!

Five| Wear-Everywhere Sneakers

Seattle winters are gray and very, very wet. For the most part I stash away my pretty silk and suede shoes for the winter because I hate staining and ruining them in the rain and mud. I need a simple pair of Converse or Adidas I can throw on with anything when it’s cold and rainy to go to class or run errands without worrying about splashes or stains.

Six| Cashmere Scarf

From January to April it feels like I am constantly cold! I adore cozy oversized sweaters for cuddling up in the library (or on my couch) but don’t have many scarves for layering. I would love a basic cream or camel cashmere scarf to go with all of my favorite jackets and sweaters all winter long. This one is a bit of a splurge but this one is at Target…cashmere?! At Target?! Freaking out!

Seven| Girly Pajama Set

I’m totally guilty of wearing the same ratty pajamas for years. I have the same pajama shorts I’ve worn since my freshman year of college and only added a pair or two since then…eek! I am in desperate need of new pajamas and I’ll take anything from silky and sexy to oversized and fleece lined-the girlier the better pretty please! These ones are a little above my price range but great for the gal who really wants to treat herself to a luxurious night of sleep. This pair is just as cute but at a fraction of the price. Finally, you can’t go wrong with a classic blush, striped set.

Eight| Moon Dust

At 25 (almost 26) I am finally mature enough to remember to take my probiotic (most mornings) so I want to incorporate new vitamins and supplements into my diet. I’m not 100% sure I buy into the moon juice hype but I am intrigued! This starter pack has two of every “dust”, perfect for sampling!

 

As for birthday celebrations? This year I’m headed to Los Angeles for a long weekend with my bestie! I can’t wait to see her new home and catch up with a few girlfriends in the area. I hope for one last taste of sunshine before Seattle’s long, gray winter, then on my actual birthday (during the work week) Jordan and I plan to grab a low-key dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. 25 was such a lovely year, I will be one lucky girl if 26 is just as good to me!

 

Creating a Life You’re Happy to Return to

Life has to be pretty great if you don’t dread leaving a beautiful place like this!

My three week long winter break was positively delicious. Between spending time with friends, baking Christmas cookies, the Nutcracker in San Francisco, Disneyland, a spa day and a quick trip to the Bahamas, I savored EVERY moment of my long, luxurious vacation. After working in the “real world” for a couple of years I find winter break so much more satisfying. In high school and undergrad winter break was just part of life, but a couple of years in the working world and I realized how positively lovely a winter vacation really is. After a quick trip to the Abacos islands in the Bahamas, I had a full day of travel (more than 18 hours from door to door) on Sunday which gave me plenty of time to reflect on my break and 2018 moving forward.

I cozied up in the Miami airport with a latte and my property textbook and realized I wasn’t dreading the end of break. Of course I wished I could have just one more day to unpack my suitcases, do a couple loads of laundry and grocery shop for the week…but I didn’t have a pit in the bottom of my stomach begging me not to return. Surprisingly, I was actually kind of excited.  I was excited to get back to school, excited to see my friends and classmates I hadn’t talked to over break, I was excited to sleep in my own bed, and to fall back into my routine. Since I am headed to Los Angeles this upcoming weekend I don’t have too much time at home to get settled and organized, which makes my thirst for structure and routine that much stronger.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE vacation. I am so grateful for the time spent with family in California and the Abacos islands, but it was a gentle reminder of how much I love my life here in Seattle.  I am really happy with where I am at, which hasn’t always been the case.

Life ebbs and flows. There will be days in the future I dread going to school and work in my future career. I know I’ll find myself staring out at the Seattle rain and wishing to be somewhere else! I’m certainly not pretending everything is sunshine and rainbows every moment of every day, but day to day I am happy. I like the life I am living and that means something.

Partially by choice, partially by privilege and partially by happenstance, I have created a life I’m happy to return to. I like my law books, the baristas at my local coffee shop, my fuzzy soft blankets and my bestie-boyfriend that I get to have a sleepover with every single night. There are challenges but I am so happy.

Moving forward this year (and beyond) I want to remember this feeling. I know come April I’ll be in over my head with new legal concepts, I’ll be tired of long gray days and I’ll miss my friends. I want to remember how good it felt to fall back into my routine, the freshness of a new semester and I want to fully appreciate the life I lead.

If you’re in a place where you dread the end of vacation or Monday morning like the plague, I’ve been there too! I hope this year you have the power to tweak and adjust aspects of your life (little or big) to ultimately create a life you’re happy to return to. Enjoy the rest of this week, xo!

What I Wore New Year’s Eve

My Dress is from Rent the Runway, use this link for $30 off your order!

I shared a recap of the event I attended for New Year’s Eve yesterday. If you are ever visiting Napa Valley, I definitely recommend checking out the Castello di Amorosa, especially if there is an event/party going on. The castle throws the best parties! Today I’m back with the full details of my look including wardrobe and makeup.

I ordered my dress from Rent the Runway and all I can say is that I was OBSESSED. Emerald green, body hugging lace, with a peek of shoulder…I wish I could wear that dress every day for a month. If you want to buy rather than rent a gorgeous green cocktail dress I found a few beautiful options here and here. If you are interested in trying Rent the Runway for your next big event, girls’ night, birthday party, etc. be sure to use my link and we’ll both get $30 off our next order.

My Manolo Blahnik green satin pumps were on my #ShoeGoals wish list for years. This year Jordan bought them for me for Christmas because we both knew they would look stunning with my NYE dress. Every girl needs a pair of Hangisi pumps (or flats if you prefer). The Hangisi style comes in an array of colors like the blue satin seen on Carrie Bradshaw and a gorgeous turquoise that would make my toes feel like they were wrapped in a Tiffany’s box. I opted for the shorter heel because I knew I would be on the dance floor all night long. I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable the heels really are, there wasn’t a single moment that I worried about my feet and I was walking up and down stairs, dancing and standing on stone all night long.  I can’t wait to pair my green satin pumps with a pair of rolled up jeans and a white button up for a day to day look.

My rose gold snake ring was a Christmas gift from the Taylor Swift website. Snakes are so trendy right now so you can find similar rings all over the place- I love this one, this one and this one too!

For special occasions I almost always choose to get my makeup done by a professional. I can apply mascara properly but otherwise I fail at makeup! A full custom makeover at Sephora is free with a $50 minimum purchase, so I just wait until I need a new product or two before scheduling a makeover. I suggest booking your appointment ahead of time especially when there is a big event going on in town! To prep my skin my makeup artist used a handful of Sunday Riley products like this face oil and this brightening moisturizer. You guys know I am obsessed with skincare but I hadn’t tried Sunday Riley before my makeover. I hope to pick up a serum from Sunday Riley in the future. Makeup wise there were quite a few products used. We contoured, we did up my brows, we transformed my eyes, etc, etc. I loved the red lipstick from Too Faced, gold glitter used on my eyes and the foundation that gave me a bit of coverage without hiding my freckles. I probably wouldn’t buy the contouring kit for day-to-day use personally, but for someone who likes to be a bit more glam on the daily it would be a great product to have in your arsenal.

New Year’s Eve was a really wonderful night! I love planning my outfit and getting ready for a big event. I always swear that getting ready is half the fun! I have a bit of a cough and a sore throat today but I am doing my best to curb any illness because I am headed to the Bahamas tonight! I will spend a couple days in tropical paradise before I start classes again on Monday. If you have any tips for getting over a cold quickly please send me your recommendations, potions and elixirs (;

Hello 2018 👋

My friend Nicole and I posing before the gala. I have a full post on my NYE outfit coming soon!

New Year’s Eve has become one of my favorite holidays. Though I was a bit under the weather both last year and this year, I relish every opportunity to dress up. A cold cannot and WILL NOT get in the way of a dress up party in a castle, who are we kidding?  After a week in Northern California with my family, we all spent our last night celebrating the year to come at a beautiful castle-winery! My best friend, Nicole, and her mom even drove up from Los Angeles to join us for the evening. I was surrounded by people I love and I got to wear a fabulous dress. I could not have dreamed up a better way to bid adieu to 2017.

Somehow Jordan and I didn’t get too many photos together over the evening but he sure looked dapper!

We attended the Gatsby Gala at the Castello di Amorosa, a winery modeled after an Italian castle in Calistoga, California. I have attended the castle’s new year’s eve functions since I was old enough to attend (21) and can honestly say I haven’t attended a better party. In the past, the New Year’s Eve Ball had a masquerade theme but this year the gala was Gatsby. I’ll be honest, I didn’t go all out with the theme as it didn’t quite hit me that the event would be a full on twenties inspired party until two or three days before the event. Still, I think my dress worked out well enough for the theme! My Aunt had a beautiful twenties inspired headpiece that sort of carried our whole group thematically.

Our entire group posing on the red carpet.

I tend to enjoy getting ready for a big event just as much as the actual event, this year was no exception! Early in day in the 31st, my cousin Michelle, Nicole, her mother and I headed to Sephora for a quick New Year’s Eve makeover. I opted for a gold shimmery eye and red lips while Michelle chose a gorgeous deep blue-red color and Nicole highlighted the inner corner of her eyes with silver glitter. Though my false eyelashes didn’t quite last through the night, I felt pretty darn good about my NYE makeup.

A close-up of my makeup. Thanks Sephora because there’s no way I could do anything as pretty to my face!

Dining in the wine cellar.

From champagne and oysters upon our arrival, to a dance floor, cigar lounge, speak easy and four-course dinner the Gatsby Gala was a truly spectacular event! This year I think the event planning team at the winery stepped up their game. I adored the fairy lights, chandeliers and cute Gatsby inspired quotes strewn throughout the venue. An explosion of gold glitter on the dance floor at midnight was a beautiful welcome to 2018.

As cliché as it sounds, I have a really great feeling about 2018! 2017 was such a good year for me (more on that later) and I have this genuine feeling of excitement for everything to come in the new year. I am ready for a new semester of law school, ready for a quick trip to the Bahamas, ready to work towards new fitness goals, ready for everything!

Thank you for taking a moment to glimpse into my New Year’s celebration and I hope you enjoyed your New Year’s Eve this year too! If you’re ever in the Napa Valley region be sure to check out the Castello di Amorosa!