April favorites

Hello everyone,

April has been wonderful, but I’m excited to get to May, because it is the end of the semester and also the month of my 21st birthday! Here are some of the things I enjoyed last month.

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Ingredients include chocolate, pretzels, coffee and potato chips. Yum!

I tried something just because it’s ~trendy~ this month, and it totally paid off. I bought the Milk Bar cookie mix because Taylor Swift loves the bakery. I admit it, OK? Sometimes my only basis for doing things is T-Swift. I’m not ashamed. I chose the “compost cookie” mix and it was delicious! I highly recommend it. The bakery’s website also has a ton of recipes I plan on trying!

I’ve tried a few of the face masks at Lush and the BB Seaweed mask is by far my favorite. It leaves me feeling clean and refreshed. I’m not good at determining if using a face mask actually improves my skin a ton, because my skin is pretty clear, but I know that this mask feels great, smells great and is affordable. I definitely can’t complain.

I’m always watching TV. This is a fact. Right now, it’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. I’m not done with season 2 yet, but what I’ve seen so far is just as funny as the first season! It’s such a wacky show and Tina Fey’s guest cameo is hilarious. As far as consistency goes, this show successfully makes the second season blend seamlessly in with the first, which is really uncommon, in my experience with watching. Something always feels disjointed after the first season with a lot of shows, whether it be the writing or the visual aesthetics, but not Kimmy and the gang.

The 1975 @ The Shrine in L.A.
The 1975 @ The Shrine in L.A.

In terms of music, I have the new The 1975 album, “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It,” on repeat. I spontaneously went to this concert a few weeks ago with my friend Rachel and had so much fun! They put on a great show. My favorite songs from the album are “Love Me,” “The Sound” and “She’s American.” The band might be a little too over the top in their desire to be the prettiest of pretty boy rockers, but they ain’t half bad.

My gray Converse high tops have been getting a lot of wear lately. They go everywhere, from house parties and concerts to errands and class. I’m obsessed with how comfy and stylish they are. I was once someone who scoffed at the idea of wearing sneakers for anything but exercise and said sneakers weren’t fashionable, but I have been proved completely wrong. I’m sure I owe my sister $5 for saying that.

What are some of your current favorites?

xo, C

How I keep my head above water

Hi everyone,

I’ve been a peer mentor all semester for students on academic probation and right now, we are covering finals stress and self care. With that job, plus working for the school newspaper and taking 16 credits worth of classes, I’m not exactly rolling in free time. Here’s how I stay (mostly) sane and stable amidst all the stress and exhaustion and assignments that seemingly grow on trees as the end of the semester creeps nearer.

My first tip has to do with food: try to come up with easy (and healthy!) recipes that you don’t mind eating 3-4 times a week. Right now, my favorite lunch is a sandwich with whole wheat bread, humus, spinach, turkey bacon, cheddar cheese and ham. I also really love using the “I Love Trader Joe’s College Cookbook” because I buy all my groceries from TJs anyway and all the recipes are easy and yummy.

It’s also important to take care of yourself mentally. Schedule at least an hour of “me time” a night. For me, it’s usually an episode of “The X Files.” If your schedule is really tight, at least make the half an hour before a bed a time to relax and unwind. Going straight from schoolwork to sleep is probably going to cause you to wake up just as tightly wound as you were the night before.

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Yogurtland is where my friends and I like to gossip and vent.

Another good thing to do is make plans with a friend or two every week. You need a break to catch your breath, and so do your friends. You can treat yo selves to fro-yo or pizza, have a vent session or watch a movie and quietly enjoy each other’s company. Isolating yourself to study and get work done for days on end is unhealthy and kind of sad. Just like you need me time, you also need friend time.

DRINK ENOUGH WATER! Take it from a recovering dehydration champ: water is vital. Eight glasses is the suggested amount per human per day. Track this on your phone or bulletin board or something. I don’t personally use it, but I’ve heard good things about the app Plant Nanny. Staying hydrated is just as important as maintaining a healthy diet. If your body feels gross, you feel sluggish and unproductive.

Last but not least, stay organized! As I said in my post a few months ago, your planner is your new bestie and color coding is what all the cool kids are doing these days. If you don’t keep track of everything, you’re guaranteed to get stressed and stay in a constant state of stress.

I’ve posted about stress before and the coping strategies I use have stayed pretty constant. Green tea, relaxing playlists, candles and sleeping are always the perfect cures for me. But everyone has different things that work for them! How do you manage your stress and stay on top of everything?

xo, C

Sounds like spring

Hello everyone,

As you can probably tell, I love music. I think music is cool. I love making playlists for different moods/holidays/events/etc. I’ve been using Spotify a lot more lately and have started making some playlists on there. My most recent one is a mix of songs that generally remind me of spring and stuff I’ve been listening to lately.

As hard as I tried, I could not figure out for the life of me how to embed this playlist directly into this post. So much for being a “millennial” who’s a wizard with technology, huh?

Anyway, click on the photo below to listen to my newest Spotify playlist! It’s a pretty eclectic mix. I’ll probably be updating it and adding a few more songs in the next week.

sounds like spring

Let me know what you think! Would you like to me do more playlist posts?

xo, C

50 things that make me happy

Hello everyone,

I found this tag through a link on Pinterest and immediately loved it. Sometimes life can get tough and we forget to stop and enjoy the little things or find happiness every day. I know that I can get into moods where I only focus on what is stressing me out and not what I’m enjoying in my life. Here are 50 things that make me a happy clam.

1. Gummy bears
2. Sleeping in on weekends
3. My family – I’m very close with them and being in another part of the state is really hard sometimes. They’re some of my best friends. Luckily, I get to Facetime and call them a lot while I’m at school. When I’m home, I spend as much time with them as I can, especially now that I’m growing up and realizing just how lucky I am to have such a kickass family.
4. Candles – Volcano from Anthropologie is my favorite, but I don’t discriminate 😉
5. Green tea
6. Organizing
7. Getting frozen yogurt with my friends
8. Movies – going to them in theaters alone or with friends, watching on Netflix, or even the few VHS tapes I still have!

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9. My tattoo

10. Retail therapy
11. Classic rock music
12. Seeing adorable babies/children when I’m out and about
13. Finding new restaurants with amazing hamburgers and fries
14. Cozy gray t-shirts
15. Scrolling Pinterest for hours on end
16. Discovering new tv shows – like my current obsession, “The X-Files.”
17. Hugs!
18. Art museums & galleries
19. Musicals

20. Disneyland - the day I leave SoCal and no longer have an annual pass to Disneyland will be one of the saddest days of my life.
20. Disneyland – the day I leave SoCal and no longer have an annual pass to Disneyland will be one of the saddest days of my life.

21. Art supply stores – I never leave empty-handed!
22. Relaxing hikes in beautiful places
23. anything written or created by Tina Fey
24. journals, planners, colored pens and all other office supplies
25. Disney animated movies – my favorites are “The Little Mermaid,” “Tangled,” “Robin Hood,” and “Sleeping Beauty.”
26. MAC lipsticks
27. Crafting – especially with friends!!
28. Making playlists for my moods
29. Looking at old family photos

Taking silly photo booth pics with my friends
30. Taking silly photo booth pics with my friends

31. Falling asleep to The National
32. Reading fashion magazines
33. Scottie dogs
34. Discussing my passions with people who share them
35. Everything related to Harry Potter
36. Watercolor painting
37. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – my favorite book and one I’ve read many times.
38. Skype dates with my friends who live far away
39. Calvin & Hobbes comic strips
40. Cardigans and sweaters in general
41. TLC shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” and “What Not to Wear”
42. Fairy lights
43. Writing – whether it be an op-ed for a class assignment or a blog post, writing has always been something I’ve loved and strived to be better at every day. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at it and can make a career out of it in some way.
44. My laptop – to, you know, blog and watch Netflix and listen to music and basically 85% of what I do every day.

Donuts
45. Donuts

46. Christmas – my favorite holiday, hands, down.
47. Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s
48. Hammocks
49. Fleetwood Mac
50. Lush bath bombs

I tag my wonderful friend Rachel, who is the 51st thing that makes me happy 😉 If any of you do this, please comment with the link below!

xo, C

Spring Break Spectacular

This past week was my spring break and for the first time in college, I actually went home for spring break. I brought my friend Jess back to the San Francisco Bay Area with me and we spent the week shopping, exploring, eating and watching Parks and Rec. Here’s a little photo diary of the week!

Being silly with my little sister. My dress is from Forever 21.
Being silly with my little sister. My dress is from Forever 21.
A polaroid snap from lunch one day
A polaroid snap from lunch one day
A funny sign in Berkley
A funny sign in Berkley
Pizza power, also in Berkley.
Pizza power, also in Berkley
A view of the city from the observation tower at the DeYoung Museum in SF
A view of the city from the observation tower at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco
Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta Retrospective
The "we killed it this week and had an excellent break" pose
The “we killed it this week and had an excellent break” pose

The first few days were rainy, which was wonderful. I thought that the Bay Area barely had seasons, and then I moved to Orange County, where the weather is even more frustratingly nice all the time. Sometimes you need a little rain and cold weather, you know?

We tried to have a new adventure every day, whether it be at a restaurant or a funky neighborhood in San Francisco. A lot of it was new for Jess, who had never spent much time in the Bay, but I tried some new stuff too! Favorites from the trip included the Oscar de la Renta retrospective at the DeYoung museum (my favorite museum in the city; I’ve been going regularly since I was very little) and Cream, a delicious ice cream sandwich place on Telegraph Ave. in Berkley (across the street from that Bill Murray sign!).

Now, the drive is no joke: it’s supposed to be six hours, but between stopping for food and/or gas and the traffic around L.A. that is impossible to shake, it can take up to eight or nine hours. This means that dope jams are a must. Besides the Mamma Mia! soundtrack, Halsey’s Badlands and some T-Swift, we had four hours of cds that I made. All of them are combined in this nifty 8tracks playlist:

Overall, it was a wonderful week during which I got to show my friend around my hometown, see my family and not think about school at all. Tomorrow, the last part of the semester begins!

xo, C

OOTD: Fool me thrice

Midterms are upon us (well, on my campus) and yet I managed to pull together a nice outfit on Monday morning. My best friend needed to take portraits of someone for a class, so I agreed and also asked her to take some outfit pictures for me. Behold:

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Cheesin’ courtesy of Sincerely Rachel Marie
pants from H&M / t-shirt from Urban Outiffters / jacket from Gap
pants from H&M / t-shirt from Urban Outiffters / jacket from Gap
booties from Steve Madden
booties from Steve Madden

Believe it or not, this beautiful backdrop is in the garden of an all-faiths chapel at my school. I’m pretty lucky to go to such a beautiful school. If only I didn’t have two more midterms this week…

Next week I’m on spring break and I’ll be driving back up to the Bay Area with a friend! We’re planning to go on lots of adventures, so I’ll probably break it into a few posts. Or do it in one because I’m lazy. No way to tell yet.

xo, C

I watch a lot of Netflix

If I have free time in the evening, you can bet I’m watching Netflix. Here are some of my top picks, from television shows to stand-up comedy specials.

netflix recs

TV SHOWS

Of course, it depends what you’re in the mood for. If you want something juicy to binge, go straight to Shondaland. I’m a huge fan of “How to Get Away With Murder” and “Scandal.” You can’t watch less than four episodes in a row of those shows, I promise. When it comes to Netflix originals, I’m on the hype train for “Orange is the New Black.” Did you think it was impossible to make a show about prison hilarious? You’re wrong. This show is the perfect mix of heartfelt drama and perfectly timed jokes. Want full comedy? Go for “Jane The Virgin,” which pleasantly surprised me by being an incredibly witty show, or “Parks and Recreation,” if you haven’t seen it yet. In which case, shame on you. Crime dramas are a favorite genre of mine, which is why it makes me so happy that “Bones” is on Netflix. This show has eleven seasons and they are all equally brilliant. Even when you hit season 8 or 9, you never think “Well, this show is running on it’s last legs.” If you like witty banter, self-aware jokes and complex serial killers, check it out. I’m also complete trash for “American Horror Story,” but do yourself a favor and watch “Asylum” (season 2) first. Then “Murder House” (season 1). And then “Coven,” (season 3) if you desire. But then maybe stop.

STAND-UP SPECIALS

It doesn’t get better than Nick Offerman’s “American Ham.” The man eats red meat, has his own woodshop, loves his wife and writes a great comedic song. What more could you want? Seriously. Offerman is the best. I’m also a new fan of John Mulaney. My friends and I recently watched “New Kid in Town” and I adored it. And like any college kid, I do enjoy Bo Burnham’s “what.”

SOMETHING NOSTALGIC

I love “Spy Kids.” The whole trilogy. There, I said it. And don’t pretend you don’t like it too. You’re just lying to yourself. “The Powerpuff Girls” and “Scooby Doo” are both on Netflix, so when I want to pretend life is simple and I’m eight years old again, I know what to watch. There’s also a plethora of Disney movies and DCOMs, like “Robin Hood” and “Cadet Kelly.” Of course, there’s “Anastasia,” the best non-Disney animated movie EVER.

OTHER GREAT MOVIES

“Djano Unchained” is my personal favorite Tarantino film. Wait, scratch that. It’s a tie between “Django” and “Inglorious Basterds.” Another note: “Django” should have been Leo’s first Oscar, in my opinion. If you want a classic musical, go for “Grease” or “Rent.” If you want a heartbreaking one with fabulous music that is totally underrated, go for “The Last 5 Years.” (But you will cry. Sorry. It’s just a fact.) “Iris” is a delightful and colorful documentary about the coolest and most interesting woman in fashion. If you seek something cute for a date night, do yourself a favor and watch the film version of “Bewitched” with Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. And if you’ve never seen it, put the film adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the top of your list.

MY LIST

Here’s what I’ll be watching next: “Love” (Netflix’s newest original show), “The Overnight,” “The Fall” (Gillian Anderson + Jamie Dornan + crime = no brainer), “Return to Sender,” “Narcos,” “A Single Man,” and “Goodwill Hunting.”


Have you seen any of these? Do you have any reccomendations for me?

xo, C

There’s a place on Ocean Avenue

… well, a few miles down the road from Ocean Ave.

Hello everyone! On Saturday, I woke up with no major plans. Some errands, definitely homework to work on… but nothing big. And then one of my roommates organized an impromptu beach trip.

Goff cove, Laguna Beach
Goff Cove, Laguna Beach

I don’t go to the beach as much as you would expect someone who lives in Orange County to. Especially since I’ve been living here almost three years. My roommate Chloe suggested we try to find the Laguna tidepools and within a few hours, we had a group assembled and bags packed. So we set off, three girls, two guys and a dog. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of most of the real adventures, because we were too busy dodging waves and trying not to fall off huge rocks. Scrambling through crevices behind a guy holding a small dog while we all desperately try not to fall or drop our beach bags was hard enough.

(You may be thinking, “The beach? It’s the end of February!” In Orange County, it’s been 80-90 degrees for a week and a half. Winter is exactly a thing down here)

All of Laguna is beautiful, but for a little more adventure, we decided to try Goff Cove. There are tidepools, awesome rocks to climb and it’s not very crowded. Some of the sections of the beach are only accessible if you climb rocks, which is extra cool.

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A view from the path
I honestly felt like The Little Mermaid
I honestly felt like The Little Mermaid
Playing mermaids with my roommate
Playing mermaids with my roommate
one happy clam
one happy clam

We spent a few hours at the beach before the sun started to set and then headed up to the resort path to watch the sunset on the water. The perfect end to a perfect day – before we had to go home, wash all out the sand out of our bodies and refuel with In N Out.

This picture doesn't do it justice, but watching the sunset from the resort above the cove was magical
This picture doesn’t do it justice

How was your weekend?

xo, C

Where you at?

Hello everyone,

As you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting much this month. I’ve taken on a very full load for the semester (16 credits, 2 jobs) and I’m still in the process of figuring out a schedule and making sure I’m on top of everything. I love blogging and hope to get everything straightened out soon so I can continue to devote time to this fun hobby, but currently, my schoolwork has to come first. Once I have a set routine for my semester, blogging will be much easier.

Regularly scheduled programming should resume in a few weeks! Thanks for bearing with me 🙂

xo, C

Organize like a badass

My semester is underway and I already know it’s going to be busy, so I’ve been spending all week trying to get my life together. Here are tips, from me to you, on how to…

Blackbir

Most of these tips are slightly geared towards being a college student, but even if you’re no longer in school, I hope they can be helpful to you.

GOOGLE DRIVE IS YOUR NEW BFF

I love Google Drive. My university does student email through Gmail, so I automatically have a Google drive connected to my school email. It makes group projects 1000% easier and you can still pull off a professional-looking presentation on Google Slides. Also, it makes my life easier as a Journalism major because I keep copies of all my writing on my drive so I can access it from school if I leave my laptop at home. I make folders for each semester and folders for each class within the semester folders. I also have email folders for the school newspaper, my job and any classes where I email professors and classmates a lot so I can easily find any email I need. Basically, I worship at the alter of Google. The company isn’t paying me to say this, I just really love it.

COLOR-CODE EVERYTHING

With six classes and only so much space in my planner, my best tactic each semester has been to color-code my classes. I have one of those glorious four-color clicky pens and a few other fun colors and I assign one to each class. For example, this semester I’m taking Caribbean Literature and it’s red. I write all my homework for the class in red in my planner and use red to emphasize things in my notes. It only takes a few weeks for me to memorize the colors, and for the rest of the semester any time I see red in my planner, I know that the assignment or exam is for Caribbean Lit. I also color-code my phone calendar, but in a slightly different way. Anything related to home or social stuff is blue, work is green, school-related events are red, etc. This system helps me differentiate events and is also just pleasing to look at when I take a peek at my calendar 😉

YOUR PLANNER IS YOUR BIBLE

I have a very wonderful planner from Ban.do (Sadly, my planner is no longer online. My pencil case in the above photo is from the brand as well).  I’m not getting paid to talk about Ban.Do either, but this brand has some of the cutest and most efficient desk supplies/stationery/random cute stuff. I mostly use my planner for school and to keep track of all my homework and tests, but I also put bigger things in it, like events I’m going to or when my family is visiting. My philosophy is always when in doubt, double up. Put everything in your planner and on your phone calendar. It’s impossible to forget about something or fall behind when you have multiple reminders!

LONG-TERM PLANNING WILL SAVE YOU

I put everything on my calendar the second I know about it so there won’t be any conflicts. If I know I have the same meeting every Friday morning, I put it on every single week for the rest of the semester. If there’s an event I haven’t even bought tickets for, but I know the date, I put it down. I hate being unorganized and having to cancel plans last minute because I didn’t know I was double-booked. I can also get pretty forgetful, so if I don’t put something in my calendar as soon as I learn about it, I might never remember to.

TO DO LISTS

I make a long-term and a short-term to-do list every week for anything not related to my schoolwork. Everything from “wash car” to “call doctor’s office” – anything I don’t want to forget to do. Nothing makes me feel more efficient than crossing things off a to-do list. And I love to make lists 🙂

GET YOUR SH*T TOGETHER

This last tip is a little more general: know where everything is in your life. Keep everything as organized as possible so you’re less stressed out. This goes for everything, from the bathroom to your closet. I have labeled baskets in my closet so I don’t have to worry about where a piece of clothing is. If I need a pair of shorts, I know they’re on the far left on my bottom shelf (if they’re clean). My desk drawers are organized so I never lose my stapler or beloved post-it notes. This also goes for less obvious things. If you’re like me, you forget about 75% of the things that aren’t in plain sight. I have a space under my bathroom sink for storage, so I have a stack of 3 plastic shoeboxes down there. I was constantly forgetting what I had and I was buying stuff I already had more than enough of, like Claritin or razors. I made a list of everything in each box and taped the list to the inside of my nightstand drawer, where I keep the things I use more frequently. Now when I go to get a cough drop, I’m reminded that I have another handful under my sink.

I hope all these tips are helpful! What are your favorite organizing strategies?

xo, C