Life Update: Happy New Year

You guys! It’s been so long. I don’t have any good excuse, only that it’s been a busy whirlwind couple of months. I wanted to share a quick update on my life, and also to wish you all a Happy New Year! Can you believe 2018 is here? I have lots of hopes and goals for this year, and I’m really looking forward to get back into blogging in the new year.

I’ve been getting back into hiking the past couple of months, and it feels so good. A few weeks back, I was hiking with a friend in the redwoods and it was right in the middle of the ladybug migration season. How cool is that? There were literally thousands in clumps all over the trail.

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I flew back to Colorado for 3 days over Christmas to see my family and it was really nice. It was a short trip but it was great to spend some quality time with them. Now that I live in California, I don’t get to see my family that often and it’s just nice to be in the same room. My cat was…ignoring me pretty much the whole weekend. But that’s how cats are, isn’t it? My parents were babysitting a dog, and he was the sweetest dog ever — a total snuggle baby.

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This December, I tried to do as many holiday-themed activities as possible. Some of my friends got together for a gingerbread house competition, and it was so much fun. We couldn’t pick a winner, because they all turned out so good. Everybody got really into the details and we all got so competitive, it was such a fun thing to do with friends!

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I’ve been doing some little art projects lately, and one of my friends thought of this brilliant idea to hang paper airplanes from the ceiling over the bed. I love it so much, it’s one of the most fun room decorations I’ve ever had. It’s very comforting to wake up and see colorful planes having over you.

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I also took a stab at making my first Christmas ornament this year: a pineapple out of felt. I made it for a friend, and it took me probably 5 hours to do it, but I love the way it turned out! I might write a tutorial for the pineapple, if you guys are interested. I know it’s past Christmas, but I think this could be cute at parties or baby showers or summer bbq’s, too. (:

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I hope you all had a great holiday season, and Happy New Year! Anybody have a resolution this year? I’d love to hear what your goals are for the year.



2017 Goals

I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions. The word “resolution” just has this negative connotation to it, don’t you think? Maybe it’s just me… So, I don’t make resolutions. BUT as you all probably know, I do love to make goals, and there’s something refreshing and inspiring about a brand new year. Starting another year always pushes me to reflect on how my life is going on a day-to-day basis, and I like to make little goals for myself. I’m always pushing myself towards positivity and finding happiness in every day, and I’m ready for the new opportunities and challenges 2017 has to offer.

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Here are my goals for this fresh new year:

  1. Send more birthday cards: I always love receiving mail, and I know how special it makes me feel when I get a birthday card from a friend or family member. I really want to send my friends lovely little handmade birthday notes this year! It’s a simple but very meaningful way to tell the people I love how special they are!
  2. Spend more free time “hobbying:” with grad school taking up most of my time for the last couple of years, I really want to make my hobbies more of a priority again. I’ve missed sewing and painting, I love letting my creative energy just flow.
  3. Travel to Europe: more specifically, Paris, France. I’ve never been to Europe before, but my wanderlust is so real. One of the most important things in my life is traveling, and I’m so excited to visit Paris with my family next fall. I’m trying my best to learn French!
  4. Meet friends in my new city: having just moved to the SF bay area, I don’t have any friends yet here (other than the amazing people I work with!). I really want to meet some new friends here this year, to really establish my life here.
  5. Eat at a new restaurant at least once a month: I’ve just moved to the area, and it’s got some really great restaurants. It’s such a diverse community with an amazing variety of eateries, and I’m slowly building a list of my favorites! But it’s easy for me to fall into a comfy pattern of eating at just a couple places over and over. So I want to keep myself trying new restaurants as much as possible!

So there you go, a few goals I’ve made for myself for 2017! Do you have any goals?

*Side note: I just checked my inbox and have finally sorted through all of the messages! Sorry for the long wait on those responses. I am going to get better at checking them on a regular basis, I promise!*


Best of 2016

In honor of the end of 2016, I wanted to round up and share some of my favorite blog posts from the year. No matter where you’re spending your New Year’s eve (or how, there’s no shame in relaxing at home, am I right?!), I hope it’s warm and lovely! And be safe out there (:

The Best of 2016

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Travel Posts

2016 was full of traveling for me. From my clinical internships where I spent 3 months in North Carolina and 3 months in Florida, to a long weekend in Vail for the International Dance Festival, to interviewing for jobs in California…it’s been a busy year! Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Three Sisters Spring
  2. A Day at the Beach
  3. North Carolina Mountain Trip
  4. Vail Weekend
  5. San Luis Obispo Trip
  6. San Francisco Trip

DIY Posts

I had a few fun DIY and home decor posts to share this year. Makers gonna make, you know?

  1. Felt Wall Hanging
  2. Gallery Wall DIY
  3. DIY End Table Makeover
  4. My Sewing Machine Story

Cooking Posts

I love to cook, and mostly I love to eat. Here are a couple of recipes and food-related posts from 2016!

  1. The Perfect Green Smoothie
  2. In the Kitchen Recipe Roundup
  3. The Best Chicken Stew
  4. Delicious Coconut Bundt Birthday Cake

Miscellaneous Posts

I had a few random posts that I was really grateful and happy to share here on the blog, that don’t really fit into any other categories.

  1. My dog’s 14th birthday
  2. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  3. G5 Hop Farm

Happy New Year!


23 Before 24

I’m having a little freak-out moment over here. Tomorrow is my birthday, and I’m turning 24, and this year just feels like it’s gone so fast and 24 just sounds like such a serious age…I know, I sound kind of silly. But I think (hope?) it’s normal to have some little anxieties around birthdays…mixed emotions, really, because nobody loves a good birthday week celebration like me. I’m basically the queen of birthday week. And yet I’m still a little nervous about the big two-four.

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Anyway, all freak-outs aside, I’m doing a little reflecting on the past year of my life and I thought it would be fun to think of 23 things I’ve done as a 23 year-old before I turn 24 tomorrow. So on this magnificent birthday-eve, here’s 23 Before 24:

  1. I lived in 4 states while I was 23 – Colorado, Pittsburgh, Florida, & North Carolina
  2. I finished graduate school
  3. I started eating burgers again
  4. I saw 200 manatee (all at the same time) and it was amazing
  5. I went back to ballet after a 3 year hiatus
  6. I started getting serious about eating right and exercising again (just in the last 2 weeks)
  7. I worked really hard on expanding my blog in a purposeful way
  8. I started preparing for the biggest exam of my whole life — NBCOT here I come
  9. I ate no real ice cream (lots of lactaid ice cream though)
  10. One of my best friends got married and I was there in spirit! I’m still drooling over her gorgeous photos.
  11. I’ve been in 15 states – Pittsburgh, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Kansas
  12. I’ve been working on breaking the bad habit of biting my nails
  13. I went to a dueling piano bar because apparently that’s a thing now
  14. I ate fried green tomatoes for the first time ever (SO GOOD)
  15. I relied on a laundromat for 3 months. It wasn’t great, I wouldn’t recommend it
  16. I dyed my hair for the first time in my life (just highlights, but a big deal for me!)
  17. I made a list of trips I’d like to take next *hint: it’s a looong list*
  18. I lived without a kitchen for 3 months
  19. I confirmed that the career path I thought was for me, actually is for me. Yay!
  20. I found an amazing photo-editing app that I will probably be loyal to forever
  21. I started wearing my hair more natural instead of blow-drying it every day
  22. I was happy 95% of the time (a big portion of that sad 5% went to school stress)
  23. I realized I wanted to move back to Colorado for good



Three Good Things: Challenge

I think of myself as an optimist and generally cheerful person, but I’ve noticed that I have fallen into a pattern of complaining and focusing on negative aspects of my day the last couple of years, which isn’t great. Not only is this habit adding more stress and negativity to my life, I hate complaining to others and off-loading my stresses onto them. Have you ever been around people who only have negative things to say about any situation? It’s no fun. So I’m trying to actively work on that in my life.

I started something this week that I think may help me combat the moody blues, and I want to share it here on the blog today in case any of you want to try it, too! It’s called “Three Good Things,” I learned it on Wednesday during orientation at my internship. three good things

Here’s how it works: every night, just before you go to bed, make a list of three good things that happened to you that day. It’s that simple. The things on your list can be as silly or as serious as you choose. You’re supposed to write down your three good things every night for two weeks, and then you can stop writing them down since you’ll be in the habit of thinking of what was good about your day.I kind of think I’ll continue to write down my lists and keep them all together, because I want to be able to look back at them in a few weeks/months.

beach bum club

nothing but blue skies ahead!

When you get in the habit of thinking about all of the positive things in your life, the bad things don’t stand out as much. Basically, it’s a way to retrain your brain, reduce stress, and improve your mood every day. Sounds pretty great to me! It’s only been 3 days since I started the challenge, but I’m already enjoying reflecting on each day and picking out three things that were really good.

Want to join me in the Three Good Things challenge? Comment on this post if you’re in!






I always appreciate the beginning of January as an opportunity to reflect on my life over the past year, and to make goals and create wild dreams for the new one. While I don’t typically make resolutions, I like to set intentions for what I’d like to accomplish, or values/feelings I’d like to embody in the new year. 

Last year was a big one for me. I really came into my own in Pittsburgh in grad school. I made lifelong friends in school, and we cried and laughed and suffered and thrived together. I spent the whole summer vacation back home in Colorado, and realized I missed it more than I had thought. And last term, after more meltdowns than I can count and frustrated phone calls to my parents, after reaching the point of complete mental and physical exhaustion weekly only to rejuvenate myself and then be quickly pushed back down, I finally finished my last academic term of grad school. I realize, I’m making it sound really bad. Let me just say, I’m so glad I pursued this path, because the hard work I’ve put in will take me where I want to go in life. But I think I have to be honest with myself: I wasn’t happy, my life wasn’t balanced, I wasn’t living the life I wanted to live. 

New Year.

I’m starting this year out with a great big adventure. New city (and state!). I don’t have any family here, nor do I know anybody. But the thought of starting over and carving out my own path and place in the world excited me. There will be great challenges to come, and hopefully I’m ready to face them as they crash over me like waves. 

This year, my intentions are family simple. I want to be kind, wholeheartedly, to others and to myself. I want to find joy and happiness in everyday life, in the small things that seem ordinary but make my days extraordinary. And I want to take the time to rekindle my old interests/hobbies, as well as explore some new ones, because I want to rediscover who I am without school. 

Phew. That felt heavy, but I needed to say it. Thanks for listening, always! 


Life Lately: January Dreams

Happy New Year!

I’m really excited to see what 2015 holds for me, and I hope it is filled with love, laughter, and joy for all of you readers. I don’t like to make one big New Year’s Resolution, but I do like to make lists of goals. Here are some of my goals for this January:

Goals Jan 2015

In 2015, I would like to be the kindest version of myself. I want to give compliments on a regular basis, and mean them. This year, I need to focus on taking better care of myself: diet, exercise, sleep, and play. All of those are really important! Something I struggled with last Fall was binge-watching Netflix shows–it really got in the way of me doing homework (or exercising!), and I’d like to cut down my tv hours so that I have time to do some more productive things. I’m not planning to completely stop watching Netflix, I just want to limit myself to (hopefully) weekends only! In the upcoming year, I’d also like to spend more of my free time with friends. I am starting to realize that grad school is going to be over before it even started, and I want to make sure I spend lots of time with my new friends before school ends.

Do you have any goals or resolutions for the new year?

Here are a few photos from my holiday back home–I was really sad to leave home! But coming back to Pittsburgh is also a happy thing, I get to continue my education and see all of my friends again after a long 3 weeks apart.


My cat and I — Family Portrait

mulled cider

The cutest little kit for making mulled cider — it was delicious!

new belgium girls

I toured New Belgium brewery in Fort Collins with some of my undergraduate friends.


Skiing Loveland with my dad before Christmas. Can’t beat that gorgeous mountain view.