sweet

valentine day

Happy Valentines Day!

I hope you all enjoy the day with the ones you love. I am so happy to be home with my family–we’re celebrating my cousin’s engagement! The weather is perfect, sunny and a cool 60 degrees. It’s great to take a break from reality and come home for a few days.

Send the love today! I’m missing all my friends who aren’t here today, but I’m so thankful for the great relationships in my life!

xx


simplicity

dainty picValentines Day is around the corner, but it’s never too late to order last minute gifts for your best friend, or to have your best friend hint to your boyfriend! My current jewelry trend is collecting small, dainty pieces that give a more simple look.

I have always loved Helen Ficalora–I have my charm necklace collection that started back in high school and is still being added on-to! They just launched an updated site which makes shopping her products a lot easier!

Catbird is a recent favorite, with the dainty stack rings that are also fun to collect! My best friend Clara recently gave me the small heart ring, which is now stacked with another ring and gold knuckle ring. I’m already adding to the collection, but it’s a secret because I got a matching one for Clara for Valentines day ūüôā

I recently discovered a jewelry designer, Ariel Gordon, who has similar products and also some other adorable additions! I Love the double heart ring, and there’s some other beautiful pieces on her website!

I hope everyone has a¬†Happy Valentines Day! This week by roommates and I will be baking sugar cookies to give to our best friends here in Dallas. I’m going home as well next weekend to see my family and celebrate my cousin’s engagement!

xx


cheers!

 

d17b7c50c7f60e94792571810b16359c

4df810b98bd3582987b1f0266dbfffd0

9b13ba48404fe1666225c06dd1206445

69be62237eee2d8deee86f6584df7cab

cara

d5f6c137e5e64fe68a0932004c459f40

I can’t believe it’s already the end of 2014–okay, how many people have said that? Anyways, I’ll be spending the holiday sick in bed with the flu…but that gave me some time to think of some new years resolutions!

After spending most of my year across the world, I’ve come to terms with so many of my previous beliefs and resolutions. Mostly, you get the classic: workout more, eat clean, think positive, yadda yadda. How many people really stick to that? Let me rephrase that: How many people stick with that for more than the first week?

This year, I’ve decided to practice some new resolutions–some that are the opposite of mine last year!

1. exercise when there is time

Last year, my¬†resolution was to make time for¬†working out. It became a line on the checklist, something that I didn’t put too much thought into. I believe that exercise should be enjoyed, and should be something to clear the mind and body from stress–not something to stress about. So this year, I’m going to work out when there’s that window of time that I need to step away from any chaos, and I hope to transition my mindset of exercise as a reward rather than work for a reward.

2. leave the country at least once

It’s so easy to settle back into routine at home. When I was abroad, I told myself not to do that and to keep traveling while I can. I can slowly see my mindset changing back to my comfort zone. I love being home, with my family and friends, but I want to take the opportunity to travel for at least a month this year.

3. meditate

morning or night. pick one. no more excuses!

4. put my phone away

no more phone at the table, at home or out at restaurants. I’m at dinner to enjoy the company of the person(s) sitting with me, not the person on the other end of the iPhone.

5. trust my gut

I think this one is the most important. and yes, pretty generic I know. I’ve noticed that whenever I’m trying to make a decision–big or small–I ask at least five people what I should do. I seek the validation from people who will agree with me, and may get one or two people who will disagree. I’m all for asking for advice, but this year I’m going to work on going with my gut, because it’s usually right. Even then, no matter what decision I make, I believe that it will have been meant to happen and will work its way out somehow.

Happy New Year Everyone!  xx


merry

 

88ecbf69943282a2f7919c110e02d95e

f6ea3ec160424b505e7a3aae371263d1

14a672df2f1a2caa4d94addf4268c701

e280c7770b16cdf32d370ec4af96ff3a

2e7140853bfc36e21a9715b8621af568

7dff82ba8bc2c26e3a3c0f48efaecdc7

7144076d31d40575e09d84d4e89900ec

merry christmas! it’s been a crazy few weeks since I’ve been home, I can’t believe that it’s already christmas day! here’s a few things that i’m currently loving this holiday season. hope you all are enjoying time with family and friends!

xx


from summer to… winter?

winter pic

 

It’s hard to believe that I’ll be going back to cold, winter temperatures in a month–okay, two months, since Florida doesn’t really count! In an effort to cope with the fact that all of my bright, spring/summer clothes I’ve accumulated here will be put away until March, I’ve put together some of my favorite loungewear for the season.

Disclaimer: I am¬†not happy about leaving Australia at the start of summer…but I will admit I do love to be cozy by the fire with some hot chocolate, especially the homemade famous one from The Little Nell!

Wildfox and Free People have the best loungewear to stay cozy this season, which can be found on both Shopbop and Revolve. I also can’t go without my camp socks and slippers from J. Crew! I’ll be sending those items back home, and until then, I’ll savor every day in my bathing suit and summer dresses!

xx

 


loved

loved

More and more recently, I’ve been hearing about young ones taking away their own lives. I personally have not experienced this with anyone too close to me, but it is still such a shaking event that resonates with me. While I know this is a controversial issue, and there are many factors playing into suicide, I want to encourage anyone reading this to tell whoever, whenever, that they are loved.

The scary thing is, sometimes you never know when someone is hurting inside. People come with their own amount of inner demons, but may cover it up with a goofy personality, or a smile on their face. Our lives are so fragile, and the pressures of society can fracture our ability to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes you may feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, but that means you’re only going up from there. I’m not an expert on psychology and mental health,¬†but I felt the need to express my feelings towards the issue.

All I want for you to do is to just express your love, appreciation, and gratitude towards your friends, family, and all your loved ones. Even to compliment an acquaintance, coworker…anyone! We all walk around with the same general fears and anxieties, and sometimes put up a front to keep others from seeing our vulnerabilities. If we can all accept that we are after the same thing in the grand scheme of things, then maybe we can help those who are in a dark place by simply telling them that they are loved and worth it.

xx


it’s the most wonderful time!

Okay, so it’s the beginning of November and Christmas decor is in full gear in the United States. It becomes so overwhelming, time flies, and suddenly you’re scrambling to find gifts for friends and family. I thought it would be laid back in Australia, but the decorations around the mall are up and the music is playing! In an effort to help you find the perfect gift for your friends and family with different interests, I’ve made up the perfect gift guide! All you have to do is tie it in a bow an you’re set–I did all the research you need! xx

christmas guide pic

homebody:

Timree makes the cutest hand-painted ceramics, school supplies, paintings, and many other fun things! I love her company, I went to the store in Newport Beach and it looks like so much fun for paint parties! These make the perfect gift for family members, or friends who want to store their jewelry in a personal dish!

organized:

Gigi New York has a great selection of planners, personal items, purses, etc. I also love Clare Vivier, which is a similar leather accessory company. The fold over clutches are perfect for a night out or on the go. I want every color! Both designers both have a men’s collection as well–for those looking for a gift for your dad, husband, or boyfriend : )

beach-goer:

The Beach People¬†towels have been a hit all over Australia. I even added one to my Christmas list! They are super cute and go great with a pair of mirror shades–I thought these Wildfox ones were fun!

simple accessorizer:

Catbird NYC has the most gorgeous, dainty jewelry that makes the perfect personal gift. I love the stacking rings, it’s fun to collect over time. I’ve been noticing these adorable French-made bracelets by SAB&SAB¬†all over Sydney, they too make the perfect collectible piece!

tech-savvy:

I love Frends headphones (as mentioned in my previous post)! There’s different kinds and colors, and of course provide great sound–I have these ones on my list as well: ). I just recently bought this Boostcase, since my phone dies so quickly here. They have a lot of pretty pastel colors, and the battery pack can be detached when you don’t need it.

scent-seekers:

Palm Beach Collection is a great Australian brand, I have a ton of them all over my apartment here! I also can’t go without my Calypso Bellini perfume. I have the candle for that too–so if it’s hard to order the Palm Beach candle from the US, the Calypso candle is just as great!

beauty queen:

I can’t get enough of frank body scrub–I actually just did my weekly scrub today! It makes to perfect gift and works great. I love the brand, and all of their cheeky descriptions.¬†Glam Glow¬†is a hit! I have both the moisturizing and mud mask and they work wonders! You can find it on Amazon, at Sephora, or Mecca (for all my Aussie readers!)


aus-sentials

I’ve been loving my new Samudra clutch, it fits everything I need! Here’s a peek¬†inside my daily essentials (with some Aussie products that I hope to get when I’m home!)

essentials

1. Papaw Ointment: Chaptstick is the number one necessity in all of my purses–I’d be stranded without it at all hours of the day! This is the¬†best¬†lip balm, cuticle cream, or basically anything you need it for! My aussie sister (did I mention I’ve been ‘adopted’ into a family? I love them!) gave me a spare jar and I am¬†obsessed!¬†

2. NARS coral lip pencil and concealer stick: I just got the coral for summertime, and it goes on perfectly with my lip gloss. A spot concealer is perfect to cover up little blemishes on the go, this one lasts long too!

3. Gypsy Water: thanks to my sister, I’m now addicted to this amazing smelling perfume! I’m starting to see it grow in popularity around here, probably because it’s so amazing! I love how it smells different on everyone, it gives you your own personal scent.

4. Coconut lotion: okay, sunscreen? Yes, it is a necessity to wear daily, especially when Australia is lacking an ozone layer… but this mainstream sunscreen smells amazing! You don’t smell like a tourist going to the beach, you smell like coconuts and vacation. It’s all over the convenience stores, but I hope I can get it when I get home, it smells that good!

5. Card holder: I love my new YSL cardholder. It’s perfect to carry itself when your on the go, or throw in a purse when you only need a few cards and some cash for your night out.

6. Sunnies: the Daddy B sunnies from Oliver Peoples are my absolute favorite. They have the best styles and colors, I’m already saving up for my next pair!

7. Ear-buds: Frends makes the best ear buds and headphones. I love these, but since I’m usually on the go, the ear buds fit perfectly in my Samudra pouch.

8. Last but not least: the Samudra Pouch! I absolutely love the beach designs on these bags. They are such great quality, and fun to even use for a casual purse when you’re out to dinner. It was hard to pick just one–I want them all!

xx


thinking out loud

IMG_0369 - Version 2

If you told me a year ago where I would be now and what I would experience, I wouldn’t believe a single bit. My adventures abroad have opened new doors, giving me the opportunity to learn and grow as I go along. Now I know your eyes have already glazed over because, who doesn’t say that studying abroad or traveling to another country is life changing? I know I’m not different, however, everyone’s experience is special to him/her in some sort of way. That’s why, I hope that by sharing my adventures with you, you will be inspired to challenge yourself and dig deep to the root of who you really are.

I’ve gained a lot of clarity on this trip. Made new friends, strengthened old relationships, and learned to let go of what doesn’t serve me. It’s been a challenge (and believe me, those who I have complained to are fully aware), but despite my somewhat failed efforts to let everything¬†go, I can say that I am learning to see the silver lining in most situations. If I were to take anything away from this experience, it would be that I have the most incredible support system and I am even more grateful than I was before to have such amazing people to be there for me.

My experience has served me in the best way possible. I am ultimately happy with the person I have become, and look forward to the future that I can make for myself. I can’t wait to keep traveling, learning, and growing to the point where my passion becomes my career.¬†The American mentality is a tough pill to swallow–graduate, get a job, and that’s it for the rest of your youth. How will you know what you really¬†want, when all you’ve been doing is following a path that most people take? If you have the opportunity, even if it’s for a month, travel! There’s so much to learn about yourself and others when you take yourself out of your comfort zone, and if anything it will give you the confidence to go in the direction of your dreams.

x


still on vacation

wow–long overdue post is needed from my trip to bali, byron, and everything in between! Bali was incredible, I would do anything to go back again someday! Here’s a rundown of where we stayed, what we ate, beached, and adventured on our 9 day trip x

Seminyak: hands down my favorite part of the trip. Seminyak is super busy, with tons of fun shopping and amazing food. We had so much fun roaming the streets popping into boutiques and checking out other local venues.

stay:¬†Sahana Villas– we had the most incredible stay at the Sahana Villas! when we walked into our three bedroom private villa it was like walking into a Pinterest pin. the staff was incredible, always available and became family in just three days. the owners were also incredible hospitable, friendly, and made every minute of our trip enjoyable–we even went back to see everyone again on the day we left Bali! ¬† IMG_2274 IMG_1863 eat: MAMA San– AMAZING! the food is fresh and flavorful and the drinks are incredible. we went back on our last night before flying back to Sydney. definitely get the crispy pork, chow mien noodles and the fish cakes. you won’t be disappointed.

Sea Circus– a must. try the salt & pepper calimari and fish tacos. and since you’re on vacation, try a pitcher of the guava margarita–yum! IMG_2267 La Lucciola– the most fresh, delicious Italian food paired with an incredible view of the ocean. carbs AND the beach? heaven! IMG_1940 Cafe Bali-we went on our first night and it was great. great variety of fish plates, pad thai, etc.! Earth Cafe-great lunch spot. plenty of healthy options and some amazing raw/vegan desserts–less guilt!

drink: Potato Head, KU DE TA IMG_2309 Ubud: after all the hustle and bustle in Seminyak, Ubud was a nice, quiet escape in the jungle. we had so much fun visiting the monkey forest, practiced yoga at Yoga Barn, the Batuan temple, rice terraces, and relaxed!

IMG_2352IMG_2092

stay:¬†Five Elements-just outside town, off the beaten path, lies the most incredible, spiritual and serene retreat. we loved our cabana overlooking the water (with an outdoor tub and shower!). the raw/vegan cuisine was exceptional, as well as the spa services. i tried an energy massage and soaked in a coconut milk bath while looking at the moon rise over the water–is this real life?? IMG_2052IMG_2054 eat:¬† The Yoga Barn cafe: the perfect pairing after a challenging vinyasa class. there was a wide selection of vegan dishes and sweet desserts. be sure to grab the coconut “bacon” at the checkout–it was out of this world!

Viceroy– on our way to Padang Padang, we stopped for lunch at the Viceroy. woah! it was incredible. the food was super fresh and delicious, paired with a ping pong cocktail! the most incredible part was the view overlooking the forest. if it’s in your budget, i would definitely stay in a villa at the Viceroy. the architecture and landscape are breathtaking, and the service is wonderful. IMG_2065IMG_2070 Jimbaran/Uluwatu: stay: The Rimba at The Ayana– The Rimba was a great place for the ‘resort’ experience. truth be told, we didn’t spend too much time there. don’t get me wrong the resort was amazing, but we were in ‘villa’ mode and wanted to go see the quieter surf beaches. the perks of staying at either one of the hotels here is priority access to¬†Rock Bar, which is definitely a must go! we watched the most breathtaking sunset while sipping on some drinks…i will never forget how beautiful that was!

IMG_2107IMG_2586 eat:¬†since we spent most of our time in Uluwatu, here’s some of our favorite places!

Buddha Soul– hands down, the best breakfast of our entire trip–we went both mornings (and for lunch too!) fresh juices, coffee, and the best omelet. lunch was just as great, laurie had an incredible coconut curry¬†and we had a hand rolled sushi as well. you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.

Single Fin– we enjoyed a wonderful lunch and sipped wine while overlooking the beautiful Indian Ocean for lunch and for the sunset. it was fun watching the surfers paddle out in the beautiful water. we spent the entire day there!

escape: Suluban Beach-¬†after lunch at Single Fin, we ventured down through the rocks onto this little hidden getaway. it was a fun spot to watch surfers trek out and catch fun waves!we watched the beginning of the sunset from the beach and ended it up top (back at Single Fin) with Sangria and some yummy appetizers!¬†IMG_2160IMG_2138 Padang Padang Beach-the perfect end to a wonderful trip (before going back to Seminyak!) we went for two days in a row, venturing past the beach-goers and vendors over to our own little private hideaway in the rocks. definitely check it out. you won’t be disappointed! IMG_2234