Well, it's November now. How did that even happen?! There's only one more monthly page left in my blogging calendar and there's a fresh calendar waiting for me to tackle the new year. I haven't blogged all that much this fall, but things have been good and I am still proud of this little space of mine. I have big goals and dreams for this blog, and am already so thankful for where this year has taken me.
I just wanted to take a moment to savor this month and season a bit with a little list of what I have been up to lately... So here it is!
Reading... Mostly blog posts! These days, I don't have much free time to read in general, so I feel pretty lucky when I can get in a few posts from my favorite blogs. Maybe soon I will be able to carve out some time for the books on my to-read list.
Playing... Catch up! It feels like I am always a few steps behind where I need to be. I'm working on it though!
Watching... The Mindy Project (not as good as it used to be), Casual (dark, but funny), Jane the Virgin (hilarious),
Trying... To be productive! Lists help me, but I find my mind wandering and getting distracted to easily. Not great for a girl with lots to do!
Cooking... Chili! My favorite and the very best when it is cold out.
Eating... Plain Greek yogurt with honey & chia seeds.
Drinking... Caramel Brûlée Lattes! They are by far the best holiday drink. Happy they're back, controversial red cups and all!
Calling... My mom a lot lately.
Texting... My girl Abby because she just gets me <3
Pinning... Things about blogging/business and design inspiration.
Going... Home to San Diego for Thanksgiving to spend it with my dad and other family!
Loving... My new, cozy winter coat that my mom got for me when I went to visit her last weekend!
Hating... How cold it is in my house/room at night and in the mornings. Getting out of my warm bed is the worst!
Discovering... My love for hand lettering! I just wish I had more time to practice. I suppose it will be one of those things I focus on during winter break! (Along with finally making a scrapbook)
Thinking... Of planning a blogger event in the Bay Area for early next year... We shall see! (if you live in the Bay Area and would be interested in a blogger brunch or something, let me know!)
Feeling... Nervous for my portfolio review coming up in two weeks. There's still so much to do and perfect, and I'm a bit of a wreck about it all. Also, feeling ready for a break!
Hoping (for)... Time to actually plan/photograph/write a real blog post! I've been overwhelmed this semester and hate it.
Listening (to)... The Gilmore Guys Podcast. I'm obsessed. It's like re-watching each episode in my head! Plus, they make my commute/grocery shopping/homework way more entertaining :)
Smelling... Coffee as I sit here in Starbucks.
Ordering... Nothing unfortunately because #brokecollegestudent.
Thanking... God for taking such good care of me always, but especially this past year that I've been on my own. Feeling very thankful for all the ways I have been blessed.
Considering... Cutting my hair. I consider this very often, but never act upon it... Hopefully soon I will actually do something! I desperately need a trim at the very least.
Starting... To realize that the semester is so close to being over and that the holidays are just around the corner! It's exciting!
Finishing... This post so I can get started on my school projects. Wish me luck!
What have you been feeling, listening to, considering, etc? Share with me anything you'd like, friends! I hope you all are well :)
P.S. We went to Yosemite earlier this month and I am so excited to write some posts about that! So look out for those in the near future! I only have 1,200 photos to sort through first... :D
Towards the end of the summer, I moved to a different area of the Bay Area because I was starting at a new school. Since then, I have been adjusting to my surroundings and scoping out new-to-me local spots when I have time. One of my very favorite kinds of places to explore are coffee shops, so you bet I've been taking advantage of this opportunity to go to a different place for coffee each time when I am in the mood for something other than Starbucks!
I lucked out one time when looking on Yelp for a place to meet Lauren at for a coffee date and came across Big Mug Coffee Roaster. After browsing through customer photos and seeing drinks served in glass jars and a beautiful atmosphere, I was sold.
Since that first visit with Lauren, I have been back a handful of times and simply love it! When it comes to coffee shops ambiance is just as important to me as the quality of drinks, since I tend to stick around to enjoy my coffee and get some homework or blogging done. This place gets the highest marks in my book for ambiance and atmosphere! There are plenty of nicely, naturally lit areas and some darker spots too if that's what you prefer. I like that there are unique touches like the artwork on the walls and a big chalk drawing that really adds character to the place. They also have loads of seating area, which is very important!
I also enjoy that they have a wall of unique products to look at or purchase. It is beautiful as a whole and adds a lot of interest! Plus, it is always nice to have some cool things to look at while you are waiting for your drink or taking a little break from your work :)
Aren't these macaron ice cream sandwiches gorgeous? I just love how colorful they are! One of these days I will have to try one.
This is my favorite view in the whole shop. The chalk-drawn art on the wall really stands out to me and I love the hanging bulbs! The bookshelves are also a nice touch and I like how they have all different types of seating, like high and low stools so you can find what's most comfortable for you.
Besides beautiful decor, they have so many yummy looking treats! Cookies, pastries, bars... They also have a menu of breakfast sandwiches, waffles, and other foods to go along with your drinks.
I asked Lauren to come along with me on the day I was planning to shoot these photos so I would have some company and it's a nice excuse for a coffee date! Lauren, however, doesn't drink caffeine, so she gets tea. Her tea always looks nice in that big mug, and even better when she has gotten it iced and served in a mason jar! From what she has told me, their tea is pretty yummy and I think it is safe to say that she would recommend it :)
On this particular day, I ordered a ginger spice machiatto, which is a seasonal special. It was pretty good, although I do prefer my go-to vanilla latte! What can I say, I like what I like :) They also have green tea lattes, which are yummy and look beautiful!
Well, that's all for today! I just wanted to share with you all one of my new favorite places in case you happen to find yourself in the area and want to check it out! It had also been a while since I added anything new into the West Coast Love series, so I thought that this would be the perfect place!
I hope you enjoyed this little look at Big Mug Coffee Roaster!
What do you look for in a coffee shop? Do you have a favorite local spot?
Big Mug Coffee Roaster // 3014 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA
Big Mug Coffee Roaster // 3014 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA
Halloween has never really been my most favorite holiday and something that I have never cared to put much effort or planning into. I know, hard to believe for some people who absolutely love this holiday! My mom never really liked it, but she would reluctantly dress me up and take me trick-or-treating because my dad wanted us to have fun with it as a family. For a period of time when I lived with my grandma as a child, she wouldn't let me dress up or do anything to celebrate the holiday because she didn't believe in it. I will admit, I was pretty sad, but I got over it and never really cared too much about it after that. My dad did take me trick or treating and all that stuff later on when it was just the two of us living together, although I would say I wasn't as invested in the day like some other kids haha.
Anyway, fast forward to present day and it has been several years since I have dressed up or done something special for Halloween. I decided that this year, though, I was going to change that! I mean, if I'm not going to party a little bit on Halloween when I'm 21, when in the world will I ever? ;) We made plans to have a party with friends and I set off to come up with costumes for Dai and I. I don't really remember how this idea came to me, but I decided that I wanted to be Alice in Wonderland and that Dai could be whichever character from the movie that he wanted!
I was reluctant to purchase a costume online because of the sizing, but I bit the bullet, and thanks to Amazon Prime one day shipping on costumes, it arrived on Friday afternoon! All was well and it fit great, thankfully! In case you were interested for your own needs, I purchased this costume and this petticoat to give the skirt a fuller look. I already owned the shoes and got the tights & headband from Target. I was set!
The day before Halloween, I decided that Marly also needed a costume. After a bit of hunting, I went to PetSmart and all of their costumes were 75% off, which came out to be only $5! It was perfect and I had a hard time choosing between all of the costumes! I finally left the store with a hot dog costume (duh) and a bumble bee costume (because why not?!) And of course, I immediately took photos of him and posted them on Instagram :) I mean, isn't he just adorable??
Dai was the Cheshire Cat and even though we put it together a little last minute, I think it was great! I painted the stripes on a plain white shirt (note to self: next time just glue strips of felt!) and I painted his face (with Crayola washable paint. I know, I'm the worst). Regardless, it all turned out great and we had a fun night :)
We stayed at my house to hand out candy to trick or treaters for a bit, but there didn't end up being that many that came to the door and apparently it is weird if a girl in an Alice in Wonderland costume stands in the driveway with her Cheshire Cat boyfriend and barking dog to hand out candy, so that was a bit underwhelming you could say haha. The party was a lot of fun and it made it even better that Marly got to come along all dressed up in his bumble bee costume :)
I was debating whether or not to share about our Halloween, but I decided that this blog is a great place for me to document my memories, so here we are :)
Did you do anything for Halloween? What did you dress up as? Do you like this holiday?
If you recall, one of my goals for this fall was to take a little trip to a pumpkin patch! For a while, I wasn't sure if it was going to happen since most of the pumpkin patches in my area are clustered together in an inconvenient place, which creates tons of traffic and makes it really difficult to want to spend an hour and a half on a windy road to get to them. But, I was determined to make it happen, so I looked for a place in a completely opposite area and we decided to go for it!
The place we went to was called Uesugi Farms and it was definitely much more than just a pumpkin patch! They had many different food vendors, a petting zoo, a train, a hayride, canon-like guns that shot small pumpkins, and marigold fields. The marigolds were my favorite part! They were so pretty and added nicely to the fall feeling :)
Of course, we also loved the pumpkins! They had many different types and sizes to choose from, which made it fun to walk around and look at them all. We ended up just picking up some small ones to use as decorations around the house!
I suppose you could say that I love pumpkins... ;) I told Dai that we needed to take photos with the pumpkins because that was simply what you did at pumpkin patches! Luckily he was mostly a good sport about it :)
We couldn't get over how gross looking these pumpkins were! They look like they have warts or something all over them! Needless to say, we did not buy any of that kind haha.
It had been a few years since we visited a pumpkin patch, so I was really happy that we made the effort to squeeze this little adventure in this year! I really enjoyed this place, but hopefully we can make it a tradition to try different patches every year. We shall see!
Did you go to a pumpkin patch this year? What fall traditions do you have?
Adventure is something I always crave. I enjoy being somewhere new and seeing different things. I love being on the road or catching a flight. Making lasting memories and experiencing things is something I highly value.
Unfortunately, it isn't always possible to take off somewhere for a week when you have responsibilities (ugh) like work & school and finances to consider. One thing that I have come to know about myself, though, is that even if it is just something small, I need to have an adventure every month or two. It usually happens when I feel too entrenched in my day-to-day routine and know that I need to get out of it to refresh & recharge.
With all the changes, adjusting, and stress I have been experiencing these past few months, it is time for a small adventure. I would absolutely love to head off to New York or something like that, but that is definitely not doable at the moment! So, we are instead going to take a day trip to Yosemite to explore in nature and take lots of photographs. It is something so simple, but I am really looking forward to it! I think it is just what we both need--to unplug and leave responsibilities behind even if it is just for the day.
Planning this mini getaway has put the idea of adventure at the forefront of my mind lately. It is something I need and it is nice to understand that about myself. I am a happier, more productive person when I give myself that time away and time to immerse myself in something new and purely be in that moment.
With that, I want to make it a goal to adventure more, no matter if the adventure is big or small. There is much to see and experience in this big world, and I want to make the most of every moment.
What are your thoughts about adventure? Is it something you need too?
I'm excited to share photos from our mountain getaway!