10.14.2017

Palm Springs

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In August, Dai and I visited Palm Springs for the very first time. We decided to spend this little weekend away relaxing in the desert to celebrate his 30th birthday (and our 6th anniversary that was a few days later!). Palm Springs has been on my list of places to visit for a few years now and it amazes me that we didn't make it until this summer. It is in California after all, and only about an hour from my dad's house!

As you may know, I have this sliiiiight obsession with cute houses and all things mid-century modern. For someone like me, Palm Springs is pretty much paradise.
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We opted to stay at the Marriott Desert Springs Villas in Palm Desert rather than directly in Palm Springs and absolutely loved it! While one day I would love to stay at a cool, retro hotel in the heart of Palm Springs, this resort was a relaxing oasis for us, which was exactly what we needed on this trip.IMG_7725 copy
We stayed for two nights and spent our one full day lounging in the pool (because there is no lounging by the pool when it's 110 degrees out!), sipping on drinks, and laughing together. We went out to Babe's BBQ for a special birthday dinner, which was so very yummy!
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We spent our evening drinking Moscow mules in the coper mugs I got Dai for his birthday and watching Master Chef on my laptop, which really is our kind of low key night. On our way out of town, we also stopped at a coffee shop in downtown Palm Springs, because how could I go somewhere new and not find a coffee shop to try?
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This desert sunset was unlike any I had ever seen before. There is just something special about all of the open space, mountains, and palm tree silhouettes.
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All of the awesome, unique houses made my heart so happy. I truly felt like a kid in a candy store! Thankfully Dai was pretty patient with me and let me drive around the neighborhoods and hop out every time I saw a house that I just had to have a photo of (which was like every few feet haha).IMG_7826 copy
This was definitely such a nice little trip for us and we are already dreaming of going back next spring or summer. It was a weekend of pure relaxation, which we totally need sometimes! Our trips are usually packed with activities and things to see, but this was different and a welcomed change. We both felt so refreshed after these couple days in the desert.

Can't wait for our next visit!

xoxo,
Jess

9.07.2017

Labor Day Weekend Getaway

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The week before Labor Day, Dai casually suggested that we drive down to LA to see his sister and nephew for the holiday weekend. After gushing over recent photos of his 2-year-old nephew floating around in the family group text, Dai was really itching to see that boy. We didn't have any plans for the weekend and neither of us mind the 6 hour drive too much, so I said why not? Plus, I know what it is like to miss my nephews and always feel like they are growing up so fast, so I want to support every opportunity for Dai to bond with his own nephew :)

Friday was the last day of my internship (bittersweet, but more on that later...) and I immediately went home to pack for our weekend road trip. We hit the road later that evening and arrived tired at Dai's sister's doorstep at 2am.
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We mostly did just normal, low-key things like go to the farmer's market, hit up the gluten-free bakery we love, check out a coffee shop, go to the biggest Whole Foods we have ever seen, eat lunch at Porto's (a local fave!), go to the beach for a swim, take Marly to the dog park, and make a Costco run. Dai and I also had dinner with two of his childhood friends who live in LA, so that was pretty special too!
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The one thing I was not too fond of was how HOT it was alllllll weekend. A major heat wave swept the Bay Area this past weekend, but I was not expecting it to be so grossly hot and humid LA since the weather leading up to that weekend had looked pretty moderate. Anyway, Marly was not the biggest fan haha. Any chance he got, he would just lay on his side, preferably on the bed in front of the two tiny fans I was using to desperately try to make sleeping not so uncomfortable (no AC!!).
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One night while we were there, Dai and I went to the beach to catch the sunset. We sat in the sand together, watching the waves roll in and be sucked back out to sea, and talked about life as it is right now. Honestly, it was simple and it was wonderful. I feel so lucky to have this man by my side as I face all that life has to offer.IMG_9448-edit
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I had no idea that seeing him with a stroller would be so attractive ;) Oh man, talk about baby fever! Don't worry, I will resist for several more years haha.
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While we were there, Dai took me to this cute little nursery that he had seen during his last solo trip to visit his sister. He saw succulents and knew I would obviously love it (I mean, have you seen my Instagram??) I got to do a bit of browsing (read: giddily taking photos with my iPhone) and picked a new pot to plant the succulents I recently got from the farmer's market while I was visiting my family in San Diego last month. I also got a new little succulent friend because I just couldn't resist and they were super reasonably priced!
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And of course I had to include the neighbor's cute pack of dogs that I met. They just happily chill out here in the front yard and greet everyone that goes by. I love it.

We were prepared for the worst holiday traffic heading back home, but we got lucky and didn't hit any traffic at all! We had already accepted our fate of traffic and that was the only part of this trip that we weren't looking forward to. I guess we were being rewarded for our spontaneity!

This was the perfect little weekend trip and has made me want to say yes to more adventures because why not?

How was your holiday weekend?

xoxo,
Jess

7.12.2017

Hey, Remember Me?

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Well, it has been nearly six months since my last post. I am not really sure how that happened. This year has been pretty hectic, yet also really good so far.

Some highlights...
+ I hustled hard this past semester and finished with stellar grades
School swallows up most of my time and this past semester was particularly busy. I did my best to stay focused and organized though, and ended up with my best grades yet since transferring from community college. It felt really good to finish on a high note!

+ I stopped nannying
This is sort of something that just happened and not something that I was planning on (not yet anyway). Back in March, I lost my job with a family I had been nannying for over a year. I really liked them and was planning on working with them until at least the end of the school year, but one weekend they called me and said they didn't need my help anymore since the dad had been laid off of his job. That was it. I saw them again when I dropped off their key and haven't spoken to them or heard anything from them since. I had a really difficult time with it because I couldn't believe that they could just drop me so fast and I had built a very close relationship with their little girl in particular. I was definitely blind sided by this, but I learned a lot from the experience and am happy to be moving on towards a career in my field.

+ I graduated from college!
After 5 years of college, I finally did it! Sometimes it truly felt like I would never graduate. I always did my best through school, but it just seemed to take so long and to be so stressful and grueling... It was a wonderful, perfect day that I will always cherish the memory of! I will share more about my graduation soon :)

+ Dai and I went to Japan!
A few days after my graduation, Dai and I headed to Japan for two whole weeks. If you recall, we went to Japan back in 2014 and ever since, Dai has been begging for us to visit again. It is hard to tell a Japanese boy 'no' when it comes to visiting his home country ;) We had a really great time and I have lots of photos to share soon!

+ I started a design internship
When we got back from Japan, I started an internship at the company I interned at last summer. Last summer, I interned on a marketing team though and this year I am on the creative team, which is my field. It feels good to finally get some experience in a design team! This internship will be through the end of August, so I am also looking for my next opportunity.

It is kind of a long story, but I also got a new roommate and that has been an interesting transition. She just moved here to California from Texas and I am hopeful that we will be a good roommate match! I am really happy to have resigned my lease and to not be moving yet again. I love my apartment and it really feels like home to me. Maybe I will finally get around to giving you all a little tour...

I've really been enjoying this summer and have been trying to soak up all of the things I love about this season. So far I have spent many days by the pool, have hung out with friends, and have developed a nice tan. We even made some travel plans for next month to celebrate Dai's 30th birthday (!!!) and our 6th anniversary (!!).

As far as blogging goes, I'm not really sure what my place is in the blogging world anymore, but now that I am not bogged down with school assignments, something inside me wants to write in this space. I can't say that I will be writing here regularly again, however I feel that you may see more from me. The blogging world has changed so much since I first started off in it back in 2012, and truthfully some of those changes have made me sad and not really interested in being part of it. It seems that so many people have abandoned their blogs or have only sponsored posts or "fluff" post after fluff post like "5 Tips for               ".  I feel like a lot of the authenticity is sadly gone.

When/if I do end up writing regularly again, I am definitely going to have a much more relaxed approach to it. This is a hobby for me and not something I am trying to make my full time job. I enjoy working with brands and growing my audience, but I care most about authenticity and being myself. I want to be able to share what's on my mind or what is going on in my life and not be worried that it doesn't fit my "niche" or "vibe."

So that's pretty much all that I have been up to lately and all I have to say for now... You'll be seeing more of me around here :)

xoxo
Jess

1.18.2017

Las Vegas Girls Weekend

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This past weekend, I went to Las Vegas to celebrate my 23rd birthday with two of my gal pals! As you can probably guess, we had a really wonderful time! We arrived in Vegas on Thursday evening and headed to our hotel. After we got checked in, Dai called me and told me to check my email... In my inbox I found three tickets to see Cirque du Soleil that night! That guy... I tell you, he is full of surprises! It was so sweet of him to do something so thoughtful like that for us all the way from home in California. We were so excited and giddy about it as we quickly changed our clothes so we could head over to the theater to pick up our tickets before the show. It was an AMAZING show and is my most favorite thing that we did on our trip. Dai definitely scored some extra brownie points :)
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After the show, we wandered around the strip, got big adult slushy drinks, visited the Sprinkles ATM (I was so excited for this haha), sat in front of a fountain talking for a long time, and eventually even met a psychic. Yes, a psychic. That part was very, very unexpected. I don't know if it was just the magic of being on a girls trip in Vegas or our adult slushies kicking in, but it was actually a super cool experience and all felt very meant to be. I had never really given much thought about whether or not I believed in that stuff, though for now I will just say this: WOW. I might not be such a skeptic. I could actually write a whole blog post about this experience alone (let me know in the comments if that's something you'd like!) and all in all, it was really cool and I am happy to have shared it with my two friends.
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We went to bed at 4am our first night there and I can't even remember a time that I stayed up that late other than to cram for an exam the next day. Time is a strange concept in Vegas! The next day (Friday the 13th!), we enjoyed a steak & shrimp meal for $7.77 at the Hard Rock Hotel (the best and cheapest meal we had), walked the whole strip, did a bit of gambling on the slot machines and roulette, got put on the guest list for a club that night, did some shopping, went to a buffet for dinner, and then went to a club! I am not really into clubs, but we were going to get in for free and there was going to be an hour of free open bar for ladies, so we decided to give it a chance haha. We ended up staying for two hours and had a fun time enjoying our free drinks and dancing! We even met some nice girls from Chicago and enjoyed talking with them. After the club, we made the long trek to White Castle for some food even though our feet were killing us (I walked 22,000 steps each day!). We don't have White Castle here in California and after trying it all I can say is meh. I would definitely choose In-N-Out any day.
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Saturday was our last day in Vegas and after checking out of our hotel, we got some food from Gordon Ramsay's Fish & Chips and hunted down a Las Vegas Starbucks mug for me. We also took a tram to the south end of the Strip to visit the M&M and Coca-Cola stores and get lunch at Shake Shack, which is always a treat! We stopped along the way to look at shops and try our hand at the roulette machines inside the Monte Carlo.

The day flew by and then it was sadly time to catch an Uber and head to the airport! It was so fun and exciting going on a trip with my girls. I can't wait until the next time we travel together and hopefully come back to Vegas sometime! Maybe even this summer? ;)

Have you ever been to Las Vegas? What was your favorite thing you did? Have you ever gone on a girls trip anywhere with your friends?

xoxo
Jess

1.12.2017

Happy List // 17

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January and winter break are flying by, so I wanted to take a moment to jot down some happy things that have happened lately...

+ Heading to Vegas with my gal pals today!

+ Catching up on This is Us. I cry every episode!

+ Trips to Ikea

+ Taking Marly with me places just for fun

+ Cleaning up all the Christmas decorations and giving the living room a fresh look

+ Finally finishing the jewelry board I have been working on since I moved into my apartment

+ Rainy days when I can sleep in

+ When Dai makes me steak for dinner

+ Slow mornings at home when I take the time to brew coffee in the Chemex

+ Planning out the pieces I want to hang on the walls in my room

+ Birthday cake for breakfast

+ When you go to Marshalls and everything is speaking to you (hello funny wine-themed items!)

+ Coffee dates with friends and their babies

+ Asking Alexa to tell you jokes. Also, asking Alexa questions and realizing she doesn't know much.

+ Playing the game Exploding Kittens with Dai and his reaction when I beat him

+ Wearing a crown on your birthday (10/10 would recommend)

+ Getting a mani-pedi by yourself on your day off just because

+ Going back to visit my high school teachers and being greeted with the warmest welcome from each of them. Also, my art teacher still having my winning photograph hanging in her classroom with the first place ribbon <3

+ When I move over in bed and Marly immediately scoots with me until his back is touching me again

What has been making you happy lately?

xoxo
Jess



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