Feels like home to me

Myself in May 2015

One time when I was about seven years old, I thought I would be silly and pretend I could read fortunes for my older sister and her friends. I don’t remember what I said to her friends, but I remember that I did my teenage sister’s fortune last and what I said made her upset.

I told her that when she grew up she would live in a trailer in a parking lot right on the beach and she would own a seashell shop. She felt hurt that I told her she would live in a trailer because that wouldn’t be successful. But I thought it sounded cool and fun. She would get to go to the beach every morning.

Now that I’m 24 years old and a grown up (I guess), I live in an apartment only a mile from the beach. It feels like a dream come true, even though I don’t actually go to the beach every morning and I still haven’t learned to surf.

My boyfriend and I have an ongoing joke that I’m a “beach babe” because I love the beach so much. I can’t say it without laughing because it’s just weird to call myself a babe. More than just living by the beach and living with my boyfriend, it feels so good to actually feel at home in my new home. It’s no longer just my boyfriend’s apartment that was only his for a year before I moved in, it’s mine now too.

Moving, transitions and change are a pain, at least for me. Moving involves not just moving stuff and where you live. As an adult, it includes changing your mailing address, your billing address and your address with the Department of Motor Vehicles. It involves some redecorating. It could involve starting a new job, or two in my case.

Santa Monica really feels like home now and it’s a good feeling. I recently had the chance to show my mom and older sister some of my favorite places around the city. I asked my sister what she wanted to see and she said something like “I don’t know, it’s your city.” It’s still funny to me that I’m living in a city that’s unfamiliar to them, although it’s still in Southern California. By the way, that’s a photo of Mom on the Santa Monica pier below.

Feels like home

The real moment I knew I felt at home was when I was talking to a close friend on the phone a few weeks ago and she asked me “When was the last time you went home.” I had to think about it for a few seconds because I was standing in the bedroom of my apartment at the time. I was home. But she meant when was the last time I was at my old (or other) home with my family. It had actually only been a few days. Just a few months before I had been thinking of my family’s home in Covina as my home and Santa Monica as my second home. It took some time after moving for the two to switch in my head.

I’m so excited to be a resident of the city of Santa Monica, explore what it has to offer and take part in it. I’ve been absent from this blog for too long, but i’ve got photos and videos coming just waiting to be uploaded. So, I’ll be back here again soon. Happy living.

Exploring Beverly Hills

Right before I wrote out the title for this, I put Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” music video on, but immediately got their song “Beverly Hills” in my head.

🎸 Where I come from isn’t all that great 🎸

🎶 My automobile is a piece of crap 🎶

🎸 My fashion sense is a little whack 🎸

 🎶 And my friends are just as screwy as me  🎶

I’d say that’s about accurate for myself. Except, I don’t actually have a car. But the gist of it is totally relatable! So guys, the thing is, I went to Beverly Hills today for a job interview. I know for sure that it was in Beverly Hills. After it was over, I walked about a mile to a bus stop, taking photos on my new iPad along the way. I went from Wilshire to Pico. I could have taken a closer bus, but i thought it would be a nice to take pictures, even though it was in the high 80s today. I love, love, love exploring new areas by foot because there is so much you can to observe in a new neighborhood. It’s cool to see things I’ve never seen before, such as the Beverly Hills Baseball Card Store.       


If anyone has a guess as to what area or district of Los Angeles this is, please let me know.

I’m so curious about LA and Santa Monica. I’m getting a pretty good map in my head of the major streets, but I’m still trying to figure out which area is called what. I hope you enjoy these photos of Los Angeles! There are more coming very soon.

My cookbook collection

corner of the kitchen

Growing up, I always wondered why mom had so many cookbooks, yet another one would always show up on her Christmas and birthday wishlists. She’s such a good cook and she doesn’t always use a cookbook when she’s making dishes. Sometimes what she’s making is so simple or she’s made it so many times, that no recipe at all is required. Or, a lot of times she will pull out one of her recipe binders with tattered papers of various sizes — cut outs from magazines and newspapers, notebook paper with handwritten recipes from close friends and printouts of emails from family members.

Now I get the obsession, if you will. It’s not about wanting to cook every single thing in a cookbook, but rather getting inspiration from a variety of talented people with different interests and specialties.

I guess what it comes down to is that when you’re into cooking like my mom is, and I have become, you want to use every available resource to get good food on the table for your family.

Here are the cookbooks in my current collection:
Fast & Simple
Cookshelf Chinese
The Cookbook of the United Nations
The Portlandia Cookbook
The Everything College Cookbook

Shoutout to my friend Mina who got me the first two on this list. :) The cookbooks “Meatless Dishes in Twenty Minutes” and “Cheap. Fast. Good!” shown in the photo are actually my mom’s and I’m just borrowing. Also, as you can probably tell from the title, The 12 Bottle Bar is a cocktail book and that doesn’t count as a cookbook.

And here’s what’s on my cookbook wishlist:
Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes From Our Kitchen
The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes and Kitchens from Apartment Therapy

Do you have cookbooks and use them regularly or do you find yourself more often searching the internet for recipes? A bit of both? Are there any cookbooks on your wishlist? I’d love to hear!

An update on “24 before 24″


Last year, when I was young and overly ambitious, I decided I would make a list of 24 things to accomplish before I turned 24. You can read my thought process on that here.

It’s been a month since I turned 24, so I decided to go ahead and see how I did with this list, even though I was over it about 6 months in. Here goes:

1. Try sake. 
This was one of the first things I checked off.

2. Read 14 books.
Nope. Not even close.

3. Have a mentor.
Still working on that.

4. Redesign my blog. 
Yes, I did it! It’s time to update it again, actually.

5. Go on a double date. 
Yeah, and it was a pretty cool date.

Continue reading

My new home

Santa Monica palm trees

Santa Monica pier

Santa Monica ferris wheel

Santa Monica pier 2

Hello, hello! It’s past midnight on a work night, but I just wanted to check in and share some photos from my new home.

I still find it hard to believe that I live within walking distance of the beach. This is seriously a childhood dream come true! Considering that, though, I should really go there more often. I should make it a goal to go to the pier, shore and/or walk along the sand at least once a week.

Santa Monica sure is pretty! It’s very inspiring.

P.S. Speaking of goals, I’m going to get a post up soon about how I did with my 24 before 24 list. As of Groundhogs Day, I’m 24 years old and getting older all the time. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life goes pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”