Easter Sunday in Santa Monica

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Paul and I spent this Easter Sunday in our home city of Santa Monica. It was a nice, relaxing day.

I made buttermilk waffles in the morning with our new waffle maker. I sort of combined this recipe from King Arthur Flour with this recipe from Betty Crocker. We topped them off with fresh whipped cream made the day before and some strawberries.

After washing an overflowing sink of dishes (I had been putting them off), I talked to my mom on the phone for a while and then we took a walk along the beach. When we came back, we made dinner out of leftovers. That’s always a good thing because it means no cooking, just reheating.

Now it’s a little past 5 pm and I’m watching Charmed before heading to work a closing shift with the memories of a lovely day.

Quick Trip to Encinitas

encinitas trip

Last weekend my family and I went to Encinitas (way south of Los Angeles, north of San Diego) for a good 24 hours. I really wish I had taken more pictures. No point in dwelling on the past though.

Here are some fun things we did that I wouldn’t mind doing again.

  • Lunch at Burger Lounge in Del Mar (Saturday)
  • Walked around the Del Mar shopping center
  • Lounging in the hotel pool and spa
  • Dinner at Encinitas Fish Shop
  • Walked around the San Diego Botanical Gardens
  • Lunch at Milton’s (Sunday)
  • Beach time in Oceanside on the way home

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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.

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An update on “24 before 24”

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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.

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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.”

Between Lenses: Urban

Between Lenses

I’m going to be honest with you. When I first read that this month’s theme for the blog hop Between Lenses is urban, I thought of how the word urban has become code for black. I had recently watched the first few episodes of the show Black-ish on Hulu, in which the lead character Andre Johnson is promoted to Senior Vice President of the Urban Division. The ABC show depicts an upper middle class black family living in a primarily white neighborhood. Have you seen it? It’s not the best, but it’s not bad.

I don’t think I had heard of or thought about urban being a code for black until hearing Sasheer Zamata and Nicole Byer talk about how they have been instructed to sound “more urban” and “be blacker” in their auditions.

This has nothing to do with my picture. I just thought I would share that bit of word association. Why is urban code for black in some circles? I don’t know.

Besides that, the word urban made me think of cities, the actual definition of the word. I thought about taking a photo in my suburban city, which is part of Los Angeles County. I could take a picture of a packed parking lot or a bus stop. Those things stand out to me as the markers of a densely populated area. But then I remembered that I have taken pictures of Los Angeles itself so I may as well use one of those.

in progress

I took this photo sometime during my internship in Downtown Los Angeles, which I did from February to May. This is actually the street the company I worked for is on. It’s in the building across the street, so you can’t see it in the photo. But you can see some tall buildings, shorter buildings, construction and signs in multiple languages. All these things say urban to me.

Interestingly enough, my grandma’s friend’s mother worked at the suit shop on this street (far left in the photo) when my Grandma was young. That’s how old that building is. It’s still a suit shop with old advertisements painted on the windows. As it is the Fashion District, there are many fabric and sewing supply stores. I’m sure many of the buildings here are old and some of the other businesses may very well be also.

Out of view, but just down the alley (Santee alley, to be exact), are some fairly new restaurants. One of them, TBLA Catering & Cafe, is so good. If you ever happen to be in the Fashion District, do go. Just know that it’s (almost) impossible to find parking.

Cities, like any other area, are not perfect. They have a lot of problems and plenty of positives. They’re perpetually in progress. In some ways, they are a reflection of greater society. I would love to see more progress made on ending homelessness and violence, improving transportation, improving working conditions in many areas and reducing the cost of living in Los Angeles, as well as the surrounding area. It took me a while to write that out because I know I can’t just say it. I have to be part of the solution.

What I like about urban areas is that it’s easy for people to come together. Activism, networking groups and helpful organizations do exist outside of urban areas. That is true. It’s just that the more people you have in an area, the more likely you are to find people to connect with. That’s what I think any way. There are also great community events in urban and suburban areas that I love, such as concerts, food truck festivals, lectures and art exhibits.

I hope you enjoyed reading my ramble on the word urban, as well as my photo.

Thank you, Latrina and Tara for hosting the Between Lenses blog hop each month. I enjoy thinking about the themes and seeing other people’s takes on them.

P.S. See my past Between Lenses posts on Mornings and Movement. Next month’s theme will be reflection and the blog hop for it will start on December 12.

Take a walk

take a walk
These past few weeks, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. I’m still on the search for a job since graduation, as I’ve mentioned here before. It’s not good to feel this way. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been to this place where insecurity begins to take over. On the plus side, there are ways out.

Thankfully, I’m feeling better already. I’ve got the support of family and friends, my health, a place to lay my head and plenty of other things to be thankful for. I have to remember that good things come in time with hard work. I was reminded yesterday, not for the first time, that I just have to have faith.

Friends, family and faith are key for me, although sometimes I forget that.
take a walk
take a walk take a walk
take a walk

Honestly, I’ve never been much of an optimistic person. I’ve always thought of myself as a realist. I think practically. When I was young, I had to be reminded that not everything should be taken so literally. Maybe that’s why my best friends are such positive people. They keep me grounded. We balance each other out. But when I get down, I can go from being realistic to negative.

The thing is, I was hoping that by now I would have a full-time job, be saving up for things like a new computer and car, and be getting ready to move out of my family’s home. I had big goals a few months ago. I have to remind myself that the economy is hard now for everyone. Just because I haven’t reached all those things, doesn’t mean they aren’t attainable. I can’t give up. I don’t want to live with my family forever. Giving up isn’t an option.

Positive habits can help change my perspective in times like this. I wrote about what to do when you’re feeling down last January, but forgot to look at that list until now that I’m already feeling better. I just checked and everything on it still applies.

One habit I’m really trying to cultivate lately is to take a walk every day. If I walk my dogs Max and Penny while the sun is still out, then I’m accomplishing three things on the list. I get some sun, exercise and hang out with animals. When I took these photos above two weeks ago, I ticked three things off. I got sun, exercised and did something creative.

Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed or not, taking  at least 15 minutes out of your day to take a walk can be be very helpful. I encourage you to try it.

Also, reading this blog post by Patty on Barrett All and this one by Anna on In Honor of Design helped me feel even less alone and more encouraged to strive for what I want.

Positivity is a powerful thing. Hope is necessary. Love is beautiful.

P.S. Thanks for your encouraging comments on my latest fashion post. I’ll definitely do more in the future.

Between Lenses: Mornings

My dog Max and I are similar in many ways. We’re usually calm and quiet, but we both get excited about a walk around the block. He definitely jumps up and down more than me though. We’re both introverts. We’re big fans of popcorn and peanut butter. And we prefer not to wake up too early.

This is the face Max makes when he’s still in bed and the sun is shining through the blinds. I make the same face.
Between Lenses: Mornings

I usually see this cute-pie puppy face within minutes of waking up. His bed is right next to mine. Sometimes I have to coax him out of bed to go outside and he will just look at me like this.

So, even though I haven’t participated in the Between Lenses blog hop in quite some time (oops!) I was reminded of it and super excited that I didn’t miss the October theme. You see, bloggers Tara and Victoria have created this series for bloggers to link up and share their interpretation of a theme through photos. This month’s theme is mornings.

Be sure to hop over to see Latrina and Tara’s posts as well!

Also, see my other Between Lenses post on movement.

24 before 24: Make something knitted

I don’t know about you, but I’m the type of girl who takes up knitting every two years. Liz in 30 Rock is too! Raise your hand high if you get this!

Well, this summer I finally made something knitted that came of the needles. I made a something. It’s bit much of a something, but it’s something.

I present to you, a square piece of yarn.

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When I was in Boise, my aunt Cathy very patiently taught me how to knit and fix my mistakes.

With knitting, you can unravel everything and start from the beginning, go back one or more stitches to fix a mistake, decide the mistake wasn’t a big deal and continue, or even continue doing the “mistake” to make some sort of pattern.

Once I decided that it was fun and stopped stressing so much, it became more fun.

Isn’t life kind of like that? Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up thinking about where we should be or what our future should look like. I know I do! But as long as we’re working hard and having fun, then why worry so much?

Maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. Well, the cool thing with knitting (and perhaps life too) is that there could always be a new project.

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The yarn my aunt gave me reminded me so much of a blanket I had as a child. I used to carry it around with me everywhere until Kindergarten. The blanket’s name was Nunny.

Now my bunny has her own Nunny. Yes, I have a stuffed bunny and I’m 23. Sue me. She’s also my boyfriend’s, as I made her at Build a Bear for him.

Say hello, Honey Bun!

This post is part of a series on the 24 things I want (or just wanted) to do before turning 24 in February 2015.