Seattle, WA

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


~Seattle, Washington~

So many students at Chapman call Washington their home and they always say how beautiful their state is and how they can't wait to return. Since Southern California is such a perfect place to be, I knew that something special must exist there if this were to be the case. For this reason I knew I'd have to visit for myself sometime soon. My 2 best friends from Chapman, Brenna and Morgan, live there and we quickly made plans for me to come. The flights from SoCal to Seattle were very cheap and I would stay at their houses so it wasn't a very expensive trip. I was grateful for the opportunity to explore a new place and see my friends for a week while on a budget. They were the best hosts and made my first trip there perfect! When I arrived I was completely in awe of all I saw. My high expectations were immediately satisfied. Seattle definitely lives up to the hype it gets. Most of all I loved how much nature was surrounding me. I loved all the trees, how lush and green everything was, and I got lots of good vibes in general. It's an ideal place for people with an adventurous spirit, who love nature, and appreciate the world we live in. Everyone is super environmentally friendly and I can see why. The atmosphere is so clean and fresh and there is so much natural beauty everywhere you look. Who wouldn't want to preserve such prestine views?! While I was there I made sure I hit all the major tourist attractions while I also got to see what my 2 friends hometowns offered. I would say it was a very successful trip that I'll always remember!

Views of my friend Brenna's 'backyard!' We are on the dock.

The best friends a girl could have!
Snoqualmie Falls was a breathtaking sight.

Good eats at Brenna's house. :)

Pike's Place Market famous boar statue.
I could have spent the entire afternoon at Pike's. From all the stands of produce, jams, chocolates, paintings, lotions, and collectibles you could walk and stop for hours. There is such a friendly, welcoming, warm vibe there.
Fresh picked, blush pink Peonies.
Views of the Space Needle and downtown Seattle from afar.

Stunning views at the top of the Rattlesnake hike. It was utterly breathtaking and beautiful.

Highlights of Summer 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hello blogging friends!

Let me just start out by saying that this summer was not what I expected it to be. I presumed I would have two part time jobs and make lots of money, no problem. Unfortunately, the latter only happened at the end of summer, of course. I was quite literally on the job search all summer long with my only employment being at the restaurant I've worked at the past 2 summers. I originally wanted this summer to be different; where I'd imagined working at a different juncture. However, I ended up stuck at the same restaurant that I have a love/hate relationship with. My biggest accomplishment was when I switched from being a hostess to a waitress, and now I wish I had been serving all summer! Anyways, with only 2 weeks left of my longest summer ever, I am realizing now that despite my crushed expectations, I definitely have had plenty of worthy moments to share. I am grateful for my expereinces at home. Sometimes you just have to embrace your situation  and make the most of where you are, what you're doing, and who you're with. Life is completely unpredictable and yet that doesn't scare me. I know I have God guiding my path and I trust that He will take care of me every step of the way. Plus, life is too short and there's no time for looking back or having regrets. With that, here are some worthy tidbits of my summer:

  • My Seattle Trip (May 20th-27th)!
Traveling is one of my favorite things to do, so of course I loved planning to visit 2 of my best friends, Brenna and Morgan, in their hometown right when school ended. They studied abroad in the spring semester and I hadn't seen them in so long! I loved heading straight from Chapman to Seattle for my weeks worth vacation of exploring a new city! From all the wonderful things I had heard about Seattle, I had high expectations. And what I experienced definitely lived up to the hype. Seattle has an unexplainable vibe that is welcoming, warm, earthy, and perfect for my adventurous spirit. It is so lush, green, and alive with trees, mountains, and plants everwhere you look. I couldn't contain my excitement for how beautiful it all was! I got to go on some gorgeous hikes, explore downtown Seattle, see the Space Needle, walk through Pikes Place Market, catch up with my friends, and do touristy things like take pictures by the gum wall and of my Starbucks coffee cup. Without a doubt, the best way I could have kicked off my summer!

  • Spending time with my family!
We are all often pretty busy and have many individual activities, but I've enjoyed having quality time with my mom and 3 siblings John, Gemma, and Peter. We went on a family hike at the beginning of summer, have family dinners together, go swimming, play games, and watch movies. Our house may be messy most of the time but all that matters are the people in it. :)

  • Seeing old friends!
Friendships are so important to me and I try to stay in touch and reconnect with the people I care about when I'm home. First, I've gotten to spend time with my 3 best high school friends Alyssa, Brianna, and Mya. Second, I went out to lunch with another high school friend Delaney after I happened to run into her on a 4th of July parade. Third, I luckily got to see my bestie Anne (just for a day!) who moved away to Atlanta. Fourth, my childhood friend Morgan and I got to see each other much more often than usual since she was only an hour drive away. We got to catch up, watch Harry Potter, and eat Dairy free Ben & Jerry's ice cream! Fifth, I got to get coffee and talk European adventures with my friend Katelyn from Indiana when I was visiting. Lastly, I got to catch up with my Chapman friend Analise for a nice brunch and shopping day. Friends are fun!

  • Running a HALF-MARATHON & working out!
13.1 miles all on my own, with no training, and I beat the 2 hour mark with a 1 hour and 58 minute time too! I went out that day just thinking I'd go on a regular run, say 3 miles, but I was feeling so good that I just kept going! I think it was at mile 4 I dedicated myself to achieving running a half marathon. I always thought, one day I'll just do it, I'll know when it's the right time, and that's exactly what happened. Once I hit mile 8 my feet started to hurt and running felt different, much more of a challenge, but I pushed on and killed it! I was so proud of myself and it was a top priority of the summer that I checked off early on. Good thing too since I've had my ups and downs with my running habits this summer. Since that day I haven't run more than 4ish miles. I prefer my regular routine of 2-3.5 miles.

I've managed to stay in pretty good shape throughout the summer keeping up with running, ab workouts, and weight lifting despite not having a gym membership. I run outside, have two 10 pound weights, and take advantage of Pinterest workout regimes. I aim for feeling good and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, not focusing on a silly diet (I've never dieted by the way) or hold heavy-duty, unrealistic goals for myself. I like to eat healthy since I enjoy those foods and like how it makes me feel, but I still indulge plenty in the good stuff. Overall, exercise is important to me and is crucial for my well-being and happiness! I've enjoyed the outward results I see, as well as how I feel inside.  I also started doing yoga on a more regular basis which has been so beneficial. It's a time I can completely clear my mind and zone in on just my breathing and body movements. It does wonders to my mental health.

  • Visiting relatives in Minnesota, Wisconsin, & Indiana!
In June my family and I took a roadtrip to attend my cousin Mikey's senior grad party. We drove 3 hours to Wisconsin where my aunt Marybeth has a cabin. We only stayed overnight but the best part was getting to ride ATV's! Then in the morning we drove 3 more hours to Minnesota for the party. It was a fun yet short weekend spending time with cousins and catching up with my aunts and uncles. A much needed trip!

At the beginning of August I made a trip to Indianapolis, Indiana to my Grandmother's house. I brought Gemma and Peter with me and we stayed about a week. It was wonderful spending time with my almost 94 year old grandmother and my aunt and uncle. We went to the community pool, the nature park, and attended the Indiana State Fair as is tradition. I love how nothing ever changes at my Grandmother's house. It's always been a pleasant place to visit, relax, and remind me of my family roots and values.

  • Baking and cooking thanks to Pinterest recipes! 
First of all, Pinterest is life. It has everything! My food board has reached its capacity (ok there's no such thing, but still). It's currently my most pinned board just since I always see such cool recipes that I know I'd like to look back on and make. After I try a recipe and like it enough, I add it to my recipe binder for safekeeping. I can now confidently say I can easily cook for myself; the days of being grossed out by raw meat are over! Check out my post: Baking Day!

  • Serving at Potter's!
I started the summer as a hostess making only minimum wage and then with only a month left of summer I finally trained to become a server! It was about time I upgraded from my red shirt to the black one! It's the best job ever. I make great money and the people are fun. 

Some other things I did over the summer:

1) Drove my sister to cheerleading practice twice a week
2) Saw my sister start high school at my alma mater!
3) Tried Small Cakes Cupcakery
4) Went grocery shopping a bunch
5) Celebrated my sisters birthday
6) Had Coldstone Cake Batter ice cream with rainbow sprinkles for the 1st time in like 10 years

7) Watched What A Girl Wants way too many times
8) Made pineapple art (check out my Instagram!)
9) Read lots of books from French to Asian culture
10) Enjoyed celebrating my 2nd favorite holiday, the 4th of July!
11) Wrote a series called The Santa Barbara Chronicles
12) Bike rides, rollerblading, swimming, and trampolining
13) Babysat Peter and his friend Mark
14) Was bored a lot
15) Skyping, Facetiming, and calling friends
16) A day on the Illinois river with my cousin and brother where I got to go tubing!
17) Committed myself to trying all Trader Joe's limited time mango delacacies in June (what a time to be alive)

18) Had "job search" on my to-do list all summer
19) Think and ponder over how I would make money for my abroad trip
20) Take selfies of my abs after a workout and of the great food I made 
21) Had an individual Bible study every day that I documented with a notebook
22) Worried about simple things that don't really matter
23) Got a cheap 2-month unlimited groupon for yoga at a small studio that helped me de-stress
24) Brushed up on my French 
25) Doing too many Buzzfeed quizzes
26) Old Navy annual $1 flip flop sale! (somehow spent $80 though...LOL)
27) Got treated a lot to a political rant with good all-American food at my aunt Nanci's house
28) Tried eggs benedict for the 1st time and loved it
29) Drew in my 'adult' coloring book with colorful pens
30) Watched the summer Olympics! (mostly gymnastics and swimming)
31) Worked on this fantastic blog :)

Thanks for reading :)