The Unexpected

purple sunset

I thought long and hard about whether or not I should write this post, but in the end, I knew I had to let this out. Three weeks ago, my youngest brother passed away in a drowning accident.

To be honest, it still doesn’t feel real. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity as we planned services and events to commemorate his life. We also had family come to visit from all over; our house was overflowing with people. His memorial service was last weekend and the majority of our visitors have returned home, so things are finally starting to settle down.

Over the weeks, my family has received such an outpouring of love from friends and from our local community here in California, and I’m so grateful for that. People have sent me flowers, called, and sent messages. Even though I haven’t been able to respond to them all, I’ve read every single one and it does help.

People have sent their condolences and many have said, “I don’t know what to say.” I completely understand. I don’t know what to say either. I’m still home in California and I just want to spend as much time as I can with my family before I have to go back to New York.

Different emotions come and go. Planning his services kept me busy so I felt ok for a bit. Sometimes though, it feels like there’s a vice gripping my chest, squeezing until I can’t breathe anymore. Sometimes I feel an overwhelming sadness when I think about how young he was (15), and all of the life that he had yet to experience.

They say to take it one day at a time and that’s what I’m trying to do. Being here with my family helps the most- I don’t remember the last time we were able to spend this much time together. I’m also falling back on the little things that make me happy: escaping into a book, painting my nails, and continuing my Friends marathon.

Who know what’s going to happen on this space in the future, but thank you for letting me pour out a little bit of my heart here today. This is going to sound cliché, but maybe you can do me this one little favor- hold your loved ones tight every chance you get.

(image via)

Long Weekend

fourth of july weekend, fourth of july, j crew, dough doughnut, donut, fourth of july nail polish

Long weekends are the best weekends, don’t you think?


My roommate and I met a couple of my friends for lunch at Barn Joo. I’d been there for drinks before and liked the ambience, so I was looking forward to sampling more of their food. I ordered the Bulgogi Burger which was quite tasty and came with seasoned fries and house made lemonade. The restaurant was rather empty while we were there and our waitress was great. All of the dishes we ordered were good, so I’d definitely eat there again.

After lunch, my sweet tooth insisted that we pop over to Dough, which is close by. My friends and I then walked back to our apartment, where we played Cards Against Originality on our phones (it’s just like Cards Against Humanity). I’d never played before, but it was good fun.

I’d planned to make a pie over the weekend and earlier in the day I’d made the crust and left it to chill in the fridge. Later in the evening, I decided to bake the pie (strawberry and raspberry) with the help of my friend. We were overtaken by the baking bug, so when my friend suggested we also make a three-layer cake, I said yes! This meant a couple more trips to the store for ingredients and we were baking well into the night. By then we were rather tired, so once the cakes came out of the oven, I decided I’d let them cool and assemble the cake the next day.


The Fourth started off rather gloomy and drizzly. We had no set plans for the day, so I started watching Season 2 of The Fall, which is such a great show. I finally got my lazy butt out of bed and went to work on the cake. It took a little finangling with the layers, and at one point I was running out of frosting and had to improvise, but in the end I’m happy with the way the cake turned out.

It was nice having such a chill day. My roommate and I watched several episodes of Gilmore Girls. We’re now about midway through the final season. We’re on a bit of a time crunch because we’ve been rewatching the series together and my roommate is moving away in a few weeks. When the fireworks started around 9:30pm, we were able to see them from his window, so we oooohed and ahhhhed over them for a bit (well, I  was doing all of the oooohing and ahhhhing because I love fireworks). Also, by this point I was nearing sweetness overload because that day I had a donut for breakfast, ice-cream in the early evening, iced coffee, a slice of pie, and a huge slice of cake. Cue the sugar coma!


Sundays for me are always for taking care of business and preparing for the week ahead. I worked on the next video for my youtube channel, tidied up my room a bit, and ran a couple errands. Then a few of us met up with our friend who was visiting from Boston at La Colombe. It was great to catch up and see her before she moves away from the East Coast for business school.

What did you get up to this past weekend?

fourth of july weekend, fourth of july, 4th of july recipe, patriotic pie, creative pie crusts

Summertime Essentials


summer essentials, summer essentials 2015, summertime 2015, summer dress, summer reading, sandals

The official start of summer is right around the corner (although in my mind summer kicks off on Memorial Day weekend)! Today I thought it would be fun to join the linkup hosted by The B Bar and talk about my summer essentials. The B Bar is a great blog with resources and tips for bloggers and it’s run by Meg and Victoria (whose blog is one of my all-time favorites).

There’s just something special about summer, you know? When I was in school, summer of course signified the opportunity for a long, extended break. Now that I’m older, it’s a time for picnics in the park, Summer Fridays, reading outdoors, and living in my cutoffs.

Let’s talk about some of my summer essentials:

Denim shorts: Last summer I found a pair of cutoffs at Gap on super sale, and I wore them nonstop. This particular pair fits me really well and I just find that they’re the easiest thing to throw on on toasty days. I think I’d like to add another pair to my rotation this summer.

Sunglasses: If there is a hint of sunshine, chances are I’ll have my sunglasses on. I have a classic pair of aviators that I repurchased from H&M a few times over the past few years. Right now I’m loving this pretty rose gold pair.

– Summer reading: In the summer I like to indulge in lighter reads. I also think that because there’s less TV on during the summer, I tend to get more reading done. Two books I’m thinking about adding to my summer reading list are The Vacationers by Emma Straub (a book that I wanted to read last summer, but didn’t get to) and The Rocks by Peter Nichols.

Iced coffee: Does this even need explanation? I think not.

Sandals: Each summer, there tends to be one pair of sandals that I completely mold to my feet and wear until they’re pretty much falling apart. Two summers ago, it was this pair from Target and last year I wore these studded sandals all the time. I need a new pair of everyday black sandals this summer and I just saw this lovely, simple pair pop up at Everlane. The price is much higher than I’ve ever spent on sandals, but perhaps they would last longer than a season?

A bright lip: I’m relatively low-key when it comes to makeup and I feel that’s particularly true in the summer. It’s too hot to put a bunch of products on my face, but I do love to wear some mascara and a bold lip. I might thrown on a loose tee with my denim cutoffs, but then a bright lip makes it seem like I actually tried.

Lightweight dresses: When it’s hot and humid, I typically have less energy and I don’t want to spend a ton of time thinking about what to wear in the mornings. That’s why dresses are so great- you just throw them on and go. I actually have a surprising lack of dresses in my closet right now. When I was putting together my capsule wardrobe last year, I donated several dresses that didn’t fit well or were too short. That purge left me with only a couple options, so now I think it’s time for me to acquire some pretty new dresses.

Don’t forget to check out the posts of other bloggers who are participating in the linkup below!

26 and Not Counting \\ Alyssa J Freitas \\ soak and simmer \\ The Not Quite Adult \\ Carrie Loves \\ The Yuppie Files \\ PRBlonde \\ Knowing Kelly \\ Something Good \\ Feathers and Stripes \\ Cassandra Monroe \\ Otherworldly \\ Sunny Side Up \\ Life Modifier \\ Leigh Clair \\ Rae Loves \\ Rose Colored Water \\ Rossetto \\ Fashion to a T \\ PreppyPanache \\ Emilie Lima Burke \\ Ember & March \\ Business Betties \\ with love from ellie \\ Mint Julep Girl \\ Love Peace and shimmer \\ Rae Everyday \\ Little Wild Heart \\ star-crossed smile \\ Luv in the Bubble \\ Perfect Enough For Us \\ LIFE BY BRI \\ Sorcha Eleanor \\ Brikasia \\ Dreams and Colour Schemes \\ Elana Lyn \\ Sequins & Strawberries \\ Pattern Me Pretty \\ Beauty and the Pitch \\ White Oak Creative \\ The Toppy Top \\ White Cabana \\ In The Grey \\ Taryn Williford \\ Cooper + Thames \\ Mrs. on the Move \\ Magnificent Temptations \\ Meg Biram \\ Victoria McGinley

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Bedroom Decor Inspiration

frames, gallery wall, black and white frames, inspiration wall

Due to my possible upcoming move, I’ve been thinking a lot about giving my bedroom an update. Naturally my tastes have changed a little over the years. Also, here in the city, I’m always trying to figure out how I can fit the maximum amount of stuff in the minimum amount of space. Here are a few changes I’d like to make to my room.

white sheets, pink chair, sleeping nook


When I moved into my first proper apartment in the city, I painted my walls a pale yellow. When I moved into my current apartment, I painted them yellow. Back in the day, I never thought I’d choose yellow, but I liked how warm and inviting it made my room feel. Now I’d like to switch to a blank canvas and insert accents of color elsewhere.

white sheets, cozy bed, cozy sheets, white bedroom


I made the move to white sheets last year and it made my bed look much lighter and airier. My duvet cover and shams are a set I’ve had since 2011 and the pattern on it contains gray, yellow, and white. I’ve been thinking about getting a textured white duvet set (although that seriously means no eating on the bed) and I’ve also got my eye on this chunky gray knit blanket at H&M.

The Gallery Wall


Starting a washi tape gallery wall was a way to display images I find inspirational, without having to spend a lot of money on frames or making lots of holes in my wall. I still love the idea, but I’ve had these images on my wall for a while now. I’d like to change the pictures and incorporate more prints. Also, I’m thinking that if I do paint my walls white, gray and black washi tape borders would look really graphic and cool, with perhaps a few blue borders too.

white shelves, floating shelves


I have one bookshelf in my room and one in my bedroom. Both have been with me since college and they’re starting to fall apart after a few moves. The bookshelf in my bedroom has three shelves and of course it’s stuffed to the brim with books. I’ve thought about buying a really tall bookshelf, but I worry that it would shrink my already small room. I’m also considering getting a four-shelf bookshelf, so it’s a bit bigger, but not too much. I’m thinking that floating shelves could give me some more book space too, but then of course you have to deal with drilling holes in the wall. I’d also like the new bookshelf or shelves to be white to match the rest of my furniture (the shelf in my bedroom used to be light “wood,” but at some point I painted it a light gray).

marble contact paper, diy marble desk, marble, marble decor


I’ve got a tiny little desk from Ikea, but it’s actually the perfect size for my room. When I first moved here, I didn’t have a desk, but then I realized I missed having that surface to work on and keep office supplies. The surface of my desk has gotten some nicks and scratches over the years, so I thought it might be nice to cover the top with marble contact paper. Not only would it hide those scratches, but I think it would look really cool and add a bit of pattern to my room.

open bedroom, airy bedroom, bright bedroom


I still don’t know if I’m moving or not, but if I’m giving my bedroom an update, I really need to take this opportunity to get rid of some stuff. I did some spring cleaning and donated items, but I kept putting off the major overhaul because I knew it was likely I was moving this summer (it’s so much easier to purge when you’re packing because then you have to go through all of your stuff anyway). Whether or not I move, I need to take a hard look at all of my things and decide what I’d really like to keep.

I’m already a rather neat and organized person, but I can definitely do some more streamlining. The other day I bought a small tray to hold some of the bits and bobs on top of my dresser. I was surprised by how much of a difference it made Everything looked much neater placed in the tray, rather than scattered in a little corner of my dresser. Also, my closet has pretty decent storage, so I should take better advantage of that space to store things that I don’t need regular access to.

Have you made any changes to your bedroom recently?

(images via 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 )