Lifestyle

How to Pack for Hawaii /Shopping Haul

Screaming of excitement because your girl is going to Kauai! For the past year, I have been day-dreaming of sipping on Piña Coladas under the tropical sun. This will be my first time in Hawaii, so you knowwwwww, I have to bring a new wardrobe with me!

Since our trip is so jam packed, I have complied a list of items I plan on putting together, as a way of prepping my outfits. My style is typically minimalistic and simple but I’m alllll for showing some skin. I like neutral tones with the occasional pop of color. But for this trip, I decided to brighten it up! I’m not huge into patterns but I’m a sucker for floral print!

Dinner Date:

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Halter Wrap Dress- ANGL

Red V-Neck Dress- H&M

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Maxi Dress – Lea

Beach Day:

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White Bikini Set – H&M (Btw, can I have her abs?!)

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Bralette Bikini Top – Forever 21

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Tropical Print Bikini Bottom – H&M

Bardot Bikini – Asos.com

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Floral Print Bikini Bottom- H&M

Day Out: 

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Halter Crop Top – Lea

Image 8 of HIGH-RISE CULOTTE JEANS from Zara

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High-Rise Culotte Jeans – Zara

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Button Front Corduroy Mini Skirt- Macy’s

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Floral Maxi – TJ Maxx

Night Out: 

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Choker Neck Faux Suede Bodycon Dress – Charlotte Russe

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Bodycon Midi Dress – Lea

Accessories:

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Round Sunnies – H&M

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3- Pack Choker – H&M

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Boho Breaded Bracelets – Tilly’s

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Sandals- Target

I love getting style inspo from anywhere I can! So hopefully these items give you some too, for your next trip! Xoxo

Events

Why We Should NOT ‘Stay Out of Politics’

Let’s face it, we are in the midst of political polarization and divisiveness in America. During the presidential election, I noticed a rise in political consciousness/involvement amongst my generation. The election was far more than who would take office; instead, it would become the forerunner of the future state of our society.

Since then, there has been a media frenzy! TV coverage seems to be virtually continuous, social media posts are endless, and in short, it is nearly impossible to ignore our nation’s climate. Every few weeks or so we hear yet another news report of racist bigotry and hate crimes committed throughout the U.S. We are alerted when the President tweets his latest thought, when he fires a member of his administration, or when he denigrates a certain group of people… it’s EXHAUSTING to say the least.

I know a lot of us have stopped checking the news, purposefully avoided social media, or shut down when politics are mentioned. And although it may seem easiest and most comfortable to do this, we CAN NOT turn the other cheek to what is going on!! This everyday negligence is dangerous! We CAN NOT afford to “stay out of politics” because this is OUR future on the line.

This!! Repost @sarahthyre

A post shared by UndocuMedia #HereToStay (@undocumedia) on

Most of us are so fortunate to have the choice to not get involved, but this disinterest needs to be shifted. This past weekend, many Millennials were marching with tiki torches in hand at the White Nationalists rally. This hateful ideology was shared among individuals our age!

So don’t think for a minute, that we are powerless to what has transpired. It is our duty and responsibility as Millennials to speak up, stand up, and show up, in opposition to such hate and backwardness. As Obama quoted on his final address to Armed Forces:

“Remember what that flag stands for. For we depend on you, the heirs to that legacy, our men and women in uniform, and the citizens who support you, to carry forward what is best in us. That commitment to a common creed. The confidence that right makes might. Not the other way around. That’s how we can sustain this long struggle.”

Talking politics should no longer be taboo. This is the time you and I should be talking about our sentiments toward the current state of our nation. If you don’t know about something, ask. Educate yourself. Acknowledge what is happening. Engage with your peers. Share videos/spark discussion on social media. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP! Remember, silence and ignorance is complacency. We have the ability to use our voice and platform to bring the better good of society to the forefront.

Taste

Spinach & Feta Turkey Burgers

For this week’s meal prep, I wanted to keep it healthy but still somehow give into my cravings. Since we are in the thick of Summer, I’ve had this hunger for burgers (and for me… Summer = grilling).

Sooooo, I decided to try out : Spinach & Feta Turkey Burgers with Greek yogurt avocado spread.

And let me just say: THIS MEAL IS SO YUMMY and most importantly, EASY!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 package of Ground Turkey Breast (1-2 LBS)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 5 ounces of Feta
  • Half box of spinach (8 oz), squeezed dry
  • 1 Avocado (optional)
  • 3 TBS Greek Yogurt (optional)
  • Mustard (optional for spread)
  • Whole wheat Lavish bread or burger buns (optional)
  1.      Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add in spinach and toss with tongs until wilted. To avoid sogginess, roll up cooked spinach in a dishtowel and wring out the excess water.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, crack and beat in two eggs, add feta, cooked spinach, and turkey, until well combined. Form into 8-10 patties.
  3.     Cook on preheated grill or stovetop until no longer pink in the center, 10-20 minutes,
  4.    Toast your bread or bun. I prefer Lavish Bread because of the longer shelf life, higher protein, and hearty crunch.
  5.        Slap on your spread!

Voilà!

The blend of zest this meal offers, is unreal! The patties turn out super juicy and flavorful! If you’re up for a ridiculously easy dish, and I MEAN as easssyyyy as mixing, forming, and tossing your patties on the grill…then this recipe is for you. This meal is definitely Mediterranean inspired, so I like to add a Greek Salad on the side!

Trust me, this is a household favorite….and yeah, sure… I only cook for myself, but you get the gist! Enjoy!

Taste

DIY Wine and Cheese Date

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Not too long ago, my girlfriends and I headed to our local winery in hopes of unwinding over a few glasses of wine. Turns out, everyone else in LA had the same exact idea! There was a wait of over 2 hours long with a minimum purchase of two bottles per group. This seemed pretty ridiculous to us so we decided to create our own picnic by the beach.

We stopped by Trader Joe’s and picked up a ton of finger foods and of course, WINE.

What we bought:

Cheese: Brie, Blueberry Goat Cheese, Cheddar, and Gouda

Fresh Fruit: Strawberries & Grapes

Carbs: Crackers, Pita Chips, & a Baguette

Meats: Calabrese Salami & Italian Dry Salami

Sweets: Chocolate Almonds

Wine: Red (Merlot) & White (Pinot Grigio)

[Previously to heading out, we packed our own cutting board, utensils, napkins, cups, and plates]

We drove around until we found the ultimate spot to set-up shop.

We parked our car in a turnout road which overlooked the surrounding mountains and ocean. It was literally an ideal place for taking photos plus we were also able to get away from all the crowds. We opened the doors, blasted some music, and feasted!

This was the perfect alternative to wine and cheese tasting, at a fraction of the cost. If you’re indecisive on what to do with your weekends, I hope this date idea comes in handy!

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*Malibu, CA*

Wellness

How to End a Toxic Relationship

Toxic relationships come in many shapes and forms. I’d say, it’s pretty safe to assume that many of us have been in one at some point or another. They are destructive and poison our health and well-being from the inside-out.

I’m clearly not a relationship expert but from shared experiences with friends over the years, there is the commonality that we often times stay in certain relationships longer than we should. There seems to be great difficulty in acknowledging/recognizing that we are in an unhealthy situation. I think the reason for this is because we like to minimize and justify the current state of the relationship while we fixate on what was. I mean, “love” in any capacity has the potential to be blinding. Thus, walking away is the hardest part.

It’s only natural that we have the desire to sustain any relationship that we’ve invested time, emotion, and effort into because the thought of letting go of all of that can be intimidating. But what I’ve learned is that it is okayyyy to admit that a relationship has run it’s course. The most liberating feeling is breaking free from the toxicity and starting fresh. But of course, there is no “easy” way around this.

I think there is this blurred line (which could be called denial) between a relationship going “through a rough patch,” and a relationship turning toxic. Once you find yourself feeling emotionally exhausted more often than not, this is a clear indicator of the relationship’s demise. Not to mention, it is very likely, you too, are dishing this same negativity onto your partner.

I found it helpful to journal those days where I felt down and look back as the week progressed.

I would ask myself, “am I a happier person since this individual has came into my life?” And most importantly, “Am I a better person because of this relationship?”

I had the hardest time answering these questions. But I had to be honest with myself.

I’ve noticed, we like to romanticize the relationship and our partner with hopes of tricking ourselves into believing we should stay and that we are fulfilled.

 Life is so damn short! Why waste time with any person who is inhibiting us from true happiness?

Cutting off a relationship can feel like an amputation, but it is very likely both parties will be better off .

As my mom likes to sing to me, “Let it go, let it goooo.” (Frozen Version)

 

Taste

Homemade Chicken Vegetable Pizza

New week = new meal prep recipe idea! I finally took the plunge and decided to take my large shopping trip to Trader Joe’s. & UMM, why have I been wasting my time & money at these other markets?!! I was in foodie heavennnnn. I heard great things about TJ’s pizza crust options so I decided to build my meal prep around it. I mean, a load of veggie toppings counts as salad, right?

I tried a gluten-free/organic dough crust as well as a cauliflower crust.

What you’ll need:

  • Regular or cauliflower crust
  • 2-4 chicken breasts
  • 1 Asian Vegetable Stir Fry pack
  • 1/2 bag of spinach
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbps feta cheese
  • 4 tbps tomato paste
  • 2 tbps pineapple (obvi, optional)

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

Dice chicken breasts and grill pan over medium heat, 6 minutes on each side.

*If using cauliflower crust: Bake crust first for 15 minutes then let cool.

(Do not skip this added step or else your crust will crumble like mine did -____- )

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*oops*

 Prep your crust with a touch of EVOO and tomato paste/sauce. Carefully, spread the cheese, herbs, chicken, and veggies.  Bake once more for 20-25 minutes or until crust and veggies are golden brown.

*If using regular crust: Prep your crust. Add toppings. Bake for 20 minutes. Let pizza cool before slicing.

Voilà!

*Disclaimer*

Cauliflower crust is absolutely delicious, however, it did cause me some discomfort. Cauliflower is in the family of Cruciferous veggies, which b/c high in fiber can lead to bloating. But, I would def recommend either version of this recipe to all!

 

Travel

Trip to Joshua Tree National Park

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Indeed, an Instagrammer’s dream, this vast land is made up of a mix of Joshua trees and dramatic rock formations. This oasis of sorts, transports you into what (in my mind) would look like another dimension. There is this eerie feeling to this colossal landscape. It is peaceful, it is lonely, it is unbothered by the city chaos we are surrounded by.

Visiting all 59 U.S. national parks is for sure an item I’d love to check off of my world travel bucket list. So far, I have been fortunate enough to explore Yellowstone, drive through Zion and camp in Yosemite. For the longest time, I had been wanting to take a trip to Joshua Tree, especially considering how close it is to Los Angeles.

This past weekend, my bestie and I were feeling mentally worn out from the week and felt this getaway would be the perfect remedy (& we were right).  Expected highs were 114°– 117 ° so we planned on arriving mid-afternoon to try to beat the heat. But boy, were we wrong here, we arrived at 3pm and it was still 115°! Luckily, we had a full cooler stocked with water, foot-long subs, superb air conditioning, and tons of snacks to keep us fueled. There is an entrance fee of $25 but for some reason there was not an attendant on duty so everyone enjoyed their stay fo’ free (yaas).

We made our first stop at the visitor center (Black Rock Campground) to get assistance in mapping out the certain landmarks we wanted to hit along our drive. This seemingly endless span of land offers a plethora of routes and pullouts you can choose from. But if you plan to make this a day trip, I’d suggest confining your sightseeing to the main park roads.

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Due to the extremely high/dry temperature, we decided to take a more scenic route vs hiking our way through. I did bring my pup but I would only suggest this if you are planning a scenic visit (at least in these temps).

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Start at the North Entrance (Twentynine Palms). This area reminded me of Radiator Springs shown in Disney’s “Cars.” Again, untouched and beautifully lonely. Only about 15 minutes into our visit, a Coyote approached our car. So, do travel with caution.

As the sun set, we took some beautiful shots.

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We decided to set-up shop at the east side of the park for stargazing. We opened the hatch of our truck and laid out. Slowly but surely, a crowd of people began to form with their telescopes and professional cameras. Little did we know, it was prime season for Milky Way viewing. We met some awesome people and together watched the sky light up. By 9-10pm the sky was litttttt. I had never seen so many stars at once in my life…it was magical. Our friendly neighbors agreed with me in that out of all the national parks we have visited, Joshua Tree offered the best celestial show.

Whether you are looking for a weekend escape or a quick turn-around trip, 10/10 would recommend Joshua Tree. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and become one with mother nature and her starlight.

Travel

The Willingness to Explore Unfamiliar Terrains

 

Whether it may be intellectual or land, we must be willing to explore new terrain.

Roma. O, Roma. La Città Eterna. The zest of this city made me feel so full. In fact, Italy was by far my favorite European country out of the eight I visited. From Venice -> Cinque Terre-> Florence -> Tuscany ->Amalfi Coast-> down to Sicily… Italy is simply a dream. The language, scenery, cuisine, literally EVERYTHING was as if I was living in a postcard. It has almost been two years since my travels abroad and I’ve never felt more nostalgic.

Once we arrived, culture shock hit us like a ton of bricks. But as time passed, I finally felt at ease. I would notice how much more welcoming the locals were with me as my time there proceeded. On my walks to school (4 miles altogether), I would develop rapport with the local market/cafe/restaurant owners. Closer to the end of my experience, I was greeted by name, a few times a day by these individuals. This by far was the most satisfying feeling. I felt as if I was not just considered another turisti Americani but instead recognized as if I were a local. I tried to immerse myself in the culture, the best I could… so this was everything to me. I actually envisioned myself one day settling down in Rome, as I wholeheartedly fell in love with the culture. There were days I would walk past the Roman Forum or Colosseum and feel as if I was transported back in time but then I’d blink and feel the whiff of air zooming past as nuns made way on their Vespas.

Lately, I’ve been finding my days very monotonous, daydreaming at work, ready for adventure…craving something new. As the days have passed, I’ve invested actual thought into the possibility of moving back to Rome for a year or so.

I feel it’s time to push my boundaries yet again and expand my universe. I want to feel as whole as I did while abroad. Becoming familiar with the unfamiliar, that’s the feeling I yearn.

Part of me wonders if this is just another one of my wild ideas, but then again, is it? At this point in my life, I don’t necessarily have anything holding me back. I still have the liberty to pick up and go. This is something that has been eating at me for a while and I feel it’s only right to act on it. I encourage any young adult/post-grad to consider the same. If the idea scares you, it’s probably something you should do!

 

Wellness

How to Stay Body Positive Even When you Have yet to Reach your Fitness Goals

In an era of “perfect” IG models and in the new wave of uber-trendy, health-conscious, Millennial products, it’s seemingly impossible for one to look past. Naturally, we want to join the latest fads and dabble into whatever the next best thing is. From meal-prepping (diet-plans), to cycle classes, to Kombucha, to whey-protein, there has been a major social media/pop culture influence on practicing a healthy lifestyle.  I think it’s safe to say, when we double tap on an influencer’s picture, we think “goals,” or “can I please look like that?” I’ve caught myself thinking and saying these things aloud way too often but what’s important to remember is: these bodies we are envying are truly not attainable. Many of these individuals make a living off of their social media accounts and actual job is to maintain their physique…by whatever means possible.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think it is necessary to set health/fitness standards for yourself, but I’ve realized it’s just as imperative to stay body positive even if you are not satisfied with where you are at. In other words, finding a happy-medium between working towards your goal yet having a forgiving relationship with your current body. I definitely think this association is much easier said than done but once practiced, it becomes liberating.

My journey to finding body positivity began at an early age. I entered the sixth grade with newly developed hips and breasts. Most of my classmates had yet to reach puberty, which made me one of the few girls with curves. I was made fun of countless of times. Older girls would approach me with comments that were meant to almost make me feel bad for how I looked (as if I chose this body!) I’d been called, “wide-load,” asked if I was “cornbread fed,” and was even asked, if I was pregnant (at 11 years old) because of my hips! I specifically remember a particular time during “weigh-ins,” when my P.E. teacher whispered my weight to me instead of announcing it aloud as he did with everyone else…laughter then ensued.

At first, of course, I took offense to it and often times would ask my parents, “why do I look so different than all of the other girls in school?” They advised me that I only had one option: which was to embrace my body. If my appearance was all they could talk about, I was doing something right. In that moment, I decided to stop caring about what those people said about me and flaunt what I was given. S/O to you, girls Image result for hand wave emoji

Once high school rolled around, I had to re-learn this self-love. Stretch marks and cellulite set in and that was different for me. This was the beginning of social media and the pressure to look slim was there. But I had to remind myself, “Jas, this is your body, you can either love it or hate it.” I decided to love it, can I get a Hallelujah?

But of course, I still struggle with my cellulite and am too hard on myself at times, I’ve made comments about my body that I would NEVER be able to say to anyone else. And this is precisely the point of this post. We should still be able to aspire to live a healthier lifestyle without forgetting to appreciate the skin we are in.

I once saw a male friend post this saying on Facebook, “Ladies, dress for the body you have and not the body you want!” And what I say to that is, BS, wear whatever the f**k you want!

I’ll still wear my shorts and dresses, with my cellulite in all it’s glory. I have yet to reach my fitness goals but I think learning to speak and feel positively about your body is the sexiest thing you can do for yourself. Male or female, confidence is sexy.

Taste

Cilantro Lime Brown Rice

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It’s no secret, my obsession with Chipotle is concerning. Their rice?…I mean, come onnn!! But since I made a pledge to make 2017 my healthiest year yet, I had to painfully put down the massive burritos and practice weekly meal prepping. Every Sunday, I prep the same meal: rice, veggies, and chicken. As it can be very monotonous, I like to whip-up different recipes.

This week, I decided to try my own rendition of Cilantro Lime brown rice (to avoid a stop at Chipotle, tbh), and let me tell you, this has been my favorite (and easiest) rice recipes to date!

What you’ll need:

  •  1 cup brown rice
  •  2 limes (1 tablespoon of zest)
  •  2 ½ cups water
  •  ½ -¾ cup of chopped cilantro
  •  Herbs

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  1. In a medium sized pan, add 2 cups of water + rice.
  2. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes in medium heat.
  3. Uncover and stir in ½ cup more of water on low heat for 5-10 mins.
  4. Once the rice has absorbed all the liquid, stir in zest, lime juice, and cilantro.

Voilà!

  • Side note: throw the squeezed limes into the garbage disposal, naturally cleaning its walls + creating a fresh scent for the sink.

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I seriously could not help but to scoop out spoonfuls during the cooking process.

Simple. Tasty. Flavorful.Healthy!

Travel

Why I Studied Abroad

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Prior to making the decision to study abroad, I rarely traveled. Traveling around the world was something my parents’ planned for post-retirement. They believed and instilled in me, “Work hard now and enjoy later…” but transitioning into college, I found this ideology problematic. I met so many peers who shared stories like: being housed by a family in Peru, or living in a jungle in Thailand for a week, or even being blessed by the Pope at the Vatican.

This excited the suppressed wanderlust in me.  I had been blessed with so much at this point in my life but I always felt this void. One of which, I could not describe. When the Education Abroad Program was presented to me, I thought, “How fucking amazing would that be to finally travel but nooo, I can’t afford this.” As the deadline grew closer, I began to really reflect on this opportunity. I believe traveling is a dream every person on this earth has at some point, but realistically, it’s only attainable for few. I began to take my parents for example, life got in the way before they could reap the fruits of their labor. My dad’s illness began a few years before his retirement, ultimately preventing any travel.

Seeing this upset first hand, I had a new perspective. If I passed up on this opportunity of a lifetime, I would always wonder, “what if?” I did not want to live like that. I finally told myself: I’m still young, healthy enough to do this, and I had so much yet to discover, so many new places, cultures, and above all…myself.

I was extremely curious if it was in fact traveling that would make me feel whole.

I remember reading this saying: “Travel far enough, you meet yourself” 🌎

Soon after, I was convinced…I needed this adventure. To me, this was not only an opportunity to enjoy another part of the world. I wanted to use this time for quite the opposite, really. I wanted to be uncomfortable, test my limits, and eventually become familiar with the unfamiliar. I always relied on my family to help me out in shitty situations but “When in Rome,” I would have none other but myself to figure it all out.

I decided on Rome, Italy. It had been a fantasy of mine to visit, ever since I first watched Mary-Kate & Ashley’s – When in Rome, The Lizzy McGuire Movie, and Under the Tuscan Sun, (HA!) Italy’s cultural richness intrigued me.

I will write about my actual time abroad in a later post but what I will conclude with is that the decision to study/live abroad was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I felt the most alive in those 4 months than I ever have. This trip gave me life, it changed my life, and most importantly, it was the healthiest thing I could have done for myself. Don’t let the fear of the unknown, or job responsibilities, or your financial situation stop you from traveling. Money will come and go but your health and the ability to just pick up and go while we are still young…won’t always be there. If the opportunity arises, do yourself a favor and buy that plane ticket!

Taste

Ballin’ on a Budget: Souplantation Edition

If there is one thing I’m most passionate about, it would be food :p There are a plethora of trendy restaurants and eateries around every corner, here in LA. We have hot-spots like, The Nice Guy, Nobu, Fig & Olive, etc., where we can unwind over a dish & cocktail. However, when I’m hit with that bill, it hurts. I’m all for being bougie for a night or two, because #treatyoself… but mama just ain’t got it like that. Most importantly, I eat like a dude, so having a smaller portioned dish, sometimes just does not cut it for me.

If you’ve ever wondered what heaven looks like, welcome! This is Souplantation.

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It literally fulfills to end goals: 1) Your options are salads and soups aka healthy shit- so you’ll feel better about your self 2) Its a buffet, so pig tf out.

If that doesn’t convince you, become a member and you’ll receive coupons for every single visit! Lunch w/ beverage is $9.99 (hellerr) and dinner w/ beverage is $11.99 (yasss.) &  THEY HAVE HORCHATA!

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So, I always go in with a game plan. Build one massive salad and fill a second plate with only celery & carrots. I navigate my way through the bar and head to the soups. I pour to the rim, two bowls of Chicken Noodle.

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I’ll grab one piece of cornbread/focaccia and finally, feastttt.

This chicken noodle is by far the best chicken noodle I have ever tried, but it’s literally just chicken and noodles. So here is where I will add in the celery and carrots from the salad bar, with pepper to taste.

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Fast forward 30 mins, and I literally am bursting at the seams, like uncomfortably full yet pleased and almost proud I went through so much food for 10 bucks! Guarantee, if you’ve eaten here, you know what feeling I’m talking about.

Do yourself a favor, grab some hungry homies and check this place out! It’s a great alternative to Tender Greens, Whole Foods, or Urth Caffe but at a fraction of the cost! 🙂

Wellness

Who Rescued Who? How Adopting my Dog was the Best Thing I’ve Done

Meet Troy aka @troytheshihtzu

God bless this little boy for putting up with me for the past year. Troy is absolutely the light of my life. The amount of joy he has given me is indescribable but man, is he something. He’s basically a social introvert: he loves people, but at a distance. He doesn’t give kisses and when he decides to cuddle, he’ll do so with both arms fully extended for personal space (what a brat)… but I wouldn’t have it any other way. He goes everywhere with me: he brunches, he bar hops, shops, flies, & the worst part of it all, has a choice between three strollers, each in a different color.

Shih shih shih shih'n on em' 🌳 #shihtzu #humor #dogsofLA #playday #shihtzusofinstagram

A post shared by Troy the Shih-Tzu (@troytheshihtzu) on

*Click play*

I get shit allll the time for how ridiculous I am with him but honestly, I owe him for so much…

(Will explain later)

Visiting the local shelter was basically a hobby of mine, prior to his adoption.

 MRW I finally saw the episode where this Chris Pratt gif came from - Imgur.gif

*I knew I had an obsession, when this was me with any and every dog, (even the not so cute ones) that I saw*

His adoption: It was sort of fate that brought Troy and I together. I had a random Monday off, so what did I do with my time? Visited a shelter, duhh. Growing up, the family dogs were all Shih Tzus so I had a type. Long and behold, in the very first cage was a scruffy, matted hair, tan, Shih Tzu named Troy.  I was in love. My luck, he was reserved for a kid’s carnival/adoption fair that following Saturday. So I left broken hearted, without him. That Saturday was my birthday and as expected, I woke up with the worst hangover of my life. Out of curiosity, I reached for the adoption flyer in my purse and saw that the event went from 9-5pm. Yeah, no…by this time it was 4pm and I was still in bed. Finally, I was convinced to get up and we decided to see if for some odd reason he was still there. I really tried not to get my hopes up but the thought of him going home with me made me soo entirely happy. It was literally 4:58pm when we pulled up to the park as I saw Animal Services placing this tan thing into the back of their van. I freaked! “That couldn’t be Troy, could it?!” He then turned his head and looked right at me. He was the only dog of twenty that day that did not get adopted!!! LIKE, WHAT?!! As soon as we opened the car door, he jumped right into the seat, and I knew right then, that this shih’ was meant to be.

In the past, I’ve seen dog-owners post the saying, “Who Rescued Who?” And low-key thought that was pretty dramatic. But honestly, finding Troy at the time I did, was truly God’s timing. Literally a couple of months into us being a little family, the ex and I went through our break up and BAM, shit really hit the fan. I needed to find a new living situation, like ASAP. For an entire month, Troy and I were hotel hopping, Air B & B’n, and couch surfing. The worst feeling was not knowing where we’d sleep that night. Finding an apartment, seemed utterly impossible! Many of those nights I would cry and cry but little Troy would do everything he could to help me feel better. I didn’t have my family out here and I did not want to burden my friends, so it was him and I who hit the pavement for hours every evening desperately looking for places. I felt horrible knowing we were basically living out of my car. There were days that I wanted to say, “fuck this” and move back home…but I knew I moved out to LA for a greater purpose. Finallly, we found a place and everything felt right again. Troy was thriving and in retrospect, I don’t know how I would’ve gone through that ordeal without him.

Mom life: It can be exhausting but sooo worth it. His precious face literally gives me life.  There’s never a dull moment with him. He is the most expressive dog I have ever met, not to mention the sassiest! Sure, there are moments that he annoys the hell out of me, but I’ve been blessed with the most chill dog. We joke that hes a cat, b/c he’s so low-maintenance, its amazing. For those who have asked me how I do it or on the cusp of owning a dog, its simple… just love them and they will enhance your quality of life infinitely. He lifts my spirits every single day and even though he doesn’t give kisses, (clearly salty about this) just his presence alone makes all the difference.

The best feeling in the world is…

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&

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But man, if Troy could talk, I’d be in troubbbleee. He judges sooo hard…

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A few months later, Troy and I booked a flight to see la familia for Christmas weekend. But unfortunately, my dad’s health turned for the worst and for 14 days we were in a hospital/hospice room, day-in & day-out. Considering the chaos we were in and how little attention Troy received, he was a freaking angel. Troy was our light and did not leave my dad’s bedside.

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You know how they say dogs have a sixth sense? I truly believe it. In the few moments leading to my dad’s passing, Troy went ballistic: howling, pacing back and forth, whining…but as soon as my dad took his last breath, Troy relaxed and laid back at his feet. This literally shook me for obvious reasons.

In the darkest year of my life, Troy gave me so much. The least I can do is continue to feed him all organic, grain-free, fresh meals, add more outfits to his section of the closet, and throw in a new stroller to the collection.

He is the one constant being in my life and I’ll forever owe him for that. Shout out to you, @troytheshihtzu, you da real MVP, bud.

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Events

The Significance of Turning 24?

As a youngin’, there is this inherent craving to be grown, yet, as an adult, there’s this yearning to be a kid again. At 17, I couldn’t wait to go off to college and move away from home. At 20, I could not wait to legally party.

Ohhhh! To be 20 again… living off that good ol’ financial aid, sitting on another two years before the real world.

At 22, I was ready to graduate and begin my career (LOL.)

Postgrad to me:

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Postgrad is tough mannn, it’s kind of like a state of contradictions…

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 For example:

Sick and need to go to Dr’s but too lazy to make the appointment.

Treat yo’ self to Chipotle but can’t afford guac.

Kinda want to maintain your social life…kinda want to stay in bed all weekend.

Always tired in the morning, yet runs through five Netflix episodes before bed.

Feeling #blessed just to be alive, but also #stressed

Most importantly, being told that… (click the link, press play)

https://onsizzle.com/i/getting-a-degree-will-open-up-doors-for-you-gets-12681134

When I was younger, I thought I had it all planned out. Graduated by 22, married by 24, a mom by 25, and a career in Hollywood by 26 (lets just take a moment…HAHAHAH.) Just a few days shy of 24, and I can hardly manage to do my laundry without losing a sock. So 24? What does this mean? Not too sure….

Am I where I expected to be?

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BUT…I’m trying my freaking best, and that’s all we can do, right? Here’s to another year of “adulting” AKA trying to get my shit together 😛

Wellness

How to Zen out (or Attempt to) After a Stressful Day

I am the first to admit that I have allowed the stress of one particular situation to completely F up my entire day/mood, like a h a n d f u l of times. It’s something I think many of us have battled as young adults. Whether you need to unwind after a long day of work, school, or just life in general, here are a few tips that have helped me chill tf out.

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  • First things firstblast music during the car ride home. The second I step into my car, it is either EDC on wheels or the most ratchet club you have ever stepped into. Sure, I get looks but especially being stuck in LA traffic, this somehow brings me clarity and helps separate work from home.
  • Pick up your favorite take-out on the way home. Make sure to call ahead!! B/c lets be honest, food always does the trick.
  • Go on a hike. The thought of hiking after a full day in the office or classes may seem daunting but even if it’s for just 20 mins, it’ll mentally do you some good.
  • Stretch– Turn off the lights, burn some candles, get on a yoga mat (I don’t do yoga so can’t recommend that) and play some vibey songs or meditate (can’t do this either)

Recommended songs:

  • Electric (Marian Hill Remix) – Alina Baraz, Khalid, Marian Hill)
  • Fantasy-(Felix Jaehn Remix)- Alina Baraz, Galimatias, Felix Jaehn) or the (Mark Ralph Re-Work) or the (Vices Remix) – basically anything Alina B.
  • Insane – Flume
  • Inside Out- Chainsmokers
  • Light – San Holo (He’s amazinggg)
  • Tennis Court- Lorde
  • Something About You- (Odesza remix)
  • Alright-Jordan Rakei
  • Mask Off-Future (LOL, jk)
  • Do Not Disturb – Drake
  • Let Me Love you- Ariana Grande, Lil Wayne
  • How Did I Get Here – Odesza
  • Back That Azz Up- Juvenile – (jk)
  • Netflix & chillFind a show and watch the hell out of it, preferably complex story lines or reality shows to help you feel better about your life.
  • FaceTime loved ones. God bless my friends and fam for listening to my rants and for feeding me much needed chisme throughout our convos. An instant pick-me-up.
  • Sip on a glass of wine. Just because.
  • PrayWhether you are a believer or not, talking to a higher power, whether that be God or a passed loved-one can be extremely cathartic.
  • Finally, my most guaranteed method…ENJOY MEMES before bed. Get yourself in a feel-good mood before you rest yo’ eyes.

**Whatever the situation may be, remember it is only temporary. As my dad would always say, “there is a solution to everything, besides death.” That being said, I am for sure a work in progress…

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