Hey there. It’s been a while. I haven’t truly updated this blog since August. Since then, Wesley and I had a few adventures. Although it’s nearly the end of the year, I thought I would do a recap of the last few months. By the beginning of next year, I am hoping to do a year recap of 2017.
September: Arizona Trip – Tonto National Monument & Saguaro National Park
During the Labor Day weekend, Wesley and I went to Arizona to check out Tonto National Monument and Saguaro National Park. We left Southern California early Saturday morning to make it to Tonto National Monument at a decent hour. We arrived about 6-7 hours later around 12 PM. When we arrived it was about 112 degrees, but it didn’t feel that hot. We decided to hike the short walk up to the cliff dwelling. We took our time going up the short incline and enjoyed the views and vistas of the area. There were huge cacti surrounding the area. This national monument is very small, but so amazing. I realized when we arrived that sometimes the smallest national parks/national monuments are the most special. Since there weren’t that many people at this monument you got to experience the place entirely. You got to truly reflect the history of the monument. Also, you could talk to rangers one on one and ask questions you might not be able to ask when there are a lot of people in the parks.
The next day we went to explore Saguaro National Park. The national park is split into to two one being East and the other side being the West Side. Both parks have driving trails that take you into the heart of the park and give you great views of the cacti and the landscapes. This has to be one of my favorite parks because of the calm that the park gave me. I loved being surrounded by the giant cacti and absorbing myself in the environment.
October: Big Bear and Oktoberfest
In mid October a group of our friends headed up to Big Bear for Oktoberfest. Wesley and I left for Big Bear Friday afternoon. Usually it would take us about and 1 and a half hours to get there but, traffic was so bad it took us about 3 and a half hours to get up to the mountains. We finally arrived and made ourselves at home at our cabin. Since traffic took so long, we were too tired to go out for dinner and decided to order some good ol’ pizza. Later that night, some of our other friends arrived. The next day the rest of our friends arrived and we headed out to Oktoberfest at the convention center. Oktoberfest up in Big Bear is small, but full of a lot of spirit. After we got our drinks, we decided to dance the night away with the live band in the beer hall. It was so much fun! We all hadn’t been together for a while and it was great to catch up with everyone for the weekend.
About a month ago, Wesley and I went to Arizona to explore Tonto National Monument and Saguaro National Park. I made a short video of our short time out there. Enjoy!!
August was a little uneventful, although Wesley and I did watch the Hogwarts light show at Universal Studios with our friends… and it was amazing… we didn’t get around to do much during the month. With work and other personal obligations, we ended up staying at home for most of the month. So, instead of doing a monthly recap of what we did, I thought I do a current favorites of some of the things I’ve been currently loving.
- NYX Stay Matte Powder Foundation – I picked this powder up a while ago on a whim because one weekend I forgot all my make up at work (I do my make up at work) and this was a great find. I have really oily skin and this helps keep me matte for the most part. Although I have to reapply, it doesn’t look cakey, but natural.
- Real Techniques Face Brush – I love dense brushes for liquid foundation. I wear liquid foundation everytime I do my make up, even if it is minimal make up. This brush help spread the foundation evenly and consistently without streaks. Also, these line of brushes are so affordable and are great quality. This brush holds up with weekly cleanings and it doesn’t shed.
- NYX HD Concealer – I bought this concealer the same weekend that I bought the powder foundation. I have heard a lot about this product and was curious about it. I really like this product because it’s not too liquid, it has great coverage, and blends in seamlessly into my skin.
- Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade – I have a weird thing about my eyebrows. Most people say that I don’t need to fill them in, but I always feel the need to have them done. For a while, I was a little hesitant to buy this product because of the price point ($18), but one day I decided to bite the bullet and buy it. I have no regrets. Although you need a light hand to apply this pomade, it is amazing. It doesn’t move and it keeps your hairs in place. I absolutely love it.
- Tarte Tartelette Palette – My best friend got me this palette and it is so good! The texture of the powders are so smooth and not chalky at all and they blend so well. The palette consist of neutral colors so it can go with almost any occasion.
- Aquaphor – This is an oldie, but a goodie. Growing up I had severe eczema on my face and legs. This product helped keep my flare ups down and under control. Although my severe eczema has gone away, I occasionally get flare ups on my arms and neck especially in hot weather, so recently I have been grabbing for this again. It helps control my skin with cracking and helps keeps it hydrated so it can heal properly. (TMI – sorry!)
Podcast Favorite – Losing 100lbs with Phit-N-Phat – Yes, the name of this podcast is ridiculous, but I have been really trying to get into a healthy mindset about my body and mind. I figure, if I can listen to positive things about healthy eating and healthy lifestyle I too can be on the right track to a healthier life (kind of like “fake it, till you make it” mind set). I didn’t think I would like this podcast because the host, Corinne, is way over the top with her southern accent and her persona, but I’ve been really liking the “tough love” that she gives. She lost 100lbs over a the course of a few years and she shares her experiences and gives her tips on how she got in mindset to loose weight and how to do it right. She also calls out all of the excuses to everyone of us tells ourselves on why we can’t loose weight. Love this podcast.
Music – I have fallen back into listening to 30 Seconds to Mars. Growing up I loved their music and I still do, but when they released their newest single “Walk on Water” I instantly was hooked back on to their music.
Thanks for reading my current favorites! Until next time! 😉
July is coming to an end and it was a particularly calm month in comparison to May and June. July was filled with a relaxing and kind of catching our breath from the previous months. So we didn’t do anything too crazy this month and stayed locally in Southern California.
Independence Day: So my sister and her husband were in town for their friend’s wedding and stayed for the 4th of July weekend. Our family had a very chill Independence Day party. Family and family friends joined us at my parent’s house for a bbq and swimming! We spent the day just lounging in the pool and enjoying each other’s company. It was a very relaxing weekend and I was so happy that my sister and her husband were able to come and spend some time with us.
Universal Studios: Our friend’s Brandon and Anneka invited us to spend the day at Universal Studios with them. It was all of our first time visiting the Harry Potter portion at Universal. We arrived super early to try and avoid the long lines and the HEAT. When we first arrived we went straight to the Harry Potter part of the park and rode both rides. They were both super fun! And I love how interactive everything was within that portion of the park. We also went into every store to see what fun things they had. When we got there you really feel like you’re in Hogsmeade and fully immersed in the environment. I loved every minute of it. After we got our frozen Butter Beers we decided to explore the rest of the park. We went on almost all of the rides including the Back Lot Tour (a must!), Jurassic Park, The Mummy, Transformers, and the Simpson’s ride. Since we had an early start to the day, we headed home before the evening and got KBBQ for dinner. Also we have annual passes to the park so we may go again in the near future! Although it was super hot at the park, it was a fun day out!
Work, work, work, work, work… and chill: The rest of the month was spent working and relaxing. Work was a little hectic this month for me. It’s our “busy season” right now and we had to go around and do some presentations for work and put together some training events as well. Also, we stayed in for the rest of the weekends in July. Also, for me personally, I wanted to get back into my routine of meal prepping for the week and hitting the gym again a few times during the work week. Since May and June were a little crazy, I really let go and didn’t get to stick to my “healthy-ish eating” or gym habits, but hopefully I can get back on track. Also, my parents, Wesley, and I headed out to Joshua Tree to look at some venues for our wedding next year. I don’t want to give out too much details, but we saw some promising venues and wanted to give my parents a quick introduction to Joshua Tree since they have never been.
All in all, that was my July. I’m not really sure what’s in store in for August, but I’m guessing it may be similar to August… which I am totally OK with. Thanks for reading!
May and June flew by so fast and so many things happened within the last 2 months. The last two months were filled with weddings, adventure, and travel.
Sister’s Wedding & New York: My sister got married in mid-May in rural Pennsylvania. Wesley, my cousin Jillian, and I took a red eye flight from Los Angeles to New York City. We arrived in the city in the early morning and headed out to Pennsylvania. We arrived in country side in the afternoon and met up with my sister at the wedding venue. Since I was Maid of Honor, I had a day planned out with my sister and the rest of the bridal party. We got our nails done and I had rented out a home close by the venue. At night we went out to dinner at a cute restaurant that served country comfort food and had a great selection of drinks! Later that night, I had prepared some games for us girls to play and it was a lot of fun! We drank, danced, and had a great time.
The next day we headed back to the venue to help set up all of the decorations for the Saturday wedding festivities. The bridal party helped put together the flower arrangements for the tables and bouquets. At first, I was really intimidated, but they turned out great and we all had a lot of fun. Later that night more guest arrived and we had a group dinner where the parents gave touching and moving speeches. We capped off the night with some games of big jenga, ping pong, and cornhole.
The day of the wedding started off great. We finished off with the decoration and clean up from the night before. My sister and some of her other bridesmaids got her hair done. We all did our make up together and took pictures with her photographer. The time for all of us to walk down the isle. The ceremony was short and sweet and very romantic. After, we took pictures and had a delicious BBQ dinner. Finally, it was time for me to deliver my speech and it went off perfectly! We ended the night with dancing and having a great time! The wedding was amazing and a lot of fun! I’m so happy for my sister and her husband!
The next day, my cousin, Wesley, and I headed back to New York to spend the day exploring and eating pizza! It had been a few years since me or my cousin had been back to New York and it was the first time Wesley had been to the city. We had dinner and had New York pizza which was delicious! We walked around the city and saw Time Square, Rockerfeller Center, Radio City Hall, and had desserts at Magnolia Bakery. The next day we headed to the World Trade Center Memorial and explored the Battery Park area of lower Manhattan and later that day we headed back to Los Angeles. Although our trip to the east coast was quick it was definitely filled with life long memories that we will all cherish forever.
Kern River Rafting: Wesley and I were invited to go camping and rafting over Memorial Day weekend. We met up with our friends Friday night and set up camp at our first campsite. The next morning we moved to another campsite. This place was awesome! They had great showers and bathrooms! I’m easily amused… can’t you tell. The rest of the day we spent watching the Kern River and relaxing. On Sunday, we prepared ourselves for a few hours of rafting. At first, I was a little scared, but very excited. In the mid afternoon we were off to our adventure. That weekend, the water was at 6,000 CFS, which is apparently really high. The rapids were a bit rough, but it added to experience. We were tossed around a little bit, but with our amazing guide we made it out unhurt and alive. It was a great adventure and we were all glad we made it safe. I’m so glad that our friends invited us out and we got to do another first with them.
United Kingdom | London, Whichurch, and Endiburgh
In early June, Wesley and I were off to London. We headed to the United Kingdom for my cousin’s wedding and to take a little vacation as well. We landed in London late Saturday night and we stayed in the Camden neighborhood through Airbnb. Our host were amazing and we stayed in the cutest little studio flat. Everything in the flat was just perfect. On Sunday, we spent the day exploring London. It was the first time Wesley had been to the UK, but it was the third time that I had gone and I wanted to plan the perfect time for him out in London. During our first official day, we went to see Buckingham Palace. It was nice because they had closed off the “Mall” area leading up to the palace to cars and were able to walk in the street. It was nice because the streets were lined with the union jack, It just added to the atmosphere. Next we headed towards to Churchill War Room and walked near the the River Thames and enjoyed the scenery of Big Ben, Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. We ended the night with a beautiful sunset and the Millennium Eye.
The next day, we started off visiting Westminster Abbey and toured ourselves around the historic place. After, we headed towards Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. We spent a few hours exploring the area and learned of the rich history of the those establishments. We ended up walking along the River Thames down near the Millennium Bridge towards Saint Paul’s cathedral. At night we decided to explore the Camden neighborhood and have fish and chips. It was nice because it was walking distance to our flat.
On Tuesday, we joined a bus tour to Stonehenge and the city of Bath. We arrived at Stonehenge first and we were greeted with beautiful warm weather. We got explore the area for almost 2 hours. Neither of us had been there and we were so happy to explore it together. After we explored Stonehenge, we headed towards Bath and got to explore the old Roman Baths. After we had lunch and walked around the old city. The city was very romantic and I just wish we were able to spend more time exploring. We headed back to London and had a low key dinner at Nandos! (Which I loved, but tasted like El Pollo Loco… which I am not putting down!)
Wednesday we spent the morning at the British Museum. We both like museums but especially museums that have sculptures and mummys! After spending the morning viewing exhibits we decided to explore Oxford street and spend the rest of the day doing some light shopping. At night we decided to have dinner near the River Thames and walked to Tower Bridge and watched a sunset with London as the background. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to end our stay in London.
The next day, we headed up to Manchester to meet up with my relatives. After resting for a few hours, my cousin and his wife took Wesley and I out to dinner and drinks in Manchester. The next day we headed out to the English country side to spend the weekend celebrating my cousin’s wedding. The venue where my cousin go married was so beautiful. She got married near Dearford Lake out near Wales. It was a romantic setting and ceremony. We spent the rest of the night of the wedding enjoying music, food, and company with my family. We stayed over night and stayed in nice canvas tents. Now we can check off the box that we camped in the UK. The next day we headed back to the Manchester area and took it easy for the night. On our last day of our UK trip, we decided to head up Edinburgh in Scotland. We took the train up to the city and stayed there for the day. We walked up and down the Royal Mile and admired the achitecture of the city. We spent a few hours a the National Scotland Museum. After we decided to have lunch along the Royal Mile and just take our time through the city. Before we knew it, we were heading back to Manchester.
And just like that, our trip to the UK was over. This trip was a great getaway for the both of us and I am so thankful for my relatives for taking amazing care of Wesley and I.
Wesley and I went to the United Kingdom for my cousin’s wedding and we visited London and Edinburgh during our stay. Enjoy our short video!
April has come and gone in a flash! April was filled with catching up with an old friend and exploring the desert with some familiar faces. Keep reading to see what Wesley and I were up to during some of the weekends in April.
Denver, Colorado: In early April, I went to go visit my best friend who recently moved to Denver for school. I was so excited to see her because the last time we saw each other was during Christmas time. When I was planning my trip out to see her, I made no real plans but to just hang out with her. Although, I did want to see the Red Rock Amphitheater and that was it. The first day that I got there we hung out at her apartment and caught up and at night we went out to dinner at a local restaurant. The next day we took our time to go out to the Red Rock Amphitheater and took in the sites and views from the theater. We then headed out to the Celestial Seasonings tea factory and took a tour of the factory. It was pretty cool to see how to the tea was made and how it was packaged. After, we headed over to Boulder Colorado to see what the cute and quaint town had to offer. We had lunch at the cutest tea lounge I’ve ever been to and walked around the downtown area. During my last day, we headed to downtown Denver and spent some time at the Botanic Gardens. The gardens were so beautiful and all of the flowers were in bloom. Later that night I headed back home to Los Angeles. It was a quick weekend trip out to see my best friend. All I wanted to do out there was to spend time with her and to catch up with her, which we did! Hopefully in the near future I could go out to see her again!
Mojave Camping: Yes, we went camping… again! I’m not sorry! WE LOVE CAMPING! Anyways, we headed out to the Mojave early Saturday morning to meet our friends who had already been camping since the night before on Friday. When we arrived, it was a huge campsite! There were about 40 people in our group, which is the largest group I’ve ever camped with. Also, there were a lot of rattle snakes in the camp site! 😦 Thankfully, we had a few brave souls who were willing to take of them. During day, a small group of us went out to off road and to explore the desert. While out, we explored a few caves and small and deserted homes. My favorite cave was one that was dug out by ONE MAN and took him 38 years to complete. We went through the cave and at the end of the cave trail was a beautiful view of the valley. At night, the camp organizers fed us with Hawaiian BBQ and Korean BBQ… it was so amazing and so tasty! Everyone at the camp site were so gracious and so nice. Although we were only out there for one night, it was so a lot of fun to meet new people to explore a new area.
Desert X – Palm Desert: At the end of the month, our camping buddies joined Wesley and I to the Palm Desert to check out the last day of the Desert X installations. I had been wanting to check out the art for a while, but of course, I wait the last minute to actually plan to go. Desert X was a really fun experienced. All of the art is scattered through out the Palm Desert from Coachelle Valley to Indio to Palm Springs and so on. The organizers of Desert X only provide a coordinates of where the art is located. It was kind of like a scavenger hunt. We checked out most of the art, but because it was the last day… there were a lot of people! But, I had expected it already. My favorite installation was the Mirage house. Its was a house covered in mirrors, both inside and out. It gave a pretty cool effect and looked like the house wasn’t really there. We took our time looking at the art and enjoyed ourselves during our time out in the desert. I’m really glad that we were all able to go out together and see the art before they were gone.
April was fun month of exploring and catching up with old friends and making new friends. We are already well into May and I have some excited things that are coming up. Both May and June are going to be filled with some travel and weddings! So I’m excited to share those at the end of month. Thanks for reading… Till next time 🙂