VALENTINES DAY GIFT GUIDE | 2017

So Valentine’s Day is upon us once again! Two fun facts about me and Valentine’s Day… one I am single, two my job takes me out of the country every year during Valentine’s Day! But I still secretly love this holiday even though I am usually too busy to celebrate it.

Still, I love to send cards and candies to my friends and family as a way to show them that I love them. Here are some of my top gifts to give (or treat your self too) this Valentines Day!

VDAY Gift Guide 2017

Heartstagram Frame | Pink Nikes | Heart Drop EarringsTory Burch Tote | Rose + Stemless Glasses | Monogram PitcherCafe Du Monde Coffee + K-Cups

I am seriously obsessed with Framebridge! I had them frame a photo of my mom and I and it turned out amazing. I love the heartstagram matting and for $39 you cannot beat the quality. Order buy Feb 8th for a Feb 13th delivery! Save $10 off your first framing by using this link.

FullSizeRender

I love the idea of gifting a small taste of the south and Cafe Du Monde is iconic. Especially to a friend that lives somewhere where they do not  know what Mardi Gras is (cough LA). I found some at my local World Market last weekend but am dying to get some K-Cups for my quicker morning fix!

How do you feel about Valentines Day? Yay or Nay?

Shop this post:

TRAVELING FOR BUSINESS

Next week I set off to cold, snowy Berlin for my real life job. At 27 I have spent the last 4 years traveling several times a year to various countries for my job. While all this has sparked a love for travel it has also made me an expert at crossing an ocean for my job, so today I wanted to share my favorite items that get me there stylishly and professionally.

business travel accesories

I am currently coveting this carry on from Mark & Graham. I love the structure, color and fact that this can be considered a personal item. This very well could be my next buisness traveler purchase. Big enough to tote your laptop, in air essentials kit, and a good book! I am currently still using my trusted Lo & Sons OG Bag for my carry-on or a big tote.

TRAVEL WALLET

A travel wallet is a necessity for business travel. You want to stay organized and look professional. I have had the Aspinal of London classic travel wallet for nearly 3 years and I adore it! It keeps me so organized! Alongside this you always need your business cards in a great card holder – I always turn to Kate Spade for these.

I think the biggest keys to business travel is to make sure you have everything you need to do your job. I need to have my hard drive, laptop, trip information, and chargers with me in my carryon just in case my luggage gets lost. From a personal protection stand point my jewelry always gets packed in my carry-on too. I have an older version of the Henri Bendel jewelry case but love this version as well!

Other Favorite Travel Posts:
24 Hours Tourist in Berlin
My Old Long Haul Carry On Guide
Traveling Long Haul for a Race

Weekend Roundup | 1.30.17

So I have thinking about starting my Monday’s off with a weekend roundup. I usually have very eventful weekends here in LA. So let me know what you think and if you enjoy these…

The main things this weekend was working on my dinning room makeover. I had been looking for a new oversized art piece to fill my big wall in the kitchen and I found it at World Market. I saw it online but wanted to see how it looked in person before I bought it, so I went over to the Original Farmer’s Market (by the Grove) to take a peek and it was in my car in about 2 mins with a load of other goodies. Seriously World Market is my kryptonite.

66800_XXX_v1

EATING:
Most of my eating was at home this weekend. But I did get to Juice Crafters to get a morning smoothie. I tried my hand at the Pantages Rent lottery to get a ticket but sadly did not win, so conciliation prize a healthy smoothie. Juice Crafters is right next door to the Pantages and I loved this little location – so LA.

Juice CraftersImage Via Yelp

READING:
Still working my way through Outlander series. Literally Dragon Fly in Amber is so good!

WATCHING:
Catching up on Vikings and Homeland. If you like Game of Thrones esque shows and have not watched Vikings do yourself a favor and get on that. Literally all I want to be is Lagertha when grow up… Also like some serious hair goals in that show!

SHOPPING:
I leave the (now) warm and beautiful LA next weekend for snowy, rainy, cold Berlin. So mainly stocking up for things I need for my trip. But I did pick up a new pair of Diff Eyewear sunglasses from their winter sale. Hoping these make it to me before I leave.

ROSE_2t_pur_1500px_1024x1024

How was your weekend? Let me know if you like these little catch ups in the comments!

Dinning Room Makeover | Saving A Docksta Table

So as you can see I have gotten the design itch. Currently I am re-working my dining area.
My first step to any design challenge is to figure out what I want and what I am drawn too.
Pinterest is the perfect sounding board for this… So I did what every girl would do I started pinning different aesthetics that I like.
You can view my inspiration board here!

DINING DESIGN INSPOAs I do with all my designs I started to look for pattern. My go to color scheme for my entire apartment is varying shades of blue and white. Traditionally I lean towards navy and white, but my living room, kitchen and dining room also incorporate varying shades of aqua and teal. The one thing I kept noticing in my patterns beyond my color scheme was the round tulip table. Guess what guys – I have a round tulip table.

SAVE A DOCKSTA TABLE

The only problem was my Ikea Docksta has seen better days and the table surface has a few scratches. I contemplated just buying another Docksta but figured I could spend that money better elsewhere. One thing about my apartment and design is that I can do it on a budget. After a lengthy web search I found out that Docksta’s generally get scratched up, but then my mother reminded me that any table you use multiple times a day will get wear and tear. So I set out to save my tulip table.

The first thing I did was give it a good scrub. For the table top the usual all-purpose cleaner works great, but acetone can help to get rid of anything sticky. I use my dining room table for sewing and crafting so I had some old glue stuck on mine… acetone took it right off. For the scratches I tried a few different things like paint pens but ultimately found that the permanent chalk marker I had from my craft drawer match perfectly! I did about 3 coats with drying time in between and the top looks so much better!

CHALK MARKER

I also gave some special attention to the base of my table. White obviously can get dirty and mine certainly was. I started again with muli-purpose cleaner, then used Ajax with bleach to whiten it up and finally a Magic Eraser to finish the job!

What can I say I saved my Docksta and $175 – more dinning room makeover fun to come!

Dinning Room Inspiration

It has been super rainy here in Los Angeles over the last few weeks and especially the last few days. While I am thankful for the rain pouring down on our drought stricken land – we SoCal kids have had to stay indoors more than we are used too.

All my added time inside has led to a total Pinterest binge and the desire to re-do my dining area. The thing I love most about my apartment is how light and bright everything is. My aesthetic has always been traditional with a beachy twist.

White Kitchen

I guess my upbringing of living between Florida, Texas and California have influenced my design taste… I love a big farm table, blue and white accessories, fresh flowers, and airy lighting.

seagrass-dining-chairs-light-wood-trestle-table

How amazing are these sea grass dining chairs? These might be too bulky for my apartment but love the idea of incorporating natural fibers into my home.

As much as furniture sets the stage – sometimes it is all about setting the table. I adore this Ralph Lauren blue and white tableware matched with the natural woven placemats.

ralphlaurenhome

Stay tuned to see where my dining area ends up!

Photo Credit One | Two | Three

Prepping for the Star Wars Half Marathon 2017

Hey Guys – so first off HAPPY NEW YEAR! My first race of 2017 is going to be my favorite race weekend of the year – the Star Wars Half Marathon Light Side Weekend. Once again I will be taking on the Rebel Challenge consisting of a 10k followed by a Half Marathon!

Star Wars Half Running

I thought that today I would share some of my most helpful posts and recaps from years back for any of you preparing for the race weekend!!

Prep Posts
Best Post Race Cocktails
Best Pre and Post Race Restaurants
Putting Together a Race Outfit or Costume

2016 Race Recaps
5K and Expo Recap
10K and Meet Ups
Half Marathon Race Recap

This will be my third rebel challenge so if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments! Recaps coming next week!

My Favorite Christmas Songs

I am so happy that 5 Fandom Friday has returned and this month we are going full blown Christmas. This week we are talking about our 5 favorite songs to get us into the Christmas spirit!

favorite-christmas-songs

A little preface as to my favorite songs for this season – one I am a Christian so for me this season is about celebrating the birth of Jesus. Two – I am a choral singer which means Christmas repertoire is near and dear to my heart. It’s not Christmas without Handel or Amy Grant in my dear opinion. Seriously though I cannot recommend Amy Grant’s first Christmas Album and the Trans Siberian Christmas album enough.

If any of these songs are new to you feel free to listen in my Spotify playlist… I will be adding some more of my favorites here!

Five Fandom Friday is hosted by Megan and Kristin – read more about it here.
My past Five Fandom Friday posts can be found under the Nerdiness Dropdown in my header!

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE – YOUR FANCY GAL PAL

We all have one, some (or many) of us are one… the fancy friend! I selected these gifts for the girl who wants her life to look like her instagram feed. So why not help her achieve her goal of style perfection and amazing flat lays with these insta approved gifts!

As with all my gift guides these are all varied prices to help with your holiday gifting needs!

2016-gift-guide-fancy-friend

Ashley Brooke Designs Miss Fancy Pants Mug | Nest Holiday Candle | Celestial Gold Drop Earrings | Pineapple Tumbler |Kate Spade Who Moi Glitter Clutch | Lilly Pulitzer Printed Pajama Pant | Sugarfina Champagne Gummy BearsEssie Hors D’oeuvres Special Effects Nail Polish

Infinity Gauntlet Challenge 2016 Race Recap

If you follow me on social media you might have been a little surprised to see me run 19.3 miles during the runDisney’s Super Hero Half Marathon Weekend. Well a last minute opportunity popped up for me to go out and run… not one race but two – so I dove right in and said sure why not!

infintiy-gauntlet-challenge-recap

My mom was already in town to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Pantages so we rallied and booked probably the last available hotel room in Anaheim for our weekend at Disneyland. See I can totally be spontaneous – (put that on my dating profile).

After the craziness of working 15 days straight I got to escape work a little early on the Friday before the race. We picked up Juli form downtown LA and made out way down to Anaheim pretty early on Friday. Per our usual routine we headed straight to the Expo. We got our bibs and then walked around some. This expo was a little lack luster compared to the Disneyland Half expo (which restored my faith in expos). We did stop for our race expo drink – it’s totally tradition now!
The themed drink for this race weekend was the Dr. Strange’s Elixir with Red Ruby Absolute Vodka, sweet & sour, blue curacao and Sprite.

We had a quick dinner at Tangaroa Terrace before going to our respective hotels and getting ready for the Dr Strange 10K. I have to recommend Tangeroa if you ever find yourself at Disneyland needed to carbload and short on time – we got an amazing meal that was quick and cost efficient.

Dr. Strange 10K

jessica-jones avengers half

Since this race was pretty much as short notice as it gets I didn’t have a lot of time to put together a race costume… but I wanted to have some fun. I completely adore the Netflix original Jessica Jones and as a Marvel babe I decided to dress as the most kick ass lady round. I found some “jeggings” from Target that weren’t completely see though and a scarf from H&M. I had a water bottle in a paper sack to look like a beer but sadly I don’t think people quite got it.

photo-nov-12-4-22-34-pm

 

I really enjoyed the 10K – it seemed like it was the same course as Disneyland which made you run 2 miles before any character photos… great for those who run. It did seem like the runDisney team might of made some timing errors because I was in line to get my photo with Dr Strange, well above the required 16min mile pace and they told us the balloon ladies would be there in 6 minutes… so I had to bale out of that line and run on to the finish. Not a big deal though by any means but I was more ahead of pace than that, even with stopping for characters!

For the 10K I ran my usual 45 secs run to 30 secs walk and did not take any fuel during this race. I did carry a pack of Sports Beans but felt fine and did not need to use them.

Festival of Holidays

festival-of-holidays

After a shower and quick trip to Target (because I only packed one pair of socks) we went to California Adventure to have lunch at the Festival of Holidays booths. Its like a mini Food and Wine Festival celebrating the different foods of the Holiday season. My favorites were the Nosh and Nibbles and Abuelita’s Kitchen! This strangely reflects my life – white, blonde, protestant girl with an affinity for matzo ball soup and tamales.

After killing time celebrating all things Christmas in DCA we met up for our super early dinner reservation at Wine Country Trattoria – our favorite place to carb load. With the sun going down early we were all ready to turn in pretty early.

Avengers Half Marathon

avengers-half-running

It was an early morning for the half… I woke up at 3:45am to get to the shuttle and the start. I am not going to lie I was a bit nervous about running the half. I have been training for Light Side (in January) not a challenge in November…but my mother reminded me that I have run halfs on way less training. So I decided that I would just go with and see how I felt. For this race I decided to not worry about a costume and just rocked my new 501st SoCal Garrison tank and my favorite red Sparkle Athletic skirt with Mudbuster shorts underneath.

photo-nov-13-6-39-28-am

It actually went surprisingly well! I started with my usual 45:30 intervals and figured I would adjust as needed. The only adjustments I did were in between character stops I just started running on whatever interval I was on. Once we got out of the parks I felt surprisingly strong. After we got out of Angels stadium I knew this was going well. Mile 9 and 10 came so quickly that I knew I was finishing this challenge strong.

dr-strange-at-the-avengers-half

Mile 11 came time for some Hamilton and a cruz to the finish! Any one else rocking “My Shot” in their playlist?

Like I said we were done before I knew it! I was surprised and pleased with my performance… guess my training has paid off and I am even more pumped for Star Wars in January!

Post Race Brunch

During the Expo we saw that Steakhouse 55 was having extended brunch hours for race weekend. Since we did not have a lot of planning time we did not make dining reservations but were able to snag a table here. Can I say (although maybe I shouldn’t) this is the best kept secret at Disneyland!?!

photo-nov-13-12-29-57-pm

Seriously and amazing brunch at an excellent price. They had some specials since it was a race weekend and we enjoyed mimosas to celebrate. I will be a repeat customer and highly recommend this for the next time you need a post race brunch option.

After a few castle pics and watching the Christmas parade we called it a day and headed back to LA but this was an amazing and EPIC Super Hero Half Weekend! Next up Star Wars!!

 

Holiday Gift Guide – For Your Workout Partner

First off – thank you all for bearing with my lack of posts while my real life job took over for a bit…
I found a moment this weekend to take down all of my Halloween decor and it was a bit bare so I decided to start decorating for Christmas. I am not the kind of person to skip holidays but it feels like time is flying and I want to embrace the Christmas season as long as I can!

With that I am so excited to start my gift guides for this year! Over the next two weeks I will be sharing my gift suggestions for the nerds in your life, girly girls, moms, and some cute stocking stuffers.

I thought I would start off with one of the main aspects of this blog – gifts your your workout partner or any girl in your life who loves to live an active lifestyle! This gift guide is for runners, Soul Cycle addicts, barre flies, and #TIU girls alike! What is better than gifting a little health this holiday season!

2016-workout-gift-guide

Pinch Provisions Fitness Kit | #TeamSparkle Tank | Momentum Jewelry Motivate WrapsRose Gold Nike Air Max Theas | Gold Metallic Swell Bottle | Garmin Vívoactive | Tone It Up Snapback | Sweaty Betty Black Infinity Sports Bra | IT’S ALL GOOD: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great

Who are you gifting for this year?