Mission Inn + 12 Things

12.11.2018


1. My mom treated my sister and I to a mini stay at the Mission Inn Hotel. It was the perfect way to begin the holiday spirit.

2. This gray cardigan is my newest piece for the winter. It is so long on me, but I really love the fit.

3. Seriously craving this chocolate cake I ate at the garden restaurant, because it was a chocolate lovers dream.

4. Vlogmas is just the best time of the year for a YouTube follower. I Covet Thee is just killing it this year.

5. Did you hear that Friends was suppose to be taken off Netflix come the first of the year? My sister and I were so sad. But, apparently Netflix took it back. Our Holiday Armadillo has saved us, haha.

6. I packed two scarfs for this trip, and it made me feel like I was in high school again. They were my go-to staple in the winter, but it's been years since I've pulled them out to wear. Let's just say, I am officially obsessed now.


7. My Christmas tree has a theme, Paris! All my ornaments are Eiffel towers, coffee, crowns, or really anything that screams France. I found a store that had an entire tree filled with ornaments with my theme. I bought like five, because they were so unique! 

8. I desperately wish I could drink coffee and never have a migraine. Oh well, I suppose Coffee Bean's hot chocolate will have to do. 

9. Two weeks left of this fall semester and I can't wait for it to end. 

10. Our friends joined us on this getaway, and I was re-introduced to the board game Clue. I want to buy it now, haha. 

11. Right now I'm putting together a roundup of the best blog posts of 2018. I'm loving the way it's turning out. 

12. The Mission Inn was such a special time. Time away to relax and be with my people was so needed. 

I Wrote A Memoir & Here's Why You Should Too

11.26.2018


f you have been following my blog for a while, than you'd know that I talk a lot about journaling. Expressing my feeling through the art of pen to paper is just healing for my mental health. I'm that girl who has kept a diary since first grade. They are in a box under my bed, and the first thing I'd reach for if there was a fire. Well, during my junior year of college, I took an English course called Modern Grammar. The concept of the entire course was to write your own personal memoir in order to learn proper modern grammar.

It took an entire semester to write nearly 35 pages of my life, starting from my earliest memory. To be honest, it was the hardest yet fulfilling project I've ever completed. And even though I say 'completed,' this is a piece of work that I hope to always be adding to. I cannot begin to explain the motions I went through while drafting my memoir, but as a whole it was an experience that I believe everyone should feel once in their life.


Created personal growth. 
Of course, you can not write about your life without learning a piece of who you are. This is a given. It is the reason why I encourage you to spend time writing even a little bit about something in your life. For me, it was eye-opening to see that I am not that different than my 5-year-old self.

Improved my writing habits.
By writing 'chapters' in my memoir, I wrote a lot of content to fill the pages. Well, I have never been so self conscience of the structure of all my sentences. As an English major, this concept challenged my writing in the best way possible.

Write it down for memory.
Keeping a journal or sharing photos daily on social media is not the same as writing a memoir. The way you can capture memories and feelings is more in-depth and personal. I love that I have stories from my childhood, personal struggles, and an overall timeline of my family.

You realize what means the most to you. 
When writing and answering certain prompts, it stretches your memory and feelings like never before. While choosing how to answer my prompts in class, it was neat to see how I focused on all the things that mattered most in my life.

      
                  

Side tip: choose a theme in your life that has been constant. It can be a personal trait, friendship, personal struggle, or true passion. Then, allow your creative thoughts and past memories reflect only that theme throughout your memoir. This will help the flow and overall layout while writing! Here are some prompts to spark some ideas...

1. Write about your earliest memory.
2. Use present tense.
3. Describe a photograph.
4. Free write the last fifteen years of your life in fifteen minutes.
5. Use your favorite song for a past story.
6. Talk about a childhood location.
7. Choose a personal experience.
8. Write your own obituary.

Pumpkin Spice

11.20.2018


ello everyone! I am so excited to share my latest outfit photos, as I have been obsessed with this plaid top. I have recently discovered my love for Lucky Brand, as it fits my style so well. A touch of causal yet classy staple pieces is what I'm all about. I took these photos in the wine country, and I loved how they turned out. Well, one wouldn't exactly know that by the location, but I found this white barn and loved it. 

To be honest, I have been very uninspired with my blog. Exploring new places is what sparks my creativity. And when I've lived 12 years in the same town, it is rare to find new locations to shoot, unless I'm willing to drive over an hour to San Diego or Orange County. So, hence my excitement!! Where do you go to gain inspiration? 

Self Care | The Heart Of It

11.15.2018


elf care has honestly become such a trendy word. So much so, I believe it has lost it's meaning and purpose all together. Yet, lately in my life it has been such an important one for me to recognize and practice. I am not talking about a spa day, watching a special movie, or spending time with my girlfriends. No, that would fall under "me-time." I'm talking about self care. Things that I must do for myself, even when it's difficult.

One way I can do this for myself is by saying the word no. I am sure you know what it's like to have too much piled up in your weekly schedule. It is exhausting. Sometimes it is nice to busy, constantly on the go. That way I don't have to focus on myself. But after a while, nothing is more desired than saying the word no.

I struggle with this concept, because saying no has always meant a lack of productivity. And as a three on the Enneagram test (the achiever), it is how I gain acceptance.

But, I am slowly learning how unhealthy it is to constantly worry about my list of achievements. Every season is a reflection of something new, such as growth, rest, or creation. Well, mine right now is a mixture of all three. In order to not lose myself in this process, an understanding of true self care is needed more than ever. After all, how can I be accepted by others if I haven't taken the time to truly accept myself?

You see, saying no means saying yes to myself.

Saying yes to myself more often means listening to my body and mental health, as that is the essence of self care. Indulge in self care in such a way that it creates personal growth in a more powerful and deeper way, than what any bubble bath could do.


 p.s. this is my 500th post published on the blog! Thank you for your support all these years by reading A Beautiful Heart. 

My Holy Grail Makeup Palettes

11.10.2018


akeup is truly my favorite thing to purchase. Now, I don't wear anything but mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow, so my wishlist or knowledge on other products are slim. I've never been one to use foundation or even lipstick for that matter. So, my eyeshadow palette collection has grown immensely over the years. When I was thirteen, first wearing makeup, I only purchased single powdered eyeshadow from BareMinerals. Then I discovered the beauty of palettes. I love how easy they are to use, plus travel with.

For today's post, I thought it would be fun to introduce my collection through the perfect palette tag!


Favorite "Naked" palette?
Naked2 has some beautiful glitter shadows. I love that it has a wide range of neutrals and pinks! 

Best packaging
The very first Naked palette is so beautiful with it's velvet packaging!

Best color names
The Naked Smokey palette has a few fun names, like whisky, high, & dirty-sweet.

Most versatile
BareMinerals is the brand I go-to the most for a classy eye look. This palette is a dream and the large mirror is like any other.

Least used
I was so excited over the Naked Heat palette, but once I tried to play around with it, the colors are very pigmented. I feel very intimidated while using these colors.

Biggest regret
Honestly, I don't have one! Sorry.

Best for traveling
Mac has always been on my list, and I just purchased my first palette from this brand! I love it so much. It's small, best for travel, and has 9 different colors. The pigment is beautiful.

Most used
BareMinerals has beautiful compact palettes, and this one was a favorite for a long time. I've even hit pan!

Wishlist palette 
Ahh, I just saw this new palette on Urban Decay's site! Isn't this gorgeous? I love those rich pinks! The name for the palette is perfect, cherry!

Notes To My Younger Self

11.06.2018


his little type of post is one I've seen going around, and I couldn't help thinking about all the things I could tell my younger self. Hence, today's blog article. Looking back, I don't regret many things. They have made me who I am. But, of course there are always a few things I wish I would have known to save me the trouble or heartache. I couldn't really write myself an entire note, rather a few things I've since learned along the way. What type of things would say like to tell your younger self? 


1. // Just because someone pays attention to you, doesn't mean they genuinely care about you. Not everyone has great intentions. So, don't always wear your heart on your sleeve. Let the most important people discover who you are.

2. // Don't quit piano. I know voice was the priority, but nothing felt so right once you learned to play those jazz songs.

3. // Journal through the hard stuff. As easy as it is to let time pass in order to get through a rough patch, grab a pen and write. It's better to let go than to stuff it deep down inside.

4. // Give yourself permission to do nothing. You don't always have to have a resume filled with accomplishments. Learn to do nothing of significant importance, and rest in where you are.

5. // Quality over quantity, always. Remember that sunflower tank top from O'Neil that ripped after one wear? Stop spending money on such cheap quality only, because it is brand clothing.

6. // You were cuter than you once thought. Embrace who you are, because you cannot be anyone else, without staying true to yourself. So, stop worrying about size numbers. They don't mean anything when it comes to worth.

7. // Say yes more often. Don't let the opinions of others keep you from trying new things.

Life Lately

11.02.2018


kay, so it's been a hot minute since I've put out a meaningful blog post (in my opinion). I haven't been absent, but I've been trying to not hit publish for quantity, only quality. So, to get the ball rolling I figured it was time for an update in my life happenings. October is over and that makes me so sad, because I've spent most of this month in bed. I came down with the hand-foot-virus and it has been dreadful. Sleeping, crying, watching Gilmore Girls, drinking lots of smoothies, and wishing to be well again has been my daily routine for three weeks now. I truly cannot believe how bad these sores broke out all over my body, hence the lack of photos of me anywhere!

Waiting for these sores to vanish is like watching paint dry. Ugh, being sick is the worst, however, I must admit it has been an eye-opener. It is amazing that the little things I take for granted, like being able to go to work, workout, and curl my hair, were things I use to complain about doing on the daily. Plus, I know I have it so easy compared to others, and my compassion level is now higher than before! Thankfully, I am on the mend and back to work!


Watching: I finished the entire season of Friends. I know I'm like a decade late, but this show is hilarious. Do you have a favorite character? Joey is mine. His "acting" voice is just the best. But, I have to admit I can't stand Monica. Her cleaning phobia drives me insane, and I could never be that competitive. I do love her and Chandler together so I guess it's all fine in the end, haha.

Drinking: I've recently discovered chocolate milk from Starbucks. Lame, I know. But, with whipped cream on top it's delicious.

Looking Forward To: Honestly, I am longing for a photoshoot like no other. This season is my favorite and the golden light with the autumn colors are calling my name.


Listening To: A new podcast I've been listening to is Pretty Basic. It's with two YouTubers I love, Alisha and Remi. It's super cute and I like hearing their more candid thoughts. Do you have a favorite podcast?

Favorite Fall Essential: A candle (I bet you saw that coming). I just bought cinnamon donut by Yankee, it's incredible.

Needing To: Be more organized. I am so tired of the clutter. Why is this so difficult to keep up with? I try and then weeks later things are back to the way they were.

3 Reasons Why I Keep A Travel Journal

10.19.2018


ove traveling and probably cannot say that enough! I found this travel journal at Anthropology a few years ago, and it was so fun to fill out. I'll use it in a way to remember my favorite go-to places or bucket-list ventures. I've always been a huge advocate for putting thoughts to paper, so why not do so while exploring? You can become really creative and add photos or little souvenirs such as plane tickets, travel map, or receipts. It can become anything you desire, really. Here are three simple reasons why I try to always jot down a few things while traveling.




1. Collection of memories. // Traveling is when I'm most nostalgic. It is when I have the opportunities to try new things and dare to venture out of my comfort zone. I love looking back and reading all the special times I had in different environments.


2. Tool of self discovery. // Experiencing new cultures is so eye opening. I always like to see which ones I could call home. Writing down my loves and dislikes wherever I travel allows me to learn more about myself.


3. Sparks creativity. // Keeping a bucket list is so fun for me mostly, because it is full of my dream travel destinations. Well, this is the place where I keep such dreams of mine!

Autumn Intentions

10.03.2018


utumn is my favorite season, and it makes me feel so happy. It is the one season where I allow myself to rest. To feel grounded, and focus on the little areas of my life. It is also the time where I have a lot to prepare for...teachers to shadow, graduate school to apply for, and study for my CBEST test. Yet, the days seem to already be getting shorter, as the sun goes down around 7pm instead of 8:30pm. And come a few more weeks it will be sunset around 5pm. This makes my days go by quicker, leaving me without much time to be productive, because my brain shuts off at night.

So, since this is my favorite time of the year, I am needing to view it in a different way than I have before. I'm all for those caramel apples, chunky knit sweaters, and pumpkin candles, but I need to concentrate on more than just what Starbucks offers for Autumn. Here are seven ways I'm hoping to treat my fall season.


1. Have a spa day. // Perhaps I need to write up a post soon about my struggle of self care, but it is something that I've been working on. I need to take care of my body in a positive way. What better way than to treat myself to a pumpkin facial and manicure?!

2. Read one book for pleasure. // I cannot tell you much reading I have to do on the daily, because I am an English major. A heavy based literature course is not my favorite, as it takes the joy out of reading. I find myself reading for answers, important sentences to highlight, and thesis concepts. So, I want to find one novel to get lost in. Any recommendations?

3. Budget wisely. // This is the time I want to go crazy on everything fall appropriate, but I have so many goals I need to stay on track for.

4. Tackle one autumn inspired bucket list. // I'm not sure where or what yet, but I want to have an afternoon that screams fall. If it's a photoshoot, movies at night, or bake pumpkin bread than so be it!

5. Be more kind to my body. // The weather is slowly getting more crisp in the mornings, and I need to take that as a sign to go walking. For a while it became my source for every emotion, and it would be wonderful to get back in that familiar routine.

6. Just chill. // With everything going on, I want to take some time and just chill. It is okay to have those nights when all I do is watch Netflix and don't do laundry. Just enjoy some quiet moments.

7. Blog more often. // We all have those up and down moments with our blogs, I think, and it's rough. I am on the verge of literally having no content ideas. Anyone want to help a girl out? Anyways, I want to use this season and space to be intentional. I am not going to post just to "post." Yet, at the same time I really want to be creative!!

How To Drink More Water

9.24.2018


rinking water is so difficult for me. If I don't make a large ice water in the morning, I find myself without any sips at 2pm in the day. I've always preferred a cup of soda or juice, so that doesn't help either. So, I've had to really figure out how to help myself in this department.

I always know when I do horrible with my water in-take, because I will have migraines.
But as soon as I began to remind myself to drink water, the headaches and low level of energy left immediately. I felt refreshed, and able to concentrate on my homework and new environment. So since this is a goal of mine to keep track of, I thought i'd share a few tips on how you too can drink more water!


1. Pick up a cute water bottle: 
This helps me drink water! A cute water bottle, makes me want to bring it everywhere with me. It's also easier than a bottled water, because I find they usually don't stay cold for very long, then they sweat and my notebooks get damp inside my backpack. I would recommend finding one that has stainless steal inside the cup, because my few ice cubes will last longer than 24 hours...it's the best thing ever!

2. Substitute water for one meal: 
I love this method! For dinner I've been substituting my teas for a glass of water. I find this helps with the way I feel after dinner so late at night, not being so full and heavy.

3. Set a goal: 
For myself my goal is to drink up to five water bottles a day! In the morning I should easily have one bottle, one with lunch, and a few glasses with dinner!

4. Make it a routine: 
It's hard to remember and it takes time to constantly refill my hydro during the day. But, keeping it apart of my morning routine has helped.

5. Use an app tracker: 
Okay so now that you know your goal, and have started a routine it's always helpful to have a reminder throughout the busy parts of the day. I have this app and it alerts me in the morning and afternoon to drink water! I love this because my busy days at work, I need to be aware of consuming water. Check out this app here. 

My Orange County Address Book

9.17.2018


hen I was attending Vanguard University last year, I had the best time exploring Orange County. There is SO much to do, and everything is so close by. Seriously, I could add so much more in my address book, so a small list is below linked with their website, or my Instagram photo from my visit.

I pulled quite a few places that cater to all cities in OC, such as Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and Laguna Beach! Orange County has so many trendy coffee houses, healthy restaurants, large shopping malls with expensive brands, and gorgeous beaches. It has to be said that my favorite beach is Newport, I just felt so at peace there.

You've probably seen a few of my past blog posts when I traveled certain areas, and I had to include them all together. This isn't a very extensive guide, but their my perfect keepsakes for when I travel to OC at any time. Do you have any favorite hangouts in the OC area? Share below, I love exploring new spots.








COFFEE: 
Milk & Honey

             
                 

This place has the best mango iced tea! Like seriously, I wish this spot was in my hometown. Plus, it's absolutely adorable from out front. The only thing to watch out for is limited seating, and barely any parking. But, of course it depends on the time of the day in Orange County that makes those things a problem!












                         



Okay, I love this place so much! They have a cute coffee shop and many one of a kind shops. Because this is in Newport Beach, the shops tends to be on the pricey side, but it's still fun. There are also restaurants here too, which overlook the harbor!  I did a photoshoot here with my girlfriends, and it was the perfect mix of trendy meets classy with all the white and black strips everywhere. 









BEACH:

Heisler Park

Heisler Park is the perfect place to relax for the afternoon, or to catch a sunset. It was on my bucket-list, because of the beautiful cliffs, and they did not disappoint. But, I must warn you that on the weekend you'll be circling around the block (many times) for parking. I guess I should just state now that it is a part of the OC culture. Oh, and there are tons of benches and grass areas to enjoy the view from above, without being on the sand.





375 Cliff Dr, Laguna Beach 




EAT:
Sidecar Donuts & Coffee 





If you want to find a unique flavored donut, than this is your place!! Inside is so Instagram worthy, (i.e. my photo) which is why I visited, haha. That's something I love about Orange County. They offer so many local businesses to support, one's you cannot find anywhere else. They also have great coffee and black iced tea! 







SHOP: 
Pacific City 



Pacific city in Huntington Beach is seriously my favorite place in OC. All of my favorite stores such as Free People, Irene's Story, & Francesca's. Plus, a Lemonade restaurant is there. I did a photoshoot here with some friends, and it was so easy. Parking wasn't a hassle, but a tip from me to you is to park on the neighborhood streets, because the parking garage charges by the minutes (I had to learn the hard way).



21010 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach






DESSERT: 
Popbar



If you want something sweet and refreshing, go to Popbar! It's inside The Lab, which is also a great place to do some shopping. It's a very unique outside mall, as you can find some trendy LA inspired art walls, and thrift stores.

Oh, and this place is right across the street from Milk and Honey! I wish I could back right now to make this summer heat bearable, haha!






2930 Bristol St, Costa Mesa

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