One of my biggest fears is feeling like my life has plateaued. I absolutely dread experiencing any form of inertia in my life, whether it be with my career, my relationships with others or relationship with myself.
Having lived in Los Angeles for nearly 14 years, I’m beginning to feel that little nugget inside of me that can’t help but feel stuck. Most people dream of living in the City of Angels, it’s considered one of the greatest cities in the world! 3.8 million people don’t choose to live here for nothing. I truly feel fortunate being able to afford and have this city as my playground, but at the same time, there is that small part of me that feels as if I have experienced everything this city can offer. Perhaps I’ve been bitten by the travel bug, but I just want to be anywhere but L.A.! Rome… Tokyo… Bali? I’ll take it!
It’s reached a point where I’ve seen the Hollywood sign, Pacific ocean, Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive, Disneyland, and other famous Los Angeles attractions so many times that I’m starting to grow tired of it. Change of scenery, please! To be perfectly honest, I secretly feel sick of all the palm trees and the weather being sunny and 75 degrees 360 days out of the year.
I came across the Youtube video above in my Facebook newsfeed a few days ago, and after seeing it, I felt reminded just how magnificent Los Angeles can be and that no matter which part of the world I end up in in the future, it will always always ALWAYS be my home.
If there is one ultimate fact of life that sinks in deeper and deeper into my stubborn cranium every day, it’s this: You are not getting any younger. I admit, being 24 is still widely considered “young” in most societies, but something about reaching my mid-twenties is causing a tad bit of internal panic inside of me.
There have multiple occasions where I was slapped with the reality that my body is changing. It simply does not bounce back the way it used to. I recall taking a weekend trip to Santa Catalina Island a few weeks ago and feeling like I was hit by a truck when I returned. Since when did I get exhausted so quickly?
Upon accepting this realization and the fact that there is nothing I can do about aging, I asked myself the question, “So what are you going to do about it?”
I recently came across a quote Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the New York Times Best-Selling book Eat Pray Love, that I found incredibly profound:
“There’s a part of me which has always wanted to hear a man say, “Let me take care of you forever,” and I have never heard it spoken before. Over the last few years, I’d given up looking for that person, and learned how to say this heartening sentence to myself, especially in times of fear.”
So what I am going to do about it? I’m going to take care of myself from now on: emotionally, physically, mentally…
The holiday season may be over, but the gift giving continues! I’ve always enjoyed gift wrapping and adding Pinterest-esque twists to them (like this), so I was super excited to see one of my favorite bloggers, Song of Style, share this super easy DIY paint splatter wrapping paper. When she first shared the post, it was too late for me to do it as all my Christmas gifts had been wrapped, but I knew I had to try it! It’s not only creative but super chic as well, not to mention it’s versatile enough to fit any occasion!
Materials (all of which can be found at YOUR LOCAL Michael’s):
Black wrapping paper
Mini paper plates
1. Lay out old newspapers to prevent spills and accidents. Although acrylic paints are water-based, they do still stain.
Pour a generous amount of paint in each paper plate, one color per plate. Mix with a few drops of water. The paint shouldn’t be too watery or too thick. If it’s too watery, the color won’t pop against the paper. If it’s too thick, the splatter will form into a blob, which does not dry well.
2. I used three different sizes of paint brush to add variety to the splatter.
3. Splatter paint using your paintbrush! Be as creative as you can!
Acryclic takes a while to dry so I left it out in the sun for a few hours.
My first visit to New York City was March of 2013 as part of my parents’ college graduation gift for me. I recall taking my very last final by myself at UCLA inside my Geography professor’s office on Friday and jetted off immediately the following Saturday morning. New York City instantly stole my heart, and I remember promising myself that I will return as soon as I can.
Little did I know it will take nearly two years to do so. Last month, I spent ten amazing days in my favorite city with my favorite people as part of my 24th birthday celebration. It was my first time traveling with a big group of friends instead of family, and it was indeed a trip of a lifetime.
We took an early flight out of LAX, arriving late-afternoon at JFK International Airport. We were a group of seven, so we split between two hotels which were two blocks apart in Manhattan’s Midtown area. The place I stayed at with a few of my girlfriends was an apartment-style hotel located on 38th Street and 6th Avenue called Ten15NYC.
Ten15NYC is not your typical hotel. It’s apartment-style, so we had our own full-functioning kitchen, dining and living room. We stayed at a one-bedroom, which consisted of one queen size bed and a pull-out sofa bed. The building is literally tucked in between a mini supermarket and a dumpling house, totally obscured from the street. There are only four floors, the second of which is a nail salon. There are no lobbies, so “checking in” was super informal as it was nothing more than our friendly hotel manager welcoming us in our room, handing us three sets of keys and giving us a tour.
Ten15NYC became our home away from home. Our apartment had hardwood floors and brick walls, which totally exuded the New York City apartment vibe, completely making us feel like true New Yorkers. The place was very clean when we arrived and all the furniture and finishings were modern and updated. The only downsides are:
a) There were no elevators!
Apparently, it is not required by law in New York for buildings less than six stories high to have an elevator. We learned that lesson the hard way as all of us girls each brought 50-lbs carry-on luggages (on top of our carry-ons), all of which we had to carry four. flights. of stairs. It was a total team effort, and we were beyond out of breath at the end of it. I’m sure we gained 5 lbs of muscle after that ordeal alone.
b) The overhead shower was bipolar.
It literally took us fifteen minutes every morning just to find the perfect water temperature. Just a little tweak, the water became either too hot or too cold. We wasted so much water and time trying to make the shower function properly.
All my girlfriends and I agreed that we wanted to spend our first night dining at a fancy restaurant to celebrate ourselves for making the trip happen as well as to commemorate my 24th birthday. Lucky for us, we were able to make reservations at a Michelin-star Italian restaurant merely two blocks away from our hotel, Ai Fiori.
We all dressed up for the occasion, and I couldn’t be more proud to be in the company of such an amazing group of friends.
Ai Fiori was elegant and refined, which was exactly the ambiance we were looking for. Since it was my birthday dinner, I spared no expense spoiling myself. Life is too short to not eat well after all.
After dinner, we took a cab to Times Square! Cue Taylor Swift’s “Welcome to New York.”
Man, it was F R E E Z I N G. I am pretty sure the temperature was in the single-digits that night. It was so cold I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Times Square that bare and empty before.
Watch our selfie video below! We were all so happy and excited to finally be in New York City, after months and months of planning and waiting!
Thanks for reading and watching! Stay tuned for more!
Last month, I went on a trip of a lifetime with my closest girlfriends to the best city in the world, New York City! Below are some of the pictures we took at the observation deck of the Empire State Building!
Location: Empire State Building Observatory Deck, 8th Floor Hat: H&M Coat: H&M Sunglasses: Ray Ban Sweater: Old Navy Scarf: Zara Boots: Nordstrom
Thanks to my very patient friend, Dianne, for willingly taking pictures of me in 2-digit weather!