Remembering 2015

We’re taking off!IMG_6812

2015 was a roller coaster of emotions but the biggest year of growth for me personally. Although it started out a little rough, its ending is beautiful.

Highlights include:

  • Celebrating NYE in my favorite town.
  • Wine & Crab Weekend with best friends; also in my favorite town.
  • Buying a brand new car.
  • Experiencing heartbreak while ending a relationship that was no longer healthy.
  • Running away to San Diego and Vegas with a best friend; escaping and then realizing, life is what you make it.
  • Took a break from “growing up” and quit one job to bartend and have fun.
  • Going to Tahoe to celebrate my un-engagement with best friends who are now roommates and two people I cannot live without.
  • Solidifying friendships; and making remarkable and life changing new ones.
  • Boating for birthdays.
  • Applying to finally graduate.
  • Taking random trips to San Francisco, which are now ranked in the top 5 nights of my life.
  • Going to Bottle Rock and the State Fair with friends who will always be family.
  • Taking a solo road trip to Southern California to visit girlfriends and celebrate marriages.
  • Going to baseball games and playing catch in a park.
  • Having amazing dance parties that include champagne, ice cream, and whiskey.
  • Watching best friends childhood walk down the aisle together.
  • Hikes with a girlfriend who truly made me believe that everything was going to be alright.
  • Falling in love with cooking.
  • Applying for a big girl job in a new city that I never thought I would get.
  • Getting the big girl job and moving to Santa Barbara
  • Leaving a job I had for almost 10 years, which was both terrifying and exhilarating.
  • Starting my big girl job and being able to work beside women who have turned into good friends.
  • Joining Leadership Santa Barbara.
  • Visiting friends in other cities and carving pumpkins for Halloween.
  • Planning Casino Night 2015.
  • Seeing my dad ride into both Santa Barbara and L.A. from Northern California for the Ride2Recovery.
  • Joining a gym and taking my health seriously.
  • Doing the Whole30.
  • Going to Disneyland: walking 18 miles & having an epic girls day.
  • Starting to date.
  • Realizing that Sacramento will always be home but Santa Barbara is just what I need right now.
  • Knowing that I have the best friends a girl can ask for.

There are probably more and I will try to continue to update this list as they come to me… But man, 2015 was the year. 🙂

Girl Crush: Gal Meets Glam’s Julia Engel


How adorable is Julia Engel from Gal Meets Glam?! She’s definitely spotlighted as one of my favorite fashion bloggers. With her style always on point (and relatable), just the right amount of sass, her perfectly placed hair and flawless make up force me to step my game up whenever I go out. Every photo gives me wanderlust since she seems to be in a new city every other post (okay, maybe extreme jealousy too) but the best part about her blog? It makes me want to be friends with her. #lifegoals #girlcrush
gal-meets-glam-eiffel-tower-black46 gal-meets-glam-ginham-dress-loft60 gal-meets-glam-chateau2 gal-meets-glam-yellow-bow67

Vera’s Advice


Advice week is happening over on New York Magazine’s The Cut and Vera Wang’s article  stood out to me. After explaining her first career as a figure skater (um, I figure skated for seven years?!) and then leaving her job at Vogue after 15 years (I never worked at Vogue but I just quit the “adult” job world after three), she explains, “What it really is in the end is the process, and what you learn about yourself and about life… I try to believe there’s a reason, there’s a process, and there’s a learning experience.”

After going through a major life shake up that I didn’t see coming, the wisdom that Vera Wang gives speaks so clear to my heart right now. I had my whole life planned out and now I have every door open; I was so scared at first and now I’m excited. I thought that I had to have my next move calculated down to the day and when something didn’t go my way, I freaked out (like I couldn’t even move past the idea that we might leave at 4 p.m. instead of 3 and then I wouldn’t want to go at all… ridiculous). And then I hit rock bottom and the only way to go was up.

“Maybe the journey is where I gained wisdom, where I gained confidence, a sense of reality, a sense of creativity… There are other places to go. Other things to try. So don’t be afraid of failing. I think not trying is worse than failing. Have the courage to try. Otherwise, what are we here for?”

I want to try everything. I want to make sure that my next move is based off what I want. Right now, my only plan is to not have a plan and I couldn’t be more thrilled to see where it takes me. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Lemon Water


One of my first steps towards taking better care of myself in 2015 is to limit my intake of coffee. Over the past four or five years, I have developed quite the addiction… seven or eight cups a day kind of addiction. I don’t even want to know what that is doing to my body so I’m limiting myself to ONE (maybe two) cups.

My substitution is lemon water. I’ve read countless articles about the benefits that lemon water can have for your body and these are a few of my favorite reasons:

1. Boosts your immune system. Hello Vitamin C. 

2. Enhances your mood. Lemon energizes you and can help reduce anxiety and depression. 

3. It’s cleansing. The little yellow fruit helps detoxify the liver, clears skin, and freshens breath. 

(info from Healthy Holistic Living and Lauren Conrad)

There is also this awesome lemon tree/bush that has so many lemons in our backyard that I just do not want to waste!

Lemon Water 2

After just four days, I feel great. I’m not getting as tired in the afternoon and I’m sleeping so much better.. Waking up refreshed and not needing to reach for the coffee… It seems kind of ironic. Anyways, I’ll keep you posted! Eventually I would like to cut out coffee completely or have it as a treat every so often but we will see. Hehe.

What are your substitutions for coffee? I’ve heard green tea is a winner so I think that’s my next step!

Skinny Orange Chicken… Just kind of paleo…

Skinny Orange Chicken

Working at a Chinese food restaurant usually makes me steer clear of any sort of Chinese style food but I was craving a healthy orange chicken one night. After scouring Pinterest for what felt like hours, I decided to combine two different recipes (here and here) and mix in a little bit of my own thing and came up with something even the boyfriend approves of.

I have to admit that I am still learning in the kitchen but this recipe made me a bit more confident.


For the orange chicken… I followed this recipe but substituted the animal fat with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil… I also only used 1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice and a few dashes of gluten free flour instead of the arrowroot powder (I literally have no idea what that is so I wasn’t ready to go out of my way to buy it… But that is what makes it more paleo and probably better for you depending on who you talk to.)


Orange Chicken Sauce

Cooking Orange Chicken


For my roasted veggies… I peeled about 4-5 whole carrots and then cut them in half and then quarters and then in half again until I got skinny little things. I cut up the crown and stem of the broccoli so each piece was relatively the same size and threw them all into a bowl.

I preheated the oven to 400 degrees and spread foil over my baking sheet.

I drizzled olive oil for a couple seconds over the bowl and then sprinkled some garlic powder over everything… Mix everything up with your hands so you know you get everything nice and coated. Place everything onto the foiled baking sheet and place in oven. Here is where you kind of need to be observant… I only had the veggies in the oven for about 15 minutes but it really varies for everyone. My broccoli was a little over done but my carrots were perfect… I’m thinking next time I will prepare the broccoli separately and put them in a bit later…

orange chicken full

And voila! A yummy dish that made me full but not weighed down.

And if you could please give me some other ideas for other healthy dishes, I would be much appreciative!

live. breathe. fulfill.

Girls Night Appetizer – Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Prosciutto Bites

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I never had Brussels sprouts as a kid because my dad hated them and said that he would never make me eat them. So I, of course, assumed the worst and never tried them.

Well, if dad had tried this recipe I’m pretty sure he would think different about those little green monsters.


The best thing about this recipe is the simplicity. The only ingredients are roasted Brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt and pepper and some prosciutto.

Brussels Sprouts


Stalking together

It took me a little over an hour to make this and get ready for wine night… they were gone in less than ten minutes.

And did I mention that they are paleo?! Even better.

Hope you are having a wonderful week!

live. breathe. fulfill.