November Favorites 2019

If you couldn’t already tell by now, this is my absolute favorite time of the year. There is just so much joy around the holidays and so many opportunities to think, reflect, give thanks and spend time with people who are most important in your life. I have so many fun things to share with you for this months favorites, and I’m even more excited about this because it means we’re officially moving into December which means we’re that much closer to CHRISTMAS. But before I get ahead of myself, I’m gonna share all the things I’ve been obsessed with this month, including a bunch of stuff from my trip to North Carolina! Enjoy, and I’ll see you tomorrow for Day 1 of 12 Days of Christmas! xx

Skincare Product- Since it is winter and getting super dry out here in LA, I’ve found myself needing to moisturize even more than normal. I use Clinique moisturizers on a daily basis and use the Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Replenishing Hydrator when my skin really needs it. It’s a really good heavy moisturizer that leaves your skin super hydrated without feeling oily or tacky.

Makeup Product- I have been an extreme eyebrow nut for the last five years (in part because they burned off one summer from chlorine and I’ve had to draw them on everyday since), and this month I’ve found myself using the Thrive Causmetics Brilliant Eye Brightener in Champagne Shimmer. It’s an eyebrow highlighter that comes in a pencil/stick form making it super easy to apply. It’s also a beautiful shade that lifts your brow without overexposing it. I love love love this product and will be using it a ton over Christmas.

Nail Color- I told myself I’d wait to get Christmassy nails done until after Thanksgiving, but when I went to get a manicure the other day I just couldn’t wait. I love solid shades with one glitter color, and I found the most beautiful glittery blue at the store so I went with all pastel blue and the glitter on my ring fingers. They’re so fun and perfect for the winter. The pastels make it more classy and chic and the glitter adds a pop of fun. I’ve gotten so many compliments on them, especially with the holidays coming up.

Clothing Item- I did a Dainty Hooligan haul earlier this month and one of my favorite pieces from the order was the Grecian Print Jumpsuit in a deep red and I absolutely love it. I was never really a jumpsuit person but I started becoming obsessed with them this summer. Having a curvy body, it can be really hard to find one’s that are flattering, but this red one fits my body so well. It has an open back with a criss-cross tie string so it hugs your waist really nicely. I wore this for a nice birthday dinner out on a Friday night and was perfect for the occasion. It goes really well with black platform shoes or black heels and simple pieces of jewelry. I love this piece and can’t wait to wear it more this season.

Room Spray- The Bath & Body Works ‘The Perfect Christmas’ room spray has been the most festive part of my evening routine this season. I don’t use room sprays too much (I’m typically much more of a candle and diffuser girl), but I found this one at the store the other day and am so glad I picked it up. I spray it around my bed and it smells like the most lovely fresh Christmas tree (balsam and pine scent) ever and it makes me so so happy.

Candle- But while I love to use the room spray at night, I have candles burning all the time when I’m in the room. I love all of the Bath & Body Works 3-wick candles, but I got the Vanilla Pumpkin Marshmallow one the other day and it’s possibly one of my favorite fragrances ever. I typically reach for the more fresh and floral scents than sweet ones, but this one is so cozy and festive with a really light vanilla scent which is so lovely.

Sweet Treat- It’s that time of year where all I want to do at night is bundle up on the couch or bed with a Christmas movie on while sipping on a mug full of hot cocoa. I know it’s basic, but I always find myself going for the boxed Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix with mini marshmallows (and I always HAVE to get the mini marshmallows) topped with Peppermint Whipped Cream from Target which is my absolute guilty pleasure during the holiday season (like I literally opened it and poured it in my mouth 10 seconds after I paid… no joke).

Drink- I’m not always a huge juice person, but I do love a good superfood juice every once in a while. I tried the Pressed Juicery Apple Beet Ginger Juice the other day and it is so so good. I was a bit scared to try it because sometimes ginger can be a bit overpowering sometimes, but it was such a good balance of sweet from the apples and sour from the ginger to balance out the spiciness.

Song- I’m sure I’ve talked about them before, but I’m in love with Jess and Gabriel. I’ve been watching their videos and vlogs for a couple years now and started listening to their covers about a year ago. They just released their I’ll Be Home Vol. II EP (on Spotify and Apple Music) a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been listening to it on repeat ever since. It’s a five song album of Christmas songs and it’s such a chill and Christmassy vibe. I absolutely love all the songs, but ‘The First Noel’ is probably my favorite of this album.

Movie- Since the Disney Plus streaming site released earlier this month, I’ve been rewatching all of the Disney Channel Original Movies. I had been waiting months for this to be released, and it has not disappointed. Every single Disney movie or TV show you could ever think of is on this platform, for only $6.99/month (or $69.99/year). Cow Belles, Read It and Weep, High School Musical(s), Camp Rock, Stuck in the Suburbs, I’ve seriously been watching everything you could think of and living my best 10-year old self. And as a bonus, it has all of the OG Christmas movies you could ever want.

LA Spot- At the beginning of the month I made it out to The Huntington Library for the first time since being in LA. My friends and I had been trying to find time to go, but just never made it. We went on a Friday and it wasn’t too crowded. Entrance fee is $22, which seems a bit pricey at first, but is 100% worth it. We spent nearly four full hours walking around before we had to leave, and we barely saw a quarter of the gardens. There are so many different areas to walk through; from the dessert to the Japanese and Chinese garden, and the lily ponds, everything was so beautiful and it’s a lovely place to spend a day. There are also a ton of open, grassy areas to bring a blanket and just sit out for a while. Highly suggest going if you’re ever in LA!

LOS ANGELES Mood Board

Hello beautiful friends! Hope you’re having a lovely start to the week so far. As I’m coming up on my two year anniversary of living in LA, I’ve been reminiscing a lot and going through tons of photos and memories of all the things I’ve done and experienced over the last couple of years. I thought it would be fun to put together a little mood board of all the things that have capture my heart about this city. As much as I miss home, I’m growing to fall more and more in love with LA every single day, and I’m sure that love will only continue to grow in the coming years.

 

Life Through A Lens #28- Weird Weather, Cute Photos

Life Through A Lens #26- LA Feels

JANE- Brunching in LA

If you can’t already tell, there aren’t many things that bring me more joy than finding a REALLY good place to eat. This morning my friends and I were on a hunt for some Sunday morning brunch. We drove by all of our go-to places only to find never ending lines at all of them. After starting to get hangry (you know it’s a real thing), we quickly searched for breakfast places near us and found Jane on York Blvd in LA. Driving past it, we couldn’t even tell it was a restaurant. The cute little yellow house with a sprawling patio (for seating) was packed, but we decided it was still worth the wait. Their menu was full of enticing options, including different kinds of omelettes, sandwiches and salads. My two friends decided on the breakfast quesadilla with a side of morning potatoes and Arnold Palmers, and I ordered the breakfast sandwich with a vanilla cold brew. Once we ordered we went out to the patio to grab a table in the sun. The purple flowers and little garden just made everything that much more aesthetic (because do it for the insta, right?). Jane was packed with groups of friends, families and couples with their dogs (so cute!!) and was the perfect atmosphere for a low-key Sunday brunch. At around $15 each, we all agreed that Jane is a new go-to and favorite. The portions were extremely generous and the food was delicious. I highly recommend Jane if you are in the LA area and looking for a really yummy brunch! If you try it out, let me know in the comments below.

Website: http://www.janeonyork.com/

Address: 5830 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Phone: (323) 675-1093

Price: $$

Food Adventures #5

Top 10 Moments of 2017

As the 2017 year comes to a close, I wanted to stop and reflect on the year that has passed. While there is so much hate and negativity going around in the world, when you stop to think about life, you really only remember the good things. Just like anyone, my year had ups and downs, but at this time I am realizing how small and trivial the downs were, and how uplifting and exciting the ups were. These are my top ten moments (in chronological order) of 2017. I hope this inspires you all to think back on your year to remember all the amazing times.

1. February 2017- The last meet of varsity high school swim career was everything and more that I could have asked for. I was the captain of the team and we were in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for our conference championships. We had all trained super hard the whole season and were excited to see what we could do as a team. To be honest, I was not confident that we would be able to pull out a win, simply because we had a fairly young and new team. The gold medal came down to the very last relay, in which I was swimming. All we had to do was beat one relay team to snag the championship. As nerve-wracking as it was, it was the most amazing race of my life, full of nothing but excitement and adrenaline. As the anchor of our team touched the wall ahead of the other team, we broke out in tears of immense joy. The absolute highlight of my high school swimming career.

2. February 2017- I always knew that I wanted to travel to New Zealand before I graduated high school, and I got the opportunity to visit the beautiful country on a school trip in February. We spent 8 days doing everything from hiking, camping, luging, white water rafting, and visiting and staying in traditional Maori housing. It was a beyond incredible experience (though I have to admit, mentally challenging at times, especially during the hiking) and I am so lucky to have visited the country. I hope I can visit this amazing country again soon!

3. March 2017- One of my favorite parts about living in South East Asia is being able to travel around easily at a fairly low cost. At least once a year, my family goes on a quick vacation to a SEA beach destination. This year we went back to Phuket, Thailand for spring break and stayed at the Meridien. As usual, the beach was clean and beautiful, perfect for a little getaway. We spent our days lounging on the sand and spent our evenings exploring restaurants throughout the town. This five day trip with my family definitely made it into the top ten moments of this year.

4. June 2017- Of course one of the highlights of this year was this milestone, Graduation! It was a crazy and hectic time of the year, but I was so unbelievably lucky to have so many family and friends around me to celebrate. I was one of those people who just loved high school, so this moment was sad as I was saying goodbye to so many people and places, but also exciting as I started a new journey.

Graduation blog post: https://swimeatlove.com/2017/07/09/a-goodbye-to-high-school/

5. July 2017- Instead of coming back to the US for the summer (like we normally do), my family stayed in Asia and I was able to travel around a bit. My mom had a business trip to Seoul, and since I had never been I decided to tag along. Although we were only there for 3 days, we saw and did so much. From exploring the local malls to going to the Korean spa and eating lots of yummy Korean food, it was a blast.

6. July 2017- Every summer my family and I go to our lake cabin in Northern Japan for a few weeks to hang and spend time with family. Last year, we discovered what I like to call a hidden gem of the Tokyo area, Karuizawa. Mainly known for it’s outlet shopping mall, the beautiful suburb is filled with secret spots that are amazing. This year we took a day off from lake life and spent the day shopping, going to the hot springs, and visiting the cutest little vintage shops. Definitely a day well spent.

7. July 2017- Although this was an extremely sad time, it was also a very memorable time. After 18 years of living in Singapore, it was time for me to say goodbye (more like see you soon!) to my beautiful little island. As most of you probably know, I have so much love in my heart for this country. It was fun for me to spend time really appreciating all the things I love about Singapore and doing a little bit of exploring at home. The last week spend at home was full of family, friends, laughs and of course some Din Tai Fung and a Tiger beer for the road:)

8. August 2017- One of my biggest dreams came true this year not only as I started college in LA, but also as I began my career as a collegiate athlete. There have been so many “pinch me” moments these last few months as I’ve experienced things I’ve never dreamed of doing. From my first collegiate swim practice and swim meet to living the LA life, college has been everything and more I ever wished for.

9. October 2017- While being away from home was hard, I was lucky enough to have my dad visit me for a week in early October. We spent the weekend hanging around Downtown LA and Santa Monica, eating to our hearts content. As a foodie, it was a much needed break from the college food scene (though I have to admit, our school has really good food). We found amazing eateries everywhere from Santa Monica Boulevard to Sunset. It was such a fun weekend with my dad, and I was lucky to have him with me.

10. December 2017- After the first semester in college, it was so nice to be home with my family for the holidays. I had counted down the days, and it was definitely one of the best holiday seasons yet. I was lucky to have 2 1/2 weeks at home and spent so much of that time with my mom, dad, little sister and doggy. There was lot’s of Christmas shopping, yummy food, cooking, cheers-ing and laughter. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the year.

Here’s to an amazing 2017 and an even better 2018!

Happy new year!