30 hours in philly

30-hrs-phillyThis past weekend, as the Friday night party-goers were stumbling home, a girlfriend and I woke up extra early on Saturday morning and hopped a bus to Philadelphia.  And this is how we spent it.

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the never-ending winter of 2014

never-ending-winterKids, this already sounds like the beginning of a “How I Met Your Mother” episode, but I couldn’t help it.  Okay, it ends there.

Through eight winters living in New York, I’ve embraced it.  Having grown up in Los Angeles and enduring hot day after hot day for 21 years over, it was a relief to have that weather switch up introducing my coats to a different feeling, wearing more clothes on top of more clothes, enjoying that crisp air that winter can bring and curling up in cozy sweaters; looking forward to summer – that was a different feeling.

But I’ll admit, this never-ending winter of 2014 has challenged me.  I surrender and wave my white flag.  Winter, you and your repeated polar vortexes have defeated me.  I am now converted to that stereotypical New Yorker who is disgruntled till Memorial Day.  Till then, I bask in last Friday when it was warm enough to walk out in sparkly flats and just a trench coat (I lie, I layered underneath an old dress I wear as a vest).

I’m not greedy.  I don’t need 90-degree days (please stay at bay!).  Spring…all I need is spring.

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Uniqlo trench, Forever 21 lace tee, ASOS sweats, Nine West flats, Chantelle bra, thrifted gold chain necklace

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the big one

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After a week in Mexico, we returned to New York and I was ready to accept.  I turned 30 this year.  I may have some wrinkles coming in but at least I know it’s from laughing a lot.

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tulum, mexico

sunrise-runner

To continue my birthday week this past February, we hopped a bus from Mérida for a venture across the Yucatán Peninsula to Tulum, Quintana Roo.  Bus was an awesome way to travel letting us drive through small towns and seeing more Mexican life.

When we first booked the trip to Tulum, all we knew was that it was far from the resort and party madness of Cancún and Playa del Carmen.  We hadn’t realized this little beach town had a hip scene all its own.

I wasn’t looking to party (in my old age) and all we wanted was a quiet and low-key beach vacation.  Lucky for us, we found Casa de las Olas, a small eco-conscious compound of villas at the end of Tulum’s main road, far from the crowds and so awesome, I can’t find enough words.  Their beach was private to only the five parties staying at their villas.  Their morning breakfasts were served on a huge picnic table in the courtyard and delicious fresh food made from scratch is an awesome way to start the day, but this table did magic bringing all the guests together every morning where we sat and enjoyed each others’ company.  Overall, Casa de las Olas was so homey and friendly and all I want to do is go back.  If you’re ever in Tulum, I think it’s the only place to stay.

We arrived in Tulum a little later than we wanted but just in time to catch the sunset.  With the beach all to ourselves, we cracked open a couple of beers and watched the sky and waters turn different shades of all the rainbow’s colors.

sunset-2sunset-1IMG_8197sunset-3The first morning in Tulum, we woke up early to catch the sunrise, walking just a few steps from our room back to the beach where the sun rises directly in front.

sunrise-1sunrise-tulumsunrise-runnerIMG_2962IMG_2965IMG_2968IMG_2979beach-1beach-3After spending the early morning on the beach, we’d head back to the courtyard where breakfast was served every morning always starting with the necessities – coffee, fresh-squeezed OJ, fresh fruit, and homemade granola and yogurt.IMG_8341hammockbfast-pt1We had goals of exploring the pueblo, checking out the cenotes, maybe even a day trip to Cobá.  But Casa de las Olas is way too cozy to leave.  In three days, we managed to check out the Tulum Ruins and take a walk to a market.  tulum-ruins-1tulum-ruins-2tulum-ruins-beachtulum-ruins-3getting-readywalkThe rest of our days were spent enjoying this private beach.beach-5beach-6beach-playpalm-treereflectionlast-day-1last-day-2

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merida, mexico

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In all my (many) years, I’ve never really initiated celebrating my birthday.  So this year, the big one, I thought I’d do something big to match.  First stop, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico.

Having grown up in LA, I was surrounded by Mexican culture that I felt a part of it.  So much so that a lot of the friends I’ve met on the East Coast can’t shake that I’m actually not Mexican.  But in the Yucatán Peninsula town of Mérida exists a different Mexican culture that I was never introduced to growing up.  The Mayan heritage in these parts is still present distinguishing their culture from the Aztec influence that I remember growing up.  Top that with Mérida’s preservation of the European colonization and what we saw was a beautiful city lost in time not in a repressive way, but in a way that respects culture and people.

Here are just a few snaps from Mérida, and stay tuned for Tulum coming soon, but be sure to check out some eats under my Snack Time Achievement Award.  Yucatecan food has a menu all their own and it is all so damn good.

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the holidays

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catching up: bff’s bridal events

Late last year, my BFF Forever Jenna got engaged.  A few months ago, we finally started celebrating all the bridal events and I was fortunate and grateful to be able to attend both her bridal shower in LA and her bachelorette party in Vegas.

Who’d-a thunk when we met aged 12 years sitting next to each other in sixth grade band class that we wouldn’t only learn how to play the clarinet together, but together, we’d basically learn how to do everything – live, love, laugh, learn.  We’ve gone through everything together, there was no way I’d miss any of these events.  Wedding day is in less than a month and I still need a dress!

Here’s s look back at the bridal shower at Cafe Bisou in Pasadena.  We’re missing girlfriend LeeAnn (but that’s okay ’cause she was off making use of that new pharmacist’s license she just got) but it was amazing getting all these girls together in a mini middle school/high school reunion.

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A couple weeks later, it was on to Vegas.  With a weird scheduling thing for me, I ended up flying back to New York then back to LA to road trip with some of the girls out to Vegas.  It all ended up perfectly because it gave me the time to work out some paper designs for the weekend and collaborate with Ally on organizing an amazing in-room bachelorette shower with games and drinks and treats.  An amazing weekend.

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insta catch-up

It’s been a while.  So I thought the easiest way to catch up was with Instagram.  It is, after all, just a photo diary of my life.  Here it is in reverse order.  What have you been up to?

 

 

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furry muppet dress

FurryMuppetDress_byStudioSaldana_Jul13Being in a wedding is a big commitment but there is responsibility in being a guest too.  This past July, we attended a great wedding in Jersey.  On an unexpectedly cool and rainy day, we had to consider traveling via subway and NJ Transit, which meant that I needed to find some comfy walking shoes that could easily be slipped away when I switched into the fancy shoes.  It was tempting to stay in the cozy flat sandals but again, there is responsibility in attending a wedding and I like to be appropriate.  Luckily, East Coast venues are also appropriate with coat checks where my cozy shoes were tucked for the night while I danced in my heels and let my furry muppet dress swing.

Christmas gift dress from Boyfriend, L.A.M.B. heels

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los angeles in the summer

IMG_6728 copyOnce in a while, I’m fortunate to spend an extended summer stay in the hometown.  This is how it went this year.

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