A Holly Jolly Christmas

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As usual, Christmas has come and gone faster than you can say "Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal!". I don't know about you, but it was another good one. Hopefully yours was too! If you're wondering, Djinn Djinn was the only one who looked good in Christmas morning photos so he's the star of this post. He had such a fun time ripping apart the presents (I guess it's no surprise considering he's had ample practice at tearing apart stuff he's not supposed to)! He got so into it, he even started tearing up presents that weren't his! The little sneak! It was so funny to watch him, though. He was quite literally like a kid on Christmas. The only time he stopped "smiling" was when I made him wear his new Christmas sweater- that last photo, look at his frowny little face! Such a character.

One of my Christmas gifts this year was a record player. I had been wanting one because I have started collecting the vintage records- I know it's been a trend for years and I honestly had no interest in them until I saw some of my favorite old artists' records at antique shops (i.e. Nancy Sinatra, Doris Day...). So I connected my new player (dad had to help me learn how to use it, ha!) and the first song I played was "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)" by Doris Day and Djinn Djinn just stood right in front of the player and started wagging his tail. Then he turned to sniff the player and actually had a "smile" on his face the whole time the song was playing. It was the weirdest/funniest thing. 

That was my Christmas in a (chest)nutshell... I'd love to hear about yours?!

The Broad Art museum

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Oh em gee. This is the longest I've been without saying a word on here. I can't even believe how fast time is going by. I have been so preoccupied with art projects and of course stressing out about how my artwork never seems to be as good as everyone else's (FYI, these thoughts consume me mostly when I am stressed and overwhelmed by deadlines- you know how it is). 

So... if you live in California or especially LA and you care anything about art (or even if you don't), you may have heard about the recent opening of the Broad Museum. I hadn't a clue about it (the extent of my knowledge in modern art is zero to none as is my interest, to be honest.). Still, when the opportunity presented itself for me and my fellow peers in the art department to take a trip to the Broad (as the locals call it), I immediately grabbed the chance. I hadn't been to LA in a really long time and I don't know if I've mentioned this before but I sort of have a love/hate relationship with the city (and cities, in general). Basically, I hate the chaos of cities but love what they have to offer (plenty of arts/culture, dining, entertainment...basically everything that small towns lack). 

So, my thoughts on the museum. I don't know, I mean, I can definitely appreciate what the Broad is - the artwork and what it has to offer but when it comes down to it, I guess I'm just not really a modern art kind of girl. I mean, it's like, I get it...but sometimes I just don't GET it. I think I prefer a Monet scenery or something with a pretty but colorful feel. Just me, I'm sure. 

That said, I'd definitely recommend a visit if you're in  the area (the exterior building itself is enough to captivate your attention)- after all, admission is free despite the supercalafragelisticexpialadociously long waiting lines. Oh, and before you ask, nope, I didn't see the infinity room (the best and most popular attraction at the museum, from what I've heard). There was a long waitlist and even though I had time to wait, I took to exploring downtown LA instead. I don't regret my decision. I spent a lot of time at the Walt Disney Concert Hall (such a beautiful building even though I'm not usually drawn to modern architecture) - I hope I can see a symphony there someday soon- can you imagine how dreamy that would be? 

So I was wondering, have you been to an art museum? What's your favorite type of art?

On feeling guilty about the way the world is

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Lately I've been thinking a lot about how the world is. How huge and dynamic it is. How old and mysterious it is. But also, how unfair it is. People are starving, hurting, struggling and while I wish so much that I could help even a tiny bit (not just financially), I mostly find myself feeling guilty that I am just another "clueless" American who buys things I don't need, has a choice of food and clean water, and way too many "riches" in the form of material items and just basic needs that no human being should be deprived of. I won't go into politics or anything because that's not what my blog is about and honestly, politics confuse me almost as much as math, but I just wanted to express how I feel. I feel helpless. I feel so small in this world. I feel like I shouldn't be living a happy, comfortable life while there are so many people who aren't. Of course I should note that I am super incredibly thankful for the life I do live but that doesn't stop me from feeling a tinge of guilt. Am I wrong in feeling this way? 

All these social issues- the world will never be perfect, that's for sure. But is it getting worse? I see all these happy blogs and instagram accounts encouraging people to do the things that make us happy, be kind to others, live for today, etc... but how often do the people behind these accounts also secretly worry about bigger issues? chemicals in the environment? homeless people and pets in our own country let alone other countries? evil politicians who really don't care about their country?

I must admit. After months of going back and forth, I decided to purchase an iPhone 6. Now, I'm definitely not one of those people who goes out to buy the latest gadget the minute it's released but I saw an opportunity to own one and I decided to "treat" myself. Now, I'm slowly being flooded with feelings of "did I even deserve this?", "does this make me a bad person?", "should I have refrained from purchasing simply because the iPhone isn't made in the USA?", "am I turning into just another American consumer who falls for every shiny new gadget? "was I being foolish with my money since I use the iPhone for everything BUT the phone?", "Am I being greedy?" 

Perhaps I'm being a bit hard on myself. But perhaps I'm not. 

I don't know the answers. I wish I could make everything right. I'm doing the best I can. I hope we all are. Someday we'll figure it all out. We'll understand. But for now. This is how I feel.

The trail of 100 Giants




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After a 2 week trip into the wilderness, I'm not gonna lie, I'm extremely glad to be back to a normal life with wifi (#firstworldproblems, eh?). I like to think I love nature a bit more than the average person but even I am prone to cabin fever now and then. 

However, a recent venture into the trail of 100 trees in the Sequoia National Forest was an unforgettable and humbling experience. Trees that are as tall as dinosaurs (and probably nearly as old, too- well kinda but not really) almost makes being human seem like a very insignificant thing. How could these trees survive life for so long even during extreme droughts? You should see these trees that are literally located on top of the world (seriously, you have to take a long winding road to see them but thankfully it's not too winding unless you get car sick easily...).

I was literally speechless upon seeing the enchanting meadows that graced me with their presence- straight out of a scene from Bambi, I tell you (except, you know, not animated). I probably would have lied down in the center of a meadow had it not been for all the bees buzzing around the charming yellow flowers (oh well, I suppose they were there first...).

So basically, what I'm trying to say is that if you come to California, after the excitement of Hollywood and Disneyland wears off (because honestly, it will), a visit to the trail of 100 giants is, well, a 100x more magical than any man-made attraction...

Floral delight

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"There are always flowers for those who want to see them."
Henri Matisse


::outfit details:: Top- Urban Outfitters//Sunglasses- EyebuyDirect//Jeans-Levi's//Moccasins-Bucco Shoes//Bag-Fossil

An update on Djinn Djinn

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I've been a little bit very distracted lately and it all has to do with this cute little face that is in all of my photos. Yes, Djinn Djinn. If you remember this post, he'd gone on a visit to the Vet recently and unfortunately there turned out to be a slight problem. Luckily, it was caught in time so he should make a full recovery (all prayers and good thoughts welcomed, though!) but he will need to have surgery soon to remove a calcium stone that I wish I knew how to explain better but it's all so scientific to me. In short, I am confident he will once again be the healthy little pup that he's always been and mostly I am just not looking forward to having him suffer through the recovery process and I hope he doesn't hate me for putting him through this but there really was no other option. My poor little baby.

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10 things my dad taught me

This post is coming to you about a day late since the weekend turned out to be busier than I anticipated. Still, in honor of Fathers Day, I wanted to share with you all some things my dad has taught me throughout my life. He is not a mushy type of person at all but knowing he won't be reading this (...still trying to get him near a computer), I think it's okay to tell you all that he's one of my bestest pals (both of my parents are, fyi- here's 10 things my mom taught me). 

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1. See as much of the world as you can see. Never stop traveling.

2. If you invest in anything, let it be real estate. You can never go wrong with owning a piece of land (especially in California).

3. Whenever you can, buy stuff that's American made (or anything that's not made in China). Quality products are (often) worth the price.

4. Be your own boss if you can. Don't waste your life working for someone else so that they can accomplish their own dream.

5. A college education doesn't hurt but it's not the only way to enrich your life.

6. Read as much as you can. Know a little bit about every subject.

7. Basic survival skills. My dad is an outdoors guy so throughout the years I've picked up a few tips on survival. Not saying I could fend off a mountain lion but I do remember to always pack a blanket and water if going on any type of trip.

8. They don't make movies like they used to. In fact, they really don't make anything like they used to.

9. Learn skills that not everyone else knows (i.e. shorthand) that way if there is ever a demand for that skill, you will be one step ahead.

10. Don't be afraid to live - more often than not, taking chances is the only way to do so.


P.S. My dad is weird & doesn't like the internet so this is as good of a photo as I could manage- it was taken at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.

What has your father/father figure taught you? :)

California Mission Santa Ines

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Here in California, most elementary schools teach students about the California Missions which are a group of 21 Catholic churches spread throughout the state that were built in the late 1700's to mid 1800's. You can see a list of all the Missions here. They are all quite unique.

One of the required school projects in 4th grade was to create a miniature model of one of the Missions of our choice. It was such a fun art project- I still have mine because basically I'm a hoarder like that. The Mission I created is called San Luis Rey de Francia and unfortunately I have yet to see it in person but it's definitely a goal of mine- I hope to see all of the California Missions eventually.

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Mission Santa Ines is located in Solvang and it's honestly the most beautiful one I've seen yet. The grounds are so pretty with so much sunlight and vivid flowers all around. I completely forgot to go into the actual main chapel area but I did go into the gift shop. Even if you're not religious, I think the Missions are such nice places to visit because they represent so much of California's history (the good and the bad) and especially if you studied them in 4th grade you're more likely to have a special connection to them (or maybe that's just me...)

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A visit to Solvang, California

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It's official: I think I've found my new favorite touristy spot in California. It's called Solvang and it's advertised as the Danish Capital of America. Incredibly quaint, charming, and colorful are all perfect words to describe this hidden little gem of a town. I'd been here once or twice before back when I was a young teenager and could care less about windmills and cozy bakeries. Admittedly, I don't know much about Denmark (once again I'm sure Google will save the day) but if it's anything like Solvang portrays, I could definitely see myself visiting the actual country someday. I don't think most of you Europeans would be as interested in a town like this (especially if you're right next door to Denmark or even the Netherlands) but for us deprived Californians, it's the next best thing.

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If you're not aware, I sort of have a mini obsession with wooden shoes and Solvang proudly displays clogs wherever they get the chance including this gigantic one located right outside their main shoe store. In case you're wondering, I definitely took this opportunity to wear my red Swedish Hasbeens (pictured below the big clog photo) and proudly stomped around the busy streets. If that doesn't scream tourist, I don't know what does. But wearing my clogs in Solvang was nothing short of exciting. I saw another lady wearing her clogs (they looked like ones from Lotta from Stockholm) and I kinda wanted to be her bff.

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In summary, be sure to visit Solvang especially if you're a Californian (you're most likely not more than a few hours drive away) or if you're visiting California for a couple of weeks and have time to spare. Like I said, if you're from Europe, you might not be as excited to see a town tourist trap like this but really, I'll leave it up to you to decide...

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