Unforgettable Happy Moments of 2016

6342 I hate to say it but almost everyone seems to be in mutual agreement that 2016 wasn't the greatest year at all. I mean, I'm hoping someone out there on this planet had a wonderful year, an unforgettably amazing year, but for the majority of us, I think we're more than ready for a fresh new start, am I right? I'm not a big believer in new years resolutions because I definitely think we can make a change within our lives no matter what day of the year it is but still, there's something motivating about visually crossing off the last day of the year and starting a fresh new page in a calendar.

With that said, I dug through all my old photos and notes from this year in an attempt to find all the good that I could about 2016. I've narrowed it down to 3 things, with one of those "things" being the greatest thing that has happened to me in a long, long time.

1. Adopting Lulu. My sweet little chihuahua. I adopted her back in September and she has fit into mine and Djinn Djinn's life so perfectly. She had dental issues and was horribly neglected but after a few months of love and care, she is the spunkiest, happiest, craziest little thing ever and I am so happy I took a leap of faith and introduced a second dog into my home. (Read more here)

2. Seeing Adele in concert. When I bought the tickets for Adele back in 2015, it seemed like July 2016 would never get here. But, the day arrived faster than I could imagine and it was a completely magical experience. Adele is unreal- so full of life, charm and talent. Her album '25' spoke to me so much, I will forever associate 2016 with her music. (Read more here)

3. A visit to my hometown. Getting to go back to my hometown this summer brought back so many happy memories that I really needed to relive. I saw old faces I once knew, ate at restaurants I had always wanted to visit, and admired much of what I used to overlook. It served as a reminder that if all else fails in life, my home will always be there. (Read more here)

As always, thanks for sticking with me and being a new or continued reader of this internet space of mine. It means so, so much to me.

Please feel free to link me to your 2016 Highlights posts. And Happy 2017!

'Twas the night after Christmas

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Christmas came and went just as fast as ever. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and that you have high hopes for 2017 (I know I do!). 2016 kind of punched us all in the face and I think it's going to take a while to recuperate.

In other news, I decided to try my hand at night photography because the last few times I tried, I just ended up using the flash and it looked like one big spotlight was present in every photo (not a good look). I've still got a long way to go before I feel completely satisfied with night photography but as always, baby steps.  

The top half of this outfit reminds me of Maureen O' Hara's character in The Quiet Man (if you haven't seen that film, we can't be friends), which kinda sparked an idea for some outfit posts in 2017. I hope to recreate some of my favorite outfits from classic films/TV but with a more modern approach. 

The trench coat that went to Ireland

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Every time I wear this trench coat, which admittedly isn't as often as I'd like (THANKS California weather for always being so sunny and sunny and sunnier) I am reminded of the glorious week I spent in Ireland 2 years ago. I wore this coat on the plane which was a good thing considering I only took one other jacket (from Forever 21) and it got lost somewhere between San Francisco and Washington D.C. I would've been so mad if this trench coat would've been lost. But I don't even want to think about that!

I feel like this green trench coat is one that I'll wear for many years to come. I mean, I hope it'll last that long. I have another trench coat (you know, the Holly Golightly kind) and just the other day, I put my hands in the pockets and one of the pockets ripped right before my eyes! It was shocking as I've always believed trench coats are a staple piece that will last a very long time.

Anyway. This green trench has even more special meaning to me now that it's gone with me to Ireland. It saw the Cliffs of Moher, the Rock of Cashel, Dublin (it was a lifesaver during a huge rain storm I got caught in while strolling the streets) and so much more. I've promised it that we will go back to the Emerald Isle together again someday.

What I miss about being a kid on christmas

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I literally had the best childhood ever. And every year that goes by, I try hard to hang onto all the memories I can. Why does life get better? get worse? get boring? get pointless? get beautiful? get amazing? 

All I know is that Christmas was unbelievably joyful every year when I was growing up and it wasn't all just about the presents (which, of course, was undeniably exciting in itself). 

I miss so many things. The excitement that would build up as soon as December arrived. You could literally smell Christmas in the air- it was always a mix of pine trees and cold air. I haven't smelled it since I moved away from my hometown years ago. 

I miss the very, very occasional fall of snow. It snowed about once every 10 years and when it did, it was always only for about 10 minutes and the world would literally stop and stare. It was magical and incredibly exciting. In the photo above, I am about 2 years old and it was my first experience with snow. Thankful to my mom for making a snowman and capturing a photo of it.

Ice skating. Every Winter, the local mall would set up an ice rink and it was one of my most fun memories with some of my cousins. I was sad when they shut down. I really, really hope to ice skate again soon, especially outdoors- that would be a dream.

I also miss Christmas parties at school where everyone would bring food to share (usually sweets). I miss Christmas shows that our school would put together and I'd usually force myself to get over stage fright to play the piano. 

I  miss family gatherings. I didn't have as much anxiety back then so it was much more enjoyable.

Just genuine joy, love, cheer and happiness. That's what I miss most of all. Christmas was everything it was supposed to be when I was growing up. 

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What do you miss about being a kid on Christmas?