end of the year gifts


It’s basically been an entire year since I’ve written. And over the last year I’ve focused on what I’ve wanted this blog to become.

It completely started as an emotional outlet for me and a place outside of my Beauty Blog where I could sort things out. It’s absolutely what I needed at the time and absolutely helped. About a year and a half ago I just didn’t need the outlet anymore though, and this blog was forgotten.

To be fair, it wasn’t just this blog, it was also my Beauty Blog and my channel as well. I didn’t feel invested in it anymore. The direction both of those were going in just didn’t reflect my life anymore.

So, over the last year I’ve taken the time to decide what I want these to become.

First of all, these are the priorities I have to put before pretty much anything else:

  • Work: I just finished my second full year as a teaching aide, my first 6 months as a teacher for my own class (!!), and I also opened a sticker shop on Etsy. This summer I’ve accepted the position at work as the summer camp director for the preschool camps. I also still nanny regularly.
  • Home: various chores. The usual.
  • Family & friends: it’s another obvious one but it takes a chunk of my week that I’m happy to dedicate towards my loved ones.

So with all that taking hours in my week, I have fairly limited time elsewhere for my channel and my blogs. But here’s what I’ve decided:

My channel? It’s pretty much dedicated to swatching my nail polish stash. I’ll mix in some other videos in there as well but it’s time consuming. I posted on this blog a year ago that I had some life changes (for the better) and it’s taken more of my time. My channel and blogs really started as a hobby and a side project and that’s where they will stay, as my life gets more busy. Videos take the longest time to produce, so that’s really all I have time for: swatching my nail polish collection once a week, and occasionally an extra video here or there.

My beauty blog will therefore be an extension of my channel where I can easily update and post all the content I want to produce on my channel I just don’t have time for. It takes about a quarter of the time to produce content for my beauty blog as it does to film a fully produced video. Plus I don’t have to put on real clothes 😂

Now this blog is going to include everything else. Essentially it’s going to be one big consolidation of a scrapbook, photo book, preschool portfolio, recipe book, home decor notes and the like. I hate using the term “lifestyle blog” but essentially it’s a lifestyle blog. It’ll also be an update space for my sticker store.

So yeah, that’s the plan 🙂

And now, here’s a quick overview of where I’ve been the last year:

I mentioned I opened a sticker store on etsy, and it’s mainly a planner sticker store but I also do little custom figures as well. New things are coming to the shop very soon 🙂 I’m excited about it. It’s a fun project and totally helps get my creative-doodle-y side fulfilled.

Last summer my mom and I decided not to go to Disneyland but to go north and drive to Seattle and Vancouver. I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed it, because Disneyland is pretty much my favorite place on earth.

Seattle had a similar vibe to the Bay Area – weather wise, food wise it was excellent. We hit up all the tourist spots (Pike Place, Starbucks #1, the Starbucks Roastery which my mom wanted to see, Space Needle, EMP museum, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and we went to our favorite dumpling place) and had a really lovely time. My favorite thing ever also came out of Seattle – CRUMPETS. I can’t even about the crumpets at The Crumpet Shop. It was the best.

We drove north for a few days to Vancouver and I loved it there. It was truly such a beautiful and friendly city. We went to the Capilano bridge and the scenery was just stunning. It was about a 30 minute drive from the city center but worth it. We also got to have some Tim Hortons, Nanaimo bars, and shop a local drugstore. Weirdly enough my favorite thing I bought at the drugstore was a pack off baby wipes. The consistency of the wipe and the solution it’s soaked in are far beyond any other generic baby wipe I’ve found. I really don’t know what to tell you. 😂😂😂

On the way home we drove through Seattle,  (got more crumpets) rode the car ferry, and had every intention of driving to Forks (of Twilight fame) and see Olympic national park and the rainforest. Unfortunately there was some sort of accident so we couldn’t get on the bridge to get there. So we just drove straight down to Long Beach, Washington to our hotel for the night. It was a strange, slow beach town just at the end of its season. But we had amazing seafood (for cheap!), home made ice cream, and kettle corn.

The whole trip we were able to watch the Olympic in our hotel rooms and be in bed while we watched. Something we knew we couldn’t do at Disney. So it was nice to end our trip the same way, but also by the beach and with the best food.

On the way home we stopped at Tilamook where we saw the cheese factory and took home some ice cream (we brought a cooler from home and snacked the whole trip), and had lunch. I also had the best chocolate milk EVER.

The drive to and fro was really scenic and impressive. We saw like everything – snow, mountains, plains, ocean, even a little bit of desert. It was strange to go through pockets of heavy civilization then hit absolute wilderness. In between there’d be these little towns, which almost seemed lost in the in-between. Like they were frozen in time. A little strange but fascinating nonetheless.

Because we went to Seattle and Vancouver in the summer we decided to go to Disneyland for Christmas. The main reason was actually because my mom enough points on her Amex and we had enough to get tickets for the each of us to go to Universal Studios and see the new Harry Potter part of the park.

Disneyland was just as spectacular during Christmas as I ever could have imangined it to be. It really is quite magical. It’s definitely a different experience – the staff aren’t as young (I guess the college kids were out of town) so it’s a different guest experience overall but it didn’t really bother me. The park was magic enough. It’s quite impressive how they change everything – the outer decorations, the rides, the programming, even some menus for holiday season.

We drove down on Christmas Day and got to the park around 2pm. We walked right into the end of Santa’s parade and saw him right there. We weren’t prepared for exactly how crowded it was. It was insanity. But honestly it was even more crowded on the 26th. Seriously packed. We did all of our usual favorites and didn’t feel rushed since we didn’t need to see everything. I did get a lot of great pictures though. Disneyland also happens to be the most photogenic place on earth.

One other thing I wanted to see was Tower of Terror before it was shut down to be converted into the Guardians of the Galaxy ride. I understand that they’re converting the California Adventure park to be less “California” (we also rode the new Soarin Over the World, which used to be California Soarin) but I loved Tower of Terror. I loved the interior. I loved the kitchyness. 😭

World of Color also had the special Holiday show. My mom and I enjoyed it – it’s definitely a fun holiday treat. But afterwards we both agreed we simply loved the original World of Color show. We went for the Diamond celebration and saw that special show as well. I think part of it was the awe of our first experience but also the show itself was more integrated with the color and water works whereas the special pieces are less “WOW” and more projected imagery. Still cool but not as cool as the original.

Our last day in Southern California we drove to Universal Studios and headed straight to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You can see Hogwarts from the parking garage. It really was quite the buildup. And it really did serve and impact. It was so cool! It was also SO MUCH MORE CROWDED THAN DISNEYLAND. I was able to see pretty much everything – we saw all the stores, and ate at the Three Broomsticks. We both loved the food since we got to eat some of Harry’s favorites. Plus we got to have Butterbeer inside and not have to stand in the ridiculous crazy line at one of the stands. I bought a wand (Sirius’) and we were going to wait for the Hogwarts ride but the line was 4 hours. FOUR HOURS.  We almost turned around and left until I asked to see the inside and take photos. The attendant said it was ok. I just wanted to see the inside of Hogwarts. We then realized we were in the single rider only line and got on the ride within 2 minutes. It’s an incredibly well thought out ride although, glitchy… it broke down momentarily while we were on it. But still fun. We ended up riding the ride twice in the single rider line. I eventually want to see the interior design of Hogwarts but it can wait for another visit.

We realized then that Universal didn’t really offer us anything other than Harry Potter and the Jurassic Park ride. Everything else we would’ve done had too long of a line. So we went to our last stop, Ludo Bird and had some of his famous chicken, and went back to the hotel. We had a hockey game to catch (we saw the sharks play and win at Anaheim’s Honda Center).
In February I decided to treat my mom to a day trip to the Hot Springs in San Luis Obispo for her birthday and Mother’s Day (since her birthday is late April). We drove down early in the morning and checked in to the Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort and Spa. It was fancy. Each room had its own hot tub with natural spring water filtering in. I finally get why people take spa weekends. It was quite indulgent. We did the whole room service deal as well because we wanted to catch the sharks playoffs game and well…we could. The food came from the onsite restaurant (really the only restaurant around) and it was so nice. We had a blast just having a girls weekend. On the way home we stopped by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I hadn’t been since my freshman year of college. It still is quite astounding. And I mean, sea otters. Always have been and always will be my fave. I bought another little otter plush friend to add to my collection (started in 1993 lol).

And here we are. That was the past year. We’ve already planned a trip to Paris, Edinburgh, and London this August. So be prepared for some travel related posts. 🙂

Otherwise, I hope you’ve all been well. I can’t wait to revamp this blog and see where it goes ❤️❤️



Dining atop the Space Needle
Space Needle lookout
Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market
Long Beach, Washington
Snow! on the way to Disneyland
The Castle
Goodbye, Tower of Terror
Cars Land
Oogie Boogie
It’s A Small World
Christmas time at Disneyland
World of Color
The Three Broomsticks
Hogwarts Express
Fizzing Whizzbees 🙂


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