Birthday Blues

 

Well… your girl is FINALLY 24 and it is definitely a weird feeling! I feel like every year that I get older, the days and months go by so much quicker than the year before.

Every year on the night before my birthday I always tend to get the birthday blues… I had heard of the birthday blues before but didn’t think that it was actually a thing up until a couple of years ago.

The night before my birthday I tend to do a lot of self-reflecting, thinking, and have some quiet time to myself. I think about all that I’ve accomplished, haven’t accomplished, and all the crazy life changes that have happened since my last birthday.

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This year was a MAJOR one…

First off, I graduated from college. (Wooh!)
Second off, I ended a two-year long-distance relationship. (It was a good thing)
Third, I landed my first big girl job that I ended up not staying at for too long because it literally had nothing to do with what I wanted to be doing as a career… Fourth, I met the love of my life who completely changed my world and opened up my heart. (He’s amazing you guys…I don’t know what I did to deserve such a kind soul…) And lastly, I found a more suited job as a Marketing Communications Coordinator for a marketing/branding agency in Huntington Beach, CA. (It’s amazing & I love it)

It hasn’t been all rainbows and sunshine tho. I’ve had to learn how to cope with major anxiety and a sense of feeling lost after graduating college. I’ve found the right tools and surrounded myself with the type of people who lift my spirits and look out for my well-being. And for that, I’m super grateful!

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My birthday tho was an amazing one. I came to work and was surprised by a decorated desk from my co-workers and my favorite Starbucks drinks by my boyfriend. I was then surprised with a beautiful flower cake and some lunch to go along with it. Post-work, I went to dinner with my boyfriend and family at Del Friscos in the Irvine Spectrum Center and had a killer dinner. (My boyfriend planned all of this btw).

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On Saturday, I walked into the most amazing surprise party that once again, Andrew planned! I walked into a private room at 3 Thirty 3 in Newport Beach and to my literal surprise, a group of my closest friends jumped out and yelled, “SURPRISE!” I was NOT expecting this, but it completely made my birthday! We had brunch, drank lots of champagne, and shared many laughs and stories. After brunch, we all headed out to the bars and continued the party!

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A HUGE shout out to my boyfriend for planning all of this and managing to keep it a surprise… No one has ever done anything like that for me and this was a birthday that I’ll never forget.

I love you Andrew!  You made my 24th so so soooo special!

Love Always,

Shell

 

Final Fiesta~Cancun Edition

 

Oh, where to even begin…

First off, this was the first bachelorette trip that I’ve been on where I’m actually a bridesmaid in the wedding! My childhood best friend Taylor has been with her fiance for TEN YEARS… (I know it’s insane) They’ve been dating since middle school and have both grown to become two of my closest and lifelong friends. Garrett finally popped the question after buying their first home together and getting their two little fur babies!

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Once I found out that her bachelorette party would be in Cancun, Mexico, I knew it was going to be one hell of a trip… I began packing all of my cutest vacay outfits and preparing my liver for the all-inclusive resort that we were going to stay at. lol After a 4 1/2 hour flight, we finally made it to Mexico and were ready to party our booties off!

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But, Rachelle’s super amazing luck happened and she got the worst bladder infection of her life as soon as she landed. I couldn’t hold my pee for the life of me and it was the most uncomfortable pain ever. (Sorry if that’s TMI) The whole bachelorette group had promised their significant others and family members that we wouldn’t leave the resort due to the recent spike in crime and homicides… (I know I was super sketched out traveling there)

Side Note:  Read this article Garrett (the fiance) sent us the day before we left…

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/08/22/cancun-horror-as-8-bodies-including-2-dismembered-in-bags-found-on-streets.html

With that being said, I couldn’t leave the resort to find a doctor/pharmacy to get medication. Nor, could I physically do that because I was in so much pain. I finally called my parents and asked them what I should do. They told me to call the resort’s doctor that they have on premise to see if they can come and examine me. Within 30 minutes of calling for a doctor, she showed up and saved my life. She had pain medication and an antibiotic delivered to the hotel within an hour and a half and I was good to go for the rest of the trip.

** high key pissed that all of that cost me $300, but I actually would’ve died without it lol

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The rest of the trip was a breeze and was one of the best times I’ve had with the girls in a long time! Our days consisted of drinking lots of pina coladas and eating our hearts out at the different restaurants that they had. We had a cute little lingerie exchange and went out to the bars/club one of the nights and let’s just say that there is no better way to cure a hangover than sleeping by a pool in Mexico.

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Although our trip was only 4 days, it was just enough time to relax and enjoy ourselves while having the time of our lives. I probably forgot to mention this, but we stayed at the Royalton Riviera all inclusive resort and it was an amazing experience! Their service was the best I’ve ever experienced and I 200% recommend staying there.

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My boyfriend and I are heading to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico at the end of October, so stay tuned for our crazy fun trip that we have planned there!

Love Always,

Shell

~More Pictures~

Instagram Worthy L.A.

If you’ve ever been to Los Angeles, you know it’s a place where the creative juices flow and where one of a kind experiences can be found. Whether you’re into food, art, or music; there is something for everyone in L.A. I’ve been to L.A. a million times since it’s only an hour drive from my house, but every time I visit I always discover somewhere or something new. A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend and I both took a Friday off of work and decided to visit some of the most Instagrammed places in L.A… Keep in mind that it takes AT LEAST an hour to get from place to place, so we did our best in the little time we had!

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Our first stop was a trendy and very PINK coffee shop called Carrera Cafe. You might have seen this insta-famous coffee shop that is known for their latte art. What makes their cafe so unique, is the endless latte designs that they offer. You are able to send in a picture of your choice and they have a fancy latte design printer that can actually print a copy of your photo into the latte foam…. mind blowing I know… I thought I’d go with “Boss Lady,” while Andrew went with the classic Louis Vuitton pattern. Overall I’d give this cafe a 10/10 on the uniqueness scale and recommend that everyone goes and checks it out if they ever get a chance!

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Across the street from Carrera Cafe is the famous PINK wall that everyone and their mothers have visited. It makes for a perfect backdrop to take pictures in front of with your trendy latte in hand. 😉 I even got Andrew to take a few in front of it!

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After all of this adventuring around, we worked up an appetite and found an amazing restaurant called Commissary. This restaurant is located on the roof of a hotel in a greenhouse. As soon as you walk in, you are completely surrounded by plants in this trendy glass room. The service was great and the food was unique to the restaurant. It is definitely a restaurant to add to your bucket list because I have never been to somewhere quite like it.

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Now that we had some food in our belly and energy flowing through us, we decided to visit Beverly Hills and drive down Rodeo Drive to check out all of the high-end shops that they are known for. As we were driving around and figuring out where we should go next, we drove past The Beverly Hills Hotel and I immediately made Andrew pull over! I feel like this hotel is such a staple to Beverly Hills and you have to at least visit it once in your lifetime. Everything in this hotel is PINK and palm tree print. You feel like you’re in Barbie’s vacation dream hotel. I don’t know that I’d ever actually stay at this hotel, but it was cool to say that I’ve been there!

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At this point in our day trip, we started to get pretty tired, so we decided to get one last treat in before we headed back to Orange County. We heard of this ice cream shop that is known for their trendy ice cream colors, flavors, and toppings, so we obv had to go! We stopped by BAE, which is located in Little Tokyo and decided to get a black and white swirled cone with gold flakes on it. To our surprise, the black ice cream was pineapple flavored which gave this treat a nice twist. After our late night indulgence, we decided to head home and call it a night.

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There is SO MUCH to do and SO MANY places to visit in Los Angeles. You definitely can’t do all of L.A. in day…or a week.. or even a month, so stay tuned for our next visit to the city of Angels.

Love Always,

Shell

I QUIT!

Some of you may or may not know this, but I quit my job this past week. I’m sure some of you are wondering why… and if I have another job lined up.

The answer is no, I don’t have another job lined up. The reason behind this is because I have a different plan for myself and you’ll see exactly why. But for starters, I should probably tell you the reason to why I made this abrupt decision.

It’s about to get real personal FYI…

For the past couple of months, I’ve been struggling with major anxiety. I’ve always had general anxiety like most people do when it comes to money, jobs, relationships, and other life responsibilities. It didn’t really start to get bad up until a couple months ago. I experienced my first panic attack, which was a really scary experience, to say the least. This panic attack came on out of nowhere and I didn’t really have a reason to be having one. It was just my body’s way of reacting after dealing with a ton of stress for months on end. It freaked me out, but since I’ve always been so mentally tough, I just ignored it and decided to keep pushing through.

After constantly suppressing how I was feeling, it hit me like a bag of bricks and I completely broke down. I felt so out of control of my own body and I didn’t know what to do next. I attempted making appointments to see a therapist, but it was impossible with my work schedule. It came to the point, where I was crying every day after work for no particular reason. After seeing this happen day after day, I spent some time analyzing what the root of my anxiety was, and I found my answer. I wasn’t in the position I wanted to be at in work. I felt like I was losing my creative touch that I spent so many years embracing in school and I wanted to grow and learn exponentially as a young professional.

The day came and I called it quits. I worked for a really great company, but it just wasn’t the right fit for me and I wanted to pursue something bigger and greater for myself. It was such a relieving feeling to be able to do whatever I wanted without anyone telling me I couldn’t. What I’ve realized the past couple of days is that you have the power to create whatever kind of life you want. No one is standing in the way of it, except yourself.

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Unhappy with your job?
Quit and find a new one that makes you look forward to getting up and going to work every single day.

Insecure about your body?
Start over and become the person you have always wanted to be. Change up your eating habits and be religious in the gym and you will see results.

Unhappy with your relationship?
End it or find a way for the both of you to work through whatever issue you may be having.

Not enough hours in the day?
I’m sorry, but we have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce so STOP MAKING EXCUSES! jk 😉

As humans, it is easy to get caught up in this thing called life. But in the end, you have the power to do ANYTHING you want. Your mind is such a powerful tool and you deserve to be happy in everything you do in life. The hardest part is getting started, so just do it (like NIKE would say) and create the life your future children and grandchildren would be proud of. I know I’m on the track to be doing so. Until next time..

Love Always,

Shell

 

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Wild Fire

So, I know its been a hot minute since my last post and I totally had a different blog idea for this time around, but some things happen unexpectedly and this was too crazy to not share. Over this past weekend, I was out celebrating my sorority sister’s birthday in San Diego. We ended up renting this cute Airbnb with a bunch of friends in the downtown Gaslamp Quarter of S.D. We all made our way to Pacific Beach and hung out at some of the local rooftop bars, such as El Prez and Mavericks.

While I was out and about having drinks with friends, I had two missed facetime calls from my mom. She eventually facetimed my boyfriend Andrew and when he answered, my mom had her phone camera facing the canyon in our backyard and all you could see was SMOKE! I immediately jumped on the phone and my mom was freaking out telling us that a wildfire had started in the canyon. To give you a better mental image, our backyard backs up against a huge canyon, called Wood Canyon. It’s absolutely beautiful, but this canyon has perfect fire hazard conditions. There is a ton of dry brush and this day happened to be one of the first hot days we’ve had in a while… also the wind that day wasn’t helping at all.

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At this moment I was a little concerned but saw that the firefighters responded very quickly and were already strategizing to put out the fire. There were helicopters dropping fire retardant and water to contain the blaze. I was wanting to head home, but there was no possible way I could drive with alcohol in my system and all access points to my neighborhood were blocked off anyway. I had to rely on my family sending picture and video updates. I tried to not think too much about it and not damper the mood of the birthday celebration we were having. I definitely put on a happy face to not take away any attention from the birthday girl… I was fine until an hour or two passed by and I had a ton of friends and neighbors texting me if my home and family was okay.

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After receiving those texts and phone calls from friends, I tried getting ahold of my family members and no one was answering so it started to freak me out. The worst thing I could’ve done is check the news and sure enough, they were saying that the fire was rapidly spreading, and home and structures were threatened. There was 0% containment at this point. After an hour of not hearing from my family, I finally got a phone call from my mom and she said, “an officer came to our door, we have to evacuate now. What few things do you need me to grab from your room.” At that moment, I realized there was nothing of real value to me other than my family and animals being safe. I told her to grab my laptop, pillow I had from when I was a baby, and the dress that I’m wearing to an upcoming wedding.

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Once I got off the phone with her, I left everyone at the bar and ran into the restroom so I could give myself a minute or two to cry out all of my worries. I knew everyone was going to be safe, but it still made me sad to think that the home I’ve had all my memories in, could be gone forever and there was nothing I could do about it. Once I let it all out, I pulled myself together and continued on with the birthday celebration. I felt guilty being down in San Diego partying, but my mom reassured me that everything would be okay and to enjoy my time down there because they had everything handled at home.

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Long story short, after hours of the firefighters battling the fires, the evacuations were lifted and my family was able to return home. We are currently on day six of the fire and as of now, it is contained. I’m so beyond thankful and have a whole new respect for the men and women who saved the homes of many. I’ve always had a huge respect for our first responders, but until something happens to you personally then it completely changes your perspective and makes you even that much more grateful.

Facts about the Aliso Viejo Fire:
-Burned 175 acres
-No buildings were lost in the fire
-About 3,500 residents in Laguna Beach and Aliso Viejo were evacuated
-More than 500 personnel were working the Aliso Fire Department
-Three firefighters sustained non-life-threatening injuries
-Cause of the fire is still under investigation

Love Always,

Shell

Coachella & Stagecoach Tips

Well well well….It’s that time of year ladies and gents! Festival season is right around the corner and I wanted to give you some tips and tricks on what to wear, bring, and do while at my two favorite festivals… Coachella & Stagecoach! Wooooh!

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This will be my second year going to Coachella and my 10th year going to Stagecoach, so I definitely have some great advice (especially for you ladies)! Since Coachella is coming up first, I’ll talk a little about that. First and foremost, Coachella has become more than a music festival. It has become more of a fashion show, showing off latest Boho trends and hopefully getting that million dollar Instagram photo you’ve been planning for. Although you definitely want to dress comfortably since there’s a lot of walking around and dancing in 100-degree weather, here is some Coachella fashion Inspo. And some of the outfits my friends and I wore last year!

 

Some Important Coachella tips include:

-Bring a backup phone charger or two… Your phone will die SO fast from taking so many pictures and Snapchats and with the service being awful, it’ll drain your battery even faster when trying to send texts.

-With that being said, have a designated meeting spot if you get lost or separated from your group. A good spot is always in front of the infamous Ferris wheel!

-Reusable water bottle. It is SO hot at Coachella and is super easy to become dehydrated. Especially if you are drinking alcohol! They have free water filling stations, so it’s nice to have your water bottle with you at all times.

-Deodorant. Like I said before, It is HOT being in the middle of the desert, so bring a small travel size deodorant in your purse to freshen up since Coachella is an all day and night event.

-If you’re camping on the Polo Grounds, you know how impossible it is to shower, so I recommend baby wipes, baby wipes, and more baby wipes! It is so dusty out there and you’ll be so thankful you brought baby wipes to wipe down your entire body

– Like I said, its super easy to get lost so whenever you go to the restroom or anywhere else, bring a friend so if you get separated from the group you’re not alone! You think this would be a no-brainer, but there are so many people at this event and you’d be surprised how many times you get lost… it happened to me one too many times last year lol

SUNSCREEN. There’s no worse pain than being sunburnt and having to continue being in the sun all day for 3 days! The sun out in the desert is way stronger, so don’t neglect your SPF protection!

-Write down where you park, send it to a friend, or drop a pin. The parking lots are HUGE and It sucks not being able to find your car after a long day/night when you’re exhausted!

As for Stagecoach, I have many pictures and fashion Inspo. that I can show you from over the years, but Stagecoach is less of a fashion show and is all about comfort. You can’t go wrong with a pair of daisy dukes, cowboy boots, and a tank top. My go-to outfit is shorts, boots, and a bathing suit top (if my body is in tip-top shape). If not, a cute country tank, shorts, and your favorite pair of boots is all you need. Day 1 and Day 2, I tend to wear my cutest outfits and wear a more casual one on day 3.

Important Stagecoach tips: 

A lot of these will be pretty similar to the Coachella list including:
-Portable charger
-Designated meeting spot
-Reusable water bottle
-Deodorant
-Sunscreen
-Write down where you parked
-Sunglasses are V important

-Stagecoach involves A LOT of drinking, so my advice would be to PACE YOURSELF. People start partying and drinking as soon as the sun comes up, so If you want to make it to see your favorite artists at 10 pm, then start slow, eat yummy food, drink water, and you’ll be good to go!
-Last year I had one too many strawberry margaritas on an empty stomach and let’s just say that I had to go back to the hotel mid-day and missed some of my favorite artists ☹
-Wear thicker socks and bring band-aids for your cowboy boots. Because of all the dancing and walking, you might get a blister or two if your socks aren’t thick enough.
-If you’re staying in the RV area or can get your hands on an RV wristband, then PARTY IN THERE. The festival itself is super fun, but the RV area is where the party is at. Everyone is blasting music, playing beer pong, flip-cup, dancing, etc. and is super friendly. Some of my favorite memories of Stagecoach have been in the RV area. Its where everyone goes to party before the big artists come on stage and where they go after the concert is over and party all night.

Either way, if you’re attending or not, Coachella and Stagecoach are two weekends that i’ve mad unforgettable memories at and highly recommend attending both of them at least once in your lifetime!

Stay tuned for my Post-Coachella/Stagecoach blog post about my experiences this year!

Love Always,

Shell

Life Update

 

Hello Hello,

So I took a big break from blogging once the new year approached. Life happened really fast for me and a lot of big life changes took place during the past couple months. The good, the bad, the happy, and the sad. As many of you may already know, I recently graduated from Cal State Fullerton with my B.A. in Communications: P.R. With that being said, I also was offered a full-time job doing Marketing for a luxury real estate brokerage in Newport Beach! It has always been a dream of mine to work and live and Newport, so I’m really happy to be in the place that I am today.

Another big change happened and that was the end of my two-year relationship. We had been doing long distance our entire relationship, which made it really hard. We were also on two completely different pages in life, so that’s when I decided to make the decision to go separate ways.

At this point, I’m realizing it was the right decision. I kind of lost myself during that two-year span. I feel like I’m slowly but surely getting back to my old self and am happier than ever doing my own thing.

I feel like in your 20’s you’re still discovering who you are as a person, so If someone is holding you back or not growing with you I don’t really see a point in continuing to have a relationship or friendship with someone.

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One of my favorite quotes of all time is,

“Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right, Forgive the ones who don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, Let it. Nobody said It’d be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”

This quote is so beyond true. Life is too short to be anything but happy, so keep your chin up and try to see the silver lining in everything you do.

I’ve met some really amazing people this year and I have high hopes for 2018. Rachelle is back and ready to get on the blogging train again. Stay tuned for my next post regarding Coachella and Stagecoach! April is going to be one fun month!

Love Always,

Shell