HOW I MET MY BOYFRIEND

Cue Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” music video because that’s basically mine and Andrew’s love story… Jk it’s far fetched from that but our love story will always be my favorite.

I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes or gagging at the thought of reading a mushy gushy story about how we met & fell in love, so if you’re a hater, then keep on scrolling. 😉 For those of you who ARE interested then read along to get the inside scoop on how our relationship came to be!

BACK STORY

Rewind to February 2018, I had just gotten out of a two year long distance relationship and was NOT looking for another one (obviously) and was enjoying my freedom of being single and figuring out my 23 year old life. Andrew had also just gotten out of a long term relationship and moved back home to California from Colorado, so he was focused on being home again and spending time with his family and friends.

HOW WE MET

I was on my way to my sorority sister’s birthday brunch and got there a little late so I had to sit at the end of the table where I knew no one. I’m no stranger to making friends, so I sat down across from a cute long haired boy who immediately locked in my attention. The first thing I noticed was how outgoing he was and the confidence he had when speaking to me. As the brunch continued, we got to know each other a little more and I remember thinking “man this guy is so charming…” and how he was making me nervous, which was an unusual thing for me. After brunch we all went out to the bars in Newport Beach and drank and danced the day away. He did a good job of not taking all of my attention away from me and gave me space to hang with my girlfriends while coming up and talking to me a little bit throughout the day… I think it was his way of playing a little hard to get. 😉

By the end of the birthday celebration, he so smoothly asked for my number and the day had ended. As soon as I got that first text the next day, we never really stopped talking and eventually went on our first date. Fast forward a year and a half later, we took the leap of faith to move in together and have been loving it!It’s so crazy to think that when we both met we were not in the headspace to date anyone because of the relationships we had both just gotten out of, but sometimes it’s just right and you have to follow what your heart and gut is telling you. Since then, we haven’t looked back and I can finally say that I found my person.

Love Always, Shell

How to starting Blogging & Influencing

First off… Hi, I’m back!

I know it’s been a couple of months since I’ve blogged, but I have a whole new vision and can’t wait to share some of the exciting things coming your way. ★

More often than not, I have friends and followers reaching out about how I got started blogging and becoming an influencer. Just to be clear, everyone has their own path and journey on becoming an Influencer and there is no “one size fits all” way to do it. But, I do have a few tips about how to get started.

  1. FIGURE OUT WHAT TYPE OF INFLUENCER YOU ARE
    1. Fashion, lifestyle, health & fitness, etc.
  2. CREATE WEBSITE FOR YOUR BLOG
    1. If you’re not a coding wizard, you can create a free website by using WordPress or Squarespace (I use WordPress & it’s super easy to use.)
  3. CREATE AN INSTAGRAM FEED THEME
    1. The first thing that people notice on Instagram is if your profile is aesthetically pleasing or not..
    2. Download Lightroom presets & edit your pictures on Instagram (I’m actually starting to create my own that’ll be available for download, so stay tuned!)
  4. POST ON INSTAGRAM EVERYDAY
    1. Make sure they’re quality photos tho…
  5. POST RELEVANT HASHTAGS
    1. Instagram allows 30 hashtags, so be sure to post specific hashtags in the section of your comments that are relevant to your picture & what type of influencer you are
      1. Ex: #microinfluencer #lablogger #discoverunder5k
  6. ENGAGE WITH FOLLOWERS
    1. Respond back to all comments on your pictures
    2. Follow Instagram accounts that are similar to yours
    3. Make sure you reciprocate with those who engage with you often
  7. CREATE RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER BLOGGERS
    1. The blogging community is HUGE, so reach out to local bloggers & plan meetups!
    2. When followers see that bloggers are friends and go to the same events, etc. it causes them to be more interested in your lifestyle as a blogger

Other than those tips, just stay true to yourself and don’t try to be anything you’re not. It’s really obvious when you’re faking it.. You’ve got this!

If any of you have an questions, feel free to ask me anything!

Love Always,

Shell

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