Europe travel diary 2017

dear readers,

I’m back! After 3 weeks of traveling through Europe, I’m back home in home sweet home California. I love traveling because I feel like since we are only on Earth for a relatively short amount of time, why not explore it and maybe find ourselves while getting lost in the vast, beautiful world. Everytime I travel, I see and learn so much and I really wanted to share with you all the knowledge I’ve gathered in the three weeks I spent traveling through England, Belgium, Sweden and Iceland so i decided to share some pictures and experiences from my trip! Sit back, relax, and bon voyage!

 

London, England

I personally loved London so much! the thing that sets London apart from a lot of the other places I’ve visited is the fact that I would actually love moving to London. London is charming but also street smart. Classic but also up to date. We stayed in London for about 3 ish days.

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arriving in London, we got hit by a wave of flocking tourists and experienced locals swarming all over the airport
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for that first day, we just walked the streets of London. They were beautiful and filled with character and charm
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Next place we went, after a good nights sleep, was Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guards. *tip get there early since there is always a big crowd
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Here they come!

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we stopped for a sweet treat (on the 4th of July) at Crumbs and Dollies
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and some shopping time at the BIGGEST LUSH IN THE WORLD. As a huge lushie I was so excited to explore this 3 floor Lush with exclusive products and a spa!
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Trafalgar square was actually one of my favorite places because of the many street artists, relaxed vibe, and beautiful atmosphere!
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The next day, we got up bright and early for a visit to the Tower of London! if you are interested in medieval European history, you won’t want to miss this stop!
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Westminster Abbey was full of history as well. I personally love history so this was one of my favorite stops since you could really feel like you were in Medieval England
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We didn’t get to ride the London Eye which I was fine with to be honest since it was a 30 minute ride.
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Views like this made London such a magical place for me 🙂

 

Stratford-upon-Avon+York, England 

We decided to rent a car to get to these places but we got in an accident, don’t worry not a huge one, within our first 5 minutes of driving. My dad was not used to driving on the right side since we drive on the left in the USA and hit a curb, causing our tire to rip and deflate. So we scratched that plan and took public transport, the train! Stratford upon Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace was so cute and peaceful!

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Anne’s (Shakesphere’s wife) cottage was so peaceful and beautiful. Perfect for a nice walk and a glimspe into Shakespeares life!
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Mary’s farm is really fun (especially for kids), everyone is dressed like they’re from the 16th century, and there are many animals like this adorable sheep that came up to me

Next, we took the train to York, a town full of history.

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these ancient ruins were spectacular!
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the York minister was also stunning, we got to climb stairs up to the top to get a full view of York!
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the view from the top!
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sunset in the Shambles

back to London, and Brussels, Belgium

We made a quick stop back to London to then get on a plane to Brussels, Belgium.

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enjoying our last day in London

Brussels was a quick stop, only one day, and then we rented a car to go to other places in Belgium. Brussels was a pretty pleasant city filled with the scent of waffles and historical buildings

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the famous ‘Grand Place’
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Of course we had to try some belgium waffles!

 

Ghant, Brugge, etc… little Belgium towns!

Somehow, the little towns we visited overshadowed Brussels with their character! We visited many of them and found that it was hard to communicate since most people spoke only French!

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Luxembourg was really gorgeous! I was sick at my time during here but I loved this cute city (or actually country)
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The views were seriously STUNNING!

 

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm was stunning, I really enjoyed my day and a half there and I wish we spent a lot more time there.

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The streets of Gamla Stan, old town. The streets are full of tourists, bright buildings, and character!
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Took the ferry to see the city. The blue blue ocean and gentle breeze was so relaxing and added to the scenery!
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The vasa museum is a MUST SEE!
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I didn’t want to leave Stockholm!

 

Gothenburg, Sweden

My sister was playing in a soccer tournament in the town of Gothenburg so we spent 5 relaxing and fun days in Gothenburg!

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Fireworks exploded, celebrating the opening of Gothia Cup! Hundreds of Teams from every country you can name watched as they sparkled through the sky!
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a quick trip to a nearby island was definitely a highlight of Gothenburg! The beautiful island of Bruno was so peaceful and gorgeous!

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taking a trip in a boat to the canals and harbor was so fun!

 

Copenhagen, Denmark

We spent less than a day in Copenhagen since we were catching a plane to Reykjavik, Iceland. However it was a great couple hours in this lovely city. It was rainy but that didn’t stop us from having fun!

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Stunning buildings by the river!
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The locks of love

 

Final stop: Reykjavik, Iceland

I was so excited about visiting Iceland! It was so remote and raw but that’s what made it beautiful. It was pretty chilly there, and rained

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Iceland is full of gorgeous national parks
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the hills were so green. this is the view from our rental car!
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geysers galore!

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the Blue Lagoon was a blast! So relaxing and a great end to the trip!
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the view from the top: Reykjavik from the top of a church!

 

And then we headed home to sunny California! It was such a fun trip and I’m glad I got to give you a glimpse into it!

how has your summer been?

xoxo,

californiangirl

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Beauty Essentials

Dear Readers,

Happy summer! Are you enjoying the sunshine and time off? Well it sure has been hot here in California. I love the sunshine and blue skies but the heat keeps me up all night and makes my skin super dry in some areas but also oily from sweat in others! Today, I’m sharing with you some of the best beauty essentials for summer!

1. Cooling Facial Spray

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This facial spray couldn’t be better for summer! It cools your face quickly and helps bring moisture to the dry parts of your skin, rejuvenating them. Also it can be used as a makeup setting spray and even for a boost of volume in your hair! Talk about triple threat! I have a travel sized version to keep in my bag for an on-the-go quick fix!

2. Anything Aloe Vera

Summer also means sunburns, and sunburns are not fun. What can help with relieving redness and pain from sunburn is aloe vera. I love using aloe vera gel before I go to bed by applying a thin layer throughout the sunburned area. It has a tingling, cooling sensation and helps soothe even the harshest sunburns!

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3. BB Cream

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A bb cream is great for summer since it’s lighter than foundation but also provides more spf coverage. It’s perfect for starting your makeup routine and covering any blemishes you have. The one I have selected above is great because it is an 8-in-1 bb cream with its benefits including Blurs imperfections, Brightens, Evens skin tone, Smoothes, Hydrates, Enhances, Protects with SPF 30, 0% oils and heavy ingredients.

4. Bronzer

Bronzer can be great for enhancing that summer glow! If you don’t tan very easily or just want a boost in your complexion, bronzer is amazing! To use bronzer, just make the number three on both cheeks! Start at the top of your forehead, dust it along your cheeks and sweep it across your jaw line all the way to your chin. Don’t forget to blend it into your neck!

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5. A Lip Balm

Lips get chapped in summer so you’ll need to have lip balm on hand at all times! The Sephora collection offers an amazing lip balm in all different flavors using all different ingredients to moisturize your lips to keep them delicious and kissable all summer long!

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My personal favorite is the coconut, but why not try all 6 since they are only $6 each!

 

And that’s it for my summer beauty essentials post! In less than a week, I’m off to Europe! I’m so excited to share that experience with all of you!

until next time

californiangirl

 

 

 

How to Make Bullet Journal//

Dear Readers,

Welcome back to my blog! Summer is great so far, I’m really enjoying a break from school, dance, and drama! However, the heat is killing me (and my hair!). Today, I’m giving a quick how-to on a bullet journal. I found this super cute idea when I was scrolling through Pinterest a couple of days ago then checked out this awesome Buzzfeed Video and I’m already hooked!

 

what is a bullet journal?

A bullet journal is basically a place to jot down everything. If you are one of those people who write a bazillion to do lists on sticky notes everywhere, likes pen and paper to-do lists, likes stationery, journaling, scrapbooking, beautiful pens, loves to doodle and draw, or wants to start a diary but can’t stick with the habit, then a bullet journal is THE PERFECT THING FOR YOU. You can make it neat or messy, fill it with words or drawings. It’s basically the perfect place to dump your thoughts and ideas!

getting started

As soon as I heard about bullet journalling, I knew I needed to try it. The first thing I did was find a notebook. It’s up to your preference and style on what note-book to use, but I’m using one without lines or grids so I can draw and write with freedom. However, if you like lines and grids, go for it! It’s up to you!

After I found a good notebook, I started to fill the pages. You can start with the “Index”  (basically a table of contents) and go from there.

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the future log (and other logs)

First thing I did was the future log. ‘Okay slow your roll… Future Log?’ a future log is the palce where you can have an overview of all the important dates in coming months: birthdays, events, holidays, etc..

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Then, you can move on to monthly/weekly, and even daily logs to go into further detail about these events. I’m not including these since I’m really busy and (let’s be honest) not good at commitment so I just have my future log, though most bullet journals include monthly and weekly logs.

doodles/designs

before we get into more, remember that this is your notebook! Add doodles and special designs that you love! Make special pages only you would need and understand! It’s your bullet journal, make it yours!

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thought bubble/to dos

Reserve/design pages built for you to dump all your thoughts and ideas for each month! I call mine the thought bubble, but call it whatever you want.

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Also, set aside many pages for to do’s as well! There’s so much to do and this is a great way to keep track of it all!

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other page ideas

More ideas for pages are a:

goals page

sleep tracker/log

food log

books to read+movies to see

grade tracker

inspiration

 

Now make a bullet journal, your way, and tell me how it goes! I can’t wait for you all to try it out! They are super fun and easy to make!

 

how’s your summer so far?

 

xoxo,

californiangirl

 

summer clothing wishlist//

hey readers,

Today was the last day of school. Since we are graduating and moving on to a new school, it was a bittersweet day, and mostly bitter… I ended the day with some tears and hard goodbyes. it was sad to see some people who are so positive and kind break down right in front of me. It was also chilling tor realize that we would never be with the same group of people ever again. I’d taken them for granted and now some of them would be gone. I regret not getting to know some people as well as I could and should have.

Nevertheless, it also means its summer! (sorry for getting deep earlier) Summer means more posts since I’ll have a lot more free time and down time. I’m also going to Sweden and England in July and can’t wait to blog about that.

Today, I’m going to talk about some clothing that are on my wish list for summer! I tried to find things that were reasonably priced as well! Enjoy the post!

 

1. wide leg loose pants

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So summery and under $20… shop the pants here

I feel like these days all I have are tight leggings and jeans. For summer, I feel like some wide legged loose pants would be an easy-breezy alternative.

2. off the shoulder top

off the shoulder tops are so trendy and also perfect for summer! I really love the effortless touch they bring to your look. this floral top paired with light wash jeans or shorts would be such a gorgeous look

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shop the look here

3. a romper

Oh how I love rompers! So cute, but also really easy to run around in for the day. Only problem: USING THE BATHROOM. But hey at least you’ll look cute!

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Shop the look here

This one is a tie on halter which I absolutely LOVE! It’s a little on the expensive side but worth the splurge!

4. a statement choker

I love chokers so much. And me being my girly self loves this delicate golden heart choker!

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Currently on SALE

I can’t get over this gorgeous necklace. It would tie together any outfit and add a cute, girly touch!

5. a maxi dress

surrounded by a sea of midi and mini dresses, why not stand out with a maxi dress! I love dresses since they are an easy solution for when you don’t know what to wear. they are super easy and comfy too!

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Check it out here

 

This one is so gorgeous and minimalistic. It’s just so flowy and summery (if that’s a word). I like the neutral color so you can add statement accessories and shoes!

 

Okay, that’s my summer fashion wish list. I can’t wait to go shopping so I can hopefully get all of these!

How’s your summer so far? What clothing item is your favorite? Comment below!

xoxo,

californiangirl

 

 

Dance Spring Show!//my experience

Dear Readers

this weekend was the show! The spring performance of my dance studio! It was an interesting but rewarding experience. Let’s get into the post!

 

tech rehearsal–the warm up

tech rehearsal is basically when we run all our dances in our regular dance clothes, not costumes, makeup, and hair. This is so we get used to the stage and marking formations. This year at tech, we went to get boba tea before to get a pre-snack and to give us a boost, since it would, no doubt be a long night.

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BTW: edited on VSCO! I love VSCO soooooo much!

So after getting our boba, we left to the theater, with our bags full of pointe shoes and yoga blocks. i was pretty worried about this years show since I was in a total of 8 pieces. This meant I had A TON of “quick changes” meaning you only have one dance number (about 2-3 minutes) to change your shoes, costume, hair, and sometimes makeup! Yeah, I know, that alone pretty much finished me for the night. Luckily for tech, all i and to change was the shoes. Tech ran smoothly and long. By the time we left, it was 10 PM (and still a school night for most of us). I still had homework and was exhausted from almost 5 hours of dancing. I crashed as soon as I got home.

dress rehearsal–the disaster

Dress Rehearsal, basically the show but with no one in the audience. I show up to the theater in full hair (a high well gelled ballet bun) and makeup (thick show makeup). I was scared since today was the first time trying out my “quick changes” as well as the day they took pictures. we took class to warm up, then the night began. It started out fine, except my turns weren’t on spot. But, they were still better than what was about to come. So I went through my quick changes, barely making them, covered in a  layer of sweat. Part 1 was over so it was on to the next part. Then, I made my mistake. Instead of practicing my dance (a really hard adv ballet piece that I was the youngest in), I decided just to chill out and relax, as I was pretty tired. WORST MISTAKE EVER

I ended up forgetting that dance (on stage) as well as slipping and falling on my butt during it. and yes, all the way DOWN

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and yes it was pretty much this bad (even though that’s obviously not me)

Yay! icing on that disaster cake was when I talked to my teacher (more like desperately apologized to him). He didn’t seem that happy with my performance. The rest of the night (kind of) made up for that huge disaster cake, as I did really well in my last 2 pieces of the night. I left the theater excited, but mostly nervous for the next day. showtime

show no. 1–recovery

I walked into the theater with a vision of performing perfectly that night. I was running late so I grabbed my ballet shoes and began to run to the stage, where warm up was. I sighed as we began ballet class, relaxing into the familiar movements and music. However, I still had a layer of nervousness wrapping around my mind as I remembered the mess ups of last night. AFter class, I changed into my costume and took some cute pictures (with my Polaroid of course). before we knew it, it was time for the show to begin. the curtains rolled open and the stage lights lit up the  stage. The first dances went well, I still wasn’t quite happy with my turns but they weren’t that bad. My quick changes were hard to get through again, but I made them. i did do a major-ish mess up in my last ballet dance of part 1 but I covered it up as best as I could.

Part 2 now began. I changed into my sparkly gold costume and did exactly what i didn’t do the day before. I practiced, and practiced, and practiced. Did I mention that I practiced? The dance went WAY better than the day before. I actually did pretty good. The accomplishment of that made me get through the whole night. I took a couple more pictures and then went out to greet my family, and friends.  1 show down, 1 more to go.

show no. 2-a goodbye

This show was not bad but I feel like it was a little worst than before. Nevertheless, I still felt happy with my performance in general. However it was also a day of goodbye. We had to say goodbye to three seniors and another girl moving to an arts boarding school in Michigan. We were also saying goodbye to all of our dances we’ve been working on since February, and the 2016-17 team.  I have to say at the last bow I was tearing up a little (actually a lot). I will miss everyone and hope they always come back to visit.

 

This show week ended on a bittersweet note however I never wanted it to end. I hope you enjoyed my post!

 

xoxo,

californiangirl

Poetry, my way of expressing myself//californiangirl

Dear Readers,

Today I have for you a few of my favorite poems I’ve written. I love poetry because it’s the best way to express my thoughts. My poems are about other people and how then influenced and changed me. Let me know what you think. It’s my first time sharing my poetry with others. enjoy!

 

“lies”

 

“i’m fine”

she says

but i know it’s

not true

 

i see her sullen eyes

dried out

from crying

i see her veil of defeat

as each step she takes

sinks closer to the floor

 

i give her my hand and

sink down with her

 

 

“sisters”

 

you are

the one i have grown up with

my biggest competitor

my shoulder to cry on

when everyone else has left

the other half of my heart and soul

you are what pushes me to achieve my goals

you’ve made me laugh

and cry

but don’t worry, mostly laugh

 

if the world tries to

pull us apart

good luck world

it’s hard to break the bond of sisters

 

 

“can you imagine?”

 

she can’t sleep most nights

just lies awake until the light streams out

tired, exhausted, waiting for the feeling of sweet sleep

to finally overcome her

but her mind racing fast

a million miles

Can you imagine?

 

she says everyone hates her at school

that she is shunned

alone in a sea of darkness

with no light

guiding her out

Can you imagine?

 

she says she will always

be second best

never the star role

even in her

own life

Can you imagine?

 

but she still puts on a face

a brave face

each and every day

waiting for something better

something that won’t come

Can you imagine?

 

yeah i thought so

 

 

“ice cream”

we don’t talk

like we used to do

all night

on the phone

 

at school

we regard each other

then slip into our own

worlds

filled with different images

and people

 

i’d forgotten how much

i’d missed you

until we clutched

hands

and shared ice cream

and memories

 

“you”

you are tehre

every time i look across the room

there

even when i don’t want you to be

there

smiling, laughing, at something i’ll never know

i wonder if in your little boy heart

if you can see me

or if i’m invisible to you

like i am to everyone else

 

 

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed my poems or could relate, maybe try to write some poems for your self. I know if maybe hard, but just let your thoughts flow and teh word will come. you can do it! I truly wish you luck in the world of poetry!

my 101st post//highlights of my blog

Hey Readers,

This is my 101 post with this wordpress blog! I’m amazed that I’ve been blogging so much. It’s only been a little over a year since I started this blog and I’ve already made it to 100+ posts! I have to say I’m proud of myself for being this committed! Today’s post is all about what I’ve learned about blogging since I’ve started my blog. Also here’s a link to my first every blog post (time to make fun of fetus me). Today I’m going to read some of my old posts just for the fun of it. I’m probably going to cringe so hard that I never want to open my laptop again, but… whatever.

Thank you readers for leaving lovely comments and liking my posts, this makes my day and is what keeps me blogging. thank you so much!

picture credits above go to my friend L 🙂

I also changed the theme of my blog

 

today I’m sharing the highlights of my blog! 

here are some of my favorite posts

Fashion Fails (Week 1)

first thing you might notice, the pictures all aren’t up! Why? I honestly don’t even know myself. I think I put in the media wrong or something. This post really reminds me of what a spunky fashionista I am. I honestly burst out laughing multiple times.

Best quote: “It wasn’t even a cold day, but it looked like she was in the middle of a blizzard in Siberia. Do me, and yourself a favor and please never wear that hat again.”

The Recipe of Happiness

dear god, why was this so cringy but heartwarming at the same time?

“And most importantly, Love Yourself. (yes, like the Justin Bieber song).”

Rainbow Dance Competition… what a weekend

This is I think my most liked and viewed post. I personally think this was the first good post I wrote about dance, which is one of the biggest parts of my life.

” Maybe it’s good to not always win, after all, next competition we will be even more determine to win and we will work harder. This loss only put some FIRE in our bellies.”

20 Things That You (probably) Don’t Know About Me

This is really fun to write and re-read. It’s so interesting how much ahs changed since I wrote that post.

“20 is a VERY large number and I’m already running out of things to say.”

JUMP Convention part 1- Friday

ahhhh another one of my dance posts. This is about my experience at another dance competition, Jump. This one got pretty deep, and there’s also a part two which is my convention experience.

“We were nervous, the energy was like a cloud of buzzing bees hovering over us. We did some jumping jacks and crazy 8’s trying to keep our focus and burst the cloud of flying buzzing bees. The nervous energy only grew as we saw other teams. “Look away. It won’t help us if we look. Will they your performance better?” Our Coach, Ms. C, asked as she noticed our gaze towards them. “Stay focused.” And we did.”

ABRSM Piano Exam?!-experience and what I learned

This is about another very important about my life, piano. I feel like if I had to take an exam, I would want to read something like this.

“After each piece his ink pen scribbled furiously. I could hear the words as they formed on the paper.”

China Blog (Days: 1-3)

Taking a trip to China, where I’m from, is one of the best experiences of my life. I loved blogging about it too! Check out all my China Blog accounts!

The Dance Winter Performance//my experience

This post is pretty recent and it’s about my dance winter performance.

“The show is a big deal, but maybe not as big a deal as the Spring Showcase. I was in four dances this year, Rondo (ballet), Snow Scene (advanced ballet), New York Christmas (Jazz), and Winter’s Night (lyrical). This is my experience of both backstage and on stage, and I’m ready to share.”

Pool Parties+Updates

This was really funny and fun to write. I love team parties, its super fun. This reminded me of how much I love hanging out with the team. This made me laugh and smile as I remember the good old days.

“Next, we played pterodactyl, brought to us courtesy by Kristen.  In pterodactyl, you can’t show your teeth. You are in a circle and you have to say pterodactyl-hence the name. If you show your teeth at all, you are out.  We all crowded in a circle in the steaming, bubbling hot tub and we started. It was fine at first, but soon I got out along with half the girls. Since it was the Top 5, Kristen changed up the rules a little. You have to say a body part, either an internal or out-ternal organ. We cracked up at that. I was feeling so hyper from the Sprite I just had. The finalists faced off. Everyone cracked up again when Anika Selena muffled out vagina.”

Hamilton: a beginner’s guide

I love Hamilton. Like it’s pretty bad. Ok, it’s really bad. This was my attempt to get the people who don’t know or like Hamilton to know and like Hamilton. I have to say I was pretty successful since I converted my friend.

“Today’s post is about my current obsession, Hamilton the musical. A couple of months ago I thought I was obsessed. I listened to a few songs and liked them. That was it. Now, i truly am, I mean you don’t even want to know how bad it is. Like its stalking original cast member bad. Watching illegal clips of it live bad. Listening to it non-stop bad.”

food for thought: Body Image and Clean Eating

This was a lot more of a serious topic about me and my relationship with my weight. This was tough to write and read. It’s really difficult to share this information but also important to talk about.

” I studied by long, bulging-with-muscle legs, my broad and beautiful shoulders, my delicate and lean arms, and my now widened hips, showing that I was a strong woman. I looked at my beautiful body in the mirror. I took a deep breath and went back to doing the barre exercises.”

Beauty Wishlist

This is another very popular post. I love making LISTS. Like love love love. It was very fun to write this awesome list.

“I low high key want to get High Beam from Benefit Cosmetics”

 

Thanks for reading! Have a lovely day

 

xoxo,

californiangirl