That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbles..

Thoughts

unfortunateevents

Sometimes things don’t always go the way you expected. Sometimes you get completely blindsided. Sometimes you’re left standing there wondering…why?

But, there are always hidden positive messages in these occurrences that you must search for when you think all is lost. As I have grown and matured, I’ve truly begun to understand that without pain you will have no growth. You will never always know WHY things happen or WHY people did what they did (which is honestly very hard for me..I always want to know why.. it must be the scientist part of me yearning for concrete evidence and answers 🙂 ). So stop overanalyzing – that will only fuel you to keep digging yourself into a pit of lies and assumptions. Whatever happens, just remember that you are a strong individual who will find the growth the situation to better yourself in the end.

This weekend I am heading to Monterey Bay to visit a lot of old friends from college. I have a jam packed 3 days that I couldn’t be more excited about! I can’t wait to be surrounded by the natural beauty of the peninsula, share stories and laughs with people who make me so happy, and visit my fishy friends under the water in the kept forests. I know I will return home a better person with a rejuvenated soul.

All I can say is roll with the punches and make the best out of every situation that lands in your lap. Remember that life is a sorting process – whether you are sorting through jobs, relationships, friends… in due time you will land your dream job, meet the person you can’t live without, and acquire irreplaceable friends. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles 🙂

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Lessons and Highlights of 2012

Thoughts

new year

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!

This year has been the year of self-discovery and growth.

I learned to fully love myself.
I learned to consistently listen to my heart, and do what makes me happy.
I learned that I had a ‘knick’ for winning contests.
I learned that eating healthy, and working out really does pay off in the end.
I learned that the people who want to be in your life, make the effort to be in it
I learned that I unfortunately lactose-intolerant. 
I learned that I can run 5K’s even after 2 knee surgeries and finish in the top 5%.
I learned that keeping a positive attitude can lead you down great new paths. 
I learned that it’s ok/fun to start more conversations with strangers on a daily basis. 
I learned that I’m not too shabby of a chef.
I learned that giving to others is the best feeling in the world. 
I learned to really appreciate my wide variety of friendships: spanning across all different locations, ages, and personalities. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I learned to keep a spare key always hidden outside my house.
I learned to not settle.
I learned to say yes more to trying new/different activities.

What were some of the lessons you learned this year? I’d love to hear from you 🙂
Below I accumulated a list of life highlights from 2012. I had a lot of fun reviewing at all my 2012 posts on here, as well as my Facebook to see what really made my life super fantastic this year. Looking back, I realize that life really is what you make it. You can sit on the sidelines, or put on those cleats and jump right into the middle of the game of life.
I can’t wait to see what 2013 holds in store for you, me, and the rest of the world. I have a feeling a great new chapter of my life is about to begin… I’ll post my 2013 Goals soon!

  • Saw Sufjan Stevens in concert (bonus that it was a Christmas show)
  • Finished my Invisalign Treatment = a more beautiful smile!
  • One of my best friends from living abroad in Australia, Miranda, came to visit me from Canada!
  • Worked at the beautiful Santa Anita Race Track all summer long with the California Philharmonic (Met Vanessa Carlton, too!)
  • Had box seats at the San Diego Padres Game with my family
  • Rekindled friendships
  • Went to my Aunt’s favorite band’s concert as one of her Bucket List items
  • Had an fantastic sporadic weekend in San Francisco
  • First time eating at a Czech Bakery
  • Saw the Space Shuttle Endeavor fly over Pasadena on top of a 747 Jet – then saw it in person at its final resting place at the CA Science Center
  • Saw The Shins in concert at Universal Gibson Amphitheater 
  • Made my own solar eclipse viewing device
  • Got to re-live Disneyland through my 9-year-old cousin’s eyes
  • Got in amazing shape- changed my workout schedule and eating habits to live a healthier life
  • Started the wave and got on the JumboTron 4 times in one night at a Dodger Game!
  • Was in Daniel Bedingfield’s music video (that has still yet to come out…)
  • Saw John Williams at the Hollywood Bowl
  • My friend Swedish friend (Alex) who I met in Australia (2009) came to visit me in Pasadena!
  • Eating at Club 33 in Disneyland for the 2nd time
  • Volunteered with the Pasadena Jaycees for Operation Santa toy delivery on Xmas Eve
  • Winning 4 Box Seats, 4 Club House Passes, a $50 betting voucher, and a VIP tour of the Paddocks and Winner’s Circle at Santa Anita’s Opening Day (Plus I met Gene Simmons..that was cool too!)
  • Volunteered making lunch at the Union Station Homeless Shelter

Embrace Your Inner Trouble Maker

Photography, Thoughts

Hi blog world!

Well, I officially survived the Bud Light Port Paradise Cruise I won a couple of weeks ago from Young the Giant and Bud Light. It was an amazing experience and a 4 day weekend I will never forgot. The musical concerts were out of this world amazing, and I met some really awesome people from across the United States.

I have so many photos and videos that I will make a little summary video/photo diary that I will post on here very soon 🙂

It felt so amazing not to have a worry in the world, especially when we were on the beautiful private island of Coco Cay in the middle of the Bahamas. It really was a little paradise just for the estimated 5,000 people on the 2 Bud Light Port Paradise Cruise Ships. There were a numerous amount of fun activities located all over the island (jet skis, inflatable ocean wipeout course, local little shops, paddle boarding, etc.). Of course there were hammocks and lots of beach chairs scattered along the pristine white sandy beaches, for those who wanted to work on their tans and kick back for a little bit.

I leisurely strolled into the crystal blue water and just floated on my back and soaked up the beauty, the large amount of luck in my life, the happiness that was overcoming me, and the overall euphoria I was experiencing right then and there. I had no worries. I felt amazing. I was surrounded by amazing people. I was content with life. I had no obligations (but to have fun). I had a huge smile that couldn’t be wiped off my face. 

I was embracing my inner trouble maker. I danced. I drank. I swam. I explored. I made new friends. I learned to embrace the feeling of being free and enjoying EVERY moment  (within reason of course). The picture above is shot of me dancing to Young The Giant – the band who I won this amazing opportunity from. I thought it was a perfect image to pair with this saying.

Life is what you make of it. So you better make it unforgettable!

When One Door Closes…

Photography, Thoughts

“When one door closes, you have to open all the windows because it gets so hot!!” – Said my lovely friend/blogger Rachel Barker who took me out after I found out I didn’t get the dream job I spoke about previously. It was to be a Naturalist for the Ambassadors of the Environment program at the Ritz Carlton in the Grand Cayman Islands (I know..that would have been AMAZING huh?!). After a couple months of interviews and back and forth emails, I find out I came in 2nd place and if they had one more spot open I’d be in for sure. This job was PERFECT *or what I thought was perfect* in terms of jumping back into the boat with marine science field.

It was a big bummer for sure, but this quote helped me realize that this isn’t the end of the world..

You can’t let one ‘let down’ be the end of your hopes and dreams. There are SO MANY amazing opportunities just waiting for me out there that I’m super excited to stumble upon the next one.

One opportunity that fell into my lap recently was to be part of a blog team for this fantastic workout studio that I’ve been attending since August, called Pure Barre Pasadena. The other half of the blog team is my friend Rachel, which got me hooked on Pure Barre in the first place. But lucky for Rachel, she got asked to be an Instructor for the studio as well as their marketing coordinator. So basically, the Pure Barre Pasadena Blog was thrown into my lap as my own little project. The site is live and doing great – Meet Me @ The Barre  – check it out! Pure Barre is a wonderful workout that combines yoga, pilates, and ballet barre techniques. I’ve seen faster results after 2 weeks of classes than 6 months of the gym. Look for a studio near you 🙂

Another opportunity was to become a part of the Pasadena Jaycee’s (Junior Chamber of Commerce). Rachel is an active member of the program and recruited me to be part of their huge event Operation Santa this year. Instead of traveling during the holidays, I’ll be staying in Pasadena and passing out gifts (where we all are dressed as Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Elves) to children who write letters to Santa (which is re-directed to the Pasadena Jaycee’s Office 🙂 ). I’m such a giving person in the first place- Operation Santa will definitely be a lot of fun!

Getting a little more sentimental- just wanted to say life really works in mysterious ways. This year so far I’ve gained so many new long-lasting friendships, lost what I thought were very strong friendships, worked with some of the most amazing people who have become my family, completed three 5K runs, have had such a supporting family in times of uplift,  dramatically expanded my blogging career, and so so much more.

To say that this year has monumental for me would be an understatement. I’ve GROWN so much. I’ve LEARNED so much. I’ve SEEN so much. Keeping positive, healthy, and confident has only lead me to great things. Right now, I’m happy 🙂 I hope you are too!

“Smile, You’re Designed To”

Thoughts

🙂

I just wanted to share a quick little something to get off my chest….

I’m just really happy where my life is right now, and the people who are in it!!!

I knew this year was going to be different, but I didn’t know it was going to be so thrilling, eye-opening, and amazing.  I’ve learned a lot MORE about myself than I have ever imagined. I’ve also learned a lot about others, mostly by the actions they take compared to the words they speak to my face. It’s unfortunate, for them.

I entered to be on this TV Show the other evening. I wont tell you all the details yet…don’t want to jinx it- but it’s super exciting! Wish me luck 😉 Speaking of this- I asked my best friend to answer one of the questions on the survey which was : What would your best friend say is their favorite thing about you? Thought it was better actually coming out of the mouth of my friend instead of just guessing…This was her response..literally brought me to tears and inspired me to write this post. Love you Courtney!!!

“My favorite thing about you is your refusal to let anything get in way of what it is that you want out of life…be it a job, an experience, an adventure, no matter, you take initiative and see that it happens. The best part of being that you do it without compromising your character to fit other presupposed qualifications. And the fact that you achieve amazing things without losing who you really are in the process makes you one of a kind and an absolute reward for all those people lucky enough to encounter you.”

I also just found out some really GREAT news for some friends of mine..it’s a secret for now but once I’m allowed to share I won’t be able to hold it in EEEEEE!

Plus-if you read my last post- you will see that I just entered to do my first 5K marathon for children with Cancer and their families. I set a goal to raise $200.00 for the PADRES foundation- and I already succeeded in just 3 days! GLORIOUS! Now it’s time to go over and beyond my initial goal and keep raising money for these families who need our help.

I’m almost at 200 followers on my blog, and with close to 12,000 hits, I couldn’t be more pleased! Blogging is such a wonderful outlet and it connects me to people ALL OVER THE WORLD. On my statistics page, I am able to view which countries have looked at my blog. Some countries I haven’t even heard of before (seriously..it’s wild)!! Makes me feel like my mark is being made worldwide.

I love my job. It is amazing to work with people who have really become my family over this past year…they all have a special place in my heart forever. I’m super lucky.

Speaking of family, even though sometimes we have our drama, there is no other family I’d rather be a part of. I’ve learned so much from all of you.

Just remember that life is great. Think positive, listen to your heart, and smile. 😀 Life could always be worse…it’s a roller coaster really- there are always ups and downs. Just remember enjoy the ride! Sorry if it sounds to cliché … but it really is the truth.

There is no need to be negative all the time. It doesn’t do well for yourself, or others around you. Happiness is a drug that everyone should get addicted to-it’s infectious.

Here are a couple of songs that always put me in a better mood! Have a great evening everyone!

It’s the simple things that make you smile.

Thoughts

Caine and his arcade. (Credit: vimeo)

There is this viral video on Facebook right now about a 9 year old boy, who created an arcade out of old cardboard boxes in his father’s auto parts shop in Boyle Heights.

It’s heartwarming, touching, funny, sweet, and makes you smile. 🙂

Caine would sit outside every summer, waiting for someone to play his games. Then, he finally got one customer, Nirvan Mullick! Little did he know that one customer would lead him to many many more 😉

The video is called “Caine’s Arcade,” and that’s what I want to share with you today.

You can also checkout the website, Twitter, and Facebook pages as well.