Wanderlust//Chicago

Chi-town #TBT; with my college besties circa ’09.

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Lake Michigan

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The Art Institute of Chicago

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Asian fusion at Sunda

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Crack the Whip sculpture at Navy Pier Park

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Brilliant blue skies over the Chicago River

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Downtown. Background– Chicago Tribune building and American Gothic statue

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City view from The Signature Lounge

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Reflections in the Cloud Gate sculpture at Millennium Park… aka “The Bean”

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Night Out: House of Blues

I can’t remember the last time I’ve gone out on a weeknight. Like, out-out. When did I get so old? But last Wednesday gave me the best reason to go out ever– a few of my friends from college played at the House of Blues in Hollywood! They were part of the “and Friends” of “Jeevo and Friends”– Byron on viola and James on vocals.

They freakin’ killed it.

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Jeevo (third from right) is a singer-songwriter-rapper who also went to UCLA. Bruins doin’ werk. 😉 James, a friend from my freshman dorm days in Dykstra Hall, pictured far right. [Sorry for the yucky iPhone pictures…]

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Byron, another Dykstra homie, now married to my dear friend Meesh, pictured second from right, awkwardly cradling his viola.

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Post-show. Friends for 10.5 years and counting…!

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And here’s a throwback from 9 years ago, when James and Byron performed with Jeevo at UCLA’s Spring Sing back in 2005. They pretty much look the same. Some of us girls made them that poster, signed “love, your biggest fans”– we still are!. PS- Spring Sing is an annual music competition that started in 1945 (!), and past performers include Maroon 5 and Sara Bareilles (pre-fame). Yeee.

What a fun night! I was so proud of J & B and it was so good to be surrounded by old friends. Such a rich history of friendship we are cultivating. Lurve.

The Cream

As promised, some pictures from The Cream! It’s basically a huge showcase of vendors related to anything wedding: designers/planners, florists, musicians, photographers, videographers, bar/drinks, cakes/sweets, papergoods, accessories/dress/beauty, caterers, photobooths, rentals/blogs, lighting, andddd miscellaneous. WHEW. 900 tickets sold out!

My friend and I arrived at The Cream at 4:50pm (event started at 5pm) and the line was already down the block and around the corner! Yikes. But I knew it was gonna be a good night when I ordered fruit from the fruit vendor outside the doors of the venue (you know, the cart that has pineapples and mangos and chili lime powder and whatnot), and when I took out my wallet to pay, the dude said it was FREE! [[Well. I technically paid $50 for that ish because of the entry fee but STILL.]] And then, as we walked in, they gave us a cream puff. And it was delicious.

Sorry in advance for the picture quality– iPhone + very poor lighting inside + people swarming around = not conducive to great photography.

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Can we just start with this amazing space from Pow Wow Design Studio? It was right at the entrance of the Book Bindery, and my jaw just dropped at all the detailed crafting.

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UM the chandelier and giant macrame hanging? Perfection.

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Room Forty catering. I don’t remember what I ate. Just that it was delicious. PS- All the florals in the space were amazinggg. There were 8 florists (check them out here) and they kinda just killed it.

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This cozy pop-up tent space by Shelter Co. Everyone go check out their website and then let’s all plan a “camping” trip together okay?

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Sweet Emilia JaneSweet Marie Designs…!

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FLOWER WALL? I NEED YOU IN MY BEDROOM.

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Are you tired of looking at flowers yet? Yeah, me neither.

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This picnic set-up next to the tent (also from Shelter Co.) and florals by Brown Paper Design— lurve.

All of the above was in the first of two rooms of the venue (plus a few not pictured, including a vendor who was passing out mini churros and hot chocolate– best). I was already thoroughly impressed and in awe, and then we walked into the next room– and the space was like 5x the size. Ack. And thennnn I nearly shut down from sensory overload.

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Green Wedding Shoes designed one of my favorite spaces in the second room…

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Seriously, this wall was probably photographed 900 times (once by each guest).

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Drawers filled with flowers in the prettiest shades of pink. Genius.

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Earl grey ice cream from Sweet Lucie’s (with a surprise brownie from Sweet & Saucy Shop inside!). After this (plus sampling Hungry Bear Catering), I had to forgo Sprinkles, Bon PufKogi BBQ, Little Nelly Catering, Pharmacie (drinks), Ludlows (vegan/organic jelly shots– only in LA), and the Paella Project…. lest I hurl. Sad.

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This looked so delicious. Paella Project made 4 paellas throughout the night– organic green veggie, seafood, mediterranean, and shortrib.

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Grey Likes had a live calligraphy station!! Best idea ever.

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So beautiful. And so excited for the calligraphy workshop I’m attending in a few weeks.

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Kind of random, but Beach Cities Bag Toss had a cute space. I threw a bean bag. And it actually landed in the hole. Miracles do happen, folks.

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The 100 Layer Cake station was ridiculously popular with their DIY necklaces.

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This empty dance floor turned corayyyyzee later in the night. There was an epic dance contest, with the prize being a 6-night stay in the Dominican Republic.

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Left: Fabe & Adri (the Everly girls) with their organic Bon Puf cotton candy (flavors included Rose and Mango Chili). Right: We’re ALL Everly girls now ;). PS- I was sorely underdressed. The Cream was like a fashion show.

I know that was picture-overload, but it was seriously a small sampling of what was at The Cream. Also notable– manicure station from Olive & June, makeovers from Bare Minerals, several photobooths, and a pop-up store from Urbanic.

Overall a great first experience, definitely overwhelming but creatively inspiring. (Also, pretty much a groom’s worst nightmare). Anyone wanna go next year? 😉

A Dallop of Cream (a preview!)

You guys. After being completely out of commission for the last 2 weeks with the flu, I’m finally starting to feel better, and I am so glad my body decided to cooperate just in time for THE CREAM.

LA folks– did you go? It was my first time, and my mind was kind of blown.

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I’ll write a full post on Thursday about the craziness that was last night (check out the list of vendors here), but here’s my last picture of the night:

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A tote, my necklace from 100 Layer Cake‘s DIY station, calligraphy lettering by Mon Voir (hosted by Grey Likes Weddings), a bracelet from Beach Cities Bag Toss, and a flipbook that my friend Karen and I made from Flipbooth.

PS- Total coincidence– I signed up for Oh Hello Friend‘s calligraphy workshop (coming up in a few weeks!) several days ago, and it’s being taught by Mon Voir! EXTRA EXCITED NOW.

Tell ya’ all about The Cream once my brain and body recover (sensory overload + flu remnants). ‘Til then, check out #thecreamevent on Instagram– over 2500 hash-tagged pictures and counting…!

Happy Monday!

Wanderlust//DC

wan·der·lust
noun \ˈwän-dər-ˌləst\
: a strong desire to travel

Throwing it back (it is Thursday, after all– #TBT) 7 years with these pictures from my first trip to D.C., because I feel like jet-setting so much it almost hurts right now. Domestic or international, it don’t matter.

Let me tell you, the best way to see the D.C. monuments is during the hours after a heavy rainfall. Those hours being 1-4 a.m., when the rest of the city (and tourists) sleep. Bring a tripod (I love mine) with you.

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A clear view of the Washington Monument.

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No photo bombers allowed.

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A quiet moment at the Lincoln Memorial.

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In awe. Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

There was something so magical about walking from memorial to memorial with not a soul in sight. My friends and I were able to quietly enjoy the significance of the monuments without the sounds, smells, and crowds of people normally filling the spaces. It felt surreal, almost spiritual, and most definitely breath-taking.

Wanderlust.

[All photos above taken with a Canon P&S]

A Quick Look Back

I know the new year is supposed to be all about looking ahead, but I was looking through my old pictures from 2013 and was fondly reminiscing about some of the good times. A quick look back on 10 highlights, from the year that was keen indeed.

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[January] I played flag football with my church small group against another group (I KNOW. WHO AM I). Even though I was knocked to the ground (always by boys -_-) more times than I actually caught the ball or pulled a flag, it was a surprisingly fun few months of playing. Bonus points for me– I even bought cleats… now collecting dust in my closet.

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[February] Weekend trip with 14 friends to Mammoth! I’ve officially given up snowboarding (I just can’t carve, I can’t D:), so I tried my hand at skiing (second time ever). I stopped falling after a few runs (on the bunny slopes, of course), and successfully made it down 10 runs by the end of the day. It was a weekend full of amazing home-cooked food, (spiked) peppermint hot chocolate, and playing Bananagrams– in a baller cabin. Best.

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[April] The day my mind was blown. Even though I’ve lived in LA my entire life, it was my first time visiting Magic Castle. I can’t describe the experience at all. Just find someone who can get you in and go.

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[May] Los Olivos day trip with my girlfriends. It was a perfect getaway with perfect weather, starting with a picnic on the grass and ending with a stop at the Santa Barbara pier (with lots of wine in between, of course).

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[July] My fifth time in Vegas with the same group of girlfriends for our third bachelorette party– this time for Grace. This crazy picture is from the club Light, and the only feeling I had in Vegas the entire trip was Damn, I’m Old.

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[August] A challenging but memorable week, I went on a mother-daughter trip (singular, without my sister) to Canada and the East Coast (picture above from Philadelphia). I came home with tons of beautiful pictures, and a thankfulness to Jesus that I am now an independent adult who lives not-at-home. :O

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[September] Finished up final bridesmaid duties at Grace’s wedding. We met 10 years ago, during our first few weeks at UCLA. She (and another b-maid, Prisca) lived one floor below me in the dorms, and we hit it off immediately. Exciting to walk alongside her through all these years of change!

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[October] My 2-week trip to Korea was so.much.fun. My first time in 7 years, it was a catalyst for my newfound love and appreciation for my extended family, with whom I previously had not kept in touch. It was also an amazing time of bonding with girlfriends, eating like kings, and shopping.

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[November] My sister + BIL hosted Thanksgiving, and I actually helped cook for the first time! For better or for worse, I think this is going to be a new tradition. :X

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[December] I just really felt the need to end with a Christmas picture. 🙂 This is from my college friends’ 4th annual holiday potluck hosted by Grace and her now-husband Ben. It was a night of tons of laughter as we played Tellestrations, which has become a tradition (and the funniest game ever), drinking games (ack), and ate. And ate and ate.

Okay, an official farewell to 2013. Moving on, moving forward. New memories in 2014 to come, starting now! Peace.

Snow-Line Orchard

A couple weeks ago, I went to a conference center called Oak Glen for my church’s annual retreat. It’s located in Yucaipa, land of plentiful apple orchards. My friends and I had a chance to check out Snow-Line Orchards, which was just down the street.

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We heard about Snow-Line’s infamous apple cider donuts + fresh pressed apple cider and had to check them out, i.e. eat them.

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I love me a legit autumn with pretty trees and colorful leaves. I believe if you visit in the earlier months, you can pick your own apples, but ’twas too late for us.

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Eunice, Michelle, Sunghee, and me. 🙂 The rafters of the building had the names of various apple varieties painted on them.

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Inside the store, there were… apples. A lot. And food products made from… apples. (-_-)

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We taste-tested a ton of ’em. Uhm, perhaps my apple palette isn’t refined, because they were all good.

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OH the donuts. Freshly made in front of us, they were miniature and warm and covered with cinnamon sugar.

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They came in bags of 1/2 or 1 dozen. Also, mini apple/pumpkin pies, which supposedly were good but cold. Why wouldn’t they warm before serving? Why? (My friends asked. They said no.)

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The apple cider came hot or cold; I tasted both and stood in the store for 5 minutes trying to decide which one I wanted because they were equally delicious. I went with the hot and was not disappointed.

Snow Line (and the rest of the apple orchards) is only about 1.5 hours away from LA, so it’s not too far of a trek if you want some fresh apples (and donuts and cider). There are tons of benches for picnicking, too. Catch is, I believe it’s only open during apple season (9/1 – 11/30) so you JUST missed it. D: Check out the website to plan a trip for next year? 😉

Snow Line Orchards
39400 Oak Glen Road
Yucaipa, CA 92399