You had me at brunch…






WAKE ME UP DESIGNS | Abercrombie & Fitch | Steve Madden | TOP-BAG | Henri Bendel

An ode to brunch in San Diego

Bright blue skies
a cool ocean breeze
palm trees in the distance…
Strawberry mascarpone stuffed French toast
topped with fresh banana and blueberries,
and a bite of the boy’s delicious Tuscan omelette…

What more could a girl ask for?

Here’s to a wonderful week ahead. xoxo

All my love,


P.S. Pardon my amateur poetry.

Mandy’s Motivation Monday | March 9th

“A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well.”

Good afternoon, dreamers! This was an incredible quotation I read on a blog post from Amy Elizabeth on juggling life. I know that right now is an extremely stressful time for many college students because finals week looms overhead. Don’t worry, I am right there with you. Here are some tips that have worked for me:

1. Make a study plan. List out what class you’re going to study for each day and how long you’re going to study for that subject.

2. Take breaks every so often, and multi-task while you’re at it. Grab a coffee, wash a few dishes, or throw in a load of laundry. Go for a brisk walk. Jump around. Dance to some music. Get your blood pumping!

3. Break large tasks into smaller tasks. Study one chunk of material at a time, not everything all at once.

4. Eat healthy! This is especially important during finals season. Eating nutritious food will ensure that you’re body is functioning optimally.

5. Sleep (as much as you can). Sleep is crucial, particularly if you have an exam that requires complicated calculations or high-level problem-solving. Personally, my brain feels like it’s in a tar pit when I’m sleep-deprived–not ideal when taking a difficult exam. So trust me, and get some rest.

6. Take a deep breath.

May the force be with you turn us into diamonds. =)
See you on the other side.

Much love,

P.S. How to go from good to great

Mandy’s Motivation Monday | March 2nd

“For me, it is all about self-motivation. Even when no one is watching, when no one cares, you have to care. You have to be willing to do your best, when your best is not even expected. You have to have an inner will to want to be successful daily. That’s what makes the greats, great. That is what separates the good from the great.” -Greg Jennings


Hello, everyone! Today, I’m starting a new series called Mandy’s Motivation Monday. As you probably guessed, every Monday, I will feature something I find inspirational or motivational. This past year, I’ve had some trying times myself dealing with issues that I wish would just go away. When I read this quotation, it immediately connected to me. I told myself: remember, even if no one cares, you have to care. Care, first and foremost, for yourself. Do the best you can, first and foremost, for yourself.

So here’s to picking ourselves up, no matter where we stand–or where we have fallen.

All my love,

Photo Diary: Valentine’s Weekend 2015 (Part I)

Honey MuleJosh and I decided keep it simple this Valentine’s Day–no gifts, no flowers, no frills–and just enjoy our favorite food and activities with each other’s company. We started the day with a reservation at the Great Maple, where we had a delightful brunch with “daytime libations” (as they like to call it) and maple bacon doughnuts! Yes, you heard me right! Maple bacon doughnuts…mmm. Here’s a little secret though: my favorite dish was the beef brisket hash.

Beef Brisket HashMaple Bacon DonutsBlueberry Pancakes

Afterwards, we walked around the farmers’ market in Little Italy downtown to dispel our food babies. It was so crowded! We didn’t purchase anything, but left with a refreshing cucumber pineapple drink.

WalkingCucumber Pineapple CoolerCucumber PineappleI changed into heels for the evening, and we went for coffee before our dinner reservation.

FrontBlack + goldSide Caffe Calabria makes my absolute favorite lattes–their espresso is robust enough that the milk doesn’t deflate its flavors. We stayed awhile and I secretly tried to write Josh’s Valentine’s card without him knowing while I was writing in my journal. (He figured out. Whoops.)

Caffe CalabriaCaffe Calabria 2We then went to our favorite restaurant in San Diego for dinner, Davanti Enoteca, which serves Italian tapas. We also went here for last year’s Valentine’s dinner! And Josh’s graduation dinner. And our anniversary dinner. Yes, we love Davanti!

Well, that’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed perusing through this photo diary with me. Stay tuned for Part II!

All my love,


Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Her


one. kate spade notebooks. //To capture her thoughts, memories, hopes, & dreams.
two. kate spade ‘eyeglasses’ trinket tray. //For bits & bobs.
three. Formula X “Remarkable” Nail Polish. //Soft and girly for winter’s February.
four. Urban Decay Naked3. //The prettiest rosy hues for her eyes.
five. Sydney Hale ‘Bergamot + Black Tea’ Candle.//Equal parts soothing + tantalizing.
six. Dogeared Infinity Pendant.//A delicate reminder.
seven. Fresh Rose Hydrating Gel Eye Cream.//The loveliest scent.
eight. Madewell Leather Card Case.//To simplify her life.
nine. Ray-Ban ‘Highstreet’ 57mm Sunglasses.//Because spring is on its way.
ten. Henri Bendel West 57th Trifold Wallet.//To make her blush pink.


Hello! Here is my Valentine’s Day gift guide for the ladies in your life, as promised (gift guide for him here)! Creating this set inspired me so much; it features some truly lovely products, and I adore every single one of them. For me, Valentine’s Day is not necessarily a day to celebrate having a significant other; rather, it’s a day to celebrate love. And love manifests itself in millions of ways, through countless different media. So for whomever you’re choosing a gift for–your girlfriend, best friend, mom, sister, or even yourself–I hope this guide helps you out. No matter what, always choose love.




Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him


one. I Love You Like I Love My Coffee Mug.//Right now & later & always & constantly.
two. Boconi Leather Card Case.//To streamline his pockets.
three. Canali Reversible Leather Belt.//Because he needs one, whether he needs one or not.
four. chuao chocolatier firecracker bar.//Men should be like dark chocolate–robust & powerful.
five. Jack Black Beard Lube.//For a sexy smooth shave.
six. Nixon ‘Sentry’ Watch.//Silver and red.
seven. Kindle Paperwhite.//”Language was invented for one reason, boys–to woo women [or men]–and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do.” -N.H. Kleinbaum, Dead Poets Society
eight. Oakley ‘Alpha Decay Frogskins’ Sunglasses.//Because spring is on its way.


Hello, loves! Here are some Valentine’s Day gift inspiration for all the guys in your life. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, which will be a gift guide for the ladies!


All my love,

Exploring Ferry Building and the Embarcadero

top overviewpale lips side smile contemplating life

 Top: abercrombie | Bottoms: lululemon athletica | Shoes: Converse Chuck Taylor | Bag: Kate Spade (similar here)

Good morning, everyone! It’s around 1:40 a.m. and I’m having some trouble sleeping, so I decided to finish up this blog post! =) This outfit is my go-to “no-brainer” outfit to throw on, whether it’s for a casual date with Josh or a day at school. It’s easy and it’s comfortable–perfect for a low-key day. I just throw on a chunky knit cardigan on top if the weather is cooler.


Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

All my love,