As I’m typing this, I’ve just gotten back to Berkeley. Even though my winter break was a month, the time went by so quickly. It was wonderful though, some of the highlights including our family trip to Death Valley & Lone Pine, seeing La La Land (twice!), trips to LA like when we saw the La Brea Tar Pits, and too many shopping expeditions to count! The last hurrah though was my 20th birthday, which turned out to be the definition of perfect. Everything just worked out. And though currently I’m going through the gamut of emotions as I settle back from one life to the next, I truly couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful cheers to my winter break.
We started the day at Nick’s Laguna Beach, where my Moma and I shared the Tuna Tartare and the Blackened Fish Sandwich. It was, per usual, superb. If you’re ever in Laguna, Nick’s is a great choice as is Driftwood Kitchen, or for something a little more exclusive, Watermarc.
We then made our way to one of the most beautiful collections of flowers I’ve ever seen. Rogers Garden is nestled in Newport Beach and was one of my favorite parts of the day. Hydrangeas were in bloom everywhere, and we had to snap a few pictures.
Of course, we also stopped at Sprinkles Cupcakes, the West Coast’s most notable cupcakery (You get a free one on your birthday if you’re signed up for Sprinkles Perks!). I’m a strawberry girl personally, but I don’t think you can go wrong with any of their flavors. There’s almost always a line, but rightfully so because the cupcakes seriously have some je ne sais quoi, as in something that makes them so delectably special. My mom was the sweetest and brought candles and matches with her at every location, so that we had a traveling “Happy Birthday serenade” every time we had dessert. 🙂
We were off to Fashion Island next, one of my favorite outdoor malls. We stopped at Ulta, Nordstrom, and then my absolute favorite — Vineyard Vines!!! I respect VV as a company so much — they’re all about making the most of life and enjoying everyday (Every day should feel this good!). They were founded by two brothers who wanted to do something with their lives they were passionate about, so VV and the little pink whale were born. I’ve been wanting one of their classic navy long sleeves for such a long time, and I finally got one!
We snacked on some Pressed Juicery freeze (You get a free one on your birthday if you’re signed up for rewards!). This stuff is so good!!! Like ice cream, but “healthier” because it’s frozen juice. With their cocoa sauce, shaved almonds, and raspberries — pure heaven!
We checked out Forever 21, Express, Barnes & Noble, and the huge Anthropologie (it has 5 departments!) before rounding off our evening with Cafe Au Laits (coffee with milk!) at Le Pain Quotidian, where the sweetest gentleman behind the counter surprised me with a mini Madeleine and brownie as a birthday wish.
My family sung to me, and we ate my great grandma’s famous Lazy Daisy cake (made with coconut and brown sugar) and peppermint ice cream. Excuse the comfy clothes — I love changing into pajamas the second I get home. 😉
This break reminded me how important it is to give yourself time to enjoy the world around you. Sometimes, you legitimately need a second to stop and breathe. I’m coming back to school feeling a little lighter, a little more rejuvenated. Having my birthday be the culmination of my time off felt so natural, in that I know even in the last few weeks, I’ve grown. Now my age reflects it a little more too. 😉
Black Satin Bow Tank (similar found here and more affordable similar found here!) // KanCan Jeans // Cupcakes & Cashmere Jacket (similar found here!) // DV Tie-Up Taupe Shoes // Kate Spade Pink Cedar Street Handbag (similar found here or here!) // Kate Spade Capricorn Bracelet (they have other zodiac signs as well!) // Essie Minimalistic // Clinique Raspberry Glace