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I have been fortunate enough to call Los Angeles my home since 2010, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I don’t care about the smog (maybe that’s because I grew up in Riverside county), or the traffic. I just love everything this city has to offer.

So, this year, I’m trying to do some things I haven’t done, and really didn’t even know existed. Like, did you know you can kayak in the LA River (did you even know there was a non-disgusting part of the LA River?!)? And who knew that all of those days I was driving home, I was passing the largest section of the Berlin Wall on the west coast. Oh, and West Hollywood’s park has a rooftop tennis court (because everything is more fabulous in WeHo than anywhere else, and that’s a fact).

This made me think about how everyone has different opinions on what the best parts of this city are, so I put together a list of what different people think you should see in LA, so you can make your own decision. For example, you may not be interested in visiting Escondido Falls (treacherous, but worth it. Just bring the right shoes), but maybe you’re interested in trying a Mai Tai from the place it was invented (Tiki Ti’s, in case you’re wondering, and I highly recommend it!).

And if you’re not from LA, I encourage you to see what your own city has to offer! People constantly seem to think that another city has more to offer them than their own, but have they really explored it? I know I haven’t.

Your LA bucket list

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For a long time it’s been a dream of mine to go to the Bahamas, rent a gorgeous house on the water, and just relax. Take in the local sites, eat good food, and have a happy, healthy vacay.

Recently, two of my favorite Instagramers, A Bikini A Day‘s founders Devin Brugman and Natasha Oakley, gave me a new destination to dream of. No, I don’t know them, and this isn’t a promoted post, I just wanted to share some cool people and some amazing pics with you.

These two women founded A Bikini A Day, and have built quite an influential space in the swimsuit world. I only write all of this because I’m such a fan of women doing what they love, and working hard for it. And also women who support each other, of course! Seeing their Insta’s is a constant reminder that we can all do what we love someday.

Anyway, according to their captions, they visited Staniel Cay in the Bahamas, and now I absolutely have to go. Here are some of their most breathtaking shots from the trip. I have to be honest, they were one of the few things that kept me going during the draining last week.

Remember, work hard and your dreams can be a reality! Here’s proof Read More

Over the weekend I got to go back to Riverside and visit my sister Nicole. Her flag football team, The Bus Drivers, was going for their 3rd Championship in a row, and they did it! In addition to that, her job on-campus is to run all intermural sports, including flag football so she put the whole event together. When she said she wanted a fireworks show, she got it! All six of my family members, and my best friend that I haven’t seen in years were able to make it which made the event even better.

After the game I saw my sister’s apartment for the first time and it was so adorable! Some college students have cute apartments, but I’d never seen one that was this put-together, seasonal and adorable! Here’s some pictures from around the apartment.

I was scheduled to leave Saturday morning, so before we grabbed some coffee at my all-time favorite coffee shop. When I attended UCR I would go this place nearly daily. There are huge bookshelves with all kinds of goodies, a patio out back, a loft up top and a big room below with a pool table. It’s called Back to the Grind and you have to go if you’re in Downtown Riverside.

 

Once my sister dropped me off I got my ticket and she left, but the train tracks were under construction and a bus was scheduled to pick us up. The bus was three hours late though, so I figured I’d rather spend more time with Nicole, JP (my little bro) and her friends rather than waiting and taking a bus to a train. Right after she picked me up we found this cute little thrift store and saw a box of Christmas ornaments that were 10 for $1.00; we figured there were 50 in the box so we got the whole thing for $5.00! We counted after we got home and it was 97 ornaments. Best. Purchase. Ever.

Big thanks to Nicole and all of her wonderful roommates for letting me stay with them for the weekend.

Everyone has that one celebrity who they are “in love” with. You think about that fateful moment when you run into him/her on the street and he/she falls madly in love with you. Then you have a whirlwind romance and get married in Bora Bora at sunset. Confession: for me, this person is Mark Wahlberg. But you know that if you really ever met the person, this fantasy would be shattered. Life would not be anything like you had planned, and the person may even turn out to be a complete tool. Like when Marky Mark has his tight shirt on, then he takes it off and you see his third nipple.

New York is like that for me. I’ve visited and I absolutely love it. I could look at pictures all day long, much like I could of Marky Mark, but I could never be in a relationship with the city. I love looking at snowy window displays on Fifth Avenue and fashionable people fleeing to the Hamptons in summer. The skyscrapers and city lights always get the best of me when I’m watching shows like “Suits” or “Sex and the City” and I think to myself “One day I’ll live there.” But then I remind myself of the few experiences I’ve had.

While they were mostly wonderful, they were also pretty bad, and I’ve only been there four times. Like the first time I went, and my parents and I watched our waiter do a drug deal with a man in silk Louis Vuitton pajamas on rollerblades while a homeless man yelled profanities at my mother and me. The second time I went to NYC, I was lost in the rain, at midnight, outside Penn Station and surrounded by homeless people in an alley, and all by myself. Or how about the other time my friend and I wanted to see how magical NYC is at Christmas… and then there was a blizzard.

While I’ll always fantasize about NYC and the lively, dazzling place that it is, that’s all I’ll do. I may visit a few times a year, like I sometimes rent “Boogie Nights,” but for me NYC is nothing but a crush and fantasy I’ll always have, and always want to keep that way.

Here’s some pics I snapped during the blizzard in Central Park. Keep in mind it was around 20 degrees and little kids were pelting us with snowballs, which took away the romance of the moment, but at least the pictures turned out okay.

I found this picture and it reminded me of my trip to Paris.

Paris is one of my least favorite places in the world. I’m not sure what everyone likes about a huge city with crappy weather that makes the dirty city even dirtier. The people are rude, and apart from baguettes and Nutella crepes, the food is bad.

The buildings are gorgeous… I’ll give the city that.

But if you’ll notice the eerie similarity in weather, I’m starting to think that it’s always raining in Paris, except in the movies of course.

While I lived in Spain there were few places I loved more than Malaga. I ran across this picture and it reminded me of why I want to go back so badly. Fun things about Malaga: It’s Picasso’s hometown, many of the ceilings are still short since the Spanish weren’t very tall people, and there are beautiful white sand beaches. If you’re thinking about where to vacation in Spain, this is a must (along with Sevilla and Marbella)!