September 16, 2014

Age Like Fine Wine

(the beach in St Malo, France)

Hello, from an almost 3-month long hiatus! Summer break ended about a month ago, and school is in full swing once again. It's my very last semester of college; the thought makes me quiver with uncertainty and anticipation. This coming December I'll have a degree and start living as a "real person," as my friends and I like to jokingly call the post-undergrad life (job included). If all goes to plan, I'll only be a "real person" for the spring semester, work my two part-time jobs, and head off to pharmacy school next August. Goodness, I hope it all goes to plan.

Remember this post? Well, lucky for me, I was able to conquer my PCAT and then spend the most amazing three weeks in France learning about wine. Best summer in college? I think so. Honestly, 2014 has been such a fruitful year for me that I'm a little worried about 2015... my inner pessimist is peeking out -- shhh!

To document my wine trip around France, I decided to skip out on a text blog and challenge myself to vlog (video + blog) instead. I felt like even if I took thousands of photos, I wouldn't be able to capture the magic of France in still images. I'm not a natural on camera, but I tried. I think I get better as the vlogs go. The beginning of the trip felt especially unreal because I couldn't believe I was in the country I'd only dreamed of visiting. The people, the language, the culture -- I just couldn't get enough. Of course, the wine was always delicious. I didn't bother feeling guilty for having wine during meals because it was the norm, and I had to for research anyways ;) Now that I'm back in the U.S., I'm over my $7 go-to bottle at HEB. I need an upgrade that won't break the bank. If you have any recommendations, please help a girl out!

Here's the first vlog out of five!

Disclaimer: the video quality is quite awful for the first few vlogs due to my old laptop's inability to properly edit my video files.

July 11, 2014


(Pike Place Market in authentic Seattle weather)

This summer has provided me many opportunities to travel, starting with my family's vacation to Seattle and Canada. Apparently, I'd visited these two places when I was three, but, of course, nothing stuck. (I now realize I've lied about "never been to Canada" in too many never-have-I-ever games -- oops) I definitely won't forget this second time around though! This vacation sprouted from the fact that my cousin was getting married, which was extremely exciting in itself, so I'm glad my family decided to take advantage of the opportunity. Family trips are really rare now, and who knows when the next get-away will be.

(Boeing's Future of Flight Aviation Center & Tour; actually really intriguing and inspiring)
(little did I know we would visit one of my favorite restaurants!)
Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent Dress, LC Lauren Conrad Platform Heels
(my brother and I before the wedding)

June 30, 2014


(mimosa with mint leaves and mixed berry ice cubes)

At my current stage in life, I know I'm far off from properly  hosting guests for an evening, but that doesn't mean I can't improvise from a college student standpoint or take in inspiration from events I've attended. Since I seem to be moving residences every year, I have neither a consistent amount of kitchenware to count on nor standardized dishes and silverware. Honestly, I'm getting ahead of myself since I can barely cook, but a girl can dream! One day I'll be able to grill chicken without it sticking all over the pan...

This past year in college, my roommates and I managed to host two get-togethers at our then-aparment. We kicked things off college style with a Halloween party, which we not-so-cleverly named "Monster Bash," and provided candy and punch. Costumes were mandatory (obviously), and we even gave out a Torchy's Tacos gift card for best costume of the night. It was pretty successful save the police scare, but I learned not to worry about every small detail and just made sure to float around to talk to everyone who attended since I wanted everyone to feel welcome and included. We also hosted a dinner party for Galentine's Day, and while it was nothing fancy, it was nice to just celebrate quality friendships.

I had the opportunity to attend a farewell party for a dear friend a couple of weeks ago, and there was a gourmet hot-dog station that was both eye-catching and delicious. It made me think about how the most basic foods can be made into something exciting with just a few extra touches. I hope I remember to start simple next time there's a chance to host a gathering.

(decorative display of hot dog toppings)

 (hot dog buns with rosemary sprigs and assorted relishes)

June 25, 2014

Sound Of the City

(view of the Houston skyline)

This post is about a month overdue, but better late than never!

I decided to volunteer for my ticket to Free Press Summer Fest this year since I wasn't as impressed with the lineup (in terms of artists who I wanted to see). Last year's lineup just set the bar too high. Regardless, I still had a fantastic time learning how to work ticketing (more like wristbanding) while still getting to enjoy some of the festival. The crowds were just as big this year, and the energy really made the infamous Houston heat bearable. On the down side, I got pick-pocketed at the festival, but thankfully, I didn't lose too much and cancelled my debit card right away. Note to self to be aware of my surroundings and periodically check my belongings. Nevertheless, I can't wait for next year's tickets to go on sale, so I can snatch them up early!

(at the Neptune Stage trying to catch a glimpse of CHVRCHES' Lauren Mayberry) 
 Floral Romper (last seen here), Banana Republic Chambray Shirt (similar), Leather Backpack
(my roommate and I celebrating after volunteering)
(Childish Gambino ruling his set) 
(the roommates and I taking full advantage of this sign) 
(ending the first night with Zedd)

May 26, 2014

Dress Smart

It's a constant battle between my contacts and me. Maybe it's because I have monthly prescriptions or generally dry eyes, but contacts are rarely completely comfortable for me. That's why I'm so grateful for the rise of trendy prescription glasses. Glasses are no longer just for vision correction but also for self expression. Companies such as Warby Parker have really set the standard on "hipster" glasses or fashionable eyewear, and the glasses are pretty affordable! A friend of mine referred me to Coastal, an online retailer for prescription eyewear, since they have a first pair free deal. All I had to do was pick a pair of glasses, pay shipping and handling (less than $10), and I've been happy with my purchase from day one.

I like to correlate glasses with intelligence and sophistication since, back in the day, people mainly wore glasses to help them read. I can only hope people think that of me when I wear mine. Honestly, I wear glasses whenever I'm in a rush or want my eyes to breathe, but it's nice to know glasses can double as a stylish accessory! I love the combination of glasses, a classic ensemble, and a bright lip. I know, I know; how much more J. Crew can I get?

(photos courtesy of my roommate)

May 20, 2014


I'm back again -- 3 months later. Spring semester has ended, and I'm relieved and happy to be on a real summer break (no summer classes this time!). Instead, I'll be spending my days studying for the PCAT and working, but I'm not complaining. In terms of events, I have very high hopes for this summer; highlights include Free Press Summer Fest, my cousin's wedding + family vacation, and my dream trip to France to learn about its culture of wine and wine production. I still can't believe the last part is happening -- already booked my tickets!

It's crazy to think I only have one more semester left of undergrad. After attending the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2014 (shout-out to two of my dearest friends for graduating), I know I'm going to be in tears when it's my turn. My friends and I are already planning on making senior year as exciting and meaningful as possible; got to go out with a bang.

Just to recap on my hopes from the beginning of 2014, I'm proud to say I'm officially Yelp Elite!, and my Alternative Spring Break trip to the Everglades National Park in Florida was nothing short of exhilarating and rewarding. I'm pleased that I actually accomplished goals this year instead of just setting them. A great score on my PCAT would be icing on the cake... crossing my fingers.

Here are some snapshots from the past couple of months

(waking up to breathtaking sunrise in the Everglades)

(the best Cinco de Mayo celebration)

(Yelp Elite! event at Texas de Brazil; I also opted for a shorter haircut for summer)

(relaxing in Destin to celebrate the end of junior year)

 (fantastic firework show at the 101st Commencement)

February 19, 2014

Warm Me Up

Zara Romper, Ann Taylor Blazer (thrifted), Lauren Conrad Sandals

Houston has finally started to warm up again. I think we had a high of 80 this week! Nothing deters me more from crawling out of bed every morning than the cold, so I fully embraced this weather change. I even started riding my bike to school again.

My friends and I decided to take advantage of a lighter workload week as well as great weather to explore a new restaurant in town. I took this opportunity to finally rip the tag off this romper I scored at the Zara winter sale (I'm not sure why there were rompers on sale then...). I'm in love with the pattern and color scheme as well as the fit. It can definitely be dressed up or down and work well as a swimsuit cover-up. Gotta love the versatility of a good romper!