Summer Sadness & Florals

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What I’m wearing: Matching floral top & skirt (I bought a few months ago) from Buffalo Exchange // Gold vintage watch (one of many stylish accessories inherited from my grandma) // Steve Madden sandals //  Forever 21 sunnies

First of all, WOW IT’S AUGUST (where did the summer go)? **cough cough summertime sadness** TOO MUCH SORRY… There is always this great stigma that summer is the ultimate time to play “catch up” or accomplish lofty or challenging goals that you maybe wouldn’t normally be able to do during the other nine months of the year. Since this is (hopefully) my last official summer “off” as a student, I’ve been doing my very best to really soak it in. I remember back in May when Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” was the theme song playing in my head and I did not give a flying F*** since I found out all my grades were decent and I had somehow survived another semester! Woohoo! But, at the same time I was frantically making a check list of everything that I believed needed to be accomplished in the short three months to follow. Seeing the progress I’ve made on that list thus far makes me feel slightly relieved.  These goals completed have been planned as well as unexpected include; making a bit of money, reconnecting with old friends, getting writing published on various platforms, having my blog recognized (without trying), getting a tan (I just got back from Lake Havasu), do some reading, get back into exercise (I forgot how much I love it), taking singing lessons (something I haven’t done for a while but singing is one of my great passions).

Obviously I’m a visual/list person, and sometimes writing things out is the best way to see what you’ve done! This summer has been a time of reflection for me and rediscovering things that I truly enjoy doing and make me happy (like singing and exercise). I’m hoping that thought process will somewhat rub off on me once school starts again in three weeks.

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Photos by my fabulous sis Sarah!

Thanks for reading!

xx Aly

 

Crop Top Queen

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Earlier this week, my sister and I both had a day off so we decided to to take a trip up to Santa Barbara to shoot some photos and of course, do some shopping. I wore these high-rise Gap jeans I found on MAJOR sale about a week ago (and have worn them nearly everyday since). I decided to break out this floral American Apparel crop top that was part of last summer’s staple wardrobe in Europe. In the past, I’ve only worn this top with shorts and skirts, so it was fun to try something new and maybe a little more Carrie Bradshaw-esque. 😉

What I’m wearing: American Apparel top // Gap High-rise distressed jeans // Old Navy suede demi-wedge sandals // Urban Outfitters Initial Bar Necklace // Aviator sunglasses (borrowed from a friend 😉

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California Dreamin’

 

This weekend was a great one! I got to work at the restaurant all day during the Beer Fest (which lead to some very interesting convos), go to a surf contest, see some old friends and of course down a delicious authentic Mexican burrito! I hope y’all enjoyed your weekend as well!

My outfit above: V-kneck Tee Forever 21 (old)// Shorts Nordstrom (old)// Shoes Sperry Top Sider// Sunglasses Urban Outfitters

Gorgeous Gorjana

 

My current obsession in jewelry is the brand Gorjana. It’s a brand that originated in Malibu, California (very close to my hometown) and embodies what it means to be a California girl. They have adorable pieces that are meant to be layered or worn delicately alone. Above are some of my favorite pieces (but I really LOVE all of it). Find them (and many more great pieces) here.

Pulmonary Hypertension Walk

 

This morning, my family and I participated in a fun awareness/fundraiser walk for Pulmonary Hypertension in Santa Barbara, California. I know what you must be thinking, what is this disease? and is that even possible? About three years ago, my mom was diagnosed with the disease and doctors said she would be lucky to live a year or two more. After the diagnosis my family was all devastated. How could my extremely healthy forty something mother have a rare lung disease that would be terminal? At the time she was exercising daily, never smoked, ate healthy and drank alcohol in moderation. When she was diagnosed I was 17, a high school senior ready to graduate and conquer the world. My little sister was eleven, she still depended on my mom for everything.

That first year was really rough. Learning to live with my Mom (Lori) being on full time supplemental oxygen and taking more drugs than most people take in a lifetime. We had to adjust, we had always been such a tight knit family that was extremely active. We went on bike rides up the coast on the weekends, camping trips in the mountains that required a lot of hiking and physical activity, and walked our dogs constantly. Suddenly, we were no longer able to do that.

Today, three years later, my EXTREMELY optimistic mother is still alive and kicken (and walking the dogs). We have all learned to deal with that fact that she has this terrible disease, but we try to not let it rule our lives. I am incredibly thankful for ever day I have left with her. Today in the Pulmonary Hypertension Walk of Santa Barbara, we walked in her honor. She is the most strong and courageous human being I know and a inspiration to everyone.

I share this with you (my readers), to raise awareness to the fact that this disease is something that anyone can get it and there is no cure. Healthy or not, you should know that there are more chronic (and terminal) diseases besides just Cancer. Go to the doctor regularly so things like this disease can be caught early.

For more information on Pulmonary Hypertension click here. For more information on our effort to end this disease click here.

Catalina Island Getaway

 

 

Last week I got to travel to Catalina Island and stay with my extended family on a wonderful vacay. Incase you don’t know, the island is located about an hour off the coast of southern California (near Long Beach). I have been going to the island since I was young but this has to be the best trip by far. Spending time with my gorgeous cousins, little sister, grandma, and many other very important people in my life was a blast! We got to go tubing, jet skiing, swimming, snorkeling, boating, hiking, shopping and much much more! If you’re looking for a fun (and beautiful) place to stay that is family friendly, look into Catalina Island!

Crazy For Stella & Dot

 

I recently received my Gigi Studs from Stella & Dot that I won in a giveaway hosted by fellow blogger Arbitrary Ambrosia and I’m in love!  I chose to wear them the other day on a trip to the luxurious Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, California. While touring the gorgeous Spanish style grounds of the hotel, I wore a simple black cami tucked into printed high-waisted shorts, my favorite (old) Steve Maddens and topped it all off with my new Gigi Studs! Besides the fact that I won these vintage-esque little beauties, they traveled to me all the way from Georgia! Which is somewhere I’ve never been and would love to go and try a delish peach someday!