Beach Getaway

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I’m always on the hunt for sweeping views of the ocean and I absolutely love living on the West Coast where there are plenty of options to discover new beaches. There’s something so serene and peaceful about gazing out into the ocean and listening to the waves crash onto shore. I live in California so I’ve only really experienced the beaches in San Diego | Los Angeles | Bay Area, but I would love to travel further up north towards Washington to see what the rest of the coast has to offer.

If anybody lives along the West Coast outside of California, I would love to hear your favorite beach destinations! xx

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Summer Outfit Items – J.Crew Edition

Summer is in full bloom and what better way to dress for the season than with these hot items from J.Crew? Ranging from flowy dresses for the summertime heat to colorful sandals perfect for the beach or travel, these are my top picks from J.Crew:

Dresses/Skirts

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Tiered Maxi Dress in Stripe  $148.00
A-line Button Up Skirt in Postcard Print  $89.50
Embroidered Cross Back Maxi Dress $128.00

Shirts

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Smocked Square Neck Top in Stripe $39.50
Tie Waist Top $54.99
Watercolor Print Tshirt
$34.90

Shoes

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Metallic Lace Up Sandals $88.00
Snakeskin Printed Leater Slides $68.00
Suede Lace Up Sandals $119.99

 

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One of my go-to places in San Diego for a nice weekend activity is La Jolla. I’m always able to find free parking and I love going down by the beach to see the adorable sea lions and enjoy the sweeping views of the ocean. Plus, there are lots of cute shops and restaurants to visit in the downtown area that’s just a 5-10 minute walk up from the beach. La Jolla is just one of the many reasons why I fell in love with San Diego and highly recommend going here if you’re in the area!

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Greece Wanderlust

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One of my bucket list travel destinations is Santorini, Greece. I am obsessed with the white and blue architecture alongside the gorgeous coastline. I’m hoping to travel here one day soon and I thought I would share an outfit inspired by the crisp, light colors of Santorini.

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San Diego Harbor

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I’ve been living in San Diego for almost a year now but I’ve never explored Seaport Village before. Even though it was June Gloom, I decided to get down there early in the morning on a Sunday to beat the crowds and enjoy what the village had to offer in peace. What I found surprised me and I felt that there was something new to look at every time I turned a corner. Not only did Seaport Village have a great view down by the water, but there were so many interesting buildings and shops around that made for great window gazing. I’ll definitely want to come back another day when the weather isn’t so gray!

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A Taste of Spain in California

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Going to the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa was like being transported to Europe with its grandeur architecture and design. Believe it or not this hotel is situated in the quaint city of Riverside in California and not somewhere magical like the distant lands of Spain. Once you walk in through the front gates, you enter a beautiful landscape filled with royal columns and arches, lush greenery and a sense of romanticism. This was the perfect place to get away from all the stress of daily grinds/headaches and to just relax in a place of peace and tranquillity.

 

3 Ways to Wear Tan Summer Sandals 

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Summer is creeping on us in California so I thought it would be the perfect time to show you guys how to style summer sandals 3 separate ways. I bought these Steve Madden shoes in Nordstrom for about $80 and they are the perfect addition to my shoe foundations collection since they are a great neutral color, they have a small enough heel to get away being both fancy or casual, and they are super comfortable to walk around in the summer.

I love how they slenderize my legs since the open toe shoe brings the eyes down vertically and the small heel gives them a great lift!

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Plus they have a cool design where you can lace them in the front or back depending on your mood. I personally like tying them in the back in a bow like below-

 

Here are my 3 ideas for how to wear these sandals for the summer: 

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1. Wear them with a striped button down dress for a professional but pretty look.

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2. Wear them with an off the shoulder ruffled white shirt and ripped jeans for a  chic yet casual look for the weekday.

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3. Wear them with a black leather shirt with an army green mini skirt for when you want to go out to the bar and impress everyone around you without looking too try hard.

I hope this helps anybody who wanted some simple outfit ideas to pair with their summer sandals! Tag me on Instagram if you have a cute outfit that you want to show off ! @simplyjcm

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15 Quick Tips for Traveling in China

  

1. Let your bank know you’ll be traveling to China and see if they have an affiliated bank in the country- this is a great thing to check since you won’t have to pay a forgein transaction fee each time you get money. 

2. Don’t carry around too much cash. See number 3.

3. Always always always keep on eye on your bag. Don’t leave your zipper open and hold onto it, especially in crowded places like the subway. All your hard earned cash will be stolen if you’re not careful! 

4. If you’re in Beijing (not sure about Shanghai or other places), be warned that usually around 12pm taxi drivers are getting off work and won’t want to pick you up. I spent a good 30 min trying to pick one up in a busy area!

 5. Be weary of not so sanitary looking street food! Take some diarrhea medicine in case you get sick. 

6. Contradicting #5 a bit, but don’t be too scared of street food either! Places that serve breakfast on the streets make some of the best foods, like pork buns, eggs wraps and sweet rice porridge. 

   
  
7. Bring hand sanitizer or wipes- always clean your hands before touching food and eating with your hands. You probably don’t want to know what you’ve touched. 

8. If you’re going to be traveling to multiple cities in China- plan ahead the days you’re going to be there and the types of sites you want to see. If you don’t speak Chinese I highly recommend getting a tour guide or get someone to book flights for you.

9. If you’re foreign but still want to be independent and travel alone, at least write down the names and addresses of places you need to go in Chinese and show taxi drivers/police for directions. 

10. Eat lots of dumplings and buns! So many great places in China. If you’re in a big city like Shanghai, usually the small mom and pop shop has the best homemade ones available (and at a cheap price!) Dim sum is a must as well 🙂 

  
11. Learn some simple phrases to get around- there are plenty travel guides to teach you. Things like thank you, where is the bathroom, and how much money can go a long way. 

12. Pleaaaase bring comfortable shoes you can handle walking around in hours. I don’t care how cute your shoes go with your outfit, if it ain’t comfy don’t plan on having happy feet! 

  
13. If you have a lot of things you want to carry while traveling (camera, wallet, hand sanitizer etc.,) I would recommend bringing a backpack versus a large purse. I made the mistake of bringing a crossover handbag, and by the end of the day my shoulders were aching. Comfortability triamphs cuteness! 

14. China has lots of fruits available in the first streets- highly recommend buying a variety and get some you’ve never tried before. 

  
15. Have fun, eat lots of great food, and don’t be afraid to get lost in the streets of the city to fully immerse himself yourself in a different country! Just be sure you have your hotel address handy 🙂 

    

Healthy Snacks for Long Flights

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Since I’m traveling to China this week, I thought I would share with you all a few healthy options for snacks to eat during a long flight (or for traveling in general!).

I’m usually the one to go for the chocolate covered acai berries, the chips or the candy, but I thought I would buy some healthy alternatives this time around. I’m sure I’m going to gain a bit of weight during my trip to China eating all the dumplings I can fit in my stomach, so I wanted to feel the best I could before landing by eating healthier food during my flight.

I got all my snacks from Trader Joe’s, but I’m sure you could find the same types of snacks at your local grocery store.

Freeze Dried Strawberries

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Freeze Dried Apples

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Trail Mix (including nuts and chocolate for that sweet + savory balance)

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Mango Dried Fruit

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Dried Cranberries 

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Most of my snacks consist of fruit and nuts, which are healthy enough to munch on during the flight, but are filling enough to keep me going until the meals provided on the plane arrive.

I hope this helps anyone who is trying to think of healthy alternative snacks to eat during a long flight!

xx