Netflix Therapy

With the start of the school year comes the start of a new tv series addiction. This year I chose The Following to be my drug of choice, and boy it has yet to let me down. I’m in the middle of season two currently and am sad that I’m already half way through the show since it only has a mere three seasons. This show is just filled with non-stop mystery and edge of your seat drama. I LOVE IT! I’ve always been in to the crime scene investigation movies, but this show has more of a thriller/horror twist which makes it that much more intense! If you’re looking for a new show to binge watch this upcoming weekend then I highly suggest it!

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And for those of you who are ahead of the game and have already seen this series, here are a couple of other favorites that I’ve watched in the past:

  • How to Get Away with Murder – Sooooo good! I’m anxiously awaiting the start of the third season!
  • Bates Motel – I love the psychological aspects of this show! Start it today!
  • Parenthood – This show is so real and so emotional, every episode brings me to tears
  • Blacklist –  Another investigative show, but with multiple plot twists along the way
  • Young and Hungry – Funny and light-hearted, you have to see it!

 

Leave comments on which shows you’ve seen and/or are watching now and what suggestions you have for me in the future (since my show is almost over already!) Happy binge-watching 🙂

 

Newport Beach

One of my favorite things in the world is waking up to the sound of waves crashing on the shore. What better way to end the summer than a trip a beach? That’s exactly what I did this past Sunday by meeting up with my family down in Newport Beach, California. We ate tons of good food, spent some quality time walking along the shore, and had a couple drinks to end the night. Here are some of the places we visited along the way!

The Cannery

If you’re looking for a nicer casual to fancy restaurant than this is a great place to go! Upstairs they have a full sushi bar along with their regular drink bar and tables. If you’re looking for good food, but don’t want to dress up much than upstairs is the perfect fit for you. As for those of you who are dressing to impress, the fine dining area on the main floor looks straight out at the water where boats are docked and city lights glow. It’s a stunning view for sure! The food is quite spectacular as well – ranging from Maine lobster and Scottish salmon to open range prime rib. They provide delicious meals that definitely have the aesthetic appeal you hope to find at places like these. You can check out their different menu’s here.

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Three-Thirty-Three

After having dinner with the family at The Cannery, my dad took me here to end the night with a couple drinks. Seeing as it was my first time being able to legally drink with the family my dad wanted to spoil me a little bit, and by a little bit I mean one drink. I decided on the Southern Gentlemen cocktail which was a strong mix of lemon vodka and St. Germain. This drink inspired my new drinking motto: If it looks like water, it’s gonna get you drunk. The entire bar offers a relaxed mood, right on the harbor as well, and if you’re interested in food then they have an entire menu and regular seating on the other side of the restaurant as well!

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Bohemia

I never actually made it in to this boutique since I was only in town for a night, but from just the outside it caught my eye! They offer cute boho attire and accessories that match the beach-y scenery. Perfect outfits for any trip to the ocean or just to add to your wardrobe! Check out some of their products here.

If you’re planning on taking a trip down to Newport Beach or just visiting the day, I highly recommend taking a walk around the neighborhoods or even trying to rent a house to stay in! I mean look at these places, they’re AMAZING. Tell me about your travels to the beach and what some of your favorite places are!

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Summer Reads 2016

At the beginning of the summer I bought eight books to read – only four of which I was able to finish due to my hectic schedule! I typically go for all romance novels seeing as I’m a hopefully romantic, but this summer I decided to switch it up (although not completely) and through a couple different genres in the mix! Here are this summers reads followed with a my personal synopses and reviews!

  1. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
  2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  3. The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty
  4. After You by JoJo Moyes

 

Reconstructing Amelia

Kimberly McCreight’s debut novel keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time! It’s a story about a mother, Kate, who attempts to solve the mystery of her daughter’s sudden death. After receiving a call one day about her daughter’s misbehavior at school, she arrives on campus to find disaster – her daughter is dead. Through anonymous texts and plot twist after plot twist, will Kate bring justice to a case left unclosed? It’s definitely worth the read to find out!

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Ready Player One

Ernest Cline’s debut novel was another read this summer that takes place in the year 2044 and centers around virtual reality. Science fiction novels are so far beyond my tastes in terms of books, but this one was so well written I didn’t even care that it wasn’t my typical romance novel! Wade Watts, the main character, is a player in a virtual contest that awards the first person to complete a set number of challenges the life fortune of the recently deceased creator of the virtual world these characters live in. It’s compelling, it’s exciting, and better yet the movie is going to be released in theaters in 2018! So be sure to read it before the film adaptation comes out!

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The Hypnotist’s Love Story

I read The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty earlier this year which is why I chose another novel of hers as one of my summer reads. Personally, I like The Hypnotist’s Love Story more just because I felt The Husband’s Secret had such a slow start, but both are super good novels and should be given a chance! The Hypnotist’s Love Story is about a hypnotherapist’s journey through a new relationship that is haunted by the past of an old relationship. There is danger, there is romance, there is lust – a must read for anyone interesting in a twist!

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After You

My boyfriend actually got this book for me after I kept ranting and raving about how beautiful a movie Me Before You was. The sequel to this devastating love story focuses on recovering from loss and moving forward when everything seems hopeless. I never read Me Before You, but the plot of both these novels are so unique compared to other love stories that you just have to give them a chance! JoJo Moyes’ writing is so fluent and so poignant that you can’t put the book down until you’re done.

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What book have you read this summer? And what do you recommend reading in the fall?

Fresh Finds – Aug 2016

Soooo with being home this week I’ve done a LOT of shopping – which is fabulous! I perused my local mall, The Shoppes, as well as a couple others in the neighboring areas. If you like outdoor malls and want to take advantage of the final warm weeks of summer then I highly recommend checking out Victoria Gardens! To check out all my fresh finds for this month check out the links below!

Windsor – crop top, black dress, navy cross top, casual top

crop top
$26
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$39
navy top
$22
casual top
$16

Charming Charlie –  gold ring, necklace, and midi ring

ring
$8
midi
$6
necklace
$13

 

I also bought a couple pairs of shoes from Reflection since they are having a BOGO 50% off deal going on right now! So check out the deals before they’re gone!

I’d love to hear what some of your fresh finds for the month are! Happy shopping 🙂

XOXO,

Chanel

 

Home Sweet Home

Coming home to California after months of living in Washington is always a treat! My favorite part about being home is the familiarity – the routine that instantly kicks back in where I’m going to my favorite coffee shop and local mall. I wouldn’t appreciate my hometown as much if I didn’t spend so much time away from it, so if you’re thinking that your life at home is boring and you’re in need of a change then I would suggest getting away for a bit and coming back to the realization that you’re hometown is actually amazing.

PSA: this advice may not apply to those who were born outside of California (sorry!)

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The Shoppes at Chino Hills (my hometown)

So, what are the best things to do when visiting home? The priorities on my to-do list definitely include seeing family and friends! But it can be hard to figure out what places to go to when visiting those family and friends… My advice? Go somewhere new! It’s easy to go to your favorite places every time you come home (and yes I admit I get In n Out every time I come back to the good ole CA), but then visits home seem like the same trip every time – especially when your time is limited!

When it comes to activities, I always try a new place to eat! I’ve only been back at home for two days – but I’m already planning on going down to Three Thirty Three down at Newport Beach! My family is going to the beach for the day and then going out to dinner and this is the place we picked. I’ve heard many good things about it and although it’s not my favorite Mexican restaurant down the street from my house, it allows the space for new memories to be made.

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3-Thirty-3 Restaurant

Shopping is always a must at home too! I can almost guarantee that the stores in your hometown are not the same as your place of residence. Which is great sometimes and really frustrating at other times, but makes you appreciate the times when you can shop at those stores that always available. For example, Charming Charlie is a great store with fabulous accessories and jewelry for affordable prices, but there isn’t a store where I currently live. Luckily they have online shopping so I can still make my regular purchases, BUT for cute boutiques that don’t offer online shopping it can be really frustrating when you’re looking for that perfect boho/chic dress that online your local store offers.

Lastly, I know going home can be a stressful time as you have to make time to see everyone and make time for the things you want to do as well, but don’t forget to enjoy it! Going home is supposed to be a fun time to relax and remember the place that helped mold you into the person you are. Safe travels as summer comes to an end and if you didn’t get a chance to go home this summer – then holidays are just around the corner!

XOXO,

Chanel

Banff, Canada

You’re thinking about traveling to Canada? Gee, that’s a great idea! Let me tell you why Banff should be the travel destination you set at the top of your list!

First off, Banff is a cute, bavarian-influenced town in the middle of a giant national park within the Alberta province of Canada. There’s taverns and pubs and shopping and majestic hotels that overlook the Canadian rockies, what more could you ask for? I only spent five days in Banff, but it was enough to convince me that it is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

I stayed in Canmore, a small town about 15 minutes away from downtown Banff, at the Stoneridge Mountain Resort. This hotel was amazing! It was small, but elite. It wasn’t noisy, except for maybe me and my 6 travel mates in the evenings, and the pool is centered in the middle of the resort with hot tubs and lounge chairs for everyone. I would 100% recommend this place for anyone traveling to Banff, but doesn’t want to be in the center of everything or just wants to save a couple bucks on hotel expenses.

While in Banff, here are some of my top recommended activities:

  1. Banff Upper Hot Springs – such a fun activity to do in the morning, afternoon, evening, or all day if you choose! The pool stairs straight up at Sulphur Mountain and the view is quite incredible to say the least. Enjoy relaxing in the mineral waters for a while and then head down to the main street and peruse the shops! There are so many delicious places to grab lunch too. We went to the Banff Ave. Brewing Company and shared drinks along with yummy burgers and fish and chips. Then we walked along the road and did some souvenir shopping for friends and ourselves, definitely a must if in town! There’s also a ton of pubs and taverns to visit so if you’re looking for some night life I would check out Hoodoo and the Dancing Sasquatch for you late-nighters out there! Hint: Sunday is the night to go out.IMG_6489
  2. Johnston Canyon Trail – this hike was the entire reason I wanted to go to Banff, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint! It’s an easy trail, so anyone could do it, and the entire time you walk along this crystal clear river glistening with glacier water. It’s unbelievably pretty! You have the choice to the Upper Falls or the Lower Falls, but I would recommend both! It took us about 2 hours to do both so if time is a question, make the time! Trust me. We even saw a baby black bear and some ram on the road along the way!IMG_6515
  3. Lake Louise – now this one is a bit of a drive outside of the main area of Banff, but the views are breath-taking! You can totally go swimming in the lake, however, the water is freezing since it comes from the melting glaciers around. But if you’re up for it, then go for it! There’s a canoe rental place that you can take around for the day as well which looks fun! If you decide to step inside the Fairmont Chateau for a quick minute and you like furry animals then ask to see Marcus.

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    Here I am! (Right outside the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise)
  4. Canmore Caves – I never actually got to do this during my trip to Banff, but I hear it is great for the adventurous at heart! The Canmore Caves offer two kinds of tours, a regular four hour tour that explores the insides of the cave, and an adventure tour that explores the depths of the caverns in a six hour tour that repels you over 18 meters below the cave entrance! If you’re up for the challenge, I’m sure it’s more than worth it!CanmoreCaveTours-P002-GrandGallery

Banff is definitely a travel destination worth looking into. If you’re up for adventure and some time in nature than this is the place for you! I can’t wait to make it back here again someday and explore some more of this beautiful place 🙂

Card Games to Play (Besides Cards Against Humanity)

Cards Against Humanity is a classic game to play with friends, especially when drinking. Of course there’s other card games like King’s Cup, but if you’re looking for more legit games that come with rules and in a box, then here are a couple to try!

Red Flags – this is one of my personal favorites! The game includes white cards which represent pleasing aspects of someone you’d like to date and then red cards which represent “red flags” or things that would make you not want to date someone. Then, each person puts together their ‘character’ for the person who is voting, which includes one two white cards and one red card. The voter must then choose which person out of their choices they would date. It’s pretty simple, but a lot of fun! Many laughs will be had if in possession of this game. Tip: there’s an expansion as well (Dark Red Flags)

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To learn more about this game click here: Red Flags

SuperFight – this game was made for people that find pleasure in arguing their own opinions (and for those that love to watch people argue). It’s a ton of fun if you can get the right crown together! Each person develops a ‘fighter’ by putting together one black card in a their hand (attribute cards) with one white card from their hand (character cards). Then, everyone lays out their fighters and argue why their fighter would win over everyone else’s. There are plenty of expansions for this game too that add either challenges, scenarios, or locations to the core deck of cards. I haven’t tried any of these yet, but I’m super excited to hopefully soon!

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To learn from about this game click here: Super Fight

I hope you guys find these games as fun as I do! I’d love to hear game night stories and what combinations came together!