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By Lisa Linh by Lisa Linh - 16h ago

Situated across from The Grove, Farmer’s Daughter is a boutique hotel offering a unique experience. With daily whiskey tasting hour, an on-site restaurant with amazing food, and cozy quarters to hideaway from the hustle and bustle of Melrose, it is a perfect getaway for couples and friends.

Originally opened in the 1960s and purchased by William and Lorna Cho in 1997, with renovations in 1999 by their daughter and her husband, Ellen and Peter Picataggio, with another facelift in 2017. Farmer’s Daughter Hotel has certainly went through some changes but has kept its same whimsical and playful design.

KSOLE and I enjoyed a two-night stay at Farmer’s Daughter recently and while the weather was pretty cold and rainy, we made the most of it by enjoying the cozy bed, room service and the Nespresso coffee maker. I mean, what more do you really need right?

The Room

We were given the Robin room, which features a built-in (corner) couch and Hollywood lighting mirror with bluetooth speakers. With a seamless theme throughout the hotel, you can count that you’ll find cute farm animal friends in your room too.

The bed was pretty comfortable and we slept well both nights. I loved the large mirror in the room, however I wished the closet space was bigger as it was just a standalone rack with a drawer attached. This is more so a #bloggerproblem, as I tend to overpack (hah).

The bathroom sink is outside of the bathroom itself, a bit strange but I didn’t mind it. The bathroom does have a glass wall separating the bedroom from it, but don’t worry, there is a curtain for privacy for those aren’t that close.

The space overall was cute, cozy, and themed well with the rest of the property.

The Food

Tart is located right on the property and serves brunch and dinner, along with happy hour between 4-6PM Monday to Friday. We had the pleasure of dining for dinner during our stay and enjoyed a delicious meal with great service. I was quite impressed as there seemed to be only one server that night and one busboy, yet they never missed a beat. My water was always refilled without asking and we were checked up on often. I absolutely love when a restaurant has great food and service.

What we ordered:

  • Tomato soup: large portion and can be shared between two people

  • Chicken & waffles (their most popular dish): available for brunch and dinner. The waffle was well made while the chicken seemed a little dry to me. The skin was quite hard and I couldn’t really eat it, which is a shame as that’s my favorite part.

  • Steak frites: KSOLE had this and said it was great. Fries were crispy and flavorful.

  • Chocolate banana bread pudding: perfect way to end the night.

Farmer’s Daughter hotel also has a cute little boutique shop in their lobby, featuring an array of clothing pieces and lifestyle decor. While there is only valet parking offered for guests, its central location to almost everything you need makes it perfect to walk around and explore so if you can ditch the car, I’d recommend it.

We had a great two nights at the property and hope to return on better weather conditions to fully enjoy the pool and the hotel’s patio areas.

Disclaimer: This stay was in partnership with Farmer's Daughter Hotel, but all opinions are of my own and are 100% completely honest.


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I’ve been mad chillin’ since the start of 2019 and that’s partially because Q1 is always super slow for me, as brands are analyzing their holiday campaigns (from last year) and preparing their budget for this year. Typically, I would be freaking out around this time, as I was never prepared for the lack of campaigns between January to March. Fortunately, after 3 years of full-time blogging, I finally learned how to embrace this break.

While my savings account has been dipped into and almost depleted at this point, my mental health, on the other hand, has been at an all time high. I honestly couldn’t be more grateful and appreciative of this hiatus, as it’s given me the time to truly indulge in being present. However, I have to be fully transparent and remind you that I have earned this point of my life —where I can enjoy my life as I please and not work as hard because I busted my ass off for the last 15+ years. What you’re witnessing now is me reaping all the benefits of my hustle since I was 16 years old.

Yes, at 16 years old, my dad would drive me from Long Beach to Costa Mesa on the weekends to Mitsuwa supermarket. I would sit in front of the market for 8-10 hours per day and sell roasted chestnuts. I was paid under the table every weekend and at $10/hr, it wasn’t too shabby. I think that’s when I realized that I rather make money on the weekends versus spend money at the mall with my friends. Unfortunately, not all my friends understood my mindset and that’s when I started losing friends. Good times.

My path to where I am today was never linear; I had no idea what I wanted to do and I dipped in and out of industries left and right, trying to figure myself out. My road was filled with potholes, dead ends, twist and turns. I stalled, I broke down, I required a lot of maintenance and even today, I still have times where I need to pull over and readjust myself — but guess what? That’s OK. We’re human, so we’re meant to explore especially in our 20’s and even in our 30’s, it’s OK to change lanes. You should never stay in a place that feels forced and makes you unhappy. There’s no limit to how many times you can restart.

I’ve never fully shared my story of my journey because I didn’t think it was interesting enough, and it sure as hell isn’t a rags to riches piece. Hell, I’m still broke here and there. However, I think it is important to remind you guys that it is OK to be indecisive, to not know what you want, to not be where you thought you would at a certain age.

I’ve said it numerous of times on my Instagram, but there are no deadlines in life. And for those smart asses out there, yes there’s technically an expiration date of when we’re all supposed to go, but in regards to having to be married by 30 or having kids by 35 — fuck that.

So here’s my journey, here’s my reminder to you that you are your own person so don’t live up to anyone’s expectations except your own. If you’re lost right now, that’s fine. Take your time to explore and find out who you are, what you like and most importantly, what you don’t like. It’s OK.

My Timeline

2006: Graduated from Lakewood High School; got kicked out of the Merit Scholars program a month before graduation due to a low GPA and a disagreement between the staff and I over an opinion piece I wrote for the school paper (that I refused to retract upon request).

  • Sold roasted chestnuts on the weekends before getting hired as an office assistant from May to Nov 2006.

  • Was also a club promoter (SpotsPRO, you know!) and was out 3 times a week from 10PM to 2AM, but my curfew was 8PM so I ended up getting kicked out of my parent’s home — attempted to live with a (then) best friend and got into a huge fight. Landed myself into an apartment from a Craigslist ad for a month before living with my ex-boyfriend’s mother in Cerritos for a year.

Attended CSULB from 2006-2013; didn’t get a full college experience as all I literally did was go to class and then work before or after.

  • Changed my major 6 times —psychology, accounting, journalism, oceanography, marketing, American studies (which is what I graduated with); also took a lot of night classes so I can work full-time which prevented me from graduating within 4 years.

Worked as an admin assistant at an electronics wholesale company in Torrance from Nov 2006 to Jan 2009.

  • Quit on false pretenses, thought I had another job lined up but that fell through which led me to unemployment for a month. Moved into an apartment in Belmont Shores with some friends, interviewed 3 times a week for 2 weeks and got a job in Irvine as a data entry processor.

Moved again to east side of Long Beach for 6 months with some friends of friends, before moving into a house with my friend and her husband in Cerritos.

In Dec 2010, I quit my job in Irvine, a month before we were about to get laid off. Obtained a position in Anaheim at an online company.

  • Was moved from customer service to buyer within a couple of months, solely because my boss realized how terrible I am at customer service. He literally told me to never get another customer service job again when he promoted me, because I was so bad at it. I had a low tolerance for people back then.

I moved to Orange with a friend for a year before moving to Cypress with another friend.

The company was sold in 2012, so I got a front desk receptionist job in LA around November that lasted about 7 months.

Around this time, I started a blog called Lipstick, Lace, and Lattes with 5 girlfriends.

  • I lasted about half a year with the blog before leaving to focus on my photography. I am still thankful for that blog as it gave us some great opportunities, like working with Google.

Around this time, I moved again, to the current apartment I have now in San Gabriel.

  • I started a photography blog and got really into shooting.

In 2013, I was hired as a social media coordinator for an intimates wholesaler in El Monte.

January of 2014 was when I launched By Lisa Linh, as a fashion blog. I worked on the blog after work and on weekends, shooting whenever I could and did a ton of outreach every week.

  • Then on July 25, 2014, I announced that I was going to change my career and pursue nursing. That lasted about two semesters of pre-req’s before I said fuck it, and realized I didn’t care about being in the medical field. Plus I hate needles so that wouldn’t have really worked.

I then got hired for a marketing coordinator position in Pomona in around Feb 2015 and worked there until May 2015, which was when I decided to go full-time into blogging.

  • I’ve briefly spoke about this a few times, but I quit on a whim without a back-up plan and absolutely no savings. My dumbass went all in, blindly, and barely survived. I hit rock bottom, racked up so much debt, which I thankfully paid off last summer (WOO!), and learned the hard way about credit.

  • I took up some odd jobs between 2015 to 2016, including waitressing in Hollywood, social media consulting, and photography. All of which I kept on the lowdown because I was embarrassed to admit that I was struggling financially.

From 2017 to 2018, I launched a social media consulting agency and had about five brands onboard and two assistants. Month by month, I started realizing how much I loathed doing it yet the money was easy so I kept at it for the entire year. However, by November, I was completely over it and dropped my last client. As much as I loved telling people I was doing this and that, I also knew that I couldn’t continue preaching about doing what love when I didn’t love it.

This year is the first year I am going all in with blogging, no side jobs, no contracted projects, no consulting. Basically no other side jobs to diverge my focus from By Lisa Linh. I’m certainly scared as fuck, but if I don’t do it now, I’ll regret it later.

The last few years has certainly been a learning curve, filled with life lessons that I wouldn’t learn otherwise. If you guys follow me on Instagram, you’ve read this next part already but if you haven’t, this basically summarizes my journey thus far —

If you asked me at 18, what I wanted to be, I would’ve said journalist.

If you asked me at 21 what I wanted to be, I would’ve said accountant.

If you asked me at 25, what I wanted to be, I would’ve said photographer.

It’s OK to not know what you want, but it’s NOT OK to sit around and not even pursue things that you have the slightest interest in because you’re scared of failure.

Before By Lisa Linh, I had a million different positions —all of which have helped me grow my own business. So even if you pursue something and it doesn’t work out, at least you learned something from it that’ll def help you later. Guaranteed.

“No matter how hard it gets, just keep going. You only fail when you stop trying.”
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Let me first start off with a disclaimer, I am in no way an expert in skincare nor will I ever claim to be. The products I use may or may not help you, as everyone’s skin is different and when in doubt, see a dermatologist/skincare specialist.

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I had a rough battle with cystic acne in 2017. After several treatments at DMH Aesthetics and some fine tuning to my cabinet of beauty goods, I have pinpointed what works best for my skin and what my skin hates. I’ve listed quite a few products that have been in my beauty rotation for the last year here, along with products that I usually travel with to assist in breakouts here.

However, I never really shared my day and night skincare routine, which takes a mere 5-minutes. I tailored the routine to my pure laziness and the fact that I’m usually traveling, so a quick 5-minute routine is perfect for on the plane, in the hotel, and when I’m running late or am exhausted and just want to go straight to bed. Seriously, it takes me longer to fill in my brows every morning, hah.

By now, you should all know how much I love and rave about OSEA. They are my must-have, go-to clean skincare brand. Not only are they non-toxic, they are also vegan and cruelty-free. My mornings always start with OSEA, specifically these 4 products:

Morning routine: I’ll do a quick rinse of my face with the Ocean Cleansing Milk, alternatively I’ll use the Cleansing Mudd once a week as well for a deeper clean. Both cleansers will leave your face feeling super clean and refreshed. Pat your face dry then spray the Sea Minerals Mist, apply the Vitamin Sea Serum, followed by the Blemish Balm to my face and neck.

I haven’t been wearing makeup lately so I’ll just head out for my day after my routine. I love that my skin stays hydrated and non-oily all-day in any type of weather situation.

For reference, my skin used to be really oily and after my cystic acne, it became quite dry. OSEA products are great for combination skins and everyone I’ve gifted or have referred OSEA to, absolutely loves it too.

So I used to repeat the same morning routine at night but recently discovered Tatcha. Yes, I’m super late but my dear friend Phoenix gave me a Bestsellers Set for Christmas and I instantly fell in love. The items in the set are:

I love using the set at night, especially if I did wear makeup that day as the Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil is a 2-in-1 makeup remover and cleanser. Plus who doesn’t like going to sleep with plump, hydrated skin that feels baby soft?

Night routine: Cleanse with the Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil and follow with the Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder. Pat skin dry and then apply the Water Cream. At this point, you’ll feel how soft your skin is. Now I know the directions suggests for the Luminous Dewy Skin Mist to be used under makeup and for touch-ups on the go, but I spray this on after the Water Cream regardless and go to sleep. I wake up to amazing silky skin every morning.

So that’s that. 5-minutes in the morning and 5-minutes at night, quick and easy right? Now I know that these products aren’t budget friendly but I’ve learned (the hard way) that taking proper care of your skin is important. Therefore, it is an investment and I personally believe that spending a little more on proper skincare products (that work for you) is worth it.

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“Importance, on the other hand, has to do with results. If something is important, it contributes to your mission, your values, your high priority goals.” - Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

How many times have you had to cancel a date with your significant other or worse, miss a birthday or family event because you had a really important meeting at work? If you’ve watched The Devil Wears Prada, you know exactly which scene I’m talking about.

How many times have you received a call from your friend asking for a raincheck because they had something important come up? I know I’ve been flaked on plenty of times, at the last minute too.

How many times have you told someone that something else was basically more important than them? Guilty of this, as I have rescheduled things plenty of time in hopes that this last minute opportunity was going to be worth it. Unfortunately, most of the time, it turns out to be a waste of time.

However we aren’t at fault, as we often don’t see any other choice. In addition to knowing that our dear friend or loving significant other will be much more understanding than our boss/job. You know I’m not wrong either, as we live in a world where working hard and hustling 24/7 is highly admired and usually rewarded. Being busy is a status symbol; if you’re consistently busy, it means you’re successful…right? But don’t forget to show proof of how busy you really on Instagram ;)

I’m not, by any means, talking down or about anyone. I personally know how it feels, as I’ve worked from the age of 16 to 26 in the corporate world. Competing against my peers in the office for a raise, for that upper level management position, for the pure acknowledgement that I was the “star” can be thrilling. Knowing you’re the best at something feels good and dammit, you should feel good about being great at what you do. There is absolutely nothing wrong about wanting to succeed and putting your career first, but you do realize that all these important meetings & events do come at a cost right? You cannot realistically have it all. If you’re hitting sales numbers, you’re most likely also missing out on your daughter’s recital or your mom’s birthday. So, the question isn’t how do we balance it all out (because there’s no such thing as balance), it’s how do we exactly define what is important and what is worth the risk?

You know the ending of The Devil Wears Prada, where Ann Hathaway proudly walks off and throws her phone in the fountain? I was actually pissed about it. How dare she work so damn hard and sacrifice so much, only to throw it away? So what if she outperformed a co-worker along the way, that’s reality. She made more progress than Emily did, so she deserved that opportunity. Of course, I understand the premise of the movie and the theme it was encouraging, that your personal happiness matters more than any job. I get it, but also personal happiness is defined by you and no one else.

While everyone’s definition of what’s important is different and quite personal, as it pertains to what they perceive is worthy and of value, there should be at least 3 questions you should ask yourself to determine the importance of an appointment/event/meeting/etc —

  1. Is this urgent? Is there a deadline? If it can wait, let it wait.

  2. Does this contribute to your values, your mission, your goals? Is it worth your time?

  3. Will you be happier doing this? Will this preserve or enhance a relationship that you truly value and enjoy?

Oh and maybe also ask yourself to think about the situation from the other person’s perspective, in regards to how they would feel if you missed out. I know I’m not the only person who’s ever heard someone feel extremely guilty for missing out on spending quality time with someone, especially if their time was short. Just a friendly reminder that time is one thing you cannot get back.

By filtering out your schedule and prioritizing a little more, you will have more time to focus on what matters. I mean, we all always wish we want more time right?

When you’re focused on what matters, nothing else will matter.

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Opening Reception

Bittercube Mixology Class

Guest Chef + Winemaker Dinner

What better way to spend a weekend in Santa Barbara than wining and dining at Hotel Californian?

The trendy hotel hosted an unique experience from January 25th to 27th, which consisted of a handful of fun interactive activities. The Constellation Pop-Up was in collaboration with Three Three Five’s Chef Chris Mangless, who is a private chef to the stars and known for memorable pop-up experiences. Together with Hotel Californian, the weekend provided a list of events from a mixology class to a guest chef and winemaker dinner, along with a VIP concert experience.

Hotel Californian was kind enough to extend an invite to the weekend’s festivities and I took the opportunity to soak up the Santa Barbara sun while catching up with my girlfriend, Phoenix. We were graciously provided accommodations at Hotel Californian and took every change to enjoy the Almeria guest room, which featured a king bed and small balcony. I adored the classic Spanish Colonial Revival architecture blended with Moroccan influences. By the way. room service was also something I took advantage of, however I do have to note that the service itself was a bit slow. 40 minutes for two lattes seemed a little longer than necessary. However, this could also be in result with the fact that the event was going on.

The event kicked off on Friday evening with an opening reception, which featured light bites, wine, cocktails and some live music. It was a subtle start to the weekend and we retreated back to our room after an hour or so.

The next afternoon featured a mixology class with Bittercube, showcasing 4-6 different types of cocktails and in all honesty, I came for the (food) spread of oysters, meats, and fruits. I did enjoy a couple of the drinks during the two-hour class and it seemed that everyone had a great time (overall).

My favorite part of the entire weekend was the guest chef and winemaker dinner, which also included appetizers and wine prior to the lavish dinner. The setup was beautiful, as it was hosted at Blackbird restaurant, which is on the hotel’s property. The dinner featured a 6-course tasting menu created by Chef Chris Mangless and Justin Carlisle, paired with limited production wines from Herman Story.

While I devoured and enjoyed every dish, my favorites would have to be the perfectly cooked piece of steak and the chocolate creation served for dessert.

After dinner, guests were escorted to a private concert area for a VIP experience to top off their night featuring Langhorne Slim, Chris Porterfield of Field Report, and Stelth Ulvang of The Lumineers. I personally headed straight to the room for some R&R, as I’m not a huge night owl anymore. Hello 31.

The next morning was quite hard to get up, as we took in our last sunrise at the property. A winemaker’s brunch was being hosted at Goat Tree, casual all-day dining cafe, just a few steps from the hotel. The brunch was offered between 9AM to 2PM, and you can imagine the amount of people who were there as it was bottomless wine. We arrived around 10:30AM only to find out that the wait was going to be over 30 minutes. We decided to forgo the wait and went to Handlebar Coffee for a quick bite. However, we did return later around 1PM, when things were a lot more calmer. The brunch menu options were pretty limited and I ended up just getting pancakes and coffee. I really wished they had more to choose from.

We had a great weekend overall, but the real question is if the experience was worth it? For $350 (for the entire weekend), I think it’s a fair price because the dinner was absolutely worth it. The opening reception fell flat (to me personally) and The mixology class was quite informative and a great experience for those who love cocktails. The brunch could’ve been a bit better (in regards to offerings and organization). They should’ve sectioned/split people into groups and provide selected timeframes for each group so the wait wouldn’t be as long. Just my opinion. It is a great weekend getaway for foodies and wine lovers for sure, and I can only imagine that it’ll be even better the next time.

Big thank you to the staff at Hotel Californian for the weekend escape.

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Dress: Lovers + Friends Lucie Midi (XS); Shoes: Raye Lash Heel

Similar Dresses:

Dress by Tadashi Shoji, Placid Gown (from BHLDN); Bag: Umbria (from BHLDN)

Similar Dresses:

In 2017, I flew to Cabo for my birthday with some friends and rode a horse on the beach. It was then and there that I decided I was going to do a full on photoshoot with a horse some day.

Fast forward to 2019 and my dream comes true, as I find a local ranch that offers horse rentals for film and shoots. You can imagine the slack I got once I told people that I was going to do this type of shoot. Comments came left and right from people calling me “extra”, that I was “doing too much”, and that it wasn’t even a “milestone birthday”. Obviously I started feeling embarrassed and even thought about canceling the shoot, I mean, was it really necessary?

After debating on the idea for a couple of days, I came across this quote on Pinterest.

“Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.”

And as cliche as it sounds, it was one of those moments where you read exactly what you need. Granted, it was pure coincidence but I took it as a sign nonetheless to continue on with the shoot and guess what? I am so happy that I did because I had so much fun and I loved how the shots came out, and now I can look mark it off my bucket list. Although, I’ll be honest, I originally wanted to shoot with a white horse so I can caption it, “Didn't they tell you that I was a savage. Fuck your white horse and a carriage.." A line from one of my favorite songs by RiRi, “Needed Me”. Maybe next time.

So what’s the point of this blog post you may ask? Is it for me to tell my haters “HAH I DID IT SUCKERS!” and laugh at their faces for not believing in me? No. When I publish my first book, I may do that though. But I wanted to write this as a reminder for anyone who may be feeling a certain doubt or need reassurance that whatever they are doing, whatever path they are on, and whatever it is that they’re chasing that makes them happy shouldn’t ever be shoved aside due to doubts and criticism of others.

Yes, it’s easier said than done to ignore all the noise and do you. I get it, I’ve been there several times yet I always fall into that same trap of self-doubt and insecurity, the minute someone says something negative to me. It’s human nature and even the most positive people out there, fall into this trap once in awhile.

However, the next time you feel this way, I want you to take a deep breathe and ask these two questions:

1) Why am I allowing others to dictate my life and decisions?

2) Why the hell am I listening to them in the first place?

Yes, you should care about the opinions of your closest friends and family, but there is a line and how far they cross it is honestly how far you let them. When it comes down to what people want for you, they’re obviously thinking about what is best (for them) and not what makes you happy—this occurs a lot with parents and their children.

I get it, I grew up with Asian parents and I’m not a doctor or lawyer or have stable income. I got major slack every family dinner for about 8 years straight, especially since I left (ahem* was kicked out of the house) at 18, and being a girl, that was a huge NO to my relatives. Not only did I get shit for leaving the house without being married, so did my parents and whatever crap they got, was passed down to me so I basically got double the amount of shit. But I digress, as that whole story is for another post.

This post is meant to be a stern reminder that no one is in control of your happiness except you. You are the keeper to what makes you happy, what you can and want to do with your life, and no one else should ever be given this power. Not your mom, your dad, your professor, your boyfriend/girlfriend, etc. You are in full control of your life and I want you to look in the mirror (or just turn on the camera app on your iPhone and face it towards you) and repeat after me, “I am in control. Fuck the noise, I choose to live the life I want, the way I want.” Write it down on a post-it, if you want. Say it whenever you are in doubt or have had a rough day. I believe in you and I want you to believe in yourself too.

Now go on and sparkle!

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Bathroom with two basins.

La Prairie Spa: Beauty Station

Rooftop Pool

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By Lisa Linh by Lisa Linh - 1M ago

A beachfront property situated in a popular part of the island, complete with a daily breakfast buffet of fresh pastries and fruits. What more can you really ask for?

On our second trip back to Cook Islands, we opted to stay at Nautilus Resort and Spa, after glamping with Ikurangi prior. It was nice to have the contrast between an eco retreat (from our previous trip) to something a little more luxurious.

What I adored about Nautilus was the fact that our villa reminded me of Bali. The wood accents and private pool were such a treat in our Garden Are’, except that the rain decided to join us 2 of the 3 days we were on the property. Despite the damper in our plans of laying out on the beach, we decided to embrace and do what the locals do during this time — go swimming in the rain! It was actually quite fun and since Rarotonga is a tropical destination, it wasn’t cold either.

Our room had a small kitchenette with a sink, mini fridge, and microwave. A decent sized closet, comfy robes and slippers were included. The bathroom does include a his and her sink, shower and deep tub. There is also an outdoor shower on the front patio as well. The bed was comfortable and I loved that there was plenty of space for two people.

The infinity pool on the property is gorgeous and looks out to the beach, however I always prefer a bit of privacy and used our own pool during the stay. Kayaks and paddle boards are available for guests. On a sunny day, you can see right through the water.

The restaurant on-site provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner, however because you’re in Muri, there is usually a lot of food options so I suggest venturing out after breakfast.

The 3 things we really liked about Nautilus were:

  1. Spacious villas with lots of amenities to enjoy

  2. Daily breakfast buffet had great selections and you can also order off the menu (for an extra cost)

  3. Location is great and the property is beachfront

However, there are a few things to note:

  • The spa was disappointing in regards to decor/looks. It is basically a small room with massage tables and doesn’t match the rest of the resort, which feels luxurious. The massage itself was OK. I recommend going to Rumors for their couples massage.

  • Due to the heavy rain, bugs often tend to go inside and therefore we had some visitors during both nights of our stay. The staff attempted to take care of it, but I’m sure it’s hard to locate them during the day so I was bit more weary than normal sleeping at night. However, no bug bites or anything major occurred other than their sighting. This can honestly happen anywhere and management ensured we were fine right after being notified.

Overall, Nautilus is a great choice for those who want more privacy and space. We had a comfortable stay and enjoyed being in Muri. Only wish we were able to take advantage of the amenities more, but no one has control of the weather so guess we’ll try next trip!

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On January 19th, I celebrated my 31st birthday with my closest friends in Downtown LA. While I’m big on birthday celebrations and tend to go overboard during my birthday month, I decided to keep things on the quieter side with an intimate gathering for those who have done nothing but support me and love me unconditionally throughout the years.

I hosted a bohemian themed brunch in the cutest space I found through Peerspace (not sponsored by the way). If you are not familiar with Peerspace though, read all about it here. I picked this particular location due to the space and lighting, and then worked my theme around the fact that it had major boho vibes. Debbie (the owner of this space) was so easy to work with and she actually owns a few other spots for rent around LA.

For food, I had one of my best friends take care of the main entree, while the rest of my guests brought appetizers and desserts. We had a great selection from wings to fonuts, and surprisingly had so much food leftover! My best friend, Shoshanna and her husband, cooked up the most delicious steak paired with a heirloom tomato salad. Everyone definitely had seconds on that.

Aside from the steak, the cake also was the star of the brunch. Customized by @MisoBakes, this boho inspired cake was not only beautiful but delicious. I discovered @MisoBakes from my friends (Stephanie & Kyle), as she had customized their son’s cake for an event. Miso was extremely responsive via e-mail and was very detailed on the entire process. I gave her the theme, a few photos of the location, and some Pinterest ideas to run with. The end result was this gorgeous semi-naked cake with vanilla frosting and fresh strawberries as the filling. Hands down, best birthday cake I ever had.

Since I was in full control on what I wanted for this brunch, I had to include boba. I’m a huge boba addict and Labobatory was kind enough to partner up with me for the event. Funny enough, they’re actually down the street from me and I’ve been there a few times so it worked out perfectly. Big thanks to Labobatory for delivering boba to us!

Of course we took advantage of the location and held a group photoshoot. How can a blogger not take photos in a place like this right? Hah. I adore that everyone was down to participate and our photos came out so cute, especially since KSOLE shot them.

We spent most of the time catching up with each other and I loved that I was able to introduce everyone to one another. Often times, due to the fact that everyone lives all over LA and OC, my friends only hear about each other and never get to meet. I have friends from different phases of my life and to have them all in one place made me so happy.

This birthday was particularly special to me for many reasons. While 31 isn’t a year most people celebrate or pay attention to, it is one I am looking forward to the most because last year was all about growth and discovery. While I’m continuing with that theme this year as well, as you truly never stop learning, I have a better understanding of who I am and what I want. Now I can take everything I learned last year and really apply it to my life. I basically have some new tools to work with so I can further strengthen my foundation.

Instead of focusing on everyone, this year I selectively chose the people I want to keep in my life and these are the ones that were invited to my brunch. As you get older, you start to weed out friends and while I adore everyone who has every walked into my life. I am no longer sadden by those who depart, as I believe that everyone has their own purpose. Some people are just there to provide a lesson, some are blessings, and all were meant to be in your life at some point— but not everyone is your ride or die.

I am incredibly grateful and blessed for every one of these souls for being in my life. These aren’t short-term friendships, these people have been in my life for at least 3+ years and I know they’ll be there when I do get married, when I buy my first house, our kids will all be friends, and I know they’ll be there until the very end. I cannot have asked for a better group than them.

Super special shout out to my boyfriend, KSOLE, for all these amazing photos and for making me feel like a queen everyday<3

Thank you guys for making this birthday extra special! I love you all!

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