Forever 21

Finally 21. I usually don’t feel different on my birthday, but this year I did. I feel more mature, more independent. Not just because I can legally drink but also because I’m just a few months away from graduating college. It almost feels like yesterday that I started college as a scared little freshman, and now I’m about to embark on my adult life. Weird.

21 was a birthday I’ve only really looked forward to in the past year or so. Before that, I vowed I would never drink–because the few sips I sampled of my parents’ drinks tasted gross to me. That’s not to say that now I’m 21 I’m going to become a crazy partier. I have no desire to get drunk or drink cheap alcohol. I would much rather sip a glass of white wine while watching a movie at home, or enjoy a fun cocktail at a fancy restaurant.

I did drink on my 21st, but my birthday was more than just about the alcohol. This birthday marked the last time (most likely) I’ll be living at home to celebrate. It’s bittersweet looking back on the past 21 birthdays (obviously the first few I don’t remember)–going to waterparks on my birthday, spending it by the pool in the mountains, watching the Summer Olympics, always going out to eat with my family/friends. I’m going to miss this part of my life.

As I said, my 21st was a lot more than being able to drink in a restaurant–which I definitely did, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I started the day as usual–waking up, checking my phone, enjoying some sweet potato-Sunwarrior-banana softserve with homemade magic shell (hey, had to make it special for my birthday!) and getting ready. I did wake up still sick, with a still-sore throat and irritated eyes, but I’m sick of letting little things ruin my day, so I’m really glad I didn’t let lingering sick feelings make my birthday less than special. And what made it that much more special was the decorations I found once I got downstairs. My parents have always been great about making our birthdays feel fun, no matter what we end up doing, and I’m really grateful for that!

bday decos

Starbucks and shopping were on the agenda…with none other than my sister! Even though we’re really different, we have a lot of things in common–namely our love for the ‘bucks, shopping for clothes (especially at Forever 21), Whole Foods salad bar and alt rock music. All of which we enjoyed together on my birthday 😀 I’m seriously gonna miss that girl when I graduate and I still can’t believe she’s just a year away from college herself! Anyways, we had the best time drinking iced coffees, yelling at stupid drivers, finding the perfect things to buym laughing at the dumbest things and marveling at the giant Whole Foods we ate lunch at.

Breakfast at home. Lunch at Whole Foods. Birthday dessert made by me.

Breakfast at home. Lunch at Whole Foods. Birthday dessert made by me.

The rest of the afternoon was spent making my own birthday dessert. I’d never done that before, but I really wanted to make something that my family and I could all enjoy together. I went with this raw coffee cheesecake and it.was.delicious. My dad even said it was one of the best desserts I’ve ever made, and he’s a total dessert freak! It’s definitely a great dessert to make for raw vegans and non-raw vegans alike, especially if you love coffee. Aaaaaaaand…I got to enjoy a piece for two nights afterwards, so a total winner!

Dinner was what I was looking forward to all day though (other than shopping obviously!) I’d been wanting to go to a tapas place in town since I’d heard they had lot of vegan options, and the fact that they’re 100% gluten free was icing on the cake. I wasn’t sure if my family’d like it, especially my sister who’s pretty picky and likes typical teen food, but they loved it just as much as I did!

Tapas are basically small dishes generally in a Mediterranean or Spanish style that are meant to be shared with others. I’d never had tapas before but since I love eating little bits of a lot of different things (and Mediterranean food!) I knew I’d like it. My family got some dishes with meat or cheese, but I was still able to try a lot of the things we got, like warm olives (love olives!), fresh garlic bread (the best garlic bread I’ve ever had, and GF too!), patatas bravas, artichoke and onion salad and a gazpacho ‘shooter’. Everything was so fresh and tasty–definitely my kinda place. And their sangria was amazing as well. We got two carafes–one was the sangria del dia, which was pineapple orange with white wine and my personal favorite, and the other was a traditional blood orange sangria with white wine. I got carded (of course) but I loved the experience of being able to enjoy a quality drink in a nice atmosphere. And sangria is now my favorite drink!

Gazpacho and sangria del dia.

Gazpacho and sangria del dia.

But the best surprise of the night was when our waiter found out it was my birthday and he let me pick out a dessert for free. I had already made a dessert for us at home, but the chocolate tasting plate sounded too good to pass up, so I ended up sharing that with everyone. It was basically 8 small squares of dark chocolate ranging from 65-85% cacao and it was paired with some blueberries and Marcona almonds. It was some good chocolate, and it went really well with the berries and almonds. So glad I went for the dessert instead of opting out just because I had dessert already planned!

My two loves are evident in my presents: clothes and food.

My two loves are evident in my presents: clothes and food.

Back at home, I opened presents and then we had my birthday cake cheesecake. A few of my presents were total surprises, like the denim shirtdress and Zoku pop maker, but everything I got was something I’ve been wanting for awhile. You know you’re a foodie when you get excited for a popsicle maker and vegetable peelers 😉 And the raw ‘cookbook’ has some really delicious looking recipes so hopefully I can share some with you guys soon! The purse and clothes will also get a lot  of use–this girl can never have too many purses or outfits!

My birthday was one of the best birthdays I’ve had, and it wasn’t just because I got presents I loved or because I could finally order a drink in a restaurant. It was more about the memories I made with my family and the happiness I got from being able to enjoy one last birthday with them.

What made your last birthday special? What’s your ultimate birthday dessert? 

Spring Break Fashion

As spring break comes to a close for me (with some snow to end out the week, how perfect…not!), I’m trying to gear back up for 8 more weeks of the semester, picking classes for my senior year of college (scary how fast time flies) and planning out my summer. Not so much fun stuff to look forward to, but I am looking forward to spring and summer like weather, so I can finally wear all the clothes I splurged on over spring break!

Aqua sandals (Target).

Aqua sandals (Target).

I have a new-found obsession with Target’s shoe section. I love wandering the aisles to find amazing deals on shoes, and I’ve scored some pretty good ones. I got a pair of gold sparkly loafers last month for $6! They’re not the comfiest or most practical shoes, but they’re cute and definitely worth their low price. These sandals were also a steal at $12, but I’ll be getting a ton of use out of them this summer. The color is my favorite part, and now I want to go back and stock up on these in all the other colors too.

Light wash printed jeggings (Hollister). Royal blue ruffly tee (Hollister). Navy floral scarf (American Eagle). White watch (American Eagle).

Light wash printed jeggings (Hollister). Royal blue ruffly tee (Hollister). Navy floral scarf (American Eagle). White watch (American Eagle).

I’m always in need of another good pair of jeans, especially jeggings. I used to HATE tight pants with a passion, because I was so self-conscious about my thighs, but now I’m embracing the skinnier jeans. This new light wash pair was on sale at Hollister (love!) and the shade will be perfect for spring. I love the subtle print they have too.

Coral twill shorts (Hollister).

Coral twill shorts (Hollister).

I have a problem with colored shorts. I just can’t stop buying them! I currently own a khaki pair, a navy pair, a burgundy pair, a bright pink pair, a blue plaid pair, a red plaid pair, a brown pair, a bright red pair and a dark grey pair. These coral ones are the perfect addition to my closet–I love anything coral and it’ll look great as a pop of color with a more neutral top.

Aqua striped crop sweater (Hollister). Dark wash jeggings (American Eagle).

Aqua striped crop sweater (Hollister). Dark wash jeggings (American Eagle).

Another aqua piece to add to my closet! I actually don’t own much in aqua, but I think this will be my go-to shade this spring and summer. It just makes me happy! This sweater will work well even into summer because it’s lightweight and cropped.

Black decorated tank (Forever 21). Black/white printed harem pants (Forever 21).

Black decorated tank (Forever 21). Black/white printed harem pants (Forever 21).

Forever 21 harem pants closeup.

Forever 21 harem pants closeup.

This outfit is very unlike my usual style, or at least my style from a year ago, but I love adding unexpected pieces like this to my wardrobe to mix things up. I’m normally not a fan of black but when it’s paired with a tribal-inspired black-and-white print, it’s so chic. I feel totally fierce in this outfit and I’m really excited to wear it for the first time!

What’s your latest clothing purchase? Do you like bright colors for spring and summer?

 

Fashion Friday: White Hot

Before I get into the post, let me just say a big “Thank you!” to everyone who took the time to read and comment on my post on Tuesday. I really needed to hear your words of encouragement and tough love so thanks again. You all had some great points!

Ever heard the old fashion adage ‘never wear white after Labor Day’? It seems so old-fashioned, right? I mean, who doesn’t wear white in some form in the months between Labor Day and Memorial Day? And really, what’s so wrong with that? An article in Time even says that the practice is outdated–it’s rumored to have started because wearing white in the summer was a way to stay cool in the absence of A/C, and once summer was over, people returned to their jobs and more drab-colored clothing.  But today, it’s definitely acceptable to wear white year-round, even in the winter.

White isn’t one of my favorite colors (too boring) or even my favorite neutral (that would be dark grey or brown) but it’s a nice way to mix up a more colorful outfit. And you can definitely wear it in the winter, despite what people say. Sure, you might not want to go for white pants but that’s mostly because you don’t want to get them dirty trekking through the snow and slush. But accessories and pops of white are definitely fair game.

White rose ring: Forever 21.

White rose ring: Forever 21.

I love white accessories, they’re so clean and simple. This ring is a newer addition to my growing collection and it’s probably my new favorite. It was super cheap (like $3) but it’s stayed intact so far and it looks cute, especially with polished nails.

Easy fit white sweater: Abercrombie ; Fitch. Royal blue chiffon skirt: Abercrombie & Fitch.

Easy fit white sweater: Abercrombie ; Fitch. Royal blue chiffon skirt: Abercrombie & Fitch.

I do wear white in my outfits, mainly as sweaters. But I like wearing it with brighter pieces, like this royal blue skirt. White goes with literally everything, so you can’t go wrong. Just make sure the style of the white piece you’re wearing generally coordinates with the style of the colored piece.

White watch: American Eagle.

White watch: American Eagle.

This watch is an even newer purchase, and it was definitely worth the price (though it was cheap-ish too). I’ve always liked the look of white watches and when I stumbled upon this one, I knew I had to have it. I really like the pink accents and simplistic style of the watch.

Do you wear white in the winter? What’s your favorite kind of accessory? 

Fashion Friday: Christmas Clothes

Remember when you were younger, and all you wanted for Christmas was toys? Some of my favorite presents from Christmases past include a dollhouse, an Easy Bake oven and Beanie Babies…good times 😉 As I’ve grown up, though, my Christmas wishlists have been pretty much been devoted to one thing–clothes. As an aspiring fashionista, I have an obsession with clothes shopping and I feel like I could never have too many outfits. This year, as in recent years, I got quite a few wonderful things not on my wishlist (such as pink-colored office supplies–my dad knows me too well–and a new blingy phone case) but most of what I received was clothing-related, or could be used towards buying clothes. And you better believe I was thrilled about our family’s post-Christmas shopping trip in Denver!

Easy fit white sweater: Abercrombie & Fitch. Royal blue chiffon skirt: Abercrombie & Fitch.

White easy fit sweater: Abercrombie & Fitch. Royal blue chiffon skirt: Abercrombie & Fitch.

This was the outfit I unwrapped on Christmas. They were actually wrapped up separately but they go well together. I’m planning on wearing this during the winter paired with grey tights and my grey wedge booties and in the spring sans tights with a cute pair of flats.

Sparkly pink makeup bag (Forever 21) and a handbags daily calendar.

Sparkly pink makeup bag (Forever 21) and a handbags daily calendar.

These were two unexpected fashion-related gifts but I love them! I was in desperate need of a new makeup bag as my old one was starting to rip, and this calendar is perfect for the designer bag-lover in me.

The riding boots I've been wanting for months!

The riding boots I’ve been wanting for months!

Once I unwrapped these, my Christmas was complete. I’ve been wanting a nice pair of riding boots since at least last Christmas, but haven’t been able to track down the perfect, inexpensive pair. My mom got these from Macy’s and they’re just the right color and style to go with everything.

White flower bouquet ring: Forever 21.

White flower bouquet ring: Forever 21.

I’m a sucker for cheap, quality jewelry, especially rings. American Eagle used to be my go-to but now I prefer Forever 21 and ALDO Accessories for their wider selection. This ring was under $4! The only thing I hate about shopping for rings is finding my size–I wear a 6, which is sometimes even too big so I always have to try before I buy.

Light blue faux leather jacket: Forever 21. Dark wash jeggings: American Eagle.

Light blue faux leather jacket: Forever 21. Dark wash jeggings: American Eagle.

This jacket is probably one of my favorite purchases from my haul, or possibly one of my favorite buys ever. I almost convinced my sister to buy it but I ended up with it, and for under $25 too! Forever 21 is a lifesaver wallet saver for sure. My only issue with shopping there is the ridiculous selection–it’s such a giant store.

Jacket closeup.

Jacket closeup.

I love the detailing on this jacket. It makes me feel like a bad ass 😉 More like a bad ass vegan who likes the look of leather but not the cruelty aspect of it!

Navy easy fit sweater: Hollister. Pink plaid PJ shorts: Hollister.

Navy easy fit sweater: Hollister. Pink plaid PJ shorts: Hollister.

Hollister was having a huge post-Christmas sale (50% off everything in clearance!) and I had a gift card there so I went a little crazy. Okay, not really, I only bought 4 things but I only ended up having to pay $10 for it so that was a nice surprise. The PJ shorts might not get too much wear until spring but I love them so much that I might be willing to freeze my legs off to wear them earlier. The sweater is a basic but I like the looser fit and it’ll look great with anything.

White sheer sparkle tank: Hollister.

White sheer sparkle tank: Hollister.

Another basic–you can’t go wrong with a white tank, especially when it has some sparkly details. I’m planning on pairing this with my burgundy jeggings and my brown faux leather jacket.

Coral easy fit sweater: Hollister.

Coral easy fit sweater: Hollister.

Another favorite buy–I just love the bright color of this sweater! Besides getting a lot of sweaters for Christmas, they’re also all easy fit sweaters which I like because they’ll look great paired with skinnies and jeggings. Loose+loose and tight+tight are no-nos but pairing a looser top with tighter fitting bottoms definitely works! And this sweater isn’t too heavy either so it’ll work into the spring months.

Do you prefer looser/longer sweaters or tighter/shorter ones? Did you get or buy any clothes for Christmas? 

A New Decade (Birthday Weekend Recap)

Hi everyone! Did you all have fab weekends? Mine was the best I’ve had probably all summer, and as promised, I’ve got a recap of my birthday weekend for ya! (Warning: Plenty of photos ahead!)

Who doesn’t want their own birthday banner?

I woke up on Friday to this–my mom taped it up there while I was asleep, how sweet is that?! My morning continued with an unpictured homemade chocolate chip oat flour waffle topped with fresh raspberries and chocolate protein frosting.

I love having a summer birthday because I can always wear a cute dress on my big day!

Most of the morning and afternoon were low-key. My mom and I stopped at the store to pick up a few things she needed and then we headed downtown for a special Olympics event they were holding. We got there around 4, which was when it was supposed to start, but not much was going on when we first got there. There were some cool things set up, like a giant trampoline, BMX ramps, a mini tennis court and a synthetic ice rink but no one was really doing anything. We did end up getting on TV though–one of the guys I know from my TV internship saw us and he interviewed my mom! And I also got some free Starbucks (unsweetened iced coffee) so it was worth it.

Whole Foods cold bar dinner: jicama apple quinoa salad, sweet potato/pepper/currant salad, marinated artichokes, zucchini pickles, chipotle orange tofu, curried potatoes and Korean slaw.

For my birthday dinner, I chose the Whole Foods salad bars! I am obsessed with the one near me, they always have the best stuff and they change it a lot so I can always get something new. My mom got some of the Mexican things they had, I got a random mish-mash of cold salads and my dad got a seafood sandwich (my sister was at her rehearsal for the theatre camp she’s at, so she missed out on the WF fun). Oh, and we of course watched the Olympic opening ceremonies! The best part is watching all the countries come in and making fun of their outfits.

My first birthday cake in a couple years! Totally vegan, and totally yummy!

I’m usually not a huge fan of cake. I’ll eat it if it’s a really interesting flavor, but I definitely prefer giant warm cookies or vegan ice cream for desserts. In fact, the last couple of years for my birthday, I’ve requested gelato instead of cake. But this year, I was super excited to try one of Whole Foods’ vegan cakes. I was planning on getting a slice of raw cheesecake but (full disclosure) the fat and calorie content kinda freaked me out. I loved how simple the ingredients were (cashews, coconut oil, raw chocolate) but I ended up with a slice of their vegan chocolate raspberry cake. And I was not disappointed at all! I split this giant square with my dad, who also loved it. With most cakes, I scrape the frosting off immediately because I’ve never been a fan. But this vegan frosting was so rich and delicious that I couldn’t skip it.

My special birthday nails (that match my laptop!)

Saturday wasn’t too exciting. I had work in the afternoon, but after dinner, my dad and I watched The Descendants. George Clooney and Shailene Woodley were perfect in it and it was a really great movie. Funny in some parts, and super sad in others. Plus it made me realize that I need to move to Hawaii!

Ready for a day of shopping!

Sunday was the day I was really looking forward to. I decided to forgo birthday presents in favor of a parent-funded shopping spree in Denver. I live for shopping, seriously! I just love looking through all the stores I love, laughing at some of the weirder items and finding the perfect outfits. We started out at the Pavilions at the 16th Street Mall and hit up H&M and Forever 21. Both of those stores are HUGE at that location so it can be kinda hard to find something you want to buy, but it’s still super fun. And I bought my first-ever item at H&M!

From top to bottom: navy lace tee (Hollister), pink printed tank dress (Forever 21), colorblock skirt (F21), navy bow leather flip-flops (HCo.)

I love long necklaces: pink heart pendant (Forever 21), jeweled parrot pendant (ALDO Accessories).

We also went to my favorite mall on the south side of Denver. My sister and I ventured off on our own and ended up going to a bunch of stores: Hollister, American Eagle, ALDO Accessories, Bath & Body Works and Abercrombie & Fitch. It sucked though because it was a Sunday, and we got to the mall around 4:30…and all the stores started closing at 6. We got to Abercrombie as soon as they were closing, so we had to rush around trying to find something to buy and I left the store empty-handed. We’ve never gone up there on a Sunday, so it was weird being kicked out of the stores so early, but we’ll know better next time.

I feel so French in this dress: light pink/black striped T-shirt dress (H&M).

Cute in stripes: orange/navy striped cropped tee (Hollister).

Apparently I love orange: strapless orange dress (Hollister).

Garbanzo is one of my fave places to go! I ordered a plate with falafel, tabbouleh, cilantro sauce, grilled eggplant, lettuce, red cabbage and hummus.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to go to the vegetarian restaurant because it was a little pricey but I’m planning a visit to a vegetarian/vegan restaurant in my college town sometime soon. We did go to Garbanzo, though, which I could eat at every week. They have a lot of vegan options too which I love and everything there is so fresh and pretty cheap. Their tabbouleh and hummus are my favorite of any Mediterranean place I’ve been to!

So that’s pretty much my entire birthday weekend. I had such a fun time, treated myself a few times and did some major shopping. I couldn’t have asked for a better 20th birthday!

What did you do for your last birthday? What do you like for your birthday dessert?