MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche

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I officially love this book! She reminds me of Mindy Kaling and me wanting to be her friend after reading her book. She’s hilarious, is so honest, and is able to articulate exactly what I’m thinking and feeling better than I could.

Having moved to California a year and a half ago I was in the exact same place as Rachel was. In a new city with only a few friends/acquaintances and wanting to make more friends. She dedicates an entire year of her life actively friend dating and looking for local friends.

As we grow older, school, boyfriends, work opportunities, families etc can put some geographical distance between our nearest and dearest friends. And we find ourselves searching for meaningful relationships and thinking back to how easy and effortless it was to make new friends when we were younger.

When you’re not in school, you’re not necessarily surrounded by people your age, or in the same boat and you have to  really put yourself out there if you want to make new friends.

This book was so fun to follow along. I devoured it. She writes so well and is self deprecating and relateable.

We can feel a little awkward and nervous trying to make new friends and it’s fun to see all the ways she approached it. She went to book clubs, improv classes, went speed friend dating, met up with friends of friends, meet up groups, etc. It’s all things I’ve thought about before but have been nervous to try.

Like how many times have you been to a restaurant and had a nice waitress and thought she’s the kind of person I’d like to be friends with? I’ve certainly felt that way before but was too self conscious to ask her to hang out. We fear it could be taken the wrong way or that it will come off as desperate. But really isn’t it flattering? And who couldn’t use another friend?

This is one of my new favorite books and I can’t wait to read her other one, “Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me: The Pursuit of Happiness, One Celebrity at a Time.” Definitely read MWF Seeking BFF if you haven’t already! And it’s a perfect pick for book club too. You’re welcome! ;)

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Friday Favorites: Bachelorette + Books, Oh My!

 

Happy Friday friends! I’m linking up with the ladies at A Little Bit of Everything BlogGrace and Love Blog, and Momfessionals as usual!  :) Head on over to all their sites if you wanna join in the link ups!

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I’m also linking up with other blogging women at A.Liz AdventuresCarolina CharmHello! Happiness, and The Good Life Blog.p-txt

 And last but not least The Farmer’s Wife and September Farm.

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THE NEW YOU

My good friend Kathleen and her boyfriend Greg who are living tiny, who were my first interview in my series, wrote a beautiful piece yesterday that I had to share. It was really well written, and it inspired me. I’m so proud of them and their living tiny journey.

I’ll give you a quick excerpt but I highly recommend you go to her website and read it in full.

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“We walk through life following what others do or say because we’re afraid to take the lead. We assume others have it all figured out. The truth is, none of us do. But there are things we can do to make ourselves stand out and not get lost in the chaos.

Don’t forget to tell yourself that, ‘You are good enough!’

Just because you might be doing something that other people have done before, doesn’t mean it’s not unique. You are doing it in your own way. It’s your style, your interpretation.

The things you do are yours and yours alone, so own it!”

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“I know a lot of people my age are always asking, ‘Am I in the right job? Am I making enough money? Is this what I should be doing with my life?’

These are the questions we should always be asking. Challenge yourself to find a career that matches what you enjoy doing. As an added bonus, make it something that inspires or educates others in a positive way.

If you can’t find the passion in your job, try finding that passion on your own time.

We can’t all have that perfect 9-5. Don’t exhaust yourself searching for it. Spend time in your personal life fulfilling your talents and exploring your interests.

The more you practice your passions (whether at work or outside of work), the more people will notice. For example, if you enjoy doing yoga, you might look into being a yoga teacher. If you are artistic, you might explore starting up an Etsy shop to make a little extra cash. And if you decide these are the things you should be doing instead of the 9-5, pack up your office and find a way to make these things your daily grind.”

 

THE NEW YOU(1)

In case you missed my book review of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild be sure to check it out here. I absolutely loved this book! It was so, so good. I loved reading about her incredible 1,100 mile hike through the Pacific Crest Trail. She shared so much of her life and thoughts throughout the book. What an amazing and inspirational story. Definitely read it if you haven’t already!

And I posted about my book review on Twitter and tagged Cheryl and she liked it! I had a total fan girl moment :) unnamed

THE NEW YOU(2)I’m so glad the Bachelorette is back on. It’s been a guilty pleasure of mine for years and I still enjoy it. I really like Kaitlynn, she’s honest, funny, and gorgeous. So excited to see who she ends up with.

kaitlyn-bristowe-01-435I know it’s still so early on but I already have a favorite for her: Shawn B. He got the first impression rose. She said he gave her the feelings she was looking for, they kissed the first night, he’s a personal trainer, and likes kids. They’re super cute together. I’d definitely keep my eye out for these two. (No I haven’t read any spoilers and please don’t spoil it for me!)  bachelorette-01-800And the internet is saying he looks like a mix between Ryan Gosling and Calvin Harris.

THE BACHELORETTE - ABC's hit romantic reality series, "The Bachelorette," kicks off its 11th season continuing the surprises of this season's "Bachelor" with the biggest one of all: there will be two Bachelorettes. “The Bachelorette” returns to ABC, premiering MONDAY, MAY 18 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Craig Sjodin) SHAWN B.

Calvin Harris meet your doppelganger. 473825850

THE NEW YOU(3)

Through the linkups last week I found a blogger (can’t remember who though, sorry!) who talked about spring dresses for cheap. She introduced me to a website called SheInside. They have super cute dresses and they aren’t expensive. They are having a big sale right now. I bought 3 dresses already. :) I’m eagerly awaiting them in the mail.

sheinsideHere are the three dresses I bought:

This adorable white dress is only $15!

15This pink flare dress is $20.33!

20And I took a fashion risk buying this dress, but I’ll try it on and see if I like it. It’s really pretty. I love the flowy-ness of the dress. This one is $33.19.

33See what I mean with the super cute, and affordable dresses?!

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I love red carpet events when stars bring their A game. It’s fun to see them all dressed up. Here are a few of my favorite looks from the Cannes Film Festival this year.

I’m obsessed with Nikki Reed’s dress. She looks stunning! And what a gorgeous couple they  make.

68th Annual Cannes Film Festival - 'Youth' - Premiere Featuring: Nikki Reed, Ian Somerhalder Where: Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes, France When: 20 May 2015 Credit: Dave Bedrosian/Future Image/WENN.com **Not available for publication in Germany, Poland, Russia, Hungary, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Slovakia**

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 20:  Nikki Reed attends the Premiere of "Youth" during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2015 in Cannes, France.  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

68th Annual Cannes Film Festival - 'Youth' - Premiere Featuring: Nikki Reed, Ian Somerhalder Where: Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes, France When: 20 May 2015 Credit: Dave Bedrosian/Future Image/WENN.com **Not available for publication in Germany, Poland, Russia, Hungary, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Slovakia**

I love Mindy Kaling, her show and her book. Can’t wait for her next one to come out in September! I also love her color blocking dress.

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Amy Poehler looks simple and elegant. mindy-kaling-amy-poehler-cried-making-inside-out-22

I love purple and Salma Hayek looks great!

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 17:  Actress Salma Hayek attends the Premiere of "Rocco And His Brothers" during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2015 in Cannes, France.  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

 

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Last weekend I saw Pitch Perfect 2 and it was funny, sweet and touching. I found myself tearing up at the end of the movie. It has it all. If you liked the first one, you’ll definitely like the second one.
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 Have a great weekend everyone! Excited to read all your link ups.
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Be Happy

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I love the simplicity of quote. Exist to be happy. Say yes to happy. The name of this blog. I’m in my late 20s now and I’ve had quarter life crises. I still have a lot I want to and need to figure out. But that’s what your 20s are all about. :)

But what’s important to me is being happy. Being surrounded by those I love. Playing tennis. Traveling. Reading. Writing. Laughing with Friends. Etc

It’s easy to get bogged down with the mundaneness of life. We all have to work, go to school, pay bills, and have responsibilities. We all have stuff we have to do. But it’s important to remember what we like to do and what makes us happy. Let’s all just take a minute and evaluate our lives. Remember what we are doing and why.

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Hope > Fear

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California Summer Bucket List 2015

With half of May already over, I wanted to make a summer bucket list before it slips away from me. I’ve been in California for a year and a half now and there are still so many things I want to do. (It’s a big state!)

I’d also love to hear your suggestions for things I should do. I live in Orange County in Southern California, but I’d love suggestions for both NorCal and SoCal.

 

HIKES

  • Bridge to Nowhere

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photo credit : california through my lens

 

 

TRIPS

 

ACTIVITIES

  • Whale Watching
  • Pool Party at Our Place (which is great motivation to work out)
  • Fire Pit and s’more at Huntington Beach
  • LA Dodgers or Anaheim Angels game
  • Concerts at The Greek Theatre and the Hollywood Bowl 
  • See Conan’s tv taping
  • Jimmy Kimmel taping
  • Cali photo shoot of our favorite places

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What about you guys? What is on your summer bucket lists?

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Wild by Cheryl Strayed

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I loved this book. I couldn’t get enough of it. I wanted to know more after it ended. I wanted to know where she went next, how she transitioned back into real life in Portland and what lasting impact it had on her. (I know there are lots of interviews she has done since she completed the trail, and I have yet to see the movie starring Reese Witherspoon because I wanted to wait until I was finished with the book.) But those were my initial thoughts after I finished reading it.

As a woman one of my main concerns would be safety on the trail especially being by herself. So I was really interested to see how she dealt with that and how she told herself she wasn’t scared.

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I really enjoyed hearing about the camaraderie she felt among the fellow hikers she met on the trail. She said they motivated her and lifted her spirits when she was feeling down or exhausted. It also must have felt nice to commiserate about the trials and tribulations of the hike.  For a while she was the only woman on the trail but later met other women. I felt a real sense of women empowerment and thinking how strong and courageous she and the other women were hiking this trail and taking on such a huge undertaking.

It made me really happy to see the kindness of strangers while she was on and off the trail. People gave her rides when she hitchhiked, offer to feed her and let her shower at their houses, and a free place to stay behind stores. It made me believe in the goodness of people. I, myself, would be quite nervous to trust people but it’s nice to see there were still good people while she was out there. (She hiked the trail in 1994 at the age of 26.) But there is one incident she talks about in the book that would have made me really nervous.
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Being on the trail she was able to work through issues that she had been carrying around with her for years. Before she started the trail she had lost her mother to cancer at 45 years old, her family fell apart in the wake of her mother’s death, and her marriage ended. In the long hours and days she traversed the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) she had a lot of time to think about all those lingering issues and learned to make peace with them.

It shows real dedication and character that she hiked the 1,100 plus miles in the summer, mostly alone, when the easy thing to do would have been to quit and go back to her old life.  

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One of my favorite things about her journey was that she was not an expert hiker to begin with. She had only done short hikes before. Not that this is something I would want to do, but it at least gives me and other hikers hope that they could do it. They just have to have to will power and desire to do it. I’m also super impressed that she and other hikers took on the PCT 20 years ago when hiking wasn’t yet that popular. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is thinking about reading it.

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Sorry I’ve Been MIA

Hi Friends,

I’ve been slacking in my blogging the last three weeks or so. Are you guys still with me? :) I meant to have posts lined up before my travels, but things got busy, you know how it goes.

A lot has been going on. Princess Charlotte was born, I went to Las Vegas, New York, and Chicago.  I went to the Neon Museum in Vegas, walked in Central Park and High Line Park in New York, saw the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time in my life, and visited my family and friends back home in Chicago.

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So that means I have a lot of good stuff coming up on the blog. Thanks for hanging tight while I get my stuff together! Hope you’re all doing well. I’m looking forward to catching up with you all. Please stay tuned!

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xo,

Julie

Celeb Trainer Erin Oprea: The Workout Move You Can Do Anywhere, Anytime

Originally posted on People Great Ideas:

Erin OpreaZach Harrison Photography

As a former U.S. Marine, Erin Oprea is dedicated to fitness. Now a Nashville-based personal trainer with clients like Carrie Underwood, she uses her expertise to help those with busy lives stay fit. Visit her site or follow her on Twitter @erinoprea. Then come back to PEOPLE.com every Thursday to master a new workout move.

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