Got It From My Mama


My sweet mama is too cute for words sometimes! I took these photos on a chilly (more like freezing) weekend when we were exploring Toronto. She claims to be so shy in front of the camera, but I don't know what she's talking about. She's a natural! I love her sense of style, and honestly, she's more trendy than I am 99% of the time! Often the outfits I put together on the blog are stolen right from her closet. We actually joke that whenever we go shopping, she has the "vision" since my style tends to be more traditional.  She always ends up buying something I'm not a big fan of in the store, but then end up loving when it ends up in her closet! So if you like the outfits you see here on Practically Imperfect, it's most likely thanks to Mama Jenn! 

Sailing the San Francisco Bay


A little video from when my family spent the morning sailing through the San Francisco bay. It was the best day! So sunny and warm, which is pretty rare for San Francisco this time of year. We got to see the city in a whole new way, and we loved every moment. But I think my favorite moment was when we sailed right underneath the bridge and our captain turned on James Brown. Every one on the boat started singing along, and it was just so perfect! I couldn't recommend a sailing trip in the bay more! 

A Day in the Bay


Wearing: Poncho by Free People (similar) // leggings by A. Ruby // shoes by Adidas // sunglasses by Ilestiva // earrings by Peach Box // Uber giftcard c/o

Nothing is better than spending a day in my favorite city! When I showed Mandy around the San Francisco bay, we decided to take Highway 101 so we could drive through Sausalito, the Marin Headlands, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Before getting to San Francisco, we stopped along the way and got to take in the perfect views. I can't believe how sunny it was on this winter day! Wearing the  whole poncho/leggings combo couldn't have been better! So cozy. Once we got over the bridge, our first stop was at Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters on Union St. Best. Coffee. Ever. Then we headed to Union Square. While braving the the crazy crowds and nearly impossible parking situation, I had an epiphany! Ubering around the city would have been so much better than parking, expensive gas, and the stress of driving around. There were so many places I wanted to show my little California tourist, and it would have been so much more convenient to hop in an Uber instead of searching for nonexistent parking! That being said, Mandy and I had the best day! Our favorite stops were lunch at Cibo, shopping on Maiden Lane, and taking the trolley to Ghirardelli Square! It was a very touristy day with my very favorite tourist! 


Travel Diary: West Coast Road Trip


When Mandy surprised me with a trip to California over winter break, we immediately went into planning mode on how we'd spend our week together! I think people tend to think of California is sunshine and palm trees all year long, but winter on the North Coast is so beautiful and actually pretty chilly. We decided to spend a day in Downtown Sacramento, two days in the San Francisco bay, and three days in a little town called Fort Bragg. I've been going up to Fort Bragg since I was little, so it was so awesome to spend the weekend in my favorite little seaside town with my friends. Since we were going nonstop during her trip, the week turned into a little road trip all around NorCal! It was SO FUN. Also a little fun fact, two hours after I dropped Mandy for her flight back to North Carolina, I took a little trip to the ER and ended up having emergency surgery for a case of acute appendicitis! I like to think that our week together was filled with so much adventure, fun, and busyness that my body decided it needed a nice little rest! Thank goodness for sweet friends, family, and Netflix movies that filled the rest of my winter break!


Blessings That I Didn't Even Know to Pray For

You guys. Jesus is just awesome. In my head, I know this to be to more than true. The evidence of His love and greatness is woven into every single moment and every single day. But sometimes my heart overlooks this knowledge. Sometimes I need a reminder to look at every moment, every smile, and even every tear as a blessing. His plan for me is greater than anything I could ever dream up or attempt to create on my own. There are plenty of things that I am actively thankful for. But I also know that there are literally millions of blessings, both little and gigantic, that I never took a single second to pray for, much less acknowledge. But lately it's just been hitting me that certain things have had a huge positive impact in my life that I never, ever expected. So here they are…
  1. My brother. Wow. This kid is my best friend and I miss him dearly when I’m away at school.
  2. The gift of peace for my academics/major.
  3. Singing. It was a gift to sing every single Friday and Sunday back in high school. Missing that has taught me how important singing is to my happiness and peace.
  4. My internet best friend. Mandy and I have been together in person four different times. That's it. Still, she is one of those friends that I hold so near and dear. It amazes me that our paths crossed even though we have lived such different lives thousands of miles apart. 
  5. My sorority Bible study every Monday night. I am so thankful I can count on this Bible study as a time of love, laughter, and so much growth.

Don’t Change A Thing

Hey internet! How ya doing on this fine day? Today I'm sharing a little piece of my story that I've been pondering lately. I know it's simple. But I know a lot of us (me included) can't really grasp it. Maybe we just know it in our heads, and not our hearts. So here goes nothing-- I've been thinking about how every person, place, and thing in my life has led me to exactly where I am today. Sure, it's easy to look back on the past and wish you could do something differently, but hey, if you'd made a different move back then, maybe you wouldn't have met the person that changed your life, been at the right place at the right time for a crazy awesome opportunity, or been able to be there for someone when they really needed you. If you had done something differently in your past, you might be letting go of a lot of the things that make you, you. And I wouldn't have all the joys. 

ten year old me, doing what I love

As easy as it is to look back on the past and wish you could change it, don't. Because I'm pretty thankful for exactly where I am today. Here's an example that I haven't been too open to sharing. I grew up acting in theater, commercials, TV, etc. I LOVE (yes, it's an all caps kind of love) acting. I felt and still feel like it's engrained in my DNA strand. It's a huge part of what makes me, me. But it sure isn't the only thing that defines me. I love my Jesus. My family is the most important thing to me on this earth. Academics have always been really important to me. When I was a senior in high school, I came to a crossroads. Was I going to apply to college or not go to school and throw myself full force into acting? My parents, bless their souls, were completely supportive of either decision. I really wanted both. My whole life I had balanced academics and working, so I decided to move forward and apply to schools. In every single application essay, I wrote about how acting shaped me. How I not only learned about the art of performing, but about becoming a good human being. Being passionate and determined and stubborn about your values and staying true to who you are. And spoiler alert, that essay got me into UCLA. Now it's sometimes easy to let myself think if I had only taken a gap year and spent every waking moment auditioning and working, I might be more successful. But I also wouldn't have this sweet, challenging, wildly growing past year of being a student at UCLA. The balance has brought me to exactly where I am today. And I'm happy with that.

ten years later, twenty year old me, still doing what I love 

20 By 20 Update

Remember last year when I made a list of goals right after a turned 19? Well now that a year has passed and I've turned twenty, I figured it was time to update you on my progress! I'm proud to say that I reached quite a few of my 20 By 20 goals by my deadline, and I'm here with photo evidence! I also want to add that I'm not giving up on the goals I didn't reach by my twentieth birthday. I'm going to keep striving toward them! 

I'll start with the goals I didn't reach... 
  • Make a daily habit of reading my Bible. I definitely improved, but still wouldnt say making time to  read my bible is part of my everyday routine. 
  • Make a photo book for high school. 
  • Be on time. I would say I improved.. slightly. Definitely still not an "on time" or "five minutes early" type of gal. 
  • Start singing again. 
  • Start investing my money. 
  • Read 20 books.  I may not have quite hit my goal of reading 20, but I definitely improved and made more time to read just for fun! A few of my favorites were The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, the Nanny Diaries, and (OF COURSE) Thirteen Reasons Why.
  • Go completely unplugged for a weekend. 
  • Go to bed by 11pm for a month. 
  • Tackle my procrastination. 

Now for the goals I reached on my 20 By 20 list.. 
  • Watch the sunrise. Woke up at 4am to hike to the Hollywood Sign and catch the sunrise! 

  • Take a class just for fun. Calligraphy, floral arranging, cappuccino making, or maybe all three! Floral arranging with my sweet momma at La Fluer

  • Vote in the presidential election. This year, election day fell right after my birthday. So this was completed soon after I turned twenty. 

  • Be more generous. With my time, with compliments, with shared moments, with laughs. This isn't something you can quantifiably measure, but I sure do hope that this year was filled with more generosity. 

  • Do the Hollywood Sign hike. Done! And here's a picture and a blog post to prove it! 

  • Go on a road trip with friends. What's better than long drives with great friends (and pit stops for coffee of course)? Mandy and I drove through North and South Carolina, then hopped on a train DC! What an adventure. 

  • Embrace my imperfections. Self love. It's important. Though this blog's motto may be to embrace the perfectly imperfect moments of life, its definitely something that I struggle with. This was a growing year in this department for sure, and I hope that growth will continue as time goes on. 

  • Travel to a new country. Before this past summer, I had never been to Mexico! 

  • Go to a live taping of a show. I didnt exactly sit in the audience for a live taping like I intended when I wrote this goal, but I was in one instead, which is even better! Here is my interview on Larry King Now!

  • Get an internship. I had a fashion PR internship at an awesome firm in Downtown LA during spring quarter of my freshman year at UCLA!

  • Spread joy. I hope that my actions here on Practically Imperfect and in life helped make each day a little more joyful! 


Coffee Tour of the South


The Roast Office // Pinehurst, North Carolina 

Cup of Joe // Raleigh, North Carolina 

Black Tap Coffee // Charleston, South Carolina 

The Daily // Charleston, South Carolina

Alex's House Restaurant // High Point, North Carolina

Guess who intended on posting this guide back in August and just found it sitting in her drafts? This girl! Better late than never, I suppose! Plus sharing my trip from way back in July gave me a chance to reminsice on how perfect this time exploring coffee shops with my best friend was! I can't believe that Mandy has come visit me in California since I traveled to visit her in North Carolina last summer! Throughout our two weeks together, we went to dozens of coffee shops, so I thought I'd share my favorites! 

A Day in Disneyland


I share a love for Disneyland with my little in my sorority, Bridget! These pictures are from a weekday when we both decided we needed a little Disney magic in our busy routines. Disneyland is my happy place. There is actual magic that floats down from the sky when you step inside the park. When I was little, our Disney trips were the biggest deal. There would be so much anticipation and excitement in the months counting down to our trip. Now that I have an annual pass and can go more frequently and randomly, its been a game changer. I will spontaneously just go and be perfectly content sitting on a bench, people watching, eating a churro, and soaking in the magic. It seriously charges me up in the most positive, and well, magical way. I feel like now that I have the annual pass, I've got spending a day at Disneyland down to a science. 

Best time of year to visit? March or April. After the busy holiday season and before the summer months. 

Favorite snack? Mickey-shaped beignets from Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square. 

Favorite attraction? Impossible to pick just one, but my top favorites are Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square, Thunder Mountain in Frontier Land, and the newly renovated Soaring Over the World in California Adventure. 

Favorite show? Disneyland's Soundsational Parade. Fully guilty of knowing every word to the theme song. 

Favorite restaurant? Blue Bayou is inside Pirates of the Caribbean. The food and atmosphere is magical. 

Best tip? Take advantage of fast passes. If you space out when/which rides just right, the longest you'll ever have to wait is 30 minutes. 

PS: Want more Disney in your life? One of my blogging besties, Natalie, is always sharing the Disney Magic on her site and Instagram

Four Blogs to Follow

Emi Rigby, Well Traveled Wife
I first discovered Emi's blog almost two years ago when I was preparing for my trip to India. She and her husband happened to go to the exact cities India that I would be traveling to, and shared the cutest travel vlog ever on Youtube. Since then, I have followed along as she and her husband sold everything, traveled the world, moved back to the states, and have now welcomed a new baby! I am always inspired to make everyday an adventure when I read the joy that shines through in every aspect of her writing.

Julia Engel, Gal Meets Glam
Gal Meets Glam is probably my very favorite blog to follow. I got to meet Julia last summer, and let me tell you, she is just as kind as she is beautiful! I really admire Julia both personally and professionally. She is a great example of how to be kind, classy, and elegant, while staying relatable and attainable.

Annie Montgomery, MontgomeryFest 
If you wander over to Annie's blog, get ready for a major dose of wanderlust! She and her husband are currently living in London as expats. Between Annie's dreamy travel photos and all of those pretty watercolor graphics (she creates them herself  and even has her own print shop!), I can't help but feel like I have a little piece of Europe every time I visit her site! Her Instagram is currently my absolute favorite to follow. If you love feminine details, light colors, old architecture, and pretty hand lettering, definitely check it out!

Jessica Slaughter
I recently discovered Jessica Salaughter's blog through Pinterest, and let me tell you, this girl is a genius. Her college posts are by far the most helpful I have ever read and she just has such a natural voice in all her posts. Beyond that, I think that she is spot on when it comes to SEO, writing what her readers want, and sharing what will be successful. Also, as I was amidst rebranding and working on a new design, I looked to her blog for a lot of inspiration. It's just so beautiful! This girl has serious smarts both design-wise and business-wise.


Phonetic Eyewear


This is what I really look like when I work. Perfect hair pulled up in a bun, perfect posture, perfectly made bed, and all. Ha! Just kidding. I really do most of my work from my bed, but I'm usually buried under a heaping pile of blankets, snacks, and stress. The one thing that I swear by when I'm working is my pair of Phoenetic Eyewear  glasses. They are made to filter out the blue light from tech screens and relieve digital eye strain. And you guys, they really work. When I got to college and started spending even more time sitting in front of a screen, two things happened. My eye sight got even worse (I'm already naturally blind) and my eyes starting aching from the strain. How brilliant are these glasses that filter out all of the harmful and painful rays? And they are pretty good lookin' if I do say so myself! I picked the Shannon, but there are many great styles to choose from!