Views of the Golden Gate Bridge

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If you've been reading for the past few weeks, you'll know that our West Coast Road Trip took us on plenty of unexpected adventures (re: our honeymoon suite at the Holiday Inn!) Well, San Francisco was no different and handed us this glorious adventure. We were looking for Kirby Cove to try and get this famous shot of the Golden Gate Bridge, but ended up scaling cliffs above the beach and alongside the bridge... wearing skirts and sandals! Angelika and Natalie were champs about my less than successful navigation skills and we ended up getting pretty incredible shots. It's always an adventure with the three of us! 


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West Coast Road Trip: Lumber Yard on Hwy 101

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What a story these photos have. Angelika, Natalie, and I were on day four of our West Coast Road Trip and were about ten hours into our trek up to Portland, Oregon. We drove past this lumber yard and it immediately caught Angelika's photography eye! Soon after, we found ourselves flipping a u-turn on Highway 101, parking the car, climbing over a fence, and lugging all the camera gear! This very spontaneous (and slightly illegal) shoot ended up being my favorite photo series of our entire trip! 



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End of Summer Travel Blues

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Post summer travel blues is a real thing. It's nice to be home and slow down the pace before heading back to UCLA, but I sure do miss adventure and excitement and spontaneity! This summer was a crazy one. Boston, DC, Singapore, India, Japan, SF, Portland, Seattle, LA, Santa Barbara, and then a week long camping trip on the North Coast of California in Fort Bragg. I've had just about a month at home with absolutely no travel. While it's been so restful and relaxing, it definitely took me a few days to decompress and be okay with just being home. I always say that if I could live out of a suitcase and travel all the time I would. I thrive off of travel. But I will say that after my busiest season of travel ever, it's been nice to catch a breath and stay home. And that also means having time to share all of these summer travels here on Practically Imperfect! One of the best things about been home and slowing down was having time to get creative, brainstorm new ideas for this site, and dream about the future. Being home after traveling has left me feeling creative, passionate, more inspired than ever before.
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Freshman Fifteen: 15 Things You Need for College

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Back to school season is in full swing and it got me thinking about what I wish I'd known I needed to stock up for before my freshman year of college! Those endless dorm packing lists can be so overwhelming, so I attempted to simplify my list to the fifteen most essential items to pack for college. Shop all of my top picks for each category below! 

Keurig for coffee fueled early morning classes and late night study sessions


Backpack for keeping everything organized for class




Swell Bottle for keeping water cold all day long  

Tennis Shoes for working out and walking to class




Day Planner for staying organized


Robe for the walk from the shower back to your dorm


Headphones for study sessions and long walks to class




Desk Lamp for late night study sessions


Weekend Bag for trips back home or weekend adventures with friends


Baseball Cap for the days you don't feel like doing your hair

Dry Shampoo for looking great between washes


Leggings for working out, going to class, or having a lazy day


Wireless Speaker for dorm room jam sessions


Phone Case Wallet so you don't have to carry a purse


White Sneakers for going out


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West Coast Road Trip: The Bud Stop

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One of our very first stops on day one of this summer's West Coast Road Trip was the Bud Stop in SF! In fact, while shooting these photos, we were simultaneously guarding luggage and keeping it from rolling down those infamous San Francisco hills. This little flower shop is nestled in the heart of my favorite neighborhood in the city: the Marina. It's full of gorgeous shops, restaurants, and historic apartments. It's also where Grove High School from Princess Diaries is...just drive to the end of Lion Street to find it! Angelika and Natalie were the perfect buddies for exploring the Marina. Who else would randomly stop along each photo worthy corner of the street? More photos from our trip to come soon! 


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West Coast Road Trip Recap

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It is something special to surround yourself with friends that light a fire under you; who drive you to be better creatively and do more... Going on this road trip with Angelika and Natalie was easily one of my best decisions of the summer. This photography trip was nonstop and I loved every second of it. We took the scenic route, along Highway 101, basically winding our way up the North Coast. Stopping along the way wasn't just part of the fun, it's honestly what made the trip. The unplanned moments that we got to capture as we bounced from place to place were spontaneous and beautiful.



Find friends that inspire you and drive you toward your own creative sparks. Angelika is a photographer, Natalie is a full time blogger + Etsy shop owner, and I am somewhere in between (currently balancing school, acting, blogging, etc). We all have different interests within a similar creative field which caused tons of insane inspiration throughout the trip. We never hesitated to pull over if there was an awesome shooting opportunity, but also savored the off camera moments (like endlessly laughing about booking our last minute honeymoon suite en route to Oregon). We put some serious mileage on my trusty little Volkswagen, met some crazy cool people along the way, and enjoyed our fair share of Taco Bell. All in all, the best kind of trip I could ever imagine.

PS: Go listen to our West Coast Road Trip Playlist on Spotify for an idea of how we survived those glorious 16 hour car rides!  

PPS: Many more photos and posts from this incredible road trip to come! Let me know if you want to read anything specifc!
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My September Mantra

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At the beginning of each month, my planner has a little page where you can fill in little life updates, goals, important dates, etc. I always love filling it out because it gives a snapshot of exactly where I am in life at that moment. And it's always fun to look back through the past months and memories. As I was filling out this month's goals, without any thought, I wrote exactly what came to mind: peace, productivity, and positivity. I didn't really mean for it to be catchy or meaningful, but as those three words spilled onto the page they became way more than just monthly goals. I think those three words are going to be my mantra as I enter the new school year and this next chapter of life.


Peace
Before college, I rarely struggled with anxious thoughts. Then boom. It hit my freshman year and battling that negativity became a daily struggle. I am accepting that I am not defined by my achievements, that I am enough, and that it's perfectly okay to find peace just being in the moment.

Productivity
This summer, a major switch flipped and I feel more future oriented than ever before. I think being closer to graduation and having tangible milestones ahead of me really kicked things into gear. I have some major personal and professional goals that I am so excited to be chasing hard and working toward.

Positivity
There is so so so much to be grateful for. This is one blessed life. And even when things get busy and crazy, I want to take time and make a conscious effort to adjust my focus and see all the goodness and beauty in this life that I get to live.

Now it's your turn. What is your Mantra that will carry you through this month or maybe even a whole chapter of life? Mine kind of came about by accident, but I'd love to know your process of inspiration. Happy September :)

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