Father's Day Gift Guide

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Guess what is right around the corner... Father's Day! It's hard to believe, but June has descended upon us, summer is in full swing, and that means it's time to celebrate our dads! My dad is my pal for life, the one who introduced me to camping, music, and the world's best pancake, and I am so thankful for him! For my family, Father's Day is wedged right in between two college commencements (UCLA for me, UCI for Kyle!), but that does not mean it should go any less celebrated! In fact, I think dads deserve to be celebrated beyond just Father's Day! Which is where finding the perfect gift comes in...

Bestowe is my new favorite way to find beautiful and meaningful gifts that will be appreciated far beyond the actual day. Catherine, the founder and creative force behind the brand, works to craft the most stunning gift boxes that perfectly combine functionality and form. For Father's Day, she created an entire collection of custom gift boxes that will suit every dad in your life. From the traveler to the mixologist, Bestowe has you covered! I can imagine each dad in my life -- from my own dad, to my grandpa, to uncles, and to my future father in law -- enjoying a gift that is tailored to their personalities. I've linked my favorite products and gift boxes below, so let's get shopping! You can use the code: perfect15 for 15% your order placed by June 30th! 

(And also...stay tuned for some very fun wedding collaborations with Bestowe in the weeks ahead...) 












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Mother's Day Gift Guide

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Woah, Mother's Day is right around the corner. Which means it's time for some gift hunting! More than anyone else, moms deserve to be celebrated (and thanked) for all the big and little things they do each day! I've linked some of my favorite gift ideas that I know my own mama would love, and I hope yours would to! Side note: my mom always asks for really functional gifts (like a vacuum or kitchen supplies), and I always try to get her a gift that is the exact opposite: something fun but not so functional that makes her feel extra special!

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Wedding Dress Q&A!

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The feeling of shopping for my wedding dress, "proposing" to my bridesmaids, and ultimately saying YES is an experience I hope stays etched in my memories for the rest of my life. It was a day so full of love, happy tears, and mimosas with some of the most important women in my life.

I knew it was going to be a great day the second our "Dress Shopping Crew" group chat started dropping some amazing wedding GIFs. Everyone from my grandma to my teenage cousins to my college besties were in this group chat, so it was quite the mix. When all twelve people filed into the bridal shop, I think my heart actually melted. My aunt and cousins had driven over 2 hours to be there. My best friends went out of their way to supply snacks and drinks. Seeing my my mom and Kyle's mom sitting next to each other and was the sweetest thing. And everyone was so encouraging, supportive, and helpful in the dress hunt. Family (by blood, marriage, or friendship) is just the special most special thing in the world.






To top it all off, I am so excited to be partnering with Essense of Australia to share some of my favorite styles I tried on and answer all questions dress related! I asked for questions on my Insta stories and am so excited to be featuring them today!  The shop treated us so wonderfully and I can’t recommend The Dresser enough. I asked for questions on my Insta story and today I’m answering them today!

Wedding Dress Shopping Q&A!

Did you get the feeling or moment?
I absolutely did! I thought I was going to go wedding dress shopping with just my mom and have to search at several shops to find the one. Boy was I wrong! The only reason I really planned to go dress shopping on the day that I found my dress was because I invited all of the women in my family and was asking a lot of my cousins to be bridesmaids. I had this plan to come out of the fitting room with a sign asking them, but that was it. I ended up finding my dress with all of their support. Once I put on the dress, I didn't really want to change out of it! I'm so glad that I made the decision with my people cheering me on. Their input and support was actually so useful. These people know me best, so it was so special when everyone instantly agreed that we'd found the dress. In my dress shopping process, I realized it was about finding the dress that feels perfect for you.




What style are you looking for?
I know my body type and I know what styles I usually feel best in, but I think it's really important to try on every fit and style of dress so that you can have absolute certainty! Sometimes you have a specific dress in mind and then you can end up not feeling quite as confident in it. And then something totally out of left field can surprise you and give you feeling that you're looking for!

What has been your favorite part about dress shopping?
Dress shopping can truly be one of the most fun and special parts of wedding planning. And for me, it was all about the people that surrounded me as we spent such a fun morning together! So pop the champagne and soak up this time with your ladies!


  
How do you pick your bridesmaids dresses?
I'm was excited to discover Sorella Vita’s stunning bridesmaid dress styles! Once I decided on a brand and color, I let my bridesmaids choose any dress that they felt most beautiful and confident in! I think it’s so important to consider everyone’s different preferences and styles, instead of just making the decision myself, I really wanted each of them to actually love their dress. I knew that they were all going to coordinate color-wise and since all of Sorella Vita’s styles are so beautiful, I had no reservations telling my bridesmaids to this pick exactly what they wanted!



Do you have any tips for what to eat or do before starting the day of serious dress shopping?
This is an underrated but super important question! Often dress appointments are earlier in the day, so do not (and repeat! do not) skip breakfast! You will be standing for hours on end and wearing heavy dresses, so I would definitely recommend having a big meal beforehand and hydrating. My maid of honor actually brought some snacks for everyone which was really nice since it can be a long day for everyone!



Do you recommend window shopping before getting serious?
Yes and no. I think having some level of exposure to wedding dresses is helpful (I’m sure we’ve all seen an episode or two of Say Yes to the Dress!), but it is more important to have an open mind! Trust the professionals at the bridal shop, they know what they are doing and will help you feel (and look) great!

Where do you even begin?
The first thing I would do is get excited! This is such a fun and special time. Next step? Set a budget and only let yourself browse dresses within that price point. Shops will be very accommodating and provide plenty of options within your realm of possibility.




Is there a specific style you like best?
If you are making a dress decision soon, the first and important thing to consider is how you feel in it. While it is so wonderful and helpful to have your  feeling wonderful in it. That’s all that really matters. Second if you kind of don't know where to go I was just really think about your Venue you are getting married in Southern California in July it's going to be 80 to 90 degrees and swedes are going to make you feel miserable on the flip side if you're having a beautiful foggy in December wedding that might be something that you want unique situation



As you can see, it is so helpful to try on all styles and fits so that you can truly get a clear idea of what you feel best in. Now I want to know, which Essense of Australia style is your favorite?

This post is brought to you by Essense of Australia
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My Senior Year at UCLA, Apartment Room Tour

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I wanted to share a mini room tour while I was still living in LA! Crazy to think I won't be an LA resident in just a short time. My cozy little apartment treated me well. It's an old build with tons of character; a big fireplace, converted sun porch, and wainscoting on the walls. My dream space! I love a place with character. I've been in 4 girl rooms in my sorority house prior to this year, so having my own room to decorate made me so excited to create our own space when Kyle and I move in together. So much fun ahead! 

I also gave a full room tour on my IG story-- if you check out my highlights, you can find it titled "APT"
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Hannah, A to Z




Hannah, A to Z
It's been a while since I formally introduced myself around here and I thought there was no better way than by going through the letters of the alphabet! I thought it could be a good opportunity to get creative and maybe to share some facts you might not have know about me. So, here goes nothing! 

A: Acting
my first love and how I spent most of my childhood
B: Ben 
my brother! He is three years younger than me and my best friend
C: Corepower Yoga
my saving grace throughout college and one of my favorite ways to workout (read my post here!)
D: Disneyland
the happiest place on earth and where Kyle and I spend many date days since we got annual passes! (read my post here!)
E: English
my major at UCLA
F: France
probably my favorite county I've ever traveled to (read my post here!)
G: Grace
my middle name and also one of my favorite words to live by...giving yourself and others grace is so important
H: How I Met Your Mother
the first TV role I ever landed was on HIMYM's Christmas special when I was 10
I: India
the most transformative place I have ever traveled (read my post here!)
J: Jesus
who I put my trust and faith in
K: Kyle
my soon to be husband and favorite human! (read our story here!)
L: Legally Blonde
my favorite childhood movie
M: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
hands down my favorite ice cream flavor and dessert in general  
N: Northern California
where I'm from. I was born and raised there, and its my favorite place on earth
O: Oregon
where my brother goes to college and where one of my favorite gals, Natalie, lives!
P: Payne and Poppinga
the two most important last names in my life
Q: Queen
aka my mother. She is my BFF and my inspiration...and when we were little, she wore a crown around the house to remind us to treat her like the queen she is!
R: Reasons
as in 13 Reasons Why, which I had a role in season one!
S: Singing
apparently I started singing before I learned how to talk
T: Travel 
one of my favorite things to do EVER! I could live my whole life out of a suitcase!
U: UCLA
where I earned my undergraduate degree
V: VW
my car! A Volkswagen Tiguan if you’re wondering and that car is my best friend
W: Wow!
which I saw way too much... its kind of my go to expression
X: Excited
for this next season of life... graduation, marriage, career, new home! (there aren't very many "X" words, so we're going with the sound)
Y: You! 
this community of readers and followers that I love so dang much
Z: Zoom
how this life is seriously zooming by! I feel like yesterday I hit publish on my first blog post, and now, I'm almost five years into this journey!
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How to (Actually) Be Successful


Maybe it's my college graduation that's making me especially reminiscent and sentimental. Maybe it's the fact that I really want to write a book one day, and this creative flow actually helped put pen to paper. Maybe it's a combination of both. Regardless, I was thinking about the idea of success and what that word actually means...it holds so much weight, yet to most, seems intimidating and unattainable. By giving this modern definition of success so much power, we tend to view it in such a confining and limiting sense. We stop ourselves from actually pursing and achieving because we are so terrified of the word. Instead of seeing the freedom and fluidity in pursuing our dreams, sometime's we get caught running after someone else's and then constantly judging ourselves for failing to reach that impossible achievement.

My mom. Reese Witherspoon. Michelle Obama. Ellen Degeneres.

These are just some of the women who's work ethic I look up to. Their achievements aren't the same. But guess what, their goals aren't the same! They've honed in on their unique talents and skills, utilized their time, and ran hard toward their goals. I have news for you, every single one of us has the exact same amount of hours in a day. We all have at least that common thread. It's what we do with those hours that really count. We all the power and the capability. 

I promise you that these women don't binge watch Netflix... It's plain and simple math. If you spend lazy day after lazy day devouring season after season of Greys Anatomy, you will not be reach your goals. Whatever your definition of success may be, the math simply doesn't add up if you spend all time in bed watching other people's stories you will not create your own stories and develop your own skills.


Just a thought: work is underrated. We constantly strive for time off, avoiding responsibility and structure. But I've got news for you, human beings crave structure. We thrive with a certain amount of structure. And this was a difficult lesson for me to learn. When structure exists, it makes those unstructured moments of creativity and fun even better. I had to learn to press into structure instead of avoiding it at all costs.

These women I look up to don't try to do it all... I think a lot of people approach this topic of success with the mindset that you can't possibility have the time or energy to "do it all" and somehow "successful" people have figured out the secret that we don't have. I promise that's not true. It's okay to say no to people. It's okay to not care about the small stuff so you can focus on your big goals. It's okay to take time discovering your goals. When you truly know yourself; your passions, your talents, your goals, you can hone on solely on that. The saying is true: it's much better to be great at one thing than okay at a lot of things. This one comes from knowing yourself. 

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Working It Out

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When I stepped into my first Corepower Yoga class, I was an exhausted college freshman (and 15 pounds heavier than I am now). Slowly but surely, I began to depend on yoga as a source of both physical and mental strengthening. Yoga fuels me when I feel empty, slows me down when my mind is racing, and challenges me every time I step on the mat. And those couple pounds lost are far less important than what I’ve gained: more strength, more endurance, and more love for this body. 

I've always loved getting active.  I’ll be the first one to go on a hike, rock climb, ski, try a new barre workout, or head to Soul Cycle. But going to the gym and doing the same over and over again? I used to have a mental barrier that I couldn't break through. Yoga classes have taught me discipline and endurance. 

Cute workout gear, a motivating playlist, a positive mindset, and products that make me feel great really make a difference. And lucky for me, Myro, an plant powered deodorant that uses natural scents and essential oils, gets me through every workout feeling so fresh and clean! Myro believes a good mood and good scent go together like black coffee and breakthroughs. And thats a message I can get behind! 

Another thing I LOVE about Myro is that their refillable case reduces waste by 50% compared to other deodorants. How it works is that instead of buying a whole new deodorant when you run out, instead you simply refill your case with a new pod. And the best part? You can set your Myro orders to deliver staraight to your door timed to when you need it. You can change up the scents and discover your favorites. It's streamlined, easy, and great for the planet! To learn more and get 50% off your first order visit mymyro.com/hannah and use promo code “Hannah”

Shop my favorite workout clothes below:


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10 Best Wedding Registry Items

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This is not a comprehensive list of everything you could ever imagine registering for-- I'll save that for another time (like maybe after we get married and figure out what we actually need). Instead, this post is compilation of our favorites-- the fun, the unique, and the things that you never even knew you needed! This list is a great starting off point is you are recently engaged and just beginning to gather ideas for your registry or if you are a wedding guest in search of a dope present for newlyweds. (Or even if weddings totally aren't your thing and you're just searching for cool home decor!) We registered on Zola, which I highly recommend. It is a great all in one resource with tons of trendy options.

Holiday Decorations : Someone gave me the advice to register for holiday decor essentials such as festive tablecloths, dishes, pillows, and garlands so that when our first Christmas rolls around don't splurge quite as much... super great advice and also a great way to make those items even more sentimental year after year.


Crosely Bluetoth Turn Table : This is both a functional and decorative piece. Kyle has gotten me a couple records that are really special to our relationship, so I can’t wait to display them and make them a focal point.

Set of 3 Woven Baskets We plan on living in a pretty small place when we first get married. Our thought process is that now will be the time to save more than ever in both the realms of finance and space. With that in mind, small spaces can look messy and cluttered really quickly if you’re not careful. The solution to this problem? Storage that is both functional and decorative!


Retro Dining Chairs : Target has been on its A-game lately. These look like they were plucked straight out of the 60s and I am all about it. These chairs are definitely more of an investment, but I have yet to find a more affordable option when it comes to art deco style velvet.


KitchenAid Mixer  : No registry is complete without an upright mixer. This is one of those items that lasts (basically) forever and will be there for every family holiday, birthday celebration, and baking night. Some of my favorite childhood memories were spent gathered round the mixer with my mom, so it feels like a step into adulthood to get a KitchenAid of my own.


Outdoor String Lights This is another one of those things that is perfectly suited for minimal living-- outdoor lights can really dress up a space, even if its just a tiny patio. Paired with a small pieces of outdoor furniture, even the simplest space can become the perfect place to enjoy morning coffee or dinner outside.


Tandem Sleeping Bag We are big time campers, so this is such a fun gift for the outdoor loving couple. Between the two of us, we already had most camping essentials, but this is a great add on.


Bar Cart A good bar cart is a great staple piece that is timeless and so useful. Bar carts can be one of the most multi purpose furniture pieces- they can be used as book shelves, side tables, or even for food storage in the kitchen. I love to rearrange and redecorate all the time, so I love how many different ways a piece like this can be used.


Cook Books I am so excited to have a space and a kitchen of our own! Living with several roommates meant very limited space and cooking ability (first I was in a sorority house of 60 and then an apartment of 6!). I’m so excited for many date-nights-in spent learning new recipes.


Artifact Uprising Photo Album: Hands down the most quality photo company out there... whether you gather photos and make an album yourself or go the gift card route for the couple to make a wedding album, either way is a big time gifting win!


Shop items below: 

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