Walker Canyon Poppy Fields

super bloom
flower field
poppies from beneath
Purple flowers
Walker Canyon panoramic
Walker Canyon
Orange Poppies
Walker Canyon
Lake Elsinore
california poppies
scalloped skirt
poppies
SKIRT: H&M  |  TOP: Old, from J.C. Penny  |  SNEAKERS: H&M  |  BACKPACK: Sole Society  |  SUNGLASSES:  Souvenir from Traverse City, MI
          Walker Canyon is every bit as magical as it looks!  This is one of those places where the pictures can't do it justice.  The mountains are literally covered in poppies.  It's not just the mountains that you can see, they go really far back.  Every bit in the distance in some places are poppy covered as well.  You can hike all throughout them on dirt trails.  Because we had so much rain this year in California, the flowers are just popping up everywhere.  I guess they are used to drought.
          If you are looking for a place to see natural flowers for spring, I recommend coming here.  It's located in Lake Elsinore, California.  It's about an hour and a half away from L.A.  You have to come super early though.  It gets so crowded and the highway gets backed up.  There is literally traffic from all of the people coming to see the poppies.  We managed to avoid a lot of it because we left at 8am.  It doesn't look like it in my pictures but there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of people here.  We hiked pretty far back to escape the crowds and do more exploring.  Most of the people just stay by the entrance, take some pictures and leave.  But of course they have to trample all over the flowers first.  I mean it wasn't as bad as you might be hearing, but it is definitely happening in some areas.  If it's sunny, be sure to bring sunscreen! Also, don't forget water.  In the midst of writing this post, I am reading that the city shut down the poppy fields, due to too many people.  If you are planning on visiting, avoid weekends and check Lake Elsinore Instagram account to see if it is open.  Also, leave early!!

Whale Watching in Southern California


           Since moving to California I have gone on two whale watching excursions.  They have both been AMAZING! If you are visiting southern California or live here and want to go, you should check out Davey's Locker! I know a lot of people will go on whale watching tours and not see anything but with this one, I promise you will.  It's also very affordable.  The cheapest one starts at $26 for 2 hours, but if you buy it through an ad, it's only $16.  You can just search "whale watching in Newport beach" and you should find an ad that say it's $16.  You can just click on it to go to their website for the special price.  The crew is super knowledgeable and really know where to go.  I recommend sitting at the bow of the boat because dolphins will swim right near the front and you can look down on them.  It also makes it super easy to see to the port or starboard side.  Whale season is year long.  You can just see different types, depending on when you go.  Gray whales are pretty easy to spot if you go around February and March.  Just do some research to find the best times.  I really want to go again in the summer when it is blue whale season.


           I went today with my fianc√© and we saw seven gray whales.  I have ALWAYS wanted to see whales in the wild.  It's literally on my bucket list.  I've been going to various spots across the area to see if I can see any from the shore but hadn't had much luck (saw a spout of water).  This was such a satisfying experience because you can get pretty close to the whales.  We were much closer to some of them then the ones in the pictures but they are difficult to photograph.  For a while, the boat was riding along three that kept popping up for air.  You could see the spots on their bodies.  We also saw some sea lions hanging out on a buoy.  

          The first time I went whale watching was in early December with my sister.  We went with the same company, on the same tour.  We didn't see any whales but we did see hundreds of dolphins (yes, hundreds).  We ended up seeing several separate pods, and all four of the species that live in southern California.  They were jumping out of the water and swimming along the front of the boat.  It was so amazing to see.  It was honestly one of the coolest things that I have ever done.  Once again, if you go, sit at the bow so you can look down on dolphins swimming along with you.  Common dolphins are my favorite because they are the smallest and seem to have the most energy.  They jump like crazy and just look like a bunch of baby dolphins.  I plan on going again this summer.  I'm hoping to see a blue whale.  I'm not sure how likely that is but I also would love to see more dolphins like I did the first time.  





What I Wore: Hollywood Reservoir Hike

T-SHIRT: H&M  |  JEANS: Asos  |  SNEAKERS: Target  |  BACKPACK: Primark  |  SUNGLASSES: Zero UV (similar)
          I've been wanting to blog this t-shirt because I think it is so cute!  I had my eye on it for so long and then it went on sale at H&M.  I'm pretty sure I got it for only $6! I like how it just says "Saturday" and has a vintage feel.  I think it works really well paired with my mom jeans because they have a high waistline and this top is cropped.  It's no longer available online but you may be able to find it in store.  
          This past weekend we went for another hike.  We hiked in another new location.  We had the intention of hiking up to the back of the Hollywood Sign but the trail we found online was a bit misleading.  It said it goes up to the sign online, but it only went about this close.  It was still a super amazing trail and actually ended up being even better than we thought.  I didn't know this spot existed but it's in the Hollywood Hills, near the Hollywood Reservoir.  You can hike around the Reservoir, across the dam, and up a trail that goes closer to the sign.  You can also see out over the city.  We are still going to find the trail that goes to the back of the sign, but also really want to return to this one.  

Review: Formulate Custom Shampoo and Conditioner + Giveaway

     

         As many of you may know, I have been testing out Formulate custom shampoo and conditioner for the past few months.  I wanted to let you guys know what I think about the products.  I have been having a lot of issues finding a good shampoo and conditioner lately.  My hair is always brittle and dry.  It has terrible split ends and breaks off very often.  I only use paraben free products so it can be difficult to find good ones.  Formulate is paraben and sulfate free.  Something that I never knew is that sulfates are harsh on hair that has been dyed so it's important to avoid them.  I dye mine a few times a year, so I was really happy to try out a sulfate free shampoo.  I had never used one in the past.
          The way Formulate works is that you go onto Formulate's website and fill out a survey about your hair and what results you are looking for.  You select the scent you want and answer a few other questions.  I chose the scent "tidal" and it smells pretty good.  I really enjoyed this process because it felt very thorough.  When you get the products in the mail, I suggest you use it for a few washes.  It may take a little while for your hair to adjust if you don't use sulfate free.  If that particular formula isn't working for you, you can let the company know and they will adjust it for you.  It comes in a box and is packaged very nicely.  Communication with Formulate was always super easy and quick.  Whenever I had an issue with the formula it was fixed super quickly.  The shipping was very fast as well.
           Since using the products my hair has been very different.  Honestly, it took several weeks for my hair to adjust to the formulas.  Sulfate free products don't wash the grease out of hair as well so your hair will stay greasy at the roots until it adjusts.  In the beginning my hair just felt sort of stiff.  Right away I noticed that it had more volume, which is something that I wanted, but didn't remember to select.  It did also seem to be less frizzy.  Since my hair is curly it get really frizzy.  It took a while to get the results that I wanted but it paid off.  I had to have the formula adjusted twice.  Now it feels much softer and the greasy-ness is gone.  The shampoo doesn't have a much as a soapy later as other shampoos but it is still doing the job to get your hair clean.  What I would do is use the recommended amount and lather it in my hands before I put it on my head.  I have found that this makes it spread better and feel more sudsy.  I'm excited to see how it affects my hair over time.  I will continue to use it because my hair has only gotten better.
Before
After
G I V E A W A Y
          Now is the super exciting part! I am helping to host a giveaway (with Formulate) for my readers and friends so that you can try out this custom shampoo and conditioner for yourselves.  Just go to my page and click on the left side to enter my giveaway.  You just need to live in the U.S. and follow the steps in the link! Your chances of winning are pretty good so don't hesitate to enter.  

Exploring in Eyelet

TOP: H&M (in store)  |  JEANS: H&M  |  BOOTS: Primark
           I've been doing a lot of H&M sale rack shopping lately.  I am on a super tight budget with my wedding and honeymoon coming up and H&M always has a big selection of really affordable stuff.  I recently found this beautiful cotton top.  It actually reminds me a lot of the blouse I am wearing in this post (also from H&M).  I seriously love everything about it.  The volume, the fabric, and the color.  I am always drawn to a pretty white shirt.  The eyelet fabric is so feminine and lightweight.  
          Today we did some exploring along the coast of Ranchos Palos Verdes.  We found some new hiking trails, that are beautiful.  I are definitely planning on going back a ton.  I just really love this area.  It is so close to where I live, and amazingly beautiful.  
P.S. sorry these photos were taken on a phone and aren't the best quality

Casual California Winter Outfit

LONG T-SHIRT: H&M  |  CARDIGAN: Forever 21  |  HAT: H&M  |  BACKPACK: Sole Society  |  BOOTS: Primark 
          Whenever I want to be super comfy I will wear leggings over one of my 3 black and white striped dresses, with a cardigan on top.  I recently got this one from H&M in the sale section.  I actually bought it on Black Friday but haven't really worn it until recently.  It also makes a good P.J. shirt.  I like this combination because it's really comfortable and you can do anything in in, but I don't think it looks too sloppy.
          This past weekend we went back to the park in this post to explore a bit more.  It's located in Huntington Beach.  I always forget the name of it, but it has a library on the property and it's probably one of the coolest ones I've ever been to.  It's just a pretty big park with a pond and walking paths.  There are tons of ducks and dogs running around.  It actually reminds me a lot of the parks in London.

Wedding Planning Updates


           I haven't really talked much on my blog about my wedding planning process or plans.  If you didn't know, I have been engaged since October 1st, 2017.  Check out the post about that engagement.  We both wanted to have a pretty long engagement.  With longer engagements you have more time to save money, without it affecting your lifestyle too much.  You also get to really enjoy that engagement period because you only get to experience that once.  I wanted to really make the most of it.  Since October, we have done a lot to plan for our wedding.  We still have a lot to do but here is the progress that we have made:
          We set a date and decided the type of wedding we want.  We are having a private ceremony (just us and the officiate) and then having a reception with friends and family.  We chose and booked our venue and decided that our ceremony will be in Big Sur, California.  It's a bit of a destination wedding because it's 6.5 hours from home.  Our reception is at a garden that is near my hometown.  We wanted to have an outdoor reception because it is just more of our style.  There aren't too many nice venues near where my family lives so we wanted it to be outside.  The ceremony is in less than 2 months! ūüėÉ
          We have chosen and booked our honeymoon location.  We will be going to Hawaii for our honeymoon between the ceremony and reception.  I've always wanted to go to Hawaii for my honeymoon because I think it is the most amazing and perfect location.  It's exciting and adventurous enough to make a honeymoon feel special, but it is still relaxing.  I wanted it to be someplace that you won't continuously go back to over the course of your lifetime because I want those memories to stay special.  I mean, I do plan on going back to Hawaii, but I won't be going there over and over again because it's expensive.  I like that it is exotic but it's still in the United States.  I wasn't sure about going to another country for a honeymoon because I feel like that opens up more opportunities for things to go wrong.
          We decided on a "theme" for our reception.  It's not really a theme, so much as a combination of all the things we like.  We want the reception to be very colorful with lots of flowers (since it's in a garden).  It's going to be a combination of styles.  It's a bit of beach-y boho, classy garden feel, whimsical, and fun.  It's hard to explain.  It's like that super trendy garden style but with our own spin and minus any shabby chic elements.  The colors are lilac, sea foam green, and pink, with hints of rose gold, light blue, and green.  We will have a few french elements because we got engaged in France, some pearls and natural elements because our ceremony is on the coast in California, Flamingo cake toppers to represent our honeymoon (and because they are super cute), and the rest is floral.  It's a bit Alice in Wonderland but toned down.  We have chosen a lot of our decor but we have a lot to get still.
          As far as my dress goes, I have decided to design and make it myself.  I looked at a few places for one and wasn't sold on any.  One I was really considering was from BHLDN, but it wasn't perfect enough.  I just decided to make my own because I couldn't find one that was everything I wanted.  I have been working on it and it's about halfway done.  It's going really well.  The style is super feminine and a bit whimsical.  It's A-line with a Swiss dot mesh bottom.  The bodice has lace over the Swiss dot fabric.  On top of that are some colorful flowers with beading and rhinestones.  There is a bit of pinky lilac color under neither.  I am very happy with the progress that I am making so far. I have all of my accessories except for my hair.  I'm not sure what I want and I haven't found anything super amazing.
          We have also chosen our save the dates, invites, and thank you cards.  We mailed our the save the dates.  The photo on the top is the one that we used on it.  We took it ourselves.  If you want to know more info about that, I wrote a post about it.
          Our wedding is on a pretty tight budget.  I am planning on doing a post about ways to cut costs and save money.  I'm not sure if that will be going up before the ceremony or after.
       

How to Style: See-through Top

TOP: H&M (in store)  |  JEANS: Forever 21  |  GLASSES: T.J. Maxx  |  SNEAKERS: H&M (similar)
          Although I love this top, it's a bit difficult to wear.  The fabric is super thin and it has sections of lace that are see-through.  I have a few tops like this and after a lot of trial and error, I figured out how to wear them.  With this particular top, I wear nude colored undergarments.  Whenever a shirt would show your bra straps, I wear a strapless one.  I also put a nude cami on underneath and tuck it into my jeans.  This way you can't see anything underneath or the cami.  It seems like a pretty obvious solution but I often hear people asking how to wear things like this.  I got this top from H&M and love all of the detail.