31st Birthday at Disneyland

2:39:00 PM Andrea Ryan 3 Comments

TOP: H&M  |  JEANS: H&M  |  SHOES: Ked's   |  BACKPACK: Primark
          This year for my 31st birthday we went back to Disneyland.  We hadn't been since before moving to California.  We last visited several years ago for our anniversary/NYE.  I think this visit was more fun because we did a little bit more research and went during a weekday.  The park was much less crowded and we were able to go on nearly every ride.  They have a new app that lets you view wait times for every ride in real time.  It's super helpful and convenient.  It allows you to get so much more accomplished because you can just go straight to the areas that have a short wait and get a Fastpass for longer waits.  I highly recommend it if you are going to Disney.  
          Since it's almost Halloween the park is decorated for the holiday.  I've always wanted to come during this time of year because all of the pumpkins are super cute.  There is this huge one right at the entrance and other ones scattered all over the park.  There is also a Halloween light show and other events and shows for the holiday.  I wore this cute sequin Mickey tee that I got for only $5 at H&M!  It was such a good find.  It's the kind of sequins where you can change the image, depending on if they are facing up or down.  He is smiling if you push them all down, and winking if you push them up.  I couldn't find any of my Mickey ear headbands, so I didn't wear one.  
          We got to check out the new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge area of the park, which was amazing.  I'm not a hug Star Wars fan, more of a casual viewer and I enjoy them.  I have seen all of the movies. It was just so cool because of how realistic everything was.  There was so much detail put into every aspect.  Even if you aren't a Star Wars fan, I recommend checking it out.  

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Lots of Pink

9:55:00 PM Andrea Ryan 8 Comments

T-SHIRT: Love, Peace, & Lazy Days  |  JEANS: Asos  |  BAG: Target
          I found this tee at T.J. Maxx a while ago and even though it seems super young, I had to buy it.  It's just one of those things that I couldn't resist.  I wear it as a sleep shirt sometimes or as a casual weekend tee.  It just represents past "me" and inner "me" so well.  I love cute things.  Also, it was on clearance.  I honestly wasn't even planning on ever blogging it but I just decided to share it because I like it.  A lot of people might say that I dress younger than my age but really, that's just fashion.  I think that's perfectly fine to like cute and colorful things as a fully grown woman.  My style has always been somewhat playful.  I used this purse as my bridal bag because it matched my shoes.  I've been trying to incorporate it into my wardrobe by pairing it with more casual outfits.  What do you think?

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Travel Posts

Big Bear in the Fall

10:07:00 PM Andrea Ryan 2 Comments

JEANS: H&M (similar)  |  TOP: |  CARDIGAN: Forever 21  |  SHOES: Ked's
          The leaves in Big Bear Lake are at peak color for the season so we took a little trip to see them.  It's so nice to see changing leaves again because in the L.A area they don't really change much.  There are a few random trees that do, but for the most part they stay green.  That's something I really miss about the midwest.  Fall is so magical.  Big Bear is a nice little mountain town about two hours from L.A. and since it's at a high elevation, it has four distinct seasons.  We went last December to see the snow.  We hiked a trail, did a little shopping and ate some tasty food.  It was a really good Saturday.  

Tips For Visiting

1.  Leaves are most colorful during the second and third week of October most of the time.  Make sure to do a little research before you go.

2.  The town can get pretty crowded so I recommend going early.

3.  Drive slow and safe.  The roads are really windy and kind of scary with all the people.  We always try to time the drive home so that we are out of the scary part of the drive before the sun sets.  We do this whenever we drive on mountain roads pretty much everywhere.

4.  If you want to do any hiking or stopping on the side of the road I recommend stopping at the Big Bear Visitor Center because you need to buy a pass for some of the trails (unless you have a National Park Pass).

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Stripes on Melrose

4:59:00 PM Andrea Ryan 0 Comments

SKIRT: Abound  |  TOP: J.C. Penny  |  SNEAKERS: Ked's  |  NECKLACE: Forever 21  |  SUNGLASSES: T.J. Maxx
          This past Sunday we spent some time in LA, just hanging out.  I wore this outfit that I haven't gotten a chance to wear that much this summer.  Since it's starting to cool down I wanted to wear it again.  I found this skirt at Nordstrom Rack and I love the colorful stripes and paper bag waistline.  I also love the buttons that go up the front.  I just paired it with a basic white rib knit top and some sneakers.  It is super comfortable and perfect for walking around when it's hot.  I took this last photo at one of the angel's wings murals (there are a few).  I am working on an Instagram guide for Los Angeles, like I did for Chicago.

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Lifestyle

What I Do for My Anxiety

12:39:00 PM Andrea Ryan 2 Comments

 
    In honor of Mental Health Day (Oct. 10th) I decided to talk about my anxiety.  I have hesitated to do this because these days it seem like everybody struggles with anxiety and I feel like it looks like I am just hopping on the bandwagon.  I didn't want people to think that I am just talking about it to get attention or playing it up to be more than it is.  Honestly, it has gotten a lot better over time and that is because I have gotten better at managing it.  I really wanted to share what I do to manage it.  I used to be embarrassed by it but I'm not anymore because it is so common.  First I will give you a little background and then talk about what I find helps.

          I've always been an extremely introverted person and very shy as a child/teen.  I think this has probably had something to do with my anxiety later in life.  It really started in my last year of college.  I remember struggling with it every single day.  It would come in waves.  After I graduated was when it was at its peek.  I would have extreme dizzy spells and chest pain.  Everything always seemed out of focus.  I didn't know what was wrong with me so I went to the doctor several times.  I thought maybe I had a heart problem or a brain tumor so I got a MRI and an EKG and both were normal.  The doctor told me it's anxiety and that I should stop drinking so much coffee, which is what I did.  I thought about going to therapy or getting medication but I really wanted to learn to manage it on my own.

          My anxiety seems to be more generalized  most of the time.  Sometimes it will flare up when I feel overwhelmed or stressed but that makes sense to me.  Of course I would feel anxious when I am stressed but it's not always related to that.  Sometimes I will just feel it when I am just sitting at home doing nothing.  I do also experience a little bit of social anxiety.  When I go into stores alone I will feel very overwhelmed and want to leave almost immediately.

         Like I said, since college my anxiety has gotten much better.  One thing that has always made it worse is when I work at jobs that stress me out or have a social aspect to them, like retail.  I always hate being the center of attention, so I don't like working on a cash register because customers get mad at you and stare at you when you are ringing them up.  If you have a job that is making you super anxious, find a new one.  I used to work as a seamstress and the owner was super mean.  She was really strict and while I was working there I had horrible anxiety.  I even passed out once.  I experienced all sorts of digestive issues, which I'm pretty sure stemmed from the anxiety because as soon as I quit, it immediately got better.  Ever since that job, my anxiety has been so much better!

Here are some tips to manage anxiety (of course i'm not a medical professional so don't take these too seriously)

1.  Limit caffeine or stop drinking it all together.  I have really cut back and gone through phases where I don't drink it at all.  Because of my job I have to drink it, but I never have more than half of a mug a day.

2.  Find a new job if you think your job is causing it.  Nobody should have to be in a toxic work environment.

3.  Go for walks or exercise.  I wouldn't suggest doing this when you feel anxious but I think the more often I do it, the less anxious I feel in general.

4.  Eat healthy but treat yourself to comfort food when you really need it.

5.  Make lists.  It really helps me to make lists when I am stressed.  If you are thinking about all of the things you need to do, as soon as you write it down, you can release it from your mind.

6.  Whenever I am feeling anxious, it helps me to stay warm.  I'm not sure why but I try to bring a sweater wherever I go.  I just feel more cozy and safe, I guess.

7.  Try to recognize what makes you feel anxious and actively try to fix it.  Example: if it's your job or money issues.

8.  Avoid the things that make you feel anxious.  If you hate large crowds, don't go into large crowds. But maybe try to incorporate that in small doses.  I think that would help you to get better over time.

9.  Bake or do something crafty.  These things always make me feel more calm.  I think because it averts my attention to something else.

10.  Watching something that makes you happy.  I love watching one of my favorite shows when I'm anxious because they make me feel nostalgic and happy.  I usually turn on Gilmore Girls.  I think Ive seen it all like 10 times.

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