Saturday, January 14, 2017

Knitted Sweater + Parka

It's January, which means that we're officially in winter. Although we've been in winter for a while, December still feels warmer. Not only was it still the beginning of winter, but in December, snow is festive, it completes the mood, making it a bit more bearable to stand the cold. But now that the holidays are over, it has hit me, that it is freezing out. However, I still braved the cold, but not without bundling up. This outfit is perfect for the cold weather, but obviously not extremes, probably optimal for a temperature of about 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit. When it's cold, it's important to layer, so I did just that.


I recently got this coat from J. Crew Factory and I LOVE it. Although I was originally not sure about whether or not I wanted it, as I already have quite a few coats and it was a little pricey considering that I wasn't in great need of a coat. However, I had been eyeing it for quite a long time because I absolutely love the look of it. It will go with any outfit and is so stylish. I was a little concerned that it would be too long, since I'm pretty short and longer dresses/coats tend to make me look short, but this was the perfect length, even though I ended up buying a regular size instead of petite. I purchased this coat during Black Friday at 60% off (!!!) and about $107, a fantastic deal, so I bit the bullet and I'm so glad that I did. This coat is not only warm and versatile, but it's so fashionable and makes me feel insanely confident. And that's the goal, right? I wear clothes that make me feel confident and this coat never fails to make me feel incredible. The coat seems to run true to size, normally I have to size up for coats, but according to reviews, I ended up going with my true size, 0. When it arrived, it fit perfectly, even with a thick sweater underneath or even when I wore 2 light layers underneath. Currently, this coat is low in stock at J. Crew Factory, but the main store for J. Crew has a super similar one with more stock, however, it is a lot more pricey.



Under the coat, I wore a warm sweater that I got from Marshall's (here's a similar one). I love the color, I'm a sucker for burgundy, it's just such a gorgeous color and it looks great on my skin tone. It has some really nice detailing at the top, which I think looks fantastic, but also not too busy. It's warm and comfortable and goes perfectly with the jacket, since the light gray is easily matched with. Along with the sweater I'm wearing a pair of high waisted jeans from Gap. Gap's jeans fit me perfectly, they're one of the few places that has sizing that fits my body type. These ones have such a nice wash, but they're a little long at the bottom, so I cuffed them. Not only does the cuffing make the jeans fit better, but the cuffing also adds an extra bit of accessory and pairs well with the booties, which brings me to the Chelsea boots.
I got these last year from Nordstrom and I LOVE them. They're Summit brand, but they are no longer being sold, so here is a similar pair. Like the coat, these boots make me feel so incredibly confident. They match with all my clothes, so I basically wear them every day. They do have a slight heel, but they're still very comfortable and the heel is almost unnoticeable, except since it doesn't have any rubber on the sole, they do click very loudly. However, the style of these boots are gorgeous and I love the way that they look and make me feel.





Get the Look

Coat: J. Crew Factory (original is low in stock, here's similar one from J.Crew store )
Sweater: Marshall's (similar) // Jeans: Gap
Booties: Nordstrom, Summit brand (similar

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Potato and Mozzarella Croquettes

You know what I was thinking would be fun? A tapas party. Invite some of your friends over and have everyone bring a dish, kind of like a potluck. It's so much fun to try out some new recipes, see how they work out, as well as try dishes from another cuisine. A few days ago, I tried out my own tapas recipe, potato and mozzarella croquettes with a tomato and olive oil sauce. I had never made croquettes before and they were definitely a dip in the unknown. So if you're interested in trying out a fun and different recipe, maybe you too can try out making these potato and mozzarella croquettes and maybe enjoy a tapas party while you're at it. It's 2017 and it's time to try new things, including new food and cuisines. 

Potato and Mozzarella Croquettes | Sunny Rebecca

I originally used this recipe from Food and Wine, but I modified to accordingly with different serving sizes based on the amount that I needed and also slightly modified the ingredient amounts as well.

Servings: roughly 30 croquettes

Ingredients

6 potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
Salt (amount will vary depending on taste)
18 ounces of shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
Ground pepper (amount will vary depending on taste)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
5 diced tomatoes (or 14 ounces if canned)
1 tablespoon of chopped basil
3 cups of breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
4-5 eggs, beaten
3 teaspoons of minced garlic
vegetable oil (for frying)

Procedure

1. Cover the potatoes with cold water in a pot and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and allow to simmer on moderate heat until the potatoes are tender, in roughly 20 minutes. Drain and let cool.
2. Use a ricer or a standard masher to mash up the potatoes, like you're making mashed potatoes. Sir in the mozzarella and parsley and season with salt and pepper. I recommend tasting the potatoes in order to estimate the seasoning - but keep in mind that more seasoning will be added with the breaded coating.
3. Shape the mixture into croquettes (generally 2 inch by 3/4 inch logs) and put on a plate. Cover and refrigerate until firm, roughly 30 minutes.
4. While the croquettes are in the fridge, you can begin to work on the tomato and olive oil sauce that will be paired with them. In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add in the diced tomatoes (these can be fresh or canned, I would recommend canned to save the time, but I ended up using fresh tomatoes), and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the tomatoes have softened and the sauce has thickened, expect to heat the sauce for about 15 minutes. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper according to taste. 
5. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs with the mustard, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. 
6. In another shallow bowl, spread out your breadcrumbs.
7. One by one, take each croquette and coat it with the egg mixture. After that, coat the croquette with the breadcrumbs. Repeat again, so that it is coated twice with the egg mixture and the breadcrumbs. Repeat until all the croquettes have been coated. 
8. In a frying pan, heat the vegetable oil. Working in batches, fry the croquettes, turning them so that each side of the croquette is fried and cooked. Transfer to a plate covered in paper towels in order to drain the oil. Note: Step 7 and 8 can be combined, so that you coat the croquettes while another batch is frying in order to save time, this worked great for me. 
9. Serve the croquettes with the tomato and olive oil sauce and enjoy!

If you try this recipe out, I would love if you let me know! Feel free to send pictures of your croquettes to me on social media if you try it out and enjoy!

    Saturday, January 7, 2017

    San Francisco Travel Diary

    If you didn't know from social media, I recently visited San Francisco over the holiday season. Instead of doing many series of travel diaries, I've decided to condense all of my trip into one post. Think of it as the highlights of my trip. The highlights of what I did and where I ate. San Francisco is such a fun and beautiful city, with cable cars zipping around, pastel houses surrounding you, hills on hills on hills, and a plethora of cuisines. I hope you get a chance to visit San Francisco if you have not been before, since it's such an incredible city. In the meantime, here are the highlights of my trip to San Francisco.



    What I Did


    Here's a quick list of all of the places that I visited while in San Francisco, but I'm only going to explicitly talk about a few of them.
    Coit Tower
    China Town
    Fisherman's Wharf
    Union Square
    Lands End
    Muir Woods
    Sausalito (slightly out of San Francisco)
    Golden Gate Bridge
    Pier 39
    Ghirardelli Square
    17 Mile Drive (slightly out of San Francisco)

    And here's some of the highlights of what I did: 

    Painted Ladies: Honestly, I just went here for the Insta. The Painted Ladies are absolutely gorgeous houses, with vibrant colors that are sooooo instagrammable. Given, a lot of the houses in San Francisco are as well, with their pastel colors and fun architecture, but the Painted Ladies are famous. Not to be confused with the Full House house, which they often are, the Painted Ladies are not the place where Full House takes place. However, they're such beautiful homes that I just couldn't resist snapping a picture of. 



    Lands End: A beautiful gem that is often overlooked by tourists, Lands End is a park with a gorgeous view. With approximately a 3 mile walk (3 miles there and back, 1.5 miles one way), Lands End is a great place to do some walking. 3 miles seems like a lot, but with the view, you easily forget how much you've walked. There is some incline while you walk though, so keep this in mind and dress accordingly with comfortable shoes. From the trail, there are quite a few lookout points with incredible views of the water, the landscape, and the Golden Gate bridge. I went in the morning, so it was a nice refreshing early walk, as there were few visitors, most of them were dog walkers. Bring some water and put on your walking shoes if you're planning to visit Lands End. And don't forget to charge up your camera, those views are totally Insta worthy. 





    The Golden Gate Bridge: Obviously a must see. The iconic 3-mile long Art-Deco style bridge is what usually first comes to mind when you think San Francisco. Once called "the bridge that couldn't be built", the Golden Gate bridge stands tall, representing the city. It's not essential that you cross this bridge, but it is a must-see that you should still check out, as there are tons of places, such as Lands End, that offer a great view of the bridge. I ended up crossing it, as it was necessary to get to Sausalito, but it isn't really a must to cross if you have no where to be on the other side of the bridge. (note: this picture of the bridge below is taken from Lands End)


    Just for kicks: During the holiday season, there was a holiday event at the Westin hotel in Union Square. A 12-foot castle, weighing about 600 pounds, made entirely out of sugar was made to celebrate the holidays. Made by Pastry Chef Jean-Francois Houdré, there were actually two castles on display, one brown one and one white one. The white one looks a lot more like a fairytale castle and the brown one looks a lot more realistic, like a true castle. I just think that it's absolutely crazy how it's possible to create such a large and incredible masterpiece, entirely out of sugar. It reminds me a lot of the holiday train exhibition at the New York botanical gardens, since it has a similar concept, it is a series of landmarks made out of natural materials, such as leaves and twigs. Both these castles and the train exhibition use interesting materials to create something beautiful. 




    What I Ate

    Let's be real, I ate a lot while I was in San Francisco. A lot of really great meals. Since I ate so much, I'm only featuring the highlights, the best places that I ate at. 

    Urth Caffe: I actually visited Urth while I was outside of San Francisco, in Laguna beach, but I still decided to throw it into this post (see other locations here). There was a huge line when I got there, but it was worth the wait. Urth has a huge menu, with lots of choices, but I opted for the breakfast option. They have the biggest coffees, complete with gorgeous Instagrammable latte art, some healthy options, drool-worthy desserts, as well as some creative dishes. I got the stuffed french toast, which was essentially two pieces of french toast stacked on top of each other, with Nutella and bananas in the middle. It was so delicious. I mean, french toast, nutella, and banana? It was so sweet and I absolutely loved it. I also had a strawberry banana smoothie along with it, so I was very happy with this meal. 


    Boudin: Clam chowder on Fisherman's Wharf is a good idea. Boudin, the famous San Francisco sourdough bakery, is such a fun store and also serves fantastic clam chowder. At the store, you can actually see them making the bread and they make the bread in some amazingly creative shapes, like bears, crabs, snowmen, and more. They even made a wreath OUT OF BREAD. Isn't that crazy? A wreath of bread and bread ornaments? Boudin makes the holidays fun. The clam chowder was also delicious, the sourdough bread bowl is particularly popular, but since I don't like sourdough, I opted for a normal bowl of soup and still enjoyed it. 


    Ghirardelli: Visit Ghirardelli Square and indulge on chocolate and ice cream. In the shop, you can not only see how they make the chocolate, but they also have a little old-fashioned ice cream parlor. They have coffees, hot chocolates, milkshakes, sundaes, and more, all incorporating Ghirardelli chocolate into them. I opted for a milkshake, I can't remember what flavor milkshake I got, but it was delicious. I always love going to the Ghirardelli stores, the ice cream is delicious and I love the style of the ice cream parlor, it's retro and cute. 


    What are your favorite spots in San Francisco?

    Saturday, December 31, 2016

    What I'm Going to Do in 2017

    Happy New Year's Eve! It's crazy how fast time flies by, it's already 2017! New Year's Eve is a time to celebrate, the end of a year and the beginning of a new one. I believe that the new year is a great time to reevaluate your life. It's a time to reflect on what you've done and how you've changed, but it's also a time to think about what's next for your life. Every year is important. Time flies by so quickly and new year's is a reminder that you should cherish each one and make each year about you. I've already reflected on 2016 in my What I Did in 2016 post, and now it's time for me to think about where I'm aiming for next.



    Last year, I never set a word of the year. I heard lots of bloggers talking about their words of the year, words that encompassed what they hoped that their year would be about. I didn't create one for 2016 because I couldn't think of the word that I wanted to define my year. As I was reflecting and creating my "What I Did in 2016" post, I was thinking about how I've changed throughout the year, how I had been trying to focus more on my mental health, self-love, positivity, and really focus on myself. And I decided that I wanted to continue down that path for 2017. I've decided that my word for 2017 is going to be, "Me." It's simple, but it works. I want my year to be focused on me. I want to be selfish sometimes, focus on what's best for me and my happiness. I want to learn how to love myself, focus on trying new things, improving myself, being happy, and really enjoying the life that I carry. I want 2017 to be about me. 


    2017 Goals

    Complete a gallery wall in my room.

    I've been wanting to create a gallery wall in this spot above my bed for ages, but I've just never gotten to it. I need to start looking for some prints and frames and start organizing everything to actually make this plan a reality. I want to stop putting off things that I want to do and start actually getting them done.

    Exercise at least twice a week for twenty minutes each.

    Everyone has this perception that in a new year, they want to exercise and lose weight. Although I'm not looking to lose weight, I do need to start being more healthy with my  body, which means that I exercise every now and then. It is recommended by doctors to have at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. I am a long way from either of those. For the past month of December, I have already been trying to form a habit of exercising at least twice a week for twenty minutes each and I would like to maintain that at the least. Although 40 minutes (I usually do moderate exercise) is a far cry from what is recommended, I'm hoping to at least get up out of my bed every now and then.

    Either guest post on 5 blogs or get 5 guest posts on my blog (or a mix!)

    Last year I had a resolution to collaborate with others, but this year I want to focus on sharing ideas. Collaborations are fun, but sharing ideas is too. Guest posting is a way for me to get out my ideas or for my readers to see another perspective. In a lot of my Peter Pan Diaries posts, I tend to include my own personal experiences and perspective. But sometimes it's good to see another point of view, get another opinion on something. The thing is that everyone's experiences in life are different and I'm interested in seeing how my personal experiences might differ from someone else's. If you're interested in either having me guest blog for you or interested in guest posting on my blog, send an email my way! (sunnyrebeccamail@gmail.com)

    Complete ten actions that push myself out of my comfort zone.

    By ten actions, I don't mean ten tiny actions, I mean ten larger ones. I've been trying to push myself out of my comfort zone over the past few years, ever since middle school, I've learned about the importance of stepping away from your comfort zone, because although in the moment it may be scary, in the long run, it enriches your life. I want to do at least ten things that make me feel completely out of my comfort zone. While I was on my trip in China this past year, I did quite a few things that were easily out of my comfort zone and I had some of the best times of my life as a result of them. I don't want to let my comfort zone hold me back anymore and this year I'm going to try and test the boundaries.

    So what are you going to do in 2017?

    Wednesday, December 28, 2016

    What I Did in 2016

    Every year, when New Year rolls around, it's a time to reflect on what we have done and also aim for new goals, new aspirations for what we want to change in our lives once we've been able to reflect. One year can feel like a blink of an eye, but it can also feel like a century. The thing is that even though one year can fly by, there's a lot that occurs and changes within that one year. Today, I am doing part one of the two, reflecting on what I've done, both personally, and publicly on my blog, because I did a lot in 2016, even if it's just a huge pile of little things, I've still changed a lot and achieved at lot throughout the year.



    My Personal Life


    I think that personally, 2016 hasn't been a bad year. I've definitely been a lot happier, even though I've still had my ups and downs. Every year, I push myself a little more outside of my comfort zone and every time I do it, I feel happier with myself, more confident, more fearless, and more enriched by the experience(s).

    I told people about my blog. I think that it's a little different for everyone, but for me, it was frightening to tell people about my blog. (Here's my post on what it's like telling people about your blog) Telling people about my blog is scary for me. I still don't tell people about it, besides my close friends, because I just feel so vulnerable with other people reading my blog. It's like having your innermost thoughts read by your peers. By strangers, it doesn't frighten me, but knowing that people that I already have established relationships with, whether mere acquaintances or friendships, still scares me today. However, I gained enough confidence to tell some people about it and although it was hard, it was a step in the right direction and I'm proud of that.

    I stepped out of my comfort zone by pushing myself to reach for a leadership position in school. It was a small one, but I definitely wouldn't have seen myself going for it in the past. I wasn't originally planning on reaching for it, but I was encouraged by friends and pushed myself to put aside my fears and go for it. And I ended up getting the position and I'm glad that I pushed myself to go for it. In addition, I got accepted into another program, one that would allow me to learn more about fashion and merchandising, also a slight risk that paid off. I also tried to reach for other goals, things that I wasn't sure that I would be able to achieve. Although I was able to get that leadership position, there were other opportunities that I wasn't likely to get, but I still applied for them, tried my best for them, but in the end I didn't succeed. And yeah, I was a little upset in each time that this happened, but I can continue on knowing that I had tried. Throughout 2016, I have been trying to live with no (or few) regrets. So I went for things that were a) out of my comfort zone and b) not guaranteed, knowing that I would be risking putting myself out there. In these cases, I put myself out there and I lost, but at least I never have to go on wondering, "What if?"

    I went to China, which was a huge and crazy experience for me. I love traveling, but this time, I was traveling with a group of people that I had never met before. I traveled to China with an educational program, full of people that we once total strangers. We flew to China and then attended cultural and Chinese classes, while also touring around the city. Later, we flew to Beijing, where we got to see the famous attractions, such as the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China. Although it seemed like a simple travel experience, it was so much more than that. There were a lot of situations that put me outside of my comfort zone and I think that they changed me for the better. I did things that I never would have seen myself doing. And like my life, although there were ups and downs, I was happy overall, maybe one of the happiest times I had ever been. I made bonds with the people that I was traveling with, despite being total strangers at first. And I have no regrets with that trip, which is the way that I want to live. My experience in China was completely different than my normal routine life. It was so out of my comfort zone, which was just what I needed.

    On the Blog


    I've been so much more open and honest and creative on my blog. I've been focusing on putting my best foot forward. There are definitely some posts that are on my blog that I've created within the past year that are not my best work and that maybe I'm not completely proud of, but for the most part, I'm proud of the work that I've presented on my blog. I feel like throughout the year, I've been changing the conversation on my blog. I've been talking less about shoes and dresses and a bit more about me. The honest truth is that I don't even really read a lot of blog posts about fashion and beauty. Sometimes I do, but they rarely are the things that capture my attention. I've been realizing that the kind of content that I'm excited about reading is the kind of content that I can relate to. A discussion about self-love, a discussion about reaching success, a discussion about mental health. So I figured, why would I create content that I don't even want to read? And that's when I began changing my content, starting from the beginning of 2016 with my New Year's resolution to be more creative with my content, I tried to change the kinds of things that appear on my blog to be more aimed that what I really want to be reading, content that I'm proud of, content that I would read if it wasn't my own.

    The kinds of things that I want to know as I read content is how everything mentioned relates to my life. Fashion is great, but there's just something about the connection that can be established between author and reader when discussing personal topics that fashion just can't do for me. I wanted to talk about things that maybe readers might be going through. I'm no philanthropist or charity worker, but I wanted to try and help people, help people like me. To stop people from feeling these same feelings of inadequacy and fear that have plagued. However, the thing is that it's not easy to talk about yourself, I hate talking about my problems. I hate admitting about when I'm going through a tough time or when things just aren't going right for me. But this year, I've been so much more open about it on my blog. And it's been good for me, reflecting on my own experiences, but I've been doing it all in hopes that maybe, just one person out there, is feeling like they're not alone as they read my posts. I want my posts to reach readers, tell them that they're not alone in their struggles, while also helping them. And that's why I created the Peter Pan Diaries.

    Overall, I am proud of what my blog has become. I've been writing posts that I'm so proud of, that I feel are creative and honest and real. Because we don't need anymore of that fake stuff on the internet where we tiptoe around issues so that we don't have to address them. I'm over pretending to be perfect. When I started my blog, I tried to pretend to be perfect, to pretend that I had my life together and that everything was good. But it's not. And now I'm okay with admitting that. I'm not perfect, and that's okay. 

    So what did I do in 2016?


    To summarize, in 2016 I pushed myself to step outside my comfort zones, both in my personal life and on my blog. 2016 has been a pretty good year for me. Although it's been a mess in the public world, on a personal level, it's been a year of self-reflection and personal growth, which is just what I needed. My experiences throughout the year have changed my perspective on things but also made me feel happier. And I consider anything that makes me happier as a win. If I was to summarize the year, for the majority of the time, I've been happy. And isn't that the ultimate goal in life, to be happy? And I'm happy right now. So overall, 2016, hasn't been too bad. I don't know what's next to come in 2017, but I'm ready for it. 

    Monday, December 26, 2016

    Did I Make My New Year's Resolutions Reality?

    At the beginning of the year, I set some goals for myself, New Year's resolutions for what I was going to do in 2016. The thing about New Year's resolutions is that we always start out feeling committed to them, but we don't always follow through on them. It's strange to me that no one really revisits their New Year's resolutions. Maybe it's because we know that we've already given up on them and don't really want to have to remember about the goals that we abandoned. But I don't want these goals to be abandoned, so it's time for reevaluation on them. It's been ages since I've last looked at my goals and I thought that it was about time that I revisited them to see how I did. 


    2016 Goals


    1) Comment on at least two other blog posts every time that I work on my own blog.

    I'm just going to be honest and say that I definitely did not follow through on this resolution. I started out at the beginning of the year doing this, but as the year went on, I slowly stopped. I would slack and only comment on one blog and then eventually I got to the point that I didn't comment at all. There were some days that I would scroll through blogs, looking for something to comment on in order to fulfill this goal and I feel like the goal made the authenticity of the comments fade away. I became so focused on the number of comments that sometimes I just added impersonal comments just to fulfill the goal. As I look back on this goal, I'm starting to see that it's not really a goal that I want to achieve, since it became more about how often I was commenting rather than the actual content and authenticity of the comment.

    2) Collaborate with at least two other bloggers.

    I succeeded! I collaborated with Brooke (Live the Prep Life) on this Pantone Rose Quartz color of the year outfit post and I think that it turned out fantastically. I think that this was my favorite collaboration, mostly because I had a very successful outfit shoot. For my other collaboration, I collaborated with Sydney, (Anchored in the South) on our winter essentials. Lastly, I did a third collaboration (because I'm just that much of an overachiever) with Elizabeth (Fringe and Flare) on winter mornings and how people dress very differently in the winter depending on where they live. Elizabeth lives in sunny California and I live in a four-season climate, where winters can be pretty harsh. I loved this concept that we came up with, because it's so interesting to see how we have different conceptions of winter outfits. 

    3) Be more creative with my content.

    I think that I've definitely improved on my creativity, I've come up with some ideas that I really love and am really proud of. Throughout the year, I've been trying to think outside the box, plan out some posts that are more unique than everything else online. Throughout the year, I've become a lot better about opening up on some things that I probably wouldn't have discussed in the past and have really shifted my focus on the blog from fashion and beauty to more about lifestyle and more #realtalk. I am so proud of a lot of my posts by being a bit more creative in terms of content. 

    My favorite Sunny Rebecca posts of 2016:

    Do You Need A Lot to Be Happy?
    If You Didn't Post it on Social Media, Then Did it Really Happen?
    8 Things You Didn't Realize You Needed for Back to School
    Thoughts on Alcohol
    The Art of Being Alone, But Not Lonely
    What It's Like Telling People About Your Blog
    The Art of Pretending to Have a Life
    Party for One

    4) Stop caring what other people think.

    This one is a long term goal. I think that throughout my years of existence, I've easily become a bit more comfortable with myself and less dependent on what other people think about me, but it's not an easy path to stop caring about the opinions of others. The thing is, it's nice to be liked. Over the year, I've had some improvements and setbacks, but I have to remember that this is a long term goal, so it's okay if I haven't achieved it yet. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

    5) Reach 1000 followers on Instagram

    This was a goal that I set for myself. I didn't post this in my "What I'm Going to Do in 2016" post, mostly because follower count is something that I thought was just for me. We often get so caught up in the numbers that I didn't think that it needed to be publicly announced. For me, Instagram has become somewhat of an extension of my blog. It too is a way for me to get my ideas and thoughts out there while also driving traffic to my blog. I did reach this goal, which I am very proud of, and hopefully I can grow more on Instagram in order to grow my blog more as a secondary effect.

    So how about you? Did you make your New Year's Resolutions of 2016 a reality?

    Saturday, December 24, 2016

    A Holiday Card from Me to You

    It's Christmas Eve and I had been thinking all about what I wanted to post. I thought about posting something about the New Year, but for some reason, it just didn't feel right posting about the new year on Christmas Eve. I thought about a Peter Pan Diaries post, but it just didn't feel quite right either. So I figured, why not write a holiday card to you, my readers? 


    It's been a fast year. I don't think that I was necessarily ready for the holiday season. It feels like the year of December has been a busy month. I've been dealing with finals while also trying to wrap my head around the fact that it's already December and that the holidays are on their way. The holiday season is the time to be happy. For me, the holidays is a time for everyone to let our inner child roam. It's a time of year where we wake up on Christmas morning, excited to open presents, no matter how old we are. It's a time where we revel in baking cookies and maybe sneaking one more than we should. It's a time to be festive.

    This holiday season, I encourage you to live in the moment. I think that sometimes we're just so caught up in everything that is happening that we sometimes forget to stop and smell the roses. The holiday season only comes once a year, so cherish it. At the moment, as I'm writing this, I'm a little bit stressed about everything that I have to do. However, I've noticed that all of the things that I'm thinking about are in the future. I spend so much time stressing about the future that I'm forgetting to enjoy this current moment. I'm thinking about all the packing that I have to do, since I'm leaving for a trip in less than two days and I haven't packed a single thing. I'm thinking about all the content that I need to preschedule. I'm thinking about what I have to do tomorrow, pick up something on the way home, and then I'm thinking about organizing my future social plans. I'm thinking about all these things that I'm neglecting this current moment. And with a time as festive as the holiday season, you don't want to let the time pass you by.

    This holiday season, I encourage you to remember that it's not essential for you to Snapchat and Instagram every moment. With all of those cute holiday pictures gracing Instagram, from family photos to Starbucks red cups to photos of besties, sometimes we feel a little pressure to post about our holiday season, just to make sure we let everyone know that we are, indeed, having fun. It's fun to post things on social media about the holidays, but don't stress too much about it. If you didn't post it on social media, it doesn't mean that it didn't happen. In this day and age, we often hide behind our phones at social events and while we're staring at a screen, we're missing the whole world around us. I get it, believe me, it's a habit to always be on your phone. I feel empty without mine. Just remember that you can miss a ton of the world when you're stuck behind your phone, and with the holidays being such a festive time of year, you don't want to miss out on a second of it.

    This holiday season, I encourage you to give yourself a gift. It doesn't necessarily have to be a tangible object. but it's nice to #treatyoself sometimes, especially during the holiday season. Maybe splurge on that bag that you've been eyeing or eat an extra slice of cake. Do something for yourself. The holidays are all about giving, so why not give yourself something? We all deserve a treat from time to time, and I don't see a better reason to do something nice for yourself.

    This holiday season, I encourage you to enjoy it. It's the most wonderful time of the year! It's okay to be crazy festive, wear your ugly Christmas sweater and matching holiday socks, if there's any time to go all out, it's now. Because at the end of the day, the holidays are about being happy and spreading cheer. So drink, eat, and be merry! As the end of the year is coming to a close, I'm glad that I get to enjoy this holiday with all of you, it truly is all that I want for Christmas.

    Love, Rebecca