The thing about memories is that they tend to morph over time. As more time passes, the details fade, but the impact and feelings surrounding the memory remain familiar. I lost my grandpa when I was six. I hardly remember things from when I was six, but for some reason it feels like I lived a whole life with my grandpa by my side prior to his passing. Funny thing, time. I lost him in January 1998. As an adult, I think about how innocently naive my connection was with him. I did not know his struggles, his flaws. I only heard about them later. To me, he was just Grandpa. I still have moments when I wonder what he’d think of certain situations. I wonder what he’d think of the musicals I’ve seen and what it’d be like to take him to see one. I would’ve loved to take him. I still reminisce about picking calamansi from the backyard at the request of my Grandma, hearing the garden hose as a sign of his presence. He would call me over to show me how to water the roses properly. I was five or six, but I still remember. 12 circles around each rose bush.
I was his favorite…and he was my best friend.
Fast forward to December 2019. My Grandma was reunited with my Grandpa after battling Alzheimers for so many years. A part of me broke, but the other part breathed a sigh of relief that I forgot I was holding onto for years…she was no longer suffering. I found solace in the fact that she could finally be reunited with Grandpa. He had been waiting for her for 21 years.
It’s odd. I had many more years with her, yet my most vivid memories with her are from my childhood. The early morning humming I’d hear as she cleaned around the house. How, even though she was blind, hide and seek never worked out in our favor. She had a superpower that alerted her to the mischief all her grandkids were up to. The evenings spent on the couch in her room by the heater, listening to Jeopardy and then Wheel of Fortune; how she’d try to play along. How she told me to brush my hair 100 times a day to keep it as soft as hers. My hair will never be as soft as hers. My most vivid memories with her are from my childhood, yet she was a steady presence in my life beyond that. She’d be there to witness me graduate high school and I’d hear her say that she prayed every night for her grandchildren to go to college. Then she really started to forget.
Fast forward to now. It’s been just over a year without my grandma and I’m so glad she wasn’t around to see the world change; which happened just a few months after she passed. If we would’ve lost her in 2020, I know I wouldn’t have had the luxury of spending as much time with my cousins as I was able to in January. So I’m exceptionally grateful for that time spent with family.
I knew pretty early on in 2020 that I wanted to get a tattoo in dedication to my grandparents, but wasn’t sure of what. Then I remembered that my aunt shared with me some letters that my grandpa wrote to my grandma back in the late 1950s when they were dating. She had showed them to me back in January. So to gather inspiration, I asked her if she could scan them and send them to me. At first I thought about maybe pulling a line from one of his cheesy poems he wrote, but as I was reading them I noticed that he signed his letters:
Pepito is a nickname of endearment that is used to describe a loved one. It also literally translates to “little Pepe” and is a nickname for Jose…which was his name. It was perfect: his handwriting, his nickname, and the closing out a love letter he wrote to his future wife, my future grandma. It was a perfect summary of the foundation of our family and a deeply personal dedication to their impact on my life. So on November 26, 2020, I snuck off to an appointment to “touch up my first tattoo” and came home with this:
My first tattoo is a dedication to myself and my personal growth. This tattoo is a dedication to my grandparents and a reminder of where I came from. I’m loving the story my tattoos are telling and thought I’d share it.
Happy Birthday Grandma. This post, this tattoo (although you definitely wouldn’t have approved) is dedicated to you and grandpa. Thank you for finding one another and for creating a family that I am proud to be a part of. I love and miss both of you. I’ll stop by and drop off flowers sometime today ❤
Happy 2018! For many, including myself, 2017 was a difficult one. But then again, doesn’t every year bring some form of struggle? I recently heard the phrase “things happen FOR you, not to you.” I thought it was a fresh reminder that what you can control in life is your perception. When you see life through the lens of continual growth, what seems to be difficult times turn into perfect opportunities for development. The last two weeks of 2017 were filled with complications that have actually contributed to the formation of my goals for 2018. Ah, the beauty of perspective.
I have deemed 2018 as the year of “Melissa, The Grown Up.” Sounds pretty cheesy typing that out and I definitely have mixed feelings about it, but it really is a goal of mine this year. 2017 was the year of learning more about myself and exploring my interests. 2018 is going to be a year of focusing on strengthening my foundation as a young adult in as many ways as I can. To some, it may sound like boring “adulting” stuff, but I’ve realized that in order for me to achieve my ideal lifestyle, this is part of process (and maybe it can be fun). This means taking full advantage of the benefits my job offers, developing an investment portfolio, continuing to prioritize and pay off my student loans, and so much more! With all of that i mind, I want to approach these goals with an air of balance. I’m going in with a plan and aiming to maintain flexibility through it all.
What are some of your favorite self-help quotes, books, podcasts that have benefited you recently?
New Year, New Car
One of the first forced steps into this new year of “adulting” was having to deal with experiencing my first major car accident last month. Long story short, I was rear ended on the 405 freeway, which then forced my car into the one in front of mine. My car was deemed totaled and I defined this situation as the universe’s way of telling me to stop putting off a much needed purchase: a reliable car.
This experience, although through non-ideal circumstances, catapulted me into the process of insurance settlements, CHP reports…and of course, buying a new car. It has been a great learning experience for me. A stressful, but helpful learning experience. All of this has been a whirlwind, dealing with multiple insurance carriers, the DMV and car shopping. As I’m writing this, I’m still working on closing on a settlement agreement with the responsible party’s insurance carrier. On top of that, I got a case of the flu that knocked me out for three days just after the accident . In this time, I’ve had to discover and sharpen a number of skills in order to get things done in as timely as a manner as possible. The universe putting me through the ringer. I had to earn my way to 2018! lol.
Here are 5 mini lessons I encountered from this experience:
Do your research – Go in knowing what you want and armed with specific tactics to ensure you achieve that
Get your finances right – Prioritize saving in case of emergencies. You never know what will happen! It’s good that I had already been saving for a while. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to independently buy myself a car, let alone the one I wanted.
Ask as many questions as needed – You can’t make educated decisions without information. Ask until a concept is clear and understood. The worst answer you can hear is no, but at least you can say you asked.
Take your time -There’s no harm in starting again from the beginning if it’s going to lead to a better overall decision. My dad reminded me that ultimately, I can say no if there is anything about a deal that I’m not happy with.
Keep accurate records – Organization of important documents as they come will help avoid unnecessary stress when the time comes to dig them up.
New Year, New Clarity
After having some time to recover from post-accident madness and a bad case of the flu, I was able to properly ring in the New Year and take much needed time to reflect. I took a mini retreat to the Huntington Library in San Marino with my older brother and cousin this past weekend. We walked through a few gardens and eventually found a spot to sit and journal. But of course, we couldn’t leave without taking a few pictures 🙂
Details, details, details at the Chinese Garden
Rose garden runway
Beautiful magnolia tree
My older brother
My twin cousin
It was refreshing to step away from familiar surroundings, dedicate quality time to discuss how the past year went and what we are looking forward to achieving in 2018. The day left me with a wave of gratitude for my family’s support and their trust in my opinions. It makes me happy to know that we are each other’s forever team. I forget how good it feels to be surrounded by people that are rooting for each other’s success.
I’ll wrap this up with my hopes that you’ve entered this new year with a clear mind, a sense of adventure and the determination to make change in your life for the better. Let me know what your goals for 2018 are!
Let’s throw it back to August 2014 when I was anticipating my last semester at SDSU and my wonderful friends from back home drove from the South Bay to SD for our 2nd annual camping trip. To my friends that were on this trip, SURPRISE! I have the lost and forgotten photos from Tristan’s camera! He recently and sneakily gave them to me after asking him if I could use them for a blog post 🙂 He didn’t even know I blogged….rude.
Time continues to baffle me with how fast it goes by. I’m writing this post on one of those rare rainy days in San Diego and flipping through these photos reminds me of how long ago this trip happened. When ever I come back from a camping trip I always feel as if I just returned from a retreat. Even though sleeping on a floor in a tent and waking up even earlier than usual for a whole weekend doesn’t necessarily sound like a relaxing vacation, it’s more reinvigorating of an experience for me than staying in a hotel. Unlike most hotel experiences, with camping, I don’t have to go anywhere else to make the experience worthwhile. Having a healthy hiatus from social media during this time also doesn’t hurt.
I sincerely think that the virtual absence of social media is a huge contributing factor to that zen factor that comes with camping. Don’t get me wrong, we all still had our phones and cameras with us, but because there was horrible signal, no one was pulled into the mindless scrolling of social media.
Looking through these photos also reminded me of how it was a combination of little things that made this camping trip one of my favorite memories with my friends. Moments like working together to set up tents, everyone laughing at how sorry my football throw was, busting a mission to cook bomb food (we had kbbq and pho…just sayin’), playing haky sack until it got too dark to see our own feet, taking an unintended three-hour hike because we got lost (at least we were all together) or realizing on this hike just how quiet it can be…and how unbelievably renewed I felt closing my eyes to enjoy it. These are all minor things, but when weaved together, made the trip as memorable as it was.
I’m all about reminding myself to appreciate life as it is regardless of where I’m at because otherwise, we can always find a reason to be wound up about something. It’s humbling to know that there are people out there that would gladly take on the struggles I consider difficult and kill for the opportunities that I’ve been blessed have. Whether it’s taking a moment to enjoy my surroundings before bee-lining my way to my car to head to work, calling my mom a billion times in one day because I just want to hear a supporting voice, recognizing my little victories of the day, shrugging off awful moments, it’s necessary in order to continue down a path of happiness. Which brings me to this list. I believe that an existence of general happiness consists of, like I mentioned previously, a series of positive moments weaved together. Que devil’s advocate: but Melissa, what happens when all my moments are negative ones? One, that’s a lie. Two, you are being dramatic and three…you can ALWAYS find a positive take-away from a negative situation.
So, with that, I present you with this list of minor things that bring me joy.
15 Little Things that Make me Happy (in no particular order)
Stepping into Barnes & Noble and getting that refreshing whiff of book smell– I should probably support the business more by purchasing more books, but I usually just enjoy browsing and getting work done there.
Camping and everything that comes with it – really getting to star gaze, hiking, crisp air, not wearing make up. These are all happy-inducing actions.
YouTube– To explain this would reveal how weird I really am. So I won’t delve into it. #TeamInternet
Walking through Ikea during an OFF time– you all know what I mean. I want to imagine myself in these idealistic rooms with out strangers all up in it! Plus, the ice cream.
Being in the presence of my family – we don’t even have to be deliberately hanging out with each other. Just hearing the sounds of my family all doing their own thing through out the house, it brings about a comfort that can’t be duplicated.
Exploring – Whether it’s hiking, driving somewhere scenic or going on food adventures, if I’m doing it with people I love, then it’s a great time.
Thrift shopping – I walk in with $20, I walk out with quirky pre-loved clothes and other items that for some reason convinced myself I needed. I some how convince myself these things describe my life and therefore I purchase them in fear it would end up in the wrong hands.
Getting work done at the library or a cute coffee house – I can be productive, but when I do day dream, I can people watch or enjoy the ambiance of the space.
A charged phone– yeah.
Arts & crafts – I’m not particularly great at art, but I do like doing artsy things. Getting my tinker on is a stress reliever.
A good quality hug from someone I want to be hugged by – I’m not much a “touchy-feely” person, but when I do desire a hug and it’s a good one….yes. Like Winnie the Pooh at Disneyland? Great hugger.
Movies– I ❤ cinematography, quality acting, a great score, enticing writing styles, all of it. I’m the person that buys the Blu-Ray DVD just to watch the 6 hours of behind the scenes extras. Also, I like watching movies multiple times in different periods of my life to see if I catch something different or view it from a different perspective.
Ice cream– I can never decide between pistachio, butter pecan and good ‘ol chocolate chip
Clear sunny days in SoCal with crisp cold air– I remember the moment I decided this was one of my favorite things. I was about 10- years-old and I decided one afternoon that I wanted to lay down on my front porch to look at the sky. I breathed in the crisp air, felt the cold porch beneath me, felt the warm sun on my skin and thought, “this is my sh*t.” Just kidding, I probably just smiled and continued doing whatever 10-year-olds do.
Power Naps – Naps in general are not appreciated until one ventures into their college years. But mastering power naps are sometimes even more satisfying than the rest gained from the nap. When I successfully take a 45 minute nap, I feel like I perfect life at that moment and that’s a victory in itself isn’t it?
That’s it! There are definitely more things in life that result in my happiness, but in an effort to not bore you, I limited myself to 15. It’s so easy to fall into a habit of negativity, so exercises like these can potentially help you pan out to see the bigger picture. I encourage you to take some time to think about 15 minor things, actions and places that make YOU happy. Trust me, it can be therapeutic. Then, next time you are feeling down, read your list and do those 15 things. YOUR WELCOME. Share with me what little things make YOU happy 🙂
Note to readers: I just wanted to say thank you for your patience. I’ve been experiencing a mixture of writers block and lack of inspiration after finishing my undergraduate studies at San Diego State University this past December. But I’m back! I am finally getting into somewhat of a groove of my post-graduation schedule and plan to post on a more consistent basis. Apologies in advance for the somewhat randomness of this post, it’s been a while! I’m a little rusty 😛 Now, onto the post!
Much needed laptop hiatus
I told myself that 2015 will be the year that I do more of what I love now that I don’t have any school work to worry about…and blogging more often is one of them. I discovered that one of the main reasons I developed a lack of inspiration was because writing became more of a chore than a leisurely past-time. The combination of my class work and work assignments had me constantly staring at a computer screen, so by the end of the day, I just wanted to separate myself from that portal of stress: my laptop.
After all of that stress, I fortunately had the opportunity to spend a full three weeks back in my hometown for the holidays before returning back to San Diego to start settling into the post-undergraduate lifestyle. My initial thought was that because I would have more time on my hands, I would be blogging more often. That apparently did not happen. I found myself fully immersed in wanting to spend quality time with my family and reconnect with my friends that I hadn’t had time to catch up with until then. Other than hopping on my laptop to do some work remotely, I was, for the the most part, separated from it.
I figured that the purpose of my blog is to essentially document my life. But how can I document my life in any shape-or-form if I don’t take the time to experience it! So, that’s what I did. It was nice to take that time to rejuvenate. It reminded me of how fortunate I am to have such a supportive home base filled with people that I always look forward to seeing when I visit. The following photos capture just some of the memories I made with my family this past holiday season (unfortunately I neglected to bring my camera to friend-related events, so my pictures of those experiences are non-existent):
Christmas Tree shopping with the fam
My protectors ❤
Christmas morning sibling picture
I got my brothers matching socks for Christmas 🙂
My Dad and Matthew Christmas morning
My older brother enjoying his new tea cups. (He loves tea)
New Converse from my older brother. I felt so spoiled.
My cousins Kaelin and Emma having a Christmas Day guitar lesson.
Board games were all the rage Christmas day.
Matthew enjoying kettle corn while viewing the Rose Parade floats in Pasadena
Riding the shuttle to view the Rose Parade floats 🙂
The fam making our way to the floats!
However, once I got back to San Diego, I jumped right back into my work schedule and because I am currently working on a pretty big project, again, I began separating myself from my computer at the end of the day. I noticed that I would hop on my phone and get stuck in the black hole of mindless and endless scrolling. I fell once more into the blogging-hiatus hole.
Penciling-in leisure time
With all of that said, I’m going to try my best to give myself time to blog. I just need to remind myself that it’s something I enjoy doing. If that means literally having to pencil in designated blog time, SO BE IT! It’s important to take some time out of the day to do something enjoyable, even if it needs to be scheduled in. I’ve always had a knack for organization and when paired with motivation, I am known to get a lot of things done. If I continue to ride this current wave of motivation I should be able to maintain at least a semi-consistent blog schedule.
I am a bit old fashioned when it comes to keeping myself organized. You might ask: Why don’t you utilize Google Calendar and phone reminders? Well, I do and they are very helpful and quite frankly, more eco-friendly, but in order for things to stick in my brain, I need to write things out. I love making lists, color-coding them and actually checking things off. There’s something about taking a pen to paper and crossing things off a list that is very satisfying.
So what do I use to stay organized?
Highlighters: Color-coding things helps me differentiate between items in my planner.
Brain Storm Notebook: I’ve had this notebook for a while. I believe it was a gift from my friend Annie. I’ve been using this notebook every day at work to write quick notes, make short to-do lists and ultimately, brainstorm. Having a notebook handy helps me visualize what can be done, what needs to be done and what will be done during my shift.
Lilly Pulitzer Large Agenda: I am in LOVE with this agenda. The colors, themes and extra pages make it enjoyable to use. But most importantly, the dual layout of a monthly and weekly view of the year allows me to plan things for the long-term and have room to add details in the short-term.
GOALSbook: The GOALS book was most recently given to me as a graduation gift. It’s the perfect addition to my organization kit because it serves as a constant reminder of the reason I work hard. Inside are prompts and forms that make it easy to visualize, outline and create a realistic plan to achieve both short-term and long-term goals. It’s pretty much amazing. Thanks Annie ❤
Let it be twenty-fifteen
On the note of organization and this year’s goals, I’m anxious and excited to see what this new year will bring now that I have officially finished my undergraduate studies. I have overall goals for myself and my career, but one thing I’ve learned from 2014 is that regardless of the plans I make and strive for, what’s more important is how I deal with and overcome the unexpected situations that will inevitably come my way.
The stress that often engulfed me during my undergraduate career was due to the constant struggle that is the journey to stability. But how can I someday enjoy stability with out having learned from the struggle and appreciated it? I needed to realize that it’s about enjoying every part of the journey whether it is a great moment or a low one; I need to let it be. By accepting every experience for what it is gives me the opportunity to look at the bigger picture. It reminds me to be grateful for even being able to feel.
Stress, although a very essential part of growth in life, has overwhelmed me way too many times in 2014. I want 2015 to be the year I allow myself to say yes to more new experiences and to remind myself to enjoy the present while still striving for betterment in the future. It’s all about balance.
If life is a collection of experiences, I want a diverse collection. This year I definitely plan on taking advantage of Groupon and trying different things, whether it’s a new yoga class, a painting class or seeing a show, I want to do it all! (Plus, I’m sure I’ll get them for pretty good prices 😛 )
What new things have you tried so far? I recently went snowboarding for the first time this past weekend. The chair lifts and inclines were scary, it hurt to fall, but overall it was so much fun. I definitely want to go back and get better at it!
It’s still early enough in the new year for resolutions to be a hot topic. At the turn of 2015, it worried me that I wasn’t motivated to make a list this year, but then I realized that instead of making a list of things I will most likely forget in about a month, why not live this year based on the following statements and questions:
Work hard and stay focused.
Does this make you happy? If yes, good job. If not, why are you doing it?
Say yes to new things more often.
This moment is a good one. Take it in.
Will this decision put me closer to achieving [x] goal?
Remember to breath and take some time for yourself. Then go back to working hard.
You are worth more than you think.
I think by constantly reminding myself of the above, I will constantly be working towards self-improvement and that’s what I ultimately want out of not only this year, but my life in general. I never want to stop learning and growing as an individual and neither should you!
…and with that, I’ve reached the end of this hodge podge of a blog post. I just wanted to say again that I’m grateful for your patience. Even though it’s almost February, I wish you and yours a goal-oriented, hard-working and memory-filled year! Remember to try something new this year. I know I will be and most likely sharing it here 🙂
I can honestly say that my 22nd birthday was my favorite thus far. I recently turned 22 and I couldn’t be happier about how my day went! It was relaxing and of course filled with too many sweets (I didn’t mind). I enjoy spending my actual birthday relaxing and spending it with a few people. I think I decided that I would much rather do something small after celebrating my 18th birthday Filipino-style. Birthdays always make me reminisce so I decided to take a look back on that day.
It is typical Filipino tradition for a girl to have a Debutante Ball on her 18th birthday. It usually includes a big white dress, 18 “Roses” or gentlemen in the girl’s life (family and friends) that give her a rose and dance with her, 18 “Candles” or women in her life that give her a speech that usually results in happy tears, a court of 18 couples (friends of the debutante) that performs a waltz, good food, a beautiful expensive cake and a second dress for the debutante to change into after the formal program is over. Basically, a coming of age non-wedding. The point of me rehashing a piece of Filipino tradition is because I had one of those, a “Debut.” It was much smaller, still beautiful, but also still such a big, expensive affair. Don’t get me wrong, I am infinitely grateful for my parents, family and friends for wanting to be a part of the celebration of my existence in the world. However, the whole ordeal made me realize that I don’t need an extravagant spectacle for my birthday. I enjoy the simple things in life. So cliche, but hey, it’ the truth. Below are some pictures from the night of my “Debut.”
Me hiding waiting to be called in for my oh-so-grand entrance. PC: my friend Annie
Me and my awesome escort. Friends to this day! 🙂
Purple and Gold all the way!
Cherry blossoms in this pretty centerpiece
My beautiful cake! Thank you Torrance Bakery and my brother’s friend Clarius for decorating it!
Smiles as I listen to all 18 candle speeches by the girls ❤
Me and my little brother in a suit!
Cutting the cake
Filipino traditional “Pandango Sa Ilaw” dance choreographed by my friend Vanessa ❤
Second Filipino dance performance choreographed by Vanessa. Epic ending!
Fortune cookies opened to reveal a thank-you message from me. PC: Annie
My point here is that while that whole night was one for the books, my actual 18th birthday was equally as memorable. At midnight my cousin Val and my brother brought me to Seven Eleven to buy my first lottery tickets and started the Krispy Kreme birthday doughnut tradition. In the morning, my brothers and mom took me to a cute crepe cafe in downtown Long Beach for brunch (because my brother knew I loved crepes) and walked around 2nd Street browsing the shops. That’ all this girl needs!
Always spending my birthday with my cousin Val ❤
My brother and I with those Krispy Kreme donuts!
Excited for those lottery tickets! Don’t judge my Hannah Montana shirt!
Brunch in Long Beach
Brunch in Long Beach
Only the fanciest of candles for my 18th birthday! 😛
It was such a mellow, relaxing day set aside from planning napkin colors, napkin rings, plate colors, food and cake tasting. Although those are moments to remember as well, I prefer spending my day of birth with those that are close to me and understand me the most as opposed to hundreds of people witness me make a spectacle of myself. It feels selfish. But I’m not going to lie, I look back at my Debut now and I don’t regret it one bit! Although, I’m sure my parent’s wallets do…thanks Mom and Dad!
However, I digress. Going back to the original reason for this post, how I spent my 22nd birthday. I was busy trying to finish repainting my room the evening leading up to my birthday. So when my brother told me to get ready to go to Krispy Kreme at 10 p.m., I was completely covered in paint and obviously not ready to leave the house. My cousin Kaelin was dropped off at my house and my brother drove to pick up my cousin Jeff to participate in my birthday doughnut tradition. I was feeling self-conscious because of all the paint, but my brother reminded me that the tradition was never glamorous. As you can see from the pictures above, we were all in our pajamas when it started!
I slept on the living room couch that night after watching The Parent Trap and I woke up the next morning to my mom opening the front door and bringing in balloons for me. She does that every year and I think it’s the cutest thing. I’m not much of a balloon person, but I appreciate them from my mom. Anyways, I got up, made myself an acai bowl for breakfast (yum!) while my brother got ready for his summer class. When my mom and I were about to leave to pick up Val, my brother found out that he didn’t have class so we decided to include him in our afternoon plans. We picked up my brother after the girls got pedicures 🙂
After the pamper session, it was time for lunch so my brother drove us to the Anaheim Packing District. Up until that day, I was hearing and seeing so much about the place. Val visited a couple of weeks prior and said that I would enjoy it because of the aesthetics of the place. She was right, I loved it. It was definitely right up my alley. If you don’t know what the Anaheim Packing District is, it’s a series of buildings in Anaheim that have been restored into a unique gathering place for events and vendors of all sorts. The Packing House, a restored citrus Packing House, is a two-story building with various food/drink/dessert vendors. It’s an interesting place to try something new or something old with a twist. Check out the vendors in the link above! All of the vendors are unique in design and product. There are swinging benches, plenty of tables, cushions and chairs to enjoy your food/drink of choice and plants galore scattered through out the whole of the building.
We ate lunch at Rolling Boil, a hot pot spot. Hot pot is an East Asian stew consisting of a metal pot with broth of your choice in which you cook different types of meats and vegetables. It also includes a variety of dipping sauces for the cooked items and is served, at least at this establishment, with rice. I had never tried hot pot or shabu shabu (Japanese version of a similar dish) and I liked it! (To my friends that have been wanting me to try it: it finally happened!) My brother and Val have tried hot pot and shabu shabu before so it was fun to see my mom experience this new type of meal with me. Besides almost being overcome with how spicy the spicey broth was, she thought it was delicious.
Vegetarian Hot Pot Meal
I loved the quirky art and beautiful flowers they had there!
I love this quote.
Awkward family photos at their best.
After sweating from the heat of not only the broth itself, but the spice, we all went upstairs to fall in line for PopBar, a vendor that sells handmade gelato on a stick. I had seen a lot of Instagram photos of popsicles from PopBar, so even though I waited approximately 30 minutes to order, I was looking forward to getting a taste. I got pistachio, half-dipped in dark chocolate, topped with almonds and coconut shavings….AMAZING. My mouth is watering as I’m typing this. It’s a bit pricey, but I think it’s worth it. We took our pops to the nearest cushion and had a bit of a photo shoot. The cashier of course said “don’t forget to hashtag popbar Anaheim!” which I did of course. My name is Melissa and I am an abuser of hashtags. #noshame
After becoming almost too full to function, we drove back home and dropped Val off. It was late afternoon by the time we made it back to the house and as I was trying to doze of into a short food coma, my Dad came from work, said “Happy Birthday!” and handed me this bad boy.
I was so surprised!! I mentioned wanting a DSLR ONCE to my brother in a random conversation and had no idea my Dad was listening. Now that I think about it, my brother probably told my Dad (duh!) I never expected to receive one because I know how expensive they can be. I was actually planning on saving up for one, but leave it to my Dad to beat me to it! He is the best at getting deals on anything technology-based, so I’m sure he found a good deal somewhere, which I’m happy about. I am ecstatic to have a high quality camera that I can use to capture memories and share great-quality pictures on this blog! After all of the camera excitement, I took a much needed nap, woke up, had dinner and cake with my family, tried to take pictures with the new camera and went to a local bar for a few drinks with my brother and Val.
This delicious Red Velvet cake. Reminiscent of my 18th birthday cake.
Cute refreshments to cap the night off!
The night ended with a run to In’n’out for animal-style fries. Who could ask for a better birthday? Every time July 7th comes around, I am reminded of how lucky I am to be surrounded by people who unconditionally care about me. My family and my friends are all I need. They honestly spoil me way may too much and I’m grateful they think I deserve it. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed rehashing how I spent my first day as a 22-year-old. Cheers to days that remind me that a happy life consists of nothing more than spending my time with people I love.