A morning at the Original LA Flower Market

One of the items that’s been on my Los Angeles bucket list forever has been to visit the Original LA Flower Market, and I finally had a chance to check it out! Since 1921, the flower market has been the hub of in-season flowers at wholesale prices. While most of the customers are flower industry professionals (event planners, retail florists, etc), the market was magical enough for us tourists!
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Some tips:

  • While it may be difficult to want to buy flowers as soon as you get there (they’re so pretty, it is hard not to want to!), we found it best to walk around for awhile and scope out the best prices. This season, hydrangeas, sunflowers, carnations, and babies breath seemed to all be priced around $2-5 so it didn’t really matter which vender we purchased from. The roses, mums, lilies, snap dragons, and tons of other speciality flowers ranged all over the board so it really depends on the season!
  • Consider how you will be storing your flowers for the drive home BEFORE you get to the market. We knew we wanted to hangout around Downtown LA for a bit after this excursion so we quickly improvised what to do. All of the flowers were stored in big white buckets throughout the district and we figured that maybe one of the venders would be gracious enough to let us buy a bucket to hold our flowers in the car. It took a couple tries but overall, the venders were incredibly friendly and we purchased a bucket and some water for $1! I would suggest bringing a bucket with some water to have for the car ride home if you will be traveling far. While the flowers are cheaper than store prices, they are just as delicate and beautiful 🙂
  • Bring cash! It costs $1 to enter the main building, and the venders will charge you extra if you use a debit card.
  • Bring friends and turn this adventure into a photography session! Flowers make everything more aesthetically pleasing 🙂

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After our lovely trip to buy all the flowers we could ever need, we decided to continue our LA adventure and find someplace for brunch! Bottega Louie just so happened to be five minutes away and I’ve been wanting to check this place out for a long time as well! It did not disappoint. I got two macaroons, lemon and raspberry, and I definitely recommend them. I have a special place in my heart for almond croissants, and there’s was one of the best I’ve had! The place was full of people, so it was loud and bustling. If it is in your budget, Bottega Louie seems like a great place for a fun meal with friends!

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As we were driving, my friend Christina spotted Philz Coffee on the corner of the street. She was thrilled to finally have found the location of her favorite San Francisco coffee shop in LA! Guys, let me tell you. The Iced Mint Mojito medium roast coffee was incredible. With real mint leaves and everything! I highly recommend it.

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So there you have it- a really great morning (and afternoon!) in downtown LA. I’m slowly marking off places on my summer bucket list and it’s been a blast! I’ve loved living in this awesome, adventurous city the past couple of years and I’m looking forward to my last semester of college! Graduating a semester early is daunting, because woah adulthood, but I cannot wait to dive right into my studies and get working!

Blessings,

Abby

Up to Yosemite we go!

Two weekends ago, I went on a road trip up north with my boyfriend and his parents. Yosemite National Park is my boyfriend’s favorite place on earth (and he’s been all over the world!) and I have never been as an adult, so we decided we needed to make a visit immediately. His grandparents have a house in Oakhurst, which is coincidently where my mom lived for a bit growing up!

So Thursday evening, we loaded up, got all of our food necessities, and slept most of the six hour drive to the cabin. Since we got in late that night, it was nice to have a relaxing morning the next day.

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Sleepy heads scouting trees for hammocking.

We eventually got going for the day and drove up to the park! Driving in for the first time was amazing. The mountains were so expansive and majestic, and it was truly breathtaking.

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View from Glacier Point.

View from Glacier Point.

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The park was buzzing with tourists, so we weren’t able to do one of the hikes we had planned. Tyler and his parents were super awesome and gave me a tour of the valley floor, and it was so fun to hear about their years of memories in Yosemite.

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We left the park that night, and got dinner at The Pizza Factory! My mom and her siblings worked there in high school, and I heard stories of this place for so long so it was fun to check it out! The next morning we were able to sleep in again, and it was so nice to wake up to fresh mountain air, although it made me miss Tahoe for sure. My mom spent most of her summers at Bass Lake so we headed up there for a quick drive to check out the scenery. The lake was super low because of the drought, but we passed the church my mom went to, as well as her favorite burger joint! Next, we drove over to Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad. This place was  awesome! The train ride was about an hour long, and it was fascinating to hear about the historic log trains that traveled through the Sierra Mountains. I would definitely recommend this tourist stop for your next visit! Any sort of excursion through the Sierra National Forest is bound to be beautiful 🙂

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The next day we got up bright and early for an adventure to Hetch Hetchy, the northwest corner of YNP. Tyler’s family had never been to that part of the park, and he and his dad were especially excited. It was about a two hour drive from the cabin, but so incredibly scenic that it went by quickly. We ventured over to the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and the O’Shaughnessy Dam. Although man-made, it was still a beautiful site. We decided to do the 5-mile hike over to the Wapama Falls, which probably wasn’t our brightest idea in the 80 degree heat, but the views were worth it. IMG_9016

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After we finished lunch, we headed to Tuolemne Meadows. Now this area of Yosemite was so beautiful, I never wanted to leave! We drove through the campground and it was awesome! We all fell in love with Tuolumne, and cannot wait to visit again.

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“Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.” ― Ansel Adams
 Tunnel View of El Capitan, and Half Dome in the back
Tunnel View of El Capitan, and Half Dome in the back

The next morning we packed up, cleaned the cabin, and headed back down to LA. It was a tough transition for me back into smoggy LA, but I am immensely grateful to Tyler and his parents for inviting me on this weekend vacation to finally experience Yosemite! They were fantastic hosts and tour guides, and I am looking forward to our next adventures.

Blessings,

Abby

21 years

Life, Love, and Lace Blog // Celebrating my 21st birthday! Today is my 21st birthday. Eeeee! Birthdays are fun. They always prompt a sentimental flashback to my previous year. 20 was a really crazy year, full of ups and down and all sorts of life lessons. I wanted to compile a list of the things I’ve learned over time and some words of advice for anyone out there reading. I’m not standing on a soapbox, I just want to share my heart with you all!

In the past 21 years (or more importantly, in the last year), I’ve learned…

  1. To really love. Love deep, love hard- just love. We need each other and we need each other to love selflessly and without abandon.
  2. To step away from my phone/device/Pinterest. It is incredibly important to get to know the people right in front of me because it is a more worthy and satisfying relationship.
  3. To spend more time and money on experiences, rather than materialistic things. This is hard (really, really hard) because I love shopping but holy moly, those new pair of jeans will never compare to moments spent with people I love. Experiences bring more richness to my life more than a full closet ever will. One day, I will want more than a full closet or a fancy car to show for myself and I am glad that I will have experiences and adventures that will shape who I am.
  4. That Mom knows best. Actually, parents know best. They are human, but they are also superheroes- just as I believed when I was six. I don’t know how they do it all, but they do and I feel more loved and encouraged day after day.
  5. To not let fear run my life. Due to my more introverted nature, sometimes I get shy and quiet. Which leads to me letting the larger personalities own their spots in the limelight, while I stay to the back. However, I am capable, I am enough, and I need to constantly remember this. Life is not easy, but living in fear holds me back from experiencing way too many things.
  6. That failure is not defeat.Last October, I decided (rather abruptly) to change my degree emphasis, which meant changing the whole career path I had designed for myself. I felt that God was truly calling me to step outside of that more narrow path, and into his perfect, good, and infinitely more capable and transforming hands. Signing those papers to switch my emphasis and into a life of unknown (career wise) felt more like a failure at the time. It felt like a defeat- I couldn’t handle the pressures of the classes I would have to take and the career itself felt more life-draining than life-giving so I gave up. I felt like God had more in store for my life, and I decided to rest in that truth. Now 9 months later, I know his goodness and faithfulness better than before. I finished that next semester with the best grades I’ve gotten since high school and landed an internship with an amazing non-profit. This is not to boast, but to simply that GOD’S GOT YOU. I felt broken down, weak, and like a complete failure. I watched Him flip those negative feelings right side up, thus molding me into a more trusting and God-fearing daughter of Christ. I failed, but I didn’t stop trying. More importantly, God provided.
  7. That sometimes, staying in your pajamas all day watching Netflix and baking treats is completely necessary. The sooner you accept that, the happier you will be- I promise.
  8. To always be a kid at heart. As I’ve written in previous posts, the joy I feel after working with children is second to none. January was a tough month for me but once I started working in the church nursery, the childlike joy was exuberant and irresistible. It doesn’t take much to know that kind of joy again. Jump in puddles, get excited over ice cream, dance in the rain, sing in the car, and talk about your day with the biggest smile on your face.
  9. To avoid driving at all costs (just kidding, kind of). Parking permits/tickets, expensive gas prices, car problems….I hate them all and I wish I could just ride around LA on a bike because of them. However, LA is not built for that. While I do appreciate my car (thanks Dad!!), I’ve realized most of the”adult” life lessons I’v learned revolve around my car. My patience is tested and my wallet is open more often than not. Pay your parking bills on time, get your tires rotated, and call your parents.
  10. That my comfort zone is great and all…but sometimes it’s important to live on the edge. Take risks, don’t be afraid, push yourself to new bounds. In summary, get out of your introvert self and live fully. The dreams I have should not simply stay on my Pinterest boards and Tumblr pages. They need to be lived because life is just too short.
  11. To be genuine. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”~ Maya Angelou.
  12. That life is not a race. The college years often feel like this. Who will get the best grades? Who will graduate on time? Who is in a relationship? When will they get married? Your journey is yours and yours only. Don’t compare your timeline to anyone else’s. Your achievements are incredible, valuable, and important.
  13. To rest in the moments that feel perfect. When the sun slowly rises and you are sitting on your patio with a cup of coffee with a good book, when a baby falls asleep on your lap, or when you painted your nails without one smudge. Take pictures if necessary, but maybe not every time. Recognizing these little moments over time has created a deeper sense of contentment in my heart and I have noticed this is one of the ways God likes to speak to me. Or, these are the moments that I feel closer to Him because of his creation. Hold on to these moments and take any measure to not forgot them.
  14. To develop hobbies and stay engaged with them. For me, this looks like writing on this blog, reading, shopping (well, fashion), working with kids, and adventuring. Even in the rigorous world of academia, “me” time is vital. In high school, I found myself bored way too often and I knew this needed to change once I got to college. This has been a work in progress over the last couple years (is Netflix watching a hobby…?), but now that I’m living on my own for the summer I have been able to devote my free time to my hobbies and it is so life-giving. It also makes me ridiculously excited to graduate and start adult life so homework won’t get me down!
  15. To not ever, ever settle. For bad coffee, or for friendships that aren’t healthy anymore. Seasons change, people change, and life moves on.
  16. To not settle for anything less than God’s best because of my fear of not being worthy. This goes back to #5. I am capable of achieving great things, and I am thankful for the relationships around me that remind me of this daily.
  17. To spend as much time with my family as possible. Family is forever and ever. They are my world and my foundation. It would be impossible for me to find a better family if I tried. Good thing I don’t have to! They have my whole heart. They are home.
  18. That I’ve been blessed with far more than I deserve, which is the greatest gift in the world. Take the time to count your blessings and realize how privileged you are. (Instagram will become far less important at this point, fair warning). Stay humble, it will get you farther than you’ve ever dreamed. We’ve all been so blessed with much more than we deserve and God’s love and grace is abundant.
  19. To be nice to everyone, at all times. Live with an open mind. People are unique and on a completely different journey than myself. Each and every person is created in the image of God, and they deserve at least a simple smile. Kindness goes a long way.
  20. To always be myself. Unapologetically. Part of this is my straight-foward personality but I truly believe that I should not have to apologize for being whole-heartedly myself. I have told multiple people that year 20 of my life has come with the most grueling life lessons to learn but they have, without a doubt, taught me to better understand who I am and that I should always be myself no matter what.
  21. That not everything is worth getting upset over. Having a clear mind and a level conscious will get you far. Life is insanely unpredictable and unfortunate events are unavoidable, but don’t be set back by heartbreak, disappointment, or rejection for long. God is in control and he has your best interests at heart. Rest in His promises. Even though after every high, comes a low- God is still there. He sees you, he knows you, and can comfort you better than anything on Earth.

I cannot wait to see what year 21 has to offer. God has blessed me with such a wonderful life and purpose on this earth. My family & friends are beyond amazing and I’m so grateful for them and who they are in my life. Cheers to another year!

Blessings,

Abby