Oh Chicago

I am not typically a city girl, but it is safe to say I fell in LOVE with Chicago. I was very fortunate to be able to attend the Chicago Collective event the last couple of days with Cuff To Collar. What is the Chicago Collective you ask? Well, it is a men’s apparel and accessory trade show where tons of vendors come to show their summer/fall product lines in hopes that buyers come ready to shop their product. For those of you who know me, you know how perfect this event was for me and for those of you who don’t, well I have a passion for merchandising (especially men’s apparel). Not only did I get to experience a new side of fashion merchandising/buying, but I also got to see some amazing product and meet some great people along the way.

So what made me fall in love with Chicago? Well, I’m not sure about you but I wouldn’t mind my typical Monday night to consist of eating deep dish pizza with my friends at Lou Malnati’s, then heading to Three Dots and A Dash for an under ground tiki bar experience, and finally heading up stairs to close the bar at Bub City which is a local country bar with a live cover band (they also make a really delicious drink call back porch tea). Usually crowded over populated areas stress me out and aren’t fun to me, but Chicago felt so much more spread out compared to San Francisco. I know these two cities are totally different, but San Francisco is my reference point giving where I grew up. So obviously I got to experience good food and fun nightlife, but I was also lucky enough to get to explore Chicago and do a little site seeing before I spent my day meeting vendors. Chicago is a beautiful city considering most cities can look dirty and crowded; it was very spacious and clean. I was able to walk from Navy Pier to Millennium Park and see The Bean and everything in between. I was happy to be such the little tourist.

I know Chicago has so much more to see than what I was able to jam into two and a half days, so I can’t wait to plan another trip to visit. If you haven’t considered Chicago for a vacation, I honestly recommend you visit at least once. I’ll go ahead and wrap this post up with some pictures of my trip. As always thank you for following along, and I hope you enjoy!

Xoxo

Nicole

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Hello 2017

There is only one rule for 2017 and that’s we do NOT look back at 2016. Ok, ok… maybe I’m being a little dramatic. WHO AM I KIDDING?! 2016 was a big year for me, and although I learned a lot about myself I don’t wish to look back at the year. Struggling with your happiness is not easy because you feel like you are never at peace, but the first step was realizing how unhappy I was and putting one foot in front of the other in a direction that would make me happy. No one wants to look back at a time in their life when they were unhappy, right? So goodbye 2016 and HELLO 2017!

So here I am, one week into the New Year and I am asking myself what all do I want to accomplish in 2017? Well, for starters, I am not going for the cliché caption many people are guilty of using “A new year, a new me”. I’m choosing to look at the new year with a different perspective because I have come to really love who I am so I don’t want to be a new version of myself, just a better version of myself. I know it might all sound the same, but to me it means something different and that’s all that matters.

So what are my goals? Well I have a few, nothing crazy or too specific. I want to leave them a little vague so that I can decide if I feel accomplished at the end of the year. Here we go:

 

Health & Body

For starters I want to feel comfortable in my own body. This doesn’t mean I want to hit a special number or even that I want to get into a specific work out routine to gain a noticeable amount of muscle. I just want to feel healthy, and comfortable in the clothes I wear while making a conscious effort to exercise and eat right.

Friends & Family

In the upcoming year I want to continue to strengthen my relationship with my family. I want to visit my sister and nieces and spend quality time with them. I want to continue to sustain my strong friendships with my life long friends, but I also want to branch out and continue to make new friends. I want to constantly support and love the people who matter most to me.

Travel

I want to take advantage of where I live and take the time to explore areas around me that I haven’t seen before. I want to get outdoors more and spend time in nature. It might not be California, but Kentucky is beautiful in its own way and there is plenty to see in the states around me. Lastly I want to travel to a destination I’ve always wanted to travel to but didn’t have the time or the money.

Mind & Spirit

I have become a much more open-minded person than I have ever been in the past, and I want to continue to have an open mind and try to understand other points of view. I want to continue to embrace change because I still struggle with this, believe it or not. Most importantly I want to relax a little and not be so damn hard on myself. I am not perfect, and that is ok!

I am sure that there is so many other blogs posted about new years resolutions, so thank you for reading mine and I hope you continue to follow along in 2017!

Xoxo,

Nicole

 

 

 

Kentucky Livin… California Dreamin

Every time I have had someone ask where I am from in the last 4 months I have answered honestly with California, and it is instantly followed with confused looks and an over exaggerated “HOW DID YOU END UP IN KENTUCKY?!” response. I never really understood why people made such a big deal of it until the last week and a half. I AM COMPLETELY FROZEN! I am not exaggerating either. The coldest it has been back home is what low 50’s? Yeah well as I am writing this it is currently 15 degrees. This morning I showed an act of true love for Cody (my dog for those who don’t know) when I had to run outside in 13 degree weather barefoot, in sweatpants with only a t-shirt on to open our back door that connects the screened in porch and backyard to let him out to pee because the door that is usually open was closed. To give you some perspective incase you are curious what 15 degree weather is like, I wore wool socks with my UGGS today, and I was still chilled. I now understand why people take tropical vacations in the middle of winter. Incase you can’t tell already, I absolutely 100 percent miss California winters.

I promise I really enjoy Kentucky, but people in Kentucky drive COMPLETELY different than people in California. An upside to driving in Kentucky is that the speed limits are higher here than back in the bay area. The interstate speed limit is 70, and most in town driving is 45-55. HOWEVER, with this people either drive 10 above the speed limit and make you feel like you are driving like a slow poke on the interstate, or they drive 10 below and make you crazy driving in town. Another thing people are notorious for here in Kentucky is running red lights. Not only does one car run a red light, but that car plus the two other cars behind it run the red light. NEVER proceed through an intersection with a green light with out counting to 5.

HAHA.. I was going to start writing about the stuff I enjoy about Kentucky, but I still miss a few things. I miss my favorite food places. In-n- Out, there are literally ZERO words that can tell you how much I miss it. Dutch Bros Coffee, yeah I’d probably kill someone for a mocha freeze or an iced white mocha. I am NOT kidding. I miss good Mexican food, street tacos, and even Murillos (only people back home will understand why). I REALLY miss going directly to the source for my favorite champagne and all of the views, and enjoying a bottle of champagne with best friends. Aside from all of that, I miss all of my friends. This is the time of year I am missing all of the holidays, birthdays, and family functions. I am incredibly lucky to have the support system I have though, I love all of you guys so much!

Now onto the bright side of Kentucky! I have met some great people so far. I have made friends with some down to earth people who have not only introduced me to a local pizza place (I have a serious weakness for good pizza), good beer, ALE- 8 (one of the best sodas ever) and bourbon, but they have accepted me with open arms and haven’t judged me for who I am and which is one out of place Californian. 2016 has been filled with so much change and so many challenges, and I can’t wait to put it behind me, but 2017 is filled with so many opportunities. I have so many great places to visit all with in driving distance. I have the next 8 months to actually LIVE my life and enjoy all that I can before I start another new chapter (I will share more later). One of my best friends, Michelle, is coming to visit at the beginning of the New Year and I can’t wait! SO EXCITED! Another one of my best friends is moving only 4.5 hours away from me and it will be so great to be close to someone from back home. Every day Kentucky starts to feel more and more like home. I know all of that sounds cheesy, cliché, or overly optimistic, but all of that beats anxiety and negativity every time. I hope you enjoyed this one, and I didn’t offend any Kentucky natives in the process.

Xoxo,

Nicole

Life Update

Hey Ya’ll! I know it has been a while since my last blog post, and I am so sorry if you have missed me. Who am I kidding? I am not that popular, lmao! As you can see, my sarcasm hasn’t disappeared. I have been a little busy living my life, but I also haven’t posted anything new because I had a little writer’s block. Then tonight it hit me! I started this blog to put myself out there and share my thoughts. So far I have shared a lot about myself, my past, and where I am in life, but I haven’t talked much about my daily life and what I am up to right now in the present. I haven’t shared much about my daily life because up until a month or two ago there wasn’t much to share, but I have made some progress in my life here in Kentucky and I’m here to share it with you.

So what’s new in life? Well for starters I have adventured out and visited new places. In the last few months I have traveled around parts of the country I hadn’t been to before, with my favorite place so far being Charleston SC. It is a gorgeous city to visit with beautiful architecture, a ton of history, and of course great food. I visited new parts of North Carolina that I hadn’t been to before, and saw first hand the impact of a natural disaster post Hurricane Matthew. I got to venture out locally and find local places to go to for good shopping, food and drinks. I have been able to see the seasons change, and seeing the change from summer to fall was gorgeous in this part of the country and much more dramatic than what I am use to back in California. However I am not looking forward to winter. I keep hearing that the worst is yet to come, but I am excited to see the first snowfall.

Aside from a little traveling and visiting new places, I have finally found not just one job but two jobs! After hundreds of applications and a couple of interviews, I finally found two opportunities. What are these opportunities you wonder? Well, I didn’t completely get out of retail, but I found a great LOCAL small business that specializes in fine men’s apparel. Cuff to Collar has been so much fun, not just because I get to stay close to my retail roots, but because I get to see how a small business operates. I work with some amazing people, and I am so grateful. While Cuff to Collar is a fun part- time job I also have a full time job working as an office assistant for Bluegrass.org. Bluegrass is mental health and substance abuse clinic and the organization provides services in 17 different counties through out Kentucky. Bluegrass has been a completely new experience for me, and so far it has been great to meet a wonderful team of people who have been so welcoming.

So not only have I traveled a little, finally found a job or two, but most exciting of all, I have met new people and made new friends. It has been great to feel like I have made some connections that allow Kentucky to feel more like home than it did when I first got here. Everyone I have become friends with has been so welcoming and truly so much fun to get to know. If any of you are reading this, thank you for being so accepting and supportive!

I know this post has been long so ill wrap it up with some pictures that show my journey from the moment I made my decision to move across the country up until this last weekend. Don’t you worry though, there is plenty left to share about life in Kentucky, the best is yet to come.

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Xoxo,

Nicole