bonjour mon petit baguette

except for the last one, all shot with a fujifilm x-t10

Here is the thing about Paris in the rain: 
In the movies, you can just skip around a puddle and jump in a taxi, and your baguettes and outfit stay nice and crisp. It's all very romantic and French and seems easily achievable with the right kind of hat. In reality, you get a bit damp and a bit frizzy and your outfit looks a bit limp. (But your baguette still tastes incredible. all three of them.)

 Paris was lovely. It looks exactly like you've always wanted to, and is filled with beautiful, silent, intimidatingly chic people who have made wearing monochromatic outfits and bread an art form. They walk impossibly fast, and drive like absolute crazy people (and I'm from California). The museums are huge, the coffee is strong, and the line of people trying to sell you souveniers are seemingly endless. We were there for three days over our anniversary last week, and it wasn't even close to enough time. Much like LA and London, Paris is the kind of city I'd need to go back to at least two or three more times to even wrap my brain around. With that said, there are certainly some things we did on this trip I never need to do again (*cough* Louvre *cough, sideways glance* Versailles). 

If you trust me on this, skip the Louvre and go to the Orangerie (tickets: $8.50 pp for students) instead. Honestly, the Mona Lisa is not that impressive, and having seen it printed on every other surface known to man, seeing it in the canvas was not that much different. Monet's Water Lilies exhibit in the Orangerie is a completely different experience. You literally have to sit down, then stand up, walk in a circle, walk back, get closer, and then go clear to the other side of the room and sit down again to take it all in. It's absolutely stunning, and no photo or recreation can do it any kind of justice.

Regarding food: TAKE EVERY SINGLE OPPORTUNITY PRESENTED TO BUY BREAD. I cannot over-state how good the baguettes are, and you can buy them for around one euro in any bakery you see. They're crunchy and soft and mmmmmm. For more "authentic" French food, get as far away from any restaurant with English subtitles as you can. After getting thoroughly lost on our anniversary (we walked nearly 10 miles around the city) Jordan and I settled on this little hole-in the wall in an alley because "it had character" (translation: we were starving) and I FINALLY got to try proper raclette. It's a dish involving melted cheese, which is all you really need to know. That, and you need to always take the grill pan out of the grill when it has little bits of cheese on it because it will set on fire. Not that I did that. Not at all.

The trip ended with us literally RUNNING across the city attempting to make our train back to Germany after the Metro stranded us somewhere deep underground. I nearly lost a lung and we missed our train, but hey, it was a good story.

I'm going to write a longer post with general sort of tips for traveling in Europe (Rick Steves, watch your job) but for Paris in particular, I would recommend this: if you're traveling just to see the city, and not for work or anything, forget about trying to out-dress everyone and just wear shoes you can walk in.* Taking a taxi or uber will spare your feet but not your wallet, and you'll miss out on a lot of the everyday stuff that makes this city so beautiful. I saw many a stylish American woman falling over themselves on the cobblestones this whole city is paved with, and a rolled ankle is not the sort of accessory you want to take home. 

x Justina

*Note: this is not an endorsement for ugly "walking shoes". Just wear your normal shoes. You're not climbing Everest.

pps. this wifi is suspicious af so pardon the incredible posting delays,
 this has taken nearly four hours to upload.

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pack your bags kid

lil suitcase: delsey bastille lite
big suitcase: delsey bastille lite 29' spinner

It's no secret this time - we're going to Germany in a week, for a month. That's right, I'm packing up my brand new Delsey bags and hitting the skies again, headed for the land of pretzels and lederhosen. I'm really excited, and wildly underprepared. It's always like this with me - I make a plan, and lists, and schedules months in advance, and then about a week or so before, I abandon all of them. In this way, I almost ritualistically forget things. Important things. Like my-contacts-and-most-of-my-underwear things. 

But I'm trying to change my patterns - or at least pack a little earlier than the morning of.  Mainly because it's roughly 30 degrees everywhere in Europe, and my toes can't afford me leaving my socks at home. Also because I travel too much for this to keep happening, it's wildly embarrassing.  But (obviously) I need help. Packing tips? Send 'em. Techniques? Drop me a youtube link. 

Then all I have to do is make it on the plane.

x Justina

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fresh kicks

I grew up in sartorial chaos.

 No one in my family dresses the same, as a rule. Trying to get ready for holiday photos was an absolute nightmare. No one agrees on patterns, aesthetics, or, god forbid, colors. But we always had Chucks. (Pink, black, bright red, and solid glitter, to be exact.) They were the one thing we all agreed on, probably because we could each have our own look. I can't say I was never in awe of the families who dressed like an LL Bean catalogue, but hey, it's what makes us unique. Years later, our chucks are still a wardrobe staple, and since he's part of the family now, we had to get Jordan his own pair. Don't worry, he's keeping the streak alive - he insisted on wearing floral print even though I was in plaid. 

But I guess that's what makes Chucks so iconic - you can wear them with whatever you want, 
and your girlfriend is still going to put you on her instagram feed. 

x Justina  

ps. how blinding are these? we need to put some miles on them.

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parked on a freeway | LA Photo Diary

You've never stood still until you've sat in your car on the 101 at rush hour in LA because a semi truck has flipped off an overpass onto the freeway in front of you. That may seem very specific, but if you've been to LA, you know it's not.

Every year I go to LA this time of year, and every year it pours rain for the first day. Then the sun comes out, the crowds resume at observatory, and the almond macademia milk lattes start flowing. (Let me spare you the $6.25. They're gross.) Sallie + I always try to find new things to squeeze inbetween our tried-and-true favorites, and this week was no different. 

We hit up The Last Bookstore for some literary enlightenment (and solid photo opportunities, if we're being honest). Let me disclaim that while this is most definitely a bookstore, it is primarily a hipster tourist trap, and is filled to the brim with vageuly 20-something year old people discussing ~philosophy~. There are also people everywhere with cameras who will probably take your picture without asking, and a couple of decent books. 

The Grand Central Market is a short walk from the bookstore, and is peak LA. Filled with every kind of food you could possibly want to try (and some you might not), each stand is topped with a massive neon sign. There's vegan japanese ramen, authentic german currywurst, and the aforementioned almond macademia latte's. There's also outdoor seating that's perfect for enjoying the food, petting dogs, and eaves dropping on people who work in ~the industry~. 

Right across the street is the Angels Flight funicular - for $1, you can ride the shortest possible railway in the US. Going 300-ish feet up the side of a hill, it's more of an experience than a necessity (you can just take the stairs) but it is fun, and you're rewarded with a great view of Downtown LA. Plus, you get to use the word "funicular", and when are you going to have that opportunity again?

The next day, we got in the car and drove 4 hours to a mountain in the desert by the Mexican Border,

but that's another story. 

x Justina

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into 2018 and beyond

Well guys, 2017 was the best one yet. 10/10 for being a good time.

Every year I write this post and realize just how much went down in such a short amount of time, and how much of it I had already forgotten.  *mom voice* that's just the way it goes.

Let's crack on then, shall we? 2017 never took a break. Not even for a little bit. Not even when I asked nicely.

 Jordan + I went to Ireland, Disneyland, and Vegas, racked up hundreds of miles on the highways and byways of California, and some in the skies over LA.  I went a'sliding on a glass slide 1,000 feet above the city, and Sallie took some of the most iconic photos in this blog's history. This year I convinced Jordan to come with to summer camp and 3,000+ (no, not a typo, the boy is trigger happy) photos were taken. Mosquito bites were had by all. We drove four hours for a burrito, and I flew five and a half for beignets.  We went to a color run that I did not run at. I stood in auditory rapture of Lorde, Chance the Rapper (twice, I'm spoiled), lil Dickey, and NPR. I turned 20! And went to New York! And got velvet overalls!

The blog turned 7.  If it were a child, it'd be in second grade, and that is as close to being the parent of a second grader that I need to be for a long time.  I finished the semester with most of my sanity and most of my grades, submitted all my college applications, and I was also appointed the Student Representative on the Board of Directors for the Online News Association, so I'll be taking names and visiting...TEXAS. To say I'm excited would be putting it lightly.

Remember when I thought 2016 was wild? We all underestimate sometimes. My resolution for this year was to "do more of what I want" and I did. It wasn't always easy, and frankly, I needed a nap most of the 365 days, but I think I pulled off 2017 in a spectacular fashion.

My resolution for 2018 is: Say yes if you want to.

 2018 is going to be a big year, and is already filling up with things I am both excited for and terrified of, and they all required a bit of a leap on my behalf. From the month-long trip to Germany to the new swimsuit, I have to summon Steph Curry and shoot my shot, even if my anxiety is telling me to sit down.

I would also really would like to go see the piggies in the Bahamas before my president figures out a way to outlaw pigs or women swimming or acknowledging that the ocean is real or something, so I supposed that's this years material goal.

2017, it's been really real.
2018, let's party. 

x Justina


it's the holidays, I'm baking (cookies)

It's Christmas Eve, SANTA IS COMING.

 I was informed by those of you on instagram that cooking posts would be favorably received. I can't really cook, but there are a few photo-worthy things I can churn out, so I figured it was worth a shot. Especially because we're almost upon a new year, and if this goes terribly wrong, we can just leave it in 2017 along with fanny packs and most of our politicians.


what a lucky girl

mosebacke rain jacket : stutterheim 

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Obviously, I love to eat, but I also love spending a day thinking about how lucky I am. I am very blessed in a lot of ways, and even though I try to remember that every day, it's not always easy when it's midnight and I still have half my math homework to get through. This is a day for me to say thank you, and to get on my (new, very snazzy, impeccably waterproof) raincoat, and go for a walk with my family. To tell my partner why he's my favorite, and to remind all my friends that I love them. To pet my dog, and clean my house, and invite more people over for dinner. To be happy, and pass it on.  

Thank you for hanging out with me,
 and for making this little piece of the internet the best place to be. 

Happy thanksgiving!

x Justina 

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once I was 7 years old

Wow. It's been seven years guys. 

Seven years ago today, I sat down on a much clunkier computer and started building this blog, all because my mom told me that I probably wouldn't keep it up for longer than two weeks, and I wanted to prove her wrong. I'm so glad that this is the only thing I've been right about. 

We've had an good time, haven't we? And we've all grown up (just a little bit though). When I started this, I was 13 years old, 5'1, and everything I knew came from old issues of Teen Vogue I bought at the library for $0.25. Now I'm 20, 5'8, and a hoarder who still has all of those magazines. My world has been broadened immensely, and my overall collection is getting a bit out of hand, but I'm still having the time my life here with all of you. 

Thank you for reading, liking, 
and always forgiving me for tragically failing at any kind of structure. 

You guys are the bomb.com

x Justina

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market day

photos by jordan

shirt: charlotte russe
jeans: aeo

California is a fruit basket. 

No, I'm not talking about people from LA. We just really have a ton of fruit. and vegetables. and bread. and juice. looooots of juice. All of that adds up into some pretty fantastic farmers markets. 

One of my personal favorites is the one on Saturday mornings in Davis. From the still half-drunk college students to the frozen apple juice, it's just really cute. There's tons of dogs, and a woman who makes biriani, and lots of fresh flowers for me to sniff. But this weekend, I had a more important mission: PERSIMMONS. They're my absolute favorite fruit, and I wait for MONTHS for them to show up at the market, at which point I promptly buy them by the pound. There's an art to the whole thing, and I'm not going to divulge any of my secrets because I don't want any competition.

I keep waiting for some sort of sign (other than the presence of PSLs) that it's ~actually autumn~, but it's been 20 years, and California has barely turned a leaf.

x Justina 

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spooking season

overalls: modcloth

The only thing better than the start of spooking season? Blue corduroy overalls.

A slight breeze rustled through the evergreen trees in my suburb, and like that, it was fall. That's really the only indicator we get here. It was enough for me to reach for my brand new overalls from Modcloth and hit the old 'patch. When I was a kid, I used to ferret around for the biggest possible pumpkin my little stick arms could carry. Now, I just look for something cute and sufficiently spooky.

Speaking of childhood: corduroyyyyyy. These overalls are so satisfyingly textured. I'm constantly running my hands down them. Plus they're this deep navy blue color that makes them a bit fancier than my standard get-up. Even more enticingly, they just feel like fall. Or at least, what I imagine ~fall~ to feel like. They were part of my latest Modcloth raid - wait until y'all see the velvet dress.

We spent this evening wandering through one of the biggest corn mazes in California with a very confusing map, our suspiciously cheerful friends, and a rustling in the stalks that Jordan said was a mouse..

..but I'm pretty sure it was just a very small ghost.

x Justina

ps. I need ideas for a Halloween costume!! Any suggestions?

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