Two Thousand Thirteen

BeautyCon, BeautyCon 2013, BeautyCon LA, BeautyCon Los Angeles, beauty vlogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, fashion blogger LA

So, here we are. Here’s the part where I say something about how fast this year has gone by, and how many things have happened, and how incredible it’s been to hear feedback from people who have been reading my blog. But I don’t think there’s a way I can adequately express my thanks and tell you how much it means to me that you’re here. And I fancy myself a writer, so that’s just embarrassing.

This year has seen so much- an utter career shift, exciting adventures, personal challenges, and so much growth and discovery. You’ve traveled with me twice to Los Angeles, first for BeautyCon and then again for the whirlwind of LA Fashion Week. You’ve hung out with me on rooftops, you’ve checked out art exhibit openings, and you’ve had more than your fair share of wine in Napa (and another glass, and another glass, and another). One Gatsby party is never enough, so you came on over for my own version. You’ve also gotten to know my family, seen me without makeup, and peek into what life is like when I put fashion on pause.

2013 has certainly been a trip. It’s been the most tumultuous year that I can remember, but all that change felt so necessary. Now it’s time to work out the kinks. I’m not sure what 2014 will bring, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one.

So, again, thank you. Thank you for reading and for being here. Tonight, I’ll be raising a glass to you. Happy New Year!

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San Francisco skyline

And of course, I could never have done this without the man behind the camera. I love you.

James Winstead photographer

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Lake Tahoe Winter

Lake Tahoe Winter

Of all the Christmas movies I watched this year, White Christmas has to be one of my favorites. Sure, I’m a sucker for good tap-dancing, and Bing Crosby’s velvety voice isn’t something you easily forget. But that fervor, that desire, that need for snow around Christmas- that gets me every time.

When I was a little girl growing up across the bridge in Marin County, every single wish I made was always for snow. I wanted our house to be covered in it, absolutely blanketed. Other than the one time I built a Hail Man out of a pittance of the white crumbly stuff, my wish remained ungranted.

And then we moved to Minnesota, where my first Halloween was wiped out by an ice storm and -40 degree temperatures. Yeah, I know- be careful what you wish for. Now that I’ve migrated back to my native Bay Area, I’m finding myself wishing yet again for snow. But this time, I just need to drive four hours to find a Lake Tahoe winter.

Jim and I spend the days after Christmas exploring around Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley, blasting downhill on our skis (and board), taking a tram up to dizzying heights, and consuming no small amount of festive beverages. No snow fell from the sky, but I was still as happy as a child.

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Northstar skating rink, skiing at Northstar

Lake Tahoe, Lake Tahoe sunset, Lake Tahoe winter

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Trim the Tree

tree trimming party, tree trimming, christmas party

No shortage of square footage should ever get in the way of the Christmas spirit. At least, that’s the justification I used to validate squeezing a 6-foot tree into a 300-square-foot studio. Getting it inside was a struggle, and it took us three separate tries before it was actually standing up straight. But now that it’s decked out in twinkly lights and cheery little ornaments, our tree looks right at home.

Trimming the tree has always been my favorite holiday tradition. Back at home, we’d ward off the Minnesota chill with mugs of spiced cider and The Muppets Christmas CD. Even though we’re several thousand miles away, I keep those same traditions by hosting a tree trimming party for our friends. But this time, the cider is spiked!

My lovely mother-in-law is a fellow Christmas lover, and last year she sent us an amazing collection of ornaments that had special meaning. Throughout Jim’s life, she picked out a new ornament for him every year and dated them. Now every time we hang the ornaments on the tree, we get to experience a little chronological journey of Jim’s childhood. Down the road, I might have to take a page out of her book and do the same.

We’re so grateful to our friends for filling our home with laughter and joy. It hasn’t always been easy making our home so far away from where each of us grew up, but having good friends definitely makes it feel a lot like Christmas.

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