Author Archive for southcoaststyleoc
When I first started this blog, I created it for myself so I could have a place to share a life journal with all of mine and Darshan’s family who didn’t live near us. We were just starting our life out together, living in a new city, traveling a ton, and laying our foundation for the future. It became a place where I connected with people I knew and eventually with people I didn’t know. I remained honest and diligent in always sharing my truth, which was sometimes difficult and scary but all together liberating and healing. Somewhere along the journey, using this space as a personal journal got lost. It turned into a business and while I remain proud proud of my journey and my work, what I realized is that I lost my space of connecting with people. I lost the freedom to share my raw and true self, and in a sense I lost my voice. I used to do this weekly entry every Monday called “Weekend Roundup” where I would share what adventures we had over the weekend, some big and sometimes none at all, but I would also take a bit of time to reflect on what the previous week had looked like and what I was looking forward to in the new week. I often shared more personal family photos, more raw and unposed iPhone favorites from the week, I wanted it to be a place where we could look back at over the years and always have memories to reflect on. It was also my way of taking a break from fashion posts and really connecting with my readers, it was the one post a week where I felt like I was just being ‘me’ and I think sometimes seeing the regular-ness allowed for people to see that I was more than my regular “ootd” or sale posts from the gram.
As I was getting ready for bed last night and reflecting on the week/weekend a flood of emotions and thoughts hit me and out of no where I had this calling to write it down somewhere. It didn’t feel like anything I could text or communicate to just one person, it was too ‘big’ for social media, and I realized that this was something I needed to journal. Right now I have so many thoughts running through my head, I don’t quite know how to sort them but one thing I know about myself is that I often find healing in two ways: writing and connecting with others.The truth is I have such a hard time connecting with people through personal dialogue, the introvert in me doesn’t always have the words when someone is sitting next to me, but give me a keypad and screen and out pour the feelings and emotions; that is why having this blog as a place to share was so important to me when I began this journey. That is why I think that even after taking some time away from it, I realized last night that it was time to reconnect. I need to get these thoughts out, I need to find my voice, my feelings need to be released, and these emotions need some taming, and now more than ever I need to feel a connection to others.
This last week has been one of the most difficult of my entire life. I lost one of my best friends, someone who I have known and looked up to my entire life, someone who has been a pillar in my world since as early as I can remember. It hasn’t felt right telling people over the last few days that my ‘cousin Lina’ passed away, she was just so so much more to me than that. Like we often said, we were cousin by labels and family tree diagrams, but in our hearts and soul, we were sisters… which is why for as long as I can remember, we called each other ‘cousin-sister.’ In our family we don’t look at cousins as some distant relative we see at holidays. We spent every evening at either Grandma’s house, her house, my house, one of our aunt’s houses, weekends were for the family, aunts are second moms, and cousins are brothers and sisters. She was my sister. IS my sister. To process the idea that she is gone, that a piece of my childhood, of my life, is gone just doesn’t feel real. There is sadness, a hole in my heart, and also something about losing someone so close in age to you, a peer, that brings a sense of guilt… why her and not me; its been a lot to wrap my heat around. Between my older brother, myself, my cousin Lina and her sister Sabrina, the 4 of use grew up all born one year after the other and very close. We were like this perfect quad, the only grandchildren in the family for 8 years so every life experience we lived together. We made a perfect square, all such drastically different personalities yet somehow so perfect together. I am sure us 3 girls drove my/our older brother crazy with him being the oldest and only boy looking out for us girls, but together we just fit so perfect. I think that is what hurts the most, knowing our foursome is no longer. Of course when I turned 8 we welcomed my little sister, another cousin to add to the mix, and eventually a lot more cousins following her making our bunch almost quadruple within years… but us 4 oldest still joked and loved to remind the younger group that we were the original 4. It was such a special bond we shared, something we held so proud, something that felt so perfect. We were connected, always. From childhood through adulthood, we never wavered in our loyalty to one another. You can not complete a square without all 4 corners, and that is truly how I feel right now in losing Lina… just so incomplete. So open. A corner chipped. In a way it still doesn’t feel real.
I don’t quite know what this week has in store. On a social note it is quiet, I knew better than to commit myself to anything too big for the next few weeks. I tend to be the kind of person who needs personal space and the best part about being an adult is knowing these things about yourself. I am allowing myself that, but also taking it day by day and welcoming the moments where I feel motivated to make a plan for the day. I feel like everyday since this immense pain began when/if I got out of the house, the plans to do so were literally made the hour prior. That somehow has been healing, so out of the norm for myself, but liberating. My life mission at the moment is to be there as much as I can for my family. In our family, because of how close we are, we don’t mourn alone. We support, we rally, and we show up for one another. While I shared in my previous paragraph that in my world I feel like a piece of my quad is missing, I know that right now my cousin Sabrina is feeling like half of her is missing. Sabrina is Lina’s sister and towards the end of Lina’s battle became her primary caregiver. Growing up the two of them were literally two peas in a pod, you didn’t get one without the other, polar opposites and perfectly whole. You couldn’t say Sabrina without also saying Lina, they were a pair. I was just the little cousin they lovingly referred to as their little sister, but they were the real sisters. I won’t sit here and pretend to know Sabrina’s pain right now, but I know that it is my duty as the next in kin to be here for her, to look out for her, and I proudly accept that. Her story isn’t mine to tell, but my love for both runs so deep that this is my pledge to take care of my cousin/sister as much as I can right now and forever. So I guess when I think about my ‘plans’ for the week it is to take care of my family, keep my house operating, and take it day by day.
Regarding my blog and the content shared here and on my social media accounts I don’t quite have a plan yet there either. I took some much needed time away this week, but the scary thing about ghosting the world is that as an introvert you also ghost yourself, and when left to sit with your thoughts for too long, your heart can get pretty heavy. As a creative, I need an outlet. A place to share, connect, and a distraction from my sadness. Same as with my daily life, I plan to take it one day at a time. If I am inspired I’ll post, if I need a day to connect with myself I won’t. I guess its pretty simple when put like that. It could be superficial like a recent H&M purchase, or a deeper heartfelt message, I am not sure and I am sure it will be all over the place for a bit, but who else would I be if I wasn’t just me. Who knows, maybe by next week I will bring back these journal style posts and maybe even a ‘Weekend Roundup’ or two this month 😉
Thoughts I hope to take into the week: patience for those who don’t understand the pain, grace for myself as I try to manage the emotions, and courage as I put my brave face forward to be a support for my family who is hurting so badly right now. Lina was so special to so many, she impacted people in such a strong way, and the world is just a little more dim without her in it, I won’t pretend otherwise.
I want to make her proud above all else.
I love and miss you, cousin/sister
This week’s roundup & moments I don’t want to forget:
Easter with my family
Spring breaking in the backyard
His favorite activity: making snail friends
a messy house and a Hot Wheel happy boy
First game of Coach Pitch with Rajan up to bat!!
…more snail finds on our scooter ride
Falling asleep with a hand in the snack bowl and Whales on the iPad
The pieces you will be seeing all season and everything you need for Spring Break, Summer vacations, and the warmer weather ahead.
It’s officially Spring and time to treat yourself to some shopping!
I’ve teamed up with a group of bloggers to give you
a chance to win a $750 Nordstrom Gift Card!
To enter: complete the steps in the rafflecopter below. The more steps you complete,
the more entries you receive, and the better your chance at winning!
This giveaway runs until Tuesday, April 9th at 12am PST
Winner will be announced here. Good Luck!
*this giveaway is in no way sponsored by Nordstrom.
It has definitely been a hot minute since I have updated anything here so here I am, back to say HELLO!! Also, I really wanted to share these stunning earrings with you that I haven’t take off once since receiving, and since I have a discount code I wanted create a place for you to be able to find it easily!! Also, life update below.
for $50 off use code SCSTYLEOC50
Life has been crazy busy but also super exciting as of late. D is working as hard as ever as it is our business’ busiest time of year (tax season) so Raj and I have been holding down the fort here at home. Raj is still loving his new school and while I still always feel like the mama who is trying to keep up with all of the classroom checklists and calendar of school functions, I will say we are getting better by the week at being full time school parents and we haven’t driven the teachers too crazy yet (although I will fully admit that we didn’t know last Friday was pajama day so we were totally those parents that rushed home after drop off and went back and changed Raj mid morning in class, oops). You win some, you lose some, right? Being a former preschool teacher myself, I totally remember those parents and wanting to give them a hug in those situations, I know it always kills mom and dad more than the kiddos and more often than not, the kids don’t even realize their parents goofed up. I try to remind myself of all of the preschool teacher advice I gave to my student’s parents back in the day… just. breathe. Other than forgetting the silly things, I would say we are hanging in there. I miss Raj so much while he is at school, this whole 5 days per week thing is taking some getting used to and I am already plotting to cut some days for summer. D and I actually decided that this summer we will prob only do 2-3 days per week of school, time flies and before we start Kinder, I just want as much time as possible with my boy.
House plans are coming along slowly but surely. We are still in the process of decorating our home, I get so many hilarious comments from Instagram about our empty formal living room when I post mirror selfies. Yes, I know we need a rug. I know we need a couch. Heck, we need literally everything from top to bottom… but you know what? We will get there. We have been trying to focus on one room at a time starting with smaller to bigger projects and the most used rooms. We finished our nook right before the New Year and are so in love with that little space. Currently we are in the process of selling our master bedroom furniture and have new pieces coming this week and next month (our dressers were backordered until April), so I am BEYONDDD stoked for that! We loved our master bedroom furniture from our old house but unfortunately it just didn’t work in this house. In our old master bedroom we had massive walls and hardly any windows so we opted for large statement furniture pieces, when we moved into this house while we still have the same amount of space in the room, we have mostly windows so we lost a ton of wall space and needless to say our furniture just does not fit now. We are focused on making our room our sanctuary so before we started any other project, that quickly became priority. Up next: formal living room (so no more empty room mirror selfies) and then office… send help! Hahaha. Truly I LOVE decorating, the problem is I am soooo picky and so is D so it always takes us a few weeks to plan out a room and agree on decor. We like to shop multiple furniture stores, play around with different pieces and build on a vibe we want, if we don’t love something we won’t purchase it, so sometimes it takes a bit to find items we love. Its a marathon, not a race.
Besides continuing our busy/hectic schedule, we have a ton of fun stuff happening this month. D and I are the proud coaches of Raj’s tee ball team this season and already having so much fun sharing this experience as a family, every Saturday morning until May are now baseball mornings, I will be attending and speaking at Altitude Summit at the end of this month and I am so stoked about that, my dad turns 60 this week (whoa) so my siblings and I are hosting a party for him this month, we are celebrating friend’s birthdays, some family birthdays, and I have some fun content coming out this month. It is a busy one!
this month I am doing a giveaway over on Instagram for all of my readers!! I am personally giving away a $150 gift card to NORDSTROM for one of you as a thank you for being so loyal to me over the years. Can you believe I have officially been blogging for 5 years? This month is my 5 year blogiversary! To enter the giveaway all you have to do is like and comment on all of my Instagram feed posts for the month of March. I will pick one random comment and verify that you have liked/commented on all of my photos and the winner will be announced the first week of April!! Feel free to share this with your friends if you think they will love my content and love a chance to win a gift card from me. Good luck, I can’t wait to see which loyal reader wins!!
Hope you all have the best month ever. Please stop by throughout the month to see what we are up to over here on SCS, don’t forget to comment below and say hello!! I am stoked to start making this your top destination space on the net again. Love you all!
Last weekend the boys and I were invited to a weekend stay at Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach, and with as crazy and hectic as its been for our family the last few weeks, I jumped at the opportunity for a little getaway. Even though we live just 20 miles South of Newport, living here you start to grow complacent of the amazing things Orange County has to offer and sometimes its great to pretend to be on vacation even in the cities you live in. Newport is one my favorite little towns because its quant and beautiful but there are so many great restaurants and shops that there is so much do in a weekend, and its perfect for family entertainment! The best surprise of the weekend was being invited to treat Raj to Breakfast with Santa on Sunday morning during our stay at the hotel, this ended up being the highlight of our entire month, I can’t say enough how special this experience was.
Because Raj knew that we were visiting the hotel to have breakfast with Santa, it somehow got into his head that the hotel was also where Santa goes to vacation. At first we thought it was hilarious, but walking into the hotel and seeing their décor, from the beautiful Christmas tree at the entrance to the sweetest little gingerbread cookie village in the lobby, it was soooo easy to make Raj’s idea feel like reality. The receptionist greeted him with the sweetest dolphin stuffed animal, and boom, he thought he had just received “the first gift of Christmas” – MAGIC!!
Once we made it up to our beautiful room and took a little tour around, we knew we wanted to continue the fun of pretending this is where Santa stays, so we decided to show Raj how Santa lives it up on vacation and instead of leaving the room for dinner, we decided to stay in and order room service. I loooove eating at all of the great restaurants in Newport, but since we wanted to make the night extra special we decided to save those for another night (I made a list of my favorites below) and we watched Christmas movies in our PJ’s while eating dinner. We loved that we could stream movies straight from our phones to the TVs in the room, it really was the perfect night!
We absolutely loved the room amenities. From the huge vanity, separate from the bathroom which is soooo important when multiple people are getting ready, to the huge bath tub and shower… us U’s were very very comfortable!
Breakfast with Santa was everything you could have ever dreamed of for your children. Santa was one of the most engaged, sweetest, jolliest Santas I have ever met and Raj was smitten with him. Because the event was a little more personal the kids all had so much time to talk with Santa, bring him letters and cookies, and Santa even read them a story! I don’t think I could explain how magical it is to see your children light up over such a great experience; Raj hasn’t stopped talking about it and tells me daily that he misses Santa!! I think it is something he and we will remember forever.
Fashion Island is hosting one more weekend of Breakfast with Santa this Sunday and trust me when I say if you’re in town stop everything and take your kids, it will be the highlight of the season, I promise!!
If you are thinking about taking a vacation to Newport I wanted to make a quick travel list for you. Whether you are from out of state, out of town, or a local like us, it’s always nice to plan a relaxing getaway in this beautiful city. From the beaches to shopping and restaurants, its a fun place to visit with so much to do!
THINGS TO DO
Fashion Island Hotel – the hotel offers seasonal experiences all year long. If you are coming around holiday time check their site to see what experiences they have to offer, from movies over the pool in summer to Christmas activities in the winter, there is always something happening at the hotel!
Fashion Island mall – located just across the street from the hotel, there are so many great stores and shops (my favs are Nordstrom and Anthropologie)
Beaches – from Crystal Cove to Newport Beach, these are some of California’s most popular and beautiful beaches
Balboa Island – if you have never taken an afternoon to walk around this little spot you are missing out. It has that entire old town beach vibe and there are shops and places to eat and the scenery is gorgeous (make sure browse some of the beautiful homes in the neighborhood as well)
Lido Marina Village – the prettiest strip of shops you will ever see! Such a classic beach town vibe with sooo many photo opportunities that you’ll make every Insta star jealous!
WHERE TO EAT
Have you ever visited Newport? I know all of my locals have but I would love to hear from those of you who aren’t from California. Locals, what are some of your favorite spots?
Thank you so so much to the Fashion Island Hotel and all of your incredible staff. You really helped make this holiday season extra special for my family and I could never thank you enough for creating such an incredible experience that Raj will remember for the rest of his life!
SHOP THE LATEST FROM THIS POST
There are so many sales that popped up today that I had to share some here for all of you. A ton of my recent purchases from black friday and over the last few weeks have restocked and are on sale again (amazing!) and they’re all just too great not to alert the media. This red cardigan sweater I wore over the weekend for Breakfast with Santa at the Fashion Island Hotel is on sale for $40, the denim I am wearing are now $70, and these booties which I have lived in since October are now $105 which is the lowest price I have seen them at!
I plan to do a try on session today on Instagram stories, and if you saw my Gift Guides that went live I plan to show some of items I personally own from the guides, but for now you can shop the items from the sale below. Also below is a cheat sheet of some of my favorite stores that have sales going on, most offering shipping dates for items to arrive before Christmas,so act fast because the cut off for most stores for shipping delivery before 12/24 is December 18!!
BEST SALES OF THE DAY
LOFT 50% off using code MERRY
GAP 50% off and extra 20% off online using code GIFTS
Old Navy 25% off everything
Anthropologie 30% off everything
Target $25 off when you spend $100 toys
Ulta up to 50% off gift sets
Happy Holiday shopping!!
For my Kids Guide I wanted to select items that are special, unique, engaging, and more than just a piece of plastic that will be donated or sold in a yard sale in just a few months. When it comes to buying for Raj lately, we are really trying to practice buying quality or quantity and teaching him to take care of and learn about something while simultaneously playing. I love when he is playing with toys that are something he can take interest and hobby in and learn about: ocean animals, dinosaurs, etc. and its important to me that he not only is engaged but that he can develop an interest in something through play. Gifts for little kids don’t have to be expensive, but they should represent something or have use, I truly believe that as both a mom and an educator. All of the items I shared here are gifts that will hold meaning for years or serve a purpose and I really took the time to find items for this guide that I know Raj has and gets great play and use of already! These items are guaranteed wins and any kid would be lucky to receive them and any parent would appreciate the thought placed in your purchase.
Some of the shops I shared above have shared a special coupon code for my readers!!
Bitty Brah use code amanda25 for 25% off
Jai Jai Hooray use code AMANDALOVE for 15% off
Petit Collage use code SOUTHCOASTSTYLE for 15% off
We are so close to Christmas and nearing the end of the safe zone of placing online orders to have our Christmas gifts here in time so I wanted to share some quick and easy guides for all of you who are scrambling at the last minute to purchase gifts for those you love! Although I know and firmly believe the season is not about presents, it is still so fun and exciting to find and buy the perfect gift for those we love just to see the smiles and excitement on their faces. Buying a meaningful gift shows thought, love, and acknowledgement that you took the time to think about that person and that makes anyone feel special. I LOVE shopping for others wayyyyy more than I love shopping for myself, so gift buying is my JAMMM.
This guide is for that special lady in your life. The girl who you imagine to have everything which now makes you feel stuck on what to buy for her. She is special, unique, but cares about how she takes care of herself and you want to buy something extra special for her. Be it a girlfriend, your mom, your wife, best friend… with these gifts you don’t need to know her size or personal preference because mark my words when I say anyyyyyy girl would love ALL of these items! Most of these items I own and if I don’t already own them, they’re on my personal list so trust me when I say I wouldn’t share something that isn’t worth every penny.
Click the numbers under the photo to shop these items!
These items make perfect stocking stuffers, teacher gifts, gift exchanges with the girlfriends or co-workers… basically anyone who you want to buy something special for but have to stick to a budget on. We can all use some of these items and what makes them even more amazing is they won’t break the bank but are a little more personal than a gift card!
up to 60% off select items
BOGO 50% off Toys, $10 Pajamas, steal deals on appliances (my favorite InstantPot included)
50% off purchase using code FRIYAY
30% off everything
40% off everything using code INDIGO
24% off using code FRIDAY18
Christmas trees under $100
50% off entire purchase
25% off entire site
25% off entire site using code GIFT25
25% off entire site
50% off entire site
40% off entire site using code BLACK40
up to 30% off select brands using code FRIDAY
$15 & under Black Friday deals
Patagonia up to 30% off, North Face up to 25% off
20% off $40 or more using code BLKFRIDAY
Items as low as $10
50% off select items
20% off everything using code GATHER
25% off entire site using code WONDER
30-50% off select gift sets
$20 off orders of $125 or more, $30 off $150 or more, $50 off $200 or more
60% off select brands and styles
up to 25% off full price items and 75% off sale items
This post is sponsored by Zenni Optical
So here is a fun life update for you: I now wear glasses!
Like, not just the cool hip sunnies anymore, buuuut full on ‘prescription glasses because my vision is no longer perfect like it was in my youth’ glasses. I haven’t had my vision checked in about 5 years (I know I was already lectured by my doctor), but since the migraines have increased and I have felt my eyes straining recently, I figured it was time to get myself checked out. As luck would have it, you are looking at her, the new me aka ‘Mrs. Wear Glasses when reading, doing computer work, driving at night, using my phone, #30something.’ I am pretty much using glasses now for almost 90% of my day!
Once I learned of this new life changing update I knew I couldn’t wear just any old glasses. I wasn’t just going to walk out of the eye doctor with the basic frames and have no fun at all shopping for my new accessory; I mean, shopping was pretty in much my prescription from my doctor! Why would I miss that opportunity?! Just as fate would have it, my friends at Zenni Optical recently contacted me and since I had recalled looking at the email and thinking, “nope not me this time!” I realized I had to swallow my denial and search for the pushed aside response to them. Meaning, “why yes I am losing my vision now, wanna help me look cool?” And guess what? That is exactly what Zenni did!
Shopping for my glasses was incredibly easy. Their site is so easy to navigate and while the options are endless they make narrowing down your selection incredibly fun. You can shop by face shape, eyeglass style, trends, seasons, and once you narrow down your selection they have this really cool option to upload a photo of yourself and virtually try your glasses on. I had wayyyyyy too much fun with that, haha! I knew I wanted something traditional but then also a pair that was more ‘fun’ and since the prices are really affordable (they were triple the price at my eye doctor’s office) I went for one of each style. I have a bigger and round face so I know bigger frames compliment me, but I wanted something girly and subtle as well and I was so pleased with my selection. It was easy of filling in my prescription numbers, and once they got here I was excited with how they both looked on me – exactly like they did in the photo I uploaded… I actually kind of, sort of, LOVE them!
I have linked both of my style glasses here and here (I am wearing Cat-Eye Glasses 4411525 and the second pair are Cat-Eye Glasses 4412615). I love the tortoise style that I am wearing in these photos because I love the dramatic yet vintage and classic look of them. They make such a fun statement and love how they add character to my face. The lighter nude pair are so pretty and they will be the pair I keep in my car, they are not overbearing so I think I will feel confident wearing them when driving!
Since I am not quite to the contact stage of wearing glasses yet I am having fun adding these new statement pieces to my daily routine. With the price being so great I think I will be ordering a few more pairs to keep around the house and on nightstands and in my handbags and workbags… basically you can officially say I am turning into my mother 😉
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and since I know we all have so much to prep for and get together, I thought it would be fun to share some super easy and affordable outfit options in case you are like me and wait until the last minute to dress yourself. Raj’s outfit was ordered weeks ago, mine? Whelp, that was pretty much the inspiration for this post! I don’t want to spend a lot because the holidays are just around the corner, I want something comfortable and breathable, and even though I will be pretty much cozying up in my living room this year I still want to look cute! I made a collection of 20 dresses perfect for endless turkey and pumpkin cake and comfortable for snuggling up on the couch but that still look dressy. Everything is under $60, so you will get tons of wear for the whole season (throw a sweater over it for cooler days) but you don’t have to feel guilty for the purchase since I know we are all saving up for those Black Friday sales next week.
A handful of the dresses I shared below I actually already own. I went on an Amazon dress shopping spree a few weeks ago (this white dress in these photos I ordered for less than $20), so I will do a try on session with you over on Instagram stories on Tuesday with you and show the ones I own. I have never really shopped for clothes on Amazon before so I wanted to try some out for quality and ease of purchase, and every dress I ordered from Amazon got here in two days, and I was pleasantly surprised at how cute and nice they are for the price!