Falling in Love With Fall

"And all at once, summer collapsed into fall..." 

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Although it's bittersweet to see summer come to an end, I'm ready for the crisp touch of fall air. Isn't that one of the charming perks of the season? Of course it is! The term "crisp" also happens to be one of my favorite words and I like having an excuse to use it in my writing. 

Fall used to be my least favorite season. As a kid growing up in Ohio, it just seemed like a boring season when dead leaves would scatter all over. I also really hated Halloween (I still kind of do, but not as much) because I never liked gory things. With summer ending, I kind of ignored fall for the most part and waited till Christmastime to come around. Now that I'm a young adult, I appreciate the beauty of fall that includes the colorful leaves, cozy fashion, pumpkin flavored everything, and now I actually enjoy Halloween now that there are more DIY costume ideas than there were when I was a kid! I have many things that I love about autumn, and now I'm going to share a few of my top favorites with you!

Enchanted Scenery

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One of the best parts about living in Ohio is that you get to experience all four seasons, even though winter tends to last the longest out of all the seasons. Ohio tends to be very bipolar, the weather changes drastically almost daily. It's just common for us. The state's autumn scenery; however, is very stunning and is what you would consider an ideal perspective of the season. The colors of leaves come in the best fall colors, from orange to gold, thanks to the decent amount of rain we get as the season grows. 

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I love walking or hiking in the fall because of the enchanted scenery and crisp fresh air. It's pleasant to enjoy the slightly sunny/foggy weather and hear the leaves crunching beneath my feet, especially when I'm walking my dogs who have no idea what they even are and are actually scared to walk over them! 

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Fall Scented Candles

What is fall without candles? Not only do they make it more spooky, but they're also very enchanting and are great essentials for when you're curled up in a blanket with a book in your hand. But of course, the only way to make sure you have the right kind of candles is to make sure they're fall scented. From pumpkin latte to salted caramel, you can't really go wrong with what you choose. 

This season, I bought three new scented candles from Yankee Candle that smell amazing and sum up the definition of autumn. 

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Crisp Fall Night - I said it once and I'll say it again, the crisp air is the best part of fall! The sweet smell of fresh lavender gives off a pleasant vibe that's most fit for sitting out in the chilly weather while gathered around a bonfire with friends. 

Autumn in the Park - I love a peaceful walk outdoors in the autumn, especially when my nose tingles from the smell of fallen leaves. There's also a hint of fresh peeled apple and pumpkin to give off a more delicious scent, and eating a pink lady apple while strolling through the leafy park sounds delightful! 

Apple Pumpkin - It's literally apple combined with pumpkin, what more could you ask for? My favorite fall scent out of the three by far. 

My mom also bought a sea salt & maple popcorn scented candle for herself from Bath & Body Works. And holy crap you guys, it smells AMAZING! I honestly thought someone had made pancakes with syrup when my mom first lit it. I've never had maple popcorn, but I imagine it's really good and I can imagine with sea salt it's really good. 

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Hot Apple Cider

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Nothing gets me more excited about chilly weather than a warm cup of fresh apple cider, especially since ripe apples are in season! Of course there are some people who prefer cold, but I find a hot cup more comforting and delicious. My mom has an amazing hot apple cider recipe that she has used for the past few years. It's so good, and it's definitely one of my favorite things about fall! Here is the simple yet special recipe to try out yourself: 

Stainless steel saucepan  

2 cups of apple cider

1 cinnamon stick

All you to do is wait until it boils, then you can enjoy a fresh cup of one of autumn's fellow pleasures! Although don't drink it right away in order to avoid having a puffy tongue. 

Fall Goodies (feat. FabFitFun) 

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I just got my FabFitFun fall box in the mail and I'm already in love with all of the goodies hidden in it. Eventually I'm going to post a blog post with a review of everything that I got, so you'll get to hear more of my thoughts about the fall box later on. You can also check the items all out right here (if you're okay with spoilers if you haven't ordered a box!)

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I could go on about all the things I love about fall that make me "fall" in love with the season. Of course I haven't mentioned anything about Halloween or Thanksgiving which are the two big fall seasons, but that's coming later in the blog. For now, I'm focusing on the simple little joys that start at the beginning.

Leave a comment down below and tell me what you're most excited about for autumn! 

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Cheers (and Beers) to 21 Years

I'm finally legal! No need to "wine" about it anymore. 

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Like the title says, I celebrated my 21st birthday this past weekend and it has by far been the best one yet! Unlike most people my age, I did not celebrate by partying too hard, and I even got a few texts from some older relatives telling me not to live it up to much. I didn't go too crazy, but I spent a perfect day with perfect people living it up to the fullest it could be, almost as much as the margarita I drank!

We started my birthday day off at midnight by going to The Office Bistro in Downtown Cuyahoga Falls for some drinks. I went with my mom, Lauren, and her boyfriend Jordan. Unfortunately, my dad couldn't come because he went on a business trip to Spain, but he promised we could celebrate again when he comes back home. It was great, especially because the bar was barely full with people, so we almost had it all to ourselves. I got very excited when the bartender asked for my ID and allowed me to order a Chardonnay white wine made in California. My bartender was super nice and even gave me advice about not drinking while driving, which of course I will always remember and not do. Never drink and drive! 

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Picture with my first bartender!  

Picture with my first bartender!  

The next morning, my mom, sister, and I went to First Watch for a delicious breakfast meal. We all got avacado toast with over easy eggs. My sister got a side a bacon and I got a chocolate chip pancake on the side with some hazelnut coffee. Afterwards, Lauren and I went to Starbucks because if you tell them it's your birthday, you get a free drink! So I decided to treat myself and go sweet by ordering a passion tea lemonade which is perfect for summer and I highly recommend it. Yay for my birthday and summer on its way!

I went home to go for a run and afterwards did yoga based on gratitude (which you can also do by watching the video here). After my workout, I got a great surprise from one of the florists in our village florist who delivered beautiful flowers from my dad to me! It was like he was there celebrating my birthday with me even though he was golfing with his friends in Spain! Thanks, Dad. I love you lots, XOXO. 

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After showering and beautifying up to go out, I wore a shirt that my mom got for me as a gift designed by Lauren Conrad and sold at Kohl'salong with white Ann Taylor jeans, my coral red Jessica Simpson wedges, and a blue flower jeweled choker from Kohl'sBefore my best friend Natalie and her mom came over to give us a ride to Cleveland, I took some pictures with pink '21' balloons (pictured at the very top of the blog post) and birthday sash to get the celebration started. What other better way to start celebrating?! 

When Natalie and her mom arrived, we drove to a cute little neighborhood called Tremont close to Downtown Cleveland where we went to Barrio Tacos, one of the most popular Mexican restaurants in the city and, in our opinion, one of the best restaurants ever created. It seriously has the most delicious tacos that are not too big which makes it fair to order two. My favorite thing to get is nachos with queso and guacamole. Oh my word, I can't even begin to explain how good the the queso is ... 

But of course, who wouldn't want to celebrate turning the big 2-1 without some water frozen into ice cubes and blended with tequilla aka margaritas! It was very delicious if I must say! Strong, but delicious. 

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And of course, what is a birthday without a birthday dessert? The perfect place for that? Mitchell's Ice Cream, of course! There are so many flavors to choose from, it's almost so overwhelming! I always go for cookie dough, the easiest and best choice in my personal opinion. 

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I won't talk about the gifts that I got because I don't want to be one of those self-absorbed people who constantly brags about everything they have (which hopefully I don't come off as while writing blog posts, especially this one). I will; however, share one gift that I have received and the most special one of all ... 

Lauren had made me a scrapbook in honor of turning twenty-one years old. What the biggest surprise about it was that each page held 21 letters from some of my closet friends and relatives, which makes the scrapbook titled "21 Letters". As I turned each page, I was so overwhelmed and filled with joy when I read the letters from my friends in college and high school, which I definitely didn't expect at all! Of course, Natalie wrote me a beautiful letter as well as my parents, and Lauren saved hers best for last and it definitely made me feel joyous. 

Lauren told me that the scrapbook would be a reminder that I am loved and that I'm enough. She also said that whenever I am feeling anxiety or fear, I should re-read all the letters to give myself the strength and confidence that I need as well as to boost it when I already have it.  I literally was on the verge of crying tears of joy. It was the most beautiful gift I have ever received and it is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life. 

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I thank Lauren so much for taking her free time off to make the scrapbook, my friends and relatives for writing the beautiful letters, and God for reminding me that I am loved, giving me the dreams that I am destined to chase after, and  allowing me to be experience the best 21 years of my life and the more years that are to come. 

I also want to thank everyone who spent me wishes and sweet messages. I've never felt more valuable, confident, and blessed than ever. I doubt that I wouldn't be writing this blog write now if it weren't for anyone reading this. I can't wait to see what this year holds, hopefully including some booze! Not too much obviously, I'm much more wise than that ... 

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California Cuisine

California is known for the variety of delicious foods. You can't really go wrong with whatever you find or are recommended to try!

In-N-Out Burger is one of the most well-known fast food chains in the American Southwest and Pacific Coast. The menu consists of three burger varieties: hamburger, cheeseburger, and my favorite, the "Double-Double". On the side includes French fries, pop (I know it's called soda, but I'm from Ohio), or milkshakes. They also have an online "secret menu" in which you can order additional standard toppings.  

At the original Farmer's Market in Los Angeles, there are wide options of types of food that are original and hard to find anywhere else, such as candy caramel apples, pizza with over easy egg toppings, fruit juices, and so much more. 

When my mom and I met our good friends in Mission Viejo, they took us to Creamistry. It's a creamery in which they use only nitrogen and cream to make ice cream, and you can watch the process before they give you your ice cream. It may have been the first time in my life I was actually super fascinated with science! 

In Laguna Beach, we ate at a very good rooftop restaurant, literally named "The Rooftop", that served both breakfast and lunch. The best part was enjoying a cup of coffee with a great view of the Pacific Ocean! 

Another breakfast place that was worth going to twice was the Market Cafe at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort. Waffles, oatmeal, and fresh fruit are a great way to start an exciting day in San Diego! 

It's acceptable to eat ice cream for dinner while on vacation, or perhaps whenever. On the second day while taking a ride on the city trolley, we ate a late lunch at Cafe Coyote in Old Town (it was Taco Tuesday), and we weren't super hungry for another big meal by the time we got back to Coronado. Instead, we went to a popular creamery called Moo Time and got ourselves some ice cream for dinner, and boy was it worth it! I got a birthday cake with cookie dough and sprinkles in a waffle cone and my mom got a mint chocolate chip in a sugar cone. There was a blue flavor called "Silly Vanilla" which I regret not trying, so I'll remember to get that next time!

Finally, we ate very delicious hot dogs in Balboa Park on our last day, fresh and thick off the cart!

Boy, not being in California and writing this blog is making me miss my Double-Double and nitrogen ice cream even more ...