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AND I AM BACK! Back to blogging that is. This is certainly not the first hiatus, and perhaps not the last. Coming back to the blogosphere (is that even a word?) was a big decision, but I did it for one simple reason; I love it. And while it was so time consuming before, I have realized it helps me re-focus, release negative energy and execute my creativity. Documenting and sharing my journey through early adulthood is something I'd like to have forever. I hope to do this via blogging and if someone else finds it of value, then that is just an amazing bonus.

Here's a quick update on life, and then we're off....Cheers! xx, Monica
The Viceroy Hotel, Santa Monica
Since my last blog entry A LOT has happened, all good things however! For starters, I graduated with a master's in social work. Like the banner I made for guests to sign (1) clearly states, I certainly earned that diploma with a few battle scars to prove it. The light at the end of the tunnel was definitely the AMAZE graduation party my mother threw for me, at our favorite Santa Monica hotpsot, The Viceroy Hotel (4) and with the most delish cake (5) from a local Brentwood bakery, SusieCakes. They even drew a caricature of me holding a diploma, in front of the HOLLYWOOD sign! My family came in town for the week long festivities and stayed in a sweet beach condo (2) in Venice, California. The invites (3) from Paperless Post surely didn't disappoint and the DIY mason jars candles made for an adorable, if not down right practical party favor (6).

Unfortunately, graduation does not just equate to maturity and a diploma won't teach you life skills. Let's just say that I am now a full on member of the real world and it's not always as bright as portrayed in school, but hey, I have time to learn and grow, and I consider myself fortunate to have a supportive family and group of friends!
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 Before graduation I was offered my first job and I took it! ...... However, I had no idea when it would start, so I spent my summer waiting, and in the meantime at the beach. I made the trip up Pacific Coast highway to Malibu in my little Beetle convertible (2) way too many times. Malibu is just the most relaxed place in Los Angeles and in my opinion, offers the most beautiful beaches. I loved reading at the beach and then heading to the Malibu Country Mart (4) for lunch at Cafe Habana and book browsing at Diesel. I can still hear the sound of the waves crashing back and forth, in fact I was just there this weekend as a result of LA's January heat wave. I got my fair share of novels read, sunblock applied, and sun shielded in those super cute opaque blue/green sunnies (6) first spotted on Ms. Lisa Vanderpump and in such high demand this past summer. I still wear mine and I swear I will never get sick of them. Got lots of use out of my giant, floppy straw hat, large monogrammed beach bag (1) and striped towel

In addition to beaching it all summer, I also whipped up some summery drinks (5) in my mason jar pitcher I am quite proud of, hosted a grad-girl dinner party and celebrated my 24th birthday in style. Lana Del Rey's Summertime Sadness was my mantra, Essie's Sunday Funday is still the best coral out there, and I am declaring The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls summer 2013's best read. 

It was lazy, hazy and to be honest, a bit too relaxing. I am not complaining, however, I was glad to move forward at the end of August and get to work.  
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One thing has yet to change; still LOVING the westside of Los Angeles, especially my little Brentwood neighborhood. I honestly thought after two years I would tire of the low key but quaint area (best represented by the Brentwood Country Mart) (2) I've come to call home. I know young fashion girls populate the trendy town of West Hollywood, but I find frequent rendezvous less then twenty minutes away more then enough for me. My favorite hike up Westridge Trailhead (1) is still just a five minute drive up Mandeville Canyon, the ocean is just four miles down the green and grassy San Vicente Blvd (6), four coffee shops are stationed within walking distance of my apartment, including coffee snob spot Caffe Luxxe (5). Good eats and sweaty workouts like Soulcycle are down the street; I could live off late breakfasts at my favorite New York Bagel (7) and spicy tuna on crispy rice (3) for dinner at KatsuyaThe Getty museums border this side of the town with the Getty Center nestled in the hills of northern Brentwood and the breathtaking Villa (4) just down the coast. 

In addition to living here for almost three years, I have recently joined the Junior League of Los Angeles, which to me is like an adult version of a sorority, joining sisterhood and philanthropy. They even have a cute house (9). They have broken us up into neighborhood groups and therefore it's been a great way to meet and interact with more ladies around Brentwood. Happy to meet new friends and keep exploring this lovely city,

That's all for today; blogging from Brentwood, with love

xx, Monica! 

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