As I sit here on my flight to the East Coast, where I’ll be spending the rest of 2019 and ringing in the New Year, I’m reminiscing on the incredible year I’ve had. At the end of 2018, Nara and I did a “year in review” where we highlighted our favorite moments, trends, and what we wanted to remember. I started this tradition a few years ago and kept my thoughts in a journal, but last December I published them for the first time. A couple of days ago I revisited the questionnaire by filling out the same series of questions that pertain to fashion, beauty, career, pop culture, self-care, lifestyle, and favorite places. It’s a great way to say goodbye to 2019 and to document your cherished memories while also measuring your growth.
Trend of 2019: Bold animal prints, neo-gothic, plaid, micro bags, and t-shirt dresses paired with thigh-high boots.
Worst trend of 2019: Like last year, I’m still saying bicycle shorts and dad sneakers need to disappear.
Trend revamped: Platform sandals, high-cut one-piece swimsuits, and I love the refashioned 90s trends like mom jeans and cargo pants.
Best gift: An AESOP travel kit, my Ban.do planner and stickers, a necklace from the M Jewelers, and the L’Academie trench coat I asked for this Christmas. (It’s too big, but I’m planning on ordering a size down.) Also, Billy and my parents taking me to NYC for my Birthday!
Celebrity style: Vanessa Hudgens, Ashlee Simpson, and AnnaLynne McCord.
Christmas Eve in Brooklyn.
I bought this dress and purse on a whim when I was in Arizona and it was the ideal outfit for touring Jerome.
Taking pics on my balcony.
Mixing animal prints and textures in Central Park.
Shopping in Vegas.
Beauty buy: Anastasia Beverly Hills “Riviera” eye palette. I purchased it before my trip this summer and the colors are quintessential for a beach vacation.
(Here’s my in-depth list of beauty recommendations and where to save and where to splurge).
Pop Culture, Books, Music, and Movies
TV shows: Euphoria, The Deuce, Big Little Lies, The Affair, and City on a Hill. Three of them just ended so I’m on a quest to discover new shows for 2020. PS: You can read about my favorites for the first half of 2019 here.
Documentary: See Know Evil.
Artist: Post Malone, Meek Mill.
Album: Danny Brown, uknowhatimsayin¿; Lana Del Rey, Norman Fucking Rockwell!; and Post Malone, Hollywood’s Bleeding.
Band: Magic City Hippies
Youtube video: Impeachment Cold Open on SNL.
Pop culture moment: Nipsey Hussle’s death and Greta Thunberg’s climate change activism.
Most influential voice: Nancy Pelosi.
Saddest moment: Hearing about all the mass shootings; 2019 had the most on record.
Instagram account: @MsVegan, @TravelandLeisure, @MindBodyGreen, @SupremeNewYork, and @EveryOutfitOnSATC. Then I have a few favorite accounts that represent 90s nostalgia and my go-tos for crystals, jewelry, and bohemian lifestyle inspo.
Blog: A Girl in LA!
How do you feel about the direction the country is headed?: The 2020 election can’t come soon enough!
I came across this Nipsey Hussle mural on Figueroa and had to snap a pic.
Biggest career challenge you overcame: Nara had to leave A Girl in LA at the beginning of 2019. Rather than hire just anyone to replace her, I turned down many applicants because she set the bar so high. This meant that I had to create more content than in the previous years, which made for a lot of late nights and hardly any free time. However, that’s okay because I’d rather hire someone who is just as passionate about blogging as I am.
New skills you learned: Continued learning techniques on Lightroom and Photoshop.
Favorite blog post you wrote: Summer Nostalgia which brought back memories of my childhood and growing up at the beach. Then, My Trip To The Connecticut Shoreline where I wrote about reliving those memories in August when I vacationed on the same street I grew up on. Also, I really enjoyed creating a Sugarfina charcuterie board and loved documenting (and photographing) my new planner while giving tips to staying organized.
Favorite brand you worked with this year: Wlnss.
5 most popular blog posts: Wedding Gift Etiquette: All Your Questions Answered + A Gift Guide | Summer Nostalgia: Reminiscing On My Trips To The Connecticut Shore | My Beauty Philosophy: Where I Save and Where I Splurge | Sundays Are For Bohemian Style Maxi Dresses and Rooftop Brunches | My Guide to LA, Part 1: Where to Sleep, Sip, and Shop.
Your most time-consuming project: The Best Travel Size Products For Your Carry-on and Beach Bag. This one took a while because I had a lot of products to test out.
Fitness, Health, and Self-Care
Recipe that you mastered: I did a ton of cooking in 2019 so it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. If I had to pick, I’d say making my mom’s delicious (and easy to make) hor’dourves. They remind me of the holidays since she served them at Christmas parties throughout my childhood. (I ended up switching out the bacon for garlic though.)
Biggest fitness accomplishment: Since I last wrote about my fitness routine, I made a lot of changes. In the spring, I switched up my workouts by getting a gym membership (instead of using the gym inside my apartment building) and began using a meal delivery service called Thistle. The combination of the two helped me to lose weight and gain more muscle. This has long been a goal of mine and it felt amazing to finally achieve it.
What did you do in your free time?: I took a lot of vacations this year (which I’m eternally grateful for). There’s nothing like exploring a new state or visiting one that holds so many special memories.
How did you practice self-care?: When I was feeling run down, overwhelmed or exhausted, I ordered a vitamin drip.
I used to do this exact pose on the balance beam.
Yoga on the beach.
Biggest challenge you faced: As far as 2019 went-—it was a pretty good year for me. My biggest challenge ties in with my career and overworking myself.
A new positive habit you adopted: I stopped drinking Red Bull. (I used to drink 3+ cans every day).
The most important goal you achieved: Working out and seeing my body changing in such a positive way from hard work and dedication.
Your biggest regret: This one is related to blogging. I get email proposals from companies all the time, however, I’m extremely selective in who I collaborate with. I ask myself a series of questions like does this company align with A Girl in LA’s brand/values? Can I see my readers liking the product/service? What can A Girl in LA do for the company and vice versa. This helps me narrow down who I choose to collab with. Usually, even when I pass on an opportunity, I still wonder to myself, could I have made this work? Are my readers missing out on something?
The most important lesson you learned: Sometimes it’s better to bite your tongue, so to speak, when it comes to social media.
I snapped this photo of Times Square last week and it’s one of my favorites.
*All locations are based in Los Angeles unless otherwise noted.
Bookstore: The Last Bookstore.
Food truck: The Hello Kitty food truck in Las Vegas.
Farmers’ market: The Original Farmers Market.
Neighborhood: DTLA, Venice, and The Upper East Side (Manhattan).
Place with a view: Billy and I’s apartment in DTLA, the cottage we stayed at in Connecticut, or Jerome, Arizona.
Beach: Westbrook, CT.
Brunch spot: Perch LA.
Go-to dish: Tres Signature Dish at Gnoccheria and French Toast from Perch.
Go-to drink: The Christmas morning mimosas I made with Moët & Chandon.
Friday night restaurant: Café Gratitude. (Some of the best vegan food I’ve ever had!)
Dessert spot: Ladurée.
Restaurant that delivers: Localita—The Sir Nasty.
Music venue: The El Rey Theatre.
Out of the office work spot: The rooftop pool at my apartment.
Museum: The Broad.
Art gallery: Radiant Space.
Pop-up: 29 Rooms by Refinery29.
Spa: Bliss Spa at The W Hotel.
Place to take out-of-towners vacationing in LA: Smorgasburg, Chateau Marmont, Grand Central Market, Abbot Kinney, and Paradise Cove. Recently I did a two-part roundup on all my favorites places to bring friends and family. Part 1: Where to Sleep, Sip, and Shop, and Part 2: Where to Dine, Sightsee, Workout, and Get Pampered.
Billy and I are so lucky to have this amazing view of DTLA.
29 Rooms by Refinery29.
Favorite Photos of 2019
My mom and I shopping in Block Island.
A hot day + ice cream go hand in hand.
Celebrating my Birthday at Ladurée in NYC.
This was my first time in years being back in Massachusetts during the summertime.
Celebrating Labor Day weekend at the Connecticut shore.
Billy and I before dinner in Connecticut.
Christmas Eve in Bed-Stuy at my sister and her boyfriends place.
Billy and I on vacation before our date night.
What are your favorite memories of 2019?
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