ExploresMore is Moving!

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Hello my lovely readers! Today I come to you with a bit of exciting news-in about 6 weeks I’m leaving Los Angeles behind and am moving to Paris! I’m taking a year off between high school and college to work as an Au Pair in France. Being a European citizen (I’m fully German and the first person in my family to be born in America) I’ve always loved Germany and dream of going to college either there or somewhere else in Europe. I’ve loved the city ever since I first visited and can’t wait to spend at least the next year of my life there. And, here’s to hoping I become tri-lingual! I am so excited to start this next year, and hope you all will be here every step of the way. Cheers!

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[Photos are not mine. Click through for credit, they’re taken by one of my favorite photographers on flickr!]

Easy Gluten Free Cookies

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Hello my lovely readers! Today’s post is focused around a recipe that I tried out earlier this week. Fun fact about me: I’ve been gluten free for about 5 months now! In January the doctor ordered me off it because she believed it was a major cause of my constant colds. And she was right! Since then, I’ve only been really sick once (which is nothing compared to how often I used to get sick). And not only that; I’ve felt more awake, less bloated, and have had nicer skin since I stopped eating gluten. Now, if any of you are wondering what gluten is, Google defines it as: a substance present in cereal grains, especially wheat, that is responsible for the elastic texture of dough; a mixture of two proteins, it causes illness in people with celiac disease (note, I do not have celiac disease, just an intolerance). Obviously, a lot of lifestyle changes had to occur, but I think I’m doing well. It forces me to try out new recipes, including these yummy 5-ingredient cookies I’m showing you today. 🙂

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Now, these cookies are ridiculously easy to make. I took the recipe from this Instagram and this particular post, and modified it to work better for me and my preferences. The recipes calls for: 2 bananas (smashed), 1 1/2 cup oats, and then a variety of nuts and chocolate chips (I left the nuts out because I’m allergic). Personally, I ended up adding a few sprinkles of cinnamon for taste, and about 2 tablespoons of honey to help all the pieces stick together better.

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What worked best for me was to first smash the bananas, then pour the oats over it, and then dump on the chocolate chips. When deciding how many nuts/chocolate chips to add, it’s up to you.

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After mixing it all together like this, I tasted my mixture and decided to add the cinnamon. At this point, my batch was having a hard time sticking together so in the honey went.

Lastly, I stuck them in a 375 degree oven, and baked them for 15 minutes.

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My final result? Quick, easy, and super delicious gluten free cookies! The chocolate craves my sweet tooth (without being too sweet though), and these are a great snack after a long day at school.

A must try, whether you are living gluten free or not. 🙂

Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow me on here or through Bloglovin’! I also have a Twitter account and an Instagram account 🙂

Julia

Prom!

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Hello my lovely readers! Get ready for the most stereotypical high school post of all time. While this post is going to be a bit more personal, I wanted to share this exciting day with you guys! This past Saturday I had my high school senior prom. It was an incredible night! I loved seeing all of my friends dressed up and looking so spiffy. We gathered around 5:00 to take pictures together, and then piled into our party bus and drove to the actual event. The venue was awesome (but I won’t be posting it on here because I don’t want to give my school away). The night ended up being filled with surprisingly decent food and lots of dancing. I hope you guys enjoy this post, and keep on scrolling for dress/hair/makeup details!

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First of all, my dress (aka my love). I got super lucky last November when I spotted this baby at a designer sale (one dress, and in my size!). My friend Maddy (who you’ll see pictured below) insisted that I try it on despite prom being months away, and it fit like a dream. Thus, this $500 gown became mine for $50 (!!). The designer is Tadashi Shoji, and they sell her pieces at Nordstrom. You can also find an impressive lineup of gorgeous evening gowns on her website. On my feet, I wore strappy silver heels by Kelly & Katie, found at DSW.

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I had my hair done at Dry Bar, and my makeup done at Sephora. I was beyond please with the service I got at both. The lady that did my hair at Dry Bar was so nice; she asked me exactly what I wanted (I got the Mai Tai!) and took my hair type into consideration. I have very limp hair that loses volume/curls easily, but the way she curled it kept my hair looking great until 3 AM the next morning. As with my makeup experience at Sephora, I was not only beyond pleased but also had so much fun while getting my makeup done! A girl named Danny did my makeup, and was so sweet. I came in with pictures of Blake Lively’s natural look for inspiration, and she just took it from there. Then a second girl came over and applied 20 individual lashes to each eye. The work she did was flawless! If you have any product questions, leave them below and I’ll be happy to answer. 🙂

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And meet my best friends! I love them to death and I think we all looked amazing. 🙂

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Shamelessly caught selfie-ing

And that concludes this post! Despite it being different from what usually goes up here, I really do hope you all enjoyed it! 🙂

Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow me on here or through Bloglovin’! I also have a Twitter account and an Instagram account 🙂

Julia

Spring Cleaning How-To & My Results!

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Hello my lovely readers! I am so sorry that I haven’t been as active on here (5 days without posting is too long in my opinion!). Thankfully though, I finally had the time to sit down tonight. Two weekends ago I spent two straight days tearing my room apart, throwing tons of things out, and then putting it back together. It felt so refreshing to get rid of old and unused stuff! I now have lots of old clothes, books, decor, etc. sitting in my storage room, and I’ll be having a garage sale within the next month ($$ for summer!!). Anyways, in this post I’ll be including my personal before and after photos, along with some tricks for really clearing out old stuff. Hope you enjoy!

And the photo above features some new decor I set up; the candles are from Bath & Body Works, and the skull is a flea market find. 🙂 The jar with sea glass in it is from a candy shop in Denmark, and the sea glass is courtesy of  Hawaii!

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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As you can see, I got quite a bit done last weekend! My closet was overflowing when I began this project. Stuff had to go. Here are some basic rules that I followed when cleaning out my closet:

1. If you think you might wear it in the future, you probably won’t. Give it away or sell it.

2. Anything with holes, stains, see through areas, etc. must go. Invest in something new!

3. If it doesn’t fit anymore, give it away. Someone else will love to have it. [I got rid of most of my pants and shorts because I’ve dropped about two pants sizes in the past year! While I loved my Paige Jeans, they just didn’t fit right anymore.]

4. See if you can DIY something you don’t wear anymore. Turn it into a new beloved piece!

5. Store winter clothes away. I moved mine towards the right side of my closet, where I keep non-everyday stuff. It freed up so much room because all the bulk was gone!

6. Even throw out old pouches and purses. You’ll be much prouder of a very beloved, small collection.

7. Last, but not least: try everything on. You’ll be surprised when you see how much stuff no longer fits perfectly!

Any clothes that were beyond saving I gave to my mom to use as rags. I saved some old baggy jeans to DIY, but other than that most of the other stuff went on my garage sale pile. I’ll be selling the clothes for cheap soon to make some cash for traveling this summer! 🙂 I’ll be having mine with friends, it’ll be a fun day and maybe the idea of doing something similar can motivate you to clean out!

MORE BEFORES:

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MORE AFTERS:

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After I was done cleaning, my room felt airy and fresh. My mom and I went shoe shopping immediately after and I found two great pairs (you’ll see them soon). Now since I’ve cleared so much stuff out, I can look forward to filling the holes I have in my wardrobe with new, well deserved pieces. And in case you can’t tell from the photo above, I love to read! 🙂

If you’re wondering where anything comes from, leave me a comment below and I’ll be happy to answer any questions!

Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow me on here or through Bloglovin’! I also have a Twitter account and an Instagram account 🙂

Julia

Up To The Getty

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Hello my lovely readers! About two weeks back my family and I took a short trip up to the Getty to see the newly restored Jackson Pollock mural. For those wondering, it’s truly beautiful and worth seeing in person! I always enjoy going up to the museum, because not only is it free, but also because the art, view, and general atmosphere is always incredible. I also made sure to see the Queen Victoria photography exhibit, which I recommend to anybody who has the chance to see it. I hope you enjoy this post! We went around sunset which led to some stunning views.

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Outfit info:

Jacket: LF — Pants: J. Crew — Shirt: Brandy Melville

Purse: Longchamp Le Pliage — Shoes: Doc Martens

Necklace: Hamsa (similar here)

Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow me on here or through Bloglovin’! I also have a Twitter account and an Instagram account 🙂

Julia

P.S. Just want to give a quick heads up that posting next week (through May 10th) might be a bit irregular due to the AP exams (AP Environmental Sciences and AP Literature for those wondering) and PROM (!!!) on Saturday! Post will be up, but maybe more than three days apart. That being said, I know what will be going up and can’t wait for you guys to see that content, and I can’t wait to show my prom pictures! Anyways, that’s enough rambling, hope you all are having a great Thursday! 🙂

5 of My Favorite Things #1

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Hello my lovely readers! Today’s post is the first in a series I’m aiming to start. Every once in a while, I’ll share a post like this telling you guys all about my five current favorite things!

The first of my favorites is already pictured above :). Grace Kelly (a 1950s American actress turned princess, read her story here if interested) is one of my biggest inspirations, and this week in photo class I had the chance to recreate one of the portraits she took. The photo to the left is the one I took, and the right was the inspiration. The project was so much fun, and spending a lot of time and effort on it was 100% one of my recent favorite things.

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Forgive me if this is a little childish, but my second favorite thing right now are the Sour Patch Watermelon gummy candies. They’re super unhealthy and all, but just so freaking good. They even vaguely have a watermelon taste, rather than just being sour and sugary! These are my guilty pleasure, and were by my side all of last weekend while spring cleaning (stay tuned, a post is coming!).

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This next item is my new child. Literally. Well, not literally but you know what I mean. Purchased over spring break with my hard earned tutoring money, this wallet has been at my side ever since. It’s actually the first major, designer item I’ve ever bought and I’m incredibly proud of it. I was actually torn between this and a new pair of nice sunglasses, but after some convincing from a friend went with this choice (and ordered new sunnies from ASOS!). It’s made of a beautiful black leather, and the inside features to spaces to tuck receipts and cash, along with ample gift card/debit card room and a coin section. It’s so, pretty, and I regret nothing about this purchase (I’m considering it an early graduation gift to myself 🙂 )

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While quite a bit less exciting, this fourth favorite has quickly become one of my “holy grails”. After trying out one of these babies from a friend (this baby in particular being the EOS Pomegranate Raspberry Lip Balm) I was hooked and had to get one of my own. Inexpensive, this little guy does his job of keeping my lips soft (a necessity in the dry Los Angeles climate) and smelling absolutely delicious (and it tastes great too!).

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And last but not least I present to you the pants that I have been living in: my Lululemons. They are the Wunder Undercrop, and were bought semi-impulsively during a spring break trip to Santa Barbara. My friends warned me that once I tried them on I wouldn’t want to take them off, and that rang true. These are incredible and fully live up to the hype surrounding them. The band keeps them a little bit fashionable, and the fabric/fit are both so comfortable. Reversible, I can even pull off wearing them to school twice in one week 😉 (but don’t tell anybody!).

 

I hope that you all have enjoyed this post, thank you so much for reading! What are your current must-haves? Comment below, I’d love to hear!

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow me on here or through Bloglovin’! I also have a Twitter account and an Instagram account 🙂

Julia

Goodies of the Week

Hello my lovely readers! I wanted to introduce something new to my blog: a repeating post called Goodies of the Week! Obviously, I won’t be posting the same thing every week, I just want to keep you guys up to date on my bargains and finds 🙂 Today I want to share some pretty exciting stuff with you guys! I got all of this about two weeks ago, and thus it has already been tested out. Expect some mini reviews as well in the post. Enjoy! 🙂

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This first find is something I am incredibly excited about 🙂 It’s a phone case with my favorite quote from the book The Fault In Our Stars on it. I think it’s the cutest thing. I included the front side of my phone so you can see how much the case covers. I’ve been very happy with it so far! I drop my phone all the time, and this case has kept it safe and sound. Also, the quote just makes me so happy 🙂 Find the case here! I got the deflector model (one piece, vs. the capsule two piece case).

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My second purchase was this sticker. It’s a quote from my favorite book Looking For Alaska. This was an impulse buy, but I love it! It’s currently sticking on my laptop 🙂

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And I got these stickers for free with my purchase. I ordered from Red Bubble (the website I linked above), which explains the RB! I was very happy with my purchase, and highly recommend this website for any personalized items.

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My next newest goodie is this beautiful NYX Runway Collection Eyeshadow Palette. It comes with 10 beautiful, varying colors. I could not be happier with it! It was a belated Christmas gift from a close friend, and I’ve been getting my use out of it. The white is beautiful for highlighting the inner corners of the eye, and the brown shades make it a must-have product in creating a smokey eye. I also love the brighter colors, especially because spring is coming up! 🙂

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The last goodie I want to show you guys is this sheer gloss in Hot Cocoa from NYX. It was also a part of the belated gift from my friend! 🙂 On the lips, it has a beautiful mauve color. It’s not sticky, which always makes a lipgloss a winner in my book.

Thank you so much for reading! To stay up to date with new posts, be sure to follow me on here, or through Bloglovin’. And while you’re at it, send me a tweet, I always love to hear from my readers 🙂 Lastly, enjoy some photos galore on my Instagram! It’s an addiction..

What goodies have you come across recently? Do you like them? Hate them? Let me know below! 🙂

Julia