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Hi! My name is Irene and welcome to my little corner of the internet. I was born and raised in beautiful sunny California originally an LA girl, until recently when my family and I made a move to Sioux Falls South Dakota making me a Midwest girl. I am giving this blogging thing a try as I travel half way across the country to a new life in South Dakota. I cant wait for whoever stumbles upon this bloggy blog to follow along on this journey with me.

I went to school for teaching little minds. I have a few degrees in Early Childhood Development and that is what my typical 9 to 5 job is BUT ya girl loves fashion! So here I am to share all the things I love… outfits, beauty, and lifestyle. My style is street style meets trendy + girly. I am a girl who tries to be healthy in mind and body but also LOVES french fries and has a on and off relationship with working out. So as i try and embrace who I am, what my body looks like, and manage my anxiety I hope to inspire even one person to do the same in their own life. I also want to to inspire others to find their style and make it their own no matter their shape or size.

plan your next road trip to… SIOUX FALLS // South Dakota

HEYYY THERE!

I have a fun little COLLAB for you all!

 This collaboration is all about things to do in the United States when we are all free of COVID-19 // Social Distancing. This collaboration has a multitude of other bloggers talking about what to do and why you should visit their state. My part in this is sharing all the places and things I love to do in Sioux Falls South Dakota. Now let me tell you I got a million and five recommendations from my friends, about all kinds of places to eat and things to do… The thing is I have only lived in Sioux Falls for a little over six months, and I wanted to make sure anything I share I can give my own opinion on. Basically I’m saying that on this post you will find that 90% of what I am recommending is from my own experiences, BUT there are still a million other things to do in Sioux Falls that won’t be on this post!

Food [&] Drink:

PHILLIPS AVE DINER

PC: Phillips Ave Diner

I love this place! It is right in the heart of downtown and is OH SO CUTE to take pictures of, BUT wait there’s more the FOOD is supper yummy too! I am OBSESSED with their mac n cheese personally. Their tuna melt is also BOMB.com.

MACKENZIE RIVER

pc: MacKenzie River

The pizza, the beer, the feels, they have it all! I’m a basic girl for sure so the Classic Cheese pizza is my favorite with a good beer I like the Jeremiah Johnson Rotator. Also I love their flatbreads.The Greek is another favorite of mine. As well as another pizza called the MacKenzie River.

THE ATTIC

This place is quirky for sure but, in the best way possible. There are pool tables and darts to play while you wait, drink, or eat. The booze are great but the service is even better. I have never had a bad experience with service. If I’m being real it might have been some of the best service I have ever experienced!

OBSCURE BREWING

Okay full disclosure I have never been here but it is basically down the street from where I live LOL. I have heard the alcohol is top notch so it is for sure something to do. One thing to know about Sioux Falls tho is there is never a brewery too far from where you are I promise!

DESERT:

GUATELINDA BAKERY

I am Mexican American and I love my Pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) but, when we moved to the midwest I lost my favorite bakery. That sent me on a Mexican Bakery hunt. I didn’t find one but, to my surprise, I did find a Guatemalan Bakery. Though it is not quite the same it is still EXTREMELY yummy and I go almost once a month!

CH PATISSERIE

They have a million great desserts though I would say the best thing there is the French Macrons. They have some staple flavors as well as a flavor of the month so basically you have to go at least once a moth to check out the new flavor!

Coffee shops:

LA LUNA CAFE

PC: La Luna Cafe

I have never tried their food although it looks very yummy, but their Lattes are top notch! The atmosphere is so insta worthy! It’s in the heart of DTSF, and if you read this far you already know I love anything mixed with my hispanic culture. That being said, my favorite Latte is the Horchata Latte.

JOSIAHS CAFE

PC: Josiah’s Cafe

Great place if you just want to hang with friends and sip on coffee and get some brekkie. The Chai Latte is great, it’s what I always get and I love their Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict. Lastly their sweet treats always look so delicious.

DUNN BROS

PC: top picture Dunn Brothers Coffee

They have the best coffee hands down in my opinion for your everyday Starbucks replacement! I am OBSESSED with the Honey Spiced Nirvana with Brown Sugar and Oat milk. To be fair though I have tried a few things off the menu and they are all extremely delightful!

THE SOURCE

PC: The Source

Disclaimer I have never been here, but I have been trying to get here because who doesn’t love a place that has coffee and beer? Oh yeah and food.

SHOP:

TERRA SHEPHERD BOUTIQUE

PC: Terra Shepherd Boutique

This is another place I haven’t been to but have heard a million and five great things about! They are all about Sustainability, clothing for all bodies, and local shopping. All things I try to live by.

MARIE AND MARIE

Need a wedding dress? look no further. This place is amazing and they have so many dress options. Psst they have plus size dresses as well. The dresses have a wide range of price points and are amazing quality. The staff is amazing and it is a beautiful place to spend time shopping for your dream dress.

STYLE ENCORE

Thrift Drop till you drop. I love thrifting. It’s not only good for your wallet but for the planet. In Sioux Falls we have your regular thrift shops (that I love). Yet Style Encore stands out to me because they have more high end items to be thrifted.

THINGS TO DO:

FALLS PARK // FARMERS MARKET

The Falls are amazing to see and snap a few pictures of. The park itself is a great place to have a picnic and in the winter drive around for the Christmas light show. There is also a cafe in Falls Park that overlooks the park as well as an observation deck.

These are all amazing things but my personal favorite thing to do at the park is go to the Farmers Market! There is nothing like buying fresh food // flowers from the local farmers.

SIDE NOTE:

From Falls Park or any other park in Sioux Falls you can hop on the bike trail and it will take you all around Sioux Falls in one big loop (22 miles) to be exact.

GREAT SHOTS

Great Shots is a really fun place with or without the kids and such a fun time with only a couple people or a big party.

BUTTERFLY HOUSE & AQUARIUM

PC: Butterfly House & Aquarium

I have been trying to get to this amazing place since before we moved here and something always comes up to block me from getting there. That being said I would still recommend coming here 100%. Especially if you are like me and obsessed with butterflies.

Washington pavilion // Kirby Science Discovery Center and Visual Arts Center

PC: Washington Pavilion

Something fun to do with the kiddos. (Free on the first Friday of every month from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) I myself have not been but, all my friends with young kids say they love it.

PALISADES STATE PARK

PC: Benjamin Prescott

This place is gorgeous! There are tons of hiking trails, you can camp here, or just go sit by the waterfalls in the grass area and enjoy the day.

AIR MADNESS

PC:Chelsea Jutting

Want to burn some of your kids energy take a drive over to Harrisburg and go jump the afternoon away. Moms and Dads have no fear across the parking lot is Big J’s where you can get a little happy hour and a snack.

WALL LAKE

We always come here in the late afternoon after work to drop the Sea-Doo’s in for a bit and have some fun in the lake. There is a park area and some “beach” sand area to lounge by the water also.

DEEP HONEY CREEK

You can’t get any more local than this place. It is literally a little honey stand that you drive up to check what’s in the honey fridge, pick the honey you want, look at the price tag, then either leave a check or cash in the coffee tin inside the fridge. The honey is made right there on site at the farm.

Well you made it to the end! I hope this made you want to take a road trip to Sioux Falls SD when we are all free of COVID-19 and safe to travel again. Most of the Places I mentioned in this post are local small businesses and have not sponsored me to post about them whatsoever. I genuinely love each of these places and want other people to come and experience them as I have.

Leave a comment if you ever come to Sioux Falls SD and check any of these places out.

Have a great day!

 

 

 

Who Knows Where She’s Been?… That’s a Secret I’ll Never Tell XOXO…

Oohh hi there! I know I know it has literally been F O R E V E R! I disappeared because well I don’t really know, I guess because I was trying to get my life somewhat together. Did I get my life together though? No not really but this is what i have been doing….

I became a leader in my youth group [Embrace Youth] and we had winter camp [HAVE NO FEAR THIS WAS PRE- COVID-19] We went to Minnesota and had an amazing time! Also my amazing youth girls convinced me to get Tik Tok. Yes I am a small part of millennials who were on Tik Tok pre COVID-19. Am I embarrassed about that? No no I am not!

Along with getting to know my amazing youth girls I also became… Can I say this can I really call people I only met a couple months ago this?…. BEST FRIENDS! I became besties with the other leaders of my small group. So pre Carona I spent Friday night hanging with my new besties! [ Nat , Chelsea ,and Lexi ]

I have gone on a million walks with my puppy and by puppy I mean my eight year old dog[Puppy] LOL. Ohh i cut like three inches off my hair, put a million clips in my hair for a dare with my youth kiddos, got a new car [thanks MOM and DAD] Oh yes COVID-19 came and canceled my trip back to Los Angeles sooooo I did a pretend trip to LA from H O M E.

And it went like this….

We finally had some amazing weather and I made my parents have a picnic with me!

I tried to make masks FASHION! Also I found toilet paper YAY!!!

This week I cut my dads hair [ Scary I know ] then I got bored and cut my bangs! Took a million pictures of myself like usual…

Lastly I tried on all my spring//summer clothes they really want to see the world but for now they are seeing my house.

ANNOUNCMENT:

I have two first I plan on posting more regularly but on a new day of the week. So *drum roll please* new post day is SUNDAY!

Second is that… I have my first collaboration! It will have multiple other bloggers talking all about their state//city. My portion will include all things Sioux Falls South Dakota. Hope you’re as excited as me for this!!!

b y e 2019!

2019

Well 2019 you are officially over. Let’s re-cap a little… 

I started 2019 at the beach watching the sun set on the 1st day of the year. 

I found my BESTFRIEND (her name is Candace she’s freaking amazing go follow her on Instagram @candacejewell ) and she taught me about all things thrifting to make me her fellow thrift Q U E E N. 

Obviously I went to Disneyland DUH!

Explored San Diego like I never have before. found all the hidden gems that the once short 2 hour drive from home had to offer.

Watched my mommy become a citizen of the United States of America!

Had a bestie photo shoot.

Traveled to New Orleans, collected beads, and ate lots of BEIGNETS.

Sang at Colour Conference Los Angeles. 

Had many park picnics, mosh pit fun, and DTLA adventures with the amazing hillsong youth kiddos.

Went to Disneyland a lot! 

Spent 50% of summer in a pool.

Spent the other 50% of summer at Disneyland. 

Trained my closest friends how to take a good instagram picture (y’all know who you are) hahaha!

Started a lil blogy BLOG.

Sold the house I had lived in all my life.

Said my final goodbye to Disneyland. 

Had a going away party where we said bye to OUR PEOPLE.

Drove for 2 days straight and moved to South Dakota.

Made a house a home in Sioux Falls SD.

Took pictures at a real pumpkin patch with my two new besties who are stuck with me now. LOL

Found a new church that we love! ( @iamembrace ) 

Got involved with serving in the youth ministry!!!

Learned how to drive in the snow. K I N D A! 

still trying to figure out how to dress in cute outfits for -20 degree weather. Let’s be real I’m trying to figure out how to make outfits cute for 40 degree weather too! 

Well I’ve had some major changes this year but I’m 100% happy with the choices I made. I thank God for guiding my family and I this year because without Him we would be lost… and all that we have accomplished this year wouldn’t be possible without God, our amazing church friends, and trusting Gods plan for us.  

Well I started the year on a beach watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean and I’m ending the year watching the sun set over a blanket of snow from my back yard on a nice cool 15 degree night, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! 

Have a happy new year everyone! 

LIFE UPDATE…

No fans I didn’t forget you all I just kept saying I’ll sit down next week…then next week would come and go and I would say ugh OHKAY Irene next week. Now its been two months since I have sat down and put up my rambling words on this lil bloggie blog. Have no fear though I’m back!

While I was away an amazing stranger found me on Instagram who takes pictures and I me Irene met a complete stranger at a park. Don’t worry I’m not crazy I took back up so I didn’t get stolen or anything. Turns out this photographer wasn’t just amazing at taking pictures she’s also a really great human! If you are in the Sioux Falls SD area and want a great photographer follow her on Instagram @lapaixphoto the fist two pictures of this blog are the ones she took.

After surviving meeting a stranger at a park my mom flew into town for Thanksgiving and it was amazing to have her HOME. We had a good amount of snow while she was here so she learned how to shovel the driveway. While she was shoveling snow I was learning how to make a yummy dairy free pumpkin pie! It was really good so ill leave the recipe at the bottom of this blog if anyone wants to try it out.

Next my first friend came to visit me! She’s a flight attendant who fly’s to my home town so when she said she had a long lay over I immediately took the day off so I could spend all the time she had to offer with her. It was so fun showing her around and taking snow pictures even if it was a warm 40 degree day.

Then Christmas came…so my mom was back in town this time with the promise to be back and living here with me and my dad full time at the end of January! We spent Christmas making cookies, creating charcuterie boards, and having friends over for dinner. It was different then our old traditions we had in California but it was still amazing!

Well my amazing readers if you have gotten this far you have made it to the end of this long blog. I promise to try and stay on it with my blog coming into the NEW YEAR!

pumpkin patch fit

FALL! my favorite time of year! Now that I live in South Dakota fall doesn’t equal FIRE season like it did in California. It actually means crisp air, leaves changing color, and sweater weather. Im loving it but picking out a outfit for the pumpkin patch last weekend felt so hard to find something cute to wear. When I looked at all my friends pictures from the pumpkin patch and they all have on cute rompers, skirts, and dresses on…. Im here like if I wear that my legs will turn purple and fall off. Not to mention I got really bad news the day before so everything that didn’t go great I had a melt down over. That whole morning I was a mess so I decided forget trying to be supper cute for pictures just find a comfy cute outfit and have fun.

So I went with a grey hoody thats one of my favorites from Hillsong Young & Free, a jean jacket I thrifted, black ripped jeans from American Eagle, a black and red checkered flannel that I also thrifted for a little flair, white shoes always, and a camel hat from amazon that I’m obsessed with. I wore my hair down with a slight curl. I didn’t think I would love this outfit because it wasn’t the original plan for me BUT I really liked it when I saw the pictures and it kept me pretty warm on a cool 32 degree weather day.

cheers to 25!

I never thought I would be spending my 25th birthday in a new state, not at Disneyland,  with basically ZERO friends, and without my mom. Lets just say this is going to be a hard weekend for me. I had so many plans for this birthday ya know its the BIG 25! I was so excited for my 25th for almost a year I knew what I wanted to do. I had made plans for myself and everyone from Friday to Sunday. Obviously I love birthdays especially my own. But plans changed and now here, I am in a new place, no Disneyland, no friends, and no mom…. I have spent the last 15 minuets crying by myself even thinking about writing this how sad am I.

Before I started writing this I thought you know what “you’re doing good its not a big deal you and dad will hang out find a pumpkin patch, eat yummy food, and just have a IRENE day.” don’t get me wrong that’s my plan for us still but I just didn’t think actually putting it all into words would make me sad and cry.

Now missing Disneyland sounds dumb I’m sure to most people but I have spent every birthday since I was about 5 years old at Disneyland. I never really thought about it as a real tradition but looking back it was a 20 year tradition. now its gone and I miss it but not as bad as I thought I would. Ill have to find a Mickey shaped raspberry macaroon in Sioux Falls now.

The no friends thing is a little dramatic on my part, I do have like 7 friends here. Im grateful for them don’t get me wrong at all I’m supper grateful to not legitimately be ALONE here. Although I miss MY PEOPLE They just know me through and through I told them just the other day that I am like a plant slowly dying without the attention I need too survive. They laughed and all I felt was another leaf falling off my branch…

NO MOMMA! ahhhh! That is just the worst my mom is my everything don’t get crazy now I love my dad and we have a great relationship, but no one is my momma! I will miss her  so much more than usual this weekend.

BUT when all is said and done I’m excited for new adventure even if it means my 25th birthday isn’t as EPIC as I had planned. The day will still come like every OCTOBER 27th does and I will be another year older. Not sure if I’m ready or not but ready or not it’s coming!

 

 

THE JOURNEY…

We left extra early Saturday morning and guess who fell out of the huge moving truck? YUP! Thats right if you guessed me you’re right. Don’t worry I’m fine but the coffee cake I was holding in my hand… not so much. Anyways the drive was a long two day drive but we made it. My parents and I made it in time for the final walk through on our new home. We had split off from our group in the faster car so that we could make it on time, and in that car we had one of our dogs. Well we walked up to the new house excited to finally see it in person! Little did we know when we put our dog Khloe in the backyard so we could tour the house it would be the last time we saw her, because she would find a way under the gate and escape as we looked at our new home.

The minuet we noticed she was gone we searched for her, but it was too dark and she was in a very new place 1,689 miles away from the only home she had ever known. Long story short she has now been missing for 12 days. She is posted all over the local Sioux Falls missing pet pages, we have been to the local shelter, and she’s been shared on the local missing pets Facebook page over 400x. We believe someone took her and has her and we are at peace with that. We just want whoever has her to love her and take good care of her. For anyone wondering our other dog has never been happier being a ONLY DOG.

Besides loosing our dog this journey has been great! not a single thing was broken and we got everything off the moving truck in one day. Thanks to the amazing family friends we have who helped us move all this way. It was a lot of hard work but we have gotten settled in our new home really fast thanks to all the help. We love our new home so much, although it is hard since my mom had to fly back to California to finish her school year. I miss my mom tons and I know my dad misses her a lot too. Have no fear my dad and I are surviving even tho its just the two of us [we haven’t killed each other LOL] We have been working hard to get the house together and have our touch on it all. My mom is coming to visit for Thanksgiving so it’s mine and my dads goal to have the house completely done!

I GOT A JOB! I will be starting work here in Sioux Falls as a part time pre-school teacher. I am so excited to start and begin making life here in South Dakota.

Thanks for following me on this journey I plan to keep y’all updated with all things new with the house, my life, and all the new finds.

 

MOVING…

Long story short I cried…. I never thought I would be supper emotional about leaving my childhood home. Yes I have lived in that house since the day my parents brought me home from the hospital, but I’m not supper emotional when it comes to life events. As I packed our family home over the last month I felt nothing but excitement! While we had all our friends come over to pack up everything into our moving truck I still felt nothing but excitement! As my parents and I spent our last two nights in a basically empty house still I had nothing but excitement for this move.

Yet when we went back to officially give up the keys to the new owner I had a few minuets alone in the only house I have ever known. I walked into my bedroom of 24 years and 11 months and said goodbye because it was no longer MY room. I looked around at the walls that have watched me grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Thats when I began to cry not because I was sad, but because I was saying goodbye to the only home I had ever known.

Shhh don’t tell but I ripped off a corner of the wallpaper that has always been in my closet ya know for memories. now I’m sitting in my aunties house because we are homeless LOL. I’m wishing for this week to slow down, because Friday we say goodbye to Los Angeles and start our two day journey to our new home in Sioux Falls. I’ll keep ya’ll updated on that journey so here’s to this LA girl moving to the Midwest.

THRIFTY GREEN SWEATER

As fall draws near all I can think about is long sleeve sweaters and not sweating because its still 90 degrees outside. Just like this little green sweater I thrifted from Savers. I love it because it has such cute detail on the sleeves. It has balloon sleeves from right above the elbow to the wrist. The neckline is oval shaped and is flattering but odd in a good way. These mom jeans are from American Eagle as usual I’m too short and have to cuff everything. I’m 5’1” so yeah even short length pants are too long on me. If you know me you know I’m obsessed with white sneakers. So in this outfit I am wearing my all white Adidas Stan Smiths. My accessories are my fucci belt from Amazon that I love, my [I] pendant necklace also from Amazon, and earrings that are oval shape with flowers that i got form…. you guessed it Amazon.

I cant wait for more outfits like this as my moves comes and I wont be living in just two seasons all year round. My favorite season is fall and I cant wait to actually have a real one this year and not sweat out my curls half way through he day. I love this outfit with my hair pulled back in my go to slick back bun that i wear 99.8% of the time, but I also love my hair down and in curls or straight. So as I get more cold weather coming I will be sure to start changing up my hair with all my outfits.

LIFESTYLE

Life Update: MOVING is officially my least favorite thing to do. I’m supper excited about the move but all this packing is driving me nuts! The excitement for whats to come in this move is exhilarating, and I cant wait for all things new to begin. I’m really sad to leave Los Angeles, I have lived in the same house my whole life like literally since the day I was born. I have an amazing church community at HillsongLA where I have gone to church for over 4 years. Leaving the people I have met at my time at Hillsong is going to be soooo hard! I always have said I will only miss my church and Disneyland when I leave California. Which is all very true…. but I will also miss my friends and family. I have such a close group of friends that I honestly don’t know what my life will be like without them. And as dumb as it my sound leaving Disneyland behind will probably be one of the hardest things for me to do. All jokes aside I have had a Disneyland Annual Passholder since I was SIX years old! That means I have had a Disney pass for 19 years..that’s crazy to me!!! Well this journey to a new state is sure to have its ups and downs especially emotionally for me but I’m ready for it.

If you ask most anyone I’m close to I have always sworn I will NEVER have kids, and that’s how I have always felt. Until recently…. with this move I can actually see a future for me that holds a little family. Now don’t get crazy assuming I’m going to go have a bunch of kids. I would like to maybe have one naturally but only one. I want to adopt, I have always loved adoption and I would one day want to adopt a couple kids of my own. This move has opened that door for me and I’m excited to see what other options this move will give me in the future.

All this to say I’m sad to say goodbye to my life here, but I’m also excited to see what the future holds. By next month I will be blogging in beautiful Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This Cali girl will be experiencing her first ever real FALL!