Friday, March 29, 2013

Swooning Over Spring Swimwear

What's up, party people? On Wednesday, I shared a big piece of my soul with you and made a pretty big life announcement. So, because of that announcement and everything that comes with it, I think it's pretty safe to say I have been engrossed with all things surf lately. Okay, who am I kidding? I have always been engrossed with all things surf. I may have been born on the East Coast but the West Coast flows through my blood.

Anyway. I've been sifting through surf apparel like it was my job ;) I've been searching for inspiration through other brands, images of waves, and quotes about the sea. Through these things I hope to find a vision for our events, our promo material, and our new apparel designs.

In the midst of my inspiration-seeking, I've come across a few stellar swimsuits that I just had to share with you. I apologize if it's currently snowing where you live. Maybe I should refrain from telling you I'm working on my base tan and have already bought a bikini and a half this season...

I am the type of person who must try on swimsuits before purchasing them. For example, bandeaus, they just don't work for me. I like support and bandeaus do the opposite for me. However, I found one like the O'Neill Escape Top above that wasn't too bad so there's hope.

Also, I have been searching all over for a cross-back tie bikini top and the other day, my prayers were answered when I found one by Body Glove. I used to ROCK Body Glove one pieces when I was body surfing as a 3-year-old and I'm rocking Body Glove now. Seriously, they fit SO well - like a glove!

I am obviously loving the surf short/hipster look this season. And the fringe! I thought fringe tops would make me look super top-heavy but I found a halter/V-cut like the Body Glove version above and looove it!

Also, can we talk about how phenomenal those one-pieces are? They are right up my alley! I'm curious though if they cut into all the wrong areas. I'll keep my eye out for one to try on and report back :)

What swim looks are you crushing over this season? Or is it not warm enough to even think about it? ;) Sorry, I had to!

P.S. I'm guest posting over on Jenn's blog today - go say hi!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The First Glimpse Into My Place

Next month will mark four months since I left to start my journey in San Diego. Four months. And I have still yet to share any of my humble little abode here on the blog. I'm a very private person when it comes to my living space, hence why I love living alone. I found my place back in the Fall when I flew out here to house hunt and everything aligned perfectly for me to sign a month-to-month lease, giving me flexibility once I settled in to my new city.

Now, as many of you know, San Diego is not inexpensive. However, I was moving from Northern Virginia which again, is not expensive so I was prepared. But, c'mon, we all know I was born on the wrong coast and that I would make it out here eventually, regardless of what it cost. I knew ahead of time that I'd have to give up a lot of luxuries. Knowing that I'd initially be without a job, I said goodbye to a garage, a dishwasher, a bathtub [don't worry, I have a shower], a washer and dryer, a garbage disposal, and A/C and heat [okay, so there are obviously ways of getting around that in such a perfect climate], among other things.

But I've never been the one who needs granite counter tops and I had stainless steel appliances for 6 months out of my whole life and, you know what, they didn't affect my life too deeply. So, honestly, going without the things I mentioned above has been a piece of cake. I care much more about the feel of my home.

Another reason I chose this place is because it came partially furnished which made the move so much easier since I didn't have to lug half of my furniture coast to coast. So, I took the pieces that maybe I wouldn't have personally chosen, and spruced them up with some of my style. 

I had issues trying to decorate this kitchen table for a while. It is a light brown, wooden, circular table and the table I had before was black and rectangular. I played around with a few ideas and then decided I need flowers. I am a huge fan of fake flowers, my friends. I went to Michael's and walked back and forth through the flower aisles pairing colors and blooms. These flowers are some of my favorite and I love the way the sunlight floods into the peachy tones. I'm a sea glass connoisseur so I put some of those bad boys in the vase for an accent.

Lastly, I had this beautiful antique cake stand and knew I wanted to do something with it. I also had one lonely, blank frame and decided to print one of my favorite quotes and place it inside. I read that quote at least once everyday as I pass by it :)

While I won't stay in this place forever, it's been a wonderful starter as I begin my journey here. I've had to remind myself that each new piece I buy will need to work in my next place and with whatever new furniture I purchase at that time. So, it was a little tricky at first but I love it. And I can't believe it. That here I am, living in San Diego, in my own little place. Nothing can beat that. It's home. And now you have seen just a little piece of that home.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

On Finding the Way to My Dreams

This is the first time in my life, that's right — the first time — that I've ever really felt like I can do whatever the heck I want. And not just whatever the heck I want, but to do what I feel I was put here to do. To do the things I'm truly passionate about. To take the time to BE me, really be me.

I know it must sound crazy. But I was the type of person who always felt restricted. Whether it was by my parents or my school or a particular timeline, I always felt like things outside of my own agenda needed to happen first. Now, don't get me wrong. I know that things are never completely going to happen according to our own agenda. Life cannot be controlled. I have certainly learned that the hard way. However, this is the one time in my life where I can create the life I want.

I am constantly grateful for the chance that I had to move to San Diego — a dream of mine for nearly a decade, ever since the minute I first set foot in this city. I'm grateful for the timing of everything in my life. The good, the bad. Because it brought me here. It allowed me to quit my job, leave everything behind, and live my life here. And while it has been the most wonderful experience I could have asked for thus far, it sure hasn't been easy.

I moved to the other side of the country without a job, without family, and without any close friends. I'm crazy, right? Right. Although I did something similar when I moved to Utah back in 2010, this time I chose to do things differently. I decided there would be no settling. Absolutely none. Life is too short to settle for anything.

Moving to San Diego has symbolized something much greater than I think most people realize. This is the start of the best years of my life. The years where I have finally found myself — what my deepest passions are, what my greatest talents are, what my biggest dreams are, what makes me "me."

Finding the way to my dreams has been beautifully difficult. There are certain attributes that I have constantly been pulled to since a young age and dreams that I have never been able to let go of. Sharing my creativity with the world has been one of those dreams and I am currently working day and night on my jewelry business, After Sunset, in hopes of sharing what I love to do with many others. Working in the surf industry has been another one of those dreams since before I can even remember.

I have been praying constantly for the right opportunity that combines my natural gifts and talents with my passions to come along here in San Diego. For the right doors to be opened. For everything to come together. Several days ago, in the midst of working on jewelry things and rubbing my exasperated blue eyes, I found a position online for a surf shop here. It was an opportunity I've waited years for, and before I knew it, I was welcomed onto the team!

I will be coordinating the marketing & events for this surf brand and I am absolutely ecstatic about this opportunity. It is something I had only dreamt of for all this time.

But I can see it now. The Universe listens. And the doors are finally starting to open up — because I haven't settled this time, no matter what the cost. And I won't settle. This is me. This is the path I have chosen. These are my blue eyes that I see my world here in San Diego through. This is my heart that constantly beats for all things real and true. These are my dreams that find their way into my life when I'm ready to fight harder than I've ever fought before.

"Part of living your destiny and not your shadow career is being able to LIVE in and with uncertainty. It's about trusting The Universe to have your back. It's about realizing you have a gift and your job is to GIVE that gift to the world. It's about doing what's right rather than what's easy." — Mastin Kipp

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

San Diego Beauty

Sometimes I have to keep pinching myself that I live here. San Diego is full of so much natural beauty. It is so vibrant. So pristine. So utterly beautiful. While my friend was here visiting a couple weeks ago, we headed a bit North of where I live and explored parts of Del Mar and La Jolla.

Del Mar is full of miles and miles of pure beach and cliffs. You can enjoy the views right on the sand, either walking along the water or enjoying a drink or bite to eat at one of the oceanfront restaurants in town. Or, you can do what we did and enjoy the view from the top of the cliffs.

And then there is La Jolla. Oh, La Jolla. A favorite part of San Diego for many, many people. There's so much to see and do in La Jolla. You can walk around and look in all the high-end designer stores, sit and people [and Lamborghini] watch. Seriously, I dare you to count how many you see there in one day. There are many fun eateries and bakeries. And, of course, there is the famous La Jolla Cove, which is where we spent most of our time.

While you're visiting the Cove, you must go out on the rocks and get an up-close view of the seals and sea lions. This is their spot! The huge sea lion above was showing off and sunbathing for us with his head stretched back. Such a character!

We walked around for a bit and then I was craving chocolate. I know, I know - what's new? I turned to my handy-dandy friend, Yelp, and found an amazing organic cupcakery known as Cups! Many of the reviews mentioned the "Death by Chocolate" cupcake and since I was going through chocolate withdrawals, I think my choice was pretty obvious...

Death by Chocolate it was and, I have to say, it was probably the best cupcake I've ever had. Perfect size. Perfect flavor. And did not fall apart as I devoured carefully bit into it. Plus, they have the cutest retro diner feel inside with seating up at the counter or comfy booth space if you so choose. Cups was a nice find!

We didn't wait much longer until we decided to head on over to the Karl Strauss Brewery & Grill right up the street. I love how walkable downtown La Jolla is. And they have a Roxy store there. Just had to throw that in there.

Anyway, Karl Strauss. We started off sitting out on the patio but then our heat lamp didn't work. #sandiegoproblems So, we moved inside and chatted it up with our server about all the tasty choices they had on tap. He even allowed us to sample. What a guy. Karl Strauss is best known for their Red Trolley Ale which you find on tap frequently throughout San Diego.

I listened to my Yelpers yet again and decided to order the Mac & Cheese and it was out-of-this-world. I couldn't finish the entire thing but it made for amazing leftovers later. Also, their Chili Lime Sweet Potato Fries were divine. Funny thing - I didn't like sweet potato fries... until I moved to SD.

The night ended with a beautiful La Jolla sunset in Scripps Park. I took it all in as I constantly remind myself to do here.

This place is perfect for me. It inspires me. It motivates me. It pushes me. Looking outward at the Pacific, as my favorite colors all blend together and sink behind the deep turquoise water. This view will never get old.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Color Overload

Let's talk fashion again. In case you missed my post on my first style obsession [Aztec/tribal prints] you can go check that out here. You guys should know by now that I am the queen of all things 90s, yes? Well, since several of you were gushing over my jellies in this post the other day [it's okay, I still gush over them too] I figured I'd piece together a post all about where you can find jellies! No. Such. Luck. It looks like I literally bought out the jelly population and left the world with nothing.

Perhaps I should start my own jelly factory?


I am obsessed with colors. Ob. Sessed. To the point where three people [they were all guys so what do they know?] in the past two weeks gave me the whole, "WOW. Look at you and all your colors!"spiel. But you know what? I'm embracing me and embracing my style and I love my colors so as the days grow warmer, my wardrobe is growing even more colorful.

Here are some looks that I am loving. They mix their colors and they mix 'em well.

1. Anthropologie onesie, but of course.
2. Oranges and lavender. Why am I the only one who likes orange?

5. Atlantic-Pacific. I so would have rocked the orange/blue to my high school football games.
8. This is basically me minus the pink 

Now, don't even get me started on neons. We'll have to save those for another time because my closet is filling up with them, to say the least. Perhaps in a future post I'll show you some of my own colorful outfits!

So, who's taking the color plunge with me this year? C'mon. Have fun. Live a little. Ignore what the fashion police say about mixing too many colors ;)

- Don't forget you can enter our giveaway for three $100 Visa gift cards here! -

Thursday, March 21, 2013

After Sunset Jewels + A Huge Giveaway!

Boy, do I have some fun things in store for you today! First off, I am beyond excited to finally and officially share the launch of my new Spring designs for my Etsy shop, After Sunset! Making the big move to San Diego and being constantly surrounded by the beautiful sunsets, the gorgeous colors of the palms and the sea, and all the natural textures of the sand and the rocks along the coast - I have been super inspired to say the least.

My new designs use mainly stone and glass and seed beads along with funky gold touches [my favorite] to create colorful and fun jewelry to add to your outfits! I'm currently focusing mainly on bracelets because, let's be honest, you can never have enough arm candy, right?

Here are some of my designs using stone:

+ Multi-colored turquoise, mint, purple, and pink Wrap Bracelet

The bracelets with mint are limited addition so get them while they're hot!

+ Turquoise & Royal Blue Magnesite Stone with Gold Geo Bead Wrap Bracelet.

I'm obsessed with with the tribal/Aztec look right now so I pretty much wear that bracelet all the time :)

Now, let's talk about my love for Czech seed beads. They're so colorful and beachy!

Again, you can buy these seed bead + gold tube bracelets individually like this gorgeous Neon Yellow Luster Bracelet
as an arm party combination like the Purple Ombre set below!

I'm also loving Czech glass beads and... chain. Obviously. I mean, I couldn't NOT have chain in some of my designs ;)

The Mint & Champagne Wrap Bracelet is an example of some of the Czech glass & chain wraps that are in the store! And yes, I wear multiples of these bracelets at the same time :)

And the Aqua, Mint and Matte Gold Elastic Bracelets are another one of our arm party sets you can buy!

Be sure to check out the shop for all of the bracelets & new ones will continue to be added!  As always, let me know if you want a custom order :) I am so excited, you guys. Creating jewelry has always been a passion of mine and it means the world to be able to share it with you all. I would LOVE it if you help me spread the word about my shop!

And because I love my readers so much, I am offering you FREE SHIPPING for the next two weeks on all U.S. orders! Use coupon code BLOGGERLOVE at checkout through April 4th :)

Now, for the GIVEAWAY! 
I have teamed up with these amazing bloggers below to offer you not one... not two... but THREE $100 Visa gift cards that you can use for whatever your little heart desires. Amaze, right?! Enter using the Rafflecopter below and good luck to you all! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What Spring Means to Me

I am so excited for this Spring. My first Spring, and first full season, in San Diego. I'm excited for shorts and sandals. My toes in the warm sand. And eventually getting in the Pacific :)

I'm excited for warmer evenings watching the sunset. And even more excited for the nights I get to watch it snuggled up in strong arms. I'm excited for craft fairs. Craft beers. Zoo nights. And the slow progression into a San Diegan Summer.

This Spring means more outdoor brunches. Coffee in my backyard. Colorful nails and toes. The smell of the flowers as I walk outside. The warm touch of the sun on my back.

And what better place to experience all of that? What better place to smell the sweet salt air, watch the palms sway in the breeze, and to feel the fresh grass, the soft sand on my feet? San Diego. This is where I'm meant to be. And, Spring, I welcome you here with open arms.

What does Spring mean to you where you live?

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Weekend o' Fun

This weekend I:

+ Tried on a lot of green outfits.

+ And white pants

+ And purchased two of the white pants

+ And only one pair of green pants

+ And wore none of them for St. Patrick's Day Weekend

+ But I did wear this ACID WASH green top probably more than I should have

+ And my JELLIES. And, yes, a joke was made [by a guy] that he was jelly of my jellies

+ "Learned" how to skateboard in his kitchen

+ After one, possibly two, Irish car bombs

+ Proceeded to watch him fall on said skateboard

+ Then we laughed after determining that nothing was broken

+ And "spoke" crazy languages like Hungarian, Finnish, and Mandarin. [Long story. Kind of.]

+ Then we saw some crazy shiz at the one and only Kobey's Swap Meet Sunday morning

+ Yet, I got pictures of pretty much NONE of the above.

That's when you know it was a good weekend, right? Hope all my little leprechauns had fun doing a little Irish jig because, oh, we did that too :)

Now, go link up your Weekend Shenanigans too!

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Time Switch for the Better

Has the whole "Spring Forward" time switch been messing with anyone else? I've been finding that it's affected me... in a good way! But it is super flip-flopped.

I'm going to bed earlier.
And waking up earlier.

Isn't it supposed to work the other way around? Why I'm getting tired earlier, I have no idea. Honestly, I think I've just been jam-packing my days with more recently.

But I do enjoy soaking up the sun a little longer every evening. I've been paying more attention to the way the sun shifts throughout the day. The way my backyard fills with sunlight. The way it feels as it hits my face.

[The sunrise in Downtown SD Monday morning]

Until the first day of Spring, I'll be enjoying the end of my San Diegan Winter this weekend lounging at the beach and having a fun date night Saturday full of seafood and probably another gorgeous sunset. Live vicariously through me via Instagram if you so choose, but don't say I didn't warn ya of future jealousy ;) [@chelseasunset]

[And, also, as we all probably know by now, Google Reader is being done away with on July 1st, so, if you need a new way to read this blog, you can find me on Bloglovin' here!]

Happy last weekend of Winter, friends!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Playing Tour Guide

I'm sitting outside as I type this. On a sunny, warm San Diego afternoon, working on a custom jewelry order [shop After Sunset here!] and taking in the floral aroma that surrounds me in this beautiful area. I feel especially blessed to live here. And I continue to remind myself everyday to be grateful for the opportunity to live in my dream city. To grow old here. To be young here!

This past weekend, my best friend from high school came to visit. He's mainly only been to SD on work trips so it was nice to show him around a little and be the "local girl" for once ;)

On Saturday morning/afternoon, I picked out a little brunch spot [Kensington Cafe] in an area of San Diego known as Kensington. It's a quaint and quiet part of town to stroll around with your coffee or your dog. We sat out on the patio and waited for our delicious breakfast scramble burritos to be served. They were amaze. As is everything else I've had in SD.

It's kind of fun to have a close guy friend who's more into photography than I am because it felt like he was a bloggy friend of mine with his camera and lens and all that jazz. We walked around to take some pictures in Kensington and then it was off to the beautiful island of Coronado!

Coronado is said to be like a world of its own. Just across the bridge, it's close enough to reach out and touch all the hustle and bustle of Downtown San Diego but far enough away to have its own character and fun spots. Coronado is most famous for the legendary Hotel del Coronado. It's the hotel where many presidents and world leaders would stay, where Some Like It Hot starring my girl Marilyn Monroe was filmed, and, yes... it is haunted.

Walking around and through The Del is amazing. Breathtaking. Astonishing. It's so very intricate and beautiful and definitely makes you feel like you're taking a step back in time. There were many people just sitting outside on the patios, enjoying a drink, and the wonderful sight of the white, sandy beach.

After Coronado, we drove over to one of my favorite spots, Ocean Beach, to enjoy the rest of the evening and some yummy dinner. We were just in time for the sunset! While we sat and watched, in a matter of three minutes, we saw a man with a cat digging in the sand, a dog that walked on its front legs, and some crazy futuristic mobile driving down the street. Oh, OB...

Dinner was had at Hodad's. I can't get enough of that place and somehow managed to finish the entire mini cheeseburger this time. But not the fries. Too. Full. We did, however, get to sit in the old VW bus that they have inside while we enjoyed our meal.

And that was Saturday. I love where I live. I love how every area of San Diego is different yet they all still have that feeling of excitement everywhere you go.

It's so vibrant. So beautiful. So home.