Flower Mart Crazy

For my birthday, my sister surprised me at midnight (and this was greeted with a full on scream since I was feeling extra jumpy after watching the hot new thriller, Get Out, which I actually highly recommend everyone to watch). Anyways, the sweet girl and I stayed up until 3am chatting away, dragging ourselves out of bed to drive over to the San Francisco Flower Mart, where flowers are sold at wholesale prices.

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A bunch of ranunculus flowers were only $6 (what a steal!). Please the streamer-looking petaled flowers were only $5 a bunch, well actually only $2.50 technically since after purchasing the orange bunch the shopkeeper threw in a white bunch for free. That literally made my day to get such a deal. What kindness!!

Only florists with official badges can get in early to order with vendors and shop the earliest, freshest picks, but the place is listed to open to the public starting at 10am. Although, I’ve heard little birdies say that it is open to the public a bit earlier than that, so head in as early as possible to get the freshest blooms before they run out! A lot of vendors have been in the market selling since 5 or 6AM, so you can imagine how tired they must be by the time even 10am rolls around. Therefore, I shall reiterate my advice to get there early! Also, bring cash since not all vendors take card, or many have a minimum purchasing limit to meet before they’ll accept your card.

A highly recommended San Francisco adventure spot!

D a h l i a

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Favorite Summer Flower: D A H L I A S 

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Today walking through the Sunnyvale Farmer’s Market, I stopped by some produce stands for delicious fruit samples like most normal people, but couldn’t walk past this one flower stand after spotting bucket after bucketful of fresh dahlias. Thank you to Bloomwell&Co for making me fall in love with these elegant beauties. After ooh-ing and ahh-ing for a while, my boyfriend just decided to buy me a bunch because I just couldn’t walk away. I literally couldn’t stop smiling after that hehe. They are gorgeous are they not?!

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I just finished studying and taking the PCATs for pharmacy school admissions and now I won’t have to study for a whole year! OFFICIALLY. I’m trying to not make myself so busy this gap year (even though I have to work to pay rent). It’s easy to say that I’ll do fun things, out of the box things, things that I would never be able to do after I’m settled down, but it’s so much harder said than done. I so bad want to “chase my dreams” but I can’t even figure out what that would look like. There seems to be an endless train of “responsible” things to do, whether that’s studying for the PCATs, asking for recommendation letters, working on my personal statements, or preparing for interviews. I wish I could actually drop everything and do something crazy and different. Something crazy…

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Iphone Wonders

Just a couple photos from Spring quarter of things that really meant something to me this last quarter of college. Random moments when I was feeling artsy. All photos taken and edited on my Iphone 6!

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This first was one of the many bouquets of flower I received during my baptism date. I said a huge yes and made a public declaration to be with God for the rest of eternity! The best part was being able to genuinely share, and choke up a little bit, at telling my Davis family at Davis Christian Fellowship how much they have made a difference in my life. Below are pictures of an apricot field and a greenhouse in the middle of the UC Davis campus that anyone can go visit really! I visited it during a plant sciences class, one of the very first classes I took with my four-year college roommate, where all we did was plant veggies, pick ripe apricots, and play with soil and dirt. It was one of the most fun and relaxing classes I’ve ever taken with amazing friends.

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These last four pictures are taken during a Tahoe trip I took with my squad. Decided I wanted to try to be artsy so I took a picture of my friend in the hot tub, but now I can’t decide whether its cool or creepy. His smolder is not bad huh. Discovering caffeine has also gotten me through many tired mornings and long nights. Probably wouldn’t have survived college without it.

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This last one is just a verse that is actually my little sister’s favorite. It encompasses so much powerful meaning. It fills me with boldness and confidence to understand and know just what is means to be a child of God. It reminds me that I never need to live in fear, and it reminds me of the fullness of my identity. Cheers to only 1 more week of school! LETS GO.

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Buh-Bye College, You’ve Been Great

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“UC Davis you have been too good to me. Through you, I’ve developed life long friendships. I’ve learned the importance of relationship, of community, and of encouragement. I’ve met people who constantly see the good in me and never let me settle for believing in myself any less than I deserve. I’ve met people who call me Carmpoop, who like to literally pick me up, who literally sit on me, who make me laugh until my stomach hurts, and who go out of their way to make sure that I know that I am special. I used to believe that I was easily invisible, easily lost in a crowd, and easily overlooked. But I’ve met people who will never let me think like that again. When I think of you, I’ll think of the many late nights I spent studying with friends, the adventures to Paris, Tahoe, Seattle, the inside jokes, the heartfelt prayers, but mostly, I’ll remember how fully God loves. Watching people love because they know and realize just to what depths God’s love reaches will inspire me for life. Thank you for encouraging me to be bold, for reminding me that I am seen, and for teaching me what family looks like.

PEACE OUT.

PC: THE MOST AMAZING Ed Ju who made me feel better when I let our balloon prop fly up up & away.
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The above features the literal snippet of what I used as my Facebook caption. Ed Ju is the most amazing friend, bible study leader, and photographer I have come to know and personally love. He took literally all of these photos for me, and I just wanted to share my special moment with you all!

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I’m feeling super sentimental, even thought I won’t be leaving really. I have a couple job offers for my gap year in Davis, but I still couldn’t help but tear up during my last academic lab course today. I know right? Who cries about lab? It’s not like I’ll miss working with bacteria or anything, but I mean…secretly, I kind of will.

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Yeah, I don’t really know what we were doing during this photo above. But for some reason, I find it REALLY funny.

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I am not normally a PDA (public displays of affection) kind of person, so I actually shouted to our photographer, “ED I AM UNCOMFORTABLE WITH BEING SO CLOSE TO HARRY IN FRONT OF YOU RIGHT NOW”. But you know what? This photo ended up being my favorite of the bunch. Hehe!

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Fun fact, this was during a real live serenading session. Harry sang Gravity by John Mayer and I probably won’t tell him this too often because he never serenades me while staring deeply into my eyes (sounds romantic in theory but we both admit it’s a tad awkward because what am I supposed to do, smile at him for 5 minutes?), but it really did melt my heart a bit. Also featured below is my big fat bruise from running into my living room table. No nothing tripped me or anything, I just really am that clumsy.

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I’m Feelin’ 22

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March 9th marked my 22nd birthday! Woot! My friends had surprises lined up for me the entire day. It started at midnight with my housemates singing to me, blasting Taylor Swift’s song “22”, and then feeding me delicious Tiramisu (which was the beginning of “fatten Carmen up day” as I liked to call it). My boyfriend also knocked on the door and surprised me with many of my favorite snacks, including blue corn Tortilla chips, Ghiradelli chocolate, and fruit snacks (please dont judge me haha, I love feeling like a little kid).

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Every class I went to, I was met with friends who handed me beautiful flower bouquets, lots and lots of desserts, surprise meals for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. It was so intricately planned, props to the boyfriend for organizing it all so well.

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This little octopus pictured above was a prize I won from a free wheel you get to spin on your birthday at this sushi place in Davis called Mikuni’s. Our server was actually a friend I had made in my Anatomy course this quarter, so he hooked it up with some free dessert as well!

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I did have a pretty intense final at 8am the next morning, so the “surprise party” for me got moved to the next night. Which made it all the more unexpected! I dove to the ground because the people jumping up yelling SURPRISE threw me for a loop! A bunch of my friends pitched in to buy me a new wide angle camera lens *swoon*. I had been looking into purchasing one and I am beyond excited to use it!

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My roommate gifted me a succulent that she potted herself! Isn’t it the cutest thing? My other friend gave me a “Toast” cookbook and told me that it looked like my Instagram, and I told her that I would be so flattered if my Instagram ever looked like that. I am so excited to make some more delicious fancy schmancy toast though! Here’s a few pictures I snapped on my phone of my friends below (gotta put faces to these wonderful people who made my day so special):

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Here’s to a great year of more growth in friends, more growth in adventure, and more growth in my FOOD CONSUMPTION. I seriously stuffed beyond belief with love, sweet words, and desserts. Couldn’t have asked for a better day!

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Lavender Earl Grey Mini-Cakes

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Next week is the week of midterms, and to be a real college student, of course I had to find a way to procrastinate. This time, it was by making some tiny early grey lavender cakes with my good friend Amy Jan. She’s actually a fashionista (you must pay a visit to clothedwith.com), an extremely intelligent student in the sciences, and a sweet sweet soul. I say this as she is making me dinner right now as I study. Yeah, she’s a pretty good friend.

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The recipe we followed interestingly instructed us to steep the earl grey in the butter. We are not quite sure whether we did that successfully… so lets just call them lavender mini-cakes from now on. Heh.

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The lavender mini-cakes turned our surprisingly well, and they taste quite delicious! The cakes are infused with early grey and lavender and are topped off with a white chocolate lemon ganache.

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Cheers to a successful day of baking, and hopefully a better day of studying tomorrow!

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Not Bad Tahoe, Not Bad

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I was really excited to bring my camera on the “A12 Tahoe Trip”, which what my boyfriend’s housemates collectively call themselves since their apartment number is 12. Cute right? I was trying to capture some amazing moments, and got a really artsy picture of my friend Preston (shown above) and smiled at being able to catch this moment..only to realize seconds later that the moment I was capturing was a huge snowball aimed at me. HAHA. Worth it.

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This group of friends and I decided we should makes these first weekend of the new year Tahoe trips an annual thing! It has given me a little more hope to continue to grow these friends after graduating from college. Recently, I’ve been slipping into a more defensive state, where I begin to distance myself from my community and certain friendships that I see less hope for in maintaining over long distances after I leave University of California, Davis. I realized over this weekend though, that I did not want to live out any portion of my life with that mindset. I want to have hope, and to genuinely believe in the worth and value of myself to others, so that way the effort I take to maintain friendships will come from a more grounded place.

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Speaking of friends, we befriended the CUTEST husky this past weekend! We rented an Airbnb cabin, and one day, we opened the door and in came a beautifully groomed husky. He just trotted casually into the cabin and lay below our table. Everyone stared for a second without movement, shocked at what had just happened, but then seconds later, everyone was “aww-ing” and “ooh-ing” while trying to cuddle with the cute pup. On his name tag, it literally read “even if I beg to stay, tell me to go home”, so my boyfriend started laughing as he read it out loud, but once he said the words “go home”, the obedient little husky jumped up and bounced out our back door. The poor thing got confused when people kept beckoning him and also telling him to go home. Loved the friendly little pup.

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I visited a second group of friends of friends while up in Tahoe, and we had the most legit snowball fight ever. Although I was granted immunity from the snowballs (thank you beautiful expensive camera), everyone else was building forts, tackling each other, and wow it was intense. Hilarious to watch! My toes froze off though, and I had to sit down and defrost my near-numb toes by the warm beautiful electric fireplace! Real fire sprouts up with a timer switch, no mess, low maintenance. I gotta get me one of those one day. Reading by the warm, crackling fireplace was not bad, not bad at all.

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So apparently icicles are real easy to break off of roofs, and also a crazy amount of fun. Icicles are multipurpose my friends. Here, meet my dear Iris the dramatic unicorn with a crystal horn.

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Little icicles can also serve as a cute drink decoration AND a creative piece of ice to keep your drink cool. Very fashion forward. But below, you can see my friend, Bryan, got a little too ambitious with that new idea.

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We also made icicle ice cream cones. Now, I’m not quite sure how clean the snow was, but my logic is that fresh fallen snow is like fresh rain, it hasn’t touched anything and so therefore much purely be water. We added evaporated milk and agave to fresh snow and when we took a bite, it taste surprisingly delicious. Who knew?!

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Our backyard was so fun. It was full of fresh snow from the nighttime (you can tell how fresh it is by how far my friend had sunk in trying to walk through haha). We had icicles trimming the entirety of the cabin, and even a hot tub on our patio! I hot tubbed at night while a light snowfall surrounded us. That contrast of hot and cool was an amazingly beautiful experience.

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We also found this gorgeous snow covered beach less then a 10 minute drive away from our cabin! Lake Tahoe really never ceases to be beautiful.

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So obviously, not everyone understands how to “dab” correctly… ahem Bryan (dude on the far right in the picture below). These friends definitely bring out the silly sides of each other, from the luscious hair whips, to the nose pinchings, to the hilarious new dance move trends.

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They know how to be silly, invent new slang (it actually passes around sometimes but mostly they just sound like a group of hilarious weirdos), and make each other laugh, but they also care very deeply about each other’s hearts and well-being. They are always willing to pray, to make time, and to discuss your heart’s struggles with you. They are ready to make your stomach hurt from laughing, and yet always ready to uplift your sinking spirits as well. I got little pieces of treasure with me hehe.

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