too many funs things to do in laguna beach

My mama was in Orange County yesterday, which means we had to find something fun to do together! Luckily, Laguna Beach has some terrific adventures to offer. Some of my favorites:

  • Victoria’s Beach- with crystal clear blue ocean tide pools
  • 1,000 steps and beach- this is a family favorite; it feels like you have your own tropical private beach
  • Montage Resort Laguna Beach– they have amazing views, food, gardens and beaches. It is a pretty penny to stay the night, but you can visit during the day to explore resort for free 🙂
  • Surf and Sand Resort and restaurant- really cute hotel on the water! They have amazing views and the downstairs restaurant is basically on the sand. After we finish eating, we always take off our shoes and walk along the beach… because it is literally right there 🙂
  • Rooftop– Is on… you guessed it, the rooftop of  La Casa del Camino hotel. It overlooks the ocean and the vibe is amazing. They have the tastiest appetizers and really good virgin pina coladas.
  • Banzai Bowls- they have delicious refreshing acai bowls!
  • The hidden lighthouse- we got to it through the beach entrance of the Montage. You have to walk around a half mile to get to it, but it’s totally worth it!
  • Top of the World Laguna trails! Amazing 360 views of ocean and valley!!

We had the best time. I love these little surprise trips. She was here to help her best friend (and my second mom), Debbie Mitchell with a jewelry show for her company Twisted Silver– which is the most stunning jewelry, if you ask me!

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Top of the World Laguna!

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Story of my life…. my mother’s hair blowing across my face in every photo lol

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Montage Laguna Beach

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Montage Laguna Beach

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I have the most beautiful Mama!!!

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Leg goals!! hahah

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Surprisingly the water was not even the slightest bit cold, like really, I am a baby when it comes to cold water and I didn’t even think twice about it… and it was not even cold getting out!!

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Question of the day: “Are you guys sisters or twins?”

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No clue what I’m doing hahahaha

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Favorite picture of all time hahahahhah

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Is this not the coolest???

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My mama and Debbie!!

 

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Bradley and I went to Chicago for a school visit! Brad is applying for graduate school for next fall, so we will see where we end up! 🙂

We both love Chicago. Brad served his mission there, so naturally he is infatuated with the city and the people there. My Grandma Williams was born and raised in Chicago, so I have heard wonderful stories of the city since I was very young. So we both really love it there!

We happened to fly in the day the Chicago Cubs made it to the World Series. It was also right before Halloween, so the city was extra energetic. It was great! I had a day in the city alone while Brad was on campus and I had the best time exploring.

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Still craving Shake Shack!!

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The Bean!

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If you want to get a photo at the bean with no one in it go early! This was at 7:30 am 🙂

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Hyde Park

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University of Chicago

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Art Institute of Chicago- Note the Cubs hat haha

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Here is a Monet!! Monet is one of my favorite painters and The Art Institute of Chicago has a whole room full of only Monet’s paintings! I was in heaven!

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Sears (Willis) Tower Sky Deck!!

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Rothko!!!

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More Monet!

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Fall is possibly my favorite season and I ALWAYS go home to Utah to see the colors. However, this year our schedule was already full, which meant it would be hard to get to Utah.  So… while we were in Arizona visiting Brad’s parents, we decided to drive up to Flagstaff to check out the fall colors; they were incredible!!! Growing up in Boston and Utah made my expectations pretty high when it comes to fall colors, but Flagstaff really blew me away!

Big thanks to my husband and in-laws, Ed and Leslie, for the awesome weekend!!

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img_7876-1-2You could say I am a (recovering) perfectionist.  I want a perfect house, family, job, lifestyle, husband (which I am lucky to have). I want to be the perfect friend, sister, future mother, daughter, wife, visiting teacher, and church member. My thought process is, if I can be perfect at all the things I think are important, my husband, family, friends and everyone around me will be more happy. I think being perfect will some how refine me and make me a better person, always lining me up with the perfect service opportunities, which will help and make me more Christ like- which is the goal right? It is exhausting trying to obtain perfection and right when you think you have conquered a tiny bit of it, the perfectionist check list grows. 

Brad and I were talking a few weeks ago about self-esteem and where we think ours comes from. We wrote down on a piece of paper all of our life accomplishments, things we have done, and things we do that build up our self-esteem. After we were done we categorized these into three categories: “being,” “having,” and “doing.”

The “being” category holds areas of our self-esteem which reflect who we are, particularly at our core.  The “having” category holds the self-esteem that comes from having something. It could be having the perfect figure, having the perfect family, job, Instagram profile, lifestyle, GPA, or anything else. The “doing” category holds the self-esteem we get from accomplishing something. For example, we might feel good about giving a great talk on Sunday, or teaching a captivating lesson, or planning the perfect service project, completing an MBA or a doing well in a hard class. 

As we talked, we asked each other which category is the most important. We decided that “being” is the most important.

“Having” and “doing” are great and everyone gets self-esteem from these categories, which is not a bad thing. But here’s the kicker – when we were done making our lists, we realized that our “being” lists were significantly smaller than the other two. So if you were to take away all of our accomplishments and the things we have, our self-esteem would be kind of stagnant and pretty weak. 

Brad and I agreed that naturally it is so much easier to measure, see, and build your self-esteem from the “having” and the “doing.” Perhaps this is why we tend to focus most of our efforts on these categories. However, who we are at the core and what lies in our hearts is the category that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ care about.  When our life is done, what will we be judged on? According to the scriptures, we will be judged on our hearts and who we have become, which is the “being” category.

I think the adversary plays a trick on us, telling us that what we have and what we do is more important than who we are. Part of his trick is giving us a truth and a lie together. The truth is, it is great to plan a service project or get an “A” in biology; these are wonderful things that should be recognized and do make us feel good. The lie is, that these things make up who we are and without them we are nothing. 

I feel like we live in a day that is hyper focused on the “doing” and “having” categories. With social media and the internet, these categories are spread and positively re-enforced by almost everyone we know and many people we don’t. This can leave us feeling like our self-worth and self-esteem depends on feedback from others or personal satisfaction from having or accomplishing something or another. This is Satan’s biggest, most cunning, most deceitful lie and it is wrapped and packaged perfectly in a Rifle Paper Co. box, accompanied with a perfect piece of stationary.

I encourage all of our friends and family to make this list and really ponder where our self-esteem is drawn from. If you are like Brad and me, and find yourself having much longer “having” and “doing” lists than “being,” evaluating your “being” list and putting extra focus there will build you up faster and more than any fancy car, perfect lesson, or number of Instagram likes, because who you are as a person will always trump what you have and what you have done in Heavenly father and our Savior’s eyes.  

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Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween, dressing up and Mary Poppins so I was really excited for this years costumes.  A lot of the stuff we already had at home, then we bought Brad’s whole outfit from Goodwill and I made his chimney sweep with a black broom, black spray paint, styrofoam ball half and a hot glue gun.

For my outfit, I already had the skirt, tights, purse and shoes. I found a top similar to Mary Poppins’ at ZARA, and got the bow tie, umbrella and plain black hat from Amazon- then I hot glued the daisies and berries on the hat! After we were all dressed, I was pretty surprised how well they turned out. We even won some movie tickets from our church’s halloween party!

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