About halfway through the summer, my Type A must-plan-for-school-months-in-advance self decided to take to Instagram stories and beg everyone who followed me for advice on the most important back-to-school essential any student could have.... a planner!
I voiced my frustration with the planner market. I knew my style well enough, and the paisley pink and polka dot vibes simply never agree with me. I love a good effective, goal-setting planner with inspiring quotes and whatnot, but the last thing I cared for was something preppy and over the top. I even held up my planner I'd tried using last semester as proof. It was beige. Just, beige.
Now if those planners with the cute gadgets and bright gizmos are up your alley - I support you! I really do. To each, his own. But for me and my very neutral, earth-toned style, I craved the nothing-ness of beige covers and clean lines.
I haven't had much luck in college finding a planner that works for me, with space to help me track homework and goals, and a price I could actually handle. With modern day technology, I luckily had a community of people to cry SOS to. So I did!
And this, my friends, is what I learned.
P.S. This is embarrassing to even have to say, but this post is not sponsored. lol. This is all very real advice I received from DM's, and none of these links are 'affiliates' in any way, shape or form.
1. Visit this link and start scrolling
"This buddy has something for everyone" -MD
2. 18-Month Weekly Notebook Planner | Moleskin
3. Bullet Journaling (do 6 months in advance to reduce stress)
"I was going to say bullet journaling! It's fun! I do my designs six months in advance when I'm feeling creative... I started on the bullet journaling website! I think it's quite literally bulletjournal.com. The idea was created by an engineer... I use his similar layout, but there are so many options/ideas if you just google "bullet journal monthly layout" or "weekly layout." I've tried a couple and finally settled on one that works for me!... I like it because it's some simple math to design a page and then it's monotonous and you can add whatever!" -KK
Recommendation #1: Bullet Journal Notebook by Zen Art Supplies
Note: Currently unavailable on Amazon, but plenty of similar notebooks if you keep searching
"This is the one I have! I like it because there's no bleed through and the dots aren't too prominent!"
"When I was in college, I bullet journaled and switched to planners when I started work. Bullet journaling is a ton of fun!" -ES
Recommendation #2: Dot Grid Hardcover Notebook by Lemome
"If you're gonna buy a journal, this is the best one - I've tried so many (moleskin, leuchtturm, etc) and this one on amazon is the best quality for value. I still use it as my work notebook - I'm a designer so I'm very picky about the notebooks :)"
4. Use a daily planner, instead of weekly
"What worked for me in the spring was a regular planner that just had lines for each work day of the week (across a two-page spread) and I would write down any relevant appointments or deadlines for those days at the top half of the day and then reserve the bottom half of the single day for action items or assignments. It was super helpful for my internship..." -BD
5. Or... Use a monthly calendar, instead of weekly
"I recently started using a month calendar thing, so it doesn't have week by week, but it has room for notes on the sides along with the front and back where I make my to do lists, I love it." -EM
8. Medium Vegan Leather Agenda | Design Works Ink
9. Customizable Academic Agendas | May Designs
10. Life Planner™ | Erin Condren
13. Academic Year Flagship Daily Planner | Day Designer®
14. Simplified Planner by Emily Ley
15. If all else fails, make that sucker yourself :)
"Just saw your insta story about planner dilemma and 110000000% relate. What I ended up doing was creating my own! By this point you probably know everything you want to include and how you'd prefer it liad out, so make that sucker in illustrator or word, print it out, and get it bound at the library for like $5! I made one every semester and even though it started to fall apart in my bag towards finals it was perfect. OR if you want to go ~digital~ I use Microsoft Planner. It's similar to Trello but integrates with Office and comes free with a college Office subscription :)" -JP
Happy planner hunting friends! Curious to know which one I picked? After browsing aisles of Target for what felt like... a normal amount of time to be at Target... I started with a large, no-frills, gray covered planner. And guess what! I changed my mind 5 days later. Typical.
I have decided to redefine myself, and it's a decision that's come from 8 months of choosing joy across as many avenues of my life I felt called to love again. For context: 2017 was a year I sank without realizing I was sinking (and really, isn't that always how it happens?).
By December of 2017, I had run myself to the ground, hustling and striving with no end in sight. I often explained myself as feeling like a tiny fly bouncing all over a mason jar: moving really really fast as if moving toward something, but no sense of control over what freedom actually felt like. I couldn't think or keep still. I found myself frustrated by my inability to focus on one task at a time. My eyes physically hurt because of the pressure inside my mind; my mind felt like it was driving my body through a foggy rainstorm with really sucky windshield wipers. Conversations were hard to keep up energy for. I ate alone a lot. I'd go from loving my body to absolutely hating it within the course of just one day.
On the outside I looked (or, tried to look) like I was thriving. Job interviews at consulting firms I knew many dreamed of hearing back from. I'd lived in Spain for three months. I had (and still have) any amazing family and community of people who cared for me and supported in me in my hustle. Inside, I felt like I wasn't alive.
After a fairly small, but important, breakthrough in December - realizing for the first time that I didn't have to hustle, and that the state of my mental health was beginning to impact the lives of other people - I knew it was time for action, instead of the mop of excuses I'd been using for why I wasn't actually happy.
I asked my mom for the 2018 Cultivate What Matters goal setting workbook for Christmas. Based on what I'd discovered about the brand online, using the workbook seemed like the most literal first step to digging and uncovering what I really wanted out of life, with action plans to help me get there. Cheesy? Yes. But I was so... ready... for change.
On December 28th, 2017, I sat down at a coffeeshop, opened the workbook, and got to work.
After an hour or so, and then some more, with lots of reflective stories, messy circles, highlights and quotes and epiphanies, my "intentions" for the year started to take shape. And the word that leaped out of the mess... the feeling, experience, goal that I wanted to re-discover and cultivate in 2018... was Joy.
I had been sad. Foggy. Hustling. Impatient. And so not authentically joyful about who I was and where I was going. I felt all over the place, chasing a way to pull my life together. On Instagram? Sure. On LinkedIn? Absolutely. But in my soul? In my heart? In reality?! I couldn't have been farther away.
From the pursuit of joy came so many new ideas. I wrote out a list of small intentions in this post, but the basic gist: I was going to take action toward that goal, that I'd never taken action toward before.
I was going to read more. Write more. Run more.
I was going to text friends to hang out and eat meals with other people.
I was going to walk into a counseling office for the very first time, and I was going to go to church every single Sunday.
Sure, these tasks might seem like bandaids in the grand scheme of things, but adding them up into action plans toward real life aspirations felt like a new life was about to craft itself by me, for me, right in front of my eyes. So many upcoming adventures soared out of me as I journaled away in that workbook, and for the first time in a very long time, I felt excited - because I didn't know what was to come.
2018 so far has given me so many gifts out of those original intentions I hadn't even known were possible to receive.
I feel more connected with the Lord in my daily life, like I know how to talk to Him even when I'm not at a conference or on my knees or reading a devotional every now and then.
I don't wear makeup every single day. My skin still sucks. I still envy people without a blemish in sight, and I definitely do still wear makeup on the days when I feel like wearing it. But for the first time in what... nine ?! years... I see my acne and I don't hate myself for it. I am conscious about what I look like (it's not like I pretend that my skin doesn't look the way it does) but I'm learning to love my skin anyways. I feel so much more present and grateful when I take makeup off, but the journey is definitely far from over.
Because of taking such leaps in how I feel about my skin, I've developed a surprisingly natural ability to fight my inner critic about so many other insecurities. For instance, I like the way my hair looks when it's straightened, and since cutting my hair really short in the spring, I've straightened it a lot more than I have before. As any girl knows... this kills your hair, leaving it a sort-of wavy, very frizzy mess. Now, when I don't straighten it, I know that's just how my hair is. I don't have to fight it or try to change it; I can decide to love it anyways. I also don't hate my short, "soccer" legs that rarely fit into ideal sized jeans, and I'm weirdly kind of proud of my Hispanic hips. Lol. Who would've thought!
I started seeing a counselor. First, at Tech - and my experience was horrible. I tried again, then took a break. This summer, I started seeing yet another, told my story for the umpteenth time, and it stuck. She's been the greatest source of hope outside of my mom, friends, and God. She's a human living in my same kind of reality who's studied these kinds of things, with insight I really trust - regardless of if my mom had told me the exact same thing. (I love my mom, but let's be real we all don't trust our moms 100% of the time). If you're ever curious about counseling, my experience, and epiphanies I've made, please reach out! I'd love to talk about it more, with anyone interested in starting it for themselves.
I haven't worked out as much but oh my gosh... for the first time in years it doesn't bother me. And that feeling of relief is so comforting, releasing a really long-term burden of mine with the pressure to be as fit as I could be. Sure, I wish I had the discipline to wake up early and take really intense HITT classes (don't we all?). But I don't, and I still love the way I feel. I know that if I ever feel the urge to be super hyper active, I can be active again, and if I don't, I can make healthy choices in other ways.
My career journey is one big blur of learning new things, getting rejected a lot, prayer even more, getting an offer from my dream agency, and learning again. This fall, I was extended the chance to stay working part-time in a slightly evolved position. And I'm so excited! I have absolutely no clue what's to come and where I'm going, but for now, I am grateful for where I am and especially, who I'm with.
I feel more connected to friends and family, near and far.
I say yes to things that heal me and no to things that don't, but I also mess up in doing those same things all the time. I say yes to things I probably shouldn't have and no to things I should. But hey, we can't win them all.
Because of counseling and all of the above realizations, I can honestly say I understand myself so much more psychologically - mentally, emotionally, etc. I know what my triggers are, and I know what heals me. I understand what I invest my time into that's more coping mechanism than honest passion, and I'm coming to understand what I might actually be passionate about. I can recognize freedom and clarity in my mind just as much as I recognize fog. Life is such a complex, consistently paradoxical combination of experiences, and I'm coming to love it all.
It's only August, and I know this next semester of senior (!!) year has so much more in store, but for now... for at least this latter third of this life-changing year... I'm going to commit to a slight shift in my original 2018 intention.
In alignment with my pursuit of Joy, I am introducing a new word and new intention into the fold for this newly alive season in my life.
I will seek truth, as I seek joy.
What do I truthfully want to be a part of? How do I truly feel? What can I say that truthfully explains what I know - and is it that I don't know? Where do I truly want to be, with whom, and why?
I want to stop lying to myself about habits I know my body doesn't feel its best about, and start accepting what it really does. I want to seek to understand what I'm learning in classes instead of accepting concepts I know I could "never" understand. I want to hang out with honest people and give light to my honest opinions. I also want to volunteer more. I don't think I volunteer enough.
My ambitions and trajectory are destined to change, but isn't life one long sum of changes we do and don't control?
Whatever risks, adventures, and humbling that needs to happen in order for me to discover and pursue what truthfully brings me joy - I'm going to take.
And that, my friends, is where we're at. I can honestly say that giving up control in so many ways has opened new doors for me literally and spiritually to trust whatever path I'm headed out to pioneer. I've never felt so unsure; I've also never felt so alive.
Not every day, but more frequently than some, I end my day with a sobfest-style panic attack.
Panic attacks are different for absolutely everyone. No panic attack for me is the same, though I’ve definitely caught on to my triggers and repetition of behavior. For me, a panic attack feels like I am simultaneously pushed to the floor, insulted, and left alone – when none of these things have actually happened. My heart pounds, my entire system of emotions feel wired to explode at any second, and any sense of positivity and security flies right out the window. A trigger for me might be an abruptly rescheduled plan, negative feedback on a paper from a professor, or even the fact that I don’t know what to do with my free time. Recently, I've developed a very annoying and frequently occurring sense of claustrophobia, and find myself embarrassed by how anxious I feel entering packed and vibrant social situations.
My reactions to these circumstances are powerfully irrational, and I often find myself unable to stop the internal pressure from building up inside of me. I am taking steps to take professional care of myself, but while the panic is still here, I want to share what has worked for me to come out of it when it arrives.
The most intense panic attacks for me have usually happened at the very end of the day, after closing my door and finally being alone to process and listen to my thoughts. I would argue solitude is one of the most powerful places we can put ourselves. When you have nothing else to distract you from how you truly feel, how will you truly feel?
In those moments, as I notice an onset of panic, I sit down on my floor, close my eyes, and let it happen. Yep. Step one: let the feelings be felt.
Many coping mechanisms I have found myself pursuing – bad eating habits, antisocialism, mania and trying to do everything at one time – have been like band aids to deeper feelings I haven’t allowed my body to feel. I avoided listening to what God was trying to make me understand by distracting my conscious with anything I could put in front of me. And at the end of the day, when all is said and done, what’s usually left is the original feeling I needed to feel.
Letting myself sit and cry – like really, ugly, puffy cry – felt so uncomfortable for me the very first time I consciously let it happen all by myself on the floor of my room. It’s a feeling we tend to reserve for “appropriate” times, like when tragedy strikes our family or chaos truly erupts our lives. What I hypothesize has forced our generation into a mentally misunderstood epidemic is the uncomfortableness that comes with feeling “sad” for the sake of feeling sad. Social media and subconscious mental clutter pesters us with how we aren’t good enough, skinny enough, strong enough, tan enough, smart enough, accomplished enough, or even imperfect-enough (it happens). We are being manipulated by people who don’t even intend to manipulate us, because of our mere exposure to what everyone else’s life is “like.” As we’ve aged, and have had to make big kid decisions about how we want our own lives to go, suddenly, we are faced with an emptiness in not knowing who we truly are if we aren’t comparing ourselves to something else.
I feel these senses of incapability to define my own self if I'm not comparing myself to something (someone?) else. It’s a paradoxical way of living. And what happens when I let myself be still, quit comparison in its tracks, and look at what my own heart is feeling… It ends up feeling sad.
Maybe I’m alone in that constant comparison, but it drags me (without me even knowing it) and pulls me into the lie that I need to chase something, or else. What about who Chloe is, all by herself? What does she want? Where does she want to be, and what does she want to be doing while she’s there?
Not answering these questions puts me into a state of panic, as I realize I have no answer. So, in those attacks, when something goes wrong and I spiral into not even knowing what is “right” is anymore, I let myself sit in that pain. If I disregarded it and carried about with a nighttime routine I learned on YouTube that I don’t actually want to do, I miss that moment to get to know my heart, and listen to what it has to say. To an outsider, I look exactly as I look: really, ugly, puffy crying. But to me, I am in a state of newfound compassion, ready and waiting to learn what I need to learn from what my own self is trying to tell me. After releasing that pressure to myself by myself, I open the conversation to the only source of advice I know will truly hear.
Step two: talk to God. I sit on my bedroom floor with my hands wrapped around my knees, I bow my head, and I tell Him I need Him back. Why? Because depression, anxiety, panic… it’s all a result of me giving the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:27), pulling me from my only true source of good and fulfilling life.
No matter how far from the Lord I am feeling in the moment, I tell Him I want to draw near to Him. That’s it. It’s so easy, I get mad, because I regret not saying it sooner. I tell Him I miss Him, I’m sorry for pretending I don’t need Him in my life, and for the forgiveness and grace to come near to me again. And you know what? It always, always happens. (James 4:8).
Step three: a reminder from yourself to yourself of everything going right. By now, I’ve usually breathed through a lot of the panic, and I’m ready to feel a little bit healed. I uncross every limb that’s been tightly wound, breathe in, and breathe out, and start listing out all the things that I love about my life. The people that I love, the things I love to do, the places I’ve been, and what's yet to be lived. I just remind them all to myself. Over, and over, and over again.
After even just one minute of focusing on gratitude, I feel so. excited. to get up. I’ve cried, I’ve filled my faith cup back up to the brim, and I’m excited to wake up tomorrow and see where He leads me. I remember what I love about this life, I know that whatever triggered me into an irrationally dark pit did not, in fact, require that reaction, but it’s okay that I'm still figuring out how to handle it all. I don’t have to hustle. I don’t have to run fast. I can take moments to be still, to connect with the Lord, and try again tomorrow.
Isn’t that beautiful?
Friend, I don’t know where you’re at. I don’t know if you've ever felt a panic attack before – and maybe you’re just freaked out by everything I described. I guarantee you know someone dealing with a battle, though. A battle through anxiety, an eating disorder, depression, addiction, divorce, miscarriage, loss…. Maybe even just really dull, really unmotivated daily life. These things make up our lives, whether we wish them upon anyone or not. They happen. By God-given circumstances we are thrown, sometimes, into pits. We are pushed, challenged, questioned, neglected – for reasons we often feel we have absolutely no control over. The purpose, I believe, is to return us to Him. And when we are filled with Him, we stop feeling as empty from everything else.
Everyone you know is dealing with something. Me? I panic. What about your neighbor? Your sister? That barista? The teacher you’re talking to or the client you’re about to see? What about your cousin? Your roommate? The guy that annoys you at work, or that women that sat next to you on that plane?
Explore compassion for those around you, ask your friends to talk if you feel like they’re slipping, or look yourself in the mirror and ask your heart what it needs.
Above all else, remember Who gave you this life in the first place. Crave Him, look to Him, and trust Him – He led you here to lead you back to Him.
Let's disrupt what it means to read about corners of this Earth online. Raise your hand if you want to see perfectly edited pictures of bloggers living their best life in every dang city you never even thought you wanted to visit. Oh, you don't? Me neither.
I asked on this Instagram post for ideas on how to share about travel without cluttering the Internet with another blog post no one wants to read. Here's what some of you said:
What I learned? I'M NOT ALONE. I don't want to read about that restaurant a brand sponsored someone to visit, a park that's not actually as beautiful as it's portray to be, or day-trip that's not worth my time (and $$) to explore. And as a content creator, I don’t want to put out content that I don’t want to read. Insert: a dilemma I’m determined to solve.
Sharing about cities matters to me because it’s a huge part of my life, and I really, authentically come alive wandering new places and taking pictures of everything in sight. Anyone who’s travelled with me knows that for sure. (As annoying as it is to those who don’t like snapping pics, I appreciate the friends who let me do my thang. Lolz.)
To keep my blog real, I can’t help but crave sharing about those experiences, so this is what I’m going to do.
These field guides will hopefully serve you as a space to read very honest and raw perspectives on one person’s journey through one particular city. I would never encourage you to visit somewhere I don’t believe is beautiful its own unique way, and I would never share detailed tips that aren’t worth your time. To keep things efficient, effective, and entertaining, I plan to curate the following deets (in case anyone cares):
Beyond my #1 recommendations, I’ll also include honorary mentions I've experienced and would recommend as well.
The best memories of my life through all my travels have always been the afternoons of autonomous and spontaneous decisions, made in the moment, by me and the people I was with. So take my advice or leave it – because traveling is most appreciated when it’s experienced by YOU.
This is going to be a work in progress type of goal for me, but I'm excited to see what I can produce if I at least try to share my experience in certain cities without forcing upon you an envy for a reality that isn't really real.
First up? Palo Alto, California - my literal home away from home.
Palo Alto, to me, is familiar, kind-hearted, surrounded by greenery, and filled with motivating people. Having visited the Bay Area every summer since I was born, rounding the corner to my grandmother's neighborhood, riding my bike to the local park, and shopping around Stanford University makes me feel at peace and outside the chaos of metropolitan life.
The city is completely flat, pedestrian- and bike-friendly, and healthy. If someone doesn't work for Google or Apple, they probably are still in high school or pretty close to retirement. Funky stores stand next to chain boutiques, open-air downtown windows keep people alive and laughing, and every other corner has some sort of outdoor pop-up concert by someone in a family folk band. It's a type of tranquility I don't experience in Atlanta, and the weather blows my mind every. dang. time.
Visiting Palo Alto is definitely for more of the homebody visit-your-working-friend type, but it's prime location gives you one-hour-away access to the city of San Francisco or the cliffs of Half Moon Bay. I encourage you to eat, shop, walk, bike, and hang at a coffeeshop to pretend you're founding a start-up, too. Pack for 70 degree weather every day of the year, and leave room for Stanford memorabilia. When you get back home to humidity, you'll thank our Creator for crafting perfection.
Where to explore?
#1. University Avenue, Downtown Palo Alto
Stretching from Lytton Plaza to the intersection at Cowper
Ideally, block of your Saturday morning, on an empty stomach, to visit the most perfect, local, weekly farmer's market and just begin exploring. Meander the stalls, try every white peach sample, purchase some lavender essential oils, and end with a cinnamon apple crêpe (well, #glutenfree me goes for the loaded matcha açaí bowl nowadays). This market has as much fresh honey your heart could ever desire, and there's usually a local musician wowing the crowds with ukelele delights.
2. Shoreline Lake
3160 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043
Tips: Sunset. Bring a kite and a picnic (In-n-Out?). Walk along the main trail until the hilltop clearing. HEART EYES.
3. The drive toward Half Moon Bay
Through Portola Valley, along the Pacific Coast Highway
Tips: Afternoon drive, late afternoon adventure, clam chowder in downtown Half Moon Bay, drive home during sunset. Bring a jacket because it's colddd. Northern Pacific beaches are fun to explore but definitely not for basking in the sun.
4. Stanford University
20 Palm Dr, Stanford, CA 94305
Tips: Drive down Palm Drive. Admire the main quad. Relax by the many many fountains. Grab a smoothie from Jamba Juice. Buy a keychain. Pretend you're a real student. Lol.
5. Santana Row
Walk from one end to the other
Tips: Hot chocolate from Cocola Café. Outdoor chess set. Amazon Books because where else have you seen a full store ? Sugarfina. Two-story H&M. and... PRESSED JUICERY *swoon*.
6. Town & Country Village
855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301
Tips: The perfect Sunday afternoon spot to stay for a while and stroll. Have your dad hang out at Books Inc., send your brother toward the toy store, and link arms with your mom to walk straight for Sur La Table (after coffee from Peet's of course).
6. Stanford Shopping Center
660 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA 94304
Tips: Kara's Cupcakes. Urban. SoulCycle. Market across from Max's Opera Café. Take an Insta in front of the veryyy realistic mural art, then walk across the street to Nordstrom and have yourself a frigin day.
Where to eat?
4224 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306
A local California chain that we'd visit daily if we could is Hobee's. The atmosphere is comfortable - not too fancy, not too casual - and filled with decorations and featured photographs that bring about a sense of camaraderie for the employees, regulars, and newcomers alike. It's homey, and taking a seat at a table surrounded by my family, ready for hashbrowns and fruit, is a type of contentedness I don't find often.
Opportunities range from classic eggs and bacon, to hashbrown skillets with avocado and salsa, to piled high pancakes, and really fresh fruit. Try a smoothie if you're ready to devour it on top of a hearty breakfast. And their coffee cake? Like... world famous I'm pretty sure.
Oh and get this: bring in a picture of you wearing a Hobee's tshirt in front of a famous monument and they'll post it on the wall - and give you a free meal. Are we #sold yet?!
photo by Hobee's
2. Cafe Borrone
1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025
Tips: On a nice day, sit outside. Pop into Kepler's next door if there's a wait to sit. Get ready to read a handwritten menu posted above the register, listen to the courtyard fountain, and thrive.
photo by Zagat
3. LYFE Kitchen
167 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301
Tips: Full disclosure I've only been here once. All I remember is how frigin trendy-millennial-intolerance friendly-vegan it was, and considering my obsession with all things trendy-millennial-interolerance friendly-vegan ? This was added to my suggestion list.
Photo by Margee Drew Designs
4. Max's Opera Café
Tips: Fun fact, this is the cafe that baked my parents' wedding cake. Therefore we return, often. They have a gluten free menu, and also, their desserts are literally famous. That's all you need to know.
5. Asian Box
855 El Camino Real #21, Palo Alto, CA 94301
Tips: Asian-inspired fast casual bowls where everything. on. the menu. is. gluten free. HELLO ?! Consider me sold.
Where the locals hang?
#1. Bell's Books
536 Emerson St, Palo Alto, CA 94301
It's hard to explain how absolutely precious this used bookstore is. My dad has stopped in this hideaway haven every time we've come downtown, and for good reason. With two stories of Beauty and the Beast level bookshelves, old-fashioned methods of organization (post it notes and chaos), and the sweetest and most dedicated employees, Bell's continues to stand my family's test of time as a treasured spot to seek out every summer we can. I don't usually end up buying anything, but roaming the store and grabbing a postcard at least makes me feel like I'm intellectual enough to be there. Because really, who doesn't love quaint little book shops on tiny side streets...
photo by Bell's Books
2. Rick's Ice Cream
Tips: It might look ordinary on the outside, but the thiccness of Rick's Rather Rich Ice Cream is well worth the long waits and below-average aesthetic appeal. I don't even want to recommend a flavor because you'll just have to try them all out for yourself.
3. Mitchell Park
600 E Meadow Dr, Palo Alto, CA 94303
Tips: Think, quintessential playground + long running trails + neighborhood library + picnic space + outdoor concerts + tai chi clubs + water fountains + more playground equipment. Hashtag, ideal suburban family-friendly paradise..
Where to sip some coffee?
#1. Blue Bottle Coffee at HanaHaus
456 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301
Okay hold me back before I move to Palo Alto for the sheer existence of this coffeehouse-meets-coworking-space-meets-heaven. I can't begin to explain how aesthetically pleasing this spot is but hopefully one picture can do it justice. Tucked away from the main downtown street, HanaHaus is technically a coworking space at which entrepreneurs, etc. can pay to work and network. Outside HanaHaus's specific space, however, is a Blue Bottle Coffee café, with outdoor and indoor seating featuring string lights and local art. Safe to say I absolutely thrive every time I visit, and will literally never stop recommending it to anyone who asks. Grab a drip, stay for a bit, and then head out on your way to continue exploring downtown Palo Alto.
Photo by Hanahaus
2. Starbucks on Middlefield Road
2775 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94306
Tips: Okay yes Starbucks shouldn't be considered trendy enough to be recommended as an ideal coffeehouse on vacation, but this spot has an ivy-lined, adobe brick wall and outdoor patio space that I cry happy tears about every dang summer. Do not underestimate the power of a chain café.
And that concludes my very first Field Guide!
HEYO. I'm Chlo.
So the basic gist is I’m really just tired of comparing myself to perfect people on the Internet, when I know for a fact that "perfect" doesn't exist. This here is a snippet of my inner thoughts and tidbits of experience, based on my twenty-something years of good ole fashioned, really really messy life.
My wish is for this blog to serve the small voices inside all of us that might have forgotten what being honest online can look like. Leave the hustle behind you, because this here is about HEART.