I’ve just come back from one of the most incredible trips I’ve ever taken – to New Orleans – and after eating many delicious things I couldn’t help but overshare on Instagram and telling everyone who will listen why they have to visit Louisiana and where exactly they have to go and what they have to do, I decided there’s no better time than now to conquer my fears and finally begin this blog where I hope to share the things I love and that inspire me with the hope that I might inspire others. Let’s begin with a brief overview of who I am before we get to the good stuff (beignets!) a little later this week.

I’m a journalism graduate turned marketing and public relations professional approaching 30 (I don’t want to talk about it) and living in San Diego, California. Unlike nearly everyone else who calls this place home, I grew up here. I was raised in a beautiful town by the ocean by two of the best people to ever exist. My mom, Karen, is a retired middle school Spanish teacher and believe it or not, she not only tolerated her job, she loved it. My mom is a goofball, hence her appreciation for middle school-age humor, and everyone’s best friend. She decided she want to live in the city after my sister and I were grown, so she and my dad packed up their beach bags and moved downtown. Now my mom delights in taking the bus and going to Starbucks at least once a day where she calls every employee a close friend and knows just about every customer by name, but knows their dogs better. My mom is a dog nut and answers to two of her own, Abby and Gracie, neither of whom will ever do anything you instruct them to do unless it’s to come to the kitchen to eat fine cheeses and meats. My mom is a slave to those little divas, but goodness do I love them. Back to my mom: You can’t help but smile when you’re around her. Her hugs and cookies are the answer to all of life’s problems. I got my love for baking from her and all the dough bowls she let me lick growing up.

That's my mom in the red apron. She's the cutest ever, right?

That’s my mom in the red apron. She’s the cutest ever, right?

Lazy #1 (Gracie) on the left and Lazy #2 (Abby) on the right.

Lazy #1 (Gracie) on the left and Lazy #2 (Abby) on the right.

I often wonder if people who don’t know him think my dad is grumpy, but rest assured he’s not annoyed with you, he’s just reserved. He was raised in something like 500 square feet with two siblings and two parents, served in the Navy, put himself through college, worked for every single thing he ever had, and has the softest, sweetest heart of gold. I love that man so much that I went out and found someone just like him and am marrying him next April! I’m a lucky lady. More on that in just a moment.

Daddy dearest. He almost looked directly into the camera - almost.

Daddy dearest. He almost looked into the camera. Almost.

My sister, Kim, is nine years older than I am and people are starting to not know who came first. It’s highly annoying, but she has always taken way better care of her skin. In all seriousness, my sister is beautiful, smart and quick-witted. She’s married to Matt, who is every bit my real brother since he’s been around since I was 12. They have my furry nephew, Kane Nui, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and minor Instagram celebrity (follow him at @kanethecavalier!). Kim and Kane will surely be making many an appearance on this here blog.

Did I mention my sister is a gorgeous redhead with blue eyes, which is the rarest combination in the world? She is definitely special for this and 468,669 other reasons.

Did I mention my sister is a redhead with blue eyes, which is the rarest combination in the world? So awesome.

Typical Kane Nui, living a better life than any of us ever will.

Typical Kane Nui, living a better life than any of us ever will.

My best friend is Melissa, who lives in Los Angeles where we went to college. I was a chunky thing with terrible, blunt cut bangs I did to myself when I went through sorority recruitment and we became instant friends. We’ve been through a ton of boyfriends together, I’ve slept on her couch and I love her for so many reasons, especially because she’s the strongest person I know. She will not take an ounce of grief from you or anyone else. Not one single ounce. She works hard and plays hard and deserves the very best things in life. My greatest tragedy in life is that she lives three hours away. I go up to L.A. often to visit her, but for in between times, emojis are our preferred form of communication.

Melissa’s 60’s-themed birthday a couple of years ago. You can’t see them well, but my feather earrings were everything.

The man I’m marrying is Chris. For as much as I love writing, I struggle to find the words to talk about him in the way he deserves. Simply put, he’s an angel I believe was sent to me by mistake, for I certainly don’t deserve him. He’s kind, patient, an incredibly hard worker, and an amazing son/brother/fiancé/friend. He works in film and puts in 70ish hours a week most of the time. We met at a bar and I remember I gave him my business card, wanting to impress him. Who gives their business card at a bar? Girls who drink too many lemon drops, and think they’re cool, that’s who. We’ve been together for three years this month and been on many adventures, including across the world to Borneo. He encourages me to do everything I love, especially if it scares me, so here I am. We’re getting married next April 4 in San Diego. I’m planning our dream wedding and it’s fun, but oy, does it take a heck of a lot of time. Expect wedding planning talk here.

This man right here. We took engagement photos last month in downtown San Diego and they're all kinds of beautiful, especially this one.

This man right here. We took engagement photos last month in downtown San Diego and they’re all kinds of beautiful, especially this one.

Now that I’ve introduced the characters, I think that’s a plenty good start for now. Next time, it’s all about my trip to the beautiful Big Easy!