being a local LA tourist

College is definitely middle-ground territory in many, many ways, but perhaps, one of my favorite is being part tourist and part resident in LA all at once. Sure, there are plenty of places like the Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood Walk of Fame, the studios of Burbank, and the classic, In-N-Out, but there are also amazing places that I have discovered since being here that are more local-native, so to speak.

Here are some of my favorite spots as a local LA tourist! (*in no particular order and not all specifically in LA, but close enough.)

SIGHTS

  • Griffith Observatory & Park

If you saw La La Land, this is a stop you should definitely make! If you haven’t, go here anyway! Sunsets are a perfect time.

  • Getty Villa 

In Malibu, this lovely museum with incredible views makes you feel like a greek god/godess and the Mamma Mia soundtrack will run through your head the entire time there.

  • Manhattan Beach

Shops, sand, and lovely views everywhere you look!

  • Playa Del Rey beach

For when you just want sand and spontaneous beach moments with sand, ocean, & lovely sunsets.

  • Santa Monica Promenade

The beach and the pier are amazing tourist spots, but I had no idea that there is an entire prominade area too!

  • The Last Bookstore

In Downtown LA (DTLA), this bookstore is absolutely every reader/writer’s dream come true.

  • LACMA Lanterns

Want to shamelessly take all of the photos? Stop by these classic LA lamps.

  • The Grove & The Americana

These outdoor shopping plazas are incredibly fun with all of their stores and events!

TASTES

*With my orders if they are my go-to’s. Most places, I change it up a bit.

  • K.C.’s CrepesMy order – Iced jasmine green boba tea & apple cinnamon crepe.
  • Crave Cafe
  • Malibu Farm
  • Duke’s Malibu // My order: I split the fish tacos and lobster macaroni & cheese!
  • Alfred Coffee & KitchenMelrose // My order – almond milk iced latte or rose petal tea latte (again, with the almond milk).
  • Lemonade LAMy order – White truffle mac & cheese with blueberry mint lemonade (seasonal).
  • Urth Cafe
  • Paradise Bowls Manhattan Beach // My order – GUACHO (small acai bowl. blend: banana, strawberries, blueberries, acai, apple juice. toppings: granola, honey, strawberries, blueberries, goji berries)

This list could easily be a whole lot longer, so keep checking back for more post like this! if you visit any of these places, definitely let me know in the comment section or tweet it at me @sarahfhamilton.

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the earthquake

Being in LA (or California in general) is literally a looming fate of “the Big One”…aka, that earthquake we keep hearing about. Is it a conspiracy? Are we really doomed? Who’s to say? Point of the matter is, as far as I am concerned, “the Big One” keeps shaking up my world and the Earth is still technically still.

Okay, here’s a look at the life of a college junior (!!!!!) who’s trying to have a great summer (HAGS!) but has a pretty shaken up world right about now. (*writing is therapudic, so if this is what will help me cope with my current stress, then perhaps, it could help some of you as well)

A month before the semester ended and school let out, I was far from ready to go back home to New York. Don’t get me wrong here; I love it there and I miss my family dearly but there is a level of love and appreciation for my life in LA that going from somewhere where my dreams are looming in front of me like a puppet on strings to somewhere with high humidity and a lack of summer opportunities for me kind of…well, I think you get it. Long story short, I knew I would go back for a bit at some point this summer, but it sure wasn’t going to be the full time if I could help it.

But here’s the thing; I am wayyyy to overproductive and since my passions align with my career, I am technically a “workaholic” and the longer I am here, the more I can’t say “no” to cool opportunities. This isn’t bad, of course, but then I crashed before Finals Week and ever since have been longing to go back to New York for a while. I love it here, but a break is greatly needed. That is exactly why I applied to everything and tried to make as many plans so that at least one or two of them would actually work out for me. Long story short, I needed the money and the opportunities to stay productive and avoid my typical summer slump. This was a journey started even before the new year so to be fair, I have spent this entire year so far “waiting to hear back” from so many people for so many different things.

AND THAT IS JUST IT; I really don’t care one way or another, I just want to know where I stand!

You probably can tell by this post alone that I typically like having control over my life but to be fair, I have recently come to the conclusion that not everything can be controlled. I’m still in LA and I still miss home and pretty much nothing has changed in regards to my standpoint for summer plans. This has gone on so long and I am so exahsted. So, when May rolled around, my plan looked like this…

  1. I would stay for the month (working on videos and miscelaneous LA stuff) and IF I heard back from an opportunity that would keep me longer, then I would decide at that point what I would do based on the situation.
  2. There’s a part two because the opportunity part seemed unlikely so in reality, I just wanted a bit of additional LA time and then when nothing popped up I’d be like “okay, LA! See you in a few months, I am going to peace out and chill back home because I deserve a break.”

…but then this week I have been bombarded by to-do’s. My fatal downfall?

  • F.O.M.O.
  • Workaholic towards passions
  • Either being overly or underly productive (there is no inbetween!)

That sums it all up.

So now I am in the works of booking myself through freelance video services (hmu if you’re interested), writing a novel that has been “in the works” far too long, auditioning my butt off for so many projects because i’m addicted and totally in the loop of this now and working on multiple videos a week to post twice on YouTube while building up the channel and this blog.

I’m very involved in my LA life right now but as my schedule leaks over to June and apparently, potentially beyond that, I honestly have next to no idea what to do. I can never fully win. Yes, I have two homes now; my one in NY with family, friends, and the comfort of the past (which who knows how long I have with the remnants of all of that!?!?) and the one in LA with dreams, opportunities, friends and my productivity levels at an all time extreme high. More than anything, I want to really embrace being in both but that is more difficult than anyone could possibly imagine. It isn’t easy for me to take a break from all of this LA-ness and it isn’t easy to be there and miss out on everything here.

So, what’s a girl to do?!?!?

I don’t know and I wish I did.

The hardest part is knowing that this is completely up to me now based on what I know presently and taking guesses about what could potentially happen. There is nobody and no excuse I can truly turn to right now to make this decision for me and that sucks too. Which is exactly why I am writing this out here. Writing helps and if it gets my thoughts out, it may help any of you who could be going through something similar.

Okay, so maybe the title is a bit clickbaity but in the words of Augustus Waters from The Fault In Our Stars, “its a metaphor”.

The symbolic earthquake is how my life is shaken up. I have a lot of control but at the same time, not that much. There is no right and wrong path to take and my current worlds are chaotic. Regardless, I will always keep hope on my side, I know now better than ever that everything truly is temporary and everything will work out. That doesn’t mean the stress consuming me right now feels any better.

I usually end posts with a question and even though this isn’t a normal topic I cover, a question is still in order, I suppose. So, what do you do when you are stressed? (also, what advice do you have for me with this situation? *lol I need it)

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first apartment essentials

Living at home is one thing and then living on campus for school is another…and then there’s the first apartment scenereo where you have to learn to adult FAST. While the first apartment situation has been going well, I thought I would share some of my first apartment essentials…

Firstly, I highly reccomend thinking about how you can spend less and use more of what you already have. Since I was moving from my suite (fancy dorm life) on campus right into an off-campus apartment, I already had something to work with. I reccomend thinking in terms of four…

  1. Bedroom: Even if it’s an air mattress, figure out bedding, lighting, and ways to use your space efficently, but in the cozy and cutest way possible. You want it to feel home-like, so decorate with what you have accordingly. My situation right now is temporary, but by using bins holding more stuff and scarves/fabric on top, I got instant tables that double as storage and packing. Utilize everything in creative ways and remember that less is more! (a long scarf also can work as a curtain too!)
  2. Kitchen: This is a two parter…one, appliances/pots/pans/utensils/tupperware/mugs. You don’t have to go overboard, but just having a general overview of this will help a lot! Next, food is important. Think of healthy options that last a long time. If you’re like me and semi-able to cook, have cereals, oatmeal, eggs, milk, and consider some frozen dinners too. As easy as Postmates and eating out of the apartment is, you will save a lot by picking up groceries! Also, soups, noodles, and a sauce jar or two is ideal. (*easy recipes are regularly posted on this site too!)
  3. Bathroom: Towels, soaps/cleansers (for the apartment and you too!), and the regular bathroom essentials kind of go without saying here.
  4. Closet: Clothing and shoes are obvious but also, I reccomend bins for storage! Having them makes transporting things so much easier than paper boxes and they double as smaller desks/tables too. Staying organized is key!

Okay, so here are some specific items I personally reccomend…

  • Water Heater
  • Bins
  • Lighting (a lamp and some string lights go a long way!)
  • Mugs (always…they work for everything!)
  • Laundry Bag
  • First Aid (only a couple days in, glass broke in my hands and having bandaids and such on hand literally saved my sanity and finger)
  • Extra hand towels (dishes, bathroom, etc.)

To be fair, it doesn’t take a lot to manage living. Like dorm shopping, it’s really easy to get caught up in all of the adorable home decor that every store claims as “essentials” but having a touch of personal cuteness and a decent amount of practicalness is really all of the “essential” you will need. That whole saying, “less is more” is totally true. If your apartment has ammenities like a pool, gym, or local transportation, take advantage of that too!

What are some of your best apartment/living essentials? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me them @sarahfhamilton!

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healthy & easy breakfast burrito // recipe

I love breakfast foods and literally will eat them at any point of the day, so I debated the title of this post. That being said, here is an easy to make, low-cal, flavorful recipe for you to enjoy!

Ingrediants:

  • one egg
  • salt, pepper, desired seasoning
  • uncooked tortilla wrap
  • arugula
  • sour cream
  • cheese
  • hot sauce

*for a vegan option, make substitutes for the dairy products

Recipe: 

  1. In a small pan, cook the tortilla wrap until bubbles form. Then place the tortilla wrap on a side plate.
  2. Cook an egg and scramble it. Add desired seasonings, cheese, and hot sauce (if you want it cooked in) and then place egg on tortilla.
  3. Top with arugula, sour cream, and the hot sauce (if you want it to top it off).
  4. Let cool a bit and wha-la!

I paired this with some carrots on the side and proceeded to wrap the tortilla burrito-style after taking the photo. This filled me up for a while and provided a delicious, protien-filled lunch option that took less than twenty minutes to cook (and eat!).

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think via twitter @sarahfhamilton!

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a better YOU

Lately, I have been focusing a lot on what it means to be me. Being physically far away from my parents and the hometown/world in which I grew up in has brought me to grow so much. Yes, living in L.A. finds ways to change you and so does attending college. That being said, these changes are for the better. Through this journey of self-awareness and growth, I have found new focuses that shape how I go about living life.

Since I haven’t blogged in a while and should seriously get this site up and going better than ever this summer, I figured that I would write a post to help guide any of you reading on how to be a better YOU.

  1. Healthy IS Happy: Making healthy decisions is key but there are so many subcategories to health… (for the sake of this post, I will just focus on the three main ones)
    1. Physical – Exercise, drinking water, getting enough sleep, resting, being active…all of these things are seriously SO important! Setting routines to help better contruct your healthy lifestyle definitely helps you feel good. Plus, eating healthy is really key! I have made recent changes from heavier dairy (like milk, cheese, ice cream, etc.) and minimized it while replacing regular milk with almond milk and things like that. I find that when I am eating better, I feel a lot better too. Instead of three meals a day, I eat several smaller ones throughout and have a heavier breakfast to avoid a later dinner.
    2. Emotional – Stress is bad and we all know it but every emotion in itself can change how we live day to day. By taking emotional checks through creating art or writing down/journaling your emotions, you may find yourself in better balance as well.
    3. Spiritual – Your beliefs are also incredibly important to take note of. I find that the more mindful I am of spirituality on a personal sense, the more aware of myself and the world around me I am. Get some sunlight, relax, and take in the world around you every once in a while.
  2. Newness: Finding newness in your life is incredibly rewarding. Every day is a new day and while that may seem super cliche, it is so very true! I love keeping a regularly scheduled lifestyle fresh by bringing in newness whether that means exploring a new area for the first time, finding a new hobby to pick up (or at least, try), or setting a goal for a week that goes slightly outside my comfort zone. There are so many ways to keep your life new and exciting and by bringing newness into your life, you just may find a way to better yourself in the process.
  3. Accept Yourself: There is so much talk lately about coming to terms with loving yourself but before that, I think it is important to simply accept yourself. Know that you are enough and the only person in the world you have to be happy with is yourself. Once you accept and love yourself, confidence and happiness will follow.
  4. Past, Present & Future: I personally find myself trapped in the confinements of always looking into the past or getting new overwhelmed by the present or freaking out about the future. While these elements of our lives are almost unavoidable, I find that if you take some serious reflecting time for all three, it may better help you in general. Reflect on where you came from and even the smaller elements of your past and search for connections to the present. Sort out today’s chaos and then use those connections and patterns to help guide your thoughts about the future.

The key to all of this though, is giving yourself control. Sometimes, being in control makes everything feel even more chaotic (and, well, less in control) but as it turns out, if you keep yourself balanced and find some level of control with your life, it will benefit you greatly. The key to being a better you is to find a way to balance your life in a way that keeps you healthy and happy.

That being said, this has been a very different blog post than things in which I have posted in the past and I hope you have enjoyed it! I still post weekly on YouTube (youtube.com/sarahfhamilton) so feel free to subscribe if you have not done so already. This summer, I am hoping to post more on YouTube and this blog so keep updated! As always, if you want to share your experiences or simply say hi, I am also on Twitter and Instagram @sarahfhamilton.

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too much of a good thing…

Well, it’s been a while.

Life has gotten insanely but wonderfully busy lately and I thought I would take a quick moment to vent and address something in which I have been noticing and reflecting on lately.

That’s right; I am finally aware that I am in this ongoing cycle of being stuck not doing anything, putting myself in a ton of fun opportunities to become more involved, and then trying to do as much as possible productively while finding myself increasingly overwhelmed and stressed out. The stress causes all sorts of issues, which eventually fade out, and then the cycle begins all over again.

Recently, I have been more reflective upon my life and well-being and it is completely true that I set too many priorities and things to do. This has been a wonderful thing, but it has also been a bit of a problem as well. So, how can I fix this?

First, sleep is important and thankfully, it is something I have been able to control. There are plenty of moments where I choose sleep over practically anything else simply because I am very aware that it will help me manage everything. So, this isn’t really anything in which I need to fix.

Priority wise, most would suggest sorting out priorities and cutting out things in my life that I don’t care about as much or is causing too much stress. The problem here is that all of my high priorities are simply too equally important in different ways, so while this remains a problem, I can’t really do anything about it.

THAT being said, I am trying a few things to help myself…

  • More movement – Okay, I can’t make it to the gym as much as I would like, but I have been trying to take longer paths and move around more often. Movement keeps us going, right?
  • More music and relaxing – Escape is key! I try to provide more time to relax with some music of different kinds, reading, and binging Netflix and YouTube. Lately, I have even found myself in theaters and the movie, La La Land has proven itself to be a great escape, while not exactly pushing everything to the side.
  • Healthier choices – This is hard since comfort comes in the form of carbs and ice cream, but I am at the very least attempting to eat better and structure out my meals and snacks ahead of time. Plus, I have seriously avoided sugary coffees (I love mochas!) and gone to more caffiene-heavy bold coffee drinks without anything more than perhaps some almond milk. Oh, and all of the water!
  • Schedule everything in advance and make choices – I am very bad at saying no to opportunities. Instead, I find ways to do as much as possible. Over the years, this has become very second nature and easy to do. But that has also been problematic stress-wise lately, so I am adjusting to better prioritization on individual events and not signing up for more than I can handle…which is very difficult but somehow working.
  • Writing, Drawing, & Reflecting – I love writing and drawing so even when my focus is trying to put all my creative energy towards major projects relating to film and YouTube (hello, time commitments!), I find taking moments to draw, write, and reflect on life simply for fun and nothing else has been mind-releaving.

Mostly, I am doing all I can to simply my complex life so that I can still do everything I love but not have it negatively affect me through the issues of stress and becoming overwhelmed. Things have been absolutely wonderful but I have learned that sometimes, I can’t be in control of everything (or mostly everything) in my life and lately, I have been trying to learn how to come to terms with that and still live productively and more happilly.

How can one overcome stress while remaining productive?

I wish you a wonderful week ahead! If you have any thoughts/comments/questions/etcetera, feel free to leave a comment or tweet me @sarahfhamilton.

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hello 2017

happy new year!!!!!

Okay, so the ball hasn’t dropped quite yet but I should take a moment anyway to write about what’s up. You see, on a global standpoint, 2016 was a year of a lot of people going, strange politics, and bizzare series of events. As a common YouTube-watcher, I see a lot of people explaining why 2016 kind of just sucked in every which way. But, I am far from being a negative person and I have a lot of great things to personally say about 2016 within my own life. I’d make a video about this, but a blog post seems slightly more fitting so here it goes…

2016 was the year in which I finally got an emotional celebration in a way. 2015 was amazing, don’t get me wrong here, but from graduating high school and moving to LA on my own…let’s just say that there were a lot of emotions and difficult things I went through to get where I am. It seems as if 2016 was the year where I could finally enjoy where I am. For the first time in literally forever, I finally learned to accept living in the present. The past was wonderful and I forsee great things within the future, but living in today is probably one of the most rewarding things one can possibly learn how to do. A major part of this came from accepting that as much as I love my past and miss high school, it is always a part of my life and sometimes, moving on means accepting that you can enjoy the present fully while maybe still missing the past. If that makes any sense at all.

2016 was also the year in which I got very comfortable as a young adult dreamer and creator in LA. LA is wonderful and home in NY is too but having the ability to live within both worlds is something that I am truly enjoying. It may not last forever, and I understand that, but what does? Every single day I just strive to be as much as a happy camper as possible and this year I have most definitely embraced that. Being in LA LA Land one day and a snowglobe the next is a beautiful thing and I have been so outrageously thankful and fortunate for all of the incredible people and opportunities within my life.

2016 was also the year of a lot of major events. I have hit a time where there’s no way I can list or remember them all but that in itself is a beautiful thing. Still, this year I published my second book, “The Lies We Tell” and talked about it/met readers/etc. at so many different events. I turned nineteen, started sophomore year of college, made many videos and short films, achieved goals and dreams, met so many incredible people, and so much more. It’s incredible and unreal but I am so incredibly thankful and giddy happy about everything.

I also learned that sometimes, things don’t work out the way you think they will, or at the time you may hope for, but everything happens for a reason and someday, in some way, dreams really will come true.

So, here’s to 2017. The year I turn 20, become a junior, and continue to grow and change in ways that will be very fun to reflect on next year. I have to take a moment to thank all of you who have impacted my life in any which way. May you all have a happy new years and a great year ahead.

me

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APPLE SPICED LATTE

Step aside PSL…

Lately, I have been desperately missing autumn and trying to make it as fall-season as possible in the ever sunny LA. From chill autumn playlists to the occasional old fashion donut splurge and the desire to wear scarves and darker makeup, I have done all I can to embrace a season that barely exists. However, Starbucks has been pretty cool with their seasonal drinks, but as I am not a fan of pumpkin-spiced anything, my go-to fall drink is hot apple cider.

Somehow, I ended up at the gym today, scrolling through Pinterest and wondering about the possibility of an apple pie latte or apple spiced latte. On my way back afterwards, I got a shot of espresso from Starbucks and seasoned it up with their complementary nutmeg, chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla. Then, the birth of the best autumn drink happened, in which, I would like to share here with you…

What You Need:

One shot of espresso

Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Chocolate, Vanilla (pick your seasonings as you like!)

Instant hot apple cider mix

Hot water

Little bit of milk (I used nonfat)

One little squeezy of honey

a mug, stir, and straw

Instructions:

  1. Heat up your water…just enough to fill the mug about half way.
  2. Pour water into the mug a bit, add hot apple cider mix, and then add the rest of the water.
  3. Add the spices into the shot of espresso and mix well.
  4. Pour espresso shot into the mug.
  5. Stir together and add additional spices as desired. I reccomend a bit of honey too!
  6. Add a bit of milk to your taste. (Steam/heat milk for extra smoothness!)
  7. Stir it all together and sip through straw (this is a me thing, but it keeps your teeth fresh!)

If you try this recipe, definitely let me know what you think! Comment below and/or tweet at me @sarahfhamilton.

Happy Autumn!

me

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STREAMYS NOMINEE RECEPTION!

WOW.

So I haven’t written here in a while due to the chaos of school and literally every incredible thing happening in my life right now, but I thought I would take a moment here to document a VERY cool event I attended recently!streamysportraits_rr_224

That’s right…I went to the Streamys Nominee Reception at YouTubeSpaceLA on October first with my friends, Eva and Joel. We got to go to film some interviews and Snapchats but ended up experiencing a YouTube event of a lifetime.

streamysportraits_rr_235 streamysportraits_rr_240

photos from: http://www.streamys.org/2016/10/streamys-nominee-reception-photo-booth/

There were a lot of photobooth options, including a flip book maker (GIFs IRL, amirite!?!?!?) which we definitely attended to. There was a DJ, music, and a headshot truck which of course, we had to stop by…

14480548_1058146217637685_4019881498093083489_o

https://www.facebook.com/theheadshottruck/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1058094387642868

There was a wall of donuts, the award show being taped at the outdoor theater area, and a very chill atmosphere. While I have met quite a few of the YouTubers recognized at the end, I got the chance to meet and speak to some incredible YouTubers like Anthony Padilla, Joey Graceffa, Rafi Fine (FineBrothers), Alex Aiono, Phillip DeFranco, Jordan Doww…just to name a few. I also met Monique Coleman (Taylor from High School Musical!!!!!) and continued to question #WhatIsLife.

But here’s the thing about this amazing event; I may not neccessarily see myself on the same level of these incredible creators, but all of us there had so much in common. We all create content and share it with the world. While it may or may not matter how many followers and subscribers you may have, what does matter is how much passion one has for what they do. Just being at this event proved to me that I am exactly where I need to be. I’m a creator and this was an incredible moment in my life to really embrace that everything that happens in life truly happens for a reason.

So with that being said, a special thanks to Eva for inviting me, Joel for being a cool dude that I was very happy to become friends with that day, Motoki and Sam for joining us at the event and all of the YouTubers whom I talked to that night for being insipring and giving me the time to try not to fangirl and have an actual creator-to-creator conversation. Also, congrats to the winners both that night and the following Tuesday during the award show!

See more photos from events this year’s events on Twitter @sarahfhamilton and Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/sarahfhamilton14/media_set?set=a.614821362012574.1073741838.100004541472023&type=3&pnref=story

You can also see a TON of cool footage from this event in my LIVIN’ CA episode for that week!

Until next time!

me

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VIBBIDI APP FEATURE!!!!

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!

I teamed up with Vibbidi, a social media video sharing app and website for filmmakers! It’s like YouTube but curated with more cinematic based content. Whether you are a viewer or creator, this app is definitely for you!

But what’s the big deal, you ask?

As you may know, I run a smaller YouTube channel and i’m currently studying film and television production at Loyola Marymount University. While a LOT of the content I create, I put online, there still is a small percentage of projects that don’t really end up anywhere and Vibbidi has granted me the opportunity to post exclusive content! While everybody on the app can post content, I have created a microseries (one minute per episode legnth) exclusive to the app! This microseries has been absolutely incredible to work on and it’s a bit different from what you may be used to seeing me create.

The ONLY way to see the exclusive videos is to download Vibbidi on the app store! It’s FREE and definitely worth your while. When you do, you’ll be asked to sign up for an account. Remember to use my code: SARAH to get direct access! My user name is @sarahfhamilton and my studio is Syrena Productions. (Links for the website version below)

http://vibbidi.com/studio/syrenaproductions

My first posted web series is called, “CREATIVITY” and many fun future series and episodes are in the works so you definitely don’t want to miss this fun oportunity!

me

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