Happy Friday & Loooong Weekend!

Happy Friday!

This sums up EXACTLY how I feel right about now!


For some reason this week just draaaaaged on and on. Am I right? Maybe that’s because this was my first full week of work after the holidays? I don’t know. But I do no it was LONG and 5 o’clock can’t come soon enough!

Hope you all have a great long weekend! What will you be doing? Not sure what our plans will be yet…I just know I’m excited that we have a 3-day weekend, don’t have work on Monday and that next week will be a short week! Enjoy! I’ll see you next week. Hopefully I can get around to doing my new years resolution post…it’s coming I promise!



Last Friday Before Christmas


Happy Friday Friends!!!!! It’s finally the Friday before CHRISTMAS! Waaahoooo. I’m soooo excited! I think all the excitement that Christmas is around the corner has finally kicked in. Unfortunately, I’m working until 3pm today. I know kind of a bummer, but then I will be off work and on vacation until January 4th. I CAN’T WAIT!

Wishing you all a great Friday and start to the holiday weekend! ❤ ❤


Updates & Things:

Happy Monday friends! Can you believe Christmas is just ONE week away?!?!?!?

This is also my LAST week of work until our winter break/2018. Waaaahooooo! Seriously can’t wait for that. So here are some updates!

12.12.17 SIX Months at UCSB

Today is our SIX MONTH WORKIVERSARY at UCSB! Lauren and I both started on 6.12.17 and man has time flown by!

Cheers to six months and a new friendship! ❤

12.13.17 L&S Holiday Party

Today was our office Holiday Party! We had a really nice catered lunch in an event space on campus. Surprisingly, I was one of the WINNERS of our ugly sweater competition! I even got a trophy that I get to keep in my office for the next year.


Don’t you just love our group photo with our masks on? The air quality and smoke/ash is still terrible, so mask are required outside. We also got good news that we were being offered some time off (administrative leave) because of the fires, so we actually got Thursday and Friday off from work. Waaaahhoooo! After all we’ve been through and for continuing to come into work, this was super nice and very much appropriated. Thank you Chancellor Yang (finally)!

12.14.17 SB –> HB 25498059_10106148795576207_8109223752304180265_n

With no work for the next two days we packed up and headed out of town! FRESH AIR!!!!

12.15.17 STAR WARS 25443028_10106148811624047_1479113881827792578_n

Got up early and headed to the movies to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi at 7:30AM. Yes, you read that right. We went to the movies at 7:30AM. I had Starbucks on the way there and then a mini bag of popcorn because, why not. OMG it was awesome! I wouldn’t call my self a mega Star Wars fan, but I have come to really like these movies. Of course we got all caught up by watching Rogue One and The Force Awakens earlier in the week. We went to the movie theater at Bella Terra and it was truly an experience. We had assigned seats and super fancy chairs. Each seat reclined so we could totally stretch out. Next time I’m bringing my blanket. I can’t imagine seeing a moving any other way now. #spoiled



12.15.17 Half Day at Disneyland

After the movie, getting lunch and hanging out with all the pups some, we headed off to DISNEYLAND! Gotta take advantage of those season passes ha ha ha. We did a lighter day at Disney meaning we weren’t rushing around like crazy people to get on all the rides. I guess that’s one of the best benefits about having season passes. You don’t have to go crazy each time you visit the park. You can just go for a few hours, go on a few rides and then head home. We did a few fun things that we don’t normally do too:

We of course went on some rides and finally tracked down some deliciously amazing holiday treats that we’ve been seeing on Instagram at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe. See pictures below.

Beyond DELICIOUS! OMG can you say YUM?!?!?!?!

So the reason we didn’t do a ton at Disneyland was that we were going to be back there on Sunday with my sister in law Kristin and all the niblings. Sadly, when they arrived at Disneyland (from San Diego), both Kendall and Kristin go the stomach flu! Colton had it earlier in the week and they thought everyone else escaped it…apparently not. They literally had to clean themselves up and then drive back to SD. #sadface We were supper bummed to have missed them, but totally understood they couldn’t stay. Chris and I were both really looking forward to seeing the kiddos again and watching the Christmas Fantasy Parade. Hopefully we can see it next year.

Fire Update:

Things got pretty scary over the weekend in Santa Barbara with the Thomas Fire. The fire moved into SB County and Montecito was was under mandatory evacuation along with other parts of Santa Barbara. Sadly, some multi-million dollar homes were burned down. Check out this video. Part of 101 was even shut down because of all of this. The Thomas Fire is now the 3rd largest fire in CA historyand is looking to become #1! Since we were in Huntington Beach, we were keeping our eye on the evacuation map and general updates on the fire. Again, we got really lucky that our home wasn’t in danger and we didn’t have to evacuate. Not much we could have done anyway since we were in Huntington Beach. So far 270,500 acres have burned and it’s 45% contained. Here are several reports on the fire: NPR, CNN and Cal Fire. Please continue keep us, Santa Barbara and all those either working to stop/contain these fires or people impacted by the fire in your prayers. We need RAIN and the winds to die down. ❤ ❤

Wishing you all a great last week before Christmas. Hope you don’t have too much shopping left to do. I gotta get wrapping a bunch of presents and maybe squeeze in some cookie baking.



I’m Back! Conference Update

Happy Monday Everyone!

I returned from my conference last Tuesday (election night), stayed up way too late watching disappointing results, worked two days and then had a 3-day weekend (thank goodness)! Now I’m back in the routine of work …nothing like being back to reality haha.

Last year I attended the Annual NODA conference in Denver, CO and had an absolute blast! This year that conference was in Indianapolis, Indiana and was just as much fun! I flew out on Friday 11/4 so most of that first day was just traveling. On Saturday 11/5 my colleague from SJSU, Rigo went exploring in downtown Indy.

We started our downtown tour at Monument Circle which is considered the “true heart of Downtown Indianapolis” and is “truly a must-see for anyone visiting the Circle City!” Well lucky us! While walking around Monument Circle we decided to tour the Soldiers and Sailors Monument as well. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument was designed by Bruno Schmitz and was dedicated in 1902 to Indiana’s heroes who died in wars before World War I. Erected as a memorial to the soldiers and sailors of the War for the Union (1861-65), it also commemorates the War with Mexico (1846-48), Indian and British Wars (1811-12), War of the Revolution and the capture of Vincennes from the British on February 25, 1779. Visitors can hike up to the observation level, located 330 steps up (yikes) or take the elevator (which I ended up doing) to step 290. Too many steps for me! Once at the observation deck you can see stunning views of downtown and even the capitol building in the distance. Great way to start out tourist day in Indy!

After, we headed towards the Capitol building and even got to join a tour group! Our first day was clearly all about Indiana HISTORY haha. While on the tour we discussed/visited all three branches of of the government: Executive, Legislative and Judicial; got to see Mike Pence’s office; take a seat in someones actual seat in the House of Representatives; and tour the Supreme Court Room. We learned so much about Indiana, it’s state capitol, the Indiana flag, etc., etc., etc. It really was a history day haha.

After our capitol tour and lunch we headed back to the hotel to hang out and change before the offical opening of the conference. I stayed at the JW Marriott and that’s also where the conference took place. The hotel was super snazzy and a perfect great place for a conference. To kick things off before the start of the conference we had regional meet ups and then a sit down dinner. Yum! So nice to be able to sit down and actual hear the speakers. Great way to start NODAC 2016!


The person in charge of social media for the conference created NODA snapchat filters so of course I had to try them out. Haha too funny! I don’t know how to do anything with snapchat except the filers.

After the first featured speaker on Day #1, I headed to the first education session where I was going to be PRESENTER!! This is the SECOND time I’ve presented at a national conference! Waahoooo. Checking off those professional bucket list items!


Our group presented about our OPI/NODA experience from last year and what to do with all that we learned. Attending a conference like NODA can be really overwhelming, so we thought our session would be helpful to new attendees and OPI grads. We had a pretty good turn out and even had a few OPI faculty members attend! Yay!

Presenting at a national conference has been something I have always wanted to do and I feel so excited and proud of myself for accomplishing this two years in a row! I hope to continue to attend NODA and to keep presenting! THANK YOU again to my co-presenters Natalie, Megan, Allison, Genna and Paige! You ladies were fabulous to work. Who knows, maybe we will be presenting again next year… 15056259_10105046099023937_4976138298608371360_n.jpg

During NODA I love being able to meet so many new people but also reconnecting with friends/colleagues! Here I am with my friend Heather who works that UC Riverside. We first met at UCSB and were on O-Staff together! It was great seeing/catching up with her again. Go Gauchos!


During the conference I always look forward to the featured speakers. Somehow NODA always gets truly phenomenal featured speakers. This year was no exception! We had unbelievable folks talking to us about topics that are so prominent and true on all of our campuses. One of my absolutle favorite speakers was Dr. Terrell L. Strayhorn. He was beyond AMAZING. He is probably one of the best speakers I have ever seen, incredibly inspiring and motivating. Dr. Terrell L. Strayhorn is a professor of Higher Education at The Ohio State University and also serves as the Director of the Center for Higher Education Enterprise (CHEE). He gave a talk on what is belonging research shows and why NODA should care. At times, the audience was crying, sitting on the edge of their seat, tweeting in responses and standing up and singing! I have never felt so moved or empowered. THANK YOU Dr. Strayhorn for your incredible talk!







WOW is all I can say! This guy is AMAZING!


After Dr. Strayhorn’s talk we all went to the Eiteljorg Museum for a networking event called NODA Connect. The Eiteljorg Museum was a stunning place for a networking event. The entire museum was also open so we got to explore all the exhibits. Clearly Rigo and I had a blast hahaha. We even got to see a GEORGIA O’KEEFFE!!!

Another highlight for me during the conference was the Author’s Luncheon. Last year I had no idea what this was and didn’t participate. So glad I went this year because it was really fun and I got a bunch of FREE books! Who doesn’t love free books?! There were 5 different authors that shared a little about their works and then signed our books after. We heard from the following:

Margot Lee Shetterly – Hidden Figures

Ken Ilgunas – Trespassing Across America

Jennie Capo Crucet – Make your Home Among Strangers

Patrick Phillips – Blood at the Root, A Racial Cleansing in America

Michael Puett -The Path


I seriously can’t wait to start reading each of these books. Their stories all sound so interesting and it was grerat to meet the authors! In the future I plan to always attend the author’s luncheon. Can’t wait for next year!

The last featured speaker we had was Courtney O’Connell who talked about becoming innovative educators. She too was really inspiring and touched on so many important issues. I learned so much on how to become an innovative educator and even got a list of more books to read! #booknerd #ilovetoread book

When seeing these kinds of people speak, I get so inspired and often feel like I want to be just like them! I truly want to be someone in my field, not just another person working in an office. Sometimes I dream/wonder if some day I will be the person on a big stage speaking to an audience at a conference…do I have the power to motivate and inspire people? I sure hope so! That would be pretty cool…to sorta come full circle. #futuregoals

I love going to these types of conferences and getting inspired! Often I get back and truly feel like I can do anything! I know I can, but I just need to do it one step at a time…

For my last night in Indy, I spent it hanging out with my friend Heather and her co-worker Lizze. We explored more of Indy, had dinner at this great place called The Eagle, walked around Massachusetts Ave., did a little shopping and took a few more pictures of the capitol all lit up at night. Such a great way to spend our last night!

As the conference comes to a close I always get a little sad..I had such an amazing time and didn’t want to go leave. Over the last few days I loved being able to soak up so much knowledge, meet and talk with so many people and truly feel recharged. Although it’s sad to see NODAC 2016 come to a close, I’m already looking forward to next year! For 2017 the conference will take place in LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY! I’ve never been to Louisville, but it looks awesome!


During the conference I learned so much and realized this really is what I want to do with my career/life! It felt good to get reconnected to my profession if that makes sense. I also feel so thankful for the opportunity to have gone to another conference and to have presented for the second time in a row! Can’t wait unitl next year!

Hope your week is off to a great start!



Indianapolis Bound ✈️

Happy Thursday everyone! Tomorrow I fly to Indianapolis, Indiana for the NODA conference. Waaaahooo!!!


I’m really excited to be attending NODA again. Last year was a blast and I learned so much. Really looking forward to reconnecting with some of my OPI peeps and other colleagues. During the conference last year I fulfilled one of my professional “bucket list” items; presenting at a national conference. Guess what?! This year I get to DO IT AGAIN!!! YAY for PRESENTING two years in a row!


Can’t wait to explore a new city (I’ve never been to Indy!), meet/connect with more higher education/orientation professionals, present AGAIN, see some old friends and learn even more about the field of Orientation Transition and Rentention! #higherednerd #otr

I’m going to be pretty busy during the conference, so don’t expect any blog posts. When I get back next week, you’ll get a full update with lots of pictures.

Have a great rest of your week and weekend! See you next week!



Finally Made It! TGIF

 We made it folks! HAPPY HAPPY FRIDAY!!! Totally feeling like this today!

Hope everyone is doing their “Happy Friday” dance…I know I sure am! This week has been so busy and felt way too long! TGIF!

Wishing everyone a Good Friday and hoping you have a wonderful Easter this weekend!



Happy Friday + 3-Day Weekend


We made it through another work week! Super excited because we also get a 3-day weekend!!!! YAY!!! My poor hubby has to work on Monday, which is a total bummer. But I can’t help my excitement for having the day off!! Feeling just like Snoopy right about now.


For some Friday fun, if you haven’t seen the Adele & James Corden Carpool Karaoke video you MUST! It’s fabulous! I absolutely LOVE Adele and this video proves even more why I thinks she’s fabulous. Hope you enjoy.

Happy Friday everyone and I hope those of you who have a 3-day weekend enjoy every moment of it! See you next week!