On Living Abroad 


It’s been 2 years and 3 months since I’ve lived in Vancouver now. It is an amazing place to live and I am so lucky to live here, but it’s probably taken me about this long to really feel like I could call this place my home. Ever since I was about 16 years old, I knew I wanted to move away for college and part of me didn’t think I would ever move back home after.

I originally wanted to move to NYC for undergrad, but chickened out when application time came. I ended up starting my adult life in San Diego, and when I was 22 I moved off to NYC for graduate school, following my dream. Shortly before moving to NYC, I found my soulmate, and he would end up taking me on a path I had never foreseen, a wonderful and exciting one. And after 4 years in NYC, I ended up here in beautiful BC, the place he was lucky enough to have called home his whole life. Some of my patients ask me why a girl from Southern California is living up here, as if it seems crazy… and I have to convince them how beautiful it is here and how great of a place it is to live. Sometimes I wonder if I’m trying to convince them or myself.

But I truly do love it here. Up here, the air is clean, nature is lush, the skies are bluer, and I am constantly in awe of the natural beauty surrounding me. The city is vibrant, people are active and healthy, and there are dogs everywhere (I LOVE that part)!

What’s made it so hard for me to call this place home isn’t the lack of beauty or endless amount of things to do… What truly makes a place home, is that feeling of comfort that you get when you’re with those who make you feel safe, understood, welcome, and for lack of a better word, loved. To me, what I just described is the true meaning of family. And for me, family can extend beyond blood relatives.

I have met some pretty incredible people here and am lucky to have been taken in and accepted so quickly by Matt’s family. It is only now, 2 years and 3 months later, that I can look back and realize it’s been a while since I’ve cried thinking of how much I miss my family or friends that I left in Chino Hills, San Diego, or New York and how hard it is to “make a family” out here.

But today, I cried again. My mom and dad are visiting Vancouver and I got to see videos my mom had taken of my 10 week old nephew (who lives in San Francisco) who I’ve been lucky enough to have seen TWICE before he was 7 weeks old. I watched at least a dozen short videos of him cooing, smiling, or even just laying there observing his surroundings. Matt reminded me we had to get going so I could prepare for my next day at work but all I wanted to do was sit there and watch those videos… because I realized those videos would be the closest I would get to holding, touching, smelling, or kissing my baby nephew and I don’t want him to grow up and miss it all. I told Matt after we left my parent’s hotel how that felt and I just started crying. This time I let myself cry, and didn’t feel ashamed or try to stop myself from thinking that I should be over it by now.

I realized it makes me human to feel this way, and although living abroad seems amazing and adventurous, sometimes it hurts. So my message to myself after all of this is to cherish each moment with those you love because when we leave this earth, all people will have of us is the memories we made with them.

xo,

Juliana

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Rainy Day Essentials

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Living in Vancouver, you definitely learn to appreciate two things. The first is: sunshine, because when it’s sunny here, it’s BE-AU-TIFUL. And the second thing is a great rain jacket.

Here are the essentials that get me through those rainy days:

1. A Solid Rain Jacket. For a city that rains so much, you don’t see THAT many umbrellas. And I am all for this, because I am not the biggest fan of umbrellas. After living in NYC, I developed a secret fear of getting my eyes poked out by one of those unnecessarily pointed tips. Plus, why do umbrellas have to take up so much room?? 😉 I would much prefer a light rain jacket with a hood. I love this jacket because it has a feminine cinch at the waist, nice zipper detailing, and best of all there’s a little hood that can be zipped away.

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2. A Pair of “Are those rain boots?” Rain Boots.  I love a cute pair of rain boots that have fun funky designs… but the forecast isn’t always accurate and sometimes that rainy day turns into a beautiful sunny day, which is exactly what happened the day these photos were taken. And when that happens, it’s good to be wearing a versatile boot.

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3. Hair Texturizing Spray. There’s nothing that can ruin a good hair day like humidity and rain. When this happens, I like to spray my favorite sea salt spray into my hair and give it a scrunch to give my hair some texture and dimension. That way, I turn my frizz into something more manageable. My favorite texturizing spray since cutting my hair short is the Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray infused with Dead Sea Salt & Sea Kelp. It can be found at Target and Ulta in the U.S. but I haven’t found it in Canada yet.

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4. My Best Fur-iend. Okay, Toby, our little Corgi is pretty much an every day essential. The handsome little fellow even has his own rain jacket. It’s pretty much normal to see dogs in rain jackets in Vancouver. 🙂

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Zara Jacket | Garage Top | H&M Scarf (similar here) | Grey Skinny Jeans (similar here) | H&M necklace (similar here) | Brown’s B2 Rain Boot (similar styles here)

Thanks for reading!

xo,

Juliana

Just In Time for Summer

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Well hello there! It’s been a while since my last post on Inspire Me, Mon Ami. Since my last post, I celebrated my 27th birthday (the first one ever as a Canadian), moved into a new apartment, got our first puppy, and finally started working. Toby, our little Corgi, was my 27th birthday present… one I will never forget. As a first time dog owner, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. As soon as I found out we were getting Toby, like a soon-to-be mother, I started reading tons of books on Corgis and training/taking care of puppies.

 

 

Before I knew it, he was here and Matt and I gave him every ounce of our time. During puppy potty training, they say that before you do ANYTHING in the morning, you take your puppy out to go to the bathroom. So… I did as I was told. Often times, I would be in my flannel PJs, nothing on my face other than my glasses and a giant messy morning hair bun, taking out little Tobes. And it’s not like I live in a quiet cul-de-sac where no one would see me. I live in Downtown Vancouver where not only do I have many neighbors, but I have many friendly neighbors.

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So… as a new fur-mother, shame went out the window along with any worries of how cute my outfit looked that day. At one point, I even considered chopping off my locks and trading in my ‘do for a bob. I’m still only half kidding about that… haha but for these past few months, I put almost everything aside to focus on our little furry little family member and my new career. And now that I’m getting used to work life and doggy owner life, I’m back at it with Inspire Me, Mon Ami… and just in time for summer! Thank you so much for reading!

xo,

Juliana

 

Windsor Kimono | Windsor Crop Top | Zara Jeans | Forever 21 Sandals

And here is the little guy making his first appearance on the blog. 🙂

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Spring In My Step

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When I found these boots, I knew they were the perfect segue from Winter fashion into Spring fashion. Girly flowery combat boots? A combination I had never seen before, but I definitely welcomed the juxtaposition. A couple weekends ago, we had some ugly weather. The rain would not go away and I was yearning for some sunshine. A few days later, the sun came out to play and even brought 50 deg F weather! Now, for my Southern California friends, I know 50 degrees is generally not skirt/dress weather, but after living in New York for 4 years and now Canada, 50 degrees with the sun shining is warm weather to me! 😉

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On a side note, I have news. The 90’s are back! Being born in the late 80’s, I grew up a 90’s gal, and boy was it full of some innnnnteresting fashion. We have the grungy plaid look, the overalls, the shirt/sweater tied around the waist look, baggy jeans, and those weird butterfly hair clips you would use to put your hair in corn rows, oh wait… maybe that was just me. Well fashion has recycled itself again! As happy as I was to see some of those trends go after the 90’s were over, I have a soft spot in my heart for some of  them. I know overalls are back, but I’m not really sure how I feel about them quite yet. This denim shirt tied around my waist, however, felt surprisingly natural! I’m into it!

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Which 90’s trend are you bringing back?

xo,

Juliana

Forever 21 Long Sleeve Dress | H&M Denim Shirt | Target Boots | Coach Crossbody | Forever 21 Fedora | On the lips: Revlon Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie

The Matinee: What I Wore

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At the end of February, we received some great news! My sis decided that it called for celebration! D did some research and found out The Matinee was going to be playing at the Imperial downtown! I took a quick listen to some of their music and immediately knew we had to go check them out. I hadn’t been to a show like this in a long time. It was SUPER cold out so I wanted to make sure I was covered from head to toe. I went for an all gray and black rocker-ish look and added my cozy turban headband to keep my ears warm. When I opt for little color in my outfit, I like to add some color on the lips. I grabbed my trusty Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge and we were ready for a night of fun.

xo,

Juliana

P.s. Young & Lazy by The Matinee was one of my favorite songs of the night. Listen here!

YesStyle Jacket | thrifted Top | Guess Jeans | Aldo Ankle Boots | Kate Spade Crossbody | Forever 21 Scarf | Aldo Midi Rings | Evernew Turban Headband

Vest Up

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To be warm while still fashionable in the winter months, it’s important to play with layers. Layering a great sweater over a collared shirt can make all the difference in keeping you warm and feeling cute on those chilly days. Another great way to play with layers is with vests! When I was perusing Target with my mom last month and stumbled upon this vest, I knew I had to have it. I love the moto style with zipper detailing and the faux leather touch this vest has. Vests are a great way to add another layer without feeling confined in a heavy coat.

xo,

Juliana

Forever 21 Sweater | Target Vest | Ann Taylor Loft Jeans | Etienne Aigner Boots | Aldo Beanie | Aritzia Scarf | Aldo Midi Rings

Preppy + Paisley

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In my opinion, a great tailored blazer is a necessity in every girl’s wardrobe. There will be times when you either want to prep up your look, or you need to add that professional piece to your workwear outfit. If you want to look polished and professional, whether it’s for an interview, presentation, or professional networking event, you can’t go wrong with a tailored blazer. Being petite, I often have trouble finding a blazer that doesn’t overwhelm my frame. The stores that have pleasantly surprised me with great options for petite frames are Ann Taylor Loft, H&M, Zara, and Evernew.

xo,

Juliana

Forever 21 Paisley Top | H&M Blazer | Citizens for Humanity Jeans | Dani Black Ankle Boots (thrifted) | Rebecca Minkoff Bag | Aldo Earrings