Let's Do This, {2017} ♡

Another year, another New Years post on Pink Chanel Suit!


In my 2015 blogpost, I talked about how although I never believed in the whole "new year, new me" philopshy, I do believe the new year can symbolize a new start. I wanted to eat more avocados, never leave the house without perfume and lipstick, and stay in touch with my true self. 

Mission accomplished. 

In my 2016 blogpost, I talked about how my life was a mess and a half. My mental health was at an all time low, I was really struggling creatively and financially, and I was basically half-assing my entire life. I wanted to quit all of my side jobs and focus on my writing, take control of my life, and improve my mental health. 

Mission accomplished.

This year, my resolutions are both big and small and I'm going to list literally all of them. Maybe my resolutions will give you some inspiration for yours!

  • Get published in a women's lifestyle magazine or publication,  like Teen Vogue, Cosmo, Refinery29, etc! I know I can do it. My resume grows every single year, and I think this is the year for me to be published in one of my favorite women lifestyle magazines!
  • Attempt to cook one complicated meal from scratch every single week. I love cooking, but I usually take the easy way out and rely on frozen food.
  • Adventure through SoCal more! I usually stay in Long Beach a bit too much and really want to explore places I've never been.
  • Grow my following on Instagram. I'm thinking 50,000 by the end of the year? I've got tons of work to do.
  • Complete apartment decor. I love my apartment, but I've been holding off on completely furnishing it! I need a dresser, shelving, a desk, etc. I think making your sanctuary completely yours is good for your mental health.
  • Save $$$ in bank account. Not going to say how much because uhhh...#privacy, but you get the point.
  • Write more poetry and publish it elsewhere. After publishing a book, I've taken a poetry break, but I'd like to get back into my groove.
  • Do one acting gig. I do live in LA, after all. Whether it be a play, being an extra in something, a commercial, YouTube skit, whatever - I'd like to do it!
  • Take more pictures of myself. I take a lot of pictures of things, but very few photos of myself. I'd like to shoot #ootds, selfies, action shots, things that will interest others and show them who I really am.
  • Travel to at least two places out of state. I'm thinking Seattle and Aulani. 
  • Dedicate one day a month for hardcore grocery shopping and deep cleaning. Because, you know, adulting!
  • Collaborate with other content creators. Photographers, bloggers, writers, you name it! Get yourself out of that shell, girrrrl.
  • Do interviews on my blog again. I miss the hell out of this.
  • More self care in 2017. Hair, body, nails, oh my!
  • Clean up social media presence a bit. Let's just be honest...we all need to do this every now and then. Now is my time.
  • Support others and their work. I need to support other creatives more and show them I really care! Less me, more others!
  • Make a list of movies to watch, books to read, places to go...and do it! I've already did this and the list is super long. SO EXCITED! I discovered so many vegan restaurants, dope events, and super-cute-rom-coms. Yaaas.
  • Write a fictional short story. All about challenges...and let me tell you, it's been a while since I've wrote fiction.
  • Successfully file my taxes. It's my first year filing taxes as a freelancer and I'm so nervous! 
I have more than usual this year...that's probably just the Leslie Knope in me talking. I hope you all have an amazing New Year filled with coziness, hot cheetos, concerts, Harry Potter marathons, matte lipstick, and more art from Lin-Manuel Miranda.

With love,
Maria Elena

What Christmas Means To Me (2016) ♡

I've never been a traditionalist, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that I don't do holidays in a traditional way. Don't get me wrong. I'm all about peppermint mochas and cheesy Christmas music...you know I'm ALL about that life! 

However, the meaning of Christmas is about much more than just bright lights, gingerbread and Santa. As we get older, some of us become desensitized to the idea of Christmas. We don't believe in Santa anymore, we have bills to pay, and most of us hate snow. Sometimes, it can feel like you're losing that warm Christmas feeling.

But the truth is: we're not getting further away from that warm Christmas feeling. We're getting closer to it.

These super cute Jumpers are both from Boohoo!
When you stop associating warm Christmas-related feelings with the past, it'll come to you again. Stop fantasizing about reindeer and hot chocolate. Stop getting nostalgic over childhood memories and old music. Don't rely on the same traditions when everything around you is changing. Create new memories, new traditions, discover new music. 

When it comes to holidays, I've realized when your life isn't all figured out, you have to adapt. 

Last Christmas, both Andrew and I were in a rough place. We both had to work all holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and News Years), which reaaaaaally sucked. We both lived in the shittiest apartment in the world with even shittier people. We weren't even near financially stable. Our dreams were dying and so was the hope inside of us. We didn't have much. But we had each other. That's what gave me that warm feeling.

This year, it makes me happy to see how far we've come on...well, pretty much every level possible.

We wore our festive and warm sweaters from Boohoo. Rewatched the entire Harry Potter series while cuddling under our red and green plaid blanket. Listened to romantic tunes from my 'Vanilla Christmas' playlist, Ariana Grande's 'Christmas & Chill' EP, the Christmas music on the radio station 103.5, and his 'Night Drive Home' playlist. Saw sooo many amazing films in theater - Fantastic Beasts, Moana and LaLa Land! (And had a lot of insightful conversations because of it.) Discovered the fireplace channel on our TV which added some much needed ambiance to or living room. Baked cookies...but mostly ate the cookie dough. We both got terrible colds and nursed each other back to health...then got a space heater which racked up our electricity bill. Joined Secret Santa exchanges, which we couldn't afford last year. Went to both Disneyland and Universal despite our busy schedules. Spent a lot of casual mornings drinking lattes with vegan coconut whipped cream. Reflected on the past year with endless hope and love.

You know what the best part is? That's just the beginning of it. Christmas doesn't have to have a formula. It isn't about the past or the future. It's about now. Create your own traditions and your own memories with people you love. Screw your expectations of what Christmas needs to feel like.

And no matter how hard it is...keep holding on. Christmas is all about finding the good in the bad and cherishing love above all. 

Have a very happy holiday. With love,

Maria Elena