Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Explorin' the New Hood: Old Towne Orange

Like I've said before, I recently moved into my first big girl apartment. I was unsure about the location of where we would be living because we are on a busy street and the friend's apartment we were subletting had a great location, close to everything & also just down the street from one of my jobs. 
However, last week my concerns were lifted when a friend of mine who lives not too far from me decided to show me around such a gem: Old Towne Orange. 
It's a cute little place with lots of antique shops, cool restaurants and older-looking buildings. It probably actually looks like the "old town" part of any city, but since I don't usually explore those areas, it was pretty cool to do so here. 

So the point of our little adventure was with two reasons in mind: for her to show me around the area and for me to help her take Instagram photos like mine! Haha. The first time she told me she wanted me to take photos of her the way I have my photos on Instagram I was laughing but I also felt quite honored. It was just not something I would expect someone to say to me haha. 

I was also helping her with taking better iPhone photos by giving suggestions on how you can frame the subject and things like that. It was fun for both of us because we were doing it in such a cool place (but unfortunately I have no photos of her/with her--they were all either on snapchat or on her phone, & her Instagram is private & so I don't want to compromise her privacy). 

Old Towne Orange in one word is: hipster. 

There was lots of brick, lots of antiques, and some other cool random things that we found around the little town. We stumbled across an alley and found a cool black metal wall with an orange painted on it. I also caught some really meaningful graffiti that was also super cool. 

Something that I really hope to do in the next few months is really explore where I live and fall in love with where I live! I've always loved where I lived, but since I don't live on campus at school anymore it'll be easier (& I'll be less lazy) when it comes to getting out and seeing what's around me. 

Where shall I go next? Garden Grove? Anaheim? Downtown Santa Ana? We'll see. 

Where do you live? & what has your experience been in "old towns" like this one?
Chau for now

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Having Faith and Trust When You've Been Hurt

We've all been hurt before. 

Whether our boo-boos came from tripping on something or from someone close to us doing something we didn't like or expect, it sucks to be the one that got hurt. 

Sometimes you cry, sometimes you throw a fit, and sometimes you don't feel anything (literally and figuratively). 

But, life goes on. 

Life goes on even if we aren't ready for it. 

We can either learn to forgive and trust, or we can live in fear and/or bitterness/resentment, even hatred. 

Oh trust me, I've had my share of hurts in my life. I've been hurt a lot actually, and so I have a lot of emotional scarring on my heart. 

I am currently at a point in my life to where I need to start facing my fears and hurts head on, and I need to learn to trust and have faith again. 

We always hear about the word "faith" but what does it actually mean? 

I recently wrote about it on my Instagram.

Faith is about taking the leap of faith, it's about allowing that person into your heart, it's about letting everything go. And most of the times, you aren't even completely sure of what you're doing or why you're doing it. Most of the time, you don't know all the details, so you're forced to just hope, believe, and pray that everything will turn out fine. 

And most of the time, things do turn out just fine. 

However, sometimes we mess up, people mess up, circumstances come up, and we are left to pick up the pieces. Most of the time, these things are not our fault, and sometimes yes, those people that have hurt us do need to work to regain our trust. 

However, sometimes those people could be doing everything in their power to change the situation, but maybe we are the ones that need to also do our part and actually do the trusting. 

& no, don't feel obligated to. Many times, especially if you've been hurt by multiple people multiple times, no one can really blame you for the way you feel. It is very valid to feel hurt and saddened and scared. 

But we can either live in fear, or we can live in faith. 

I'm trying to choose faith above everything. Every day is a constant battle between my mind and my spirit, with one telling me to be angry and bitter, but the other one telling me to jump off the platform. But no matter what, we all have to keep fighting on. 

I've been hurt, and I've definitely been dealing with the pain. It's been getting better, but there will always be things that trigger me. It is then that I have to choose my faith, my spirit, and trust that my God will come through for me. I know, that's not always the most comforting advice to hear because it's so vague, but that's where faith comes in, right?

Unfortunately, for something like this, there are no 3 steps or rules to follow to ensure having faith and trust in a person or humanity in general. That journey looks different for each of us. I will say, however, that you are not alone. You are never alone. 

So jump off the platform. You aren't completely sure of what you're doing, but most of the time, the faith and trust come after you jump. That's why it's called the leap of faith. Do it. Chances are, you'll land safely. 

Let me know where you land. Or if you haven't jumped yet, let's talk about it, right where you are right now. I'm always here to listen. 

And if you have anything encouraging that has helped you or any encouraging stories, please share them with me. I'd love to hear about them.
Chau for now

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Making a Comeback... and Looking for Some Help

So I'm pretty freaking excited to get back into blogging. It's something that has remained on my mind every day even though I wasn't posting. This space was not only a place for me to express myself, but it allowed me to get creative, whether with posting, with writing, or just trying out new things in general. Being so drained physically, emotionally, and mentally from the changes in my life just really kept me from being able to commit and be consistent with my writing. 

However, now that my life is finally calming down a bit (with the exception of school starting in less than two weeks), I now feel like I am in a perfect place to be able to get back on board with blogging. 

That's when this post comes in. 

So I've never been afraid to ask for help, and I want to get some help from you now, if at all possible. 

I'm looking for people to collaborate with! With some things that I'm going to be doing on the blog soon, I wanna partner with others to get a great community going here of people who are just livin' and lovin' their lives. 

I'm looking for: 
  • Bloggers currently in or have previously been in long distance relationships (LDRs) to share blog posts they've written about it to potentially be used in a future LDR post
  • LDR stories from anyone, blogger or not!
  • Asian American Bloggers, UNITE
  • Brands to collaborate with, whether fashion, faith-related, beauty, or anything regarding relationships
  • Local Southern California bloggers to meet up & collaborate with, either with a post or a video or a photoshoot, anything really! I'm down to just hang out haha. 
  • Bloggers in general who want to collaborate or just talk! I am so extroverted & love meeting/getting to know new people! I might even just consider having a pen pal!
  • Local LA/Orange County photographers looking to expand their portfolio. Let's get shooting!
  • Even if you don't fit any of the other categories but wanna just talk, please reach out to me!
Whatever category you fit into or just want to talk, please shoot me an email! kriselle @ livinandlovin . com (take out the spaces). Or comment below if that is easier for you. Either way. I'm looking forward to collaborating with tons of people soon and getting this blog back up & running :)

Chau for now

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Oceans Apart: What it's Like to Adjust to a Long Distance Relationship

This is my first official post on long distance relationships, or LDRs for short. I'm debating if I should create this as a series called Oceans Apart or not, especially because not all (probably most) LDRs are not oceans apart. We'll see how it goes. 

But anyway, it has been 4 weeks since Darell left me at the terminal when he left for Australia. So the past few weeks have been spent adjusting to him being gone, obviously. It's been pretty difficult for me in many areas, but it has also been quite refreshing as well. 

We have a large time difference. 
In case you don't know, Sydney is 17 hours ahead from LA, at least when we're on Daylight Savings Time. This has been the biggest adjustment for me by far because it affects when I can talk to him. When I wake up in the morning, he's sleeping. When I get home from work & am free to talk to him, he's starting his morning so he's in class & can't talk much. Late at night around bedtime for me is the most convenient time for us to talk, unless he has a late afternoon/evening event. 

Despite the time difference however, it has managed to work for us so far. I'm pretty used to it already so it isn't such a big deal unless he's busy before I'm about to go to bed. 

Even when we're both awake, he can only talk to me through wifi. 
Let's face it, international charges are ridiculous. Darell has a phone now with an Australian number that he can call/text with, but if he tries to contact me through it, we will both be charged with international fees (sorry mom for the few texts we exchanged before realizing this, woops). 

As a result, I can only talk to him when he has wifi, which is either when he is at home, school, or church. If he is out anywhere else or commuting, I usually can't talk to him. Again, I'm getting used to this which isn't too bad. As long as I can keep myself busy it's not an issue. 

I have a ton of free time!
So this is probably the most positive thing for me since he has left, haha. Before he left in the months from his acceptance leading up to his departure, I spent almost every free second I could with him. Before that, on a normal basis when neither of us are preparing to move across an ocean, I usually would only see him on weekends and go a few days to a couple weeks without seeing him sometimes (this was before I had a car). 

However, since I spent the last 7 months trying to spend as much time with him as possible, now I have the freedom to do basically whatever I want, whether with myself or with friends. Darell probably would rather I go out & do stuff anyway, regardless of if he is in Sydney or here with me, but I just wanted to take advantage of my time with him before he left. 

I'm really enjoying this free time mostly to invest more in my friendships (can't you tell I'm an extrovert?). It's only been a month & it's been so nice. I'll probably write about this in another post in the future. 

I'm starting to see my insecurities come out, and are more amplified than ever. 
Right after Darell left, I left for camp. It was the perfect distraction to start out this long distance thing because if it weren't for camp, I probably would've bawled my eyes out that whole week. 

However, when I came back, the reality of Darell not being around really start to hit me. Insecurities & fears that I have as a result of my past & other things in our relationship before began to fill my mind and it was driving me crazy. He and other people in my life reminded me and pointed me to Jesus. I'll be honest and say that it was hard because even though I knew that was what I needed, I didn't want to fully surrender because my fear was so bad. 

Since then, I have taken baby steps into focusing this time I have away from Darell on myself and my relationship with God. This will definitely be a whole other post in itself, but until then, just know that I am doing fine, and I'm being taken care of. 

Just in these past few weeks alone, there has been a ton of growth in me personally, and I have really had to have faith. I'll go into detail in another post on all of that, but so far, being in a long distance relationship has been hard, but very good and healthy for me, actually. It sucks that I can't hug or hold hands with Darell when I feel like it, but it'll be worth it when I do see him (which will be soon (; )

We'll see where this takes us, and I'll do my best to document it!

Until then, give me tips for being in an LDR especially if you are as far apart as we are! I wanna hear your stories. 

Chau for now

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Hey Guys, Are You Still There? It's Me, Kriselle--LDRs, Moving, & Jesus

Hello, there. 

Whether this is your first time on my blog or you've been waiting for me to post again, hey! I am still livin' and lovin' life, as my blog's name suggests. I am still alive, active, and breathing. 

So what has been happening with me since I've been gone? 

I just moved into my new apartment last week! I'm still getting settled in but have been struggling because I've been having to unpack in between working 6 days a week. I don't have any good quality photos of my place yet, but I'm hoping to showcase a few once my apartment looks a little more like a home, especially my room. 

Right before Darell walked through the security line & had to leave me!

Long Distance Relationships--
If you follow me on any social media site at all (especially Instagram), you will see that I am now one half of a long distance relationship. The boyfriend has officially moved to Australia (it'll be one month since he left on Saturday!) and is living it up in one of the most wonderful cities in the world. The past few weeks have been such a rollercoaster, and don't worry, I can't be in a long distance relationship & not write about it. I have tons to say, so be on the lookout for that. 

Lots & lots of Jesus--
Kind of going back to the LDR, it has really shown me my need for my Savior. I've been slowly getting back into spending time with and relying on Jesus to sustain me. I've been taking baby steps to get back on track with my faith, and the little bits I've done have helped me so much. I'm excited to see where things go as I continue to choose Jesus every day. 

So, there's my life right now. You can probably expect that my future blog posts will feature a ton about these topics, and potentially college/job-related posts since I'm starting my final semester of college in just under 3 weeks. It's gonna be crazy but it's gonna be awesome. I can't guarantee a certain number of posts per week that I will be writing just yet, but I'll be making a comeback, just you watch me. 

Chau for now