Saturday, August 20, 2016

Youtube Next Up LA 2016 Experience!


I have a pretty bad case of "impostor syndrome": The idea that, somehow, everyone around you really knows what they're doing, and you're just faking it as you try to keep up.

So when I received the email that I had been selected as 1 of 19 creators to participate in Youtube's Next Up LA program, I assumed that they must have somehow emailed the wrong person.

There was no way that I had stood out to Youtube amongst thousands of applications from all over the country, as a channel worthwhile in investing their time and money in, because they believed I will be one of the next "big" channels on youtube.

There must have been some mistake.

But there wasn't a mistake, it was correct. My name was right there, in the list of selected channels that Youtube believes are on their way to the top.
My disbelief didn't stop there. I continued to not fully believe it as I received my hotel confirmation, packed up my car, and even as I walked through the big silver doors of the Youtube Space on the first day, I half expected there to not be a badge waiting for me at the front desk.

But it was there.


My week at the Youtube Space for Youtube's Next Up Creator Program was a crazy, amazing, completely enthralling whirlwind. Every day from 9 am to 9 pm, I got to attend "Youtube School." I had so many questions answered, learned tricks to optimize my channel, received a crash course in the industries best production equipment, filmed a video on one of the most emaculate sets I've ever seen, and received a voucher to buy new filming equipment!


I also had the opportunity to create relationships with a group of 19 of the most creative and wonderful people I've ever met. We all shared our expertise, talked endlessly about our trials and tribulations in the media space, helped create some amazing content, and of course had some mandatory late night In N Out runs.


One of the things that I love about youtube is that it doesn't have to be competitive- my success as a creator, doesn't take away success from another creator. We can all root for each other, share our secrets for success, and help promote and grow the other channels in the program. Having such a great and encouraging group of people made me feel inspired to take risks and try new things on my channel.


Thank you to Youtube and the staff of the Youtube Space LA for giving me this opportunity that has inspired me so much to bring my channel to the next level.

I can safely say, I think I've been cured (at least a little bit) of my imposter syndrome. I believe in myself and my channel more than ever, and I promise I won't let you guys down.








Monday, June 13, 2016

The Perfect ENGAGEMENT PARTY Playlist!

Hey there! It's been a few weeks since I've written on the blog, but as Wedding Planning gets into full swing I'm sure I'll be writing more and more.  This week is my engagement party! Stephen and I got engaged in April but decided to wait until June to get together and celebrate with our family and friends so that he would be out of school. Throughout the past week our so I've been getting all the details in order for the party, and I spent an embarrassingly large amount of time trying to create the perfect engagement party playlist. I wanted it all to be upbeat good background music, but also romantic or wedding themed, and fit the casual "shabby chic" atmosphere of my parent's backyard.



Here are 20 songs that are PERFECT for your Engagement party:

  1. Today Was a Fairytale- Taylor Swift
  2.  I Do- Colbie Caillat
  3. Michael Buble- Everything
  4. Better Together- Jack Johnson
  5. Lovebug- Jona Brothers (Yes, yes, I know. Laugh at me all you want but I LOVE that song!)
  6. Once in a Lifetime- Landon Austin
  7. Stuck Like Glue- Sugarland
  8. Almost Home- Alex & Sierra
  9. Lucky- Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat
  10. Ours- Taylor Swift
  11. Home- Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
  12. I'm Yours- Jason Mraz
  13. Thinking Out Loud- Ed Sheehan
  14. Chapel of Love- The Dixie Cups
  15. Love You Like That- Canaan Smith
The last 5 are my guilty pleasure musical theatre love and marriage songs, sorry... I couldn't help myself but to include a few (:

16. Love is an Open Door- Frozen 
17. Honey, Honey- Mamma Mia!
18. The Next 10 Minutes- Last 5 Years
19. My Junk- Spring Awakening
20. I Chose Right- Baby

Our Engagement Party! Sierra & Stephen


Getting married is something that only happens to you once. So while we've had countless get togethers in my parent's backyard, this one was different-- we were celebrating our engagement! Even though we got engaged back in April, Stephen and I hadn't had much of a chance to celebrate and just let the excitement sink in yet. He was still in full "school mode," but with the semester coming to a close, we were so ready to spend a day with our friends and family finally celebrating our engagement. 


The Details
My maid of honor, Skylar, helped me choose all the decor, and my bridesmaid Kenzie helped me plan and organize the layout of everything, and I've gotta say, I think it all came together beautifully! We decorated the sign in table, made some simple centerpieces, and Skylar had the super unique idea to use an art easel and a chalkboard as a welcome sign. I'll have a full video on all the DIY details and ideas up on my youtube channel in the next few days!



Lawn Games
One of my favorite parts was playing the lawn games my dad set up. We had corn hole, ladder golf, bocce ball, and horse shoes, and it was the perfect way for our different groups of friends and family to mingle and get to know each other.







Photo Booth
Our makeshift Photo Booth was definitely a hit with our guests! We took an old photo frame from Goodwill and used it as a Photo Booth with some little props from Michael's. All the pictures we got out of it were so funny!







The Drinks
The wine, beer, and soda were served inside the wine cave so that we didn't have to worry about all lugging ice onto the back lawn to keep it cold, but we had 2 pitchers of water and a bucket of mason jar Mojitos out near the hor'dourves. Premaking and preparing each mason jar was alot of work, but it came together really well and they were definitely a hit!





The Food
We had a local taco place cater (who doesn't love tacos??) and set out some simple hor'dourves beforehand.



Toasts
Right before dinner, my dad gave an amazing toast, and my mom said a prayer for our meal. Looking out at our two different sets of friends and family all mixed together made me so happy. Stephen and I are so blessed with such amazing friends and family, and I'm so glad the all got a chance to meet each other!




End of the Night Jam Sesh
The party ended, as every good party should, with a jam session. When everything had started to wrap up and it was too dark to play lawn games anymore, we headed to the game room, grabbed the miscellaneous instruments that my parents have, and played some music!


The engagement party was an absolute success! We were so glad to be surrounded by our family and friends, celebrating the joining of two families. Stephen and I kept saying all day that we couldn't believe how fast the party flew by. It felt like it was over in an instant! I know the wedding day will fly by just the same, so I want to savor every amazing moment until then. Thank you so much to all our family and friends who came to celebrate us and have continued to support our relationship, it means the world to Stephen and I and we're so blessed to have you in our lives.




And a HUGE THANK YOU to these amazing ladies for helping us pull it all together. Lexi, Elayna, Skylar, Emily, and Rachel, your help was invaluable. Love you all so much and I'm so glad to have you in the bridal party! Thank you to my Aunt Rene for helping us prepare the food and the tables, to Austin for lugging all the decor in and out of the house, and to my parents, thank you for hosting such a wonderful party. We love you guys so much, and appreciate all you do for Stephen and I. You're the best!






Friday, April 22, 2016

Acai Bowl Home Recipe (Vegan)!


I've been experimenting with different types of acai bowls to make at home, and I think I finally perfected it! This recipe has the perfect balance of sweet and tart, and is a super healthy way to get your sugar fix.

You're going to need:
2 Bananas
Strawberries 
Antioxidants Frozen Fruit Mix
Granola

1. Chop up the strawberries and bananas




2. Add 1 of the bananas, half your strawberries, and 1 cup of the Antioxidants mix of frozen fruit into a blender.




3. Blend together, but don't add water! This will give it a thicker constancy since we aren't using yogurt.

4. Top it off with the remaining banana and strawberries and the granola!




It's seriously so simple, and takes less than 10 minutes to make. To make it even healthier, you can add spinach or kale into the mix as well! I used this recipe in my new video on my youtube channel today! Check out my new video to see the recipe in action, and subscribe for new weekly videos!





Sunday, April 10, 2016

WE GOT ENGAGED!


Yesterday, I got the best surprise of my life up at our favorite hiking trail in Torrey Pines. The love of my life got down on one knee and asked me to be his forever, and I'm so thankful to God for bringing him into my life! Stephen somehow coordinated everything without giving me the slightest inclination of what was about to happen- He had 4 friends videotaping and taking pictures, and our families hiding in the bushes waiting for the perfect moment to jump out and congratulate us!


We'll be posting a full video tomorrow showing the whole proposal, but until then I just couldn't wait to share our exciting news and some of our favorite photos capturing the moment!


Stephen had planned to propose at this gorgeous spot overlooking Torrey Pines State Beach, while our families hid in the bushes waiting to surprise us after he popped the question!




His friends had been kicking people out of this popular overlook to make sure we were alone for the proposal! 





As we sat on the bench overlooking the ocean, Stephen had my younger brother Austin sneak behind the bench and drop off the ring. As I turned to see who had run behind us, Stephen got down on one knee. When I turned back around I saw my future husband looking up at me with the biggest smile on his face.






 Before I even registered what had just happen, both our families ran out from the bushes and surprised us. Any chance I had left of not crying flew out the window.



This was the most amazing moment of my life so far. Thank you to our families for making it so special, to our friends for all the support, and to Joe, Mikey, Saveen and Brandon for capturing these moments in picture and video.



And last, thank you to my fiancé. Thank you, not only for proposing to me in the most romantic and thought out way, but for just being you. Thank you for letting me experience your cute quirks every day for eternity.