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Offline: Birthday Benefête — Twenty-Seven

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If you’ve been following along on my Instagram, you know that I celebrated my birthday last week! For the last three years, I’ve used my birthday to raise donations on behalf of nonprofit organizations I’m passionate about and/or support.

This year, I raised funds on behalf of San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR). Having volunteered with the organization for two years as a medical advocate, I wanted to support an organization that is at the forefront of working with survivors of sexual assault, their friends, and the community. 

I hosted my Benefête (benefit + fête, which translates to “party” in French) at Spark Social in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco. Spark Social, for those of you who haven’t been, is the cutest food park which houses a rotating assortment of food trucks, lounge areas, and fire pits.

I rented out their iconic double decker bus and with the help of my friends, turned it into the summer of love on wheels. I purchased some carafes of wine and a cake and I brought some decor from home to give the area a fun, campy feel. My new friend, Jamie, the owner and founder of Loud Mouth Ink, kindly donated an array of temporary tattoos for us to don throughout the day.

Overall, we had a fun day and were able to raise some well deserved funds for SFWAR! Below are some of my favorite photos from the day.

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What do you do for your birthday? What organization should I raise money for next year? Let me know in the comments below!

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Photo credit: Andrew Ho

Offline: Twenty-seven

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If you're reading this, it's my birthday! Today, I turned twenty-seven. While this past year has been a whirlwind, it's also been one of my favorite years yet. As I say goodbye to twenty-six, here are six things I'm thankful for from this past year: 

1. My job. While I’m currently taking a sabbatical, I’m so incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity to work at Shazam for almost three years. I learned and accomplished so much in the past couple of years and was fortunate enough to have been able to make magic alongside talented peers that I still consider friends. I’ve been interviewing with a few awesome companies and I’m so excited to share what’s next with you all very soon!

 2. My apartment. While I made a move this year (down the hall!) I’m still blessed to be able to not only live in San Francisco but also live alone in the smallest (235 sq. ft. to be exact) but the cutest studio. I have yet to decorate my new space but in the meantime, check-out my previous apartment featured on the EveryGirl here.

3. My church. This past year I celebrated my two-year anniversary at Experience Church. I’ve also joined our Technology Team (we’re building an app!) and helped move our Church from Treasure Island to Potrero Hill. My faith and my church family have become a huge and important part of my life. I've lengthened, stretched, and matured emotionally and mentally as a result of my spiritual journey and it's allowed me to be open to and to receive so many opportunities. If you're in the Bay Area, I'd love to have you join me for a Sunday service, community group, and/or a worship night.

4. My passport. I've been privileged to be able to travel a lot this past year for both work and pleasure. My favorite experience was traveling solo from Venice to Naples and everywhere in between. If you've never traveled alone, do it. I can't recommend it enough. You learn so much about yourself and it pushes you out of our comfort zone, the place where growth truly occurs. 

5. My blog. If you're reading this, thank you. I recently celebrated my one-year anniversary and I’m excited to see what the next year brings. I've shot with and have met so many amazing people and have been able to flex and grow technically and creatively. I’ve also had the opportunity to model for a few female owned and operated businesses like And Comfort and Underclub. Most importantly, however, I've gained so much confidence and have begun to look at myself and my body in a more positive way. 

6. Photography. While I’ve enjoyed being and growing in front of the camera, I’ve also discovered a passion on the other side of the lens this past year. From portraits to my first engagement shoot, I’m so excited to be able to capture and share others’ moments. Interested in working together? Book a consultation or learn more here

Thanks for joining me on my journey and cheers to twenty-seven!

Photo credit: Anna Marie Photography