Film is a dying art – and one that I have yet to master because I’m too lazy to watch tutorial videos all the way through.

I love that film has so much character. You really have no idea what it’s going to look like until weeks later when you finally get around to sending it in. I shot on disposable cameras until I bought my Canon AE-1 Program. So far, I’ve had 200 film developed, and I’m currently finishing up my roll of 400 film. I absolutely love the feel of this gorgeous camera – the weight, the winder, the shutter click. I bought it refurbished on Amazon for $165 and it came with two rolls of film, a new battery and a strap (though I bought a snazzy lil polka dotted one.) I am so excited to take this bad boy to Europe with me. Here are a few of my favorite photos!


bis bald, san diego!

hello, everyone!

so here i am, less than two weeks from departure, and i’ve just returned home to los angeles from visiting good ol’ san diego for the last time until my senior year of college. it’s pretty wild if you ask me.

this weekend was absolutely wonderful. i got to spend time with all my favorite gal pals, who threw me a “surprise” going away party. i say surprise because, truthfully, the going away party was implied. after my roommate emma mentioned throwing me a party ONE time last semester, it kind of snowballed into me asking everyone i became friends with to come to “the party emma’s going to throw for me” (THANKS, EM!!).

i hadn’t seen one of my favorite people (hi gabbie) because she studied in new zealand fall semester. we got to watch a bunch of movies, laugh hysterically about pretty much nothing, eat so much pizza and generally just have a great time together.

san diego will always have a special place in my heart. i think it’s one of the greatest cities in the world (though i’ll get back to you on that after i’ve traveled more. i’m 102% sure i’ll stand by the statement.) maybe i’m biased, since i’m spending what are shaping up to be the best four years of my life at one of the top universities in the nation. don’t get me wrong, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies – but in my personal experience, only GREAT things happen in san diego.

i thought it would only be fitting to do a feature on the city that i’ve grown to call home, and perhaps san diego state as well!

Honestly, the possibilities are endless. In my two and a half years in this magical city, I’ve been lucky enough to stumble upon some of the most delicious eateries, marvel at gorgeous beaches and meet some of my very best friends. Here are a few of my favorites:

    This is one of the more famous activities in SD. With a little persistence in finding parking and a short walk down a few cliffs, you (YES, YOU!) can bask in the presence of these grouchy/loud/stinky and ADORABLE creatures. Just don’t touch them, they’ll bark at you and swarm you (truly)
    Aside from wakeboarding, waterskiing, paddleboarding, kayaking, etc., you can (and SHOULD) rent a boat and cruise the bay with your best pals while sipping on (chugging on?) cheap champagne and pretending you’re just like those rich kids of Instagram. My friends and I went on a day with PERFECT weather, at sunset, and were able to blast trap music, take in the sights and sounds and made some memories to last a lifetime. DO THIS – I’M SERIOUS. TOP 10 DAY IN MY LIFE
    Alright, PB is definitely a nightlife hotspot, but since I am not of age (yet), I can’t recommend any cool bars. But, I can tell you that this place is just as popping in the daytime. I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure San Diego has more beautiful people per capita than any other place in the world. Rent a bike, get on some rollerblades, bring your dog, your sister, your mom, your friends – it’s a good time. Grab an ice cream sandwich at Baked Bear, bring it to the beach and wonder how a place like this is real.

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    PB at sunset


    I’d be remiss not to mention the institution that has given me so much – friends, education, boundless opportunities, Bruxie (RIP). I almost didn’t even apply to this school, but I cannot be more grateful that I did, and that they wanted me, too. I’ll be writing a whole other post in honor of this place, link to follow!img_8361

That’s all for now, though I’m working on publishing a separate SDSU blog. Do you have any questions you want answered about campus life, classes, dorms, etc.? Let me know! Thanks for reading.


“the earth laughs in flowers” – ralph waldo emerson

“and i laugh at myself for using such a cliché quote title for a blog post” – julia ann jaramillo

going into the second week of 2017, i can’t help but feel like great things are imminent. if the actual dumpster fire of a year that was 2016 is any indication, though, it’s only up from here.

speaking of 2016 (although i’d much rather not for the rest of my days lol), i can honestly say that i do not know how i would’ve gotten through it without the people nearest and dearest to my heart – my family, friends, and tommy shelby (for providing me with hours of drama and intrigue to distract me from my own predicaments.)

it’s an indescribable feeling to know that no matter what situation you find yourself in (or where), and no matter how poorly you feel about the world and yourself, that someone will always have your back and think you’re the greatest person in the world – or in my lucky case, more than a few “someones.”

i learned a lot last year, about myself, about what means the most to me and about the unwavering strength of familial bonds – and it is for this reason that i’ve decided to get another tattoo (SORRY, MOM!)

okay, maybe some of you reading this won’t understand my reasoning, but that’s ok!! because i do and it’s my body and all that jazz!! (but i also penned an extremely sappy and probably unnecessary rationale for all the internet to see)

this will be my fourth piece, but it will undoubtedly be the most detailed and (dare i say) meaningful.

but first, a quick recap:

1. Joey, a.k.a BigSpanky from Needle Pushers (Van Nuys, CA) rest in peace to the artist, who passed away very shortly after tattooing me
2. @Chucky_Gunz The Kingdom Tattoo Studio (Northridge, CA)
3. Kurtis @eightgawd GOODLIFE Tattoo (San Diego, CA)

while each piece represents something/someone incredibly significant to my life, the fourth tattoo brings them all together.

AND this brings us to the title of this post! flowers have surrounded me my whole life. okay, i’m sure you’re wondering, “but julia, what do you even mean? flowers are literally everywhere, we have all been surrounded by flowers our whole lives.” well, you got me there. but some of my earliest memories involve my parents and i heading to the flower mart in downtown la in the wee hours of the morning, just so they could get the freshest cuts to arrange for the house, my aunts/grandma and my dad’s dearly departed relatives at the cemetery. they even arranged the flowers for my brother’s wedding and made corsages and boutonnières for my friends and i in high school. so it’s no surprise that i, like most of the world, have only fond associations of flowers.

this next tattoo is symbolic of many things, first and foremost the fact that their beauty stems (pun very much intended) from that which is considered “ugly” – the soil and its microscopic inhabitants – as they are nourished by the elements. likewise, i feel that i have blossomed, and will continue to blossom, even in the most wretched of circumstances, thanks to the care of my keepers, who will forever be immortalized on my skin. i’ve commissioned the wonderful u.k.-based artist yaana gyach for the task, and i can’t wait to get this done in london when i’m there in february. (seriously, her work is unparalleled and i’m so lucky she had availability when i emailed her.)

my floral arrangement is dedicated to those who have helped me from day one (literally – and i mean that, not “literally” as in “literally kim you’re being so rude”):

  • FOR MY SISTERS – a rose for my big sisters, jessica (a.k.a. sis/cashew) and connie. i’m so lucky to have grown up with not only one, but two role models to guide me in all aspects of life and be my number one fans in everything i had a fleeting interest in. thank you for making me laugh in the most inappropriate situations, letting me be your pseudo-baby and entrusting me to be an example your own babies as their godmother (i’m making a slight assumption, cashew.)
  • FOR MY FATHER – orchids for dad, who has been low-key a little jealous for a couple of years that i got a sun tattoo in honor of mom…lol apparently orchids represent “refinement, charm and thoughtfulness” – well i guess you’re 2 for 3? haha just kidding! you are everyone’s best friend, including mine, which is a rare quality, and one that i’ve striven to emulate my whole life. these orchids are a reminder of the care you’ve put into the lives and countless flower arrangements you’ve created over the years for all the people you love.
  • FOR MY MOTHER – a lily for you, mama, though you’re probably the least jazzed that i’m doing this. did you know lilies are symbolic of motherhood and rebirth? i’ve been reborn countless times throughout my life, and i have you to thank. you are our rock, our strength, our fearless (LITTLE!) protector, and yet you retain all the purity and grace of the flower you love best.
  • FOR MY NINANG, OUR ANGEL – a sunflower for my other mother, my sweet “godmother,” and everyone’s newest guardian angel. Tita Marivic, the lack of your presence is felt each day by every single one of us – but the unwavering love and kindness you exemplified saturates the room every time we get together, and reminds me on the hardest days how lucky we were to have you (though the time you spent with us was not nearly enough.) i think about you everyday, and i could go on and on about how much i miss you and appreciate your influence on my life, but i’m sure i’ve said enough to you on my own in prayer (see, mom, i told you i pray sometimes!!) thank you for giving me four more sisters, the benefit of the doubt always, and the type of love that can only be granted by an angel on earth such as yourself. until we meet again, tita.

i’m honored to be able to carry my heroes with me forever, wherever i go. my sister/in-house pagliacci has always said, “well, you’ve gotta laugh to keep from crying.” if the earth truly does laugh in flowers, then these will serve as a reminder of resilience and joy that we have all shared together – in full bloom eternally.

well, if you’ve made it this far, you’re probably: a) my mom, b) my dad or c) my sister. in which case, what’s for dinner? and should i let the dogs out into the yard now? text me!


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33 days until peanut and sis take europe!

hi, everyone!

i hope you all had a fun-filled holiday and new year. i have very exciting news today! my sister, jessica, and i have just booked our flights and trains for the two and a half weeks we are spending together in europe next month!

we found some great hacker fares on Kayak for the flights, and booked through RailEurope for the Thalys trains. i’m so excited to have concrete plans (finally!), but it still feels so surreal! here’s our itinerary:screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-5-50-36-pm

in case you’re not a visual spreadsheet-loving psychopath like me, here’s our itinerary again, but with less going on:

  • London, U.K. – Feb. 6-9
  • Dublin, Ireland – Feb. 9-11
  • Paris, France – Feb. 11-14
  • Brussels, Belgium – Feb. 14-15
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands – Feb. 15-17
  • Munich, Germany – Feb. 17-20

we also got matching patagonia backpacks (because we are extra, don’t ask) and i bought a 35mm film slr camera to document my trip. a lot of people seem genuinely worried that my sister (aka sis) and i (aka peanut) are backpacking through europe together, but i assure you, she will make it home…i cannot guarantee that i won’t fall in love with deutschland and stay forever.

just kidding, mom! i’ll be back to finish my degree, but who knows after graduation??? lol

there are 33 DAYS LEFT UNTIL WE LEAVE FOR LONDON, and i cannot wrap my head around it. i promise much more scintillating content in the coming weeks, such as how to pack everything you would need for five months in europe into a 28L backpack and carry on-sized luggage (spoiler alert: it probably cannot be done, but i digress), or how to encourage your sister that she doesn’t really need to bring those extra 16 pairs of shoes “just in case.”

don’t forget that i will also be publishing content for the SDSU Be International Blog starting in February! i’ll announce it all here, of course.

until next time & thanks for reading!