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AFI film school

Hi Friends!

Last week was my first week of school at AFI, the American Film Institute, which is located in the Hollywood Hills. The school has amazing views of Griffith Observatory and downtown L.A.. There’s so much information to take in and think about. So many friends and connections to make. I’m hoping I will still be able to provide travel, fashion and beauty tips, but I might not be updating this as often, depending on my school schedule. I have so much I want to share and so many fun posts in mind. Hoping to find the time to balance it all. Since that is the key. Balance. I hope you can stick by me as I make this life transition. I will still be updating my Instagram, Natalie Notions, and you can also find me on Snapchat at Natalie Notions.

AFI film school

Note: Please be patient with me as I find the time to do both. xo


There’s a beautiful hidden gem in Summerland, just a few miles south of Santa Barbara, called The Sacred Space. It’s a beautiful tranquil place where you can enjoy a quiet meditation, sip tea with friends in the garden and buy lots of gems and stones. Outside in the garden there are several different covered areas where you can lounge on the outdoor furniture while you listen to the waterfalls trickle. Inside there are quiet rooms where you can sit with friends and drink complimentary tea. In the shop, crystals and sacred stones fill every crevice, along with deity statues, ritual items and antiques. I know I can buy gem stones for less somewhere else, but it’s nice to be able to walk through and look at everything. Just being in there brings a sense of calm and peace over the body.


Note: I would go to The Sacred Space every day to meditate and recharge if I could.

santa barbra courthouse

If you’re a Santa Barbara local or familiar to the area then you know all about Old Spanish Days Fiesta. But if you’re not, I’ll give you the short version. Fiesta always takes place over the first weekend in August in Santa Barbara and starts on the prior Wednesday. The main festivities are Friday and Saturday and that’s also when the most people are out. Old Spanish Days is the biggest local festival and celebrates the Spanish heritage of Santa Barbara. There are tons of things to do and see, so if you want to learn more check out their website. But here are some of my tips from years of experience.

tips for fiesta1. Buy confetti eggs – They’re one of the best things about Fiesta and you can’t miss the people lining State Street selling them. You can buy all sorts of colors and crack them on your friend’s or stranger’s heads. Surprise attacks are always my style.

2. Don’t over do it on the day drinking – If you’re going out on Saturday and want to go out that night, pace yourself. Every bar is packed and will be enticing you to come in and have a margarita. If you don’t want to go out at all that night, then just stick to the day drinking. It’s better that way.

3. Don’t pay for the beer gardens – It’s not worth it. There’s nothing in there but people standing about and drinking beer. Quite honestly the beer gardens aren’t that fun.

4. Go to Del la Guerra Plaza – Yes! This is where all of the action is. You want to cruise the booths, taste the food and listen to the live bands and performers. This is the hub of fiesta and a must for good food.

santa barbara fiesta tips5. Get to the Children’s Parade early – This is the busiest parade, so you want to get there early. Bring chairs or park it on the curb for a few hours and enjoy the performers walk down State Street. A good view is worth the early wait.

6. Buy the street tacos – It’s all about the Mexican and Spanish food. Get ready to indulge in some good eats. Every little taco stand is worth the wait.

7. Make parking arrangements – With so many people coming into the little downtown, you want to get there early to find parking in a lot or scope some street parking. Ubers and taxis may have a surge and have a wait given the thousands of people that will be down there.

8. Get ready to party – Fiesta translates to party, so that’s exactly what you will be doing. Chat it up with strangers on the street or at the bar. Everyone is there to have a good time, so get ready to have some fun!

santa Barbara fiesta

Note: Viva La Fiesta!

Mammoth Lakes Basin

Since I didn’t make any travel plans for the summer I’ve been dying to take a vacation. I had a trip planned for September, but had to cancel it once I found out I got into AFI. So as someone who is constantly planning my next trip, I have the no travlin’ blues. So I’ve resulted to daydreaming about places near and far and marking them down on my travel bucket list.

Mammoth Mountain is a popular snowboarding location in California in the winter and I recently found out that it’s also a great spot to visit in the summer. Visitors to Mammoth Lakes are encouraged to take a boat out and enjoy the scenery. Pack some fishing rods, a bathing suit and some snacks and spend a lazy afternoon in the sun. Natural Retreats is a great resource for all things Mammoth Lakes, including what to do and where to stay.

Fly fishing is popular at Mammoth Lakes, which my fiance would like. Convict Lake is filled with Rainbow, Brook and Brown trout throughout the summer season. I remember when I was a little girl and my family would go on camping trips in the summer, where we would fish during the day and sit by the campfire at night. Thinking about Mammoth brings up all of those memories and has me craving a s’more.

Mammoth Lakes fly fishing

Note: Even though I’m not planning on getting on a plane, I can still plan a camping trip.

Santa Barbara Polo Club

Until school starts late next month I will be spending most of my time up in Santa Barbara with my family. One of the best things about Santa Barbara in the summer, besides the beaches, is going to the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club on Sundays. You don’t have to be a member to attend and it’s only $10 for the grandstands. The match is only on Sundays, so it’s a classy way to do Sunday Funday and spend the weekend. I love that everyone has to dress up and so many women wear hats. Like baseball, it’s a very social sport, so even if you don’t know the rules of the game, you can pick it up and laugh with your neighbor along the way.

Santa Barbara Polo clubSanta Barbara polo horse

Note: The stomping of the divots always reminds me of Pretty Woman.