36 Things in Honor of My 36th Birthday


I am 36 years young today and since I have always been a big believer in celebrating my birthday in the biggest way possible I thought it would be fun to share 36 things about myself you may not know.  I like to think that since starting this blog a little over 4 years ago I have shared just the right amount with all of you.  The blogging world is certainly one where sharing every aspect of your personal life – from what you eat to what you wear and where you vacation – is expected and it can be a bit overwhelming to know what is the “right” amount of personal stuff to share really is.  One of my goals of this year has been to continue growing my brand and as a part of that, I have learned that my readers and followers (all of you) really do like to see the real life stuff and not just the beautifully curated images.  I promise to share more real me this year starting right now!

  1. My middle name is Christine which is also my mom’s middle name.  It was my great, great grandmother’s name and I love that it has so much family history.
  2. My parents divorced when I was 3 and I was raised by my mom’s parents until my grandma passed away just before I turned 14.  I am really lucky that at 36 my grandpa is still around and I am so grateful for his love and support my whole life.
  3. Speaking of my grandparents, they are both German.  My grandma was born here but my grandpa came over in the 1950s so I grew up with lots of German food, music, and culture.  To this day I think Schnitzel (breaded veal, pork, chicken or eggplant) and spatzel (mini dumplings) are my favorite foods.  I actually make Eggplant Schnitzel all the time in the Fall/Winter.
  4. My other favorite foods are sushi and Mexican (in that order) and much to the shock of most people I meet I can take pizza or leave it, it’s not all that great to me. (sorry Lucy)
  5. I am obsessed with bags.  When I was 23 I was in love with Kate Spade Sam Tote and would always go into Nordstrom to visit it.  I finally bought one that same year and it was the first (of many) designer bags I added to my closet.  Right now I am fixated on my Gucci Disco Bag and my Cult Gaia Ark.
  6. On the subject of my love of bags I worked for Michael Kors a few years ago in Retail Development for the Handbags and Accessories division which was pretty much heaven!  The free bags twice a year was a fabulous perk if you ask me!
  7. Most of you might know that I work in luxury retail now but before that I worked in luxury hospitality from 19 – 31.  I started as a pool attendant in college and worked my way up through Front Desk, Concierge, Guest Services, Guest Relations, and was ultimately a Front Office Manager for a luxury property.  My favorite hotel I worked for was Montage Laguna Beach.
  8. I am allergic to blueberries and haven’t tried one since I was 12.
  9. I have lived all over Southern California including Ventura, Santa Maria, Lake Arrowhead, Huntington Beach, Pasadena area, West Hollywood, and Redondo Beach.
  10. My favorite movie might be The Sound of Music…I just love it!
  11. I have always had a love of stripes and in high school my sister used to make fun of all my striped tops.
  12. I was in a sorority in college, Alpha Xi a the University of Redlands but was only active for a semester before my schedule got too crazy to keep up.
  13. I missed the first week of junior high school because we got into a pretty bad car accident.
  14. Speaking of junior high, I met my best friend, Quincey, on my first day of 7th grade.  We were seated in quads and she was in my quad.  23 years and plenty of boyfriends, bad decisions, and babies (her) later she is still the best friend a girl could ask for.
  15. I order the same thing at Starbucks every day: a Venti iced latte with whole milk and 1/2 a Stevia.
  16. I love clothes and fashion but am admittedly not very into makeup/hair.  I pretty much do the exact same makeup every morning.
  17. I have one younger sister who lives just outside of Seoul, South Korea.
  18. I can never decide which I love more the beach or the lake.  The both make me so happy but evoke totally different emotions for me.
  19. When I was little my grandparents had a 40 plus foot boat name “Lorelei” that they would take all over from Ventura out to Catalina and down to San Diego with me on board.
  20. If money were no object I would buy “Lorelei” 2.0 plus a sail boat and a deck boat for the lake because I am obsessed!  Chris actually says that I should sell boats as a career since I’m so passionate.
  21. I cannot take a car trip longer than 30 minutes without a coffee, a La Croix, or a green juice.
  22. Grapefruit is my favorite flavor of La Croix and for a while I was drinking 3 or 4 a day!  I have cut back to one every once in a while.
  23. I spent my 28th birthday in Miami and Las Vegas.  Jenna (another bestie) and I spent 5 days in Miami soaking up the sun before I flew to Vegas for 24 hours to celebrate with 5 girlfriends.  Let’s just say I’m not so sure I could do that again at 36!
  24. Oh Vegas…when I was in my early 20s I spent A LOT of time in Sin City thanks to all the VIPs I met at work.  My friends and I would go at least once a month and knew pretty much everyone at the clubs.  That was fun.
  25. Another hospitality life perk: I have met lots of my favorite celebs including Beyonce, Jay Z, Meryl Streep, Robert Dinero, Usher, J Lo, Bon Jovi, and Mariah Carey.
  26. I have only left the country once and it was a sorority trip to Mexico when I was 19.
  27. My favorite flowers are pink peonies.
  28. I went to Hawaii when I was 5 and dream of going back as an adult.
  29. I love dogs and would love nothing more than to be able to rescue dogs from shelters and place them in great homes.
  30. I am a bed snob and get so annoyed when I stay at a hotel with cheap pillows or no feather duvet.
  31. My grandpa is my favorite person ever.
  32. I adopted a dog before Sarge when I was in my 20s.  His name was Hudson and he was the best!
  33. I love to hike but don’t do it often enough.
  34. Every morning I have to wait 15 minutes for my coffee to cool before I can drink it.
  35. I am OCD about how my closet is organized.
  36. I am so grateful everyday that I am able to continue to inspire others through my blog.

Thank you all for making the last year amazing!

XO, Niki

4 thoughts on “36 Things in Honor of My 36th Birthday

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