Santa Cruz

Having just gotten back from my weeklong vacation in Santa Cruz, I am totally entranced by the city. I love how completely natural it is, all of the different options there for shopping, food and coffee. I love how much art there is, and what’s great is most of it is inspired by the ocean. It’s an incredibly creative place that I have been in love with for years now.

So in honor of my vacation to Santa Cruz, I am going to create my own top five list of activities to do in Santa Cruz.


5. Check out the local coffee shops and eateries. I had a great time testing out the different coffee shops that were around me.

4. Go see the mystery spot! The tour guides are funny and informative, and both adults and children can enjoy pretending to be Jack and Rose from the titanic and defy gravity. Warning: it can make you feel sick or dizzy. Also, make sure to make a reservation, the tickets are cheap but they fill up fast. But don’t worry, it’s totally worth getting that bright yellow mystery spot bumper sticker at the end.

3. SURF!! It’s not called Surf City for nothing. Santa Cruz is a great place for both beginners and veteran surfers to go out and share the waves. Plus you might see some dolphins like I did. (:

2. Go to the boardwalk. The big dipper is legendary, and one of the oldest roller coasters, but my personal favorite will always be the log ride. The best part about it is the  higher you go, the better the view seeing as the park is right on the beach.

1. Go whale watching in Monterey Bay! This is the one thing I have yet to do in Santa Cruz, probably because the tours only run from December to April due to migration patterns of the whales and I usually only go in the summer. However, it’s definitely on my bucket list and seems like it would be an amazing experience. If more people did tours like these, maybe there wouldn’t be such a high demand of those cruelty parks. Whoops. I meant Sea World. Seeing these magnificent animals in their natural habitat is a truly amazing experience and also the way these animals were meant to be seen. I believe it is totally worth the cost of about $50 a person.

Santa Cruz is a beautiful and utterly unique place, and I am definitely blessed to be able to access it so easily. So go experience it for yourself and check out Santa Cruz!




What Every College Freshmen Should Bring To College

AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. Having just finished my freshmen year at Whittier College and being an average female, I have first-hand experience on what and what not to do when packing for college. The biggest thing to keep in mind is all dorm rooms are exceptionally tiny– I don’t care if your at a small liberal arts college like me, or an Ivy like Stanford. They are all small. Trust me.  And you have to share that mini room with another person, sometimes more than one other person. So for the love of God, DO NOT bring everything on that packing list you found on Pinterest. You will regret it. And your roommate will secretly hate you (or maybe not so secretly.) Here is an example of a list you should not follow:

As for what you should bring, my biggest advice is, know yourself. Know your habits, your quirks, your flaws. Go to a yoga class and do some serious soul searching and reflect upon yourself. How much of this stuff will you actually use? For example, if your a reforming messiholic, I would suggest for silverware just bring one of everything. One coffee cup, one to-go mug, one plate, etc. That way, once you’ve used it, your forced to wash it the next time you need it. Which could still be months, if your as bad as I am.

Bring the things that you use on a daily basis, that’s just common sense. I don’t think I need to list tooth brush or hairbrush or curling iron, because those are things you use daily, depending on your habits.

So then the next thing to think about is how your going to store and organize your necessary items. Personally, I found that a plastic three drawer thingy that can be easily tucked away in a closet, one of the most important things I brought. Right along with the drying rack I brought, because TBH, dorm dryers suck.

Hopefully though, you have toured your dorm room either in person or online, and you know the general layout of the room, then you can start to plan where your going to store stuff. Under the beds, the closets, wherever you can find space really. I was actually spoiled with storage space, which  I didn’t realize so I brought too much storage stuff, like tubs and cubbies. But they still came in handy.

Personally, I think my family could have saved some money had we waited to buy storage stuff once I had already set up my room during move in day, and see what I still needed.

Anyways, onto some of the things I bought that I found very useful.

Scentsy: trust me, this comes in handy, especially if you have two smelly athletes in a room. And the best thing about them is they’re legal at almost every school because they’re not a fire hazard like candles are. But fabreeze can be just as effective.

Desk Lamp and Standing Lamp. I found it really helpful to have both. One by my bed, and one on my desk. For those nights when my roommate needed to sleep and I had to pull an all nighter. Just remember most of them will be too bright for comfort for your sleepy roommate so make sure you have something to put over the light. A hat or light blanket will do.

Shoe or Sweater Rack for your closet: Though this personally wasn’t necessary for me, because of all the storage space we have, I know that at a lot of colleges don’t have the same situation and these are a good way to save some closet space.

Mini Fridge: Unfortunately, I gave mine away bust this is a seriously helpful thing to have especially as an athlete. No one wants warm gatorade. But your Caf isn’t always going to be open and you will eventually go out to eat and bring home leftovers. You can also buy one of those thingys that go over the fridge and put your silverware and plates in the pockets on the side.

Keurig: No explanation needed. Coffee and Tea is 100% necessary.

Microwave: So this one is kinda optional. Most dorms have a community kitchen that will have microwaves, but TBH they’re kinda gross. So I brought one. And used it a lot. But do NOT be the person that burns the popcorn at 1 a.m. and sets on the fire alarm because I seriously wanted to kill you last semester.

Bathrobe: I was never really a bathrobe kinda person until I got to college and lived right next to guys. Then it became completely necessary and I was so thankful I had it when my roommate locked me out while I was in the shower.

Other than that, just bring the obvious necessary items like towels (you really don’t need that many), clothes, school items, trashcan, etc. Filling a dorm room really isn’t difficult and as for decorating, it’s better to stay cheap and personalize fun things. Make as  much as you can. Do crafts with your friends, and then the decorations will serve multiple purposes; it’s decorative and turns those terribly white walls to cozy and they’re great memories. Also remember, bring nothing that damages the walls so command strips are important.

Good luck on your college adventures! 🙂

Preparing for study abroad!


Yes, I am studying abroad. No, I have not been accepted yet. But that’s just a minor detail. I have, of course, been completely obsessing over how I should prepare, what kind of clothes I should wear, and what kind of accessories/gadgets I should buy/prepare for my semester abroad.

I plan on going to Paros Island, Greece in the spring of 2015 and while I am there I will be visiting the other islands as well as Turkey. At the conclusion of my study abroad, my mom will be meeting me on the island and then we will be going on a cruise to visit more of Europe (Eeeek!).

So, what I have learned so far is I need to purchase a top notch camera. Currently I am debating between one of those fancy looking cameras like the Nikon D3100 that goes for about $400 or so, or a GoPro that I can take into those Grecian waters and significantly cheaper at around $200. Here is a great blog about necessary items for a semester abroad, notice the GoPro is definitely one of them: This will probably be my biggest dilemma since so many  blogs are split down the middle on this issue.

Also, apparently, nobody slacks off when they dress. according to, in order to blend in with the locals, “it is important to remember that Athens is known to be a city that is smart-casual, which means that the men are dressed impeccably and the woman are unashamed of their bodies, and opt for clothing that enhance this, such as short skirts and incredibly high heels.” So i suppose I have an excuse to go shopping. My only dilemma is that I need to save room for the things (clothes, souvenirs, everything) I buy there. Here is the link on what to wear in Greece: I’m thinking I will go for a boho/flowy kind of style that will translate well for my first semester when I am still in Whittier, to spring semester in Greece.

Traveling will be amazing, but I am so excited to visit as many local coffee shops as possible so I can get ideas for my own coffee shop! And though this may not be the norm for most study abroad participants, I am incredibly excited for my classes. I am taking a fiction writing class that is geared towards writing a novel and preparing it for publication. How cool is that?? Of course I am also taking a Greek Language class, that I am a little nervous for, but hopefully I can get a book or program to help me start to learn the language. I would really like to immerse myself as much as possible into the culture.

This article on the Huffington post appears to be incredibly helpful: as well as this one:

In conclusion, I am so excited to go!

Did you think it would be easy?

So quick to admit defeat, so quick to throw in the towel. Just give up because it wasn’t easy. 

Was it easy learning how to walk?

Was it easy leaving your parents on the first day of kindergarten? 

Was it easy learning how to ride a bike?

How about the first time you picked up a guitar, did you immediately know everything there is to know about play guitars? 

Or when you went on your first date. Was it easy going to meet that pretty girls father?

Was it easy to venture out on your own, whether it be college, or the workforce, or trying to make it big with your band. 

Was it easy getting down on one knee, and propose to the woman you love?

Was it easy being there in that hospital while your wife struggled to give birth?

Was it easy learning how to care for that newborn?

Was it easy to drop off that little child on her first day of kindergarten and leaving her there?

Maybe it’s not worth it. Maybe it’s all just too hard. 

You should have just had people carry you all of your life, and decided not to go to school. Chose not to ride a bike, and forget about guitar. No need to go on a first date, meeting girls is too hard, to awkward. Stay at home your whole life, live off of your parents. Not have even give a thought to having a wife or a baby, all of it is just not worth it. 

These joys are given to us in life, as gifts. No, they’re not always easy. Life is a messy and crazy thing, but that’s how you know your living it right. 

So now that you have gotten this dog, fulfilled this dream of yours, are you really going to give up so quickly, after two days? You expected her to fit into your life seamlessly, and without effort. She is 7 months old. She doesn’t know how to be alone, but she would have learned, as we all do, if you had given her a chance. So many people were around you, giving you advice. There are so many options and other reasonable outcomes. Yet you tenaciously held onto your own opinion of this isn’t right. It should be easier than this. So you took her back. This was your chance, and you gave up. It wouldn’t have taken much to keep her. She just needed to be trained, but I guess that was too hard. Maybe having a dog just isn’ t worth it.

Or maybe the best things in life are worth working for. 

10 Fabulous Books Set In Paris

There is such a romanticism associated with Paris. . . With good reason. 🙂

kim foster


Paris offers an incredible backdrop for all kinds of stories. Whether it’s a historical tale, a thriller, a romance…the city itself adds a wonderful element of, well, je ne sais quois.

My second book is set in Paris, and it was pure pleasure to write a story set in a city I love so much. I have been lucky enough to have visited Paris several times, and I was honored to have reviewers comment that reading my book made them feel like they were right there, nibbling croissants, climbing the Eiffel Tower, exploring the misty streets of Montmartre….

Last month I did a roundup of the best movies set in Paris, but this month, we’re talking books.

Here’s a [highly eclectic] list of some of the best Paris-inspired books:

1. A Tale Of Two Cities

This masterpiece by Charles Dickens needs to be on every reader’s bookshelf–but don’t just read…

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Sink or Swim

Sink or swim...
I am continually asked about my tattoo. “Any special meaning?” They’ll probe doubtfully. Originally, I wanted to get the word strength as my tattoo, but that’s not very original. As I mused it over– and searched Pinterest vigorously– I came across the phrase I refuse to sink. This was getting closer, but it was not quite perfect yet. I knew there was something out there that was better; there was. I came across the phrase ‘Sink or Swim’ and right away I knew it was meant for me. As a life long swimmer (and when I say swimmer I don’t mean an occasional dip in the pool kinda swimmer, I mean wake up every single day at the crack of dawn all summer. During the school year, we spend god knows how many hours at school then go straight to practice for three more hours. Every other sport has a season. Not us. No breaks for swimmers. Anyways.) anything with the word swim struck a chord with me. It’s the most relatable thing for me. It’s also how I learned pretty much anything, especially math. Decimals *shudder*. Swimming was the best teaching tool for me, and I knew that it would be something that I would continue to hold onto for the rest of my life. It’s part of my identity. Even when I swear I hate it, even when I’m dead set of quitting, even when I sleep through a weeks worth of morning practices (whoops), swimming is part of me. And it taught me so much. It taught me you always have a choice, you can put in the effort and succeed, or you can half-ass it and get half-assed results. But mostly it taught me that I can achieve anything I set my mind. And that’s what my tattoo means to me, I can give up and sink, or I can leave it all in the water and swim.


My Blog

I’ve never had a blog before. I don’t even really know what to write. But I do know I have too many stories in my head to keep them bottled up. So I suppose this will be the place for that. I like to write, it’s a beautiful process. Some say eyes are the window to the soul, but I think it’s words. I also totally believe that the pen is mightier than the sword, that being said, the sword is pretty fucking bad ass too. Anyways, I’m rambling and I guess I should start thinking about my first real post. Stay tuned.