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A journey through grief & self discovery

  • Writer's pictureChristine Angelique

Treat Yo Self: Exploring Highland Park

Shout-out to the TV show, Parks and Recreation, for coining the phrase, “Treat Yo Self.” Every so often you need a Treat Yo Self Day. This entails doing whatever you want to do, and spending however much you want on yourself as a treat. In the show, Donna and Tom treated themselves with glamorous massages, and luxurious shopping sprees. Now, I’m still a baddie on a budget, but even I need a Treat Yo Self Day every once in a while. 

The timing worked out perfectly because I had to go to Highland Park (one of LA’s trendy, made-for-young-professionals cities) for a doctor’s appointment. And since I’m never over there, I decided to explore the city a bit, and treat myself to a cute, little day out! The weather was 80 degrees for the first time this spring, so I decided to get cute, and really make a day out of it! 

Self-Love Date Tip: Dating yourself can be just as cute as going on a romantic date! Put on an outfit you feel beautiful/handsome in, and enjoy your alone time!

I started my Treat Yo Self festivities at Galco’s Old World Grocery. Let me tell you, this was such an amazing find! It’s an adorable grocery store, frozen in time with its quaint, vintage aesthetics. This grocery store is known for their vast selection of soda pop, and it was truly a sight to behold! They had soda from all over the world, and popular sodas from back in the day. They even had a row dedicated to old school candy. I have a sweet tooth, so I was in heaven, especially when I saw the candies from the 90s! Talk about nostalgia! I remember getting Candy Buttons as a prize in kindergarten, and I just had to buy Razzles after I just recently rewatched 13 Going on 30

Everyone there was also so friendly, from the girl working the checkout counter, to an older gentleman roaming the aisles making sure everything was stocked. I’m not gonna lie, he matched the vibe of the place, like he's worked here since it first opened. They also had old school music playing to really make you feel like you were transported back in time. I asked the lady at the counter if people filmed here a lot, and she said “Oh many have tried. It’s difficult with the customers, but yea a lot of people stop by to buy items for their vintage props and sets”. I definitely asked because I wanted to film there! haha The way I’d make a short film about 1960s lovers having a meet-cute in that place! I absolutely loved it! And since it was a Treat Yo Self Day, I treated myself to a mini haul of unique sodas, and a stash of candy. I even got some Pez dispensers with Trolls characters because loving that franchise is a running joke with my sister and dad. I bought each of us our favorite characters! Mine is Branch! lol

After Galco’s, I was going to explore a cute shopping strip on Figueroa Street. I was waiting for the bus to arrive, but it wasn’t coming for another 30 minutes. It was just a 17-minute walk, so in the spirit of living in the moment more, and “stopping to smell the roses”, I decided to just walk to my next destination. It was such a beautiful, warm spring day, so it made sense to enjoy this weather before the cold, rainy days sneak their way back in. 

I don’t know what it is about taking a stroll on a sunny day in a sundress, but in that moment my life felt like a cute, little coming of age movie. I walked through the cutest neighborhood, swinging my Galco’s bag of goodies. There were beautiful trees everywhere, and it was so peaceful and calm. Honestly, it made me want to move to Highland Park. I could see it, having a cute, cozy house that’s walking distance from a shopping strip of novelty shops, and trendy restaurants. For 17 minutes I got to romanticize life, and daydream of future possibilities. It made me happy to have my head in the clouds for a bit as I enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine. 

Self-Love Date Tip: Take the time to romanticize moments in your life. Embrace the “main character” vibes and whimsy! 

Once I made it to Figueroa Street, I decided to visit Soft Humans, a vintage thrift store. Listen, I was so ready to treat myself there, but their clothes were like, actually vintage, soooo it was expensive! This cute, sheer crop-top was $80! The budget won’t allow it this time, but I still had fun window shopping, and enjoying the shop’s eccentric vibe. 

I did, however, treat myself to a yummy papaya smoothie at Tropical Juice LA. It was much needed after that walk, and the tropical, icy blend was so refreshing. I wandered around Highland Park Florist to take in the beautiful flowers as I enjoyed my smoothie, and waited for my Uber to take me home. It was a simple, little trip, but it was just what I needed! I got to treat myself to some sweets, explore a new part of Los Angeles, and enjoy a beautiful day outside. 

Lately, I haven’t had as much time to myself, and was due for a self-love date. So, I’m glad I made the time to enjoy my solitude, and reconnect with myself. Whether you’re like Tom and Donna, and have the resources for an extravagant day out, or you're a budget baddie like myself, make sure to plan out a Treat Yo Self Day! Everyone deserves a day to spoil themselves, and be a little selfish. Do what you want. Spend what you want with no strings attached! It’s quite liberating, and you can always be a responsible adult the next day! 

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