Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Winter Wishlist

With winter just around the corner and temperatures consistently getting cooler, it's about time we dust off our winter wear and also make room for some new pieces. I, for one, am in desperate need of a warmer wardrobe - I recently took a trip back home to Santa Cruz and felt like I was on the verge of hypothermia every single day. Yes, I know,  a little bit dramatic. But it really has been so cold lately, at least for my jaded, anything-lower-than-60-is-freezing California-based self. With that said, I've been eyeing a few cute pieces that I feel would do the job properly and have listed them for you guys below. Selections include chunky knits, thick outerwear, chic sweater dresses and one especially cozy, oversized cardigan that I absolutely must get my hands on. If any of these look appealing to you, make sure to shop them ASAP so that you can save with SheIn's current holiday sales! 

Satin silver slip dress
(pair with an oversized chunky knit cardigan to stay warm!)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Western Touch

Tunic c/o The Mint Julep | Hat: Forever 21 | Heels: Charlotte Russe (Similar) | Belt: Target

One of the most functional pieces of clothing you can have in your wardrobe are the kind that can be worn from one occasion to another. Now every single fashion magazine ever has probably already shown you pieces that transition well from day to night and while those are definitely great items to have, there's another transitional style that I'd like to bring your attention to. It is the loungewear trend, or as I like to call it, bed to brunch. Because who wouldn't love a look that you can roll out of bed in and still be looking fabulous over toast, coffee and eggs? 

I'm absolutely loving this new social acceptance of rocking bedroom attire out and about. First it was with slip dresses (which you guys know I'm also all for), and now with cozy lounge pieces that can easily double as pajamas. Ranging from Express's One-Eleven line to PacSun's Me To We collection, loungewear seems to be everywhere and I for one have become quite the collector. I recently got my hands on this ultra cozy tunic from The Mint Julep and "obsessed" would be an understatement. This piece is seriously one of the coziest pieces I own and it's also in the cutest, most versatile taupe color. This shade is perfect for fall, and it also conveniently fits right in with my neutral toned wardrobe. And as I do with all my other oversized tops, I decided to rock it as a dress. ;) LA has finally started to cool down a bit, but I actually did this shoot back when it was still in the high 70s/80s. Thus, not many layers were needed at the time. On a chillier day, however, I would recommend throwing in a cozy pair of sweater tights and some cute ankle boots.

I ended up styling this tunic in two ways: one as an everyday look for when you want to be more dressed up and the other being a more cozy, ~sip tea and Netflix binge~ kinda look. The latter will be a separate post that will go live in about two days. As I mentioned, it's an incredibly versatile piece and The Mint Julep even offers them in a wide variety of colors! You can check out the full collection here.

Stay tuned for my next cozy look!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Holiday Shimmer

Look 1: Dress c/o SheIn | Target coat
Look 2: Dress c/o SheIn | Ventrone Chronicles choker (Similar)
Look three: Blazer c/o SheIn | Brandy Melville top (Similar) & jeans

One of my absolute favorite parts of the holidays is all the glitz, glamor and overall fabulosity that comes along with it. I've always been a huge fan of sparkles, glitter and all that fun girly stuff and I especially love rocking these touches on my apparel whenever the opportunity arises. You can thus only imagine my excitement when I received holiday pieces from SheIn that were well adorned with these glamorous details. They're perfect for your next holiday party, dinner or whatever festivity these next few months have in store for you. The first is this gorgeous gold sequined dress that I will definitely be making much use of this season. Sparkly gold has always been one of my favorite colors and I had been meaning to get a mini holiday day dress for a while now, so this piece couldn't be any more perfect for my holiday fashion agenda. Throw on a big, extravagant faux fur coat and your favorite heels for all sorts of glamorous Carrie Bradshaw vibes.The second is an ultra chic, off the shoulder velvet dress. Burgundy velvet is perfect for the holidays and will definitely give your outfit a gorgeous Christmas chic look. I also love the look of burgundy velvet with metallic jewelry so I made sure to incorporate some of my favorite gold chokers, bracelets and rings into this outfit. Lastly, can we just talk about how insanely blinged out this blazer is? It's safe to say I'm madly in love with it. This is by far the most fabulous blazer I own and I can't wait to wear it out and about, especially for an event like a NYE party. Since the first two looks were dresses, I decided to rock some skinny jeans with this last piece. A silky black cami and a trendy choker necklace complemented the blazer perfectly, serving as a subtle yet chic base to this flashy piece. Definitely keep the rest of your look lowkey with this blazer, as it's clearly quite bold and bright. As mentioned, I went for black jeans and a black silky tank here but an LBD could easily work as well. There are honestly many different ways to style all three of these pieces so definitely expect to continue seeing them on here as the holiday months continue. And of course, regardless of how you style these pieces, we definitely can't forget the best finishing touch of all: a tasty holiday cocktail in hand.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Portland, Oregon

Seeing as I just posted a Japan Photo diary for you guys, I figured I ought to update this blog with photos of my time in Portland back in September as well! My dearest apologies for the delay. I had every intention of putting up this diary earlier but as you could imagine, my very sudden trip to Japan threw my blogging schedule off a bit. Better late than never though, right? 

As expected, Portland was a gorgeous city that I had a delightful time in. Austin's sister lives up there so we decided to take a week long trip and let her show us all of the lovely things the city has to offer. Looking back on it now, the area reminds me a lot of Kyoto in the sense that it is a beautiful blend of chaotic meets calm. While the city of Portland is a bustling, lively metropolis with plenty of breweries, hip coffee shops, record stores and the cutest boutiques, it's also surrounded with lush forestry and greenery that seems to go on for as far as the eye can see. The air is fresh, the trees are gorgeous and the sky is clear at night. It's not often that you get to visit a place that gives you the best of both worlds like that but Portland manages to do so effortlessly. Speaking of which, the three of us took a side trip from the trip to enjoy nature a bit more and do some actual camping in Bend, Oregon. Bend was another lovely little town to visit, and while it wasn't as large as Portland, it still definitely had a unique charm to it that made it such a joy to explore. One of my favorite aspects of Portland was its abundance of cider. I'll be completely honest with you guys and fill you in on a little detail about my drinking preferences: I do not like beer. As much I have truly tried to like it, I really cannot stand the taste of it. Like.....I'm sorry guys, but it literally tastes so bad to me. There have been maybe a few rare exceptions where I could tolerate downing a small glass, but aside from that, I really am just not a fan. On one hand, this is a good thing because I save both my wallet and my waistline from the consequences that can come with constant beer consumption. On the other, it can be a bit of a bummer when you're going out with friends for casual drinks and have nothing to enjoy yourself. That's why I really liked Portland's night scene. There is hard cider served everywhere, and I for one definitely like cider. It was awesome (and a little overwhelming) having so many cider selections to choose from - here in LA, the cider selections for a typical night out are definitely limited. What really blew my mind were the cider breweries. We went to Reverand Nat's Cider Brewery in Portland and Atlas Cider Company in Bend and I absolutely loved the drinks served at each one. They were all delicious, and being able to try so many varieties of cider in general was definitely a unique and wonderful experience.

Overall, I had a really great time in Portland. Lots of good food, drinks, coffee, and sights - what more can you ask for? There were even a few rainy days too! And as a Californian, that is an unfortunately rare sight to see. It had been quite some time since I had experienced a rainy day, so being able to be all cozy and warm with my fashion choices for once was definitely fun (and long overdue). My week there flew by far too fast, but thankfully it's only a short plane ride away for the next time I go back. Until then, Portland!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Japan Photo Diary

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll probably know that I recently took a very last minute trip to Japan. Although it was a lovely trip and I got to visit some great spots during my two week stay there, the reason for going in the first place was actually far from pleasant. About a month ago, my  family found out that my grandfather in Japan tragically passed away. And because the funeral was scheduled to take place shortly after receiving the news, we basically had to fly over there ASAP so that we could attend the services on time. It was definitely an emotional experience for everybody, especially for something as sudden and unexpected as this. While these sorts of situations are never easy to go through, the ceremony itself was very beautifully put together and I was amazed at how detail-oriented, spiritual and just overall touching the service was. It spanned over a course of two days and after attending, I felt a better sense of closure towards the whole situation. I really do wish I could have visited my grandfather more often and had been able to communicate with him better (the language barrier made this a bit difficult. My Japanese is ok but definitely not bilingual status.) But I'm thankful to have been able to spend the time with him that I did, and I know he is at peace in a better place now. Rest in paradise, Papa.

After the services, my family and I stayed in Hamamatsu (my mom's hometown) for a few more days. I always feel a comforting sense of familiarity whenever I'm there and this time was no different. As a kid and a teenager, my family and I would visit my mom's side in Hamamatsu about every two years or so and stay in town for around a month. I even lived there for over a year when I was little. So it's definitely always been a close place for me growing up, and a place that I will always consider to be somewhat of a second home to me. After Hamamatsu, we went to the gorgeous city of Kyoto. I had never been there before and had always held an interest in going, especially after seeing how beautiful it looked in Lost In Translation. And once I arrived, I was certainly not disappointed. The city is a harmonious blend of urban meets rural. It has bustling streets with tall buildings and a lively atmosphere, but it also has some of the most beautiful shrines, temples and castles I've ever laid my eyes upon. Kinkaku-ji was definitely one of my favorites, with its beautifully tranquil atmosphere and stunning architecture (it's literally made out of gold). It's also surrounded by the most beautiful and serene Japanese greenery I've ever stepped foot in. I'll definitely be making another stop there when I go back to the country in April.

After Kyoto, we concluded our stay in my all time favorite city: Tokyo. As always, it completely took my breath away and I loved every single moment spent there. It really is just as lively, lit up and beautiful as it's made out to be in popular culture. I've been visiting Tokyo ever since I was a little girl and it always manages to amaze me in new and exciting ways. Every single time always feels like the first time, and I hope I get the chance to live there sometime in the future. Some of my favorite areas include Shibuya, Omotesando, Roppongi, Akasaka, Shinjuku, Ginza and of course, Tokyo Disneyland. While I didn't go there on this trip, you know I'll be going to both there and Disney Sea for my next one. We also got to visit Tokyo Skytree at the end of the trip and I would highly recommend it to anybody else visiting the area. It is basically the most gorgeous viewing deck of the Tokyo skyline you will ever find and it also just happens to the tallest tower in the entire world. Yes, the world. I'm pretty scared of heights and was actually a bit nervous when I first saw just how ridiculously tall this skyscraper was. The nerves were immediately replaced with awe however when I stepped off the elevator and was welcomed with a million glittering city lights shining my way. It's safe to say I've never seen a view quite like it before.

As for all of the food pictures (because you know I made sure to take plenty of those) - I'm actually going to be making a new post dedicated entirely to the food alone, seeing as Japanese cuisine is a wonderful delicacy that deserves its own special spotlight. Expect it to be live in just a few days!

Overall, my time in Japan was well spent. Despite the somber start, my family and I were able to make the best out of our time there and I left feeling a lot more excited to go back in April. I hope you guys like the shots and maybe even consider going to Japan the next time you have an adventurous opportunity. It really is an amazing place, as you'll see in the pictures below.

Sushi plushies at a little shop outside of Kinkaku-ji. I literally can't get over how cute this is.