Friday, November 10, 2017

November Streets

Beanie: Target | Duster cardigan: Shein | Top: Reformation | Pant: Uniqlo | Bag: Target

So...its getting cold. I told you guys the bundled looks would keep coming and here they are! Few garments bring together a look quite as easily as a duster cardigan. These versatile pieces can dress up an outfit on an instant and are overall a great go-to item to have in any wardrobe. They aren't necessarily the warmest however, so make sure to layer appropriately if the temperatures really start to plummet. 

We shot this look in the Pearl District right after a delicious brunch at a spot called Irving Street Kitchen (pics of it below). Yes guys, I'm still obsessed with brunch. Now that I'm in Portland, I want to try out as many spots here as possible so I can get my list of favorite spots going, just as I did when I was down in Los Angeles. Irving Street Kitchen in particular was delicious! It's Southern-inspired fare is hearty and tasty and the rustic-chic decor was equally as impressive. That spot along with my other current fave, Lovejoy Bakers, have definitely made the list. 

The Pearl District is such a beautiful spot and I can easily see myself shooting down there more often. There's plenty of nice restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques (one of which I work at!),  and the atmosphere in general is urban and fun. It was one of the first spots I visited when I first came up to Portland and it has quickly become one of my favorite areas in town. It helps that there's no shortage of great photo shoot locations either ;) Expect to see plenty more of them down here!

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Stepping Into Fall

Sweater: Uniqlo | Dress: Reformation | Shoes: Soda | Bag: Michael Kors | Scarf: Target

Its been a while since I've featured sweaters and scarves on here! Pretty sure the last time I did so was for this major throwback here - which, funny enough, was almost exactly 3 years ago to this day. I remember getting Sprinkles cupcakes with Austin right after we did this shoot because we were right by the Beverly Hills location. Oh how the time flies.

Even before I moved up to Portland, I knew early on that my wardrobe would have to undergo some transitions in order to work for the Pacific Northwest. And luckily for me, the breezy floral dresses that make up about 80% of my outfits have proven to be both functional and versatile.

One of the easiest ways to make this transition work is with a good, old sweater. For this look here, I created the illusion of a top and skirt by simply throwing a cropped sweater over my dress. I also concealed any exposed parts of the dress on top by putting my scarf over it. With only the bottom half visible, you've got yourself a cozy and feminine top and "skirt" combo. I had actually been on the search for a cute floral print skirt but then realized I could easily make one using the dresses I already own!

The weather was pretty mild on the day we shot this look, so I ditched the tights and kept my look breezy and bare legged. It was also the perfect chance for me to show off the new sandals I scored at Marshalls the other day! I was on the search for ankle boots (cause ya know, fall) and ended up finding these beauties tucked away in a dusty corner for only $16. Don't you just love when unexpected finds turn into stylish steals?

I also love how the nude shade blends with my skin tone well. A valuable lesson I've learned when it comes to nude heels is that not all nude shades are the same. Just like with lipstick, you have to pick the right shade that works specifically for your look. Seeing as nude heels/ boots are a major component to my wardrobe, this was a great lesson to pick up.

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This shoot was long overdue. This post in general was extremely overdue, and I apologize for the lag in updating this blog! Moving to a new state and getting life situated again can be a bit crazy, and for a moment there I was way too caught up in it all to get any blog posts done. But one thing I've come to learn from not being able to do so was just how important it is to make time for the things you love. That's what keeps you grounded during all of life's twists and turns and that's what keeps your vibe alive. I'm now at a point where I know that even if I don't necessarily have the most time to blog, I need to make time for it. The same goes for a lot of other things that I care about, like getting enough exercise or taking the time to prepare a healthy meal for myself. My artistic outlet is a fundamental form of self care, something just as important as the physical. When that part of me is consistently nurtured, everything else just feels a bit more "right".

My interests and passions are linked to my identity, and when that connection started to get neglected, life started to get a bit confusing (as if your 20s aren't confusing enough!) That was a big wake-up call for me because I was genuinely a bit lost for a moment there.  Having that realization made clear just how important it is to find that right balance in my life. Our interests aren't random. We all have responsibilities, we all have the daily grind but we also all have passions that invigorate us more than we may think. I was surprised to find out just how connected I was to mine, and just how affected my life would be without it. So with that said, do more of what you makes you happy and keep that fire burning.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Playlist 9/21

Last September, I put up a playlist on here titled September Sounds that featured a few songs I was really liking at the moment (many of which I still do to this day!) To continue this theme, I went ahead and created a Part II of that same list. It seemed like a fitting thing to do since I love this time of year and love finding good music -new and old- to go along with it.

Happy fall & happy listening!

Manila Ice - Eyedress
Hoops - Gemini
White Mustang - Lana Del Rey
I'm On Fire - Chromatics (The Du Tonc version is also amazing)
Heaven - New Navy
Play - iamamiwhoami
Sun's Out - Hoops
Hours - Tycho 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Last of Summer

Dress: Reformation (Similar + more dupes below) | Bag: Michael Kors

Summer may gradually be coming to an end but the weather doesn't seem to have taken note. The recent heatwave that's consumed most of the west coast has made it possible to continue wearing all of the pretty sundresses that once dominated summer in its prime. Since I for one am a massive mini dress enthusiast, I was very much ok with this (although not so much with the sweltering 100+ degree days....)

Reformation will forever be my favorite clothing brand (I've lost count of how many times I've mentioned that on here) and their floral sundresses are my staple go-to. This pretty ruffled number from them became an instant favorite of mine over the summer and could easily be transitioned into a fall piece as well. While I wore it in its breezy simplicity for this look, I could also pair it with a cream knit cardigan or denim jacket for when a breeze kicks in. Swap out the nude heels for some ankle boots, throw on some tights, wrap around an infinity scarf and you've got yourself a cozy getup in an instant. 

Now why, you may ask, am I harping on so much about making this wearable in cooler climates? Because I have a few exciting life updates to announce, the first being that I moved to Portland! Austin is going to pharmacy school here so we (him, myself and Lola) have left our coastal California nest to start a new chapter up in the Pacific Northwest. The program that he's a part of is only three years long, so the plan for now is just to stay up here until that ends. After that, we'll be heading back down to California and most likely ending up back in sunny LA for a bit. 

I'm not going to lie, I miss Los Angeles a lot. I only lived there for a few years and that was hardly enough time for me to really get my full experience of the city. There's just something about the area - whether it be the gorgeous sights, the liveliness, the food or the shopping - that really made me fall in love with the area and feel a connection to it all. It certainly wasn't the easiest thing saying goodbye, but I'll definitely be back down within these next few years to at least visit (I can't possibly go without my beloved Daikokuya spicy miso ramen for that long!) 

At the same time though, I'm really excited to be up in Portland! I had only visited the area twice before moving but that was enough to open my eyes to the city and get myself excited to start a new chapter up here. I love the Pearl District and was actually able to get a job at a stylish boutique in the area, so so far things have been working out quite nicely! I also adore the beautiful natural scenery, the impressive craft beer and coffee scene, the unique modern/ vintage culture, the music, the shows (SO many concerts I already want to go to up here!!) and the fact that it's a big city with new things to discover around every corner.

I'm also ridiculously excited for fall to arrive here. I can't wait to see all of the pretty orange leaves, drink all of the cinnamon almond lattes (sorry, never got into the pumpkin spice hype) and finally start showing some cute ~fall fashion~ looks on here. As a Californian, I think we're a bit disillusioned as to what a true change in season actually is because we hardly ever experience seasons in general. I know it's different up here, so I'm excited to finally go through that transition for once. Although winter is a completely different story.....

I'm excited to take you guys along my journey as I settle into this new area. Get ready for a lot more knit sweaters, rain boots, jackets, tights and pretty shots of nature. I'd say coffee too, but let's face it, that's always a given no matter where I am in the world ;)

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

My Favorite Coffee Shops in Santa Cruz

A quick scroll through my Instagram feed will show you that 1) I was recently back home in Santa Cruz for a few weeks and 2) I drink a lot of coffee. I'll be the first to admit that I'm absolutely addicted to it and cannot go a single day without having my beloved cup. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and I consider myself to be more of a morning person simply because coffee is heavily involved in both. So yeah, you could say that I'm a little bit obsessed. 

Luckily for me (and all my fellow local caffeine addicts), there is no shortage of amazing coffee in Santa Cruz County. Rounding up a list of my favorites was easy because the places listed below are true stand outs that I have been going to for years now. I frequently inhabited these spots as a teenager and a community college student and still love revisiting them and getting my favorite drinks whenever I'm back in town.

Next time you find yourself in Santa Cruz and are looking for a pleasant caffeine break, I highly recommend checking out these amazing spots below.

It's amazing to see just how far Verve has come in a relatively short amount of time. Their coffee has always been delicious and their global success is more than well deserved. Equally as impressive is the stunning decor that graces each of their locations. I still have yet to go to the San Francisco and Tokyo spots but the Los Angeles and Santa Cruz cafes are all insta-worthy perfection (as you can probably tell by the excessive number of photos I have featured on here.)

For the longest time, my favorite drink from Verve was their Velvet Tea Bowl of Soul. This flavor was discontinued however, so my new favorite is now the China Breakfast Bowl of Soul. The name easily speaks for itself too - this smooth, creamy and all around lovely drink is indeed an instant soul pleaser.

Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting & Aptos Coffee Roasting
Both of these spots have and always will hold a special place in my heart. Whether it be the countless study sessions, the late night coffee runs or the weekend hang outs, many memories have been had and just about all of them have been fond ones.

Nostalgia aside, their drinks are also pretty incredible. I personally LOVE the soy chais there - they're warm, smooth and have a perfect sweetness to spice ratio. They were also my go-to drink during my Cabrillo days, serving as a quick and tasty breakfast while en route to my morning classes. Nowadays, they're one of my favorite drinks to come back home to. 

Cat & Cloud
A super cute coffee shop in Pleasure Point that I've only gone to a few times so far but am already in love with. I love getting a classic almond milk latte but their mochas and tea selections are another easy favorite of mine. You can be all trendy and feast on their avocado toast or try one of the many assorted baked goods in their display case.

The interior is bright, modern and chic, and it's the perfect spot for a coffee break after an east cliff walk. Definitely give it a visit!

Last but not least, we've got Toots. There's just something about the atmosphere in this lovely coffee shop that makes it inviting, cozy and the perfect spot to grab a warm latte on a foggy day. Tucked away on a second floor in Capitola Village, it possesses a unique charm that's unlike anything else I've seen in other cafes around town. Indoor seating is cozy and quaint while outdoor seating offers you a colorful view of the Village's famous beach houses.

As for drinks, I personally love the Tom Sawyer but everything there is delicious. You can't go wrong!

Monday, July 17, 2017

La Vie En Rose

Dress: Rouje | Straw Bag: Doen | Heels: Love Street Apparel

I present to you all my favorite sundress of the season - the Laura dress by Rouje. Seeing as this is a French brand, I'm obsessed with the effortless, Parisian-chic vibe that this gorgeous dress conveys. It's the perfect piece to frolic around town in on a warm summer's day and you can bet I'll be rocking this for as long as the weather permits. As a matter of fact, Rouje has quickly become one of my favorite brands. It's owned by Jeanne Damas, who just so happens to be one of my biggest style icons, so it's no surprise that I'm head over heels for the gorgeous clothing they make.

I've been in my hometown of Santa Cruz for the past few weeks and shot this look in downtown the other day. Its been a while since I've done a shoot here so it was nice to put on a pretty dress and get back into the swing of it again. There are so many pretty corners and spots around here that finding a picturesque location wasn't hard at all. I'm only here for a few more days and then I'm off to my next destination. Can you guess where? ;)

Lastly, what do you guys think of my new site layout? I think it was time for a change, seeing as my previous layout was about two years old and in desperate need of an update. Considering how much my taste in design and fashion changes, I'm surprised it even made it that long! Nevertheless, I'm absolutely in love with the new layout that you see here. It's clean, chic and has a nice flow to it that I think would complement my content fairly nicely. I can definitely see myself having this one for a while - hope you like it as well!

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