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 ;)

Get the look:

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!

Get the look:

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Six Figure Blogger - A Review

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

I recently had the chance to participate in The Six Figure Blogger, a blogger monetization e-course put together by Alex Jimenez of Travel Fashion Girl. Now this was a super exciting opportunity for me to take on, not only because I’m a blogger myself and am always on the lookout for ways to make a business out of Tokyo Glitter but also because I actually know Alex - as a matter of fact, I’m the Fashion Assistant for Travel Fashion Girl! I absolutely love being involved with a site as resourceful and well-driven as TFG. Alex is an insanely hard worker and I’ve always admired just how much she cares for both the quality of the site and the satisfaction of her readers. And it certainly pays off, seeing as the site is extremely popular and has brought together a fantastic community of female travelers. With a killer work ethic and an even more impressive business model, I knew right away that her course would be filled with valuable and effective lessons on blog monetization.

And, well, I was right!

The course was primarily comprised of six modules, going in order from when you first create your blog all the way down to when your blog has become a full on business. I found each module to be ultra thorough and structured in a way that was easy to digest. Which, may I add, is not an easy thing to do seeing as the blog-to-business leap is quite complex and can take years and years to get up to! But Alex managed to discuss the lessons in a way that was both easily comprehensible and highly informative. These modules covered just about every blogger topic imaginable when it comes to monetization, ranging from how to format emails when reaching out to brands to how to effectively incorporate affiliate links within your site. Her writing style was friendly, casual and easy to follow along with. Accompanying each module were videos of her discussing each lesson and downloadable workbooks to help readers further engage with the course’s content. It was almost as if it were a real classroom setting! 

The layout of the course was clean, minimalistic and chic. Just like with the readability, it was easy to navigate myself around and go back to any previous modules that I wished to check out again.

Along with the modules, there were also additional bonus materials located at the end of each lesson. Ranging from e-book templates to SEO guides to brand directories, the additional resources provided on top of the lessons themselves were truly impressive and extremely helpful. I personally had to take a bunch of breaks while I was doing the course because I kept wanting to check out every single resource listed and make accounts on the ones that I really liked the look of! 

I especially loved how the course was filled with methods that actually worked. In that, Alex actually used them for Travel Fashion Girl and found that they effectively brought in monetary gain. There are too many articles out there that offer monetary advice using theories that are “assumed” to work but haven’t legitimately been proven by the author themselves. Without this connection, the content is not as personal and thorough to me. The strategies addressed in this course’s modules are ones that have been tried and true by Alex herself. They’re all proven to work through their successful role in the upbringing of TFG and many of them are still used on the site to this day! 

Although this course primarily revolved around monetization, I really appreciated how a few of the modules emphasized not to necessarily value monetization over quality of content. It’s clear that Alex’s number one priority is her readers and their satisfaction with the site. Her monetization techniques do not sacrifice the trust that she has with her readers or the quality of the content that is presented on Travel Fashion Girl. Everything is honest, relevant and stays in line with the brand image. That, to me, is both highly admirable and something that I wish to always practice myself when it comes to blogging.

And not only does she respect the reader, but she also clearly respects the blogger as well! This course truly emphasized the value of the time and effort that goes into running a blogging business. Monetizing a site is not just some frivolous side hobby  - if you’re looking to be serious about it, it takes a whole lot of dedication and hard work. As such, your work and the time you spend doing it should be respected.

As a blogger, I know first hand just how annoying it can be if a company tries to take advantage of both my time and my skillset. The work it takes to schedule shoots, find locations for shoots, conduct shoots, upload images, edit images, write up blog posts, link all products (and find replacements if they’re sold out), format final drafts and then conduct social media promotion afterwards is no casual feat. I was glad to find that this course both acknowledged this effort and elaborated on the many ways that one can make a return out of this.    

My favorite section had to be the module covering affiliate links. With programs like rewardStyle and Amazon Associates being massive players in the blog monetization scene, it was super helpful reading about how to effectively take on this booming field and how to incorporate these strategies into my own blog. I kid you not - I literally had the course open in one window and the backend of this blog open in the other, actively making changes to it as I continued to take in all of the tips and tricks addressed in the module.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed participating in The Six Figure Blogger. If you’re looking to monetize your creative corner of the internet, whether it be to earn some extra passive income on the side or to truly go for that full six figure salary, I strongly recommend checking it out. Alex has a lot of experience in this realm and seriously knows what she’s talking about. With this course, she has seamlessly merged the fun and creative characteristics of blogging with the professional and ambitious approach of a CEO. Rather than thinking like a blogger, she encourages us to think like a businesswoman, and I for one am fully on board with that mentality. 

I received free access to the course in exchange for writing a review on the blog. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Something About The Summer

Dress: Old Navy | Shoes: Target (Similar) | Bag: Coach (Similar)

Spring is currently amongst us and summer days are on the way. Jacarandas are in full bloom and all I want to frolic around in are pretty sun dresses and heeled sandals (well, I mean, that's basically all the time but you get what I mean!)

One of the best fabrics to rock during this time of year and when temperatures start to rise is a nice and breathable linen. Whether it's a pair of pants, a blouse or a fabulous dress, linen is lightweight, breezy and perfect for the warm weeks ahead. This dress from Old Navy is made from a linen blend fabric, making it a comfortable, functional and pretty freaking cute option to flaunt this season. I also love how Old Navy offers a lot of their clothes in petite sizes - that's what I selected for this dress here and it fits like a glove! I finished off the look with some casual, low block heel sandals from Target and my ultra versatile Coach purse. If flats are more your thing, opt for a stylish pair of summer-perfect espadrilles.

Shop the post:

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sephora Grand Opening: Westfield Century City!

To my LA-based readers:

I'm so excited to announce that Sephora will be opening a brand new location at Westfield Century City tomorrow evening! Now I've driven by this Westfield quite a few times and it looks like they've been doing some insane renovations on it these past few months. With that said, I know the final result is going to be amazing and I absolutely can't wait to see how fabulous this new Sephora will look like! They'll be throwing a super fun celebratory bash there from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, so make sure to bring your party spirit with you (and a wallet, cause ya know, SEPHORA.) Details for the event are listed below - hope to see you there!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Tied With A Bow

Top c/o The Mint Julep | Jeans: Uniqlo | Glasses: ChloĆ© 

Hey everyone! Wow, has it been a while since I have posted on here or what? Things have been crazy busy for me these past few months, the biggest one being a trip to Japan that I just recently returned from. Austin and I were there for two weeks and had an amazing time exploring the beauties cities of Tokyo and Kyoto. I'll be putting another Japan travel diary on here shortly so stay tuned for all of the lovely pictures (as usual, I took about a million) and details of the trip.

The tie shoulder trend has been gaining a great deal of momentum in the fashion world lately and I can definitely say that I'm all for it. It's equal parts adorable and chic, whether it's on a sweater as shown here or topped off on a flirty dress. I especially love when off the shoulder pieces are adorned with this flirty little detail. This top is from The Mint Julep Boutique and is just as cozy as it is cute. If you like the look it, feel free to get it for yourself here (and it's on sale too!) 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Coastal Love

Bikini: Triangl (Similar: 1, 2, 3) | Cardigan: Target | Hat: Forever 21

Here's a fun little swim shoot I did a couple months ago. Not sure why it took me literally forever to finally get these pics up but here they are! The idea of a swim shoot is always a bit daunting to me but Triangl very kindly gifted this beautiful bikini and I just had to feature it on here - a mere flat lay didn't do this piece justice. I styled these shots with a bit of a vintage, '70s California vibe in mind, making Venice Beach an ideal spot to get this shoot done.

 With spring right around the corner and sunny days slowly becoming the norm once again, a floral print bikini is the perfect item to have in your wardrobe. I'm absolutely in love with the piece that I'm wearing here. The floral print and bold colors come together to create a fabulous statement swimsuit, while just being subtle enough for a minimalist such as myself to appreciate. As for accessorizing, a swim cover will obviously work but I decided to change things up a bit with a wide brim hat and a lightweight duster cardigan. The length of the cardigan adds a bit more ~drama~ to the look while not weighing you down either. A wide brim hat is a universally appealing boho touch to incorporate in any look - just make sure it doesn't blow away from the ocean breeze!

P.S. I've been extremely into the band HONNE lately, to the point where both this post and this one were named after two of my favorite songs from them. If you're looking for a new jam to get yourself addicted to, check out Coastal Love :)