Anatomy of a Do: Braving White

Anatomy of a Do_March 2015_Spring WhiteSpring officially begins next week, but in LA you wouldn’t know it. Ninety degree weather accompanied by the lingering scent of wisteria in the air, find us channeling Spring slightly ahead of schedule. And I couldn’t be more excited!

This season, I’m eager to incorporate more light and airy clothing into my personal style. When I came across this look (at left) while killing some time on Pinterest, I immediately got inspired. I hardly ever wear white. Outside of the fact that it’s an incredibly difficult color to keep clean, it’s also a very hard color to pull off, highlighting every flaw imaginable (unlike my BFF, the color black). Not only am I always concerned about spilling something on myself, I also can’t stand how that once crisp white blouse inevitably starts to look dingy, with those not-so-attractive yellowing armpit stains.

It’s a new season, and with it, time to take more chances…even if it’s just confronting the color white. The model here does everything right, perfectly showcasing everything I’m loving at the moment: dark aviators, layered gold jewelry, strategically ripped boyfriend jeans, and strappy heels. It’s an impeccable blend of polished set against casual, the archetype for California chic in my book. What unarguably brings this ensemble together is the fresh, structured white blazer, an item that could easily be dry cleaned. This should help with my aversion to wearing/caring for a light color. A white blazer just officially made my closet must-have list for Spring.

The takeaway from killing a little time on Pinterest? This Spring, conquer your fears and brave white.

Previous posts
Anatomy of a Do: The Overall Comeback
Anatomy of a Do: Carla’s Denim on Denim
Anatomy of a Do: Wendy’s Color Love

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*Unaltered original image via Pinterest.*



A door was opened a few days ago that could potentially change things for the better! Now for the task of walking through the damn door (always easier said, than done). The caveat I’m realizing as I think about this new possible opportunity in my life, is not only being mindful to get very clear about what I want and to stand firm in that truth, but to manage my expectations. There’s only so much you can do before you have to simply let go and let the chips fall where they may, but not before you put up a good fight…and I intend to.

Almost as if the universe were speaking directly to me, not long after that door opened, I came across the quote above on Instagram and instantly felt more energized about this new venture.

It’s been awhile since my last Inspired post. It’s time. A few other words of wisdom keeping things in perspective as of late. Perhaps something will resonate with you, too. x

Inspired_March 2015_ATG FINAL (2){Click image to enlarge.}

Have a lovely rest of the week and weekend ahead!

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Image credit: The Old Door” by byronv2 used under CC BY 2.0 | Modifications: text added to original.
Collage: created by blogger via various images sourced from

Birchbox Review | February 2015

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#1. beautyblender + Mini Solid Cleanser | Finally receiving the famous beautyblender in a Birchbox was a total giddy, girl moment. I’ve been hearing the craze about these little pink sponges for some time, but happily pressed on with my good ol’ tried and true foundation brush. Given that these babies are also on the pricey side, I was happy to wait for the day Birchbox would bestow one upon me to try. Let’s just say, I can understand the craze. Simply dampen the sponge, squeeze out the excess water, dab just a bit of foundation onto it, and gently dabble onto the skin. Your make-up goes on evenly, creating an airbrushed-looking finish. Cleverly, the sample arrived with the mini solid cleanser – used to help clean your sponge between applications. My only complaint about this product (aside from the cost) is how turned-off I was by the amount of pink dye that comes out of the sponge when you wash it the first few times. Of course, they had to do something to get that vibrant, hot-pink look, but did they have to be so obvious about what I hope isn’t a sponge full of chemicals, that also happens to do a kick-ass job of making a gal feel pretty?

 Overall: A do.

#2. BeeKind Shower Gel | BeeKind’s shower gel is reminiscent of my love for Essentiel Elements. It’s distinct citrus-y scent makes showering an invigorating experience. I’m also a sucker for a nice lather and BeeKind doesn’t disappoint. It’s free of many of the harsh chemicals found in many gels these days and utilizes natural, organic ingredients. What has to make this a product extra special, outside of being a great shower gel, is that it’s also on a mission. BeeKind donates a portion of its profits to aid in honeybee research. As you know, these guys are having it pretty rough right now, and the continuing decline of the honeybee will have serious repercussions in the near future. Oh! And just to make themselves a little cooler? BeeKind’s packaging is recyclable.

Overall: A do…if not for you, for the honeybees.

#3. theBalm’s “Read My Lips” Lip Gloss | Read my lips: this stuff’s not bad! I was immediately struck by the scent of this lip gloss. The shade I received, BAM!, a very subtle pink hue, gives a nice shine to your lips, without overdoing it. I found the formula tolerable. Many glosses last exactly 10 minutes on my lips before I’m ready to wipe it off because of the unbearable sticky texture. I can’t say this was the case with this product. As far as longevity goes, this gloss hangs in there, too. However, given the highly saturated market for products like this – I’m usually a first impression kind of gal. If it doesn’t hook me right away, it likely won’t. I’ll gladly finish out the sample, but wasn’t impressed enough to buy a full-sized version of this product largely, due to the shade. Perhaps if they’d given me something with a little more color, I’d bite because $15 is more than reasonable for a lip gloss.

Overall: A do…if you can find the right shade for you.

#4. Atelier Cologne’s Vétiver | The moment you open the small vial, you realize you’re in for something special. You could tell the quality of the ingredients used in this fragrance is about as high-end as it gets. My suspicions were confirmed when I jumped on to learn more about this product and caught the whopping $195.00 price tag! Atelier’s Vétiver subtly alters from a citrus to a more woodsy note as it mixes with your body’s chemistry. I wasn’t a huge fan of the scent right off the bat, but I loved the way my skin felt as I dabbed the product on my wrist – it left a soft as powder finish wherever I applied it. As promised, if I smelled my wrist some time later, the scent had slightly changed. To say this stuff is long-lasting is an understatement. I couldn’t believe how long this fragrance stays with you. Yet, I remain on the fence about the scent itself. Though I can handle a bold fragrance, this erred a teeny tiny bit too masculine for me.

Overall: For $195, I should have everything I want in a fragrance. The scent just wasn’t for me.

#5. Davines MINU Shampoo | I’m a Davines fan when it comes to hair care, listing their Love Smoothing shampoo and conditioner as one of my all-time favorite Birchbox products. That being said, I was slightly disappointed to see not one but TWO products from their MINU line in my box. MINU specifically states that it’s for color-treated hair, and I specifically made it clear in the beauty profile you fill out when joining Birchbox, that I don’t color my hair. Now I realize that this doesn’t mean that I can’t use the product, but what a waste of a sample choice. I did lather up with this shampoo once in an effort to test it out, immediately liking the creamy formula and how lather rich it was. All this to say, while I didn’t hate it, it just wasn’t for me. My hair is extremely dry, so I need a shampoo that focuses more intensely on moisture.

Overall: I don’t color my hair. I’d suggest their  Love Smoothing Shampoo & Smoothing Conditioner instead.

#6. Davines MINU Hair Serum | I can’t say I was blown away by the MINU shampoo, but the hair serum was pretty impressive. I don’t know if it’s because I deep-conditioned my hair for an hour (using another product altogether) before applying this serum, but I won’t lie, I’m having a good hair day at the moment – subtle sheen, lots of bounce, and no frizziness. Life is good. Again, it’s designed for color-treated strands, but this leave-in treatment offers light-weight protection prior to heat styling. My hair felt and looked great after blow drying, and adequately prepped for my flat-iron. I’ll enjoy the rather small sample, but won’t continue with this product thereafter.

Overall: I still don’t color my hair, Birchbox.

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On the move_ATG FINAL_Highlights{On the move.}

It’s been a whirlwind of a week. Whew. I’m happy to say I pushed through.

I’ve mentioned quite a few times on the blog about not feeling so great lately. Though I’d been to see my doctor a few weeks back, what she suggested wasn’t helping matters. At. All. I finally got to a place where I had to breakdown and see a rather pricey specialist. Turns out, what I thought a little rest, a few OTC meds, and some small lifestyle changes might fix, is a pretty nasty sinus infection. Ugh. This is actually good news though. I’m not at all happy about the amount of medication I’m on at the moment to treat it, but after months of wondering what the heck is going on with me, it’s nice to have a firm diagnosis and a plan of action.

Admittedly, I’m one of those people who starts Google-ing symptoms if something amiss sticks around for more than a few days. Unfortunately, this tends to lead down a rabbit hole where it’s not insane to start wondering if you have cancer at some point because, “Yes, I’ve been having a persistent sore throat, too!” (Do yourself a favor, and don’t do this.) I’m not at all trying to self-diagnosis, but because outside of my gnarly seasonal/dander-inducing allergies, I’m a healthy person. It bugs me to no end when I’m not feeling my best, so much so, that I have this need to at least have some idea of what might be going on.

Though I know I should take it easy for the next few weeks (and certainly will), I was excited to finally try out a new dance class to get some exercise. I’ve had such a lack of energy and my mood has been less than stellar. I’m sure this is because of my sinus troubles, but also because I stopped working out. I found a great new studio through Groupon and needed to get started on using my class passes before they expire. I had the time of my life! It certainly was one of the highlights of my week. The music was loud and the instructor was a ball of energy – her stamina was inspiring! For one-hour, while attempting to not overdo it, I could feel part of me wake up again. It’s so true boys and girls, there’s something about exercise that just works. I can’t wait until I’m feeling better so I can really “shake a tail feather” in class next time.

All this to say, another weekend ahead that will entail lots of rest. Rain is on the horizon in L.A., and I have to say, there’s no better way to enjoy that kind of weather than staying in bed with a cup of tea and marathon through House of Cards anyway (season 3 releases today!). Since the sun won’t shine and I’m on meds (boo!), I’ll take the wet weekend – seems like I won’t miss too much. There’s only one reason to venture out, and that’s to catch the Light & Noir exhibition at the Skirball, closing March 1st. Aside from this, I’m placing myself on strict bed rest.

Have a wonderful, wet weekend! x

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What I’m Lovin’ Right Now

Blend 3What I'm Lovin Right Now_Feb2015_ATG FINAL

1. My current nail polish obsession. | Cement the deal by OPI (image via.)

2. Footwear that’s comfortable, stylish, and for a good cause. | Tom’s Black Women Diamond Women’s Classics.

3. The ergonomic hair brush worth the recent splurge. | Olivia Garden’s DV-3 Divine Dry Detangler.

4. A case for H20. | The Top 10 Things I Learned Drinking Only Water For A Month.

5. What a butternut squash and a can of black beans can do together. | Butternut Black Bean Burgers.

6. The comfortable dress I swear every woman should have (because I have 2). | Old Navy’s Women’s Sleeveless Jersey Dress.

7. Why coconut oil seems to be everywhere lately. | 14 Ways To Use Coconut Oil At Home.

8. The clever way to organize that burgeoning jewelry collection. | Wall Mounted Jewelry Organizer Photo Frame.

9. A timely article since watching Advanced Style. | 50 Ways to Break Out of a Style Rut & Feel Inspired Again.

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TOP FIVE: The 2015 Academy Awards


It only rains approximately 5.7 days a year in L.A. Naturally, one of those days would fall on Hollywood’s biggest night. I was set to attend a viewing party, but the universe had other plans. Suffice to say, it was a rather chaotic Oscar Sunday on my end, down to an actual technical malfunction that had me at Best Buy one hour before showtime to rectify the situation. $45 dollars later, I was back home with Chinese take-out, a box (okay, 2 boxes) of my favorite candy, my TV set-up and ready to go. As the rain started up again, I lit some candles, and settled in for a cozy night alone just a few miles away from the festivities…happily at home, just Oscar and me, for the first time in years.

Here are my top 5…

The 5 Best Moments of the Night

5. Pretty much every single winner who continued to talk well into and AFTER the “wrap it up music” – with no regard that wrap it up means WRAP IT UP!

4. Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech that quickly turned into a social commentary on wage and gender equality (and Meryl Streep’s total “YOU GO GIRl!” jumping out of her seat whoop-whoop in support).

3. I knew she could sing, and I’m a fan, but who knew THAT voice would, or could, ever come out of Lady Gaga? Go Gaga, you nailed that Julie Andrews/The Sound of Music tribute!

2. Graham Moore’s acceptance speech for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game, taking a moment to give a shout out to the “weird ones.” Best speech of the night, by far.

1. John Legend and Common’s moving performance of “Glory” from the film Selma. It gave me chills. When they cut to David Oyelowo and Chris Pine in the audience and both had tears streaming down their face, I nearly lost it. (p.s. what is it about seeing a man cry that’s so damn sexy?)

The 5 Best Dressed Starlets of the Night

5. | DAKOTA JOHNSON in Yves Saint Larent.




3. | JENNIFER LOPEZ in Elie Saab.


2. | LUPITA NYONG’O in Calvin Klein Collection.




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Header image credit: Oscar” by lincolnblues used under CC BY 2.0

Photo sources:
Dakota Johnson
Reese Witherspoon
Jennifer Lopez
Lupita Nyong’o
Rosamund Pike


LV_3D_ATG FINAL{A 3-D silhouette selfie at the Louis Vuitton “series 2” exhibition.}

Knock on wood, things have been going well. It feels like for the first time in a long time, I get to play and have some fun! The only major hiccup is that I haven’t been feeling so great on-and-off lately, a sign I need to spend some time taking care of myself. That’s the goal this weekend. There’s still one film I want to see before the Oscars on Sunday, and that’s Julianne Moore’s highly-praised performance in Still Alice. Otherwise, I plan to delve more into Diane Von Furstenberg’s memoir, The Woman I Wanted to Be, flip through the stack of back issue magazine subscriptions currently overwhelming my coffee tableand wait with bated breath for the Oscars on Sunday.

Have a great weekend! x

V-Day Gift basket ATG FINAL

{The sweetest gift basket with some of my favorite things from my Valentine.}

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{Taking myself to brunch.}

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{Playing festive for our Fifty Shades of Grey girl’s movie night out.}