|| What I’m Lovin’ Right Now ||

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I am what you call a late bloomer. Suffice to say that I’ve always been this way across many areas of my life. What someone accomplished at age 16, I didn’t until 18. What someone achieved at 28, I probably won’t until…well, I couldn’t say. The one area it seems I crossed the finish line “on time” or before many others, was that I graduated from college (cum laude!) with my Bachelor’s Degree at age 22 and had a full-time job offered to me as soon as I walked off the stage practically (but even this began another 2 year journey toward finding my dream job in the industry). The point being that blooming later in life can be disappointing or liberating depending on what subject we’re talking about at the time.

What I find most fascinating as I get older, is how much more I find myself embracing my femininity. This could open a world of debate about what is defined as “feminine” and whether or not women should even be boxed into such stereotypical terms. So for the sake of opening that can of worms, I’ll acknowledge this off the bat and share my story anyway.

While I’ve always managed to keep myself looking presentable when it came to style (though mine was of the jeans, t-shirts, and even overalls variety in college), I wasn’t one of the first girls to embrace bras, make-up, and dresses as some of my peers were during my developmental years. While yes, I eventually was forced learned to become friends with bras (and now consider them BFFs, in fact), my relationship with dresses didn’t really take off until recently. Unless there was a special celebration (or I was 5 with pigtails) you wouldn’t catch me in a dress too often.

Somehow, very likely due to mass media, fashion blogs, magazines, films, TV…Society…The Man!…I feel like I’m finally embracing a new style and it’s turning out to be much more feminine that I’ve ever experienced personally. There were a lot of reasons looking back that it took awhile for me to be comfortable enough in a casual dress while running errands or getting to a place where I even wanted to wear a polished dress to the office.  That’s another post, for another time. The interesting thing is that while I have grown of love the perfect summer dress or a great skirt, I find that I’m still slightly more conscious of myself than if I were in a pair of jeans. Perhaps there is still part of me fighting “The Man.” This means, you likely won’t ever see me go full Zooey Deschanel – though she totally rocks that look.

When I came across these awesome looks above*, it got me to thinking more about how to incorporate my new evolving style as we move into the warmer season where dresses are a great piece to have handy. My number one rule in anything I purchase moving forward is function and comfort.

Cheers to embracing whatever your definition of femininity is (or is not) while still managing to fight “The Man.”

And to all you late bloomers out there, our time will come. xx


here’s what i’m lovin’ right now


|| ShoeMint’s Lindsey Heels. Though I, personally, could never walk in them.||

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||Being you.||


|| PopSugar Fitness’ Lightened-up 7 Layer Dip.|| cf202f84c3870fc5895c6a52feec4f02


a5045eaf81108dece7a04f52372063f7||A clever and easy way to store reading glasses or your favorite sunnies.||


||Daily Candy’s 19 Books That Celebrate L.A.||e13b06087dd777f3209308075df7f6f6


||Martha Stewart’s Italian Fries.||9b8dde564653afb92f9e647a5c1b251e


|| Intricate pink manicures.|| 6d600fbdf189afe8b3eb23e76e64b88b


*sources to dress images: out & about, office, beach, brunch.

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|| What I’m Lovin’ Right Now ||

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I saw this photograph on Wendy Nguyen’s blog last week and instantly fell in love. The composition, the lighting, the location of her petite frame and full skirt inside the celebrated Urban Light instillation at the LACMA grabbed me immediately. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this instillation photographed or featured in films. It’s to the point of being over-exposed. This was done in such a sophisticated and unassuming manner – it was a breath of fresh air. To be completely honest, I was so drawn to it, I would even have this blown up and framed for my apartment if I could. I suppose aside from a purely artistic position, the photograph represents how I envision what an ideal life might be: whimsical, adventurous, quiet, massive, and bright; while dressed like a modern day princess.


here’s what i’m lovin’ right now


157782_01|| Finger Bling // MAWI Flower Gemstone Ring in Pink. If you know anyone that has an extra $400 lying around. ||


|| My new motto every weekend until Fall 2013. ||

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|| Hand Candy // Brown Leather Clutches.||

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|| Good Morning! // Bacon Wrapped California Omelet Bites. ||

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|| Hello Lover! // Paging Carrie Bradshaw // Manolo Blahnik “Kioko” Jeweled Sandals. ||

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|| An Uncomplicated Life. ||

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|| Where I wouldn’t mind having dinner tonight with 15 of my closet friends. ||

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Dressed in Mint

If you haven’t noticed, mint green is THE hot color of the season and I’m totally into this particular chroma trend. While I do like to keep an eye on all things fashion and indulge daily in fashion blogs (Wendy’s Lookbook is my addiction right now), I’m not one to go out and personally buy a lot of expensive stuff that lasts one season (but talk to me in a few years when I’m loaded). In fact, I have a love/hate relationship with shopping in general. In a nutshell, I love the idea of finding the perfect piece and adding it to your collection. I certainly adore fabulous clothes, handbags (my fav!), shoes, and jewels as much as the next girl; but if I were to be perfectly honestly with you, I hate the physical process of shopping. In particular, the trying things on in a fluorescent lit dressing room only to get frustrated that it looks better on the mannequin than you part. Ugh.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate a good fashion trend. I can’t think of a more refreshing salute to spring than the subtle yet vibrant shade of mint. And since I don’t have anything in my collection representing this craze, I’ve been dreaming of fun, yet affordable ways to incorporate this beautiful color into my look. I have a feeling this color might last longer than a season. Perhaps it’ll inspire ways to find you dressed in mint as well.

Blend

EARRINGS| Mineral Teardrop Earrings // Francesca’s Collections // $12.00

CROPS| Pilcro Stet Slim Crop Jeans // Anthropologie // $98.00

MANI/PEDI| Essie Turquoise & Caicos Nail Polish // Ulta // $8.00

SUNDRESS| Ribbed Dress with Metallic Belt // Forever 21 // $29.80

FLATS| Dolley 03 Mint D’Orsay Pointed Flats // Lulu’s // $21.00

SUNNIES| Hepcat Shades // Madewell // $55.00

Highlights

Boy, did this week go by fast. So fast, in fact, that some of my things to do…went seemingly undone. I managed at the very least to give myself a spring pedi before rocking my new sandals and finally stopped talking the talk and joined the Brita family (yes, I was a slave to bottled water). No worries though, sometimes you just need to take it easy. Something that doesn’t come naturally to my slightly O.C.D., perfectionist-driven personality. I have to say, one of my favorite nights this week was simply coming home making my famous (Pinterest stolen) baked garlic chicken with a chopped side salad for dinner and settling in to watch Lolita, one of Stanley Kubrick’s films that I wanted to catch-up on after checking out the current exhibition at the LACMA a few weeks ago.

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While the week went by fast, it halted altogether when I heard the sad news of Roger Ebert’s passing. My heart raced as I absorbed the headline and was instantly transported to when I used to sit and watch him agree to disagree (or agree to agree) with Gene Siskel and later Richard Roeper on Sunday nights “At the Movies.”  With much bias, I tended to trust his judgement whenever he gave a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” in his film analysis. I was deeply saddened when I realized the balcony really is closed. Rest in peace, Mr. Ebert. From one film enthusiast to another, I always enjoyed being “At the Movies” with you.

|| What I’m Lovin’ Right Now ||

As I have gotten older, I’ve developed a deeper appreciation for natural things and natural beauty. Be it in the simplicity of a bright red fresh sweet strawberry; to the breathtaking colors and fragrance of a vase of stargazer lilies – life somehow feels more connecting and beautiful when you make it a point to take in and surround yourself with its natural resources.

Of course, when working with fresh produce in your meals or placing a vase of flowers on your desk to brighten your space, there comes a time when all good things must come to an end. As such, I find myself scrambling to not be wasteful by trying to eat all of the produce I bought at the farmers’ market and feeling a twinge of sadness when that vibrant vase of flowers begins to wilt and die. Such is the consequence of Earth’s natural beauty.

Suffice to say that when I can find ways to enjoy produce in bulk (i.e. fresh strawberry smoothies in the morning and in frozen yogurt for dessert) so as to not have to throw things out, I get excited. And when coming across Flores Del Sol’s dried flower shop on Etsy, it also sparked my interest. I hate fake flowers, but was inspired by this approach of using real flowers to create lovely dried arrangements. While this will never replace fresh cut flowers or a blooming bright orchid in my book – it is longer-lasting and more cost effective. Perhaps they’re worth a try. Here’s to celebrating natural beauty and natural resources as much as possible. This, among other things is….


what i’m lovin’ right now


|| Fruit and Oat Smoothies // source here. ||

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  • 1 cup quartered strawberries
  • 1 sliced banana
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

|| Dried flower arrangements from Flores Del Sol // Etsy shop here. ||

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|| Words to live by // My new motto. ||

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|| Gold sugar rimmed champagne flutes // Source here. ||

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|| Everything about this photo…with no neighbors of course. ||

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|| Cozy off-the-shoulder sweaters over shorts. ||

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|| Get in my closet…please! ||

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|| Picture framed wall collages // Source here. ||

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Highlights

Happy Good Friday and a good Friday it will be.

After a rather hectic week of “fighting the man” in various areas of my life, I’m so looking forward to the next three days off to recharge. I’m the kind of person that will fight when things need to get done and I won’t let it go until it is (I don’t care if it’s over a dollar – it’s the principle!). While I always try to retain a level of diplomacy and politeness – I have no problem calling, emailing, stalking, and generally speaking my mind when something needs to be addressed. One of my pet peeves in life is when another’s personality is quite opposite to this and they’re not being responsive. I like people who get *crap* done! (I really wanted to use the other word, but want to keep things PG here). 🙂

As cliché as this statement has become, I’m a spiritual rather than religious person. Easter as a young child usually involved a huge Easter basket and a special homemade dinner where preparations started earlier in the day. I also recall watching parts of  “The Ten Commandments” on afternoon TV – not fully understanding what the heck I was watching because it was so long and they “spoke funny.”

Sadly, as an adult, I don’t have a ritual for this weekend, but totally respect those who do. It’s always nice to take time out to celebrate and reflect on what you believe in. If I had a choice, perhaps I would tackle watching “The Ten Commandments” again (with the subtitles on for clarity) after a leisurely Easter Brunch at Cafe Midi.

Have a great weekend and whatever your beliefs, I think this is a good time, as ever, to reflect on them.

My week’s highlights as we bid goodbye to March…


TREAT| gelato

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{Indulging in a few bites of my guy’s gelato. You get the treat without the guilt!}


EAT| cafe midi

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{Finally, I had brunch at Cafe Midi – it’s my favorite new place.}


SPRING| flowers

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{My first floral purchase for Spring  // The Spring Project is now underway.}


SHOP| farmer’s market

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{I’ve been on a serious farmer’s market kick lately. I enjoy starting out my Sunday mornings visiting a local farmer’s market and stocking up on fresh produce for the week.}

(This week: Studio City.}


EAT| lunch

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{I was so proud of my homemade lunch concoctions this week (lots of salads), thanks to my farmer’s market visit.}


SHOES| sandals

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{So my Audrey Brooke Wedges were too narrow for my feet (the risks of online shopping).  I went in-store to exchange them for these adorable Unisa Lenni Glitter Sandals.}


DVD| zero dark thirty

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{A sweet gift for my DVD collection from the BF and one of my favorite movies of 2012.}



Highlights

My life has been filled with so many stories and so much storytelling this week. Aside from the amazing Stanley Kubrick exhibition that I saw recently, I’ve been immersed in three other narratives that have not only entertained, but brought out my deeply contemplative personality.

I‘ve been delving into “The Up Series,” a documentary that checks in with a group of British people once every seven years (beginning at age 7). I’m just now catching up on the other parts of the series in order to see the most recent installment at age 56. Meanwhile, any time I’ve spent sitting in traffic has been accompanied by an audio book, Iyanla Vanzant’s autobiography “Peace From Broken Pieces.” I’ve been on such an emotional roller coaster listening to her story and it’s made me really stop and think about my own life and how my experiences have shaped how I now am as an adult. And finally, because I love a good fiction read to satisfy my imaginative side, I’ve been spending lots of down time absorbed into Stephenie Meyer’s, “The Host.” I’m halfway through and should make it just in time for the film’s release next weekend. 

Interestingly, as I absorbed these narratives this week – ranging from autobiographical to purely science fictional, they all somehow intertwine in theme. What I’m learning is that it’s amazing how we grow and change, yet remain the same at our core. As a result, it’s those  demons we struggle with as we move about our day-to-day because of those established core characteristics.

While I spent a lot of time engaged in stories, I managed to come up for air to have a very productive week. Taxes are done, I took a more challenging yoga class (for which I’m now feeling the sore effects), my goal to incorporate more fresh fruits and veggies into my diet is going well, and a few spring inspired happenings paid off in small ways.

Have a great weekend.

This week’s highlights…


SIP| coffee & milk

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Prior to checking out the Stanley Kubrick exhibition, it was a nice treat to grab an iced mocha from the LACMA’s on-campus coffee shop, Coffee & Milk, and sit outside in the sunshine for awhile. I had my reservations about the place when I was told they don’t offer vanilla/flavored syrup so as to “not affect the flavor of the coffee” but I could order a mocha instead – which in my mind is still considered flavoring so I didn’t quite see their argument.  Anywho, after doctoring it up some myself (more sugar and milk was needed) – I forgot all about that nonsense and got ready for an exciting day ahead – caffeine fix in place.


SHOP| farmer’s market

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A stop at the farmer’s market yielded great rewards on the produce front that I’ve been happily enjoying all week.


EAT| tavern ham & vegetable salad

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A memorable lunch earlier this week. The best part? The champagne vinaigrette dressing. Yum!


GIFT| flowers

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The gift of Spring from a friend that brightened my day.