shopping list :: outfit-making basics.

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You could say I am going through a style identity shift. For the past couple years, I have tested out quite a collection of fashion personas waiting for one to click. Sure, there have always been specific things i’ve been drawn to – anyone who knows me personally can attest for my love for lace – but there are times when you have to go through trial and errors with trends to figure out what really and authentically works for you. See, I will never be that girl who can throw on jeans and t-shirt and be ready to go. Body type aside (Definition hourglass over here!), that will always make me feel extremely self-conscious and uncomfortable. But an empire waisted dress and a pair of heels is always a win for me. So now I find myself at a point where I have to be consciously selective of what I buy. Today’s shopping list consists of pieces that are definition timeless with a twist. I may not rep an arm party, but I feel naked without layered rings and this 15 piece set by Hannah Naomi is a perfect fit in my collection. Mix this with cat-eye sunglasses by Ray-Ban, ankle-wrapped ballerina flats by Kimchi Blue ($29 with raving reviews!), and a transparent bag by Yegane Dilek and you’ve got an easy and interesting basic foundation to work outfits off of. Plus with a transparent bag, you’ve got to be more organized about what goes in and out of your purse. Bag hoarders beware. ;)

let’s talk tuesday :: c’est octobre.

It’s become a reoccurring theme for my posts to start with some form of the following sentence, “It’s [insert date here] somehow, can you believe it?!” But really, how is it October? How is 2012 ending in two months? Where did this year go? I’ve been in the Bay Area for 5 months now. Five months! Yet I have this split feeling of, on one end, feeling as if I arrived yesterday and on the other, feeling as if my life in New York City was a million years ago.

I just wanted to take a moment to create a compilation of my experiences that I haven’t yet documented and I know generally this post requires a positive and negative list but i’ve got my windows open, tea, and Michael Buble playing so you could say i’m in a good mood.

October moments to remember >>
Walks around Lake Merritt | Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival | Homemade Dr. Bronner’s lemon and coconut bubble bath (directions found here although it’s not so bubbly but it sure does smell awesome!) | Boba tea | That moment Rita died on Dexter, why! | Redwood hikes | Wine tasting in Napa | Late night candle lit yoga | Ike’s Lair Vegan BLT | Outside movies in Dolores Park

What are some things you want to remember?

project : fall fitness, day one.

There is something you should know about me. You know how people start setting up resolutions when New Years comes around every year? Well, fall is for me just that. As a summer baby, somehow I missed the memo that i’m suppose to enjoy my birthday season and instead I spend the summer months counting down the days until leaves begin to fall and jackets are acceptable to wear (well, now I live in Northern California and jackets are always welcome but you get the picture). Since I moved, fitness and cooking have been high on my list of to-do’s and so here it begins, my fall fitness project.

First off, can we all just take a minute to talk about that first day back at working out feeling. It’s a mixture of “please help me, my body shouldn’t feel like this and I, in fact, expect death to arrive soon” and “yeah, i’m doing it. let’s do this, let’s do this.” Am I right or am I right? It’s as if you know it’ll get better and you have to push through but your body is trying to punish you for the days, weeks, months that you took off. Nevertheless, I successfully completed 45 minutes thanks to the Nike Training Club for Women app (download it!) on the iPhone and who wouldn’t want to begin the journey with a workout plan named “crunch + burn”. And boy did it. I plan on getting back into Vinyasa and Kundalini yoga, trying out some kick boxing and the Bar Method that has been frequently praised by my sisters but first I need to get back to being comfortable with working out period. That and perfecting my work out playlist because listening to Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens just aren’t cutting it.

it’s only time, it will go by.

Today I was speaking to my sister and while inquiring on certain aspects of my life, she asked me, “Why not enjoy the opportunities that you have right now? At this very moment everything cannot be fixed or solidified so why not take a breath and do the things you wouldn’t be able to in previous circumstances?” That’s when it clicked. Be here, now. I have a weakness for thinking forward which isn’t always a bad thing. Although when the going gets rough, and i’m not where i’d love to be, my mind generally goes to a place of waiting. Waiting to get there, waiting to be this or that instead of accepting and enjoying. Right here, right now. I may be young but I wholeheartedly believe life isn’t just one season. Instead we go through seasons of growth, seasons of quietness, seasons of hardships, of happiness. If you haven’t noticed, this blog is shifting because this season of my life is new, and right now these posts, these moments of clarity i’ve found are better for me to document and if you have any input, or disagreements, or anything i’d love to hear them.

a daily love letter | edition two.

To life right now, to me – It’s been a challenging month to say the least. The curve balls have been consistent and non-stop, but you’ve stayed positive. The moments you wanted to cry, you laughed (okay, and maybe cried just a little). These are the times you grow, and sometimes it’s the lows that allow you to appreciate the highs. If anything, this time in your life has proven that the support system you have is something to be so thankful of. You are not alone, you’ve never been alone and no matter how it may feel, you’ve got some pretty awesome people that will be there for you when you’re doing your best or at your very worst. And that is something to smile about. Things are changing – drastically, quickly, scarily – but you are too and right now, it’s only for the better.

mam, you have impeccable style.

via Trotterpup

This has been your daily dose of a cute dog doing cute stuff. My work here is done. Happy Monday.

a daily love letter | edition one.

I’m going to be a total cheese ball by admitting that I spend a lot of time alone thinking. How to be better, where I want to be, what could make me happier. And it dawned on me, even in the most aggravating times, the amount of small things that we should appreciate can be lost on us. If you ask my friends, they’ll tell you I am the advice giver, and always when someone is in a rut or in a bad mood, I tell them to do something about it. And that’s where I came up with the idea of a “daily love letter”. Acknowledge and appreciate the small things that are happening. There will be an endless amount of times where we feel like we have the world on our shoulders. But, sometimes, stopping and taking a breath can make a world of a difference.

To Lake Merritt,
I can’t even begin to explain how nice it is to live a block away from you. From morning runs to after work walks, I haven’t wanted to get out and be active in a long while. I’ve never realized how necessary it is for me to live near a body of water which may be accredited to the fact that I grew up near the beach. On Saturday, I found myself on a six hour walk around you and I couldn’t have thought of a better way to spend my day off.

To sparkling water,
Oh yeah, I am writing to sparkling water. I’ve hard a hard transition off of soda and into this healthier lifestyle I am attempting. But sparkling water, i’m hooked and you’re awesome. Although, my local health food store guy may think I have a problem. Dr. Pepper you will be missed.

To the Nike Training Club for Women application,
How have I just discovered you? (Thanks Lee for the recommendation!)

To my closet,
Oh closet, I could write you a Russian novel. You fit all my clothing and all my shoes. Okay, so my shoes may have to also be on the floor but that is more my fault than yours and you still fit them nonetheless. I mean, you even have hooks for my purses already built in. You are a gem.

To the upcoming weeks,
You’re just about the reason I decided to make this life change. The things that are planned, the people visiting. Life isn’t about waiting, or working, or just being. I’ve missed having these plans, i’ve missed having these people near by, and i’ve missed being just to put it plainly, excited. Great things are happening. Thank you.

get more from mornings.

Being a morning person has never come naturally to me. Unless by morning person you mean having the ability to stay up well into the early hours and then sleep through the afternoon. Note that the same world aforementioned would also be a place where bread doesn’t make you fat. Yes, that was a Scott Pilgrim vs. the World reference. And yes, I really like bread. I digress. In any case, as I get older and realize responsibilities take up just about every hour of the daylight, I am starting to see what a difference it can be to use the morning hours pre-responsibilities. Here are a few tips i’ve been testing this week to make the most of mornings.

I. Make your bed! Yes, you just read that and no i’m not your Mom. Not only will your room automatically look cleaner but you’ll also will have accomplished something pre-coffee. Well done you!
II. Turn on a fun Pandora station while you drink your coffee, tea, or do your other morning rituals. I’ve been listening to the “La Vie en Rose” station and let’s just say it’s quite impossible not to feel happy.
III. Get outside, even for the smallest amount of time. Full disclosure on this one, I walk to work every day but I have full experience having to take the subway to work and i’ve seen a huge mood change even from this 10 minute walk. I intend to take a pre-walk before my work walk around the lake near my house but baby steps here.
IV. Don’t stay in your bed while you get ready. No one else probably does this but I have a long track record of staying in bed to do everything. So let’s call number four a personal note to self.
V. Give yourself time in the morning to enjoy your bed. Okay, maybe this is also just me, but even 10 minutes just laying in bed and not feeling like you are forced to remove yourself can make a huge difference.

How do you get more from mornings? Any tips and tricks you’ve tried that have been a huge game changer for your mood in the mornings?

the paris plan.

I’ve kept far too distant from this blog limiting myself to an idea of what it should be instead of actuality and if i’ve learned anything about who I truly am, it’s that I do best when I have to be held accountable. So, here I am laying this out on the table for my friends, family, and followers to see. In five months, I wholeheartedly plan to be in Paris. No, not living although that is in the works come Fall next year. Instead, I plan on spending the end of January, early February with my best friend taking a breather from real life in a city i’ve spent now a total of five years in a classroom learning about. Starting this very moment, i’ve decided to put my strength as an individual to the test. Because not only do I have five months to save, repay, and keep on a very strict budget, but i’ve also decided to tackle something I promised myself i’d pay attention to once I arrived back in California, fitness. This is the beginning of my own personal happiness project. I’m ready.

not all who wander are lost.

You know that moment when you look at the calendar and all the sudden it’s August 12th and somehow you have no idea where the past couple months have gone. Except you do but it’s been a whirlwind of life realities you just may not be ready to fully indulge and accept.

I’ve been on a bit of a break from all things blog, twitter, even Facebook. And maybe it’s because as of right now there is a whole lot of questions that have no answers in sight. And honestly, this makes me uncomfortable because I like clarity, I like scheduling, I like knowing. But i’m slowly learning that sometimes this in between time that is uncomfortable and irritating can be as rewarding as feeling secure and content.

Because sometimes you discover you want to learn how to play the piano. And volunteer at a community garden. Or take a cooking class (because you no longer can blame the size of your kitchen for the fact that you are just about the worst cook in existence). You realize you’re young, and you may just want to continue schooling in Paris. That the things you wanted before may just be over and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. And you’re prouder of the mistakes you’re making than when you were playing it safe. Because you’re not in a stagnant state, and you’re living, and you’re doing it.

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