September 30, 2013

music mondays

I like this rendition even better than the original.

September 27, 2013

finally, friday

Missing this. 2014 trip booked.

Exactly the reasons we should do what we can to help our oceans.

I like the ruggedness of camping, but sometimes you just wanna glamp and this site offers options around the world.

A lot of the asian countries are on my travel list, but after reading through this and salivating at the food photos I'm all the more motivated. Excuse me while I wipe the drool.

It's sea otter awareness week: this guy is so cute, it's no wonder they are my favorite animal.

September 26, 2013

concrete jungle where dreams are made of

A little over a year ago I had the pleasure of visiting New York for the first time and it was more than I had imagined. A city bustling with crowds of people, radiating non-stop energy, and with food that leaves lasting impressions. Here's a snippet of our time there, but please forgive me as I don't have too many food photos to show-- I was too busy eating.

Luke's Lobster, lobster roll. Amazing.
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge
The Highline
9/11 Memorial
The building of the new WTC
Of course, Shake Shack
View of Chelsea from the Highline
Some Cali-style cusine at Westville
View from Top of the Rock on 9/11

Here's my list of must-visit places when in NY (as if you need another suggestion or recommendation on where to go in New York, right?). At the end of the day though, there's just too much to eat and do in one trip. I'll be back for you, New York.

- Cafe Orlin - Brunch that I can still remember
- Luke's Lobster - Succulent hunks of lobster in a tender, light roll
- Levain Bakery - One of the best cookies on Earth
- Sockerbit - Swedish candies. Totally for the gummy connoisseur like myself.
- Caracas Arepa bar - Go for a late night snack and get an arepa
- South Brooklyn Pizza - Best pizza ever, ever, ever
- Shake Shack - Enough said
- Mast Brother's Chocolates - Such cute packaging on their chocolates
- Westville - Fresh ingredients made simply
- Totto Ramen - I much preferred this to the ever popular Ippudo Ramen
- The Halal Guys - Yes, it's as good as everyone says it is

- 9/11 Memorial - For a piece of history
- The Highline - Lovely urban stroll on an old railroad track turned "park"
- Chelsea Market - Reminds me of San Francisco's Ferry Building and right below The Highline
- Grand Central Terminal - So New York
- Brooklyn Flea - Fun place to walk around and possibly pick up some unique, small finds
- Brooklyn Bridge - A fun walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan or vice versa
- Broadway - Go see a Broadway show, just go
- Times Square - Just to sit in the middle of and experience

September 25, 2013

goodbye summer, hello fall

Swellas Fall 2013 Collection

Summer is always my favorite season not just for the obvious warm weather, but the summer fruit and veggies, outdoor grilling and dining, and light, loose clothing. I'm so glad the Bay Area has an Indian Summer to ease me into Fall- what can I say, I thrive on warm weather. But as we get further and further into the Fall season, and as the weather changes, I always get excited to bring out my Fall wardrobe. Slouchy sweaters, buttery leather boots, cozy hats, and tailored, but not too stuffy coats. That being said, it was the perfect time for a good friend of mine to launch her new outerwear company, Swellas.

Swellas is not just another brand that makes jackets and outerwear, it's a brand that is striving to make people's lives healthier and happier. For every piece you purchase from Swellas, it donates a jacket to someone in need, a donation to fund clean water, and a donation to build sustainable food systems. How awesome is that? You get a jacket or vest you likely needed for the chilly weather ahead, and also give to people who are in need.

It doesn't end there.

One of the coolest things about their products is they use remnants from fabric that would otherwise get dumped in a landfill somewhere. That means you get a super unique jacket, and help to save the environment. Talk about bang for your buck! I couldn't have felt better about my purchase and am now a happy owner of a bright cherry red vest.

Check out their story and all the amazing clothes here. All the best to the Swellas team!

With the lovely founder and designer, Ann

September 23, 2013

September 20, 2013

finally, friday

Cheers to the freakin' weekend. And going out. Or in.

These are such well-produced, inspiring videos. One can dream about having a sustainable system like this, but realistically I want (and plan on having) something like this.

You can take your Instagram photos back old school and get them on this cute projector.

I'm itching to go beach camping before the warm weather ends. Poor planning got the best of me this year, but next year I'll have to plan ahead and check out one of these spots.

I've recently become obsessed with pojagi. Examples herehere, and here. I feel a new diy project coming on.

September 19, 2013

fun with friends pt. 2

Wilfred dress, Nine West shoes, David Yurman ring, handmade silver bracelet, Zoya polish in Maura
Photos by Marie

As promised from last week's post, here is part two of my collaboration with Marie. Take a peek at her other interests aside from photography and makeup artistry at her blog over here and read on to get a little more personal with her.

What is the main inspiration behind your blog?

I wanted my own creative space. I wanted a a place to shared anything that inspired me. I always carry a notebook with me where I wrote notes about everything - fashion, beauty, travel, sketches, just about everything. My blog is a more refined extension of this. It incorporates all of the things that I love or am inspired by.

As summer is coming to an end and Fall is approaching, what are you going to miss most about summer and what are you looking forward to in the Fall?

Summer is my ultimate favorite so when it's gone I miss everything about it. I love being out in the sun. I think the beach is my favorite place to be. I love summer "no make-up" makeup, summer wardrobes and summer excursions. While I have a difficult time letting go of summer, I do enjoy the wardrobe transition into Fall. Fall clothes are always fun. 

What are the must-have beauty/makeup items you cannot live without in the Fall?

I can't live without mascara. Right now I'm wearing L'Oreal Paris False Fiber Lashes in Black Lacquer.

A strong lip is on trend for Fall so I would revert to my favorites for this - MAC Red and Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Lollipop.

I haven't worn black eyeliner all summer so for Fall I think I'll put it back into rotation. My favorite for this is Bobbi Brown Long-wear Gel Liner in Black Ink.

What do you think are three essential items every woman must own?

A black blazer. You can pretty much wear this with everything - shorts, jeans, slacks, dresses…..

A little black dress. I don't think this one needs much explaining. It's been a wardrobe staple forever.

An investment piece. I, personally, would choose a bag - something with classic lines and couture construction. Over the years I've moved away from feeling like I needed to stock pile hand bags to wanting to simplify and take it up a notch.

If I could add one more it would a perfect white tee, which I am still in search of.

September 17, 2013

japanese inspired nails

Please don't mind my dry cuticles :)

Last November on my trip to Japan I picked up some decals and glitter to do some at-home nail art. Asian nail art is crazy. It's over the top. It's blinged-out. And it's expensive. So, being able to do my own nail art at home is not only a great money saving solution, but it allows me to customize the blingy-ness (yes, blingy-ness) of my design. If you want to be able to do the same at home, check out your local beauty supply store to see what they have, but craft stores also tend to be a really good options. I've found small paint brushes to do intricate details, rhinestones and of course, glitter.

September 16, 2013

music mondays

This song feels so New York.

September 13, 2013

finally, friday

Photo via Perpetual-Grace

I stumbled across a photo of this verse online and had to post. It's beautiful. Happy weekend folks, here's a few fun links to start your weekend off right.

How cute are these little dudes?

It's International Chocolate Day, why not pay tribute and make something quick this weekend?

Hooray, good news!

Wishing I was back here...

September 11, 2013

fun with friends pt. 1

Wilfred Free jacket, Free People tank, Madewell denim, Converse

Having creative friends is a definite plus. I recently did a collaboration with Marie, who is photographer and makeup artist all wrapped up into one. It was fun getting my makeup done for a change (instead of doing it myself, like always) and afterward modeling for her. I wore a tank from Free People which has a unique cut and minimalist vibe; I love it so much that I have it in black too. I also finally captured this casual, sporty jacket that is sure to make more appearances throughout the Fall and Winter seasons. It's been the perfect lightweight coverup needed for summer nights and I envision it being ideal for layering in the cooler months ahead.

I asked Marie a series of questions related to photography so keep reading below, and stay tuned for next week when we get a little more personal with her. Or, if you can't wait, check out her blog.

Introduce yourself.

My name is Marie. I love fashion, make-up, travel, photography, my son and my beagle. You can read about all of those things on my blog.

What camera do you use?

I am a Canon diehard. I have owned 11 Canon cameras (films and digital - all different levels). My current camera is a Canon EOS 7D, but someday when I get the budget for it I would love to get my hands on a 5D mark III.

Name a place you would love to go for vacation and photograph.

I've always wanted to go to Spain. I'm not exactly sure where exactly in Spain, but I have great photos from various trips to other countries in Europe, and I always regret not taking more photos. I would go everywhere that I have already been to again and again to constantly discover and re-discover beauty. A few other places I haven't been to yet that would be on my list include Costa Rica, Belize, and Brazil.

What is your favorite thing about photography?

My favorite thing is to be able to capture a fleeting moment. With a camera you can do this and preserve the memory of something that happens one time. When my son was born, the importance of this took on a whole different meaning for me. Also, I feel grateful to my subjects who are giving me the gift of really allowing me to "see" them. The view through my lens is the way I share with others what I see.

Any tips you can give on photography to a beginner or the experienced?

Shoot all the time. It's the only way to learn and develop your eye.

September 09, 2013

music mondays

Sorry for the slow jam, I couldn't help it, Brian McKnight is just too awesome.

September 07, 2013

finally, friday

Almost one year ago, Manhattan Beach, CA

This weekend is supposed to be a hot one and I can't wait. Cheers to the weekend, enjoy this week's roundup.

This is so crazy, I never knew lobsters like this existed.

Not just super cute, but also eco-friendly totes made from re-purposed fishing twine in fun colors and patterns.

If I ever moved to Tokyo, I would love to live in any of these areas. Especially #'s 3, 7, 8, 13, and 18.

If I had tons more expendable income, I would rent this entire island for a week and invite all my family and friends to celebrate my next birthday with me. Oh, how lovely that would be.

September 05, 2013

padrón peppers

Padrón peppers are such a yummy summertime treat, I could definitely eat these regularly and wish they weren't such a seasonal item. They are the perfect snack food, appetizer, or accompaniment to any dinner needing a little something special. The taste resembles that of a pimiento pepper, but is slightly more bitter in flavor, and what makes this pepper so much fun to eat is the surprise of whether or not you're going to get a spicy one. Out of every few you eat, you're bound to get one with a little bit of heat, oh so deliciously surprising. 

One of the best things about these are the ease of preparing them-- they are best when simply sauteed with a good, fruity extra virgin olive oil and finished off with a sprinkling of salt (bring out the good sea salt if you have some for extra yumminess). If you haven't tried these little bites before, I highly recommend going to your local farmers market or specialty grocer (I got mine at Whole Foods, but have seen them at various farmers markets as well) to pick up a basket or two before the season is over!

Blistered and Tender Padrón Peppers

Wash and clean as many peppers as you want to eat and then dry them. Heat sauté pan on low-medium heat and add olive oil. Add pepper to pan and let cook until side is blistered. Turn each pepper and blister on each side which will make the pepper nice and tender. Once all peppers are cooked until tender and blistered, remove from pan to serving platter and sprinkle with salt to taste. Enjoy.

September 03, 2013

anchors aweigh

Jcrew Tshirt, Madwell belt, Current Elliott high waisted denim, San Diego Hat Co. wool cap, Birkenstock sandals

This is probably one of the quirkiest shirts I own and I love it. I can't wait for Fall and Winter so I can get super creative layering and incorporating it into a cold-weather wardrobe. This past weekend was relaxing, yet fun. It was mainly spent with good friends, plenty of food, and a little bit of adventure. Hope your weekend was just as great, have a good week!