November 28, 2013

giving thanks

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope that whatever you're doing today, whether it's spending time with family and friends, camping out through the wee hours of the night for a Black Friday deal, or simply veg-ing after a turkey dinner, you take some time to think about all the things you have to be thankful for. Here are a few of mine, in no particular order...

1. My family.
2. I have a Savior that died for me.
3. Blankets to keep me warm.
4. Eyes to see all the wonders of the world.
5. Adventures.
6. Friends that are like family.
7. Food, water, shelter.... all the basic necessities in life.
8. Ability to experience joy and happiness.

What are you thankful for?

November 26, 2013

in plain view

Brandy Melville tee, high waisted James Jeans, TNA sweater, Born Oxford shoes

These oxfords had been collecting dust in my closet for a while until I pulled them out a couple weeks ago. I knew that if I hadn't pulled them out they would be out-of-sight, out-of-mind and unworn. With them sitting in plain sight, I decided wear them this past weekend, and am so happy I did. I had forgotten how comfortable these shoes are! By looking at them alone, you wouldn't think I could, but I can last all day in these puppies without a complaint.

November 22, 2013

finally, friday

Some of the things I miss from my trip to Japan last year are the excellent on-the-go food options. At major train stations they have little shops that sell bento boxes full of goodies, and vending machines and konbini (convenience) stores everywhere that sell drinks and snacks. Besides being able to get food or drink basically almost anywhere, an added perk is being able to get the drinks hot or cold. There were many times I got a hot milk tea from the vending machine and took it on the train with my onigiri to the next destination. In doing so, I got to try various brands of milk tea and some definitely stood out as superior to the others. I haven't been able to find a good, ready-made one here in the states, until recently. I tried this one (pictured above) and it's pretty good, though not quite up to par with the ones in Japan, but it comes close. Hope you all enjoy your weekend!

If you're in your late twenties, or have been there, you'll definitely get this.

Beauty is absolutely in the eye of the beholder, and most times, we are our worst critic.

Just a reminder of how wonderful our Creator is.

Need a tablet case? Here are a few cute DIY's to consider.

November 21, 2013

chevron glitter nails

I like to get a little creative with my nails sometimes, and will now especially beacuse I picked up a few new polishes from Sephora's new line "Formula X". It claims to have super intense color, extremely high shine, and really cool, innovative polishes that give your nails different looks or as they put it, effects. I'd heard many people raving about the polishes so I knew I had to give them a try. After trying them out, the verdict is that they are amazing, I'd almost claim them as game changers. The colors are super opaque and the glitters really are unique like they claim. Many have also said these polishes are like the ever popular gel polish that stays on longer than regular polishes, and retains it's high shine. There's a system that is used to achieve this, which requires a few different stages: cleanse, prep, polish, then top coat. I actually decided to forgo the system and just got a few of the different polishes which have held up well without the system so far (the photos above are after about a week of wear).

With my new polishes I decided to have a bit of fun and do a simple chevron nail. I used a nude Zoya polish and the Formula X polish in "Opposites Attract" which is packed with tiny pieces of gold glitter, and with only two coats it appears you dipped your entire nail in glitter. After applying the Zoya polish I let it dry fully (this is important) before applying tape to expose the area I was going to paint with the glitter polish. After painting the exposed areas I took the tape off, let my nails dry, applied top coat, and voila! You've got fun, nude nails that can be worn practically anywhere!

November 19, 2013

fall and winter fashion favorites

Fall and Winter Fashion Picks and Favorites

With the cold weather undoubtably here there are a few items that are (or will be) in rotation and will be staples for this season's wardrobe. I've chosen a few of my current favorites to share with you.

1. Long sleeve tops - Perfect for layering. Uniqlo's heattech is warm, lightweight, and good for layering, but just as good for wearing on it's own.

2. Rain boots - a comfortable pair of rain boots makes all the difference in keeping your toes dry and happy. There are always the good 'ol Hunter brand, but if you want to stray away from it's popularity, try the Kamiks. They are so comfortable, stylish, and come in a range of patterns and colors.

3. Beanies aka toques - I love me a good beanie. It keeps my head warm and adds an element of style to boring outfits. I love this cashmere one from Aritzia that I have in three different colors.

4. Scarves - Not just any scarf, a scarf so big it can double as a blanket. This one in blackwatch fits the bill just perfectly.

5. A super warm jacket - There's nothing worse than being cold, it handicaps me to the point where I don't like to do anything, so a warm jacket is essential. This North Face is lightweight, super warm, tailored for a woman's body, and can fold into a small pouch perfect for traveling with.

6. A versatile sneaker - It's important to have a sneaker that can carry you from outfit to outfit and still look stylish and put together. Jack Purcell's are my favorite for their comfort and simplicity.

7. Cross body bags - Cross body bags are good for all year round, but I find them especially good for winter. They are no fuss to just sling on your body and you can be hands free to either hold umbrellas or keep your hands in your pockets for extra warmth. This Celine bag is on my wishlist and can be transformed from a clutch to a cross body, but there are some really great affordable options here and here.

8. Leather Jacket - This is an essential for me. Leather jackets are perfect for layering, keeping the wind out, and can instantly make an outfit. My favorite that I've been wearing is this one from Mackage.

9. Ankle boots - I love ankle boots as a Fall and Winter shoe since they keep your feet warm and can be paired with dresses, skirts, jeans... basically any bottom you want to wear will work. I'm loving these and these.

10. Chunky, oversized sweaters - I love keeping cozy in oversized sweaters in wool or cashmere. They are easy to throw on and can look totally chic (versus sloppy) when worn right. ZaraMadewell and my favorite, Aritzia all have a great selection.

Check my beauty favorites for Fall and Winter here.

November 15, 2013

finally, friday

Homemade Vietnamese ice coffee in the morning, why not? Love that this morning was super chill and relaxed, hoping the same for this coming weekend!

San Francisco turns to Gotham City for a day and I'm hoping to catch the action.

Looking for a great pair of black leather ankle booties and I'm drooling over these.

What does your favorite condiment say about you?

It's no wonder I love space and the fact that they can capture this is amazing.

Deforestation, a really sad reality.

Whales have earwax, and unlike ours it tells a lifelong story.

November 14, 2013

visiting angel island

The last time I went to Angel Island was in elementary school on a field trip, and while I don't remember too much about it, I do remember it's where the Chinese were detained for days to months at a time before actually getting to immigrate to the U.S. This most recent visit definitely brought back those memories of writings on the wall that I saw as a young child, but this time around meant so much more.

They carved poems into the walls
What their sleeping quarters would have looked like - everything is so close together
More carvings
Most of the barracks are new, but this is an original, a bed someone would have slept in
More of the sleeping quarters
Whatever they brought with them is what they had for entertainment, clothing, or for snacking

All detainees were held on a very specific schedule of when to wake, when to use the bathroom, when to eat, and all with minimal allowance outside. They were also interrogated and asked questions to prove they were related to family members already in San Francisco, but the questions were sometimes ridiculous ones that not even you or I could answer (an example, how many windows are in your house, and this answer would have to match your other family member's exactly). There's so much more I could tell you, but if you're interested I highly recommend taking a visit on your own. You'll get to hear and read about stories of the immigrants and what it was like for them. My grandmother went through Angel Island to get to San Francisco, and there's even old letters from the days she was there. It wasn't just the Chinese that were detained there either, there were small pockets of people from Italy, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Africa, etc.

While this is one of the things many people visit/do on the island, there are also great hiking trails, and some days they have live music events at their cafe. You can tour the island by foot, bike, tram or even segway. If you've got interest, Ferry on over to the island and check out a piece of history.

November 11, 2013

music mondays

Definitely nothing to watch here, but it's 50 minutes of old school listening pleasure.

November 08, 2013

finally, friday

I made a super tasty and flavorful seafood paella for my sister's birthday this past weekend from this recipe. It's perfect for feeding a large party, looks gorgeous, and of course what I loved best is that it's a one pot wonder (I love things cooked in one pot, all the flavors meld and it's easy cleanup). It was so, so good and I would absolutely make it again. Just make sure you add some lemon slices for your guests, it really gives that dish a little something extra. Now, on to other things... (and the weekend!)

Don't forget the holidays are coming up, and if you're a DIY-er like me, you'll appreciate this and can get even more creative with yours.

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is a great workout and fun, but I can only imagine how much more exhilarating it is at night!

I love the sunshine so much, I bet these folks are crazy happy that they don't have to live in the shadows for half the year.

Love this idea instead of buying tons of wrapping paper (and it's also chic).

To the man I saw throwing plastic garbage out his car window today: you suck.

November 07, 2013

fall and winter beauty favorites

winter beauty faves

My beauty routine changes from time to time, and with the shift in seasons it definitely calls for switching out a few of my normal go-to items for a few more seasonally appropriate favorites.

Le Weekend de Chanel - this is a new find of mine and an item that will likely be a staple in my every day, every season routine. It works wonders and my skin looks amazing.
Hydrating Gel Cream Bobbi Brown - gives my skin just enough moisture and leaves it feeling soft and supple
SK-II Advanced Eye Treatment Film - a great every day eye treatment for me that's not too rich
Bobbi Brown Lip Balm - one of the best winter beauty essentials for chapped, dry lips and it also has SPF 12
Bobbi Brown Face Oil - the perfect night time treat for my skin which I use on occasion if it needs a little extra moisture boost and it has the most perfect neroli scent

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy - the perfect pink/beige neutral lip with a little sheen
Bobbi Brown Antigua bronzer - pink toned so it works as the perfect blush with a little glow
Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Black Ink - a gel liner that lasts all day, this stuff will not budge
Shu Uemura eyelash curler - curled, flirty lashes make all the difference
Bobbi Brown brow kit - I almost never leave the house without defining my brows, it's a must for me
Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte lipstick in Crushed Plum - my favorite berry toned lip for Fall and Winter
Chanel Vitalumiere foundation- - a beautiful formula leaving skin looking healthy and radiant
NARS Cruella - a deep, dark red that will vamp up any look
Shu Uemura waterproof mascara - holds a curl, defines, lengthens, and gives a little volume

November 05, 2013

feelin' fall

Wilfred wool jacket, Wilfred Capucine tee, T. Babaton cashmere beanie
James high waisted jeans, Asics Onitsuka Tiger sneaks, Jcrew pineapple necklace

Fall is absolutely here, it literally hits you in the face with it's brisk, cool wind as soon as you open the door. And while I'm no doubt a warm weather person, I still welcome Fall with (somewhat) open arms only to trade my ripped, worn in shorts and light tanks and tees for something a little heavier, a little more cozy. I guess you could say it's a good thing I have an affinity for fashion, otherwise Fall and Winter, you would be in trouble.

November 01, 2013

finally, friday

Not much for you this beautiful Friday. Go out and enjoy the outdoors and weather!

The Maldives, definitely on my go to list.

Funny Halloween costumes for engineers.

Anyone care to gift me with this skirt and sweatshirt? They're only the perfect new additions for my Fall wardrobe.