Sunday, August 16, 2015

So Me!

When you find something you love be it jewelry, shoes, clothes, or even a house or a car, odds are you love it because you think it's very "you." How many times have you heard someone exclaim "That is so me!"? I know I'm guilty, and I use that phrasing when shopping for others too ("That is so insert friend's name here"). I consider myself something of a shopping psychologist (believe me, I've done the research) so I know that people love things they believe were especially made for them. However, a good retailer can make more than one of something but make it so well that it feels personal, and that's all that anyone wants: to feel special.

I am beyond blessed to say that my friends have made me feel most special. A lot of my best friendships came out of working at a place that made people feel like dirt. But the more we struggled with where we worked, the more we bonded with each other. True friends are people who will always lift you up; they will always support you and are happy to remind you that you deserve better. Friends are honest and committed to each other's cause. I learned all this and more from my first group of friends in the "real world," at my first "real job." These weren't the people I went to high school with; we were all different ages and came from different places, but they're the people I want to stay friends with for life. They're the people I already feel like I have known forever. 

After leaving that place of work, I have managed to stay close with this group of people. Now that they don't have the negativity of that workspace surrounding them, every single one of them has gone on to do amazing creative things. My friend Michelle, who has always been a fabulous photographer, recently took up sewing and came up with the idea of So:Me, an upscale plush line. If you love fabric, jewelry, and color like I do, then this line will definitely appeal to you. But more so than the eye-catching patterns and bling, these pieces make you feel something. Maybe it's nostalgia for that favorite childhood toy; maybe it's love for the person who gifts you with one; or maybe it's the inspiration to take a chance on making your dreams a reality. When I look at all that Michelle is doing I think about where we both came from and where we are now, and I'm so excited for the future. 

The pictures above are a few of my personal favorite designs. For now there are Frenchies, pigs, and elephants, with more animals to come. She even has an Audrey Hepburn-inspired line called Audrey's Pearls. I wrote this blog post because I really do believe in supporting my friends and their creative endeavors. They have always supported me. If you're interested in supporting Michelle and So:Me Plush, make sure you check out her site and sign up for her mailing list so that you are aware of her Kickstarter campaign and are entered to win a plush. She is giving out two every week for the next month! Also, she is giving away a gorgeous nail polish kit TOMORROW so make sure you are following on all of her social networks to win:

Instagram: @so_me_plush
Twitter: @SoMe_Plush

Good luck!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

What Happens in Vegas...

What happens in this magical city rarely stays there, especially when it comes to shopping. My mom and I were in Vegas last week for a bit of relaxation and shopcation before I attended a trade show for work. Here are a few of my recommendations:

1. Bauman Rare Books. Most people won't be able to actually shop in here (see prices above), but I highly recommend going in and browsing. They even let you take pics! If I ever win it big while gambling this will probably be my first stop. They have first editions of classics, rare memorabilia from famous authors, and the place looks like Belle's library in Beauty and the Beast.

2. Kate Spade. Kate Spade is everywhere in Las Vegas. There's a store in the Grand Canal Shops, Fashion Show Mall, and in The Forum Shops. The outlet (off the strip) is where you can find some amazing rarities like their partnership collection with Swarovski.

3. Charlotte Olympia. I made my poor mother race over to this new store in the Forum Shops our first night in Vegas. I loved the exclusive Vegas merchandise like the showgirl shoes and kitty poker face flats. I ended up buying the black velvet kitty flats, pretty much a timeless staple and worth the investment. The experience of shopping in this store was like none other. Talk about truly wonderful salespeople who love their job and love making customers feel happy! Definitely go for the experience, and of course, for the cute shopping bags!

4. Ted Baker Outlet. Ted Baker is already an affordable brand, so you can image how great the deals are at the outlets. I walked away with 3 dresses, a top, and am now regretting not buying a wallet for under $60. 

Happy Shopping (no matter where your vacation may take you)! 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Support Your Local Art Walk

Once a month several cities hold an art walk. Galleries stay open late and it's a fun opportunity to get to know local artists and where they show their work. My dear friend, Virginia, created an author series featuring head illustrations of Marquez and Bukowski. Her work and those of several others showed at the Hibbleton Gallery in Fullerton.

I had my nails done the night before and couldn't help but notice that the squares reminded me of frames. I like the idea of art outside the frame. Sometimes the best work is not done between the lines, but rather on the edge of it. I encourage you to check out your local art walk for a night on the town that will pique your interest and get you involved in the community. And check out your local nail artist as well. This set was done by Sherri Traweek.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

I'm Not a Foodie, But ...

I never considered myself to be a "foodie." I would love to live without food. It can be a tricky decision and it can be costly (especially if you're picky, like me). But of course there are endless benefits to eating (nutrition, bringing people together, etc.). I for one love it when people get creative with preparing food. In this very visual world, a great picture is not only worth a thousand words, it can make us want to consume a thousand calories as well. As a dessert addict and lover of beverages I have snapped some appetizing photos lately at various events and wanted to share them here.

The chocolate bar was at my church for Mother's Day.

Veggie spread & spinach tart are from a nail event I attended at Perch Los Angeles.

Latte art is from my new favorite coffee place in Fullerton called Coffee Code.

Macaron, cookie and cold brew coffee are found at a new local cafe that I adore called Nana Fi's.

Donut shot is from the new Dunkin' Donuts that opened by my house.

Other images are from various family gatherings.

Enjoy the long weekend by eating and drinking something picture-worthy!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Rack 'Em Up!

I've been a fan of Nordstrom Rack for as long as I can remember. My mother used to take me there for back to school clothes, and now it's one of the places I hit up when I crave a good deal. The Laguna Niguel location opened up Thursday, and I was so thankful to be invited to a grand opening celebration on Tuesday. 

Along with drinks and appetizers, shoppers got to peruse the racks for special finds. This location has a lot of great designer clothing from Elizabeth & James, Kate Spade, DVF, and more, along with a designer shoe section that had a lot of Tory Burch. 

I found a lot of cute things, but the clearance rack especially caught my eye. After doing some digging, I came back with stunning sparklers from Ted Baker and Topshop. The Ted Baker dress is a beautiful salmon color with a front pleat and jeweled collar. It's so comfortable! The Topshop dress is a bit more form fitting, but I love the sequins and how they can be moved. Perfect for my upcoming Vegas trip in July.

The staff at this Rack location was extremely helpful, so I suggest you stop in this weekend and see what you can find.

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Day Made

I am beyond honored to have been named Made Woman Magazine's Made Woman of the Month. I've interviewed so many amazing women because of my contributions to this magazine, but I never dreamed I would be counted as one of them. You can check out the article here.

I hope this goes to show that comparing yourself to someone else is never the answer. Just keep working, stay humble, and never lose sight of the mission. That's how you become an example. And how you get MADE.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

For Example: A Flower

I got the most beautiful flowers at the supermarket for Easter. Sure, they're dyed, but I love that they leave the water in the vase pink. My boyfriend asked me what the big deal was with flowers anyway. I had grown up seeing my dad giving all the women in his life flowers for every special occasion, and it was a gesture I loved so much. I came to think of the giving of flowers as the most gentlemanly, considerate act; flowers are always the ideal gift.

My boyfriend, however, didn't seem to buy this. So I really thought about why I love these fragrant, visual stunners, that only last a few days then wilt. There's something about them not being permanent, about possessing them in their prime that I  like. I tried to describe this, but to no avail.

Then today, thanks to Buzzfeed, I found a new favorite poem. Don't you just love it when someone else says exactly what you've been feeling/thinking? I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I do. 

For Example: A Flower
by Arkaye Kierulf

We are protected from so much pain. For example: graves.
The earth’s roots and brown-black blood are busy
covering the soft, violated bodies of our loves.
Death is a secret, and the rain with its many hands

washes off the streets to the gutters death’s thick surprise.
The automatic shutter of the eye never fails,

the courtesies of the tongue. What goes on in the rooms of houses
is guarded from us by the hardwood doors,

the carefully closed windows. Whatever was said or done,
night will come, eagerly, to clean up.

And death will shield us, in time,
from the sun’s megalithic promise:

Tomorrow, the same day.
Tomorrow, the same day.

For example: A flower
is the most beautiful lie.