Thursday, October 16, 2014

Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's

If you've seen the movie "Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's," then you know that the windows at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City are a landmark. I remember seeing pictures of these windows and dreaming of strolling past them. 

It turns out, strolling by isn't enough. I entered Bergdorf's after a hot and sweaty day in the city, and was instantly transformed from the noisy streets to the tranquility of a palace. I felt too under-dressed to go shopping, but I was so enchanted by the shoe salon, and museum-like glass cases holding purses, not to mention Louboutin polish, that I didn't care. I found out too late that there is a nail salon on one of the floors. 

I definitely understand that a store can be more than a place to shop. A window can be an opportunity to see beyond walls and into a fantasy. Nail polish can be an affordable luxury, while a pair of shoes can be the splurge of a lifetime. Such things exist in this shrine to fashion; a place I wouldn't mind having my ashes scattered at.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Start Spreading the News

When it comes to The Big Apple, I had set my expectations very high. I thought of every movie, book, and TV show set in this magical place that seemed to not even exist in reality. I remember Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" looking up at skyscrapers and saying that her children "had to see this." 

New York is something I'm glad I saw. I was struck mostly by the art. Art is everywhere in New York, in the buildings, on the grounds, even the food is artistic. Larger than life churches, temples, department stores, greenery, statues of Liberty, Atlas, and Prometheus stand tall. Places like The Met, Broadway, and Rockefeller Center house so many timeless pieces that you recognize the insides of these plazas before you even get to the outside. New York is a place of giants lined on small streets, where you can walk to boutiques and bakeries all in a few minutes. There are crowds; there was sweltering heat; there are tourists covering every block. New York is gritty and alive; vibrant and busy. I felt like there was nowhere to take a breath. It's an overwhelming place. 

Unexpected charms of New York City: complimentary beer at Battery Park Garden Cafe, inspirational messages on the sidewalk, trunk shows at your hotel, wine and live music in The Met, jazz in the Empire State Building, performances in Central Park. Perhaps that's the biggest draw of them all when it comes to NYC: it's a place where expectations don't matter, because the city is full of surprises. 

I always thought once I went to New York I would never want to be anywhere else. While that didn't exactly happen, it did make me think a lot of the place I call home and the places I cherish. New York is very different from Laguna, but what I love about both is the artistry found in every local dive and large tourist attraction; tiny gems are everywhere, if you're willing to look. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


I realize this sounds ridiculous considering all the purchases I have posted on here in the past, but I went shopping on Friday to get "last minute items" for my trip to New York and ended up spending a small fortune on clothing. That's a small fortune on top of the already big fortune I have spent in the past. After months of honestly saving money, it didn't feel as good as it used to to buy stuff. I did get some amazing deals though, and hopefully come NYFW, I will think it was all worth it.

I have spent the last several weeks researching NYFW street style and pinning things I like from every major online retailer. You can see my Pins here. But I learned that just pinning things didn't help me. I wasn't buying any of the things I pinned, and likewise, I wasn't able to translate any of these pins into items from my actual closet. A lot of what is popular in street style these days just aren't things I like or would wear. I realized that in order to be myself at NYFW, I'd have to bring clothes that were truly me.

I had zero intentions in investing in yet another standout dress, but this one is very New York (it is after all from Kate Spade New York). The silhouette is perfect and so flattering. The color is divine and so eye catching. And the best part: it has pockets. I even think I can wear it with flats. The dress was on sale for Labor Day, but even so, it was a big ticket purchase. The garment bag made it all worthwhile though.

After having blown a lot of money I was in the mood to save. I decided to browse the consignment shops along Corona Del Mar (in my opinion, some of the best in the country) and walked away with steals from my two favorite stores. Recycled Rags had the most amazing silk ombre maxi skirt, Chanel heels, and Miu Miu flats. While I should probably buy more flats for Fashion Week, I just couldn't justify them although they were a great deal. The skirt was beyond amazing, so I took that and couldn't resist the sculptural heel of these champagne colored Chanels that I swear are comfortable (I already wore them this weekend!). I love that the interior of Recycled Rags has the mates of the shoes lined up all around the ceiling. I could live in that store.

Then it was off to On Que Style. Their sales were unbelievable. I walked away with a brand new Halston Heritage dress and a like-new 3.1 Phillip Lim frock for just over $100. One last stop at Beauty Collection to grab a new lip stain and some basics to pair with my statement purchases from Zara and I was done with shopping.

To be very honest with you though, all these purchases aren't completely removing the doubt from my mind. Maybe it's natural to worry a little when you don't know how exactly to dress for the place you're going, or maybe it's a bit of buyer's remorse. I have imagined this moment, of going to New York and going to Fashion Week for so long that I have forgotten to be realistic. I know things never go the way you think and I'm sure no matter what I wear someone will definitely be dressed better, but I didn't want to make it over there feeling like I didn't even try. I am worried about running around in high heels all day. I am worried about getting from place to place in a strange city. I am worried about breaking a sweat in my silk purchases, or worse, maybe even falling over my heels and twisting an ankle. I try not to worry about whether or not people will compliment my outfits or take photos of me, and instead am trying to enjoy it all, because I know it will be over so soon. I'm trying, and hopefully it doesn't look like I'm trying too hard.

I intend to post outfit images when I get back and some via social media. I'll try my best to look my best. Until then, happy shopping!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dreams DO Come True (& All That Other Good Stuff)

Langston Hughes wrote an entire poem about what happens when a dream is deferred. I hope I am not alone in admitting that I have postponed a dream or two here and there. Right now this poem really resonates, as I have literally gone running instead of working on some of my goals. I have also drowned some of my nights indulging in all things sugary and sweet instead of getting to work. I would have to agree with the ending lines of the poem that a dream deferred will eventually explode.

In a week, two of my lifelong dreams will come true. I will be in New York attending Fashion Week. I am guilty of being someone who has often rolled her eyes when a celebrity/politician/athlete stands on a podium and declares that dreams do come true, so this blog post is my apology to the world. This is my testimony to possibility. I have always been a big thinker, dreamer, believer, I can imagine a great many things, but I have for a long time felt like I had to package these things up and store them somewhere to save for a later date. I have treated my dreams and goals like a nice pair of shoes. I get really excited for them to arrive, and once they do, I tuck them away in their packaging. Sometimes I have a specific idea of when I will take them out, but mostly, I let them sit until the right opportunity arises and I have tried on several other pairs first. Why do I do this? I don't know. Perhaps I am afraid. Perhaps because sometimes it's easier to slip on a pair of running shoes or flip-flops rather than break in something new. Sometimes it's hard to walk the walk.

So here's my podium speech to all those out there who have dared to dream only to defer. I caution you that if you can dream it, it can explode into actuality. A dream is a heavy load to bear, and if it consumes you, you will work as hard as possible to carry this load. It is the work of many days (and night and weekends), it is the wearing of many shoes and trying many more on that get you in shape to be able to walk the path you were meant to walk. I'm not entirely convinced a dream is something intangible that happens only when we sleep. A dream can be a small glimpse, a gut feeling of what's to come. Once detonation happens and things become tangible and present, you won't want to run. You will even forget that you were ever afraid.

Dream on.

*Big heels, big dreams. Dare to stand tall and walk the walk. Shoes by Charlotte Olympia from the Outnet.  Unfortunately, these are probably too tall for NYFW.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Shoe Polish

My worlds collided recently when Christian Louboutin  announced he would be selling nail polish. Being a sucker for a good window display, I set out immediately to see the city scape-like windows promised at the Louboutin Store in South Coast Plaza. 

These polish bottles do not disappoint. The spikes are tall, and the bottle is big, offering a lot of paint for your pot. While I would love to own a pair of Louboutins someday, the polish might just have to do for now. Read all the details here

Monday, June 16, 2014

Shop Birdie

One of the good things that can come out of being in a wedding is the new people you get to meet and bond with over the months of planning. When I met one of the other bridesmaids, Kia, it was evident she had great taste. She had told me early on she was quitting her day job to pursue her dream of opening up her own boutique. In a few short months (among getting pregnant and being a bridesmaid, no less) she whipped this dream into a reality and Birdie Boutique was born.

I drove all the way out to Norco for the grand opening festivities and it was well worth it. This eclectic little shop has it all: decor, clothes, accessories, and gifts. Every piece is so on trend and the displays are artwork on their own. I would definitely say the store is like Anthro meets Pier One, with fun colors and useable items that give your home that sweet extra something. But the prices at this boutique are SO much more affordable. So much in fact, that I went on a tiny shopping spree and picked up a bunch of midi rings, a serving platter, a London-themed scarf, and a chunky, colorful statement necklace. 

My thanks to Kia for making her space inspiring AND affordable and sharing her vision with us all. I have to say, seeing this woman's determination left me wondering what my excuse is. So I am trying to push myself all week to work out a little harder, work a little longer, and write a lot more. 

Go here for for some happy shopping!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Made of Honor

My sister got married two weeks ago. Since her engagement in October, everything happened so fast. 

One of the memories that always sticks out from our childhood is one Halloween when my sister was a bride. She was probably 8 years old or younger. I am surprised my parents allowed that for her costume, but they allowed me to dress up as rigor mortis that year so ...

I remember her being a bride so clearly when she was a kid and it was just make believe. Then I blinked and everything was real. Being my sister's maid of honor was the most honorable thing  have ever done. I will probably never lead troops into battle or save continents with some grand discovery, but at least I can say there was a time and place where I did my duty and did it well, and someone else's life was richer for it, even if it went by very quickly. I struggled with my Maid of Honor speech, but one night my sister sent me a quote from ee cummings, and the rest just came naturally. Below is my speech. Thank you, Katie, for choosing me and for being a wonderful muse.

"My wise sister shared a quote with me from one of my favorite poets that I had never heard before: 

'To be nobody but yourself in a world that doing its best to make you everybody else is to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight.'

Katie, I can't tell you how proud I am of you for being yourself, for fighting this longstanding battle with the world and in so doing have won the hearts of your friends and family, and the love of a good man.

You might not realize it, but you have actually given me the best advice throughout the years. I have learned from you what it means to really be somebody and that love is always worth fighting for. I urge you and David to continue to be yourselves, despite this battlefield called life; that you become better versions of the person you fell in love with. Sometimes it may feel like it is only you fighting against the world, but remember that the two of you are in this together. And I truly believe that together, you can take anything on."