Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fall Color Story: Plum

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With each passing year it seems like it takes me longer to break out of my summer haze and face the reality of fall fashion. All it took this time around was a quick stop at one of my favorite designer's outlet stores on my way home from the desert a few weekends ago. In a moment of serendipity I spotted the most beautiful plum-colored suede pumps that reminded me of a Russian love story set in the wintertime. The color was rich and timeless and my inability to take my eyes off of them convinced me that it is the hue of the season. When I caught wind of a particularly plummy polish (Beverly) from Julep, I was inspired to search for other ways to incorporate plum's romantic boost in my wardrobe and beauty regimen this season. How will you wear plum this fall?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lug Sole Trend


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The best part of the resurgence of '90s trends is that I actually have a chance to give them a try. When I was growing up, my parents were a bit conservative and wanted to keep us looking like classic young ladies (a value that I appreciate so much now that I'm older). Though my big sister definitely rocked the floral sundresses, platform sneakers and crushed velvet prom dresses (mmhmm), I was a bit too young to take advantage of the many possibilities that existed at that time. I remember being particularly upset that my mom wouldn't buy me cream-colored canvas lace-up shoes with rubber lug soles and toe reinforcements. Maybe it was because it was the chunky-heeled version that I coveted, but I sure am glad that I can dictate my own purchases now to find out what I was missing out on during one of the best decades in fashion history. Would you rock lug sole shoes in the 2000s?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Inspired by: Amal Alamuddin's Wedding Weekend Style

photo: Harper's Bazaar

I, along with the rest of the world, looked forward to the Clooney/Alamuddin wedding since I found out about their engagement. The weekend finally arrived and even I wasn't prepared for the fabulosity with which the festivities went down. The Venetian dinners with Anna Wintour and the Krasinskis, the private jet filled with thousands of bottles of Casamigos tequila (one of George's business ventures), the fleet of wood-paneled boats ferrying the fabulous wedding guests to the venue, and the impeccable Amal, whose pre-wedding style was so on point it hurt. From her crimson hi-lo rehearsal dinner gown to the morning-after white lace and floral masterpiece, there was nary an immaculately blown-out hair out of place. I thought I had seen everything until this morning, when the new Mrs. Clooney donned a custom Stella McCartney ensemble to their civil ceremony that made me gasp when I saw it. It almost begged me to put together an outfit board inspired by this ├╝ber-chic, super sophisticated look. What do you think of Amal's classic style?


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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Totally '90s Makeup


I grew up in the '90s. That meant jelly sandals, recording award shows on VHS tapes, and waiting for the modem to kickstart Netscape so I could work on my Backstreet Boys Geocities fan site. Oh, and terrible, horrible, no good, very bad makeup trends. I tried them all: the frosted eyes, the dark, matte lips, the super thin brows. It was an unfortunate time in my aesthetic history, but I look back on it as an experimental phase, when I learned what colors worked with my olive skin tone and at what point I should stop tweezing. This updated '90s makeup look combines the best of both "classic" (omg I'm old) and modern makeup trends, including matte finishes and bold and bright accents. I can't say that I'll ever go back to some of the horrendous trends that I played with in my youth, but this was a fun reminder of some of the best days of my life.

  • Eyes: Lorac PRO Palette in Cream, Taupe, Sable, and Espresso
  • Lips: NYX Round Case Lipstick in Minimalism

Step 1: Apply primer from lash line to brow. This helps powder eyeshadow stay put and not end up in the crease.

Step 2: Using a fluffy shadow brush or your finger, take a cream colored shadow and apply to entire lid up to the crease. This creates a matte, neutral base.

Step 3: With your finger, apply a very subtle shimmer powder to brow bone to highlight and contour.


Step 4: Layer a matte taupe shadow from lash line into the crease.

Step 5: Apply a matte sable shadow to outer corners of lid and blend well.

Step 6: With a sponge-tip applicator, take a matte espresso shadow and apply to lower lash line. Smudge with fingertips.



Step 7: Make your lips pop with a matte mauve lip color and blot gently on a tissue to set.


Friday, June 6, 2014

The Ultimate Workout Playlist



If you're like me, you count down the days to summer every year. Starting January 1. You may even go to the gym a few days a week in hopes that somewhere beneath those layers of skin lies a six-pack. Or that, come June, you will be able to hike up that massive hill from the parking lot to your office while toting your laptop, gym bag, purse and lunch bag without losing a lung. Somewhere between February and April is where I fell off the wagon, but I'm proud to say I've been back at it since mid-spring and have seen pretty good results. It also helps that I compiled a pretty flawless workout playlist that gets my adrenaline pumping even when I'm not in the gym.

It's a high-energy mix of pop, hip hop, EDM and, yes, trap tunes to get my heart racing and my feet moving. For cardio, I need super fast beats and an accelerating tempo to motivate me to push harder. One of my favorites is "Work B**ch" by Britney Spears. Just try it. You can't help but WORK. Also making an appearance on the playlist are Diplo, A$AP Rocky, Childish Gambino, No Doubt and even Lonely Island (I dare you not to break a sweat to their hilarious "When Will the Bass Drop")

Follow my playlist on Spotify! I've embedded it here, too, to make it easier for you to share and listen on the go. What's on your workout playlist?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Brunch Reflections and a Recipe

Two weeks ago, I hosted a brunch for my eight closest girlfriends to celebrate the arrival of spring. Though the heat forced us to relocate to a shadier spot in my backyard (imagine all nine of us lifting and transporting a giant, marble-top table 20 paces to the left), we were still able to enjoy the warm breeze, smell of orange blossoms in the air and the massive cheese plate that I had laid out for my dairy-loving friends. As the sun moved westward and we digested the copious mimosas we consumed, we laid out blankets on the grass and got started assembling flower crowns out of the blooms and tools set up for my guests.

The only picture of the day. I suck.




But while I love hostessing and providing a nice spread for my favorite people, I learned a valuable lesson: nothing is more important than being present at your own party. Between running to-and-from the kitchen to check on my spinach and feta frittata to making sure the champagne wasn't getting warm in the sun, I feel like I missed out on all of the good conversations and fellowship that took place at the table. After feeling like a failure for the next week, I came to the conclusion that you can't please everyone as a hostess. Next time, I promise to place more value on enjoying my guests and actually tasting the food I prepared. Have you ever been disappointed after an event you had been planning for a while? How did you deal with it? I hope my next event (currently planning a backyard movie night for the upcoming summer nights) will prove to be more successful for both me and my guests.

One of my favorite recipes of the day was the orange marmalade-glazed baked French toast that I decided to recreate this past weekend. I mean. Drool. I combined the best parts of two recipes and baked what was possibly the best brunch dish ever.

Orange Marmalade-glazed Baked French Toast



Ingredients
  • 1 French baguette, day old
  • Butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • Orange marmalade
Recipe
  1. Trim ends off of baguette and slice remaining loaf in half lengthwise.
  2. Cut into 4-inch slices and place cut-side up in casserole dish (do not overlap). Butter each piece.
  3. Whisk the eggs. Add milk, vanilla extract, orange juice/zest, and salt until foamy.
  4. Pour over bread. Flip pieces around every 10 minutes to make sure both sides have soaked up the liquid.
  5. Leave in liquid for about 30 minutes total. You want the bread to be wet, but not soggy. 
  6. Bake until the bread is puffed up and golden (30-40 minutes).
  7. Remove from oven and spread with orange marmalade. I heated it up in the microwave for 30 seconds and spread a thin layer for a hint of sweet citrus.
  8. Return to oven and broil until caramelized and sticky.
  9. Serve warm.









Thursday, March 27, 2014

Vintage California Summer Look

Ask any girl who grew up in Southern California and they'll agree that it's bathing suit season year round. Californians practically invented swimwear. Take a look at any vintage West Coast seaside scene and you will not miss the beach bums and babes in their trunks and teeny-weeny bikinis. My girlfriends and I would even go as far as wearing our bathing suits underneath our school uniforms on the off chance that somebody would suggest an impromptu beach day. The moment the temperature rose higher than 75 degrees, we would hit the coast, ready to take on the sand, surf and sunbathing that lasted many months long.

In honor of the upcoming summer season, I put together the ultimate vintage California summer look with some help from ModCloth and Wanelo (click to peep my storyboard!). Check out how I styled the retro-glam Esther Williams Beach Bingo One-Piece bathing suit with some fun and funky accessories that ooze timeless style.