Thursday, December 31, 2015

Being More Adult in 2016


Vintage wool cardigan
She Made Me crochet swim top // SHOP SIMILAR
Spell and the Gypsy miniskirt // SHOP SIMILAR
Hat Attack fisherman's hat // SHOP SIMILAR

It's nearly the end of the year. Always so much to think about during this time. Especially about everything new we have learned to take with us into the new year. Things that hopefully will make be the best people we can be. For me, I've been thinking a whole hell of a lot about being an adult. And the perks of being one. A greater amount of independence. More deep-rooted confidence in responsibility and decision-making. Mom and Dad telling you less of what to do from all the way across the country (sometimes). Making smarter decisions (sometimes). But really, when can one officially say that they are an adult? I'm fresh into my 28th year and I've grown tenfold just these past 12 months. I have realized many things about myself that I don't think I had in me when I was 26, 27 years old. I definitely follow my gut a whole lot more now, and I am far more strong where I used to be weak because I made the wholehearted decision to work on those parts of myself. Not sure what exactly have made me become more mature in this sort of way. It's a whole lot of things I'm sure of that, some more than others. But together certain experiences bring you closer to being the best sort of adult you can be. Not just an adult, but a smart human being. 

Selflessness. I've always admired those around me who showcased qualities of undeniable selflessness. I've noticed this part of myself growing more and more recently. I'm not at the point of selflessness that say a mother would have, but my life is driven far less by just my own wants and needs, and increasingly more driven by those around me that I love and whom put others before themselves. I think it has to do with me taking more time to step back and take a look at the bigger picture of my life. The processes of it. And noticing the way I feel and am moved, especially when I am surrounded by those who who express gratitude for their lives. I see now more than ever that the most beauty is brought out in the world in this way more than anything material ever could. I have come to appreciate the types of things that I have been able to experience through my career, friendships and life in general. It feels important to me to be able to share my "gifts". By gifts, I mean my accomplishments, my access to certain things, my freedom to pursue my biggest dreams. Sharing the things that drive me the most with others is one thing I want to do even more of this upcoming year. I want to make more of a social difference with what I do, even if it is starting with something small. The potential and possibilities are endless from a foundation that touches even just one or two people.

Not wasting my time. In my early twenties, everything was far more casual. Relationships with men. My career even. And friendships, of course. So many late nights out and being stupid for no reason. Hanging out with people just for the sake of hanging out. Scared to be lonely, so I would time after time throw myself into situations where I would be surrounded by a sea of faces and it all seemed quite okay that way. Over time, after the exhaustion and mistakes that slapped me in the face, I realized that quality over quantity was probably the better way to go. It's true. It can reach a point where you really feel it in your bones when something isn't substantial enough and the cycle starts to get old. And It makes you pine for something that runs deeper than the exterior. Deeper than the meaningless talks that don't stick with you the next day. Deeper than good sex with a good looking boy you met last night who just wanted one thing from you. You begin to stop second guessing yourself because you realize that your time becomes more precious. Your life becomes more precious, and so you start to only keep close to you what feels true and real. Every second counts. Starting to understand the worth of my life, decisions and relationships is pivotal to becoming an adult. We learn this the hard way, but it's worth it once the realization hits you and you don't look back.

Confidence. A department that I will wholeheartedly say that I have lacked in for quite some time as a child and teenager. I've grown a lot since then. Experience and healthy relationships over time has helped with that a lot. My confidence still wavers today at moments, I can finally say that I have slowly but surely become the sort of person who can stand up for herself. The sort of person who when she wants something, she'll go after it. I'm not afraid to put myself out there, because in most situations I have come to realize that really, what is there for me to lose? And I'd rather know that I failed trying than not trying at all. In relationships for example, when I was younger, I always second guessed myself. I felt that I didn't have enough experiences to warrant a confidence that I wished I had to go after the things that I wanted. I was too afraid of being judged. Of letting people in who could take a microscope to my thoughts and inner workings. I'd push people away because I didn't think I was ready, when really I didn't really have to be fully ready. I thought too ahead of myself. The process of letting go and putting myself out there took a bit of time, but the more I dated, the more I knew what I liked and what I needed out of a relationship. As I lived more in the moment, the more I didn't second guess myself. The more I became at ease with myself, that I didn't feel I had to change for the men who would come and go from my life. The less I played games. The less I wanted to waste my time. The more I accepted my independence and even the idea that being single is a very powerful and liberating thing. But I wouldn't close myself off to love if I found it. If I like you, you will know. If I don't, you will know, too. I like knowing what I want, with relationships and all other aspects of my life, even if it's after a few trials and errors. But what I like most of all is having the confidence today to just go with the feelings in my heart more often than not. It takes grown up guts to do that. 

Here's to being more adult in 2016. To paying my bills on time. To being choosier with who I decide to kiss. To being more patient. To drinking less and treating my body like a haven a little more often (baby steps). To experiencing life with a strong head on my shoulders and the greatest of friends by my side. To spreading kindness because life is too short not to. To not second guessing myself. To maybe not fully being adult because hey, we are human and we are imperfect. But to definitely trying to be an adult a whole lot more than not. Cheers to that.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Bonafide Lovin'


Diesel leather jacket // SHOP SIMILAR
Luiny leather necklace
BOYY leather bag // SHOP SIMILAR

First thing I do when I land back home in Los Angeles is hit up Chinatown in search of some bubble tea. Taro flavor to match the purple tones on my dress. It's the half-Asian in me for sure . . . bubble tea needed to fully function. haha. It was deliciously warm my first day back home for the holidays, which was fine with me since I forgot to pack my tights. Every time I come home, it's both relaxing and stressful. Family time means more time to kick back at home, but it also means that it can be like entering a battlefield. Sometimes I feel like I'm in an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians, except in this case it's more like Keeping up with the Suarezes. Mom always wanting to know every detail of my life and the boys/men I'm dating, throwing bullet questions at me every five minutes and always demanding an answer. Dad making sure I'm paying my bills on time and wary of me driving the family car because I'm not on the insurance plan, which results in many consecutive eye rolls from me. I was raised to be a strong and independent woman, but it's funny how when I do finally become that sort of woman, as soon as I get back home it's like I'm that confused and easily annoyed teenager again. It's definitely overwhelming at times, and sometimes I let these feelings get the best of me and I want to book a flight back to NYC as soon as possible. But hey, that's just the normal American dysfunctional family issues right? haha. At the end of the day, I do realize how lucky I am to have parents who really care about what goes on in my life, and who truly want the best for my sister and I. Not every adult can say that. I'm very, very lucky. They do everything they do because they love us. Real familial love is a fresh taro bubble tea waiting for me as soon as I arrive in town. Hey Mom and Dad, I hope you know I think you guys are the best, despite the eye rolls that overcome me sometimes. This checkered Free People dress makes everything better, too, not gonna lie. 

Check out other Free People dresses that I adore:

Monday, December 28, 2015

Miami Art Basel with Persol


Persol sunglasses // SHOP SIMILAR
6 Shore Road swimsuit
Vintage Levi's shorts

Our second day in Miami for Art Basel was spent on yacht with the Persol team, despite how overcast and rainy the day was. We danced to a whole lot of Justin Bieber and Britney without shame. And even though we didn't really need any extra sun protection for our eyes due to the clouds that took over the Miami sky, we still rocked our Persols because that's what one does on a yacht, no?! I love the classic modernism of this black pair. It's a style that I see myself taking with me during all of my travels. Best part about them? They easily fold up into a compact shape, which makes them much easier to pack, and especially so when your bag is a tiny little thing. And let's just say that I hope that this isn't my last time I'm on a yacht. Because that yacht life is mighty fine. And I can definitely get used to it. hehe ;)

I mixed into this post some of my favorite artworks that I viewed at Art Basel. There was so much to absorb in the hours we spent at the Miami Convention Center and over at the famous Wynwood Walls. One of my favorite photographs was of a little girl smoking a cigarette in a kiddie pool. It instantly brought to mind a childhood friend who lived down the street. Little Nikki who lived with her single mom and horsey-voiced grandmother. Parent figures who basically let her do whatever the heck she wanted. Which meant when we went over to visit, we were allowed to do whatever we wanted, as well. We could eat all the candy we wanted. We could ride our bikes not only outside her house, but INSIDE her house, as well. Her grandma always gave us ice cream with rainbow sprinkles on top. And if we wanted seconds, we'd always get it. Then we'd go in her garage and sneak cigarettes and Nikki would tell us how to kiss boys and give blow jobs. All out of the mouth of a 10 year old who knew far too much. If our parents found out what we really did at Nikki's house, they'd probably never let us see the light of day again. I totally forgot about Nikki until I saw this photograph and I asked my sister, "What do you think Nikki is up to today?" I will always wonder. 

One really cool thing about art is how much it can hit the memory hard. There's always something you can relate to in a piece of art. If you look hard enough. Sometimes it just takes a little creative shaking up to bring an energy back to life again. 

Thanks again Persol for letting me have my very first Art Basel experience!

View other Persol sunglasses that I love:

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Hello Panda

I love it when I can get funky with my friends. My friend Kylee is an actress, so we thought why not put her talents to use, over-exaggerate a bit and wreak havoc in the bodega below her apartment building. We piled on her vintage furs, threw on my 99 cent store Lolita sunglasses and hurled our way out the door. No one seemed to notice that Kylee was decked out in furs in the middle of the summer. Or if they did, with me with my camera directing her on the best way to clutch a pack of Lagunitas while downing a bottle of organic juice, we definitely looked like a pair of freaks. But we have no shame. And we obviously don't believe in juice cleanses. It's fun to play. And play we will do. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Red, White and Blue


J Brand sherpa jacket
For Love and Lemons sweater // SHOP HERE
Citizens of Humanity boyfriend jeans
Canadienne suede boots // SHOP HERE

I consider myself more of a black skinny jean sort of girl. Maybe a rip or two in each knee. #FREETHEKNEE. Always my motto. But sometimes I like to change it up and go more in the direction of the blue. Maybe it's the change of the seasons that give a little twist in my denim taste. Not complaining though, because these blue jean babies are probably one of the most comfortable pairs ever. Vintage washed and super soft feeling. It's as if they've been worn a hundred thousand times. Like a good pair of boots that have been hiked in for years but still have many more lightyears of life left in them. Much like the gold diggers of early California, who wore their denim for heavy duty work, I too, like my blue denim to feel like it can last even the greatest of strikes at it. Tough yet casual. Raw and worn. A perfect match for a cozy sweater and a pair of my taller boots for some balance of tomboy and supergirl. My fashion sense is like a pendulum. It swings back and forth between extremes, because I can never settle on just one.

Shop more Citizens of Humanity skinny jeans:

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Abbot Kinney

Every time I come home to Southern California, I find myself spending more and more time in Venice, with more than a few hours of my weekend spent walking up and down the super cute Abbot Kinney. This area of Venice has changed so much in the past 5-6 years. In college, we always came out this way only to eat pizza before frolicking barefoot to the beach at night before realizing we were too drunk to actually get back to our dorms. Well, I guess not much has changed in that respect, but aesthetically-wise, this part of Venice is a whole lot easier on the eyes! And full of awesome boutiques perfect for browsing and inspiration gathering. There's always a friendly and super cute skater boy to greet you at the door of a surf shop. And he will be equally just as awesome at taking a group Instagram shot of you and your friends. And he will give you multiple options. Love you Venice Beach skater boy :) Mostly now, I come for just the food. Gjelina is my absolute favorite spot for deliciously cheesy pizza and an awesome array of craft beers to go along with it. It's perpetually summer in this part of town. See you by the beach bro.