Throwing It Back

In the past year, I feel like I haven't been as invested or interested in trends. Instead, I find myself wanting to simplify the dressing process, and go back to the basics. Lately, so many of the old school sneakers that we grew up wearing have been having a revival (like Adidas Stan Smiths, Nike Cortez, etc). I'm really into this sneaker revolution (re-revolution?) because in my mind, it harkens back to a simpler time. This spring, Famous Footwear is carrying a selection of throwback shoes and asked me to style a pair. I picked out some Vans high tops, which have been so ubiquitous lately.

I actually didn't notice that this style of Vans was EVERYWHERE until my husband pointed it out and told me that he wanted a pair. Now he has 3 pairs! Ok he actually only asked for the classic black ones with the white stripe, but I thought that was a bit bland, so I bought him a couple of different pairs in more exciting color/fabrications (one all-leather in a nudish pink and one in grey suede). I think we are getting to that age where the nostalgia of the shoe makes us feel a little bit young again. And it's just so easy to throw them on and NGAF the way we did back in the day. In high school, I always gravitated towards Vans sneakers since they were so easily paired with any kind of outfit. My husband was the same. Funny fact: we actually went to the same high school and were only a year apart in school but never met until after college. He always wistfully ruminates about how different our lives could've been if we had met back then.

Style tip: high-top sneakers can really shorten the leg, so pairing with a high-waisted pant is a good idea! I always like to cuff my pants and show a little bit of ankle. Except when it's really cold. Then I roll them back down.

Outfit details: Striped boatneck tee and black high-waisted jeans, Gap. Suede jacket, Mango. High Top Ward Vans, Famous Footwear. Joan crossbody bag, See by Chloe.

Thank you to Famous Footwear for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

Long Cardigans Forever

Being in LA, there is rarely, if ever, a need for a coat, but a cozy longline cardigan often suits our winters perfectly. Since I wear the ones that I have so much, I'm always on the lookout to buy more! This one was a Black Friday steal I found at ASOS, and I love how it's a bit more lightweight so I can wear it even when it's not really chilly. A pair of mom jeans, a nice top, and a long cardigan are pretty much my uniform whenever the weather drops below 65 degrees (which unfortunately is not as frequently as I would like).

Speaking of nice tops, one of my favorite recent brand discoveries is Sézane. I'm trying to reduce the money I waste on trendy pieces that I'm over by next season, so when I want to buy something, I try to ask myself if I can see myself still wearing that piece in a few years. With Sézane the answer is always yes! They do a really good job of encapsulating that laidback yet sophisticated French vibe.

Ruffled blouse, Sézane. Light-wash mom jeans, ASOS (similar). Suede Tilan heeled sandals, Schutz (higher-heeled version here). Longline boucle cardigan, ASOS (on sale!) Classic box bag in navy, Céline.

San Francisco, CA, USA

10 Lessons I Learned from Eloping

Back from the Dead

Hi there! I can't believe how insanely long it's been since my last post. In addition to all the other things going on in my life, I think I definitely felt some intense blogger burnout and needed to take a step back from my online life. I'm sure all bloggers have felt lacking in inspiration, creativity, and motivation at some time or another, right?

I've been blogging on and off since 2010 which is really quite some time if you think about it. Since then, blogging has changed and evolved into a very different beast than what it once was. One of the main differences is that blogging has become much more commercial. It makes sense when you consider that people aren't really reading magazines anymore. Instead they are looking on Pinterest or Youtube or Instagram for inspiration from their favorite personalities. I (and I think others in general) used to follow bloggers for inspiration on how to wear certain things or recreate certain looks, but now we are mostly following to see what bloggers are buying. I don't feel like bloggers are really trying to inspire people anymore; moreso, they are just advertising whatever new wares they are paid to sell and creating aspirational lifestyles for you to admire. And that's fine, we do live in a consumerist culture after all. But, I think I'm trying to figure out where I can fit into this. My parents have always believed in a simple subsistence lifestyle, so I felt very deprived of things growing up, which is probably why I feel the need to accumulate so many material things now that I'm an adult. I don't think that I'm a hoarder (hoarders never do!) but simply put, owning things makes me happy! The clutter, though, does not, and I'm vaguely stressed out by the waste created by my materialism. My parents take the time to wash take-out containers so they can be recycled, collect and reuse grey water, and grow a majority of the fruits and vegetables they consume. This dichotomy has me feeling a little guilty, and being a fashion blogger does not help my case at all, as I've used it as justification to purchase so many unnecessary things.

Secondly, when I first started blogging there was no Instagram and social media wasn't so important. Nowadays the Instagram (or YouTube or Snapchat or whatever your medium is) is more important and the blog is secondary, in many cases existing only to supplement the Instagram. Personally, I'm not a big fan of social media, so this is something that I struggle with. At the crux of the matter, I'm just not someone who wants to spend hours every day looking at my phone. I don't have the time to keep up with every single acquaintance's and even stranger's lives on the daily, and Instagram's algorithm changes have made it really difficult for me to see the posts I am actually interested in. As a blogger in today's day and age though, Instagram is a very big part of the game. I've seen the amount of strategizing, work, and effort it takes for bloggers to build up their Instagram accounts and get eyes on each of their posts these days. I think that for me, I've always just kind of wanted to create the content but not so much put the effort into promotion and marketing. And these days I feel like it takes more effort than ever before. As I'm entering a new stage in life with my husband (yup, I'm MARRIED now...more on that in a later post), I'm wondering, is it worth it to continue trying to play this game? What's the juice to me and is it worth the squeeze?

Moreover, I feel like the social media craze has really reached a boiling point. A few months ago I visited the Museum of Ice Cream and for me, besides the good company, it was a completely regrettable waste of time and $30. I ended up not posting a single picture because I felt so dismayed by how the whole ordeal felt like a cheesy, low-budget trap for Instagrammers. It was NOT fun, and the ice cream samples weren't even good (sorry but I like to think of myself as an ice cream connoisseur) and were selling for over $150 on Stubhub! We've reached a point where people will do just about anything for the 'gram. More recently, I was on my honeymoon and couldn't help feeling like there are way too many people dragging their boyfriends/husbands/friends/family members around and spending way too much time trying to get those perfect Instagram shots. Of course, I'm one of them as well, and everyone wants to have nice vacation mementos, but I can't help but feel like we are going to extremes these days trying to pretend like we have these amaaazing and perfect Instagrammable lives and it somewhat detracts from the overall experience of actually just enjoying the moment and living your life.

I know that to some of you, I must sound like a super cynic right now, but I've been feeling like I sometimes have to choose between just living my real life and living life for Instagram. For example, I used to love posting food pictures but I started feeling like trying to stage the perfect shot was taking away from the quality of the actual meal and more grief than it was worth. For the sake of the 'gram, I would try to order things that would look photogenic instead of what I actually wanted to eat. Waiting for everything to arrive in order to try to get that tablescape shot was a pain, because the food was no longer fresh/hot by the time I actually got to eat it (plus dealing with hangry people always sucks). I decided that so many relationships revolve around the sharing of food and I'd rather try to enjoy the company I'm with rather than fiddle around with my phone or camera. So unless I'm with someone who also loves taking pictures of their food, I now usually just snap a quick picture for posterity (I still do like to have a memento of a good meal, it makes me happy!) Also, I've endured way too much melted ice cream in pursuit of the ice cream shot! Wasted ice cream is a real travesty.

I really feel like society's obsession with social media has become something that's a bit unhealthy. In my own life, in fact, I think it has led to some unrealistic expectations. There are some places that I visited because I saw a beautiful photo on Instagram or Pinterest, and real life just did not live up the hype. Sadly, real life just isn't always as beautiful as the professionally photographed, filtered photos you see on Instagram. Conversely, there are plenty of beautiful moments and places that will never make it to the 'gram, and my funnest memories are never the ones where I took 25 different pictures of the same thing trying to get one good shot.

Particularly with young girls, I feel this era of social media obsession can be damaging. I have seen too many measure their self-worth in number of likes and comparing themselves to the seemingly perfect people they see on social media, and it often leads to feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and unhappiness. I'm a firm believer that comparing yourself to others will only lead to unhappiness (comparison is the thief of joy, truth), so I try my best to stay focused on only myself. But, as a blogger, it's hard not to feel like there are so many others out there who are more creative, better photographers, prettier and skinnier and taller, with much better wardrobes and more money and time to work with. Fact is, I know that there is ALWAYS going to be someone out there who is living a better Instagram life than me, and I don't have a problem accepting that. But creatively, I've just felt so uninspired and unsure of what direction to take things in, how I can make myself stand out in the midst of all of this.

Anyway, sorry this was such a long rant! If anyone actually made it this far, I think I deserve a pat on the back. These are all things that have been on my mind these past few months and the reasons I've been hesitant to delve back into blogging. But recently, I've been getting excited about clothes again (check out the things I'm crushing on for fall here, and it's making me realize that I still enjoy sharing that excitement with all of you on the internet. So I've I started feeling like, I'm going to continue the journey for now! If any of you readers are still out there, thanks for sticking with me!

Life Update: Explaining the Hiatus

I can but also cannot believe that a whole entire month has passed since my last blog post! My life has been going through something of a transition phase which has made it hard to keep up with my internet life. But, I am feeling cautiously optimistic that I will be able to get back into the swing of things soon. For anyone who is nosy about why I haven't been as active online lately, keep reading!

About six weeks ago, I started having back pain following a rear-end accident. Since then, I've been seeing a chiropractor, which helped at times, but overall the pain has not gone away. I would have days where it was manageable, but also some days where it would really interfere with my life and felt quite debilitating, to the point where dealing with the pain left me very unmotivated to accomplish even simple things. On this particular day that these photos were taken, the pain was not too bad, but I remember being unable to finish my lunch at a restaurant because sitting was causing me too much discomfort. Often times, sitting or standing for long periods would cause me to have intense aches and pains. Other days, I would feel nearly okay, (for example, I was on vacation in Hawaii and for the most part felt great, if only life could always be a vacation!) but then I would sneeze and the pain in my spine would be worse than ever before. On one such day I called my chiropractor for an emergency appointment and he suggested that I get an MRI because sneezes that cause back pain are often a sign of herniated discs.

The MRI revealed that I do in fact have bulging discs which are pressing upon my spinal canal and causing me pain. So now we've identified the problem and I'm excited to get started on the path to recovery so I can finally put this behind me! The bummer is that bulging discs don't really heal, but physical therapy is usually enough to get rid of the pain for most people.

In other news, my fiancé and I finally set a date to elope after being engaged for well over a year. It's stressful enough for me just planning a little elopement, so I can't even imagine what other brides go through! I know some people talk about how their wedding day was the best day of their life, but to me it always seemed like it would be just stressful throwing a big party and having to worry about all of your 250 guests having a good time, so I've always wanted to do something really small and simple. Or rather, small but epic in its own way, haha. Anyway, it's finally going down in less than two months, and I will definitely share more details once it happens! I've got a laundry list of things to take care of before then, including planning a little mini-moon, and hopefully ridding myself of this horrible back pain before the big day.

Lastly, the third reason I haven't been keeping up with blogging is that I actually haven't really been shopping much lately. That's partially because most of my money is going to other things right now (a real bummer), but also because I'm feeling very uninspired by all the trends I'm seeing around me. Nothing is feeling very "fresh" if you know what I mean. Also, as I embark on this next stage in my life, I find myself rethinking who I want to be and how I want to dress for that role. I guess you could call it a style-identity crisis. Some of the things in my closet are starting to feel a bit too juvenile, so a clean-out is definitely in order!

A big thank you to everyone who cares enough to keep up with this blog and actually read this post! I am definitely making it a priority to start churning out more blog posts for you soon.

Outfit details: Ruffled blouse, Wayf (similar here). Frumpy jeans, Topshop. Platform espadrilles, Pull & Bear (last season). Straw basket bag, Zara (only $30!)

Spring Sneakers

Floral dresses and sneakers always seem like such a perfect pairing for spring. It's such a feminine and yet, not too frilly combo; not to mention, extremely comfortable and it can take you anywhere! Since Adidas Superstars are everywhere again, it makes sense for KSwiss to have a revival too. Love that these come in a fresh pastel color that is so perfect for spring.

Floral slip dress, Free People. Long cardigan, Zaful. Grey "Gstadd Neu Sleek" sneakers, c/o KSwiss. Marmont mini crossbody 2.0 in Velvet, Gucci (available for pre-order here).