Passing Through

Sunday, November 1, 2015

I spent last weekend sorting through my iPhoto library; reliving my travels. When I first went abroad, I had just bought my DSLR and—through sheer trial and error—was teaching myself how to use it by religiously documenting my trip. Luckily, the haphazard photos I collected over those six months later served a purpose. I came to depend on those albums—scrolling through them on an almost daily basis to cope with the unexpected (reverse) culture shock I felt coming back home.

Fast forward a few years and I'm back at my scrolling. But, what's interesting is that the shots I cherish the most now are not the ones you might expect (hint: they don't involve me in a psuedo-Euro-chic outfit posed in front of X monument). These days, I'm drawn to the photos that capture a seemingly ordinary moment in time. Featuring people I'll never see again and movement that can't be replicated, no matter how many times I retrace my steps.

And so, this little black & white photo series was born.

Comprised of old and new... and just passing through.


Write Time

Monday, October 19, 2015

Lavender Shore by Melina Peterson
I often worry that if I stop blogging, I'll simply forget how to write. The longer I go not blogging, the more anxious I become about the thought of opening up a blank post and letting words, however silly or significant, transform themselves from jumbled html to coherent prose. I can only imagine the kind of anxiety professional writers must feel, which is why I don't think I could ever write for a living. I think the pressure to churn out creativity on command would ruin it for me. 

Since my last post on August 25th, I haven't attempted to draft anything new. However, there's been countless times I've gone off on mental tangents—usually while driving or cleaning my apartment— and thought "I should really blog about this." Yet, life continues to plug along at what feels like a weird combination of slow motion and hyper-speed, and other things have taken precedent. So, I've lost track of these ideas and left the words suspended in some of kind of limbo between pen and paper. (Or in this case...hand and keyboard?)

After uploading this shot from a weekend trip in Cambria, it took me a solid hour to work up the courage to even start typing. Instead, I lost myself in a daydream (that should really just be...a dream, since it's past 11pm on a Sunday)...staring into the sea of lavender and listening to my latest obsession on Spotify. In hopes of being somewhat-human on Monday morning, I tried to convince myself that 11:38pm on a Sunday night was not an ideal time to start a blog post. But, my irrational fear of forgetting how to write won. So...here we are. 

Now that I've probably lost 95% of the people that started this post, I don't know what to tell the loyal 5% still reading my jumbled Sunday night thoughts. I'm desperately trying to come up with something climactic to say after spending 3 wordy paragraphs writing about writing.

And it's turning into one of those moments. Kind of like the moment you first land a job. You're SO excited you finally have a job, until you realize...OH shit, I actually have to work now. 40 (or 60) hour weeks, 6 am wake-up calls, and 11pm bedtimes even when a tangential blog post is calling your name.



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Griffith Park Observatory, Los Angeles by Melina Peterson
Griffith Observatory by Melina Peterson
The Reluctant Angeleno by Melina Peterson
From Griffith to Downtown by Melina Peterson
Let me preface this post by saying...I'm not entirely exaggerating when I refer to this as my new backyard. It's a 10 minute drive from my apartment and a reasonably timed hike for the rare occasion I wear my yoga pants to actually like, exercise. 

On a Sunday night whim, a couple friends and I ventured up to the Griffith Observatory to take in the view and the last few hours of the weekend. It was one of those aimless summer evenings. Our night at Griffith felt like summer the same way that drinking too much Pinot Grigio on the staircase of my un-air conditioned college apartment felt like summer. Moments like this embody that intangible characteristic of the season...but have become too few and far between lately.

Next to us at the top of the observatory was a young couple admiring the view. One of them was visiting from Paris for the week, so my friends and I subconsciously stepped up our LA-game, reciting the names of streets like a scene right out of The Californians. There was even a heated debate about whether or not the bright light running down the center of the city is in fact Western Avenue—jury/Google Maps is still out if anyone would like to lend some geographic expertise. 

And as we loudly pointed and squealed when we recognized a landmark, the dreamy French boyfriend (note: not just an archetype used for the dramatization of this blog post) stood in awe at our extensive, probably misguided, knowledge of Los Angeles.

It was a weird moment. Because, atop a big hill filled with buses of tourists...I felt unusually at home. Somehow, even after moving to the opposite side of town, I'm still in love with this dysfunctional city.

And yeah, it doesn't hurt that I have a telescope in my backyard.



Monday, July 13, 2015

I have a love/hate relationship with summer. The past three have brought about lots of changes—falling somewhere in between forgettable and somewhat earth shattering. And this summer appears to be no different. 

I've been MIA from this blog yet again...but if I look back at my pattern of summer postings, I always seem to drop off somewhere in June and find my way back by fall.  Right now, my hiatus is from a combination of things. I'm working the hardest I ever have, wearing many hats and trying to learn as much as I possibly can while I'm still early on in my career. I rarely talk about my job on this blog because I like to keep this world separate, but this summer has been an important time for me at work. 

I'm also putting down roots in LA for the foreseeable future. This spring brought about the first of many quarter(ish) life crises, where each week felt like my life was about to take a complete 180. It was a constant game of stop and go. And it was, to put it simply, exhausting. Even though I couldn't plan past the next week, I didn't live a second in the moment. I wasted 6 months waiting for my life to start. I almost dropped everything to aimlessly travel the world (really). And while that's definitely still a part of the plan, it may need to wait a couple more years.

After all the stop and go, I've finally reached a juncture—the beginning of a new chapter. I'm moving...again. This time, into my own little studio on the Eastside. I'm incredibly excited and nervous at the same time. It's cute, tiny, old and has appliances from the 1950s which may or may not be up to code. It's the first time I'll be living alone and as scary as it might be, it feels like the right time to step out of my comfort zone. 

I spent most of my formative years (and who are we kidding, I'm still in my formative years...but bear with that statement for the purpose of this post) as a we—not a me. While everyone was living a normal, wonderfully reckless college existence...I was meticulously mapping out my Five-Year Plan which involved marriage, kids, and a life so drastically different from where I see those five years now, that the only thing left to do is to chuckle uncomfortably and move on.  But, even as admittedly hard and lonely and frustrating as being just me can be sometimes...this all feels right.

I'm excited to have a place that is truly my own.

So here's to a summer of good change.
...it would appear that the Weird Rut of 2015 (as it's officially named) had a purpose after all.



Sunday, June 7, 2015

work outfit idea: simple silk blouse and trousers
simple work outfit idea
Downtown LA skyline by Melina Peterson
Since finally investing in a 50mm lens, I've been feeling more inspired and have been pulling my DSLR out of that Mary Poppins bag whenever possible. I'd been living off my kit lens for about 3 years, so it was about time I upgraded. As you can see from my not-so-intentionally unfocused shots, I'm still getting the hang of it. More photos from the past week can be found on my Tumblr as well.

In real time, it's Sunday night. I'm surprisingly relaxed, and happy to be blogging after another unintentional hiatus. I had one hell of a week so moments of calm are always welcomed. I'm slowly but surely beginning to appreciate the constant contrasts in life. Whether it's something small like a polished outfit photo in an industrial setting. A rough skyline against a soft sunset. Or, something much bigger than I can fit in a few blog photos. 

Anyway, here's to the last 5 minutes of...weekend.

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Color Swap

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sunset Blvd. by Melina Peterson
Dad On-Duty by Melina Peterson
Lately, I've been playing around with more black and white shots. Although I'm still shooting in color, during my editing process I'll often find I like the b&w version better. It's a simple color swap that can make a world of difference. And while the next step is actual b&w film, that's a whole other ball game.

P.S. Here's the color version of this record store gem. Hipster dads—they get me every time. #LA


Art Teacher

Monday, May 18, 2015

Nasty Gal black sweatercoat
oversized black sweater
how to style a sweatercoat
knit sweatercoat
high-rise skinny jeans
nasty gal sweater coat
The second I saw this sweater at Nasty Gal I knew I had to buy it. Don't ask me why of all the trendy and usually bodycon styles on their site, I honed in on this oversized, chunky coatigan. I'm not an art teacher and/or crazy cat lady yet but I'm definitely channeling my inner eccentric whenever I wear this (note: extremely cozy) statement piece.

Not pictured: my paper mache earrings and patchwork vest.

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That Wall

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

how to style printed shorts
denim jacket and printed shorts
casual and affordable spring outfit
Zara printed shorts outfit
denim jacket tied around waist
casual spring look: Zara printed shorts + denim jacket
black v-neck and printed shorts
Okay okay I know I said I wasn't going to give into florals for spring. But, I walked into Zara last weekend looking for Vegas outfits and left with these funky printed shorts instead. Call me a creature of habit (I never fail to live up to that title) but within a week's time it looks like I'm back to my old ways.

Style aside, I think this "back to my old ways" M.O. has been nothing but trouble lately. And while it's not manifesting itself into anything in particular...I feel stuck. I've hit a brick wall, if you will. Even though I know it's probably the first of many twenty-something-postgrad-struggles, I don't think I can shy away from this. I'm pretty sure it's one of those walls, the kind I've got to break through instead of quietly, awkwardly backing away from. (Extended metaphors—don't you just love them?)

But honestly, I'm not sure what's next...
and I guess that's the beauty of it.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

preppy spring outfit
how to wear a bomber jacket
magenta flowers
how to belt a shift dress
belted t-shirt dress
purple and green photography
preppy spring outfit idea
The other day, I was wandering around Culver's Arts District and was immediately drawn to this funky little parking lot. There's a ton of random pockets like this around warehouses and office buildings, giving the whole area a unique feel. Anyway, I figured a backdrop of blooms would be an adequate replacement to an actual floral print dress. You know I love my florals, but I've decided to lay off the prints for a while and spare you a hackneyed "florals for spring" post.

To replace my trite spring staples, I've been gravitating towards simple t-shirt dresses. If my extensive collection of printed pants are like pajama bottoms, then these dresses are the hottest nightgowns of the season. Also, I highly suggest saving yourself the blisters from some chic pair of flats and slipping on worn out sneaks instead. (Sneakers also make it easier to run away from the owners of said funky-little-parking-lot when they discover your impromptu photoshoot.)

There you have it. Groundbreaking spring style secrets :) I'm here all season, people.*

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*and by people, I mean wonderful-awesome-loyal readers ♥



Friday, April 24, 2015

casual spring outfit: polo + sweater + skinny jeans
cuffed skinny jeans and heels
spring layering idea: printed polo + pullover sweaterForever 21 Mens printed polo
If you ever find yourself in a style rut, find the kitschiest pattern possible from Forever 21 and buy it on complete impulse. Then style it proudly and ignore anyone who questions why you're wearing a men's buffalo print polo.

Rinse & repeat.

P.S. Am I the only one who wants everything from their Men's section right now?
Forget florals...I'm seriously on board for these popsicle and cactus prints.

Outfit Details:


Character Cap

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Open my iPhone Notes app and you'll find a jumble of "dramatic" text message drafts, an amusing list of all dates gone awry, and hodge-podge scribbles of tweet-length thoughts that never came to be. Fleeting notions that felt too trivial to say out loud or blast to my 350 Twitter followers (but really, WHO is counting). Although, read my tweets and you'll probably wonder why my thought provoking-ideas about Trader Joe's made the cut while the embarrassing 10+ drafts of my one-line Tinder bio did not.

More and more, I've found myself reimagining these small soundbites in written form rather than just letting them be forgotten (granted, many times, they probably should be left behind). Pre-social media, I would have just scribbled them down in a journal and never looked back. But now, even with a million social outlets at my disposable, I can never decide on the right medium for these ideas. Because truthfully, I can't help but constantly self-edit. Is this too random? Is it too spammy to post 5 things at once? Will anyone understand my "creative" revelations? Should I just text this random garble to someone instead... (hint: the answer is usually, NO.)

And it's only after running through all these questions that I sit back, and realize I've just spent the past 10 minutes agonizing over a statement about hipsters. Or LA traffic. Or something passive yet political (is that a thing?) that I don't feel informed enough—despite all my Skimming—to publicly associate myself with. And after all the internal back-and-forth...I feel a little silly. BUT, unfortunately not silly enough to keep myself from writing this blog post. I guess the creative process is weird like that.

So, I'm going to continue making a habit of jotting these ideas down and sharing them on whatever medium strikes my fancy in the moment. Beware of rogue text messages, iPhone contacts. Because, you never know when divine inspiration will hit and turn that nonsensical tweet into a NY Times Bestseller...

At least, that's on the 5-year plan.



Sunday, April 19, 2015

how to style printed pants for springhow to style a denim vest
printed pants and heelswhite t-shirt style idea
spring outfit with printed pants
These pants are an oldie but goodie. I've worn them a couple times on this blog, and a million more times in real life. I'm a creature of habit and I've found that regardless of how many options I have in front of me, I'll always gravitate to the same few (note: comfortable) pieces. In college, I was drawn to more structured, belted looks. At the time I thought the more tailored, the more sophisticated an outfit was. But now? I avoid cinched waists at all most costs. To me, there's something chic about throwing on a shift dress or loose joggers and using accessories to dress up the look

Speaking of which...I'm currently on the hunt for dressy Vegas outfits that don't involve tacky bodycon dresses or bandage skirts. Can I get away with wearing a shift/muumuu to da club? Or a full-length floral jumpsuit? Send help...

Outfit Details:



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

casual spring ootd
vintage gold jewelry details
half-tuck style idea
pink & green
spring style: army jacket over pink blouse
Madewell leather satcheleffortless casual spring outfit
Over the years, only a handful of people have taken photos for my blog. I think it stems from a place of my own self-consciousness. Not really from posing in front of a camera, but more from how incredibly high maintenance particular I can be about my blog photos. Which is why...friends who blog are the best. Because you can convince them to take outfit photos of you and not feel bad giving very (very) specific requests on the exact cactus-flower ratio needed for the "perfect" shot. 

P.S. Unlike the rest of Los Angeles, I didn't go to Coachella last weekend. Instead, I wandered around a cemetery for 2 hours by myself because I'm a normal person who does normal things like that. Stay tuned for more photos once I finally decide where to upload them. Instagram? Tumblr? These social networks are getting low-key out of control and I'm really starting to miss the good-ole-fashioned scrapbook's heyday.

Outfit Details:
Vintage Pink Blouse
Anthropologie Army Jacket
Banana Republic Tan Heels
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