For Granted

Saturday, January 31, 2015

how to style flared jeans
Hotel Erwin Rooftop Bar #LA
Venice, CA #sunset
Venice Beach, CA #sunset #travel #la

A few weekends ago, one of my best friends from home came to LA, so we decided to stop by Hotel Erwin's rooftop bar in Venice. I hadn't been since summer and had forgotten what a great spot it is. I felt like sporting a more retro look, so I pulled out my new flared jeans and paired them with a vintage blouse I snagged from my mom. I usually stray away from too many trends in one outfit, but I liked the 70s vibe of the flares and pastel blouse together. I didn't exactly fit in with the rest of the bar crowd, but a freelance photog did ask me to pose for a picture so...success?

P.S. The #1 thing LA people take for granted is views like this—in January.

Outfit Details:
Seychelles Nude Mules


The Commute

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Downtown Los Angeles traffic via The Caffeinated Closet
I may be one of the few people out there who doesn't mind my Westside to DTLA commute. Granted, anything over an hour will turn me into a crazy person, but there's something relaxing about the 45 minute drive I make to and from work. It's a time I use to brainstorm new ideas, listen to music (I generally avoid the radio, which makes me somewhat pop-culture illiterate...but I'm working on it.) and yes, occasionally wallow in a steady rotation of twenty-something crises (career, creativity, cheap dates...you get the idea). Or door number four: completely disconnect and do nothing but pay attention to the road ahead. Literally—and maybe even figuratively. I try to think it's not time wasted...although if I was proactive I would have probably learned 3 new languages on Rosetta Stone by now.

The notion of wasted time has been on my mind a lot lately. And a daily commute is really only a tangible representation of it. But as of late, I've been making a concerted effort—which entails constantly reminding myself that it's OKAY—to alter my perception of what often feels like treading water. Because maybe it's not "treading water" if I'm learning along the way.

Side note: Last week, I took a detour through Downtown to meet a friend for drinks and was caught in the worst traffic ever. After I hadn't moved in 3 green lights, I decided to pull out my camera and take a moment to appreciate the city moving around me. Call it a perfect coincidence, but there's something kind of poetic (and ironic) about the movement on the street contrasted by the rows of people stuck in their cars, probably on their evening commutes—not moving. Or worse...wasting time.

P.S. I wrote this post here. It's my attempt at making LA more European. Jury's still out on whether the dramatic cultural shift will actually happen or if I'm just a girl blogging in a bar.


Urban Oasis

Monday, January 26, 2015

casual outfit idea: shift dress + oversized scarf
LA flower district
madewell shift dress + vintage scarf + green fossil bag

On my recent trip to the flower district, I also stopped by an orchid shop that felt like an urban greenhouse—a little oasis in the middle of the city. My new bag fit right in, and the foliage brought out the green hues in one of my favorite vintage scarves. I decided to keep the rest of my look simple, sticking with my tried-and-true shift dress + ankle boots combo.

On another note, this weekend was equally as fun and "LA" as the last. Some weekends seem to fly by and all I can really recollect is waking up at noon, making almond toast, and walking to Trader Joe's. But others—like this one—feel like a mini-time warp where I conveniently forget that Monday is waiting on the other side.

Outfit Details:


City Gem

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Original Los Angeles Flower Mart #DTLA
flower bouquets #DTLA
roses at the Los Angeles Flower Mart #travel
flower district #DTLA
LA Flower District #travel
I rarely buy flowers when I go to the Downtown Flower District, but it's always fun to browse and people watch on my lunch break. Luckily, I had my DSLR in tow on my latest visit, so I was able to capture more of the flower mart than usual. I love photographing large city scenes, and this was the perfect place to snap the same general subject from a bunch of different perspectives. I also fell in love with this green brick wall on my way out. Something about the corroding paint juxtaposed by the fresh flowers was unusually beautiful to me.

It really is a LA gem.

(P.S. Obviously, my love for flowers does not end here.
It's no secret I love a good floral print. Or bouquet-for-no-reason.)


About Town

Sunday, January 18, 2015

casual LA #style: black silk blouse + light destroyed denim
simple accessories: leather watch + gold bangle #style
classic red lips #beauty #style #ootd
work #outfit idea: silk blouse + destroyed jeans + heels
how to style destroyed denim for work

Downtown LA is such a strange little place. It's a motley mix of high rises, urban neighborhoods, and places like the Arts District—a collection of warehouses and industrial buildings with trendy cafes tucked in between. Luckily, I work in Downtown so I have an excuse to explore different parts of the neighborhood each week. Even though...I'm really just a creature of habit and tend to stick to the same places once I've found something I like. (New Year's resolution #34: be more adventurous.)

This outfit has been one of my go-to looks for work lately. An oversized silk button-down, jeans, and simple heels creates the perfect balance of casual and chic. Also, red lipstick. Until recently, I had seriously underestimated the power it has to fool people into thinking you're sophisticated.

On another note, I'm currently in denial that I have to go into work tomorrow. This weekend was just what I needed—spent shamelessly doing cliche-LA things and loving every second of it.

Outfit Details:
Vintage Bally Black Quilted Tote
Seychelles Nude Mules


Wednesday Inspiration

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

how to layer a dress #outfit #style #fashion
outfit layering idea: leather jacket + floral dress + white button-up #style #fashion
winter #outfit idea: leather jacket + floral dress
green color pop styling idea: green handbag + floral dress
layered dress idea #outfit #ootd #style #fashion
how to style a dress for winter: layered button-up under shift dress #style #ootd #outfit

If Wednesday Addams suddenly turned girly, I feel like she would wear something like this. So...I suppose you could say this outfit was subconsciously inspired by her. But, this look was consciously inspired by a number of these Refinery 29 style videos. Usually, I'm not one for watching online tutorials (very short attention span), but they cleverly managed to cut them into 30 second clips on Facebook that held my focus. Plus, their Senior Style Editor is a layering queen that I've been taking a few fashion cues from lately.

Continuing my green-obsession...I picked up this leather crossbody from Fossil a couple weeks ago. I would never have thought to invest in a little green bag, but good old T-Swift has already pioneered the trend so I've convinced myself it was a good idea. I've been wearing it non-stop for the past two weeks and it's somehow managed to match with almost everything. I feel like the Girl In The Green Scarf Handbag.

Outfit Details:
Urban Outfitters Floral Shift Dress
Vintage Gold Pendant


Like Home

Sunday, January 11, 2015

bedroom interior design ideas #decor #apartment
how to make a photo frame wall #apartment #decor
dresser decor ideas #apartment #style
how to decorate a vintage dresser
dresser decor idea: flower vase + stacked books
apartment style: vintage desk decor ideasapartment wall art: Rifle Paper Co calendar + framed photography
jewelry organization idea
vintage-inspired bedroom decor
affordable bedroom decor ideas
Shop This Post:

It took me a little longer than expected to settle into my new apartment. It's hard to believe I've already lived here five months and am only just putting the finishing touches on my bedroom decor. Our living room is also still a work in progress, so (hopefully) stay tuned for another decor post in the next month or so.

My bedroom walls had been looking a little bare up until this point, so one of my "winter break" projects was to create a frame wall with some of my favorite photography. I don't know if it's my lack of geometric ability or what, but the whole project kind of stressed me out and it took a full two weeks to come to fruition. Deliberately scattering frames but making it look like you just randomly tacked them up is a lot harder than I thought. Also, I can't actually nail anything into my walls, so they are being held up by Command strips that I'm fairly convinced will fail me during our next earthquake...

Overall, this room is a mix of new and old. I kept a lot of the same decorations from my college apartment, but I think they look better with the dark wood furniture I got from my grandma (as well as the vintage nightstand I picked up off the street—one of my finer hoarding moments.) As silly as it sounds, having a finished space makes me very happy. I really value my alone time, so having an area like this where I can read (don't judge the fascinating/trashy Bachelor paperback...I've got some better books on my reading list, too) and blog and just be is super important to me.

Plus, I still can't get over my movie studio view. It doesn't get much more "LA" than that.


Feeling Green

Thursday, January 8, 2015

must-have winter color: green #style #fashion
holiday red lipstick + simple sweater
brown leather accessories #style #fashion #ootd

It's not often that I have a "favorite" color. However, there's usually a color I've been wearing a lot of lately or drawn to when I'm shopping. I went through a phase where I was only looking for mustard yellow pieces. Or for a while, I boycotted bright colors all together and only wanted to wear beige. 

But, every once in a while I get a little obsessed with a color. And right now, it's green. Forest green, emerald green, you name it and I've probably already tried to find a clothing or accessory in it. (Except lime green, which is generally terrible.)

Hence the new sweater and jade necklace repeat. I like the idea of creating a low key monochrome look by matching clothing and jewelry colors. P.S. These photos were taken back home over the holidays. I'm currently sick with a lingering The Holidays Are Over cold (it's an actual sniffly cold, not just a state of mind) and could really use another vacation right about now.

Outfit Details:
Vintage Green Pendant
Anthropologie Brown Leather Bag


Little Black Dress

Monday, January 5, 2015

holiday #outfit: off-the-shoulder little black dress #style
vintage jade jewelry details #accessories #style
plaid scarf + little black dress #style #outfit #fashion
holiday #style: how to make a little black dress more casual

Over the past few months, I've developed quite the collection of little black dresses. Even though they are starting to make my closet look a bit depressing, they're the perfect piece to dress up or down so I'm going to keep on collecting! I call this my "winter" LBD look. Non-LA readers laugh all you want, but it's actually been scarf weather the past couple...weeks?

On a side note: I just finished watching The Bachelor season premiere. It's my not-so-guilty pleasure and the only show I will angrily live tweet about. Even though every feminist bone in my body pretty much cringes at the thought of 25 women fighting with each other to move to a farm in Iowa...I'm surprisingly invested, and Prince Farming is a keeper. Also, if I were to ever go on the show, I'd probably opt out of the pageant sparkles and into a simple LBD (if the producers would let me.)

Audition tape coming soon...

Outfit Details:
Vintage Jade Pendant
Vintage Opal Ring
Vintage Bally Black Quilted Tote


New Year, Same Me

Thursday, January 1, 2015

anthropologie-inspired apartment decor
I'm never quite sure how to feel about New Years posts. When it finally comes time to write one, I always feel like I'm at a loss for words—overwhelmed at the task of summarizing an entire year in a single post. And I'm not sure who these posts are really for, since my personal (old school scribbled, not typed) diary might give you a much different story than the one I'm sharing on this blog. But, I'd like to think that somewhere in my jumbled stream of consciousness that I'm anxiously writing in the last two hours of January 1 (because after that, who really wants to read a reflective New Year, New Me post?) there may be a few relatable bits and pieces.

Let me start off by saying that even if I could, I wouldn't change a thing about this year. Because even with the memories I kind of want to erase (and yes, there are more than a few)...I learned something important about myself and about others. It's been a crazy, terrible/terribly wonderful 12 months. There have been a lot of emotions. Of uncertainty, of anxiety, of passion, of loneliness, of excitement, of newfound independence...that all cumulatively feel like some sort of twenty-something right of passage. The kind of feelings that make me think maybe T-Swift was onto something.

2014 was a year of transition for me. It was my first official year out of school...even though I pretended to be in college until June. And getting used to the 8 to 5 lifestyle (or let's be honest, 7 to 7 lifestyle because commuting is a real life thing that actually sucks) isn't as easy as I thought it would be. But at the same time, it's been great. I honestly think I may be having more fun as a postgrad than I did in college. PSA: Life doesn't end after college. Especially when you're lucky enough to have best friends to brave this uncharted territory with you. In fact, there's something liberating about this newfound independence, this quasi-adulthood. As challenging as working full-time can be, it can be just as fulfilling. And paying Big Girl bills yourself is also kind of rewarding—especially when you finally accept that you have no actual concept of personal finance and that that's OK, at least for the time being.

I decided to post a photo of my cozy post-college apartment, because it's been my little refuge for the second half of the year. It was a move that came at a time I desperately needed to be pulled out of a rut, and centered me when I had felt like a postgrad hobo bouncing between empty apartments, sublets, and my hometown for an entire summer. Also, if you need a remedy for a broken heart, moving to a new place and focusing all your energy on custom framing and decorative throw pillows can help. I think the saying goes something like: The best way to get over someone is to get under...a new Anthropologie duvet? Jury's still out on that one, but it certainly didn't hurt.

I'm not very good at making resolutions, and even the ones I do make are too vague to keep. (Eat healthier, exercise more. Does more imply "more" than once?). But there is a kind of resolution I do want to keep this year, since whether I want to admit it or not, a lot of 2014 felt dictated by a number of personal relationships. So for 2015, I want to be the one in command of my own happiness. I've got a diary full of reasons behind this resolution, but nothing is more blog-worthy than that simple statement.

So, cheers to 2015!  It's a new year, but it's the same me. This time, actively taking control of my own well-being.

Postgrad year #2: I'm ready for you.
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