Monday, April 13, 2015

Black Maxi Dress

Photos by Sarah Veyna

Outfit Details:
Turtle Pendant Necklace (Gift from my dad)
Hoops (Gift from my sister)



Since I'm going to be attending grad school in the fall and will be on a tight budget, I am making a very serious effort to be more mindful about my purchases. I recently bought this black jersey maxi dress because it is a piece that I can combine with many things I already own. I also love that it is a dress that I can wear all year long; I know that I will be wearing this dress often during spring and summer, and I can also see myself wearing it with boots and a belted sweater in the fall and winter. However, what I love most about this dress is that it looks elegant but is extremely comfortable at the same time. I'm a firm believer that you should never have to sacrifice comfort over style. 

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I only really had Sunday off since I worked Saturday evening, but I was able to make the most of the free time that I did have. It was also my mom's birthday this weekend, so I made time to celebrate it with her and shower her with tons of love and gifts; it's the least I could do for the most caring and loving woman in my life. Now, I just need to get through the next three days of work and then I'm off to Portland on Wednesday. I'm so excited to further explore my future home!

xoxo,

Helen

Monday, April 6, 2015

Pastel Polka Dots

Photos by Sarah Veyna

Outfit Details:
Maison Jules Dress (Similar here and here)
Madewell Bag
Franco Sarto Pumps (Similar)

I wore this navy and pastel pink polka dot dress on Easter Sunday. I thought it was the most appropriate thing to wear on that day since the pattern and colors tend to remind me of a decorated Easter egg. Instead of accessorizing, I decided to put a bit more effort into my makeup and played up my eyes. I followed Keiko Lynn's Urban Decay Naked Palette Tutorial to achieve this look since I'm still a newbie to using eyeshadow. I have to say that Keiko makes it seem so easy to put on makeup and use the Naked Palette, but I think I did pretty well for my first try. Wouldn't you agree? 

In other news, I'm going to be flying out to Portland next week. This trip is very last minute--I just booked my flight a couple of days ago--which makes it even more exciting. This trip isn't exactly a vacation since I'm making the trip up to Portland so that I can check out a grad school, but I'm looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and drinking copious amounts of coffee while I'm there. If you've been keeping up with this blog, you might remember that I applied to grad programs earlier this year. Well, as it turns out, it looks like I might be moving to Portland this fall. This big change in my life is what has been causing me so much anxiety lately, even though I've been working towards this goal for almost an entire year. I'm hoping that visiting the city for a couple of days will allow me to feel more at ease about everything that's coming my way.

xoxo,

Helen

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Denim Jacket


Photos by Ale Veyna

Outfit Details:
Old Denim Jacket
H&M Shirt Dress
Thrifted Vintage Bag (Similar here and here) 
31 Bits Bracelet (Similar)

Lately I've been going on and on about my goal of investing in classic pieces that will remain in my wardrobe for years to come. I thought I'd switch it up a bit this week by featuring an item that has already survived the test of time; I bought this denim jacket when I was in high school and it's been in my wardrobe for more than 10 years. The most obvious sign that this denim jacket was acquired during my teenage years is a patch with the word "Angel" located on the top right pocket, but that's a detail that can easily be covered up with a pin or brooch to give it a more sophisticated vibe. Of course, no matter what I do to make myself seem like an adult, people are sometimes still going to mistake me for a teenager instead of a 26-year-old woman. 

Speaking of being a 26, my friend made me realize the other day that I'm getting closer to turning 30! I'm not really ready to discuss this in full detail, but there are some really cool and exciting changes happening in my future. Despite my enthusiasm about what the future has in store for me, I'm really bad at dealing with change. I was discussing this fact with a friend and she made me snap out of feeling anxious by turning to me and saying, "Helen, just look at this way--you're almost going to be 30!" I don't have a fear about getting older, but putting things in that perspective made me realize that I should start embracing change and looking for ways to move forward with my goals. 

In other news, I've finally started to recover from feeling burnt out. I decided to take it easy last week and felt so much more energized this weekend. Even though I'm on my way to becoming my old cheerful self again, I realize that I need to start taking better care of myself. That is why I decided to plan out a vacation this weekend and booked a one-night stay at the Madonna Inn during the month of May. I'm very excited about my getaway because I've wanted to visit the hotel for a while and I'm really looking forward to spending time relaxing by the pool. Plus, having this trip all planned out will definitely serve as motivation for me in the next few weeks. 

xoxo,

Helen

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Black and White Gingham Top

Photos by Sarah Veyna

Outfit Details:
Handmade Gingham Shell Top (Similar top with sleeves)
ASOS Trousers (Similar)
Madewell Loafers (Similar)
MAC Lipstick in Russian Red
MAC Lip Pencil in Brick

With a great amount of help from my mom, this weekend I made a gingham top out of leftover fabric from when I made this skirt. I wore it with trousers in this set of photos, but I like that it also looks great with skirts and jeans. I even paired it with a blazer later in the day, since it was a bit chilly, and it made for a great "professional" outfit. I'm planning on making most of my clothes this spring/summer since I'm feeling uninspired by most clothes in stores, and the pieces I do like are out of my budget. I'm probably going fabric shopping next weekend and hitting the ground running from there, so be on the lookout for more handmade pieces on the blog.

Aside from various sewing projects, there are other long-term creative projects that I want to work on in the next few months, such as improving my photography. For that reason, I'm only going to be posting on this blog once a week. Although I love documenting the process of making things for this blog, what I really enjoyed about making this top was that it was a project that felt more personal and I didn't have to finish it by a certain time in order to post it on this blog. I'll definitely keep posting DIY tutorials and recipes on this blog from time to time, I just don't want to get into the habit of only making things for the sake of blogging. What I envision right now is that I'll rotate between DIY tutorials, recipe and outfit posts from week to week, depending on my mood. 

Another reason that I want to dedicate less time to blogging is because, as I've mentioned a couple of times, lately I've feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. I slept for about 12 hours Saturday night, if that gives you any idea about how exhausted I've been feeling lately. Although my feeling of burnout does not necessarily stem from working on this blog, I realize that I've been treating it like another job instead of the creative outlet it's meant to be; the added workload that I have created for myself hasn't necessarily allowed me to rest. I feel that cutting back on this particular activity will enable me to make time for self-care and have more balance in my life. 

I really hope that I didn't sound too moody in this post. I just wanted to discuss how I've been feeling lately. I'm also curious to know if any of you have ever dealt with burnout, and what steps you took in order to overcome it. Any suggestions are deeply appreciated.

Have a great rest of the week!

xoxo,

Helen

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Army Green

Photos by Ale Veyna

Outfit Details:
Forever 21 Fedora Hat (Similar here, here and here)
H&M Army Green Shirt Dress
H&M Trouser Shorts (similar here and here)
H&M Sandals

The heat has arrived to SoCal, which means that I've officially stored away my winter wardrobe. I'm trying to keep a capsule wardrobe for each season and storing away things I don't use during certain times of year. Doing this reduces clutter in my closet and keeps my wardrobe feeling new and fresh. Since I haven't worn certain pieces for a couple of months, the process of bringing out my spring/summer clothes made me feel like I came back from a huge shopping spree. 

I wore this outfit about two weeks ago on a day that was particularly warm. This army green top is actually a dress, which you've also seen me wear here. I love pieces that are versatile and can be worn in a variety of ways because when you're on a budget, like me, they can help maximize your wardrobe. 
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What are your weekend plans? I'm still trying to fight off this feeling of fatigue, so mine will probably be filled with tons of sleep. I'm determined to not be at home all the time, however, so maybe I'll do something that I haven't done in a while, like going out dancing in Echo Park. I used to go out to shows and dancing all the time, but I've become so lazy that I never do things that involve me going out past 10 pm anymore. Maybe this will be the weekend that I finally break out of my routine.

xoxo,

Helen

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Over The Weekend


I'm posting much later than usual because I've been busy and needed some time away from this blog. I've realized that spending so much time in front of a computer screen has heavily contributed to the feeling of burnout I've been experiencing lately. I really love working on this space, but I have started to let my life revolve around it; I want for this blog to continue to be a fun and creative outlet for me and that means being able to step away from working on it every once in a while. 

Instead of spending my weekend with my face in front of a computer, I made the drive to Oceanside to meet up with my friends Laura and India. I hadn't seen them both in a long time, so it was a nice little reunion. India was the most wonderful tour guide and made sure to fill up our day with fun activities. We spent part of the day antique shopping, had lunch at Bagby Beer Company, and even had time to lounge at the beach. This day trip was exactly what I needed to feel more relaxed and ready to take on the upcoming week. 

I'm already feeling more energetic this week and just need to make it through to the weekend. I hope you're all doing well and hanging there as well. Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo,

Helen

Monday, March 9, 2015

Clothing Exchange

Photos by Ale Veyna

Outfit Details:
Floral Dress 
Crocheted Bag (Handmade by my grandmother)

One of my goals for this year is to focus on being less materialistic, save money and make mindful purchases that will enhance my existing wardrobe. One of the first steps that I have taken towards this resolution is to get rid of clothes that I just don't wear anymore. It is so much easier to make a list of pieces you need to add to your wardrobe when you have a clear perspective of what you're actually wearing on a daily basis. Since I tend to be a bit of a hoarder and have had many items for years, cleaning out my closet took a bit of work; I sent a bag of clothes to thredUP last December, and just filled up a second bag this weekend. Even though I have been mostly working on getting rid of things instead of adding to my wardrobe, it's much easier to find things to wear now that my closet is less cluttered. 

Another thing that I did this weekend was participate in a clothing exchange with my sister Alejandra. If you're looking to add a couple of pieces to your wardrobe without spending too much money, clothing exchanges are a great way to do that. Since my sister was also in the process of getting rid of some of her clothes, it was the perfect opportunity for us to look through each other's piles one last time and take whatever we wanted. Both our piles were filled with clothes that just didn't fit either of our styles anymore, but I was lucky to find this floral dress in Ale's. I can't understand why she'd want to get rid of it, but I'm glad it's now mine! 

I plan to talk about my own process of building a conscious closet in future posts and am working on a summary of my winter purchases for next week.  However, if you want to get a sense of what other people are doing to build a more conscious wardrobe, I would suggest that you check out the #ConsciousCloset series on In Honor of Design and Un-Fancy Blog.

As always, thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Helen
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