Sunday, August 2, 2015

#SeeSummerBetter

Warby Parker Haskell WOodgrain Tortoise Tinted #SeeSummerBetter 3
Photos by Ale Veyna

Outfit Details:
Forever 21 Boater Hat
Denim Jacket (Old)
Asos Shorts (Old)
Crocheted Bag (Handmade by my Grandmother)
"Haskell" Sunglasses in Tortoise (Sunglasses in the picture above)

I was very excited when Warby Parker invited me to put together a post for their #seesummerbetter campaign, and highlight how I'd wear Warby Parker sunglasses this summer. I've been considering investing in a new pair of sunglasses for quite some time, and I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to look into Warby Parker's Home Try-On Program. I picked out five pairs online, and Warby Parker sent them to me for five days so that I could try them on from the convenience of my own home. 

This summer I've been really trying to make the most of my time in SoCal by making multiple trips to the beach and hanging out at my favorite local spots. For that reason, I picked out styles that fit in with my casual summer style. My sisters and I made another trip to Dana Point this weekend, and it was the perfect opportunity to try on all five Warby Parker sunglasses I picked out. 

Warby Parker See Summer Better Raglan Jet Black

On our way to the beach, we stopped by Crank and Grind, an awesome coffee shop that also doubles as a bike shop. It's very convenient because it's just off the Pacific Coast Highway on the way to Strand Beach. I don't ride bikes myself, but I've found a nice mix of cyclists and people there just to enjoy a good cup of coffee every time I've visited.

Warby Parker See Summer Better Piper Jet Black 2

I'm so glad that I've been making going to the beach a priority this summer. It's an activity that I've grown to love more now that I'm much older because it's a relaxing and inexpensive way to spend the weekend. I decided to try on the "Piper" sunglasses in jet black while I was at the beach because I thought the cat eye style of these shades looked perfect with my retro-inspired bathing suit. 

Warby Parker Haskell WOodgrain Tortoise Tinted #SeeSummerBetter 2

On our way back home from the beach, my sisters and I stopped in the Los Rios Historic District in San Juan Capistrano, so that we could grab coffee at Hidden House Coffee. We spent a few minutes in the street's Monarch Sanctuary on our way to the coffee shop in order to photograph the last few pairs of sunglasses. We had a very nice man approaches and give us suggestions for different shots while we were there, and that somehow made me feel less self-conscious about taking photos in public. 

Warby Parker Reilly Marzipan Tortoise See Summer Better #SeeSummerBetter 2 Warby Parker Reilly Marzipan Tortoise See Summer Better #SeeSummerBetter

The great thing about Warby Parker's Home Try-On Program is that you have the opportunity to try on a variety of styles before you select which one to purchase. I decided to try on the "Reilly" Sunglasses even though I didn't think they were my style, and I'm really glad I did because I love how much the pattern stands out in person. 

Warby Parker Ripley Whiskey Tortoise #SeeSummerBetter 2

I had so much fun trying on different styles of sunglasses and love them all so much I still don't know know which one I'd pick. I'd love it if you'd help me decide by letting me know which one is your favorite. Also, if you're thinking of using Warby Parker's Home Try-On Program and/or buying a pair of their sunglasses, tag your pictures with #seesummerbetter on social media so that other people can know what you're up to this summer and how you're rocking your own pair of sunglasses!


xoxo,

Helen

P.S. You might have noticed that the quality of pictures on the blog is so much clearer. That's because I've switched to uploading my photos on Flickr instead of uploading them straight to Blogger, which was making my photos seem grainy. I thought I'd spread the word in case any of you also use Blogger and are having similar issues. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Etsy Favorites


(Photo via Depeapa)

As someone who dreams of one day owning their own business, I think it's very important to support other entrepreneurs and small businesses. Thanks to Etsy, "shopping small" is easier than ever. However, it can be very overwhelming to browse through the endless selection of handmade and vintage items available on the site. For that reason, I want to begin highlighting some of my favorite shops on a regular basis. Keep on reading to check out some of the products and stores that have caught my eye!

DEPEAPA
I was drawn to Depeapa because of the fun illustrations on all the products available in the shop. Owner Veronica describes the shop as a way to give her "illustrations a second life," and you can find her work printed on tea towels, canvas tote bags, and even cushion covers. There are also a few illustrations available as prints if you'd rather display them as wall art. 

(Photo via Soapopotamus)
SOAPOPOTAMUS
My friend Monica gave me the cutest soap shaped like toast for Christmas last year, and I loved it so much that I had to know where to buy more, which is how I discovered Soapopotamus. The shop has a very nice selection of handmade soaps modeled after treats such as sushi, cinammon rolls and donuts

(Photo via Xtabay Vintage)

XTABAY VINTAGE
I first discovered Xtabay Vintage when I found the most beautiful hand painted skirt and top from Mexico on Pinterest. Although I found out that the dress was sold out once I clicked through to Xtabay Vintage's store, I did find many other very beautiful vintage dresses to swoon over. I have to say that most of the dresses are out of my price range, but they are all very beautiful and well worth the price. 

I was very excited to find out that Xtabay has a brick and mortar shop in Portland, so I'll have the opportunity to check out their selection in person in the near future. I'm pretty sure that I can find an excuse to save up for a 50s vintage wedding dress even though I'm not getting married any time soon. 


(Photo via Shop Apricity)

APRICITY
I was devastated when I first found out that one of my favorite indie brands, Fleet Collection, decided to close shop because I was in love with their gorgeous retro-inspired designs. Thankfully, cofounder Eileen Chai decided to open her own shop, Apricity, which has a nice selection of dresses in a similar style. My favorite design is the Sunday Dress, and I'm excited for it to be available in more colors very soon.

(Photo via Miss Shenannies)

MISS SHENNANIES
My friend Shantal has a shop called Miss Shenannies, which has the cutest accessories made out of polymer clay. I just ordered a custom strawberry ring and can't wait to show it off on the blog! If you're in love with Shantal's shop, you should also visit her awesome blog Miss Shenanigans.

I hope you enjoyed these finds and that this post has inspired you to support small businesses. Have a great rest of the week!

xoxo,

Helen

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

From the Mending Pile

                        Photos by Ale Veyna

Outfit Details:
Striped Shirt
Madewell Ames Boots (Similar)


I decided to go twenty-four hours without my phone this weekend and had so much free time that I'm considering doing it every week. It's amazing how much you can get done when you're not constantly checking all your social media accounts and googling useless facts. I also can't even begin to tell you how many hours I spend browsing through WebMD--I'm pretty sure that my habit of self-diagnosing myself is not helping with my anxiety. 

One of the things that I was finally able to accomplish this weekend was going through my mending pile, which had been laying on a chair in my room for the past couple of months. There were so many pieces in that pile that I felt like I had a completely new wardrobe once finally went through it. This striped top was one of the pieces that I fixed, and I can't believe that I hadn't worn it in a very long time simply for not making the time to replace a button that was missing. The pleats in the front of the shirt are very unique and I love that it's a piece that doesn't really require accessories. 

You many have noticed that I put my hair in a french braided side-chignon, which I made a tutorial for last year. This is one of my favorite hairstyles for hot summer days because it gets my hair away from my neck and it only takes 5 minutes to do. 

As always, thanks so much for reading this post! I'll keep you updated on how well I do at not using my phone as much. I'd also love to hear if any of you have done something similar and whether you found it to be helpful or not. 

xoxo,

Helen

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Favorites

(Photo via Nordstrom)

I know I'm a bit late on this, but I've finally gotten around to picking out my favorites from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Part of the reason that I avoided looking at this sale was because I'm desperately trying to save money and it's very hard to resist a good deal. Although I still haven't purchased anything from the sale, there are a few items that I have my eye on. However, since I'm limiting myself to only buying things that I need, I'm sure that it won't be hard to eliminate most things from my shopping cart. A girl can still dream of having all these items in her closet, right? 

Since cooler weather is just around the corner, I found myself mostly gravitating towards coats and boots as I was browsing through the sale. I particularly liked these chunky Steve Madden boots because they look very comfortable and I love the edgy style. I've also been wanting over-the-knee boots for quite some time, and this pair is such a great deal. 

If you haven't already checked out the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, don't worry because prices don't go up until August 3rd, so you still have some time to score some amazing deals! You can also click the items below to shop my favorites. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Make A Statement

Photos by Ale Veyna

Outfit Details:
Madewell Trapeze Crop Tank (Use code Extra40 for 40% off)
Madewell Jeans
Caged Booties (Similar)

Due to nearby hurricanes, the weather in SoCal has been really strange. The weather can go from being cool and pleasant to extremely hot from one day to the next; we even got some rain and thunder this weekend! The good thing about this weird weather is that, if anything, it makes getting dressed so much more interesting, and you also have a good excuse to change into different outfits throughout the day. I wore this trapeze crop tank with jeans and caged booties on Saturday morning when it was just foggy outside, but later layered on a chunky sweater and put on a pair of boots when it started to pour later in the day. 

My favorite part of this outfit has to be this statement necklace that I recently received from Happiness Boutique. I love it so much that I can't stop wearing it! I especially like the collar style of this necklace and the fact that it adds a bit of life to even the most simple outfit. A plus about owning a good statement necklace is that it makes accessorizing easy for people, like me, that don't want to invest too much time getting ready and picking out an outfit in the morning. Another wonderful thing about Happiness Boutique is that they offer free shipping worldwide and even have a rewards program that enables you to earn points towards a future purchase. 


This weekend was truly special because I was reunited with my very good friend Janista after not having seen her for almost two years.  We've been friends for several years and used to hang out on a weekly basis, so I was sad to see her go when she left L.A. for a job in Thailand. Of course, as is the case when you're reunited with any good friend, it felt like nothing much had changed since we had last seen each other and we spent about five hours just catching up.

It keeps hitting me that I'll be leaving SoCal very soon and, although I'm very excited for my move, I sometimes get very sad about all the people that I won't get to see every day. I do take comfort in the thought that I have been fortunate to build solid relationships with people that will survive despite the distance between us.

xoxo,

Helen

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer Swimsuit Picks


Since I talked a bit about what I look for in a swimsuit in my last post, I thought that I'd share some cute styles that I found while online window shopping. I have always loved retro-inspired swimsuits, and I'm so glad that they've been in style these past few summers because there is a great selection from which to pick from. You can shop some of my favorites by clicking on each picture. 

Have a great week!

xoxo,

Helen

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Strand Beach

Photos by Ale Veyna and Me

Outfit Details (On me):
Target Straw Hat (Borrowed from Ale)

I thought I'd share these pictures from my beach trip on the 4th of July weekend. My sisters and I drove down to Strand Beach in Dana Point and spent a few hours lounging and soaking in the sun. I have to admit that I used to not be the type of person who would enjoy spending time at the beach, but it has recently started to become one of my favorite summer activities. I think the reason for that is that I've been prioritizing self-care and carving out time to just relax, which is a perfect thing to do at the beach. 

Since I plan to go to the beach often this summer, I decided to invest in a new bikini top. If you're a busty gal like me, it can be very difficult to find a swimsuit top that provides enough coverage and support, but still looks very cute. I settled on this striped bikini top from Asos and what I like about it is that it comes in my bra size, has underwire support and doesn't make me look like I'm wearing lingerie to the beach, which can be a problem when you're shopping for swimsuits in extended sizes. 


I love this picture of my sister Ale walking towards the ocean because it looks like an illustration straight out of a storybook. 


My sister Sarah is the coolest teenager I've ever met. I wish I had been as confident, smart and stylish when I was her age. 


I'm really glad I made a summer bucket list this year because it's been motivating me to be more adventurous and active on the weekends. On Saturday, my siblings and I went hiking at Griffith Park and accidentally found the teahouse that was built by artists out of reclaimed wood. It's a really cool place to check out if you're hiking in the area, and you can even make a wish on one of the many wooden tags hanging on the walls. Unfortunately, since the artists that built this teahouse didn't receive authorization from the city, there is the possibility that the building will get torn down. I signed the petition asking the city to keep it standing, and really hope it stays since I think it is a very interesting addition to Griffith Park. 

xoxo,

Helen

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