Sunday, July 17, 2016

Life These Past Few Months

All photos by me

Outfit Details:
Denim Jacket (Similar)
Handmade Gingham Skirt (Similar)


I have not been as present on this blog as I used to be these past few months, and thought it would be good to talk to you all about what has been happening lately. As many of you know, I moved to Portland from L.A. last September so that I could start grad school. I decided to make the move because there was something about Portland that truly inspired me the few times I visited but, although I do love this city, there have been many times when I've struggled to remember exactly what that was. I think my lack of enthusiasm for my new home stems from the fact that I've hardly had time to enjoy the city since I moved here, especially with all my weekly responsibilities. Just the last few weeks of school I was trying to juggle the stress of finals, my graduate assistantship and starting an internship all at the same time. Needless to say, that schedule hardly left me with any time to sleep, hang out with friends or dedicate time to creative activities like this blog. 

Moving here has also taken a toll on my anxiety. I never really mentioned this on the blog before, but when I was living back in LA I started going to therapy to help with my anxiety and depression. I gained some pretty good skills to cope with what I was going through at the time, and started learning how to identify things that triggered me to fall into those slumps or moments of panic. I felt like I was in a pretty good space before my big move, but being away from my support system made it very difficult to deal with all the changes and difficult situations that came along with being in a new place. It's been difficult getting over the feeling of being homesick and missing family and friends, and simply just being in a landscape that I can easily navigate and feels familiar to me. 

On top of all the emotional stress I've dealing with, I never quite realized how hard it would be for me to adjust to the change in weather. While it was not very difficult for me to deal with the drop in temperature here in Portland, I have had a much harder time getting used to the gray skies which really affect my mood. I've recently found out that this isn't only the case in the wintertime since it has been very gloomy this summer. I've already invested in a happy lamp and am looking forward to better days, but it's been tough. 

While life here in Portland is getting more exciting and stress-free for me, and I hope to continue to write about my adventures, I wanted to write this because I don't want to present a very narrow view of my life that's just pretty pictures of clothes, food and coffee. I also want to learn to challenge my frustrations and try to turn them into something positive either via this blog or other creative outlets. So here's to less stress and more creativity for the rest of the year!

xoxo,

Helen


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Striped Off-the-Shoulder Top


All photos by me
Outfit Details:
Longaberger Basket Purse 
Zara Frilled Top (Similar here, here and here)
Nine West Sandals (Similar here and here)


If there's one trend that I am in love with this summer, it has to be off-the-shoulder tops. I purchased this top from ZARA a few weeks back, and I love the frilled sleeves because there is something very sexy and feminine about them. I also love the straps on this particular top, which is unfortunately sold out, because I can still wear a regular bra with it. Being a bit on the bustier side makes it more challenging when you're on the market for a strapless bra, so it will be a while until I fully commit to the off-the-shoulder lifestyle. 

I did not realize that this top was cropped when I purchased it online, but luckily many of the bottoms I own are high-waisted, so it works perfectly with most of my wardrobe. I do show a little bit of skin with this pair of Madewell high-rise jeans, but that doesn't bother me too much. If anything, wearing this top will serve as an exercise to learn to embrace my body more this summer. 

Speaking of learning to love your body, I think that finding pieces that fit well is a very important part of that journey. I recently replaced my old pair of blue jeans with this pair of high-rise crop jeans from Madewell and they fit like a dream! The high waist hits just where it should and the inseam is the perfect length for my petite 5'3" frame. I also like that these jeans have a good amount of stretch and aren't too skinny, making them extremely comfortable. 

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I hope you all had a very restful and exciting weekend! I was definitely looking forward to it after last week. For some reason, there's something about going back to work after a holiday weekend that makes it so much harder to get through the week! Luckily, I had a very rejuvenating past two days myself. Since one of my goals this summer is to explore a bit more of Portland, a friend and I headed to Pine Street Market for some delicious eats. I enjoyed coffee, tapas and ice cream. What more could a girl ask for? I don't think I need to say that I'd definitely recommend visiting this fun spot if you're ever in the Portland area. Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo,

Helen

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Muscle Tank and Caged Sandals


All photos by me

Outfit Details:
Statement Necklace c/o Happiness Boutique (Similar)
Loft High Rise Jeans (Similar)
Caged Heels (Similar here and here)
Madwell Clutch


This dark and minimalist outfit is such a contrast from last week's outfit post, but I think it's more representative of the types of ensembles you can find me wearing these days. Since I don't have as much time to get ready in the morning, I usually gravitate towards outfit combinations that are both chic and effortless. Another great thing about this outfit is that it's perfect for when you're rushing to dinner or happy hour with friends straight after work. All you have to do is throw on a blazer to make it work for the office, and then either take it off or keep it on depending on the occasion. 

You've seen most of these items before since I'm keeping my shopping to a minimum these days, but the one brand new item is this Everlane muscle tankThis tank is quickly becoming one of my favorite pieces because the relaxed fit is very flattering and perfect for when the weather is warm outside. I also like that the wider straps and high neckline make it very versatile and provide the perfect canvas for a cute statement necklace, like the one I'm wearing with this outfit. I decided to wear this tank with jeans on this day because the weather was a bit chilly outside, but I've also paired it with a pencil skirt for work. For reference, although I'm bit on the bustier side, I've noticed that Everlane tanks and t-shirts tend to run a bit large, so I sized down and purchased an X-Small.

Since I don't have a huge shopping budget these days, I love finding pieces in my closet that continue to stand the test of time. These caged sandals were one of my first big splurges when I got my first real job a few years back, and they were well worth the investment because they are still a staple in my closet. The chunky heel of these shoes is very comfortable, and I love that they instantly add a very edgy vibe to any outfit. I'm looking forward to taking advantage of the sunny weather and experimenting with different ways to wear these sandals during the summer months.

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I hope all of you in the U.S. are enjoying a relaxing long weekend and happy Independence Day! I'm usually really lazy and don't do much on holiday weekends, but I'm looking forward to hanging out with my roommate, watching The Lobster and maybe catching some fireworks. And who can complain about getting an extra day off work, am I right?

xoxo,

Helen

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