Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ready for Fall

Photos by My Mom
Outfit Details:
ASOS Polka Dot Tee in Gray
Ponte Skirt in Black
Anne Klein Satchel
Old Navy Booties

Although I love how fun and lively summer usually is, I'm ready for a change in season. L.A. is experiencing an intense heat wave, and it has been over one hundred degrees all week. It's supposed to start cooling down in the next few days, and I never thought that I'd be as excited as I am about ninety-degree weather.  

Over the weekend, I found these outfit photos that I took earlier this year, but never got around to posting for some reason.  When looking at them, I can't help but to think about how much I like this outfit and how I would like to wear it again once the weather cools down. It also makes me think of all of the other pieces in my wardrobe that have been collecting dust because it's just too hot to wear anything at all. I'm really ready for fall to arrive so that I can bring out all my sweaters and boots, and so that I can have some time to recover from this intense heat wave until the next one arrives. 


Helen Grace

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lazy Weekend in Boyfriend Jeans

Photos by Sara Hatakeyama

Outfit Details:
H&M Tee (Old)
Old Navy Boyfriend Jeans
Lotta from Stockholm Peeptoe Clogs in Tan
Straw Tote bag (Gift from my Dad from his trip to Mexico)

This weekend, I definitely made an effort to get out of my neighborhood of Pasadena, and spent some time in other parts of town. L.A. is such a big city, that sometimes it is easy for me to get lazy and stuck in a routine, and frequent the same places week after week. But I need to remember that having access to so many cool places is why I love living here. My friend Sara and I tried to do some exploring on Saturday--I use the word "tried" because the 100 degree weather this weekend drained us of our energy before we could even accomplish much. However, we did manage to have a delicious brunch at Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock, and then made our way over to Highland Park for some refreshing horchata lattes at Café de Leche. Caffeinated drinks and a good meal always make for a successful outing, if you ask me!

My outfit definitely reflected my lazy mood, in a good way. I got these boyfriend jeans from Old Navy last month, right before I embarked on my 6-month shopping cleanse, and they are super comfortable. The loose fit makes them appropriate for hot weather, since the don't stick to your body like skinny jeans do. I'm really looking forward to transitioning these into fall and winter, because I think they will look great with oversized sweaters and coats. 

If you're ever looking for a place to eat brunch in the L.A. area, you should definitely head over to Auntie Em's Kitchen, which is one of my favorite spots. I wish I had taken more pictures of the place to show you how adorable it is inside. The restaurant has a very cute bakery and shop at the entrance, and I love how homey it feels.I decided to venture out and try something other than my usual order of french toast during this trip, and instead I ordered some delicious pancakes with a peach and whiskey glaze. I'm glad I did, because they were delicious! Sara ordered a Caprese sandwich, which also looked amazing. 

Café de Leche is definitely one of those coffee shops that I need to visit more often. It's really cute inside, and it seems like a great place to read a book or spend some time studying. More importantly, they also make really delicious drinks. I usually don't like flavored coffee drinks, but I love their iced horchata espresso. Sara got their iced horchata chai, which she said was also really good. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about my weekend adventure. I need to remember that I started this blog as a way to motivate myself to get out of the house, and not just post my outfits. I'm hoping to have more energy to run around town once this heat wave disappears. 


Helen Grace

Friday, September 12, 2014

Weekly Picks

( Photo from my Instagram)

All I have to say is that I'm glad it's Friday! It's been a long week, and I'm ready to squeeze in some lounging time. I'm thinking that instead of going out to take outfit photos this weekend, maybe I'll just do an outfit post in my pajamas next week. I'm kidding! Well, I'm only kind of kidding. I honestly don't really own or wear any lounge wear, which is something that I need to work on. I didn't think much of it until somebody pointed out one weekend, that they thought I was going to work because I looked so dressed up. Although I feel that getting dressed up on weekends does give me the energy to get out of the house and do things, I feel that I also need to learn how to dress in a way that inspires me to relax. So, as a way of practicing my lounging skills, I plan to spend a good portion of this weekend in my sweatpants. If you're feeling just as lazy as I am and don't feel like doing much more than laying on your couch, you should check out some of these links while you're at it:

Check out this printable wrapping paper from Studio DIY. This post has an 11x17" file, which you can take to your local print shop to get it printed according to whatever size you want.

I love the idea of giving away potted plants instead of flowers. Oh Joy! has some great ideas on how to repurpose vintage objects as planters. 

These DIY no-sew aprons from Sugar & Cloth would make a great gift! I love that the leather details, and the fact that they're personalized.  

This Blackberry Rum Fizz recipe from Design Lovefest looks absolutely delicious, and it's pretty too! 

I love Jimmy Kimmel's "Lie Witness News" segment, especially this episode which is dedicated to fashion week. I hope to never be in these people's shoes! Haha! 

I want to incorporate more vests into my wardrobe, and I really love this outfit inspiration from Atlantic-Pacific

Lastly, you should definitely pay attention to the #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft hashtags that many survivors of domestic violence have been using to share their stories. I have to say that I do not think that survivors need to justify their reasons for staying, and the blame should be put on the abusers. However, I do think that it's important for people to hear these stories in order to minimize victim-blaming. 

Have a great weekend!

Helen Grace

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Red Shift Dress

Photos by Sarah Veyna

Outfit Details:
Shopruche Ikat Print Dress
Lotta from Stockholm Peeptoe Clogs
Target Belt
Madewell Leather Bag
Forever 21 Sunglasses

I've been wearing this shift dress at least once a week, ever since I bought from Ruche about a year ago. I love the Ikat print and hints of teal throughout the fabric, and it's just one of those pieces that I can just throw on whenever I can't think of anything else to wear. That's the great thing about a good dress, it makes getting dressed in the morning so much easier! 

As always, I'm already ready for the weekend! This past weekend was so fun and productive for me, and I'm hoping to keep the momentum going. As you may already know, one of my goals is to learn how to sew so that I can make some of my own clothes. This past weekend I made a good amount of progress on a skirt that I'm making--with a lot of help from my Mom, of course. She is crazy good at sewing, and is even teaching me how to sew without having to use patterns. However, I'm sure it will be a while before I get to the point where I'm that good of a seamstress, that I can just look at a piece of fabric and cut out any shape that I want. For now, I just want to focus on finishing that skirt! I guess I'll just have to wait a few more days for that. 


Helen Grace

Monday, September 8, 2014

DIY Rose Garland

I've been on a creativity kick lately, which is awesome because I keep saying that I want to make it a priority to work on different projects. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I've been keeping myself busy by making fabric flowers. I've mostly been using the flowers that I have made to make fascinators and hair clips. However, this weekend I decided to make some flowers that I could incorporate into my home decor. The result was this twine and felt rose garland, which I absolutely love!

As you can tell, I wrapped the garland around my headboard, and it instantly added a much-needed pop of color to my bedroom. But you can also use this garland as a party decoration, or to liven up any other space around your house. And, the best thing about this garland is that it only costs about $10 to make! Keep on reading to learn how to make your own. 

8 ft of Twine
10-12 sheets of felt in any color (this makes about 12 roses)
Glue and Glue Gun

STEP 1. To make a felt rose, first you're going to have to cut out the center petal, 4 small petals, and 4 large petals and a oval to cover the back of the twine. I kind of eyeballed the dimensions, but I've included this pattern to help you out if that's not your thing. 

STEP 2. To make the center of the rose, take the petal with the longer piece attached to it, and roll it up. 

STEP 3. Use your thread and needle to sew the center of the rose together, in order to ensure that it doesn't fall apart once you start gluing on the other petals.
STEP 4. Next, start hot gluing the petals around the center of the rose. Start off by using the smaller petals, and continue to do this until you've used all 8 petals. 

TIP: While gluing on the petals, try to place them where they fill in the gaps made by other petals. This will make your rose seem much fuller than if you just place one petal over the other. 

STEP 5. Once you've glued on all the petals, use your needle and thread to sew together the bottom of your rose. This will secure the rose, and keep it from falling apart much later.

STEP 6. With the rose still upside down, place your piece of twine over the bottom. Next, glue the oval piece to the back to cover up the twine and thread, and secure the rose to the garland.  Make sure to measure 6-7 inches of twine between each rose. Attach each rose to the garland, and then you're done!

I had so much fun making this project, and am glad to be able to share it with you. I hope that you all enjoyed this tutorial as much as I enjoyed putting it together, and that you find a way to incorporate it into your home decor! If you do decide to make this project, make sure to use #sweethelengracediy on Instagram, so that I can see it. Have a great rest of the week!


Helen Grace

Friday, September 5, 2014

Weekly Picks

(Photo from my Instagram)

Even though this was a short week for me, I've been feeling tired all week. There is something about a long weekend that just makes it hard for me to get back into work mode. That is why I'm definitely looking forward to having the opportunity to recharge this weekend. I'm also excited for the week to end so that I can work on creative projects, especially after having the opportunity to do that last weekend. I feel so inspired that I'm also planning to work on a DIY project, which I plan to post here next week. While you're waiting for the posts that I have lined up for you, you should check out some of my favorite links this week:

Even though I've committed to not shopping for the next six months, that doesn't mean that I can't do a bit of online window shopping every once in a while. This week I'm in love with Golden Ponies fall collection, as well as several items from their past collections. I wish that it rained more around here so that I would have an excuse to buy one of these cute plastic raincoats

I'm obsessed with blogger Justina Blakeney's Instagram feed, because she creates very beautiful foliage portraits. You should also check out her blog for some cool bohemian-inspired decor and design inspiration.  

This video of Jimmy Fallon and Adam Levine doing impersonations, made me laugh so hard. 

I love the Dean Street Society's September Closet Challenge! The whole idea around it is that you get bored of what's in your closet, because you get into the habit of wearing the same outfits every week. Therefore, the point of the challenge is to get you to wear what's already in your closet in new ways. 

My friend Antoinette shared an article on Facebook entitled "19 Struggles of Having An Outgoing Personality But Actually Being Introverted," and I feel that I can really relate to it. 

Jessica Williams does a great job in this video, in articulating what many women are already thinking. 

Keiko Lynn's new teal hair color has me feeling inspired to experiment with my own! I don't know if I'll do anything permanent, but I figure that I should try something out while the ends of my hair are still blonde. 

That's it for this week's links. I hope you all have a great weekend!


Helen Grace

Monday, September 1, 2014

September Goals

Photos by Sarah Veyna

Outfit Details:
Crocheted Top (Handmade by my Grandmother)
Asos Tank Top
Old Navy Black Skater Skirt
Lotta from Stockholm Peeptoe Clogs in Tan
Madewell Black Leather Bag

It's been so hot lately that I struggle with deciding what to wear because, honestly, all I want to do is lay around in my bathing suit all day. Since I can't do that, I've definitely have a couple of warm-weather pieces that I've been religiously wearing all summer. This black skater skirt has become one of my go-to pieces because it's very light and it goes well with most of my summer tops. This weekend I wore it with this crocheted top that my grandmother made for me a while back; the open stitches are perfect for when you're trying to beat the heat.

I can't believe that it's September already, and another month has come and gone. I want to start off this month by establishing some monthly goals. The reason that I want to do that is because I always have all of these long-term goals, but I hardly ever stop to think of what it is that I can accomplish at the moment. I'm also hoping that setting short-term goals will enable me to reflect on my immediate needs and priorities. That being said, these are some goals that I want to work towards accomplishing during this month:

  • Last week I blogged about how I've been toying with the idea of giving up shopping for a couple of months, and focus on making on my own clothes instead. Well, I've decided to take on that challenge for the next six months. I want to do this because it will help me work towards becoming less materialistic, which is something that I struggle with when I'm under stress; I always have this idea in my head that a new top or dress will solve all of my problems. It will also help me cultivate my creativity and improve my sewing skills, so that I can finally move past only making things that are square-shaped such as tote bags, pillows, etc. Plus, almost everybody in my family has amazing sewing skills, so I feel the pressure to also perfect that skill.
  • This month, I also want to start working towards being less of a perfectionist and people pleaser. Over the years, I've made a great amount of progress in this area of my life and I've started to learn how to roll with the punches whenever something unexpected comes my way. However, I still struggle with self-doubt and feeling guilty for doing things simply because they make me happy. Since I'm currently working on several long-term goals, I want to make sure that I'm in the right state of mind and am able to be my own cheerleader whenever a challenge comes my way. I have to remember that I need to do what's best for me, and not let other people's perspective affect my decisions. 
  • Although  I want to be less of a perfectionist, I realize there are certain responsibilities that I tend to completely ignore. Therefore, I want to become more organized to ensure that I'm making progress towards my goals. So what I'm saying is that starting this month, I have to stop procrastinating on studying for the GRE. 
  • I also want to set the goal to read more often. Since I was an English and Spanish major in college, I used to read 4-6 books a week, and completely gave up watching television during that time. Nowadays, I spend most of my time online and watching television, because it's so much easier to find the energy to do those things when I come home from work. However, I miss learning and want to make that a priority in my life again.

That's it for my September goals. I'm hoping that keeping the practice of implementing short-term goals will help me learn how to better live in the moment, and give me a better sense of accomplishment. Do you all have any monthly or day-to-day goals? How do you manage to stick to your goals?


Helen Grace


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