Sunday, October 4, 2015

New Life Transitions

Photos by Helen Veyna
Outfit Details:
BDG Flannel Shirt (Similar here, here and here)
Madewell Ames Boots

Having lived in Southern California all my life and never having experienced a long fall and winter, I'm very excited to finally get use out of my cold weather wardrobe now that I'm in Portland. Although temperatures haven't dropped too low, I already have a few pieces that I've been gravitating towards whenever the weather is a bit chilly outside. One of those pieces is this plaid flannel tunic that I already know is going to be a wardrobe staple for me this upcoming fall and winter. My sister Alejandra gifted this shirt to me last Christmas and it is one of the warmest and coziest things I own; it truly makes me wonder why I waited so long to own anything made out of flannel. What makes this top a great transitional weather piece is that it can easily be styled in a variety of ways. In the past I've also worn it as a loose tunic over denim jeans (as seen in this post from last year), as a jacket over a basic tee, and belted at the waist over a pair of leggings. I especially love the rugged and "masculine" vibe this top adds to any outfit. 

For those of you who don't know, my sisters Ale and Sarah would help me take photos while I was living in L.A., and this is the first outfit post with me taking my own photos. Although I will miss working with my sisters--you could even say that this blog was as much theirs as it was mine--I'm looking forward to improving my photography and exploring new ways to grow this blog now that I'm all on my own. As I continue to work on this space, I want to concentrate on making this a well-rounded lifestyle blog and post more diverse content every week; I really enjoy cooking, baking and crafting and want to share that with you all. Another goal of mine is to increase the number of weekly posts, although I realize that might not be possible for me to do until the upcoming year when I've become accustomed to my new work and school schedule. I guess that just means that I'll have to keep you all guessing on what's coming up on the blog!



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Monday, September 28, 2015

A Few of My Favorite Things

Photos by Ale Veyna

Outfit Details:
Everlane U-Neck T-Shirt (Similar)
Thrifted Basket Bag (Similar)

I know it's Autumn, but I figured it would be okay to post another warm weather outfit since I could probably wear this if I were still living in Los Angeles. You could easily say that this outfit is another version of my summer uniform. It was so hot outside the last few days I was in Los Angeles that I couldn't imagine wearing anything else but shorts and a t-shirt. What I like about this simple outfit combination is that it leaves room to highlight a few of my favorite accessories: the boater hat I've been wearing all summer, a cute vintage basket purse I purchased in Austin, and my trusty Lotta from Stockholm clogs.

Another reason that this outfit was on repeat all summer long was that these shorts from Madewell are the most flattering and comfortable pair of denim shorts I've ever owned. They have a higher rise, so they accentuate my waist and I don't have to worry about pulling them up all the time. I also love that the length isn't too short and you can actually fold or unfold the hem depending on your preference.

After a month of being "funemployed," things are about to start getting busy for me again this week. Although I'm a bit nervous about all the work that I'll have to do, I'm very grateful to finally have something to fill up my day. I found that having too much free time was making me feel homesick and causing me to lose sight of why I moved to Portland in the first place. It also didn't help that I was sick for almost a month and desperately wanted my family to be there to take care of me. 

I've been feeling more and more settled in my new home these past few days. If you follow me on Instagram, you might already know that I finally managed to take outfit photos last week; I'll have photos from Portland to share with you starting next Monday. I have to admit that it was a bit awkward taking photos of myself and it will probably take some practice before I feel more comfortable doing it. The good thing is that I did manage to leave the house pretty early, so I only ran into a few people who were either walking their dogs or squeezing in a morning run. I would just stand by my tripod and browse through my pictures whenever somebody passed by me, but I'm pretty sure a few people figured out what I was doing. That, or I'm just very self-conscious. 

Do any of you also take your own outfit photos? I'm curious to see if you have any tips. 



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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Homemade Herbal Tea: Guest Post by Vogue Intuition

I hope you are all having an amazing week! Today's post is actually something that my fellow blogger Shawndiz from the blog Vogue Intuition put together. Shawndiz is currently a college student at the University of California San Diego whose blog is focused on providing other women in college with tips on how to live a fun and stylish life while balancing the demands of school. I was really excited when she reached out to me with the idea of a post on homemade herbal tea because I think it's something that we all could use in the upcoming fall months. I'll most likely be referring to this post next time I have a craving for tea and I hope you do to!


Happy first day of fall! Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The air gets colder and the evenings are spent curled up reading a book and sipping your favorite hot drink. My personal go-to drink is tea. I love how there are so many different varieties you can choose from, and different combinations even help with different things (like sleeping for example). That said, I think I got my love of tea from my family who are all heavy tea drinkers. My dad even goes as far as drying his own herbs that he grows in his own garden to make his tea. So today I thought I would share one of the recipes you can use for drying and brewing your own tea right at home, and I'll also go over the health benefits of the specific herbs I used in this mix!


  • green tea
  • fresh olive leaves
  • fresh lemon balm

Directions to dry herbs:

If you would prefer to just buy dried olive leaves and lemon balm, go ahead and skip to the next section.

  1. Gather your olive leaves and lemon balm. We got ours from our garden.
  2. Put each in their own bowls and clean thoroughly with water.
  3. Lay each out on a cookie sheet and place the sheet in the oven. DO NOT TURN ON THE OVEN, simply turn on the light. This will make it warm enough to dry them over time.
  4. After leaving the leaves in the oven for a day you can start using them in your tea. However, if you want them to eventually become completely dry, leave them there till you see they are.

Directions to brew tea:

You can do this in either a tea pot or tea strainer (for individual mugs).

  1. In whichever device you are using, pour in your green tea, olive leaves and lemon balm. Because the strength of your tea is a personal preference there is no exact measurement for how much to put. In my tea, all three ingredients took up half of the center brewing part of the pot. Nevertheless, you should use more green tea than either of the other two ingredients because green tea serves as the base flavor.
  2. Boil water in a tea kettle, but let it cool for one minute before you pour it over your tea.
  3. Let your tea sit for ten minutes so that the flavors are thoroughly infused, then snuggle up and enjoy! If you like your tea a little sweet, add some honey!

Here are the health benefits of each of the herbs used in this brew. Green tea can improve your health, improve brain function, and increase fat burning. Dried olive leaves can prevent cancer, help with bone building, and have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Dried lemon balm can optimize your digestive system, relieve symptoms of anxiety, and stimulate your immune system. So why wouldn't you brew yourself a cup?

Also, if you really enjoy healthy homemade drinks like I do, take a look at my infused sparkling water recipe! Or you can take a look here for a desert recipe!

What are some of your favorite herbal teas?

I hope you enjoyed my post; I really enjoyed working with Helen to make it happen! Don't forget to check out my blog for a free gift

xo shawndiz

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Photos by Ale Veyna

Outfit Details
Tie-Dye Dress 
Nine West Tertia Sandals 

Although it may not appear to be the most versatile piece at first glance, this tie-dye dress has surprisingly made several appearances on the blog. I paired it with a jacket in this post, and also made it work with a sweater in this post earlier this year. However, I have to say that I like this dress best on its own. It's just one of those simple and effortless dresses that doesn't require additional accessories to look good. Although this is one of my favorite dresses, I hardly ever get to wear it because it has an open back (which I wish I had taken a picture of), and is inappropriate to wear in a work environment, where I spent most of my time. The great thing about being "funemployed" my last two weeks in California was that I had the opportunity to wear this dress quite a few times before leaving the state. 

Speaking of which, if you haven't already noticed, I'm still posting outfit photos from when I was in California instead of photos of Portland. My sister Alejandra was kind enough to photograph several of my outfits before I left my home in Pasadena so that I could make sure that I had something to post each week in case things got too hectic. She was completely right about things getting crazy since I've been very busy getting settled here in Portland and am currently battling my second cold since I've been here. I think it's needless to say that it will probably be a while before I can go out and take outfit photos or work on projects and recipes. I did go ahead and purchase a tripod last week, so I'll be working on making that transition once my life settles down a bit. 



Sunday, September 13, 2015

Boyfriend Jeans

Photos by Ale Veyna

Outfit Details:
Navy Tank Top (Similar)
Old Navy Boyfriend Jeans (Similar)
Seychelles "Face the Music" Pumps
Madewell Bag

My sister Ale and I took these pictures in the L.A. Arts District just a few days before I left for Portland. As you can see, I was wearing a pair of boyfriend jeans, but only because it was early in the morning and the heat hadn't completely set in. Although we had visited the Arts District with the intention of spending a few hours around this area and Little Tokyo, it was so hot this day that Ale and I got coffee at Blacktop Coffee and then decided to call it a day. I immediately took off these jeans and changed into a pair of shorts as soon as we got back home. Luckily, temperatures are much cooler in Portland, so I'm sure these jeans will get plenty of wear this upcoming fall season. 

Speaking of Portland, I can't believe that it's been almost two weeks since I moved to this awesome city. When I haven't been working on unpacking or trying to figure out logistics related to school, I've been trying to explore different parts of the city. Since I've been here, I've already discovered a few new coffee shops and restaurants, met up with friends, and also attended a few shows of the Time-Based Art Festival with my friend Candace.  One of the things that I love about Portland is that it has an amazing public transit system, which makes it so much easier for me to get around and explore my new home. Although I can't wait to share bits of my new life with you, I'm still settling in and it will be a while until you start seeing photos of Portland on the blog. I still have a few more posts from when I was in California lined up in the new few weeks, but you can always follow my adventures in real time on my Instagram



P.S. In case any of you were wondering, this mural was created by the talented artist Kim West and you can check out more of her work here

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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Experimenting with Minimalism

Photos by Ale Veyna

Outfit Details:
Madewell Mini Skirt (Similar)
Nine West Tertia Sandals (Similar)
Madewell Bag

Since most of my clothes were all packed up in boxes and it was also over 100 degrees outside during my last two weeks in LA, most of my outfits were pretty simple and consisted of only a few items that were still hanging in my closet. Although I'm not necessarily ready to call myself a minimalist, I get the appeal of downsizing your wardrobe and focusing on having just a few staple items that you wear on a regular basis. Having less to chose from actually made it more easy for me to pick out what to wear every day. This mini skirt and t-shirt combo was one of those outfits I put together and I love that that the simplicity of it left me with some room to experiment with accessories, which I hardly ever do.

In other news, I finally made the move to Portland! Last week was pretty stressful for me simply because I don't deal very well with change and I was enjoying LA so much that I just didn't want to leave. However, I'm very lucky that I have a strong support system that made the transition so much more easy for me. My friend Janista joined me on the drive from LA to Oakland, where we had our gracious hosts May and Allen welcome us into their lovely home. After a day of exploring the Bay Area with Janista, I drove up by myself to Portland where I stayed with my friends Candace and Dave. Thanks to the power of social media, I was able to find a place to live within a few days and am slowly adjusting to life in a new city. Although it's going to take me some time to get used to this change, I'm very excited to explore my new home and share my adventures on this blog.



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Monday, August 31, 2015

Peach and Honey Popsicles

I think I can easily say that the popsicle mold I bought earlier this summer has been the most wise investment I've made all year. With the end of the heatwave that's hit SoCal nowhere in sight, I've been heavily putting it to use and cranking out all sorts of popsicle recipes. I really wish that I could have shared all of those recipes with you on the blog, but my desire to devour these frozen treats has heavily outweighed that of documenting the process of making them. 

Luckily for you, I did manage to put together this simple and delicious recipe for Peach and Honey Popsicles. The combination of peaches and honey in this recipe gives off a tangy and sweet taste that is both delicious and refreshing, making these popsicles exactly what you need to cool off on a hot summer day. 

Just to give you an idea of how hot it's been around this part of the world, these popsicles were only out of the mold for only about 4-5 minutes before they started to melt. Luckily, I was able to pop them back into the mold and put them in the freezer before they ended up in a huge puddle on the tray I was photographing them on. 

Peach and Honey Popsicles

4-5 medium peaches
1/2 cup of honey
1 cup of water

You'll also need:
Popsicle sticks


1. Blend the ingredients until you have a puree mixture. 

2. Pour the mixture into the popsicle mold and add popsicle sticks. 

3. Pop the mold into your freezer for a 3-4 hours or until the mixture hardens. When you're ready to devour these frozen treats, run the mold under warm water so that each popsicle slides out more easily. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe! 


As you're reading this post, I'm probably on the road and on the way to my new home, the city of Portland. It's crazy that I'm finally making the move after months of constantly talking about it and sounding like a broken record! I'm both excited and scared about this new change in my life, and I'm looking forward to sharing this new adventure with you in the upcoming months. That being said, my priority in the next few days will be to find a place to live and settle into my new home, so please excuse me if I take a little bit longer than usual to respond to all your comments. If you want to see what I'm up to in real time, you can follow me on Instagram @helenveyna

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful rest of the week!



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