Monday, January 19, 2015

Birthday Weekend in Tie-Dye

Photos by Ale Veyna

Outfit Details:
Tie-Dye Dress (Similar here and here)
Crocheted Purse-Handmade by my Grandmother
Silver Earrings-Gift from my Mom
8 oz Latte (My favorite accessory of all time!)

I wore this ensemble when I went out to brunch with my sister on Saturday. This black and gray tie-dye dress is one of my favorite things that I own, but I don't wear it enough because 1) it is inappropriate for work because it has an open back and 2) it's not cozy enough to wear when it's cold outside. My solution to all of the problems/excuses that were prohibiting me from wearing this dress was buying a basic black sweater. One of my resolutions this year is to be content with my existing wardrobe, and focus on buying things that will enhance it. I think that this is one of those instances when I practiced just that. This black sweater is a great basic for fall and winter, and also makes it easier for me to wear many items that are usually only appropriate for summer and spring. 

To complete my look, instead of my usual cat eye makeup, I switched things up and used MAC Cosmetics Pigment in Blue-Brown on my eyes. As a person who has yet to master eye shadow, I love this pigment because it reflects different colors and allows you to create the illusion that you're using multiple eye shadows depending on how much you layer and blend. Apparently, you can also apply this pigment while it's wet to bring out more of the blue color and create a more intense effect. I'll have to try out that method next time that I want to look like a disco queen. 


Today is my 26th birthday, and I've been celebrating all weekend long! As you already know, my sister treated me to brunch on Saturday, and we went to Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock, one of my favorite brunch places. On Friday night, I went to see one of my favorite bands, Geographer, and I got to meet the lead singer Mike Deni. I had a good weekend, and it's made me excited about the rest of my birthday month. Yes, I do celebrate my birthday all month long. 

I have to admit, though, that I wasn't too enthusiastic about my birthday a couple of weeks ago, mostly because I've been so tired and preoccupied with so many other things. However, this weekend has just been really great, and I feel positive that this is going to be a great year for me. After all, I'm surrounded by a great group of family and friends, and every day I become more mature and have the opportunity to learn a little more about myself. This is probably the first time that I'm approaching a new year without a list of expectations, and just trying to live in the moment. I just want to learn how to be grateful for everything I have and live without any regrets. 

This weekend, I also celebrated my first year of blogging. When I started this blog one year ago, I honestly didn't think that I would be able to stick with it. I'm also always so amazed at how many people visit this site every week, and how supportive everybody is of my little corner of the internet. When I started this blog, I thought that my Mom was going to be my only most loyal follower, but I'm always so happy when somebody new reaches out to me to let me know that they're following along. Thank you so much for making all the work that goes into this space seem worth it! I promise to start bringing you more than just outfit posts once my schedule clears up. 

xoxo,

Helen

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Girl in Blue

Outfit Photos by Ale Veyna

Outfit Details:
Blue Coat (Similar)
Madewell Skinny Skinny Crop Jeans
Madewell Ames Boots (Back in stock!)
Madewell Leather Bag 

If you've been keeping up with this blog, you may have already noticed that I've been wearing certain items very frequently. Part of the reason that I keep wearing things over and over again is because I've been so happy with my recent purchases. I mentioned in my New Year's resolutions post that one of my goals is to be satisfied with my wardrobe, and I think I'm making really great progress with that goal. I'm really proud that when I cleaned out my closet two weeks ago, I didn't get rid of any clothes that I purchased in the last year. It's funny, though, because the blue coat that I'm currently wearing was one of those items that I was very hesitant about and almost ended up donating. I've had it for almost 6 years, I hadn't worn it in a long time, and I just wasn't sure if it fit in with my style anymore. I'm glad that I decided to keep it and give it another chance because it brightens up and adds a nice touch of color to my outfits, which is the reason that I bought it in the first place. The marled turtleneck that I'm wearing is a recent purchase that I know will also be in my closet for years to come. It is extremely comfortable and it also takes out the hassle of having to wear a scarf on days when it's cold outside, which is convenient for when you're rushing to get out the door in the morning. 


This weekend my sister Ale and I decided to visit the Claremont Packing House, which I've actually visited very frequently during the past month. It's funny because the only reason that I ever ventured to that area of town while I was attending school in Claremont three years ago, was to visit the Claremont Forum, a bookstore that raises money for the Prison Library Project. Other than that, there wasn't much going on in this space until recently when all these new restaurants and shops started popping up out of nowhere. Although many of the spaces in the Packing House still need to be filled, I'm glad that there has been a good amount of progress in making use of a space with so much potential. Augie's Coffee Roasters and à la minute creamery, which share a space, are some of the most recent additions to the Packing House. If you've been following me on Instagram, you probably know that I've been here several times in the past month. Both the coffee and the ice cream are so good, and I'm so glad that I found out that these places even existed. (If you happen to read this, thanks for spreading the word, Angelica!) 

As you can probably tell from the photo, the barista working at Augie's Coffee totally caught me photographing the place, even though I was trying my best to be sneaky. If anything, that photo is an indicator of how lively and friendly the baristas are at Augie's. I initially came here for the delicious coffee that everybody kept raving about, but I'm definitely going to keep coming back because of the wonderful customer service that I receive every time I visit. In terms of à la minute creamery, I didn't have ice cream this time around, but I can say that the olive oil vanilla bean flavor is delicious. I also love that their ice cream doesn't have all these preservatives found in store bought ice cream, which usually make me sick. It's also really cool to watch the staff make the ice cream right before your eyes!


One of my resolutions for 2015 is to grow and create more diverse content for this blog. I have so many ideas and really want to get working on creative projects. Unfortunately, I won't be able to take on that project any time soon since I have grad school application deadlines that I need to meet by the end of this month, and I need to squeeze in some time for self-care and sleep. The good thing is that my life is not all about work this month, especially since my birthday is coming up in the next week. My sister Ale and I are going to go see Geographer on Friday night to celebrate. At least I have some fun activities scheduled somewhere in between all the craziness that is happening this month, right? 

xoxo,

Helen

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Downtown Adventure

Photos by Carly Stevens and Me

My friend Carly who lives in Austin is in town for the month, and on one of the first few days that she was here we decided to go on a metro adventure to Downtown L.A. We had originally planned to spend a day hopping from one coffee shop to another, but we didn't want to deal with parking and LA traffic. Instead, we decided to take it easy and take the metro gold line into Downtown. During our outing, I got to try out a couple of places that I had been wanting to visit for a while and also had the opportunity to visit some old favorites, all which I'm sharing with you today.



GRAND CENTRAL MARKET
The first stop for Carly and I was Grand Central Market in Downtown LA. I used to work only a couple of blocks away from Grand Central Market, and I'm so astonished at how much it has changed in just two years. There are so many new restaurants and shops that have opened alongside establishments that have been there for years. On this particular day, Carly and I were on a mission to get egg sandwiches from Eggslut. The restaurant is very popular, so we had to wait in a very long line before we ordered our sandwiches, but they were well worth the wait. Carly and I both got the Fairfax which I have to say was really, really delicious, if you can't already tell from the picture. We also ordered lattes at G&B Coffee at the other end of the market. G&B was less busy than Eggslut, and I felt awkward taking pictures of the baristas while they were trying to do their job. But, trust me when I say that you don't need a photo for me to prove how delicious the coffee is. You have to stop by G&B if you're ever in the mood for a caffeinated drink while at Grand Central Market. 



THE LAST BOOKSTORE
Since Carly had never been to the Last Book Store and it is only a couple of blocks from Grand Central Market, we made our way over there. The bookstore is my favorite place to take friends who are visiting from out of town because it's such a sight to see. If you're a book lover, such as myself, you'll appreciate the nice selection of new and used books available in the store. If you're not that into books, you'll still enjoy just walking around. Every corner of the bookstore is decorated in a fun way, and the second floor is also home to other shops and art studios which are usually open during the day. In addition, the bookstore also hosts several events, so you should check their calendar if you're in town. 


ARTS DISTRICT
Lastly, Carly and I headed down to the Arts District, which I won't talk too much about since I already shared some of my favorites in the area here and here. Poketo is one of Carly's favorite shops, but they were closed on that particular day due to the holidays. Since it was closed, Carly and I walked over to Blacktop and enjoyed another cup of delicious coffee--do you all notice a pattern here? It wasn't too busy, probably because it was a Friday, but we did manage to catch a glimpse of Skrillex. Neither Carly nor I are necessarily fans, but it was still a fun sighting. I have to say that even though I visit the Arts District often, it's always a cute place to walk around. It's also nice that this area is easily accessible through metro and other forms of public transportation. The metro gold line is only about two blocks away. 

Carly and I found this cute scene outside a hidden vintage shop in the Arts District. While we didn't check out the vintage shop, we couldn't resist taking photos of this area. 

Outfit Details:
Madewell Shirt (Similar) | Urban Outfitters Sweater (Similar) | Madewell Skinny Skinny Crop Jeans in Tempest Wash | Piperlime Suede Booties (Similar) | Crocheted Bag (Handmade by my Grandmother)
I hope you enjoyed this post. As you may already have read in my last post, one of my resolutions is to put together more travel/adventure posts. Even though I don't see myself traveling out of the state this year, I do want to try to explore more places in California that are outside of Los Angeles. Even though I visited some new places during this Downtown outing, I realize that I need to get out of my bubble. I have a list of places that I want to visit, so we'll see where I actually end up going in 2015.

xoxo,

Helen

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Dressed in Black and 2015 Goals

Photos by Sarah Veyna

Outfit Details:
Anne Klein Satchel
Forever 21 Sunglasses
Tommy Girl Coat
Forever 21 Marled Sweater (Similar)
Old Navy Skirt
Madewell Ames Boots (Available In Suede)

This whole outfit post is just an excuse to show off my new Madewell boots that I bought as a very early birthday present to myself. I was a little hesitant to buy these boots when I saw them in store because buying them meant spending a significant portion of my clothing budget for the next three months. Thank goodness that my friend Carly was there to make me realize that buying these boots would be a great investment. I'm so happy with my purchase because I haven't stopped wearing these boots since I got them. They go well with so many of my outfits, and I also love that they're something that I know will be in my wardrobe for many years to come. 



I have to admit that it took me a while to come up with resolutions for 2015, and I was never the kind of person to make them until recent years. The reason that I never felt inclined to make goals for the new year in the past, is that I used to think about resolutions as being extreme and restrictive goals, such as going on a diet. I've come to realize that sometimes making goals is about searching for new opportunities. In the past year I made a goal to start a blog and travel. Although I hadn't taken a trip in almost two years, I managed to fit in trips to Portland and Austin in 2014. I also documented those trips and many other things on this blog. In hopes that 2015 will be just as great as last year, I thought I'd go ahead and share some of my goals with you. 

2015 Goals

Practice being more flexible with whatever life throws. If you followed my blog last year, you might have noticed that there were several times that I mentioned that I was feeling like I was in a rut. I tend to be very hard on myself when life doesn't go my way and it often leads me to feeling anxious and depressed. I really want to do my best to break that cycle in 2015 and focus on being grateful for what I have.

Spend more quality time with family and friends. When times are rough, my family and friends have always been there to listen and offer me support. I think my negative attitude sometimes drives me be very self-centered at times, but I have to remember that much of my success is largely due to the wonderful and loving people that surround me. It's only fair that I strive to show them all the same amount of care and love that they do me.

Be less materialistic, save more money and be more mindful about the items that I do invest in. I plan to achieve that goal by reducing the amount that I spend on clothes and learning how to appreciate my existing wardrobe. I was reading this post by Emma of A Beautiful Mess called "Being Content with My Closet," and I definitely agree with Emma in that learning how to be content with your wardrobe is a good way to practice being happy with what you have in other aspects of your life. I recently donated/sold a huge bag of clothing, and I was ashamed at how many of the pieces that I got rid of had only been worn once or twice. I want to grow out of the habit of shopping impulsively, and purchase items that will enhance my existing wardrobe. 

Put an effort on being healthy and place an emphasis on self-care. I want to make sure that I get enough hours of sleep every night, eat breakfast every morning, eat my vegetables, and take time to relax and unwind. 

Move to a new city. As many of you already know, I'm applying to grad school and hoping to move to a new city by the end of this year. I've lived in Pasadena all my life and went to college only a half-hour away, so I think it's time for a change. Living in the LA area is great, don't get me wrong,  but I feel that living in this city has certain barriers that are preventing me from living my life to the fullest. I want to move somewhere with a more affordable cost of living, better public transportation and where I have a stronger sense of community. 

Read more books. I spent way too much time procrastinating on social media and online shopping. I want to make a serious effort to turn off all electronics by a certain time, and set apart some time to read a book. 

Continue to grow this blog and use it to its full potential. I started this space so that I could have an outlet to express my creativity and grow my skills set. Although I did a lot of that in the past year, there's still much more room for growth. Instead of having such a large focus on outfit posts, in the future I want to include more travel, DIY tutorials and recipe posts. 

Those are my resolutions for this year! There are many of them, but I feel very confident that I can accomplish them all in the upcoming year. I'll definitely keep you updated on my progress. Since you all managed to read through all of my goals for the year, it's only fair that I get to hear your resolutions. What are some of your plans for 2015?  

xoxo,

Helen


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Farewell, 2014!


 

   

 
 
 

For those of you who survived the endless scrolling, thank you so much for following along this year. If you happened to miss any of these posts and you want to check them out, you can click the picture to link back to the original post. 

Although 2014 was full of many changes, it was a good year for me. I have to admit that the beginning of this year was kind of rocky for me for many reasons. It seemed like many of my friends were moving away all at the same time, I was having several doubts about my career and life goals, and just feeling very stuck. I started this blog as a way to keep me from becoming a recluse, like I usually do when I'm feeling anxious about life, and it has definitely helped me with that. I'm a very private person and have always been afraid to put my work out there out of fear of what others might say, but your kind words and support have been very encouraging to me in my efforts to be more adventurous. Thanks to this blog, in the past year I went on trips to Austin and Portland, worked on many creative projects, started working on developing my personal style, opened up an Etsy Shop, and had an outlet for me to express my thoughts. 

I have many goals for this blog in 2015, and I'm very excited to work towards accomplishing them. One of my goals is to use this blog to grow my skills set; I want to become a better photographer, learn new crafts, master the basics of coding HTML and CSS, and work towards better optimizing and monetizing this blog. I also want to diversify the type of content that appears on this blog; although I love putting together outfit posts, I also want to work on more DIY, decor, recipe, travel and inspiration posts in the upcoming year. Basically, I want to truly make this the lifestyle blog that it is meant to be. 

Again, thank you so much for your continued support and Happy New Year!

xoxo,

Helen

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