Saturday, April 18, 2015

Rack 'Em Up!

I've been a fan of Nordstrom Rack for as long as I can remember. My mother used to take me there for back to school clothes, and now it's one of the places I hit up when I crave a good deal. The Laguna Niguel location opened up Thursday, and I was so thankful to be invited to a grand opening celebration on Tuesday. 

Along with drinks and appetizers, shoppers got to peruse the racks for special finds. This location has a lot of great designer clothing from Elizabeth & James, Kate Spade, DVF, and more, along with a designer shoe section that had a lot of Tory Burch. 

I found a lot of cute things, but the clearance rack especially caught my eye. After doing some digging, I came back with stunning sparklers from Ted Baker and Topshop. The Ted Baker dress is a beautiful salmon color with a front pleat and jeweled collar. It's so comfortable! The Topshop dress is a bit more form fitting, but I love the sequins and how they can be moved. Perfect for my upcoming Vegas trip in July.

The staff at this Rack location was extremely helpful, so I suggest you stop in this weekend and see what you can find.

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Day Made

I am beyond honored to have been named Made Woman Magazine's Made Woman of the Month. I've interviewed so many amazing women because of my contributions to this magazine, but I never dreamed I would be counted as one of them. You can check out the article here.

I hope this goes to show that comparing yourself to someone else is never the answer. Just keep working, stay humble, and never lose sight of the mission. That's how you become an example. And how you get MADE.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

For Example: A Flower

I got the most beautiful flowers at the supermarket for Easter. Sure, they're dyed, but I love that they leave the water in the vase pink. My boyfriend asked me what the big deal was with flowers anyway. I had grown up seeing my dad giving all the women in his life flowers for every special occasion, and it was a gesture I loved so much. I came to think of the giving of flowers as the most gentlemanly, considerate act; flowers are always the ideal gift.

My boyfriend, however, didn't seem to buy this. So I really thought about why I love these fragrant, visual stunners, that only last a few days then wilt. There's something about them not being permanent, about possessing them in their prime that I  like. I tried to describe this, but to no avail.

Then today, thanks to Buzzfeed, I found a new favorite poem. Don't you just love it when someone else says exactly what you've been feeling/thinking? I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I do. 

For Example: A Flower
by Arkaye Kierulf

We are protected from so much pain. For example: graves.
The earth’s roots and brown-black blood are busy
covering the soft, violated bodies of our loves.
Death is a secret, and the rain with its many hands

washes off the streets to the gutters death’s thick surprise.
The automatic shutter of the eye never fails,

the courtesies of the tongue. What goes on in the rooms of houses
is guarded from us by the hardwood doors,

the carefully closed windows. Whatever was said or done,
night will come, eagerly, to clean up.

And death will shield us, in time,
from the sun’s megalithic promise:

Tomorrow, the same day.
Tomorrow, the same day.

For example: A flower
is the most beautiful lie.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Happy Easter!

There is something so refreshing about Easter. If Thanksgiving is centered around food and Christmas revolves around gifts, then Easter is perhaps the best because it's the least self-indulgent. I still like getting a little extra dressed up for Easter service at church, and the color palette is always so vibrant and welcome after winter. It seems fitting to sip on pink champagne Easter morning as well. After dinner we had the cutest egg-garnished chocolate malt cupcakes from My Delight. I haven't had a cupcake in months because I've been on a diet, so they tasted extra sweet. But what makes every holiday all the more merry is that my family is always there. I hope your Easter was as warm and sweet as mine was. He IS risen. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Chic in Chicago

One of the things I would consider a perk at any job is the ability to travel. Every year NAILS Magazine goes to Chicago to attend America's Beauty Show. I never had the urge to go until a couple of months ago when something nagged at me to volunteer. I had this sudden curiosity to see Chicago, a city I had long heard of, and now was desperate to see. 

I've always been a fan of exploring new places and Chicago is a city that's fun to get lost in. I stayed at the W, saw the Bean, had cocktails and tacos at Mercadito, stopped in for a Midnight Kiss at Elephant & Castle (I was attracted to this pub because it shares the name of a tube station in London), had breakfast at the new Seven Lions, and a pretty great business dinner at the Gilt Bar

Food and drinks in Chicago are pretty fabulous, but the Chicago Art Institute is the place I would really like to revisit. I had the opportunity to attend the Beauty Changes Lives gala honoring Leo Passage my second night in the city. Only one wing was open for partygoers to peruse, and luckily for me it was the Modern wing, my favorite period in art and literature. Picasso paintings danced along the walls and sculptures took center stage. Downstairs, a live fashion show took place with models wearing works of up and coming designers along with avant garde hair and nails. I posted some of my favorite pictures here. 

While most guests chose black to wear to the event, I opted for white. I had packed black, but at the last moment I craved the clean crisp lines of a white linen and feather blazer from Elizabeth and James and a BCBG pleated white dress with simple black pumps. It was cold outside, but to stand out in the crowd was completely worth the risk. 

Our last day in Chicago a mini miracle happened. The snow fell in droves and blanketed the streets, caking my hair and gloves. Even though it had been 90 degrees in Orange County, the extreme difference in weather made me inexplicably happy. It was like being inside a snow globe, newly shaken. Living somewhere that is beautiful but un-seasonal can make you crave days like this, where the bite of the cold doesn't even seem to phase you. I stood outside in my bare legs and un-waterproofed boots to allow the snow to fall on my shoulders. My flight home was delayed over three  hours, but looking back, I think it was all worth it. I may forget the outfits and hairstyles the models showed off; the taste of a meal may fade; I can sleep off the best glass of French wine; but watching the snow fall stirred something in me that I never knew was missing. Until next time, Chicago. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Happily Ever After

Maybe there are no happy endings, save for the ones you write yourself. 

I haven't been a big fan of fairy tales in my adult life, but there is something intriguing about Cinderella. It's not all that different from all the other Disney stories, but it does involve shoes. That infamous glass slipper is as much a supporting character as any fairy godmother or ugly step sister. I can especially relate to the Grimm version where women are willing to mutilate and deform their own feet just to fit into that special shoe. Don't we all try to conform a bit, even if it's hazardous to our well-being? I know I am guilty of sometimes thinking I have magical feet that can shape shift to fit any size if I want the shoe bad enough. 

That's the problem with fairy tales. They teach that you can get what you deserve or want by use of magic, so long as you're a good person etc. We all know that real life is quite different. Blood, sweat, and tears are the modern day magic, and oftentimes there isn't a prince or a godmother to help you out. Sometimes you do have to torture yourself a bit to reach a desired outcome.

But one thing I am a firm believer in is that you can choose to wear the right shoes to get the job done. Everyone deserves their proverbial glass slipper; the perfect fit. I love all the designer shoe collaborations that have sprung up because of the upcoming Cinderella movie. You can see these dreamy heels here.  

Another thing I am a big believer in is writing your own story. Sure, you may have helpers and saviors along the way, but don't be afraid to pick up the pen and create your own happily ever after.

P.S. Other cool Cinderella collabs can be found here and here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Things We Want

Things I wanted recently that I bought: Champagne sweatshirt from Blonde Design, Vera Wang White booties (purchased from a wedding site, even though I'm not a bride), and a Stace Face mug from Starbucks (the mug is an ode to Stacey Bendet, one of my favorite designers).  

When it comes to shoes and things I have a tendency to get what I want, and it's not always because I work hard for them. Sometimes I get gifts (or gift cards, thanks to Christmas), or sometimes I just wait it out for the ideal sale. Sometimes I even (gulp) charge these items to my credit card. There's nothing quite so motivating as getting what you want, especially when you don't have to wait to get it. I found all of these items via Instagram, and purchased them almost as soon as I was done hitting the "like" button.

It wasn't until today, when people at my work were asked to give feedback on the type of work environment that we want that I got to thinking about wants and needs on a deeper level. Sure, I have a long wishlist of components that would make up the perfect place to work, but I know now that there is no "perfect" place to work. Every job has its perks and occasional drawbacks. I read my email  back to myself and began making corrections; there wasn't a point in presenting upper management with a shopping list peppered with my point of view. Instead, I started off by thanking them for being interested in my feedback to begin with. After all, they didn't have to ask. I then acknowledged their goals so they knew I had heard them out and didn't just read the part that said "Please send your feedback." I offered up my concessions, then offered a few small details about what works for me. The result wasn't a ransom letter (these people after all supply me with the funds to buy my shoes) but a professionally articulated statement of what I thought I would need to be that much more successful at my job.

This exercise reminded me that some things are worth the wait, or worth working for. Take this blog for instance. I almost didn't type this post, because I wanted to go to sleep and call it a night. But it hit me that I wanted to write. Sometimes getting what you want requires pain and perseverance, and knowing this, I have been trying to avoid the uncomfortableness of it all. I had forgotten how good it feels to publish a post; to talk freely with my boss; to save up for something I really wanted. 

If you focus on delaying gratification just a bit, you might actually end up with the thing you never even knew you wanted. Case in point, this cool blue Nubar nail polish, gifted to me by a sweet friend at the company. I have wanted so badly to find my footing in the nail industry over the last two years. I have worked tirelessly because I wanted to learn; to prove that I belonged. At a certain point I forgot about wanting that so badly and just started being myself and doing my best. The result is a pretty great work relationship and cool moments like seeing my name on a polish bottle, something I never would have dreamed of wanting previously. 

I caught myself thinking I would have to go out and buy some new clothes for a tradeshow this weekend, but I stopped and realized how ridiculous that is. The fact of the matter is, I don't need anything new. I have plenty. It's time to stop wanting and start appreciating. I'm so glad I stayed up to write this post.