Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Pinstriped Pure Joy

If I could design a dream dress for myself, it probably wouldn't be too far off from this one from Shop Ruche. I've been trying so hard to save up for an apartment, but I can't lie. Right after I got my job, I might have done some perusing on Ruche with thoughts that I deserved to treat myself with adulthood finally on the horizon. From the moment I laid eyes on this dress, I couldn't get it out of my mind. I put it in my cart, left it there, took it out of my cart, put it back in, and dreamed about it. Then I came back it to it the next day, promotional code for a discount on all dresses in "hand." And, well, somehow I magically found this dress in my room two days later. I told myself that it was really an excuse to support a local business (Ruche is based out of the city I currently live in), but we all know I'm just weak. So, so weak. 

I wanted to save this dress for a time when I knew I'd get good use out of it and a time when I'd be able to take outfit pictures. I waited until I went to Venice over the weekend with my friend Caitlin, and did that embarrassing thing most of us bloggers do of asking someone I don't see often to take photos of my outfit. Fortunately, Caitlin was game, and she took some great photos for me. I remembered this sidewalk and green house from back when I took photos with Kelsey, and it proved to be perfect and secluded once again. Venice is just too damn photogenic in general if you ask me, and it's the perfect place to highlight a perfect dress. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Lake House

This whole blogging while working a full-time job thing is not easy, is it? I really love blogging and have no intentions of giving it up anytime soon, but it has been a real struggle to take outfit pictures and get posts up. Luckily, I had a really fun weekend that included taking not one, but two sets of photos. It's the true definition of success.

Oh Saturday, I met up with my friend Caitlin in Venice. Caitlin and I were in the same major in college, and she recently move out to Southern California after living in Illinois her entire life. We finally got a chance to hang out, and we had delicious coffee and food before walking around Abbot Kinney to look at all of the too-expensive shops. I hadn't seen Caitlin since last May, so it was wonderful to get to catch up and show her a part of California that she hadn't seen yet. I already can't want to hang out with her more now that she's here. 

I do have some photos from that day, but this set is from yesterday. While I ended up at my brother's house when my parents decided to sell their house, they moved to a lake, about an hour away. I hadn't been to their place since the official move, so I made the drive yesterday afternoon. I've still seen them a bunch, but it was nice to have dinner with them, and of course, to take advantage of their laundry machine and fancy shower. I also convinced my mom to help me with these photos, and I'm really loving getting to use their balcony and lake view as a backdrop. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Office Space

Oops, I didn't mean to take that little blogging hiatus. I'm finding it difficult to figure out when to take outfit pictures with my new work schedule, but I finally was able to snap some this weekend. 

Today marks week three of my new job, and I'm loving it so far. I never imagined I'd like customer service, but considering I get to deal with e-commerce and designer shoppers, I'm enjoying. I love there's a lot of problem solving involved, and mostly, I love the people I work with. All of my coworkers are wonderful, and the office is such a supportive, encouraging environment. I also just love having an office to go into in general, complete with the schedule and routine that I had been missing in post-college life. I feel like a real adult finally, and I'm loving it.

I also was extremely busy last week since a group of my friends from Illinois road tripped out here for their spring break. It was wonderful, and I'm so sad that they couldn't stay longer. Some of my friends and I took them to The Pantry in LA their first morning, which is a famous breakfast place with some of the best pancakes and bacon I've ever had. We also made a trip to The Last Bookstore, walked around Sunset Boulevard, and took them to Balboa Island later in the week. It was fun playing tour guide for a couple of days, and it definitely made me feel like I need to plan a trip back to the Midwest soon.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Don't Forget - Tiny Mountains Earrings and Bobby Pin Giveaway

Don't forget, today is the last day to enter to win this pair of quartz earrings and matching bobby pin from the beautiful Etsy shop, Tiny Mountains. You have the rest of the day to enter using the Rafflecopter widget below, and make sure to check out my interview with Tatiana, the brilliant mind behind Tiny Mountains. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Let's Chat with Tiny Mountains + A Giveaway

It's been a while since I've introduced you to another Etsy store through my "Let's Chat" feature, but I'm more than pleased to bring you a new one today. Meet Tatiana of Tiny Mountains. I was immediately drawn to the gem and stone jewelry that Tatiana makes since she has a knack for using rich materials to create easy to wear designs. They're pieces that not only go with everything, but are also great conversation starters. Tatiana was kind enough to send me this ring (which you can also see in Monday's post) and pin, and she's also being kind enough to treat one of you lucky readers to a beautiful pair of earrings and a bobby pin. Enter to win after the jump, but first, get to know Tatiana and Tiny Mountains a bit better.

How and when did Tiny Mountains start?
Tiny Mountains didn't exactly start, it kind of slowly (painfully slowly!) emerged from my need to design, to be my own boss, and to wear something different. And it's still emerging -- I do not see it as a completed project, there is always room for improvement, a need for a change, be it branding, packaging, design, etc. I'm never content, and I always doubt what I do.
But initially, of course, I wanted to make my own jewelry. Does it ever start any differently? I didn't like what I was offered at the shops, and I wanted to make what I liked. And I like my jewelry wild and spiky. So that's what I did.

What are some of your favorite materials to work with?
Minerals and rocks are my favorites. I like them plain, I like them shiny, I like them clear and I like them opaque. I am not a gemmologist, nor am I a believer in healing properties of crystals, so basically I'm just a person who likes shiny things. Hm, is it too bad?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Ice Cream and Oranges

If there's one thing I don't need, it's another polka dot dress. I'm very aware of the excess of polka dotted items I own, and I certainly had no intention of adding another one to my wardrobe any time soon. Of course, I probably should have known better. I've suddenly found myself living five minutes away from Buffalo Exchange, so on Friday, I headed there with a bag full of clothes to try and sell, and as usual, I wound up bringing most of it back home with me. They did take a handful of items, though, and I ended up with a little less than $30 in store credit. I tried on a pile of items that I loved on the hangers, but somehow, as fate would have it, the only dress that fit like a glove was...another polka dot dress. I've always thought about buying the Traveling Cupcake dress from Modcloth, but it's never quite made it past my shopping cart. So naturally, when something almost identical appeared at that Buffalo Exchange in my size, in perfect condition, and fit like a glove for only $12, there was no getting around it. It had to be mine, excessive polka dot collection be damned. 

I wore this the next day for a day of shooting pictures around a downtown area with my friend Casey. The Orange Circle, which is part of Old Town Orange and is filled with restaurants and antique stores, will forever be one of my favorite places in Orange County. This past Saturday was my first Saturday off in months, so it was nice to get to walk around, grab lunch and ice cream, and take pictures with a friend. Ice cream, old fashioned soda, greenery at old church, and an extremely sunny day? I'd say it was a first Saturday off well spent.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Red Collared Dress

This is officially my last weekday off, and I could not be happier about that. I start training for my new job on Monday, and I am so ridiculously excited. In all honesty, I'm just pumped to have a routine again. I've been working four days a week at my restaurant job, plus a bunch of freelance work, but I just miss having a set schedule and knowing what I'm doing every day. I get to feel like a real human being again!

In the meantime, I'm settling in quite nicely to my temporary home at my brother's house. I really love their house and the the newly converted guest room that I'm staying in, plus I love getting to see my niece and nephew every day. It's strange living in a different part of Orange County, especially since all of my friends are mostly still in Anaheim Hills, but I'm in a pretty awesome area now with one of my favorite downtown areas. I wore this dress the other day when I went into my new office to fill out paperwork, and I decided that I loved how it looks with the leather jacket later. One things I'm especially grateful for in my new job is that there's no dress code and the office is laid-back, which means that I don't have to buy professional clothes and stick with my wardrobe of A-line skirts and Peter Pan collars.

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