I love Halloween because I love candy and dressing up. It has been one of my favorite holidays since I was a kid, so of course I have a few Halloween-themed outfits planned. Today’s outfit incorporates an oft-maligned Halloween candy…candy corn.
Me, having problems with color? Yep. When you like every color, narrowing a palette down to maintain a consistent blog/Instagram look becomes really hard and sometimes almost anxiety inducing (ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little). Case in point: the outfit featured in today’s post. I don’t normally gravitate toward dark blues and grays, but sometimes I need some neutrals/dark colors to break up the usual pastels. This sweater is from Sugarhill Boutique. I love their sweaters and knitwear. Their prints are so cute and the sweaters are really quite comfortable. I find that they pair with jeans just as well as they do with skirts.
Even though this particular outfit is a departure from my usual pastel and bright color palette, it felt fitting on that weekend. The temperature was in the high 60s/low 70s and it actually felt like autumn in Los Angeles. (Of course, the next week it went right back up into the 90s. Ugh). The navy sweater has stripes but look a little closer and you can see a few little birds and hearts standing about on the stripes.
Farm Spirit front entrance
When we plan a trip, I love to research places to eat. First, I make a spreadsheet in Google Docs and map out an eating itinerary, basically. Then I plot multiple options for every meal, depending on how we might feel once we’re at our destination. Sometimes there’s just not enough time (or meals) in a trip to go to every place I’m interested in. That gives me an excuse to go back!
Ross and I went to Portland, Oregon back in April for a long weekend. This blog post is several months overdue, as we ate at several delicious places and the thought of writing one huge entry was daunting. I kept procrastinating. Finally, I decided to break it up into smaller posts for each place.
Portland is one of my favorite cities to visit, as it’s basically heaven for vegetarians. I thought Los Angeles was vegetarian-friendly, but LA has nothing on Portland. There were several “must eat” restaurants for this particular trip, one of them being Farm Spirit.
Farm Spirit is a vegan restaurant in Southeast Portland with a seasonal prix fixe menu. The emphasis is hyper-local, with all the ingredients sourced within 100 miles of Portland. Everything in the restaurant is rooted in this local mentality, even the decor, furniture and serving ware. I had read that this was a destination, that every vegetarian or vegan had to go try the food.
Color Factory is the creation of the blogger Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day. I’ve followed her blog and Instagram for a while, and when she announced this new project, I was so excited to see it! I bought tickets right when it was announced, and surprisingly there were a lot of available dates/time slots available. I think I lucked out because a few days after I got my tickets, the news of Color Factory got out and they sold out of the rest of their tickets.
Ross and I made a weekend of it, since we love going to San Francisco. We tried a couple new restaurants as well (another post on that later) before heading off to Color Factory!
I spend a decent amount of time researching locations to do outfit photos. Sometimes I’ll go on Yelp, or even just do random Googling depending on what kind of environment or background I have in mind for a particular outfit. Murals and outdoor art are obvious choices, but in a city as big as LA with a lot of people taking photos at similar locations, I try to find the less known places. Of course, a nice mural or pretty location never stays secret for long.
This particular location I came upon by chance; I was walking around near my workplace and saw signs for Bold Pas, an upcoming temporary art takeover of public places in Old Town Pasadena. They had mockups of the art installations so I was able to plan my outfit around them. It looked like it had the potential for some interesting photos, so we went! (more…)
A little while ago, Unique VIntage sent me a dress from their in-house brand to review on the blog. I have always loved Unique Vintage’s vintage-inspired style of clothing and their boutique in Burbank (a city right outside of Los Angeles) is adorable and a shop I always enjoy visiting! For my wedding, my bridesmaids wore Unique Vintage dresses. They lived in different parts of the country but UV made it so easy to order the dresses. Another thing I like is how inclusive they are in their sizing; many items are available in plus sizes, which is great since my bridesmaids were all different body types.
Photo by Nolwen Cifuentes.
This was three years ago already! This is the bridesmaid dress on their website.
Review of the Unique Vintage Chateau Swing dress in mint fair llama print:
The dress I received is the Unique Vintage Chateau Swing Dress, in a pale mint color with a carnival/fair-themed print. The pictures on the website don’t do it justice because the print is so adorable in person. The print has llamas, popcorn, ice cream and cotton candy, all things you can find at a fair! Plus, mint green is pretty much my favorite color (well, unless you count rainbow as a single color).
I wore this dress to the Ventura County Fair. The Ventura fair is smaller than its Orange County and LA County counterparts, but I like the smaller size. It feels less chaotic and it’s on the beach, meaning the temperature is way cooler than at the OC and LA County Fairs which are more inland. (Trust me…it’s not fun going to the fair and eating hot fried junk food when it’s 90-plus degrees out.) I had a lot of fun walking around the fair, eating junk food and people-watching. Ross and I ate way too much food but that’s kind of the point of a fair, isn’t it? We shared a deep fried grilled cheese with fries and onion rings on the side (with an extra order of gooey, melted cheese) and survived! We also stuffed ourselves with cotton candy and soft serve (with sprinkles, of course).
The Old Mission Santa Barbara is a historic landmark in Santa Barbara, California. It contains the original mission building and the Santa Barbara Mission rose garden. The main building on the grounds is open for paid tours. I’m keenly aware of the criticism of the Spanish Mission system and its negative effects on Native Americans who were forced to endure it. I’m glad the mission remains as an educational site, though I do wish the history presented was a little more critical about what living and working in a mission entailed.
The area around the Mission is open to the public. People have picnics and just enjoy the outdoors there, since the weather is so beautiful most of the year. I was delighted to see the Rose Garden area in full bloom, so we took some photos.
There were so many different types of roses in a variety of colors. I’m sure this is a popular spot for photo shoots (but surprisingly, we were the only ones taking pictures that day).
Close up of yellow roses in the Santa Barbara Mission Rose Garden
Here I am sitting on the steps of the main chapel. It was around sunset on a Sunday, so the area was quiet. We were able to take a bunch of photos without any disturbances. The pink accent color of the chapel really stood out to me; I don’t think the pink is originally part of the building.
I don’t normally wear maxi dresses, but this one was on sale at ModCloth about two years ago and I snagged it at a deep discount. It’s very comfortable and I love the lavender and mint colors. I’m wearing it with a pair of pink Birkenstocks. Never in my life did I think I would ever wear Birkenstocks but this pair has very thin straps so it looks a bit more feminine and not as bulky as their usual wide-strapped sandals. I wore these for 4 days in a row at Disney World last summer, got no blisters and my feet were pretty comfortable! I am now a convert to Birkenstocks.
Dress: old, ModCloth
Shoes: old, Birkenstock Daloa in Rosa via ModCloth (still available here)
Rainbows at the beach!
Clearly, rainbows are a recurring theme in my clothes, even my swimwear. I bought this rainbow one-piece bathing suit from ASOS a few months ago during a Memorial Day sale. I rarely wore one piece swimsuits in the past; bikinis always felt less restrictive and more comfortable to me. But there have been a lot of really cute one pieces lately!
Last weekend in Los Angeles was so freaking hot and our apartment doesn’t have air conditioning. Heat is not a problem most of the year, as LA tends to be pretty mild. But every once in a while there’s a heat wave. After suffering through the heat on Saturday, we drove to Santa Barbara on Sunday to stay cool by the beach. Santa Barbara is about a 90 minute drive from here. It was definitely cooler, but still warm enough to go to the beach. So I brought my pastel rainbow ombre swimsuit!
What’s nice is that the beach in Santa Barbara is also not that crowded. I’m sure beaches in Santa Monica, Venice and etc. were packed. We got to relax and enjoy the ocean waves a little, and took some photos.
I bought this Lolli Swim towel last year on sale at ModCloth, and I love it! It’s a giant circular towel instead of the usual rectangular shape. But the color and heart motif were just irresistible to me.
Note: I’ve had that little purple star necklace since 7th grade. Yep, I have kept it for over 15 years. And now chokers are coming back in style. Haha. Good thing I held onto almost all of my crappy mall jewelry I bought from Claire’s! Seriously, I loved going into that store with my friends and getting all sorts of cheap rainbow or glittery trinkets when I was in elementary and middle school. I can’t believe those tween accessory stores are still around (but from what I’ve read in the news, they’re not doing so well). I don’t know if today’s kids will ever understand what it was like to just wander around the mall for a few hours with your friends, get a slice of pizza at Sbarro’s (I’ve got enough taste now to know that Sbarro’s does not have good pizza) and browse Claire’s to get the perfect glittery headband or hairclip.
The one irritating thing about taking beach photos is the wind! My hair was flying all over the place, and looking all weird because I’m growing out my layers. Next time I’ll wear a cute beach hat or bring some really strong hairspray.
Towel: old, Lolliswim via Modcloth
Sunglasses: Crap Eyewear
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved rainbows. The easiest way to get me to buy something is to slap a rainbow on it (bonus points if it’s a pastel rainbow instead of the usual super bright ROYGBIV). I was teased occasionally when I was younger for wearing bright, colorful clothing, but kids can be jerks about anything, especially in middle school. (Some of the teasing had a homophobic tinge to it, which is gross because bullying people for their perceived sexual orientation is wrong.) It just made me more determined to dress the way I want, because who cares what people think?
I saw this sweater from Sugarhill Boutique and just knew I had to get it! I really love their sweaters; they’re perfect for warm days and cool nights in Los Angeles. I get cold easily but hate heavy sweaters, so this is the perfect thickness for me.
Back to the rainbows: June is also Pride month and LA Pride was a few weeks ago. In honor of that, I wore this rainbow themed outfit and took photos in front of this very colorful mural in Pasadena. It’s on the side of a building on the South campus of the ArtCenter College of Design, in case you were wondering. The artist RISK has painted several huge color walls throughout LA.
These shoes from TUK Footwear are so comfortable and adorable! I have several pairs of novelty ballet flats from them and always get compliments whenever I wear them.
I also got a rainbow gel manicure! I may have overdone it with the rainbows in this post, heh.
I hope everyone had a safe and fun Pride, wherever you live!
Sweater: Sugarhill Boutique
Skirt: (actually a tank dress) Forever21
Shoes: TUK Footwear, via ModCloth
Clutch: old, ASOS
Sunglasses: Crap Eyewear (they’re on sale for only $28!)
Permit me to vent a little about something that a lot of other people have complained about in the past few weeks. I’m talking about the weird changes to Instagram. No, not just the Snapchat clone face filters. I’m referring to the aggressive change to the algorithm that has made it harder for me to see content from people I follow, and also has greatly impacted engagement on smaller accounts like my own.
It’s discouraging to say the least, and when searching for answers about why this is happening, I’ve come upon various posts accusing Instagram of turning more into an ad platform instead of a creative outlet.
I know, I know. It’s a free service and nothing on the Internet is ever truly “free.” But hell, I would pay a little for a premium version with fewer ads and the ability to view my feed chronologically! Other people keep coming up with ideas to “beat” the algorithm, and it seems pointless to try to do so anyway. I suppose I should just focus on doing the best I can, and posting good photos and hopefully, it will work out.
Blouse: old, ModCloth (other colors still available)
Skirt: old, ModCloth
Shoes: Bait Footwear