My husband was invited to speak on a panel at the Borrego Springs Film Festival a few weekends ago, so we spent the weekend in the quaint, tiny desert town. it’s about a three hour drive from Los Angeles, in east San Diego county. You may recognize it from last year’s outfit post during the wildflower superbloom. This time it was too early in the season for any flowers to appear but the desert landscape was still pretty.
Part of the challenge of living in the city is that there aren’t a lot of undisturbed natural settings that I can use as backdrops. I don’t really like the style of city buildings, concrete, etc. for my outfit photos. So whenever I get the chance to take photos somewhere in nature, I try to take advantage of it.
Even though there weren’t any flowers and the landscape was dry, the lighting at magic hour in Borrego Springs was beautiful. The light filtered through the haze of clouds and eventually the sun went behind the mountains, but enough light still came over to give enough of that golden hour glow.
This is a ModCloth dress, it was from this past summer season but I bought it on sale in the fall for only $23! I wanted to wear something that would pop against the earthy colors of the desert and the primary colors in this plaid do the job, I think. The cutout back with the bow detail is super cute; it shows some skin without being too scandalous. Note- it’s not possible to wear a normal bra with this. I had to wear my silicone pasties.
This is me trying to look cute in a stereotypical blogger pose. Haha.
The film festival itself was fun; Ross’s film won the jury prize for Best Feature! The town is such a quiet and charming place. I would love to come back especially if the flowers bloom again.
Dress: ModCloth, old
Boots: Carson style by Frye, old
It’s a new year and like everyone else, I thought about goals and things I want to accomplish in the new year. I really enjoy working on this blog; putting together outfits and ideas for shoots is fun for me. It’s one of my creative outlets. I don’t get to be this creative at my day job as a corporate graphic designer. But I’ve seen others burn out on blogging because of doing too much and I want to keep it fun. I’m not going to kill myself to post to an exact schedule all the time, and I don’t need to post a photo to Instagram every day.
This year, I want to keep getting better at taking photos and posing for them. I’m not a natural model and I default to a lot of the same poses. I also want to try more interesting shoots, to tell a story with my photos instead of it just being pictures of me standing around in cute outfits (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).
For my first photos of the new year, Ross and I went to a local library and discreetly took pictures. The children’s wing of the Pasadena Central Library is all beautiful wood furniture and vintage desks, but it was filled with people and employees, so unfortunately we couldn’t take any photos there. We had to settle for photos taken in other parts of the library and also the outside.
I’m wearing a new Miss Patina dress. I’ve mentioned before how much I love Miss Patina’s clothing, and they outdo themselves every season. I saw this dress a few months ago and thought the tiny print of scholarly cats reading books was adorable. The embroidered collar was the kicker! I bought the dress along with a couple others (including one that I left in a hotel room! I’m so upset about that one).
It’s pretty comfortable and I like the flared A-line cut of the skirt; I find this to be the most flattering on me especially when it hits above the knee. Is it a little annoying to button and unbutton the entire front of the dress every time I put it on? Yes. But it’s worth it because this dress is so cute.
By the way, the books I’m using as props in these photos are books I’m currently reading: We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. I am purposely trying to read more books written by women and people of color as I think their voices are just as important as the typically white and male Western authors featured in the literary canon. It’s important to expose yourself to different voices. I think the quotation engraved in the library exterior below is a good way to think about reading. “The true learning that makes for righteousness.”
I hope everyone’s new year is off to a good start! Can’t wait to show you more outfit photos.
Dress: Miss Patina Kiterature dress
Cat beret: Forever21, old
Shoes: Carson boot by Frye, old
Purse: Luna cat purse, Amazon
Ross and I went on a weekend trip to Lake Tahoe a few weeks back, and snow was in the forecast. Living in LA, I never get to see snow and was excited to have it on our trip. Also, I figured the snow would make for pretty blog photos so I brought along a whole suitcase of Christmas-themed outfits for outfit photos to post in December (I know…an entire suitcase full of photoshoot clothes, what am I, a model??).
Christmas is probably my favorite holiday, behind Halloween. Ross and I are not religious (we’re pretty much agnostic) but I think almost anyone can relate to the feelings of the holiday season. I like spending time with loved ones, reflecting on the past year and of course, all the delicious food, especially the Christmas cookies! I love baking all different kinds of cookies at Christmastime.
Fall has finally arrived in Los Angeles. We were all complaining just a few weeks ago about how blazing hot it was (100-plus degree days for weeks on end!), but now we’ve taken out our coats and scarves. Autumn was just a little delayed this year but now the temperature is in the 60s to low 70s Fahrenheit. Perfect for sweaters and layers.
When it comes to sweaters, I can’t resist rainbow prints. I’ve accumulated a collection from various sources and this one is new. I like the slightly retro look for it- the rainbow stripes are in more muted tones and this chunky knit looks kind of 70s-ish to me.
Here is Halloween-themed outfit number 4! I’ve had a lot of fun this month styling different outfits for October/Halloween that weren’t too costume-y. I still wanted to get into the Halloween spirit, so a subtle way of doing that was putting in small touches, like the Halloween-themed collar clips from Femme de Bloom. And a little less subtle is this beret with cat ears. In my last post, I mentioned going to a small town called Oak Glen to pick apples and pumpkins. This set of photos is from the same day but at a different orchard called Riley’s Farm. Read on to see how this visit went.
I grew up on the East Coast in Maryland and this time of year is when I’m feeling nostalgic for my hometown. There’s nothing like autumn on the East Coast; visiting apple orchards and pumpkin patches, drinking fresh apple cider and of course, the foliage. I remember doing all that at Butler’s Orchard and getting cider from Cider Barrel, which was in a building shaped like, you guessed it, a giant wooden barrel. (Unfortunately, it’s closed now). Autumn in Los Angeles is not quite the same thing. First of all, it’s the end of October and there’s been a long string of 100 degree days (seriously, it has been SO HOT). Second, you’re more likely to see palm trees than the deciduous trees that turn beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow.
I still wanted to try to experience the autumn of my childhood, so I researched if there were even any apple orchards or pumpkin patches near LA. A lot of the pumpkin patches I found are what I call parking lot pumpkin patches, where they take over a parking lot and set up the pumpkins for you to select. But through my online research, I found a town called Oak Glen filled with apple orchards about a 90 minute drive from the city!
Continuing with my Halloween-themed outfits, today’s outfit is not explicitly Halloween (no candy corn, pumpkins or witches). But it does have a dark and kind of spooky print of the lunar cycle, with various phases of the moon on the dress. This is the Glow in the Dark Moon dress from Retrolicious and I got it at their sample sale earlier this year. I love the dresses from Retrolicious, and have worn a few so far this year (including this colorful rainbow dress!). I added some cute bat-shaped collar clips from Femme de Bloom because this big white collar was like a blank canvas to me; it needed to be accessorized!
I wore this dress for the first time during the eclipse in September, which was my way of participating in the eclipse craziness since Southern California didn’t get a great view of the event. I don’t like wearing something just once, so I thought it would also be great for Halloween (or “frocktober”). And to go with the celestial theme, I took these photos at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
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.