echo park

hanhgry.com | rainbow balloon wall

outfit: matching my surroundings

Jihan Zencirli is a Los Angeles-based artist who creates balloon art installations. Her most recent installation adorned the walls of a convenience store in my neighborhood. The installations are temporary, as the balloons eventually deflate. They are so playful and colorful, and I couldn’t resist taking photos there! (I wasn’t the only one. There were several people taking pictures there and after a while you can tell they’re bloggers too, hehe.)

hanhgry.com | balloon wall hanhgry.com | rainbow dress and sunglasses in front of balloon wall hanhgry.com | rainbow dress in front of balloon wall

This is an older dress, one I’ve had for probably four years now. It’s from Eva Franco, an LA-based designer who designs and makes her clothes in the US. I love her fit and flare dresses, and this one in particular is colorful and rainbow without being too over the top. It came with a bright orange belt, but I don’t like orange much and prefer wearing it with different belts. You can find her dresses at her website and Anthropologie.
hanhgry.com | rainbow dress in front of pastel mural

While the front of the convenience store was covered in tons of balloons, the side of the store has a pastel geometric mural which I thought kinda matched my dress.

Outfit:
Dress: Eva Franco, old
Belt: Modcloth, old
Shoes: Bait Footwear, similar

outfit: a (kinda) sparkly new year’s eve

hanhgry.com | a sparkly new year's eve

Happy New Year!

It’s been a while (to the 4 people that read this blog). Over the past few months since my last entry, I’ve started writing a bunch of blog entries, even did a couple photoshoots but was never quite happy with them. As time passed and they remained half-finished in the “draft” section, I got more discouraged and left the blog alone (but remained kind of active on social media, mostly Instagram). There are a couple reasons why, if I want to be brutally honest.

  • Regularly updating a blog with meaningful content is a lot of work. I work a regular corporate job so I could only do this in my free time on nights/weekends.
  • My blog/Instagram account wasn’t growing as fast because of me not spending more time on it, so then I got more discouraged and didn’t feel like working on it. But maintaining a blog takes a LOT of work especially when you’re starting out. So obviously this led to a vicious cycle of neglecting my blog.
  • I was (and continue to be) really self-critical of the photos of myself and my outfits. My husband is such a good sport and is always willing to take photos of me, but there were a bunch of days when I had planned a shoot and put together an outfit, but ended up changing my mind and not wanting to do it because I felt ugly or unattractive that day. Or we would do a shoot and I ended up not posting any of the photos because of the same reason.

On that last bullet point, I never was so critical of myself until I started taking lots of pictures of myself for this blog. When you’re going over dozens of photos of yourself to select the “best” ones to edit and post, tiny things you never cared that much about become magnified. Why is my nose slightly crooked? Why am I smiling so weird? Why do my bangs always do that weird swoopy thing on the side? I was not happy with how I looked so I withdrew.

That’s why my Instagram for the past several months mostly featured photos of food I ate.  It’s also an easier way to rack up lots of likes, by posting well-composed shots of plates of colorful and delicious looking food. I love food; I love going out and trying new restaurants. But I don’t want to be only a food blogger. I love clothes and styling my outfits too.

So in the new year, I’m going to try to become more comfortable in my own skin. I want to get better at taking photos and learning how to pose better. I don’t want to just give up and let the negative feelings overtake any progress I make.

With that in mind, I went out a few days ago to take photos of my New Year’s Eve outfit. Ross and I went to a club near our neighborhood that plays mostly 80s new wave, Britpop, indie pop, etc. They were doing a New Year’s Eve party with 2 floors of dancing. I didn’t have a super glittery or gold dress (I used to have metallic silver glitter leggings but I donated them a long time ago), so I put together an outfit with the glittery items that I had. It’s hard to see in the photos but the skirt has gold glitter thread running through it, the shoes are white glitter colored, and my black tights are sparkly!

The heart sweater is a new item from ModCloth and I adore it. It’s made of a fabric blend that is so comfortable and soft. I’ve had itchy sweaters before but this is the perfect softness. It’s also a little baggy and slouchy for a nice casual look (I usually don’t like really tight fitting sweaters).

hanhgry.com | a sparkly new year's eve

 

hanhgry.com | a sparkly new year's eve

 

hanhgry.com | a sparkly new year's eve

hanhgry.com | a sparkly new year's eve

I hope everyone’s new year is off to a great start!

Outfit details:
Sweater: Modcloth
Skirt: American Apparel, old
Shoes: American Apparel, old
Clutch: Urban Outfitters, old
Headband: Forever21, old
Necklace: Banana Republic, old

outfit: butterflies, birds, and churros

hanhgry.com | by the lake hanhgry.com | by the lake hanhgry.com | churro vendor at the lake hanhgry.com | fresh churros

hanhgry.com | fresh churros being friedhanhgry.com | churros with LA skyline

 

hanhgry.com | eating freshly fried churros!

One of the things I love most about my adopted city is street food. Street vending is technically illegal in Los Angeles, but you wouldn’t know it walking around Echo Park. There are many food vendors at the lake, especially on the weekends when lots of people are around. There are vendors selling elote (Mexican corn on the cob), pupusas, bacon wrapped hot dogs, and CHURROS.

There used to be a churro truck parked a block away from our apartment called Salinas Churros. The truck was there nearly every day, frying up fresh churros and funnel cakes, and other fast, cheap eats like nachos or the slightly healthier fresas con crema (strawberries with a heavy hand of whipped cream topping). You could get 8 churros for $3 and the scent of sugary fried dough was intoxicating when you walked past the truck.

Unfortunately, the truck disappeared one day about 2 years ago and I haven’t seen it since. I miss seeing it around and getting a bag of piping hot churros on my way home from work. I thought my ultra-local source for churros was gone. But…

There’s a new churro cart at the lake! Ross and I were taking a some outfit photos and were walking to find a spot with good lighting when we saw the Churros Calientitos cart. What I liked was that they had a giant vat of oil frying up fresh churros. There have been other vendors that sold churros that were fried off-site and brought to the park, which isn’t as good because who wants to eat cold churros? Not me.

The churros are 3 for $1. We watched the churro vendor rotate the dough press and drop long pieces of batter into the oil. His partner then took the churros from the oil and rolled them a pan of cinnamon-sugar mixture and placed them in a bag for us. It was sooo good and after we ate the three, I wanted to get another order!

Shirt: old, Anthropologie
Skirt: old, ModCloth
Belt: old, ModCloth
Shoes: old, Nordstrom

outfit: lemonade at the lake

Have you ever felt like you were going full-speed ahead but there never seems to be enough time to do much of anything?

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of travel and starting my new job, so I didn’t have much time to work on the blog. I would get home from work, eat dinner, work on a few entries that have been in draft mode for a while, then go to bed. It seemed like I wasn’t getting any posts finished to the point where I was satisfied with them.

 

hanhgry.com | Dear Creatures dress
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hanhgry.com | shoes from Seychelles

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I finally had some time over Labor Day weekend to take some outfit photos and work on a couple future entries and it felt good to work on my own creative stuff. My new job is going well, but that kind of design is so different and more standardized, so this blog and my freelance projects are my creative outlet.

I’d like to thank my husband Ross for humoring me and helping out with the various aspects of this blog, mainly taking photos of me and also always being game to eat at whatever restaurant I want to review. On the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, we decided to stay entirely local in our neighborhood. No driving anywhere! The nice thing about where we live is that it’s very walkable. There are tons of amenities, restaurants, etc. nearby that you can walk to easily, which is not what most people think of when they think of LA. In most people’s minds, LA is a very sprawly city where you need a car to do anything. A lot of the LA area is like that, but I’m grateful that I live in a part of the city with a cozier neighborhood feel. The weather was gorgeous, warm but not too hot. We walked over to the lake and took a bunch of photos in this dress that I bought at the Dear Creatures sample sale a few months ago but had not worn yet.

I really love colors and prints, and lemonade, so this Dear Creatures dress stood out to me. It’s also super comfortable and has pockets! I love dresses and skirts with pockets.

Dress: Dear Creatures
Belt: Forever 21
Shoes: old, Seychelles
Hair bow: old, ModCloth (similar bow here)