#FridayReads : Acceptance At Twenty-Five

April 21, 2017

Over the past year, I have been trying to pin-point this apprehensive fear as my birthday draws nearer.  As I am about to officially reach a quarter-of-my-life, I feel this great deal of pressure from the people around me.  People are asking me questions about where I am headed in my career, when am I going to start dating and when am I going to start investing in my retirement.

This is all just part of being your twenties, and it’s hard not to avoid getting “lost” within your journey in figuring it all out.  Tired of being soaked in this fear of aging, I started to ask myself what makes getting older a great thing?

For the first time ever, I had pitched and submitted an article to Literally, Darling, discussing how I’ve reached my mid-twenties with a sense of acceptance.  In the middle of the night, I had awoken with a sudden urge to spill out all that I had difficulty to explain onto what we’ve replaced paper with today, Word Doc.  Hopefully, some of you can relate to what I am addressing and that it can help provide you insight to what you’re experiencing as well.

Without getting into further detail, check out my published piece here!

Image via Tumblr

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#WardrobeWednesday : Office Attire Pt. 1

April 19, 2017

There was an article that I had read a couple of months ago discussing decision fatigue, where researchers questioned whether or not the time we’ve spent deciding what to wear affects our cognitive functioning.  For instance, Steve Jobs is known for wearing the same pieces of clothing everyday, which plays a factor to why he was so successful.  Instead of wasting time deciding what to wear everyday, he had spent those minutes trying to come-up with the next big thing.

As I was about to make a drastic wardrobe decision, I finally reached the end of the article – it’s all total bullshit.  There are plenty of unsuccessful people who wear the same pieces of clothing everyday, and have gotten nowhere.  How I see it is that when you’re trying to figure-out what to wear for work every morning or the night before, you’re actively and creatively working your brain.  So, instead of wearing the same pant suit everyday, why not try mixing things up a bit?

Inspired by one of my favorite style influencers – previously mentioned here – I had put together something that is clean-cut for the office.  Just like Victoria Beckham, I am all about appearing effortlessly chic.  So, it’s no surprise that the posh star is my work attire inspiration.

Top: Tart Sarah Surplice Shirt (similar) | Bottom: Forever21 Contemporary Woven Trousers (similar) | Shoes: Saks Fifth Avenue Cathy Suede Pumps & Nine West Onosha Slip-On Sneakers (alternative)

I’ve topped-off the outfit with two different types of footwear – heels and sneakers.  I highly recommend the Cathy Suede Pumps from Saks Fifth Avenue because they are super comfortable!  I’ve worn them at the office to the dance floor, and not a single time, did I ever have any problems with them.  The sneakers I have featured in the picture, however, is the total opposite of comfortable.  Over the years, I’ve learned that my feet does not suit well with Nine West, due to the fact that I am always bleeding or suffering from redness after wearing several pair of their shoes.  My sister, on the other hand, has no problem with their products, so I’m assuming it’s because of my wide-feet.  Basically, if you got small and narrow feet, check out the selection at Nine West.

I hope this helps you in determining what you’d be wearing tomorrow!  If you have any work attire that you’re proud of, don’t hesitate to share it in the comments below!

P.S. Even though I may appear to be serious all-the-time at work, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have a goofy side 😉

Images shot by an incoming UCLA undergrad

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#FridayFunday : What’s Poppin’ California?

April 7, 2017

Poppies that is!

Spring has definitely arrived in Southern California with flowers all in full bloom.  There’s no denying that the rain we had from this past winter had something to do with it.  Unlike most years that I remember, spring was like summer – dry and hot.  All we had for the spring season were allergies and withering plants.

To welcome the season, I had visited Antelope Valley California State Poppy Reserve, which is located in Lancaster.  From afar, you can see the hills are alive with such vibrant colors.  One of the colors that kept popping up out of the greenery are these neon-orange poppies, which is the official state flower of California.  It was such a beautiful sight to behold, and, unfortunately, none of the pictures that I had taken captured the essence of it.

If you are wondering where you’d be able to visit these poppies, click here to find a list of places that you can seek out.  Be prepared to get stuck in traffic when making a trip out to these locations on weekends.  Also, apparently, the poppies are only available until the end of the month.

One of the things that I want to note is that I tried VERY, VERY, VERY hard not to crush any of the flowers.  Killing the flowers is not worth the photograph, so I encourage all of you to stay within the dirt path.

Other than that, hope you all are enjoying this wonderful spring we’re having 🙂

If you got the chance to see these poppies, be sure to post a picture of your experience in the comments below!

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#WardrobeWednesday : Self-Confidence

March 8, 2017

As part of my sister’s conquest to build self-confidence, someone had recommended that she take an Improv class.  She eventually found a free workshop at the EXPO Arts center called Held2Gether.  As she reserved a spot for herself as a participant, she placed my name down too…

Neither of us has ever seen an Improv show, so we didn’t know what to expect other than act on the spot when given a scenario.  During our workshop, the instructors had us pretend that we were part of a machine, making noises and movements.  For instance, I was part of an ice machine, where I imitated a grinding sound while churning an imaginary bucket.  I should add that, out of nowhere, this 6 foot, buff dude (another participate) rammed his ass into me, which, basically, knocked me over – I couldn’t stay in character after that!  After several different exercises that felt like ice breakers to me, we were finally given a scenario, where we had to pretend we were in some kind of store – it’s a 3-part scene.

For some reason, my sister and I were not terrified when we arrived.  We were excited to dive right in, which we did!  So, I don’t think my sister and I lacked self-confidence in this area, especially since we aren’t afraid of making a fool of ourselves in public!

What helps me build self-confidence is what I choose to wear.  I, truly, do believe that what you wear not only has to look good, but it has to make you feel good too.  So, here’s what got me through my Improv class on that rainy day:

PacSun’s Lotus Neck Knit Pullover (something similar) | Gap’s Mid-Rise Boyfriend Jeans (something similar)  Jeffrey Campbell’s Stormy Rain Boot

The featured piece here is the Jeffrey Campbell’s Stormy Rain Boot that I had purchased for about $55.00 at Nordstrom.  Rain boots comes in whole sizes, so if you’re a 7.5 US, you’ll be needing a size 8 US.  These shoes, particularly, run a bit small, so I suggest going a size up.  These shoes will definitely hurt your feet in the beginning, but it’s smooth for the rest of the way.  I had also worn these for a day-trip to Mt. Baldy, which you can check-out on my IG or a previous post here.

If you have any outfits that bring out that self-confidence of yours, feel free to share it in the comments below!

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#WardrobeWednesday : Kickin’ It Old School

March 1, 2017

My cousin, who is much like a sister to me, is the type to bury herself behind her books, stacks on AP courses and manages to maintain a 4.0 GPA while taking on extracurriculars.  As part of her class assignment, my cousin had to choose a hobby, where she’d have to document it for the entire year.  Inspired by her father, she picked-up his camera, and began snapping away at everyday life.

I’m so happy that she has taken on something creative, which has now developed into a passion for her.  To expand her portfolio, I had taken her to Abbot Kinney in Venice, CA.  On every corner, there’s a notable shop, great food and a fashion blogger striking a pose against some wall art.  Other than being entirely intrigued by the culture of the environment, my cousin was astonished of all the dogs around, including this teddy-bear-like-doggy called “Lennox the Lion.”  Not only did she take pics of the local’s dogs, she took shots of me!

Banana Republic’s Merino Wool Scallop Crew Pullover  (something similar) | RVCA’s Apologies Skirt Jumper

There was a picture of my mother in her twenties, wearing a similar outfit.  I wish I have the picture to share it with you all, but the thought of rummaging through the bins is pretty daunting to me (or I’m just plain lazy).  What makes my outfit different than my mother is that she didn’t wear leather.  My mother’s style is more feminine, whereas I like to add a little edge.  What I love about this jumper is how retro it is.  I had pushed it further by adding tights, and pairing it with booties, in order to complete the ’80s look.  Not only was I getting some love for the outfit in Venice, check out the positive feedbacks on my IG here.

If you have you ever been inspired by your parent’s wardrobe, share it with me by leaving a comment below!  I’d love to know where all your style decisions come from (I mean, they all started from somewhere)!

Images provided by my little cousin

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#WardrobeWednesday : Outfit Repeater

February 22, 2017

I haven’t put out these kinds of post in a while, and that’s probably because I’ve been lacking the inspiration in the wardrobe department.  My go-to choices for picking out my outfits have been high-waisted jeans with an oversized sweater, and depending on how my hair behaves that day, I’d throw on a hat.

But, when I do find an outfit that is cute and comfortable, I tend to wear it day-after-day until I get tired of it.  Guilty – I am a proud outfit repeater.  To give you an example, here’s an outfit that I had repeatedly worn back in November, when the cold climate hadn’t even kicked-in yet.  For some reason, I didn’t share this with you even though I had a lot of positive feedback on Instagram.

Brandy Melville’s Lance Sweaters (something similar) | Public Desire’s Janine Over the Knee Boots

Brandy Melville is one of my favorite brands!  What I love about this sweater is the not-so-long v-line, and the versatility to move around in it because, to be real, I am not a big fan of tight clothing.  On top of that, it’s so soft!

This was my first time purchasing shoes from Public Desire, which is a U.K. based brand.  The over-the-knee-boots is an alternative option for those looking to find the popular Stuart Weitzman’s boots that all the fashion bloggers’ have.  I have been wearing it throughout the fall/winter season, and it has not died on me yet so I highly recommend it if you’re looking to save yourself a few hundred bucks.  In addition to this purchase, I had also got myself a pair without the heels, which I advise you to go a half-size smaller since these versions run quite big.

If you have any outfits that you repeatedly wear all the time, feel free to leave a comment below with a picture of it attached!  I’d love to see what your go-to outfits are 🙂

P.S. My hair no longer looks like that, especially since I got myself a haircut a few weeks after these pictures were taken.

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#TravelThursday : Just 4 Miles

January 19, 2017

As my sister and I made our way up to Mt. Baldy, we had encountered some back-to-back traffic – the same kind of traffic you get at 7am in the morning when you’re heading to DTLA.  Having accumulated almost two hours on the road, my sister and I were working our bladder muscles and our stomachs were beginning to eat itself.

While my sister and I were debating whether or not we should “pop-a-squat” or not, we were hitting our breaking points.  Okay, more me than my sister.  As I’ve mentioned before in a previous post, I have the worst patience.  As the road begins to narrow due to the cars parked alongside the road, my sister and I found ourselves at a standstill.  There was absolutely no way for us to move forward or even turnaround so, in other words, we were stuck.

People started getting out of their cars to see what the fuss was all about, and others tried to squeeze their way up the road.  There were some folks who had just given up, and settled with what snow they had.  Even though the sign says we have only 4 miles till we reach the top of the mountain, I had begun to question the worthiness of all of this — “Should we just stay here?  There’s some snow.”

Passionately, my sister exclaims, “No!  We didn’t make it this far not to reach the top!”  My sister has always been the more optimistic one, and it’s moments like these, where she pushes me to do more than what I believe I am capable of.  So, with two “hangry” women whose bladder was about to burst, we had inched our way through the mountain, and, finally, a sign appeared in bold letterings, “Welcome to Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts.”

This is just one of the many incidents that day, where I had almost deprived my sister and I from witnessing a beautiful sight.  This experience had reminded me to never give up so quickly, and to have a little faith.  As quoted by Nicholas Sparks (not a huge enough fan to even quote his work, but what he shared has some truth in it), “nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy.” 

If you have the time this weekend and is in the SoCal area, make a stop to the mountains.  It’ll especially be great this weekend as fresh snow is expected to fall!  So, even though you’re just 4 miles away, and stuck in back-to-back traffic, the destination will be worth the trouble.

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#TOTD : Grateful For 2K16

December 31, 2016

While everyone feels as if they’ve been victimized by 2016, I, however, feel this past year treated me very well.  Considering that I had spent the last two years, stumbling around like a “lost puppy,” 2016 was the year where I had found my footing.  As everyone is ready to say goodbye to it, I am having trouble letting go of what was an amazing year.

One of my greatest accomplishments in 2016 was obtaining a new job.  I didn’t step into the year, looking for my “dream” job, but I was hoping to find a place where I would “fit-in” instantaneously and be able to do something that I’d be passionate about.  When I got myself into the chaotic world of advertising (never a dull moment by the way), I didn’t expect to find a clear path of where I wanted to grow professionally.  So, when people tell me about how much they “hate” their jobs, I simply say this,”A job is a job, and nobody likes to get up for work.  But, if you can find a job that you love, it makes getting up for work a lot easier.”  If you missed out on my previous post about my new role in advertising, you can check it out here.

Even though this time of year is when we all self-reflect, it is good to focus on the future because 2016 will just be of the past, starting tonight (if you’re in Pacific Coast Time).  2017 will bring about new opportunities, adventures and experiences so we should all step into the new year with excitement and an open-mind.  As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts here, I do not partake on making a list of resolutions because, let’s be real, I can never be that avid gym goer.  Honestly, I tried it out and cancelled my membership for 2017…

For 2017, I want to step into it with a different mindset, where I’d focus my attention on the following:

  • Believing in myself.  Even though I may act as if I have all my shit together, deep down I am actually shitting myself.  While others are able to see my value and self-worth, I, however, cannot.  This is a never-ending internal struggle for a lot of us, and something that comes with being a human being.
  • Taking more risks.  As Richard Branson once said,”The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.”  Over the past few years, I’ve been living my life cautiously, fearful of the “what ifs.”  By taking more chances and risks, I’d be able to learn more of what I am capable of, and that’s also accepting the mistakes that I make along the way.
  • Focusing on my health.  I wish this wasn’t true, but I am not getting any younger nor am I invincible.  This past doctor visit made me realize that (don’t worry, it’s nothing drastic), and now I have to start taking care of my body.  That means, no more hot cheetos before dinner…
  • Managing my money.  Not like I have any anyways, but it’s good to start learning how to financially manage my income and savings.  The thought of wanting to own a home, building a family and planning for retirement has been a discussion that I’ve been dwelling on, especially since time is going by so fast.
  • Traveling a lot more.  In 2016, I had focused all of my energy into my professional life.  With the upcoming year, I hope to find myself on a plane, traveling abroad.  Traveling is so important because then you become more cultured and knowledgeable about the world outside of what you’ve always known.

As we begin to countdown for the new year, I want to say thank you to everyone who has got me to where I am thus far.  2016 is the year that I feel most grateful for, just because it had given me much more than what I had expected.  I now know from here, it can only get better so I can’t wait to spend another year with you all (if some higher-power doesn’t decide to shoot me down anytime soon, of course)!

Cheers to you!

Image via Pinterest

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#MotivationMonday : As An American

November 14, 2016

Originally, I wasn’t planning on participating in this year’s election.  First of all, I didn’t keep track on any of the candidates’ campaigns so I didn’t want to falsely caste my vote; secondly, this presidential race was a laughable one due to the fact that Trump was actually running; and thirdly, there’s no way in hell that the American people would allow an unqualified candidate become the leader of our nation right?

The days counting down to November 8th freaked me out a bit as I started noticing Trump and Pence’s signs outside of people’s homes.  I think it was the first time that I had realized we are all not on the same page.

As a result of the election, it clearly demonstrated how divided our country is.  Just to be clear, I am in no way patriotic, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel the overwhelming fear that so many anti-Trump supporters have felt that day or continue to feel.  It’s daunting to know that our neighbors, colleagues, friends and/or family had placed an inexperienced candidate, who used “hate” as the basis of his political platform, in the White House.

But, I am not here to go on a rant about that because, at this point, we can only hope that Trump will not burn this nation into the ground.  What I do want to discuss are the people who didn’t have any opinion on the matter.  To me that’s worst than not voting, and not voting is worst than the people who actually voted for Trump.  If you are an educated, privileged citizen of the United States of America, you should care about what is going on around you, and exercise your rights as an American.  As a reminder, “silence is also an answer.”  You have the opportunity to use your voice where others less fortunate than you do not.  You have the power to change lives no matter how big or small.

As an American, I strongly believe that’s what I owe to this country.  People have fought for my rights, so to avoid stomping on their efforts, I try to be politically aware of what’s going on around me (as much as possible) and participate in it as much as I can.

Why do I feel so strongly about this?  After my dad had passed away, my family and I had hit a financial rough patch, where we needed government assistance.  Regardless of the corruption behind the government, which I am not naive and ignorant of, the U.S. government has helped my family and I stay afloat when we most needed it.  Although my family and I no longer accept government assistance, there are still others who do (speaking only to those who actually need it, and not the ones who cheat the system).  Other than welfare, there are other issues that requires your participation, such as healthcare and education.

This election reminded me that I have a greater purpose than just trekking along with whatever is going on in my personal life.  As an educated young woman with a decent job, I know my voice can be heard if I scream loud enough.  So, I am proud to say that I did end up getting my ass to the polls for this year’s election, and submitted my vote for Hillary Clinton.  Even though America is not ready for our first female president just yet, Hillary has left cracks in this ceiling for the next female presidential candidate to shatter.

To all you who are not politically aware of what’s going on around you, I highly encourage you to start.  Because, regardless if it affects you or not (which it does by the way), other people’s lives depend on it.

Image via various media sites

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#TOTD : Needing ≠ Wanting

November 6, 2016

As I begin to enter my mid-twenties, I can say that I’ve only been in one real relationship in my life, and I haven’t dated much to be label as an “avid dater.”  For most of my high school and college years, I was in a long-term relationship as I’ve previously mentioned here.  My boyfriend and I at the time ended things on good terms, so there wasn’t really any reason for the breakup besides the fact that I was tired of being referred to as “John’s girlfriend” (using a fake name to respect his privacy).

Since then, I’ve been categorized as the woman who is strong, independent, confident, career-driven and someone who is far capable of taking care of herself.  Unlike most girls who need a man’s validation in order to feel valued, I take pride in knowing that I don’t need a man to be fulfilled (it’s been me, myself and I for the past 4-5 years).

But, over the past few months, I’ve encountered this new sense of emotion that I can’t even understand or begin to describe, which is ironic because I’m usually in tune with them.  However, what I can tell you are the five things that bring them up:

  • I’ve made the mistake of scrolling through my Facebook feed to find a bunch of my former acquaintances announcing their engagements, changing their status’ from in-a-relationship to married and studio images of babies that they have apparently just popped out.  Although I think it is absolutely nuts to have all of that by our mid-twenties, I can’t help but think that I am falling a bit behind.
  • My friends are all in a relationship, so being a second priority on their list is never fun.  But that doesn’t mean that I am not happy for them.  Because at the end of the day, I’d want them to have that special person by their side.  As for me, I just need to know where all my single sistas’ are at!
  • At every family function, there is always someone who is going ask you the inevitable question, “Are you single?”  For every answer give, I always feel the need to explain myself in fear that they would see me as pathetic.
  • My mother consistently reminds me that I am not getting any younger.  Whenever she compares my youthfulness to fresh meat, it cracks me up a little because now I’m actually starting to fear wrinkles, random stretch marks and sagging boobs (not to mention our vaginas).
  • The lowest point of all points — embarrassingly, calling the ex-boyfriend

So, after I had out-of-the-blue dialed my ex, that’s when I immediately went into a panic.  What the hell is wrong with me?!  My best friends, who I love so much, dropped everything that they were doing to dissect my craziness (glad to have entertained them with this as well), and here’s what they came up with:

Lori, maybe it’s because you miss having that companionship?  I mean, you’ve been single for almost five-years, and I get that your mother has been the same way so that’s all you’ve known.  But you’re not 40-years-old, Lori, so stop acting like it.  Don’t be so hard on yourself.  This doesn’t mean that you are weak.  We all know that you don’t need a man, but it’s also okay to want it.

My girls helped me realize that “needing” and “wanting” are NOT synonymous.  It’s actually okay for me to want to be loved and to be taken care of by someone other than my family.  This desire does not diminish my self-respect as an independent woman, and that’s what I’m learning to understand.

Image via Pinterest

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