Monthly Archives: May 2013

Quotable: Sunshine

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“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”
― Joseph Addison

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Thursday Trend: All That Sparkles

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Trust me when I say this: I have no clue how to be trendy.  If you don’t want to take my word for it, you should talk to my best friend.  We met the first day of Freshman year and have been relatively attached to each other ever since.  It wasn’t one of those “We hung out off and on and then slowly our friendship developed things” – it’s the platonic equivalent of love at first sight. We used to compare notes on poetry and boys; but when it came to fashion, I definitely took a back seat.  Eventually, and somewhat jokingly, she told me “Amanda, if you don’t match…we can’t sit together at lunch.”  She may as well have said “…and on Wednesdays, we wear pink.” but last time I checked I didn’t live in a movie.

Joke or not, what she said definitely nestled itself somewhere deep in my brain because now that I’m older (and somewhat wiser) from my nail polish to the trim on my boots, I match all the damn time.  The downside of trying to fit the trends and be relatively on top of being a 21st century chic chick is in my early 20s, I spent a rather ridiculous amount of time, money and or energy trying to fit the latest “trends”;  trends from the magazines, movies and runway that honestly have little to no place in my closet.

So I took a step back to re-evaluate who wanted to be, and the type of young lady I’d like to evolve into.  Sounds silly, but (a) there’s absolutely nothing wrong with dressing for success – be it career-wise or personal; and (b) it becomes a positive feedback loop!  A while back, I wanted to streamline my growth – I wanted to feel sexier, more mature, more sophisticated – so that’s how I started dressing.   Low and behold, the fashion must have seeped into my pores and into my veins, because while I looked the part I acted the part!  It’s a glorious cycle that I’m glad I discovered.

I think what strikes me is the originality of the items that I love – if I’ve seen it duplicated, I’m already over it before it hits my closet.  But every now and again, I seem to get these genius – and very specific – cravings for fashion and as of late, jewlery.  Sometimes, its for a delicate necklace in a specific metallic shade – and other times I get my mind set on clothing in daring, yet possible, colors.  I used to go shopping often – maybe a little too often – and what I’ve found, especially on Melrose, is that most shops are carbon copies of the others.  But a few, like Essex, have a great turnover for new threads and necklaces.  One of my favorite finds that I mentioned briefly yesterday is the Melrose Trading Post; it’s a great (and incredibly inexpensive) place to check out handcrafted jewelry and vintage duds.  Last, but definitely not least, don’t forget about my favorite treasure chest – your local discount stores!  What’s being another season behind the trends if you don’t even follow them, right?!  So, let’s get down to it – these are a few of my favorite blings.

Faux Sapphire Ring from Shanghai
Leather Wrist Wrap from Melrose Trading Post

ChiChiMe has the best Bangle Sets!

Amethyst Gradient Fox from Shanghai

Eggplant Corduroy Pants from J Brand (on sale at Nordstrom Rack!)

Riding Boots from Target
In love with the metal zipper embellishment; I will wear these to the ground!

Flower Bullet Necklace from Melrose Trading Post

Snaking around my fingers; found at the Melrose Trading Post

[This Is Growing Up] So You’re Looking To Relocate?

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There’s very little in life that’s equally exciting and daunting as dating in Los Angeles, but apartment hunting in the city of Angels most definitely comes in at a close second.  I moved down from Santa Barbara in the Summer of ’08 and instead of putting in the effort to look for the best fit, I chose to negate crucial steps and was left wanting instead of feeling like I was home.  Over the five years I’ve been here, I’ve moved twice and each time has been a unique learning experiences.

Prime example: I’ve learned the hard way what my creature comforts are and what I’m willing to sacrifice for an adorable abode.  Do you need a dishwasher; do you enjoy living by yourself; do you need covered parking, do you have easy access to multiple freeway systems; do you absolutely have to have a pool?  These are just a few of the things you should figure out pre-move, so you don’t spend the entire lease complaining about the have-nots instead of celebrating the awesome amenities.

Spring Cleaning isn’t just for Spring

Beyond where you’re going – you should also be aware of where you’re coming from and the baggage you’ll be bringing with you.  Speaking of what you’re bringing with you, this is an excellent time to pair down what you already possess – do you need four surfboards?  Some would argue yes – but not everyone.  I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a ‘pack rat‘ but then again, I don’t know anyone that would volunteer themselves as a hoarder; maybe I’m a little hypersensitive because my step mom was a professional organizer…or there’s the fact my room was so messy that she wouldn’t let the house cleaners touch it!  At the time, I thought her thinking was backwards but the wiser I become with age, the more I see her point: cleaning your apartment is not the same as putting things in their place.

Check Yourself, and Your Inventory

What I’ve discovered is that my step-mother is incredibly wise and on point, so I’ve adopted one of her most basic rules: a place for every thing, and everything in its place.  If you’re suddenly discovering that you have an overabundance of plates + knives but no cups or forks, you’ll find yourself in the middle of an incredibly awkward space planning issue at the most inopportune times – date nights, pre-partying, etc – you get the idea.   Take inventory of what you have and take notice of what you’re missing – if you do a little digging on Yelp, I bet you’ll even find some inexpensive and funky ways to upgrade your household inventory.  The Melrose Trading Post in the Fairfax District runs every Sunday, rain or shine, and always delivers the best in antique and unique household items, clothing and jewelry.  If you’re a little to the East, the Rose Bowl Flea Market is open the second Sunday of every month – I’ve never been but I’ve heard that it’s a fabulous way to lose yourself on a beautiful afternoon.  Another great resource are restaurant supply stores – you can buy quality kitchenware at beyond affordable prices.

Closet Math – Less is More

For being an intuitive math person, it took me an awful long time to discover that closet math is incredibly different from normal math.  You’d think that more is…well, more!  But  take into consideration how often you run into something torn, faded, a little on the small side (or large side, pick whatever koolaid you’ve been sippin’ on), or you’d simply like to slap the you from two years ago who thought that pattern actually looked good – every time you notice those pieces of clothing, you’re been deterred from that good shit!  Often, and especially for myself, I’m gifted with clothing and accessories from my closest confidants and feel guilty holding onto it.  Then I have to think about it this way –  if it’s not going to good use (and it’s not from immediate family), gift it and pay it forward; I promise it’ll be well received.  If you’re not into gifting – hold a yard sale, or walk a bag or ten over to your local goodwill.

Next time you get ready, take a good hard look at your wardrobe – some of it’s seasonal, so you can rotate it between your main closet and a hall closet or storage;  on the other hand, some of it might require you to go through some form of separation anxiety.  Either way you play the game, you’ll open up space and be able to see things much more easily; not only can you get ready in a flash but just watch as your make some new, expert outfit pairings.

Making Moves

Here we have the under-appreciated  art of apartment hunting.  Instead of focusing on what I might’ve definitely wrong, I’d like to share a couple things that have gone right for me.  Moving itself is primarily about one thing and one thing only: location, location, location.   In a major city, especially one as big as Los Angeles, it’s important to understand what you’re near – and what’s absolutely  BFE away from – you.  I found a phenomenal website – and iPhone app – called Lovely and it’s by far the best apartment hunting website around.

Do you value your time, or do you value the money you’re investing?  Granted, you can move in a year…but that could be a very long year.  Being near a freeway is important and considering how congested traffic is, being near a bunch is better.  Everyone loves being able to walk to the beach but not everyone can afford the cost(…for now).  So take the time and think about the things you’re willing to give up and what you need to live in comfort. Some places have covered parking, some have parking garages – and some people drive for twenty minutes every night.  If you’re into fitness and walking like I am, you might want to know what’s close by and convenient so head over to Walk Score and see how “walkable” your new (or current) neighborhood is; you might be surprised at the results.

Listomania

Last but definitely not least  is the power of lists.  I’m a special breed – I have lists of lists, and lists everywhere: old school written post-its, text messages to myself and a great app for all my devices called Evernote.  It lets me take my lists digitally wherever I go and it’s perfect for anything like packing lists, recipes, bucket lists and – you guessed it, apartment criteria.  This way, you literally can’t avoid jotting down your thoughts on the kitchen in your coworker’s new pad and how badly you wish you could walk to a farmer’s market every Sunday.

Quotable: The Beauty of Summer

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“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
― F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Great Gatsby

The Audiofiles: Bouncing Through Memorial Day Weekend

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Per usual – the long weekend came and went with an amazing amount of fanfare and a complete lack of respect for the limited amount of hours in a three day time span.  Whether your time was spent marinating in relaxation or in complete play-cation mode, chances are you’re still yearning for just one more sweet day to get your life back together.  The one benefit to today’s condition is that 5pm on Friday is just so much closer; but what’s a gal to do until then? Well, relive the weekend of course!

I both kicked things off and ended things right with a few of my favorite things – my partner in crime, some picnic eats and a marathon of my ultimate TV show, Battlestar Galactica; if you’re into political, military or sci-fi drama’s this is simply a must-see series.  Check out this trailer and tell me you’re not interested; all four seasons of the reimagined series are currently on NetFlix so try it out while you still can!

Considering the amount of DJs in Chicago for EDC or in Las Vegas to enjoy the pool parties, on Saturday night we got one of the most eclectic lineups I’ve ever seen – Jack Beats, Style of Eye and Jamie Jones. Two of which I adore, the middle I still have no clue who they are.   The new Create is where the old Vanguard was – there’s essentially less tables, more LEDs and I’m so okay with that! And as a bonus, the glorious outside patio is still in tact and prefect for catching up with new and old friends alike.

Probably my favorite thing about the long weekend was the fact I had friends from all over the state coming into town for one mission: a sun & fun filled play-cation. I, for one, can definitely get down with that. Sunday morning I made the beautiful trek down to Venice Beach to grab brunch with one of my best friends from high school and her new business partner. They’re starting up a boutique Marketing firm in the SoCal area  called the Marketing Minxes – it’s an uber cute concept and I have the utmost faith in their vision.  Plus, like I really need an excuse to head out to the beach!

 The only mission for the afternoon and evening was to get our collective boogie on – and thanks to some good doses of karma, we accidentally ended up at XIV, yet another SBE venue on the replacement rotation.  For any party junkies the place used to be known as Colony; it’s pretty small and intimate, especially for the ridiculous level of raging taking place there!  It was a madhouse with Co2 so thick that you couldn’t see in front of you for half a minute and the most confetti I’ve ever seen at a club.  A few minutes after walking in, we heard something trancy – and turned around and saw one of our favorite DJs – Gareth Emery! We even got to hear Concrete Angel, ahhhh – insert #trancearms here; so epic – and the perfect way to rage until the Monday light =)

Friday Fun: MDW Ready!

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If there’s one thing I need to own up to at the moment, it’s that I’m a sucker for a three day weekend – and truth be told, it’s even better when everyone can join in on the fun! Sunshine, cocktails, good vibes and great friends; there’s simply nothing better!  I’m not entirely sure what my weekend plans are, but as John Lennon so eloquently phrased it: life is what happens when you’re making other plans.  The only thing that you really need to bring to the table during a weekend like this is a smile on your face and a bounce in your step.  Well, and maybe a few more things – colorful nails, the threat of a good time and an epic playlist.

Who says you need to stay with the Red-White-and-Boring trend this Memorial Day Weekend?!

I love the pop of neon colors and bling and shimmer of sparkles, so pairing them together – absolutely perfect.

No one will  ever accuse you of being unprepared to party if you carry one of these suckers around in your purse; for an even better treat, fill it with champagne, or your favorite mixed drink!

Lazy day vibes and deep house seem to go hand in hand, and for great reason – when the work goes away, your soul comes out to play! And every soul digs that soulful, and so funky, sound of deep house.