Sunday, February 22, 2015

Classy Cool

While we have been having beautiful weather here in California, I can't help but feel sorry for my friends and family back on the East Coast who are buried under mounds of snow and ice. So, lets take a break from the winter gloom and remember a time that was filled with warm weather, sunshine, and nights that were comfortable enough to venture outside without a jacket. 

Say you'll remember me standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset.
There's nothing like a sunset to evoke inspiration, especially when New York City is your backdrop. I had the pleasure of having a little rooftop photo shoot a while back while visiting a friend in the city (try to imagine a time when the cityscape didn't resemble an arctic tundra). Los Angeles will forever own my heart, but NYC is a great alternative for some, and a nice place to visit on occasion! 

You never know what you might find while exploring the streets of New York, and I happened to stroll by an LF, completely unaware that they were having an annual one-day sale, with up to 70%off! Anyone familiar with this store will know that this was an incredible discovery, since their prices are generally steeper than what can be accommodated by an average college student's finances. 

I absolutely fell in love with this blue flowered dress with a cut-out middle, which I purchased for  around $30 (!!!). It's cute and fun, with just enough edge for this chic city. 

Because it was summertime, I decided to add a pop of pink lipstick to contribute to the vibrant, youthful look:

 I was captivated by the beauty surrounding me; the natural gradation of colors from the setting sun combined with the industrial flare of the city was awe-inspiring. In the bustle of the busy city, it can sometimes be hard to remember to stop and take a look around you every once in a while. In this moment, I was reminded of a quote that I have become particularly fond of: 

"And forget not that the earth delights 
to feel your bare feet and the wind longs 
to play with your hair" 
-Kahlil Gibran

However, though it is imperative that a lady know how to dress up, she must also be able to dress it down. While many girls my age op for the 'disheveled sweatpants' look, I like to remain stylish even while seeking comfort in my wardrobe. 

I try to go for a style that is casual, comfortable, and trendy.

I achieve this goal by pairing a laid-back tank top from Brandy Melville with a pair of paisley-printed lounge pants from Urban Outfitters. While these pants may be a little eccentric for some, I think that they are absolutely adorable-- and bold.  

These sunglasses are from Free People for $18 :)

 From classy to cool, these are my typical city looks. 
How do you find a balance between comfortable and cute?
Leave a comment and share your style tips!


Friday, February 13, 2015

All The Single Ladies

I'm taking a break from my usual posts to send an important Valentine's Day message:

"On Valentine's Day, we wear BLACK"

To many, Valentine's Day is a magical holiday filled with romantic gestures that express deep feelings of love and devotion. It is a time when the air is potent with desire, promises of commitment, and the hope for long-lasting relationships; a time dedicated to those lucky few who have found a piece of their souls within another individual, their better halves.

BUT, if you're a single girl like me, it can be your own personal hell in which the rest of the world takes great joy in flaunting their relationships in front of you, leaving you feeling lonely and vulnerable. During this time of great emotional distress, I take solace in the copious amounts of wine and chocolate that are available for consumption.

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of Valentine's Day…. but there is a lot of pressure put on young women around this time of year. However, I'm here to tell you that it is OKAY not to have a boyfriend. Or a date, for that matter.

I'm a hopeless romantic. I'm the type of girl who has thought about marriage since I was fifteen. I would love to find that person that I'm going to spend "forever" with, now. But that is not always how it works out. So, for those in-between years when you find yourself hopelessly single, rather than mourning your loneliness, you should be embracing your independence.

 I always tell my friends that I'm going to marry my next boyfriend because dating is so exhausting. But that's not really that much of a stretch, considering I am extremely picky when it comes to men. I would never jump into a relationship with someone unless I could see it going somewhere, hopefully indefinitely. There is a Marina and the Diamonds lyric that goes, "every boyfriend is the one, until otherwise proven," which is the motto that I live by when dating. I would never settle for anyone less than what I believe I deserve, or for anyone that would not make me completely happy.

SO, while I do not have a date for Valentine's Day, I know that it is because it is my choice. Could I get a date with some random guy that I don't care about? Sure! But that would not be fulfilling for me. Therefore, I choose my independence.

In the past four years that I have been single (yes, four years), I have grown so much as a person. I have learned a lot about myself, and what I want in a partner. I also abide by the philosophy that everything happens for a reason. If I am single now, it is because every guy that I have come into contact with up until this moment was not right for me, which means that it can only get better from here. Mr. Right will show up sooner or later, so for now, I can take this time to further refine my tastes and focus on myself. And who knows, maybe the next guy will be the one. I'm willing to wait to find out, whether it be four months from now, or four years.

In the meantime, I recommend going out with your girlfriends and celebrating the beautiful freedom that you possess as young women. Or, if you prefer a quiet night in, curl up on the couch with a glass (or bottle) of wine and watch a lighthearted, fun movie (My personal recommendation would be a classic like Clueless or Mean Girls). Channel your inner Beyonce and blast "Single Ladies" while you devour pizza or ice cream, or just do something for you, because you won't be able to be with anyone else if you can't stand to be by yourself.

Lastly, just remember this: You are beautiful. You, alone. You do not need a man to determine your worth.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Grammy Fever

It's award season again, which means that all of our favorite shows and live performances are right around the corner, including the 57th Annual Grammy Awards this Sunday! I was fortunate enough to attend the Grammys last year and it was one of the most amazing shows I have ever witnessed. The huge auditorium of the Staples Center was filled with excitement and love for the passion that each artist pours into their work. Even I felt overwhelmed with emotion, and a part of me wanted to cry every time I saw one of my idols stand up to perform. It was an experience that I would not give up for the world, so this post is dedicated to that special night, in honor of the ceremony that will take place tomorrow.

You might be wondering how a simple college student like myself would be able to attend such a prestigious and iconic award show like the Grammys. Well, my only answer is this: Luck. I applied online to be a seat filler during the show. Thousands of people (according to the website, up to 30,000) apply every year to do this, but they are only allowed to accept around 500 people to act as seat fillers. Therefore, they conduct a lottery of the applicants, meaning that whoever is selected is solely by chance. This is why I say I attended by luck, as my odds were 1 in 60 that I would be able to go. 

Being a seat filler means that I would be placed in seating within the first few rows from the stage in order to prevent the appearance of any vacant seats when the cameras go by, as this is a televised event. If anyone gets up from their seat, I would replace them temporarily. This meant that I had a lot of movement over the evening, but it was well worth it. In fact, I rather enjoyed it because, each time I moved, I was put closer to a different celebrity and had a new vantage point. 

My first seat was a few rows away from Neil Patrick Harris, which I thought was pretty cool. However, when I was moved for the first time, I was placed even closer to the stage, directly behind Beyonce and Jay-Z. I was close enough to see the rings glimmering on Beyonce's fingers. Obviously, this was a big OMG moment for me, since I love Beyonce, but I didn't get to keep this seat for long. However, throughout the night, I found myself in very convenient places during the show. I was sitting right in front of Lorde when she won both of her awards, and later I was seated in front of Imagine Dragons and directly behind Daft Punk when they won their award for Album of the Year. Of course, I watched the awards again later on, to see if I could see myself on TV. And yes, yes I could.

Here, I am the small face in between one of the members of Daft Punk and the man to the right of him. This gives you some perspective as to how close I was to the artists (as well as to how psycho I am for feeling the need to look this up and screenshot it).
In this photo, I am seated directly in front of the members of Imagine Dragons, who are covered in some red substance, that I can only imagine is paint, after their performance (which was phenomenal).
My favorite performances of the night were by Beyonce, Katy Perry, Imagine Dragons, Taylor Swift, and Lorde (in no particular order). Beyonce sang "Drunk in Love" and opened the show on such a high note that it energized the audience for the rest of the evening. Katy Perry and Imagine Dragons employed theatrics which really enhanced their performances. While Lorde and Taylor Swift left out the special effects of the others, the heart that they put into each song demonstrated such raw emotion and depth that it made up for the lack of aesthetics. Taylor Swift also sang one of my favorite songs by her, "All Too Well." My favorites are the sad songs, the ones with lyrics that speak to you. I am hopelessly attracted to everything that is beautifully tragic; a testament to the romantic in me. 

 It was also amazing to see Paul McCartney live, as I am an avid fan of The Beatles. It was indescribable to be able to hear the last remnant of such a legendary band, performing in just a fraction of his former glory, as age and life have taken their toll. 

Honorable Mention also goes out to John Legend and Kacey Musgraves. I never paid much attention to John Legend before, but after hearing him sing "All of Me" live, I was blown away. Both the lyrics and the passion behind the song really struck a chord with me and made me love John Legend and his music. It made me really want to find a man who can sing for me because it had such a powerful effect  (Gentlemen, if you sing for me, I will probably marry you). Kacey Musgraves surprised me because, though I absolutely hate country music, I was impressed by how catchy and pop-sounding the song "Follow Your Arrow" is. I also loved her simple yet effective scenery of neon cacti at twilight. She looked adorable in her lit-up cowboy boots and the fabulous dress that she was wearing, and I can always admire a girl with style. 

But of course, one of the most important things that I had to consider while preparing for the Grammys was my outfit. And if you know me at all, you would know that I would not be anything less than fierce.

I thought that a formal dress would be the obvious choice, so I opted for something a little different by wearing a completely sequined black jumpsuit, which I got on sale from Urban Outfitters for around $50. This isn't the type of piece that I would expect to find at UO, so I was excited to encounter it on the clearance rack. When it came to the jewelry, I actually just recycled my old prom jewelry, which I still keep and wear often. With the combination of sequins and jewels, I felt sufficiently glamourous (and proceeded to have a photo shoot by the pool at my apartment complex). 

An outfit is not complete without a fabulous pair of shoes. These sparkling heels are from DSW and helped me dazzle from head to toe. The only thing better than a pair of hot shoes is a discounted pair of hot shoes.

D. H. Lawrence wrote: 
"All people dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the morning to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous people, for they dream their dreams with open eyes and make them come true."

This has become one of my favorite quotes, and I like to think of myself as a dreamer by day. I set my sights on things that I want, and though they may at first seem out of reach, I vow to work until my visions become actualized. Being able to attend the Grammys was a dream come true, and I believe that this is only the beginning; the best is yet to come.

So, who is going to tune into the Grammys tomorrow evening? I am personally eager to see Lady Gaga (with Tony Bennett), as she was not present at last year's event. Leave a comment and tell me which performance you are most excited to see!