Friday, January 21, 2011

"good things come to those who wait"


...and the WAIT is finally over!! my books which i ordered over TWO WEEKS ago finally arrived today, and here i had almost given up hope, thinking they had been lost in the mail (they were estimated to be arriving within 3-7 days of my order). come to find out, they had been sent to my old address first...silly in any case, i am so thrilled to finally have them in my hands, and cannot wait to start reading through them!!


the first book is one that i saw an ad for a couple years ago while flipping through an issue of teen vogue. at the time, i was an avid reader of that magazine (though since have "graduated" to the regular vogue) and it's long been a dream of mine to somehow enter the fashion industry. the hangup was not having the money to attend a school of fashion, and no clue how to get my foot in the door any other way. after reading a review on this book, i felt it would be a great tool for me to discover ways i might finally realize my dream without being limited by my lack of formal fashion education. i'll be sure to follow up later with a review!

the second book is one i only just heard of this month. i was watching a makeover program on HGTV called "closet cases" - it's essentially a cross between "what not to wear" and "clean sweep". the host stylist, Lloyd Boston, comes in and revamps the featured guest's wardrobe and overall look, while a resident home designer remodels the closet of said guest. i had never heard of this show before, but i was impressed with the advice and guidance Mr. Boston gave, so when they did a promo spot at the end of the program for his book "Before You Put That On", i decided i'd like to see what other advice he had to give.

the third book is one i've had on my must-read list for several years. it was actually my best friend who discovered it while we were passing time at barnes and noble. while i was never a big spice girls fan, over the years i have developed an appreciation for the former miss posh spice, victoria beckham's sense of style. while i don't always approve of her tastes, i do respect her authority on the subject of fashion. in addition, when i first looked through the book that day at b&n, i absolutely fell in love with the aesthetic and design of the whole thing, and this only made me want it more! why i didn't buy it at the time, i couldn't say. i am just glad to finally have it now <3


Thursday, January 20, 2011

the 2011 Golden Globes were held this past sunday and of course everyone is discussing the red carpet fashions. it is a habit of mine after awards shows to examine all the photos once they've been posted on the internet, and see what people are saying; what they liked, didn't like, loved or hated. i decided to create my own mini review of the trends on the red carpet this year, so here you have it:

the biggest trend i noticed throughout was a neutral tone gown, and many of these were embellished with sequins or rhinestones (even daisies, though that was a poor fashion choice for michelle williams). everyone from sandra bullock to the ladies of glee were sporting this look. i liked it for the most part, however some pulled it off better than others. my favorite version of this trend was anne hathaway's Giorgio Armani gown, especially the very sexy backline-down-to-there. lovely.

(anne hathaway in giorgio armani)


another trend i noticed was the deep green gown. it is such a gorgeous, rich color, so it doesn't surprise me that it would work well on the red carpet. catherine zeta-jones and mila kunis both looked absolutely regal in their jewel-toned ballgowns. many of the red carpet reviews i read hailed angelina jolie as the best-dressed look on the red carpet, but in my opinion, she just looked "ok" in the emerald green dress she chose. while i can't disagree that as an actress, she fairly oozes with glamour, i thought this dress fell awkwardly over her uber skinny frame and the shoulder pads only exaggerated that awkwardness. i've seen her look far more fabulous in past looks, though i can't deny the color was to die for.


there was one actress who made a very bold statement at the globes, even though what she wore was fairly simple. emma stone, who plays the sarcastic, cute, incredibly likable lead in "easy A", stepped out in a very basic, very simple Calvin Klein peach gown. the statement, however, was in her revamped locks and freshly bronzed skin-tone. the natural red-head with fair freckled complexion showed up with bleached blond hair and faux tan. while it wasn't distasteful, it was certainly shocking. and though i wanted to appreciate her new look, something about it felt uncomfortable...that's when i realized, it was all to reminiscent of another red-head turned blond bombshell who should have stayed true to the natural beauty God gave her. lindsay lohan made a similar fashion choice a few years back, and while dying her gorgeous red hair wasn't the cause of her downward spiral, it was a manifestation of an unhealthy need to please the masses. while i don't get the impression that emma stone is headed for a similar fate, i do think that some things are better left alone. tell me what you think of her new look!

emma stone BEFORE
emma stone AFTER

lindsay lohan BEFORE & AFTER

last but surely not least is my choice for best dressed on the red carpet(keep in mind, this is simply my own opinion). i LOVED olivia wilde's princess gown, and to top it off, she rocked an edgy pair of gold Christian Louboutins. FABULOUS! i will admit, she probably could've improved the whole look with a slightly more red-carpet appropriate hair-do, however she looked gorgeous either way.


so what were your favorite looks? which looks did you hate?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

i don't usually watch "the view" but happened to land on that channel (ABC) this morning, and more than the topics they were discussing, what caught my attention was elisabeth hasselbeck's ADORABLE outfit!! here is my version of her outfit, and while i don't know what her outfit cost or what labels she wore, i can almost guarantee my ensemble is far cheaper for just as much style and class. so here you go:

this lovely coat, with its vintage navy flavor, can be found on for a humble price of $107.99 (this was the most expensive item in my ensemble, however, this coat was the most affordable i could find that most closely matched elisabeth's)

these skinny jeans are clean and crisp, and coming in at $14.50 on, a STEAL!

i am head over heels for these platform mary-janes!! elisabeth's red pumps were actually a basic pump (no strap) with a rosette or some sort of little embellishment on the toe of the shoe, but i felt for my version of the ensemble, these were more to my liking. they are available for $21.80 on

surprisingly, the hardest item to match in elisabeth's whole ensemble were her red-beaded hoops. i personally am not much of an earring wearer, not because i don't like them. more because my hair always covers them. but i found these little beauties on for a "buy it now" price of $17.95

so there you have it, folks. total cost of the outfit: $162.24


Friday, December 17, 2010

"To do a dull thing with style - now that's what I call art"
~ Charles Bukowski

I attended my first fashion event to mark the start of my fashion blogging adventure. It was the grand opening event for V Jones Salon held yesterday evening, hosted by ELLE magazine and sponsored by 360 Vodka and Sebastien Professional Hair Care. We arrived as all the salon employees were prepping themselves for the crowds to appear.

The salon itself was clean, bright and ever so chic with all white decor, full length mirrors at each stylist station, and black accents peppering the walls and tables. Each hair stylist was dressed in their own variation of the black and white theme, some more edgy, some more romantic, some more vintage. A hundred or so gift bags, filled with the latest issue of ELLE, samples of Sebastien Professional products, and more info about the salon, were neatly lined up against the wall of the waiting area.

There was a nervous energy in the air as the 6 o'clock hour approached, and then it was time for the party to begin! At first, a handful of people trickled through the doors, the early birds ready for their 15 minute complimentary styling. A mother with 3 teenage daughters, a pair of girlfriends, a single woman, friends of the salon owners, etc. As stylists began going to work on each woman, the room exhaled and the nervous energy turned into excitement. More guests began arriving, and soon the whole salon was full of people, and music, and champagne and hairspray.

Servers in suits were busy handing out gourmet hors d'oeuvres and glasses of wine. Women who came in with bare faces and undone hair would leave with runway ready coifs and faces made up beautifully by the local M.A.C. experts. A photographer was on hand to snap shots of each transformation. I snapped a few photos myself, capturing the more abstract scenery. All in all, it was a successful event, and enjoyable whether you were getting a makeover or just a bystander enjoying the show.

And so this marks day one of my fashion-centered blogging endeavors. I have a passion for fashion, and while I do enjoy the artistic nature of haute couture, I desire to and make it my goal that I bring something to the table that regular women, with regular incomes, can appreciate and replicate in their own style and dress. It is my heart to find real beauty and illuminate it for others, and it is my pleasure to find affordable and wearable wardrobe pieces for real bodies without sacrificing taste. I look forward to sharing my passion and hope that it will inspire my readers!

V Jones Salon is located at 19505 Stevens Creek Boulevard in Cupertino. You can also view their website at

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

"only thing i ever could need
only one good thing worth tryin to be
and it's love..."

sara b.

today was a day of new beginnings and old disappointments. i woke up with so much anticipation for what the following hours held in store...i was scheduled for a hair-transformation, and in many ways, a whole-self transformation. cutting my hair was more than just fashionably fresh, it was symbolic of taking strides into new territory, a territory that had previously been avoided with fearful intention. my long hair was my comfort zone, my familiar friend, my fall-back when everything else was unreliable or uncooperative. but in a moment of adventurous spontaneity, almost rebellion against myself, i decided to quit playing it safe. and with that first swift clip of the scissors, all my fear fell to the floor. it was almost as though a burden had been lifted when it was all over. not only was my coif lighter, my whole disposition was altered, the old weary one replaced with a new sparkling one. there was a new lightness in my step, and it gave me an infusion of energy by which to attack the rest of my day.

and so i took each coming hour on with fervor, with willing expectation, believing that this was my day. the next big development was the potential remedying of my car-less circumstance, after a year and a half long wait. FINALLY, i was going to be driving behind the wheel of my OWN vehicle again! i could barely sit still at the possibility. for over a year i had been at the mercy of others, and though i was eternally thankful for the generosity of those who lent me their vehicles or lent me a ride on many an occasion, it was time for me to have that freedom which i so longed to own for myself once more. the freedom to hop in the car and drive just for the sake of exploring or taking a breather. the freedom to be be fully me in my spontaneous nature. the freedom to generously give of what i had to others. yes, today was my day.

what i had not foreseen were the little cuts and scrapes i was to receive along the way...a life-long struggle with a certain familial relationship swooped in to remind me once more that i am not accepted by all, that i have not measured up. a swell of emotions which had been safely buried were rapidly unearthed and laid bare on a cold autopsy table, unwilling subjects of bitterness and accusation. that all too familiar chilling wind which had blown through my streets during the summertime of my content was back again to rain on my parade...and worst of all from one who should be my greatest support, my most loyal ally. what surprised me most was not the wound itself, but more the depth of hurt it rendered. hadn't i conquered this? wasn't i past this?

and so it seems that in my lesson of loving those who are unloveable, i am forced to love those who are vicious and unrelenting. and i am forced to accept that good things rarely come without bad. but if i am to live this life well, i must master the bad so that they do not strip from me the joys of the good. i must be prepared, and be un-stick-able, so that forgiveness and resilience are my first response when accusations try to dig their claws into me. i must leave mental post-it notes to remind myself that i am blessed, i am worthy, i am good enough and i am loved.

Friday, December 03, 2010

"so this is Christmas..."

"if i speak with the tongues of men and of angels...but do not have love, i am profits me nothing" (1 cor. 13)

it's almost the end of the semester. and the year. i find myself lost in thought quite a bit these days. thinking about grades, or gifts to buy, or plans for the new year, or changes to come...i've been questioning so many things, like why we buy each other gifts at Christmas, but not all year round. or why we can't be forthright with the people we love, but instead we play mind games and end up with wounded emotions and misunderstandings. several times i've thought about what i should write on here this week, but each time nothing seemed to sit comfortably with me. perhaps that's what it comes down to. nothing sits comfortably with me at the moment. or i can't be comfortable with the things in my life. but the truth is, i know we're not always meant to be comfortable. often, it's during the times of abrasiveness or displeasure that we learn the most or cultivate the best character. it's during the times where our patience is waning or our compassion is lacking that we see our true selves and face the challenge of making necessary changes. and so as i ponder these truths, i look at myself and ask "what needs to change?" i think of the superficial changes i've made, or told myself i need to make...i've changed my hair color, and contemplated a drastic change in hairstyle; i've studied new skin care regiments; i've taken up a new diet; i've thought about ways to spice up my workouts; i've calculated how to revamp my wardrobe, and my decor, and my playlists, and my reading materials....but underneath all that, something lies in broken shambles. at the core of me, something needs repair. my love muscle has been neglected. i've been selective about when and how to use it. i've placed conditions on it. i've used it incorrectly, or even inappropriately. it needs to be rehabilitated, stretched, strengthened. and while i want the final product, i know i have to suffer through some unbearable workouts to get it back to a healthy state. i have to forgive people who cut me down. i have to love people who i hardly like. i have to accept that everyone has their own journey, and everyone is going at their own pace. and i have to choose to be first one to love, knowing it may not be received or reciprocated. i have to sacrifice my expectations and accept what i am given. but if i can do all this, and do it well, the blessing is having a heart that gives beyond what i ever thought capable, and chance to be the change i've prayed for. and deeper still, it is the chance for my heart to at last beat in tune with the true source of Love and Life. and that is my gift this Christmas.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"what's so bad about a couch anyway?" - carrie bradshaw

it's 9pm on saturday night. i'm sitting on the couch in the house by myself. and i'm completely content. this doesn't happen all the time these days for me (both the night alone and the being completely content in that aloneness). but when it does happen it's like getting all green lights when you're running late. it's something that gives you that good soul feeling, something you hold on to. what's sad is that it used to always be the norm for me (being content to be alone with myself). what's happy is that it wasn't happening at all for a good chunk of time. at the point which i realized i wasn't going out tonight, that my panda is 1700 miles away, and that my girlfriends are all busy with life's responsibilities, i determined i would make tonight about me. so i picked up a stella and some chinese take-out, sat myself on the couch and selected sex and the city 2 from on-demand. nothing like a little carrie, samantha, miranda and charlotte to remind a girl why life is good. what i realized as i was sipping my beer and drooling over carrie's shoes is that i have everything i need in life. i have a God who is patient with me, i have amazing friends that STILL love me in spite of really knowing me, i have a man that craves my presence in his life and takes pleasure in who i am, i have a home where i feel safe, i have passion, and i have dreams. and those are all the very best things in the world. and that makes me content to sit on a couch and enjoy a movie i love with a delicious beer. all. by. my. self. :)