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. :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

the past month has been THE month of birthdays for me (for the first time EVER). it has been one of those months when every week i've had a dinner or an outing or a cocktail for someone's birthday. besides it being out of the ordinary simply because i don't really know that many people, what also made it different was one birthday in particular - the 24th anniversaire of my crazy, lovely, wonderful friend imani. imani is...unlike most people i know, and perhaps if you ever meet her, you will understand what i mean. she has the ability to make eating a sandwich an emotional experience, and i don't mean that in a negative way. she is in tune with ALL her senses, and feels free to express every single one at every moment in grand fashion, every single day. to say she adds color to my life is to downplay - she is the enunciation to every syllable, the color saturation in every photograph - life with her is life in HD. and her birthday was not going to be any different. i expected grandeose celebrations, feasts of massive proportions, an entire week of festivities devoted to the day. in many ways, my friend stayed true to my expectations, but what i didn't count on was the lesson i was going to learn in all of it....of humility, of contentedness in the simple moments (il bel far niente), and of love that shares itself and casts out all the fears and troubles of life. while we did have multiple gatherings, rich with feasting and cocktailing and fancy dresses and dancing, the undercurrent of all of it was not the party itself. what met you at the door and kissed you farewell at the end of the night was the precious truth that we were celebrating a beautiful life, one that has transformed before our eyes, and has shown us what it looks like to celebrate yourself and share that celebration with others. i raise my glass to you, my sweet friend imani. your life inspires my own, and you teach me things when i least expect it.

garlic noodles and shrimp

mango and pomegranate sorbets...add vodka and enjoy!

pouring the birthday shots (and saving the environment)

yummy in my tummy...

haute couture, betches


let's dance!

nobody does it better

turn the lights down low

Sunday, April 04, 2010

so here's my new thing (inspired by the up and coming movie adapted from book of same name "eat pray love") - i plan to eat and to pray and to love. in that order. aka, i plan to start living again. loving my life, and loving me and loving God and after those two things have settled into my soul, i can love others again the way i long to. i want to feel the rush of life that used to run thru my veins. no more watching my life go by as i sit on the couch. so here, i know myself well enough to know that i'm probably not going to be totally consistent at this but i'm going to do my best to document my journey back to the land of the living on here. and maybe one day in the future, i can look back over this and see from whence i came....and never go back there again. to life, to life (l'chaim)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 2 of my "i hate my life" kick (well more like day 236, but who's counting...) and tonight i'm at least not feeling like drowning myself in my pillow. it helps that i got to see some of my favorite women tonight and they always lift my spirits. or at least help me forget for a few hours how shitty my life still that i'm home, and it's been 5 hours since i've gotten a text message, AND it's thursday night which means all of campbell is engaged in debauchery and not one soul has bothered to invite me yanks me back into i'm home, eating everything in sight (which is some bizarre combo of lunchmeat, peas and rice, a few spoonfulls of "light and fit", and a lime ice popsicle thing drenched in whipped cream) and watching "post grad" which is like watching a white trash version of gilmore girls.

facebook has been calling my name all day, and part of me feels like i should just give up my resolve to rid myself of that toxic wasteland and rejoin the peer pressure world...but it hasn't even been 24 hours so i feel pretty pathetic if i give up that easy.

as i'm watching this movie, i'm sadly relating to alexis bledel's character, whose life has taken a nose dive for the worst, leaving her feeling like a complete loser next to all of her successful peers. little to close to home? hmmm...omg and she doesn't have a car. ok, did someone predict my pitfalls and write them into a script? what doesn't mimic my life that i wish i could relate to is the hot latin man that is now cooking her breakfast for dinner...i'm keeping my eyes open...

i've never been very good at sounding profound. or clever. ususally when one or the other takes place, it's totally unplanned and entirely out of the blue. so when i sit here and try to put the storm inside my heart into words on a page, without it sounding like an emo hymn, i find myself at a loss.

still, i feel compelled to write something...if only because there is something in me that needs to come out and since i have no human ears to listen, my only shoulder to cry on is this i am at nearly 28, still crying myself to sleep (only without actually being able to fall asleep) like i was 8 and my best friend said they hated me..but sadly, that's almost what i feel at the my best friend told me they hate me. and i don't even have a best friend. but in a more general sense, i feel the deepest sense of loneliness. i haven't a true friend in the world tonight. not one soul that would feel the breeze of my life passing if i were to die. not one person who would sense the void if my life was no more. (ok, well maybe my parents....but they honestly probably wouldn't notice right away either). i'm not trying to sound like "woe is me, nobody loves me" but i can't help it. it actually seems to be did i reach this place? i feel like i've always tried to be the best me, and be confident in who that is. i've tried to be a good friend, and person in general. yet, in all my attempts, i've lost every connection that tied me to another soul. my only connection these days is physical. therefore, if i'm not there in the flesh, i basically don't exist.

i hate the cage i live seems to get smaller every day. but even if someone opened the door and let me out, i fear my wings are broken and i wouldn't be able to fly anyhow...i sound so adolescent, i want to slap myself. but all the pep talks, and motivational speeches i've given myself have only succeeded in energizing me enough to make it to the next disappointment, and sure as rain, they always come.

what does a person have to do to achieve a better life? to be loved back? to feel like they're worth SOMEone?

if i never write another one of these stupid vent sessions, i couldn't be more happy...but tonight, i can't escape it. in the words of someone who once cared, it is what it is.