A Beauitful December

5 Dec

I love living in San Francisco, especially during this time of year. Trees are up, ice skating rinks are all around and lights keep the city bright all day long. We had a storm here a few days ago with crazy winds and rain, my dog was not a huge fan but it officially made it feel like winter to me. The tree lighting ceremony on Pier 39 was beautiful as always this year, and of course I couldn’t resist buying some Mini Donuts and eating them all, they are too delicious!

With school Finals only a couple of weeks away, I decided to head to Union Square and attempt to get some Christmas shopping done early. As usual, I got sidetracked and took a seat next to the tree with my favorite Caramel Brulee Latte from Starbucks. You have to hand it to Macy’s, they know how to get in the holiday spirit. Their building is decorated beautifully with large wreaths and lights, while their tree is picture perfect.

After a day of shopping and coffee, my dog was waiting anxiously for a walk in his new red jacket. When I got him home after some fun at the park, the sunset was unreal I could hardly believe my eyes. The sky was pink as far as the eye could see and the clouds created a blanket over the city. December definitely is a beautiful month, what’s your favorite part of this time of year?

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas Party

1 Dec

Happy December 1st friends! It is officially one of the best times of the year, filled with holiday spirit, decorations, friends, family and of course PARTIES. The key to a successful holiday party is great food, great friends and great cocktails. Now if you are budget conscious like me you’ll want to throw a fun party without burning a huge hole in your pocket. Something I suggest is to have your friends bring some of the alcohol and cocktail mixes while you provide the food and everything else, their contributions make a big difference and help you financially. Presentation is important so I always have my best friend come over during the day to help me set up, an extra pair of hands goes a long way! Pick a festive table cloth such as the one I use below because it ties everything together in an aesthetically pleasing way. As the host I suggest you go all out and add a festive touch such as my reindeer ears and makeup, it makes for some cute pictures and is fun for everyone who decide to dress up and join the fun.

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Since parties usually start after everyone has had dinner, I stick to focusing on desserts for the party. A delicious and easy recipe I make every year is Brownie Santa Hats, which are also cheap and insanely cute. Get store bought brownie mix to save time and bake according to instructions. Once cooled, use a round cookie cutter and make circular brownies. Spray a layer of Cool Whip then add a strawberry with the tip cut off, topping it off with another dab of Cool Whip. These are always a crowd pleaser and are almost too adorable to eat, but trust me, everyone will be eating plenty of these goodies! I suggest getting a Gingerbread House kit from your local grocery store but buy extra candy toppings so you and your friends can be as creative as possible.  If you have fun holiday baking pans such as the Gingerbread Man I have, use it to bake a cake and let everyone decorate it during the party, it’s fun to see what you all comes up with. Last year my friends and I turned the Gingerbread Man cake into Harry Potter, it was hilarious! Have plenty of extra candies on hand such as M&Ms, candy canes and gum drops so that you can go all out with the decorating.

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Cocktails and decorating with your friends is such a great combination and allows for everyone to catch up and have fun with one another. I hope you put some of these suggestions to good use and have an amazing holiday bash with your friends and family. Do you guys have holiday parties that you look forward to each year?

Trendy holiday gifts, animal print edition

27 Nov

Well folks, the holidays are upon us! While this is the most wonderful time of the year, we’ve all had our difficulty with finding the perfect gifts for those we love. A leading trend this year that has been seen on numerous runways and street wear is animal print. Designers for luxury and affordable brands alike have incorporated animal print into their garments and products, making this trend more popular than ever. I am a huge fan of this trend and have a lot of animal print clothing as well as accessories and products such as phone cases. If you know fashion forward women in your life who love animal print, I highly suggest you find items in this trend to gift to them this holiday season. As with all things fashion, there are some items that are expensive quality products, while other similar products can be found at more affordable price points depending on where you shop and who you are buying for.

This Tory Burch animal print hard shell phone case is incredibly fashionable and the color looks excellent with the print. It makes for a wonderful holiday gift and can be used year round due to the neutral color.

Victoria’s Secret apparel is great quality and they know how to attract their target market. This VS Sparkle Leopard Print top is an excellent choice for the fashionable young women in your life.

While Dolce & Gabbana may be out of many of our price ranges, this Leopard Print Neck Blouse can be purchased at Nordstrom for a more reasonable price and would be an elegant gift for someone special in your life.

How do you guys incorporate this trend into your looks?

Gobble ‘Til Ya Wobble!

25 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving weekend everybody! I hope you all spent it with loved ones and lots and lots of delicious food, I certainly did! This Thanksgiving was especially meaningful to me because last month my dad had intense surgery to remove the tumor that was surrounded by other organs that also had to be removed. We are so grateful that they got it in time and although he has a long recovery ahead, he is one tough cookie and is pulling through. Now lets get down to business, what did you guys make this year that is so yummy you have to share with me?! Thanks to my obsession with Pinterest, I made some adorable Turkey Cupcakes. Not only were they cute, but they were scrumptious as well.

After stuffing my face for a full day, I decided to work off the pounds with some Black Friday shopping, I mean, that counts as cardio..right?! My mom and I decided to skip the craziness at the mall and instead went to the outdoor shopping avenue near our home. I got incredibly great deals at VANS and bought some comfy jackets for this cold weather. We then went to Francesca’s boutique (which I LOVE by the way,) and I couldn’t believe the great deals that they had going on as well. I got a cute belted snow jacket for 40% off and of course couldn’t resist some scarf headbands and matching gloves. Did any of you go Black Friday shopping, what was your experience like?

Cold weather is baking weather

16 Nov

Now that the rain has picked up, I have been inside more than usual. After I got out of work today I ran in and our of the grocery store with one thing on my mind: baking S’mores Cookies! I saw the recipe online a little while back but had yet to try it out, so I figured this would be the perfect time. I almost forgot the marshmallows (only the most important s’more ingredient,) but other than that I was ready to go. Knowing I would probably be devouring 2 big slices of this bad boy, I went to the gym before dinner and made a hearty salad with some delicious mashed potatoes. Speaking of potatoes, who else is beyond excited for Thanksgiving next week?! Ok, back to the good stuff. Here is the finished product, I present to you S’MORES COOKIES!

On an ungreased baking sheet, place a row of Graham Crackers (I bought the Safeway brand, less expensive.) On top of the crackers, add a package of chocolate chip cookie dough and bake according to package instructions, typically at 350 degrees. Bake for about 10 minutes until the cookies are almost thoroughly cooked. Take out and add chocolate pieces as well as delicious mini marshmallows. Place baking sheet back in the oven and bake until marshmallows are browned. Let cool and enjoy! As with most things, I added a scoop of ice cream to go along with the hot and scrumptious cookie concoction. Have any of you made these before? If you haven’t, I highly suggest you make them and let me know how much you love them. Cheers to the weekend!

Here comes winter

11 Nov

Well it’s FINALLY starting to feel like fall around here, and the weather is quickly becoming “winter weather.” We had a last minute Indian Summer here in San Francisco the past couple of weeks, but now the rain is showing itself, which I couldn’t be happier about. As much as I love summer and warm weather, I love love love cold weather, mainly for the holidays and cute clothes that come along with this time of year! I went on a run down to the wharf and stopped to look at one of my favorite views.

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I also had a lot of yummy food this weekend that I just had to share. I discovered a new cafe in my neighborhood called Caffe Sapore, which has extremely fresh ingredients and excellent quality food. I got the veggie bagel that I am now addicted to, I’ll admit it..I went there twice this weekend for this same bagel sandwich! Of course I complimented it with a delicious white mocha.

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Because fall is my favorite time of year, I tend to go crazy with fall themed foods, including pumpkin spice and caramel apples. Tonight I made one of my favorite fall desserts, “Caramel Apple Bowl Sundaes.” If you love caramel apples and sundaes then you MUST try this. Get a quality apple and hallow it out with a knife and spoon (as if carving a pumpkin.) Layer the bottom of the apple with caramel, I use hot caramel because it flows better and I love the hot caramel with the cold ice cream. Add a couple scoops of your favorite ice cream and top it with more caramel and nuts. Best of all, you can eat your bowl! Hope you guys try this, and if you do let me know how it turned out!

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Street Style, Preppy Chic

7 Nov

 

Hot days in November are very rare here in San Francisco, so a group of us took advantage of the weather and went wine tasting the other day. There were a lot of fashionable people at the winery and I loved seeing everyone’s cute and comfy outfits perfect for the heat. This is Christine, whose picture I took at the winery in San Carlos, Ca. Christine is 24 years old and is currently in school to become an elementary school teacher. I absolutely loved the look that she put together and believe it is a great example of street style. When describing her personal style, she said that it could often be classified as preppy as well as adventurous. She looks to fashion magazines, style blogs and her friends for inspiration while also maintaining her own style identity. Christine defined fashion as trends that are popular at the time as well as a means for people to express themselves.

Street Style, Fashion Forward

7 Nov

 

This is a picture of a friend of mine named Austin, who was visiting me in the city today. I have always loved her style and she is a great example of street wear trends. Street wear is about people creating their own looks and trends, which is why I chose to photograph Austin. She is 25 years old who just became a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Austin defined her style as one that is ever-changing and that can not be defined. Fashion blogs are a huge inspiration to her and she looks to her favorite bloggers, such as Emily Schuman, for new trends and inspirations to try. She considers her fashion sense a mix of preppy and feminine, which I agree with. When asked what she would define fashion as, she said “Whatever styles are currently popular or up and coming, including apparel, accessories and so on.”

 

Street Style, Hippie Chic

7 Nov

 

Street Style is a huge inspiration for me, from friends to strangers, street fashion is a huge part of the industry. This is Heidi, she is 21 years old and lives in Santa Cruz, California. Heidi is a nursing student, as well as a fashionista. I took this photo of her in Golden Gate Park in the city. What attracted me to her look was the youthfulness and uniqueness that came across in her ensemble. When I asked her how she would define her own style she said that she would consider herself a “modern, feminine, fashionable hippy,” a description I loved! She said that she loves creating her own looks and playing with accessories, as seen from her hip headband and bracelets. She said that in her opinion fashion means being able to express yourself through clothes and creating looks that make you feel confident.

Life through the eyes of a fellow purse-aholic

25 Oct

As many of you now, there is a large number of us in the world who have a strong addiction to purses. Some may say that this is a serious problem, but I say life’s too short not to buy the purse! I decided to interview my oldest friend Simonne; one of the biggest purse-aholics I know, who is a savvy fashionista and also just got promoted to manager at Burberry. The goal of my interview was to find out just how her love for purses started and if working in the designer fashion industry furthered her obsession or mellowed it out.

How old were you when you started collecting purses?

I think it started when I was about 6 and my mom would get me those little pink plastic purses that carried a compact and a small lip balm. Even though I didn’t’ buy that myself I thought it was so cool to be able to carry my things around in a cute purse and I wanted to have it in all different colors and patterns, so whenever I got chore money I would ask my mom to take me to get more.

I remember those.  What influenced you to start buying designer brands?

When I got to middle school I would see other girls with the new Dooney and Bourke purses and wanted to have one too. It sounds so juvenile now that I look back, but I really did see designer purses like that as being cool and that drove me to want one even more. I would ask for them for Christmas or a special occasion and slowly but surely my collection of “big girl” purses began.

What is it about purses that you are attracted to?

In my opinion purses are the best accessories. You can be dressed in sweats and a tank top but if you have a fierce purse over your shoulder, you’re golden. There is also such a wide range of purses that you can never get bored with them. Aside from their functional contributions, on many levels they are a status symbol. Similar to clothes, purses can reflect your personality and be simple and classic to loud and modern.

Do you have a favorite purse brand, and if so what makes that brand stand out to you?

Burberry has been one of my favorite brands for as long as I can remember. The classic pattern is like a little black dress in that it will never go out of style and can go with so many things. I also pay a lot of attention to quality, because even though I don’t always buy designer, if I am going to spend a fair amount of money on a product, it needs to be of excellent design, which I find in Burberry products.

Speaking of Burberry, did your love for purses influence your career choices?

I would say absolutely, just because my passion for purses introduced me to the world of fashion in general.  When I was little I used to want to be a purse designer and the more I collected, the more brands I became familiar. This opened my eyes to the wide world of fashion retail and designer, and I knew that I wanted to work in the fashion industry in one way or another.

So purses were a steppingstone that led you to the fashion industry?

Definitely. If I didn’t get so involved in purses, I can’t say for sure that I would be as involved in the fashion industry as I have been, and now I can’t imagine being in any other industry.

Has working for Burberry increased your brand loyalty or do you still purchase purses from other companies?

Working at Burberry has definitely increased my loyalty to the brand because I work with their products every day and have really learned to respect the way in which our company does business and represents it’s brand image. I confess, I still purchase purses from other brands because there are a lot of wonderful brands out there and I love my purse diversity. (laughs loudly)

Congratulations on your latest promotion to manager, how has the sense of responsibility changed for you?

Thank you very much. It has changed a lot because now people look to me for answers and guidance, whereas before I was the one who relied on someone else and would do the work I was told to do without much thought put into it.

What would you tell someone who is considering a career in fashion?

I would tell them to, above all else, follow their passion. Although I changed my mind on what I wanted to do in life probably a million times, I knew my heart was in fashion and I have followed my heart all along. I would tell them to start with a successful company, even if that means having to be a gopher, because that way you can prove yourself and eventually begin to work your way up.

Where do you see your career headed in the future?

I see myself working for a company such as the one I am at now, and eventually entering the world corporate management. I have a degree from UC Davis but have been considering going back to school for a Master’s Degree that is geared toward fashion in order to gain high end positions.

 That sounds like a great plan. Who knew a purse passion could lead to such a great job in fashion? Thank you for meeting with me.

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