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A Not So Serious Matter

November 21, 2016

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Anna Sui blouse
C/MEO Collective pants from Fashion Bunker
Samantha Wills rings
Acler coat
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Girl, why such a serious look on your face? All the time? What’s the personality behind that face? I want to see it. Sometimes I get the feeling that us beings who are a part of the social media fashion force take our jobs a little too seriously. We won’t crack a smile for that perfect shot. We drive ourselves nuts over the curation of our feeds. Never in my life did I ever think a color scheme curation would be so important to my personal life before. Sometimes it drives me so nuts, I want to throw the entire idea out the window and shun blogging life for good. Being a fashion blogger can feel like the true definition of a love/hate relationship. It’s hard work being someone with a presence online. Sometimes you don’t want to worry about doing your hair in the morning so it looks good for a picture you are going to take and post later. Sometimes you just don’t want to create content and just live LIFE. Don’t get me wrong, I’m dedicated to my blog and all the tasks that go along with it. And I love it. And the idea of inspiring others keeps me inspired. I love hearing feedback from you guys. I’m inspired by each and everyone of you.

But I just want to throw a reminder out there. Who I am online, through this blog, on my Instagram, the things I repost on Twitter . . . these are things that are only a small part of me. An entire encapsulation of who I am cannot be told through my social media presence. And as a person, as a human being, I don’t want to only be defined by the things I put out there on the world wide web for all to see and interpret. I don’t want to only be defined by what I wear, or the color of my lipstick. But I do hope my readers take the time to look beyond just the photo, and read the words, too. Because those are the parts I take the time on the most. It’s where I give my all, and where I strive to get better and more fluid at storytelling. I like to share the parts that I feel are worth sharing, and as much as I love the creativity expressed through an image, the parts closest to me are my words. And it means a lot to hear what you guys think about them.

And I also want to remind you guys that no matter how many followers you have, how many hits on the blog, how many invites you get to events, and how many people know your name and can recognize you on the street . . . those numbers don’t matter. What matters is the drive and the genuinity behind it all. Two things that I never want to have be lost in the progression of this blog. Look at me in these pictures here. Just another routine day when I shot pictures of an outfit I loved and felt good in, but I didn’t want to be serious or care about looking cool. I wanted to smile and be goofy, because it was the end of a long day and I wanted to relax and not over think. These pictures may not get as many likes, but who cares. The energy I had this day is the closest thing to myself that I can put out there for you all to see, and I hope it reminds you to smile a little more even when the industry tries to tell you that smiling less is more edgy and chic. Let your hair be in your face or sticking out of place. Maybe keep the lipstick on your teeth. Sometimes it’s true that the crinkles on your shirt look better than way. Because that’s what real life is. Crinkles in the sky. Don’t be afraid to let them show. The real, beautifully imperfect you is the most inspiring.

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She Wore A Pinafore

November 8, 2016

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Sezane pinafore dress
Vintage blouse from Beacon’s Closet
Proenza Schouler bag from Farfetch
Chinese Laundry flats
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I’m not one of those crazy hardcore zodiac believers, but recently I’ve been taking a peep at my horoscope a little more on the regular this season. Why? Because earlier this year I met Susan Miller, a visionary in the zodiac world online, and she told me that beginning of September of this year, things will start falling off the good side of the bed. So it got me curious. And I’m never one to turn down a little positive motivation to keep me moving swiftly through my days. Apparently, according to my November horoscope from Man Repeller, my life is literally in the “fast lane.” And “Things are just happening, you know?” And “Jupiter’s got its eyes on [me] and its arm around [my] back until October 2017.”   Even a shout out from Susan Miller was thrown in, calling attention to the fact that she said that “life is looking rosey” for me. Ooh-la-la. But what does it all really meaaaannnn?!

Isn’t it funny, how so many of us take these horoscopes so close to heart, reading even deeper in-between the lines as so not to miss any detail so that we can make sure to mark on our calendars . . . waiting with hardly any patience at all for our destinies to unfold before our eyes? For me, it’s always been quite the opposite endeavor. Knowing too much of what my future holds or promises for me is kind of a scary thing, Because sometimes when I think about it too much, I get anxious. So I stray from doing so, preferring to rather take in the present moments as indicators of what is to come for me next. But sometimes, it’s nice to hear an overview from the sun and stars. A general outline with minor details to help me keep aware of when good things are near to me to take advantage of. It’s like a mood cushion.

Apparently, Jupiter is in my sign right now, and this “makes [me] super-busy, so [I] may have been so absorbed in making life changes that [I] haven’t yet had time to realize how on-target [my] recent decisions have been for [me].” Mmmmmm. Jupiter, eh? Jupiter around also means that my love-life will be growing vibrant. It seems to already be moving in that direction, and I have no problem with that. What else can you tell me horoscope? I must travel a lot. Okay! Plus, “[I] will also see a big push in communications – writing, editing, selling, marketing, public relations, social media, and more.” Well, that is obviously up my alley. It looks like work is looking bright. I love any sort of motivation to really focus on my blog and social media endeavors. Okay, one last thing for now. December 1. Big, bright start on December 1st. Mmmmm. Are they talking love? I’m not taking anything to heart, but I’m a little rosey about this one, like Susan Miller said I should be like.

There were a whole lot of others things, but no time to discuss that all right now. I need to have some surprises right? I can’t and I don’t want to know everything that my November has waiting for me. I’d rather just wait and see. Which is I guess what the whole point of this blog post was. To just wait and see. Most likely, you’ll be genuinely and astonishingly surprised at how much in your favor things might be when you do just that.

Oh, and here’s an autumn look for you all. Pinafores and puff sleeves. Makes me feel like a little lady 🙂

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A Bit About Family

November 7, 2016

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Alpha Omega top
Mango shorts
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One of the most important aspects of visiting Kuala Lumpur was reigniting family ties. Growing up, we were sadly never that close to our father’s side of the family in Los Angeles, so big familial gatherings were never a regular thing. It was just something we were used to. And it was never a big deal because my father, my mother and my sister were always enough for me. It was all I ever needed. Family can be a very difficult thing. Differing point of views, a reluctance to go out of the way to catch up on each other’s lives as we head in new personal directions, arguments that can easily get blown out of proportion, etc. There are multiple reasons why the idea of family is a hard one. Growing up, I started to understand this more and more. And I show no bitterness to the side of my family that I hardly keep in touch with due to personal matters. But at the same time, I started to realize the importance of the side of the idea family that stands tall and strong. The parts of family that love you unconditionally and that give the most support (even in my case that support comes from hundreds of miles away). That even from miles away you can feel that love is still there. It’s important to grasp onto these things, and fill in every gap as much as you can. I filled a lot of internal gaps on this trip to Kuala Lumpur. And I found joy in seeing how much my mother’s side of the family has grown and developed in the most positive of ways after the past seven years. And it gives me joy to know that there will be even more good things to wrap myself up with the next time that I go.

Of course, no family is perfect. And this truth stands for both sides of my family. I have noticed and come to learn about a few broken pieces leftover from the past that still hurtfully resonate today with my family in Asia. Of course, this isn’t something I will go into detail here, but it is something that I have honestly been thinking a lot about lately. That at the heart of it, acceptance is one of the most beautiful and important things that come along with the familial territory. Without it, family doesn’t work the way that it should. I’ve opened my eyes to this multiple times. Take for example siblings. Most are complete opposites of each other, seeing eye to eye on the most rare of occasions. But at the end of the day, the contrast between them is what it is. It’s something that should be cherished and accepted. Something that promotes openness. I’ve always believed that family should be the first and foremast example of the act of opening your mind to different perspectives that closes the gap of narrow mindedness.

I felt lucky to go home to a place that I don’t go to that often, but to feel at the same time instantly a part of something. I cherished the time I got to spend with relatives I haven’t had the chance to get to know as much before. I got so used to the feeling of being surrounded by these familiar faces that it was hard to leave. But like a friend just recently told me, it is something that will always be there waiting for me whenever I need it.

So here I am with my some family members at the Thean Hou Temple, a beautiful Hainanese temple in Kuala Lumpur. Hainan is the southernmost and smallest province of China, where the roots of my family is from. I’m always so inspired by parts of my heritage, even if it’s just taking in little bits and pieces at a time.

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A Million Reasons Why (It’s Good to Be a Girl)

September 23, 2016

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Vera Bradley Small Ella Tote in Modern Lights
Citizens of Humanity overalls
Jill Stuart blouse
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Today, as people of modern times, embracing equality of the sexes is a no brainer to us (thank goodness). But the point I am trying to make with this post is that still, I’m not going to lie, but being a girl is pretty dope. Sorry boys, but we got it good. I’m teaming up with Vera Bradley to prove all the millions of reasons why it’s good to be a girl (btw I’m writing this while I’m on my period, so you know that I am being very, very honest here). And I’m realizing these reasons more and more each and every day. My birthday is tomorrow actually, and accepting who I am as an individual, and most importantly, as a woman who proudly can say “This is ME,” resonates so strongly with me at this moment.

I love that as a modern day woman I can be multi-dimensional. I can be both a creative and a businesswoman. I don’t have to ever pick one or the other. I’m not afraid to wear many hats, and I’m probably more headstrong than many of the men who only wear one. I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a girlfriend, a writer, a photographer, a visual content creator, a perpetual dreamer and a hopefully someday mother. I’m a supporter of women with goals like mine that extend beyond the limitations that we felt around us when we were younger. I’m confident with my body even though it has changed so many times throughout my 28 (almost 29) years. I’ve even hated it before, but with age I’ve come to learn the needs of my body and have never loved it more than right this second. For a girl, that is quite a big statement to say. Still today, our bodies are always prone of objectification, especially when we least want it, but I feel strong to take a stand to protect my body’s rights and values. My curves, my scars, and all the things that make up my body are mine, and together they create my temple. The least I can do is treat it with the most love it can get, and especially every flaw because those are the things that make us unique . . . . femininely unique. And for that reason they are beautiful.

I love being a girl because I can play dress up and wake up to channel anyone I want. Fashion goes so strongly hand in hand with femininity. It is so much a part of me, passed on from my mother and to her from my grandmother. It’s an expression of my personality, and for us girls, it’s the most fun and accessible way for us to express ourselves. Much like how this Vera Bradley Small Ella Tote ups the ante of my black overalls and white sheer blouse ensemble. It’s bold and striking like how my personality is when I want to get things done. When I want to tackle challenges. When I want to blow my own expectations of myself out of the water. I’m stylish, charming, daring and sweet. Because I’m a girl, I can be all of these things.

Growing up, us girls always had to work harder to be better at the boys it seemed . . . at sports, at science, at bringing in the money . . . when really we were always just as good. But society just made it seem like we were born to not be as naturally good at these sort of things (what does science really know?!?). But with time, we have proved them wrong. We aren’t just good enough, we can also say that we are better and not be ashamed to hold onto this claim. And today, I finally feel like I have every right to be anything I want, and motivated to be proud of  my strengths, not influenced to hide them. Like science does say though, as women we are already more passionate and nurturing than the other sex (hehe), so letting these strengths of ours roar is the only thing we have left to do now. Thanks Vera Bradley for allowing me to reflect on why being a girl is so dang awesome.

Shop more from this Vera Bradley collection:

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