Summertime Wishlist

I see a move in your future...

5:32 PM

image via
 

Astrology man. Who believes in them?


The moons and stars all align and pull at my brain and heart. Pulling up urges inside me that I've put off for far too long. My astrologer blew my mind the other day.


The good thing is the pragmatism of the lover aligns with my impulsivity. We want to move. We are taking advantage of this situation to build our wealth, to lay down roots of the seeds that our ancestors have burnished for us. To build generational wealth.


My apologies for all the vague frou-frou. Do you ever notice how I never really update you on my life until after the fact? After the milestones have been achieved it's so much easier to share the wins. It's much harder to share when we are working tireless to reach a goal we don't know if we can accomplish. But let me change that.


We want to move to an income tax-free state. With our income combined, we will be able to passively save what some earn in years. So the incentive is high. The draw possibly Las Vegas - the sun, the warmth and the proximity to the Mojave Dessert. If we do this, we have to do it before May. Wish us luck.


You're older now, dear reader. And you know the value of passive income. So I don't have to tell you twice why we're doing this. 


Maybe in a future post you'll learn if we succeeded. Or if we didn't. 


There is no ending until we die. 


Distractions

11:26 PM

Do you ever feel like life is moving at the speed of light and crawling at a slow pace at the same time? Like time with my parents. I don't have enough days left with them and this pandemic continues to take those days away. At the same time, I've lost track of each day, hardly remembering what I had for lunch the day prior. The days blur together to the point where a weekend no longer feels like a weekend and 2020 (and now 2021) became one long endless week.

The days when we can step on a plane and off into a foreign land seems so far away, I cannot imagine it. 

So in these strange times, what strange things have you taken on or integrated into your life to maintain you sanity? I'll go first.

Shopping. I've spent a good fortune on clothing that I cannot wear anywhere. The majority of my money has been going to the following brands: 

  • seoooocookie.kr - Love their quality. Their clothes appeal to the Francophile in me but feels timeless.
  • HBX - A great source for the hype beast in me. I'm impressed with the shipping time considering it's based in Hong Kong.
  • The Moonstoned - Delicate to vintage jewelry. I purchased a pair of dagger drop earrings from them recently and haven't taken them off. There are 3 stones on each earring; 1 diamond and 2 sapphires with amazing attention to detail.
  • WithHoneyPlease - The teenage girl in me couldn't wait to own one of these colorful whimsy pearl necklaces. Go support independent shops.
  • Mona Jewelry - I've been obsessed with this New York-based designer for a few years. Her pieces are so sophisticated and feminine. I love all the pearl options - If you can't tell, I'm obsessed with pearls. Most of her inventory isn't on her website so I just DM her to make a purchase when I see something that strikes my fancy in her feed or stories.
  • Sandy Liang - The anime eye items in her recent collection are a must have.
  • Orseund Iris - This brand can take all my money. I own this skirt in both colors and the majority of the items in their shop.
  • Vegamour - I am now a believe in eye lash growth serums. The pandemic killed any opportunity to wear lash extensions, but they introduced me to this miracle innovation that is now more affordable than ever. My lashes are long tendrils that wisp over my lids. I have never been more in love with my eyes. Economically, these are way more affordable than extensions, and best of all, it's your lashes. 
  • The Label Rae - Corsets are back and I'm here for it. Corsets that are handmade from independent designers are even better. In small batches, up cycled fabric. Nostalgic. This ticks all the boxes.
  • This list has to end here because I'm ashamed to admit how much I shop.

Pottery. I feel totally safe at my pottery studio. And I am so grateful for this space. We have a head count limit, we bleach everything, socially distant and have plenty of ventilation. If I didn't have pottery during this time I would go crazy. Do not underestimate the value of a creative outlet. I remember when I was in middle school and had no friends to hang out with during summer break, I'd sit in front of the computer and teach myself photoshop to make pretty collages for my MySpace page. It probably saved me from drugs. /sarcasm but you get my point

Sweets. Covid has driven me to crave sweets. I never had a sweet tooth. I don't even drink soda. But now all I want is bubble tea, ice cream, and cupcakes. Is this happening to you too?

Monitoring the status of my packages on a daily basis. There's an app called "shop" from the creators of Shopify, but it synchs with your inbox and will automatically add all your shipments and send you updates. I use this app more than I use Instagram sometimes. 

Penthouse. This is the most ridiculous, outrageous, and over the top Korean drama. And I am addicted. Season 2 just started.


xx


No Ending is Final

1:50 AM


So picking up where we left off. What happens after we fail? What happens when the world doesn't end after the worse thing we thought would happen, happens?


I didn't immediately pick myself up, but eventually I did. I finished school, finally, in record time receiving a four-year degree in two years. In that time, I beat applicants at some of the best schools to intern at Uber one year into its founding. I got the opportunity to help women entrepreneur in Nicaragua on a full scholarship from a prestigious scholar program (the pre-Fullbright program called the Gilman Scholars). From there, I parlayed my story to get my foot in the door as a Social Media and Email Coordinator. Within those three months, I took on more responsibility and my manager, whom I looked up to at the time, left for another company. 


I was on my own at an 80-person startup. And within a few more month, the company transitioned from a CEO whom I respected, to someone who did not have a proven track record. I was promoted to Digital Marketing Manager within six months. Though I was a star performer, turning our email channel into a new source of revenue stream, I was extremely unhappy. Our CEO had gotten wind that I was potentially looking for opportunities elsewhere and began to act vindictive, cutting me out of meetings and projects. He also gave me the silent treatment. Oftentimes, adults can be more childish than children. 



A company's culture starts from the top down. A lot of my colleagues would act in ways that were territorial, undermining and insecure. They would take over projects that were not theirs and ask for deliverables that were not part of my responsibilities. These were all symptomatic of issues from the top; unstructured leadership with no boundaries and goals. Luckily, another company reached out and offered me a global position in marketing automation. At this time, the field was fairly nascent. I was so excited to expand my skills and work for a global company as a Manager.


[Narrator Voice] Little did she know, our protagonist was in for much worse. She had no idea what was about to come.


Being a high performer who is constantly self-critical, I always bring my all to any role or project otherwise I will never feel good enough. I believe that if I work hard enough, my work would speak for itself. And it did at this new company. However, the culture here was just as toxic, if not more than the last. It's so funny, because I only realized that now thanks to where I currently work. You don't realize how bad you had it until something better finally comes along. I was there for three years, and in those three years, while I grew a lot and learned so much about perseverance and thinking outside of the box working with limited resources I also put up with a lot; from toxic and insecure co-workers who took their frustration of not being recognized out on others to those who would establish a pecking order based on intimidation and cliques. 


Eventually, all the toxic ones left as I continued to be promoted. Within two years of starting my full-time career, I reached my goal of earning six-figures. It was anti-climatic as San Francisco's cost of living is one of the highest in the world. Making over $100K isn't that significant as $96K or below is officially considered as low income in this city. 




When I reached this milestone, I thought I would feel complete. Instead, I placed my stakes on a higher goal. I wanted to close the gap between mine and my husband's income. Having taking such an untraditional path to where I am today, I always felt a sense of inferiority because I didn't figure it out earlier, because I couldn't do what so many others accomplished so easily. So I staked my goal on to something that would remove this inferiority complex once and for all. If I could make what my husband makes, who attended two Ivy Leagues and has been working for over a decade, I would finally feel good enough. 

I reached this goal at the end of 2019 when I accepted the offer from the company where I am at today, five years after starting my career I am now Head of Marketing Operations here. Sure it feels nice, but it doesn't change who I am intrinsically. I gained a bit more confidence from financial stability and a flashy title. But the truth is, I have always been enough. We all are. That's my next goal; to learn how to love myself even if I made nothing, did not have a job and nothing to offer. To feel so enough that no material thing can take that away.




I'm sharing all this because I believe everyone's journey is different. You may be beating yourself up comparing yourself to someone else. You may be looking at an Instagram influencer's feed and see them travel the world in designer goods and think because you are not doing the same, you have somehow failed. I'm sure you thought the same when looking at my feed. If there's anything I've learned in my eight years of therapy, its that comparison is the thief of joy. We don't know what is really going on behind the filtered photos and smiles. Everyone is struggling with something. Every one of us. I've pushed myself this far and have successes racked up. But I've only made it this far because I failed so many time. Each time I failed, I took that lesson with me forward. We go at our own pace. 

In my darkest days I used to mourn what could have been if I had figured my shit out sooner. Now I realized how much dwelling on regret was holding me back.




Letting go of regrets lead to memories I will never forget; renting out an entire chateau in France for our wedding, owning my very first home in San Francisco with the most breathtaking view few will ever have, working at a company that I can finally say I love and am proud of, making peace with my childhood trauma, forgiving myself, forgiving my parents, and loving my partner more and more each day during this pandemic. It took so much work to get here.

Looking back, I wouldn't change anything about my journey. 


xx

Eleventh month check-in. How are you really?

11:08 PM

It's been some time. When I had less responsibilities, I had so much more time to blog, and so many things I wanted to share on here. That was when I was in my 20's. So here's an attempt to catch you up, all three of you. You have no idea how long I've been thinking about this entry before I finally sat down to type. Hint: it's more six months.


Where shall we begin. Career?


If you've been following my journey, I've been somewhat of a nomad with an ambiguous story about what I did for a living. I did a stint in New York at a PR agency (now defunct), then writing freelance in Shanghai, to working as an intern at Uber one year into their founding in San Francisco, and finally to Nicaragua where I worked with women entrepreneurs and lived with three different families throughout the program. I never had a steady income during those uncertain times, but I don't know many 20 y/o's who have as many adventures to recall. I had so many moments of feeling lost, moments where  envisioning an office job for myself seemed impossible. Why is this the epitome of success for us? Saving that one for another post.


There's always been a secret that I carried with me. Some in my circle may have figured it out, but I never told a soul, and I carried it with me for over a decade. From it, black roots of guilt deep inside me. From all the lies I had to tell to keep it hidden. It was exhausting keeping up with the lies. I kept the secret so close to my heart that I was afraid one day I'd get drunk and blurt it out. And then they'd laugh at me for being such a failure. 


For never finishing college. For dropping out when I was a sophomore. 


I only recently told this to someone other than my therapist a year ago. Two years into my marriage, did I finally tell the lover. That's how deep I buried this secret. That's how deep the shame was.



It's not that rare of a journey. There are a lot of people who take alternative paths, who veer off the beaten path only to find their own at their own pace. For me, my secret was steeped in shame. I couldn't take the shame of how I had failed to stay in school, when so many of my peers managed to. There were many factors that contributed to the consecutive failing grades that forced the university to drop me; but I never gave myself a pass, and never understood that it wasn't my fault until much later when I met the right therapist. 


For example, I never knew that I suffer from depression until I finally got so sick of the critic living rent-free inside my head that I ultimately sought out a psychiatrist who confirmed that I have chronic depression. And even after being diagnosed, I was still gaslighting myself. 


I thought I was being dramatic, over emphasizing every emotion, every event and that the anti-depressants were having a placebo affect on me. Maybe I was feeling better because I was never really sick to begin with? It wasn't until I took a break from the medication to switch to a different brand that I realized how bad it was. The gap between medications were my darkest moments. I couldn't believe I used to function through life feeling that heavy every single day. 


The secret lead to an inferiority complex because I felt deficient. It lead to an imposture syndrome because I was surrounded by overachievers. I never felt good enough. This put a barrier between me and others. It kept me from connecting with some. And the anxiety about being found out ultimately culminated into severe panic attacks. The truth has a violent way of forcing you to reckon with it. And it always catches up to you. 



So after bawling my eyes out when I turned 30 with nothing to show, I vowed that I would do my best to catch up to everyone around me. That was the only way I would obliterate my inferiority complex, my imposture syndrome and my anxiety. I went back to school in secrecy, finishing what I started so long ago. I no longer felt like I needed to lie about my education on my resume which was a relief. I pushed myself so hard that eventually, with my state college degree, caught up to my husband's salary. He has two Ivy League degrees. 


This isn't a nicely wrapped story. There were dark days where I couldn't drag myself out of bed, where I didn't shower for a week (or more). There was a lot of medication and sometimes I popped a Xanax before I got into the office. There is still a lot of medication. But the mountains that seemed impossible to mount are now molehills. It's easier to climb the next ones now that I'm not weighted down by the trauma of my past, of all those lies,


I've only told this story to two people - my therapist and the lover. 


And now you.


This is what growth looks like. It's accepting your story and acknowledging how it got you here today. It's forgiving yourself for not knowing better, for giving into your desires and not your discipline, not yet developed. It's believing that you are good until you know that you are goodness, itself. It's believing in yourself so much that you don't need anyone else to. I'm still working on it because I know I didn't need a degree, a job or a high salary to be enough. I'm still unpacking what it means to be enough for myself without the trappings of capitalism. 


This is how I am healing today. But how are you, really?


xx





image via, all other images are from my tumblr, which holds their credits ;)

Influencer Trends to Avoid; Summer 2020 Edition

1:01 AM
The alternative title of this entry should be: How to Dress like an Influencer; Summer 2020 Edition

It's so easy when you are bombarded by the same images or "it" item on every influence's feed to think that you, too, want to own that particular item. But in reality, through strategic PR moves, influencers are all gifted the same items at an opportune time that it tricks you into thinking it's suddenly a trend. Organic trends rarely happen in the digital age anymore. They are all part of a marketing play. Take it from a marketer.

I've done the dirty work for you by compiling a list of items that influencers are currently being gifted to synthesize a trend. Whether you chose to opt-in or not is your personal choice, but it's important to be aware of these things so that we can discern what is a subliminally placed desire or free-will. Plus, who wants to look like a walking instagram trend?


The Row Ginza Two Tone Sandals
I don't understand luxury gifting during these unprecedented times. While so many are out of a job, influencers are out there showing off their $800 gifted pool slides to inspire you to aspire to their life. Too bad they don't have to pay for it with their own money.





Chanel Sandals
Sold out since last fall. Everyone is wearing it this summer. Do you want to look like everyone?





Padded Tank Tops
The Frankie Shop started it, then The Reformation copied it. And now it's getting out of hand because you can find it at Forever21.





This Prada Bag in any color or similar ones with all the extra coin purses attached
You're not going on coin hunting safari any time soon, Jen.





Literally anything that screams "I miss Phoebe Philo"
We get it, you have taste that is heavily borrowed from whatever they tell you is hot.





Any variation of these Prada stompers
I feel like high fashion hijacked the  sneakers and now it's going after Doc Martins. But Doc Martins are truly well made and don't cost an arm and a leg.




Pangia Sweats
Gifted to literally every single influencer you've ever heard of.
Started by a racist Italian influencer, nonetheless.


Any other ones you see popping up that I might have missed?

Cultivating Individuality

11:08 PM
She's not dreamily watching her sleep, she's trying to figure out how to steal her soul.
She's not dreamily watching her friend sleep, she's trying to figure out how to steal her soul.

There is this woman who has been an avid follower of mine for a very long time. We used to be friends until I realized that I was always giving and she was always taking. I've invited her to countless get-togethers and birthdays but the courtesy was never returned. In my annual evaluation of toxic people to cut off, she was one of them. Now she is still attached to my waistcoat grabbing at whatever she can get.

Don't get me wrong. I love having followers; as the queen of oversharing I value long-lasting patronage. My ten followers reach out and give me words of encouragement, they enjoy my writing and random instagram stories, they give me shout outs when I inspire them or introduce them to something new, and they tap me in the DM's when they haven't heard from me in a while, sending me words of kindness. The five of them make me feel like I add value by being me.

But this one feels different. This irritates me. And here's why.

She's like this badly made copy of me that I cannot get rid of. It doesn't feel like a symbiotic relationship, but more like a Desperately Seeking Susan long play. She doesn't interact with me in any way but she watches ALL. OF. MY. STORIES. Religiously.

There's been many incidents where she'll take "inspiration" from me and call it her own, using it as content without crediting. I remember her even starting a blog of her own but it came off like a someone trying desperately to sound deep and intelligent, like someone trying to cram as many big words into a sentence as possible. She even copied a tattoo I have. It was inauthentic. 

And inauthenticity offends me like no other. 

Yet she markets herself a feminist and is actively trying to start a network/business [?] helping other women. But aren't feminists supposed to lift each other up, support each other and not just unapologetically copy each other, especially, intellectually? 

For the record, you can copy me. No one is an original any more and least of all me. I am not the purveyor or anything new, but I do work to seek out rare things, unique and special things. I try to stand out and share what I find. So when you take from me at least have the decency to give me credit. 

Cultivating individuality and personal taste is real work. It's internal work. It's holding a mirror to yourself and working to polish off all the dust that once obscured your reflection. When you mirror yourself after someone else's, you've lost yourself.

There is no one else like you and there will never be another like you. 

So why are you wasting your time copying me? If I inspire you do let me know but let's celebrate our individuality instead of trying to become someone we are not.


And just for shits and giggles, here's the trailer of Desperately Seeking Susan. If you haven't seen it, you're in for a treat.

strange world

9:00 AM



It's been a strange few months. But the most important reckoning is upon us and our society. As we are forced to look inward because our outsides are out of reach, we have to accept the painful truth that we do not live in a post racial world. I mourn for the death of those who shouldn't be gone, who did nothing wrong. If criminals don't deserve death, neither does the innocent. 

As an Asian American, the flight of my Black brothers and sisters are my own. Because even if I enjoy the privilege of my proximity to whiteness, if I let them treat any other race differently than I am also complicit in the discrimination against myself and every person of color.

In these hard times I want to focus on hope. The hope that with every generation, we become more aware and critical of those who proceeded us. We are evolving for the better, but we have to take everyone with us. The divide is a result of the belief that we are different from one another, but in truth our blood run red all the same. 

I'm so hopeful for how fluid and accepting the younger generation is. For those currently in power, the norm that we see (gay rights, trans rights, equality, gender as a construct) is foreign to those currently in power. It's so foreign that they fear it would threaten their hold on the morals of society. Moral shifts as the collective consciousness evolves, as we become more interconnected. I am hopeful that the children I make will be the ones to change the world.



Self Care: Skin Care Staples

12:01 AM



During these times of social unrest, as we strive to make a positive impact in whatever way we can, it is so important to take care of ourselves so we can continue to show up for others.

I mentioned some items on prior posts relegated specifically to the Sephora sales, but this is the complete list of skin care products that have always served me right. 




Toner


My skin is super sensitive so this natural rose extract toner feels wonderful after cleansing. Skin is sometimes inflamed after a harsh exfoliation, so an alcohol-free toner is key to reducing irritation. A cheaper alternative can be found here.




Face Creams

This one is the ultimate luxury in skin cream. I like getting the largest size and only while shopping duty free because it's always at least 20-30% less than prices in the US. I know travel is not an option right now, but stack your deals and point cards. This cream is a miracle. You see a noticeable difference the next morning. I like to use it only at night because it's so potent and heavy. I don't like mixing it with sunscreen over top to dilute the application.





The Rich Cream - Augustinus Bader

This is one of my favorite finds this year. The cream is reminiscent of La Mer's moisturizing cream, but not anywhere as greasy or heavy. I have never personally seen results with La Mer, but then again I was using it in my early 20's when my skin was dewy and invincible. The Rich Cream keeps my skin moisturized all day without getting shiny and it feels so velvety upon application. 




Supremÿa at Night - Sisley Paris

I'm a religious believer in using a separate night cream versus a day cream. This one is phenomenal. It started when I got a sample in my early 20's and was shocked by the results the next day. I went in a bought a full size the next day. This one isn't as powerful as the La Prairie one above, but it tightens and revitalizes skin. It definitely kept my face looking fresh even after dancing all night long.




Serums





I notice the effects of this serum immediately. It lays a nice surface for absorption of any moisturizer that you layer on top. Think of it as an enhancer for whatever you are currently using, making it even more powerful.




This a mild serum that creates a tightening light base for moisturizers. I love it for every day use and think it's very gentle on the skin. It's great for layering day or night. 




Suncare


Never ever go without sunscreen. I've tried everything from French lines to Chanel to Shiseido. Nothing compares to this milky sunscreen that leaves absolutely no white cast. Yes, they exist. Asia's had these sunscreens that go on clear since forever. Believe the hype. This absorbs clear and doesn't make my skin oily or slick. It's by far the best face sunscreen I have found.



Eye Cream for Night Time



I love gel based skincare. They lock in moisture more effectively than any other types. It's recommended to use this every other night to 3x a week, but I use it every night. It just feels so good under the eye as I sleep, knowing it's there to combat all the frowning I do in my sleep as I dream.



Wedding in a French Chateau

9:42 PM

I haven't really shared details of my wedding with you guys, have I? It was such a crazy experience that the planning took a lot of out me and my husband. After two years (our anniversary was yesterday), I finally have the energy to revisit.



The idea
It started out as a 'what if' discussion between my girlfriend and I during a wine night in. Into our second bottle of wine she said, "I can totally see you having a wedding in a chateau like a princess coming down a grand staircase."

"Yeah, sure," I said. Never in a million years.



The reality
A few months later as we began touring potential venues in wine valley (Napa and Sonoma) and seeing the price tag (hefty for just the venue excluding catering, etc), the mandatory noise ordinance at 9pm, and restrictive beverage selection (their wines only and no liquor), the French chateau wedding went from a no way to a why not.

I did some research and realized that the price was fairly similar to rent the venue but would include catering and drinks. Plus, the idea of a fully privatized site was very desirable. From there we found and interviewed a few wedding planners and choose one from France who specifically catered to non-French clients. We knew it would be impossible to pull this off without some help.


The venue
Working closely with Nancy, from Fete in France, we narrowed down our options to five venues based on location and capacity. She helped us plan a two-day tour in the French countryside to visit all five. I was exhausted at the end, but Nancy was a trooper as she drove us from one site to the next.

Ultimately we settled on Chateau D'Artigny for its 52 rooms and its remote proximity to Paris. The idea was to keep everyone close in an intimate setting for a few days, undistracted by Paris. We wanted to spend time with everyone. The wedding took place during Labor Day weekend so guests were able to make a vacation out of their trip so if they wanted to do Paris later they could.



The vendors
The cost of booking a photographer, videographer and make up artist in France (Euros and conversion rates) actually came out to be more than if I choose my own in the states, flew them to France and paid for their housing. Not that we wanted to skimp here, but I picked vendors who had specifically worked with Asian clients or were Asian.

This is where it gets a little political. I believe that if you have never worked with an Asian client or have not been exposed to diversity, you tend to see those who are of a different race than you as an 'other.' The othering of another race is obvious in photos - they do not come across as intimate, personal and they will not capture the best angles of someone. You know how when you see yourself in the mirror, you are a full person with emotions and experiences? But then when a random stranger takes a photo of you, you suddenly look super exoticized? That's othering. Another example is when I do my own make-up, I look my best and enhance all my unique features. When someone else who isn't familiar with Asian faces does my make up, they always over line my eyes and make me look even chinkier. This has happened to me in a few local photoshoots when your girl was a wannabe model (hi, Model Mayhem). So it's so important to pick vendors who see diversity and are diverse. Those who have a diverse portfolio will be able to capture the nuanced characteristics of you instead of framing you far away and focusing on decor instead of you because they don't know how to capture you.

My photographer was Julie Lim. Makeup artist was Susan Lim. And my videographers were an Italian duo, Sole and Alessandro.



Conclusion
As much as we planned, things went wrong as they always do. And oftentimes they don't matter because your guests won't notice, but when it affects others, I remember. For example, I should have asked for them to move the spotlight so it wasn't in my father's face during wedding speeches. But that's just my overwhelming sense of protection showing up.

Things I would do differently:

  • Probably not cover the cost of stay for guests
  • Cut down on guest list - a lot of friends ended up being just party friends - more on this in another post
  • Spent more on florals 
  • Not spent money on goodie bags - totally unnecessary as no one really used it
  • Not spent $ on Laduree macarons
  • Spent more time intimately with everyone - looking back, it was so busy it was hard to connect with guests
Things I'm glad we focused on:
  • Family speeches and time
  • Videographer
  • Music - my husband personally picked out the playlists
  • DJ - they took the cue from my husband and played all our types of songs
  • The venue was breathtaking and perfect
  • The Paris Officiant, Laura did an amazing job and took the burden off a potential friend who would have had to do the honors, I think this made the wedding more enjoyable for everyone since it was emcee'd by a neutral party
  • The rehearsal dinner and having a moment of quiet before the storm with our close friends and family
  • The welcome drinks - this was a great way to spend time with folks before the wedding. It set the tone for the wedding and started the event on a happy note



Looking back on the photos and videos, I can honestly say it was a beautiful day full of wonderful memories despite all the things I would have done differently. The most important memories were the ones that we had with our parents and close friends. Seeing my mother speak, my father tear up and sharing a dance with him was all I could wish for. Seeing my husband and dancing with his mother and her wide gleeful smile of pride and happiness, we always laugh about that. Moments like that don't happen often in this lifetime.





Reformation Sale: What I Bought

9:48 PM


Everything from The Reformation makes me feel like a lady. So happy am I that their recent sale is a pretty epic one. Here's an indulgent blog entry about what I bought, my pre-haul so to speak. Shipping is the bane of my existence.

San Francisco weather calls for sweaters year-round and I've probably acquired over 20 new ones since I moved here four years ago. But your girl can't resist ones with puffy sleeves made of ethically sourced alpaca wool. Looking chic here is also hard when the weather ranges twenty degrees in a day (50-70 degrees from the Mission to Russian Hill hello). So far, I've managed to avoid paying for anything from Patagonia (unless it's free work swag) until now. This jacket is finally befitting of my discerning sartorial taste (sarcasm, I have no taste).  I got the fatigue green version. I have the dress version of this top and, I swear, I could feel shitty internally but this dress will make you think I was feeling myself. So it was natural that I got the top version as well. Lastly, I have way too many demure sexy tops - said me never. So this top in a 'serpent' print was an obvious choice.

I should note that the first top listed below isn’t from their sale but their new collection. But I couldn’t help myself. Could you?

Ps. Apologies that the link on Instagram to this blog wasn’t working. If anyone understand CNAMEs and DNS records, get at me please. Also, thanks to the small but resilient few who found a way to get here anyways despite my technical ineptitude. xx




Current Obsession: Tapered Trousers

10:52 PM

Relaxed fit and so very Scandinavian. This silhouette is the very essence of cool sf workwear and comfortable grocery outing. Am I right?

I recently bought a few pairs to pair with some tank tops and loose button-up shirts. Anouk, who's instagram I post below, wears a few from the Swedish brand Weekday. She looks so effortless. Unfortunately, they do not ship to the United States. But I've linked a few from places that do. You know I got you.















Images from Anouk Yve's instagram

The Crushing Weight of Your Own Expectations

4:22 PM


Sometimes I take myself too seriously. I look at people twice my age, close to my age, and my contemporaries and compare my achievements to theirs. Inevitably I am left feeling like I have wasted my life chasing windmills.

Instagram exacerbates this. I used to follow influencers who meticulously edit and filter the shit out of their photos before posting. Foolishly thinking this was real life I felt extremely unaccomplished. I've since learned to be more mindful of who I choose to let into my consciousness. If everything you see on your feed has the ability to affect your state of mind, you should be extremely selective. It's the same rules that would apply to who you would invite into your home – so why not be as selective with who you give your follow to? I've since stop following influencers who constantly push products (subconsciously I felt like I had to keep up) when most of the time they are gifted these things or sponsored. No one on a real budget could live this way and it's just setting yourself up for failure to try to emulate.

I've since stopped following shopping accounts and influencers. Following those who's style inspire me or those who have 500 followers with more authentic posts serve me at lot better. They've cultivated their own sense of self and are not chasing a trend, thus not perpetuating it neither. Following artistic accounts also help foster my creative side.

Relying less on external voices to influence me but rather on those who inspire me to cultivate realistic expectations is a hard learned lesson.

The crushing weight of it all wears off day by day as the desire to keep up wanes.

What are your expectations on yourself and are they realistic? 


Closet Staple: The Perfect Trench Coat

10:00 AM

The French girl in my mind wears a trench coat with vintage Manolo's. She's a French girl who likes a loose coat like a Copenhagen girl. She's multicultural. Anyways, I was in Tokyo recently and the trench trend was in full effect. The Japanese are usually a few seasons ahead in trends, so I predict this is the best time to invest in a trench coat. And it looked so flattering on everyone. Not to mention a nice loose trench keeps you perfectly warm but won't overheat you. Perfect transitional weather coat. Muy versatile.

I love wearing it over a dress or with shorts. They dress up any outfit no matter how scrubby and the loose fitted ones make it not too serious. Above is an AF Agger trench from a cool girl I follow on Instagram: Amalie Moosgaard. The brand is based in Copenhagen. Below are a few of my favorite trenches.