Outfit // Basking in the Golden Light

Hi friends! Happy Monday! I think it is safe to say that I've never been so happy for a Monday in my entire life. This evening after school and work, Dai and I are taking off for Japan! Crazy, I know! We first fly to LA and then our flight to Japan doesn't technically leave until 12:30am tomorrow, but the traveling begins tonight. We are very excited, but have been very busy people to get to this point. There was a lot of cleaning, packing, organizing, and studying that happened this weekend, which was kind of sad since it was Easter and all. I usually love picking out a nice dress to wear and making it to church. With all that was happening in preparation for Japan (& my dad getting ready to put our house on the market), it just wasn't in the cards. Next year!
Thankfully, I was able to fit in just a little bit of "me time" to finally get my hair cut (not pictured here!) and get a nice mani-pedi for vacation. I got my first gel shellac manicure and let me tell you, I am a believer. It. Is. Wonderful.
Needless to say, these purple skinnies were the closest thing I had to an "Easter outfit" this year. I got these about a month ago and they have been a pretty nice addition to my wardrobe this spring. I don't usually wear colored bottoms, so these are kind of fun! I also just recently got this embroidered top and am in love with it. I am just a sucker for a beautiful embroidery pattern. Also, I haven't broken out this vintage Dooney & Bourke bag in a while, but it will always be one of my favorite bargains. Snagged it at an antique fair for only $10!
I hate to admit it, but this outfit was the first (and only) time I wore "real" clothes or put on any makeup all week. The rest of the week was the standard tired college student uniform: yoga pants and t-shirt. That's where I'm at right now haha.

Every time I wear this hat, I love it more and more. It kind of makes me sad that it hung displayed on my wall for so long with the intention of being worn on adventures, but never taking it down from its perch. It's about time this hat gets some love! I used to think I could only wear it in the fall for some reason, but I believe I must rethink that philosophy now. As I was heading out the door to shoot these photos, I grabbed it on a whim and am now glad that I did! Its an easy way to add a little flair to an outfit and I think it worked out well with this one.
By the way, this is my new favorite spot for photos! It is so private and lovely, and is only a few blocks down the street from my house! I was a very happy girl basking in the golden light, and even happier when my pup got to run free with me.

I know it has been a while since my last outfit post, but I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things with those and to hopefully come back from Japan with a nice little collection of them to share :)

Though my traveling begins tonight, don't worry, this isn't the last you will be hearing from my before my blogging break! Be sure to come back tomorrow to say farewell :)

Pants // Uniqlo
Shirt // Marshalls
Sandals // Old Navy
Hat // Lucky Brand
Bag // Vintage


The Hair Crisis

Hi there. It's me, at 1:30 in the morning, typing this as I wait for my clothes to finish washing so I can start packing for my 2 week trip to Japan and doing my best to check things off my mile long to-do list before I leave. And of course, this is the time that a woman should have a hair crisis. A crisis, as in "my first hair appointment in over a year and half is in the morning and I have no idea what to do with it" kind of crisis. We've all been there, right? So, of course, the only logical thing to do is turn to the blogosphere at nearly 2am and pray that all the wise people there have the answers.

I was originally trying to grow out my hair to eventually cut my bangs a lá Zooey Deshanel, but then I decided that I was very unsure of that option and that it may be nice to rid myself of some of this length that I have going on for the warmer months. That and I'm pretty sure that my ends are rather dead and that the stylist may recommend cutting off a good chunk, SO I want to be prepared for that scenario as well.

The way I see it, I have 4 options:
1. Get it trimmed to a healthy length (maybe adding layers) and pretty much keep my grown-out bangs in tact.

2. Get it trimmed to a healthy length (maybe adding layers) and have some Zooey fringe cut into it.

3. Cut it down to a medium length bob, something that maybe has layers or is very slightly A-line, with grown-out bangs in tact (similar to center photo or upper right corner).

4. Cut it down to a medium length bob like described above, but with some side swept bangs (similar to right bottom corner).

So guys, what do you think? I know that it is very last minute to be asking for help, but what's a girl to do? Maybe some of you insomniacs or East Coasters that will be getting up 3 hours ahead of me have the answer!

They should really take the computer away from me by 11pm.


Spring Wardrobe Wishlist

Spring Wardrobe Wishlist
+ Fruity Suity One Piece - Modcloth
+ Air of Adorable Dress in Dotted Gold - Modcloth
+ Charter School Cardigan in Cantaloupe - Modcloth
+ Capri Garden Necklace - Kate Spade
+ Breathtaking Tiger Lilies Skirt in Black - Modcloth
+ Classy Collector Top in Black - Modcloth
+ Cori Flutter Sleeve Cotton Gauze Top - Calypso St. Barth
+ Graceful Greenery Dress in Dog Park - Modcloth
+ Skinny Mini Bow Studs - Kate Spade
+ 'Resort Fling' Nail Polish - Essie
+ Holly Street Rubbie Crossbody in Giverny Blue - Kate Spade
+ Gold Saltwater Sandals - Saltwater Sandals

With every changing season, adding a few new things to your wardrobe is a nice treat that makes everything feel fresh. While I wish I had the funds to purchase everything on this list, it is still nice to daydream and think about ways to maybe find similar, less expensive pieces or decide on what to maybe splurge on. As you can see above, I have quite the online-window shopping affair with Modcloth. There is just so much in its depths, it is like the Amazon of clothing. Plus, things from that site typically fit me pretty well!

I have been feeling a bit un-inspired with my wardrobe the past month or two, and I'd really like to change that. I was loving the habit of doing outfit posts every week, but I kind of came to plateau with ideas for pieces I currently own, haven't been loving my body very much lately, and have been busy with other things on the weekends (the only time I really have to shoot outfit photos with Dai). Needless to say, I'd like to change that and maybe treating myself to some fresh items with get my wardrobe wheels rollin' again.

Do you miss my outfit posts? I feel like we had a good thing goin' there for a while with them. They ended up being my most commented on posts every week and it was nice to feel like people actually enjoyed my personal style. Hmm, what a concept!

Any online shopping sites you recommend? Where do you tend to shop most? Would y'all like to see outfit photos back into the rotation here on the blog?


West Coast Love // Nopalito

This is one of my new favorite places here in the Bay Area. It all started two weeks ago when we were attempting a family photo shoot with my aunt, uncle, and cousin visiting from Texas. The last shoot I had done of them was last summer in Houston when I was living with them, so we wanted to try to fit in an updated session while they were here. We wandered around Golden Gate Park in hopes of finding the perfect spot for the portraits, but alas, when a two-year-old is over it, there is no hope. We decided that the best thing for everyone was to find food ASAP, so I quickly looked on Yelp for the best thing that was near by. That's when we found this gem.
Located in the Inner Sunset District, Nopalito offers traditional Mexican comfort food in a modern and vibrant environment. I loved it as soon as I walked up. I mean, look at that cute table, the modern chairs, the bright green paint around, and those huge succulents.

Also, I think it is important to note that I really love eating out with my Aunt Jenny and Uncle Jacob. Their company is lovely, of course, but it is really because they are 100% okay with eating Mexican/Latin food pretty much every day. Just. Like. Me. That's how you know you have found your food soul mates. (By the way, we ate at a place called Cafe La Taza the day before and then ate at Sol Food the next day. So, basically it was a perfect eating week.)

I appreciate details, so I loved the small fold up menus, the glass bottles some drinks were served in, and the interesting light fixtures throughout the restaurant.
Housemade almond horchata. I've never been a huge fan of horchata, but this stuff was delicious. If I could insert an emoji, it would be that one with the hearts for eyes.

I ordered the chicken mole enchiladas. WOW. They were so, so, so good. The sauce was rich and sweet with just a little bit of spice. I must say, I always choose enchiladas wherever I go, and these were amazing.
The best photo of the day. Not a photo session, but just a snapshot from the girl sitting across from this little family.
My mouth is watering as I write this and I am thinking of ways to convince Dai to take me here for a date night before we go to Japan. They have different menus for lunch and dinner and I am just dying to try their dinner menu as soon as I can.

I hope you enjoyed another peek at a spot around SF and that this restaurant maybe makes your bucket list for your next visit to the Bay Area!

As my Aunt Jenny would say, "You had me at 'Nopalito.'"

Nopalito // 1224 9th Ave,  San Francisco, CA


Taking Stock // Volume II

It has been a while since I did my first Taking Stock post and I really like the idea of it! It is nice to check in with yourself every once in a while, and even nicer to look back to see how you were feeling at that point in time. So, here we go with Volume II!

Taking Stock (Vol. II)

making // Plans to pack, do homework, and get some pampering in before Japan!

cooking // I haven't really been cooking lately. Things have been busy and I haven't been home much to cook anything that doesn't take more than 10 minutes or more to make.

drinking // Currently, iced coffee at Starbucks.

reading // People Magazine. Love that they still send it to Dai's house even though his mom has moved to Japan!

wanting // To start a scrapbook

looking // Like a hot mess.

playing // With my straw.

wasting // Time people watching.

wishing // I could have every day off this week.

enjoying // This wonderful Monday off of work!

waiting // For the line to die down so I can get a refill.

liking // The feeling of anticipation for what's to come these next few weeks!

wondering // What it will be like to spend nearly a week with Dai's family.

loving // The sunny days we have been having! Keep it up, spring.

hoping // It will be sunny in Japan too.

marveling // At how wonderful all my blog friends are. I love you all!

smelling // Fresh ground coffee.

needing // To get my dang hair cut! Appointment Saturday, so that will finally be crossed off my list. Any suggestions for my new do?

wearing // Denim jeggings. I was always opposed to them, but gosh are they comfy. Also, sparkly Toms, grey & white tank, maroon cardigan, and my unmanageable hair thrown up in a bun.

following // My budget. Woot! Something I never thought I could actually do!

noticing // All the different types of people filtering in and out of Starbucks.

knowing // I need to start working on posts for the rest of this week too! I hate how sporadic my posting has been lately. I have had to reschedule everything like 10 times this month already. Sigh.

thinking // I should probably get started on some homework before I have to leave Starbucks.

bookmarking // Prospective places to live. Also, spring-y dresses.

opening // Too many tabs in this window. Always.

giggling // When I think about the silly things my nanny kids say. Gosh they keep me pretty entertained.

feeling // Lucky to be going on the biggest adventure of my life next week!


West Coast Love // Heath Ceramics Factory Tour

I'm pretty excited about today's post! Last week, over my spring break, I went on a tour of the Heath Ceramics factory in the little town of Sausalito. I had only heard of Heath Ceramics in the last year or so, but it has actually been around since the 1940's. It was started by a woman named Edith Heath, who developed this brand and style all on her own. Though she has passed, the new owners of the company got to spend a lot of time with her before her passing and now do their best to stay true to her aesthetic, style, and beliefs.

The tour lasted for just about an hour and was a fabulous look into the inner workings of this company. Our tour was on a Friday morning, when the factory was in production, so it was an especially cool time to visit!
I loved learning about the history of the company and the ways they still try to do things as close to the way Edith originally did them, as well as getting a glimpse into the processes that are used to create each piece. In the photo above, this worker is putting handles on the mugs. It was interesting to see how she puts each mug over the stone-looking cylinder and uses the little square nub on the counter as a marker to where the handle should be placed. Little details like that are so fascinating to me!
The mugs with funny looking little handles on the bottom shelves were developed by Edith for her own use. She lived on a house boat in Sausalito so she could be close to her studio, and so she needed a way to hand her mugs to save space in her home. As a result, she started producing them for her company as well. She always tried to give her pieces a specific functionality, as well as beauty.
These are molds that they use to make some pieces. There are tons of these molds laying around the factory!
This is the area of the studio that they make the actual molds. The tour guide told us that they are continuously making molds because they don't always hold up and they have a limit to how many times they can be used (I believe this was why).
This is a station where they spray the glazes on pieces. I was told that it takes quite a bit of time to load the glazes into the sprayers, so they tend to only use one or two different glazes in a day to spray as many pieces as they can or have to of that particular color.
Glazes! They do their best to use the original glazes that Edith used, but since there are chemical regulations on what can be in their glazes that weren't in effect when Edith developed them, some of the glazes were eliminated. They did their best to reformulate as many as they could to fit the standards that have been enforced.
I really loved this tour and the factory store! They have what they call "Seconds" for sale in the factory store, which are second quality pieces that are not quite high enough quality to be "Firsts," but are still in great condition. Really, I could hardly tell if anything at all was wrong with any of the pieces. There were a few that the glazes were a little off or uneven, but Heath loves their products so much that they couldn't bear to just throw them out. I was lucky enough to be gifted an orange bud vase like the one pictured above and am just in love with it. Can't wait to find some little flowers for it!

After visiting the factory, I have a new love for this brand and what they stand for. If you are ever in the Bay Area, I highly recommend this free tour! I just want all the Heath pieces and now dream of having a set of their dishes one day (one day!). Also, the factory store is a great place to pick up some discounted pieces if you don't mind some of them having a bit more personality to them (but seriously, you can hardly tell that they aren't first quality) ;)

Have you heard of Heath Ceramics?

Heath Ceramics // 400 Gate Five Road, Sausalito, CA