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12.31.2012

Quote of the Week: Luxury (for 2013)

Quote of the Week: Dec. 31, 2012

It may seem, at first glance, that this would be a strangely trite quote to be pushing out as an intro to my New Year's resolution list, but hear me out. In my mind, 2013 is going to be the year that I focus on living a more luxurious life...but, when I refer to "luxury," I do not refer to material items, per se, but the idea that I will continue on my path to find what is comfortable for me...anxious, neurotic, workaholic, OCD me.

What might I be aiming for this upcoming year?


12.30.2012

Sunday Styles no. 13

So, remember that whole thing about grey? Well, today's Sunday Style is the culmination of my holiday gift-card-supported, sartorial life, de-saturated...or what I like to refer to as H.G.C.S.S.L.D.S. (So much easier to say.) And yet, I can't help but adore it just a little bit...despite the fact that it's a reflection of my S.A.D. Maybe there's something sentimental about this kind of palette. Something that reminds me of my many east coast winters.

Going to Grey(t) Lengths...yes, I have more of them, if you're interested!

There's something about soft greys that can be feminine without dropkicking you in the chest with girliness. (I'm just flat-out bad at going full-on it-looks-like-I-was-dipped-in-a-very-large-vat-of-potpourri-&-lace girly.) Add to it flourishes of pink (nails, lips, cheeks) and a tough black leather boot for a touch of menswear and I'm good to go. It's all about balance, right?

My hair's continuing to grow out as well, so I'm down to about a half a pound of bobby pins (my head is so much lighter), but what works even better is...a hat. Warmth & styling convenience (a.k.a not having to style) wrapped in a small, knitted package. I can thank Husband Charles for this one. He was equipped with not one...not two...but three knitted hats on this trip (in various thicknesses & knit patterns, naturally), so I stole one for the day.

Anyway, sorry to be so hasty, but we're flying back to Los Angeles tonight, so I need to go. I have a handful of hours left to spend with my family, so I better get to it. Hope you're all enjoying your holiday weekend and are getting geared up for end-of-year celebrations and revelations! xo!

A Note About the ClothesFlorentini + Baker 7040 Boot (a.k.a Eternity Boot)Uniqlo Ultra Stretch Jeans (Grey), Madewell Bateau Button Sweater (Grey) - no longer available (but here's a super-cute striped version), Coach Legacy Leather Tanner Tote, Odin Knitted Hat (I can't find it online, but here's their site!), vintage mink neck wrap from my mum

12.28.2012

Newsflash: S.A.D makes me G.R.E.Y

I recall a time in my life when my wardrobe was strictly grayscale...Black to light grey (and rarely white - it's a fact that most young adults cannot handle taking care of white clothing aside from the iconic & easily replaceable white T-shirt.)

I began incorporating color into my wardrobe near the end of 2009...and I didn't think it had anything to do with anything aside from an aesthetic maturity on my part (as in "I can accept that I am no longer an angsty college-aged beatnik who longs to be a fine artist, but is wildly afraid of failure!")...but, in retrospect, I realize that it was at that point in my life that I had begun making cross-country jaunts to Los Angeles on the reg.

For the longest time, I didn't think that my location had anything to do with my aesthetics, but this week has proved me wrong. Oh, so wrong. I might let Hawaiian shirts slide as a fashion choice from now on, so momentous was this revelation.

What am I talking about?

And I ran...I ran so far away...but, clearly not far enough.

Here's the thing. So, I received some giftcards this holiday season and with them, Husband Charles and I decided to brave the post-holiday sales and do some shopping. (Hey, if you've got the days off and you want to do more than stare out the window at the cold, but are too weather-wimpy to take walks to get out of the house...well, you take advantage of the giftcards burning a hole in your pocket. The streets may be cold, but the shops...they are warm.)

It's been snowing here on the east coast. It was grey all day yesterday and I could feel my mild, but totally inconvenient S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder) kicking in. So, we went out and tried to stay active ("active" in this case is defined as "roaming the streets of Manhattan like lost children.") 9 hours, 15 shops, 4 friends, 3 lovely meals, and 1 dance party later, I found myself with a few choice items.

And I realized very quickly that there was a trend...a certain lack of something.
Yes, color. There was a distinct lack of color in my purchases...and though the items will be fantastic pieces that I will wear all the time (can we get a quick "hurray" for basics? HURRAY!), I can't help but see how this cold, monochromatic weather has such a stronghold on my aesthetics.

...and, mind you, this is not to say that the east coast isn't fun or appreciative of color. It's just how it affects me. Especially this chilly, winter-ness. I'm giving past-Nami a time-traveling high-five right now because I'm so impressed that she was able to survive winter after grueling winter in the streets of NYC (a.k.a the wildest wind tunnel party ever) for so many years...In fact, let me take a second to give everyone on the east coast a virtual high-five for having the gusto to face the weather and not let it affect them like it does me. I'm raising a hot-beveraged mug to all of you and toasting your vigor and your commitment to wearing color in the face of such adversity!

I have a few more giftcards to blow through and I'm thinking I may hold off on those until I return back to kinder coasts to see if my theories are true. Stay tuned to find out if Nami is, in fact, that aesthetically sensitive to her surroundings. I wonder if you dropped me in the middle of New Zealand if I'd start wearing tons of green. (I'm notoriously not a green-wearing individual.)

I think I've spent way to much time thinking about this. Gotta get going. My time back east is shortening. Must spend as much time with as many loved ones as humanly possible. Off I go. Hope you have a wonderful Friday & stay tuned for this week's Sunday Styles where you'll get to see just how grey I can go! xo!

12.26.2012

The Gift That Keeps On Giving...

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I'm still recovering from the aftermath of more familial commotion than I'm used to dealing with for 99% of the year. Nonetheless, it was a fantastic time! I hope you all got a chance to over-indulge and relax as much as I did!

Of course, with this time of year comes gifting. The generosity of my family never ceases to amaze me. Giftcards (yessssssssss), donations in my name to save camels (I love camels!), the most epic stocking stuffers (including a very small rabbit with button eyes that, henceforth, will be named Claude), and so much more! So, thank you, family, for the wonderful gifts. 

And on that note, one gift in particular just tickled my fancy so much, it deserved a post in its honor. Now, you may recall me discussing the concept of widening my repertoire accessory-wise to bracelets. This may sound strange to most, but bracelets are a commitment that I've never made...and then these happened:

Husband Charles: 1, Bracelet-less Life: 0...Husband Charles is in the lead!

We were out window shopping in our beloved Manhattan with our close friends (holla, Elizabeth & Phil!) and happened into Michele Varian on Howard St. (go check them out if you're in the hood - the shop is dripping with gorgeousness) where this set was sitting and waiting for us. After some deliberation and opinions all around, Husband Charles decided that this was another gift he would get me for the holidays. I was, admittedly, nervous about where this kind of set would take me...what kind of doors it would open. What kind of exciting new experiences would be unlocked because of my newly adorned arm & finger.

I'd be lying if I said this set didn't speak to me on numerous levels:
  • This will pave the path to my dream of becoming an eccentric old lady that wears capes, bright red lipstick, and amazing costume jewelry
  • I'm an aries...and these are rams...
  • There are scales on the bracelet...I like scales...especially on dragons. The bracelet is made of dragon-rams. Dramgons? Dragams? Drams?
  • I've always wanted a statement ring to wear on my pointer finger to make pointing more dramatic. Pointing will become a much more serious affair.
  • I'm a geek and secretly dream of being an elf...and this satisfies some sort of deep-seated Elven fantasy much more than watching the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy (extended edition) ever will...except it's as if the Elves had tea with Edward Gorey and they decided to design some jewelry together...and this set was born. (Raaaambling!)
Whatever the case, I think I'm ready for a jewelry upgrade...and I'm not talking about prices or precious jewels or anything like that. What I'm talking about is continuing to find things that I feel connected to and thanks to my very generous husband who has a keen sense of who I am (or secretly wants me to be an Elven princess - which he totally does), I'm one step closer to feeling more like myself.

Undoubtedly, I'll be wearing this set almost every day for the rest of my life...and, ya know what? I'm absolutely fine with that idea. Looking down at my hands now, I almost feel like they're not my own and yet, the very obvious weight of these new baubles is very reassuring to me. My right wrist and left pointer finger are totally ready for 2013!

Here's to our future selves and the paths we pave...with ram heads! xo!

12.25.2012

A Quick Note...

The Holidays! Yesssssssss! (Clearly, I'm pumped & Merl's distracted...)

Just wanted to pop in real quick before all the festivities of the day to wish everyone a very happy holiday! Whatever it is you celebrate, it's a time to be thankful (ok, Thanksgiving is technically the holiday to be thankful, but any time you get family & friends together to celebrate is a time to be thankful. Work with me here, people. If you disagree, maybe we can have a duel later.)

I'm lucky to be spending time with all my sets of parents, close friends, siblings, nieces, nephews, step-siblings, and even Merlin and his two doggie cousins this season. AND I'm not suffering from the black plague! (Let's just say I seriously thought I was gonna die this time last year.) I'm thankful for my health and for being able to be with everyone I care about. Combine that with the fact that it was snowing last night (!!!!! I LOVE SNOW !!!!!!) and you have a near-perfect, if not completely perfect holiday!

Living across the country from my immediate family has, admittedly, been really rough. I'm trying to make it work with consistent visits back east, phone calls, and emails...but, really, nothing beats hearing Nat King Cole come on the living room stereo early Christmas morning (thanks for upholding that tradition, Pop) and knowing that it's the start of a long, laughter-filled, leisurely day with the people I love.

It's also the second Christmas with my husband and, I think it's safe to say, I think we like each other. I might even venture to say we love each other! (Imagine that!)

And lastly, but most certainly not least, are you, my readers! Thank you for sticking with me. I hope you get some sort of satisfaction or enjoyment out of this blog o' mine. If I can get a laugh out of you, that's even better. I just want you all to know how much I appreciate your support! Sending you all tons of virtual holiday cookies (or another baked good of your choice!) Seriously, though. I'm sooooo thankful for you!

Ok, off to have a crazy enthusiastic day full of...enthusiasm about...things! (My brain's not quite working yet. I need a latte stat.) Hope you all have a wonderful day! xo!

12.24.2012

Quote of the Week: Home

Quote of the Week: Dec. 24, 2012

Ain't that the truth? Mind you, I'm not running around with scissors on fire (me, not the scissors - scissors aren't all that flammable, as it turns out) and shouting highly offensive things at everyone I pass. Nope. I'm just in my PJs later than I should be. My father is coming over to wrap me up in blankets when I'm sitting and working at the dining room table (despite my insistence that one cannot work completely cocooned - you need your arms to type.) My mother is doing my laundry and cooking all the food. Sleeping late, doing what I damn well please. No schedules. No responsibilities (except to you, my dear readers.)

You get the idea. I'm being spoiled rotten. At this rate, I'll be surprised if I'm at all functional as an adult when I get back to Los Angeles. You'd think, as a 31 year old, I would be more responsible...and, sure, I've made breakfast. I've helped clean the dinner table...but it seems that my parents are in full-on parental mode and are enjoying taking care of me...so, well...yeah, I'm not going to stop them. Let the babying begin!

It's been decided. I'm going to act my worst (you have to realize that not sticking to schedules and not taking care of any and all responsibilities is "the worst" for a neurotic OCD workaholic.) Remember, I'm doing this for my parents' happiness...not my own! (I'm sure you realize how hard this is on me. How much suffering I'm enduring by not doing anything!)

But, really, what I'm getting at is despite many years of hardship and relationship building between my parents and I, I've come to really appreciate them and what they do for me. I'm going to pretend it has nothing to do with the fact that I live on the other side of the country. (Hint: Distance does make the heart grow fonder.) So, for the time that I'm here, I'm going to really cherish every meal together, every laugh, ever hug, and every consideration.

Hope you're all getting spoiled rotten wherever you are for the holidays! And for those of you who aren't with your parents this holiday season, be sure to have the best time ever with the ones you love that are with you. (I'd be lying if I said I wasn't directing this particular comment at an awesome newly wed couple I know who couldn't make it home for the holidays. All I can say is, "you guys are married! Celebrate your marriage and what an amazing couple you are this holiday!!!")

Ok, enough. Back to being spoiled! Much love to everyone & hope Santa doesn't get stopped up in your Chimney tonight! xo!

12.23.2012

Sunday Styles no. 12

Ah, it's officially the holidays now that I'm home with my parents. With any luck, I'll actually get some real relaxation in. (Who's still running to their phone every time they hear a work email ding? Yes. This person - I'm pointing to myself here.)

So, there aren't any chestnuts roasting on an open fire (that sounds dangerous, doesn't it?...and like something my pup would try to get involved with: fire & dogs don't mix, if you didn't know), but Jack Frost is definitely nipping at my nose...and other extremities that aren't covered. I'll admit that I wasn't prepared for this weather...and I don't even mean that from a clothing standpoint. Mentally (and emotionally), I wasn't prepared for the icy winds and greyness. "Weather wimp" you say? Absolutely. Ever since moving west.

And yet there was something so magical about walking Merlin yesterday while there was a little snow flurry. (My east coaster heart was soaring!) So, I'm trying my best not to hole up in the warmth. This girl's going for a long walk each day to get some fresh air and some color in my cheeks...and, really, if anything to battle the endless goodies my mom is feeding me. Endless...and delicious.

Anyway, I've brought my army of sweaters with me (they're a rag-tag bunch: fiercely loyal, incredibly useful, and good looking to boot...though not very good in combat) and this Sunday, being that it's going to be a relaxing one (Husband Charles just arrived this morning after taking a redeye and is in bed, snoozing away), I've brought out the coziest of the bunch...

Oh, look, Nami's working. SURPRISE!

See, I'm a fan of tailored clothing, but when it comes to this kind of Sunday (and by "this kind of Sunday" I mean one filled with cuddles, naps, so-glad-you're-finally-here's, and probably lots of eating), I like loose clothing and menswear. A men's oversized chambray shirt is one of my absolute must-have's. (May have something to do with that whole "guy who makes me pancakes in the morning" thing - see Mama Matsuo #5: Scents & Sensibilities under MCMC Hunter Perfume Oil for reference.) All women need a men's chambray shirt...if there's a man in your life, feel free to peruse his closet.

Add to that an oversized sweater, a pair of jeans and men's watch and presto! Instant comfort...and then add some red lipstick & red nails...presto change-o! Now, instant holiday comfort. (So much presto-ing!) Alright, I gotta get a few more things done before I get ready for the rest of the day, but just wanted to pop in and say hi! Hope you and yours are having a wonderful holiday weekend full of cheer & indulgence! (And if you're indulging, may I suggest oversized menswear? It's, by far, the best way to hide a food baby.) xo!

A Note About the Clothes: J. Crew Men's Chambray Shirt - no longer available (but here are some other options), Madewell Gold Sweater - no longer available (but here's a similar style), a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Watch (circa 1981) - you'll have to search around for this one, and (Under the table) Uniqlo Super Skinny Jeans.

12.21.2012

Mama Matsuo Musing #5: Scents & Sensibilities

This Mama Matsuo Musing isn't necessarily something she taught me outright, but more something she showed me over the years:

Mama Matsuo Musing #5: Be Scent-sationally Memorable!




"French women know one can go far with a great haircut, a bottle of champagne, and a divine perfume."

So says Mireille Guiliano of the amazing French Women Don't Get Fat which I absolutely adore (the woman and the book, to be clear.) Interestingly enough, coming home for the holidays got me thinking about this phrase...likely because my mother was always my personal Mireille Guiliano in a lot of ways. (You can refer to my other "Mama Matsuo's Musing" posts - the woman has taught me some solid tips.)

Let's be very clear on a few things from the get-go though...
  • I'm currently growing out my hair - translation: "A great haircut" is something I do not possess at the moment.
  • I have a pretty bad allergy to alcohol - translation: I may have a bottle of champagne, but it's for someone else, not for me.
  • I'm not French - translation: I'm not French
So, what does that leave us with? PERFUME! Yes!

12.19.2012

6 Solid Christmas Wish List Picks!

Let's start off by saying that, really, all I want for Christmas is to relax with my family and not have to check my work email every 5 minutes (which is a horrible habit I have - if I hear that email ding, I'm on my phone like a cheetah on a New York strip steak.) But, let's be honest, that would make for a pretty boring post, so instead, I'll let you in on a few of my secret desires and hope that a secret admirer decides to send one (or all) of the items to me.

Here's a quick list of 6 things currently on my Christmas wish list:

As it turns out, I'm not very hard to shop for...

You may be thinking, "what, no clothes or make-up?"

Here's the story with that...I have almost never received a clothing gift that fit me correctly. Things that don't have to do with real sizing (scarves, knitted caps, and the like) are fine, but rarely do I find clothing that fits me the way I like. I always have to try clothing on...even if it's from a brand that I love.

This would probably explain why I always end up buying shoes and oversized sweaters...because shoe sizing rarely gets messed up and oversized sweaters are...well, oversized. The point is not to have them fit just right.

And when it comes to make-up...oh, I'm such a pain in the ass about that. Way too particular about every shade of pink or consistency of lipstick or longevity of product. I won't even get into it.

I'm digressing...Anyway, here's where you can find all of the items on my list:
  1. Happy Socks x Madewell Trouser Socks ($12) - I love cuffing pants, therefore, I love fancy socks.
  2. Coach Men's Bleeker Leather Colorblock Utility Tote ($568) - both Husband Charles and I are smitten with this one.
  3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn ($13.93) - Give Nami a good book and she's happy. This one has been on my must-read list forever.
  4. J. Crew Vintage Pajamas ($85) - As much as I'd like to pretend that I wear luxurious nighties to bed, the truth is that I love comfy PJs in the winter time. PJs are totally under-appreciated in today's society.
  5. A Lifetime Supply of Tsubame B5 Notebooks ($8.35 ea.) - Maybe it's my Japanese heritage, but I'm a sucker for a reliable notebook. I have stacks of these and can never get enough...and they look really impressive when they're all lined up too.
  6. Kate Spade Scalloped Thin Bangle ($48) - I've started to consider incorporating bracelets into my life...I think this would be a beautiful starter. Delicate, playful, but classic.
And there ya have it. My current wishlist. Anyone have any of these things? Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions? I would love to know what you all want for the holidays! Might give me a chance to expand my wish list a bit (much to the chagrin of Husband Charles!)

Hope you're all getting ready for the holiday season enthusiastically and with little stress! xo!

Image: Created by Nami M. Scott

12.17.2012

Quote of the Week: Being Attractive

Quote of the Week: Dec. 17, 2012

I thought this particular quote would be fitting with the onslaught of holiday parties and socializing that, undoubtedly, everyone is dealing with at the moment. Party after party, dinner after dinner, gift exchange after gift exchange. All the party dresses and jewels and what-should-I-wear-tonight's...

Living in Los Angeles, the concept of faux attractiveness is very much magnified. I can't tell you about the countless times I've met someone with a face that could launch 5,000 ships who then transforms into a boring, blasé, and, frankly, unattractive object right before my very eyes...just by the sheer act of speaking or showing their true character. We'll call them the faux jewels.

This one goes out to those genuine gems at the party...those men and women who make my life and, most likely, everyone else's infinitely more interesting just by existing. Those people who prove that being attractive has very little to do with how you look.

Ladies, have you seen that woman at the party...the one that all the men can't take their eyes off of? The one you may have gotten all judgmental about? "Well, what's so special about her?" Take a minute to have a chat with her...she may be as smart as a whip, as enthusiastic as a child, with an artful wit...you may find yourself falling head over heels for her in minutes!

And, gentleman, you've seen that guy...the one who may be ill-dressed or shorter-than-average who is charming the pants off of everyone woman in the house. Take a minute to have a chat with him...he may have the confidence of a king, the kindness of an angel, and the temperament of a labrador retriever. You might just learn a thing or two from him...or he may become your new best friend.

What I'm trying to get at is this...though vanity is very much a human trait (and if you say you're not even remotely vain, you're a liar), at the end of the day, it has little to do with your attractiveness...unless you're dealing with shallow folks, but who wants to deal with them? (Not I, not ever.)

So, take this line with you to your next holiday party...scribble it on the insides of your eyelids. Don't stress about what lipstick color you should wear or which bespoke bow tie to put on. Instead, think about how you can make someone laugh or feel like their the most important person in the room. Then you'll be ready for the party!

Hope you all have a fantastic week getting drunk on holiday cheer! xo!

Image: Created by Nami M. Scott

12.16.2012

Sunday Styles No. 11

Dear Los Angeles,

It's cold outside. Are you broken?

Love,
Nami

...but in all seriousness, folks, seemingly overnight it's become pretty chilly here in the city of angels. I went to a holiday part on Friday night and spent most of it scurrying indoors, hugging a heat lamp, and camping out next to the hot apple cider dispenser. Not cool...in fact, just plain cold. Contrary to popular belief, this city isn't always sunny.

So, this Sunday I'm trying to stay warm without rolling myself into a blanket, purchasing a pair of Uggs (something I have been able to hold off on doing...and plan on continuing to hold off on until the end of time), and trying to pass it off as fashionable.

Here's my solution:

When the going gets tough, the tough wear pink

Color, head-cover, cardigans, and heat tech tights. These items, combined, make for an outfit that is warm, but also won't get you mistaken for a bear or other large woodland fauna. Pink seems to put color back into my complexion when I'm feeling under the weather (i.e. look like the walking dead...trust me, you didn't see me right when I woke up...yikes), a hat always keeps warmth from escaping, a slouchy cardigan is fashion's version of a blanket, and heat tech tights...a must!

I like shorts. I like shorts for all seasons and the only way it's possible to wear them in the winter is with tights that are designed to keep you warm. The tights and shorts thing...it's a little bit Broadway in the best way possible. There are tons of cold-weather hosiery options out there, so give it a try sometime! If you live in a particularly cold locale, tights are a fashionable alternative to long johns...wear them under your favorite pair of jeans and, if they're fancy, cuff your pants for a little stylish ankle action.

Here's a relevant sidenote: I'm a little obsessed with this shirt right now. I recently picked it up during a holiday sale and am mesmerized by it's lilac-pink top and rose pink bottom. (The photo might make it a little hard to see.) If you didn't know, I rarely wore color back in NYC, but my tune has started to change since moving west. (I'll write more about this another time...I'm rambling!)

Hope you're enjoying your weekend and staying warm if it's cold. If you're somewhere warm...well, know that I'm violently jealous and send me a postcard! xo!

A Note About the Clothes: Black Felt Hat (gift from a friend) - no longer made, J. Crew Boy Shirt in Colorblock Oxford (Soft Lilac), American Apparel Unisex Oversized Cotton Rib Pocket Cardigan (Heather Grey), American Apparel Stretch Twill High-Waist Side Zipper Short (Black), Uniqlo Heat Tech Tights (Black), Steve Madden Platform Peep Toe Shoes - no longer available

Image: Created by Nami M. Scott
Photo: Taken by Charles L. Scott

12.14.2012

My dearest...My favorite...My beloved...

"Whoa, whoa, whoa...wait a second...Really?!" was what I thought when I saw a comment from Nina of the oh-so-fantastically-entertaining-&-fashionable Le Fancy Geek (sidenote: Nami-loves-dashes!!!) on my blog right after landing in NYC, bleary-eyed and exhausted from the coast-to-coast flight.

"Hey Nami! Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a Liebster Award!"

Liebster is a German word that literally translates to "dearest", "favorite", and "beloved"

Let me start by saying that being nominated for anything makes me feel special. (This includes things like "best wife award" which I get once a week for doing something like making ramen or having an impromptu dance party a la PeeWee Herman...which may or may not have happened this morning when Husband Charles was giving me my requisite have-a-good-day hug n' smooch.)

The difference is, the "best wife award" is usually awarded to me by...myself. So, having someone nominate me for an award. Well, that's a whole new level of "OMG" for me. Not only that, but to be awarded by someone as amazing as Nina...well, let's just put it this way. The first time I read Nina's blog, it was a post where she was wearing a Darth Vader sweatshirt. I immediately showed Husband Charles her photo and screamed, "I have a girl crush! We would totally be besties if she lived here!" In short, Nina is a wonderfully gifted writer with sartorial flare & a rapier wit and I'm honored.

So, what does this all mean?

Here are the rules for when you're nominated...
  1. Shout out the person who tagged you
  2. Post 11 random things about yourself
  3. Answer the 11 questions the tagger set for you
  4. Choose 11 bloggers to nominate for Leibster awards and link them to this post (or as many as you can come up with)
  5. The 11 bloggers you choose must have low follower numbers (think under 200 followers or around there)
  6. Create 11 questions for the 11 bloggers to answer in their Leibster Award posts
  7. Go to their blogs & alert them that you've nominated them
  8. You cannot tag the blogger who has tagged you
So, yeah, kinda intense! Ready? Here we go!

12.12.2012

Skincare: A Review (Michael Todd True Organics)

You like how I made the title of this blogpost sound like a play? (Well, at least I thought it sounded like the title of a very intriguing play.) So, yes, I'm not one to review beauty products very often, but my friend, Meg, owner of the hottest legs I've ever seen and creator of the very fun & criminally informative Meg's Make-Up (the type of site where people tell the truth about things...shocker - seriously, it's rare these days) asked me if I'd be interested in checking out a line of organic beauty products.

Cut to me staring at my facewash tube that was squeezed to the point of breaking (we're talking toothpaste tube-like rolling & bending to get the last bits) and a few moisturizer bottles that were getting a little light. So, of course I said yes!

Enter, stage right, a cast of interesting characters, all from Michael Todd True Organics. What can you expect from these products? They're made in the U.S. (job creation!) with certified organic ingredients without adding water. They are all free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, or artificial dyes. I was intrigued by the fact that these products seemed to be about as natural as you can get, aside from rummaging around in your fridge and wondering if you should try putting raw egg whites on your face like that recent beauty article suggests. (Yes, I've considered doing that.) Anyway, for a bit more info on the organics, check this out:



Meanwhile, I'll say this: If I'm going to review something, I'm going to give it a real go. So, I spent some time labeling all the products with days of the week I would use them and whether I would use them during the day or at night. I vowed I would give myself at least 2 weeks. Husband Charles was bewildered by my OCD and impressed by my seriousness. I felt like a crazy person...wait, I am a crazy person. Crazy about skincare. (Yep, I just did that.)

So, let me introduce you to my cast of characters & give you my honest opinion of each. Ready? (Links to each product are in the captions!)

Ho Ho Hoh No: A Last Minute Shopper Holiday Gift Guide

Ahhh, the holidays! A time for family, friends, cheers, gluttonous eating, laughter, twinkling lights, magic, snow, elves...and truckloads of stress. Don't try to deny it. I see you...

I see the subtle twitching behind that ear-to-ear smile. I know you're not completely done with your holiday shopping yet.

...hey, but that's ok!

That's why I've compiled...


...for those who are panicked and need some ideas that aren't your typical giftcards. (Note: It seems like everyone I talk to appreciates giftcards the most. Myself included...probably because that fancy lampshade or artisanal chalkboard cheese plate won't mean a thing if you're starving because you can't buy your groceries - there I go, being dramatic again.)

So, yes, let's get to it, shall we? I decided to break my guide down by categorizing people using sweeping generalizations. I'm sure everyone you know will fall in there somewhere. I've also attempted to make all gifts as unisex as possible for easy gift-giving! Find links to each item in the captions!

Here we go!

12.10.2012

Quote of the Week: D.A.B.R.

Quote of the Week: Dec. 11, 2012

This is one of those phrases that has resonated pretty deeply with me in recent months.

For the longest time, I was certain that my life was a series of lucky events and when life got boring or bad things happened or opportunities weren't rollin' my way, I just assumed that my luck had run out. Not to say that life is miserable by any means, but sometimes I get this feeling that I've bought a ticket to ride the train to Stagnant City (where everything is normal and nothing is new...a truly frightening place) and that I might accidentally find myself there.

After some consideration and hard work along with a few self-help-ish reads, my theory on luck has changed significantly. What I came to see as luck in my life in the past was really me taking every opportunity, being excited and enthusiastic about things, working extra hard, and (above all) working on things that made me really happy.

This phrase reminds me that the universe is watching my back. If I do what I love with an open heart & mind, there's nothing that can stop good things from happening.

I hope everyone tucks this saying in their back pocket for those days when things don't seem to be going right or life feels boring and grey.

Desire
Take a minute to really figure out what it is you want...anything from a new mattress to a new career.

Ask
Ask for it in any way that you can...whether that means putting up a post on Facebook about how you need new bedding to asking friends & family if they have any knowledge of the career of your dreams or if they know someone who does.

Believe
Keep at it with the knowledge that the universe is listening to you. You're making a move. Change is inevitable.

Receive
Get what you desire.

Rinse and repeat. Working hard towards our dreams is what counts. I just wanted to share this magic phrase with you because I think we could all benefit from a little more hopefulness.

With that, have a wonderful Monday! An exciting, un-stagnant, un-grey, un-normal, fantastical day full of adventures moving steadily towards your dreams! xo!

Image: Created by Nami M. Scott

12.09.2012

Sunday Styles No. 10

Sunday! You're back already! I'm surprised I made it. This past week was a doozy. Working like a dog, taking a 36 hour trip to NYC (the first & last thing I ate was a bagel...which was amazing), and basically collapsing from exhaustion (which would explain my lack of blog post this past Wednesday) made for some not-so-fun times. Nonetheless, I'm trying to get myself back on schedule. So, here were are with another Sunday Styles post!

I decided to shake things up a bit! And by "shaking things up," I really mean "wear things I don't usually wear." (I know. Sorry if I got you excited.) So, what could I be talking about? What do I never wear?

The Answer: Skirts.

You may be asking why. (Or maybe you're not, but I'm gonna tell you anyway!) I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that they're like pants in that you need a top, but like dresses in that you need tights in the winter months. That creates an extra step of dressing that both dresses & tights (2 steps) nor pants & tops (also 2 steps) have.

In order to wear a skirt in the winter months, you have to dance the dizzying and complicated dance of the top, skirt, AND tights combo. 3 whopping steps and, on a Sunday, that can sometimes feel like asking a lot of someone. And add to that the fact that...well, have you taken a look at hosiery options lately? There are tons and my preference for patterned tights in black causes me to spend an unnecessarily long time at my sock drawer, pulling out bundle after bundle to see which is the one with the bows, the stripes, the floral pattern, and so on.

My extra effort produced this look:

Merlin & I, rocking some serious "Earnest Face"

I need to wear this wide-pleated skirt more. It has pockets (score!) and sits at my natural waist (comfy!) I combined it with a sheer white shirt (with a polka dot pattern & bow collar - fancy), black tights and a black cardigan to pull the look together, and matching beige shoes. For a hint of color, I threw on my orange polka dot headwrap (a.k.a "It's Sunday. I already took too much time figuring out this outfit, so let's take a break and not do the hair. Time to grab the headwrap.")

Of course, no outfit is truly complete without Mr. Merlin. So, he had to get added in. Sunday Styles usually lead to Sunday Snuggles, so his presence is imperative.

I'm not sure where the extra stamina came from to figure out this outfit, but it might have convinced me that I could start adding skirts back into my repertoire. What do you think?

Anyway, must be off to have a Sunday Snuggle with Merl & Husband Charles and then get back to finishing off our holiday shopping (eep)! Hope everyone has a fantastic rest of the weekend full of relaxing activities (I nominate a game of Scrabble), warm beverages, and someone to cuddle up to! xo!

A Note About the Clothes: H&M Sheer White Polka Dot Bow-Collar Shirt - no longer available (here's another option), Club Monaco Wide-Pleated Skirt - no longer available (here's another option), Cynthia Rowley Striped Tights (Black) - I can't seem to find them anywhere (but keep your eyes on this page), Marc Jacob Ribbed Cardigan (Black) - no longer available (here's another option), Ecoté Suede Platform Ankle Boots (Beige) - no longer available (here's another option), Madewell Polka Dot Scarf (as headwrap) - no longer available (here's another option)

OMG, I'm so sorry I couldn't find any of my clothes online! They're not very new, so most of them aren't around anymore!

Image: Created by Nami M. Scott
Photo: Taken by Charles L. Scott

12.07.2012

LA Ladies: Interview #2 (Revisited) - Jessie Kahnweiller (Filmmaker & More!)

Long, long ago (2 months ago) I posted a written interview with Jessie Kahnweiler (you can find it here, but if you want to watch instead of read, sit tight.) Not only is she one of my nearest & dearest BFFs, but also an amazing everything. We're talking writer, director, filmmaker, actor, comedienne, friend, woman, creative spirit...she's gorgeous and wildly talented...and she's the only woman I've ever sent this e-card to:

You can find this e-card here.

Really, I chose that card because I thought we would look killer in those outfits.

I'm pretty sure that sums things up, but just in case it doesn't, what I'm trying to say is that Jessie is one of my biggest girl crushes of all time. Here's us randomly honoring our friendship together:

What says everlasting friendship more than claw hands?

So, of course I wanted to celebrate her with a video interview! You can't really get the essence of her without seeing her in action. Trust me. And, Jessie, if you're reading this...like I said, "You need to just listen to yourself...you have all the answers."

Now, sit back & enjoy!



And here's some more info on Jessie since I'm almost positive you're completely enamored by her at this point and want to Internet stalk her:
  • Check out her website here.
  • Check out her web series, Dude, Where's My Chutzpah? here.
  • Check out her short film, Stupid Questions here.
  • And don't forget to follow her on Twitter here & Instagram here.
Thanks again to Jessie for taking the time to sit down with me. You inspire me more than you know and I'm so lucky to have you in my life. Here's to many more years of chutzpah! xo!

12.03.2012

Quote of the Week: Enlightenment

Quote of the Week: Dec. 3, 2012

Yes, I'm going to get all philosophical on you right now. Yes, I'm totally having one of those moments in life where I'm figuring things out in my own head. So, of course I'm going to turn to Lao-Tzu. It was either him or Winnie the Pooh.

I'm currently in an interesting headspace and this quote is what sums it up. I see a lot of people spending a whole lot of time trying to figure out others. This happens on all kinds of levels…

  • Figuring out what's going on in your client's head to make a project more successful. 
  • Figuring out what goes through the mind of a co-worker to hit deadlines more efficiently.
  • Figuring out how your dog is feeling or what they may have dealt with before you rescued them to make sure they don't lunge at your husband. (I may or may not be dealing with this in real life.)
  • Figuring out why your spouse has their brow furrowed 80% of the time when they're home. (Number one answer: stress.)
  • Figuring out what you can do to help a friend believe in themselves.

The list goes on.

The thing is, you can spend all your time worrying, pondering, assuming, and/or conceptualizing what others are thinking about. What makes up these people and beings and why they do the things they do. Indeed, knowing others will make you wise. You'll be a great contributor to society…or maybe you'll think society is heinous and go live in a cave. It really could go either way.

But here's the thing I've realized this week. I spend a ton of time thinking about this stuff…but I can't forget myself. I can't ignore why I might be feeling insecure one day or irritated on another day (PMS? Maybe…but not all the time.) I can’t forget to try to understand myself and to come to terms with my own feelings. To be honest with myself, I need to face any darkness, loneliness, emptiness, and anxiety. Those guys are sneaky. They grow. They get heavier and will eat you alive if you ignore them.

...

Whoa. I just went to a serious place, eh? Well, if you must know, I’m actually human. So, yes, I feel these things and figured you might too. Maybe this quote will help you face yourself. Maybe you’re already facing yourself. I don’t want to assume anything, but I know what I need to do and this week’s quote is my reminder. I realize this will be an ongoing process…I mean, when will we ultimately know ourselves completely? Hard to say. May not ever happen.

I feel like the more I understand myself, the better I'll be at understanding & helping everyone else too. Let's not forget that little tidbit.

I don’t know about you, but enlightenment sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

Hope everyone has a fantastic week full of adventure, inspiration, and self-discovery. Back to the grind.  The streets of NYC are calling! Happy Monday! xo!

Image: Created by Nami M. Scott
Model in Photo: Jason League

12.02.2012

Sunday Styles no. 9

Hey, guess what? This week's Sunday Style is a special one. Why? Because I have to hop on a plane in a few hours and beeline it across the country to my glorious former home, NYC, for a 36 hour trip. (Yay? Somehow 12 hours of air travel & a whirlwind business trip aren't on the top of my wish list right now.)

So, this week we're focusing on what to wear when you're going from Los Angeles to New York without dying of heat or cold. First things first, let's see the temperature difference, shall we? It's in the 60's here in Los Angeles. New York? By the time I land it'll be in the 40's. To be fair, it could be much worse. The 40's...pretty mild for NYC this time of year, but what you may not realize is that once you make Los Angeles your permanent location of residence, you immediately become a weather wimp.

You don't know what to do when it rains (and you definitely don't have an umbrella handy.) You think it's freeeeezing when it's below 50 degrees. Humidity is about as real as gold lamé leggings that don't make your legs look like fancy sausages. (They make everyone's legs look like sausages.)

So, what's the secret?

I'm, like, so outta here!

Make like an onion and layer up, m'friends. It's cold in airplanes anyway, so I'm always a fan of having a big, comfy coat to ball up as a pillow or use as a blanket. Parka? Check.

For added layering options, take a lightweight (but warm) scarf that can double as a shawl - check. Aside from that, it's a white t-shirt & a chambray shirt with my trusty heart pin on the collar. (Everyone should have their luck charms.)

I'll also wholeheartedly admit that I wear leggings on flights. The last thing I want is any sort of constriction while crammed in a small seat amongst a sea of passengers, staring at a small screen and eating food out of bags, boxes, and plastic wraps. They're also the perfect pant-option for wearing cozy socks and boots. The worst is wearing pants that you have to cram into your shoes. Planes call for maximum comfort, so wear those leggings and own the look.

Speaking of the boots, always wear shoes you can easily take on and off. I like to take my shoes off and curl up into a little ball in my seat like I'm an anxious child. (I'm an anxious adult.) My boots are wide, easy to slip on & off and floppy enough to jam under the seat in front of me. Convenient!

And for a quick trip, I always pack light. Carry-on's are the best. No need to wait for baggage claim, so I'm bringing my favorite canvas & leather bag. It keeps me from over-packing.

Well, it looks like I'm set. Wish me luck and pray for some quality in-flight movies (or amazingly bad reality TV marathons) and decent munchies. Just have some last minute items to pack and I'm off! NYC, here I come! Hope you all have a great Sunday. If you need me, I'll be sky high watching the Shahs of Sunset or Keeping up with the Kardashians. xo!

A Note About the Clothes: Uniqlo Parka - no longer available (but here's a recent coat of theirs), J. Crew Vintage Cotton V-neck Tee (White), J. Crew Factory Two-Pocket Chambray Shirt, American Apparel Cotton Spandex Leggings (Black), Madewell Sunset Horizon Scarf - pale grey no longer available, Boots (Don't know who the maker is! I got them at Urban Outfitters 3 or 4 years ago!), Lawson Fenning Canvas & Leather Bag - no longer available

Image: Created by Nami M. Scott
Photo: Taken by Charles L. Scott

11.30.2012

LA Ladies: Interview #1 (Revisited) - Dawn McCoy (Beauty Blogger & more!)

What would you get if you combined Dolly Parton, Cinderella, Catherine Zeta Jones, a pound and a half of glitter, some ribbons, 3 ground pistachios nuts, 2 cups of sprinkles, a tube of red lipstick, and a large dollop of pink frosting?

Dawn McCoy of BeautyFrosting. Duh. Everyone knows that. (Well, everyone that knows Dawn knows that.)

So, remember back in the beginning of October when I interviewed Dawn? (No? You can check it out here - warning: it's a transcribed interview, so if you don't feel like reading a ton, hold on for a minute.)

Well, I just didn't feel like Dawn's sunny personality was conveyed correctly through the written word (though we did our damnedest and got pretty close), so I figured "why not do a video interview with her to make up for it?"

Well, ya know what? When I "figure" things...then I do them. (Insert a superhero pose here.)

And with that, I was able to pluck my dear friend Dawn from her ridiculously busy schedule to ask her some questions...and not only did I get to pick her brain, but I also got to do it at "The Cupcake Palace"...also known as Dawn's apartment. (Imagine if you lived in a colorful pastry large enough to house a white baby grand and a truckload of vintage dishes...Have that image in your head? Ok. You're ready for The Cupcake Palace.)

You know what else is exciting? It's Dawn's birthday today! (Insert me singing the birthday song very quickly because I always think it's kind of awkward to sing it alone.) Timely post, eh? So, without further ado...To Dawn, may you have a wonderful, magical, fantastical birthday! Thank you so much for taking time out to sit with me, to share your pearls of wisdom, and also feed me cupcakes. (She also made "Gratitude Cocktails"...this woman knows how to take care of her guests!) Love you tons!

Now, sit back, relax and enjoy!


For those of you who are curious to know more about the things Dawn mentioned in the interview, here's some info:

Dawn's Top Fav Body Care Item of the Moment:
B&E Soap & Scrub Co.'s Vanilla Oatmeal Brown Sugar Scrub

Dawn's Top Fav Make-Up Item of the Moment:
Mac Lipstick in Ruby Woo

Dawn's Suggested Facial Oils:
Trader Joe's Vitamin E Oil
Caudalíe Divine Oil
Darphin 8-Flower Nectar
Rodin Olio Lusso Face Oil

You can also find Dawn's Pistachio Thumbprint Cookie recipe here and her Pistachio Cupcake recipe here.

Hope you had as much fun as I did and if you want more of Dawn (who doesn't?) check her out at www.BeautyFrosting.com...

Now, let's all go and find our "little happies," shall we? xo!

11.28.2012

Live, Laugh, Love and Loaf(er)

Do you ever look back on your childhood and remember a certain something...a small comfort that you'll always remember. Have you ever wished you could recreate certain feelings? Maybe it's just me, but among the many memories from my childhood are my clothes.

I was, in fact, a well-dressed child. (That sounds horribly stuck up, doesn't it?...I'm ashamed to say it, but it adds to the story, so stay with me here.) Why? Because my mother didn't buy me what was popular at the time...which was, of course, what I so desperately wanted...and it was the 80's, so what I wanted was, most likely, tragically tacky. (I'm sure acid washing and/or shoulder pads were involved.) Instead, she bought me the classics. Dark denim jeans, chambray, ecru cable knits, navy dresses, nautical stripes, peacoats, quality fabrics that, at the time, I thought were too heavy, too itchy, too rigid. (Man, I was such an ungrateful child!)

I want to point out here that it wasn't quantity, but quality. I didn't have a massive closet full of these clothes as a child. I had a small number of quality items. Some of which were hand-me-downs. This is what happens when you have two older siblings. Nonetheless, the fact that they stood the test of time (my older siblings are 6 and 12 years older than me) should say something about the integrity of this clothing.

In retrospect, my mother shaped who I am today, sartorially speaking. So, where am I going with this?

There was one item that always stuck with me...that always reminded me of those carefree days of my youth. (Not to say I'm an old witch living in a hut in the woods somewhere now...a witch, yes, but living in Los Angeles in a ground-level apartment) Pre-responsibility, pre-meetings, pre-deadlines, pre-stress. Oh, those were the days.

So, what item could I possibly be thinking of? My penny loafers. (With dimes in them, of course...because I guess when I was a kid I thought that was cool or something. Who knows what goes through the mind of an elementary school child...I also dreamt of being a farmer-ninja-museum director...so, I guess "anything & everything" is what goes through the mind of a child.)

They were my first foray into menswear, now that I think about it. A well-structured shoe made of real leather with a rich-colored finish. My mother always got me the dark burgundy brown loafers and I wore them with white socks and slim-fitting jeans. Absolutely magical...like a small, Asian, female, Michael Jackson. (I was a moonwalking enthusiast as a child.) The feel of the leather giving way and softening with use, the patina the shoe would get after months of running around, collecting scuffs. I'm letting out a dreamy sigh as I type this. They're very handsome, if that makes any sense. There's a sense of authority that comes with wearing a handsome shoe. It makes walking seem like an event...or maybe that's just how I saw it as a child.

So, you could imagine how my heart soared when I found these:

Excuse the scuffs & dust...I've already worn them quite a bit since getting them two weeks ago.

The shoe of my youth, now sized to fit my adult life! I could barely contain my joy and enthusiasm.

As time goes by, I have this uncanny feeling that I'm reverting back to the styling of my younger days. The styling of my mother...maybe it has something to do with finally "getting it." The idea of going classic instead of staying on trend (which, let's face it, can be both tiring and wreak intense havoc on the wallet), is becoming a reality to me. What it really means is that I guess I'm going to end up dressing like a school kid again...or was I dressing like an adult when I was a child? This is getting confusing.

Back to the loafers!

Yes, G.H. Bass, you've gone and done it. You've gone and given me the shoe I've been wanting all of my adult life without me even knowing it until I laid eyes on them. Bestill my heart, I love the Weejuns Collection Women's Wayfarer Loafer! I don't know how to thank you!

Strolling down the street has become something a little more special since these guys came into my life. And when no one's looking, I find myself gazing down lovingly at them and admiring the sheen, the shape, the wonderment of it all...just like I did when I was a smaller, less cynical version of myself. I feel like a kid again...though I think I'll hold off on the dimes this round.

One piece of advice: I ordered a 7.5M (that's my usual size), but they ended up being a bit big. Upon further digging and communication with them, it seems that that's the standard. So, if you're going to order these at any point, try for a half size smaller.

11.26.2012

Quote of the Week: Beauty

Quote of the Week: November 26, 2012

Ok, people, this one's important. I mean, all these quotes are important, but this one is one I often forget.

I recall watching Bill Cunningham New York and among the hundreds of moments in the documentary that I was moved by (maybe even thousands, really), I recall these words. He finishes his acceptance speech of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Minister of Culture with this line and I sat there with tears in my eyes...alone, with Mr. Merlin, on my couch at 5pm on a Tuesday evening. (I may or may not have been emotionally eating Ritz Crackers.)

Mr. Cunningham is one of my heros. A man who does what he loves. He doesn't work so much as live his "job." And it's about finding beauty.

Of course, in his case, it's often fashion-based, which he does artfully, with love, passion, and enthusiasm. I realize not everyone is fashion-inclined, but that doesn't mean that this quote lacks weight. Beauty isn't just a surface characteristic. (I sufficiently ranted & raved about this concept in What Did You Call Me?!)

There is so much more to beauty...and it's often something that you have to seek to find. The beauty that you discover may be the most rewarding...the most moving...the most inspirational. The point is, you need to look for it. Sure, there's beauty all around us...but there's even more beauty if you go after it.

There is beauty in my husbands laughter...especially when he's doubled over in hysterics.
There is beauty in my mother's insistence that she needs to mend the loose buttons on my coat...even now.
There is beauty in the sliver of blue sky I wake up to almost every weekend morning, peeking out from behind my blinds.
There is beauty in the cookie my friend surprises me with to make me feel better.
There is beauty in the phone call my father makes when he's worried because he hasn't received any emails from me lately.
Beauty in singing in the car on the way to work.
Beauty in the way my dog's whiskers tickle me when he nuzzles up close.

Keep your eyes open...because sometimes it fades as quickly as it comes...but it's there.

Hope you all had a fantastic holiday weekend full of beauty and have a wonderful week full of inspiration. Happy Monday! xo!

Image: Created by Nami M. Scott

11.25.2012

Sunday Styles no. 8

Remember that thing I was saying about not taking my clothing too seriously all the time? Well, one way to do it is with color like last weekend, but another way to do it is with graphics. Some of you may recall my sheep sweater from Sunday Styles no. 2 which I'm still completely obsessed with. Who knew I had such a kinship with sheep?

Well, guess what? There's another animal I feel a kinship to...which is probably much more obvious...what with Mr. Merlin and all. Yes, I'm talking about dogs. Oh, how I love a canine companion...and what better way to show my love than with this look!

I Double Dog Dare You...to rock this look! (Not really...I just enjoyed that pun.)

The only thing I'm really sad about is the fact that I'm not skilled enough to make a sweater that has Merlin on it. However, I love me a French Bulldog, so why not pay homage to them? Merlin isn't pleased, by the way...and from the looks of it, the French Bulldog on my sweater isn't all that pleased either...but I digress. Hey, I'm happy about it, so that's all that matters right? Since I'm the one wearing the damn outfit.

Can't you tell by my posture just how enthused I am about this outfit?

Oh, and the glasses. So, you may not know this about me (but now you will), I'm blind. Ok, ok, being dramatic again. Not blind, but highly visually impaired. Without contacts or glasses, things get blurry once they're over a foot away from my face. It's a little horrifying. Don't think I haven't run the Cast Away (starring Tom Hanks) scenario in my head a million times. I know if I was stranded on a desert island and didn't have my glasses on me, I'd be screwed. I also know that if the apocalypse ever happens, the first thing I'm doing is raiding a LensCrafters for every contact in the place that has my prescription and ever bottle of saline I can carry. (Shopping carts would probably get involved.)

I'm totally getting off the subject here.

The glasses. They're mens glasses...I prefer mens glasses to women's glasses. I think it has something to do with the size of my head.

So, yes, today's outfit is a fun one. French Bulldog, bright pant, glasses for a change, and my trusty loafers. A little bit of layering, but not too much for this weirdly warm LA weather and thin enough to throw a coat over in the evening.

It's actually the perfect outfit to go run around and do errands in. Some post-Turkey Day sale rummaging, anyone? We tried to go to the mall yesterday and we didn't get passed our late lunch. We went straight back to the car and drove home. If you had been there, you would've done the same. One word: Madness.

Well, a busy Sunday awaits me, so I gotta run, but hope you all get a chance to have some fun with your outfits today too. Have a great rest of the weekend! I'm off to go fight the good fight on the battlefield of holiday shopping. Wish me luck! If you don't hear from me, tell my husband I love him.

A Note About the Clothes: Warby Parker Mens Larkin Frames (Oakwood Brown), J. Crew Factory Camp Shirt in End-On-End (Classic Navy), J. Crew French Bulldog Sweater - no longer available, Gap 1969 Ankle Zip Legging Jeans (Tomato), G.H. Bass Weejuns Collection Wayfarer Loafers (Black), In God We Trust Sweet Nothing Necklace (18" - Brass), Only Hearts Heart Safety Pin (Red) - you may have to go to the actual store to get these. I don't see them on the site.

Image: Created by Nami M. Scott
Photo: Taken by Charles L. Scott

11.22.2012

Good Gravy, So Much Gratitude!

It's holiday time again...which is...odd. I could've sworn that I was just celebrating Thanksgiving a month ago...but, alas, it was almost a year ago. (I made that bold to really emphasize the fact that it was a year ago...A YEAR AGO - caps & bold means major emphasis.) Time flies when you're having fun...or, in this case, are busy. So many things to do, so few hours in the day. Sometimes I wish I could just not sleep, but then I become a crazy person...and that's even more unproductive. ("Crazy Nami" cleans the apartment incessantly and watches marathons of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, all wily-eyed and anxious...in short, she doesn't get much work done...and she's not all that fun to talk to.)

Anyway, what I wanted to talk to about in this particular post was something super obvious: Being Thankful. (I know. Shocker.)

Crazy Hand Turkeys in full effect!

Yes, there's the tradition of making lots of food and gorging oneself on all sorts of delectable, high-carb delights around this time of year. Hours of prepping, basting, baking, frying, mashing, glazing, whipping, drizzling, and slicing...if you're fancy, there may be a julienne or two in there somewhere. Households bustle with the sounds of people getting along with drink and conversation. Parties and family get-togethers, the sounds of laughter echoing into the night...it's all very lovely.

So, here's the thing. I've only missed Thanksgiving once with my family and that was, coincidentally, to spend it with my now-Husband Charles 3 years ago. We played videogames all day and took turns tending to our Cornish hens. (If you ever wondered, yes, a turkey for two people is too much turkey.) The dinner didn't come out so great, but we gave it a go.

The main problem, and I didn't really voice it at the time, was that I really missed my family. I missed them somethin' fierce. I'm fairly certain that that dinner tasted like familial sadness (which tastes surprisingly like Cornish hens.)  I recall being passed around to each family member on the phone...everyone sending their love and well-wishes. Hearing the children running around and laughing in the background...the general cheer. It just wasn't the same without them.

Not to mention my sister now makes her annual fried turkey. It's become quite the tradition. The best Thanksgiving dinners start with a fried turkey. Seriously, people. Go get yourself a deep fryer and do it. No sitting by the oven, no constant basting and tending...just drop that sucker in for 45 minutes and your'e good to go. Magic. There won't be any leftovers, I assure you.

Anyway, I'm getting off course...Yes, I missed my family.

And now, I'm back in the same position. 

As it turns out, flying back and forth from the coasts can be a little hard on the wallet. What, you didn't hear about Dante's 8th circle? It's LAX the day before Thanksgiving. So, yes, Husband Charles and I are doing our best to be responsible adults. Instead of flying back for Turkey Day and Christmas, we've just decided to stick with Christmas. Then we can at least show up with gifts and no resentment. (Insert a hard wink here...and then a nudge...and then me yelling, "hey, family, come visit me in Los Angeles!")

So, in light of the fact that I won't be making it over there this year, I now cordially invite you to listen in on my list of thanks. Also known as Nami's Thanksgiving Laser Show List Reading 2012. (You'll have to use your imagination with the lasers...and if you're imagination is awesome, feel free to add in the band of your choice. Maybe some light rock or easy listening so as to not detract from the list itself.)

11.19.2012

Quote of the Week: Skillful Sailor

Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have caught this saying on a matchbox I just happened upon last Tuesday morning at my local coffee haunt. Well, as it turns out, it has, like many a nautical saying, made a special place in my heart. So special, in fact, that I ended up creating a painting in its honor this past weekend. So, here is this week's quote. I wish I knew who had said it, but, alas, it's unknown, so we'll just call it an English proverb.

Quote of the Week: November 19, 2012

I don't consider myself a hardened captain by any means. I believe I recently told someone that my rank was the equivalent of "running with scissors on the sea." Life has not been all storms and 50 foot swells. I know I've been blessed with health, good family, good friends, a loving husband, a loyal pup, and solid work...but this doesn't mean that life is always peachy keen.

I will have bad days. We all will.

I will have my creative blocks, my arguments, my self-doubt, my artistic questioning...I will have to deal with loss, with hardship, with trauma. It's what life brings with it and most of it can't be helped...but what can be helped is what we do with those experiences. What we learn from them. How we navigate through them.

When you think you're dealing with the urban (or suburban - I'm not sure where you all live) equivalent of falling overboard during a storm in the Arctic, know that after you've survived the whole ordeal, you will have become stronger for it. I don't doubt that there will be those times when you don't learn anything...when you keep banging your head against a wall in hopes that something will change...and for those who do that...well, you can only fall into the Arctic so many times before you run out of luck and end up being discovered 500 years later on some National Geographic special about ice drilling.

I've been in an interesting place recently...with a full-time job and blogging and painting and writing and illustrating. I've had plenty of mornings where I'm questioning what I'm doing or where I'm headed or if what I'm doing is sending me in the right direction. It's a process...but this sailor is doing her best to enjoy the journey, the days when the sea is smooth...to follow her north star...and learn from all the hardship she encounters, the rough winds and massive swells...in hopes that one day she'll come out another rank higher and a little bit wiser.

If you're currently battling some rough waves, stay strong. Keep moving forward and learn from what your'e experiencing. You'll come out a better seaman for it.

If you're on a glassy, serene journey right now, count your lucky stars and enjoy the crap out of it.

Hope you all have a wonderful week.

I gotta get back to scrubbin' the decks! xo!

Painting: by Nami M. Scott

11.18.2012

Sunday Styles No. 7

This weather...ok, more than that, these shorter days! Short days combined with PMS are like the kiss of death for me. It doesn't help that Los Angeles has been uncharacteristically grey. Basically, all I really want to do is stay in bed, watch marathons of horrendously brain-numbing reality television, eat sleeve upon golden, delicious, processed, salty sleeve of Ritz crackers, and feel bad about my lack of productivity...but be too exhausted or downtrodden to do anything about it, so oppressed by my own self-loathing I am. (Whoa. Got a little dark there, didn't it?) Ok, maybe I don't get that dramatic. I'll leave that to angsty teenagers...though the part about the Ritz crackers may or may not be true.

But, seriously, I know I can't do that. There's a life that needs to be lived. Work that needs to get done. I can't just sit around all day, so I need all the help I can get.

That's when you gotta bring out the big guns, m'friends. You gotta bring out bright colors to keep yourself from falling, spiraling ever downward into an aesthetic void of darkness. If you haven't noticed, my visual surroundings effect me quite a bit. I really don't know how I survived in NYC for so long...maybe I was just always a little bit gloomy there. I'm almost certain I get a serious case of SAD (seasonal affective disorder.) In short, I like sunlight a lot.

Colors so bright, Merlin can barely see!

Despite my need for brightness, color is still a little foreign to me. I've finally come to embrace it, but had someone asked me a year or two ago if I would ever wear this color, I would have probably scoffed or made a "girl, please" hand gesture as I've been known to do in times of absolute disbelief. Back east, I was strictly a navy, grey, and black kinda gal with the occasional foray into a color (not a neon color) in small doses. Never-ever-ever-ever would I have thought "neon kiwi" would savagely blaze a trail into my little closet...but here it is.

...and it's here to stay.

What I'm saying is: bring some bright light into your wardrobe. You can mimic the sun without setting yourself on fire! (Because that's both painful and completely impractical - good luck getting out the door alive.) It can sure help elevate your mood!

I'm done constantly being serious when it comes to my clothing. I will always appreciate good tailoring and soft knits, but they don't always have to be a muted color...or no color. They don't always have to be solid. There's a whole world of aesthetic play out there. It's an easy way to make life more visually interesting...and, being a visual person, it intrigues me, it fuels me, it makes my creative soul sing. So, yes, I'm into looking like a highlighter threw up on me. It's really easy for people to find me in a crowd too! No worries of being hit in the middle of the night crossing the street!

Merlin opens his eyes to the possibility of color.

This isn't just fashion, people. It's practical. Functional.

So, next time you reach for your black sweater and black pants with your black shoes and your black coat, take a minute to consider your bright pink scarf or your cobalt blue hat. You haven't taken the tags off those chartreuse socks yet. Or, perhaps that lemon yellow bag wants to come out and have an adventure with you. 

Bright can feel oh-so right! (And help you avoid pedestrian accidents during these darker days.) So, it's time to lighten up, lovelies!

A Note About the Clothes: J. Crew Cashmere Tippi Sweater (Neon Kiwi), In God We Trust High-Waisted Cropped Pants (Navy) - no longer available, G.H. Bass Weejuns Collection Wayfarer Loafers (Black), Globe-Trotter Centenary Suitcase - this color no longer available

Image: Created by Nami M. Scott
Photo: Taken by Charles L. Scott

11.16.2012

How To: Chic Chevron Nails

This one comes as a special request! Here's a quick tutorial on my absolute favorite nail look right now. I've been obsessed with it for the past 3 or 4 months and don't see myself wavering from it any time soon. (Though the holidays might call for a classic red nail.)

I'm calling this the "Chic Chevron" manicure. Let's also make it clear that I believe this is a manicure-only look because 1) it would require an exorbitant amount of dexterity and flexibility to try to create this on your toenails and 2) from far away, it would probably look like you have razor sharp talons instead of regular toes. So, let's stick with the hands, shall we?

So, what does it look like?

What a scary hand!...but what a fun manicure! (Yep, that hand is SO not scary.)

It's one of those manicures that goes with everything, gives you a bit more aesthetic flare than a regular nude manicure, but doesn't go so far as to put you in a situation where you have small decorations hanging off of your hands or distracting miniature Da Vinci murals on each nail.

For colors, I like to work with OPI's Step Right Up & Essie's Licorice. Additionally, Seche Clear Basecoat & Seche Vite Top Coat are my saviors. They have been my absolute fav base & top coats since forever. You can pick those up at CVS! Nonetheless, feel free to use whatever combination of colors works for you. These are just my personal choices.

Ok. Ready? Here we go! (I've given you two options - one for people who are a bit more seasoned & have the hands of a brain surgeon AND one for people who need a little guidance & help.)

Don't ever expect me to draw an entire hand...that's like asking me to paint the Mona Lisa.

Note: If you're going with the "hard route", try to get yourself a nail art brush. That way the nail polish won't immediately dry up and make the brush into a rock solid stick. (This happened to me when I tried to use an art brush once. It basically turned into a miniature javelin.)

Now, that wasn't too bad, was it? It takes some practice, this is true, but the more you try it, the better you'll get! And, for one reason or another, this manicure lasts me at least two weeks. I may clean up the tips with the black polish and give it another layer of top coat after a week or so to refresh, but the results are stellar!

Let me know if you try it out and feel free to share your results with me! And I'd love to hear what your go-to color or nail art is right now! I mean, I'm going to have to try something new again eventually!