Pages

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!

11.14.2012

Decorati Fever: Linear Luxury

Did you get a chance to read my older write-up about my post-wedding, interior decorating madness? (If not, you can check it out here: Wedding Post-Partum) Why am I bringing it up? Well, ya see, I was totally under the impression that I went into a decorating frenzy because I had to fill the hours I had gotten used to spending for wedding planning with something else. Naturally, I turned to interior decorating...naturally. (It seemed much more practical than building dioramas.)

...And just when I thought everything was settled and I was fine - even pleased - with my apartment aesthetic, something happened. Some sort of minuscule aberration in my decorating soul said, "wait. No. NO. THIS IS ALL WRONG!" (Maybe not as minuscule as I had originally thought...or minuscule with a really loud voice.)

It's at this point that I had a scary revelation: my wedding post-partum is actually a neurotic frenzy that can surface at any time. It was around this time last year that I went all Martha Stewart on everyone...and it's happening again. Run and hide from Nami! She's liable to drag you to go shopping and restyle your entire closet. She might repaint your living room and start suggesting random objet d'art to adorn your abode with! Lock her up if she mentions an Eames House Bird! (I secretly want one of them very badly.)

So, I guess I can't call it "Wedding Post-Partum" anymore...and that's why I've decided to coin this madness "Decorati Fever." The question is: how often will I suffer from Decorati Fever? Can I get it at any time? I'm scared! (Good gravy, someone hold me!)

But I can't run and hide from myself...and it would be awkward to even try. So with blind faith, I decided to accept this frightening side of myself and over the course of two weekends, I started messing around with the walls of our living room/dining room area. Husband Charles, always the supportive counterpart who knows when to tread lightly, stayed out of my way and supported me from afar on the couch while I ran around, measuring, taping, tarping and painting.

At first, I changed my walls from a dark grey/green (I think the color was called "Seal"...like the animal, not the musician) to a bright kelly green. Ballsy? Well, it wasn't chartreuse - though I'm considering that in another room- but still a big leap. My inspiration? I was trying to capture the color of the hedges & foliage around Le Parker Meridien in Palm Springs.

The Results

Turns out it was a pretty lofty goal. The green was nice, but something about it didn't feel right. It clearly wasn't evocative of lush greenery and vast croquet fields. Again, Decorati Fever set in, full force. "ALL WRONG!!!" echoed relentlessly in my head.

11.12.2012

Quote of the Week: Fear

Quote of the Week: November 12, 2012

Happy Monday, all!

This one goes out to my older brother, Rick (though I lovingly all him Taka - it's a Japanese thing.) He was the first person that I can remember really showing me what fun was and how to use my imagination. (He also taught me, as a child, how to play football, hit a ball out of the yard, and shoot a basket...and we wonder why I have a penchant for video games and jeans over dresses.) Hm. Maybe he wanted a little brother. He also drew a unibrow on my favorite Barbie with a permanent marker...So, yeah. Brothers.

But I digress...

He inspired me to create (he's a great illustrator and graphic designer with a wild imagination), to be curious, to pull things apart and put them back together again. He gave me a safe haven in which to dream a little dream.

Of course, things happen. We grow up, have failures, forget dreams, get jobs, move across the country. We don't get to have those long sessions in diners waxing the philosophic and daydreaming about our T-shirt line or children's television program. For a while there, I thought we had lost touch, but the fates have recently put us back in more contact again. (Staying in touch over 3000 miles can be difficult when both parties work long hours and have significant others.)

He emailed me last week to proposed a particular opportunity to me and my first reaction was "oh, I'm not where I want to be and don't think I'm good enough to take the opportunity right now. Maybe once I work on my skills."

He quickly told me that I was good enough...he encouraged me with words of kindness and support and it reminded me that a lot of the things I never did in life were all due to self-sabotage. It was always me thinking I wasn't good enough. The anxiety of thinking "I can't do this until I'm in a better place."

So many lost opportunities...and all because of fear.

Well, thanks to my brother, I'm trying to have a better outlook on my opportunities. I'm going to ignore my fear and anxiety for a while and see where life takes me. So, to my brother, thank you for the support and having faith in me. It couldn't have come at a better time.

And to everyone out there who says "maybe next time" out of fear and anxiety, stop it. Take the opportunity. Don't risk saying "what if" later. You're so much more fantastic than you think you are! Now, go have a great week! xo!

Image: Created by Nami M. Scott

11.11.2012

Sunday Styles no. 6

So, Los Angeles decided to get really cold all of the sudden (cold being relative - excuse the mild whininess, east coasters, I know you guys got snow) and it very quickly switched from cardigan & poncho weather to straight-up coat weather...which I am not against in the least. Coats just give us one more accessory to add to our look. I'm a bit of a coataholic, actually...I love 'em all. Trench, biker, anorak, big, small, structured, roomy, leather, gabardine, wool, so on, so forth.

In other words, I leapt (or maybe I bounded - hard to say, it was early) into my closet almost immediately to grab one of my favorite coats...ever!

Cute animals make fantastic accessories & create additional warmth on cold days!
Ah, this coat...it's got old world military charm, a fun & flattering cut, it's navy (um, hello, Nami loves navy) and it's the perfect thing to throw over a dress to give it a little more structure. As you can see, I went the way of the nautical otherwise (you know how much I love stripes) and am rocking my trusty over-the-knee socks to keep the gams warm.

I'm also continuing my quest to grow my hair out...so, hair twists and about a pound of bobby pins have been keeping my hair up and out of my face. For a kick of color, I added a dash of Nars lipstick in Carthage. Gotta keep things punchy! The shorter days are bringing me down, so I try to fight off the sad with a bright lip.

Quite frankly, I had assumed the Sun & I had a closer relationship than this. I thought he was ready for a long-term thing, but it turns out he's just an absentee heavenly body. Figures. Lucky for me, I have Mr. Merlin and though a fiery-ball-of-gas-that-gives-me-vitamin D he is not, he's a hell of a snuggler and helps warm me up in the chilly evenings. In short, my dog is my favorite accessory and though he may not light up my life literally, he sure does figuratively.

Note: Husband Charles is less of an accessory and more of a...husband. I'm not one to get too gushy about people, so I'll just leave it at this: I married the guy! That means something, right? My significant-other-mushiness is left to my late night now-I-will-turn-into-a-ball-in-your-lap-so-you-can-play-with-my-hair sessions with him on the couch. Yes, I transform into a cat with half the grace and double the annoyance factor - "play with my hair...play with my hair...hey, hey...*poke* play with my hair." Needless to say, my hair gets lots of action...where was I going with this?

Anyway, I have to stop rambling! There's daylight to be savored and I don't want to waste a second of it! So, a big, wintery, coat-adoring hug to you on this crisp Sunday. Hope you get some well-deserved relaxation! xo!

A Note About the Look: American Apparel Knit Stripe Sweater Crew Neck Dress (Creme & Navy), American Apparel Over-the-Knee Socks, Steve Madden Platform Peepe Toes - no longer available, Zara Military Coat - no longer available, Nars Matte Lipstick (Carthage), Mr. Merlin - not available

Image: Created by Nami M. Scott
Photo: Taken by Charles L. Scott
Motivational Support: Provided by Mr. Merlin

11.09.2012

On Children: An Alternative

Do you ever get that feeling? That blustering loneliness in your soul? Do you have thoughts like "maybe I'd like some company...that's adorable and overly dependent and loves me despite my flaws"(and is not a clingy significant other - those are the worst) or "weren't cave people having children in their teens?" Let's face it. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, maternal & paternal instincts bubble up in us, even when we're trying to fight them off like one might run from a swarm of bees or a deadly fire...but, probably, with less screaming.

I mean, I suppose it's hormones.

(I apologize in advance for those who aren't even considering marriage at this point, let alone babies. You may still be dating or trying to find "the one"...or, perhaps, you're just out to have a good time. If that's the case, enjoy! Life's too short, so if you're out and about, embrace it and date with reckless abandon - i said date...which doesn't automatically mean bed...listen to me, sounding like a mom. Psh.)

So, yes, I've found a soft spot recently for little girls wearing nautical dresses and little boys dressed up like Max from Where the Wild Things Are. (Yes, I'm referring to Axel's halloween costume!) All this time I was pretty sure my biological clock was either digital (so silent!) or broken...but, lo and behold, children (which, for a while - I'll admit - irritated me if they weren't anything less than angelic) suddenly stirred something in my icy, lump-of-coal heart.

I hear it all the time. "Oh, you're never really ready to have a child. It just happens."

...but here's the thing...I know I'm not ready for a child. Husband Charles (I think I'll officially start referring to him as that)...Husband Charles has also made it clear that he's not ready for children. You're talking to a newly married couple who enjoys video games, takeout food, each others' company (both in silence & with tons of chatter) and works more hours than most humans should ever have to. Sometimes, we'll binge on popcorn & ritz crackers and sit on the couch for unhealthy lengths of time.

In short, we're adult children in an uncomfortable number of ways.

And that's why I'm here to advertise the most amazing thing to save you from what you're not ready for. The question is: What do I do if I'm not ready for kids?

11.07.2012

LA Ladies: Interview #3 - Sophie Esteban (Owner of Broome St. General Store)

Here we are again, for another installment of my LAdies Interview series, but there's something new and exciting I have to report! Instead of making you read through pages of text (and instead of making myself transcribe many minutes of audio), I've decided to move into the amazing medium of digital film. Say it with me..."OooOoOOoh." (Ok, now, with more feeling..."oOOoOooOoh.")

Yep, that's right. Gone are the days of you having to read my looooong interviews. Say hello to you pressing the play button, sitting back and enjoying. Good stuff, right? You'll have to let me know if you like it! (And you'll also have to excuse my editing skills. I'm still learning, so gimme a break!)

Ok, now that I've gotten that out of the way, I want to tell you about today's LA Lady. We met over a year ago when I stumbled upon her amazing Silverlake shop, Broome Street General Store. If you live in Los Angeles and want to stalk me, you'll find me here most mornings, sipping a delicious latte (my favorite in the entire area - and I'm whiny & bitchy about coffee, so that means a lot.) On weekends, in addition to sipping my delicious latte, you will find me drowning in all of the wares I want to buy. (Everything from cookware to organic beauty offerings to locally baked goods...and even things you never knew you needed until now like handmade bird calls.) Also, keep your eyes open for "Fried Chicken Friday"...which happen every...Friday. Yes, it's not a misnomer.

Sophie Esteban, folks, is an ex-New Yorker (hence the homage to "Broome St." in the shop name) with killer sartorial instincts, shrewd decorating sense, a knack for nautical, a fellow francophile, and general purveyor of all things delightful. Not only is she all of those things, but also a shop owner with her partner, Peter, & mother to Axel, possibly the world's cutest child. Now it's time to pick her brain and figure out how she does it all. Ready? Here we go!



So, there ya have it. Were you impressed? I was!

Here's a quick list of her top 5 picks from the store...
If ever you're in LA, be sure to stop in to Broome St. at some point to say hi to Sophie and get yourself a hot drink for the road (or for the outside patio.) Maybe you'll get a chance to meet Axel or Peter and the whole Broome St. crew! And maybe we'll bump into each other too!

A very warm & Asian-sistery thanks to Sophie for taking the time to chat with me! I had a blast and learned a ton! xo!

11.05.2012

Quote of the Week: Imagination

Quote of the Week: November 5, 2012

I've been indulging in little joys recently, which is probably why I'm feeling such a connection to this particular quote this week. I think we all tend to ignore our our simple, creative wants most of the time. You wake up one day and realize, "oh, I have bills to pay and a job to go to and sometimes I get to see my friends."

...but we forget to play. I mean, really do things that we enjoy...and that doesn't mean you have to spend lots of money or take up lots of time. Find a little joy this week to call your own and lose yourself in it for a little while. We're all so inundated with our limitations, we need to find that part of us that can daydream and let go.

Why don't you bake cupcakes like you used to with your mom. Listen to your favorite music and draw something (even if you don't think you're very good at drawing.) Collage. Dance. Sing really loud. Buy yourself some flowers or a plant that's easy to take care of (money plants are low maintenance...I have three of them.) Paint a wall of your apartment a bright color (guilty as charged.) Let your imagination soar...even if it's in secret.

I promise, I won't tell.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week! xo!

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

11.04.2012

Sunday Styles no. 5

Happy Daylight Savings, everyone! Hope you all enjoyed that extra hour of sleep this morning. (Or, in my case, waking up at 6:30am because the minute I see daylight I feel the need to get out of bed.)

Well, I'm back in Los Angeles after last week's little mini vacay and I'm happy to report that autumn is still happening here! (Though, tragically, word on the street is that the heat is coming back this upcoming week.) Of course, the transitional seasons are always a little tricky, fashionably speaking. The key, as we all know, is layering. Luckily, layering in LA isn't like layering in NYC, where you have to cocoon yourself to stay safe from the freezing temps and then unravel like an onion every time you walk into a shop or office space that's heavily heated...which is every shop or office space.

The mornings are chilly here and the afternoons are warm, so what better way to enjoy the weather this Sunday morning than with the perfect layering accessory!

With my favorite accessories: Mr. Merlin (my pup) & a latte from Broome St. General Store

Yep. I'm wearing a poncho. To be honest, for the longest time, I didn't "get" the poncho. I was all, "well, why not just wear a cardigan? Won't the wind get up under there? Isn't it hard to move in? Won't I look like a walking umbrella?" (That Nami, always such a cynic.)

That was my stream of consciousness until I met this particular poncho in Paris on a chilly afternoon in September. The weather was perfect, but I needed a little something more to cuddle up with (my husband overheats, so cuddling doesn't last very long...not to mention cuddling while walking is both inconvenient & physically awkward.) The truth is, I think I have bad circulation. I'm always so cold!

I walked into a few shops and then happened upon this soft, knit, lovely little thing with a mock turtleneck (oh, how I love a mock turtleneck) and in navy! (I'm sure you already know how much I love navy...and if you don't, go read Mama Matsuo Musing #3: "Ship" Shape) It was love at first sight! I bought it immediately and was totally "that person." The one who buys something, rips the tags off and puts it on within minutes of exiting the store. One word: magic...ok, two words: magic layering.

Needless to say, this poncho has been my go-to ever since on days where the mornings are a tad chilly, but I still feel the need to expose my wrists and feel a breeze. Now, I know that not everyone likes a poncho, so it's ok if you disagree. However, if you've never tried one, I suggest you do...and if you prefer a non-poncho life, that's fine. It's all about rolling with the ponchos...er...punches. I just hope everyone has a lovely little something...a cuddly, warm, and comforting something that they can wrap themselves up with and luxuriate in. It's makes all the difference on these kinds of days.

Here's to you having a wonderful, restful, and relaxing Sunday and to all of those back east, suffering the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy (including my family - they're still without power), my thoughts are with you. Sending you lots of love...and virtual ponchos! xo!

A note about the clothes: H&M Knitted Poncho (navy) - no longer available, (underneath) J. Crew Scoopneck Painter's T-shirt (in black), (underneath) American Apparel Stretch Twill High-Waist Side Zipper Shorts (in black), Uniqlo Heattech Tights (in black), J. Crew Classic Leather Ballet Flat (in black)

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

11.02.2012

What Did You Call Me?!

Alright, it's time to get into some thought-provoking stuff. If you thought I would just talk about my fav beauty buys and what I'm wearing, you were sorely mistaken, but fear not! I'd like to think that the things I ponder are totally relevant to everyone. Women (most notably), men, children...sometimes animals, depending on the subject.

So, today's thoughts come after I was called "cute" for the bajillionth time.

Do you know Colette? If not, you should. Check her out!

Ok, now, wait. I don't want you to think I'm ungrateful. Being called "cute" sure beats being called "dense" or "stuffy" or, God forbid, "boring," but hear me out. I'm a 31 year old woman. I've had it up to here (I'm making a hand-above-my-head gesture) with being called "cute!"
  • Sleeping puppies in various positions are cute.
  • Kittens popping their heads out of containers like oversized latte cups and baskets is cute.
  • Babies in sunhats are cute.
  • Cupcakes are cute...especially when pastel colors are involved...and sprinkles take them over-the-top.
  • Very small cacti are cute.
I don't like to be called cute. I was told that the logic behind it was that I was small. What my dear friend, Dawn, would like to call a "spinner." (If you want more details on that, you'll have to ask her. All I can say was that the definition was a little risqué.)