Pages

12.14.2014

Sunday Styles no. 72


Can we just take a minute to talk about H&M's sister brand, COS? Say hello to my newest clothing stop. Two things: They opened up their first US store in LA, so they already started off on the right foot. Secondly? They're clothing is gorgeously simple and perfectly tailored for us minimalists.

12.11.2014

An Enthusiastic "Essentials" Holiday Gift Guide


If you're anything like me, you pride yourself on getting people things they would never think of getting themselves. The kind of gifts they wish they had thought of sooner. I'm not one for over-the-top presents, but rather things that I know people will use (or I feel they should use...but I swear I don't try to push anything on anyone!)

Last holiday season, I created gift guides by category:
Two holiday seasons ago, I created my first ever gift guide that had all of the above categories included (warning: it's behemoth.)

This season? I'm giving you my absolute gift essentials based on (drum roll) things I own, bought, or have been given that I literally feel like I can't live without. This might be my most useful gift guide yet...

12.07.2014

Sunday Styles no. 71


In my quest to continually simplify my wardrobe in hopes that one day I can just blindly grab a top, a bottom, a jacket, a pair of shoes, and a bag and have them all magically match, I've become less and less prone to wearing any color. It's not that I don't enjoy color. I have plenty of it in my home...but wearing it. I just find it tough these days. Beige and indigo/navy seem to be the two exceptions when I peek into my closet...mostly because they're two of the easiest colors to combine with neutrals...also, I think beige is technically considered a neutral, right?

Anyway, today I'm trying to introduce yet another color (as muted as it is) into the mix.

12.06.2014

The Frontiers of Adulthood: Joint Bank Accounts for the Fiercely Independent


If you're anything like me, you grew up being taught that you are an independent person who needs to be equipped to fend for themselves and support themselves in all aspect - physically, emotionally, and financially - because you never know what may happen. (Apocalypse!)

I think the bottom line was and still might be...

Do not rely on anyone.

12.02.2014

I'm Enthusiastic About: Sunglasses as Glasses


Wow, is it just me or is it impossible to find a good looking pair of glasses these days...actually, let me rephrase that. Doesn't it feel impossible to find a good pair of glasses when you have a particularly wide face? (I'm raising my hand here. Just call me Mrs. Wide Mug.)

I have been on a never-ending quest to find a big pair of glasses. The kind eccentric old ladies wear...except I want to wear them now. I don't want to wait till I'm old. So, of course, I searched far and wide for a pair of frames that were suitably massive and also wide enough to not make my face look huge. (It's all relative. The narrower the frame, the wider my face looks. UGH.)

I had been fairly successful with a pair of Warby Parkers, but they were more "sophisticated hipster" and less "fashionable, old lady." That and the hinges were constantly pulling my hair out...and they were 4 years old. I needed something new.

11.30.2014

Sunday Styles no. 70


Hooray for gloomy days! Finally! FINALLY! A cool, cozy, gloomy day...the kind of day that says, "if you want to do nothing today...if you want to sit on the couch and binge watch old movies and shovel leftovers in your face until the day is done...that's cool, man. Go for it."

Maybe it's because I used to live on the east coast, but whenever it's sunny, I feel a duty to go out and enjoy the weather. Loafing around is out of the question...sun and vitamin D is something that cannot be wasted! I'm not sure where that came from, but that's how I've been programmed...and considering Los Angeles has sunny days almost every single day, it has a tendency of keeping me out of the house and busy.

11.27.2014

Thanks


I could spend this entire post bathing in the pool of endless gratitude I have for my family, friends, husband and dog (obviously, my dog, people. Obviously.) I could totally do that...but then I would just be repeating the same old thing I do every year.

No one should need a holiday to remind them of the amazing people in their life. Let's realize this amazingness each and every day and chalk Thanksgiving up to a time where we can combine celebrating these people with terrifying amounts of food ingestion and some heavy duty traveling so we can spend time together.

So, all I want to say is this. Be thankful every day for everything you have and every moment you're alive. Don't wait till tomorrow to say "thank you" because life is fragile and time is quick and we never know when our last chance to show gratitude will be.

Have a fanastic Thanksgiving!

11.25.2014

I'm Enthusiastic About: Vintage Coach


I have this aesthetic preference that makes shopping a little difficult when it comes to accessories. This especially rings true when it comes to bags. Maybe you're in my camp and, if so, you can sympathize. I'm talking about a complete lack of logos and/or branding.

I like my clothes and my accessories to be anonymous aside from an occasional characteristic that is inexorably linked to a particular designer or brand...but might not be known to a casual passerby. I'm still getting over the time I was stopped at the supermarket by a man in a Simpsons t-shirt who shimmied up next to me in the checkout line to tell me he really loved my Alexander Wang shoes. The shoes themselves are just nicely shaped with a heel detail that is linked to Wang.

I felt like Simpsons t-shirt guy and I had a strong bond for those two minutes. He made a jab at himself and his t-shirt and I told him how I loved the Simpsons and grew up watching the show...but, of course, that bond lasted as long as the last item was scanned and bagged. I gave him an appreciative smile as he trailed off about shoes and investment pieces and things being worth their price as I left.

But I'm digressing (surprise...except not a surprise) when what I really want to talk about is my recently reignited love of vintage Coach bags.

11.23.2014

Sunday Styles no. 69


I'll be brief today. Here's the deal...

I was on a business trip all this past week and was all psyched to get a free upgrade on my flight back yesterday. (More legroom and free food and entertainment? Count me in!)

Alas, I ended up with an old woman who was rather gracious and sweet, but had to sit diagonally with her leg outstretched (impeding on my legroom completely) to my right, another woman who liked to order endless snacks and eat them enthusiastically causing a steady stream of various chip, pretzel, and cracker bits to pelt me from my left side, and a rather enthusiastic child who loved to sing, slam his tray table open and closed, kicked the seat and let out sounds that he would repeat for many, many minutes on end...with a mother who was apparently not very into discipline...behind me.

In short, my flight was not very pleasant. Despite turning off the air vent above me, there was a mystery stream of drying plane air blasting me in the face, a healthy dose of turbulence, and work that I needed to get done.

So, by the time I stepped off the plane, I was a mess. Nauseous, a bit feverish, with aching sinuses. My body was one big knot and I had the world's darkest circles under my eyes.

11.18.2014

Weekend Warrior: Santa Barbara Beaches


And by "warrior" I really mean "an individual who is willing to fight the difficult battle of not spending their days off just sitting on the couch binge watching Sherlock." (At least, not all of their days off.)

After that London trip, my wanderlust kicked into high gear, but knowing that my bank account wasn't ready for another European vacation and that I had to think about things like, oh, I dunno, work and life responsibilities, I made a conscious decision to try to go do more interesting things on the weekends. These activities would have to fit in the following criteria...

11.16.2014

Sunday Styles no. 68


Hello from crisp Los Angeles! That's right, everyone. The temperatures have finally come down again and despite it still being warm in the sun, the shorter days and shade are filled with a newfound chill that I'm obsessing over.

Of course, being a sweaterphile (Charles coined this term last week after I blacked out and purchased two more sweaters online because that's what always happens...I come to and suddenly have a receipt in my inbox thanking me for my order for X number of sweaters), I'm pulling out a new favorite today. This J. Crew sweater is everything to me right now. The dolman sleeves cropped above my wrists with a boxy, wide cut and cropped length spells L-O-V-E. The mock turtle neckline is just right (which is almost never the case) and it's wool without being itchy. It's cozy, but roomy and comfy. Kinda like a light blanket with sleeves. Bonus: My dog loves cuddling extra hard with me when I'm wearing it.

11.13.2014

The Frontiers of Adulthood: Kindness is a Muscle


Now, I don't know about you, but when the words "Love is a Battlefield" come up in casual conversation (which they totally do because we're all always talking about Pat Benatar, right?), I can't help but take a moment to revel in its absolute truth. I'm not calling it war, but it is absolutely a battle.

You see, my relationships over the years took all sorts of shapes and forms. There were very high high's and extremely low low's. There were moments where I absolutely hated myself and couldn't understand why I was acting the way I was and still other moments where my inner therapist was giving me a figurative high-five for dealing with things so well.

Love makes us do and say stupid things...sometimes it's not even love. Sometimes it's lust. Sometimes it's just insecurity and an innocent bystander...and at some point you might wake up one day and realize you've committed yourself to just one other person. (Whether by marriage or the use of commitment-related names like boyfriend, girlfriend, other half and so on.)

And though we're brainwashed at an early age to think that people find love, fall into it and then live happily ever after, the truth is that you find love, you fall into it, then you are standing in it and have to figure out whether you think love is being knee-deep in the River Styx and you just have to survive or love is wading through an oasis in the middle of a quiet, palpable alone-ness...or somewhere in between. (Which is where I think most of us are.)

11.11.2014

I'm Enthusiastic About: Dr. Martens


You may recall from last week's London post that I had made one major purchase while across the pond. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I bought a new pair of Doc Martens. [Insert a massive crowd cheering here.]

I should probably preface all of this by explaining that I've been on the hunt for years and years for the perfect Docs...a journey that would put Frodo Baggins to shame. I bought one pair in middle school oh so long ago when I was around 13 and they were the best. I'm starting to think I actually blocked out any memories of breaking them in because I just remember them fitting so perfectly.

Truly one pair to rule them all. (And by "all" I mean "my feet" and by "rule" I mean "lovingly dress".) Man, I loved those things...even when the 90's were happening in all their floral, peace-signed, flannely glory, my docs were always the anchor that kept me from floating adrift in the ocean of horrendous fashion choices...and, oh, the 90's were a time when that was a very easy thing to do.

11.09.2014

Sunday Styles no. 67


I give up. The weather in LA is ridiculous. Just when I was getting really excited about dipping temps...just when my head began bursting with visions of scarves, hot drinks, thick sweaters and cozy walks along streets lined with changing foliage...just when I was ready to wear my new winter coat every single day because that's what I do when I get something I love...

Just when all of this was happening, the temperature decided to creep back up over the last week. It was back to mid-80's and relentless sunshine which is fine and dandy for some, but a lack of seasons is really starting to mess with my brain's ability to understand the passing of time. That and the whole excitement-of-winter thing that was stolen away from me.

11.06.2014

Hello, Lob


Lob. It's a weird hair terms, right? In our never-ending quest to save time by combining words, we've come up with some real keepers: Brangelina, Hombré (male ombré, if you weren't aware), Kimye, BRUNCH (the best one to date), and sometime in the last 5 years or so...the lob.

But enough about word combos. What I'm really getting at is I got myself a lobby-lob of my very own and a little colory-color (that one didn't work as well, did it) to take me into the cooler months. Despite initial shock, I gotta say that I'm digging' on the new look. (Not sure if you really noticed the change in my UK post. Most of the photos were pretty zoomed out or my hair was pulled back.)

I'll be honest. Part of me wanted to hold on to the eternally summery LA blonde, but I let my hairstylist Charles Fox have his way with me, which always works out for the better. He took me from a buttery, light, long-haired blonde with black roots to an ashy, lob-haired blonde with brown roots...though the change is subtle, it's impactful. I feel like I went from straight-up, fun-loving, Cali styling to business-first, secretly-fun, and might-be-up-to-something, Frenchie styling. He gave me the color and cut equivalent to a wink and a nudge...or an asterisk that leads to something surprising.*

11.04.2014

London, Bristol, and the West Country: A Photo Diary


Guess what? This time I have a real excuse for being MIA on the blog. I ran off to the UK with Charles for a little over a week and decided that I was going to actually enjoy myself and not work during that entire time (aside from Instagram coverage which ended up being easier than expected thanks to the UK and all its lovely free wifi hotspots.) Follow this amazing trip with Charles getting sick and me fighting some sort of illness off for a few days and here we are in the present.

I still feel like I'm fighting something off, but I've been taking in lots of vitamin C and trying to get as much sleep as possible...but I couldn't bear to not tell you about my time in the UK before the afterglow wore off.

So, instead of writing about everything, I'll just show you what happened along with a little context. All I can say is that I'm so ready to move to the UK if anyone wants to let me live in their guest house or in a closet. I'm flexible...

11.02.2014

Sunday Styles no. 66


Well, hi again! For once, my MIA-status has a great excuse. I've returned from an amazing trip to the UK and a week of fighting off some sort of illness along with playing nurse to a sick husband. (Charles is finally feeling better, by the way...Me? Still fighting things off.)

So, here we are. A week from when I returned from the UK, heartbroken and wishing we could just live there. The cold, crisp, dampness of the UK was a really nice change from the dry, sunny, heatwaves of Los Angeles. (Yes, every Brit I said this too basically looked at me like I had murdered 100 babies.)

See, it's not just that I like cool, crisp weather and a little dampness in general. My body loves it too. My cheeks are rosy, my hair gets a little wild, and I feel healthier. (It could have also been all the tea and scones...which definitely make me feel better.) You know what else cool, crisp weather gives me? It gives me a chance to actually wear clothing I love.

10.15.2014

I'm Enthusiastic About: Affordable Wedding Guest Attire

Hey, guys. Sorry I went MIA again last week. It's the usual excuse: Business Trip. I wish I was blogging full time, but such isn't the case. I gotta pay my mortgage somehow, right?

Here's the good news though. I come bearing useful information because, if you're even remotely in my age range, you probably have several friends who are getting married or are engaged and you're waiting to get another invitation in the mail.

With this comes the conundrum of trying to figure out what to wear to a wedding...and how to not blow tons of money doing it...while simultaneously making smart purchases that are of decent quality so as not to feel like you wasted money. We've all purchased a cheap dress that basically disintegrated  after one night of use...it's time we stop doing that. We're all adults here, right? (As I turn off my PS4, finish my afternoon bowl of cereal, and sit down to have a serious conversation with you...)

Assuming you have several friend circles, you'll likely end up at several weddings that may not be attended by the same people which means you can get away with wearing the same outfit several times in a row. (Insert fist pump here.) In a pinch, changing your hair and lip color will usually throw people off enough to assume your outfit is different if they've seen you in it before. Sartorial trickery...it's all in the details.

Back to the story at hand though...

10.05.2014

Sunday Styles no. 65


Well, no crisis today, folks...oh, wait...except that it's still in the 90's here in LA. As if having a drought wasn't bad enough, autumn has also been stolen from us like so many fuzzy bunnies being gifted and then un-gifted to a 5 year old child. The mornings are still magical here...in the 70's, a tad humid, with a comforting chill in the air...but that very quickly dissipates and in its place is a plague of heat.

It's the type of heat and sun that instantaneously demolishes your will to do anything outside for more than 2 minutes...and if you do do something for more than 2 minutes (say, walk your dog down the street and back), you'll end up half passed out on your couch for the rest of the afternoon, in and out of sleep, only scraping together enough energy to test just how cold you can get your AC while praying that there won't be a blackout.

10.02.2014

The Frontiers of Adulthood: Age Recognition


So, I've become much more physical as I've gotten older. (Listen to me. I'm talking like I'm a corpse.) I'm not sure why it happened, but gone are the days of chain smoking, eating every heavy carb under the sun...and moon every day of every week (most notably bagels, burgers, waffles, and other delicious fare), and barely moving aside from lounging around with fellow college-age-melodramatic-"philosophers" at a diner, discussing prose and plays and the latest indie band on little to no sleep and a lot of coffee refills.

Actually, I totally know why. Because I realized that if I kept up that behavior, the chances of aging gracefully like my mom would be about 0.000000001%. I would end up looking like Iggy Pop by the age of 40 even with my awesome Asian genetics...and 40 is less than 7 years away at this point. I had to stop being so irresponsible. I mean, babies are a plan after all and being a haggard mom before the mommin' (yes, a made up word) even starts would be no bueno.

For better or worse, over the last few years, I've quit smoking (again), trained myself to execute some form of exercise 7 days a week, and have gotten to eating much healthier. (I'm now a burger a week type of gal and feel sheer panic when there isn't fruit in the apartment...I love fries, but I love yogurt and berries just as much.) Needless to say, college Nami would be completely horrified if she met adult Nami. The fact that sleep is so important to me now alone would send my former self into a tailspin.

On the day-to-day, despite feeling like there are never enough hours to fulfill all the to-do list items, from a health and well-being perspective, I'd consider myself one of the lucky ones. I haven't gotten sick in a while and usually only suffer minor aches and pains which are, more often than not, caused by my own stupidity. (Slamming my shoulder into a doorway - common occurrence, falling asleep in a weird position on the couch - nightly, trying to do too much physical activity in one day - please refer to my fitbit obsession here, and so on.)

So, where am I going with this story? Well, I had to share an experience I had on Tuesday night...one that I still haven't quite recovered from.

9.30.2014

I'm Enthusiastic About: My FitBit or How a Small Device Took Over My Life


So, my company is all about our well-being and one of the ingenious programs they began was the Fitbit program. This is the part where you ask me what a Fitbit is. Well, lemme take a minute to tell you...

A Fitbit is the most precisely-named thing I've ever met. It's a small device that does things like calculates how many calories you've burned or how many steps you've taken. It is, in fact, a "bit" that should keep you fit if anything just by its sheer power to guilt you into walking more. For the David Sedaris fans out there, he wrote an amazing piece in the New Yorker about his new tech exercise (TECH-ERCISE?!) device.

Now, on to my new addiction...

I can't even just say I'm enthusiastic about it. I think I'm actually addicted. When it first arrived at my door, I forgot I had even asked to be part of this new fitness program, but after opening the box, charging the device and syncing it with my laptop and phone...I realized what this device held.

9.28.2014

Sunday Styles no. 64


You must be wondering why this Sunday Styles doesn't feature a particular outfit, but my husband's handsome face instead.

Well, it's because this Sunday was a particularly harrowing one. The kind that makes you think about life and priorities.

The morning started off as Sunday mornings usually do. I was off early to the gym and got back in time to start getting the apartment in order and ready for the day while Charles woke up a little later after a slightly insomnia-riddled evening. I gave him a "good morning/go get 'em" kiss as he left for his own gym session and I hopped in the shower.

All good so far. The morning was shaping up to be a good one.

I got ready, did some dishes, fed Merlin and started our walk. (Figured I may as well get the pup some extra exercise before brunch) and was enjoying the post-drizzle morning humidity when the phone rang. Just Charles informing me that he was on his way home. Fantastic.

So, Merlin and I decided to prolong our walk so we could greet Charles upon his return...which is when the phone rang again.

Peculiar. It was Charles.

9.25.2014

Brain Food: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage


I feel horrible about the fact that I don't read nearly as much as I used to. Sometimes I have a feeling (it's not even a feeling, it's more of a fact) it has a lot to do with living in LA now and not having as much hands-free, public-transportation, commuting time where I can choose to stuff my face in a book rather than zone out at some other commuter's face or be disturbingly aware of my hot, sweaty, uncomfortable surroundings including someone's armpit two inches from my head.

Nope, LA just doesn't afford you that kind of situation...but maybe I'm just making excuses.

Truthfully, I can make time to read even though I sometimes (as in always) get swallowed up by the oh-I-should-clean-the-apartment-and-run-to-get-toothpaste-and-Merlin-probably-needs-a-walk-oh-look-it's-time-to-make-dinner-wow-I'm-sleepy-time-for-bed hole. (Don't we all?)

But every few years there is a happening. I get a piece of news about a new book by one of my favorite authors and I make an effort to seek out this new tome of dreams and hole myself away for many hours at a time...which is what happened with Haruki Murakami's latest book: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

9.23.2014

I'm Enthusiastic About: Being a Blonde (!!!)

So, I don't know if you've noticed (and you probably have if you follow my on instagram), but I went and bleached my hair back at the end of August. That's right. Instead of opting for the subtle touches of a refreshed ombré, I decided it was time. I was still growing my hair out, so the only thing left to do was to strip my tresses of any color. (I mean, I could've gone with bangs again, I've done that already.)

Bleaching my hair a pale, buttery blonde was something I'd always secretly fantasized about. In fact, I did it once back in high school. The initial results were stellar. I was a skatery-punky-indie young thing with a pixie cut. All I did was get my hands on some Manic Panic bleach and plop it on my head.

My parents? HATED IT. Me? I LOVED IT. My boyfriend at the time? I CAN'T REMEMBER WHICH DUDE I WAS DATING. (Horrible, I know. I might have been caught in a love triangle or square at the time.)

Yep. I was left with almost-white hair that I, unfortunately, didn't take very good care of because it was during one of my "I'm young and resilient and I don't have time to think about upkeep" phases. (Cue the endless cheeseburgers, cigarettes, sleepless nights, bottomless coffees, late-night drives to far away places and all that philosophizing over who knows what all day, every day in diners all over northern New Jersey and the dark alleys of Manhattan. How am I not dead?)

9.21.2014

Sunday Styles Spring 2015 New York Fashion Week Edition


(a.k.a Nami Returns to the Land of the Living Once More)

Wow. So, it's literally been over a month since I blogged.
There are lots of reasons for this. Back to back business trips, the continued decorating of the new home, my 3 year wedding anniversary, a dog with major allergies, AND New York Fashion Week.

I just returned from the latter this last weekend and after running as far away from social media as possible for a few days, have returned to give you a recap. 

As you might know, I work with TRESemmé (their the official hair care sponsor for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week) as their social media person and, because of that, get access to shows every season to capture the hair and the looks from the runway...and this season definitely didn't disappoint. TRESemmé did the hair for 7 shows:
So, are you ready? I'm going to give you the speed recap: hair, make-up, nails and my top 3 fave looks from each collection. It's gonna be a doozy. Aaaaaand we're off!

7.30.2014

I'm Enthusiastic About: Gel (?!)


Seriously. I never thought the day would come where I would go out of my way to purchase a huge, honkin' tube of gel, but that day came and now all I want to do is wear my hair insanely slicked back every single day.

So, what brought on this sudden enthusiasm for a shiny, rock-solid helmet of hair? I heard the sirens of summer singing a song. That tune we all know so well (you know the one): "Humidity is a Bitch." The summer sirens sing that one pretty consistently during the hotter months and I had found myself in Miami for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim in all its damp, heat-wavy, neon glory.

7.15.2014

The Frontiers of Adulthood: Home Ownership


Oh, hey there. Sorry I've been completely MIA, but you'll learn why in a second…

Welcome to my first installment of "The Frontiers of Adulthood" where I, a supposed adult, will discuss things that are going on in my life that are things adults are supposed to do…even though I really don't feel like one.

This series will be especially relevant for all of us living in high-priced cities where, if you're not a millionaire, things are difficult and you often question your quality of life because you know if you lived somewhere else, you'd probably have several acres of land, a huge house, and a life outside of your occupation instead of the studio apartment you've been in for 10 years (which you're still renting) and the job that haunts you on weekends and weeknights in the form of a plague of emails. You often scoff at Sex in the City because you know there's just no way Carrie could've afforded living in that apartment in the first place. (However, you still watch re-runs because of your expert ability to suspend disbelief…also, you will always love that show.)

Today's subject is about home ownership. If you've been following along on the blog, you might have noticed me mention here and there that we've been on the market for a home.

Well, ladies and gents, I'm proud to say that we just moved into condo a few weeks ago, which would explain why I basically fell off the Earth and was orbiting Pluto (which technically isn't a "planet" in our solar system anymore, but has enough gravitational force to keep me away from you for a month.)

Now, back to the subject…

I've gotta say that home ownership has really shed some light on parts of myself I never knew existed. Here's a list of things I've discovered about myself:

6.15.2014

Sunday Styles no. 63


Well, happy Sunday, everyone! And, more importantly, Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dads out there! OBVIOUSLY, this gives me a chance to dedicate today's Sunday Styles to the international man of mystery known as my dad…or, as I call him, "Pop."

As is my way of doing things, I'm going to start off on the sartorial side of things. This is my father in his 20's…for 95% of my life, he has been in a suit. Apparently, this whole thing started way before I was born too. To be fair, he was a tried and true Japanese business man and they all wear suits, but my father was never schlubby. You know those guys who "wear suits" but don't look right in them or don't take the time to care for their clothing?

Yeah, my dad has never been one of them. So, let's start off with the fashion-focused things my father has taught me…

6.10.2014

I'm Enthusiastic About: Karlie Kloss x Warby Parker

You know when you see a collaboration out in the world and think, "well, that makes sense."

It's a rare thing, to be sure. I've seen tons of collaborations that have made my head cock so hard to one side that it practically falls off and rolls away under a car (or a couch if I'm indoors.)

So, wasn't I pleasantly surprised when I heard about Warby Parker's newest collab with the beautiful Karlie Kloss being released TODAY. (If you don't know who she is, behold the beauty to the left. Remember this face, because she's going to be one of those legendary models that will probably look just as stunning at 90.)

Also, I may or may not stalk her on Instagram…how can you not?

Let's all admit that this girl has staying power. I feel like if we still lived in the 90's, she would've been in with Helena, Naomi, Cindy, Linda, Kate, and Christy…and this is why I can respect this collab. Because we know this girl and we know that she's got style, she's got grace (she's a lady) and why wouldn't we all want a little bit of that style to call our very own?

6.08.2014

Sunday Styles no. 62


You didn't think I could possibly provide another white-out weekend post, did you? Trust me, I thought about it, but figured you might be getting bored. Anyway, I needed to do a load of white laundry. Combine that with the revelation that I need more white shoes and it's become clear that today is not an all-white sorta day.

Meanwhile, it's finally cooled down a little bit and the mornings have been deliciously overcast, which means I don't have to wear white as a defensive move. No one should ever have to dress defensively.

So, what do I do instead? I go in the completely opposite direction (naturally) this Sunday by channeling my inner Wednesday Addams. Nothing feels as comfortable to me as nestling into a blacked-out outfit. In the words of the great Yohji Yamamoto:

"Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy - but mysterious. But above all black says this: "I don't bother you - don't bother me."

6.01.2014

Sunday Styles no. 61


Man, it is getting hot out there, isn't it? Not sure how it's going on the east coast, but the west coast has been scorching and humid! I know. HUMID! My hair and skin are super happy about it, but the rest of me could do without that mild dampness that makes walking in the sun feel like battling your way through a sauna. My friend, Dan, said it had to do with the tectonic plates below Cali creating heat from the ground and the marine layer. (I may or may not be planning for natural disasters…)

5.29.2014

5.11.2014

Sunday Styles no. 60


It would seem completely illogical for me not to dedicate this Sunday Styles to the woman who taught me everything I know about fashion, style, beauty, and life: Mama Matsuo!

So, let's take a minute to gaze upon this moment in time…probably shot sometime in the early 70's. (The lucky red-overall-ed toddler in the photo is my amazing older sister…who is also a fantastic mom of three.)

Now, it goes without saying that my mom was a total babe, but that aside, just look at that outfit! A long-sleeved, knee-length, perfectly tailored dress with a slight flair. Here's another image of it for reference…

5.04.2014

Sunday Styles no. 59


After a deathly hot week of 90+ degree weather, respite has arrived today in the form of the perfect day. Sunny, breezy, and 75. My favorite type of LA weather (unless there's a pool involved, in which case, bring on 90 degrees and up!)

This Sunday is another ode to keeping it simple. It's also my second Sunday wearing a baseball cap because they're my current obsession. (A solution to not doing anything with my hair? SIGN ME UP.) In other news, much like my obsession with black, I'm starting to cultivate an obsession with white. (I mean, I guess it makes sense…wearing all black in 90 degree weather is like actively deciding to be a baked potato all season.)

4.29.2014

I'm Enthusiastic About: The Gym…A.k.a The Story I Never Thought I'd Write…Ever.


The "Let's Be Adults" journey continues with 18 days off of cigarettes and over 3 weeks of visiting the gym under my belt. To add a dash of rebellion to my newfound, responsible ways, I've added a splash of peachy-pink to my hair so as not to take myself too seriously…though this is starting to fade pretty quickly. Womp.

Anyway, I want to start by getting something straight. I have never been a gym person. I have always been a workout-DVD-hide-in-the-comfort-of-my-own-home-go-to-an-occasional-dance-class-to-stave-off-boredom-or-try-something-from-Groupon kind of person. True, I went on a Bikram yoga bender for a few months back in 2012, but realized that though I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment at the end of those sessions, there was something about being flanked on all sides by hot (and I mean temperature here), sweaty men who were all taller than me that would send me into these anxiety tailspins. Something akin to "omg, I can't breathe. OMG. Am I going to die right now? I feel like I might black out. It feels way hotter than it's suppose to be!!!"

4.27.2014

Sunday Styles no. 58


It's been one of those weeks, folks. A lot of work, some traveling for work, some perusing houses on the market…also, losing a house we wanted because we didn't move fast enough on it. So on, so forth. The trials and tribulations of adulthood. At least once a day, I still feel like throwing my hands up, building a blanket fort to hide in and spending my days with coloring books…maybe holding an impromptu tea party once in a while for me and my dog with imaginary cakes, obviously. No need for grocery shopping and less clean-up.

So, this Sunday Styles is dedicated to KISSing…as in "Keep It Simple, Sister." (The "Stupid" has been edited because I don't think you're stupid and, well, I think of you all as my Internet sisters in one way or another - was that too mushy? Whatever. Live with it. I'm an affectionate person.) That and the perfect Los Angeles weather. (Sorry, I swear I don't mean to be rub it in. I love NYC in the spring!)

4.20.2014

Sunday Styles no. 57


Firstly, Happy Easter! I don't celebrate it, but I hope you're all eating great food in good company or, at the very least, loading up on candy eggs and posing with men in rabbit suits to celebrate the occasion.

Yep. An entire week without a blog post since last Sunday. Trust me, I'm riddled with guilt, but I've been going through some serious mental, emotional, and physical housecleaning. Hence, the break I took this last week.

4.13.2014

Sunday Styles no. 56


Well, can't really talk too much today. As you can see, Mr. Merlin is sporting his oh-so-fancy cone. Reason being, last night we caught him gnawing at his back paw and by the time I got it out of his mouth I realized one of this toes was basically raw and super-inflammed.

4.10.2014

Brain Food: The Art of Racing In the Rain


Have you ever bought a book that you were so excited to read, you could barely stand it? That you told yourself you would hold off on reading until you finished the book you're currently reading…until you're done with a project so you can devote some time to it…until you're poolside on your mini-vaca. My case was the latter.

4.08.2014

So, This is What 33 Looks Like: 33 Life Rules


Here it is. 33 years on this Earth, staring you in the face. I'm still in a strange state of shock…33 is not old in my book by any means. However, I didn't think I would ever see my 20's go, so now that I'm well into my 30's I feel kinda weird.

Something about still feeling like a kid…except these days I get sleepy at 10pm and have more life planning apps than gaming apps on my phone. I guess getting older happens while you're not paying attention, but I suppose it's better than sitting around and grieving the passing of time. Screw that.

So, this post is dedicated to a few things I've learned in the past 33 years. Rules to live by that I've collected over 17,344,800 minutes and counting. Ready? Here we go:

4.02.2014

Brain Food: Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises


Ok, let me start off by saying that I'm a HUGE Hayao Miyazaki fan. If you've never heard of him, drop everything and go watch all his films. If you don't have an entire week or two to dedicate to the most amazing animated movies you've ever experienced, hold on till the end of this post to read my top 10 favorites.

Hayao Miyazaki is a visionary (director, animator, illustrator, produced, screenwriter, so on, so forth) and has held me in this kind grasp since I was about 5 years old with his numerous movies ranging from the coming of age story of a witch to the defeats and victories of a warrior princess to the tale of a famed pilot who is cursed to look like a pig. The list goes on, but one thing is for sure…every film had a lesson. Every film tapped into that sweet elixir of childhood wonderment while also carrying the heavy weight of the human condition.

3.30.2014

Sunday Styles no. 55


Another beautiful weekend in Los Angeles…aside from earthquakes, apparently. I finally got to experience one a few weeks ago and, to be fair, it was frightening for all 2 seconds. The one that supposedly happened on Friday…well, I didn't feel a thing. I'm chalking it up to the fact that I was way too focused on cleaning the bathroom. That or I used too many bleaching products and didn't ventilate enough.

Whatever the case, my bathroom is sparkling and my family and I are safe and sound. But I'm digressing. Instead of worrying about earthquakes, this Sunday I'm worrying myself over getting as many chores done…however, chores aren't going to stop me from taking some time to relax.

And what better way to relax than to wear relaxing clothing? I just can't get enough of it. I've become obsessed with cropped, tapered pants that are full in the hips. And, yes, I even have a few pairs with elastic waistbands, though you would never be able to tell from the looks of 'em.

3.27.2014

I'm Enthusiastic About: My New Earrings


So, I've been keeping my wallet pretty tightly shut recently in lieu of all the life planning that's going on. (Read: being an adult is the worst.) But…Well, you know my wallet can't stay closed for long. However, you also know that I'm on a strict investment-piece war path where everything I purchase needs to be something timeless that I'll adore and can probably give to my children, assuming I don't wear it into the ground…which is a sad reality. (Next step: learning to take care of my investment pieces as if they were my own children.)

Now, back to the important part. My new investment…

3.23.2014

Sunday Styles no. 54


Well, hello there from springy Los Angeles! As it turns out, after a cray heat wave (thank you, Santa Ana winds), this weekend is perfection. Sunny, breezy, and in the 70's. Just the kind of LA weather I've come to love.

And with that, today is going to be one of those gotta-get-stuff-done kind of days, so I can't hang around for long. Groceries to pick up, activities to do with the husband, walks to take with the dog. General Sunday-enjoyment is on the roster, so today I'm going for comfy clothes.

3.19.2014

I'm Enthusiastic About: TRESemmé Platinum Strength Deep Conditioning Treatment


Ok, I know what you must be thinking. "You work with TRESemmé, so you must be doing them a favor!" But, luckily for all of us, I'm not the type to write about things I don't stand behind. It's just not the way I function, so rest assured that everything I write about here is the truth.

With that said, let me tell you a tale about my hair…

3.11.2014

Quote of the Week: The Sun


Yep, it's been a while since I posted a quote and it's been a while since I posted period. Hey, life is crazy, people. We all know this and as much as I'd love to have a career just as a writer/blogger, such is not the case.

In the last month, I've spent about 3 weeks in the horrible cold and darkness of NYC and barely had time to see my husband or beloved dog…I mean, beloved husband and dog. Work is stressful, but we do what we can and sometimes we can't find the energy to write about a favorite product, place, or shoot a tutorial or outfit of the day.

We're posed with questions like, "do I spend some quality time with my husband or do I make him lug his camera around and shoot a photo of me wearing a new outfit?"

Or "do I take my dog for a well-deserved walk or do I think about what beauty products I've been obsessed with lately?"

So goes life, but I'm trying not to get down about it, even though I often do. I feel bad when I don't write a blog post, though I'm pretty sure no one is sitting around and thinking, "well, Nami failed to post a Sunday Styles again! She's so inconsistent."

I'm trying to be kinder to myself, to my life, and look my husband in the eye when we go out to dinner rather than Instagram a photo of the amazing dessert sitting in the perfect mood lighting…and this all brings me to today's quote.

It's two-fold. Firstly, I'm back in Los Angeles for a while and combined with the glorious Daylight Savings of this past weekend, I'm getting a much-needed dose of vitamin D. Very literally, I'm turning my face to the sun and the shadows, both figuratively and literally, are falling behind me. There's nothing I cherish more than a sunny afternoon with my husband doing everything, nothing, or something in between. For that, I'm grateful.

Secondly, I've been trying to pull myself out of my rut. I get into ruts after mass amounts of traveling. Time differences, work schedules, and being an adult have made the day-to-day a little rough. Pile on top of this things like discussing finances, houses, and children and you got yourself a soul-crushing weight on your shoulders. Oh, and PMS…that helps. So, let's all just be thankful Nami isn't on some rampage, yelling at kids on her lawn, pointing out parking meters that have run out, and running cyclists off the road.

With that, I'm trying to turn to the sun. (Yes, I'm being literal and figurative again here.) Of course, I'll be packing on the SPF, but I realize now that I can't live without light in my life. It's finally time I sit back a little bit, stop being a neurotic overworker, and take time for the ones I love…including myself. (I'm still trying figure out this whole "love thyself" thing, but I could start with a massage, enrolling in some workout classes, and training myself to take 30 minute naps once in a while without the creeping thought that I could be vacuuming the apartment instead of resting.)

I know most of you are of the non-commenting type, but I'm reaching out here and asking, what do you recommend when one is in a rut? I feel like I need a change and I'm all ears for suggestions on how to jump start myself and get back to the land of the living. Help! xo!

3.04.2014

Hair Tutorial: When All Else Fails, Make the Bun Bigger


As my hair-growing journey continues, I've been playing around with more hairstyles and this one has become my favorite for the past few weeks. That's right, folks, my dreams of having a massive bun on the top of my head have come true and my hair isn't even that long yet.

I've been asked by a few people now about how in the world I'm able to get my bun so big without a sock and how I'm able to make it look a little undone. Well, let me explain. It all started at the Marissa Webb show during Fashion Week…


One of her hair looks was an undone bun and I was in love with it, but realized I just didn't have the hair length it required. [Insert sad face.] BUT my dear friend and expert stylist for TRESemmé, Tyler Laswell, was able to show me the way! Turns out you don't need a boatload of hair to make a splash. (I know…that pun-filled sentence was a little too much.)

Ready to get the look? Let's go!

3.02.2014

Sunday Styles no. 53


I cannot stress enough how important it is to own a robe and this is why this Sunday Styles is being dedicated to just that.

So, it's raining here in LA. It's been raining for a few days now and I've been waiting for Sunday to roll around so I could do just this: lounge around in my plush robe, on my plush faux fur blanket with my plush little pup, Merlin. (Can you tell how much he loves that blanket? If his love isn't properly conveyed in this image, check him out here and here.)

2.27.2014

Pre-Spring Cleaning: Why Crossroads Is Where It's At!


Dear Piece of Clothing I Haven't Worn in Over a Year,

Spring has nearly sprung and I think it's best if we go our separate ways. We both know it's for the best and I'm sure you'll find someone that will love you the way you truly should be loved. Our relationship has been dragging on. It's time we call it quits.

Your Loving Owner,
Nami

P.S. Formal Wear, I'm not talking to you. You'll see your day come when I get invited to an event worthy of your beauteousness.

...

This is the letter that I write in my head to my clothing every time I get the itch to trim my wardrobe into a super-utilitarian, everything-matches, high-quality, no-fleeting-trends-allowed version of itself. And, really, is there any better time than pre-spring to do a little paring down of your dust-collecting duds?