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Grateful Moments

{These lovely ranunculus from the farmer's market brightened the edge of my desk this week}

Around this time of year our exploring free-spirited 'let's go check this place and explore that area' life comes to a screeching halt as it's the hubby's busiest season, having tight deadlines to meet. As we go through this phase of the year, our weekends are usually uneventful as a lot of invites to anything get turned down unless, it's a client meeting/luncheon. This weekend however, I'm stoked that we're going to squeeze a date night in just to get out of the madness a little. How about you? What are you doing this weekend?

{Nothing feels cozier than dining al fresco while warming up under these lovely fireplace lanterns}

{New pretty Brazilian pink agate coasters on my cocktail table that make me smile every time}

{Happiest time: quiet evenings with a glass of wine watching my favorite shows}

{This galaxy night light puts me in a trance}


Brands vs Sense

I must admit that the look and shape of the Celine bag has such a draw on me in a way that I can't even explain. However, as much as I'd love to splurge and get it, I'm still not quite mentally ready to part with that amount of cash. On the other hand, this lovely less expensive Oasap vintage boat-shaped tote is just as much a fashion classic in a perfect spring color making it a much more sensible purchase. The versatility of this fun carryall is great to sport everywhere - even to the beach this summer without having a conniption if a little sand was to get on it.


Favorite Links

1. I'm in desperate need to find ways to get out of bed these days, so these 7 tips to help you wake up and get out of bed fast are perfect.

2. Who of us wouldn't want to save a million bucks? Well, this is how to do it. It's more painless than you think.

3. Your home isn't the only thing that needs a good spring cleaning. Don't forget your body is just as important, if not more important. A 10-day detox is a great way to get the body up to speed for the spring/summer activities to be enjoyed.

4. Now that spring is here, better nighttime rituals that will improve your day are more important than ever.

5. Being an individual who constantly breaks "fashion rules" - reading about these '5 fashion rules you should break'  makes me feel normal.


Fly High Butterfly

Nine West Dress, Juicy Couture bag, Tan suede pumps (seen here), Round iridescent scales layered necklace (bought on vacation years ago - similar) Cat Eye sunglasses (worn here)

In my closet, I have some dresses that are ever ready to help me cope with  my "non-inspiring, lack of energy, agonizing to get out of bed" days. Last weekend this particular dress came through for me on one of those days. The large floral prints on the dress look like butterflies, which couldn't be any more appropriate because it's been observed that butterflies can go about their daily activity with 70 percent of their wing surfaces missing, yet they continue feeding, flying and surviving. The knowledge of that fact helps me realize that as intelligent beings we have the ability to display a similar resolute spirit. Despite suffering from severe emotional or physical problems, we do not give up.


Sweet and Savory Watermelon Salad

Gone are the days of cooking my favorite comfort food staples like, creamy squash soup, beef stew and chili now that spring has rolled around. The cool airiness of the season always seems to compel me to want to eat light and make things that require very little cooking. This salad is made with fruits and vegetables I picked up at the farmers market. The mixture ends up being like a party in your mouth - hitting each one of the five senses a bite at a time. Not only is this salad colorful but surprisingly, it's quick to make, it's very filling and most importantly, it's figure friendly. It's a win win no matter how you look at it. And it's one of those recipes that you can make your own by using your favorite fruit and vegetables. Here's how I made mine.

Ingredients {Makes 4-6 servings}

1 small watermelon cubed
2 cucumbers cubed
Small bundle of fresh basil chopped
3 sour apples cubed
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper or jalapeno pepper chopped (your choice)
Crumbled feta cheese


In a large bowl add your cubed fruits and vegetable, sprinkle with salt, cayenne pepper, olive oil; using a large spoon toss all ingredients together to combine well. Sprinkle top with crumbled feta cheese and serve. Enjoy with your favorite glass of red wine. I had mine with Pinot Noir.


Grateful Moments

{Shared on IG earlier this week - my new favorite weekly routine living in SoCal these days}

Any week spent receiving boxes enclosed with pretty things and engaging in meaningful thought-provoking conversations is a good week in my eyes. I also started spring cleaning. First order of business was to de-winterize my mantle, hang one of my easiest quick project on my front door - a spring/summer wreath exactly on the first day of spring. Plus, I started this week making some colorfully inspired breakfasts and lunches, which has been helping to put me in a light and fresh frame of mind. Also having my springtime tunes playing as I prepared for all my rendezvous this morning got my weekend started with the right mental attitude.

{Nothing makes me happier than to walk from room to room and be greeted by colorful fresh flowers in my place}

{I felt so good to have finished this wreath in time to hang on my front door for the first day of spring - yesterday}

{So many have raved about this place - finally got to try this past week...I can now check it off my list. 
The food and ambiance was}

{Now that I can't make my usual trips to Sabon, I've been settling for some of Wholefoods natural soaps - not too shabby}

What are your weekend plans?


Springtime In Paris


When the nighttime, or winter is over and heavy coats and parka season has passed, what then? It's a brilliant new day, a thrilling springtime of bright hues, pastels and florals. I'm sure all of you spring lovers out there must have sprung out of bed this morning eager to take on the day with a sense of renewed spirit barely containing the joy of taking in the beautiful aromas of the shrubs and trees that flower in the spring, like azaleas, camellias, cherries, magnolias, rhododendrons (just to name a few). A carpet of wild flowers give their glorious display adding to the beauty of all that the season has to offer. Man, I love the natural cycle of different seasons! It's such a delight that just adds to the beauty of this planet we call our home. I appreciate how each season has its own attractions. Out of all the four seasons though, I much prefer fall and winter - all the more the reason why I must live in a state where there are seasons. But I'm pretty sure that I'd have a whole new appreciation for springtime if I were to spend it in Paris. Last I checked, I won't be spending spring in Paris this year, but I'll be pretending to be by listening to one of my playlists of favorite Parisian tunes I usual play when I entertain depending on the crowd and the meal for the evening. I wanted to share it with you to help you welcome spring in a more dreamy Parisian kind of way - DaFashionista style;). Hope it's a playlist that'll become your favorite this spring season, or at least put you in a je nais se quoi kind of mood just in case you weren't too thrilled at the arrival of spring.

Happy Spring! 
May it bring you all the happiness 
you need and wish for.



Ripped Boyfriend and Leopard Pony

Alberto Makali top, American Eagle jeans, Large beige bag (I picked up about 6 years ago at a boutique by Greenwich Village), LAL jacket (another oldie), Abercrombie + Fitch belt (ancient), Rockport x Adidas Leopard Pony shootie boots (yep, can you believe it?...they're super comfy and have been one of my favorite purchases from a couple of seasons back), Ann Taylor coral necklace, Franco Sarto sunglasses (seen here, herehere and here - similar here and here), Bracelet (?), Saks Fifth Avenue nail polish color: "Chin-Chilli" 

My taste in fashion is the same as my taste in design - eclectic. While I gravitate towards more tailored clothes, I still love to go out of my comfort zone every now and then depending on my mood. Let's take for instance the boyfriend jeans, specifically the ripped up jeans. Growing up you'd never find me in any denim whatsoever, let alone ripped up jeans.  It wasn't because I didn't like them, it's just one of those items of clothing that was a no no in the eyes of my "family". That being the case, during my high school years, I was always in either slacks, skirts, dresses (by the way, kind of liking this one, this one and that one), palazzo pants or bell bottoms until my best friend, her sisters, the whole family for that matter finally said to me, "why are you always dressed up? Why don't you wear jeans...?" You see, to them anything other than jeans was dressy. I chuckled and never really explained the full reason why since they practically lived in jeans - pretty expensive ones too, I might add (unless we were going to a Broadway show or some other fancy event like weddings that merited dressing up).

I'd say that was one of the turning points in my adolescent life, realizing that I was old enough to make my own decisions based on my own taste and not that of others opinions. Suffice to say, ever since, I've been on a never ending quest to find the perfect fitting jeans for my short petite frame (who am I kidding? Short everything really!) without exposing my bum when I sit. I also seem to have a penchant for finding jeans with sliding zippers that would rather stay down than up (what's up with that guys?), keeping my fly open all day without my noticing it til the evening when I go to undress - ugh...hate that. So I was a happy camper when I unexpectedly found these dark pair of distressed ripped jeans while I was out shopping for something completely different. I like the distinct lived-in vintage look that I think adds a touch of old school style to them. To modernize the jeans a bit, I paired it with a gold studded tissue thin top, an old short jacket, and rounded the look out with a bright coral statement necklace and animal print booties for a little bit of zest.

How about you? What kind of epiphany did you have during high school or after? I'd love to hear. Don't be shy, share your experience. You never know how it might help someone else.


Grateful Moments

"Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak and drive kindly." 

{This scrumptious appetizer at my latest hotel stay this week}

The above quote is such a great reminder that can help each and every one of us make our world a better place by doing our part, consistently. A few things that put a smile on my face this week.

{The sweetest unexpected and most appreciated gift from a client}

{Mirror gallery at a hotel lounge: one of those things that never fails to inspire me}

{My last minute Oscar night party was one of the most comical in my Oscars viewing history}

{My obsession with pretty mugs keeps me from passing them up...I just had to get these!}


Spring Wishlist: Pastels and Florals

I've never been a seasonal dresser because I dress based on my moods and occasions. But with spring days away, I seem to have been thinking and pinning pastel colors on my inspiration board. To continue my ongoing goal of brightening up my wardrobe, I would love to introduce a few corals and mint colors into my rather doleful fashion wardrobe this spring just to lighten things up a bit. I'm sure living on the west coast with its constant clear skies and spring-like weather almost all year round will impact my fashion choices on a whole new level. I'm liking that possible change and curious to see how far it goes. These are a few of the items that are on my wish list thus far.

{From left to right} Asos mirror floral dress (59.28), Revolve Clothing Mara Hoffman pencil skirt ($198), Wizards of the West stereo floral dress (ON SALE $17.69), SheCloth white blue sleeveless back sheer floral dress ($55.50), Shopruche perfect moment floral skirt ($38.99), Shopbob rustic twilight pencil skirt ($344.10) and this pleated one screams summer breeze.

Which one of these you'd like to get?



Aside for my love of loft living, I'm just as equally gaga over Tutor style cottages nestled in an array of lush trees. You know, the kind hidden from full sun exposure with climbing ivy around the windows, exposed wooden beam ceilings, large stone fireplaces with rustic mantles, irregular dark hickory mocha wood floors throughout (not limited to this, this kind or this one) and imperfect brick backyards covered in moss or fragrant herbs planted in between the bricks. Not to be overlooked is another style favorite of mine - your typical California style bungalows with beautiful yards laden with citrus trees, wisteria vines, bougainvillea, hydrangeas in abundance (to fill my vases throughout my home) and let's not forget a water fountain of course. Ideally, a bungalow mixed style cottage - melding these two favorites into one would  simply be divine. They are so charmingly delightful, I'm filled with glee just looking at these photos. Are you with me?

This one makes me think of the movie "The Holiday" with the quaint little cottage and its idyllic little town to roam around - just dreamy. Right?!

By the way, great curb appeal is one of the most important things in designing and decorating for me. I view outdoor spaces the same as I would a first interview. It's the first impression at a glance. So it should never be left as the last space to receive design attention. A well manicured front yard enhances the architecture of your home and tells a lot about who lives there. When renting, you may not be able to control how your front yard looks but it shouldn't hold you back from having your front door represent you well with simple things like a beautiful doormat, a pretty planter graced with vibrant flowers and a nice seasonal door wreath. All these little touches can make a world of a difference.

*Image source: 1// 2// 3// 4// 5// 6// 7//  8// 9// 10// 11// 12


Mayday {Survival Kit}

Today's post is one of a practical nature and very much necessary. As much as I often find it best to live like an ostrich with my head buried in design and fashion magazines, I'm also a realist that's very well aware of the uncertainties living in a world where things can go wrong in a blink of an eye. Recently, my close girlfriend (who is the most practical  person you'd ever meet) and her husband visited us and observed some bowed roofs around town due to possible earthquake damage, which prompted them to ask me if we have a disaster kit. I told her that I have a small suitcase that I've been filling with different necessary items over the last couple of years to grab in case of a disaster, to which she immediately responded, "I imagine your survival suitcase would probably be one of the most elaborate disaster suitcases ever seen." Though flattered by her comment, it's still a conversation that left me with this nagging feeling in my mind that I wasn't totally prepared. I decided to err on the side of caution by buying the same deluxe 4 person mayday survival kit that she purchased and place it near the closest exit door of our house in case there ever was a time we had to make a quick escape. In view of the increase in both the frequency and the destructiveness of natural disasters (remember frankenstorm less than two years ago?), and the fact that we currently live in an earthquake prone city definitely calls for shrewdness by having an emergency kit prepared and ready to go. True, in spite of all precautions taken, you may still find yourself a victim of an unexpected tragedy. Coping with it will be much easier if you have planned in advance. Now I feel better that I've done my civic duty by alerting you my dear readers in case you haven't thought of it already to get prepared. Listen, better safe than sorry than to be sorry and not be prepared at all .

So be wise. Buy your kit now as I already have.

More emergency items below...


Mundane Monday Music


Even with the luxury of working at home, for some reason Mondays still remain one of the toughest days to get going. Perhaps because it's  the day I have to face the true reality of life taking care of  my domestic tasks like, grocery shopping for the week (a task that I loathe to the umpteenth degree by the way), unpacking groceries, washing vegetables, cooking,  and so on. I mean, all things non-glamorous. That is why I refer to this day as my mundane Monday. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful that I can get in my car drive to the grocery store, pick and choose what I'd prefer to eat for the week, have the money to pay for it and conveniently cart it to the trunk of my car that's only a hop, skip and a jump from my house. However, it's one of those chores that I would rather pay someone else to do (a luxury that I truly appreciated while living in NYC) and cut it out of my routine to free up my time to do something that I find more exciting, but since that's not really an option at the moment, I had to figure out a way to make my Monday routine much more bearable. Thus, I've remedied it by relying on a gift that's helped me in my childhood to get through unappealing days - music. What would we do without music? Think about it. Can you imagine life without music? No soothing lullabies. No romantic serenades. No lively pop songs. No stirring symphonies and no inspirational melodies. Most would consider that a dull and unappealing prospect. I know I would. Why are we so moved by music you ask? The answer is really quite simple: Music appeals to virtually the full range of emotions and many times gives voice to feelings you could not otherwise express. It soothes and excites us, uplifts and inspires us. It moves us to ecstasy and reduces us to tears. Moreover, because music speaks straight to our heart, it has power. And thank God for that lovely gift, because I heavily rely on music as a motivating factor to help me accomplish a variety of tasks some days. Lately, besides using my innumerable playlists on my iPod/iTunes, I've been categorizing some of my favorite songs on Spotify as well for different tasks and moods to play in the background while working on the computer. Today, I'm sharing my mundane Monday music playlist that helps put some pep in my steps as I go about accomplishing my Monday tasks with a much lighter heart and happy feet. Here are some of the random Monday tunes that I'm feeling at the moment.

I'm curious, do you have any tunes to help you get your week started on a good foot?


Grateful Moments

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues. ~ Cicero

{The perfect spring/summer statement necklace to elevate a simple outfit}

Happy Friday! May your weekend be filled with relaxation, laughter, peace and joy whether it be alone or spent with those you love. I'm looking forward to a quick business getaway that'll be spent lunching and catching up with friends. These are a few moments that made me smile this week. 

{My greatest find this week - a candle making bar...say what?!}

{This amazing brand new Hermes scarf is still sitting in its beautiful orange box and it's for sale - contact me if you're interested}

{The moon peaking through the trees never fails to inspire me in such a deep way}

{A dreamy bar}

What were your favorite moments this week?