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Naughty Nautical

Silk floral tunic top (shown here), Striped asymmetrical skirt, Forever21 bag (can you believe it?! - similar), Zara heels, Michael Kors bracelet (shown here - got my eyes on this one), Ralph Lauren earrings (similar), Mirrored aviators (similar), Essie "Naughty Nautical" nail lacquer {thus the post title which I thought was apropos with the skirt's style;}

I once read this quote that said "regret not what you buy, but what you don't buy." I couldn't agree more because sometimes I run into a certain piece of clothing that normally I would pass up because it is not completely my style, but somehow for some inexplicable reason or for the fun of it, I often end up buying for either its unique style, color or the feel of the fabric. It's as if it speaks to me, saying "you know you like being 'different'..."

This skirt is no exception. It was a purchase from last summer that I never got to wear until recently. What I liked about it was the asymmetrical boho'ish cut of it and of course the classic nautical stripes. The flowy fabric makes this skirt an excellent versatile piece for a breezy spring and/or summer day that could also be worn with these sandals. And since this year's trend is all about mixing patterns, I decided to combine the skirt with one of my favorite tunics to add interest, depth and color (told you I'm not afraid of color). I Rounded out the look with a simple thin blush colored belt that tied in with the bag and my newest favorite pair of heels from Zara.


The Los Angeles Philharmonic

This weekend after a rather stressful week leaving us with negative noise in our heads, the hubby and I strayed over to the O.C. (Orange County for those of you who don't know the acronym means) to go see the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Segerstrom center for date night. Dressing up for a night out, especially to go to the theater has always been one of my favorite experiences{what stress?!}. Honestly, there are very few things more enthralling and mentally stimulating than entering into a grand theater with red velvet seating,  seeing the lights dim and listening to the harmonious sound of an orchestra. As the program begun, I found myself ever so slightly drawn in with eyes of wonderment and pleasure as I steadily gazed on how this seventy-three plus giant orchestra played like one musical instrument. I couldn't help but think how less stressful and mad this place would be if only each person when driving yielded to each other as they should - like this beautiful orchestra. There would be less traffic, less road rage, less pointless honking, and most importantly, less accidents. All it takes is the art of being yielding.

Needless to say, the event was magnificently powerful. Watching the talent of Gil Shaham playing the violin so effortlessly and with such joy was definitely a treat. He has to be the happiest violinist I have ever seen. Not to be forgotten is the ever amusing conductor Stéphane Denève. Both provided virtuoso performances, which helped us escape from reality for two hours. I slept so good that night. But what I want to know is this: how come almost every orchestra conductor has the same wild haircut and look? Is that a protocol for them or what? Inquisitive minds want to know.;)

PS: If you haven't been to the theater and in need of good positive mental decompression and recharge, I suggest you go; get a glass of champagne while there - trust me, it's a fanciful experience that sure will leave you feeling energetically revived.

PSS: I didn't even get a chance to take photos of the outfit beforehand {to be frank, the traffic issue in this town eats up a lot of my time and energy. Would you believe on the way there we confronted an 8 car pileup on the highway that completely stopped traffic for over 30 minutes!!  Again, if people would have yielded this accident that caused so much inconvenience and unnecessary stress probably would have been avoided}, plus I felt the pictures would have come out cheesy looking with the iPhone camera as the hubby offered to take my picture in front of the hall when we got there after the sun had already set. But I have an outfit post for tomorrow that's a far cry from my normal style. So check back tomorrow fellow Fashionistas and let me know what ya'll think.


Spicy Margarita {Olé!}

Whenever I go out to dinner my go-to cocktail is a margarita on the rocks with salt. My favorite is the traditional margarita {preferably the Cadillac}, cause every time I've ventured out trying different flavored margaritas, I almost always get disappointed and often end up ordering the traditional version. But about a month or so ago, the hubby ordered a spicy jalapeno version that was on this particular restaurant's menu, which I tasted and liked it...a lot, I might add. I thought this spicy variation would be a great refreshing change to my traditional favorite for the summer months. I decided to try making it at home following this previous recipe and added 1 sliced jalapeno in it. It's best to let it sit for about fifteen to thirty minutes, so the jalapeno pepper can have time to infused the margarita. It's definitely a great recipe that can be made way ahead of time. I mixed a dash of cayenne pepper in the salt and ran the glass rims in the salt mix for a lovely hint of red and a little hint of spice. We both were very pleased at how it turned out. Very smooth, right amount of tartness, not too sweet with a little surprise of spiciness. Yum! My mouth is watering as I type this.

Buen provecho!


Brooklyn Flashback

Brooklyn has been on my mind so much lately, particularly Brooklyn Heights {and as some of you know, it's one of those neighborhoods that I obsess about, along with Park Slope, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill}. It could have something to do with the fact that we're two months away from completing a year on the west coast and I am homesick. I've been in the process of organizing all the photos on my computer desktop {which has been an ongoing project on my to-do list} and I came across these photos, which gave me a  flashback of the last time we were strolling the streets in Brooklyn Heights on our way from seeing a documentary at a friend's house. It was a drizzly, rainy morning; the air was fresh, the wet streets strewn with leaves were quiet with the occasional residents walking their dogs in their hunter boots and rain gear... fond memories that instantly comfort me and make me smile. This area alone, with its fine brownstone architecture, cobble stone streets, quaint coffee shops, pastry shops, a plethora of lovely restaurants/cafes, and unique attractions make this small enclave of old world charm one of NYC's gems.

Joya: one of our favorite places to eat Thai  in Brooklyn

*All these photos were taken with my iPhone.


Grateful Moments

{One of my most memorable moments this week - still can't stop thinking about the food}

A quick business trip to Las Vegas and a continuous full schedule of running from one place to another in L.A., has left me crawling in exhaustion this week. I know people love to repeat the cliche 'it's good to be busy.' I agree, but only when it's the type of busy that involves doing something exciting leaving you inspired and/or rejuvenated, and I can't say that's completely been the case. I'm hoping the retreat I have to attend this Saturday perks me up. Keeping conscious that life flies by so quickly is my saving grace in helping me to intentionally savor the moments that I do get to enjoy and the lovely things that I receive in life, and for that I'm grateful.

{Finally got this beauty on my kitchen counter - more baking will be happening around here, which means growing the hubby's pot belly}

{Favorite quote of the moment}

{A wonderful break in routine}

{Can always count on humor to keep me psychologically healthy}


Pop Of Yellow {Living Room Before and After}

It's clear that my subtle love affair with citron yellow has not died down. From my inspiration post here to the one and only yellow blazer in my wardrobe, I've been in desperate need of a little cheerful optimism in my life. The colors we live with really do influence our emotions. Some palettes either lighten or brighten our mood, while others tend to pacify or purify. So it's important we choose wisely. Originally, when we moved into this place I was itching to paint the walls white which would have intensified the bright yellow drapes in the room, but knowing this was a temporary place, I decided against it. Instead I opted to add zest to the room with some touches of yellow and other accessories to visually balance out the space. Being that yellow expands, cheers and increases energy, I knew that's the color drape I wanted to offset the neutralizing existing wall color. And I must say, those yellow curtains that I put up back in November {which by the way, took an agonizing three weeks to arrive from Joss & Main} definitely add the right level of energy to the room that I was hoping for. I've gotten many great compliments about them, but the best compliment I've gotten is when I had my wine and cheese party, a friend {ex-actress and an amazing artist} said "I've never seen yellow look that good!"



I still would like to add a bull's skull/head {liking this one and this one is pretty cool - I wish this cow's skull was in gold} above the TV - just haven't been able to find the right one yet. I also wanted to add a sofa table, but the time left here is dwindling by the day, so I think I'm going to hold off on that.

You can see more of the decorating details here...


Pastel Lotus {Two Ways}

Look No.1 {without the belt and jacket}: W118 by Walter Baker dress, Boutique9 shoes (seen here), Michael Kors bracelet, Proclaim carry bag.
Look No. 2 {with belt and jacket}: J.G Hook blazer (seen here), Gold sparkly belt

I bought this springy dress last year and never got a chance to wear it until recently. When I laid eyes on it in the store, the style, shape and color immediately drew me right to it. Doesn't it scream spring? What makes me even more fond of this dress besides its comfortable loose fitting easy breezy type material, is its color name: pastel lotus. To my surprise, a color name that lends fresh new meaning and perspective to how I've been dealing with things lately. A name so apropos for two reasons: 1. the lotus leaf metaphorically describes how I was able to cope with this dreadful experience that a few of you have been writing to me about these past couple of weeks. (By the way, thanks for letting me know that my story has inspired and helped you). 2. pastel is "the trend of the moment", which makes me wonder, could I be a fashion forecaster? Or could it be something perceived from the natural hues of blossoming trees and budding flowers in springtime?

Now, a little bit of facts about the lotus leaf for those of you who don't already know. First of all, it's known as a self-cleaning plant. Not because the surface is smooth, as the surface of the lotus leaf is covered with microscopic bumps that are, in turn, covered with wax crystals. Droplets of water that fall on the leaf are suspended on these structures, which act as a water repellent. The slope of the leaf causes the water to roll off before it even has a chance to reach the leaf’s surface. The result? Not only is the lotus leaf kept dry but it is also kept clean, as dirt and dust particles are carried off in the droplets. Precisely why I thought the name of the dress is such a great metaphor for how we deal with things in life. Like this lotus plant, when we face unbearable situations in our lives, whether it be dealing with jealous people, insecure "friends" that relentlessly try to bring you down, criticism, insults, circumstances that we're unable to change presently, bigotry, health issues, financial reversals, family issues or lack thereof etc...etc... it's best to let them bounce right off...

To be honest, when I was hit with the soul cycle saga, it consumed a good chunk of my life and brain power for months (every now and then, it still hits me as I still have some body damage that constantly reminds me of the incident now). What made it worse, is how I was blown off by the company executives when I spoke to them about what happened. They ended up making me feel like an insignificant ant on the ground. What a shame because this is a company that I wholeheartedly promoted. For those trying months, the hubby and two friends had to tell me over and over again to let it go and move on. Really, the great lesson derived from this is to let things roll off your back like "those water droplets roll off the lotus leaf", not letting any negativity rent space or penetrate the mind or heart to the point of immobilization - just move on, accept the changes and work on being a stronger and more complete you. Hard to do, but not impossible. It just takes time and determination.

On a side note: don't I look very different with makeup on? I was experimenting for an upcoming event by applying some eye shadow, mascara and a little bit of black eyeliner on my upper eyelid and eyelash. Finished it with my old MAC studio fix powder (whether it's still good or not, I have no idea. It looks the same as when I bought it - I'm assuming it's all good right?). The hubby doesn't like me with makeup and frankly, I'm not really into it either, but I like the fresh look it gives my face for special occasions.


Brands vs Sense

Have you been eyeing these Jimmy Choo shoes, but don't have the cash (or not up to spending that kind of money on shoes) to acquire a pair of your own? No worries, these lovely Asos alternatives are just as futuristic and classically fashionable at a much more sensible price point.


Favorite Links

1. I laughed myself to tears reading this list about the best and worst places to cry in New York City. The Trader Joe's spot is my favorite one.

2. Compliments go such a long way. These ten statements everyone needs to hear are such a great way to start.

3. I couldn't be more excited about these 11 new restaurants that opened in NYC last week for me to go back to.

4. A collection of 30 amazingly beautiful rainbows.

5. Apparently, physical activity isn't just for the body. Exercising is just as necessary for healthier eyes. Say What?!


Spring Garden

JG Hook blazer, NY&Co dress (Love this one and that one), JS shoes, Vince Camuto wallet

When it comes to color I'm not partial. The diverse spectrum of color gives me the same feeling and reaction as you would have when looking at a beautiful garden or a plethora of varied flowers at a farmer's market. Of course, I have certain hues I tend to gravitate towards more {mostly, earth tones; black, brown and grays which I've been slowly working my way out of} than others for sure, thus I go through my phases with color. There was a time that I was very into yellow. So much so that I painted the living room of our first home we bought a 'buttercup yellow' with an amber glaze washed over it and our kitchen a 'sunny yellow' just to cheer up that petite space which turned out lovely, especially with the mural of Greece {similar to this} that I applied on the ever so tiny breakfast nook area opposite the kitchen. We can all agree yellow is a cheerful color.

Just to show you how shameless I am when it comes to color, remember those neon puffy jumpsuits back in the 90's that sounded like rubbing two pieces of sandpaper together when you walk? I owned two: one in bright pink, the second one a bright neon green. I wore them proudly, until one day a friend said "we'd always find you in a crowd..." with an awkward giggle. I think that's when my wearing an almost all black uniform started. Now, I just stick a to an occasional dash of color depending on the mood instead of swimming in head-to-toe bright colors.

Fun fact: Did you know because yellow is the most highly visible of all colors, it is used for positive keywords such as: cheerfulness, fun, enthusiasm, optimism...?