Modern Day Princess

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Top: Hot Topic Skirt: Helmut Lang Bag: Kate Spade Sunnies: Dolce and Gabbana                     Shoes: Nordstrom Rack 

So as of late, I have really started to embrace my fashion roots. You know the kind that include plastic, sparkles, lots of pink, frilly dresses and yes Disney. Lots of Disney. So it should be no surprise that first stop on the Disney wardrobe train was Hot Topic. Now I was raised to believe Hot Topic is strictly for Marilyn Manson groupies or religious fans of the Craft. Like no joke, growing up I was not allowed to step foot in Hot Topic. Well, I was also not allowed to wear black.

Before my dear mother starts rolling in her grave, I partnered with my local Hot Topic to fulfill my Disney styling needs. And she’d be happy to know I don’t even think they carry Marilyn Manson pieces anymore. Music is still super loud though. Alas, as much as I love paying homage to my favorite Disney princess or any other Disney character for that matter in frilly dresses, and trust me I love Disney Bounding I thought I would pay homage to one of my favorite princess’ in a more modern way.

So I traded the traditional bright colors and frills today for an edgier ensemble. And I truly believe edgier captures the more adventurous spirit of Ariel. After all she was the one to defy her father and give up her voice all in the name of love. Which is why I had to accent this outfit with a heart bag. Ariel once said, “I don’t understand how a world that makes such wonderful things, can be so bad.” I feel like this is exactly what I should have said to my mom growing up, as this is exactly the misconception from Hot Topic. Who’d have ever thought I would have gotten princess inspiration from a store overshadowed by goth roots?

 

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Keeping it “Cali Cool”

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Shorts: Joie Gladiators: Steve Madden Bag: Coach Top: Parker Hat: H&M

It isn’t until very recently I started realizing the impact the United States has on the fashion world. After all, Paris is synonymous with chic, but what are we known for? Well, I feel like New York got the effortless chic reputation, Miami gets all the fun, and California? Like our Coast we keep it cool.

As much as I would like to think I dress runway ready every day, that’s just not possible. But thanks to “Western Fashion Dress code” even my off days are still in line with tradition. It doesn’t take very much to achieve this look. Shorts and sandals typically accomplish this but in typical fashion girl style even something as simple as a pair of sandals has to have an element of drama- thus the choice of going with gladiator sandals. Surprisingly, my Steve Madden gladiators have been my go to selection for the past few summers. Shocking to me because typically the life expectancy I have for Steve Maddens is 2 months.

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Alas, I’ve come to the conclusion to achieve said California Cool look you need 3 things- color, minimal accessories, and a gust of wind in your hair. A pink cadillac in the background is always a nice accent as well.

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Spring Style: The Necessities

 

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Dress: Nordstrom’s Rack Hat: H&M Sunnies: Prada Bag: Coach 

So believe it or not florals are not the only option when it comes to Spring attire. Spring, despite all these seasonal allergies is one of my favorite seasons for a plethora of reasons. I love waking up to new blooms in my yard and everywhere you look life seems to be bursting with color of the pastel and bright kind. And quite frankly you don’t need to look further than your landscape to find inspiration for your Spring wardrobe staples.

Although I love bright colors as much as I love sunshine and the longer days, I do have an equal affinity towards pastels. For the ultimate Spring ensemble I typically gravitate towards frilly dresses (either accented with bows or ruffles) in the color palette of the season i.e. every shade of pink from bright to blush! Scenic floral backgrounds are always an extra bonus. When it comes to accessorizing I hate to sound cliche but anything that sparkles in the shape of a flower seem to be the pieces I gravitate toward. Like a moth to the flame.

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Simply Stylist 2015

Simply Stylist outfit illustrated by the lovely and talented Jeanette Getrost. Outfit details: Dress- Wells Grace Pink Mania Pumps by Brian Atwood Bag by Ted Baker.

Simply Stylist outfit illustrated by the lovely and talented Jeanette Getrost.                                                                                               Outfit details: Dress- Wells Grace Pink Mania Pumps by Brian Atwood Bag by Ted Baker. 

The prospect of going to a networking event, by yourself, especially one led by people whose careers I’ve followed and been inspired by for many years, can well, be quite intimidating. And that’s initially how I felt when I walked up to the theater at the Grove. I checked in and was amazed at how incredibly organized the event was. Each attendee that was part of the “Fashion and Beauty” package was greeted by very enthusiastic volunteers for the event who gave us our badges (I was so excited to see my Blog name as part of my name badge) along with Simply Stylist binders. Inside the binders was the itinerary for the afternoon. (Even though I had already downloaded the Simply Stylist App I was still totes excited about the binder.) I contained my excitement and walked through towards the giant step and repeat where I had anticipated taking the very cliche Instagram photo that is almost mandatory when attending events like this. Alas, instead I opted to start a casual conversation with another event attendee, Hailey. Much like myself, Hailey was also a very ambitious person. She came from a background that included interning with Rachel Zoe and explained while she loved her current job knew she was worth something more. OMG?! Me too! Or rather I should say our circumstances were very similar. While I still very much enjoy going to work every day, I get a sense of fulfillment when I do the blogging thing. Which side note, it was also very refreshing to be surrounded by a group of people who understand how much of a task it is to maintain a decent blog. Alas, I quite enjoyed the side conversations i had with this girl. Someone who knows what it means to know you’re destined for greatness and failure isn’t an option. I was quite delighted.

The first part of conference was kicked off with E’s Catt Sadler interviewing the beautiful and astonishingly witty, Alessandra Ambrosio. To be truthful when her interview first started, I initially thought to myself, now what in the world would I have in common with a super model? Sometimes, and I’m ashamed to admit this I forget that even people who have wildly successful careers started out a dreamer. A kid who wasn’t afraid of wishing upon a star and wasn’t afraid to work to achieve their dreams. “If you want it, you got to fight for it”, was one of my favorite quotes of the day spoken by a true angel. Even she’s fought her battles and made her sacrifices. Sometimes you can only make it to birthdays and a few holidays when it comes to those in your social circle. But at the end of the day if you’re doing what you love then that’s what’s important. Someone commented during a panel discussion, you only get one life, so you better make it count.

While yes it was exciting to hear from various perspectives of success in the industry, I was even more thrilled to hear about each person’s journey. And that seems to be the key to each of these stories. It’s each journey and each individuals commitment to their own success, and method of story telling I suppose as well that made each of them stand out. And standing out is key as well. Jen Chae reaffirmed this sentiment by advising the audience “it’s about being you, be the one who stands out.” And if you’re reading this you’re probably thinking to yourself, well easier said than done. That’s where you dear fellow dreamer take it upon your self to fight for your dream. Because think about it. And the logic is quite practical. If you don’t fight for your dream who will? If you don’t enjoy your own brand or business, why would anyone else? And that’s almost part of the key to success as well. “Don’t get so caught up in the numbers game” said Cara Santana. And that’s true! You’re always going to have someone else’s numbers to compare to. But at the end of the day, just like anything else in life don’t concern yourself with what you don’t have but rather what you do. Give your audience a reason to continue following you. I was at a leadership meeting about 2 years ago, and the moderator said something that I have always found inspiring and true to this same exact concept. If you light something on fire, whether that be a business or your blog or your own sense of fashion, people are going to come to watch you burn. Sounds kind of gory I realize that (please forgive me, I’m watching the “Walking Dead” season finale as I type this, sacrilegious but pursuing a dream is a sacrifice and I’m just not paying attention to commercials.) Either way the sentiment is the same, be true to yourself. Be the one who stands out. Believe in yourself, and your brand and be genuine and kind a long the way. Don’t be afraid of the word no, because at the end of the day you’re probably going to hear a million no’s but it’s going to make that one yes that much more special. And that’s one of the other things that stayed with me while I was driving home. At the end of the day, this journey is your own. Nobody can take it from you. And as Michael Costello pointed out “don’t set one goal, set many.” And once you reach your end goal figure out a way to do it better.

Needless to say by the end of the panel sessions I was feeling tremendously inspired. Like I could conquer the world. And that feeling of empowerment and success, is something that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. I learned a ton, was inspired lots and made connections that I hope will last a life time. LA is a big town and with all the lights one rarely see’s the stars in the sky. But if you look close enough you’ll find exactly what I did and I’ve truthfully known all along. The stars in the sky don’t shine as bright because there are simply beautiful souls on the ground whose passion and dreams shine far brighter. It’s a cheesy sentiment I realize but I have always had an affinity for cheesiness. I like it and it works for me. I cannot wait until the next panel! And who knows maybe next time I might even travel to Chicago or New York for a conference. Time to start considering meeting global dreamers.

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In addition to a series of inspiring panels, there was a "Brand Experience." And an experience it was! Event attendees were introduced to a variety of brands in the courtyard at the Grove. I loved that each of the brands encouraged the use of social media as means of participating in their various services offered. Although I felt really bad for my new friend who was looking forward to a massage and was stalled because she couldn't get a signal to download the vendor's app.

In addition to a series of inspiring panels, there was a “Brand Experience.” And an experience it was! Event attendees were introduced to a variety of brands in the courtyard at the Grove. I loved that each of the brands encouraged the use of social media as means of participating in their various services offered. Although I felt really bad for my new friend who was looking forward to a massage and was stalled because she couldn’t get a signal to download the vendor’s app. This photo was taken at the Nation LTD booth. The very enthusiastic host of that booth encouraged each passer by to stop and take a polaroid. The polaroid was then immediately pinned to a bulletin board and we were told to put our Instagram handle on our picture. This was mine!

Jeanette Getrost painting very diligently as some of us waited almost 2 hours for our turn.

                    Jeanette Getrost painting very diligently as some of us waited almost 2 hours for our turn.

Social Media, a win win for all who participate.

                                             Social Media, a win win for all who participate.

Thank you E Salon for my gorgeous braid!

                                                         Thank you E Salon for my gorgeous braid!

Finally had the absolute pleasure of speaking with the immensely talented Michael Costello. Yes, the man behind Beyonce and so many other diva's fabulous gowns. I got the opportunity to tell him how long I've been a fan and how I've just loved watching his career blossom to the magnitude of notoriety in the fashion world that it is today.

Finally had the absolute pleasure of speaking with the immensely talented Michael Costello. Yes, the man behind Beyonce and so many other diva’s fabulous gowns. I got the opportunity to tell him how long I’ve been a fan and how I’ve just loved watching his career blossom to the magnitude of notoriety in the fashion world that it is today.

Pop Princess: When Fashion Met the Backstreet Boys

Top: Backstreet Tour Shirt Skirt: Bella Olivia Tutu's (Etsy) Shoes: Christian Louboutin

Top: Backstreet Tour Shirt Skirt: Bella Olivia Tutu’s (Etsy) Shoes: Christian Louboutin Jacket: J Brand

This past Thursday me and my BFF of the CLL of the DTD finally got to see the Backstreet Boys documentary “Show Em What Your Made Of.” We’ve been looking forward to this since we first saw the trailer debut during one of their summer tours about 3 years ago. And let me tell you the experience wast totally worth the wait!

Not only did I get to sit in the same auditorium as the boys, but I got to sit in the row directly across from them. Which watching their family react to the film was memorable and touching all at the same time. The film itself was inspiring, just as I anticipated. It’s one thing to achieve success, but to maintain success despite the odds stacked against you is even more inspiring. I love how whenever I explain I’m going to a Backstreet event people respond with “Oh, they’re back?” My response, usually in a tone of annoyance is “they never left!” Mainstream music might have modified it’s preference to that of auto tuned lip syncers but the boys never changed. So while that explains why the radio doesn’t play them anymore, it also explains why their fans never left. I personally will always prefer a classic pop tune with traditional instruments and harmonious vocals over a predominantly computer generated tune any day. Plus, as Erik Michael Estrada mentioned to a fan, we teeny boppers aren’t what we once were. Back in the day I was attracted to the boys because they were just cute boys who sang catchy tunes. But as I got older, in addition to appreciating the nostalgia of having them around, I began to appreciate their lyrics and how their songs always came at just the right time. I could not have gotten through some of life’s toughest moments without lyrics such as “Never gone, never far, in my heart is where you are” or “I don’t want to make you face this world alone.”

I could go on and on about how their lyrics have impacted my life and gotten me through hardships (or even happy times for that matter)  but what separates the boys from the rest, is their loyalty to their fans. I’ve personally had Brian Littrell honk and wave at me and my BFF because I’m sure he knew how much it would mean to us. I’ve never felt as though I over paid for a concert experience (or even been disappointed by a concert experience.) And I’ve even witness them make a fan’s dream come true by inviting her to come on stage and perform with them. They’ve given us so much it was nice to watch a film that document’s their personal struggles and triumphs and cheer for them, and let them know we’ve appreciated all that they’ve done for us. The film captured the past 20 years beautifully. It’s been an incredible journey that forever changed pop culture. They could have easily given up and we could have moved on to One Direction with only classic’s like “I Want It That Way” to compare. But they know they mean too much to us. They’ve fought to stay here and we will always fight to keep them here. So whether I’m in a crowd of a thousand, five hundred or just five, I will always be there because I will always want it that way.

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Special thanks to my co-workers who convinced me a tutu of this magnitude was absolutely necessary when going to a premiere. “Don’t be one of those girls with those nasty Herve Legier wannabe bandage dresses she said.” It’s true. Be original girls. For me, dressing like a cupcake is totally me! Plus, I love that this outfit supported smaller business. Special shout out to Bella Olivia tutus for creating this spectacular fashion statement. The boys noticed and Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees said I looked awesome. Mission accomplished.

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When professional camera's aren't allowed, the pixels of a cell phone are appreciated.

                When professional camera’s aren’t allowed, the pixels of a cell phone are appreciated.

Erik Michael Estrada from Otown!

Erik Michael Estrada from Otown! He ended up sitting behind us throughout the film and had the best commentary. My favorite conversation of the night was him explaining to a fan the evolution of teeny boppers. He explained it’s been an interesting transition in that we’ve gone from throwing teddy bears to Heinkein bottles. I don’t know about all that. If anything I’d say we’re a more fun bunch as twenty boppers! I also loved the fact he mentioned the Backstreet Boys are really what reintroduced pop back into main stream radio in the 90’s and gave other bands like his, a chance. 

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Met Jeff Timmons from 98 Degrees too! He commented he loved the tutu! When a boy bander compliments your outfit pretty much you can just die and go to heaven.

Met Jeff Timmons from 98 Degrees too! He commented he loved the tutu! When a boy bander compliments your outfit pretty much you can just die and go to heaven.

Fashion For A Cause: Meet Angela and Roi

Handbags for a cause.

                                         Handbags for a cause. All photos courtesy of Angela and Roi. 

When Angela and Roi initially reached out to me regarding their collection the thing that caught my attention was the fact that all of their stylish and high fashion hand bags were made of 100% vegan leather. And all this time I thought Stella Mcartney was the only designer who cared about protecting our furry friends in the name of fashion. Angela and Roi though is so much more than animal friendly fashion. Their philosophy of business is to “value customer satisfaction not profit margins.” They also believe in the ability to use their resources to positively impact the greater community. First of all let’s talk about their bags. From their minimalist and classic styles in an assortment of shapes and colors, all bags are available at affordable prices ranging from $58-$165. My favorite is the “essential backpack” priced at $128. Just like any other shopping experience I innocently perused through the color options not realizing each color represented a cause. For example, green bags benefit the “Anxiety and Depression Association of America.” Every green bag sold, Angela & Roi donates $5 to help in the prevention, treatment and cure of disorders related to anxiety and depression.

Also, similarly to other leading fashion forward charitable causes Angela and Roi dedicates a portion of their website to educating their customers on the statistics and what you can do outside of purchasing one of their bags to support the cause. And if that wasn’t enough, there is also “The Ribbon Project” a unique concept of bringing Angela and Roi followers directly to cancer and disease fighters. How it works is, Angela and Roi includes a post card with the story of a cancer or disease fighter with each purchase. A&R followers can then write a “hopeful message on the post card, snap a picture of it, and share it on their Facebook page and Instagram with the #ribbonproject and #angelaroi. With the “Ribbon Project” Angela and Roi aims to “bring hope and support to our fighters while we inspire our followers to do good!” The best part of this amazing project is you don’t even need to buy a bag to send a well wishes message. Visit Angelaroi.com and meet some brave souls battling intense illnesses.

Fighting battles is something my family and I are all too familiar with. My mom passed away 10 years ago in a battle against brain tumors. She fought long and hard but in the end it was a pain patch called Fentanyl that killed her. Then there’s my little cousin, Elizabeth, or our families little angel as we like to call her. She’s been battling Alstroms Syndrome since 2 or 3 months after she was born. Alstroms Syndrome is a genetic disorder with only 800 cases world wide. In a nutshell it’s a debilitating terminal illness that effects all major organs. Throughout the course of the disease one endures blindness, deafness, obesity and diabetes. It doesn’t end there, all those things ultimately lead to chronic heart failure, severe lung problems, and liver failure. Sadly, there is no cure for this syndrome. Heart issues are one of the key factors of this debilitating disease but ironically she has one of the biggest hearts I know. I remember a few years back and she was in the hospital. Naturally she was the recipient of well wishes and get well gifts. She didn’t want any gifts, unless her little sister Kayla got something too. I could go on and on about how amazingly brave and kind hearted she is but just know there probably is nobody sweeter than Elizabeth.

As if that wasn’t enough of a strike to our family’s heart strings, my twin cousins, one of which is Elizabeth’s mom was also diagnosed with a terminal illness called gastroparesis. Never heard of this one either? Ya, neither had I until I got another gut wrenching phone call that something was wrong. In a nutshell, they can’t eat anything because their organs that process food don’t allow their bodies to do so because their digestive system started shutting down. This is heart breaking for a billion reasons one of which is they could probably open up their own restaurant with all the delicious plates they put together. In case you were wondering these diseases, as rare as they are have their own awareness colors as well. Alstrom’s syndrome supporters are raising awareness every time they wear denim. And green is also shared with the gastroparesis community. Inspired by Angela and Roi, I would love if next time you my precious reader, wore denim or green, you could share with me and hashtag your photo on social media either #forelizabeth for denim or #foraimeeandbeth if you’re wearing green. They don’t ask for extra attention but I’m sure love and support from around the world would mean just that, the world. At the end of the day, we all know someone who is battling unfortunate diseases and ailments. Kudos to Angela & Roi for stepping up to help out in the most fashionable way possible. MoaToteWebMain A&RMoaWine RedRibbon BucketWhite4

Big Hair Don’t Care: My Halloween As Marge Simpson

Dress: Nasty Gal Shoes: Melissa Necklace: Charming Charlie

                                  Dress: Nasty Gal Shoes: Melissa Necklace: Charming Charlie

Happy Halloween dear readers! Halloween is my favorite time of year. It’s the Christmas for us creative people who take delight in sharing our creativity with the world. And this year I was determined to take Halloween to Lauren Conrad levels of creativity. I plan for Halloween like some people plan weddings. I try and start thinking of ways to up my previous year typically in June. However this year my inspiration came when MAC released their Marge Simpson collection. Why I never really looked at the world’s most notorious house wife for inspiration before is beyond me. And it worked out because my boyfriend got to dress up as one of his favorite cartoon characters (South Park and Family Guy didn’t even come close to making the cut. No way could I make Stewie cute.)

Becoming inspired is only half the battle though! An idea is only such until you start looking for ways to bring your inspiration to life. How I ever made it through Halloween or any festive event before Pinterest is beyond me. The makeup idea came from Pinterest (construction paper to add drama to falsies, who’d of thought?!) Nasty Gal, coincidentally just happened to be having a sale on one of their signature dresses in the perfect shade of green. And even better it was sparkly! The universe was practically begging me to be Marge! The only thing that was pure my imagination was Marge’s signature blue beehive hair do. I searched through countless wigs. I even considered going with a young Marge vibe which would mean I would have to settle for long flowy blueberry shade of blue locks. But every wig I found reminded me too much of Katy Perry, which is fine for Katy Perry things but this was serious and settling was not an option. Then I found it! The official wig that went with the Marge Simpson costume. It wasn’t dramatic enough and not worth the $80 the costume store wanted to charge for it. Ugh, if you want something done right ya just gotta do it yourself! Right across the aisle way from the Marge costume, strategically placed were a pair of fuzzy leg warmers for a Dr. Seus inspired costume. If anyone understood the cartoony drama I was looking for it totally would be Dr. Seus! Although looking back now I probably could have just gone to Joannes and picked up some blue fuzzy fabric. Alas, I finally found what I was looking for.

I took the leg warmers home and a discussion about how high was too high and some magic with some thread, a glue gun and plastic bags later my perfect Marge Simpson wig was made. I sewed the top of one of the leg warmers together. I took some fabric off of the second leg warmer and attached an elastic head band to it. Next I glued the elastic band to my enclosed leg warmer and stuffed the center with plastic shopping bags. Several things were tried to keep it up but the bags seemed to work best. If the stuffing was too heavy it caused the wig to collapse. I have never been so proud of a creation in my life! I was pretty impressed with my work until we went to a Halloween Party and someone showed up in a homemade Bat Mobile. The people in our neighborhood get how important this holiday is. From my Marge masterpiece, to the Bat Mobile, to our neighbors amazing set up I’d say we’ve got this Holiday covered!

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There must have been a Simpson’s memo sent out because one of the Halloween parties we attended had not one but TWO Duffman! What are the odds?

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I wonder how many Little Mermaid scenes I can re-create in a pumpkin? Which scene should I do next year?!

Step by step tutorial for Marge's makeup.

                                                                  Step by step tutorial for Marge’s makeup.