Tuesday, October 25, 2016

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...

It's the little things that make my day. Some of my favorite things are those that are as inspiring as they are pretty. Even the simpliest things like a sleek iPhone or quilted coin purse from Paris can be enough to empower my creativity. There are the obvious inspirations --It by Alexa Chung and a perfectly pink nail polished named after this here blog -- that also inspire the analytical and academic side of me. Alexa's heartfelt retelling of her modeling days inspires the same amount of enthusiasm for science as it does for fashion. My favorite things are my favorite things because they inspire me and change me and discover me and influence me. Not me the fashion/beauty blogger; not me the science major. Just me. Me in my entirety.

Now that was sappy. Too sappy for a fashion/beauty blog. But I published it anyway because sometimes fashion and beauty are more than fashion and beauty.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Style Envy: Emily Schuman

Cupcakes and Cashmere, Style Blogger, Emily Schuman, lifestyle blog, Man Repeller, Winter Style, Fall
The common thread between every L.A. blogger is their immense lack of realistic winter style. Leandra Medine (a New York blogger through and through) always shares the oppressive blanket winter inevitably lays on top of her personal style. Anyone outside of perpetually sunny Los Angeles has to spend the winter deciding between warmth and style. That usually means that I'm stuck swaddled in blankets while I scroll through L.A. based blogs like Cupcakes and Cashmere saying a paper thin sweater and a stylistically draped windbreaker are "winter essentials."

Nonetheless, Emily Schuman and her peers' winter style is not a completely lost cause. I absolutely love Emily's winter outfits for the early days of fall when it's fifty-five degrees when I leave my apartment and somehow transforms to eighty degrees by lunch. Her eclectic take on classically chic style represents the ethos of personal style while still remaining adult-y and professional -- my new goal since I'm going to have to be a real adult living in the real world soon enough. But even before I attempted to become an adult, the undeniably "Emily" aesthetic in every Cupcake and Cashmere outfit was inspirational as much as it was inspiring. Red stripes and leather skirts seem innocent enough until you try and pull them off. Grey velvet heels and a sprawling messy bun are not easy trends to wear either, yet here we are. Even if this bipolar weather doesn't last long, at least I'll have the likes of Emily Schuman and her fellow L.A, bloggers to inspire me while they can.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


prints: Daydream Prints

I wouldn't call the humble arrangement of artwork in my apartment a gallery wall in front of an interior designer, but I am rather proud of my little collection of pretty prints. Throughout the past couple of years I've added and taken away from my gallery wall's many incarnations. Recently I did an entire revamp of my artwork selection and layout creating a whole new aesthetic above my work space. I kept many of my original prints from the now defunct Etsy shop, Macarons and Peonies, as well purchased a few new colorful pieces inspired by the work of Andy Warhol (rather demure Andy Warhol, if we're really being honest). But most notably, I've adding several of my favorite greeting cards from Daydream Prints and converted them into mini wall prints. I chose You're Beautiful and Find Your Tribe from the newest collections and Love Letter #2, my all time favorite from in DP history. I spent an ungodly amount of time converting each one and then placing them just right within my gallery wall. I mean, it was all worth it because I've been in love with the results ever since I put them up about two months ago, but the moments of regret come when on wonder to DaydreamPrints.com and see what new things it has to offer.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Sit Still, Look Pretty

As I've gotten older (lol) I've become more and more empowered and proud of who I am. It's not like I've felt particularly worthless or un-special in the past, but I never grasped how incredible somethings were about who I am and the life I live. I have been obsessed with Sit Still, Look Pretty by Daya (who I just bought tickets to see in February!) and every time I listen to it I am even more inspired by the things I do every day. As a black woman at an elite university sometimes I overlook the fact that there are not many people that can do what I do. I have to keep reminding myself that being a well-educated, incredibly talented woman has not always been the norm. My hopes of going to graduate school and earning the highest academic degrees in my field put me even further beyond what would be expected of me as a woman, as the child of immigrants, and as a person of color. Every day I'm surrounded by amazingly intelligent women who are above and beyond what any average person could hope to become and it's inspiring. As Daya points out in Sit Still, Look Pretty the idea that men have this lustful dream of having great, powerful jobs while being married to loving and amazing women who stay at home and dedicate their lives to being a trophy wife is a little unsettling. I've never thrown out the possibility of being a stay-at-home mom or ever hated the idea of women who choose not to work when married. However, the more I see Ph.D. and MD clad women, the more I feel uncomfortable with the idea that a housewife (oh how I hate the words trophy wife) is the only desirable partner for well-off, hard-working men.

I can't imagine being expected to not work despite the years of education and training I will undoubtedly have put in by the time I am married. I can't fathom being married to someone who believes I shouldn't use any of the education I'd have spent so much time, effort, and money acquiring. There are many different types of wives and even more types of women in the world, all of which do amazing and incredible things in their own right. But sometimes there is a need for me to sit back, put Daya's album on repeat, feel empowered, and realize that I am a commodity. Not necessarily someone who is fighting gender norms or trying to show the world that I can be just as great as men. Simply, I am a highly valued asset to the world and every now and then I need Daya to make me feel good about that.

Friday, October 7, 2016

100% Boys' Tears

100% boys tears, Valfre, iPhone case, trendy, kitschy phone case, illustrator, Instagram
phone case: 100% Boys Tears by Valfre

I'm sure you've seen one or two (or ten) of Valfre's hauntingly quirky illustrations floating around on whatever social media apps you peruse. Her artwork has been floating around Pinterest, Instagram, and We Heart It for years and she's been featured in both Nylon and Teen Vogue (and probably others) within the last few months. Lately, Valfre has been releasing more and more clothes for her namesake clothing line and I've been crying silent tears wishing I could buy everything. I've come to terms with my attraction to pretty much anything with a cheeky phrase on it (i.e. everything Valfre has ever created). I have a collection of hats, t-shirts, jewelry, office supplies and even drinkware with snarky sayings on them. But one of my all-time favorite cheeky, kitschy accessories I own is my 100% Boys Tears iPhone case by Valfre. I had one for my iPhone 5 that I just got rid of and now have a brand new one for my iPhone 6. It's my fail-safe conversation starter when I'm in a crowd of people and makes for some really quirky, cute Insta pictures on top of just being the perfect phone case for my personality. The phone case itself is rather wide, preventing me from ever putting my phone in my pocket ever again, but honestly, why would I want to hide this piece of female empowered humor? There are always sacrifices you have to make in order to be great.

If cartoonish milk cartons are not your cup of tea, there are plenty of other fun phone cases on Valfre's website. Other popular designs include her Chill Pill cases in pastel pink or blue, Bruno 3D black cat case, and her Rose Coffin case with an old-fashioned telephone antenna. And of course, there are a few plain jane cases with illustrations of plants, lipstick tubes, and the like for those of you who'd rather not make a statement every time you pull your phone out. Not everyone communicates through tech, but even still there's something about a Valfre iPhone case that will always turn heads.

Photo by Valfre

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Fashionista's Reading List: Fall 2016

Aimee SOng, Capture Your Style, Sophia Amoruso, Nasty Galaxy, In The Company of Women, The Coveteur, Private Spaces Personal Style, book, New Releases, Just Released

Capture Your Style by Aimee Song
As more and more of the OG fashion bloggers venture away from the blogosphere and into more traditional fashion roles, Aimee Song has expanded her list of accomplishments to include a personal style and Instagram how-to book. It's a little bit of a memoir, a little bit of a social media guide, and a little bit of a just-for-looks coffee table book to meet all of your literary needs.

Nasty Galaxy by Sophia Amoruso
Ever since I found out about Sophia Amoruso's next book, I have been patiently waiting for its release. Nasty Galaxy is a step up from #GirlBoss since it's less of a personal story and more of an aesthetic journey through the eyes of Nasty Gal's founder and CEO.

In The Company of Women by Grace Bonney
If you like Human's Of New York in any type of way, then In The Company of Women should be your next foray into reading about others' lives. A collection of stories from incredible women -- old, young, rich, poor, but always interesting -- and who they are.

The Coveteur: Private Spaces, Personal Style by The Coveteur
The Coveteur has taken its signature subject and turned it into a bound book of endless decor inspiration. Prepare yourself for the most beautiful layouts from the icons you've seen in magazines and on the big screen. In other words, prepare to see celebrities' most intimate expression of personal style: their homes.

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