Go ahead. Scroll through and look at the pics first. Feel free to drop your jaw a few times or say that’s ‘So effin gorgeous!’ as many times as you want. I won’t even be offended if you don’t end up reading my post. Pinterest is about to get some new pins.
So here’s the story of how I got to participate in one of the most beautifully curated photo/video shoots of my blogger life. Last weekend I had the privilege of spending a mock Galentine’s Day with 6 other beautiful influencers. The brainchild of this whole concept, Heather of @heather_roams, reached out to each of us with this magical, boho vision. Though I have never met any of the other ladies before this beach day, I was immediately welcomed with bright smiles and warm personalities. How we got away with no egos, no complaints and no drama is beyond me. It can be a bitch (pun intended) to get 7 women who are complete strangers to act like they like one another, but it’s a whole other experience when we all actually get along. We truly embraced the idea of Galentine’s Day as well as each other.
What made this shoot even more beautiful and special was that the crew and talent were predominantly women. Other than the film crew, the rest of the team were all women. #hifive
I know I’ve used the word beautiful a gazillion times already, but that’s literally what this shoots was…fucking BEAUTIFUL. I wouldn’t be surprised if you googled the word beautiful and one of these images pop up in your search.
I’m going to be doing more videos and Vlogging, so be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel!
I’m so glad I got to share this experience with these 6 gorgeous women. Be sure to check out their Instagram feeds!
Other than the images that are shown here, I also shot some other looks with two very talented and gorgeous photographers, Carrie Rogers and Lauren Newman, who are both new to the LA area.
Btw, I left the images in the filtered edits that were provided by the photographers so you can distinguish between their work. Carrie’s images have a more soft and romantic hue, while Lauren’s images are more bright with high contrast.
Thank you to everyone who made these happy moments possible! Happy Galentine’s Day ladies! Xo!
We’re a little over a week in on the new year, and most of us are slowly making our way back to reality, aka work. However, I’m already thinking of all the places I want to visit this year. I want to make my first trip as early as end of January/beginning of February. Call this my vacay from my vacation.
I’ve been throwing ideas and destinations at my boyfriend, and he thinks I just want to go to these specific locations for the ‘gram. True. BUT, I also want to go because I want to go. Some of these places are easy to get to, and some are just bucket list dreams, but here are my top destinations for 2018:
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
The odds of this trip happening soon, and possibly be my first destination of the year is high. Very high. I’m actually hoping to buy plane tix by tomorrow. (Yes, as in Wednesday). I’ve heard nothing but great things about Mexico City. The plane fares are very well priced, (~$300 from LAX), the food is phenomenal and cheap, and it’s apparently a pretty safe city to visit. I’m just excited about the tequila and architecture…you know, for the ‘gram.
I’m not a big skier or snowboarder, but my boyfriend loves snow like white on rice. He’s an avid skier and tries to hit the slopes as often as possible. Mammoth Mountain is just close enough to go for a long weekend, (maybe MLK?), and has all the bells and whistles you need for the skier at heart. We’ll probably hit this place up in the next weekend or so, and all that powder will look great as my backdrop.
Seychelles has been on my mind since the beginning of the year when we met this older couple who just got back from Africa visiting The Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya. I know, Kenya is another country within the continent of Africa, but this got me thinking about traveling to Africa. Seychelles is just about as pretty as it gets for beach destinations. The water, the islands, the year round beautiful weather are all screaming for me to come visit and take lots and lots of pictures while wearing the endless amount of swimwear that I buy but never wear. This is the year Seychelles. This is the year.
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
As if I didn’t watch enough #Kdrama to make up for the trip itself, I think it’s still best for me to experience it all in real life. I am so utterly intrigued by Seoul and it’s Korean culture. The food I’ve had here in K-Town is probably amplified by 10 folds there. My good friend, Stripes Collide, is Korean, and she has promised me a trip to Korea. I’m going to hold her to her words and make sure this trip comes into fruition. If not, I’ll always have to wonder if it’s all one big TV drama.
I’m sure there will be a trip or two to Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, Santa Barbara or NYC, but I’m really looking forward to those long travel, out of the country destinations. Here’s to many more stamps on my passport this year!
I am ashamed to say that I don’t know LA well outside of my little WeHo bubble. I have lived here for over 9 years, and I still don’t venture out much from my mid-Wilshire/WeHo area. And by “don’t venture out much” I mean I have only driven 54,000 miles on my car since 2009. The average person drives 12,000 miles per year. I have driven half of that. I know that Arcadia is a city east of where I live, but I couldn’t tell you if it’s north or south of I-10 or how to even get there. So when my now boyfriend tells me he lives in #DTLA, I was ignorant enough to think of only one thing, “that’s where Skid Row is, right?”
The DTLA that was 9 years ago…shit, the DTLA that was 2 years ago, is not the same DTLA that is today. From Arts District, to The Broad, to Little Tokyo, DTLA has flourished, (to say the least), and is growing and expanding by the day. Expensive commercial and residential real estate are popping up everywhere taking over junk yards and worn down, vacant factories. Before I started dating my boyfriend I only knew of Bestia, the rooftop bar of The Standard Hotel, and Bottega Louie. I have a whole new insight to what IS Downtown Los Angeles, and I would like to share with you my fav DTLA spots.
FEED ME I’M STARVING
My options for where to eat are somewhat limited as I am a pescatarian. God bless my carnivorous meat eating boyfriend for being so accommodating, and have taken me to some of the best restaurants in DTLA. The ones that we tend to go back to are:
Bäco Mercat – We come here for dinner and always get their Double Mushroom Coca, which is essentially a flatbread pizza that will blow your tastebuds. SO EFFIN GOOD! I also highly recommend their Moxie cocktail if you like a good bourbon drink.
Poppy + Rose– My favorite weekend brunch spot that doesn’t take reservations. It’s in the middle of the Flower District, and yet people drive in from all over the city to wait in line for 30-45 mins to dine here. Yup. It’s that good. They only offer the Eggs Benedict on the weekends, and the hollandaise sauce is worth every calorie.
Lao Tao – As if fate couldn’t have been more perfect, one of my boyfriend’s favorite restaurants is a Taiwanese street food restaurant in the heart of Chinatown. (In case you didn’t know, I’m also Taiwanese). There aren’t many vegetarian options for me, but everything here reminds me of home. We normally come here when Pine and Crane seem too far out of the way.
KazuNori – I wasn’t sure if I should list this place as it seemed too obvious of a choice, but it would be wrong of me to not mention it as we probably come here once a month. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would know of the deliciousness that is the hand rolls of KazuNori. Once again, no reservations, small dining area, and the hand rolls are made to order right in front of you. If you want an under $30 quality Japanese-cuisine meal, this is your holy grail.
SEE AND BE SEEN WITH A COCKTAIL IN HAND
We’re old and we don’t go out much, but when we do, this is usually where we end up:
Broken Shaker – The rooftop bar of the new hip Freehand Hotel has some of the best sunset views you can find in DTLA. We haven’t day partied here, but there’s a pool (only for hotel guests) and there’s an award winning bar. Nuff said.
Pattern Bar – Somehow we normally end up here after dinner in downtown. They play great house music, and often fly in DJs from around the world to play there. Their drinks are reasonably priced, and t’s also just down the street from my boyfriend’s place. We can stumble back home without too much hassle (i.e. #NYE2018).
Cliftons – I can’t explain this place well enough but to say, “you just have to go there to experience it”. Every floor has a different theme and genre, and you feel like you might be in a fun house/cafeteria/bar/dance floor. We went here on our first official date and I can’t wait to go back. It’s just a really cool f*cking fun place.
DO IT FOR THE ‘GRAM
None of this would become what it is if it wasn’t for the power of social media. Artwork, murals and graffiti are placed all over DTLA for the sole purpose of being ‘grammed. These are some of my favorite places to explore and take pics:
The Broad – Yes, the Infinity Mirrored Room is sold out. Yes, the general admission tickets are also sold out. Getting admission to see artwork here is like trying to get front row tickets to Taylor Swift’s concert. However, if you have the patience and are free next month on a Tuesday at noon, you can get free general admission tickets to wait in line for an hour to see the Infinity Mirrored Room for 45 seconds. Worth the InstaStory post.
Jesus Saves– The landmark neon signs of the Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles is right outside of my boyfriend’s window. It’s definitely a cool spot to take pictures, but the Ace Hotel offers so many more nooks and crannies for you to snap pics. The hotel rooms can be quite small, and their brunch can be quite salty, but overall this is a cool place to hangout. If nothing else, do it for the ‘gram.
There are still many new places within #DTLA that I have yet to explore. Any suggestions of places I may not know about? Let me know!
This Christmas season has been full of celebrations, gifts, food, friends and family. I got to celebrate Sagittarius birthdays (TheLuxiLook & StripesCollide), an engagement (GlamaRosh), and births of new Kangs into the family, (congrats David and Kristine!). I had fun photo collaborations with The LuxiLook, (as seen in these photos), shot by the wonderful Laci Havens. I am very grateful for all the love I have in my family and I’m happy to share with you some of my favorite moments this Christmas.
Let’s start with the good, materialistic stuff. I am a Taurus after all. These are the wonderful and fabulous gifts I got this Christmas from my friends, family and bf:
My brother-in-law got my sister the old Nintendo system for Christmas and we spent the entire Christmas day and afternoon drinking about 4 bottles of red wine and playing Dr. Mario with my nephews. It brought back so many fond memories of my childhood. This game is ADDICTIVE! I can’t wait to set it up at home and play it with my bf. It’s just more fun playing it as an adult because now we get to add wine and alcohol into the mix. Haha!
My parents currently live in Shanghai, China with my little brother, so any amount of time I get to spend with them is memorable. My dad is about to turn 70 and has gotten to an age where everything is nostalgic for him. I don’t blame him, because I started thinking about all of our childhood Christmas’ in Dallas. My parents would throw the biggest Christmas party on the block, and all their friends and kids would come celebrate.
This Christmas, only my dad was able to make it back to Dallas. I loved shopping with him at his favorite store, T. J. Maxx, and eating with him at his favorite restaurant, Olive Garden. They might not be his actual favorite, but they were the places we went to as kids, and I think he likes remembering those moments.
My nephews and I have a Christmas tradition that we started 3 years ago. I usually fly into Dallas a few days before Christmas. I borrow my sister’s car, and I take the kids to Dave and Busters and Toys R Us. The D&B portion is to celebrate their birthdays since I live in LA and am never able to attend their actual birthday parties. Then I take them to Toys R Us, where they can each show me 5 toys that they would like for Christmas. I then send them to the books sections, and I buy them a gift each from their selections. I’m not the best Santa Claus, but at least it’s still somewhat of a surprise.
These little moments are what I treasure the most from my Christmas time spent at home with the family. I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas holiday, and that Santa brought you lots of goodies this season. I have one more holiday post before the new year, so be sure to let me know what you’d like to read in 2018! Xoxo!
Two months ago, (while sipping tequila), my girlfriends and I decide on a whim that we’re going to go to Austin, TX for Labor Day Weekend. Flash forward to Hurricane Harvey. This of course occurs a week before our trip, and Austin has taken in a lot of the evacuees from Houston. What started out as a fun girls trip is now a huge dilemma because we didn’t want to fly to Austin for queso and fun when there are people sleeping on cots at shelters who have just lost their homes.
After much discussion, we decided that we can go and do some volunteer work while we’re in Austin. Once we arrived though, we found out that you can’t just show up at a shelter and pass out water. We had to apply online, go through orientation and training, and commit to almost 10 days of volunteer work. We were there from Saturday through Tuesday, so this didn’t work out.
But as it turns out, the vibe in Austin was “normal” and business as usual. UT Austin had their first football game of the season (sorry about the loss), people were drinking and partying on 6th Street, and the city didn’t feel or look like it was under any kind of hurricane distress. We decided to make the most of our trip and attend events that would help out Hurricane Harvey.
I use to live in Austin, and I loved the city. It has a huge food truck industry, and there were so many things to do and explore. Here is my list of things I recommend doing when you visit Austin:
Swim at Barton Springs (It costs $3 if you’re an Austin resident and $8 if you’re not)
Eat Tex-Mex at Chuy’s (It’s not the best food, but if you want yellow cheese, unlimited chips and salsa, and frozen margaritas, this hits the spot)
Grab a drink or two or three on Rainey Street (there are SO many bars, and you can just hop from one spot to another)
Eat brunch at Café No Sé (probably the healthiest meal we had while we were there, and the place is stinking adorable)
Get a slice of the Texas Cheddar Cheese Curd pizza at the ABGB (I ordered two slices of pizza and a beer for $12)
Try the esquites at ATX Cocina (this is a fancy new gluten free restaurant near the W Hotel, and has a great ambiance; be sure to make a reservation because this place does not accommodate well to walk-ins)
You would never expect the capital of one of the most republican states in the US to be as liberal, open minded, and creative. No one was riding around on horses, except the cops on 6th Street. And there was so much diversity in this great college town. Austin is not a city you would expect to find in conservative Texas, but I guess that’s why it’s considered weird. #KeepAustinWeird
It’s taken me about a month to finally get this post up, but better late than never, right? Ladies, …and gentlemen, (the rare few that might actually read my blog to see if I’m wearing something scantily clad), I present to you my month late review on my trip to Tulum, Mexico.
We ended up staying off the main street near downtown, which is about a 5-10min taxi ride from the beach resorts. As much as I loved where we stayed, I highly recommend staying on the beach if you can. It will be a lot more costly, but you can walk around the beach strip more without having to constantly pay for taxi rides. The roads are also paved and the city is easy to get around in because it’s not that big, so I recommend renting a car from the airport and just drive. #shouldvewouldvecouldve
There are also less mosquitos when you’re actually on the beach versus when you’re away from the ocean water. These mosquitos are DEADLY. They will eat you alive if they can. I can’t tell you the number of mosquito bites I came home with because I eventually lost count. Bring bug repellents, bug sprays, bug repellent incense. Bring it all!
Here are the places I do recommend staying at regardless of location or mosquitos:
Jungle House (my first time EVER staying at an Airbnb, and I’m so glad it was with this particular host, Casper. Beautiful huts, super informative and helpful hosts, and your own private pool)
I think Nômade Tulum was my overall favorite beach hotel as far as decor, beach and food goes
My second favorite was Azulik because it’s eco-friendly and the accommodating structures there are just insanely organic and gorgeous.
I’m sure every beach front hotel and resort in Tulum is fabulous, and I can’t wait to go back and check out more places!
Not sure if I mentioned this or not, but I’m headed to Tulum, Mexico next week! I’m so excited! This trip started out as just a simple girls’ trip to celebrate mine and another girl’s birthdays (go Taurus!), but has since turned into another blogger campaign. A ‘Tropical Escape’ to be exact. So, I wanted to discuss today about some helpful tips that I found during this organizing process.
ONE – DON’T STRESS
I know this is easier said than done, but stressing over sponsorships and finance is only going to bring down the excitement of even going on a tropical trip. Plan to just go and have a good time, and if you happen so to get some sponsors or hotel accommodations taken care of, then great. But go in with the expectation that you’ll be paying for everything, and if you don’t want to pay, then just don’t go. It REALLY is as simple as that.
TWO – EMAIL EMAIL EMAIL
Don’t be shy about emailing brands, hotels, etc.. Worse comes to worse they say no or don’t respond, but you won’t know unless you reach out. I am very fortunate and have gotten myself a really great team of talented girls to travel with, and we were approached by some brands and others we got by reaching out to them. This is a wonderful way to build relationships with brands, and let them know your ability to travel and create beautiful content.
THREE – HAVE A VISION
The biggest thing that helped us pitch was our vision board. People loved the mood and vibe we had envisioned, and it made sense with summer just around the corner. Know the season and how it plays into each brands’ promotions. Tulum is a tropical paradise with ruins, caves and crystal clear water. Have an idea of what content you’ll be creating while you’re there.
I hope these tips will help you out in your own future blogger trips. Don’t forget, as much as you’re there to do a job, you’re also there to have fun. None of this is worthwhile if you’re not having a good time. Be present and enjoy the great people you’re surrounded by. Xoxo!
I’m still pretty new to this fashion & lifestyle blogging thing. There’s a lot of firsts for me now that I’ve reached a certain level of engagement on my social media platforms. Actually, it’s more like just Instagram, who am I trying to kid? With that said, I’ve recently engaged in my first twosome. Don’t think dirty folks. The kind of twosome I’m talking about is a joint collaboration with another blogger.
Most of the time it’s just me wearing pretty clothes or using the latest beauty product. So yeah, when I’m pitching to brands or brands are reaching out, it’s just ME. Things are a little bit different when you’re pitching to brands as a twosome. Now, we made some mistakes as first-timers, and I learned a lot from my first pitch deck. So here are my top 5 advice for joint blogger campaigns:
ONE – KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
It’s completely fine when you’re just posting your own content on your own account, but when there’s two of you in the picture, it would make sense that you both reach a certain audience that have similar taste. Of course you want to expand your reach and get new followers, but if your aesthetics are too far off from one another, the image and vibe just wouldn’t make sense. Also, you’re making it much harder for your photographer to go from one extreme to the other.
TWO – KNOW YOUR COUNTERPART
I lucked out so much with my counterpart, which happen so to be one of my blogger besties, Amy Zhang of The Luxi Look. Now, I’m not saying you can’t work with bloggers you’re not familiar with, as that often happens when the brand pitches the campaign versus you. However, it really REALLY does help when you know the other person. I personally have a tendency to look fake and too posey when I’m uncomfortable, and my photographer calls me out on it immediately, (thanks Mire!). Often times we’ll be holding hands or laughing and talking, and it looks more natural when you are actually enjoying each other’s company. So my advice would be to try to get to know one another before the shoot, if you don’t already. Grab coffee, or brunch or both. Talk. Chit chat. Gossip. Whatever. Find some kind of bond that will shine through in the images during your shoot.
THREE – KNOW YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
The next most important thing to helping you act and feel natural during your shoot would be to know your photographer. I’ve worked with Mire many many times before this flower field road trip, but Amy had only seen her work and never shot with her. We all decided to meet for wine and dinner and talk about the campaign. Since I know the two, I didn’t have any problems working with either of them, but I really wanted Amy to meet Mire so they can get a feel for one another before going on a 7-hour roundtrip road trip.
Another big reason to know your photographer is because you want to make sure that the images produced by the team has a vibe that all members can agree on. It would be pointless for me to post images that make no sense in my feed. It’s important to keep your feed consistent, and working with the same photographer(s) can help you with that consistency.
FOUR – KNOW YOUR BRANDS
This campaign was about the flower fields and the super bloom. There’s a particular whimsical, romantic and bohemian vibe when you’re shooting with nature and flowers, and we wanted that particular look and feel. You could just throw spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks, or you can actually aim for particular brands that have a similar look and feel. I recommend creating a mood board and using it to pitch to brands. If you’re just starting out like I am, I would recommend looking at other bloggers that have a similar look as yours and seeing which brands they’ve worked with and create a list from that. Don’t be discouraged though if brands don’t respond. They get hundreds if not thousands of pitch emails on a daily basis. Hopefully you and your counterpart(s) stand out enough to grab their attention.
FIVE – PLAN AND THEN LET IT GO
The blogging thing can sometimes get competitive and too business oriented, and you lose track of what inspired you to start blogging in the first place. For me, blogging was a creative outlet that I wanted to explore outside of acting where I usually had very little creative control. The fact that I can now monetize off of it is such a blessing.
Our original plan was to make this a weekend road trip. We had all these things we wanted to tackle, but it eventually just became too burdensome to do. We eventually decided to opt for a day trip. Leave super early in the morning and be home by evening to sleep in the comforts of our own bed. It was indeed our first time putting together a campaign, and I think we overstretched a bit on what we could handle. I would do somewhere local. Travel may not be wise for first-timers. And the most important thing of all: don’t forget to have fun and be present while the camera clicks.
I hope this was helpful, and please let me know if you’d like to read more posts like this. Happy Tuesday!
You know that saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side”? Well, that’s how I feel about this LA cold, dreary weather. California was in a very bad drought, so we prayed for an abundance of rain. Well, now we’ve had enough rain to last us a lifetime, and all I want is for this rain to stop. I seriously haven’t washed my car in over a month because there hasn’t been a week where it didn’t rain.
This weather has me looking at inspirational photos of swimwear, beaches, and warmer weather. I’m even at a point to where I’m looking up plane tickets to Cabo. It’s actually not that expensive of a flight. So maybe that’s just what I need. A tropical vacay to get myself out of the wishful thinking funk. I’m thinking early February. What do you think? Yay or nay on the Mexico trip?
Happy Monday everyone! It’s finally Christmas week, and I’m headed home to Texas soon. Yay! I’m very excited that I get to be home again this Christmas! It may not make sense to some, but being an actress in LA, I don’t always get to go home to celebrate the holidays with my family. It’s times like this that I’m so appreciative of my family, of their love and support, and the fact that we have the ability to travel and see one another.
I may have just celebrated my 8th year here in Los Angeles, but I still feel like home is back in Dallas, TX. When I go back and visit my family though, it’s no longer in the house where I grew up. This just makes me wonder: at what point then do we call a city/town our home? My driver’s license says California, my mailing address says Los Angeles, and every important document of mine is registered to my address in California. However, my heart still says Texas. Perhaps that’s because most of my pivotal childhood memories come from growing up in Dallas. I guess I’ll always be a Texas gal…
Message of the Day: no matter where you are physically in the world, I hope you have a place called “home” that you can go to for the holidays.
This beautiful Faithfull the Brand Le Paris Dress is from PB&J Boutique. They have so many great vintage inspired clothing, and they offer free shipping both ways. Be sure to check them out online, and if you’re local to Chico, CA, check them out at their store.
Also, I recently received some TribeTats to try and use in my photoshoots, and I ABSOLUTELY love them! They are so easy to use and apply, and I had no problems removing them afterwards with their metallic tattoo remover. I will definitely be using these more often in my boho-inspired looks.
This is probably my last post until after Christmas, so Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas everyone! Have a blessed time with family and friends, and I’ll be sure to post some wonderful after-Christmas SALES soon so be sure to tune in!