Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Focus on the Good!

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude." - Denis Waitley

I found this quote online somewhere, and it really stuck with me. It's quite fitting since I'm always thinking about happiness and the amount of times it fluctuates in my life. Throughout the month. Throughout the week. Throughout the day. I have come to realize that just because one can feel a whole lot of other emotions that are a far cry from anything remotely close to being called happy, that doesn't mean that the pursuit of happiness has to be put on the back burner. Society has molded us into a type of people that far too easily allows the negative in our lives to overwhelm and hinder our overall wellbeing. The news. Expectations from our parents and our career goals. We allow stress and anxiety to conquer us in a swift second. Our jobs. Our rent. Our commutes. Our relationships that have gone sour. New relationships that make us walk on eggshells. Just choosing a damn place for dinner. Yes, all these things get the best of me sometimes, but not as often as they used to. And it wasn't a mindset that changed overnight. It was actually something I worked towards. I worked to regularly remind myself to stay conscious of my feelings, and I forced myself to keep tabs on the positive side of things for a change instead. Slowly over time, it got easier to see things on the brighter side. And I always try to remind my friends and family the same thing. I want to enjoy and experience the best parts of the people in my life, as I hope they are able to enjoy and experience the best parts of me. It just makes sense. But it isn't always an easy task. So now allow me to make some lists.

Things that make me unhappy:

Crowded subways
Unkind actions
Hurtful words
Children crying
Shoes that make my feet hurt
Horrible bosses
Stray animals
Douchebag guys
Single-minded people
People who never smile
War and death
Paper cuts
Low self-confidence

Things that make my happy:

My family and friends
A really spectacular hamburger
The Manhattan skyline
Live music
Dance parties on rooftops
Skype sessions with Mom and Dad
Peach nail polish
Choker necklaces
Cheap Chinatown massages
Belgian beer
Colorful flowers
Pictures of Cuba
Sheer cotton peasant blouses
Music Festivals
Bike riding
The feeling of sand beneath my feet

Now that I look back on this list, I can see that a lot of these things on the lists are tangible and material. This quote is a reminder that despite the things we literally have in our hands (or don't), it can never measure up to the experiences that are impressionable on us for far longer than a quick moment, or a trip to the shopping mall for that matter. I have a place to live. I have pretty clothes to put on my body. I have money to fill my belly with wonderful things. I have access to a lot of THINGS. Which is nice, but it's not what is the source of my happiness and inspirations. Especially since I didn't always have some of these things. The true source of happiness I have come to find, comes from the people who have made an impression on my soul and life decisions. The people I love unconditionally and have gotten to know personally. Who have gone through the ups and downs with me, and have reflected on them with me. Those who I will be paving my future with and looking back on where we came from with fond feelings of both heartache and joy. Those who have joined me on travels to wonderful places and have made memories to laugh and cry about forever and ever. Those who make me want to smile more, follow my heart, do better and go above and beyond the ordinary. 

When something has me feeling down, irritated, annoyed, unhappy, nervous, lacking in confidence, bored, like I'm missing out or just completely off balance, I just think of these people and these experiences and the feeling of love that I get from them on a daily basis, and everything else fades. Even on my shittiest days full of long subway rides and obnoxious people and heavy air. Only the good remains, and the good is what keeps me going. The literal things don't matter. It's spiritual connections and the gratefulness for the strength if these connections. I hope these are the types of good things that keep you going, too. 

In the words of my favorite girl band, First Aid Kit, "And it's one life, and it's this life, and it's beautiful." 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Le Supermarket


Finders Keepers top // SHOP SIMILAR
AYR jeans
Converse sneakers // SHOP HERE
Joy Gryson leather backpack // SHOP HERE
Free People sunglasses // SHOP HERE

One recent day spent in Astoria, Queens was enough for me to want to venture back to explore even more sometime very, very soon. My sister and I came to do some work in a music studio (yes, we have some fun musical things in the works) and we got some time to walk around before and after our session. I was so hungry (don't ever leave a sister hungry) and went on the hunt for something to stop the stomach pangs. I found myself in a random deli across the street and got one of the best deli sandwiches I've ever had in all of NYC. And the man who assembled my sandwich was awesome and totally loved me so much that he gave me extra bacon. Extra bacon people! He asked where we were from because he's never seen us in the deli before and he hoped we would come back again soon for his sandwiches "made from love." :) Will do sir! I still can't believe that this has only been my second trip to Astoria EVER. I picked up some fruits from this colorful supermarket before heading back into Manhattan; souvenirs from our trip to a borough that will remind us of the friendly faces we had the pleasure of encountering throughout our day. A day spread out so simply yet so full of life. And one that was quite delicious, as well. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

See Green


Aerie swimsuit
Rhode Resort blouse
Crap Eyewear sunglasses

For someone from California and in love with summer, I definitely don't spend as much time by the beach as I should. I mean, I do live in NYC, and getting to a local beach is already kind of a trip if you don't have a car. But whenever I do get by the water, I make the most of my day. If I could live my perfect dream life, I'd be in a bikini every single day, running my own business out of Bali and eating breakfast of fresh fruits and nuts on a balcony overlooking my own private beach. But like I said, that's a dream life. The reality is a once a month (maybe two) weekend trip to Montauk. Sundays in Montauk are the best, because it's when everyone is leaving and I get to stay to roam a little longer with the desolate sands and waves. Always foggier in this part of Long Island, the beaches feel more beautifully melancholic. As if they were sad and missing the color of the people who took up their space just a few hours earlier. But so happy in anticipation of the upcoming weekend when it will have company and a buzzing feeling once again. And the cycle continues. As for me, I get to enjoy the artful and delicate sways of its melancholic in-between state. So much more space. So much more air. So much more free sea. Running around without the extra pairs of curious eyes staring at me jumping around in my bikini. Just me and a friend and the sand beneath our feet. No judgment. I could spin and get dizzy and fall on that lonely sand forever. 

Shop some other rad Crap Eyewear styles:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Disposable Moments | Part 2

Say hello to a new set of disposable camera photos from the past few months. This past year has been one of the best years yet, because I've gotten to know NYC so much more. Not just the city itself, but the amazing people who live in it who I've had the chance to call my friends. I've been having so much fun actually, that I haven't been that good at remembering to bust out my disposable camera as often as I should, let alone throw it into my bag before heading out the door. I'm going to be a whole lot better about that starting RIGHT NOW. Disposable camera photos are my absolutely favorite. They are so quick and easy and don't need too much contemplation. The candidness of a disposable is what makes it so special. Disposable pictures are never too heavily thought about. They are usually taken with little to no preparation. They are spur of the moment. Spontaneous. Taken on a whim. The idea behind disposable cameras is exactly how we should be living life more often actually, if you really think about it. You get only one chance and you just go for it. It's like jumping into something for the first time. You know it's not going to come out perfect, but perfect isn't real life anyways. The best way to live life is to appreciate things, people and experiences for the way they are naturally. Free and sometimes sporadic. Unexpected and delightfully flawed. Noticeably imperfect that you hardly even notice at all. Out of place just enough that it seems exactly right. The way things are meant to be are the ways that are most beautiful. 

More disposable moments to come on the blog :) 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tough Girl


UNOde50 necklaces
Free People blouse
See by Chloe miniskirt // SHOP SIMILAR
Chinese Laundry leather sandals // SHOP SIMILAR
Vintage scarf
Joy Gryson leather backpack // SHOP HERE

Sometimes I like my jewelry to be delicate and simple; a subtle touch to the textures and shapes I like to wear. Other times, I like my jewelry to be loud and hard, a non-subtle complement to the city I live in. With its graffiti, dirt and rougher looking street corners. These UNOde50 pieces around my neck give me some street cred for sure. Upping my game as I pose by walls that make me look cooler than I actually am. hehe. What I adore most about Chelsea (actually, NYC in general) are things like this. Luxurious galleries, white and open studio spaces and extra chic boutiques down one block, and then a dilapidated brick wall covered with years worth of posters and stickers just a few feet away. Telling the story of a city that never skips a beat no matter what is thrown its way. I admire the city I live in, and I express that admiration through what I wear.