Monday, September 30, 2013

White Sneakers

white vans   happy socks

My love affair with totally impractical white sneakers started this spring. And it has only gotten worse now that I'm transitioning from a couple of leather strips attaching my feet to soles, back to real shoes.

I'm wearing Vans (w. happy socks :) in this photo, but I also have a pair of low-top Converse. I'm not sure which style I like better, but I have to say that white Converse are definitely more practical. They have that rubber toe which cleans really easily, whereas Vans are all canvas.

Is white sneakers a girl thing? Do you have a preference for Vans versus Converse?

P.S. My shoe-laces are insecurely tied in this photo. If you're curious about the right way to tie your shoes (and you should be), you must watch this video. Changed my life.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Things That Made My Week

So, it's Friday. I'm flying up to the Bay area tomorrow morning for a quick one day visit with my brother! I'm super stoked to see him two weekends in a row, but not so stoked about leaving home and my cats. Any exciting plans for you?

Here are some things that made me happy this week:
- pulling my red beanie out of storage
- and my ridiculous collection scarves
- sleeping with my nose chilly in the night breeze, and body warm under a down comforter
- peppermint tea
- listening to Haim's new album
- early mornings
- seeing "cooler than yesterday" every day of this week on wunderground

I hope you have a lovely Fall weekend!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Everlane Fold-Over Wallet Review


You didn't think I would just keep quiet about my new everlane wallet, did you? Nope. I love this thing, and here's why...

Flowers and Music


Happy Thursday! How has your week been? I am exhausted this week. But life's good! There's flowers, simple dinners, and cookies at home. And puzzles, challenges, and good music at work.

I've been listening to this album lately. It's definitely programming/thinking/working music, so nothing deep. But I wanted to share anyway.

It's hard to pick favorites, but... I'd start with Above the Middle, Tutus, and If You Don't. Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Try Harder or Walk Away

photo by amorrr burakova

One of the hardest decisions you will ever face in life, is choosing whether to try harder or walk away.
- anonymous

Is this really profound, or am I just being weird? It seems like every difficult decision I've had to made falls under this choice.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sibling Time


This past weekend my brother decided to drive down for a last-minute visit.

We got to eat some good food, jam on the piano/guitar, watch TV, chill with the cats, and just chat, you know? He also let me drive his car, which made me realize just how crazy my poor old car sounds. (You kind of get used to the rattling and noise after a while. :) I had a great time!

Here are some photos, if you'd like to see...

Monday, September 23, 2013

New Silk Colors

The preview of Everlane's new colors for the silk blouse is making me swoon.

I absolutely adore the two colors (white and blue - my favorite) I already have. And my mama regularly sports the navy one. But isn't the dark green just beautiful? Must resist. :)

Beautiful Video

Have you heard of Joanna Newsom? I really like her unique music. This is a cover for one of her songs, and I thought the video was too good not to post.

After making a few (admittedly amateur) videos, I have a newfound appreciation for other people's work. There's so much inspiration! I loved the beautiful creamy backgrounds, and color-correcting they did here.

P.S. A bit of gossip: Joanna and Andy Samberg got married this past Saturday!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

First Day of Fall

photo via theyardpdx

Happy First Day of Fall, friends!

I've already aired out my down comforter and put it on my bed. (Maybe prematurely. :) And last night I baked the first batch of cookies since early spring. I'm excited to dust off my dutch oven, get back to baking, and cozy up to my grill on chilly nights. And then, of course, there's the opaque tights, beautiful coats, scarves, and beanies. Does anybody not like fall?
"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
- George Eliot

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Thing That Made My (Last Several) Week(s)

I haven't done the I'm thankful for... post since I left for my Trans-Siberian adventure. And for good reason. I can't seem to find the words to express it. I'll try to be brief.

They say traveling gives you a change of perspective. I've definitely found that to be true. What stood out to me when I came back from my three weeks of travel is...


Have you guys ever used Threadflip? It's kind of a more personal way to buy/sell gently used clothes. I've been trying to track down the Madewell floral silk tee I missed out a while ago. I keep hoping that somebody is bored of it by now. (No luck.)

But last week I put a few items for sale myself. Imagine my surprise when I "flipped" two sweaters within the first few days!

The following weekend I decided to step up my game...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tray Decorating Workshop

My baby, J, and I were going to go to this tray decorating workshop at West Elm tonight. You get to decorate one of these trays and take it home. All under direction of the beautiful Erica Domesek (author of P.S. I made this)! How cool does that sound?

I haven't been feeling well lately (blame it on iOS 7), so we had to cancel our tickets. But I cannot stop staring at that tray. JZ and I might have to do our own DIY. Fingers crossed Erica or West Elm posts instructions after the event!

Doesn't the decorated tray look a million times better than one you'd buy?

Everlane Wallets

I love these. They also have women's zip wallets, but I've never liked wallets you can't stuff in your back pocket. Which one is your favorite?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Classic Shade Sale!

my picks: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Great news! Ditto is having a sale on classic frame styles right now. You get 10% off if you order one pair (CLASSICS10), and 20% if you get two or more (CLASSICS20). This is really sweet considering most sales on sunglasses exclude brands like Ray-Ban, Persol, Maui Jim. But what's more classic than a pair of Ray Bans?

And, as Phil pointed out, their crazy warranty covers klutzes like me who might break their expensive stunna' shades by sitting on them. I bought my favorite pair of sunnies from Ditto, and couldn't be happier with their customer service. (Story time. I added a $50 polarized lens option to my order. The next day this sweet girl called me to explain that I don't actually need that since the glasses I got already include polarized lenses. And took the unnecessary $50 off.) 

I've already spent my year's budget for sunglasses. But if I hadn't, I'd be getting the Clubmaster. Enjoy!

Britney's Back

I love Britney. Everybody has a bad day (or a couple of years), and I've always hoped she'd muscle through it and get back to awesome.

Music-wise this song is very meh. But message-wise, I can't get enough. You tell 'em, gurl.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Puzzling Photo

photo via theyardpdx

I saw this beautiful photo and it instantly put a smile on my face. It reminded me of one of the puzzles my dad gave me as a child. It's a really famous problem, as it turns out. If you're into puzzles, you can probably guess which one I'm referring to based on the photo. But if not, would you like to hear it?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Happy Birthday, Vova!

mama holding out a lizard for vova to torture

love this photo because a) it's with my grandpa; b) vova looks vaguely presidential.

Vova dislikes his birthday almost as much as I do, and yet time could care less. It's that day of the year again.

Nevertheless, today is special to me. I wish I lived closer so I could bake something delicious, and come over to grill some meat and do a sort of a yearly stand-up (how far we've come, where we are now, where we're heading, and what are our blockers).

Vova and I have had our share of obstacles in life. He is my only brother, and my heart will always hurt when his does. And if I were with him today, I would remind him that no matter how tall the order seems (a pretty tiny girl, in this case :), we've never laid down without a fight. 

This is just the beginning of something great.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

True Words on Dating

Desayuno en el jardín II
beautiful photo by Virginia Gálvez
Dating is probably the most fraught human interaction there is. You're sizing people up to see if they're worth your time and attention, and they're doing the same to you. It's meritocracy applied to personal life, but there's no accountability. We submit ourselves to these intimate inspections and simultaneously inflict them on others and try to keep our psyches intact - to keep from becoming cold and callous - and we hope that at the end of it we wind up happier than our grandparents, who didn't spend this vast period of their lives, these prime years, so thoroughly alone, coldly and explicitly anatomized again and again.
- Adelle Waldman from The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


My brother, my dad and I walk home from a long practice in the autumn dusk. As my dad unlocks the door and lets us in, I hear my mom cooking dinner in the kitchen with the TV on. Our apartment is warm and smells good. I can make out images on the small screen as I walk through the hallway toward the bathroom.

If you were to ask me then what I saw, I would've said it was an action movie with Bruce Willis. (Russians love Bruce Willis.) Although my dad is generally aware of all upcoming showings of movies starring beloved Bruce, we weren't in a rush to get home to catch one that day. Maybe he had missed it?

I wash my hands in the bathroom while trying to figure out what mom is cooking. It feels great to finally sit down, and it takes me several minutes to realize that what I am watching is not actually a movie.

I don't remember much after that, but I remember feeling like my people were hurt, and I was frustrated that I could not share the anger and sadness with them.

Today is my first 9/11 as an American. It is the first 9/11 that I can grieve with you instead of for you, America.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

On Making Coffee

photo from my trip to malmö, sweden

I didn't get into coffee until 2008. Eighteen long years after I was born. Obviously, I enjoyed a caffeinated sugar laden treat here and there. Who doesn't? But it wasn't until I got an iced coffee on an indian summer day in San Francisco that I started enjoying unadulterated black coffee.

It has been 5 years, (has it really?) and yet I still can't make a consistently decent cup for myself. In the summer, I get by with the foolproof cold brew method for iced coffee. But cool mornings are upon us (thank god!), and isn't a warm morning cup one of the most delicious things in life?

I found no non-sense instructions that I'll be following this fall. Have any coffee-related tips? Send 'em my way.

have a great day! xo

Monday, September 9, 2013

Then and Now

Have you seen photos of peeps recreating childhood photos? I think it's hilarious. What a good idea. I especially like the ones done by Irina Werning. She works some serious magic to make the lighting, the mood, the clothes, the pose just work. It's amazing.

Here are some of my favorites...

Raddest Pants

I love these pants. (Do I sound like Brick Tamland?) Well, I do love them. The best part is you don't have to think too hard about what else to wear with these. T-shirt? Blouse? Blazer? Shoes? Nobody cares. All eyes on pants.

You know what I hate? That they're sold out.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Head Butt Cuteness

Oh, the sheep. First the sheep yelling videos, now this? Stop being so incredibly cute! (Actually, don't.)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Trans-Siberian {part 3}

This is the last video of the great Trans-Siberian trilogy. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Arbitrarily Favorite Products

I don't think it matters what product you use to cleanse your skin. I use the two three cleansers I have interchangeably. Consistency is key. (Just in case you don't speak sarcasm, I am talking out of my butt.)

But, just for fun, I thought I'd share the skincare products that work for me.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fierce Short Haircut


Remember my haircut that I thought was so bold? Yeah, that was child's play compared to JZ. She snipped her beautiful thick locks into a boy-cut a few days ago. How fierce does she look?

These photos makes me want to get a pixie.

Heat Wave

Licking blocks of ice on hot day  (LOC)

It has been hot, friends. Too hot to think. As I'm sure I've mentioned previously, my apartment does not have A/C. (Which renders this kind of long holiday weekend completely useless for getting work done. It's extremely frustrating.) But I have figured out how to keep my brain from boiling in my head.

Here are some things that work for me:
1) Spray bottle. It mainly acts as a cat torture device (for training, I swear), but it's extremely pleasant during a heat wave. I spray it toward the fan, or the ceiling, or straight in my face.
2) Freeze a filled up water bottle. Stand it next to you, or (my favorite) roll your feet and ankles on it.
3) Wet a washcloth, wring it out really well, and freeze it flat. I put it on my head/neck/lower back. (This is effective for roughly 5 minutes.) 
4) Freeze a pillow case before going to bed.
5) Ice cream. Lots of it. Preferably homemade.
6) Stay relaxed. The more emotionally tense you are, the worse the heat feels.
7) Workout. This is counter intuitive, but I find that when I'm working out I feel like I'm sweating because of the workout, not because it's 93 degrees in my apartment. (Bonus: it helps with #4.)

If all else fails, just look at photos of people who lived before A/C was invented. It's surprisingly effective. (More photos after the jump...)