Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Just Us

Traditions

So every year Johnno and I have gone out and gotten a special Xmas ornament for the season--sometimes they are related to things we did like our Virgin Mary ornament for the trip to the Queen Mary pre-Christmas or just something that catches our fancy like the hot pink owl named Arturo from our first year together...

So when it came time to find an ornament this year--we both just kind of wandered around and picked out a few we liked and jut bought them all... It wasnt until we got home that I think the meaning of one of them finally hit us

Its just a simple nest and yet--when we actually thought about it... This was the perfect ornament for this year... Our first Christmas away from the Dollhouse, living in a home of our own, figuring it out and finally nesting together... And while there will not be any babies--I think we're creating a home of our own that will be quite lovely...

What a happy little accident of an ornament

Monday, December 22, 2014

Obsession

Obsession AKA Christmas Magic



I want to do an upside down Xmas tree so bad--I think they are so weird and conversational which makes me only want them more... and while I think you have to stay simpler with the ornaments because of the gravity factor--it is so unique overall that it is more than enough!!!



Friday, December 19, 2014

Inspirational Friday



It really can be this simple if you let it. Stop inviting drama in the house

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fashion Files:

Fashion Files: The last minute giftcard list:

So it's too late to get one last gift sent to your home, office or sweetie and now it is time to face the music and do some type of gift cards for the last (or all) people on your list... And while anyone can buy a Visa gift card--essentially cash--here are some more unusual ideas or stores for the holiday season:

1) ASOS

This website carries a great mix of well known American brands like Diesel, American Apparel and Fred Perry but it also has more European brands like Jack and Jones and Weekday among its many offerings as well as their own in-store ASOS label... It is constantly updating their stock, has great sales and even as a separate part of the site for Independent Labels which is a collection of various sellers providing everything from vintage coats, Cosby sweaters and tapered acid wash jeans

PRO TIP: ASOS has a Premier membership offering on it's site for 20 dollars a year which gives you priority shipping, early access to sales and other benefits-totally worth it on EVERY level.

2) River Island

Kind of the British version of Forever 21 but with better made items, Euro styling and a love of print... This store feels like a little bit of Express, Urban Outfitters and the late and great Chess King got together and had a retail baby... Every piece I have bought from here is well made and I always got asked about each item.
PRO TIP: make sure the money conversion is going on or you could get a surprise at checkout


3) ZARA
This is the only store on the list with stores in America so you can spend the day actually shopping with your giftee.... This store is like the city cousin to the Banana Republic's country cousin-clothes with European flair and florish but also wearable American sportswear in the mix. One of my favorite things with them is the seasonal Look Book that you can find on their web page--it is great for styling ideas
PRO TIP: Each location tends to have certain lines or looks more featured than others so it is a good idea to use the in-store for figuring out how their sizing works (kind of true to size AKA European but also some American AKA over-sized pieces as well

4) Moods of Norway

This is a new favorite of mine--a actual Norway only store which carries a great combination of color, textiles and very Norwegian style with thick sweaters, fun pea coats and bright colored blazers... It is not your average store with an unusually print heavy suit and tie selection... And an in-store cologne named Disco Sunset--I mean come on now!!!!
PRO TIP: Get your measurements and really pay attention to the size chart with this store

5) Etsy

I love the Etsy giftcard option because it really allows your giftee to get something true unique--whether it is art prints of movie art re-imagined, handmade tote bags for your laptop or vegan leather goods--this is the best place for finding something that will really stand out.


BONUS Yoox


This website does not have giftcards but definitely carries a lot of unique items that make it worth your time to grab a visa gift card with just the website written on it... It is a mix of home decor, objects d'art, and fashion that runs from high-end lines for a steal to up and coming designers--very worth the effort.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thursday Truths

Home Sweet Mystery Home

I have no interest in a normal home--whether it is a blue Christmas tree, Jesus plates or just random stacks of books and Etsy art prints--I don't like the standard quo. (But I am anal about everything having a place and in its place is where everything goes). So when it comes to the idea of an actual house, I have always been torn on whether or not I'd want to buy one because quite simply I don't want the normal 2 bedroom/2 baths and a yard.

                                                          Sarah Winchester is My Hero

I am more the small bungalow covered in ivy, the crooked walk-up on the edge of a cliff, brownstone by a bodega kind of guy... As such, one of my favorite things to do is stalk the streets of Los Angeles for weird buildings--mission style ranch houses with spiral staircases on the outside, huge ranch houses with courtyards in the middle of them, 3 story buildings by freeway exit ramps... They all intrigue me and my sense of adventure.

                                                                 I Blame Barbary Lane

I wonder who designed them, what type of people lived there, how they lived in such odd spaces and why. I don't want something nice and easy-but something that tells a story that I have to live in to figure out and make my own. There is something scary and exciting about taking ownership of something so complex--which I want more than the average home. And so I am constantly on the lookout for the perfect little mystery to solve...

Like this one here:


This appears to be the guest house of a small home in the neighborhood my friend Kelly lives.. The building is quite tiny and yet has a balcony, spiral staircase and a turreted entrance and that's just what can be seen from the street. There is no way this building is up to code, it probably has no storage to speak of, and leaks like a sieve but yet it is my dream home... Paint it  warm orange-ish tan, grow some ivy on the outside and some stained glass in the window over the entrance and I would never want to leave

I wish it was okay to knock on people's doors and ask to look around because this place fascinates me. But that would be creepy and weird and crossing a line or two...

Plus it is probably a couple of million dollars anyways

Monday, December 08, 2014

Adventure Time

Adventure Time: Christmas Addition

So if you are in the market for Christmas decor--whether lights, ornaments, fake trees--or just want to immerse yourself into the holiday feeling you should head out to Aldik Home in Van Nuys... I first learn of the super decor store through my best friend/former roommate/adventure coordinator Edie; she's been going for the last 4 years and took me out on my first journey

                                Seriously--it's like getting lost in one of those Christmas Specials

Now the store is a bit intense--lots of bright and shiny objects everywhere you look--and that's before you reach the Christmas decor... Aldik carries fake plants, fountains, garden art as well as holiday decor which was a nice surprise even if it can get a bit expensive. But where they excel is in their fabulously over the top style:

                                      This Is Just A Small Part of the Showroom--note the high ceilings

Unfortunately most of the ornaments are huge-so your tree needs to be at least 5 1/2 for scale

Here I Am With Their Life Size Joseph from the Nativity 



       This Was My Favorite Tree--Bright Unusual Colors, Creative Shapes and Even Masks!!!

Honestly--if you love the holidays and want to find something special for your tree--or as a gift for someone else's--I would definitely recommend Aldik Home in Van Nuys--open till 9pm with plenty of parking and worth the trip.

(As always I have not gotten anything awesome for writing this--I just like the place)

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Obsession

Obsession: Shoes shoes shoes




These are limited edition, woven and braided, and the ultimate 70s retro sneakers... They're from Converse obviously and at only Urban Outfitters--expensive as all hell but so my California surf bohemian style!

Honestly I should stop fooling myself and buy them now!!!!

Friday, December 05, 2014

Friday Jams

Friday Jams: Dont Shoot Me Santa

Every year the Killers release a new and weirder than weird Christmas song... I'm not sure why but I am sure that Brandon is sexier than sex on a stick which is it's own holiday miracle.



This one from 2009 is one of my favorites in the whole series but they are all worth a look on YouTube

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Thursday Truths

Life is Not a Brittney Song

It's been three months since I have had a cigarette--which is impressive on its own--but I have also not even thought once about smoking at all even when I have been around persons or places where smoking is acceptable...  On one hand this is great and a huge step forward but on the other hand it is so weird because when I think about how much I am not thinking about it I get freaked out about thinking about.

It's a vicious circle

                                                                Such a pretty witty circle

That's not to say that there hasn't been a hard part in all of this--by breaking this bad habit I left myself without an outlet for stress which led me to eating everything not nailed down. And I was too tired to work out for a bit so that didnt help matters--both of which were side effects of the drugs I used to quit. But this also meant I had to look more at my own behavior, what to do about it, how to change it or cut it out.

I realized I wanted to detox more than just my body.

                                                           But not this kind of detox

So I have been looking at everything in my life--the job, the apartment, the relationships I have--looking at which ones make me happy, feel supported and want to do good things going forward. I'm trying to learn how to cut the other stuff out, separating what has real value and meaning versus what are the people and things dragging me down.

                                                      This is a more fun type of cleaning

It's a hard thing to do because so much of my life is intertwined--friends are people i work with, some friends aren't very good for me but are friends with people who are, how to make myself happy without being toxic to other people. Once I took away my social crutch--my flee and panic technique--I have started forcing myself to confront more than deflect.

              And Just Like Alba--I Hope People Forget This Deflective Behavior

I'm starting to learn that I don't have to take certain behaviors aimed in my direction. That I am not responsible for other people's drama and damage--that I need to call people out when they hurt me and give them notice on how I want to be treated.

Or it's just time to walk--not away but to the other people in my life who want to treat me better




Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Book Whore

Book Whore: Every Day by David Levithan

The book's premise is simple--every day the narrator of the story wakes up in a different body and lives a different life. Unfortunately one of those days they meet their perfect match and change the course of life for themselves, the person met and the body they were using.

It's high concept

In some ways the story is similar to "Time Traveler's Wife" in that it has a science fiction/fantasy basis but they never really explain in a meaningful way how this situation came to be--for the narrator this is just what happens and has always happened. The switching of bodies, genders and races leaves the narrator an open book--and plays to Levithan's strength as an author when it comes to the idea of multiculturalism. He creates a million different stories for the bodies that are possessed and also brings up the idea of whether love can withstand anything--when that anything is the person you love changing sex, race, weight everyday.

What I liked about the book was 1) it is sci fi and high concept without too many rules or too complicated an excuse for what we are seeing, 2) Levithan picks and focuses on some very interesting ideas of identity both personal and within the context of a relationship 3) he isn't afraid of real stakes and doing real endings in his work and this is one that gave me pause for both good and bad reasons.

I think it takes a rare talent to have a character with no real details and yet an emotional life so open and interesting that you can overlook the unseen--which to me is a powerful trait for a writer to have.



Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Jams

Friday Jams

"As each degree of temperature drops, Mariah Carey grows stronger. She dances around her home, knowing she will be relevant soon." @gayathomedad"

This tweet cracked me up cause we know all of this is true--so very true.



Soon Mariah soon...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Life Hack

Life Hack--The Book App on Iphones

Okay--one of the best things about the latest ISO upgrade for the Iphone 5 and above has been the addition of the Books app.

                                                              This One--Super Easy

What I love about this app is that it is it has all the same benefits of the kindle in a small size--including a wide selection of free books, short stories and samples of best sellers... The search subjects are just as diverse from Amish Romance to Urban gay romance to the latest Dan Brown or classic Dorothy Parker. And the best part of the app is that it doesn't suck all the juice out of your phone, the screen flips from white with black text to a black screen with white text depending on the lighting and the letter and graphic quality is great with no eye strain...

                                              Though I am not opposed to sexy glasses 

It is my favorite time waste ever and a great way to have something on hand whether you need to kill time, distract yourself on a commute or cheer yourself up when on the go... This is one of the apps I honestly use and great thing to have handy for all the holiday travel you'll be doing this season!

                                       Unless You End Up Like This Guy-Lucky Bastard




Friday, November 21, 2014

fashion Files

Holiday Highs and Lows

It's almost that time of year--nonstop parties, dinners and get togethers for everything from Thanksgiving all the way through New Years Day... And while girls can easily slip into a multitude of dresses--one stop dressing frankly--guys are always stuck doing that suit/khakis/blazer kind of thing because most--not all--have no idea how to dress up, be comfortable and still themselves... But between the formal looks, dressy casual and ugly sweaters there are plenty of unique ways to dress up the season and everyone can use a few ideas

Velvet

There is nothing that screams the holidays as much as velvet in your look--thick, warm and soft, classy without being to fem--velvet is the go-to material when it comes to the season. You can see here in this picture the multiple ways to wear it whether with a casual top, tie and jeans, full suit or even a velvet tux. I find the best way to wear it is with a string dark jean, simple button down shirt and formal shoes or high end boots


A blazer like this with a black jean and button down shirt is hands down my favorite look and can easily be made more punk trend with simple accessories like formal triangles for the collar like these tips from ASOS

Formal Flannel
This is one of the more manly and warmest of the party looks for this season... I love taking a quality low-end item like a flannel shirt and dress it up with something formal like fitted vest or solid colored bow tie and sweater combo.



This is a simple yet layered look that in a holiday color scheme can look playful yet semi formal without the stiffness of a coat or formal pants. You can also dress up the look even more with some unique add ons to take it to the next level:
Suspenders can go over or under the vest for a nice thinning look to the overall chest area-from Topshop

Tie pins are the big thing right now in menswear--they add a more finished look and keep everything in place; kind of like a Spanx for your tie--this one is from Topman


You can even go more rugged and do something fun like the arm garters here--kind of Gatsby/gangster sort of vibe--you can find these at ASOS right now

Holiday Sweater

So we all know the ugly holiday sweater party is a new addition to the social calender--meant to be fun, usually bar based and something meant to be unflattering... But it doesnt have to be that way:

But even as this lovely holiday card shows us; you can spice these sweaters up with a good button down underneath to make the look coordinated and a bit more pulled together. The other thing--and this is unpopular--is you can also wear holiday sweaters and not have it be ironic... There are plenty of websites now giving us holiday flare without the overly ugly aspect

I love this simple yet fun holiday sweater from River Island--and it's not too Christmas so I can wear it through out the season

Tuxedo Done Down

If you're lucky--or just really connected--you might be going to a super formal event and need to break out the tuxedo look... whether you go for a rental or buy/own your own (I suggest indochino.com for amazing suits and tuxes custom-made with styles, cuts and materials updating each season) there are still some ways to update and personalize the look:

                       I love the idea of tuxedos with plain baseball caps--but only with the flat brim


You can do a simple fun cap like the poor hat here--or the classic fedora

I also love a tuxedo with chucks--though take a risk and match the color of the bow tie or handkerchief for a solid pop of color

Or abandon the tie idea all together and go for a ascot instead of the usual bow tie--this can add a bit of swagger and unexpectedness to the whole look...


I guess the biggest thing to take away from these suggestions is to have fun and play around with fabric, color and layering for your holiday looks... Use these ideas as a springboard for choosing your own perfect balance of accessories, patterns and looks for the various holiday gatherings and stick out!!!







Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Obsession

Obsession

After 10 plus years with the same bed frame, I've been thinking it is time to adult up and get something nice for Johnno and I to share... It's hard because I am picking about any piece of furniture much less something that I will use everyday like a bed. But I figured with OCD about that type of stuff that I would try and spend my time hunting one now and figure out if I can afford it later and voila



It's not happening yet but honestly if it was any more perfect it would have Rory and Matty carved into the metal itself. Metal, strong, orange and just everything--I'm in love.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Inspiration Monday

Inspiration Monday

I love art but there will never be enough time to see it all... Paintings, sculpture, murals, fashion, furniture, jewelry, textiles, mobiles, photography... Even if I won a million dollars and could travel around the world I still would only see a sliver of the works out there... Which is why all the new museums itemizing, sorting and posting their collections on-line has become one of my favorite things to hunt down on the internet...




                                          Watchmaker: Johannes van Ceulen

It's inspiring to see all the various works out there that are currently not displayed and in the past would be considered forgotten but instead have been restored to the public eye... The only bummer is that you cannot just snag the jpeg of the website and post it around since the museum owns the copyright of these images.





                                Laura Newell Veissi by Clara Louise Bell

Until recently

Back in May the Metropolitan Museum of Art posted over 400,000 pieces on their website with a special distinction--OASC or Open Access for Scholarly Content which means that while you cannot make a profit off any of these images--you can repost them for free anywhere without fear of violating copyright and having them pulled down.... Which means not only can people go through the website and find new art to love--they can post and repost and expose it to anyone in the world...



                                           Blue I by Fritz Bultman
  
Now all you have to do is go through the archives to find it--and the MET is one of premier museums in the world. It's like the world's best scavenger hunt!!! For the most beautiful things ever. Here's the website-- http://www.metmuseum.org/collection



Designer: Emanuel Ungaro Date: fall/winter 1987–88

Happy hunting!!!!!

(all images are from the MET Collection and OASC rated)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fashion Files

Fashion Files--Tis the Season

One of the best things about the holiday season is gifts--giving the perfect ones to friends and family plus getting even better ones for yourself... (I manage this by keeping an updated gift list on myregistry.com--like updated all the time. I'm a shopping whore) One of the hardest things is trying to find something for everyone--even harder to shop for guys who want to be fashionable but not to fussy--which I think screams the t-shirt as the perfect gift.

And since Fashion Files is all about looking for unique and fun places to find clothing pieces--here's a list of some of my favorite and most unique places to shop for t-shirts for both guys and girls...

Threadless.com
The classic and most original t-shirt site--known for having it's users create and designs in order to get mass produced... It's the usually the best price point and they do some killer sales for the holidays such as the 12 dollar sale. The designs range from pun based to goth to cartoon and can be worth a look if your intended has a goofy sense of humor.

Outofprintclothing.com
This is the place to find the perfect shirt for the nerd on your list--Out of Print carries t-shirts, sweatshirts and iphone cases with prints of famous book covers... Besides the obvious choices such a Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men and Pride and Prejudice, they have a great collection of childrens books for both adults and children, poetry covers as well as lesser known classics. While the prices might be more than the average graphic tee, these shirts are high quality and great printing technique

Welovefine.com
This is the best t-shirt company for all your geek friends because We Love Fine does t-shirt designs of all your favorite childhood things but with an adult twist. Carrying everything from "My Little Pony" for your Bronie buds, "Jem and the Holograms" in 80s Art Nouveau style or street takes on "Sesame Street" characters--everything you ever remember from childhood cartoons, video games and TV shows is here. The only warning I have for this company is to order sooner than later and double check the sizes--they can run small

Buymebrunch.com
Simple is the name of the game with Buy Me Brunch t-shirts--classic block lettering, quotes from YouTube videos and 80s music videos, simple color schemes... What I love about this company and it's t-shirts is how it is no frills which makes the shirts stand out even more--because you almost dont see what they say at first and they always get a double take.

Imaginaryfoundation.com
Going in 180 degrees the opposite direction--Imaginary Foundation features bright graphic designs based off of science, philosophy, and psychological imagery. The shirts are more expensive but are lush with color and messages--the weirdest thing about the company is it' "about us" page--it reads like a total cult but a fashion forward one

Rageon.com
Rage On is the most expensive of the websites on the list--but with it's heady and on point mix of pop culture couture t-shirts it can be worth the expense. It's designs feature celebs of all types in clean, brighter large than life prints; you can get a screaming Oprah on a tank top, a collage of Robin Williams paparazzi photos on a t-shirt or famous film stills with quotes on them. The shirts are made of a spun polyester to prevent shrinkage and color fading which seems to be why the high price point--totally worth it for your hipster friends.


And that is just a few of the best t-shirts companies out there for this holiday season... Do any of you have new ones I should be searching out for this Christmas? If so--leave a comment and I'll update the list if it fits!


(and no--I was not paid or swagged by any of the companies in this post--I just love their shit)