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.