Snow Day

November 28, 2016

Hello from beautiful Lake Tahoe! It's been a while since our last family trip to our favorite weekend destination, and it feels so great to be back. As always, Tahoe in the fall/winter is just magical. We got lucky visiting during the first snowfall of the season.

Growing up in a tropical country meant I was always fascinated with snow — and of course, winter dressing. I enjoy and look forward to wearing coats and bundling up, however the elements are a whole other beast. Over the years I've slowly built a wardrobe for freezing temps and I've discovered a few things about comfort, practicality and style. 

First, hypothermia is no joke! Even when the sun is out, it can be brutally cold. A waterproof down jacket, thermal layers, gloves and snow boots are all necessary. Uniqlo has a great line of Heattech clothing that are extremely light, comfortable and warm. Their turtlenecks, leggings and pants are a must. 

Second, snow boots are a must. I repeat, snow boots. If you're planning to do a lot of activities in the snow, you need the appropriate footwear. Yes, it's difficult to find flattering, non-chunky ones, but this is more about safety rather than style. Keep your toes warm and prevent slips and falls by investing in a good pair, like these

Third, all eyes are on the outerwear. Invest in a great jacket and focus on unique details — whether it's a bold color, a printed fabric, or the silhouette. I loved the wrap style of this coat— it's extremely flattering (specially for a puffer). It was a splurge, but so worth it since it's timeless, so comfortable and well-made. I continue to get compliments on it (bought it nine years ago, and it's held up really well).

We're back home and gearing up for this brand new week. It's always so hard to jump back after a little escape, but at least we have the holidays to look forward to. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend! Thanks for dropping by.

MAX AZRIA  Jacket  (Old, loving this classic style here) /  FOREVER21 Sweater  (similar/  
MODERN CITIZEN Leggings (layered on top of this)  UNIQLO Beanie

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Rosemary Roasted Nuts

November 20, 2016

One thing I look forward to this time of year is spending more time in the kitchen! I enjoy being indoors during cozy weather and whipping up some homemade treats with the family. Recently, I got to try out this Rosemary Roasted Nuts recipe by Ina Garten for our friendsgiving celebration with Old Navy, Banana Republic and Gap. Each of us contributed a dish, which made the get-together even more special. It was a great excuse to put on my apron and get crafty. Savory, slightly sweet with a hint of spice —these made for a great take-away at the end of the night.

I modified the recipe to include a variety of nuts, and doubled it for maximum flavor:


1 ¼ pounds of assorted raw nuts (I got this mix, super affordable)
4 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon cayenne
4 teaspoons dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375 ℉. Place the nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until warmed through. Meanwhile, combine the rosemary, pepper, sugar, salt and butter in a large bowl. Toss the warm nuts with the rosemary mixture until the nuts are completely coated. Serve warm.

I'm all about simple and easy. You know, when it looks like you slaved away yet minimal effort was involved. While this recipe was extremely easy and quick to make, I made sure the packaging was thoughtful and in line with our host Caitlin's decor. Presentation makes all the difference. I picked up these jars and topped them off with some baker's twine and a hand-written tag (used this puncher and some leftover card stock).

This savory treat is great as an appetizer or to make as presents. Thanks so much for dropping by.  Happy thanksgiving!

Wearing: Old Navy coat (more colors here). Banana Republic sweater and trousers.

Photography and styling by Therese Jacinto. Final image by Delbarr Moradi.


November 13, 2016

And just like that, the holiday season has arrived. There's nothing like gathering around the table with our nearest and dearest — savoring each other's company and sharing all that we're grateful for. This year, I got to celebrate an early friendsgiving with a wonderful group of friends thanks to Banana Republic, Gap and Old Navy. Caitlin, Amanda, Erica, Todd, Jeanne, ErinNichole and I came together for an intimate, thoughtful affair with everyone contributing to the occasion. 

I can always count on the GAP family of brands for quality essentials that are classic yet current. It was difficult deciding what to wear because of all the beautiful options. I pulled pieces that were true to my minimal style and extra comfortable. This cozy Old Navy coat (available in black and wine here), extra luxurious Banana Republic sweater and tailored trousers made for the perfect ensemble — I felt polished yet relaxed (always planning for that extra serving of pie). 

I'm eyeing a handful of pieces from Old Navy's "Holiday Dressy" collectionThis velvet blazercami, and brocade trousers will be perfect for all the celebrations the season will bring. What styles are you most excited about? Be sure to tag @OldNavy, #OldNavyStyle and #HappyIsTrending when you share your outfits!

All these festive wardrobe essentials are perfect for yourself or as gifts for your loved ones. Get a head start on the holiday shopping with 40% off your GapBanana Republic and Old Navy purchases until November 15.

Caitlin styled the entire event and did a fabulous job creating a cozy, dreamy table setting. All the details were thoughtful and so beautiful. From the simple yet stunning flowers to the hand-written banner with a quote from Cesar Chavez —"If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him...the people who give you their food give you their heart".

My contribution to the gathering were these rosemary nut jars. They were so easy to make and such a delicious savory treat for guests to bring home at the end of the night.  I'll share the recipe soon!

This year I'm extra grateful for the many friends I've met through this blog, the memories made and all the opportunities that have come my way. Many thanks for dropping by and for all your support throughout the years! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Wearing: Old Navy coat (more colors here). Banana Republic sweater and trousers.

Set Design by Caitlin Flemming. Photography by Delbarr Moradi. Food by Jessica Robertson. Props from Elsie Green.

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This post is a partnership with Banana Republic, Old Navy and Gap. All opinions are my own. 

At Home With Modern Citizen

November 12, 2016

Sharing a few shots I took for Modern Citizen's Weekend Retreat edit, featuring new arrivals in home, beauty and accessories. All the refined, multi-functional leather goods and ceramics are locally crafted in California.  In addition, they are beautifully designed and produced at an accessible price. Really proud to be working for a company that values and supports local artisans and their small businesses. 

Among the new arrivals that I can't get enough of — Herbivore Botanicals. This beauty line is extra luxurious, plant-based and very budget-friendly. My must-haves include the Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist and Coconut Sea Mist Hair Spray. 

Each item in this edit made it to my holiday shopping list! There's a little something for everyone.

Thanks for dropping by!

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Slip Dress 02

November 04, 2016

Same dress, different day! The styling options are endless with this slip (last worn here). Next up: pairing it with a mock-neck bodysuit and boots as the temperature drops.

Have a great weekend!

MODERN CITIZEN Slip Dress  /  OLD NAVY Tee  /  STEVE MADDEN Slides  /  CELINE Sunglasses.

Sweater Dress

October 25, 2016

Another supremely cozy look from the Modern Citizen feature. This sweater dress would also pair nicely with cropped trousers and sneakers! 

Modern Citizen dress and bracelet.

Photography by Miranda De Lay for Modern Citizen

Slip Dress

October 16, 2016

I'm loving the 90's minimalist vibe of slip dresses lately. They look great layered on top of a simple tee, or topped with a chunky knit. 

Just recently, the Modern Citizen team asked me to select a few of my favorite pieces from the fall collection. Of course this dress made the list. I also got to take these new d'Orsay flats for a test run (launching soon). Check out the feature to see more of my picks!

Thanks for dropping by and have a great week!

Photography by Miranda De Lay for Modern Citizen

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October 11, 2016

Thinking back on the pieces that I gravitate towards, and I've discovered the reasons why separates — rather than dresses (or rompers), rule my wardrobe.

First, my body type. I have a straight, rather boyish figure with narrow hips and broad shoulders. Most dresses flatter curves, which is great for highlighting a waist and hourglass figure. The silhouettes that work best for me are those with a-line cuts (balances the shoulders and makes the waist look tiny), relaxed or oversized proportions (like this outfit!), and architectural shapes that lead the eye towards the slimmest parts of my body.

Second, more flexibility. Tops and bottoms rule my wardrobe because I prefer to mix-and-match, creating more outfits (think "Legos").

This co-ordinating top and bottom has the look and feel of a (super cozy) dress, with all the ease of separates. I now think of this outfit as my closet's power couple — individually interesting yet made for each other.  The top looks great paired with high-waisted jeans, and I'm looking forward to wearing the skirt with some chunky knits and off-shoulder tops.

PS — these slides are currently on sale and look great with everything. I may or may not have it in two colors (black). 

Thanks for dropping by!

Asos sweater and skirt (I'm 5'4", wearing an XS for both). Steve Madden slides
Cuyana bag. Celine sunglasses.

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Enduring Essentials

October 09, 2016

What I always fall back to — timeless essentials that effortlessly transition from work to weekend and beyond. The hero pieces that pair well with everything, fit like a dream and elevate any ensemble.

Thanks for dropping by! Have a great week ahead.

Modern Citizen coat. Madewell jeans. Gap tee. Via Spiga mules (similar). 
Chanel bag (great pre-owned style here). Celine Sunglasses.

This is a partnership with Modern Citizen. All opinions are my own.

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Natalie's Bohemian FĂȘte

September 10, 2016

And just like that — my baby is eight. We celebrated my little love over labor day weekend (fun fact: I went into labor on Labor Day). Each year rolls around much quicker than the last. Planning her first couple of birthdays took a lot of time and effort. Now that I have almost a decade of experience, I can finally say I've mastered the art of easy, design-infused and budget-friendly kiddie celebrations. Read on for a few of my tips:

Pick an accessible theme. Why bohemian? I worked with decor elements I already happen to have at home. All the indigo pillows, rugs, towels.... and furniture I've collected (errr......hoarded) over the years worked beautifully outdoors. I try to use what I have on hand (or borrow from friends and family) before renting or purchasing — creativity and inspiration strike hard when resources are limited.  

Save without compromising on style and tradition. Well-designed and thoughtful invitations set the tone and give guests a hint of what's to come. While I love old-fashioned letterpress cards, I'm a huge fan of Paperless Post. Their collection of electronic invitations are gorgeous (check out their Kelly Wearstler collection) and the online interface makes it quick to customize and send (perfect for last-minute events). It's extremely easy to manage the guest list, send updates and thank-you notes. You can even order a paper version of your e-card as a keepsake (seen above).

What goes hand-in-hand with a theme? Entertainment. Consider current interests, the kids' age range and how well the activity complements the overall style. Natalie really enjoys swimming and had the time of her life during our recent trip to Tulum and Playa Del Carmen. Inspired by the boho vibes and water activities, we decided a casual and intimate pool party at my sister's house would mean maximum fun with zero effort. An oversized swan float was all it took to keep the party going.

I like to focus on a few simple yet strong elements that play up the theme. Aside from styling the decor, my DIY efforts went into a few raffia goodie bags (adorned with some leftover tassels) and the cake topper (also crafted from leftover tassels).

We handed each guest a flower crown and succulent favors (that also doubled as decor). The menu? Yummy quesadillas and a build-your-own taco station from our favorite Mexican cantina — I'm a huge fan of interactive food situations since it's another form of entertainment. Dessert? Susie Cakes' Celebration Cake and Ice Cream Cookies.

This is a far cry from her first birthday. I drove myself insane trying to DIY everything myself. I baked over 50 cupcakes from scratch and was up until three in the morning building the mini booths for the county-fair themed party. Lesson learned. I choose to keep things simple. I choose to keep stress levels down by setting realistic expectations of myself. What can I do with the time I have? What can I delegate or outsource? 

On-theme in this ruffled off-shoulder top (less than $20 and on heavy rotation!).

A simple yet thoughtful finishing touch: Turkish towels were laid out for the guests.

I'm reminded once again how the simplest things can bring so much joy. We had a very small budget and so little time to pull this all together yet Natalie had a truly memorable celebration. 

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