Going Places

February 29, 2016

Two things the hubby and I enjoy together: photography and traveling. We try to set aside time each year for either a series of small local trips or one grand vacation. It's our way to recharge and reconnect. Since we travel a lot, my closet is stocked with neutral essentials that pack well, resist wrinkling, and are easy to care for. We recently made our way up to Portland with some friends, and this was my go-to ensemble: the perfect leggings, a cashmere sweater, cozy coat, comfy sneakers, and a practical backpack. Easy and comfortable, yet I still felt polished. 

I'll be sharing more photos from Portland soon! I got this new camera just in time for the trip, and I'm thrilled with the ease-of-use, compact size, photo quality and the retro-styling. Hubby was a little skeptical on investing in a compact mirrorless system (he prefers our trusty DSLR's) , but even he is impressed!

Speaking of Going Places - This past year (or two, or three.. ) has been a whirlwind. Exciting..... chaotic........ and extremely challenging. Right now I'm going through a major career shift. It's February 29 - I'm taking a leap, on leap year (ha!). My education and career began with Interior Design, and over the years it has lead me to many opportunities. This blog for one, began as a voice for my design business. It has grown into a lifestyle destination and has become a pathway for me into the multi-faceted creative industry.

There's a big difference in being good at something, and loving what you do. The ideal career is a marriage between the two. I know I have a discerning eye and the skills to get things done. And  while I enjoyed working in the Interior Design and Event Styling industry, there was this constant thirst for something new and I felt I was on the hunt for a career that didn't quite exist yet. When you're walking down this path of uncertainty, the only thing you can do is keep going and make the most of what's around you. I really enjoy styling and photography. So I used this blog to hone my skills and challenge myself in those areas. And it has slowly but finally paid off.

Earlier this year, Modern Citizen asked me to join their team . I'll be creating content for them as well as running social media. I'm still in awe that a side project has now turned into an actual career. The biggest life lessons here? It's ok to divert from the original path. Sometimes you just have to create your own. The best way to find something truly rewarding is taking the long, hard way....by taking risks, falling down, getting up and winding  up somewhere completely unexpected. 

Thrifted coat (similar here). Modern Citizen sweater and pants. Adidas sneakers. Mansur Gavriel backpack via Barneys. Christian Dior Sunglasses. FujiFilm camera and lens.

Smart Beauty

February 22, 2016

I can't believe February is almost over! This month flew by way too fast. We just got back from a fun-filled couples weekend in Portland. It was a much-needed little escape. I have a lot to share in terms of yummy spots (we ate our weight in donuts and coffee) and great local shops. 

These past few weeks have been a blur. I'm currently shifting gears in terms of my career (more about that to follow!) on top of juggling our household, caring for our 7-year-old, and making time for my hubby. Thankfully, these days I have a whole army of apps and a wonderful support system (thanks Mom and sis for babysitting Natalie all weekend!) to help balance it all. 

Balance. One word I've had to struggle with lately, specially in terms of skin care. I've always had good skin (thanks mostly to genetics and a somewhat well balanced diet) and a great system (cleanse, tone and moisturize twice daily!) I've religiously followed since my early teens.  However, there are a lot of factors that I didn't expect could wreak havoc on my complexion and throw a wrench on my tried-and-true regimen. Over the years my environment shifted (moved from a humid tropical climate to dry and cold temps), sleep patterns and hormones changed (thanks to my career and having a child), and time started going by much much faster. I now find myself battling fine lines, uneven skin tone, loss of elasticity and dryness in certain areas.

I take pride in caring for my skin. After I became a mom and reached my thirties- I realized good skin care wasn't enough. It was time to get smart. I needed products that could multi-task and effectively tackle my concerns so I could spend less time worrying about my worry lines and more time focusing on what matters most. 

As a longtime Clinique user I've always trusted their products to be gentle and effective. When they reached out and asked if I wanted to try their new Clinique Smart line, I knew I was in for a treat This new intuitive collection of creams and treatment serums is the modern-day solution every woman needs for gorgeous, age-defying glowy skin. It takes the guesswork out of skin care by battling wrinkles, evening skin tone, firming and brightening the complexion. I've been using the Custom-Repair Eye Treatment, Custom-Repair Night Moisturizer, and the Broad Spectrum SPF15 Custom-Repair Moisturizer for a week now and I'm already seeing amazing results! My skin feels so much more resilient, lines look much softer and my complexion is clear and bright. 

I just spent two hours in an airplane, and despite the dry cold air - stepped out with a fresh dewy face.  So excited to see the results after a few months of use! 


On Friday, February 26 I'll be another year older. To celebrate, I'd like to share this newfound gem with you. Clinique and I are giving away one bottle of their Broad Spectrum SPF15 Custom-Repair Moisturizer! To enter, simply follow me @craftandcouture on instagram, like my post featuring Clinique Smart products, and comment by tagging a friend. I'll reach out to the winner on the 26th. This giveaway is open to US residents only.

Thanks so much for dropping by, have a great week!

This is a partnership with Clinique. All opinions are my own.

In The Kitchen: Valentine's Brunch

February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day! We like to celebrate by preparing a simple brunch at home. Hubby makes the eggs and bacon, while Natalie and I whip up the pancakes. The kitchen is a complete disaster, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It's these simple family moments that I treasure most.

Heart Pancakes: I make ours from scratch, following my mom's buttermilk pancake recipe. To get the perfect heart shape, I use these metal cookie cutters. Place them on your heated pan and using a spoon, fill with batter about 1/8" high (adjust accordingly, since some recipes create fluffier pancakes that rise considerably). Once bubbles start to appear, gently pull the cutter away and flip the pancake over with a spatula. Super easy and simple, no complicated griddles or contraptions necessary. 

I hope you are having a wonderful long weekend with the ones you love most!

Bodum Pour Over coffee maker. Bodum double wall glass mugs. CB2 dinnerware

Love Letters

February 01, 2016

Pretty little thing. I'm loving this new diamond and rose-gold initial pendant from Monica Vinader. It's a perfect layering piece that I can mix and match effortlessly with my existing jewelry, adding a personalized touch to any ensemble. Makes a great Valentine's Day gift!

Thanks for dropping by, have a great week!

Diamond initial pendant, thanks to Monica Vinader. IRO jacket, similar here. COS silk blouse, similar here.