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Hi, welcome to my blog! Thanks for stopping by. I write about anything and everything: beauty, sustainability, fashion, San Francisco, and food! If you love it – share it!

5 Ways to Be A Green Fashionista

We live in a consumerist society. It’s who we are. Everything is so readily available at a low cost that once worn or used a few times, we can easily justify trashing it. Sounds great – but it’s becoming a huge problem for Mother Earth. From the factories to the trash heaps – we have a problem.
 
However the green fashionista has a few tricks up her sleeve to make sure she doesn’t become part of the problem. 
 
1. Purchase from second hand shops. 2nd hand shops are the best place to purchase last season’s high end items. Each store & neighborhood is different – it takes some time to find your store, but once you do, it’s great! I usually hit the Crossroads in San Francisco’s Pac Heights neighborhood & the Santa Monica Wasteland because I can always find something I love. We’re talking Coach, Kate Spade, Theory, Frye, and Prada. You’ll find these items at a fraction of the price & in great condition. But I also find awesome every-day pieces like a super cute denim jacket for $10, A beautiful deep purple Guess coat for $35, and 3 pairs of Joe’s jeans, each $50 or less. Like new! (Sometimes the tags are still on!) 
 
2. Donate/Sell. The 2nd hand shops I love are pretty picky about what they take, but you can always try to sell to them. They’ll give you cash or credit. But, consider donating. You know how you get that confidence strut when you slip into a slim power suit & and pumps? Pay it forward by donating your old, yet still stylish suits to Dress for Success. You’re old power suit will give a woman the confidence she needs to land a job. And for your non-suits, there’s always one of these awesome charities
 
3. Rent your clothes. Using a service like Le Tote allows me to stay up on the latest fashions, without having to constantly buy new pieces. It’s the sharing economy at its most fashionable. 
 
4. Know your designers. If you want to buy a brand new shirt, guilt free – consider how your clothes are being produced. Is the factory it comes from making so much pollution that the nearby residents have lung cancer? Or, are they finding ways to use less resoures? Even big brands like Levi’s are jumping on the green wagon. They realize that our resources are limited. Here’s the “waterless” denim that they unveiled a few years ago.  Do some research. You may have to pay a little more, but when you vote with your dollar, companies will listen. 
5. Upcycle. Search “up cycle clothing” on Pinterest for hundreds of ideas. My fave? Taking a sweater that has a hole in the middle front – then cut right straight through the hole from bottom to top. so now it’s an open-front sweater, sew up the side and it’s like a brand new piece. If it’s not repairable – you can always find a completely new use for it. Turn a soft shirt into a pillowcase or a rag for cleaning. Get crafty. Consider all the packaging. I receive a Le Tote box about once a week. And I’ve been a member for 6 months – that’s over 25 boxes. Now we use them for storage bins and compost bins (more durable than paper bags).
 
Be green, gorgeous, and fashionable!
One of the 7 sisters

From Russia With Love

I just returned from Moscow! It was amazing, and yes it did help to get my creativity flowing again.

The first thing I noticed: the beautiful architecture. Every building in the town center has intricate detailing from centuries past, but they look as if they were just built. Apparently, once a building begins to look run-down, the city immediately starts working to repair it. I heard that the new mayor of Moscow has made it his mission to clean up Moscow. Literally. They wash the streets many times a day. They’re even out during the rain. (Send your water to CA!) They’ve opened many walking streets with beautiful, yet expensive, shops, and the parks are gorgeous with a lot of fun activities (ping pong or bocce ball, anyone?). We were visiting my boyfriend’s parents who have lived there for 3 years. They told us how much the city has changed since they first arrived. There’s always something new: beautiful lights during the winter, festivities year-round, and people out and about at all times. (I can’t imagine that in the dead of winter)

Check out some of the scenic photos:

The Mall    One of the 7 sisters  Russian Architecture

The next thing I noticed: I looked like a tourist. Yep, I brought comfortable walking shoes, some boots, and flats. I am so glad I did! However, the women of Moscow don’t seem to care for flat shoes. Sure they have their ballet flats, but they seem to prefer the 5 inch heels. Even in the park! Even in the rain! Yep, in the rain, on cobblestone. And I’ve heard that they’re masters at wearing them in the ice and snow. I love my heels – but since I rarely walking in them in SF, I will definitely not be walking in them in Moscow!

We went to the Ritz for drinks (and of course we walked there) So I wore my boots, if only my heels folded up nicely to fit in my Kate Spade Clutch…

In an egg at the Ritz

 

And finally, I realized, I really don’t know Moscow at all. On the one hand, the unemployment rate is next to nothing (1%, I think) but on the other – everybody talked about the tiny one-room apartments that houses an entire family.  But of course – that’s the issue with being a tourist – you see everything from the outside and never really understand what it’s like to live there.

One day we wandered into a Russian exhibit where nobody spoke English. A young man who had wandered in behind us helped translate for us. We invited him to spend the rest of the day with us, at which he jumped at the chance. We hadn’t met anybody so friendly and outgoing. He wanted to practice his english & we welcomed the interaction. (I had tried on a few occasions to engage with people, must didn’t speak english or didn’t want to)  He then spent the rest of the day with us wandering the park & space museum. We also met up with him the next day at the Kremlin. He noted, “I’ve never done any of these things before.” He told us some stories about growing up in Russia, living, dating, and working in Moscow. However, between my attempt to be polite by not asking too many questions and his english skills, I left Moscow wanting to know so much more. Next time. 

Yes, there will definitely be a next time. 

 

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Creativity Unstuck

Hello! I know it has been such a long time since my last post. Over two months! I have hit a wall. The creative juices aren’t flowing. Sure there are some reasons: long hours, some summer blues, and traveling. But I can usually snap myself out of my rut – I think I’ve just gotten lazy. So no more. I’m snapping out of it. It’s silly – I have so many 1/2 written posts but just can’t figure out how to finish them. Or even worse – when I re-read them, I’m so unenthused by my own work that I scrap the whole thing.

So, from here on out – I’m just going to write. Tomorrow we leave for Russia. Yep – a week in Moscow. Still wrapping my head around it, but I’m really excited. I’m hoping that the 15 hour flight will give me time to write in my journal and get the brainstorming going. And the trip itself will get me out of my comfort zone, experience new things, and give me the push I need. I’ll come back energized and ready to write.

Yes I have high expectations for this trip, but I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of it. And if nothing does – I’ll be right back where I started. So why not, right?

father's day

15 Thank Yous to my Father on Father’s Day (6/15)

As my mom likes to remind me, she would have never had kids if it weren’t for my father; he’s “different than the rest of them.” My father the mustachioed, loving, supportive husband with a big heart, deep values, a penchant for tweed, and a sarcastic wit. So in honor of father’s day, here are 15 thank yous:

 

1. Thank you for reading to me. From The Seven Voyages of Sinbad by my hospital bed, to your great British accent as you read the 1st chapter of Harry Potter out loud in an attempt to start family reading night which didn’t stick.  I cherish the memories.

 

2. Thank you for your medical expertise. When you ran in to my room after I woke up screaming with a Charlie horse, massaged my calf, and then handed me a banana in the morning. Or the time I cut myself and you took matters into your own hand (so to speak): “Daddy, my thumb is bleeding” “Lick it off” “Eww” “I’m trying to watch your brother’s soccer game” “Daddy…” And you swiftly grabbed my thumb and popped it in your mouth. “There it’s not bleeding now.”

 

3. Thank you for letting me sleep with you and mom after a scary dream. Even more, thanks for taking my tiny twin-sized bed once your bed got too crowded.

 

4. Thank you for feeding me. It must have been annoying to hear, “we’re starvin’ Marvin” often. I didn’t know mom could even cook until I promised a home cooked meal to my high school boyfriend that she ended up cooking.

 

5. Thank you for teaching me to cook. From a “how to brine a turkey” lesson 3,000 miles away to the hands-on matzoh brie class in our kitchen. They both stuck!

 

6. Thank you for teaching me how to make a decision. I learned the hard way during one of driving lessons; backing up straight into the hill rather than picking a direction to turn the wheel.

 

7. Thank you for telling me “I’m nice and pretty” is not an acceptable answer to, “if you don’t get your grades up, what will you do?” I still think those factors got me this far, but maybe the MBA helps.

 

8. Thank you for teaching me that passion can speak louder than money. Your dedication to the public defender’s office of Los Angeles has been inspiring. More so, thank you for teaching me your passion for equality: everybody deserves a chance. Your fight for people who can’t afford lawyers breaks all public defender stereotypes.

 

9. Thank you for letting me know it’s OK to make more money than my partner. I can be my own knight in shining armor.

 

10. Thank you for all the uncomfortable conversations. Telling me things I may not have wanted to hear but had to. Thanks for letting mom handle a few of them too.

 

11. Thank you for telling me that my first boyfriend was a tool. Even if you only wanted him gone because he was “geographically undesirable” and you were stuck driving us around. He was a tool. He made out with some girl under the bleachers. What a cliché.

 

12. Thank you for the forbidden McDonald’s runs while mom was out of town. It was a fun way to break the rules every now and again.

 

13. Thank you for being involved and hands-on. Packing lunches, driving carpool, daily conversations and of course various activities (Girl Scouts, father-daughter events, watching every recital etc.). But, thank you, especially for stepping in as a flying monkey in the school play. I couldn’t be the best Wicked Witch of the West without a great flying monkey!

 

14. Thank you for showing me what a strong partnership looks like. Every marriage has its tests, but it your marriage always seemed like a loving friendship in which you and mom worked together as a team. It helped that you both had your own interests, called each other by first names, showed affection, had lives outside of your kids, and collaborated, like a jury, when planning a sentence punishment.

 

15. Thank you for my curls & big personality. I’ve learned to love and embrace them both. I am definitely my father’s daughter.

3 Tips for Making a Lasting Impression

Marketing. Dating. Interviewing. Whatever it is, you want to be impressive. Here are three tips to help you succeed:

 

Ask Questions
People love to talk. You may be one of these people. Don’t bore them to tears: if you ramble, they’ll scramble. In marketing, we call this market research. How do you know what your audience needs if you’re not listening? In an interview, this is being prepared. You’ve done your research, you’re now asking in-depth and followup questions. You’re showing interest. And in dating, that same interest is EVERYTHING. Especially if you’re online dating: get off the site and save all the questions for a fun & informative 1st date.

If you seem interested in them, they’ll want to ask you questions and you’ll get your turn to talk. Remember it’s a conversation, not a monologue.

 

Start Trending
This is the key to social media marketing: let others do your marketing for you. If you create great content, people will want to share it. (Same goes for terrible content, so be careful). How does this work in interviewing and dating? Be the great content. And then tell your friends to get you trending. Have them talk you up. Be somebody that the interviewer has to meet. Ask a friend to talk you up to their super cute cousin. But be careful, you’re asking people to vouch for you. Which brings me to tip #3.

 

Be Cool
Look, you can’t win them all. He won’t look anything like his profile picture. The position was filled by the boss’s son. Your marketing just missed the mark. Whatever happens, be cool. You never know when you’re going to see this person again. Most of the time, it has nothing to do with you. At the very least, get LinkedIn. Maybe you’ll see another position that is better suited for you, and then you’ll want to make sure you didn’t burn that bridge. Or, someday, you might find yourself dating somebody awesome, just to find out they’re the roommate of the guy who never called you back. Keep your dignity, say hello and look at your current, much cuter date. Chances are the old one will simply say, “she’s great, I don’t remember why it didn’t work.” And in marketing, unless you’re a funeral home, you’ll always have another chance. So keep it classy.
letotetn

To Le Tote or Not To Le Tote? My thoughts on the question.

letote

My closet is a bit of a disaster. In that I have a lot of great pieces that I forget about or wear too many times and then grow tired of them. I love to shop but don’t need more clothes on my floor in my closet. Enter Le Tote. It’s the Netflix for clothing. You get something, try it out, wear it, and send it back. Save the quarters for parking spots, you don’t even have to clean it!

So far, I’ve received two totes. The first was kind of a bust. The cute dress that looked good on the model was hideous on me. And the medium size jacket that I loved was too big. So I sent it back. The next tote was amazing!

What’d I receive?

In every tote you get 3 pieces of clothing and 2 pieces of jewelry. I received: A super cute skirt, french connection top, a great blue dress, a gorgeous necklace (too short) and a fun cuff (which I wore for 3 days straight).

The super cute skirt (also a medium) didn’t fit right. But the shirt and dress? Jackpot!

I dressed up the shirt for casual Friday at the office with a boyfriend blazer (from the Barney’s warehouse sale, years ago) and some booties & Marc Jacobs jeans (both from Nordstrom) Without the blazer, I think it looks too boxy.

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The blue dress fit perfectly! I wore it to brunch, a matinee at the A.C.T, and finally – date night. The dress kept up with my schedule and worked for every event on my social calendar. I coupled it with an infinity scarf, a BB Dakota leather jacket, Michael Kors purse, and some leather boots. I obviously love colors!

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Should you try Le Tote?

Pros: you get to try some awesome pieces. You can test styles and colors without purchasing. You get as many totes per month as you want. Free shipping. It’s super fast. Finally, if you want to purchase you receive a member discount.

Cons: No control over what you get. Not all sizing is equal. You get what you choose, what happens when I run out of chosen items?

Here’s a special invite just for you!

I’m still loving it. I’m sure I’ll find some great pieces that I want to add to my floor closet. But until then, I love that I can try new styles and stay up on the latest trends. I can’t wait to see what the next tote holds!