Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Smokin' in Soldotna.

I don't think I can accurately attest that I've ever had a hotter sleep.

This past week has had Alaskans reeling from this wave of heat that has struck the Peninsula. Temperatures have itched in the upper seventies and every day, we've been outside in the bare minimum, enjoying this beautiful summer weather.

It also means that rooms are warmer, especially in the eves. And because the sun doesn't set until past eleven, our rooms have been toasting well into the night.

Yes, last night, I was tossing and turning with bare skin and windows wide open, unable to escape the heat. I guess there's a first time for everything!

Anyhow, with the summer sun comes all of my summer outfits from their winter hibernation. Summer prints, skinny straps, and all of my fine vintage hats. Did I just rhyme? This time of year also brings all the dip-netters down from other parts of Alaska, and so town is pretty much an LA freeway. 

With all of this, I have gotten an influx of comments from passing tourists and friends of mine that go a little something like this:

"Well you're awfully dressed up for Soldotna. Were you raised here?"
"Why so dressed up? You going for afternoon tea in the English Countryside or the Kentucky Derby?"
"This is Alaska, you don't have to dress to impress anyone."

Oh I have been getting that for the majority of my life here in Alaska. "You're wearing jeans? You're now dressed like a normal person!" And I nod and smile and refuse to let it bother me because where you're from does not dictate how you dress. It's inside of you. My personal style is no reflection of my hometown because I dress as opposite as this place does. My personal style comes from within and I enjoy wearing pearls to the grocery store and donning vintage hats with netting when I go to the fishing beaches because it makes me feel good.

Yes, I may not fit in, but I've never been good at that anyway.



Smokin' (my candy cigarette) in Soldotna...





This is one of my favorite parts of dressing up:  Moscow Mules on the chairlift.






What I wore: vintage hat with netting, rhinestone earrings (vintage), black rhinestone studded sunglasses (consignment), blue and white Ted Baker Italy dress ( I loved my job there!), and blue sparkly Ted Baker purse (consignment).





Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Those Sunshine Days.

I don't think there's any other place that I would rather spend my summer in than Alaska. There's something nostalgic and refreshing about being able to come home every summer and fall back into the comfortable swing of things.

It's a special time for me to get myself together again and revel in the beauty of my home. The fish come out to play, the whales wave hello, the sun shines beautifully over the majestic mountains and rivers, and I'm able to spend time with my family and catch up to all that is familiar, and see what newness has come to town.

Take today for example! My friend Caroline and I decided to hit up a spot in Cooper Landing ( a small town nestled along the banks of the Kenai River about forty-five minutes outside of Soldotna) where there was promise of brunch. Both Caroline and I worked at one and we saw opportunity and took it. 

Well just check out this view. And I think I may have honestly tanned a little from my brief spot in the sun. With my cooked eggs came a side of cooked Elan! Eggcellent.




And you can't really beat 75 degree days.






What I wore: silk floral scarf, pink Aerie sunglasses, vintage pale pink necklace with rhinestone centers, pink cropped top (consignment), white lace bandeau, brown high-waisted vintage skirt (consignment), and pink Chinese Laundry sandals.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Pleats and Peace.

Every morning I wake up, and every morning, I wonder what other travesty has be struck our world. What terrorist attack, what plane crash, what horror has shaken a nation.

It's numbing. And it's becoming daily. How much more do we have to withstand as a world? How many more innocent lives must die?

I don't know if it's because I'm older and I'm finally starting to pay attention to these devastating horrors, or if it's actually starting to become the norm of the future. If so, it's not looking so good.

On the one hand, I'm curious and linked to my phone, wanting updates and information. But as more and more of these tragedies occur, the more I realize that the media is nit-picking information given to us. "Reports indicate this. Other reports indicate this. And eyewitness reports are telling us this." I can't trust anything the media reports anymore because every day, it changes, and every news station is reporting different things. It's depressing and as much as my heart breaks for all of these attacks, I have to remain optimistic.

Positive thoughts lead to positive results. I head to Europe next month and while part of me is a little bit nervous considering all that's been happening, the other part of me cannot be held back. Life is to be lived and the only thing I can to do is be cognizant of my surroundings and aware of big crowds.

But we have to remain positive in situations such as these, being mindful of what's happening and respectful to those who have been traumatized or affected by these tragedies. And through all of this, we have to keep an optimistic outlook and stand together. Be empathetic to those who have been negatively affected, and pray for peace and a brighter future.

It's through these trying times that we must remain strong.







What I wore: green vintage stranded necklace (Mom's), orange vintage crop top (Relic Vintage), pleated rainbow HD skirt (consignment), and orange Marco Santi pumps (Nordstrom Rack). 

Monday, July 11, 2016

The English Roses.

Last night, after watching my dad destroy a hornets nest that took its damage on my sister's foot (it's so swollen it looks like a literal block of cheese), I assisted my mom into watering the flowers. There are a lot of flowers too, all so very beautiful. In a reminiscent manner, I went upstairs and began going through some of my memory boxes. And then I stumbled across one of my favorite children's books: The English Roses written by the one and only Madonna.

It's a beautifully illustrated book that talks about the group of girls called The English Roses. In the story, there's a new girl whom the The English Roses choose to dislike because they know nothing of her except the comments they hear from others, such as "She's so beautiful." Jealously prevents them from being kind, and after a dream with a fairy godmother (not a children's story without one), they realize that the new girl has a very lonely life in which she works hard to support her father and continues to have no friends.

It's a book about friendship and being kind to all, for everyone is fighting their very own personal battle. This book has been dear to me because I've experienced friendships like these before, and they hurt because people assume you live a perfect life due to outside comments.

It's touching, and most inspiring. With all of the comments nowadays concerning statistics with teen suicide and cyberbullying, I think it's especially imperative that we are kind to those that we maybe don't quite know much about.We never know what people are going through and the gift of human presence has the power to change so many things.

Yes, it's a children's book, but it still inspires me. And that's what's important.

Naturally, today's look was inspired by one of the illustrations...

Pink dress on the right!











What I wore: pink sunglasses, cashmere butter Boden cardigan (consignment), pink paisley Lilly Pulitzer halter dress (consignment), white knee socks, and pink Keds.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

What a Shot.

I never thought that I would say that my Saturday was spent shooting.

Shooting what, you ask? Why guns.

There's quite a national controversy concerning guns and open carry with all of this violence happening, but I've always had a very personal and unique perspective concerning guns simply because of one fact: Alaska.

Alaska happens to be one of the most free states in America with open carry and usage of guns. Walk into the post office here and you're bound to see an older man with a gun in his holster. Ask any family in the neighborhood and they are guaranteed to have a gun safe. Is this because we're northern maniacs who like violent weapons? Absolutely not. Alaska is a very untamed and wild. You are considered crazy if you go on a hike without a gun! Bears, of course are the biggest threat, but more importantly, we use guns as protection.

So today, at the crack of dawn, Mom took my sister and myself to an all day "Intro to Pistol" gun safety course. The organization is called "Women on Target" and is sponsored by the women of the NRA, and so the whole class was dominated by females. Girl power! After being given an overview of semi-automatics and revolvers, we were given an education on safety in the woods (moose, bears, perps, oh my!), and then we got to try these babies out on the range.

It is quite a feeling to know how to properly use a gun. But on another note, I know how to safely and confidently operate a weapon in order to defend myself. What my view is on gun usage is that if you outlaw guns, you give outlaws access to guns. Of course I believe that certain guns shouldn't be made easily available (strictly military grade guns made to kill people), and I also believe that there should not only be more thorough background checks, but a gun safety course upon gun purchase. We have to take a driver's test in order to get a license, why can't it be the same rule for guns?

Today was just incredibly enlightening in the sense that I have a completely different view from most of the rest of the United States, but only because we live in such a special place where guns are used more for protection against bears than used with violence towards people (I'm not saying that it doesn't happen though). It was also a class about empowerment, as there is something to be said about knowing how to effectively handle a gun in case of an emergency, or if you're hunting.

Alaska definitely knows how to make use of that 2nd amendment, but more importantly, we know how to exercise those rights safely and with protection.


These semi-autos were great, with the PPX being my favorite.


Here, I try my hand at a revolver with a moving bear target. Very Alaskan indeed.


Sisters Krull: Women on Target.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Home.

I don't think there's anywhere I would rather spend my summer than the beautiful northern lands of Alaska. The wildlife, the rich natural colors of green and purple fireweed, the fresh air through my lungs, and the comfort of being home again.

I've been here just a few days (unpacking of course) and it never ceases to amaze me how some things don't change. Sure, we may get a new stoplight in town, or perhaps there's a surprise dress hanging in my closet, but things remain as I had left them.

Course I'm a changed person. Not entirely, but I've grown since I've been here last and my experiences have made me expand as a person. And naturally, I've become more thoughtful. Being stuck way out in the woods with poor wifi connection has made it really convenient for me to focus on the things that matter, like living in the present, enjoying nightly Mad Men episodes (every season purchased at the closing Blockbuster here, but we still have one more location!), sipping on divine cocktails my sister crafts up, and the enjoyment of nature at its finest and richest just outside my window.

Oh I cannot express to you how much I have needed this refreshment in my life. San Francisco has been a ball, don't get me wrong, but when you're raised in a small town like this, the big city can often seem overwhelming and I miss the solitude and quiet.

Take this morning, for example. So I'm sleeping in with my cat at my feet, and at around 9am, I hear my mother shrieking (no exaggeration necessary) "GET OUT! SHOO! GET OUT OF THERE!" Naturally, I bolt downstairs wondering what the issue is, and there's a momma moose and her two babies eating out of the flower baskets. Granted, they're over one hundred dollars so I can imagine my mother's distress, but I just couldn't get over the fact that it was so Alaskan. Only here would "vandals" be moose vying for something sweet and pretty to eat.

Already my week home has flown, and I just know that my summer will be over in an instant.

In that case, I'm going to enjoy it for all it's worth..





The outfit isn't Alaskan until you've put you're mermaid pin on.



The Kenai Peninsula, my home!




What I wore: vintage all day.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Two Weeks Later.

Two weeks ago, I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Which means that two weeks later, I get to admit that I'm sitting here writing to you from my rock bar in my home in Alaska. Two weeks ago, I was falling asleep to the sounds of the city. Two weeks later, I fall asleep to the soft patter of rain and my cat's humming purr.

Been quite a hiatus for me, and I can honestly admit that I've been missing you. Graduation day happened to be the same day for me to move out of my hovel and with my amount of stuff (11 checked bags worth and leftover tubs at Grandma's), it was quite the feat. We've then been road tripping Cali and instead of being tied up to a computer (which was buried in those bags anyway), I chose to enjoy myself and disconnect for a little while.

But I really want to talk about graduation, because it's a special day and should be remembered as such.

After my parents flew in the night before, and after an epic sleep at the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel (with some seriously killer views), I dolled up and traveled in style to the Herbst Theatre.

Located in the artsy Hayes Valley district, it's setting is right next to the War Memorial Opera House and across from proud City Hall. I met with my friends Angelina and Maria and we proceeded to join the other grads in the theatre, then the back room as we waited impatiently for the ceremony to start.

I've been to a few graduations in my life, but this one topped the cake with efficiency and intimacy. Walking out to the cheering crowd of applause, we took our seats in the beautiful theatre and it began.

Now about a month ago, me and three other Merchandise Marketing students were nominated for the Cyril Magnin award, which focused on an entrepreneurial spirit. When nominated, we had to interview with the family. I'd like to say that I interview well, and of course I went on and on about my magazine, but for some reason, when I left, I felt that I hadn't quite hit the mark.

Well, apparently, I was wrong, for when the lady began describing the winner as "fashion rebel", "magazine", and "writer", I squeezed Angelina's hand and tears began brimming around my eyes. I won, and it meant the whole world to me to be recognized by such an esteemed family for my entrepreneurial spririt for my magazine.

And then the walk across stage to receive the diploma! My goodness, what a morning.

It just hit me there. I was leaving all of my wonderful friends, all of my amazing teachers whom I have looked up to and admired, and whom I knew on a personal level, and I was really going off into the world. It takes my breath away a bit, thinking that I'll never walk the halls at FIDM with my rollerbag, enjoying second coffee in the cafĂ©, and taking weekly outfit pics out on the balcony.

But what I've got to remember is that this has been an amazing journey and that things will only get better. I have learned so much, experienced so much, and have truly made the best of my short time here in the city. And I'll always look back on my time here fondly and with a smile.

See you, San Francisco...


Angelina's cap..


My Barbie Joni once more makes an appearance on my cap!



Grad gift from Mom and Dad, "because she (Coco) was the one who got you interested in fashion in the first place." True. When I was in the fifth grade, I portrayed Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel in a class wax museum and have since then been captivated by the fashion industry.


Backstage shenanigans and plenty of time spent in front of the mirror!




Here we... go.



We did it!! FIDM puts the rad in grad.


The lovely Gail.


In the middle, we have Nancy (all Buying classes), and on the right we have Ruth (Promotions).


And my favorite teacher of all, the delightful Denise Lederman (History and Professional Practices). She also makes killer brownies.


Out to meet my fans!





And thank you to my family, for supporting me and encouraging me all the way..


Dad never ceases to surprise me with the photo bombs.