Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Californian Experience.

The day after tomorrow. I will be soon departing from this city that I have been able to call my home these last nine months.

Walking amidst the garbage littered streets and through the heated sunrays beating down on my way for coffee this morning, I was also greeted by the familiar sights that I have come to love...

Warriors fans proudly wearing their gear down the streets (you always know when there's a game on based on the blue and gold you see being worn downtown), the tall magnificent buildings in the Financial District, the cable cars zooming past, and the sight of Coit Tower standing proudly over the streets.

As much as I may have complained of my time here (loneliness, smells, garbage), I've come to appreciate all this city has taught me during my stay here. I've come to appreciate what I have back home in Alaska, I've become exposed to many new ideologies and people from all walks of earth, and my mind has expanded just a little bit more.

On top of that, I've really stepped out of my comfort zone.

Take last night: I went out and I had drinks by the Cleveland Cavaliers.


You heard me! Instead of spending one of my last few nights, I was able to have drinks at the Four Seasons with one of my loved coworkers Melissa. Three minutes seated and in strolls the Cav's, LeBron at the helm. And we proceeded to spend our evening in the midst of beautiful, tall, athletic ball players. I'm still rooting for the Warriors, but hey anyway!

It just goes to show that adventures are waiting for you out there if you have the courage to step out of your comfort zone. Moving to San Francisco as a young woman raised in the isolated Alaskan wilderness is way out of my comfort zone, but I relish the opportunities and the experiences I am lucky enough to have.

The world is yours for the taking. There's so much to see, do, eat, and experience out there and as much as you may loathe it at times (like when the nearby bar plays incessantly loud top 40 hits every weekend until two in the morning), it's all worth it in the long run.

Here are some last photos of my last weekend here in the city...

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The End is Near.

Boy oh boy it's been awhile.

Someone's obviously been haggardly working on finals for the last week and secretly binging on That '70's Show into the wee hours of the morning to let the brain rest.

Yes, that's been me.

It's also been a rough one for the United States this past week, in lieu of some very recent and horrific tragedies. While I would love nothing more than to rant on about the state of our world and the disgust at the freak show of our political scene, this is a place for solace and positivity. And prayers for those who were affected by these past events, especially the Orlando shootings. My heart goes out to you.

Today was a particularly remarkable day. Now officially 3/4 of the way through my finals, I was struck yet again with the lightning bolt of realization that my time here at FIDM is coming to a close. I was just leaving my history class and came to tears with my teacher as she so thoughtfully gave me a book on fashion history and various -isms (seeing as how I dressed to every decade that we discussed in class). She also encouraged me to never lose my sparkle and to always go through life with the enthusiasm and passion that I have.

And then, I was told by my friend Angelina to head over to Bloomingdales to check out a pop-up shop by the lovely Joy Venturini Bianchi (a San Francisco style icon).

Not only did I end up walking home with some incredible vintage treasures and a signed book, but I was inspired in so many ways.

It's incredible to me how profound your passions have influence with your life. I'm always talking about the power of positivity and following what makes your heart sing, but sometimes, words can't describe how incredible it is when things are placed in your path in such a way that encourages you that you're on the right track. When I walked into this place, Joy and I were matching- black and orange. And when she began to talk (she's quite the speaker), it was like everything she was saying was coming right out of my head.

None of us were put onto this earth to float. We all have a purpose in life. She said that one of your life's goals is to wake up and have joy fill your heart. She stressed the importance of bringing joy to yourselves, but also bringing joy to others. She said to stomp on that tape in your head that runs on repeat telling you that you're not good enough, that you don't have what it takes. You do. And those who are passionate enough to follow their hearts will find happiness and will bring inspiration onto others to follow suit.

It was just a magical day. For me, having so many teachers, colleagues, friends, and family believe in me is a blessing. It means nothing though if you don't believe in yourself. And thank goodness I do. I can't wait to see what the future has in store for me and I can't wait to be running my own magazine someday, because I know I will.

To close, I'll end with a quote I found tucked away in this new book of mine, Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen:

"There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans. It is: at the moment that one definitely commits oneself then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidences, meetings and material assistance than could ever have been imagined."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

SpotTED: Imminent Graduation.

Holy smokes, time is flying by.

I knew this would happen, I knew this would happen, and yet here I am, surprised that it is happening.

What can you expect? I'm a twenty year old about to graduate college!

It's strange, I was talking to one of my friends and they told me ever so lightly: "Enjoy your last few weeks in San Francisco. Soon, it will be just a memory." And it all came crashing to me at once that my time here is near done. And yes, I can't wait to escape the pitiful smells of the city and the sad faces of the homeless I pass everyday (not to mention the noise), but I'll miss the familiarity and the comfort I have made for myself in the San Francisco city.

I had to put in my two weeks the other day at Ted Baker and let me tell you, that was tough! Work was my social time and I really connecTED with my Ted Team. I mean, it's not my final exit from Ted Baker for I still have plans to try my hand at Tedquarters, but it's nonetheless sad to leave this team that I have grown to know and love. Plus, the clothes! How will I ever survive without my daily dose of Baker?

Anyhow, I sit here on a Thursday night in my room enjoying my last bottle of Baileys, reminiscing of the good times I've had here as I begin to sort my monstrous amount of clothes in preparation for my leave in a few weeks.

It's easy to admit that I have spotTED the finish line of graduation and I'm showing no signs of stopping..

The Ted quotes are all in lieu of my (nearly) Ted to Toe ensemble. Now if only they made women's shoes in my size..

So you see I've spotTED my college career come to an end.

What I wore: black Tom Ford sunglasses (consignment), miscellaneous rhinestone necklaces (consignment), hot coral findersKEEPERS top (vintage), floral Ted Baker skirt (gift), Oscar de la Renta journal (courtesy of the De Young Museum Retrospective), hot coral Ted Baker purse (I love my job!), and black Miss Bisou pumps (consignment).

Saturday, June 4, 2016

On the Bay with the Baes.

FIDM came up with quite the graduation event. Since it's only a few weeks due north, the student activities group came up with a boating event in which graduates could celebrate at sea.

An avid ocean woman myself, I was very giddy with the thought of dinner and a cruise around the bay, especially seeing as how I haven't yet been out on the water! Planning went underway and last night, we were able to enjoy ourselves away from the homework and as 2016 college grads.

Obviously, there was pre-gaming to be done. Not necessarily drinking (although there were a few glasses of the rose), but definitely some girl preparation. Angelina, Maria, and I spent the majority of the afternoon pampering ourselves and finally, we were whisked away in an Uber.

After a most hilarious ride in which Angelina was talking to our driver in a most bubbly way about the music, we were dropped off at Fisherman's Wharf on Pier 39 1/2. The day still held remnants of the warmth, and the sun shone brilliantly across the clear blue sky as dolled up FIDM students were waiting to board. At last, we were off and away.

The evening was filled with many adventures and way too many laughs. It was a dry event (meaning no alcohol), and while some people were upset over this, I enjoyed myself nonetheless, happy to be at sea and with some of my best friends. We had dinner, I had coffee, and then we took multiple trips up the stairs to the brilliant deck at the top.

We passed by the brilliant San Francisco skyline, waved at AT&T Park, ducked under the Bay Bridge, and then disappeared in a blanket of fog.

At this point, the wind picked up and we were in for some naughty weather. The attempts I made to take some pics outside turned into an earnest attempt at keeping my curls out of my face and my dress from doing a Marilyn fly. Laughing and cold, there was something super special about those foggy windy pictures.

Unfortunately, we couldn't pass under the Golden Gate as the fog was too thick (classic San Francisco), but we were able to see it's epic tops peeking just above the fog as we circled round Angel Island.

The remainder of the evening was spent taking pictures in the photo booth, dancing to the beat, winning some goodies at the raffle, and enjoying our time at sea.

Once docked, our night kept on going, and we ended up going out for cocktails until the wee hours of the morning.

Last night was just lovely. We took a boat trip on the bay, and needless to say, we were all blown away...

See that pointy building? I live just there.

Bay Bridge Photoshoot..

See that fog cloud? Should've known..

Marilyn: "I'm getting goosepimply all over!"

Into the fog we go...

Jackie and I joined the birds on the stern of the boat, where we were bombarded with a wind so intense, it nearly blew us away..

Finally, we made it through and were met with a beautiful sunset.

Ghost ship?

The one glimpse of the Golden Gate!

Photobooth time!

Someone's ready to graduate!

What a bunch of rad grads..

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Final Countdown.

My friend Angelina and I were talking about the popular '80's song The Final Countdown and I suddenly realized the day.

The first of June.

Which means one thing, and one thing only: I am graduating college this month.

Whaaaaaaat. Again, as the days go by, the realization sinks further more and I'm suddenly conscious and aware that my time at FIDM is nearing a close.

With that in mind, I'm going to catch you up on some of the little things I love about the particularly cozy San Fran campus.

One: there's a café on the seventh floor. That's right, I'm talking on-campus snacks accompanied by the most friendly staff. I always splurge for a gooey goodness bar and a latte on my long days, and often have lunch there as well.

Two: the teachers. Because it's a smaller campus, the teacher to student ratio is phenomenal. Teachers know you by name, talk to you about weekend plans, and always return a smile. And the classroom setting is amazing for engagement. I've been in a classroom with just one other person and let me tell you, the attention was great!

Three: the elevators. Yeah, I'm known for being the fit girl who prefers the stairs, but there's something so official about taking the elevator to your next class. Plus, when you're wearing six inchers and lugging around a hefty amount of luggage, an elevator looks awfully enticing.

Four: the location. Talk about centrality in the city. Aside from being located just off Union Square, I get to walk past all of these designer shops on my way to school, which is pretty nice when your major is fashion. Plus, the views from the seventh floor balcony are pretty wicked, especially on clear days like today.

Five: the experience. I'm proud to say that I enjoy going to school. Every day, I wake up with the anticipation of learning something new that will inspire me even more in my future career. I don't consider it to be work, and I enjoy meeting my friends for study sessions and studying stuff that makes my heart soar. And when you've got staff that's so encouraging and knowledgeable, it really makes for quite an experience. Yeah the 8:30am classes can be a bit tough, but it's nothing without a proper cup of coffee.

Anyhow, here's to FIDM as we go into the final countdown...

I'm literally like a cat, finding the one spot of sun.

Checking out my building there in the background..

What I wore: black Tom Ford sunglasses (consignment), miscellaneous jeweled necklaces (consignment), aqua off-the-shoulder peasant top (gift), floral jeweled Ted Baker skirt (I love my job!), and gray Nordstrom flats (sale).