Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Living brightly

I'm a colorful girl. One look in my closet would reveal this as true. I don't wear much black, usually preferring to don pretty pastels and summery shades. Maybe it's the California girl in me, but I just like color.

The same goes for my design sensibility. Growing up, my room was as girly as a room could get. Think pink pink pink with a floral bedspread that perfectly matched the rosy wallpaper that perfectly matched my grandmama's hand-painted wall plates-- also in a floral motif. It was a bit uncanny how it all went together. And I loved it.

But once I got into my teens, I wanted a change. My obsession at the time was all things stars and I had just begun my love affair with the color yellow. (Up until then, my favorite hue was cerulean. Now the colors of the sea and the sun hold my attention equally.)

So what did I do? I painted my bedroom the brightest shade of yellow I could find. My parents questioned the choice but went with it (gotta love 'em). I accented the look with stark white Ikea furniture and pops of blue. A star mobile, star rug and many other star-shaped things completed the look. And you know I had a cheap copy of van Gogh's "Starry Night" hanging, too.

I simply loved waking up in that room. It was hard to be blue, shall we say, in a space that was so darn happy. Today, however, my living quarters aren't so vibrant. Beige walls and a brown couch are fine but I long for something more cheery, especially since my home is my office, too.

One day, I will have a house full of color, full of pattern and texture, full of ... life. Till then, I will just dream. And look at design magazines (ha!). I pulled some photos for future inspiration and I think it is safe to say that, if I had my way, my home would look something like this: (click *** for source)

Do you daydream about how you would decorate your ideal digs? Do you go for in-your-face brights like me or perhaps something more classic and subdued? Do share!

Top image found on Oh Joy! a while ago. If you know the direct source, please let me know!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sisters brunch + random (quickie) road trip

Outside the cafe: Jillian, Sam, me, Casey and Anna

Happy Sunday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. My day started splendidly. My little sis, Sam, was in town visiting from Arizona so I met up with her and the rest of my Alpha Phi "family" (you met them in this post) for brunch at Marmalade Cafe in Malibu. It was so good to see the girls again-- the lil, my grand lil, Jillian, and my great grand lils, Casey and Anna-- and catch up over some yummy breakfast. I had Eggs Benedict, of course. I'm a creature of habit, to be sure, but it is so delicious!

I was a bit bummed to say "so long" at the end of our brunch, but hopefully we'll have another sisterly reunion soon. They are such beautiful, smart girls, my lils. I'm a very proud big sis! (And I think it's kind of hilarious how we all have blonde hair and pale skin, we always joke about it when we meet up. But I promise, my whole sorority isn't blonde! Not that that would be a bad thing...)

Me and Sam

Though the boy and I have both been fighting through a cold, I was determined to not just sit around and watch TV all day. Especially since I had already gotten gussied up for brunch. So on the drive home to Simi from Malibu I called the boy to say, "get up, get dressed, we're doing something." Well, we are the worst when it comes to deciding what to do on the weekends, which is why we often just end up piling into the car (this time with Hazel in tow) with no direction, and just see where the wind takes us.

The wind took us to Ventura. That's what happens when you (and you know I mean the boy) drive aimlessly. It wasn't exactly a perfect day for the beach. The ocean breeze was icy and at times a bit violent, whipping my hair (and my dress!) around. Even Hazel looked a bit frazzled. She isn't often near the ocean and has never been in the waves before, and while she wasn't able to go down to the water this time either, she thoroughly enjoyed the experience, exploring every inch of the boardwalk and pier, and hopping around with glee-- like a little bunny.

When I wasn't holding my skirt down, I took a moment to snap a few pictures to share with you. Take a look:

Though the trip was random, to say the least, it actually ended up being quite a nice Sunday afternoon drive-- which was capped off with a stop at Starbucks for a cinnamon dolce latte. Yum.

And Hazel got to take part in one of her favorite activities: sticking her head out the car window, taking in the sights and sniffing the air. Ah, the simple pleasures in life. Check out her wind-blown 'do:

I hope you all had fun, relaxing weekends, too! Did anyone else go on a random road trip?

And a stating-the-obvious side note: I've made a few changes around here. I should be "spring cleaning" my apartment but it was easier to spruce up my blog. Let me know what you think! :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Welcome to wonderland + happy Friday!

While I'm not sure I want to see Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" (the preview creeps me out a bit), I am loving this wonderful-- pun intended-- fashion spread in Marie Claire's March issue. Aussie actress Mia Wasikowska, who plays Alice in the film, looks simply lovely in each photo, and a bit edgy, too, thanks to those boots. But what I love even more than the clothes-- and I do love these frilly, flowy, fanciful pieces-- is her wavy, beach-blown hair. That is what I wish my tresses looked like everyday.

P.S. I hope you all are having a happy Friday! I'm battling a cold thanks to the boy who has been sick for the past two weeks, but I am so glad the weekend is almost here!

P.P.S. So glad Evan Lysacek won last night! Did you see it?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Golden moments

I love the Olympics. I've always been a fan, even since I was a little kid. Back then, I'd watch the figure skating or the gymnastics, whatever the season may be, and after the performance run into the family room to practice my own jump and twirl routines.

Over the years, my passion for the games waned a bit. But it seems to be back in full force for 2010. I am totally and completely fascinated by the Olympics this year, and it's pretty much all that I have been watching since the Opening Ceremonies on Friday (I'm watching the men's figure skating right now, as a matter of fact). I've always favored the summer Olympics, since I am partial to the swimming and gymnastics events. But winter sports that I have never before been intrigued by have caught my attention this year. Moguls, snowboard cross, ski jumping... so cool. How is it that I never cared to watch these before? Though, as Ashley said so perfectly in this post, some of the events are pretty ridiculous when you think about them. Back-flipping on skis? Sliding down the luge at 90 miles per hour? And the strangest to me of all: curling. Seriously, who came up with that?

Still, my heart will always belong to figure skating. Every time I watch I wish that my mother had put me in ice skating lessons. I love the grace of the skaters as they dance on the ice and how when they are on they make the technically challenging look effortlessly beautiful. Though, I have to admit, it does stress me out a bit. I hold my breath every time they jump in the air, exhaling a sigh of relief when they land safely and gasping when they crash to the ground.

As an American, I definitely root for Team U.S.A. all the way. But the thing I love about the Olympics is how it brings the world together, connecting us-- funnily enough-- through competition. I cheer on athletes from other countries just as loudly as I do athletes from the U.S., and sometimes louder. Thanks to NBC, I become invested in their stories, their dreams, their quest for gold. And I want it for them. Especially for our friends north of the border, the Canadians. The pressure is already crazy high for all the Olympians, but none so much as those from Canada.

And can we just talk for a second about how amazingly beautiful Vancouver is, and British Columbia in general? I've been to Vancouver and Victoria, but I want to go back. This commercial (and the longer version here) makes me want to pack my bags every time I see it.

I've watched a lot of Olympics coverage the last five days and there's been a lot of great moments, both heartwarming and heart-wrenching. Here's my favorite (happy) moments from the 2010 games, so far:

The Opening Ceremonies.

American skier Hannah Kearney winning gold 
in the women's moguls.

Alexandre Bilodeau winning Canada's first gold 
of the 2010 games-- and its first gold on home soil-- 
in men's moguls.

The stunning short program performance by 
China's cutest couple, Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao, 
followed by another killer routine 
that finally brought them their first Olympic gold. 

And since I just watched him skate a flawlessly executed performance, can I just say how hot Evan Lysacek is? I mean, just look at the American skater's modeling portfolio images:

You're welcome.

So, have you been watching the Olympics with me? What is your favorite part? Do you have a favorite "golden" moment?

{Wednesday update:} 
I'm adding Lindsey Vonn taking gold to my list of favorite Olympic moments. She is the first American woman to win gold in downhill! 
She is beautiful, sassy and strong-- both physically and mentally-- and after all the pain she had to fight through recently, I'm so happy for her! I loved her reaction once she crossed the finish line; she was so ecstatic she couldn't even contain herself, letting out screams of joy.

What's more, Vonn's teammate Julia Mancuso nabbed silver.
Congrats girls!

Opening Ceremonies photos via The Huffington Post
Evan Lysacek images via his official website
All other photos via NBC

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I believe in love.

Even when I don't feel it.

Even when I don't see it.

Even when I don't have it.

I believe in love.

Because when I really look hard enough, there it is.

In my family. My friends. My puppy's wet kisses. 

So whether you are single, taken or things are just, well, complicated, here's a collection of pretty and inspiring images I rounded up to help you feel the love this Valentine's Day.

And maybe even, believe.

{click *** for source}

{you know I had to throw Hazel in there!}

Happy Valentine's Day, my loves! Thanks for being here and being awesome.