Year of the Rose

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According to the Chinese zodiac calendar, 2018 is the Year of the Dog. However, I plan on having it be the Year of the Rose.

Perhaps this will also serve as a hint as to what my next book cover will look like since I am also working right now on my second AND third books as I type this.

Truth be told, I had a sunflower phase for a long time and actually was a bit anti-rose because I saw roses as the archenemy. I also have had a dahlia phase and actually do find all of these flowers still beautiful.

I think my newfound love for roses might have something to do with me embracing my inner Belle since last year when the film Beauty and the Beast came out. It’s evident by my many posts reviewing books, the one I did on my love for life-like inanimate objects, my fashion choices, and now my obsession with buying bouquets after bouquets of roses the last several weeks.

 

Also, being a Game of Thrones fan, I had a coincidental incident happen where a fellow GOT fan joked about my house doing well and I asked him what animal or creature my so-called house would be symbolized by. In my head, I thought to myself “House of Roses.” Out of curiosity I decided to look up “roses” on wikipedia when I got home and it led me to a historical reference to The War of Roses, the war within the English royal family between the House of Lancaster (symbolized by a red rose) and Yorks (represented likewise by a white rose). Being an American, I was not knowledgeable of much English history but these civil wars were fought between the two houses over which house were to gain control of the throne, serving as an inspiration for the author of the Game of Thrones books. Hence, the Lancasters would be the Lannisters and the Yorks would be the Starks.

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Like the English, I continue to enjoy my tea, sometimes in my rose tea cup topped with a silicone rose lid to keep it from cooling down as quickly. One of my friends who gifted me with tea was thoughtful enough to also gift me with a gorgeous rose tea comprised of whole minature roses to steep.

So as the saying goes, don’t forget to smell the roses in life.

-M

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One Dress Styled for Every Season

I recently gave a tip to fellow fashionista & blogger Muse Meileena about my lack of winter-specific pieces such as bulky sweaters since I make use of a lot of my clothes all-year round utilizing outerwear instead to layer over in colder weather. Here’s an example using a dress I bought during the Cyber Monday sale:

Winter

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I would most likely wear a coat if I was walking around town in the dress during the winter time. However, if I’m attending a holiday party, I would sport the white furry shrug so that I can still show off the dress. The ear muffs are not usually something I wear in California but I’ve worn them in other places that snow during my travels and it makes all the difference. In this situation it worked out that the white fluffiness of both items matched.


Spring

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I could wear cardigans but I opted for the light purple jacket I had bought as part of a set with a formal dress this year since it’s close to that pastel color vibe. It works with the shoes (which also scream spring) that match the jacket. As a general rule of thumb, sinamay fascinators are more appropriate for spring and summer whereas felt and wool head/hair pieces tend to work better for autumn and winter months.


Summer

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I wasn’t able to quite decide which summer look to choose for this posting so I decided to post all three! The white cardigan can work for spring as well, but I figured in the summer months hanging it over the shoulder like that would still help prevent shoulder sunburns while staying relatively cool in the hot weather. Hats with longer brims would also help with sun protection along with a cute pair of sunglasses (which I sadly did not photograph myself with even though I purchased a few along with the dress). Summer and spring seasons call for bright colored shoes that pop!


Fall

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I couldn’t quite decide between the navy blue blazer (which I’ve been posting photos of me wearing in recent postings) or the black & white one. The black & white one does match the color scheme of the black & white hat (which I thought went well with the Parisian landscape of the print on the dress). But the navy blue does go well with the lighter blue color of the dress too and I did pair both blazers with navy blue pumps. When I wore the black & white blazer, I also wore black gloves. If it was in colder weather, I would probably opt for tights too.


As you can see, it’s really all about the outerwear and accessories. I do think it’s more fun to sport vibrant colors during the colder seasons too. So next time, consider reconsidering before you decide to put away so-called spring/summer clothes during the autumn/winter months.

-M

How to Spice Up an Outfit with Fringe Shorts

I recently bought a few more of the fringe dance shorts I used to own in black. I bought two pairs (red and white) not being able to decide which color to get for an upcoming dance performance I have. I figured I would wear them out for fun too.

While I think certain situations call for more conservative outfits, I think if you’re out trying to have fun then why not put in some fun in the outfits too. Here’s how I accomplished that with two conservative outfits by swapping the bottom half with the fringe shorts:

Outfit Example #1 + White Fringe Shorts

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The top half of the outfit may look familiar if you recall the posting from when I made the ombre bedazzled headband to match the sweater I found.

I think if you’re babysitting for the night or working at a library the first outfit is still appropriate and there’s still some fun in the bling details of the headband and the sweater. But I decided to wear the white fringe shorts to go out for a weekend brunch with friends. The top is still fairly conservative so it balances it out with the party on the bottom half.


Outfit Example #2 + Red Fringe Shorts

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In these looks I also took pieces from a blog posting I did in August with the blazer and the rose adornment. For a day at the office, the first look would probably work. But for afterwork hours, I think swapping the pants for the red fringe shorts would be the perfect transition. It looks like you’re ready to go out for dancing indeed.

Like the first example, I like keeping the top the same and slightly more conservative to balance things out with the bottom. Between the pumps that scream edgy and preppy, keeping the blazer is a perfect compliment.


I used to own a pair of the fringe shorts in black and used it for a photo shoot (below) but have yet to find out where they went. I think the “bottom” line is it’s a great piece to have in any color and it’s so much fun to shake it. As a fun bonus tip, put one on and dance in it to  Taylor Swift’s song “Shake It Off.”

Modern Love Photography (13 of 49)

-M

 

Live, Laugh, GLOVE ~ My New Method for Storing Gloves~

It’s no secret that I have quite the extensive collection of gloves. Up until now, I had been using shoe boxes (and cupcake boxes that I would put inside the shoe boxes to separate the gloves by color). However, with my collection of white gloves and black gloves alone they take up a whole shoe box each and many of the other colored gloves I have multiple varieties in each cupcake box.

So I decided to come up with a new method and crafted my very own gloves storage box. This first one I made is solely for black gloves, which will be easy to tell from the outer appearance of the box:

As you may have figured, the box did originally have the slogan “LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE” but I added the ‘G’ to make “LOVE” into “GLOVE.”

I took some Elmer’s foam boards and cut them with an exacto knife to make the rectangular sections inside the box which I glued together with a glue gun. To sum, I used these materials + a plastic black clipboard (not photographed) + a mechanical pencil for tracing lines onto the foam board to make my box:

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You can also use a ruler if you want to be super precise. But I found that the little piece of label paper of the Elmer’s foam boards to be a perfectly fine substitute for using as a straight edge and the glue from the glue gun would fill in any small gaps of imperfections there may be for the edges cut by the exacto knife (which I also used for the first time with this project).

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I often get asked now how many pairs of gloves I actually have…. Like socks, I admit that there are a few pairs that I have where one of the pairs is missing. But according to my most recent count it looks to be approximately 60 pairs as of now (and growing!) Needless to say, utilizing this new organization system for my gloves collection will make my life so much easier…

It’s not my first time these decorative boxes have come in handy for me as I did a whole posting back in May on my different usages for them. Though the one I used for this project is not as deep and are typically used as photo storage boxes.

Live, laugh, GLOVE!

-M

Back to School Grown-Up Style

I recently decided to take advantage of a sale that one of my favorite online websites for shopping ModCloth had and purchased the following without knowing at the time I would be able to put together this “Back to School” look:

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But between the navy blue blazer and the plaid skirt it screams preppy. I wore my previously purchased pair of preppy brown shoes with button embellishments.

I am also a fan of lounging around in my robes and night gowns when I’m at home. And this one I got is good enough to work as a  bathrobe post-showers which I think is a perfect purchase for college dorm-bound kids:

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(The rose embellishment definitely worked for both looks!)

For those high school kids getting ready for the homecoming dance or formal dances to come this school year, I recently purchased a dress on amazon for a economical price of $63.09 and got it shortened to have it be floor length for my 5ft. 5in. height + 3 inch heels to wear to a banquet dinner:

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Click here if you want to purchase the one I wore

(Above photo courtesy of fellowShorinji Kempo kenshi and blogger Finnworld)

I liked what I got for the price but I admittedly did feel like the padding on the breast that it came with was a bit much (though the person who shortened the dress for me forgot to take the breast pads out so I left them in when I wore the dress to the event). I did pair the dress with matching earrings and lacy black gloves.

I suppose this was a celebratory event since I found out a few days later that I did pass my 5th degree black belt exam which coincided with the timing of my birthday that same week. So the dress was this year’s version of my “birthday suit” tradition I have!

It has also been a year now since I published my book amongst other milestones & anniversaries of other related/non-related accomplishments in my life so far. So here’s a reminder to celebrate by simply being proud because it’s perfectly alright to be proud of one’s accomplishments no matter how small or big.

-M

Making an Ombre Headband for a Bedazzled Sweater

I live in an apartment complex where people kindly leave books for other people along with other items that they want to give away for free in the library section of the laundry room. One of my recent lucky finds was this bedazzled pink sweater that appeared to never have been worn. Like many of my other outfits, I decided I wanted to have a head piece to go with it so I decided to make a bedazzled ombre-effect headband:

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Here’s a closer look at the design on the sweater shoulder area I was inspired by in juxtaposition to the headband I made:

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Here are the materials I used to make the headband:

Step 1: Separate the gemstones according to color. There should be a variety in sizes for each color too. For a fun look, I decided to keep the colors consistent but the sizes of the stones mixed.

Step 2: Trim the ribbon according the circumference of your head of where you would wear the headband and leave extra length on (to be safe, I would leave on about an extra 4 inches on)

Step 3: Go ahead and arrange the stones on the ribbon according to how you want to have it be on the hairband. Once you’re happy, start gluing each stone onto the ribbon by applying fabric glue. Tip: It’s easier to apply the glue if you use a Q-tip

Step 4: Let it dry! I let it dry for a day and continued working on it the next day to be safe.

Step 5: Cut fairly identical-sized pieces (about 3/4 inch) from the velcro straps [from both the soft and rough surface spools]. Fold each ends of the ribbon twice and glue the folds down with the glue gun. Place the velcro pieces onto the ends (make sure you have one on the front and the other one on backside of the headband:

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In case you were wondering what the rest of my outfit looked like, I decided showing off a little leg would balance out the conservative nature of the top half so I paired the sweater with grey plaid shorts (you can wear tights or knee socks underneath during the colder months) and one of my favorite fuchsia satin heels:

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And there you go! It’s a classic look with a bit of a bedazzle~

-M

The Watermelon Dress 3 Ways

As an avid dress wearer, I decided I wanted to get one of those watermelon dresses I’ve been seeing around lately. And frankly, I couldn’t decide between all the different options of gloves, hats and shoes. So here’s 3 ways I’ve worn it (which doesn’t include other looks I have since then played around with):

Click here to buy the watermelon dress I’m wearing

Look#1: The most indoor-event friendly and hugging/kissing other people-friendly option. The fascinator makes me think of the vintage swim caps a bit which is also season-appropriate. Since it’s the only hat option that doesn’t come with a wide brim it does make it easier for the kissing/hugging of people. However, it is also very securely fastened by a band onto my head and would actually fare well in windy conditions if I were to be out and about. The minty, sea foamy sage green gloves and shoes were also with the lighter green color scheme that you see in the thin stripes of light green near the hem of the dress.

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Look #2: The farmers market look (especially if I’m picking up some watermelon there). It’s the most casual look out of the three and would also be the most practical when it comes to protecting myself from the sun. I did end up wearing the same shoes as look #1 but would ideally pair it with something of a darker green to match my darker green gloves (which I would have on so that it wouldn’t get dirty as easily as the lighter green gloves when I’m picking out fruits and vegetables at the farmers market and such).

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Look #3: The derby, polo or wedding look. This one is definitely the look I would go for at festive events where it would be acceptable for me to show some flare. The green gloves were appropriately matching the color of the fascinator and are satin so I went with a pair of one of my favorite satin heels that went with the fuchsia color of the watermelon.

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Along with my cucumbers, I have been enjoying some good watermelons lately with my balsamic vinegar and mint leaves. So whether you are eating them or wearing them as a fashion statement, I hope watermelons and all the refreshing fruits in season will help you stay cool this summer!

– M