Hello Summer.

Hello everyone!

It feels so odd to be saying that right now, as I scroll through my old posts and wonder where the time has gone. I feel as if I owe everyone an explanation for my absence here.

So while I know that you all are perfectly justified in being angry with me, here I go attempting an apology. Or at least presenting a solid alibi, whichever works better.

This will also probably become some sort of rant inevitably, so disclaimer – if you aren’t in for the long haul you might want to click away, haha.

First of all, I would like to point out how much work goes into each post. For a professional blogger who made this their full time job, there is a photographer required for every. Single. Shoot… And for every. Single. Post. And unfortunately, my younger brother a few months ago realized that photographing my outfits out of the “goodness of his heart” (my words, not his) was doing nothing for his wallet. To be fair, it was a crap deal we had going on, at least on his end. And I laughed it off. But then I realized I had no one to hold the camera and actually snap the photo, and then the laughing ended. So I hunted photographers, but no one was A) near enough to work with or B) was interested in working with a newer, less followed blogger. SEE everyone? THIS is why bloggers date people who are good with photography; they get free photos. Smart smart smart.

Another reason I was distanced from the blog was school. Always school. Courses got harder, my study breaks became smaller and less frequent, and thus became consumed with me slipping in clips of the show Victoria on PBS (I am a fangirl for that show I swear the costumes must be crafted out of angel hair and swan feathers or something) , or Mad Men (not surprising for me). I also became a bit of a vintage freak, stalking vintage accounts and sellers on Instagram, but never actually bidding on things due to sizing qualms.

So there are my two largest reasons. Another relevant reason was this fear that I was not living in the moment, but instead just thinking of when and what to post, and if I had enough clothing for posts. Which is not the point of ethical living — a goal I am actively pursuing. Shopping mindfully is something I try to do, and if my blog was standing in the way of that main goal, then it had to be put on hold.

BUT I won’t lie, I missed the mini platform I had to write and rant on that was in my control all the time. So here I am, again. It’s summer, and I am here, but I won’t guarantee how active I can be, since I will be a bit busy this summer (more on that another time). For now, I CAN guarantee an outfit MWAH HA HA. Someone’s brother was  in a good mood and agreed to being a photographer for the day.

Downtown Houston, how I missed you. Suburbs….well, let’s just say I have a growing fiery pit of lava feeding on fervid hatred and swirling flames of discomfort and a mild allergic reaction when I think of you.

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a moment of gratitude to the hair gods for helping me make a bun today. that is all.
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smiling because I am fighting the bitch face, but look at the shoes *cries*.  divinity in a shoe.
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detailed shot of the perforation of my bag – love that – and the lace top…*yells at the top of lungs* I HAVE BECOME A TABLECLOTH come be my friend
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actually serious styling tip – cuffing pants makes your legs look longer. I don’t know how many more times I have to say it to prove it to you all.

Outfit Details:

Top/Zara // Pants/ H&M (old) // Shoes/Nanette Lepore // Bag/gifted

** “The Tempest” Playbill not available for sale 😀

There you go! My latest outfits are mostly in grayscale, or at least in dark colors. In lieu of prints I lean towards textures and fabrics, which are more fun anyway. I saw the Houston Ballet’s version of “The Tempest” and was entranced, and stepped out for a second to get these photos of this outfit. My top was actually fished off a rack in Zara that was covered in those pseudo Johanna Ortiz tops. Even though I feel like a human doily, I can live with that. The ruffled shoulders are actually (oh good god I’m about to say it) fun?

Last thing I will say: those shoes. They are precious, and I love anything pointy-toed. If I see a pair of black shoes that threaten to mold my feet into triangles by the end of the day and have sandpaper for soles sign me up. I will gladly break in those death traps for you. Years of practice of wearing uncomfortable shoes left me numb anywhere below my mid calf area, so these were great. I realize now sitting at home with my feet propped up that the skin has been rubbed raw in a few places but THAT IS OKAY. All is fair in love and fashion.

Thanks for reading!

#30daysofthanks Day 1 &2

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Pumpkins courtesy of Pinterest

Hi everyone! I have been gone, and there is really no excuse for that. But does it make it better if I say that I have had a lot of homework and exams? And what is weirder – the last time I posted I am positive that I was not in classes yet. And here we are. The day after Day of the Dead.

I figured that an easier way to get back into the groove of writing would be to focus on solely that. Writing, minus the fashion, style, and vegan life. I was thinking of how to do this for the past week and a half, and then I saw this post on Facebook, where someone had hashtagged #30daysofthanks, and posted a picture along with it. I thought it was so sweet and a good idea, since sometimes too much homework and stress from classes leaves us jaded and without any time to realize that there is much to still be happy about.

I for one always have a strange reaction every time I come home for the holidays. For the first two days I am still trying to forget about the exams I have to go through to pay my dues before being able to lay back and celebrate and get back to my usual routine at home.

So this year I have decided to change that. In order to remind myself that there is much to be happy about and that not everything is stressful and grey and exhausting (I could write a book about the stress of exams and fill it with anecdotes…) I have decided to join in on this hashtag trend, although I will spare my friends the newsfeed spam and post here exclusively.

I am well aware that I am a day late, so today I will mention TWO things that made me thankful or reminded me of what I should be grateful for. So let us embark on this journey of pumpkins, lattes, and the joy that is everything autumnal!!! Follow me friends! *throws the single orange leaf that has fallen to the ground in Texas*

November 1st, 2016 aka the first day of Christmas according to Starbucks

Lattes. All of them. Chai lattes specifically.

Before you judge me for picking a material item hear me out!

I have a tendency to say that I will do a lot of things and then not go through with them. And I am bored of that, because it leads to me complaining about being stuck in a rut, when my actions – or lack of- are what has me sitting there. I used to depend on other people to feel like I was having fun or doing something worthwhile. Ex: asking friends to study together to make myself do it or to go to Starbucks because I wasn’t capable of going alone.

Recently, I had this ridiculous craving for a chai latte. And I was thinking, if only I had a friend who would go with me! I cannot possibly go downtown and find one! I guess I’ll sit around in my bedroom. 

I honestly don’t know what urged me out of bed. Maybe it was that the craving was that bad. Maybe I remembered that I had gotten a paycheck recently so I was feeling giddy and reckless. But it was probably that I realized that if I wasn’t brave enough to do it alone today, tomorrow I would be in the same rut, but in a  different situation. And the idea of being in a rut permanently or even long term scares me.

So I went out, got on the public metro (yay eco friendly transportation options!) and went downtown to a coffee shop I found on Yelp, and sat there proudly drinking my almond chai latte for as long as I could, using baby sips that you would normally a little girl using at a tea party.

And good news! I’m sipping my second chai latte at the same spot right now. Hooray for leaving comfort zones and exploring downtown! I am thankful for this latte for helping me realize that I am capable of going out and doing something about my boredom instead of simply complaining about it. My destiny is in my hands! – Mwah ha ha ha ha –

November 2nd, 2016

And now we are at the present! Today I am thankful for the slightly cooler weather. It got me in the mood to write this post and indirectly dragged me out of the creative darkness I was in. I would say family, for calling and messaging me, but that would be unfair to dedicate only one day to them, when I could in theory write about them for thirty days of thanks as well, and many more. So leaving my family out of this, I am thankful for this blog. Because it feel like home, in a way. And I have a lot of ideas I am still trying to get out on this little spot.

I was thinking recently- and I even dropped the idea in a conversation with a friend a few minutes ago- that I would really like to compile the short stories I write and maybe add some simple illustrations to them too. I am not an artist in any way, but I think the stories would make more sense and look more complete with something else there with them.

It is still a very, very rough idea though. But it was brought back to the forefront of my mind because of this blog! I initially had this idea a few years back in high school. Although then it was supposed to be entirely fiction, I feel like I have enough anecdotes on my own to suffice, mixed with some creative liberty.

I will cut myself off here, because I am too excited to write again and share with you all and I don’t want to exhaust my writing, and I fear I’m word vomiting.

But to recap, yes! I am back. Tell your friends.

The True Cost.

I recently bought a dress – which sounds really boring and isn’t how I normally start conversations- but I actually felt good about it.

I’ve always been conscious of my actions and their effects on the environment, so a few years ago, I started reading up on the fashion industry and how it relates to pollution, unfair labor, and carbon emissions. I even saw the documentary that this blog post is named after. I don’t want to spoil it, but it basically points out the darker side of the fashion industry and how we as a society of consumption have turned our back on ethical practices. Exploiting workers in developing countries, using materials that include animal byproducts, and throwing away all the material that we do not use has led to a massive problem. In order to combat this, we can recycle clothes, sell them elsewhere, swap clothes, buy secondhand…etc.

I cut down my shopping by more than half, but I’ve also tried to make each purchase an investment purchase also so I wouldn’t feel as bad about my closet.

So getting to the point of this post- my dress I wore today was this awesome peace silk (a vegan silk alternative – real silk involves killing silk worms) maxi dress with awesome slits and a great cut-out back. But my favorite part of the dress was its tag! The tag says that its made of recycled man-made fabrics.

Eco-friendly AND vegan fabric + my personal style?  = heck yeah.

 

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The lighting in this picture was hilarious.

The dress is actually a much prettier maroon shade, but the lighting made it all wonky. Also yes, I blurred the photo.

The denim jacket was with me because I went to Barnes and Noble to read as I do almost every weekend, because Barnes and Noble is to me like Tiffany’s is to Holly Golightly, and Barnes and Noble happens to maintain a welcoming temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit. I ended up not wearing it though because I wasn’t about to let air conditioning rain on my eco-friendly fashion parade.

Bottom line: The True Cost (I think its still on Netflix) is definitely worth a watch- and so is ethical living.

xoxo

Gotham.

A rather impressive (by my standards, at least) assortment of pictures of the big APPLE (see what I did there? *raises brows*)

Also keep in mind that some of the pictures are from my phone, so excuse the quality- this is really more of me adding commentary to stuff that I saw/ate/stared at.

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“N…Y…C…Just got here this morning…Three bucks, two bags, one meee”

If you don’t know the song I quoted please reconsider your taste in musicals.

Anyway, let me whisk you off for a bit and share my experience in New York through pictures. We stayed near the touristy spots so we wouldn’t have to walk very far to get to the fun areas. Unfortunately, I got pink eye after day one, so I got to wear my glorious glasses every.single.day. after that. That is why I didn’t show up so much in photos here, but also so I could be the one to snap creepy candids of my family, which were unwillingly taken but now look hilarious.

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Behold!! The Russian Tea Room where Fran from “the Nanny” hangs out casually with Mr. Sheffield. 90’s sitcoms taught me about New York well.  They charge extra per table if you want personal breathing space.

Next stop was Central Park!

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Oh you expected a shot of the actual park. Nope. This Colombian guy selling coffee out of the back of his vintage Colombian car made my whole family stop and have a mutual moment of respect/awe/admiration. Bonus points for him for wearing the authentic hat.
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The queen of coffee, Juan Valdez. I don’t do caffeine period- but I went to hear the familiar accent in spanish and for the lemonade, which they prepare differently and I swear it tastes like home.

 

 

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At left: a buñuelo (fried cheese dough), and in front, a sweet arepa with fresh cheese.

I confess I smelled the two items above when my parents weren’t looking. They got coffee on my behalf, which I also smelled too, because the smell is heavenly.

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In a surge of pride or maybe because I was happy the weather was nice, I stood in front of the cafe. Not pictured: the lemonade I was desperately trying to make last, and the napkins I took as a souvenir.

 

Okay, here is a story for these food items. Now I know the vegan community is HUGE in NYC, so I found this place called Fresh & Co. where all they do is make these gigantic salads for you. You better believe I was happy. I almost high fived the lady making my salad. If you were wondering, it was called the Superfood bowl, and I got falafel on it.

On the right, there’s those squishy pouch things. I was in a pop up food market with kiosks and food trucks, and this girl came up to me from a start up trying to sell healthy wholesome products. I said no because I had no cash on me, but then I saw her shirt which said “Cruelty Free” on it, which always represents the Vegan community, so I automatically started talking to her and telling her that it was good to spread the message around. Long story short, she was so excited to meet another vegan that she gave me three packets free of charge. And they were delicious!

And now I’ll segue into the architecture aspect of my trip.

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The Empire building, from an angle that makes it look small and generic (my bad)
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A siren near 30 Rock, that appears to be squishing Ursula from the Little Mermaid into a pulp.
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A cool shot of Broadway or Lexington that I took with an outstretched arm because I am terrified of heights and can’t stand near windows this high up, hence the windowsill.
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Jersey trying to be cool with its own skyscrapers. Its a solid effort, but is it really competing with the next photo?
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No, no its not. It’s okay Newark, you tried.
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Spotted: the Bard standing alone mid thought in Central Park on the Literary Walk, also being the only statue to be facing the wrong way. He was a trendsetter in life, and posthumously too.  Damn William.
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You know, the smell of this underground area does not do the architecture justice. Not to mention the dog I cut out of the shot who was smugly pooping in the corner. Anyway, this is where Serena and Blair talked in season one of Gossip Girl. This is also near the water fountain where the intro to Friends was filmed, I believed- don’t quote me, I was never big on Friends.
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St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. I still don’t get how they fit this church in the tiny block it takes up.
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This contraption that looks like two white plastic combs sticking out of the ground is apparently a train/subway station? It is next to the World Trade Center.
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This was me in awe of how pretty the Manhattan Community College is in comparison to the community colleges I have seen elsewhere.
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Don’t get it twisted, I could not tell you anything about the Federal Office Building right there. But WAIT that’s a balloon dog, like the ones by Jeff Koons!!! That deserves a picture.
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I’ll give you a break of my writing now while you stare at Long Island.

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And this was where I stood on top of the country in the Freedom Tower, which deserves credit for a lot of the shots in this post.
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Bad jokes aside, I had a moment of silence here at the 9/11 memorial.

And NOW the Met! Which let’s face it- it was a major factor in my wanting to visit NYC again. From left to right, audacious Madame X (who was actually that white in life), and this creepy lady that I forgot I had taken a picture of. Imagine a lifesize cutout of her pasted on your enemy’s wall.

Some Manet for you…

Some sculptures that I stared at for a while in the sculpture gallery. And a friendly tip for you today: the sculpture gallery is a great place to eat a snack inconspicuously.

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A little (ironic because this painting takes up almost a whole wall) Matisse for you as well…

Van Gogh, who cut off his ear but seemed to get even more artistic after doing so. The portrait on the right has a great background, if you want something to stare at without thinking.

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This was one of my favorites. It’s a picture of a woman in the sixties, so you get the big hair, the cat-eye, and the ultimate “you’ll-never-be-me-MWAH-HA-HA” face.
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When you slay as a building and you know it.

I know I already said this, but more is coming! Thanks for reading!

xoxo

Vegan Chia Breakfast Bowls 

It’s been a while, but to sum it up for you, it’s been 

Rainy

Muggy

Humid 

Grey 

And if you are a fashion blogger, you know that means pictures are out of the question. So I’ve been waiting and watching forecasts but it’s not looking good. I felt the flow of creativity slow down a bit (more like a lot) and I was a bit annoyed. 
Then I looked down at my breakfast this morning and realized how much I love making it everyday. I normally alternate between porridge and granola, but I bought some chia a few weeks ago and immediately added it to my routine, throwing it in everything possible. Here’s the most common iteration: the breakfast bowl. I leave the chia seeds to soak overnight and throw the toppings together in seconds the morning after, changing them up every time.

What to do:

Add 2 tablespoons of chia to a bowl. (I add around 2.5) 

Then add around a cup of the plant milk of your choice (I use cashew, and then add a shot of water to avoid it becoming too thick a paste).

Cover it and put it in the refrigerator overnight, or if in the early morning, you can wait around 20 minutes for it to thicken a bit, although I’d still recommend putting it in the fridge for the best results and waiting as long as possible. 

TOPPINGS – aka the best part when you actually feel like you’re making something awesome and you can raid your pantry for anything topping-like.

  1. I like to use pumpkin seeds for another bit of protein, and granola, sometimes sprinkling cinnamon over all of it.
  2. I chop fruit sometimes and place that on one side and then added unsweetened coconut yogurt on the other side to add variety to the texture of the bowl. 
  3. I’ve seen the fancy schmancy vegans on Instagram go all out and go to extreme lengths to make their bowls more visually appealing by drizzling melted cacao nibs over the entire thing, or using goji berries on one side and funky exotic fruits as well and making it symmetrical. All I have to say is, if the bowl tastes good to you, it’ll be fine. If you hate cacao nibs don’t add them. I’m pretty basic and straightforward and don’t like super sugary foods, so I won’t be going out of my way to add anything super weird like algae to my bowl (although algae is a number one in my book if it’s in kombucha). 

And now some amateur pictures of my food! Where I forced myself to wait before devouring my food to take pictures of it. Because what’s a food post without pictures??? 

Up close of chia paste- it’s like a lumpy porridge, if you were wondering. 

Today’s iteration of the bowl: {from left to right} crumbled homemade vegan banana bread, vegan cereal with granola clusters, and pumpkin seeds. Also featuring my Doctor Who mug and Fuji Apple.

A chopped Fuji Apple and maple cereal.


Pineapple, the same maple cereal, and coconut yogurt. 

I hope this served as some inspiration for vegans and non vegans alike:) it’s never a bad thing to incorporate something like chia once or twice into your breakfast routine, especially once you realize the benefits of eating chia(calcium, protein, fiber…etc) and the ease of just tossing stuff into a bowl. I personally consider it the leftover bowl, where I add all of the stuff I didn’t use from another day.