Embracing Change in 2015

If I had to describe 2014 in one word it would be change. So much change. I learned that we, as humans, have been evolving since day one. Mentally and physically, everything has been working together to create the person you are today, the person you are now. Change is inevitable, whether you want it or not, good or bad. You are stuck with the changes that life has given you, and will continue to, so you might as well make the most of it. In 2014, I learned in theory to embrace every change and make the most of it. I will put this philosophy into action during 2015.

I look back so last year and it seems so long ago. It seems like the person I was then is so far away from who I am now, in some ways good, and in some ways bad. I didn't even have a blog at this point last year. My blog is something that I can't imagine living without and it's even harder to know that I haven't even had it for a year. Change only builds upon the person you are; it doesn't change you completely. So when I say embrace change, I mean build on your character in positive ways, don't force yourself into someone that you're not.

This is my plan for embracing changes in the new year:

  1. Plan- Think about where you want to be in your life. All of your goals and ambitions; your ideal future. Then think about where you are now. Your current situations and problems. 
  2. Organize- Turn these thoughts into a timeline, with your current situation on one end of a line, and your ideal future on the other.
  3. Work- Take little steps toward your goal, but always move forward. You may need to adjust your plans as you and your goals change, so it's a good thing that dreams aren't set in stone.
Embrace all the twists and turns in life with open arms and you'll find a way to make them lead to the same place.

See you next year!

Art Trip to MoMA

I love art. I think it would be impossible to live and not love art, or at least appreciate and respect it in some manner. Art is all around us, not just in the traditional sense of paintings, sculptures, and prints, but also in more average areas such as architecture, literature, music, cooking, clothing; art is infinite. 

As a fashion enthusiast, I relish visual art because clothing and art both have so much in common. They can express strong feelings and ideas clearly and without words. The message that they're hiding can either be quite literal, or more abstract and harder to understand. But the message in either of them, fashion or art, is completely dependent on the person viewing them. Both art and clothing are subjected to receiving different interpretations from different minds that could either be spot on or 50 miles in the wrong direction from where the creator intended it to be. (More on imagery and ideas here if you're interested.)

That being said, I definitely couldn't pass up on my mom's offer to see the Matisse cut-outs exhibition, and other great works of art, at the Museum of Modern Art. (Plus, it was a trip to New York and I never miss a trip to New York.) 

Photos weren't allowed inside the actual Henri Matisse exhibit, but I took some before and after we went in, and in the gift shop. It was a complete mob scene, but because everyone was working together towards the same common goal of viewing the art, it wasn't that bad.

The gift shop.

I didn't really understand this piece, but I still admire how the colors and materials work together.

This composition is especially captivating: it transports the viewer from an art museum to the canned foods section of a grocery store. Good work, Mr. Warhol.

(I literally searched the entire museum for a picture of a cow so I could use that caption.)

It's very interesting to see the little-known artists, but it's also amazing to see famous paintings or sculptures up close. It was hard to get close, thanks to both security and crowds, but I'm glad that I elbowed my way in to snap a picture, even though there are countless better ones out there.

This entire room was filled with breathtaking Monet's. I love the colors and how the paint was applied to the canvas to give it a dream-like texture.

"Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!" (Caption credit goes to Dad, who has a lot of fun making fun of interpreting the art.)

I loved seeing the Mondrian's because I studied them (very basically) in my mandatory 4th grade art class. Our final project was to make one ourselves and I drew primary-colored quadrilaterals on a quarter of the page and left the other 3/4 blank. When my art teacher observed my work, I told her it represents how what's missing catches your eye more than what's already there. She loved this (ridiculous) explanation and declared me to be a Mini-Mondrian.

The scene.

Although I love art, I do think that it has it's limits, just as anything else. At some point the balance between abstract and actual goes away and the piece just looks ridiculous. Art can be fun to interpret and funny when there's nothing there to interpret. I think some of these artists can get a bit carried away.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Altogether, it was a very enjoyable trip to MoMA and I do hope to go again. Art really makes you think, especially when it's abstract and not laid out perfectly in front of you. I recommend abstract art to get yourself thinking and to expand your mind.

Confidence: An Element in Style

Style is not made up of just one component. Multiple elements create style. Today I'm focusing on Confidence.

Everyone admires and craves effortless style. An easy style that requires no outside source of justification is usually the result of two things: confidence and authenticity. I already went over authenticity, how you have to be real and honestly stand by what you're putting out there to be stylish. When you already have the initial genuine style, confidence is a wonderful boost, but confidence without style or authenticity is a disaster. The effortless look is so stylish because it is looks real. It looks like you're living your life and you're happy with it. Confidence is an appealing characteristic, but only when it's real. Because when it's real, you don't have to prove or argue anything since you yourself know that it is. Confidence should be constant, but it should be used in moderation. Confidence should be silent. Over-confidence is not stylish. Know what you're worth and present it.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! Having a merry, little Christmas is exactly what I plan to do today: I woke up late, drank a lovely cup of cinnamon hot coco for breakfast, then had a very informal gift unwrapping with my family. I plan to relax and enjoy the last day of Christmas music playing on the radio while I can (not to mention eating all of the leftovers from last night's huge Christmas Eve dinner.) No commitments, just peace, which is the best gift of all.

From Christmas Eve.

Technically not the front door, but nonetheless, "the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be on your own front door."

Baked brie is possibly the richest, and most delicious food ever.

Oakley patiently waiting for his share. (That's his festive holiday kilt he has on over his sweater.)

Our Christmas family portrait.

Merry Christmas!

The Private Passion of Jackie Kennedy Onassis

I found my new favorite coffee table book yesterday in the used book section of my local Barnes & Noble. The Private Passion of Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Even though the actual book is a bit old (published in 2005!), the content is timeless. It's filled with engaging photos from Jackie's early riding life all the way up to her last ride. Equally interesting text goes along with the sepia pictures, narrating Jackie's journey from eager equestrienne to a lonely widow seeking sanctuary in horses. I truly recommend this book — although it's a bit late to be a present for the holiday season, I'm sure it would be a lovely surprise any time of year.

Young Jackie effortlessly sailing over a fence on her horse, Danseuse, August 1941.

Playing dress-up with an equine friend.

I love this photo. Even though all these photos are from a different time in Jackie's life, they all have a constant feeling. Companionship. Mutual affection. Confidence.

Last Minute Stocking Stuffer

Calling all procrastinators! I'm here with a creative, non-crafty, and simple solution for your last minute problems. Although it's completely free, it does involve you going to a mall or other shopping facility, which can be dangerous during this time of year. Travel if you dare. Anyway, here's your last minute saviour:

Go to a Sephora, or any other beauty store. Sniff around the fragrance section, pick out a few that you think your friend would like, and kindly ask one of the employees for a sample of each. I do this all the time for myself. They should come in little vials and from there the possibilities are endless on presentation. (The hardest question during the holidays: Gift box or bag?) Chances are that your friend will think that it's really thoughtful of you to make them their own personalized fragrance sampler; they won't even guess that it was last minute!

My all-time favorite fragrance is Hermès' Un Jardin Sur le Toit. It's refreshing, but not in an overpowering sweet or fruity way. It's more of a cucumber than a strawberry. As the name implies, it smells exactly as what you'd imagine a garden on the roof would. My second favorite is also by Hermès— Un Jardin Sur le Nil. It's a bit more spicy and mysterious than Sur le Toit. It also has citrus-y undertones, so even though it's better than le Toit for night, it still has some bright and daytime-ish feelings. (I have free samples of both from Sephora.)

welcome winter break.

Winter break has officially begun. It seems like I've been waiting forever to be able to say that. Winter break has been a vague pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, except my week has been no rainbow. This past week, my teachers have crammed in so many tests, quizzes, and deadlines that it was impossible to look any farther than the next class period. My brain isn't really registering that I have two entire weeks off — free of classes, classmates, classwork, and anything else remotely class related.

To gain back all my energy stolen by school, I woke up super late this morning and had a breakfast of those buttery, Christmas crackers with some cheese. We were supposed to be saving those for Christmas, but there was nothing else I felt fit for breakfast. Then, I felt a sudden inspiration to make brownies. (I'm trying to fit in as much unhealthy eating as possible before my dad goes on his two-month long health kick for the new year.)

My plans for the next two weeks are still about as vague as the idea of winter break itself. I think I'm going to do some reading, writing, knitting, cooking (family Christmas Eve gathering at my house!), and maybe a bit of cleaning. I don't have any homework, or at least any that I'm going to do. I'm trying to keep my options open and not schedule activities for every single day so I can just relax and regain myself before I have to go back to school. Relaxation and happiness are my top priorities for this winter break.

Textures Galore for Thakoon Pre-Fall 2015

Curly, sheer, thick, thin, fuzzy, smooth, name any possible texture and it was present in Thakoon's pre-fall 2015 collection. I think that the diversity in textures really brings the collection together; if you took the existing looks but made the textures all the same, the collection wouldn't be as cohesive. Plus, all the fluffy textures really give off feelings of fall!

I have a weak spot for rich colors and textures.

 Love the clothes, hate the clogs.