Monday, May 30, 2011

Amazing May : : Photo Roundup

Oh, how I loved this past month! I settled into my new position at Ann Taylor, completed one half of my shopping ban, celebrated three years of bliss with Zach, and began re-branding my blog. More favorite moments...

My first LA blogger meetup!

Baking with bananas instead of eggs.

Meeting one of my favorite blogger friends.

Going to a crazy packed bookstore with Kimberly!

My first Cap'n Crunch frappuchino (inspired by this). Yum!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

What sunshine smells like...

I typically purchase one fragrance for every season, but I'm on a budget these days. I recently picked up a couple body sprays from Bath & Body Works to add something new (yet affordable) to my summer scent collection. I tend to gravitate toward girly, sweet and floral perfumes.

I received Vera Wang: Princess from my Polish grandmother as part of a graduation gift in 2009. I've used almost all of it so I spray it sparingly now. It's a girly musk that reminds me of a special time in my life! The website calls it "a sheer, fruity floral -- rich with vanilla and brimming with exotic flowers and succulent fruits."

Next came Escada: Marine Groove. I love how fun and summery it is! The scent truly whisks me away to a private beach party. I gifted it to myself for my birthday in 2010. According to the website, it's "a sweet and piquant scent with a tropical fruit note and redcurrant twist."

Juicy Couture: Viva la Juicy is the most recent Eau de Parfum I've acquired and my all-time favorite. I purchased it around Black Friday last year and it came in a beautiful boxed set with a plethora of free gifts! The website boasts the details of this sweet scent: "Top notes of wild berries and juicy mandarin gently tempered with honeysuckle, gardenia, and jasmine. Underlying it are warm tones of amber, caramel, vanilla, sandalwood, and praline." Doesn't it sound like a dessert?

My two new B&B finds are Secret Wonderland and Country Chic. The website says the former is a "whimsical fragrance" whereas the latter is "an effortlessly sexy blend." I must admit that Country Chic is my favorite, but perhaps that's because it's "inspired by the fresh air and natural beauty of America's countryside" and I come from a small town. I've been layering this spray over Juicy on a daily basis and can't stop smelling myself!

I'd love to know what your favorite scent for summer is!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Loudmouth Look : : Two ways to wear a floral print dress!

I wore this dress while visiting Michigan a couple months ago with boots and a scarf. I brought it back out for an introduction to California sunshine, my brightly-colored cardigan and a fedora!

Outfit details:
Dress, shoes - Target
Necklace, bracelet, cardigan - Ann Taylor
Bag - Michael Kors

These photos are from a breakfast date I had earlier this week with Bryn. We met up at Chez Nous for croissants and chit-chat, with an antique-ing session afterward. I must admit that I broke my shopping ban for the first time and caved for a pair of $5 shoes. But seeing as that's as much as my coffee, I'm not ashamed!

May Inspiration : : Fabienne

I am proud to present another favorite blogger, Fabienne of The House in the Clouds! I had the pleasure of meeting her at Style Nation and she is just as beautiful, sweet and down-to-earth in person. With her golden locks, you'd think she was a born-and-bred California girl -- but she's actually from Lebanon! She loves pets, poetry and platforms... Read on to find out more about Fabienne in her own words!

"I was born in Beirut. My father is French, my mother Mediterranean / Middle Eastern. My upbringing was primarily French with Lebanese influences. When the war broke out we escaped out of Lebanon via a cargo ship to Cyprus. We lived there for about nine months until our paperwork to enter the United States cleared. We moved to California before I turned eight. From that point, I was immersed in American culture. As you might assume, my upbringing and influences were very diverse."

"Fil and I met at work, at Clorox. We sat next to each other for years, though it only took us nine months to start dating. We were both in relationships when we met which it made it easy for us to develop a friendship outside the confines of trying to appeal to each other. At some point, our respective relationships dwindled and next thing you know, we're together! We just had our seven-year anniversary together, we got married a year-and-a-half ago in October and we're finally taking our honeymoon. Yipee!"

"I started blogging in fall of 2010. I started The House in the Clouds initially to document my outfits for Kendi's 30 for 30 Remix Challenge. It has since progressed into an outlet and expression that indulges my love for writing and is no longer limited to simply outfits of the day. It didn't take me long to feel like I had more to share than simply my clothes. It's especially cool to be doing something that has no monetary value. I'm responsible for the output, the deadlines, everything.

Being recognized for my writing, touching peoples' lives in a positive way, and developing friendships -- they're both my favorite part [of blogging] and my biggest accomplishment. I don't necessarily feel like I need to have a higher purpose but if I'm going to have any impact on others' lives, I'd like it to be positive.

I have a Canon S95 point and shoot. I take most of my photos with a tripod and self-timer though sometimes Fil takes them if I'm running late and I make enough noise about it. (The squeaky wheel gets the grease!)"

"My favorite fashion trend right now is the platform. When you're vertically challenged like me and can't handle the pain of a high heel, the platform is like the Fashion Gods' gift. I feel like I need to stock up before the trend changes again!

Since I feel like my style keeps evolving based on trends, availability of styles in the stores, the mood or phase I'm in, the one consistent thing is that I dress to be happy. Happy is my personal style. I either apply a little humor to some of the themes to my outfits, or they simply make me happy."

"I love hanging out with my friends and doing nothing. My husband is also a house DJ, so music and dancing rank high on my list. I love singing, I used to sing in a band a long time ago and recorded a track for my best friends' album a while ago. I snowboard all winter, trail run most of the year. I love being outdoors, so hiking, camping, backpacking, kayaking are all favorite activities. I love cycling, too. I love cooking, too. The problem here is that this list is getting too long! I like to make stuff, I started sewing recently and learning to knit better. I like gardening, too."

"My favorite food is Lebanese food. I grew up on it and love it more than any other kind. It can be a basic lentil dish with rice and friend onions, or fried cauliflower with olive oil, lemon and garlic. My mom makes the best green beans in a fresh tomato broth over rice. Everything is healthy and nutritious, rich in spices and flavors. I'm getting hungry just talking about it! I have fond memories to helping her chop things to just the right size, I always associated cooking with feeding loved ones, which in itself is such a precious thing. To me, cooking is another expression of loving.

I had two cats for most of my adult life: Buster and Audrey. They were completely different, Buster is still the feline love of my life. He was a big tom who was a lover, not a fighter. He was also a very clear communicator. He would stare at you square in the eyes and tell you exactly what he wanted."

"[My blogging advice is] be cool, yo. Lol! I just had to! Seriously, be your best self. If you're not your best self because you feel pressure to be something you're not, if you're compromised having to work harder to keep up than you possibly can, if you start counting followers & comments & stress yourself out which leads to your NOT being your best self, don't.

If being your best and most mindful self means blogging less often, then that's what you have to do. There's a lot of pressure to keep up with our impression of what others are doing. Not everyone can or wants to, when we are true to ourselves, we we listen to our hearts, we are our best selves. This is the part that others appreciate about us."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Loudmouth Look : : Behind-the-scenes work on new layout!

I met up with Liesel the other day to discuss my new layout coming soon here on THE-LOUDMOUTH.COM! She has been doing my graphic design since the beginning. From our first meeting I knew that not only would we be good business partners, but great friends! She is a total sweetheart and amazing at what she does, so I highly suggest her for your future needs! I have to confess that we met up at Starbucks, but certain occasions call...

After I showed her my super craptastic drawing of what I wanted done, she generously offered to take photos of me... but not until I got some of her, first! Can you tell that she's an actress at heart?

I wore a dress that she gave me, and it happens to fit perfectly. I was so excited to accessorize and show it off! What do you think?

Outfit details:
Dress - Swapped from Liesel
Belt - Ann Taylor
Shoes - Plato's Closet

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Loudmouth Lounge : : Cute new home things!

I recently acquired some new things for our apartment and wanted to share them with you! First up are these cute prints from the Keep Calm Shop. I'd been pondering over which ones I want for awhile, and I finally chose those that mean the most to me: WRITE on, SNAP on, READ on, LOVE on! I haven't decided where to hang them yet...

Next is this novel record album holder from Urban Outfitters! I was so excited that I finally found a device that would prominently display our collection... However, just now while I was looking for a link to the product, I noticed the poor reviews. Guess I'll have to return it! Sad.

And finally, here are two adorable mugs I found at Anthropologie. S for Stephanie and Z for Zach!

Loudmouth Look : : Working woman after dark

Outfit details:
Top, shorts, shoes - Ann Taylor
Jacket - Bebe
Watch - Michael Kors
Ring - Macy's
Flower pin - Forever 21

I wore this to work the other night and drove around the mall looking for an appropriate place for picture-taking. I decided on this orange backdrop, which I'm pretty sure was a dumpster of some kind, and I'm totally okay with that. Also, it's always an adventure with my timer, but I think he and I are starting to get along. Life is good!

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