love is a polaroid

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So, the elephant in the room – I dyed my hair! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve likely seen it already, but this is my first time sharing my new do’ on the blog. I have to admit, I was really nervous to change it, as I’m one of those people that still has her natural hair color and has had basically the same haircut for all of eternity. For a long time, I even cut my own hair because I was too paranoid to entrust my hair to a stranger. However, after returning from Outside Lands, I felt strongly that I needed to do something to change my look & stand out, so I decided to do turquoise ombre balayage on the ends of my hair. It was a long and nerve wrecking experience to bleach the ends of my virgin hair, and going with such a bright color was probably pretty bold for my first go around. But honestly, I’m really happy with it! Its young, fun & vibrant, just like I wanted!

Typically, I’m the obsessively matchy-matchy type (I have a hard time painting my nails bright colors because I end up wearing that color clothing all week). So obviously, the first few days that my hair was turquoise I dressed in all black, white, gray, and turquoise. I had it in the back of my mind that my hair was already such a bold color, that I would look ridiculous if I wore anything else bold or bright. However, I stepped outside of my comfort zone with this outfit and decided to wear bright red, and I think this look ended up proving me completely wrong. The perfectionist in me hates to admit it, but there is no rule that says you can’t wear certain colored clothes, makeup, or nail polish because of the color of your hair, or anything else for that matter. Color is meant to be fun & it should be used to express yourself, without self-imposed constraints. Fashion is fun, so don’t be afraid to be bold!

Sig

Get the Look: UO Red Striped Bodycon Dress (Similar Here) // UO Black Sandals (Similar Here or Here) // 

Photos by Liz Orsack

dandelions will make you wise

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I’ve spent most of my life hiding behind a self-imposed introvert label. Not that there’s anything wrong with being an introvert, which I no doubtedly am at least in part. But I’ve used it as an excuse. A justification for not speaking up or demanding more from myself and for myself. That’s changing. I’m making a conscious effort to be less soft spoken when it counts, because nobody is going to hand me the life I want. I have to stand out, show my passion and choose to have a voice.

With that being said, you don’t necessarily need to be the loudest in the room in order to stand out. Take dandelions. They’re a garden pest, a weed, something that is often ignored or despised. But if you look past that label, you see that they’re delicate & unconventionally beautiful. Sometimes its worth looking past the vibrant roses to see the beauty that other plants in the garden possess.

Everyone has the ability to stand out if given the chance and sometimes being different is in itself a way to stand out.

Sig

Get the Look: Dandelion Maxi Dress (Similar Here) // ModCloth Turquoise Pumps (Similar Here) // UO Black Neck Scarf

Photos by Bryant Yang

follow me down to the rose parade

AlexzCrase-138AlexzCrase-134AlexzCrase-136AlexzCrase-133AlexzCrase-137AlexzCrase-132AlexzCrase-135Roses are considered by many to be a symbol of balance, in addition to promise, hope, & new beginnings. This seems fitting since, as I mentioned in my last post, I just embarked upon the second year out of my two-year master’s program. I’m already used to balancing a full-time job and my school schedule, but this semester will be an entirely new challenge in balance now that I have this blog to maintain as well (not that I don’t love doing it!) Even though this balance has left me anxious to say the least, it also has me filled with hope. I am at a place in my life where I feel ready to embark on a new adventure, take on new challenges, and learn something new about myself & the world. Now that the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and I am almost finished with my degree, I am beginning to feel the excitement of new beginnings approaching & I can’t wait!

When challenges approach, its good to stay confident, and nothing makes me feel more confident than wearing red! Red lipstick, a red crop top, a skirt with red-rose floral print – this outfit is just what the doctor ordered. Its also the warmest time of the year in coastal California, so a mini skirt, a crop top, and some sandals are perfect for staying cool, calm & collected.

And on that note, I’m coming for you life!

Sig

Get the Look: UO High Waisted Floral Mini Skirt (Similar Here) // Free People Crop Top // ModCloth Sandals (Similar Here)

Photos by Bryant Yang

there are roads left in both of our shoes

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As I write this, I’m enjoying my last official night of freedom before summer vacation is over. I work full time, so summer vacation doesn’t mean I’ve been frolicking around the beach having a grand old time everyday. However, it did mean getting to come home & have a glass of wine after work and sleeping in on the weekend. For those of you that don’t know, I am working on my masters degree. I’ve been out of school for several months, but classes resume tomorrow evening (or today by the time you’re reading this). That means that my weeknights are once again filled with 3 hour night classes & long commutes, and my weekends filled with reading & research. While I’m already dreading the burnout that I know is approaching, it feels good knowing that I’m coming close to finishing my degree and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes you just have to keep telling yourself that hard work pays off & hope that you’re right.

What better way to kiss my freedom goodbye than with a fun & free spirited outfit? Living in California, I love rocking bohemian inspired looks such as this, especially during the summer. Here, I paired my cold-shoulder top and cowboy boots, both featured in previous posts, with these fun playshorts from one of my favorite designers, Spell & the Gypsy Collective. Its a super loose and breathable outfit, perfect for a day in the sun, but also super festive & fun visually. Whoever said that you have to choose between style & comfort was sorely mistaken & the proof is in this outfit!

Sig

Get the Look: Spell & the Gypsy Collective Shorts (Similar Here) // Brandy Melville Cold Shoulder Top // Steve Madden Cowboy Boots

Photos by Bryant Yang

step right up, ballerina

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I am probably one of the most uncoordinated people you will ever encounter – so much so that I regularly walk into walls & trip up stairs. Therefore, despite my serious love of dance & ballet, I look like a damn fool on the dance floor. Skill level aside, I love to channel my love of ballet in my fashion with pieces such as this voluminous tulle skirt from ModCloth.  To give it a business-casual feel fit for a day at the office, I paired it with my basic black pumps and this high-neck floral tank top, which features some beautiful crochet detailing around the neck and down the front. Even though I have no moves whatsoever, I’m a sucker for outfits that move like this! Its hard to be grumpy when your outfit just makes you want to twirl.

Sig

Get the Look: ModCloth Tulle Midi Skirt // Anthropologie High-Neck Tank Top (Similar Here) // Calvin Klein Basic Black Pumps

Photos by Bryant Yang

i’m a little bit older, a little bit bolder

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People often tell me that I remind them of Zooey Deschanel, a compliment that quite honestly makes me giddy, as she is both a crush & a style icon of mine. When I first saw this dress on ModCloth, I instantly thought of Zooey and after weeks of obsessing over it, I finally caved in and ordered it. After much anticipation, I couldn’t be happier with my purchase! The flowy chiffon fabric, drapey sleeves, and pleated bib are so effortlessly feminine – I felt like I fell right out of (500) Days of Summer when I put it on. The fabric is also a gorgeous shade of blue that’s eye catching without being overbearing, a subtle quality that I adore. Today’s lesson – if you find an item that you can’t stop thinking about, treat yourself!

To keep the look simple yet feminine, I paired this dress with a simple black pump from Calvin Klein, along with one of my many American Apparel hair bows. I love hair accessories like this bow because, when paired with a dress that also has some back detailing (such as a tie around the waist), it instantly makes the outfit interesting from alternate angles. Its so much fun having something on that looks just as good, if not better from the back or side as it does from the front. Why be a mullet when you can be a bowl cut? (Get it? A party all around versus business in the front & a party in the back. I know, I’m not funny.) Cheers loves!

Sig

Get the Look: Blue ModCloth Dress // Calvin Klein Basic Black Pumps // American Apparel Hair Bow

Photos by Bryant Yang