May 28, 2014

{STYLE} Living Life to the Max(i)

Photos by Ali

I never quite thought I'd say this, but being in LA this time around is feeling more and more comfortable. I'm having such a great time being with Ali and my family, basking in the sun and being outside in nature as much as possible, swimming, hiking through the canyon's with our pup, eating fresh fruits and veggies (they're just so much better here), and taking a more relaxed approach to dressing. With last week's temperature working into the high 90's, and this week staying pleasantly warm, I'm thoroughly enjoying leaving my jackets at home and wearing sandals with easy-breezy skirts and dresses and the occasional appearance of short-shorts. This Bongo maxi (with a waistband that hits at the natural waist, an essential fit-component for my personal liking when it comes to maxi dresses), has been the perfect uniform since touching down in California. It almost works like a blank canvas - albeit a really, really soft and luxuriously feeling one (especially considering the $40 $22 price point). I confess that I didn't even know Bongo made a line of clothes in plus outside of denim, but I'm stoked to have added them to personal list of budget-friendly buys. 

This past weekend, Ali and I drove down to Palm Springs for the long weekend, and this dress was definitely my uniform for our sun-filled destination. More on our trip down to the desert, soon!

This post was sponsored by Bongo.
All opinions and content are my own. 

May 20, 2014

{STYLE} California Sunrise

Photos by Ali 

In the grand tradition of Being So Busy That Time Has Escaped Me, I somehow managed to go an entire 9 months without ever going home to Los Angeles. I finally came back to LA this past weekend (and I'm still here, soaking up the sun), for my sister's graduation from law school. Though the weekend was jam-packed with family time, the actual graduation, and tons of celebration, I had to make time to jump into the pool and revel in the California sun. My suitcase is admittedly 30% swimsuits, which may have been over ambitious, but I've been waiting for an opportunity to wear this lip print bikini from Swimsuits4All ever since my friend Kellie told me it was on the horizon. You might be familiar with Swimsuits4All already because of their collaboration with GabiFresh (her latest midkini for S4A is available here), and they also have an entire designer boutique (think Badgley Mischka, Michael Kors) that I wrote about in Marie Claire. I really love their Swim Sexy collection for having seriously fashion forward styles at a reasonable price point, (though, a style note on the lip print, it's not quite as high-waisted as some of the other styles in the collection!) It's hard to believe that a few years ago when I was looking for a new swimsuit, it was impossible to find anything that wasn't a one piece, or at best, a retro-inspired ruched number - and now there's an entire world of fashionable, colorful, diversely-cut swimsuits on the market. 

Now, excuse me, but I think I'm going to go back into the pool for a while... Summer, I love you.

This post was sponsored by Swimsuits4All.
All opinions and content are my own. 

May 8, 2014

{STYLE} Palm Tree Paradise

As I inch closer to yet another anniversary with NYC (11-years since I landed in the City That Never Sleeps for a season-long rendezvous, and 10-years since I started planting some roots), I still hold Los Angeles, my hometown, deep in my heart. I have a complex, love/hate relationship with LA, but it's the place I was raised, the city my family emigrated to when they left their respective homelands, their adoptive locale, and the page on my weather widget that I look at, enviably, whenever I need a reason to question why I moved to New York in the first place. The same way LA became home for my family, there's no question that New York has become my home - no matter how much this past winter left me kicking and screaming. Still, the colors, weather, and waving palm trees that are trademarks of the city continue to inspire my style sensibility - and the pink-and-green combination has always been a point of weakness for me! (I give full credit to a childhood of dreaming of the color palette from that hotel that shall not be named). Just a dozen days until I set foot onto those palm tree lined streets again...


May 7, 2014

{GIFT GUIDE} Mother's Day

There's no question that I owe a lot of myself to my mom -- from my style chops to my innate curiosity of the world. My mom is an engineer/math genius, a foodie, a fellow lover of the color pink, a fashion maven, and half of a duo that have supported and encouraged every wacky aspiration or foray into non-traditional hair color that I have ever held. Living across the country means I haven't gotten to spend too many recent Mothers' Days with my matriarchs, but I'm doing my best to show Mrs. Mason how appreciated she is from afar. For the lady who brought me into the world, I'm sending a mixture of handcrafts (and by that I don't mean a card made with macaroni or a book of coupons, but those are good, too), fresh blooms, and a pair of sunnies; she's notorious for having the best shades, and never shies away from bold colors or shapes. I've had my eye on these Rayban Aviators that are a total classic while donning a subtly blush hue, as well as these badass D&G mosaic frames - both of which are complementary to my mom's style. If you're browsing for a gift, Sunglass Hut has a great interactive program on their site to virtually shop for sunnies with your mom; it's both adorable and an awesome way to do some mother-daughter shopping regardless of distance. In addition to a love of accessories, my mom and I share a favorite flower (peonies, natch), and I'm sure our love for macarons (her favorite are the coconut ones from 'Lette, who now ship nationally) is also linked to our genetics.

This post is sponsored by Sunglass Hut.
All opinions are my own. 

May 1, 2014

{LIFESTYLE} 20 Dates Under $20 in NYC

I'm no Carrie Bradshaw (for one, I'm a lot nicer to my friends), but I did my fair share of dating in NYC before I found "the one." Besides the fact that dating in New York is entirely its own beast, though I admittedly lack post-Tinder experience, it can be really easy to fall into routines and completely miss out on the actual date part of dating. Plus, all the wining, dining, and hopping around town can get expensive (especially in the early, I'm-Trying-To-Impress-You stages of a relationship), but I firmly believe that continuing to go on dates well past the D.T.R. (define the relationship) is one of the keys to keeping monogamy happy.  

So, I've put together some of my favorite, budget-friendly dates - that serve both as a means of sharing and as a reminder of all the awesome things we can do around the city without breaking the bank!