Monday, August 17, 2015

Sunday, October 12, 2014

New Music: Blondfire "Young Heart"

Get lost in youthful fantasy with "Young Heart" by Blondfire

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Funny Man Who Rode A Bike: How Robin Williams Changed My Dad's Life

Photo Courtesy of Team Sky; Source:

Since the recent passing of the utterly loved and talented Robin Williams, so many stories from random strangers and their inspiring encounters with this funny man are surfacing.  Well before his untimely death, I myself have shared a similar story time and time again of how my dad befriended the late Mr. Williams.

I really can't recall exactly how many years ago this was, but it must have been about 10 years or more.  My sisters and I had just greeted our father back from a recent cycling trip up north to the Bay Area and he told us that he had befriended Robin Williams.  It took us a minute for the name to register, so he exclaimed again, "Mrs. Doubtfire!"  Our eyes lit up with huge grins spreading across our faces.  He had our attention now.

I only remember this so well because I've told it quite a few times now and as I grew older I started to realize the importance of this story and started to become a bigger fan of his other works, although I do still own the VHS tapes of Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire.

My father explained that he had stopped during his cycling trip in Sausalito (a small waterfront town just north of San Francisco) to use a pay phone near a cafe with a juice bar.  He had called to check in with my mom.  When he hung up, he turned to see Mr. Williams standing behind him staring up; "Looks like it's going to fucking rain, right?!"

Those were the first words Mr. Williams said to my dad.

Williams had noticed my dad's expensive bike and guessed he must have been a serious cyclist.  My dad was not always a cyclist.  He was definitely a pretty active and sporty guy, but began cycling as a great way to challenge his endurance and manage his diabetes.  They talked for a while about cycling amongst other things.  At the end of it, Mr. Williams extended an offer to my dad to come check out his bike shop in the city.  Now we were never clear whether he owned it or just called it "his," but my father obliged and took him up on his offer.

Since then, my dad would go up to the Bay Area every chance he could and also visit the shop.  It is no longer there now, but it made my dad fall in love with the growing bike culture there and the city itself.  He became and still is an avid cyclist.  His encouragement also led me to eventually go away and attend college in San Francisco.

Although I live in Los Angeles now, I went up there to purchase my first bike almost 2 years ago because it really holds a special meaning to me.

It is also my father's birthday tomorrow; in fact, he just went for a ride today for his birthday.  When the news broke about Mr. Williams death 5 days ago, my heart also broke for my dad.  However, my father is a very understanding man who has gained more wisdom throughout life and believes we should accept, heal, and move forward by taking a note from the way Mr. Williams lived his life.

Thanks Robin Williams for the amazing impact you've had on others and all the good work your legacy will still continue to do for the rest of us.

It is not how you left us, but how you left us all feeling :)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

5 Unconventional Ways to Say "Goodbye" to Your Old Christmas Tree

Most of us are guilty of this, yet there are fun and more efficient ways of doing it.  Leaving your sad and tired looking tree out in the gutter is no way to honor all of the magic it brought you during the holidays.  Yes, it is sad and most of us don't know how to say "goodbye" once all the Christmas fun is done and gone.  There's always recycling.  It's "green" and the next logical thing to do.  But there's more use and good times to be had with your beloved tree.  

     Be more open to experimenting new things with your old tree and it can just make your "goodbye" a bit easier this new year.

1) Take Your Tree to Burning Man
Well no, not the actual Burning Man Festival which is held remotely every year in the Nevada desert, but you can stage your own Burning Tree festival with friends.  Have a bonfire and bring bits of your dried up tree, or throw whole ones into a massive pile and pay homage to the holiday gods while gyrating to hypnotizing beats.  However, do check with your city first to see the laws and regulations on throwing such a firey frenzy.  

You can add it on to your list of reasons to drink and party with your friends.

2) Make it Art
Gather with friends (perhaps your mates named Picasso or Monet) and channel your inner artist.  For a cool photography session, take your unwanted trees to a location that normally wouldn't harbor a tree of that nature and start snapping away.  Whether you're implanting them in the sand at the beach or an inner city suburb somewhere, you have the potential to capture some really cool photos.

You can also find nearby art shows or galleries running events that you can submit your revamped tree to as well.  Whatever you do, be creative!

3) Start a MulchFest 
Turn your old tree into mulch for that prized garden.  Mulch not only makes your garden look more attractive, but it provides protection for the soil lying underneath and helps suppress the growth of weeds.

New York now has their annual MulchFest which everyone is invited to bring their used and unwanted Christmas trees.  The city uses the mulch for their many parks and neighborhoods, and you have the option of taking your very own bag home.  You can also enjoy live entertainment, food, and arts & crafts.

Go to your local city government and start a MulchFest of your own!

4) Live Out Your Lumberjack Fantasy
Women often fantasize about having a burly, flannel-clad, bearded man sweep them off to a hand-built log cabin personally made for them.  Most men wish they could be lumberjacks (if they aren't already a legit one).

Guys (and girls too) can put on their lumberjack best, but don't forget the flannel, and go ax-happy on that once treasured Christmas tree.  Have your lady watch in awe as you chop away at that 6ft behemoth while wiping beads of sweat from your forehead.  Then, use the wood for a romantic night for two by the fireplace.

Don't have anyone to impress?  You and your buddies can get together for some lumberjack games.  Compete to be the ultimate lumberjack with carving and wood chucking competitions.  Once you've perfected the art of lumberjack you can travel to the official Lumberjack World Championships

5) DIY Projects
For those that have time off work and are looking to pass the time, why not do some DIY (do-it-yourself)?  You can turn your Christmas tree stump into coasters or ornaments.  

Start my taking all branches off.  Make them into wreaths or hang them in bundles for a lovely tree scent.  Cut the stump into round half inch pieces.  Then carve names, the year the tree was used, or a cool design on the face.  Apply some wood glaze to the half inch thick circular shapes and voilĂ , you have your drink coasters or ornaments for next year's tree.

Also, you can cut the stump into thicker pieces to use them as pathway edgers for your outside area.  But if you're really crafty, make a bird feeder using your carpentry skills!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

"I'm Gonna Pop Some Tags..."

Holy Chanel!  I found some amazing designer duds in this heaping pile of awesomeness...the best part?  Cost me less than $20!!!

"Recycle, re-use, reduce"...we're all pretty familiar with this concept.  Most of the time its when we separate our plastic, glass, and paper products.  However, this concept has been gaining popularity in the garment industry, and it's turning into a cult craze.

There are many great second-hand and vintage shops within the Greater Los Angeles Area but some of my most favorites are in Long Beach.  These shots were taken as we perused 4th street's many vintage and second-hand boutiques...of course after grabbing an awesome latte at Portfolios coffeehouse.
My friend and photographer of these images (Priscilla) did a nice job of capturing my utter and sheer excitement!

This movement is so popular that the awesome Macklemore made a snazzy video about it:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Cali Calling

Born and raised bitches! xx

Thursday, August 23, 2012

In "Luu" of Chan: DTLA

I decided to take a (not so) little stroll down to the showrooms of LA's Fashion District and pay my old friend Chan Luu a visit.

Chan Luu has added some amazing pieces to their new collection!  They've
definitely branched out from their early days as a high end accessories brand.

From bedazzled gypsy skirts to blingin' bustiers, I was smitten with their flirtatious new clothing pieces that kept true to the sparkle and elegance that is Chan Luu. 

Chan Luu is definitely making a giant blip on my style radar this season and should on yours too!!!