Friday, July 22, 2016

Stripes + Summertime












Today's look is all about breezy, bright, and summery tones. Lately I've been loving everything olive green. I feel like it is such a feminine and flattering color.  I picked up the actual dress I'm wearing for $14 at a tiny boutique in Venice Beach. I couldn't track down the exact dress online, but I've linked a super similar and even cheaper version from Forever 21! 

Side note: This whole shoot consisted of Angelika and I illegally parking, shooting a few pictures, and then rushing to move my car before I got a ticket! She is absolutely the sweetest, and there is no one else I would rather risk a parking ticket/adventure through Venice Beach with!  I'll be sharing more looks our shoot in LA, and then even more photos from when we were able to reunite on Angelika's side of the country! I was so happy that we could meet up while I was visiting Washington DC! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

24 Hours in Charleston












Visiting Charleston, South Carolina had been on the top of my list for years, and when I realized that Mandy and I were just a few hours away, we knew we had to make the road trip! Charlestom was the perfect city for a girls trip with Mandy, my best blogging buddy!  It was so fun to be there with someone who equally appreciated each cute and colorful building, wanted to stop and take photos on every single corner, and who was also willing to pay for all of the trendy, overpriced coffee! We had a pretty packed schedule during my week in the South (and later DC), so we only had time to go to Charleston for a quick overnight trip. I could have easily spent a whole weekend (or really the rest of my life) in Charleston, but it was absolutely possible to knock it out in 24 hours! It never took more than 10 minutes to get from one side of town to the other, so we were able see and do every single thing on our list. Here’s how we not only explored the city but how we did it in just about 24 hours!  

Eat and Drink: 
Black Tap Coffee for  your pre-Charleston caffeine fix. Fuel up for the day with an iced lavender  latte. It may be the best I've ever had! 
Leon’s Oyster Shop for a delicious, quirky, and quintessionally Southern lunch. Let me just say, I hadn’t lived until I tried hush puppies with honey butter from Leon’s.
Magnolias for one of the best dinners of your life. We were lucky to get a reservation at this famous Charleston staple. 
The Daily for a casual breakfast and coffee.  I felt like The Daily was filled with more locals and a more hip vibe. I loved the city's colorful, historical charm, but it was fun to see another side to Charleston.
Sugar Bakeshop for the most life changing vanilla blueberry cupcake.

See: 
Tradd Street for a spontaneous drive. This part of our trip was unplanned, but actually one of my favorite parts! It started storming, so we just hopped in the car and drove around. Tradd Street was my favorite neighborhood, and where I snapped this Instagram picture
Rainbow Row for a walk along the beautiful cobblestone streets. Charleston has more pink and pastel colored houses than any place I've ever visited, and they are perfectly showcased along this historic row of houses. 
Pineapple Fountain for the perfect end to a walk through Waterfront Park, which is absolutely beautiful in it's own right. The ocean views and oak tree groves surrounding the fountain make for the most peaceful afternoon.

Shop: 
Candy Shop Vintage for the most darling mix of new and vintage jelwery and accessories. 
Be the Change Boutique for pieces with purpose. Each item in the shop has a unique story and gives back to communities in need all around the globe. 
Candlefish for a mix of fragrant homemade candles, beautiful home goods, and (of course) ample Instagram opportunities. 
Lilly Pulizter for your fill or preppy prints and colors. Lilly's King Street location was definitely more Mandy's favorite than mine, but had to be included in our Charleston guide nonetheless! 
 
Charleston is the most beautiful city with the kindest people. I left feeling like it was the best city on the planet, and what do you know, literally the next day it was voted Travel and Leisure's Best City in North America! If you are headed to Charleston and are really ambitious, I've made an hour-by-hour itinerary of our exact trip. Like I said, I would have loved to spend an indefinite amount of time in Charleston, but I feel like our trip was perfect if you're on a tight timeline but still want to experience all the charm, beauty, and Southern hospitality that Charleston has to offer. 


Monday, July 11, 2016

Travel Style







I’m so excited to share photos more from my trip to Cozumel, Mexico last month. Cozumel was the most perfect place to unwind from the busy school year. I was home for less than a day before we hopped on the flight, and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start my summer! It was nice to go from 100% school mode to 100% vacation mode. Cozumel was just stunning. Each morning waking up to that bright blue view was unreal. And I think I have finally found the perfect summertime travel outfit. This combination of breezy shorts, a cute tee, a straw hat, comfortable sandals, and my new favorite bag is essentially what I wore the entire week. I especially love these pieces because they were so comfortable. This tee is possibly the softest shirt I own, I was able to walk miles in these sandals without getting sore feet, and this structured cross body bag was perfect for long days of travel. Do you have a go to travel look? I’m curious because I think I may have just found mine! 

PS: My other post from Cozumel and more travel looks here and here  

Saturday, July 9, 2016

One Year Ago // NYC










dress (similar) // hat // shoes 

I cannot believe that it has been an entire year since I was in New York City shooting with Kevin Kim. If you’ve been reading Practically Imperfect for a while now, you may remember that Kevin and I have the coolest story of how we became friends! We randomly met at the Arc De Triomphe in Paris and stayed in touch when I visited New York later that summer. I still smile about what a small world it truly is. This shoot from the Brooklyn Bridge has remained one of my favorites of all time, and I realized that though I’ve shared various photos wearing this outfit (see here, here, and here), I never shared the full outfit post. So today, exactly a year after I shot this look, I’m sharing this outfit as a throwback! This maxi dress and hat combination is such a bold, fun look. Who knew that neutrals could make such a statement? Though Anthropologie no longer carries this exact dress, I found a few pretty similar ones and linked them below. And as always, my all time favorite hat that I post about way too much can be found at Nordstrom. As I type up this post, my heart kind of breaks that I won’t be in NYC this summer. That city is truly magical, especially during the summertime. While I was in DC last week, I was so tempted to take the 3 hour train ride into NYC for the day! I wasn’t able to coordinate a quick trip into the city, but looking through these photos gave me a little piece of the city that I love so much.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Free Things to Do in LA

photo by Angelika Johns

I love living in LA. There's always so much to do, see, and explore. After living here for a year, I still have an LA bucket list that's a mile long. I could live here for years and years, and never run out of cool places to explore! I've been able to cross a lot of the places off my list, but the problem is that I keep adding to it. Trendy restaurants and shops just keep popping up! That being said, it is not a cheap city to live in. It is so easy to spend money so fast, and I'm a college student on a very limited budget. The a $7 dollar Ubers, $4 lattes, and $8 ice cream cones (yes, those exist) sure do add up quickly. I try to stick to my budget instead of mindlessly spending money. If I do my research and plan, its still totally possible to have a great time in LA and not break the bank! Here are my favorite free things to do in LA!

Wall Crawl
If you're on Instagram, I'm sure you've seen photos of some of the murals along Melrose Avenue like the Paul Smith pink wall, the Global Angel Wings Project wall, and the Made in LA wall. Some incredible artists and iconic buildings are all so close together, and you can spend a whole afternoon just shooting (and posting!) pictures. I've personally never done the wall crawl. I can't decide if it's way too touristy and cliche, but either way it would be fun!

The Beach
Ah, the beach! It stretches on for miles and is the best way to unwind. I'll spend a whole Saturday there or even a few spare hours between classes. If you want a busy and fun vibe, head to Santa Monica. If you want a quieter and more relaxed vibe, Malibu is the place to be.

Runyon Canyon
If you want to find the best view of that legendary LA smog, spend a morning hiking Runyon Canyon. The trails begin right in the city, but you'll feel miles away. It's so nice to get in touch with nature and get some exercise. (Plus, all the trendy dogs, athleisure clothes, and Instagram opportunities)

The Getty
There are many incredible museums in LA, but my favorite is the Getty. Most museums participate in free days throughout the month. You can check out the schedule here.

Window Shop
There are tons of great walkable neighborhoods in LA, but my all-time favorite is Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice Beach. I actually wrote a post a while ago. Though Abbot Kinney has countless cool (and expensive) shops, window shopping is still super fun and completely free! More of my favorite places to shop and window shop are The Grove, Larchmont Village, and 3rd Street Promenade.

Yoga in the Park
I've recently started doing yoga a few times a week and have been loving it. Nothing makes me feel more refreshed and renewed like a great yoga class. Many organizations (including Lululemon) host free or donation based sessions on the weekends. You can check out the different ones here! They are usually in huge group settings at local parks or on the beach. The fact that it's free will leave you feeling great mentally, physically, and financially! Yay for free yoga!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Cozumel










photos by Miguel Nunez 

I'm so excited to be sharing my first post from Cozumel, Mexico today. Spending time on this beautiful island has been the most amazing way to kick off my summer. I feel like we've had the perfect balance of chill days on the beach and busy days exploring! So far, I have been able to snorkel in the beautiful bright blue water, climb up an ancient Mayan pyramid, repel into an underground cavern, and also shoot a few travel looks with a local photographer! I'm so glad Miguel and I could shoot together while I was visiting Cozumel! He has been living on the island for over 20 years and knew all the best places to shoot! This light and breezy dress was perfect for Cozumel's hot and humid weather. The heat here is no joke, so I was so thankful for the light linen fabric and flowy fit. I loved the unique stitching on the top too! Shooting this look with Miguel was so fun and felt like a new way for me to see the island. Between the heat, humidity, and accidentally stepping in a pile of fire ants (oops), we still managed to have a great time shooting! If you are ever visiting Cozumel and looking for a photographer, I couldn't reccomend Miguel Nunez more!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Being Kind to Yourself


Summertime always brings so much fun and excitement, but it also tends to bring up tons of insecurities about how we look. There's no denying that wearing a swimsuit can be intimidating. My good friend Maggie recently tweeted: "Seeing 'How To Get a Bikini Body'  posts makes my heart hurt. How to get a bikini body? You put a bikini on your body, that simple." This girl is wise beyond her years and I am proud to call her a friend. Maggie brought to my attention something that is really relevant and so important right now. And that is being kind to yourself. I'm sure the topic body image and self love is incredibly relevant to many of us. When we look in the mirror, it is so easy to pick out our perceived "flaws" instead of recognizing the beautiful human beings we are. I've posted about body image before, and I don't think we can emphasize it's importance enough. Today the always lovely holistic health coach, Maria Marlowe, is here to share her perspective on being kind to your body and mind. 

Being Kind to Yourself 
Guest Post by Maria Marlowe 

I’m sure you can agree, nothing good ever came out of hate, right? So why would you ever want to hate on yourself? A negative body image is something many women struggle with; I’ve seen some reports say that as many 70% of women don’t like their body! I used to feel that way, too. Throughout high school and college, I had very bad acne, which I tormented myself over. I would just sit in the mirror and cry over how hideous I had become, and feel awful about my terrible misfortune. The more I obsessed over it, the more I picked at it, and the worse it got. But, when I finally let go and made a conscious effort not to cry or hurl insults or be upset over it, and instead focus  on finding the root cause of it and experimenting to get rid of it, lo and behold my skin calmed down, and eventually cleared up. In doing research, I realized that many of our ailments are our body’s SOS that we’re not taking care of our body correctly.

If you struggle with body image issues, start a daily gratitude practice. Every day as soon as you wake up list 5 things you’re grateful for, either in your head or in a journal. And if you have a specific body image hang up, like “I hate my fat thighs”, make sure you say something nice about them, like, “I am so grateful for my strong legs that allow me to run and walk”.

When you are hating yourself, it’s so much easier to quit, or make poor food and lifestyle choices. However, when you accept and love your body, all of a sudden it becomes so much easier to take care of it and nourish it properly. Remember, you’re the only one who can take care of yourself. This is the only body you’ve got, so make sure you treat it like gold 

PS: Another health post by Maria Marlowe and my story about body positivity
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