Friday, November 13, 2015

I have a really exciting announcement! I’m taking my first big trip in a very long time… I’m traveling to Mexico City next month! I’m taking my mom with me because my husband is super busy with multiple writing projects. But it’s also something special to do with my mother, who is from Mexico City, and spend some time with her.

Travel_Mexico City

Photography: Rodrigo Cruz for the New York Times

I used to travel to Mexico City every summer during high school (it’s the only other country I’ve ever been to). At that time, I just wanted to smoke and drink and go to clubs, so my plans for this trip are a little different. The last time I was there was fifteen years ago, when my grandmother passed away. For many years I did not want to go back because I missed her. But then, I developed a whole other reason for not wanting to go back, or travel anywhere for that matter…

Since traveling is essentially the act of being lost and wandering, I had no desire to feel more lost than I already did in my own life, at home in Los Angeles.

It was in my early 30’s that I developed a serious wanderlust, but it’s been hard to find the right combination of time and money. They’ve been hard to sync up.

All that being said, I’m so excited to finally be traveling, and I love that Mexico City is the first destination. Stay tuned for some fun traveling posts…!






Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I love Instagram… I know social media has a bad rep because the theory is that everyone who’s on their iPhones “connecting”, are actually “disconnected”, blah blah blah. Well, what about those people who would be disconnected with or without technology….??? Like me.

I’m not a very social person, I like staying home. And if I do go anywhere I really don’t mind going alone… coffee shops, movies, museums, etc. Social media gives me an outlet and enables me to expand my very tiny world. I’m able to connect with others and share my life. More importantly, find people all over the world who have similar interests like design, travel, fitness, food, etc. I’m able to connect with them and express myself when I would otherwise be talking to my fur children my husband or my mother….

I’m also able to play the photographer I always wanted to be, but didn’t really want to be. I’m more observant wherever I go because of it. And not in a ‘oh, I have to post this’, but in a ‘wow, that makes a cool shot’. Of course sometimes it has nothing to do with the shot, but rather just sharing and connecting.

Instagram Recap_Pretty Haute Mess

All of this being said, here’s a little recap of some very recent Instagram posts. I never post too much in my captions so I’ll expand a little with some of these (starting from the top down):

Speaking of going places alone, I’m picky about what gets me out of the house. It wasn’t a question when I attended a book signing in Culver City last week to support my friend Marcia Prentice. If you love interior design and traveling, you will love her book “How We Live”.

My husband and I both work from home right now, so we’re able to do what we want when we want (this also means we’re constantly concerned about our savings balance, so don’t be too jealous). Recently, one morning we headed to our nearby newsstand, bought a few magazines, then headed to our favorite brunch spot Vivian’s in North Hollywood. We both sat there, obviously not on a first date, looking at our magazines in the cutest urban jungle.

I’m proud to announce that I just had my third photoshoot in my apartment. This home tour will be published on Houzz, not sure when but I’ll keep you posted… The first home tour I did was for Simply Grove and it featured a complete re-design of the place. Soon after, I re-designed her blog, so be sure to check it out! The second home tour was for The Everygirl and I made a few updates to the place for that one. I’m so grateful for both of these and was super excited when Houzz contacted me a few months ago.

Since I’m rather happy with how apartment looks now, there wasn’t much to update for this one, besides a few succulents. However, I did make one huge change because I finally gave up trying to accept the ceiling fan in our bedroom. Since we rent, the most I’ve done is paint an accent wall, mount a TV and switch out the hideous brown ceiling fan in our office for a clean white one (the owner won’t even notice as long as there’s a fan there). But I finally found an easy solution for getting rid of the bedroom ceiling fan without dealing with electrical stuff. I took apart the fan, the blades, glass bowl and one other annoying piece so all that was left was a small white base and a bulb (I quickly replaced the ugly bulb with a round Edison). Next, I decided to turn the Ikea “cloud” pendant into a flush mount (I just didn’t buy the cord and bulb that goes along with it). Turns out, it was the best option for what I needed because I could crinkle and form the paper layers around the base of the fan, essentially just hiding it. Now, I have a functioning light, just turned off the fan, and I didn’t electrocute myself…voila!






Friday, October 30, 2015

Monster Cupcake_Oh Happy Day

Love these printable mini-monster cupcakes holders! I might download them and wrap them around little planters with mini succulents… Since cupcakes don’t last long in my home. To be honest, neither do plants, but at least longer than food.

***You can download the prints and see the DIY over on Oh Happy Day, along with SO MANY more Halloween ideas for food, costumes and decor.






Tuesday, September 1, 2015

While I pride myself on being a bit of a tom-boy and not really enjoying make-up and hair, I do love taking care of myself. Like with most girls, it’s abnormally thrilling to walk into a Sephora and spend too much time (and money). However, for me, great complexion and healthy hair is more important that how much I can bend my eyelashes…

I like a fresh face of make-up that takes 5 minutes tops. Here’s my breakdown for the anti-girl daily products. Whether you’re a minimalist like me or you’re just looking for new products to try, hope this helps a little…. (I also just had fun creating this graphic on my Wacom, which I don’t get a chance to use as much as I’d like.)

Pretty Haute Mess / Beauty Products

1. Obaji SPF 50 / I didn’t start wearing sunscreen until I was 30 and spent most of my 20’s trying to get a great tan. When I did start to wear sunscreen I struggled to find one that worked well and didn’t make my face white. This product was recommended to me by a dermatologist and I love it! It’s non-greasy and rubs in well so you don’t have to apply makeup over it if you don’t want. And it works!

2. Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil / Eyebrows have always been a weird obsession of mine. I happen to have super dark, thick brows, thanks to my Mexican half. In grade school, before I plucked or trimmed, I used to apply clear mascara to tame them. Not a good look. This pencil/brush combo is perfect for filling in the little areas needed to make a shapely brow… and I love their taupe shade.

3. Obaji Nu-Derm System / The entire system is great, which includes a rigorous routine of several products, but after six months you’ll see a big difference in any sun spots or inconsistencies in your complexion. But now, as maintenance, I only use one product, twice a day. “Clear” (step #3) helps maintain a fresh, blemish-free complexion. I never miss an application!

4. Borghese Brightening Hand Cream / While this has nothing to do with face or hair, I think the hands are really important too. I’ve noticed women who take excellent care of their face, but their hands tell it all. This hand lotion isn’t greasy, dries fast and has a subtle, pretty fragrance.

5. ‘Diorshow’ Volume Mascara / I’m still trying out different mascara’s… I’ve mostly used Rite-Aid or Clinique mascaras up until recently. I started investing a little more money to see if it makes a difference. So far, I love it.

6. Sephora Collection Color Lip Last / I usually wear a nude lip, even in the evening. I’ve tried the goopy stuff, regular lipstick, etc. This stuff is great if you love a matte look. It feels great and it lasts! They also have tons of color options…

7. BECCA Ultimate Coverage Concealing Creme / There really are no words for how important under-eye concealer is, especially at 38. This stuff is great for evening out skin tone, but also as a primer for the lids. It holds on to shadows well, powder or cream. It feels moisturizing, which is good if you’re like me and only wear under-eye cream at night. It also blends in really well, which is important since I don’t wear makeup on the rest of my face.






Monday, May 4, 2015

I’m alive, promise! I miss blogging, but the best part about having a blog is that it’s always there when you need it. This post has a dual purpose:

1. Let you know where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to.

2. Let me know where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to.   …Lot’s has changed in these first few months of 2015. All good.

Busy / Pretty Haute Mess

Image from Cig Harvey

I started a new job a few weeks ago. I KNOW, I know… what about all that freelance talk and finally being free..? It’s technically still freelance, I just get to go to a pretty office with brick walls on my own schedule.

So, I’m the type of person who doesn’t take anyone’s word and must experience something to know if I like it or not. This tactic is a potential waste of time, sometimes years, but at least I always learn something. Many people told me freelance wouldn’t work for me, but I had worked a full time job since graduating college, so I had to see what this working-from-home-in-pajamas-thing was all about….

Turns out, it’s almost harder work than getting my ass to a ‘9-5’… I learned right away that too much freedom for me is not actually fun. I realized that I actually prefer structure and deadlines, but self-discipline is HARD.

I don’t regret leaving my job for one second, but I’ve been eager to get the hang of all this working-for-myself thing. I need to be really busy to feel great, so that’s just what I’m doing. I’ve taken a contract position that gives me an office to go to. However, I’ve gotten pickier with jobs, it must be the right job in a smart, creative environment… I just won’t settle anymore.

Dear Naps

Racerback tee from Look Human

So, this new gig which is helping me stay really busy is a graphic design position in an interior design firm. I like it, but we’ll see what happens, I’m always looking for the next adventure.

Needless to say, I’ve been busy lately. My new job has me working long hours and I’ve held onto all my other freelance work as well. But it’s all good, busy = awesome.

Nowadays when I’m not at work, I’m blogging for Design Milk, Nest Studio or Euro Style Lighting… And sometimes for Pretty Haute Mess.

See you in another couple months…….. Just kidding.






Friday, February 27, 2015

When I cut my hair a couple years ago, I loved it… and still do. I’ll probably never have long hair again. I loved the cut even more after it grew out a little. Then, like I do, I had to go fuck it up. I even tried coloring the front blonde. Yup.

So, the last several months have been rough, but I’m finally in recovery. I got a simple cut again and I’m just growing it out now.

Here’s what I’ve learned…

Short Haircut / Pretty Haute Mess

Image from Hj i

Cool cuts like this one above is super hard to maintain actually. And it must be styled, you can’t just rock bead head, which is my M.O.

The key is finding a cool cut that’s versatile in both style and length. So, no matter how much effort you feel like putting in your hair on any given day, it will look ok. And also, if it grows out a little, it’s not a total mess, but rather just a longer version of what it was before.

Here are some cuts I like (the top right is what I just took to my stylist last weekend).

Short Haircuts / Pretty Haute Mess

Images from Hair RomancePinkula, Adi Barsan, Vogue UK

And for the record, this is who I want to be when I grow up…. Kate Lanphear.

 KATE LANPHEAR / Pretty Haute Mess

Image from Stockholm Street Style






Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Calendars / Pretty Haute Mess2015 is going to be a big year, I can feel it…. And organization will be key. Would it be too much, do you think, if I bought all of these calendars for a 1-bedroom apartment…?

1. Sugar Paper via Target

2. Travel the World via Urbanic

3. Calligraphy Letterpress via Bloom Letterpress

4. Toyblocks via Snug Studio

5. Gem & Minerals via Leif

6. Beaute via Rifle Paper

7. Kukkuu via Marimekko

8. Isometric Risograph via Paper Pusher

9. Stendig via Crate & Barrel