Adopting Lulu: One year ago today

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Today marks one year since I adopted Lulu. It feels like I've known her furever and yet it feels like just yesterday that she came home with a scraggly coat, skeletal little body, and a million rotten teeth. Understandably, she was frightened and sad and wasn't sure what kind of family she was being brought into. Luckily, for her (and for us) she fit right in and these days, you'd never guess she once suffered so much. She's a feisty 5lbs of pure delight. She loves chicken and egg more than she loves me and she loves teasing Djinn Djinn (who also loves teasing her).

She's actually about 6 years old (probably 7 now) so I've decided to celebrate her birthday and pup-iversary on the same day, and of course Djinn Djinn will also be celebrated (even though his birthday is July 1) because he's still the boss (when Lulu allows him to be). These two are crazy insane little creatures that have nothing but love to give.
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A while back, I bought Djinn Djinn a dark green collar and it fits his personality perfectly and also makes him look quite sophisticated, if I do say so myself. For this special celebration, I bought Lulu the same type of collar except smaller and in a turquoise shade (a lot of Chihuahuas are often "dressed" in pink which I didn't want- Lulu is such a tomboy!). They both look so "complete" now and more than anything, I hope they're as happy as they make me. I mean, once you're a crazy dog lady, there's no turning back...

Here's to many, many more years of being best friends with these two...
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Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations...

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"Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations..." 

June gloom is in full bloom lately and it's weird when I hear other places in California already reaching 90 degrees. I miss hot summers but since living by the coast means that summer feels more like the start of Fall, well, it's something I'm still not used to. As a result, my outfits have been pretty basic lately as I'm not sure if it's going to be cold out or warm enough to show my naked arms. Also, #frizzyhairdontcare

In other news, does anyone else get anxiety when planning a trip to a city? I'm not really a city girl (despite the fact that I love museums and all the arts & culture that cities offer) but if I had to choose the best city to visit in California it would definitely be San Francisco. I can't even believe how long it's been since I last visited (at least 15 years ago) but trying to plan a short trip there is proving to be mind-numbing. Too many things to consider, for example... what do I really want to see/do? Where do the locals eat? How confusing is the public transportation? Will I roll all the way down the hill and into the ocean if I trip and fall? What if that crazy lady who was hitting people on the head with a stick near the Asian Art museum attacks me? Why does a 3 hour car drive take 6 hours by train? So many things to consider, really!

I promise, I'm not usually a 90 year old who prefers to stay in and do crossword puzzles but how do all these instagrammers/bloggers make traveling look so easy?
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Lace tops: I missed the bandwagon

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When lace tops first started trending some seasons ago (I don't think they're "on trend" right at this moment but I just barely jumped on this bandwagon a couple years ago- don't push me off yet!), I was unsure if I could look and feel good in one because they were more frilly and "fancy" than anything I am usually drawn to. Sure, I like tops that have a unique style to them with various prints, colors and textures but somehow, the lace top felt a bit too wedding/1800s Lizzie Borden-esque. The other issue I had was, what do I wear under this see-through thing? A camisole every time? I can't be bothered! 

Then one day I spotted the lace top I'm wearing in the top photo (and the one below) and somehow, it "spoke" to me. It didn't seem too fussy and I loved the pattern of the lace so I bravely decided to give it a try. It ended up being a really stylish (I mean, I think so) and surprisingly comfy top. These days, I take a second glance whenever I see a lace top and I'm currently the proud owner of 3. I've found a way to make them work for both super casual looks just as well as some almost-dressy looks.

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What I love most about lace tops is that they are versatile and now I see that they have a bit of a timeless feel to them, depending on how you wear them. I like that they can pretty much be worn from Spring all the way to the beginning of Fall. Even though I'm often late to the party with major trends, I think after this whole lace top thing, I will be less hesitant to try something new. Now, off-the-shoulder and ruffle tops are all the rage. I tried on a few and liked them but some of those off-the-shoulders are, well, very shoulder-y and to be honest, I don't think my shoulders appreciate being the center of attention (I mean, I'll have to ask them just to be sure...), she says as she posts a photo of her bare shoulders below...

Are you a lace top wearer or trendy top follower?

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The $2 loafers I can't stop wearing

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When I was a little kid, I was annoyingly spoiled and sulky. I didn't kick or scream or anything like that (quite the contrary) but I had a certain Wednesday Addams charm that I'm happy to say I've almost fully grown out of. From that young age, my mom tried to convince me that penny loafers were classy shoes worn by classy people (always a good thing). I rolled my eyes, of course, because at the time, all the 90s kids were wearing cool sneakers with lights or jelly sandals with a scandalous 1-inch heel. Loafers felt like something an old man in the 1800s would wear.


Well. Somewhere along the line, I turned into an old man from the 1800's. To be more specific, back in March, I went to a Church rummage sale and as with any thrift or flea market I attend, the first thing I do is check out the shoes (and bags). These Dexter ones immediately caught my eye despite my 7 year old self giving me some major side-eye. These days, I'm older and wiser and quality is so important, so as soon as I felt the butter soft leather, I had to have them.
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If you've been following me on instagram, you might notice that these loafers have made a ridiculous amount of appearances in all my "from where I stand" photos. They are the perfect color to go with everything I own and honestly, I've just never worn a pair of shoes that have been so comfortable. This makes me want to search every thrift store and flea market and yard sale to hunt for barely-worn good quality shoes because you just never know what you're going to find.
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I don't know if it's just coincidence or what, but I always seem to find good shoes in towns where older people reside (and have donated their items to local thrift shops, for example) or in towns where there aren't a lot of people who share my same style. I also try to search during a week day when there are less shoppers and when it's likely that new items have recently been donated. It might sound obvious but I find that rummage sales or flea markets offer a lot more variety since many groups of people have donated their stuff. It's also important to be familiar with designer brand names and don't even hesitate when you see "Made in Italy" or "Made in Spain" items because they're usually great quality.

Now that I own these loafers, I definitely understand the classy feeling you get when wearing them. They're timeless and practical. Definitely two words my 7 year old self did not know the meaning of.
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A millennial's guide to classic films (a.k.a. movies made way before we were born)

via Google (let me know if you know who the photographer is)

I'm already predicting that a total of maybe, I don't know, 2 people will read this post. I've decided to write about classic films (in my opinion this means films that were made before 1970) because they're such a huge part of my life. I literally almost never watch films that were made in this day and age (I mean, other than must-see films like Home Alone, for example) because basically, I'm 80 years old... and I'm definitely okay with that.

When I was younger, classic films were always on in my home and my earliest film memories are The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, Pollyanna, and The Parent Trap. I remember my parents mentioning names like Maureen O'Hara or John Wayne and I'd think "who?" and wonder what films made them so famous and why hadn't I heard of them? This was during the time when to me the only movie stars who mattered were Princess Jasmine and Aladdin.

As I got older, I started watching more classic films but mostly the family-friendly ones. They just were so easy to watch and become captivated by. 13 Ghosts. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Calamity Jane. Swiss Family Robinson. That's the gist of it. Anything with Hayley Mills. Or Doris Day. Or Audrey Hepburn.

There's always been this sort of magic that classic films bring and it's not just due to their story lines. It's like catching a glimpse of a world I knew nothing about- a world before I was born. I know Hollywood tends to exaggerate or glamorize things but I am still able to get a bit of an idea of the general lifestyle that people led back then. I can sense the bad- the racism and addiction problems that we still face today, for example. And at the same time, I see a lot of the good- the catchy soundtracks and amazing fashions, for example.

Some of the best ways to watch classic films that I've found are: Warner Archive (monthly subscription service like Netflix), Amazon (I rent films that look particularly interesting without having to commit to buying in case I don't like the film, plus I like that you can instantly stream them), and sometimes YouTube has some really old films or parts of films. Netflix occasionally has some good classic films (as of now, my favorites that are currently listed on there are The Parent Trap, Desk Set, & Cheaper by the Dozen so that's a good place to start if you're interested). Additionally, you'll probably find that your local library has a ton of classic films to borrow for free or for a small fee. (None of these sites are sponsored, by the way!)

These days, you'll catch me watching any category of classic films from westerns to film noirs. I'd like to make this a more regular thing where I highlight and talk about a current favorite classic film or film star especially if I can relate it to fashion/personal style. I hope you won't mind too much. :)

I'd love to hear what your favorite classic film is, if any!
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Day trip travel guide: Cayucos, California

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I recently took a day trip to the coastal town of Cayucos here in California. It is a super small town with a lot of life and just perfect for a weekend getaway. I've visited a handful of times before but I never got to know it as well as I did this time. Usually, it's full of tourists on weekends during the Summer (duh?) but this time, despite it being Saturday, it was nearly empty and it was quite nice to be able to walk the sidewalks without having to make room for everyone else (I'm not usually selfish, I promise, but I am a fast walker so, well, don't judge me).

Obviously, being a coastal vacation town, there's a lot of entertaining stuff to do that you don't usually get to do IRL (surfing, kayaking... who am I kidding, I don't do that stuff even on vacation but it sure looks like fun and it's nice to know it's there if I ever get brave enough). Usually, I go the antique shopping route because this town has a couple of large antique malls, so it's always fun to step back in time and browse through all the old stuff that I recognize from all the classic films I religiously watch (there's some pretty random stuff out there).

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Once you're done browsing these antique malls, your stomach will inevitably start growling and the good news is that there's a variety of eateries to choose from. After a quick google search, because millennials and their technology, I opted to try Duckie's Chowder House, a short distance from the pier. Being the predictable soul that I am, I ordered fish & chips and iced tea with a side of clam chowder (which, honestly, used to be as weird-looking to me as sushi still is, #sorrynotsorry- Duckies clam chowder is award-winning, by the way, and I definitely can assure you it's the best one I've tasted in the little time I've been eating clam chowder) and I inhaled it all in a matter of 5 minutes (you know, I'm all about living in the moment).

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After stuffing my face, it was time to roll myself out like Violet Beauregarde ("Violet, you're turning violet, Violet!") and take a short walk on the pier. It was golden hour and literally the most perfect lighting and scene I'd witnessed in such a long time. You know that rare feeling you get that all is right with the world? That's what overcame me at this moment.

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There's still quite a bit I want to do the next time I visit Cayucos. I've got my eye on their famous Brown Butter Cookie Company as well as Ocean Front Pizza, because there's nothing that brings more happiness in this world than cookies and pizza (and dogs), don't even try arguing with me.

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In true Cinderella style, I wanted to get home before midnight so that was all I got up to this time around. It was a memorable day (despite the 8,000 photos I took to help me remember the day because one day I'll be 90) and I am already looking forward to returning soon. If you're in California and need a weekend trip, this is definitely one to make. If you're not from California but are just visiting, I'd stop here for lunch if you're passing through. Let me know if you've been to Cayucos before or if you'd like to visit someday, because...because, I'm just nosy like that!

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