Monday, June 27, 2016

Can Your Style Change?

The question "Can your personal style change?" is one that has interested me very much in the past, but I never thought I'd be asking it about myself.  If you'd told me 6 months ago that I would be wearing a kimono or an off-the-shoulder top on my blog, I 'd probably have laughed at you.

Maybe those of you who have been reading LMHC for a little longer have noticed it too, but I was recently flipping through some old posts, mostly just to laugh at my past writing style, but I noticed that my photos and writing weren't the only things that were different.

Over the past few months I have leaned out of my past style, which was more preppy, nautical, and "fancy", and gone towards a new aesthetic.  The preppy movement had a huge boom about two years ago, and it has died down dramatically as of late.  As the prepster craze disappeared, my style evolved.  Why?

I wasn't feeling good in it anymore.    I am a huge believer that you should dress for YOU: if you don't feel beautiful in your clothes, don't wear them.  One day I was dressing up for a dinner, and I decided to forgo the my button down, cable sweater, and tweed skirt for a botanical-printed maxi dress.  I felt like a boho goddess, maybe even a little hippie-princess, but most of all I felt a freedom, and a unique beauty.  I felt confident, gorgeous, and in touch with my personality.  I was chasing that feeling, and my old style wasn't giving me that anymore.

Of course, I have changed dramatically as a person over the past year.  I went from a name-brand addict who loved all things leather to a passionate vegan and animal rights activist.  I've grown as a person, and I've never been happier in my life.  It's only natural to change, especially when you are young, settling into life, and learning about yourself every day.

I remember about a year ago when I received a comment on a post saying something like, "You should try boho style, I think you would look amazing!"  It was a sweet thing to say, but I was pretty dubious that I would ever do it.  Lo and behold, here I am.  Not fully boho, like my friend Shannon of Upbeat Soles, but I've integrated a little of it into my new style sense.  That just goes to show you that you can never say never.

I don't think I eschewed my old style completely.  I still love Lilly Pulitzer's bright prints, I still like stopping at J. Crew and Ralph Lauren when I'm at the mall.  But I've expanded my horizons, and things I used to wrinkle my nose at are now fair game in my closet.  My style is a happy melody of classic, feminine style with a little bit of bohemian flair, a little trendiness, and yes, still some preppy in there.  Maybe I'll change my style again, but I'll embrace that if it comes too.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ivy Park Athleisure

Yes, I know my shoes are a little dirty, but to me that's a good thing!  These have pounded the pavement, seen dirt hiking trails, grassy runs, and even mountaintops.  I love Skechers' Breast Cancer Awareness collection of sneakers.  Buy with a cause!
Bralette: Ivy Park     Shorts: Ivy Park     Top: Forever 21 (similar)     Shoes: Skechers for Breast Cancer (similar, also supports breast cancer awareness)   Sunglasses: Stella McCartney

This is my second activewear look on the blog in the course of the last two months, and I have to say, I've been loving the activewear scene lately.  Lululemon is my workout-gear staple, but I love trying out different labels, and I'm working on expanding my activewear collection!

Ivy Park, designed by Beyonce, is my new favorite (mostly because I'm a huge Bey fan.)  I'm wearing the Seamless Strappy Bra Top and Colorblock Biker Shorts in this outfit, which are both super comfortable and versatile.  In my opinion, the pieces run small (which happened to work in my favor, since I usually wear an XXS) but they are stretchy.  And of course, the pieces have "Ivy Park" stamped in lettering to identify them in a Calvin Klein sort of aesthetic.  I can't wait to get more pieces from her collection!  

I haven't shopped at Forever 21 in ages, but I was pleasantly surprised with their activewear line and its stylish designs!  The last time I bought from their workout line was when it was relatively new, and their items were nothing special back then, but now their pieces are very Lululemon-esque and trendy, without the steep price tag.  I picked up this simple white tank with a drapey open back, perfect for wearing with sports bras in a fun print or with a conceptual back.  It's sold out now, but this one, (also F21) is very similar. 

What are your favorite activewear labels?

Ivy Park Seamless Strappy Bra Top + Ivy Park Colorblock Biker Shorts + Forever 21 Active Draped -Back Tank Top + Skechers for Breast Cancer Walking Shoes + Stella McCartney SM 4027 2075/87 Blue Sunglasses

Monday, June 20, 2016

Freesoul in Summer

 Top: Francesca's (in store exclusive, similar here)     Shorts: GAP (similar)    Bag: 88 ℅  Shoes: Stella McCartney (similar)    Necklace: Charming Charlie's     Sunglasses: Stella McCartney    Ring: Vintage    Bracelet: Vintage Cartier   Hat: Farmer's market find (similar)     Lips: Pacfica     Nails: Julep

The next time you're in Southern California, Freesoulcaffe is a wonderful stop!  Their vibrant and delicious plant food is inspired, flavorful, and I know you'd love it even if you're not vegan.  I've been thinking about doing a Southern California travel guide for the blog, showing you some of my favorite spots in OC and beyond, so let me know what you think of that!

This tassel top was a recent purchase- I wish it was available online for you guys.  You might be able to find it in your Francesca's Collection stores.  Tank tops have been a staple lately, as California weather has been OFF THE CHARTS crazy we hit a high of 113 degrees yesterday.  Needless to say, I've shunned my sweaters into the back of the closet in hopes that it cools down soon.

I'm sorry for my blog slowing down lately (and my radio silence on IG as well).  I just haven't had the time to put together a ton of content to post.  This week I'll be shooting lots of outfits and working on redesign, answering emails, and finding some great things to share!

Happy Monday everyone!
Francesca's Tribal Print Tassel Tank + GAP Light Wash Jean Shorts + c/o 88 Sophie Top Handle Crossbody Satchel in Pearl + Stella McCartney Vegan Gold Bow Strappy Sandals + Charming Charlie's Half Moon Necklace + Stella McCartney Blue Sunglasses + Vintage Elephant Ring + Vintage Cartier Love Bracelet _ Brown Straw Floppy Hat + Pacifica Power of Love Super Love Lipstick 

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Lemony Twist

 Dress: Topshop    Shoes: LC Lauren Conrad    Jacket: Old Navy   Bag: 88     Bracelet: Kristine Lily     Ring: Kristine Lily ℅     

Fun prints are a huge part of my style.  This lemon printed dress has been sitting in the back of my closet going for almost a year and a half, and when I dug it out during spring cleaning I remembered how much I loved the green and yellow pattern and the fun cut.  

I've also been loving my denim jacket (which I've probably been wearing way too often on the blog as of late...) so I threw it on over the dress.  Strapless dresses don't have to be relegated to party-wear only- with a nice jacket, cardigan, or a button down shirt tied over it, they can seamlessly transition to daywear.  

Monday, June 13, 2016

How Going Vegan Has Changed My Fitness + My Favorite Exercises

Since going vegan, I've noticed an incredible shift in how I feel, especially during exercise.  I used to dread workouts, I couldn't run more than a mile or so without needing a walking break, and I was never motivated to do a spontaneous workout.  But since transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, I've seen a few major results in my fitness.

I can run now!  I mean, I could 'run' before, but it's now an actual enjoyable experience.  Before my first run after my vegan transition, I planned out designated walking breaks throughout the run, and I was shocked when I didn't need any of them.  That was the first time I'd finished a run without stopping, and I felt great!  Less tired, less short of breath, and like I could keep on going if I wanted to.  

I've also felt so much more motivated- I don't think I ever used to randomly go out for a jog because I felt like it.  Now I'm having fun exploring the hiking trails near my home and more often than not, I feel up to some activity.  

Some of my favorite workouts are:

Running-  This is a newfound love!  I honestly used to complain that I hated running, but it's fun for me now!  I love the rush of endorphins afterwards, and my new stamina has really been a huge factor in my new hobby.

Dance-  I'm a horrible dancer.  But my favorite stress release is locking myself in a room, putting on some great music (currently that's Lemonade), and dancing like no one is watching, because no one is watching.  And make sure it's a room without mirrors, because I've caught a glimpse of myself dancing in the mirror and it kind of kills the mood.  

Pilates-  Every day, without fail, I will do my pilates circuit and my long (usually 4 mins) plank.  It's great to keep a strong core, and all you need is a floor- no exercise clothes needed.  I do this in my pajamas before bed sometimes.

Yoga-  I used to do yoga daily, and to be honest, I've fallen out of that routine.  Now I just do a few poses before bed to help me relax and relieve some tension. 

Hope this post was helpful!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Sunflower Sunshine

 Sweater: Milly    Top: ASOS     Jeans: 7 for All Mankind    Shoes: J. Crew Factory (similar)    Bag: 88    Sunglasses: Stella McCartney

It was my birthday two Sundays ago, and on that lovely afternoon I was so happy and surprised to see my dad presenting me with this beautiful bouquet of sunflowers.  He knows that they've always been one of my favorite flowers, and when he handed them to me, he said one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard.

Sunflowers have a beautiful face, but a strong stem.  Other flowers have a weak stem, and they easily bend and break.  But the sunflower is unapologetically bold.  They stand tall, bright, grand, and unyielding.

My dad calls me his "sunflower", and for some reason that has always stuck with me when I needed it most.  The color yellow has always symbolized life to me.  I don't have nearly enough of it in my closet, but I always feel happier when I see it.  I love layering this blouse for a pop of sunny yellow under my sailor stitch sweater, and I added on some classic yet neutral extras like these vegan patent flats with a tortoiseshell bow.

I made some subtle changes to my blog's design on Sunday!  They're not super noticeable, but I think they streamline the site and make it look much more clean!  I moved the tabs to the top of the blog, and also revised my about me to include my vegan story!

Monday, June 6, 2016

White Lace + LB Vegan Fest 2016

Dress: Maison Jules    Sunglasses: Stella McCartney     Shoes: BP    Bag: 88       Bracelet: Kristine Lily ℅    Ring: Kristine Lily ℅     Hat: Farmer's market find (similar)

This weekend, I was so happy to attend the Long Beach Vegan Festival.  I was invited by one of my favorite vegan fashion companies, 88 Vegan Handbags, to come visit their booth and explore the festivities.  The festival included tons of booths for food and drinks, fashion, beauty products, healthy, wellness, and more.  So many amazing companies were there and I really enjoyed the event!

88 Vegan Handbags

My first stop of course was the 88 Vegan Handbags booth, where I met the founder.  The team was so kind and they had such a great setup with gorgeous bags, including the new summer collection!  I was carrying my Zoe bag that day, and I got so many compliments from other festival-goers! 

In the middle of it all!
Happy Cow
I couldn't resist posing with Happy Cow- the mascot of HappyCow Restaurant Guide.  Happy Cow is a website where you can search for vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants and stores in you area by typing in your city.  I always use it when traveling!

I stopped by Vegetaryn's booth and bought a super cute tank top from her collection.  Mine reads "#VeganAF", and honestly, I don't think that could describe me more ;-)   I also got a picture with Taryn herself, who is SO sweet and gorgeous in person.  Her vegan story was one that inspired me a lot in my transition, and I was really excited to get the chance to meet her.

Happy Healthy Vegan
I also got to meet one of my favorite YouTuber couples, Anji and Ryan of Happy Healthy Vegan. Their channel was one that helped educate me on veganism and make the switch this spring, and I was really happy to meet them in person!  They were selling their vegan shirts and accessories, and I got the "Keep it carbed, baby!" tee.  

I'll definitely be going to next year's LB Vegan Fest as well as LA VegFest, which I had to miss this year.  It's so fun to be around likeminded people and be introduced to awesome brands and companies.  Oh, and THE FOOD.  I found myself at the Sambazon Acai and EatPops booths multiple times, and I also loved sampling some vegan food products that aren't on the market yet!  It was such a great experience and I can't wait to attend next year's festival.

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