spring accessories


tote | crossbody | fedora | necklace

pineapple scarf | perfume | elephant scarf | watch

it’s been about a month now since I started wearing my spring capsule wardrobe. I’ve actually been loving the experience – getting dressed is so much easier. whenever it starts feeling too repetitive or boring, I challenge myself to come up with a new pairing I never tried before, and that usually does the trick. another great thing to inject some newness to my wardrobe without actually adding any new pieces of clothing is to play around with accessories. they’re not just for capsule wardrobes – they’re often the easiest way to infuse new dimension & interest into the most basic of outfits. these are the accessories that have been in heavy rotation over the last month.

scarves | on days when I can’t be bothered to put on jewelry or do anything extra to jazz up an outfit, scarves are my go-to. they’re so easy to grab as you’re running out the door, and there are endless ways you can style them. since I tend to wear solid basics, I opt for pattern & color for my scarves for contrast. this scarf & this scarf are the newest additions to my scarf collection. they’ve come in really handy as an extra layer on chilly mornings, and the patterns are adorable.

fedora | it took me years to find a fedora that didn’t look comical on my large head. I had all but given up on finding one until I randomly tried this one on absentmindedly while browsing target. it fit, it was cute, & it was affordable. nothing says I’m ready for some sun more than a fun hat & a pair of sunglasses. bonus: when I’m having a bad hair day, I just plop this on my head & call it good.

bags | I go through my bags pretty regularly, but it seems that I always end up having a go-to tandem of one small bag & one big bag. the small bag mvp recently has been this one from rebecca minkoff. I brought it with me on our trip to san antonio, and it was the perfect sightseeing bag. it looks tiny, but it holds a lot, and this color (biscuit) goes with everything. as for my go-to big bag, it’s been this lovely piece from cuyana. the color is perfect, I can fit my whole life in there & then some, the craftsmanship is high quality, & I love the brand’s philosophy (fewer, better things).

jewelry | I favor pretty minimal jewelry most days, but especially in the warmer months when I want to wear as little as possible all around. I always wear a watch. lately, I’ve been reaching for a white leather strap version (similar here). the color is perfect for the sunny days, and the leather strap seems lighter visually & physically than a metal bracelet. I’ve also been loving a dainty, barely-there necklace. this one is my absolute favorite. it’s modern yet feminine.

scent | my much-loved spring/summer scent is dolce & gabbana light blue. I know it’s such a popular scent, but I haven’t found anything I like better. I like that it’s light & refreshing, with notes that remind me of hot, sunny days by the ocean. other citrus scents I’ve tried either smell too much like a household cleaner or are too sweet; this one has a tart, lemony scent that has some bite & isn’t too sweet. I recently also discovered this scent, which is a good alternative when I want something softer & a little different, but it hasn’t usurped light blue as my favorite.

things that made my week


happy friday!!! I’m so ready for the weekend…who’s with me? warm weather is still taking its sweet time getting here…this morning, I had to scrape a substantial layer of frost off my car! 

but enough about the weather! this weekend is going to be a mixture of the fun (dinner with friends & walking around the city) & the necessary (cleaning our room & tackling the laundry). I hope your weekend is lovely!

the things that made my week:

drinking my weight in tea & a pretty mug

lunch outside on a cool but sunny day

listening to this nonstop since it came out tuesday

these blooms that say spring is here, the weather not withstanding 

good reads | lady of the eternal city, the fifth gospel, & the girl on the train

goodreadsI took advantage of the extra time I had while on vacation to read a couple of books that I’d had on my list for awhile. between the flight there & back and while sitting in the passenger seat while we drove through texas hill country, I managed to finish these 3 books.

lady of the eternal city | I’m a huge fan of historical fiction…it combines my inner history geek & my bookworm selves in one; what’s not to love? I discovered kate quinn while browsing on amazon about 2 years ago, and since then, I’ve read all of the empress of rome novels, of which lady of the eternal city is the latest book in the series. set in the reign of emperor hadrian, it centers on his empress, vibia sabina, their relationship, and their relationships with their inner circles. if you’re a fan of reading about ancient rome like me, this one is a fun read. I also recommend reading the previous books in the series if you end up liking this one. what’s nice is that while the books are related, each book stands on its own & can be read individually without necessarily having to read the other books.

the fifth gospel | I enjoyed reading ian caldwell’s the rule of four when it came out years ago. this is his new novel, and I really enjoyed reading it. the story is focused on two brothers, both of whom are priests, with one being roman catholic and the other being eastern (greek) catholic, and who find themselves affected by a mysterious murder. as  the daughter of two ministers, the passages on gospel readings & church history were a treat, but even if you’re not religiously inclined, the mystery at the core of the plot was compelling on its own. if you like bookish, intellectual mysteries, this is a good book to check out.

the girl on the train | and last but not least, this year’s gone girl. I read this on the flight down, and it made the 3-hour flight go by in an instant. the main narrator is rachel, the eponymous girl on train who’s a depressed, recently divorced alcoholic who’s obsessed with a couple she sees from the train every day at a specific stop. what I found really compelling was that even though she’s a complete mess & a highly unreliable narrator, I couldn’t help but root for her anyway. I honestly didn’t see the ending coming, so it really was suspenseful for me until the end.

what have you read lately?

sephora beauty insider sale purchases


mask | lipstick | brush | nail polish set

hello, friends! I’m sorry it’s been a little quiet around these parts…I jetted off to san antonio for a much-needed vacation, and I had fully intended to put some posts up while I was there…and then life happened. I was so, so sick just prior to leaving and while I did get well enough to fly on a plane, I wasn’t quite 100%. the warm, texas air helped, as did not having anything pressing to do, but I found myself too easily fatigued from the smallest things. I took many naps in between eating lots of barbecue and just let things go. I’m much better for it, but I did miss my little corner of the web here. I’m much, much better, although I still have frequent coughing fits that just won’t quit. I have plenty of photos from texas to share, but I’m still working on getting those all together, so today’s post is on what I ended up getting from the sephora beauty insider sale that ended yesterday.

I’m pretty proud about how I really kept a tight list this time around. I’d been wanting this concealer brush for awhile now, so it was on the top of my list. I was also looking for a great orange-red for the warmer months, and when I saw this from clinique, I was sold. the color, the name, the packaging…everything is just too adorable. I also picked up this little nail set from nails inc., which has quickly become a favorite nail polish brand for me. it comes with a base coat, an illuminator, and a soft pink shade, all from their nailkale line. the last thing I picked up was this mask from caudalie. I’ve been having really dry, uneven skin on my face that I’ve been trying to deal with for the past couple of months. my makeup wasn’t applying right, everything looked uneven, and I was just a little bit frustrated by it all. I’ve tried a couple of masks recently, but none were winners in my book, so I decided to give this one a try. I’ve only used it once, but after one use, I think it’s love. I’ll keep you guys posted. reviews on all of these items will find their way to the blog once I’ve actually received them (the only thing I bought in store was the mask) and had the chance to give them a fair try.

did you pick up anything from the sale?

words for the week

happy monday from the lone star state! we’re having a lovely time, enjoying the weather and good food. we’re on our way to Corpus Christi this morning, which was the first American town I ever lived in. follow along on instagram, if you’d like!


things that made my week


happy friday, friends! I don’t think I’ve ever been so thankful for a friday like I am today. this week was tough – I was so, so sick – and while I’m not 100% better, today is the first day I’ve felt anywhere close to normal. so the things that made my week would be my cat who slept by my side the whole time I was sick; my fiancé for being a rockstar nurse; my boss & coworkers who gave me all the time I needed to recuperate; antibiotics & modern medicine, for existing; and soup, for being so darn good & the only thing I could keep down.

you may be wondering why today’s image is the alamo…well, we’re flying out to san antonio tomorrow for an overdue vacation to visit my best friend from high school & her husband. they just bought a house down there, and we’ve been meaning to head down for over a year now, so we’re excited.

I’m willing myself to get that much better by tomorrow’s flight. the timing could be better, what with still being kind of under the weather, but I’m hoping a little time off with friends and 80-degree weather (!!!) will do the trick.

have a lovely weekend!


let’s talk | coloring as therapy


I previously mentioned how I was diagnosed with depression last year, and I wanted to talk about something that has really helped me in times when I find myself getting anxious or very stressed: coloring.

different people experience anxiety & depression in different ways. I find that my anxiety contributes to my depression, and I’ve learned in the past several months how to calm myself down to a more relaxed state. when I’m anxious, I withdraw and lose myself in my own thoughts. my mind will run at a million miles a minute as I work through whatever I’m anxious about and run through all the different scenarios in my head of possible outcomes. it’s overwhelming and exhausting. what’s ironic is that because my mind is on overdrive, I find it impossible to articulate what it is I’m anxious about. james often asks me what’s wrong or how he can help when he sees me stressed & withdrawn, but I find myself unable to give voice to the infinite number of loops going on in my head, which of course contributes to the anxiety, which then accelerates the loop in my head…and so on and so forth.   coloring3I’ve found that coloring helps me to come out of that loop. I think the focus it takes to concentrate on choosing a color and staying within the lines forces me to just think about this one thing, instead of the thousands of other things. everything else gets pushed to the background and after a little while, I find that I’ve calmed down enough. I’m sure that there’s some scientific explanation for it all, but I just know it relaxes me.

it’s funny how something we did as children can be so helpful, but now that I think about it, wasn’t coloring something that helped us as kids, too? it was more than just a fun past time –  it gave us a task to focus on, and focusing on something so minute & detailed gave us a sense of calm purpose.


p.s. this coloring book is all sorts of awesome. great for adults & kids.

p.p.s. mental illness is different for everyone. please know that I am not a physician or an expert on mental illness and that I am not prescribing any form of therapy for anyone. I am sharing what I find helpful for me, in hopes that talking about my personal experience is comforting and helpful to some of you, but please always talk to your physician about your own experience.

sentimental jewelry

jewelry6there are pieces of jewelry in my collection that are priceless to me for their sentimental value. they hold pride of place in a special drawer in my jewelry box. whenever I see them, I can’t help but smile as I’m reminded of the people & memories that they represent.jewelry4this necklace belonged to my mom’s great aunt, whose birth month was also november. when she passed, my mother gave it to me and let me know that it had been earmarked for me since I was born.

jewelry3this ring is special, not just because it has my name, but because of its provenance. I left the philippines when I was 6 and didn’t return until I was 12. on that occasion, my aunts all took their gold rings and had them melted down to create this band as a belated birthday present. they said it was for 6 years’ worth of birthdays that they had missed. the goldsmith in my hometown in the philippines then engraved my name and the design by hand. jewelry9these two pieces were both presents from james in the early days of our relationship. the ring has 3 little sapphires and marked our 3-month anniversary which fell on Christmas Eve and marked our first Christmas together. the necklace was the first valentine’s day present he ever gave me. he told me how he had gone to the tiffany store and nervously picked out the charm and chain with the help of a nice sales assistant. I can’t believe we’ll have been together for 7 years come this september.


reviews & swatches | burberry kisses


I’ve tried my fair share of lipsticks in my life, and I have my tried & true favorites that haven’t really changed in awhile. so, when something brand new becomes a favorite at first wear, it’s good. the new burberry kisses lipstick range is all kinds of awesome. the formula is lovely – it delivers great pigmentation that can be as sheer or as intense as you’d like while making it feel like you have nothing on. it’s a lipstick that feels like a balm without skimping on color – the best of both worlds. how it manages to do that while still having a semi-matte finish, I don’t know, but I’m a fan.

I went to nordstrom and played with all the shades in person, and while there were a few that caught my eye, there really was no competing with military red, which is a gorgeous red that looks just as flattering on me as it does on suki waterhouse.

have you tried these?

burberrykisses12 burberrykisses13

p.s. apologies for the late posting. my computer died…and so did all my files. insert sad face here.

words for the week

happy monday, everyone! I hope you had a lovely weekend. I’m feeling all of the feels today after a very close family friend passed away on Good Friday. He was like a grandfather to me, and I’m thankful that I was able to visit him twice just before he passed. I’m focusing on how lucky I was to have known him and on celebrating the wonderful life he lived.

rest in peace, Lolo Harvey.