Explore: New York

    July 7, 2018

    I was in need of a vacation and when the opportunity came to visit one of my very best friends, Stephanie, in New York, I jumped on it. This was also the first time I’ve gone with Will and he hasn’t been since he worked there almost 10 years ago.


    There’s always an energy that keeps me awake and moving in the city. I love just walking through and taking in all the energy of the different neighborhoods. From visiting old favorites and exploring new ones, New York and I will never be done with each other.

    A few stand outs: Maharlika serves delicious Filipino food that goes beyond the traditional homecooked meals from my family. Pancit Palabok with Uni is where it’s at. We also ate the most amazing burger at Corner Bistro, and of course had Big Gay Ice Cream beforehand. Stephanie knows me so well that she knew that Flying Tiger would be my favorite shop in all of the city. We also walked through the city from 10 AM to 6 AM ending the night with pierogies and stuffed cabbage at Veselka.


    Check out a few more photos from our Manhattan and Brooklyn adventures after the jump! And let us know what your favorites spots are in New York.

    Continue reading…


    Inspiration: Jacob Reischel

    June 9, 2018

    If you’ve been following consistently for the past few years, you would know how wildly obsessed we are with flatlays. Berlin-based design duo Marie Jacob and Julia Strathmann (Reischel), are the two talented ladies behind Jacob | Reischel. They have been a main point of inspiration for us when designing and creating our own flatlays.

    We love how their separate careers – Marie as a photograph and Julia as a graphic designer – came together to create their signature style of harmony while balancing color and unique object selections. Their vision is sleek, fresh, and continuously evolving. We love creating stories behind images, and their work speaks of so many.

    All Images from: Jacob Reischel


    Women Wednesday: Melissa San Vicente

    June 6, 2018

    Photo Credit: Weekend Creative

    We have a special Woman Wednesday feature with one of the co-founders of Femme Fair,  Melissa San Vincente!

    Melissa is a multi-talented woman. Besides being the co-founder of Femme Fair, she is also the Digital Art Director of Charlotte Russe and runs her personal blog, Melsanv.com. Her creativity, heart, and hard work truly inspires us.

    We were lucky enough to attend Femme Fair’s second event a few months ago, and we are still amazed by how Melissa and her team created a space that blends fashion, beauty, entrepreneurship and a space for women in creative pursuits to meet and inspire each other.

    Read on about this funny, savvy, and passionate woman that inspires us to share, connect, and boss up.

    Photo Credit: Jess Onesto

    How did Femme Fair come about?
    Truthfully? Probably via a group chat on a Wednesday at 1am. Kidding aside, Stacey and Christina had this idea to host a blogger garage sale about two years ago. I was also itching for a project that served a greater cause and had been toying with the idea of starting a non-profit where I could dedicate my time in helping the community. After a lot of back-and-forth, Stacey, Christina and I joined forces to create something bigger than we could have ever imagined. We wanted to not only provide a platform for women to sell their clothing, but to also promote female empowerment in the San Francisco community. Our first year around, we donated to Planned Parenthood and had more than 200 women in attendance. This year, we supported Global Fund for Women, a global champion for the human rights of women and girls. As many stories go, it all started with an idea and the rest is history!

    This is your 2nd year of Femme Fair, did you do anything differently the 2nd time around?

    This year, we really wanted to branch off and provide more networking and educational opportunities for women. We decided to include a panel discussion from 3 very different women in the industry, a headliner that shed light on the darkness of sex trafficking, and we also included mentoring sessions for our attendees. In addition to growing our team, we included more photo experiences, a DIY table, and had more bloggers to participate as well! As with any project, I think you always utilize your next go-around to get better and more efficient. I hope those things were apparent this year.

    Photo Credit: Jess Onesto

    What was the biggest challenge of Femme Fair?

    Definitely getting bigger. More sponsors, a bigger team, a bigger venue… all of these things mean more leg work and require more time. Along the way, I think we all found our separate challenges in helping prep for Femme Fair but I think that’s just something that comes with the business of event planning – a lot of late nights!

    Your proudest moment?

    I was honored to be the moderator for our panel discussion. I truly learned more about myself in that moment that I have in my entire blogging career. I am an extrovert with anxiety. Getting to open up and speak with other women in our community was both rewarding and terrifying. Finishing that panel allowed me to check off an item on my bucket list that I’d always feared doing. I also truly love our community and was so proud of our social media growth over the past year. It made all of the late nights scheduling content SO worth it.

    What characteristics do you admire most in other women?

    I really admire hard-chargers. The ones who push the status quo, question everything, and raise hell. I think we are often drawn to mirrors of what we aspire to be. When I see other women running businesses, while having a voice of their own, balancing a social life, and overall owning it; I’m in awe. The characteristics I admire most? Empathy, tenacity, imperfection, adaptability, strength, courage and self care.

    What was the best piece of business advice that you’ve received?

    “Jump! Then, build your wings on the way down.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve applied this throughout my career. Every job I’ve ever taken, there was always some sort of skill or program that I needed to learn, which ultimately helped build my skill set for the years to come. I utilized every step in my career to grow, learn, and get better. In business, you’re not always going to have the right answers and the answers you do have may not always present themselves in a timely manner. I once changed my business name on the way to a conference and made digital business cards in the car (from my phone) to text to new contacts. You have to always be willing to jump even if you aren’t ready.

    Photo Credit: Luis Landestoy

    What is your personal or professional motto?

    “Check your ego at the door.” I’m a serious student to the world and love soaking in new environments, new processes and new ways of thinking. I never allow my ego to get in the way of my work or in collaborating with other people. I’m never afraid to ask the stupid questions in a meeting or to tell someone that I’m not sure of an answer. You learn so much from someone else’s experience and wisdom, so to let an ego get in the way of new possibilities or ideas is a damn shame.

    Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently when you started?

    I would have worked on my negotiation skills. Graduating from college, I was excited to land any role that I could get my hands on. I was eager and hungry to take the first number that was thrown at me and I know now that was a mistake. While adding to your resume is important, don’t shortchange yourself. Know that your skills, your personality, your background, and your experiences all bring something new to the table. Even if you are scared or uncomfortable, always practice negotiating. Whether that’s a bigger salary, a longer deadline, or more PTO – there’s always room for negotiation!

    Photo Credit: Luis Landestoy

    What resources do you recommend to someone starting in your industry?

    In the graphic design or user experience realm, Behance is a great way to stay on top of design trends and to showcase your work for constructive feedback. Creative Market is also a site I wish I had when I was starting out in business. You can buy everything from business expense templates to website builders, all for a fraction of the price you’d pay on other sites. Additionally, make friends in your industry. Join facebook groups or find networking events in your area that cater to your area of expertise. Having friends in the field really help you navigate when you’re starting out. Not sure if you’re charging your client enough? Trying to find a photographer for a photoshoot at the last minute? Social media and networking fill the gaps and help you answer all of the lingering questions you have when you’re just starting out.

    If you were given an extra 2 hours a day, what would you do with it?

    I would facetime my family or spend more time with my husband. I grew up in Florida and left my family behind to pursue my career in SF and I miss them every. Single. Day. Our time difference makes staying connected pretty tough sometimes, so having those extra hours a day would give me more time to dish about work and hear all about the newness in their lives. My family truly keeps me grounded and brings me back to why I work so hard everyday. I think we all need a good support system in our lives. Any extra second I get will always go to building those relationships that I hold so close to my heart.

    Photo Credit: Luis Landestoy

    What inspires you?

    I’m constantly inspired by the hustle. My mom worked 2-3 jobs while raising 4 kids and I’ve always been drawn to those that stop at nothing to see a vision come to life. I’m also inspired by kind people. Kindness goes such a long way in my book and has such a ripple effect on the world around us.

    What’s next for you?

    My hope? A life full of love, growth and happiness. This year, I’ve learned so much about myself and the relationships around me. I’ve been challenged in unthinkable ways and I’m in constant amazement of change. At this very moment, I’m typing my responses from an airplane as I travel to visit family during a difficult time. Life does not have a pause button. I hope that the next chapters in my life will be filled with new adventures and experiences that make me a better person in the life ahead.


    Explore: Portugal

    May 16, 2018

    The next stop in the whirlwind tour of Europe was Portugal! To be honest with you, I didn’t know much about Portugal. But so many people that I knew that traveled there had such great experiences that we added it to our trip!

    Day 1

    We landed in Portugal in the early afternoon and ended up taking a cab to our Airbnb. Our Airbnb was this cute cheery apartment in the older part of Lisbon, with an upstairs loft. FYI, most staircases in Europe are narrow and don’t have elevators, so if you do get an Airbnb be prepared to lug your suitcase up some stairs.

    We were starving and wanted to find some good food fast. We went to A Cevicheria, Kiko Martin’s restaurant, and the food was delicious, fresh and flavorful, particular standouts, were the ceviche with mango foam and grilled octopus, slightly chewy with a slight sweetness to it. The staff was friendly and helpful with recommendations and pairings.

    We then went for delicious gelato. Passionfruit is a popular flavor in Portugal, get it! It’s so fresh and delicious

    We then went walked around to a square to explore Lisbon, and Lisbon has HILLS, and lots of them, the streets are narrow, and hilly, so bring comfortable shoes and prepare for a good workout.


    We then went to Timeout, time out is a food hall of carefully chosen pop ups to present the best of what Portugal has to offer and doubles as a music hall to showcase different musical acts.

    Timeout market can be overwhelming, when we went in the evening, it was in full swing, bustling and CROWDED.  There’s also so many delicious stalls that it’s hard to make a decision. We finally decided on fish and chips and it was fresh and the batter light. Seating can be difficult  when it’s busy as it’s first come first serve.

    The next day we started out at Copehagen Coffee Lab. This cute cafe, has fresh homemade bread and delicious coffee. The bread was thick chewy, studded with seeds perfect with butter and jam.


    We then went to Santa Maria de Belem and Belem tower. It’s the parish and its respective fortified tower, the towers dating all the way back to the 16th century.

    Next was Pasteis de Belem to try the famed, “pasteis de nata.” Pasteis de nata is an egg tart, akin to a Chinese egg tart, but, the crust is crispier and flakier, the custard creamier and slighty sweeter and SO DELICIOUS. There is usually a long line, but it moves quickly. You can choose to get the tarts either to go or to eat at the restaurant. I suggest eating at the restaurant, it’s a big and airy room with yummy food and coffee. Use the cinnamon and powdered sugar shakers to liberally sprinkle your egg tarts. A generous sprinkling of cinnamon somehow makes it even more delicious!

    We then headed over to LX factory, the art district of Lisbon, housed in an industrial complex it’s filled with retailers, unique restaurants and pieces of artwork and sculptures on walls makes it unique and also very instagrammable.

    Here are a few of the places we found.

    Nanarella near our Airbnb has the BEST gelato

    Day 3

    The last day we took a tour to Sintra, it’s a town with lavish palaces and natural beauty. Our tour guide said that because of it’s hotter weather and natural beauty, the noblemen in Europe would build big summer mansions. All of the mansions are in different style reflective of the styles of noblemen’s countries in Sintra. It was nice to get out of Lisbon and see a different part of Portugal, get away from the city and experience more of the natural beauty. We then went to Cascais a picturesque town along the coast, with it’s sunny blue skies, and sails boats dotting the water, it’s a great escape from Lisbon. It has a cute  downtown square full of shops and restaurants.

    (pic 28)


    Off to Spain next!

    Friday Favorites

    May 11, 2018

    We’re trying a new Friday Favorites series where we go through a list of all the things that got our attention this week. Check out our thoughts on what really captivated us this week.

    1. We’ve been swooning over the Mara Hoffman Spring 2018 collection for quite some time now. We love the attention to detail, and how she layers pattern and texture with each piece.
    2. We’re still not over Femme Fair. And we were so pumped that our favorite jacket was featured on their Instagram.
    3. Intentionally Blank always comes out with the fiercest effing shoes. And they’ve opened a store in San Francisco! Let us know if you’ve went!
    4.  Can we talk about how Janelle Monae continues to kill the game? We love her take on the “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” theme by wearing a halo-mimicking hat meant to be seen in the front pew of church. Her homage to her earlier fashion choices of wearing black and white speaks to her love of duality: good vs. evil or even faith vs. religion. Janelle Monae always tells a story with her clothing, and we are here for it.
    5. We’re seeing the trend of flowers and muted pastels all over the place. We like how the soft tones bring a sense of balance to images; the dusty coloring seems to make everything else stand out. It feels so sophisticated.
    6. Are you like us and you’ve watched and rewatched the “This is America” video by Childish Gambino? There’s been so many think pieces surrounding the video, and if you’re like us, you’ve read through a lot of them and watched the video over and over again to catch something you didn’t see before. All we gotta say is that this video and song is real. Real and raw truth. Childish Gambino’s social commentary a true reflection of the world we live in; we want our entertainers (especially entertainers who are POC) to keep dancing and not comment on the social injustices of the world.  Millions (including us) are reflecting on the times we never paid attention to what’s really going on.