Monday, March 10, 2014

A big anniversary and an even bigger announcement

On March 10, 2012, my mother’s mother who helped raise me died. And I felt like a fundamental part of me changed forever.

Two years later, as I write this, I'm pregnant with a daughter of my own. And I feel like a piece of my grandmother has made its way back to me and my mother...  

I still cried today. But they were tears of loss and gratitude. Pain and joy. Regret and hope. Because, well, life can be so heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time.  

Over the past few months, there have been several moments when my (ecstatic!) mom and I will be chattering happily about the baby and one of us will break down suddenly. We’ll tell the other one what she already knows: I wish Olga was with us, to see this, to meet the baby and to be known by her.

And yet, I’m not sure I’d be having a child if I hadn’t lost my grandma. I struggled with the decision for most of my 30s. But ultimately the biggest lesson in my grandmother's death was that I needed to live.  Stop overanalyzing and worrying and planning and instead, for the first time, truly allow for my life to unfold. 

That’s also what I’m trying to do with this post and the blog in general.  After months of hemming and hawing about recommitting to blogging  and then fretting over how to write about the baby, I’m finally just putting  words on a page: I'm pregnant and thrilled and terrified. And I want to document this incredible moment in my life with Mr. Diabolina, my mom and our loved ones. 

I’ll share all the fashion soon (I don't think you're ready for this jelly/belly or the baby's similarly expanding wardrobe!) But first I wanted to share the emotion – what I hope was at the heart of this "fashion" blog when it was a *thing*. 

Here are the first words I wrote about my baby girl several months ago. Today they feel like the perfect ode to my grandmother. May they make her smile...wherever she is  ;)


She has always been a part of me. We are intertwined. Inextricable.

She's danced in the corners of my mind and at the edges of my soul for as long as I can remember.

I've never clearly seen her face or heard her voice. I've only caught glimpses of her in sun-drenched dreams – blinding flashes of her smile, how she moves in the world, the way she makes me feel.

I've never met her and yet I've always known she is smart and beautiful and strong and funny. I've always known she will drive me crazy and make me proud.

In the stillness, she has come to me, shown me that she is my destiny, my muse, my daughter.

She will teach me and heal me. She will humble me and save me.
She will unlock the woman I am meant to last.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I'm back

It started with a Tweet.

Followed by a Pinterest comment on my pin about the existential crisis that is blogging ;)

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Two little interactions. Two tiny moments of connectedness. Two lovely instances of my soul dancing with strangers in cyberspace.

Made me remember what blogging felt like: befriending women around the world through my writing. Sharing. Creating. Feeling known. Inspiring. Making people smile, feel, think, cry and of course, shop ;)

I remembered that for four years of my life this blog was a whole thing. It was my thing. Blogging was therapy, exhibitionism, creativity and escape - all rolled in to one.

It's been hard to admit why I stopped blogging last year. The truth is that I lost my self there for a while. In my grandmother's death, in work. I questioned what I was doing with my life and even more devastating, I doubted my voice.

I retreated from fun and fashion and writing. Which left me sad and frumpy and voiceless. Not a good look on anyone – especially a fashion blogger.

It's taken me most of 2013 but I'm starting to feel like myself again. Change is in the air. I even give a fuck about shoes again. Mental note: Blanche is always right.


So how do I catch up on nearly a year of blogging? Not entirely sure. Feels like the format should evolve. Blathering on about my daily outfits seems soooooo 2008 ;)

As a lady of (gulp!) 36, I think it's more about sharing the big life "ahas" with some food and fashion porn mixed in. Kinda like this:


My mom took me to Europe the summer after I got my Master's degree. Then I blinked and TWELVE years passed! So this summer, I finally returned the favor.

Not so fun back story: During my entire career, I've never taken more than 5 days off in a row. So no "big" overseas trips. Biggest regret of my 20s.


My grandmother dying was a huge wake up call. Made me finally understand that tomorrow is not guaranteed. That, in an instant, the things you put off can become regrets.  And that my (hilarious) mother may not always be this healthy...


So why not watch the fucking Eiffel Tower twinkle together more often than once a decade. It's like it took all the pain of my grandma's death to remind me that I was alive.


And guess who got in on Europa con nosotras? Yep, the man, the myth himself: Mr. Diabolina. It was our first time there together.

He never took real vacations from the firm either. Ugh to both of us type As.


For most of this year, he's been negotiating his own career transition, wrestling his own darkness and emerging a healthier, happier man for it. I've never been prouder of him.


And, um, babies are suddenly everywhere around us right now.

Especially in our heads.


It's shocking but, for the first time in my adult life, I can actually picture myself as someone's mother. I think that's yet another by-product of losing one of the women that raised you. You want a piece of you back. You think about your legacy. You long for connections that promise forever.  
No decisions have been made either way but it feels good to approach it head-on as a conscious choice. Stay tuned. (It's my mom's favorite channel, btw.)


Celebrated my birthday dinner at the new vegetarian hot spot Crossroads with our favorite hot vegetarian architect.


Go to there even if you're a carnivore. Super creative uses of vegetables that recreate the textures of meat and seafood and cheese. The "crab cakes" are a must.

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We also went to the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel for brunch that weekend. Hadn't been in nearly two decades. Too many memories of my dad, who had a clothing store there back in the day.

Highly recommend for the old Hollywood glam...with a major side of French toast.



So I get an F for hardly shopping in Europe.

Trying to make up for it with a belated birthday spree. Gave my tootsies a treat in mixed prints. Courtesy of Loeffler Randall. Obsessed in love with this brand. Comfortable, chic and reasonable...well, on sale they are.

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Another yummy that I'm newly stalking: Bionda Castana. You're welcome.

Pondering a new bag too. Was leaning toward a classic Balenciaga in a poppy, girly color because I have all the boring basics covered.


Then these two edgier Phillip Lims (for significantly less) got stuck in my lusty head. 

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Confession: Increasingly obsessed with leopard and fur. Also fake eyelashes and bronzer. The transition to full drag queen is almost complete.

But I'm going to hold off on buying a bag until Phillip Lim for Target hits stores. Seems like it's going to be the best Tarjay collab since Missoni, riiiiiight????

So what's new wit-chooo?


Monday, January 7, 2013

The day I met the Olsen twins

Happy 2013!!
Kicking off the new year with the story behind one of my fashion highlights of 2012.

It started with a text from my sister from another mister, Jean Bean, that simply read: "Can you interview the Olsen twins?" Just like that. Just like interviewing THOSE Michelle-Tanner-turned-mini-moguls is no big deal. 


For a hot second, I tried to roll like it was no big deal too...but my mom quickly called bullshit. She was MUY excited. On the morning of the interview, she sent me a crazed text, demanding I send her photos with the twins. Who knew she was an MKA super fangirl? Must be a mutual tiny people admiration society thing.


I'd be interviewing Mary Kate and Ashley before an unpublicized appearance at NM Beverly Hills for The Row, the high end label they created a few years ago. Instead of a trunk show, they typically do in-store appearances that are more one-on-one sessions with clients. I think the only thing more surreal than interviewing the Olsen twins for your bff-slash-editor would be to show up at Neiman Marcus and get styled by them in the middle of the store floor in front of God and everyone. Can you imagine?


I got to Neiman's early and was ushered into a green room/fur salon. Fitting, I thought, since the Olsen ladies unapologetically love 'em some fur. While I waited for them to arrive, I chatted up two women who work with the Olsens on The Row and one who works with them on all their ventures.  All three were lovely, articulate and self-effacing. Always impressed by ladies who surround themselves with awesome ladies – in life and work. Feel like there are too few of us who do ;)


When the twins finally arrived and we were introduced, I think I had an out of body experience. It was beyond ODD to see these larger-than-life-mythical-creatures I've seen for decades standing there in front of me, shaking my hand, looking just plain normal, unassuming and young.

I was super struck by how tiny they were. To say they are petite in person is an understatement. I somehow wasn't prepared for it and felt very protective of them in an I'm-tall-enough-to-be-your-mother way.

You can check out my entire interview with the Olsens here on NM Daily
but here are a few more tidbits:

  • They are both extremely soft spoken. To the point that I was worried my iPhone voice memo would not be audible even though I held it about a foot away from them.
  • Ashley has a very open, sparkly energy about her that draws you in. I know it sounds obnoxious  but she definitely has that "glow" people talk about when they meet magnetic, famous types.

    For examples, she zeroed in on me the moment we sat down and asked me if I was based in Dallas or LA. I told her LA because I only freelance for NM and work full-time for Twitter.
Her eyes widened and she asked me what I did for Twitter. I told her and she said it must be "super interesting" to work there, holding eye contact and seeming actually interested. I said it was...most days...that it's just another new brand seeing if it can make it for the long haul.

(Earlier, I had a very interesting exchange about how social media is redefining celebrity with one of the women who works for the twins. She told me that the twins aren't into social media for themselves ["very private people"], but their Stylemint and Olsenboye lines definitely leverage their fan base on social sites.)
  • While Ashley was super talkative throughout the 20 minute interview, Mary Kate took a while to warm up. Her answers were more clipped at first, guarded, cautious. Her whole energy was definitely more serious and wary. Must have been hard to grow up in such an intense spotlight. You likely either internalize it (i.e. that glow Ashley has) or you retreat from it. 
  • Both women were extremely thoughtful. I was impressed with how knowledgeable they were about the business side of The Row. They were also very focused on emphasizing how hard they work: that they are in the office every day, that the CFDA award for womenswear (they were the youngest winners ever) makes them want to work even harder. Love.


But my favorite exchange was this one – during which they finished each other's sentences and looked at each other affectionately the whole time:

Me: The two of you have worked together your entire lives. How has that working
relationship evolved over the past few years with The Row?

Ashley: I do feel lucky that I have a partner. You definitely feel like you have someone…

Mary Kate: To bounce ideas off of...

Ashley: Definitely. And we’re so used to working with one another that we always have the same ultimate goals and the same vision. It’s nice to have a sounding board...

Mary Kate: It’s also been really nice to be surrounded by the creative people and the business people we work with on The Row. I feel like we’ve grown together and challenge each other, challenge processes. We face problems together – good problems and bad problems – and get through them in the most educated way. A lot of that, I think, comes through communication and talking though situations to get to the best solution and end product.

As the interview wrapped up, some tea and coffee arrived. They waited for me to finish before they helped themselves. They also apologized for being tired, gesturing to their faces. I told them they sounded very articulate and that I didn't want to hear them complain about their faces. Told them to wait 'til they were 35 and then talk to me about looking tired. They laughed and I think I detected a hint of surprise/horror at my age. 

On the way out, I asked for a photo for my mom and they said of course, "anything for mom." I told them that she was apparently a big fan, that who knew they had a 63 year-old Guatemalan lady demographic. They laughed and said that was "great to hear."  Super lovely kittens. 


Super lovely opportunity thanks to my Trojan twin!


The Outfit
Elizabeth and James top
J Brand jeans
Club Monaco anorak

The Accessories
Chanel bag
Kate Spade heels
Dita sunglasses
Hautelook necklace and bracelet

The Grade

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The Commentary

What does one wear to meet street style stars extraordinaire turned designers when one is feeling LARGE from Thanksgiving and tragically unfashionable from working in tech? If you are me, you turn to your friend, the Internet, for inspiration. Checked out what the twins had been spotted in recently. Even found a photo of Ashley arriving at the airport the day of the interview looking travel classic chic. 


Thought about similar dark trousers. Or liquid leggings. All black, maybe a camel coat with Louboutin nude heels. But then thought Id look like the stalker I am and just decided to keep things casual. Threw together a look around the one Elizabeth and James top I own and did matching lips and spiky necklace.

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 Added the sparkly Dorothy shoes I've been living in this winter.

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Fine look for work at Twitter. Not so much at Neiman Marcus where everyone was dressed to the nines when I got there. Doh. Thankfully the twins weren't. Both were art-school chic in all black layers. Ashley was wearing sneakers. 


She had on this super cool The Row sweater with a faint sparkly palm tree print. Very subtle, very chic.   


Mary Kate was in skinny leather pants and flat boots.


Should have gone all black, always safe, always chic...
also should not have ruined the picture for my mom by looking blind. F. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Trevor Live 2012

The Scene 

 Hard to believe it's been four years since Sable Crow first invited me to Trevor Live. Even harder to believe it's already been a year since the first time I attended as a member of the board of directors.

Trevor Live 2012

But what's REALLY crazy is that this year is the first time I invited my mother to Trevor Live. Many of my closest friends on the board bring their moms every year.  My own mom is my best friend, goes with me everywhere, is adored by all my friends and extremely proud of my work with the Trevor Project.  So why the hesitation?

Trevor Live is always an extremely emotional night. It's a night filled with stories of teenagers and parents and suicide. And even though the event is centered around LGBTQ youth, the night in many ways has become intertwined with the story of me, my mother and my stepfather.

It is the night, every year, where I step back in time and relive the horror of my stepfather's depression and suicide when I was sixteen. It is the night where I realize just how far I've come since the worst tragedy of my childhood. It is the night that reminds me that often our darkest moments can transform into our greatest gifts.

Trevor Live 2012

And so I invited my mother to join me and Mr. Diabolina this year – even though we all knew how hard it would be – because, well, part of helping prevent suicide is acknowledging that it happens.  We have to bring it out of the shadows and into the light. So there she sat BEAUTIFUL in her BCBG dress and waterproof mascara, next to "the best man she has ever known" and one of her dearest friends who has been like family to us since my dad died.  Adore these three faces.

Trevor Live 2012

Invited Little Miss MBA who has been one of the brightest lights in my life since we met as TAs in grad school. Owed her at least one glam night for taking me to countless fabulous fashion events over the last decade as her plus one. Also invited another loverly girlfriend from college who I've recently reconnected with.  Last year, she had a friend who committed suicide so I thought the night, though rough, might bring her some healing.

Trevor Live 2012

Was THRILLED Mr. NBC was able to fly out from NYC. He is one of my favorite people on the planet AND has been a great friend to the Trevor Project over the years. Was overjoyed that he could finally attend his first Trevor Live after years of hearing Sable Crow and me blab on and on about it.

Trevor Live 2012

Rounded out table #36 with Silver Haired Fox and Mr. Architect. Two more faces that I've adored for half my life and whose friendship I would be lost without.  Was an honor to have them share such an important night.

Trevor Live 2012

My favorite performance of the night was a beautiful duet from Wicked: "For Good" by Kristin Chenoweth and Anna Hendrick. I was sooooo moved (picture me crazy lady tearing up like Oprah here.) As I looked around the table, at people who I've loved for 15+ years, the words perfectly conveyed what I felt for them:

So much of me
Is made from what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end 
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend

Trevor Live 2012

The lyrics also pertain to the one man missing from the table...
who I know was there in spirit, who I know is always with me:

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true 
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...

The Show

Amy Poehler as the night's MC again was a gift from god. 

Trevor Live 2012

Sara Bareilles was magic.

Trevor Live 2012

Trevor Live 2012

OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder singing "Feel Again" was my second fave performance of the night.

Trevor Live 2012

Trevor Live 2012

Our Trevor Hero award winner, Katy Perry, was adorable, gracious and humble. She thanked Trevor Project for helping educate her so she can educate others.  Love.

Trevor Live 2012

But my favorite moment of the night came when I realized the only celeb I wanted to peep, Zachary Quinto, was sitting at the table next to mine. Zachary (Mr. Quinto if you're nasty) is on my favorite show on the planet right now, American Horror Story, as a terrifying serial killer. So when Sable Crow and I went over to introduce ourselves and thank him for attending, I was more than a little afeared.

He quickly put us at ease by making a joke about needing to raise even more money to spruce up the decor at the call centers  because - hello! - it's for gays and should look fabulous.  He proceeded to ask some incisive questions about fundraising and programming and I quickly realized a) how articulate he is and b) how dedicated he is to the organization.

He doesn't only show up to the events and write checks. He's chosen to understand the work from the inside out, electing to go through the INTENSE 40-hour training to be a volunteer lifeline counselor. He's taken calls from suicidal teens.  He is my newest Trevor shero.


As we parted ways, I confessed I was terrified speaking to him for most of our conversation. Those killer eyes twinkled behind the Clark Kent glasses as he told me I should be terrified of the writers who come up with all that cray #AHSFX stuff. He just acts it out.  I giggled with horror and ran away.

(Better show photos here)

The Outfit 
White House Black Market fringe dress
Fashion District accessories
Stella McCartney clutch
Alexander McQueen shoes

The Grade

Trevor Live 2012

The Commentary

Life's been a non-stop, overwhelming whirlwind over the past few months with work and travel and family. Didn't really start thinking about my dress until two weeks before the event. Wasn't loving anything I saw in stores or online. Well nothing that was under $500.

Thought about just wearing something that I already owned but nothing felt quite right. Everything was either too formal or too chesticle bearing. Wanted to keep the look cocktail and board member-appropriate. Cut to a crazed shopping trip THE DAY BEFORE THE EVENT.

Panicked and desperate, I walked into a store I NEVER go in: White House Black Market. Saw SO MANY evening options and all extremely well priced between $100 and $200. God help me I've become a cheap old lady who shops at a subsidiary of Chico's. The apocalypse is clearly near.

Trevor Live 2012

Settled on a simple, off-the-shoulder fringe LBD. Have always wanted a flapper look (see! super old lady!) Amped up the glam by getting the makeup done by MAC per usual.  Advised my friend Lawyer Legs to do the same. Ugh could the results BEEEE  any more delish?

Trevor Live 2012

We matched from our Mac faces to our McQueen toes. 

Trevor Live 2012

Sablecrow more than approved – he coveted.

Trevor Live 2012

Nabbed all my rosy "jewels" for under $50 in the fashion district.  Will get so much use out of that ring and the lariat with fringe was inspired, no??!

Trevor Live 2012

Trevor Live 2012

We were really rocking the two most popular looks of the night: pinkie sparkle and little black dress chic. 

 Trevor Live 2012










My favorite LBD of the night was this one with built in bracelets! NEED!


Fave male accessory of the night was the Brad bowtie 


Matthew Morrison looked hot like fire in his


But didn't hold a candle to Mr. Architect who rocked his with my favorite: polka dots.

Trevor Live 2012

He matched Little Miss MBA perfectly!

Trevor Live 2012

Best end o' the night accessory: the stuffed horses we all got from event sponsor, Wells Fargo.

Trevor Live 2012

The event morphed into a freaking adorable Santa Anita at the end.

Trevor Live 2012

Hilarious, magical, moving, perfect night!



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