FASHION & style
Sneak peek into my fashion shoots, OOTDs, favorites and MORE.
Model: Sylvia Coulson
Photo: Jos Riv Photography
Makeup Artist: Mari Tran of FACES by M
Photo: Jos Riv Photography
Makeup Artist: Mari Tran of FACES by M
Made from plastic bottles...
Like some people, I've been trying to be better about our environment and teaching the kids to do the same. We've been trying to recycle everything that we're able to including those plastic bottles we use for toiletries; turning off the lights in rooms where we don't need it; using re-usable grocery bags; and so on. I am even looking to replace our minivan with a hybrid to reduce our carbon footprint. It's always a plus trying to do good for the environment.
I came across these sustainable shoes on Instagram and loved their shape and their story. These kicks are 100% made of recycled plastic water bottles and are machine washable with a seamless design. Absolutely earth-friendly!
There are 3 different styles to choose from: the Flat; the Point; and the Loafer.
I chose the Point because my feet are on the wider side and this style tends to give them a slimmer look. Not only did they make them look slimmer but they are probably the most comfortable pair of shoes I've ever owned! I was on my feet for a few hours at a time and happy to report that, although they're new, there's no need to break these in. They're stretchy and molded to my feet immediately.
I admit, these aren't the cheapest shoes but they are worth every penny and, honestly, I'm willing to pay a bit extra for something that does good for our environment.
This isn’t a sponsored post but I wanted to share because I really love these shoes - fashionable and good for Mother Earth! Depending on the style you choose, the prices range from $125 - $165. Visit their site at www.rothys.com
I came across Harts & Pearls on Instagram and, after perusing their page, I noticed a friend of mine was one of the models and it dawned on me that I'm almost sure I've seen her wear the head wraps when we'd meet up for makeup. I did a little digging and found it to be particularly influential because of the woman who started it all (Desire Burgess) and how she got to where she is now. As you know, I have a desire to be my own boss...Desiree is a single mom who not only wanted to find a way to spend more time with her daughter but also to pursue her passion for fashion. She initially made these wraps for fun and didn't think anything about starting her own line. She got so many compliments on them and then an idea was born. Reading further, it sounded like such an inspiring journey...not only was she able to pursue her dream and be her own boss, she was able to stay home with her daughter. Family is so important to me and takes precedence over everything else in life and I basically want to be her! HAHA
This line provides accessories for the modern woman - hats, head wraps, scarves, etc. So many designs to choose from - you can get anywhere from sports-inspired items (i.e. Seahawks) to a wide range of prints that go from quirky to glam.
I was particularly interested in the head wraps because they looked super cute and I loved their boho vibe. Each wrap costs anywhere between $22 - $28. A portion of our purchase goes to a sponsored non-profit for the season (you can find more on their website, www.hartsandpearls.com). This is a local business and I believe they're based in Kent, WA.
As I was perusing the H&P site, I noticed that she had wraps for children as well as babies! Of course, since I was shopping for myself I had to get my daughter, Ava, a few as well. I'm always on the lookout for items that aren't what you'd typically see for young kids. There's something about dressing up babies and kids like adults (as long as it's appropriate, of course) - it's so adorable!
The children's wraps are the same as the adult versions, just made a little smaller to fit securely on their little heads.
Comfy AND Cute!
Delivery time was fairly quick! I think I received my order in about a week.
However, there was a bit of an issue with one of the wraps (it wasn't in stock) and one of their customer service reps was kind enough to contact me by phone to see whether I wanted to replace it with another one. I told her to surprise me and she informed me about a similar piece and, once I received it, I think I liked it even better than the one I initially ordered!
Since receiving my order, I've already worn mine to the gym, to a runway show, running errands, and even prepping myself for bed...it doesn't hurt to look cute when you don't have to!
This isn't a sponsored post but I wanted to write about them because I'm loving their product and their story - no doubt I will be purchasing more for both me and Ava! If you're interested in purchasing a wrap, visit their instagram @hartsandpearls
~ XOXO, Mari
Traveling by air has been kind of a new thing these past few months. Usually, it’s road trips for us any time we head out on a family vacation.
Just this past year, a few changes have happened in my life personally - some of it requiring me or the family to travel by plane.
Airports and airplanes have proven time and time again that comfort is key and it's essential to wear something you can easily move around in. With all the walking you’ll do, you’ll need it! Comfort doesn’t necessarily mean loose and schlumpy - you can still look cute yet feel cozy and relaxed.
I first laid eyes on the CALPAK Astyll luggage on an Instagram post by a blogger I follow and it was love at first sight. So beautiful and I've already used them a few times. They fit so many items and are easy to maneuver (these spin). They've served me well, so far.
There are few scuff marks on them but that's normal to me. Some marks I was able to wipe off because they were more surface scratches; a couple areas, however, are a bit deeper. I'm not too bent out of shape about that, though, because the graining of the print seems to make the deeper scuffs appear less obvious.
Every single time - I kid you not - we have gotten double takes or we catch people admiring them. Ava, in fact, will ask to use the smaller one when we travel together.
You can find the set here: www.calpaktravel.com/products/astyll-2-piece-luggage-set-milk-marble (the same set can also be found on Nordstrom's site).
I use the bag below for my carry-on...this is the Coach Crossgrain Leather Diaper Bag in black (though, I think it only comes in one color) and is the perfect size to hold a smaller purse, laptop, magazines, etc. to keep me occupied for those long (or short) plane rides. Yes, you read that right...DIAPER BAG. The saleslady assured me I could use it for travel if I remove the diaper pad inside. It has all these outer and inner compartments that are perfect for keeping me organized!
This bag is originally about $500 but I scored an amazing deal at our local Coach outlet. I walked in with Ava with the intention of just looking around and found they were having one of their awesome sales. I scored this baby at over 50% off. I don't know whether they still have these in store but I found one on Etsy www.ebay.com/i/322551434292?chn=ps
THREE MUSTS I live by when it comes to my whole ensemble:
I've come to find that wearing shoes that are easy to slip on and off is key when going through airport security screen checks. Having to fiddle around with laces or buckles are "no-no's" for me especially when I want quick and smooth processing - the lines at these checks are (I swear) getting longer! So not only am I making it easy on myself, I'm doing a favor for the peeps in line behind me!
Since we need to remove our shoes, I make sure to have a pair of clean socks handy to walk through the body scanner - after all, you don't know what germs you'll be coming into contact with. I'm assuming sanitation and cleanliness are not priorities in these areas!
My burgundy shoes are part of the "Waylan" collection from the brand, 1 State. These were purchased at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale last year. They're no longer being sold there but you can probably find them at other retailers or something similar to these. The blush pink ballet flats were purchased at the J. Crew outlet and, again, I'm sure you can find similar shoes, if you don't have flats already.
OUTFIT & ACCESSORIES
Layers are important to me. That way I can remove or add based on temperatures in whatever current city I'm in. Sure, I can check the weather online but I can't really gauge how my body will react to current temps until I'm actually experiencing it firsthand. For example, we flew to Arizona this past December and my mom told us to pack warm clothes because it gets cold. Us being from the Pacific Northwest, we experience many cold (and wet) days so we're not stranger to chilly weather. But, as soon as we arrived in AZ, we felt REALLY WARM and found we really didn't want to wear our sweaters at all. That's why I recommend layering to make any adjustments to your outfit to help you get through your travels.
Comfort is a MUST, as well. There have been times I've seen people wear something that looks as though they're going to bust out at the seams, trying to look cute. It's actually NOT cute if you seem like you're trying too hard...this is how I used to be, to be honest. I'd try and dress cute (no matter if it was too tight for me because I thought it'd prevent me from eating too much) but it just slowed me and my travel mates down because I was SO UNCOMFORTABLE. Why put yourself and everyone else through that torture? Just my opinion.
Still...don't let me tell you what's comfortable for you...if you find wearing a tutu with crop top and heels is "comfortable" then so be it. To each their own...whatever your reason, just hope you're able to move around without having to think twice of a possible wardrobe malfunction.
These tips can help you with any traveling you do, really - whether by plane, boat, or car. I will say, though, the above tips are helpful in airplane situations because you're more restricted in your movement and air temps can get a little erratic in the aircraft cabin.
~ XOXO, Mari
Collaboration photo shoots have its perks. As a makeup artist (and occasional hairstylist), I have some input on the final product - the vibe and quality of the images, what style or feel we want to achieve as a team, and who to work with.
For a while, I've been wanting to do a Coachella-type shoot. For those of you who aren't familiar with Coachella, it's an annual music festival held in Indio, CA full of headliners like Lady Gaga to up-and-coming artists as well as lesser known musicians. The surrounding area is a huge grass field with little shindigs going on throughout the vicinity. Not that I've actually been there but that's what I see in my fashion and entertainment magazines.
Much of what catches my eye aside from the artists is the makeup and fashion. Makeup can range from natural beauty to hippie while fashion can range from ethereal to bohemian chic.
Some people attend solely for the music, some see it as a weekend getaway, some may go to show off some personal style and hang with their buddies. Whatever the reason, it's exciting to just be a part of the whole experience.
My friend and local photographer, Jos Riv, is an amazing and humble dude - one that I instantly clicked with. I informed him of my idea on possibly doing a shoot inspired by this event and we decided to work with up-and-coming model, Sarah Alegre. I actually met her through him during one of her earlier shoots. Not only is she beautiful and exotic - I enjoy working with her. When we pitched her the idea, she was excited. I was ecstatic because I felt she could pull the look off just as easily.
Once we were able to align our schedules, I got her ready at my house and used existing pieces I had along with her own pieces.
ALL IMAGES SHOWN TAKEN by JOS RIV PHOTOGRAPHY
LOCATION: Gene Coulon Park
I had Sarah smooth out her hair to save on time and I fluffed it a bit with volumizing spray to give it more of a full and tousled appearance. Anything too perfect would defeat the purpose of the look's carefree style.
Makeup was focused on beauty (my specialty) but with a little extra on the eyes. I did a cut crease using deep browns with warm, reddish tones along with light contouring throughout the face so as not to take away from the eyes.
Luckily, Sarah has strong, shapely brows that I kept them fairly natural and only filled in sparse areas. Rhinestones with adhesive backs (from JoAnn Fabrics) were applied around the brow bone and pops of cream illuminator (GlamLab Cosmetics) around the high points of the face. Lips were kept nude to further keep the focus on the eyes.
These shoots tend to take a bit of time (like a few hours worth) especially when only a few people are involved. It takes some stamina and patience.
Somewhere along the workflow, you might run into other industry professionals!
Overall, the shoot turned out pretty well and it's always a treat to work with people who share the same passions as you.
The sun shining bright, the fresh breeze running through our hair, crowds at a minimum, ample parking, and the views of Lake Washington as our backdrop....
A beautiful day spent with awesome people - how much more could you ask for?
My little girl, Ava, has always been full of spunk and personality. She is my bestie (but I'm her mother first, of course) and also my little doll.
I grew up in a very testosterone-heavy environment. I have 2 younger brothers and have mostly male cousins. A lot of my friends were boys and I have two sons. Heck I have a bunch of brother-in-laws. Thank goodness for hubby's sister and SILs!!! BOYS...BOYS...BOYS.
So along came Ava in June '09 and my world changed. Ever since she was born, I'd dress her in these cute, coordinated outfits (that weren't your typical pink) and would accessorize her little head with headbands or bows. She didn't have much hair and I wanted to make sure people knew she was actually female. If I had a quarter for every "what a cute little boy" comment...
Over the years, I noticed she loved taking photos...posing with her mouth open (a la Jessica Simpson-style) with one hand on her hip, popped to the side.
Dressing her became a fun "mommy and me" moment...we'd come up with these outfits that we thought were stylish and she'd do an OOTD ("outfit of the day" if you didn't know). She'd say, "Mommy, picture??" Who am I to refuse?
Here are some old posts - some outfits put together by her - excuse the background as well as the not-so-great quality photos of her back in the day...
Our stylized "photos" seemed to get better over time and she was better about the posing and the quality of my camera started to improve. Seriously, who teaches her all these moves?? But you know the old adage, "PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT"? So TRUE.
Here our more for you to peruse - as if there weren't enough but I'm almost done - I promise. You'll notice we've taken some of her OOTD shots outdoors. We've both learned that we can pretty much make any place a backdrop provided it goes well with the outfit.
And, FINALLY.... my fave past outfits that I've styled Ava in...or actually, EVER.
I buy most of Ava's clothing at Old Navy, GAP kids, Children's Place, and Gymboree. Now that she's 8 years old, we are starting to shop at stores for older girls (Justice and Crew Kids have been added to the handful of places we visit).
When I shop for pieces, I try to get mostly basics (i.e. neutral tops, leggings, etc.) with a few trendy items (see her faux fur vests, black beanie, and knee-high boots). I usually buy items that can be mixed and matched.
We've made this an ongoing thing for us and will continue OOTD posts on my social medias. It's been so much fun - the bonding time we get is priceless and I hope to continue this as she grows older. Stay tuned for more of this little one's OOTDs!