Saturday, January 20, 2018

A few vows

I’m late to the New Years resolution hoorah, but I recently discovered an incredible podcast that changed my mentality on spending entirely. It’s a comical bit that features tips on how to save money slow and steadily - not disregarding any foundational, financial guidelines.

As of today, I have a few vows I’m determined to keep:
1. Eliminate skincare purchases
I’m confident about this one, after working at Aesop and AmorePacific over the past year. I have a strong understanding of my skin, what products I bind well with, and more importantly I am stocked beyond measure with bonus products and samples. Also, this includes going make-up free. Other than the remainder I have left in my NARS foundation, I won’t be making further purchases and mostly going make up free whenever possible.

2. Eliminate clothing purchases (even on sale items)
Unless I need a very specific product that is beyond my reach of resources, I don’t see myself needing to go shopping for clothing anytime soon. I am set on pants. I have basic tees. I have solid outerwear. The only concern is general tops - but so far it’s been working out. We’ll see. P.s. I’ll be rummaging thru The Selected inventory whenever necessary.

3. Choose meals wisely
While working in retail, I’ve gotten into a poor  habit of buying lunch during break time. It’s a rather inconspicuous amount (around $7-10), but when I add it up monthly it comes out to a fairly large sum - just on lunch alone. I feel a need to reconsider my meal options, buying wiser groceries and eliminating eating out whenever it’s an option. I guess this includes limiting hangouts, 2nd rounds, and drinks.

I’ve spent the last 3 hours tackling our monthly budget and writing down our January spending so far.  A bit shocking, but there’s no better time to get started than today. So here I go with this bizarre yet hopeful mission. Frankly, I’m still groggy from waking up early for our garage sale and working retail  right after. But I feel a strong sense of hope. My goal is clear and the steps I plan to take are crystal. We’ll see how this goes! Till next time.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

A New Wave: Ethical Fashion

An article I wrote for The Selected.

For decades, the fast-fashion phenomenon has dominated the global consumer market with cost-friendly and quickly overturned trends. Not surprisingly, there is an overwhelming surplus of unworn clothing everywhere – and this number only continues to grow. Regretful consumer choices, impulsive purchases, and the lure of sale item advertisements contribute to the culture of a fast-fashion marketplace.The $24.99 cost of a cheaply-made, Peter Pan collared shirt seems hardly burdensome at the time of purchase, but reality strikes when it is packed up and routed to Goodwill just 6 months later. For clothing that is worn just once or twice then tossed, where is the ethical limit? In recent years, a growing number of consumers have shown interest in sustainable awareness, and many are looking to switch gears to more long-lasting, durable fashion in their closets. Now, a new wave of ethical fashion is on the rise – and here is our breakdown for a more sustainable world of fashion.

Level One: Start where you are.
Take care of the clothes already in the closet. This is perhaps the climax of ethical fashion – because long-term sustainability is directly linked with proper care. Showing careful concern for already-produced items gives it its maximum life in your closet.

Level Two: Shop less. Choose better. (Only buy pieces you love 100%).
This is perhaps the most difficult one. Personally, I admired bloggers who made smart, quality purchases and supported ethical brands, but assumed the lifestyle to be too expensive for a (then full-time student) gal like me. What I failed to realize, however, is that purchasing more in quantity of cheaply-made clothing in contrast to buying fewer but of quality items is less effective, and often more costly in the long run. Check out this scenario: You visit the mall (claiming retail therapy) and spend $100 on 5 items from Store H.
  1. You wear the $19.90 swimsuit to the beach, but the padding falls out and becomes irretrievable.
  2. The $7.99 denim jeans you put in the dryer comes out two sizes smaller.
  3. You go out wearing a set of $5.80 earrings, and lose the left pair.
  4. The $2.80 ring turns your finger green.
  5. You save the $58.00 fur coat to wear in the winter, but unfortunately it’s only May.*
*To be fair, it was on Final Sale.

Six months later, you don’t recall any of these purchases because they are all either lost or un-wearable. Whatever is left of the purchase gets shoved in the back of the closet, or in a donation bag to Goodwill.

Honestly, this scenario isn’t foreign for most of us. We’ve regretfully purchased smaller sizes on sale, vowing to one day fit in to those ultra-skinny jeans. We’ve had clothes shrink in the dryer, beads fall out, and strings come loose. Most often with low-quality clothing, the hassle of mending, fixing, and replacing heavily outweighs the benefits of spending a few bucks “less” in the moment.
Thus, the key to sustainable fashion is to 1) shop less and 2) choose better. Buy with intention, thought, and love. Only purchase items you 100% love, not chosen because of menial factors such as sales, discounts, trendy (for a minute), etc. Your closet is a life-long investment, and items that slip away after a short while gains you no interest or profit in the long-run.

Buy with intention, thought, and love.

Level Three: Buy second-hand. Upcycle.
My solution to maintaining style and closet sustainability is thrift shops. Second-hand, consignment stores are incredible gold mines with rare vintage, modern, and stylish gems everywhere. Products are a fraction of the retail price, which allows customers to choose items without considering luring variants such as sales and seasonal promotions. Select thrift shops also guarantee style and quality: Wasteland, Crossroads, and Buffalo Exchange. For true discounts, visit the local Goodwill or Salvation Army.

Fast-fashion has owned the spotlight for decades, but in recent years, sustainability-savvy consumers are growing more alert and aware than ever before. Splitting ways from cheaply-made, low quality products, consumers entering a new wave of ethical fashion is planting roots in the fashion industry. These essential steps toward a more sustainable closet is to 1) Start where you are, 2) Shop less and choose better, and 3) Buy second-hand and upcycle. By adhering to the standards of ethical fashion, it creates lasting and impactful change in the current and future world of fashion.
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Go to The Vintage Collection

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

“It is desirable that a man be clad so simply that he can lay hands on himself in the dark, and that he live in all respects so compactly and preparedly, that, if an enemy take the town, he can, like the old philosopher, walk out the gate empty-handed without anxiety.”

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Furniture Inspo

We need a couple tables added to our living room, looking for functionality and design. I'm thinking
1) long bar table w/ bar stools for kitchen/dining table
2) short, small rectangular table for living/tv/sofa area

Monday, July 10, 2017

Ever Be

Your love is devoted like a ring of solid gold
Like a vow that is tested like a covenant of old
Your love is enduring through the winter rain
And beyond the horizon with mercy for today
Faithful You have been and faithful you will be
You pledge yourself to me and it's why I sing

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips (x4)

You Father the orphan
Your kindness makes us whole
And you shoulder our weakness
And your strength becomes our own

Now you're making me like you
Clothing me in white
Bringing beauty from ashes
For You will have Your bride
Free of all her guilt and rid of all her shame
And known by her true name and it's why I sing

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips (x4)

You will be praised
You will be praised
With angels and saints we sing worthy are You Lord

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg (excerpt)

And I like you because
when I am feeling sad
You don’t always cheer me up right away.
Sometimes it is better to be sad.
You can’t stand the others
being so googly and gaggly every single minute.
You want to think about things.
It takes time.
I like you because if I am mad at you,
Then you are mad at me too.
It’s awful when the other person isn’t.
They are so nice and hoo-hoo
you could just about punch them in the nose.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Current State

One of our living room corners
our bathroom, courtesy of Crate & Barrel haha
My grab & go jewelry
Blue Apron, for the full-time working newly weds

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

World Itinerary

  1. Paris, France
  2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  3. Brussels, Belgium
  4. Copenhagen, Denmark
  5. Berlin, Germany
  6. London, England
  7. Dublin, Ireland
  8. Glasgow/Edinburgh, Scotland
  9. Zurich, Switzerland
  10. Milan, Florence, Rome, Venice, Italy
  11. Oslo, Norway
  12. Stockholm, Sweden
  13. Prague, Czechia
  14. Vienna, Austria
  15. Budapest, Hungary
  16. Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Spain
  17. Santorini, Athens, Greece
  18. Helsinki, Finland
  19. Moscow, Russia
  20. Jeju, South Korea
  21. Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo, Japan
  22. Anchorage, Alaska
  23. Vancouver, Canada
  24. Melbourne, Sydney, Austrailia
  25. Cape Town, South Africa

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


  • We found an apt and moved to DTLA! Utterly grateful for where we're living, and constantly reminding myself that this is all by the working of God's grace.
  • I got a new job! I'm currently working at my childhood dream company, Compassion. I studied Communication and Global Studies in college in consideration of the future path I wanted to take - which was Nonprofit Management. I had no idea this is where I would end up. I am so grateful, humbled, and excited by the work being done here.
  • Justin and I celebrated our 11 years! I guess we aren't dating anymore, but it still feels nostalgic to celebrate our old anniversary.
  • I took my first flight into Denver, CO and stayed at Colorado Springs, CO for an entire week (Cons will be listed, stay tuned). But overall, I felt overwhelmingly blessed to work for an organization with high integrity and unwavering values.
  • Celebrated a successful surprise birthday party for our best friend Eunice, who absolutely loved the surprise. It is better to give than to receive! Amen.
  • Invited family over for the first time to celebrate my lovely mom's birthday. I've come to treasure family a whole lot more after being married. I wish I could spend more time with them regularly.
  • Had the BEST weekend with my college roommates on the last weekend of February! I love seeing how much we've grown, both together and apart, and coming together to share these joys and sorrows of life. We visited Joanne's hometown, ate a home cooked meal with her family, re-watched La La Land, and ate the most delicious 3-course meal. Cheers to your best year, Jo!
  • Worked my first Compassion Sunday event and had a successful turnout of sponsors. I'm looking forward to the many more scheduled this year.
  • I miss my family. It's been tough only seeing them 3-4 times per month. I also wish I could spend more time with Justin's family and his extended family too. Our schedule and the distance makes it difficult, but we'll try harder this month! (Goal: see grandparents at least 1x per month, see family at least 2-3x per month)
  • Colorado people are the greatest people you will ever meet. Living angels. But Colorado altitude is the worst. I made it alive the first few days, but toward day 3, my skin was peeling, I had constant nose bleed, dehydration, nausea, eek.... needless to say I'm glad to be back in LA. I have a newfound love for my city! Ha.
  • This has been the busiest month so far. Life is gearing up in fast mode. I don't know how else to put it! Every weekday night I think I'll have open, I feel like it fills up last minute with catching up with friends, running errands, seeing family, other schedules and classes... These are all so wonderful and necessary, but Justin and I actually had 1 free day to spend alone together. (Wait, I realize that wasn't even in February, it was yesterday, March 1. Le sigh.) I'm trying, but no matter how fast or slow I go, I've still spent the 24 hours each day, and I look back to realize there were so many things I wish I could've done before it ran out. No regrets though! It was an incredible, jam-packed month. Just some hard reflecting and moving forward.
To a better me in God's grace!

x Sola

The xx - I Dare You