Monthly Archives: December 2011

Hay Menorah!

Dear Daily Planner,

Just a reminder that Hanukkah starts at sunset tonight. I’ll be celebrating with this uberglamourous manzanita-inspired menorah. I love it because it’s not only a beautiful way to celebrate the Festival of Lights, it’s also a beautiful candle holder to use year round. West Elm came out with this baby last year and it was love at first sight. Happy Hanukkah, everyone! Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.



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I’m Dreaming of a Pink Christmas

Dear Bestie Alexis,

Thanks for having me over last night for your glamourous holiday party. Your pink Christmas tree really caught my eye. When you first told me about having a pink tree, I thought it was going to be totally cheesy and crazy, but it turned out awesome. The color is so warm and inviting and adorable. And your glittery ornament collection (purchased mostly at Moskatels in Downtown LA) complements the candy color of the tree perfectly. OrMOMdo made a few of your ornaments too, which added a little handmade character to your beautiful tree. Well done!

I also love that your tree matches the painting I made for you perfectly.

A handmade wax paper star by orMOMdo.

A bear from Moskatels.

The cutest snowman in the WORLD I found at Jonathan Wright & Company.

This tree is an explosion of fun. Just like YOU!


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Lazy Costuming In New York

Dear Self,

You know, packing for long vacations has never been your strong suit. I hate to break it to you, but you suck. Usually, you fill your suitcase with 25 neon t-shirts, 12 pairs of ugly pants, and as much sockage and underwearage as you can cram in. This is all fine and dandy until you get to Hawaii and you realize that none of the clothing you brought actually goes together. Bright pink pants, bright pink shirt, and a horse bolo tie? Unacceptable. Thus, on this last business trip to New York, I forced you to choose one outfit, buy multiples of it, and wear it every day for two weeks. I’ve actually wanted to do this experiment for years, starting in high school when choosing clothes to wear started to stress me out (am I the only one who wishes I had a stylist/servant to dress me every morning so I never had to make a decision?). For my New York costume, I chose basic elements that could be layered. A white t-shirt, grey hoodie, faux leather jacket, skinny jeans, and boots. I accessorized with a necklace, a winter hat, and glamourous fingerless gloves. This is what I looked like in my costume:

I used the following costume pieces to blend in with the New York natives. The Target finds were by far the most surprising. I actually find a lot of clothes there. If you mix it right it can be pretty cool and it’s cheap as cheap can be. Luxury.

Winter Hat from Target

Fingerless Gloves from Target

Faux Leather Jacket from Zara (it’s from last year and I can’t find it anywhere online).

Levis Steamer Hoodie

Necklace By Janine Echabarne, my mother’s jewelry designer friend.

Hanes Tees (I bought 18 and somehow still had to do laundry twice)

Levis Jeans

H By Hudson Boots

These boot are my very favorite. I have a friend who has the same ones and we fight about who gets to wear them all the time (I always win). They’re the perfect combination of hobo and glamour, just like me!

In conclusion, I would highly recommend this packing solution to anyone who has a problem packing lightly. It was so convenient not to have to think of what to wear every day. It made getting ready so much faster. I can’t say everyone else enjoyed my wardrobe as much as I did. Emily and I worked together every day and by the end of the trip she wanted to stab me for boring her to death with my clothes. Also, I’m pretty sure our New York clients thought I was just wearing the same shirt over and over again, which probably made them think I was even more hobo than I am. Which is ok with me because it gives me street cred.



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Funtimez At the Gugg: Maurizio Cattelan

Dear Diary,

The other day I was just wandering around New York when I came upon the Guggenheim Museum (which I like to call “The Gugg,” pronounced “goog”) and decided to head on inside and check out the Maurizio Cattelan exhibit I’ve been dying to see since I heard it existed. Cattelan is an artist who works mainly in sculpture, making totally weird, exciting, and disturbing pieces ranging from stuffed dogs to naked ladies popping out of the wall. His show at the Gugg was a huge retrospective and, like, kind of a big deal (meaning there were 5 million people there to see it). I am a huge fan of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building which houses the Gugg, but I’ve seen so many dull exhibits there that I was excited to see something to fresh on display.

I went in the afternoon, just as the golden sunset cast pretty shadows all over the exterior of the beautiful building.

All the installation shots I took look totally overwhelming and crazy. The reason is that the exhibit itself was chaotic and insane. The huge hanging collection of sculptures (rising through the entirety of the museum’s central atrium) was so full that it was difficult to concentrate on any one piece for too long. This was sort of the point I guess, as the collective sculptures became one huge installation piece. The visual cacophony was only exacerbated by the fact that the Gugg (and every other New York museum) is always overcrowded with visitors, screeching in their high-pitched tourist voices. I know it sounds like I’m complaining, but actually I think this added to the piece, making it even more chaotic and overwhelming.

Here are few of Cattelan’s previous works, all of which were incorporated into the piece at the Gugg.

That evening, I was staying with my friends Misako and Doug on the Upper West Side. Misako and I walked home from the museum through Central Park. It’s a pretty spectacular park, and the quiet sunset was the perfect comedown from the crazy (and wonderful) Cattelan exhibit.

Goodnight Diary,

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Crafting With orMOMdo: Felt Ornaments

Dear My Mother,

Some of my favorite memories of you come from the holiday season, when you turn from a normal mom to Martha-Stewart-On-Crack-Mom. I don’t think there’s been a holiday in my life where you haven’t stayed up until after midnight night after night ferociously writing Christmas cards, dipping centerpieces in gold, making wreathes out of branches you cut from the back yard, and wrapping presents in repurposed papers and fancy ribbon. This year, you’ve chosen to make these adorable little felt ornaments as gifts and I have to say I just love them.

I’ve never met a penguin I didn’t like, including this one.

Starfish funtimez.

My mom is obsessed with sheep (see her collection here). It’s a serious issue and we might have to have a sheep intervention soon.

One time, my parents had a pet mouse. And by “pet mouse” I mean that a mouse decided to live in their house, terrorizing them day after day. I believe that traumatic experience inspired this adorable ornament.

Naturally, when you make your own felt ornaments you have to wrap them in handmade origami boxes. It’s just a fact of life.

One of my favorite ornaments is the one made to look like Rex. Rex is my brother’s dog who we’re all in love with because he’s such a good friend.

This is the real Rex. Isn’t he cute? He could also eat your face, but he would never do that unless you made an unforgivable design faux pas.

I’m sure hoping Santa brings me one of these felt ornaments! And, yes, by “Santa” I do mean “My Mother Catherine Soria,” the lady that taught me to love Christmas.

LOL (Lots Of Love),


Filed under Decor, Life, Style

Me And My Drum

Dear Cute Little Drum Emily and I Bought for a Client,

We bought you for Rachna (one of our most delightful clients) but I had to bring you inside to keep you warm until we deliver you because you are SO adorable. I’ll miss you, Drum, but I know Rachna will give you a good home. And if she doesn’t just call me, and I’ll come pick you up. I’ll always be there for you.


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My So-Called Christmas Tree

Dear Diary,

You know, Christmastime is my very favorite time of the year. This year, however, Christmas has lasted approximately six months and it’s starting to feel less like Christmas, more like Crackmas. I’m totally OD’ing. First, it was the holiday episode of Secrets From A Stylist, which was filmed in Los Angeles in August. Needless to say I was sweating my face off in my festive sweaters. Then, it was the Holiday Guide, something Emily and our team put together to tell people what to buy for their friends (and us). And now finally it’s the actual holiday season. I’m ready to drink some eggnog, wear a Santa hat, and continue the longest holiday season in the history of time. Thus, I have begun to decorate my apartment, even though I’m actually headed up to Yosemite next week for the holidays. Here is how I put up my vintage aluminum Christmas tree.

First, I painted the walls to match my tree. Trust me, this is a totally normal thing to do. Especially if your walls are a lame color. If you don’t paint your walls to match your tree you’re just plain lazy. The color I chose is Benjamin Moore “Half Moon Crest.” It’s very pretty and SO much better than the boring beige that was here when I moved in.

Here’s an action shot of me painting. Get excited! A fun fact about this project is that I forced my poor mother to do half of it, because she’s way better at edging than I am. Sometimes, when you’re pushing 30, you still need to your mom to help you do stuff. Stop judging me.

I got my aluminum tree at the flea market. It was $100 and came in it’s original packaging from the 60s (and it’s 7′ tall!). This box is pretty much the most revolting thing I’ve ever seen in my life, but I’m kind of impressed the owners kept the box and all the original sleeves that the branches came in. I don’t even know where the box for the iPhone I bought this morning is. And that’s why I’m a worthless piece of trash who will never amount to anything. Or at least that’s what all my high school counselors told me. And I still haven’t gotten over it. Why did I bring this up?

The base of the tree is just a wooden rod covered in aluminum foil. In the 1960s, aluminum foil was considered fancy and space age. Thus, they thought it was appropriate to make Christmas trees out of kitchen wrap.

All the branches on my tree are the same, so you can stick them in any hole.

Putting in the bottom branches was the most difficult. The other branches poked my eyes out every time I leaned down to put one in.

It was 85 degrees in my apartment when I put up the tree. You gotta love Los Angeles and our random heat waves in the middle of December.

Here is the tree all set up, against my glamourous new grey wall. I am still in the process of decorating it, but will be done soon and will update you with ALL the latest Christmas decor news. You’re welcome.

This Christmas tree is perfect for my Crackmas celebration. Maybe I’ll just leave it up all year, considering we will be starting Christmas 2012 in a few months anyway. (I’m scared).



Filed under Decor, Life

Purple Rain on Brooklyn

Dear New York,

I’ve been visiting you for the past two weeks and I’m writing this as I hurtle through the air on wireless internet equipped plane. Whilst in New York, I stay briefly with my friends Matt and Brandon who live in Brooklyn Heights in the most adorable and amazing apartment in Brooklyn. They’ve done some decorating around the house recently, so I wanted to share their progress. Firstly, how cute are they?!?

This is the original color of their entire apartment. I don’t understand why all landlords seem to think everyone wants to live in dingy “Swiss Coffee” colored apartments. I get that it’s an attempt to make things look warm, but usually it just makes it look like the place was inhabited by hardcore smokers for years and years and years. Or that the walls were smothered in pure butter. Gross.

Matt and Brandon chose a dark grey for their bedroom, which looks bluish in some of these pictures but is actually a warm grey tone. Delicious (Brandon likes it).

I don’t know where he got crazy prints, but I love them.

I like this abstract painting, but the star of this room is clearly these DIY hanging pendants (instructions coming soon!).

This bright red is, like, totally outrageous.

The mirror tipped lightbulbs were a good addition and keep the light from being totally blinding.

For their office, they chose to go with a purple/aubergine color. I’ve been loving on purple for a few years now, but I’m too scared to do anything about my love because I find it hard to wear or use in my apartment. But I love the way they used and the chose the perfect hue.

And of course, what gay Brooklyn apartment is complete without a white lacquer animal head collection on the wall?

Here is the finished living room with their adorable little Christmas tree.

Now that I’ve seen that I’ve seen Matt and Brandon’s apartment, I think they’re going to have to get used to me visiting more. In fact, I think I am going to ask them to be my two gay dads so that I can stay there when I go back to New York next month. Glamour. Awkward. Aspiration.



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Other People’s Christmas Trees: Jared & Lance

Dear Santa,

Like this Xmas tree? It belongs to my friend Jared and his boyfriend Lance. They live together in Chelsea, New York City. Glamour.


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Finally! Ice Cube Celebrates The Eames!

Dear Ice Cube,

This is my favorite thing you’ve ever done!



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