Sweet Like Deadly Nightshade

Fun fact: When I was growing up, my father had major aspirations of my brother and I becoming child models. Every so often he would put up a white bedsheet on one of the walls in the living room, get some props and outfits together and we’d have our own photoshoot sessions right at home. I still have the albums full of the photos including the professional ones that he had done to send to modeling agencies. Neither my brother or I ever got a modeling contract as kids (Not for lack of trying, I mean we were adorable but I guess that wasn’t enough, hahaha) but at the very least we have the memories.

At the start of quarantine last year, my brother was actually the first one to point out that I could not use the pandemic as an excuse for not continuing to take photos and create content. According to him, I’ve been “trained for in-house photoshoots” and now I even have more space to work with than we did growing up. I initially disagreed because working in one space can be pretty limiting, but in time I took up the challenge, working around issues with lightening (my apartment is intentionally dark in certain spaces) and even did some much needed furniture/decor shopping which I had put off for the last 2 years.

I’ve done quite a bit of shooting at home as a result, some of which I haven’t shared yet, but I wanted to try my hand at something “different” for this new year. So armed with my trusty tripod, selfie light, new make up, new bedding and a lux velvet set I bought as a Christmas gift to myself, I figured it was time to try something way, way outside of my comfort zone – my own boudoir shoot. Continue reading

At the Pumpkin Patch

This weekend, not only was I able to get brunch with two of my dearest friends after 8 months apart, but we also got to go pumpkin picking for the first time ever at a local farm. I love this time of year because the colder temperatures let me wear some of my favorite staples like my faux leather jackets but also because I get to eat pumpkin-flavored food. Yes, I know that is totally cliché but whatever, I love pumpkin. 

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Sunflower Summer Days

Living in NYC during a pandemic has been interesting.  Like I haven’t left my borough (Queens) except to pick up some things at the office back in May, making this the longest I’ve been away from the city (Manhattan) in years.  My summers usually includes work and taking long walks in the city afterwards usually around the neighborhood. Usually this involves browsing at the local book store, if not the library, meeting my friends for dinner and a movie, going to a marketing/social media/blogger workshop or checking out some of the events advertised on Facebook, like the Japanese food festival I attended last summer. Obviously things were very different this year.

Thankfully even with COVID and quarantine, Summer 2020 was not cancelled as most of us had joked when the season first started. Sure, I stayed closer to home yet this turned out to be a little fun because I got to do things like ride a bike again for the first time in 14 years and read a book under a tree at a park my parents used to take me and brother when we were kids. So much nostalgia and not just in Queens because just this past weekend, my friend Diana and I made the trek to Roosevelt Island, our favorite hang out spot back when we were in college to see how much it has changed since we last visited.

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Boho Summer Dress Fun

I’ll be honest, once this lockdown period started I immediately stopped shopping for anything non-essential. Part of this was due to the uncertain financial situation but it also was because I wasn’t sure when I would be going out again. I went into my apartment in mid-March, during which I was still wearing turtle necks under my coat, and by the time I stated to go outside I had missed spring entirely. Not that I’m complaining too much about that because I actually got to have one spring without having to suffer through terrible allergy attacks.Anyways, being home has given me a chance to purge my closet (again) and style some old summer pieces in new ways as well as find any “style gapes” I may have. When it comes to summer fashion my closet is seriously lacking because I’m not a fan of this season (the humidity is no joke in NYC), so I don’t  give summer fashion much thought beyond bathing suits which says a lot about my priorities, hahaha.  Continue reading

In the Name of the Moon!

Many children of my generation (the 90’s) were presented with female empowerment through the Sailor Moon anime. I was introduced to this series through the ’90s American dub which eventually lead me to reading the manga and hunting down the Japanese version (subbed of course). The story follows fourteen year-old Usagi Tsukino (known as Serena to  American audiences via the 90s dub of the anime) and her friends, who transform into planetary sailor soldiers using their powers to protect the Earth from evil forces seeking to destroy it.  As the series that sparked my interest in manga, anime and cosplay (which has only grown in the years since) it holds a very special place in my heart.

So in honor of it being June 30th, the canon birthday of Sailor Moon/Princess Serenity herself, Usagi Tsukino, I’m sharing  a few of the messages and themes from this series that had a profound influence on me as well as a generation of young men and women.  Disclaimer: A version of this post was published on the 4 Real Women International blog site in 2014 but has since been take down.  Also while there are so many incarnations of Sailor Moon (the manga, the 90’s anime, the stage shows known as Sera Myu and the live action series, PGSM) this blog post will only make reference to the manga and the ’90s anime. Continue reading