October 30, 2014

Easy last minute Halloween costumes

If there's one thing that's true, I am not the greatest of planners when it comes to costumes or makeup. I just sort of do whatever feels right at the time and wing it. It's no surprise, then, that I am so late with this post.

This entire month, I kept telling myself that I would do a costume or two for the blog..and, well, I didn't. So here, the day before Halloween, I made up with two looks that are so ridiculously simple. I didn't buy a thing. And while I hiiighly suggest you get a hat for Lydia's look, you can improvise either of these with whatever you've got on hand.

Be warned. This is super image heavy post, so grab yourself a snack and come back for a step-by-step. Please excuse the mess in the background, as my brother's room gets the best lighting in our house.

First up, Frida Kahlo!


Start out with a clean face. Apply your BB cream of choice, concealer, and powder it all off for a nice finish. Frida's got some nice skin, so I wanted to give myself an even canvas as I'm not going to be adding a whole lot more to this base.

Then start piling on that blush! It looks really slight in this photo because of the lightning, but I kept building off of this until I had solidly pink cheeks. Kind of signature of Frida, you know? Also, for hair, try doing a braided up-do.

Fill in your brows. Using a brow pencil (or black eyeshadow if you're like me and you don't have a dark eyebrow pencil), lightly connect the two eyebrows. I used light strokes here and kept going until I had the opacity that I liked. 

After looking at photos of Frida, I decided to lighten up the unibrow effect. If you look at photos of her, the unibrow is just rather slight -- not a solid caterpillar crawling across her face. If you want to, though, go for intense opacity if you'd like!

(When editing the photos, I also lost a bit of the coloring on the unibrow..so it was more prominent in person than in these photos!)

Don't forget to also feather in little whiskers.  

Slap on a coat of mascara and some lipstick, and you're almost done! If you have a flower crown, pop that on. If not, try pinning real flowers into your hair. I braided my hair all the way around and used a flower crown that Caitlin gave to me over the weekend.


I wore a dress that was too big for me, but the top is velvet with shoulder pads and an amazing detailed skirt. For some reason, I thought it fit. I also threw across a shawl and some earrings my sister bought in Turkey a few years ago.

Next is Lydia Deetz.

I thought this one would be the easiest, but I had to make a makeshift hat at the very last minute by covering a hat with a cardigan. You can tell. If you have time, go to the store and get a cheap hat. Hat.

Excuse the hair! I don't have bangs, so I had to pin my hair up weirdly to get the same effect. I should have done it at the end, but...oh well.

Anyway. Start off by using a BB cream or foundation that is a little bit lighter than your skin color. Lydia is pretty pale, so you want to wash out your skin as much as possible.

Add in those dark circles with a brown eyeshadow. Sweep the brush along the hollows of your eyes.

Add a little bit of black liner to your lower lash line and waterline. Tightline the top half and add a coat of mascara. 

Now, at this point, change into your dress/clothes of choice and pop on your hat. If you don't have a black hat, go get one! It looks weird when you try to do this! Or make your own, but don't do it the way I did. It's weird. And looks weird.

I opted for a black dress and a long black duster coat. 

Of course, I couldn't forget the camera! This is an old film camera that I have. Isn't it a beauty? 

Sorry for the bluriness. Very difficult to take photos using self-timer and a tripod, apparently! 

Let me know if you try out either of these super easy, last minute Halloween costumes. You probably have most of the stuff to make these costumes happen already, which makes it that much easier. And, for the lazy people out there, I feel you. I get you. Minimal work put forth.

Happy Halloween!

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October 23, 2014

Drought in Angeles National Forest

Californians love to hike. More specifically, Angelenos love to hike. I'm not sure if this is because most of the time the weather is perfect for hiking or because we have great spots easily accessible to us at all times, but we take advantage and hike as often as possible.

We strayed from our regular spots a few weekends ago and headed over to Angeles National Forest for a little breather. This may have not been the smartest as it was well into the 90's that day and ridiculously hot..but man, was it a sight to see.

While I was in New York, I had heard a lot about the drought in California. Having not spent extended periods of time at home over the past five years, I didn't really grasp how severe it was until we went on this hike.

Where there once was a river, was almost completely barren. People used to actually use the water here -- people would fish, swim, trek across the water to get to different hiking paths. Now? There are no fish -- there is no water. Trees are dying and it was shocking for me to realize how desperately we are in need of water..of some rain.

(On a lighter note, I'm quite pleased with this family photo! I am rather good at finding makeshift tripods via rocks and trees, if I do say so myself!)

I mentioned this on Instagram, but you know you are Korean when you pack kimbap for road trips and other notable events (hikes, adventures to parks, etc). Kimbap, for those who don't know, is a Korean staple. It's white rice and a combination of different ingredients (typically with carrots and spinach, but we like the non-adult option) wrapped in a layer of dried seaweed. 

It's delicious and incredibly handy for on-the-go eating.

Feeling rather adventurous, I was! My legs were shaking, even though it wasn't really that high up -- I kept thinking it was going to break beneath me and I'd wake up laying awkwardly on top of a rock with incredible pain.

Dramatic, yes.

And..there was the view! What was supposed to be the top of the waterfall here, turned out to be a disappointing view of a little stream down below. Apparently, when the waterfall is in full force, it's quite the sight.

If you go, I highly suggest crossing the bridge to hike into the river, instead of on top of it. With this drought, you don't get to see much and just end up scratching up your legs.

I didn't quite make it up the first time around..so I had to go back on the return trip to redeem myself.

Victory tasted so, so sweet.

If you can see at the top of the tree, there's a woodpecker! I've never seen one before, but this little guy was pecking away with such force I thought he'd surely drill a hole right through the trunk.

It was a nice, leisurely hike, but I do wish it would rain so that the river would return. Would the fish return, too? 

And on a different note, I think I'm going to try and post twice a week again -- I hope if you're a reader, you'll be into that!

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October 20, 2014

R+D Kitchen, Santa Monica

This entire post is a lesson on how not to take blog photos. They are all in poorly lit areas with shaky hands and a camera that keeps everything yellow, no matter how many times you fiddle with the white balance. 

If you don't mind the abhorrent state of these photos, then please keep reading and understand that while I wasn't going to put these pictures up, this is the only time I've really documented an adventure with my dear friend Caitlin since we were both in school. And that's crazy to me!

C took me to the LF sale happening in Santa Monica, which was a big hot mess. It was bad enough that it was hot in there -- add my clunky camera and a hand full of things, I couldn't really browse the way that I would have wanted to. 

But still. Sale. I ended up buying the cutest striped dress and a pineapple scarf. I'll have to show you all soon.

We had actually gone to R+D Kitchen before popping over to LF, but because the wait was so long, we wanted to kill some time elsewhere. Naturally, we lost track of time and missed our names being called. After some more waiting (and turning into starving beasts), we were finally whisked away to our table.

We started with the Dip Duo, which comes with sweet guacamole and a mountain of queso.

C and I decided to share, so we ordered a crispy chicken sandwich and a burger. Funnily enough, we each ended up liking what we ordered more than the other person's order. Ha!

The food here was pretty decent -- nothing that I'd squeal about, but definitely worth a visit..if only for the dip duo (the mountain of queso, guys...queso) and a few drinks. What makes me like R+D so much, though, was the staff. We had a wonderful server by the name of Brett. He was amazing and took care of us as it was our first time eating there.

We even talked about my camera! I hope he gets one too, soon.

Anyway, this was one of the first times I've ever gone somewhere and someone understood my food photography struggles. Taking photos in restaurants is difficult because they're so dimly lit, and I feel a bit self-conscious about busting out my big camera at the table. But Caitlin understood and actively participated in the snap party that happened as soon as the food touched the table. 

I often forget how nice it is to be around other bloggers/social media savvy friends. It's comforting to have someone take the camera and also snap a few photos of you, instead of awkwardly asking them to take a picture. 

I need more days like this.

Cue our awkward car selfie snapshot. We had so many, but they were all blurry, weird, or photos just for the C+S vaults.

Again, a lesson in how not to take blog photos. I promise it'll be better next time.

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