Road Trip 2017

The new year has proven way busier already than anticipated and I’m just now finally having a chance to review the road trip we took to close out 2017. Better late than never I say as it was too spectacular not to share. This time of year is starting to become an annual voyage into America’s high desert. Last year we explored Northern Arizona and this year we plunged into the National and State parks of southern Utah. We decided to drive instead of fly to a starting point this year and chose Vegas as our midway point to help break up the car time. I’m a huge fan of Vegas…but probably not for the same reasons as most. I do not like gambling, overpriced food and drinks and loud smoky rooms. This is why we generally stay away from the strip. What else is there to do in Vegas then? Much I say! The art scene is deeper than you would expect and there is plenty of off-strip delicious food and charming institutions to enjoy.

On our way in, we stopped at the quite popular Seven Magic Mountains installation by Ugo Rondinone. If I had my druthers, we would have stopped at a different time of day because this over Instagrammed installation is downright packed  in the middle of the day. Our tight schedule unfortunately wouldn’t allow it so I settled for our afternoon pass-by. Even though it was pretty busy, it didn’t take away from enjoying the installation. Colorful and of impressive scale, it has just the right balance of blend and contrast with its desert surroundings. We managed to get some great photos despite having to dodge the other oblivious onlookers.




We headed into town and unfortunately we were staying on-strip for our first night due to the proximity to the second art installation I had planned to see. I definitely did not like our hotel, but the experience we had the next morning made it all worth it. I had read about a “secret” art installation hidden in the Shops at Crystals. James Turrell’s Akhob was commissioned by Louis Vuitton and set underneath their store on the strip. Unfortunately this is not for the spur of moment trip to Vegas, as I had to make a  reservation about 3 months in advance. You are greeted by the artist’s reps and ushered by elevator beneath the store. You enter a small dark space where they orient you before taking you up the hall to the installation entry point. Its an immediate contrast with a pure white waiting room with dark stairs leading up into the main space. Ascending the temple like stairs into  the round opening  of the first room was surreal. There are 3 rooms in succession filled with bright light on a slow color changing flow. The third cannot be accessed as its a 6′ drop…or so I’m told as you cannot tell where the room really begins or ends. Turrell’s installations are primarily concerned with light and space and  are meant to play with your eyes. It felt like floating in a never ending tunnel. it was a pretty magical space. Photos were not allowed, but I posted a photo below from Motherboard who reviewed the space. If you are planning a Vegas trip far enough in advance to reserve a time to experience this, I highly recommend it.


We hit the road immediately after this experience to head to Zion National park. The drive alone was gorgeous, but as soon as you see that first peak you definitely know where you are. Its name makes reference to the holy mountain in Jerusalem, and I certainly feel God’s presence in a place like this. We enjoyed the small local town the evening we arrived but got up very early and hiked up to the main valley overlook. What a spectacular view!!  It was definitely one of those spots that didn’t seem real…as if you were placed in front of a giant painting. I wish I would have booked 2 nights in Zion as it turned out to be my favorite stop on our trek. The crisp dry air and rainbow rock temples are what dreams are made of.  I will definitely be back to this park.


Our final stop would be Bryce Canyon National Park, but I decided to make a day trip detour on our way at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State park. I am enchanted by dunes and these pink natural wonders were too  good to resist. We grabbed some lunch and took the long straight road down a narrowing valley that lead us to an observation area overlooking the unique sand formations of the park. I was mesmerized and I scarfed my sandwich quickly to head out to go romping through sand. The larger dunes didn’t seem as far as they were but we managed to reach the closest ones and tromped all over. We had a blast, but after wading through deep pink sand in hiking boots with a toddler for a couple hours, we were sandy and spent.


Bryce Canyon was only a short distance from the dunes so we arrived by early afternoon. We chose to stay in a cabin house on the far end of the park rather than right by the main entry to the canyon. Cabin is a loose term…these were houses with renovated kitchens, a fireplace and a patio hot tub overlooking the sprawling desert. I was ready to call it a night after our 2 previous hikes that day and get straight to hot-tubbing, but we had heard that sunset was the best time to view the canyon from the rim trail so I was coerced to drag myself back out for more hiking. I ended up glad  that we did because what a sight it was. As the sun went down we were able to experience all the best colors of the canyon and surrounding horizon. The hoodoo formations are so very unique and for all of this canyon’s comparison to the grand canyon, how can you really adequately compare beauty against beauty or art against art.


DC6EDA97-7DAC-4CB4-AC73-AD2D62BBBD18We did a little more hiking before our return to Vegas, but started back early through the red rock landscape for our long haul back. We managed to squeeze in a couple more small intrigues before returning home. That night we checked out the Downtown Container Park in the Vegas Arts District near Fremont for some eats and strolled the scene to check out some of the great murals leftover by the Life is Beautiful festival. There are some gorgeous big name muralist works around there. My favorite was this Felipe Pantone mural that is 3D and has solar powered light up elements.


Full of heart but very tired, we were ready to get back to San Diego, but not before a couple more peeks at art installations and quick stop at the Lion Habitat Ranch. I’m quite the animal lover, and when I heard there is a lion rescue in the desert with the fun addition of a famous painting giraffe you could also pay extra to feed, I couldn’t resist.  It was a quaint set-up with an impressive amount of lions of all ages saved from a defunct casino. They do good work and their lions are very happy. The giraffe was a sweet juvenile with a rambunctious temperament. Getting to feed and pet him was such a rare treat.


All-in-all it was a magical 5 days full of wondrous of sites both man-made and God-made. Can’t wait for our next adventure!


Rainbow Bright

As a kid I was obsessed with colorful clothes and accessories. Never having been shy to show off a bold statement my whole life, I embraced the trendy rainbow pieces of the 90’s throughout junior high and high school. Once I was out of school however, I didn’t really think it was appropriate for adults to wear rainbow clothes in everyday life. That changed recently when I saw the Gucci pre-fall 2017 collection.  It was so full of whimsy and some simply amazing key rainbow pieces it gave me the confidence in needed to start incorporating some multicolor madness into my personal wardrobe.

Some of the best rainbow pieces I have found so far have come from ASOS. I have recently purchased 2 very comfy and bold Rainbow sweater dresses from the site and just had to pair them in pics with some very colorful locations.



The first pic features the Warehouse rainbow stripe sparkle dress. Unfortunately this one has recently sold out. The second is the recently added Daisy Street jumper dress in rainbow. Both are cozy warm and a great way to incorporate some rainbow in the winter.


And however impractical the Gucci Rainbow platform sneakers are, I still crave them heavily. I settled for a pair from a brand that has been my favorite for cheeky footwear since high school. These Rocket Dog Reagle Rainbow Platform Sneakers are low enough for everyday wear and surprisingly come in my larger size 11. They also have some pretty serious rainbow platform sandals in all heights I’m peeping for summer.

I’m so happy I’ve ben able to don some rainbow-wear…without looking too much like a cartoon character I hope. The point is….Wear what you love!


A Blogging Year in Review

We are heading to the desert over the Christmas holiday again and I am stoked for a new adventure. Whenever I plan a vacation, no matter where or how long, I get pretty detailed about the itinerary. I like to squeeze every ounce of fun-juice I can out of every location I visit. A true planner in all areas of my life, I can get a bit obsessive about the details. Anyone who travels with me should just buckle up and follow because I have no doubt planned some interesting, beautiful and most likely weird things to see. I scour things like Atlas Obscura and other such lists that get you a little deeper into any location than just the top 10 basic things to do in any given place.  I’m pretty excited for what we will see on this upcoming desert trip. We are starting in Vegas and then heading to the magnificent national parks is southern Utah. I can’t really share too much about all the things we are planning to see without giving away the opulent visual results I will share later. What I can share is what the trip represents to me.


At this time of year I suppose it’s normal to reflect on what has transpired over the past months. I love looking at last year’s desert trip blog posts and imagery and seeing how much I’ve grown in just one year. It was almost exactly one year ago, as i was planning  details for our holiday 2016 desert trip to Arizona, that I started this blog and my new Instagram persona. The planning for our trip and covering the various things we saw and what I wore were some of my first blog posts. Starting a blog was something I had always wanted to do however at the time I found many excuses to not start it. Around the time i started i was really needing an additional creative outlet but on top of the very busy full time job I already had, I was a new mom with a 7 month old baby girl and a body that had not bounced back as fast as I hoped. Not really the most optimal time to start a new venture showcasing your life and body. I was discouraged, sleep deprived and overwhelmed….but I knew I had something to say and could create a platform for myself to share what I love and promote the things I believed in. So I jumped in! No classes, no mentor, no model…all I had was my love of art and fashion, my quirky persona and my overflowing creativity.


A year later I would still in no way call myself an expert in this and in no way some smashing success yet. While my Instagram following is just now growing at a rate I like, and I feel like I’m finally packaging my “brand” in a way that is the true my real self, I still have a lot to learn. What I do feel like I’m almost an expert at is knowing and loving myself! Writing about what I do and about love has given me some fantastic new self knowledge and a self love I was only faking before. And although my body finally has bounced back to my fighting form, the fact that is was confident able to showcase my life for a year throughout my whole body transformation and feel good about myself was invaluable to my self confidence.  I hope I can inspire someone else to jump feet first into something they aspire to.  I can’t wait to go deeper into this world and have more fun doing it in 2018!


Technicolor Dream Coat

I have a pretty sincere obsession with coats and have a pretty robust collection for someone living in one of the consistently warmest places in the continental United States. It affords me little time in fall and winter to sport them, although that somehow does not deter me from adding to my collection every year. I actually tend to start my coat hunting in mid-summer as I found that to be a pretty good time to find affordable coats at my favorite resale shops and on eBay. Very few other than myself are thinking about heavy wool during the 100+ heat waves. And as soon as we started planning our annual winter trip, I kicked it into high gear. We are visiting the national parks in southern Utah this year with a brief stop in Vegas for some art adventures. I actually started this blog one month before last year’s trip when we mostly explored parts of Northern Arizona and Nevada. Last year and I focused mostly on neutral colors and local motifs, but this year is all about contrast.

In general I only purchase statement coats. Since they aren’t a staple of my daily life in San Diego, the brief times that I do get to wear them become opportunities for drama. My coat collection mostly consists of a rainbow of color saturated full length wool coats. I love wool so much and the classic materials and silhouettes paired with the intense hues really speak to me. I was searching for coats on eBay in June and came across a vintage 90’s Calvin Klein bright magenta over sized wool coat. It was so beyond fabulous I purchased it immediately and it has set the mood for the rest of my fall acquisitions and what I’m still searching for. I took a few photos in basically nothing but the coat as it really speaks for itself. I can’t wait to create outfits with it.


Already having quite a few other bright wool coats, I haven’t really been searching for many additional, although I have come across a few in my regular online shopping. Banana Republic created a Fall collection in partnership with Olivia Palermo. In this collection there is a truly fabulous bright red full length wool military coat. The gold detailing really pops against the intense color and this coat would be mine if I didn’t already have two pretty fabulous red wool coats.  Although if I find it on eBay off season for a steal I won’t be able to help myself.


Not really needing more colored wool, I’m now focused on one of the alternate trends for this fall and winter…faux fur. I really  like the look of fur and only will buy real fur if it’s vintage and second hand, but faux fur hasn’t really been in my wardrobe since a bright green faux fur bolero I wore in 2002. There is a slew of color saturated faux fur coats cropping up everywhere for this season. I especially like this Free People Magnolia coat in bright blue.  I particularly love the contrasting patterned lining.


I also really like this lapel coat by Mango. It comes in three colors, but the red and yellow are really  strong. The jeweled one button gives it an old hollywood vintage vibe.


J. Crew has always been one of my go-to’s for coats, and they are  not failing in a classic cut in a bright fur. They were ahead of the trend and this pink one from the  J .Crew Collection season last year is by far my favorite I have seen anywhere, but the similar Yuna coat in blue from the current season is also gorgeous.



I’m pretty bold in my fashion choices and am rarely afraid of an attention-grabbing look, but even though I find them alluring, I’m having trouble summoning  the nerve to rock a full length bright blue faux fur coat. I may be settling for one of these bright faux fur scarves from ASOS as an accent instead. If you have the guts…got for it!

I’m super excited for our upcoming trip where I can utilize and showcase my coats. I love the desert and the natural rich color of the landscape is a real source of inspiration for me and I cant wait to document the majesty here. Stay tuned!

~ SG

Noche de las Estrellas

Despite the hard deadlines, the burying amount of minutia and detail management and sometimes seemingly insurmountable stresses it can bring, event designing and planning has been a real joy in my life; one that I didn’t expect when I got into the field long ago. The creative outlet it provides me everyday is something that I try to never take for granted. Planning for the San Diego Museum of Art is a dream come true as it combines two of my great loves in life…art and this city of mine. Getting to help bring people together with art, make memories and in some way add to the art commentary in San Diego is so fulfilling. When I heard that an unparalleled collection of Modern Lain America Art was coming to be shown here and that we would host a celebration dinner my wheels immediately begun to turn. Modern Art is one of my favorite genres, but I haven’t been well acquainted with the Latin masters apart from Frida and Diego. Even while just looking at the thumbnail imagery while the show was being planned I was already impressed.

Planning an event around such big commentary and important artists is not something I take lightly. I aim to celebrate and take inspiration from without being trite and without reducing the art and artists to stereotypes or a “theme” in the gross sense.  Its not always easy to do this and requires a delicate hand, especially when your attendees will be well versed on art and in this specific genre. The event Noche de las Estrellas was born out of this dinner we would host alfresco under the stars as well as the spectacular luminaries of Latin American art we would be celebrating.

My ultimate direction on design I decided on was to focus on traditional decorative motifs from all over Latin America and break those down into a modernized version of their pattern and colors. I was inspired mostly by the patterns and colors of traditional Mexican serapes and Peruvian alpaca blankets, but also some of the more indigenous motifs of the Aztec and Maya. I knew renting a linen was not going to make the statement I wanted and it was beyond my time limits to create the tabletops myself, so I enlisted an artist friend I have collaborated with before that works with tape as his main medium. Dominic Fontana of Taped Metal Canvas was up for the task and we set out on 5 months of planning. He came to town the  week before the event and worked at the warehouse of our friends at PEP Creative to cover their custom wrapped dining tables with 11 unique taped designs. The results were spectacular and beyond my wildest dreams.







With designer tabletop additions from Casa de Perrin and over the top tablescaping by Green Fresh Florals, it came together as an over the top color fantasy. All of my vendor pals pulled out all the stops for me and I’m oh so in awe of their talent.







I am always known to plan my outfits way too far in advance and make sure they match the event somehow, but I had a bit of a snafu in this department.  I had selected a black and white stripe princess cut gown to contest with the lines of the table design, but both unfortunately and luckily I tried the dress on one more time the night before the event. As the zipper went over the waist seam the zipper busted beyond repair on such short notice. I had a mini panic meltdown. Then I decided that with zero time for emergency shopping with a 9 am set up time, I was going to have to shop my own closet. Deep inside I found a random BCBG gown I had purchased on a whim on sale at Bloomingdales months ago. I never buy a long formal dress without an event in mind, but there it was and it fit perfectly. I guess it was meant to be. I thought the colors worked well with the event decor and the design was was light and fresh looking. The dramatic open back is a little more skin than I would normally show for a donor event, but it wasn’t vulgar. I also took the star necklace that matched the neckline of the other dress and turned it into a jeweled headband. This was a real make it work moment.

0AF3B45C-43A5-49F9-AEE4-0EBD6046CE801018179X000531018179X00051Other than my dress fiasco, there were no other major fires to put out and the event really went off without a hitch. The attendees had a blast and we raised a lot of money for the Modern Masters from Latin America exhibition. Thank you to everyone who helped make this night unforgettable…you know who you are. And come see this gorgeous exhibition open now to the public.

Until the next event!



OOTD: All that glitters

Like every other fashion-loving girl in the world, I almost peed my skinny jeans when I saw Saint Laurent’s Niki Crystal Embellished Boots come down the Fall 2017 runway. What’s not to love? But with a 10K price tag and a wait list already many long, this working girl wouldn’t soon see these on her shopping list. I of course immediately set out to hunt down the best look alike I could find.


To my surprise, one google search immediately put the Jessica Simpson Layzer boots at my fingertips. Although they were encrusted with rhinestones and not actual Swarovski crystals, the similarities were too good to pass up; and with only one website carrying these boots my hard-to-find size 11 foot, I didn’t hesitate. I got them in the mail yesterday and I’m head over heels smitten in love with them. I could not wait to put together an outfit.


I have had a tight silver lurex sparkly t shirt dress hanging in my closet for quite awhile. Its a no label buffalo exchange find I bought just before i found out i was pregnant and therefore never wore. I haven’t been body-confident enough to put it on again until just the past few weeks. I have been on a mission to get to my all time fittest weight and I’m so close now i can taste it. I put on the dress and i love it so much again also. Its  a lot of glitter, but i think the dress and boots look great together.



I have personally never been afraid of a  loud, bright or colorful outfit. I was teased sometimes in my small high school for wearing wild and daring clothing but I never backed down and my love for a bold statement has only grown.  I do know that not everyone is as comfortable with this bold of a look nor has as many occasions to wear dressy items as I do week to week because of my job. I found a couple boot options that will add a bit of glitz to an everyday wardrobe without overwhelming the wearer.

I found some of my favorite retailers has some glittery ankle height boots that seemed to fit the bill. Ankle height boots in bold colors or finish take a little less commitment than their knee high or thigh high counterparts would. I find that always has some version of what I’m looking for at an affordable price.  I particularity thought the Miss Selfridge Silver Sequin Boots and the ASOS Admission Ankle Boots really echoed the spirit of Saint Lauren’s dream boots, but in a very approachable way.

Miss Selfridge Sequin Boot
ASOS ADMISSION Wide Fit Pointed Ankle Boots

Fashion for me is all about self expression and having fun. I encourage everyone to try adding something into their wardrobe this season that is just a little bit bolder than you would normally wear and see how it makes you feel. You may find it as liberating as i do. Stay sparkly!


OOTD: Is it Fall Yet?

There is something about New York Fashion week in September that really gets me Jonesing for Fall..and Fall Fashion. This blistering and unwavering SoCal heat has also certainly got me craving the brisk fall temps. This particular season change represents more that just weather to me though.  It feels like a second beginning to the year in a lot of ways. School is back in session, the holidays are scary close and it’s time to put away those shorts and tanks and break out the coats and boots from the back closet. Every year I pull out last year’s layering clothes and take inventory. I usually end up with a small pile for trading/selling and decide which are still going to stay in rotation this year. I love the hunt for the replacement items for the new season..particularly BOOTS. I literally live in boots all Fall and Winter and stretch it out as long as possible through early Spring. I mourn a little when it gets too hot and my piggies need to be set free.


This OOTD is literally me willing fall to come as I stare directly into the summer sun. Its 9:00 am and already almost 90 degrees and although my lightweight Kate Spade cutout dress is no fall piece, I’m still pairing it with my first Fall 2017 purchase; A gorgeous pair of studded ankle boots. I had been doing research on the boot trends for Fall and studded boots are everywhere and my favorite of all . They were of course first on my purchase list. I chose to go full boot coverage stud in these Rebecca Minkoff Sierra stud booties.


I’m so in love with them, but there were many tempting options in various heights and amounts of stud. I’m obsessed with these Alexander Wang Kori studded booties with larger full coverage studs. I also found these similar but way better priced Topshop Alec studded boots.


On the more subtle side, I really liked the boots with just the rim of studs around the sole. Rag & bone makes stunning footwear and these Willow stud booties are no exception. I also found these Pretty Little things studded boots on ASOS that are very similar and super well priced.


I’m hoping my boots making their appearance early will  bring Fall swiftly on my heels. More details on the rest of this OOTD look below.