Black or White

Sometimes, in all its complexity, it comes down to being either black or white. It’s really just that simple sometimes.




Top: The Reformation. Sandals: Just Fab. Pants: Zara. Belt/Scarf: Zara

Photo: Dennis Stapleton // IG: @MENVCE


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The Art of Unplugging

Why is it that when things in life get too hectic or even when your daily routine feels so redundant, and all you want to do is get away, it’s so hard to jus shut it all down.  A mental break, even for the slightest second. It literally takes so much energy to be thoughtless. Personally, shutting off my thoughts momentarily is truly a difficult practice for me to do. My mind is constantly running through thoughts, analyzing, dissecting, repeating things over and over again. Which typically gets me into trouble and from time to time, sleep deprived.  As the famous Edgar Allan Poe said, “I remained too much inside my head I ended up losing my mind.” And that’s exactly what can happen if you don’t take the time to unplug.

A form of meditation needed daily to calm the mind, therefore calm the body and relieve stress. A time for yourself to just relax and remain sane. They say when you practice this, in whatever way or form, you take on situations calmer with a positive perspective, increasing your quality of life. A vacation for the mind.

As I mentioned earlier, shutting off my brain and just learning to meditate has been a long learning process. I like to get away from home and explore unfamiliar places near or far. I turn off notifications, delete social media apps and cut myself off from emails! (Side note: make your self available to a selected few for emergencies) What I’m trying to get at is to cut yourself off from the world so that you’re not distracted from what you’re taking a break from, but only what is presently around you. Helping you to be more mindful. And I’ve taken the experiences from my adventures and practiced applying them to my daily routine.  It’s really helped me be more patient and cultivate a greater attitude for gratitude. And when you start seeing the positive and have appreciation for each aspect of your life, how you see things really do change, for the better.  Even LA traffic doesn’t have me stressed out, angry at the world, ‘You asshole! Learn how to f***drive’ temper anymore or at lease, not as often.  My point of view on traffic has changed from anxiously  sitting in one place for a long period of time to taking advantage of the time alone in a confined space to clear my head. Especially on the way to work. This practice sets me up off to a good mood before a 12 hour shift of non stop interaction and unpredictability. Now, I’m actually grateful for the time I’m alone in my car.

On top of clearing your mind and relieving current stressors, wonderful things can present themselves because your open to your physical surroundings and surrounding energies. For instance, experiencing the magic of connecting with another person face to face rather than connecting through a screen. When you’re on your phone going through social media, emails, games, your head is down, closing yourself off to the world. That body language just repels a possible interaction with someone or something that’s in your immediate presence. A distraction that keeps you disconnected.  There’s a spark that enlightens you when you connect with another person, start a conversation,  eye contact and facial expressions that accentuate an emotion.  A relation that may last for just that moment but you can take away so much value in that given time. There’s a lot of magic in the world, so don’t miss it by keeping your head down and not living in the present.

To unplug and to practice mindfulness takes courage, just like everything else. But whether unplugging is taking a trip, getting your nails done, taking a walk, even if t’s just a few minutes in the shower, it can instantly change how your day will be. And once you feel rebooted and rejuvenated you’re able to reconnect on a deeper level with the people that matter most in your life and face all the things good or bad, with more patience and an alternative outlook.

Pictures are from my trip from Bingin beach, Bali, in an amazing villa. Not only did my friends and I surround ourselves with beautiful aesthetics, but with beautiful people with good vibes and great energy to feed off from. Bali is such a unique place with such a rich culture, it was a perfect place to let go, unplug and do nothing but live in the moment.






Swimsuit: TRIANGL Hat: Urban Outfitters

If you have an upcoming trip to Bali and would like to inquire about the Villa, please email me at


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Setting the Mood Right

Neutral by definition is neither here or there, giving neither a positive or negative vibe.  So how does one wear a neutral color and be anything but neutral?  Easy, wear a dress with a soft silhouette and plunging neckline, add some Beyonce wind and hair and BOOM! You just set the mood right. With downtown LA as my backdrop and the golden light from the west coast sunset, who isn’t in the mood for romantic feels?

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Dress: Reformation. Cardigan: Angel. Boots: Dolce Vita.





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Layering 101

As a Southern California native, layering pieces of clothing has been something I’ve mastered throughout the years.  Keeping up with the temperature fluctuations throughout the day and maintaining a chic look is possible!  So here’s my formula for a casual, layered look without applying any fashion book rules.

Start off with a basic buttoned front shirt as the base for your outfit.  Top it off with a knit or sweater that allows the base shirt to peep through under. If you want to add a little boldness, find a blouse with a dramatic sleeve and/or with a detailed hem line.  Then finish it off with a jacket to complete the look.

From dealing with LA traffic and the chaos trying to run my errands can easily make me feel like a hot mess with hot flashes, and with this summer like heat we’re currently experiencing, I need to be able to peel off pieces of  clothing quickly as I go through my day and be able to put them back on once the coastal cool breeze hits at the end of the day.  You might feel like a hot mess, but don’t look like one.



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Jacket & Skirt: Zara. Buttoned-Front Shirt: H&M. Sweater: Forever 21. Shoes: Adidas

Captured by Dennis Stapleton (IG: @MENVCE)

Edit by Sofian Ketfi (IG: @SofianKetfi) 



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Cali Winter

Just like this 90 degree weather right in the middle of February, this outfit is just as confusing, yet, somehow it’s perfect to brave this winter. Wait, what? Well, at least in sunny Southern California, distressed denim shorts, a blazer and knee high boots caters to the blazin sun, allowing the fresh breeze to run through, and yet, at the same time,  is still winter fashion friendly.  A very “California” style outfit worn by a Californian girl.





Blazer. Blouse. Boots: Zara. Shorts: Levi’s. Jewelry: by Boe & Gorjana. 

Photos: Louis Trinh





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If I Were A Boy

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Well said, John Gray, well said. How men and women communicate and process situations and emotions are as if each species were from different planets, and in reality, it couldn’t be further from the truth. As society deems women to be emotional and expressive. Where as men are told to keep their emotions in check. Whether the stereotype is true or not, I do wish I can shut down emotion on demand. One quality I wouldn’t mind from time to time. Though it’s completely unhealthy to suppress emotions, being able to reserve emotions can help focus on oneself and be completely selfish. To be simple minded, I mean … focused. Would do some good once in a while.

Outfit post representing men’s style and influence mixed in with a little bit of femininity.






IMG_3789Top: Reformation. Trousers: Zara. Shoes: Helmut Lang. Jewelry: Gorjana.

Sunnies: Celine.

Photos: Louis Trinh 


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Your body is the only one you have so take care of it and do good by it, and that takes work. Looking back, the reason why I fall off my fitness goals is because I get bored of the same routine. 3 sets of this, 10 reps of that, cardio… boring. So, I sought out to explore fitness studios in my neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles, and found three studios that not only keep me interested and energized, but actually have me looking forward to working out.

Pure Barre:

Holy tremble!  My legs never shook like they did with Pure Barre and I’ll be glad to shake as much fat as it takes to tone them up.  Their isometric maneuvers and techniques help target the areas women struggle with the most. In my case, that’s the waist, hips, lower abs, arms and….. I think you get the point. It’s a great total body workout that’s low impact so you not only isolate the target muscles but able to focus on your breath and clear the mind.

Club Pilates: Cardio Sculpt:

At first I was confused. How do you cardio on a reformer machine? Doesn’t sound too safe, right? Well, this clever little fitness studio made it work. Jumping around while laying down! Wait, what?
It’s exactly what it sounds like and it’s really fun! A little tricky to explain, so you have to try it out your self, but what’s not hard to explain is how sore my inner thighs and seat were after the class.


SpeedPlay 60 minutes of your life! High intensity interval training. Only way to say it, this workout right here, will kick your ass into gear. No doubt about it, their workout from cardio to floor sets to row hit all of my muscle groups, even muscles I didn’t know I had. I left feeling energized, confident and satisfied.  Highly effective and highly recommended.

Being in a state of good health physically will also set your mental health in a positive way. A great workout helps you release stress, keep your mind focused on the present and keep you feeling good. There’s nothing better than feeling confident and knowing you look great. Positive mind, positive vibes, positive life.

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xo, Ape.






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2016 Vibes

Life’s too short to be anything but happy. Right? It’s not possible to experience constant happiness throughout our lives, and though society makes it easy to gain instant gratification, allowing yourself to feel the pain of life’s lessons is a movement towards self growth. The reality of it is, when painful shit happens, only beautiful things come out of it and appreciation is gained. How else do you think Adele comes hard with her tear jerker songs!?! She’s been there, done that, so have we.

What a year 2015 brought me, a lot of ups and downs, heartache and broken promises. It’s difficult not to question the things you don’t understand. Why this? Why that? What if.  You go through your grieving process and go back and forth through the different stages of anger and depression. The days and weeks of thoughts that seem endless, but ultimately, you have to go through to finally reach the stage of acceptance. For those that have gone through some deep, life changing shit, you know where I’m coming from.  And you also know that the sun will shine after the rain! The only thing that’s stopping you from that sunshine is overthinking.  So get out of your head and choose to change your perspective and let go of what was, let go of what you can’t control and accept situations for what they are!

Thank you and goodbye to you, 2015.  I’m choosing me for 2016, and so should you.  The last year was a stepping stone in my journey, but nonetheless,  an amazing year!   If you’re grateful, you can find happiness in everything.  The reality of it is, falling down is part of life, getting yourself back up and rising from it is living. Your resilience will only make you stronger and wiser. Take your life by its reins because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is how you feel.  Luckily,  that’s the only thing we have control over. Be selfish. Read more.  Take that trip you’ve always wanted to take.  Surround yourself with people who make you laugh and are drama free.  Be around those that elevate you and make you want more.  Listen to throwback songs that take you back to great, happy moments in your life.  Think and plan out goals you want to achieve and act on them. Give opportunities presented to you a chance.  The point I’m making is that the show must go on no matter what happens along the way. Keep moving forward for yourself, to better yourself because no one else will do it for you.

 The hardest thing to do is to trust the journey when you don’t understand it. I’ve definitely experienced my fair share and I’ve come to a conclusion that coping with mishaps is about creating a balance.  Feel the pain, but don’t get stuck in it. It’s unhealthy to be in constant state of sadness. It’s also unhealthy to suppress the feelings and be in a constant state of euphoria.  Acknowledge your feelings when they come, but be aware of how much time you spend in it. Own up to your mistakes and forgive yourself. Be kind, because when we make mistakes we also learn the lesson and gain so much more. When you take back control of your life and how you feel without the past holding you back, you’ll enjoy the process and enjoy you.  All things will fall into place just like they always have. All your decisions and choices you’ve made has led you to the exact point of where you’re suppose to be, and be thankful because somewhere along the way, something greater will come along.  Better than you ever hoped for.  Salute to 2016 and a happier you!  It’s already looking promising.










This outfit post features a new style of photography, an expression of a new perspective. Comment below and let me know what you all think!

Dress: Anna Sui. Shoes: Steve Madden. Jewelry: Gorjana & Soo Ihn Kim

Images: Louis Trinh

Styling: Aphril Santa Ana

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Local Tourist: San Francisco

The first time I went to San Francisco was with my first love for my 21st birthday and ever since then I just had to keep coming back, with or without a lover and often.  It’s a place where I fell in love with the crooked streets, the uphill roads, the industrious grind with the laid back attitude the bay area represents.  Whether you want to get hyphy or be adventurous, San Francisco is a place just right to cater to both needs.  Though, I’ve been a handful of times, this recent visit gave me an opportunity to explore different places that I haven’t explored and revisited places that gave me a different appreciation from what I had experienced before.

My first stop to explore was Land’s End.  Park out by the Cliff House and walk along the edge of the coastal trail.  To watch the layers of waves flowing down shore with the sun reflecting its light onto the water gives a simplistic appreciation of how beautiful the west coast is.  After you sink all that in, stroll down to see the ruins of Sutro Baths and explore it’s garden. It’s mind blowing to think that it was a recreational swimming facility for thousands of San Franciscans.  (You should read the history before visiting).  Keep trekking down the trail to discover different views of the Golden Gate. And if you keep going further, you’ll hit Eagle’s Point Labyrinth, as it’s there to represent “peace, love and enlightenment for all”.   Although, the rocks are removed from vandalism, the original artist, Eduardo Aguilera, will continue to rebuild it as needed. Doesn’t that just warm up your heart? *SIGH*

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Next stop, Painted Ladies. The Victorian style houses  famously known to be painted in three or more colors to magnify their architectural detail. Oh yeah, and they’re also famous for the hit TV show, Full House aka where the Olsen twins played Michelle and Uncle Jessie was a major babe.

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Off to the 16th Ave. Tiled Mosaic Steps. Each step is a part of the whole mosaic mural, representing earth, water, sun and moon.  Fun fact about the beautiful crafted 163  step mural, it involved about 300 locals and 200 tile contributors to fulfill this neighborhood masterpiece. I huffed and puffed reaching the top of the stairs but the view of the city is what really took my breath away!

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Last but no least, Coit tower.  A 360 view of the city. Each window up top captures bits and pieces of San Francisco. The 210 foot tower also includes murals and art pieces within its walls.

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Revisiting San Francisco with different people during different points of my life, I always take something away each time. A new experience, a familiar place with a new memory.  I’ve gained such an appreciation of the city because it has always offered me something different and not just a fond memory or experience, but a novel feeling every time I visit. And when it’s time for me to end my love affair with The Bay, I leave knowing I’ll be back for more.  I love you, San Francisco, you truly are a treat! Until next time, Ciao!



Coat and Jeans: Zara. Sunnies: Celine. Shoes: Marc Jacobs

Photos: Aphril Santa Ana



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