Fashion, Featured

Bomber Jackets: An Effortless, Chic Fashion Trend

September 29, 2016
bomber jacket

Tomorrow is October 1st, and I am so ready for cozy sweaters and jackets. But the weather in LA just doesn’t want to cooperate; it is warm out here! So for another week I am holding off bringing my knits and suede out, and wearing my summer tees  and lightweight jackets. And since this year’ has been the year of bomber jackets, I often reach for my Zara silk bomber jacket (a steal for $29!).

If you are still skeptical that about bomber jackets’ military fighter pilot origins and think that they’re not for you, I’m telling you, I felt the same way. But after a couple tries I started to feel how edgy and relaxed and sexy the look can be. Bomber jackets look great paired with a pencil skirt, dress pants, or jeans. Last time I paired my bomber jacket with dress pants as great Friday work outfit. This time I went for a simple jeans and t-shirt look. I feel that this jacket adds that effortless chic touch to the look, great for running errands and weekend hangouts.

This jacket is sold out unfortunately, but there is no shortage of great designs. A few of my favorite bomber jackets (from light to heavy, depending on where you are and the weather) are here (Zara Embroidered Reversible bomber jacket $99), here (Zara Crepe bomber jacket $49), and here (BB Dakota Atwood Satin bomber jacket $109).

Do you wear bomber jackets? How do you style them?

♡ Zuma A.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for all the live action! xx
bomber jacket Zara bomber jacket Rebecca Minkoff earrings tory burch mules zara backpack

In this story:

Zara bomber jacket, sold out (similar by Zara here)

Madewell jeans

Tory Burch block heel mules (also love block heels mules by Vince Camuto and DVF!)

Chanel aviators (aviators by Tory Burch here)

Zara backpack (new design by Zara here, also love Kate Spade backpack here)

Rebecca Minkoff earrings (similar by Jules Smith here)

Fashion, Featured

From Day To Night: Daily Grind to Happy Hour

September 27, 2016
happy hour

Sometimes I find myself wrapped up in the work-home-work-home grind and just can’t stop. Sometimes it takes me weeks to realize that I’ve been running for this long without taking a break…. again. Got to breathe, Zuma, got to breathe! And I’m sure I’m not alone in this, we all get caught up sometimes and need to just pause and breathe! So I schedule a few recurring reminders to call my girlfriends sometimes and go for happy hour.

On the days I go out after work, the last thing I want is to extend my time in a suit. So when I dress in the morning, I go for my usual day to night go-tos. The formula is simple, just bring a clutch and evening heels. This time, for the day I picked my fave Zara dress (love the details!), blazer, a big shopper bag (got to have enough space to carry my entire life with me!), block heels for comfort, and sunnies. For the night look, switching block heels to patent high-heel pumps (since I will be sitting most of the time!)  and the shopper bag for a clutch.

Do you go out with your friends after work? How often do you get to do it? Would be so happy to hear from you!!

♡ Zuma A.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for all the live action! xx

from day to night from day to nightblock heels from day to nightZara dress zara dress zara dress zara dress

In this story:

Zara dress, old (also love this Zara velvet dress here and Lace dress here)

Elisa J. blazer

Day Bag: Tory Burch shopper bag

Night bag: Michael Kors clutch, old (similar by Halogen here and by Christian Louboutin here)

Day heels: Tory Burch Block Heels mules (also love block heels mules by Vince Camuto and DVF!)

Night heels: MiuMiu patent pumps, old (similar by Kate Spade here and by  Manolo Blahnik here)

Wildfox Sunglasses

Michelle ‘Deco’ Diamond Dial two-tone watch

Swarovski Lunar Pierced earrings

Autism Mom, Featured, Life

Autism Parenting: Dealing With Advice, Resentment, and What’s Right

September 25, 2016
autism parenting

Most moms have dealt with, at one point or another, receiving parenting advice. And I am certainly no exception, especially in my culture, where the extended family traditionally plays a large role in the upbringing of a baby. Whether to pick the baby up when he cried versus let him cry it out, or to let him be barefoot vs to keep his socks on at all times were the common topics of my days when my first boy was growing up. But when Alex was born, with his autism diagnosis, things got a bit complicated. I received immense love from family and friends and, as usual, a flow of advice, and while some advice felt right, some felt wrong, and some felt hurtful.

Unless the advice was sought by me and felt right, I often had a reaction of resentment and anger, like I somehow failed as a parent for not thinking of or not implementing these ideas before. While I resented criticism, I also worried constantly that I wasn’t doing enough!

So through the years, I learned to keep my composure and not to take things personally. I am not perfect and I don’t need to be perfect to be content with myself and my decisions! I kept reminding myself not to stamp all the advice I was getting with a good or bad label based on who said it to me and how it was said, but more like helpful or not helpful. I tried to process every single one through the lens of is it right for my child?. I kept reminding myself that this should not be about me but about him! This approach helped me to sort through and deal with advice tremendously.

So here are the three most common recurring situations I’ve identified that come into play with advice:

1. When advice just didn’t feel right.

Sometimes I would hear things from people I respected very much and who were knowledgeable in the subject, but my gut feeling was telling me that it just wasn’t right. I’ve been told that I am not strict enough with Alex. So the guilt and concern that I am doing it wrong sometimes overwhelms me. But then, if I can sit him down and talk through issues and actually get him change behavior that way, why should I go for tougher measures? Even more, I feel that disciplining him and being stricter with him may actually backfire and shut him down. Every child is unique, and what works for some doesn’t necessarily work for others. And  as long as I filter what would be right for my child and get results, then I should trust that I take the approach that is more right for Alex; because I know my child best.

2. When advice is actually veiled criticism.

There isn’t a person out there who doesn’t believe their beliefs to be the best, including me. In close relationships, that’s even more amplified, and we tend to be less sensitive and don’t filter our immediate thoughts. At first I used to be most deeply hurt by these statements because they felt so shaming, but learned to move away from the self-hating they caused and toward the sentiment behind them. In some cases, there was actually a valid criticism behind it. In others, there isn’t. Remarks like this happen, but most people don’t think everything they say through and don’t mean to make me feel bad. So it’s not always something to make a fuss about. But if one person seems to repeatedly do this, I am not afraid to have an honest conversation about how their pointed comments make me feel. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but most definitely it’s worth trying. The worst thing I can do, though, is to start arguing and trying to prove myself right and them wrong! When that starts, I have to back up and think about what’s really behind the fight.

Obviously, this doesn’t apply to fake friends or family members who have more malicious intentions. There are always going to be people who don’t appreciate the work I do, but unless they change, there is nothing I can do! Having a child with special needs changes your relationships, and a lot of times, that’s an incredible thing. Other times, relationships feel draining, painful, and shaming. But I always know that it’s ultimately MY decision who to keep on and off my team.

3. When everyone’s giving you the same advice.

So I’ve talked a lot about how useful the iPad is for Alex in dealing with stressful situations. There came a time, though, when he started using it as an escape from the real world just a little too often. People around me noticed, and of course I did too, but with so much going on at home and at work, I felt like I was being pulled in every direction. During this time, various family and friends, suggested that I sign him up for some form of exercise, to which I thought “there’s no way, he has a hard enough time getting through school!” I knew exercise would be in the picture some day, but that day didn’t feel like an option. But I thought about the advice. Exercise was hard to fit in, yes, but I thought if I could tie in something that would help with his sensory issues too, it could really help. In little time, Alex started his swimming lessons, and I’m so happy he did.

So here are my three common situations that come into play with advice. Do you often receive parenting advice? How do you deal with it? Would love to hear from you!!

♡ Zuma A.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for all the live action! xx

autism mom autism advice

Fashion, Featured

An Odd Pair: Running Errands and Faux Leather Leggings

September 22, 2016
off pairing

Whether it is in music or food or fashion, defying the usual pairings and mismatching different styles can somehow work and produce great results. An odd pair is unexpected and pleasantly surprises the eye.

I’ve made it clear that I have never been a big fan of strict traditional style. I love adding twists to my outfits. Sometimes I go a little further and find myself in my closet reaching for leather leggings at 7AM. I guess I subconsciously try to spice up what promises to be a very dull day, like running a ton of errands kind of day. So why not?!  

While I usually wear my edgy faux leather leggings with heels and maybe a moto jacket, there is no way I will run errands looking this way! Heels are just too tough on my feet to run around town. So my sassy Kate Spade flats with a romantic bow are the chosen pair of the day. They somehow complement and soften the edgy style of leather leggings. And then, so I don’t look awkward when I show up to the grocery store in leather leggings, I tone it down with an oversized relaxed shirt and a classic cross body bag. Finally, the look is complete once with my fun pink sunnies. 

I am all over the place here, pairing edgy, romantic, relaxed, and retro styles. A truly odd pairing, that somehow works. My mood is definitely elevated and the day is no longer dull.

Do you mix styles? Which ones?

♡ Zuma A.

leather leggings odd pairing zara faux leather leggings odd pair In this story:

Zara oversized shirt and faux leather leggings

Kate Spade flats (also here)

Mark Jacobs cross body bag, old (new cross body style by Mark Jacobs here)

Wildfox Retro sunglasses (also similar here)

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Fashion, Featured

Over 40, Having a Tulle Skirt Moment

September 21, 2016
tulle skirt

To me, the best part of dressing up is the opportunity to add a little bit of who I feel like, who I want to feel like or who  I want to project myself as today. Being a nerd and a tomboy at my true heart, I used to never care for feeling like a girly princess. But the more I work, get stressed and tired, more I crave feeling girly. And maybe that is why I love this Anthro tulle skirt so much!

It is amazing how we evolve, isn’t it? I used to worry about whether it was appropriate to wear a tulle skirt over 40 (even in our post-Carry-Bradshaw day and age when old fashion rules no longer apply!). But after wearing the skirt a few times, I fell in love with it. To keep it classy, I try to to understate the skirt a little. This time I paired it with a light grey sweater, string of pearls, and nude heels. To me, it’s a perfect outfit for a dinner date! Sometimes I also love dressing it down to a casual look and wear with sneakers and a big shopper bag.

Last time I wore a tulle skirt was when I was six, I asked my mom to make me a ballerina tutu for the christmas performance. I was supposed to be a snowflake and twirl around the christmas tree. Mom couldn’t find a tutu anywhere (it was not a popular item in Armenia during 70s), so she promised me to make it herself. I watched her working on it, but the results were very disappointing. The skirt didn’t come out anything like how I had envisioned! So I wore the skirt for the performance but never again. Never in my life I could imagine that I would eventually have my true tulle skirt moment and be sporting it to a date night 40 years later!

Do you wear a tulle skirt? If yes, how do you style it? If no, why not?!

♡ Zuma A.

anthroppologie tulle skirttulle skirttulle skirttulle skirt over 40faux pearls

In this story:

Anthropologie Tulle Midi Skirt (updated design) (also similar by Zara, by Jenny Yoo,

Zara short sleeve sweater

Cristelle Faux Pearl Collar Necklace

Jessica Simpson ‘Claudette’ pumps

Wildfox ‘Pearl Deluxe’ Sunglasses, now on sale

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Beauty, Featured, Life

Fall Skincare, Items Worth Splurging On

September 16, 2016
skincare

Healthy habits and skincare are probably my most important regiments when it comes to taking care of myself. When it comes to beauty, healthy skin is my base, and while I barely have much time for makeup, I do spend time on my skincare. Given that age and weather periodically change my skin’s condition, I change my skincare accordingly. As seasons go through transitional phases, I change some elements of my beauty routine to adjust to the temperature and humidity levels. No matter my age or how cold and dry the weather gets, I want to maintain a healthy glow! It is mid September now and in anticipation of fall and winter I’ve started preparing my skin for the coming changes. So here are my first few substitutes to transition my skin from summer to fall skincare.

1. Move to gentler exfoliators, but keep exfoliating.

Exfoliation is still a must during cooler months, but to prevent excessive dryness I switch to a much gentler exfoliator. Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel ($60) is one of my Korean beauty favorites. It’s a powdered formula with natural papaya enzymes, and I use water on my hands to create a lather. It is super easy and pleasant to use, and it smells heavenly! The price is on a higher end, but I only use a dime-size amount when I apply it, and it works like a charm. A little goes a long way. During the fall months and given my age, I use this exfoliator 2-3 times a week, but it is actually gentle enough to use daily for younger skin or less sensitive skin.

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Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel ($60) 

2. Use an oil based cleanser.

I started avoiding soap based facial cleansers for a while, but during cooler months when there is not much moisture in the air, I use oil based cleansers. I am absolutely in love with Tatcha’s Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($48). It removes makeup and nourishes skin without a hint of stripping it of its natural moisture and leaves skin healthy and dewy. It’s pricey for a cleanser, I know, but it really leaves my skin dewy like no other cleanser does, and works great with the enzyme powder I use as an exfoliant.

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Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($48)

3. Get in the habit of using face mist.

 To increase hydration and feel refreshed, I use water mist sprays on my face up to a few times per day year-round. But when fall and winter start to approach, I go for Caudalie Grape Water mist ($13), a really hydrating product that refreshes but also leaves my skin feeling particularly nice. In my morning routine, it acts as a super-hydrating toner and goes on my face right after I cleanse, and I keep it with me throughout the day to give me that extra boost. It comes in 2.5 oz packaging, so I always have it in my purse when I travel (it is a perfect combatant against dry airplane air!).

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 Caudalie Grape Water mist ($13) 

4. Treat your lips.

While I put a lot of thought into my eye care, I’ve noticed I don’t always do the same for my lip care. But I should because it too needs much attention and nourishment! And just like with skincare, exfoliating is a must. It can be as simple as using a washcloth in the shower to strip the dead skin or a diy lip scrub of sugar and honey. After exfoliating, though, good moisture is key. I use Fresh’s Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment ($26), which is essentially a superpower lip balm. The tube is larger than your average lip balm so it lasts quite a while, and it really does moisturize like a treatment would!

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Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment ($26)

So here are my favorite fall skincare items. Do you change your beauty routine as seasons change? What are your favorites?

Fashion, Featured

On the Road in Style: Blazer and Jeans

September 13, 2016
blazer with jeans

I am a true believer that no matter where I am and what am I doing, my personal style should never suffer. My typical weekday is a mix of work, errands, and home, and to adopt to this lifestyle, I often mix classic traditional basics with the elements of casual trends. To me it is the perfect balance between comfort and style, which always helps me feel good about myself. I also travel often, and when on the road, I still don’t see a need to compromise my style. When I travel for work, one of my big favorites is the blazer and jeans combo. Coupled with fashionable sneakers, I can move with ease and in style.

Another important rule for travel outfits is layering, it always gets so chilly in the airplane! In general I tend to get cold easily, especially towards the end of the day when I am tired. So wearing layers is an absolute must for me! Yesterday I flew to Seattle, and since the weather is still warm, my layers here were a simple tee, a cardigan, a structured blazer and a scarf. All are wardrobe staples. I think that scarf is such an easy way to add a little bit of an edge to the outfit. Here it adds a casual feel and keeps me warm, cozy, and stylish.

What do you wear when you travel? Leave your comments, I would so love to hear from you!

♡ Zuma A.

blazer with jeansblazer and jeansblazer and jeansoversized earrings

In this story:

Zara blazer, old (similar by J.Crew here ~ so excited that J.Crew is at Nordstrom now!)

Halogen three quarter sleeve cardigan

Madewell pocket tee

Madewell Cali Demi-Boot Jean

Adidas ‘Superstar’ sneakers

Mark Jacobs cross body bag, old (new cross body style by Mark Jacobs here)

Zara fringed scarf, now on sale

Panacea Metal Fringe Circle Earrings

 Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for all the live action! xx

Fashion, Featured

Going all 70s: Bold and Colorful Embroidery Trend

September 8, 2016
embroidered trend

Embroidery is one of the oldest recurring fashion trends, and this year it has made a very colorful comeback.  These patterns are anything but old-fashioned though, and I’m seeng them all over coats, tops, jeans, and dresses. Bold and lavish, and I actually appreciate that. I appreciate fashion trends in general and love how they evolve and take me out of my comfort zone. I can get very comfortable with the same styles and looks, and trends force me to evolve. And if that means that the look is much bolder than it used to be, so be it. And honestly, getting comfortable with bolder looks helps me become bolder in life.

So anyway. This new Zara top is a version of a new colorful black, it is also packed with lots of fun details, a high neck, loose shape, and all the embroidered flower patterns. It is so very 70s, and I am looking forward to playing with it this entire season! For starters, to be consistent with the 70s theme, I paired it with my good old flares and high heels. The look turned out to be very flowy. The almost to the floor length of flares is very elongating and works well to make me appear taller and leaner (I am 5’3″).

Do you enjoy playing with new fashion trends? Do you like embroidery trend and how do you style it? Would love to hear from you!!

♡ Zuma A.
embroidery fashion trend embroidery trend 70s lookembroidery trend

In this story:

Zara Plumetis Tunic

Mothers Falare jeans (also love flares by Madewell and by Paige, both on sale!!)

Tory Burch block heels (similar block heels by Rebecca Minkoff here and by Via Spiga here)

Mark Jacobs cross body bag, old (new cross body style by Mark Jacobs here)

Wildfox ‘Malibu’ sunglasses, sold out (similar by Wildfox here, and more affordable round style here)

 Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for all the live action! xx

Fashion, Featured

Fall Colors and Silhouettes: Bomber Jacket Over 40

September 7, 2016
bomber jacket

When I heard that bomber jackets are having a renewed fashion moment, I immediately thought of Pink Ladies from Grease. I wanted to dismiss it because of my age, but reassured myself,  knowing trends are always adjustable. In one way or another, we can style most any piece to fit our personalities and body types. So no woman should hold back and miss out on fashion fun. If paired right and worn with confidence, the cheesiest jacket can look chic. 

Now, I am not saying that this bomber jacket is cheesy! I love it! I love the silky fabric, and the floral pattern. And, while a bit oversized and slouchy, I actually do think it is stylish. It is lightweight which is great for the transitional weather from summer to fall. And I love that it has a mix of white with warm fall brown and red tones (big this season!). I got this jacket during the Zara summer sale for under $30. Now it is sold out, but they have beautiful options in blue and black with floral designs for under $50. I usually balance the relaxed fit by pairing the jacket with jeans or fitted pants to create a modern balanced look. 

Do you wear bomber jackets? How do you style them?

♡ Zuma A.

bomber jacketsJ.Crew pantsZara bomber jacketIvanka Trump sandals In this story:

Zara Floral Print bomber jacket (also in blue)

J.Crew Teddie pants (now 25%off) 

Ivanka Trump Gemina sandals (now on sale!)

Aviators, old (similar selections here)

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