crazy for kayu

Kayu handbagsKayu handbags
Kayu handbags
Kayu handbagsKayu handbags

I’m so excited to finally share some photos of my shoot for KAYU – gorgeous bags with a mission.

I met KAYU’s founder, Jamie Lim, via Twitter and as luck would have it she’s originally from Malaysia. She was in town over the holidays to visit family and take care of business (her clutches are hand made in South East Asia) so we were able to meet in person and collaborate for her Spring look book photos and graphic design. We hit it off immediately and I was in total awe of her designs. She has somehow accomplished making the traditional artistry of weaving look completely modern and sexy. And as if good looks weren’t enough, a portion of sales is donated to perform sight-restoring surgeries in India and to purchase backpacks and school supplies for children in Cambodia. Win-win.

I had a blast walking around KL together with only a bag full of clutches and a determination to “get the shot” despite the hot day and hungry mosquitoes. Felt like quite the urban-jungle warriors at the end of the day!

I can’t finish writing this post without mentioning the stall owners at Chow Kit Market. They thought we were nuts every time we asked “can I put this bag here and take a photo?”. Sure, crazy ladies…go right ahead. The strange looks were totally worth it as my fave shot is the trio of clutches on the Durian scale. It doesn’t get any more Malaysian than that.

Shop KAYU at and

show & tell: souvenirs from colombia

made in colombia
made in colombia
made in colombia made in colombia
made in colombia

What’s a trip without bringing home a few souvenirs?

These treasures from Colombia – a beautiful representation of the weaving done by indigenous women of the country – are adding so much life to our home … and my wardrobe.

The blue cross-body bag’s leather was stitched in Bogota but the colorful strap was woven by the Wayuu women who are known for their large bucket-style purses and skillful hamacas. The home accessories were made by women of the Waounan tribe in the department of Choco. The palm fibers used to create these beauties are woven so tightly that the vase piece we bought could hold water without leaking! Amazing.

The one store we loved unfortunately doesn’t have a website. Such a shame since their products were all so modern leaning and tastefully done and displayed. But, if you find yourself in Cartagena, their address and phone is below. If you’d like to shop for a vase of your own online, here are some shops that carry an assortment: one, two, three.

Colombia Artesanal
Centro, Callejon De Los Estribos
No. 2-40, Cartagena

a month of love

Home sweet home. I’m back in KL and I’ve been unpacking, doing laundry, and catching up with Joe, work, and of course, Downtown Abbey. I had a full marathon via our iTunes subscription since the entire season is now online – I couldn’t believe it!

Our week before flying to Colombia is already jam packed so it’s a fun treat to kick it off by being a part of Cuyana’s 14 Days of Love campaign where I share my personal and brand-love stories. I absolutely love what those ladies are doing in giving artisans around the world a beautiful and stylish platform to share their work.

Being asked to be a part of their campaign couldn’t have come at a better time. February is a special month for Joe and I as it is our “Valenbirthsary” when we celebrate everything at once: the day we met, valentine’s day, and my birthday. And this year we get to add a wedding date! Add the fact that we get to share that date with the people we love and there’s all sorts of warm and fuzzy feelings going on. February, you’re my fave.


{let’s getaway} pack your bags

Lets GETAWAY_pack your bags

work ready: Lotuff Leather  /  date night: KAYU  /  organize: Gin & Jacqie  /  everyday: Cuyana  /  explore:  Joshu + Vela  /  beach holiday: Connected Goods

 ’Tis the season for travel and one of the things that I struggle with the most while away is feeling like I never have the right bag for the occasion. Sometimes a girl needs a sassy clutch purse and other times she needs a comfy backpack for exploring all the better. Whatever the reason for the getaway, these bags top my wishlist for always being prepared. And of course, a little organizational help from Gin & Jacqie, a Malaysian accessories company with a passion for traveling well and tidy.





{let’s} getaway

let's getway to somewhere crisp & cool

1.  Vita Fede  /  2.  Chinti and Parker  /  3. Jimmy Choo  /  4. Lotuff  /  5. 7 For All Mankind  /  6. Divine Chocolate  /  7. Corso Como

Living close to the equator has its benefits (like year-round flip flops and poolside lounging) but there’s no doubt that I will miss the cool crisp air that comes with the Fall season. The way it feels on your face is so refreshing and I love that short window of time when all you need is a great cashmere sweater and a scarf. This is my current dream outfit for an Autumn day out in the city complete with a cup of hot cocoa to snuggle up with at night. Maybe I’ll just crank up the A/C and make believe :)

let’s getaway {newport}

Lets GETAWAY_newportpsd

1. J.Crew / 2. Tiny Armour / 3. Kiel James Patrick / 4. Land’s End Canvas / 5. J. Crew / 6. Neuaura 

I know I know, I’ve only just returned from a weekend getaway but summer is nearly over and I can’t help but think of Newport, Rhode Island. I spent the Fall semester of my Junior year of college at URI and I fell in love with it. Everything was so different from LA: the people, the scenery, the ocean, the style – I didn’t need to study abroad to be in a totally different world. It was the first time I had ever seen and experienced real autumn foliage and I even learned how to sail thanks to the free lessons on offer from the cute boys on the sailing team. While out in the bay during sailing practice, shivering from the freezing temperatures of the approaching winter, I imagined what RI and Newport would be like in the summer. Touring the old mansions, eating quahog (local name of a shellfish, not The Family Guy’s town), and enjoying a refreshing ice cream during a leisurely stroll along the waterfront. That place was built for summer merry making and I did promise myself that we would meet again. I might even see how much jib sheet and knots action I remember ;)

{happy friday} pic & pin

friday pic & pin

Goodbye June and hello July – my official summer month. The Fourth of July has always been my kick off to the season so we’re practically there, even if I’m not in the States to celebrate. I’d love to welcome it with this orange number by Reformation. Don’t you just love the structure? Wait until you see the back…!

This weekend I’m crossing my fingers for some sunshine (it’s been awfully hazy), looking forward to a succulent planting craft party, and maybe getting a start on our new shopping list.

I hope you have a great one!

This week’s three rad links…

• a few songs of summer via State of Unique (expect one or two of these on next month’s mix tape)

• get crafty on demand with Creativebug video workshops via sfgirlbybay

• ladies, let’s take these from the fellas via Design Crush

(image left: Barcelona beach by Ana Maria Muñoz, right: Pin via Reformation)

New York again?

The new Met exhibit American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity just might be the reason. I absolutely LOVE the exploration of fashion and its cultural significance…

Focusing on archetypes of American femininity through dress, the exhibition will reveal how the American woman initiated style revolutions that mirrored her social, political, and sexual emancipation

I  even remember managing to make my high school history thesis all about the hippie counter culture and their clothing!

We’ll see if I can make it out since it only runs through August. In the meantime, I’ll just drool over my keyboard while watching their teaser video.

Pick of the Week: Margaritas and Flowers

Spent last Sunday frolicking around in the beautiful Carlsbad Flower Fields for new ANAMU Spring lifestyle shots. When you are just starting out, you’ve 1) gotta be your own model and 2) the boyfriend becomes the fashion photographer (he did a GREAT job!).

After we wrapped we cruised a bit further south to grub on some yummy Mexican food at Las Olas in Cardiff. Seriously, this place is amazing and I’m so thankful that my gal pal, Erin, introduced me to it a few years ago!

I had flowers and Margaritas on my mind that day and thought this Senorita clutch to be perfect for this week’s Pick of the Week!

The flowers and paisley combo drive me crazy in the best of ways.  Muted colors on the lining scarf  really play up the matching patch pocket that carries the vibrant and flirty designs from the exterior of the bag.

2 nights of fashion

EPIC. Photo via Expensive Deathstyle

A bit overdue but here we go!

Night 1:  had the pleasure of meeting some rad gals at LAFW 2.0, a gathering of LA fashion bloggers at the beautiful Broadway Bar.

Hosted by Dedicated Follower of Fashion and the lovely Kelsi Smith of Stylesmith, the night consisted of fashion talk, industry tips, and just good ol’ mingling. We all left with a swag bag full of goodies, purses stuffed with business cards, and new friends. View photos of the night here.

Night 2: Stopped by the grand opening of EPIC, a new fashion c0-op in Echo Park that is for LA local designers only. LOVED IT! The space was huge, perfect to fit their 400+ turn out who donned some of the most stylish (and interesting) outfits I’ve seen in a while. Only fail for the night was the long line for the photo booth…no silly b&w photos of Joe & I to share this time, but above is a great overview shot from Expensive Deathstyle. Can you spot me in my colorful vintage dress?

Pick of the Week Returns with New “Behind the Seams”

After a long hiatus, the oh so loved Pick of the Week is back!

Why was it gone for so long? It was kind of like working out – you do it consistently then you miss one day and boom, done until…. well, whenever you get around to it again.

I did miss it dearly so I’m happy to have the mojo for it back.

First up for 2010 is the Metallic Muse II Envelope Clutch

This one is part of a little series I was able to do since the shawl used was so big! This brocade piece has metallic stripes that I placed perpendicular to each other for some added interest. I’m a big fan of mixed metal colors so a brass pyramid stud was added to each corner as fun and edgy dressings.

This is a hot one!

Behind the seams…

If you follow this blog then you know that I make it a point to seek out local vintage goodies wherever I am. In this case it was Cape Town, South Africa where a cramped and dusty shop on Long Street caught my attention.

This place was packed yet I somehow managed to find this great shawl to make some glitzy bags with! The shop’s owner was super sweet and happily told me about the cabinetry behind the register; the location used to be an old pharmacy and the custom carpentry was left intact throughout the years.

Here I am putting down my Rands …

The lining in Metallic Muse II is made from an old Indian sari purchased in Durban, South Africa. Now THIS thing is big! Many bags to come from this baby…

SALE: 25% off ANAMU through February 10th!

Because you are beautiful and unique.

Fellas, this is what you tell your lady

Ladies, this is what you tell yourself

Indulge a little this Valentine’s Day.

To redeem this offer, go to and note VDAY in “message to seller” at checkout. Discount will be applied after full payment is received.

Featured: ANAMU on EcoStiletto!!!

ANAMU’s first press hit is none other than the fabulous EcoStilettoonline magazine!

I am beyond thrilled, and honored, to be included in their upcycled fashion piece along such amazing designers (I’ve always admired Ashley Watson’s reclaimed leather bags). They even used an ANAMU image for the homepage “What’s New” section :)

Subscribe for your chance to win an ANAMU envelope clutch and other eco-designer goodies!

Thank you EcoStiletto!

ANAMU: Pick of the Week

Summer may be over but that doesn’t mean you cant have a little color in your accessories!

This envelope clutch features a bright and retro mini-garden with a complimentary polka dot lining. I love the way the inside dots play off of the circular shapes of the white flowers; always like to  pair floral patterns with more geometric ones. P8090457 copyP8090466

There are two ANAMU bags made from this polyester scarf … pretty rare since a typical scarf allows for just one. Dont fret though,  each one is still one-of-a-kind!

Classic always has it

Tried and true, Levi’s has re-solidified my love for their denim.

I’ve been in dire need of denim shorts for the past year (yeah, I don’t shop too often) and in checking out my fave jeans, I realized that the two pairs of Levi’s I have fit me the best and have outlasted my other brand name jeans by years.

While at work yesterday I decided it was finally time to buy shorts. I headed to 3rd street during my break and walked straight to the Levi’s store where I was sure to find exactly what I wanted.

My shorts to be were on display in the front; found my size immediately, tried them on ( they were PERFECT!) and was at the cash register all within ten minutes.
Photo 11
There’s something so satisfying about wanting and then getting an article of clothing you know you will wear and love like crazy.

Even more satisfying was that they were 50% off.

Off to break them in at a day of fun in Venice!

Squares Photoshoot

My friend Paul recently launched his clothing line Squares. He needed help showing two new women’s shirts (on sale soon!) so we staked a spot on Signal Hill in Long Beach and got to work. It was a lot harder to “pose” than I thought but it was a blast. Chilly, but a blast .

p.s.  The shirts are super soft and comfy (Alternative Apparel organic cotton). Paul knows what the ladies like.





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