Star People

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Once in awhile, there is that outfit that makes you walk with a little more confidence, or is it a little more attitude?  Either way, this RENAMED jacket does it for me.  If one is going to wear a faux fur jacket covered in stars, then you’ve got to walk with a bit more swagger, like David Bowie or Lady Gaga.  I also agree very much with my Social Decay t-shirt: I have never ever said I own too much black clothing.  Since this outfit is quite monochromatic, I gave it a pop of color with this fantastic choker by GFASH.

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Outfit:  Faux fur jacket by RENAMED & t-shirt by Social Decay from The Beat Clothing; Flared jeans by Madewell (old); Distressed “Lita” platforms by Jeffrey Campbell; Choker c/o GFASH; “Keiko” prescription sunglasses in Roxy Noir by BonLook; @ and # rings by Wendy Brandes; Vintage London Map ring by Suki Bijoux; Unknown brand handcuff earrings 

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With Astrid, stylist at The Beat Clothing. We seriously did not plan on wearing practically the same thing (all black in our Social Decay t-shirts with furry jackets).  But, I guess great fashionable minds think alike!

(All photos by Rholnna Jiao. Post title from the song by George Michael.)

Recap: Social Decay Trunk Show at The Beat Clothing

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At the beginning of December, I was invited to an awesome trunk show/sale at The Beat Clothing by stylist Astrid Montalvo.  She styled and presented t-shirts from the Brooklyn based clothing brand, Social Decay.  I have seen the Social Decay brand at The Beat for the better part of the year now, so I was looking forward to seeing the trunk show because I simply adore Astrid’s edgy style.  I loved the new line of t-shirt so much, I bought one for myself and you’ll see how I styled in my latest outfit post, going up next week. Cheers!

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I Said Don’t Stop, to Punk Rock

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Happy New Year to you, and I’m starting off the new year with an outfit post!  I can’t recall exactly where, but I know I’ve mention that my style seems to lie somewhere between classic, chic and punk rock.  It’s kind of like those Reese’s commercials from the eighties when they would argue “Hey, you got your peanut butter in my chocolate/No, you got your chocolate in my peanut butter”; I always have to add a little punk to my classic outfit, or add a little chic to my rocker one.  I love this article from Complex called “Know Your Rights:  A Complex Guide to Punk Rock Style“.  I think I own every piece in that guide and wear them anywhere and everywhere, from the office to the concert hall.  Truth be told, I did not read the article prior to putting together my outfit for this post, and wore two of the mentioned pieces together: a bomber jacket and leopard print.  Now that I think about it, I want to take each of the pieces mentioned in the Complex article and create outfits around them, since I have them all!

I believe I own ten bomber jackets (and counting), and this one from Shimmer is one that I intend to do a DIY patch job on very soon, where I’ll be adding patches from my favorite bands to every inch the fabric real estate of the jacket will allow.  As an FYI, I bought that jacket because of the fact that two of the patches are indirectly tied to Depeche Mode: the Union Jack patch because they are British and the Route 66 one because they did a cover version of that song.  Before the additional adornments, I wore my jacket to a few concerts and this photo shoot with my sister at The Observatory North Park.

Although I know many bands have performed there, I’ve only seen Blondie at The Observatory (so far).  I’ll have to check out their concert calendar to see who else is playing.  Another FYI:  I saw George Clinton and Parliament in Los Angeles a few years ago, but I did not see them when the pictures were taken.  But I did include a couple of pictures when I ate at the West Coast Tavern (which is connected to The Observatory), prior to seeing Blondie live with my friend Angi.  Debbie Harry is definitely a style icon, and I featured an image of her in a post about my love for vintage rock t-shirts (here).  I mean, check her out in the picture I captured below, rocking fishnet stockings at age 71.  I only hope to be that cool in 30 years!

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Outfit: Distressed t-shirt by G Mini, Eunina Jeans and choker c/o Shimmer; C’Est Toi jacket purchased from Shimmer; CHARLES by Charles David over the knee boots (old); Kate Spade purse (old); “Keiko” Rx sunglasses in Roxy Noir by BonLook

(All outfit photos by Rholnna Jiao. West Coast Tavern and concert photos by moi.  Post title from the song “Rapture” by Blondie.)

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All That Shimmers In This World

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As blogger, I’ve become an advocate for local businesses and have had wonderful the opportunity to work with some amazing clothing stores in the San Diego area.  A long time favorite is a store called Shimmer because they have a large selection of affordable, on-trend clothing.  They have three locations (Chula Vista Center, Plaza Bonita and North County Fair), but I frequent the Plaza Bonita one the most.  I’m happy to say I’ve recently become a Shimmer Ambassador, which means I’ll be showcasing clothes from their store, starting with this outfit I posted on Instagram a couple of weeks ago.  Since it’s finally sweater weather, I picked this cozy long cardigan along with these amazing jeans by Eunina.  I know the distressed denim look is really hot right now, but I was drawn to this solid darker pair.  I felt really pulled together in this outfit, and it’s definitely something I would wear to work.

Also, this is the first time I’ve worn a “bib” or dickey collar, which simply means a fake collar (think Howard Wolowitz from the Big Bang Theory).  I actually really like them because I can do a layered look without the bulk.  The one I’m wearing is from ASOS, but since they’re out of the black one I’m wearing in these pictures, you can find similar ones for a great price at a site called I Got Collared (I’m going to buy a few more myself).

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Outfit:  Cardigan by Timing and Eunina Jeans c/o Shimmer; Striped sweater by Express (old); Plain bib in black by ASOS (no longer available, but they have it in white); Necklace by The Limited (old); Houndstooth pumps by Nine West (old); Vintage Chanel tote from Portero; “Tippy” glasses by Lookmatic; Rings by Wendy Brandes

(All photos taken by Rholnna Jiao.  Post title from the song “Shimmer” by Fuel.)

Last Christmas: Farewell George Michael

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I absolutely cannot believe it.  I have to say goodbye to yet another favorite artist in 2016: George Michael passed away on Christmas Day.  I truly thought we could escape another passing in 2016, but alas, it was not to be.  I was looking at pictures of the record collections of some people who I follow on Instagram, when one of them mentioned that he was sad that George Michael had passed away.  In disbelief, I exclaimed what I just heard to my husband and rushed to the computer.  Instantly, my fears were realized and George Michael was gone.  At that time, information was scarce, but it soon came to light that he passed in his sleep due to heart failure.

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I came to know about George Michael when he was in what I first heard about Wham! UK.  I remember going to The Warehouse at Plaza Bonita (a former chain record store), asking for the newest Wham! UK song.  The person behind the counter answered, “We don’t have Wham! UK, but we have Wham!  Is that the same?”  He handed me the seven-inch single, which was Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (pictured above).  I was 14 at the time, so I just smiled and paid for the single.  My mom bought me and my sister the Make It Big album, and soon Wham! was everywhere.  I never saw Wham! in concert because I don’t recall them ever touring in San Diego.  I also don’t recall the exact moment when I heard that Wham! dissolved, but I did purchase their last musical effort in the US called Music From the Edge of Heaven.  I’m Your Man is one of my all-time favorite songs, and the album itself is quite wonderful.  I still listen to it to this day over both Fantastic or Make It Big.  In my senior year in high school, I distinctly remember missing out on seeing George Michael live because the concert sold out very quickly.  One of my classmates said that he had concert tickets and went to retrieve them from his jean jacket pocket, only to see that his mom washed his jacket and with that, his tickets.  I’m happy to report, that has never happened to me.

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I finally saw George Michael in 2008 with my sister, Rholnna, and best friend, Janice.  It was a fun night filled with hits from his days in Wham! to his own amazing music.  I remember thinking, “I just want to hear I’m Your Man, Father Figure, Hard Day, A Different Corner and Careless Whisper and my life will be complete…”  My wish was granted and I got to hear all those songs live, including so much more.  Prior to the show, a band of friends dressed in 80’s gear roamed around the arena and asked random people to “Pose With George”.  Silly me obliged and here is my only picture with George Michael from his concert (and the set list below).

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It was also memorable because not only because of Mr. Michael himself, but because it was a day after the announcement of same-sex marriage being legal in the state of California.  During the show, he said something to the effect of “I heard a lot of you ladies were able to get married yesterday!”  My mind instantly traveled back in time, and I recalled my friends and I having discussions about George’s sexual preference due to the Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go video because although we all had his pictures up on our walls, there was always a question about his sexuality  in the back of our minds.  It got even more confusing when the I Want Your Sex video came out, hearing that he was dating the girl who was staring in the video with him (Kathy Jeung).  No matter what the circumstances are or what swirls around the gossip columns, I always want my idols to be happy because in the end, they will continue to do what they love, which means I get to enjoy a wealth of their artistry.  I mean, David Bowie released an album right before his untimely death at the beginning of this year.  I worry about my idols and I think that’s why this year has been difficult.  I care about the music so much, but I never forget that there are people behind the hits with emotions and lives to live.

I have read a couple of things that give me such mixed emotions about George Michael: how he was recently afraid to face the public due to his weight gain and then news about his quiet generosity.  I’m saddened by the fact that George became recluse in his last days because he was nervous about how he would be perceived by the public.  I know we all have an image of him, but it was his voice and musical talents that have endured over the years, and that’s what I will remember about him most.  I also find it heart achingly lovely that he gave so much to so many charities and people over the years.  I read recently about how he gave a large tip to a waitress who was upset about her debt and that he donated a generous sum of money to a charity at the same time annually.  One charity even stated that they would not have been able to stay afloat had it not been for George Michael’s financial backing.  These are the instances that make the images in those posters on my walls when I was a teen come to life.  This is what makes me ache and cry over their passing.  Last Christmas will be a bittersweet testament to the sadness of lost love during an otherwise joyful holiday season, as well the loss of a beloved artist.

Farewell George…

(Top image is the “Cowboys & Angels” 12-inch single.  All pictured items are from my personal collection.)

One More Day to Get Your Photo With Santa at Fashion Valley!

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Can you believe Christmas is already this weekend?  I received the last package today to complete our son’s Christmas present, in addition to finally sending out all of our holiday cards.  One last thing we also took care of this week was Dominic’s traditional photo with Santa at Fashion Valley’s Santa Photo Experience.  If you still need to take care of some last-minute shopping or get that photo with Santa, Fashion Valley will be open on Christmas Eve from 8am to 6pm.  Fashion Valley always look beautiful during the holiday season.  I’ve included some pictures of when Dominic and I attended their tree lighting ceremony last month.

Cheers and I wish you all a wonderful, healthy and safe holiday!

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Dominic gets a kick out of taking pictures with any cast of characters.  He was excited to learn that The Grinch knew about his favorite game, Fallout!

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There’s always wonderful free snacks available at Fashion Valley’s Tree Lighting event!

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Dominic thought long and hard about what he wanted to ask Santa for Christmas!

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Santa helped to countdown the lighting of the tree!

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After the tree was lit, everyone was invited for cookies and crafts!

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Wishing you a Happy Holidays!

Absolutely Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide 2016: The Carlsbad Edition!

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For the third year running, I humbly present again my last-minute holiday gift guide!  I am notorious for waiting until the last-minute, so for those of you who suffer from the same affliction, this is the guide for you.  For this year’s gift guide, I thought I would put a local spin on things and give those of you in the San Diego area places to actually go and grab some great last-minute holiday presents from some of my favorite shops in the Carlsbad area.

Happy Shopping!


Wysh Boutique

Wysh Boutique is one of my favorite boutiques in Carlsbad.   Located in the Village Faire at Carlsbad, they not only have fashionable clothing and accessories, but great gift ideas and gift certificates!

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Gaia Gelato

Also located at the Village Faire, Gaia Gelato has gift cards, but I wouldn’t mind getting gifted a box of their yummy French macarons!

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Sock District

Sock District is new to the Village Faire, so I welcomed them by immediately purchasing a couple of pairs to gift to my sister.  If you visit their site (link above), you can purchase electronic gift cards for your friends and family to shop in their store or online!

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The Beat Clothing

Another one of my Carlsbad favorites, The Beat Clothing has everything you could want for your edgy fashionista friends.  Astrid Montalvo is their on-site stylist and she can help you find the perfect outfit for that concert-goer in your life, or give the gift of rock inspired clothing, shoes and accessories through a gift certificate!

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Spin Records

Of course I need to include a place where you can give the gift of music, and my favorite place to do some digging in Carlsbad is at Spin Records.  I was just there and purchased a white vinyl 7-inch single of Johnny Cash’s The Man Comes Around with his cover of Personal Jesus (pictured below).  They also have t-shirts, buttons, patches and gift certificates for that crate digger in your life!

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Note:  This is not a sponsored post.  Although I mention specific shops, all suggestions are strictly my own.