We’re a week out from Christmas, so trees, lights, and festive holiday outfits are in full swing! In past years, I would wear the usual lace or sparkles, but this year, 🎶to save me from tears, I’ll give ‘fits some Disney style!🎶
What I’m trying to say with my horribly forced Christmas pun is that this year, I thought I would add some Disney flair into some of my holiday outfits. I figured that would be a good way to help get me into the Christmas spirit, since I’m usually more of a Halloween ghoul.👻😆 I mourn the loss of fall weather and Halloween candy for a month.
Since most of my Disney pieces are casual, I decided to pair a casual shirt with a satin, silky skirt to dress it up. The mix of casual and dressy gives that cool, city girl vibe that I love. But part of the fun in dressing for the holidays is also being a little kitschy. Enter adorable Christmas light earrings!🎄 And since I have two ear piercings, I obviously had to capitalize on the opportunity and wear two pairs.😏 For this outfit, the green and gold pairs were the perfect accent colors. BONUS: The earrings are less than $5 on Kmart right now!
And even though I only intended to wear one piece of Disney apparel, I ended up wearing three.😅 Since the weather was gloomy, as it usually is during this time of year in San Francisco, I threw on my favorite oversized camel coat, which conveniently, features Mickey. And to carry my essentials, I opted for my small Minnie Coach bag; also adding that perfect dash of Minnie style.🎀🐭❤️
All in all, this was a perfect outfit for my afternoon work holiday party last week. Dressy enough to be party appropriate, yet still laid back, fun, and festive! And another bonus for ya…it’s an easy, comfortable, and cute outfit to wear for a visit to the Union Square tree!🙌🏼
I love that I was able to incorporate some Disney flair into my holiday outfit this year. My usual holiday go-to’s are red, black, lace, or a dress of some sort, so it was fun to think out the box and incorporate some of my favorite mouses.🐭🎀🐭
What do you like to wear for holiday parties? Comment below what you’re going to wear for your holiday festivities or let me know over on instagram!
New Orleans. Food, jazz music, Mardi Gras celebrations…but I came for the AHS filming locations.😆 American Horror Story: Coven, the third season from the American Horror Story franchise, was actually the first season I ever watched. I remember seeing commercials for season one and definitely thought it was way too scary for me. But when commercials for Season 3 started airing, I was strangely drawn to it. Some AHS fans felt season 3 was too “housewife-y,” but I honestly thought it was great to see a story focused around women and their relationships with each other within the “horror” genre. I especially loved the show’s focus on the temperamental mother-daughter relationship. And THANK GOODNESS we also get to see how race, class, and age play a role in those relationships. Like…yes, Ryan Murphy, YES.👏🏼
After doing some research, I found a gem of a walking tour — the unofficial American Horror Story Tour. Mostly in the French Quarter, the tour is the perfect mix of AHS fandom and historical facts. Bea, the tour guide, is also just amazing. She is super knowledgeable about what parts of the show are based on New Orleans history and what parts were embellished or fictional. And to my surprise, she knew those prime instagram spots AND was willing to help us stop to take photos. What more could you ask for?! Thank you, Bea!!
Our first stop was the LaLaurie house. Not only infamous for being the residence of Madame LaLaurie in the show, but a bonafide haunted mansion and the site of LaLaurie’s torture “chamber.” In Coven, we are slowly introduced to Madame LaLaurie’s fascination with blood and the human body. She was filled with “childlike curiosity.” And that was not a far departure from the truth. Bea explained how Madame LaLaurie was accused of over-punishing her slaves, but since she had friends that were city officials, she was able to escape any serious charges. But one time, the evidence was undeniable.
While hosting a party, the kitchen, which was in a separate back annex of the house, caught fire. After rescuers extinguished the fire, they found a 70-year-old woman chained to the stove. She later revealed that she started the fire to escape Madame LaLaurie’s torture and then led authorities to the attic where other slaves were imprisoned and tortured. The evidence and testimonials were overwhelming. So much so that her and her husband fled New Orleans shortly afterwards. However, in Coven, the family’s disappearance is due to Marie Laveau’s revenge against LaLaurie. Below is the green iron gate where Madame LaLaurie and Marie Laveau first meet and Laveau’s plan for retaliation is set into motion. In the show, it is shown as the front gate to the LaLaurie house, but is actually part of the neighboring building.
Even though the two women never met IRL, they lived within walking distance of each other in the French Quarter. Marie Laveau, aka the Voodoo Queen, was renowned in New Orleans and obviously was included as a character in Coven. She was the first practitioner to popularize Louisiana voodoo. And honestly, learning more about Marie Laveau was probably my favorite part about this tour. In the show, Marie is almost positioned as a villain against not only the Coven’s Supreme, but also Madame LaLaurie. Both white women. But hearing about Laveau’s real story, I was amazed to learn that not only was she a healer in the community, but she was also devilishly smart.
Accurately shown in AHS, Laveau was a hairdresser. And she would occasionally offer her healing “powers” to clients. Afterwards, she would simply tell clients to pay what they felt her help was worth. She knew satisfied patrons would usually overpay because they were so grateful for her services. Slightly Godfather-ish, but so admirable for a woman of that time to be so business savvy. And though it’s not thoroughly shown in the series, we do see glimpses of Laveau’s business acumen.
When Laveau had daughters, she would give them her name, Marie Laveau, with different middle names. The daughters looked just like their mother, so when the daughters were out, Laveau ensured that they were in different parts of town. When townspeople asked who they were, the daughters of course replied “Marie Laveau.” Baffled, people began to believe that Marie Laveau was actually getting younger! And since Laveau and her daughters were never in the same place at the same time, no one knew otherwise. This urban myth is also written into the show as LaLaurie and the Supreme meet Laveau in the hopes of obtaining her secret to “everlasting life.”
For Marie Laveau to build such a reputation during that time in history is impressive and inspiring. Complete #girlboss behavior. Granted she benefited greatly from the Code Noir, Marie Laveau found a way to make herself a legend. If I ever have to answer that icebreaker question about the one person I’d like to meet or have dinner with, Laveau would definitely be at the top of my list.
Saint Louis Cemetery
Our walking tour also took us to the Saint Louis Cemetary. Not only the site of Nicolas Cage’s semi-outrageous pyramid-shaped tomb, it is also home to Laveua’s tomb. Upon visiting her tomb, it’s evident how influential Laveau was. To this day, people still visit her tomb to make a wish. If the wish was granted, they revisit her grave and mark a triple X as proof. And if you see a lonely hair-tie or bobby pins, do not take them. Those are gifts left for the hairdresser, Laveau.
Our last stop was the street where the infamous witch’s walk takes place. It definitely didn’t feel as eerie as it seemed on the show since there were tons of tourists and cars around, but I made the most of it and strutted my witchy self up and down the sidewalk a couple of times. And now I understand why all the girls of Miss Robichaux’s Academy For Exceptional Young Ladies complained so much about the heat. Yeah, it’s hot and humid, but wearing an all black and mostly covered ensemble IN the heat is an entirely different story.
If you haven’t watched AHS: Coven, please set up a fort in your house and watch it ASAP. I personally love that it’s rooted in New Orleans history and shows the relationships, successes, and struggles of powerful women and women of color. It is a treasure trove for exploring the intersecting identities of women. And if you ever find yourself in New Orleans, please book this tour! You get to learn more about one of the most kickass women in New Orleans history and grab yourself a few insta worthy shots…there’s really nothing to say “no” to here, ladies and gents.😏
Earlier this month, I hopped over to Hawaii to spend some quality time (read: eating time) with my sister and mom. Over the weekend, we decided to eat at Scratch Kitchen and Meatery. Before talking about the Keiki Collection, you have to know something. If you’re ever in the area, you HAVE to try at least one of the “Pimp My Grits” dishes from Scratch Kitchen. Just…ugh…so good. A quick pic and then we’ll move on:
To walk off this amazing, but super heavy grits, we decided to shop around South Shore Market. Picked up a copy of Alexa Chung’s It and a pair of delicate rose gold heart earrings, but the best pleasant surprise was running into a small pop-up shop from Keiki Collection. Keiki Collection is a community of kids that learn how to sell their handmade goods. But we should honestly call them mini #Girlbosses.💁🏿💁🏾💁🏽💁🏻💁🏼 Sidenote: There are young boys in the group too, but none were there that day.
I remember when I was younger, my mom and I would do the same thing. We’d figure out what kind of crafts we could make to then sell at school holiday craft fairs. I loved working away making tons of colorful lanyards and decorating hair claws with Christmas tinsel. It was so fun to be creative and I felt so “official” when we sold them. And we probably barely broke even each time because everything was pretty much under $5. But I love that these girls are creating something that they’re proud of and then learning business skills to sell them. Things you don’t necessarily learn in school these days.
I was most impressed by one girl that made large macrame hanging pot holders. They were just so impeccably made! I was so impressed that I ended up buying one even though I don’t really have a place to put it.😅 But it’s a small price to pay to support a young mini girlboss though, right?🤗
We tried our best to buy a little something from each person. These girls are learning the basics of business and entrepreneurship and that’s just something we had to support. And Hawaii in general has a pretty diverse population, but can we take a second to recognize that this was also an ethnically diverse group of girls!! I mean, COME ON! It’s just so amazing to see young girls of color learning to be entrepreneurs, creatives, and supportive of one another. It warms my soouuull.💕
If you can, give Keiki Collection a follow on instagram. They have occasional pop-ups like this one around the island. Let them know what they’re doing is impressive and important — not only as a young female, but also as a person of color.
So my whole plan to post different outfits with the Beastie leading up to the release of Beauty and the Beastwas pretty much a BUST. Total failure on my part. I’ve been sitting on the draft for this post for a month now.😑 But that’s how life goes. Once in a while, things suddenly get crazy or busy and things like this fall to the wayside. However, I did see the movie when it was released and will write up a separate post about it soon!
Anyways, last month I took advantage of the crisp spring weather and stopped by the Golden Gate bridge. If you’re ever visiting San Francisco, I would recommend going to Crissy Fields out by Fort Point. Bring a picnic blanket, pack a basket full of cheese and wine, and then bike out to the fields. Hopefully, it’s warm enough that you can sit out, people watch, listen to the ocean waves…and if you’re lucky, encounter some playful pups out with their owners!😉
But I love this outfit for just that kind of outing. And wearing denim on denim means you can be ready for anything. Relaxed fit jeans lets you roll around in the grass or hop on a bike with ease. Bring a denim jacket just in case the bay winds pick up. Or throw it on the grass if you want to lay out to enjoy those few precious minutes of “hot” sunny weather. Mules are easy to kick off if you have the sudden urge to dip your toes into the freezing bay water. And of course, the Beastie is room-y enough to carry that extra roll of sourdough bread.🍞
The countdown has begun! Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast will be in theaters in next month and I’m excited to finally see Emma Watson don those iconic Belle outfits.
To celebrate the film’s release, a lot of brands have been producing tons of Beauty and the Beast merch, including Danielle Nicole Handbags. Early last year, I picked up their Beast clutch, BUT when a friend told me about the Beast backpack they released a couple months ago, all reasoning went out the window. So yes, now I have 2 Beast bags in my closet.😅
And I’m not gonna lie, a good number of times, I buy these quirky, yet amazing bags and then just set it on a shelf to admire it for days without ever really using it. So this is going to be just like trying to get back to the gym post holiday season😪…I’m going to document different outfits in order to keep myself accountable.😌 Sounds like a solid plan, right?👍🏼 On to the outfit!
The Beastie (oh, that’s my nickname for him btw) is surprisingly roomie. I could fit my camera, fat wallet, 2 phones, and car keys in there and still have room to spare. So when my sister asked me to help her take some photos around Japantown a couple weeks ago, it was the perfect carry-all bag. I wore it with an olive green dress that’s complimentary to Beastie’s tan colors and layered on a denim jacket, which if you look, closely picks up on his blue eyes.👀 It was also a little sprinkly in the city that day, so I wore some tan knee high boots that matched Beastie’s fringe.
Even if I didn’t need to bring my camera with me, this is still a perfect outfit for exploring Japantown. There are SO many places to eat or grab your favorite Asian snacks. One of my childhood favorites are Taiyaki red bean fishes! And there are a couple Asian beauty shops that I love perusing whenever I’m in the area. But most importantly, DAISO!! And look at that, you have a roomy backpack to bring back all those small trinkets and sundries that you didn’t really need, but kinda do at the same time.
Anyways, Japantown will always have a special place in my heart. The community has pretty much been a part of my life in one way or another growing up. As toddlers, my siblings and I went to preschool there. When we were tweeners, summer camp. And from the age of 5 to 18, I played in an Asian basketball league that was based out of Japantown’s Buddhist church. It really felt like we grew up with the community. I think I will always value and feel connected to the Japantown community. And, to reiterate, they also have delicious snacks.
There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about the French expression je ne sais quoi, don’t you think?
Found that gem on google. Did it make me sound posh and fancy?💁🏻 Unlike the cut off denim shorts I lived in while visiting Honolulu. And even though many tourists and locals alike can enjoy all the luxurious things the city has to offer, my sister and I usually like to pretend we’re kama’aina. For us, that means lots of shopping and eating.
To fuel up for our shopping pilgrimage, we stopped by Koko Head Cafe. Opened by Chef Lee Anne Wong, a finalist on Top Chef, Koko Head Cafe serves up hefty dumplings and brunch-style Asian comfort food. The cafe also captures that hometown diner feel with surf town decor and Wong’s framed personal photos. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of Wong’s book Dumplings All Day Wong! If you ask nicely, you can even leaf through it while you wait for deliciousness to be served.
After stuffing out faces, we needed to walk it all off…before heading to dinner of course.😅 So we stopped by Ward Village South Shore Market. It actually underwent a huge re-model and I was excited to finally see it. South Shore Market is comprised of 18 local merchants to showcase and cultivate Hawaii’s creative scene. Shopping small couldn’t be any easier. Walking through the stores, I also realized that many of the shop owners are probably POC. Since Hawaii’s population is almost 40% Asian, it’s also likely that many of these creatives were Asian American. So not only are you supporting small businesses, but you’re also supporting businesses owned by POC. So. Much. YES.👏
Do you see that suitcase? It’s filled with watercolor cards of creatures from Fantastic Beasts. Yeah, ah-ma-zing!
And speaking of amazing, I also picked up these sparkle heel Zara boots the day before. They were the last pair left and in my size, so you know…had to get ’em. Don’t worry, they were on sale.😉 And one of the many apples of my eye, my Disney x Coach red cross body. The perfect size for your phone and credit cards and comes with the cutest little Mickey hand charm. It just has a certain je ne sais quoi, non??😏