Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Last Dance {PROM 2015}

Last Saturday, I met with a good friend of mine, Alex, at the local coffee shop to catch-up on some lost time.  We are both going through our Senior year of high school, so the main topic of our conversation was about the last few weeks left before graduation.  After listening to me go on and on about how ready I am for the next chapter of my life to begin, he simply said to me, "I don't understand why everyone is so eager to grow up.  These are the final weeks of our childhood before we hold complete responsibility for ourselves.  These are the days that we will never get back, so why count them down?"

I never really thought about it that way, but he's right--these are days that we will never get to live again.  With this new perspective in mind, I now see the last major events of my high school days (such as Senior Prom, Senior events and activities, my 18th birthday, including the dreaded finals ) not as marks until the end, but rather moments that build the end.

Here is a tribute to my last high school dance and to all who made my Senior Prom the unforgettable night that it was.  Thank you to my fun-loving, charismatic date for giving me a night full of laughter.  Thank you to Tierney and the LuLu*s team for making me feel absolutely stunning and dressed to the nines (or in other words, #LuLusPartyPerfect). Thank you to my loving mother for taking time out of her Mother's Day weekend to capture the bittersweet memories.  And this post goes to my friend, Alex.  Thank you for reminding me to embrace these last couple of weeks of high school before they're gone.

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Similar items from LuLu*s below

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Spring Sweater Weather

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Vintage Lace

A peek of a special project that I'm currently working on -- I can't wait to share it with all of you soon!

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

#girlstrong

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I'm honored to be invited by Shabby Apple to participate in their #girlstrong campaign.  The purpose of #girlstrong is to empower women, and together, bring awareness to help fight against a global issue that is affecting lives of millions across the world — human trafficking of girls and women.  As part of the campaign I was given two #girlstrong t-shirts, one for myself, and one to give to a woman who inspires me.

My #girlstrong inspiration goes to my mother. Ever since I could remember, she frequently said this simple, little phrase whenever I found myself in a rut, “Be honest with yourself." As a child, I was able to vaguely grasp the meaning behind those simple words, but not until recently did I fully understand them.  Life is a work in progress -- I am learning and growing every day, and in order for me to flourish, it primarily comes down to one thing:  being honest with myself.  It's tough to be brutally honest with myself because sometimes the truth isn't always what I want to see. My mother has always taught me to love and embrace who I am, but to also admit my faults and weaknesses.  In doing so, I'm able to see with clarity the path it takes to become a better person. Through her honesty, patience, grace, and unconditional love, she has helped me strengthen my weaknesses, and change the things that I needed to change about myself. My mom is the epitome of the type of woman I want to be one day. She loves passionately, speaks through her actions, lives sincerely and fights for what she believes in. Thank you, mom, for always shining your light so bright that in the darkest days, I was able to find my way. I love you. You inspire me to become a better person every day.

For every #girlstrong used on Instagram, @shabbyapple will donate 10 cents to the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, a charity that helps fight the trafficking of girls and women.  Let’s be a source of empowerment for each other, and together, fight for the human rights and equality of all girls and women around the world. I ask each and every one of you to join me in supporting and fundraise for this cause by tagging women in your life that has inspired you. Be sure to add the hashtag #girlstrong.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Let's Talk Hair

Good morning, world. Boy, does time fly...can you believe that it's already May? I can't, especially since mine and my dad's birthday is coming up! Yes, I will finally be an adult in 18 days, and my daddy-o will be turning the big 43 (he's aging really well, might I add). If you didn't already know, I was born on my dad's birthday--what gift could possibly be better than a baby girl? Some think that it must be lame to have the same birth date as a family member, but to be honest, I actually enjoy sharing the moment, that only comes once a year, with my dad. It makes it that much more special for the both of us. ♥

In other news, here are some sweet gifts from my hair stylist, Veronica. She's been my stylist since I was about 5-years-old, and is amazing at what she does!  Veronica highly recommended these products to help strengthen and replenish my hair.   Listed below are the products and their minis, just in case you wanted to try them out as well: Healthy Sexy Hair Sulfate-Free Soy Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner and Super Skinny Serum from Paul Mitchell. If you have brittle hair or just recently processed it, you may want to give these products a go!  After I have tried it, I  will be sure to let you all know the results.  If you have used them before, leave me a comment--I'd love to hear how they worked out for you!


xx Kitana



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

OOTD: Green

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Food for Thought

As you may already know, I will be leaving for college this coming fall. With less than 5 months left before I leave, my mom has been waiting patiently to teach me how to prepare Lao food at my own terms, but over the weekend, she took matters in her own hands and made me learn a few dishes. I spent the weekend making some of my favorite Lao food for the very first time. I learned how to make papaya salad (tam maak hoong), baked fish (ping pba) — she even taught me how to gut and clean a fish, and the process of preparing and cooking sticky rice (khao niew).  I still can’t believe I gut a fish on my own…from someone who has never cut up raw meat, who knew I would have it in me!  I'm so proud of myself, and to my surprise, the food tasted pretty good! :p

After the lesson, I’m so glad that I was left with no choice but to learn. Without my mom taking action, it may have been years before I decided to learn on my own terms, and that would not be good. Who would cook Lao food for me when I’m no longer living at home? Scary thought since I know I’ll crave the food I grew up eating, and I’m fully aware it is hard to come by. Lao cuisine is slowly gaining popularity, but it is still not a mainstream type of cuisine. There aren’t very many Lao restaurants out there. Thai restaurants are mainly owned by Lao people, and do offer a few Lao dishes, but the flavors are made with an American flair, which makes it less authentic, and doesn’t quite fit the taste in which I’ve been accustomed to.

I'm a little ashamed of the fact that it took me this long to learn.  Just by learning how to cook with my mom, I was able to connect with her at a different level, and learn things I didn't know about her and the beauty of my culture.  Through the stories she told and history lessons she gave while cooking, it sparked something inside of me!

There is such a rich culture behind who I am, and for the first time, going to Laos with my parents is no longer just something I know I'll have to do someday, but something I look forward to.  I want to go to the country my parents left behind, and see where my parents came from.  To be able to visit my dad's small village,  meet all of my relatives that are still in Laos, walk the field of rice paddies my dad once harvested with his own two hands, and sleep in the the house he grew up in -- that would be amazing!  I want to see for myself the beautiful country of Laos, and the culture my family is so proud of.

My mom says, “Life is like a book, it’s hard to read and understand a story with missing chapters.” She is right, there is a chapter missing from the story written about my life thus far, and I don't want that part to be a mystery.  It is crucial for me to learn who I am and where I came from in order to fill those missing pages. It may have taken me longer than others to finally accept and understand this piece of who I am, but from this point on, I’m open and willing to begin the process of learning.

This weekend has been such a learning process for me. I’m anxious to learn more, and am excited for more cooking adventures with my mom!  Below is a picture of the papaya salad and sticky rice that I cooked with my mom’s guidance. We actually had finished eating before taking the picture, so the fish had already been devoured; therefore, the image only shows what was left of the papaya salad and sticky rice.  I'm so proud of myself, and next time I’ll make sure a picture is taken before eating! ;)

xx Kitana

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sun and Sand {Dirty Ballerina Pt. 2}

This past few days has been full of anticipation as I waited patiently to be able to share with all of you my collaboration with the brand, Dirty Ballerina.  I'm so happy I was given the opportunity to be a part of their website relaunch, and was able to choose two outfits to style: the Twiggy Yellow Co-Ordinates, if you missed it yesterday you can view it HERE, and the Butterfly Wing Jogger Pants, images are below.  You can shop their full collection exclusively at Nordstrom.

I LOVE  joggers!  They are my go-to pants for spring and summer.  They are fun, trendy, comfortable, easy to wear, and can be dressed up or down in a snap. For this shoot,  I wanted the images to get people excited for the upcoming season, so my family and I headed out to the sand dunes for an enjoyable Saturday breathing in the hot summer weather tease.  As my brother frolicked in the sand, my mom captured beautiful images of me soaking up the sun.

As you can see, I went for a boho-inspired look, and paired the joggers with my Free People lace crop top, panama hat, fun accessories including a special beaded necklace gifted to me by my grandma, and completed the look by going shoeless.  As my brother rolled down the sandy dunes, I was able to enjoy the warm sand tickling my feet.  Summer, I'm ready for you! <3

< butterfly wing jogger pants c/o dirty Ballerina Nordstrom >

Photography by Skai Photography

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Born to Stand Out" { Dirty Ballerina Pt.1 }

Hello, everyone! I recently teamed up with the brand Dirty Ballerina for the re-launch of their website. I styled two of their pieces, available exclusively through Nordstrom: the Twiggy Yellow Co-Ordinates, images are below, and the Butterfly Wing Jogger Pants, images to come. Thanks to my photographer, Skai Photography, aka mom -- we were able to put together a fun vintage-style shoot to showcase the adorable Twiggy Co-Ords.

What I love about this brand is that they are all about embracing individualism--hence the motto, "born to stand out." Not one person in this world is exactly like another. We are all made differently with our own set of ideas, interests, and values. And if we are able to embrace those aspects of who we are without being swayed by extrinsic social forces, granted that those ideas, interests and values are good, then each and every one of us would have the potential to be amazing, and do amazing things. Think about it, have you ever tried to be like someone else? Or acted differently to please everyone else? I know I have, and although, at the time, I felt uncomfortable with being myself, I felt far more uncomfortable trying to be someone else. My parents taught me that to truly love myself, I must look deep within myself and know who I am — to acknowledge the good things, and the hardest part, the not so good things about myself. To love and embrace the good things, and work on the things that needs improving. They would say to me, “The greatest rewards and happiness will come when you are on the path of seeking to become a better person.” And they are right, after realizing and accepting that it’s best being me, everything fell into place. I became happier, and a much better person once I started putting my energy in loving, and improving myself rather than in trying to become someone else.

It is true, we ARE best and DO best when we are ourselves, even if it means standing out from the crowd! Who wants to be like everyone else anyways? If we speak our own minds and express how we feel, who knows, maybe there is someone out there that feels the same way, but is too afraid to speak up. We all have the potential to be “good” leaders, shakers, and changers in this world, if we choose to be. All it takes is for us to embrace individualism, be our genuine selves, live a life of grace and compassion, and walk with the knowledge that we are not alone -- there are so many others sharing the same path of life, but walking it in their own unique ways.

< crop top c/o dirty ballerina nordstrom  //  skirt c/o dirty ballerina nordstrom  >

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mint Julep

I have a love and appreciation for all things vintage, especially vintage dresses. And from what I have mentioned, you can view on my previous post HERE, I love how vintage dresses were made to fit, and flatter a woman's body.  The Mint Julep dress from Shabby Apple is the perfect vintage-inspired dress. From the dotted swiss material, peter pan collar, to the fit, flare, and length of the dress, you would think it was vintage.

If you are like me, and love anything vintage including vintage-inspired dresses, head on over to Shabby Apple to view their collection of beautiful vintage-inpired pieces.

< dress c/o mint julep by shabby apple >
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