THE.Creative

GIFTING GUIDE:

GIFTING GUIDE FOR HERwe’re nearly two weeks away from christmas and i’m just making a list of all the things i need to get. i wish i was more consistent with my christmas shopping. one year, i’ll have everyone’s gifts wrapped and under the tree WEEKS before christmas and the next year i’ll be out on christmas eve braving the crowds and screaming internally. from year to year it’s always different but if you’re like me (this year) and you need some gifting inspiration, you can take a look at my gifting guides below!

 

GINGERBREAD SPICE & EVERYTHING NICE!

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it’s that time of year again! where the christmas music is overplayed (guilty), turtlenecks are worn in 70-degree weather and i pretend to be on the great british bake off. the best place to pretend you know everything about baking is at williams sonoma, but it’s a dangerous place to be during the holidays. they have peppermint bark, holiday mixes and lots of festive dining decor… which is how we ended up here with this blog post! i saw this holiday bundt pan and knew it’s rightful place was at home with me. it didn’t matter that i had never made a bundt cake before, i was going to make a bundt cake now. i’ll admit baking does not come naturally for me, i need a recipe and i will follow that recipe to the very last pinch of salt. so, when i saw this gingerbread spice quick bread i was at ease having the reassurance of detailed directions all along the back of the pretty packaging. this recipe was quick and simple and i can’t wait to make more for the holiday season.

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apparently, while mixing ingredients i bounce as if i’m trying to put a newborn baby to sleep…it’s a new technique.

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LOS ANGELES COFFEE FESTIVAL

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this past saturday my sister and i decided to get hopped up on caffeine and explore the los angeles coffee festival. if i’m being completely honest, i use instant coffee regularly- it’s quick and doesn’t taste terrible. i, however, did not disclose that info with any of the coffee connoisseurs out of fear of being shunned and having rocks thrown at me. lucky for us, there were a lot of nice people who knew a lot about coffee and were willing to explain a lot of it to us…

our first booth- elmhurst 1925, a plant- milk company. we got to taste their new barista edition series which was created to give a more rich and creamier consistency than your average plant based milks…i told you there were nice people willing to explain things to us! the new barista series will be hitting retailers very soon so keep your eyes open!

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next up, the straus family creamery. 1. it’s organic- (the first 100% certified organic creamery in the country) 2. the woman at their booth made us milk tea coffee and we will remember it and cherish it for the rest of our lives.

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i know what you’re thinking…“you went to a coffee festival and all you did was try milk and creamers?” don’t worry, i’m getting the coffee…

there were a lot of vendors that were environmentally conscious. it was so great to see all these companies showing that they care.

cold brews… i love a good cold brew and chameleon cold brew is one of the good ones. i already knew what they were all about and stopped by their booth to selfishly indulge in their goodness. if you haven’t tried the mexican coffee cold brew, drop everything now and go to your nearest gelsons, whole foods, cvs, target and get your hands on one. you won’t regret it.

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one particularly great part about this festival was the support it had for the arts. to learn more about each project, click on the links below.

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and now for some “adult coffee” by mr. black coffee liqueur…all the way from australia! coming from a visual merchandising background, i was originally drawn to this booth because of its decor. i was handed a shot of the cold brew coffee liqueur. thinking it would taste mostly like coffee with a hint of alcohol, i took the shot. i was WRONG. it tasted mostly of alcohol with a hint of coffee. they have so many yummy looking recipes online that i would definitely be interested in trying some of them but i think i’d pass on having any more shots.

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this booth isn’t technically coffee, but it is coffee flavored! i didn’t get to try any of the coffee candy but i overheard only good things from the folks that did.

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thanks for the good times and the caffeine high LACF!img_7124-1

 

THE GOOD: HALLOWEEN EDITION

The Good: Halloween

Image credit Emily Henderson

  • 6 days until halloween! have you decorated yet? there’s still time! here’s how to do it.
  • can’t wait to see this on the big screen.
  • this recipe is to diiieee for….did i mention i have another blog with my siblings?
  • i still don’t know what i’m going to be for halloween

Image credit Emily Henderson

MOOD BOARD: SUMMER LOVIN’

Summer Vacation

after polyvore sold their souldiscontinued their website leaving no trace of its existence, i had to look elsewhere for a creative outlet where i could organize all of my thoughts, ideas and inspiration. a friend had told me about canva, a website she used frequently so i decided to give it a try. while it doesn’t offer a community like polyvore, canva has all the design allure and then some! whatever your purpose for creating may be; social media, campaigns, presentations, i mean it when i say it… canva has it ALL. i created this mood board using canva because summer is upon us and i’m having a moment with all things made of straw. sue me.

COLORS

JUNE GLOOM

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IT IS OFFICIALLY SUMMER! 1. because the valley feels like the surface of the sun and 2. because the summer solstice last thursday told me so. i spent my “first” weekend of summer in santa monica (bye burbank). ready to soak in that summer sun, i packed all the essentials for the perfect summer day (cheese, swimsuit, spf 100). unfortunately, once i got to the west side i was greeted with clouds and fog… sneaky june gloom! but no amount of gloom was going to stop my summer celebration! so i prepared my summer spread of fruits and cheeses and enjoyed them from the comfort of a cozy couch.

fruit-

  • cherries
  • figs
  • pears
  • pluots

cheese-

  • p’tit basque
  • bucheron*** my absolute favorite cheese***
  • gouda
  • french bread
  • crackers

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SELF LOVE

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a couple of weeks ago i went to get my haircut. i had arrived early to my appointment so i sat in the lobby waiting patiently when a mother and daughter walked in. the daughter was maybe 12 or 13 years old and i thought oh how i remember those days. Getting my hair cut but needing my mom there for support because “what if it turns out ugly? what if i hate it? and how much am i supposed to tip?”. they sat down across from me. shortly after, their hairdresser came out to greet them but before she could even finish saying “good morning” the mother had began pointing out what needed to be done during this appointment; “she needs to have some color added to brighten her up, don’t ya think? make her not so frumpy?” “she can’t have bangs because her face is too wide” “maybe let’s keep her hair long so it’s still pretty”.

i was in shock, i couldn’t even imagine how this girl felt at that moment. i try to look at her face, but her eyes are glued to the floor. I’m staring at her for what feels like a solid 10 minutes but i needed her to make eye contact with me. i needed her to see that i was there for her…with her. that i thought she was beautiful just as she was. i can sense that my staring was becoming uncomfortable and maybe a little intrusive but off they went, to begin the makeover. i felt defeated. it’s not any of my business, i shouldn’t care but i did. i wanted her to know that she wasn’t alone, we’ve all been there. we’ve all experienced a blow to our self esteem, the confusion about your self worth, but i wanted her to know that it doesn’t last.

i’m overcome with my thoughts and emotions (don’t cry in public, don’t cry in public, don’t cry in public). i think of my childhood, my insecurities, my own experiences with my self esteem. i can’t remember when my confidence began to fade, but i remember when someone had pointed out to me that it had. it was at a thanksgiving dinner back when i was in high school. a family member said to me, “you used to be so sassy, you didn’t care what anybody thought- you said whatever you wanted because you were MACKENZIE!”… i lingered on the “used to be” part of that statement. was i not this way anymore?? if i wasn’t, then what was i? i felt like i had a grasp on who i was (kind of)… but i knew deep down that part of what they said was true. i wasn’t that same girl anymore, i cared what people thought of me but what i didn’t care about was what i thought of myself. i didn’t think it mattered. no one in my family exercised self love. i don’t think any of us really understood it or knew how important it was. we could see all the great qualities in each other but none of us could see it in ourselves. what i couldn’t understand back then was how loving myself, embracing my quirks and owning my flaws would open up my whole world. i don’t need anyone else’s opinion to validate who i am, at least i don’t anymore. it wasn’t until my senior year of high school that i really started to figure out who i was (i’m a late bloomer). i had quit pep squad and began to focus my attention elsewhere… photography. i had taken my first class during my junior year and continued through to my freshman year of college. i found a whole knew confidence in creativity. i felt like i could finally see what i should have seen in myself a long time ago. i am creative. sensitive. funny. and strong.

self love is so important, it’s the foundation of you. there will be people who will try to knock it down, but you must protect it. remind yourself of who you are and love yourself for who you are; a lover, an aries, a creator, a sister.

happy valentines day to you. xx

TRADITIONS & TEA

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this past sunday i posted a picture of myself and my two dearest friends and captioned it “18 years and counting”. 18 YEARS! 18 years of friendship, laughter and some embarrassing stories… but 18 years of life together. i don’t know if it’s because of oprah’s golden globes speech or because it’s my time of the month (not sorry) but 18 years is giving me ALL the feels…feeling extremely grateful in particular.

every year during the holidays we get together to exchange gifts, it’s been our tradition for as long as i can remember. each year is a little different but more or less the same. we’re tasked with trying to chat, open presents and consume all the cheese and wine within a respectable amount of time. this year was particularly different… it was the last year with just us three. next year will be momma kenna, auntie taylor, auntie kenzie and baby easton! i have spent a lot of time with these two over the years; with their families, in their home and both of them in mine and i can’t believe all of the things that we’ve done together but i especially can’t wait for all that we will do in the future. xx

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something i get from my mom is her love of wrapping and decorating… and her freckles. sometimes i forget that people need to be able to open their presents rather than just stare at my beautiful creation. bless kenna and her patience, this bow was no easy feat.

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the night before our get together, i was at disneyland with the fam and saw this adorable “baby’s first christmas” ornament. i had to get it for momma kenna.

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THE LAST LADY DATE OF THE YEAR

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last post of 2017! what better way to end this year than with my ladies. man, lady dates are good for the sooouuul! earlier in the week, i went out with my sister and my museum buddy to spend the day downtown. first up was yayoi kusama’s exhibit at the broad. somehow by the luck of the draw we got tickets to this amazing exhibition… 4 months of anticipation and we finally were able to see yayoi’s amazing work.

after the museum we walked over to the grand central market to eat ALL the yummy food. we ate at the sari sari store where courtney and i reconnected with our filipino side. it was the second best adobo i’ve ever had…first being my grandma’s and nothing can ever top that. dessert was served at valerie’s where dana and i shared a coffee crunch cake with honeycomb all over the icing and we nearly died. it was the best last lady date of 2017!

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on our way to the grand central market, we stumbled upon the angels flight railway and hopped on. this is where we cried when we had to walk up all the stairs on our way back to our car. good times…good times.

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CHRISTMAS IN LOS ANGELES

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i remember as kids, my brother and i were always the first ones awake in the house, we would sneak down stairs before everyone woke up to see what “santa” had left in our stockings. one year we got caught because cody broke one of our mom’s decorations in the excitement of seeing his stocking filled with giant reese’s peanut butter cups…rookie mistake…huge. it’s interesting to see how christmas mornings change as you get older. this year we took a pretty mellow approach to christmas, with everyone waking up in different places on christmas morning, we didn’t really have an agenda. i remember someone saying, “let everyone wake up and we’ll go from there” so we did just that; woke up, had breakfast for lunch and opened presents in the late afternoon. hope everyone had a lovely holiday season.

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