SWEET + SIMPLE

I know it’s fall just about everywhere else in the northern hemisphere, but it’s a stubborn 100 degrees here in LA so you’ll have to forgive my seemingly-weather-inappropriately-bare arms and legs. I assure you it’s the only appropriate thing for this hated heat.

Weather aside… honestly, I’ve been in a bit of a rough spot lately. Every aspect of life is currently overwhelming, painful, or both. Now, I do recognize my privilege and how I am blessed way beyond what I deserve. But sometimes it’s just hard to keep your head up, you know? Sometimes it’s all you can do to just keep trudging one heavy step in front of another and hope one day soon you’ll be able to lift your head and see the light.

But today, I got a small glimpse of how God – in his infinite wisdom and abundant love – is so quick to show how much he loves. And always in the sweetest of ways, such as:

  • An out-of-the-blue text message from a friend, simply hoping I have a great day
  • A soft knock on my door revealing my best friend with a smoothie and a smile
  • The perfect playlist from another friend, simply entitled “Smile, Victoria”
  • The greatest boyfriend who listens calmly when I gripe and whine and thinks I’m worthy of love even when the mask I wear around everyone else is removed

How sweet the Father’s love for us. How vast beyond all measure.

TOP | zara
SKIRT | topshop
HEELS | steve madden

PHOTOGRAPHY by Job Garcia

A LITTLE BIT OF SUNSHINE

Here’s the reality of today: our world is broken in countless ways. In the past month alone, we’ve heard a continuous stream of names that are shaded with pain: Harvey, Charlottesville, Nigeria, Spain, Afghanistan… and these are just the ones deemed “newsworthy”. All over the world, there are incidents of hatred, racism, violence, and tragedy that go unmentioned or unfelt from our little corner of the planet but are no less heartbreaking.

It’s easy to get overcome with rage or overwhelmed with sorrow. And it’s tempting to allow these feelings to result in a lack of action. But what do we do when the hatred seems unending – when the disasters caused by nature (human or otherwise) keep on coming as if pulled by an endless tide?

I can’t say what is right for you. But as for me, I can pray. I can cry out for justice to the God of justice. I can ask for wisdom and direction on the right and practical action to take. I can beg for a more compassionate heart and the ability to use it towards the good of another. I can give generously – of my time, of my resources, of my heart – remembering that all of these things have been generously and undeservedly lavished on me. And I can have hope.

Though the world is broken in almost every way, I believe in a God who makes all things new. He is restoring all the brokenness in me, he is restoring all the brokenness in this world, and he has promised to one day redeem every broken bit of humanity and creation forever.

Until then, I look to that day with expectation and hope – doing whatever I am able within my own little sphere of influence. I grieve, I pray, I give, I act. And in moments where I need that extra little pick-me-up, I put on a pair of bright yellow shoes and dare to love greatly because I am loved greatly.

So how about it, friend?  Won’t you join me? Take hope, pick your little bit of sunshine, and let’s get to work.

Since most of you are in the U.S., here’s some practical steps you can take  in the wake of Hurricane Harvey:

  • Donate money. Visit CharityWatch or Charity Navigator before donating to make sure your donations are going directly to the victims. I personally am giving through Samaritan’s Purse.
  • Donate blood. Contact your local donor center or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to locate your nearest drive.
  • Donate non-perishable food, clothing, medical supplies, baby items, and hygiene products. (Though if you are not nearby, most affected food shelters are stressing that monetary donations are more impactful than physical goods due to a lack of storage facilities in Texas.) Contact your local food bank to see how to get donations to Houston, or mail diaper/wipes donations to The Texas Diaper Bank.

TANK | everlane
JEANS | vintage levis
HEELS | everlane
EARRINGS | thrifted, similar here

PHOTOGRAPHY by Job Garcia

I LEFT MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO

My dear friend, Slim, and I took a somewhat impromptu road trip to San Francisco last weekend. There’s just something about this foggy city by the bay that always feels like home. I went to visit one of my best friends from college and her husband, who I haven’t seen since their wedding two years ago. Major feels. I was greeted by a warm hug, high-pitched squeals (me), restaurant-quality-homemade avocado toast, a tall glass of champagne,  and the most beautiful view of the Bay Bridge from their 14th floor apartment.

To be able to so easily drive to one of my favorite cities for the weekend.. for delicious food with friends, both old and new.. for an entire hour of dreamy wandering through rows of brightly colored, bay window apartments one sleepy Sunday morning.. for precious friendships 10 years strong.. for all these things and more, I am endlessly grateful.

To be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars…

TOP | rag and bone
PANTS | everlane
SHOES | m gemi

PHOTOGRAPHY by Stephanie Lim