Studded Jacket, Striped Turtleneck & Fedora in Chinatown

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Today we decided to take the fam to Chinatown via metro to downtown and it was so fun! We kept meaning to make it there sooner for Chinese New Year, but just now got the chance. And the bonus was that it was super mellow there today, sunny with a slight chill, quiet, and perfect.

It almost felt like a mini-vacation. An entire day just us, wandering around, having lunch and doing some shopping. 

We have to keep reminding ourselves to take these moments... because our kiddos will only be this small once. We're so incredibly proud of them. Although Stella is still a bit shy about it, if anyone speaks to her in Chinese, she absolutely understands and will converse back. Bodhi is so outgoing and brave about it, that he speaks without fear, in his limited, only-one-year immersion training. When I doubt myself as a mama, I have to remember all that we're striving for - well rounded, worldly, good little people, and I think we might just be accomplishing that. 

Happy Year of the Dog! 

See links to what I wore below: 

Vintage hat - similar here for a steal

Self Care + Other Necessities (Like Adidas)

Saturday, January 20, 2018

When I made my resolutions and intentions for this year, at the top of my list was self care. I've never put this down on paper as an actual TO DO before and it looked a little funny, sitting there next to the list of other obligations... But I decided to just commit to it, and the impact so far has been profound.

The truth is, I've always put myself way down on the list of priorities. Sure, I'll squeeze in some time between work, clients, kids and household to get a mani-pedi, or get my hair done (blonde takes hours), but for the most part the events that center around "me time" have always been more of a forgotten afterthought to all of the "more important" things that need to get done, the "more important people" who need attending to.

Why is it that as women (and especially mothers) we feel so guilty about doing things that are solely and exclusively for ourselves? And I'm not just talking pedicures and highlights. I'm talking about the real stuff. The things that feed our souls and make us better. In those quiet moments when we can remember who we really are and what brings us peace and happiness, (separate from all of the outside noise and obligations), that's when true joy happens.

Caring for myself makes me so much better in my work, makes me more thoughtful and courageous on the creative side of things, and more positive and energetic on the business side. Caring for myself makes me a better mother, wife, lover and friend and I know that it will prolong my life.

Committing to practices like pilates and mindful meditation has taught me that for anything to really work - you have to, well, commit to it! Put it on a list, put it on your calendar, make time - just freaking do it. So I am. I give myself writing deadlines. I read my book on the hammock for that 20 minute break instead of scrolling through instagram while I scarf down lunch. I showed up at a friend's house last weekend and said "we need to paint." So we did. I reconnected with another friend and took the time to have dinner and really catch up, really listen, and really share with him how much his friendship and support has meant to me through the years... and as we sat across from each other and chatted and laughed through tears, I was filled up. It was a reminder to me that these things need to keep happening. Little pockets of moments for me.

Next on the agenda: MORE MUSIC. MORE ART.

I also have to keep reminding myself that these things are actually the least selfish thing I can do - because it makes me a better version of myself.

I hope you can do some of the same this year. Let's be kind to ourselves!

With Love,

T xx

Side note - Adidas (because, fashion). A long time fashionista friend of mine recently shared about purging some of her shoe wardrobe in exchange for shoes that actually feel good and are comfortable! It inspired me to take a look at my own shoe wardrobe and make some cuts, and purchases. These Adidas Cloud Foam sneakers are a DREAM. I have been wearing them every day since I got them. Talk about self care... they are sooo comfortable! (They have memory foam in them!) I can't wait to wear-them-in even more, and pair them with skirts and dresses come spring.

Bell Sleeve Jacket  - Zara
Adidas Cloud Foam Sneakers - avail at Khol's and Nordstrom Rack 
Adidas Slide Sandals (top pic) - avail here

Why my 2017 sucked (and why it didn't) + a printed suit (because, fashion)

Sunday, December 31, 2017

I got a fan letter the other day. At first I thought it was a prank. I really did. It's not just because it's been a long time since I've been in a movie or TV show, but because that pretty much sums up my knee-jerk reaction to any sort of kindness or goodness in 2017. I just don't trust it. If you know me, you know that I'm mostly an extremely positive, see-the-good-in-every-situation kind of gal, but 2017 changed me. It was a hefty year that changed a whole lot of us.

I have bad-ass, straight-talking friend from Boston who always chimes in on any sort of complaint by her caucasian, middle-to-upper class mom friends by saying "first world problems" and I know she's right. (Although I'm half Mexican, I was gifted the genetic pool of looking like the ones who have it a whole lot easier.) I have a tremendous amount to be grateful for, and even more to be genuinely joyful about; Work I love, two healthy, brilliant children, if-I-do-say-so-myself, a solid marriage going a decade + strong, and a big house to wrap us all up at night. But I'm more than a bit weathered from a year that was suffering from the consequences of the aftermath that was 2016.

I know I'm not alone, and I know I'm in the company of many who endured so much more. But man, I'm so happy to say goodbye to one of the toughest years yet. Friendships were tested (the true ones remain) some relationships built in business in 2016 were built up with hopeful naivety, only to crumble drastically in the light of day, sharp fangs being revealed after the first disagreement. I parted ways with people I didn't necessarily want to, but knew there was no other way around it, in order to move forward, having grown tired of pulling dead weight for so long. Some decided to see the worst in me as well, instead of the years of service, love, and opportunities I created, including a family member who I once considered an iron-clad confidant. This was where my 2017 started, and the residual effects continued throughout the year.

I look back and feel as though 2017 was full of so much hard work. One mountain after another to climb, climb, climb. One obstacle after the next, to overcome. I think collectively we all got hit, at times it felt as though the whole world was turned upside down. I could see it on the faces of strangers passing by, deep sighs of a mutual understanding was all the communication needed. Wrong was right, and had won elections. Natural disasters raged with fury. Senseless killings. One news story after another, as the world fell down around us.

But small miracles happened as well. My favorite aunt survived rigorous cancer treatments and surgery. I held her hand as she went from resilient warrior, to the fragile elderly, back to her warrior self again. Two friendships in particular bloomed exponentially, digging deep into that hidden part of myself, and pulling out the sunshine with a gentle reminder - some people can be trusted - some people will recognize my good. My five year old son taught himself to be brave in the face of new challenges, not to mention a new language, and I found a reason to keep going in business, realizing that only I possess the key, and having the confidence to stand on my own is exactly what I needed to learn.

Banana Republic Suit, Vintage Silk Blouse, DVF Leopard Pumps

Things were rocky, but there were moments of sweetness as well. I suppose it was the necessary dark to make the light beam loudly with its brilliance. Even in the hardest moments, I could still keep my head above water somehow, finding comfort in the knowledge that nothing lasts forever, the good or the bad.

In those heart clutching moments when I thought I couldn't take anymore, a moment of relief would always come. Like the time my kids both found me slumped over my computer in defeat, dinner burning on the stove, tears welling up in my eyes, absolutely frazzled, burnt, burned and heartbroken to the core, and they wrapped their arms around me and said "You're a good mommy. You're doing a good job, mama." and I knew it would all be ok.

It took a lot of work to get here. Over one year to be exact. But through love, and meditation, therapy, and prayer, I've survived. Back into my warrior self again, and ready for what 2018 throws at me.

One thing I know for sure - things are different. Very different. And they'll never be the same. But I'll survive this new normal.

We all will. If we just keep swimming. Happy New Year!

T xx

Photos by SKCN Design 

A shapeless dress (a la Manrepeller) and dressing for your girlfriends

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Do you have that one dress or one item in your closet that only our girlfriends can appreciate? The straight men in our lives sometimes don't quite understand what we're going for because it may seem "shapeless" or too "fashion forward". Well, I have that item and I'm in LOVE with it.

I inherited it from a clothing exchange and the vibrant gold/yellow color was such a show-stopper, I'm glad I grabbed it on my way out the door. 

My friend who gave it to me said her husband wasn't a huge fan, and I got the same reaction from my dude. I think they prefer the more form-fitting, feminine stuff (see my previous post, which he loved) and which I can understand and love to wear as well, but this hybrid sack/cape shape is just so easy, chic and comfortable!

And I think... as long as you wear this shape with heels to add some contrast, and wear it with confidence - you too can rock this look!

It actually feels like how I'd like to dress in my fantasy world... avante garde, a slight nod to Japanese style, with heavy art influence. 

But for now I'll just be happy with taking this dress out for a spin when I'm in the mood!

Plus, your fashion-loving girlfriends who will go ga ga over something so bold. And I personally dress more for them sometimes... don't you?

Hope you found some fashion confidence and inspiration!

Dress - COS
Heels - Zara
Necklace - Banana Republic 
Purse - Vintage

Photos & Art direction by Steffi Neth for SKCN Design 

Burgundy Holiday Look - Olivia Palermo x Banana Republic + Vintage Hat

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Sometimes I feel a little funny posting about fashion stuff when there are so many, more serious issues happening around us. I obviously have my thoughts (just read my previous post on sexual harassment in Hollywood), but there's nothing wrong with continuing on with the things that bring you joy. Am I right?

This time of year, and planning out out holiday looks is so fun and can bring so much joy! It's seriously my favorite time to get creative and dress up!

I hope I can bring you a little bit of fashion joy and inspiration, too. A friend gave me the best compliment the other day. She said she thinks about me sometimes when she's getting dressed for an event, and that I inspire her to be bold and be daring and even sexy sometimes!

It was seriously one of the best compliments I've ever received, (love you, Sage!) and makes me want to keep going with these posts, even though my life is so full and so busy with so many other creative endeavors.

From acting, into to fashion styling, into blogging and fashion videos, and now landing into the world of producing and directing...

Finding the simple joys in getting dressed is so important. Bonus, if it's something that makes you feel sexy, or bold or just plain confident... well, ladies... we can be unstoppable.

Silk top and Silk Skirt - Olivia Palermo for Banana Republic
No longer avail, but this silk cami dress has a similar feel.

I also love this burgundy lace cami, it would look great even with black denim!

Heels - Sole Society
Try a pop of burgundy with these similar merlot velvet sandals!

Hat - Vintage
This Janessa Leone Jana hat in burgundy is wider brimmed, but OMG so fab.

Paisley Printed Jacket - Banana Republic 
(Stay tuned for this full printed suit soon!)

Photos by SKCN Design

Sexual harassment, acting, and that girl I used to be

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A long time ago I decided that what I was sacrificing in order to be an actress wasn’t worth the potential rewards, even if those (let’s face it, highly unattainable) rewards could be great. I decided that what I was actually looking for in all of my years in the movies, and on those embarrassingly over sexualized magazine covers was two fold - I was simply looking for love and adoration, and financial security. Both of which I lacked in my childhood, and both of which were always fleeting in my years as an actress. 

Never consistent. 

Never sustainable. 

Like a dangling carrot I could only sometimes reach, but always left hungry in the end. 

I remember one weekend when I was flown away to do a horror film convention, signing autographs of myself scantily clad on 8 x 10 glossies and thinking... there has to be more than this. While doing a press interview I was asked the question of which director I’d love to work with in the future. I said Cameron Crowe. 

Everyone blinked. 

I never fit in that world and yet I continued to be offered work, so I continued to work. Who was I to turn it down? Who was I to say no? 

No thank you, Mr. Jackass B-movie, bondage-loving photographer, I don’t want to pose for this shoot wearing that. 

No, Mr. Casting Director, I don’t think it’s OK for me to take off my shirt in this audition because it’s necessary for you to “see my body” should I get the part and we have to film a love scene. (This happened.)

No, Mr. well-known headshot photographer I will not accept your offer to get free headshots if I "make it worth your while" simply because I asked if I could post-date my check. (I declined the offer.)

And whoever made that decision all those years ago at Femme Fatale magazine to make my first ever magazine cover into a zoomed-in shot of only my mouth licking an ice cream cone, transforming a once playful and artistic image shot by a high-fashion photographer into something completely over-sexualized - EF you. YOU are part of the problem in this industry.

Look, I understand you think that only “sex sells”, especially in the world of demons and demon slayers, and I understand that I was the one who said yes and posed in my underwear, and shot that scene, but there is a plethora of young and talented girls out there who never get the chance to be taken seriously, because we are simply saying yes. 

We say yes for survival. 

We say yes for the chances. 

We say yes for the opportunities. 

It infuriates me when I hear the judgmental tone toward these women who may or may not have said yes to a shoulder rub from Harvey Weinstein, or said yes to drinks after hours, or yes to a sexy photograph they later regretted. By the way, the above photographs I'm not ashamed of, or I wouldn't have posted them. But there are plenty of pictures out there that make me cringe when I think of my kids seeing them someday. There are decisions I made that make me cringe when I think about them. But dammit, I feel like there's no one looking out for these young girls.

The ones who say yes because they didn't have the upbringing or parents that you did. 

The ones who say yes to pay the rent and keep going. 

Stop judging them. 

Through the grace of God I eventually realized that enough yes’ could run me straight into a path I never wanted. I once knew a girl who’s yes’ from those movies and those “opportunities” took her straight into the path of pornography. And she was lovely. And talented. And it breaks my heart every time I think of her. And that is why I took myself out. Who knows... Maybe I was never good enough for the big leagues. Maybe I didn’t try for long enough, push hard enough. Maybe I didn't make it my every and only thing. I guess I’ll never know. But I knew that I had to start saying no - and fast, before I lost myself completely. 

Eventually, I had the guts to start writing, something that fulfilled me even if it didn’t matter to anyone else. But somehow, by some miracle, it started to matter. I had interest in something other than my physical being, interest from what was inside my brain and inside my heart and put down on paper. There was never a better feeling. But those moments were short-lived as well. I remember when I was asked to a meeting with a producer who had gotten some of my pages. As we sat in that meeting, me trying to hide my jitters in my more serious thrift store “writer outfit”, I hoped for that moment that could possibly change my life. All too soon, I was overtaken with the sinking feeling that he wasn’t there for my words. My fears were confirmed when he outright said “look, I have to be honest, your script is good, it needs some work, but it’s good... but I’m more interested in this beautiful woman sitting before me who could write such passionate love stories. I’d like to get to know you better.”

I almost said yes. I almost said yes to being taken out on a date with this man, yes to describing in detail why I wrote that one love scene and if I had personally had that experience, yes to him “helping me with my career”... yes to a relationship that could have maybe gotten my movie made. 

But I didn’t. I got up, walked out, and never looked back.

That script is still sitting on top of my files in my office, collecting dust with its faded, pink cover, my heart and soul inside it. 

I now know that the reason I was able to get up and walk out on that part of my life was because I had an even bigger dream - a family of my own. A chance to do things differently. To fill my daughter with so much love and confidence that she'd never let herself be treated some of the ways I allowed myself to be. To give her confidence in her appearance, but to always make it secondary, to her heart and to her beautiful mind. To raise my son to know the difference between right and wrong, flirting and harassment, respect and power abuse. 

As hard as it was sometimes, I look back on that time in my life with a lot of gratitude. It brought me here, and it wasn't all bad. There were a handful of lovely photographers and directors and actors I worked with (you know who you are) who treated me with respect and kindness. But I will say that as a whole - that industry needs a whole lot of shaking up. 

And bravo, it looks like it's happening. 

Holiday Look - Lace Top / Boyfriend Jeans / Statement Earrings

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Who's ready for Thanksgiving?! I'm looking at my calendar throughout the rest of the year and already seeing just about every spare moment booked up with events, holiday parties, and special time with friends, so I'm so happy to say that on Thanksgiving, it will just be me and my little family. No hosting, no stress. Which is so perfect. I usually love nothing more than a house full of people, but it's been such a crazy year that it feels good to know that I'll actually be relaxing. 

The hubs has our (tiny) turkey brining in the fridge, and I'll be making a homemade pumpkin pie tonight. Other than that, it will be an easy go tomorrow. 

Since we'll be making some pre dinner rounds to visit friends, I'm thinking I'll step it up (just) a notch with an outfit like this... Perfect for Turkey Day, or any other holiday event that requires some casual dressing up!

Baggy, boyfriend jeans (because, um... hello, second helpings) balanced nicely with a lace top and statement earrings. Bonus - you might already have these items in your closet!

 Happy Thanksgiving, and happy outfit inspiration!

Scroll Lace Mock Neck Top - Loft
Ripeed Boyfriend Jeans - Lucky Jeans
Jasmine Tassel Drop Earrings - Anthropologie

Photos & art direction by Steffi Neth at SKCN Design