Category Archives: Travel Essentials

Under Construction…Back in 2015!

Where to begin… First and foremost I owe you a majorly humongous apology.  I apologize for disappearing and going black on the site for the last two months and with no explanation or even a sign of life of when I would be back.  The move to Dallas, TX for work has been such a rewarding experience but has definitely had it’s fair share of bumps in the road.  Like 99% of the blogging world I have a “9 to 5” that consumes a large majority of my free time and with this new position, at a brand new company I’ve struggled a bit finding the right balance.  This beautiful space that I share will all of you here is one of my most treasured creations. While I wished I’d have reached this discovery much sooner than now, I’m just happy I’m finally in a great space to get back to being an active member of the CSM community.

In preparation for the new year I’m currently working on a few new exciting updates and a few changes to help make the CSM community a more fruitful experience.  I’m bursting at the seams with excitement but will hold it in until 2015.

So cheers to an amazing year but lets raise our flutes to many more runways that await us in the new year!  In the mean time get sneak peeks of what’s to come in 2015 for CSM by following me on IG, Twitter & FB xo

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Taco Diner: Tex Mex 101

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Upon our arrival to Dallas the hubs and I made the ever important decision that the only way to explore and discover Dallas was through it’s food.  If you have ever had the pleasure of visiting the great state of Texas you may have noticed that Tex Mex is a cornerstone of Texan cuisine.  With a number of repeated suggestions telling us that Taco Diner was an absolute Dallas must we decided to give this Tex Mex gem a try and boy are my taste buds happy that we did.

Taco Diner prides itself on emphasizing the bold flavors found in traditional Mexico City Taquerias by presenting a lighter approach to authentic Mexican cooking in a bustling, high energy atmosphere.  The vibrant colors and cozy setting are the perfect balance to the off the chart flavors of their signature cocktails (ahem, Mambo Taxi is every bit of delicious nectar as it looks) and tasty tacos.  While tacos aren’t the only item on their menu they had me at “Felipe Cheesesteak” tacos and unfortunately were all that I seen on my second and third visit as well.  Seriously, CHEESESTEAK in a homemade flour tortilla-heaven.

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So, if you haven’t yet added this foodie destination to your Dallas food list take 2 seconds and do it now.  Done?  Okay, now the next question you may have is what to wear.  No worries, I have you covered.  Now go and have a Mambo Taxi and another one for me too okay!

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Top L to R: Colorblock Crossbody/ Mix Print Crew Top/ Leather Shorts/ Slip-On Sneakers

 

#CSMTravels: Living out of a suitcase…

photo 5So as of today I’ve been living in Dallas, TX for about two weeks but most importantly I’ve been living out of a suitcase for two weeks.  Yes, I said “suːt.keɪs” (suitcase).  For the big move from Chicago, IL to Dallas, TX the hubs and I opted for movers to do all of the dirty work for us and while that included the phenomenal perk of a team of gladiators coming into my home and tidily pack up/wrap/move all of our worldly belongings.  The major downside was that upon arrival to our new home none of our stuff would be there waiting for us.  Now I know what your thinking because I thought the same thing but the small detail that doesn’t get accounted for when you try to make decisions based on logic is the absence of emotion.  It would have majorly helped in easing the transition to getting acclimated to living here in Dallas, coupled with the luxury of getting settled in almost immediately.  The second unaccountable factor when decisions are based on logic?  Minimizing the risk factor and in our case, the risk of a possible delay.  While we were going through the entire move process every step seemed seamless.  The entire time I kept having the eerie feeling that it was just going too perfect and fought myself to move past those thoughts but apparently I didn’t do that thorough of a job because the delivery of our stuff is now officially a whole week late.  Que the major regret of not properly factoring in the huge impact of risk.  Once I was able to accept this news as my new reality, I was finally able to process that I had to continue to struggle with the inability to access my closet for an additional week.  Mind you, I’m not worried about having my own bed to sleep in or couches to lounge and watch TV-I’m more concerned about having ensemble options so major priority revamping may need to occur later but that will be a different post.

To my credit though I did prep for the possibility of going a whole other week without access to my closet.   I stuck to my travel style go-to: mix and match separates.  Totally goes without saying that the news of having to go through a whole other 7 days without my closet seemed like the fashion gods were punishing me for a fashion faux pax I must have committed in my past life.  While the simple answer would have been to just buy a whole week’s worth of clothes to carry me through the second week (seriously what girl needs an excuse to shop and spend money right?).  Instead of the easy way out I decided to challenge myself and work within my current selection and a styling miracle happened!  Having the impromptu curveball of making 7 additional ensembles gave me not only a much needed styling refresher but it forced me to look at my pieces in a different way and see the endless versatile possibilities that my pieces hold.

Moral of the story?  Take some time to revisit your closet and re-style your pieces with with the rest of your closet because you will definitely be surprised by the hidden gems that you have yet to discover in there!  Happy re-shopping xoxo

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Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster: “Euqinimod & Costumes”

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  • What’s the inspiration:   Dominique was inspired by producing an archeological timeline of her own wardrobe and how each piece of clothing displayed directly correlates to her own personal history and evolution.  This is such a monumental exhibit because I completely agree with Dominique’s assertion that we all experience a personal evolution in our lifetime and the most concrete and sentimental remnant of those experiences are our clothing and style.  This exhibit 100% embodies CSM’s mantra of, Using Fashion as Armour to walk Life’s Runway.

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  • Why it’s relevant:  The premise of style evolution is such a real and true account that to have someone present in such a thoughtful and conceptual format for all of us to visualize the notion that one, experiences are the guiding arrows to not only our personal growth but has direct link to moulding our fashion and style choices and second that the idea of ‘Fashion is Art & Art is Fashion’ is very much a factual truth.

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  • Where to see it:  Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster: “Euqinimod & Costumes” will be showing at  303 Gallery (507 West 24th Street, New York, NY) until May 31st, so don’t miss out if you have the opportunity to check it out!

 

 

Reading is the new Black!

Summer is officially coming to an end and like many of you I have a lot on the agenda for this long holiday weekend and they all center around a few of my favorite R’s: Rest & Relaxation.  There is no better way to kick off a weekend of rejuvenation then with a good fashion book.  After all how else are you suppose to fill up your time while your lounging on the beach catching some rays?

Stay travel chic with one of the best accessories this year with my round up of the Top 5 best fashion books for 2013:

Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

1. Revenge Wears Prada, by Lauren Weisberger is the long awaited sequel to ‘The Devil wears Prada’ where, 10 years after having left Runway magazine, Andy and former colleague Emily have set up a successful weddings magazine, ‘The Plunge’. Though all looks to be going well, the past catches up with Andy following the return of Miranda. Every bit as sharp and glamorous as the first book, this sequel is a perfect poolside read.

 

Coco's Secret by Niamh Greene2. Coco’s Secret by Niamh Greene is the story of Coco Swan, an ordinary-looking small-town antiques dealer who discovers a vintage Chanel handbag in a box of worthless junk, and from that moment on Coco’s quiet world is turned upside down.  This is the perfect pairing for the day at the beach because let’s be honest Chanel in anything and it’s bound to be thrill ride.

 

C.Z. Guest- American Style Icon by Susanna Salk3. C. Z. Guest: American Style Icon, by Susanna Salk pays tribute to an often overlooked figure of enduring good taste, American style icon C.Z. Guest.  I truly believe that possessing great style and having an eye for it is an innate talent but what better way to teach yourself great style then to learn from one of America’s greatest style icons.

 

The Vogue Factor by Kirstie Clements4. The Vogue Factor, by Kirstie Clements is a autobiographical book which charts her rise from humble receptionist at Australian Vogue to editor, may be a fairy tale story but its a true one.  Totally inspiring for any girl who worships at the altar of fashion.   So while your body is rejuvenating why not work on reigniting that drive that keeps you tied into the fashion game.

 

Helena Rubinstein-The Woman Who Invented Beauty by Michele Fitoussi5. Helena Rubinstein: The Woman Who Invented Beauty, by Michele Fitoussi the rags to riches tale of a cosmetics giant, born into poverty in Poland, who became a feminist icon and the darling of an elite society.  Yes it’s 2013, but the struggles that this woman overcame in her time are still just as real for all women today as they were for Helena.  Draw inspiration and motivation to never give up and own your niche and stake claim in your place in whatever it is your little heart desires.  This is a definite must have!

 

Backpacks: The new staple handbag accessory!

Last June I discussed on CSM (here) the nostalgic yet functional significance of backpacks.  Street style mainstays such as Susie Bubble and Bryanboy were seen sporting this old school silhouette while making the rounds during the Spring/Summer 2013 fashion week shows.

Well guess what? Not only does this unique and extremely functional bag fulfill it’s purpose of carrying all of your important “stuff” but it’s also amazing for your shoulder because the weight distribution lessens the strain.  So double bonus now is that it’s still a relevant silhouette and dare I say it’s now an official staple.  You heard me right, it’s now a staple.  So up your game with this silhouette but in a long-term fabrication and what better fabric than leather.

Check out my Top 5 picks below:

Top L to R: 3.1 Phillip Lim (http://bit.ly/15I6HJy)/ Christopher Kane (http://bit.ly/1crs9b2)/ ONE by Nomadic Back to Back (http://bit.ly/15I6V3r)/ Marni (http://bit.ly/1crsieo)/ Wendy Nicholl (http://bit.ly/19IJ9IJ)

Top L to R: 3.1 Phillip Lim (http://bit.ly/15I6HJy)/ Christopher Kane (http://bit.ly/1crs9b2)/ ONE by Nomadic Back to Back (http://bit.ly/15I6V3r)/ Marni (http://bit.ly/1crsieo)/ Wendy Nicholl (http://bit.ly/19IJ9IJ)

 

 

#CSMTravels: Hong Kong Street Style Fashion

Since my first trip to Hong Kong back in October of 2011 I’ve been enthralled by the vibrant and unique self expression of it’s residents.   Hong Kong street style fashion has a very distinct and indescribable fashion aesthetic that could never be fully described with words.  Their fun usage of prints, fabrics, and silhouettes is not only fashion forward but epitomize CSM’s fashion mantra, “Using fashion as armour to walk life’s runway…”

It’s literally taken me 2 years to gain the courage to test out my very limited photography skills and ever since I joined, ‘Team i-Phone’ I’ve transitioned into a self proclaimed i-Phone-ographer.  While I don’t have any plans of transitioning into a street style i-Phone-ographer any day soon, it was definitely such a thrill to move from in front of the camera to behind it.

Check out my Hong Kong street style snaps:

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CSM’s Top 5 Travel Tips!

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With my frequent travels both internationally and domestically here in the United States I’ve learned a thing or two about what are absolute ‘must takes’ and what is totally unnecessary and take up way too much precious travel space.  Being a road warrior who spends approximately 4 months out of the year travelling I’ve now identified my Top 5 absolute musts for my CSM Travels.

1. Scented Candles: The reality is that hotel rooms are not home.  My average work trip is about a week to 2 weeks (the most brutal ones are 3 weeks long and praise Jesus I only do that long of a trip twice a year).  With such a long trip experiencing home sickness is a definite reality for me and anything that can give me the familiarity of “home” is always at the top of my list.  Enter the scented candle.  My home always has an amazing candle burning so having this aids to transferring me to an immediate place of calm and relaxation after a long day. (Cowshed Travel Candles)

2. Skin care Regimen: It’s always important to have any amazing skin care regimen but is even more imperative to have one while travelling.  The stress of travelling coupled with a new environment can wreak havoc on your skin so be extra amazing to your skin and ensure that it’s always properly cleansed and moisturized. (Origins Cleanser & Moisturizer)

3. Throw blanket: Yes hotel rooms are fun but trust me it will wear off after the first 2 days.  Along the same lines of why I bring scented candles is why I always travel with my favorite throw blanket.  You can’t travel with your entire home but these little touches make long travel bearable and more enjoyable. (Space Dye Knit Throw)

4. Comfortable walking shoes:  I can’t stress enough the importance of comfortable walking shoes.  No they don’t have to be sneakers, but they do have to be flats of some sort and able to endure a good amount of walking.  When you are in a new city and especially if it’s a new country, exploration is an absolute must.  Walking around playing tourist won’t get you too far in a pair of heels so save your feet the agony and make sure a great pair of flats are in your suitcase. (Zara Flat Sandals)

5. Roll Method for folding clothes: Yes, it’s called the roll method and all you do is literally roll your clothes up.  Some have taken this method to a whole different level by rolling 2 pieces of clothing at a time to more than double their suitcase space efficiency.  Now your probably wondering why I’ve included this as a travel essential.  Two words for you: Baggage Fees.  Save yourself some money and preserve your need for clothing options.

Well, I’m off to Hong Kong for the next week and half.  Can’t wait to share with you all what new adventures I get into while on the other side of the world! xoxo

 

CSM has a new look!

I seriously can’t believe that the day has finally arrived and I can finally unveil CSM’s new grown and sexy makeover!  When CSM first launched back in April 2011 it was because I needed a pure, raw and tangible outlet for all of the fashion ramblings and opinions I had about the industry.  Over the years you the CSM community have helped me to truely mold and define who and what CSM is and should be.  My initial outlet has become so much more than I would have ever expected and so to have undergone such an extensive and much needed makeover was truly empowering.

The first and major change is CSM’s defining logo!  I’m not going to bore you with the details, but I literally agonized over what the logo would be visually for the first 2 months of this 6 month makeover journey.  Thank goodness for creative design guru and web genius, Laura Granlund of inTIMIDnation for taking all of the feedback you all have given me over the years (and yes, I had it all stored up in my brain).  To now have an actual visual representation of CSM is legit incredible.  So if you are in need of anything graphic/web design related I would highly recommend reaching out to her (literally kept my sanity for these last few months-trust me ask my husband).

CSM's New Logo

Okay I digress, let me get back to CSM’s amah-zing transformation.  The next major change and is the more obvious one, I’M NOT ON BLOGGER ANYMORE!  Yup, CSM needed to put on her big girl panties on and step into the real world of blogging and that required a new handy URL and so naturally it’s www.csmstyle.com.  Now, you all can update your favorites with the new link and what’s even more handy is that the name is in the new URL so you’ll never forget it right?

These next few changes were all about me keeping you all in mind.  One big important change for you is that I wanted to make it as navigationally friendly as possible.  With that in mind  it was really important for me to have a ‘Categories’ tab front and center so that you all would know exactly what the content of CSM is plus you could drill directly into whichever specific category you were looking for and/or wanting to delve deeper in to.

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Another great addition is that you can see I still have all of the old categories you all love like “Pasifika Fashion Series”;  “Shop Local”; “Fashionable Dining” plus a few new ones like “WWAW” (What Would Ana Wear) and “Splurge vs. Save.

Now, peruse and make yourself at home because I’m looking forward to seeing more of you and for a longer time.  Next time, cocktails are a must! xo

 

#CSMTravels for the month of April part 2!

More from my Hong Kong, China travels earlier this month.  One of the most stand out experiences I had this trip was visiting the Sha Tin Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery.  In part 2 of my Photo Diary of my travels this month see if you can find all of the Buddhas that are so skillfully placed in the mountainside (here’s a hint it’s a double digit number).P.S.  I have the correct total at the end of the post….Part 2 of my Photo Diary April travels to Hong Kong:

There were 22 Buddahs! Hopefully you were able to find all 22! xo