besties & bubbly: NYE party inspiration

Going "out" for New Year's Eve is so 2015. The older I get, the more I simply desire staying in or spending the evening with a few close friends. All of that in mind as we creep into the end of 2017, I felt inspired to create a girls' holiday/NYE shoot. Because I'm obsessed with SF, I wanted the venue to be based there and somewhere niche that felt like every girls' safe haven. Somewhere that lived and breathed "city sleek." Enter, Wine Down in SOMA!

As we're all probably aware by now, metallics and velvets are taking over the fashion world for the fall and winter months, so that was where my initial inspiration came in.  I wanted to play off the natural textures inside the bar, particularly the wood. There is something so inviting and warm about it. I decided to go with a bare tablescape, paired with a sleek black and gold runner from Lavish SF to keep things clean. My amazing friend and vendor, Angie of Chairs and Cups helped me conceptualize the perfect plateware/stemware set to make everything flow cohesively with the colors we had chosen. The best part was accenting this table with mercury votives, wooden antlers, and other odds and ends I sourced from Eileen (owner of Lost + Found Vintage Rentals). 

I hope this shoot inspires anyone planning a party to not be intimidated to go BIG on the details. I think that a tablescape that is well-thought out is one of the most important pieces of planning a perfect party. I really wanted to incorporate something that would make the table pop (but not in a gaudy way) and working with Angie (owner of Bobo Design Studio) was a dream. She came up with those gorgeous diamond-cut personalized name cards for each of the guests. 

ProTip:  always incorporate some type of interactive activity for the guests. In this case, I wanted it to to be DIY-related. I've worked with the amazing Keegan (owner of Petal Atelier) for over a year now, collaborating on different projects, and she knew exactly the route I was wanting to go down. She suggested a DIY floral wreath station. I wanted the aesthetic to be neutral enough where it didn't scream Christmas at you, so we went with very earthy florals and greenery for these wreaths. The girls had an amazing time using the tools and creating some fun wreaths to take home. PS: How stunning are those bigger bouquets with strawberries, pomegranates, and anemones?! We were jaw dropped at their beauty. 

Then came the cake! Rachel (owner of Bay Cakes Design) came up with a perfect mini cake to round out the party. I knew I wanted black and I have admired her work for a while now, but she blew me out of the water with the detail she added with the sugar flowers on top of it. Sitting it on top of Lost + Found Vintage's bar cart with my felt board was one of the most inviting vignettes of this shoot.

Finally, it was MY job to do all the wardrobe styling for this shoot which was very fun for me. I wanted to go with jewel tones, metallics, and subtle dramatic additions of fur and velvet.  Huge shoutout to Sunshine Shannon for capturing all this goodness! Peep the gallery below and the whole vendor team under that! Happy New Year babes <3

Vendor List:

Creative Direction/ Planning/ Styling: Naseem Events 

Wardrobe Styling: Naseem Events (Anthropologie and Madewell // Jewelry: Kendra Scott) 

Venue: Wine Down SF

Photographer: Sunshine Shannon

Florist: Petal Atelier

MUAH: Imagi by Fiona

Diamond cut name place cards: Bobo Design Studio

Cake: Bay Cakes Design

Invitation and Signage: Caffeineated Letters

Runner and confetti poppers: Lavish SF

Plateware/stemware/glassware: Chairs and Cups

Video: Elmira Saalabi  

Bar cart, pillows, votives, and wood antlers: Lost + Found Vintage Rentals

best of #march

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 2.56.48 PM Can you believe tomorrow is April 1st? Where is this year going?! I swear each year flies by sooner than the last. Starting at the end of each month I've decided to do a round up of a few of my favorite indulgences. This is definitely geared more towards the ladies, sorry boys! I'm hoping to incorporate a mix of things to stay true to covering all things lifestyle related, so expect to see my most satisfying shopping buys, skincare reviews, as well as cute things I just had to share. Let's get started!

  1. YSL Radiant Touch Highlighting Pen: I got this as a gift from my cousin when I was visiting Paris earlier this month. Cannot explain how much I love it. It's the perfect highlighter to apply midday when you're feeling like your makeup is wearing off and you need the extra pick-me-up.
  2. Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil: I'm becoming more and more of a fan of the matte look on lips, especially for darker colors like red. Pairs as a lipstick and liner.

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3. Mario Badescu SkincareThis entire line is to die for. I sampled their lotion this past weekend in an Urban Outfitters in LA and was so surprised at how soft it kept my hands all afternoon long. Being the lotion aficionado I am, I'm always on the hunt for a good bottle. I carry lotion around with me everywhere I go since I have extremely dry skin so finding one that keeps them moisturized for longer than an hour is key. This one did the trick. My cousin told me she had been using his skincare line for 20 years now so as soon as I got home I went all in and purchased a few of his things. I am OBSESSED with the silver powder. It's seriously a magic powder that works wonders for blackheads and oily skin. Plus side, each product is very cheap considering the quality and quantity that comes in each bottle. Cannot wait to try more of his skincare line.

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4. Madewell's Brisbane Crossbody Bag: Perfect bag for the summer and I'm loving the size since I was getting sick of carrying my bigger Madewell bag. Bonus - get 30% off right now, see link for details!

5. Le Sportsac X Rifle Paper Makeup Bag: I think I am what one might call brand-obsessed when it comes to Rifle Paper. I even call the brand my spirit animal, LOL. So when I found out they came out with their own line of cosmetic bags, I had to get one. I had been looking for a new makeup bag for a while too and I'm super happy with the quality of this one (plus the pockets inside for my makeup brushes). It's big enough to take on a trip if you want to stuff it with toiletries too.

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What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

 

#SEATTLE

Almost a month late but worth the wait! I couldn't resist posting some photos from my recent trip to Seattle at the end of April. I had such an amazing time visiting one of my childhood friends and exploring the city together for a few days. As soon as I touched down, in true "Naseem fashion" we took the train to an old abandoned cinema where they were hosting this 90's music video sing along party. It was amazing. The seating was almost like an indoor drive in where each person had their own little booth and waiters would come over to you and deliver drinks and snacks. We danced, we sang, we were nostalgic to the MAX. It was epic. The rest of the weekend was filled with a whole lot of F O O D. I took the train to Pike Place Market by myself on Friday and explored all there was to see. There was so much action -- someone selling freshly caught fish in one corner, another corner filled with fresh flowers being arranged and sold, and another corner of little shops like a quaint magic store and one with screen prints from the last few decades. The market was like a maze. I felt like I got lost a million times but I couldn't stop going around and around. I walked past the gum wall -- and couldn't help just staring at HOW much gum there was on it! What else? Treated myself to Beecher's mac and cheese while watching the cheese being made in front of me! Got some Seattle coffee, baked goods, and of course the clam chowder. (Hands down the best I have ever had!).

Aside from that, it was so nice to experience a change of pace from what I'm used to with SF. Seattle was definitely similar but it had this really interesting vibe about it. More laid back, more defined. I really loved it. Plus the area my friend lives in is so diverse, everywhere we went had its own charm. She unknowingly found out she lives next to this hole in the wall Vietnamese BBQ spot that Anthony Bourdain swears by. We found this out and went at 9:45pm after having lounged rooftop in her jacuzzi. Perfect Saturday night. Then came home and passed out, haha.

One other really fun part of the trip for me was driving out to Alki Beach. It was so stunning to see this beach because not only are you staring out into the ocean while laying on the sand but your view is of snow covered mountains. It was truly majestic. The mountains there are something else. I felt like I was Maria in Sound of Music with the backdrop of Austria's mountains almost. It was so beautiful. I seriously can't wait to go back, this was one of those cities that grabs you and leaves you itching for more of it. So, so glad I had the chance to go and feed my wanderlust bug that is yearning for more and more travel ;)

                                      

#beautyprivilege

2015/01/img_6315.jpg "Beauty privilege is very real. None of us are imagining it, and if we aren’t born genetic lottery winners, our only option is to compensate with style, grace, and charm. Of course, none of that shit comes cheap. That’s kind of the whole point. It’s all meant to be aspirational and exclusionary. We’re supposed to feel depressed by our skin, agitated by our bodies, and anxious about our invisibility. That’s the insidious subtlety of social control. The worst part is that we know in our rational minds that it’s all bullshit, and yet we’re still plagued with self-loathing when we can’t live up to unattainable beauty standards. No matter how much self-acceptance we achieve, we can still look in the mirror and instantly catalog all the things about ourselves that we don’t think measure up. It’s maddening. It makes us feel like hypocrites even though it’s not our hypocrisy." - The Coquette

#90s birthday party

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Last week or so was my 24th birthday. Why does writing that make me feel suddenly old? Lol.. Sorry to everyone taking offense to that but just thinking of myself as 24 feels so odd. Back in the day I always thought "I'll be married and have a home at 24".... Oh how different life has turned out [in a great way].

So blessed with how much of a whirlwind the past year has been [yes, since turning 24 I've made a pact with myself to look at everything positively ;) ]. But really though, it's been so eye opening and I've changed SO much even in a year .. Looking back at 23 til now I feel like so much has changed about me, even mentality wise and how I look at things.

I'll leave the personal self-reflection for another post, but onto more exciting things to share -- I had an AMAZING 90's birthday party this year. It's been a dream of mine since I was a teenager to throw an all-out themed party -set in the 90's if course.

If you want to know anything about me, one of the most important things is how nostalgic of a person I am. Especially if it's a time / memory that I really loved, I'll continue to try to make that moment live on for as long as I can. Which I've actually learned can be somewhat of a depressing thing/ the dangers of living in the past too much.... But, hey, you live and learn.

Anyways, the 90's will always be perfection to me. The music, the TV, the childhood memories I personally had, junior high (yes, I'm one of the few who actually loved my junior high years)... The pop culture, the movies, all of it. Even the style.. I see so much 90's making a comeback now it's amazing.

With the help of a few of my dearest friends we brainstormed and came up with the most amazing party. I was so excited to whip out so many posters I had kept from the 90's til now. I have a trunk full of spice girls clippings and all these Tiger Beat posters/ Bop Magazine. The goods ;)

We had it all -- Beanie Babies (looking at you Pegah!), Spice Girls Barbies, my old 90's album covers hung across a chandelier, old VHS' like Drive Me Crazy & the making of BSB's music videos. I even had my old sticker books on display. Yes I collected like no other.

Anyways, I'm so so happy I can look back at these photos later in life and reflect on how perfect the party turned out and how creative my friends are. The geometric party theme? Courtesy of my bestie, Amanda, and her amazing party planning skills. The dessert table and photo booth were all her and they were seriously breath taking. I remember walking into the house and seeing all of it, so surprised, and so in awe at how it looked like it was straight out of Pinterest.

 

Also, special shoutout to my girls [Yasmin](http://yasella.com/) and [Cheri](http://cheriroohi.com/) for documenting these amazing photos of the night <3

Enjoy! I know I did. Now the only thing left is to too this all for the big 2-5 next year ;)

#justforfun

Today my cousin & I got super spontaneous and decided mid-day to head off for a beach day together. It was crazy that in mid-January, the weather was absolutely amazing! The sun was out, people were surfing on the waves, and we enjoyed sitting back, eating lunch together, overlooking the ocean. It was such a fun day and just allowed me to once again realize the power in spontaneity and being adventurous. Especially for us Californians, the beach is our backyard, yet I visit so seldom! The character of Capitola is absolutely precious -- every nook and cranny makes you feel like you're walking through a small European city. All mom& pop shops and natives! Of course my cousin is quite the up and coming photographer, so I had a ton of fun being her model for the day ;) All photo cred goes to : Sanna Nour Photography! I'm loving the new perspective I've been living out the past few weeks. I'm doing all I can to better myself, be my own best friend, and just figure things out. It's tough in your early 20's (who knew!?), but I'm getting the hang of it and I'm so motivated with the growth that God is doing in me. In every aspect there's a new lesson He's been revealing to me and it's finally now (after years) that I'm looking to grasp these lessons with a grain of salt & humility. Change is good.... the best is yet to come!

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