Why I Married Someone I Wasn’t Attracted To


It wasn’t love at first sight.

Or the second. Or the third.

After maybe the twentieth time we hung out together (and 3.5 years later), Mr. Wonderful took an interest in me because I pretended to smoke a french fry at a group dinner with mutual friends (classy, I know).

By the time we went on our first “date,” I still wasn’t interested in him. To be fair, I thought we were going on a date as “friends.” If I had known better I would have declined altogether instead of leading the poor guy on.

But he persisted. And even though I was not attracted to him, I eventually decided to give the potential relationship a try. I let my brain win over my hormones. He was a good guy. My last boyfriend treated me badly. Why not?

This is where most people whom I have told this story to get confused. You mean you dated and then eventually married someone you didn’t feel any initial chemistry with? How does that work?

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The Best and Worst of Bali


Years ago, a friend invited me to go to Bali with her. Her parents lived there, and she painted visions of tropical beaches, cheap massages and gourmet food for a fraction of the price. But getting to paradise cost more than my college student budget could afford at the time, so I never made it out to Bali. That is, until last week. [Read more…]

Traveling to Antarctica: A Wish Fulfilled


I have officially stepped foot on all seven continents of the world.

As odd as it may sound, going to Antarctica had been on the top of my bucket list over the last decade. It started with my senior trip in high school, when I went on an Alaskan cruise with a group of friends instead of traveling to traditional teen destinations such as Hawaii or Mexico. For a California girl who hates the cold, I became oddly captivated by the remote, icy wilderness—untainted by people but a sanctuary for animals you would never be able to find anywhere else.

I wasn’t aware that going to Antarctica was a possibility until I was in college, after hearing a friend tell me about all the exotic places his parents would travel to, including Antarctica. I secretly added it to my list of “Things to Do Before I Die” which eventually became “Things to Do Before I Have Kids.” [Read more…]

What Does “For Better Or For Worse” Really Mean? (Part Two)

Marriage…this story is a continuation from this post.

Two years after my battle with depression, my spouse and I faced a marriage crisis. I don’t know that any marriage is immune from having one. I do have friends who seem like they never fight, and agree with each other on just about everything. Perhaps they’re just really low-maintenance. Perhaps they’re hiding from the truth. In our case, we were living in denial. We had been brushing things away, thinking they were no big deal, when in fact we were sweeping it all into an enormous pile that became the elephant in the room. Seeking couples therapy Sacramento became our lifeline, helping us navigate through the challenges and rebuild our relationship on a stronger foundation. Those who are undergoing divorce may consider consulting a Gaithersburg divorce lawyer.

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Highlights from Mercedes-Benz Panama Fashion Week

After attending my first Fashion Week, I have a lot of respect for the fashion press who sit through shows all day, work all night to go through their photos and notes, and then repeat it all the next day. Sifting through the 600+ pictures I took during the three-day event was exhausting (and there were entire shows where I didn’t bother taking any photos!), but I’m thrilled I had the privilege to be part of the excitement.

Below are some of my favorite highlights. Since pictures speak louder than words, I’ll let them do (most of) the talking. Enjoy!

PFW-2The ever chic jewelry designer Melina Typaldos dancing down the runway. I love Panamanians; they’re always ready for a good time!


A glimpse of the front-row audience. [Read more…]

8 Funny Styles from Panama Fashion Week 2014

It’s not Fashion Week without some styles that are so strange, they’re hilarious. Not that I don’t appreciate creativity and artistry. There’s a reason runway shows are distinguished from ready-to-wear, because it allows designers to explore certain concepts that they wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. But I’m a firm believer that art needs to engage the audience, to provoke thinking, not befuddlement. If the viewer has no idea what the artist is trying to convey, then the dialogue is lost. If the emperor is naked, then someone needs to point it out.

Here are 8 styles that left me in confusion (perhaps you can lend some clarity?):

Chanel has the $12,500 grocery basket, and Anya Hindmarch has the cereal box clutch, so I guess it only makes sense we should sport nutrition facts on our wardrobe as well. [Read more…]

I Can’t Believe It’s Not a Dream!

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Panama? Who knew? When I first heard about it a month ago, I inquired the coordinators for a possible invite. Instead, I was offered a press pass. Wait, me? As I’m writing this, I’m standing next to a photographer with a camera lens three times the length of mine.

PanamaFashionWeeksphotographersNo joke. I’m still pinching myself that this is all real!

The event is for three days, with the runway shows from 5:30pm – 9:30pm. My first thought when I got the schedule was, wait, what about dinner?! Will there be food? Or is everyone expected to starve since it’s the fashion industry? To be safe, I had a hearty lunch of fried chicken and a chocolate cookie beforehand. No dieting for this girl!

I did, however, buy a last-minute outfit from Forever 21 and a pair of kitten heels from Zara. I had to explain to Mr. Wonderful why the travel clothes in my suitcase just weren’t going to cut it.


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Best Shoes for Travel (that aren’t ugly)

It used to be that I would buy travel shoes with slightly more style than comfort. I survived multiple trips to Europe and Asia this way, bringing my Tory Burch flats and Sam Edelman Trina sandals that were so popular with fashion bloggers. Sure, my feet would hurt a bit after 10 hours of sightseeing, but it was nothing unbearable.

Last year, I wasn’t so lucky. In the middle of a trip to Copenhagen, my right foot started hurting badly. It turned out I fractured tiny bones in my foot pad, which sometimes never heals. My podiatrist explained it was simply one too many cobblestone roads in shoes with thin soles, and there was a price to pay. I now have chronic sesamoiditis, so wearing high heels and flats with thin soles can cause a lot of pain for me.

Now that I’m forced to err on the side of comfort over style, my choices are more limited. I spent the summer checking out shoes in stores like The Walking Company, Aerosoles and Clarks, in addition to selections offered at Nordstrom and Zappos. Some pairs, like the Adam Tucker brand I purchased from Nordstrom, felt heavenly when I first slipped them on and then gave me cramps after a few hours of wear. The problem is that we tend to fall for the “cloud-like” feeling of soft padding, but what your feet actually needs is firm padding with some flexibility. Thank goodness for Nordstrom’s satisfaction policy! When I explained my situation, they were more than happy to take them back.

After a few months of trial and error, I finally made some purchases based on the five criteria for purchasing travel shoes from my last post. Here they are!

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Five Tips for Purchasing Travel Shoes


Since I started traveling, some readers have asked me, “What is the most comfortable and stylish shoe for traveling?” It’s a tricky question, because everyone has their own style preferences and feet are as unique as individuals. I’m a size 6.5 with a slightly wider toe box and a high arch, so what works for me may not work for others. I did, however, literally try on over 30 shoes this summer in my personal hunt for the best pairs, so hopefully my upcoming reviews will save you some frustration and time!

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