A Very Twee Valley High Christmas

I hope everyone is having an amazing holiday! I thought I'd share some of my holiday looks from this year and a few from the past two. This year, I found this amazing school girl-esque dress and paired with a red blouse, it was perfect for Christmas! This year, I made a variety of Christmas crowns and actually had a hard time deciding which one to wear! Oh and the gorgeous tree behind me? It's courteous of my Aunt Terri, who is fabulous at holiday decor. 
Christmas 2011 home in San Antonio, Tx and 2010 in NYC
Have a Happy New Year! xo

20 Awesome Things About Christmas!

Christmas is my favorite time of year. I get so excited that I'm even known to buy gifts months in advance and start wearing ugly/awesome Christmas sweaters the day after Thanksgiving. It's a month of lights, sparkles, family, friends and lots and lots of hot chocolate. As the festive day approaches, I thought I'd share a list of my favorite things this holiday season:

1. The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center

I literally tear up every time I see the tree lit up for the first time. I always feel like I'm over reacting, but the sparkliness of it all never gets old. 

2. Holiday Markets
I always discover something new at the ridiculous amount of holiday markets in NYC. I go for the delicious food, but love seeing independent designers being entrepreneurial.

3. Gift Guides
I rarely buy anything, but I love lists and the feeling of discovery. The possibilities are endless!

4. Buying Presents
Whether through thrifting, holiday markets or gift guides, I love finding that one perfect gift for the people I care about. 

5. Going Home For Christmas
I know these first few things are pretty consumeristic, but it comes down to how much I love giving back to my family and friends, who are amazing all year round. This year, I'm incredibly excited to go home to Texas for the holidays and see my entire family.

6. High School Friends
Going home also includes seeing high school friends! We rarely, if ever, speak throughout the year, yet I know if I'm back in my hometown, someone will organize a get-together and we’ll laugh and catch up as if no time has past. I can't wait to give them all a great, big hug!

7. Food
I'm beyond excited to eat a bunch of Tex-Mex, along with holiday treats. Yum! Breakfast tacos here I come!

8. Decorating My Small NYC Apartment
Every year, I scour the dollar store for awesomely tacky tinsel, Christmas lights and candles to decorate. It helps me get in the holiday spirit! 

9. Stockings
This year, I stocked up on dollar store goodies to stuff in my friends' stocking and we all celebrated by watching Elf and customizing our own stocking with glitter pens. It was a fun, crafty night.

10. Decorating Sugar Cookies
Along with decorating stockings this time of year, I also like to get creative with my cookies. 

11. Making a Christmas Crown
I've become crown obsessed and holidays are the perfect theme and excuse to make more!

12. Christmas Cards
I try to send cards every year, I love the idea of people getting as excited as I do over mail. I hang my head in shame this year though as I failed my Christmas card recipients. 

13.Ugly/Awesome Christmas Sweaters
Tis' the season! I have some truly fabulous Christmas sweaters up my sleeve...I'm talking cats and peter pan collars. I've pretty much been rocking them all month long. 

14.Christmas Movies
Every year, I watch a Miracle On 34th Street and remember the fact that I believed in Santa Claus till I was an actual teenager (13 to be exact). 

15. Hot Chocolate 
I have important opinions on this delicious beverage! Rookie recently wrote an article on hot chocolate reviews and I got really passionate about it. So far, the two best places I've ever had hot chocolate are El Beit in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Mi Tierra's in San Antonio, Texas. El Beit's $4 hot chocolate is exactly what you'd expect for the price: pure, thick chocolate-y goodness and Mi-Tierra's is the only place I've had deliciously legit mexican hot chocolate, especially since most places in NYC think mexican hot chocolate is hot chocolate with chile pepper. I'm pretty into the stove-made Abuelita version as well.

16. Specialty Holiday Drinks
Although I love pumpkin everything, the sludge at the bottom of Starbuck's pumpkin latte kind of freaks me out. The gingerbread latte is pretty delicious though and most pumpkin lattes at other cafes are usually yummy.

17. The idea of ice skating
Yes, I said the "idea of." I'm kind of a klutzy person and I can anticipate it not going well. The idea though is incredibly romantic and I keep watching Serendipity and couples at Rockefeller Center for all my ice skating needs.

18. The Rockettes
Sparkly sequin costume and elaborate dance numbers..what's not to love?

19. Ronnie Spector Christmas Spectacular
Ok, this might not count since I accidentally miss it every single year, but I adore Ronnie Spector and am seriously glad this exits. Next year, I promise to attend!

20. The Nutcracker
When it comes to Christmas shows, The Rockettes and Ronnie Spector are a celebrated New York love, but The Nutcracker in my hometown has a very special place in heart. I was a mini ballerina many productions ago and every year, as I watch the sugar plum fairy, nostalgia can't help but get the better of me. It's such a classic production with so many memories and, as a Joss Whedon fangirl, I honestly still get excited that I used to dance alongside former-ballerina, Summer Glau, nerd goddess to us all.

As many of us make our way to the airport , I wish you a safe trip, a wonderful holiday and a very Merry Christmas! xoxo

Guest Post: What Would Tavi Do?

[Fun fact: this drawing was inspired by a picture of Morrissey]

A few months ago, in between writing some of my navel-gazing pieces on Millennials and reading some better ones on Thought Catalog, I ended up coming across Rookie, an insanely well-made online magazine for teenage girls full of articles, photos, illustrations and videos that revolve around a monthly theme, and is edited by Tavi Gevinson, a high school student and all around badass frequently described with words like "wunderkind" by the Vanguards of Old Media, who adorably try really hard to keep up with what The Kids are doing on their lawn The Internet these days. But if you're reading this now, you probably already knew that, because Rookie is awesome. And this is coming from me, a 20-something Millennial who also happens to be a guy.
I think that how, in a lot of ways Baby Boomers and Gen Xers like to look down on Millennials for being nostalgic, narcissistic navel-gazers, Millennials quickly started doing the same thing to the following generation, going on about how kids today are growing up with Retina LTE iPads in their backpacks while we had to get by with AIM on our parents' computers, and we were thankful for that, consarn it! I know I did, at least. But upon discovering Rookie, I realized that maybe, just maybe, the kids are alright. Perhaps I'm even willing to admit a bit of jealousy at what today's teenagers have at their fingertips.
The thing about Rookie that resonates the most with me is the complete lack of snark. We're living in a time where half the Internet is constantly trying to out-sarcasm the other half. The Gawker Media Network alone is responsible for about 60% of the world's snark supply, roughly 750 million chortles per day.* But entering Rookie is like entering a new world, a world where people are still actually sincere, and not in a "my hubby is the best" Facebook post kind of way, but more of a "I legitimately love Christmas sweaters and I don't care who knows it" kind of way. There's a subsection of posts called "Literally the Best Thing Ever" and the topics range from Kate Bush to Yayoi Kusama to Adventure Time's Lumpy Space Princes. There's just something so refreshing about finding something on the Internet that's sincerely celebratory. Could this be the beginnings of a Post-Snark world?
The tone is just the surface though; posts are often written by people who remember what it was like to be a teenager, drawing on their own experiences to try and help today's youth figure these things out. It's never condescending or patronizing; the writers clearly have a lot of respect for their readers, which all contributes into Rookie being a really positive place for girls (and guys; like I said, I could definitely learn a thing or two). In a world with media and politicians sending all sorts of terrible messages to young women, that's pretty important.
And that brings us to the site's founder, Tavi, who's definitely living out a few of my dreams, like hanging out with Ira Glass and giving a TED talk and having a book published. And aside from being a pretty awesome female role model for people her age and beyond, what can Millennials learn from her?
  • It's OK to be the weird kid in school, and to have your own style at a time and place where everybody else is wearing Hollister (at least when I was in school it was like that. Do kids still wear Hollister?)
  • It's OK to be unsure about things. Even 16 year old magazine editors are still figuring things out.
  • Celebrate those who are doing positive things in the world.
  • Always be curious and on the lookout for new amazing things, from music to history to different kinds of food.
  • You can be a feminist without having to follow any sort of "feminist rulebook"
  • MS Paint drawings are awesome (to be fair I had already learned this from Allie Brosh and the creators of rage comics)
  • And probably the thing that will warm the hearts of Millennials everywhere: you can totally find success, and more importantly a place in the world, by being yourself, and not letting others tell you who to be.
I mean, that's just a few things, written all out in an easy-for-millennials-to-digest list form. The fact is, I legitimately think a site made for and by teenage girls is awesome and I don't care who knows it.

Birthday Shenanigans

Illustration by Jason Hood, inspired by 'fetti

I'm officially 25 and although I feel a quarter-life crisis coming on, my birthday couldn't have been better! My family came to visit and I had the most fantastic birthday week anyone could ask for. From watching The Rockettes and getting fancy hot chocolate at The Plaza to dining at a restaurant recommendation from Grace Coddington and eating out at Brooklyn favorites like The Brooklyn Star and Five Leaves.  I even made a special birthday crown for the occasion! Here I am celebrating with Jason and fancy cupcakes!

Seeing everyone come together made me incredibly thankful to have such an amazing support system. To my family and friends, whether you helped me celebrate in person or in spirit, thank you a million times over. I appreciate you more than you know! An extra big thank you to my mom, who is pretty much the most amazing person I know.  xoxo

On a random side note: Help! After this post and after deleting some photos from The Rebel Waltz, I've officially used up all my google photo space. Is there some secret way to get around this or will I have to pay monthly after all?!

What I Wore on a Windy Day

While walking around Williamsburg on a particularly windy day, I was caught off guard by a gust of wind...resulting in petticoats all aflutter! It's gotten chillier since these photos were taken, but I'm happy to showcase me new(ish) dress from Goodwill. A mere $8, this dress fits my laid-back 50's style to a T. I have a deep fondness for these kind of vintage house dresses that can be dressed up or down. As long as I can eat a mountain of brunch pancakes and still feel comfy and stylish, I'm all for it. 
Oh my...
What I Wore: 
Tights: Hue
Shoes: Topshop
Belt: Thrifted
Sweater: Vintage
Headband: Dollar General
Dress: Thrifted via Goodwill
Petticoat: Vintage via Mary Help of Christians Church Flea Market 

My Life in Instagram

My short, but sweet rained out stoop sale
A peek at a photo shoot styled by Jaclyn Bethany that I recently helped out with. 

Jason brought me flowers and fancy tea for our one-year. <3
I took care of this adorable pooch for a couple days before Sandy hit. 
I finally made crowns! I'm off to the dollar store right now to make a possibly sparkly crown for my birthday in two weeks!
Hope you all are having a wonderful week! 

What I Wore To Central Park

These photos were taken the day before Sandy hit. My boyfriend and I wanted to to head to Central Park before all the autumn leaves were blown away. My look is all about the cat shirt, but I like how the collar from Lonely as a Cloud brings the fall elements together. I'm also really into victory curls these days. In a way, it feels like cheating on my love for the 50's, but this easy hair-do makes me feel fancy and polished.

Today, I'm happy to see the sun shine as the snowy Nor'easter comes to an end. This storm-weathered city has really held it's own and my heart swells in admiration for the people working so hard to get this city back to normal. I also couldn't be prouder and more excited for our country as Barack Obama enters his second term. Yay!

On a side note, I'm currently looking for a full-time gig. I have experience in a plethora of things so if anyone has leads on something I might be into, let me know at kuriegasreyes@gmail.com. 

Thanks guys! xo
What I Wore:
Tights: Hue
Coat: Vintage
Skirt: Vintage
Shoes: Bass
T-Shirt: Threadless
Broach: Belle and Sebastian, found at TattyDevine.com

Fantasy Fall Wishlist

November is my favorite time of the year, from pumpkin-spice everything to the gluttony of Thanksgiving and, of course, my birthday! When it comes to the holiday season, I love buying presents for others (and for myself!), so I thought I'd put together a collection of some of my favorite items of the moment, many from adorable Etsy shops I recommend exploring. Hopefully they can give you ideas for Christmas shopping to come!

My first items are these fanciful, handmade pastel oxfords. All the pastels are completely covetable, but I'm really digging the pink ones. I haven't found replacement pink shoes since my sad saddle shoe days. The lavender are definitely a close second though. Best of all, they are seriously well-priced for handmade leather shoes! 

Above: Handmade Pink Pony Leather Oxford Flats, $49, by Goldenponies
Rabbit Tote by Fill it With Diamonds, $40, by Fillwithdiamonds
How cute is this rabbit tote?!
Cat-Eye Polaroid Sunglasses, $99.74
Polaroid makes sunglasses?! Yep! Who knew?
Photo by Jasmin of Vintage Vandalizm

Recommended by Vixen Vintage, these petticoats look oh so soft. All my petticoats are the itchy, scrunchy kind and this one seems so luxurious. I was a little confused which inch length I'd use the most though.
I am officially obsessed with illustrations by Caitlin Shearer. Her style is fantastically twee, girly and adorable. Here are some of my favorites...Chocolate Milkshake , Print, $15
Tea Party, Print, $15
This would fit right into my home!
 Sunday Stroll Silk Scarf, $50
I have a similar style scarf of pretty ladies or I would've convinced myself to buy this long ago.
This Biscuits Dress is probably my favorite item of the Caitlin Shearer bunch. I got really excited when I thought it came in my size and then realized Australian sizes are completely different/smaller than U.S. sizes. Ooh well.. seriously, how cute is it though?
Issue 15 of Lula Magazine
I have yet to snag this issue!
How amazing does this book sound? Perfect for my new tea obsession!

Bass shoes galore! 
I'm constantly in love with every Bass/Bass Loves Rachel Antonoff shoe that appears, but I curse myself for not getting these polka dot saddle shoes when I could!

These two lovelies are still available though!

Picasso Cats Scarf by leahgoren, $96
Cat tote by Cat Vs. Human, $20
It's a cat..in a bowtie! What's not to love?

LMC Nebula Skirt by ShadowplayNYC, $138
This is such amazing fabric. 
Of course it reminds me of my friend Nacho's fantastic galaxy photos.

Galaxy Scarf by ShadowplayNYC, $85
Cat pillow by Jessicaleighjones, $15
Ok..i know..I like cat stuff way too much..the odd thing is that I'm a dog person!
Bow Tie by flappergirl, $18
I love girl scout style, I really do.
This too is one of those things I wish came in my size, but it's ballet chic none the less. Anyone have any suggestions where to find a plus-size tulle skirt?
Vintage Slingback Open-toe Ferragamos from vintagegogirl, $62
I love Ferragamo sling-backs! They are oddly more comfortable than the regular heel. 
I hear that I need to own these volumes. 
Oh Bill. Even during Sandy, there you were
Lastly, I just realized these Keds I'm into are totally men's shoes. No fair!