Updated usually on Mondays and/or Thursdays!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

LAST thursDAY. Adios 2015!

TAKEAWAYS FROM 2015. Real Talk.

Happy LAST thursDAY of 2015! I'm overwhelmed and flooded with mixed emotions but also very much at peace. I would compare 2015 to a growing pain. I've grown a lot this year, but geeeez...it was painful sometimes. Frankly speaking, I spent the majority of this year entirely focused on the future. I did "live in the moment", but I also was constantly worried about the next step in line. I'm looking back at how I lived 2015 and really what resonates more than anything is the juxtaposition of doubt and hope that pushed me and webbed everything in my life.

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When I think back to 2015 a couple years from now, the memories that will probably stick out the most are getting my driver's license, finishing high school tennis and mock trial, writing my college essays, living in Boston, hearing Sonia Sotomayor, going to my first concert, and getting into college. I'd say that's a pretty solid year. But dang, 2016 is going to be epic. It's bewildering when I think about graduating, not living with my parents, moving into an entirely new environment, meeting new people, and being far away from longtime friends and teachers. At the same time, I'm looking forward to just embracing it. Change is a learning curve, and in the end, I'll only learn a bit more about myself.

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Thank goodness for dear friends who don't mind spending all night talking me, supportive parents who keep pushing me, teachers who understand me, and my God who has ceaselessly teaches me. I have learned so, so much about trust and faith this year. I am very conscious of the fact that I am truly a lucky and blessed person. Given the wonderful opportunities I've had and will have, it is my responsibility to work my very hardest with good intentions.

I keep repeating these questions to myself. How can I become a person with a generosity of spirit and depth of character? How can I be connected to the deepest meanings of life and my highest moral joys? Those are tough questions, but they are truly essential to who I want to be and what I want to do in the future. I have no idea what the future will look like because everything always turns out so magically different from what I imagine...but man, there are going to be awesome adventures and stories ahead.

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Happy 2016!

Hi everyone! Diana here. I don't write often on this blog, obviously, as photographing and editing photos take quite the amount of time. But when I do write, I'm generally very excited to do so.

Not so much this time.

I've read five 2015 reflection posts already yesterday and today combined, and what marvels me the most is how people condense a year into paragraphs. Because I don't know how to. And I'm not sure I want to.

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The only thing I remember vividly is June to August: Prom, hiking, China. I remember them because they mean something to me: time spent doing something I love with those I love. Beyond that, I remember nearly nothing. Every moment of these past few years have been staccato beats threatening to topple over on stilted feet: wobbly, relentless, scathing. Yes, I'm ridiculously lucky and privileged; I've had opportunities that even the me a few years ago wouldn't have dreamed of. But I'm also ridiculously upset at myself because in grappling for my goals I've erased myself. My memories are sharp-edged but punched through in the middle. They are monochromatic with bursts of vibrant colors I don't know how to handle. I spent so much time just doing, doing, doing that I cannot recall many concrete moments with their nuances and shadows. It's like I've been sitting inside a car speeding along the highway, and my life has blended into the trees that whizz by, so that in reflecting, all I can see are blurs of peaks and valleys but I cannot pinpoint where one begins and one ends.

picture from this post; a time spent teaching that I will forever remember, in contrast to the months I spent buried in books and computers
To concisely reflect, I think, requires one to be distinctly aware. Not doing that is my biggest regret this year. I preach meditation, but I didn't do enough of it this year. And that angers me. Because that means I missed out on opportunities to grow this year. After all, it is in the breath between fury and serenity that we collapse into a more vulnerable self, and it is as that self that we can choose to either carve around us shells or to reflect so that our vulnerability is no longer a weakness but a strength. It's okay that I didn't reflect enough this year, though. I realize it now. I won't let it happen again.

I guess if I had to say what I learned this year--after all, is that not what these posts are for?--it's that I'm tired. I'm tired of the injustice that burns in this world, I'm tired of how ceaseless work can drive you insane, I'm tired because there comes a point in your life when you must ask yourself why, and though it's perfectly fine to not know the answer, when I know the answer, and I know what I've spent so long doing is not really achieving much for that answer, that is tiring.

So I only have one goal for myself: do.

picture from this post; the ocean is always an inspiration: the water pushes on, even when the sun is gone--especially when the sun is gone
Not just do for academics. I know how to do that. I've spent so long doing that. But do dream, do create, do find power in disillusionment. Because even though I'm disillusioned--I learn so I can help, but so much of what I spend so long learning, I cannot use to help, because I'm trapped in a system that forces me to keep churning away at the same textbooks when all I want to do is get out there and do something with what I know, and all the service I am doing right now is not enough, I can do more so I will do more--I can use that to light a fire beneath my feet.

Because in 2016, I'm rocketing.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Cheers to a Milestone: One Year of legendary, leTRENDary posts

Celebrating Letrendary's 1 Year Anniversary!!!

WOW!!!!!! I cannot believe that we began Letrendary one whole year ago!!! Letrendary has been such a wonderful part of our lives this past year. Despite the time it takes from each of our busy schedules, it has been such a rewarding experience to create content. We send our sincerest "thank you"s to all of our readers around the globe. We endlessly appreciate and love you guys!!! We are ecstatic to take on 2016, and we are challenging ourselves to bring you even greater content this next year. As a token of our gratitude and excitement, Diana has a new Nikon camera, which means the photos from here on out will be of even higher quality!!! Woohoo, go prime lenses! 

3 ways to style boyfriend jeans

1. patterned collar + sweater

This is the most simple and classic way to style an outfit with boyfrend jeans. I chose to wear a collared tank with a graph pattern on it just to make the top a little more fun and less bland. It's important to buy sweaters that have the right neckline for a collared shirt. Lots of sweaters don't look good with collared shirts underneath, so make sure to check that.
I wore these brown oxfords to make the overall style a little preppy. I like this look because it's casual and proper. I'd say this outfit reflects one of my fashion styles: casual chic.
Oxfords: Marshalls // Graph Collared Tank: Lush (Nordstrom Rack) // Navy Marble Sweater: Soft by Joie
Chain Link Watch: Kate Spade (Nordstrom)
As you all know, I wore my Seiko watch in nearly every outfit post because it was the only watch I owned. It was handed down from my grandmother, so it means something special to me. The opportunity finally came to buy a second watch, which is this silver Kate Spade watch. I love it because it's clean, but has an edge to it with the linked chain on the side. I bought it on sale for about a $100, which is pricy but not unreasonable. To me, it was worth the investment because I wear a watch everyday. Also, watches don't wear out like shoes, so this is something I can keep for many, many years.

2. cardigan + scarf + hat

 I came up with look by pairing clothes with colors that I thought complemented each other. I love this hat that I bought on sale at Nordstrom for about $10!!! I have great luck when shopping online haha. I wore a longer cardigan and a peacoat, which could be thrown on whenever it is chillier. 
 Ripped Boyfriend Jeans: American Eagle// Bow Flats: Halogen (Nordstrom)
Navy Hat: D&Y (Nordstrom)// Scarf: Nordstrom// Grey Peacoat: Thread & Supply (Nordstrom)

3. sparkles + earrings
 I've always imaged what it would be like to wear an outfit like this and it finally happened! Such excitement hehe. I've had this sequined cardigan for a year, but I still haven't had an opportunity to wear it anywhere. I bought it on sale for about $30. I chose to wear a basic black tank so that that the sequins can do all the talking.
Sequin Cardigan: Abercrombie// Crystal Dangling Earrings: Urban Outfitters
I bought these earrings on sale at Urban Outfitters for $14. I love them!!!

Diana and I are currently completing our final year of high school, which means we will be going separate paths starting next August. Therefore, Letrendary will go through a transition, but we are excited nonetheless. 

We'd like to thank you again for reading and supporting because we love what we do and Letrendary is definitely one of our greatest creative outlets. Happiest of holidays to you and your family! And yes, we have #doroana4eva shirts. Much love to you all!!!



Monday, December 7, 2015

Ocean Waves & Boho Craze: Guest Post by Raven

Aloha, everyone! Today we are lucky enough to welcome someone who is not only outwardly beautiful but also harbors a beautiful heart and soul: the absolutely wonderful Raven. As founder of the Ocean Lovers' Society on campus, Raven has never ceased to amaze me with her passion and love for the ocean. But the girl has a rocking style, too, and she's kind enough to shed some light on her closet choices in this post. So, Raven, take it away!

Our planet is a delicate, beautiful, and precious place. In a time such as this, one of the most important things we must keep in mind is our impact on the health of our home. A place that I like to focus on protecting is our oceans. The truth is, our ocean is the primary source of life on the planet. Not only does it provide food, materials, and other natural resources but most of the oxygen we breathe. To neglect a place so vital to our life on earth will cause us face huge consequences in our future.

I do my best to incorporate my passions into my everyday life, and especially into my wardrobe. I believe that your style is the best way to express your interests. The way you present yourself through your clothing says a lot about you, and gives you a great opportunity to communicate what you’re passionate about to the world around you. I love the freedom fashion gives me that allows me to (quite literally) wear my heart on my sleeve. Inspired by a combination of bohemian and surfer style, I try to balance my wardrobe between a fun and comfortable look while also maintaining a whimsical aura. When you think of what a mermaid would wear if she were to live on land, your visuals are most likely parallel to my favorite looks. Not only does it reflect the mood of the sea but also my own personality. I try to project a sense of tranquility but also neatness when putting an outfit together.

All while paying attention to the “mood” of style, I tend to be drawn to rich colors. In the photo above, I have am wearing a rich red crop top with threads that weave in a variety of beautiful bright colors. The piece is composed of 100% organic cotton. Just as I believe it is important to pay attention to the materials that enter your body and its effect on you and your environment, it is just as important to be aware of the materials that you place onto your body. The textiles used to create the clothes we were could have either a negative or positive effect on the earth, so it is very important to refrain from non-sustainable material. However, I think we can all agree that with many mass production clothing companies thriving on sales reaching millions it is difficult to find clothing following these guidelines. My hope for the future is that we are able to find sustainable material like organic cotton and hemp as a more common textile in clothing stores.

Life is better in a bikini! The outfit above is one of my favorites, featuring loose boyfriend jeans and my favorite cardigan by Billabong. This is a look that is perfect for an evening by the water, providing comfort and warmth. I’ve also chosen a black bikini top to add to the comfort and color foundation to allow the colors in my jewelry and cardigan to pop. I’ve accessorized this look with earrings made from recycled threads and turquoise as well as a body chain with turquoise stones as well. I like to play around with jewelry in my everyday fashion and find myself wearing some pretty extravagant pieces. Incorporating the fun with jewelry inspired by bohemian style into a more laid back surfer style is what I usually go for in a casual outfit. I especially love jewelry that comes from natural material. Some that I own are made from starfish, sea shells, coffee beans, and roots.

I think the ultimate victory in fashion is gaining a sense of self. As you grow to become more aware of who you are, your style is going to change as your interests shift. What a beautiful thing to know that you are so free to express! When you find something you love, expressing it through the way you dress can be one of the most entertaining and flexible ways to do it. Let the colors you love so much speak through your apparel. I love to translate the sapphire blue of a calm ocean sunset through stones from the earth of that color and express the soft flow of each wave with a white fringed dress. Keeping an eye open to how your actions on all scales affect the planet we live on is so important. Wouldn’t you love to enjoy a stunning blue ocean without excess oil and trash? Appreciate the world around you, and protect it.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

James Bae & Muse-ic

I am not sarcastic in the slightest about this week's punny title. James Bay is the real bae. James Bay is a muse in every way. That rhyme was not intentional.

Diana and I had the absolute privilege of seeing James Bay perform live at the Hollywood Palladium this past Tuesday. For those of you who are unfamiliar with James, he is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist. His first full album "Chaos and the Calm" has been number one in the UK and is largely popular in the US. His last US tour performance was this Tuesday's, so it was such an honor to have been there.

First off, best $34 I've ever spent. Seriously, I had the most spectacular first-concert experience. We weren't far from the stage, so the atmosphere resonated so strongly with my entire spirit and emotions. Words cannot accurately express all the positive vibes I received from the music. His music truly has this aura of transcendence. It's authentic because his voice and acoustic are in unison. He sets the bar so high.

When James performed my personal favorite, "Let It Go," I felt myself just letting go of all my worries. The lyrics go like this: "So come on let it go, just let it be. Why don't you be you and I'll be me. Everything that's broke, leave it to the breeze." I love this song because it resonates as a personal reminder to me: 1) Let go of the delusions in my head. 2) The things that aren't in my control, let it be. 3) Let go of burdens, and just be myself; the best thing I can become is myself. Even though the song itself is a candid song about the hardships of love, I've interpreted it my own way. Thus, I sing it as my own song, which is why it is my favorite song of all time!

In retrospection, I've been thinking about how I was totally lost in the moment during the concert. It was so liberating to forget everything going on in my life, allowing myself to simply appreciate the music. And that's what music is for. Music is about connecting to the deepest parts of ourselves--parts that we so easily disconnect with. So in recent weeks, I've been making time to put on the headphones and melt in between the lyrics and sounds. It is so soothing, and it significantly helps me regain focus and perspective, especially with all the pressure of college admissions going on right now. I strongly recommend you to do it to whatever songs you love. However, I do think that the type of music does matter. Typically soothing music with lyrics that you can personally connect to are the best. I'd definitely give James Bay a try. Below are some recommendations :-)
Diana and Dorothy's MUST LISTEN List:
-Let It Go
-If You Ever Want To Be In Love
-Get Out While You Can
-Hold Back The River
(But please listen to his entire album--every song is pure artistry!!!)
I can't believe we were in the front of that immense crowd! I will always remember Diana and I wrapping our arms around each other and swaying to "Move Together" with the rest of the crowd. Tuesday is a night I never want to forget. 

Life is such a blessing. I'm so thankful to have these unforgettable experiences and to share them with Diana. Thank you James for reminding me that music is a shepherd that searches and treasures the calm within all the chaos. You and your music is beautiful.