[Perfect Fall Look: Cropped Knits + Midi Skirt]

Oh, hello blog world! It's been a minute. A lot has happened the over the last two months and I wanted to create a separate post explaining my hiatus and what I've been up to but in the meantime, I couldn't contain my excitement about my favorite season of the year. Fall is finally here! And I wanted to share my two newest obsessions: cropped knits + midi skirts. I particularly love the grommet details on the side of this ASOS pencil skirt to give that extra edge. I also love that I'm giving skin-tight a chance. I'm usually a comfy, slouchy type of gal when it comes to outfits but I definitely think I'm ready to change that this season. Especially with the birth of the cropped knit with a turtle neck. I cannot get enough of this sweater by Tobi. Also love that it has finger holes to give that hobo-chic vibe. Another brand you should know: CLUSE. This minimalist watch company based in Amsterdam has been my ultimate favorite these days if you haven't already noticed on my Instagram

For a quick update on what I've been up to: I've been preparing a lot of giveaways, lookbooks, and videos (yes, finally!) So definitely stay tuned for many exciting things here on TRE! Also, I'm quite happy the way these edits turned out. Thank goodness for YouTube tutorials on Photoshop! I'm becoming more and more immersed in the world of Photoshop and editing ever since I started shooting a lot more photos on my own. Learning the process and figuring out more ways to give y'all the best quality content! I hope you enjoy! 




[The Summer Bandit]

Neck scarves, round sunnies, body suits under rolled up denim shorts are just a few of my summer favorites at the moment. Of course I'm rollin' with my usual black color palette because everything looks better in black. Also can't forget the newest lovely to join my sandal collection. Say hello to these laced-up beauties that put the perfect finishing touch to any outfit. Lace up gladiators are this year's Isabel Marant heeled gladiator sandals of last year. You can thank Ms. Chloé for that. I'm just glad I was able to find these babies at a fraction of that price. Thank you ASOS! I also got to meet the beautiful Ana Kim couple days ago! I love connecting with like-minded people who can also speak a mind of their own. Oh, and did I mention she speaks 4 different languages. Hot. Of course our original plan to shoot all day was distracted by our long chat over cupcakes and coffee. But of course we did manage to fit some shooting in. Here's what we came up with! I hope you enjoy! 



[Cashmere + Chilli Beans Giveaway]

Summertime is the best time to go out on as many lunch dates as possible. I love lunch dates more than dinner dates sometimes because it's a great escape from work. Working in the heat can be wearing, so having a good meal to look forward to is a great way to stay motivated. Excited I got to share some Milk treats and my favorite La Mill coffee in Silverlake to wash down the brussel sprout kale salad I ordered with blogger boo, Erika. We bonded over our love for silver jewelry, over-ordering sweets (yes, we ordered four macaron ice cream sandwiches), and man buns. Haha! The last part was partly a joke but also partly true. I don't know guys! I'm kind of into them a little bit. Yes? No? 

I also wanted to share my love affair with my new favorite nude lipstick, or should I say velvetine. I have fallen victim to the Lime Crime bandwagon and I am not sorry at all about it. It stays vibrant on the lips all day. No reapplication needed. My favorite go-to when I know I'm going to need a long-lasting lippie. Cashmere got me inspired to dress in head to toe Cashmere-shade and then found the perfect wall to match. To glam up my neutral palette, I had to throw on my new limited edition cat-eye sunglasses from Chilli Beans for their new, limited edition BLACK collection. Did I mention they have Swarovski crystals embedded on the frames? Luxe.

[Milk, Silverlake]

[Milk, Silverlake]

 [@astylepixie, isn't she a cutie? ;)]

 [@astylepixie, isn't she a cutie? ;)]

[La Mill, Silverlake]

[La Mill, Silverlake]

I also love that they're mirrored. Mirrored sunnies during the summer are definitely one of my staples. Using premium acetate and precious stones and metals, Chilli Beans have definitely upped their luxury sunglass game. They are also limited to only 15 pairs of each color and style in the United States so you better get yours quick! Or better yet, how about you win a pair? 

If you want to win these pair of exclusive sunglasses from Chilli Beans' BLACK collection, please follow the rules below!

1. Follow @chillibeansusa and @therubyelement on Instagram 

2. Tag 2-3 friends on any one of the photos you see on my feed with these pair of sunglasses

Giveaway closes next week Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 12 AM (PST). Winner will be announced the same day at 9 AM (PST). Good luck! 



[Bliss Tulle Summer Lookbook]

This was my first collaboration with photographer Randy Tran after working with him for the first time for my Shop Blu Boutique campaign. Look, ma! I'm an e-commerce model! Haha. Immediately working with Randy was smooth as buttah so I knew I wanted to work with him for my blog. What was most striking to me about Randy was how his vision and composition always fits the aesthetic you had in mind. I was even more than ecstatic to see the final photos for this lookbook upon seeing some raw images in his camera couple days before. So, here I am trying to show you more of my feminine side (haha!) because I am a girl after all.

Backstory: These days, my outfits have been an ongoing rotation of slouchy basics and oversized tees that I've been passing off for dresses so whenever I got the chance to dress up a bit whether it's for a wedding or a date, I am almost giddy. There's just something special about dressing up for something or someone. Summer is a time of freedom and celebration-- weddings, parties, vacations. I love finding a reason to dress up so I put together 3 different looks with my favorite party accessory: the tulle skirt. 

Look 1: Blushing Kitty

Nothing more feminine than an off-shoulder crop top, tulle skirt, and stiletto heels. My all-time favorite color palette during the summer is blush and white. It's light, feminine, and always looks polished. I love wearing lighter colors during the warmer seasons but of course it's always the worst to keep clean. I added my kitty ears because there's no party without a cute kitty accessory. Meow! 

Let me just tell you about this church we went to in Palos Verdes-- overlooking the ocean-- so peaceful and serene. I would imagine a lot of great meditation happening here. I'm definitely coming back for a hike. 

What I'm Wearing:

[Modcloth Cat Ears]

[Necklaces: Baroni Jewelry, VSA Designs]

[Colors of Aurora Crop Top (old, similar here]

[Bliss Tulle Laura Mini]

[Stuart Weitzman Nudist Heels]

Look 2: Flower Girl

Not to play favorites, but hey! I can't help it. This is probably my favorite set of the 3, simply because Randy managed to make me look like a fairytale princess and hey, I ain't mad at it! Cue the Taylor Swift Blank Space mansion and fountain to tie in the whole scene. I'm also obsessed with this maxi tulle skirt. I never thought I'd love a tulle skirt this length so much. The material is super soft underneath and I felt 7 feet tall with my Jeffrey Campbell jelly platforms that I love so much and always make their debut in the summertime. Is that a run-on sentence? Probably. But that is how much excitement I have for this skirt and shoe combo. When you do maxis, do it with some platforms, girl. Mmk?

I also look cold in a lot of these photos but no, it was mostly to cover the nips since uh, oops, your girl forgot to bring a nude bra to the shoot. A classic no-no for any shoot really. See how creative I get in these shots. How many ways can you cover the nips? I think I did a pretty good job. What you think? Haha.

What I'm Wearing:

[Korea headband]

[Lime Crime Velvetine- Cashmere]

[The 2 Bandits Choker + Cuff]

[Uniqlo Basic Cami]

[Bliss Tulle Maxi- Blush]

[Jeffrey Campbell Jelly Platforms (old)]

Look 3: Twist and Tulle

Alright, the last look here is inspired by a dark ballerina princess. Shoot. Another princess theme I know! But, what can I say? That's exactly the feeling I get whenever I throw on a tulle skirt. Throwback to my ballet days when I never wanted to take my ballet outfit off! I wish I stuck it out! Ballet was definitely my favorite dance of the 3 (the other 2 were jazz and tap) I took as a kid. It's so elegant and classic. 

Okay, I did say the last set was my favorite but I also love this set because of the contrast. Don't you love how each length and color of each skirt and immediately change your look? I would probably even wear this on a casual occasion since I paired it with some low-heeled boots. I've also been noticing how perfect my summer crop tops have been fitting with these tulle skirts. This one by Kristinit fits snug and silky just the way I like it. I foresee a lot of you in my future outfits, Tamara. (That's her name.

I've been in love with pairing my looks with silver accessories. As Demi Lovato says "We're cool for the summer..." and that's exactly how I want my jewelry and look. Hehe. But seriously, silver rules. So much so, I had to reorder another DW watch-- this time in silver. And I have a new discount code for y'all! Look at the bottom of this blog post for the code. 

I hope you enjoyed my summer lookbook with Bliss Tulle. Let me know what your favorite look is in the comments section below!

Shot by Randy Tran.

[Your Dream vs. Reality]

You're human. You make some goals. Achieve some; but most likely, won't achieve them all. Sometimes a dose of reality is healthy for you. All these Tumblr and Pinterest posts telling you to float away and be a dreamer and dream big. Don't get me wrong, all these sayings do have a purpose and most of them are actually pretty damn motivational. But in the end, having a bit of logic, let's say structure in your life can develop that big dream into a much more attainable reality.

Most of my life, I've been a dreamer-- always imagining the grandiose life to be my own very soon. "Very soon." Another flaw in the dreamer system. What has to be done in order to achieve these goals are steps. Very meticulous, calculated, and yes, timely steps that must not be done in a rushed manner. As the saying goes, "Good things come to those who wait." Inspirational quote aside, what makes your dream a reality are creating very achievable mini-goals (goals within goals). This way, you are moving towards your goal without feeling overwhelmed, something that can delay your dreams becoming reality.

What I learned over my many years of mistakes is that when you set a certain expectation for someone or something, you will always be disappointed. What is most ideal is that you accept all possibilities. No one owes you anything and not all outcomes are positive. Being positive is good but being realistic is even better. What happens when you're realistic is that things that might affect your mood or emotions previously might now be seen as logical outcomes. Not everyone and everything will react the same and not setting these expectations will call for a much more pleasant road to achieving your dream.

When not so ideal outcomes happen, it's important to be emotionally ready to accept and move on from these losses. I like to write or take photos. Not that I'm the best writer or photographer in the world, but these two things calm me and make me feel human again. It brings me down to earth. Find something that calms you or makes you feel good and move on. Not everything will be sunshine and rainbows. That's where being realistic comes in handy.

Now what compelled me to write this you may ask? Not a what but many whats that brought this blog post to life. I would say every year I learn more and more about myself and this year was no different. I'm realizing as my blog is nearing its 2nd year in existence, I've done quite a lot and quite nothing at all. Quite frankly, time is scaring the shit out of me. Browsing through Facebook and looking at everyone getting engaged, married, having kids, or excelling in whatever career made me feel pretty confused about my own situation. What am I doing? Is this helpful to anyone? Shit, when am I getting married? But in the end, I conclude this. Not everyone's life is the same and goes at the same pace. So what if all my friends are getting married or making a killing in New York? I'm me and I am happy. I like what I'm doing and I'm happy where I am. I don't have to prove anything. I like doing things my way in my own time. The biggest mistake a twenty something can do is rush into anything because they feel like they need to. Develop your own sense of self and what you need to do in order to experience all the things you need to become the happy, healthy, beautiful, successful person that you are. Your whole life is ahead of you and you can't let what other people are doing disrupt your steady, happy path to making your dream into reality. 

So there you have it: a fool-proof way of changing your Pinterest boards and dream boards into something more tangible without getting discouraged. So be the captain of your own ship and make it happen! (Ha, I brought it back. Weren't you just wondering why I was using these set of photos though? A throwback with Ryan back when I still wandered the streets of Diamond Bar. Good times.)



Photos by Ryan Chua.


What I'm Wearing:

[Need Supply Beanie (old)]

[Karen Walker Sunnies]

[JYJZ Tank Dress (old)]

[DIY Denim Jacket]

[Random Leather Garter]

[Missguided Platform Shoes]