A long overdue explanation....

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September 28, 2010

After a quiet few weeks I thought it was time for me to explain my sudden blogging hiatus. I wish I could blame it on lazy beach days spent sunning myself and surfing, but sadly, that isn´t the case. My house was broken into and the laptop and camera were among the stolen items. As anyone would imagine, maintaining a personal style blog is impossible in the absence of those two essentials. The following weeks have been some of the most difficult of my life. Coming home to find what was left of my belongings strewn about the house was an extremely violating experience. I can´t say that I will ever be the same, and processing this event has been very challenging. Suddenly, I´m suspicious of everyone I encounter. Seeing someone laughing while looking in my direction makes me wonder if that´s the person who stole so much from me. Is he laughing at the sight of the girl who he has seen in countless photos on his new camera and laptop? (Creepy, right?) The extent of the loss reaches far beyond the stolen material items. I am simply not the same person anymore. The thought of someone walking into my home and, in an hour, stealing so many things for which I worked so hard and saved for months to be able to buy makes me violently angry. Then there is my blog, which I worked so hard to create and, at the risk of sounding incredibly lame, something for which I really pushed myself far outside of my comfort zone. One of the things I looked forward to most about my time off from work was enhancing Style by Santina and reaching out and networking with other bloggers, and now I don´t know when or if that will ever happen. There were also items that meant so much more to me in terms of sentimental value that could never be replaced. Memories instilled in certain necklaces and rings that far exceed their cost. One of the worst parts of this experience is questioning everyone, even people I consider friends, and never knowing if anyone really gives a shit about the Gringos who had nearly everything stolen from them.

My boyfriend and I are still trying to decide what to do. In the meantime we have moved into a more secure house, not that there´s anything really left to steal. We need to decide if we can move on from this event. Is it possible to feel safe again and not like a walking target simply because of the color of our skin? Despite the perception of Americans, we are not rich and it will be difficult to replace all that was lost, especially at a time when we are not working and slowly chipping away at the funds reserved for what should have been a relaxing break from the real world.

I am not ready to give up on Style by Santina, and I thank all of you who are still checking back for a new post. I have a few guest posts planned, so please don´t give up on me yet! Your support means so much more than I can express. The offers communicated to me via Twitter from people who I´ve never actually met have truly touch my heart at a time when it´s easy to lose faith in humanity.

If you are interested in being a guest on Style by Santina, please contact me at: stylebysantina@gmail.com.

Keep your distance!

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September 15, 2010

Tank: Forever 21
Shorts: Citizens of Humanity (passed along to me by a friend)
Shoes: Steve Madden (Nordstrom)
Rings: Forever 21
Clutch: H&M
Sunglasses: Ray Ban (Saks)

Please do not look at these photos too closely! Some girls are capable of looking cute while sweating but not me. Rather than glistening, I become a sweaty beast, which is exactly why there aren’t many close ups for this post; I was dripping sweat before we even started. The five minute walk from my house to the plaza left me soaked. It was definitely the hottest and most humid day since I arrived here, and since it’s been a few days without rain, not to mention that last week’s heavy rains have left the beach and ocean a bit too dirty for me to venture into the water, there has been absolutely no relief from this oppressive heat. That being said, overall it was a pretty fun day. September 16th is Mexico’s Independence Day, but the celebration kicks off the night before. This year marked two hundred years of independence, and preparations for the party began early in the day: flags and decorations were hung all over the plaza, and even more street stalls popped up, selling specialty dishes in honor of the occasion. Nearly every restaurant in town offered two for one bottles of beer, as well as margaritas, and despite my continuing stomach bug, I decided to indulge in a few myself.

Tired of wearing flip flops all the time, I decided to break out the highest pair of shoes that I brought. I just couldn’t wear flats to a party, even one that takes place on cobblestone streets. Already feeling my spirits lift with the help of these pink wedges, I quickly threw together the rest of the outfit. These cutoffs were fresh from the laundry service and having been apart for a few days, I knew right away that I wanted to wear them. I love the cut of this tank as it shows off my shoulders (one of my favorite body parts) and it’s loose enough not to immediately stick to my body. This mesh clutch was the perfect bag for the evening; I couldn’t stand the thought of anything hanging on me. I finished it off with a few rings…it turns out this sweaty beast’s fingers don’t sweat much, making them the perfect place for accessories! I’m now wishing I brought along more rings!

Marc by Marc Spring 2011: I want it all!

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As many of you know, I love, love,
LOVE Marc by Marc Jacobs. (A few of my favorite pieces can be seen here, here and here.) The youthful and quirky aesthetic perfectly suits my personal style and the price point suits my wallet (a Marc by Marc wallet, of course) much more so than many of the other lines I covet. Several years ago, I adopted a quality over quantity philosophy while shopping and in doing so, I found myself purchasing more and more Marc by Marc. The pieces are always on trend yet timeless, satisfying my price per wear rule as I know I’ll wear them for years to come. I left all of my Marc clothing behind when I moved to the beach although I couldn’t part with my favorite watch necklace and decided that a canvas Marc bag wasn’t too flashy for my new life in a small town. That being said, I’m experiencing a little Marc withdrawal, so when I read that the Spring 2011 show would be streamed live I was giddy with excitement. I loaded the page a half hour before show time and crossed my fingers that Telmex (the provider of my rather slow internet connection) would take pity on my fashion deprived soul and allow me to watch the show without too many interruptions. There were a few hiccups, but luckily I was able to watch it again without issue. (If you missed it, you can still stream it here.)

It was clear from the first look out that this collection is exactly what my dreams are made of: stripes, jumpsuits, bold colors and instant classics. Marc Jacobs, did you design this collection just for me? No? Well, that’s okay because it honestly makes me want to be back in the US in time for spring just so I can snag at least a few these pieces and rock them all season long!

Let’s start with the stripes! From dresses to skirts to jumpsuits, Marc made my stripe loving heart go pitter-patter. I want to wear each of these looks…like, NOW! Is it just me or do the bold colors and stripes remind you of Fruit Stripe Gum?

Images courtesy of www.nymag.com
And then there were jumpsuits galore. Jumpsuits tend to generate strong reactions: women seem to love ‘em or hate ‘em. I definitely love them! I am also fortunate enough to be on the tall side, which makes them a bit more realistic than they would for, let’s say, my friend Kate. (I love you, Kate, but I think if you wore a jumpsuit, you’d look more playground than polished!) The first jumpsuit in the set below definitely appeals to the athlete in me. I’m a sucker for gray heather jersey material, mostly because it’s as comfortable as it is versatile. I could see myself wearing it with casual wedges for an easy look or dressing it up with loads of accessories and a pair of killer heels. The next two printed jumpsuits just ooze a chic sensibility but with that little twist one expects from Marc. I love the high neck and loosely cut legs of this mixed blue print jumpsuit just as much as I love that cross body bag. The third in this set feels much more classic than the others. From the feminine print to the fitted cut, I think I would feel very ladylike while wearing it…and ladylike is definitely not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of jumpsuits. And the last one…do I really need to explain my love for it? I love it so much that I couldn't resist including it in two sets. I need that jumpsuit!

Images courtesy of www.nymag.com
Last, but not least, are the classics: cuts and colors that will certainly stand the test of time. I love the first look mostly because the dress serves as a perfect backdrop for those amazing shoes! A shirtdress is one of my favorite silhouettes; I adore playing in the intersection of masculine and feminine and a shirtdress is one of the easiest ways to do so. As for the last look, I am in love with the sleeves of that top! Seriously, how cute is it?

Images courtesy of www.nymag.com
Did you catch the show? What looks are you already pining for?

Calle Mariposa

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September 13, 2010

T-shirt: J. Crew
Skirt: Forever 21
Necklace: Sloan (Portland, OR)
Shoes: Mossimo Supply Co. (Target)

After days and days of waiting around for Telmex (the sole internet provider here) and endless calls promising that the internet would be up “maƱana”, we finally got internet at the house today! I am thrilled to be back in touch with friends and family on a more regular basis, and I even managed to stream an episode of Jersey Shore despite the slow speed. Today, friends, is a happy day…except that I am now quite sick, but nothing to be too concerned about. I have a long history of getting sick within two weeks of entering another country. It really never fails; I am that girl! Hopefully I don’t look as bad as I feel, but even if I do, I was determined to get back to blogging. I’ve seriously considered putting Style by Santina on hold for a bit. Perhaps I’m just adjusting or maybe I’m focusing on my spell of bad luck a bit too much, but I haven’t really felt myself. I’m worried that my transition from city style to something much more casual will completely destroy all that I’ve worked so hard for over the last few months. Feeling empowered by the return of internet, I decided to push my insecurities aside and get out for some pictures even while feeling ill…I didn’t really go too far though. I actually live at the end of this street, hence, the name of this post.

Unsurprisingly, I chose stripes on a day when not quite feeling myself. I love stripes. I actually wanted to wear this skirt with just a simple white tee last time I wore it, but at the time I was still working in an office and felt a little self-conscious about the snug fit, particularly on my butt. Taking full advantage of my newfound freedom, I paired it with a white tee, a necklace with antique keys and more stripes on my feet. Yet again I went without a purse, which is quite the adjustment for me. I love my handbags, but most of them are stored away in Portland with the majority of my clothing and shoes. I did bring along a few, but it’s so humid that wearing a purse just results in even more sweat. With a white t-shirt, more sweat would be unacceptable, so I took advantage of the skirt’s pockets and carried only the essentials. (Alright, I actually made my boyfriend carry everything in the cargo pockets of his shorts.)

Do you have a go to style when you’re not quite feeling yourself? Something you know will make you happy with little effort?

It feels good to be back!

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September 8, 2010

Shirt: Gap
Skirt: J. Crew
Necklace: Mink (Portland, OR)
Shoes: Sperry Top-Sider (Nordstrom Rack)

Today was the first day in quite a few that we had power for the entire day. Unfortunately, when there is no power, there is also no water, so believe me; you haven’t missed much in terms of outfits. With all the devastation, I haven’t really felt inspired and have pretty much worn cutoffs and tanks each day while wandering the town, chatting with locals and offering help. The return of water finally allowed us to start really cleaning our new place, so my boyfriend and I spent the majority of the day scrubbing, washing, and spraying for bugs….anyone who has ever lived in the tropics knows that cleaning takes on new meaning when one fears what could be lurking under every surface. Much like the “rodents of unusual size” in The Princess Bride, here we have bugs of unusual size and I am determined to rid our house of them as much as possible. Between feeling a bit depressed hearing story after story of people evacuating their homes and feeling lightheaded from all the bleach and cockroach spray, I looked forward to a hot shower (the water heater is finally up and running) and wearing something other than shorts. I have to admit that I have been concerned about the blog and worried that the lack of posts would result in the demise of Style by Santina. Despite feeling selfish for worrying about a blog at a time like this, it did feel good to be back to taking outfit pics.

Since I still haven’t unpacked, I’m still trying to put together outfits from the top layers of my bags. Once I pulled out this nautical striped t-shirt, I knew exactly what I wanted to wear with it: my pink patent boat shoes. I can’t believe I actually considered returning these! Not only are they adorable, but they are perfect for life by the ocean. I wanted to take a break from shorts, so I decided on this denim skirt. While temperatures have cooled slightly, the humidity has not let up so once again accessories were kept to a minimum: just a simple key necklace.

These pictures were taken just about three feet from my front door, and I couldn’t help snapping one of the view from the patio. Not too shabby, eh? Oh, and anyone who knows me in real life is certainly not surprised that I have already made friends with every kitty that I’ve come across, and this one was all too happy to pose for some photos with me!

No more rain, please!

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I do apologize for the lack of posts this past (rather tumultuous) week. Since the last one, so much has happened. The good news is that we quickly found and moved into a long term rental! While the house is in need of a bit more cleaning, it’s a good size (two bedrooms and bathrooms) and it has an amazing view of the ocean, both surf breaks, and the mountains. The bad news is that it has been raining almost constantly since we moved in. Of course, rain is expected in the rainy season, but, according to several local friends, there hasn’t been rain like this in over fifteen years. The rain has caused destruction here: the river has overflowed; taking homes and cars with it; erosion is causing palm trees to fall and walls to collapse; landslides have left roads impassable. The only other time I have seen such excessive rain was in Sumatra but there was no resulting devastation. It’s sad to see this usually carefree beach town in shambles. There’s much less talk of wave conditions and friendly banter and more often than not conversations begin with “is your house okay?”

When I last saw this river in April, it was barely more than a foot wide. With the excessive rains, it just continues to grow, slowly taking down whatever lies on the edge of its banks. Not only have homes been completely swept away, but the main bridge into town has collapsed.

We are fortunate to be in a house located near the top of a hill, so we don’t have water running around the perimeter or through our house. This one, which is on the path up to our house, has been completely destroyed. A house just above it collapsed, and the debris and water from the pool ran into it. It appears as though the falling debris took a palm tree down, which also landed on the house.

If the rain continues, I fear for what else might happen. While I don’t personally feel in danger at this point, it’s scary and sad to see this happening. Many of our local friends are without homes. Each day we hear stories of people who left everything behind and watched their home swept away. I’m amazed at the positive attitudes of everyone here. People who have lost everything are simply happy that there haven’t been any reports of deaths and seem to have relatively little concern about their material losses. I’d like to say I would react the same way if a similar situation had occurred while I was living in Portland, but I’m not so sure I would. I hope this positively helps quickly rebuild all that was lost in a town where the economy largely depends on tourism.

Simple in the sand

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September 2, 2010

Dress: BB Dakota (Mink Boutique, Portland)
Necklace: J. Crew
Shoes: J. Crew

Whew, today was another scorcher and oh so humid! Not to be gross, but I have been changing at least twice a day because I’m sweating that much. This was my final look of the day, assembled after a cold shower right before heading out for dinner. While we search for a long term rental, I refuse to unpack my bags so my options are mostly limited to whatever is on top and not too wrinkled. When I pulled this dress out, my boyfriend immediately professed his love for it and so my decision was made for me. I think if he had his way, I would wear a sundress and no makeup everyday.  Lucky for him, I see quite a bit of that in our future.

I never thought I would be happy to go without a purse, but when it’s this hot and sticky, I don’t want to add any extra layers. The pockets on this dress made it that much easier to forgo a bag. To add a little something to a rather plain look, I wore one of my favorite necklaces. I love the mixed chains and rhinestones and most of all the ribbons, and these sandals seemed to perfectly match the vibe of the necklace as they, too, bear ribbons and rhinestones.

In writing his post, I was surprised to realize that this look was made up of only three items. I seem to have embraced a much more minimal style without realizing it, but I think life on the beach (or maybe it’s this heat?) demands one. Do you feel like your environment silently shapes your style?

Hola de Mexico!

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September 1, 2010

Tank: Gap
Skirt: Forever 21
Shoes: Dolce Vita (Urban Outfitters)
Necklace: J. Crew
Adorable kitty: Oregon Humane Society

After months and months of anticipation (and seemingly endless packing), I am now living in a small beach town in Mexico! It didn’t quite seem real last night when we arrived after a rather long day of travel, but when I awoke this morning and walked out onto my ocean view patio, I knew it was real. Although leaving Portland was more difficult than I expected, I couldn’t be happier with this decision!

My first day of life on the beach was nothing but relaxing. I spent most of the morning hanging out with Marley to be sure he’s happy and adjusting well. It took us two planes, one boat, and three taxis to arrive, and that’s a lot of travel for a kitty who previously had never travelled more than two hours to the Oregon coast, by car nonetheless. Seeing him look more than content, I decided to head to the beach. I love the beach, and nothing soothes my slightly high strung soul like the ocean. I think my outfit pics will mostly be taken in early evening as I am on my way to dinner since during the day I will likely be dressed in looks like this one:

[Romper and swimsuit: Victoria's Secret / Beach bag: Gap / Flip flops: Havaianas (Nordstrom Rack) / Sunglasses: Ray Ban (Saks)]

Anyhow, for dinner with my boyfriend, I mostly wanted to stay cool. There’s a reason this town is empty right now: it’s hot! I picked up this skirt on my final trip to Forever 21 just before leaving Portland; I love the colors and watercolor-like print. Normally I prefer strict patterns, like stripes and geometric prints, so I think my new relaxed environment has gone straight to my head because it's the first thing I reached for! I paired it with a simple tank and flip flops. While I wanted to wear more accessories, it’s just too hot right now, so I added a necklace and nothing else.

Obviously leaving a city for a small town will bring changes to my daily outfits. I have to admit that I fear my more casual style will result in fewer readers and Style by Santina will largely be read by friends and people I know in real life (not that I don’t love you guys!). That being said, I have a few ideas for new projects and challenges that will hopefully keep you all interested. If there is anything you’d like to see in the coming months, please let me know!

My last Portland pics!

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August 28, 2010

Shirt: American Apparel
Tutu: Forever 21
Shoes: BCBGirls (Nordstrom)
Necklace: Marc by Marc Jacobs (a gift)
Ring: BCBG Max Azria

This post is a bit late, but finishing off packing and soaking up every last minute with friends during my final days in Portland occupied the time that would otherwise have been spent on blogging. I apologize and will keep this very overdue post short.

These shots were taken just before our going away party kicked off. When I considered what I would wear for the occasion, nothing seemed more appropriate than my tutu, and in all honestly, there were a few requests that I wear it and I hate to disappoint. I’ve worn this tutu twice (last seen here) so I wanted to change up the look a bit. I like the somewhat sweetheart look of this tee paired with the tutu and ran with it. Almost everything else was packed away at that point, and I couldn’t bring myself to undo my maniacal packing (unsurprisingly, Tetris is my favorite video game). I threw on classic black pumps, my favorite watch necklace, and a heart shaped ring and was ready to party!

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