Thursday, January 1, 2015

Onto the Next One....

2014 has been a whirlwind of a year. I don't know if it's a hallmark of aging, but it seems like every year goes by more quickly than the one before. As Nick and I start life in a new city, I'm looking forward to what 2015 has in store.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Into It...

There's been a lot of change happening in Rachel-land lately. The biggest of all is that we are relocating to Northern California, the Bay area to be specific. As much as the task of moving is quite possibly the most stressful thing in the world, I am super excited to start a new adventure in a "sweater weather" kind of town, especially with the heat in the valley being what I can only describe as "the worst", I'm ready to welcome Fall with open arms.

I'm a big fan of switching up my fragrances with the seasons, this summer I was all about a  perfume I snagged on sale at Anthropologie called "Zuma"... named after the famous beach in Malibu, it was a perfect hybrid of perfume and suntan lotion smell. Jo Malone's White Jasmine and Mint is my staple year-round, and I just discovered their newest addition Wood Sage & Sea Salt. I've been wearing the sample for the past few days, and I'm pretty sure it's true love. It's got a slight masculine edge to it, it's herbal but not too heavy, fresh with a more Pacific Northwest vibe as opposed to freshly folded towels.

I was introduced to Isimo.Co's Samantha about a year ago through a mutual friend, she's a super accomplished florist and proving that her eye for design extend into unique handmade decor as well. I am so obsessed with these re-purposed Mexican blanket pillows, when we move I'm definitely picking up a couple for the new digs.

I've got a $20 off coupon burning a hole in my wallet, so I really hope my local boutique has these bronze beauties in stock on Thursday! I've been a long-time fan of Vans, my older brothers wore them in the 80's and I've been wearing them consistently since the 90's. The classic slip-on is by far my favorite. I'm picturing these with boyfriend jeans, but I think they'd be pretty sweet to wear with a long skirt too.

Apart from material goods, I've been trying to explore some new music as well. Of course, Jenny Lewis' new album The Voyager has been on a lot- which I'm sure is a relief to my poor boyfriend who has had to listen to Haim's Days Are Gone record on repeat since spring. My favorite tracks is "Just One of the Guys", but it really is a great album overall.

I'm going to do my best to keep this rickety-rickshaw updated regularly, so bear with me.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Jhene Aiko for Elle

Photo: Nick Walker, Make-up & Hair: Rachel Rose DeSimone

I've had the pleasure of working with the infinitely talented and super sweet Jhene Aiko over the past couple months, here's a couple shots from an Elle (US) feature that was just released. To achieve Jhene's tousled beachy waves, I used Enzo Milano 13MM clipless curling iron and Kevin Murphy Shimmer Shine Repairing Mist. Her earthy smoky eye was achieved using Kohl Pencil in 9K (brown) and her lip is Rouge Artist Intense #24 both by MAKE UP FOR EVER.

Photo: Nick Walker, Make-up & Hair: Rachel Rose DeSimone

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Schnauzer-centric Lifestyle, Summer 2014.

For the first time in years, I was off work for independence day. It’s the retail life,  I know for sure I won’t have black friday off but every now and then I can finagle a peripheral holiday. I was ecstatic to spend the day in Orange County with great friends and pyrotechnics. Cut to midnight, Nigel jumps off the couch and manages to paralyze his back back right leg and partially paralyze his left leg. It’s my worst nightmare. My bouncy, bonkers miniature schnauzer can’t walk, is totally wigging out from the fire works and I’m an absolute mess. I immediately google “emergency vet” and stay up all night with Nigel trying to get him to calm down and bargaining with a distant god while hoping he’ll just shake it off. I immediately ran through every worst case scenario over and over- I knew I was never going to be one of those pet owners that keeps a dog alive and miserable because I can’t say goodbye. It was also at that moment that I realized just how much my dogs mean to me. This little white dog (and my little black dog) have been with me through every major event of my adult life- marriage, divorce, moves, my father’s death. At one point in the night, I just broke down and cried out of frustration.

The next morning I called out took Nigel into the emergency vet. The vet was so sweet and really seemed to care about him, but her initial gut instinct was surgery. However, since they didn’t find anything on his radiograph or x-rays, I was very hesitant to move forward in that direction. His injury came down to one of two things: a spinal disc injury or a. FCE (essentially a stroke). If it was an FCE his chances of a spontaneous recovery were fairly high, but if it was an FCE his pain level would have been much lower. After a suggestion from the vet and standard internet research, we decided to give physical therapy a go. Not only would he be in the hands of some of the best vets, Two Hands Four Paws had a great reputation for rehabilitating paralysis.

Nigel is such a strong and sweet dog, my boyfriend and I had no idea how much pain he was actually in. We assumed he was just down-in-the dumps, since he didn’t exhibit the typical “I’m a dog in pain” signs. however, there he was, hunched over peeing his pants- he was so miserable. For a good week and a half my life was very schnauzer-centric. Between my boyfriend and I, we couldn’t leave him home alone for any extended period of time because he was unable to go to the bathroom on his own or roll over. I don’t have children, but I assume this is close to what it feels like to care for a sick newborn. You just feel so helpless.

We started treating him pretty aggressively with physical therapy, just to get his pain under control and get him moving again. Once his pain was managed, we started to see amazing progress. Within a week and a half he was weaned off his medication. He’s now down to therapy once a week and although he looks drunk, he is walking around and happy. We are so happy to see him recovering so well after such a short period of time- even the vets and staff were amazed. Sometimes life just throws a curveball, but I’m beyond grateful that my little dude is feeling better and moving around. It’s a lot of work and dedication, but it’s all worth it. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Graduation of Grief: Four Years of Remebering My Father

Today is the day. Four years. If my grief were a high school student, it would have received it’s diploma. For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to figure out how to put my thoughts into words. When my father’s illness progressed, I made the decision to chronicle my process and blogging my way through has been very healing.

Reflecting on my fourth year without my father has been bittersweet. There is a feeling of both guilt and relief when you get through another year feeling a little less worse than the year before. At different times over the past few years I’d wished I just never knew him, because through the fog of grief it seems like a less painful option than accepting the loss. Don’t get me wrong, it still gets me. The grief monster still lurks in the shadows. Oh.... sometimes it gets me BAD. Every time I see a father/daughter dance at a wedding or overhear a laugh or sound that reminds me of him, my heart breaks with a true and deep ache that I don’t think will ever go away. Four years later, I’ve learned to live with the ache.

I will be forever grateful that I had my dad for 26 years. He was one-of-a-kind and the best father I could have ever hoped for. He may have been the gambler, but when he and my mother adopted me and took my colic-y infant self home from the hospital I was the one that won the lottery. I’m forever a daddy’s girl. I still miss him so much- and that will never change.

I love you, pops.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Dibs on Scary Spice: Group Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween is the best time of year. Hands down. Some years are more inspiring than others. Two years ago my friend Carrie and I went as Toddlers & Tiaras contestants, the year before that I was a zombie Amy Winehouse and last year I just threw together a few costumes with the leftovers from the previous years. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by very talented make-up artists at least five days a week- and at MAKE UP FOR EVER we celebrate Halloween in a big way. So even if I try to keep it low-key, there’s always something going on. I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with killer costume ideas, and I think I’ve figured out at least one. I’m sure I’ll have a few more within the next couple weeks.

At some point in my life I’d like to do a really rad group costume. Group costumes are some of the most fun and at the very least it’s always a blast to have a costume buddy. So if you’ve got a group and you’re thinking of costumes, I’ve got a couple suggestions. Now, every group costume comes with it’s own set of challenges. There’s always a character that EVERYBODY wants to be and a character that NOBODY wants to be and a few in-between. I'm sure you'll figure it out.


Not only is A League of Their Own one of the best movies ever- it’s also a fairly accessible costume and can lend itself well to large or small groups. Instantly recognizable but not so sexy that you won’t be able to eat bread for a week.
Fight over: All-The-Way Mae
Super sassy Madonna was the bombshell. Everybody wants to be her- call dibs early.

Take one for the team: Doris Murphy
You’d think it would be Marla Hooch, right? Nope.

Unexpected but awesome: Kit Keller
“Why do you gotta be so good!?” Just the right amount of angst and pigtails to be fun.

I remember setting up a pretend Babysitter’s Club headquarters in my parent’s garage, surely I wasn’t the only one. You also have options, you can go with the OG Babysitters or the major motion picture version.

Fight over: Dawn Schafer
California girl style, health food addict and tree hugger.

Take one for the team: Mallory Pike
What a dud. Why would anybody want to be Mallory?

Unexpected but awesome: Kristy Thomas
I was talking with my friend Elaine about this earlier and she brought up a very valid point that the 90’s tomboy outfit potential for Kristy is just unparalleled.


It’s been long enough and platform tennis shoes are back, so it seems appropriate. As the tan girl with curly hair- I was ALWAYS Scary Spice.

Fight over: Ginger Spice
The most iconic of the bunch. The union jack dress and the red hair with blonde highlights. If you are the redhead of the bunch, congrats you’ve got dibs.

Take one for the team: Sporty Spice
Although it’s arguably the most comfortable costume, it’s really the least fun.

Unexpected but Awesome: Piers Cuthbertson-Smyth
Admittedly he's a left-field character from Spice World. When the option arises to be Alan Cummings, that option should be explored.

Bonus Idea:

Dibs on Poncho Punch.