Sweet nothings from San Francisco

Peter Pan ModCloth Dress - Cactus and Fog

ModCloth dress (similar here and here) / H&M long-sleeved shirt / ModCloth tights / Scala hat / Claire*s heart-shaped sunglasses / UrbanOG booties (similar here)

San Francisco colorful homes - Cactus and Fog

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San Francisco colorful homes - Cactus and Fog

UrbanOG Booties and Colorful Tights - Cactus and Fog

San Francisco eats - Cactus and Fog

Peter Pan ModCloth Dress - Cactus and Fog

ModCloth dress (similar here and here) / H&M long-sleeved shirt / ModCloth tights / Scala hat / Claire*s heart-shaped sunglasses / UrbanOG booties (similar here)

Hi! Hello! How are you? A long overdue bonjour from the Bay. I’ve been back in San Francisco for two weeks, and it feels like somewhere along the way somebody hit the fast-forward button. Are we seriously a week into February already?

This semester I’m a staff fashion/lifestyle/culture reporter for the Golden Gate Xpress. Exciting stuff! But between cramming for classes and cranking out articles on deadline, I’m still trying to find a balance that allows a little time for blogging.

Sunday brunch - Cactus and Fog

Hey, look! My first ever op-ed, in actual print! 😁😁😁

I have a feeling these next four months are about to fly by, which is crazy because that means my city living is coming to an end. And I’ll be back in Palm Springs (semi)permanently. (Semi because I’m bound to travel, but permanently because Palm Springs is actually going to be home again.)

I really, really love this place. San Francisco feels like home, and it’s been such an incredible adventure (and growing experience!) to acclimate on my own. (Note to my former crying self, scared to move away all alone: You’re going to do it! And you’re going to love it! And everything is going to be okay!) It’ll be sad to pack up my little SF studio, but I’m certainly excited J and I won’t have to live half a state apart anymore. The long-distance living has really been great for relationship growth, even after 8 years together there’s always more to learn. But sometimes I just want to cuddle, man!

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Take It Easy

Wide-leg velvet palazzo pants | Cactus and Fog

Doncaster crop tank (thrifted, shop similar) / Street Culture velvet palazzo pants (thrifted, shop similar) / Scala raffia safari hat / velvet moon choker

Wide-leg velvet palazzo pants | Cactus and Fog

Cactus and Fog

Cactus and Fog

Cactus and Fog

Cactus and Fog

This is probably my favorite snap from the trip. Reminds me of Mars. (Snapchat: @helloitsm)

Cactus and Fog

Doncaster crop tank (thrifted, shop similar) / Street Culture velvet palazzo pants (thrifted, shop similar) / Scala raffia safari hat / velvet moon choker

Last weekend, I spent an afternoon shooting with the dudes in the outskirts of the desert. And by shooting, I’m talking guns, not photos.

They’ve got a “spot” near the mountains with a hidden, weather-worn folding table. A few twisty miles down a forgotten dirt road, past a certain overgrown juniper tree, and a half-mile hike through the rough, and you’ll find it.

The views are stellar on a clear day, and there’s rarely anyone around. Though on this particular afternoon, the weather was perfect — no El Niño jacket required — so, as we made our way to the spot, we passed several families enjoying a shooting day of their own.

Hard to pass up such a scenic backdrop, so I brought my tripod out to snap a few shots of these rad velvet palazzo pants. Can you believe I picked them up from the local thrift shop for $3?! The crop tank was thrifted too. I wanted something a little shrunken to pair with the wide-leg pants. This teeny polka dot print’s such a cute detail.

Blogger behind the scenes | Cactus and Fog

#TripodLife

Cactus and Fog

I’ve been really into soft, velvety pieces lately. Making it a point to find (budget) ways to add some more texture to my wardrobe for spring, to freshen up my staple basics.

What’s on your wardrobe wishlist for spring?

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Blazing Trails

Blazing desert trails in a denim mini and combat boots / See more at www.cactusandfog.com

Faded Glory denim mini (thrifted from Goodwill, shop similar) / Urban OG boots (shop similar)

Blazing desert trails in a denim mini and combat boots / See more at www.cactusandfog.com

Sophie Harper ring c/o Rocksbox (shop similar)

Blazing desert trails in a denim mini and combat boots / See more at www.cactusandfog.com

Blazing desert trails in a denim mini and combat boots / See more at www.cactusandfog.com

Faded Glory denim mini (thrifted from Goodwill, shop similar) / Urban OG boots (shop similar)

There’s something special about getting lost, veering away from the beaten path, confusing the fates and blazing your own trail. When faced with a decision, I often avoid the expected as a means of challenging myself.

I think, as humans, we’re all fantastically creative beings with a crazy amount of unlocked potential just waiting to wile out. And without a little self-imposed challenge, creative flux has a tendency to stagnate.

Blogging, for example, gives me the space to stretch that right side of my brain, my imagination — a dash of photography whirled with writing and a bit of web design, an excuse to style clothing and travel for the sake of content. Everything I love, wrapped up neatly in a dot-com.

For you, the passion might be painting, or mechanics, or problem-solving. Or volunteering with puppies.

Passions are often entrepreneurial, and it’s easy to toss them on the back-burner while you hustle for rent money and take care of the daily grind. So take this as a reminder to set aside some time to do you for a little while this week, even if you feel like it’s hard to pencil in, or you don’t have the support that you need.

Challenge yourself to eschew the expected. Get creative. Blaze a new trail.

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Shop My Insta Feed

Shop my Insta feed | The latest #ootd and #wiw posts from @cactusandfog

I’ve spent the last few months working on my Instagram game, and it seems to be paying off. After being featured on the @forever21 account, my notifications were through the roof.

I’ve tried my best to keep up with all of your comments — many of which asking where I scored those rose-colored, gold-framed sunnies. So, I figured a detailed “shop my feed” post was in order.

Here’s a round-up of my recent #OOTD posts with all of the product links for easy shopping access, so you can score the deals too.

Not following me on Insta? Click here to join the party.

Shop my Insta feed | The latest #ootd and #wiw posts from @cactusandfog

Om Ring (from Amazon, as many of my accessories are… so many good steals!)

Shop my Insta feed | The latest #ootd and #wiw posts from @cactusandfog

Layered Necklace (This broke before I even wore it! Gonna have to do a little jewelry crafting to fix it. Still cute.) / Hammered Gold Earrings (These were a gift — get a similar hand-crafted pair here.)

Shop my Insta feed | The latest #ootd and #wiw posts from @cactusandfog

This was a #throwback post, wearing an out of stock Reverse kimono. See the original blog post here for more details and get a similar printed fringe kimono here.

Shop my Insta feed | The latest #ootd and #wiw posts from @cactusandfog

H&M Jeggings / H&M Striped Mock-Neck Tank / Bamboo Boots via Urban OG (similar here)

Shop my Insta feed | The latest #ootd and #wiw posts from @cactusandfog

Borrowed this coat for NYE from my grandma! You can get a similar faux fur number from Forever 21 on sale, for under $50 here!

Shop my Insta feed | The latest #ootd and #wiw posts from @cactusandfog

I searched through my Amazon orders from the last seven years and could not find a link to these sunnies. Sad day. I’m 99.999% sure they came from Amazon (most of my frames do, because they’re cheap and shipping’s quick with Amazon Prime). But check out these links for similar styles…
Sunnies: Option 1 / Option 2 / Option 3 // Forever 21 Clutch / GK Hair Serum (love this stuff!)

For more outfit inspo and daily details, be sure to follow @cactusandfog on Instagram.

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Hiding out from El Niño

Boho Style | Cactus and Fog

Wearing: Scala raffia safari hat, Palm Springs tank (similar), ShopMyTrend printed bells, gladiator sandals (similar), velvet moon choker

Boho Style | Cactus and Fog Boho Style | Cactus and Fog Boho Style | Cactus and Fog

Boho Style | Cactus and Fog

Wearing: Scala raffia safari hat, Palm Springs tank (similar), ShopMyTrend printed bells, gladiator sandals (similar), velvet moon choker

The El Niño downpour started yesterday, and I’m officially a couch-ridden homebody. Hoping the rain lets up this weekend, as my weather app’s promising, so we can do a little desert adventuring. I was able to sneak outside and snap a few pics this morning. These pants are a steal from Amazon. This print is sold out, but they’ve got an array of colors for $8.99 — and I think I’m going to invest in one of each. It’s so hard to find bells with the right fit/length, because I’m 5’10 3/4″. These beauties are perfect. And the tank? I scored it on sale at the Palm Springs airport when my flight was delayed over Thanksgiving. Now that the Coachella lineup’s out, you can expect desert graphics to start popping up in all the online shops. Yay, festival season!

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From Our Hearts To Yours

Cactus and Fog | Love in the New Year

I’m wearing: Ark & Co. dress, Via Spiga coat
He’s wearing: Volcom shirt, Diamond Supply Co. jeans, Sarar jacket

Cactus and Fog | Love in the New Year

Cactus and Fog | Love in the New Year

Cactus and Fog | Love in the New Year

Happy New Year, babes! Thanks for following along and supporting me in my creative adventures. You (and this handsome dude) continue to inspire me.

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Desert Reflections: Looking back on 2015 in Forever 21 #ForeverFinds

Reflecting on 2015 in Forever 21 | Cactus + Fog | #ForeverFinds

Shop the look: F21 waffle-knit sweater, F21 crushed velveteen leggings, F21 men’s aviator jacket (size small), F21 clutch, G by Guess peep-toe booties (similar), Anthropologie necklace (similar), Sophie Harper pave ring c/o Rocksbox

Reflecting on 2015 in Forever 21 | Cactus + Fog | #ForeverFinds

Reflecting on 2015 in Forever 21 | Cactus + Fog | #ForeverFinds

Reflecting on 2015 in Forever 21 | Cactus + Fog | #ForeverFinds

Reflecting on 2015 in Forever 21 | Cactus + Fog | #ForeverFinds

Reflecting on 2015 in Forever 21 | Cactus + Fog | #ForeverFinds

Reflecting on 2015 in Forever 21 | Cactus + Fog | #ForeverFinds

Reflecting on 2015 in Forever 21 | Cactus + Fog | #ForeverFinds

Shop the look: F21 waffle-knit sweater, F21 crushed velveteen leggings, F21 men’s aviator jacket (size small), F21 clutch, G by Guess peep-toe booties (similar), Anthropologie necklace (similar), Sophie Harper pave ring c/o Rocksbox

I’m sitting here reflecting on what a huge year 2015 has been.

In January, I bought a one-way ticket to San Francisco and decided to finish my journalism degree.

In February, I explored the big city on my own.

By March, I was feeling pretty settled and the adventures got more exciting (like the time I rode the bus to the end of the line). We celebrated Chinese New Year at my first big SF festival, and spring break was my first visit home to Palm Springs.

April, I returned again for a weekend of invite-only Coachella parties (Ahhh, festival season! Only a few months away now, kittens!).

I finished spring semester in May, and shared a lot of desert summer-inspired looks (this BB Dakota dress I shot on tripod while my boyfriend and ex-roommate were shooting guns out in the sand dunes was a favorite #BloggerAtWork).

In June, it was back to the Bay for summer session. I finally made my way downtown, took a few courses on social media marketing and videography. I went to the 45th annual Pride Parade, right after the Supreme Court’s historic decision to grant marriage equality. It was epic, and I created my first video, interviewing the locals (it’s pretty shaky, but it’s pretty special).

July got me out and about, shooting outfits in downtown alleyways with that iconic city backdrop, and I interviewed the owner of Covet Boutique.

In August, we went to Tahoe and back to the toasty desert, and I was pretty obsessed with bell sleeves.

September, I shared my favorite spots from Fort Funston in collaboration with Tobi (the beach and the little neighboring forest).

In October, we hit up the #NSFW Folsom Street Fair, and San Francisco’s Zombie Walk.

We visited the Painted Ladies, from the Full House opening sequence, in November, and one of my best friends got married.

And December marked the end of fall semester, which we celebrated by watching the Star Wars premiere. If you follow me on Snapchat (@helloitsm) or Instagram, you know the holidays have been merry and crazy, and I’ve been helping my mom get all moved out of my childhood home. Sad to see it go, but it marks the beginning of a brand new chapter for us both.

Reflecting on 2015 in Forever 21 | Cactus + Fog | #ForeverFinds

Seems fitting, while totally unplanned, that the first outfit post I shared this year, and this one—the last—are practically identical. Apparently I have a thing for leggings and oversized knits, and pretty statement necklaces. This year, I’m rocking my #ForeverFinds—the waffle-knit sweater, crushed velvet leggings, faux fur-lined aviator jacket, and silver clutch are all from Forever 21. Shoes are G by Guess—the same peep-toes that I wore last year (ha!). And the necklace is Anthropologie, a gorgeous gift I received for Christmas.

Wish I had a little more energy to fluff up this year in review, but it’s already a lot longer than intended. So that’s all for now! I’m seriously looking forward to everything 2016 will bring, and I hope—wherever you are, whatever you’ve got planned—you have a safe, joyous, memorable end-of-the-year. Happy New Years, my loves! Thank you for reading.

Reflecting on 2015 in Forever 21 | Cactus + Fog | #ForeverFinds

 

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Cactus and Fog is a personal style blog written by a girl wandering the coast of California, from the cactus-studded dunes of Palm Springs to San Francisco's bustling billows of fog.

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Emily is a Print/Online Journalism and Social Media Marketing student, a bohemian freelance creative infatuated by word, design, photography, and fellow free spirits.



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