Friday, December 28, 2012

Steal that Style: Sparkles and Neutrals

Fancy under $60 Jcpenney
{inspiration outfit first seen here}
tshirt | skirt | necklace | clutch


Neutrals, sparkles, and jewels. In my mind, my dream closet is filled with these things. With that said, welcome to my newest feature: Steal that Style. Here you'll find the most affordable pieces and a complete outfit all from the same place, usually online, to save you from the cost of shipping on more than one site. My take on this outfit is fancy, feminine, frugal, and ALL from! Did I mention that JCPenney has an entire line of affordable Nicole Miller pieces?! Doesn't get much better than that.
(Sorry for all the alliteration. I can't help myself.)
Happy Shopping! xoxo

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Little Red Trench Coat

A trench coat is a wardrobe staple I'd love to add to my own this season. After all the rain we've been getting in California, I'm thinking of purchasing the Narciso Rodriguez for Kohl's trench below. The best part, is that Kohl's always has ongoing promotions. Use this code by December 29 to receive 20% off anything online or in store! (NEWYEAR20)

Little Red Trench Coat

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Cicada Club

{Dress: ASOS; Earrings: Charlotte Russe}

As promised, here are some snapshots from my birthday party at the Cicada Club (inside the Oviatt building) in Downtown Los Angeles. It was a spectacular night, with wonderful friends, fun music, and great dancing. I couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate the big 2-2! I decided to do dinner before getting to the Cicada, since their menu has a fixed price of $60 per person. However, I'd love to go back, dress to the nines, and splurge on dinner for two (the food looked amazing!). The entrance fee was $10 for this particular show and the valet parking is $7 (worth it, since half my guests were in heels). Guests coming only to see the show are escorted to the mezzanine lounge upstairs, which boasts a smaller dance floor and a full bar. The mezzanine lounge fills up within the hour before the show and chairs are taken on a first-come basis. From the balcony we watched the show and then ventured downstairs to join the dancing ourselves. (Ronnie is a natural dancer. He twirled me around the dance floor as I attempted to look like I had some rhythm . . . .) Here are some highlights of the night!

{Some of my gorgeous friends and I! Floral Jacket: Poshmark purchase}
{The bellman stated "Welcome to the 1920's" when we walked through these doors. Love!}
{My dapper date and I. Skinny Tie: H&M; Fedora: Downtown Disney Kiosk!}
{Jazz Orchestra, main dance floor of the club}

{Cupcake Toppers by Shop Sweet LuLu}
{Striped Straws by Shop Sweet Lulu}

Saturday, December 22, 2012

All is Calm, All is Bright

The Emoto Family Christmas Tree!
My sweet mother is incredibly creative and this year's Christmas tree did not disappoint. Covered in ornament pictures of our childhood, my mom's masterpiece reminds me, once again, how lovely it is to be home. My birthday happens to be today as well (The end times? Please, I'm turning 22), and something that I've come to cherish most about each celebration of growing another year older is that my family--the five of us, for now--is always at home, together. Though I am incredibly blessed to be with my own family this season, my thoughts are with those who are suffering tremendous loss during the holidays. May the lives of those we are missing be celebrated with joy, and our hearts filled with hope in the promise of our King.

Merry Christmas! From my family to yours, may you be blessed in every way.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Let the Festivities Begin!

This week I've been experiencing a Christmas/Birthday overload. Whether we like to admit it or not, this season of peace is actually a chaotic flurry of festive events. And, then, there's my birthday. Being born three days before Christmas usually means I'm cramming a party in between holiday vacations and ugly Christmas sweater parties. This weekend is no exception. Here are the things I'll be checking off my list in the next three days:
  • The Rabbit Hole (the endearing name of my apartment) is hosting an ugly Christmas sweater party complete with a White Elephant gift exchange.
  • Ronnie and I will be renewing our Disneyland annual passes because we just.can' to the magic!
  • If the weather is clear, I'll get to witness my first Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade!
  • Then we'll polish off the weekend with a 1920's themed evening for my birthday at the Cicada Club.
What I'm most excited for is sharing all these moments with people whom I love and remembering the sole reason for the season is celebrating our King's birth and the awesome truth of Christ's life, love, and sacrifice.

P. S. Pictures of the festivities to come.

P. P. S. I just became a Suggested User on Poshmark and am thrilled about it! This social media community of other fashion-loving women has been an awesome way for me to do more of what I love!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Pantone Color of 2013 is ...

Sparkling Green

The verdict is in. The Pantone color of the year is Emerald Green! The people of Oz are ecstatic (Does the Emerald City remind anyone else of The Capital in Hunger Games?).

You can bet I got my first Pantone-influenced purchase this weekend--a deep emerald green blazer from H&M. I've always gravitated towards different shades of green: mint, hunter green, kelly green, and more. Still, there is something so classically elegant about emerald. It's bold, yet feminine. Bright, yet understated. Not to mention it looks incredible on any skin tone.

Check out my Pantone color Pinterest board, here.

AND see the thumbnails below for information on the afforadble pieces featured in the collage above.

Sparkling Green by elissaemoto featuring an ab studio

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A 1920's Celebration

Art Deco Gatsby

I've always been intrigued by the delicate and glamorous style of the 1920's. I find myself gravitating towards things that shimmer, Art Deco patterns, muted colors, and feminine dresses. It's safe to say my love for this fashion time period started with The Great Gatsby--required reading as a sophomore in high school--thanks Ms. Goytia for  always broadening our knowledge. Anywho, I chose to celebrate my 22nd birthday at the Cicada Club in downtown LA. The club's entire architecture is reminiscent of the 1920's glamourous Art Deco architecture, with brilliant chandeliers, and hardwood dance floors. According to a coworker, who told me about Cicada, the club is known for it's live bands (from jazz orchestras to swing bands), and guests who come dressed to the nines in vintage attire (I think part of the new Great Gatsby movie with the dapper Mr. Dicaprio was filmed there). I can't wait for me and a group of friends to experience this magical place. For now, here's the outfit I've decided to celebrate in (ASOS scallop lace dress below!). I'll blog more pictures of the night and my outfit post-celebration!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Poshmark Party

I'm on a writing streak. One post per month seems pretty legit right? ...

Nevertheless, I have exciting and helpful news to share about an app called Poshmark--a buying and selling app for women fashions (only available for iPhone users). I recently joined the Poshmark (PM) community, about three weeks ago, and have already made $200 just selling unworn clothes from my closet! Regardless, you do have to put in the effort to create stylish listings so that your clothes will sell. I also make sure I carve out time to respond to buyers, pack items, and ship them through USPS (with the prepaid labels PM emails you once an item sells).

Friday, October 26, 2012

Therapeutic Instant Messaging

I'm thankful for the digital age we live in. One of my closest friends lives across the country in New York, but sometimes I talk to her more than my own roommates. This particular friend is motivated, smart, super well-dressed, and has never tried to be anything but herself--and I so admire her for that reason alone.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Life of a Twenty-Something: Careers

The place where God calls you is where your deep gladness meets the world's deep hunger. (Fredrick Buechner)


Earlier last month, I was surprised when my boss called me into his office and offered me a permanent position at Reasons To Believe, the science-and-faith think tank I've been working for (as a temporary copyeditor) these past four months.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Follow Up: In the Blue

(Sorry I don't have a picture of the entire outfit, but here's a snapshot of the night!)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

In the Blue

Blue Wedding

I'll be attending a wedding this weekend and can't wait to wear this blue/black/gold outfit.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Method to the Madness

*Warning this post may increase your chances of shopaholicism

Long lines, dressing rooms, and pesky sales people are easily avoidable during your shopping experience nowadays.

There's just something about online shopping that gets me every time. Yes, it has its downfalls. You can't try on the clothes and shipping costs are not always ideal. But what's better than shopping from the comfort of your own home? It's worth the extra cash for convenience. And honestly, I find most of my best deals online anway. I like to think of it as my "spiritual gift", but I'm pretty sure that's not biblical.

Anyway, here is a simple breakdown of my favorite clothing websites, tips, and tricks for navigating the cyber shopping world.

Monday, September 10, 2012

On My List This Season...

Fall Wish List

What I've learned about the most these past few months is how to budget my money.

Beach, Bikes, & Bonding

This past weekend I had the chance to stay with my sister at her new abode in Santa Barbara. It was the perfect escape from the melt your skin off  95-100 degree San Gabriel Valley weather.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Keep Calm and Decorate

This post is about decorating, I promise. But I have a teensy story to share beforehand. And yes, it's related...
I took a Strengths Finder test about four years ago, as a class requirement, when I was a young and naive freshman (no disrespect to my former self).  The theme of this test is along the lines of this quote: "Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?" The point is to develop your strengths instead of focusing on your weaknesses.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

To the Insecure

A little pick-me-up picture {Source}
It's about to get real vulnerable up in this blog post. And for me, I mean real vulnerable.

Since the beginning of last year I realized a lot of different characteristics in myself that I either chose not to accept or just flat out never noticed. In addition to recognizing my unhealthy craving for perfectionsim (as I've mentioned in previous posts) I've also found that I have even more insecurities that I keep hidden---it's like that tacky prom dress in the back of the closest that you hold onto for sentimental reasons. Though, to be honest I keep them hidden because I'm afraid of the consequences.

I am continually in the process of pinpointing what those small, yet nagging insecurities are, but I do know that I too often care about what others think of me and constantly worry that I am never measuring up.
For my entire life I've been lied to...though, I admit, the liar has always been myself.

I have no idea where it originated from, but I have constantly had the idea that if I'm not meeting above average standards then I might as well quit trying. I find myself in situations where I am constantly shrinking away from a task because I just don't think I'm capable of completing it as well as the next person.

It is a constant cycle of time lost and unnecessary fears.

Everytime a golden opportunity passes me by because I was too afraid to grab a hold of it, I become that much more self-conscious and angry at myself. My main question is always, "What's wrong with me?" Then I wonder if anyone else feels as ridiculous as I do.

These insecurities creep their way into my daily life, in the moments that I walk away from a good conversation because I'm too concerned about being judged for what I say...intimidated that I don't have anything witty or smart to contribute.

I love writing and reading, but by no means am I a seasoned reader of classic literature.

I love to be creative, but often find that someone else has already come up with the idea.

I love to have insightful conversation, but find it hard to articulate my thoughts into speech.

One thing I know for sure is that my insecurities have stripped my faith of the love, grace, and patience that God has provided. I've been relying on myself to succeed in this life, to achieve something of greatness, and to be everything excellent to all people.

During my recent graduation ceremony at APU, one of my favorite authors, Shauna Niequist blessed the graduates as the commencement speaker with these words:
"Start where you can, when you can, with what you have. Start with your belief that God loves you, and that he made you on purpose and for a purpose. Not for a moment, but for an ongoing lifestyle of service and sacrifice and vision.  Don’t wait around and expect that amazing experience to come find you and tap you on the shoulder. Start making the world better every day, every day, every day, with your hands and your resources and your love and your willingness and your belief and along the way, you will find your place...You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, as though that was not enough, the God of the Universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural." -Shauna Niequist, May 5, 2012, Azusa Pacific University
My generation (Y) has always been concerned with making the world a better place and being the best in all that you do. So, at first, Shauna's commission to "Start making the world better every day," seemed like a daunting one. But what I actually took away from that moment--sitting at my college graduation--was an image of God filling me everyday with everything that I might need. Every moment I feel that I am lacking means that I am not acknowledging the Spirit's work within me.

It's time to push the lies aside and realize that everytime I feel at a loss for words or that I simply don't measure up, is a time that I am denying God's power.  Breaking the barriers of my insecurities will be a constant battle, but I will live to know that my worth and purpose is found in Him alone, and for that I am SO thankful.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Postgrad Purpose

Class of 2012
Five days post graduation I began my first real, strap-on-your-heels, job as a temporary copy editor for the non-profit  Reasons To Believe (RTB). (And for those who have no idea what a copy editor's job description is, read the following: an editor of type, a connoisseur of vocabulary, and often a grammar snob....)

Reasons is an organization based in Glendora, Calif. with a mission to bridge the gap between science and Christian faith.

Sounds like a pretty daunting mission statement, huh? ...

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Finale

Class of 2012 :)
 Here I am again.  Releasing a week's worth of excitement out on my blog when I should be completing one of my final papers. Final. Everything I do these days is so final.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Graduation Dress

Coral, Bows, & a Miu Miu-esque heel. Perfect!
I just received my graduation shoes in the mail today and couldn't be happier! If my personality could be described by a shoe I think this pair would be the one. The site I originally saw them on has been out of stock of the coral colored heel for about a month and I thought all hope was loss. But leave it to to come to my rescue and have the shoes in my size for half the price of what I would have paid at the original site!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Twenty Days

New Bedroom Options
I've been updating the layout of Sparkles and Prays for the past two hours while I should be checking things off of my to-do-list for graduation, which is just a few short weeks away. Twenty days to be exact, but who's counting? Why is it that when one chapter of your life is closing you can't help but look forward to the next with eager anticipation?

I'll be moving into an apartment with four of my closest girlfriends this May and all I can think about is decorating my new home and how I'm going get a full bed to fit in my room. Not to mention that I have an interview tomorrow for a job that I'm dying to land!  How can one think about homework right now?!

Today I realized that I started this blog with the hope that it would motivate me to do more of the things that I love, some of which are writing, reflecting, sharing fashion inspiration, crafting and cooking. Those are the things that I have been looking forward to doing after I graduate when I have "more time" to do them.

But when do we ever have more time? A very special person recently told me that I am the type of person that finds so many things to commit to that I end up with no time for myself. I think a lot of people are like that who, like me, crave the satisfaction in being busy. But what I've found is that I never get real satisfaction from doing too many things at once. What I get is a burnt out hot-mess.
I'm making a commitment solely to myself right now to do the things that I love and do them well. God never demands me to be a multitasker, but He does ask me to be with Him and savor each moment that I am blessed with.

Here are some moments that I'm looking forward to in the near future:
A mix of modern and feminine
Purchasing a cozy chair for a reading nook
Hosting monthly tea parties for the ladies