A Simple Safari

14 Mar

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Jumpsuit, olive green jumpsuit, cutout jumpsuit, palm tree fashion shoot, red lipstick, fashion blogger, personal style blogger, California street style, LA style
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Jumpsuit, olive green jumpsuit, cutout jumpsuit, palm tree fashion shoot, red lipstick, fashion blogger, personal style blogger, California street style, LA style
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Jumpsuit, olive green jumpsuit, cutout jumpsuit, palm tree fashion shoot, red lipstick, fashion blogger, personal style blogger, California street style, LA style
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Jumpsuit, olive green jumpsuit, cutout jumpsuit, palm tree fashion shoot, red lipstick, fashion blogger, personal style blogger, California street style, LA style
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Jumpsuit, olive green jumpsuit, cutout jumpsuit, palm tree fashion shoot, red lipstick, fashion blogger, personal style blogger, California street style, LA style
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Jumpsuit, olive green jumpsuit, cutout jumpsuit, palm tree fashion shoot, red lipstick, fashion blogger, personal style blogger, California street style, LA style

Never underestimate the satisfaction that accompanies slipping on a jammin’ jumpsuit — ONE AND DONE (reference here, here and here…see what I mean?!)

I was talking to a friend about fashion and trends recently, something I rarely discuss these days because, well, I don’t care that much. That being said , this conversation did encourage me to acknowledge that, while I may have adopted a liking for “lazy” attire, my lifestyle is anything but, and appearance does actually matter…at least a little bit.

Am I curating cutting-edge outfits on a daily basis? No. But, fortunately, there are still stylish (and affordable) options that can accommodate busy females like myself…THANK YOU, Forever21Stylinity. Available via Go2Buy!

Not just that, but being lightweight, with long-sleeves and the cut-out accents, this particular jumpsuit is a major winner for transitioning from winter to spring. Forever21 has many more great pieces, just like this one, and you can redeem some awesome discounts by clicking HERE!

So, this is my fashion strategy for the day – get groovy, fantasize about the ’70s, and keep it easy breezy, just like the palm trees do. Buy things you can wear over and over again and can work into your wardrobe as seasons are changing.

Happy shopping!

*head to toe: Nars Lip Crayon in Cruella,  Vint & York sunglasses, Forever21 Vented Jumpsuit, Madewell slide sandals

Photos by Jonathan Mariande

Cracked But Not Broken

12 Mar

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Female empowerment, bathtub editorial, March On Washington, scoliosis surgery, beautifully scarred, perfectly flawed

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Female empowerment, bathtub editorial, March On Washington, scoliosis surgery, beautifully scarred, perfectly flawed
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Female empowerment, bathtub editorial, March On Washington, scoliosis surgery, beautifully scarred, perfectly flawed
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Female empowerment, bathtub editorial, March On Washington, scoliosis surgery, beautifully scarred, perfectly flawed
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Female empowerment, bathtub editorial, March On Washington, scoliosis surgery, beautifully scarred, perfectly flawed
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Female empowerment, bathtub editorial, March On Washington, scoliosis surgery, beautifully scarred, perfectly flawed

“The scar meant that I was stronger than what tried to hurt me.” -Anaïs Nin

I frequently talk about troubles, struggles, triumphs, crashes and burns. I talk about how, after crumbling into little pieces, I’ve attempted to glue it all back together and move forward – stronger than I was before breaking.

Not to be dark and dreary, but I am convinced that, as women, we may never stop facing struggles, unfortunately, on global scale. It’s something that is hitting particularly hard today, Inauguration Day, when all you magical females and males are standing strong and defending our rights by Marching. FUCK YES, I wish I was in Washington, holding hands and waking with you…or in any of the many cities that are walking for an important cause and defending our rights. Perhaps we don’t have a president that makes us proud to be Americans, but we still have each other – and its days like today that show just how strong community can be.

Currently I am in London, feeling wimpish and incapacitated, due to back pain and spasms in my neck, stomach, ass, legs, and a terrible ache in my head (I know, waahhhh, get over it – but it really hurts). This is all a result of a pretty crazy surgery I had over a decade ago, when I developed scoliosis after making the decision to end my 11 year career as a gymnast. I completed my third year at level 10, just before entering Elite trials, and checked out — you can see my last competition HERE. As a result of the quick termination, my back completely spazzed. I went from being a national champion, to ignorantly checking in to HOAG Hospital for a very intense operation, thinking nothing of it. I had no idea what I was in for.

To backtrack, I was training about 30 hours per week (5 hours a day, 6 days a week), and when I stopped, had an unexpected growth spurt. I went from being a tiny little 5 ft. nothing powerhouse, to a flaily 5ft. 5 in., spiral spined disaster.

One of my ribs was protruding, so I was brought in for x-rays a couple months after I quit gym. Doctors told me I had scoliosis, but it was minor and I should return for a check up in a few months. When I did, my spine had swiveled into a 48 degree curve, and surgery was the only option if I wanted to have a “normal life”.

I remember the night before like it was yesterday, but I wasn’t particularly nervous. I was more annoyed that I couldn’t eat a Happy Meal or drink water.

They took me in, drugged the shit out of me, and put me under. I “woke up” in the ICU, after 6+ hours under the knife (they took out a rib, collapsed my lung, removed a number of disks between my vertebrae in order to straighten it out, fused my spine with my ground up rib bone – as you can see in the first image above – and put in two metal rods and 10 screws). They inserted a chest tube that reached through to my stomach to drain the blood. I spent three days in the ICU and was then moved to my own room, where I spent the next week, on a Morphine pump…I remember very little, just pain. I remember them removing the chest tube and I definitely recall the pain I experienced when I got home, where I remained on bed rest for about a month, and experienced the deepest depression I hope I ever have to go through.

THIS WAS THE WORST, SCARIEST, BEST, AND MOST PIVOTAL EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE. I WOULDN’T CHANGE A THING.

I was in misery. So much pain. My mother sent my brother and sister, who were also young at the time, on a trip to Europe with my dad, so they wouldn’t have to hear me wailing in agony. She stood by my side, took me to the bathroom, bathed me, and nursed me back to health.

Eventually I realized, after plenty of time spent pitying myself, I was SO FUCKING LUCKY to have the opportunity to regain my health again. Somewhere during the depression that came with living inside of a drugged out and horrifically pain-filled, broken body, I recognized just how fortunate I was. Mostly to have my mom and the knowledge that I would heal eventually. Not everyone heals after varying traumas, but I finally hit a point where I got out of my head and recognized I would. Some people lose their arms, their legs, their ability to do the things most of us take for granted…FOREVER. I was going to get better.

Now I wake up grateful for my my arms and legs (even if they hurt). I wake up proud of my accomplishments and excited for what I might be able to achieve in the future, since I have these blissful abilities. I wake up and don’t take my life for granted. Recently I wake up hoping, as an American woman, which I am lucky to be in the grand scheme of things, regardless of everything, that none of this will change…

I got pancreatitis from what was basically an accidental, prescribed drug overdose, dropped 20 pounds (from the 105 I currently, healthily weigh), couldn’t keep food down and was rushed to the ER. I was injected with anti-nausea medication through an IV which I happened to be allergic to – only about 1 in a million are intolerant of the drug. The allergy results in a “psychotic reaction”, which involved me tearing the needle from my arm and pretty much flipping my shit for about five hours. It is difficult to describe the feeling of fear pumping through your blood…

I was poked with Benadryl until I stopped screaming, and they would let me go home. The doctors informed my mother that they haven’t seen this deadly disease in anyone under the age of 60. It is typically drug addicts and alcoholics, who have been abusing for decades, who get diagnosed. I was only 16. I weighed nothing and had probably ingested a total of six Smirnoff Ices at this point in time.

Being young and resilient I fortunately was able to shake the illness, and went back to my senior year of high school, a sickly waif in agonizing pain, only to receive positive reactions from the “popular girls” who asked me about my diet secrets (no joke). I was appalled and discouraged, but also tremendously vulnerable. Was never one who cared that much about fitting in, but really, bitches?! Not all women are great, but three fucking cheers to those who are — and there are plenty of us out there. THANK YOU.

I tackled the 2-year eating disorder that succeeded this weakness, and have been battling the physical and emotional issues that accompany being a woman ever since. From WEAK, sad females, or men who have sought some kind of gratification or feel a pathetic sense of power through sexual abuse. NO. No more.

This is why I praise you who Marched. We are power. We are strength. As women, we bleed every month, we give birth, and we experience more than any man will (but MAD LOVE TO THE MEN WHO WENT OUT TOO, we are all equal after all). And I am no man hater, but I am all about girl power, and the men who recognize it – there is NOTHING stronger.

The world is in a place that bums me out a lot, and I know I am certainly not alone here. Fucking shit, DONALD TRUMP is president?! Yep. But you know what is amazing? Taking a bad situation and finding the great in it. What I saw today, while basically bedridden in London, was people all over the world Marching — standing strong. And even in the smallest of cities, attendance was higher than the number of supporters who showed up at his inauguration.

The best we can do with a bad situation is stand strong, speak out, and UNITE.

People, politics, experience, health, life…it might try to break us. But with guts, guidance, perseverance, unity, strength, and a genuine belief that you can do anything you want to (YOU CAN),  we will WIN.

*photos by Gus Melton at Nick’s Cove

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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

11 Feb

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Valentine's Day pumps, Italian leather, red satin dress, Valentine's Day lingerie, little red dress, kiss kiss bang bang
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Valentine's Day pumps, Italian leather, red satin dress, Valentine's Day lingerie, little red dress, kiss kiss bang bang
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Valentine's Day pumps, Italian leather, red satin dress, Valentine's Day lingerie, little red dress, kiss kiss bang bang
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Valentine's Day pumps, Italian leather, red satin dress, Valentine's Day lingerie, little red dress, kiss kiss bang bang
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Valentine's Day pumps, Italian leather, red satin dress, Valentine's Day lingerie, little red dress, kiss kiss bang bang
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Valentine's Day pumps, Italian leather, red satin dress, Valentine's Day lingerie, little red dress, kiss kiss bang bang
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Valentine's Day pumps, Italian leather, red satin dress, Valentine's Day lingerie, little red dress, kiss kiss bang bang
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Valentine's Day pumps, Italian leather, red satin dress, Valentine's Day lingerie, little red dress, kiss kiss bang bang

While I think Valentine’s Day is a completely reasonable excuse to get drunk and naked, I also stand firm in my belief that considering it an actual holiday is a bit of a stretch. Maybe I’m just being bitter…really, to each their their own, I suppose. However, my personal opinion is that this day adds unnecessary pressure to our already stressful lives. Managing to stay in a healthy relationship is difficult enough, so why make it even harder?

For the singles out there February 14th is, best case scenario, depressing. The older we get, the more likely we are to fall victim to triggers that ignite erratic behavior which could land us in  jail, rehab or surrounded by cats. SO many cats.

If you do happen to be  in a relationship, which I actually typically have been in the past, Valentine’s Day is still annoying. Seriously, aren’t there already enough fucking holidays to celebrate? Like birthdays and anniversaries, and Christmas, Hanukkah, etc?! Do we really need another one? Not just that, but one we must share with all the other couples?

If a designated date is required to serve as a reminder that that you are in love, perhaps you, umm, aren’t (just saying). And, since on this day, everyone is supposed to be EXTRA “in love” you better plan way ahead, because if you don’t you won’t get a reservation anywhere and the night will most likely end in tears. It is just seems like such an unnecessary burden! Perhaps this is why I have set the bar quite low and my idea of a dream date is going to McDonald’s with a flask in my bag and getting a cheeseburger Happy Meal. If he picks up the check, rad! If we happen to hold hands…super romantic. And at least I know we’ll be in good company.

The way I  see it, men and women should buy flowers and chocolates for their significant others when they feel like it…which is hopefully not never (if that’s the case perhaps this IS actually an important reminder to inform your deprived companion that you sort of care about them, when you aren’t too busy forgetting they exist).

I also think that it is our god-given right to pick and choose when we’d like to go down on one another…something that, again, shouldn’t be a task. Sex is supposed to be fun, no?

Anyway, while I am still inclined to boycott this romantic spectacle, and vote against Cupid, we all know votes don’t matter at this point. So take it, you stupid little cherub, and bring Hallmark right along with you. I’m throwing in the towel. There are bigger fish to fry, after all.

In conclusion, I have decided to quit with the cynicism (starting now), treat myself to a fancy hotel in Paris I can’t totally afford, and wear a red, satin negligee, while prancing around in my new favorite Italian leather pumps…they’re appropriately decorated with pretty pink and red lips that happen to perfectly match the ones on my face. Like I said, to each their own! Happy…whatever. xoxo

*head to toe: Stone & Strand princess cut diamond earrings, Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick, ASOS red satin pleated nightie, Baldinini pumps in red pattern nappa

photos by Gus Melton at Hotel Baume in Paris

Cheeseburger Love Affair

9 Feb

Over the cheesy gift roundups. Not in the mood to share a tear-jerking novella. No romantic poetry. Sure, I do indulge in these things from time to time – guilty as charged. But NOT today…

Middle fingers up to Cupid and Hallmark. Here’s to ditching labels and eye-rolling at fake holidays. For my ladies who’d prefer a night in with a bottle of red, or an evening out with gal pals and loads of laughter, over a cliché bouquet of roses…

HAPPY FUCKING VALENTINE’S DAY!

*wearing: Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick, Satin Maxi Slip Dress, pleated velvet dress from ASOS (similar styles HERE), black low-cut maxi dress from Reformation, Baldinini pumps in red pattern nappa, reading How To Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell

Video by Gus Melton at Hotel Baume Paris

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Scent Of A Woman

11 Jan

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Fictions perfume, floral fragrances, vintage floral kimono, beautiful brand packaging, love stories
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Fictions perfume, floral fragrances, vintage floral kimono, beautiful brand packaging, love stories
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Fictions perfume, floral fragrances, vintage floral kimono, beautiful brand packaging, love stories
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Fictions perfume, floral fragrances, vintage floral kimono, beautiful brand packaging, love stories
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Fictions perfume, floral fragrances, vintage floral kimono, beautiful brand packaging, love stories
Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Fictions perfume, floral fragrances, vintage floral kimono, beautiful brand packaging, love stories

As a hopeless romantic, traveler and lover of light, beautiful fragrances, I immediately fell for Fictions, and the stunning products this one-of-a-kind collection has to offer.

Fictions, publishers of fine perfume, partners with remarkable creatives to conjure the scent and story of a woman in LOVE. Intriguing, collectible and eminently wearable, the fragrance brand’s editions are set in the iconic cities of London, Paris, Los Angeles, Sydney and its latest edition, Istanbul.

Not only did I connect with Fictions for their classic-yet-unique fragrances, but all the cities (Istanbul aside) are places where I have either lived, been in love, or both. The romantic stories associated with each bring me back to magical times on a personal level. It’s not only clever but poetic, in a way – especially since scent is so closely tied to memory.

Beyond that, their packaging is exceptional. As a marketer and someone who works on branding businesses, the way in which Fictions has successfully created a product that’ll truly take you on a journey, rather than simply having a pretty scent, is exceptional. The boxes alone are practically collectors items. Mine reside on a shelf in my apartment, right next to some of my favorite novels and love stories – just where they belong.

Currently I’am visiting London, so I brought my Mini Eau de Parfum for both this city and Paris, where I’m headed shortly (perfect for travel – same with the Hand Cream).

If you care to join in on some spontaneous adventures, be sure to follow along here and on Instagram, where I’ll be documenting my European wanderings. And check out all the amazing Fictions products, sold exclusively at Anthropology. You literally can’t go wrong with any of them (as you can see, Ringo agrees).

 

One Foot In Front Of The Other

28 Dec

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Vintage oversized sweater, printed grandpa sweater, cutoff shorts, navy flats, messy bun

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Vintage oversized sweater, printed grandpa sweater, cutoff shorts, navy flats, messy bun

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Vintage oversized sweater, printed grandpa sweater, cutoff shorts, navy flats, messy bun

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Vintage oversized sweater, printed grandpa sweater, cutoff shorts, navy flats, messy bun

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: Vintage oversized sweater, printed grandpa sweater, cutoff shorts, navy flats, messy bun

I have been angry for months. Am I entitled to these feelings? I think so. Has it been constructive? Not particularly.

I grew up incapable of staying angry at loved ones for more than 24 hours (and my family and friends could attest to that). Conflict resolution, for me, has typically consisted of a convo along the lines of, “OK, lets talk about it, I love you, how about we hug it out, this was a stupid argument, can we go get 3 bottles of wine now, please?” That girl changed, and it has been really hard to keep my sadness and resentment under control lately. However, it has come time to release the negative energy and let in the light, if you will.  Not because I forgive, necessarily, but I am ready to forget and move forward. Wear some cute, comfortable shoes and put one foot in front of the other, prepared to take life as it comes.

Christmas came and went, and while it’s always a bittersweet time of year, for whatever reason, at the end of the day I am very grateful for my life…for my family and all of the beauty that surrounds me. I want to enjoy the blessings I have been given, and celebrate. There is enough animosity going around right now, and my “problems” are pretty small in the grand scheme of things. Not only that, but as a result of recent projects I am seeing how badly the world needs LOVE and support. Why waste my time hating and hurting, when I could be spreading joy, happiness, and focusing more on what’s actually important? 

I am working with a small team to help an amazing mother of four, who is very ill with the rare disease, scleroderma. Please check out Stephanie’s story. Any contribution counts. Social sharing is just as important as monetary donations – so please, please join us in helping to spread the word for a family, and friend, in need. It would mean the world to this awe-inspiring crew…the kids need their mamma. Just click here and share the video on your Facebook page. <3 Christmas may have come and gone, but the season for giving is year-round. 

As humans we must not forget how important it is to feel. Not just for ourselves, but others as well. Feeling comes with both positive and negative emotions, naturally, and we shouldn’t necessarily shy away any of it – we were built this way for a reason. But we should also try our hardest to channel our feelings, and do something good with them. Life is short, and it is also what we make of it. Be good to others. LOVE. If you don’t know how, now is as good a time as any to try and figure it out.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Anger is a burden that will only set us back, as a community…LOVE and KINDNESS are what ultimately define us as human beings. We will experience trials and tribulations but we don’t have to let them derail us. I, for one, have decided to make an early NY resolution and kick my roadblocks aside, and continue to move forward. Being able to do so while wearing cute shoes is a bonus (thank you, Aerosoles!). You’ll likely find that in letting go of anger, more joy and contentment will come into your heart. When you are filled with love, you will give off love…and that is what we need these days – people who can be kind, who want to help, and will do what they can to work toward building a better world.

*head to toe: vintage grandpa sweater, LNA tank, Rag & Bone cutoff shorts, Aerosoles Trend Setter ballet flats

Photos by Jonothan Mariande

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It’s In The Bag

21 Dec

(VUSE paid advertisement)

New York City, LA, SF: Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: In the bag, daily blogger essentials, burgundy leather tote, VUSE Vibe vape

I am one of those gals who never leaves home without all her essentials in tow…a notorious “bag lady”, if you will. As a result, I’ve become a huge fan of oversized totes and enormous satchels, which I jam-pack to the brim with personal necessities to kick off busy days that, oftentimes, feel never-ending. And it all starts by being fully prepared for whatever madness might get thrown my way.

From lip balms and lotions to a good pair of sunnies, my cell phone, keys, wallet, cigarettes (or, lately, my favorite vape, VUSE VIBE), and of course a quality notebook so I can document my miscellaneous, meandering thoughts while on-the-move. I do my best to show up, chin held high, and ready for action…that’s how I manage to run a growing business. Gotta learn how to hustle, especially if you decide to go out on your own!

Los Angeles, NYC Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel Blog: VUSE Vibe vape, ecig, what's in my bag, velour skirt, leather notebook, fresh cut flowers, best headphones, daily essentials

Life doesn’t slow down, so we must manage to keep up in order to avoid a crash. One way I’ve been able to do so, after bouncing around nonstop for 12 years and living in four of the craziest cities in the world, is by making sure I am stocked and ready to conquer every time I step foot outside the door.

Yep, I am a smoker, and have been for years. But VUSE VIBE does genuinely offer a different experience compared to traditional smokes. To be clear, I am not encouraging anyone to begin vaping, but if you are a smoker looking for an alternative to cigarettes, try out VUSE VIBE’s nectar flavor – one of their many delightful options – it’s pretty much the bomb. And I love how simple it is spin on a new flavor to match my mood…a solid variety!

Bottom line is, here’s what I carry around to keep me ready for anything. I’ve learned to do what I’ve gotta do while trying to stay as classy as possible. Be chic, sleek, discreet, and smell. And don’t forget the other important things you need, as previously mentioned. Especially a notebook! We’ll actually want to remember these hectic moments one day. Or at least have our experiences written down somewhere so we can reference them later on in life when things start to feel dull and chaos becomes a thing of the past.

*Sponsored by VUSE VIBE. VUSE contains nicotine extracted from the tobacco plant. Nicotine is addictive and no tobacco product has been shown to be safe. Not for sale to minors.