Los Angeles…. Oh my lord! How did we begin this love affair? Truthfully I can’t recall the first time I heard about California or heard a song that sang your sweet melody, but I do remember the first time I visited, I’m a sucker, it was summertime, and I’m a summertime lover.
From that first trip back in 2011 there wasn’t a moment of that time that I would change. Endlessly, is how much I talked about you after, and how I longed to get kissed by your golden sunset once more. You see no matter what you think of LA before you visit it’ll never exactly be what you thought it to be until you find “your place.” While initially that might sound off putting, but it is true. Very quickly you learn if you are “hispster” enough for Silverlake, or craving that lust from the entrainment world in Hollywood, or maybe you’re mellow enough to bike to the beach in Venice. Whatever it may be the biggest advice I have to anyone in LA is learn yourself, and love yourself because through that you’ll find “your place.”
My place just happens to be Los Feliz, while relatively unknown to most tourist it has become my home. From Franklin to Avocado St all the way to the hustle of Los Feliz Blvd you’re exactly what I was looking for in LA. The tall palms that kiss the golden sunset, as it sets behind Griffith Park is a view I enjoy most nights. Or maybe it’s the little sidewalk cafés and the Italian restaurant under my apartment that has me convinced you’re home. Whatever it is, the fact that I found this place is an absolute movie. I should note at this point I am a glass of red wine in, so I might be a little wine drunk on LA, but even when the buzz fades “thankful” is the only word that comes to mind.
For the sake of honesty, and I consider myself an honest person, I figured I should divulge on some details in my life. It’s been a while since we last talked, but back in May I celebrated my one-year anniversary in LA, and how wonderful that was. Leading up to that moment though I had, had a boyfriend, lost a boyfriend, had an internship, had a job, lived by USC, lived in DTLA, and then moved to Los Feliz. Everything up until the moment I moved to Los Feliz felt like one huge life lesson after another, there were tears involved and midnight phone calls to my parents. However, from the second I stepped foot in my little studio apartment a sense of calmness filled my life. Life got relatively stable I had a place of my own, a very well paid job with an insanely popular clothing label, and a solid group of homies in the city. You see though, while I was content, and comfortable, I wasn’t truly happy or hungry for more in my life, which is fine, it’s livable, and I would have kept on in that comfort.
Inevitably, though life is funny, and now here I am my stomach full from a meatball sandwich and red wine on a Wednesday night as a pen my lover letter to LA because I am currently….unemployed (pause for dramatization). Even though that is my absolute reality at this moment, and it is worth noting that the reason for this recent change in employment is just business as usual and nothing personal, it is still my realty. However, being what I have gone though in the last year (tears, belly laughs, butterflies, anxiety, and absolute contentment) I am confident in that LA will hold me through this moment of uncertainty just how we did a year ago when I was scrambling to find a place to live and instead found a neighborhood I’ll forever call home. So while I appreciate any absolute concerns of empathy you might have for me, I know LA and I’ll be ok, no back up plan needed. You see in the end of the day, it’s me and the city, and the city she loves me.
While I have more to share, and this is just he beginning of what I hope to be a long lasting endeavor, I thought I’d pen together this piece to let you all know I’m alright, and I’ll still be home for the Holidays.
Photo Credit: Mia Lepp
What a wild thought it is to “almost have it.” Yet, it is something we have all gone through and Adell and Taylor Swift have mad millions off of albums about almost having “it.” Whether “it” is, a relationship, job, or your hearts greatest desire, it is an encompassing feeling. Often times we become obsessed with the idea of just how close we were to that feeling of success or the comfort of having your life planned out perfectly. Sometimes even years from now we will still be able to feel the tingle in our fingers, the sweetness on our tongue, and the last breath in our lungs just before we lost “it.” However, it is a quiet humbling experience losing “it.” It is reminder that we are human, and that as much as we like to think we have it figured out, or that we are beating the system. In fact, it proves as a reminder from the great powers above or within (whatever it is you may believe in) that we are not in control. Blame it on the timing, something you had said, or maybe the fact that it had been a rainy day. Sometimes things aren’t just supposed to go that way.
However, losing “it” can’t make you a cynic. It has to be a reminder that maybe part of the reason we are “here,” on Earth in this bodying experience, is to learn. Learn to get better. Whether it be to find happiness in yourself, to truly love yourself, or to just learn how to pick things back up when they fall apart.
Remember when you lose lose “it” to breath. It is ok. Whatever “it” was it didn’t define you and you were, are, and always have been a great person. Remember that the best way to recover from losing “it” is to take the time to mourn the loss. Whether it be a day, month, or years one day you will wake up and be ok with losing “it.” Remember to learn from the experience. This doesn’t mean to dissect everything that was said and do, but rather to take what you loved from it and understand what you learned and where you have room to grow. None of us are perfect in fact that is the beauty in life and according to science perfection and symmetry actually kind of freak us out (this was in regard to facial symmetry, but truthfully can be applied to life in general). Remember after all is said and done to look at the bigger picture. Never let one moment define you. You are human and no human should ever be defined by one moment. It’s cool to give yourself a pep talk. I once read that Victoria Beckham repeats to herself everyday, after a big breath, the line “I know what I want.” You do know what you want and whether it is love or a job that one moment of losing “it” doesn’t mean you lost your goal, but rather you learned from that one experience and it’ll make reaching your goal just that much sweeter.
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I don’t know if it is just my friends that are extremely indecisive or maybe it is all of us as a whole, generationally. I’m sure you all have friends who can’t seem to figure out who they want to date, what they want to major in or even what they want to do as a career. Truthfully, we all have a little bit of indecisiveness in us, and I’m sure there is an article out there somewhere that cites the fact that because we were introduced to technology at a young age, it has caused us to crave the latest and greatest endorphin release. Or maybe it was all those cellphone companies to blame. How could I really decide if I wanted to keep my pink razor in sixth grade when the sidekick had just come out?
How does the most indecisive generation, the kids that have gotten a new phone every year, deal with picking just one career path? It seems as though we are currently in a losing battle, and with the holiday season coming up we will most definitely have to answer question such as, “Are you dating anyone?” “Do you know what you’re doing after graduation?” and my personal favorite, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” If financial stability didn’t carry such an importance in the future I’d probably like to be about four different things before I retire and become a crazy grandma. I’d like to work in fashion, maybe own my own tech business, maybe be a teacher for awhile. Psychics always told me my purpose in life was to teach others, and maybe even be an astronaut? Going to the moon would be cool. I have heard countless friends say if you didn’t need a degree for your job or if getting a degree weren’t so expensive they’d want to switch their career path multiple times “when they’re older.”
I’m sure you all have that one friend that knew they wanted to be a doctor the first time they fell and patched up their own wound, which is awesome because truthfully those are the people I want as my doctors. However, if you’re like the rest of us, you might not know 100 percent. I want to help you all conquer holiday season with strength, and not fear of your relatives and the questions they might ask.
I know it is beyond cheesy but mood boards, dream boards, Tumblr pages or even keeping a journal have helped me find out,“What I want to be when I grow up.” I read a quote a while back and it said something along the lines of “What you do during your spare time is probably what you should do for the rest of your life.” If watching music videos on YouTube is your favorite thing, look at a career in A&R for record companies and help find new talent. Maybe you enjoy planning weekend trips with your friends? Than maybe look to event planning or PR for future career paths. Maybe you enjoy a good Netflix binge? There’s no shame in that. Look at what shows you are constantly drawn to or who your favorite characters are, or if there is a common theme. That can help you see what you’re attracted to in terms of the future.
Like everything in life, it’s going to take us all a few tries to figure out what we want to be. Take time for yourself this holiday season and put it on paper. It is so helpful to be able to visualize and see concretely what your plan is. I promise somewhere in between the Tumblr pages, journals and mood boards you’ll figure it out. If not then ask your relatives how they knew because it’ll buy you at least a few hours while aunt Jill explains to everyone how she figured out her dream career path. However, I hope you know it is never too late to become whom you want to be when you grow up, and when you realize it I hope you have the courage to pursue it!
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When I was originally planning to write my article for this week, I was going to write it on how Victoria's Secret is stealing Tringl bikini designs… because well, they are. However, when I was sitting down to do so, I received a call from my little sister and that changed everything.
My little sister is a petite build in every way. She stands 4’8” from the ground and weighs about 83 pounds with a healthy BMI. However, compared to the rest of her 8th grade classmates, she is constantly bullied for being too short and too skinny.
Being as tiny as she is, she has an even bigger personality to go along with it, but after daily questions and comments from classmates telling her she’s too skinny and that she needs to eat more or calling her anorexic she broke down and called me.
There are two things wrong with this. First, it is NO ONES business to tell you that your body is too skinny, too fat, too anything. IT. IS. YOUR. BODY. Your body, your mind. Meaning if you feel healthy, if you wake up every day and can take on the day feeling energized, happy, relaxed, and confident then it is NO ONES business to tell you that your body doesn’t fit their perception of beauty or how they think you should look like.
Second, eating disorders are a very real thing. They affect 24 million people, all ages and gender, in the US alone! Therefore, it is NEVER okay to use a mental illness as a way to insult someone. Just like it is not ok to call people retarded, it is not ok to go around and call people anorexic or bulimic just because they don’t fit your ideal body type.
By calling someone who does not have an eating disorder anorexic and bulimic it can seriously affect their self-esteem and well-being as a person, lowering their body confidence creating insecurities that should never have been a problem.
On the other hand, you never know what somebody is going through, and often times we think we can assume so because someone is well-liked, pretty and smart that they might have everything in their life together. However, what you might not know is that person may have suffered from an eating disorder growing up because according to the National Organization of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, 95% of those who have an eating disorder are between the ages of 12-26, and by telling them that they are too skinny or anorexic you might have just triggered an emotional time for them, one that they fought to get through. You may have just diminished the body that they are proud and brought them back to their mental illness.
As women, we need to not use mental illness terms when referring to other women’s bodies. In fact, as women we should be supporting each other and standing up for everybody’s body types. There is something beautiful in all of us from curves to edges, and it is time we stand together to empower each other from moments of high to low.
Make a promise to yourself. Next time you see someone commenting on someone else’s weight or getting picked on for being either too skinny or too fat tell them confidently and simply that you think they look great! Words are extremely powerful, and it is important to know what you are saying at all times. It is NEVER okay to use a mental illness as an insult. Mental illnesses are a very real thing affecting the youth in America and instead of using them as terms to put someone down, be aware of the signs and be willing to help a friend in need if they really are suffering from anorexia or bulimia.
Eating Disorders Statistics
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The only way I can describe my first heartbreak is by comparing it to the first time I rode my bike down a big hill while visiting my grandparents in Estonia. It was something new, and I felt like I could accomplish anything, even though I was terrified and had butterflies in my stomach; the feeling completely encompassed me and I was excited… until halfway down the hill I realize how fast I was going, and that I actually had no idea how to stop the bike. This best describes the point in the relationship when I realized things were going sour but still tried to hold on to it, hoping that things would turn out how I’d planned in my head. Unfortunately, in both my relationship and biking incident, I ended up crashing and burning, lol. No matter how I tried to steer the bike or the relationship, the inevitable still happened; I could only try to make it hurt less.
However, just because it was painful, doesn't mean it wasn't an experience worth having. When it comes to first heart breaks, there is a lot to forgive and be thankful for, especially if you want to gain something from it.
Forgive him for having dumb friends (because as funny as they thought it was to make that joke, we all know how ridiculous it was — they were no Jim Carrey).
Forgive him for any anniversaries or birthdays he missed, because when that new guy comes along and makes a big deal out of every date and birthday you celebrate together, you can let yourself smile in the knowledge that you've found someone that makes your happiness a priority.
Forgive him for being too young to realize what he had, because now you've learned to hold yourself at top shelf value, and are on your way to finding someone who will only treat you like the best.
Forgive him for those times he said he'd call or text and never did because even though you might have initially been upset, think about how you spent that time: maybe it was picking up a new book to read, or going to a new restaurant with your best friends. You learned how to create a good situation out of something that might not have started out that way.
Forgive yourself for anything stupid you might have said because, to be honest, those lead to the good stories you tell your friends, and now you have only improved your flirting skills with boys. ;)
Forgive yourself for any passive aggressive text or tweet you might have sent because it felt good to get those feelings out!
Forgive yourself for all those times you lurked his Facebook and judged that new girl he met, when really you know you guys would have been awesome friends under different circumstances.
Thank your friends for being there to wipe away the tears, for bringing you that tub of ice cream, and making you laugh — for showing you there is no greater medicine than laugher, and friendship is worth more than money can buy.
Thank your family for always being there, whether they understood what you were going through at the time or not.
Thank your new guy for understanding how little or much he might know about your past, for not letting that dim any light he might see in you, and for letting you shine to your full potential.
Thank yourself for being stronger than you were a week ago, a month ago, a year ago; the heart knows no time, so for as long as it takes you to heal, give yourself that time!
This holiday season, thank yourself for having your first heart break and promise yourself you'll try a little more each day to let that old scar fade into just another life experience. There are so many other memories to be made, more laughter to be had, and more hills to overtake. Make the eight-year-old you that fell off her bike proud! :)
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I might as well label this part 1 because Wynwood is one of my absolute favorite place in Miami!
Wynwood is a street and three blocks of buildings surrounded by graffiti walls in North Miami, and on the second Saturday of every month the most magical thing happens there, The Art Walk.
During the art walk all the artists that have paintings in the galleries present their art work and the galleries are open for the public to walk through. There is also tons of street music and food trucks galore.
If you live in South FLorida or are just visiting Wynwood is the perfect place to take instagram photos or just go to hang out with the locals and get a taste of some authentic Miami. Not to mention some of the best arepas I have had have been at Wynwood.
If you get to make it to Wynwood for Art Walk make sure to travel to Wynwood Walls, not only is my favorite gallery located there, but the DJ that performs adds to the amazing ambiance that surrounds you.
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Yes, you read the title right. HONEY. I have been using honey — and only honey — to wash my face every morning and night for six months straight. I am a very earthy, holistic person, and for the most part I will go for anything natural. Heck, I even have my family ship me coconuts from the coconut trees back home because I only drink coconut water from the coconut.
But I have to admit, even I was skeptical about this when my mom first suggested it. I remember thinking, “honey is so sugary. How could it work?” However, after doing some research on all the benefits of honey I figured, why not? Plus my grandfather, who lives in Estonia, has a bee farm, so my grandparents always send us fresh, organic honey by the liter that we don’t know what to do with! For those of you who don’t have a local farmers market close by, I suggest you check out Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s and ask if they have fresh, raw, organic honey. It is SO important to make sure that it is raw honey, and there isn’t anything else put in it.
I first considered using honey to fight acne. I have never had horrible acne, just a few noticeable breakouts every now and then, but even dealing with that was getting old (and who doesn't want perfect skin?), so I was willing to try anything.
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When I first began using honey, it drastically calmed down my face. After only a month, I became a real believer — honey was my savior. I felt my skin becoming more balanced, and it wouldn’t get so red anymore when I washed it in the mornings or at night. I even went makeup-less over Christmas break a few times.
However, during the second and third months it got BAD. REALLY BAD. Way worse than my skin had been in a long time. I debated quitting, because I had to wear strong cover-up every day and it was beginning to make me self-conscious. In hindsight, my mom and I believe it was the honey just pushing out all the junk I had lodged in my pores from years of face washes, foundation, and stress.
Now in month four, my skin is starting to clear up again and I have never been more ecstatic! The only makeup I wear to class now is mascara and brow pencil, with an occasion spot of cover-up when I eat too much chocolate or am about to get my period. The honey has even worked to rid my skin of acne scars I had from forever ago!
I cannot stress enough what a believer I am in using raw, pure, organic honey as a face wash! My morning and night routine has literally been cut in half! Before, I would use a face wash that fought acne, then I would have to use a moisturizer to counteract how dry the face wash made my skin. Now, I just put some honey on my face, let it sit for 5-15 minutes, wash it off, and then get on with my day! If you have acne troubles, I suggest giving honey a try. In order to see the effects, commit to it for at least six months and don’t use any other face washes or moisturizers. I promise you the outcome is worth it, and summer is the perfect time to try! Good luck
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I am currently in a long-term relationship and it's going relatively well. Plus, my boyfriend seems to be serious about it, so no complaints. Most girls would be twice over the moon and back over this, but as for myself, it terrifies me. I can’t think of anything scarier than getting into a relationship at 20 that can potentially last a lifetime!
I realize I might sound cynical and as if I'm against relationships, but before this, I was the poster girl for being single, selfish, and free in your 20s. I posted all of the lists of “Why Being Single in Your 20s is the Best” and “Why You Shouldn’t Get into a Relationship Till You’ve Done X, Y, and Z.” I lived by the quote, “Maybe our girlfriends are our soul mates and guys are just people to have fun with.”
In a way, I felt like being in a committed relationship at 20 was like cheating on myself, the single me I had envisioned myself as: one who backpacks across Europe with her best friends, dances on bars, finds summer love in a musician who’ll only break her heart later, and colors her hair pink, blue, and purple all in the same year. I can’t do that now, because I might have to meet my boyfriend's parents!
I know what you’re thinking. If I am so insistent on this single-girl persona I've created for myself, why not just end things with my boyfriend and live my life? Well, I said I wanted to be free, but I'm not dumb enough to let go of a good thing. My boyfriend is the sweetest guy around; my roommates can vouch for me — they call him a saint for putting up with me, lol.
I also know that, at the end of the day, he's the guy that will backpack across Europe with me, catch me as I fall off the bar in my attempt to be Britney Spears for a night, learn to play the guitar so I can meet my dreamy musician, and encourage me to dye my hair pink if it's something I want to do.
Despite the fact that in the back of my mind I think I am letting the 20-year-old me who wants to be single down, the truth is, I know if I was single, I would spend most of my time writing blog posts and hanging around Tallahassee rather than accomplishing any of my extravagant plans.
I wanted to write this because I figured I couldn’t be the only girl in a relationship that still sometimes wants to live out any last ounce of the single life I might have left, in fear that the grass will be greener on the other side. However, I want to finish by saying, don’t do it! All we're doing is over-romanticizing something we can use as a crutch to avoid throwing ourselves 100% into a good thing, in fear of getting hurt. Think back to when you were single — was it everything you imagined and more?
If you’re happy in your relationship, you shouldn’t give it up for “what if’s” and “just because’s;” you might be trading in a travel partner for lonely nights watching Netflix. That being said, if you’re unhappy in your relationship, drop it and be single for a while.
My advice is to always follow what makes you happy, because at the end of the day, that is what will get you through any not-so glamorous and rainy days that might come your way. :)
P.S. To all my single girls out there: you do you, and never let anyone keep you down!
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