Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Perks of Having A Sister

 My sister and I have been told many times over that we have a bond that's very rare. And I actually do believe this to be true. My sister Natalie is my best friend. My mind reader. The beginning and end to my laughs. My third arm basically. So many of my life experiences have been alongside her, and before I tell anyone anything it usually goes through her first. With Natalie, I always feel endless love and camaraderie. This quote sums it all up:

What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies. - Aristotle

Usually there aren't many people in your life that you can say you've been through every single up and down with and still love them unconditionally throughout and after it all. A person you are alongside every single step of the way, no matter how hard, how aggravating, how worrisome it is. It's a special kind of sister bond, that's what it is.

Not all sisters call each other their best friend, but Natalie and I slowly worked towards something that is exactly that. We work together because we love it and we bounce the best ideas between each other. We have the same friend group because we appreciate the same sort if personalities in others. We laugh about everything because we grew up surrounded by the same senses of humor and have taken them to make our own. But at the end of the day, we each are still are our own person separate from each other and we are able to appreciate each other for that. We have our own separate experiences that we have experienced outside of each other, but have always shared with each other. Because of that, we are complementary in the most perfect sort of way. 

But like every sort of sibling, it's not always easy being around someone who knows you so well for such a long period of time. There have been endless times (and endless times to come) where we have told each other to shut the f**k up, aggravated each other to the bone, and just flat out felt like we wanted to kill the other. Moments like this are fleeting because we can resolve issues with just a few words of reason that make sense to us both after calming down. And these are the moments that help us grow up the most. By having our faults, fixing and working on them, and being better people not just when we are together but around others. 

On top of just having a best friend from birth, having a sister comes along with a whole lot of perks. Like a shared closet. Always someone to be your plus 1 if that guy doesn't happen to cancel. A shoulder to always cry on at any time of the day or night when that guy happens to break your heart. Someone to get all your inside jokes. Someone who just totally gets it when mom and dad start to get really annoying. Someone to tell you how your butt really looks like in those new jeans. Someone you can be your complete and total self around with no judgment involved. Natalie and I have have revealed all our imperfections and all of our best parts to each other. The freedom to be yourself when around a sister is the ultimate perk. No matter all the fights. No matter all the laughs. No matter all the cries. It's the most real. 

I love you so much Natalie. It's been so exciting and amazing to watch you grow, and to look forward to all the adventures to come with you! Love you my little funky, funny babe :) Proud to be your big sister! xo

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Cleobella Girl | Mia Colona

Mia is wearing the Cleobella Ulla DressLakshmi Jacket & Freya Crossbody

Meet the next featured Cleobella Girl, Mia Colona! Mia lives in the West Village, and thoroughly enjoys the charming quirks of her NYC neighborhood. Originally from Pennsylvania, we first bonded over living and working in Philadelphia. Always smiling, always ready for a good time and always looking for something creative to dig her hands into, Mia is something special. I always noticed how bohemian her personal style was . . . long maxi dresses, rugged boots, a brimmed hat on her head, hair as long as can be. That is why I chose her to be a part of this project and to showcase this significant side of her even more with the beautiful clothing Cleobella offered. 

What do you love about living in NYC, and what first drove you to the city? 

 There are a million reasons why I love living in NYC, from the grumpy old man at my neighborhood bodega that I've learned to love, to the sounds of cars rushing by outside of my window in the middle of the night . . . the energy here just captivates you in the best way possible. You're able to make connections and build relationships here unlike anywhere else . . . and you learn to expect the unexpected, and it's beautiful and scary at the same time. I first moved here a few years ago to pursue a career in fashion, and back then I could have never imagined the doors it would open up for me. There have been growing pains and speed bumps along the way, but there's no where else I'd rather live my life.

What drives your passions and creativity? 

 There's a quote by John C. Parkin that sums it up perfectly: "Every moment has infinite potential. Every new moment contains for you possibilities that you can't possibly imagine. Every day is a blank page that you could fill with the most beautiful drawings."

If you can close your eyes and open them to find yourself anywhere in the world, where would you want to find yourself? 

 I love the beach . . . It doesn't matter much to me where or which one, as long as the sun is shining and the waves are crashing on the shore. For as long as I can remember, I've always been drawn to the ocean . . . I was never one of those kids who was afraid to swim in it. Actually, I'd count down the days until summer just so I could be closer to it, and that's something that has always stayed with me even as I've gotten older. There's something so refreshing yet nostalgic about immersing myself in the sea. Maybe it's the vulnerability of floating freely in such a vast body of water with a million unseen creatures, the smell of salt on my skin, or something as simple as the sound of stillness after a wave breaks that makes me feel so connected to it. BRB . . . Going to the beach now! Haha :-)

What does it mean to you to have a "lust for life"? 

 Having a "lust for life" means waking up with purpose everyday. It means you're one part dreamer, one part realist. Your imagination runs wild and you have this innate ability to live in the moment, but you also see the bigger picture and that's what fuels you to maximize your time here on Earth. You take chances and make mistakes and you know that every moment you're alive has meaning beyond what any of us can even comprehend, so you've figured out how to piece together all of life's little experiences, bitter and sweet, to pave your own path. And when you look back 50 years from now, you'll smile, because you'll know that you'll have truly lived.

What's your hidden talent? My hidden talent is cooking! 

In college, I lived off of ramen and cold pizza, and couldn't wait to visit my parents for a home cooked meal. But eventually I started to really pay attention to my mother and grandmother every Sunday and learn from what they were doing. Now, I think my Italian roots really shine through when I'm in the kitchen. It's a totally different creative outlet and very rewarding when the people you care about are sitting around the table getting to try something you've made from scratch!

Listening to right now? 

 I listen to a little bit of everything . . . J Dilla to James Blake. It really depends on my mood.

Reading right now? 

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

What woman in your life do you admire the most and why? 

I have so much love and respect for my mom. She was a total rockstar in the 70s, and I grew up listening to stories about Studio 54 and Jim Morrison thinking it was totally normal. She's always been this inspiring forcefield in my life, and even though we butt heads sometimes because we're so similar, there's no one who challenges me and inspires me and pushes me further like she does. She's an artist, a free spirit, and the strongest person I know.

How do you describe the Cleobella girl and the way you feel when you wear Cleobella? 

The Cleobella girl is independent, free thinking, and always seeking adventure. When I wear my Cleobella, I feel light, comfortable and ready to explore. The maxi dress I chose is soft and enchanting. I love the subtle touches of embellishment and how the light catches the sheer fabric.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Wider The Better


Kimem blazer
BCBG tank
Ace & Jig wideleg pants
Kenneth Cole sneakers
Vintage Coach purse
Luiny leather necklace

Hey what's up ya'll? Still trying to get that Adele song out of your head? I thought so! hehe. I'm trying to fit in as many things as I can before Thanksgiving. I'll be in the city doing an unconventional Thanksgiving this year helping serve meals to those in need. It always feels good to give back during times like this. You can be sure that I'll definitely still be eating a lot throughout the end of the week, with a few post-Thanksgiving Friendsgivings set on the calendar. You can count on that! Good thing I got my crop top action in BEFORE digging into that Thanksgiving turkey. This look was shot at home in my beloved Souther California. No place beams brighter at a time where everywhere else is cold as heck. I can always rely on that when I am home visiting. Things at home always seem so much simpler. The sunshine. The warmth. The front porch of my parent's house that I always find myself reading on. Long drives and endless Coca Colas for the road.  Runs up my the hilly streets of my hometown. These are just a few of the things that keep me feeling happy in California. It's always the same whenever I go back. Every childhood memory in place for me to be relived as soon as I land home. It's so special because of that. So different from where I live now. Sometimes it makes me sad to think about what I have turned me back on when I left for the east coast. But I really never turned my back on anything, because it always welcomes me with open arms every time I return. California to me now is like the cozy security blanket I never had as a kid. Even just the memories make every grueling subway ride in NYC feel loads better. I'm excited to go home for Christmas and feel that sunshine on me skin again.

Shop more of my favorite Ace & Jig items here:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cleobella Girl | Brigette Muller

Brigette is wearing the Cleobella Sammie top and Amythest Skirt

Welcome to the garden escape, also known as Brigette's abode. I chose Brigette to be a part of the Cleobella Girls project because she is truly one-of-a-kind, and such an earthy spirit at heart. She truly sees the sparkle in everything that is around her. And she loves to surround herself with things that are naturally beautiful, like plants and crystals that hit the light in just the right way. For this reason, I wanted to shoot her in her home because it is the perfect embodiment of her personality. Brigette is a creative content creator in the most magical of senses. She can make something amazing and stunning out of things as simple as yarn and sticks. It's truly a talent! And above that, she has a heart of gold and some of the best dance moves I've seen in a long time! Love you Brigette and thanks for being being your gorgeous self for my camera this day. And here are so more things to learn about Brigette:

What do you love about living in NYC, and what first drove you to the city? 

This city is filled with so much life; there's always so much going on. I'm a homebody by nature, but I get excited even just walking to the bodega on the corner — I never know who or what I'll encounter in those 45 seconds, ha!

What drives your passions and creativity? 

The urge to be creative seems to be innate within me. I don't really have to think about it — actually, I can't even really help it. I create because I don't know how to be any other way. I get such happiness out of making something my own, whether it's a design I painted on the wall, a pair of jeans I cut up to feel just right, or an arrangement of plants that makes me breathe a sigh of happiness.

If you can close your eyes and open them to find yourself anywhere in the world, where would you want to find yourself? 

In some sort of remote jungle or forest . . . surrounded by lush greens . . . listening to nothing but the sounds of wild animals and flowing water . . . sunlight peeking through in the most magical way. I think I could stay there for a while.

What does it mean to you to have a "lust for life"? 

It's all about staying excited — allowing your intuition to guide you to do whatever feels right for you.

What's your hidden talent? 

I can say the alphabet backwards as fast as I can forwards. Hehe.

Listening to right now? 

Dej Loaf & FKA Twigs.

Reading right now? 

Most likely a "when you" meme. Those things can crack me up for HOURS.

What woman in your life do you admire the most and why? 

My mom! She had the most beautiful energy . . . just floated through life like the angel she was. She found joy in the little things more than anyone I've ever known. She's no longer with us, but I'm still learning from her every day.

How do you describe the Cleobella girl and the way you feel when you wear Cleobella? 

The Cleobella girl is her own person through and through. Wearing Cleobella, I can feel anything from a badass babe to a romantic goddess — Cleobella is all about how you're feeling in the moment.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Love Cures Hate

So much anxiety and sadness has spread the world over as a result of the recent Paris shootings and terrorist attacks happening in other parts of the world. Currently, social media and the news has been focusing purely on Paris, but really it's the entire world that we need to be focused on. Beirut, Iraq, Syria, Turkey. The list goes on and on. Despite the amount of love that we have in the bubble of our personal lives, we still can't escape the reality of hate and inhumanity that takes place in many, many places. And sometimes it takes something like shootings in Paris for us to realize that things like this are much closer to home. That could have been our family in the restaurant. That innocent passerby on the streets just trying to get home for dinner or to school in time could have been our friend. As Americans, normally we feel like we have nothing to worry about in most situations. In our cars. On the subway. On the bus. Even out on the streets late at night. Maybe now we are sadly far more hesitant doing things we never gave a second thought about, but as a result will push us to take our daily routines far less for granted. Because really, you never know what can happen. You never know what can happen in the next second of your life. As we have seen, because of the hate that does exist forcefully in the world, our world leaves us hanging on a ledge. On the edge of a string. Fragile. Unprotected even though our friends and family are near and safe for now. We hate that we feel this way, but we cannot help it.

So what do we do? What CAN we do? It's hard to say, because our resources are limited. There is only so much we can do. The first step is spreading awareness. There has been controversy surrounding the social media coverage happening after the Paris shootings. Questions that have risen . . . is social media really going to make a difference? Yes, it informs people, but does it at the same time give celebrity to those who are the source of the terrorism? I don't mind seeing social media coverage on such things. It's interesting to see how people online react and listen to their true thoughts on the situation. A human aspect is released during times like this in an online world that is usually far more unrealistic than real. So I appreciate it for that aspect. The second step is to keep our heads high and to keep spreading the love that we have not only within ourselves and amongst the people closest to us, but also with strangers. Taking the extra effort to spread a little more light can make all the difference. You never know how addictive it can be. We shall continue to marvel in our friendships, old and new. Spread our inspirations and keep our passions burning and free. We shall keep our family close and never stop making those ties stronger and stronger. We shall be knowledgable about the world's happenings, because although it might not directly affect us right this second, someday it might. Knowledge is power.

And we must be open to the fact that the majority of the people from the countries from which this terrorism arises from are indeed NOT terrorists. They are human just like us, born into unfortunate circumstances that instantly labels them as something that they are not. Terrorism goes far beyond culture and religion. It is the complete opposite of humanity. It is something completely its own that can hardly be explained, and those who are near to it did not choose to be near to it. We must remember that. Once again, we must be open. With openness comes love. And with more love, there is less hate. More love, there is more gratefulness. More love, there is more passion. More love, less harm to those who do not deserve it. 

Take the world's unfortunate circumstances to reflect on your own life and make a few differences here and there that are forward-thinking and more passion-fueled and optimistic. Learn to be more compassionate. Learn not to judge. Learn to give a helping hand to someone in need. Learn to smile and laugh over the things that are truly good. Learn to be real. Learn to listen. Live every single day like its the last. There is no reason not to. There are people to love, and people to love us back. There is nothing stronger.