Steve Madden, Creepers, John Lennon, Muse, Imagine, Strawberry Fields Forever, Duster, Accessories, Los Angeles Blogger, OOTD, OOTD sharing, Outfit Blogger, Women's Fashion, Fall Fashion, What I Wore, Outfit Ideas, Maverick of Fashion, 70's, Straw Hat, Mac Cosmetics, Layering, Artist and Muse, Levi's 511, Levi Jeans, Boyfriend Jeans, Re-imagine a dress, DIY duster, thrifting, fashion on a budget,

|| P L A N B ||

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

– JOHN L E N N O N

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It was a cool October evening in Los Angeles — not quite summer, not quite fall. The sun began to dip behind the industrial buildings that lined the streets of Downtown. As it transitioned from day to night, I began to contemplate the irony of my day ‘on-set.’ I use the term loosely as I tend to shoot with other unconventional artists who embody a similar relaxed approach and finesse. Similarly, we thrive in the fluid and somewhat chaotic unexpectedness of ‘the streets.’

Out here, you can never be entirely sure of what you’re going to get. I guess you could say the same about life. Then again, life imitates art. With that being said, I will preface with the following; this is a story about a plan gone awry. If you can roll with the punches and maybe even color outside the lines, you’ll arrive exactly where you need to be. Somewhere I call PLAN B.

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|| P L A N  A ||

Plan A involved something like this: A classic Bardot outfit against a french inspired street cafe scene. What we got? A 180 of everything I just said. Well, I was never one to believe in Murphy’s Law. I did however always find comfort in the quote by Lennon, “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

What I think Lennon’s stressing is the importance of being flexible and not resisting life’s plans. As humans, we like structure and predictability to feel secure. Becoming best friends with uncertainty and letting life flow are personal skills worth developing. You may even recall some of your fondest memories happened to be a result of fate or the unexplainable.

With that being said, here we go:

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When I began to style a look for my shoot with Ashlyn, I had my head rigidly wrapped around a classic Brigitte Bardot look. Problem was, I couldn’t seem to pull it off with my current wardrobe. Slightly frustrated, I felt my ego creep in and fear began to manifest. I took the uncomfortable feeling as my cue to get quiet and become present. As I stared blankly into my color coordinated closet, a vibrant orange number caught my eye.

I reached for the piece out of curiosity having almost forgotten I owned it. I pulled it out to reveal a 70’s vintage lounge dress in mint condition. I must’ve bought it on one of my thrifting expeditions. As I held it overhead, examining at arms length, I wondered why I had not worn it yet? I threw it on and realized two things:

1. I loved the design and fabric

2. I hated the fit

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|| P L A N  B ||

So I did what I knew best under such circumstances; I performed a quick (and painless) surgery. I began to re-imagine it. I figured if things go wrong, so be it. If things go right, so be it. And with a few quick snips of my orange Fiskars, I was now the proud owner of a 70’s duster. Excitement rushed over me and without second thought, I threw it on over top my current outfit; a pair of Levi’s and a long-sleeved blouse.

I looked at my reflection in awe, not because of my amazing craftsmanship (because clearly I could use help in that department) but because of the overall look. A strange approach to layering now made complete sense. It was unconventional, funky and best of all, it was me. I’ve learned that mistakes are at times more helpful than harmful.

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I met up with Ashlyn just outside the ETO building. We originally had a spot mapped out but much like my original look, it ceased to exist. We walked up to a cafe in a hidden alley illuminated by string patio lights. The gates were locked. In that moment, I heard my dad’s best impersonation of John Candy in National Lampoon’s Vacation echo in my mind, “Sorry folks, park’s closed.” Ashlyn and I look at each other with an encouraging c’est la vie glance and carry on into the unknown.

As we turn the corner, we begin our adventure surprised as we find a bushel of strawberries randomly placed on the sidewalk. The strange encounter made us both laugh and we continued on. I felt as though it was almost placed there for us, a free prop! About 15 feet later, Ashlyn says “Actually, I think I wanna use those.” Without further notice, I pivoted and marched back with a assertive “you read my mind.”

John Lennon, Muse, Imagine, Strawberry Fields Forever, Duster, Accessories, Los Angeles Blogger, OOTD, OOTD sharing, Outfit Blogger, Women's Fashion, Fall Fashion, What I Wore, Outfit Ideas, Maverick of Fashion, 70's, Straw Hat, Mac Cosmetics, Layering, Artist and Muse, Levi's 511, Levi Jeans, Boyfriend Jeans, Re-imagine a dress, DIY duster, thrifting, fashion on a budget,

I learned something plain and simple from this entire experience; strawberries are always a good idea. Well, that and sometimes the so called roadblocks are just opportunities to embrace life; to allow life to redirect you instead of you directing it. Sometimes Plan B can be just as sweet if not sweeter than Plan A.

Without making mistakes, we may never explore new terrain or innovate new things. Instead of forcing our free will, we could use it wisely to choose between a life run by ego or a life in tune with a higher intelligence.

As life continues to surprise me and push my boundaries, I’ll make a better point of allowing. Perhaps you may see for yourself that coloring outside the lines is no mistake at all. Perhaps in falling outside the predetermined box, you create a new street worth exploring. For yourself and others.

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| FEATURED O U T F I T |

Nordstrom Rack, Straw Hat | dRA Blouse | Levi’s, 511 | Steve Madden Holllly Sneaker in Camel Suede | JCPenny Lounge Dress, (cut into duster) Goodwill

Styled by Morgan Ryan

 | FEATURED P H O T O G R A P H Y |

Ashlyn Kudransky

Beauty, Fashion, Lifestyle, Los Angeles, Blogger, Flowers

THE || M E D I C I N E || WHEEL

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison.”

– Ann Wigmore

beauty, fashion, los angeles, blogger, style icon, influencer, holistic, guru,

I wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for all the positive feedback I received on this pizza I made last week (I’m talkin’ to you over there Reem drooling all over your computer). I decided to pay it forward by sharing the recipe I originally found on Cookie and Kate, but with a Maverick twist. Naturally, I had to provide you with some food for thought or what some would call a side dish of wisdom.

So here’s what I want you to do, don’t worry a 6 year old could do this. When I say the word
“pizza” what is the first word that comes to your mind?

Indulgence. NEW YORK. Guilty pleasure. Happiness. Cheesy. Yum. Deep dish all da way.

What was your first impression? Was is negative? Positive? It doesn’t matter, but it’s important to do this simple exercise in order to help us see how we pass judgement. I feel it’s important for us to stop and reflect on our relationship with food. I believe we all could use a little shift in perspective so we can begin to see food as necessary fuel versus a guilty pleasure. With a positive attitude as such, we can then shift any negative thoughts we have of food as the enemy and start to see it as the great healer, remedy and fuel that it is.

● ◎ ●

THIS IS A M A V E R I C K RECIPE:

 || BUTTERNUT GOAT CHEESE PIZZA  ||

Health, Recipe, Pizza, Art, Seasonal, Organic, Wellness ● ◎ ●

|| THE RECIPE ||

Homemade Pesto
3 cups lightly packed fresh arugula (remove stems)
¾ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
½ cup fresh Parmesan
2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper
Additional Ingredients 
1 batch easy whole wheat pizza dough
5 ounces chilled goat cheese
1 small butternut squash (1 pound)
Garnish: Pepitas, arugula and red pepper flakes (or cayenne)
 ● ◎ ●
 || INSTRUCTIONS ||
  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Or, if you’re using a pizza stone, make sure it’s in the oven on the appropriate rack.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler (a Y-shaped peeler works best), peel the outside of your butternut, then slice off the top portion with the stem and the very bottom. Slice the butternut in half vertically, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard them. Slice one of your halves in half vertically again so you have made quarters. Using your vegetable peeler, peel long ribbons of butternut, enough to generously top the pizza. Toss butternut ribbons with a light drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper so that the ribbons are lightly coated in olive oil.
  3. For the pesto, combine the arugula, pepitas, parmesan, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a food processor. Pulse while drizzling in the olive oil. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Roll out the dough on a piece of parchment paper for easy transfer to the oven. Preferably roll the dough out as thin as possible while maintaining an even surface level (I used my hands)
  5. Lightly oil the outer edge of the pizza with olive oil. Spread the pizza with the pesto. Then crumble the goat cheese over the pizza using a fork. Arrange the butternut ribbons on top—it’s best to let them curl and wave rather than lie flat against the pizza. You want to put about as much butternut as you reasonably can on top without covering up all of the pesto and goat cheese. Top it off with a sprinkling of pepitas.
  6. Transfer one pizza to the oven. Bake until the crust is golden and the butternut ribbons are caramelizing on the edges (about 10 min on a baking sheet, or as few as 5 minutes on a baking stone). Top the pizza with a light sprinkle of fresh arugula and, if desired, a dash of red pepper flakes. Slice and serve.

    || THE RX ||

    Butternut Squash: Anti-Inflammatory

    Basil: Aids Insomnia | Eases headaches 

    Arugula: Detox | Eye Health

    Pepitas: Stress Relief

    Olive Oil: Protects Metabolism | Healthy Fat

    Garlic: Strengthens Immune System

Beauty, Fashion, Blogger, Flowers, Pink, Love, Style Icon, Healer

With a new found love for cooking, I have formed an even more powerful relationship with food. I now see food in a healing light as it nourishes and provides me with an outlet for artistic expression. This past weekend I completed my volunteer orientation with Project Angel Food, a non-profit dedicated to nourishing the sick back to health with garden to table, fresh-cooked meals. I look forward getting involved in healing the lives of others through the power of food. To serve and give back to my community will be life changing and learning some skills in the kitchen from chefs and nutritionists is merely an added bonus 🙂

Beauty, Lookbook, Los Angeles, Fashion Blogger, Vintage, Flower, Red Head, Beauty

Not only has cooking given me a new found appreciation for my body but it also offers piece of mind knowing where my food came from. So whether you create this masterpiece over the 4th of July weekend to share with your family or on a special occasion, I hope you stop to appreciate it. Revel in your creation, take a photo, bless it, do whatever you see fit, but take a moment and fully appreciate it. In this moment, I hope you see it as the medicine wheel it was intended to be. An offering to all the good you seek in this lifetime. A healthy mind, a strong inner spirit, inner peace and a strong healthy body.

Bon Appetite!

Beauty, Fashion Icon, Vintage, Flowers, Summer|| PHOTOGRAPHY ||
Frankie White

|| PHOTO EDITS | STYLING ||

Morgan Ryan

|| OUTFITT ||

Blouse, Vintage

Black Tank, Brandy Melville 

Black Denim Shorts, Free People

Palm Tree, Desert, Vintage, Rustic

S T O N E || W A S H E D

“We are all given the power to create the story we wish to tell. It’s up to you how you tell it. If you live your life as a reflection of this story, authenticity will shine as your actions align with your words.”

-M.R.

Palm Tree, Desert, Vintage, Rustic

All of us in some way or another have tried to live up to the expectations of others. We’ve all had that one teacher who never gives us the grade we think we deserve. Or the mentor that constantly expects more from us when we feel we’ve given our all. Despite the critique of others we forget that in most cases we are our own worst enemies. How many times have you looked on Instagram and compared your life to someone else’s? I’ll be the first to admit I have.

We allow the mental chatter from outside or create our own stories to tell us whether we’re good enough or not. The thing we don’t realize is when we do finally get what we’re after (that A on your paper, a promotion, your soulmate) it will still not be enough if we don’t believe we’re enough now.

Beauty, Head Shot, Red Lip, Pink, BeautyRock, Timberlands, Fashion Blogger, Palms, Los Angeles,

Whether it be another persons opinion or our own mental image of “perfection,” we seem to look outwards in order to validate our existence. We seek approval by reaching for another’s hand when we really should be reaching for our own. In reality, this short-term fix merely fuels the ego and the ego alone, therefor providing a false sense of security. We will come to find this will no longer make us happy and we will begin the search all over again, not realizing what we’re looking for is right in front of us.

True love and approval comes when we stop looking outward and begin looking inward. The funny thing people don’t understand about seeking approval is that it has the ability to make you invisible. When we rely on something impermanent to make us feel good, we’re only dimming our authentic light.

Jump, Active, Lifestyle, Skater, Urban,Hussle, Hands Up, Energy, Denim, Acid WashIt’s time to move away from the role of the victim and into the creator. Redefine your beauty. Redefine your health. Redefine your wealth. Redefine your strength. Realize you’re already enough right here, right now. It is already manifested within, you just have to be willing to peel away the layers of the past.

This takes time, patience and faith to work through these emotional layers. Once you release them you’ll understand that the outside is not all there is. Unseen changes take place within you when you take responsibility for the issues instead of pushing them under the rug. It might get dirty, but never let your circumstance define the beauty of your unique tapestry. Know who you are. Define life on your terms and yours alone. And never forget to reach for your own hand.

Palms, Denim, Acid Wash, Shades, Fashion BloggerCat Eye, Sunglasses, Details, Fashion, Legs

| MAV MANTRA |

I will let go of the need to be perfect.

Mantra, Grateful, Present, Mindfulness,

  Cactus, Nature, Lifestyle, California, Desert          Cactus, Green, Beauty, Nature,

|| PHOTOGRAPHER ||

Sabrina Hill

|| PHOTO EDITING | STYLING ||

Morgan Ryan

|| OUTFIT ||

70’s Vintage Jacket, Sunday’s Best Thrift

Crop Top, Watch Me Hussle

Acid Wash Shorts, Urban Outfitters

Vans Socks, Timberland Boots 

Earrings, Rocksbox

AIR FORCE 1 || 5.18.15 || LOOKBOOK HIGHLIGHT

“Do what you love and find what brings you joy. If you are unsure, make it a point to ask yourself because I’ve come to find, as you commit to your personal joy, you begin to attract an outpour of joyful moments, merely because you radiate that essence.” 

– MORGAN RYAN
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In some shape or form, my New York roots shine through in all I do. Since moving to Los Angeles, I found myself occasionally bending my “branches,” as a means to acclimate to my new home. However don’t get the wrong idea, I never let it sway me from rocking my Nikes in a sea of Vans. Today I stand firmly in LA, rooted from the soul of NY, as I celebrate a new found balance of both coasts, and my debut on Lookbook’s Instagram.

Let us rewind a bit to the beginning. As I set out on this journey, I had high hopes for abundance and success. However, somewhere down the line I let the joy and love for the the process slip away. I suppose this was the point where I began to manifest from a place of lack versus a place of abundance. Enter the moment I became my own worst enemy. I was cutting myself off from the very things I desired and ultimately stripping the joy from my passion by focusing on what I had not accomplished and what I did not have.

 As I came to realize this and work through these emotional blocks, I returned to yoga and meditation last week as a means to ground myself. In this restored balance, I re-establish a positive relationship with my career and my intentions behind it. This helped move me from a place of negative resentment and into a higher vibration of love.

With the approaching New Moon, I decided to set these new intentions into motion in the most creative, joyful way I knew possible: A dream board, aka collaging. This is a visualization technique I love to do in order to manifest my aspirations. I grew up with art as a central element in my life. In that regard, working through this inner work in the form of art sparked some enthusiasm. Artistic or not, this project is an amazing way to get your creative juices flowing.

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This month I chose to begin my focus with health. For me, health is essential in order to move forward in anything I do. It helps me take the first step in the right direction to positively honor myself and my body so that I can confidently step into my creative power, therefore positively representing a brand or product.

As I cut through pages of magazines, I didn’t think as I let my subconscious mind take over and choose whatever words or images it gravitated towards. I mean realistically speaking, it’s kind of hard to think if you’re already rapping Nelly lyrics, shoulder shrugging, and tapping your feet while meticulously cutting motivational phrases. If you can do all of that and be in deep thought, then you my friend got skills.

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As I felt this lighthearted vibration of my childhood move through me, joy began to return to my life. No, literally; The mere symbol of joy just that flew into my life. As I hear a repeating thud, I look above to find a hummingbird that has flown into the skylight above. Trying to escape and find its way back to freedom, I can’t help but feel pity for the little bird. I watch him struggle, feeling out of his element, and I instantly feel connected. As some of you may know, I already have an affinity with hummingbirds.

I realized this rare and special occurrence held some key lessons and hidden messages. Relentless and persistent to say the least, the hummingbird was determined to get where he wanted and deserved to be. However there was a downfall to his method. You see, he was so set on the idea of escaping through the skylight that he couldn’t see the bigger picture. I then reflected on how there was a bit of myself in that stubborn bird. It was an omen, a message, a reminder to stop, think, re-evaluate, step back, and see the bigger picture.

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 “A baby Hummingbird in the house is said to be indicative of new beginnings and chances to start again. Some people believe that its presence may be a sign that a spirit has ascended to help in current issues within your life. Be prepared to be fledged into a new way of living.”

.  .  .

Symbolizing long journeys, joy, and resilience, this rare encounter ironically had a lot to do with myself and my current situation. With the wrong focus, attitude, and vibration, I set myself up for failure. So I returned to gratitude. I began to realize l must return to finding joy in the process versus the destination. I must enjoy the journey. For in the journey, we come across rare encounters like this of the hummingbird, and only if we stop to truly experience these fleeting moments can we then live our truth by extracting from it a message or the story we were born to share. I can confidently say with optimism, that I look forward to the journey ahead. Without a doubt in my mind, I welcome what awaits me around the bend.

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Today, waiting around the bend was Lookbook with a lovely feature highlighting my style. As I took in the moment of pure ecstatic joy, a huge smile swam across my face. Then it hit me like a crashing sea: May 18, 5.18; 518 is the area code of my hometown, Albany. It just goes to show that your energy definitely plays a role in what you’re attracting in your life and that there’s no such thing as a coincidence, it’s merely divine timing.

As I return to my roots, I have a newfound appreciation for my accomplishments and a fresh optimism for what is yet to come. Today marked the beginning of my journey; a life rooted in joy, belief, and progress. Always remember who you are along the way and that the destination is in fact the journey. As the New Moon in Gemini encourages us to return to our roots we will see ourselves gravitating towards the people and places we feel at home most. For me, I will beginning my journey with an adventure to Carmel to visit my childhood best friend, Rye. Ironically, she is a Gemini 😉 As always I look forward to sharing the moments and memories captured along the way. Until next time, rap wid me:

“High top strap with the gum bottom

I leave um strapped and laced and come up out um.”

-NELLY