Pattern, Studio, Design, Fashion, Photography, Style,

S U R R E A L ( I T Y ) | PART II

Head over to SURREALITY || Part I for a recap on how Mitch and I met

surreal, studio, beauty, vintage, surrealism, art, fashion,

Banana, Surreal, Studio, Socks, Funny, Pastels, __________

(Past Reflection)

The day began with an overcast dreariness that kept me in bed an extra hour. My conscious and subconscious minds intertwine as I replay the final moments of last night’s dream. I watch myself fearlessly walk through a dark space that I now recognize to be a haunted house. Suddenly reality kicks in and all traces of fear come rushing back. It becomes clear my subconscious is the brave one here.

A jolt of energy catapults me from bed and into a frenzy as I realize the time. There are two things in this life that’ll entice me to become an early riser and that’s fresh Bruegger’s Bagels and LA street sweeping. I beeline it for my car, pj’s and all. They say the early bird gets the worm yet somehow I still had something to chew on despite my tardiness. I’m thrilled to announce it wasn’t a worm but filled with remorse that it wasn’t a bagel.

          Through the process of elimination you may have concluded that a street sweeping ticket was the culprit. Refusing to let the worthless piece of paper symbolize my weekend, I opt for my favorite tactic – out of sight, out of mind. I tuck it away, hoping it’ll fade like my weird dream. The air was brisk and slightly damp like the transition between summer and fall transpired over night. Today I would experience a shift of my own in deciding to re-write my day with an order of sunny-side-up eggs, brioche and a side of Mitchell Winkie.watch, retro, pattern, style, graphic, studio, design

_________

            I walk down Melrose, texting Mitchell to let him know I’m almost there. I look up from my phone to notice a guy wearing a shirt that reads, “Be Iconic.” The simple yet impactful phrase cheers me up and it’s as if my bright attitude cues the sun to pop through the clouds. A brisk breeze nudges me along and blows whispers of change.

            I turn the corner to notice a couple enjoying an order of toast that towers high enough to be mistaken for a game of Jenga. I enter the building and look for the loudest shirt in the joint to pinpoint my company. I find Mitchell at the back of the line scouring the menu. With so many choices on the menu I was instantly overwhelmed. Breakfast or lunch? Sweet or Savory? Luckily Mitchell made it a simple decision, “I’m getting both,” he says. With those three words I had the validation I needed to know he and I would be good friends. I follow suit and place my order as I grab Sqirls’ business card.

            Somewhere between the register and the water pitcher I unknowingly drop the business card. I shrug it off and keep walking figuring someone who truly cares might pick it up. A woman lightly taps me on the shoulder and says with a smile says, “You dropped this.” Slightly dumbfounded, I thank her and safely secure it in my purse. Soon enough, I’m sitting outside in the LA sun with Mitchell and conversation’s flowing. In fact we have so much to talk about we often get sidetracked and reroute to yet another avenue of discussion. Luckily I dig detours, they keep things fresh and adventurous. Between bites Mitchell asks me quirky questions like, “what’s your favorite cheese,” and “would you want to raise yourself?”

Fashion, Surreal, Studio, Sleep, Beauty, Patten, Design,    Pattern, Studio, Design, Fashion, Photography, Style,

We sit across from each other in our favorite Sunday’s Best finds; he in his tri-toned-short-sleeved-button-up and me in my iconic silk scarf bow. I couldn’t help but think how this all transpired. My first thought revolves around the aspect of recycled goods and how it led us to connect electronically. I decide to go deeper to the root of it all to find the truth of the matter. Here I find it was actually us that made it happen; it was our desire to connect as well as our commonalities that brought us face to face, celebrating our boldness over an all carb diet. I realized many will commit to connecting online, however few will make the effort to step into reality and act upon that desire to connect. It is in that extra step, the follow through, where everything comes full circle.

We sit and devise our future world dominations and laugh for hours before splitting. As we walk to our cars (both conveniently parked on Melrose) we impulsively stop to look at a sale rack outside a thrift shop. With no luck we assume we are without treasure until we realize the real gem lay not on the rack but on the ground. Mitchell reaches down for a piece of paper and I curiously ask him what it says. He unfolds it and reveals the poem, The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. I ask if I can keep it only to feel slightly embarrassed afterwards. “Hey one man’s trash is another chick’s treasure,” I playfully smirk. He eases my discomfort by telling me he once found someone’s trashed diary and read the whole thing in one sitting. That was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment.

With shades layered over his glasses, he jokes, “Yup, nothing like rolling up to valet in your ’08 Corolla with manual windows.” I can’t help but giggle, not knowing if I was amused by the joke or his ability to pull off sunglasses over glasses. The most groovy thing about Mitchell besides his ability to make you laugh was his ability to make light of any situation.hair, beauty, fashion, studio, surrealism, art, style,

We part ways and I arrive back at my car. Here I take time to reflect on my ironic day. First my car inconveniences street cleaning, and now here I am, cleaning up the streets of LA. I get into my car and close the door behind me and pull out the business card and poem. I turn them over in my hand, trying to connect the dots. Then I realize I was doing exactly what Mitchell had done when he first found my mysterious card in his shirt pocket. It was as if I was now walking a mile in his shoes, only this time it involved an 8th graders literature homework.

With two tangible items in hand I could easily discard them as trash, but I saw something greater in them. I saw treasure that another left behind for me to find and attach my own meaning. I could see it as a “coincidence,” or I could see it as serendipity and formulate my own personal story. Knowing me, you know which road I took.

observe, beauty, fashion, style, batmitten, fan, active, lifestyle,      batmitten, beauty, fashion, editorial, studio, vintage

________

Bat Mitten, Vintage, Monochrome, Fan, Fashion, Beauty, Suureal

            The Road Not Taken is a prime example of Frost’s misinterpreted nature, which I can relate to. Much of the poem contradicts itself, opening the door for confusion and exploration. This confusion is most evident in the fact that the title is often mistaken for The Road Less Traveled. Maybe we have never entertained the possibility that Frost intentionally sought to confuse his audience. Let’s explore that notion.

Poetry is defined as the art of rhythmical composition, which excites pleasure through beautiful thoughts. Art itself is defined as the aesthetic quality of that which is beautiful or appealing. So if poetry is a form of art and art is beauty, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then is it not all subjective to the viewer?

      I believe the purpose of poetry is to melodically ignite the viewer’s imagination so that we can extract our own interpretation of the story. So maybe the fact Frost never entirely reveals the true implications behind his piece is exactly what made it so compelling and therefore famous. For I believe at the very core of all great art is this purpose to inspire a new train of thought, an ability to spark questions and an outlet to freedom through open interpretation.

Someone recently asked me if I believed in fate. The more I thought about the question the more confused I became. This got me thinking, do we create our own fate with our choices or do we choose to call it fate as a means to take comfort in our choices? Maybe what Frost was hinting at was the two roads to destiny; the one where you create your own (better known as free will) and the road of pre-determined destiny (also known as fate). Do we create meaning from meaningless pieces of paper by injecting them with imaginative stories? Or have we just lost the ability to see life creatively? If Frost is right and both paths lead to the same destination, would you change your course or keep trotting?

silly, fun, quirky, beauty, fashion, studio, surrealism, art,

            Maybe Robert Frost understood the importance of the individual and the intrigue of mystery. Maybe he found that healthy balance between supplying his audience with enough to guide them while understanding the freedom in negative space, which allows one to fill in their own blanks. As we all experience life from different perspectives, one’s path will never be the same as another’s. Equally so, one interpretation of a story won’t be the same as another’s. One thing is certain, life may present the game, but it is us who choose how to play it. As for Mitchell and I, I’d say we played our hands well.

__________

 || PHOTOGRAPHY ||

Sara Clarken 

|| CREATIVE DIRECTION ||

Puno

|| STYLING | MUSE ||

Morgan Ryan

Vsco, Portrait, Beauty, Twiggy, Honne, Lashes, Fashion, Editorial

|| B A M B I N A || Makeup Monday

Vsco, Portrait, Beauty, Twiggy, Honne, Lashes, Fashion, Editorial     Vsco, Portrait, Beauty, Twiggy, Honne, Lashes, Fashion, Editorial

|| “Maybe I’ll get you out of my head.
Maybe I’ll forget all the things you said.
Lies on your lips, but there’s love in your eyes” ||

ALINA BARAZ, Maybe

morton, salt, polka dot, fashion, beauty, editorial, lashes

Morton, Vintage, Fall, Fashion, Makeup, Bambi, Twiggy, Editorial

morton, salt, polka dot, fashion, beauty, editorial, lashes

| MAV BEAUTY TIP |

The Doe-Eye | large, gentle, dark eyes

_________

To achieve a subdued version of the doe-eye for everyday wear, you’ll need a few essentials:

1). White liner

2) A Taupe or Neutral Eye Shadow

3) Mascara

Highlight the water line of your bottom lashes with white liner. Blend and a taupe or neutral shade suitable to your skin tone into the crease of the lid. Use a similar blending technique on the bottom of the eye near the lash line (below the white water line). This will accentuate the white and make it pop, giving you those doe-eyed bedroom eyes.

Cue Music. Yes Yes Y’all.

__________________

PRESS PLAY

smile, vsco, fall, fashion, denim, makeup, lashes   purse, fall, zara, beauty, editorial,

beauty, vintage, movement, portrait, vsco, black and white, photography    cat, eyes, doe eye, bambi, twiggy, beauty

lashes, makeup, beauty, editorial, bambi, freckles, portrait_________

|| BEAUTY ||

Emily Gruen

|| CREATIVE DIRECTION | PHOTOGRAPHY ||

Morgan Ryan

|| THE MUSES ||

Bambi

Twiggy

Leather, Fashion, Minimal, Style, Surreal, Beauty,

S U R R E A L ( I T Y ) || PART I

“Poker is a fascinating, wonderful, intricate adventure on the high seas of human nature.”

– David A. DanielLeather, Fashion, Minimal, Style, Surreal, Beauty, The notion of one man’s trash as another’s treasure is far from unusual to me. I mean, let’s be honest, you can’t share the same name with Captain Morgan and not have some of the same qualities. In a debate, he and I would probably not see eye to eye on our idea of ‘treasure.’ We would agree to disagree yet rest assured, we share some common ground. As unrelenting adventurous spirits, we both have a desire to seek and a love for spiced rum.

     After imagining myself conversing with the fictional character, I thought I might be insane. That is until an idea sparked and had me thinking; what is it I’m seeking? If it isn’t gold or the fountain of youth, is there a treasure we all agree on? Is there something we all equally desire? It was then I found my answer and realized there is a means to my madness after all.

telephone, vintage, green, hand, model, surreal,   What began as an inconsequential piece of paper soon took on a life of its own. By finding its way into the pocket of a second-hand shirt, somehow the un-treasured piece of paper went from obsolete to inspiration. For with the tangible essence of the paper came something intangible…a story. Better yet, a story that could be felt and experienced in reality. As a result of ‘coincidence’ and bold action, a connection between two strangers would be forged and a story worth sharing would be told.news, newspaper, vintage, surreal, beauty, model, minimal, studio, studio, beauty, fashion, newspaper, redhead, muse, surreal, Last month I received an email from USC film grad and aspiring comedy writer, Mitchell Winkie. He had recently bought a shirt from my favorite thrift shop, Sunday’s Best. He had no clue that after buying the shirt it would hold additional value. Aside from an amazing fit and a ubiquitous, and not to mention, inescapable smell of thrift store, he was presented with a choice.

He found a slip of paper in his new shirt pocket. On the paper he found a grassroots version of a business card. Written by hand was my name, blog and contact information on index paper. I figured it might resemble the likeness of a flash card and therefore was the best choice for memorization purposes. Confused, he figured he either stepped into the Matrix or had one too many rum and Cokes, resulting in an alter ego, Morgan Ryan…now he was on to something.

zoning, beauty, vintage, redhead, model, surreal, art, beauty,

Wu-Tang, Emoji, Hands, Surreal,

Maybe it was his lifelong desire to receive a message in a bottle or his imaginative curiosity that prompted this manifestation. Or maybe it was his good taste in shirts. Any way you put it, one thing was certain…Mitchell clearly was a pirate too. Kidding. However I’m serious when I say all plausible scenarios led to one universal destination and treasure, a person and a connection.

As he tried to figure out how and why the mysterious paper had gotten there, he made his choice. He entered the game with a comical and entertaining email. Like any smart poker player, I knew how to act. Having already supplied him with a Maverick, he had the advantage. Equally so, I created my own advantage in knowing I had nothing to lose. I matched his email with a response and raised the ante with a face-to-face meeting. We decided on lunch at Sqirl, an innovative joint in Silverlake that serves breakfast until 4 p.m. We were all in…and it was up to Mitchell to figure out if the Maverick was suited for a royal flush or royal flop.

electronics, apple, iphone, surreal, digital age, connected, surreal,

emoji, idea, point, hands, nails,  clap, nails, hand, model, surreal, art  punch, emoji, surreal, art,  point, emoji, nails, hand, model, surreal,

   To Be Continued…Los Angeles, City, DTLA, Serendipity,

|| CREATIVE DIRECTION ||

Jennifer Puno

|| PHOTOGRAPHY ||

Sara Clarken

|| STYLING | MUSE ||

Morgan Ryan

Beauty, Cinema, Fashion, Editorial, Classic, Photography, Freckles

|| R E S T L E S S ||

R E S T L E S S 

By Morgan Ryan

Fashion, Editorial, Photography, Classic, Beauty, Cinema

I have a beautiful confusion

between reality and illusion

when it comes to you

and my restless mind

Cinema, Beauty, Freckles, Emotion, Actress, Classic, Muse,

The gaps of silence

I fill with doubt

because speaking your truth

you can do without

Beauty, Cinema, Fashion, Editorial, Classic, Photography, FrecklesBut what is the point

of these moments of connection

if they fall to be forgotten

without second mention? 

● ◎ ●

|| PHOTOGRAPHY ||

Evan Woods

|| BEAUTY ||

Emily Gruen

 || POET | MUSE ||

Morgan Ryan

Beauty, Swim, Active, American Apparel, Los Angeles, Fashion, Art, Artisan, Soul, Iconic

TAKE THE P L U N G E

“True creativity does not come easily; creativity is born of risk and refined from failure.”

-Erwin McManus,

The Artisan Soul

Beauty, Swim, Active, American Apparel, Los Angeles, Fashion, Art, Artisan, Soul, Iconic

Let us not be confused, creativity is not a gift given to the rare few. Rather, it is a rare few who take the risk to be creative. It’s as if we’ve been playing a game of telephone and during our correspondence our words became misinterpreted. You see, we are all born creators. So why do so many of us hesitate to be creative or even call ourselves creative? It’s simple, we found fear and replaced potential with limitation. We stopped dreaming. We found it was easier to lower the bar so we can sit comfortably rather than push ourselves to our limits. But what if I told you in order to create something beautiful you have to embrace risk and failure. I can tell you the only thing I fear is fear itself for it is the antithesis of a life well lived, a life of creativity.

| MAV MANTRA |

Today I will make my life a living art. I do not fear failure rather I welcome it’s invitation;

for I see my potential in arms reach. swim, pattern, water, los angeles, art, textureFear often interjects because we are unsure whether or not we are enough. We fear creativity because it calls us to be more and to reach for our potential. I’ll be honest I really dislike failure, but as an artist who enjoys the learning process I accept the fact that I won’t be the best at everything, yet. However I write this to you as I haven’t been pushing myself as much as I know I could in some areas of my life simply because I’m afraid of the responsibility and the idea of failure. However, I love creating enough to risk the experience of failure. I have come to find that failure is inevitable and with it’s help I can refine my craft. For when I see improvement, I experience an aliveness like no other. You know, with practice you really can achieve great things. In knowing this I will continue to risk it all in order to become the best creative I can be.

If you doubt whether or not you are an artist I leave you with one question, “Do you have a soul?” Art and creativity can be expressed in so many forms. Try not to take it too literally, get creative! If you write you’re creating, if you dance or cook you are equally creating. Heck you can even speak beauty and be creating. So where in your life are you merely existing but ready to live more fully? Where are you being commanded to create beauty in this world? Whatever that may be, do that. Heed the call and take the plunge. I promise you one thing, you will surprise yourself more than you know 🙂 Like the clerk said to Jerry McGuire, “That’s how you become great, man. Hang your balls out there!”

water, art, creativity, authentic, sparkle, pool, summer, swim,

| THIS IS A MAVERICK CREATIVE GUIDE |

The Creative Process 

1. Dream |

Imagination is the space where we can dare to dream. Cultivate a space and time to imagine each day.

2. Risk |

Push yourself! Go out on a limb, don’t worry about the end results.

3. Create |

Let go of your fears and make something intrinsically beautiful to share with the world.

los angeles, float, american apparel, swim, sparkle, summer,

PHOTOGRAPHER | CONCEPT

Evan Woods

MODEL | STYLIST

Morgan Ryan

FIT

American Apparel, Repurposed Party Streamers 

| THE MUSES |

The Artisan Soul

Madonna

Jerry McGuire

Beauty, Bow, Vintage, Denim, America, Nostalgia,

|| THE B A T T L E WOUND ||

“Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.”

IMG_6373

FullSizeRender

The Greeks refer to nostalgia as the pain from an old wound. This makes complete sense as I catch myself reminiscing over old photos. Instead of my usual happiness, I emotionally ache. To me, photography and nostalgia seem to go hand and hand. Like nostalgia’s accomplice, photography has the ability to trigger powerful emotions by capturing the fleeting moments in which we long to return. This could certainly feel heightened when we attach memory and emotion and therefore realize these moments can never quite be experienced again in the same fashion. Photography holds the beautiful quality of stopping time by breaking it down into tangible fragments that allow us to travel back in space and time. However, like all things in life with the light must come the dark. If we become too attached to these moments, photos enable us to live in the past instead of the present and can cripple us. This is when unhealed wounds re-open allowing the pain to rush back in.

This month has been an emotional roller coaster for many including myself. With the New Moon in Cancer, this is a time for cleansing and healing. With Cancer’s sensitive watery element, there is a direct focus on emotions and relationships. Whether or not you’d like to face your problems, I guarantee you haven’t had much of a choice as you’ve probably sensed the heightened emotions and relationship tensions too. I’ll admit that I both physically and emotionally ache as I write this. I’ve felt completely disowned and under appreciated. My upper back aches and let’s just say I’ve cried enough tears to put an end to the drought in Los Angeles. However, whoever said “there is beauty in the breakdown” is right. I’m learning there’s a necessity for release because without it, we’re like ticking time bombs. For unresolved issues continue to manifest in our relationships and health until we face them head on.

As some of our best life teachers, relationships provide the landscape for our personal growth. It’s simple to pinpoint a pattern, just notice what keeps appearing. The hard part is digging deep within to find its origins. This requires you to go to a sensitive place from your past and relive it and let’s be honest, most of us would rather keep bad experiences in the dark. However, those unhealed wounds are burdensome and if left untended will reappear until the lesson is learned.

IMG_6068

Before we get too wrapped up in the negative, let’s take a second to realize not all is lost, and we can deactivate that bomb if we know the code. This is merely an opportunity to be our own hero. With discipline and a willingness to face the emotional debris like a soldier of love, we can finally acknowledge the hurt and nurse ourselves back to health. With genuine compassion and self-love, we can begin to heal what we continue to hold onto from the past by reconstructing our destructive ways. My back might be in pain but not to worry I still got yours! Here’s a little guide to help get you started.

● ◎ ●

|| THIS IS A MAVERICK LIFE LESSON ||

Healing Wounds  

1.) AWARENESS |

Instead of becoming reactive and swept away by emotion, become aware. Notice patterns and what is continually showing up. What are your triggers? By simply noticing you keep a distance from the pain. The more present you become, the quicker you heal. If anything, master this because awareness informs the next two steps as we prepare to move into the role of the observer who feels the experience with zero judgement.

2.) STORY TIME |

Remain neutral. Don’t entertain the mind with its stories. The mind merely tries to solve and make sense of experience and will bend the truth to do so. By moving from the mind, we play the victim role and keep attracting similar experiences and wounds. Instead if we move from the heart we can finally heal them. When you focus on the body and how it feels, the mind loses it’s “power.”

3.) FEELINGS |

Time to open up and allow yourself to feel the emotions. True healing occurs when we let go of all the built up emotions and allow compassion to flow. If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel like smiling, then smile (just make sure you do it from ear to ear). Feel whatever you must feel and show yourself unconditional love in the process. Be your own hero and you may just find you’ll be someone else’s too. The awareness mentioned prior is so necessary because now we can notice what our bodies are trying to tell us we need during these growing pains (in my case, I needed a soothing epsom salt bath).

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

 Here we are, at the turning point of the battle. Now is the time to finally release the old emotional baggage so that we can grow into the new. No one said it would be easy and you may gather a few scars along the way, but the results are rewarding. I would rather have a scar than a wound for a scar is a reminder of my strength over what tried to take me down. I found a new life awaiting beyond the confined limits of a 4 x 6 photo. I released the nostalgia of my past and entered an even better reality, the present. Trust me when I say, in this place good things await. Things like greater personal power, freedom, self-love and confidence. Take the leap of faith and step into your new life in a powerful way. I assure you will be shown a greater strength.

| MAV MANTRA |

I can contribute good to someone else’s life today by being full of love

IMG_6374

|| PHOTOGRAPHY ||

Evan Woods

|| CREATIVE DIRECTION & STYLING ||

 Morgan Ryan

|| OUTFIT ||

Vintage Jean Jacket, Vintage Silk Scarf from Sunday’s Best Thrift, Hanes White Tank, Free People Jeans, ALDO combat boots

Hair Flip, Beauty, Fashion, Style Icon,

I N D E P E N D E N C E DAY || 07.04.15 ||

“The world you inhabit is a reflection of your internal state. If you want to see external change, work from the inside out.”

-Dali Lama

IMG_7018 (1)            During my senior year of college I took a course on Happiness. I recently decided to re-visit one of the books from the class and in doing so retrieved some valuable information. These excerpts impacted me more today than ever before as I could now apply them to a real life scenario. As I delve into the idea of happiness in relation to personal freedom, it is only right that I bring some philosophical homies along for the ride.

            Confucius was one of the first philosophers to create the notion that we in fact hold the power to self-transformation. This idea of self-manifested change is quite empowering as it can be applied to any area of life. In knowing that we have the ability to change our life from an attitude, it is then not hard to believe that we can bring to life whatever we feel within.

            Aristotle said that happiness is a state of mind arising from purpose. When a sense of inner direction guides our actions and choices, we remain afloat. However, once we lead from an outside desire, and seek pleasure without purpose, we sink. When we confuse “things” with happiness, we find ourselves in a pit of emptiness. Year after year I chased after pleasure and I came to find it only seemed to run farther away from me.

            If I knew what I know now, I would have realized pleasure has the tendency of a firework; a quick burst of electrifying energy that comes as quickly as it goes (talk about impermanence). On the contrary, true happiness as a state of soul is everlasting. As I drive through Hollywood tonight, I first handily experience the role the mind plays in the quest for happiness as I admire the temporary pleasure of fireworks with a detached attitude.

Style, Trend, Beauty, Los Angeles, Fashion Blogger, Pinstripe, Urban, Chic, Cool

|| MAV MANTRA ||

Today I am the architect of my own sense of fulfillment

Sunglasses, Dope, Swag, Curls, Hair, Beauty,Hair Flip, Beauty, Fashion, Style Icon,

Beauty, Photography, Los Angeles, Fashion Icon,

Four years ago I was far from who I am today. I looked for fulfillment from just about anything material, which I now recognize as pleasure (thanks Aristotle). I was looking for something to fill the emptiness I so desperately longed to alleviate. As a result I blindly created an even larger hole with this vicious cycle. It was around the same time I met you and during this chapter of my life, I thought you were the answer to all my worries. I was so wrong and I am happy to admit it.

I waited to be set free like a genie in a bottle, or better yet a firework, confined to the limits of my own body. It was as if I was trapped in solitary confinement and the only prison bars in sight were those I had built around my mind. I had become conditioned to pleasure and attached to the idea of someone saving me. Little did I know, I would only receive more time behind bars for these actions.

I became lost in your world, a world that in all honesty didn’t co-exist with my own. I was searching for the hands of another and found myself waiting hopelessly on fireworks that would never make it farther than the ground. I was headed down a slippery road with no outlet in sight. As I reminisce I feel a jolt of restrictive energy rush through my veins as my current view is much more expansive and promising.
Shades, Dope, Swag, Beauty, Bates Motel, Bates Motel, Beauty, Vintage, Retro, Babe

● ◎ ●

I drive down Santa Monica Blvd, occasionally glancing up at the explosive beauty that lights up the cityscape. It is July 4th 2015. The evening has yet to begin and I already feel a sense of fulfillment as fireworks light up my eyes. For the first time in four years I feel free from the outside world’s influence. A thought of you surfaces only to fade away in sync with a firework as it lights up, sizzles out and disappears into the night sky.

    It wasn’t until I lost you that I could finally see I held the key to my desired freedom all along. They say you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. In a way I think they’re wrong, for maybe in losing, we can finally realize that which is truly important can never be lost. For me, I needed to set you free in order to see this clearly for myself. In shifting my attitude I broke free and the fireworks that I wished for finally took flight. Now I truly understand what it means to be free. The holiday begins to take on a new significance and I realize we continue to hold onto something for as long as the mind remains attached.

           A burden lifts and my spirits soar as I arrive in West Hollywood to meet up with my friends. We stroll the streets, heading from Pump to The Abbey. As we hop around we pass a bar that’s playing “Genie In A Bottle.” I smirk at the irony. We head to Revolver as our last spot before calling it a night. I follow Austin down a set of stairs to the bathrooms and find myself in the men’s room. I giggle and shrug it off by doing what I know best in awkward situations as such, I dance. Whitney Houston belts out “I get so emotional baby,” as new arrivals greet us with initial looks of shock that quickly shift to smiles as they enter our dance floor and join in on the fun. If singing and dancing to Material Girl in the men’s bathroom on July 4th doesn’t scream independence, I don’t know what does.

          I arrive home in the early morning, park my car and take a moment to listen. I hear the birds sing and my heart beat. I draw in a deep breath. In this moment I’m happy and I wonder what could account for this current state of mind. I have reason to believe it has to do with appreciating all the good of the past with a sense of detachment, as well as a thoughtfulness in saying, “that was good, but I’m here now.” As I look back, I can now honor the beauty found in letting go. Strut, Fashion Model, Bates Motel, Los Angeles,

         A few days later I received an email with these words: “In the long run those who don’t eventually go “within,” often go “without”? You’ve got the power.”Talk about impeccable timing! I allow this to reaffirm my decision to conclude one chapter of my life as I crack open the next. I am satisfied that I finally understand the power I hold in creating the life I know I deserve. Lesson learned, happy are those who fight to find their freedom and refuse to ever let it go.

(Shout out to Allen for turning me onto The Internet’s new album, Ego Death)

|| CREATIVE DIRECTOR | MODEL ||

Morgan Ryan

|| PHOTOGRAPHY ||

Evan Woods

|| MAKEUP ||

Emily Gruen

|| SHOP THE LOOK ||

Jersey | A Common Space

Socks | Nike

Shoes | Nike Force

● ◎ ●

|| MUSES ||

Aristotle

Confucius 

Dali Lama

Happiness by Chittister (pg. 45, 172)

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

|| BREAKING F A C A D E S || 6.7.15 ||

I’d rather be honest and authentic and disappoint some people than to exhaust myself trying to keep up the façade of perfection.

Crystal Paine

Los Angeles, Wanderlust, Deep Thoughts

| MAV MANTRA |

I have a right to speak my truth

Hot Rodd

This week, all the signs pointed to this notion of authenticity. This reminder to always remain true to who you are is not a value new to me; rather it resides at the top of my list. However, having it tested simultaneously in both my personal and business relationships is a whole new ride for me. In just a short week, I experienced the necessity of using my authenticity in relation to my voice on several occasions.

It seems so simple, yet some of us tend to refrain from speaking our truth when we have the most to say. This doesn’t have to be limited to just the literal sense of stating what you will or won’t allow. It can also be in the creative sense, such as dressing a certain way and therefor not allowing an outside force to impede on your choices. Either way, the point is that you don’t remain silent when you have something important to say.

For me, fashion does most of the talking. I tend to prefer silent observations matched with in-depth reflections. What can I say, I’m an artist. I express myself on my canvas. That is unless I’m put on the spot. In that case I gotta deliver some spit fire whit.

FullSizeRender (2)

This week provided some great eye opening experiences. If these interactions showed me one important lesson it would be that it’s okay to say no. In fact sometimes you must say no in order to create healthy boundaries in your life. I stepped into my authentic power. One where I could respectfully exert my voice in the right situations.

 Amidst these opportunities of vocalization, I also found waves of silence. In these moments, I would observe situations like a fly on the wall and gather lessons from this outside perspective. You see life is just a test to find and maintain the balance of opposites. There will be moments where you must step up to the plate and deliver, and times where you will need to fall back, blend in, and observe.

.  .  .

Can you relate? Have you recently had the opportunity to authentically express yourself for the benefit of yourself or another? Or maybe you are learning how to speak up more and that’s why you were led here. Whatever the case may be, I want to help you live an authentic life too. If you seek some helpful tips for breaking down the barriers you face with personal expression and communication, here are a few for starters.

Since our voice is associated with the throat chakra, there are a few ways to get more in touch with your authentic voice. First, you could try opening your throat chakra with guided meditations or mantras. Or maybe you like essential oils. If so, go for scents associated with the throat chakra such as chamomile, sandalwood or frankincense. If that’s a little out of your comfort level, then maybe just simply turn on some music and sing! The element is sound, so all methods are equally as effective. Turn it up and come sing with me:

|| B R O K E N VANITY || THE LASH || 5.29.15 ||

“It’s not about where you are but rather the company you keep that determines your experience. However, it doesn’t hurt if the place you’re headed is cool to begin with.”

-M.R.

Asos, Style, Vintage, Street Style, Fashionista

 A slight chill filled the springtime air as we arrived at Austin’s pad. Ornate glasses lined the shelves of his mini bar, displaying a decorative array of alcoholic beverages. Tonight, we went for the Gin. We casually catch up, enjoying ourselves as we meticulously sip our grapefruit x gin cocktails in sync to the deep house softly playing in the background.

We had little to no direction as to where we were headed for the night and I enjoyed every moment of this uncertainty. I knew for a fact, wherever the night brought us we would bring our good vibes and tear up the scene. If there’s one attitude I’ve cultivated over the years about having a good time, it’s never to have a “Plan B,” for you’re already setting into motion the need for one. As our Uber arrives, we make our move; tonight we’re cruising over to THE LASH, a conceptual pop-up bar x club located in DTLA.

Shattered Glass, From where I stand

We enter from the front door and ascend small yet steep stairs into a room illuminated by red fluorescent lights. I admire the artistic choices in decor as we make our way to the bar. I notice this attention to detail extend even further as I observe a blackberry which dances and gather bubbles in my champagne flute. This little touch brought a smile to my face as I now had something to look forward to despite the inevitable loom of a last sip. I start towards this reward as I lap up my first sip and we make our way to the dance floor.

Making our way through a white brick tunnel, we exit the bar and emerge into the dance room. Party goers and an engaging DJ set the tone of the environment as their high energy welcomes us. We stay for a few moments to shake our tail feathers then continue to explore the rest of the place. We come across a secluded back room that I assume has been overlooked due it’s placement in the corner. Most would see this empty and alienated room and walk in the opposite direction. However, with positive eyes I’m instantly drawn to it as I look to my crew to see if they’re thinking what I’m thinking. Their smiles match mine and it clues me in that they saw the same perfection I did…our own private VIP.Glamour, Beauty, Disco, Babe

Disco, Babe, Beauty, Vintage, Guru, Psychic, Head scarf, denim, shattered,We breathe life into the room as we take full advantage of the space. The wooden tables are accented with broken glass tops, which one might assume is the result of rowdy partying or the shattering bass of 90’s/00’s dance music. Regardless of how they came to be, we found a creative purpose for them as we turned the place into our own private set as we dance and sing between shots.

| MAV MANTRA |

Dance like everyone’s watching 

(Lets face it they’re watching, that’s what people do. If you’re cool, they’re definitely watching. However if you’re cool enough to be watched why should it matter how you’re dancing, you’re a cool cat remember?)

Cool, Party, Kids, 90's, Club

Blurry, Fashion, Details

Friends, Crystal, Visions

When asked earlier that night about destiny, I said “It’s k n o w i n g you’re in the right place at the right time.” Ironically this notion of destiny set the tone for the night as we drifted towards a destination merely guided by the flow. By the end of the night I realized we ended up right where we were meant to be as we remained at LASH the entirety of the night. In all honestly, all you truly need is in this life is the company of a few great friends with whom you can share solid laughs with, a few photos, and a funky beat to groove to. And on that note…this sums up the night