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O F F I C E | SPACE

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We all know the situation. Mom reassures you ‘Hunny, it’s not meant to be fashionable, it’s meant to be safe.’ Hailing from Upstate New York, this situation would arise every winter when it came time to break out the good ol’ snow boots. We get a hell of a winter; sounds like a nightmare right? Which part; the ugly protective gear you had to sport regardless of your defiant efforts to refuse or the unbearable winters?

(I’ll let you decide)

Time went on and I resolved the latter issue by moving to Los Angeles…thank gawd. I’ve also since discovered plenty of dope brands that nail it when it comes to functional fashion. One of my favorites thus far being the eyewear brand, Polette, which I reviewed earlier in the year here.

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|| SCREEN G E N E R A T I O N ||

Millennials aka the Screen Generation spend an estimated 8 hours per day looking at a screen and check their phones at least 150 times daily. Can you imagine staring at a tree for 8 hours? That feels like an eternity. (Perhaps one day I’ll master the art of stillness and achieve this task, entering ultra-yogi status). To us, 8 hours scrolling and typing away daily is far from difficult for us. It’s all a matter of perspective and I suppose majorly dependent on the action at hand.

So why does this concern us? Well for starters, our circadian rhythm’s are all out of wack. Millennial or not, we’re all surrounded by stimulation, however we have a choice as to how much we engage with it. Some of us partake in high screen time while others choose to limit their exposure. Regardless, it’s important to be well-informed so I want to share with you the harmful effects and how to protect yourself.

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I began to notice my inability to fall asleep naturally was becoming more and more difficult. I came to realize the overstimulation created by the blue rays emitted from LED screens (such as my laptop or cell phone) were the culprit. Nothing could truly tear apart a ‘late night Nexflix-er’ more than this new found knowledge. Feeling slightly helpless, Polette came to the rescue and offered up a solution.

Understanding the current landscape and their consumer, Polette opened the floodgates with their new innovative technology to offer protection from these high-energy rays. The result?  E-POLETTE, a line specifically designed to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of high-energy blue lights.

|| S A F E T Y  101 ||

Since day one, our sleep cycles revolved around the sun. When the sun goes down and it becomes dark, we produce melatonin, helping us to fall asleep. When we energize the eyes with artificial light, we disrupt the production and screw up the natural process. Even more damaging, the blue lights from LED-lights have also been connected to damaged retina’s. Stated by Polette, “by frequently using this technology we jeopardize our eyes’ health.”

The E-POLETTE collection is designed to filter out 40% of the blue light. It accomplishes this by using a light-yellow filter. When watching any LED screen, these glasses will ensure your body continues producing melatonin, your day-night rhythm is on point and your retinas are fully protected. For the fashion-forward-techi-conscious, this collection’s a winning choice!

Shop the full line here.

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|| FEATURED L O C A T I O  N S ||

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|| FEATURED P R O D U C T S ||

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|| P H O T O G R A P H Y ||

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Morgan Ryan

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WONDERS AND SPLENDORS

We’re in this together…

                                                     We’re in this together… 

                                                                                                     We’re in this together you say…                 

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So why do I love a moment alone?

Why do I love each moment, my friend?

The solitude comforts,

the connections add fuel. 

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I’m in love with the world and all its wonders,

I’m sorry I so often get lost in its splendors,

but I’m here now,

let’s keep our moment burnin’.

________

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We may choose to walk alone

but all is very true,

momentarily we are our best,

when we come t o g e t h e r.

________

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THE BEAUTY C H R O N I C L E S

THE BEAUTY C H R O N I C L E S

Interviewed By Sasha Frank

Photographed By Nat Sin

Interviewee Morgan Ryan

What does beauty mean to you?

think beauty is entirely a state of mind. To me, beauty is finding comfort and strength in your individuality. It’s an acceptance of who you are, quirks and all, and a celebration of that. I feel most beautiful when I’m my authentic self because I’m instantly aligned with my truth. This allows my beauty to shine through.

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As a child did you hate a certain feature, if so, did you begin to embrace is later on?

As a child, I disliked my fair skin, auburn hair and freckles. Growing up, a majority of my friends had beautiful olive-toned skin. I felt like an outcast and at a very young age. The last thing you want to feel is like you don’t belong.

I spent many years trying to alter my looks as a means to fit in. As I grew older, I began to embrace my hair color. I noticed that the red undertones made my green eyes pop. I switched over to tinted moisturizers to allow my freckles to show through. I stopped tanning and realized how much beauty there was to be found in a porcelain complexion.

As a result of these insecurities, I learned that it’s okay to stand out. I began to understand the importance of individuality and how to embrace the “weird.” This made me more accepting towards myself and others. It’s amazing how the features I tried to alter have now become my most powerful attributes, not to mention my favorite. This goes to show that making peace with the external can help influence internal peace.

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Do you feel that inner beauty is just as important as the outer beauty?

I’m a big believer that your outer beauty is reflection of what’s going on inside. That’s not to say that the most attractive women physically are truly beautiful on the inside. Concealing is easy, but shining your truth is what takes strength and courage.

I think coming to accept the external is a huge hurdle for most and is an important part of the healing journey. Regardless, I definitely believe internal beauty reigns supreme. I say this because the external is temporary and subject to change. The only everlasting beauty is that of a good heart. Some of the most beautiful women I’ve met are those with a beautiful soul and that can only be achieved through inner work.

As women who are constantly working on our inner beauty: Do you feel that once you began to not care about what others thought about you everything began to fall into place? Did you find your calling in that?

Growing up, I was insecure but never showed it. I was a late bloomer, who had yet to reap the rewards of her external beauty. As a result, I had this “fake it till you make it” attitude. I searched, observed and learned by spending time with myself to better understand beauty. This was the time when the experimentation began.

I began to find my personal beauty when I took fashion risks and pushed myself to constantly create someone new and improved from the day prior. Although these were all external practices, it came from a deep-rooted place of “I am an artist.” I became fearless. I also began to grow a thick skin so that no external force could change me.

I remember one morning before leaving for school my dad asked, “Who are you trying to impress?” I said with conviction, “myself.” Ever since that day, I’ve realized the importance of intent and that we should never do something for the approval of others. I would say once I let the opinions of the outside world fade, I was able to make peace with my wounds and came into my own creative beauty.

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What do you think the world is missing in the scope of women role models? How can we change that?

I think the current landscape we live in is crying out for unwavering compassion. For this reason, we need women who can stand up and be both strong and empathetic.

I think society as a whole is partially to blame for our current role models. We add fuel to the fire by continuing to support and make the trivial important. I think the first step in making positive shifts in the scope of positive women role models is to create a new ideal and stand up for that by supporting the right women.

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What advice would you give younger girls coming into their own?

Be gentle with yourself. Understand that beauty is something you grow into; give yourself time to develop. Know that everyone’s journey is unique so don’t compare yours to others. You were born to stand out; never apologize for who you are! Embrace your unique quirks, they make you, you.

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Are there any upcoming projects of projects you are working on now that you can speak about?

At the end of 2015, I teamed up with Paul Mitchell as a brand influencer. I recently produced and starred in my first project for them as THE M A V E R I C K MUSE. It’s still currently under wraps so I can’t dish; however, I am excited to see how the future unfolds with this partnership!

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For more empowering stories and inspiration head over to Sasha Frank’s blog. For more Beauty Chronicles, subscribe HERE! 

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| R E N E W A L | APRIL MAV HAVE

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“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another and ourselves.”

– J A C K  KORNFIELD

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After the busyness of last month, the focus of April was to reset and renew. Spring is here and is encouraging us all to pause, reflect and recharge our batteries. I like to consider this season as our annual mind, body and spirit tune up.

Last week I made my way to Indio, CA with Evan for a Coachella Party hosted by Paul Mitchell at the Merv Griffin Estate. Using this opportunity to escape the city for the day, we set off into the desert to recharge our batteries.

I began to experiment with some simple techniques during the trip, which I have continued to explore since returning to LA. As a result, I have created a one-week reset plan, which I’m excited to share with you today! The most beneficial method for myself was the ‘detox.’ I focused on taking a break from social media as a means to reconnect by de-connecting. Ironically, when I unplugged, I recharged more efficiently. I’ll jump into that a little later on.

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Being busy is somewhat of a requirement in our modern day society. Unfortunately when we are too busy, not only do we forget to live, we actually become counterproductive. Our healthy habits begin to slip and our communication suffers; we lose focus, connection and sight of our intentions.

Luckily, this doesn’t have to be permanent. With some minor adjustments we can get back on track and be ready to roll. So let’s get started! Here’s my one week guide plus a brief description of what I learned through the process of pausing to reflect and remembering to live a little.

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MIND

_________

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1). Write, Write, Write! 

By doing this one-week challenge, the most noticeable block I was experiencing was lack of communication. I was harboring feelings and thoughts that needed to be expressed. Locked inside, I found it extremely relieving to write it all out; my thoughts, feelings, anger, resentment or even a difficult conversation I needed to have. It was therapeutic not to mention helpful in wrapping my head around difficult thoughts and feelings. Instead of worrying, stressing or reacting, I released, resolved and relieved.

Your Turn: Grab a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Take 10 minutes to simply jot down your thoughts, feelings, tasks, fears, gratitude, you name it. By emptying your mind onto the paper, you make space for the new. Instead of spending precious time worrying about something, you gain your time and sanity back while reducing stress.

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2). Meditate

The way I became most aware of this lack of communication was through meditation. By engaging in this practice I was able to focus not only on my mind but also on my body. My friend Ashley came over this week to help me clear the energy in my apartment. While she cleansed my place with sage, I meditated for 20 minutes. During the process I noticed a heavy soreness in the left area of my throat. I realized I had blocked energy there because I wasn’t speaking my truth and in return this was causing me stress. By calming down my central nervous system I felt a sense of comfort, safety and relief in having an answer to a question I didn’t have before meditating.

Your Turn: The wonderful thing about meditation is that it’s an excuse to do absolutely nothing. If it’s new to you and you’re wondering, “how can I do absolutely nothing?” I suggest a meditation app such as Headspace for extra guidance or listen to some Zen music and chill out.

Beginner: Begin by counting your breath as you inhale (1 2 3), and (4 5 6) as you exhale. Continue for 1-5 minutes. Moderate: Meditate on a positive mantra or word with each in breath, and release it’s negative counterpart on the out breath (ex. inhale; serenity | exhale; anxiety). Do this for 10 minutes. Challenging: Inhale through your nose for 5 counts, hold your breath for 5 counts, exhale through your mouth for 5 counts. Get into a place of total awareness and see what is brought to your attention. Continue for 20 minutes.

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BODY

_________

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3). Take A Walk

When Evan and I first arrived in Indio we decided to get out and wander. A moment of nostalgia washed over me of Summer’s in New York as a kid drinking root beer floats as we sipped on Mission Hard Root Beers. I felt like I was in two different places at once until I was swept back into the present moment and we began our next adventure by foot. We found a neat neighborhood with some interesting houses making our walk scenic. Not only did we find a great location to shoot some fun images, we also got to move our legs, which felt amazing after sitting in the car all day.

Your Turn: Movement is essential in keeping our bodies at their best. I’d say every opportunity you have to walk instead of driving, take it! The days are longer now and the weather is nice so if you feel drained, get up and out. Just a few minutes a day can improve your lifestyle. Getting up and moving not only aids in digestion but it also provides us with energy and uplifts our mood. Try a 5 minute walk around the block during a lunch break and reap the rewards.

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4). Nap

One of my personal favorites, nap time. Restoration is not possible without sleep. This is the time when our bodies repair themselves from all the stresses, toxins and activity of the day. Last week I couldn’t get to bed early so I took a 30-minute mid-day nap after work. I noticed I was more productive and the quick nap made my work day more pleasant.

Your Turn: Busy lifestyles usually go hand in hand with sleep deprivation. As a means to fit as much as we can into a day, we put sleep at the bottom of the list. I think it should be our first priority because without proper rest we can’t function at our best. To make up for this, try going to bed 30 minutes earlier and notice how you feel in the morning (trust me, your food cravings, mood and overall energy will improve). Make up for lost shuteye by getting a 20 min snooze in during the afternoon if possible. If you work a 9-5, take advantage of that lunch and find a quiet space to close your eyes for 5 minutes. Just make sure to set an alarm!

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SPIRIT

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5). Donate Time

I donated time last week to helping my mom enter an Instagram contest as well as my community by participating in this years LA River Cleanup with Quixote. It was an amazing opportunity to bond with my co-workers while doing something meaningful for my city.

Your Turn: Spending time doing for someone else uplifts your spirit. The one thing that we lack these days is attention. Think about the last time you spent time with a friend or family member and gave them your full-undivided attention. No distractions. No expectations. When we invest our time, we invest in quality relationships, which nurture the soul. The best gift you can give someone is your attention. It not only is a gift to them but yourself. Simply give and experience the feel good vibes.

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 6). Personal Ritual

I focused my nightly ritual this week on the sensory experience of touch. I’ve become more curious about protecting my skin from toxins and how to calm or relieve dis-ease through reflexology. I tried dry brushing for the first time and began to do nightly massages. After my bath I’ll use my favorite massage oil by Shea Moisture and gently work the oil into my skin from my feet up. Once I’m done I’ll simply lay in bed and close my eyes to relax. This truly has made me feel so beautiful and has a soothing effect as it helps me ease into a peaceful nights rest.

Your Turn: Reconnecting with yourself through self-care or any other ritual is a great opportunity to just be with you. The key is to find something your enjoy so that it doesn’t just become another task on your to-do list. Rituals are personal so this should be unique to you. It can be as simple as lighting some candles or incense, praying, writing in your journal, taking a bath or sipping on a cup of soothing tea before bed. Maybe it’s a combo of a few of those! Whatever it is, do it well, do it consistently and remain connected to yourself and your higher energy (whatever that may be for you)!

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MIND BODY SPIRIT

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7). Detox | Take A Break

For myself, the most beneficial above all has been a digital detox. Unfortunately my profession made this a bit difficult but I made progress by minimizing the time I spent consuming and posting on social media. Over the past two weeks I’ve done two, five day breaks where I didn’t post. What I noticed was people actually engaged with me more and for longer. I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder even online.

Your Turn: This is your practice so do what ever feels best for you. Maybe you need to focus your detox on the body so you try a cleanse. Perhaps the media has been swaying you too much so you refrain from reading the news for a day. Maybe toxic relationships are causing you stress so you create some healthy distance from those people. Take note and see where life seems to be giving you the most trouble and allow yourself a break, no guilt.

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I hope this helps and you get out there and try some of these tips this Spring. Who knows, maybe one or two of them will stick and become healthy habits you just can’t quit!

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Photography

E V A N  WOODS

 

 

| S U N N Y |

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and realize that prisoner was you.”

LEWIS B. SMEDES

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PRESS PLAY

Valentine’s Day seems to be a holiday that stirs up some mixed feelings. The special occasion, which celebrates the purest of human emotions, has in a way been tainted by consumerism and the demand to have a sweetheart. This can easily warp one into believing your worth is dependent on external circumstances. Without realizing it, many of us have bought into the marketing schemes and have thus created expectations, which often lead to disappointment. I can tell you first handedly love is not about flowers, chocolate or a significant other.

I write this as a reminder, mainly to myself, of what unconditional love truly looks like. Love is not validation from others. Love is not co-dependent, and love cannot be bought. To love is to hurt, and to experience both makes it all worthwhile.

This time last year I was in a relationship. Once it was over, I spent the following months reflecting and working through my emotional baggage. In doing so, I was able to turn the mess into a message I wish to share with you today. These three intangible ideas I’ll touch upon allowed me to reclaim my peace, happiness and joy. The best part is knowing that they were cultivated from within, meaning no one can strip them from me. 

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| SELF-CARE |

Self-care is so imperative yet many times misconstrued as selfish. Much to the contrary, self-care proves to be the best way to emotionally ground ourselves so that we may enter any situation with a grand awareness of self. It builds confidence, self-esteem and overall health. In treating yourself with respect, others follow suit.

In my last relationship I started skipping Yoga classes to spend my time with him. Once the blinders came off and I could see clearly, I was shocked. Yoga is something I place great value in for my personal well-being. It was eye opening when I realized I was the one sabotaging my self-care, not him. There was no one to blame but myself. The moment I quit my practice was the moment I lost myself in the relationship. Now I know the balance I find on the mat must also also be applied off the mat in reality.

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| SELF-LOVE |

When you’re hurt and licking your wounds, the focus once again turns to you. Self-love is where compassion is born. For when you no longer have the capacity to be compassionate towards yourself, you no longer have it for others. As what begins within, flows to all.

Any relationship, failed or successful, plays a valuable and versatile role in our life stories. They become our best teachers, our gateways to self-awareness and acceptance. They also become our mirrors, which reflect back to us, our inner worlds. Most people come into our lives to strengthen us so that we can move forward (many times alone). I think it’s quite possible that every strong connection we make with another is an opportunity to test our emotional maturity and capability to let go. For when we accept this simple truth, circumstances cannot define us.

This is why it’s so imperative before entering a relationship to cultivate a strong understanding and respect for self. Self-love cultivates compassion and kindness, which therefore enhances any relationship or connection we have with others because the foundation has been laid. If you imagine a relationship to be a house, you wouldn’t start building without the proper foundation, right? So if self-love is the foundation which we build relationships, you can understand why it’s importance we start here. Through our connection to self and others we can begin to feel safe and at home.

| Self-Love Practice |

1.) Find a quiet space and close your eyes. Begin breathing deeply into your lower belly

2.) Relax into your breath, get into a meditative state while you place your hand over your heart

3.) Recall a painful or stressful situation and visualize the how it felt. Allow the emotional discomfort to wash over you (understand you are not alone, we all feel these emotions)

4.) Feel the warmth of your hand over your heart. Send that warmth to the specific area of your body that’s feeling discomfort

5.) Ask yourself what you need to hear/feel in order to heal. Use whatever comes to mind first and is best aligned with your situation

6.) Repeat the phrase to yourself silently or aloud as many times as needed until you feel peaceful and calm

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| MAV MANTRA |

“I’m worthy of great love. A great love does not define my worth.”

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| FORGIVENESS |

Forgiveness might be the glue that holds a relationship together. While intimacy allows for closeness, it also requires us to be vulnerable. Hurt and love go hand in hand, that’s why they often say you hurt the one you love the most. Growing up we must’ve also heard the phrase, “I’ll forgive but I’ll never forget.” If forgiveness means wiping the slate clean, this quote is the antithesis of forgiveness. For if we can never forget, then we are guaranteed to carry the messy pain from our past into our present.

Post break-up I tried to forget everything, the memories, the pain, the laughs. Ironically all that did was strengthen its power over me. It wasn’t until I made the decision to wipe the slate clean, with forgiveness, that I finally moved past the hurt. I could smile again because I had a newfound respect for the relationship and what it taught me.

Last year my dad introduced me to a Hawaiian practice called Ho’oponopono, a healing technique that assists in the process of forgiveness. What’s nice about this practice is it’s simple and useful for all. It truly helped me to see there’s a result to every action we take. Regardless of your position in the disagreement, we could all use some forgiveness. If possible, use this technique and verbalize in person. If that’s not possible for whatever reason, you can use this as a self-healing practice in meditation or practicing it aloud or through writing. I chose to write mine in the form of an apology letter to give myself closure.

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| FORGIVENESS PRACTICE |

1.) “I’m sorry.” 

(I’m sorry I judged you. I’m sorry there’s unresolved energy between us)

2.) “Please forgive me.”

(Forgive me for my judgments. Forgive me for creating separation between us. Forgive me for walking away)

3.) I love you.”

(Recall to mind moments or reasons why you love this person. What did they add to your life) 

4.) Thank you.”

(Show gratitude for the experience. Be thankful for the opportunity to grow, the life lesson and joy)

_______

| WRITING A NEW STORY |

Regardless of your circumstance this year, use this holiday to show pure, unconditional love however that looks to you. That could be towards yourself, a special someone or a complete stranger. The point being we all deserve to love and be loved. Maybe you enjoy giving out loving compliments or speaking highly of others. Maybe you’re creative and enjoy writing love poems, notes or songs. Or maybe it’s creating a personalized card, which expresses your gratitude. (Remember, expressions of love that cannot be replicated/purchased tend to be the most valuable). If you do anything this Valentines Day, let it be forgiveness. Forgive anything that may have come before and step into the present with an open heart.

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IN COLLABORATION WITH THE M I G H T Y COMPANY 

| PHOTOGRAPHY |

Evan Woods

| CREATIVE DIRECTION |

Morgan Ryan

| MUSES |

Cameron Arnett & Morgan Ryan 

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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

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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

|| 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

PLEASURE & CHAOS || PART I: THE C R O S S R O A D S ||

A Collaboration with

THE M I G H T Y COMPANY

– – – – – –

“What is meant to be, is just that, and will unfold. Still, show some guts. Say to destiny, “I am calling the shots around here, go take a hike.”

-RUMI

hitcharide

If you were to ask me where I’m headed, I would throw you a curve-ball and say, “hopefully somewhere I get lost.” Then again, I’ve never been one to give a straight answer to a simple question. Life seems too unpredictable not to play the same game. As a test of my self-awareness, I welcome the chaos of the unknown. I’m beginning to believe the sure-fire path to creating yourself requires getting lost…a little.

tresspassingThere was a confusing period where all I knew about myself was who I was not. I couldn’t explain it then, but by following my heart, I was confident it would lead me where I needed to be. If becoming lost meant I’d meet “a moment,” one that had the capability of reminding me just who I am, well then I’m certain I was wise in letting instinct be my guide.

A moment is far more complex than a simple label. It can be dynamic, as it has the capability to define in ways a word can not. “A moment,” such as the wind warmly greeting soft tousled hair, that has now become textured wisps, from dust in the air. As I reflect on this, it elicits a parallel memory from the day you and I met, and I let the wind carry me away.

– – – – – –

peekkiss-2

Before me I see a road which meets in the middle and splits two separate ways. Torn between a place of safety and the unknown, I softly close my eyes as I slip away in a deep meditative bliss. I imagine my surroundings as my senses attempt to paint the landscape. I listen to the wind as it brushes tall feathered grasses which sway back in slight rebellion to the wind’s demand. As I escape into this daydreamers delight, I discover a place of repose; as you approach, and I alight.

In the midst of the cascading dance between wind and grass, I hear a voice that kindly calls me to relax. Instantly every muscle in my body calms as his voice soothes. It was in this instant my heart told me to open my sleepy eyes and awaken. I look up to greet smiling eyes, which mirrored the crystal-blue sky that hung overhead. One might say his sideways grin concealed a veneer of danger. I never was one to listen to the opinions of others, for they only noticed the obvious. It was only me that could see, he held all his power and meaning, behind those two eyes.

Locked in a gaze, I sink into eyes that genuinely smiled like my own as the sensation of butterflies stir within. In a blink of an eye, the moment evades me as my mind tries to make sense of these sensations and sends me into paralysis from over-analysis. He speaks again. Relief fills my mind and silences the voices in my head. An internal war begins to ensue, as I battle between the two: The path of feeling or logic.

pocket

twirling

I found him–Or he found me

An informal harmony

of stable unpredictability

A life of excitement—we ignite the flame

and play with a fire

that neither of us could tame.

| Together we burn in a fury of Pleasure & Chaos |

theapproachgrazinggoldenage

Down at the crossroads I was asked to make a choice, to listen to my feelings or a little voice of reason. Confused and unsure of which to trust, I remembered the one thing that brought me to this turning point, and that was my heart. I learned something that one fateful day; An unexpected encounter may not be easy to explain. People are placed here as we stumble along our way, to remind us who we are, and sometimes who we are not. It’s when you stay in the center of your own life that you begin to trust yourself enough that you may flow; and the more you can flow within, the more you can flow without.americanbarnmodernprom

Today I stand before you uncompromised, demanding who I am: I am that unknown path, the one you might hesitate to explore because you never know what you’ll get. Just know that’s okay with me, for I only want to see the wild ones. The ones who join me in dance, and rage on in jovial laughs, not kissing ass because we’re too busy kicking it.

Once again, I find myself down at the Crossroads. Whether you follow or not, that is up to you. As for me, I continue to take the unbeaten path. The one that encourages me to get a little lost, so that I’m encouraged to listen from within. In my heart I hold with me an unwavering hope, that I might come to find someone like you, who reminds me why I chose to get lost in the first place. For now all that remains is a trace of calmness amidst life’s chaotic storm. I thank you for that moment of pleasure, a warm breeze and a smile held the day’s treasure.

meetmeatcross| MAV M A N T R A |

Lead with the heart

 

G Y M CLASS HERO

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

– Henry David Thoreau

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Recently I’ve focused my energy on strengthening my inner power. This essence is something that can only be felt and therefore transcends any impermanence of the physical. Personally, I think this makes it even more desirable because once it has been achieved, it can never be lost. This mental workout has been great in breaking down several emotional and mental blocks that were previously holding me back.

The goal of this exercise is to free yourself from destructive self talk, old habits and patterns. Like most things in life, it’s easier said than done. One must first be willing to acknowledge the illusions or “problem areas,” and then consciously desire to fix them. Then and only then can one re-wire the mind to see what it wishes to believe instead of the impressions of the past. Once you can move past this barrier, you begin to regain a sense of strength that’s attached to the power of  c h o i c e.

The ability to create your own concept of reality holds so much power when you realize your external world is a result of your internal; it all stems from your imagination and what you choose to believe. I have been manifesting my reality by choosing which ‘truths’ to hold onto and which to let go. In addition to this I have also been visualizing positive outcomes I wish to see while recognizing the negatives from which I’ve grown. This process is like gardening the mind. First you remove the weeds to create a fresh space; then you plant the new seeds and watch them flourish. The outcome?

Restored balance and beauty.

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 presetThis technique has helped me transform any self-love, relationship, or abundance issues. I begin by releasing any stress caused by lower frequency feelings such as fear or anger and transform them into positive feelings such as faith and love. By giving myself adequate time, I patiently allow the negative vibes to evaporate while the good remain and permeate my being. I repeat this process everyday until I begin to see new pathways form in my mind, which lead me to new open doors. You see, perception is the key to unlocking the mind.

Much like physical exercise, this process of re-wiring the mind requires focus, dedication, repetition, and strength. The brain, like any other muscle in the body requires consistent workouts in order to tap into its power. Begin slowly and through repetition, gradually increase the amount in equivalent relation to your improved level of stamina. Over time it will become effortless and a part of your daily routine as we are creatures of habit.

If you so wish to begin a similar journey in self-improvement, I encourage you to try several methods until you find the one that works best for y o u. Don’t follow, just listen to your inner voice (which will get stronger with practice) and it will lead you to the finish line. For me, my exercise is to find comfort in my own skin and emerge into who I know I am destined to be, regardless of my past. In knowing this, I am already paving the way for things to fall into place with each progressive step taken. Struggle is disappearing and I’m beginning to feel this sense of lightness and grace take center stage as I dance through life.

My goal in mastering my mind is to become the best possible version of myself. Over the course of a year, I have realized I am my only component and in order to become who I wish to be, I must feel as if it is already mine for the taking. To help cultivate this mentality, I believe dressing the part plays a major role. My day can range anywhere from strength training at the gym, to a night on the town tearing up the dance floor, or a long day of modeling on set (which also tends to turn into a dance party). As spontaneous as I am, my Adidas Pro Model’s are suitable to my lifestyle and provide the reliability I need in a sneaker.

 If you place importance on looking good for a reasonable price I highly suggest checking out West Egg. This online retailer offers a variety of designer products, such as Adidas, for lower prices. As the queen of thrift, I have to say I thoroughly enjoy getting the value of a Givenchy bracelet for less. My next blog post will feature this beauty so stay tuned!

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|| MAV MANTRA ||

Are you dominating your thoughts, or are you letting them dominate you?

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