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I AM ________.

I AM….whatever I say I am. 2017 is the year of self-definition…or perhaps un-definition. I realized that as much as words supply meaning they also confine. In the purest form, we must create ourselves, our own opinions and then voice them. Sometimes that’s a matter of standing tall in our truth, letting it be known who we are without uttering a word. However, when we do decide to speak, let us speak kindness and love. Let us be impeccable in all we do. Most of all, let us be impeccable with our word.

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I AM ______.

          strong

      courageous

        tenacious

  ever-evolving

              loving.

goofball, dance, freak flag,

Fill in the blank, or don’t. That’s your choice. Sometimes words can’t even begin to describe the totality of our thoughts, feelings or perhaps our existence. If you had to choose a few words to describe yourself today, what would they be? Would they be kind and self-benefiting?

The fun thing about emotional strength is it’s ability to translate to all areas of our life. For example, our hair. In many cultures, hair is symbolic of one’s vitality and ‘spiritual strength.’ What if we looked at hair through this lens? Would the way we brush it or even style it change? Perhaps hair can be greater than a source of creative expression. Perhaps it can indicate how you show up in the world beyond appearances.

When our hair is strong and healthy, it reflects the strength we know we have inside. The Paul Mitchell’s Super Strong® line rebuilds hair from within, improving texture while keeping strands shiny and soft. Beyond that, it shield hair from damaging UV rays and is completely vegan, color-safe and paraben-free!

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Strong Look of the Month: 

SPACE BUNS + WINKS

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PREP:

Begin with clean, dry, straight hair. Cleanse with Super Strong® Daily Shampoo and condition with Super Strong® Daily Conditioner (shop links below).

Create a middle part and divide hair into two separate high pony tails. Tie with soft elastic bands.

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Step 3: Twist each section into its own separate bun and secure with bobby pins.

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secure, bobby pins,

Step 4: Get out there and rock and shine (you _______ babe you!)

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| SHOP THIS LOOK |

Super Strong® Duo Set | Ouchless Elastic Hair Ties | Assorted Bobby Pins

| FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHY |

Mark Sacro Morgan Ryan (BTS)

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CHANNEL orange

“To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.”

We all know that sinking feeling when things seemingly don’t go our way. I would imagine it feels quite similar to swimming upstream. Tell it to the girl who got her wisdom teeth pulled, the flu, as well as a flat tire in a week’s time. When it rains it pours (I write this as rain pounds the streets of Los Angeles).

Through these growing pains, a lesson can always be learned. Personally I learned rain is the ultimate cleanser…and we can’t control the flow. Nature will work it’s course, and we must ride the tide. We will arrive changed and in the grace of a peaceful sea, eventually, with some faith. Easier to say once the storm has settled.

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To me, in these trying times, the purpose seems to be the ultimate test of one’s faith, strength and character. We may not be in control of everything, but we are indeed in control of our perspective and reactions. That may seem minuscule but it’s truly liberating knowing that we may channel any negative circumstance into pure gold; or what I simply refer to as “transforming the mess into the message.”

We’ve all played the victim at one time or another. Why me? It’s his fault for cutting me off. I have bad luck and so on and so on. I get it. It’s easier to place the blame elsewhere than to take sole responsibility. But the truth is, we are actually co-creators in everything we experience. You might even say we welcomed in this ‘issue’ as an imperative life lesson we subconsciously know we must learn.

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I want to show you that you can enjoy your problems. First and foremost, you have to see these so-called problems as opportunities. If we see them as problems, then we got problems. If we can’t make that shift in thought, we can’t enjoy the journey and grow. Because if you think about it, much of life is purely a figment of our imagination. The going may get rough (at times) but it is what we perceive (overall) that shapes our reality. Why not perceive it in a light that makes life as a whole most exciting?

For whatever reason, you’ve undeniably welcomed this situation into your life. Whether it be a difficult relationship that’s teaching you about yourself in relation to others or a series of unfortunate events that’s testing your patience. We all have something to gather from each (problem) opportunity. Simply looking at it as so, is a great place to begin. A simple change in words and perspective can work magic in your life. Best thing, it’s free. If you read this, I hope one thing: You shift from ‘the victim’ to the ‘the opportunist’ by seeing each problem as an opportunity to improve your life. 

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| MAV M A N T R A |

I transform the mess into the message.

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Another huge adjustment is gratitude. I can’t stress enough how important it is to place your attention and intent in the right places. In the midst of chaos it’s easy to notice what’s going wrong. I do it too. But, what if you were to remember to acknowledge what went right? If you were in an accident, maybe you weren’t injured. Perhaps you lost a valuable item, but now you have space to welcome in something new. Whatever it may be, try to focus on what’s working. This simple shift gives you a new outlook on the situation.

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These are essentially simple (and effective) ways to learn, grow, and become more compassionate, which is why I think we’re all here, don’t you? These tough lessons come as blessings in disguise so that we may work out our issues together. What better way to improve than by learning from one another and being your own guru.

So welcome and face your challenges with an openness that sets yourself up for success. Approach your opportunities courageously and become stronger. Acknowledge what’s going right and become abundant. Be grateful for each and every life lesson, because they will come and go like the ebb and flow, that is fasho. What will remain is mindfulness and the richness of life. An internal gold that no one can touch.

Get (soul) diggin’

M

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Click item to shop:

| THE O U T F I T |

Featured Deal: A free month of designer sunglasses on DITTO when you use promo code: MAVERICK

Black Hat | Crystal Earrings | Lanvin Serpent Sunnies from DITTO |  Levi’s 511 | Tank TopNude Pumps

| THE L I F E S T Y L E |

Vintage Polaroid CameraVintage Typewriter | Ellen Von Unwerth Books

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

Nat Sin

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.

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________

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?

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            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