| HAWAIIAN H E R I T A G E |

“From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow.” 

– A E S C H Y L U S

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Ever since I could remember, I’ve been visualizing. As a young girl in elementary school, I used to be the last person to finish reading. I blame my creative mind, which would wander to exciting places mid-sentence (side note: still happens). The only spot I truly loved was the art room – probably because it was the only place I felt I belonged. The time I spent daydreaming and visualizing was welcomed here.

With anything in life, I realize it’s not all daydreams (although I wish it was). It’s vision combined with hard work that brings what you want into being. Strangely enough, with any accomplishment I’ve made, it’s through a balance of activity and inactivity. Many times what appears to be inactivity, is in fact is very active after all. Taoist refer to this as Wu Wei, and in this case, I call it active visualization. Let me explain…

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Whenever I feel stuck, I pause, reflect and visualize. I’ve always been an advocate for vision boards. Not strictly for its artistic nature, but because it focuses energy and attention on the passion at hand. Love, fitness, career, whatever it may be, it helps the mind ‘go there,’ thus stimulating that dreamer we all have within.

In the midst of all the moving pieces of my career right now, which I’m extremely grateful for, I’ve had little time for inactivity. Feeling more pressure than before, I began to think, what’s next? As a result, I’ve negatively begun to doubt my creativity and the future. As dreamers, we should welcome if not anticipate the thought of what could be. In truth, I was running from the very person I am. When I slowed down to realize this, I knew I needed to take time some time out. I did just that in a rather unconventional way; when things picked up, I slowed down.

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There’s a method to my madness. When you’re speeding ahead, you fail to catch the glimpse of the pretty house along the street you’ve never explored. You overlook the excerpt in a book that will inspire your next project. In slowing down, you find everything you need. You’re re-inspired. Thus I found a way to combine my work with my passions.

As I prepped for my Mane Addicts Instastory Takeover (<- click for a highlight), I applied my new found knowledge to social media. The weeks leading up the gig, I used my account to play and test new ideas. Not only was this personally fulfilling, it also left me reassured I could do my best when it came time to take over their account. In fact this methodology helped me successfully accomplish my immediate goal (hitting over 9,000 impressions) while I created a road map for future ones. One of those destined ventures being Hawaii. The idea: reconnecting to the source.

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When I initially dug up information on the Awapuhi Farm and Nature Retreat, my ears were ringing, “ready, set, location, shoot!” For years now, I’ve had the reoccurring vision of being on a remote island, sourcing ingredients and creating botanical/herbal products. One thing many people don’t know about me is that I turn to natural remedies and concoct my own beauty products.

Ayurveda or life science, has always been a secret passion of mine. It became more prevalent in my life when I was diagnosed with ADHD. After years of taking medication, I desired a more long term and natural solution. Thus, I begun to self-educate myself on nutrition and natural means of healing. When I realized this ‘ailment’ made me special not slow, I began to use it creatively to my benefit. That’s when the holistic healer kicked in and I hope one day to help others heal and reach total wellness too.

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When I learned Awapuhi Wild Ginger was born and sourced in Pa’auilo, Hawaii, I saw the initial blending of my two worlds; the muse meets the the healer. I saw myself there, exploring the nature, science and culture of this area. I saw me hosting, traveling, educating, and most of all, learning through personal experiences. Clearly, the passion alarm went off.

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of taking the first step in that direction. In attending the Paul Mitchell Innovation Center in Santa Clarita, I learned all about the Awapuhi line. It was invigorating to be educated on a product I use often and is rooted in Hawaiian culture. The herbalist in me enjoyed hearing about the ingredients and putting a face to the scientists in the lab. To see the work that goes into perfecting and delivering a product into the hands of the consumer was something special to experience.

Later that afternoon I left feeling all the hope in the world. In fact, I used the positive energy of the day as an opportunity to make my own slice of HI in CA. I made my way to Malibu and created an experience that one could equate to the Aloha State. The strange thing was, that weekend I truly believed a huge leap was made in the direction of that island. I felt one step closer towards actualizing that goal.

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I’ve always had this island dream and I always will. Who knows, maybe the dream is better than reality. What I do know is I will eventually realize this dream and find out one way or another for myself.

Aloha,

M

muse, maverick, maverick muse, my body my choice, peaceful protests, anti-trump, love, women's rights, feminism, photo journalist, photo journalism, american history, living history, film photography, DTLA, Los Angeles, LA Blogger, Fashion and Style, Pro-Choice, Love is Power, Women's March LA, Women's March, Women's March Los Angeles, LA Community, Gay Rights, Black Rights, Equality, Justice, love trumps hate, the future is female,

WOMEN’S MARCH | L O S A N G E L E S

“Well-behaved women rarely make history.”

-LAUREL T H A T C H E R ULRICH

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January in Los Angeles this year could be best described as a monsoon. Okay, maybe that’s a little hyperbolized. Nevertheless, we’ve had uncharacteristic amounts of rain this month. With our current drought-ridden situation, we’re quite consoled by the rainfall. As a result, LA has been refreshed with greenery resembling the Pantone color of the year. (Well-played M. Nature).

For instance, this week it’s rained 5 out of 7 days. Friday, it rained all day. Sunday, it rained all day. Saturday, well Saturday was sunny and warm. A crisp bite was in the air when you found yourself in the shade. Saturday, January 21st 2017 also marked the official Women’s March in Downtown Los Angeles. Little did we know, that in attending and showing our support, we would be a part of written history.

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It was as though the heavens supported our efforts by offering this momentary hiatus. The sun shined bright and wide on us all, while we marched and made hisherstory. We expected a large turnout, roughly 80,000 people. What we got was much much more. As we turned the corner we found ourselves among what seemed like half of LA. On that beautiful Saturday morning, Evan and I marched for the equal rights of all.

The drums and chants rhythmically surged through my soul like the beat of my own heart. In that moment, I felt my beat was one with everyone else’s. A sense of unity washed over me. I felt utter peace and the strength in numbers for the first time. What an unbelievable feeling it is to be connected to a passionate, fired up community and make history through peaceful action.

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Saturday I felt the power of LA surge through my soul as I marched through the heart of the city. I was amazed by the love that filled streets I’ve so often walked alone, with no purpose but my own. For me, that’s what made this all the more impactful, that shift from personal to universal; the coming together of ALL, united against hate.

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Submerged in mass energy, we made our way to the middle of the crowd. There was a positive peacefulness that filled the air. I felt extremely lifted. Like kinetic energy, we slowly ascended up the hills towards Grand Park. As we gained momentum, we gained energy and passion. The joy and love was undeniably infectious. Our spirits weren’t crushed, they were elevated. There was something so special about the day that we couldn’t stop reliving and talking about it.

The next morning we found out LA had an estimated 750,000 attendees alone. In DC, the turnout was 3 times the size of Trump’s inauguration the day before. With more than 3.7 million people (and still counting) that took part in Women’s Marches around the world, it’s safe to say we participated in one of the largest demonstrations in history. (Not bad for my first protest).

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On a micro scale, it was inspiring to see all the creative chants and posters people came up with. People speaking their mind and using their god-given creative gifts for the power of good. Simply incredible. In the downtime before the march began, I found myself scanning the crowd to understand what people were fighting for.

To me, given the circumstances, the artistry seemed to be ignited with fiery passion. Passion on fire is crazy and something I’ve experienced myself. In that way, regardless of our different lives and struggles, I felt their pain and fire. I felt harmony and compassion.

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As powerful as these moments look in photo, there’s something to be said about video. The true essence of this event was captured best in sound and movement. That being said, here’s a short compilation of my favorite clips recorded throughout the day.

 After seeing the numbers roll in yesterday, the message became clear: Numbers don’t lie, and never underestimate the strength of passion. This is just the beginning. We must keep the momentum for this fight is far from over. However, as this marks the beginning of 2017, we will be in for a year of history in the making.

Power on,

M

CONVERSATIONS WITH LOOKBOOK

“We can’t imagine a cuter and more creative interpretation of the iconic Morton Salt Girl by Morgan Ryan. We love the look and also her informative and personable response to the prompt.”

LOOKBOOK 

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LB: Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live.

MR: My name is Morgan Ryan. I was born and raised in Albany, New York and have since moved to Los Angeles, CA. I’m currently living in Silver Lake, a young creative neighborhood outside of Downtown LA. I live to inspire and entertain others. To me, the clearest indication of one’s well-being is their smile. Having the opportunity to breathe some life and laughter into another’s life brings me joy.

LB : What are your passions?

MR:  There are many things I’m passionate about but generally speaking they all revolve around creativity. My childhood was centered on the act of motion, which was huge for my creativity. I was enrolled in dance classes and private drawing lessons so at an early age I was already placing value on art and creativity. I’m grateful for opportunities I had growing up. I attribute my attention to detail, concept of color and composition to my childhood.

LB: How did you first become interested in fashion and why is it important?

MR: I was always into fashion but it wasn’t until I matured that it became more of a prominent influence. As a teen I was pretty shy so any form of art was an outlet for me to speak confidently. I found fashion to be my language of choice. It held this ability to speak volumes merely through a visual cue. To me that’s powerful.

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LB: How do you describe the fashion scene in where you live?

MR: In Los Angeles it’s all about creating a scene. When that’s applied to fashion, anything goes. I would say it’s nothing shy of flashy eccentric mixed with bold innovation.

LB: What do you love about living in your city?

MR: It’s beauty and vastness. LA is visually stimulating and great in providing variety. I can hit the city to absorb some of its energy but I can just as easily escape to nature to find some solitude. Having so many options is refreshing. 

LB: Tell us your top 3 places to visit in your neighborhood

MR: Elysian Park, Ostrich Farm and Sunday’s Best Thrift.

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LB: Tell us about your average day.

MR: I lead a holistic lifestyle so I enjoy cultivating my day around the mind-body-soul approach. My alarm usually goes off at 5:30 am, I’ll set my intention for the day and play some music as I get ready. I’ll head to work at Quixote Studios around 7:00 am and make my way home to meditate unless I have a meeting or shoot scheduled. I’ll usually end the day with some reading, free writing, cooking or yoga.

LB: Your favorite color of the moment is:

MR: Marigold.

LB: Describe your personal style.

MR: I don’t believe my style can be easily pinpointed. There are definitely traces that allude to a vintage aesthetic yet I seem to find a quirky and fresh approach to modernize it. I would say my style is classic, quirky, eccentric, fearless and playful…if it had to be labeled to a single word it would be Maverick.  

Umbrella, Studio, Photography, Runway, Fashion

LB: Where are your favorite places to shop?

MR: For trendy yet affordable finds, I really love Zara and Asos. I’m a huge bargain shopper, however I’ll occasionally splurge on staple pieces at Nordstrom or Macy’s. For unique finds I hit up vintage or thrift shops. I think thrifting always appealed to me because it has this element of history and discovery. I was never one to look towards the mannequin to learn how to shop or dress, that seemed too easy. I always wanted to use my imagination, so I found ways to go against the grain when shopping.

LB: Who are your fashion icons?

MR: I’ve always had a lot of respect for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He would turn the blazer of his school uniform inside out so that bright lining would show. I remember thinking that was so G; it definitely inspired me to always think different. Other influencers include Lauren Bacall, Bianca Jagger, James Dean, and Iris Apfel. 

LB: The first thing you look at in another person’s outfit is:

MR: Their shoes. I think shoes say a lot about the individual. Overall, I look to see how their outfit is composed. I notice their choices. It’s a clear indication of their personality.   

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LB: A fashion rule you always break:

MR: I thoroughly enjoy breaking all the so called ‘fashion faux pas.’ I’ve come to find that all the don’ts eventually become do’s because fashion comes in cycles. The fashion rule in particular I enjoy breaking is to dress your age. I think this comes down to one’s definition of age, which is subjective, and not everyone looks or acts their age.   

LB: What is the biggest fashion fiasco you’ve encountered?

MR: Honestly, nothing notable. I don’t take myself too seriously when it comes to fashion; it’s supposed to be fun.  

LB: What do you think is the most recent notable trend to appear/reappear, and what are your thoughts on it?

MR: Patched denim. I’m glad it’s coming back around, it’s very nostalgic to me having grown up during the 90’s. I love the idea of a DIY jean jacket–collecting my own patches from meaningful adventures and trips. It makes it personal and unique. I started one this year and added my first patch from my trip up to Big Sur.

LB: What is your next “must have” purchase?

MR: A classic trench coat.  

LB: What are your top five most worn or most loved items in your closet?

MR: I would have to say my denim jacket, fitted cream blazer, Nike Airs, Doc Martens, and this vintage silk scarf I tie into a bow in my hair.  

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LB: What is your personal favorite outfit on Lookbook by you, and by another member?

MR: My favorite is also my most recent, ‘When It Rain’s It Pours.’ I just really feel it encapsulates where I currently am in my personal style transformation. I also really dig Mike Q’s” This is how I pose.” It’s really surreal yet effortlessly cool.   

LB: What’s on your bookshelf / playlist / movie list at the moment?

MR: Read | On The Road by Jack Kerouc, Mastery by Robert Greene. Tunes | SG Lewis, The Internet, Tom Misch, HONNE, Jaymes Young. Movies | By The Sea.

LB: Filters or #nofilter? Why?

MR: Filters. I really enjoy the process of watching a photo come alive through the editing process. It takes it up a notch.  

LB: What camera do you use?

MR: For everyday use I like my iPhone because I always have it with me. For road trips and vacations I enjoy using my 35 mm film camera. For concerts I opt for the good old disposable camera.   

LB: What can’t you live without?

MR: Confidence.  

LB: Next place you want to travel to:

MR: I would really love to go to Havana. It seems very colorful and lively, plus I love vintage cars. I would feel very inspired by that culture and type of landscape. 

LB: In 5 years, you will be:

MR: Living a simple life in Bali. I see myself immersed in the island lifestyle, surfing and being out in nature. THE M A V E R I C K MUSE is a successful brand and I handle all my projects and collaborations from the comfort of my home.  

LB: What would you say to someone seeking fashion advice or life, in general?

MR: Give yourself time. Experiment, play and refine. Try new things because it will help you find yourself. Sometimes in order to learn who you are you must learn who you are not. Be brave, be bold, break the mold. Most importantly do everything with confidence. 

LB: If you can host a contest, what kind of contest would you ask the Lookbook community to participate in?

MR: I would love to host a wanderlust inspired contest. Participants would be asked to submit a look that showcases their style influenced by their surroundings. The contestant would win a trip to explore a new city. Since Lookbook has an international community, I think it would be a great way to expand awareness. It promotes an understanding of fashion in relation to environment as well as the need to expand one’s cultural barriers.

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To read my creative brief and get an inside look at my creative process behind the Morton Salt Girl costume this Halloween, head over to Lookbook to view my entry!

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Event Photography | Aaron Pryor

Event Location | Quixote Studios

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

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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

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            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.

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 || PHOTOGRAPHY ||

Sara Clarken 

|| CREATIVE DIRECTION ||

Puno

|| STYLING | MUSE ||

Morgan Ryan

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.

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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, Fashion, Lifestyle, Los Angeles, Blogger, Flowers

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

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

– Ann Wigmore

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

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

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

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

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

● ◎ ●

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

 || BUTTERNUT GOAT CHEESE PIZZA  ||

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

|| THE RECIPE ||

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

    || THE RX ||

    Butternut Squash: Anti-Inflammatory

    Basil: Aids Insomnia | Eases headaches 

    Arugula: Detox | Eye Health

    Pepitas: Stress Relief

    Olive Oil: Protects Metabolism | Healthy Fat

    Garlic: Strengthens Immune System

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

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

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

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

Bon Appetite!

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

|| PHOTO EDITS | STYLING ||

Morgan Ryan

|| OUTFITT ||

Blouse, Vintage

Black Tank, Brandy Melville 

Black Denim Shorts, Free People

|| 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.

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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:

AIR FORCE 1 || 5.18.15 || LOOKBOOK HIGHLIGHT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.  .  .

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

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

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

“High top strap with the gum bottom

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

-NELLY

LITTLE MS. H A P P Y MEAL || 3.17.15 ||

Happiness Is A Day With You

bod

When I’m with you, 

I don’t need a whole lot. 

When I’m with you,

We make due with what we got.

When I’m with you,

You make me a little better

perfect

When I’m with you,

I stop counting the hours of the day.

When I’m with you 

Everyday is a vacay.

When I’m with you,

I feel alive and new

The-maverick-muse-michael-rousseau-photography-morgan-ryan-89

The-maverick-muse-michael-rousseau-photography-morgan-ryan-91It’s sad but true

But when I’m without you 

My day’s shaded in blue.

Because in you,

I found an Endless Summer.

-M.R.

sigh_mcddetails

PHOTOGRAPHY ||

Mike Rousseau

OUTFITTED ||

Vintage Silk Thread, Red Bikini: American Apparel, Red Bandana, Earrings: J. Crew, Shades: Quay.

BIRDS OF P A I R A D I C E || 3.15.15 || H E R M O S A BEACH

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

-Albert Camus

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This weekend provided a taste for what I believe Summer 2015 has in store. The weather was hot, the nights were long, and the vibes were strong. Let the good times roll on, like the rockin’ sea below. Cheers to another weekend in paradise; this is only the beginning.

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s e a ling the d e a l

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Team USA, 2015

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Duckin’ Around

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Hermosa Beach, 2015

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Five o’ clock shadows and a smile between sweetened sips of tea. And I watch him, as life changes before my eyes.

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Shout out to Fender for sharing my photo