“You must burn. Burn higher.
“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. When it is over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.” -Mary Oliver
When I read these words they really struck me in an interesting way. So I read them and reread them again, realizing that wherever you are in life – whether it is a place of confusion, joy, contentment, darkness, or anger – these words might actually hold the answer to just about everything. They could be the teacher of a life-altering and completely invaluable lesson…the lesson to welcome wonder and amazement with every ounce of your being, with an open mind and an open heart. A reminder that we should be far more afraid of letting the world pass us by than pondering all of the potential negative outcomes that may or may not result from taking actions based solely on curiosity and bravery. If something negative happens, at least something still happened. More often than not a blind leap of faith will result in an experience worthy of looking back on. A memory you wouldn’t otherwise hold 10, 20, 30 years from now.
Why wait until it’s over when we are here controlling “the now”. The past has come and gone, the only real way we can alter the future is by taking advantage of the present and making the most of it.
When it’s over, I don’t want to look back and wonder what could have been had I done things differently. I want to be proud of the the route I chose, simply because I chose to walk it, without taking too much time worrying about whether or not it was the safe, easy, smart or logical path. I want to take the world into my arms and feel confident that the world will take me back. Sometimes it will, sometimes it won’t, but I want to keep my arms open. I want to awaken my senses while I am still lucky enough to have them all.
Sure there will be bumps in the road, stairs to climb, rubble to trip and fall on along the way. It’s called life, and its these twists and turns that make it worth living. I want to get up and keep on walking just to see what it is I might find.
photos by Nathen McVittie
“You can’t change how people treat you or what they say about you. All you can change is how you react to it.” -Gandhi
You know what is pretty easy in this life? Being broken.
Everyone seems to be broken lately (and I am no means excluding myself here)…but the way in which some people choose to handle their internal struggles in a very external way completely baffles me.
None of us want to feel broken, yet we sit here, day after day, breaking each other — throwing stones. Gossiping, lying, taking advantage of others — I cannot help but wonder, does this make them feel better? We’re wasting too much time on the petty, insignificant bullshit, for the purpose of what? Having the last word? “Winning”? Why?
I’m not claiming to be a saint or anything, but I do try to help people when I can, and provide whatever support I am capable of while attempting to still take care of my own mental stability. Whether it be an ex-boyfriend, an unpredictable “partner”, a friend or even just an acquaintance, I find myself in situations (quite frequently) where people are calling on me for assistance without even considering the fact that they aren’t the only ones on this earth in need of a helping hand. People willing to take as if they were brought into this world to live on some kind of platinum, diamond-encrusted pedestal, but never willing to pay it forward or return a favor. Perhaps it has something to do with my tendency to be quite forward, or that I come across as more “broken” than they are – I am not really sure. But lately its starting to feel like I am a magnet that attracts people who believe in one-sided support, and frankly I’m getting over it.
I pride myself on being a good friend, daughter, sibling, companion…all of that. I try really hard to be caring towards the people I love. I try and assume the best of those I don’t know well enough to love (until proven wrong). We’re all fighting battles here, and if I can help someone with their inner battle, by all means I will try to. But I am no magician…I don’t have some special glue or a blowtorch (thank god) to help meld all of the shattered glass that is “your life”. I am working on piecing together my own broken parts. And frankly I am tired of getting fucked (unless it’s in the good kind of way, of course).
Sometimes I struggle in balancing the fine line that exists between offering favors and being a straight up pushover. I have NEVER been that girl, nor will I let myself become her. So my new goal is to avoid that tightrope…to know when to turn around and walk away.
This is probably one of the more angry posts I have written, and I try to avoid doing so. But this blog isn’t about rainbows and butterflies, and frustration is part of life. My life is no exception. That said, I will end it on a positive note…
Something I learned a few years back is that nobody is going to hold your hand through this life…you are dealt a deck of cards and it is up to you, and you alone, how you choose to play them. People are going to fail you and stab you in the back, but if you keep your heart open, even after it has been broken, you will be surprised to learn that for every 2 or 3 shit people in need of a wake up call, there is at least one who is amazing enough to make up for all of the disappointment. And if that isn’t enough, there’s always Karma…and I know for sure that bitch can bite.
The people who have caused me what I’ve felt to be malicious pain in the past few weeks are likely enduring their own troubles. Troubles much worse than mine. I mean, let’s be real…I am living in Paris, my troubles are few and far between. I have nothing to complain about. And with every betrayal comes a reminder of the type of person I don’t want to be, and the type of people I don’t need to surround myself with.
The harder the hurt, the stronger the lesson learned. The better I become.
p.s. Special thanks to my incredible mother for sending me THIS POST during a time of need. Thank you for reminding me that being “strong-willed” is actually a beautiful thing. We’re the brats whose “fierceness will change the world”. <#
Today is officially my one month Pariversary! I threw caution to the wind (yet again) and moved out here on a whim, not really knowing what to expect. But my experience thus far only confirms my belief that this is, at least for me, the best way to truly experience life.
Do things that are daunting, and welcome the unexpected with open arms. Occasionally you might get punched in the face, but more often than not, with the right attitude, you’ll find that the unexpected will actually hug you back super hard.
Absorb what different cultures have to offer and let every single sight and sound sink in. Become friends with the locals (even if they are cats). Life is chaotic, but it is important to follow your heart, take risks, step out into the unknown, and remember to take some time for yourself…some time to stop and smell the roses.
*head to toe: Vint & York Copa sunglasses, Topshop biker jacket (similar style here), NARS lip gloss, Nicole Miller Adriana crop top, RumbaTIME Gramercy watch, W Concept Midtown Mesh Skirt, & Other Stories square toe pumps (this store is LEGIT!)
I am a person who always has and, I can only hope, always will be eager to experience love. I am a creature of emotion, and I feel things harder than most people I know. Please don’t interpret this statement as self-glorifying because, as a result, my life is a fucking roller coaster…chaotic, but a fun ride, nonetheless.
I fall in love with people, places and experiences every single day – anything capable of setting off that fluttery feeling, really. It is almost like a drug to me. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, hence the tattoo. <3
When I shot these photos, I fell in love with Paris. I have only been here a short time but the city really is magic. Traveling has opened my heart and mind even more than I thought possible. It has made me realize that I am capable of being on my own without actually being alone. Something I have spent many years struggling with. I feel stronger and more independent now than ever.
Truth be told, I am as vulnerable as they come and have had this little heart of mine broken a couple of times. I have had my soul crushed, and moments where I felt like giving up. However, as a result I have instead learned to keep my expectations low and my head held high. To see the world through rose colored glasses. To see glasses as half full (unless it is a wine glass, which could always use a top-off). Or maybe just to see the world, I suppose. See the world, and keep on falling in love with whatever it is that makes my heart flutter without questioning it too much.
I may be an “over-thinker”, but at the end of the day, very few things actually wind up making sense to me from a literal perspective. And spending too much time making plans, in my opinion, has always been a mistake. When I’ve done so in the past, my plans don’t roll out how I expect them to. So what is the point? “Go with the flow” is no longer a hippie shit phrase for me. It is my lifestyle. I can go with the flow, bust my ass, make a living and earn the freedom to experience. The privilege to keep on stumbling upon those things that make my heart flutter.
Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes I fall in love and later realize that it’s not a fit or “the vibe is wrong”. But for me that is no reason to ignore the endless possibilities that are ever-present no matter what the scenario. It is no reason to hold back from experiencing all of the beauty that surrounds us, wherever we are or whoever we are there with.
So here’s to love, in every shape and form. And here’s to living in the moment, and appreciating the fact that you are still capable of feeling, even when all you really feel like doing is going numb. There is way too much out there to let go now…I promise.
*head to toe: makeup (and photos) by Alisha, Rag & Bone floppy brim fedora, Reformation cropped top, Mossée coat, 3×1 seam skinny jeans, KDB tote (similar style here), Mondaine mesh bracelet watch via WatchCo.com, LMN Versailles Slippers (my new OBSESSION)
While I have always been a lover of beauty products, when it comes to applying makeup, I am far from professional. I went through my Orange County “makeup girl” phase at a very young age, wearing entirely too much of it. I’m talking blue shadow up to my eyebrows and enough glitter to blind a man. I’ve tried many different looks (keyword being tried), like smoky shadow, cat-eye liner, bold lip color, you name it.
But long gone are my clown face days and now I manage to a stick to pretty
lazy reasonable beauty routine. I’ll either go mostly makeup-free or wear some tinted moisturizer, mascara, blush, and the occasional lip color, you know, on special occasions.
But let’s face it (no pun intended), if applied properly, the smallest amount of makeup can make a world of difference. Even if the purpose is to look like you are wearing none at all, creating contour and adding a little glow is the way to go, my friends. Clearly we all want to look ravishingly beautiful from the moment we wake up in the morning, but let’s be real, sometimes au natural just doesn’t cut it…
So, when my new French friend and amazing makeup artist, Alisha, offered to teach me some tips / tricks, and share a few of her favorite products, I simply couldn’t refuse! Whether it’s contouring (a technique I have tried time and time again, with unsuccessful results), proper eyeshadow application, or achieving that “bitten lip” look, this talented lady knows what’s up. So be sure to follow her very addictive Instagram @alishamakeuparis for helpful tips and tutorials galore.
Now, here you have it — my first beauty guide! I wanted to go for a look that was natural and glowy…whimsical, if you will. And I really love the way it turned out. Thanks to Alisha, here is a step by step lesson and a little menu of must-haves to help get the look:
GIMME MORE CONTOUR:
- Moisturize skin with a skin refresher or finishing mist, followed by a smoothing primer to prep your face and help makeup last longer. (MAC Prep + Prime Mist :: Make Up For Ever Skin Equalizer :: Elf Foundation Brush)
- Use a brightening concealer under eyes and to cover up dark spots, before applying a light cover of foundation with a brush or your hands. Follow up by tapping with a sponge to create a smooth, clear result. (Benefit Erase Paste N°1 Fair, Sephora Perfecting Conceler Brush #20, Make Up For Ever HD Foundation N125, MAC Studio Fix Fluid NC15 , Sephora Pro Foundation Brush #47, beautyblender Original Sponge)
- Contour the face with a cream or stick foundation, using a brush to play with shade areas and add structure (focus on the hollow of your cheeks, the center of your forehead and chin, and lightly on both sides of your nose’s bridge). Take another brush and move in a small, circular motion, blending the the bronzed areas. (Tom Ford Foundation Stick in Toffee, ELF Foundation Brush, Urban Decay Optical Blurring Brush)
- Apply a rose colored blush to the apple of your cheeks, smiling while you do it so you can see where they really stand out! (Bare Minerals Rose Radiance Powder)
- Using a large brush apply a transparent finishing powder all over the face, followed by an illuminator and / or highlighting powder to accentuate the cheek bones, on the upper side of your cheeks and at your temples. (MAC Prep + Prime Mist, NARS Copacabana Illuminator, Too Faced Candlelit Glow Highlighting Powder)
TURN AROUND, BRIGHT EYES:
- Start out with an eye primer, to extend the life of your shadowed lids. (YSL Eye Primer)
- Cover your closed eyelids with a beige matte shade and then use a dark brown matte color at the end corners of your eyes to accentuate. Finish it off with an iridescent taupe color all over the lid. (MAC Handwritten Eye Shadow, Sephora Crease Shadow Brush #73, MAC Satin Taupe Eye Shadow, Sephora Powder Shadow Brush #60)
- Apply a brown or deep purple to your lower lids using light strokes and minimal powder and then a touch of gold or silver ad the corner of your eye and just below the brow. (Urban Decay Naked2 – Tease and Half Baked or Verve shades)
- Shape and define your brows, using a thin brush and dark powder, or a brow shaping kit. A little bit of brow gel will seal the deal. (Benefit Brow Zings Brow Kit, Youngblood Eyebrow Brush)
- Last but not least, apply a couple layers of mascara to your upper and lower lashes. Don’t forget about the inner and outer corners of your eyes. (Bourjois Volume Ultra Black Mascara)
JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF BITE:
- First and foremost, moisturize your lips to make sure you’re starting with a smooth surface. (Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment)
- Apply red lipstick, using your finger, to the center of of your lips only and blend a bit. (YSL Pur Couture)
- Optional: Find a hottie to kiss (by now it shouldn’t be too hard), to keep that bitten look lasting all night long!
Thanks again to Alisha, for working her magic and sharing her wonderful tricks of the trade! I know I felt like a total babe when I hit the town after this, and can guarantee that you will too if you follow these simple-yet-effective steps. Go on, give it a whirl!
I’m certainly a fan of celebrating for the sake of celebrating…being young, wild and free. I am inspired by the concept of weightlessness – it is something I strive for. I want hold on to what’s light and let go of what brings me down. To remember to stop and appreciate at the little things…those fleeting happy moments we all to often let pass us by.
I had a meeting today with a woman who has lived in Paris all her life. She told me she always wonders what it would be like to see this magical city for the first time…while crossing over the Seine on her way to work or walking through one of the many beautiful gardens in springtime. And then she asked, with genuine interest, if I would tell her what it feels like for me to experience Paris for the first time. I was moved by her sincere curiosity.
We all too often take things for granted, big and small. Perhaps it is meeting someone new and forgetting their name (because you weren’t actually listening) or being too rushed to stop and take in your surroundings. That person you disregarded could end up being the love of your life and that view you skipped over may be a place you’ll never get to see again. I want to learn to absorb fleeting moments and engrave happy memories into my mind…each and every one of them.
Things aren’t always easy, but we are capable of searching for the bright side. Look for the silver lining. Enjoy. Learn how to fly.
Last but not least, forget not the wise words of Winnie the Pooh…
“Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon”.