“What do you even do for a living lol”

I’ve been waking up feeling so motivated and so grateful recently. Why? Because I believe that EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.

As some of you know- between Christmas and New Years I was fired from my job at Vista Del Mar (a busy bar in Old Town Eureka)- which believe me- was such a blessing in disguise because I was NOT happy working nights full time at a bar. I’ve been there and done that (for about 9 years now) and my body and soul just wasn’t having it. I was getting sick once every 2 weeks and I was all around miserable. Afterwards- I was a little confused and worried about what path I was going to choose because I just knew that above all else I needed a break from bartending.

All I knew is that I was tired of working for other people so I wanted to develop my own business and work FOR MYSELF. I started brainstorming my options and I decided to dive head first into something that I’ve been well on the road to mastering for some time now- social media. Why not make a career out of something I was already doing?! (and for free for just about every place I’ve ever worked…) I decided to reach out to some small companies that I knew needed help in that area and I’m so proud to announce that I already have THREE CLIENTS! (And I’m open to taking on more if you know of anyone who has a small bizz or company and needs help in that area). It may not seem like much, but for me it is. I’m managing these businesses social media channels entirely, creating content, taking photos, the whole shebang. You guys it’s fucking happening! I feel like I could cry from happiness. 

I am ALSO still trying to balance influencing/promoting as well. So like i said before, if you have or know of a business or company thats looking to be promoted, feel free to show them my Instagram, and have them DM or email me! I’m open to it all at this point. Until it gets to be to much (or dare I say… maybe I need to hire help) I can’t wait to see what the universe throws at me.

The best part about it- I can work remotely. I get to travel as part of my job that I just CREATED FOR MYSELF and I can focus on what’s most important to me right now- my health, and spending time with my family.

So you understand that when someone passive agressively messages me, or comments on one of my photos, something like “what do you even do for a living lol” or “you must just have rich parents and an inheritance” or even “what is it that you do that allows you to travel and have my dream life?”. I’ve worked my ASS OFF to get where I am. Things have not just been handed to me. I built my Instagram profiles from the ground up, I have NEVER paid for followers or anything similar. Regardless of whether or not Ive been working full time at a bar, Ive stretched myself thin trying to keep up a social media presence so that I don’t lose followers, or engagement. That in itself has been a battle with Instagram changing so much but thats neither here nor there. 

So- I’m not looking for a pat on the back or a cookie- I’ve just been getting a lot of questions and back handed comments about what I’m doing with my life so BAM THERE IT IS!!! Its going to be a long, hard road but I’m doin the damn thing.

And above all- I want to thank my friends who have been there for me through all this, believing in me and encouraging me EVERY DAMN STEP OF THE WAY- I fucking love each and every one of you and I’m so incredibly lucky to have you in my life and by my side ❤️

Hideaways vs. Geotags

Yesterday I visited a stunning river spot in Humboldt (where I’m currently living). I posted some pics on my Instagram story, because I wanted to share the beauty with my followers. However, when I woke up this morning, my DM requests were FLOODED with people asking the exact location of this beautiful place. I honestly cant say that I didn’t know that was coming, but I definitely was surprised by the sheer volume of requests.

Right off the bat, I know this might sound a bit harsh, but I will never be geo-tagging, or sending out exact locations, and let me explain why.

Living on the small island of Maui for almost 10 years, I watched SO much change. So many places that I had come to love, were destroyed, not only by tourism, but by influencers with millions of followers just tagging the location ONCE. Not only with their literal footprints, and tagging locations, but also by leaving sunscreen bottles, cigarrette butts, beer cans etc… That alone is almost worse than heartbreak. Eventually, many land owners actually shutting off all access to certain waterfalls, or pools, just because visitors didn’t respect their surroundings when they enjoyed those settings.

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By no means am I blaming social media infulencers for the destruction of all of our favorite special places, don’t get me wrong, but I absolutely do think that they play a huge part in the grand scheme of things. This is why I to make a point NEVER tag the exact location of the beautiful places I visit, I only tag the general area, or county. I have (and always will) explore and discover these havens via word of mouth, which is how I believe it should be done. And when it comes to sharing the location with others on instagram, or anywhere else, I just can’t be another person to jump on that bandwagon. No- it is not me being selfish… it’s out of love and appreciation for these incredible sanctuaries. The joy of exploration, is searching to find beauty without following a tag to an exact location. Or- like I mentioned before, word of mouth is the best way to find these stunning places… Ask a friend (that’s how I’ve found every one of my fav spots), or ask a local, because just for future reference, I won’t be sharing the location of any of the oases on social media for the sake of preservation.  I invite you all to do the same❤️

 

Augmentation Station

One question that I’m CONSTANTLY being asked is…. are my breasts real, and if not, where did I get them done.

People are generally very apologetic when they ask- but it’s nothing to be sorry about.

No, I was not born with these breasts. I have had plastic surgery, and because of that- I feel even more comfortable in my own skin. I’m not at all embarrassed to admit that I’ve had surgery, I’m happy with my body, and there’s no shame in my game!!

It’s very important that you don’t misunderstand me… I absolutely do NOT think that plastic surgery is right for everyone. I also believe in everything in moderation.

When I was thinking about going under the knife, I received SO much negative feedback. My friends and family, and even followers, told me to absolutely not go through with surgery. All of these opinions almost swayed my decision, but eventually I realized that this is ENTIRELY my decision. No one else’s opinion matters when it comes to my body.

I’ve wanted to get my breasts done almost as long as I could remember. It was always kind of a dream because I couldn’t imagine being able to afford them. When I was 23, I was bartending and making great money so I decided to bite the bullet. I researched for months and months. Living on Maui, I didn’t have many options on island so I decided to branch out to California.

I have a good friend who had just gotten hers done and they looked absolutely incredible so I decided to follow up with her doctor and see if she was right for me as well.

Dr Lori Saltz at La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery was everything I hoped she would be. Her nurses were amazing; I talked with them via email for about 6 months before I actually flew over for the procedure.

I decided to go with 385 CCs (which I discussed with my doctor- it’s important to choose a size that works for YOUR body) which is a large C, or a small D. I’m 5’8″ and 140 pounds, so this size worked well with my frame. I chose textured silicone implants, with incisions under each breast because that also was doctor recommended. The final cost was about $8,000.

Healing was a little difficult, but I was surprised at how quickly I was able to recover and get back to work.

I do have to say that it absolutely changed my aesthetic- while I used to be able to not wear a bra and it wasn’t quite so jarring, now I do seem to get quite a bit more attention. That absolutely can be looked at as both positive and negative.

Regardless- I don’t regret any part of my decision. It was the right decision for me. However once again I feel the need to repeat- surgery is not right for everyone. Small boobies are amazing! All boobs are amazing! Celebrate your body! Do what you feel you need to do to be comfortable in your skin!

Last but not least, if you decide to visit Dr. Saltz, make sure you mention that I referred you!

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All photos taken by Milan + Shannon

Bluegrass Babes

I’ve been a fan of fashion since I was young. Not necessarily high fashion, but I’ve always been a major collector of clothing. When I was in school, I used to save my lunch money from the week, bring a lunch from home,  and spend my saved up dollars on clothes instead. That was just the beginning of my obsession. Ever since then, I’ve always known that I wanted to design my own clothing, but its always been kind of a distant dream. Being a master procrastinator, I would plan out ideas but never go through with them. This summer I finally decided to start the process of making tee shirts. I’m starting small with a limited quantity of tees, and a message that is very close to my heart. Bluegrass is the music that has essentially guided me through life.

I was raised going to Strawberry Music festival every year since I was born. There’s something so special about Bluegrass festivals, the sense of community, and the way that the music brings people together.  I remember waking up in the morning to birds singing, and the sound of fiddles dancing through the trees. I have so many fond memories of Strawberry, the most important being the year that I met my best friend Celia. Over the years, Alison Krauss has become like a warm blanket of comfort for me. Her music has helped me through some of the hardest times of my life. Bluegrass has been a huge part of my life, thus the phrase “Bluegrass babe”.

I originally had planned to design a unisex shirt as my first style, but this design seemed like a great place to start. Its hard to tell how it will do, since Bluegrass isn’t everyones cup of tea but because it comes from a place of so much meaning, I’m hoping that people will appreciate it and love it just as much as I do. I spoke with a few strong women who have also designed and produced their own shirts, and most of them urged me to make my tee design with a computer program. I thought it through, but decided that it would be so much more special if I hand drew my design, which I ended up doing. My writing is by NO means perfect, but I think that it just makes the design so much more original and personal this way.

This is the first of many designs, so if this one doesn’t appeal to you, I hope that the next one will!

To purchase, visit My etsy! 

 

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Me Vs. Anxiety + Depression

This has been an extremely hard subject to put into words.

It may look like I’m the happiest person in the world from the outside, but I have my bad days just like everyone else. I’ve debated posting about this for a while but eventually I have decided that it’s much more important for people with anxiety or depression to know that they aren’t alone than it is to hide my issues from the world, so here goes…

It’s easy to tell yourself that everything is fine. It’s easy to tell yourself that you don’t care about the little things. It’s so easy to try and convince yourself that certain things don’t matter, and you should just move on and forget about the way you feel….

But you don’t forget. And you don’t move on. You bury it under layers of smiles and fake “I’m fines.” And eventually it shoots out of you like lava and takes over your life and makes the people around you take a step back, and wonder where all of this is suddenly coming from.

Sometimes it starts SO SMALL. With something someone says to you in passing, or maybe a conversation you had in the past with a friend or a lover. And then you dwell on it. You overthink it. You stew on it until a small comment morphs into something earth shattering. All of a sudden, stress turns into anxiety and anxiety turns into depression. Before you know it, you’re questioning everything and you just want to curl up and disappear. It happens fast, and sometimes there’s nothing you can do to stop it from creeping up on you.

I’ve been struggling with overwhelming and crippling anxiety and depression since I was young. The hardest part about it: I had no idea what I was dealing with when I was younger. I had no idea why I felt the way that I felt. I didn’t understand why I had these abrupt mood swings; I was upset constantly, and didn’t know how to handle my emotions. It’s taken me over 15 years to pinpoint and deal with my issues. I’ve been through the ringer with ex boyfriends constantly telling me “YOU’RE CRAZY”… am I crazy because I have feelings?! Absolutely not. I might handle them differently, but that doesn’t make me CRAZY.

Trying to explain to someone who doesn’t have anxiety, what anxiety feels like, is almost impossible. It’s like all of a sudden, the world closes in on you, everything is tight, you can’t breathe. And then steps in the depression? The world is suddenly dark, and you can’t find the light no matter how hard you try. Put the two together and it feels like a recipe for failure.

Any person who can battle one, LET ALONE TWO, of these issues is SO INCREDIBLY STRONG. The mood swings, the judgement and the way people make you feel about yourself… it’s all so hard to deal with. You are not alone. There are so many people dealing with these same issues. NEVER let anyone make you feel crazy for feeling the way that you feel. You do not deserve to be called crazy, you deserve to be SUPPORTED AND LOVED. Surrounding yourself with people who understand is so important. Explaining to your loved ones how you feel is even more important.

When you hit rock bottom, which for me happens often, take a second to think about what truly makes YOU happy. It might feel right at the time to stay in bed, to wallow in your worry and sadness…. but that will never remedy the situation. It will only make you feel worse. Sometimes it feels impossible to break out of your comfort zone, but I’ve found that’s the one thing that will make you feel better. Going into nature, taking a hike or a swim, doing something that makes me feel empowered and strong, ven grabbing my favorite coffee and walking around a botanical garden has been known to do the trick.

All in all- this is a battle that will continue. It won’t just go away. The most important thing to remember is that, and I’ll repeat this once again- YOU are NOT alone. When you’re feeling low, reach out to someone. Stay positive. I know its easier said than done, but hold your head high, and remember that this too shall pass. Slowly but surely you can fight these feelings and move on, because tomorrow is a brand new day, and this is your journey.

Please- If you feel comfortable doing so, take a minute to comment below… As always, I would love to hear your feedback, especially if you can relate to this post!

3 Darlings 

I was scrolling through some old photos and stumbled across some real winners. It made me think about how lucky I am to work with so many incredible brands, and small companies… SO I decided to dedicate a post to just that… my favorite shops. 

First of all I’d like to start this post with the most consistent brand featured on my profile… MAC Designs. The kickass female behind Mac is Marci, not only is she a total babe, but she absolutely blows me away by cranking out masterpiece after masterpiece. I’ve been wearing her jewelry pretty much exclusively for the past 2 (ish) years, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. People always ask me how I can stand putting so much jewelry on & taking off it off every day… it’s easy, I literally NEVER take my jewelry off…


Secondly we have Dazey LA. Dazey is run by the beautiful Dani who is an all around lady boss. Not only does she design her tees, but she models, and photographs them as well. An absolute inspiration to say the least. What I love most about Dazey is the empowering message Dani passes through her tees (and patches) to the ladies who choose to wear them. To top it all off, all her tees are affordable, super soft and perfectly versatile.  

Next up we have Solstice. A brand that has slowly but surely won over my heart. The beautiful creator, Nat,  is a hardworking cat (and human) mama, and you can just see the love in every one of her stitches. Every piece is so stunning and the detailing is absolutely incredible. Not only does she make beautiful body suits, but now dresses and bikinis too! The floral dress below is actually my favorite thing in my entire wardrobe at the moment. I wore it for 3 days straight when she first sent it to me… I’m generally terrified of commitment, but when it comes to Solstice, I’m in it for the long haul. 

That’s all for now! Unfortunately because of the size of these photos, my phone is seriously lagging, so I may have to do a follow up post on the near future! Hopefully you guys enjoyed this post, there will be many more to come. As always- please feel free to let me know what you’d like to see next! 

  

HAIR-apy 

Two posts in two days, I’m going for a personal record here!

Yet another topic that my lady followers are constantly asking me about….

My GO-TO hair care routine!

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First of all- I have to be completely honest and say… My hair is generally my LAST concern. Living in Hawaii,  it’s constantly humid as hell. There’s always a possibility that I might end up at the beach, so styling my hair seems like a waste of time. Not to mention, I personally cannot stand when girls go to the beach with full hair and make up… It always brings so many questions to mind…What is the point? Why wouldn’t you want to dunk your head under that amazing turquoise water and wash away your worries? Don’t you know what your hair will be full of sand when you leave so you’ll probably have to wash it anyways? Sand and dry shampoo don’t mix well, trust me, I’ve tried it!  But like they say, to each their own! 

Over the years my main concern has been to keep my hair as healthy as possible. It only took me 24 years, but I feel like I FINALLY have a handle on it. My hair is thick, wavy, and all around a pain in the ass, so its really put me through the ringer. When I was younger, my hair made my awkward stage EVEN more awkward because I had NO idea how to handle it. I would brush it before and after it dried (big no no for frizzy hair) and I was constantly wondering why my hair wouldn’t just naturally lay flat like the other girls. I finally realized that the best way to handle curly, wavy, frizzy hair like mine, is to brush it as little as possible… I know that might sound crazy to some of you, but trust me, its the only way! I generally go about a week at a time without brushing… if you’re using the right products, you shouldn’t have an issue with knots or dreads.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the way my hair looks when I actually take the time to curl or straighten it… but its just so time consuming!

For the past few years, I’ve just been braiding my hair before bed, and taking it out in the morning. I absolutely love it because it keeps my hair out of my face while I sleep, and it comes out the same every single time…no guessing games!

 

 

 

I’ve also found a few favorite products which are listed below.

Finding the right hair products can be such a hassle. Some salons scam you into buying the name brands, and they end up not being right for your hair. Ive spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars trying out different products but Herbal Essences Long Term relationship is my absolute favorite so far. Best part about it? It’s only $5 per bottle.

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After I get out of the shower, and before I towel dry my hair, I throw in a little silk treatment. I’ve tried all kinds, but my all time favorite is Karastase Elixir Ultime for Damaged hair. The bottle is a little worse for wear because I’ve had it forever (you don’t need to use much- just a few drops). This light oil tames the frizz and gives your hair a little extra shine, which is why I absolutely love it.

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Another favorite is this generic brand silk oil that I found at Sally beauty for under $10. I use it sparingly just like the last brand, but its a lot more bang for your buck!

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My ABSOLUTE favorite product is kind of a no brainer. Good old Coconut oil. I use it for cooking, on my hair, and on my skin. I have a jar in almost every room of the house because its just THAT good. I like to use it as a hair mask every now and then, but be careful when you use it on your ends… A little goes a LONG way!

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Hopefully this little tutorial was helpful! As soon as I finished writing this post, I realized that not everyone can French their own hair, so that might throw a little wrench in the works… whoops!

Like always, I love hearing your feedback, so comment alway!  

(Outfit in photos is an exclusive collaboration between Solstice Intimates and I)❤