Don't Hold Back Babe.

Hi, darlings. Happy Monday from sun soaked Los Angeles. This is my favorite day of the week- The my motivation is revved up, and productivity comes second nature. August is almost upon us as well, which is a chance to slow down and check in. Lately, I have been turning up my awareness. Focusing on the aspects of my life that stall my creativity, and prevent me from diving into my goals with full gusto. And to be honest, the biggest factor? I let others' opinions hold me back. I carefully balance between the life of an introvert + extrovert. Meaning I thrive off others energy, but tend to over think social situations. I get self conscious, and tend to hold back when I first meet people. Currently, my new challenge (especially because I don't work a typical 9-5) is to meet up with one person a day that inspires me. Even if its a coffee date, or a meet up to a workout class. I started this last week, and it helps me get out of my head. I also can work on expressing myself creatively while in the presence of some bad ass babes. 
Going back to people's opinions. I need to remind myself, to throw opinions away about how I want to live my life. When I started to live my lifestyle pursuing acting + fashion (a few people) I greatly cared for, pulled back. Unsupportive loved ones, is not new for a young artist. But its ironic when fellow artists are the ones shutting me down. People FLIP OUT, when you begin to grow, to change, to improv your life. People will want you to stay as the person they know. The same person in THEIR heads. Its familiar, safe and comfortable to THEIR daily life. But like, why the hell would I live my life based off others' expectations? That's where selfishness is NOT a negative attribute. The most inspiring + giving role models in my life, don't give time or thought to any influences resisting their journey. True rebellious leaders, take time for themselves, embrace their most authentic selves, and DO NOT give a shit what anyone thinks of them. And by not wasting their energy on other people's opinions, they are able to give unconditionally and bravely to MORE people. So I want to live my artistic journey like that. A more open heart, a more clever brain, and a more grounded perspective on my authenticity. 
I shot this look with my new Fuji-film X-T2 Mirrorless Camera. I was feeling a little stale with my photography, and playing around with shadows and direct light. I also like adding more grain and texture to my shots. I would highly recommend this camera. It was companion on my trip to Italy. This camera has changeable lens- I got the XF23mmF2 lens. I like the framing on this lens vs the more fashion blogger favorite 35mm. Let me know if you have any questions- especially if you are considering in investing on a camera. 
Privacy Please Dress, Suede & Stone Boater Hat, Steven Madden Block Heels
Azil Boutique Jewelry. 

Mediterranean Moments- The Cinque Terre


My final travel diary from my Italian getaway- The Cinque Terre. Five beach front cities, along the cliffs on the Mediterranean. It is no exaggeration to say, this place was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to (and I try to avoid hyperbole). Sparkling turquoise waters, white pebbly beaches, purple blooming bougainvillea- The pinnacle of idyllic escapism. We drove the coast line mountains, on tiny winding roads to reach Monterosso al Mare. This city is the most similar to a beach side resort out of the five. We stayed in a  family owned hotel that greeted us with white wine made in the region. Monterosso's shore is lined with colorful umbrellas, and a long cobble road that leads to the old town. Everyday, we rented an bright orange umbrella for sunbathing and swimming. If you know me, this is my heaven. What makes the Mediterranean unique is its warm temperatures and lack of waves. A much different view than my California sandy beaches. I truly have a love affair with this region (You'll notice it in my traveling patterns, where I have already been to Nice, France, the Amalfi Coast, and Sicily. Hopefully next up is Greece!)
QUICK FACTS-
-Make sure to hike to the tops of each of the different cities. The best view is the bird's eye view. Take in the pastel colored buildings, veins of vineyards, and stone supported structures. When in Vernazza climb to Castello Doria (Yes it is a castle). 
-Be prepared to walk and hike. There are steep hills in all of these towns. I wore my comfortable sneakers or simple sandals. 
-Once again, get up early. Beat the crowds in the ports, the trails and the beaches. One morning we woke up at 6am and went for a swim at the beach outside of our hotel. The middle of the day, the beach is filled to the brim with tourist. 
- My one souvenir I purchased for myself hand painted ceramics. I love the lemon patterns, even if its a little cheesy. We found a little shop with a local artist painting in store.
-We booked our dinners late so we didn't miss the sunset every night. The sunsets are like water colors here. Don't forget to get outside and walk the city (as late as 845pm). 
If you haven't noticed yet, I love going off the trail. One visit to Vernazza, Sam and I crouched through a cavern, to discovered a more secluded rocky beach. The cliffs were covered in cacti plants. The waters were much calmer than the busy beaches and the bustling harbor. I would swim out far into the sea, and float on my back looking up to the clearest blue skies. I feel like Italy is a place that connects me to my confidence. Italian women have an inert ability to exclude geniune confidence. No matter what age, they feel sexy in their own skin and absolutely speak their mind. While soaking in the Mediterranean sun, I reflected how this would be my take away from the this trip. Whether swimming in the Italian Rivera or hustling around Los Angeles- I can own my power just like the women of my heritage. 
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The ideal way to visit the other towns is by boat. Grab a ticket, and cruise port to port in a local tourist boat. It is worth it for the views, verse strictly taking the subway trains. The boat takes you to Vernazza, Corniglia which rests on top of a hill side and requires a 382 step hike to the city center) Manarola, and Riomaggio. We mixed it up, first day taking the boat route, second day taking the train to Corniglia then hiking the picturesque trails to Vernazza. 
EATS-
Don't miss out on seafood during a visit. The mussels + calamari + lobster are unbeatable. Below are three restaurants we all enjoyed. All in Monterosso because after 7pm the trains end (and you don't want to get stuck in a city because transportation is nearly impossible.) Also we ate dinner around 830-9pm during our stay. 
Ristorante Miky- Upscale but worth the splurge. If you're like my mom who loves Rick Steves (just google him if you have no idea what I am talking about), he has a whole episode eating at this spot. Family run, exceptional presentation. It was right next to our hotel which made the walk quite easy. 
Ristorante Ciak- This restaurant is located in the old town. Ok, but if you're very hungry go here. The portions are insanely huge, but not in a touristy trap way. They cook all the pastas in these giant pots that they serve you from. This restaurant is also family owned, and believes in maintaining cooking + farming traditions of the local area. 
Ristorante Da Scienza- Another local spot, and it was our last meal in Monterosso. The service here is fantastic- we befriended our server 'Daniel' (he was proud of his American sounding name). Just add it to your list, the seafood risotto and pesto is a must. 
Thank you for following along on my travel diary. If you have any questions- please do not hesitate to reach out. I am hoping to continue to bring more destinations to East West Edge. 2017 has slated Napa, New Orleans, New York City so far! Seeing the world is so important, and will continue to make it one my highest priorities in life. Where are you traveling to the rest of 2017?


Tuscan Getaway

Lucca, Italy. A place that was so far from home, but had me feeling right at home. I understand why 'running away to Italy' is a trope in novels + film. This charming Tuscan town, welcomed with open arms and had me craving a more simple, but generous lifestyle. I spent two nights here, staying at a quaint apartment rental with my family. (We took a bus to Pisa, so we visited that famous landmark as well). Every morning up, I would open my window shutters and look out to tight city scape of tile rooftops, blooming flowers, and lines of laundry. It is a place to disconnect, to take your time, and let go of the rush of normal life. The preferred way to travel is by bike. We zoomed the tight cobble streets. We road along the wall that surrounds the entirety of the city-with history dating back to the second century b.c. The history is inescapable, and architecture lives between the aesthetics of Roman and Medieval. Climb to the top of Guinigi Tower for the best overlook of the entire valley. This city is about soaking in the sights, observing the locals, and enjoying Tuscan wines. 

Looking back, my most cherished moments were my interactions with locals. The morning times were meant for our passeggiata- our walk before the packs of tourist arrive. We discovered Pasticceria Dolcevita on our first day, and returned whenever we needed a caffeine pick me up. Sam, my dad (Lou) befriended a cafĂ© owner Luigi. It was a family run shop- clearly the lived in the apartments upstairs. We would come in for americanos, freshly squeezed orange juice and sfogliatella. My italian dad would try to make friends with all the workers- enthusiastically ordering, his smile contagious to everyone around. The workers laughed at us just a little, but by the end of the trip, the store owner Luigi (at least I think) secretly enjoyed our morning visits. There was a mutual appreciation and curiosity through the translations of english and italian. 
My style in Lucca was much more casual then Rome. I enjoyed wearing my sneakers (which I purchased in the Trastevere). I wore light makeup, barely did my hair, and liked the ease of my vintage denim levis. My style is always inspired by the landscapes around me. Carefree and simple was all I wanted in my time in Tuscany. Whether I was eating gelato, discovering history piazzas, or laughing hysterically over wine with my family. There is a pleasant modesty about this place- that will stick with the memories of this place. 




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