Summer of Love

 
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Summer 2018 brought me some sweet surprises that only come to the reckless. If you're wondering what on earth I'm referring to, let me pose this question: What's it like to be truly happy? If you've been thinking this repetitively, then the answer is probably that you're not happy at all. This is what led me to quit my job this summer and take three spontaneous trips. Although I spent an ungodly amount of money, I found myself again. Here's where I went: 

  1.  I traveled to Tulum, Mexico, (see pics on THIS post) basked under the soul-southing rays, meditated and released the negativity that had been plaguing my life.
  2. My next trip was to visit my Grammy in Ohio where my Mom met up with me (photos of us below). Reconnecting with the three generations was an experience that I'll hold with me forever. I had forgotten how similar we are, until we sat down together, laughing uncontrollably, bickering like three sisters, and taking in the iconic tunes of Frank Sinatra over a glass of sweet, red wine. The rooms we slept in were the very same from my Mom's childhood home.
  3. My last trip was a quick jaunt over to Europe to experience Spain with my best friends from college. You know you have great travel friends when you can cram five girls in one bed and still barely fight. I learned how to say "vegano" (the very essential word for vegan in Spanish) and forgot how to say yes and no in my own language upon returning to the US. 

This summer, I made a big decision for my own sanity to become a freelancer, focus on my business, and more importantly, myself. Although most people thought I had lost my mind; turns out I found myself a mate who also lost his. It doesn't happen often when you meet someone and get that strange feeling that you've met before, someone you can truly be yourself with. 

For me, this summer taught me that true happiness is a balance between work and fun, being healthy, progressing in my career, embracing love, and letting go of harbored anxiety. 

 Tulum, Mexico. Frederick's of Hollywood vintage bathing suit top and vintage 1980's high-wasted shorts. 

Tulum, Mexico. Frederick's of Hollywood vintage bathing suit top and vintage 1980's high-wasted shorts. 

 Sunset, Formentera, Spain 

Sunset, Formentera, Spain 

 @TheChrisBarnett (boyfriend) and I shot by @jgoldbergproductions. Wearing Vitamin A, sustainable swimwear. 

@TheChrisBarnett (boyfriend) and I shot by @jgoldbergproductions. Wearing Vitamin A, sustainable swimwear. 

  Classic Rock Couture  t-shirt, vintage Levis shorts. Photography:  @lkfphotography  (my talented mother)

Classic Rock Couture t-shirt, vintage Levis shorts. Photography: @lkfphotography (my talented mother)

  Classic Rock Couture  t-shirt, and my Grammy’s 1970’s vest + her killer vintage glasses. Photography:  @lkfphotography  (my talented mother). Styling: my fabulous Grammy 

Classic Rock Couture t-shirt, and my Grammy’s 1970’s vest + her killer vintage glasses. Photography: @lkfphotography (my talented mother). Styling: my fabulous Grammy 

 Mom & Grammy, Ohio 

Mom & Grammy, Ohio 

 
 
 Valencia, Spain 

Valencia, Spain 

 Tulum, Mexico, shot by me 

Tulum, Mexico, shot by me 

 Me and the girls. Valencia, Spain 

Me and the girls. Valencia, Spain 

 
 
 Tulum Beach, Mexico 

Tulum Beach, Mexico 

 Shayna and I, Tulum, Mexico 

Shayna and I, Tulum, Mexico 

 

Boody Eco Wear Workout

 
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Seriously needed these lunges and a kick in the Boody Wear to get back into my workout routine. This brand's sustainable workout clothes are my new favorites...so soft, breathable and made from bamboo viscose (AKA no nasty synthetics necessary). If you haven't heard, most workout wear contains toxic chemicals that are not only terrible for your skin, but also can enter your bloodstream when you sweat.

I don't write about fitness often, but I love that this brand gave me an ethical reason to get sweating. To give you all some background, I've danced my whole life and started working out when I was about 16 at my dad's health clubs because I felt I was getting too skinny from dance. I learned the proper form for most workout moves from my dad and brothers, and then from the variety of fitness classes I've taken over the years. In general, I try to hit the gym 3 times per week and do a mixture of cardio, weight-lifting, and taking different classes. When I'm not near my gym, I try to think of bodyweight circuits, like I did the day I shot this look in Bushwick. Repeat the below circuit three times for a full-body workout: 

  • *Stretch (active stretching, make sure you warm up fully before moving on the the circuit) 
  • Alternating jump lunges (10 each side)
  • Straddle dance jumps (threw these in for fun - try a few each side if you've done them before and stretched fully)  
  • Sprints (100 m) 
  • Planks (hold for 1 +mins)
  • Wall Sits (hold for 1 min) 
  • *Stretch (again) 

Photography: Jamoy

Black racerback sports bra, black leggings, white tank top by Boody Wear

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Reebok: Cotton & Corn Kicks

 
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How can you kick back and relax when your sneakers are killing the very Earth you traverse? According to an MIT study on the carbon footprint of shoes, one pair of typical rubber sneakers is equivalent to 30 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. This is the equivalent of leaving a 100-watt lightbulb on for a whole week. 

This is why I'm excited to own Reebok’s first sustainable sneaker, an alternative to synthetic rubber shoes which kill our ecosystem. These sustainable kicks are made from cotton and corn which Reebok Classics designed to be SO comfy (this is so rare with vegan shoes!!). The upper is 100% cotton and the sole is bio-based TPU from corn. It's 75% USDA organic, and undyed – aka the fewer steps in the production process, the smaller the carbon footprint. Oh and they’re obviously classically beautiful. Shop these unisex sneaks by clicking the image below. 

“It didn’t start out with corn and cotton, it started out with recycling, compostability, where do we want to land. Our issue with recycling is you recycle plastic, it’s still plastic…You’re not getting rid of the problem." -Bill McInnis, Reebok

Photography: @vtimeflies 

Shoes: Reebok

Top and jeans: Sugarhigh

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Slow Fashion Feature: Jessica Redditt Designs

 
 
 

As a child, I was taught by my lovely parents to not litter, to be kind to animals, to put my bottles in the recycling bin, to donate my old clothes to Goodwill. I’ve learned so much more since I was young about the true effects of how fashion waste is polluting our planet, rapidly deteriorating the Earth. One of the most impactful changes I’ve made since educating myself on pollution, is to dedicate myself to slow fashion.

What is slow fashion, you ask? It’s the sustainable fashion/textile movement created to offer an ethical, eco-friendly, alternative to fast-fashion. The harmful environmental and socioeconomic impacts of mass-produced clothing depletes our natural resources, releases harmful pesticides and chemicals into the Earth, and encourages the mistreatment of low-paid workers (mostly women). This is all at the expense of a small price tag, and a quick thrill for a hot new IG pic.

To put things in perspective, in less than 20 years, the volume of clothing Americans threw out each year more than doubled, from 7 million tons to 14 million tons! I don’t know about you, but vintage and sustainably sourced fashion is FAR too cute to pass up for fast fashion.

I’ve been so much happier discovering new eco-fashion brands, many with kick-ass female CEOs, that support what I believe in. When I came across Jessica Redditt Designs, I had to reach out to learn more about her business. Her stunning organic cotton kimonos (like the one I’m wearing in these pics), t-shirts, dresses, and accessories are all made with natural textiles in Vancouver. This maxi-length kimono duster robe was PERFECT for my vacation in Tulum last week. It’s super soft, and so cute over a bathing suit or full outfit, if tied in the back.

All of Jessica’s prints and colors and hand-dyed naturally from a dye garden that she cultivates herself. She plans on creating revamped kimonos from recycled silk ones of the past – I can’t wait for this! If you love this kimono and want to support a strong female designer who loves the environment, click THIS link to support her Kickstarter campaign.

Kimono: Jessica Reddit Designs

Hat: Brooklyn Flee

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