We flew into LAX and were picked up by my dear friend Jamie along with her new baby girl, Amelia. From there we drove to Santa Monica and went to True Food Kitchen. There we ate delicious bison burgers with sweet potato and quinoa. After, we walked the Santa Monica Pier and then sat in the sand talking and catching up. Jamie then drove us to Erin’s friend Rachelle’s house.
The next day Erin and I woke up and went to Hollywood. We went to a place called, “The Waffle,” where they had $6 double sized mimosas. After a yummy breakfast and a little morning buzz we walked around and saw the Hollywood Walk of Fame. After several hours of walking around seeing the sights until our feet hurt, we stopped for margaritas, which happened to serve mega-sized drinks and then proceeded to get a little day buzzed.
Following our day in Hollywood, Erin and I met up with my friend Sarah (a fellow blogger) and went to The Line Hotel for happy hour with the attendees of Create+Cultivate. It was absolutely wonderful to meet so many talented and hardworking women! After drinks at the hotel we went back to Sarah’s apartment to order in pad thai and played with her cat. We then took an Uber to The Mint, a well-known music venue, and watched several bands perform.
After hiking the Hollywood Hills, Erin and I went to Venice Beach and soaked up some (much needed) sun. After we explored the Venice Canals during sunset, and it was absolutely unreal how beautiful it all was. That night we met back up with Jamie and little Amelia for dinner at a French/Vietnamese fusion place called, “Le Cellier.”
Of course the last place we went for brunch was Bottega Louie in downtown LA. I couldn’t not pick up macaroons to take home for me to share with Patricia.
On of my other favorite moments from the trip was during the mentor session at Create+Cultivate. I sat next to Devon Rachel, one of my favorite fashion bloggers and was able to ask her my most pressing questions. I asked her how she was able to afford to move to LA right after college. I mostly wanted to know if her parents helped pay her way, much how most bloggers are lucky enough to not feel burdened by financial responsibility and hardship. She said she was blessed to have her Grandmother help pay for college, but that she had saved all four years of school working retail jobs to pay for her apartment and new chapter in her life.
Hearing her words brought tears to my eyes and I was instantly connected to my ten-year-old self who wept watching Hilary Duff’s Metamorphosis Tour on The Disney Channel. No, she wasn’t an amazing singer who wrote awe inspiring songs. My father had walked in to our living room and saw me sobbing and asked why I was so upset. I told him how badly I wanted to perform and be like her, but that I knew I wouldn’t ever be given the same chance as she had. Even at such a young age I knew in every fiber of my being that I wanted to have an influence and that I would not be given the same opportunity as someone born into a larger city or into a more affluent family.
“In a 2011 TED Talk in San Francisco, author and speaker Mel Robbins talked about how the chances that you are about 1 in 400 trillion. (Yes, that’s four hundred followed by twelve zeros.) This takes into account the chance of your parents meeting out of all the people on the planet, the chance of them reproducing, the chance of you being born at the exact moment that you were, and every other wildly improbable factor that goes into each individual person. The whole point of her crazy calculation was that we should take the sheer improbability of our own existence as a kick in the butt to get out of the bed in the morning.” –Sophia Amoruso in #GIRLBOSS
In the airplane on our way home, I read this line from Sophia Amoruso’s book #GIRLBOSS and immediately tears welled in my eyes. I had thought that the most powerful moment of my trip had been the conference itself, but in reality it was the moment reading this that I realized I am truly capable of achieving everything I want out of life and that my dreams will come true so long as I keep going…Hell even as I was wiping tears from my eyes I was smiling thinking I’m flying home from my second fashion blogger conference in LA that I was invited to and in the same week I accepted a position with Tommy Hilfiger for a merchandising internship in NYC for the summer. I’m walking on the very path I have always dreamed I would… Worried that I would attract the attention of the women sitting next to me, I quickly blew my nose, wiped my eyes, and began to journal all that I was reflecting on and more importantly jotted down all that I knew I would need to remind myself of when the going gets tough.
In high school I realized that although I was passionate about acting and singing, it was not something I could fight tooth and nail for and still love at the end of the day had I not be able to afford a place to call my own or food to go in my stomach. People ask me all the time why I love fashion and I have to admit its not because of the clothes or bags. For me its about being allowed the gift to express oneself and more than anything else in the world I’m drawn to beauty and helping people to feel beauty. I can’t help but laugh aloud as I type this because I’m striving to enter an industry that is based entirely on people buying things to to help them feel beautiful, when all I want to do is help people to feel loved and valued for just being themselves (flaws in all- both physical imperfections and character traits)… Something I got out of Create+Cultivate was not how to monetize this blog and become “blog famous” (although that was a session), but more so to push myself to continue forward in bringing something to an industry void of depth and empowerment. God created me with an unwavering itch for beauty and performance so I’m going to use that passion to lift those up around me. If I have to scratch and scratch until I’m blistered and exhausted, I know it will all be worth it. So if you read up to this far, hopefully you do not think I’m the biggest sap, but you too understand what it is like to dream and to not be able to sit and breathe comfortably until you are at complete ease with being yourself, and only you. If you think this way, or simply are curious as to what this would look like please, please, please continue to follow along with The Fashion Cookbook. I can’t offer you greatness now or anything groundbreaking, but what I can offer you as a reader is something genuine and raw. A place where we value someone’s worth not based on the clothing that they wear… I’m excited to see where this humble little blog will go, but in the meantime I’m just happy to be able to go along for the ride. LA was an absolute blast and I know I will return someday soon.. and not for a weekend… but to live there.
WITH ALL MY LOVE,