Roamers and Seekers at POLER Stuff Laguna Beach

Every now and then I find myself sleeping in a car, a vacant house, or some other random situation void of a proper bed. A friend recently lent me his sleeping bag for one of these occasions.  Much to my amusement, his sleeping bag was actually more like a giant microfiber lined hoodie. I can imagine straight up living in one of these during Chicago winters! Looking for ways to reduce your gas bill? It's absolutely perfect for lounging and roaming around a chilly house with ease.

The napsack by Poler has zippers at the shoulders, so you can stick your arms out, and a cinch at the bottom so that you can open it up and stick your legs out. Hike it up to your waist, cinch it, and wear it like a puffy coat around the campfire, and then crawl right back into your tent without ever having to leave the warmth of your bag. The chest pocket fits a phone and has a pass through hole for your headphones to run internally, and it has pockets like a puffy jacket. Best of all, it's stores in an 8" x 10" space when using a compression sack. rad. 

Last weekend I swung by Poler’s new SoCal shop to soak up some camp vibes. I highly recommend making a pit-stop if you're looking for things to do in Laguna Beach. Their interior is one for the coffee table books! It's well manicured storefront leads you into a garden nursery turned airy, sun soaked event space slash art gallery. They have Stumptown cold brew and Salt & Straw ice cream mmm...mini-pints on-hand for anyone who has time to stay and chill.

POLER Stuff
1360 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Rose Bowl Flea Market Tips

The Rose Bowl Flea Market has been known as America's most unusual shopping experience for 45 years, featuring over 2,500 vendors monthly. It all takes back on the second Sunday of each month in super sunny Pasadena, California.  Going there has been a dreamy little dream of mine since I lived in the Midwest. Life achievement unlocked! My boyfriend actually asked if I took any drugs a few times this weekend becuase I was so giddy with excitement.

While I am happy to report treasures were found and good times were had, this is not a day trip I would recommend anyone jump into blindly.  You must prepare for battle. Seven miles of booths all with densely packed piles. Here are a few of my tips for making it out  of the Rose Bowl alive during the LA Heat. 

Get your adventure pack ready.

Pack enough water to get you through a hike in the desert.  Water bottles are around $6 at the flea. Bring small snacks to make it through, the carnival snack smells are strong. I did cave on a lemon ice near the end of our day. Yeah, I gladly forked over $5 for some shaved ice a girl scooped out of her black waste bin. No regrets. You will be tested here so bonus points if you include some energy packed consumables. Carry everything in a comfortable backpack with easy access to your cash. You don't want to deal with handheld bags all day. 

Cash. I said CA$H. 

Credit? Debit? What the is that? Not here, kid. Have change on hand to make things easier for everyone. If you're purchasing from a resale merchant, try to negotiate their origional asking price.

Use a collapsible shopping cart.

You do not want to carry all the stuff you will be buying. Holding while hunting is the worst and will seriously test your wits. It's even more annoying when someone keeps asking you to hold their stuff, too. 

Bring emotional support or just go alone.

Do not go here with a Tinder date. Go with a friend who knows how to help you through an excessive amount of breakdowns and vise-versa. Expect "I feel sick"s, "I'm so sore"s, "I'm dying"s, "this is amazing"s, "did you just see that"s, "would you help me carry large heavy object"s, "I think I lost my ______"s, so on and so forth.... Basically you just need a friend would would dive into a sea of used t-shirts for you. Bonus points if you know each other's style well. 

Know what you're looking for.

This is so important if you're on a mission. Know what you are looking for before you walk through that gate! Be specific with key details like measurements. Bring photos of where the item will be used. If you're looking for a list of items, know the style and color pallet well. Making a mood board a few days prior will help fine tune your eye and make the search easier. 

The sun is your enemy. 

Sure, you love the sun! You love to lay out at the beach! Whatever. NOT TODAY, BABE. Wear loose and light clothing. Wear your weight in sunblock. Reapply like your life depends on it. Bring an umbrella. Wear a hat. Wear sunglasses. Pretend you're on the run from the law. They also rent umbrellas at the ticket booth. I promise you will be sore, dirty and crabby at the end of the day. You don't want to throw a nasty farmer's sunbrun into the mix. 

Get there early.

The flea starts at 5 AM before the sun is up. Think that's rough? Try being a vendor. Everything is easier the earlier you go: parking, walking, bartering! Oh, and the temperature is cooler. For this reason, ticket prices are more expensive earlier in the day. Suck it up. You will recoup that cost when you score the first gem before all the other suckers still in bed. I ended up getting there at 7 am, but plan to go earlier next time. 

Be observant. 

There is so much to see! The Rose Bowl Flea Market isn't just a destination, it's an experience. Since this was my first time, I hardly spent any time behind a camera. I could make a whole trip of that alone because the people watching is top notch! I also loved seeing the variety of vans and pick-ups hiding behind every booth. How vendors transport and organize their goods is endlessly intriguing to me. AND THE DOGS! Oh, the dogs. Lastly, I would recommend snapping a photo of the sign in any artisan booths you like. Many artists also have their items on Etsy or a webstore as well. 

Deep Breaths. 

Chill out by starting your adventure at the Information Booth. They have easy to carry maps that outline where to find what you're looking for; antiques, collectibles, vintage, arts + crafts, new merchandise, etcetera. You can also grab a handful of free neon colored Rose Bowl matchbooks for the taking. Have Fun! 

Get Inspired.

One of the best parts about visiting the Rose Bowl was feeling immersed in possibility; the idea that the most obscure items you've been hunting for were there waiting to be found. I loved overhearing couples and friends talk about what they wanted and all their plans for what they had found. It was so hard not to buy anything for myself on this trip, but I really tried to just stock up on inspiration and get a better grasp on resale prices for my thrift hunts. However, I did sneak out with this tiny Jeep for my Megora and her giant ice cream cone... she's pretty stoked. 

Travel

Caribbean Flow

beachshit.jpg

I was not one of the kids who returned to my midwest high school from Spring Break with braided hair. I do not tan and the open ocean kinda scares me. So, before packing for a recent wedding in Playa Del Carmen I actually Googled what to pack for a resort. I learned about sea lice. I was told pack 900 bathing suits, a few formal pieces, and my passport. BUT DUDE! Way to let me down, internet. Ugh. Here are a few packing tips from someone who learned the hard way:

SPF Chapstick Ditching my makeup at home for the week was great! Coming home with chapped lips wasn't. I've since been applying Sexwax every ten minutes and it's not cute. Reusable Drink Cup All-Inclusive Resort Hack! Who wants to walk to the bar 4 times for one pint of beer? Not me. One gallon of mojito to-go please. Large Open Tote Bag Beach towels are on lock-down in 2016! Fresh ones are guarded by very serious towel wardens that will not dish out without your old one. Your towel is basically a flour baby- don't fuck up! Small Zipped Cross-Body Leave the large tote to hold down a lounge spot for the day. Bring any valuables in your cross-body while indulging in "buffet life". Ultra Thin Cover-Up Have you ever been kicked out of a bowling ally (while trying to snag some mozzarella sticks from their buffet) becuase you weren't wearing enough clothes? I have. No one wants to wear clothes at a resort. Make it easy on yourself with super simple, super light, one-piece outfits. Waterproof Digital Camera I couldn't bring myself to splurge on this before the trip. If someone would have told me that I'd be sharing a breakfast banana with a sea turtle in crystal clear water it would have been a game changer. Living and learning here, folks! Living and learning. Waterproof Shoes Basically, just bring waterproof everything. We recently stocked my favorite waterproof shoes in the Funday Shop! Weeee! Don't see your size? Drop us a line and we will hook it up. 

Our week was packed with afternoon hammock naps, nights dissecting a sea of stars with SkyView (iPhone / Android), and mornings walking the shore lined with tropical fish. I'm so grateful to have taken this trip with a bunch of super solid people and will cherish the few mementos I brought back— some glass art, seemingly endless pictures, and a jar of Tajin seasoning (that's a link to food porn). 

The majority of our trip was spent celebrating my friend’s wedding at the resort. However, one afternoon we did explore the city of Playa Del Carmen, which left craving more! Some highlights from our trip away from the resort: garra rufa fish pedicures, Renzo Pizza, touring a glass blowing studio, the enchanting b&b interiors along 5ta Avenida, and soaking in the endless eye candy around the outskirts of town. I want to hug every creature in this mural by @Martin_Ferreyra

The @PangeaSeed Foundation teamed up with @DreamersArtFest to create @SeaWalls: Mural's for Ocean Activism. Martin (@Martin_Ferreyra) tackled this massive wall portraying coastal development to raise awareness about plastic waste expansion in oceanic ecosystems. 'La venganza del Alux’ talks about the struggle of modern civilization which pervades nature with their traditions and consumption; trying to dominate, regardless of the bad consequences.

Turtles, stingrays and fish are trying to escape the loggers, monks with their religions, and other characters who bring tourism and business to the area. Meanwhile nature is protected by small 'aluxes', all of them fighting against these invaders." Massive influxes of tourists, often to a relatively small country, have a huge impact in the area. Tourists become part of the problem when they consume and pollute, putting local infrastructure and habitats under enormous pressure.

Plastic waste is also in permanent expansion and is completely ignored. It seems to be urgent to mediatize this phenomenon since plastic is a mayor vector of heavy metals and other pollutants, with important consequences on biodiversity and human health, due to its capacity to accumulate and increase its toxicity as it scales the food chain. PangeaSeed.org is loaded with information on how you can help save our seas via art and activism (ARTivism).  I will be getting educated before my next trip becuase the amount of plastic water bottles I saw last week was absolutely appalling and it was heartbreaking to feel like part of the problem. 

Check out PangeaSeed's SeaWall mural locator to see if there's one near you! I was stoked that of my favorite local Artists, Celeste Byers, is already involved with this organization. @celestialterrestrial is an avid ocean worshipper, dream recaller, and nature enthusiast from San Diego. Her work combines inspiration from the natural world and subconscious mind, taking form in a variety of mediums including sculptural installations, film and animation, paintings, drawings, music, and murals. She helps me feel like I'm living inside a Lisa Frank dreamworld on the regular. 

On this trip I was able to try snorkeling for the first time! It seems pretty straight forward, right? Well. Jumping off our chartered boat into the ocean with flippers was actually pretty daunting. I was like "Oh, maybe I should have asked a few questions first". I tried to play it cool when I was floating next to a super chill 9 year old, but found myself amid a panic attack within minutes. The anxiety coupled with breathing through a snorkel was so far outside my comfort zone. I had to float off on my own for a minute and just focus on breathing. I kept hearing my favorite Dosette say “flow baby flow” in my head, which totally did the trick as I bobbled around a few feet above the stringrays passing below me (R.I.P. Steve Irwin). It was easier to calm down with my face in the water. That feeling when you pop your head out above the surface, and see the sweeping ocean, evokes every marine horror film I’ve ever watched. The storm rolling in didn’t help either. Anyway! I did it and I can’t wait to do it all again. I'm thankful that I was able to push through. Check out those photos! In the words of Judy Blume, how we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. Onward! 

Personal

Who Does She Think She Is?

Well, it's getting busy in the Wyoming Tetons! Time to get away from the tourist crowds and camp, swim, party and relax as much as possible in between all your loaded work days. Jackson hole is good at giving you a run for your money, which means- you ought to spend it hard, too -when the time is juuuust right. 

You can be practical, and still look cute. Anyone who tells you differently has awful style, Ok? I'm from New York, I will never give up pushing random fashion trends on this tiny Wyoming town. With that said, even when I'm out car camping I tend to bring along my linen sheets and pillows, a super breathable fabric that's ideal for all kinds of weather. High top sneakers are great for tall grasses, campfires, and pesky mosquitos- pair them with some high socks and you're good (lookin'!) to go. Don't forget the bug spray and S'well water bottle - fit for a canteen queen. 

For nights out with friends after a weekend of camping, flaunt a flashy ring that people will talk about for weeks (or these awesome hair rings! Braid them in, or just wear a few for effect), pair with a clean white T-shirt, skater skirt, and stay in those sneaks and high socks. Add a "statement pin" of the day, and tousled campfire hair from the night before. Everyone will want to know who you are, and why you look so put together... for looking so messy dressy.  Get it girl. 

1: Dark Blue Linen Bedding - $119 — $239 at Urban Outfitters 2: Not Normal Cat Pin — $4 Ultra Terrestrial  3: Do work lapel pin — $8.99 at Strangeways 4: Vans Sneakers – $80 VANS  5: Hair rings  — $14.95 ETSY  6:  Lune Ring — $363 unearthen 7: Kassia Surf Socks — $14 Stance  8: Weathed Faux Mat — $89 on Amazon  9:  S'well birchwood Stainless steel water bottle — $25-35 S'well

Interiors

HiFi Stereo Console by Department Chicago

Brandon and Katie of Department Chicago have teamed up to bring us the first affordable modern day stereo console with good looks and great sound!  Act fast and you can snag one of the few remaining (heavily discounted) pre-orders left on this fully-funded Kickstarter

The Hifi­Console is a mid­century inspired stereo console built for this generation’s music listener. It's equipped with a Bluetooth­enabled amp that will connect to your favorite devices as well as audio inputs to connect your turntable, TV, or any other audio accessories. For close to half a century the stereo cabinet design and functionality has remained largely untouched. 

Department is teaming up with an experienced audio engineer to help develop the sound and function of the Hifi­Console. Teaming up with an audio specialist ensures the console sounds as good as it looks.“We are aiming to revitalize and modernize a consumer product that once brought friends and families together as a social gathering point.” says, Katie Mckiernan, co­founder. “Currently the only modern stereo consoles on the market are well above the budget of your casual music listener. Our cabinet offers beautifully crafted form and function without the hefty price tag.”

Department started three years ago as a furniture company specializing in vintage and mid-century goods. With the knowledge that Katie and Brandon gained as vintage dealers, they were able to design and build their own line of furniture. Department’s handmade furniture is an homage to the simple designs and designers of the past, offered at an affordable price. They wish to continue to bring these simple concepts to Department’s future furniture and audio products.

Each piece of furniture is designed and hand built at Department’s workshop in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood. “We choose to build everything in house, so that we can maintain quality control” says, Brandon Blunden co­founder. “We personally inspect each piece before it is packaged and picked up for delivery”. 

Personal

Riding the Waves

It feels as if my last few years in Chicago were spent dwelling on the past and sleeping away time for the future. I was flying back and forth to California while working on a few larger projects that consumed the vast majority of my working hours. Each trip I made to California was incredibly uplifting, inspiring, and fulfilling. So much so that it made any time with cold pizza and warm beer in Chicago feel tolerable for way too long. I finally decided to uproot my life there and relocate to San Diego last year. The intention behind my decision was to allow myself presence in everyday life. That’s it. Basically, I just wanted to be happy again, because life is way too short!

To this point, it was easy for me to flip the script during apartment hunting, which would typically be daunting task. Scoping out new properties brimming with possibility was elating. I carried with me a pretty ridiculous must-have list including things like philodendron trees, wild jasmine plants, tiny bathroom floor tiles, a cross breeze, and above all else an office space with functioning windows that didn’t look at a brick wall. Knowing exactly what I was searching for with a list of priorities helped me land my dream Jungalow in no-time. 

Life will always throw shit your way and that didn’t stop once I moved here. However, it’s so much easier to deal when you don’t feel the weight of 1,000 external forces pushing against you. This Monday I was having ‘a day’ and just felt like locking myself in a closet to stress cry for hours, but I didn’t! Instead, I opened all the windows, went for a walk to smell some flowers, pet stranger’s dogs, and ate fresh grapefruit from my tree with avocado. I also took some photos of my apartment to remind myself that things aren’t as shitty as my current hormone surges would like me to believe. 

I’ve recently had some extra time to get creative with sourcing furniture for my space. It’s actually become a revolving door for furniture lately. Slowly, I've been curating the space by leveling up with nicer things from Estate Sales, using funds from selling old pieces on Craigslist. I don't have a ton of money to dump into a rental, but I think we can all agree that IKEA may be a portal to hell. Estate Sales are actually becoming a new favorite hobby of mine! It’s kind of like The Selby IRL, only a little bit morbid.

Walking a stranger’s home inflicts some serious perspective on the topic of Interior Design and how we choose to interact with the material possessions in our lives. I'm mesmerized by things like meticulously organized garage workshops that illustrate the life of their previous occupant and visualizing a home's static furniture layout through a quick glance at their tired shag carpet. It’s oddly satisfying to score authentic mid-century danish teak, which someone cared for through their last days, and give it new life. 

A friend of mine from Chicago also chose to relocate to San Diego last year. He's a super talented jeweler and I'm excited to collaborate with him on some pieces for Funday's shop opening later this year. We've been playing around with a few ideas, like the Santosha ring concept below. It's one piece in a series of rings, midi and traditional, grown from principles behind the yin and yang—  how opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. 

Here are a few more treasures keeping a genuine smile on my face this week: 

A. 砂絵アーティスト (sunae artist) ナオ氏 (Naoshi) get's it. I want to ride an ice cream rocket into space with her and a gang of cats in donut space suits to collect sand samples on distant planets for art in her Etsy shop. What? Yeah, you heard me. She sells sunae kits that are a fun gift idea for lull budding artists in your life. 

B. Pastel Pink Heart Knobs (2 pk / $10) Picture these on your wood dresser. Mmhmm...

C. I LIKE CATS, OKAY!? I like cats a whole bunch, but I really don't want a real one. Because poo. Because this. Instead, I choose to download apps like Neko Atsume, where I can compulsively collect dozens of cats, with zero responsibility. I also like to proudly display this to strangers with a cool pin! Can't even tell you how many coffee shop conversations have started here = ^ . ^ =

D. I fell in e-love with Oh! Happy Day's "Happy Mail Project" a few months back and realized the best way to increase the odds of receiving cute letters is to send them! I've since stepped up my mail game with limited edition stamps. Puh-ritttty stoked about the 2016 Forever Stamp additions, guys. Space! Trucks!

E. I found myself magnetically transported to a Copic display at Blick after watching numerous wip loops on Instagram. I recommend starting with the Copic color theory guide. Keep going. Don't stop. 

F. Is it just me or does walking into LUSH give you instant anxiety? Liiiiike... everyone settle down and stop rubbing shit on me. Thankfully, I've finally got a good grip on that place! Ask the first person who talks to you for a sample, scoop up exactly what you want while they process that, and head out with minimal interaction. HA! Ugh. Totally worth it because Yummy Mummy makes me smell like a scented Strawberry Shortcake doll. Seriously. I've smelled my arm close to six times throughout the process of writing this blog post. A few other go-tos for good measure: MontalbanoLust + R&B (sample size, always). Their solid shampoos are gold for anyone who lives in planes, trains, and automobiles. 

G. Diptyque's L'Ombre dans l'Eau is reminiscent of a walk in an English garden, filled with Bulgarian rose petals and the leaves of blackcurrant bushes. It makes me feel like a strong and sensual woman rolling in a field of money. Too far? Well, it's true. 

Interiors

Spectacular Vernacular

Sometimes you feel like painting your wall, but then you change your mind and decide you would prefer to go with your crazy heart, dare to be different,
and pattern the sh*t out of your wall instead. 
Here are a few of my favorite wallpaper options at Flat Vernacular - designed by artists, Payton Cosell Turner & Brian Kaspr (who also happens to be an incredible letterer, and sign painter). You should also check out Payton's SELFIE. #amazingright? 

If I could cover my car in Pacific Finisterra, I would. Wait... Can I !?

Peruse Brians online shop! Dude is speaking the Funday, language. Miss Annabel Jones is singing it (above).

Lazy Oaf Swim Club

Lazy Oaf is one of my favorite independent graphic and illustration labels keepin' it weird. I've been so jealous of my friend's kids rocking watermelon suits on Snapchat! Don't grow up. It's a trap.

Beauty, Listen

The Spring Thing

Well, Spring has sprung in Jackson, Wyoming. We call this "Off-season" here, where the most we hope to accomplish is lazily wearing big sweatshirts, Netflix/HBO go'ing our days away, and enjoying the peace and quiet beneath the mountains.  

With that said, I would love to introduce you to a few of my favorite practical, and impractical finds this season. Things that will make you giggle, write, drink coffee, look pretty, or cheer up. 

1: Just cause I'm awake sweatshirt - $79 at Jac Venek  2: Wyoming Air Company, Grand Teton blend - $25 at Wyoming Air Co  3: Sparkly Soul headband- $17 at Sparkly soul  4: Beer can lapel pin and Vacation forever lapel pin $7 on Night Watch  5: Amy Marsh LOVE ME mug - $20 at Fab.com  6:  Mountain range brass ring - & brown spike bracelet available on Pink Midnight Jewelry  7: Batteries not included coin purse - $221 on Anya Hindmarch  8: Small copper soft cover notebook - $8 on POPPIN /  Descriptions of products below!

1: Just cause you're awake, doesn't mean you can function... yet. Generally I'm a sweatshirt gal until noon...ish. Plus- by then, it's warm enough to begin my run! I suppose I prefer to get my brain going first. Joyously having three roommates, maybe they will catch my drift with this sweatshirt without even speaking- as I get my sh*t together. 2: This has to be one of the most hilarious, and entertaining products I have seen this year. If you live in Jackson hole, you'll understand the validity of this bottle of fresh air. We do have the best air, and we know it. Over 6,000 feet above sea level, we are completely happy living on our own planet and making a huge joke of the "craft" industry. But hey, don't get me wrong - we love our craft cocktails... For a laugh, watch this video of Dave explaining his love for this particularly special, bottled air. You can purchase t-shirts, mugs, and other paraphernalia to support our National Parks. 3: These are by far the BEST headbands that I have ever had the pleasure of wearing. They are comfy, come in a million different colors, and they don't ever slide. Anyone who has ever worn one can understand the frustration with headbands that just don't do the hair trick. I know, they're a bit pricey... but you only need one, and I promise they are totally worth it. Also, they don't have to be sparkly4: Night Watch. Amazing art, best pins, patches, and general all over hilarity for all. Make sure to order pins and patches right away because they don't last (they're practically collectors items!) and are made in super small batches. Gotta pin em' all.  5: Amy Marsh is an awesome illustrator, she's adorable, and I love this mug. Look at the rest of her art & follow her on instagram! 6:  Pink Midnight Jewelry has a special place in my heart... because she is one of my very best ladyfriends. Natasha Ryan began her company a few years ago, and has totally impressed me with her edgy designs, pastel color palette, and unique style. Seamlessly mixing sharp edges with curvy corners, her jewelry has a mixed personality and is perfect for every day wear. Funday office will soon feature one of a kind jewelry from Pink Midnight! 7: Anya Hindmarch is an English fashion accessories designer with a fabulous (and classy) sense of humor. 10 years ago, I acquired a gold coin purse and have been using it ever since. Quality is key, and her designs prove that high fashion doesn't have to mean you need to leave the jokes at home. 8:  My favorite working girl notebook, this is a great find because it's EASY to find. It doesn't get lost in the deep dark depths of your purse ...and plus, who doesn't want a shiny notebook handy? Poppin.com has great organizers, pens, and all kinds of fun notebooks for your work-zone and beyond.

Listen

Bring On The Callie Heat

Callie Reiff looks like she just stepped out of a "Limited too" and DGAF. A former ballerina, NYC native, and only 16-years-old, Callie is destroying the club scene. Soaking in big support from Annie Nightingale (of BBC radio) and Marcus Nasty (Rinse FM) for both her originals and insane remixes, that cover all the bass-es. 

These days she's playing venues like Webster Hall, Output, Slake, and, Terminal 5. No big deal, just the most popular venues in NYC- and technically not even allowed past the hangry security dudes.

When I listen to her remixes I feel like zoning out to my slap-happy-cobrasnake-portrait-sneak-in-the-back-door-under-age-gin-and-tonic days at Hiro ballroom & Movida. 

Enjoy losing your mind inside the brain of a teen! Who needs pants, anyway?

Listen

TLS #44: The Art of Relaxation + Creativity

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feeling of counting minutes in a beige cubicle and catching a @JenGotch IG post at 2:17 on a Tuesday. My desire for change was palatable. This conversation begins joking about self-exploration after moving to California in your 20s and learning how to direct garbled creative energy. Listening to Jen retrospectively articulate this phase of her personal creative life, and the path to finding a job she identified with, felt like a long cozy hug. 

She touches base on her business baby, Ban.Do, starting at inception and moving through growth and sale. I’ve always admired her for keeping it real on what can be a vapid internet wasteland. I am sure many others feel this way, too. There are very real cons of “living in the moment” as a business professional- the struggle to maintain a “creativity on demand” mind and that pesky complex which makes you feel guilty for relaxing. 

Learning when to relax and how to recharge your mind + body is absofuckinglutely essential to success. Internal self-doubt is unavoidable and working to prove yourself wrong is a necessity. Knowing there was a day when Jen Gotch had anxiety about talking to someone in Burger King drive-thru will help me sleep tonight. Life is a lesson you learn along the way. Girl Gang Forever, Jen. Happy Funday!

This podcast is perfect for anyone looking to learn more about Jen Gotch, strengthen their creative muscles, relax more, or hear from someone who has sold a business and became a creative director.

Personal

Every Day Products, Rain or Shine.

I've had several friends ask me what brand of beauty products I enjoy "on the reg",  so I thought I would share a few of my staples. All of the following have lovely package design, as well. 

1: Bamboo charcoal soap - $12 at Roam in Jackson Hole, WY or Herbivore.  2: Bite Beauty "Amuse bouche" lipstick - $26 on Sephora.com  3: Sara Happ "Brown Sugar" lip scrub- $24 at Sarahapp.com 4: Stila "Stay-all-day" liquid eyeliner - $22 on Sephora.com  5: R+Co "BADLANDS" dry shampoo and hair paste - $28 at R+CO.com or Frost Salon, in Jackson Hole WY 6: Jasmine body oil - $26 available on Herbivore 7: KORRES "Santorini vine" body wash - $11 on feelunique /  Descriptions of my favorite beauty picks, below!

beautypicks_march2016

1  Charcoal soap is miraculous for my skin, and will likely be for yours too! It has a magnetic power to absorb dirt and oil, and its #1 ingredient is carbon. Carbon is a natural detoxifier that will assist in pulling out impurities. I have combination skin and this particular product is gently hydrating. 

2  This lipstick... it smells good, it tastes good, and they have a huge selection of awesome colors. I've had a bunch of friendly people waltz up to me and say, "Woah! Your lipstick looks great!". Not everyone says that to one another, I mean- I see plenty of pretty ladies in lipstick? I think it's because I'm finally aware what color/s is complimentary to my skin, hair, and eyes. Your skin tone may not fare well with a fire engine red, but a pink coral, or a deep brown? MAYBE, POSSIBLY, YES. I have spent hours in Sephora just trying on different shades. At a $20 price point, you wouldn't want to spend money on a color that doesn't look good, and you probably won't wear! I am more of a dark to light brown, or deep red gal, myself. For more information on the brand, check out the Bite beauty blog. 

3  Ummm. Have you ever tried a lip scrub? You can certainly make your own at home with a few household products (brown sugar, coconut oil, other essential oils), but if you're not into making your own, this is my #1 to purchase. It's incredibly hydrating (especially with the lip slip), and again, it tastes amazing as one would hope. Just as you would exfoliate your face and body, you should exfoliate your lips a few times a week as well. If you like eating sugar like most people in the world, you will probably enjoy this.

4  I have been using Stila "Stay-all-day" products for 5+ years now. This is my go-to for precise eyeliner and eyebrows. I use the dark brow liner daily, as well. What else can I say? ...if you have a steady hand or you would like to attempt the most sweeping and attractive cat eye, ever - you should give it a flick of the wrist. The worst that can happen is you'll f*ck up and need make-up remover. BUT WAIT! Use a bit of coconut oil to remove, then try it again. Never give up. Cat eyes forever. Meow.

5  R+Co is a new line for me in hair products. I have insanely thin hair- but I've got a lot of it. Dry shampoo is my jam, but dry shampoo WITH a texturizer is even better. It gives my hair a ton of body, hopefully an extra day without showering, and removes most un-necessary oils. Smell factor? 10++ I would normally say the smell is the only thing you're paying for, but I honestly believe this works as a hair product, as well.

6  My partner in crime just gave this to me for Christmas and I'm in love. Jasmine is undeniably one of the nicest and more gratuitous smells in the world (to me.) I use a jasmine essential oil in my diffuser nightly, and even if I'm watching "The Walking dead" I will still have the sweetest dreams. That says a lot, right? Anyway, a little of this body oil goes a long way. Unless of course it's -10 and you're in a hot spring, and your body is frozen...and you smell like sulfur. Then, use a lot of it. 

7   Last, but definitely not least is this gem of a shower gel. I bought this in Sifnos, Greece so it's a little tricky to attain in the states, BUT- if you can find it online, you should. It's a difficult scent to decipher... something in between overwhelming lilacs, jelly beans, and anything that "tastes blue". My room mate thinks the house smells like a spa when I use it (he is a boy), and among other smelly things in my house, I am sure this is the culprit. It's certainly not the hockey bags. 

Events

GTFO: LA / MARCH 2016

I was recently introduced to the bold and beautiful work of Australian artist @mrseaves101 while talking to a friend about shows coming up in March. Her latest exibxit, MRS EAVES 101: The Hand-Painted Typography of Gemma O’Brien, will be the purrrfect pit stop to kick-off this roadtrip! Speaking of bold murals, Jen Stark just blessed the walls of Culver City's new shopping center PLATFORM with "Technicolor Ooze". Weeeeee! 

S/O to JUICE served here which opened another location in PLATFORM. You can bet I'll lurk inside for at least a few bottles of their tasty cocktail mixers *eeerm* I mean juice to-go. Juice: the most LA habit I've picked up while dabbling in LA.

This month I was able to attend my first LA Art Book Fair. Holy shit. It was intense. If you missed the event, I highly recommend marking your 2017 calendar now. I would definitely recommend a full day because trying to pack that massive showing into a schedule just isn't going to work. I'm looking forward to taking it down a notch in the LA Zine Fest next month. OK. Well... maybe that's a lie if this massive 2016 exhibitors list has anything to say about it. I guess I should start doing my homework now. 

Everything flows, nothing stands still. All is flux. The only constant is change. Sometimes your favorite book store closes and you cry yourself to sleep at night. Sometimes your favorite bookstore closes and they move to a way move convenient location and expand their selection. Lucky for my March 2016 roadtrip the latter is true!

Hennessey + Ingalls Arts & Architecture Bookstore closed it's doors in Santa Monica last year and totally gave me the sads. Their new facility at YARDS / One Santa Fe opened in the LA Arts District last month. I can't wait to skip down the aisles and drool over the work of 1,000's of people far more talented and inspiring than myself. Seriously. This store RULES. 

Pi(n)zza and cold beer break! I haven't been to 82 LA yet, but it looks chill. It's listed! Moving on....

Hey! Can everyone on Instagram please get OUT OF MY FACE with your adorable creepy photos from Break Bread? UGH! I can't wait to catch the tail end of this 30 day art installation at Think Tank Gallery. In addition to being a total eye candy feast, this 9,000 sqft show will host a unique event every night! Check out the Break Bread info page to view the schedule and RSVP to whatever floats yer boat.

Pretty sure hanging out in a fake cake is going to make me want cake. If you drive to LA and don't come back with a box from Donut Friend, did you ever really go to LA? NOPE. Hey, Drive Like Jelly! Hey, Fudgegazi! GET IN MY FACE <3 Their donuts and many of the DIY fillings / toppings are made without eggs or dairy- vegans rejoice! Here are my favorites: 

Interiors

Swooning: Neon Mfg.

In honor of our OG blog baby, icecreamandpizza, that has since melted away - I introduce to you Desktop Ice Cream. A perfect addition to any bedroom that is missing a bright ass light, or any ol' room missing some sweet humor. Thanks to NEON MFG, You can have your night light and imagine eating it, too. Once my tiny dream home becomes a reality, you can count on me owning one of these fun lights. Maybe you don't like ice cream... or you're a vegan... or you just prefer light up unicorns? They have those too. 

icecreamlight_.jpg

These hand crafted glass lights stand atop a sturdy black acrylic base for displaying with ease. They're equipped with an on/off switch, UL certified transformer, and blubs that last up to 8 years with continuous use. Sweet dreams are made of glass, babe. 

Ready-to-ship letters are another unique offering Neon Mfg brings to the game. Individual letters give you the creative freedom create your own words and phrases in neon. This will likely be a more economical option than a custom neon sign. 

Interiors

Swooning: Lovestar

THE LOVESTAR STORY.

Designer Helen Bayley launched Lovestar in 2013.  The brand was born out of her love for flowers, nature, fashion and the arts and is a direct reflection of her personal sense of style.  With a desire to re-introduce the old fashioned ceramic wall vase to new generations, Helen set about designing beautiful, playful, functional pieces using modern materials.  Each piece is meticulously handcrafted in-house in Brisbane Australia by Helen's husband, father-in-law, and a team of local artisans.