Sunday, May 15, 2016

sparkles and stilettos x tobi - part 1

I'm a shopper. A big one. This is no secret, especially considering the fact that you're currently reading this on my fashion/lifestyle/rant blog. Shopaholic would be a more than valid term to describe my retail habits (it drives my mom crazy.)


That all being said, I've come across the clothing site Tobi more times than I can count. The fact that they offer 50% off the first purchase made them even more appealing to my shopper spidey-sense, yet I never took the plunge.


When the folks at Tobi reached out about doing a little collaboration for the blog - I JUMPED at the opportunity. (Seriously, I was in the nail salon and freaked out the guy shaving off my gels when I got the email). They were kind enough to send over a couple pieces for me to try out - including this insanely delicious maxi dress. 


My photographer mentioned that this was a "Kendall Jenner" dress - something unique and interesting enough that he felt the supermodel would wear on one of her days off. 

What do you think?
Dress: Vee Drop Maxi Dress via Tobi.

Check out more Tobi goodies here: Heels, Denim, Jewelry, Tank Tops, Casual Dresses, and Long Sleeve Dresses.


Paired with a Madewell statement necklace, Ray Ban aviator sunglasses and Dolce Vita mules.

In truth, I've gotten really lazy when it comes to dressing these days. I'm usually in jeans and a worn-in Splendid Tee, with a pair of booties thrown on for a little bit of height. When I saw this dress, I flipped. IT IS SO EASY. Throw on with a pair of comfy heels or booties and you're instantly stylish. I wear this necklace practically every day, but even removed, the dress has the ability to stand completely alone. 
 
The Shopaholic in me is super excited to share the other goodies that Tobi sent over!


xx,
Al

Monday, May 2, 2016

on writer's block

I've reached a point where I have nothing to write about. 
It's been a month and usually by this point, I have some sort of intensive essay planned out in my head. I'm normally writing all the time: in the car, at work, as I fall asleep at night. I tend to write paragraphs in my head and memorize them and then sit down and just let it all out at once. A part of me has been writing a couple of different things the past few weeks, but alas, no post. Mainly because at this point, I don't want to be THAT girl and write about a myriad of people (cough boys cough) who I've encountered so far in 2016.

I think so much of my writer's block is coming from a place where I KNOW that we're all in the same boat. In that sense, what's the point in writing about a subject that so many people are already familiar with and attempting to navigate on their own. I could reach out to so many people, near and far, and yell, "TELL ME YOUR WAYS" and I know for a fact that they would have something to teach me about how to better navigate this whole chapter of our lives. 

I could write about dating. I could write about being single. I could write about traveling. But I just don't want to? All of those topics just seem so overplayed by me at this point. I keep writing about them and eventually, it's going to start feeling like I'm beating a dead horse. Not even that, but I'm low key bored with myself when it comes to those subjects. How are you supposed to be passionate and write honestly about something if you're not even interested in writing about it anymore? My dad is a writer and he was even telling me to move on from certain subjects; that it would eventually all get old. And I totally agreed, even though another part of me was thinking, "How do I just let this die when this has become such a massive part of my own identity?" 

I suppose it just comes down to the fact that none of us know what we're doing. And we're all  insanely curious about how other people are living their lives. It's the generation we're living in. We all lurk social media accounts and develop opinions and ideas of a person based on what they post. And I'm just at this point where I don't WANT to worry about that anymore.  I keep deleting Facebook because there's no mystery when I know what everyone ate for dinner. I'm over posting something and then obsessively checking the analytics to make sure it's doing okay. I'm over posting a photo and feeling anxious if it doesn't "trend" the way it should. I've started trying to see outside of myself, posting more photos of scenery and food and my surroundings than of my own face (cause that's seriously more interesting than what I wore to Disneyland).

At the end of the day, none of this is real. It's like a weird mirage that we invent for other people - in order to convince them that our lives are way better or way more put together than they actually are.
I went on a rampage and blocked an INSANE number of followers on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, because one day I just realized how weird it was to have all these random strangers following and seeing what I was doing. All of these people know a version of me, a virtual identity that I've created, and yet they don't really even know ME. They don't know my favorite color (dark, dark, dark red), or my favorite song ("The Wind Cries Mary" by Jimi Hendrix) or my favorite city to travel to (Paris). They don't know which candle I can't live without (Volcano!) or just HOW much I love my leather jacket that everyone jokes looks like it came out of the Thriller video. 
Sometimes I wonder if our generation will deal with a "social media identity crisis" - where millennials who are so looped into the Internet will one day wake up and realize that we've been investing all of our time and energy into something that just isn't real. I heard a news story a few months back of a well-known Instagrammer who basically went through her Instagram account, deleted hundreds of photos and on the ones she kept, re-captioned them to say how she was feeling when she took the photo. A girl who appeared to have it all, with captions that exposed that it was the total opposite. 

Currently, I'm laying in my bed with Years & Years blasting from my Spotify, itching like crazy due to eczema and writing the first thoughts that enter my head. I'm slightly buzzed on homemade margaritas, my hair is clipped up, I'm wearing a pair of Abercrombie sweats from three years ago and a massive sweater that I thrifted a couple of weeks back. My skin looks like shit because I'm so flared up with this stupid rash and I'm smothered in baby oil cause right now, that's all that helps, but no one (save a handful of individuals) will ever see that version of me. 

I'm growing. Life is changing. I know there are a thousand aspects that I can work on in terms of my own personality, in order to improve relationships and the way I come across to others (and I'm working on it!) - but I think you get to a point where you're like: I GET THIS. I'm getting this. It's hard work and it's constant and there are no points when I feel like I'm actually doing something right. But I get that I'm understanding the process of how it all works. Never for a second to I feel like I deserve the right to do or be something. Usually, I sit there and I go from being insanely joyous to being downright depressed and confused all like, "What the hell am I doing and how do I fix all of this?" 
I've recently discovered that I'm good at forcing myself outside of my comfort zone, but, I've noticed that I'm bad at implementing massive life changes. For example, I have no issues with hopping on a plane and heading to a new country that I've never visited, but I'm scared shitless about moving out and forcing myself to start to live my own life, independent of my comfort zone. I have to spend a lot of time thinking about it. And believe me, I think about it all the time. I have to manipulate myself into knowing that I'm ready - that it's time.

I'm 95% ready for the next phase - and the rest of it will fall into place in the next couple of months. But it's the notion that I know that something massive is about to happen. I can just feel the changes in my bones, in the air, in the sparkles in the sky. Something big is coming and I just need to start preparing, emotionally, for the next chapter of this life. And something that comes with that is living outside of the phone, beyond the blog, and enjoying all that this life has to offer. After all, that's the REAL stuff - the moments and the adventures that we want to tell our grandkids about one day. 

I spent this last weekend running around Los Angeles with one of my best friends. He just moved to the city and is living in an INCREDIBLE apartment in Park La Brea - with a top floor view of the most incredible skyline you can imagine. On Saturday night, after a jam packed day of running around town and waiting tirelessly for Shake Shack, we ran to the top of his roof (using my shoe as a door stopper) and took in the most insane view first hand. The whole world was on fire up there, you guys. Light was everywhere. You could see the Hollywood sign, Griffith observatory...everything. Not to mention, I was running around barefoot on a 12 story building with one of my favorite people. 

It was one of those golden hours where your skin kind of gets all warm and you're covered in goosebumps and you know: I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. This is home right now. I felt like in that moment, the city was just giving me a hug and telling me that I was meant to be there in that moment. And it was so easy. And there was not a single care in the world besides me worried that my shoe would shift and we'd be stuck on the roof for the rest of the evening. These photos are from that little adventure on the roof - and it makes me happy how happy I look. Cause at the end of the day, I AM happy. And these days, I'm happier than I've been in a really long time. 

In twenty years, no one will give two shits about how many followers I had on Instagram once upon a time or how many likes that one photo of my boobs got. What does matter? That you're a good friend, a good daughter. That you take the time to take in the moments. That you invest your time and money in opportunities and experiences that make it so writer's block will NEVER be an issue. 

That all being said - stay tuned. I have a feeling an all new Allie is right around the corner. 

xx.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

on living lively

I've spent a lot of time this past year talking about identity - about how finding yourself can sometimes be a rough process and how there can be a lot of road bumps throughout the way. 

Which is why when Lively reached out to me about becoming a brand ambassador for them, I was truly, genuinely stoked to become affiliated with them. 

I read this brand statement and I was pretty much hooked :


Inspired by women with wild hearts and boss brains. Just let that resonate for a sec. 

Needless to say, I flipped and wouldn't stop harassing their marketing director. When my items finally showed up, they were delivered with a hand written note - which just goes to show how much the women behind this brand believe in it. For women, by women. That's something I can get behind.

That being said - I LOVE what this brand stands for. Yes, lingerie is scary. No, I don't like to hang out half naked on a regular basis. Yes, posing in my bra on a super random hot day in April is not ideal. But I GET this brand. I AM this brand. And when something comes along that just speaks to you, you just gotta do what you gotta do, even if that means posting photos of yourself in a bra on social media. To be honest, if they were based in LA - I would probably be begging them to let me work for free.
Check out this incredible T-Shirt bra HERE.
Check out this mesh bralette HERE.
There was something so empowering about taking these photos (shot by my secretly super talented sister). Almost like you take ownership of yourself and are just like, "I understand why, as a woman, I am doing this." It's my body. I'm young and I'm only going to look like this for a certain amount of time. Might as well flaunt what you've got while you can, while at the same time, telling people I am a woman with a wild heart and a career and a path and it's all so much bigger than me, you know?

That all being said, please do me (and yourself, and these girls cause they're awesome) a massive favor and check out their site - I'm serious, you won't regret it. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

firmoo does it again


The folks over at Firmoo were kind enough to send me over a stellar pair of mirrored frames.
With Spring right around the corner (Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!), I was more than stoked to get a new pair of sunnies for the upcoming brighter days.

I've worked with Firmoo before and I'm consistently impressed with the quality of their frames. As a self-proclaimed sunglass snob (I honestly have over thirty pairs), I have a tendency to shell out the big bucks for eyewear. What's great about Firmoo is that you get a serious bang for your buck.

Even better? All of the frames come with the cutest case (it's covered in a map!) and cleaning cloth. Ideal for the on-the-go person who has a tendency to just throw their glasses in their bag.

Check them out HERE and start stocking up for the warmer months!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

on love



Today marks one year of being single. 365 days. 

---

I feel like when you sit around and listen to stories about break ups (and I apologize, you've been listening to me go on about mine for an entire year now) - each person's story is drastically different. Whether it be a cheating scandal, a I-just-don't-love-you-anymore situation, or a LDR gone bad - everyone suffers in their own way, in their own time. But, what I've discovered from everyone I've talked to, is that the outcome is usually all the same. 

Love. 

I feel like in these scenarios, where your heart is shattered and you're left to figure out how to clean up the pieces, you wind up holding up a mirror to your own existence. You start questioning the way you view things. You start analyzing the way you handle scenarios; the way you treat those close to you. You start trying to mold yourself into the person you WANT to be. 

You throw yourself into activities and experiences and suddenly, you start remembering what it's like to breathe again - and it doesn't keep reminding you that you're feeling pain, but that you're ALIVE and that this life is a painful, beautiful thing.

Love. 

I'm a writer, first and foremost. I went to therapy the day after the break up and my therapist told me to write everything down. She told me to get it all out of me, to put it on paper and then hide it away on the shelf. I listened to her. I wrote my heart out. I hid it away and then never looked at it again. Then I turned to the blog. If my breakup had a heartbeat, it would be my writing. Throughout this process, writing is what kept me steady. It's what allowed me to extract the negative thoughts out of my head, and throw them into the universe, so that I could focus exclusively on my own personal growth. 

Love. 

I've been on more planes this year than I can count. I keep spending my money on plane tickets. I have this NEED to see new places and meet new people. I've laughed all over the country, not to mention different parts of the world. From Spain, to Seattle to Boston to Coachella (and many, many more) - I've traveled all over this year. Even though I'm in a perpetual state of exhaustion, nothing makes me happier than pulling my suitcase out of its hiding spot and filling it up for a new adventure. Nothing.

Love.

I don't think that there's an A-HA moment where you're magically better and everything is okay. I don't think there's an answer to any person's heartbreak. I don't think there is a safe way of advising how a person can get over someone they held near and dear. I think life just works in a way where you wind up thinking of them in the past, instead of in the present. You stop wondering (or caring) what they're up to. You stop badgering your friends to tell you what they see on his Snapchat. You just stop. And then that's when you start to heal. 

Love. 

My healing process truly began when I started to focus on myself more than focusing on him. Obviously, a part of me is still curious (and I still lurk from time to time), but I don't sit around wondering how he's going to live his life. I don't stress out about it, the way I used to. Instead, I throw my energies entirely into me and into my own existence. When I was in a relationship, I used to try and live my life selflessly. But now, I WANT to live more selfishly. Not in a douchey sort of way, but in the sense that I make my decisions for me and me alone. If a job opportunity presented itself in New York, I could take it. I don't have to worry about anyone else and there is something SO incredibly freeing in that sort of thought process.

Love.

I had a meeting with my boss on Tuesday. We sat in there for an hour and a half, and at one point, she told me that she can sense a clear difference in me. "You hold yourself differently than you did when you started here, " she said, with her eyes telling me that she was entirely serious about this observation. My first day there was February 2nd of 2015, so you can kind of sense what kind of changes happened throughout my employment there. But the crazy thing (or not-so-crazy) is that I actually agreed with her. Everything about me feels different. Everything. From my hair, to my body, to my self-esteem, to my pack of friends, to my relationship with my family - everything is different.

Love. 

I had posted something on here earlier containing a letter that I wrote my ex that I wrote a year ago. And then I took it down. Not because I was scared of negative responses, but because I don't want to live in the past anymore. I don't have any interest in going backwards. I want nothing but serious forward momentum. I want to touch the stars. I want a BIG life - one that I can be proud of, because I did it all on my own.

Love.

Its taken me a year. I still feel sad sometimes, but for the first time in my life, I feel like I'm flying. There are moments when I get this energy that comes from a deep, deep place - and it kind of takes over my body. Goosebumps spread and I have to look up, because there really is no other direction we should ever look. Look up, look forward - and let that internal energy point you in the right direction. 

 Once upon a time, a dear friend told me : "You'll find the light at the end of the tunnel, and you'll discover that the light is actually YOU." No truer words have ever been said. Ever.

Love.

Love is everywhere. It flows through your veins. It flows through this post. It lingers on your skin like a perfume you can never get rid of. It's in the air. it's in the sunsets you watch with your friends on the beach of San Diego, with the wind whipping through your hair and the water chilling your feet. It's in your promotions. It's in wacky happy hours with girlfriends. I've said it before and I'll say it again : I lost the guy who I thought was the love of my life, but in doing so, I just realized how much love there was IN my life. I'm a truly a lucky girl to have so many people I can say "I Love You" to.

Love your friends. Love your family. Love your adventures. Love your experiences, the good and the bad. Love your pain. Love your heartbreak.

But most importantly, TRY to love yourself.

Spend the time alone to figure out who you are. Try to discover your hobbies. Learn how to be a good friend. Learn which drink you like to order at the bar. Learn which city in the world is your favorite. Be a shoulder to cry on. Learn how to listen. Learn which aspects about people piss you off. Learn about politics. Learn which genre of book is your favorite. Learn how to fill up a journal with thoughts that you WON'T post on social media. Teach yourself how to be spontaneous and challenge yourself to do the things that scare you. Learn how to be humble, yet learn how to take a compliment. Drive with the windows down and blast that gangster rap music (I do it often) and just laugh at the people who look at you like you're crazy. Buy the ticket. Kiss the guy. Get the shoes. Bite the bullet. The list goes on and on.

 Everything in my life feels like it is written in BOLD now, in the best possible way. And even though I'm still on the path to self-discovery and self-love (and I can assure you, it'll still take some time to get there), I know that I'm a hell of a lot closer to getting there than I was a year ago. 

So here's to my Single-versary. And here's to growing and learning from the experiences that I've had throughout the journey that brought me here.

---

On a side note - I wanted to thank everyone who has been there for me throughout this process, whether in person or via social media. Like I said, we all deal with these things in different ways, and the essays on this blog were mine. To have so many supportive people around me, who regularly read and who reached out, meant the world. Without realizing, you all helped me rebuild the foundation on which I'm standing now, a year later. So, just know, I'm eternally grateful for your patience and your words of encouragement throughout this past year. Sending love to all of you.

xoxo
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