New Beginnings

Loneliness isn’t something you should be ashamed of, it should be something that you grow and learn from. It’s okay to spend time with yourself and know yourself and truly feel emotion- this is something that took me a long time to understand. Because, in being lonely you can learn to love yourself and find your best qualities as well as your ultimate downfalls. I will update you, my readers on the narrative of my story in the past months since I have neglected to share it before…

In December, I finally finished my nearly 6 year long and extremely difficult journey of obtaining my Bachelor’s Degree. Several weeks later I packed up my room in my small apartment in LA, and said goodbye to my roommates and the life I had there which was extremely difficult. In the past year I had experienced several different jobs, the hardships of finishing college and my first real breakup. I had friends there, it was a big city, the transition back to my small hometown of Ventura, CA was going to be difficult. I lust after the feeling of newness and the sheen of discovering new things and people, how was I going to discover that in a place I already spent 18 years of my life in? I was so naive only 2 months ago to think I was coming back to nothing. When really I was coming back to a family who loved me unconditionally and was waiting with open arms to receive me and congratulate me on my recent as Facebook would call it “Life Event” of finishing school and “starting the rest of my life.”

However, in that moment I was still hung up on the all-consuming feelings of a broken heart, close friends moving away and my life I had come to know and love in LA seemed like such a distant memory already. I was having a lot of trouble accepting this feeling of uneasiness and uncertainty- I suppose it’s what most people must feel like when they’re naked.

After days of frustration and the omnipotent theme looming over my head of “what the f*** am I going to do?!” I found solace in a close friend who had been staying on and off with my family in Ventura who suggested I drive back with her to San Antonio, Texas and we would make a road trip out of it. So, as an optimist always keen on finding ways to escape reality, I packed a suitcase, and booked a return flight from San Antonio to LA for the following Sunday. We spent about 24 hours total in the car and stopped to hike Joshua Tree’s incredible desert peaks as well as explore the much talked about eclectic contemporary art scene in Marfa, Texas. It was awesome- we were Thelma & Louise and the world was our goddam oyster. In the minuscule town of Marfa (really we walked the entire circumference several times), which has inspired the greatness of so many writers, artists and musicians, I myself found a transformative experience. Not that I am in any way great (at least my mom might think so). I found myself standing in a field of coarse tall grass looking at sculptures by a well known contemporary artist that were framed by beautiful never-ending blue skies, and I felt so small and so alive at the same time. The cold dry desert wind whipping my face, my nose running, laughing with my friend, feeling like there wasn’t a care in the world until I came back home and dealt with reality. The fact that I was a college grad, without a job, without a clear direction, with a nearly empty bank account and without a sense of independence that my Libra soul craves. I had to make the decision to be happy.

On that same trip I became extremely inspired by feminist narrative story tellers and poets like Eileen Myles (who we actually ran into in Marfa), Eve Babitz (an incredible muse to many and a self-proclaimed adventurous) and Janice Joplin who preached the longing of my melancholy heart in her signature raspy drawl blaring thru my headphones as I sat alone in the airplane terminal at 6:30am.

I returned home already missing the trip, waking up the days following wondering what my next move was. All the while taking for granted that although so much had changed, I was in a place where I was loved and cared for. Something that I’ve failed to mention in this blog for so long that effects mine and my families life everyday is the state of my mom’s health. It’s not often that I share something so personal with the entire world wide web, but hey I need an outlet.

The word reality for me (and probably many of you) has for my adult life thus far had a negative connotation. I remember one summer taking a class where we annotated “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and I told my professor I did’t like the book because it didn’t allow for fantasies or escapism (my feelings have since changed). For me, a long time reality has been my mom being very seriously ill since my last year of high school (nearly 6 years ago she was diagnosed with a rare and extremely debilitating and incurable lung disease). It has been something that has reshaped the way I view life and value relationships because there’s always the feeling that what you love can be taken away from you. Watching the person who brought you into this world struggle and have to fight for so long is the hardest thing I have had to experience in my short 23 years on this planet, and honestly I would not wish it upon anyone.

In the last month and a half that I have been home I have been trying to make peace with the reasons for me being here and having faith that there is still a journey in which I will take and be happy. And after getting to spend some time with my mom going to various doctors appointments and negotiating with doctors about what we think the countless meds are doing to her now weak body, I look at her and this experience and I struggle to find justification as to why this might be happening. A friend recently told me there is a reason clichés exist- it’s because they hold assemblages of truths that we secretly know to be true. I could get into “life is so precious” and blah blah blah but instead I am trying to do something else, which is allowing myself to feel a certain way and come to terms with where life is leading me at the moment. Sometimes, selfish acts and ways of thinking reflect your selflessness towards the people around you who you care about. And I want you to know, that the positives are quite exciting right now and may even overshadow the feelings of remorse for not spending more time with my mother. I’m sure when she reads this she’ll say “Aly, spare the dramatics” because I have a tendency to embellish detail (possibly from watching so many telenovelas as of late)- which says something about her character.

So yes I cry, but what’s wrong with that? Is it because reality is not the reality I’ve hoped for? I recently spent a lot of time and energy deeply caring for someone who was too blind to appreciate their current reality, and instead spent most of their time pining over other things and eventually completely lost site of what was eminently important. And yes, as the queen of clichés I can preach to you, my readers who may be feeling some of the grief or uncertainty that I’m going through, I leave you with this line from a Fleetwood Mac song I recently got tattooed on my body forever (lol):

It’ll soon be here. 


1.14.16 in Marfa, TX.

I’ve Been Thinkin Bout Forever

I have been neglecting this blog for the past several months and I just sat down to write and really couldn’t pin-point the main reason. I guess numerous things have been happening that have been not only obstacles, but life-changing events (positive and negative).  I suppose the main reason I’ve put writing on the back burner is probably because for a while, I took off more than I could chew with school, work, relationships, etcetera. Sometimes we let unimportant or petty things get in the way of things we are most passionate about- and I am passionate about writing. As cliche as it sounds, I feel like I’ve been given a voice and story that if I share, people will listen (and I so appreciate that).

To bring you all a little up-to-date, for the last four months I have been enduring the last (full) semester of my career as an undergraduate college student. For those of you who don’t know, this journey for me has spanned over the past five years, multiple schools and continents. I left my parents house when I was 17 to attend a school far from home (500 miles) where I thought I’d be far enough for my problems to melt away- they didn’t. I hit a lot of big bumps during those first two years that I thought might dull my ever ambitious shine and stop me from doing what I wanted to do- but they didn’t. I found solace in an incredible internship where I felt constantly inspired and hungry to make something of myself and more importantly, to write. This inspiration was further fed by an unforgettable summer spent in Europe where my eyes were opened wider than they ever had been before. I discovered a love for art history, taking photos of people and learning about cultures much different from my own.

Yes the learning or traditional education I gained from a university experience has been important, but the things I learned about myself along the way have proven to be invaluable. Because, even though I am only 22 years old, I have lived in a city in a foreign country, been able to prove myself valuable in many different types of job settings, know how to communicate and numerous other lessons you cannot learn in a classroom. I’ve learned some things the incredibly hard way, and I’ve also learned things by observing others mistakes. My belief is, that every bit of information and wisdom you learn yourself or gain from someone else can prove to be extremely valuable. People who don’t have this type of mentality will not go far- trust me.

After this entire journey, I discovered last week that I will not be able to walk in my college graduation. I have to admit, when I received this news, I was pretty crushed. I needed something, anything remotely positive to hold on to and graduation was going to be it. However, since a few days have passed, I’ve realized that a traditional right of passage is not something I need because I haven’t had a traditional college experience whatsoever- and that’s okay. In places where I feel like I have come up short, I’ve been able to fill those voids with incredible and serendipitous relationships I have gained over the years. I don’t care how cheesy or cliche I’m sounding at this point, but I really do believe that things happen for a reason, and maybe the reason doesn’t always reveal itself to you immediately, but it will in due time.

Other than graduation, I have began to think about how I really want to achieve my lofty goals and pursue my career. I’ve been having trouble lately deciding exactly what it is I want to do, because I have changed my mind so many times. I recently had a friend ask me “what do you like to do?” and that question has been in the back of my mind since then. What a concept? Doing something you love for the rest of your life. When I was originally asked this, I thought of the Frank Ocean song “Thinkin Bout You” because there’s a lyric that says, “Or do you not think so far ahead? ‘Cause I been thinkin’ ’bout forever.” It speaks to me because anyone who knows me knows I am always anxious about the next thing that’s going to happen. For now I want to take this time and live in the moment.

Thank you for all your love and support and thank you for reading always.

xx Aly

New Years Eve Style Challenge

Last week in the rough of finals, I was excited to be contacted by asking if I wanted to take part in their New Year’s Eve Style Challenge and I took them up on the offer! For the challenge, I had to pick my favorite little black dress
(so hard to choose just one) and create a look around the dress using their Polyvore-esque Style Sets. I came up with a glamorous yet simple NYE look that I think will be perfect for ringing in the new year!

I chose this dramatic Keepsake Maxi Dress complete with high side slits and a daring neckline as the item to style my look around. This dresses’ deep v-neckline is a flattering way to draw the eye toward your waist, making your middle appear smaller. My favorite part about this dress is probably that it’s a party in the back as well featuring thin crossing straps in an interesting pattern. I love this dress because it’s sexy in a very classy way and is a statement on its own that doesn’t require many accessories. I chose to pair it with delicate gold jewelry, strappy black sandals and an unexpected bronze clutch.

Here’s a preview of the dress and the complete look I put together, to see the links to all the items and the full style set, click here. Let me know what you guys think and what you’ll be wearing to start off 2015!

      Screen shot 2014-12-15 at 6.40.36 PM Screen shot 2014-12-15 at 6.59.07 PMKeepsake More Than This Maxi Dress in Black $159.99 

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Full look HERE.


California Dreamin’

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This summer I came up on this gorgeous UNIF kimono at a Buffalo Exchange for an absurdly good price and I couldn’t not buy it. For some reason, I haven’t figured out how to style it until now. Long kimonos work for me because of my height, but sometimes it’s tough to find a fairly understated/cool outfit to pair with such a stand-out wardrobe piece. My parents got me these awesome Ray Ban sunnies for my birthday a few weeks ago and the rose-tinted lenses that compliment the water color vibes of the kimono gave me the inspo to create an outfit based around them and the kimono.

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What I’m wearing: UNIF Kimono// H&M crop top // Levis shorts // Ray Ban Round Folding Flash Lenses // Urban outfitters & Old Navy necklaces //  Old Navy Bucket Bag // Charles David platform sandals.

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Photos by my friend Laren Kai check out her site here


An Afternoon with eShakti

IMG_9540 IMG_9541 IMG_9646 IMG_9585 IMG_9574 IMG_9557About a month ago, the site reached out to me expressing their interest in doing a collaboration on my blog and I’m so excited to finally share the final product here! A little background;  eShakti is an online retailer who specializes in creating customized pieces for women in an array of sizes (0-36W) that fit your individual body type.

They gave me the freedom to choose a product that I liked and that fit my personal style, so I chose this color-block sheath dress that I knew would flatter my body. The process of customization was simple and easy to understand. In my sample order, they asked for my height (important considering I’m 5’8″/5’9″), bust and hip measurements and then I chose my size according to what I usually wear and their guide. Upon receiving the dress, I was really pleased with the way it fit and how the customization had turned out. However, the only criticism I will give, is that I wish the sizing could be offered in a way that the bust size and the hip/bottom size could be made more tailored to individual bodies. For example, I have fairly broad shoulders and a big bust, in comparison to my smaller waist, it would have been convenient for those measurements to have been used and allow me a little more shoulder room.

Overall, my experience with eShakti was a great one and I am really pleased with the way my customized piece turned out. I recommend other gals take a look and see what it’s all about!

What I’m Wearing:: eShakti dress // Charl0tte Russe sandals // Chanel bag

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Photos taken by my friend Alexandra Alvarez in Los Angeles.

Walk on the Wild Side

IMG_9197 IMG_9194 IMG_9192Last week, my sister and I made a trip to one of our favorite stores in Hollywood, Amoeba Music (and spent a little more time there than we maybe originally anticipated). Every time I find myself in that amazing store, I discover that I need things I never knew I needed! This time I found an awesome poster of the late great Janis Joplin that will be perfect for my new apartment!

What I’m wearing: Urban Outfitters top // Levis vintage shorts (I own 3 pairs) // Dr Martens (my sister’s) // Gold chain necklace: vintage from my grandma // sunnies: street vendor in Venice.

**Side note: A lot of people have been asking me about my hair lately. It is in fact naturally like this, but to achieve this type of curl, I rely on Catwalk by TIGI Curls Rock to get this kind of look (along with the good favor of the universe). I will do a post soon on my hair ritual to fill you all in completely!

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Thanks for reading!

xx Aly





Summer Sadness & Florals

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What I’m wearing: Matching floral top & skirt (I bought a few months ago) from Buffalo Exchange // Gold vintage watch (one of many stylish accessories inherited from my grandma) // Steve Madden sandals //  Forever 21 sunnies

First of all, WOW IT’S AUGUST (where did the summer go)? **cough cough summertime sadness** TOO MUCH SORRY… There is always this great stigma that summer is the ultimate time to play “catch up” or accomplish lofty or challenging goals that you maybe wouldn’t normally be able to do during the other nine months of the year. Since this is (hopefully) my last official summer “off” as a student, I’ve been doing my very best to really soak it in. I remember back in May when Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” was the theme song playing in my head and I did not give a flying F*** since I found out all my grades were decent and I had somehow survived another semester! Woohoo! But, at the same time I was frantically making a check list of everything that I believed needed to be accomplished in the short three months to follow. Seeing the progress I’ve made on that list thus far makes me feel slightly relieved.  These goals completed have been planned as well as unexpected include; making a bit of money, reconnecting with old friends, getting writing published on various platforms, having my blog recognized (without trying), getting a tan (I just got back from Lake Havasu), do some reading, get back into exercise (I forgot how much I love it), taking singing lessons (something I haven’t done for a while but singing is one of my great passions).

Obviously I’m a visual/list person, and sometimes writing things out is the best way to see what you’ve done! This summer has been a time of reflection for me and rediscovering things that I truly enjoy doing and make me happy (like singing and exercise). I’m hoping that thought process will somewhat rub off on me once school starts again in three weeks.

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Photos by my fabulous sis Sarah!

Thanks for reading!

xx Aly


Crop Top Queen

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Earlier this week, my sister and I both had a day off so we decided to to take a trip up to Santa Barbara to shoot some photos and of course, do some shopping. I wore these high-rise Gap jeans I found on MAJOR sale about a week ago (and have worn them nearly everyday since). I decided to break out this floral American Apparel crop top that was part of last summer’s staple wardrobe in Europe. In the past, I’ve only worn this top with shorts and skirts, so it was fun to try something new and maybe a little more Carrie Bradshaw-esque. 😉

What I’m wearing: American Apparel top // Gap High-rise distressed jeans // Old Navy suede demi-wedge sandals // Urban Outfitters Initial Bar Necklace // Aviator sunglasses (borrowed from a friend 😉

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Summer Ease with For Elyse

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Last week I received an email from the cute and contemporary site For Elyse asking if I would be interested in doing a sponsored post with them and I didn’t hesitate to say YES! I chose this adorable floral kimono and am so excited to pair it with different pieces for summer!

What I’m wearing: Lush Cool Island Kimono // Old Navy tee (knotted) // Levi’s shorts (vintage) // DAV boots.

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Post Sponsored By

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Photos taken in Ventura, California by my dear friend Jess! 

A Year in Perspective

This time exactly a year ago I was living out the adventure of a lifetime in Madrid, Spain. I had been living and going to school there for a little over a week and had just begun to memorize the metro lines and the many neighborhoods as well as the important places in the bustling city. My mediocre spanish and blond hair (not common in Madrid) made me stick out at first, but after a while people began to think I was actually a Madrileña, or someone who lives in the city. They would ask me for directions (in español) and where they should go and eat tapas or have a drink. Having grown up near LA in a city that relies heavily on driving, it was refreshing to use walking as a form of transportation and have more regular human interaction with strangers.

Fast forward to now, I have just moved home to Ventura from LA for the summer, and am working several jobs and am constantly nostalgic about returning back to Spain. I’m not sure if it’s just the idea of living there, or how happy I was, or the friends I had but I miss it so much. This is so cliche and cheesy, but I truly feel like I left a part of my heart there. There’s something that Los Angeles lacks as a city in being very unconnected and filled with people who are not from here and don’t consider it their home (although I’m a hypocrite since I’m not from Spain).

Although Spain was the obvious highlight of the past year, I think of all the large (and small) things I accomplished since leaving for that trip; I learned conversational spanish (and a bit of Catalan), I made many close friends from all over the United States and world, I learned what it was like to be part of a big Spanish family thanks to Laura Roca, I brought some Dutch friends home to experience a true American Thanksgiving, I started at a new university and got on the Dean’s list, I did an internship, I moved (twice), I traveled to 3 new countries and about 13 new states, I experienced partying in New Orleans, and LONG car rides, I finally turned 21, attended a big fashion trade show, got back into blogging, I learned how to take a decent photograph, I made a lot of great professional connections, started roller blading and that’s about all I can think of at the moment…

Here’s a taste of the past year


From one of my first days in Madrid


Outside Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid


Toledo, Spain


Cadaqués, Spain


La Basilique du Sacré Coeur de Montmartre, Paris


Me with some famous Ladurée macaroons, Paris


The Louvre, Paris


LA Fashion Week, Los Angeles


Las Vegas, Nevada for WWD Magic


The Dutch girls and I in Ventura for Thanksgiving


Charleston, South Carolina


New Orleans, Louisiana


Nashville, Tennessee

From all these great experiences this year, I learned that I want different things out of life than I originally thought I might have in the past. Human interaction and experiences are what makes your life rich and full, not necessarily what you do or where you go. Also, sometimes living in the moment in where you are is what is most important. I know that’s a cliché that you hear time and time again, but I’ve realized it’s true. So in this new chapter, I hope to live more like that and take things as they come…

What are you guys hoping to accomplish this year?

Thanks for reading,

Aly xx