May 2014 / Carmen Varner // Lifestyle Blogger & Social Media + Blogging Coach


3 Things I Like About Getting Up Early

Saturday, May 31, 2014

I am not an early bird by any means. If I wake up before 8 a.m., I'm groggy & relatively unhappy until I thoroughly awaken. It takes me at least an hour & a cup of Earl Grey tea to open my eyes all the way. Getting up early isn't so bad though. Plenty of us quite enjoy it or do it daily. There are some positives about rising with the birds....I guess.

Gotta get that cup o' joe

1. Productivity
If I'm up at 6 a.m., I'm on a roll for the rest of the day. Make breakfast, pack lunch, work. Then I'm motivated to keep going. Why not allow time for a workout or maybe I should call my friend back? I think I have a bank payment to make. Let me clean the bathroom. I have groceries to buy & laundry to do. Well, at least there's time & I'm on a roll. I should try to wiggle in baking some banana bread too. 

2. Breakfast
If you were wondering, here are 5 reasons why you should have breakfast today. Rising early allows more time to create a delicious meal for myself & give me the opportunity to get hungry. If I wake up later, I'm not hungry until later & by then, I'm working. A hearty breakfast is a perfect way to start the day & keep me energized. Try this Mocha Oatmeal: An Easy, Hearty, & Caffeinated Recipe.

3. Quiet time
I get time to wake up, rise, & think. What do I want to accomplish today? How can I achieve my goals? Is there anything I forgot to do? Getting up early is inspiring, despite the difficulty I have opening my eyes. Quiet time can help you become a better planner, according to Forbes. Use this time to set goals & organize your thoughts.

Now that wasn't so awful. Set your alarm 20 minutes earlier than usual & see where the day takes you. Stay positive. Keep smiling. Start your day kindly. What about you? Are you an early bird or a night owl?

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Q&A with Shiba San

Thursday, May 29, 2014

SHIBA SAN. This French native is making waves globally, taking house music from his home to yours. Paired with his background in hip hop, Shiba San's music style contains bits of deep house and ghetto funk. The artist is scheduled to play his premier U.S. festival at HARD Summer 2014. The electronic dance music festival takes place on August 2 + 3 at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in Los Angeles. "Okay," one of Shiba San's latest songs, has garnered quite a bit of attention throughout the EDM realm. Bust out your speakers, take a listen, and let it soak in. Okay? Okay. Shiba San is very chill and bassy, perfect for summer.

Name: Shiba San
Age: Changing all the time
Hometown: Paris
Location: Paris

Where do you gather inspiration? It's coming from everywhere. I'm listening to a lot of stuff coming from a lot of countries. Sometimes when I'm riding my scooter--that's a very Parisian thing to do, riding a scooter--I have an idea for a melody, I stop and I record it on my iPhone. Thank you Steve.

Why the name "Shiba San?" It's a Japanese dog, which I like a lot, with a similar personality as mine. Moody.

How do you define success? Berthillon on a sunny Sunday afternoon in June. You have to be Parisian to understand. 

What is your favorite thing to see in the audience while you're on stage? I obviously like to see people reacting to my music, jumping up and down, booties & boobs, you know what I mean.

What are you most excited about for HARD Summer? That's going to be my first festival in the US. I saw the videos, so I'm very impatient to be there.

What's the best film of all time? Se7en.

What do you do when you're not making music? I listen to music.... a lot. I like to play tennis too and I like spending time with my friends and not with my manager.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? The one from Sangoku.

Find Shiba San on:


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

De-LUSH-ous. I recently forced my boyfriend to join me at LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. Upon entry, you can smell the abundance of delightful smells. From bath bombs to perfume, LUSH has it all. The best part is that they are very eco-friendly. Everything is handmade. They don't test on animals. Packaging is sparingly used and when it is, they utilize 100% recycled pots and bottles. I dig it.

Anyway, boyfriend and I took a look around. The ladies were very kind and attentive; they're always willing to let you sample a product. My boyfriend and I both have eczema, so they pointed out some products ideal for sensitive skin. These items are being used by BOTH of us; they are in fact gender neutral. And awesome!

The Dirty body spray contains tarragon, spearmint, lavender, and thyme. Together they blend into a light musky smell. It's perfect for men who want to smell amazing and women who want to smell kind of like their man. It's not overwhelming or super manly. The scent is decently long lasting and not just for the body. The LUSH lady pointed out that you can use it to refresh your clothes, your room, your car, etc. 

This Aqua Marina cleanser is ideal for those of us with sensitive skin. When my boyfriend and I were perusing the store, this is one of the first things we spotted. Sushi??! Not quite. This gentle cleanser contains calamine, nori (seaweed), and aloe vera gel. It leaves your skin super soft and hydrated, which is great for anyone with dry skin. I have somewhat oily skin, so I'll have to see how this fairs over the next couple weeks. You simply wet your skin and take off a tiny piece of the cleanser, then rub gently onto your skin. 

The T'eo deodorant just may be my favorite product of the bunch. Boyfriend and I smelled it initially and had to get it. The LUSH lady completely convinced me when she said she uses it and often has people asking her what perfume she's wearing. I kid you not, this smells heavenly!! T'eo has a strong citrus/lemon scent and contains juniper berry, tea tree and lemongrass. To use, just rub the bar on your armpit. You can smell your underarm a couple hours later and still be in awe of how good you smell! Amazing!

So yeah, that was my experience at LUSH, and I look forward to going again. These will tide us over for a while. The prices can be a tad high, but you get what you pay for. What is your favorite LUSH product? :]

Music Festival Style

Friday, May 16, 2014

Tis the season for music festivals! You can practically hear the music in your ear. Maybe you do; it's the headphones! For most ladies, we're contemplating what to wear. After all, music fests are chock full of photo opportunities, memories, meeting new people and possibly even various artists! 

I've lined up three looks with the hot sun in mind. Music fests are long and usually multiple days. You want something that can stand the test of time as well as stand the test of sweat from all the dancing and heat. Today we have the Bold Girl, the Casual Girl, and the Boho Girl. Which one are you?

The Bold Girl - The bold girl is the one who likes colors, patterns, and accessories. She doesn't mind wearing all of them together. And why not? She's fierce! She has a distinct persona. After all, you could spot her from a mile away. She may be loud and opinionated. She is confident in her style, her womanhood, her ideals. She's kind, but she won't let you walk all over her. Her music festival style is a rainbow of colors yet polished.

The Casual Girl - The casual girl is the one who always says "I'm down" or "Wherever you want to go." That's not because she doesn't care, it's because she's happy doing anything. She makes the most of the situation and enjoys the moments as they come. She is down-to-earth and easy to get along with. Her music festival style all about comfort and practicality. 

The Boho Girl - The boho girl, also known as bohemian, is the one who closes her eyes and let's the music envelope her. She's attracted to fridge, embroidery, tribal/ethnic patterns, layers, you know...the classic hippie chic. She's her own woman and likely already has tickets for the next music fest. Her music festival style is laid back and free-spirited. 

Which girl are you? What's your music festival style? Or are you a mixture? Which music festivals are you planning to attend in 2014? Let me know in the comments below! :]

You Are Magic

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Love can last a lifetime.
Love can hurt a lifetime.
Love is love,
and that is that.
Love can open your heart
or crush your soul;
it depends on who you love.
There are many ways to love,
just as many as there are people.
We spend our days searching,
yearning for that missing piece.
Sometimes you complete the puzzle
but end up losing more.
But try & try & try again,
because one day it's worth it.
One day it's worth the pain,
and all the trouble,
those late nights alone.
One day your heart will feel whole
because you never ever knew
this feeling
this love
this complex system
ever existed.
Love is just like magic.
Some always believed in it,
but some needed to experience it
before they truly understood.
I never knew love until I knew you.
You are magic.

Poem by Carmen Varner

Danny Brown at the El Rey

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Los Angeles. El Rey. Danny Brown. A perfect combination. The El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles is an art deco theatre with serious style. Upon arrival, you'll see the classic marquee and signage. Bright. Bold. Timeless. Built in 1936, the establishment started off as a movie theatre. Now it serves as a venue for all types of musicians. Saturday May 3, I saw Danny Brown in the flesh. It was better than I imagined.

I vividly recall the large chandeliers dangling gracefully from the ceiling and the red velvet curtains on stage. I liked the vibe. Boyfriend and I arrived at 9 p.m., assuming that nothing would start on time. However, opening act ZelooperZ was already on stage. He was tall and thin. He wore a red long sleeve shirt and what, at first glance, appeared to be a strainer on his head. It was not a strainer. It was in fact a metallic backwards hat. I kinda wish it was a strainer, but the hat was cool too.

I was struck by his beats. His live performance was entertaining, the music moving throughout your head and into your body. He had a stage presence alright. He came down to the supposed mosh pit and told everyone to go crazy but not to touch him. This is understandable seeing as he's trying to perform not get punched in the face. The mosh pit consisted of teen boys who looked like they were playfully pushing each other for thrill. Despite the non-violence, they still managed to knock ZelooperZ's mic out of his hand, to which he responded by once again telling the crowd not to bump into him. He told the DJ to restart the tune and started over.

It was an act I can respect as well as enjoy. Kudos. 

Next up was A$ton Matthews. He had his hype crew squirting us with water guns and throwing water bottles to the audience. Anything for a reaction I guess. The music didn't move me as much as ZelooperZ, but a few things did stand out.

1. The water guns
2. Water bottles (gotta hydrate, right? See #3 & 4)
3. Smoking blunts on stage (not Aston, but his crew)
4. Lighters up & blunts out

Basically, Aston was the blaze master, encouraging the showgoers to whip out the blunts that they so cleverly hid. It was a touching moment. Everyone was sharing. And sharing is caring. I'm glad everyone cared.

El Rey never responded to my query of obtaining a press pass, so pardon the photo quality. Unless you wanted to mosh, you were stuck on the sidelines. Regardless, I loved Danny Brown. I think we'd be great friends. He has a cool aura and funky personality. He performs with passion but never loses his sense of self. I especially adored "Kush Coma," which is a given. Some people got blunted, but Aston pretty much wiped the congregation out marijuana-wise.

"25 Bucks" truly stuck out to me; I'm pretty sure a tiny tear attempted to roll down my face until I told it to get it together and get back into my eyeball. I'm not sure why, but it moved me. That's all you can ask from music. You just want it to touch you, make you feel something.

After all was said and done, Danny came back out for one last tune. He sat on a chair with what seemed to be an unopened Maker's Mark bottle. Unopened! The song finished. He thanked the masses. My boyfriend and I immediately commented on the show's excellence. The crowd chanted, "One more song! One more song!" to no avail. Then people, slowly but surely, exited the building. Fun, memories, and good beats were had by all. Or at least by me. ;]

That's all folks. Do you like Danny B? What's your favorite Danny Brown track?


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