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


Q&A with David Heartbreak

Thursday, July 31, 2014

DAVID HEARTBREAK. This Brooklyn-bred electronic dance music (EDM) artist has his eye on the prize. What's the prize exactly? To make music? Sure. More specifically, he wants to contribute to the art form known as music. He doesn't want to be a humble musician. He wants to be an artist, to make art to last a lifetime. To be a legend. Despite the lofty goals, he is down-to-earth. Given the opportunity, Mr. Heartbreak could eat a Double Double from In N Out on any given day. He realizes perfection isn't attainable & likes those little quirks which make us human. My interview with David Heartbreak was pretty fun. He's cool, chill, & kind. You'll see that too. Read on, friends. Read on. 

Name: David Heartbreak
Age: 28
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Current Location: Los Angeles, CA

Photo from OWSLA

What is the music making process like? Walk me through how a track is made.

Honestly there's not enough paper, but in short it's different each time. I write a lot of different music that most people would never imagine I do, but I'm pretty all over the place. It's different each time. I use a lot of different DAWs*. If it's a melody based track it's logic. If it's some choppy shit it's Ableton. It's different each time. I also don't force myself to make music. I only write when I'm inspired, and that can be on a plane, on the couch or sitting in my backyard. It all depends, ya know? 

Editor's note: *DAWs = digital audio workstation

How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

You deal with it and move on. I think the beauty is in the imperfections. Everyone wants to be perfect. I like the gray area. I think you have to capture the crowd's emotions and sometimes that comes from playing in the moment thinking ahead, and having happy accidents. 

Which artist would you like to collaborate with & why?
I like a lot of artists, but I like to work with people that are as passionate and as crazy as I am. I'm not really into the names, I'm more into the passion that people put into their music. That's how great songs are made, from vibes, relationships, and visions. This is why sometimes two dope artists collab and make a whack tune, because the vibe isn't right and it's forced.  

How did growing up in Brooklyn affect your music style? 
Brooklyn taught me the grit of everything. Brooklyn was always the grimy shit for some reason. The dirtiest reggae, the dirtiest acid, the darkest house music. Beautiful but weird place, even though it's changed now. But Brooklyn made my music aggressive, and other skills I learned made it soulful and ambient, so now everything is a mixture of that, I guess sexy aggressive music, with a splash of dub. 

What are you most pumped about for HARD Summer?
I'm just ready to rage and have a good time. I love LA, and I love the crowd. The crowd at HARD appreciates different shit, and that's what I bring, different shit, so it works. 

What is the best snack for munchies?
Haha, that depends on what city you're in and what you're doing, and why you have the munchies, but honestly the answer regardless is In N Out, Double Double once a day homie. 

Do you think any kind of afterlife exists?
Yeah I'm sure it does. We're all forms of matter if you really think about it.

What did you do for your latest birthday?
Last birthday I don't remember. It wasn't anything too big or I would remember, but this year I'm going hard, no pun intended. 

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
I want to travel to Tokyo and Australia, those are the two places I have yet to experience and I want to sometime in the near future. 

List 5 goals on your life's To Do List. 
I don't really live off goals to be honest, but if I have to have a goal, it would be to live forever, and  that's why I put so much passion in my music, because I want to be remembered for contributing to the art form we know as music. 

David Heartbreak has come a long way from Brooklyn. LA is pretty far right? He still has dreams & ambitions to keep moving forward. His music is energetic; it cannot be defined into one genre because his tunes contain traces of trance, dubstep, dancehall, electro, & more. It tells a story. In time we will see how the story plays out.

Find David Heartbreak:

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Biokleen Review + Giveaway

Monday, July 28, 2014

I'll be honest & admit, I'm not a neat freak. If someone else can sweep the floor, I'd love it. But sometimes you just have to take initiative & do it yourself. I had a really bad experience the last time I tried cleaning the shower. Whatever product I was using caused my eyes to burn. Burn! My eyes were watering like crazy. I couldn't see. I even kept the area well-ventilated. Obviously, it was a bad experience. The harsh chemicals won the battle against my body. That said, I was pretty psyched to test out these Biokleen products.

"All Biokleen products are free of phosphates, chlorine, ammonia, petroleum solvents, alcohol, butyl, glycol ether, brighteners, artificial colors, artificial fragrance. We believe that a house free of toxins is a home full of love," according to their site. Let's see how they fared! 

I received 5 products to utilize. I got: Bac-Out Fresh Lemon Thyme Natural Fabric Refresher, Bac-Out Fresh Lavender Natural Fabric Refresher, Citrus Essence Laundry Liquid, Lemon Thyme Natural Dish Liquid, as well as the Spray & Wipe All Purpose Cleaner. 

I am obsessed with these fabric refreshers. Both smell delightful. I love the freshness of the lemon thyme. It's so rejuvenating! I like to spray the lavender one on the pillows before bed to get me relaxed. But these items are pretty versatile. I sprayed them on the bed sheets, pillows, couch, car seats, & clothes. They work effectively. The ingredients are listed, so you won't be surprised or grossed out to use them. I wouldn't be able to decide which scent I like better. :]

I was really looking forward to the laundry liquid. It smells amazing. The packaging claims it will last 128 loads, but I'm not entirely sure that's correct. As you can see, I used up some of this product & that was only 3 loads. I did add more than the recommended cap full. My only problem with this product is that the clothes, although they were clean, did not have any scent to after washing. Most laundry detergents do leave a fresh scent after drying but this could be due to the chemicals used. Other than that, it worked well. Everything was clean.

Okay, so this dish liquid rocks. I'm always amazed at the scent. This is another win for lemon thyme. It seriously smells delightful & makes washing the dishes much more pleasant. This dish liquid is for hand washing only; it's not meant for dishwashers. The cool thing about this is that it's not just for washing dishes. You can use it as a hand soap, add a couple drops for a fun bubble bath, or use it as a pet shampoo. 

The All Purpose Cleaner is another fantastic product from Biokleen. Since all the ingredients are natural you don't have to question what you're washing your kitchen counters with. It makes everything clean  & tidy without causing my eyes burn (as I mentioned earlier haha). I've used this in the kitchen, bathroom, living room. I've also used it on windows as well as glass tables. Works like a charm.

So yeah, that was my Biokleen experience. It was quite awesome, as awesome as cleaning can go. With that said, I'd like to introduce you to the Biokleen giveaway! To enter, just check out the Rafflecopter box below. You may like or follow whichever accounts you prefer. The more you like, the more entries you get. This giveaway is open until Monday August 4th at 12:00 a.m. Winner will be notified by email! However, this giveaway is for U.S. residents only! Sorry international readers. :\

Do you like cleaning? Or do you try to avoid it like me? Let me know! :]

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* Disclaimer: These products were received complimentary from Biokleen in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are 100% mine aka Carmen's. :]

Enter the giveaway below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DOs & DON'Ts of Leaving Blog Comments

Friday, July 25, 2014

Being a blogger is a fun & unique experience. One great thing about blogging is the sense of community you get to create & participate in. You read other blogs. You interact with people. You follow them on social media. Leaving comments is a fantastic way to be engaged with readers as well as other bloggers. You stimulate conversation. You acknowledge other blogs. As a social media manager, I've seen some wonderful, thoughtful comments & I've seen some pretty abysmal stuff too. Read these do's & don'ts of leaving blog comments & let me know if you agree.

The DOs

DO read the post

This is rule #1. This is vital. This is necessary. If you didn't even read the post, do not comment on it. There's just no point, because your comment adds nothing of value. You are simply judging the post based on a title or photo. You can really tell when someone didn't read the post because their comments come out really generic. "Really nice" is not a good comment. Read the post. Read the post. Read the post!

DO be genuine

Be yourself. No need to create some persona. If you don't like their shoes, don't comment that you love their shoes. You can comment about something you do like. "Wow. I really love your nail polish color. Light pink is perfect for summer." or "I'm normally not the biggest fan of Birkenstocks but you rock them!" Don't be afraid to be you.

DO ask a question

Sometimes you may have a question on something within the blog post. Don't be afraid to ask. In fact, this helps to stimulate an interaction. Ask the writer about how the product worked or how they liked the music festival they just attended. This creates a dialogue & shows you're not out to just promote yourself.

DO share an example

I love it when people chip in with their own experience. If I write about a certain movie, I like when someone comments that they loved it, hated it, thought it was funny. Sharing an example also shows that you actually read the post. You are expressing a little bit of your personality or experience. For example, one blogger was going to visit Paris. I recommended that if she needed an ice cream break she should visit Berthillon because it's the best ice cream I ever had. I shared a personal experience & thought which adds value versus just saying "Have fun."


DON'T leave a blog promotion that's longer than your comment

If your comment reads "Very cool," but your self-promotion reads "How about you check out my blog? | BlogName |  Giveaway --> here | Facebook |," I will just delete your comment. You obviously don't care at all about what I wrote, you just want to promote all of your accounts. Please do not do excessive self-linking. No thank you. 

DON'T be generic

One time I got 3 "great post"s in a row. That's all they said besides promoting their own link. Your best bet is to point out something specific from the post. Did you mention that their dog, Willow, was really cute? Good job, you caught their pup's name. Did you comment that you too hate Sundays? Great point, you pointed out that you have something in common. Don't be generic, it's not cool.

DON'T be afraid to be honest

We are humans. We don't always agree or believe the same thing. It's perfectly okay to be honest. If you had a weird experience with the mascara the blogger says she loved, that's totally fine to voice in your comment. It's fine to respectfully disagree. That's what makes it so fun. We all have different experiences. But make sure you're not being a negative Nancy.

DON'T copy & paste

Please don't copy & paste the same message to every single person. It just lowers your credibility. It's kind of like the boy who cried wolf. If you comment "You look lovely in this outfit." to 50 bloggers a day, someone is bound to notice & not take you seriously. Be different. Be unique. Find something in particular you can focus your comment on.

What are your thoughts on the DOs & DON'Ts of Leaving Blog Comments? Do you have similar experiences with comments on your blog? What's the best or worst comment you received? :]

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The Tale of the Lost Job: a mini-series

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It was 6:06 p.m. Sabrina drove in her newly acquired red 2004 Toyota Camry to Ellie's house. Ellie said she had some news for her. You see, Ellie is Sabrina's coworker. The two work for a small marketing firm, Mariposa Marketing, in an office of about 5 employees. 

"What sort of news?," Sabrina asked Ellie over the phone as she attempted to follow the GPS directions.

"We all just need to talk," Ellie answered. "But everyone is taken care of, so don't worry."

"What does that even mean? Don't worry about what?,'" Sabrina thought. "If someone tells me not to worry I'm going to go right ahead & do the opposite."

"Uh okay," Sabrina managed to say. "I'll be there in about 10 minutes. I told Kyle to meet us at your place." Kyle was a coworker too. 

The women ended their phone conversation. Sabrina listened to the female Australian voice she chose for her GPS system. She drove down the busy road for a few miles.

"Turn right at the next street," the Australian voice said. Sabrina turned.  "Destination is on your left," the voice said.

"No. Nothing is on the left except a school. Ellie doesn't live at a school, you fool," Sabrina told the voice. She reentered the addressed & the GPS system rerouted her. "This is idiotic. How does one even get lost with a GPS system?"

Sabrina took a different way around the school & found Ellie's house a couple streets down. She spotted Kyle's beaten up yellow car in the driveway. At least she knew she was in the right place. Sabrina parked, got out of the car, & locked the door. She walked in between Ellie & Kyle's cars. As she approached the door, Sabrina heard the loud screams of children playing in the house.

"Hey Sabrina," Ellie saw her through the screen door. She unlocked it & let Sabrina in. They hugged & said their hello's. Ellie was finishing up cooking dinner.

"Take a seat. Supper is almost ready," Ellie said. Kyle was sitting at the dinner table & so was Sabrina's boss, Hannah.

"Dinner? Jeez, this must be serious. You always get dined before you get declined," Sabrina thought. She gulped & took a seat at the large square table. The table was already set. The kids, one belonged to Ellie & the other to Hannah, ran around yelling loudly.

"Lily! Please! Inside voices," Ellie said as she stopped her daughter. The two girls ran around the house with their play vacuum & dolls. They lowered their voices to a slightly quieter scream. Ellie shut off the stove & distributed the food. It was cheese ravioli with marinara & a side of steamed broccoli. Ellie made sure to make it vegetarian-friendly for Sabrina. They sat around eating & making small talk for a bit. Hannah picked at her food. She clearly wasn't eating. The rest of them scarfed down their meal.

"This is just weird," Sabrina thought in between bites of green beans. The crew quickly finished their food, likely united in the feeling of awkwardness. Ellie put the dishes in the sink & sat back down. They were all silent for a good minute before Ellie spoke.

"So we are gathered here to let you know some news," Ellie stated. "Hannah will explain everything." Ellie nodded at Hannah to start her speech.

"Well," Hannah said, then paused. "Well, Anthony & I have officially decided to separate." Anthony is Hannah's husband & the co-owner of the marketing business they all worked at. In fact the whole team except for Anthony was sitting at the table.

She explained that due to private matters, there was no way she could stay with him. With that said, she also could no longer be a part of the work force. With that said, there would be no more work.

"I really didn't want this to happen. I'm so sorry everyone," Hannah said. She was holding back tears. Her eyes welled up. "I can't say for sure, but it's just a matter of 2 or 3 weeks." Basically, the whole business was going under due to the split as well as secrets held within the company such as excessive spending & lying. And possibly cheating? Nobody knew the extent of said problems until they were uttered at the dinner table.

Sabrina took a second to soak it in. In a matter of weeks, her marketing career would be over. She really didn't want to go back to foods service. "I wasn't expecting that," she thought. "I wasn't expecting that at all."

"I can write you all a recommendation letter & help you with your resumes," Hannah said. It could help in the job search, sure. But it would be better to just have a job.

"Sometimes you may know something is a long time coming, but once it comes, you're still shocked," Sabrina said. They all agreed. It was obvious the marriage between Hannah & Anthony had been crumbling for a while. They would bicker at work. It was an odd environment to be in.

"Neither Hannah nor I will be in the office this week," Ellie told the group. She discussed some details & they  decided to meet up again in a couple days for updates. Nobody asked any more questions. Nobody really said anything. Things quieted down. Kyle had to go, so Sabrina said her goodbyes & left as well.

"I knew something was wrong. The second I saw dinner, I knew something was up," she thought as she drove back to her boyfriend's house. "Now I hafta apply to jobs..."


More to come with this mini-series. Adult life & work life are fun, but they can be filled with drama, problems, & hard work. Follow Sabrina as she journeys to find the next step in life. How will the fate of Mariposa Marketing fare? What will Sabrina do? What's it like to be a jobless post-grad?

The Best Bags Under $50

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fashion & style are wonderful ways of personal expression, but sometimes the price tag is not so wonderful. At this time in my life, I don't have $1,000 to casually spend on a purse. It would be a not-so-casual experience. I'd have to plan out how to pay car insurance, food, & rent in order to purchase said bag. I don't know if that would be the best choice. I prefer to find quality products at reasonable prices. With that said, I'd like to introduce you to the best bags under $50!

I am the type of person who likes something colorful, fun, & whimsical. The pineapple ASOS bag & the daisy Nastygal purse are two of my favorites. They are spunky & interesting. If I saw someone walking down the street with either of these, I would stop them & ask where they made their purchase, or just silently stare in awe.

The Mango, Dailylook, & Dorothy Perkins bags are simple, relaxed, & versatile. These are purses you can rock to work & then to a late dinner with friends. I like items that can be used in a multitude of ways. These bags do just that. I really love the Dailylook one. The mint green color is superb. It just looks chic & regal to me. You know...fancy too. *I'm so fancy.*

The Delias fringe bag is ideal for that cool, laid back girl. This looks something you could rock to a music festival or with cowboy boots. The beaded Chictastic bag is really neat. The details are what make it amazing.  From afar it looks relatively simple. As you get closer, the purse starts to shine & all the beading & sequins come to light. Obviously, the purple Aniika bird clutch is for that bold girl who really likes something unique. 

Which bag is your favorite? Do you want any of these to add to your collection? Share your thoughts & leave a comment! :]

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Banana Strawberry Raspberry Smoothie

Friday, July 18, 2014

It's summertime which means it's smoothie time! You can always make a fresh fruit smoothie as an easy cheap vegetarian or vegan recipe. Why? Because fruits are amazing for you! Fruits may reduce your risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Plus, they contain many vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

Why make this easy cheap vegetarian recipe? It's simple. It's healthy, delicious, & nutritious. Best of all, my recipe is under 200 calories! Jamba Juice's Banana Berry Smoothie is 280 calories and Smoothie King's Banana Berry Treat is 364 calories. Look at my nutrition label down below. My fresh fruity smoothie contains over 25% of your daily fiber!

Let's get started!

1 small banana 
1/2 cup strawberries 
1/4 cup raspberries 
1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk 
1 tbsp orange juice 
1 dash cinnamon 
1/2 cup ice

*add an extra dash of water, almond milk or OJ if you find it too chunky/thick

Simply add the items in the order listed. Blend. Feel free to add more liquid if it's too thick for you. I prefer a thick, creamy texture compared to a runny juice. But that's just me.

Nutrition facts for my Strawberry Banana Raspberry Smoothie.

Search "vegetarian" in my search bar for all types of easy cheap vegetarian recipes and more! What's your favorite smoothie recipe? Do you have a go-to summer recipe? :]

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Beauty Without Cruelty Review

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Good morning everyone! I have a neat product review for you.  Or I should say products review. Today's brand is Beauty Without Cruelty*. I am a vegetarian as well as an animal lover, so I try my best to be cruelty free. I'm not perfect, so don't sue me! But I'm thankful I was provided some animal & earth-friendly products to try out. These products are not tested on animals nor do they contain animal products. Let's take a look, shall we?

I received 3 travel mini products to try out: Rosemary Tea Tree Mint ShampooRosemary Tea Tree Mint Conditioner, & the Lavender Hand & Body Lotion. I also got a full size Attitude Nail Color in Summer Sky. I was able to choose which products, so I picked the items I thought I'd like best.

I made sure to read the directions in case I had no idea how to use it. Seems pretty standard. The ingredients are listed on the back, but the print is far too tiny for me/any human being to read. I liked that it's made in USA. I could read that much. The travel sizes are 2 oz. This makes it ideal for when you're a jet-setting blogger always on the run! 

The shampoo smelled great. It was really refreshing & invigorating due to the tea tree. As you can see, the consistency is pretty liquidy & clear. The Rosemary Tea Tree Mint Shampoo did not foam up as much as I'd like. I really love to feel the frothiness of the shampoo in my hair. I didn't know how much to use, so I kept adding more until I felt like it was working.

The Rosemary Tea Tree Mint Conditioner was creamy & thick. The scent was the same as the shampoo. Tea tree truly is an aromatic botanical, one that I love to use. The conditioner, however, did not leave my hair as soft as I would normally like. Just as with the shampoo, I felt like I kept adding product to reach my personal desired effect. I assume this is because of the natural ingredients. There's no synthetic fragrances or parabens. 

With that said, the shampoo & conditioner did do their jobs. It cleaned my hair & nourished it. Once my hair dried, it was shiny & pretty as can be. I made my boyfriend try out these products as well & he said "I liked it." Miracle product? Not really. Good product? Yes. These are definitely something to consider if you have a sensitive scalp or want to be more earth-friendly.

Okay, I am a huge lavender fanatic, so I really wanted to try this one out. The Lavender Hand & Body Lotion left my skin hydrated & happy. The lotion itself is thick but it blends easily with your skin. This is perfect to put on dry hands or elbows. The lavender scent is rejuvenating & mild. However, the scent is not long lasting. I put it on a couple hours ago, & I don't smell anything now. All the travel sized products retail at $2.99.

Last but not least, I tried out the Summer Sky nail varnish, & I must say it is my favorite item from the bunch. The color is gorgeous! It's a light blue, but it's not too light. You can still tell it's blue. It's a fantastic summer color, hence the name! Two coats of the polish are more than enough. Complete this look with a top coat to give it extra shine. I simply adore this color; I've received several compliments. The retail value of Summer Sky is $16.95.

I had a swell time using these products. I likely wouldn't purchase the shampoo & conditioner simply because they didn't do everything I'd like. They did their jobs, but it was not above & beyond. But that's just me. My boyfriend liked them a lot! I liked the lotion, but I wouldn't purchase this myself unless it was on sale or something. The Summer Sky polish was my favorite, so this is definitely something I would utilize often & purchase.

Thanks for reading! Will you check out any of these items? Do you like the Summer Sky polish color? Have you ever tried cruelty free products?

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* Disclaimer: These products were received complimentary from Beauty Without Cruelty in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are 100% mine aka Carmen's. :]

5 Affordable & Easy Date Ideas

Monday, July 14, 2014

So...you're on a budget. You can't afford $100 meals each time you go out with your sweetie pie. Or you don't want to put in hours of thought & effort for your blind date. Or you only have a few hours of spare time this week because you have a really important work deadline looming. 

Don't worry. I've got you covered with these 5 cheap & easy date ideas! You can print this to impress your honey boobear with fabulous dates or you can read it with friends to have a more exciting outing. These ideas are versatile. You can tweak, alter or add to your liking. 

Life is short. Life is precious. Don't get stuck in a "Let's just order pizza and watch Netflix" rut. Read this list for 5 cheap & easy date ideas to switch it up a bit. Use this list. Live this list!

1. Play billiards - Head to your local bar or the sports club & play a few games of pool. Challenge your partner. Make it interesting. The person who wins the best of five games gets a free drink courtesy of the loser. Or the loser gets to pay for the next date! You choose! ;]

2. Watch a film at the drive-in - Ooooh yeah. Drive-in movies are so. much. fun. Nothing beats the thrill of the big screen. Go to Drive-Ins to find out where your nearest drive-in is. No excuses! Sometimes they show the classics, sometimes they show current movies, depends on your theatre. Drive-ins add a touch of pizzazz to the date. Try this one out for sure.

3. Go on a nature walk - If you don't know any cool parks, reserves, arboretums, etc. in your area, research it. Do something other than "I'll pick you up at 8 p.m. for dinner & a movie." Get together with your date in the early afternoon, say 3 p.m. Make an adventure out of it. Let the sun's rays warm your soul together! 

4. Eat at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant - You pass by a sign that says "Thai Food" on your way to your ice skating adventure. That's all the sign tells you. The restaurant is small, nameless, and unknown. You decide this is where you're going for lunch. 

5. Drive downtown - Go to your city's downtown area. Even if you live in a little town, you still have some sort of downtown area. Walk the streets of your city. Gander at shops. Pretend you're a tourist and create random accents. Is there street art? Is it busy? What seems to be the most popular spot? Experience what the heart of your city has to offer. 

You don't have to be bored. Life is not meant to be dull. If you haven't taken your wife out in a while, use these 5 cheap & easy date ideas. If you and your boyfriend have only watched How I Met Your Mother for the last three weeks, use these cheap & easy date ideas. If your friends are bored of doing "the usual," use these cheap & easy date ideas. ENJOY LIFE!

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The Countdown to HARD Summer 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014

I love counting down to an event. It just hypes me up incredibly. It can be a mixture of fun & angst. On one hand, it's joyous to look forward to something, keeping track of each day until the day nears. On the other hand, it can feel like it's eons away. "Man only 212 days until Coachella. Ugh...212 days. That's more than half a year. How many hours of work is that?" Never fret. At the end of the day, the day eventually comes.

I am counting down to HARD Summer. You've likely heard me talk about it before. HARD Summer is an electronic music festival located in El Monte, CA near Los Angeles. I went last year with the boyfriend, so I have an idea of what to expect. I know what to wear, my outfit will look something like this. I have an inkling. Yes. But do things change? Yes. Either way I am soooo thrilled. The day is finally nearing.

What HARD Summer 2014 tickets look like

The tickets this year are pretty intricate. They are semi-holographic. When you move the card around the photo changes. Totally reminds me of the 90s. What's different about this year is that you get one ticket per day versus just one ticket last year. I like that the tickets are a keepsake. They are thick & sturdy instead of flimsy paper that won't last through the day. Woohoo! 

My goals are to take pictures, enjoy the music & the people & the experience, & just have a swell time. I hope to get some great photos to share with y'all. But that's easier said than done at a music festival. I usually end up captivated by the experience which is the most important part. I think it'd be fun to capture the rave attire though. You'll be in for a treat. With that said, I guess the countdown remains. I'm so excited. :]

Check out my interviews with some of the HARD Summer 2014 performers:
What are your music plans? Any festivals this summer? I shared my excitement, why not share yours? :]

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Pink Paradise // OOTD

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

I always thought I disliked pink. I guess not. When you find yourself wearing head-to-toe pink you would have to admit you like pink, at least to some degree. Newsflash to Carmen: you like pink. Oh well that's not so bad. On another note, I am pleased to see that my hair is growing. It's nice to take a step back & be able to view it from a photo. Yep, it's growing. It's about time! :]

Dress // H&M // Sandals: H&M // Necklace: gift from friend's travels in Africa

Summer is in full swing here in sunny San Diego, California, so I opted for a light & flowy dress. It gets so hot & stuffy that I can't bother being bogged down by tight clothes & certain fabrics. I really like the cord detailing in the straps & the waist. It's not something you see too often. The cording is dainty & fun, which basically makes this the perfect summer dress. Plus, it bares enough skin but not too much.

My friend got me this necklace from Africa, I can't recall which country at the moment. Oops! The necklace is super long which makes it perfect for wrapping it around a few times. This particular configuration was accidental, but I really liked it once I saw the photo. The necklace is actually made of paper beads, which is awesome! 

On my lips is Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in Brilliant Bordeaux. Gosh that's a mouthful! I've had a pretty decent experience with it. The color can go darker if you put a lot on, but it gets kind of sticky if you do. I lightly add it on with my finger until I get the desired look. 
What to ya think? :]

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Q&A with The Chainsmokers

Monday, July 07, 2014

THE CHAINSMOKERS. But first let me take a #Selfie. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We've all heard the song. #Selfie is the tune that put the New York-based DJ/producer/songwriter duo on the map. It's everywhere, which is precisely why I didn't bring it up (until this moment). Why rehash the same news when you can just read about it all over the internet? I wanted my interview with The Chainsmokers to focus on something else, something that we're all wondering. Mainly, who takes care of their eyebrows? 

The Chainsmokers includes two members, Drew Taggart & Alex Pall. They kind of look like brothers, or is that just me? They are witty & handsome & successful & down-to-earth. Their fame has not yet gone to their head, due in part to their unawareness of just how famous they are. You'll see what I mean once you read the interview. But I like that. You will too. Now let's get to the good stuff, what you've all been waiting for... interview with The Chainsmokers! 

Photo by Spread House

What do you think the other person brings to the duo?
We just complement each other very well. We both have our unique strengths and weaknesses to the table and we seem to have a great balance with that all in mind. Two heads in our case are greater than one, and it's just been hella fun doing this all with your homie. Plus, one of us can use the bathroom when we DJ.

Where do you find musical inspiration?
Everywhere. Literally everywhere we look, every mood, every other artist. We are the product of our environment, for better or worse. Inspiration is fleeting though, so when we find ourselves in the midst of it, nothing feels better.

Now that you're insanely famous, how has your day-to-day life changed?
First off, we are definitely not famous by a long run and with that, our day really hasn’t changed dramatically. We are more busy and travel more, but it’s the same shit for us. We love to eat, we love to sleep, gym, be whipped by our GFs, talk to our parents and sisters, and so on. We definitely feel more confident and comfortable about the future but with that comes the other side of the same coin, which is maintaining it and continuing it.

You were just touring Asia, where are you right now & what do you see? 
Asia was amazing. Such great people, so much history and they party their faces off as well. Had it not been for all this who knows, we may never have ever seen Asia, it's almost surreal. As for right now we are in SF working in our hotel rooms getting ready for the night. 

What are you most psyched about for HARD Summer?
It would be easy to answer what we aren’t psyched about since there are far far too many things we are psyched about. We aren’t psyched about LA traffic. That is all. HARD is any performers dream come true, the lineup the crowd, the energy, the history, it’s the coolest of them all… them being festivals.

You both have some powerful eyebrows, what do you do to maintain them?
These bad boys are not to be touched.

Physically & mentally, what do you find attractive in another person?
Confidence, their ambitions and passion to achieve them, a bubble butt, nice lips, being able to have good banter, long hair, supportive and informed.

It's time for bed. What's your nighttime ritual? How do you wind down? 
Netflix on the road is so key. We both have our favorite shows which we watch religiously. Also one last run through Instagram.

In the news story of your life, what would the headline say?
The Chainsmokers Dicks’ are HUGE

What do you do when you're not making sweet sweet music?
Eat, work out, dabble in porn, creep on Insta, read all the negative remarks on our FB, take naps.

The Chainsmokers, despite #Selfie making it to the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Dance Chart, are not consumed by their rankings. Instead, they aim to pursue their accomplishments further. You're only as successful as your last song, or something like that. Stay tuned because this is only the beginning for Alex & Drew aka The Chainsmokers who don't even smoke.

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What to Wear on a California Summer's Day

Saturday, July 05, 2014

It's summertime here in gorgeous Southern California. The only question is: what should I wear? The days are starting to get unbelievably hot. The sun beats down on you for most of the day. The air is at 80% humidity, so it leaves your skin damp & sticky. If you're in the sun too long or doing strenuous movements, you sweat like you're lost in the desert. "What to wear?" you ask yourself. "What to wear on a California summer's day?" I can help you there. :]
What to Wear on a California Summer's Day

I have three looks here for you. One with shorts, one with a dress, one with a skirt. These three options are vital & essential on a hot summer's day. You want to be able to cool off quickly & remain at a normal body temperature. It's brutal out here.

Top + Shorts - A sleeveless chambray button down may be your savior. Chambray is a lightweight fabric ideal for summer days out on the town. Pair it with a bold patterned short. The shorts should be made of a cool material & loose fitting. If it's tight, it starts to stick! Yuck! A nice white pair of Converse pulls the look together in an all-American type way. You don't have to be American to rock this look though! :]

Dress + Flats - This look is simple yet striking. I love this color dress. It's bright without being sickening. Add some amazingly cute kitty flats & you're ready to run all your errands effectively & efficiently. Or you could wear this at work. It's comfortable enough to last you through a day at the office. Plus, it's super adorable.

Top + Skirt - Since this is a crop top, you want to pair it with something that doesn't show too much skin...unless you're at a music festival where it is necessary to survive the heat. This full skirt will keep you covered but let all the summer breeze in to keep you cool. I prefer to balance out how much skin I show. If I'm baring my belly & arms with a sweet printed crop, I'll keep my skirt a bit longer to compensate. I like the holographic sheen from the skirt & of course the sandals. Am I from California or am I from the future?

Accessories - Gone are the days of jackets & beanies. As far as accessories are concerned, keep it simple or choose one statement piece. Keep cool with light jewelry, a compact bag, & sunglasses to shield your eyes from the harsh sun rays.

A California summer is a gorgeous thing, but sometimes it gets out of hand. Here's hoping we don't have anymore fires this year! Stay cool. Stay positive. Stay updated. Keep checking in for more awesome posts. Thanks for reading, homies. :]

What is your summer essential?

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Nectarine Summer Salad

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The perfect salad is a mixture of healthy & tasty. Why eat something that tastes awful? There's simply no need. No need at all. With this Nectarine Summer Salad you'll be salivating for more. It's not really a secret, but the "secret" ingredient is the ever so sweet nectarine. With this vegan salad you'll get flavor & crunch. The textures & tastes come together to create a heavenly combination. Wanna make it? Read on, my friend. Read on.

1 nectarine, diced
1 avocado, diced
2 cups fresh lettuce, chopped
1 cup spinach, chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
chopped walnuts for taste

**Diced vs. chopped means that diced are smaller, whereas chopped are bigger chunks.

Salads are relatively easy to create. You don't have to cook anything or monitor the stove. Just chop & dice away. But to clarify, here are the steps to create this masterpiece. My boyfriend really really liked this salad, & I felt quite impressed with myself. Make this summer salad & you'll impress yourself too. This salad can feed 3+ people depending on your hunger, how many people, or how you portion it. Chop chop! Let's get to it, shall we? :]

1. Rinse your lettuce & spinach to get rid of any dirt. Dry them off a bit, then chop them coarsely.
2. Dice your nectarine, avocado, & bell pepper. Toss them on top of your lettuce & spinach mixture.
3. Add some walnuts. You may leave them whole or crush them up. It's up to you.
4. Lightly drizzle your salad with some dressing. We didn't have any so I mixed lemon & pepper for a low key dressing. 
5. That's it. :]

See? It's not difficult to make. My boyfriend ranted & raved about the addition of the nectarine. It gives just a touch of sweetness, which isn't all too common in salads. I like the combination of greens & fruit. This salad is filling with the avocado & walnuts. Avocado is a nutrient-dense food; they have over 20 vitamins & minerals! So you'll be energized to take on the rest of your day! Nom nom nom!

Will you try this out? Do you like fruit in your salad? Let me knowwww. :]

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