When the beach teaches you more than you learned in college

I’ve been trying to explore a little bit more. As I’ve said before, I’ve gotten pretty comfortable in the stretch between North Hollywood to Studio City. Which is great news that I’m sure my friends and family back home love to hear! I’M COMFY HERE!!! But now that Summer is around the corner and I feel at home, I decided to make a list of places and activities I need to accomplish or see. Time to branch out and really explore California beyond the valley. And let me tell ya, I’m finding some good stuff. Like did you know there’s Yoga on the ocean?!!??! It’s literally called YOGAQUATICS. I’m 200% sure I’ll fall off the board but that’s a for sure on the list.

I started my quest this week with El Matador State beach in Malibu. I’ve been craving a solo beach day pretty much since I moved in. Now that it’s finally hot and I have a few performances coming up this month, it’s the perfect time to get my tan on. I’ve been bad lately (mom don’t read this part) about not wearing sunscreen and, learning from Kristyn the lobster’s mistakes, (okay mom, start reading again) I doused myself with SPF 15 before heading out the door. My whole ride to the beach was filled with good jams and light traffic- finally starting to get the hang of the traffic patterns.IMG_1743Once I got there, I noticed that it was pretty overcast; cold, even. Even so, I figured I would spend a good three hours there and that it probably felt different once I got down to the actual beach. Figuring all this in, I paid for 3 hours of parking up front. Oh and I forgot to mention I got beachside parking. That literally never happens.

It seemed like the stars were aligning for me to have a fun-in-the-sun beach day and who knows, maybe I’ll even meet some cool new people on the beach since I’ve been on a roll with that! If not, I already had plans to call back the 27392 people who I’m still lucky to call friends after absolutely SUCKING at staying in touch (shoutout to you guys!!!). When I finally got down to the beach, the people were sparse, the wind was strong and it was even colder than I thought it would be. Great.IMG_1763In my head, I was initially pissed that I had just driven 45 minutes, paid for parking and hyped up this day so much. I went back and forth between wanting to find a beach beach, thinking that maybe if I walked down far enough, I could just keep my same parking spot? Or maybe I should just go back to a space that I knew. Zuma? Maybe even by the pier. But then I looked around…

Damn. This place was beautiful. I felt like I was on the set of Lemony Snicket’s version of the Little Mermaid, complete with rocks and full of cloudy gloom. How did I miss all of this when I first arrived? How did I ever even have the thought to leave?IMG_1757Naturally, when I began to take in the beauty of El Matador, I pulled out my phone to post photos on every form of social media I could. Dumb. And the beach said “nope.” There is absolutely zero cell service down there. It’s like I was meant to be there alone with just my thoughts and the crash of the ocean against the rocks. Completely disconnected.

Not going to lie, I struggled at first. But I learned so much from my adventure that day. IMG_1798After a few hours of writing, thinking and exploring I packed up my things and headed to a cute little place called Sun Life Organics (another spot on my list). They literally have a drink with all of my favorite things: banana, raw almond butter, hemp milk and even coffee. That’s basically Holly in a shake. AND IT’S CALLED THE BLACK GOLD. Fricken GO HAWKS!

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How cool ^^^

Driving home, Black Gold in hand, I wasn’t so lucky with traffic. But I did have plenty of time to reflect on my exploration at El Matador and what the beach had taught me that day.

Sometimes you don’t get what you expected, but you get what you needed.

I moved to LA & now I like yoga

Ugh and I hate myself for sipping a matcha latte while I write this.

When I think about the top 5 ways to make fun of an Iowan I would say corn, cows, farms, beer and probably……corn…..again. My top 5 stereotype slams to Californians are quite the opposite: vegan, non-GMO, gluten free, kale and yoga. Don’t get me wrong, all of the 5 (unlike my Iowa list) are great for your body – except gluten free because I refuse to believe that 90% of the population here has celiac disease, but that’s beside the point.

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It’s funny how you only make fun of something for so long until you find yourself submerged in it. Kind of like everyone who thinks I’m disgusting for my peanut butter and pickle sandwich UNTIL THEY TRY IT.

Moving on. We’re lucky enough to have a gym in our apartment complex. Thank god cause gym memberships can be expeeeeeensive. But sometimes it’s just not that motivating to take the elevator to the basement and see the same 4 people that go to the gym at the same time. Not wanting to spend money (a reoccurring theme in 362), but still wanting to switch up our fitness routine, we started looking around. Turns out there are so many free trials in LA!!!! WHO KNEW. Naturally, we scoured the internet for the longest ones to try out first and stumbled upon Core Power yoga. CORE POWER DOES A FREE WEEK PEOPLE. And apparently that’s nationwide. And apparently everyone seemed to already know this before Kelly and I did……but better late than never!

The first few classes were slightly brutal. It can be SO hard to shut your mind off and I don’t think I’ve ever taken that many deep breaths in my life. But after the week was over, I had noticed EXTREME differences. During my last class I was finally able to lay there, in complete stillness, extremely present in the moment. This may seem like a strange thing to note as a victory. Of course I noticed the obvious things like improved strength, flexibility and balance. But stillness. Stillness is a weird thing. To just sit there and be absolutely content with nothing moving except for your heart and lungs. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me. Like to the point where if I try to give myself a day off to just relax, it’s nearly impossible. That’s why I felt like I took a lot away from being able to tune out all other outside distractions. I also really loved the idea of setting a mantra or intent before going into a task- yoga or not- and being fully submerged in that mantra. Actually, since my experience at Core Power, I’ve even carried that over into my dancing by making my movement tailor to these specific rules or thoughts. Some that work really well for me are patience, vulnerability and persistence.

Now I’m no yogi by any means, but I’ll be back for sure. In fact, you may have seen me in the system as Molly Zymer coming in for her first free week!!! Yeah. I stooped that low and created an alias to get a free week- don’t tell my mom.

Anyway, I highly recommend yoga for your sanity, especially if you constantly struggle with not being present. I plan on buying a membership (a major hit to the bank account), but in the meantime the internet is a brilliant brilliant thing and if you can get past feeling like a freak doing yoga in your apartment, DO IT. Also, check out free shit in your area cause it’s insane. Especially when you live somewhere as big as Los Angeles. I’ll be testing out a variety of different work out methods (fo free) so stay tuned for more adventures. And more importantly, if you have any other suggestions for free trials out here letcho girl know!!!

In conclusion, yes. I’ve embraced the yoga-obsessed Californian stereotype and now I have to go so I can finish packing for Coachella……….#california #glutenfree #nonGMO #ihatemyself

Holly makes a face mask

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Alright people, I don’t know about you, but my skin has basically turned against me. I don’t know if its the season change or what…but it’s like the 13-year-old pre-pubescent me has taken over and has far overstayed her welcome. So, here I am, fed up and trolling around the depths of the internet trying to find some sort of quick fix. A quick fix that doesn’t cost me more that $20 because I’m moving and have allowed myself $70 total in spending money the next two weeks (wish me luck).

I found some stuff that included raw eggs but that sounds slimy and is quite frankly a little weird for me. Also, I’m not down to go do some witchcraft ish and mix together the hair of a wild boar and wing of a bat or something (ok I didn’t really find this remedy online, but when you’re living in a small town, some of these ingredients are just as hard to find).

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I’m proud to announce that I found one that saved me from spending any dollars whatsoever. Please hold your applause. All it takes is

  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • a small bowl
  • a spoon
  • PAPER TOWELS BECAUSE STICKY

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Step uno, squeeze out the honey (one tablespoon) into some sort of measuring device. I would suggest doing this either over the sink or the little bowl you’re about to mix it in because, quite honestly, honey is a little bit of a bitch to clean up.

At this point in my complaints about honey, and all of it’s messy glory, you may be wondering why it’s worth using in the first place. Honey actually is a great agent in warding off bacteria. While high dollar Manuka honey is best for its medicinal purposes, I’m working with what I got and so can you. Honey also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, so it’s perfect to use mid-breakout when your skin absolutely hates you.

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Next, take the two teaspoons of cinnamon and toss it in there. The purpose of the cinnamon is also to fight bacteria, it’s anti-microbial so it can put up against any bacteria that may have found a new home on your face (ew).
Stir

Alright, alright, alright! Now that you’ve got all two of the ingredients in your handy dandy little mixing bowl, time to stir them up. The thickness of this mixture depends entirely on the type of honey you decided to use. The first time I made this mask, it was almost as thick as Elmer’s glue. This time, I used an all natural honey that I picked up from a gift store at a nearby pumpkin patch. For some reason, it was a little bit runnier than your typical store-bought honey.

Anyway, don’t be alarmed if yours isn’t quite the same consistency as the mixture to the left (how fun is that gif?!). Now that you’re done stirring, keep that spoon nearby and make sure you have a towel handy for when it’s time to take off your mask (or incase you get a little messy in the application process)

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It should look kind of like this when you’re done, but again the consistency may be slightly different.
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How you apply the mask depends on you, but I typically opt for the less messy option and use the back of the spoon to apply the mask. It’s just as easy to use your fingers, just make sure that you’re doing it over a sink so you can quick rinse off those sticky digits.

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Sometimes it can get a bit drippy, so think about wearing a shirt you don’t care for, or lining your collar with paper towels….kinda like you’re 6 again and your mom is afraid you’ll get lasagna all over yourself at family dinner.
Welp, here I am looking like I fell face first into a pile of dog poop…

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This is me. Looking ridiculous af…laughing at myself in the mirror…Also peep the cliche bathroom decor in the background (thanks mom and dad).
Like I said, be aware that this sticky concoction can get a little bit messy. I spilled down my sweatshirt. I didn’t drool, I promise I’m not a complete slob. Oh ,but also important to note that it tastes extremely good.

WARNING: do not do this mask if you are hungry. You will have none left on your face…or at least surrounding your mouth.

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After you’ve got it all over your face, find something to occupy your time for 10-15 minutes. Like maybe pick up the book you’ve been trying to finish for 3 months, or down a glass of wine (or 4).

Take a wash cloth and run it under warm water for a hot second (lol puns). Then proceed to rinse your face off  like you would if you were washing your face with your daily cleanser.

This is my favorite part. Because the cinnamon is grainy, it exfoliates your skin as you rinse it off.

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If your face looks a little bit red after you’re done, don’t freak out. It’s just from the exfoliation (unless you’re allergic to honey or cinnamon and you’re having a horrible reaction which I am 100p not liable for BY THE WAY).

Weeee, you’re done! And you’re face likely feels fantastic. It’s amazing what you can find in your cupboard, people. Always turn to your kitchen before spending a dime.

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Did you try this mask?! Let me know whatcha think!

Botched: the hair edition

derpReal life photo of me smiling through the pain^^

I made the grave mistake of cutting my locks in the middle of my Abercrombie and Fitch denim skirt phase. Hind-sight is 20/20 but anyone with half a brain knows that no major decision should be made when you all but worship that stupid little moose logo. Since coming home with the early 2000’s signature side swept bangs, and practically a bowl cut, I’ve been trying to grow it back out. Believe me when I say I’ve tried everything from strange oils to prenatal vitamins. And hey I was making some progress until I met she-who-shall-not-be-named (a hair dresser who is probably related to satan).

For those of  you who haven’t noticed, Holly the 20-year-old has left the building and an unhot version of Stacy’s mom has entered stage right, red hot. The version of Stacy’s mom that is probably on her third cup of coffee and has something stuck in her teeth. Welcome over-caffeinated Stacy’s mom with the librarian bob, wish I could say I was glad to have ya. Some of it is probably my fault for not having a routine hair stylist in Iowa City, or anywhere for that matter. Maybe I’m an unclear communicator, but here I am 3 cycles of hair dye and two haircuts later with a style that is nowhere near what I expected. I will say that some salvation came my way during fix #3 in the form of a stylist back in my hometown- so I at least feel less like a colonial woman now. Bless your soul, Tiffany.

All of that being said, I can’t pinpoint a time in my life where I felt less like myself than I do right now. I’ve committed myself to a life of ponytail nubs and baseball-cap-wearing to try and hide the degree of friedness (which is high af). To be honest, I hate myself for getting so tied up in something as superficial as a haircut. But dude, you’re lying to yourself if you said someone’s hair isn’t among the first things you notice. Kind of gross how big of a role physical appearance plays, but unfortunately that’s kind of the way it goes at this stage of life. How I feel is typically a bit of a direct link to how I present myself on the outside and that works the opposite way as well.

Somewhere along the line I’ve let myself fall into a place where something as small as a botched haircut can result in a mini identity crisis- a personality flaw that needs stopped in its tracks. So I’m teaching myself to embrace the bedhead, care less about what everyone may think of it and move the hell on. It is hair. It freaking grows back. Get over it. Change is good and, hey, as I’ve said before, I think the biggest improvements as a person come from your most uncomfortable experiences. Obviously this is just a blip on the scale of uncomfortable or unfortunate happenings (and I tend to be a little bit overdramatic) but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn something from it. Even if it’s just to never go back to she-who-shall-not-be-named.