Instagram Hot-Spot: Melrose Avenue

Melrose Ave.

Carrera Cafe – La La Land Mural

I recently went on a Los Angeles photo-taking adventure with my childhood friend Annie and her roommate Sicilia 🙂 Our main goal was to take pictures in front of the La La Land mural on Melrose Ave., after I came across it on my Instagram feed. I immediately thought of Annie because even though she lives in the OC now, she’s always down for adventures in LA, especially when photography is involved. She’s also a sucker for the movie just as much as I am.

Side note: Annie also has a blog and posts about her awesome photography, so you should check her stuff out HERE 😉

A few weeks went by until we were both free to make a trip, and we had it all planned out. I wore a yellow dress to sort-of match the dress Emma Stone wears in the movie and everything! (Don’t judge me). After the outfit-planning, enduring the usual LA traffic and struggle to find parking…we discovered that the mural was gone.  At the time, Coachella was two weeks away, so the wall had been overhauled into a festival-themed Lady Gaga mural. 😦 Not that I don’t love Lady Gaga and no shade on Coachella…but we were just so excited to check out the La La Land mural! So sad. Here are screen shots from Carrera Cafe’s Instagram:

After we took a few moments to mope about the loss of our La La Land opportunity, we still made the most of our time at Carrera Cafe and grabbed ourselves cute lattes. The cafe is well-known for it’s awesome, meme-friendly latte art:

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You best believe I got myself Ryan Gosling latte art to cope.

Paul Smith Wall

As we sipped our coffees next to the popular Lady Gaga wall, we noticed droves of people across the street as well, taking pictures in front of another Instagram-famous spot: the Paul Smith Wall (aka The Pink Wall). It’s a very interesting situation to observe, so I had a very good time people-watching. It’s literally a parking lot for the clothing store. Yet, an abnormal amount of people were hanging out in it with little-to-no intention of actually walking into the store. Their only intention was to take pictures. So odd…so fascinating…very LA. So,we joined the crowd to see what it was all about. Can you blame people for being attracted to a bright pink wall? Forget about the Hollywood sign that’s impossible to get to now-a-days, go to the Pink Wall instead! Haha. Jk…but not really.

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Fred Segal Green Ivy Wall

After partaking in the Paul Smith wall hype, we continued to walk down Melrose Ave. and stumbled upon a wall covered in vines from top to bottom! It was such a pretty green so we made a pit stop. Even as the cars zoomed by, we had no shame in our photoshoot game. A few other girls actually picked up on the photo-op and asked if we could take their pictures too! I don’t think it’s on the typical list of “Instagrammable” spots in L.A., but we thought it was cute, so why not? Do what makes you happy! If you’re curious to know it’s location, it’s the Fred Segal clothing store building on Melrose and North Crescent Heights Blvd. (I definitely looked that up on Google maps right now)

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Made in LA Mural

As we continued our trek down the street, we found a noticeable line (less hype than the Pink Wall though) in front of the Made in LA mural. I ended up not enjoying this one as much, maybe because I was getting hungry lol, the midday heat, or maybe because it wasn’t vibrant pink or green. I’ll never know for sure. A contributing factor could be the pressure we felt with the presence of a line of people waiting for their turn. It was also slightly difficult to capture the whole wall without having to be in the street…so we quickly snapped a few photos and headed on back to the car.

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I’m positive there are plenty more “Instagram Hot Spots” down Melrose Avenue. But after the Made in LA wall, we headed back to the car to check on our parking meter. Definitely don’t want to get a ticket in LA! Then we headed to Arts District/Little Tokyo for some food. But that’s a different blog post 🙂

What “Instagram Hot-Spots” have you been to in LA? I’d like to know 🙂 We do it for the ‘Gram am I right?! No? Okay…lol. In all seriousness, do it for the memories people, not just for the ‘gram!

Sincerely,

Melissa ❤

 

 

2017 So Far: The Year of Yes

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With almost a quarter of 2017 come and gone already, I wanted to take a moment to reflect back on what I’ve experienced so far. I didn’t really make new years resolutions this year, but the one thing I decided was to make an effort to embrace more situations that scare me and make more decisions that make me happy. I purposely made these goals very broad, to allow myself to explore what it is that scares me and makes me happy.

Graduating from the Bunny Slopes – In January, I went on a semi-spontaneous snowboarding trip. It was my second time snowboarding and I was nervous about falling and shortness of breath from the altitude…not far off from the fears I experienced the first time I went snowboarding. Last time, I may have only gone down the bunny slope a total of three times before knocking out in the warm and cozy lodge while the rest of the crew went up the mountain. This time, with some peer pressure…I mean a lot of encouragement from my friends, I embraced the fear of falling and actually allowed myself the opportunity to learn! It was a lot of fun an I’m glad I did it. I also learned new phrases like “Shredding the gnar today bro?” lol.

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Taking on Public Speaking – I did not get into the public relations field because of increased opportunities to speak in front of crowds. It has always been my least favorite part of the profession because I always imagined myself as the person “behind the scenes.” Which, for the most part, is my role. Most of my job is outreach program development, which does require plenty of interaction with people, but on an individual basis. In the past couple of months, I’ve started leading meetings with other departments and making presentations at board meetings on a regular basis. I still struggle with the nervousness, but with every presentation that I complete, I’ve  become a little more comfortable and confident in the way I present my reports. It also helps that I receive such helpful feedback from my colleagues.

Getting Back to My Creative Side – I’ve upped the activity in my DIY, writing and photography side of my brain. This is something that I neglected in 2016. Last year centered around establishing myself at my job, and with that came less trips to Michaels and JoAnns and more nights of unwinding with Netflix. Not saying I didn’t enjoy that, I just miss using my hands to create things! Now that I feel like I’m at a good place in my career, I’ve taken the past few months getting back into finding the time/place to express these creative urges…including maintaining this blog. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m trying! (I’m currently sitting at Barnes & Nobles on a Tuesday evening to force myself  to get this post written). See below for a few photos I captured on some random exploration days I had recently in Los Angeles.

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Saying Yes to Travel – I travelled to Seattle, Washington for the first time in March! Going into the year, I didn’t have any set travel plans, I just knew I wanted to go somewhere. As opportunities to travel come up, I’m making more of an effort to work it into my schedule. I’m a big fan of taking advantage of 3-day weekends and turning them into mini-vacations. I’m also a working adult now that accrues vacation days…so that’s a thing to consider. Luckily, my boss is also awesome and encourages me to take these mini-vacation opportunities. She’s all about making sure the team doesn’t “burn out” and I appreciate that. Anyways, I’m grateful that I was invited to join my friends’ trip to Seattle because it’s been the highlight of my year so far! I’ve had multiple people tell me that they could imagine me loving Seattle, and they weren’t wrong. The only thing that I didn’t enjoy so much was the biting wind chill D: Such cold. Much freeze. I took so many photos in the city, so here are a few for you to browse through:

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Running Past the Pain – Second 10K down. Much more exercise to go. I signed up for A Better World Running‘s Spring Equinox 10K on March 25th as a source of motivation to get back into running. The training process was….hit and miss. I started training 6 weeks out (when I should’ve started 8 weeks out) and on the week prior to the race, I travelled to Seattle and spent that week prepping for the trip and not running. Surprisingly though, I had the best race experience I’ve had to date! Out of the 3 races I’ve done (10K, half marathon, then this 10K), I ran the furthest without stopping, I experienced my runner’s high at 3.5 miles which lasted to the end, I stopped feeling the pain in my shin and ankles at 4 miles, and it was great! We’ll see if 2017 brings another medal to the collection…I’m debating on signing up for another 10K this year.

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And…that’s been some of the highlights of my year thus far. I’m looking forward to doing more scary and exciting things and documenting them here 🙂 I hope you all are have had a productive first quarter of 2017 ❤ Let me know how your goals have been shaping up this year!

Sincerely,

Mez ❤

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February 2017 Favorites: Pixi Brows & Lippys

_dsc0386 Hi everyone! Long time no see! I’m going to start doing more product reviews because I try new products quite often, so I might as well share my opinions on them with you. My friends encouraged me to take a stab at Influenster, an application/website based around building a community of influencers that review lifestyle and beauty products on their various platforms. They have fun campaigns and competitions, so it’s a fun way to try new products! Hope you enjoy ❤

So, with that, I thought I’d share some of the beauty products I’ve been using throughout this Valetine’s season (it’s still relevant right? :P) Here are a few products that I’ve been crushing on this month:

Brows

What better way to grab your crush’s attention than calling them over with the fleekest of eyebrow signals? lol. I never knew what to do with my brow situation until this product. I’m pretty minimalist when it comes to makeup, I’m all for enhancing features as opposed to covering them up, so I hardly thought to apply anything to my brows. The only way I knew how to manage my brows was to get them threaded on a regular basis. I’m also quite lazy when it comes to anything makeup, so I tend to search for a balance between quality and convenience. Then I found the Pixi by Petra Natural Brow Duo in the “Deep Brunette” shade.The product has a angled crayon on one end and brow gel on the other end. It has been been my go-to for a few months now and it’s almost time for me to restock. It’s affordable (bought it at Target) and travel bag friendly! All you have to do is fill in…and set. So easy!

Lips

What says Valentine’s season than lip products?! I think I am finally ready to admit my obsession with lip products. I’ve denied it for the longest time…as I watched hours of YouTube beauty gurus review all kinds of sticks, crayons, liners, stains, glosses, etc. But I’m ready to embrace the lip product culture head on! I’m a very au naturale kind of girl, so nudes and mattes are usually where I lean towards.

  • Pixi by Petra itsJudyTime Lip Palette – Judy Travis is one of my favorite YouTube beauty gurus because she not only does makeup looks for my skin tone and eye shape, but her favorite color palettes almost always match what I like as well! She recently partnered with Pixi (amazing!) and released two products: a lip creme palette and a nudes eyeshadow palette (which I also have <3). The lip cremes don’t claim to be super long lasting, so reapplications are necessary, but I really enjoy the natural range of colors available. The colors alone are great, but are definitely mixable if you want to go for something custom. The cremes go on matte and almost feels like a lip stain when they dry. It’s feels very light. I just apply it first thing in the morning with clean fingers and layer if I feel like achieving a deeper color. Again, so easy to apply!
  • Butter London Lippy – I’ve always known Butter London for their nail polishes and only stumbled upon their liquid lipsticks a couple of months ago. I bought it via Ulta during their Black Friday sale, but they typically retail for just under $20. The one pictured above is in the “Dahling” shade and I like it because it covers all the bases: it’s matte and it’s natural. On particular lazier mornings than usual, I throw this lippy in my bag, jet off to work and apply once I get myself to my desk. When applying, it feels like a stickier gloss, but dries smoothly.

 

…and that’s all for this crush-themed products review! I hope you all had a wonderful Valetine’s season whether it was with a SO, family, friends or even yourself 🙂

Sincerely,

Mez ❤

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