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Under Construction

If you haven’t heard, “photo-bucket” decided to enforce an extremely expensive fee for linking 3rd party photos after over ten years of being free. It came without any notice and it ruined my entire blog. I’m working on reviving all those photos so please don’t mind any of the older posts. They will be revised and restored in no time.

Confessions of an Instagram Blogger, “It-Girls” & The Reality Behind It

“The Fake It-Girl”

What is an “It-Girl”? In today’s superficial society it has become “who is the most popular on social media”, or more personally “Instagram”.  An “It-Girl” is a girl who is supposed to have it all. The smart, the beautiful, witty and charismatic to say the least. An “It-Girl” provides value and profits from herself; where as selfish, narcissistic motives do not make good, long term achievements.

Here is how social media, aka Instagram, has distorted everything I once wanted to represent. Presenting the fake it girl. From photoshop to popular miracle apps like “FaceTune”,  buying followers and likes, creating profiles of a fake awe-inspiring lifestyle.  These girls were all about the fast results combined with minimal efforts. Along with this came the absurd millennial habits and logic. The logic was, “I made it this far (*behind all the lies*), and I deserve everything and more.” “I have professional photos from a DSLR so I’m a Instagram Model.” ….. Enter here the phrase “Fake it till you make it.” This kind of thinking is what has murdered real talent and the reality is, life just doesn’t work that way or else everyone would be successful.

Some girls would buy followers and buy likes to boost their own ego, to feel accepted, and to feel important. Insta-It-Girls takes up any and every collaboration they can get their hands on. But they are only ripping off the budgeted new start-up businesses, mom&pop stores with a fake facade of what we now call social media marketing. How is it fair that these businesses, who probably can not afford to spend thousands of dollars on marketing, that are giving away collaboration items to a fake following and audience? Nothing is won for the poor business, aside from the ecstatic Instagram-It-Girl gaining some free stuff.

“The Influencer Lifestyle”

The influencer lifestyle; you got invited first to new places before anyone else, got to take a pictures with the most popular trends of the moment, and got invited to parties with other influencers. It was all so new to me and so much fun in the beginning. I got invited to food events, parties, rode in limos, brunches with limitless wine on top of homes in beverly hills, went to mansions, and whatever else you can be invited to as an influencer. I got free stuff, free food, free alcohol, saw celebrities, and was “in-the-scene”.

That sounds amazing right? Wrong, the influencer lifestyle is a lot harder than you would really think it is. Especially if you are a “Introverted-Extrovert” like me who also does not like small talk with people that aren’t close to you. I put on the biggest smile I had and tried so hard to be friendly and meet new people. The “behind-the-scenes” was even more tiring. Writing emails, following up RSVP’s, scheduling all my available time in trying to make it to all the events, driving far and wide to locations, following up collaborations, finding time to always put on makeup, wear only the cutest clothes, were a few of the responsibilities to say the least. I had a full time job aside from being an Influencer and was hustling and bustling, micro-managing the very limited time I had to try to stay “on-the-grid” of this lifestyle. I ended up losing it a little bit. I had so many collaborations and shoutouts I had to do on my Instagram that I lost count. Having the incredibly busy lifestyle I have, my room was always a mess, which didn’t help in finding where I had thrown that product I received in the mail last week. My sponsors emails started to stack up, “Hi, just checking up it has already been 10 days, if you could please upload a picture sometime soon.” And yet I was still accepting more and more campaigns. I was stressed out to the max.

“The Real-ization”

It was with a long few months of pushing and pulling that I finally decided I’ve had enough. Even though I did not buy followers, I realized that through my habits, I was slowly morphing into “one-of-them” and I didn’t even notice. You know that scene in Mean Girls, where Janis says “Hey, buddy, youre not pretending anymoreYou’re plastic. Cold, shiny, hard plastic.”? That’s exactly how I felt about myself. Why was I trying so hard to please girls that I didn’t know? Why was I trying to hard to be liked and fit in, in the Instagram Lifestyle? So I pulled away. I stopped going to events, I stopped liking peoples pictures, and I stopped commenting “OMG I LOVE IT :heart:” to everyone. I just quit. I quit because it was overwhelming me and taking over my life. I was more stressed than excited about anything on Instagram. It wasn’t long until I realized these “Instagram” people thought I was being shady. Just because I didn’t like their Instagram pictures I suddenly became a “shady” person. I wasn’t aware that being someone’s friend also meant that they had to like all your Instagram pictures. I had a full time job, free lance jobs, part time night school, and real life going on. The only time I would open up Instagram was to upload my own content, just enough to stay “on the grid”.

Then came to the realization that no one in that world really, really, cared about me. Did any of them help me with my work troubles, what kind of grades I was getting in my new school, about my family? No. Were they going to help me get a raise at work or influence my life somehow? No. They cared only about the Instagram me. They cared about how popular enough you were to get invited, so if you got invited and were popular, they cared. They cared about makeup and photoshoots instead of personality, charisma, and dignity.

I understood at that point that I had forgotten about myself as an individual. I was the type of girl who likes to have very intimate relationships with friends. Friends that could say that were close enough to be family. I like having substance and developing with the people around me. Worth and value were other important parts of myself that I had forgotten. I was wasting my time with a lifestyle that wasn’t going to go anywhere. It wasn’t stable, it was side money but not anything close to making a living out of, it wasn’t going to make me a better person. I, being ambitious, decided to go back to school to become a Coder, Full Stack Web Developer. It was a realization of, if I put all that effort into a 120k+ career, I could have so much more than silly collaborations and parties. I felt so ashamed at the person I had become, ashamed at how excited over a $200 product collaboration when I was smarter than that, I was worth more than that. I was so caught up in this world where my joy depended on the $200 of free makeup I had received. Stuff that would sooner or later end up in the trash. I thought for a long time about how to change and it was when I looked into my soul, I remembered something I had long forgotten.

“The Blogger”

I had forgotten why I started all of this in the first place 3 years ago. Blogging was something that was made up of all parts of me. Posting about the success and errors of all the creativity I’ve gotten my hands dirty with in fashion, beauty, and food. I originally started my blog as my platform to impart the little knowledge I like to think I possess; to share helpful hints, tricks, and tips. To spread advice in all matters creative. So I’ve decided to bring this blog back to life. Changing my values to revert back to the old ways and bring change to the misconception of a blogger by posting about my authentic life. Writing about things that actually matter.

Note that I still will be on Instagram because it helps pay for a few of my bills, have collaborations to fulfill, and draws in commissioners for my YouTube videos. But I have decided to use Instagram more as a “link” to drive traffic to my blogposts instead of using it for vain “social-media”. I also do not consider myself as a sell-out, I do collaborations only if I believe in the product’s worth and the businesses concept while clearly labeling those posts as “ads”. The rest of my social media are of substance I enjoy, things I bought myself with no intentions of advertising, and reviews of things that I actually found to be amazing. 

“Quotes from Other Bloggers”

“I think a lot of people believe that it is an easy out of the working world but in reality it is a more rigorous, time consuming and demanding job than anything I ever experienced working for a corporate company. It is beyond a full time job when you take into account social media, contracts, invoicing, content planning, accounting, production, etc. You never shut off.” – Liz Adams, SequinsandStripes.com

“I think the most common misconception of being a full-time blogger is that we just get dressed up and take cute photos all day. Running a blog is 24/7 and finding work-life balance is challenging.” – Pam, TheGirlFromPanama.com

“My biggest challenge is just wanting to take a break sometimes… social media never sleeps and it can be SO exhausting especially when you’re going through hard life moments or want to just spend time with people IRL. There’s this feeling of not wanting to fall behind and to keep up with the joneses. For me weekdays flow into weekends, 8ams are the same as 10pms… and although I would never go back to a 9-5, I envy people that can leave work and not think about it for a few hours of the day. I think about work every hour I’m awake.” – Ashley, EverydayPursuits.com 

“My Conclusion”

If anything is that easy to an individual, it is most likely that they are “vain or self-absorbed people. The type of bloggers that just sit around taking selfies and photos of food they aren’t going to eat. Yes, there are some bloggers that do this, but you can’t paint a picture that all bloggers are the same because of a few that act or behave a certain way. ” – JessAnnKirby.com  This is my stand to bring the reality of the term “blogger” back to justice.  

My Experience at the Museum of Ice Cream

Do you dream of ice cream? Well, if you do, you’re in luck because the Museum of Ice Cream is in town. More specifically, in Los Angeles, CA.  I’m sure you’ve seen these ice cream photos all over your social media feed by now, but here was my personal take on the Museum of Ice Cream.

Located in Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles (2018 E 7th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90021) You’ll notice, in the dark and dull district there is a new bright shining pink building. You just can’t miss it. They provided a paid valet parking lot right in front of the entrance of the museum.  After parking we had to wait in line to get in the museum in groups of your allotted time slot. As you walk into the museum you are greeted by the many workers in Forever21 ice cream dad hats, that guide you through each room. Some give you ice cream samples while others say puns and catch phrases. Every room was a great opportunity to take snaps for your Instagram.

As you first walk in you get to a room with nothing but pink phones that if you pick up tell you your “mission” type of recording.

You are then led to a room with a neon heart light and sorbet background.

In the next room we were given our first sample of ice cream. I think it was a sort of vanilla from Mc Connell’s Ice cream. You can also go to “ice cream hollywood” here and go on a tiny trampoline.

Grab your buddy and take a swing on these swangs in this banana themed corridor. They even smell like bananas! #scratchandsniff

Which after you enter the double color blocked room with hanging pink and yellow bananas. If you haven’t already thought of a perverted thought as soon as you enter this room. We probably can’t be friends. Cause this shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Be prepared for the most mint-y puns you’ll probably ever hear in your entire lifetime in this green house. Personally, it was too “pun”-ny for my liking. All I could keep my eye on was the freezer the worker stood by. You get half of a mint chocolate chip mochi ice cream here.

This employee was my favorite guy in the entire museum. The gummy bear man!!! He had a ice cream scoop to give you handfuls of delicious tiny gummy bears.

Then we got the to part we had been anticipating the most. THE SPRINKLE POOL! It felt really nice laying there in the pool of sprinkles. It was a very zen like feeling, probably the next best thing to actually floating in a pool of water. Make sure you don’t eat them, they are not real. Also be prepared to find sprinkles all over your body, hiding in your pockets and clothes. The sprinkles were like glitter. I found sprinkles in my car, at work, in my living room for the next three days.

Off to the black ice cream room! Immediately I thought “Omg these aesthetics…. are SO ME!” I heard that these were charcoal ice creams so I was very very excited to eat them. Sadly they weren’t really ice cream but instead charcoal flavored cookie dough that tasted kind of salty (like play dough) that I immediately spit out and threw away. Woody really enjoyed them though, I guess it just depends on the person.

I came in like a ice cream sandwich wreaking ball in the last room. (I know, Julia why are you so extra?! — Whatever man, thats what this museum’s all about.) The final sample were pink pancake ice creams. I love the ice cream, but the pancake was…. salty and weird. Again it tasted like cooked play dough.

The conclusion:

  • There was not enough ice cream samples compared to what I thought I would be able to eat. The portions were all super tiny aside from the final ice cream sandwich.
  • The museum was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. Very small art installation rooms.
  • Everything was decorated so desirably, which are perfect for taking pictures for your Instagram.
  • I loved the “timed” tickets. I never felt like there weren’t any un-wanted people in my pictures. I got really good shots without anyone in the background. Even though the museum was sold out, I didn’t feel rushed or like that there were too many people there. It was spaced out perfectly.

Till next time!

xojverie

Dear Diary, endless thoughts. XOXO, Julia

Human life consists of a compulsion of repetitions which depresses me severely. Bored of doing the same thing everyday. Bored of the same conversations day by day. Bored to death of the same faces and same places.

I often wonder why I work so hard to make so much money to spend it on expensive things. At the same time these “items” bring me some type of joy and bragging rights which I do enjoy. I think I just like having, seeing, holding something new and sparkly.

But why am I working so hard, such long hours? Do I need to go shopping every week? No… Do I need a luxury car? No… Do I need 50 products of makeup that I barely touch all stuffed in a drawer? No… But what fuels my constant desire of wanting so many new things? So many things I end up not using or wanting after a month. Yet I don’t throw most of it away because it seems too wasteful. Here enters all the hording of items “I never know I might need one day in the future.”

Confused about the severe addiction to social life. By this I mean cigarettes and alcohol. When I’m sitting at home all alone, I never really want either of the two. But once I’m out and someone lights one up, I want one also. If someone mentions drinking, “I’m down.” Or that fine line between “Julia, your good after 4 old fashioned’s” & “No, I want another drink.” Why do I want to drink more after I hit a plateu of already being pleasantly “drunk”. When I’m buzzed, I want another shot. When I’m drunk, I want another shot. When I’m too drunk, I want another shot. Why? What am I reaching for? I already got what I wanted by being drunk, why do I have a need to do it excessively?

At times I think I drink to drown out the voices in my head. The numerous thoughts running around like bee’s in a hive. A part of me enjoys shutting off my brain entirely. If not I think I might go insane, if I think too much it only ends up stirring up anxiety.

I wish I could escape from this bubble I feel so trapped in. This bubble we call Southern California. This knit of people and things and places, who all know of all the same people, same things, same places. I giant circle of people who are constantly compulsively repeating every fucking thing over and over again.

Feeling Hopelessly Lost,
Julia

Balini Sports Yoga Yacht Party

All aboard the Yogi Yacht! We boarded Nico Santucci’s private yacht in Marina del Ray, California. Big thanks to Balini Sports for the yoga goodie bags that were filled with tons of healthy lifestyle gifts and also a pair of yoga clothes. This event was to showcase the new “Mermaid Collection“. A shoutout to CLDSTYLE for the invite upon this fun event!


(photo credit: David Young-Wolff)

(photo credit: David Young-Wolff)

Meal Prep Log

I know, its already March but losing all the extra weight from the Holiday Season was really quite difficult. They say looking good is 80% of your diet and only 20% exercise. Here are some twists of recipes that I used for a unique and delicious meal prep.

A whole weeks worth of meal prep. Some people can eat the same thing everyday, but I’m one of those people that CANNOT eat the exact same thing over and over. To avoid that, I incorporated different recipes and cooking styles. For the “main course” I did a mix of Lemon Pepper Chicken and Chipotle Seasoned Chicken on top of a Spinach Salad and Garlic Grilled Brussel Sprouts. For the vegetables I steamed and sautéed the baby carrots in a bit of ranch sauce. For the broccoli and cauliflower mix I used butter and twigs of rosemary and a dash of pepper.

Los Angeles Flower District : Peonies

Stopped by the Los Angeles Original Flower District on 754 Wall Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014. As all of LA, you must find parking on the street. Afterwards it is a $2 general admission to get into the district. This entitles you to everywhere on the district for the whole day! It took me a while to find these drop dead gorgeous peonies since they are out of season, but hurrah! I have found them at last!

The Los Angeles Original Flower District has such a beautiful and diverse selection of any type of floral or plant you might need. The flowers are all in top shape and quality so you really can’t go wrong!