Valentine's Day Fashion Story with Revecka Natalia of Divisa Agency

Hey guys!! It has been such a long time since I have actually sat down to blog. Things have just gotten crazy over here, but I recently shot with super talented photographer Revecka Natalia who runs the Divisa Agency (@divisa_agency) here in LA & I couldn't choose just one to post! So Instead of choosing I am posting all of them here. Happy almost-Valentine's Day my loves!! (Set design & Hair and makeup by Lauren Kay Waldvogel @NovaFoxMusic) 

Outfits Details:

Pink Jacket: Vintage, Green Dress: Reformation, Jeans: TopShop, Grl Pwr Top: Unif

(Click photo to scroll)

 

Gilligan's Island.


I don't know about you- but I can not even recall the last time I turned off my phone for more than 5 minutes, I have legitimate panic attacks the second it dies, Siri is literally my best friend-she makes sure I don't get lost, she keeps my audition schedule in check, she is the keeper of my grocery list, and the trustworthy friend who reminds me to take my birth control on time everyday. Without her I am lost. I also am someone who gets decently dolled up just to go downstairs to get the mail- so needless to say 3 day stints with no make up are not the norm for this girl. So when my friend Rachel invited me on a trip to a "deserted island" to stay on a sail boat for 3 days, I was a little weary. I have never been camping, nor do I really have a strong urge to do so. I live in Downtown LA for a reason, I like my cities, I like 24 thai delivery, and I like being able to walk downstairs to the coffee shop in my building and order my hazelnut latte with almond milk. I am not super low-maintence. Blame my parents.

That said- I do like sailboats, and beaches, and essentially private islands, so.... I took a risk and went, and wow am I glad I did.

One of the BEST parts about living in LA is that your are literally 2 hours away (or less) from everything that is awesome about California; San Diego, Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead, Santa Barbara- the list goes on. The beautiful places I have been able to explore in this incredible state are ENDLESS, but Lo-and-Behold, last weekend these savvy friends of mine were able to take me to probably the most amazing place I have seen in the United States. About 3 hours by boat off the coast of Santa Barbara lie the Channel Islands. 

The weekend involved WAY to much sun, WAY to much wine, glass bottom kayaks, surfing, bocce ball, no make up, no cell reception, and almost dying in a dingy inside a gorgeous cave. We saw baby seals and dolphins out in the water, and for 3 days- none of us had a care in the world. 

So here are some tips to help you survive your next beach camping or extended boating adventure, because not many people look cute after 3 days without a shower.

1. Bring wet wipes. The reasons for this should be obvious

2. Don't forget a toothbrush or a razor

3. If your signature "beach hair" is more like a gross matted down dreadlock type of thing make sure to bring some sort of conditioner or hair moisturizer to put in your hair after swimming- my favorite is Lush R&B.

4. Don't forget the wine opener. There are no stores on desert islands

5. Reapply your sunblock.

6. Stop worrying about what you look like and enjoy yourself! 

7. Sweaters, bring sweaters, and leggings. It is cold at sea at night. I rocked my favorite CaliFreeLA ombre sweater basically all weekend long. Check out their super soft comfy threads here: www.califreela.com (you can also receive 30% off at checkout with the promo code ladiaries)

8. Don't forget dry underwear- sleeping in a bathing suit is not good- ladies you should already know why.

So in the end, "camping" wasn't so bad- I guess if you're going to do it- go balls out on a sailboat on a desert island. Because you haven't truly lived until you've eaten filet mignon on a boat while the sun sets (OK, so the boat had a full kitchen, we weren't TOTALLY roughing it, did I forget to mention that?).

This was truly an amazing adventure, if you ever get the chance to go, DO IT! 

Photo Credit to Alec Hoffman.


Deal Breakers.

So something that most actors who follow the casting breakdowns know is that you can actually get PAID to go be in the audience for certain shows- they're usually silly shows like Judge Judy or Let's Make a Deal- it's an easy way to go make $50-$100 cash on your day off and sometimes it's actually a lot of fun. Yesterday I was given the opportunity to get paid to attend 2 tapings of The Real, a new show hosted by comedian Loni Love, Adrienne Bailon, Jeannie Mai, Tamara Mowry, & Tamar Braxton (Toni Braxton's little sister). It was actually a lot of fun & I even scored some cool swag along with being paid to go, I also got to meet Tamara Mowry who is so gorgeous and sweet- so overall, it was a pretty great day. 

A few topics that they discussed actually stood out to me though- one woman and her husband came out and discussed the fact that she takes TWO HOURS to get ready on any given day and it was causing problems in their relationship. We later played a little game called "date or diss" where we were given scenarios and asked whether we would still date the guy or diss him. It was interesting to see how many of us disagreed on some of these topics. For instance: I think it sounds BAT SHIT CRAZY to take 2 hours to get ready just for something as simple as dinner or a baseball game- an awards show or photoshoot MAYBE, but AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT on a regular basis, well, or so I thought. Some of the hosts completely agreed with this woman and sort of got on the husband for not understanding everything that women have to go through.  Another topic a lot of us disagreed on was whether they would "date or diss" a guy based on the fact that he talked to his mother on the phone every day. I said DISS- but quite a few of the women said that that was totally fine! 

So this got me thinking, what are your dating DEAL BREAKERS?? I'm willing to budge on a lot of things, but there are certain things that I will not compromise on & feel free to ask anyone I've ever dated (or my parents) I am stubborn as all hell.

Ok so here goes.

1. Mama's boys- don't get me wrong- I think everyone should love and respect their mothers, update them on their life, send flowers on their birthday or even just because- but when it crosses that line where you're telling your mom good news before your girlfriend, she has a key to your apartment, or she's still doing your laundry. No. Buh Bye.

2. Texting my girl friends- Unless you're asking for advice on what to get me for Christmas or setting up a surprise party for my birthday, no. I know a lot of other girls who are not weird about this, but for reasons I won't go into on this blog, it's just not my thing.

3. Bad Tippers- As someone who has had many serving jobs while trying to support my dream of being an actress it really irks me when people are rude to waiters and don't tip at least 18%. To me this shows that he views himself as "better" than these people and I can not with pompous assholes. Bye.

4. Cigarette smoking- Gross. & I don't want to smell. The end.

5. Being Homophobic- My gay besties were here before you & they are not going anywhere, so deal. I have no room for intolerant macho bullshit in my life.

6. Video Games- I've dated THAT guy. Nope. I don't want to spend my Sunday afternoon watching you play video games, I want to go to the beach, & let's be real, unless you're a millionaire- do you REALLY HAVE TIME to spend 5 hours playing WoW? 

7. Boundaries- I live in a controlled access building in an apartment alone with my cat for a reason- I like my space, do not show up unannounced. I will think you are creepy. Fact.

8. Owning a snake- Sort of joking. But like....really.... I will never live with a snake so... this probably won't work out....

9. Dismissing the idea of Marriage and Children- Men who are in their 30's in LA still CRINGE at these words and it's so ridiculous to me. I am 25, it's time to start being honest with the world about what I WANT. If you don't ever see yourself getting married or having children, NEXT.

10. Referring to his ex-girlfriend's as "Crazy"- If a guy tells me that ALL of his ex's are crazy bitches, I'm going to assume that this dude DID SOMETHING TO MAKE THEM CRAZY BITCHES. Bye.

11.  HYGIENE.- I get it, you're a dude- but I appreciate some manscaping and deodorant, k thanks.

Oh & Cheating. But that's a given.

OK so those are things that I WON'T BUDGE on, and after being on the show yesterday I know that not everyone agrees with me! However, there were a few things that most of the women said they would "Diss" a guy for that I was like WHATTTTT?!?!?!

The one in particular that comes to mind is "Would you date or diss a guy who wished his ex a happy birthday on Facebook?" Most of the women in their 30's said DISS. Stating that people shouldn't even be friends with their ex's on social media and they would feel it was a slap in the face if their man publicly wished her a happy bday... I on the other hand have to completely disagree. I would MUCH rather him wish her a happy birthday via social media than do something more personal like call or text... to me social media is very impersonal, so I'd totally give that a pass.

Another thing I disagreed with a lot of women on was the topic of dating a dude with a roommate. Personally- We live in LA rent is fucking blasphemously expensive, so if a guy is single and has a roommate to me that shows that he is being financially responsible.  

As for the rest of it, I can deal. I can handle putting up with someone's shitty taste in music or poorly drawn tattoos, I'll probably just roll my eyes if they use the word "yolo" and I won't ditch you if you can't cook. 

So what are your dating deal breakers? I would love to hear them!

Cheers!

Laura.

One Year.

In exactly one week I will have lived in this great city we call Los Angeles for a whole YEAR. Wow, I blinked and it was gone. There have been a lot of ups and a lot of downs, I have made some incredible friends and unfortunately said goodbye to some old friends as well. I got an agent, lost an agent, booked some really cool acting gigs, got invited to join the Screen Actors Guild, went to the Grammys & The kids choice awards, went an Oscar after party, The ESPYS, partied at Drake's house, attended an insane amount of club/bar/restaurant openings, wrote a webseries, & hiked every mountain in town. But it still feels like just yesterday I was packing up my car from Scottsdale & driving to my first LA apartment in Mar Vista, yet so much has changed since then! 

When I first got here I was excited, so happy to be in my DREAM city pursuing my DREAM job! Everything was going so well at first, and then it wasn't & I have had to pick myself up and pull myself together about 1000 times this year. Los Angeles is mentally and physically draining in so many ways. After a year, I, like most people I know in this city, have mixed feelings about LA. The events, the gorgeous people, the opportunities that the city presents to you are like none other, & I have had ALL OF THE FUN experiencing everything I have been given so far.... OH & HELLO we have the BEACH, which is my HAPPY PLACE; On the other hand, the traffic is WORSE THAN THEY SAY, like.... INSANE. Which makes it sort of difficult to maintain friendships & relationships, the city is incredibly spread out, going to the West side from DTLA is a whole day adventure, everything is EXPENSIVE not so much like, $30 drinks in Miami expensive...it's more the little things that add up, such as the fact that parking is rarely free, parking tickets are given out the second street cleaning starts, gas is always over $4 a gallon, and rent is probably more than your parent's mortgage; which sort of makes you feel like this sometimes:

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Those things COULD be a really bad thing if you let them affect you negatively- but I've chosen to see some of them in a positive light, because I know that the people in my life really WANT to be there, I know this because they just drove 45 minutes to see me just to grab a $6 latte or a $15 beer, then dropped another $5-$20 on parking and THAT is some dedication guys! 

So in honor of my one year anniversary in this hot & cold relationship I've been in with Los Angeles I am going to make a quick list of things I wish I knew before moving here in hopes that it will somehow help those of you who are making the move- or even thinking about it.

* You are NOT ready to move here: Now, hear me out: When I first moved here I thought I was THE SHIT, I had some money saved, my parents had given me some Whole Foods gift cards, I found a cute beachy apartment for basically pennies & I had just signed with an agency in Beverly Hills. I didn't have a job yet but I am personable, I work hard, & I have plenty of cocktail serving experience, I would get a job in NO TIME! I thought I was good to go!  WHAT I DIDN'T KNOW was that every cute girl under 30 who is pursuing acting, modeling, singing, and dancing needs a cocktail serving job- this meant that every interview I went on there were over 100 girls in the waiting room with me. Eventually I secured a job, but it took 2 months & by that time I had drained the savings that I had & I was almost back to square one. At least I still had my agency right?? Wrong. After 3 months of being out here the agency went bankrupt & I was back to submitting myself for roles and managing my own career, all while working a serving job, going on auditions, and filming the roles that I did get. Well..at least I had my cute beachy apartment right?? Nope, I ended up really disliking my roommate & moving across town to Los Feliz, and then 6 months later got my own loft downtown...yup, I moved THREE times in the last year.

*Insert Oh shit what have I done? Face here*

Now- I am NOT saying this to discourage you, COME TO LA, CHASE YOUR DREAM!! I am simply saying that there will most likely be unforeseen scenarios that will be thrown at you, so be prepared to learn how to roll with the punches.

Download WAZE: Waze is an app that gages traffic conditions by asking the people who are already on the road. For example: if I'm on the 405 and it is completely standing still, I would report that on Waze & if you were about the get on the 405 in the same direction, it would re-route you to a less congested street. It's not always perfect, but it saves my ass more often than not. It also alerts you of accidents and cops ahead. You're welcome.

Join Meetup Groups: There are tons of these! A friend of mine runs a site called Crushee.com that posts fun meetup events all the time, and there are also facebook groups for jsut about every neighborhood in LA. These were CRUCIAL for me because you get to meet like minded people and go to fun events. Creating a network and a support system is so important in this city.

Don't wait, MOVE!: If you've been thinking about moving to Los Angeles for a while now but you're waiting to save enough money or whatever- stop. Stop putting off your dreams in hopes to give yourself a sense of security in this city upon arrival. I applaud the sentiment, but refer back to my first point. No matter how much you prepare, things are going to change! I'm not saying to have to move here homeless and shit broke but I in fact know people who did that and are now fine, living in totally decent apartments and working totally decent jobs. Sleep on a friends couch, live in a motel for a week or two, if you want to move here, make it happen. It's easier to find jobs and apartments once you're actually HERE.

Learn the city layout: I REALLY REALLY REALLY wish I had done this before moving here. There's a great quote about how LA is "72 suburbs in search of a city" & that couldn't be more accurate. Please realize that the beach is roughly 30 miles from Downtown LA & between 3-8 PM that will take you over an hour. Each neighborhood is different too, which is actually GREAT NEWS because that means there really is a place that is right for everyone.

Join a gym: Or a yoga club, cardio barre, whatever. Stay in shape, because everyone else is & it will make it easier to meet people and get jobs. Plus it makes you look and feel great! 

Parking: You need it. You will rack up parking tickets if you don't have it at your apartment. No one enjoys getting up at the ass crack of dawn to move their car to the other side of the street for street cleaning. If you can even find a spot at that point. No thanks.

Know when you need a break: I see a lot of my friends literally burn themselves into the ground working and picking up odd jobs and what not. I admire the hustle, it's important- especially when you're chasing an artistic dream. But know when to call it quits & drive down to Laguna & have a mimosa. It's good for the soul.

Alright my dears that's all for now! Kisses! 

Lake Arrowhead.

It's no secret that LA overwhelms me sometimes. My best friends probably can't even count how many times I have called them almost in tears because of traffic.  This is a tough city, it just is, so sometimes you just need a little get away. This past Saturday my friend Joey & I got in her new car and drove a few hours up north to Lake Arrowhead (which is a private lake right next to Big Bear Mountain). We spent the day relaxing at the deli/pizza place she used to work at, went out on the boat with a few of her old friends, and even made a little trip over to the house she grew up in. FUNNY STORY: We thought her old house was abandoned, there WAS a work truck there but it looked like it hadn't been moved in quite a while and while the house was insanely beautiful it definitely hadn't been kept up the way a house that lovely should have been. Joey was a little bummed that she couldn't really see inside & I noticed that a few of the windows on the second level were open and that there was a random ladder by the garage. Being the spontaneous person that I am I look at Joey and go "If you really want to get inside I'm down to grab that ladder and help you get in..." With a devious look in our eyes we carried the ladder up and got into the house... less than 10 seconds later a man who was "renting a room" there (in my opinion he was squatting) came out in his underwear and goes "UM...Can it help you??!" hahahahaha. Busted. Thinking as quickly as I could I just shouted "Sorry she used to live here her dad basically built this house and we just wanted to check it out we didn't think anyone lived here!" To our surprise the man didn't call the cops on us & let us look around. Oops. I guess the saying is true... A friend will bail you out of jail, but a best friend will be sitting in the cell with you saying "man that was a crazy time".

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Such a beautiful day!! The White dress I wore initially (before I went swimming and changed into my comfy gypsy warrior go-to tye dye dress) was from a designer friend of mine whose clothes can be found at www.califreela.com ! The story of the dress goes something kind of like this: Joey ordered a similar dress from a popular website & paid for expedited shipping so she could have the dress for her bday dinner. The dress had not arrived by the morning of the dinner so I asked my friend Michelle (one of the CaliFreeLA designers) if she could do me an extra special favor & check if she had anything SIMILAR in her warehouse. Michelle stepped up and did one better she MADE Joey a custom dress that looked BETTER than the one she originally ordered in less than 3 hours!! WHAT A GOOD PERSON! I am so proud to support such an amazing company with super cute affordable clothing. They'll even do custom orders! 

For 30% off of CaliFreeLA clothing follow them on instagram & type in LADiaries at checkout!

Enjoy!