“We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are”

I have an obsession with the motif of mirrors. No matter what I write a mirror ends up in the story somewhere if not completely revolving around it. I am not conceited, in fact I have this weird habit of squinting when I look in mirrors, I am sort of scared to look in the mirror in the morning. Wouldn’t you be? I mean who knows what a night of tossing and turning did to your hair and don’t even get me started on the possibility of a pimple showing up. 

So I have this love/hate relationship with mirrors. Mirrors are like the paradox of humanity as we know it. I mean think about, we believe in things like God, that someone loves us, that a dream will come true… yet we never find it in us to believe in the person staring back at us. Why can’t we believe in ourselves if we can so easily believe in the things we never see?

I struggle with this everyday. I believe the relationship with one’s self is the hardest and the most rewarding. This relationship really blossomed for me going away to college, I came to see who I was aside from the environment in which I had been born. And no matter where I go that person staring back at me in the mirror is going to be my companion. Somedays I freak myself out, I look a little too grown up. Other days I freak myself out, I look a little like Ke$ha in the opening scene of the Tik Tok music video.  

Mirrors make us stop and see how we look to the world. The mirror never really conveys the stereotypes or judgements others may have of us. The mirror is purely us seeing ourselves, with our judgements. And eventually you have to learn to let those go because you can’t see how beautiful you are if you keep believing in negative words you think up…I mean those words are internal. The external you can’t just be a “10” if the internal you is on a negative numerical ranking system.

I have found when this happens you are just left feeling completely out of whack. You have these ideals you build in your head and when they don’t match who you are in your life this happens. The same can happen where you let yourself down by imagining yourself as perfect, and finding yourself disappointed when you look in the mirror. So what should you think? What should you want to see?

Here’s the secret: There is only feature you have to worry about.

 Your smile. 

 I hope the person in the mirror smiles with the same smile I knew at 5, 10, and 15. That means I’m happy. And that’s all I ever wanted to see. 

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“Inspiration”

For as long as I possibly can I will post a quote and analyze it via this blog. I will make the quote the title. I’ve never been good with clearly expressing my true emotions, so I’ll let them sneak out via the quotations I choose 😉 

Material Girl

There is a common misconception about westwood…that everything is overpriced. And while this is true to an extent it can also be proven quite false. 

There’s the $3.99 store (Thank You Mart),  you can find some…um…loud pieces here? If that’s even the right word. However if you are costume shopping for a raid or say that “ghoul” Holiday you will want to stop by. 

Now if you want a touch of style you should try Buffalo Exchange for second-hand gems…and trust me you will find yourself among the likes of Juicy and Marc here for around $15-$45 dollars. Buffalo also has a pretty decent accessories collection, but there is also Glitterati in westwood that is purely an accessory shop. Oh and make sure you take advantage of the salespeople at Buffalo, some actually style designer photoshoots in LA so they know how to put an outfit together. 

Buffalo Exchange interior

Kaitlyn looks like an overpriced boutique but it’s actually pretty reasonable. I tend to find things here for around $30, but quality pieces of clothing.  The clothing here is certainly aimed at a particular style and unlike the mismatch of Buffalo’s floor (it is a second-hand clothing store), there is a continuity to Kaitlyn’s store. I would say this store caters to both your nights out and dinner with the parents. And if your parents happened to run into you on your wild night out at a club, they wouldn’t be too ashamed of what you were wearing.

Katwalk is a lot like Kaitlyn in my opinion, I get them confused all the time. I love the interior of Katwalk, it is certainly a pretty place to shop. They pride themselves on giving cheaper alternatives to celebrity looks. And the clothing does provide cheaper alternatives, maybe not super cheap, some looks near the $40 dollar mark but hey if you want to look like the supermodel…you have to pay the price. They seem to have a really great variety of unique pieces, so check them out if you are looking for that one-of-a-kind item! 

Okay so for some new, foreign pieces I would go to my absolute favorite store: Brandy & Melville. The store is new to westwood as of fall last year, and they have a very big store in Santa Monica that opened in May. The store is actually an international chain that orginated in Italy. And trust me nothing is lost in translation in style! In fact, I think it’s safe to say we could pick up a few tips from them. Now when you walk in the store you’re instantly going to think you just walked into a Hollywood Starlet’s closet, possibly Lindsay Lohan’s since she is a frequent customer. You are going to freak when you check the price tag and see the dreaded euro sign…don’t have a breakdown over how you hate being in college and poor. That euro sign translates to a dollar sign, no conversion rate applied. They understand college kids are poor! So it’s not 25 euros, it’s 25 dollars. Take a deep breath and resume shopping. Personally I need a shot of Brandy’s style and friendly staff at least twice a month! 

Brandy & Melville Exterior

Well I hope this helps those of you out there looking for some last minute back to school finds! And if you can’t find yourself parting with your favorite mall chain…no fear, the Westfield Mall is minutes away as is the Beverly Center. Happy Shopping!