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A LIFESTYLE BLOG It's Spring Cleaning time on the blog...a fresh, new and fabulous blog is coming your way!

culture

Somaly Mam Campaign

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When I asked for people to help celebrate my birthday by donating to a cause I hold so close to my heart (@somalymamfoundation) and one that makes me the happiest, I couldn’t have fathomed the love and generosity that was received. I am sincerely overwhelmed and grateful for the outpour of selflessness, charity and love for not only myself but to the innocent souls that are affected by sex slavery everyday. Every dollar that came in has made a difference and no donation was greater then the other. We all have our own story and our own situations but to get out of yourself and help another, is something we should all strive to do more often.

On that note, in honor of my birthday month I want to keep the campaign going and not just donate because it’s my birthday wish, but donate because we can make a difference - because it isn’t about me or you - it is about US and making this world a better, safer and happier place.

If you haven’t already (and if you have thank you, thank you) click here to make a donation - every little bit helps. Again - I just want to stress how thankful I am and how inspiring this is. I see each and every donation come in and will acknowledge each and everyone of you separately! Love to all!

Tagged: #culture

My Birthday Wish

As many of you know, my birthday is April 10th- TOMORROW! Every year around this time, I receive literally thousands of thoughtful messages from friends, fans and family alike, all filled with warmth and good wishes. As you might imagine, this kind of outpouring of love and support is very humbling, and sincerely appreciated. 


So, this year, when they bring out my birthday cake, I want to share with all of you what I’ll be wishing for, and how you can help me to make this wish come true.

One of the things that is most dear to my heart is The Somaly Mam Foundation (SMF). This is an extraordinary organization that is dedicated to eradicating the trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls, and empowering survivors as part of the solution. During the trip that I made to Cambodia, I have witnessed, first hand, the incredible work that SMF does, and it is life-changing for all involved. 


This year, as I celebrate my birthday, I would like to ask all of you to find it in your hearts to give me the best birthday gift ever, and make a donation to The Somaly Mam Foundation. Whatever you can contribute would be greatly appreciated, both by me, and the women and children whose lives you help save.

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Click here to go to the crowd rise page

There are other great ways to donate to this extraordinary cause and treat yourself with something beautiful at the same time.  Below are some Somaly related items making beautiful handmade jewelry and giving back at the same time in more ways than one.

Silk Empowerment Necklace:

Slavery survivors often create beautiful works of art as part of recovery therapy. The repetitive nature of stringing jewelry, weaving fabric, and embroidery provides these embattled survivors with a sense of comfort and security in structure and routine, engendering a feeling of pride and accomplishment.. These exquisite pieces reflect the strength, beauty, and resilience of each survivor. Wear yours in solidarity with our survivors, as a symbol of each step they take on the difficult road to recovery.

Like the survivors who create these necklaces, each is unique. Color and design vary from necklace to necklace.

Click here to buy one

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The Brave Collection:

Each piece in this collection is handmade in Cambodia, providing a job opportunity to an underprivileged artisan, and serving as a token of freedom to dreamers and change-makers across the globe. The signature bracelets say “Brave” in Khmer, the language of Cambodia. With each purchase, a donation is made to fight human trafficking.

Click here to buy one

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I want to thank EACH and EVERYONE of you in advance for every penny you have contributed to this cause.  Wether it is $5 of $100 every bit counts.  

On your way to work today forfeit your $5 starbucks latte to help aid a victim with food, shelter and even more.  All of your notes with your donations are truly touching.  I couldn’t do this without you guys!

xo

Shay

Tagged: #culture

TINDER

I became one of the 2 million daily Tinder users after living in LA for four months. For those who don’t know, Tinder for most people is as a dating app organized by your physical proximity to fellow users. Others, however, would describe it as, “the most entertaining thing to happen to them in 2013/2014.” I may be the only person to fall into that latter category but I’m not swaying. Regardless, its model follows the original “hot or not” concept. See a cute guy? Hit the heart icon or “swipe right.” See someone that looks like he emerged from the depths of God knows where? Give him an ‘X’. If cupid strikes and you have a mutual attraction, “You Have A Match” which enables you to chat in a text box. A few photos, brief explanation, and possible love interest? How could things go wrong? 

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The true question is: “How could things go right?” with this Go Fish-style dating game. Because although Tinder enthusiasts and optimists claim it’s, “basically the same as approaching someone in a bar!” that statement would mean I had willingly found myself in every sleazy club, dive bar, strip joint, anime convention, USC frat party, surfing competition, heavy metal concert, taxi backseat, Coachella tent, hipster coffee shop, D list actor audition, shady restaurant kitchen, and motel lobby that Los Angeles has to offer.

Tinder is not your cool neighborhood bar unless your favorite watering hole is the godforsaken DMV.

That being said, this app has brought the world’s best people watching to our fingertips. And if all goes “well” (I’ll use that term loosely), you can avoid the crowds of screaming people at your local bar/government branch, sit back, and enjoy the show. Tinder hosts people from every walk of life attempting to put their best foot forward; that’s what makes the strangeness of the Tinder community all the more baffling. Here we go:

Photos:

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In sum, Los Angeles Tinder is a graveyard for mediocre acting/modeling head shots. But when I’m not sifting through wannabe Pitts and Depps, here’s what I see:

  1. The Extreme and Outdoorsy:  Cue skydiving, cliff jumping, surfing, snorkeling, skiing, hiking, marathon running, hunting, weight lifting, fishing, body building, etc. 

  2. The Sensitive:  Pets, babies, children, some dude tenderly holding Grandma’s hand, etc. My favorite is when someone shamelessly adds an adorable golden retriever puppy to help get them laid. Jonathan, you’re not even in the photo! That’s just a cute dog! It might not even be yours! Cut it out! 

  3. The Selfie Pro:  The best is when six photos of the guy’s iPhone blocks 75% of his face. I also love selfies taken in cars. It’s as if they checked their rearview mirror and thought, “Whoa, whoa, whoa! I look good. Right here, right now. At this red light. Gotta take advantage and snap this.”  

  4. TheShirtless:  No explanation necessary.
     
  5. The Vague Group Shots:  Oh, you and your twenty identical best friends went to Vegas together? Hope you’re one of the ten on the left half of the photo.

  6. The Confusing:

  7. The Weapons:  Why so many guns and knives? I really want

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The “About Me” Section:

  1. Statement of Height:  Where is the rule mandating these guys have to tell me their height upfront? Who cares if you’re “six foot three on a good day?” I’m more concerned about whether or not you’re a serial killer.

  2. Statement of Interests:  ”Music, movies, friends, beer.” Way to isolate yourself from the crowds, buddy! We must really be soul mates if you like those four things. How do you feel about food?

  3. Strange Disclaimers:  I always laugh when it says: “Those kids in my pics aren’t mine, they’re my niece and nephew.” It’s even funnier when the guy writes, “niece.” and leaves it at that.

  4. Lots of Emojis:  …

  5. Bizarre Statements:  These crack me up. Why do you feel called to write “recovering asshole” under your picture? “Self-proclaimed bacon enthusiast” / “If you hate Southern people then definitely swipe right so I can tell you to go screw yourself” / “Swag king” / “International playa” / “Here’s my Instagram. I definitely won’t follow you back.” 

And we can’t forget the top four Hall of Famers:

  1. "Looking for my Tinderella" 
  2. "Shiver me tinders"
  3. "I thought this was an App to buy firewood." (I have to admit I thought that was funny.)
  4. “Do you believe in love at first swipe?”

The “Chat” Box:

If you share an attraction with someone, your finger accidentally hit the wrong button, or your were drunk Tindering again, you wind up in the highly anticipated chat box. This place is a scary blank slate. How will you proceed? Luckily for us girls, the guys typically initiate.

  1. The Bold:  One guy recently wrote, “you dtf” before anything else. He didn’t even have the decency to add a question mark! (What a tragic day in age where that is my takeaway.)

  2. The Boring: I can only answer so many mundane questions. No, I’m not from Los Angeles. Yes, I like dogs. Yes, I went to college. My favorite color?! Really?

  3. The Bizarre: How did these guys slip through to this stage? Who knows.  (See below ACTUAL messages from my experience).

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Moral of the Story?:

Take Tinder for what it is: a melting pot of the boring, the psycho, the funny, the quirky, the hot, the naked, the strange, the killers, the lovers, the drivers, the bikers, the go-carters, the models, the snowboarders, the musicians, the unemployed, the students, the cliff-jumpers, the selfie enthusiasts, the sculptors, the chefs, the strippers, the tattoos, the lawyers, the foreign, the soldiers, the weird, the real estate agents, the cocky, the beautiful, the shameless, the lame, the emo, the drunk, the desperate, the cheaters, the partiers, the nerds, the meatheads, the gym rats, the hood rats, the professionals, the addicts, the wannabe actors, the hunters, the skiers, the sunglasses lovers, the clowns, the shy, the bald, the adventurers, the snake handlers, the artists, the shocking, and ultimately, the entertaining. 
Post by S-Cat
Tagged: #culture

Artist Spotlight: Gray Malin

Where to begin. Let’s just say that if you haven’t heard of Gray Malin, you’ll be glad to read this blogpost. Although he’s based out of Los Angeles, photographer Gray Malin travels the world capturing the unique, quirky, often colorful and always beautiful scenes that comprise his portfolio. His website reads: “Whether helicoptering over the beaches of Brazil or sending balloons high above the mystical plains of Joshua Tree National Park, Malin’s visions are more than just artistic images, they are but one small piece of inspiration calling to a jet-set lifestyle and the belief that every day can be a getaway.”

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It’s true. His works are mini vacations in and of themselves, a slice of exoticism in the middle of mundane days, and constant reminder of the intriguing vastness of our world.

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And just when you think you’ve got a grasp on what exactly encompasses Malin’s aesthetic, he’ll throw a curveball and keep you glued to his website, blog, or Instagram, always wanting more.

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Trust me, now that you know his name, you’ll see his breathtaking work pop up just about everywhere. Featured on One Kings Lane? Check. Prominently placed in Harbinger, one of Los Angeles’s loveliest home interior stores? Check. Chosen to deck out J.Crew’s first international store on London’s Regent Street? Check. His iconic beach scenes even inspired a line of men’s swim trunks.

As for Malin himself, his adventures have most recently taken him to Antarctica where he has traveled by way of the National Geographic Explorer, a massive ship able to navigate the extreme conditions. Lucky for those of us in the comfort of our own homes, he posts regular updates and previews of the series to come.

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Personally, I think this will be Malin’s sharpest work to date. The series entitled, “The Great Expedition” is certainly something to look forward to, as he brings his signature whimsy to the arctic tundra with lively juxtapositions: Beverly Hills Hotel pool chairs perched on icy terrain, playful beach balls floating amidst glaciers, and plastic, bright lawn flamingos joining the ranks of a penguin colony. In the meantime, prints from his collections “Far Far Away,” “A La Plage, A La Piscine,” and “A La Montagne” are available online and may just skyrocket to the top of your next wish list after you take a peek.

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Update: since this original post was written, Gray has ventured down under to Sydney, Australia. His teaser Instagram posts of the iconic Sydney Opera House and alluring Bondi beach promise yet another exciting series to come.

Tune into to the action-packed, glamor-filled world of Gray Malin. It seems 2014 will be his year.

Website: http://maisongray.com/home/

Blog: http://maisongray.com/blog/ 

Instagram: @graymalin

Post by Sarah Catherine

Tagged: #culture
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