Young, Sensitive, and Vocal

It seems like every other day there’s a new artist on the rise.

Over the last few years there’s a particular artist who seems to have engulfed my entire soul with their lyrics and sound.

Hana Vu, is an LA based, singer-songwriter, and all around badass!

She recently released her debut EP ” How Many Times Have You Driven By” and its nothing short of spectacular.  You can hear it in her music that she pours herself entirely into her work. I don’t speak for everyone but I feel like she went through all of my texts/screenshots and was inspired to write a lot of her songs. There’s something about her scratchy vocals and deep guitars really get me in my feelings. Teaching yourself to sing and play guitar is one thing, but producing your own stuff too is just mind blowing! Did I mention the she’s only 18?! At that age I was still asking my parents for permission to go to the movies with my friends! She’s young but she’s totally got a vision of who she is and where she is about. Not many teenagers nor adults can say they’ve got it figured out.

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As I mentioned earlier she’s been around for a few years now and what really hooked me as a fan was her previous album, “Sensitive”. Vu’s album “Sensitive” is basically a scruffy pop/rock coming of age soundtrack for teens and adults alike. From “Queen Of High School” feat. Willow Smith to “Farsides” she talks about growing up and inevitably, growing apart. One of my favorite lyrics from the aforementioned song “Farsides” talks about still wanting someone even though it’s over (ouch!) :

I really wanna end up with you 
but were hiding in corners of rooms 
Oh friend, it was good until the end 
I know you think so too.

Vu ‘s music is mostly described as “bedroom pop” but her sound is so open and relatable I wouldn’t limit it to just that. She’s young but her maturity trancends through her music. You can really see how much she’s come into herself with her old music to now.  “Sensitive” was removed from Spotify and other streaming services and I was devastated but luckily you can still check it out on Bandcamp!

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Fast forward to her new EP “How Many Times Have You Driven By” and it is no less captivating. Once you get this album going it’s going to be hard to stop. You can hear what I’m talking about on “426” and “Crying on the Subway” where her lyrics provoke feelings of longing in an almost painful way. Her debut track “Crying on the Subway” talks about taking a train to literally and physically distance herself from the heartbreak that has befallen her. We’ve all been there right? The feeling of wanting to get as far away as possible from the thing/people that’s causing us pain. It may sound a bit depressing but the lyrics are deeply introspective and if you throw in the groovy bass combined with Hana’s gruff vocals you’ve got yourself a banger.

Hana once said in an interview;

“Subway” is my favorite song on there, production-wise, and lyrically it’s a stretch for me. I think that song’s a reach for me, composition-wise, I often try to get back into that zone, but I don’t know, it just feels like I didn’t make it. Which is probably why I like it. But there’s this song on one of the four extra tracks, ‘Team’, and I think that’s a real mood song…

“Subway’ is the bop, but ‘Team” is the mood”.

SIDE NOTE : “TEAM” IS MY ABSOLUTE FAV!

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Even the title of the album rocked the boat for me.

“How Many Times Have You Driven By”

LIKE CAN YOU BE ANY MORE ROMANTIC?! *crying emoji*

I suppose it isn’t necessarily romantic and is more open to interpretation but my overly sensitive self tries to find romance or the feeling of mystery, and remoteness from everyday life in basically everything. My interpretation of the title? A romantic interest or a crush that seems to just you pass by instead of being direct and telling you how they feel and vice versa. To me it means not taking the leap, it means not doing something that you shouldn’t be afraid to do. Love is too precious a thing to not have in your life because you’re afraid or worried about everyone else. Being a coward gets you hurt and unfortunately I’ve learned this from my past experiences. The words we don’t say end up staying inside of us, trapped, and make us feel heavier. Those words left unsaid give us heavy souls and not to mention heavy hearts. Why add something else to your plate? Life is tough enough as it is and you shouldn’t have to lug around regrets or what ifs!

The reality behind the album title? It’s just a very poetic and terribly romantic marquee sign hanging in a cafe in LA that Hana used to frequent. For a sucker like myself I sob at the mere thought of the name but these cafe owners really know how to get ya! They’re using this sign to entice their customers with curiosity saying “Come in, eat our food, spend your hard earned cash…what’re you waiting for?” and I’m taking it as a sign to drunk text at 3 am.

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“HMTHYDB” presents the idea of inevitable heartbreak and change, self love and basically everything that comes with growing up but does so in a way that softens the blow of our sometimes cruel reality.  Music for me has always been therapeutic. It’s a huge passion of mine and when I come across an artist that really resonates with me and how I’m feeling I will use their music as a way to comfort myself. In the good and the bad there is a song to express every emotion or life situation! With Hana’s music I felt so connected to her lyrics because there was a point in time where I couldn’t translate my thoughts or emotions in structed sentences. I was unsure of myself and her music helped me realize it was okay to be “sensitive” and that I wasn’t alone. I’ve actually had the privilege to see Hana a few times and each time she’s blown me away. I even got to take a picture with her when she played at The Echo in LA back in April of last year. (I cried during the set lol)

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^  Hana and I pictured on the left at her LA show. Mind you this was after a couple Jameson-Gingers and a lot of tears.

 “Lost, I’ll carry you home”
I just feel like people have a inherent, I dunno, attraction to, fixing people. So I think, like, in that moment I was very inclined to, like, saving someone, helping someone, and that’s a complex for some people. Yeah, I think that’s what that is. I always feel like I need to be in control of…like, my feelings. So being in control of other people’s feelings is also something I think about.

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Her music is so personal and it’s her vulnerability, the ability to be fully exposed and sensitive and show us the real her that really draws you in. It’s human nature to not want to be alone, to want to be loved and have a sense of belonging. Some find belonging in a church, some with friends, some with family, and others on Instagram or other social media. Then there are those who find it in music and want to create and share it with the rest of those. Hana is one of those people, a true artist. I hope you’ll take some time to listen to her journey through her music. Who knows? You might just find yourself connecting with someone new.

Check out Hana Vu’s “How Many Times Have You Driven By” on all streaming platforms.

For some of her older music check out Hana Vu’s Bandcamp !

 

 

 

Time Away, Time for play.

 

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Hey folks,

So I’m well aware I have been an absentee blog mom and have not been keeping up with

The Spilt Milk

Unfortunately, I’ve always been this type of person. I start things and have trouble finishing them. I’m a total and complete procrastinator.

In the last year or so, I’ve attempted to get in  better shape, make music, take guitar lessons, improve my french, publish my writing (poetry),  and of course run a blog.

However, none of that is even close to being done. I deal with my goals like you would a cold slice of leftover pizza. Just a couple bites and then you toss it back into the box.

It’s like I have mini bouts of inspiration and I’ll work on one thing and then I’m distracted or I’ll push things to the side. Why is it so hard to find time for yourself?

Sometimes I feel we put our needs and wants on the back burner in order to

A. Please everyone else.

B. Deal with life and all of the not so fun stuff (bills, work, etc.)

I’m tired of not doing things for me!

I want to create a shift in my persona and focus a little more on the things I want.

I know its hard, I know its time consuming but we gotta think,

” Hey! This is for me! I love myself and I deserve to do what I want and express myself.”

I feel like by doing so we can create a balance in our lives and learn to put ourselves first.

Immerse yourself in your hobbies or fitness, take a dance class, visit an art gallery or anything that sparks your interest.

Find your passion and work towards being at peace with yourself.

I love to write so whats stopping me other than my lazy self?!

So this is an announcement of my official return to the internet and trust me, I have loads to write about! I just need to push myself to follow through and give myself a creative break from all the craziness of daily life.

Is there anything you want to do or have been wanting to look into? Whether its financial reasons holding you back or any other commitments, are they really keeping you from growing as a person? I’d love to hear back from you guys on what you’ve been wanting to get into but haven’t had the chance.

Also, any suggestions for posts/topics are warmly welcomed.

 

Feels good to be back.

   – The Spit Milk 

 

 

Explicitly Retro

 Meet Nadia Lee Cohen.

img_6792Nadia Lee Cohen is a fine art/fashion photographer, filmmaker and self-portrait artist.

(And, no, by self portrait we do not mean selfies!)

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Scrolling through her Instagram you would’ve never guessed she grew up on a farm in England. She’s now based out of LA and uses the city of angels as her playground. Captivated with American cinema from 60’s and 70’s, Nadia Lee Cohen’s photographs and films are genuine visions of saturated color schemes and vintage living at its finest. Cohen often portrays vixenish housewives with flamboyant hairdos from the past to create a staged retro world where there’s more than meets the eye.

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Nadia has shot campaigns for MIU MIU, Zizi Donohoe and even a shoot for Katy Perry’s shoe line! She has also directed seductively kitsch music videos from the likes of Kali Uchis to DRAM. (which Bhad Bhabie totally ripped off for her video “Gucci Flip Flops”). Check the links below to compare the videos for yourself.

 Gilligan- DRAM (Directed by Nadia)
Gucci Flip Flops- Bhad Bhabie (Nadia Bootleg)

 

But hey! If someone like the “Cash me outside” girl felt compelled to recreate Nadia’s brilliance then that should tell you she is really exploding onto the scene.

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“The movies and art I am interested in tends to feature very strong characters, some of which may not fit modern beauty standards; this is something I am hugely inspired by and try to include when casting for my films and still images.”

– Nadie Lee Cohen

4-felicity_hayward_american_nightmare_nadia_lee_cohenimg_6909Cohen’s work is peculiar yer fabulous, its like a step back into the glamour and cinematic glory of old Hollywood. There is a type of familiarity in her work that leaves you feeling introspective and possibly a little uncomfortable. Through her satiric shoots we see how she uses the bold aesthetic of advertising to explore the duality of women. Cohen gives us visual narratives that reveal odd characters mid-action in every day ordinary scenarios.

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“I’ve never been into “pretty” photographs. I’m drawn to the uncanny.” –

Nadia Lee Cohen

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These particular shots were taken in the surrounding area of the Cabazon Dinosaurs near Palm Springs, CA.  (which is super close to my hometown!)

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The photo provocateur stated in an interview that she likes to create imagery that verges on being slightly uncomfortable to look at. She prefer to make a point subtly than creating something that overtly offends for the intent of shock factor.

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You just can’t look away! Everything from the colors, the borderline bad fashion, and of course the fabulous wigs have me obsessed!

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Cohen creates an alternate universe through the lens, a hyper-surreal world, where everything is almost identical to our own, but it doesn’t feel right .

olol7OVH8OVHUltimately, Cohen’s dream is to make a movie one day.

Until then she has released a bizarre short film and series of images titled,

           “A Guide to Indulgence”

 The project explores ideas of perfection and the absurd measures women take to become beautiful. It follows an eerie group of rubber-masked ladies in a very lavish and luxurious mid-century style home seductively doing chores and socializing at dinner parties. It all seems fun and dandy but the eyes behind the masks haunt you throughout the film. The filming took place in the scorching but chic Palm Springs,CA. I feel shooting in P.S gives the film a unique cinematic quality being that it used to be a major hangout spot back in the day and it seems to occur in the retro 50’s era. A.G.T.I is all about the details. You will get an eyeful of gaudy jello molds, pink velvet boudoirs, and satin-clad models.

img_6906Cohen takes our society’s quest for beauty and perfection to an unsettling extreme, depicting a group of women with grotesque, make up visages. Their looks are meant to be exaggerated (cue the masks) but they oddly bring to mind plenty of women (and men) with plumped up, surgically altered faces. Guess who!

Nadia-Lee-Cohen-guide-to-indulgence-4   Dripping in luxury and monochromatic sets, the three minute montage will not only have you reconsidering your interior design choices, but will have you questioning your own beauty norms.

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Nadia’s fascination with seemingly boring, seemingly perfect American middle class suburbia is a huge influence on the film as seen on the photos from this series.

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It’s captivating but totally unsettling.

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I wanted to create a satirical world in which the female inhabitants have pushed their appearances into cartoonish, extreme representations of femininity.[It] hopefully subtly exposes the cracks beneath the surface…the music, the “darting eyes” beneath the masks and the subtle word play puncture an environment that unless scrutinized appears entirely perfect. -Nadie Lee Cohen

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The short film blurs the line between beauty and monstrosity, aiming to illustrate perfection as ridiculous. In today’s society we are constantly pressured to strive for perfection thanks to social media. With every scroll and every feed that is refreshed there are more and more photos of filtered photo-shopped personas. It’s not just social media,  its also magazines, movies and the beauty ideals that have been forced onto us as children. It’s nice to see that there has been a growing “self love” movement and women and men are starting to empower one another and accept themselves. I’m on my own journey to self-love and it’s definitely not easy but with artists creating content like this and as the shift towards embracing your unedited self is becoming more prominent, it no longer feels unobtainable.

If you take anything from this article, even if you don’t watch the film, just know you are unique and you don’t need to look a certain way.

You are beautiful,

You are you!

 

The Spilt Milk proudly presents Nadia Lee Cohen’s :                                      A Guide to Indulgence

IG: @Nadialeelee

http://www.nadialeecohen.com

 

*Disclaimer: I do not own any of these photos. please note that all images and copyrights belong to their original owners. no copyright infringement intended.

CHELLA “Celebrando La Comunidad”

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CHELLA “Celebrando La Comunidad”

(celebrating the community)

Chella took place at the Riverside County Fairgrounds on Thursday April 19th, 2018. The sold out show featured an array of music headlined by Los Angeles Azules. The show was a “thank you” from Goldenvoice to the Latino community living in the Coachella Valley where the world-renowned music festival takes place. It was a way for locals to catch some of the acts performing at Coachella at much smaller, intimate, venue.

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The concert was was a brilliant clash of Latin flavored music, then and now. Not only were the tickets reasonably priced at $20, it was also an interaction of two generations which is almost unheard of nowadays. I feel like we, myself included, have become so separated through technology and social media it’s kind of hard to connect with someone older who may have a different perspective on life. At Chella this was not the case! It was definitely a family affair seeing as there were many teens/younger children in attendance alongside their parents. It seemed the music acted as a glue that held the crowd together as they swayed and sang their hearts out. The older couples were mainly attracted by Los Angeles Azules while Cuco and Ocho Ojos brought in the younger crowds. Personally, I was hyped to see Cuco and Los Angeles Azules perform live, let alone at the same venue! For many, or at least for myself, Chella gave me flashbacks of family gatherings while dancing in a circle and being cheered on if you had the guts to dance in the middle.

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Now, I’ve always considered myself quite the music enthusiast and I feel my Mexican upbringing definitely exposed me to different sounds and artists that aren’t usually played on popular English music outlets. Being bilingual I was able to enjoy both the Spanish and English bangers. Regardless of the language, I believe music is therapeutic and always has a story or lesson to share. Growing up music was an important aspect in my shaping who I am today. There are tons of songs I listened to when I was younger that are still relevant to life in 2018. I learned that you should stay away from “scrubs” who hang on the passenger side of their best friend’s ride. Also, if someone’s got a girl(or guy) and they’re still coming on to you, be firm, look them in the eyes and tell them “NO TE METAS CON MI CUCU!”  I’m kidding, although that is a pretty fun song to dance to. Much has changed since I was a kid as we are now starting to see a big wave of Spanish singers collaborating with English hip hop and pop artists.

So for those of you who aren’t familiar with the artists of Chella lets get into the dirty details of the sounds that filled the night.

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Los Angeles Azules –  A Mexican musical group that’s been around since the early 80’s.   They’re known for their playful pop, party-themed cumbias and of course their heart tugging love ballads. There sound has changed over the years and with their creative blend of diverse elements, their latest album, “De Plaza en Plaza”, can be described as a fusion of cumbia-style electronic music. They’ve come a long way and worked their way all the way from Mexico to the Coachella stage.

Our Angeles Azules picks:

El liston de tu Pelo, Como Te Voy Olvidar, Mis Sentimientos

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(Los Angeles Azules backstage pictured above)

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Cuco –  A 19-year-old dream pop singer/songwriter from Hawthorne, CA. His tracks are mostly in English, sometimes in Spanish, and more often than not he sprinkles in both to create a little Spanglish magic. Cuco’s music delivers feelings of nostalgia and romance in the city of angels with the mariachi style trumpets while still getting funky with 808’s, synths and uber cool reverb over his vocals.

Our Cuco favs:

Lava Lamp , Lo Que Siento , Lover is a Day, Amor de Siempre

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Helado Negro– A Brooklyn based performer of Ecuadorean heritage. His music is a mix of personal and political avant-pop latin influenced music. Often performing between two costumed, choreographed humans called the Tinsel Mammals, his live show challenges the balance between visual art and musical performance. His music is an evolving collection of delicate electronic ballads with trance-like refrains.

Our Helado Tracks:

Come Be Me, Invisible Heartbeat

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Ocho Ojos–  Ocho Ojos, which literally means 8 eyes in English, are a local Coachella Valley band who describe themselves as a psychedelic/ traditional cumbia band. Think lo-fi cumbias with a bit of blues influence and a generous amount of electronic sounds. Their music adds a fun modern twist on cumbia style music.

Our Ocho Ojos jams:

La cumbia de esta Valle, Culebra, Tj Maxx

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Ocho Ojos has been doing an awesome job of putting their music out there and creating quite a buzz for themselves. They even performed at Coachella last year! They are one of my favorite up and coming artists and its’s nice to see their hard work paying off. They were the opener at Chella which was a refreshing choice being that they are a local band from the East end of the valley. They always manage to get the crowd grooving! I’ve seen them a couple of times at local shows but this show seemed different. I caught up a bit with the band’s singer and guitarist Cesar Flores to ask about how things went down at Chella.

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 When you were approached with the opportunity to perform alongside Los Angeles Azules how did you react? Are you a fan of theirs ?

I was at work one morning when I received the news. I felt excited because I knew Goldenvoice held events during “Coachella Season” so obviously it was gonna be a good show. It could have been my friend at Goldenvoice who put in a good word for Ocho Ojos to be considered for Chella since we played Coachella in 2017. I am actually a big fan of Los Angeles Azules and their music. My interest in them wasn’t simply because I “grew up listening to them at family parties as a child”, it’s so much more than that.  Latin music is a sound I identify with both musically and culturally. I like to listen to their music while recognizing them as legends in the Mexican cumbia world.

 Was the vibe for this particular show different from what you’re usually used to ?

No because it was in Indio, CA at the Fullenwinder Auditorium. I can’t tell you how many  Quinceañeras and weddings I’ve been to at that particular spot. I’ve lived in the valley for about 15 years and feel completely at ease whenever I play in my hometown (the valle). Chella basically focuses on the music of Latino/a artists whose music I resonate with. I felt at home, nothing but brown people at that event. It’s just like the lyrics I wrote for our song  Cumbia De Este Valle says: “Gente piel canela, me siento en mi hogar.”

If you had one message to give to your fans, what would it be?

A message that I think is worth hearing? Probably to be patient with anything life gives you. It’s a way of determining how dedicated you can be someone to or something. Y que no se aguiten!

(roughly translated: don’t let things get to you or get you down)

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I agree 1000% with Cesar in that you should never let something or someone bring you down. Even when you feel like its impossible to overcome, find it in yourself to keep pushing. All of the artists who performed are breaking barriers for other latino artists and creating a balance in our ever growing american culture. Spanish and English harmoniously together in music should translate into real life actions and scenarios. Through music we can create an equal platform to voice our opinions and share our experiences. Music is the universal way we express ourselves. Music brings us together as one.

*virtual hug*

 

Don’t forget to check out their music !

 

Original flyer :

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Most photos courtesy of Leo Valvidia IG: @chiefnico_x

 

 

A little taste of Tokyo

I've been thinking about Japan a lot lately, and I've come to the conclusion that I cannot do one sole post to recap last year's adventure. I'm going to have to break down my Tokyo trip through multiple posts. There's way too much to cover! But here's a little preview of one of my favorite places in Japan. It's so beautiful it seriously looks fake.

February 22, 2017

Meiji Shrine- Tokyo, Japan

LUCKY X MUSIC

It’s April, it’s hot, it’s Festival season!

Now of course one of the biggest, if not THE festival, is the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Whether you’re attracted by the plethora of musical acts, the celebrity sight seeing, or the fashion , it’s a place for all. One of my favorite things that is just as much Coachella as the actual fest is the parties associated with it. There are tons and tons of parties that happen before and or during both weekends. Some of these are crazy exclusive and seemingly impossible to attend and mostly all of them have a guest list. There are, however, some really rad parties that only require an RSVP for those of us who don’t have that little blue checkmark next to our names.

I had the privilege of attending the Desert Jam party presented by Lucky Brand.

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(Andrea and I feelin’ lucky 🍀)  IG: @Drea28 & @Kikashines

img_6062The party took place in Palm Springs, CA. at the Arrive Hotel   on Saturday April 14th, 2018. It was so much fun! The vibe was very laid back but you could definitely feel everyone’s excitement for the festival. There were special performances by CHARLI XCX, Harry Hudson and Naomi Wild to name a few. There was a ton of yummy finger food (including vegan options), fruity refreshments and bikini clad desert dwellers ready to party. I’ve always been a fan of Lucky Brand apparel so I was especially excited for this party.

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As with every pool party there is more than just drinks,music, and a pool. There were a couple of cool stands that really caught my attention. One of them was the Scünci booth. For those that aren’t familiar, Scünci is a hair accessories brand that offers a variety of hair products including hair ties, wraps, etc. At their booth they were customizing scrunchies for free! It was a totally cute idea and of course with all the 90’s nostalgia trends buzzing I had to get in on the action. You were able to choose from different iron on patches for your scrunchie and the other option was to bedazzle it. I love hair ties and I’m extremely indecisive so I went for both. I picked two dark grey velvet mid-sized scrunchies and picked a couple jewels that I felt were a good match. For my second choice I picked a larger all black scrunchie and I managed to sift through and find the perfect little cactus patch for it.

Why a cactus you ask?

  1. I’m from the desert.
  2. CACTUS-CHELLA

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img_6061 SO MANY SCRUNCHIES, SO LITTLE TIME!

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Another highlight of the party for me was the ping pong corner. Nothing brings out my animal-like competitive spirit like some sun, whiskey and balls! It was to the right of the stage so you were still able to jam out and get your balls bouncing (literally). The coolest thing about it was that instead of a traditional net they added their own little twist; a metal plank that served as a divider but get this, the words

“PING MY PONG”

were carved out! Adorable right?! The words “Lucky You” were also written on the table. Lucky Brand sure knows how to break the ice at a party.

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On our way out we were given goody bags which had some pretty awesome stuff in it. A cool pair of baby blue shades courtesy of Omission Brewing Co., a Quest protein cookie which I immediatley grubbed down in the car cause gains and an amazing FHI Heat hairbrush. Honestly, I was just happy to add another canvas tote bag to my collection since I’m such a total hoarder. Overall, it was an awesome shindig and I’ve got the ugly tan lines to prove it.

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Here’s the official flyer :

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