get stepping

shoes: vans

I cringe at being such a cliche, but I really do love shoes. I spend a lot of time on my feet, running around, and it's important to me that they don't just fall off. Sneakers, heels, boots, clogs. I wear them all, and will always buy another pair. That said, I moved with a swiftness when The Great Mall invited me to come check out their latest mall-wide sale - 
because a sale at an outlet mall is 2x better than a sale at a regular mall. 

I love to prepare for things as far in advance as possible, but yesterday, I just went with the flow - and tried on every. single. pair. of. shoes. That's not to say that I didn't predict my inevitable purchase of these pastel vans - I've been eyeing them for months - just that I wanted to be sure.

I remember as a kid being so done with shoe shopping that I literally just took them off and threw them as far away from me as I could physically managed. After being forced to walk the two feet to pick them up, I resolved that I would never make anyone go through what was clearly an act of torment.

Sorry Chloie.

x Justina

ps. this post was produced in partnership with simon malls, but remember the rules: 
no pair of shoes can buy my love. 

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good genes

photos by benjamin 

jeans: american eagle

I have a stack of jeans in my room that is commonly referred to as "the jeans pile". It's full of not-quite-high waists, steathily stitched holes in knees, and fake pockets. I'm basically always in pursuit of the perfect pair of jeans for my no-butt, extra long self. Many have tried, most end up in the jeans pile. As a girl who grew up believing in the magic of the traveling pants, I've basically been disappointed my entire youth. But American Eagle finally came through for me: I was just looking in the wrong decade.

(Me, I am the stick.)

Real denim, deep pockets, and a waist that - wait for it - doesn't need a belt.

Just let that sink in.

No. Belt.

For those of you blessed with pants that stay on your body through the forces of gravity, let me jsut ut this in perspective: I have to wear a belt with skinny jeans. That is how bad the waist-gap is.

So lets just all take a moment and remember that
the 90's weren't all itchy body glitters. 

x Justina 

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starter pack


Okay, I know it's not cool but I am a creature of habit. It has to be admitted.  I will try anything once, but I like the things I like. That means I am literally the worst person to shop for ever.

(This has been pointed out to me multiple times (a day) by everyone who is trying to love me and give me a birthday present. That's right, it's that time of year again - October 2nd, I'm turning 20.
 Which is totally crazy in it's own way because that means you guys have been hanging out with me for seven. years. But that's another blog post.)

Unfortunately for my friends and family, I am a. indecisive and b. like to get second- third- fourth- opinions on everything. BUT I'M NOT ALONE. I know you have a friend like me. We're everywhere, ruining dinner plans and changing outfits three times a day. So I made a Justina Starter Pack - all the things needed to properly equip your everyday Justina.

1. Fjallraven Kanken Backpack //
I carry around too much stuff to put in a nice purse and also I'm in college so

2. Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb //
Okay so I don't have this yet bc shipping is slow but it was blessed by our lord and
 savior Rihanna herself, so I'm sure it incredible.

3. 32oz Hydroflask //
I am from California and I was born dehydrated. I carry this bottle around the way normal people carry around their firstborn child.

4. Revolution Strobe Highlighter //
This highlighter costs $6 for a $6 million dollar glow and I am here for it.
(Note from Justina's boyfriend: it breaks if you drop it.)

5. ban.DO standard planner //
I bought this because it came with stickers and that intrigued me. It now holds all my secrets.

6. INSTAX SQ10 //
Square instant photos. What a revolutionary idea. *Wink*
(No but this one is digital and has filters INSIDE IT and is basically my favorite piece of retro tech.)

7. American Eagle Mom Jeans //

8. Baby G-Shock BA110BE - 4A (whew) //
It's pink, pretty, and practically indestructible. Plus it tells me how late I already am to wherever I should already be.

9. MeUndies Monthly Subscription //
All I want out of my grown-up life is to be a MeUndies model. Since that hasn't happened yet,
I'll just settle for dancing around my house sans pants in the comfiest undies known to man.

10. Mantra Bands //
Speak it into existence, and if you're too tired, let your wrists do it for you.

11. ban.DO sticker book vol.3 //
If you're gonna get the planner, you're gonna want more stickers.
Trust me.

12. TOMS sunglasses //
I know some places experience the mythical season of Winter, but here we're permanently stuck in season one of Game of Thrones - they just keep telling us it's coming with no real proof.
Sunnies stay on deck.

13. Sebago Docksides //
The frat bros are onto something. These shoes are mad comfortable, and have a slightly more polished look than the average flip flops (erlack)

There you have it.
Pile all those things on top of each other, throw some coffee at it,
and you'll have a pretty decent replica of me.

x Justina

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colorful language

Just a couple of things about the messiest date I've ever gone on in my life,
 including that one time at the spaghetti factory: 

Yes, this looks just as cool in person as it does on everyone's instagram feeds.

No, it was not a color run. I don't run for anything, or anyone, ever.

Yes, it will get into every crevice of your soul, and then stay there, 
turning you a nice hue of purple.

No, it won't get in your eyes,
but only if you use your boyfriend as a shield every time someone throws color directly at you.

x Justina

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hitting the hallways

photos by jordan

So this is it y'all - school starts tomorrow, and summer '17 is officially coming to a close. The last two weeks especially have been a whirlwind. You may have noticed my suspicious silence. (Probably not though) I was hopping on and off of planes, trying to not drown in the Louisiana downpours, and eating copious amounts of gumbo. I was also trying to sort out my class schedule this semester which is wall*claps*to*claps*wall. It may actually cause me to pass out from exhaustion like twice a week. But in the words of the great spiritual master Lil Dicky, that's my niche. 

Here's some well wishes for us all in this coming fall semester: 

- May our binders stay as organized as they are right now.

- May we look first-day-of-school good even when it's middle-of-midterms.

- May the campus-wide wifi never cut out.

- May we make at least one friend in every class who will text us the notes we missed.

- May our student ID's grant us great discounts in places we like to eat.

- May our homework be complete, on time, and more importantly, understood.

- May our instagrams stay poppin' + our twitter feeds full of real words.

- May we enjoy the privilege of education, and use it to better ourselves and the world around us

because lord knows we need some help. 

x Justina

ps. If you're a female undergrad, reading this before September 5th, and you want to hang out with some incredibly successful women on an all-expenses-paid trip to NYC, click here. 

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what're you saying

bracelets // mantra bands 

"I'm not superstitious, but I am a little stitious." - michael scott

I'm a big believer in the power of words. I think the way you vocalize your life has a huge impact on how you experience it. I like positive affirmations, and overused quotes, and having personal mantras. I also like gold jewelry that makes a lot of noise. I've had a couple of Mantra bands throughout the last couple of years, but this is my favorite stack. They're reminders, accessories, and make a very satisfying clank every time I wave my arms.

+ You're My Person.
I have a lot of very important people in my life, and this reminds me that as much as they're my person, I'm theirs too. I don't have a big crew, but we roll deep, and I will never stop appreciating them.

+  It Is What It Is
My dad says this all the time, and as frustrating as it is sometimes, he's right. I'm a type A straight laced perfectionist, and I always want everything to work exactly as I planned. I am also stressed 99% of the time.

+ You Got This
This is the big one: we've got this. Everything will get done, everyone will be where they're supposed to be, and this is gonna be fine. 

Do you have a personal mantra or saying? Do you just hum "Hakuna Matata" to yourself every morning? Tell me about it. Better yet, wear it.

But do not tell your mother I condoned tattoos.

x Justina 

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flower power


 photos by jordan

I love fresh flowers, especially sunflowers. Unfortunately, in the dry heat, Sunflowers dry up very quickly, so our plans for photos in a sunflower field did too. But Jordan had a plan. About 45 minutes away from my house there's a zinnea field taken care of by an older couple. They let anyone who'd like come and pick as many flowers as they'd like, just to brighten up the world a lil bit. You also have to really want it, because 10am temperatures in my part of California can be above 100 degrees. But out we went, into the direct sunlight, to find some flowers for our mason jars. It was absolutely beautiful. There aren't a lot of very simply beautiful things left that aren't wrapped with a fence, or a toll, or a ticket booth. We stomped in the muddy beds and came home with carefully chosen bouquets of bright orange and red zinneas, mostly un-wilted.

Jordan also got a sunburn,
but it complimented the flowers I put in his hair. 

x Justina

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spin me up

dress : modcloth
ring : modcloth
shoes : converse

Last week, I went out for a spin at the California State Fair. It was the Thursday before it officially opened, so I was free to roam among the ferris wheels as I pleased. Empty, and without all the people, the fair looks it's 50 years. But to be fair, so does this dress, and it's fresh in from Modcloth. It's weird how some places are so much made up of the people in them. 

Over my 10 years in 4-H, I spent a considerable amount of time wandering the fairgrounds, and I never got over the smells, the people, or the immense amounts of chili cheese fries available to me. It's a place where everyone fits in somewhere, even though it's populated by an incredible cast of individuals. I've decorated cakes, shoveled horse poop, and surprisingly, sold market animals. I've developed a love of overalls, lost a sense of smell, and built an integral part of my identity. I also learned that pockets are to be valued wherever they can be found. (This dress has two of them, and they're DEEP.) 

Speaking of this dress: As someone who routinely participates in return policies when things don't fit, I appreciate that Modcloth has a really cool thing where they show how their clothes look on a diverse group of humans, so you can get a better idea of what it'd look like on You, not "____ who is a 5'11, 108 pound Elf from a far away land." When this dress arrived, it fit perfectly. YAY ACCURATE SIZING.

I'm going back to the fair this week, this time with all my friends, and thousands of other people,
and try to not melt while we're eating our deep fried food.

x Justina

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why don't you just brush it?


To have natural curly hair is to have a cabinet full of failed hair treatments, all promising moisture and definition and bounce and a pot full of gold. It builds a kind of cynicism that one should really not feel in an aisle full of plastic bottles. But that means that when something works, I absolutely lose it. 

I've been slowly integrating Devacurl products into my life ever since I saw Nesrin's hair makeover, and oooooh boy has it been fun. It's also been effective to the point where when they sent me a box with their new Matcha Butter Hair Treatment, I didn't even question it. I just slathered it straight on.

MY HAIR LOOKS DAMN GOOD. And it smells even better. But here's the real clincher: I didn't have to put my hair in braids or twists or any of the other protective styles I usually do straight out of the shower. I just...let it dry. To those of you with nice, easy, friendly hair that can dry in an hour and just look the way it's meant to, this probably doesn't sound revolutionary. But to those of you with natural curls? You get what I'm saying.

The treatment isn't on sale yet, 
but you can sign up to be on the pre-launch list so you can get it right away +
 get your curls on some next level buttery goodness.

I'm off to find a fan to stand in front of. 

x Justina

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where to next?

  my new traveling sweatshirt: mnkr

I love airports. Especially empty ones, with only one or two lone people waiting for their best friend to get off a plane from somewhere far away. I like the feeling of being in a rushed limbo. In an airport, you're not quite here or there. You're just in-between.

I was raised by two people who love to travel, and have, between the two of them, been around quite a bit of the world. As a kid, I was obsessed with travel and cooking shows, and took my Rosetta Stone much more seriously than I did math. Consequentially, I speak three different languages fluently, but still can't do algebra properly. It wasn't about fun beach trips with my family either. (No, I've never been to Hawaii.) I was never taught that travel was something one did "for vacation" or "when you're older". It was more of a "go when you can, wherever you want". And so I did. I realize that to many this sounds or looks really flippant and privileged, but that's because I'm skipping over the hundreds of hours of working minimum-wage retail I put in to pay for the whole thing. It's a fun life, not an easy one.

What is easy is living in Germany for three months (I'm sure many of you remember that chapter), eating pretzels every day. Or driving to Joshua Tree in the middle of the night, and seeing the sun set over the desert. Or climbing up 10 million year old basalt rocks and nearly falling into the Irish Sea. I've run through the halls of the Met, the Albert and Victoria, and the Smithsonian's. I've been on Ferris Wheels in London, Vienna, and in two months, Las Vegas. I've gone on adventures that scared me to the bone (hello, Carrick-a-Rede) and taken the people I love to places that felt like home (high tea in a castle, anyone?). The world has so many cool things, and even though my bank account despises it, I feel obliged to see them all.

So no,
 I don't get air-sick.

x Justina

ps. ALL AIRPORTS IN THE WORLD HAVE THESE CHAIRS, RIGHT? I got really curious about where they come from. If you're interested in weird design things like I am, click here. 

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