Welcome to the desert!! Yay! Definitely one of my favorite places for a mini getaway in California. I had the opportunity to shoot with some pretty awesome girls and rad brands on this trip. The models included Allison Kelly (@butwhatshouldiwear), Raeann Langas (@raeannlangas), Ally Rubbo (@allyrubbo), and myself (@allisonsherman4 / @allisoncarolcreatives). I also photographed when I wasn't modeling and was accompanied by other photographer Kate Mitchell (@sixthousand.minutes). Included brands we worked with were Shop Lux Clothing (@shopluxclothing), The Little Avocado Shop for jewelry (@thelittleavocadoshop), San Diego Hat Company for (most) of our hats (@sandiegohatcompany), and Elison Rd (@elison_rd) for clothing as well. One of my fave mostly vegan shoe brands, Coconuts by Matisse (a branch of @matissefootwear), we got to shoot for as well! We had the cutest airbnb to shoot around, explored the area, and shot until dark. Thank you all for such an awesome time, you rock!
A few weeks ago, I went on a day trip with some photographer and model friends to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in Death Valley. I don’t know why we decided to go here in summer because we almost died of heat exhaustion haha but the photos still turned out amazing and we have memories to last a lifetime.
I recently collaborated with two different companies and thought this trip would be perfect to shoot them at. I have been looking to shoot a bit more bridal stuff because – let’s be honest – brides have the money to spend on photos and ya girl needs more paid gigs! Plus, I’m all about a romantic fairytale type of shoot. Tony Gallegos (@tony.bridal) is a local Long Beach wedding dress designer from Mexico. Him and his husband came along on our adventure and it was such a pleasure to have them! The two dresses were very elegant and detailed in their construction - seriously so stunning!
The other brand accompanied on our excursion was the Secondhand Society (@secondhand.society). They are a recycled fashion subscription box company that sends you personally styled pieces once a month ranging from purses, dresses, accessories, pants, etc. – whatever your preference is! You fill out a style quiz with your likes/dislikes and sizes prior to receiving a box. They even check out your Pinterest fashion boards to make sure they’re picking out styles you would like! I received a complementary box from them with a dusty blue BCBGMaxazria dress, black and grey printed Free People kimono, gold fan brooch, gold and black circle earrings, and a silver/turquoise bohemian style bracelet. The box value is insane – just the retail price of the dress is likely $150-$250 but you get 4-5 pieces for as low as $27 a box (depends on the plan that you choose)! There are so many subscription boxes out there, but very few are committed to sustainability issues. By using thrifted, vintage, and recycled fashion finds you are working towards decreasing textile waste and manufacturing emissions, off-setting your carbon footprint, giving unwanted clothes a new life, and the list goes on! One of the easiest ways to live more sustainably is to shop secondhand – but still keep in mind to buy quality over quantity!
Our trip consisted of 14 photographers and models collaborating and creating content collectively. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s such a beautiful experience and makes you feel so alive to be exploring, wandering, and working with new friends and old to create not just to create art together, but memories as well. The best photos are the ones that have a story behind them or the ones that make you feel something. That’s what we hope to gain on these trips. We made photo stops along the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, shot at Badwater Basin (the lowest point in North America), the rainbow rocks in Death Valley National Park, and ended the evening shooting at the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes until dark. We took a moment on our way out of Death Valley to get out of our cars, star gaze, a few of us attempted to get some Milky Way shots on our tripods, lit sparklers, and danced in the lone road to music. There were no other cars for miles, just us and the desert. You know those moments that you’ll remember forever - those moments that make you feel like you’re apart of something so much bigger? This was one of those moments. So much love to all the people that came and to our trip coordinator Laurence (@photosby_laurence) for making it happen! Can’t wait for our next adventure together!
Jenny, founder and designer of Pure Life Jewelry, sent me a few pieces from her newest collection and I’m obsessed! All of her items are handmade in Phoenix, AZ (Yay, my hometown!). With her small batch production, being crafted in the states, and sweatshop free environment she is doing wonders for ethical jewelry. By purchasing her products, you’re also supporting the economy and local business. We are all guilty of purchasing items from overseas or from companies who likely don’t have the most ethical practices, but by choosing quality over quantity, local over import, etc. we can make a difference. Plus, her pieces are so cute and definitely fit the gypsy boho vibes everyone is going for nowadays (lol me).
I headed out to one of my fave coastal photo-shoot spots, Terranea Cove, in Rancho Palos Verdes. It’s also one of the few places in that area with 24/7 free parking! I was shooting a girlfriend of mine (@serenalisaa) and her boyfriend (@drlord) for some content. I’m trying to expand to couples photography as well as portrait/lifestyle. Anywhoo, I was able to sneak in some shots at the end!
In my first look, I’m wearing the Dreamer Necklace and Pyramid Mixed Metal Ring accompanied by my newest recycled fashion find (rust sweater) from Buffalo Exchange. You can really tell how carefully crafted her pieces are and I thought the golden and copper tones of the jewelry matched well with a warmer shade and outfit.
My second look included the Moonstone-Moxie: Radiate Love Ring which I paired with a high-collar tank and patterned velvet kimono. These I had purchased way back in the day before I had even heard of sustainable fashion, but the top is Brandy Melville and my kimono is from the notorious mom store Chico’s. Can you guess who I was shopping with when I got this? Yup, mom haha. The silver and light purple stone on the ring complemented the costal ocean vibes and my cooler toned neutrals.
One of my favorite parts about working with small American businesses is that you get a personal interaction with someone and form professional relationships. It’s more than just seeking ethical and sustainable companies to work with. Jenny was such a pleasure to work with and is so passionate about what she does. It can be difficult to start a jewelry business (or any business for that matter), so show her some love and check out her work!
I recently went on a girls’ trip with Autumn (@grlwithbangs), Nicole (@nicoleliolie), and Kaitlyn (@kallme.kaitlyn) to San Francisco and it was such a blast! I’ve only been to SF once or twice before this when I was younger so everything was pretty new to me!
We drove from Long Beach to San Francisco – if you aren’t familiar with this drive you can do it a few ways. In order to get there by lunchtime, we took the inland route on the interstate 5. We made a couple pit stops, one of which was a photo-shoot on the side of the road rocking our GRLFRND Denim in the middle of nowhere haha but it’s chill. After lunch, we stopped by the Mosiac steps overlooking the city and explored around in my car. We then got settled in at Hotel Fusion where we were staying and started getting ready for dinner. The hotel was in a touristy area but the staff weren’t all that friendly and our room was a little cramped. But hey, I guess that’s San Francisco – everything is squished! We decided to go to trendy Asian restaurant/bar Hakkasan (yes the same one in Las Vegas but this one people actually eat at and there isn’t a dance floor). The girls and I decided to have a little fun and once we had a drink or two our fake British accents came out for about two hours on and off but we were convinced we had the bartender, waiter, and restaurant staff fooled. FYI we didn’t haha. The waiter came and apologized at the end of our meal (he thought he was being rude in his response to my vegan questions haha) and ended up bringing us some complimentary sorbet because of it! It was so nice of him!
We ate breakfast at this cute vegan café called Nourish. Autumn had picked it out and I had no idea it was vegan so when we showed up I got super excited! I had a yummy green juice and a breakfast toast sampler. The rest of the day was jam-packed – I felt like we did so many activities. We went to Chinatown, saw the Painted Ladies (from Full House), and went to Haight & Ashburry- the mecca of hippie town and LSD. We stopped at two places for lunch – Veganburg for Autumn and I and a café across the street for Kaitlin and Nicole. Probs the best vegan burger I’ve ever had. They also had loaded fries that were bomb – 10/10 would recommend. We later visited the Palace of Fine Arts, which was pretty much just a beautiful park, small lake, with huge palace-looking structures. We had attempted to go see the Golden Gate bridge after but traffic was so bad and I made a wrong turn which cost us about 30 minutes to an hour so we decided to save the bridge for day 3. Nicole has some cousins about an hour outside from SF, so they came to have dinner with us at Boudin at Fisherman’s Wharf. As we were finishing up dinner, two of my old Industrial Design classmates from college got seated at the table behind us with a friend of theirs. Such a small world! I had actually been messaging one of them earlier that day to meet up but as you can tell from our busy schedule that it was difficult. We let them finish dinner, parted ways with Nicole’s cousins, and the four of us went back to our hotel. My college buddies came over after and had some drinks at the downstairs bar, Club Fusion, with Katilin and I. Supposedly SF doesn’t have much of a club/bar scene, but low-key it was rager down there! Overall, it was such a fun and busy day exploring the city!
We checked out of our hotel and went to the Golden Gate Bridge. We didn’t actually cross it; we just went to a nearby coastline park to hangout for a little and get some photos. We were really looking forward to finding some swing that overlooks the bridge but we were already running late on getting home and it would have been a mile or so hike to get to so we decided to save it for the next trip. We also kind of messed up for breakfast today. We were all doing some research on our phones and I found this cute café to go to in the financial district. Not only was trying to find parking that wasn’t $25 the most stressful and time-consuming thing but once we did find parking and walked 15 mins to get to this café they were closed. I guess businesses aren’t open on July 3rd for the holiday the next day. So we ended up doing the most basic option there is and just grabbed some breakfast items at the nearby Starbucks. We then started on our drive back home to Long Beach. Because of recent mudslides the route on the coast home is closed around Big Sur, so we drove as long as we could on the coast until we had to cut over inland. We had to stop a few times for photos (of course) haha but it was a nice (but long!!) drive home.
I think next time I’d like to make it a four-day trip, or maybe fly if we’re going to do it in three – we all felt a bit rushed to see everything. Overall though, this trip was so much fun and I can’t wait to have more girls’ trips like this in the future.
A couple weeks ago, I went out on a little day adventure with one of my girlfriends, @imadilife, to Terranea Cove in Rancho Palos Verdes, California to shoot for MooShoes! I came about MooShoes from an Eco-Sessions event I went to in Downtown Los Angeles a month or so ago focused on vegan fashion - count me in! I met many vegan fashion lovers, some vegan-curious attendees, and some awesome vegan brands and companies - one of those being MooShoes! And so came, the partnership with the vegan boutique on this lovely shoot!
In my first look, I styled both the Matt & Nat Shareen black purse as well as the Novacas Olivia Heeled black sandals. For those of you who don't know Spanish, "No vacas" means "no cows", aka animal free! Both the purse and the shoes were such high quality, they could have fooled anyone into thinking they were real leather. Very comfortable sandals as well!
I styled the Good Guys Daisy Booties in black in my second look. No joke, these are probably some of my favorite boots I've ever worn, with the exception of them being too big on me haha (last pair!). You can dress them up, dress them down, and the heel is only a few inches so you can wear them all day! Definitely worth the extra dough for versatile, ethically made killer booties!
In my third look, I'm carrying the Matt & Nat Parabole bag in brown and wearing the BC Footwear Valor Sandals in sand. These items paired so nicely together and are neutral enough to wear with most outfits! BC Footwear in general is a more affordable vegan-friendly shoe brand and these ones were awesome with their lace-up detailing. The purse is pretty versatile and has a long shoulder strap to be worn at your sides or crossbody too.
Overall, I had the best experience with these products and with MooShoes as a company! My hope is to bring veganism (no, not just food!) mainstream and show others that you can be stylish without harming others, the planet and your health. There's no need when there are plenty of vegan friendly options nowadays! One of the hardest parts of my transition to living a full vegan lifestyle was giving up animal based fabrics like leather and suede (aka 95% of my shoes and purses)! This was pretty difficult for me as I have always been fashion and shoe obsessed. I had a realization though - that I can live a kinder, happier, (and still fashionable :D ) life with less material possessions and rid my closet of items where someone had to die in order for me to enjoy them. There is a guilt and burden you feel when wearing animal based fabrics once you look at it from that perspective. There are also environmental and human rights/safety implications as well that are a big issue... but that's all for a future blog post! Companies like MooShoes make it so easy to shop ethically and responsibly - no checking labels, tags, materials, etc. - just shop freely and shop with compassion!
That's all for now babes! and remember...
I recently did a collaboration with California based brand Noa Elle and I'm here to share with you my experience and thoughts! They were so sweet and the products they sent me were really high quality. I headed out to Venice Beach in Los Angeles for a photography meet-up with @pursuitofportraits and ended the event shooting for Noa Elle with my model gal pal @carly.reyy (go check her out!).
In my first look, I'm wearing their Brie Top in Nude which has a lace up front with tassels. The linen material is a little shear but is a perfect spring or summer top, just add a neutral bralette! In my second look, I'm sporting the gauze blend Jewel Tunic in Clay. It's a little too short for a dress but just pair it with some flowy shorts and you're good to go!
These pieces were beautifully crafted and designed in Downtown Los Angeles and support local commerce. My favorite part of working with brands like Noa Elle, is that there is a common goal among us - to fight fast fashion with high-quality items produced in a fair trade and safe environment. The fashion industry has been very cheapened and it is our job as consumers to seek more ethical brands to purchase our products from. It was a pleasure working with Noa Elle and I highly recommend it to anyone seeking cute, contemporary, and affordable clothing made ethically in the USA!
I recently went on a trip to Big Bear, California with some of my creative peeps! Originally the group was supposed to be pretty big but it narrowed down to just four of us: @koltinsullivan (early bday boy and group organizer, yay!), @snow.fox_, and @rex.dude. We all met up at Koltin's house and carpooled from there. It was only about an hour and a half drive to the airbnb in Big Bear. We explored the area and shot at a few different locations until dark. There weren't many options for dinner haha but we ended up finding a nice Chinese restaurant called Dynasty where we all chowed down. We relaxed at the cabin and Koltin continued shooting some artsy indoor stuff with Rex and Cindy until bed. The airbnb was huge and could have fit like ten people, so it was super spacious with just us four!
We had a lazy morning the next day and then began to scope out some more good places to shoot. We were later accompanied by @lisajstarrett and @elliepanger and shot two looks for each of them. We had originally planned to stay until sunset, however we were getting tired and a little pictured-out from the weekend and decided to head home a little earlier. Koltin was a superstar driver and drove the whole way (again) while the rest of us (maybe just me haha?) instantly fell asleep for the drive. We arrived at his house and said our goodbyes and parted ways.
I also partnered with a few brands on our little excursion: DeLezhen and StyleWe. Delezhen is a USA-made small jewelry company that makes the cutest dainty pieces! They sent me a white and gold druzy necklace (pictured in photos 3-5). It's super versatile and can go with so many outfits! Love love love it!!
As for StyleWe, this is my third time partnering with them on a shoot - yay! They sent me two pieces as usual for me to style, one of these is the Blue Lace Up 3/4 Sleeve Stand Collar Denim Mini Dress and the other is the White Vintage V Neck Floral-embroidered Midi Dress. Honestly, I was kinda up in the air about what type of setting I wanted to shoot these in because they could both totally work for a beach theme too haha but I like how the nature vibes from Big Bear turned out even better! I joked on my Instagram that the maxi dress could have gone one of four ways: 1. beachy 2. pregnant lady 3. mariachi band or 4. a super unrealistic (yet totally cute) adventure in nature with it.. obviously I chose option four lol. Needless to say, this trip was a blast! I'm so thankful for the memories as well as DeLezhen and StyleWe for the goodies!
This year both my boyfriend, Zach, and my brother, Nathan, had the same spring break - yay!! My brother is in medical school at the University of Arizona and Zach is in physical therapy school at California State University Long Beach, so you can imagine our family's excitement that they would be out of school at the same time! When schedules align, my dad loves to plan family trips so this time we made it a southwest road trip!
Zach and I drove out from Long Beach to Scottsdale, AZ where my parents live and stayed a couple nights. Nathan and his wife, Deanna, drove up from Tucson and met us in Scottsdale a day later. We then caravanned in two cars (mine and Nathan's) to Sedona/Oak Creek Canyon for two nights. We stayed in the cutest lodge right on the creek and it was super roomy for our group of six. While in Sedona, we hiked, explored and shopped around downtown Sedona, went to Tlaquepaque, etc.
On day three of our trip, we ventured north to Flagstaff and stayed at my aunt and uncle's cabin in Forest Highlands. We did a little bit of hiking, explored downtown Flag, etc. We also went to one of my fave restaurants, Whyld Ass - literally the best vegan mac and cheese and baked goods omg. unreal.
We continued north on day four and drove up to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend in Page, AZ. My dad booked us on a tour of Upper Antelope Canyon which was pretty cool! I had seen the Lower Antelope Canyon before but this was my first time seeing the Upper one. The main difference is that the Upper one is more expensive, there aren't any stairs or climbing that you have to do, you get driven in, and you walk through it there and back. After Antelope Canyon, we stopped by Horseshoe Bend. It was really windy and people were getting way too close to the edge it looked like some of them were going to blow off the edge! Serious anxiety there haha but the view was worth it! Nathan and Deanna parted ways with us here and drove back down to Flagstaff for the night as we continued the trip to Utah.
Once we left Page, we drove into south Utah and made it to our cabin in Duck Creek Village around dusk. It was such a cozy place but every restaurant nearby was closed so we ended up scrounging up some food from the cooler to put together dinner. It was super cold and snowing out too which we didn't prepare for either.
On Day five, we drove through Bryce Canyon National Park which was spectacular! There is one main road and many lookouts and places to stop along the way. We didn't bother hiking much here because it was snowing, my dad has a bad hip, and Zach recently hurt his ankle. We ended the day at a hidden gem of a restaurant that was super nice! We drove back to our lodge in Duck Creek and stayed for a second evening.
In the morning, we packed up our stuff and got ready to go to Zion National Park. Because I was so cold the day before, I thought it would be a good idea to wear four pairs of pants (three leggings and one pair of loose fitting jeans over lol). This was a new record for me, but Zion was surprisingly much warmer than Bryce Canyon so I ended up taking off most of my layers. Zion was much more crowded than I was expecting and it made for a less relaxing time there than Bryce. It was still very beautiful and scenic though! Once we were done driving through the park, we started making our way to Las Vegas!
We checked into the Mirage and got settled. They got both of our room arrangements wrong and my dad through a fit haha but they wouldn't do anything to fix it - pretty bad customer service if you ask me. Anywho... we ended up finding this super vegan-friendly steakhouse (lol, weird I know) at the Wynn and ate dinner there! This was probably one of the most expensive menus I've ever seen but everything was amazing and they really catered to vegans so my mom and I were super happy. After dinner, we went back to our hotel and got ready for the late showing of the Cirque du Soleil show Beatles Love. It was very 70's and hippie vibes - pretty cool tricks and acrobatics as well! We finished off our night in Vegas drinking at a cocktail lounge and hanging around the casino.
We ended the last morning of our trip eating at a buffet at the Mirage for breakfast. Zach and I parted ways with my parents and drove back to Long Beach. It was such a great trip and even better times with my fave people! Can't wait for our next family vacay :)
LAST STOP... VEGAS!
This is part 2 of my collaboration with StyleWe! The first one went so well, we decided to do another :) I met up with model, @cosettedemille , in Manhattan Beach and we explored the area looking for cool spots to shoot around! She was a pleasure to work with and also happened to be vegan so we bonded about that! Not only was she my model, but she was also the girl behind the lens for my photos! Don't ya just love when people are multi-talented?
In my first look, I'm wearing the IVY Floral-print V Neck Boho Long Sleeve Mini Dress! Besides the fact that is was super windy out and my dress kept flying up (definitely wear shorts under), I absolutely love this dress! It's also short enough that it would look really cute as a long top with black skinny jeans as well, but I'll save that for next time! BTW I tend to like to blend in with plants if you haven't noticed already lol.
In the second look, I'm featuring the Casual Sleeveless PU Paneled Pierced Midi-Dress from Liya's Closet! I'm a huge fan of how leather looks, but I'm very against actual leather for many reasons. This is why I'm a HUGE fan of vegan leather styles - you get the same look without all the cruelty, environmental impacts, and smell (yes, leather smells..bad). After visiting a tannery with my study abroad group in Morocco a few years back, I will never look at leather the same way again. I started dry heaving and was having gag refluxes seeing and smelling all of the rotting carcasses and harsh chemicals. It was hard for people to breath, myself included. Sorry if that got too graphic too fast haha but I needed to share! So in light of my experiences, when I find a cute vegan leather style I gotta have it! This dress was so cute on and I liked how it was slimming but still a relaxed fit. Thanks for the goodies StyleWe!
Green Vegan Suede Hat - Free People
Cream Socks - American Apparel
Black Vegan Suede Hat - Free People
Silver Necklace - Free People
Zach was lucky enough to have a few days off of school this past week so we took advantage that it was over Valentine's Day and took a little trip together up to Sequoia National Park! Originally we had planned to do five day, four-night loop around to Sequoia, Yosemite, Mammoth Lakes, stop by Death Valley and spend the fifth night in Ridgecrest. Unfortunately, there was way too much snow and a lot of roads were closed so we’re going to save that trip for a warmer time. We ended up booking two nights in Sequoia at Wuksachi Lodge. It was way up in the mountains on a windy, narrow road and I actually got motion sickness!
Over the past two days, we explored the area, the lodge, went to the General Sherman Tree (biggest tree by volume in the world!), the Giant Forest, etc! It almost felt like we were in a fairytale like Jack and the Beanstalk because the trees were so huge! There was so much snow too, close to an 8 ft. snow bank in some places.
I had the pleasure of collaborating with Jord Wood Watches as well on this trip! All of their watches are vegan and super high quality! It’s pretty difficult to find animal-free, sweatshop-free, sustainable products, (especially watches), so I was thrilled for the opportunity to work with Jord. I’m wearing one of their newer styles, the Reece watch! It’s really important to me to that the companies I wear and use share my same values towards sustainability and ethics. I’m not always the perfect eco consumer, but each purchase can be a step in the right direction if you make it one. I would highly recommend ordering from Jord for your next watch purchase!
Overall, the trip was pretty relaxing and the perfect little romantic getaway with my boyfriend, Zach. We ate way too many snacks and not enough actual meals (two to be exact) lol but that’s what you get for being a vegan with only one lodge restaurant for two days! Next time, I think we’ll go back in the summer so we can actually hike some of the trails and not have to worry about driving through the snow, getting snow tire chains, etc. Cheers to a wonderful few days with my honey!
This was probably one of my favorite shoots I've ever done! I had the pleasure of working with Saltwater Luxe, a casual luxury brand based in Long Beach, California. No joke, their office is two minutes from my apartment!! As you guys know, I'm a huge advocate of ethically sourced goods and Saltwater Luxe is Los Angeles made (yay no sweatshops!), and often sources vintage fabrics reducing their carbon footprint. Their style is beachy bohemian with a little adventure. Toria Webber (model) and I sought to capture the wanderlust #SWLBabe vibe and hit the road on a day trip to Angeles National Forest just east of Pasadena. Side Note: I highly recommend going on a weekday, there were barely any cars or people! We also ventured around some neighborhoods around Pasadena. It was so much fun and I can't wait to work with Toria and the gals over at Saltwater Luxe again in the future!
Hey readers, meet my handsome boyfriend, Zach. He really is the best. He's currently working his butt off getting his doctorate in Physical Therapy at California State University Long Beach, but when he's not studying or at class, I'm probably nagging him to go out and adventure with me. This includes but is not limited to traveling, going on photoshoots (he hates that, but also secretly gets into it too haha), trying new vegan-friendly restaurants, going to events/festivals, etc. A few days ago, I used one of the "2 hour photoshoot" coupons he gave me as a birthday gift. Yes, you read that right.. he knows how much I like to take pictures and issues me photoshoot coupons. Haha I love it. Anywho... we went out exploring in Pasadena at Eaton Canyon Trail and Waterfall. To be honest, it was way longer of a hike than we were expecting... like an hour to an hour and a half just to get to the waterfall which was not near as big as I had seen in photos, but it was still a nice time to spend together. We followed our hike/photoshoot with a yummy dinner at Little Pine - a super cute fancy vegan restaurant nearby. Their mac n cheese was to die for. Like I literally thought it was real cheese. Bomb.com.
Brown Hat - Brixton
Brown Dress - Free People
Vegan Suede Hat - Free People
Gray Sweater - Free People, purchased on consignment from Buffalo Exchange