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!
Over Labor Day Weekend, my dad planned an awesome family trip for us to Mendocino! There were many things to celebrate as it was my 24th birthday on the 4th, my brother, Nathan, and his wife, Deanna's, 3rd wedding anniversary on the 12th, and my mom's 60th birthday on the 13th. So it was pretty much a celebratory present for us all to have a nice trip together and see each other. My boyfriend, Zach, came as well.
We all flew from different cities and met in San Francisco. Zach and I came from Long Beach, Nathan and Deanna from Tucson, and my parents from Phoenix. It took a while for all of us to land, get the two rental cars, and be on our way to Mendocino.
We stopped for a lovely lunch at a cute vegan Mexican place called Gracias Madre in SF (not to be confused with the West Hollywood Gracias Madre - completely different restaurants!) that was fab. Unfortunately, San Francisco was in a heat wave with 100 degree weather and no place has AC so that was a brutal few hours in the city. Found a cute bookstore boutique with some vegan baked goods too so my dad and I got some pastries.
We then continued on our way to Mendocino on super windy roads through the mountains, forest, and coastline. Such a beautiful drive! I'm sure a lot of you are thinking, "why would they go to Mendocino out of all places?" Well... it just so happens that Mendocino is home to North America's eco-vegan resort, The Stanford Inn by the Sea, which my mom and I have been dying to go to!
To give a little background, I was vegetarian for seven years and went vegan over two years ago. My mom is a bit of a health nut and soon became vegan once I did after learning of all the health benefits, treatment of animals, and environmental impacts. Over the last six months, the two of us have had quite an effect on our other family members and friends.
Nathan, Deanna, and my boyfriend, Zach, eat mostly vegan with the occasional cheat meal, and my father, Scott, eats mostly vegan as well with mainly pastries being his cheat. All pastries are "vegan" in Scotty's eyes haha. Deanna's family also has adopted a more plant-based diet as well as many of my parents' friends.
Although it was late at night, we were welcomed at The Stanford Inn and then got settled into our rooms. The lobby was cozy with couches, a fireplace, plant-based recipe books, vegan lifestyle books, local vegan wines (I know I know, it's weird that all wines aren't vegan, it should just be grapes!), toys, nik naks, etc. I could tell this place was going to be a blast. These people get me!!
In the next couple of days, we did a lot of fun things together! We explored the resort and their facilities, the garden, went in the pool and jacuzzi, went mountain biking through the forest, explored the nearby city of Fort Bragg, went canoeing, ate sooo much delicious vegan food, and went to the little downtown area of Mendocino. We saw otters, crabs, and seals too while canoeing because it was an estuary - it was like a river/ocean which was super cool and different! We also celebrated my birthday on the 4th!
The drive back to San Francisco was much shorter than the drive there. Nathan, Deanna, Zach, and I left on Tuesday as we had school/work to get back to but my parents stayed a few extra days and continued their road trip up the coast to the Pacific Northwest. It was such a wonderful trip with my fam and Zach, my heart is so full from it!
I also recently collaborated with vegan-friendly bohemian boutique, @feroshchick, so many of my outfits pictured are thanks to them! Shop my looks here: Sleeveless Midi Dress with Lace Detail, Matilda Lace Tank, Sleeveless Ruffles and Lace Dress (sold out - sorry babes!), Draped Ribbed Sweater Poncho, & Boho Striped Ribbed Cardigan.
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 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!
I went to a photography meet-up a few weeks ago hosted by @rubyjamesphoto, @irenerudnykphoto, and @jessicakobeissi. I found out about it through another photographer friend @messinaphotos. The meet-up was at 6pm in Echo Park... so by that time it was already dark and surprisingly windy and cold. Sounds kinda sketchy to meet a bunch of random people you don't know in a public park when it's dark outside haha but it all worked out okay. I was talking in a big group and we all thought it would be a good idea to do a day trip to Joshua Tree and the Salton Sea and started a group message. Our group of 7 or 8 people turned into just 3 of us, @koltinsullivan, and myself!
Koltin and I planned the meet-up for his place and started reaching out to models, photographers and other creatives! We ended up getting a group of 7 (@serenalisaa, @juliaamotta, @exit_the_minute, @photosby_laurence, @asantov, @koltinsullivan, and myself) leaving from Glendora and met another group of 4 (@brittneyborowski, @heysalem, @sarahwaseaton, & @justinomega) at Joshua Tree.
Big shout out to @peoplesprojectla for some of the goods I shot with in Joshua Tree! I love working with local brands and love even more when they are committed to philanthropy and the environment. Peoples Project LA is partnered with Heal The Bay, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to making our coastal oceans safe, healthy, and clean. Ten percent of the proceeds from Peoples Project LA go to Heal The Bay - YAY! Their stuff is so cute too! I'm wearing a gray top, light blue floral dress, and denim jacket from them.
After Joshua Tree, we went to this random Mexican restaurant for lunch that was actually pretty good. There we met another one of Brittney's friends, @gregkantra. Lunch was pretty fun with all of us but then the group split up after and the original 7 of us continued to the Salton Sea!
The Salton Sea area was pretty much deserted but we surprisingly found 2 people living around there and lots of puppies haha. The sand was more just like crushed fish bones and your shoes would sink into this salty toxic mud.. honestly pretty gross and smelled kinda bad. We were there around sunset and the sea was so serene, it looked like glass and was almost an optical illusion because there was no movement in the water!
We shot until it was dark and then did the long drive back to Koltin's (about 2-3 hours) and everyone went their separate ways! This was probably one of my favorite shoots to date because I met so many awesome creative people, went on an fun day trip, and got a lot of good content! Can't wait to do a shoot something like this again!
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
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!
My love, Zach, is kind, smart, genuine, funny, motivated, and so very handsome. I'm very blessed to have him in my life. I'm also very thankful that he puts up with me taking girly girl photos such as this one :)
Lace Dress: Free People
Copper Jewelry: Collected from Arizona artisans and random places
I went out exploring with my friend, Ryen, for a photoshoot. I've seen these cotton field photos all over Instagram for years and have never been able to find them and when I did they were out of season.. until NOW! These cotton fields were so dreamy.
Rust Sweater - Mom's Closet
Brown Distressed Jeans - Free People
Tan Hat - Urban Outfitters, Ecoté
Brown Vegan Western Boots - Coconuts By Matisse, purchased from ShoeMall
Vegan Suede Olive Hat - Free People
Turtleneck Sleeveless Top - Free People
Brass Necklace - Buffalo Exchange
Went out exploring with my gal pal/old co-worker, Becca Booker, to take some pics. We found this random spot near the 101 freeway which was a private lot that held sooo many horses! Instead of just backtracking once we found out it was private property, we asked one of the guys if we could take some photos around the area. We told him 15 minutes.. we were def there for an hour haha. Cheers to random/semi-deserted ranches off the freeway!
Vegan Suede Hat: Free People
Necklace: No Brand, Purchased from Poshmark
Lace Racerback Bralette: Free People
Sweater: Free People, purchased on consignment from Buffalo Exchange
shot by @beccabookermedia, edited by me
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