I TOOK A SELF DEFENSE CLASS… AND HERE’S WHAT I LEARNED

Hi guys!

The other week I got an email about a self defense class that WGN America (TV network) was putting on to promote their new show, 100 Code, which is a series about a manhunt for a serial killer (sounds intense haha).  But when I saw the email, I was stoooked to go and learn some useful tips that I could use to prevent/help a dangerous situation.  I live in Venice, and this city is no stranger to crime, so it’s good to know this stuff.

Of course taking the actual class will help you learn the recommended fighting moves, but I’ll give you guys the crash course on the ‘information’ side of things.

BEFORE YOU ENCOUNTER A PROBLEM:

-be extra aware when you are walking alone (to your car, on the street, etc.) and do not be on your phone or looking down.  Predators look for victims that are distracted.

-be aware of your surroundings.  If you have a ”weird feeling” about someone, follow your instinct and remove yourself from that area.  The instructor told us about a girl in Santa Monica who was exercising up and down a set of stairs outside (it was around 4:30 in the afternoon), and she noticed this one guy who was at the top, and she got a weird feeling about him.  She ignored her gut feeling, continued going up and down the stairs, and as she’s starting to go back down the third time, his hand covers her mouth from behind, he puts her into his van, and rapes her.  Always trust your gut, it’s better safe than sorry!

-have pepper spray in your hand if you’re walking alone

WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER A PROBLEM:

-if they’re telling you to get into their car, and they have a weapon, do not get in and try to run.  Your chances of survival are way lower once you step into their car.  If they are pointing a gun, run away in a zig zag motion.

-scream to try and get other people’s attention

-never give up fighting

-take a self defense class to learn fighting moves and techniques to defend yourself!

It’s always useful to know these tips, even if some sound obvious.  I definitely want to go back to one of my instructor’s classes to better familiarize myself with the moves.  My instructor has a studio called Shield in Culver City, see their website here

Have you guys ever taken a self defense class?

Lunch with Gorjana

photos by Emily Cullen

Hi my loves!

Just got these cute lil photos back from the event I went to last week, celebrating the store opening of the Gorjana store in Fashion Island, and followed by a yummo lunch at Fig & Olive.  Now you guys can see how I actually act at an event, instead of just seeing ”posed” photos and pics I take when I’m behind the camera.  Apparently I was having a great ‘ole time at the lunch as you can see 😉

Today was a touuuugh Monday because I had a rough night’s sleep last night.  For some reason I woke up every hour (I feel SO hard for people that deal with this on a regular basis) and left me feeling so exhausted and out of it all day.  I didn’t feel better until my Vinyasa yoga class and steam room session.  I used to go to yoga for the workout, and now I go completely for the body, mind, and soul re-centering.  I feel so much more balanced after my yoga class.  If I’m every having an off day I make sure I get on my mat!  Anyone else like this?

Also, took a self defense class today… more info about that in another post!

The Bushwick Spice Trade

I bought this one cocktail book called “Shake” about three years ago at a Paper Source store, (good looking cookbooks and cocktail books are my weakness!) and we put it to gooood use this weekend. Rudy brought up a nice bottle of gin, so we searched the book for a nice lookin’ gin cocktail. We came across this one, the Bushwick Spice Trade, which we both wanted to try out.

It’s basically a gin martini with lemon, pink peppercorns, basil, and fresh ginger. It was super yummy! The first batch we made was a little too tart so we added some sugar (simple syrup) and it was juuuust right.

Do you guys follow cook books anymore, or do you just look up different recipes online? For me, I do both, but there’s just something so much better about following a recipe from a cookbook!  Do you guys agree? 🙂

MS. COTTON CANDY

photos by Stefanie Marie

Cotton candy gal! I’m really diggin’ this look… I could almost eat it hehe 🙂

Happppppy (what day is it?!) Thursday! I’ve got a full day ahead, but I’ve been having a tough time with technology.  My computer calendar somehow isn’t syncing to my phone calendar anymore, so I’ve been double booking myself by accident.  I already upgraded my iCloud storage so I don’t think that was the problem?  Have any of you ever had this problem? Any help would be amazing!

OUTFIT DEETS:

[pants here] // [top here] // [shoes here] // [bag here] // [jacket here]

WHITE HOT WEDNESDAY

Here’s a peek inside my day today.  It was a dreamy Wednesday to say the least! We visited the store opening of Gorjana (one of my favorite jewelry brands) at Fashion Island, and then jetted off to lunch at Fig & Olive with the founder, Gorjana herself.  I was the geek who forgot to wear Gorjana jewelry to the Gorjana event….. I was cringing inside.  I was talking to Gorjana for about 20 minutes and I could just feel her noticing my NON-Gorjana jewelry… I wanted to crawl under a rock haha.

Luckily at the luncheon there was a gift box with some jewelry inside, so I slipped it on as soon as I could! If only my conversation with her happened AFTER.  Anyhooow, lesson learned!

I got a ton of questions about my jumpsuit and if any of you guys are on the market for a white jumpsuit for summer, I highly recommend this one!  It was comfortable, airy, didn’t wrinkle, and cute AF.  It’s from DRA clothing, I just tried to link it but sadly it’s already sold out 🙁

Q+A SEGMENT TWO: WORK AS A CLOTHING DESIGNER, BLOGGER, AND MODEL

dress by WAYF // shoes by GREATS X Cynthia Rowley // backpack by The.Wolf.Gang // photos by Stefanie Marie

What does your typical work day look like?

My days are never the same, which I love.  If I don’t have anything booked, I pretty much always start my day with emails and computer work, which can take anywhere from 1-3 hours.  I usually have a photoshoot (for the blog and model jobs) about once a week, and I go to events about twice a week.  When I first lived in LA as a blogger, I was going to waaay too many events. It was taking up too much of my time because of the driving (they are usually in West Hollywood).  So now I’m very picky about the events I go to.  It works out so much better for me.  In between any events or shoots, I’m working on my computer, either for Montazami Brand, my blog, or emails.  I’m on my computer so much!  By the end of the day my eyes are so strained, which is why I’m starting to wear my ”computer” glasses, that block the blue light from the screen, helping with eye strain.

Approximately how many hours per week do you work?

In my line of work, it’s not a clock-in, clock-out kind of deal.  There’s always something to be done, which tends to leave a constant stress on my shoulders. But that also comes with the benefit of making your own hours and getting things done at your own convenience! I usually start working around 10 am, and I go all day/night, with small breaks in between.  The small breaks I take are eating lunch/dinner, going to the gym, doing errands like the bank or the market, etc. I still check and answer emails as late as 11 pm.

Do you plan on going back to university?

Nope!  No plans to go back to school.  I love what I’m doing with my career, and want to continue building and growing each aspect of my work life.

Are all three of you (your mom, Sara, and you) all equally involved in Montazami Brand or would you say some of you more so than others?

We all have different roles so it’s not really ”equal”, but we make most decisions all together.  I’m more of the behind the scenes, technical, business side, and Sara is in charge of our social media and newsletter.  Recently my mom has stepped back in the design process, which has helped Sara and I create pieces more smoothly, because we have a similar sense of style.  My mom does an amazing job helping us throw our pop-up shops!

Do you know what you want to work with when you are older?  Or do you want to be a stay at home mom?

I’m going to continue what I’m currently doing for as long as I can and want.  I think once I have kids I’ll still work a little bit in something related to my current line of work 🙂

What advice would you give someone who wants to start Instagram?

Go for it!  Don’t be intimidated and think that it’s over-saturated.  Mostly everything is over-saturated these days.  If you’re thinking about it, just remember to always be yourself, don’t work with brands you don’t believe in, and come up with original content.  Don’t steal other people’s photos, don’t imitate other influencers (it’s obvious when this happens), and be real with your readers.

How do you edit your photos?

It depends on the photo.  First I’ll go to the VSCO app, and see if any of those filters look good (I usually do the C series and E series, which I’ve purchased… I think it’s a few bucks).  If none of those filters work, I’ll go to the Photo app on my phone (the one with your camera roll) and edit in there.  I’ll enhance the photo, and play with the lighting and color, and possibly use one of their filters.  Then I use Facetune to smooth out any darkness that usually happens when I apply filters from VSCO.  Then I upload it to instagram, and play around with the photo settings a tiny bit on there.  This sounds like a ton of editing now that I write it all down hahaha… whoops.

Are your photos mostly taken with your phone or camera?

On Instagram, about 70% of my photos are from my phone, and the other 30% are from a professional camera.  I shoot with a Canon 6D.

What profession would you consider if you weren’t working with your current profession?

Hmm.. I used to intern for Modern Luxury magazine and I really loved it… maybe that?  I would probably want to work in either the lifestyle or home interior departments.  I’ve always thought I would want to be an interior decorator, so there’s that too haha.

I BOUGHT MY FIRST CHANEL BAG!

dress: WAYF // boots: Tony Bianco // socks: Calzedonia // jacket by Aqua Luxe

photos by Stefanie Marie

Isn’t. she. a. beauty.

For months I thought I wanted the black Prada cahier lion bag (see here), and I tried so hard to get it.  I made friends with a girl named Phoebe, who works at the South Coast Plaza Prada store.  The first time I went there she told me they didn’t have any at their store, and there were only two left in the United States.  I had her transfer one from the East Coast, so I waited about a week, until I got a text from her saying it was already sold…. (!!) I thought my chances were over until about 2 months later she texted me saying they had it.  So I went to South Coast with my mom, and we happened to stop by the Chanel store first.  I saw this beauty and never looked back! I bought it right then and there, and didn’t even bother going to the Prada store first to check out the lion bag hehe.  It was just love at first sight! And I think Chanel was a better investment anyway 🙂  What do you guys think?!

I love it because I’ve never seen it before, and it’s not as overdone as some other Chanel bags.  This is my second designer bag that I’ve ever bought.  The first one (this Celine bag) was a huge mistake…. I’ve only worn it once or twice.  It’s kind of awkwardly shaped, too big, and I don’t really care too much for the color.  I definitely want to sell it!

Q+A SEGMENT ONE: FAMILY

Who is the first person you call when your sad/happy?

That depends on what it’s about, but I usually call Sara or my mom!

Have you and Sara always been so close?

Yes. It’s been really easy to become so close because we are into the same things, we live together, our boyfriends are best friends, we are in the same line of work, and we have very similar personalities (the list goes on haha).  Some of you ask if Emma ever feels left out, and I know it may look that way, but I have a very different relationship with Emma and that’s okay! Emma’s not into the same things that Sara and I are. Emma can be very introverted and most of the time it’s very hard to get her to share things in conversation, but we also share some of the best moments together. You just don’t see that on social media! She hates photos by the way.  If I take out the camera, she normally flees the other way haha.

Are you close with all of your siblings, or mainly Sara?

Going off of my previous answer, I have a different relationship with each sibling.  I’d say I’m closest to Sara because we live, work, and hangout together. I have a special bond with Emma, and we’re notorious for breaking out in laugh attacks in random situations.  Nicho is my ”best bud” (Sara is best buds with Emma, and I’m best buds with Nicho… it’s just a thing we established when we were younger haha), so we also have that fun brother-sister bond.

Your dad is from Iran, right? I wonder if you have ever been to Iran and if not would you like to go?
Do you speak any Farsi?

Yep! Mom is from Sweden, and dad is from Iran.  I’ve never been, and don’t know if I ever plan on going. With the current political situation there, I don’t feel comfortable going. And no, sadly I don’t speak Farsi but it would be so cool if I did!

Where do you want to live when you start a family?

I want to live in South Orange County, particularly Laguna Beach! I love the laid-back style of living there.  I think it would be a happy environment to start a family in.

Future kids? / When would you like to have kids?

Yes!  I definitely want kids in the future.  Not sure how many just yet hehe. And when depends on where I’m at, but if I could guess, it would be about 2 years after I get married.

 

GROCERY HAUL

FINALLY I did a proper grocery run.  I think it’s been about 2 or 3 weeks since I’ve gone to the market for more than just a few items.  Not proud of it!  I’ve been eating out way too much and I wanted to reset my eating habits to having most of my meals come from home, starting today.  I really tried to get things that compliment the way I usually eat: smoothies in the morning, snacks throughout the day (or I’ll pick up a salad for lunch), and then a yummy dinner at home.

The one thing I’m really excited to try is the pureed frozen coconut (top left corner).  I’m going to put this in my smoothie tomorrow morning, I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out!

I just discovered Larabar’s Fruits + Greens bars (lower right corner) and I’ve been hooked ever since.  They have super simple ingredients and not too much sugar.  The one thing I have been watching extra carefully these days is the sugar content on nutritional labels.  There’s so many things that have tons of hidden sugar (even with all natural ingredients) so I always keep an eye out, especially with bars! These ones have about 14 grams, which is actually quite a bit, but that’s pretty good for bars with only all natural, simple ingredients (fruits, greens, and nuts).

Tomorrow I’ll be making one of my favorite dishes: riced cauliflower stir fry with tofu.  Should I post the recipe here on the blog?  It is SO good, so filling, and so healthy.  And it takes literally 5 minutes to prepare.  Let me know if you guys want me to post the recipe 🙂

How does this grocery run compare to yours? Is there anything I should add to my haul next time?  Let me know in the comments below!

Tomorrow I’ll be posting the first segment of my Q+A Answers series! Thanks for being patient <3

Beach Shoot

All looks are from Shop Love Lola

Hi guys!

I had a busy schedule today.. we were preparing everything for tomorrow’s “family and friends” pop up shop for Montazami Brand. We had to steam and hang all of the clothes and set up the backyard so it looks all pretty!

Later in the day I drove to Newport for a little photo shoot right on the beach. Work ain’t so bad when you’re watching the sun set over the water 🙂

BTW Thanks so much again for your participation in my Q+A over the weekend! Once the pop up shop is over, I’ll have time to sit down and categorize all of my answers nicely for you guys. I have to say, you guys came up with some pretty good ones!