Here's Why Carly Rae Jepsen's E•MO•TION Is a Pop Masterpiece

Albums these days seem to come and go fairly quickly, with a seamlessly never-ending flow of new material coming in waves to the masses. But through these currents, every so often, there is a diamond in the rough that just can’t help shining brightly through all the clutter in the current pop landscape. One such album was released in the summer of 2015, and has since still kept a relentless presence in pop: Carly Rae Jepsen’s E•MO•TION.
We all know the name of the Canadian born pop singer, largely due to the fact that her debut single “Call Me Maybe” was inescapable in 2012. It reached number one in 18 countries during 2012, and was the year's best-selling single worldwide. It later went on to become one of the best selling digital singles of all time, with 18 million copies sold. It’s largely considered to be the perfect pop song, but this smash hit was merely a glimpse into the pop magic Carly Rae is capable of.
Jepsen released E•MO•TION, the follow-up to her 2012 album Kiss, in August of last year. Coming off the cuffs of “Call Me Maybe”, it was a daunting task to follow up such a massive success. She spent three years crafting the album and finding not only her voice, but the right direction to take the album to live up to the challenge.
Carly longed for a more mature sound, yet still wanted to retain the essence of a pop record. So, instead of moving completely left field and releasing into a whole new genre to attain a sense of growth, she decided to bloom yet again by making an album that was pure pop at it’s finest.
The current pop music scene has been full of many eclectic influences. From early reggae, '50s doo-wop, grunge, old school hip-hop, and more recently '80s inspired tunes. This is something E•MO•TION has at it’s core; a complete '80s influence flowing throughout the record.
You experience that vibe once the first track off the album “Run Away With Me” begins. With a synth-filled saxophone chord that launches the song into an anthemic, grab your hand and never look back pop moment. It’s blissful to say the least, leads as a flawless album opener, and between you and me, was a sure-fire hit that got away.
This pop bliss continues with the title track “Emotion”. Much like in “Run Away With Me”, Jepsen is pleading with a person of her affection to not waste a moment, and divulge into “All of this emotion”. The overall theme of the album lingers in diving into your fantasies and adoration for another shamelessly, and the effects of doing just that. This song perfectly encapsulates not just the 80’s-inspired sound of the record, but the general message as well. 
This shamefulness is pushed forward with her worldwide lead single “I Really Like You” and “Gimmie Love”, with pumping synthesizers and electric drums surrounding her lyrics of desperation and devotion. In the heart of the record comes a true album highlight “All That”, which was co-written by Dev Hynes with production by Ariel Rechtshaid. Serving the most obvious '80s vibe off the album, it definitely changes the pace in a new way. It’s filled with such a rawness in Carly’s vocal performance that makes anyone who called her a one-hit-wonder eat their words. With sweeping synths, mixed with a subtle guitar riff and added deep drums, it all comes together leaving the song glimmering in a haze of '80s nostalgia. 
The rest of the album honestly feels like a huge night-out with your friends, complete with neon lights and synthesizers. From the slumber party vibes of “Boy Problems”, the late night drive vibe in “Making the Most of the Night”, hopeful heartbreak in “Your Type,” and relationship goals of “Let’s Get Lost”, it’s sure to get you in your feelings one way or another. 
If you’re looking for the greatest deep cuts on the record, look no further then “LA Hallucinations” and “When I Needed You”. “LA Hallucinations” serves as a personal commentary on how money and fame associated with Los Angeles can severely alter one’s perception of the world, and how it results into a string of empty and unsatisfying pursuits of success. “When I Needed You” is a perfect anthem for anyone who comes to terms with who they are in a relationship, and that they don’t need anybody else to define that for them. Both tracks having powerful lyrics, like in “When I Needed You” Carly proclaims “Sometimes I wish that I could change / But not for me / For you”, and when Jepsen’s clever writing style emerges in “LA Hallucinations” when talking about the paparazzi: “Buzzfeed buzzards and TMZ crows / What can I say that you don’t already know?”
There is no denying, once you give this incredibly crafted album a listen, that it is a real pop masterpiece. On first listen you may not care for it much, but the magic of Carly’s pop music is that it works it’s way into your brain and quickly becomes your addictive ear candy.
In a time where pop music chases trends to no end just to land a hit, this will remain a record that took a chance by going back in time to bring out a sound that show’s Carl Rae Jepsen’s true colors as a popstar. Though it may have been overlooked, it won’t be forgotten. No amount of record sales should ever attest to the true greatest of a record.
If you’re looking for a record in the purest and most unforgivably pop form, this album is just waiting in the wings for you to give it a spin.

Introducing: ASK MARIA ♡

Hey all! I've decided to introduce an ADVICE COLUMN. 

I'm introducing this because I felt like there was somewhat a gap between my readers and I.
I absolutely adore your messages via email and social media but this adds a whole new level of personalization to my blog that I've been craving.

My goal is to be real and uncensored. I want to help people. I want to connect with you. I want to pour my soul on the keyboard for you.

Submit all your questions to and you could see your question up on my blog! SUBMISSIONS ARE ALWAYS OPEN. NO MATTER WHAT.

Here's a little FAQ below for how you can submit / any other concerns. In the future I'll probably tidy this up once I know what I want for this column.

What can I ask you?
  • Primarily, these are going to be ADVICE questions. If you want advice on literally anything, go ahead and ask! The more details, the better. A backstory always helps.
  • Ask about relationships / work + career / art / school + college / mental health / spirituality / body image /  social justice issues / literally everything and anything else.
  • ANYONE can ask. Any age, gender, race, religion, location, walk of life...
How can I ask a question?
  • Email me at /Advice submitted through my personal email or social media will not be responded to. I will be checking emails every Monday for review.
How will I know my piece is selected?
  • If I choose your question, I will email you letting you know with a link to my answer.
Are there any rules or guidelines? Can I ask you personal questions? How many words does it have to be?
  • My rule with questions is if I can help at least one person out there, it's all goooood. However, if it's a question with a simple yes or no answer than it probably won't make the cut. You don't have to write me a novel, but I can't give you good advice if you give me a sentence. Shoot for at least 5 sentences. (I feel like a 4th grade teacher saying that.)
Are you qualified to be giving advice?
  • There's always that one cynical person who gets mad when someone that doesn't have 5 PhD's gives anyone advice. I am no psychologist or licensed expert here, and I'm not claiming to be. However, I am pretty damn good at giving advice. It's something I enjoy. All of the conclusions I come to come from my wisdom and my experience.
Is this confidential?
  • Yes yes 100% yes. Just tell me the name you want to go under. If you don't want even me to know who you are, make a fake email. If you want exposure, tell me and I'll add your link on my post. It's all up to you. Nothing will be used without your permission.
Can I ask more than one question?
  • You can ask as many questions as you want!



splitting a meal for one
because we could never afford two
it can get kind of empty
but i like sharing the same tastes as you

so we could talk about the spices
the thai sauce of our dreams
the lavender lemonade that actually tasted like lavender
the latte that wasn't too sweet
the pot pie you fell in love with
and the vegan buffalo wings that won us over,
we'll sing an ode to them all.

we don't care about the coordinates
the stigmas and presentation
the critics and the influencers
shouting, "you have to go here."
we've all seen it in text and heard it from their mouths.

but our tastebuds can't read or hear.
as long as there is a cushioned booth in the back corner of a cafe
...somewhere, anywhere,
we will get a meal for one for two.

i realize not every day can be like that,
our wallets and our non-existent car would agree.

so you get the chesters
and i'll get the limon
we'll both get a steaz.
and if you're feeling up to it, we can buy grocery store avocado sushi.

our stomachs may never overflow
but our hearts will,
in perpetuum.

TIDAL's Social Wave for Change: Win a Lil Wayne Concert!

If you're anything like me, you will do literally anything to get to go to a Lil Wayne concert. Unfortunately, I missed the Drake vs Lil Wayne tour years ago, so I'm patiently waiting for my next chance to see Lil Tunechi live. Well, here's how you can enter for a chance to see Lil Wayne live right in your city. 

TIDAL is partnering up with Lil Wayne to promote community service among college students. The challenge is called Social Wave for Change. 

Here's all you have to do:
Any undergraduate student currently enrolled in a 4 year university can participate from now through February 29th. You have to publicly post a photo or video of you doing a community service act on either on TIDAL's Facebook wall or on your own instagram page. You must use the hashtag #TIDALXCHANGE, mention your school name, and tag a friend. 

Other participants so far have posted pictures of them doing things like volunteering at animal shelters, donating clothes, and working at food drives. Show your love for your community on the gram and win big. Seems like a win-win situation to me!

A panel of judges selected by TIDAL will review all submissions and choose the finalists - and once the finalists are announced, the general public will vote on the winner. The all participants are eligible for a 3 month subscription to TIDAL, finalists will receive a silent disco event for their school, and the winner will receive...A LIL WAYNE CONCERT NEAR THEIR SCHOOL! (yes, you heard me right!) 

Oh, and if you win, you better invite me. Please?

If you have any more questions, comments or concerns regarding the challenge you can read the FAQ here. This is a sponsored post in partnership with TIDAL and Her Campus Media. All words and opinions are my own.


I always feel so weird talking about coffee. I don't want to seem uneducated on the subject, but I also never want to seem pretentious. I mean, I've not only been drinking coffee my entire life, but I've also worked at four different coffee shops as a barista. So obviously, I like coffee and know enough to talk about it. I'm glad that's settled.

But here's the thing: I never judge people on what their coffee order is. Go ahead, get a caramel latte with enough caramel to make you get diabetes, I don't care. You do you. Go ahead, be super picky about what kind of roast and region your coffee is. That's all you.

I don't really mind going to Starbucks. One thing I learned from working as a barista is people who like Starbucks, REALLY like Starbucks. But the people who hate it, really...really...hate it. It's like a deep-rooted prejudice against one coffee chain that I've never understood. I've heard people have hour long passionate rants about how much they hate Starbucks. If it's not for you, that's cool and all, but it's obviously a successful business. Why hate?

I respect Starbucks, but I always wanted to try something more. From a very young age, I thought I would fall in love with the independent coffee scene, and in all honesty, I did. It's hit-or-miss sometimes. Sometimes the vibe is a bit too snobby for my liking. The baristas will judge you if you don't know what to order. The people at the tables will roll their eyes at you as you walk past. You feel kind of out of your element unless you are a certified coffee expert.

But it wasn't like that at Fox Coffee House, Long Beach based coffee shop. It felt so familiar, so felt like a second home, from the moment I walked in. The calming color scheme of gray and blue invites you in, reminiscent of your childhood living room. The books, the couches, even the part of town it's located in.

I discovered them on Yelp a few months ago when I was looking for a coffeeshop that offered unique vegan options. Based on the pictures and what people we're saying I was excited to go. But let me tell you this: the Yelp page did not do it justice. There is a feeling you get when you walk in that cannot be put into words and that feeling is worth mentioning.

I think there's a sense of pressure at some coffee shops. You go in with your laptop and you feel on edge. There's so much noise, so many people around you, so much going on. It can be more stressful than calming. But there was no rush, no pressure at Fox. I felt like I could take my time. I wanted to stay all night.

Andrew and I were truly overwhelmed by their menu. If you're a vegetarian or vegan, you will be so pleased with what they offer. I ended up getting their honey bear blended. It's a blended vanilla latte with coconut milk, coconut whipped cream and a floating shot and mocha powder on top. It was delicious, to say the least.

To eat, we got their chickpea slider, veggie pot pie, chocolate cupcake, and dark chocolate sea salt cookie. Yes, ALL VEGAN. The best part is it was actually affordable, while other vegan establishments will try to charge you 7 dollars for half a cupcake. And knowing everything is homemade makes my heart feel all fuzzy.

I've never seen Andrew so in love with a piece of food before. He kept saying, "THIS IS LITERALLY EVERYTHING I'VE WANTED FOR YEARS AND I NEVER WANT IT TO END." (he's always wanted a vegan pot pie but was always afraid it wasn't actually vegan)

The chickpea slider was an absolute dream come true for me, the queen of all things chickpea. Chickpea salad, tomato, cucumber, and chipotle sauce all on a bun. (I must say, the chipotle sauce took the slider to levels I didn't know were humanly possible)

The moment I left, all I could think about was coming back to try more. So many coffee shops talk about 'community,' but you never feel that when you walk in. Fox Coffee House is the definition of community.

As I looked around the establishment, I felt so joyful. So many different individuals from different walks of life, enjoying a cup of coffee, just talking to the person across from them. You don't really see that anymore.

This Alarm Clock Wakes You Up to the Smell of Coffee

Do you find yourself saying, "but first, coffee" a bit too much? We all know that one person who literally can barely communicate with anyone until they've had their cup of coffee. 

Well, get this. Joshua Renouf, UK based designer, just invented an alarm clock that wakes you up to COFFEE. Yes, you heard me right, COFFEE. You don't need to live with anyone to wake up to caffeine goodness.


This life-saving invention is called the Barisieur. Renouf gives us the details on his site stating, "The Barisieur is an alarm clock and coffee brewer. It eases the user into the day with the subtle movement of stainless steel ballbearings that boil the water through induction heating, accompanied by the smell of freshly brewed coffee. It encourages a ritual before going to sleep, signaling to the body and mind that it is time to unwind and relax. Living slow even when times are fast."

Unfortunately, the machine isn't for purchase yet, but Renouf's site gives you the opportunity to sign up to be notified when the development is complete. It's going for between $290-$362 dollars in the US, so if you really love coffee, this is the splurge for you. 

Excuse me, but I think I'm a morning person now. 

DARBY FOREVER: A Short Film by Aidy Bryant

When I saw one of my favorite comedy girls Aidy Bryant created a short film, I thought, "YAY!" But when I saw two of my other favorite comedy girls, Retta and Natasha Lyonne were featured in the film, I thought, "HELL YAY!"

Have you ever worked a job in food or retail and felt kind of robotic, so you find yourself staring into the distance, dreaming up all these unrealistic scenarios? Well, welcome to Darby's life.

Bryant, who plays Darby, touched on that in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, "I used to work in retail and it is really weird how you form these brief connections with people. You help them find something and you get a little invested in what they need - and then they're gone! And all of a sudden your day is over and it's like, was any of this real or was I just a weird robot who rang them up? So I think there was some of that in the film."

Darby Forever is the perfect Thursday pick-me-up for those who are looking for a little bit of silver lining and a whole lotta optimism.

You can rent the short on Vimeo for 99 cents or buy it for 2.99. 

Guess What? It's Okay to Text First

It's so ironic that even in the prime age of technology, we've subconsciously made all of these social rules about how we communicate with each other. 
"Don't text first. Don't double text. Don't text back too fast. Don't make them wait too long. Don't use that emoji."

Is there a reason to all of this, or is it all rooted in pride? Or perhaps it's all rooted in having the power in the relationship? I often think about how older generations would feel about this. They went out of their way to talk to others through letters, telegrams and phone calls. Yet here we are in the 21st century, not utilizing the communication we have. 

Instead of hopelessly checking your phone every .2 seconds, make a move. If you really want to text somebody, do it! Text them first. Here's why.

1. It's honestly not a big deal.
You're not going out of your way to text somebody. It takes 10 seconds to do it. Therefore, relatively speaking, that text you sent out doesn't have to mean anything considering the effort and time put into it. 

2. You'll get closure.

You stare at your phone waiting for that one text, but it's just not coming. So you're left wasting your time overanalyzing why it's not coming. But if you just send that text, you'll get all the answers to your questions so you can move on with your life.
3. What's the worst that could happen?
The worst case scenario is them not texting you back or them stating they aren't interested, which probably won't even happen in the first place. The odds are in your favor. 

4. If you have something to say, you should always say it.

It's not very healthy to hold feelings in. The reason you have emotions is so you can express them. If you're holding feelings in simply because you're afraid of sending a text, you are harming not only yourself, but the text recipient. 

5. It shows you know what you want.

I mean, who has time to stare at an empty text conversation for 4 hours? It shows you're confident, down-to-earth, and humble. While the others are too prideful to send a 'hey' text, you're going for the gold.

Survey Says Couples That Watch Netflix Together, Stay Together

There's one thing the single and the taken everywhere have in common, and that's Netflix. Order some pizza, put on a pair of pajamas, and you have yourself the perfect night. You don't have to worry about going out and spending your entire life savings. You can just Netflix and chill.
I know one thing for sure: although my boyfriend and I's foundation wasn't built off of Netflix, we still love it. When you put two lazy hermits that love eating and pop culture together, that's what happens.
Netflix interviewed 1,008 individuals between the age of 18 and 29 about 'Netflix and Chill.' It didn't come as much of a surprise to find out 72% of respondents in a relationship say staying in and watching Netflix is one of their favorite ways to spend a casual night together, and 58% stated they feel closer to their significant other while watching Netflix.
Think about it: when you find out someone likes the same TV shows as you, they ignite your interest a bit more. Even 1 in 10 correspondents stated they would ask someone on a date based on show compatibility alone.
Debating about Steven Avery while watching Making a Murderer, freaking out over Piper and Alex while watching Orange is the New Black, and binge-watching House of Cards until 4 am: RELATIONSHIP GOALS.
Netflix gives even the most complex couples a common interest, sparking conversation and compatibility between them both. But the real question is, would you share your password with your bae? See what the survey respondents had to say below:

Having a Fictional Crush Isn't Pathetic, It's Awesome

I'm not happy in my own little world for nothing.

I've explained previously that I am so invested in fantasy and I'm 110% okay with that. No matter what medium it is, I love to divulge into different dimensions and worlds.

Plays, books, video games, music, films, dreams...

Through these realms, I've met a lot of people along the way. These people taught me more than you could ever know about life and prepared me for very real struggles. They've inspired me to take great leaps and a lot of them are the reason I'm here today, doing what I'm doing.

Yet throughout my childhood, I was often made fun of for my dreamy state of mind. And as I got older, I noticed that remotely caring about a nonexistent world was...well, lame. Until I saw hundreds of thousands of other girls on the internet also really connect to the characters that stole their hearts. So why were we shaming these young girls? Was there an actual valid reason? Of course not.

I want to live in a world where we all can take pride in our fictional crushes, because sometimes, it's better than real life and can help us more than hurt us. Let me tell you why having a fictional crush is actually low-key maybe high-key AWESOME.


1. You get to learn about relationships without actually dealing with relationships.
Thanks to these on-screen couples, from a very young age, you have a general idea of what is expected in a relationship and what you should avoid. People without this education could potentially get themselves involved in harmful, parasitical connections. 

2. You find out what you value.
Is it integrity? Is it intelligence? Is it spirituality? Is it artistry? I don't believe in having a 'type,' but I do believe we value certain traits in a person and you'll notice a theme in your fictional crushes. This will help you in the future if you choose to date someone.

3. You become more understanding.
When you are truly invested in a fictional world, you see all sides of the story. You now understand a bit more why people act the way they do instead of approaching it from a selfish angle. Because, hey, who knows what really happened behind the scenes. Who knows what that person had to go through.

4. It shows you're passionate, and that's pretty badass.
If you show that you care about these characters that are barely real, it shows how enthusastic you get about things, which is something EVERYONE loves to be around. You're more likely to get hired, more likely to work in the field you want, more likely to date someone awesome, more likely to live a happier life. 

5. It shows you like people for the complicated mess they are, instead of objectifying them.
If you have a crush on a character from a series you've really been involved in, that means you know that character really well. You've seen all their flaws, their quirks, and all the messed up shit they've done. Yet you still stand by them. That alone shows you value people for who they truly are instead of what they look like or their image. Kudos to you.

6. It's super cute and says a lot about you.
In a way, I think it shows a little bit of your soul to others. Everyone knows about most of my fictional crushes, one of them being Severus Snape. It's apart of who I am! It's apart of what makes me, me. And I think it says a lot about the kind of person I am, too. 

Find Your Freedom With Lana Del Rey

Why make a road trip mixtape when you have Lana Del Rey? The iconic starlet and alternative goddess is known for singing about what she knows most: freedom. Born in the Bronx, Lana has always been our "Queen of New York City / Brooklyn Baby / Coney Island Queen.' Yet she couldn't take what the downtown scene turned into. "What happened to New York?," she sings in her unreleased diss track 'So Legit.'
Del Rey escaped from her hometown to follow the American dream. She was nothing short of a poet, a singer, a star waiting to be noticed. So there she was in Florida, in Santa Monica, in Brooklyn, in Los Angeles, in Las Vegas, in the middle of nowhere. 
Her words and her spirit have inspired every artist, every muse, every soul. Next time you find yourself on the road, blast these released and unreleased songs by Lana and find your own freedom.
"Every night I used to pray that I’d find my people- and finally I did- on the open road. We have nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore- except to make our lives into a work of art.”

1. On Our Way

"Spin me round, kiss me in your Chevrolet."
Trusting someone with all you have so you never have to stress again is freedom.

2. There's Nothing to Be Sorry About

"I think of you on quiet nights, at traffic lights and every highway."
No longer having someone in your life but being okay with that is freedom.

3. Ride

"I drive fast, I am alone in the night. Been trying hard not to get into trouble but I got a war in my mind. So I just ride."
Making your life a work of art is freedom.

4. Paris

"Take me to paris, let's go there and never look back."
Living a non-stereotypical lifestyle is freedom.

5. American
"Drive fast, I can almost taste it now. LA, I don't even have to fake it now."
Believing that the American dream is still alive is freedom.

6. Lucky Ones

"If you stick with me, I can take you higher."
Leaving your past behind you is freedom.

7. Queen of the Gas Station
"Love casinos and neon reservations, but baby if you love me, take me to the gas station."
Believing in the kindness of strangers is freedom.

8. Driving In Cars With Boys

"I spent my whole life driving in cars with boys, riding round town, drinking in the white noise."
Making reality a fantasy is freedom.

9. Afraid

"We were just teenagers when we fell in love, driving in your fast car, looking at the stars above."
Feeling afraid but doing it anyways is freedom.

10. Radio
"Baby love me cause I'm playing on the radio. (How do you like me now?)"
Proving those who didn't believe in you wrong is freedom.

Sephora Is Helping Girls Launch Their Own Beauty Line

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own beauty line but don't know where to start? Maybe you should look into Sephora Accelerate, a training program launched by Sephora to help young women who are looking to pursue a career in makeup. 
According to Corrie Conrad, head of social impact at Sephora, you'd be surprised about how women still struggle in the workplace, even when most consumers are female. She explains, "Even in the beauty industry, where most customers are women, female founders are still underrepresented. We see a unique opportunity to draw from our history of working with entrepreneurs to build a supportive community for early-stage female founders." 

Accelerate will start off with a week long boot camp consisting of business models, funding strategy, and market analysis. Throughout the program, founders will get the chance to experience design support, mentorship and even get a $2,500 grant. 
This is life-changing for women in the beauty business. If you're interested in launching your own beauty line, what are you waiting for?

Lessons We Can Learn From 'Colors of the Wind'

Let me ask you one question: can you paint with all the colors of the wind? Our favorite Disney princess Pocahontas carries so much wisdom and she belts it all out for us in Colors of the Wind. Composer Alan Menken made this song so immensely beautiful just as he did with the rest of his songs from the Disney Renaissance, but we shouldn't be overlooking the lyrics here. Colors of the Wind is revitalizing and refreshing for every wanderer that maybe feels a bit lost. Every chord is filled with lessons from nature, spirituality, and love. By the end of this article, you may be a modern-day transcendentalist, but you can thank me later!

To immerse yourself in your surroundings.

“Run the hidden pine trails of the forrest, taste the sunsweet berries of the earth.”
Don't just eat your food, savor it. Watch every sunset. Let yourself take a moment to enjoy the little things in life, because it's all ours for the taking.

Everything has a spirit.
“Every rock and tree and creature, has a life, has a spirit, has a name.”
This is important to keep in mind. People, animals, plants, or just nature in general. On a spiritual level, they all hold such precious souls, energies, feelings, and memories. Yet on a merely physical level, they still hold what is necessary for survival: from food, to water, to oxygen. Show your gratitude and spread love to every life, spirit, and name.
We are all connected.

“And we are all connected to each other. In a circle, a hoop that never ends.”
Every action you put out into the universe will affect somebody else. It’s an endless chain, and sometimes it’s overwhelming to even comprehend. Something you did a year ago could’ve ended up helping somebody all the way overseas.

Money cannot be eaten.
“Come roll in all the riches all around you, and for once, never wonder what they’re worth.”

Mother Nature offers us everything we need for survival. The corporate world likes to take everything we need for survival and use it for greed. But we cannot eat money. Remember that!

No one is entitled to anything.
“You think you own whatever land you land on, the Earth is just a dead thing you can claim.”

Entitlement is the fatal flaw of all human beings. We think we are entitled to money, to a relationship, to a job, to happiness. We think just because the resources are there it’s ours for the taking. But that’s the thing: we don’t own anything on Earth therefore we are not entitled to it.
People shouldn’t be dismissed just because they are different from you.

“You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew.”
You can learn something from everyone and that’s what makes life so exciting, right?

9 Delicious Vegan Restaurants in LA Even Carnivores Will Love

If you're looking for vegan food in Los Angeles, you don't ever have to go too far. Almost every single eatery in SoCal offers options for all the plant-based eaters out there. However, there are also hundreds of restaurants that are 100% vegan! We're talking burgers, burritos, sushi, nachos, wings, donuts - and everything in between. You'll never have to order "just a salad" again.

Located in Studio City, Sun Cafe offers everything. Get your morning green juice on or your late night snack on here with some nachos. And if you want to take your dining experience to the next level, eat on their beautifully serene patio.
2. Cafe Gratitude

Cafe Gratitude has been the talk of the town for years, being featured on several reality shows and being a celebrity hotspot. You'll without out a doubt get to experience the authentic Los Angeles lifestyle here while munching on your vegan BLT.
3. Shojin

Instead of having to deal with the one vegan option your fav sushi place has, you get an entire menu of them. Located in the heart of Little Tokyo, you'll feel your experience at Shojin being upscale to say the least. They even push your chair in for you. 
4. Native Foods Cafe

They offer an entire build your burger menu, featuring 3 different patties. This is a huge plus for vegans who might have allergies or a preference against certain ingredients, such as mushrooms. Plus they offer menu items most places don't offer, such as a greek gyro bowl and a meatball sub! Is your mouth watering yet? 
5. Veggie Grill

Modern and never pretentious: Veggie Grill is the most convenient way for you to get your plant-based fast food fix. They have several locations all over the SoCal area so you won't have to miss out. We recommend you try their buffalo wings. (Seriously, you have to.)
6. Ahimsa Vegan Cafe

You can try dishes from all over the world, 110% cruelty free. Where else can a delicious thai bowl, sushi, a burrito, and a jalapeƱo burger? Ahimsa is the epitome of community and you'll feel that the moment you walk into this downtown Long Beach cafe. 
7. Fala Bar

Falafel is a veggie favorite, but it can be hard to find falafel that is authentic and 100% vegan due to cross contamination. Fala Bar gives us the falafel we've been dreaming of with these cute to go cups. 
8. Organix

Honorary mention is this little cutie above: a CHICKEN SANDWICH WITH MASHED POTATOES AND GRAVY ON IT. The fact that that actually exists is a very beautiful thing, but knowing vegans can actually consume it makes it so much better.
9. Donut Friend

There motto is "Donuts, done differently," and dang are they right. Instead of making vegan donuts and just offering them in chocolate and glazed, they offer veg donuts in everything from maple bacon to coconut cream pie. 

REVAMP: Coming Soon.

Maria here! Just letting you all know that my blog is currently under construction, so don't be alarmed if within the next few days you click on my blog and it doesn't look right.

I've been messing around with coding which makes everything look like a 2002 internet disaster.

Basically, I've been wanting to revamp my blog to make it more user-friendly, professional, and accessible.

I'm not going to be deleting any old content or old posts because I'm all about growth and symbolism, but there's a lot of change happening here.

When I think of the brand, the image, and the message I wanna create, I have to think about the content I'm putting out: is it consistent? Is it personable? Is it me?

So for the next few days I'm going to be doing construction in terms of coding, putting new posts up, and then starting an exciting new column. I can't wait.


Maria Elena

#StayBoldBeBrave // Local Wolves

Honored to be featured in Local Wolves again, this time in their February issue!
This is how I stay bold and brave:

I Love You & Your Acoustics, Taylor Swift

So, Taylor Swift read something I wrote and actually LIKED IT.

I'm usually professional regarding situations like this, but Taylor means so much to me.

10 years.

She's been in my life for 10 years. Her acoustics specifically have meant so much to me. Listening to Dear John on road trips to the South, Wildest Dreams on the streets of New York, listening to Enchanted after meeting someone new.

Time and time again, those lyrics still really resonated with me. 10 years later, I still feel so much emotion when I hear,

"I fake a smile so he won't see." /  "Say you'll remember me." / "This night is sparkling, don't you let it go." / "Come on, don't leave me like this." /

I've been writing about Taylor for years now but I never thought she would actually see my words. Thank you Taylor for everything you have done in my life and everything you will continue to do for my life. Forever & always bb.

If interested, { read the article here. }