Location: Houston, TX

Thinking Out Loud

As the seasons change so do the feelings I have for you. The bond that once brought us closer than ever has started to disintegrate, much like the battered fallen leaves fall victim to fierce winds. A small gust of mistrust blows our almost relationship away into nothingness.

Souls as kindred as ours were never meant to be together. Souls like ours were meant to intertwine for a brief but magical moment and never cross paths again. In our fleeting time together we learned from one another and we pushed each other to be better people, to be better creatives. It was a breathtaking whirlwind that neither of us will forget. A romance like that shakes you to your core. But my unwillingness to let you in after so long seems to have finally taken its toll. After trying over and over again a seemingly impenetrable wall can break the best of them. And as the summer changes to autumn I can feel your once comforting presence fade away like the oppressive heat.

In many ways the absence of your presence is what I will miss most. There was always something comforting in knowing that I could always contact you in my hour of need.  Something about the way your steady familiar voice would quiet my fears. I'll miss the warmth and wisdom in your eyes, miss listening to the carefully chosen words you spoke, miss the way we'd dream about the future while we lay in bed. A future we once believed was attainable for people like us. But like the brisk changing of the seasons we'd quickly lost what was. In the blink of an eye the magic was gone.

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try all good things come to an end. And as we said goodbye we both lingered after our embrace. We gazed into one another's eyes knowing this would be the last time. Searching for something. Searching for anything. Speaking the silent language only lovers turned to friends can possibly understand.
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Meet the Yogi: Alexis Novak

Meet Alexis Novak, a talented yogi and world traveler; learn what brought her to her practice, what makes up her daily routine and how she disconnects from the everyday nosies of an "industrial" city.

When did you realize that yoga was something you wanted to pursue?
I tried yoga for the first time when I was fourteen years old. I have been a dancer my entire life, so the movement and poses felt fairly natural and I liked how it was similar to dance.

What kind of yoga do you practice? 
Depending on the day, my personal practice consists of a variety of yoga styles: Restorative, Vinyasa, Sculpt, and Hot Yoga. 

How do you start your mornings? 
I start my mornings with some meditation, coffee, and good music!

What's your favorite sound in nature? 
My favorite sound in nature would probably be the lack of "industrial" sounds in nature. I love the quiet, so being surrounded by only the gentle breeze in the trees or a few bird chirps is calming to me.

What do you love most about your city? 
I love the variety in atmosphere! There truly is a group, stage, place, and restaurant for every walk of life in LA. I would also say I love the passion and drive of the people who live here. It is known for being a cut-throat city, but I feel it's because everyone who lives here has a definitive intention. Most people who live in LA have left their familiar lives and decided to do something unique and very uncertain with their careers! And finally, I love the yoga community (of course!) I have found such a warm and welcoming home within the yoga community in LA. In a very busy and individually driven city, it is so comforting to know that I have a group of like-minded people to connect with and share space with.

What was the last meal that made you smile? 
The last meal that made me smile would be a vegan dinner I had with my boyfriend a few nights ago. I love eating healthy, but sharing meals with people I care about makes any meal special.

Biggest accomplishment? 
This year has been amazing thus far, and I am so grateful for the opportunities I have been given. I don't think I can narrow it down to one BIG accomplishment. I would say I am pretty proud that I am able to wake up every morning excited to go to work. I love my fellow teachers and students so much!

Where's your favorite place to unearth buried treasures? 
What a good question! Ha! Bali is a treasure. I would say that I unearthed some internal buried treasures when I went there in May. I am going back in March 2016 to lead a yoga retreat! You should come, it's a magical place!

Quotes or advice to live by? 
There are a lot of great quotes out there. I would probably say it's an original "We are in control of what we let into our bodies and out of our mouths, don't ever forget that you are the source of your own power." We as people are always handed tough times, how we endure them is what makes the difference!

Follow Alexis on Instagram, and take one of her classes if you're in the LA area!
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Solé Bicycle Single Speed Review

I purchased my Solé a few months ago. One look at the mate black finish paired with silver trim alongside deep turquoise wheels, and I knew I had to have the Foamside. You can see the full specs here I had been looking for a commuter and decided to take a chance that this might be the perfect solution for me. When it comes to affordability and bike aesthetics Solé definitely knows what they're doing. I ride about 5 - 10 miles every day, sometimes more when my friends and I go out, so I was willing to take the risk. 

Solé Bicycles was formed in 2009 by some friends and is one of the few companies out there that makes durable yet stylish single speeds and fixes. They're based out of California and have a reputation for producing quality bikes at pretty low prices. 

When my box arrived I was pleasantly surprised that the packaging seemed to do a decent job of protecting the bike. I think one piece was broken in transit but it appeared to be a supporting plastic piece, not something vital to the construction of the bike. There was also a mark on the frame, but it was cosmetic so I wasn't going to ship it all the way back. I quickly started unwrapping so I could put this bad boy together. 

Assembly was pretty painless, the frame feels and looks well made and the wheels were downright breathtaking. I think the only issue I had was needing to tighten the brakes because they were extremely lose. After that everything was good to go. The bike comes mostly assembled, requiring only the attachment of the front wheel, handlebar, seat, and pedals. I'd say it took me 35 - 45 minutes total to completely assemble and thats partly because I was taking my time tightening each piece.

Out on the road, this bike draws attention. The other day I had a kid ride up next to me and eagerly ask if I wanted to trade him bikes, tempting but I declined. The Foamside feels sure-footed. Even on gravel or uneven pavement I don't feel as though I'll slip. Performance is amazing, even on a single speed I can keep up with my friends who are all boosting 12 speeds or higher. It's not super quick and it's not a road bike, it's somewhere in the middle without the claim of being a hybrid. But I don't think it's trying to be either. It's the perfect bike for me since I live in the city and it doesn't hurt that heads turn everywhere you go. The only issues I've had to date have been one of the nuts falling off, but Solé sent me a new one that same week. The reflectors on my pedals also fell off, I mentioned that to customer support as well but they only sent over the nut. Meh. Also, the back tire  valve is a little messed up, sometimes the air will start to come out if I don't have the little silver piece in the right spot. I still haven't figured out what all is going on there, but usually if I wiggle it the right way the valve will close and I'll be able to ride without any problems. Where I live we have a bunch of different air pumps, so it's possible that one of those pumps may have messed up the valve. 

All in all, I love my Solé despite the minor issues. If budget is a concern I suggest doing what I did and waiting to get your Solé on sale. You can get 30% off for President's Day, and I believe they have 2 for 1 specials for Valentines Day. If you're willing to wait, I highly suggest signing up for their newsletter so you can snag a deal. The Foamside is a super smooth ride for my everyday commute and I mean for this price you really can't beat the Solé.
images via jessica alvarenga
Location: Miami, FL

Vegan Fruit Pizza

Summer's here and the talented Diana Rodelo has crafted a mouth watering recipe to satisfy cravings you never knew you had. Not only is watermelon an great source of potassium, but raspberries and blackberries also contain much needed minerals like manganese and copper. Read on to nourish your body with this simple recipe.


1/8 of a round medium organic watermelon
1 Medium organic peach (de-cored & sliced)
2/3 Cups of organic raspberries (wash, dry & slice in half)
3/4 Cups of organic blackberries (wash & dry)
1/8 Cups of raw pecans (whole)
1 Tablespoon of coconut flakes (dried)

Cocoa Drizzle
1 Tablespoon of cocoa powder
2 Teaspoons of organic coconut oil
¼ Teaspoon of agave


Cocoa Drizzle
In a small bowl, pour in the coconut oil, cocoa powder and agave and whisk with a fork until it looks like a shiny chocolate glaze. Once done set aside for later use.

Slice your medium watermelon in half, not lengthwise. Cut out a one ‘’1-inch thick wheel’’ from the watermelon. Lay the watermelon circle down on a large cutting board and top it with the peaches, berries, pecans and coconut flakes. Once the toppings have been placed drizzle the cocoa glaze on top and slice the round into pizza slices. 


For more recipes check out Diana's site!

recipe & images via diana rodelo
Location: Houston, TX

Darkness + Light

"There was a flower in her heart, it just needed more room to bloom. And when she let it free, she showed the world that sometimes the most beautiful things can grow in the darkest places without need of light."                        
 R.M. Drake

I did a shoot with my friend Jessica sometime last week on an uneventful day. The crazy thing was we literally put this shot together in maybe 15 minutes? After a quick brainstorming session we had a concept and the direction that we wanted to go in. Next step was execution. All in all the shoot took maybe an hour, but we got some really really great images. I've been scrolling through her camera and I honestly can't wait to share them all with you. Stay tuned!