Location: Houston, TX

Top Songs of 2013

As the year draws to a close I've made my Top Songs of 2013 playlist. The playlist comprises of top hits on the radio, new artists, and songs that influenced pop culture. There is a total of 80 songs and I hope you have fun listening to it. I had a blast making it, although it was hard to narrow down the top songs. The genres comprise of Pop, Rap, EDM, Alternative, and a little Country and Rock. Happy New Year's Eve!

Location: Livermore, CO

Meet the Jewelry Curator: Paula

What made you start your Native American Jewelry blog?
I am the manager of a large website www.horsekeeping.com where we have hundreds of articles on horse training and care, Native American jewelry, and vintage Dooney & Bourke handbags. Every day I receive a dozen or so questions and I soon saw that many of the questions were similar so I thought it would be helpful to post the answers and other information on a blog. That way, people could get some of their questions answered by searching our article base. Here is our Native American jewelry article list which has all of the articles on my blog plus others I had written before I started the blog.

Besides general information, I also answer more specific questions about people’s personal jewelry, hallmarks, and that sort of thing on the blog. I receive many questions of that nature so there are always 30-50 in the queue and there is about a 2 month lag time before an answer is posted. I provide what information I know or have access to and when I don’t have any answers, I post the photos and question so that others who read the blog might comment with something they know.

How long have you been curating Native American objects?
I’ve had Native American objects since childhood. I’ve been the manager here since 1997, so at this point 16 years of gathering and dispersing jewelry and other artifacts. I am a conduit – a channel for contemporary artists to display their wares to the public AND a way for people who have Native American jewelry collections to downsize or disperse them. One of the biggest parts of my jobs is evaluating and purchasing estate lots – it is common for people to inherit a relative’s Native American jewelry collection yet they have no knowledge or interest in it. I offer guidelines for them to establish value for their pieces. We buy about 10-15 collections per month.

How did you get your start?
I suggested to the owners of the website that they might like to offer some Native American made horse jewelry as a side line for the horse books they have written. So it started that way. Gradually I added categories over the years and now we offer quite a wide variety of Native American items.

Any advice for others that want to start an online store?
Do what you love. The money will follow. I am passionate about Native American jewelry (and vintage Dooney & Bourke handbags, another department of the store and a separate blog that I started) so all the research and photographing and describing is like play rather than work. That’s the key. Pursue your passions and the days are filled with discoveries and learning and sharing.

At first keep things simple. Start small, continually monitor, expand in parallel categories slowly. Provide as much information and description as you can. Not only will your customers appreciate that but the search engines will love you too.

What has been your favorite piece that you've found so far?
This pendant which I purchased for myself. It came in a large estate lot and I listed it in our pawn shop but kept looking at it and thinking about it and finally just had to make it mine. There is something about this pendant that just connected with me.

If you could go back in time to visit any tribe what tribe would it be and why?
I would visit the ancient Hopi during the time their legends related to deities were forming because their petroglyphs, kachinas and symbolism indicate a very powerful time. I would like to be there.

I also would like to spend time in the Great Sioux Nation in the late 1700s when the prairie grass was lush, buffalo were plentiful and life was good because I strongly relate to the Lakota horse culture.

Any inspiring moments or advice you'd like to share?
In terms of blogging or an internet store, ask yourself “Why am I doing this?” 
If it is a personal adventure or for social interaction, enjoy and the sky is the limit !

If, however, you hope to make money (profit) then plan to spend time every day of the week on your website and/or blog, adding new content or items, correcting glitches, and handing customer service issues. If you hope that your website can become your main source of income, you will need to spend much more than 40 hours a week in the first few years setting it up and grooming it. Success on the internet does not come overnight but with diligence it does come.

Be sure to check out Paula's store and blog!
Location: Huntsville, TX

DIY Corkboard Collage

Here's a collage I made over the weekend. It's right over my bed, and it was so much fun to work on. I always love to work with mixed media when I'm making a new piece so collaging came pretty naturally to me. If this is your first time don't be scared! I'm positive you can collage too :)

In order to start make sure you gather your supplies: magazines, cards, photo's, ticket stubs, stickers and tape or glue. If you want to add other items you're more than welcome! Once you have these items all you have to do is put together your masterpiece. You literally can't mess up because it's your creation! I find it's easiest to place all of my items before gluing or taping them on. That way I can be sure of where they should be. If you're really unsure use tape so you can change up your layout later on. I also used push pins for this project since it's hanging up on my wall. Check out the close up picture! These push pins look just like a little dachshund!

Below are close ups of my collage in case you can't see the items in the picture above. I hope this gets you started. Happy crafting!

Feel free to comment below if you have any questions!
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Artist You Should Know: Little Tribe!Pow

This little lady might be small in person but trust me when I say she's doing BIG things! Little Tribe Pow is an Aussie based Asian rapper with candy colored hair and sick pop trap style. I fell in love with her almost immediately after hearing her first single TRUF. Bringing all her friends together for her music video makes for an entertaining and psychedelic trip that starts off like The Wizard of Oz and the turns into a world full of rainbows. Check out the interview and music video below!

NOTE: This was a text based interview that was requested by the artist to keep it unedited and unchanged. The text below does not contain spelling errors. Little Tribe!Pow informed me "the integrity n style of who I am n trying to show the world is important to me" and so I have kept her responses in their original form.

What does LittleTribe!Pow mean? How did you come up with the name?
The first year I met my musikal soulmate aka Davix my producer back in 07 we were making a track n layering vocals 4 the chorus that were epic sounding... He said I sounded like an army... Then he turned 2 me n said 'I'm gonna call u Little Tribe Pow' it sounded cool n was kinda like a nickname 4 a few years between us but it wasn't until later when I produced my own demo 4 the first time cos he had moved to Miami (to work with the amazikal Timberland 4 a few years) that I created a sound that ironically ended up embodying the name... from that moment on it stuck n made complete sense. We reconnected in 2012 when he moved back to LA n picked up were we left off but better!

LittleTribe!Pow means individuality and unity. !Pow is part of my birth name n big part of my personality, Little is what I've always been lol n Tribe is community. I strive to be inclusive... fuck exclusive. We are all connected... Every thought or action whatever u put ur energy into contributes to the world we have collectively created. Peace of mind (balance) equals World Peace. Wake up people... Time to change the world!

How did you first get introduced to music? What made you start rapping?
I been into arts from the moment I came out of my mothers womb. I been performing on stage since I can remember. I actually started painting first, then violin when I was 22 months. Next was dancing when I was around 3. I began songwriting when I was 14 and when I was 17 starting teaching nuskool hip hop at Sydney Dance Company n had joined a dance crew. I've been blessed to tour as a professional dancer n choreographer in Australia and America n learnt all I needed to kno about that lyfe. Dancing was my main passion n career until I found my voice n sound.

I guess I grew up musically eclectic. My parents listened to the Beatles, the Carpenters, Stevie Wonder, Italian Operas and Jazz. I loved Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Madonna, The Fugees, Lauryn Hill, Nirvana, Jewel, Alanis Morrisette, TLC, Silver Chair, Massive Attack, No Doubt, Red Hot Chilli Peppers n Blink182. But also went to underground dance raves n fell in love with hip hop culture in my teens. It was actually my cousin, who was an underground hip hop DJ that introduced me into the culture. He would play at parties n sometimes after school he would skool me on records n where they were originally sampled from. He had soooo many vinyls! That's when I started my love affair with hip hop... It wasn't till last year that I was inspired to rap cos the songs I was writing sounded like they were meant to be rapped not sung. For me it is all the same. I am an artist thru n thru. Embracing everything leads to being limitless. I try to use as many ways to express myself honestly, uniquely n truly. Limitations are something we put on ourselves. If I listened to every person who was scared n took on their meanings they chose to give in life then I wouldn't be where I am now! It all made me stronger standing in my own n what I believed. I think is a good idea to treat everything in life like a sign post (like Eckhart Tolle mentions in the Power of Now) and not the be all or end all! After all people were pretty certain the world was flat before it was proven it was round. Pretty sure people died arguing about that too! So silly. You really jus gotta believe in yourself and create the world YOU see. Create freely... show ur Tru Colors. PA!NT THA PLANET :)

Where do you find your inspiration?

You've been busy working on your music video, how was it directing/performing the second time around?
Jus as crazy, if not more cos there was a lot more work behind it this time round to make the visuals happen the way i saw in my mind and it was a major testing time for me n the people around me, n mercury retrograde n full moon was all up in tha mix... but as always everything works out for the best exactly as it should n I couldn't be happier with how it came out! I learnt more about leadership n what I deserve back as a person... the team I have now is incredible n down for me one hundred, as I am for them. Sometimes is hard not to stress n freak out when ur ship looks like its on fire n sinking lol but I get up whenever I get knocked down (the Aussie battler in me) I have a strong sense of faith the space ship came jus in time... actually right on time as always ;)
What has been your favorite performance so far and why? 
The 2001 Sydney Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremony! I went to a performing arts high school n we got chosen to perform... tap dancing on a metal plate to be specific lol. The energy in the arena was electric. Even walking down the street in Sydney while the games were on was like a Utopia. Everyone was extra happy n friendly, smiling n acknowledging each person as they walked down the street... So fun! Shouldn't that be the way it should be all the time?! So now imagine being in an area right in the middle of all that buzz... Something I will never forgot and humbled i got to be a part of n experience.

What's playing on your iPod (or other music device) at the moment?
Duckwrth. My star brother n his crew ThemHellas.

How would you describe your personal style, it's influences and inspirations?
Eclectic n forever evolving. Influenced by everything I've ever experienced n enjoyed. Inspiration comes from self and all the reflections (people, places, things) surrounding you n from Imagination. It's different from everyone else's because I am me and you are you and once u realize the key is to jus be yourself n dig deeper within to find who u really are... Then it's a matter of finding a way to honestly express yourself, in n out :) I love this quote n I think it describes what I feel too perfectly...

"When you realize no one else on this earth can be like you... that no other soul may know the beauty, sorrow, light and darkness you alone are given to see, then you will no longer want to be like anyone else on this earth. You will, at last, be the fearless individual your heart of hearts has called you to be." - Guy Finley

What's in your wardrobe that you can't live without?

A phrase you use too often?
Sorry not sorry.

What's something people don't know about you?
I've loved n lost but LIVED to love again.

Best advice you've been given?
Be responsible for your energy... Thank u Queen Oprah.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Shout out to my Avatar Shawties! And to my family n friends all around the world.... Let's paint this planet together :) P.L.U.R.

You can find more Little Tribe!Pow on Soundcloud and Facebook.
Location: Houston, TX

Talenti Gelato: Sea Salt Caramel Heaven

So, I've never done a food review but the minute I brought this Talenti gelato home from Kroger I had a feeling I was going to have to. The only reason I picked it up was because it was on sale, for a whopping $3.99 but the packaging and promise of a gelato treat looked good enough so I made the purchase. I hadn't had gelato since I was in France, and I had my fingers crossed that this little plastic container would match their standards.

I opned the container and let my spoon glode over the gelato as I collected my first bite. The mintue it hit my tounge I was in absolute heaven. This stuff was almost identical to the heaven I had tasted in France. In addition to it having little truffles in it! Oh my goodness it was so good! I ate it straight from the carton, I mean I know it's taboo and all but the packaging practically invites you to do so. And I'm only human right? Naturally I didn't eat it all, but I put a pretty good dent into it. I didn't feel too badly because gelato typically has 30-50% less fat than ice cream, so I'll eat as much as I damn well please.

I did some research on the company after I came down from sugar high heaven and I learned that Talenti has roots in Argentina, it's not Italian like I had orginally thought. The companys founder, Josh Horchschuler ditched his career in banking in order to follow his dream of full time gelato making.

I admire people that follow their dreams, and I thank him for bringing amazing tasting gelato to the states. Ugh. What ever would we do without good tasting food? I can't even imagine. Life would be so boring.
images via The Ice Cream Informant

Erin Wasson X Wasteland

Erin Wasson is having another garage sale! Unfortunately, it won't be a "nothing over $100" sale like the last time. But this supermodel has decided to donate some amazing vintage pieces from the likes of  Balenciaga, Isabel Marant and Miu Miu just to name a few. The best part of this sale is that all the proceeds will be donated to the Saving America's Mustangs organization, which fights to protect America's wild horses. You can find out more about Saving America's Mustangs on the Wasteland blog

If you can afford to indulge in this collection more power to you! Some of her pieces are absolutely stunning, props to Erin for being able to part with these beauties. 

You can shop the entire collection by clicking here.

Location: Houston, TX

Merry Christmas!

I hope all of you are having a wonderful Christmas! I'm so glad to be home and be with my family. We're just about to open the presents. I hope you're all surrounded by loved ones. Have a great rest of the day everyone!
Location: Houston, TX

The Sweetest Thing

I went to a little place called Sweet this weekend with a really old friend of mine. She had been telling me to check it out for the longest so we went downtown to shop and grab a quick snack. It was a quaint little shop with a lot of charisma. I knew that I was going to like it as soon as I stepped through the doors, because the air smelled absolutely heavenly. 

They had so many different choices! It was hard to pick just one thing, and in the end we both decided to get a box of macaroons and one cupcake each. Picking what macaroons to put in my box was the hardest thing ever! But somehow I managed to narrow it down to 12 haha. I think my favorite choices were rose, vanilla bean and hazelnut. I also chose their vanilla bean cupcake. That cupcake was one of the greatest things I have ever tasted. It was the perfect mixture of moist and sweet. If you don't like overly sweet things I would definitely recommend this one. If you ever find yourself in the Houston area be sure to stop by. You won't be disappointed!

Location: Dallas, TX

Savannah Smiled Guest Post

I got the chance to write a guest post over on Savannah Smiled. I told her about how I got to listen to Lyn Paolo (the costume designer for Scandal) while I was at the Fashionista Conference. It was so much fun to write and I hope all the Scandal fans found it informative! If you're interested you can check out the full post by clicking here.

Elctric Frenchie for DISfunkshion

The article I wrote about Electric Frenchie is now up on DISfunkshion's  blog! This interview was a really fun one to do. Chonie is based in Austin, and she's the nicest person. She was just super friendly and her interview felt more like a conversation rather than a interview. Man, those are the interview's I absolutely love. If you want to read the entire article be sure to check it out here.