do you remember when

All photos printed on a Fujifilm Instax SHARE SP-2

As I sit on my living room floor in a last minute attempt to pack like an adult for my trip to Ireland (which is in...nine hours.) I suddenly realized I meant to write this blog post, and decided to do this instead.

Looking at these photos now, I remember my main point all over again, which is that I forget absolutely everything. I had already lost so many memories from my trip to London, which was a whopping four weeks ago. It's honestly tragic/upsetting when I think about the fact that one day I'l actually BE the old person whose mind I've got now.

I am terrible about remembering to charge my camera but fanatic about charging my phone, and my camera roll is hoarding enough memory to prove it. I gave my Instax SHARE a bit of a workout and printed out all these snaps from our trip to London and Watford. Besides giving me cute little prints to add to the gallery slowly conglomerating on my wall,  the grain makes everything look more elegant than it was, and also covers for Sallies...energetic photo taking. (She's going to kill me for saying that.)

(But then I don't have to pack.)

x Justina

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all we got | 2016 in review

Alright 2016, it's time to shake hands and call it good. 

Good it was - this was a crazy year full of incredible opportunities and moments. I was on NPR, Bloomberg and MTV's snapchat, I traveled all over the planet, and saw all my favorite rappers. I went to the desert, the city, and summer camp. I wrote and laughed and posted a photo on Instagram every single day. The whole world went nuts like eight times, but I still made it through Italian. Credi che รจ un coincidenza? No. It was a lot of work, but completely worth it.

2016 was a year of trying new things, and being down for the adventure. It wasn't all custom photo filters and flawless outfits though. I had a complete meltdown into my various Starbucks cold cups at least once a week, but Chance the Rapper doesn't want that for me. Last year, I was a little scared of 2016. My resolution was "Live even larger, and get better at what I want to be the best in." I finally got a drivers license, so you could say I'm balling out. 

My resolution for next year is: Do more of what you want. It's that simple.

 2016 is the year I got in the game,
 2017 is the year I get ahead of it.


 x Justina

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wishing you a merry cookie

 Justina's Recipe for Perfect Cookies for Those Who Cannot Bake:

- Four sticks of butter (unless you're Paula Deen, in which case, six.)
- 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
- Four 1/2 cups of flour

- Mix it all up in a bowl, squish it into a roll, slice it into shapes, 
and bake at 325 degrees for like fifteen-ish minutes.

There's no photos of my finished cookies because they were slightly burned round the edges
 and that does not fit my domestic goddess aesthetic.

I'm wishing you and your family lots of cookies and a very Merry Christmas!

x Justina

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wanna go to london?


When someone asks if you want to go to London, just say yes.

Two weeks ago, Sallie and I dragged our more than exhausted selves onto a Virgin Atlantic flight from Los Angeles to London, and fell into a blur of their Vera  entertainment system and color therapy lighting. Eleven hours later, we were in London, and we started doing everything you'd expect two 60 year old women on a three week tour of England to do. In 24 hours.

Here's where we went: 

- Buckingham Palace: An absolute must, and also, great gift shop.
- Victoria Station: Because it's very large, and we needed money and Oyster Cards.
- Paddington Station: Here's where you find my favorite bear. There is a Paddington bench, statue, trail, and SHOP. 
- Kings Cross station: Because Harry Potter magic is worth 45 minutes in line. Or at least that's what I told myself while standing in line for 45 minutes.
-Spitalfields Market: For the first time on our trip, getting something to eat.
- Poppies: Said place making something to eat, which was INCREDIBLE fish and chips.
- Oxford Street: Limited edition LUSH + Primark are all I need in my life. 
- The London Eye: I've ridden the Eye before and it's still one of the coolest things we did on the trip. If you can snag tickets, I 10/10 would recommend so you can see all the sights from above.
- Westminster Abbey + Parliament: They're a five minute walk from The Eye, right next to each other, and have a Tube station in from of them. Twenty thousand tourism points.
- The Tower of London: Much bigger than I anticipated, also extremely touristy and expensive, so just have a look around the outside and call it good.
- (BACK to)Spitalfields: Buying small cheap european goods at Tiger.
- Blixen: For when you want to eat lunch in a greenhouse in LA, when you are in fact in London. 5 stars to the cheesy mashed potatoes. 
- Covent Garden: Absolutely gorgeous, very crowded, and also where you find all the best cheap knick knacks. 
- Trafalger Square: Please look up the proper pronunciation of this before you, like Sallie, ask someone how long it'll take to get to "Trahfelgar".

This trip wasn't all fun and games, I was ~technically~ there to work, so we then headed to Watford where we stayed in a castle (The Grove Hotel), drank afternoon tea, and I talked about the changing face of media for young people. 

Really dry stuff there.

x Justina

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I don't think we're lost

Hey, remember me? I used to be your favorite (right?!?!) fashion blogger before I:
  • Went to London for a week
  • Got really sick
  • Had my finals week 
  • Broke my Macbook's wi-fi (no idea either) 
  • Slipped into the deep exhaustion of the Retail Worker During the Holidays
  • Found I needed, and was promptly subjected to, a root canal.
 I swear I'm still alive though. Barely. But it's all happening. I've got about thirty bajillion things to SHOW you guys (including me speaking at a business conference in a castle in leopard print boots). My midnight spark is lying around here somewhere under a pile of wrapping paper and graded assignments from three months ago. I'll find it. 

In the meantime, much like Christmas gifts for your family, 
please don't forget about me.

x Justina

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feeling warm?

sweater: people's project LA
jeans: wild blue denim
boots: CAT
lipstick: colourpop 

As someone who's grown up in a state with a wide variety of them: trees are beautiful. I honestly can't even focus on what I'm doing in these photos because that tree behind me is so absolutely stunning. It's the perfect backdrop for this sweater. 

Let's talk about sweater ventilation for a minute. Mainly, why isn't it more common? I think the worst thing ever is when you're wearing a really cute sweater and then you get that gross ~prickly clammy feeling~ that means you're about to become the sweater. HOW AM I MEANT TO BE COMFY LIKE THAT? (And please, especially if you're my mum, do not suggest that I wear more weather appropriate clothing. That is not HELPFUL okay) This sweater from People's Project LA is maybe the way of the future. It's cozy in the front, breezy in the back. Also, as my aformentioned mother pointed out, "it's not cut like a potato sack". 

Note to self: potatoes are good. 
Dressing like one is not.

x Justina

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it isn't always better

sweater: thrifted
tote: cuyana
boots: CAT

I'm going to live in this sweater for the rest of my life. Best $3 I've ever spent in a thrift store.

This is winter in California aka early fall everywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, the colourful foliage does not change it from being December, or me having to do Christmas shopping still. I keep making lists, and then sticking them in my bag and forgetting. Mainly because I get distracted buying Christmas presents for myself. Like this bag.

IT'S GOT MY NAME STAMPED ON IT. At least, my initials. Plus it holds absolutely everything, barring a few fantastic beasts. It's from Cuyana, also known as the-cool-brand-everyone-keeps-hush-hush-about-because-none-of-us-want-to-share. (Try whispering that in someone's ear. Go ahead.) As a brand, they're all about small source and handmade, sturdy and stylish, better over bigger. Getting close to Christmas (THREE WEEKS GUYS NOBODY PANIC) they're reminding all of us deal crazed nutters to give better. As someone who is extremely picky about a. who gets presents and b. what they get, I was all over it. To me, it seems like a great philosophy. Give people you love things they'll love, not just things. Do something unforgettable.

This seems like a great time to announce that I'm going to London on Sunday with Sallie. I don't really have anything else to add to that, except that I'm hoping to track down Ellie.

But when am I not amiright

x Justina

ps. shoot me an email at justina {at} abentpieceofwire.com with your address, and favorite color. I'm making Christmas cards and have no one to send to...EXCEPT YOU GUYS. (Perks of the internet: you can't run away.)

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the holy trifecta

Early this year, I had a dream.  A dream that I'd get to see all my favorite rappers in one year. Gambino, Chance, and Kanye. It was definitely abstract, because at the point that I had this dream, no one even know if Gambino was actually alive, Chance had 0 money, and Kanye was sold out. But I'm not a fan of "no", and suddenly, IT WAS ALL HAPPENING.

September: Gambino
October: Chance
November: Kanye

Let's talk about Kanye for a minute though:

You've probably heard about the now-infamous concert. He performed half of three songs, delivered a 20 minute rant on the state of the music industry, managed to come for Beyonce, Drake, DJ Khaled, and MTV all in one go and then dropped the mike and left. Two days later, he cancelled the whole Saint Pablo tour. A lot of people assumed I'd be upset about it, but honestly I didn't mind. I paid to see Kanye and get my t-shirt, and both of those things happened, so I didn't regret a thing.

I'm always really uncomfortable with the term "perform" as it's applied to musicians, because it reminds me of animals in a circus. With Kanye cancelling his concert, a lot of people talked about how they "paid to see him perform", as though their money was his on switch, and he was obliged to play no matter what. I remember the same sort of backlash surrounding the concert he cancelled after Kim was assaulted in Paris. It kind of freaks me out how people rendered him inhuman. I don't think my $60 ticket bought a piece of his soul, and while I was disappointed to not hear him perform "I Love Kanye", I still love Kanye.  (I think this is also introducing a conversation that needed to happen about black men and mental health problems. )

To me, concerts aren't about the music - they're about the artist. If I just wanted to listen to their music, I could do it from my bed for a whopping $4.99 a month on Apple Music, and I wouldn't have to get dressed. I go to concerts because I want to see them, their vision for their art. For Gambino, it was a dome in the desert. For Chance, it was anamatronic puppets from his past. For Kanye, it was Beyonce hurting his feelings. That's why I think people should pay for live music from their favorite artists. Because for every Gambino, who I'm pretty sure lives on some higher plane with no economy, there's a Chance, who's supporting all his music on his own. You gotta cop a t-shirt and keep them supplied with snacks.

Plus, the puppets were pretttttty dope.

x Justina

ps. shoutout to jordan for driving me around/feeding me/taking photos of me/

enabling my insanity for this. 
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