California Lovin’

California: It’s the one place I have dreamed of visiting since I was a little girl. I’ve always been intrigued by the uniqueness of the state. Northern California, with its breathtaking forests and natural scenery, is so different than Southern California, with its beach bums and palm tree-lined streets. It has always fascinated me that one state has so much to offer, and I’m secretly a little mad at my parents for being native Floridians and not Californians.

But all was reconciled when I was blessed enough to visit California twice in one year. I got the best of both worlds: San Francisco during spring break and Los Angeles during the summer. As cheesy as it may sound, both trips gave me a ton of fashion inspiration, from the hustling and bustling businesspeople of San Fran to the laid-back skaters and surfers of LA.

Spring Break in San Francisco was unreal. While everyone back home was tanning and partying at the beach, I was more than perfectly content with soaking in all that San Fran had to offer. There was amazing shopping within walking distance of our hotel. H&M and Urban Outfitters… talk about heavenly! We visited cathedrals, rode the infamous streetcars and biked over the Golden Gate Bridge, all while observing and taking in the totally unique and diverse culture of the city.

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When summer rolled around, I couldn’t have possibly been more excited to revisit the Golden State after my unforgettable trip to San Francisco a few months prior. This time, it was just my mom and I heading to Los Angeles. The two gals of the family were set free with no boys in the family to hold us back from doing all of the shopping and people watching that our little hearts desired. In the short time that we had there, we managed to get surfing lessons, visit the Hollywood sign, eat at the famous Beverly Hills Hotel, attend the Men’s Street Skateboarding event at the X-Games, shop at every mall in sight, and stand by the red carpet at the premiere of The Amazing Spiderman. Andrew Garfield was about five feet away from us… no biggie. It was honestly the trip of a lifetime.

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Looking back on all of the pictures from these trips made me truly realize how much my everyday style is influenced by my experiences in California. San Francisco, replete with hipsters galore and some unpredictable weather, introduced me to the beauty of vintage “eco-chic” fashions that must include layers in case it rains. Los Angeles, with its somewhat annoyingly perfect weather and killer waves, hooked me with its casual yet polished surfer/skater style. I noticed many people wearing natural makeup and slightly baggy clothes because people in LA are always doing something active. Whether it’s biking to the Santa Monica Pier or longboarding along the beach sidewalks, Californians are always outside soaking in all that Mother Nature has to offer.

The major thing that left a lasting impression on me was California’s uniqueness. Since the state itself is so diverse, its people don’t fit one specific mold, and I love that. Being there taught me that as long as you embrace your own style with a casual, confident attitude, you’re good to go, dude.

I’ve got that “California State of Mind,” and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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