the justina guides// Los Angeles

I love to travel. Seeing new places, trying new things, and meeting the people that pull it all together. So that you can follow my adventures better, I've decided to start making mini "Justina Guides", where I'll document my favorite places and the best things to do while you're there. 
Where else would I start?

 First things first: Los Angeles looks exactly like it does in the movies.
 All of the movies.

It is sunny, it has way more palm trees than is strictly acceptable, and the possibility of running into a celebrity in the latte line is always there, although I highly doubt you'd recognize them. Theres about three range rovers to every person, and no one will look at you funny when you're staging an impromptu photoshoot on the sidewalk.

It is also dirty, dangerous in some parts, 
and has some unbelievably unsavory characters running around. 
You're as safe as you act. 

I think it's a great city to visit with friends, and if you're looking to live for a week like life is an 80's beach movie, you've found your town. Alternately, if you feel like stalking Marilyn Monroe's life (not like I've ever done that or anything), you're in luck too. 

Note about LA: you can ask for directions, and people will try to help, but barely anyone knows where anything is unless they have their GPS. 
My dad and I were on Melrose, and we didn't realize,
 so we asked for directions,
 and the people living there didn't know how to get there.

And now, my breakdown of everyone's favorite city to have a breakdown in.
see what I did there


Alfred Coffee
 8428 Melrose Pl
what I drink: caramel iced coffee

I don't even really like coffee. 
My starbucks order is one of those typical, 
oversweetened monstrosities where coffee has very little to do with anything.

But Alfred has converted me. To Alfred. 

I visited on my last trip, expecting it to be one of those over-hyped, over-hipstered coffee houses where people stood in line for far too long to order a coffee whose that was far too long. 
It was just the opposite. Everyone working was really friendly, and even though the line was a bit long, they completely kept up, and I got my coffee within five minutes. IT WAS DELICIOUS. 
Not too pricey either, coming in at about the price of your average tall sugar rush from starbucks.
 The atmosphere is very open, with people sitting next to complete strangers and just talking about how life's going. You can stay if you want, or leave if you have to. 
Not to mention that every corner of the place is ridiculously instagrammable. 


The Griffith Observatory
2800 E Observatory Rd

 I don't care how many times I go, the view from the Griffiths observatory blows me away every time. If you told me it was the top of the world, I'd be inclined to agree. There's a little bit of everything here. You can see the Hollywood sign (although if you really want to get up close, you'll need to take a bit of a hike. I'm fine from here.), but the real stunner is the view of Los Angeles. The whole city spreads out below you, and you can see it all, from the traffic on Sunset to the houses in Beverly Hills. You must resist your temptation to re-enact that scene from Titanic. Don't do it. Getting to the actual observatory takes a skilled driver, because it is ALWAYS jam packed, but we've always managed to find a parking spot at the top. If you can't, just hop out, snap some photos, and jump back in while your driver attempts to turn the car around. 

The The Tar Tar Pits, or The La Brea Tar Pits
5801 Wilshire Blvd

Fun fact #1: "La Brea" means "The Tar" in spanish
Fun fact #2: basically all of LA is built on an oil field. Oil makes tar, which is a kind of natural asphalt.

Fun fact #3: Some thirty odd million years ago, a ton, and I mean a TON of prehistoric animals got themselves stuck in the tar at the bottom of the drinking hole.

Fun fact #4: They now bubble to the surface like boba.

The La Brea tar pits is cool. That's the only word for it.
 I don't care how uninterested in natural history you think you are, 
a million perfectly preserved pre-historic fossils is cool.  
There are 400 dire wolf skulls in one exhibit alone. 
You would never know from looking at the calm, gated pond out front that it's actually a murdurous black hole that still spits up random extinct animals every day, but it is. At the La Brea museum, you learn all about L.A.'s start, the mammoths that roamed Rodeo Drive, 
and just how it is that the highschool has their own oil pump.

To Wander
Sunset Boulevard
This is universally acknowledged as the sketchiest street in LA. Some really weird stuff goes down after dark around here. But in the sunlight, it's the coolest place to poke around. Besides the gigantic ads, it's home to three of the coolest and most Hollywood historical hotels around, including my dream home, the Chateau Marmont. I do not recommend stalking around outside of it. If you want a photo, stand across the street. Best angle anyway. Sunset is also home to The Roxy (legendary) and the gateway to Beverly Hills. It's the street that connects everything. 

ps. if you're driving, there's an in n out down east of the Chateau. 

Hollywood Boulevard

It's kinda tacky. It's really cliched. It's pretty fabulous. 
Hollywood Boulevard is probably the realest thing about Hollywood. If you go east or west of the main tourism section, around Graumanns, it gets grimy fast, but is definitely an interesting walk. If you decide to explore, check out Iguana Vintage. I previously described it as a vintage loving drag queen's paradise, and that stands. Hollywood Boulevard is also home to the Dixie Hollywood, which is a pretty cute place to stay if you're on a budget or just looking for a place with Avatar murals. Of course there's a bunch of famous people's stars and footprints and whatever but I don't like to think about that because Marilyn's star is outside a McDonalds and that still upsets me.

To Eat
In N Out. 

Honestly, there are so many fancy restaurants and lovely places to eat amazing food, but if you're in L.A,. and you really just want the full California experience,
 a number #2 with a vanilla milkshake is where it's at. 
If you're gluten free, ask for protein style, 
and if you're adventurous, ask for your fries animal style. 

In writing about L.A., Daniel Pinkwater said "It's the perfect mix of glamorous and crummy."

He was dead on. 

I think the reason I keep returning to this city, and the reason I love it so much, is because it's a complete mystery. You can't ever know everything about it, and it's...vibrant history. There is always something to see, and someone creating a new story to tell. If we're being totally title accurate, we should call this "The Justina Guide to Los Angeles, version one", 
because I feel like we'll be updating it sooner than not.

I hope this has inspired you to go on an escapade of your own. If it does, I'd love to see photos, and hear how it goes! Is there somewhere specific you'd like me to visit? Let me know. 

Let's get our adventurin' on. 


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flash and pants

 \\ necklace c.o dogeared \\


I felt you clutching your sequins at the s word,
 but bear with me.

This post was inspired by a three things.
1. my adorable new Dogeared necklaces,
2. My friend Gabrielle,
3. a woman in the library

Lets start at the start

I am big and blingy 
and I stack necklaces like Mr. T, 
but when a small box from Dogeared showed up at my house, 
I actually took fifteen minutes to take off everything else I had hanging from my neck.
I then put on just this tiny little wishbone necklace. 
If you know me well, you know I'm a big believer in good luck + karma, 
and something about this delicate little necklace made me feel very happy and lucky.
 It's itty bitty, but has a big impact, because people need to focus to see it,
 much like other important things and people.

sorry if it hurt when I juST DROPPED THAT LIFE LESSON ON YOU
Gabrielle is one of my very important people. 
You may have seen hints of her around this blog or,
 if you've been here for much longer than I expected anyone to be
remember her from The Great Teen Vogue//Aeropostale spree of '12. 
She's literally Martha Stewart but 500x better. Her cupcakes are legendary, 
and I felt a need to get a professional photographer to come in 
and document my birthday basket (thats right, basket) from her. 
She's basically Pinterest in a person. 
In other words, totally opposite from my admittedly more Tumblr self.
 She's also a pretty subtly sparkly person, in a manner I have yet to master. 
She's the most elegant person I have ever met who wasn't seventy two.

And finally, the woman in the library. 
Yesterday, I was in the library in my Trollied Dolly dress (not gonna lie, I wear it always
and fave B.C. Footwear heels (they are actually the most comfortable things ever
when an older woman came up to me and said, and I quote:
"I just need to tell you that you look absolutely lovely. Reminds me of when I was a teenager. The girls all dressed nice back then, cute dresses and heels like yours. Now it's all flash and pants."

Flash and pants.

While I am rather partial to my flash and my plaid pants, I sort of see where she was going, and it helped me put a point on a thought that had been rattling around for a while. I feel like with a lot of things, like my necklace stacking, we lose the message. I mean, SURE I have lots of little gold necklaces and they're all really great, but when I wear three at a time, they aren't very noticeable anymore. When I wore my single gold wishbone, it was a direction.
So, I suppose I am trying to say this:

Sometimes, a subtle sparkle is just what you need.

Also lots of little gold necklaces.


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justina x derek//a moment with mr. blasberg

probably the chicest party photo ever taken? pc: mr. blasberg

Derek Blasberg is both the fashion industry version of Dear Abby,
and the person you write to Dear Abby about.
 His book, Classy, and then Very Classy
gave my 13 year old self a glimpse into my future world, 
where thank you notes are written on personalized stationary, 
and one can be invited to a holiday on a Caribbean island 
at the drop of a Maison Margiela hairpiece.  

When I was given the opportunity to ask him a few quick questions, 
I nearly died.
 Or maybe I actually did?
 Then I came back and got to it. 
Somewhere between two places, he dropped some pretty good advice.

J: You have worn, and still wear, many hats.
If you could create a title for yourself, or a simple description of what you do,
what would you say?

D: Luckiest guy in New York.

Flip side: what are the best and worse parts of your many positions?
I have lots of bosses.

You’ve blogged for many media outlets, and it’s become a known platform of yours.
What are your feelings on online fashion journalism?

When I was in college, professors were still wary of the internet.
Now, I think it's the way most people still get news.
 Magazines, however, still offer a different reader experience.
 I love both.

How do you feel about teens in today’s fashion world?
It's easier for young people to get involved now with fashion websites, chat rooms
and being able to start their own blogs. It's a good thing.

You’ve traveled the world.
 What are the first three things you do whenever you arrive at a new destination?

Buy lots of water and food to snack on in the room, 
Google the nearest art museum, and then unpack.
 I hate looking at luggage in hotel rooms.

Do you have a favorite Fashion Week?
London is the most fun, Paris is the most inspiring.

Is there anyone you would love to interview
that you haven’t had a chance to sit down/take a selfie with?

I always wish I could have gotten to Elizabeth Taylor before she passed.

Classy + Very Classy are obviously a product of experience.
 If you could pick out one lesson or piece of advice for a girl to come away from reading them with, what would you press?
Write thank you notes!

 Make your daily reading a little better by keeping up with Mr. Blasberg on anyone of his countless outlets. 

And whatever you do:
write a thank you note.


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coachella foreva

honesty hour: I forgot coachella was even happening

Usually it's such a big thing, and this year, I felt like it just sort of....happened.

I don't know why.

 The celebrities were there, the music was there, Jared Leto's blessed hair was there,
 but it didn't add up to the giant neon fringe overdose I'm used to.

Maybe it was just because they didn't make us all see dead people this year. 
I mean, that was a pretty good trick.
or was ittttt


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west coast, best coast

dr.martens c.o dr. martens

As I head to the East Coast yet again to represent my state at the National 4-H Conference,
I am thinking a lot about the things that make my coast better.
Best Coast ain't a joke son

One of them is our most famous city,
which also happens to be my favorite city. 

Things that are great about L.A.

1. Sunshine
It's even sunny when it rains which should be impossible but hollywood baby

2. Giant hedges. 
I don't know what they feed their hedges but they are the very best hedges.

3. White Range Rovers
Do they get some sort of discount?

4. Traffic on Sunset .
Give your time to stare at everything

5. Alfreds coffee.
sunday morning = best people watching time

6. Palm trees
all of them

7. The Griffiths Observatory
Let's stay up there forever

9. Brightly colored buildings with neon signs
see exhibit a, above

10. Los Angeles People
Tan, in workout gear and designer shades, lining up outside Urth 

10 1/2. Old Stuff, New Stuff, and whatever happened In Between
L.A. is one of the best cities for this

I can't wait to go back.


Check out this maaaarvelous interview I did on Fox 40 about the KCA's! 

to follow along on my trip to D.C. for the National 4-H Conference, 
make sure you're on my insta + twitter

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that slime really suits you//KCA 2014

R6 is catchy, right?

 It's been three days and I still don't think I've entirely processed the KCAs.

It was such a mind-blowingly amazing experience
 that I doubt I'll fully recover for at least a year.
And then it'll be time for another round.

I mean, let's take stock:

I got to hang with R5
 (they should adopt me)

I selfie'd with Tyler Oakley 

I also selfie'd with Bella Hadid who is actually
5000% cooler than she seems on the internet 
which I thought was impossible
LL Cool J high fived me
I nearly lost an arm but worth it 

I was enveloped in the cloud of adorable talent that is Alex & Sierra
yes they are really that cute
Ariana Grande stood behind me in security and we talked purses

And then like 80 million other amazing things happened

That's all BEFORE the show even started.

I have never talked that fast to that many people in my entire life.
It was like speed dating at the Hunger Games, 
but with reporters and green slime. 

 with all the priceless one liners and solid gold selfies.

Best of all: I didn't get slimed.

Okay just a little bit. 


Elizabeth, you're the #1 babe.

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BIG ANNOUNCENT//sparkles and slime

Displaying image.jpeg
Once again, Dylan O'Brien is displaying my emotions for me.

I'm sitting here reading my posts from past years of Nickelodeon award shows
 and alternately laughing my head off/wondering if I've peaked.

I suppose I'll figure it out Saturday...

That's right, 
your favorite award show commentator is headed for the carpet itself.
 I'm going to be bringing a splash of sparkle to the slimiest of  shows.

And I'm very excited.

Both about going and that line, which was definitely a 10 pointer.

I'll be on the carpet for HuffPost Teen, 
so expect some serious laughs,
 very important questions about selfies, 
and the occasional dance break.

Disclaimer: If anyone throws slime at me,
I'm going to throw my shoe at them.


PS. make sure you're following me on instagram + twitter or you're going to miss all the fun

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who are you sitting with?

 "You can't sit with us" bangle c.o stella & bow

"That's why her hair is so big, it's full of secrets."


The babes at Stella & Bow know me so well. 
This piece is from their Mean Girls collection and
 I want all of it. 

How to catch a Justina:  
combine gold and her favorite movie.

I love how wearing it sparks the "Mean Girls Story".
 Everyone has one.

"Oh my favorite quote is..."
"You know that scene when...."

It's awesome how a movie can impact so many aspects of our culture,
 from film to fashion.

Expect a more detailed thought process on this April 30, 
which is not only the 10th anniversary of our favorite clique,
 but a Wednesday.

"I'm totally Regina George."


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(a little over) 24 hours in New York City

Ever wonder what it's like to go to NYC for 24 hours?

Me neither.

But it happened anyway and was completely and incredibly amazing.
Looking at you Clifford. 

 I got to meet some of my favorite people,
eat the worlds best ruben sandwich, 
and watch Parks and Rec on a plane.

I can't decide which part was the best, 
so watch the video and let me know.


shoutout to our driver Carlos, 
who looked like an extra from The Godfather.

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