Hey folks. I hope you’re spending time celebrating and drinking safely with your loved ones. It’s a hot one in Columbia, South Carolina and I’m currently sitting on my porch listening to Citizen while a car alarm goes off in the distance. I just spent time outside in the pool, drinking mimosas and basking in the New Moon vibes. The New Moon is in Cancer, asking us to revisit patterns//relationships relating to our emotional well being. Feel your feeling aka super emotional time.Today’s the one day a year I wear the American flag and put my hair in victory rolls. It’s the first time I’ve done this look and I’m feeling it. Anyway- Happy American Day guys. Be thankful of your privilege, recognize what today actually celebrates and help make a better tomorrow. Bathing suit from Forgotten Feather Vintage.Keep America boo-tiful (and bootyfull) inside and out fam.
Happy Sunday to all of you humans out there. We made it. Another week has gone by and we’ve survived. Heck yeah, I’ll drink to that. I’ve been celebrating this past week because I landed an internship with one of my idols and I am very excited! So of course I celebrated by wearing what I would want to be dressed in for eternity, a ghost outfit if you will. If I were to die in a moment- this what I would die in and wear for the rest of my ghost life. This dress is one of my favorites- I got in H&M in London for London Fashion Week, which I did end up wearing it to (see below)!This dress was with me for my interview for Rick Owens, which I also landed (still in shock that happened!)and it was with me to interview for Vivienne Westwood.This dress is me in my element. It’s simple but interesting, it can be worn a ton of ways and it will always feel sexy. This outfit was important for me because it was a physical manifestation of what I feel like- this is it. This is exactly what I want to look like (there’s only so much you can change)- and that feels damn good. I got these shoes from Topshop for fashion week as well, and they were another good spiritual//physical investment. I love these things. I wore a leather bra that I got from Ivory and my all time best investment on these $10 hot pants- and this $1 clip. It’s weird recognizing hard work pay off- there isn’t anything wrong with it folks. Recognize! Pay it forward! Wear a good outfit! Stay sharp, my friends. Happy Sunday.
All photos by Alexandra Herstik.
Sometimes it happens. You don’t eat enough, you go too hard, and you wake up feeling like death incarnate the next morning. We’ve all been there- hangovers are a part of life, for the most of us, after all. And even when you puke in the bathroom of your favorite brunch place (aka me last Saturday) it always helps to at least look decent. I never thought I would be the sort of girl who bought a baseball cap but I had a moment of weakness at Urban Outfitters and had to buy it. I think sober me was looking out for hungover me because let me tell you- it’s an easy way to look put together when you don’t feel it.
I paired this cap with a vintage slip dress from Ivory at Forgotten Feather, a cut out bra from Urban Outfitters, my favorite bucket bag from Zara and loafers from Target.
If you want to steal my look- go for it. Click below to shop! And don’t forget- if you drink, be smart, don’t drive and know your limits! it’s okay to be hungover. Just drink water, look cute and let your body rest.
When things get hard, buy yourself flowers. Make yourself some tea. Read poetry. Write bad poetry and then write poetry that’s even worse than that- you have to start somewhere so just start. Write beautiful poetry about love. Write a poem on a napkin about someone who hurt you and then tear it up and throw it out. Wear something that makes you feel like stardust. Wear nothing but your skin. Sleep in late or wake up early and spend some time under the rising or setting sun. Tell someone you’re hurting. Ask them for their help. Breathe deeply- five in and five out. Take a photo that reminds you how beautiful you are. Take a bath. Go to therapy. Park your car at the top of your parking garage, open all the windows, blast your favorite album and dance until you can’t feel your legs. Go out. Spend some time in a coffee shop with a good book. Go over to a friends house and watch a bad movie- make funny comments the whole time. Buy a journal and cover every page with your worries- go over them and paint them into something else. Let them live there.
Feel your feelings and don’t say sorry.
I’M BACK IN THE SOUTH! I spent ten days in California and it was chill! I got back on Thursday at 4am. We flew into Charlotte- where we found my sister’s car battery dead, thanks to me leaving a light on. That’s the second car battery I’ve killed in the past month. What even…The rest of Thursday was spent in a haze. It feels like today’s the first day that I am starting to feel like I’m back to a good internal clock.
Anyway, I’m glad it’s finally my favorite day of the week! Saturday is my absolute, guilt free lazy day. It’s my day to not do anything I don’t want to do and I absolutely love it. I love staying up really late and sleeping in on Saturday’s, or going to Soda City, Columbia’s farmers weekly market, if I actually wake up. Yesterday was spent staying up until 6am watching Bob’s Burgers and sleeping until 1pm today. Scorpio Moon, ya’ll. But I don’t have any plans and I don’t feel guilty about it! I got lunch and drank a Bloody Maria and I’m currently sitting on my porch with no pants so I am content. I watched “Addams Family Values” for the first tim all the way through “as an adult” last night and oh my god. I get it. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be an Israeli, Mexican witch living in Columbia, South Carolina- it’s like that. Also, as someone who had to go to outdoor summer camp for over a decade and hated it- I feel for Wednesday and Pugsly. Going into 7th grade, my parents sent me to a Jewish sleepaway camp for a month. I had never been to sleepaway camp and I already considered myself a witch- I did not want to go. I cried every day for a week straight.
Camp was the worst and suburban normies are (usually) the worst too! There’s nothing fun or important about failing to use your voice and be your own person, and judging people for this, and for not falling into your realm of comfort, is lame. Anyway, I loved the movie and am once again, reminded how Morticia Addams is probably the best fictional character ever and that she is severely underrated. Goals, am I right. Bodysuit:: American Apparel// Shoes:: Vagabond// Bag: Zara// Bolo, skirt, jacket:: VintageI hope you all have Saturday’s spent with people you love, dancing or relaxing!
I have always felt the touch of envy. The kind of cold that burns. I have been consumed by it, believe me, it’s in my temperament. My Scorpio Moon burys its embers past my gaze and all of the sudden I’m enveloped… or maybe that’s just how it was.
For a really, really long time I considered myself to be a jealous person. It’s only until recently that I realized I wasn’t jealous- I was just insecure. And it wasn’t even a really obvious kind of insecurity. For a really long time I wasn’t expressing myself the way I wanted to be. I always felt too young, a little bit off and I wasn’t quiet happy with how I looked (I was also a very late bloomer so you know there’s that.) The thing is, that’s normal. It’s okay to not be 100% content with yourself- but it is also important to love yourself in the process of becoming whoever it is you want to be. But- it’s important to realize the only person you can ever be is yourself.
I was comparing myself to other people- the way I acted, the way I dressed and the way I looked. I was expecting other people’s expectations- and not my own. I will never look like anyone else. I will never have anyone else’s interests. I will never have anyone else’s story- and for a long time, part of me wanted that because you know, the grass is always greener.
It’s not that the envy or the jealousy has gone away. I just view it differently. I will never be another girl- and wishing to be someone else, or to be in someone else’s situation isn’t going to solve anything. The world doesn’t need a million of the same person. Seriously. Having the privilege to be who you are is just that- a privilege. And if you’re able to walk this Earth in your most authentic skin and soul… that is damn special.
I will never have blue eyes, I will never (naturally) have bigger boobs, or smaller thighs or a “chiller” attitude. If I feel threatened by something or someone, I ask why. I learn. I dig- and I’m still trying to do this. To not let my envy consume me. I am not perfect, by any means. And there is always better to do- but that’s not the point.
I will always be the brown eyed, no chill, goat loving, witchcraft weaving, granddaughter of holocaust survivors that I am. I will only ever be Gabriela Lorraine Herstik. And now, instead of seeing someone else and feeling jealous, or like I am less than, I encourage. I sympathize. I see what I like about that person, and that situation, and remind myself that the things that make me me are just as good. We are all important. We are all special. But until we give permission to ourselves to be who we are meant to be- on our own terms- then we will not know peace because peace has to start with ourselves.
May was a whirlwind- I can’t even believe it’s almost over. I graduated college, bummed around and balanced my time between being productive and being lazy, eating ice cream and taking it easy.May in Columbia is the best because it’s not sticky and overwhelmingly hot- it’s bearable and for the most part actually enjoyable, and once school’s out, the city slows down. Southern summers aren’t so bad.
I’ve been spending a lot of time on rooftops with my twin Alexandra, who captured me in the photo above. But that’s not all I’ve been up to!
Here’s what I’ve been doing/ listening to/ watching this past month. Enjoy.
The Accessory:: Root Vegetable Head Scarf
I got this scarf at Hip Wa Zee for $2 and almost puked! It has the sweetest root veggies on it- aka BEETS- aka the greatest vegetable there is. They’re the prettiest color, stain everything and taste like dirt- I get it. I paired the scarf with the heels I got for graduation, my favorite Topshop jeans, and a tank top and sunnies from Urban Outfitters. I wanted to keep the silhouettes of this look sleek to make sure the scarf popped. Red lipstick seemed like a natural choice.
The Cemetery:: Elmwood
I know a lot of people have a very hard time hanging out or visiting cemeteries, but for me they’re a place of peace, of reflection, of love and remembrance and honor. I’ve been spending sunny afternoons in Elmwood Cemetery, with some tarot cards, my Book of Shadows, the song of the crows and sometimes some friends. Elmwood is huge- it’s 169 acres and was established in 1854. I’ve been to Elmwood alone plenty of times and have never been bothered- it’s peaceful, safe and a sanctuary that I never anticipated finding in Columbia. My beautitful, long lost triplet Amanda came to visit me from Charleston and we spent our afternoon basking under the sun. We read tarot and talked and laughed with Amelia of The Midheaven and Ivory of Forgotten Feather in what we realized is our newly formed coven- each of our astrological signs represent a different element, and our names even spell GAIA. Goddess Squad!
The Soundtrack:: True Widow
True Widow popped up on my Spotify Discover Weekly Playlist a couple weeks ago, and it’s probably the best thing to happen to me in a long, long time. True Widow is the dark, stoner rock I never knew I needed. I love having new music to dive into, especially if there are three albums worth of tunes to learn.
You know how sometimes you find music that sounds like the feelings you’re having?True Widow’s self-titled album does that for me- especially Flat Black. It makes me feel like I’m in some weird movie, and I love it. It’s a an auditory manifestation of all the feelings I’m feeling, and that’s pretty magical.
The View:: The Quarry
“The Quarry” is a magical place, somewhere deep in the woods of Columbia, South Caroline, where a (clay?) mine once was. And as horrible as this place is for Mama Earth, I can’t hep but admire the otherworldly beauty that it holds. I’ve only been here a couple of times, but each one has been special and magical, peaceful and relaxing- and slightly familiar. The vivid reds, lavenders and cerulean blues are overwhelming., as are the cliffs and acres of trees that surround the two biggest pools of water. It is truly incredible.
One of my most unfounded childhood fears was my fear of quicksand- as if after a California rain, the sand at the playground would consume me whole. Thankfully I’ve never had to deal with this fear- until I was at the quarry and sunk hip deep into quicksand. Thankfully I knew that I wouldn’t go much farther, and that if you keep still it doesn’t keep pulling you down. After freaking out for a second, I regained my composure and pulled myself out- shoes and all. Godspeed! You have to park and then wander to get to the quarry, and thankfully this is right where I parked my car. I’ve been watching Donnie Darko repeatedly over the past few weeks (see below) and this clearing with this couch and sick television is as close as I will get to having the field Donnie hangs out in.
When I was 17 I was told to watch Donnie Darko– three times in a row if I could- and I did and I’ve been watching it obsessively since. The movie follows Donnie Darko, a suburban teenage boy, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who has to save the world from its end when a parallel universe occurs.
I always forget I have this movie on DVD, probably on purpose subconsciously, because once I remember I won’t watch anything else. I’ve watched Donnie Darko every day this past week with no regrets. I recently realized it’s my favorite movie- the only one I can watch over and over without getting sick of it. It always manages to put me in a weird mood. So if you haven’t watched it, don’t tell me that and watch it. And if you have watched it- watch it again. You’re welcome.
Donnie Darko may be my favorite movie, but The Twilight Zone is easily my favorite show. One of the most amazing things about this show is the values and lessons it teaches- over 50 years later and the episodes are still relevant. Case in point- “Eye of the Beholder”, an episode that examines what it means to be beautiful- and why it’s all objective anyway. If you haven’t seen this famous episode, watch it! It rings especially true during a time when all politics seem to focus on is what separates us from one another.
It has taken me so long to build a home of bones and stardust. And even now I feel like those flowers growing on the sides of highways. Yellows and purples misplaced and unapologetic. They simply bloom where they are planted- that is an ache I know all too well. I have planted seeds along my flesh and hoped the vines would creep around my ribs and snake their way into my heart. I have always wished to be my own home. My roots never found their way into their soil but they have always been shy of the light. I am those flowers that you pass along the busy interstates that carry you from one place to the other without stop. Without thought. A beautiful moment left for “another time” or perhaps “another place” or “another day.” Are they flowers or are they simply weeds with blessed with some good fortune? There is inconvenience in their beauty, admiration from afar- comfortable. Stable. “I will not stop for you because you may not be what I wanted to pick. Your petals are not blooming from the soil I would have chosen for myself. Your obscurity makes you dangerous and I do not choose to cross your path.” Because a home is meant to be lived in, not observed or carried like a shell along your skin. These bones have seen the best of me and the worst of me, too. I am a home among a desert plane or a busy highway. I am a weed who chooses to see herself as a gift. Shirt:: Urban Outfitters// Scarf:: Nordstrom// Skirt:: Forgotten Feather// Shoes:: Target
All photos by Cory Russel.
An ode to exploring. An ode to creating. An ode to the little things like warm days and to listening to the rainfall and painting what you hear. An ode to situations that you made the best of and the people you’ve met along the way. An ode to vintage shops and high waisted shorts, bananas and friends that think the same. An ode to yoga, an ode to ballet, a sonnet to poetry and words loved and laid down again. An ode to college, an ode to Bree, an ode to the these photos she took of me!
Any day I can get brunch and model with Bree is a good day. Yesterday was absolutely lovely outside, the sun was warm on my skin and there was the softest breeze. It wasn’t too hot, it wasn’t cold and I didn’t even have to wear my sweater. Taking these photos was the ultimate celebration of freedom- that I’m done with college! The fact that one of my favorite people took them makes it even better. My time at The Univesity of South Carolina has had its ups and downs, but I’m so thankful for the years I’ve spent here. I’ll go into more detail about my experiences a bit later, but for now I’m excited to share these photos. This is also my ~official~ contributor photo for Nylon! Check it out! Shirt and sunglasses:: Urban Outfitters/ Shorts:: Hip Wa Zee/ Boots:: H&M/ Bandana:: VintageAll photos by my amazing friend Bree Burchfield.
Here’s to what’s next.
I’m small. I’m 5’6 and 110 pounds with a big attitude and even bigger eyes. I see things and I notice things and even though I may not seem like I’m always aware of my surroundings, I’m always in tune to how things make me feel. Living in a city like Columbia , South Carolina means that I’m a novelty. The biggest pick up line that people use on me is “I’ve seen you all over” or “I always see you on campus but you’re in your own world.” Fair enough- getting noticed works in my advantage (hello this is a blog after all.) But there’s a difference between being noticed and being creeped on because I present myself a certain way.
Case in point- Early Friday afternoon I was in my car outside of Walgreens, about to get out when I noticed a bro in front of my car, desperately trying to get my attention and talk to me. I furiously shook my head NO while avoiding all eye contact, only to see said bro come to the side of my window to try and talk to me. My heart was racing as I tried to plan an escape- should I just jump out of my passenger side and run for cover in the haven that is Walgreens? Eventually he got the picture and left- but not before I walked past him with a look of rage on my face without making any eye contact while going into Walgreens.
Here’s the thing- I don’t mind a compliment. I don’t mind a smile. But feeling blatantly objectified and disrespected and honestly SCARED is never fun. I don’t know who’s psycho and who’s not. I’m not sure if this bro is gonna pull out a knife or gun if I reject him- so I have to be civil. Dressing with confidence, dressing for MYSELF, does not give anyone else permission to make me feel uncomfortable. That’s not how it works.
After taking to Facebook to complain about getting hit on, I of course had another semi-terrifying encounter that night while trying to buy some flowers at Publix. I was getting out of my car and saw someone in a flannel and five panel walking towards me, while I was walking in from the parking lot. After many “hellos” which I ignored as I was walking inside (into safety) this older man decided to tell me he moved here from San Diego and had never seen a punk chic in Columbia I didn’t know what to say. I was trying to be civil as I rushed to the nearest aisle of the grocery store, while he was still following me, and then he asked if he could walk with me. I gave him the dead in the eyes look before finally saying I wasn’t interested and walking away, to which he replied “damnnnn” as I strutted down the aisle to take refuge in the wine section. After I was done shopping, I rushed to my car and thought I was safe until I looked to the car next to me as I was about to back out and saw this same man NEXT TO MY WINDOW. I started to roll my window up and he begged me not to, telling me he wasn’t a creep or a weirdo, and that he had never seen anyone like me in Columbia. I said he was hanging in the wrong area and that I needed to go. He kept calling me “so damn beautiful” as I frantically whipped my car into reverse and left the store.
SO- what’s the point of these ridiculously long and unnecessary stories? These experiences, these encounters happen to women everywhere. Not all men are like this, but YES- all women go through this sort of thing. And as a white women I can only sympathize with my sisters of other ethnicities and races who are objectified and discriminated on a level that I will never be able to fully comprehend. We can’t just scream F*** YOU because we’re scared of what will happen when we stand up for ourselves, and that in itself is terrifying. So what’s a girl to do? People tell me I look mean, or like a bitch- that I dress intimidatingly or scary. And you know why?! Because I don’t want people to mess with me!
One of the reasons I am so excited for this collab with Little Whip is because they stand for something I whole heartedly believe in- womanhood, unapologetic sexuality and power. By wearing pieces that are powerful and sensual I’m able to tap into both of those energies as I move through my day. Add to that the fact that this shirt is one of the softest things I own, and that I can pair it with pretty much anything and I’m hooked. Little Whip even has incredible pins like a whip (what else) and red lips. I’ll be blogging about those next week! But for now, I’m content pairing my cropped handcuff tee with some thigh high boots and an attitude that is unapologetic and confident. One that says- yes I love me but no, you don’t have to talk to me. Wearing something slightly “intimidating” means giving myself permission to worry and focus on myself- and not the creeps I have to keep away. So today, I am banishing the creeps. Thanks Little Whip.
Shirt:: LITTLE WHIP// Shorts:: Asos// Boots: Public Desire// Mesh and hat:: Vintage
Make sure to check out Little Whip’s amazing pieces HERE– AND don’t forget to check back next week for PART 2 of our collab.