Passion – in other forms

Passion: strong or powerful emotion.

Being very emotional is a blessing and a curse. I can easily connect with others because of my empathy. I can get my feelings hurt pretty easily, too. I know that I am an incredibly strong person but I will cry at the drop of a hat, haha.

Passion flowers are my favorite. If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing one you are missing out. They grow on vines with little curly wisps. Passion flowers are intricate and delicate little specimens. A true wonder of Mother Earth.

The vine also produces my favorite fruit, passion-fruit. It is amazing! It sucks not having my own plant because buying the fruit in grocery stores is expensive. I’m talking $3 for a golf ball sized fruit! It’s worth it to be honest.

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Seattle (July 2016)

Seattle is wet and wonderful. There is something so fresh about a downtown in a rainy city. The streets are so clean. Even in July there was a gloom that lingered above us. Having lived in Los Angeles for the past seven years, I welcomed the colder weather. Los Angeles is probably one of the driest, if not the driest cities in the United States. And let me tell you, it’s really dirty because of it. Walking down the street in Hollywood you can smell trash and human urine, it’s unpleasant. When I walked around downtown Seattle it felt really nice and crisp.

I believe one of the business districts was called Belmont. We stayed there within walking distance to Pike’s Place Market. It’s a quintessential downtown with skyscrapers, street-art and waterfront views. Our AirBNB was in a really nice, brand new apartment building with a gorgeous kitchen, modern bathroom and a private balcony. I was quite impressed and became curious what it would cost to live there. I found a listing on their website and a two bedroom was about 25% cheaper than my 1940’s one bedroom in LA. Jealous!!

My favorite part of the trip had to be the day we took the ferry to Bainbridge Island. We went exploring in the Grand Forest. Breathtaking. I felt like I was at home in the redwoods and ferns. I didn’t hear or see any wildlife that I can remember. Maybe they were hiding.

Enjoy these photos of me that were taken by my dear friend, Kyle Laddusaw.

See more of my pictures on Instagram  @carlyhollas

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Stranded in the Desert (a pictorial)

When in the desert, one must take advantage of the opportunity for a photo shoot. Especially, when you are stuck in traffic on the way home so you drive off the freeway as soon as possible and pass a strange, lonely, abandoned couch. I don’t want to think about what might have been on it… Either way, it made for a great prop.

What makes the desert so magical to me, other than the natural beauty, is the wind turbines. Clean power is possible! Renewable energy is so important to sustaining life on this planet! We need to keep the oil, coal and the gas in the ground!!! Who knows what will happen if we take it all out. It’s probably there for a reason. Our soil in Southern California is so parched, it cracks. I believe everything is just where it’s meant to be, it all adds specific properties to our spectacular Earth. Please do your part. If you are a homeowner, why not invest in clean energy that will save you so much money down the line! Let’s end our dependence on fossil fuels!

Enjoy! Oh, and shout out to my co-star, my dog Mary Jane. She was the real MVP of this shoot. Just look at the great close-ups of her at the end.

A special thanks to Kyle Laddusaw for making the weekend getaway possible for myself and my girlfriends. Also, for being a good sport and taking these pictures for me. I know I’m a bit of a perfectionist with my creative direction, yet with patience he has learned my style well, and now we capture some lovely images as a team. Thank you.

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Santa Monica EXPO Line Expansion

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Carly Hollas | 2016

I am proud of Santa Monica and Metro for coming together and making transportation in LA a little more pedestrian friendly! On May 20th, 2016 the Metro Rail Expo Line was expanded all the way west to Santa Monica from it’s (previously) last stop in Culver City.

I am so hyped for the purple line expansion, it will be super close to me along Wilshire Boulevard. I wonder how far west it will be going?

At first, when I heard about the expansion to Santa Monica, I had assumed it would be the Purple Line. In retrospect, it makes sense that they had to start a little further south to get homeowner approval. Wilshire cuts through Beverly Hills and Westwood on the way to Santa Monica. I could imagine residents there might put up a fuss about public transportation through THEIR neighborhoods.

The city of Santa Monica created a whole new lovely path to the beach and the pier directly from the last stop. The trail is adorn with a winding yellow brick road and delicate strings of lights that hang above. I can only imagine how fanciful it must feel at night.

There are some unfinished touches remaining. For example, when you must cross the street, there are no buttons hooked up yet to press. We can’t yet signal our presence for a protected cross. The poles have areas that will apparently hold them, but have yet to be filled.

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Carly Hollas | 2016

And what is up with the power-tripping rent-a-cops at the Downtown Santa Monica station?! Intrusive and unprofessional was the vibe I got from one that I interacted with on Father’s Day afternoon.

I was in a hurry and I kept to the right. There were three of them shoulder to shoulder blocking my exit. The fattest one had the nerve to say to me, “Louis Vuitton, what did that cost you, $1,500?” “It was my grandmother’s,” I retorted. What I WANTED to say was “it’s not like that is any of your business! Scan my tap card and get the fuck out of my way!!!” I know someone is going to say I am feeling sorry for myself, but I consider that harassment!

I was forced to interact with him because he was blocking my path to exit. I had paid my fare with my weekly Metro pass and that is the only thing he needs to know about me, ever. There was a guy that must have gotten off the train behind me because he passed by my flustered ass and said to me, “he let you go?” This is my point exactly! I did nothing wrong, yet this oaf of a man thought he could treat me like a low-life. It was completely unwarranted public interrogation.

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Carly Hollas | 2016

On a side note: I noticed a sort of colony of transients overwhelming one entire large corner facing the ocean along a newly constructed seating area. The homeless have always resided in the park there overlooking the pier, but now they have expanded. I bet some hitched a ride out of DTLA on the Metro rail, too.

Yes, the reality of improving public transportation means nice areas will be more accessible to people of ALL KINDS. And that is okay. We should rally together and do whatever it takes to get more people out of private vehicles and onto public transit. Less cars means less smog! I think we can agree that a reduction of smog and an increase of exercise is good for us all.

Yay, Santa Monica! Keep up the good work! Keep setting a great example for sustainable cities. Please disregard the disgruntled citizens that can’t seem to grasp the bigger picture as the rest of us can. Go Metro!

Thanks for reading!

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Carly Hollas | 2016

Priority check for the day:

  1. Public transportation takes a little getting used to but saves us from lots of stress in the long-run. Yes, we may be used to the comfort of personal vehicles but do we ever get used to traffic or the relentless search for parking spots? I didn’t think so. Clean air is always a good idea. 🙂

 

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Melrose Place

Melrose Place feels a little magical.

I went to lunch at Fig and Olive on the corner of Melrose Place and La Cienega the other week. I bused it from Fairfax & 3rd west to La Cienega. Since I was quite presumptuous about the amount of time it would take me to get there, I had plenty of time to kill. Deciding to hoof it north from 3rd street, I took up the narrow path of shade created from the buildings on the right side of the street.

My friend lived over by Melrose place a few years ago, but I always drove to her. I had never previously spent any time exploring Melrose Place by foot. To my delight, it was a beautiful place filled with gorgeous people.

Narrow sidewalks are lined with well-groomed trees.  Quaint alleys with symmetrical vine-covered walls give it a whimsical feel. The whole street screamed “storybook vibes.” I was very happy to see bees peacefully enjoying the lavender plants.

Being a hot Summer day, I was parched from my walk. One of the most amazing things about Los Angeles is the bounty of health food joints and fresh juice stores. Alfred is an adorable hub for young, attractive Angelinos. Fake flowers bloom on a decorative accent wall. Trendy nuances pop from all angles. The barista was sweet. Leaving was regrettable. I wished that I could have spent some more time there.

On the opposite side of the street, I enjoyed walking through dream kitchens and bathroom replications. The chef in me was taking note of what I want in my future home. The showroom I had stumbled on reeked of success and modern design. Roses adorned the nearby path out front.

There is a very exclusive tone to the neighborhood. I didn’t do any shopping, nor did I dare browse the pricey boutiques. There was a bit of window shopping, but I get the feeling I smell poor or something every time I enter a fancy store. Either I get completely ignored, or I get followed around like a sketchy criminal. Note to self: dress a little nicer.

That was basically my entire self-guided mini tour of Melrose Place. The urge to scrawl notes came over me. Those notes led me to write this. I hope you enjoyed hearing about the famed street.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Priority checks of the day:

  1. Take a little more pride in your appearance. A trivial boost of effort goes a long way for improving overall morale.
  2. Set higher goals. Success does not make you a bad person. Success is a form of self-love and it is okay to want to do better.

 

 

 

Home Studio

Weeee! I had a lot of fun yesterday putting together a little home studio setup. A brightly colored twin-size flat sheet makes for a perfect low cost backdrop. I nailed three hooks on a beam in my living room, where I can hang different backdrops for photography and taping auditions.

My lovely girlfriends, the Baker Twins, were kind enough to let me borrow one of their ring lights! I had to put on makeup for another event yesterday, so I decided to take advantage of that and update my headshots. I went with the purple this time.

I think they turned out well! What about you?

Where will you find an opportunity this week to circumvent needing help or spending money by performing a task yourself?

 

CARLYHOLLAS.COM coming soon!!!!!

Fall Harvest

At the end of the summer I planted some greens for the Fall Harvest. I live in Southern California. Dino Kale, Baby Kale, Spinach and Arugula all grow well in my zone this time of year. These varieties were started from seed and in addition, I had one plug of purple lettuce (not sure what kind) that I got from a market in San Juan Capistrano. My older Chives, Parsley, Jalapeno and Tulsi Kapoor are also doing quite well.

You have no idea how thoroughly stoked I was when I got to make a salad comprised of my own fall harvest! It is so rewarding to eat fresh, organic food grown right at home. Happy girl!

Making My Halloween Costume

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Halloween, the only time of the year that it is acceptable to dress in skanky costumes in public. It is also a prime time for costume companies to force overpriced consumerism down our throats. For adult women a costume, that many will only wear once, costs an upwards of $70-300. Such a joke. Another major thing to point out is that we usually have no idea how these costumes are made… Are they made in sweatshops? By forced labor? With harsh chemicals that are polluting our environment? I totally think the fast fashion model we are currently using is unsustainable and wholly flawed.

I did not get the nickname Hand-Me-Down Princess for no reason. Growing up I relied on friends, my mom’s clients’ children and my brother’s girlfriend’s old clothing for my wardrobe. Heck, I even wore my brothers leftovers. While I may not have been the most fashionable, I always had my own unique style. I took what I was given and I made it work, for me. One skill I gained from living in other people’s discards was learning how to sew. I was practically sisters with my neighbors, the triplets, and they were always kind enough to lend or give me their clothes. The only problem was, they are 4’9″-4’11” and they hem their pants! At 5’9,” I am an entire foot taller than they are. High waters are not cute. 🙂

Clothing alteration became an enjoyable hobby for me. If I had a piece that I had worn for a while but wasn’t into that particular style anymore, I would simply change it. Cut it up. Rip it. Sew it. You name it, I probably did it. It’s crazy how a slit can bring new life to a skirt. Or how an ill-fitting dress can be turned into a tailored two piece outfit. I had fun with it. I got compliments, often!

I also made clothing from scratch. Picking your own fabric and bringing life to it is so gratifying! Jo-Ann and Michaels are convenient places to buy fabric, but the Downtown Los Angeles Fashion District is really fun to explore! Michael Levine is probably my favorite fabric store. I have quite a few unfinished projects that I’m sure I will get around to at some point.

This year for Halloween I made myself a Belle costume. You know, that Disney Princess from Beauty and The Beast? Yes, I know it’s a pretty basic/typical girl costume but the idea came to me rather organically. I vowed to not buy any clothing in stores for the entire year (2015) so I have been trolling Yerdle. Yerdle is an app where you give away unwanted items in exchange for credit to claim other people’s items. On Yerdle, I found this pretty yellow formal dress and for some reason it called to me. It was not my size, and I could not think of any occasion that I could actually wear it, but I got it anyway. When it arrived, I started thinking that it would make a pretty Belle costume!

I rifled through my old box of fabric scraps and found some sparkly mesh that I envisioned to be perfect for sleeves. With a little TLC, my Yerdle find has blossomed into a lovely custom costume. Here are the pictures of it’s transition. This is not really a typical DIY tutorial. I did not take great photos, I just used my iPhone to document it’s progress. I am very happy with the results! I wore it to the Karma Foundation and Maxim Magazine annual Halloween Party in Bel Air.

Before.
Before.
Step 1) Alter to fit waist
Step 1) Alter to fit waist
Sleeves
Sleeves
Step 2) Add sleeves
Step 2) Add sleeves
Step 3) Add ruching up the front
Step 3) Add ruching up the front

I hope this has inspired you to re-purpose some of the clothing in your closet! Please think twice before filling our landfills with textiles! Clothing can always be altered, up-cycled, traded, donated, used as rags or even stuffed into an old sweater to become a dog bed. Have fun expressing your creativity and individuality. Embrace art and life.

Let’s Re-prioritize!

Simple Greek Salad

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So, I made this (Dairy-Free) Greek Salad and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have always been partial to Mediterranean cuisine, but I cannot say that I had ever had a Greek Salad without Feta before! The recipe was from, you guessed it, The 10 Day Detox Diet Cookbook by Mark Hyman M.D..

The recipe actually called for Spanish Mackerel. When I asked the guy at the Whole Foods Seafood counter if they had any Mackerel he looked at me like I was crazy. He told me he uses Mackerel for bait when he’s fishing! Whatever man, I try to keep my seafood low mercury and sustainable so chill out. Before anyone goes off on a tangent about how unsustainable seafood really is, I already know. I am privy to the fact that our extreme overfishing practices leave the fish populations no time to recover. I am eating a lot less seafood these days. Just saw Cowspiracy too, so it was a nice reminder.

Well, I hope you enjoy this lovely Vegan Greek Salad! I know that we did. Although, I do not know why Kyle is wearing a blanket… There was something about this organic Romaine lettuce that I used that just made the salad to die for. I have never been the biggest Romaine fan, but I can say this Romaine I got at the South Coast Farms stand was the best I have ever had!

I like run-on sentences, don’t judge me.