Sunday, September 28

Behind The Music: All My Life

I’m the kind of girl who is in love with love. You know, Mr. Darcy and Miss Bennet, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan, Arwen and Aragorn kind of love. (I just realized Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly appear twice in those references. I sense a theme here…) I am so inspired by love stories in novels and those portrayed in timeless films, and have found that most of the songs that are most natural for me to write are about my personal relationships and the experiences I have falling in and out of love.

I feel that so often, the types of “love” we see in the media or in our social circles are the kind of lustful, fleeting emotions that don’t constitute true, lasting love. Relationships are centered around temporary personal satisfaction, rather than trusting, long term commitment, and this false sense of  “love” is what drives people into damaging and often unwise relationships with nothing to bind them together other than physical attraction or common interests.

One day I saw a video on YouTube called, “What is Love”, which tells the real-life story of an Australian couple named Bill & Glad who have spent a lifetime building a wonderful, deep relationship and celebrated 50 years of marriage together. I was so touched by Bill’s commitment to serving and loving his dear wife, who could no longer take care of herself, that I was brought to tears. I pulled out my guitar and watched the video on repeat, and started writing the love story that I felt was told in the video through song. I wrote the lyrics from my own perspective; they are what I want to say to the man I will love forever, the man I will spend the rest of my life and have a family with. I haven’t met him yet, but “All My Life” is the promise I hope to be able to exchange with the man I will honor and cherish and love as my husband in the future.

I’m so grateful to the channel who produced the “What is Love?” video, yesHEis, for allowing me to use the video that inspired me to hope for higher love. I am honored to be able to share Bill & Glad’s sweet story with our song and I hope many people can relate when they think of their sweetheart and forever love. Thanks also to our friend Luke Melrose, for filming us and the story of young Bill & Glad.

Real love is selfless, committed, patient, and is sealed with trust, total fidelity, and honor. This kind of love is what binds families together and allows us to become the people we have the potential to be. As we go through hard times, true love is what holds us together and helps us grow closer and eventually become completely unified. This is the kind of love I know I’ll find one day, if I am doing everything I can to be worthy of it. There is no need to settle for anything less than the Bill & Glad, “All My Life” kind of love. You are worth it!


Thursday, September 18

Leather, Leather and More Leather

Fall is here!!! 

I can't believe how fast this year is going by... Now fall out of all four seasons has a special place in my heart. Probably because my birthday is in September, the weather gets perfect for hiking, and I live in cardigans year-round, so now I'm not dying when I wear them. Anyways, my favorite trend this fall has to be leather leggings! They are so fun and versatile, and I wanted to share a few ways to wear a pair of your favorite leather leggings this year! Let's go crazy!!!
 Leather + Sweater = Texture Heaven   
Slip on your favorite knit sweater, your leather leggings, and a pair of rockin' boots, and you're ready for a night out in the fall chill! It looks dressy, but if you really look closely, it's just like normal leggings and a t-shirt! Ahhh! Comfort!!!! 

Forever21: Leggings  Marshalls: Similar (Sweater-red) Forever21: Boots

Let's take that comfort to a whole new level... 
So if you're anything like me, sometimes you have those mornings where you don't feel like getting ready, and it's a toss between leggings and sweats. Leather leggings make it look like you tried when you're secretly in your PJ's! Sounds like a win-win to me. Pair your lazy leggings with a comfy tank and soft cardigan, and put on your favorite sneakers. If you want to add a little edge to it, grab a hat on the way out the door and a chunky bracelet. 

 Forever21: Leggings  Tank  H&M: Similar (cardigan) H&M: Similar (hat) Target: Similar (shoes)

So what about a good in-between you ask? Well I'll give you a good in-between... 
Shoes are my weakness. SHOES ARE A BEAUTIFUL THING! Haha! No, but shoes really can singlehandedly make an outfit fierce, girly, edgy, simple, preppy, fancy... you name it. So to make a good in-between outfit for anytime of day, make it simple and then add a great pair of shoes. If you have a simple shirt on don't be afraid to play with accessories! 

Forever21: Leggings Brandy: Similar (shirt) Marshalls: Similar (shoes)

Happy Fall Everyone! I can't wait to see how you wear your leather leggings this year! 
<3 Mandi

Wednesday, September 10

Eating Our Way Through San Francisco

We got to spend this past weekend in Merced and San Francisco, California! After getting to play a fun show on Friday, we had a day to explore the beautiful San Fran. Naturally, we chose to experience the culture of the city by eating. All. Day. Long!

We stumbled upon the most adorable cafe called "Dolce Amore". I fell in love immediately- all of the desserts in the window were a work of art (and they tasted amazing too!). I would highly highly recommend that you stop by if you're ever in the San Fran area. You won't regret it!

These chocolates reminded us of Willy Wonka. The flavors were incredible!

The best macarons we've ever tasted!

Yes. I am walking as fast as I can to Sushi. Trust me, you would be too if you tried this melt-in-your-mouth fishy goodness! Nara (the restaurant name) ruined sushi in general for me, because I'm afraid if I ever want to eat it again it will have to be here or Japan. I would really consider taking a trip back to this magical city just for a dinner appointment with Sebastian and Flounder. Oh that's terrible! I can't believe I just said that... Anyways, to those of you who don't like sushi, have you ever had it in San Francisco? And to those of you who have never had it, don't be scared to give it a try, it's one of my absolute favorites! 
<3 Mandi

THE BEST California Rolls I've ever eaten. They were incredibly fresh and the balance of flavors was quite the experience. If you're a sushi beginner, I would recommend starting with that. Everything is cooked, but still great! For sushi long-timers, the sashimi was thick, very much raw, and so delicious! You would love it!

I always go for anything Eel when out for sushi! Whatever that amazing BBQ/Teriyaki sauce was that covered this tempura, avocado goodness filled the cracks of my heart! This picture doesn't do this roll justice. It's my new all-time favorite! 

Our last stop was at Ghirardelli Square! It was so charming; the smell of warm chocolate was in the air throughout the complex, and the stores tempted us with boxes and bags and tins of every kind of chocolate imaginable! I was in heaven. In the ice cream shop, you can watch the chocolate used for the hot fudge sundaes being made. A must see for any dessert lover!
The ocean was calling us across the street from the square, so we ate our chocolate overlooking the piers with our toes in the sand. A sweet way to end our adventure in San Fran!

You can watch the chocolate used for the hot fudge sundaes go through the final stages of mixing and processing. The smell is AMAZING!

Friday, September 5

Black Magic

Two words: chocolate cake. Thank heavens for being in a big family. A big family means an automatic 10+ cakes a year. Mandi’s birthday cake this year was unreal: dark chocolate cake and frosting as black as the cat hair Hermoine used in her polyjuice potion in the Chamber of Secrets. Straight up black magic, people.

I wore these adorable boots for the first time last weekend at our show in LA. Before the show started I tried to sneak out the venue and unfortunately was seen by the whole front row tripping down the invisible stairs out the door and falling flat on my face. Let me tell you, it was a spectacle. "Break a leg" took on a whole new meaning. Classic!
Let's talk about my shirt. Let me tell's SO soft, sort of like a rub-it-against-your-face suede material. This outfit is so comfortable I literally wear variations of it every day. Leggings, t-shirt. Leggings, t-shirt. Sometimes you mix it up with a little leggings, t-shirt, EGYPTIAN PRINCESS NECKLACE. BAM. ("That's So Raven" reference). Add some easily walkable heels and suddenly I look like I'm trying. Little do you know this is also my PJ's.


 tee: Brandy Melville (similar)  Forever21: leggingsshoes, necklace (similar)

Monday, August 25

Back to School!

The time has come for lunches to be packed, empty notebooks to be filled, new friends to be made, tests to be taken, and books to be read. Starting a new school year is a chance to reset your goals and try a little harder to be a better student, athlete, musician, actor, or friend.
Here's some of our advice to get things off to a good start!

It's that time already, kids! School time, that is. 
My School Style: When it comes to school clothes, I've never been one to really dress up for the occasion. In fact, all throughout high school I really only wore sweatshirts, jeans, and boots every day (I'm for real). I like to be comfortable at school. Plus let's be real- at 6 am nobody has energy to pick out a cute complicated outfit. Except for Mandi.  And Hailey. Ok maybe I'm alone in this haha. 
My Advice: This year just remember to be yourself! Be kind to others, make new friends, and don't waste time trying to fit in. Your real friends will love you just the way you are. Be good, and study hard! Here's to the school year! And to sweatpants! Joggers are my new best friend ;)
xoxo Allie

top: Forever 21  joggers: Aerie  jacket: Cotton On (similar)  Shoes: H&M  phone case: Amazon

 Wake Up! Wake Up! First Day Of School!!! First Day Of School!!!! I can't believe it's already here. 
My School Style: Unlike my sister Allie, I've always looked at school as an opportunity to get ready. Gosh we are so different. Maybe my OCD got the best of me, but I always had my outfit picked out the night before so it was easy to get ready and get out on time. I love simple comfortable outfits with one statement accessory that gives the illusion that you're all dressed up. Shoes are my weakness. Boots with a great pair of high-waisted jeans, and a simple shirt will do the trick! 
My Advice: Although clothes are so much fun, school is really all about making memories and developing yourself in as many areas as possible. Challenge yourself this year! Step outside of your little box and try something new! Get involved, have so much fun this year, study hard, and look for someone who needs a friend! Good Luck!!!! 
  <3 Mandi

top: Qrew (similar)   jeans: Delias  boots: Forever 21  backpack: T.J.Maxx (similar)

 Mandi stole my Finding Nemo quote. Dang it.
My School Style: Although I love to get dressed up every once in a while, my go-to school outfits consisted of jeans, comfy oversize shirts, and a cute pair of sneakers. I don't know why most teachers like to try to simulate a trip to Antarctica by dropping the temperature of the classroom below zero, but you can easily fight the frostbite with a cute scarf and cardigan to keep warm without looking like a snow bunny. A simple braid is a great school hairstyle; it's easy to transition from gym class to English without having to completely re-do your hair in the middle of the day!
My Advice: Growing up, first day of school usually fell on my birthday, but I learned to make the best of it and enjoy myself at school even if it wasn't easy! Choosing to have a good attitude every day can make all the difference. School for me was never a great social experience, but I learned to enjoy the good friends I did have and get the most out of my education by taking good notes with my colorful pens and reading novels under my desk when I finished my assignments early. Choose to be happy every day!

tee: Brandy Melville, jeans: AE, scarf: Urban Outfitters  (similar), watch: UO (similar), shoes: UO