Today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite [not-so] secret spots: the flower mart in downtown Los Angeles.

WHAT: The Flower Mart
WHERE: 754 Wall Street, Los Angeles

You can find tons of fresh flowers at a wholesale rate- I buy Hydrangea bouquets for $6.50 at the flower mart vs spending $16+ at a grocery store! This place should be added to your list of weekend stops if you live in downtown LA [or just want to come down to brunch / buy flowers].



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PRO TIPS: bring cash, there is usually a cash only admission fee [unless you get there right before closing] and go early- it’s a morning / early afternoon activity only!

Also- these photos may look like you’re in flower heaven, but really you’re in a warehouse in the thick of downtown la. It’s definitely not glamorous- but it’s worth it!

Book a flight and spend NYE on a beach in another country: check!

I spent New Years Eve in the Dominican Republic at the Melia Caribe Tropical resort in Punta Cana. My sister and I loved the idea of creating a new holiday tradition + had been planning on doing a trip for the last year. We stayed at The Level [the adults only section of the resort] and spent the holiday drinking coconuts on a private beach- so much better than the snowy new years eve’s I’m used to. Here are some pictures from my trip!
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We’re already starting to plan our next vacation. Have any favorite spots? Let me know!

Hey guys! Today’s post is going to be a gift guide for the holidays! The best gifts to me are gifts that are personal- and gifts that are useful. I personally love receiving things that I would always want, but wouldn’t necessarily splurge on for myself. I’ve decided today’s gift guide will be filled with items that could be beneficial to anyone!

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BEAUTY:
Brushes- every woman could use new brushes in her beauty arsenal. From full sets to miniature editions [like the mini beauty blenders available in the check out line at sephora] this is a gift that most women would appreciate!
Skin care- Eye masks that are something that already appear glam, but this set from Iluminage actually DOES help bring the phrase ‘beauty sleep’ to life. This satin-soft eye mask [also available as silky pillow cases!] is infused with copper technology that has been proven to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It minimizes aging while promoting a more youthful appearance in as little as four weeks, making this the perfect gift for any of the females in your life- especially for any friends that tend to get less sleep or love skin care! They’re also running a promotion for 30% off for the holidays- use the code carly30 to get 30 percent off your order!

PERFUME:
I personally love fragrance, but rarely let myself spend the money to buy myself new scents making this the perfect type of gift! Some of my favorite scents:
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille / Dior Addict for night [both dark, smoky vanillas]
Chloe for day [the original Chloe scent- clean and fresh]

TECHNOLOGY:
Any kind of technology gifts are amazing because we all use it!
Portable Phone Chargers: you can never have too many of these, and so many people STILL don’t carry one. Help ensure that your friend texts you back by giving them no excuses
Headphones: I had personally been wanting beats headphones forever, but wouldn’t buy them for myself. My brother purchased them for me and I have used them non stop!

HOME:
Candles are an easy gift that are always a welcomed addition. Who doesn’t want their home to smell nicely? Diptyque has beautiful candles + will be appreciated by the aesthetic driven, anthropologie also has some great options that double as decor!

GIFT CARDS:
When in doubt, this is a fail safe option as a gift. Gift cards to their favorite coffee shop will be a gift they will immediately use and love. Or you could do something nice and purchase a gift card for a spa treatment- who doesn’t love a massage or a mani / pedi?

Hope you guys enjoyed this gift guide!

Today’s post is featuring one of my favorite spaces in my loft! I’ve been working on making over my office area in my apartment for quite some time + today is the day I can finally share it with you!

My bedroom used to be on the lower level, but I moved it upstairs + have been transforming the space into an office for the last few months. Was waiting to find the perfect pieces + that of course didn’t come without some classic disasters [my desk top was lost in shipping, etc]. Now that I’ve finally got all of the pieces together, it’s time for the reveal!

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I’m someone who is very affected by their surroundings- it’s almost impossible for me to work if my apartment is cluttered or disorganized. I needed to create a space that was clean and organized, but also comfortable. For me, that means also having fresh flowers + a scent for the room to make it feel relaxed. My current favorites: hydrangeas and Juicy Couture’s Viva La Juicy. I like to spray this throughout my office to make it more inviting and enjoyable to spend long periods of time in.

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In case you were wondering about this scent, it has notes of sandalwood + vanilla [right up my scent alley. All of my scents usually have some mix of woody slash sweet vibes] but it isn’t overwhelming dark or sweet- it’s light enough to wear all day or spray throughout a room. It also has some floral notes, which match beautifully with the fresh flowers. I’m really happy with the combination!

This is one of my favorite sections in my loft because it’s so inspiring to me- I actually want to sit and work in here! This room definitely makes ‘work’ feel a little bit more like a celebration :)

Click below for links to items shown.
->Viva La Juicy Perfume
->Desk
->Office Chair
->Display Tray
->Wall Mosaics

You know that I’m constantly switching up my nail designs + trying out new looks.
This week’s manicures is one of my favorite yet!

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I love white marble- my coffee table is white marble, my youtube banner is white marble. I mean, it’s all of my favorite colors and instagram theme all rolled into one. Of course I love it. So it was only a matter of time until it made its way on to my nails!

HOW TO:
My manicure is a gel manicure with two coats of white gel polish. Once the white polish was done, my nail artist used- wait for it- a permanent marker to create the marble design. What?! Crazy, right? We’ve all seen the marble nails created by dropping polish into water, but this version was done with a marker and some water.

To replicate: First she drew a black line with a permanent marker, then she sprayed water over it with a spray bottle. The marker began to run + turned that light grey color that you now see on the nails. She continued this process until we were happy with the design!

She finished with a gel top coat to set the marker.

Hope you guys enjoyed this polish post! Would love to know if you recreate this look!

Today’s post is all about finding your personal style! Fashion + style are two of my biggest passions. I’ve been creating fashion videos on YouTube for 5 years, I’ve had a style blog for 4 years, and now this is the first year that I’ve actually begun designing a clothing line [bee-tee-dubs, I still can’t believe that I can say that]. Whether you’re someone who loves fashion or someone who doesn’t know where to even start, I hope my post can you help be more comfortable in your style!

I have always loved fashion. I remember being seven years old + drawing up the designs for what I wanted to be my fashion line. I wore a gold lamé 2 piece + a tiara to school on my 8th birthday- apparently sparkles have always been my thing. But I didn’t know they were always my thing. In fact, I didn’t know that I had this extremely identifiable style until I started blogging! It wasn’t until I began posting regular photos of my outfits + reading your comments that I began to understand what I was ‘known for’. I would receive hundreds of messages and pictures of something sequined with messages like ‘this screams Carly’ ‘this is so you’ and I would be like *GASP*- that IS so me! I AM obsessed with sparkles! I DO always wear black! I’ve always known what I liked, but you guys really helped me label what I would call my personal style [I’d call it casual glamour].

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I tell you guys this because that’s how fashion and personal style should be. You should be sticking to pieces that make you feel great. Is there any particular fabric you just love? Sequins, Flannel, Denim? My favorite thing about personal style is that it let’s you show the world who you want to be. You get to communicate so much about who you are as a person without even saying a word. My top two questions I would ask when it comes to style are-

1. Is there a specific way you want to feel when you get dressed? [confident, comfortable?] 

2. Who do you want to be that day?

-When I ask ‘who do you want to be’ I mean dress for your dreams, not dress for other people’s acceptance.
Ex: Do you have a job interview coming up? Dress like the powerful business woman that you are! That’s the incredible thing about fashion: it allows you to feel the way you want to about yourself. It’s not about what you’re wearing, or who you’re wearing- it’s about how YOU feel when you’re in it. The right outfit or right dress can make you feel ready to take on the world. When you’re confident and comfortable in your own skin, you are unstoppable!

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The key to finding your personal style isn’t necessarily about nailing down a specific look or title. It’s about knowing how you want to feel and knowing what pieces accomplish that. Here are some of my tips on finding what works for you + feeling great every day!

1. What do you want to be known as?
Each day you have a chance to decide who you want to be. Keep this in mind when you’re shopping for pieces for work + other events!

2. How do you want to feel when you’re in the outfit?
Do you want to feel comfortable? Confident? Chic? When you’re looking for pieces that match the occasion you’re dressing for [work, dinners, events, etc] try to find pieces in that category that make you feel this way as well.

 

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3. Find what works best for your body
It becomes much easier to dress yourself once you know what works best on your figure and how you like your body to look. For example: I KNOW that I like higher waisted pieces or looser fits. I’m not the biggest fan of my shape, so I like to accentuate my legs vs my hips. You’ll see me in a lot of dresses cinched at the waist, or in looser fits like tunics. I don’t like how I look in tighter, more body-con styles. I don’t even bother trying those types on! Find what works for you + stick to it.

For example: this romper is something that combines all of my favorites into one: high waisted, leg accentuating, waist defining, comfortable AND all black. It’s relaxed AND flattering!

4. Have go-to outfits
Have some staple looks in your closet that you know you feel great in. For me this is an LBD [or LBR!] and a couple more casual outfits. If I’m ever having an ‘off’ day, I know I feel great in these + I can throw them on in a rush.

 

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I hope my tips on finding your style could help you! Do you know what your personal style is? Do you have any specific pieces that make you feel great when you’re wearing them? Let me know in the comments! Xx

Pieces from this outfit:
-> Romper
-> Ankle Boots
-> Hat
-> Bag

Today’s restaurant profile comes out of downtown LA. If you follow me on snapchat, you know that I lovingly refer to DTLA as District 13 [because it’s practically a war zone!] but there’s actually a ton of cute coffee and brunch spots buried within all the craziness. Zinc is one of those places!

WHAT: Zinc Cafe
WHERE: 580 S Mateo St. Los Angeles
TRY: Breakfast Avocado Toast + poached eggs. Breakfast potatoes.

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DTLA has a bunch of great places to stop + grab coffee and this is definitely one of the cutest. Think of this as the hipster’s Urth Caffe, because Urth is just so mainstream + you liked Urth way before it became insta-famous.

If you follow me on snap, you’ve also definitely seen me complain about this place. I went in after breakfast hours and asked for avocado toast, only to be told they didn’t have any and, despite the restaurant having both bread AND avocados, I couldn’t order it. Double you tee eff. I then saw avocado toast in the cafeteria style line and when I asked what exactly that special item was called, they looked at me and in all dead seriousness said:

“That’s our lunch avocado toast. You asked if you could have the breakfast avocado toast”.

I can’t.
[..but I can, and I am].

My favorite part: besides the fact that I can get avocado toast + a french press, I can GRAM the coffee the size of my face because THE TABLES ARE ALREADY GREY! You heard me. So on brand right now.

Downfall: No wifi. In all fairness, not many brunch restaurants typically have wifi, but I only mention the lack of it because otherwise I would definitely spend my work-from-home days out on their terrace posted up with MacDaddy + some coffee refills. The sadness.

Let me know if you try Zinc or any of my other brunch favs!
xx

 

 

IT’S ALMOST THE WEEKEND, WHERE AM I BRUNCHING!?

If you’re anything like me, that’s definitely what you’re thinking right now [I mean, I created the #BrunchIsMyFavoriteHoliday hashtag to commemorate just HOW MUCH I love brunch!]

If you live in LA or have plans to visit soon, this post is perfect for you!

WHAT: Square One Dining
WHERE: 4854 Fountain Ave, Los Angeles
TRY: Portobello Benedict

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Square One is one of my favorite default spots in LA. There’s patio seating, the food is incredible and the coffee is strong and on refill– you’re basically set for life.

My favorite? The portobello benedict. Omg. My favorite eggs benedict yet. I tried to switch out the frisee for bacon + they weren’t having it. My friend was like: ‘did you just try to switch out salad for bacon?’ Yes. Yes I did. Regardless, still my favorite. It’s THAT good!

PRO TIP: try to get there before 10:30am otherwise you will definitely be waiting in line.
PRO PRO TIP: if you still haven’t found a crew of friends that are down with sharing all of their entrees, that’s rude, but at least try to get them to make baby steps! Order french toast for the table- their french toast with seasonal hot toppings [fruits that are currently in season] is always BOMB.

Happy brunching!

Backpacks have been my jam this season. I love being able to have a ton of stuff on me but have the flexibility of not having to actually hold it. I tend to keep my laptop with me during the day, and girl- there is no way I’m holding that in a bag on my arm. Hayell. No.

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We’re not talking about your old Jansport here [except I’m going to pretend I’m cool because I had a black North Face backpack when I was in school. How fancy of me.] We’re talking about fashion backpacks. And the invention of fashion backpacks have been a lifesaver. I can fit my laptop, my planner [yes, I carry a physical planner] as well as all of my other electronics and throw it on my back and call it fashion. Yasssss. Here are some of my favorite backpacks for fall! bestfallbackpacks 1. Rebecca Minkoff: Julian 
2. Rebecca Minkoff: Mini MAB
3. Kate Spade: Charley 
4. Aldo Backpack
5. Grafea: Leather Hari

Are you as into backpacks as I am? Let me know!

Hey guys! This topic is something that is very personal to me, considering perfectionism has been something I’ve struggled with my entire life. I’m literally struggling with it right now as I attempt to write this article- I want it to be worded perfectly, I want it to convey the perfect points, I want it to be the perfect mix between witty and serious. Backspace, backspace, backspace. Delete, delete, delete. Before I know it, it’s been thirty minutes and I still haven’t written a complete sentence.

I believe that perfectionism and passion are inherently intertwined- it’s pretty obvious that you deeply care about something if you want it to be the best that it can be. Don’t get me wrong- there is absolutely nothing wrong with striving to do your best. I absolutely think that you should try your hardest in the situations put in front of you. Whether it’s a paper assigned in a class, a job you’re currently at, a chore that your parents have given you— you should do it to the best of your ability. There is, however, a difference between the best of your ability and needing to do the task perfectly..

Passion strives to create.
Passion encourages growth.
Passion pushes you forward.

Perfectionism inhibits experimentation.
Perfectionism leads to procrastination.
Perfectionism paralyzes you with fear.

CarlyCristman

I’m passionate about design, style and pretty much any form of communication. I’m also passionate about sharing my experiences with my viewers. My struggle with perfectionism literally stops me from doing the things that I love most: creating. expressing. communicating. Instead of focusing on what I’m doing, I’m focusing on how I’m doing it. Perfectionism ultimately changes passion into process and it causes you to spend more time thinking about how the end result will look vs why the end the result matters. I almost didn’t film my break up story because I was so concerned with wording it just right! I finally woke up and said to myself ‘the point isn’t that you deliver a beautiful speech. The point is that this experience could help somebody else’.

Ultimately what I’ve learned is that perfectionism is rooted in pride.

You might be thinking right now- hold on Carly. Pride? I’m sitting here feeling bad about myself and you’re telling me that is pride?!

Yep.

Perfectionism turns joy from passion into a negative focus on yourself [It’s still selfish, regardless if the focus is positive or negative].

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We start to worry about how others will view our work, if it will be good enough, if WE will be good enough. Often times we end up completely avoiding what we want to do, because we’d rather not do it at all if it can’t be ‘perfect’ -which, by the way, is borderline crazy. ‘If I can’t do it perfectly, I won’t do it at all!’ right- because 0% is so much better than 85%. [I’m no math whiz, but I think it’s pretty obvious which one is actually better there].

But that’s the lie that perfectionism tells you: that it can be perfect, and it shouldn’t exist if it isn’t. The title of this article is ‘how to not be perfect’, and that’s because I want to break the very lie that perfectionism tries to tell you:

Perfectionism:
This can be perfect.
This should be perfect.
I don’t want people associating me with something that is not perfect.

Reality:
You are not perfect.
You can not be perfect.
You will never be perfect.
And that should be so freeing!

Once you realize that there is no perfect moment, or perfect way to do things you are free to truly start embracing your passions and living your life free of an impossible standard. Your desire to do what you love well should not stop you from doing what you love completely. If you feel fear and perfectionism beginning to creep in, ask yourself these questions:

1. What do I need to do this task well?

If it’s a paper for school, do you need to outline the points you’ll be writing? It’s always best to organize and write down what you already have. Jot down the points you want to make. Begin to fill in what thoughts you’ll use to support this argument. You can edit something that is there, but you absolutely can’t hand in a blank page.

If you want to film videos, do you have a camera that works? Are you filming somewhere with decent lighting?

You might think that you can’t start a youtube channel without professional equipment, or your waiting for the ‘right time’. You will miss out on so much if you wait for the ‘perfect time’ to start your channel! I have had my channel for 5+ years, and I can tell you that I haven’t felt that any of my videos have been perfect. Some days I want to go and delete all of my videos. You won’t grow into who you want to be unless you start with who you are.

2. What is holding you back?

Are there some materials you need that you don’t have? Are you not as prepared as you should be? ..or are you just afraid of the result? Are you afraid of failing?

If the answer to the question is fear over how it will look to others:

Take a deep breath.
Remind yourself that you can’t be perfect.
Take baby steps.
Start creating.
Because something is always better than nothing.

carlycristman2 Photography: Tomas Martinsen

Have you ever struggled with perfectionism? Is it holding you back from something you’ve always dreamed of? Let me know in the comments if this is something you’ve dealt with too!

Side note: I initially wrote this post a few weeks back for another site I was contributing to. I wrote a series of personal articles there that I thought I would share here with all of you directly. If you enjoy these articles / want me to film videos on these subjects, let me know!

xx