Life Isn’t Meant to Be a Production

Somewhere along the way, our pure intentions get lost in the shuffle and we find ourselves becoming that which we sought to rebel against.

After a lot of thought and an overall assessment of where I am psychologically and emotionally, I’ve decided to join the ranks of those who have deleted or abandoned their social media accounts. It’s such a unique place to be in because I know firsthand how instrumental social media has been for me in creating relationships with people all over the world. To that end, however, social media has steadily created a divide within myself. One that can no longer go unnoticed or unaddressed.

I am 100% the person who wants to be 100% present while somehow also simultaneously being 100% the person who wants to capture beautiful moments and things via pictures or videos. I’m sure there’s a fine line there or some precarious balance that I haven’t quite discovered yet, but, when I’m soberingly honest with myself, I know that before all of this I was a lot slower to record or photograph things. Not because I didn’t want to capture them, but because frankly I was too busy enjoying myself. I want to be that person again.

Blogging is an industry now, it’s no longer people just sharing their outfits, thoughts or feelings, or experiences. So much of what is shared these days comes with an agenda. You sign up to create an augmented reality of sorts and even though you’re wearing, doing or experiencing something in real life, you’re orchestrating it to the point that the enjoyment of it comes few and far between. That’s what people buy into, the augmented reality that you’ve been tasked to sell and the more I think about it, the more dissonance it creates within my soul.

Beautiful moments are spent conjuring up ways to make them seem even more beautiful in pictures or videos. People are staging everything. None of it is real. There’s no soul behind any of it. And what’s tough is that where there is soul behind it, it’s the smallest percentage of what you see.

I wanted to be different, I wanted to be authentic, “real”, genuine, but then I found myself staging moments. Trying to capture things and make them look perfect. It started out innocently because I am a joyful person and I wanted to translate my joy to others through imagery and video. I did this successfully, but, what I didn’t do successfully, was not allow myself to get caught up in the illusion of it all. You get to a point where you compare your real life not only to the lives of others, but also to the life that you try to portray online. Perfectly edited, crisp, clear and in-focus. Trying to appear caught off-guard when you’re actually posing. Trying to create a buzz any way possible, desperate for people to notice you, your work and your attempts to be different and unique.

I’m not writing this to diminish the work that goes into being a successful blogger, youtuber or social media personality because it takes a lot of work, quite often it’s 24/7. I’m just consciously choosing to say NO for myself. I’m tired of staging and pretending. Most times I’m completely blurry and out of focus with poor lighting with hair that I can’t manage 87% of the time.

My reality isn’t perfect and I know that no one’s is. I’m exhausted of trying to prove something to myself. Tired of trying to prove myself to other people. Tired of trying to make my life match or seem comparable or as worthy of being shared.

At first I questioned myself, like had I become a wildly successful or popular blogger would I feel this way? And the chances are high that I would have, but I would have different motives for continuing on. But since I’m not, my motives are clear, I just want to create the most peaceful online environment I can for myself.

When I’m at the beach, I want to be at the beach and not trying to figure out how I can get the perfect photo of me taken. And to be very clear, this is not a pressure someone else has put on me, this is pressure that I have put on myself.

There are millions of spectacular lives and moments being lived around the world every day that many of us will never know about. They don’t need to be filmed or photographed to be any more valid than they inherently are. We assign value to things, moments, experiences…THINGS, MOMENTS, EXPERIENCES, LIKES don’t assign value to us as people.
With all of this being said, I will no longer be on social media for the foreseeable future. If you’re looking for me, I’ll be here on my blog or my YouTube channel or you can email me at Brittni@BrittniPope.com.

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Korakia Pensione

If you want to win me over, give me an aesthetic that is immersive. Give me a mood that makes my soul feel something and is palpable. Give me a place that I leave a piece of my heart at when I have to leave. All of these elements combined created an experience like no other in the heart of Palm Springs, California at Korakia Pensione.

One of my best friends flew in to California to spend some time with me and I wanted to find a place in Palm Springs that would help us create beautiful memories! I must have perused AirBnB and Expedia for hours before finally settling on Korakia. And, of course, I mean settling in the best way possible here. There were countless beautiful places that I came across, but something about Korakia just took my breath away in its photos.

To be frank, I’m almost scared to write about it because I kind of want it to stay hidden forever. A secret. My own little escape. I’m also worried that it could become wildly popular and the prices could go up even higher and then I won’t get to stay there at all! LOL. Ok, so I’m only partially joking because I’m likely the one who is late to the Korakia Pensione party! Anyways, this post is not sponsored. I sincerely found this place on my own and enjoyed my stay so much that I am compelled to share the magic with everyone else.

Set in front of a picturesque view of mountains and palm trees, the moment you arrive at Korakia, you literally become disoriented as to whether you’ve somehow accidentally left California and ended up in Morocco or Greece. The decor, the vibe, the energy of Korakia is both completely transportive and transformative. I think if it hadn’t been over 105 degrees in Palm Springs, I probably would have fallen into a trance of relaxation so decadent that I would have forgotten my own name. I love details. Details are often overlooked or under-appreciated, but not by me. From the immaculate facade of the hotel, to the fresh flowers lazily floating in fountains to the photoshoot-worthy courtyards designed to perfection you stumble upon by mistake, no stone was left unturned here. Also, an honorable mention goes to the effortlessly yet strategically strewn flower petals across the property. Le sigh! So dreamy, so romantic, so nostalgic. Whomever conceptualized this incredible hotel truly outdid him/her/themselves.

There are about 10-15 rooms around the property and usually only two to a room, leaving a 30ish person capacity and no children allowed. This is perfect because you almost forget other people are around. It’s so quiet and soothing. I think it’s the perfect place to go to reset or do some soul searching or rejuvenating. The hotel is split into two sides, one is where the Moroccan-inspired villas and pool are and the other is for the Grecian-inspired ones. It’s easy to get lost and find yourself in a place you’ve suddenly been missing for your entire life. It is truly one of the most inspiring places I have been in a long time. I live for an unforgettable experience and Korakia Pensione provided exactly that. The staff was so kind and incredibly accommodating. You will be hard pressed to find more sultry and sexy pools in the country than the ones here. Something about Korakia tells me that it manages to bring the heat even when it isn’t sweltering outside. I’ll be visiting again in the winter, so I’ll let you know for sure then! 🙂

Each room has a different design. My friend and I stayed in the Santorini room which was the cutest little bungalow with a private patio and a bed that you will ultimately find difficult to leave. I think if the grounds hadn’t been so fabulous, she and I wouldn’t have wanted to leave the room! Each room is equipped with everything you would need for a comfortable stay and the bathroom in our room was hands-down the coolest bathroom I’ve ever been in. The shower and sunken-in tub were completely outfitted in the most beautiful stone! Even writing about it, makes me miss it. Everything about the room was perfectly thought out. From the throw pillows, to the record player, to the comfy reading nook adjacent to the bed.

I’m still so fascinated by all of the work that has so clearly been put into making Korakia Pensione one of the most beautiful places you will ever visit and stay at. I can’t believe I live only an hour and a half away! I truly can’t sing its praises or recommend it enough. If my descriptions have left any questions in your mind, hopefully my photos will remove all doubt!

Little Red Dress

I remember when I was growing up, probably around middle-school aged, a girl told me that red didn’t look good on me because of my complexion. And because I was too young to know better, I internalized her words and avoided the color red like the plague. I even avoided things that I really liked in red because of what she said. I had this absurd fear that if I wore anything red I would look absolutely ridiculous.

Of the countless reasons why I love fashion, I think the most important one is that fashion helps us bridge how we feel about ourselves internally to our external worlds/environments. I have always used fashion as a way to help me feel better, help me express myself more clearly and help me to learn to love myself. Fashion has always been so much more than “just clothes” to me.

Anyways, as I got older and discovered our sometimes naive way of taking other people’s assessments or opinions of us too close to heart, I realized that I really do love the color red. I love how the color red looks on me. I love red nail polish. I love red lipstick. I love how I feel when I wear the color red. And not out of spite because of what that young girl said, but because red is a color that resonates with me. Just like yellow. And just like black.

I am certain that so many of us walk in the opposite direction of things that we love because we’re afraid that we might look ridiculous or we care what others will think or we haven’t yet found the confidence within ourselves to love whatever it is out loud. However, I’m here to tell you to surprise yourself. Buy the red dress. Wear the Doc Martens with neon laces. Dye your hair blue or cut it all off. Do what makes you happy because you don’t want to look back over your life wishing you’d done what you really wanted to do or worn what you really wanted to wear.

I am so fortunate to know that it is safe to follow what feels good to me. Whatever your “little red dress” hang-up might be, I’m asking you to revisit the beginning of it. The cause of it. Most likely, you’ll find a young or more naive version of yourself taking on the opinion or projection of an inexperienced, unhappy or jealous person either pretending or attempting to have your best interest at heart. And even if it’s coming from someone you love or who you know cares about you, it doesn’t make it true, ESPECIALLY if it truly feels good to you.

So these days, I shimmy around in my little red dresses like the one you see here because it feels good and I feel great. These days I don’t mind making a statement or being a topic of discussion. These days I smile at myself when I see my reflection. These days I feel truer than I’ve ever felt. And I wish the same for you and your “little red dress”.

LookBook: Perfect Shorts for Summer

Excited to share a LookBook I put together starring my absolute favorite shorts for summer!

The shorts are from Old Navy and super affordable! What I love most about these shorts is how comfortable and breathable they are, but also versatile and stylish! I tried to show a range of ways to style them. I have them in 5 colors and cannot rave enough about how much I truly like them.

This is not sponsored by Old Navy, but if you’ve been following my fashion journey online, you know when I find something I love, I feel compelled to share!

Thank you for taking the time to watch!

Which was your favorite look?

The Huntington Library

Huntington Library

True story! I was perusing through Instagram Stories and came across an artist who I follow who lives in California. She posted a few snaps and videos at The Huntington Library in LA on Friday and I was there experiencing it in real life Saturday afternoon. When I saw the clips, I knew I had to go. It looked insanely magical. What I wasn’t prepared for was something even more incredible than I ever imagined. I’m a self-proclaimed plant lady who’s obsessed with succulents, cacti and flowers. Imagine the garden of your dreams and then multiply it by 15 and then you might come close to the epic experience of visiting The Huntington Library.

It is comprised of two sections mainly, the garden section and the museum section. My boyfriend and I got there about 2 hours before closing unfortunately and were really only able to take in about half of the garden section. The great thing about this, however, is that it certainly means another visit or three! Never have I ever seen so much amazing vegetation, perfectly landscaped gardens or a bamboo forest all combined into an experience that makes you feel like you aren’t in Southern California anymore. At times it felt pre-historic, other times you feel like you’re in Japan or Italy. I just don’t even have words for how enriching this experience was. I left feeling completely rejuvenated. Somewhere between seeing monarch butterflies, little cotton-tail bunnies, lily pads and breathing in the freshest air with the perfect aroma of flowers, it was like I blossomed into a new person.

I think what I found most striking about this incredible place is the foresight of the people who started planting these amazing trees, succulents, cacti, flowers, etc so long ago. To have been able to imagine what this place could be and to clearly go above and beyond in every aspect to see it through truly brought tears to my eyes. I am so thankful for places like this because it gives people from all walks of life the opportunity to experience the intersection of brilliant human beings and the effortless perfection of nature. We are spoiled here on earth to be among such wonderful plant life.

This environment is so inspiring. I tried really hard not to take many pictures because I wanted to be present in the experience, but it was so difficult not to. Everywhere you turned there was something beautiful just waiting to be captured, waiting to be felt. I truly loved every minute of being here and cannot wait to go back.

The above pictures are just a few pictures of the incredible Japanese Garden section. I cannot articulate how immersive it was. You truly feel like you’re in Japan! The energy changes when you enter into this area. Side note….there’s a lovely Bonsai Garden that is literally the sweetest thing you will ever see! I could rave for an entire day about the attention to detail in the landscaping here! In addition to the garden, there are lovely pond areas with ducks and koi fish and lily pads every where! And a waterfall! When I tell you that it truly got more and more magical with every turn, I can assure you that I am not exaggerating.

And then…and then…and then…there’s the section that makes you feel like you’ve somehow ended up in Tuscany. When I saw this, I squealed out loud. We got lucky. The sky was so perfect. It was the perfect backdrop to a jaw dropping view of LA. Truthfully, I could write a thousand different sentences describing the beauty of this place and how it made me feel, but I’ll summarize it like this. I loved feeling small against nature. I loved seeing life forms of all kind thrive. I loved sharing this with the love of my life. I loved this day as much as any person can love a day. I loved these moments of feeling more like a kid in a candy store than an adult just trying to take it all in. I loved this day deeply. I loved this day madly. I loved.

Dress: Zara | Shoes: Steve Madden (old) | Sunglasses: Zara (sold out online) | Purse: JCrew (old)

Healing and Recovering from the Internet and Social Media

In my latest podcast, I discuss healing and recovering from the internet and social media. I felt that this was an important discussion to have because we have reached a time where we are able to see the implications of sharing and/or living your life online, both good and bad! I also use this discussion to explore other areas of physical and mental wellness in relation to the use of social media.

Do you feel that the internet/social media has more positively or negatively influenced your life?

Thank you so much for taking the time to listen!

Botanical

Lately, I’ve really been into styling looks that are evocative of a particular time frame or place. While I definitely think fashion can be transformative, I also think that it can be immersive and contemporarily nostalgic. I think fashion can capture the essence of a place or time period. I like making that happen.

This look makes me think of a summer on the French Riviera or running through sun-drenched Italian streets. This look makes me feel something. I like when fashion makes you feel like a different version of yourself. I like when fashion brings out parts of you that don’t get to see the light very often.

With that being said, I styled this look around these amazing shorts and sunglasses from Zara. The sunglasses are sold out online, but you may be able to find them in-store as they are a recent purchase! The shorts are high-waisted and quite short, but the flouncy and frilly hem takes away from the seemingly risque length (or lack thereof). Either way, I find the shorts to be incredibly flattering and feminine!

I paired this button up white blouse from Loft with the shorts and tied it at the bottom to balance out the high-waist and accentuate my waist. The bright blue sandals are also from Zara, but from about 4 years ago! I loved the electric blue as a way to keep the colorful feel going from head to toe!

In my opinion, a great way to give a more nostalgic outfit a contemporary spin is by using minimal, but modern accessories. Here, I layered two dainty necklaces, both from Forever 21 as well as some thicker gold hoops, also from F21 to make the look more interesting and authentic to my approach to fashion. I tend to keep it fairly minimal when it comes to accessories because that’s my personal taste. I like to use accessories more to enhance a look rather than being the statement pieces.

I wore this look to go check out the Petersen Automotive Museum with my boyfriend yesterday and it was perfect! Super comfortable, stylish and low maintenance!

What’s your favorite way to make an outfit reminiscent of a different time or certain place?

Ps: How amazing is this Porsche Race Car????

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Beach Days

My favorite kind of day will always be a beach day. I feel most connected to the universe when I’m absorbing the sun and listening to waves crash. It feels most natural to me. I’m most in my element. Today was the epitome of the perfect Southern California beach day. Around this time of year here, there tends to be a marine layer over the beach which is basically like a fog hanging over the ocean and you usually can’t see it until you get to the beach. My boyfriend and I drove to one of my favorite beaches to just relax at in San Clemente and our entire drive featured a perfectly blue sky, not a cloud in sight until we got to the beach!

Needless to say I was a little bummed because sometimes the marine layer doesn’t burn off, but fortunately it did within an hour of our arrival and the epic beach day I’d hoped for really started! The silver lining in the overcast though is that it does have the perfect lighting for pictures! LOL.

Since moving to California and really ramping up my fitness, I’ve purchased way too many swimsuits. The way I justify this in my mind is by calling them “investments” because a girl really does need a plethora of swimsuits in SoCal! This suit in particular is definitely the swimsuit of the season from Zara and the silhouette is one that I’ve seen really take off this spring/summer! I love this suit because it’s way more flattering than I imagined it might be on me! I was a little concerned because I have a shorter torso in relation to my legs and I didn’t want a suit that would essentially cut me off even more in the middle.

This particular color is sold out online, but I’ve seen it pop up occasionally, so I’d say keep an eye out for it! They also have it in black and I’m still thinking of getting that color, too!! The other thing that I love about this suit are the colors! So bright, so vibrant, so me!

Before moving to California, I’d always held pictures in my mind of things that were “Quintessential Southern California” and this picture of a Jeep posted up on the beach I was at is totally a quintessential SoCal moment! I love it where the cliffs meet the ocean and people are out enjoying themselves. Le sigh! What’s even funnier is that this Jeep is a patrol car that was riding up and down the shore letting everyone know that a little over a dozen sharks were in the area! IS THIS MY LIFE?!?!?!?! I LOVE IT!!!!!!

I just started the book “The Rules Do Not Apply” by Ariel Levy! So far, so amazing! On the plane back to California from Mexico, I was reading an interview with her in the latest Porter magazine and felt really drawn to her story and her style of writing! I couldn’t wait to pick this up and start reading it! I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll say it’s a poignant summarization of what it’s like to have everything and lose it all in different ways. At least that’s what I’m gathering so far! I will likely write about this book once I finish reading it.

Anyways, my happy place is sunbathing on the beach with a good book and good company. My boyfriend made fantastic company except for when he was making fun of my inability to successfully skip rocks across the ocean!!! LOL!

What does your perfect day look like?

Thank you for reading!!

Experiencing the Getty Museum

It seems like a little over forever since I’ve wanted to visit the Getty Museum. I tried to visit it numerous times before moving to California and it has been a bit tough to get all of the stars to align even while living here since I live outside of LA. However, this past weekend I was finally able to visit it! All I can say is that it was totally worth the wait! The weather was perfect, it wasn’t too packed and the energy was vibrant! I’m so grateful that I got to experience it with the love of my life, too! I’d seen so many beautiful images of the grounds and the galleries that I knew I had to make it happen some how and some way! What I appreciate about the Getty the most is its clear appreciation of the details and how to utilize its space to accentuate all of the beautiful elements within the grounds and, not to mention, the sweeping views of the LA skyline and ocean! The greenery, oh the greenery and the gardens, they make me so happy. Plants and flowers decorate every corner you turn!

There are so many beautiful elements here that make it so spectacular from the ground you walk on to the gorgeous pools and fountains. No stone was left unturned when it comes to designing and maintaining the grounds. Now I understand why so many people just come to hang out at the museum! There’s no shortage of things to see or experience, not to mention all of the photo opportunities. Everything is just so beautiful, I found myself feeling absolutely compelled to take pictures and videos! Definitely inspiring to say the least. Fortunately my boyfriend was there to help me capture a few snaps for this post, as well!

I’m a huge history nerd and love seeing art from different periods of history and watching how it evolves over time. I am so inspired by the different mediums artists used from something as simple as black chalk to carving the most intricate busts/portraits out of slabs of marble! The Getty has a beautiful spread of paintings, sculptures, carvings, drawings and artifacts! There were definitely a few pieces that pulled me in emotionally or got my creative wheels spinning! I’m such a creative person and I believe that I am so passionate about creativity because I know how seeing other peoples’ art makes me feel and I want to do that for others in my own unique way. I love art because over time it becomes a vital marker detailing what life was like coupled with how a creator was feeling with a hint of the subject’s essence. Art is a way to freeze moments in time and make people feel something once that time has passed. I think life makes us so desensitized at times and it’s so beautiful when someone’s creation makes us stop and feel.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces that I saw while touring the galleries!

If you find yourself in LA and in need of something to awaken your spirit, I totally recommend visiting The Getty Museum! It’s free and, frankly, you can’t put a price on being able to experience the galleries in such an up close and personal way! There are so many museums where the works are sectioned off and you can’t get too close and you can’t take pictures. The Getty gives you the opportunity to really interact with what you’re looking at and appreciate everything in a more genuine and less-pretentious way. I completely understand why it’s regarded as one of the must-visit museums in LA! The views of the skyline alone make it worth it, but all of the beautiful art and architecture are icing on the cake! Thank you for being you, California! You still blow me away with your effortless beauty!