The Perfect Rainbow

Today I was proud to be human. Strange statement? I don’t think so. Bullies, bombs, unlawful persecutions, hate, racism, waste, and a never ending path of pain laid out for us if we choose to follow it. There have been so many moments where I had felt ashamed to be part of this thing called mankind. Don’t we all have remembrances of seeing something so horrible that your stomach squeezes into a knot of disgust, while your mind tingles with an aftertaste of numbness because you can’t quite comprehend what just happened? If not, what a wonderfully sheltered life you must have. Then again, it could be your choice…that’s either a hell of a control you have on your consciousness or maybe you’re alien(some people call it lucky). I, however, am not. Seeing such disappointment, sadness, and bruises on the face of our times hurts me. Some days I get so tired that I feel lifeless.

But today was different…

While I was driving I saw a young man step besides his lover so he could take the path that lay closest to the on-coming traffic. I might forgive him for everything just because of how natural of a motion that was for him.

My uncle Remi had noticed that I wear rosaries in my pictures and today he surprised me with thee most exquisite Rosary I had ever seen in my life; Jesus’ silver body upon a cross of mother pearl and hung on a string of Tahitian black pearls that came in hues like the shimmering ocean. Could something more beautifully symbolic exist for me? If it does, I haven’t seen it.

My cousin who I hadn’t seen in 5 years wanted to take me out to breakfast just because. Simplicity at its finest.

I danced. For the first time in 5 years I put on a pareo(a simple black cloth tied like a skirt) and danced to the Toere and Pahu drums. It shook me alive and made me want more, more, more. And so I kept dancing harder even when the other girls skimped on their techniques because of fatigue. On and on until I thought I would faint. But my happiness carried me to the end. So I continued…I danced and by God I loved it.

But the most beautiful part about my day was when I went to the beach. Sitting on the shore I noticed that the sky was overcast and not as peaceful as I had hoped for. I looked to my right at Moorea, Tahiti’s tiny sister island and back at the fine thin line that separated the blue sky from the blue waters. There I was again, searching the horizon for meaning and I found it when I felt two gentle hands on my shoulders. I looked up to the face of Tehani who I had grown up with as a child. She smiled at me and spoke in a voice so soft that I could barely hear her. “Release everything negative, all your stress and let it go forever.” She reached to her back pocket and for some reason I imagined her pulling out a magic wand tapping my head with an “Abracadabra!” thrown in for good effect. But no, she wasn’t a witch. More like the opposite. She pulled out some Monoi oil and right when the top came off I could smell the sweet Tiare Tahiti flower with a hint of coconut. Tehani’s hands started to massage me from my head all the way to my toes. I didn’t even feel awkward when she started rubbing my stomache. The sun was setting but I closed my eyes because I didn’t want to cry. It wasn’t that I was sad, my life is AMAZING! But her every touch and word was so unselfish and kind that I felt like I was witnessing a miracle. When she was finished she told me to go deep into the waters so everything bad could be washed away and that’s exactly what I did.

Did it work? Who knows.

But one thing is forsure. Before that miracle I hadn’t really noticed the couple on the side of the road as I drove home from the restaurant that my cousin took me which I hadn’t really appreciated as much as I should have. Nor did I take the time to remember what it felt like when I moved my body to the sounds of life. Only when she placed her kindness on me everything became apparent like a rainbow after a hundred years of rain.

Let me never forget that as much as there is bad in the world, there is also good.

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

Black and Blue

Some people tell me to take it easy.

I can see the concern in their eyes when I try to explain my visions and upcoming projects. They look at me as if I’m a stranger speaking some unknown foreign language. Weariness laced with doubt. I feel it everytime I spread a thin layer of concealer under my eyes to hide the shadowed lack of sleep that stands out like bruises on my pale skin. Starting a blog, running an event company (@reva_event), Executive Director at Alliance Francaise San Diego, trying to be a good daughter and an exceptional friend. Living this thing called LIFE! It takes so much time and effort, especially if your trying to do it right. But you know what?

 Even if I turn black and blue in my pursuit I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I live for the hustle.

Truth. I stay up late working like a doggg but oh my gawdddd how good it feels to be doing something (ANYTHING!!) while taking baby steps closer to the dreams and aspirations that have been waiting patiently in the back of my mind, searching, plotting, for that perfect moment when they could take their first steps out of oblivion into the blinding light of existence. There are people all around the world who don’t have the opportunities like the ones I have (don’t deny how privileged we are in America!). A support system; My family is the only reason why I’m solid and haven’t dissolved long, long ago into a blob of jello. I’m healthy, even if I might be going down hill (I don’t remember seeing those dimples last week!) And I want a better life so baddd. That last one is the biggest deciding factor for my fate. Yes, I want to succeed for my family and loved ones but it’s only when you want it for yourself that things start to get desperate. A desperation that leads me on through the nights of stressful tiresome and beyond the voices of doubt-OHHHH how loud those voices shout!- into almost a calm bliss of anticipation and gratification. Even if I don’t get what I want, even if I’m still living at home with my parents, no kids, no husband, I’m still focused on trying to piece together the picture of how I think my life should hang on the frames of perfection and self satisfaction. Shouldn’t that count for something?

I’m trying. I want a better life and I’m willing to do the work. If everyday you wake up and want something then what’s stopping you from getting it? Wake up and get it!!! If you do go that route just don’t forget the things you have in your life because your so focused on the things you want to have. Family. Love. Happiness. And all the other mushy stuff that sounds like a cliche but matters nonetheless. If you do catch yourself being pulled by the currents of forgetfulness then maybe it’s time for you to take a vacation… Even God needed a break.

And that’s where I find myself now because even though that desperation was still there, I sensed a softness to it. An obtuseness from how far I’ve come and everything I’ve been through. So here is where I stand: A few weeks of wanderlust since there is nothing like getting lost, to come back and be found.

But you better recognize, just like homegirl Teresa, wherever I go I’m going with all my heart. For you I wish only the same.

Xoxox

Lindsay Reva

Aimee Cebreros

Aimee is a unicorn. A mythical, magical human being of a creature who should not exist and yet does. She is not the first Miss Heiva San Diego and certainly not the last..But Aimee is different.

About 8 years ago I decided that I wanted to create a beauty pageant for young blooming girls who embraced the Tahitian culture and the Pacific Islander community. There’s not just one type of person who goes for things like this. The Pageant type? I mean.. Girls who like dressing up, getting there makeup done, and WINNING! Does that really make them all about the pageantry? No. I say that because I ran in a pageant and at the same time I was a manager at Autozone, knew how to change my own oil, and drove a Kawasaki Motorcycle. Was I a pageant girl? Not the usual, but that didn’t stop me from winning. Maybe the dividing factor lies in the vision of seeing yourself with that crown and the elevation which comes with it whether it be prestige, a scholarship, or the networking. Maybe the imagination is the dividing factor for those who run for titles and those who say things like ” Oh no, that is sooo not me. I could never be someone like that” As if a pageant Queen were part Pariah. They’re not. They do it because they have a certain belief in themselves whether they want to play the cunning and confident or the sweetly humbled.  Manifestation baby. Of course not everyone wins(which KILLS me!), and I always walk away with my heart in the grips of these darling beauties with perfect manicured nails. It’s not that I necessarily think that every one of them should have won…because if I’m to be honest there are some that are better for the role as an advocate for the islands than others. What gets me everytime is when I see how much they want that title, how much preparation they put into their cultural costumes, the love and assurance I see in their families eyes as they suffocate their beloved with words of assurance. Some years, there are girls who won the crown who nobody expected…

ENTER AIMEE. She distanced herself from me more than the other contestants I would say or maybe I distanced myself from her? She was kind, but she wasn’t overly kind. She was always aware of her surrounding, independent in her own right, and yet everywhere she went her mother followed(Not a fussy I’m your mother and you will WIN damnit! but more of a mother and daughter two -is-better-than-one package deal. Their bond was their strength). I like to talk with the girls to get to know them because I want to assure them that they will be fine no matter the outcome. They need that assurance sometimes because walking into a room of contestants getting ready to be interviewed is like walking into a force field of nerves. You can feel it, almost taste it in the air. So I made my rounds and aimee was the last one, sitting on the ground daintily playing with a necklace and getting her affairs in perfect order.

She smiled at me and I had to blink at the brightness of  her perfectly shaped teeth, how vivid her bright her lips stood against her pale ivory skin, and how lovely she could make the word “Hi.” sound. hmm.. An event/pageant coordinator will succeed if you can correctly read other people. You have to understand how they feel; if they’re enjoying themselves, if they’re anger, sad..you name it. When you figure that out it’s easy to smooth things out or change factors to make those who might be sad happy(Although sometimes no matter what you do some people are just fine with being stuck in their own miseries).  So I tried to read Aimee. She smiled at me and her radiance left me at a disadvantage. I looked up at her mother who was flashing me an equally expensive million dollar smile. Who are these people and how can they be so cool, calm, and collective? Especially when some of the other contestants look like they’re about to be thrown into the fire. I could tell from the way she walked, how when she was surrounded by others she had an air of confidence, as if she was the true competitor and they the spectators ( she probably had no idea either), and at the same time she expected nothing. If she would have lost the title, no tears would have left her eyes. New things would come, different opportunities, but she would not be affected by any of it. Aimee just had that persona that no matter where she went in life her blue prints were signed by God carving out a true path in success. I didn’t know of this at the time of course. If I’m to be honest with myself I think I tried to steer clear of her because her aura shook me. I was unsure how to proceed with someone who needed no proceeding. This girl didn’t need me! We needed her.

The pageant passed on and there were more than a few girls who ROCKED it from the get go. But there were two girls who everyone had their eyes on, and Aimee was one of them. I was mingling with the audience when they called her name out. That smile was like the first ray of sun after a thousand days in darkness. Brilliant is an understatement. Her family calling out her name and crying definitely set the tone. How much happiness lay in that moment I will never be able to measure but I’m sure it could be felt all the way from Mexico, the land where Miss Aimee had come. Because of the distance that lay between us I didn’t know what to expect from her as the new Miss Heiva San Diego title holder, but I will ALWAYS had an  open mind when working with people. And I found out what’s it like working with Aimee soon enough.

Aimee; winner, beautiful in pictures and even more stunning in person, going to school to pursue higher education, organizing food and clothing runs to people who are in need in Mexico, never far from her family who adores her like the princess she is, a friend to everyone, always willing to help, has never once said no to any of my request as a advocate to the culture, has never once said no when I needed her the most. I know. I am really tooting this girls horn, but I just can’t help it. Like I said before, to succeed you have to be able to read other people, and when I read Aimee her syllables are loveliness, her verbs are marked with the inks of greatness, her every word is placed in perfect precision so that the whole of this young girl will only rise, rise, rise, Somehow changing things so that the Heiva San Diego is no longer helping her to go forward, but instead the girl herself is helping us to go forward. That’s the kind of advocate I had been looking for all along. The kind of person that I didn’t think existed because people had their own agendas, wants, and needs and were only willing to go as far as they deemed.

But unicorns really do exist. Their skin glows even in the shadows. Even when the winds pick up there is never a hair out of place. When they walk into a room: Magic. And the most magical part about them: the core of their being, a heart uninfluenced and inflamed in beauty.

If you ever see a unicorn you better take a picture because they are making moves.

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

Photo 360 San Diego

Yesterday was NUTS! But in all the right ways.

A friend ask me to round up some models for a photoshoot. This wasn’t that uncommon of a request. Afterall, I try to stay involved in the Pacific Islander community (Heiva San Diego, PIFA, ect..) and sometimes photographers or organizations ask me for models with that Island girl look or even those whose looks scream EXOTIC. You know. Long hair, curvy thighs, smile like the sunrise, bla, bla. It just so happens that a lot of my friends have that look so sometimes all it takes is a few texts and I have a whole lineup for a photoshoot or  fashion show. But this time was different. I opened my phone, read the text, and felt a little numb as I deciphered the words that felt like a foreign language. ” A couple of hundred photographers…ooh and by the way, we want you to be one of the models.” Hm. Maybe auto text is being evil as usual?

” Are you sure you want me to be a model? ” For 200+ photographers!! But no, it wasn’t auto-text’s evil tendencies. They really did want me. This was either going to be magical or tragic.

I tried not to think about the amount of people who would be staring at me like an object and instead about the cause. Photo 360 San Diego is a collaboration event with the San Diego school districts for aspiring professional photographers. I liked thinking about that. Imagining teenagers with sweaty hands clutching their cameras like it was the Holy Grail, looking straight into my eyes through the lens that they must have cleaned every time they picked it up like a loving caress.

Then it was Wednesday. I showed up at San Diego City College at 7am with my models in tow, our faces clean of makeup with that its-too-damn-early-in-the-AM grudge in our eyes. It didn’t take us long to wake up though because from the get go we were in it to have fun.  I was led into a room with other models, make-up artist and hair stylist, and Fashion Designer extraordinaire Ugochi Iwuaba. Speaking of fashion; THE CLOTHES! OMG.OMG.OMG. When I saw the clothes they had set aside for us I was an equal amount of thrilled and terrified. Terrified that I wouldn’t fit in ANYTHING ( or if I did, the possibilities of what one slight bend would mean-  PPPFFFT. Rip right down the middle! ..oops) and excited that I was given the opportunity to wear such fly pieces while  photographed by the masses. Because let me tell you. When I am dressed to the nines, my makeup done, hairs did, and I’m looking HOT AS HELL FIRE, well then that’s exactly how I’m going to feel inside. FIRE. That outside layers you throw on, they aren’t just garments. They’re infinite. A shield, a collaboration of your creativity, the expression of your soul, simplicity, cleanliness, they keep you warm, they can accentuate your ever curve, they can hide your every curve, clothes can outline your character and beliefs by the colors and schemes you wear. Or maybe they can be just as good as a burlap sack. NOT! clothes can be everything and when I look good on the outside I feel good on the inside. That’s why when Madame Ugochi pulled out a tight sand colored skirt that went a little past my knees and a vivid green and orange open shoulder top with sleeves that hid my arms in all the right places( Thank God!) I was sailing on cloud nine.  If that isn’t an occasion to be HAPPY about then I don’t know what is. I felt like a DIVA, like a dream. Madame Ugochi’s pieces were just so flyyyyyy. Think African Queen meets socialite or as she says “Luxury fashion with an Afro twist.” Yeah.. I felt BAD! and I don’t mean that in a about to rob the bank way nor a Debbie Downer. Ha! No. I slipped on my Steve Madden Nude stilettos and took a peek in the mirror. Superwomen, you ain’t got nothing on me. 

My Hair was put up in a  Fauxhawk by the ever so creative stylist and studio owner Sy Calac (@esoterichair Eso Hair Salon-16160 Highway 76, set 303, Pauma Valley, CA). It only took him about 15 minutes for the master piece that had once been my hair and was now the embodiment of DRAMATIC. I loved it. Every single strand of it! For makeup I was done by the every so beautiful and lovely Stephanie (INSTA personal- @Flyystephj Makeup- @stephjstyles). She hooked me up with a matte black lip which I was nervous about in the beginning but by the end of the day had crazy thoughts that involved a sharpie and the words longer lasting. Talent on talent on talent.

Then I made my appearance. My first shoot was with another model, Ivan S. Harris ( @Ishthesocialjournalist @ivansharris) which was interesting…but above all HILARIOUS. We were instructed to play the couple scene. Thankfully the layers of makeup I wore had duel purpose: Make my skin look radiant and hide how red I must have been. We went back and forth from corny prom poses to there is no world without you poses. Very intense and very relaxed..All under the scrutiny of young photographers. Their giggles made me giggle.

The highlight of the day:

The interactions between model and photographer. They weren’t use to posing people and giving directions to models but they were trying and the reason why I appreciate that so much was because when I was their age..I didn’t. I didn’t try to do anything. I just cruised by on autopilot letting life come at me full speed. Didn’t make an effort, neither did I know what I wanted to do. There were so many things I could have done if only I had tried and that makes a huge difference in whether a person’s satisfied in life and if they find happiness(yes, sometimes you have to go after it).  So the ultimate shoutout goes to the aspiring photographers and anyone else who’s making an effort for a more meaningful life; Some who will try and some who will try even harder. May the force be with you;)

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

Mister Martin.

I hope everyone had a great holiday yesterday. Most of us had to go to work, including me. I run a French school so we don’t necessarily honor the American holidays like we should. But I still wanted to take some time to give praise to the man who spoke some of my favorite quotes and changed history because of his dreams for peace and equality.

Everyday I try to do my best. Not just with work but with the people I come face to face with. My mother, my friends, strangers. Yet there are days when I feel a storm rolling in my depths. The smallest of things sets me off. Stress is brewing, my belief is waning. Usually I’m always positive and happy but to have days of darkness might just be human nature. The hard part is pulling yourself out of it. What I’ve found that helps me the most are words. When I read positive and meaningful pieces the words enter my consciousness and a seed is planted. Brainwashed for the better, I call it. Maybe at that moment no change is felt but little by little I stop noticing those annoying things like how loud the car driving next to me is bumping that rap music laced with words that make me blush or when I wake up in the morning to see a mess that magically appeared over night (I swear it wasn’t there when I went to sleep!) and instead I look up at the sky and notice how lovely it is when the sun lay behind clouds making them shine like golden cotton candy or the blueness of the sky and how it reminds me of how free I am in this life, how far I can go…
Here are a few quotes that work as my picker-uppers:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.

And they all came from the man of greatness, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. His actions and words will remain with us for eternity.Long after his death and far after mine.
For those of you who honor his life, I honor you too.

Peace be with you Lovelies.
xoxox

Lindsay Reva

PHO-09Apr08-157571a

The LONGHAIRS

HAIR TIES For Guys.

Sounds crazy? Not if you ever meet Lindsay(Coolest Name EVER) Barto and Chris Healy. But you don’t even have to meet them to get immediate inspiration since yesterday they aired on the very popular show Shark Tank. 

Last night I went to the bar Loading Dock in Little Italy along with 100 or so other Long Hair fans and followers to watch the premier of their appearance. The night was hot with excitement (Lindsay and Chris had kept the end results a secret!) and I was a little amazed that majority of the men surrounding me had longer and nicer hair than me! But I was immediately distracted when I set my eyes on the two San Diego natives and longtime best friends. If Lindsay had a color aura his would be SPARKLE. And I say that with all the umFFF in the world. He’s full of good positive energy, just waiting to take everyone by surprise…but after last night maybe it’s not a surprise at all. I should probably mention that this brown hair / brown eyed guy parts his hair straight down the middle like a BOSS. Chris on the other hand captivated me with his flowing long blonde hair making me wonder if my hair products were inferior to his… He looks angelic, almost God-like with those golden locks. And they both had smiles with enough warmth to fill a couple of Philippine Sea’s( Yessss people, I google’d it and it’s the largest!)

So there we all were in the upper backroom of the bar staring at three large TV screens waiting, trying to distract our nerves with sips of Champagne and beers. They went on about 9:30pm and at that moment when the two LONGHAIRS creators stepped out from behind the doors of norm and oblivion to stand infront of four scrutinizing judges from Shark Tank everyone around me got up and SCREAMED like they had just won the biggest jackpot with a dirty penny. I was on my feet too! So they went through their speal, trying to get at least one of the judges on board. OMG it was excruciating!!!

I don’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. They actually put long hair wigs on the judges and presented their company’s product in a fashion that had EVERYONE busting up. It was amazing from start to finish and I wasn’t surprise that not one, but two judges made an offer that anyone with entrepreneurial instincts would have taken. When the two larger than life brothers took the best deal it was OVER. People were jumping, screaming, beers dropped, champagne glasses spilled, tears were falling from eyes, and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

But what touched me the most was when everyone settled down and the two brothers from different mothers came up to thank everybody. Chris was quiet, which just added to his allure but when Lindsay spoke I was so damn happy that I could witness such humble people succeed at reaching their dreams.

Driving back from college together they decided to sell hair ties for men. AND THEY DID. Yet can you imagine how many people might have looked at them like they were crazy? Days and nights have been long for them-Lindsay once started crying blood because he had stayed up working for days- and to say it was an easy journey is a joke! It’s not over yet but I’m sure that somewhere in the near future there are going to be plenty of guys rocking these DOPE-as-hell hair ties.

If you want to be the first for that soon-to-be trend visit their website at:

thelonghairs

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

Lindsay Barto & Chris Healy

 

New Year’s Eve Island Ball

Majority of the guest who attended the Island Ball were people I knew. Aunties, uncles, and people who had attended my past events. With just a couple tables of people who had found my event on the internet but majority were those who I knew on a personal level. That’s why I loved seeing everyone decked out in glitter, wearing ball gowns and tiaras acting like the Kings and Queens that they should be. I love looking my best and I want to surround myself with others who also like shining in life. So seeing those who usually keep it simple make a 180 turn into a night of glamour gave me the chills. I mean that in a good way! No. A great way.

Polynesian Dance group. Four course top of the line cuisine and appetizers. Three different areas with DJs playing the best. Midnight Champagne toast flowing. Party favors galore. Photo booth. And much, much more.

The night was lovely and as my first Island Ball (but not my last!) that I produced I’m keeping each detail locked in my heart forever.

See you next year Island Ball Lovers.

Xoxox.

Lindsay Reva

Lavish Blooms Launch Party

I just had to give my girl Christine Ong at Lavish Weddings props for the amazing job she did on her launch party for the beautiful and classy gift boxes she creates. She had everything you need for a fun night(and on a Wednesday!). The decor was on point with soft colors and eucalyptus and rose scattered everywhere. The dessert bar was set up on an elegant white wagon placed right in the center of the room at the Diamond Box at Sky tower in the heart of downtown SD. With open bar, the food appetizer buffet style, and the entertainment included a live band, a fashion show by fashion designer Kenneth Barlis(the models looked like Queens!) and even a painter dabbling down the scene with his water colors and canvas everyone had a smile on their polished faces. All the guest were stunning! Shout out to Christine Steele for rocking a pearl embossed corset that she bought at FashionNova. That lovely lady had statement written all over her. It was chic and classy just like everything Christine puts together. This girl knows how to throw a party. What a night!

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