12.01.2016

it isn't always better





sweater: thrifted
tote: cuyana
boots: CAT

I'm going to live in this sweater for the rest of my life. Best $3 I've ever spent in a thrift store.

This is winter in California aka early fall everywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, the colourful foliage does not change it from being December, or me having to do Christmas shopping still. I keep making lists, and then sticking them in my bag and forgetting. Mainly because I get distracted buying Christmas presents for myself. Like this bag.

IT'S GOT MY NAME STAMPED ON IT. At least, my initials. Plus it holds absolutely everything, barring a few fantastic beasts. It's from Cuyana, also known as the-cool-brand-everyone-keeps-hush-hush-about-because-none-of-us-want-to-share. (Try whispering that in someone's ear. Go ahead.) As a brand, they're all about small source and handmade, sturdy and stylish, better over bigger. Getting close to Christmas (THREE WEEKS GUYS NOBODY PANIC) they're reminding all of us deal crazed nutters to give better. As someone who is extremely picky about a. who gets presents and b. what they get, I was all over it. To me, it seems like a great philosophy. Give people you love things they'll love, not just things. Do something unforgettable.

This seems like a great time to announce that I'm going to London on Sunday with Sallie. I don't really have anything else to add to that, except that I'm hoping to track down Ellie.

But when am I not amiright

x Justina

ps. shoot me an email at justina {at} abentpieceofwire.com with your address, and favorite color. I'm making Christmas cards and have no one to send to...EXCEPT YOU GUYS. (Perks of the internet: you can't run away.)


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11.27.2016

the holy trifecta



Early this year, I had a dream.  A dream that I'd get to see all my favorite rappers in one year. Gambino, Chance, and Kanye. It was definitely abstract, because at the point that I had this dream, no one even know if Gambino was actually alive, Chance had 0 money, and Kanye was sold out. But I'm not a fan of "no", and suddenly, IT WAS ALL HAPPENING.


September: Gambino
October: Chance
November: Kanye

Let's talk about Kanye for a minute though:

You've probably heard about the now-infamous concert. He performed half of three songs, delivered a 20 minute rant on the state of the music industry, managed to come for Beyonce, Drake, DJ Khaled, and MTV all in one go and then dropped the mike and left. Two days later, he cancelled the whole Saint Pablo tour. A lot of people assumed I'd be upset about it, but honestly I didn't mind. I paid to see Kanye and get my t-shirt, and both of those things happened, so I didn't regret a thing.

I'm always really uncomfortable with the term "perform" as it's applied to musicians, because it reminds me of animals in a circus. With Kanye cancelling his concert, a lot of people talked about how they "paid to see him perform", as though their money was his on switch, and he was obliged to play no matter what. I remember the same sort of backlash surrounding the concert he cancelled after Kim was assaulted in Paris. It kind of freaks me out how people rendered him inhuman. I don't think my $60 ticket bought a piece of his soul, and while I was disappointed to not hear him perform "I Love Kanye", I still love Kanye.  (I think this is also introducing a conversation that needed to happen about black men and mental health problems. )

To me, concerts aren't about the music - they're about the artist. If I just wanted to listen to their music, I could do it from my bed for a whopping $4.99 a month on Apple Music, and I wouldn't have to get dressed. I go to concerts because I want to see them, their vision for their art. For Gambino, it was a dome in the desert. For Chance, it was anamatronic puppets from his past. For Kanye, it was Beyonce hurting his feelings. That's why I think people should pay for live music from their favorite artists. Because for every Gambino, who I'm pretty sure lives on some higher plane with no economy, there's a Chance, who's supporting all his music on his own. You gotta cop a t-shirt and keep them supplied with snacks.

Plus, the puppets were pretttttty dope.

x Justina

ps. shoutout to jordan for driving me around/feeding me/taking photos of me/

enabling my insanity for this. 
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11.24.2016

did I say thank you?






These photos are all very dramatic, and my life really isn't, but it is incredible and I have a lot to be thankful for. I'm not going to make you read the whole list, but I want you to know you're on it. I get to do really cool stuff becuase you guys keep reading about it, and liking it, and talking about it on your instagram stories. (I like to creep, ~sorry not sorry~)

For those of you who are American, may your turkey be bomb and your mashed potatoes even better.

For those of you who aren't, prepare for the videos of crazy Americans fighting for televisions that'll splash be on your evening news tomorrow.

Happy thanksgiving!

x J

ps. re: black friday -
I work retail, and so do a lot of my friends. Be nice to us. 
Our back room isn't Narnia, and no there isn't any more.







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11.15.2016

tip toes







flats: thandos
jeans: ami clubwear
tshirt: primark
jacket: element eden

THERE ARE PILES OF LEAVES EVERYWHERE. I'm going to just slip underneath them and pretend my country isn't falling to absolute shambles.

Gonna be real - my TOMs are usually the only flat-flats in my wardrobe, and I only wear them when I'm moving so fast you won't notice that I'm two inches shorter than usual. I like to be tall and intimidating, which is hard because I am short and not very scary at all. (Unless you ask children).

But these ballet flats are something else. They're squishy, came in their own pouch, and fold up into tiny little balls when you're not wearing them so you can toss them in your bag, and not think about them again until you've climbed your twelth flight of stairs for the day and your feet feel like they're gonna fall off. Not that anything like that ever happens to me. Definitely not this morning. 

Thandos are designed in Nigeria by J.G. and Taffi, who are literal ~power couple goals~. They're big on improving their community through smart commerce, which is something I am not only 100% here for, but think everyone should learn more about. They also make really comfy limited edition shoes, which is what's really important here.

Side note:
do not throw leaves at your photographer unless you have made
absolutely unequivocally definity postively sure
 that there are no rocks/squirrel poops in them.

x Justina

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11.07.2016

dear oprah, a few of my favorite things













Dear Oprah,

I love you. I really do. But as a struggling college student, I have a want, but not a use for a poinsetta flower pot cake. What I do need are comfy clothes and caffeine and power. For my gadgets, I mean.

I know you don't have experience in this group. So I spent the better part of this afternoon fishing the landfill out of my purse, laying out it's contents, and narrowing down the things I actually need to live.

Here's a few of my very favorite everyday things: 

1. Sebago Classics ($60): I swear I've only had them six months and they've changed my whole perspective on the frat-boy look because I am COMFORTABLE and WATERPROOF and SLIP-PROOF. 

2. Aerie Bralettes ($26): When you don't have boobs, you don't need real bras. When you do have boobs, you still need pretty bralettes.

3. MeUndies Terry Joggers ($85): Tbh MeUndies can just have my wallet, my soul, and my eternal love. Their undies are a staple in my closet, but these joggers changed my game. Plus they have real pockets. 

4. Casemate Iphone 6+ Case ($35): I drop my phone a lot. This case saves it a lot.

5. Fujifilm Instax SHARE SP-2 Printer ($189): I currently have .... 1985 photos on my iPhone. I only really need to remember like 20 of those. 

6. Mophie Power station ($49): I decided to show you the battle scars my Mophie has weathered under my care - it still saves me every time with two and a half-ish charges. Think of all the tweets that may have not happened if not for it. 

7. Happy Plugs In-Ear Headphones ($35): Because my mum (and the people who sit next to me in Starbucks) do not want to hear Chance the Rapper on repeat (I know, it's weird.)

8. TOMS Del Rey Sneakers ($79): Because sometimes (every day) I spend hours running (but actually walking) all over the place and these shoes are the only way to keep looking cool.

9.Starbucks Cold Cup ($12-$25): Okay, you all know I have a problem. And admittedly, this grande cup is more aspirational than actuality. I can usually be spotted with my clear venti "justina sippy cup" full of iced coffee/motivation.

10. Brush Naked Toothbrush ($5): I have this weird gag-reflex to plastic toothbrushes (and people). Idk man. These brushes are great, and you gotta take care of your teeth. 

11. TOMS Cosmopolitan Tote ($158): IT FITS ALL OF THE THINGS. ALL OF THEM.

12. LUSH Solid Perfume ($12-$19): I work at LUSH, so I usually smell like LUSH, but when I don't, I smell like LUSH's 'All Good Things'. Best thing about it? It can't spill in my bag.

13. NYX Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator ($8): The secret behind my prolific highlight, is not in fact, as suggested by my brother "drinking the happiness out of unicorns".

14.  LUSH Hair Custard ($24): I have a lot of hair. I prefer it to all be soft and smell like fair-trade vanilla. 

15. Nuuna Large Notebook ($27): A big book for all my big ideas. And shopping lists. 

16. Field Notes Notebook ($10):  A small book for to-do's and half-thought out tweets. 

So there you have it. Cold cups and tooth brushes.
 That's the real secret.

x Justina 

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dear oprah, a few of my favorite things













Dear Oprah,

I love you. I really do. But as a struggling college student, I have a want, but not a use for a poinsetta flower pot cake. What I do need are comfy clothes and caffeine and power. For my gadgets, I mean.

I know you don't have experience in this group. So I spent the better part of this afternoon fishing the landfill out of my purse, laying out it's contents, and narrowing down the things I actually need to live.

Here's a few of my very favorite everyday things: 

1. Sebago Classics ($60): I swear I've only had them six months and they've changed my whole perspective on the frat-boy look because I am COMFORTABLE and WATERPROOF and SLIP-PROOF. 

2. Aerie Bralettes ($26): When you don't have boobs, you don't need real bras. When you do have boobs, you still need pretty bralettes.

3. MeUndies Terry Joggers ($85): Tbh MeUndies can just have my wallet, my soul, and my eternal love. Their undies are a staple in my closet, but these joggers changed my game. Plus they have real pockets. 

4. Casemate Iphone 6+ Case ($35): I drop my phone a lot. This case saves it a lot.

5. Fujifilm Instax SHARE SP-2 Printer ($189): I currently have .... 1985 photos on my iPhone. I only really need to remember like 20 of those. 

6. Mophie Power station ($49): I decided to show you the battle scars my Mophie has weathered under my care - it still saves me every time with two and a half-ish charges. Think of all the tweets that may have not happened if not for it. 

7. Happy Plugs In-Ear Headphones ($35): Because my mum (and the people who sit next to me in Starbucks) do not want to hear Chance the Rapepr on repeat (I know, it's weird.)

8. TOMS Del Rey Sneakers ($79): Because sometimes (every day) I spend hours running (but actually walking) all over the place and these shoes are the only way to keep looking cool.

9.Starbucks Cold Cup ($12-$25): Okay, you all know I have a problem. And admittedly, this grande cup is more aspirational than actuality. I can usually be spotted with my clear venti "justina sippy cup" full of iced coffee/motivation.

10. Brush Naked Toothbrush ($5): I have this weird gag-reflex to plastic toothbrushes (and people). Idk man. These brushes are great, and you gotta take care of your teeth. 

11. TOMS Cosmopolitan Tote ($158): IT FITS ALL OF THE THINGS. ALL OF THEM.

12. LUSH Solid Perfume ($12-$19): I work at LUSH, so I usually smell like LUSH, but when I don't, I smell like LUSH's 'All Good Things'. Best thing about it? It can't spill in my bag.

13. NYX Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator ($8): The secret behind my prolific highlight, is not in fact, as suggested by my brother "drinking the happiness out of unicorns".

14.  LUSH Hair Custard ($24): I have a lot of hair. I prefer it to all be soft and smell like fair-trade vanilla. 

15. Nuuna Large Notebook ($27): A big book for all my big ideas. And shopping lists. 

16. Field Notes Notebook ($10):  A small book for to-do's and half-thought out tweets. 

So there you have it. Cold cups and tooth brushes.
 That's the real secret.

x Justina 

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10.31.2016

I'm a mouse, duh








jacket: miss selfridges
t-shirt: chance the rapper merch
jeans: forever 21
boots: b.c. footwear
ears: THE MAIN MOUSE HIMSELF


It's officially happened. I'm that lame college student who tried her best and couldn't get a single decent costume together, despite her best efforts + Amazon purchases. In my defense, I tried.

Last night I witnessed Chance the Rapper and I do, in fact, feel blessed. I love seeing people truly engage with their passion, and that's what he's doing. If you've never listened to his music, try this one. Or just listen to The Life of Pablo, because he's one of the few people trusted by Kanye (who I am seeing in 455 hours, or 2,360 minutes) to touch his tracks. Live music is always a good investment, and so is merch.

Here's a thing this lame costume made me think about: It's October and I haven't been to Disneyland all year. This may sound like a first world problem to those of you who have never been to Disneyland, and to those of you who have, but I dont care at all. Disneyland should be a public insitiution, like libraries, or Target.

Now I need to go fill up on my favorite vegetable:
 candy corn. 


x Justina



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10.26.2016

real (life) talk





guess who's back. back again.

I'm literally always short of breath these days because I'm doing too much and there's no time for anything important (hello, first blog post in ages) and I've been forced to start SPEED WALKING places. I mean, obviously not actually running, but swift is the word, sharp is the motion. (And last name hahahahaahha). I realized you all probably thought I'd died, and that is not, no matter how it feels, the case. Here are a few things that are happening:

 * I just came off a weeklong NPR Next Gen Radio internship, where I learned that Ira Glass has been feeding me honey-voiced lies this whole time, because he makes it sound easy and it is NOT.

* I am seeing Chance the Rapper on Sunday, Kanye next month, and then I can die happy, because my holy trinity of music (Gambino, Chance, and Kanye) will have been witnessed.

* I discovered a new starbucks drink: venti-vanilla-bean-frappuchino-with-three-pumps-of-toffee-nut-syrup. You're welcome.

*I've decided I want to go to D.C. for spring break. Someone tell me what I need to eat.

*I'm trying to learn how to use Photoshop, because I've been using VSCO which is not ~professional~.

*People have started wearing Uggs again and it makes me want to cry.

* I'm going to be Eleven from Stranger Things for Halloween, I've got the calculator watch and all.

* I have SO MANY IDEAS FOR BLOG POSTS and no sunlight to shoot them in. I'll keep you updated.

Today I saw a girl talking to a pumpkin spice latte in the library about her midterms,
and I related far more than I am comfortable with.

x Justina


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10.02.2016

if you're reading this, I'm 19



In case you missed me mentioning it at every single opportunity (and sometimes when someone else just took too long a breath), today is my birthday.

Like all good parties, 18 ended while it was still good, and we all wanted it to go on. 19 is here to take its place, tear it up, and take names. 

I still don't really understand taxes though. 

x J (now 19)



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9.26.2016

I'm getting up right now







top: forever 21
kimono: forever 21
jeans: h&m
boots: bc footwear


Look who's still alive. I know you had your doubts.

I mean there's a million excuses, and you've heard them all before, but honestly, I was in a slump. One walled in by essays, bad lighting, worse sleep, and crashing head on into school. I went to Denver for the most intense week of work of my life, and loved every minute. I learned how to say a couple words in Finnish. I wrote a lot of words in Italian. I wore cute outfits that no one appreciated and you guys would have loved. My camera battery died. I started listening to Broods and wore my overalls a lot. I realized I gotta get back to basics in order to keep moving forward, and it's weirdly hard. But I've got these jeans, so I can handle anything.

Honestly, these are the best $10 I've ever spent. They look good with everything, fit perfectly, and have big back pockets. What a dream. This whole outfit is a great cross-example of how I'm dressing these days - I'm praying for fall, California's got it's nails dug deep into summer. 97 degree summer, to be exact. But it's okay, I'm nothing if not adaptable. Ankle boots instead of knee highs, kimonos instead of cardigans. Nothing will stop me from layering. Or wearing boots. My BC collection is what my mother describes as "out of hand" and I describe as "a fantastic use of floorspace". It's not my fault that they're so good at making shoes. I can only appreciate their genius.

I turn NINETEEN in a couple of days. (Oct. 2, if you wanna eat some cake for me.) Isn't that weird? I feel weird about it. What do you even do when you're 19? Wait around to turn into dust? It seems so old. I'll have been blogging for 6 years, and what do I have to show for it?

Too many pairs of overalls and a killer Instagram aesthetic, that's what. 


x Justina



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