April 15, 2014


Hi everyone.

I am deeply saddened to announce that Monique and I are parting ways in our blogger collaboration. I will be honest and say that this was an unexpected decision on Monique's part. I wish her the best in her future endeavors. She is definitely incredibly talented. With that, she was the head designer and did design our blog, and majority of the postings. Due to her rightfully taking what is credited to her and the blog design I will need to take some time to redesign it myself, and get everything in working order again.

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported our vision for The Mint and being a part of the great success we've gotten in the first couple of months. This blog is something I love with all my heart and I will not let it die. Thanks for being on this journey with me and hopefully you all still stick around as everything starts to develop and come together again.


Ashley / 23 Madness

So today I am officially 23. I wanted to do a birthday post, but had no idea what to even write about. I can't believe I'm 23. It is so insane to think about. I talked about this past year a little bit in one of our past posts and it still all blows my mind. I can barely remember turning 22. Almost one year ago today marks this new chapter in my life. This time last year I never even fathomed I'd be here, across the country literally so in love with life beyond belief. It's insane, really. My birthdays usually consist of me just like "yay. another year I don't have it figured out." But this year, I feel different. Sure, sure, I still panic that I don't know my future. That's just the nature of who I am though, and probably always will be an aspect of me. I'm genuinely happy about my birthday this year though. I'm excited to see my life unfold and more chapters open. I've really grown into myself this past year, and found out so much about who I am.

Most of you know that in this past year, I literally moved across the country went to a school I was so intimidated by, jumped in and found somewhere to belong. Against all odds it still happened. In that process I began to discover who I am, and where I want to be in life. Which, I still don't completely know but I'm getting more ideas. The biggest thing is I've found myself to be an explorer. I'm exploring all these different avenues to see where I fit.

In my exploring and venturing out I've had the opportunity to do so many awesome things within this year. I flew to Arizona to visit one of my best friends (her name is Mandi), went to Cali visited my dream school and my lovely friends who lived out here, went back to Michigan, fought for my dreams, worked harder than I ever thought possible. swallowed my fears and grew up a little. I went to some rad concerts in between there, then packed up my car in June, shipped it to Arizona, drove to LA, and started building a life. I've started to build incredible friendships that I know will last lifetimes. I've laughed until I cried, been to Disneyland more times than I can count, then almost died at Disneyland (not really-just felt like I was), taken drives in the mountains, started this amazing blog, and best of all? I beat all the odds that have ever been against me. Now, I try to be respectable as this is a joint blog and my views are purely my own but, I feel like I need to mention that God has been a huge part of this process for me. I never want to shove my opinions on anyone, but I think it's important people know where my courage comes from. Not to mention the countless people who have stood by me and encouraged me though so much.

Even though I talked about some of this before, I think it's only fitting for a birthday post to kind of share my growth from this year. It's incredible really. My biggest thing in these little life updates and continuing to share my journey is not only just to update but hopefully someone- somewhere is reading this can be inspired by it. Everyday is pretty much new for me. I'm constantly doing things I'm terrified of, but It's all one step at at a time. This year went by so fast. Can't wait to see what the future holds though.

So, Does this mean I have to be a real adult now?

Beauty / Golden Goddess

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Sometimes the best thing is to find a friend, play with makeup, and go on a photo shoot with absolutely no set themes in mind, which is exactly what I did over my spring break (it was so amazing to just have time to do things!) I went on a little trip to visit my friend Helen and we just worked with what we had laying around at that moment. No expectations, just full creative freedom. I let go of my fears of being creatively wrong, and decided to just roll with it and use it as a fun learning experience. We took a little inspiration from the Fendi Spring 2012 look and decided to simplify it a little bit. We used basic gold leaf from Michael's, and just used water to attach it to the skin. It was fairly simple actually and you can place it however and where ever you want! I definitely think I could have added so much more gold, but that's the beauty in experimenting. Here's a little bit from our shoot! Use it as inspiration for your own looks. Coachella weekend two? Try a less dramatic version and simply use it as an accent for a perfect boho spring look. This look is all about freedom and embracing how you feel in the moment and just working with it! Click here to check out other shots from our shoot.

April 7, 2014

Style Icon / Alexa Chung

But really, who doesn't love Alexa Chung? If you don't know this gorgeous model, TV personality, writer and contributing editor of British Vogue, you're missing out. Not to mention she is a muse for Marc Jacobs and Karl Lagerfeld. For a girl who doesn't believe in trends, her personal style is killer and always on point. Just a few of the many reasons why she's a perfect style icon.

"Clothes have always been about how I feel about myself and how I would like to feel." -Alexa on her personal style. 

 Who's your style icon right now?

March 14, 2014

Clean Eating / Breakfast Obsession

I'm always consistently surprised by the number of people who like my food posts on Instagram and Facebook! I had been debating what to do with today's post and in getting so many people loving my simple breakfast cereal, I figured I'd write up a little post about it. Like I've mentioned before, I'm new to the clean eating world and there's a LOT I don't know. But, I know my body and I'm learning the things that work for me, and I figured I'd share.

If there's anything to know about me it's that I love three things: breakfast, granola, and fruit. So this is kind of everything I love in one. I genuinely get so excited to go to sleep at night because I know when I wake up in the morning I get to eat breakfast, which always includes fruit (sadly doesn't always include granola or cereal though-gotta keep it balanced). I eat majority of my fruit towards the morning because it's easier to digest it throughout the day, plus my body doesn't need the sugar in the evening.

I know people have been eating fruit in their cereal forever, but let me just say that I've always been weirded out by it. Then, one day I went to make a smoothie with fruit and coconut milk (which I was so excited about) and my blender broke. I had no choice but to eat my unblended mixture (food is expensive!) so I added some granola and discovered this delightful treat.

You can really do any fruit you want but this my favorite mix:
  • Half Kiwi
  • Chopped strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Frozen Blueberries (I personally like them better.)
Pick your Super food Additions. I used:
  • Organic Maca Powder - Definitely use a small amount and taste it mixed in to see how you like it before you do the full 1 tbs serving. Maca has amazing benefits like balancing hormones and providing you a boos of energy. Click link to read about the amazing benefits of Maca- you'll be amazed! I use Navitas Naturals brand for majority of my super foods.
  • Organic Chia Seeds - I cannot live my life without Chia seeds. Not only are they an amazing source of fiber and protein I love how they thicken up cereal and oatmeal making it  more filling. 
  • Cinnamon- I love cinnamon. Anything I  can use it on I do. Has tons of health benefits including regulating blood sugar and stabilizing mood.
Granola - I love the KIND Gluten-free granola clusters. I used the Cinnamon and flax seed flavor, but any works great!

Coconut milk - I use the Trader Joe's brand but you can use any. ( I used to HATE coconut anything but I realized I don't like artificial coconut. If you can't do coconut milk though try almond milk instead!)

Simple as that! Just mix it all up and eat it like normal cereal.  You'll notice that I usually do make more simple recipes than complex ones because I honestly just don't have time to actually cook a lot. I try to pick things that are quick with as much nutrients as possible to keep me energized throughout the day.

What's your favorite breakfast food? Tell me below! :)

~ Ash

March 2, 2014

Trend Watch / Oscars 2014 + Nick Verreos

On Wednesday TheMint.La was privileged with the honor to cover a "Red Carpet Event" held at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design Merchandising) in Los Angeles. The event was hosted by the lovely Nick Verreos, red carpet expert, fashion designer and current Under the Gunn mentor.

"Everyone asks me what you think the trends will be, so I'm going to show you with my gowns." Nick excitedly stated as he introduced his collection. Let's just say I was obsessed with the entire idea from the start. What an inspiring concept to create a collection that Nick says is "a tribute to all women" with each gown totaling out to over 1,000 ours of labor. He showcased a series of gowns ranging from show stopping sequins to gorgeous jewel toned dresses.

Instead of just reporting on the event I thought it would be fun to compare Nick's predictions, with what I witnessed on the red carpet for the 2014 Oscars.

While there were ton of similarities, here are the top looks (and some of my best dressed picks) that compare with Nick's dresses:

When this dress came out at the show I about died in my seat. First of all, I have some sort of infatuation with dresses in the Greek Goddess style. Secondly, it was done so beautifully I think I might have cried in public. These Greek Goddess inspired dresses flooded the red carpet, for the Oscars, and I'd definitely deem it as the #1 trend.

While the two main colors dominating the red carpet may have been white and navy, Nick told us that those brave enough to to sport bold colors would. I fell in love with Nick's terracotta colored dress and hoped someone would be brave enough to wear it too. I was unbelievably stoked to see Jennifer Lawrence sporting this colored dress. While Nick's dress had more asymmetrical lines, and draping and her Dior gown was much more structured. Either way they are both stunning.

A lot of Nick's dresses focused on draping. He stated "the fabric and the way it's draped can be like plastic surgery." One particular dress Nick created had the draping focused on going down the side of the dress. Sandra Bollock wore a breath taking Alexander Mcqueen gown that while the folding isn't the same style it's still focused down the side using the draping theory.Can we all just take a moment to fawn over how perfect Sandra looked though?

Nick called this dress a "show stopper."  While talking about this dress Nick said "It's the dress you wear when you want everyone else to leave the red carpet." It's 1920's/1930's inspired and Nick stated that he "loved the 20's especially because it empowered women." This dress also has a "cape" feature, that Nick predicted as a trend. It's removable and gives the dress a different aspect. Kate Hudson's Versace gown not only embodied the show stopper aspect but it holds true to the Greek Goddess look as well as amazing draping. I'm obsessed with this gown and think it is the perfect representation of Nick's predictions. I can't get over how much I love Kate in this dress-I think we can all agree she slayed it. 

Overall, I think Nick did a beautiful job with his NIKOLAKI gowns and his red carpet trends. This was our first media event that we were invited to which was incredibly exciting to experience. The show was wonderful, and I got to connect with a couple great bloggers including: Mariya from Gracious Lady and Nikki from Four Eleven blog. I also met youtuber Alexis Rogers. They were all so sweet and gave me such great blogging tips! I'm excited for more opportunities like this to come.

Thanks for the opportunity FIDM.

February 21, 2014

Style / Polka Dots + Cutouts

As I mentioned in our last style post, I by no means am claiming myself as any kind of fashionable human. We do these posts to just shows us. My style is easy: I like black and I like simple, with a little color or pop. I like minimal, but every now and then though I enjoy a big bold statement piece. In our fun little trip around downtown, I wore this super cute dress from Forever 21, that I wish I could link for you but they sadly don't have it anymore. I love it especially because it was a major steal - only $15! My boots ones you'll continue to see because I'm in love with them. I got them at NastyGal for only $40, and my super rad sunglasses are also from Nastygal. They were $20, which is more than I'd normally spend on sunglasses (I told you I'm cheap) but I loved them.

My makeup has been so minimal lately. Mostly because for whatever reason here in LA my eyes just won't stop watering and it all runs off my face. (so cute, I know.) I've also just been so busy that I don't have the time to do it. (how sad is that?) I like more muted neutral shades, a little liner, eyebrows, and a good lipstick.

Like I've said before. I'm not your typical fashion blogger. I feel awkward in front of the camera, I don't know how to pose, but I have fun. I'll be completely honest and tell you that I'm learning how to be comfortable in clothes. It's hard, but I'm getting there. This little cutout in my dress is something completely new for me. I make myself do it though because I want to get out of my "I NEED LAYERS AND BIG AND LAYERS AND TANK TOPS" rut.

Check out other pics from our shoot here on flickr. :)

What looks are you into right now?