2 Important Things I Learned Going Back to California

HAPPY APRIL EVERYBODY!

Hi, it’s me, Tori, I write this blog, and started learning to long board yesterday.

So, my Spring Break ended (what feels like) forever ago (two weeks), and to say I wished it had lasted a bit longer is an understatement. However, life goes on- as must my schedule, and I’m back into my routine of eating, sleeping, school-ing, and music-ing.

But let me tell you about this week I spent in California.

To say the least, I had an amazing trip (not a big surprise). But, this time around I learned some things that I wanted to share with you.

Lesson #1

Overpacking. Gotta stop that.

So, the Sunday that began my week was the day I was leaving Texas, and my mother and I get to the airport- doing fine on time. Now, if you have a general knowledge of flying any airline, you know that the usual weight limit for your checked suitcase is 50 pounds (unless you’re totally cool with paying an additional $100).

I have been traveling by plane for about 14-15 years- for more than half my life. So, you’d think I would have learned how to downsize by now.

In some airports, they have a scale set up right before the check-in line, so naturally, I weighed my bag.

61.5 lbs

This is read in bright red numbers, and my stomach dropped. Of course, my mom laughs and reminds me that she told me that I crammed too much in my suitcase.

My defense was that I “neeeeeeeeeded” everything that I packed. Down to the 5th pair of jeans.

Now, I don’t how I did it- but I managed to pull 12 pounds out of my suitcase, put half of that in my backpack and guitar case, and handed my mother 7 objects that I decided I didn’t really need (even though I missed that extra pair of shoes my ENTIRE trip).

49.5 lbs

With that, I was off to my gate with some knowledge I should’ve obtained years ago:

Take what you need, not what you want.

The weather in LA that week was absolutely gorgeous. I had gotten so used to clouds in Texas that I felt like I’d forgotten what the sun felt like.

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But more importantly, guess how many times I ate sushi in a six day time span.

Three.

The answer is three, and I have no regrets. But these are just details, and completely separate from the second thing I learned.

Lesson #2

Enjoy mornings. Gotta make this a habit.

My third night in Los Angeles, I stayed with my dear friend, Erin- and before we could go to bed I had to go track vocals with my friend Dave Days (you might remember him from my first blog post). Him, myself, and our other friend Jon D were covering “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding, and you can check out the music video here!

Jon is an extremely kind, funny ,and talented guy- if you think you recognize him, it’s probably from his Youtube channel. Getting to work with Jon was so much fun. He kept me laughing all day- 10 out of 10, would totally do more music with him.

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(We did a lot of eye contact in the music video. It wasn’t weird.)

His style of music is my favorite kind (pretty similar to Ed Sheeran or maybe a little Nick Santino (ish), in my opinion). If you like acoustic guitars and vocals that will make you swoon- Jon is the artist for you. I already purchased his album, so that means YOU should go check it out too! It’s called Roots and it just came out on March 28th! Go get it here.

As for Dave, I had the opportunity to spend time with him during my first trip to LA, so having the chance to record with him was really great. That night, we met Dave at his studio in Hollywood, and it was the easiest recording session I had ever experienced. Homeboy is a great producer and sound engineer, and I was so excited to get to work with him on a song. But, like I said- it was so easy! Before I knew it, we were done, and Erin and I were free to go. Finishing up around 10pm, we headed back to Erin’s to get some shut eye.

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This is wear the second lesson comes in.

Story time. Once I started my sophomore year of college, something weird happened. I became a morning person- which is something not many college students can say. I became one of those people who wakes up at 6am, and actually gets up (I call waking up at 8:00 “sleeping-in”, I don’t know who I am anymore).

With the time change between California and Texas- the west coast is on a schedule that’s two hours earlier than Texas, so despite my efforts to sleep later, by 6:30am (Pacific time), I was wide awake.

So, what else to do than take a morning walk down a coffee shop that two blocks from Erin’s apartment? 

I rolled out of bed, put on a pair of boyfriend jeans, a flannel- and walked down to Rise N’ Grind at 7am.

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Now, I’ve always thought sunrises are beautiful- but there’s just something about a quiet street in a busy place like Los Angeles, cool air, and the smell of coffee beans that just made this one really special.

To all of you reading this: I encourage you to enjoy the morning. I know I’ve probably talked about it before, but it’s rejuvenating; it makes me feel alive, and it’s so easy to do.


The trip was wonderful, you guys. I know it’s such a cliche, but California has stolen my heart. I think my favorite part of this trip was when we did our performance shots for the music video.

Like I just said, I’m a sucker for a good sunrise- but I can enjoy a sunset too.

So, the guys and I trekked over to the Hollywood Reservoir towards the end of the video shoot.

To put it in simpler terms, this place is the ideal place to take anyone on a date if you both like to spend time outside (Boys: You’ll get serious points. Do it.) It’s absolutely gorgeous, I mean, just look at it.

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I fell in love. Next time I make it out to Cali, I’ll definitely try and get back out here to be able to just sit and enjoy the view.

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This is the season of life where things get busy, but I’ll be doing my best to make a regular return to this place and ramble, because rambling is what I’m good at.

So, with that. Thank you for reading! I appreciate all of your eyes and kind words. Something new I’m starting now is answering a random question I receive at the end of these posts from people who comment or message me.

This week’s questions is from my new friend, Natalie!

“I have a friend who loves your music and is also a really good singer. He wants advice on how to be more out there. What would you tell someone who is looking for inspiration to begin singing more publicly and trying to be “found”?” 

  • Well, first and foremost. Tell your friend thank you! As for advice, I’ll start with this: Getting on a stage can be scary for anyone, whether you’re starting out or have been doing it for years. Music is one of the closest things to my heart, and if your friend is anything like I was a couple years ago,- he’s probably pretty nervous to share something that close to him with other people. The fear of rejection can get the best of us. But, I’d say to him: Start out with baby steps. Play for your family and friends, then when you feel encouraged and confident enough, go to an open mic and just do it. It’s terrifying, exhilarating, and the biggest rush I’ve ever felt. You can’t overthink it. As for being “found”- the most important thing, in my opinion (and I am no expert) is to be remember that it isn’t about the followers, the shows, the views, or the downloads- it never will be. It’s about making something that is a part of you, that you love. If you’re making music that you love, and putting your heart into it, the rest will fall into place. The moment that this changes is the moment you’re doing music for the wrong reasons. I play music because I am called to it, and want to share my songs with the people around me. I want to give people something they can connect, and relate to. I want to make people feel. Because, I love music… and if it’s something that ends up being my full-time career, I would be overjoyed, and ultimately, that would be the dream- and this IS something that takes a lot of patience and work. But, the following you receive should be at the second thing on your list of importance. So, with that… write, play, and perform. Share your art with everyone around you, and if being “found” falls into your lap, that’s great, but it’s not as important as what you’re putting out there. Be conscious of your motivation. Because music is about… well… the music.

Hope you all are having a happy Wednesday! I’m going to go sit outside.

Until next time:

Breathe, stretch, shake, let it go.

– Tori

Also, don’t forget to check out my latest YouTube video!

Meet My Roommate!!!


Current Obsessions:

Lush Bath Bombs: I know, I know. That’s pretty trivial, but I don’t care- they smell great and make my bath water turn fun colors.

Jergen’s Daily Moisturizer: This stuff rocks. If you’re like me, and don’t have a lot of time to lay out. This self-tanner is the bomb- and it smells SOOOO good.

Volcano Candles: I think this might have been an obsession a few months ago, but I want to re-emphasize how much I love this candle. I went through maybe 3 of them last semester, and I’m treating myself to another one sometime this week.

Spotify Mood Booster Playlist: This playlist on Spotify rocks- it’s how I find new music to listen to! Today, I found the band Timeflies, and I really dig their sound.

Naked Fish Sushi: This is a sushi bar in College Station that I went to for the first time last week- and IT’S SO GOOD I COULD CRY.

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