"I'm an island of such great complexity"~unknown

We hit the road again mid June and stopped at an interesting venue, The Nikon at Jones Beach Theater. It is literally floating on the water and is old as shit. I had the privilege of touring the underground tunnels of where the bodies are buried and rats roam freely. Thank god our head of security was there to protect me. I love old unique structures with history. There should be more buildings like these standing instead of being torn down.  

We were only here for less than 24 hours, but it was quite interesting an intense. Unable to continue on with the rest of the tour, nightly LGA hangs were in our future which is always an adventure. But hey at least we were back in Nashville by 7:00am. 

This is how rough it looks like hitting the open road

This is how rough it looks like hitting the open road

Who does not like waking up to these beauties ready to do some work...

Who does not like waking up to these beauties ready to do some work...

Floating venue on the ocean

Floating venue on the ocean

Daily gear if not wearing combat boots

Daily gear if not wearing combat boots

Pretty bad ass set up

Pretty bad ass set up

This is what 2am airport hangs looks like

This is what 2am airport hangs looks like

"From here on out I am only interested in what is real. Real people, real feelings, that is it. That is all I am interested in." ~ Almost Famous

Finally, from taking a break and getting my head on straight and maybe making a few excuses on why I do not have the time to do this blog thing, I have figured out my focus. I will be channeling my energy on documenting what my life is like as a roadie touring. Everyday we get asked what life is like, and told how cool it is to do what we do. Yes, I love what I do and would not change a thing. I fought to be where I am for sure because of my passion behind it. I think people outside the industry have their own ideas on touring so I will give you a peek into my world. Plus I am still involved in fashion while on the road so I love to combine both of my worlds into one. Show you how I try to make my unglamorous road life as glam as possible. 

Also, I go to sneak peak of the new show Roadies on Showtime the other night. I was extremely excited about this coming out, and feel like it has great potential but once again TV just ruined it. Besides the arena, a realistic production office, and of course the corky tour mates the show lost my attention quickly. I am sorry but my bus driver does not take naps in the bed of a semi... he goes to the hotel immediately after breakfast and returns about 1am when we are about to roll out.  But I digress...

I want people to be able to have a look into my life, so here it is. I write quickly and on a whim. So shit is messy and not spell checked. Sorry. I do not have time. 

This week we are off to Wantagh, NY and that is where I will kick things off. So before then let me introduce you to my home away from home, my lovely bus. We spend a lot of time here so it is only proper you get familiar.

This is our army...

This is our army...

My view most days...

My view most days...

It is a good place to zone out and find piece when living with 10 plus people

It is a good place to zone out and find piece when living with 10 plus people

"Sometimes you need to press pause to let everything sink in." ~ Sebastian Vettel

 I have had to take some major pauses this past year, and for that I apologize. From these pauses though have come some great things. For one, I have decided it is time to re do the blog. In this world where we are ever changing I need to have my blog reflect the growths that have occurred in my life. 2015 was a big year for me both personally and professionally. This caused me to spend a lot of time away from the computer focusing on work and most importantly on myself.  

From this time away I have started to realize what I want to write about and document here on sparklegrunge. So please, just hang in there with me while I get my shit together....I will be back momentarily, and hopefully there will be no more large gaps or pauses found in 2016 like there were in 2015. Though pauses may be good, all who know me know I cannot stay in silence for too long. 

So until I get my ish together... here is a little look back on the kick ass moments of 2015 and of the people I call family.

I apologize for all the shots of my feet, I think subconsciously I have a foot fetish, but I like to think it just due to the love of shoes.

It is amazing to find a best friend like this unexpectedly in your life.

It is amazing to find a best friend like this unexpectedly in your life.

Some days you just have to say no... I did a lot this past year

Some days you just have to say no... I did a lot this past year

See I do have a girly side when I want to

See I do have a girly side when I want to

Me doing what I do best, hiding in the dressing room

Me doing what I do best, hiding in the dressing room

Think they will let me be OVO for life? 

Think they will let me be OVO for life? 

This crew is the best family a girl could ever ask for

This crew is the best family a girl could ever ask for

Leather and stilettos in NYC...duh

Leather and stilettos in NYC...duh

Hotel and bus living all year long

Hotel and bus living all year long

Everyone once and awhile someone will treat you like the princess you are

Everyone once and awhile someone will treat you like the princess you are

But then you are brought back to reality....which I would never trade in

But then you are brought back to reality....which I would never trade in

I mean my name is sticks and I am a fucking bad ass

I mean my name is sticks and I am a fucking bad ass

who has these people as road family

who has these people as road family

Do not even get me started on this lady

Do not even get me started on this lady

I mean when one is down we pick up the other

I mean when one is down we pick up the other

This is my main rock for sure. Who taught me so much in 2015 and I will forever love

This is my main rock for sure. Who taught me so much in 2015 and I will forever love

Aside from the people road views are breath taking as well

Aside from the people road views are breath taking as well

OH and I am always in Canada which is amazing!!!

OH and I am always in Canada which is amazing!!!

Before I go I would not have survived last year without you...thank you

Before I go I would not have survived last year without you...thank you

I get ideas about what's essential when packing my suitcase. Diane von Furstenberg

This quote rings very true for me. I never knew how little one needs to pack until going out on the road. When you have to save space and live on a bus with 10 other people we learn quickly what you can and cannot live with. It is refreshing going out and traveling with the bare essentials. Not being weighed down with the unnecessary material items. It is also nice not having the extra material items, makeup, hair product, etc out with you to mask or cover up our flaws. When you are stripped down to the basics those around you get to know you for the vulnerable you which is rare these days and should be cherished. 

I am not saying though I do not run into my closet when I get home and roll around in my scarfs, jackets, and booties crying tears of joy that we are reunited, but it is nice to have a few days a week to reset and remember what is truly important. 

And to pack those important pieces I use two main brands; long trips it is Dakine all the way, and short trips Burton. Both are absolutely amazing and have saved me so many times with all my shit. I also have a beater carry on roller I keep packed at all times to be ready to go at a moments notice. 

The grab and go bag...yes I know my packing is perfectly executed here

The grab and go bag...yes I know my packing is perfectly executed here

And every now and then this happens..... I wish he could go everywhere with me


“I love natural beauty, and I think it's your best look, but I think makeup as an artist is so transformative.” ― Marina and the Diamonds

Being on the road I like to keep my hair and makeup as natural as possible. For one, no one has time in the morning to fuss with getting all dolled up, and two you are going to be a hot sweaty mess in five minutes anyways so what is the point. 

With that being said, I do want to try and look slightly like a human being when I come off the bus so I do not completely scare away my crew and the fans. 

I do though keep it very toned down and simple. Like to stick with the basics out on the road. Here is a peak into the hair and makeup products I always pack with me when I am out traveling. 

My go to is a topknot, but when my hair is down I love a messy bedhead look. Bumble and bumble along with Oribe help me achieve this perfectly.

My go to is a topknot, but when my hair is down I love a messy bedhead look. Bumble and bumble along with Oribe help me achieve this perfectly.

I do not have time to fuss with makeup, plus being in the heat it is a mess. These four products are lifesavers for me. Put them on in the morning and I am good to go.

I do not have time to fuss with makeup, plus being in the heat it is a mess. These four products are lifesavers for me. Put them on in the morning and I am good to go.


“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” ― Oprah Winfrey

As the countdown begins for me heading out on the road for a fall tour which I am beyond ready to dive in, I have been looking for fresh ideas to add to the blog. Ways I can incorporate my travels with everyone reading. One thing I noticed that is not out there is life on the road as a female. Real actual life on the road. Not look at me I am flying to a tropical island to cover an out of this world hotel, and get paid to sip the finest drinks and wear free clothing slung my way. I am talking about I need to get from point A to point B by tour bus or fly coach while living with a family of 50 plus amazingly talented people we would all die for.

Me laying in my hammock truck side soaking in some nice exhaust fumes

Me laying in my hammock truck side soaking in some nice exhaust fumes

 

Every time I prep to leave or talk about being on the road to another who does not share the same field  I get the response of oh the "glamorous"  life. Well, glamorous it is not but fun it is. It is beyond words fun. A lifestyle many cannot comprehend nor want to adopt. Me I would not trade it for the world. I had to sit at home in Nashville for the last 4 plus weeks and I almost went insane from being in the same city for to long. That is a real thing, insanity caused by lack of travel and work. 

Nothing like a little morning coffee courtesy Cafe A La Ponder

Nothing like a little morning coffee courtesy Cafe A La Ponder


With that being said, I have decided to attempt to document life on the road for me as a fashion stylist, what goes in to it, and what this looks like for many. Hopefully this will give you a better picture of how "glamorous"  it is. For example showering in amphitheaters, pushing cases in 90 degree plus heat, or best yet being drunk while trying to crawl in the top bunk of a moving bus at 4am. 

The best part of living in a bus my view each morning constantly changing 

The best part of living in a bus my view each morning constantly changing 

" I do not fear commitment, I fear wasting time" ~ Unknown

I have not posted anything in awhile due to it being more of a slower summer than I would like tour wise. I do not go back out on the road full-time until the end of this month with Jason Aldean. Back to the country world I go. Many would say being back in Nashville for a couple months is a good thing. This gives me time to sit, relax, tie up lose ends. For me sitting causes insanity. I cannot be in one place for too long. A lot of monotony happening in the house. How are you to better yourself if you are not moving forward. 

Those who know me feel my inability to sit is a sign of me being unable to commit in life. I am always looking for something better something more. My reply is yes. I know what I want and I strive to achieve it. You can either join me for the ride or step aside. I set a goal to succeed in this industry and I plan on making it. I will take each job as they come. Never turning away the opportunity to grow my skill set and move forward. 

I am excited for this next journey I am about to embark on. It will be a new experience, new people, and many adventures to be had. So let's go fucking burn it down...

"If You're Reading This It's Too Late" ~ Drake

So I have switched over from the country world into rap. I am now out touring with Drake and loving it. I had no clue what I had signed on to or what to expect, but I have been pleasantly surprised with this challenge that has been presented to me. 

I get the daily task of assisting with the set up of his personal dressing rooms. It is a new challenge that I welcome. It has opened my eyes to a new side of the touring world, and I am grateful for this opportunity. I get to try my hand at being creative in the set up of multiple rooms each day and work with such a talented crew. 


“know what you want, work to get it, then value it once you have it.” ― Nora Roberts

Recently I had the honor of assisting with the bad ass team of Austin Mahone's. He was performing at the NCAA Final Four practices, and I was asked to come along and assist with his wardrobe along with the dancer's. This is something I work towards everyday, and to be asked to assist with this is a great feeling. It was a nice change of pace doing a one off with a pop act when I spend most of my days on a country tour. I cannot wait till I can do more pop in the future. Everyone needs dancing in their daily life. 

Austin Mahone from People Magazine at NCAA Final Four  

Austin Mahone from People Magazine at NCAA Final Four

 

“This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change.” ― Taylor Swift

Sometimes in life you need to reinvent yourself. It may be something small like a change in your style, haircut, or a total inner transformation. I am currently on that path with my life both professionally and personally. With 30 just around the corner I feel like now is a good time to take a good look at myself and ask the question is this where I want to be. Do I like who I am becoming, and am I doing all I want to reach my professional capabilities.

As humans, I feel we all have capabilities to become a better version of ourselves. We can all do better in work, our relationships, and in taking care of us. This is my plan. To be a better me.

To kick off the reinvention, one small step taken is revamping Amanda & Amanda Styling with my partner Amanda Jilek. We felt like this year was a good year to do more with our styling, expand ourselves. We redesigned our site and have started blogging to showcase our unique wardrobe styles. Please check out our new changes. We hope you enjoy and follow our new journey we are embarking on.



"Losing Yourself is the Best Way to Find Yourself"~ unknown

One thing I have learned today that transferring websites can be a tricky thing, and you may lose a lot of material. Which it seems that I have. I guess good news for me though I get to go back through all my old memories and re post about them, improve on the the previous articles that I had written in years past. So forgive me if upcoming posts look familiar. Bear with me for I promise new stuff is about to come.

“One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” ― Henry Miller

Well, it is a new year and I plan to keep to my intention of blogging more. I mean we are what ten days in and I am finally on my first post. I would say we are off to a good start. 2015 started so relaxing, the way a year should start, but then all madness broke loose and the real world hit me in the face. But before this madness I like to call work hit,  I was able to ring in the New Year in Dublin. It was glorious. I am already dreaming of when I will be flying back and who knows making a home there. For while I was over there I learned one thing, and this thing was to slow down. People did not move as fast in the streets, dinners were meant to be enjoyed, silence was welcomed wherever you went. I actually learned that it is okay to sit and do nothing. When I am home in the states my brain never turns off, people are running from point A to point B, we are rushed out of restaurants. I always joke with my family that I live in the wrong state, well damn I live in the wrong country. Everything about Ireland gets me from the fashion, to the food, down to the people. Besides New York this is the only other place I have ever been to where I have totally gotten lost and all my worries have slipped away.

I know I am weird. You would think I would get lost on a beach somewhere, but no give me a city any day. Maybe throw in green rolling hills in the background and we are set.

 


“Once, after finishing a picture, I thought I would stop for awhile, take a trip, do things -- the next time I thought of this, I found five years had gone by” Willem de Kooning

I have literally blinked and 2014 has disappeared. 2014 has granted me with many exciting opportunities I never thought imaginable. I sadly neglected things I wished to pay more attention too, like my blog for example.

I plan for the start of 2015, a fresh page... to start blogging my journeys again. I have many adventures to write about this time. I never go into the new year with intentions of starting fresh or resolutions to apply, but this year I will focus on trying harder and doing better. For that is all we can do, right.

"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going" ~ Beverly Sills

Ever since moving to Nashville my friends have this saying for me when I start to become discouraged about work and the future, "Nashville is a five year city." When they first started telling me this I wanted to smack them upside the head. What the hell does that even mean….a five year city? I have never heard of such a thing. But now, being here for about three years it is all starting to make sense. See, here in Nashville you have to earn the respect of your peers, and show you can produce before the work starts knocking at your door. It has talking me awhile to understand this, seeing that I come from the generation of instant gratification and wanting everything to happen when I will it to happen, but now that projects (challenging and exciting ones) are starting to roll in I feel I can better appreciate them.

For example, since I moved here in 2011 I have secretly wanted a shot to work with 3 Star Production. I was always scratching my head trying to think of a way to prove my worth, show I could play with the big boys. I finally got my chance when my friend Tish called saying they needed a wardrobe assistant for a Women's Health Magazine cover shoot. BOOM….I came, I saw, I conquered. I showed up, and was able to prove I could hold my own.

 

 

“How can you know what you're capable of if you don't embrace the unkown?” ― Esmeralda Santiago, Conquistadora

I stumbled upon this quote today and it hit close to my heart.  For 2014  is all about creating new goals, and accomplishing those goals I have been unsure of in the past. For how do we know what we are truly capable of if we never try, if we are never given the opportunity, or if we are always told NO!  If we keep coming across obstacles then find away over, around, or under them.  But for the love of god never turn around and walk away.  If we keep giving up every time there is a challenge we will never know the beauty on the other side, or know the true joy that comes with the sense of accomplishment.  I know personally it is hard to stay positive, smiling, and not to give up.  This is why in this new year I have armed my self with the proper materials to get me through and accomplish all those massive goals.

Materials for being a bad ass 

“To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your own path, and don't worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest”

I was feeling extremely girlie the other evening, but wanted to roam the streets of the city. So I put on my frilly purple dress, a cardigan for it is unseasonably cold here, my boots, and headed out to explore with Shelton.

After for being in Nashville for almost a year I finally made it to the Shelby walking bridge. Absolutely amazing. For a moment I felt like I was back in NYC. I never realized how beautiful downtown Nashville can be. We spent the majority of the evening running around the bridge, climbing on structures while trying not to break an ankle, and of course people watching. I will definitely visit the bridge again just to sit and watch the world go by.

 

 

 

 

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ~ Maria Robinson

Finally found a beautiful day with no clouds in the sky to head out with Shelton Dickson of 615 Photography to play a bit with cameras and fashion. It has been too long and was over due. We went exploring along the Vanderbilt campus and ended up on the West side of Nashville with little churches and beautiful street art. It is truly a blessing to have such an artistic and wonderful family here in Nashville. Where we can support one another and help each of us grow in our craft. I am on pins and needles with anticipation on where our next great adventure will take us.  

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2011 in Photos, oh what a year

Oh 2011 what a crazy year....where should I even begin....I know start with the photos  

 

 

 

 
 

 

Then we moved this intervention from Nashville to New York City
 
 

 

 
 

 
 
 

 

 
 

 
Back to Nashville...this time for a few months
 
 

 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 

 

 
 
 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 
On to the next adventure

From New York, to Nashville, back to Indiana, only to finish the year in New York. 2011 you were a crazy ride, but I feel 2012 is gonna kick your ass!