Haus of Tootsie: A Behind The Scenes Tour


I’m a go big or go home kind of chick. Just yesterday one of my best friends reminded me how many times she’s seen my antics well she knows me when she said “You have a pattern of throwing yourself headlong into… uh, well… everything actually.” I laughed out loud, because yes. Yes I do.

My first tattoo took up my entire shoulder blade and made a special guest appearance on my shoulder cap, collarbone, and chest. I’d been an activist and advocate in some of the darkest, most depraved places imaginable for years. I’ve uprooted my entire life 4x now – the latest, 2 years ago to live with a woman 2.5 times my senior who I’d met 10 days prior. Four months ago, I quit my job with no backup plan because I wanted to be all in with chasing my dreams and inspiring other women to go after theirs too.

This is just who I am.

And despite my unwillingness to do anything half-assed coupled with my typical East Coast vibrato, I’m also extremely sentimental and find meaning and symbolism and beauty in basically everything.

I’ve been thinking about small beginnings lately and how on the internet, anyone can seem next to perfect and larger than life. But nobody actually relates to that crap, do we? Maybe we get a little enamored – for a very short period of time before we silently rain down side eye and shade – when we see Instagram and Pinterest perfect lives, but do we ever really feel inspired? Do we ever feel a sense of solidarity? I sure as hell don’t.

I want to show you where I’m starting from. It’s humble and it’s got a lot of heart, just like a lot of you.

I am starting this dream chasing journey from a single bedroom I rent in a condo that does not belong to me. I’m just shy of 32 years old, single and dating, live in a beach town, mama to a sassy girl cat, have no debt and a car that belongs to me, but less than half of what I need to survive coming in every month, badass friends and family in my corner, world-class training under my belt, a vision for my future, wild hope in my heart, the occasional tear drenched cheeks, eruptive laugher in the face of fear and failure, continual gratitude to God that reaches to the moon and back, and an attitude of storming the mother !&?$#@% castle.

Welcome to the Haus of Tootsie.

1 Measurement-of-Courage

The first thing I see every time I walk into my bedroom is a reminder to live on purpose, exposed, fully human, brave, and alive.

2 Color-Guitars

This is my little toy guitar nook. I got these suckers on Olvera Street in LA. My old roommate and I tried our best to tune and play them, but to no avail. I’m happy to just look at them and use them as props for photoshoots.

3 Jewelry-Stand

And here we have girl world. It’s an extremely sparkly, colorful, and blinged out place where I keep all my accessories.

4 Words-In-My-Head

“I can hear the words in my head…” I got this bad boy at an outdoor art show in Hollywood because it tugged so hard on my word nerd heartstrings.

5 Guitars

This is my big girl guitar nook and the white board where I brainstorm and track my goals and ideas. It’s blank right now because I decided to be a professional and actually clean my living space before taking photos and plastering them on the internet. Also, in case you’re wondering, Ibanez, Martin, and Les Paul knockoff.

6 Litter-Box

Gracie’s corner – which I just noticed consists of Hiya Tootsie’s brand colors. It’s like I dig purple and pink or something. Also, don’t let the cleanliness fool you. She’s a total hog when she eats.

7 Long-Desk-Shot

This ginormous desk was here when I moved in and at first I was bummed by how much of the room it took up. Then I realized how perfect it is for creating mini spaces within a space. My keyboard (and Tom Waits songbook) fit perfectly above Gracie’s corner and my file folder, my typewriter and books I’m in the middle of reading are sectioned off well by my roommate’s paper shredder and filing cabinet, and my partial collection of books and full collection of DVDs hold their own above my roomie’s printer.

8 Crayons

All Good Things Are Wild and Free. I love this little print. It pushes me to keep my values front and center and reminds me daily of why I’m chasing my dreams. Also, this crayon art is a piece my old roommate from Hollywood made in our living room with a hair dryer one night and gave it to me as a going away gift.

9 Sunglasses

I just got these sunglasses last weekend for 6 bucks. Obviously, it was the best 6 bucks I’ve ever spent. This spot is also where my camera usually lives (a Sony NEX-5N) that I bought off a kid on Craigslist who used to do all the marketing for eHarmony, used it once for his sister’s wedding last year, and gave me a killer deal because he was so stoked to hear about Hiya Tootsie!

10 Typewriter

This is my baby. She’s a Royal Quiet Deluxe that I bought from a dude named Dan in Missouri who’s dubbed himself Mr. Typewriter and rebuilds and repairs vintage typewriters.

11 Desk-Corner

I use platform heels as bookends. Weigh them down with some glass stones in the toes and they are fashion-function perfection. Also, can we talk about the best desk calendar ever? Every day is a new quote from an inspiring, badass broad. So my jam!

12 Skull-close-up

I got this skull candle as a gift in my LA Blogcademy goodie bag. I decided to glam her up a little and give her a Monroe piercing.

13 Book-Corner

This is where I house all the books that don’t fit on my actual bookshelf and my mini DVD collection. The screaming mouth print is from the same outdoor art show as the typewriter-head print, and the Marilyn Monroe Hollywood canvas is from some hippie dippy shop in Venice Beach. Also, that’s my diploma. I’ve got a degree in Professional Writing, but started off as a Music major before I decided I didn’t want anyone telling me how to rock and roll. True story.

14 Desk-Tall

My Thoreau desk. Only not because I got it on sale at Hobby Lobby. Regardless, look how rustic and gorgeous. And it’s the perfect size to fit in front of my window and between my bed and the gigantor wall desk. I absolutely love working in this space. It’s cozy, well-lit, and makes me feel like a pro. These carnations are a new touch. I’ve never bought myself flowers before this week because I’ve always been afraid Gracie would eat them, but she’s totally left them alone and I’m obsessed. They smell amazing and are the perfect touch to my work space.

15 Nighttime-Desk

It’s also very sexy at night. Oo. Ah. Writer glam.

16 Closed-Planner
This planner is absolute perfection. It’s designed specifically for creative entrepreneurs and made me squeal when I found it – also a true story.

18 Open-Planner

I don’t often write inside the lines. But I do tell myself to write like a mother you-know-what-er. I also decided yesterday that I want to have a gratitude and abundance journal and am so excited to start!

17 Phone-Front

This phone and case are pretty much the best and most functional, fantastic Christmas gifts I’ve ever received and totally help me kick ass with my work.

19 Phone-Back

I really wanted a crazy phone case like the girls in China have but couldn’t find any stores online that sold what I was looking for. And then I stumbled on Lux Addiction, a company based out of LA, and their custom-made cases and flipped out. I wanted my case to be “on brand” with Hiya Tootsie! and rep my lip icon and they made it happen. It’s really understated, I know. It’s also blinding in the sunlight.

20 Bed

My dreaming space. One day I’ll have a headboard and it will be equally magical, but for now, I created an installation art piece above my bed that makes me swoon and dread ever moving out of here because I don’t want to dismantle it! I made a decision last year to treat my entire space, but specifically the epicenter of my self-care and rest space, like a palace. My sheets are a satiny cotton candy pink, the bedspread is white and ruched, the decorative pillows are gem and pretend pearl encrusted, the mattress and foam topper were one of my first adult investments, and the pillow I sleep on, I’ve dubbed my geriatric posturepedic pillow because it’s just that excellent. I wanted this space to make me feel beautiful, free, abundant, and rested in spirit and it absolutely does just that. Also, those giant white puffs are hard as hell to shape without accidentally ripping. Worth it.

21 Marvin-Close-Up

This is Marvin. I shared a little story about him a couple months ago. He is one of those special sentimental symbolic things in my life.

22 Look-Up-Installation-

This is what I open my eyes to every morning. It really is the absolute best and was so fun to make! I put the whole thing together one weekend two Decembers ago over the course of watching an SVU marathon. This is my first ever art installation piece and totally not my last. Let me know if you’re interested in me writing a tutorial post so you can partake in your own version of this amazingness!

23 Bag
This bag has seriously changed my work life. As an ENFP who basically goes bonkers if I have to spend too much time working alone, this baby gives me the freedom to go out to coffee shops, the library, or a friend’s place and bring my laptop, my lunch in an insulated compartment, books, phone, and planner without a hitch.

24 Bookshelf

This is my library/workout/yoga/storage/extra seating area.

25 Mask

Can we talk about how much I love masquerade masks? This beauty in particular has a sordid past and came from the Exotic Erotic Ball in San Francisco. Like I said earlier, activist and advocate in some pretty crazy places.

26 Cupcake-Bucket

My f*ck it bucket, cupcake bank, and leopard print vase are some of my very favorites in pretty, yet functional home decor.

27 Bathroom

Oh hey, bathroom! Sometime last year I switched over to using almost all natural products on my face and body. I use lemon witch hazel as my cleanser and toner, coconut oil and vitamin E oil as my moisturizer, and tea tree oil for spot treatment. I also made my own sugar scrub and feel like a crunchy badass every time I use it.

28 Gracie

Ok, this is my actual baby. She’s an 8 year old Ragdoll who I thought was a Persian for the first 6 years of her life, much prefers men over women, jumps on my chest and purrs like a chainsaw first thing in the morning but ignores me the rest of the day, eats special food because she’s prone to UTIs, is a fan of bolting through any door to the outside world when no one is watching, does not like to travel but does like to knock over glasses of water, always has a new favorite spot to sleep, loves sitting on my lap outside, makes my life exceptionally furry, and is in all reality the cutest thing on the entire planet.

29 Me-and-Room

This is my world. Everything I own fits into this bedroom and this is where my dream chasing is beginning. I can’t wait to see where it takes me. Things are small (and ridiculously colorful) right now, but that doesn’t mean that my dreams are small. I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. Women all over the world have bucked the status quo and even their own “good sense” to see their dreams through. Those are the chicks I choose to run with. We are the women who run with the wolves.

I believe that you and I are one in the same.

Whoever you are and wherever you’re starting from, if I can start chasing my dreams from a rented bedroom like a classy badass broad, so can you. Our circumstances are part of our story. They are what add flare and relatability and dimension. They are what make our journeys ours.

So rock them. Start. Just start, wild woman. And if you’re well on your way already, then party on, Wayne.

Follow me on Instagram and post a photo of you in your space with the hashtag #hausoftootsie! I want to see your beautiful face and space where your dream journey is taking shape.

And if you’re down with G-o-d (yeah you know me), then this is for you too: “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” -Zechariah 4:10

Follow Me on Instagram