It's the little (Chick-Fil-A) things.

I'm the biggest fan and advocate of long, solo road trips. From making copious amounts of mixed CDs that ensue some stellar dance parties to driving through some incredible scenery, it's safe to say that I'm always entertained.

This past weekend, I had the (my) pleasure of driving by quite possibly one of the funniest billboards I've ever seen. (Okay, sorry, I couldn't resist with the pun above!)

It read, "Late 4 wurk? Bosses luv chikin."

I LAUGHED REALLY HARD.

I've definitely had moments where I've been in the position of being regrettably late to work due to some situation, and have contemplated bringing my boss a cup of coffee or some lunch to make up for my tardiness.

And then... there was the Chick-Fil-A billboard... telling me that not only should I get my boss something to apologize for my lateness, but that it should be Chick-Fil-A because who doesn't love a good chicken sandwich!?

Plus, Chick-Fil-A solves all problems, am I right?

Unfortunately, I was unable to take a photo of it since I was driving, and after several attempts at searching the internet for it, I'm unable to post a picture of it to share with you. Instead, enjoy this gif, and do yourself a favor: drive on I-10 East towards Jacksonville to see this fantastic billboard. It definitely was just a little thing that gave me quite the good laugh.

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MUSIC MONDAY: February 15, 2016.

I had an idea in mind of what I wanted to feature on this week's Music Monday after listening to the same album on repeat with Jenna all weekend long. However, last night upon getting into the shower, the first song that came on shuffle was "Twenty-Somethings" by Judah and the Lion. The fact that this came on as the first one, along with even just coming on in general, felt extremely symbolic of not only this past weekend, but also each day of my life.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDpT0_kn3zw]

This song holds a really important place within my heart.

I always remember enjoying the song while listening to it on the album, but it wasn't until the second time that I saw them live this past November that I really felt like I was completely embodying this song as I listened to them perform it live.

This song describes exactly where I'm at in life.

"We don't know where we're going, but we're on the run. We don't know where the road ends, but we're having fun. Running scared, running free; full of life, got no money. Yeah that's us: Twenty-somethings."

Later in the song comes the words, "We've got a whole lot of questions about everything. Where in the world are we going with all our dreams?" 

When I saw them live in November, it was during a time when I was honestly struggling with a ridiculous amount of aspects of life. The opportunity to go to this show came about, but I almost didn't take it due to financial reasons and other responsibilities and priorities that I was concerned about. It was almost hard to even justify making the drive to Atlanta and spending all that money, even after I was already standing in the crowd at the show, but the moment I heard this song, I felt absolute peace and understanding with everything in my life.

"You can't stop us; you can't bring us down. We just lovin' life, we don't got it figured out."

I'm at a point in my life where I am not destined to have everything figured out; ends will not always meet, things won't always make sense, and I will not be able to have a plan majority of the time. BUT this is all okay because I'm at the time in my life where I am twenty-something: I am destined to spend this time adventuring, connecting with people, experiencing new opportunities, making spontaneous memories, and figuring myself out.

Even now, months later after this show, I still think often about this song and how well it perfectly describes this stage in life that not only I'm currently at, but I think majority of twenty-somethings are as well. This past weekend was a reminder of all of those things: how my best friends and I are all a bunch of twenty-somethings who don't have our lives figured out, but we are enjoying the memories we are making by living life just by each day.

But you know what? It's not just us: the members of Judah and the Lion are in the same boat as us (obviously, since they created the song) and they are also just a bunch of twenty-somethings who are loving life, and embracing the fact that even though they may not know what the future holds, they're going to carry on with the adventure that each new day holds. One of my favorite things about seeing Judah and the Lion play live is that they fully embody this concept, too. They preach it, and they live it.

This song embodies all of the above: the fear AND the embrace of the unknown.

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SUNDAY'S BEST: February 14, 2016.

I think out of all of the weeks so far in 2016, this one was definitely the hardest. It's not necessarily that there were a lot of bad moments that occurred, but rather just more of a week where I felt conflicted emotionally with certain situations, and where I maybe wasn't my strongest.

But that's okay. Some days or weeks (or maybe even months) aren't meant to be the absolute cherry on top. One thing I've been working on stressing to myself is to allow myself one bad day a week where I don't go out of my way to try and correct it. It sounds strange, I know, but I've stressed before how there is a great deal of importance that exists when it comes to having a balance of good and bad in all aspects of life. Therefore, I'm trying to work on giving myself room to embrace my bad days, and to not overwork myself or bend over backwards to correct a day that I have felt like was consistently not-so-hot all day.

With that being said, this week may not have been so hot, but that's okay! It helped me to realize a lot of solid things about myself.

THIS WEEK'S SUNDAY'S BEST CONSISTS OF: - Finally getting to ring in Ali's 21st Birthday! (as well as definitely ringing in too much Mexican food in one sitting) - Watched a Star Wars movie finally with Doug and Cody! (except... well... I may have missed the beginning, but they caught me up enough, so it's okay, right? Still counts?) - FACETIMED FOR A LITTLE BIT WITH PHAZON! (Always grand catching up with that fool!) - Attended a meeting for a new campaign that will be launching that I am getting the pleasure of getting to help art direct the design for, and it went super well! (Green Dot at Florida State, COMING SOON.) - Took Doug on a Penny Adventure for his first time (and we didn't end up in a sketchy area, frick yeah!) - Attended our DSA Marketing Spring Half Day Retreat (and fell more in love with my perfect co-workers) - Had coffee made and delivered to me by Alexis (because she's a perfect angel who makes me feel better on bad days) - Went on the Ropes Course with my co-workers after our retreat (and totally didn't have a panic attack over my fear of heights, so that was extremely awesome!) - Created a "Cute but Psycho" club with Courtney during Ali's Birthday get-together. - CELEBRATED THE BEST HOLIDAY (GALENTINE'S DAY) WITH MY BEST FRIEND ALL WEEKEND. - But seriously, had a killer weekend with Jenna that involved lots of sweets, homework, and girl time.

Click the photos below to get a better look at my past week!

JELLYBEAN: February 13th, 2016.

IMG_4466 If you're not already familiar with the concept of Galentine's Day, then fear not; I'm here (and so it YouTube user Mando Babble who created this wonderful explanation video) to give you the quick rundown:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GzNX3gI38M]

Quick moment of silence to commemorate how wonderful Leslie Knope's character is, as well as how perfect of an idea Galentine's Day is.

My best friend Jenna typically comes to visit me at school during Fall Semester, and I go to visit her during Spring Semester. Therefore, the time was upon me to make a trip over to Jacksonville, and what better time than the weekend of Galentine's Day!?

We made the plans months ago to spend this weekend together, however with an extremely busy schedule and some last second things popping up, we almost contemplated just spending time together another weekend.

Except I wasn't about to let that happen. I 100% knew that I needed to use my jellybeans wisely to make this Galentine's Day road trip to Jacksonville happen! NO MATTER WHAT.

Despite the fact that I forgot to set my alarms the night before (and was also leaving a day later than I had wanted to originally), I was on my way to Jax by 9:30am.

Immediately upon arrival, Galentine's Day was starting off at an absolute success as Jenna decked me out with a temporary tattoo of an emoji.

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Is there any other way to truly start the day!?!

The rest of the day proceeded as so: 1. Girl catch-up talk on her bed for a couple hours about life, love, (and the pursuit for coffee? hahaha, gotta give me some credit for that!) and all things in-between. 2. Went to Metro Diner to enjoy a meal of Strawberry Cheesecake-infused Waffles (the ultimate Galentine's Day breakfast food item) 3. Walked around the lake reservation area near campus as the sun went down, as well as was given a tour around the beautifully lit-up campus at night. (romantic or what?) 4. Went on an absolute scavenger hunt for temporary tattoos. (Almost gave up in defeat, but Walmart came in clutch. Except now I have 64 Valentine's Day cards that I don't know what to do with!) 5. Cooked a fabulous (very adult-like) dinner: Spinach & Feta stuffed Chicken with Brown Rice. (HOLY. YUM.) 6. Began the process of (temporary) tattoo'ing ourselves with Frozen, Hello Kitty, and Minions tattoos while we baked Chocolate Truffle and Red Velvet cakes, and drank a bottle of Red Moscato wine as we watched a chick flick. (Yes, yes, and... YES.)

Can you say Best Galentine's Day, ever!? Thanks to Jenna for being an absolute angel of a best friend always, and for making this weekend (and this Jellybean of a day!) the absolute bees knees after a hard week.

It's the little (unspoken gesture) things.

I think as you are all aware, I place a lot of emphasis and importance on little moments. One thing I sometimes struggle with (or rather just become irrationally nervous about) is better letting people know how significant these moments are to me that occur with them and mentioning them at a more timely manner. I just really want people to understand how actions speak so much louder than words ever truly could, and how much this truly impacts me.

Tonight, I told you how the song I was playing for you was one that was destined to be played with the windows down while driving on the highway. I mentioned this concept to you earlier this week (saying how I rarely am able to drive in the car without the windows down and a good jam blaring through my speakers) and how I have many songs that feel reach their absolute peak when played blaring on the highway with windows down.

I started playing "All of the People" by Panama Wedding, and was looking out my window as we made a left turn. Moments later after the song had begun, the windows were suddenly being put down by you, but it took me a quick second to realize it. I was almost slightly alarmed, but then immediately I looked over at you with the utmost excitement. You kept looking ahead at the rood, calm and collected, even though I think you know this was sending me over-the-moon. For some reason, I couldn't form words; all I was able to get out was a squeeze of your hand before I let go to start dancing.

It was such a simple, unspoken gesture, but such a meaningful one. You could have just taken my words, and stored them away in your memory, but you put action to them, and that meant so much. This was significant to me. This was, and still is, extremely important to me for many reasons.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever tell you this in person because I just don’t know if I’d be able to convey the impact to you. I think my fear stems from not being able to convey the feeling well enough, and therefore damaging it's impact upon explanation, and feeling foolish for not making it understandable to the other person. I can sometimes make the most meaning out of the smallest things, and I'm never quite sure how that is perceived by the people in my life.

So, maybe you'll read this, or maybe you won't. But please know this very specific moment speaks volumes to me about who you are as a person.

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_q4P0SjIqoU]

ICWMI: February 11, 2016.

I don't remember when I first found out about the Illustrator Bethany Grace White, but I've been following her on Instagram for some time now. A few months ago, she followed me back, and I remember being absolutely over the moon about it.

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But here is where it gets exciting:

The other day, I was listening to my "Discover Weekly" playlist on Spotify.

All of a sudden, I saw a song come on by a guy named Jason Lancaster. I looked at the little album artwork icon and thought, "Whoa. That looks a lot it could be Bethany's artwork."

A couple days later, I wound up hearing that song again, and seeing that album artwork, thinking, "That HAS to be her artwork." I decided to then do some detective work.

I googled Jason Lancaster. Before I even found out about his album artwork, I found out some interesting facts that made me squeal with excitement:

1. He used to sing in Mayday Parade / Go Radio. Both of these bands were huge obsessions for me during late middle school / early high school. 2. He is from / still currently lives in Tallahassee, FL. And, for those who don't already know, THAT'S WHERE I LIVE WHILE IN SCHOOL.

As I continue on, I find this latest album with the artwork that I had seen on my Spotify playlist.

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 2.53.35 PMScreen Shot 2016-02-14 at 2.53.55 PMScreen Shot 2016-02-14 at 2.54.08 PM

A-HA! I WAS RIGHT! The artwork for Jason Lancaster's "As You Are" album WAS INDEED created by Bethany Grace White!

I'm nearly two years late to finding out about this, but still: the world is ridiculously small, and I'm constantly being amazed by all the little connections and ties that I am finding. How cool is it that one of my favorite illustrators created artwork for a musician that lives in the same city as me and used to play in two of my favorite bands!?!

Moral of the story: life is crazy, and connections are the coolest. Simple (and maybe not very eloquently said) as that.

Listen to Jason Lancaster's music: here. Check out Bethany Grace White's Instagram: here. Check out Bethany Grace White's Society6: here. Check out Bethany Grace White's Tumblr: here.

WOMAN (CRUSH) WEDNESDAY: February 10, 2016.

Has Kristen Bell truly ever done anything that we haven't been completely obsessed about? From crying about sloths on national television to being extremely proactive about causes that she believes strongly in to just being freakin' Anna from Frozen (aka the greatest Disney character to ever exist), is it fair to say that we can all agree that she's an absolute gem to this world!?!

The other day, I was on Facebook when I saw somebody post this video featuring her as Mary Poppins. The caption read,

"Mary Poppins (Kristen Bell) is practically perfect in every way, except grossly underpaid. She wants to #RaiseTheWage."

All right, you've successfully grabbed my attention. Tell me more.

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 2.19.53 PM Due to embedding being disabled, I am unable to post this video within the contents on this blog post, however! You can watch the video HERE.

The video focuses on how minimum wage workers are living below the poverty line, and how they need to actually be paid adequately for the hard work that is being put in at their jobs. She offers a plan to raise the minimum wage by just three dollars, which would help her to more comfortably be able to support her weekly costs and taxes. Not only that, but it'd make a living wage (instead of the "minimum wage" that so many struggle to make ends meet on.)

As a nanny myself (when I'm not away at school and working at the Marketing Office), I couldn't help but be ridiculously laughing at this video because of it's cuteness. However, the message still stands with importance, just produced and introducing us to this idea in a more uplifting and charming way.

Plus, whether you agree or not with this video, you can't even tell me you didn't enjoy that ending of, "Well, isn't that just supercalafragalisticexpiali-bullshit."

Hashtag hell yeah to Kristen Bell for once again being such a remarkable woman by standing up for important causes, and always providing us with her sweet personality while kicking ass.

BONUS: I also have that sunflower duffel bag! $25 from Target, that's what's up, playerz.

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TOP TEN TUESDAY: February 9, 2016.

I asked Ali a couple weeks ago to help give me an idea for a "Top Ten Tuesday" list on a day when I was feeling a little out of ideas. Her instant response: "Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Ali"

Good one.

I told her to keep trying, but then I decided that since her birthday this year was to fall on a Tuesday, I would actually make that a Top Ten Tuesday.

So, today, my dearest Ali turns 21. Therefore, here is TOP TEN REASONS WHY I LOVE ALI:

1. Her generosity. I've never met somebody who goes out of their way quite like Ali to do anything they can to help people in their times of need. When it comes to me, it's like Ali has a sensor to know when all is not well. (She herself even refers to it as her "Kristy senses") Because of that, she is always generous enough to surprise me with coffee, take away her precious hours of the day to talk things out with me, and send endless amounts of texts with cute baby animal photos or leave encouraging notes.

2. Her sense of positivity. Recently, despite bad situations, Ali has a wonderful way of looking past all the bad in all of our lives to keep our spirits high. Even when she is down about her own life, she keeps her head high and reminds us all that we can't sit and wallow in our doubt and sadness because life is too short to waste that kind of time.

3. Her persistance. Ali's a go-getter. She has big dreams, and while some might look at them and question her ability to achieve all of those goals, I don't. She is one of the most persistent people I know, and is always working hard to achieve what she wants, and I know she'll accomplish big things.

4. Her spontaneity. My favorite thing about Ali is how easy it is to convince her into doing an activity with me. Her love of spontaneous adventures with me and spontaneous last second decisions has made for some of our best memories together. Whether it's a spontaneous road trip to somewhere a couple hours away, spontaneously dyeing crazy colors into our hair, or a spontaneously building a fort in the living room, it's never hard to convince Ali to do something adventurous on the spot.

5. Her honesty. Although sometimes it hurts, Ali does look out of the best interests of all her friends, and she is not afraid to let you know her true honest feelings. Though we've differed often on opinions, and certain things have hurt to hear, I have always been ridiculous appreciative of Ali's honesty as a means of advice.

6. Her heart. Even when her heart isn't 100%, this girl still gives you 150% of it. Hand-in-hand with generosity, Ali's heart is consumed with helping others, and she always puts in way more than could ever been given back, simply just because she strives to make those around her feel good.

7. Her talent. If you haven't already seen any of Ali's art, I'll need you to immediately follow the link to her online portfolio. She's one of the most talented people I know, and it's extremely admirable to watch her process and thought behind her work. Though our styles are very different, I respect her method so much.

8. Her humor. It's very rare that I'm not laughing when I'm hanging out with Ali. I'm pretty sure that a solid 230398743289 years have been added onto my life simply because I've spent the past three years living with somebody who keeps me laughing (and laughs at all my jokes) and is always down to have a good laugh.

9. Her beauty. I'm about to be so cliche and tell you that Ali is one of those people that is beautiful on the inside and the outside; she's by far one of the most gorgeous people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting, and BONUS: she has one of the best personalities as well. She's a real catch, in case any of your eligible bachelors were wondering about this bachelorette. Ben Higgins, where u at?

10. Her impact. I can guarantee you right now that there is not a single person in life who has met Ali and not been impacted by her infectious personality. She is memorable and unforgettable, and she's going to change the world: just wait and see.

HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY, ALI JORDAN LAMOUREUX. I LOVE YOU LONG TIME. CANNOT WAIT FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES.

Click the pictures below to see some of my favorite most recent moments with Ali. (trust me, I have plenty that don't display the beginnings of our friendship - these are all I have on my phone, and she's lucky these are our cutest ones.)

VISIT ALI'S PORTFOLIO: here.

MUSIC MONDAY: February 8, 2016.

I have two words for you: WILD CHILD

Okay, that's it, that's all you need to know for this blog.

I kid, but one thing you must know is that Wild Child is my favorite band. I could honestly easily write you a 24-paged essay about why this band is so important to me, how their songs and albums have impacted me, and how their energy and presence as a band has inspired my attitude.

From their website reads:

Wild Child doesn’t want a place to hide. Song after song, town after town, they’ll wear their hearts on their sleeves, addicted to the rush that only comes when thousands of strangers know all your secrets and sing them back to you, because they’re their secrets, too.

Kelsey Wilson, one of the lead singers, is one of my favorite women ever. She is kindhearted, and she is strong. She is also one of the most talented musicians I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. The atmosphere that Wild Child presents on stage is incomparable; and I think Kelsey's spirit and soul shining through her voice is what makes their music so impactful and inspiring.

Just watch this video of them performing one of their newer songs, Reno, live in the middle of a desert in Arizona.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho-F1_cbktI]

I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E.

I love this song, probably the most

off the new album, because it felt like a feeling I'd experienced many times; feeling at a state of uncertainty, but with a bit of clarification.

There's no end to this road But it's alright I know my home is with you

&

But when they dim those city lights Could search the whole world round Always know my heart is in your hometown

I can legitimately feel all the emotions that Kelsey is experiencing through her performance.

This band kills me.

Their third album "Fools" hit me like no other; it seemed like each song found a way to relate to my life during different moments of the difficult few months I encountered last year. I remember reading about how the album was written after Kelsey split from her fiancé of five years. Alexander wrote how Kelsey used this album as a platform to say a lot of things she wanted to say. "It’s a story that’s not exactly linear, but you hear someone going through something.”  You can truly feel Kelsey's heart through the album, and I think that's my favorite thing about Wild Child: the genuine feelings exists in every song.

This past week, Wild Child came for a free concert at my school. It was my second time getting to see them live, and this time was even more magical than the first.

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Fools is an unashamed breakup album, but it’s more than last rites for lovers. The record also bids farewell to the traditional lives Kelsey and Alexander had thought lie in store.

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Check out Wild Child's music: here.

SUNDAY'S BEST: February 7, 2016.

I have to say, this past week was pretty killer. Granted, there were definitely a few rough moments, but overall there was a ridiculous amount of incredible moments. This week's Sunday's Best consists of: - Started off the week with a free donut at work (bless) - Working and completing MANY sketches for personal projects and work projects (a big, big deal!) - Officially became a part of a new online journalism website that is starting up at my school! (check out The Tab at Florida State!!!) - Spent a ton of extra time in the Print Lab this week, and created some killer pieces! - Watched The Babadook with Doug (haven't stopped thinking about how absolutely phenomenal all the symbolism was - YOU GUYS GOTTA WATCH IT) - Went to First Friday with Alexis, enjoyed art and vintage clothing, and created a future business plan together (so much love for that girl) - Also went with Alexis to Local Band Friday to see Doug play! (Will include his bank link below!) GOT TO SEE MY FAVORITE BAND, WILD CHILD, FOR FREE WITH MY BEST FRIENDS (need I say more? Also so wonderful talking with Kelsey, Alexander, and Sadie after!) - Tore up Whataburger with Taylor, Alexis, Jessie, Casey, and Sam at 1:30 in the morning. (bless the vanilla milkshake) - Watched the Super Bowl with Doug, Hannah, and Ali (and still love the Panthers, even if they didn't win)

Click the photos below to get a closer look at my past week!

Check out Sanibell: here.

A favorite feeling: part two.

Sometimes I really enjoy just sitting in the rain in my car in silence. I was coming home from a meeting the other night, and the rain would not settle. However, I didn't mind. I turned off my car, and sat in the dark with just a little bit of light from a nearby street-lamp outside my apartment complex illuminating my car.

Silence, with the exception of the sound of the rain pounding against my car.

Sometimes I sit like this for awhile, and I think about everything going on. Being along with your thoughts is overwhelming, but there's something about this particular setting that makes it relaxing; a comfortable spot to just sit and reflect.

Another favorite feeling.

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Sometimes just the feeling of silence in a car, even in motion, can be powerful. By powerful, I hint at both good and bad forces of power. It reminds me of the song "Car Radio" by Twenty One Pilots:

Sometimes quiet is violent I find it hard to hide it My pride is no longer inside It's on my sleeve My skin will scream reminding me of Who I killed inside my dream I hate this car that I'm driving There's no hiding for me I'm forced to deal with what I feel There is no distraction to mask what is real I could pull the steering wheel

I have these thoughts, so often I ought To replace that slot with what I once bought 'Cause somebody stole my car radio And now I just sit in silence

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92XVwY54h5k]

ICWMI: February 4th, 2016.

One day at my job, Alexis and I got onto the discussion of how important album artwork is to us. Music and art go hand-in-hand, always. One thing she and I agreed on was that one of our favorite feelings is to still buy CDs or Vinyls for the album artwork.

I told Alexis how one of my favorite feelings in the world is to buy a new album, and while I'm listening to it for the first time, I like to sit and read through the lyric booklet and admire the album artwork.

She and I both agreed that one of our goals one day would be to have designed album artwork for musicians. That was when Tyler joined our conversation and asked if we had ever heard of Stefan Sagmeister. Upon saying no, he linked us to this video:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seu6zMRUbgo]

The description reads, "Design’s impact in music is remarkably important. It influences every way we perceive an artist, and can drive people to want to own a physical copy of a record. In this edition of Noisey Design, we talked to Stefan Sagmeister of Sagmeister & Walsh Inc. Sagmeister is responsible for some of the best and most memorable album artwork in modern music, like David Byrne and Brian Eno’s Everything That Will Happen Today, or Lou Reed’s Ecstasy. Sagmeister also goes on to talk about his opinion on the effect of videos in the overall interpretation of the music, and how visual art augments the enjoyment of the record itself."

I instantly became intrigued. Just those first couple lines: Design's impact in music is remarkably important. It influences the way we perceive an artist, and can drive people to want to own a physical copy of a record.

PREACH IT.

I am constantly associating an artist with their choice of album artwork; whenever I listen to a new song, or stumble upon a new playlist, I'm definitely intrigued to know why they chose the artwork that they did, and I'm always try to relate that artwork back to their songs to find a correlation. (maybe this goes hand-in-hand with my constant pursuit of "adding moments to the story" ?) 

I was completely fascinated by Stefan's mindset in this video. He's clearly very knowledgable, and takes what he is doing very seriously - his work is intricate and innovative.

I particularly enjoyed the part where Stefan starts mentioning his opinions on music videos; he talks about how he finds himself no longer allowing himself to watch them because he doesn't like for somebody else's vision of a song to be forced onto him. I found this to be interesting because while I can agree, I also have an extreme appreciation and admiration for the artistic vision and production behind music videos, and have always thought about how I would direct a music video for specific songs. I also even found it interesting he says this when, if you think about it, album artwork is a vision from an artist that may not be shared across the board (much like a music video).

Regardless, Stefan is a total badass, and his work is extremely impressive. I love his perspective, and I can only hope one day I get to produce some album artwork as remarkable as his.

WOMAN (CRUSH) WEDNESDAY: February 3, 2016.

With all the controversy that surrounds Barbie, I bet you would have never expected to hear anybody call her their "Woman Crush Wednesday," however Barbie is doing big things right now. $_57

This past week I stumbled upon a video on Facebook about some new changes that were being implemented (and has been secretly worked on for years) beginning this January.

Barbie is officially (and finally) getting a new look: she will come in a range of body types (think tall, curvy, and petite), seven different skin tones, and a wide variety of hair and eye colors. Barbie is becoming not only more customizable, but also more realistic.

[facebook url="https://www.facebook.com/time/videos/10153444151301491/" /]

Granted, some people are fighting that it's not quite yet time to celebrate Barbie - while she's moving away from the 18" size waist, she's still nowhere near representing "plus size."

The way I see it is this: Barbie has been and is currently still in the process of moving towards encouraging and supporting body-positivity. AND THAT IS FANTASTIC.

The type of world we live in right now is one where attitudes promoting body positivity need to be more heavily enforced. Girls growing up need to learn to love their bodies from an early age.

Therefore, any company, product, etc. that is supporting this change and step in the right direction towards teaching young girls to love the skin they're born in (& that they're perfect just the way they are) is worthy of some claps and snaps.

Sure, there are probably several more steps that need to come after this, but hey; we're celebrating the little victories, remember? That's one giant step in the right direction, with hopefully many more steps to come.

BETTER YET, CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO WHERE GIRLS REACT TO THE NEW DOLLS.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g02M5s5QwuQ]

(just try and tell me those reactions weren't super sweet - girls are reacting positively to seeing their bodies and unique characteristics more accurately represented!)

Take a look at some of Barbie's new styles:

 

A favorite feeling.

I can't even begin to tell you how much joy it brings me to start a new art project. Sure, the initial research and thought process behind narrowing down the idea can be a bit daunting, but there is so much satisfaction after a good brainstorming within your sketchbook, and getting to circle that final idea: the chosen one.

(yes, that Harry Potter reference was completely necessary.)

We are starting our four-layer transparency project in my screen printing class, and I decided upon an idea relatively quickly; it combines with some transparency & outline styles I've been messing around with in my Print + Media class, and then an old lyric typography piece I did one night at 3AM for fun in my apartment last Spring that I decided to rework & restructure.

I played around last class with the transparency and outlines, but spent today's class perfecting my typography piece.

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The lyrics are from the song "Maps" by The Front Bottoms. It reads, "There's a map in my room, on the wall of my room, and I've got big, big plans."

It took me a little while to get this typography down. I found myself erasing a lot of the lettering, and restructuring certain pieces to create a better balance. It was about 11:05am when I finally finished after working on it for almost a couple hours, and I immediately placed down my pencil & eraser; just sitting there and smiling because I felt so confident and proud of this.

I love the feeling of starting a new project because of all the little pieces that add up to create the big piece; when you gain the satisfaction of those little pieces, it builds you up for when the time finally comes to piece together the big picture. There's so much anticipation that exists too; you finally start to see your idea come together as pieces of the puzzle click, and the excitement rises to get to the final product. It's motivating; it's inspiring; it's thrilling. I love starting a new project because I love the hopefulness of creating a new piece that I can pour myself into and fall in love with.

I cannot wait to share the final project with you all.

If you're not familiar with the song, check out "Maps":

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PNAGxtJHcU]

TOP TEN TUESDAY: February 2, 2016.

If you remember, a few weeks ago, my roommates and I had a little discussion about what we think our favorite movies say about us. (you can find that post here.) Since I never actually posted about those movies, I figured this would be an opportune time to do so. As we discussed that day, most of my favorite movies tend to be the love-story, romantic comedy, total chick-flick films. I was convinced Hannah would be critiquing my love life and experiences, reminding me of the hopeless romantic I am, but instead she said:

“You, much like the stories in those movies, are always seeking out the best bits to add to your own story. You seek out any experience that you can make memorable enough to add to your story. You’re just wanting to fabricate it all; any moment, any experience into the story.”

So, without further ado, here are my TOP TEN FAVORITE MOVIES:

  1. (500) Days of Summer 500-days-of-summer
  2. One Day one-day-movie-poster-2011-1020684262
  3. The Holiday Composite
  4. About Time About-Time-poster-303x450
  5. They Came Together 11180261_ori
  6. Something Borrowed 51C3FRMvmjL
  7. Crazy, Stupid Love crazy-stupid-love-52ec435968557
  8. Silver Linings Playbook MV5BMTM2MTI5NzA3MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODExNTc0OA@@._V1_SX640_SY720_
  9. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days 11168947_ori
  10. Down to You Down_to_you

MUSIC MONDAY: February 1, 2016.

IT'S THE FIRST DAY OF FEBRUARY. The first of anything (a day, a week, a month, a year, etc.) should definitely be celebrated with a feeling of renewal; a fresh start, a clean slate, an unopened, brand new feeling. (the italic above is a bit of a clue)

Ben Rector is one of my favorite musicians, EVER. Hands down, I'm obsessed with this man, and the music he has been producing all these years. When his latest album came out over summer, (entitled Brand New) I spent WEEKS listening to it on repeat, very seldomly switching to other albums to listen to.

I really began listening to the album at a time in my life when I felt like I was having a breakthrough; I remember listening to the song "Brand New" and thinking, "Yes, this is exactly how I feel. This completely encompasses how I feel."

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7I8-bS7vBs]

(this video is so silly, absolutely like Ben's personality. I had the pleasure of seeing him perform twice in 2015 - Sigh, best days of my life.)

One night, I took the time to write down my thoughts about the song. I wrote:

I remember the first moment I heard it, legitimately just the few opening notes, I just couldn’t stop smiling. It felt so good. It felt like sunshine, like the vibrant color yellow, just honestly it felt so warm. I get this honest rush of pure bliss every time that I listen to it. I feel the need to get up and jump around, or twirl around, or just tap some sort of my body along to the beat. I’m instantly smiling, I’m in a great mood, I feel like I’m in honest heaven.

The song mentions all of these things that make him feel brand new.

”I feel like new sunglasses, like a brand new pair of jeans I feel like taking chances, I feel a lot like seventeen”

”I feel like windows rolled down, new city, streets and cabs I feel like anything can happen, laughing.”

”I feel like for the first time in a long time I am not afraid I feel like a kid, never thought it’d feel like this”

”Like when I close my eyes and don’t even care if anyone sees me dancing Like I can fly, and don’t even think of touching the ground Like a heartbeat skip, like an open page Like a one way trip on an aeroplane It’s the way that I feel when I’m with you: brand new”

This album is by far one of my absolute favorites. Ben Rector does the absolute best at creating songs that surround you with such exciting, positive, and blissful feelings. They’re calming, simplistic, freeing, youthful, warm, etc.

Let this song be your February anthem. Start off this month on the best foot possible.

(three of my favorite photos I took of Ben during the Brand New Tour!)

SUNDAY'S BEST: January 31, 2016.

We are officially at the end of January, my friends. Wow. The first month of 2016 has already ended, and I am currently finding it difficult to wrap my head around that - the past 31 days have overall been absolutely remarkable.

Sure - some days were better than others, but remember when I said that my resolution for this year was just to focus on wholeness instead of happiness? I truly believe that these past 31 days have completely (and beautifully) embodied that concept.

All I have to say is this: if January 2016 is any indication for how the rest of the year is going to turn out, then 2016 will by far be the best year I encounter thus far.

This week's Sunday's Best consist of: - Discovered that my screen printing project from last semester made the Print Lab Hall of Fame! (an extremely remarkable thing for me since I look at that wall everyday, so to get to see my own artwork there makes me feel like 100 bucks!) - Speaking of screen printing, finished my 3D Anaglyph Print project, and the critique for it went EXTREMELY well (with pictures that are located on a previous post!) - Decided to shake things up a bit, and try a new fashion style of wearing sweaters over dresses (and loving it, despite what my roommates thought!) - Hit 50 posts on this blog!!! (HOORAY!) - Spent two days enjoying some wonderful new adventures and experiences with a very lovely person - Met a ton of new friends, and wound up partaking in some serious life talks that gave a ton of perspective - Celebrated the birthday of one of my loveliest friends (and even used my skills to make a barbie doll look just like her in a beanie and cardigan!)

Click the photos below to see what my week looked like!

ICWMI: January 28, 2016.

Today is a rainy day in Tallahassee, and I think we could all use a little pick-me-up on such a dreary day... ...and that pick-me-up should probably exist in the form of Justin Bieber, amirite?

But really. I specifically wanted to share Justin's video for "Where Are Ü Now?" because up until a few weeks ago, I had never seen it! Since then, I'm pretty sure I've watched it multiple times... weekly...

NOW BEFORE YOU TOTALLY DISREGARD THIS POST BECAUSE YOU AREN'T A VICTIM TO BEIBER FEVER (or rather, your symptoms haven't showed up yet) take just a mere minute to watch this video progress.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nntGTK2Fhb0]

First, if you're not instantly captivated by this face:

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 2.05.31 PM

then are you truly human? Okay, I kid...

On the real, the moment that I know my personal interest truly sparked for this video was when I said this:

This is when it got real. Suddenly, we're exposed to several screens of this:

tumblr_nsmnkzqT0G1rco1soo1_540

Pretty cool, right? But the best part is how this happens. While watching the video (and also through a behind-the-scenes video I watched), you see that there are a MASSIVE amount of artists - everyday ordinary artists - who help contribute to this video. There was a gallery space opened up, where people were invited to doodle on different frames of Justin, and then all those frames were compiled together. ARE YOU FREAKING OUT OVER THE COOLNESS YET?

There are several screens of this: one of Justin on a white wall, one of Justin against a black wall, a silhouette of Justin, and then an ending against a white wall again.

tumblr_nsgo1aBTSO1uyr87co1_500where3tumblr_nqpotvoorI1r91uyxo1_540

Here's why I love this video so much: this video gave the opportunity for SO MANY people to be able to create and contribute. As a person who is obsessed with music videos, getting to contribute to that process would be one of the coolest opportunities. As an artist, I can appreciate all the artistic styles that are portrayed through simple doodles. This video is captivating in just the looks of it alone: the attraction of the images, the colors, the complexity and fast-paced movement are enough to make you watch it over and over again, but still continue to spot many things you may have missed before.

Bieber, ya did good, kid. 

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 2.05.50 PM

If you have an extra moment, watch this behind the scenes video, where you can watch a little bit more about the process and direction:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98xzsUUSXkY]

They call her "Crybaby."

If you remember, a couple weeks ago I made a post (that you can find here!) that was in regards to seeing signs that seemed to explain and add meaning to a specific situation for me. I also posted about some sketches I was working on for a project. Today, I'm here to show you the finished result of that project. (as well as... you know... talk about it. Duh.)

Without further ado, here is my 3D Anaglyph Screen Print, entitled "Portrait of a Crybaby:"

IMG_5192.PNG

THE PROCESS: I wanted to show you all a more step-by-step process of this project, but due to time constraint, I wasn't able to take too many photos. Regardless, I want to tell you a little bit about the process. This is a print that is made to be seen and transformed with 3D glasses. It is an Anaglyph Print, and consists of two colors: Anaglyph Red and Anaglyph Blue.

This project first began with a sketch. From there, I brought it into Adobe Illustrator to vector it. After vectoring it, I copied the image twice, set the colors on multiply, and began to place the second layer horizontally to begin to create the 3D motion. Once that was done, I then needed to create two separate artboards: one for the blue, and one for the red.

Once that was done, I then printed these out in black onto transparent paper that I would use to expose onto my screen after coating my screen in emulsion. The first layer to screen print is the red; then, evidently, comes the blue.

So how does this work? The way I designed it is so that when you put the glasses on, the wallpaper goes back, the frame stays in place, and the girl comes forward.

THE MEANING: I used to view crying as such a negative thing, but I’ve really grown to view it as normal; it’s just a calming and helpful step for the process of successfully getting over any situation. I've also been listening to a lot of Melanie Martinez's "Crybaby" album lately, and thinking about the meaning of the word "Crybaby." I used to never want to identify myself as a “crybaby” due to negative connotations, but recently decided it shouldn’t be viewed that way. This is in no way a self portrait, but rather a way to embrace the term as a sort of nickname because crying often isn’t a bad thing; being sensitive or in-tune with your emotions isn’t a bad thing; being a crybaby isn’t a bad thing. 

IMG_5196

Listen to Melanie Martinez's song "Crybaby": here (also, check out the rest of her album!)