Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween Throw Back

Hey y'all! Tomorrow is Halloween and I'm so excited to share my costume with you and ALSO see your costumes! I thought in anticipation I'd share with you some past Halloween costumes! These are literally all the costumes that have been documented on social media which I've had since 2007.

Deviled Egg
1950's Zombie
Sort of lame CAT
Last year - Tinkerbell

As you guys can tell, I'm a fan of the piece it together yourself/diy costumes. I really enjoy making costumes that while sometimes "typical" are still completely my own. I think I felt the cutest in Tinkerbell last year, but I was most proud of Ke$ha. It was the *perfect* outfit to party in, but still completely played. Everyone knew who I was. What's your favorite costume that you've ever worn?

Until Next Time,
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Friday, October 23, 2015

Wildest Dreams

In a sea of 60,000 people Taylor Swift reached me. Her concert held no surprises and that's why the $200 club level ticket was worth it. What I expected was to dance, tear up, laugh, and get an awesome special guest. Boy, did Tay deliver.

I've seen Taylor Swift twice now. I first saw her in October of 2011 on her Speak Now tour in Oklahoma City. It was a fairy tale spectacular, a princess dream. Taylor's done a lot of growing in the last four years - as we all have I'm sure - and this definitely reflected in her concert. It was still a fun flashy set, but polished and professional.

I went with my wifey, Leah and her niece, Danika to the AT&T Center in Arlington last week. It was Dani's first concert and I feel so lucky I got to experience that with her! Shawn Mendez opened first and we missed him, but none of us really noticed honestly. We saw Vance Joy perform who was a wonderful opener. You can't fake a talent like that.

After Vance Joy, there was the waiting period of set switching and such that happens at every concert. Taylor really understands life though because I can't tell you if that waiting period was 30 minutes or two hours. She had a filler video playing with outtakes and behind the scenes from her music videos, Q&A with Taylor, and trivia. It was a seamless transition to the main event.

She opened with Welcome to New York because obviously we had been waiting for her and it's been waiting for us. I thought this was smart also because it's how she opens the album. It felt right. She followed up with New Romantics which is probably one of my favorite tracks on 1989. It doesn't make sense to me that it's a just bonus track, but she played it and that's all that matters. Blank Space was really cool because of a layered break down loop she did in the middle during the "boys only want love if it's torture" line with harmonies and the personalized singing of "Texas."

She did some older songs re-imagined including sort of a rock cover of I Knew You Were Trouble and an acoustic version of Fifteen that were both magical. Our special guest was Ellie Goulding who Tay sang Love Me Like You Do with. She finished with Wildest Dreams, Out of the Woods, and Shake It Off. The entire set list is below the break if you wish to see it.

There were bracelets provided to each of us taped to the back of our seats that lit up in beat to the music. They changed colors based on the song - ranging from white to red. She had twelve backup dancers, a live band, and backup singers. Plus she also featured video interviews with some of her Squad - Lena, Selena, HAIM, Jamie, Cara, and Gigi plus cameos from Meredith and Olivia! The middle of the catwalk raised and spun over the crowd. Taylor walked that catwalk while it was in the air and played the piano and guitar up there! The transitions between the songs with about 10 costume changes and set changes was all very smooth and painless.

One of my favorite moments of the entire show was the lead in to Clean. She spoke about the bracelets that we were all wearing: "It takes a crowd and changes it from being like this endless sea of darkness [...] I can see you dancing, I can see the signs you made, I can see your t-shirts you're wearing." She spoke about the "generous, vulnerable, open, beautiful, warm hearted way" we were acting. How she was proud that we were dancing wildly and screaming all the lyrics with abandon. She pointed out how easy it is for someone to say something negative and how with the internet, they don't have to watch your face when they say it. "I think that it has lead to a lot of people being very self conscious. [...] I'm so proud of you for not letting those people who say we have to be cool get to you." So, of course I'm already tearing up at this point. Tay Tay, you slay me. I feel the lump in my throat while she continued to drop some knowledge.
  1. "You are not the opinion of someone who doesn't know you.
  2. Being cool does not mean acting bored and unmoved and unexcited about your life. That's not what being cool is.
  3. What's even better than being cool is being happy.
  4. The moment you can take what people say to you and walk your own footsteps, pave your own path, and decide your own definition of cool and happy - is the moment that all the mud people try to throw at you is gone. And in that moment, your clean."
A wonderful Swifty captured this whole speech HERE.

In conclusion, if you like Taylor Swift and get the chance - go see her. It's just that simple. Now, some pictures from our best night ever.

Until Next Time,
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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fall 2015 Look Book

Fall means pumpkin cream cheese muffins, ugly gourds, boots, hay rides, flannel, warm colors, dying leaves that provide crunchy sounds, and Halloween! In honor of my favorite season, I put together some looks for autumn.
 Glasses - Warby Parker - HERE in Saddle Russet
Look 1
Shirt - Old Navy - HERE
Pants - ASOS - HERE
Boots - Target

Look 2
Shirt - ASOS - HERE
Flannel - Forever 21
Jeans - Forever 21
Boots - Ross Dress For Less
Clutch - ASOS - HERE
Earrings - Forever 21

Look 3
Poncho - Old Navy - HERE
Jeans - Forever 21 
Pins - Vintage
Shoes - Old Navy
Earrings - Walmart 
Look 4
Shirt - ASOS
Skirt - Forever 21
Shoes - Old Navy
Headband - Claire's
Bracelets - Mardel

Until Next Time,
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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Prime Time

Possible TV Spoilers Ahead

So I recently upgraded to Hulu with no commercials and because of this have been watching a lot more TV. I get to stay up with the shows airing on TV currently as well as catch up on the shows that got lost along the way for me. Since TV is taking over my life I thought I'd share some thoughts with y'all.

Returning Shows
Once Upon A Time
Why was Merida even in the first episode? I know it was to test Emma's evil or whatever, but that literally could've been anyone. They just wanted any excuse to use a popular character. I don't see her popping back up this season since they're in another freaking realm, but maybe she got brought over? She doesn't seem to really fit with the Camelot theme they seem to be edging toward though. Also, I know they're probably going to reveal why Emma went dark through the season as everyone's gaining their memories back and blah, blah, but I wish she wasn't trying to snuff out all the light. I don't understand her end game. Does she want to be alone? Does she want everyone to be evil with her?

I'm so happy for Scarlett to love her boyfriend and I'm glad that she's finally distancing herself from Gunnar. I am all for them getting together, but not while she's with someone else. She is way better than that. I'm tired of Juliette pushing everyone away when she needs help. I understand that it's a hard thing to admit, but hasn't that been a big chunk of her story the last 3 seasons, could she grow already? I  was so proud of her for opening up to Avery, but y'all know what happened and now I'm really confused. Luke was absolutely killing it for me. I love that he's fighting for Will. "Small town doesn't always mean small minded." I hate that he was proved wrong.

Faking It

I started out this show because I wanted a mindless twenty minute high school show. I got exactly what I asked for. I wasn't sure about the content at first, but the show has been very good about stressing how important it is to be true to yourself. If you watched it, you know it doesn't start out that way! It doesn't hurt that I think Rita Volk (Amy) is a beautiful goddess either. I have no complaints so far about this show. I'm glad that Amy and Karma are such amazing friends. I'm glad that they're all being honest and open with themselves and each other.

The Mindy Project
This show can do no wrong this season for me. Hulu has my undying love since they brought back my beloved show. I'm just so happy they're back!

Premier Season
Scream Queens
 We are two episodes in and I'm loving all the cheesy goodness. My only concern is that I'm not sure where they're going to go from here. By my count, they've killed off four people already. They're jerking us around a lot too and I recognize that. They're trying to keep us guessing on who's the killer, I get it. I'll keep watching, but sadly I don't see this show getting a second season.

 Myke pointed out a very interesting issue with the set up of this show. We have no investment in any of these characters yet, but the very first episode we're supposed to be rooting for Alex to not be a terrorist. Then, they flashback to tell us why we should believe her. They drop hints about things that we will learn about in the immediately following flashbacks. That is the entire layout of the show and I'll take it, but looking toward the future, I'm not sure how a season 2 would lay out. However, the characters are interesting and I care enough two episodes in to want to know what's going to happen so I'll keep watching.

Playing Catch Up 
 Only one season of this show was ever made and I missed giving it my support will it was on air. With only 10 episodes, I'm almost done already and I'm so sad to know this show is gone. The characters are funny and well rounded, the situations are so true of what I know about "mean girl" societies and I love all the drama. I could see this being a controversial show, especially in the south, but it's honestly such a good portrayal of a lot of people I grew up around/know now.

Elementary (S2)

I know I've mentioned this one before and I am back on it. I really do just love Sherlock Holmes as a character idea, so any spin on him I'll take. There's honestly never been a version I didn't like. I find this take particularly interesting as he is a recovering drug addict and Watson, as you know is played by a woman (Lucy Liu). It's more a kin to Criminal Minds in my head than say BBC's Sherlock. If you like detective stories with a heart, this is a show for you.

Community (S5)
 I don't know. I think they jumped the shark around season 3, but I just keep watching it. The characters are so gold for me. Troy and Abed are my absolute faves, but every one else is lovely as well. Troy and Britta just broke up and I'm sad, but not really. The whole show is like fluff for me. I'm not super invested, but I keep coming back.

My list of shows to watch keeps getting longer and longer. Some of them I'm already seasons behind on. It includes How To Get Away With Murder, Jane the Virgin, Empire, and Chicago PD.

Have you started watching any of the new shows this fall? Fall in love with any old shows or still loving any? Is there something I need to start now that I've missed?

Until Next Time,
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Friday, October 2, 2015

Survivors' Self Care

A Loved Ones' Guide

First, I would like to say a huge thank you to the amazing women who reached out to help me with this blog. I am just some stranger on the internet and you shared a part of your heart with me. I hope I shared your thoughts adequately and that I represented your stories well.

Secondly, I would like to open my blog up to any survivors. If you have a story that you want to share, but would like to remain anonymous (or not) - I would be honored to share it with my readers. You can "guest blog" at any time. I will always be on your side.


When someone we love has been sexually abused/assaulted/raped we as loved ones can struggle with how to help them. Sometimes not knowing what to do or how to act can cause rifts and people can grow apart. Of course, this has the opposite effect of love and support that the survivor needs. As someone who has never been a target of this kind of violence it can be hard to understand what our loved one is going through. We might have a lot of questions or advice that we think would help.

I reached out on social media for survivors' input.

Everyone's recovery is different. One woman told me "It's so important to know that however long you deal with it, however long it takes - it's ALL okay. No one should be giving you a time frame."  Recovery is so much more than turning in your abuser, if you wish, and getting "justice" or going to a therapist or just "getting over it". There's no getting over it. This is a loss. A death of personal safety, security, and freedom over your body. No one can decide what your grieving process entails.

"What people need to understand is, everyone's situation is different, and something that seems so tiny to some people can be a huge trigger to those suffering. There are certain books I can't read, DVDs that I can't watch, songs that I can't listen to. I really wish that everything came with a trigger warning." Listen to your friend, be kind, shield them when you can. If you share a video or a story that you know how aggressive sexual tones or something that may be triggering, provide a warning on your post. It doesn't take but three extra seconds and it could save your loved one some unnecessary trauma.

The thing I heard most from survivors was that they want and need support. Even if they're struggling to leave the house, just knowing that you're out there if they want to talk is so good. Even if they don't respond to your daily quote or text or encouragement, be patient. I asked survivors' what support entailed specifically for them.

"The ability to just talk without fear of judgement or doubt," one survivor answered. "I always felt that, in some way, I must've done something wrong because any time I brought it the subject people changed it." When a survivor chooses you to open up to, it's not your place to decide how they should be grieving or handling their situation. "Being there for someone doesn't always mean making them talk, sometimes it's just the being there for when they do want to talk. [...] It can be an enormous pressure when you want to make someone feel better and you can't. Being there though, really is enough."

"I think the most important thing that someone can give me, is time. Time to heal at my own pace. Time to listen to me if I need to talk, or to not talk. I ask those who know, not to ask me too many questions. Don't expect too much of me. But at the same time... please just treat me like me. The fun, light hearted girl is still in there, under all this pain, confusion and frustration, I am still here." This sentiment seemed universal.

"I think people need to understand that (for me) it isn't something that consumes me," one survivor told me. "I don't think about it daily; however, I will always have days where I do think about it, and I'm not ok. [...] I live my life happily and I chose not to let it rule me, but that won't stop it rearing it's ugly head on a down day."

It seems the best thing you can do to help support a survivor is just ask them what they need. Also, know that peoples' needs can change. It's okay to check in with their mental and emotional health from time to time. Be secure in the knowledge that you can't fix this, but you can help and that is enough.

Until Next Time,
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