Tuesday, December 11, 2012

So, It's December...

Hello, my fine readers (all 8 of you.), so it's December and I haven't published any posts since October 5th...

Oops....
Anyway, I've had a crazy busy semester. Just one thing after another on the personal chaos front and (to put it in perspective for you) taking on Junior Seminar actually seems less stressful than having to live the past semester over again. The good news is, it will be over in 4 days and I can spend a month basking in the fabulousness of my friends and family.

Does anyone out there have any amazing plans for Christmas (or your chosen winter holiday) break? I'm going to take part in the aforementioned basking as well as having myself a belated 21st birthday party! I'm also going to try to land a few small photography jobs, so hit me up on Facebook if you need pictures of any sort! I can even shoot black and white film for you few purists out there.

Also, I just sneezed with soda in my mouth and ended up spitting it all over my tank top, so that's a thing that happened.

On that note, I'll be changing my shirt now. Have a lovely evening and look forward to some fun DIYs as Christmas grows closer (and the broke among us grow more desperate for gift ideas)!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Hipster Conundrum

    A "thing" recently is Hipsters. Hipsters I guess are supposed to have a love of all things off-beat, indie, or vintage, and eschew anything that could be considered popular or mainstream, unless they like it ironically. Hipsters are huge into dry wit and irony.
   The term "hipster" means so many things these days that I'm pretty sure I could relevantly attach it to almost anyone. Except Snookie. Snookie is not a Hipster.
    Anyway, a lot of my friends call me a hipster. I used to argue with them about it, but I've just kind of accepted it at this point. I mean, if someone calls you a hipster and you come back with, "No, I'm not!" all they're going to say is, "That's what all hipsters say." and if you just agree with them, well then you've agreed with them. I mean, I love a good thrift shop as much as the next girl, I could spend hours drooling over so-ugly-they're-cute clothes on American Apparel, and I'm sarcastic as the day is long, also, I've started ironically calling myself a hipster, just to confuse people.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saving Summer Memories: The Harvest Moon Drive-In

    Okay, folks, you're going to have to excuse this shamelessly promotional post, because it's really important to me.
    How many of you have ever gone to a drive-in movie? Those of you who have know that it's an experience like none other, and those that haven't are missing out. When you go to a drive-in movie you're not just going into a theater, sitting down, and watching a film, you're having an experience. You get there early to ensure a good parking spot. You enjoy the cheesy old music playing on the radio while you grill out, spend time with friends and family, and wait for the movie to start. Maybe you plan to watch the movie from the comfort of your lawn chairs, or maybe you're relaxing with blankets and snacks in the back of your date's el camino, or maybe you have 4 teenagers crammed in the front of your boyfriend's tiny car so everyone can see. No matter what you're doing, you're sure to have an experience that's uniquely yours. 
    Drive-ins are literally the perfect Friday night for anyone: families with little kids, nursing moms, families with teenagers, dates, groups of friends, mom and dad's date night. You can enjoy the drive in any way you need to, so you can do whatever is easiest and most comfortable for you and your group. 
    Here's where it gets sticky: The Harvest Moon Drive-In is scheduled to close next year if they can't raise $120,000 to convert their facilities to play digital films, which really really sucks. So many people, myself included, have a lifetime of memories at the Harvest Moon from family trips, dates with boys, to taking my best friend on a "date" and tumbling out of the back of my van :P the Harvest Moon has been a part of some of my favorite memories, and I can't imagine my kids not being able to make their own memories there in the future. So if you have even a dollar to spare, would you do me a favor? Head over to The Harvest Moon's Kickstarter campaign and show your support for one of our nation's fastest dwindling icons. Also, check out their website and see why it's an amazing place worth saving.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Countdown to College: Good Gifts and Target's "College Stuff" List

    Hear that whizzing sound? That's the rest of Summer 2012 flying by, and guess what? That means most of us have about 2 weeks to finish up our back-to-school shopping. Now, if you're new at this college thing, chances are you're freaking out at least a little bit about what you need to bring. The list your school gave you at orientation seems a little light, and you don't want to show up with wayyy more stuff than can fit in your dorm room, so here are a few tips to get started:
  1. Check your school's website for things you absolutely cannot have in your dorm room, especially when it comes to small cooking appliances and pet policies. 
  2. If possible, schedule a time to visit your dorm room to get a feel for how much space you'll have and to measure for things like rugs and curtains if they're not provided by your school.
    Okay, about Target's list. The first thing to remember is, as much as I love Target (ask anyone who knows me, I reeeally love Target), they are a store and the first purpose of this list is to get you to buy things. On the flip side, it actually does suggest several items that will be very helpful and you may not have thought about bringing. So, below you will find three lists: Things from the list that you DON'T need, things from the list that you DO need, and things you DO need that aren't on the list.

Things From the List You Don't Need:
  • A "lounge chair." Unless you have a huge bedroom, you probably won't have space for one. Now you could go all fraternity chic and buy an inflatable chair so you could store it when it's not in use.
  • A wall clock. Chances are you're bringing at least two of the following: a cell phone, a watch, an iPod, or an alarm clock. All of these will tell you the time.
  • Decorative pillows. This goes right back to the space issue. That being, you don't have any.
  • Poster frames. Unless you're super anal about keeping your posters pristine, you can just roll them all up in a large mailing tube and transport them that way, then tape/command strip/sticky tack them to your wall. Frames for all of them are just more things to have to carry in and out of your dorm.
  • Door mirror. Disclaimer: This is one of those things to look for on your dorm visit. Most of the dorms I've seen provide one for you, but I can imagine there are some that don't.
  • Microwave. Again, check your school's policy. Most schools I've seen don't allow them in your dorm room, but provide one for the floor/dorm to use.
  • Toaster oven. See the note for the microwave.
  • Dish caddy. I don't even know what a dish caddy is. I just carry my dishes to the sink, and if I have too many I rinse out my plastic laundry basket and use that.
  • Webcam. Disclaimer: If you have a desktop computer, you may need one. Most laptops, however, come with one built in.
  • Calculator. Unless you're a math major or another major which requires high math, the one in your phone will probably do just fine.
  • Tablet. If you have a computer you don't really need a tablet. I'm sure they're nice to have, but not something I would consider a "need."
  • Gaming system. I know many of my friends would contest this, but this is just something I don't see as a "need" based item.
Things From the List You Do Need:
  • "Bed bug protection kit" or just a regular mattress cover. Just because you never know what happened on that mattress last year. Just sayin'.
  • Disinfecting wipes. Three simple reasons: vomit, flu season, and disease spreads faster in dorms than head lice in preschool.
  • Alarm clock, because nobody likes getting up for 8am classes.
  • Underbed storage. Remember that your dorm room is probably tiny and underbed storage is a great way to get a lot of use out of a largely underused storage area.
  • 3M Command Hooks. These are awesome, especially when you're not allowed to put holes in the walls with nails or tacks. They will hold up significant weight (Just not an entire fan. Story available upon request.) and don't damage paint.
  • Bed risers. To reeeeally get the most out of your underbed storage, bed risers can add up to 8 inches of space.
  • Shower caddy. Slippery bottles, loofahs, razors, and my toothbrush all have one thing in common: you can't carry them all to the shower in your hands and still hold your towel up, and for the love of God, please hold your towel up.
  • Iron. Good for so many things: pressing dress clothes, doing arts and crafts, making grilled cheese Benny and Joon style.
  • Coffee maker. Among the things you can make in a coffee maker: tea, ramen noodles, rice krispie treats, and also coffee.
  • Power strips and extension cords. Among the things to look for if you see your room before you move in is how many outlets there are and where they are located.
Things From the "Stuff for Apartments" List You Do Need:
  • Broom & Dustpan or Vacuum
  • Toilet paper. If you live in a dorm, chances are that the janitorial service doesn't work weekends, and that means your bathroom may run out of toilet paper. Which is crappy. See what I did there?
  • Duct tape. Duh.
  • A box fan, especially if your dorm room isn't air conditioned.
  • Small tool kit with things like a screwdriver, a box knife (if allowed in dorms), duct tape, a flashlight, etc.
Things Not On the List That You Do Need:
  • Baby wipes. Trust me, they're good for everything from cleaning up sticky spills to taking off make  up.
  • A well-stocked first aid kit. You can use this link to get to a blog post where I discuss how to make one.
    I hope that helped! The final part of this post is a list of the most useful gifts I was given when I was going away to college for the first time.
  • A hand-made fleece throw blanket from my Aunt Kari. I seriously use it all the time, be it sitting on my floor while I'm crafting, curled up watching movies, or needing a small blanket to carry on the train. It's so handy.
  • A shower caddy. See above description of why you need one.
  • An electric skillet from some friends of my parents'. It's super handy for grilling chicken, making grilled cheese (not Benny and Joon style) and other cooking ventures where I don't have access to a stove.
  • Clothespin fridge magnets which double as chip-clips.
    I'll post some other things if I think of them. Other than that, if you have been or are currently in college, what items did you find helpful and/or necessary? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

DIY Doctor Who "Pandorica Opens Speech" T-shirt

    Okay, let me start out by saying this is going to be long one. Lots of steps involved. Just stick with it and you'll have a really sweet t-shirt when you're done.

Materials:
  • A t-shirt (if it's already the color you want it, you can skip the next two supplies)
  • Tulip or RIT fabric dye in your choice of color. I used Tulip's Custom Dye Color Kit to dye mine as close to TARDIS Blue as possible.
  • A bucket
  • Scissors
  • An X-acto knife
  • An ultra fine point Sharpie or a Sharpie pen
  • Freezer Paper. It has to be specifically freezer paper, not wax paper, not parchment paper, but freezer paper, because it's just plain paper on one side and has waxy/plastic-ey stuff on the other.
  • A ruler
  • Acrylic paint
  • A sponge brush thing or synthetic fiber brushes (the kind that feel soft, not scratchy)
  • Something to cover your work space like newspaper or trash bags
Part 1 - Dying the Shirt:
    You can skip to part 2 if you bought a shirt in the color you wanted, if not...
  1. Pre-wash your shirt to get any sizing out of it.
  2. Hang-dry, don't use any fabric softener or dryer sheets!
  3. Follow the package directions on your dye. Mine requires letting the shirt soak for about 45 minutes, so I settled in to watch Doctor Who and cut out the letters of 11's entire speech from the opening of the Pandorica, I'll explain how to do all of that in Part 2. You can use this time to decide what you want on your shirt. It can be any words/simple images you want, obviously I'm using the "Pandorica Opens Speech."
  4. Dying the shirt (also a onesie). That spatula is now dyed blue-ish and permanently "crafts only."
  5. When your shirt is done soaking, wash and dry it BY ITSELF.
This shows the shirt and the onesie after dying, washing, and drying. They're not actually that nasty gray color.

They're more like this lovely blue color. Not quite TARDIS blue, but blue nonetheless.

Part 2 - The Mock "Screen-Print"
    Traditional screen printing is expensive, time consuming, and kind of tedious. The following technique is a lot easier, and the materials can all be purchased pretty cheaply at Target/Walmart/Meijer/etc.
  1. First you need to know what you'll be stenciling on the shirt. I'm using the 11th Doctor's monologue from the episode "The Pandorica Opens." That's a LOT of text. If you're new to stenciling or using an X-acto, it might be better to start out with something simpler like the Doctor Who logo or "I (insert two hearts) DW"
  2. Once you've decided it's time to print it out. I used Microsoft Word to justify my text and adjust font sizes to give this large amount of text a more varied, interesting appearance. If you're using an image you can paste it into Word or Photoshop and adjust it to your desired size. On most home printers you won't be able to go larger than 8.5x11" without tiling it, which is definitely doable. When your text/image looks the way you want it, print it out.
  3. Tear off enough freezer paper to cover your design. Tape your design to your work surface, then tape the freezer paper SHINY SIDE DOWN on top of your design, you should be able to see it through the freezer paper.
  4. Trace your design on the freezer paper, then remove the design in case you need to use it again. Place your freezer paper on some cardboard or something else you don't mind cutting up with the X-acto. 
  5. Using caution and taking your time, cut out your design. If you're using letters, make sure to save the inside bits of the O's and A's and B's and such. Personally, I don't mind the look of having the spaces filled in. (That's my way of saying I didn't want to fuss with the inner bits of an entire paragraph of text.) Cutting my stencil took (in chunks of a few minutes to a couple hours) about 7 or 8 hours total.
      I didn't even stab myself once cutting this out.
  6. When you're (finally!) done cutting out your text/design, it's time to iron! With your iron on a low setting, put the shiny side of the freezer paper down on the fabric and iron it on gently, but making sure to secure the edges firmly to the fabric so that your paint doesn't bleed.
    My stencil positioned on the shirt. LOTS of text.
    Ironing and ironing and ironing.
  7. Now you finally get to do the stenciling! All you have to do is use an appropriately sized brush to apply paint inside your stencil. Depending on the color of your shirt and the color of your paint, you may need to allow the first layer to dry and add another.

    The stencil covered in paint. I primarily used the sponge brush to ensure that the paint was evenly applied and not brush-stroke-y.
  8. When you're done painting, gently peel up the freezer paper from your shirt.
    Be very careful to get all of the paper from the little detailed spots.
  9. If you want to make extra sure that paint isn't going anywhere, lay a towel over your design and iron over the towel for 30 seconds. 
Mirror shots FTW!

Best picture of all the text.

Happy Whovian!
I made this for an itty bitty Whovian while I was waiting on steps, taking breaks, etc.

Notes in Retrospect:
  1. Something I forgot to mention is that you should measure the area of your shirt you want to cover with the stencil and set your Word/Photoshop document to that, plus half-inch margins.
  2. NEVER try to stencil something in less than 75 point font if you value your sanity.
  3. I think I used too much black when mixing my dye, which would be why my shirt wasn't as vibrant as I had hoped.
  4. Lastly, as much as I love this shirt, I do NOT reccommend stenciling an entire monologue onto a t-shirt. It's a whole lot of work and your wrists will be very crampy.
Tada! If you did everything right, you should now have an awesome custom t-shirt! Let me know how your shirt came out. Tweet me a picture @LarraKyleen

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Dad

    You'll forgive the tardiness of this post, I guess I typed it and never actually published it. I meant to post it a few weeks ago, but it's still relevant.

    I recently saw the movie Courageous. If you haven't seen it I strongly recommend it. It's a touching story of a group of men, striving to connect with their children and become better fathers and role models. It certainly rings true in today's society. I know far to many kids my age and younger who didn't have a father who was active or even present in their lives, and it hurt them in more ways than one can number. I know so many girls who have gone looking for love with all the wrong guys, in all the wrong places, because they didn't have a dad to show them how much they are worth.
    It's no secret that my parents had a rough patch when I was growing up, and my dad didn't live with us for about a year, but I'm one of the few and the immeasurably lucky whose dad came back, and even when he was gone, he's never been absent. My parents have always fought for me and my sister, fought to give us a stable, reliable home to grow up in.
    My dad is also military, which means he's gone at least once a month for the weekend, once a year for a two-week training, and as is to be expected in a nation at war, he's been deployed a few times. Even through all of that, I can never remember a time in my life when I wasn't a priority for my dad. He's always said that his top priorities are, in order, God, Family, and Country. 
    I remember the very first time a boy broke up with me. I was 14 years old and my mom was visiting family in Idaho. He dumped me in an email after "dating" for a whopping month and a half. Naturally, I was devastated, but once again, my dad came through for me. He gave me a hug, a pint of Ben and Jerry's, and a new CD, told me he loved me, and let me feel what I was feeling. You see, that's one of the things about my dad that makes him so awesome: I have never in my life doubted that my dad loves me, believes in me, and is proud of me. He's sat through innumerable ballet recitals, choir and show choir concerts, art shows, talent shows, christmas pageants, threatened given a stern talking-to many many young men, and at the end of the day, just always been there for me. He taught me to ride a bike, shoot a gun, change a tire, and kick some butt when needed. When I drove our van into a snowy ditch my senior year of high school, it was my dad that I called in hysterics, and it was my dad that talked me down. He's always been the one guy in my life that I am 100% sure I can always count on, and I'll always be grateful for that.
    I guess, in the end, the biggest proof one can take that my daddy raised me well is that I'm confident and happy with who I am. I don't need a guy to complete me or make me happy, and my number one qualifier in a future husband is that he loves Jesus and thus will love my girls as much and as well as my Daddy loves me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Countdown to College: DIY Dorm First-Aid Kit

    Hey, folks! A couple people have been bugging me for a post of my two weeks of concert craziness. Don't worry, I'm getting to it. Still gathering photos and working on piecing it together for you. In the mean time, college is almost here, so I thought I would do a post or two on getting ready for school. It could be helpful if you're entering Freshman year and you're afraid you might forget something, or if you're an upperclassman, looking for ways to make this year even better. Anyway, without further ado, 

DIY Dorm First-Aid Kit

    First, you'll want to get a plastic container with a lid or a really sturdy cardboard box big enough to hold everything on the following list. Some of this stuff may seem strange, but pack it anyway because, in the words of my favorite "defective detective," you'll thank me later.
  • Band-aids. Okay, this is kind of obvious, but if I didn't put it on the list, someone, somewhere would forget them.
  • Neosporin or some other antibiotic ointment. The last thing you need is a gross, infected cut that your pre-med neighbor will have to drain the pus from. Do I sound like I speak from experience?
  • Pain relievers. Tylenol, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Excedrin, Midol. Whatever your poison, pack it and at least one alternate in case you build up a tolerance. That's rare, but it happened to me in high school, so I'm always cautious. 
  • A hot pack. No, not a hot water bottle. A hot pack is usually full of rice or something and can be microwaved to relieve sore muscles. 
  • An instant ice pack. The kind you can squeeze and they get cold immediately. If you have a freezer that you can put a regular ice pack in, even better. 
  • A thermometer. Illness spreads like wildfire in dorms, and you may want to check for "flu-like symptoms" more often than you would think.
  • Alcohol wipes. Good for cleaning everything from wounds to the aforementioned thermometer.
  • Burn gel. Curling irons, George Foreman grills, and microwave burritos have one thing in common: the potential to burn the crap out of your poor little fingers.
  • Aloe Vera gel. Sunburns are no fun and should be treated ASAP. Aloe helps to speed the healing and stop the burn because, believe it or not, the burn keeps burning deeper into your skin until you cool it off with cool water/aloe etc. That's why sunburned skin feels hot even hours after you've gone inside.
  • NyQuil/DayQuil. Because sometimes you're having breakfast with the Grim Reaper and that test still has to be taken.
  • Cough drops. Because no matter how dry your throat, you don't want to be "that guy" during a lecture.
  • Benadryl. In case your allergies flare up or someone has a minor allergic reaction. NOT to be used in place of a doctor's visit in the case of an allergic reaction, but it can buy you some time and make you more comfortable.
  • TUMS. Cafeteria food takes some getting used to. Enough said.
  • Vitamin C tablets or Emergen-C. It's a good idea to take these regularly, but even if you don't, take them religiously if your roommate gets sick.
  • Biofreeze/IcyHot. For those times when you need an ice pack, but you have to go to class/work/water polo practice. Kidding. I mean, who plays water polo?
  • ACE Bandage/Equestrian wrap. Yes, that is for horses, but it also does an A+ job of dealing with twisted ankles/knees/wrists etc.
    Well, that's pretty much everything I keep in my trust first-aid kit. I hope this was helpful. Have a safe and awesome 2012-2013 school year!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How To: Dorm Room Rice Krispie Treats

    Anyone who has ever lived in a dorm knows that one of the worst things about dorm life is seriously limited cooking options. So, for your eating pleasure, I present to you:

How To Make Rice Krispie Treats with No Tools Except a Large Bowl, a Tablespoon, and a Coffee Pot

    This is actually comically easy. So easy, in fact, I was surprised I didn't think of it before. All it takes are a few easy steps:
  1. Melt 2 TBSP of butter in your coffee pot.
  2. When the butter is completely liquified, add 2 cups of marshmallows, slowly in about 3 sections. So add one section, wait for them to melt, then add the next. Stir it every couple of minutes, you don't want it to burn to the coffee pot.
  3. While the marshmallows are melting, dump about 3 or 4 cups of rice crispies cereal into a large bowl. The amount will differ based on how gooey/crunchy you want them.
  4. Once your coffee pot is full of buttery, sugary goop, dump it into the bowl and mix it thoroughly. 
  5. Once it's all mixed you can spread it on a plate, separate it into bowls, or put the whole large bowl into your fridge for about 10 minutes until the rice krispie treats are firm.
  6. Enjoy! 


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Warped Tour Survival Tips: For the Ladies Edition

    Okay, girls, let's be real about this: we have a whole other set of needs and issues than our guy friends when it comes to being out all day in the summer. Warped Tour is no exception. So, in light of that obvious issue, here are some of the best tips I've found online, plus a few of my own. For more Warped Tour tips, check out my earlier post. 
  • Don't wear a skirt/dress. I get wanting to look cute, but it's not worth it. For one thing, if you're anything above a size 6, your thighs will chafe and we all know that's no fun. Second, if you get tossed/end up crowd surfing/trip/any of the myriad of things that could happen, about 7,000 of your closest friends will get a good look at your underwear.
  • Don't wear a white/pastel t-shirt without a tank under it. Four words: Surprise wet t-shirt contest. Enough said.
  • If mother nature visits the day before stay hydrated! (For all the grossed out guys: the title says "Ladies" for a reason.) It's even more important in that situation than it would be normally because your body is shedding more fluid than normal.
  • If you're pregnant the best advice if you want to go to Warped (keeping in mind that I've never been pregnant) would be to invest the extra money in a VIP ticket. It includes access to air conditioned tents which I can only imagine would be a huge help. Also, avoid mosh pits and dense crowds like the plague, I feel like the reasons are obvious.
  • If you're wearing a swimsuit top that ties at the neck double knot it! There will always be some pervy jerk who will try to see your boobs. It's rude, it's classless, but idiots are a fact of life.
  • Take your guy into the pit with you. If you're going in the pit, you should be prepared to get hit, but there are situations where you might need some muscle to back you up if someone passes the line from moshing to just being rude.
  • Don't wear excessive jewelry. This means rings, long necklaces, tons of bracelents, a lanyard, etc. You could lose them, necklaces could get yanked off, and it's just more weight to carry on an already insanely hot day. Also keep in mind that many venues don't allow studded belts or spiked bracelets for safety reasons.
  • Bring a hair tie/ponytail holder/head band. No matter the length of your hair, it will probably stick to your face or neck, and we all know how badly that sucks. If you want to be really extra awesome, bring a couple spare hair ties for those ladies who may have forgotten.
  • DO NOT wear flip flops or sandals. That is, unless you like getting your feet stomped on and having your shoes broken; in that case, go right ahead.
  • Bring Handy Wipes or a small travel container of baby wipes. You'll get hot and sweaty, and unless you like smelling like a van full of construction workers, you're going to want something to at least clean up a little.
  • Bring a plastic baggie with: bobby pins for your bangs and/or the little wispy hairs at the nape of your neck, a mini deodorant, the aforementioned hair ties, a chap stick.
  • Last but NOT least, don't wear tons of make up. All that's going to happen is that you'll sweat it off and look worse than you would have had you just gone natural.
Well, ladies, enjoy and have a great Warped Tour!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Show Survival

    Hey everyone! So, Vans Warped Tour kicks off this Saturday and I can't wait to go again with my friend Be! We had such an incredible time last year and this year one of our favorite bands, The Used, is going to be playing, so it's going to be incredible. While the summer touring season has already kicked off, we're finally getting to the point where summer is in full swing, so I just wanted to take a few minutes to share some tips and suggestions to keep you rocking out all summer long!

  • SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN!!! I cannot emphasize this enough! Even if you have darker skin or tan naturally, sun exposure still puts you at risk for skin cancer -and wrinkles, ew!- especially if you have/had more than 3 serious sunburns before your 18th birthday (I have 5 before my 15th, so I'm especially careful). So if you want to still get some color but you don't want cancer, get yourself some SPF 15 and reapply every 2 hours. Spray sunscreens are great if you don't want to spend 15 minutes putting on the lotion kind.
  • Okay, this one is kind of a no-brainer, but make sure to hydrate! It gets hot, especially at tours like Warped where you might be outside from 11am until 9 at night. If you eat a good, balanced breakfast food isn't really so important (unless you're diabetic, hyperglycemic, etc. Know your limits and adjust accordingly.) but water is extremely important. I used a CamelBak last year, which is basically a  small backpack which holds a pouch full of water. Warped has these awesome filtered water refilling stations for your bottles/Camelbaks and most venues will also have water fountains you can use. If you notice that you've stopped sweating at a normal rate, or (not to get too graphic) you haven't used to restroom in a couple of hours, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND HYDRATE! Free tip: put ice in your water to keep your core body temperature down.
  • Dress for comfort! This is Warped Tour, not fashion week. You're going to get sweaty, you're going to get dirty, and if you wear black skinny jeans and a black t-shirt, you're probably going to be miserable. Dark colors absorb heat faster, so light colored breathable clothing is best. Remember, natural fibers (like cotton) breathe best. And if you're glued to wearing one particular t-shirt, but want something lighter, you could try using this tutorial to turn it into a racer-back tank top, as seen in one of my earlier blog posts.
  • Comfortable shoes are key to your feet and legs not hating you the next day! I observed last year tons of people wearing TOMS or Chuck Taylors ( I wore my grey TOMS), but wear shoes that you know you can stand up in for a long time with minimal discomfort. Personally, this year I'll be wearing Vegan Feed 12 TOMS Classics. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT wear flip flops/sandals. They will break, your toes will get stepped on, and it will hurt.
  • Pack a snack! Warped Tour allows you to bring a homemade snack into the venue in case you do get hungry. They have food available for sale there, but it's crazy expensive. Bring some homemade granola, trail mix, or whatever your favorite snack is. Try to bring something high in protein to give you energy to keep going throughout the whole day. Free tip: Meat isn't the only thing full of protein! Try a snack with peanut butter or other nuts. Homemade fruit leather is also a good snack, though it doesn't provide the energy boost that protein rich snacks do.
  • Bring sunglasses, just not your favorite pair! Protecting your eyes from the sun is important, but your shades may get lost or broken. Should that happen, many booths in the venue have sunglasses for sale for pretty cheap ($5-$15).
  • Bring cash for merch and food. Not all venues will have an ATM, so I suggest bringing at least $100 cash, and keep it in the FRONT pocket of your jeans.
  • Bring a drawstring backpack to hold your sunscreen, snack, water bottle, all of the cool stuff you will buy, and all of the awesome free stuff people will give you!
  • Ziplock baggies are perfect for keeping your cell phone/camera/etc dry in your bag in case you should get soaked for one reason or another.
  • If you go in the pit, you will get pushed/shoved/hit so if you're a kid or that's something you can't handle, it's best to hang out in the back.
  • Most venues (All venues for Warped) do not allow DSLRs or other professional grade photography equipment. You can bring a disposable or a point-and-shoot to record all of your awesome show memories.
  • Charge your phone the night before, and have a place for your friends to meet in case you get lost or left.
  • Don't wear tons of makeup! I wore eye shadow last year, not even a lot, and I sweated it into my eyes in the middle of a huge pit, and let me tell you, that stuff BURNS. Free tip: DO bring chap stick. Just do it.
  • Do/see as much as you can! Warped and other summer shows are an incredible experience, and there is so much so do, so much to see, so many new people to meet. Throw yourself into the experience. Be safe, have fun, and make memories you'll never forget.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tattly: Designy Temporary Tattoos Review

    Have you ever wished that temporary tattoos were less, well, stupid? Whether you're putting them on your kids or, like myself, you're 20 years old and still love them, everybody at some point gets sick of crappy stock images stuck on your skin. Well, pushers of crappy temporary tattoos, I see your stock images and raise you my Tattlys.
    Those of you who have been following my blog for any amount of time at all already know that I love Tattlys. They're clever, sweet, witty, occasionally snarky, well designed temporary tattoos for the children and our inner children. There's one for everyone, so when you get done reading this review, go find one that suits you on their website.
    (Also, I apologize for the weird color bars on the pictures, for some reason Blogger's uploader is malfunctioning like crazy, but only on some pictures.)

To begin, packaging:

Tattlys come packaged in a card board envelope that is pretty rigid to protect your Tattlys from getting bent or ruined in the mail

Inside the card board envelope is a paper envelope with blank "To" and "From" lines in case you're awesome enough to be giving Tattlys as a gift. You'll also find your receipt inside the cardboard envelope.

And inside the paper envelope (is anyone but me getting a Russian nesting doll vibe here?), you will find your Tattlys! I got the Rainbows and the Arrows. I just like rainbows, and the arrows were probably a product of my having just re-read The Hunger Games. You will also find....

BONUS TATTLYS! Itty bitty squares of awesome that come as a surprise bonus for buying something that's already super awesome on its own.

I'm pretty sure everyone remembers how to apply a temporary tattoo, but in case you had a sad, joyless childhood, there are application directions on the back of every Tattly you buy! They also have a video on their website for the more visual learners among us.

This is (pretty much) what my Tattly looked like on. I picked one of the medium sized rainbows. The big one is about the width of my wrist, and the little ones are about the width of my thumb. Bear in mind that the appearance of your tattoo is based heavily on where you put it. If, like me, you put it in a more bendy place, it may crack and not last as long.

Free tip! The life of your temporary tattoo can be extended from a couple days to an additional week by putting a thin layer of clear nail polish over the top. I've heard that putting liquid bandage on it also works, but I haven't tried it.

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And this is how it looked once the nail polish dried. It really doesn't effect the appearance of your Tattly much at all, except maybe making it slightly shinier. 

Below is a picture I took of my with the Tattly as well as pictures of a few other Tattlys I've had. Enjoy.













Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bonus Post: Faces I've caught myself making.

I do this thing that I'm sure other people do where I zone out completely and when I snap out of it, I realize I've been making some completely absurd face. So, I decided to share them with you cause I'm just that incredible. Enjoy.


Things that make me go :D

Here's a list of awesome stuff that I thoroughly love, curated just for your enjoyment:

  • Tattly Tattlys are these cool temporary tattoos. The company was started by a mom who was sick of her kids having to wear mediocre temporary tattoos, and it's grown into something certifiably awesome. My Facebook friends may remember the quotation mark tattoos I had on my chest: those were Tattlys.
  • Julia Nunes She's a brilliant, beautiful, talented musician who does bunches of awesome covers and incredible originals mainly on ukulele, though she's been known to also play acoustic guitar, melodica, and a cardboard box. Check out her YouTube channel.
  • Melted crayon art is a crafting trend recently and I think it's pretty fantastic. I actually did 2 of them for my 2D design class.
  • Pocket Hipster The greatest, most sarcastic, witty, vaguely insulting (Free!) music discover app ever.
  • TOMS Shoes are the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned. And even better, they donate a pair of shoes to a child in need for every single pair sold. They're available on their website or probably at your local Tradehome Shoes.
  • Single Dad Laughing Dan Pierce is easily one of the funniest, most refreshingly honest bloggers out there. And for those of you who, like myself, don't have kids, don't worry. This is not just a daddy blog....
  • Threadbanger For those of you also obsessed with DIY and crafty stuff, boy do I have a YouTube channel for you. Check out the fun, quippy, and cleverly named Threadbanger on YouTube for tons of cool ideas and tutorials.
  • Mental Floss Mental Floss magazine is for the intellectually inclined among us. I was that weird kid who really liked going to school, and so a magazine geared specifically toward telling me awesome things I don't know is pretty much a dream come true.
  • 1001 Journals is an art project based on community. You can do your own journal, do one with your friends, launch one and give it to a stranger, or pretty much any other way you can think of to share one.
  • TheSixtyOne is an online music discovery sight that really can't be explained except to say that it's awesome and you should check it out.
  • Uke Hunt is a ukulele blog with everything from reviews to books to tabs and tutorials. If you can get past the only vaguely inappropriate name, it's a really super blog.
Well, That's what I've got for you today, folks. Hope you enjoyed and found something new to love. Later!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hair dye tips and tricks

    So, basically I just watched a YouTube video of some idiotic 14 year old dip-dying her hair and it really annoyed me. So, instead of being a moron and leaving tons of spiteful comments, I'm going to bestow my hair coloring knowledge upon all of you. I use semi-permanent rainbow colors mostly. Manic Panic is my go-to, but I also occaisionally use Splat. Enjoy.
  • GLOVES. I cannot stress this enough. Your hands will be stained some insane color if you/the person doing your hair doesn't wear gloves.
  • If, for some obnoxious reason you decided to ignore my last suggestion, shampoo is the best thing to use when attempting to wash dye off of your hands/face/feet/wherever else you managed to get it.
  • I have one towel that I use only for dying my hair. That way the rest of my towels aren't gross. I recommend going to Target and just buying one cheap towel to designate as your "dye-towel."
  • If you're dying your whole head of hair, the best way I've found to get really vibrant color consists of 3 steps: 1) Put your dye on once you don't have anywhere else to be for the night, wrap your head in saran wrap. Yes, saran wrap. Then cover everything in a shower cap. 2) Just in case, put a crappy pillowcase on your pillow and/or cover your pillow with your dye-towel. Sleep with the dye in. 3) Rinse the following morning with cool or luke warm water until the water runs mostly clear. 
  • The plastic wrap part is essential because it keeps the dye wet the whole time, which allows it to penetrate your hair more effectively. 
  • If you don't have and don't want to buy a tint-brush, a cheap toothbrush from the dollar store will work in most cases. 
  • If you're bleaching/lightening your hair, I cannot stress enough the importance of conditioning your hair every time you wash it, and going easy on straightening/blow drying your hair to avoid serious damage.
  • Buy more product than you think you'll need. It's better to return an unused package than to have to go to the store with half a head of purple hair to buy another.
    Well, that's all I've got for you. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. Also, check out Manic Panic on their website. They have tons of colors of vegan-friendly, vibrant hair color. Enjoy!

Monday, May 21, 2012

And the World Spins 'Round....

    Today some people died, some people were also born. Some people were told they had cancer, some people were told that their surgery went well and they will live many more years. Some people got married today, and someone's daughter went on her first date. Today I watched movies and made grilled cheese sandwiches and bought a melon with my friend. I gave myself another henna tattoo and took a nap. I opened my window to let in the sunshine, and I sewed a pocket on a shirt. I didn't do anything extraordinary today; but yet, in some way my life, my being alive, made a difference to someone. 
    It's genuinely incredible to think about all of the amazing things that go on around us. I remember the summer before I started college, I was working in a pizza place and it was 9 or 10 at night when this man came in, on top of the world. He came up to the counter and told me that his wife had just had a baby, a little girl. He showed me photos and told me how happy he was. Then he got his pizza and he went back to his wife and his brand new daughter, but for a few minutes, I got to be a part of one of the most important days of that man's life, the day he became a dad.
    That memory will always stick with me. Even though plenty of people I know will have babies and get married and live and die. I think it's the fact that I didn't know that man or his wife, but he so gleefully allowed me to be a part of his story, and the very beginning of his daughter's life. Ever since that night, I've thought a little more about the things that go on around me, and to tell you the truth, it's a pretty remarkable world we have.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Graduation 2012

    Another year has come and gone, and that means another class of Seniors leaves the Blackburn community for the life they're meant to lead. Many of these people have meant a lot to me and have helped me with homework, moving, or just by being amazing friends. I am proud to have been able to share in their lives for two awesome years. I have sung with them in choir, studied beside them in class, had fun with them at college events, and dined with them at dinner. The class of 2012 is full of some very special people and I feel very blessed to call them my friends.
    So, Class of 2012, I leave you with the words of Genesis 31:49, "May the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent, one from another."

Congratulations and best of luck in every future endeavor.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Magical Things About College: Part 1


  • If you're not tired, NOBODY MAKES YOU GO TO BED ANYWAY!
  • If you have no real food, Chex Mix and Mountain Dew is a completely acceptable substitution.
  • If you want to stay up until 6am and then sleep until 3:30pm on Saturday, nobody cares!
  • "Laundry Day" is a magical phrase which excuses wearing ANY combination of absurd, back-of-your-closet clothing.
    On that note, my dear readers, I bid you goodnight (or good morning) because it's 5am and I have somewhere to be at 11. TTFN.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Blackburn: Home Away from Home

    So, I found a scholarship that requires me to write a short essay on why my school is special. I could spend my time telling you about how Blackburn is located in a small town with a low crime rate, about our great faculty-to-student ratio, how our Softball team did incredibly this year, how we were ranked #2 best value in the Midwest by US News,  or how we are the only school in the country student-managed work program. However, that stuff is just what makes Blackburn good, what makes Blackburn great, is the people.

    With less than 600 students, Blackburn is personal to say the least. It’s virtually impossible to get lost in the crowd. If you’re not in class, somebody notices and calls you to make sure you’re okay. My advisor, Bob, not only knows my name and what I’m studying, he remembers my sister and what she wants to study when she gets to college, he knows my parents’ names and what they do for  living. When you come to Blackburn it’s hard not to feel welcome. Upperclassmen in your discipline or your dorm welcome you, ask if you need any help, help you carry your boxes in to your dorm. You walk into choir and older singers immediately welcome you in with a hand shake, a hug, and questions about your range, your experience, what you’re studying, where you’re from. There’s always someone up for a trip to nearby Springfield or St. Louis. I feel especially lucky because not only do I have awesome friends, I have two amazing roommates who not only have fun with me, but will stay on me about studying and homework. The people in the work program are also a huge part of what makes Blackburn unique and amazing. Your bosses aren’t just there to make sure the work gets done; they’re there to help you network, build a resume, and help you plan for the future.

    Here at Blackburn, we aren’t just a college or a community, we’re a family, and that’s what makes us really special.


This scholarship is sponsored by CenturyLinkQuote.com.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Things Come to An End

    As the Spring semester comes to a close, students everywhere are in a blind rush to the finish. For some, the end of this year brings graduation and life after college; for others of us it just brings another summer of work, saving money, staying up too late, and going back to school in the fall. Sometimes the chaos of the end of the year can get pretty overwhelming and students really have to remember to take a break every now and then so they don't get worn down by finals, projects, papers, packing, and everything else one has to deal with.
    So, this afternoon I was doing just that: laying on my bed, eyes closed, blocking out everything except the low hum of my box fan and the gurgle of Jude and Gilbert's water filters. I thought about the rough parts of my year: dealing with my dad's deployment, multiple family kerfuffles, drifting away from some people who I thought were really good friends. And then I thought about all of the reasons I've been blessed this year: dad returning unscathed, all of the new friends (and two awesome roommates) I've been blessed with this year, all of the old friends that I've stayed close to, the opportunities to learn new things, all of the constructive criticism I received in Sophomore Review. I've realized that, all in all, even through the low points when I felt lonely and overloaded, I've had a pretty good year and I'm looking forward to an even better summer!
    So, bring on Summer 2012 and my Junior year. I can't wait.

Friday, April 20, 2012

On College, Friends, and Growing Up

    One of the most interesting things about college thusfar, is how differently people mature. Some people step into college with the mentality of a 44 year old bank executive, some are figuring it out as they go along, and some people are stuck in the immaturity and insecurity of high school. 
    It's always frustrating when someone gets on your case about something you did (or didn't do) and it's either A) not your fault, B) not your problem, or C) they had a part in the issue as well and seem to be dumping all of the blame on you. I'm sure that I'm not the only one this has ever happened to, but it gets exhausting after a while and it's happened to me several times in the last week. I, however, am not going to let it ruin my weekend. All I can do is be as good to people as  I can, and if they want to cut me down and abuse me, I just have to cut them out of my life, because you're only as good as the people you surround yourself with.
   What about you? Have you ever had someone jump all over you for no good reason, or worse yet, about something that was partially their fault? And if so, how did you handle it?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Dos and Don'ts of Laundry in College

    For those of you in college or about to be in college, there are certain things one must know about doing laundry in college, especially if you live in a dorm. Abiding by these rules will not only help you out, but will make the people you live among like you better.
  • DO wait until you have a full load of laundry. In the vast majority of schools you have to pay to do laundry, and at the bare minimum cost of $1 per load, it's best not to waste money. Try to only wash a full load unless you desperately need something clean. On that note...
  • DON'T wait until the last minute to do laundry, especially Friday or Sunday nights; those are the prime nights for people hastily washing clothes for the weekend/week that they forgot they needed until the last second, and I promise you the washers and dryers will be packed.
  • DO read the directions on clothing care labels AND detergent bottles. Some clothes need to be dry cleaned, and some detergents aren't suitable for use on some types of clothing, also some types of detergents need to be diluted before you put in your clothes so that they don't eat holes in the fabric.
  • DON'T put stained clothing in the dryer. If you've only washed it, there's still hope to get the stains out, but heat permanently sets stains, thus making the dryer a poor idea.
  • DON'T leave your clothes in the washer/dryer for hours at a time. People WILL take them out and potentially throw them on the top of the machine and/or the floor. Plus, it's just rude to monopolize the machines that a whole building has to share.
  • DO wash new clothes separately! Dyes in new clothing can bleed and transfer on to other clothes, meaning one red t-shirt can make a whole load of pink socks.
  • DO say hello in the laundry room. Sometimes it's just courteous, and sometimes you can make new friends you wouldn't have made otherwise.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

We are barefoot because we are blessed.

    Today myself, twenty or so of my schoolmates, and thousands of people around the world participated in TOMS One Day Without Shoes. TOMS is a One for One company that donates a pair of shoes to a child in a needy country for every single pair they sell, One for One. In the last year TOMS also expanded to include an eyewear division which donates glasses, vision care, or even surgery for every pair of sunglasses they sell. From the TOMS website:

One for One Movement

In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by TOMS customers.

Why Shoes?


Many children in developing countries grow up barefoot. Whether at play, doing chores or going to school, these children are at risk:
•A leading cause of disease in developing countries is soil-transmitted diseases, which can penetrate the skin through bare feet. Wearing shoes can help prevent these diseases, and the long-term physical and cognitive harm they cause.
•Wearing shoes also prevents feet from getting cuts and sores. Not only are these injuries painful, they also are dangerous when wounds become infected.
•Many times children can't attend school barefoot because shoes are a required part of their uniform. If they don't have shoes, they don't go to school. If they don't receive an education, they don't have the opportunity to realize their potential.
    Shoes are a vital part of life, more so than we realize. Most of us have been blessed enough to never have had to worry about debilitating diseases that we could catch from walking barefoot in the dirt or worse yet, not being able to give our children something as basic as a pair of shoes so that they can go to school.
    So, every year, thousands of people like you and I kick off our shoes and not only raise awareness for the need for shoes, but we celebrate our own blessing and the ability we have to give back to others. So I encourage you, if it's still April 10th when you're reading this: kick off your shoes! If not, check out all of the awesome products that TOMS offers and learn more about their mission, and keep an eye out for One Day Without Shoes next April!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter

    Easter will be here in a few days and this time of year always gets me thinking about selfless sacrifice, our Savior's and others. I think about all if the people in my life who have given something up to make sure I got what I needed or even just wanted. I think about all of the soldiers who sacrifice time with their families, and some even their lives, to make sure I can live in peace, pursuing my art degree and enjoying the freedoms that their service ensures. I think about all of the times my parents gave up time they could have used to clean or work or relax to come support me in choir or show choir or plays or musicals or art shows or ballet recitals or t-ball games or any of the million other things I have tried throughout my life. 
    All of this to say that I'm emphatically grateful to all of my family, friends, teachers, and everyone who has ever helped me, supported me, taught me, and encouraged me to be everything that I can be and to do the best I possibly can. So in this time when we're thanking God for the sacrifice of his son for our salvation, also take a moment to thank those around you who have made a difference in your life, and thank God for putting them there.
    Now, get off my blog and go be with your family. Have a great Easter.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Free fruit, early outs, and other things that make today awesome.


    Today started off pretty swell. I dragged myself out of bed and across campus to the science building where my Thursday Biology lab is held. We were discussing the different types of fruits and vegetables, and Dr Bray invited us to eat the specimens after everyone had examined them. So I ended up taking a pear, a kiwi, and about 10 blackberries back to my room. Anyone who knows me can tell you how much I love fruit, so that was obviously exciting. Then this afternoon we got out of my history class 20 minutes early, giving me time to write this post to all of my beautiful readers. 
    For those of you who don't have me on Facebook, I'm also building a ukulele. The above picture is this first half of the sides. I'm so excited to finish it and start learning to play it! I've been obsessively googling uke blogs and YouTube searching instructional videos. 
    Now all I have to do with my day is go to work and clean my room with Val so that the prospective students we're hosting tomorrow night have somewhere to sleep. Anyway, gotta run. Love and kisses and all that jazz.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Take What You Need, window gardens, moving, and secrets.

    I recently found a really cool social project on Facebook called the Take What You Need Project. I had seen a few of the signs before, but I didn't know what it was about. Basically, people make signs with those little tabs at the bottom with needs like love, patience, courage, etc, and put them up in public places like schools, student centers, coffee shops, work places, churches, dorms, power poles, or anywhere else that people will see it. It's a really neat way to encourage people in a subtle way. To be a part of the project, all you do is take a picture of the sign and post it to Facebook. Boom, done. Signs can be whatever you want them to be, here are some examples:




    In other news, I've finally started my window garden. I have 2 basil and 4 cilantro plants. I can't wait until they sprout! I always enjoy having live plants in my room as well as the aquatic pets we're allowed to have in dorms. I have a turtle named Jude and my new roommate has a salamander. Yes, new roommate. I'll be moving down stairs to the first floor of the same dorm later this week. I'll be sad to leave my room, but I'm excited to have a roommate again. I'm a really social person, so I live well with other people.

    Speaking of people I love, have you ever heard of The Piano Guys? A few weeks ago, I found a mash up they did of Beethoven's 5th and OneRepublic's "Secrets" that's absolutely phenominal. You can just feel how much the cellist loves what he does. There's also a gorgeous, deep red electric cello featured in the video. I seriously encourage you to check it out:

    Well, that's about all I've got for you. Thanks for hanging with me while I get the whole blogging schedule down. Have an excellent week and an even better weekend!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Twitter hashtags, Ronnie Radke, and other things that are more interesting than my homework.

    Anyone who has ever been in college or high school or middle school or any other place that requires you to do things you don't want to do can tell you that, the second you sit down to do your homework, everything you own suddenly becomes fascinating. Your fingernails obviously need painted! How could you have neglected them for so long? And now seems like the perfect time to finish up the 3 projects you've started in the last week. Your floor is obviously filthy! You really should take a quick break to sweep. By this point you could really use a snack, so you stop to make yourself some Easy Mac, and now that you think of it, you told your Sculpture classmates that you would make a mix CD to listen to during class. You glance down at Industrialization, Activism, and Ideologies of Progress, 1780-1930, and think, "I still have so much time. It's only 8:30." Suddenly you realize that your clean laundry has been laying on your bed for the better part of a week and that's driving you nuts, so you have to fold it. 
    By the time your closet has been reorganized, you've run to Subway with your friends, sorted your recycling, filled out some paperwork, drawn a teeshirt for a design contest, glued your shoe where the sole was peeling off, sewn a pocket on your tank top, taken a shower, cleaned your George Foreman, re-hung two posters, vacuumed your microscopic throw rug, fed your turtle twice, filled in a few events in your day planner, texted your sister, alphabetized your DVDs, cleaned out your desk, checked on your Etsy store, checked your email, checked your Facebook, checked your Pinterest, checked your Twitter, realized you have far too many internet accounts, played with your Sims, broken your Wite-Out container, and blogged about your procrastination, it's 12:30 and you have the sudden, painful realization that you might as well take 5 minutes to make yourself some coffee, because you're not sleeping tonight. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Things I could complain about, but won't and why.

  1. I don't have a car. But I do have legs that work, a functional bicycle, and everything I need on a daily basis withing walking and/or biking distance.
  2. I don't have everything I want. But I am blessed that I have never know true want or hunger. While I don't always have everything I desire, I can never remember a time when I didn't have everything I needed.
  3. I get frustrated and anxious because of a demanding schedule. But I am so lucky to be able to pursue something I am passionate about, and I'm lucky enough to have teachers and peers that will push me beyond what I'm comfortable with.
  4. I don't have time or money to pursue all of my interests. But I have never been discouraged from trying something new. When I wanted to be a ballerina, my parents encouraged me to practice hard. When I wanted to be a cowgirl, they encouraged me to learn how to ride. When I wanted to be a poet, they gave me endless feedback on my work. When I finally landed on being an Artist, they encouraged my progress and help me find ways to make money with my talents.
  5. My sister sometimes takes my stuff without asking. But she always supports me, loves me, thinks I'm cool, asks my advice, and is my best friend.
  6. My laptop occasionally malfunctions. But I have a laptop, and my dad and my friends always know how to fix it.
  7. I can't always buy new clothes when I want to. But I'm blessed with a gift for bargain shopping and the ability to alter clothes to look awesome, different, and unique.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Five things for your dorm room that you'll use more than you expected.

Surprise! Bonus post today!
  1. Baby wipes. Possible uses include: Removing makeup, cleaning sticky hands in a hurry, wiping up spills, cleaning up art supplies, quick fix for spills on clothes and shoes.
  2. Coffee maker. Sure, you expected to use this, but did you think it would be to cook ramen noodles, re-heat mac and cheese, melt butter for rice krispies, or heat water for a hot water bottle?
  3. First aid kit. It makes you feel like a goober to even have one, but your mom made you take it. But then you scrape your knee falling on the stairs: band-aid. You have a wicked migraine: Tylenol. You sprain your wrist: Ace bandage. 
  4. Broom. Dorms are, more often than not, older buildings which means they collect dust fast. You'll be sweeping your floor way more than you did at home. We hope.
  5. Hat/Earmuffs/Scarf. If you go to school above the Mason-Dixon, chance are you get some snow or at least some cold weather. While that may not have been a problem in high school, you now have to walk across campus in it.

On being severely right-brained.

    Do you know what it means to be right-brained? Most of you will know the text book answer: Right brained people are more impulsive and passionate. They tend to be good in the arts: music, art, dance, and creative writing. Right brained people struggle with subjects that involve intense focus, like math or science. They are usually less organized.
    Here's the parts nobody tells you: You'll pay a price for creativity. Your feelings come bigger than other people think they should. You'll cry when you make art that hits a place in your soul that even you didn't know existed. When you fall in love, you fall hard and fast. You feel everything with passion and exuberance and a deepness that rivals the sea and the innermost depths of the earth. When you're creating and things begin to spill out, they don't stop and you'll have to keep going or you might lose your mind. You'll be very anxious about very little with pretty much no warning. Setbacks seem tragic, but you'll bounce back quickly. When you get hyper it's not because you can't think, but because you're thinking about so much all at once that you can't articulate it all. You're a free spirit. Often freer than most people consider "socially acceptable." "Grown ups" consider you unrealistic and they think your art degree will inevitably turn out to be useless.
    But they also don't tell you that you get to see the world in a way nobody else does. You notice colors, shapes, and lines that other people never look twice at. You get to know the pleasure of creating. You get tough from critiques, impervious to insult, seeing all feedback as a way to improve yourself. You get to be yourself, no matter who thinks you shouldn't.

There you have it. Also, for my loyal readers, I've set up a blog schedule, so you can start expecting new posts Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Look forward to "How to: Turn a masquerade mask from blah to ooh la la" or maybe a less fruity title, same content.

Have an excellent Wednesday!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012!

    Wow! Another year has come and passed. This year flew by in a blur of school, work, family and friends. 2011 blessed me with great memories, my first Warped Tour, a mess of new friends, a pet turtle, and so much more. As we speak my neighbors are setting off fireworks and families and friends throughout the US Central Time Zone are toasting, kissing, and celebrating surviving another year. 
    For me, 2012 looks like losing weight, somehow surviving Sophomore Review, turning 21, and a summer spent working, going to as many concerts as possible, and generally loving my life. I pray that you all find yourself as blessed as I am in 2012 and should we all survive 12-21-12, I look forward to welcoming 2013 with all of you. Now get off the computer and go be with the people you love!
Love, paint, and a little magic,
Larra