Thursday, July 28, 2011

One Perfect Album- Gavin DeGraw's Chariot

I stumbled upon a great cover of one of my favorite songs from this album earlier this week and went back to this album and thought it needed sharing. I first listened to this when I was 11 or 12, and I haven't stopped yet. It's absolutely flawless, from start to finish. There are two versions, a studio version and a stripped version, both are incredible.
Lyrically it's simple and gorgeous and I loved as much at 11 as I do at 19. Musically it's just about the best pop album I own. I seriously never get tired of it. I met Gavin DeGraw when I was 13 and he was one of the nicest guys in the world, too!
I was going to list a few favorite tracks, but I seriously couldn't pick. I love them ALL. I'm so nostalgic listening to this, but at the same time I feel completely comfortable happy listening to it now.

Hunter Parrish covering Gavin DeGraw's "Belief." His dog even harmonizes towards the end. SO CUTE!

What's your one perfect album? I probably have a few more, but this one came to mind this week. Have you listened to Chariot? Let me know if you pick it up!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Makeup Wishlist

There's always a wishlist.
I love makeup, and I think the more I buy the more I want to buy. It's kind of a sick addiction in that respect. Here are the products I'm lusting after lately. I promise to do a mini-haul video soon, by the way!
Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Eyeshadow Collection
I can't get over these colors. I love the range, from peach and that lavender-pink to vibrant teal and bright fuschia! I feel like this would be a wonderful palette to have, and I just signed up to be notified when it's available again. I think this one will be worth the splurge.

OPI Muppets Collection
This has been the best OPI collection in a while, if you ask me! I love some of the glitters, especially the Rainbow Connection one! Warm and Fozzie is definitely coming home with me, and probably Divine Swine and Wocka Wocka too. I think the Gold Shatter will be a HUGE hit, even though I'm not a huge shatter fan.

More nails... shocking!

Essie Fall Collection "Brand New Bag"
Essie's collections are always so sophisticated. There's not a color in this bunch that I don't want. Aren't these stunning? The first three are so unique! I think I will definitely HAVE to get Carry On and Very Structured. I've never even seen a nail color like Very Structured. It kind of matches my hair, actually!

Smashbox Lip Enhancing Glosses
I just bought my first Smashbox Lip Enhanching Gloss in Tease, which is the PERFECT sheer berry meets hot pink gloss. Let me say that I am NOT a gloss girl and this gloss may have converted me. (So thanks to Jayme from Her Late Night Cravings for the recommendation!) The color is incredible, it's not sticky or tacky like most glosses and when it fades it looks like you were wearing a pink stain. I want like 3 or 4 more haha. I haven't decided which colors, but I'm so happy to have finally found a gloss I like.

What's on your wishlist?

Celebspiration- Lin-Manuel Miranda

 Who inspires you? 
It's a tough question, and it takes me back to answering essays for college the past two years (senior year, and transferring.)
I always find it interesting to hear which celebrities inspire people. I know we're all inspired by people in our everyday lives, but which celebrities inspire you? I was going to make this one post but I realized I had so much to say about this next person that I'm going to have to make this a mini blog feature.

Lin-Manuel Miranda might be my greatest inspiration. Although I will be entering the teaching profession after college, I aspire to write at some point. Lin-Manuel Miranda is the genius behind one of my favorite musicals, In the Heights, which combines hip-hop with all sorts of latino styles of music. Spanish and English collide in this incredibly sweet and touching musical that I constantly listen to.  If you follow my tumblr, you've probably noticed my obsession with him. He wrote the incredible music for the show and then went on to STAR in it. He also happens to tweet some of the most hilarious things. He just wrapped up work on Bring It On The Musical (yes, it's based on those cheerleading movies!) and is working on a hip-hop album based on American history figure Alexander Hamilton. What I love about Lin-Manuel Miranda is that he's versatile and not afraid to be passionate and interested in everything from Buffy The Vampire Slayer to American History. As a writer and musician he is brilliant and a huge inspiration to me.  He's also hilarious. His marriage to his wife Vanessa is absolutely precious. You have to watch this video of him surprising his wife on their wedding day with a song from Fiddler on the Roof with her father and the wedding party. SO CUTE!

I mentioned previously that he's working on a hip-hop album about Alexander Hamilton. He got to perform some of that at the White House.
The last video I'll leave you with is the Tony Awards performance by the In The Heights Original Broadway Cast. I love this show so much and really encourage you to listen to it.  It won Best Musical and 3 other Tonys that year. I listen to it constantly and this performance will blow your mind.

If you're a musical nerd like me you definitely should follow Lin-Manuel Miranda on twitter. He loves to talk to fans. Once, he had everyone send in "musical theater moments." Mine got retweeted!!
By the way, the song mentioned is from Spring Awakening. I normally wouldn't swear on my blog, sorry! It's a true story, haha.

I could probably go on and on for another few days about Lin-Manuel Miranda. He's a great guy, with a lot of talent. Check out In the Heights, and look for The Hamilton Tapes and Bring it On in the next year or so.

Monday, July 25, 2011


I was lacking inspiration this week and felt like I hadn't introduced my followers on this blog to my favorite furry friend.
Juno is a huge part of my life. That's probably an understatement. I got Juno when I was 15, and had just been diagnosed with Crohn's disease. I begged my parents for a puppy and the rule was that she had to be under 10 pounds. Juno was the result. She was under 2 pounds and could fit in my palm when we got her. She's a chihuahua-shih tzu mix. She's also cuter than your average dog, and that's not just me saying that. Juno has more personality than most people I meet and she's absolutely hilarious. My family thinks it's hilarious that the novelty of Juno has yet to wear off after almost four years, but we still find her to be as adorable, funny and absolutely enchanting as the day we got her.
Enough gushing, here are some cute pictures:
BABY Juno. This face kills me.

Too cute, right?

She loves the beach!

My mom calls this the Audrey Hepburn photo. She's just too poised.

Juno loves all of our animals. This was our old cat, Beaumont, who she used to lick all over. It was hilarious. Juno loves giving tons of kisses.
She HATES clothes, but in winter she gets too cold, so we make her wear the piggy costume. I love it. So funny.

The infamous ELMO. Her all-time favorite toy. Red is Juno's favorite color, seriously. Elmo goes everywhere, but gets brought into my bed every morning.

Waking up from a nap haha.

Lots of kisses, always.

Naps, naps, naps.
 I love Juno to pieces and I'm so glad my mom will be able to bike over with her during the school year. Another perk of going to college close to home!

PS- Yes, I did name her after the movie Juno. It was one of my favorite movies when we got her!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Last Month of Summer

I think I imagined this summer so many different ways. There were trips planned and jobs started and summer classes and just so many things that should have, would have could have... but that's beside the point.
My summer classes are over and my last month of summer is upon me. I'm buying school supplies and picking out dorm room goodies and finally reading something other than my boring meteorology textbook!  I'm listening to new musicals, I'm reading fun light books and finally feeling better. I'm so grateful that my health seems to be going in the right direction.

What I'm looking forward to this month? 

I picked up this book today at the library. The concept is SO interesting! I'd explain it, but I haven't read it yet and I don't think I'll do it justice. Basically, it revolves around language and wordplay and the Linguistics and English nerd in me is SO excited to read this.  For more read about the author here!

Another thing I can't wait to do is find the perfect planner and go back to school shopping in general! What are your favorite planners? I'm not sure what to get... It's a tough decision, for sure!
I really like this Sarah Pinto Planner, and it's only $10. Pretty cute, right?

Lastly, I have a whole new BATHROOM to decorate!! I found out last week that I have my own room and bathroom, which I pretty much knew was coming, but I hadn't really been shopping for yet! Last year, when I shared with my three messy, unfriendly suitemates I pretty much avoided my bathroom and had NO desire to decorate it. Since this bathroom is all my own I definitely am looking forward to making it my own!

I love this Target Shower Curtain! My room is all pink, navy and green and I'll probably carry those colors into my bathroom.
I'm still searching for a makeup table so that maybe I can have an actual DESK this year... We'll see what I find! Hopefully this last month of summer is the best of the three.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Next to Normal

My last show of the season, probably. I may get tickets to Mamma Mia, but this was the big one.

Next to Normal is a musical about loss, depression and love. It's about the toll that depression can take on a family. It's a beautiful musical and I don't want to give too much away. If you have a chance to see it, SEE IT. You won't regret it. 
 I was fortunate enough to see it twice. Once with Pearl Sun, Alice Ripley's understudy, and once with the Tony winner herself. Both women were amazing, and the show was incredible.

Some favorite lyrics:

"You square all the corners, I straighten the curves. 
You've got some nerve, Henry, and I'm just all nerves." - Perfect for You 

"Day after day,
Give me clouds, and rain and gray.
Give me pain, if that's what's real.
 It's the price we pay to feel.
The price of love is loss,
But still we pay.
We love anyway."- Light 

I also met a lot of the cast! They were so sweet, especially Curt Hansen, the tour cast's Gabe. He was too funny.  Pardon my hair, it was drizzling and a mess outside!
Emma Hunton, who plays Natalie. Her voice is INCREDIBLE and she totally steals the show.
Asa Somers, who plays Dan. Again, awesome voice. Super nice guy. 
Curt Hansen, the N2N tour's Gabe. Isn't he a cutie? I love this picture. He was too funny.

Jeremy Kushnier, who plays the Doctors. He was super nice.

Preston Sadleir, the tour's Henry. He is so much like his character, which is a compliment if you've seen the show!

All in all, I loved it. I'd see it again in a heartbeat and encourage you to see it if you can. This cast is incredible. If you've never stagedoored, I'd also encourage you to try it. It's so much fun to meet the people behind the characters!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Musical Theater

I've been really lucky in that I've been able to see some incredible shows this year.

Charlotte is such a great city. I love that shows sell out here. I love that we're having our best theater year and building more museums than ever. I'm proud to be from Charlotte.

Anyhow, when I talk about seeing these shows I want everyone to know that I paid for every single ticket and that I appreciate the fact that I am able to see them. I know that tours don't go to small towns and that not everyone can afford these tickets. Just know that it has brought me great joy in a tough year and I really do appreciate every second I spend watching live theater.

I saw In The Heights literally days out of the hospital. I missed my original performance and had to get different tickets. This show means so much to me because of that. I relate to Nina because I felt like such a failure leaving school. I love this show so much and Lin-Manuel Miranda is somewhat of a personal hero.

Spring Awakening Round Two. It was so different this time, and I remember just needing it to not end. This musical is the reason I love musicals. So beautiful. I met most of the cast and Jenny and I had such a great time. I was really sick for this one too, and it came at a really good time.

I saw this one with Abigail, and I haven't laughed this hard since. Oh my goodness. We had back row seats but loved every second. I can't say enough about Avenue Q as far as originality. If you get a chance to see this, go see it whether you like musicals or not.

Tomorrow I'll see Next to Normal. I can't wait. I'll definitely post about it.
I'd love to do a Broadway playlist too. These are just the musicals I've seen in 2011. I've seen a few more and watched a few musical movies, and just listened to a few cast recordings.  What are your favorite musicals?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Essie Collection

Oh, how my tune has changed.
Let me tell you a little story. A few years ago I wanted a bottle of dark purple polish and the famous OPI Lincoln Park After Dark was out of stock at my Ulta. So I grabbed an Essie polish. It was sticky, tacky, goopy and gross. A bad bottle. I assumed it was the BRAND, and at $8 a bottle I swore off of Essie forever.
Thank goodness for Danielle and Beauty Forum. Well, my wallet would beg to differ.
She convinced me to try another bottle and I am hooked. They last longer, and have a much better selection of colors. I'm more impressed with the collection every time I look at it when I go to Ulta and I'm happy with the 8-10 days of wear I get out of my at home mani/pedis.
I've bought 7 polishes in about 2 weeks. Oh my gosh, that's scary considering they're $8 a bottle. Ulta has been running those Buy 2, Get 1 free sales... I'm such a sucker! Already planning my next 3.
Here's what I've bought:

Lapis of Luxury
Splash of Grenadine
Cute As A Button
Funny Face
Tea & Crumpets (current mani)
Super Bossa Nova (current pedi)
Your Hut or Mine
What should I get next? I'm dying to grab Tart Deco, but my Ulta doesn't have it. I'll probably grab another three because I have $9 in points at Ulta so with the Buy 2, Get 1 Free I'd get 3 for less than the price of 1. I have an addiction, you guys!


It was a great birthday. Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes and for celebrating with me :)  We didn't take many party pictures (whoops!) but here are a few.

We made Cake Pops and had chocolate fondue. SUCH a great combo!

My big birthday gift this year was a Michael Kors watch. Totally in love!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


As of midnight tonight, today is my last day as an eighteen year old. I can't help but feel relieved. I don't want this to be a post of complaints or rants, but anyone who knows me understands what a difficult year this has been. To recap a little bit, I thought I'd make a list of what my 18th year has been like:
  • My last summer at home. Tense goodbyes, sweet moments, great trips. 
  • Leaving for Asheville. Saying goodbye to my best friends, my team and my family. 
  • Losing my roommate (whoops) starting classes, struggling to make friends and feeling out of place.
  • Getting shingles only a few weeks into the school year
  • Getting a Crohn's flare and struggling to go to classes
  • Getting shingles again
  • Leaving Asheville for good
  • Finishing school from home
  • Deciding to transfer to Queens. The best decision I made all year. Knowing I'd finally be at home. 
  • Getting shingles two more times (that makes 4) and being hospitalized
  • Seeing In the Heights, Spring Awakening, and Avenue Q... falling in love with musicals completely. 
  • Being pulled off my meds
  • Doing a whole semester at home without school  
  • Going to the Caribbean with my family, having 2 weeks of perfect health
  • Getting sicker and sicker
  • Summer classes
  • Finding out my disease has progressed to the worst point it has ever been, restarting meds
  • Starting Beauty Forum with Danielle
  • A week later starting Bicoastal Beauties in Prep Talk
I really hope that didn't sound like complaining. I am truly grateful for the support I've had this year. I know that I am on the road to recovery and that hopefully I'll be on my way to college this time next month. It has been a tough year, and I'm glad to kind of tie it up and be done with it.  I will say that because of all the medical madness I have been fortunate enough to be able to find out a lot more about myself. I also was able to transfer schools, which never could have happened without the time off.  Here's to hoping 19 is a little sweeter, a little more normal and a lot less medical.  I'll send this year off with some pictures of my favorite moments. 
My 18th birthday party

Family at the Beach last summer

Julian and Eric (not pictured) came to visit Hannah T and I while we were at the beach :)

Virginia trip at the Newseum!

Dorm room in Asheville

Goat in Asheville, one of my first days.
The creek behind my dorm in Asheville.

Courtney Markowitz of Spring Awakening. She played Ilse, and was lovely.

Jenny and I with Christopher Wood, who played Melchior.

Jackson, Graham and I in New Orleans.

My father and I in New Orleans

Relaxing on the beach at Maya Chan in Costa Maya, Mexico.

Our family on the cruise.

A parrot on my shoulder in Roatan!

Starting Beauty Forum and Writing for Prep Talk... I can't even begin to explain how much fun it has been. I love makeup and I love blogging, so combining the two has been amazing.
Here we are, back at my birthday. Here's hoping 19 is a fantastic year!