finding the beauty

finding the beauty

oooooooof, has it been a rough week. but having survived all my midterms (and hopefully doing well on them???), i’m feeling good and ready to get back to focusing less on boring school requirements and more on the things that i love doing. so today we’re ~finally~ talking about something that is really very important and exciting for me. i don’t think i’ve mentioned it before on the blog, but it has popped up a few times in my instagram posts/stories. and that topic is photography.

the story of my first camera isn’t an elaborate or detailed one, but one of coincidence. we were on a family vacation in arizona, checking out a few colleges for my brother who was about to embark on his journey into higher education. if my brother was finalizing his decision of which university to attend, that would leave me to be around the age of thirteen, as young and confused as ever. upon checking out of the hotel, i was designated with the task of checking under all the beds to make sure we wouldn’t accidentally leave something behind. and between the sighs and groans under my breath, i found it. a tiny little point and shoot digital camera. just hanging out under the bed. there were only a few miscellaneous photos on it and nothing that would have identified the original owner, so my parents let me keep it. at the time, it didn’t seem like much, but looking back on this years later it makes me question if there really is some greater force out there steering us on to a path to discover our greater purpose.

now i can’t tell you if it’s true, that there is a greater force or even that there is a greater purpose for everyone because so often it seems like life is only as meaningful as you allow it to be. but i can tell you that finding that camera did spark something in me and i haven’t stopped trying to capture moments through the lens of a camera since.

i can also tell you that coming into my fifth year of college i was absolutely filled with dread. i didn’t want to be here and i didn’t think that i would be getting anything i needed from it. i already accepted a full-time position and i saw this final year of school as a roadblock before starting the rest of my life; fulfilling pointless requirements to receive a piece of paper that would somehow justify that i could do what people already knew that i could do. but low and behold, with extra time in my schedule second semester, i decided to enroll in an introductory photography class. ever since my college career had started, i felt like i had lost all of the parts of myself that were interested in so many other activities because i had to exert all my energy into learning everything i could about one specific topic. other, more creative activities, like drawing, painting, writing and most importantly photography were all left to the wayside. and just like finding the camera that fateful day in an empty hotel room in arizona, it seems a lot like destiny that i had to be here for a fifth year so that i could take this photography class and rediscover something that i use to absolutely love.

but moving on to the actual purpose of this post, my first photography project. for this project, our creative minds were only limited by two requirements. the first, that the subject matter had to be found naturally in the world, as in not curated or organized in some way for the picture. and the second, that they had to be in black and white. so without completely over explaining, this is the inspiration behind my final photographs. these pictures, or at least to me, represent trying to find the beauty in a situation where you feel altogether stuck, confused and restless. and that is essentially what i love about photography, how the slight change of perspective can take something totally ordinary and turn it into art.



with love,


14 love songs for every vibe this valentine’s day

it’s that time of year again and while i didn’t originally plan on posting any content related to valentine’s day, here we are. now, i wasn’t going to be participating in the valentine’s day content because i pretty genuinely believe that it’s a consumer-driven made-up holiday and didn’t want to perpetuate the idea that you need to buy things to show someone you care. HOWEVER, i do understand that people have all different types of love languages and there is something nice about setting aside a day to appreciate your loved ones, whichever way you choose to do that. so, upon waking up at approximately 4:17am, unable to sleep soundly, the idea to compile a list of some of my favorite love songs for all different types of situations popped into my groggy and dazed head. and would you LOOK at THAT, we ended up with exactly 14 songs. how fitting. happy valentine’s day kiddos!!!!

when you’re crushing but you know it won’t work 

this song is so dreamy and perfectly illustrates having a crush on someone who you know it’s not gonna work out with but ya go for it anyays bcuz that’s what the world is like. also bonus points for the horoscope references.

favorite lyrics: “and we’ll talk until morning hits the windshield / and paints yellow lines on the field”

when you need to be reassured 

you know you know that place where you’re pretty sure the person you like likes you back but like are you realllllllllyyyy sure??? this one’s all about giving the person you’re feeling for a little reassurance

favorite lyrics: “but baby, don’t you go over analyze / no need to theorize / i can put your doubts to rest”

when you’re falling and can’t get enough

a very sweet and very gentle tune for when you just can’t get close enough to the person you love and you wanna spend alllllllll your time with them. it feels a lot like the honeymoon phase a relationship.

favorite lyric: “never been a liar, baby, i’m a lilac and you are my sun / and every season i need you to keep glowing”

when you’re in loOooOOoVveEEEeE

ok so this one’s a little cliche but like this song just feels like being in love. it’s happy and warm and really makes me want to skip in a field of daisies. *cue the gushy, romantic montage now*

favorite lyric: “when everything’s perfect / please don’t change a single little thing for me”

when you’ve found the one

can’t say i know what this feels like but, i’d like to imagine it feels like this really nice, lovely song. it feels a little more authentic and understated than the previous one which seems like can only come from a solid, long-standing relationship.

favorite lyric: “walking home just to hear you say / ‘hey baby how’s your day?’ ”

when things are changing

a bop that reminds me very much of when things start to go a little sideways in your relationship. something isn’t quite right and you can just sense the breakup coming.

favorite lyrics: “there’s this image of you and i / and it goes dancing by in the morning and in the night time”

when the breakup is fresh

trying to drown the pain by distracting yourself with all the wrong things?? ya we’ve all been there. but i really like this one because i feel like the lyrics work on two different levels. talking about a loveless rebound while also undermining your last relationship? sounds exactly like the tormented and depressed tune you need post-breakup.

favorite lyric: “yeah you dance so good / and i think that’s kinda neat”

when love is lost and the monotony sets in

ok., i love this one because it touches on things that i don’t think a lot of other love songs do. in my opinion, one of the worst parts about losing love is just sinking back into your boring daily routine.

favorite lyric: “a couple years, a couple kids, a couple dad hats”

when you still aren’t over it

if things never worked out for kat stratford and patrick verona in 10 things i hate about you and she wrote a break-up song about it, this would be that song.

favorite lyric: “he claimed i was too close to stick but somehow i’m still stuck in it”

when you miss them

if you honestly thought i was going to make it through without putting a billie eilish song on this list, you were WRONG. anyways, as typical with her music, this song has such a breathy sound to it that just perfectly mimics a whispered longing for someone you use to love.

favorite lyric: ” could roses bloom again?”

when you ~finally~ realize you deserve the world 

i think this song is not only good for the category it’s in but also for like any time ever because it’s just so dang good. try not to jump around and dance, I DARE YOU.

favorite lyric: “boss up and change your life / you can have it all no sacrifice”

when it’s the unrequited type

whether trapped in an unsatisfying relationship or just hung up on someone who doesn’t return your feelings, this baby is a banger. such an upbeat bop for such a sad topic, amirite??? and although this song doesn’t really empathize with your current feelings, it does give you the advice you probably need to here.

favorite lyric: “it’s gettin’ pretty hard to make it / that’s all the time for me, and for you”

when you think you’ll end up alone 

ayyyyy don’t worry, you won’t end up alone. besides, there are always animals.

favorite lyric: “my momma set the bar so high / i won’t lie though you coming real close”

when you’re just working on that self-love 

and last but most certainly not least, a vibe for when you’re just working on ya self. silky and smooth her voice makes you just wanna curl up and hang out in your room doing your favorite things.

favorite lyrics: “you’re gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow”

with love,


when ya got the blues

well, it’s now almost the fifth sunday of 2019. and other than the fact that the fifth sunday of 2019 means january is now over, it also means (in my case at least) that i am severely behind on my blog posts. but it’s not for a lack of trying. i have indeed written three other blog posts but every time i go to finish them up and post, i do this super fun thing where all the self-doubting feels go running through my mind telling me that no one would actually want to read anything i am writing. that it is completely and utterly pointless to be doing whatever it is that i am trying to do. and ya know what, maybe that is true. but what is also true is that maybe there is someone out there in the world who may need to hear whatever shit i am spewing onto the internet. and in the words of caroline calloway, my most favorite instagram writer, WE CAN DO HARD THINGS.

so in that spirit, we are doing hard things by writing this ~vulnerable~ blog post about what to do when you got the blues and that voice in your head keeps shutting ya down. because i have been here too often lately and needed a reminder myself.

now, for a little bit of background. i am someone who has dealt with a generalized anxiety disorder for what has probably been all of my life. however, it wasn’t until late in my sophomore year of college that i began having panic attacks multiple times a week. for a long time i didn’t do anything about it and i didn’t tell anyone. i felt really hopeless and had no idea what was going on with me. by junior year i had completely broken down and it was bad enough that i really needed help. and luckily i was able to find it. and since then things have gotten much much better. but as anyone who deals with any range of mental health issues will tell you, it doesn’t get better right away. it’s something you work on day in and day out. and just like with every other person on the planet, there are good days and then there are also bad days.

i wish i could have handed my younger self a list of all the things to do to make the good days even better and the bad days a little more bearable. but i can’t go back in time, so instead, i will leave this here for anyone else who has been struggling with their own mental health issues or maybe just has been having a few bad days lately. and hopefully maybe someday someone out there will read this and it will help them out of their blues, or at the very least just not feel so alone in it.

*** a nice lil disclaimer*** these are just things that have helped me manage my anxiety and may not work for everyone. if you are having a serious crisis, please visit the site below, which contains a list of different helplines where someone is always available to help.

for the mind 

journal: the good days 

ya know when you’re just having a great day and suddenly you are able to notice and appreciate all the little tiny intricacies that make us happy in this life that we have? yeah, on the good days, i try to remember to write those down. admittedly, i am not the best at remembering to do this, but i do keep a running list of all the things, big and small that make me happy.

journal: the bad days 

the journal aspect on the bad days is two-fold. one in the sense of sometimes it can be really really good to journal out all those negative feelings. but usually, i don’t like to keep these journal entries chilling around afterward because re-reading them on future bad days, is a very toxic and sick habit that i for some reason take part in. inevitably re-reading other sad moments just continues to make me feel worse. so once i finally realized this, i started writing them down and then destroying them. usually, i just rip them up and throw them away but i think it’d probably also be fun to very safely and very carefully burn them??? idk just a wild thought there.

ok and the second part of this is that once all those gross, icky other things are out of your brain, i bring out that list of things that makes me happy. i rarely make it through the end of my list without smiling about something on it.

get out of your thoughts: the good days 

ok so this one is pretty basic but never underestimate how much fun you can have listening to your favorite songs through headphones and just chillin in your room. bonus points for dancing because it’s especially fun to dance when no one else is watching!!!!

get out of your thoughts: the bad days 

although binge watching netflix is probably not a super healthy habit to adopt on a regular basis, it can be really good to just leave behind whatever has you worried in this life and be compeletly absorbed by a someone else’s story. whether it is an old favorite tv show, a new movie or a really good read, transport yourself to another time and place. just don’t forget to come back.

for the body 

eating a healthy meal: on the good days 

even though it does mean having to clean ze pots and ze pans that you use, there is nothing like a nice healthy meal that ya cooked for yourself. when i get days that i do this, i usually cook 2 or 3 servings so that i have another nice healthy meal that is reheatable for those not so great days.

eating a healthy meal: on the bad days 

this is a big one. because on the really really bad days, it is hard to do this. cooking is just absolutely not an option and i usually am looking for something that requires the least amount of effort possible to put into my body. so i literally stockpile amy’s frozen meals in my freezer. the pesto tortellini is my favorite, but they have so many yummy comfort food options that are relatively healthy there is something for everyone. and well, maybe they are not as healthy as a fully homecooked meal but they are healthier than eating a bag of chips or a carton of ice cream for dinner and most definitely healthier than eating nothing at all.

exercise: on the good days 

if you are someone who can muster up the courage and face all the other sweaty human beings at the gym, that is great. if you are not a gym go-er have no fear, walking is also great exercise and is super easy to work in to literally any aspect of your day. exercise is so good for ya and even though it is listed under the body section, those endorphins and stuff are also good for your mind. because in case you forgot like i do, your brain is also an organ within your body and it benefits from exercise as well.

exercise: on the bad days 

honestly, on my bad days it’s all i can do to just make it out of bed. there is no hope for exercising on these days. so instead i just try to be kind to myself about it. you can’t beat yourself up for having a bad day.  besides, one of the best things about life is that you can go to sleep, wake up to a new day and try again.

get a good night of sleep: on all the days 

getting a full night of sleep and feeling well rested is essential. always.

for the soul 

do something creative: on the good days

maybe not everyone will relate to this, but creating something for yourself is one of the most therapeutic and enjoyable things i do. sometimes it’s doing a really intense piece of fine art and other times it’s literally just scribbling with markers on a piece of paper until i feel like i’ve had enough. but eventually, something kinda cool will come from this and when it does you’ll be really super proud of yourself that you did that and you did that all by yourself. i hang those things up in a little corner of my room and like to look at them on the bad days to remind myself that i can do things and i can do them all by myself.

quality reminders: on the bad days 

chances are that if you are having a bad day and not making out of your apartment, you’re probably engaging in some form of social media. and even though it can be dangerous to be scrolling through other people’s best moments when you are having some of your worst, it’s not all bad. i like to add some gentle reminders to my feed by following some great self-love accounts that focus on spreading happiness and building positivity. here are a few of my favs: @recipesforselflove, @selfcareisforeveryone and of COURSE @carolinecalloway

be with people that you love: on the good days

do something fun with the people that you love most in this world! laugh and giggle and smile! and document it (to some degree, i mean also be present in the moment) so that you can look back and remember that life is good even if not every moment is good.

call someone that you love: on the bad days 

and last but definitely not least, when it’s too hard to actually go and physically be with the people you love, try to at least call someone that you love. the sound of someone’s voice can really really change your mood and help you get a little bit further in your bad day. and both my parents and close friends can tell you, this is something i do OFTEN.

well that about does it for all of my things that don’t involve lighting candles and using essential oils.

if you read all the way to the end of this long a** post, let me know what you do when you are having ~the blues~. and always remember that it will, eventually, get better.

with love,


new year, new… scrunchies?

new year, new… scrunchies?

ahhh, it’s here! 2019! And just as with every new year, i spend a little bit of time reflecting on all the places the previous year took me and where i want to go in the upcoming year. i’m expecting 2019 to be one for the books which means that i have quite a list of things to do in the new year. but without divulging ALL of my personal aspirations for 2019, i will tell you that i am trying to learn to sew. i do happen to already own a sewing machine and i obviously love fashion so why should i NOT be learning to sew?????

but because i am 22 years old and am still relatively clueless about the proper way to use an iron, we’ll have to start with the very basics. so buckle up everyone, for the very first project… we’re making HAIR SCRUNCHIES!!!! why hair scrunchies?  because they seemed easy enough and i absolutely refuse to pay $15 for a pack of 3 hair scrunchies, 2 of which i don’t even like the print on them. SO, custom hair scrunchies here we come!!!

so as you may have guessed from above, i am most definitely underqualified to write a blog post instructing anyone how to be doing this. instead, i just followed the very lovely tutorial found here.  but i wanted to make this as easy as possible on myself. so for this post i will be following along with the tutorial linked above and giving you my lazy girl certified tips for each step.


tools and supplies for making a scrunchie

  • 1/8 yard of fabric – instead of doing this i just used fabric quarters. fabric quarters are really just little squares of fabric that you can buy at fabric stores. you can usually find them in a bunch of different patterns and colors and sometimes they sell little bundles of mixes.
  • 1/4″ wide elastic – yeah, just get some elastic. 1/4″ works but so does 3/8″ if you happen to already have this.
  • rotary cutter, cutting mat, and ruler – i used plain old scissors. you still need some sort of measuring tool though.
  • straight pins – i absolutely did not have the patience to pin all of these things.
  • sewing machine – really????
  • matching thread – so apparently there are like five different types of thread in the world. you really just need the plain old basic stuff. i believe it is called “all purpose” thread so look out for that.
  • large safety pin – because i live my life on the wild side, i did not do this. it did, in fact, bite me in the a** a couple times though so maybe you should.
  • loop turner – this was not mentioned in the original post but i bought one for $2.57 at good ole walmart and it did drastically improve my experience. but anything that is long and skinny will probably work here.

cut and press the pieces

okay so now, i opted out of doing the additional hair tie in the tutorial. i just wanted plain scrunchies and this seemed like it was maybe a step above my current abilities.

also to make things easy, i decided that because each of my fabric quarters was roughly the same length, i was only going to measure and cut for width.  so i measured 3″ strips, marked them with a fabric marker and then cut as many as i could get out of my fabric quarter, which ended up being a total of 6 per fabric quarter.  i went with the recommended 3″ strips but if i did these again i would probably experiment with going wider to get a floofier scrunchie in the end.

for cutting the elastic on the scrunchie, i found that 8″ was a little big for me so i wrapped the elastic around my wrist to find a length that i wanted.  mine were roughly 7″ but obviously this will vary depending on your wrist size and general preference.

after cutting both the fabric and the elastic, it’s time to press the seams.  as mentioned previously i am not overly confident in my ironing abilities so i did what you call a “finger press”.  it’s pretty much exactly like it sounds. you just take your little fingernail and crease the fabric like you would if you were trying to cut a piece of paper into two without scissors. hopefully, that made some sort of sense.

sew the main scrunchie tube

um yeah, there is really no getting around the actual sewing. i tried really hard not to mess up here but sometimes sewing in a straight line is harder than it looks. if you messed up too don’t worry because honestly, you can’t really tell in the end!!!

turn the scrunchie right side out

i won’t even try and sugar coat it. this was by far the hardest part. i struggled to understand what exactly i was supposed to be doing here and luckily my mom, a sewing wizard, showed me what’s up. to be fair though, this is incredibly difficult to explain in words so i’ll just drop this youtube video link here. the only difference between this video and our project is that you want to make sure you keep a little bit of the elastic hanging out.

i would recommend doing the safety pin thing. had i done it, it would have saved me quite a few distressed sighs and extra time spent correcting my mistakes.

attach elastic ends together

i would recommend that you make sure your elastic hasn’t twisted in the tube before sewing the elastic ends together because on more than one occasion i realized it was twisted after the fact. again, you can’t really tell but just knowing that little elastic piece was all twisted up underneath was bothersome enough for me to break out the seam ripper.

close the gap to cover the elastic

AGAIN, this turned out to be relatively difficult!!! my sewing machine was not having it trying to sew over all this thickness. if you are also having difficulties, lift the foot up on the sewing machine. under no circumstances aggressively push the fabric. you will break your sewing needle. i would know.

enjoy your finished hair scrunchie

And with that, BOOM you are done. feel free to be completely over the top and take an entire photo shoot with your new hair scrunchies just as i did.

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final thoughts

so all in all, it wasn’t really that painful. and MAN what a budget saver! my total costs for this project ended up to be about $30 for 48 hair scrunchies. Y’ALL THAT IS 62 CENTS PER SCRUNCHIE!!!!! 10/10 would recommend this project and let me know in the comments which one of the scrunchies is your favorite!

with love,