Upcoming Cinema Treats

{ Monday, June 21, 2010 }
It seems like every summer there are a few films that are released and truly create a sense of "summer magic." Last year 500 Days of Summer succeeded in capturing all of our hearts, so which films will have the same effect this summer? Thanks to Rotten Tomatoes, I was able to get the scoop on two upcoming films that are sure to spark our interest over the next couple of months.
The Kids Are All Right

With an all-star cast featuring the beloved Julianne Moore and Alice In Wonderland's Mia Wasikowska, The Kids Are All Right portrays an unconventional family structure. Moore's two teenaged children begin the hunt for their biological father, which changes the family's home life forever. The Kids Are All Right is sure to be a feel-good, witty comedy full of laughs and up and downs.
Release date: July 9, 2010 (limited)


Jonah Hill is at his finest in the indie comedy Cyrus. After Hill's title character, Cyrus, learns that his mother is dating a new man, insecurities and self-doubt at released. How will his mother's budding relationship last when Cyrus is doing everything in his power to sabotage it? Find out for youself in the summer comedy that Sundance deems as "tingling" and "irresistable."

I chose two family-oriented films because I feel that summertime is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with our loved ones. Regardless of bitter fights, arguements, and supressed resentment that took place during the school year, summer allows us to wash our grudges clean and start anew with our families. So kick back with some freshly popped and over-buttered popcorn and enjoy these flicks this summer!


My 100th Post! Let's Celebrate With a List, Shall We?

{ Sunday, June 20, 2010 }
I can't believe I've already reached a triple digit post count- what a success! Although I've been running this blog for less than a year, it's become my number one outlet of expression. I've connected with so many creative and interesting people through the blogosphere, and I couldn't be more grateful!
The past week has been great for me. I went to my college orientation and absolutely loved it! I met so many fun and nice people that I connected with instantly. I'm no longer nervous about August rolling around, because I know I'm going to love where I'm going to school.
My awesome roomie,Tarver, always features interesting lists of random facts on her blog and I've decided to give one a try! You can get in on the daily listing fun here. So without further ado, my list:

1. While at the beach, pool, etc..Do you cover up your assets or show them off?
Well, it depends on when and where I am. Obviously if I'm on a family vacation to the beach I'm not going to be flaunting myself around, but if I'm with friends why cover everything up? Honestly though, I don't exactly have "assets." This is coming from a girl who prides herself in shopping in the little girl's department for bras. I wish I was kidding.

2. Road trips or Plane trips?
Seeing as I haven't been on a plane since I was six, I've got to say road trips. Although I'd much rather be on a plane to NYC right about now...

3. I can't stand it when...?
Oh man, it's an endless list. I'm not a cranky person by any means, but a lot of things do really bother me. I can't stand it when people negatively judge you by the music you listen to, when my boyfriend decides to resolve fights by turning off his phone rather than talking things out, and when I'm driving through my neighborhood and I wave at a neighbor and they awkwardly stare back at me.

4. Have you ever gone topless at the beach?

5. How many blog carnivals do you do a week?
Well, I don't exactly know what a blog carnival is...let me Google it and get back to you.

6. My favorite thing about the weekend is...?
How I can stay up late and get things in order that were neglected during the week. i.e cleaning my room, organizing my iPod, reading a good book, applying for internships.
7. Pancakes or waffles?
Waffles! I love blueberry ones, they are so delicious.

8. Water Park or Amusement Park?
Definitely amusement parks. I'm so paranoid about a little child peeing in the pools at water parks, haha. Although I'm sure amusement parks are just as germ-infested.
Image of the weekend:

Honestly would wouldn't want a Louis Vuitton baby elephant?!


"Music is what feelings sound like" -Anonymous

{ Thursday, June 17, 2010 }
...and to be quite honest, my feelings are sounding elated today. After tirelessly applying for writing internships since the beginning of May, an opportunity finally came through for me! Yesterday afternoon I was informed that I landed the position as music writer/blogger for Pink and Black, a teen-oriented online publication. I can finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I'll have a decent amount of recent writing clips for my portfolio come August. I'll start writing for Pink and Black in the next couple of weeks, but check out the site for yourself in the mean time! http://thepinkandblack.wordpress.com/.
What music news would you be most interested in reading about? Album reviews, band interviews, MP3 giveaways, etc.- I'd love to hear your opinions!
Oh, and in case you were wondering. This has been my life for the past 24 hours:
I'm finally getting something accomplished on this portfolio, but it's so hard to choose which clips to include. I want to have a good variety, but so far it's mainly band interviews and album reviews.
Since I'm on the topic of music, I feel it's appropriate to celebrate by sharing some brand spankin' new, completely legal, free MP3 downloads with all of you faithful readers, courtesy of Urban Outfitters!

Peggy Sue's "Watchman" reminds me so much of Adele's angsty, soul-filled songs, and Jeremy Jay's use of the piano in "Just Dial My Number" is beautiful! Enjoy :)


Sweatshop Free. Made in USA. That's American Apparel?

{ Wednesday, June 16, 2010 }
Sure, American Apparel's infamous basic tees, shorts, hoodies, and leggings may be 100% ethically manufactured in America. However, upon reading numerous reports on the company's hiring policies last night, I've become appalled with the brand.
American Apparel has recently come under fire for absurd hiring policies and racial discrimination within the workplace. According to firsthand accounts of former AA employees, it was common knowledge that store employees were hired for their looks rather than experience or competence. Strict dress codes were implemented within stores, down to the way an employee was to style their hair, apply their makeup, and even groom their eyebrows. Employees were often subjected to random "checks" and could be fired at any given moment for looking "off-brand" while working.
Former employees also confess that non-Caucasians were rarely ever hired for work in American Apparel's retail stores. Simply put, these job applicants didn't fit AA's "mold" and were not hired for fear that their skin color would blemish the brand's image.
While reading these firsthand accounts I was shocked and disgusted, but not necessarily surprised. I've browsed through a local American Apparel store a few times in the past year and have never felt welcome by the store's employees. Rather than being greeted by a helpful and friendly employee, I would randomly run across a standoffish employee in the process of giving me the once over. I guess I wasn't fashionable enough to shop in their tee shirt store? In all honesty, this brand needs to change.
Not only does American Apparel embrace and enforce the "hipster-prep-turned-indie-
cool" mold upon its employees, but have you seen the brand's recent ads? They objectify and exploit young women. Seriously, just Google their recent "Best Bottom Contest" campaign and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. It's sad that a company has to try this hard to come across as "fresh" and "different" and "artistic" when all they're really doing is contributing to an already over-sexed fashion industry.
So, will I be purchasing any American Apparel goods in the future? Certainly not. I'm not asking you to do the same, but I am asking you to think twice before purchasing another over-priced, v-neck tee.


California Dreaming

{ Tuesday, June 15, 2010 }
As I'm sitting in the midst of a crazy Georgia thunderstorm, I'd rather be anyplace else. Preferably, I would be sitting on a breezy beach right now, taking in the Pacific shoreline and doing some serious people-watching. However, I'm not. So, what's a dreamer to do? I decided to scour fashion Tumblrs, looking for bits of West coast inspiration to compile a summer style post. This summer I'm all about loose fitting garments in light colors, ripped denim, heels (I know, shocker! I'm finally abandoning my go-to flat sandals), and natural wavy hair.

What's your dream destination this summer?

Local Spotlight: Manic Suite

{ Saturday, June 12, 2010 }
This time three summers ago, you wouldn't be able to find me anyplace other than a local show. Although I've recently stopped going to these gatherings full of music, mayhem, and fun, Manic Suite gives me a valid reason to hit up a local show this summer! To put things quite simply- these guys rock! I'm a firm believer in supporting and promoting local artists, and Manic Suite certainly deserves recognition. Check out their music video below for the song "He Went As Soldiers."

For fans of: Minus the Bear, Death Cab For Cutie, experimental/indie rock in general.
So, like what you hear? Be sure to check out the band's official website at http://www.manicsuite.com/ and follow them on Twitter at @manicsuite.

Happy listening!


"Up and up I keep on climbing higher and higher and higher..."

{ Wednesday, June 9, 2010 }
I woke up this morning and went through the motions of my usual Internet routine: checking my e-mails, browsing around of Facebook, and finally clicking through interesting tweets on Twitter. To my surprise, one of the best record stores in Atlanta, appropriately titled Criminal Records, tweeted that Passion Pit and Tokyo Police Club would be performing a free in-store set this afternoon! Being the complete show-fiend that I am, I quickly rounded up my friends and we ventured into the city for an impromptu afternoon full of awesome music and fun.
Check out the pictures below of the performance; although we were pretty far back in the crowd (it was packed!) I managed to get a few decent shots.

Thanks to Criminal Records, Passion Pit, and Tokyo Police Club for the wonderful afternoon! Be sure to check out Tokyo Police Club's newest album, Champ, which just dropped yesterday! And as a last reminder, follow these wonderful people on Twitter as well:



Turning over a new leaf has never felt so good

{ Tuesday, June 8, 2010 }
My mom's lumpectomy went as smoothly as it could have possibly gone yesterday! She didn't want my younger sister or I to come to the hospital with her for the procedure, so I spent the early part of my day waiting for a call or a text from my dad. Finally, around 4 p.m as I was en route to a concert, my mom called me- sounding alive and alert as can be- reassuring me that the procedure went well and that she wasn't in any excessive amount of pain. Needless to say, it was great to hear her voice! My mother is now technically cancer-free, but will not be declared officially cancer-free until the end of her radiation treatments in six or seven weeks. I feel like my family can finally breathe again- it's truly a blessing.

After hearing the great news from my mom last night, I finally allowed myself to let loose and have a night full of crazy music and fun! My friends and I ventured to the historical Tabernacle in Atlanta to see Travie McCoy, 3OH!3, and Cobra Starship bring down the house. The night turned into a 4-hour dance party- such a great time!

For carefree, happy, summertime songs I definitely recommend Travie McCoy's newest album, Lazarus, which just dropped today! Take a listen to my favorite track from the album "We'll Be Alright." I can't get enough of it! It makes me want to sail off to a tropical island and never come back:

Personally, there is that certain something about concerts that is so therapeutic for me. I could be having a terrible day and turn it into a great one by going to a show. Last night with my friends and good music certainly lifted my spirits!

Of course it isn't a true Cobra experience without exquisite Sharpie mustaches.

This summer started off as one full of discouragement and and worry, but has transformed into something better in the past few days. My mom is well, my personal relationships have grown stronger, and I have experienced many memorable nights with my friends. Instead of viewing my life as one full of unfortunate events, I now view it as one that has gone through emotional turbulence only to strengthen my faith. For this reason, I have decided to give back in the small way I can by following through with my monetary commitment to 5for50, the wonderful organization I mentioned in my previous post!

This week is already promising, and it's only Tuesday. I hope all of you have a great week as well- spend time with your families and enjoy the easy-living of summer!


It's time to be the change I wish to see in the world.

{ Sunday, June 6, 2010 }
I woke up early today- like any typical Sunday morning- fully prepared to sit through the normal 55 minute sermon at Southside church, absorb the good message, and then return to my comfy bed for an early afternoon nap. Little did I know that a part inside of me would change for the better this morning.
A Kenyan children's choir sang the for congregation, performing songs full of beautiful and uplifting messages. As strange as it may be to say, I was stunned by the realization that these small children from a foreign land know and love Him just as much as we do. Although these children may come from meager villages rather than the lush suburbs that Americans have grown arrogantly accustomed to, they praised God for everything they had. It was a truly amazing experience.
Rather than listening to a sermon, I had the pleasure of listening to the firsthand accounts of church members who recently embarked on a mission trip to Uganda. Hearing stories about young Ugandan orphans was heartbreaking, and their overwhelming obstacles made my life's worries seem insignificant. While we worry about how much money we are making or whether or not we'll get into a certain college, these children are fighting against malaria, HIV/AIDS, and starvation- everyday.

Do Something Now from Children's HopeChest on Vimeo.

This is when I was informed of Children's HopeChest, an organization that aims to better the lives of orphans by bringing them closer to God, giving them the love of a family, and the opportunity to learn independent living skills. Personally, I feel that the organization's mission is incredible. What I love most about HopeChest are the opportunities to connect with a child and truly make a difference in their life.
For $34 a month, you can sponsor a child in Uganda, Ethiopia, or Swaziland. The donation provides ample food, water, medical care, and education for the child each and every month- how great! I honestly regret leaving my job after learning about this opportunity to help others. I wish I still had my small yet consistent income to sponsor a child for a year. The sponsorship packets were quickly picked up by families after the service, however, which is awesome!

Check out Children's HopeChest at http://www.hopechest.org/, or follow them on Twitter: @Hope_Chest!

If you're running low on funds like I am, don't give up just yet- there are still opportunities to help! A simpler way to make a difference is through 5for50, where a mere $5 a month can provide 100 meals for an orphan as well as ample clothing and education. Think of the things that we spend $5 on- a Starbucks run, a magazine, a frivolous impulse purchase. We need to start putting that $5 to better use! Small monetary commitments contribute to change just as much as large ones do.

Visit 5for50's official wesite at http://www.5for50.com/.


Summer Skin

{ Saturday, June 5, 2010 }
So I'm finally home after a week at Disney World, the supposed "happiest place on Earth!" I had a wonderful time, but it was a little disheartening when I realized that I felt out of place on the rides that used to thrill me. This proves to be yet another reason why growing older generally stinks. I feel like I haven't fully gotten back into my old groove of blogging habits, but I know it will happen eventually. The summer has just begun! To make things easier to explain, I'll illustrate my life using a handy-dandy list of updates:

1.) My mom goes into surgery this coming Monday, June 7th, for her lumpectomy. I can't explain how wonderful all of my readers are for your outpouring of prayers and kindness. After Monday my mom will be on the homestretch to recovery- awesome!

2.) While on vacation, I finished reading Jodi Picoult's Nineteen Minutes. The book was very similar to one of my all-time, life-changing favorites, The Pact, even to the point of incorporating characters from the aforementioned book into this one. Picoult is simply incredible at crafting a story- I highly recommend this book to anyone who is curious of the inner workings of a school shooter's brain. Nineteen Minutes shed light on the tormented, the bullied, and the slain. In the end, Picoult leaves readers wondering- who are the real victims in the tragic case of a school shooting?

3.) Ahem...I'm going to see Maroon 5 in August! I honestly haven't been this excited for a show in a long time. I know, I know- I say that a lot. However, Maroon 5 is hands down the best live band I have ever seen. I started listening to Maroon 5 in the sixth grade, and haven't stopped since. The band's groovy, funk-inspired rock is addictive and infectious. Although I forked out an insane amount of money for the tickets, I'll be 10 blissful rows away from Adam Levine on the evening of August 21st. Need I say more?

4.) Thankfully, I found an H&M in Florida! Needless to say, a spending spree almost transpired. However, my better judgement kicked in and I left the store with a new dress and necklace without breaking the bank. I was incredibly happy with the newest issue of H&M magazine- it never disappoints! Reading good magazines serves as a constant reminder and incentive to keep my writing in check. I'm still in the early process of compiling my writing portfolio for school in the fall. It's hard to differentiate between a worthy and not-so-impressive article to include in the portfolio, which is definitely stressing me out.

I'm off to get back to a little reading (surprised, right?) on this beautiful summer day! Just a reminder to all of my fellow Southeastern bloggers: the American Apparel Flea Market is stopping by Atlantic Station in Atlanta, Georiga next weekend! On Friday June 11th and Saturday June 12th items will be available for up to 85% off, with prices starting at $1. This is one sale you'll definitely want to hit up! I plan on going, so let's hang out.