Liebster Award + Nominations

Hello to all my lovely followers, old and new! I’ve spent the last year finishing up college (officially a graduate, woo!) and working at my marketing internship. I’m so happy to be back on the blog and able to share things with you guys again. I really missed this community. A big thank you to Sarah from Lifewithlilred to nominating me for the Liebster award, it means so much! Go check out her blog and leave her some love.

The Rules:

  • Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 blogs.
  • Give them 11 questions to answer.

Q&A:

  1. Matte or glossy lipstick? I have to go matte (specifically Ruby Woo from MAC). Having my hair get stuck in the gloss really annoys me.
  2. Favorite sweet treat? Absolutely chocolate ice cream.
  3. The best concert that you’ve ever been to? Either Say Anything + Bayside or The Arcs.
  4. Last series you binge watched? More like when do I ever stop binge watching. I am currently bingeing Parks & Rec (for the second time) and Better Call Saul (for the first time).
  5. Least favorite school subject? Luckily, I’m done with school forever.. but it was always math and science.
  6. Any weird or hidden talents? I am basically Weird Al Yankovic. Whenever a song comes on or is stuck in my head I change the lyrics to things that rhyme, i.e. girl is always squirrel.
  7. Something that grosses you out? Fish. When people don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom. Lizards.
  8. What do you admire about your best friend? I have several best friends and I admire each of them for different reasons. But, they are all very strong, beautiful people and I wouldn’t be who I am without them.
  9. Male or female celebrity crush? Chris Pratt + Kiera Knightley.
  10. Last movie you saw in theatres? Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
  11. What did you do for your last birthday? Painted pottery, got some drinks, ate at the Cheesecake Factory.

My lovely Nominees (only doing 5):

Questions for you:

  1. If you could only save one person, George Lopez or John Cena.. who would you pick and why?
  2. You have $1,000 to take a trip, where are you going?
  3. Top 5 favorite dogs:
  4. All time favorite food?
  5. Who is the best character from The Office?
  6. How do you overcome stress + anxiety?
  7. Tea or coffee?
  8. Your favorite thing to blog about?
  9. Dream job?
  10. Your #1 goal before 2017 is over?
  11. Which version of Beyonce are you?

Thanks again, Sarah, for nominating me!


I just created an Instagram specifically for this blog.. so hop on over and follow me HERE.liebster

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Winter Playlist

The time has finally rolled around for my playlist to be completely dominated by slow, dreamy jams that make me emotional enough to get through the snow and cold. If you’re not quite ready to accept the fact that winter is here, and has been here, then check out my last playlist (Fall Playlist) to relive the last few months.

 

I have selected some songs that really grasp the feeling of Winter to me. If you don’t dig it, don’t worry.. I don’t blame you. Not everyone has the same taste in music and I totally respect that. This is just what I’VE been listening to this month.

**Just a fair warning: my genres VARY**

And here it is:

  • Lake Superior – The Arcs
  • Jungle – Drake
  • Misguided Ghosts – Paramore
  • Giants – Bear Hands
  • I Would Do Anything For You – Foster The People
  • The Golden State – City and Colour
  • White Teeth Teens – Lorde
  • Only If For A Night – Florence + The Machine
  • Baby Blue – King Krule
  • Flaws – Vancouver Sleep Clinic
  • Stay in my Corner – The Arcs (Yes, I’m obsessed with them)
  • Lose It – Oh Wonder
  • Spotless Mind – Jhene Aiko
  • Come Down – Sylvan Esso

 

Let me know down below in the comments what songs you’ve been loving this winter (I’m always looking for more music)! I hope you guys enjoyed this short post and are having a wonderful Monday.

Thanks for reading,

Emily

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Fall Playlist

I hope everyone is having a good Wednesday! We are half way to the weekend.. so that’s always good news.

(Scroll to the bottom for my Fall playlist..)

Today, Tom and I decided to go for brunch at our absolute favorite place nearby called Ari’s Kitchen. It’s owned by a super nice Greek guy who makes you feel completely at home. We got WAY too much food (Ari even warned us that we were ordering too much) but we didn’t care. We got chicken and dumpling soup for our appetizer… followed by breakfast foods. Weird.. I know. I got the best pumpkin pancakes known to man and Tom got some biscuits and gravy. It was a fantastically filling event.

On our ride back we saw the most photo-worthy fall trees that I just had to get out to photograph. I can’t resist the bright red trees!

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After, we went to go package up some of the handmade shaving brushes that Tom sells. He does some amazing work.. check out his website http://www.manhandledwoodshop.com

Here’s one of his brushes he made…IMG952015101695183653

We did some super cute packaging to match the quality of his work. It’s manly, but still classic. Here is how it turned out.. kinda hard to see the full effect in a picture..

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The rest of the night will include resting and some American Horror Story! It’s nice to have an easy day now and then.


Here is my Fall Playlist for those of you looking for some new things to listen to:

  • If I Should Go Before You – City and Colour
  • Put A Flower In Your Pocket – The Arcs
  • I Won’t Lie – Go Radio
  • Killin The Vibe – Ducktails
  • Come Down – Sylvan Esso
  • Archie, Marry Me – Alvvays
  • Baby Blue – King Kruse
  • Leave You – Sir Sly
  • Prisoner – The Weeknd feat. Lana Del Rey
  • Ride – Twenty One Pilots
  • My Blood – Ellie Goulding
  • Goddess – Banks
  • Pink Matter – Frank Ocean

Thanks so much for reading and I hope you continue to have a great week!

-Emily

100 FOLLOWERS!!

I hope everyone is having an awesome Friday night and doing some crazy stuff.

Today I woke up to some awesome news. I reached over 100 followers and I want to say thank you so much for the follows, new and old! I am so happy!! You guys are truly the best. I want you to all know how much I appreciate it.

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Another special thank you to those who read my blog that are not WordPress members and can’t technically ‘follow’ me.. I know you read and THANK YOU.

Wow, I feel like I’m accepting an Emmy.

I promise there will be a ton of stuff coming up still this month that I’m hoping you guys will enjoy reading.

HERE IS A CELEBRATORY LIST OF 100 THINGS I THINK ARE GREAT:

**Dislaimer: Half of this is food***

  1. My Boyfriend (DUH)
  2. Shih Tzus
  3. All Other Dogs
  4. The Beach
  5. Traveling
  6. Writing
  7. Coffee (Even Though I Can’t Drink It)
  8. TEA
  9. Photography
  10. Mad Men
  11. The Office
  12. Parks & Recreation
  13. Portlandia
  14. Any Movie Starring Leonardo Dicaprio
  15. Hiking
  16. Makeup
  17. Cheese Sauce
  18. Pretzels With Cheese
  19. Chicken Tenders
  20. Freshly Made Guacamole/Hummus
  21. BBQ
  22. Chicago
  23. Uber Drivers That Don’t Talk To You
  24. Cupcakes, Cake, Brownies, Ice Cream, Cookies
  25. Smoothies
  26. HGTV
  27. Food Network
  28. Christmas
  29. Thanksgiving
  30. New Years Eve
  31. Halloween
  32. Whale Watching
  33. Going To Flea Markets
  34. Bicycling
  35. Clothes That Are Cute
  36. Concerts That Are Good
  37. Goats
  38. Bunnies
  39. Mashed Potatoes + Baked Potatoes
  40. Honeycrisp Apples
  41. Apple Cider
  42. Strongbow Apple Cider
  43. Wine (Specifically Moscato)
  44. Bonfires
  45. Smore’s
  46. Netflix
  47. Doing Crafts
  48. Decorating My Room
  49. Elephants
  50. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  51. Watching Vlogs
  52. Reading Blogs
  53. Snow (When I Don’t Have To Go Out In It)
  54. Hot Chocolate
  55. Fall Out Boy (2009 & Before)
  56. Panic! at the Disco (Same as Fall Out Boy)
  57. Marina and the Diamonds
  58. Fuzzy Blankets
  59. Soft Pillows
  60. Autumn Weather
  61. Autumn Candles
  62. ALL CANDLES
  63. IKEA Adventures
  64. Petting Puppies I Can’t Have
  65. Thunderstorms
  66. Italian Food
  67. Planning Trips
  68. Working Out Regularly (I’m Bad At This)
  69. British Accents
  70. Long Walks Through Wooded Areas
  71. Mountains
  72. Sunsets
  73. People Down With Womens Rights
  74. People Down With LGBTQ
  75. Dark Lipsticks
  76. Mexican Food
  77. Laughing
  78. Antique Shopping
  79. Old Houses (Tours of Old Houses)
  80. Anything From The 1950’s or 1960’s
  81. Old Cars
  82. Celebrity Stalking
  83. Kraft Mac and Cheese
  84. Ida Garten
  85. GUY FIERI
  86. Sweatpants, Hair-Tye, Chillin’ with No Makeup On
  87. Drake
  88. Croutons
  89. Baking Desserts
  90. Planning Birthday Bashes
  91. Instagram
  92. People Who Aren’t Racist
  93. Sweaters
  94. Pink Lemonade
  95. Hot Tubs
  96. High-Waisted Everything
  97. Pretzels
  98. Road Trips
  99. Breakfast Places
  100. Hockey

If you actually read through this list, or if you just skimmed, I hope you new followers got a little glimpse into what I like and who I am.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

I Went To Riot Fest Again

I first went to Riot Fest in 2013. I got my 3-day pass for super cheap (almost half of what I paid this year) and had the time of my life.

So, when the lineup for 2015 Riot Fest came out… I obviously had to buy my tickets right away.

YESTERDAY WAS THE DAY.

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This year it took place in Douglas Park, instead of Humboldt Park like the last few years, and I was super impressed.. until we were a foot deep in mud.

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I would like to thank my waterproof Doc Marten rain boots for saving my life yesterday.

So before you judge me music taste.. please note that this was an extremely nostalgic day for me. These are bands I loved in junior high throughout high school.

We first saw Fidlar who put on a good show. They were equipped with an R. Kelly mannequin who stood on stage the whole performance. It was great.

We then saw some other smaller bands who I honestly can’t remember (I’d like to thank Strongbow Apple Cider for that one).20150912_131010

Then, we saw Mayday Parade which was a big deal to middle school me. They really did great and I can’t complain.

We drank some more cider, layed out on the “TURF” and patiently waited for The Devil Wears Prada to end so we could see the people we came to see: The Academy Is…

They played their entire Almost Here album beginning to end. If you aren’t familiar with this album, you should be!

They haven’t played a show together in quite some time, and this was their little “reunion show”. It’s also been 10 WHOLE YEARS since the album came out. *cue feeling old*

After that amazing hour, we went to catch the last half of Billy Idol. I was way too excited (mostly for Rebel Yell) and had a great time seeing him. He was still bleached blond and shirtless.

The last band we saw was Taking Back Sunday. I’ve always been kind of a fan of their music. I say “kind of a fan” because I don’t know very much of it. They did really well, though.

We spent the last half hour in the Strongbow lounge drinking some apple cider and playing jenga.

AND THEN THE REAL FUN STARTED: Getting home.

I can’t even explain how stressful and awful it was trying to get from Douglas Park to Union Station. Let me give you the short version:

2 Ubers cancelled on us after 10 min each of waiting. Cabs refused to take “Riot Fest people”. Buses were so packed you couldn’t get on. No one knew where the Pink Line was so I asked a POLICE OFFICER who laughed at me and said “haha honey take an uber” which infuriated me. We found the pink line, took it into a random stop in the loop. Tried to get an uber who COULDN’T FIGURE OUT WHERE WE WERE, so I cancelled him. Finally got a cab that took us to Union Station with minutes to spare.

TURNS OUT THERE WAS NO 11:40 TRAIN THAT WE RUSHED FOR.

We made the best of it but had to wait a whole hour for the next train.

It was a stressful transportation situation.

OVERALL Riot Fest 2015 was pretty amazing, unless you had to get home.

My Anxiety Story: Raw + Real

I have anxiety and panic disorders.

I wanted to lay that out right away (if the title of this post didn’t already tell you) because this whole post is going to be me honestly and completely explaining my life with those disorders.

If you’re not interested in my personal story, that’s okay, but don’t think that you should be ignorant and uninformed on this illness. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 MILLION PEOPLE have to deal with this on a daily basis. That’s right. 18% of the population. That means at least 4-5 people in a class of 30.

It’s important to understand that just because people suffer from anxiety, panic and depression does not mean that they are ‘crazy’. It is as uncontrollable as getting the flu and if we had our way we wouldn’t go through this at all.

Open your eyes and accept.

Since I was very, very small, as soon as I can remember, I’ve had irrational fears. I was afraid of (just to name a few) clowns, doctors, dentists and dogs. When I was young, most of the fears were understandable. I could easily get away with my episodes because it was still cute. But, like everyone, I got older.. and I didn’t outgrow my fears.

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I went into elementary school and I was fairly social. I had a good amount of friends and did well academically. But, there were still moments where I was afraid. Around this time is when I learned how to hide what was happening to me. It was so helpful and eventually I could talk myself out of the panic. I did well for a few years into middle school.

This is when it started getting worse. I was afraid of almost everything and hardly anyone could understand. In turn, I pushed myself away from most people other than my close friends (most of who I met in jr. high) so no one could see me freak out. I figured if I isolated myself, maybe it would go away. I feared going into classrooms with a large amount of peers because I felt everyone could tell I was panicking. It was an awful, traumatic cycle. Thankfully, I found an amazing circle of friends who understood and would calm me. I finished Jr. High feeling pretty good. I was excited for high school to start.

My Freshman year of high school was not bad at all. I had a really good time and felt secure and happy. I listened to the music I liked, wore dumb clothes and hung out with my friends (typical 14/15 year old). It was almost like all my anxiety had been pushed back on the shelf. Of course, I had random panic sometimes, but often music was my ultimate medication (not cheesy, it’s true).

But, then Sophomore year came. It all started up again. I feared going to class, driving and just about everything else. It was total torture. I would start hypervenilating in the middle of a quiet class and make an excuse for the nurse to let me go home, because ‘anxiety attack’ was not a valid illness. Often, she would tell me to have a mint and sit down. I was at the nurse probably 2-3 days a week; they knew me by name.

Junior year wasn’t any better. It was probably my darkest point in terms of depression taking me over. My grades were suffering from missing school, everyone was talking about college and I was terrified. For a while, I didn’t know if i’d be able to get into any colleges. This added even more stress. Overall, It was a year of full on panic.

Senior year the panic again slipped away. My grades went way up, I got into some more artsy programs and started totally focusing on my writing. I had wanted to be a writer since I was young and it felt so achievable then. This, I believe, boosted my confidence and helped me push through my year and graduate. Graduation was an amazing day for me; I made it out of the place that I had such awful memories with (panic related, everything else was fine).

The first few years of college went very well for me. I started working out, lost a good amount of weight and finally felt like myself. I had been stress-eating for comfort for a long time. I started attending Columbia College and felt completely at home. Freshman and Sophomore year zoomed by.

Last year, everything started to come to a halt. My panic attacks were back. I had to take a semester off from Columbia in the fall due to some financial reasons (Columbia is so expensive). I think this took a toll on me emotionally. My world I had created for myself in the city was essentially taken from me. I laid low, worked at home and went to community college. I was just okay.

Then, Spring 2015 I decided to go back to Columbia. I moved in with a friend downtown, which turned out to be a very poisonous environment. I was stressed. I had to leave that apartment and move back home to commute daily. I did it and finished the semester, but there were days where I had to leave class, go to the bathroom and splash myself in the face because I ‘couldn’t breathe’. This was also a time where I was still drinking black coffee, which I now know was an awful decision.

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Fast forward to now and I’m dealing with my panic now more than ever. I have never in my life taken any medication of talked to anyone outside of family or friends about my disorders. I’ve always been a big believer in natural remedies. I tried yoga, which did help but turned out to be crazy expensive. I did all the breathing techniques; these still help. The last few weeks have been back-to-back panic attacks. I’ll tell you what happened to me yesterday:

I was on the train heading into the city for my first day of class. It was around an hour and a half ride, stopping at every stop, and I was just browsing Twitter and Instagram.. totally relaxed. Then, out of no where, about an hour into the ride, I started fully panicking. This is an extremely terrifying experience to deal with while you’re alone. I was numb, couldn’t breathe, blacking out and crying. How I got off the train is a total blur. I remember running to the elevator and then sitting in a corner hyperventilating. I couldn’t go to my first day of class.

For the first time in my whole life of dealing with this, I knew I needed to see a doctor. I have finally accepted help and medication to get myself under control and get my life back in order.

The next few months will be a trial in helping myself. I can’t say I’m not worried that it may not help, but i’m hoping for the best.

I hope that maybe sharing my story, and struggles, will help at least one person, somewhere. I don’t want it to be a secret. Why should my illness have to be pushed to the side and ignored?

I am not crazy. I am not any less human.

These issues are very important to me. As a person who suffers daily, I want to see a more positive shift in the treatment of people with mental illness. I think there should be more done in schools for young people, and more care for people of all ages.

I want the stigma ended, truly.

Anxiety, Panic and Depression don’t just go away. We can’t just stop.

VMA’S 2015 – SHOW RECAP

The time has come once again for MTV’s most prized possession: The Video Music Awards. Hosted by the wild Miley Cyrus, the night was a whirlwind of barely-there outfit changes and countless F-bombs. But, how can you not admire her confidence? She is who she is!

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Host Miley Cyrus attends the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Nicki Minaj opened the show in an interesting red tribal outfit and during ‘The Night Is Still Young’, she was joined on stage by Taylor Swift (everyone oo’d and ahh’d as this happened, since their Twitter feud was just a few weeks ago). They acted like best friends for the moment (but I feel like it’s not that way once they get off stage).

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Miley opened the show with a wild flared-leg, sequined jumpsuit with flowers in her hair. She basically jumps out of a Lisa Frank coloring book (in terms of her looks) at all points during the show. She warned about MTV letting her host, saying they may never have anyone host again. Her outfits got crazier and crazier as the night went on; I loved them all.

The Weeknd performed his hit Can’t Feel My Face. The crowd seemed to love it, with T-Swift mouthing “that was amazing”. He danced inside of FIRE, guys (quite the symbol for how his career is taking off at the moment). I bet Drake is sitting back in a chair somewhere smiling.

Best Female Music Video took us all by storm. It was intense with Beyonce, Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift nominated. All these ladies deserve to win, honestly, but Taylor took it proudly. I know that Beyoncè fans everywhere were falling to the ground in agony while burning Swift’s albums, but that’s just how it goes.

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Recording artist Taylor Swift attends the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Demi perfomed ‘Cool For The Summer’ and fully KILLED IT, but then Iggy Azalea joined her on stage.. and honestly, I was upset. She really gave it her all, though.

Justin Bieber came out and owned the stage while performing ‘Where Are U Now’. He sang it perfectly and even through in a few riffs while owning every single dance move. I was impressed.

Tori Kelly brought a thing seldom seen at the VMA’s these days: A GUITAR. She did a PHENOMENAL job performing ‘Should’ve Been Us’ and looked LOVELY. Girl, I think you just made a name for yourself (more than before).

Kanye West won the Video Vanguard Award. Taylor Swift presented his award, sharing that his album College Dropout was the first one she bought on iTunes. She even pulled the ‘IMMA LET YOU FINISH’ card, and called him her FRIEND? I guess all is forgiven in the land of Swift and West.

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But, then Kanye came on stage and everything broke loose. He apologized to Taylor Swift for his past actions, through a very dramatic monologue.

“You know how many times MTV replayed that again, cause that got them MORE RATINGS?” Kanye slammed MTV during his ‘apology’ (still talking about the incident with Taylor Swift). He also kept repeating “listen to the kids”, which I’m still confused about.

“I just wanted people to like me more,” said West about his actions.

HONESTLY HIS WHOLE SPEECH WAS A WHIRLWIND. You should probably go watch this on youtube.. AND HE’S RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020 I GUESS.

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Can we expect any less from Mr. West?

Miley came on stage after saying “well we now know what happens to Kanye West after he smokes weed,” and then “TRUMP YOU HAD MY VOTE, BUT NOW KANYE WEST FOR PRESIDENT.”

After things calmed down, Twenty One Pilots and A$AP Rocky took the stage to perform. What I thought would be a kind of confusing performance turned out to be..um…okay? It was fine. Nothing special.

The Video of the Year award (and final award of the night) went to miss TAYLOR SWIFT for BAD BLOOD, again beating out Beyoncè. I think we all knew it was coming though, it was a big video.

Swift ended her speech with an inspirational quote, “I’m just glad in 2015 we live in a land where boys can play princesses and girls can play soldiers.”

Introduced by some members of the trans community, including Gigi Gorgeous, Miley closed the show with a performance (full of glam drag queens) of a new song?! Her vocals were lovely and the song was all about LOVE. The Happy Hippie gave us something to remember with confetti blowing out of her crotch.

AND SHE DROPPED A NEW ALBUM FOR FREE:

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Congrats to all the winners of the night.

Overall, the night was pretty entertaining compared to some previous VMA’s.

What was your favorite VMA Moment of the night?