Thursday, September 22, 2016

That Time I Met Good Charlotte

Better known as...that time all of my teenage dreams came true. When I was about 13, I fell in love with Good Charlotte. I can't say why them as opposed to another band or what one thing it is about them that made me gravitate towards them. I remember seeing their Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous video and thinking they seemed cool. Then I bought their album The Young and the Hopeless and I fell in love. It's still one of my favorite albums and they are still one of my favorite bands. I can describe some reasons why I love them, and those are because their music is fun and hopeful and they are funny guys, but there's more to it that I will get to later.

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As a teenager, I had a huge crush on Benji and as most teens do, I became obsessed with the band. I saw them every chance I got and when my friends went to shows that I couldn't go to or got to meet them without me, I was definitely jealous. My parents were pretty overprotective and there were just some things I wasn't allowed to do, and going to New York City to stand in line at a record store to meet my favorite band with just my friends and no parental supervision was one of them. I got to see them plenty of times, and my mom was very awesome because she made it through Warped Tour and lots of other shows with me because she knew it meant a lot to me. Even still, I vowed that someday I would get to go to shows on my own terms wherever they may be and whenever they may be and however many I want!

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Good Charlotte continued to make albums up through when I was in college, though their later albums I didn't really get into. The sound they went for on their later albums was just...different. After the album they made in 2010, they seemed to take a hiatus. But then... towards the end of last year, there was an announcement that Good Charlotte was coming back with a new album. I was ECSTATIC. Soon, they released a new single and their new album was announced and then finally, after weeks of my friend and I waiting (impatiently) for a tour announcement, they announced that they were doing four shows in the Northeast! Because they announced the dates only a month beforehand, I could only go to one of the shows, but I was still pumped. I ended up going to the Boston show. But I didn't just go to the show...they had meet and greet packages available and even though they were a little pricey, I felt I owed it to my teenage self to make my dreams of meeting one of my favorite bands finally come true. So we got meet and greet tickets and the second they were ordered, I think I screamed out loud like a tween. I have no shame, people. NO SHAME.

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So the meet and greet package allowed us access to their soundcheck before the show, a Q&A session afterwards, and then a (very short) meet and greet and photo with the band, and a pre-signed poster. You guys....I can't even describe how excited and unreal this all was. Let me first say, that the idea of celebrities is weird. It's weird that there are some people in this world that are so well known worldwide that you can't talk to or meet with them as you would any other human in the world. It's weird that there are people that we PAY to meet. It's weird that these people evoke some sort of strange feeling when you see them in person. Regardless of thinking all of this, I freaked the FUCK out during the entirety of this whole meet and greet.

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There were probably about 60 people who were in the meet and greet. Walking into the venue with just that many people as opposed to the usual amount that would be there for a show and seeing the band on stage just hanging out and being so close to them and them talking to all of us so intimately was unreal. They did their soundcheck and asked what we wanted to hear. The Q&A session was great. They answered questions with honesty and expressed so much gratitude to us for being fans. During the show, they kept saying how thankful and grateful they were for us and how they truly appreciate everything we do and what it brought them. This is probably a large reason as to why I love them so much. They are insanely humble and down to earth guys. They really care and they really listen. I think the thing that touched me the most was that during the meet and greet, one of the fans asked them if they could play their song Emotionless for his mom who had passed away (I think it was his mom). They said that they hadn't played that song in a while, so they weren't sure. Later on during the show,  Joel announced that after Benji heard that request, he went backstage and practiced Emotionless a whole bunch so that he could play it during the show that night. He played the song solo and I think everyone in the audience was in tears. It was absolutely amazing. This is why they are such a great band. They really appreciate everything they have. They don't take it for granted. I'm so proud to be a fan!

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After the Q&A, everyone got in line to go meet them face to face and get their photos taken. My friend and I were standing in line with about 3 or 4 groups ahead of us and thinking that we couldn't actually go through with it. We were so nervous and they were only about 10 feet away. 10 FEET. And then we were next and it all happened so fast. I hugged them all and it was crazy and I was probably shaking. We weren't supposed to take selfies, but I asked Benji and Joel if we could take one (I saw other people doing it anyway) and Joel said something along the lines of "Sure! Just do it quick so we don't get in trouble!". So I took a selfie with the twins and I was shaking so much that I thought for sure it would come out blurry and bad, but it didn't. I do look pretty deranged, though. I asked if they could each kiss my cheek while I took it but Joel declined, lol. I also told them that I asked my mom if she wanted me to tell them anything and that she had said "tell one of them to marry you!". Joel said, "Marry you?!" and I said, "Yeah, I mean. It's no big deal" and Benji was like "Yeah, no big commitment or anything". I'm not sure if these were all the exact words, but it's pretty close. It was cool to joke around with them. I'm pretty sure I thanked them for everything, but when you get such little time with them, it's hard to convey just what you want to say. What I didn't get to say was, thank you for making me feel less alone and less sad with your music while growing up. Thanks for always putting me in a better mood and making me feel like things will be ok. Thanks for making music that changes peoples lives and makes a difference, and thanks for being genuine and kind people.

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We took our group picture and got our signed posters and then we were ushered out and we both felt like we were high from the nerves and excitement. It was crazy and amazing and so awesome. The show was amazing as well. They pretty much asked the audience what they wanted to hear and they played a lot of their older songs. I'm pretty sure that the Boston set was the longest one of the four dates because they played Emotionless and some others as well. I felt like I was 15 again and it was so much fun. I can't wait to see them again!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Dark Spring

These photos were actually taken all the way back in March. I had just recently dyed my hair dark brown then, hence why it looks black. It has since lightened to my natural color but I plan to dye it dark again as I do every fall. I can't wait!

romper, ASOS, ASOS romper, long sleeved romper, fashion blogger, gothic, goth style, fishnets with romper

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I got this romper from ASOS and it's really comfortable and flattering! It's also not too short, which is always an issue I have with rompers. I don't really like my ass peeking out when I bend in the slightest, so I like when a romper has good coverage.

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The shoes I got from Goodwill. They were a lucky find! I was looking for some heeled booties and I came across them. They are unfortunately super uncomfortable to walk around in. I learned this the hard way by wearing them for a night out on the Atlantic City boardwalk. My feet were on fire by the time my friend I got back to our hotel room. Drunken decisions at their finest. I am now on the hunt for some comfortable flat booties. I have my eye on a pair from DSW.

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If you know me, you know that fall is my favorite season and I can't wait for it to begin. I am sick of 80 degree weather and can't wait for the leaves to change. I usually have big fall plans for October, but I don't really have much planned yet this year. The only thing I know I want to do is go to the Adirondack Park.

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Romper: ASOS//Tights: Simply Vera by Vera Wang//Boots: Thrifted//Hat: Forever 21//Necklace: Handed down
I'm still trying to figure out what to be for Halloween, but I'm leaning towards a girl version of Edward Scissorhands. I want to do something that has cool makeup. I originally wanted to be a skeleton, but I haven't seen any good costumes that I really liked. I also have no idea what I'm doing for Halloween or my birthday. Time to start doing some serious planning!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Why I Haven't Blogged

Hi! I still exist, I promise. I haven't fallen off a cliff while playing Pokemon GO or anything crazy like that, though I have been playing a lot of Pokemon GO... Anyway, you may have noticed that I've been pretty quiet the last few months. It wasn't a conscious decision, I've just been doing a lot of other things and kind of neglecting the blog as a consequence. So here are some reasons I've come up with after I've thought about why I stopped doing something I really love to do:

Reason 1: My laptop was running out of space
Alright. This sounds like a really lame and dumb excuse, but let me explain. First of all, anything related to backing up my information fills me with anxiety. What if I do something wrong? What if I lose my files? What if my computer explodes and then my apartment catches fire and the building collapses and traps me under the rubble, etc. You know, the things that normally happen when one backs up their computer. In all honesty, though, I hadn't backed up my computer in about 3 years. There were a lot of files that I needed to backup and I was confused about whether or not Time Machine would delete my previous backup if I started a new one, which it turns out it might do if your new backup can't fit on your external hard drive. I have files on my external that are no longer on my computer since I made room after my first backup and deleted a lot of things on my computer. After doing research online and having about an hour or more long conversation with someone from Apple via their live chat, I decided to narrow down my backup to just my Documents, Pictures, Movies, and Music. It turns out the backup wasn't that big, though it took about 2-3 days to complete. I am not exaggerating. I left my laptop open and pretty much untouched while my backup slowly completed for 2-3 days. It was annoying, but it was worth it in the end because I was able to edit and save pictures again without worrying about my storage disk becoming full.

Reason 2: Doing Other Things
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I've been traveling a lot this year! I have such a passion for travel, and I made it a goal this year to try to do it as much as possible, even if it was just small weekend trips. So far this year, I've been to Florida, Boston (twice), Washington D.C., Atlantic City (twice), Provincetown, and Montreal. I've been pretty busy!

I also have a goal of reading 50 books this year, so I've been really focused on that and spending my usual photo editing/blogging time to read. I've read 30 books so far!

I've also been trying to exercise, on and off. I get really motivated and then I stop and getting really unmotivated for a while. It's pretty frustrating, but I usually either do home workouts or go for long walks which takes up time and energy, which leads me to the next reason...

Reason 3: Body Issues
Let me preface this by saying that I know I am not an unhealthy weight or morbidly obese or anything. That being said, I still can tell that I've gained a little weight in the last year or so. Clothes feel tighter, which means hours of trying things on and then feeling really frustrated when I don't feel good in anything I put on. It doesn't necessarily motivate someone to go out and take pictures in a cute outfit after all that.

I have trouble sticking to eating right. I like being active and once I start exercising, I can usually stick to it, but it's hard to deny myself all the foods that I love. It's hard for me to not have pizza or Chinese food or other delicious but terrible-for-you foods. There are always mysterious treats showing up in the staff room at work that is so hard to resist eating such as donuts, cookies, candy, etc. I know I'm not at all "old", but the difference in metabolism from 21 to 26 is pretty shockingly noticeable. It's also hard and overwhelming to decipher what exactly is a healthy diet. There are so many contradictory ideas online and in books that it's hard to figure out what is best. At the end of the day, I am just trying to eat healthy, whole foods. I am not going crazy and spending tons of money on completely organic/whole/raw/whatever foods. I am just trying to eat as many unprocessed foods as I reasonably can. It's hard, but I know it's best.

Reason 4: Doing Nothing is Awesome (Sometimes)
I've been at my job now for almost a year. I love it there but at the end of most days, I come home, get in my pajamas, and lay in bed. It's so nice to do nothing once you're out of work and on your own time. It's hard to come home and want to look at a screen for hours after spending the majority of the day doing that. It's hard to come home and want to exercise, but I know I'm not a morning person and would never be successful in getting up at 5 am to workout as beneficial as it would be for me.

When it comes down to it, watching Netflix with Chris, reading a book, or maybe going for a walk are all the activities I can muster after work. I have been putting other hobbies before blogging, and that's been ok, but I'm ready to get back into it again. I miss it! This blog has been a huge part of my life over the last 6 years. I miss writing and doing shoots and being a part of this community. It's been hard to keep up with all my fellow blogger friends. I can't remember the last time I sat down and read a bunch of blogs. I am going to try to be more active here (as well as in the physical exercising sense!). What better time than autumn? It's always been my favorite time to post! :) I have a lot of travel stuff to share as well as older outfit posts, but I am looking forward to new ones too. Here's to a more active blogging life!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress was only the first thing we visited on our second day in DC, but I needed to dedicate a whole post just to it. It was that amazing.

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Just from the outside, it looks pretty grand. There are busts of different authors and writers. You have to go through security to get in. It's a big deal. I sort of knew what to expect, but I was definitely not prepared for just how beautiful this building is.

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When you walk in, you are in a little foyer, but then you walk up to the main lobby area or what they call the Great Hall. As a huge Harry Potter nerd, I was happy to learn that it's called that. There are pillars and mosaics and tiles and statues and beautiful designs on the ceilings and walls. It's like a church for books. It's like librarianship is the worship of books and this is our temple. Ok, that got a little weird, but you get the picture. It's GORGEOUS. I wish I could get married there, but I already looked into it and just renting the Great Hall alone is $35,000. The average wedding in the US costs $26,000 just for some perspective.

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There are so many things to look at. I even found Poe's name on the ceiling. :) There are also a ton of sayings about reading and books that are all over the walls. I LOVED IT.

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They have a Reading Room which is also spectacular. You have to wait in a small line to go view it and you only get like, 30 seconds to a minute to look at it from a glass window that overlooks it. I think you need special permission to actually use the Reading Room. It was so pretty, though.

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They also have Thomas Jefferson's original library. The books are on shelves that are in glass enclosed cases. They had other historical exhibits as well in different wings and rooms of the library. They also have the Gutenberg Bible which was the first big book to ever be mass printed.

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Dress: Dear Creatures//Sweater: Forever 21//Tights: Apt. 9//Boots: Payless
I never wanted to leave. I wish I could visit the LOC more often because it would be such a nice place to just hang out and think and be in peace. It's like the king of all libraries and I'm so happy I was able to visit!