RED MY LIPS {Sexual Assault Awareness Month}


This is not about vanity. It's about visibility. 

April is sexual assault awareness month, so I'll be wearing red lipstick all month to raise awareness about something I believe needs to be heard: SEXUAL VIOLENCE.

So why would I wear red lipstick? It all stems from an organization called Red My Lips. Red My Lips is created by Danielle Tansino: social worker, activist and victim of sexual violence. The mission of Red My Lips is to "transform our culture of sexual violence by educating, inspiring, and mobilizing a global community to red their lips, raise their voices, and create real change." My kind of organization.

Women and men of all ages deal with sexual assault and rape on a daily basis but very few listen. It doesn't matter what they were wearing, if they were under the influence, if they flirted with the attacker,  what their sexual history is, or anything else. No one asks for rape. The only people that make rape happen is RAPISTS. Victims should not be blamed. Ever.



Wearing red lipstick the month of April fights the stereotypes and myths going on today in rape culture. Red lipstick is often paired with sexual attraction and typical "femme fatale" vibes. By wearing red lipstick, you are letting your mouth be seen. You are letting your voice be heard. You are fighting against the myths that haunt us daily. When someone is wearing red lipstick, it's one of the first things you notice. Their lips pop out. If you don't usually wear red lipstick, it's likely you can start conversations with your peers and raise even more awareness.

Red My Lips is open to everyone: men and women of all different races and ages. It doesn't matter if you have experienced sexual violence or not. However, together, we can raise awareness about the issues in society. To find out about what you can do this April, go to their site here.  Get your red lipstick out. Let's do this.



ANTI TIDAL: From the Girl Who Buys Music

It seems like every article on the internet is talking about Tidal. Yet the articles are just your typical journalistic article featuring everything we already know. BORING. I am going to shade Tidal like no other and I don’t even care if my grammar is wrong or nobody is reading because this is truly one of the worst decisions pop culture has ever made.





To start, I was open minded to Tidal when I first heard about it. So, yes, I went into the conference with an open mind and heart. I didn't have any bias and I really respected the artists involved. THEN...I realized how truly POINTLESS Tidal is.


What is Tidal accomplishing? How is it so different from Spotify other than filthy rich artists are making even MORE money?


If they were giving proceeds of every stream to a charity or organization, for example, Black Lives Matter, I would be maybe a bit more satisfied. Nope, it mostly goes all to Jay Z. Oops.


It would be more revolutionary if they gave NEW, up and coming artists opportunities and promotion. Nah...they kind of just focus on the big shots.


Tidal is no where near revolutionary. People of power and success came together and signed a “declaration.” However, that doesn’t mean Tidal is making history.


Tidal is greedy and counterintuitive. I don’t care what the art form is, making money and getting any kind of recognition from art is HARD! I would love to make thousands of dollars daily from doing what I love and I would love to have thousands of huge fans. For the artists behind Tidal to neglect that, it’s just AJRHARIJIAOEJIAOJ making me angry.


I actually buy albums and I do stream music on Spotify as well. I go to your concerts. I buy your merch and your fragrances. I watch you on award shows and talk shows. LIKE, don’t even get me started. I have so many friends who are barely surviving off of minimum wage just to get a gig playing at a local coffee shop. I agree that a lot of artists aren’t fairly compensated for their work, and I am constantly financially supporting the arts. I buy CDS from artists I really love because they deserve it.

All of the individuals at the Tidal conference and on twitter were talking about how music makes the world go round and how artists shouldn't be looked at as products. Yes, music makes the world go round. It always has. Tidal doesn't affect that or make it better. And no, we never looked at you guys as products. Most people live for you guys. What. Is. HAPPENING.

I know some of the artists working with Tidal got their fame handed to them, but I know some of them had to actually hustle to get where they are at. Did they forget that? Did they forget about the time they had to work minimum wage just to survive? Are they forgetting that art is about creating, not profit? Are they FORGETTING the millions of people they've inspired?
Did you know Jay-Z makes $240,000 a DAY?!?! A day. That’s probably more than your annual salary.


No one should be excluded from their favorite artists. It's quite simple: not everyone can afford $20 dollars a month just to stream some Beyonce songs. I would much rather buy the album.


I just think this service is a terrible idea. If you want people to buy your albums: come out with better albums. People buy albums that mean something to them.

For example, people buy Taylor Swift’s albums because they KNOW they’re going to get a good record. For 1989, she had amazing packaging with exclusive polaroids and a chance to meet her / win prizes. Everyone wanted to show off their album on Instagram and Twitter. It was an EVENT that everyone wanted to be apart of. Taylor Swift's classic lyrics packaged into a super cute package? Yeah, people want that.

Swift knows her fans well. Maybe the founders of Tidal should think about their fans. What can your fans afford? What do your fans want? If you have millions of people appreciating you and financially supporting you, the least you could do is let them have access to your artistic endeavors that they LIVE for. Maria Elena, out. *drops mic*

{BOOK REVIEW} Devotions from the Garden

I'm a huge fan of books filled with inspirational poetry, quotes, scriptures, and devotions. I mean, not all of us have the time to read constantly, right? It's nice to just open up a book for a few minutes and get a little bit of inspiration for the day.

Devotions from the Garden is a really open-minded devotional book, taking metaphors from nature and empowerment from modern life.

223 pages of inspiration for the soulful. I love how there is beautiful HD pictures of flowers - the perfect way to brighten your day.

The author, Miriam Drennan, beautifully adds a touch of symbolism to each and every page. My favorite devotion is on page 216, titled "Growing as God Intended." Miriam talks about how as humans we are prone to follow misguided stereotypes although we are made uniquely. No one is youer than you. Devotions from the Garden may be more suited towards those with a love for gardening, but I love the metaphors. I'm all for spiritual inspiration. Devotions from the Garden will be out on March 31st on Amazon and your local bookstore.

How to Start Everyday Like a Disney Princess

Hi, I'm Maria Elena and I'm a princess. Well, no, I'm not literally a princess of my own country or anything. I will never be royal, as Lorde so famously stated. However, I am the princess of my own little world. It's funny, the actual dictionary definition of 'princess' is "the daughter of a monarch or the wife / widow or a prince." Yet when we hear the word 'princess,' we think of so much more.

Personally, whenever I hear the word 'princess' I think of a strong, unique, all-around beautiful woman. (like my lovely Disney ladies, holla.)
It's my life goal to take a selfie with all these ladies. UGH. Also, artwork by the AMAZING Kristina Webb.
When you look at all those women up there, think of everything they did. They all come from different places and they all have different stories. Essentially, they are all totally different. You and I, as princesses of our own little worlds, need to realize we're all different. And that's what makes us beautiful. So when you start each and every day, don't drag your feet to the door. Don't put on your clothes while groaning. Don't force feed yourself mediocre cereal. LIVE, as a princess would.


1. Wake up with a smile on your face, because, IT'S A NEW DAY.
It doesn't matter who you are or what you are doing. You could meet your one true love. You could get that awesome job. You could run into your celeb crush on the street. You can eat an asiago cheese bagel. You can see a french bulldog in the park. Possibilities are endless, right? The thing about a princess is they welcome each and everyday. A lot of them came from places of hardship, but they never let them ruin their day. You may be waking up for school, work, or some other dreaded place - but stay positive. 
"For with each dawn she found new hope that someday her dreams of happiness would come true..."


2. Be a warrior, even if you aren't physically fighting.
Is it just me, or is Mulan literally more badass than anyone you've ever met? While I would love to have a fight scene like her, that's quite unlikely. Everyone deals with pain and everyone has hardships in their life. Be a warrior. Us women are created to deal with physical pain and emotional pain. So let's FACE THE PAIN LIKE WARRIORS. GRRRRRR. WATCH US ROAR. I mean, seriously though. Don't let anyone cross you and fight for what you believe in. I don't care if you're dealing with stomach cramps or a break up, face it like a warrior, you feel me?
"The flower that blooms in adversity is the most beautiful of them all..."


3. Find yourself, and be that.
What I always loved about Belle is how she would fearlessly be herself. Forget rude townspeople, she would happily live her life. She has the ability to see beyond the veil of people, which is something I can relate to. Soul search, find out who you are! And every morning, wake up, and be that. What's your favorite breakfast foods? Make that. Wear your signature hairstyle and scent. Wear clothes YOU like. Be yourself because that's what princesses do!
"People think I'm odd. So I know how it feels to be different and I know how lonely that could be..."


4. Don't get caught up in autopilot. 
Pocahontas is known for following her own spirit and embracing the beauty around her. We can easily get caught in autopilot, ignoring the beauty around us. I love the spirit of Pocahontas because she ALWAYS stops and smells the roses. She's always up for a new adventure and she loves the world around her. No matter where you live or the weather, that doesn't change the fact that the world is beautiful.
"But I know every rock and tree and creature has a life, has a spirit, has a name..."


5. Never waste a moment.
I mean, come on. Rapunzel was trapped in her room for years and she still made the most of her time, no matter how old it got. There's nothing wrong with social media, texting, TV, and video games...but do things. Create art, read books, learn a language, something! Never waste a moment because you never want to miss what could be a beautiful moment.
"And so I'll read a book or maybe two or three. I'll add a few new paintings to my gallery.."


{Wrap.Me} In Instagram Photos

When it came to giving gifts, I never thought much about the wrapping paper. I usually just use whatever is lying around the house. And if there wasn't any wrapping paper, I would just use magazines or newspaper. However, wrap.me changes things a bit.

Wrap.me is an innovative way to make your own custom wrapping paper out of your Instagram or Facebook photos. You can even use photos on your computer. Now, anyone can be an expert at gift giving. It's really quite simple. You are sure to stand out and make someones day when they see their gift is wrapped in amazing custom pictures, am I right? I mean, what the heck, even coal would look good in custom wrapping paper.

When I received my complimentary wrapping paper from Wrap.me, I instantly began obsessing over it. Seeing so many memories (30 photos to be exact) on a sheet of wrapping paper made me so happy. It's so pretty I barely wanna use it to actually wrap gifts, I think I might make an art project out of it or something!

Click here to find out more about wrap.me and create your own wrapping paper.

22 Apps Everyone Needs (In Categories)

I love apps. Unfortunately, my 8 GB iPhone limits me in that sense. Plus, is it just me or does Apple use half of the GB we have on software and other things we don't know about? Regardless, apps are really convenient and can help you in terms of your social life, career, and health. We all know about Instagram and Facebook. And of course we all know about the apps already on our phones such as email and the calculator. But what else is there in the app world? These are my favorite unique apps divided into categories for your enjoyment. 



Photography

  • Afterlight:
    The best photo editing app, probably used by your favorite instagram accounts. For 99 cents, you get tons of filters, EASY photo editing options and frames. This is one of the only apps I actually pay for. I've never used an instagram filter ever since I downloaded this app. Best photo app EVER.
  • A Beautiful Mess:
    A Beautiful Mess is a really fun app to have for those who need to add words / doodles on their photos. Whether you are a blogger, an educator, an artist, or someone who just loves to edit photos, this app is super cute to have.
  • Frametastic:
    Free and convenient. I don't make collages too often, but this app is one of those must have photo apps. They have plenty of options for collages and it's really customizable. 
Education
  • Itunes U:
    Get an education without drowning yourself in debt! You can listen to lectures from professors all over the place on basically any subject you want. I used to listen to lectures all the time, it was always interesting to see what everyone had to say. Plus, unlike college, you can actually try everything out for free.
  • Duolingo:
    So much yes! Learn languages...for free...on an app. Perfect if you are going on vacation overseas or if you just wanna add another language to your portfolio. 
  • StarChart:
    Astronomy is a very fascinating subject. I love looking up at the stars. It's truly one of the most beautiful things to do and makes me feel so happy and at peace. Free your soul and educate yourself with this app. Find the constellations right above your head.
Health
  • Period Tracker:
    This one is for my ladies. I'm surprised everyone women in the world doesn't use this app. Tracks your period and ovulation cycle so you know everything's cool. 
  • Fooducate:
    There are plenty of diet and fitness apps, but most of them track CALORIES. Fooducate is a great way to see the nutritional value of what you're eating and your overall health. You can lose weight and educate yourself on what's actually in your food.
  • Sleep Pillow:
    I've been using this app for years. If you have a hard time falling asleep or if you want just a relaxing nap, try Sleep Pillow. With soothing sounds such as the ocean, thunderstorms and bonfires - it's hard to stay awake. I usually use it when I'm trying to drown out sound, too. That always works!
Music
  • Garageband:
    Once again, one of the few apps I will pay for. If you are a musician trying to get your name heard, or someone that just likes to make music for fun: YOU NEED THIS APP. I personally like it better than the Garageband on my mac, but that's just me. Best part is you need no music experience to use it.
  • Beat Wave:
    Same situation as Garageband. You can make really dope beats with Beat Wave. Naturally, it's a perfect app for you producers out there, or for musicians who need some production for their music.
  • Spotify:
    Stream your favorite artists on the go. Spotify pays their artists for each and every stream, so think of it this way: you're supporting all of your favorite artists simply by listening to their music no matter where you are. Count me in. 

Gaming
  • Robot Unicorn Attack:
    Best game I have ever played. I became addicted years ago and I still hold the highest score out of all my friends. It's a unique concept and worth the download. Plus, the theme song is SUPER catchy.
  • Runescape Companion:
    Well, this app is perfect if you actually play Runescape. I wish this existed a while ago, but hey. You no longer need to invest that much time in front of your computer screen because you can chat with your friends and use the grand exchange on the go. Ugh, what a beautiful invention.
  • The PlayStation or Xbox App:
    If you are a huge gamer like myself, this app is a necessity. See who is online, message friends, manage your info, and stay up to date on the latest gaming info. When I had Xbox Live, I was constantly checking this app.
Social
  • Happn:
    I never thought an app like this would actually exist, but here we are. When you cross paths with somebody in real life, they show up on Happn and you can message them. It's supposed to be a 'dating' app but I think it's just a fun app to have. 
  • Avocado:
    This is a great app for couples. It's not 100% necessary, however, you can kiss and hug through the phone, share a calendar with your favorite person, share lists, send each other doodles, and so much more. It also let's you know when a special date is coming up (birthdays, anniversaries) and when your lover's phone is dying. I think this is pretty cool.
Business
  • SnipSnap:
    Because we all love saving money. Gain access to thousands of coupons from your favorite retailers, so you'll never have to go anywhere again without a coupon. Uh...yes. Yes please.
  • Indeed:
    Search jobs and send your resume on the go, with LITERALLY the click of a button. This makes job hunting so much easier.
  • Google Drive:
    As a writer, this app is AMAZING. I've written papers in high school on my phone before. I've shared documents to others when I wasn't by my computer. You can easily edit, share and create documents on the go. I usually like to do all of this on the computer, but sometimes that option isn't available. 
Inspiration
  • Pinterest:
    My favorite way to gain inspiration. Home decor, recipes, inspiration quotes, fashion, crafts & DIY and so much more. 
  • Little Memory:
    This app is really cute for those who want to digitally journal memories. We can argue that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are a digital journal. However, on Little Memory you can be more uncensored and post whatever you like. 

My Sweater Vest Darling

Burning ashes on your coffee table from our last cigarette together.
Like a metaphor:
perhaps real,
perhaps a dream. 


Always never the way it seemed.


I never smoked
and you stopped years ago
and we both know we would never do it again.
yet I would black my lungs to feel that youthful again.


My thoughts are shuffling like basement dreams,
deep down I know we were barely thirteen.

Yet I miss the thrill of your self destructive heart 
that melts in the sun like chocolate,
bittersweetly and incandescently.

As much as I want to put you back in the fridge and freeze you back to your original state,
it's too late.

You would be trapped in a wrapper that doesn't fit the way it should.

I could open you up but would it be worth it? 
Would you taste the same?
Would you still smell like smoke and rain?

I'll never know.
So I thought I would leave out all the rest, my sweater vest darling.
You're worth a thousand cigarettes and a hundred acoustic songs.
Yet the human soul is known to find the good in things
and to feel nostalgia even when it's wrong.

So maybe I'm wrong. 

And you knew you were too young to be this broken.
And you knew I would never truly be yours,
and I knew that too.
We were too broken to be young,
my sweater vest darling. 

Something Creative: PR for Fashion


As a blogger and all around fashion lover, I'm deeply invested in the public relations and fashion world. A lot of my friends and colleagues are fashion designers looking to promote their brand. Social media and networking is always my go-to for promotion. However, celebrity placement and fashion magazines are the best way to go nowadays. But...how? It may seem either impossible or insanely expensive. 


Something Creative changes that. They have worked with huge fashion magazines such as Vogue. Now we're talking, eh? I thought I would share this will all of you considering I know tons of you are fashion designers and fashion bloggers. They operate as a "full service showroom, public relations and styling house, and open space for enlightened ones." Most public relations firms cost $1,500 - $5,000 a month, and Something Creative has a nominal fee of $500-$1000. It's clearly the most affordable option in the Los Angeles fashion market.

They offer so many services from basic public relations, to fashion videos, to design nouveau. Thought I would pass this on to the fashion lovers that read Pink Chanel Suit! All the attached photos are Something Creative's work. Wow, am I right? You can find out more about them or contact them here. 



6 Ways to Cleanse Your Soul

Lately, I've been thinking, "Damn, I need a soul cleanse." But does such a thing exist? I will argue, yes. Sometimes it's simple as making one decision. Sometimes it's a change of scenery. However - my mood has been so odd lately. I've been feeling trapped and nervous and stuck in the past. So, of course I'm gonna fix it and write a blog post about it.

Not everyone likes using ancient herbs and chanting to the sun. Not everyone is comfortable with going to church or temple. Not everyone wants to take on a juice cleanse. I mean, who says there is one way to cleanse your soul? Who says these things work for everyone?

There are easier ways to cleanse your soul. You don't have to do anything you're uncomfortable with. This is what I typically do!



1. Balance Out the Future & the Past
You've probably seen thousands of quotes regarding the future and the past. I mean, it's insane. They're in our childhood books and they lurk in 90% of social media bios. I've developed a strong opinion about the future, the past, and the present. Yes, you should live in the present. However, the future and the past still EXIST. It's unhealthy and unrealistic to act like they don't exist, am I right? You are allowed to dream and plan for the future. You are allowed to learn from the past and hold onto special past memories. In order to live in the present, you need to evenly balance out the future and the past.

2. Clean the Clutter Out
Over each and every year, we go through hundreds of "natural disasters." The debris from these disasters sometimes stay with us like chains. It makes each and every step more difficult, and it's harder to focus on what's really important. Oprah once said something along the lines, of "Don't keep people in your life that won't take you higher." Think about the people in your life right now. Are they serving you, are you serving them? Or are they kind of just...there? If there's no benefit for either of you, it's really just a t shirt that doesn't fit you anymore. Not to say that t shirt isn't awesome, but why have it take up space if you can't put it to use anymore?

3. Make a Big Decision
This may not be applicable to everyone, but here are some suggestions: Quit your job. Cut/dye your hair. Propose to the one you love. Break up with the one you thought you loved. Move somewhere else. Drop out of college. Transfer colleges. Make a diet change. Talk to the person you're afraid to talk to. Run for office. I don't know, just stand up for yourself. Maybe you don't have any big decisions to make at the moment. However, if you want to, DO IT. Your soul will be revitalized and you'll feel more like yourself. I've made so many HUGE decisions in my life so far and let me tell you, I'm so happy I did it.

4. Change Up Your Routine
I love routines. I've had the same "getting ready" routine basically my entire life. I'm not going to change that routine up because it's convenient and I've really learned to love it. You know how I spice up my routine up though? By deciding one day not to wear makeup, and maybe another day deciding to wear weird eyeshadow out of boredom and curiosity. By one day blow drying my hair and the other day just seeing how it air dries. It seems quite silly, actually. Take another route home. Try something different when you go out to eat. Things like this make life a bit more adventurous and it opens up more opportunities for us.

5. Analyze Yourself
Play psychologist with yourself. And if you can't analyze yourself, let me do it for you. It's quite a hobby of mine. Okay, in all seriousness: what do you want right now? What is your soul trying to tell you? Look for the signs. Pay attention. Just listen...if you're not listening, then you're not living.

6. Find Yourself (Again)
Just because you find yourself at one point doesn't mean your soul searching is all over. We have to keep going deeper and deeper. Things happen in life that can cause us to stop focusing on who we are. We can sometimes try to impress people. We sometimes try to change for people. Sometimes we go through stuff that makes us not want to do anything at all. To truly cleanse your soul, you have to find yourself again. Rid societal expectations and be that person you know you are. It's okay, you can get right back on track. You'll do great things.

10 Things You Need to Do to Pump Yourself Up For Spring


I love spring, as you probably already know. I am so ready for it's arrival and the site of grass and blue skies has made me ecstatic  Every year, I always pump myself up for spring and I can't wait to share with you some advice to get you ready for this lovely season. I love this post, it includes all my original photos and I'm so very proud of it! Here are 10 things you need to do to pump yourself up for spring. LET'S DO THIS!

1. Make a Playlist

Music can shape our mood. Music can rekindle memories. Music can make us feel. Because of this, music can embody certain seasons. Making a spring playlist is a great way to get yourself pumped up for spring! You are unleashing your creativity and inspiring yourself by making your own playlist. Add songs that remind you of spring. Whether it be a song that you played nonstop a few springs ago, or a song that reminds you of flowers blooming and blue skies. My favorite picks for a spring playlist are Noah and the Whale and Florence and the Machine. To view my spring playlist from 2013, click here!

2. Paint Your Nails Pastel

Pastels are the perfect way to say, "I'm ready for spring!" I don't paint my nails too often, so when I do, I know it's a pretty big deal. Clearly, the change of seasons is a big deal that we should all celebrate! Start off by painting your nails pastel with bright, soft colors. As you can see, I decided to paint my nails mint green to get ready for Spring. Other suggestions are pastel pink, lavender, & baby blue!

3. Make Essence Water

Jazz up your normal water by enhancing it with fruit and herbs! It's natural, it tastes super refreshing and it speeds up your metabolism. I literally lived on cucumber water last summer, but it doesn't always taste the best, am I right? So, let's do something that actually tastes good. My favorite kind of essence water is strawberry. Check out my simple recipe here.

4. Watch Disney Movies

Disney movies are a year-round thing, duh. However, they're all about love & hope. Spring is the perfect time to love, find hope, gain compassion and to revive. We are all done with hibernating in our rooms with sweatpants and netflix, so let's just watch disney movies with loved ones, dance around the living room to "I'll Make a Man Out of You," and let it inspire our souls. Mulan is always my favorite to watch, she's literally my idol. Not to mention, there are new Disney movies coming out soon. I'm looking forward to seeing Inside Out!

5. Plan Travels

Going cross country this summer? Or perhaps on a cruise? Plan, plan, and plan some more! Get yourself excited and give yourself something to look forward to. If you're not going on a huge vacation this year, plan a road trip to a national park, a local park, or an amusement park nearby. The internet is a great tool for planning travels. A lot of the time you don't even need to go far or spend money. Check event websites for your city / state to find festivals. There are always hundreds of them each and every year.

6. Avocado Toast & Green Tea

If you haven't tried avocado toast already, now is the time! Avocado season is in it's prime. While spring is beautiful, the sudden change in weather can cause sinus issues, allergies, and headaches. Yikes. Avocado toast and green tea are one of my signature meals, and it always makes me feel better when I'm a tad under the weather. It's a great way to start each and every beautiful day, trust me on this. My favorite way to make avocado toast is with a hint of lime and a whole lot of crushed red pepper. My favorite hot green tea: Yogi's green tea energy. With lemongrass and ginseng, it will taste like a cup full of sunsets. My favorite iced green teas: Steaz. It comes in a cute can with a bunch of flavors, such as blueberry pomegranate  Good for those who are new to the tea world! I also love Honest Tea's green tea with honey. It's organic and you can actually taste the green tea, for those who want the typical tea taste. Regardless, they're both perfect!

7. Try Something New With Your Hair

The picture above was taken two years ago in the bathroom stall of my high school. Ah, yes, the glory of taking a bathroom pass and just standing in the bathroom for 20 minutes doing nothing. It was the first time I tried the top bun and I felt so revived. I fell in love with it. Try something new with your hair! It doesn't have to be complicated. I mean, I'm terrible at doing hair. Try out a new bun, pigtails, a high pony, some type of fun braid. I added some blonde to my hair about a month ago which was a huge risk for me to take, and I plan on experimenting with hair chalk soon. Take a risk and try new things! Don't be boring ol' me who's had the same hair style for her entire life. ;)

8. Go On a Library Run

Get that library card out of your wallet, and revitalize yourself with some fresh new reads! I love just wandering around the library, looking at films, magazines and books. I recommend reading Paper Towns by John Green. The film comes out in June and I see it owning the box office. Other than that, I HIGHLY recommend any form of transcendentalist literature. Wordsworth, Thoreau, Emerson! All of the above. Their work is full of beautiful prose inspired by nature, that will inspire YOU to go out into nature. Also, keep up to date with your favorite blogs and magazines. (like pinkchanelsuit!)

9. Go On a Bike Ride

I love putting my ear plugs in, putting a nice iced drink in my cutely decorated basket, and going for a bike ride. Most of the time I'll just go around my block, but it's always nice to either 1.) go to a park or 2.) ride your bike somewhere! I love riding my bike to the local ice cream shop or the library. Enjoying the beauty of creation while getting exercise? Count me in. 


10. LETS DO THIS!

Get out the kites, the bubbles and the sidewalk chalk. Start up the grill. Blast your spring playlist. Go on walks and have picnics. Spring is here so EMBRACE IT, EVERYONE! I got out my disney princess bubbles and put on my favorite cardigan and went outside today. It was so sunny and so lovely. I'm blooming like a flower this spring, and you can do. So...LET'S DO THIS. 

Marina and the Diamonds - FROOT {REVIEW}

Today, Marina Diamondis released a new album, FROOT. We've been anticipating new music from Marina for a long time now, so we have the right to have pretty high expectations, right?

We all fell in love with Marina when a gif of her dancing with her head in a TV exploded on tumblr. "TV taught me how to feel / now real life has no appeal." Remember those lyrics being everywhere? The Family Jewels was an album full of lyrical bops and innovative pop music. Then, when Electra Heart was released, I'm pretty sure we were beyond impressed by how artistic this woman is.

Now, FROOT is here. So...let's get started. FROOT isn't anything near bad. I think it's a consistent album with authentic lyrics and beautiful vocals. I'm not the first to say it's a great transition from Electra Heart and we all wanted that Marina Charm in a whole new way. However, something was missing. At first, I couldn't figure out what it was.

Then, I realized. The album lacked the highs and the lows she normally delivers. It seems like the entire album is one song, and in that sense - it's very boring. It wasn't as theatrical as Electra Heart and it didn't give you the sense of mixed emotions that Family Jewels did. You can't exactly dance to it, yet you can't listen to it while writing a paper either. I'm not hating on it but I'm not loving on it.

Sonically, Marina always stays true to her sound, which is one of the reasons I love her. Visually, Marina seems to lose sight of where she wants to go with things. The archetypes ended as soon as they began in the Electra Heart era. At the beginning of the FROOT era, she started off with 'the froot of the month.' Her music, photoshoots, and music videos started off with the frooty space goddess vibe she wanted to convey, and it ended very messy. Marina even said it herself: she's the laziest ambitious person she knows.

I was kind of not having it with Marina for the past two years. But I will say, when she released the track list for FROOT, I was rather impressed. The titles seemed promising. Then 'Happy' and 'Froot' came out and I was literally AMAZED. 'Froot' was a perfect introduction to the album, and 'Happy?' First of all, it's one of the most beautiful songs she has ever created. It's simple yet powerful. It made me 'happy' to see Marina create a song like that.

Here are my recommend listens:

  • Happy - 10/10. Perfect for Spring. Will probably inspire you to do great things and fly into the sunset. The piano at the beginning is to die for and her voice is ethereal. 
  • Solitaire - 7/10. If Teen Idle and The Outsider had a baby, this would be it. Her vocals are pristine in this and the production sounds like the introduction to a heavenly video game. 
  • Blue - 9/10. An easily relatable song perfect for those drives with the windows down and the wind in your hair. This is radio worthy.
  • Savages - 6/10. Marina always has a song relating to how disgusting humans are. She's secretly a social justice blogger, I think. I personally don't like this song too much, but I'm sure many will love it and find it interesting. 
  • Can't Pin Me Down - 7.5/10. Marina's song to the haters, her ex lovers, and the media. It's pretty clear now she doesn't wanna be compared or labeled anymore. I think this song is really expressive for her and I'm all for expression. I can see this playing in H&M now...
This album is a fresh, clean slate for Marina. You can tell she made it for herself, not for her fans or for her image. Not for a top 40 hit. Maybe it's not what I expected, or what you expected. But that doesn't mean we should disregard her entire music career. Although I'm not putting FROOT on my iPod, I'm looking forward to her future as an artist.

Sriracha2Go: The Best Invention EVER

Every now and then, there is an invention that changes everything. Some would say the automobile or the microwave. But then...in the midst of the 2010's, Sriracha2Go was invented. Us hot sauce lovers have been struggling for years. Until NOW.

When ordering Sriracha2Go, you get an empty bottle with a keychain attached so you can fill it up with your favorite sriracha. And it's refillable, too, so basically....it's endless.

Just about a week ago, Andrew packed his entire HUGE sriracha bottle in his lunch just for a side of a rice. I've been to so many restaurants without sriracha. And I'm often on the road, too. Therefore, this is almost vital.

It's easy to put on your keychain, in your car, or in your purse. YAY FOR ENDLESS SRIRACHA ROAD TRIPS, right?!?! To order your bottle of Sriracha2Go, just go to their website here.


The Stephen Chbosky Tweet That Changed Everything

I don't have twitter anymore, for various reasons. However, I do remember certain moments and tweets from when I actually was an active user for on twitter. There was this one tweet by Stephen Chbosky, the author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, that really stuck with me. Although it was tweeted a few years ago, I still remember it so clearly. What was that quote, you ask?
"You never need to say you are an aspiring artist. You're not aspiring. You're creating right now."
When I saw it for the first time, I was a high school student.
I loved writing, blogging, theatre, acting, singing, dancing, painting, fashion, producing, cinematography and so much more. I was always creating art but I felt unsuccessful and quite melancholic a lot of the time. I was always positive when creating art, but I just felt like I wasn't getting enough recognition. I was getting artistically rejected a lot too, which didn't do much to help my self esteem. I was putting a lot of work in, but it seems like I was falling behind everyone else.

"Will I ever truly be an artist?" I would say. "I mean, if no one really cares about my art then maybe I'm not truly an artist." That's where I was wrong. I was letting my demons get to me too fast, but I recovered quickly.

I'm glad I stuck with my intuition  with my soul. I've been creating art my entire life, with or without an audience. In todays society, we're all about followers, likes, comments and reblogs. It can seem like no one cares or like you're not good enough.

Making it as an artist is hard enough, am I right? Rejection is our middle name and failure is a close friend of ours. But last time I checked, creating art isn't about fame, approval or success. Creating art is for YOU - and if helps someone out, that's a huge plus.

This post goes out to my fellow artists. Maybe you have hundreds of sketchbooks that have never seen the light of day. Maybe you take photos like it's your job, but you haven't gotten a cent for your work. Maybe you want to be on stage or behind the camera, but you keep getting rejected. Maybe you write and write until your fingers hurt, but no one cares to read.

Keep doing you. Keep creating. Keep being an artist. Just because one person has more fame than you doesn't mean they are any more of an artist than you are. In fact, a lot of people sell themselves out to get fame. It's important to realize that you are what you are. You are created as you are. And you have a purpose.

Create art, even when no one is watching. Remember that.

The Library and I: A Love Affair


Reading has never really been the same for me since Harry Potter ended. I still love a good book, but now I seem to go for non-fiction, biographies, comics, and poetry. Why? Well..I just know that no fiction book will ever compare to Harry Potter. I've tried SO hard. I always would laugh when people said things like:
  • There will be another book like Harry Potter, sooner or later.
  • I mean look at Star Wars and Lord of the Rings! They were the Harry Potters of their time.
  • Twilight and The Hunger Games were huge, just like Harry Potter. See?
It's not about how successful the series is. It's not about the movie adaptions of it. It's not about the cosplays and the fan accounts. It's about what Harry Potter MEANT for so many people. Harry Potter is Harry Potter. That's really it. Zip. Nada. Shhhh. That's it.

This post isn't even about Harry Potter. It's about my love affair with the library. 

From the mere age of preschool, to little moments in middle school, to teenage bike rides - I was there. Looking for a new book to get my hands on, working on my next project, organizing my planners, devouring poetry like it was my last meal. 

While the library isn't "necessary," it gave me a place to be growing up. My family couldn't afford to buy me books, films, CDs, etc - so I went to the library. If my friends and I didn't have a place to hangout, we'd go to the library. I remember riding my bike to the library even in high school.

Gosh, I remember feeling so free and so old fashioned, in a sense. I would put on my white "nurse" tennis shoes and my circle sunglasses and start riding my bike there under the sunshine. The town I lived in looked so classic, small, and friendly. I remember I took home Edgar Allan Poe's poetry, Ralph Waldo Emerson's essays, and a book about ancient mythology. GOSH, I sure loved that. Sorry, I'm having a moment.

That's not quite where it started though. I used to volunteer at the library from ages 9 to 11. I would work the summer reading program and I simply loved it. There's one day I remember so clearly.

I was wearing my favorite yellow headband I got from Claires. It REALLY hurt to wear, and man it gave me terrible headaches. But it made my strawberry brown hair look cute and matched one of my favorite outfits.

I had this floral white and yellow shirt that I would always wear with either jean shorts, white shorts, or plaid shorts. Regardless, I wore it constantly. I felt so beautiful. I would go to the library with my little book bag filled with the latest Harry Potter release, my flip phone, snacks, and maybe a few quarters so I could get something to eat across the street at the convenience store. That was my entire summer for years. Sleepover my grandmas house, eat my weight in hot cheetos, go to the library, read, listen to podcasts, and go to Harry Potter events. And let me tell you - I LOVED IT.


That's when my love affair with the library grew. I would help everyone with the summer reading program from toddlers to seniors. A lot of the times they would doubt I knew what I was doing, and when I look back on it, I was so young. But I knew exactly what to do, and some people saw that spark and passion in me. I appreciate this one woman so much. She was with her grandchildren and I could tell she really was thankful for what I was doing and she would always talk to me about my life. I really loved talking to her and it's amazing how I still remember that.

My mom was a teacher when I was growing up, and would constantly take me to the library just to go and get books, and sometimes go to those special events they would hold. I loved going to those. It was like Christmas all over again. Discovering and rediscovering characters and worlds...my imagination was endless. That part of me is always with me.

Looking back at that little girl, I think about what she wanted to do and what she dreamed of. I know my 7 year old self would be so proud of me. That's something that makes me truly SO happy. Knowing that I stuck to my authenticity. That's something I will never be able to let go of.

Those worlds and universes I saw in my books were places I wanted to go. 
I wanted to be a princess, a writer, an actress, a detective, a teacher, a journalist. I wanted to eat good food, travel the world, fall in love with my other half. I wanted to be a teenager and deal with breakups, backstabbers, popularity and drama. I wanted to be a warrior, a witch, a vampire, a unicorn.
I wanted to go on adventures 
and collide with as many worlds as I possibly could.
I wanted to do everything and experience everything.

And..I did. And I still am. And I always will.

I would have visions as a little girl of my one true love. My other half. I dreamed of a guy who wore button up shirts and wore glasses. I dreamed of a guy that would take me to book shops and libraries and coffee shops. I dreamed of a guy who would spend hours conversing with me about everything.

And I really did find my other half, my one true love. We've been together for years and years and that's what I'm so thankful for and I KNOW little me would be so proud. (and quite impressed.) The only affair I'll ever have is an affair with the library.

Ah, another stream of consciousness post with constant rambling and no clear format. x

Kingdom Hearts 3: ANTICIPATION and Potential Worlds

For the past few days, Andrew and I have been revisiting the Kingdom Hearts games for the PS2. A truly innovative, timeless game that in my opinion, can never get old. Just like Disney - it doesn't matter what type of animation is used or how the graphics are...it will always remain a classic.

It's been YEARS since a new game has been released. While many are aimlessly waiting in anticipation, I am okay with the fact it's taken so much time because I know the people behind it will make it beautiful and worth the wait.

I've been thinking about Kingdom Hearts 3. Will it make me cry my eyes out? Probably. Will Sora and Kairi finally admit their love for each other? Hopefully. Will it include awesome worlds? Let's hope so, right?

There's been constant talk about what worlds will be included in Kingdom Hearts 3. No matter what people are saying, I just really hope it stays true to it's integrity.

I hope they choose Disney movies that:

1. Are classics.
2. Are timeless.
3. Have an actual good storyline that can be adapted into video game form.
4. Fit in with Kingdom Hearts animation and theme.
5. Are actually DISNEY, not just something Disney owns. (like Marvel or Star Wars)

In Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2, they covered some obvious classics. But before they get to Brave and Tangled, (if they even do) let's get down to business to defeat the huns. Just kidding, they already did Mulan. But seriously...let's get down to business.

Here's worlds I think are necessary in Kingdom Hearts 3.

1. Pocahontas. I don't know why they haven't done a Pocahontas world yet. Potential reasons: There may be racial and political issues. Maybe there's not really a boss that could be defeated. Maybe there's not a clear GOOD and a clear EVIL. However, Pocahontas is a classic Disney movie that taught me a lot. It's all about compassion, helping people find their heart and soul, traveling to new places and overcoming hate. Which is kind of what Kingdom Hearts is all about so...with all the time and effort put into this new game, I'm sure they could come up with something.

2. Toy Story. This seems like an obvious choice. There are so many ways they could go with this. There are three solid movies they can gain inspiration from. There are so many characters. So many potential bosses. So many possible challenges. GOSH, the thought of it excites me. Toy Story is a classic Disney film that went on for a decade, therefore, many generations can relate to it. Not sure if Sora's companion would be Woody or Buzz. Regardless, They HAVE to do a Toy Story world. To infinity and beyond.

3. Frozen. I'm really not a HUGE Frozen fan, to be honest with you. But a whole lot of other people are. If they don't do it, I'll be okay with it because 1. it might've been too late and 2. there are tons of other movies that they could do. However, there's a lot they can do with this. It would definitely be a change of scenery due to all the snow. The animation isn't 'classic disney' so it may be hard to adapt to, yet I think I'm okay with that. Frozen has gain so much popularity and it would draw a lot of new people to the game.

4. Finding Nemo. Listen, I don't think Finding Nemo is a NECESSARY world, but I sure would love it. I loved Little Mermaid world simply because it was underwater, and Finding Nemo would have that concept as well. I can see it now: swimming through the ocean with Marlin trying to find Nemo. Battling sharks, avoiding Jellyfish, and riding on turtles. Visually appealing and super adventurous.

Basically, I wanna see movies like Lion King and Mulan being brought back mixed in with some new Disney movies that are actually...Disney-esque. I don't wanna see them introducing Wreck It Ralph and Star Wars because that just doesn't give off the Disney aesthetic. People have been saying things like, "Oh that would be so badass to defeat Darth Vader!" And I think, "Don't they have like 500 Star Wars games? Let those battles stay in those games."

There are going to be worlds we love and worlds we hate, it depends on the person. For example, I dread the Alice In Wonderland world simply because I've never particularly connected with the storyline, setting or characters. I really trust that it will turn out amazing no matter what and true to it's integrity. I am shaking with excitement at the thought of it.

Kingdom Hearts 3 Gameplay:


It's really hard to imagine what it will be like. The last of the saga...I mean, it could be anything. I'm just talking potential ideas and all. I know no matter what, I will love it. What do you wanna see?

{Support the Artist} MY CD OBSESSION

I love CDs. I remember going to Walmart or Target the day my favorite artists would release albums. They would be between 10 to 20 dollars, but I would splurge all my birthday money on it anyways. The experience of holding a full album in my hand, going through the secret pictures and the new lyrics, staring at the track list in excitement, and carefully putting the CD into some type of CD player. Now that is a music experience. Seeing all the pictures and listening to all the music all at once, before it was leaked on the internet.

Looking back, I'm really happy I buy music from artists because it really supports them and it keeps art alive. It gives more artists jobs. Not just the person on the cover, but the hundreds (or maybe few) people behind the album.

The people working in music shops, the people working for radio, the people working for streaming services, the people working for studios, the people working for public relations for the artist, the graphic designers, the producers, the publicists, the hair and makeup crews, and SO much more. By buying an album, you are keeping a dying art alive. Not saying music is a dying art, it's alive and well. However, PHYSICAL music is a fading art and PURCHASING music is a fading art.

I'll be honest with you. I've illegally downloaded music before. However, that is when I was ignorant and didn't know the impact of what I was doing.

Did you know you don't actually have to buy music to support the artist? By listening to an artist on Spotify, you give them streaming points, which gives them MONEY and makes them chart higher. By watching their Youtube videos, you do the same exact thing. Same thing with listening to them on the radio. These are all completely free of charge, and they still support the artist. Even if I buy music from an artist, I'll still listen to them on Spotify or Youtube just to give them extra coins.

I understand not all of us can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on music each year. And believe me, I don't do that. I buy a couple of albums and a few singles a year that I really appreciate. (especially from independent artists). However, I'm constantly streaming artists on Spotify and Youtube because...why not? We all love music and Spotify basically has everything besides Taylor Swift - and hey, you probably bought her albums anyways.

I've been realizing my love for physical music lately. People still buy music on iTunes. The only time I do, is when I have a gift card. Don't get me wrong, iTunes is a brilliant way to purchase and share music, however, it's usually around the same price as the physical version and I prefer to actually have the music in my hands.

I've been realizing my obsession with CDs lately and my collection is slowly growing. This is an obsession I am 100% proud of!

Friday evening, Andrew and I went to one of our favorite exchange shops for old DVDs, video games, vinyls and CDs. They were selling a bunch of $1 CDs. I took advantage of this, obviously. They had A Little Bit Longer by the Jonas Brothers there for ONE DOLLAR! I remember buying that the day it came out. They also had METRO STATION for a dollar too. One of my favorite pop punk scene bands, duh. And can we talk about how they had Hilary Duffs' Metamorphosis for a dollar as well?

It was a really fun adventure. As much as I welcome new gaming systems and new forms of entertainment and technology, I always treasure the old ones, too. I'm afraid my future living room is going to have 10 gaming consoles because I love them all so much.

I've always dreamed of having an epic basement or living room with a HUGE entertainment center filled with my favorite CDs, DVDS, and video games. And I'm not going to let society stop me. I love physical manifestation of our souls, and I can't wait to express that one day. Until then, I'll be expanding my collection of lovely entertainment.

Childlike Wonder Forever

There is this popular belief that as you age, you lose curiosity, wonder, and joy. You turn cynical and more pessimistic. You don't enjoy things like you used to.

I am here to tell you this: that is not true. I said it once and I'll say it again, age does not define you.

A lot of people my age are in this weird in-between stage where we are forced into adulthood so suddenly. From my experiences, people react to this in four different ways.

1. They rebel. They party, they let immaturity rule their lives.
2. They stay too attached to the past. They are constantly posting #tbts of high school and missing 'the good old days.'
3. They adapt. They say, "Well, I'm an adult now." Suddenly they seem like a different person than they were a year ago.

and my favorite,
4. They don't pay attention to the social norms. Instead, they continue being themselves, regardless of age.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I am always reminded of my eternal enthusiasm  I jump for joy when the seasons change. I really savor each bite of what I eat. I immerse myself into every experience. The little things in life may excite a child because it's there first time experiencing it or because they don't have many "worries" in life.

But the little things in life excite me each and every day. Every morning I am swept off my feet by life and open to all new adventures. Each and every new day has potential to be the best day ever.

Last night, Andrew and I played video games until the AM. We were playing hide and seek and "land" marco polo. We then were playing Concentration 64, followed by bursts of laughter. We were so excited to play these games just as we would be a decade ago.

'Childlike wonder' is something I will never let go. It's something that helps me survive. It's something we all have, but may let go of along the way. Don't let the world do that to you. Keep that eternal wonder in your pocket, and whenever you need it, reach for it.

{Recipe} BIRTHDAY CAKE PANCAKES!

A really fun, super-cute recipe that can impress anyone on their birthday morning. There are recipes for this all over the internet, but they seem to be too complicated or from scratch. Nah, let's do it the easy way with ingredients you are likely to already have in your house. This recipe made 5 big pancakes for me.


for the pancakes:
1 cup of your choice of pancake mix
1 cup of your choice of cake mix
2 eggs or for vegans: egg replacement
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of milk (I used soy milk)
a LITTLE bit of sprinkles.

for the glaze:
2 cups of powdered sugar
4 1/2 tablespoons of milk (I used soy milk)
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
a TON of sprinkles!

1. First, you should make the pancake batter in a large bowl by mixing all the ingredients together. Set aside.
2. Then, in a smaller bowl, mix all the ingredients needed for the glaze. Set aside.
3. Spray pan with cooking spray and heat on medium heat. Pour your pancake batter and flip. Repeat until there is no more batter left.
4. When pancakes are done, you can pour the glaze on! The glaze tasted really good, but I ate mine with syrup anyways.


That's it. Happy birthday. Well, not really. Just live everyday like it's your birthday.

{Vegan Recipe} Cake in a Mug!

I've had microwavable cake before, and each and every time it was either hit or miss. Critics advise you to never make cakes in the microwave, no matter how cute and impressive it may be. Yet, there are books, blogs, and even cooking shows dedicated to this kind of stuff. So it can't be that bad, right? Either way, I've always been fascinated with the whole craze.

In my sophomore year of high school, a few friends and I made "cake in a bowl." We literally just threw a bunch of random ingredients into a bowl. It was more of a random mash of cake that didn't taste like cake, but me and my friend Rachel ended up eating it at 4 AM anyways.

Here I am now, attempting the 'Cake in a Mug.''

There are several things you need to keep in mind. What taste am I looking for? Do I have a special diet I need to tend to? Will it rise correctly? Will it overflow? No worries if you follow this recipe.

The recipe I am giving you is unintentionally vegan. The amount of ingredients I give you are perfect so the cake will rise like any other cake, but it leaves some room on top for your choice of toppings. So...let's get started.

What you'll need:
5 tablespoons of flour
2 1/4 teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
a sprinkle of salt
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 1/2 tablespoons water

optional: chocolate chips, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, frosting, etc

Now what to do:

1. Spray or coat your mug with some nonstick cooking spray.
2. Add all the dry ingredients to the mug. Mix around with fork.
3. Add all the wet ingredients to the mug. Make sure to really fluff everything around with your fork so it cooks correctly. Feel free to add chocolate chips, sprinkles, or chia seeds. (or anything else you'd like!)
4. Cook in microwave for 1:20 - 2:00 minutes. It depends on your microwave. It took me 1 minute and 45 seconds. Just really keep your eye on it!
5. Done! It's really that easy. I recommend adding whipped cream or chocolate sauce on top for added sweetness.

It takes 5 minutes to make this, which is why I love it so much! I've been experimenting with different flavors and different ingredients. Some are better than others, but still, you can rarely go wrong with this. It's also really easy to clean your mug when you're done with it. I can get used to that.