Friday, August 26, 2016

Recent Purchases August 2016

Sailor Moon & Tuxedo Mask Funko Pop | Psalm 46:5 Framed Poster | Hampton Bay 3 Shelf Bookcase
Marlo Lorenz Francesca Throw Blanket | It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Happy Friday! This week has gone by SO FAST! Wednesday was my brother's birthday, but because of some things I had to get done and he had some stuff to do, our family didn't get a chance to go out for dinner. But we'll probably do that sometime this weekend. Also, yesterday was my best friend's birthday! Since I had work at night, she and her parents picked me up at the end of my shift so we could all go out for cheesecake! We did that last year too - do you guys have special traditions for your birthdays?

Despite myself, I did buy quite a few things this past month *sigh*. I've mentioned that after buying a mountable TV for my bedroom and getting a window AC installed, I've basically rearranged everything. It's like I have a brand new room! I have new bedsheets, a new tapestry, and my mom also bought me some new curtains to match. I'm currently in the process of replacing all my old brown furniture with white furniture. I bought this really affordable 3-shelf bookcase from home depot and since it was fairly simple for me and my friend put together, I bought a second one and put it together by myself. Also, I wanted to bring to attention this beautiful, white throw blanket I found online at Saks Off 5th! Apparently it used to be like $50, but it was on clearance for $10!

Now that I'm heavily invested in bookstagramming, I've been working at getting creative with my photography and expanding my book collection (not that I'm complaining). I've actually bought quite a number of books this month, but Colleen Hoover's It Ends With Us was an impulse buy! I couldn't help myself. It is all over bookstagram and everyone's been raving about it! I was going to wait til maybe next month to get a copy for myself, but I just had to have it. It should be here soon and I'm so so excited to read it!

What have you bought recently this month? Any good books?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What Choir College Taught Me

Happy Wednesday, all! With lots of prospective college students getting ready to head back to school and bloggers writing about their college wishlists and must-haves, I find myself really missing my college days! My college experience affected me so deeply and made me into a better version of myself. I decided to get a little unique with my post today and thought I'd share with you what I learned from attending a Choir College! (visit my #TBT: My College Experience... post).

If you don't already know, I attended Westminster Choir College and graduated in May 2015 with my Bachelor of Music in Music Education. My college is quite different from some other music colleges you may have heard of as it is focuses on the choral art. Everyone is required to be in choir, regardless of whether you're a voice primary or a pianist/organist or what major you are (performance, music ed, composition, etc.). We have one of the most prestigious and largest voice faculties in the country and our college is well-recognized for its choirs performing in venues all over the country (as well as internationally).

I was originally going to title this "What Music College Taught Me" but I changed it to "choir college" as I think there's something really special about my school that sets it a part from many other performing arts colleges.

1. Everyone's voice matters, no matter how small. When you go to school full of talented singers, it's easy to feel lost and compare yourselves to others. The special thing about choir is that everyone can do it and everyone is important. Many of the amazing choristers I've met at school were not even voice majors, but came to enjoy the choral experience so much. Every choir member has to do their part and this teaches you a lot about teamwork and leadership.

2. There is no such thing as "the voice." I was completely overwhelmed and blown away by all the types of singers I got to work with and sing with during my time in college. We are all trained classically, but even then, there are a million types of voice categories and everyone's sound, technique, and performance style are unique. But there wasn't only enjoyment in choral music and opera, but music theater and pop and R&B and everything else you can think of. There isn't just one "ideal voice" that everyone strives to be - it's about finding your best voice and becoming the best singer you're capable of being.

3. Music majors are completely underrated. With competitive TV shows like The Voice and American Idol and the million of other shows out there, I feel like students who pursue music in college get completely overlooked and overshadowed. I cannot even tell you the number of times people have asked me "so when are you gonna go on The Voice??" Don't get me wrong - those shows have their value in entertainment and I definitely think they find some of the most underprivileged, raw talents out there that deserve to be heard. But what about the people who spend thousands of dollars to become better musicians? I didn't grow up with tons of money and I can name a million others too who are just as talented as the people you see on TV and work a million times harder to be great, but still don't get recognized because their background stories aren't good enough to make headlines.

4. Even in the professional world, everyone has their favorites. This is one of the hardest things to overcome in music college. Sometimes, no matter how hard you work and how great your voice is, some people just prefer a certain type of voice. I don't mean to bash some of the choral conductors I've worked with, because they are all amazing musicians and teachers. But I can name one or two who definitely had their favorite students and were not fair in who they chose for select choirs. I know this, a lot of other people know this, and it's just how it is. This goes for auditions in the professional world and on tv shows too. If you don't fit the image or if you don't have a certain type of voice or talent, you won't get picked. That's why music students have to work extra hard to become well-rounded performers with versatile repertoire.

5. No matter what anyone says, music college IS NOT EASY. You can't even imagine the hours lost because of studying, exams, and practicing. I have spent countless nights in soundproof practice rooms, practicing for piano exams and voice juries. Everyone thinks that because I was a voice major, it was just singing all the time. That's true, BUT with that comes music history, music theory, performance classes, acting classes, language courses. Since I was learning to be a music teacher, I had to take psychology courses, pedagogy courses, and student teach too. I was completely immersed in music for four years which is both amazing and terrifying. We've had rehearsals that have gone past 9pm, we have to miss classes for performance trips, and we have recitals to prepare for too! Music college requires the entirety of you - your body, mind, and spirit. Also, naps during the day will often get interrupted when people are belting or blasting high A's in the practice rooms. So choose your nap times wisely.

I hope this was an interesting post for you non-music majors out there and resourceful for anyone planning to attend or are already attending music college! I will always have my complaints about college, but they are greatly outweighed by everything I loved and appreciated.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Pinspiration: Fall Transition Outfits

Happy Monday, friends! How was your weekend? I feel like my schedule has gotten even more hectic. Aside from some other things I've been dealing with that I hinted at last week, work is still pretty busy, and I've been bookstagramming like crazy. trying to stay updated constantly. I've seriously found a whole new universe through book photography and I really love it.

I apologize again for my less than active presence via blogging and instagram. But hopefully, things will start to settle again and I'll be able to reconfigure myself and find a new structure that allows me to balance all my blogging, social media, work.

Y'all, I am so not over the fact that the olympics are over. I am literally glued to the screen whenever the Olympics come on! I knew how real my addiction was when I was 30 minutes into a segment of golf and commentating out loud and then I suddenly thought to myself "...wait a minute...I DON'T EVEN LIKE GOLF." Is anyone else like this?! My heart literally broke in pieces when all the US volleyball teams lost semifinals, but I was ecstatic when women's beach + indoor teams, and the men's indoor team all won bronze!! Sighhh here's waiting two more years for some olympic relief (although, I'm more of a summer olympic fan than winter).

Even though summer is coming to an end, it means that fall is almost here! I'm really excited for the seasonal transition because it'll finally start to cool down a bit, making dressing up much more flexible. I don't have to worry so much about dressing light for the weather or dressing appropriate enough for work. Slowly, but surely, we can start mixing in more fall neutrals, warmer accessories, and closed toed shoes. Here are some pinspired fall transition outfits that I just love!

I'm really excited to incorporate my favorite dark handbags again this season. I honestly have too many black's a really bad addiction, I know. What pieces are you ready to start wearing with the incoming season?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Outfit Recreated: Chambray Shirt Dress | #OOTD

Pinspired outfit Via
Forever 21 Chambray Dress (similar) | Target Sandals | J.Crew Factory Raffia Tote (similar)
Happy Friday! Hope you have an exciting weekend up ahead. I have work this Saturday, but since I'm not on the schedule to sing again this Sunday, I'll be visiting my old high school choir/voice teacher with one of my best friends from high school! We haven't met up in over a year, so I'm really excited to see them. I love that I have a mentor who is always looking after me and looking to reconnect way beyond our time together. She was one of the main reasons I pursued music in college and has served as an inspiration for me as a teacher, musician, and human being.

Surprise, surprise - I'm wearing another shirt dress - ha! I LOVE this Chambray shirt dress. It just works for any time of the year and I can't wait to wear it again in the fall with some leggings and boots or flats. I'm also just obsessed with anything chambray and want to pick up more chambray pieces in different shades. Do you have a favorite chambray piece?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wednesday Wishlist: Fall 2016

Happy Wednesday, y'all. Hope your week is swell. I had Monday and Tuesday off and while I fit in plenty of time to relax and read, there's a couple of things I had to do (and still have to do) for some things going on at home. It's nothing really bad! But it's been stressful dealing with student bills and loans, and that's all I'm going to say. Hopefully, things turn out how I want to because I still have some exciting news to share, but I'm the kind of person who doesn't share until they're 100% in the clear and certain!!

I don't know about you guys, but I am SO ready for fall. Literally, every time winter ends, I'm already counting the days til September is here and I can start thinking about pumpkin picking, raking leaves, and wearing boots all day everyday. This crazy hot weather is only making me beg for colder weather more.

I've said it over and over again, but I'm definitely going to have to get another Longchamp! I'm leaning toward the bilberry color or khaki since they would go better with my personal wardrobe. Definitely gonna have to save up and hope someone's having a sale on them somewhere!

I, personally, love long sleeved dresses and when I saw this flannel dress, it was love at first sight! It just looks so comfy and would look great with some neutral booties and a scarf, right?? Also, since last year, I've been dying for a casual anorak jacket in this khaki green color - it's just so perfect for everyday wearand would look good with pretty much anything. 

What are you looking forward to most this fall?