After spending a lovely afternoon at the High Museum of Art I began to think of how art influences film and our daily lives. There are so many scenes in various tv shows and films that directors have mimicked from famous works of art. Django Unchained has done this, Frida, so have many others. If you are interested you can see more on YouTube here.
Even in high school, we had to look through art books to find a painting to reference for inspiration for our Shakespeare unit and Chekov. I absolutely loved it. So many of my fellow actors wined and asked what’s the point. I pointed out that we get inspiration from everywhere so why not art. The paintings we used showed us how the character would dress, stand, their status and give us an idea of how this person would move throughout the world. I would often sit on a bench in the gallery building on Dreyfoos’s campus in high school just gaze at the work my classmates did. Some in charcoal, oil paint others in watercolor. I was always amazed at the amount of time and patience it must take to make a painting look like a photo.
Art is also used in marketing which has influenced how we shop since the dawn of time. Mad Men is all about an ad agency that copywrote for women’s makeup, household products, and other things. Now it’s used as the mock-up for commercials or editorial shots to get us to buy the latest trend, health gimmick or travel destination. Just think about Andy Warhol and the Campbells soup cans. They didn’t know whether to sue him for copyright infringement or thank him for advertising their brand.
Is there a specific film scene or art piece that has influenced you? I know in the age of Instagram ads people are more likely to buy a fast fashion item then see a piece of art in person, but Instagram ads are full of influential material whether it’s a luxurious vacation or the latest handbag. These are our modern art forms.
In April I went to London! If you have been following me on Instagram you probably saw a few of my stories and photos. This was my first trip traveling outside the US ever! My entire life, I have longed to travel abroad, but never had the financial resources to do so. In high school, my classmates would talk about their trips to Paris, the Swiss Alps, London and Cape Town. I could never relate. We often took road trips to different states which were fun, and I am blessed enough to say I have seen about twenty of the US states. However, there is nothing like traveling alone outside your country and experiencing another culture. I always thought maybe one day I’ll travel abroad with a group of friends or a boyfriend. Nonetheless, the one thing I’ve learned this past year is if you want to do something you should plan to do it by yourself! While traveling with other people is a ton of fun, you can not rely on other people to be on the same schedule as you. Sometimes you just have to book the ticket and go! Luckily I have three sets of friends living in various parts of London. One of which is from London and has a twin sister, who I finally got to meet in person after pen-paling it through DM on Instagram. Another friend from high school who went to a University in London along with her brother. Finally, my last friend who has been in London three years with the love of her life and their beautiful daughter. Each group of friends lives in a different section of London, so I knew I would get a full tour of the city!
I must confess I had a slight moment of panic the day before I was leaving. What if I get lost underground while using the tube? What if I get kidnapped like Taken? Will the Brits accept an American girl after all the chaos and ignorance coming out of our White House? I took a deep breath, made sure I checked the weather for the tenth time, downloaded the Citymapper app and grabbed my passport for the plane. This year I promised myself to get out of my comfort zone. Last year was all about growth, change and cutting out toxic relationships. This year is about chasing every opportunity, traveling to places I’ve never been and working on my weaknesses.
As soon as I got on the plane a lovely fellow named Ollie (the first of three I would meet on this trip) talked for about five hours about music, acapella, life, dating, London, and Scotland. I probably should have gotten his Instagram or Whatsapp, but you never know I’ll visit London again and the universe has a funny way of bringing the right people to you at the right time.
My first group of friends took me to tea at the St. James. The art deco decor was absolutely stunning, and tea sandwiches were even better. I had hibiscus tea and tried about 5 different tea sandwiches. The pickled one was my favorite! Our server was so attentive and even went the extra mile to switch out a few sandwiches that my friend did not enjoy.
Later that night I hit up the Ned and drank Mojitos with the girls while we caught each other up on the last year and a half of life. The Ned is right near the tube so it is pretty easy to get to. It was so nice to get the full story on everything going on in everyone’s lives instead of the reader’s digest version. The Ned is in the financial district, but a good amount of people were dressed business casual, so you don’t have to worry about a formal dress code here. The bathrooms are beautiful and so are the ridiculously high ceilings.
Covent Garden was such a cute picturesque area of shops. They even had multiple flower arrangements over arched benches that many women took advantage off. I also got talked into buying my beloved Bvlgari sunglasses here! I will say I got them for about 40 percent off so I could not resist! (Also save your receipts when you are shopping around London. At the airport, you can get your Value-Added Tax back)! I loved seeing the turquoise colored beams and the different art vendors. I picked up this tiny piece from a woman, who uses pencil and watercolor on her pieces. I thought it would be more interesting to pick a piece that did not have a stereotypical red bus, telephone booth or bridge. She also mentioned the piece I selected had a bit of gold paint to add shimmer.
I also enjoyed multiple Irish pubs in London with the most delicious shepherd’s pie and roasted vegetables. I was amazed at how many places had vegetarian/pescatarian options.
If you are looking for a chocolate lovers dream then you must go to one of the many Bill’s Soho restaurants throughout the city! I went to Bill’s in Soho and ordered the Melting Chocolate Bombe. It’s a Chocolate dome, with brownie chunks below, chocolate sauce, and they pour warm caramel. I don’t have a picture of this decadent dessert, because our waiter poured the caramel over before I could take a photo so I ate it all hahaha! So you’ll have to take my word for it!
Camden! Camden was a cool edgy spot where the 90 grunge trend originated from. I loved all the individual shops in the marketplace. One vendor had dozens of white T-shirts with an animal screen printed peaking out of the pocket. Another spot had Chinese puzzle boxes. Some took four steps to solve others took as many as twelve. Honestly, the store owner was kind enough to show me how it works because I had no idea where to start! There was something so unique and whimsical about this market with the variety of foods to try as well.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. This is an absolute must for actors, theatre patrons, and literary babes. I did not get to see a show since they are in their offseason. Just seeing the replica of the original globe and reading the quotes from so many of his great works is enough to leave your heart full and your soul hungry to dive into more acting roles.
Shoreditch is one of the few places I looked up before coming to London. I love the concept of taking shipping containers and reusing them in a better way. Anytime there is good food, graffiti, and an eclectic group I am so down! Thus my love of Wynwood. Time outWhen it comes to food there was something for everyone. They had greek food, vegan, create your own wraps, bubble wrap ice cream waffles which look cool, but did not taste that great (sorry😐 ).
The shipping containers below housed multiple clothing, jewelry, and paper goods stores. I’ve been stalking Astrid & Miyu online since they came up in my Instagram feed and I had to pick up a cute earcuff and rose gold initial ring while I was there! Their pieces are so dainty and the sales associates are very attentive.
My friend from high school and I realized we have been friends for over ten years now! This trip reminded us both how much we miss being around one another. Her musician friends were absolutely amazing. They completely adopted me into their tribe and I literally had separation anxiety for a week after I left. We all laughed together so much my abs hurt every day for four days. Us girls went to see a friend perform at a piano bar and she was fabulous! I love all the speakeasy vibes on the underground bars, jazz clubs and nightclubs in London.
Original we planned on going dancing at a Colombia restaurant for live music and dancing. When we got there, there was nowhere to sit and no music playing. So we left and went to Crust Bros. This restaurant had a cool urban vibe, with hip-hop music blasting through the speakers. I will say it gets pretty hot in there since there is a giant pizza oven in the center of the restaurant. However, you don’t feel the heat once you are in there for more than ten minutes. This pizza is the perfect light, fresh thin crust made to your specifications. The owner came over and told us he lived in LA for the longest then came back over here and opened this pizza place, but did not want it to have the typical Italian pizza place vibe. Thus the open loft ceilings, with industrial metal and wood touches throughout. He then mentioned how awful Miami is, I laughed because all three of us were from/lived in Miami for at least three years. When we told him that, he immediately laughed and said damn, well you know what I mean about how people down there can show off and be pretentious. We laughed and pointed out that, that happens in every major US city. I asked him if he knew what the nameless pink neon light place next-door was? WELL, it turns out he owned part of this underground all female club called Tonight Josephine.
Tonight Josephine is an all-female nightclub where you can go dance and drink with your girls without worrying about being harassed by a guy. In order for a guy to enter he has to be accompanied by a woman. This place is covered in Millennial Pink, mirrors, neon light signs, fun wallpaper, and handsome male bartenders. As you enter there is a giant neon light sign that says, “Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History”. I was talking to one of the owners and he mentioned when women enter they immediately start taking selfies in the ceiling. My girls and I were dancing to so many throwbacks when we looked around and noticed most people were taking selfies in the reflection of the ceiling. I could not stop laughing! The bartenders were super sweet and when one of the drinks my friend ordered did not taste good he remade it for her. Each of the bathroom doors had a different celebrity mugshot, Paris Hilton, and Justin Bieber just to name a few. Isn’t it funny how the nights where your plans fall through end up being the most fun? Has this ever happened to anyone else?
Naw ‘leans as the Southerners call it is an enchanting city. Since I had a three day weekend I decided to visit my college friend and her New Orleans born and breed boyfriend. So I was lucky enough to be given the local tour, which we all know is the best one! Her boyfriend told us all about parade floats and how each of them is known for a specific thing. There is a hierarchy among the floats and you have to join to be a part of the Krewe, pay dues and pay for the items you throw. So some floats throw one shoe (which is for decoration not actually use), purses, tons of beads and other swag. These shoes are one of a kind, hand decorated shoes. If you want to know more about the different Krewes feel free to read about each crew and what they throw here. The tradition of decorating and throwing one shoe represents
The food. Let’s be honest we all need to eat, so why not eat something delicious! The beignets are a magical and delicious reason to visit New Orleans alone. If you crossed a donut with a funnel cake and covered it in powdered sugar, then you would have the beignet. To eat one of these delicious morsels you must go to Cafe Du Monde. Insider tip: there is no formal wait to be seated rule. So keep walking past the long line of tourist and walk into the restaurant and look for an empty table. The staff there will quickly bus the table and ask you for your order. DO bring cash! This place is pretty cheap and I do not think they take credit. Also the little water cups they bring you are to wash the sugar off your fingers not for you to drink!
Try the po’ boys. There are shrimp, crawfish, catfish and fried clam po’ boys. These are everywhere and the Cuban sub of New Orleans. Named the po’ boy after the poor mans’ sandwich. It is crunchy and delicious. Usually, bread toasted on both sides with butter, tomatoes, and lettuce.
Alligator Bites. I know some of you are thinking ew. BUT the last time I had alligator was an RJ Gator’s in Florida about 12 years ago. The alligator bites in New Orleans are juicy, tender and chewy. I personally am not a huge chicken person, but alligator bites always taste like better than Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets.
Gumbo. It’s seasoned to spicy perfection, full of shrimp, crawfish, scallops, sausage, and vegetables. A must if you love soup or spicy foods.
Art in the French Quarter
2. The Art in the French Quarter. I have a tradition of buying street art from the places I visit and the French Quarter was filled with photography, sculptures, and paintings. The artist my friend bought her art from told us he grew up there and was one of the first contractors to come back and rebuild. Each frame was made from the wood of the houses he helped take down to the studs and rebuild. He told us the red spray paint was how many people had passed (animals included) and the black spray paint was how many people (and animals) had been saved from the home. The green spray paint was from the homeowners spraying Help on their homes. The painting she bought was of the very street we were on that he use to look out on as he drank his morning coffee before he began to work. Stories like these are the reasons why I love collecting art, not only are you stimulating the local economy instead of the tacky tourist shops, but you also get to connect with some truly beautiful people.
3. The live Jazz bands on the streets! There is nothing like a live Jazz band. Every couple of blocks there were four and six-piece jazz bands filling the air with sweet sounds. I loved dancing in the streets with the locals and laughing with my friend. Full disclosure I have always found Saxophones to be so sexy! Idk I blame my mom for playing so much Kenny G as I grew up.
4. The parades! It’s impossible not to, “let the good times roll,” in New Orleans! You can pay a fee to the city and have a police-escorted parade in the French Quarter. It’s super common for Bachelorette’s, weddings and birthday celebrations. So you can march up and down the Quarter with your very own jazz band, parasol. It’s pretty affordable to have your own street parade and open container. You can read more about that here.
5. Bourbon Street! I have one photo from Bourbon street, because if you have seen Girls Trip you know exactly how wild Bourbon Street is. I basically thought I had stumbled across a post-college frat party in the best possible way.
6. The shopping! I reclaimed my love of earrings in New Orleans. There were so many boutiques with interesting colorful earrings. Since I have returned home I’ve bought three more pairs, but that was partially because Babblebar had a sale. (Instagram’s ads will be the death of me). I must warn you that some boutiques are overpriced compared to others. So visit multiple boutiques before purchasing. You could save some bucks.
7. The architecture. If you love French architecture, but want to enjoy it in tropical weather. If you are looking for a unique bar to beat the heat, then you must go to the Carousel bar. Inside the Hotel Monteleone is this beautiful one-of-a-kind rotating carousel bar. The floor moves around in a slow spinning motion, while a jazz band plays in the back. Make sure to get there before 8 if you want a seat!
8. The historic sites like the Lafayette Cemetery. This cemetery has been featured in multiple movies and the CW show The Originals. These beautiful giant tombs hold multiple family members some dating as far back as the 1840’s. These tombs are above ground since New Orleans is in a bowl and will flood. Sadly a lot of these tombs were damaged during the hurricane like many peoples home and through vandalism. There are tours you can take to learn about the various families, secret societies and burial styles here.
Have you ever been to New Orleans? If so what are some of your favorite spots?
I know I have been away way to long. I just wanted to say Merry Christmas!
To me, Christmas has always been about the joy of spreading kindness to others. Whether that is buying gifts for Christmas Angels through the Salvation Army, holding open the door for others or tipping your fabulous server 50 percent of the bill. This time of year so many people get caught up in the gifts I think its important to reflect on doing something kind for others. Two scriptures to remember this time of year.
A reminder of unconditional love and sacrifice
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
A reminder that patience and kindness is free, something we should all aim to practice year round.
1 Timothy 1:15-16
“15Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.
16But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.”
So I hope your Christmas was filled with love, joy and laughter!
I’ve wanted to see Cirque Du Soleil for years, but never had the opportunity to go. My mom gifted me with tickets this year for my birthday and I must say I will make it a priority to go from now on! Cirque Du Soleil was founded in 1984 in Canada. The entire concept was to think of how a modern circus would be, they used juggling and fire breathing to create a spectacle.
The colorful detailed costumes. At the beginning of the show, these two beautiful birds came out with long wings that they fluttered. The bright emerald green, cobalt, and violet. There was a butterfly whose giant wings spread across and fluttered in the wind. Ever costume moved with the performer seamlessly.
The breath-taking stunts. The sheer athletic ability of these performers is worth going! I know you’re thinking it’s so expensive, but when you see how many performers are swinging from the ceiling, flipping off their friends’ backs and shimmying up poles you’ll honestly think they deserved more $$$.
Every Cirque has a different storyline they have done shows based on Avatar, the Beatles, Crystal and the Luzia one I saw.
Cirque brings back the childhood feeling of wonder. How do they come up with these ideas, colors, storylines, and script?
They use the five of the elements of drama: plot, theme, characters, music, spectacle. There is also a mystical use of water and wind.
You will come out inspired and energized to do new things. Whether that’s writing, working out, acting or singing.
Unlike other circuses, you don’t need to worry about animal abuse. There are no animals in the show!
This past Saturday, I celebrated my 26th birthday! I must say it was the best one yet. I was surrounded by supportive women, got to check out the Atlanta Botanical Garden, see Cirque Du Soleil Mexico and had a phenomenal first rehearsal for showcase!
The Atlanta Botanical Garden has been on my radar since before I moved here. They currently have a cool exhibit called The Curious Garden, which is stunning! As I strolled through the gardens with my gals I could not help, but reflect on how blessed I feel. This year is the first post-grad year that I feel truly comfortable with where I am in my life. In the past I was still trying to get the lay of the land of the city I was in, trying to find a steady job, trying to find a friend group, chase my dreams, find some time to eat healthly and date. All of it felt exhausting. There were so many days I tried to stay positive but felt like my dreams were closer to fiction than reality. So I moved again since the opportunities were pulling me in another direction. I have learned that it is okay to say no and put yourself first. When you say no to pleasing other people (family included), dealing with their drama, or even disagreeing with their suggestions on how you should live your life; you finally feel free. This year I learned that I love spending time with me. There’s nothing better than spending time with the people you love, but there is something truly beautiful about being comfortable eating alone, talking to strangers and actively pursuing your dreams.
At dinner, we talked about how in your mid-twenties you finally start to feel like you know who you are and what you want. Whether that’s to start your own resume and life-coaching business like one friend of mine, or nanny while getting your masters degree like another gal is. We laughed about our crazy dating stories (current and past)! Then, we discussed how every time we thought we had everything all planned out God would close one door and open a bigger, brighter, better door. The horrific bullying and harassment in one job lead a friend to start her own business. Which caused her to attend a networking event she never would have gone to and met me! The craziness of her previous job taught her how to handle difficult people going forward and not be afraid to stick up for herself. It’s crazy to think if certain events never happened then certain amazing individuals never would have crossed our path. I know if I had stayed in LA, I never would have met my acting partner who I think will genuinely be a lifelong friend.
Showcase! I am so excited for acting showcase. What is showcase? Well for acting it is when a bunch of acting students preform a scene or monologue and invite agents, managers and casting directors to watch. This is how most actors get their agents and managers since they know these actors have been trained and know how to behave professionally on set.
My acting partner is a great listener, hardworking and incredibly humble. He is the partner dreams are made of and we compliment each other so well. Our first rehearsal with our director was this past Sunday and when we finished our first run through she stared at us in silence for a moment. Then said, “Damn I’m good. I cast you two for this so perfectly. You two are more comfortable together in the first meeting than most people are by week four. Keep it up guys this was an amazing place to start I can’t wait to see how much you’ll progress in the next few weeks”. Honestly, I have been on cloud nine ever since and all I can say is that dream I have of being a professional actor is so close I can smell it. Next post I’m going to share my review on Cirque Du Soleil! I hope you all have a fantastic week and take the time to start accomplishing your dreams!
Happy Independence Day! I just want to take a moment to thank all the men and women who continue to protect and serve both in the US and around the world. It takes a lot to be away from your family, comfort zone and risk your life in order to fight for the freedom of others. One of these courageous young women is one of my closest friends. I am beyond proud of her for following in her father’s footsteps!
I decided to check out the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. If you are a Bank of America cardholder, on the first weekend of every month you get free admission to the High Museum of Art! The museum does accept donations if you want to donate. I will warn you that parking can be steep (fifteen dollars) if you can not find street parking. This is the third time I’ve visited and I love how often they rotate out new exhibits in front of the museum and inside. There is usually an exhibit outside that children can play on. I love that these exhibits give children the opportunity to play and interact with the art while allowing kids to play outside instead of in front of a computer/tv screen.The High is currently displaying the Andy Warhol exhibit until September 3rd! Overall most of Mr. Warhol’s pieces are the typical pop art colorful pieces you would expect, there was one room that shocked my friend and had some more explicit photographs. I personally did not know he screen printed photos of cats and shoes.
When I think Andy Warhol, Campbell’s soup cans, the Campbell’s dress and Marilyn Monroe screen print pop art comes to mind. So this was fun and educational for me as well.
This is one of the interesting views on the Skywalk inside!
I had to get a close up of this statement necklace to show you all. It’s from Forever 21 about six months back and I love the mixture of turquoise and silver. I thought it would go well with a white dress. I know I don’t have any red, but my nails should count!
After we left I had to take some fabulous pictures in front of this beautiful ivy.
I hope today is spent with the people you love, sharing laughter and enjoying good food!
SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) is one of my favorite places in Atlanta to visit. The view of the Atlanta skyline from SCAD is breathtaking. Since it is an arts college they always have interesting exhibits coming through every three months. There are also interesting creative spaces to look at or play on. When I saw they had a shoe exhibit I knew I must go! As a self-proclaimed shoe lover, this is a dream come true! The exhibition is called Shoes: Pleasure and Pain.Sadly you were only allowed to take pictures of this awesome neon sign. However, I can say the exhibit is broken up into five sections. The first one called Transformation. It refers to various stories about footwear. The next is called Status. This one literally has you peeking in on over 100 pairs of shoes from different time periods and countries. The exhibit has many whimsical touches, but I won’t spoil the surprise for you! It was fun to pick out your favorites or try to guess which designer made them. Then there was the Seduction section. Followed by Obsession, which had the word obsession scattered all over like graffiti. The last category was Creation. I enjoyed seeing the steps it takes to make a simple pair of shoes. My favorite part was learning how shoes have been used not just for function, but for status. It’s always interesting to learn what is considered beautiful to each culture.
Free People has been one of my favorite stores since high school. I love the eclectic bohemian vibe of each store. It’s fascinating to see the different ways they can use yarn, paper clips, and firefly string lights to decorate the store. I even remember seeing a mirrored mosaic tile heart-shaped collage on the wall of one store. Then there is the beautifully embellished, lace and embroidered clothing. Can it be expensive? Yes, however, their sales rack is awesome! You can also find some of the decor they use in the store in a bin on sale (like 20 feet of firefly string lights for five dollars). This wine colored lace dress came in about seven other colors (lavender, black, mint and red for starters). Once it comes back in stock I will be sure to add a link!
When it comes to Miami most people only think about South Beach. Collins Ave is a beautiful art deco dream, full of beach views and a lavish nightlife. Wynwood is her cool eclectic urban little sister. What began as a desolate warehouse district riddled with crime became:
First Fridays! The first Friday night of every month the art galleries are open (for free to the public) to come explore the different exhibitions. Many of the galleries also hand out free champagne! There are food trucks Ms. Cheezious, Monster Burgers just to name a few. People of all ages come out to look at the different wall murals, eat, buy artisan candles, clothing and listen to the live DJs.
Second Saturdays are the same as First Fridays! Usually starts at 6:00pm and starts to end around 10:00pm. If you want to stay and check out the local bars and restaurants you can! I recommend going on First Fridays and Second Saturdays first since there are a ton of people, culture, and art to see. Then the next time you go you will be more familiar with the area.
Keep your eyes open for all the fun colorful wall murals. Every corner you turn has a different mural. Some are colorful graffiti, some have modern lines, some are psychedelic, others anime, and pop art. There is something for everyone. You can spend hours just talking about the different murals you like.
Go during the day if you can so you can see the different murals and even grab brunch at a coffee shop. (Love Miam Cafe! They have a great tuna salad sandwiched and iced Matcha Latte. It is in the black and white striped building).
Bars. There are many urban bars in Wynwood. Wood Tavern is one bar that always has a line unless you come early. They play a good mixture of hip-hop, 80’s and reggaeton music. Unlike South beach where you have to pay to sit down, this bar has high-rise style benched seating as well as a few separate sections of benches. The flooring is made of wood so I would not suggest heels. Sneakers, sandals or wedges are your best bet. There are tons of bumper stickers covering multiple walls and the drinks are pretty cheap.
Food. Wynwood Diner isn’t your typical dinner. When you step inside it has a cozy industrial bohemian vibe. There is a long farmhouse style table that multiple groups of two or more sit at (or you can wait for your own table). I like the farmhouse style option because it forces strangers to talk to one another. You never know they could recommend you a great restaurant or entree. The outdoor area feels like your inside a courtyard garden. Make sure to look up at the ceiling inside since there is tons of lush plant life! The Chicken & Waffles is delicious as was the avocado salad with a side of brussel sprouts. Coyo Tacos has a variety of tacos including vegetarian and vegan options! Their side of guac is pretty big so I would recommend sharing it. They also have their own margarita and it is delicious!
Try to carpool. The parking for Wynwood is usually on side streets or in a lot with prices ranging from ten to twenty bucks. My friends and I would each just bring five bucks and make sure there were at least three of us in a car.
Do be aware of your surroundings. Just like any city, there are good and bad people. Wynwood is a lot of fun and there is usually a good amount of police presence, however, there are sometimes some people who do not seem completely there mentally. While I have never had an incident we have all seen a beggar by the highway speaking to the air.
Have fun! Miami is a melting pot and Wynwood is the perfect representation of that. The wealthy, middle class, young, old, young professional, and college kids all laughing and exploring this area.