8 Reasons to Visit New Orleans

Naw ‘leans as the Southerns 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

  1. 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 resturant 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!    NOLA-A-jazz-band-on-Bourbon-Street-GrindTV.com_-768x512

Try the po’ boys. There are shrimp, crawfish, catfish and fried claim 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.

 

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The gorgeous painting my friend bought with reclaimed wood from the Katrina houses.
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The painting I bought to add to my collection.

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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.

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Photo Credit to Progrss.com

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.fullsizeoutput_c

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.

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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 over priced compared to others. So visit multiple boutiques before purchasing. You could save some bucks.

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The stunning ceilings in the Hotel Monteleone

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!

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It was fascinating to step back in time and see the time and craftsmanship that went into these tombs. I did not smile in this photo since I did not feel it would be respectful to those who have been laid to rest here.

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.

 

Blvgari and Lavender for Spring

Hello beautiful people!

I am so sorry I have been away from you for so long. If you follow me on Instagram you probably noticed I have been to New Orleans and London in my time away from you. I plan on doing an upcoming review on those two fabulous cities  and a post on how to take a great headshot! I talked to a casting agent about the ins and outs of headshots and what casting agents see when they look at certain ones. I am going to try and post twice a week so bare with me. Tuesday and Thursday are going to be my new posting days. Without further ado let’s get into get into one of my favorite spring colors and gorgeous souvenir from London!

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When I think of spring colors mint, fuchsia and lavender always come to mind. This lavender shift dress is from Francesca’s!  (If you are interested in checking it out you can click the highlighted Francesca’s affiliate link). Usually, I would not find this shape flattering for my body type. Shift dresses normally make my chest look even larger and create a maternity mumu affect. I loved the color so much I decided to ignore my anti shift dress prejudice and try it on. Luckily the scalloping key hole and racer back combination made this dress incredibly flattering! Racerback tops and keyholes are always more flattering when you have a large chest. People think you should wear a high neck, but I always disagree V-necks and keyholes are always more flattering than a crew neck top.

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I was in London earlier this month the weather was a little chiller than their typical April, but I really wanted to wear this dress. So I put black tights underneath, my black ankle boots and my friends black motorcycle jacket to make this look a little edger. Sadly I did not take a picture that day, because of all the rain and time we spent laughing/catching up on one another lives. Luckily the weather was lovely in Atlanta so I got to take these photos!

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I’m not usually one to spend a ton on sunglasses, but I fell in love with these while in London and got them at a discount plus VAT so I HAD to do it. I am now the proud owner of these cat eye Bvlgari Serpenti sunglasses. I circled the Sunglass store about ten times and kept coming back to these light rose gold mirrored sunglasses. The thing I love about Bvgari is their attention to detail. The pinkish purple around the frame and the white that mirrors the appearance of a snake is stunning in person. I’ve worn these sunglasses so much in the last two weeks and every time people stop me to tell me how gorgeous they are and I have to agree. I have not seen anything similar and I love that it is a modern take on the cat eye.

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Here is a close up of these Keri_Elaine_Bvlgari1

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White snake detail on the bridge of these Bvlgari sunglasses.

I have missed you all and cannot wait to catch up with you! What colors come to your mind when you think of spring?

Valentine’s Day

First and foremost Happy Valentine’s Day darlings! I think Valentine’s Day is a beautiful reminder to appreciate the ones you love. Even if that means just calling them to say two things you love about them.

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I picked up this fabulous off the shoulder side tie red dress from Abercrombie and Fitch.  Which is on sale btw! This looks completely different than the Abercrombie and Fitch I worked at eight years ago, so shout out to their new buyer this linen dress is so beautiful!

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I recently finished reading a book called The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo and it made me rethink my perspective on love. At one point in life I thought love was very black and white. Now I know there are tons of gray areas with love. Times where you are so drawn to someone that it is entirely magnetic and other times when you just get butterflies. Then just complete admiration for another person. You can read some of the reviews here to get a good summary. By nature I am a complete hopeless romantic. I love nothing more than great conversation, when a guy plans out a unique date and remembers the little things I even forgot I said. This always shocks my friends, because I’m often single and dating longer than I am in a relationship. I’ll be honest with you all, it’s because I have been afraid of commitment. Why? When I am in a relationship I am one hundred percent invested in my person. I use every spare minute I have to do what my guy wants, shop for the perfect birthday gift for him, plan a party, hangout with his friends and sometimes his family. The thing is in the past this has not been reciprocated. My ex’s have often been insecure due to rumors their “friends” made up, comments about me being out of their league or allowed their families to dictate who they can date and make racist remarks to me. The only thing I wanted was quality time with my man, who loves and trust me unconditionally and would stick up for me with his family/friends.

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This past year I have taken the time to completely fall head over heels in love with myself. I have planned trips, taken acting classes, laughed with old friends over lunch, gone to viewing parties for my fellow actors, had drinks with some interesting people and honestly loved every minute of it. Ironically I had a four hour conversation with a stranger about love, life and marketing. Our conversation basically reminded me that through everything, I still completely believe in love. The kind that is patient, magnetic, passionate, selfless and comes when you are completely happy with where you are in life.

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This year my Valentine is my fur baby who loves me unconditionally and I am completely fine with that! Do you think there are different types of love?

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Golden Globes and Why it is Necessary to Wear Black Now

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Photo credit Vanity Fair

The 75th Golden Globe’s was a complete blackout. Usually the red carpet is full of vibrant colorful dress, suits and accessories. This year MOST celebrities showed up wearing all black. I have never been so proud to see this industry unite with Time Magazine for the Times Up initiative. A few celebrities opted to bring sexual assault activist as their dates. Why now, you might ask? Why now are all these people coming forward about sexual assault after being silent for so long? Why is Hollywood speaking up now and listening to activist? The climate we are living now. I’ve had this debate with a family friends dads who know I am actively working to be apart of the film and television industry. I pointed out to them that women have been harassed forever, but we often do not come forward because we are belittle and slut shammed. What were you wearing? Are you sure you didn’t want the attention? Did you drink? How much were drinking? Why were you alone? Well did you lead him on? Are you sure you didn’t want it? Well were you a virgin? How many partners have you had? Well what did you think was going to happen?

None of these questions justify the perpetrator’s behavior. No one has the right to touch you or make a sexual advance to you without your permission. I believe the reason why TimesUp has become a huge movement in Hollywood now, is because of our current president. To have an political election where one candidate is over-qualified for the position, has decades of experience as a politician and public servant, consistently answers all question about what they would do if elected. The other candidate belittles reporters with disabilities, ignores questions, does not submitted their taxes, does not resign from their companies, has been accused of sexual assault, is currently being sued for sexual assault and harassment by multiple women. Then, is quoted saying, “grab ‘em by the pussy” wins over the over-qualified female candidate. This tells women they are not equal, they are not important and they do not have control over their own bodies. Add the lack of equal pay and well you’ve completely handicapped an entire sex.

The 75th Golden Globes has been the most powerful, because they did not try to sweep the uncomfortable elephants in the room under the rug. Jokes were made using Harry Weinstein and Kevin Spacey names, calling them out for their crimes. Natalie Portman also pointed out that in the director category only men were nominated (even though there have been many great female directed films and tv shows this year). Debra Messing called out E! for lack of equality – in reference to paying Jason significantly more than Catt Sadler. Oprah accepted the Cecil B DeMille Award and gave the most eloquent speech since Obama was in office. My hope is that this momentum will continue and all work places will promote a safe, respectful, equal pay environment we all are owed. I can not wait for the day women and men do not have to say #metoo Did you watch the Golden Globes? If so do you think the blackout showed unity or just a fashion statement?

26th Birthday and the Atlanta Botanical Garden!

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 sometime to eat healthy, 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.

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Right before I took this photo my hair clip fell in the fountain and my friend stuck her arm in to retrieve it. 

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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 starting 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.

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What you can’t fully see is the beautiful chandelier hanging in this Orchid Garden!

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.

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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!

Four Trends for Fall in Collaboration with High Style Life

Today I have a fabulous guest blogger post! I would like to introduce to you all to Sam from the High Style Life! Her site often features contributor articles about  travel, beauty, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment. Without further ado:

Untitled12Fall is almost around the corner, and if you want to know what’s hot and what’s not in terms of fashion trends – just make sure to stay with us and keep on reading. Here are top four trends you’ll love to rock this season!

 

Trouser suits on point

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It seems that celebrities from all over the globe can’t get enough of this two-piece trend lately, and there are definitely great reasons for that! Trouser suits are extremely versatile (even though they don’t seem so at first sight), simply because they come in so many colors, patterns, and shapes. From monochromatic to sequined pieces, from wide-legged to skinny ones – all of these styles will be more than welcome because this trend will be gaining momentum this fall. Famous ladies like Zendaya, Rihanna, Emma Stone, Suki Waterhouse, Hillary Clinton, and Susan Sarandon love rocking trouser suits, and we can’t blame them for that. These are figure-flattering pieces that will accentuate your attributes in the best possible way, so make sure not to skip them under any circumstances this season!

 

Folklore and craftsmanship as the ultimate fashion trend

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Folklore fashion and fine craftsmanship have always been linked to boho chic, and if you want to be a real boho babe this fall – be sure to get some heavily embellished items and trendy pieces that feature some ditsy prints. Obsession with folklore is still going strong this season, and designers like Gucci and Dolce and Gabbana incorporated a variety of textiles, techniques, and traditional embroideries from a range of different countries into their latest collections. This trend was massive this summer, when ladies were more than glad to get fabulous resort wear for their summer vacations like colorful playsuits from Australia. These were pieces that featured a cool clash of colors and prints that stunned everyone around. Such items can be worn even during the fall – just make sure to layer up and tone down your overall combo by picking just one statement piece!

Don’t be afraid to make a statement

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Having your own opinion and being able to speak about it openly in public is not what many people are comfortable to do, and you know what? If you can’t do it like that, you can do it through your fashion choices! The trend of wearing some inspirational quotes and statements started this spring, with “We should all be feminists” T-shirts by Christian Dior. This is one of the best ways to express your thoughts, attitudes, and personal opinions without saying anything out loud. However, that doesn’t mean that your voice won’t be heard – on the contrary, you definitely won’t remain unnoticed and everyone will be able to see what you’re thinking about. So, if you live by the rule which says “Fries before guys”, don’t be afraid to show that to the world!

 

Futuristic designs on the rise

Untitled14Not many designers went intergalactic this season, but those who had the courage actually did a very good job, making this trend more than appropriate for fall. Karl Lagerfeld nailed it at Chanel, combining a classic tweed jacket with a quilted silver blanket that inevitably brings that out-of-this-world vibe. On the other hand, Saint Laurent covered everything in thousands of sparkling crystals, which may be your cup of tea if you’re into bling from head to toe. Michael Kors is quite into fabrics that look like liquid silver, and we have to agree that these seem really extraterrestrial but wearable at the same time. You certainly won’t make a mistake if you pick any of these pieces this fall!

Each of these four trends is more than popular among the fashionistas this fall for many great reasons, which is why people are massively embracing them. If you want to look trendy and stylish this season, just pick one of them you love most and you definitely won’t make a mistake!

 

All photos from Pixa Bay

Thank you so much to Sam for writing this post!

Step Up Magazine Collaboration

Step Up Magazine is an digital magazine, founded by Seri Roth. The motto of Step Up is “The magazine that inspires Doers, Thinkers and Givers”. Ms. Roth often features individuals who are philanthropic innovators and leaders. I absolutely love that she started a magazine with the purpose of making the world a better place. She is the founder of A Dollar Campaign, which is a non-profit charity that raises money to support research for pediatric cancer. This really touched me, since I usually try to participate in Cards for Hospitalized Kids in July and December. I know making homemade cards does not financially help, but sometimes a simple gesture of kindness can make all difference in the world.

When Ms. Roth approached me about putting together a woman boss outfit I was super excited! Then, I realized I could not select just one. So I put together three fun #womanboss outfits.

The first outfit I thought of was a neutral one, with a modern print. This can be worn by the girl who does not want her outfit to distract from her face. It can be worn when you have a speaking engagement and want to look chic. This is a star print jumpsuit with tan close toed heels. I also like that it has a slight cut out in the back.

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The second outfit I thought of was a jumpsuit that you can wear to meetings during the day that transitions to date at night. This royal blue jumpsuit has a side tie bow detail that is figure flattering. You can pair it with a lightly embellished pink cardigan and sparkly ballet flat. Or you could throw on a black blazer and black flats.

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The third outfit I thought of is for the woman who is not afraid to turn heads. This is an outfit you can wear if you want to leave an impression. Every time I wear this dress people tell me they love the color. Do not be afraid to mix a neon and a pastel. The pastel will tone down the brightness of a neon dress and you can play up some light embellishments on your cardigan instead of a necklace.

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Being a woman boss is all about confidence. When you choose an outfit think about looking for one that makes you feel beautiful, comfortable (no one likes itchy fabrics), and ready to take on the world.

Thank you to Step Up Magazine for collaborating with me on this post!

Blue Lace Monokini

Being a South Florida girl at heart I absolutely love swimming. Growing up I was always a fifteen minutes car ride from the beach. After my kindergarden best friends’ mom gave me swimming lessons I fell in love with being in water. My one requirement major requirement in finding someplace to live in Atlanta was find a complex with a pool (gym second). There is something so calming about the constant rocking of the water and the silence of being underwater.

Even though I have tons of bathing suits, I never found a monokini that I loved. I finally decided to go to Everything But Water to splurge on swimsuit that would give me more support than my favorite Target swimwear. I actually went in to try on a swimsuit from the Alessandra line, but let one of the fabulous sales associates pick out monokinis based off what would support my chest. She recommended about six suits I absolutely loved 3 of them. One of which I am still waiting to go sale! I’ll probably splurge on it a year from now hahaha, but I’ve had this one for three months and I love it. Unlike most suits that pill or show wear this one has not. I have laid it flat to dry and pressed the water out with a towel instead of hanging it or twisting it. So I highly recommend pressing the water out of your swimwear with a towel if you want it to last longer. Then, I decided to have a mini-photoshoot in my Becca by Rebecca Virtue High Neck One Piece.

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Note: I do have the Carli Bybel deluxe eyeshadow palette on and I swam in it underwater for 30 mins. It did not move, which is pretty impressive. My favorite Dior Black Out Mascara on the other hand did not survive!

Independence Day and the High Museum of Art

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 fathers foot steps!

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One of many breathtaking pieces

I decided to check out the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. If you are a Bank of America card holder, on the first weekend of every month you get free admission for 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. kerielaine_highmuseum8kerielaine_highmuseum5

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That is the question

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.

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How interesting are these Aluminum covered walls, there were tons of graffiti everywhere!
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R.I.P. to the inspiring Muhammad Ali

This is one of the interesting views on the Skywalk inside!
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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 on any red, but my nails should count!

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After we left I had to take some fabulous pictures in front of this beautiful ivy.
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I hope today is spent with the people you love, sharing laughter and enjoying good food!

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain

SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) is one of the 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.

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This is the side of the community of refurbished train containers they have in one designated creative space.
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The stunning photo mural in the bathroom at SCAD

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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.