2018, notes

i’m the queen of france

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hey there good lookin’

You may be saying to yourself, “wow! it has been some time! does she own a calendar? watch? any outlet for time and organization? who is she?” and you would be correct, my friends. It has been some time.

These last eight weeks I’ve been manifesting in the French Riviera: laying on the beach, drinking very cheap rosé and eating expensive ravioli that I simply do not have the funds for (hence the cheap wine: it’s called balance). This lifestyle has been so hard to become accustomed to (she makes jokes too!).

On a real note, I’ve been studying abroad in Cannes, France for the past two months, and between classes, beach trips, weekend excursions, and being on island time pretty much all the time, I’d like to believe that I’ve grown a lot as a person. These experiences, people, conversations and occasional late night crêpe runs have vastly changed my perspective on a lot. Here’s where I cut myself off because I’m not trying to be the basic girl who goes to study abroad for one summer and thinks that she’s suddenly Ghandi. I know I’m not an intellectual now.

All in all, I’m thankful for this experience.

Now that you know a bit about my hiatus, thanks for still stickin’ around,

RR

GB

 

 

 

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2018, notes

slowest reader award

About a year ago after finishing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s honest yet loving novel, “Americanah,” I was on a mission to find a like-minded author whose work could illustrate a part of America that I was keen on better understanding: immigration. I found said-detail in Imbolo Mbue’s “Behold The Dreamers,” which takes place in early the 2000s and New York City.

A disclaimer that I find necessary to add, before I state my opinion and summary of the book, is that with this novel I found a problem that too often I put it down, sometimes for weeks or months at a time. Although I was heavily interested in the story, I neglected to afford the time for it. Alas, a year has gone by, and today I finished it. I felt like that was important to admit. Now you’re up to speed.

The story takes you through the perspective of its two main characters, Jende and Neni, husband and wife, as they live through a chain of events. By doing so with each chapter, it creates a personal voice for the two. They are not just names that help keep the story organized, but rather they are people whom readers can recognize just by flow of verbiage. (I know that I may seem ramble-y when talking about this aspect of the novel, but throughout my reading career I’ve grown a specific liking to authors that use this device to their advantage. Emma Straub does a great job at personalizing her characters with this system, and Adichie used it as well in “Americanah.”)

Aside from an analysis on the quality of writing and character building, I also enjoyed it for its honest telling of a reality that many suffer as immigrants in our country. There is the classic representation of America being a symbol for freedom and opportunity, while also present is the harsh truth that the grass may just seem greener on the other side.

I cannot put to words the highlights of the story without doing it an injustice, plus it took me a scattered year of corner folding to finally complete it. All that I can say is my own opinion, which is that it truly enlightened me on a part of America I’ve never been involved with or even fully aware of its realities. It awakened the same spirit that was brought about from “Americanah.” And while I feel naïve and ignorant for my previous neglect of America’s insufficient immigration system, I also feel empowered to do what I can with this information and opportunity. With that being said, I trust that you’ll read it yourself, and maybe you’ll find a new understanding for the Dreamers as well.

Thanks for reading,

RR

GB

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2018, music

a band with red skates is my kind of band.

“Another music post, when will she stop?” No time soon I’m afraid to admit– not really though.

I first heard Kid Bloom last summer when I was in New York. I think I was surfing the related artists tabs of some low-key bands on Spotify when I came across this one.

Not sure if it was their title, Kid Bloom, or the fact that the cover photo of their album, A Different State of Mind, had a pair of glittery red skates that made me feel young at heart, but I became hooked to a few of their tracks that to this day have been made stationary to my playlist–a royalty I’ve only given to a few bands.

The story isn’t that long of how I became a fan, and honestly I’ve dragged it out too far at this point.

Where to begin? For one, I’m attracted to their sound for many reasons past the red skates. Their music is carried by the homogeneity of an 80s-like-tune that is fluid throughout the album as if each song was meant to be tied-at-the-hip with the next to avoid disturbing the cadence. The energy is contagious.

My Favorite Tracks Include:

Electric U– probably my proudest find in my music scavenger hunt career, is that a thing? probably not.

I Kissed a Girl, and She Kissed Me– really good bop if you ask me, just enough vocal with plenty of range for a dance party hit.

Hazy Miss Daisy– nothing screams ‘driving nowhere for no reason but to finish out a song’ like this one.

More Than Meets The Eye– unashamed of the amount of times bystander drivers have witnessed me dancing in my car to this one.

Parents House– newest release. I predict this will be my song of summer 2018. I know the race is starting early, but I’ve got a good feeling about this one.

Give them a chance, listen to some of the songs I mentioned or venture out and press shuffle! go crazy!

Here’s to summer music and feeling like I should go for the red skates.

Thanks for reading,

RR

GB

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2018, music

a solo concert: lorde

A couple days ago, I drove two hours from my college town to the concert of one of my favorite artists, Lorde. The catch is that I went completely on my own, by myself, solo–you get the point. I was terrified actually, but it ended up being one of my favorite experiences to date. I danced like a wild woman, screamed words that made mantras for me at age 15, and shed tears in the company of strangers. I feel selfish and maybe vain saying this, but I feel an incredible connection to her music. Her lyrics mean something, and her expression of emotions, heartbreak, and life is something I will forever be grateful for. Her music has put to words so many things that I have felt in the last year of life that I could barely even organize into thought. I hope to always feel a familiarity with what Ella puts out into the world because she does it so damn beautifully.

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homemade dynamite

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magnets

buzzcut season

400 lux

ribs

the Louvre

hard feelings

yellow flicker beat

writer in the dark

liability

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supercut

royals

perfect places

green light

loveless

precious metals

team

–rr

GB

 

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2018, style

how to: style your cast

Hey folks,

It’s been quite some time since I’ve chatted with you all, and I thought today’s topic would be a fun little number for all the clumsy people in the world.

About a month ago, I broke my wrist while roller blading. it was not cool of me. What ended up being a fun was getting a built-in accessory for seven weeks. Yeah, I’m talking about the cast.

*insert photo here*

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There she is, in all her glory. Sometimes my friends call me Lady Bird and I pretend I didn’t break my wrist to be just like her what.

I’m taking a walk down memory lane of all the fun times and stylings that have been made with this cast in hopes of helping everyone else who has a cast or plans on having a cast.

***disclaimer: if you do not follow these steps you will not be cool in the weeks of wearing your cast. Heck, you could be stuck in that thing for months so do yourself a favor and follow my simple guide to being cool with a cast.

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cool girl who fell off her skateboard 

This outfit was inspired by the sling I had to wear with the initial stint that the doctor gave me. I went for a monochromatic look to balance the harshness of my injury. Later when I got my cast, it worked nicely as a pop of color and I felt more comforatble adding edgier pieces like a leather jacket, black platform sneakers, and dark-washed flare jeans. It’s a great look for dinners with friends or even a date.

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cool girl who fell off her horse

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This look was for a denim party that I went to, and, as you can see, I’m sporting flare jeans, a blue-patterned-button down, and a personalized denim jacket. I almost wore the beret with this one, and I’ll insert a quick pic where you can see option B, but I ended up ditching the hat before the party. I think this is a good look for appearing as though you tried when in reality you didn’t.

 

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cool girl who is going to a middle school dance.

This look was inspired by the fact that i have formals and places to be that require I clean up a bit. I find this to be a cute, sophisticated pairing of the pink cast and the blush-toned flirty dress. I also styled a gold chain with it because it’s a nice juxtaposition from the good girl appearance that the dress puts off. It’s great for a date night, wedding crashing, or just treating yourself to a nice Red Lobster dinner: really any fancy event you can think of.

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This look is good for concerts. I wore it with flare jeans, but it also looked cute with the white mini skirt. If you live in a cooler place than Arkansas, definitely go the extra mile and add that beret. Also, I’m so sorry mom. If you’re reading this, I survived.

Those are my outfit ideas for looking cool during the weeks of wearing a cast. These examples are pretty much catered to wrist injuries, but be sure to spice up all your looks even if you are stuck with a body cast.

–rr

GB

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2018, notes

what’s it like dating yourself in 2018? — a piece on self love.

Good evening friends!

Valentine’s day was yesterday, and I wanted to make a little spiel on self-love in the simplest ways. Here are some things that I think we all appreciate but don’t actually give credit to for making us happy.

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You want to go see that new movie with someone special? it’s called an over-sized sweatshirt and your four best friends. Lady Bird was so much better with your girls anyways.IMG_1493

Waking up and wanting to go get a bagel with someone so you go get that bagel, come home, get back in bed and turn on New Girl.

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Everyday is an anniversary– that leopard print coat you wanted? it’s yours. Most online stores don’t even up-charge for gift wrapping, and that means you buy all those things you’ve saved on your wish list, ship ’em as a gift, and happy anniversary to you. “oh I shouldn’t have!”

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Concerts are so much better when you’re not trying to vibe with the music while feeling conflicted as to whether or not nodding your head looks like you don’t know every word of each song. Now, you can get your freak on and whip out all your middle school dance moves because chances are you’re wearing comfortable sneakers and didn’t even do your hair for the night.

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Going to sleep at a reasonable hour not wondering where your goodnight text is because your dad already texted you two hours ago.

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You feel empowered to never be tethered to someone because it’s 2018 and Oprah’s Golden Globe’s speech is still the background on your phone.

Sorry if this was stupid or cheesy, but I think that self-love is pretty underrated, and being aware that you shouldn’t define yourself by your relationship status needs to be the goal of 2018.

Let’s celebrate ourselves!

–RR

GB

 

 

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