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The Four Movies That (more or less) Define Me

A comprehensive (okay not really that would be like 100 movies) list of the movies that aren’t necessarily block-busters or five-star reviewed but have a VERY special place in my heart. 

Bachelorette 

General Plot A group of high school friends reunite for the Bachelorette party of one of their other friends from high school. (but one they high key bullied) 

Okay, honestly, most people I *force* to watch this movie aren’t as enamored by it as I clearly am. It’s very raunchy and super cliche. But this movie feels so raw to me. The characters aren’t “nice” or “good” people. In fact, they’re straight up bee-otches. Like they’re mean. But they are REAL. Their problems aren’t superficial. They’re dark and grimy and uncomfortable. They are trying to survive in the world and doing their best to fuck up the least amount of times as possible. This movie also gets better with rewatches. It is so much more nuanced than meets the eye. It was actually adapted from a stage play and I would absolutely LOVE to see the stage version. It makes total sense! All the characters are very stage-y if ya know what I mean. If anyone else loves this movie give me a shout!

Where to Watch: So, unfortunately this movie was taken off of Netflix. I used to rent it on Amazon Prime Video whenever I had the urge to watch it but unfortunately it was removed from there as well. I have looked high and low and am completely unable to find it anywhere besides DVD (or illegal online streaming if you know how to do that) Normally, I wouldn’t even included the movie on my list if you’re not able to access it but it’s so good and means to much to me that I just had to. 

The Parent Trap 

General Plot- A pair of twins separated at birth meet and hatch a plan to switch lives and reunite their parents. 

This movie is pure nostalgia for me. I was obsessed with it as a kid. Whenever it came on Disney Channel during that glorious 8 p.m. time slot I dropped everything to watch it. I remember distinctly thinking the movie was amazing as a kid because it seemed never ending. (the perfect movie for an eight year old who loved to escape into stories) Just when you thought the plot was wrapping up the camping trip gets started giving you a whole new half hour of adventure. Also, the soundtrack of this movie is amazing and is truly the soundtrack to my childhood. 

Where to Watch: Disney+ 

Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed 

General Plot- The all grown up Scooby gang faces off against all of their old foes.

 I feel like a good theme of comedies for me is superrr weirddddd. This is technically a children’s movie and I also watched this one a TON growing up. It is also technically considered a sequel but you totally don’t need to see the first one to enjoy the plot. The two are more like sister movies. Same actors play the gang but the stories reside completely separate from each other. This movie is plain ridiculous and I love it so much. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s super funny and has plenty of adult humor too. Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar star as Fred and Daphne which I still think is the cutest thing ever. Also, my total crush on Linda Cardellini started with this movie. I remember when she showed up in the Avengers movies as *spoiler alert* Hawkeyes’s wife I nearly took out my friend’s arm in the theater trying to tell her that that was Velma from the Scooby Doo movies. Of course, Linda is totally more well known for her roles in Dead to Me and The Green Book but she will always be Velma in my heart. 

Where to Watch: HBO MAX 

The Judge

General Plot: After the death of his mother, big city attorney Hank Palmer returns home to small town Indiana where he must learn to live with his ailing older father. 

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Robert DuVall Vera Farmiga

This movie contains lots of overused tropes. The ‘coming home to a small town trope, the small town court drama trope, the difficult father son relationship trope. But damn does this movie execute those tropes well. I saw this movie in theatres with my mom in my peak ‘getting into movies phase’ and I remember leaving the movie theater in awe. Robert Downey Jr. is brilliant as Hank and makes old tropes feel fresh and raw.

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The YouTubers I’ve Been Been Binging During Quarantine

I have always been a big YouTube watcher but during quarantine my watch time has grown exponentially. Here are a few of the creators I’m loving right now.

IntheFROW

Victoria Magrath is a great watch for people who love high-end fashion vloggers. (Her brand name is a play on “in the front row”) Despite being a designer fashion guru she is extremely down to earth and aware that her job allows her a lifestyle that most can only dream of.

Bottom Line: Great watch for when you want to feel boujee and dream a little.

Amelia Liana

On the same wavelength as Inthefrow, Amelia is another high-end fashion/beauty YouTuber. I’ve been bingeing her content lately and really relate to the fact that she is weathering quarantine in her apartment by herself.

Bottom Line: Nice long vlogs that feel like chatting with a girlfriend

Estée Lalonde


I have been watching Estée’s videos for years and have always loved her down-to-earth personality and minimal makeup look. If you are into skincare she is a great watch because she tries out tons of different products and is constantly reviewing them.

Bottom Line: Great relaxing and fun watch. More minimalist makeup and fashion look than the typical YouTuber.

Ingrid Nilsen

Ingrid is another YouTuber I’ve been watching for years and honestly one of my absolute faves. Since coming out as gay in 2015 she has expanded her videos repertoire to include not only beauty and fashion but also informative and helpful videos on topics such as feminism and sustainability.

Bottom Line: I can’t speak highly enough about Ingrid’s channel. Such amazing content. I always feel at home watching her videos.

Carrie Rad

Carrie’s channel is a nice relaxing place to go when you want a little more than just beauty tips. I’m a big fan of her gardening and planting content.

Bottom Line: Nice relaxed vibe for the viewer who wants more lifestyle videos

Kathleen Lights

I’m sad to say but I was extremely late to the Kathleen Lights party. I only discovered her during quarantine but let me tell you I am OBSESSED. As a Latina myself I love how that aspect of her comes into every video and how much loves she has for Miami and the culture there.

Bottom Line: Great watch for makeup lovers. She also adds a fun personality to all her videos.

Lisa Eldridge

To say I love Lisa Eldridge would be such an understatement. She is a professional makeup artist and uses her channel to teach viewers makeup tips and tricks. She never does any sponsored videos and donates the proceeds from her channel to charity every year. I have learned so much from her channel over the years and consider her like my “YouTube makeup mom.”

Bottom Line: Great channel for people wanting to learn more about makeup application and how to achieve certain looks.

THE BAD ASS SERIES

MARISSA FARONI – POET

This is the first in a series highlighting badass people doing amazing and interesting things. This interview has been edited slightly for clarity and length.

Marissa Faroni, 22 is a published poet whose works focuses primarily on mental health. Her work can be found online at Sortes magazine as well as on Instagram and Twitter @marissa4oni.

fandoms/fashion/feminism: You write a lot of poetry that focuses on mental health. Is this a conscious choice? Do you set out to write about it or does it just happen that way?

“I feel like a lot of my writing process and how most of my poems get started is when I’m having an anxiety attack or when I’m having little manic episodes. (Faroni is bipolar) So, what happens is I will start writing what’s going on down and I just keep writing until I feel like I’m in a better place. It’s a good tool for me to help myself feel better and kind of ground myself and then afterwards I will go through all the stuff I’ve written down and it’s either complete nonsense or I’m like ‘oh, I could turn this into a poem.’ So, sometimes it’s intentional but a lot of the time it’s just because that’s the stuff I like to write about. “

f/f/f: How long do you have to take before you can come back to it and look at it again?

“Sometimes it’s inspirational and it helps me get started but other times it’s in my notes app on my phone for like a week and then I go back to it and think ‘oh I can do something with that.'”

f/f/f: I feel as though there’s been this long expressed narrative that “true” creatives create out a really dark place. Do you buy that? Does all great art need to come from a place of pain?

“It’s funny you bring that up because after my reading on Friday my parents were watching it and they have never really read any of my poetry and honestly I was skeptical. They were really excited and I was like ‘I wonder if they actually read all of it’ because I did talk about them briefly in one poem and so I was like I wonder what they’re gonna say. I didn’t even realize it but it was very honest and kind of personal. And then after the reading, I watched separately from them, and I came out of my room and asked them what they thought and I was like ‘that one girls piece was so dark.’ And they were like ‘Marissa your poems weren’t exactly light-hearted.’ And I was like ‘ohhhh’ and I kind of forgot that they were like dark because they are ones that I have just read so many times. I feel like once I have a poem that’s pretty much done I kind of forget that it is kind of about dark material some of the times. “

f/f/f: I feel like that’s very similar to musical artists who talk about writing something but once they put it out into the world it ceases to become theirs and they don’t attach it to the initial pain that it once caused them. But then the song affects other people with that emotion they first wrote it with.

“There’s none that I read at the reading (Faroni recently participated in a poetry reading with but I do have a couple love poems and I was thinking how one day it will be weird re-reading these poems that I wrote about a certain person. I hope it’s not weird for me. And then I read them over and I kind of just forgot about what they where written for like what I was feeling at the time because it just becomes it’s own work.”

f/f/f: I feel like a lot of the time whether it’s in movies or tv shows or just general life the creative process is romanticized. It’s not sitting down at a gorgeous mahogany desk and writing. Ideas come at the wrong time or when you least expect it. Do you have a “creative process?”

“That’s really interesting. I know cause there are a lot of time where I’m like ‘okay let’s like sit down and write.’ And I sit down and I just can’t. Nothings coming and it’s not natural and sometimes I try to force myself to do it and I’m like ‘nah this isn’t happening’ and I stop. But I do think it comes more randomly which is really inconvenient. I do have one note [on her phone] where when I’m out and about I’ll think of a phrase or something and I write it down. Or what I have been doing is my teachers told me one time that you can kind of just like steal what other people say. So, if I’m with someone and they say a cool sentence I’m like ‘ooh let me write that down’ and I write it down. I definitely think my better writing is when I come across it randomly. “

f/f/f: With the advent of books like Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur there’s been a conversation lately about the commercialization of poetry for the masses. Is mainstream poetry hurting other poets? Does good poetry need to come from academia?

“Ughhh *laughs* “I really like poetry and I’ve always thought of it as something fun that I can do. Well maybe not always fun but it is definitely an outlet for me. And when it comes down to it it is a hobby for me. And one thing about the poetry community is that people are just so mean sometimes. Writers and academia as a whole they think they’re really better than everyone else and I’m like, just let people express themselves. People have cool ideas and they want to put themselves out there and we should be happy for people for wanting to express themselves.

Milk and Honey I think that one specifically gets a ton of hate. And honestly I don’t really like it personally but I’m just like ‘let this girl live.’ She’s just trying to have fun and write a book and it went really well for her. And I think people are honestly just jealous of things like that. It comes off to me like people of jealous that her work got so popular and people are upset that she didn’t have a ‘traditional background.'”

f/f/f/: Yes, and she’s very young as well. I think she’s our age. (Kaur is 28 Faroni and interviewer at 23 and 24 respectively)

“The thing is it’s hard to get published in the writing world. I don’t even know how I got published! It is heard to get your poems in a bigger poetry magazine or The New Yorker if you don’t have some kind of background or an editor that is helping you. So, when things go viral online it’s a completely different community. They’re very separate communities. And it’s kind of an age thing because people are getting popular with stuff online and even Tumblr accounts. And these are younger writers who are writing these things and they’re really good and we should be reading them for what they are. They’re not the same kind of work. People are mean and kudos to Rupi Kaur. You can not like something or you can not respect it. We should be encouraging more people to try and not tear them down and let them be successful. “

f/f/f: This is fandoms/fashion/feminism. So I need to end this interview by asking the essential questions. What’s your favorite fandom that you are a part of? What is your favorite item in your closet? What does feminism mean to you?

“Im going to go off the fandoms that show up on my TikTok *laughs*. I love Harry Styles. I could go on and on. I love his music. I also love him as a person. One thing I really admire about him is that he’s very authentically himself and it comes across in the outfits he wears and what he stands for. He stands for treating people with kindness and that’s such a great little tagline. He breaks a lot of gender norms with his outfits and stuff and his boa at the Grammy’s oh my god. I love him.

I always go back to my two piece orange pantsuit. That’s a favorite definitely.

Feminism to me is building each other up. Helping people who don’t necessarily have a voice. It should be an inclusive movement. And also a big part of feminism for me is educating other people. A lot of people just don’t know what they’re doing is wrong. If someone genuinely doesn’t understand what’s wrong then we should be using that as a teaching moment instead of hating on them.”

Roswell New Mexico is Severely Underrated

I almost titled this article ‘the most underrated show ever’ but that seemed a tad bit dramatic. I started watching this show because I saw it blowing up on Tumblr and was intrigued. It’s definitely campy but for a CW show it kept me super engaged.

Before I begin let me also just say that I never watched the original Roswell that aired in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I watched Roswell New Mexico completely blind and with no expectations from having seen the original.

The general plot of the show follows a small town in New Mexico called Roswell that is famed for it’s connection to the alien. The show centers around three aliens that grew up in the town dealing with their powers, trying to figure out their past and navigating relationships.

I’m going to try to keep this article as spoiler free as possible and anything written about will be things you could surmise from the trailer of the show.

Am I The Only Who Thinks That Telekinesis is the Coolest Superpower?

No, like seriously? One of the characters on the show, Michael is telekinetic and it’s just such a useful and underrated power. I just feel like not enough superheroes are telekinetic but the ones that are BAD ASS.

A CW Show That Doesn’t Have 24 Episodes a Season *GASP*

I absolutely hate the normal 24 episode season. It’s too damn long. Not to mention when shows started doing half season finales it irked me beyond measure. Thirteen to fourteen episodes is perfect for plot pacing. Roswell New Mexico keeps their seasons to about 13 episodes and nothing feels drawn out.

Another thing I loved about the pacing of this show is that after the first season the plot didn’t feel forced. So many times shows have a great planned out idea of their show but for only one season. So when they get picked up for more seasons the plot just doesn’t feel as important as it did that first season. Roswell New Mexico has never felt like the writers are stretching for ideas.

MICHAEL TREVINO

Roswell. New Mexico — Image Number: ROS1_Kyle_0045rb2.jpg — Pictured: Michael Trevino as Kyle Valenti — Photo: Marc Hom/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Anyone who watched The Vampire Diaries knows this actor from his time playing the werewolf/vampire hybrid Tyler Lockwood on the hit show. On this show, he plays doctor Kyle Valenti, a character trying to redeem himself from his high school identity as a bully. Trevino plays the Valenti really well and he ain’t bad to look at either.

THE MAIN COUPLE IS SUPER ANNOYING BUT THE SECONDARY CHARACTERS ARE WORTH WATCHING

When was their ever not a super cringey main couple that the writers forced down your throat. You know the one, the type where you’re supposed to fall for their back story in only one episode even though they’re both just annoying. The type where every scene with them just feels flat.

Roswell New Mexico definitely has that couple but it’s worth it to stick around for both the intriguing alien plot line and the amazing secondary characters. The actors who play them are amazing and their storylines are ten times more interesting.

Great Books to Read if You’re a Pop Culture Fanatic

As a big fan of anything and everything pop culture related it’s no surprise that so many of the books that I read are pop culture related. Over the years, I’ve read so many great books and wanted to catalogue my faves that I think others would also like here.

Born a Crime; Stories from a South African Childhood – Trevor Noah

This is truly one of the best books I have ever read and I recommend everyone read it. Noah’s storytelling ability is unparalleled. In one single page he could have me laughing out loud and then crying. And it’s important to note that you don’t have to be a fan of his to enjoy his universal story of feeling like an outsider. Even better, Noah is helping to produce a feature film based on his book starring Lupita Nyong’o.

Pros: This book will quickly become one of your favorites.

Cons: Beware reading this book in public because you’ll be holding in your tears.

The Geek Feminist Revolution – Kameron Hurley

This is a great book for anyone into sci-fi and fantasy or anyone interested about the portrayal of women in nerdy shite. I had never heard of this author before reading this book but was blown away that someone had written a whole book about something I am so passionate about. The book is actually a collection of essays so it’s great for people who want to read something that feels personal.

Pros: great read for the ultimate nerds.

Cons: Can be a bit dense at times.

The Princess Diarist– Carrie Fisher

For the true Star War’s nerd! This memoir details all the juicy drama and funny stories from the set of the original Star War’s trilogy. Fisher’s ability to make it feel like she’s your best friend is unparalleled and society is poorer for her loss.

Pros: a must read for any Star Wars or Carrie Fisher fan

Cons: this book is pretty much solely for the Star Wars nerds

Me– Elton John

This memoir came out right around the same time John’s acclaimed biopic RocketMan came out. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from this book but I absolutely loved it. It feels like John is gossiping to you for 300 pages and man is it juicy! (One of my favorite stories involves John going snowmobiling with Stevie Wonder) For someone who is constantly putting on a show it was great to peel back those layers and learn about the man.

Pros: Fun and light read

Cons: I wouldn’t read this if you’re not a fan of John’s

Bossypants – Tina Fey

This was probably the first book I ever read by a comedian and the first book I encountered that addressed sexism. It’s such an amazing read and there’s a reason it’s a bestseller. Fey’s book definitely ushered in the era of female comics getting big book deals and it’s a classic everyone should read.

Pros: learn more about Fey and the comedic world in hilarious stories

Cons: this book isn’t dated or anything but you might want to brush up on your 30 Rock knowledge

The Rural Diaries: Love, Livestock, and Big Life Lessons Down on Mischief Farm – Hilarie Burton Morgan

Hilarie Burton Morgan is best known for her role as Peyton Sawyer on One Tree Hill as well her turn on many a Lifetime movie. She is also married to Jeffrey Dean Morgan from Grey’s Anatomy and The Walking Dead fame. This book tells the story of how they ended up settling into Rhinebeck, New York away from the bright lights of L.A. Morgan weaves a beautiful love letter to a small town and her decision to step away from Hollywood.

Pros: nice, relaxing, easy read

Cons: it’s a great “beach read” and doesn’t make you think too hard so if you want a more substantive book this one is not for you

Let’s Talk WandaVision

Before I start lemme just say that this article WILL HAVE SPOILERS. Don’t read if you don’t want to ruin the show for yourself. That being said I couldn’t ignore the pop culture moment that is WandaVision and of course had to write my completely unneeded thoughts.

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL REPRESENTATION OF GRIEF

When I tell you I balled my eyes out when Vision said ‘what is grief if not love persevering’- like man that hit me. This show was layered in so many ways but it was so refreshing to see a piece of media about a superhero actually acknowledge the trauma they faced after the so called ‘final battle.’ And not in a ‘boys don’t cry’ and I’m a man and I just blow things up when I’m sad way. In a true heartbreaking way that’s selfish yet undeniably universal. In so many action movies trauma is portrayed almost positively. As a justification for destruction. In WandaVision grief is a catalyst for destruction but not a justification. Wanda hurt people and she knows many of them will always hate her. She has to live with that. Man, between Frozen 2 and WandaVision Disney is really throwing around those grief metaphors!

WALKED THE FINE LINE

What WandaVision did so well was that is didn’t make fun of the content of older sitcoms. It completely embodied it. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany threw themselves into the roles and refused to make them feel like a parody. Instead they made the “shows” feel genuine. Nowadays, when people try to emulate older T.V. shows they make their representation very parody like. (Like look what people actually found amusing and entertaining in the fifties!) They focus on the ridiculousness of the content. WandaVision reminded viewers what made these shows so fun and entertaining in the first place. In it’s purest form T.V. is escapism and WandaVision honored that. They whisked you away to a place where everything gets solved in 23 minutes and I loved it.

THE IMPORTANCE OF MEDIA

I was genuinely so happy that WandaVision touched on the importance of media and the arts in people’s lives. For Wanda, T.V. was a touchstone that she could always go back to. No matter what was happening in her life the sitcoms never changed. And it wasn’t just something she enjoyed as a child. The scene where she talks to Vision about Pietro and her grief while watching a sitcom was exceptionally poignant. She was alone for so long and sitcoms were her therapy and someone to connect to until she met Vision.

WEEK BY WEEK FORMAT

I’m obsessed with this photo and The Incredibles vibes it gives off.

How did y’all feel about the Disney+ weekly episode releases that they’ve now done for both WandaVision and The Mandalorian? I feel like it worked well for The Mandalorian but WandaVision seems so easily bingeable. Releasing 2-3 episodes at once would have been ideal for me.

THE 2021 Golden Globes Review

This year the Golden Globes were bi-coastal with Tina Fey co-hosting from New York and Amy Poehler co-hosting from Los Angeles. The small attendees at both locations were all healthcare workers while all the celebs Zoomed in from all over the world. The Globes were certainly different from any I’ve seen but after a year without red carpets and award shows it was nice to have a little bit of normalcy. This won’t be a list of who won (those are easily Googleable) but a catalog of the most important moments of the night.

THE QUEENS

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey need to host everything ever. These absolute queens were obviously spectacular and it honestly didn’t matter that they were on completely different coasts.

HFPA NEEDS TO DO BETTER

It is absolutely asinine that there are zero (that’s right zero!) black journalists in the HFPA (Hollywood Foreign Press Association the organization that nominates and chooses the winners of the awards) I was so happy my queens that Fey and Poehler called out and grilled the HFPA on this in their opening. But like really HFPA ?!

ELLE FANNING!

I audibly gasped when I saw Elle Fanning’s custom Gucci look. From her makeup to her gown she looked absolutely stunning. Elle is one of the most daring and fun individuals on the red carpet and this dress was no exception.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN

There was a bit in the middle of the show where young children were asked questions about the Golden Globes and the actors nominated. It was cute and the kids all gave funny answers. The bit ended though, with the kids all being asked who Chadwick Boseman was. And they all immediately said “Black Panther.” It was so pure and so beautiful and it brought unexpected tears to my eyes. It just reminded me of the importance of representation in media and was especially poignant at an awards show strikingly lacking in diversity.

Later in the night, Boseman won for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama and his wife accepted on his behalf. Her speech was beautiful and made tears stream down my face.

Jane Fonda Receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award

Jane Fonda is one of the biggest badasses in Hollywood. She has been in some of the most impactful movies over the last 50 years, redefined exercising at home and has been one of the most public actor-activists. Her Globes speech was absolutely amazing as was her gorgeous white pantsuit.

Reviewing Some of the Best Jane Austen Film Adaptations

As a lover of all things Jane Austen and the infinite adaptations made of her works I thought I would recap and review some of my favorites and include my favorite scene from each.

Becoming Jane (2007) starring Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy

So technically this is not an Austen adaptation but rather a biopic about Jane Austen and her supposed romance with Tom Lefroy. This movie was my first introduction into the world of Jane Austen. I loved this movie with my whole heart growing up which led me to pursue other movies and stories like it. I decided to rewatch the film for this post and found that it did not live up to the hyperbolized remembrance of it I had in my head. I do think a lot of this is because last year I read Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley. This biography was absolutely splendid and one of the most enjoyable books I’ve ever read. Because I had read it though the discrepancies between the biopic and Austen’s real life were glaring. Of course, this is bound to happen with most biopics but as far as Austen-esque films go it fell a couple notches.

Pros: top tier score, JAMES MCAVOY, GREAT dancing scene

Cons: not all that accurate, Anne Hathaways accent is cringe

Best Scene: This dancing scene where Tom and Jane finally realize their feelings for each other is *eye fucking* at it’s finest.

Pride and Prejudice (2005) starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfayden

This movie is the pinnacle of the recent Jane Austen adaptations. Director Joe Wright’s ability to capture the nuances and essence of the novel is superb. One of the best ways he does this is with the Bennet family. Jane Austen loves an annoying yet lovable character and Brenda Blethyn’s portrayal of Mrs. Bennet is superb.

The shots in this movie are also ridiculous. (in a good way) The film feels intensely intimate yet not intrusive. Viewers become absorbed in the lives of the Bennet’s. The family is strange and loud and lacking in decorum but they mean well. Every time I watch this movie I cry with the sheer beauty of it.

Pros: This movie is simply beautiful, the score is legendary

Cons: You’ll become obsessed

Best Scene: The best scenes in this movie would ruin the beauty of the film if you haven’t seen it yet so here is the amazing trailer.

Sense and Sensibility (1995) starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet

I watched this film specifically for this post because I knew it was high up on a lot of Jane Austen aficionado’s list. The story follows Elinor and Marianne Dashwood and their romantic pursuits. It’s a kind heartwarming tale with lovable characters. Also, in researching this movie I discovered that Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay. (As an Emma Thompson stan I was disappointed in myself that I didn’t know this.)

I wouldn’t recommend this as the first Jane Austen adaptation to watch but fans of the genre will definitely like it.

Pros: YOUNG HUGH GRANT, nice calming movie

Cons: I know the end scene where Elinor bursts into tears is considered a classic but damn is it awkward to watch

Best Scene: If you want a reason to watch this movie watch it for young and charming Hugh Grant as Edward.

Bonus: Austenland (2013) starring Keri Russell and J.J. Feild

This movie is not technically an Austen adaptation but it is one of the best Austen-inspired pieces. The plot revolves around Jane, a single thirty-something played by Keri Russell who is obsessed with Jane Austen. She spends her life savings on an Austen experience called “Austenland.” There she is immersed in the world of Jane Austen and all of it’s rules and decorum.

This movie is just plain fun and one of the most hilarious movies. It mocks Jane Austen and period films in a way only someone who truly loves them can. Any period drama fanatic should watch this movie and report back.

Pros: This movie is hilarious and charming

Cons: You’re non-period drama friends won’t “get it”

Best Scene: This scene is just pure comedic gold.

The Best Tips for Dealing with Sensitive Skin

As someone who has struggled with sensitive skin since puberty I have had my fair share of mishaps trying to find what doesn’t irritate my skin or make it break out. In this guide I’ll talk about what works best for my skin and what doesn’t. The journey of acne prone and sensitive skin may suck but hopefully some of my tips help.

CONSISTENCY

Overall, consistency has made the biggest difference in my skin. My skin craves consistency in both the products I use and the routine I have established. Even though I knew consistency was important for my skin there were many days in high school where I didn’t wash my face or didn’t bother to properly take off all my makeup. Today, I know that if I don’t do those things I am bound to have a pimple on my face the next morning. It’s just how my skin operates.

I also changed up the products I was using all the time as a teen which my skin did not appreciate. Nowadays, I have been using the same sensitive skin formula cleanser for about five years that my dermatologist recommended and I have no reason to try another.

NOTICE WHAT YOU ARE PUTTING ON YOUR FACE

This step definitely took the most time to understand and figure out. You have to figure out what products work on your skin and which ones don’t. Unfortunately it can be a lot of trial and error but hopefully these tips help.

FRAGRANCE

I loveee the smell of scented products like face creams and the like. Unfortunately, my skin does not. Case in point, a few weeks ago I ran out of my daily moisturizer and borrowed my moms while I waited for mine to ship. It was a very expensive night cream by a high end brand but it smelled very strongly of rose. After a couple days my skin started getting really painful zits and I stopped using the moisturizer. Because I maintained consistency in my routine other than the moisturizer I knew it was the cream that was breaking me out.

SUNSCREEN

Because I have been dealing with acne for such a long time I have a lot of acne scarring on my face. In the past year I began wearing sunscreen each and everyday on my face to prevent sun damage as well as the darkening of my scars. In a way they are like freckles the more exposure they get to the sun the darker and more set they will become.

DRUGSTORE

Here’s the thing, most products at the drugstore break out my skin. It’s just the truth. However, there was a time when those products were all I could afford and even still sometimes I don’t have the money to buy all the fancy products that my skin craves.

If you can afford higher end products your skin will thank you. However, a high price tag does not equate to good skincare. Just take that higher end moisturizer that broke me out. It’s more about learning what products and ingredients your skin likes and buying more of those. For higher end products I recommend reading and watching reviews and doing your research before purchasing so your hard earned money doesn’t go to waste.

CLEAN BEAUTY

For me personally, ‘clean beauty’ works best on my skin. That is, products that are free of harsh ingredients, dyes and perfumes. The less unpronounceable words there are in my products the more my skin loves them. This does mean that a lot of the time I can’t try certain brands or new trending products though because I know they’ll break out my skin which can be frustrating.

KEEPING IT CLEAN

Another tip I learned over time was to always keep certain items clean so as not to irritate skin.

PILLOWCASES

I change my pillowcases much more often than the average person because I am hyper aware of how using one for too long will cause me to break out. I am also looking into buying myself a silk pillowcase because I have heard great things for both skin and hair.

MAKEUP BRUSHES

As a teen I was guilty of pretty much never washing my makeup brushes which of course broke me out like crazy. Today, I am very stringent with cleaning my brushes and rotating them so I don’t use the same ones every day.

MASKS

A lot of my friends think I’m crazy but I don’t wear a face mask for more than one day. After I’ve worn them for one day I throw them in the wash. My skin breaks out so easily that putting something on my face that has old dirty skin cells on it just breaks me out. Because of this I have a lot of masks in my laundry all the time.

DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE

This tip is as old as time but it’s true. Don’t pick, pop, or squeeze. The less I touch my face the better and less irritated it is.

In Argument of BBC’s 2009 Emma Miniseries

I put off watching the new movie adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Emma for quite some time. Emma has a special place in my heart as an Austen-ite. (My cat is named Mr. Knightley for fricks sake)

When I finally got around to watching Emma. (also yes, the new movie does have a period after it which is very confusing) all of the reasons I had put off watching the film in the first place came to the forefront. At it’s core Emma is a story about love; romantic love, familial love, sisterly love. The new movie is less concerned about telling the story of a bright and compassionate young woman and more about evoking a mood or aesthetic.

This is not to say that evoking an aesthetic in a movie is necessarily a bad thing. Take Sofia Coppola’s 2006 Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst. That movie evokes an aesthetic like no other to demonstrate the vulgar excess and indulgence of Versailles.

However, trying to evoke solely a fun, feminine, carefree aesthetic in Jane Austen’s Emma makes no sense. It’s a story about so much more than that.

On the other hand, BBC’s 2009 Emma miniseries struck the perfect tone and pace for the story. The mini-series format works amazingly well for most Jane Austen novels. They allow the plot to breathe and to truly grasp the nuances of the characters. I also cannot say enough about Romola Garai’s portrayal of Emma Woodhouse. Emma can very easily come across as snooty such as in Anya Taylor-Joy’s performance in the 2020 adaptation but Garai walks the line perfectly.

I’m also pretty obsessed with Johnny Lee Miller’s performance as Mr. Knightley. I legitimately cringed watching Johnny Flynn deliver Knightley’s famous admission of love. It just came off as insincere. (Also what was going on with his because *yikes*)

So in conclusion, watch the BBC miniseries Emma and report back. And if you’re not into watching all that at least watch Knightley’s proposal scene on YouTube. (It make me cry every time.)

January 2021 Favorites

Seems like everyone had a pretty blah January. With the never ending month finally in the rearview I wanted to recap some of my favorites in beauty, fashion and media.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

I read this gorgeous novel by Alix E. Harrow because it was my book clubs pick for the month of January. It’s been a really long time since a novel moved me so much. Anyone who loves stories and the art of storytelling must read this book. Harrow’s ability to write a novel in such a new and imaginative way that feels so familiar is remarkable. Read this book!

Sorbus Makeup and Jewelry Storage Case

This makeup organizer from QVC is something I asked for for Christmas and am so glad I did. It comes in a bunch of colors as well as pre cut drawer liners for each level. I really like that you can separate the top section from the drawers if need be which is what I did to spread out my makeup. Anyone looking for a good makeup organizer should check out this affordable option.

Fancii Zora Magnify and Multitask Vanity Mirror

This was another Christmas gift and one that has exceeded all my expectations. I have wanted a vanity mirror for soooo long but with so many options and price ranges out there I never knew where to look. My mom gave me this one and it is just divine. You can plug it into a USB port to charge or put in batteries like I did. It has three magnification settings and a dim-able light. Putting on makeup has never been easier or more enjoyable.

The Wilds

This is a T.V. show I randomly decided to start watching in mid-January because it kept popping up on my Tumblr and it looked really good. The basic premise of the story is sort of a female Lord of the Flies vibe with a group of high school girls becoming stranded on a deserted island. There is currently only one season of this show currently out and it makes for perfect binging. (I finished it in three days.) It can be a bit cliché at times but definitely an enjoyable watch.

Fashion Trends Ariana Grande Has Inspired Over the Years

As a big Ari fan for a long time as well as a fan of fashion it’s been really interesting to see the trends she has inspired or helped push along. Of course, not all of these trends were started by just her but she most definitely gave them much more visibility. As much as she is a singing icon she is just as much a style icon.

THE PONYTAIL

Okay of course this seems like the most obvious one to begin with. I would dare say that Ari single-handedly brought back the sleek high pony. She completely made it her signature look. (and what a genius one to choose if you ask me) When one thinks of what she looks like the chances are pretty high that the ponytail is in the vision.

THE HALF UP HALF DOWN LOOK

Earlier in her career Ari was a big fan of the half up half down hair look. I feel like it also went along really well with the sweet demure persona she exuded in her My Everything days. During this time period this hair style was really popular on red carpets for everyone from JLo to Julianne Hough.

LAS VEGAS, NV – MAY 18: Singer Jennifer Lopez attends the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 18, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

DAINTY FEMININE TATTOOS

This has been a recent trend of Ariana’s as she has been accumulating her tattoos over the last few years. She has definitely helped break the stigma that “girly girls” can’t have tattoos. Her tattoos tend to be on the smaller side with thin lines and meticulous shading.

CAT EARS

This is of course another old trend of Ari’s that she hasn’t done in years. When she was doing it though it has BIG. Like they were everywhere. Not my fave trend of hers but definitely one that really blew up.

LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 19: Recording artist Ariana Grande performs onstage during the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 19, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

BOWS

Probably the oldest trend of Ari’s in this list is her love of bows. Back in the day no outfit of hers was complete without one. This was a trend I completely followed because of her. In my late middle school early high school days I had so many bows and wore them consistently. Of course, JoJo Siwa seems to have taken over this trend but in my heart it always started with Ari.

SWEATSHIRTS AS THE WHOLE OUTFIT

This trend is also one of my favorites even though I’m not sure I could ever pull it off. It’s so cute yet so comfy. So athleisure yet chic. Best of both worlds.

WINGED EYELINER

Of course A.G. is not the first celeb to rock winged eyeliner and she certainly won’t be the last. But along with her ponytail she has made this a steady part of her everyday lewk.