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is this your heartbeat or is it mine?

A good friend of mine recently made the decision to change her entire life.

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Something was missing and she had been ignoring it for too long. She existed in a state of limbo, in between ending and beginning, wondering when she’ll feel whole. She decided she wasn’t going to be passive about it; instead she would seek it out for herself, shake things up and see where everything falls. Because it really was just like that – she was holding in her hands a configuration of little bits and pieces that she knew all too well. With her eyes closed, she held her breath and threw them up in the air. Now, watching them fall into a new set.

All of that was an effort to put into words how much I admire her self-awareness, courage, and willpower. She set out into an unknown and so I made this driving playlist for her, to keep her ablaze and give her company on her journey. What I didn’t know is that in creating such a playlist, I would end up listening to it nonstop.

I chose these songs because they speak to certain emotional moments you go through in shaking up your life: desire, awe, fear, doubt, nostalgia, peace, freedom. I find myself listening to this on repeat because I’m hoping I’ll catch some of her drive and, once again, get on with moving closer and closer to living the life I always dreamt about.

scarlett hill: wildfire

One of the many things that make my life worthwhile is the chance to connect with talented creative individuals who make the world look, sound, and feel more beautiful. Be it through canvas or song, creative expression is at the core of our humanity. So when I’m able to share my dedication and love for it with another person, there is an instant bond and understanding of spirit. This is what happened with me and Scarlett Hill.

scarlett-hill-album-43ascarlett-hill-album-71aThey just get it. It’s not about a desire for fame or money (although some money would be nice). It’s about forging genuine connections and putting out more good into the world. Perhaps that sounds lofty for people like us – just starting out and trying to make a mark wherever we can – but it’s an aspiration I think we all could be more mindful of in the things we do. I’m honored that they gave me the opportunity to do this photo shoot for their album, Wildfire, coming out August 1st.scarlett-hill-album-15ascarlett-hill-album-7ascarlett-hill-album-36a

scarlett-hill-album-28aCheck out their music video “Whiskey” and follow them on Facebook to stay up to date on their new releases!
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tiny bed sessions

When you get older, you begin to realize that there are a million or more experiences you’ll forget about until you’re reminded. It’s a little sad, but it’s also a fact of life; it only makes sense that your brain makes room for the more important stuff in the present. One thing I tend to forget about is my time volunteering with the Arts In Medicine program at UF. I wrote a small blog about my experience doing arts & crafts with patients at Shands, but I often forget how much it really affected me at the time. Watching this moving video below reminded me.

officially obsessed: tokimonsta

Back in the good ole college days, I used to fancy myself something of a good-music-finder. But since I’ve graduated and become busy with trying to stay afloat in the real world, discovering new songs and new artists has definitely fallen to the wayside. Now I only come to new music from happenstance – cooler friends, 88.5 wras, or a chance blog post. Well, last week I discovered Tokimonsta thanks to this feature by Refinery 29. And I think I’ve fallen in love.

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an afternoon with the stacktone slims

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I recently had the honor of spending an afternoon in Grant Park with The Stacktone Slims, trying to get them some photographs that do their music justic. Here are some of my favorites of these dapper dudes!

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the stacktone slims

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Remember when I introduced you to Kelly and Rod? It was quite a while ago, so I forgive you if you never saw it. Long story short, they’re my uber cute friends who live in Grant Park and I love them to death (you should too). Usually I’m doting on Kelly’s adorable outfits and faces, but today I devote this blog post to Sir Roderick. In addition to being a crazy talented chef at Wrecking Bar, Rod fronts his own homegrown band, The Stacktone Slims. With a guitar and mic in his hands, he writes songs that are musically and emotionally raw, striking nerves in you that you might have forgotten existed.

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If you needed any further convincing that this band is a force to be reckoned with, I’ve got the video to prove it! Unfortunately the sound isn’t as full as it was live, but it’s obvious how passionately these guys play and they will no doubt ignite something within you (as long as you have a soul). Be sure to check them out on Facebook and keep an eye out for their next show so they can rock your face off!

[youtube=http://youtu.be/XjEsU44UfXk]

because you’re mine, mine, mine

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Have you ever had a moment, where a song’s lyrics, the melody, the timing, leaves you breathless? And maybe on any other given day you just like it or even love it. But on this particular day it brings tears to your eyes. Today (this was written last week so technically, last week) that song was “Cicadas and Gulls” by Feist. It’s always been one of my favorites from Metals, but for some reason today… it feels like a strong wave rushing over me. Quiet as it is overwhelming, it leaves me trembling in awe, floating away in some weird mix of disappointment and desire.

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Feist has always been my musical muse and surprisingly I’ve yet to write about her or her music on here. Perhaps because I’ve identified with her for so long that it just sort of feels like part of my spirit. I’ve heard every track, poured over most of her poetry, and am never able to find something that doesn’t sound like a reflection of myself. I’m not sure what it is. She just… gets me.

Is there an artist, singer, actress, or muse that does that for you? I’d love to hear why and how.

[ image via ]

come to me, spring

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for now what keeps me warm is the promise, the memory
of sun-kissed drives and weekend stays
bare skin and popsicles
wandering freely and blooming everywhere