a blog about freelancing, style, culture, and plants

categories

categories

freelance

style

entertainment

a blog about freelancing, style, culture, and plants

Last week, I was walking around Orlando, Florida, with a magic wand. Obviously, I was in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, so this was perfectly normal behavior. We took a quick long weekend with the fam to see the new Avatar rides at Disney and, of course, get our fill of Diagon Alley (again). I’m really missing the 60 degree weather, especially since it’s like 30 degrees here in Maryland.

While Disney will always hold a special place in my heart for nostalgic reasons, Diagon Alley completely appeals to my adult sensitivities (drinking alcohol while browsing shops, not standing for long periods at a time, and eating delicious food). If you did not grow up in the magical world of JK Rowling, I’m sorry that you missed out, and I’m here to remind you that it’s never too late.

If, however, you’re a Potterhead like me, and especially if you’ve taken the time to sort yourself into a house AND discover your Patronus, don’t miss these things at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World:

Neville’s cardigan from the last movie

Yes, this was a splurge, but it’s now my most favorite, warmest sweater. Plus, it was actually made in Scotland, and it makes me feel like a hero.

Strongbow cider with Firewhisky

If you’re looking to get drunk, head straight to the Hogshead Tavern in Three Broomsticks. It was way too expensive, but tasted like apple cinnamon, which was nice.

An interactive wand

Look, you’re here to spend money, so don’t miss out on the pure joy of waving a wand around like a crazy person and making  things happen around the park.

Butterbeer

Honestly, I’m plus/minus on the Butterbeer, but everyone I love seems to think it’s great, so here we are.

I’m a huge YouTube nerd, and a lot of the vloggers I follow always do a “[previous month] favorites” post where they talk about the things they loved in the previous month. And now that we’re into the first month of December, I figured “why not do the same. exact. thing?” Sorry, not sorry. Let’s get into it!

Black Hightop Sneakers

While I’m not the biggest fan of Fabletics, I have to admit that I was pretty excited to see they’re getting into the sneaker game. And since I forgot to skip last month and was automatically charged… I got a new pair of black sneaks that I’m obsessed with. They look great with yoga pants, which makes up 80% of my wardrobe.

Cocoon Cardigans

I just got one of these suckers from the Loft and I’ve been wearing it on the reg. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the exact one I bought online, but being swallowed up by any giant blanket sweater is ideal for winter.

Moone Boy

I’m obsessed with all things BBC, and I discovered this show by Chris O’Dowd while going down the British rabbit hole. It’s one of the most charming sitcoms I’ve seen. It’s based on Chris O’Dowd’s childhood in Ireland, and he plays the main character’s imaginary friend. It’s just so adorable.

The Working Woman’s Handbook: Ideas, Insights, and Inspiration for a Successful Creative Career

This book is really easy to digest and leaves me feeling ready to take on the world. I haven’t finished it yet, but once I do, I will definitely share my favorite bits. I’m sure it’ll be one of those books that I find myself referencing all the time.

Equal Exchange Love Buzz Ground (1×10 Oz)

I’m just going to give it to you straight. We were out of coffee, I didn’t want to leave the apartment, I ordered this coffee off Amazon, and I’m digging it.

A couple weeks ago, I watched the movie The Only Living Boy in New York on Amazon Prime, and unfortunately, I think I’m one of the few people who really liked it. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is in the toilet, which depresses me, because it reminded me of the movies I really liked in my more impressionable years – specifically 2004-2009. It’s a movie that stuck with me for a couple days, with some of the quotes still swirling around my head. Maybe people dislike it because it’s a tad pretentious and a tad intellectual. Womp.

TBH, it’s like 50% Jeff Bridges smoking, drinking, and spewing wisdom, which I could listen to all day. I actually wish Jeff Bridges would write a book of aphorisms and record an audio version of it so I could listen to it while I work. Nothing would make me feel more motivated to keep trying at life. Dear universe, please make this happen.
 

My iPad Pro was one of those things that I debated over buying for months and months. It was quite a splurge, but I’m so obsessed with it, that I think it was well worth the money. I spend countless hours on it everyday, which is probably making me blind, but here are my favorite apps so far…

1. Procreate

I do like 75% of my illustration work in Procreate. I begin in my sketchbook, and I put the final polish on everything in Photoshop; however, Procreate is an essential tool for me. Of course, you need the (way overpriced *sorry*) Apple Pencil, so that’s unfortunate. But once you bite the bullet, you can find all kinds of brushes on Creative Market for Procreate, personalizing the app to your needs.

2. Texture

I’m a magazine hoarder, so Texture has been a godsend both for my wallet and my countertops. Plus, I love that you can take screenshots of your favorite pages. Was I the only teenager who saved all her favorite magazine stories in a binder? Anyways… it’s a good source of design inspiration.

3. Headspace

Yup, this is a meditation app. And I’m obsessed for multiple reasons, including 1. the narrator has a British accent, 2. the animations and illustrations are freakin adorable, 3. I’m legitimately more productive if I meditate in the morning. Not sure why yet, but it works.

4. Skillshare

For obvious reasons.

5. Astropad Studio

So I haven’t delved into this one too much yet, but the concept is right up my alley. It basically turns your iPad into a Cintiq. If you don’t know what I’m saying, it connects to your computer, mirroring your screen, letting you use your iPad as a drawing tablet for any software you have. So you can draw in Photoshop, taking full advantage of your Kyle’s Mega Brush Pack. I kinda hate that you have to purchase a subscription, though, which is probably why I don’t use it more.

Working from home presents a multitude of struggles. Struggles include but are not limited to:

• getting out of bed

• getting dress and/or showering

• not eating all the food in the fridge

• not turning on the tv

I find that listening to podcasts helps me focus on work by providing a kind of white noise and by keeping me from putting on Netflix and vegging out for 8-ish hours. But also, sometimes I learn things or feel more motivated, which is always good.

I’ve decided to split this into 2 (or 3 or 4…) parts, because I listen to that many podcasts, and this could go on awhile.

2 Dope Queens

I want to be BFFs with Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson. As soon as they called Blue Apron “Blue Apes” in an ad, I was in love. No one can abbreve like these 2, and in addition to supes cute abbreves, you get some pretty sweet comedy.

Being Boss

The 2 ladies behind being boss are so smart and talented and do everything I wish I could do, so I listen to them when I need a kick in the pants. They also do “minisodes” that are like 5 or 15 minutes, so they’re easy to digest. Listening to them talk about paying taxes or protecting boundaries helps me get into the flow more quickly than usual.

Ear Biscuits

I’ll admit it, I’m a tad bit obsessed with Rhett and Link. I watch their YouTube channel on the reg, but as much as I love their friendship and the silly things they do, sometimes, it’s a little too silly. Their podcast, on the other hand, gets a little more real, so you get the adorable bromance with a side of legit conversation.

Reply...