The Art of a Wall Photo

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If you keep up with my social media, mainly my Instagram, you might have noticed that I have an eye for aesthetic. If you don’t keep up with my Instagram, you’re lame and should probably get on that ASAP because you’re missing out on some quality content. Regardless, I’m here to talk to you today about the key to getting the perfect picture of yourself; the wall pic.

The art of Instagram is very simple when you have your best friend to help you out. Your best friend is now a brightly colored wall and that wall will love and cherish you more than any other human ever could. Trust me, I’m a pro.

Now you might be thinking to yourself, “Lena, how could a pile of painted bricks ever replace the love I receive from friends and family?” Well a picture is worth a thousand words, and I’ve been compiling my portfolio for years, so let me just show you instead.

Does your best friend stand behind you to pose as the perfect backdrop? Do they coordinate with your outfit to flatter the right colors? Do they provide you with the perfect support to lean against while faking the photogenic “candid” laughs? If you answered “no” to at least one of these questions, then you need to find some walls, like, yesterday.

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Find one to match your outfit. Find one with a fancy mural on it. Find one to express your personality. The possibilities are endless, and the search is half the fun.

So stop sleeping on the best IG shots out there, and start finding some walls to stand in front of. Confused stares from passerbys are appreciated and encouraged. Go fourth and Instagram responsibly.

xoxo,

Life’s A Beach

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For someone who’s spent the past eight months in paradise, it may sound surprising that I have yet to gain a suntan. Yet with only a week left in Florida, I’m determined to not return home as pale as I was when I left. First on the agenda to get tan? A failed self-tanning lotion. Have no fear, the beach was here to save me this time! And luckily, it was a successful trip!

Today I adventured to the shark bite capital of the world, New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Located just a little over an hour away from campus, this has been my second trip there this school year. Yet this time we were real Floridians and drove our dune buggy (Nicole’s Rav 4) right on the sand to start off the day.

85°s and sunshine greeted us as we sprawled out on the sand ready to soak up those rays. Not only was the weather perfect for splashing around, but it provided an amazing backdrop for photos (because if you didn’t post about it, did it really happen?)


After some super posed candids and amateur modeling sessions, we decided to head into the shopping district to grab lunch and find some pretty walls.


Once returning to our spot on the beach, it was time for a quick nap while everyone else boogie boarded. (I mentioned it was the shark bite capital of the world right? Yeah no way was I getting in that water!)

Yet no trip to the beach is complete without a sunburned back and a rising tide to scare us away. Maybe next time I’ll remember to reapply my sunscreen before getting in the car to head home. Life can be a real beach sometimes.

Regardless, it was an amazing final beach day before going home for the summer and I can’t wait for future adventures next fall!

xoxo,

Lil Life Update #2

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Long time, no blog. The past month has been extremely hectic in the best way possible and it’s time for me to update you guys on all aspects of my crazy life here in Orlando.


So I wanna start out by punching myself in the face for not blogging more often. Most of my creativity flows through my brain while I’m minutes away from sleep. Yet I have decided that sleep is no longer for me and have cut it out of my lifestyle completely. No sleep equals minimal creativity equals lackluster blog posts. (or extremely boring ones like this one)

That brings me to my next point. I have decided to become nocturnal. Sleeping at night is too mainstream and I don’t want to conform to society, so I’m trying something new. Stay tuned for updates.

All in all, college is going great for me and I’m extremely lucky to be feeling this way. I know the first month is supposed to be hard on a lot of people, and I’ve heard horror stories from some of my friends, but I am fortunate enough to be in a different boat than the majority.


For anyone that knows me, it’ll be no surprise to hear that I didn’t wait long to get involved here on campus. I’m super honored to have been accepted to write for HerCampus UCF (check out my first article here).


As a first semester freshman, this was a super incredible opportunity and I’m loving it so far. It’s so empowering to belong to a group of amazing girls who share the same passion as me. I love going to our weekly meetings and bouncing feedback off each other. My first article was published this past week and I was super nervous about it because it had to do with something personal that I wouldn’t normally broadcast to the world. Yet I built up my confidence and knew I shouldn’t be ashamed of anything and put my words out there to be viewing.


I couldn’t be more happy with the decision I made because in less than twelve hours, my story was already picked up and shared by nationals, which is insanely rare. It’s a huge accomplishment and I am so proud of myself for being able to reach that level of recognition on my work, let alone my first published piece. I’m so excited to be thriving in this community so soon and I can’t wait to continue writing more articles for our team.


I am also extremely #blessed to have amazing friends, both here and at home, that supported me with my first article. All the shares on social media really impacted it’s publicity and all the positive comments made my heart grow three sizes. I love all of you and thank you for putting up with my lame ambitions.

I also decided to dip my toes in a new organization that is unlike anything we had in high school. It’s called Campus Activities Board (CAB) and they are a student run organization responsible for putting on events around campus throughout the school year. Every pool party, concert, and guest speaker that comes to our school happens because of this group and I’m super excited to start working on the board.


I signed up for the concert section and the special events section because I like to believe I’m a concert junkie (I’m not), and I want to gain more experience in planning events to help with my future career in hospitality. I am also tossing around the idea of minoring in Entertainment Management so both of these will greatly improve my resume, along with having a lot of fun in an activity meant to help others have fun.


Speaking of my future career, I totally spent a lot of money last week in order to help my future. Or at least that’s how i’m convincing myself that my actions are justifiable. By this, I mean I am now *officially* and annual pass holder for Walt Disney World :))))) This is most definitely a learning experience for me because I am now exposed to the industry on a weekly basis. Also, I can ride Space Mountain whenever I want. I win. I am using this same reasoning to justify that it’s okay that I’m going to an ample amount of concerts this school year. Concert junkie or a student going above an beyond to further her education? The world may never know.


I have also been killin’ it with my school work and getting so much done ahead of deadlines, which is totally unlike me. Maybe my days of endless procrastination are finally over? Probably not, but at least for now I can pretend I’m doing good things with my education. I even started to look into the different levels of the hospitality industry and volunteered at my first event, (more on that here).


I have made a ton of friends from all different groups of people. I miss being friends with fellow band geeks, but I have a ton of Disney nerds to make up for that. Making friends was definitely hard at first, but thank god for the internet existing and for me being way more personable while hiding behind the protection of my phone screen.


Overall, my experience here has been pretty rockin’ and my confidence is at an all time high. The only thing that sucks is how much my hair fights with the humidity, but it’s fine, I’ll just shave my head. Thanks for bearing with me through another lame life update, but I just had to brag a little bit. Self love is key. I’m going to attempt to write more, but like I said, I no longer sleep, so it’s difficult to have random burst of inspiration, but I’m trying my hardest!

Until next time (could be tomorrow, could be a month from now)…

xoxo,

How To Drain Your Bank Account in Seven Short Days

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Money is just a construct set up by the government to ruin our lives. We don’t need to stand for this insanity so let’s just get rid of it all now. Just follow these easy steps and you too can be as broke and happy as me!

1. Start out by eating a lot of food. I don’t care what type of food, but chances are that you have friends, and chances are that your friends eat food. Just go out with them as much as possible since no one wants fomo, and spend. all. your. money.

money-22. Attempt to live on your own. Even just slightly. You’ll start buying thing you never even thought you’d need, but are totally essential to everyday life. Stamps, dish soap, a pet fish, you name it. Random expenses come up all the time and accounting for them is all part of the journey.

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3. Live in a city that never sleeps. New York? LA? Vegas? All good options. I chose Orlando and my wallet hates me more and more everyday thanks to it.

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4. Accidentally order an annual pass for Disney World. What? I totally slipped and fell into the pass holders line and my debit card must have flown out of my wallet and into the cashiers hand right as a transaction was being made. Weird right? I know.

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5. I was going to make a final valid and creative point, but honestly all my money goes to food so it deserves to be dedicated twice.

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Here’s to fast food, college essentials, and drained bank accounts. If you need a quicker way to get rid of cash fast, remember that the Bank of Lena is always open for donations 🙂

xoxo,

Wild Wild World

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March 4, 2013, a small British pop band took the indie charts by ~storm~ (it’s a pun, pretend I’m funny) with their lyrically empowering release of Bad Blood. Bastille’s debut album changed the way I, and thousands of basic white girls all around the world, listened to music. Over three years ago, I fell in love with music, and yesterday I was able to do it all over again.

September 9, 2016, a large British pop band reemerged from the depths of hell where they have been hibernating for the past couple years. Once again, they are taking world by storm with their lyrically empowering release of Wild World.

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Let me just start out by saying that Bastille is a really freaking awesome band. They have really freaking awesome songs, and they do really freaking awesome things for their fans. One of these really freaking awesome things that they have done recently was holding a nationwide album release party at select indie record stores across the country. Thirteen to be exact. And now that I live  in the wonderful city of opportunities that is Orlando, I was able to adventure out to listen to my favorite band’s album a day earlier than everyone else.

Yes yes, I totally think I’m cooler than you because I got to hear an album twelve hours before you. I savored every moment because by this morning, the album was already second on the charts (yasss bbs are killing it!! i’m such a proud fangirl).

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Other than the fact that I got to hear the album I waited three years for early, it was really freaking awesome to explore a new record store with a bunch of other Stormers and hang out for an evening. Park Ave CDs, you’re pretty rockin’! Good music, good vibes, good company.

Since then, I have listened to the album on repeat at least 2,492 times. That is not an approximation. That is 100% a real number. And every time it gets better and better. I hated the wait, but in the most cliche sounding way possible, it was worth every minute (hour, month, year).

I’m no musical genius so I’m less than qualified to talk about their sound, and lyrics, and blah blah blah. But even me, a tone deaf white girl that listens to indie trash, can realize that everything from their vocals, to instrumentation, to theming has gone leaps and bounds above how they used to be.

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Wild World is centered around the fictional Wild World Communications news company that the band created in order to translate information about their upcoming album, shows, and music videos. This theme is then transplanted through the album with each song featuring sound clips of samples from retro movies, TV shows, and radio programs. The clips tell the stories of each songs as the album progresses from start to finish. I love the spin that Bastille put on their album to make it more original than all the other garbage I listen too.

Also, Dan Smith is a lyrical GOD. I don’t know how he does it, but every single word that comes out of that man’s mouth is right. He makes no mistakes and is really freaking good at making sense. AKA the exact opposite of what I’m doing right now. I’m listening to the album as I type this and I have entered into a state of delusion, so deepest apologies for making less sense than I normally do. This album is just SO. FREAKING. GOOD.

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They also decided to learn how to play guitar which is super cool. There’s a ton of guitar in this album so it has a super different sound than Bad Blood. Also, every single song on this album is upbeat, so be prepared to dance.

I want to say more about it, but I also want to cry about it, so I’m going to go with the latter of the two. Expect more tears from me if/when they announce a North American tour. Now go listen to the album. Please. I beg of you.

xoxo,

 

Dorm Sweet Dorm

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So it’s officially been a week since I’ve moved into my home away from home and I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out. I spent a majority of my summer carefully crafting my Pinterest boards and collecting supplies for all the DIYs I was going to get myself into and all that hard work paid off. Of course my room isn’t going to look straight out of HGTV, it is a college dorm after all, but I’m perfectly content with my new space.


When you walk in, each of my roommates and I have our initials that I painted hanging on our doors. I went with an “L” instead of my usual “A” for reasons still unknown to me. AKA 3/4 of us have a name that begins with an “A” so I took one for the team.

The first thing you see after walking in is my bed, which I am totally in love with. I’ve been purchasing so many pillows and blankets for it, but this was the first time I saw them all together and saw how well they went with each other.

I of course had to show my Disney Side with my little Dumbo and Mickey. (Trust me, I’ll be adding more to my collection soon.) I painted the four parks picture hanging above my bed, along with many many more things throughout my room.


Next to my bed I have a small bookshelf that my dad was super proud about building. It is the perfect height for a bedside table and allows me to limit how much stuff I have next to my bed. (No food!) I made my two sunglass holders out of popsicle sticks and glue. My Peter Pan inspired “Think Happy Little Thoughts” is just an old 2×4 repurposed with alot of paint and glitter, aka happiness.


My photo wall is one of my favorite parts of the room since all the people I love and care about get to be so close. I honestly didnt plan this one out but I loved the way it turned out.

Adjacent to my photowall is my super messy, super empty closet. Not much to say other than I have a slight shoe obsessed and did not pack enough clothes. Just another excuse to go shopping? I think so!


Last but not least is my dresser where I keep all my hair, makeup, and accessories. Every princess must be fully equiped before starting her day, and I am no exception to that. I painted and built the Necklace holder, and purchased all the storage (which I love).


So it’s not much, but it’s home to me for the next eight months or so. I’m super excited that it turned out just like I imagined, but as long as there’s imagination left, I’ll never stop adding to it.

xoxo,

The Five Stages of Grief Everyone Experiences After A Bad Haircut

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As told by Coconut Head because him and I are twins now.

I decided to be spontaneous for once in my life and it backfired (why am I not surprised.) I woke up this morning with no plan in sight and somehow I ended up at the hair salon with two thirds of my hair missing and 90% of my joy gone. After going in for a trim, I decided to try something new for college and here we are, sitting at home, with utter confusion as to why I let this happen to myself.

1) Denial

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Okay so maybe it was all just a bad dream? Maybe it just LOOKED like the scissors were tearing apart my hopes and dreams. Maybe it’s actually a really good haircut and I just don’t have the power to see it. My mirror is clearly broken.

2) Anger

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My hairdresser clearly was trying to win a bet. Worst haircut of the day? Well congrats!!! You have succeeded! Might as well just shave my entire head now because it really can’t get worse than this!

3) Bargaining

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Maybe I can sell my soul for extensions. Would that make me look tacky as hell? Probably. Maybe it will look better curled? There has got to be something I can do to make this right again.

4) Depression

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There’s nothing I can do to fix this mess on my head. It’s all over. Everything is ruined and I never even got to say goodbye. Goodbye cruel world! It was nice knowing ya!

5) Acceptance

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Well parting it to the left doesn’t look awful. And when I straighten it I get an ~edgy~ vibe that I adore. Maybe a half up half down will do the trick? Honestly, short hair is super trendy right now and I’m starting to fall in love with it.

Moral of the story: I will never do anything without planning it out for months first again. RIP hair that was truly the perfect length. Cya never!!

-me

Positive Hardcore Thursday #2

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You are the best you. Cheesy. Cliché. Overused. A phrase that probably hangs on motivational posters in thousandsof elementary  schools across the country. But does it look like i’m letting that stop me from saying what I have to say? No.

Comparisons are the most dangerous thing we have in our society today. Everyday millions of people’s self esteem is dropping because they are constantly comparing themselves to others. I do it all the time too. I look around and realize that “Oh I love my outfit but she looks so much prettier than me.” Or “Oh I’m finally happy with my Instagram layout but it will never look as good as his.” Or my most recent and the inspiration behind this post, “Oh I’m so proud of how my writing is going but their blog is miles above mine.” This isn’t a new concept, and it’s not one that’s easily avoidable. 

I’m just going to be blunt and say that you are better than some people at certain things and there are people who are better than you. It’s called reality and it’s a cycle that we don’t need to stop. But we need to stop focussing on the people around us and instead put that effort into being the best we can be.


Everyone here is flawed, but because of that, everyone is perfect. Instead of bringing yourself down at the sight of other people’s successes, compliment them and praise them for what they have accomplished, and other’s will do the same for you

The world is full of enough hate. Start loving yourself and loving each other, it’s the least we can do to stay happy together.

-me

The Pros and Cons of Working Three Jobs

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Three jobs. I know. I’m crazy. But it actually isn’t as overwhelming as it sounds. I work at Rita’s Italian Ice, Coffee Tree Roasters, and PNC Park and somehow I’m surviving the summer.

Summer jobs are always something teenagers roll their eyes at, but I don’t think they deserve the negetive conotation they recieve. I don’t know about you, but I see nothing wrong with standing around talking to customers and co-workers for a couple hours each night and walking out with a paycheck (and tips.)

I enjoy all of my jobs so getting paid to have fun is a no brainer for me. But its not all unicorns and rainbows. Between the three jobs, I don’t get many nights off to relax or hang out with my friends. The tasks we have to do are tedious, and sometimes you just have those days where you spill an entire 10 pound box of sprinkles and want to walk out the door and never come back. It definitely gets frustrating to handle everything that gets thrown at me, but luckily the good outweighs the bad.

Our Rita’s corporation owns all the in-park Rita’s in Pittsburgh, so getting free admission to sporting events, concerts, and theme parks is as easy as throwing on my employee t-shirt and letting a manager know I’m coming. Definitely a huge perk that I’m gonna really miss when I move away.


Coffee Tree Roasters customber base is made up of almost three-quarters of people whoare there everyday. We are able to build up strong relationships with our regulars so that they keep coming back for more. It’s really beneficial to make these connections with customers, especially with my major relying heavily on networking. Although the coffee snobs do come after us every once and a while, it’s ok because I get to spend six hours in a place that smells like heaven.


PNC Park is probably my favorite of the three jobs and it gets me really excited for what’s to come in my future. As a future Hospitality Major, working in huge venues as event coordinators, guest relations, or management positions really interests me. Although I just serve ice cream at PNC Park, the environment is thrilling and there’s never a boring moment. With so much going on around me, I feel like I get to be part of the experience and it just makes me so happy. I have a priceless view of the city, and an even better view while people-watching all the unique individuals that attend a Pirates game each night. I also get the opportunity to do a lot of really cool things (such as participate and CRUSH the nightly corn hole competition).
I’m really greatful for all the experiences and lessons I’m learning through these hectic jobs, (and the paychecks are pretty nice too 😉 ). They might seem like easy jobs to you, but every day is a new learning experience, and I’m just getting started!

xoxo,

I’m The Worst…

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Hi my name is Lena and I really suck at blogging. Haha just kidding but keeping up with this is so much harder than it looks!

Alot has been happing in my life and I have alot of stories to tell, but for now, i’ve got to keep living life and then I can write about it later.

I can’t wait to update you with all the exciting things that have been happening, so get prepared to be spammed in the next week or so.

I love writing this blog and I love that you guys enjoy reading. Thanks for being some pretty rockin’ friends.

Until next time…

-me