Let's Talk About The VMAs!


Taylor Swift at the VMAs 2015

I was planning on writing a post about hormonal acne, but that's BORING when compared to talking about the VMAs!

So, did you watch it? I mostly waited around until it was over so I could peruse the highlight reels. I did watch All About Eve on Netflix though, which is basically the same thing, but it doesn't kill your brain cells by the second like evil reality television and MTV does. In fact, it's quite the opposite. One could add it to their "I'm Cultured" manifesto by knowing lines from the Oscar-winning film. You should watch it.

Anyway, back to Miley and her shock factor outfit choices! Or lack thereof. Yes, she was neked practically the whole night, so no surprises there. Did you see her and Nicki Minaj go at it for a hot second? That was funny.

Let's see... what else... Oh! Justin Bieber cried. The Biebs is a boobie! Actually, I don't believe they were real tears, but I DO think his red carpet outfit was spot on. Like, I want that exact outfit to be my fall momiform. I am not kidding.

Justin Bieber at the VMAs 2015

Kanye! (Like how I am on a first name basis with everyone? We're old chums, all of us!) Not gonna lie—I thought his speech was endearing. He is just a sensitive, little dork like the rest of us, all the Yeezus-ing aside. Also, I was kind of waiting for him to bust into a stand up comedy act in the middle. Just sayin', bro.

Last thing I want to talk about: The Queen Bee Miss Taylor Swift! She was up there strutting her stuff like she owned the place. Her confidence is admirable, and she is absolutely gorgeous, but I still stand beside my statement  that she is not a nice person deep down inside. (YOU are a mean girl, you're a *$&%*!)

How do we feel about Taylor Swift's "Wildest Dreams" music video? I kind of had this face the entire time. Or at least anytime Scott Eastwood was not onscreen. Yikesabee, that man is foooiiinnnee! You do know he is Clint Eastwood's son, right? Clint, for the record, was a knockout in his prime, so it only makes sense he produces wildly attractive offspring.

I kind of think the whole video was a fantasy come to life after Tay-Tay finished watching The Longest Ride. Have you see that movie? Add it to the Nicholas Sparks list! After you watch it, you will see what I am talking about. I can just picture her being like, "I want to make out with that sexy beast of a man. And since he doesn't date crazies like me, I will swoon him for the sake of 'my music' with my cat lady powers of seduction in the wild sahara! With lions! And billowing tents! Mwah-hahaaa!" (Well played, Swift. Well. Played.)

I feel like she is kind of going for a Lana Del Rey sound and vibe, but less dark (obviously, she's Taylor Swift). Yeah? No? Just me? I do have to admit it's catchy and I've watched it six times now, so I guess I'm drinking the Swiftie Kool-Aid. Watch it for yourself and return and report!

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5 Music Documentaries To Watch On Netflix This Weekend


5 Music Documentaries To Watch On Netflix

1. Austin to BostonThis one is for the indie folk lovin' people. It follows Ben Howard, The Staves, Nathaniel Rateliffe, and Bear's Den on tour throughout the US. They road trip in their old vans and live simply, doing what they love. It will make you want to pull out your Polaroid camera, compile a campy road trip playlist and drive with no destination in mind while belting out your favorite songs at the top of your lungs. (Kind of bad timing with it being back to school, but that's what weekends are for!)

5 Music Documentaries To Watch On Netflix

2. Muscle Shoals. This documentary has five stars on Netflix. I don't think I've ever seen that before, so you know it's good before even watching it. And it is. Muscle Shoals is magical little town in Alabama where a lot of the world's best music was recorded. As my dear, sweet Bono puts it in his fabulous Irish accent in the beginning, "You're gonna hear some of the greatest voices there ever were." Get ready for a killer soundtrack full of soul.

5 Music Documentaries To Watch On Netflix

3. Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin'. I haven't watched this one yet, but I've never been disappointed by anything about ole' Marbles. Apparently he received that nickname while working in Nashville because he constantly had his guitar with him and even slept with it, and people thought he was straight up nuts. Who cares? He was on a totally different level in all his musical prodigiousness.

5 Music Documentaries To Watch On Netflix

4. Beware of Mr. BakerThis one is highly irreverent, so the title aptly fits. Ginger Baker is the living definition of CRAZY EYES, and I am shocked he is still alive! Actually, no, I am not, because people as nuts as Ginger Baker always live to be, like, 104. P.S. "Sunshine of Your Love" by Cream is one of the best songs in the world. P.P.S. Where can I get a faux fur coat and boots like that? I'll take the whole look, Mr. Ginger.

5 Music Documentaries To Watch On Netflix

5. Greenwich Village: Music That Defined A Generation. I just realized most of these documentaries are about music in the 60s. What is it with my affinity for the 60s? This documentary made me think about the memoir Just Kids, and brought that era and lifestyle out of my imagination into visibility—made me feel as though I were really there! The music had me swaying and grooving around the room with my hands held in peace signs above my head, eyes closed. And then I went and bought striped bell bottom trousers, and had a close call with the scissors and self-cut bangs.

Image source 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

How To Make Engineer Print Portraits For Your Wall


How To Make Engineer Print Portraits For Your Wall

I posted this picture of the boys playing in our living room on Instagram a few days ago, and I had smattering of questions about our engineer print portraits. I aim to please, so here is a little tutorial on how I did them!

More than likely you have seen them floating around Pinterest, and the genius who started it was Julia Marcum of Chris Loves Julia. I am merely a copying, literally and figuratively, with these prints, and I am glad I did!

The ceilings in our living room are enormously tall, meaning there was this giant blank wall staring at me every day. I needed something that was clean, crisp, yet impactful to go on there. I toyed with the idea of a gallery wall, but since I don't have a Smithsonian supply of art or pictures, it was a deal breaker.

One day I was scrolling through my home inspiration board looking for a very specific steel framed window, when, what to my wondering eye should appear! The engineer prints! Bing! It was a done deal.

Here's a list for my process of making them and putting it all together, because I am a list-maker and that's just how my brain works.

How To Make Engineer Print Portraits For Your Wall

Step 1: I started with buying the frames, which are the 27½ x 39¼ RIBBA frames from IKEA in medium brown. At $24.99 you cannot get a more sturdy and nice looking frame for that price. I promise, promise. We decided to go with three since my sister is a pulpit pounder about The Rule of Three. Good thing I obediently followed her command. We centered them and spaced them seven inches apart—I was also schooled about hanging objects—always space in odd numbers, she said! Yes, ma'am! I took the mat out because I wanted the drama of negative space and a laser sharp focus on the subject.

Step 2: Three months later after hanging the picture frames, I finally got my act together and took THE portraits to hang in the frames. I dressed Luke and Wes in neutral matching tank tops, and had them sit against a blank wall. The key to getting a good shot is the lighting. I shot in natural light next to a north-facing window around 3:30pm. That's when the light hits the sweet spot in that room and it worked like magic. I made sure to leave plenty of negative space on the top half of the portraits, so I would only have to make small cropping edits and have a better image to print.

How To Make Engineer Print Portraits For Your Wall

Step 3: Editing! I have a very intense passion for editing photos. Whether it is in Photoshop or on my iPhone, I love it all. Need someone to edit your Instagram photos? I will be your editing assistant! ;) Anyway, I edited the portraits of Luke and Wes in Photoshop. First and foremost, I cleaned up the lingering dirt smudges on their faces, because boys. Then, I used Pioneer Woman's B&W action. I did, however, delete the ugly edge burn. Next, I used A Beautiful Mess actions to enhance and sharpen. My favorite action is Stella, which does a mix of brightening and sharpening. After adjusting that action, I went back to the light on the B&W action until it was closer to a pure black and white, and vibrant.

Step 4: Resizing! I wanted the photo to be as clear as possible, so I made sure my resolution was 300 dpi. Next, I selected inches and sized it to my exact measurements of 27.5 x 39.25 inches. I saved it as a PNG image file (I always feel like they give my photos a better finish versus a JPG) to my flash drive and was on my merry way to Staples!

Step 5: The folks at Staples were friendly and helpful as always. Initially, they said the file wasn't showing up in the correct dimensions, but that it wasn't an issue and they would have them ready and cut down to the exact size. After twenty minutes of roaming the back to school supplies and waxing nostalgic about my Lisa Frank folders from third grade, I heard my name being called. They showed me the finished product and I was incredibly impressed with my skills. I felt like a professional! Such exhilaration! Upon calming down about my finest works of art (my children) I finally got to the register. Because I live in California and everything here is about double from any other state, my prints were $5 each to my surprise, instead of the $3 cost you will hear about engineer prints anywhere else. Meh. The $2 difference did not matter. The outcome is WORTH. IT.

Step 6: I raced home and hung these bad boys immediately. The one downer was the stupid little groove thingamabobs jacking up my thumbnail. So, yes, word of advice: use a knife or something other than your fingernails to pry them up! There are like, 25, on each frame. Multiply that by three and that's one sore thumbnail by the end.

How To Make Engineer Print Portraits For Your Wall

Ta-daaaaaa!!! I think the wall looks beautiful. (And yes, our couch is ripped and peeling. �� Don't look too closely! We are in the market for a new, sturdy couch that can withstand boys. Holla if you have any good suggestions.) For under $100, it's nothing short of a miracle.