My New Years Resolutions

Happy last day of 2015, everyone! 2015 has been a bit of a crazy year for me (a year in review post will follow at some point), including living in Scotland for nearly half of the year. I managed to find my blog post of my New Years Resolutions for last year and it's funny to see how similar mine are this year. Last year's are:
  1. To love myself and take care of myself — eat healthy, exercise, keep up a skincare routine, read more, use a positive inner voice. 
  2. To not let my fear of being hurt and the pain of my past experiences keep me from opening my heart and taking a chance. 
  3. To create content — writing, blogging, videos. 
I'll be honest...I only truly fulfilled one of those. While I did create content (both for this blog and my YouTube channel) regularly, I never really had the opportunity to bring #2 to fruition and I didn't always keep self-care in mind.

Some people don't believe in New Years Resolutions because they don't typically last the whole year. But does that really matter? In my mind, resolutions are wonderful even if they only last for a few weeks or months. Any progress towards a goal is progress, right?

So my resolutions for this year are:

  1. Continue regular posting on my YouTube channel, this blog, and my Instagram account
  2. Take better care of myself! This includes: drinking more water, exercising, eating more healthy foods, meditating/doing yoga/coloring daily, and pampering myself with skincare weekly. 
  3. Using my new bullet journal to help me feel more organized and in control of things.

What are your resolutions? Make sure to share them with me on social media or in the comments below. Oh, and Happy New Years Eve! x

Best Theatre Experiences of 2015

This has been a great year of theatre for me! I saw Les Miserables and Miss Saigon in the West End, plus Newsies and Wicked on US national tour. I discovered Hamilton and Gigi, not to mention that it was the year of The Last Five Years movie. I wanted to share with all of you, my best theatre experiences of the year:

Seeing Dreamgirls in Raleigh 
I love finding great theatre that's inexpensive and close to home. And seeing Dreamgirls was even better because one of the leads in it goes to my university! Read my review.

Seeing my best friend perform 
I was lucky enough to get to see my best friend, Lucy, perform twice while I was in Scotland: once singing a song from Elisabeth das Musical at a cabaret and another time singing "Time Heals Everything" at her voice recital. Luckily, I filmed both of them.

Seeing Les Miserables in London

Getting to see Les Mis in London in March with an incredible cast was one of the highlights of my year. While at first I was sad that Peter Lockyer and David Thaxton were both off the night I saw it, I ended up being immensely pleased that my family and I got to see Simon Shorten's Valjean and James Gant's Javert. Of course, seeing Carrie Hope Fletcher and Rob Houchen as Eponine and Marius for the third time was incredible and I absolutely adored both Michael Colbourne and Christian Edwards. 

Read my review

Seeing Miss Saigon in London 

From the moment I discovered Miss Saigon, I knew it was my show. I've rarely loved a cast like I loved the London revival cast so I was so pleased to see the show for a second time in March. That I got to go with my mom made it even better! This year, I got to see Tanya Manalang as Kim and Niall Sheehy as Chris. I'd always wanted to see Niall Sheehy as Enjolras when he was understudying the role so I was very excited and he definitely came through with a stunning performing. 

Read my review

Falling in love with Hamilton (and getting a favorite from Lin Manuel Miranda) 

When I first started hearing about Hamilton, it didn't seem like the thing for me. While I have a fondness for history musicals, the idea of a hip-hop show perplexed me. But, I recognized that it was a momentous occasion in musical theatre history and I had a lot of respect for Lin-Manuel Miranda, so I gave it a listen when he released it for free on NPR the Monday before the album's release.

I spent the next few weeks falling in love. I honestly don't know any other way to describe it. Having Hamilton has made my semester so much more wonderful, as it supported me through rough days and inspired me to make plans for my future and made me new friends. I can't wait to see it in New York City in 2016! One of the best days has to be when the man himself, Lin-Manuel Miranda favorited my tweet...(though the day Daveed Diggs favorited my tweet was also pretty exciting.)

Read my review of the album from the week it was released.

A Stagey What I Got for Christmas

I wanted to share some of my very stagey Christmas presents with you all! Let me know what you got for Christmas in the comments and don't forget to subscribe to my channel. x

Favorite Christmas Videos

One thing I love about Christmas time is all the special Christmas-y YouTube videos! I decided to round up some of my favorites to share with you. Make sure to tell me your favorites in the comments. x

There's nothing like a Christmas lookbook, right? I especially love this one for Baby Glitter and Zoe Sugg's latest. They definitely got me excited about putting together festive outfits!

I always look forward to Zoe and Louise's annual gift exchange videos! I absolutely love seeing what other people get for Christmas... #nosyNicole 

If I didn't already have gifts purchased for people, I would definitely be making some of these! As a matter of fact, I might make some for birthdays...or even for myself. 

Festive makeup is so fun...especially with red lipstick! If you're looking for tips, check out these two tutorials. 

Friday Internet Finds: Christmas Edition!

Happy one week until Christmas, everyone! I decided to do a special Christmas-themed edition of Friday Internet Finds, just to be extra festive.

1. I loved Alyssa Campanella's blog post about how she and Torrance Coombs decorated their home for Christmas (complete with stockings for their cats!). I especially loved how she tied gold bows onto their tree...I may have to do that next year!

2. Need a last minute present for your favorite geek? This Buzzfeed quiz can give you some ideas, based on their fandom.

3. This recipe for shortbread cookies from Tanya Burr's blog looks so simple! And the cookies are absolutely gorgeous. I'll definitely be trying it out.

4. Um this gingerbread replica of the house from Up! is seriously amazing.

5. This Christmas Lookbook from Zoe Sugg might just be one of my favorite videos of hers ever! Some gorgeous outfit inspiration for the whole holiday season.

My Christmas List

I wanted to share part of my Christmas list for you in case any of you were looking for gifts for your friends or family, or trying to figure out what to tell people that you want! 

Austenland DVD // I absolutely love the movie, Austenland. It's exactly the sort of Jane Austen themed cheesy romantic movie that I love to put on while I'm working on something. I can't wait to have my own copy of it. 

Madewell sweater // This turtleneck from Madewell is so gorgeous and soft. And luckily for you, even though it's a bit of a splurge, it's on sale right now. 

The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet // I haven't had a chance to read this yet because of school. It's perfect for anyone who loves Pride and Prejudice and especially the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. 

Hamilton laptop sleeve // If you're looking for a way to show your love of Hamilton to the world, this is surely it. I can't wait to start using mine! 

Kate Spade bag // The bag that I ordered recently is unfortunately out of stock, but this one is gorgeous as well. If you're trying to figure out what to ask your parents for or what to spend your holiday money on then this would be a lovely choice. I love the look of a pale pink bag paired with an all black outfit. 

My Favorite Christmas Tradition

I wanted to share one of my favorite Christmas traditions with you all that my family uses to really make Christmas seem longer! I also wanted to share my friend Stefanie's gift for me because it's so adorable. Don't forget to subscribe to my channel if you aren't already! x

Friday Internet Finds

As of today, I'm finally finished with my exams! I am so excited to go home for the holidays and really get into the Christmas spirit.

1. Looking for a Christmas TV episode to watch? This Buzzfeed quiz can suggest one. (If you want movie suggestions, head to my list of fave Christmas movies.)

2. Have you seen that the UK actually has a serious petition going to ban Donald Trump from their country? At least I know where I'm moving if he becomes president...

3. I love this "21 Things You Need to Thank Yourself For Before the End of the Year" post from Thought Catalog.

4. Did you see the Hamilton is officially launching a national tour, starting in Chicago? Check out this article for more details.

5. I love Sanne Vliegenthart's YouTube channel (booksandquills) and her Christmas gift guide of bookish gifts under 5 pounds is perfect. Whether you need a little present or a stocking stuffer for your for your favorite bookworm, she has some great suggestions!

My Seven Favorite Christmas Films

With two of my exams behind me, I can finally afford to feel festive. So what movie am I watching while I write this? Love Actually, of course! I wanted to share some of my favorite holiday films with you. Please comment with your favorites so I can find some new ones! xx

Love Actually // Is there anything even to say about this? Without a doubt, the best adult Christmas movie of all time. What storyline is your favorite? Mine is definitely the one about the prime minister.

White Christmas // Confession: I watch this movie all year, not just at Christmas. But what's better than a Christmas movie musical with incredible tap dancing and singing?

It's a Wonderful Life // Perhaps the most classic Christmas movie ever. I have to watch this with my mom every year.

A Royal Christmas // This is my Hallmark movie guilty pleasure. Because what's better than finding out that your boyfriend is actually royalty?

The Nine Lives of Christmas // If you love cats and cute men, this one's for you. Surprisingly touching for a Hallmark movie.

The Christmas Card // This has always been my favorite Hallmark Christmas movie. When I was younger, I adored love triangles and the whole idea of a veteran finding someone who sent him a card while he was in the army is lovely.

Little Women // While Little Women isn't really a Christmas movie, Christmas does play a large role in it and I love watching it at Christmas time. But this is definitely one to bring the tissues for!

Magic Kingdom and Epcot Vlogs!

Here are the other two vlogs from my Thanksgiving trip to Disney World. Enjoy! xx

Friday Internet Finds

How are you all surviving the beginning of the festive season? Next week is exam week for me, so I'm quite stressed out. Which makes mindless Internet browsing for breaks even more important!

1. I love this article about habits of fashionable people from College Fashion. Too true!

2. As sad as I am about the news that Les Miz Broadway will close in September, I can't contain my happiness about John Owen Jones coming to play Valjean. Brb, booking tickets.

3. This Buzzfeed quiz can tell you what your life would be like on "Gossip Girl." Apparently I would be Queen of the Upper East Side...I'm certainly not complaining. Let me know what you get in the comments!

4. If you're studying for finals like I am, you may as well do it to Christmas music! Check out this vintage Christmas playlist or this indie one.

5. Anyone else SO excited for #24DaysofZoella? I love love love this Christmas jumper haul.

Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios

I was lucky enough to get to go to Walt Disney World for Thanksgiving with my family. We went to Hollywood Studios for the first time (as my little sister finally decided she was ready to try the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror) and were delighted to find The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. 

During the holiday season, at dusk, the Streets of America section shuts down and turns into a place of holiday wonder. The streets are covered in thousands of lights which twinkle in time to holiday music. The feeling of wonder and community is amazing as everyone wanders about, taking photos and singing along to the music. It seemed that for just a little while, all the visitors from different places joined together to celebrate the holidays a bit early. 

While the photos certainly don't do it justice, I wanted to share some with you. I also filmed some of it which is in my Hollywood Studios vlog on my YouTube channel! 

Hollywood Studios Vlog!

I hope all of my American readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving! My family spent the holiday at DisneyWorld in Orlando, Florida and I took lots of video to share with you all! We spent two days at Magic Kingdom, two days at Epcot, and one day at Hollywood Studios. The Magic Kingdom and Epcot vlogs will follow, but for now...check out what we did at Hollywood Studios!

Theatre Q&A Video

With some delays due to slow internet at my hotel, here's my Theatre-Themed Question and Answer video, featuring me discussing meeting Killian Donnelly and rapping "Guns and Ships" from Hamilton. Please let me know if you like Q&A videos and would like to see another one. xx

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Friday everyone! This Friday is especially lovely for me as it's the last day of classes before break. This evening, I head to DisneyWorld with my family! But don't worry; I've got a video all lined up for Sunday's upload and a blog post scheduled for Wednesday.

1. Anyone else feel weird about promoting their own work? I've been struggling lately with promoting my own content, whether it's my YouTube channel, this blog, or my Supergirl recaps for So The Haute Notes' guide to self-promotion definitely will help me out!

2. With finals approaching, it's important to keep this in mind: "Your mental health is more important than your grades."

3. My amazing friend Fletcher wrote a beautiful and eloquent blog post about some of the difficulties of being adopted. Please do yourself a favor and read it; you won't regret it. (I may or may not have cried.)

4. I love this little profile of Chris McCarrell. I'm so glad that I got to see him as Joly in Les Mis and I'm hoping to see him as Marius before his run ends.

5. Anyone else love wardrobe tours? I especially loved Tanya Burr's new one!

Five Fave Makeup Products

In the past year, I've truly fallen in love with makeup in a way that I never had before. While I was studying abroad in St Andrews, I would go and buy myself a new makeup product as a treat every few weeks as a reward for working. This summer, I finally bought my first Mac lipstick (and my addiction was born). Now, I'm subscribed to Ipsy which means that I get to try new makeup products every month!

In honor of my newfound love for makeup, I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.

Mac Lipstick in "So Chaud" 
I might have a small problem, which is that I wear this lipstick most of the time. I can't drink a tea or a soda without it having a red lipstick ring on it. This shade is red enough to make me feel confident, without being overwhelming.

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara 
I first bought this because I saw Zoe Sugg use it and I struggle to use any other mascara now. The plastic applicator helps my lashes not clump together and the mascara is so long lasting.

NYX Ipsy Eyeshadow Palette 
I actually didn't like this palette when I first got it in my Ipsy Glam Bag, and I still haven't figured out how to use the light shade or the black, but I'm in love with the middle gold shade. I wear it almost every day because it's such a beautiful autumn look.

Anastasia Brow Wiz Pencil 
This pencil changed the fate of my eyebrows forever. It makes small strokes that look natural while lasting for a long time.

Tarte Setting Powder 
I've been using this since I first started actually wearing foundation. It's a translucent powder to set your makeup into place and I couldn't go without it!

H&M Haul

I went to H&M last weekend to find a cardigan (which, funny enough, I didn't find) and ended up picking up a few lovely pieces that I wanted to share with you all! Links to the items are in the description box of the video. x

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Friday everyone! I'm excited to announce that this Friday marks a first for first sorority formal. My best friend and flatmate, Lauren, is taking me as her "date." I'm excited!

1. For those of you who love Zara as much as I do, this article is a very interesting bit of background and history of the company.

2. A quick shameless self-promo: If you're watching Supergirl, then make sure to check out my recaps for!

3. It's time to start shopping for holiday presents! If you've got a guy in your life that you're buying for, make sure to check out this College Prepster list of gift suggestions!

4. Hamilton was on 60 Minutes this past week, but they also put up this video on the making of the cast album. I'm not saying that I cried (twice, actually), but it's well worth watching. If for nothing other than to hear Leslie Odom Jr. sing acappella.

5. I promise I won't just share a Ham4Ham video every week, but it would be a crime to not make sure you saw Lin Manuel Miranda and Lea Salonga singing "A Whole New World." I mean, she's the actual voice of Princess Jasmine...

New York City Bucket List

I'm happy to announce that this summer, I will be participating in my university's New York City program! I'll be living in the city for nine weeks, taking a class and interning. (If anyone has any information or connections for internships in theatre PR and social media, please email me. Please.) 

I'm also very excited because my family is coming up to join me the week my program ends so we'll have a week together in the city. This past weekend, we bought Hamilton tickets for August 3rd...I cannot wait for that day to be in "the room where it happens"! 

I am so excited to be spending the summer in the city ("the greatest city in the world"!) and being surrounded by theatre and culture. There are so many things that I want to do this summer, so I've started a bucket list and I wanted to show you what's on it thus far! 

October Favorites

Happy Monday everyone! Since it's already November (how did that happen?), I wanted to share some of my October Favorites with you. xx

Friday Internet Finds

Hi friends! So it's officially November...when did that happen? I'm excited to be heading home this weekend to go to my cousin's baby shower.

1. This "Ode to All Future Cat Ladies" from Thought Catalog actually really resonated with me. (I'm thinking I should name my future cats after historical figures. Aaron Purr, anyone?)

2. I've never loved a Buzzfeed article more than this one about Daveed Diggs. Yes, let's all talk about Daveed. My current life goal is to meet Daveed.

3. I've been drawn to French fashion ever since I was a little girl and fell in love with the idea of France (like most ballet dancers do). These "Tips for Dressing Like a French Woman" are definitely the inspiration for my autumn and winter style.

4. I was so worried while taking "Which Disney Villain Song Should be Your Anthem" that I wouldn't get "Be Prepared"...but then I did! #score

5. I'm so in love with the behind-the-scenes video from my university's magazine's denim photoshoot. You can read the November issue of The Edge here.

Review: Elon University's Oklahoma!

I am lucky to go to a university that has an incredible musical theatre program that turns out talented performers like Adam Kaplan and Grant Gustin. I particularly appreciate this because it means that I get to see incredible theatre productions by tomorrow's Broadway stars for free. I actually got to see Oklahoma! twice: once with my family the first weekend it showed and on closing night with a friend from back home.

I'll start by admitting that I don't care for Oklahoma! as a show. I appreciate its significance in the history of musical theatre and even like some of its songs, but it hasn't appealed to me in years (I was obsessed with the movie of it as a child, for some reason--no wonder I turned out so strange). However, this production was absolutely incredible from the scenery to the costuming to the actors. I'm truly impressed by the level of theatre that my university achieves. 

Seniors Drew Shafranek and Michaela Vine shined as Curly and Laurie. Both their vocals and acting were lovely and the two had great chemistry on stage. It was easy to forget that Michaela is still a college student when watching her on stage. The role of Laurie is a somewhat tricky one and she played it flawlessly. Senior Jillian Hannah was a hilarious Aunt Eller, who managed to bring heart to the role as well. One of the most touching moments of the show was after the murder, when she tells Laurie that she has to be "hearty." 

For me, sophomores Mara Wilson and Drew Redington stole the show as Ado Annie and Will. Drew's tapping was impressive, as was the rest of the male cast's dancing, and he brought the right charisma to the role. "Kansas City" was easily the best overall number of the show, in my opinion. Mara Wilson, who I learned in the program was nominated for a BroadwayWorld award for her performance as Eponine at the Reagle Music Theatre in Greater Boston, played an endearing if excitable Ado Annie and her belting was phenomenal. 

Fergie Philippe, a junior, was incredible as Jud. Honestly, I've never wished for Jud to have another solo in the second act before! His voice is powerful, but it was the fact that he managed to make a rather despicable character sympathetic at times that really impressed me. (On a side note: Fergie would be a perfect Hercules Mulligan in Hamilton. Just in case you're reading this, Lin.) 

I can't finish this review without mentioning Maxel Garcia, a senior, who played Ali Hakim. His comedic timing was absolutely impeccable and brightened up the whole show. 

I always try to take advantage of the amazing opportunity I have to see professional level theatre (honestly, at least comparable to national tours) at my own school. If you ever have a chance to see an Elon show, do it! Oklahoma! was a fantastic production and I'm so glad I got to share it with my family and my friend, Nupur. 

Ipsy Glam Bag || October 2015

My second Ipsy Glam Bag wasn't quite as much of a hit as the first one was, but I still loved some of the products in it. Can't wait for November's! x

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Friday! Does anyone have any fun Halloween plans? One of my best friends from high school is coming to stay with me and we're going to see the school musical and then to the annual Halloween party.

1. It's no secret that guys don't understand rompers. So this video of men trying them on? #priceless

2. Hold up: Buzzfeed has a very important quiz. Are you more Alexander Hamilton or Aaron Burr?

3. In honor of 1989's one year birthday, here are 12 Life Lessons Taylor Swift Taught Us with the album.

4. I'm so absolutely in love with Alyssa Campanella's Topshop dress in her latest outfit post. But is there ever a time I'm not in love with her blog?

5. This #Ham4Ham show may actually be my favorite. (Gasp! I have a favorite?) If you don't know, the #Ham4Ham show is a little performance Hamilton does on two-show days for the people waiting for the lottery. The results are always amazing.

A Week in Review: Mirror Selfies

While I'll hopefully have some nice fashion posts for you in the near future, I wanted to go ahead and share with you some mirror selfies I took of my outfits last week. The transition from summer to fall is always difficult in North Carolina because you never know what the temperature is going to be. Hence, layering is key! (Can you tell I'm moving into my winter all-black color palette?)

Monday: Trying Out a Turtleneck 
I used to avoid turtlenecks and midi skirts like the plague, but I decided to give these a try...and fell absolutely in love. I did laundry this weekend partially just so that I could wear this sweater again this week. 

Tuesday: All in Black 
On Tuesday, I wanted to be comfy while still looking put together, so I wore my Topshop black ripped jeans, a cropped black sweater, and black slip-ons. I'm obsessed with all black outfits paired with red lipstick. 

Wednesday: Channeling Tanya Burr
I'd be lying if I denied that I bought this Topshop jean skirt partially just because Tanya Burr has it. I paired it with black booties and a striped top and felt very Tanya-esque. 

Thursday: Capes and Burgundy Lips 
Thursday was quite cold so I wore my new Topshop ripped jeans with a black cropped button-down and my grey and black cape. I paired it with my new Topshop dark berry lipstick. I don't typically like dark lipsticks on me, but I'm in love with this one.

Friday: Oklahoma! Inspired?
 On Friday, I went to see my university's fall show, Oklahoma!, and it seems that it may have translated into my outfit (although this isn't what I wore to the show). I paired a cropped button-down with my denim shorts and the ever trusty black booties. I think that I will miss these shorts once the weather actually decides to stay cold enough that shorts are out of the question.

I hope you enjoyed these outfits even if the photos weren't great quality! How do you deal with the temperature change?

Questions Nobody Asks Tag Part II

Here's the second part of the Questions Nobody Asks Tag. (Here's Part I if you missed it.)

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Friday, everyone! This Friday is a bit crazy for me: a paper due, a presentation, a quiz, an interview, presentations to attend, and my family's coming over tonight to see my university's production of Oklahoma!

1. There's no denying that turtlenecks are in this season. I used to be firmly against them, but then I tried one on and fell in love. There's just something better about the current versions.

2. This review roundup of The Bandstand, the new off-Broadway production at Paper Mill Playhouse starring Laura Osnes and Corey Cott, has made me want to see it even more. Fingers crossed it transfers to Broadway soon!

3. This Buzzfeed quiz claims to tell you what other people find attractive about you. Apparently, it's my "inner strength." #goodtoknow

4. Earlier this week, the new Star Wars movie trailer pretty much broke the Internet (and with good reason).

5. You may have already seen the cover of "Defying Gravity" by Aaron Tveit and Rachel Tucker that everyone is talking about, but just in case you haven't... #swoon

My Top 5 TV Shows

If there's one thing university students love (well other than class being cancelled and free food), it's Netflix. I have five shows I'm very much in love with right now, but I'm always looking for new ones. I love talking about TV shows so I thought that I would share my faves with you!

Once Upon a Time

I was very much late to the game with watching Once Upon a Time. I didn't start the show until the second season was airing when my friend Maggie finally convinced me to give it a showing me lots of pictures of Captain Hook. (Seriously, look him up.) Once Upon a Time is basically a strange combination of lots of fairy tales, set in modern-day Massachusetts. My favorite thing about it is how none of the characters are completely good or bad...and my number one OTP #CaptainSwan.


Reign is my guilty pleasure show, no question about it. It's a telling of the early life of Mary Queen of Scots at the French court: think Gossip Girl meets Game of Thrones. If you can get past the ridiculousness of some of the plots (with their sex, violence, and supernatural elements), the characters are developed well and the actors who play them are incredible. I especially love the indie music used as the show's soundtrack. I'll always have a soft spot for Reign because I wrote reviews of it for for half of the second season. Season 2 was recently added to US Netflix, if you're looking for something to watch.

The Borgias

The Borgias is probably the historical series I feel the least guilty about watching, despite its overuse of sex and violence. I adore Holliday Grainger so watching her as Lucrezia Borgia is a pleasure. Admittedly, the more political scenes sometimes bore me but I love all of the sumptuous costumes and sets.

New Girl

I think I may actually be Jess Day, the main character of New Girl, played by Zooey Deschanel. I watched the first season of New Girl in less than two weeks because I loved Jess and her roommates' antics. Admitedly, I couldn't get into the second season because I was too disappointed at my favorite couple falling apart (no spoilers!), but I may give it another try at some point.


To be fair, Supergirl hasn't actually aired yet, but I already know that I love it! I'm so excited to have a girl superhero show and the cast couldn't be more impressive. I can't wait to have Jeremy Jordan on my TV every week and I'm looking forward to Laura Benanti's appearances as well. If you'll be watching too, then make sure to check out my reviews of the show on 

Please share your favorite TV shows in the comments with me! When I finally have some free time (is that a real thing?), I'm thinking about either watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or trying Game of Thrones? Which one would you recommend?

Questions Nobody Asks Tag!

I didn't have a video in particular that I wanted to film for this week, so I decided to do the Questions Nobody Asks tag! I split the tag into two because it's quite long, so the second part will be up next week. Enjoy xx

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Friday everyone! This Friday is especially exciting for me because this weekend is Homecoming at my university. Who else has fun plans for the weekend?

1. As a history student, I was so excited when I found this article about a new tablet from the Epic of Gilgamesh being found. It's one of the oldest stories we have written down...history is amazing because new things are always being discovered!

2. This Buzzfeed quiz can tell you why you're still single...apparently I'm just "too perfect." #egoboost

3. Anyone else own a midi skirt but not quite sure how to wear it? This article from College Fashion shows three ways to style a midi skirt and they're all gorgeous outfits!

4. If you love Hamilton even half as much as I do, this round-up of hilarious Tumblr posts about it will definitely make you laugh out loud. (I nearly fell out of my chair at #10.)

5. I think that self care is incredibly important, so I love this recent video from Louise Pentland. Please remember to take care of yourselves! x

Ipsy Glam Bag Review

I recently subscribed to Ipsy. It costs $10 a month and lets you try out 5 new makeup or hair products each month. I'm absolutely in love with it! This post is in no way sponsored by Ipsy, but if you decide to sign up and use my referral link, I will get points that I can redeem for additional beauty products.

I made a video reviewing the products that I got in my September Glam Bag, in case you'd like to see what an Ipsy Glam Bag looks like or just learn about some new makeup and hair products. Be sure to check back next month, for October's review. x

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Friday, everyone! I have mixed feelings about this weekend. It's fall break, so I get to go home which is very exciting. But I'm sending my computer away to Apple for them to fix it today and I'm not looking forward to being without my laptop the whole weekend!

1. When I saw this "How Glamorous Are You?" quiz, I was a bit nervous. But no worries, friends, I'm a "exceedingly glamorous."

2. I would definitely describe myself as "painfully unatheletic" I very much appreciated this Seventeen article. #thestruggleissoreal

3. I finally had time to catch up on Poppy Deyes's blog and I am so in love with this post about her favorite autumn pieces. I need someone to teach me to wear dungarees/overalls and still look cool.

4. I typically limit myself to one video a week...but I couldn't resist sharing this compilation of 30 years' worth of "One Day More" in honor of Les Miserables's 30th birthday being yesterday!

5. I'm not going to lie: I cried watching this video about Lin Manuel Miranda, composer and star of Hamilton, winning a MacArthur Fellow.

5 Under 25: Bright, Young Musical Theatre Actors

How often have you found out the age of an insanely talented musical theatre actor or actress and been astounded? I'm always surprised when I find out that an actor is my age...or younger! (And then, I wonder what exactly I've achieved in my 21 years.) I decided to round up five astoundingly talented actors and actresses under the age of 25 to share with you all. Enjoy! x

Eva Noblezada, 19

Eva Noblezada, currently starring as Kim in Miss Saigon at London's Prince Edward Theatre, is close to my heart because she was living in Charlotte, NC when she was picked for the Miss Saigon London revival (we bonded over being North Carolina girls when I talked to her at stage door). She was offered the role after graduating high school and has been absolutely smashing it. Her performance at last year's Olivier Awards gave me chills (watch above); I'll never understand why she wasn't nominated for Best Actress in a Musical. How can someone so young and tiny have such powerful vocals? I also have to give her kudos for her amazing sense of style.

Watch her sing "Take Me or Leave Me" with Shoshana Bean or "I'm A Star" at Scott Alan's concert and follow her on Twitter.

Andy Richardson, 20

I was lucky enough to see Andy Richardson as Crutchie in Newsies...he made me cry in the first number of the show! He played Romeo and was the Crutchie understudy in the original Broadway cast of Newsies, before taking on the role when Andrew Keenan-Bolger left the cast. In addition to having flawless vocals, Andy is also a great comedic and dramatic actor. When he sang "Watch me stand" in the "Santa Fe Prologue," you could hear a collective gasp of heartbreak from the audience. Andy's currently enrolled at NYU, but he's thankfully still doing the occasional concert and show.

Watch him sing "The Oldsie Profession" or talk about playing Crutchie and follow him on Twitter.

Michael Colbourne, 22

Michael Colbourne made his professional debut playing Enjolras in Les Mis at the Queen's Theatre in London. I was so happy that I was able to see him twice as Enjolras because his stage presence is simply outstanding. (Also, a special shoutout to his and Chris Edwards' portrayal of the Enjolras-Grantaire friendship.) His concert performances not only show off his stellar vocals, but also his nuanced and often heart-breaking acting. He'll be performing amongst other West End stars in the one-night only London concert of Kings of Broadway next month. (And if you can go to it, I'm extremely jealous!)

Watch him sing "My Land's Shore" or perform as Enjolras in Les Mis's West End Live performance last year and follow him on Twitter

Carrie Hope Fletcher, 22 

Carrie Hope Fletcher, who turns 23 this month, is a West End actress, YouTuber, and author of the bestselling memoir and self-help book, All I Know Now. (You can watch my review here.) I've been lucky enough to see her three times in Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre in London, where she's currently playing the role of Eponine until January. While Carrie's achieved more in 22 years than some people achieve in their entire lives, it was definitely her acting skills that first drew me to her. I can't wait to see what she's going to achieve next...other than the novel that she's already working on, of course!

Watch her sing "I See the Light" from Tangled with her boyfriend Pete Bucknall or "Let It Go" from Frozen and follow her on Twitter

Derek Klena, 23 

Derek Klena has appeared on Broadway as Fiyero in Wicked and Michael in The Bridges of Madison County. He's most well-known for playing the lead role in Dogfight, Eddie Birdlace, in the recent Off-Broadway production. He has an adorable friendship with Lindsay Mendez and they often perform together in concerts at 54 Below. His stunning vocals and impressive acting credits are remarkable for one so young.

Watch Derek and Lindsay sing "Come to a Party/Nothing Short of Wonderful" or "First Date/Last Night" from Dogfight and follow him on Twitter.

Topshop Haul

I finally got a chance to film a video to show you all what I bought at Topshop in Chicago last weekend! Enjoy. xx

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Friday everyone! Who has fun weekend plans? One of my best friends from high school is coming to spend the night with me and go shopping tomorrow. I can't wait!

1. Everyone loves Taylor Swift's fashion so this "Which Taylor Swift Red Carpet Look Describes Your Style?" quiz is absolutely perfect.

2. Laura Benanti wrote a beautiful and touching article about the stigma around miscarriages. As someone who has many family members who have gone through it and will probably go through it myself one day, I truly appreciated her honesty about the entire experience as much as it broke my heart to hear about hers.

3. My second profile for College Fashion is up! I'm so proud of how this one turned out. Sarah's style is preppy without being cliche.

4. Who else is super excited about Laura Osnes and Corey Cott being in The Bandstand together? This video from made me so sad I can't see it. Here's to hoping it'll make it to Broadway?

5. I love Rebecca's videos and her lipstick suggestions are always perfect for me since we have similar skin and hair tones. I actually bought the Topshop lipstick she talks about in this video and I can't wait to wear it!

5 Ways to Destress

Since I started high school, I think I've been in a constant state of stress. Going to university only made it worse because now in addition to dealing with school work and jobs, I'm also trying to take care of myself and pretend to be an adult.

It's easy to get tense and anxious when you have too much going on. Sometimes, I have to take an hour and do something to relax just to protect my mental health. An hour of relaxation now is much better than a few hours of mental breakdown later. 

Here are my tips for five ways to unwind when life is just too much:

(1) Have a meal with a friend.
It's far too easy to get into a pattern of eating all your meals while working on something. And there's nothing bad about working while eating one or two meals a's when you realize that you always eat by yourself that you have a problem! When I'm very stressed, I try to take a little bit of time to eat lunch or dinner with my roommate, Lauren. Talking to her about my problems while I eat always puts me in a better (and typically more productive) mood and helps me avoid burning out.

A pizza bagel lunch from last week

(2) Take a bath. 
A lot of people only have showers at university, but if you're lucky enough to have a bathtub, take advantage of it! A 20 minute bath is such a great way to relax...if you have a lot to do, you can even review material for a test while in the bath.

My favorite bath products are by Zoella Beauty

(3) Listen to inspirational music. 
I had a very difficult week last week. The kind of week that would typically end in me crying in a corner somewhere. But, last week the Hamilton cast album was released and I spent every moment walking around campus listening to it. Listening to upbeat music that makes you feel like you can conquer the world while you're studying or just walking to your classes can help you so much! #imnotthrowingawaymyshot 

(4) Watch some YouTube videos. 
Sometimes when I'm stressed, the idea of watching a movie stresses me out even more. Taking a two hour break? Not something I can justify to myself. Spending 15-20 minutes watching YouTube videos is much better for me. Sometimes I watch haul videos or vlogs, but a lot of times I watch concert videos when I'm stressed out. Tell me you can watch this video without smiling and I'll call you a liar. ;) 

(5) Treat yourself. 
When I'm quite worried about something, I like to treat myself to my favorite food to make my mood better. I can't be unhappy when I'm eating a macaroon with my lunch!

Mini Chicago Vlog!

I went to Chicago this past weekend with my family to celebrate my grandfather's 88th birthday. While there, I took a few short montage-y bits of video to share with you all! We went to the American Girl Doll store, Topshop, and Eataly. x

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Friday everyone! It seemed like this week would never end. This weekend is exciting for me because I'm headed up to Chicago this afternoon to celebrate my grandfather's birthday (and go shopping at Topshop...). What are your plans for the weekend?

1. In case you've been listening to something other than the brand new Hamilton cast album this past week, it's been on NPR! But today it goes for sale on'll be so much more convenient to listen to it that way!

2. Ever wondered who the ideal guy for you is? This Buzzfeed quiz can tell you. Apparently, I should be looking for suave gentlemen. (Not sure we have those on university campuses...)

3. Was this week as incredibly stressful for you as it was for me? I certainly hope not. In case it was, here's 6 Ways to Stop Worrying from The Haute Notes. #muchneeded

4. The best part about the Emmy's is the fashion in my opinion. After looking at this recap, I think Sarah Hyland's was my favorite outfit. Whose was yours?

5. For my video this week, I wanted to throw it back to one of my favorite videos on the Internet...

Review: Hamilton Cast Album

Composer/lyricist/actor Lin Manuel Miranda broke the internet this Monday when he dropped the cast album of his new hit musical, Hamilton, on NPR's website. The album is released on iTunes this Friday (and on physical CD in October), but I wanted to go ahead and write my review since it's all I've listened to since it was released.

The Show
Lin Manuel Miranda's musical tells the life story of Alexander Hamilton, Founding Father of the United States. It's gained media attention for two reasons: its hip-hop style and its racially blind casting. Miranda, who is of Puerto Rican descent, plays Hamilton himself. The show's Off-Broadway production was met with rave reviews and since its opening on Broadway on August 6, it has become almost impossible to gain a ticket. I'm personally impressed by its very modern telling of historical events and by its heart-wrenching love triangle (who knew that a good love triangle was still possible?). 

The Style
To be entirely honest, I didn't think I was going to like the music of Hamilton. The idea sounded great and the plot sounded interesting, but hip hop isn't exactly my thing. I'm typically very much a Boubil and Schoenburg girl. I've never been happier to be proved wrong. I'm strutting around campus singing "I'm not throwing away my shot!" I officially have a favorite rapper for the first time: Lin Manuel Miranda. The musical is a mix of rap, hip hop, pop, classic musical theatre, and so many other influences I can't even name. 

The Cast
There's no denying that Lin is the star of the show. His Hamilton is complex and compelling and his voice is sublime. Jonathan Groff plays a hilarious and ridiculous King George III. Phillipa Soo's voice portrays an incredible range of emotion as Eliza Schuyler and it's become my goal in life to rap like Renee Elise Goldsberry who plays Angelica Schuyler (because I know that I could never attain her incredible vocals). There truly don't appear to be any weak players in this entire cast. 

The Songs
Thus far, my favorite songs probably belong to the Schuyler sisters. "Satisfied" has quickly become my go-to song, but I can't resist the 90's pop goodness of "Helpless." "Burn" is Eliza Schuyler's ballad and one of the strongest songs on the album, in my opinion. I predict that "My Shot" will become iconic and I don't think my friend Ashley would forgive me if I didn't mention the brilliance of "The Room Where It Happened." 

This album is a gift to the theatre world. It's one that I will listen to again and again to find the subtle references (who else has found the reference to The Last Five Years?), to attempt to memorize all the rap sections, and to relive the heartache. It's somehow both the perfect musical to get you pumped up and to listen to when you're upset with the world. I, for one, can't wait to buy the album on iTunes this Friday so I can keep listening to it all day (every day). 

Birthday Vlog!

My 21st birthday was last Tuesday and I decided to vlog it so that I could share my day with you all. Enjoy! xx

Friday Internet Finds

Who else is super excited for Friday? Of course, I'm mostly excited for this Friday because I'm having my 21st birthday party today!

1. I recently found studyblr, the student-focused side of Tumblr filled with study tips and photos of pretty study areas. One of my new favorite bloggers has a Wordpress as well.

2. This "Which Non-Prince Disney Guy is Your Soulmate?" Buzzfeed quiz is adorable.

3. I'm absolutely devastated that War Horse is closing in the West End. I saw it several years ago and it was by far one of the best things I've ever seen. If you're in or near London, definitely go see it while you can!

4. Chloe Grace Moretz's style is exactly the aesthetic I aim for in the fall. I love this feature of a week of her outfits!

5. I might be late to the game on this one but....I'm fairly convinced that this is what my future children will be like. Absolutely adorable. x

Review: Cool Rider Live Album

In honor of the new Cool Rider Live album finally being available on American iTunes, I figured I should finally review it. I actually won a giveaway of the digital album, so I've had it for months and I listen to it nearly every day. High praise indeed from someone who doesn't even like Grease.

In case you don't know, Cool Rider is the sequel to Grease. This new West End recording of the music was actually funded by a KickStarter, which I definitely would have backed if I'd known about it. While I'm not a huge fan of the storyline (cheesy musicals have never been my forte), this album quickly became one of my most played. It has lots of feel-good, pump-you-up songs that are exactly what I need on a Monday morning.

Ashleigh Gray has killer vocals on the title song, but my favorites include light-hearted and upbeat songs like "Who's That Guy," "Girl for All Seasons," and "Score Tonight." (I never would have thought that a song about bowling would have me dancing around my room.)

Admittedly, I discovered the project because Niall Sheehy sang the vocals for the "leader of the back" Johnny. Though I'd seen Niall as Feuilly in Les Miserables and Chris in Miss Saigon, I had no idea he had the style and charisma to pull off "Prowlin.'" The song is unapologetically ridiculous...and somehow utterly addicting.

I would absolutely recommend buying this album. While the talent of the cast may surpass the material they're singing in my opinion, it's the perfect album to listen to while getting ready in the morning or in the car.

You can buy the Cool Rider album on iTunes or in their store. You can also connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Before 30

Birthdays are a strange thing, to be honest. I haven't really comprehended yet that as of tomorrow, I will be 21 years old. It's an age where you have to admit that for all intents and purposes, you're an adult.

Last year, I reflected on 20 things that I'd learned during my first 20 years of life. This year, I'm looking ahead and sharing ten things I hope to achieve in the next nine years. Turning 30 seems a long time away, but it's only 9 years....How the heck did that occur?

  1. Present at a research conference. I am currently working on my thesis and will be presenting my very own research at research conferences across the country (and potentially internationally). As someone who doesn't intend to continue a career in academics, I'm so excited that I'll get this opportunity before I graduate. 
  2. Graduate from university. I will (hopefully) graduate from Elon University in 2017. I can't believe that I'm almost done with my formal education after so many years. 
  3. Find a job that I love. Whether that translates to working for a PR agency in Raleigh or doing social media for a theatre website (the ultimate dream!), I want to work at a job that I can't wait to go to every day. 
  4. Move to New York City. It's always been my dream to live in New York City and it's definitely something I want to do before I turn 30. (In fact, I intend to have moved 
  5. Fall in love. I've never been in love before, but I love the very idea of love. I'm a hopeless romantic at heart who cries when Mr. Bingley proposes to Jane Bennet and adores the moment in Les Mis when Marius and Cosette first meet. I hope that I'll experience love myself within the next nine years. 
  6. Attend the Broadway opening of Miss Saigon. Supposedly Miss Saigon is coming to Broadway in the near future. I've promised myself that I will be there opening weekend and I intend to make it happen! 
  7. Go to Copenhagen. I've wanted to visit Copenhagen for years and hearing about my roommate Lauren's summer abroad there only made me want to visit it more. 
  8. See my sister graduate high school. My baby sister, who is just 12 right now, will graduate high school within the next nine years...which is a very scary thought for me, but I know I will be so proud of her. 
  9. Attend a Broadway premiere. Whether working it for a theatre publication or attending it, I want to be on the red carpet of the premiere of a Broadway show. It might be the craziest of all these dreams, but I will hopefully find some way to make it happen. 
  10. Get married. No, it doesn't have to happen by the time I turn 30, but I would certainly prefer for it too. Of course, I have to achieve #5 first. ;) 

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Friday everyone! Who's ready for the weekend? I'm super excited for this weekend, because I'm going home to celebrate my birthday with my family (my actual birthday is Tuesday). I hope you all have fun plans too!

1. Apparently divorce selfies are a thing? #nowiveseeneverything

2. This is a (nearly) comprehensive list of all the movies coming into theatres this fall. There are SO MANY that I'm excited about.

3. Ever wanted to know "Which Famous Tom is Your Soulmate?" (Yes, I just love Buzzfeed quizzes that tell me I should marry Tom Hiddleston.)

4. I'm so happy that masala is one of this fall's trendy colors. This article on three ways to wear it has made me so excited.

5. The lovely London Cosette, Zoe Doano, has been running their Twitter account this week! As part of that, she's uploaded some hilarious backstage vlogs onto YouTube, which are definitely worth checking out.

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