What Hamilton Means to Me

Excuse me while I get a bit emotional over Hamilton and how it's changed my life.

Friday Internet Finds

Last weekend, I was dying of the flu (yes! apparently it was) so I am very excited to actually have a fun weekend. Here's some fun things I've found this past week.

1. My friend Katie wrote an incredible article about the importance of bending, not breaking. I needed it this week.

2. Want to test how well you know the lyrics of Hamilton? This Buzzfeed quiz can tell you.

3. The only thing I love more than a lovely dress is a beautiful afternoon tea. And Alyssa Campanella's latest blog post has both.

4. I absolutely need to try making these donuts from The College Prepster. They look beautiful!

5. Is there anything better than hearing Carrie Hope Fletcher talk about her favorite rides in Disney World? (The answer is no!)

Brighton Vibes

You can tell that I was thinking of Brighton when I got dressed last Tuesday. I spent the summer after my first year of university at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England. It's a magnificent seaside town full of cute shops and restaurants and I definitely reflected its personality in my light denim and navy and white stripes.

Trench Coat: TopShop (similar)
Shirt: Forever 21 (similar)
Jeans: Madewell
Shoes: Vans
Sunglasses: Old Navy (similar)
Lipstick: Mac (So Chaud)

Special thanks to my friend Carolyn for being my photographer. She took some great photos...and then there were the ones like this. One of these days, I'll learn how to pose for the camera. 

Ipsy Glam Bag Review || February

Check out what I got in this month's Ipsy Glam Bag! (And please forgive my horrible cold.) Don't forget to give the video a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel. x

Friday Internet Finds

I was looking forward to this weekend a lot more...before I got sick. But it'll be nice to have some recovery time from this cold! I sure hope you all have fun weekend plans to make up for my lack of them.

1. With "Fuller House" coming out later this month, this "Which Full House Character Are You?" Buzzfeed quiz is very relevant. (I'm apparently Michelle.)

2. Entertainment Weekly described some of the best moments from Hamilton's Grammy performance that we didn't get to see.

3. I absolutely love the color palette of Tanya Burr's outfit in this blog post. How do you all dress to keep warm?

4. If you're looking for a simple total body workout, look no father. Blogilates's Pop Pilates workouts are so amazing...I've been doing them since the beginning of this month and I can already feel a difference.

5. Jasmine Cephas-Jones, who plays (and) Peggy and Maria Reynolds in Hamilton, did a beautiful cover of "My Man" from Funny Girl in this week's latest #Ham4Ham.

Top Ten Ham4Hams!

In case you're not aware, Hamilton does a #Ham4Ham show in between matinee and evening shows almost every week. (They're currently doing digital Ham4Hams while the weather is too cold to be outside.) Lin Manuel Miranda brings cast members and special guests from Matthew Morrison to Andy Mientus to perform for the people waiting in the lottery line. They've had some pretty incredible performances! I've collected some of my favorites to share with you, in no particular order.

1. Ian Loves Theatre rapping "Cabinet Battle #1"

2.The Oak singing "Defying Gravity"...as Mickey Mouse

3.Norm Lewis singing "Stars" (Lin's reaction is perfect.)

4.That time Lin asked on Twitter for people to come rap "Guns and Ships"

5.The ladies of Hamilton singing "My Shot"

6."Our Children" from Ragtime (this one is close to my heart because my best friend Stefanie was in the crowd!)

7. The cast of Fun Home presents the Hamilton Children

8. Leslie Odom Jr. singing a "Stars/Wait For It" mashup.

9. The Schuyler King Georges

10. Lin Manuel Miranda and the late Jean Kyle Baptiste singing "The Confrontation"

Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @nicoleackman16! 

What's In My Bag

I filmed a little What's In My Bag video, after I was inspired by Louise Pentland's. Hope you enjoy xx.

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Friday everyone! This Friday, I'm headed home to see my sister in her first school play. What fun Valentine's Day weekend plans do you have?

1. Looking for a terrible meme-y Valentine's Day card to send to someone? This Buzzfeed quiz will give you the right one for your Zodiac sign.

2. There's nothing like Valentine's Day to make you reflect on your love life. This Thought Catalog article is for all my fellow super-guarded hopeless romantics out there.

3. Who else is super excited for Frozen to finally come to Broadway in Spring 2018? Get more details here.

4. It's no secret that I adore Alyssa Campanella and Torrance Coombs...this Valentines Day photoshoot they did for her blog? Absolutely perfect. Thanks for making me keep believing in love, you two.

5. I'm basically swooning of Ramin Karimloo and Tam Mutu's cover of "Edelweiss." How beautiful!

Review: Grease Live! Soundtrack

I (obviously) watched Grease Live! when in aired and I finally caved and bought the soundtrack. And I'm so glad that I did. While Grease definitely isn't one of my favorite musicals, the music is so upbeat and cheerful to listen to. And this cast was on fire! If you missed the show, you can watch clips online.

While there were some weaker songs (Julianne Hough's "Hopelessly Devoted to You" definitely pales in comparison to Laura Osnes's), there are several that have quickly become favorites of mine. Obviously, Jordan Fisher's "Those Magic Changes" stole the show a bit. It's such a fantastic song, I could even see it getting played on the radio! Keke Palmer's "Freddy My Love" is such a cute song to listen to and Keke definitely nailed it.

As a fan of Aaron Tveit for years, I love his versions of "Greased Lightnin'" and "Sandy." While his vocals shine in "Sandy" (even if the song itself is a bit ridiculous), his stage charisma definitely comes through in "Greased Lightnin'." The first time I listened to it, I had to back it up to catch little bits I missed!

The true star of the album, in my opinion, is Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo. I loved Vanessa in Gigi's cast album, so I had high hopes for her but she exceeded even my expectations. Her "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" is the perfect song to listen to anytime you need a confidence boost: she manages to sound both vulnerable and strong. But I think her "Look at Me I'm Sandra Dee" is my favorite song on the entire album. She nails the humor in it, while also delivering amazing vocals.

It's definitely an album worth purchasing if you enjoyed the show, especially since it only costs $12 on iTunes. Vanessa Hudgens, Aaron Tveit, and Jordan Fisher's vocals stand out as the best of the group but all of the songs have a cheerful vibe that's perfect for listening to while cleaning or working out. It may have even converted this non-Greaser. (And yes, my best friend and I are planning Grease Halloween costumes for next year.)

Ipsy Glam Bag Review || December & January

Check out what I got in my Ipsy Glam Bags for December and January. Do you get a Glam Bag? If so, let me know what you got in the comments! x

Friday Internet Finds

Happy Friday everyone! I officially made it through my first week of spring classes. Who else is excited for the weekend?

1. Ever wondered what your favorite Mac lipstick says about you? Buzzfeed can tell you.

2. My wonderful friend Liz wrote a beautiful article to all those people who are in their 20s and still single.

3. I'm excited out of my mind for Hamilton to perform at the Grammys! What incredible news.

4. I'm fascinated by this log of how much a woman living in New York City spends per week. Thinking about graduating and moving next year has got me considering how quickly money gets spent a lot more!

5. I absolutely love this lookbook from my favorite French vlogger. It's full of perfect winter outfits!

Review: Life with a Sprinkle of Glitter

If you love Sprinkle of Glitter, Louise Pentland's YouTube channel, then you'll adore her book. The best way I can describe it is this: you go over to your cousin's house to babysit her toddler and she imparts some wisdom to you before leaving. In beautiful glossy-paged format. (Can you tell I'm in awe?)

the book arrived in the mail on my birthday. how perfect, right?
My love for Louise Pentland goes back a couple of years. Her videos (along with Carrie Hope Fletcher's) are my feel-good, pick-me-up videos. If I'm having a bad day, it's Louise that I'll turn to. I adore seeing her with her beautiful little girl and I can honestly say that her advice has changed my self-confidence in the best ways.

I was so blessed to get to see Louise twice at Vidcon this past year. I was even invited up on stage along with some other girls (including my little sister) to ask her questions. If you happen to be reading this, Louise, sorry for making you a bit weepy with a question about your daughter!

she said she liked my flower crown. highlight of my life.
The book is divided into a series of sections, ranging from "Glitz" to "All About Love." She shares DIY projects, easy baking recipes, dating disaster stories, and tips for self-love. The best part of the book, in my opinion, is how conversationally it's written. I could imagine Louise saying it all, as if in a video!

The book is lovely in that it can be read cover-to-cover (which is what I did) or by section. While it's written to appeal to a young female crowd, I think everyone would benefit from reading it (especially her section on Kindness). This is the book that I think I will choose to curl up with (in my fluffy duvet with a cup of tea) when I'm having a not-so-good day.

Louise says it better than I can, on one of the first pages of her book:
I want you to walk away from this book and feel uplifted. I want you to feel as though you are equipped to deal with something in your life and deal with it in the best possible, positive way. I want you to feel as happy as I do.  
Perhaps what makes this book so amazing is that Louise has an earnest desire to share her wisdom about life and that she is never in any way condescending. She's honest about how she gained her knowledge and the many mistakes she made on the way.

I unashamedly love this book. The actual design of the book is beautiful, the writing is charming, and the photos are lovely and almost Instagram-esque. It would be a lovely present for a friend (like giving them a little ray of sunshine) or a very nice treat for yourself.

Disneyland Vlog!

Here's a little montage-y vlog of my week at Disneyland with my Science of Happiness class! Enjoy. x

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