Monday, January 30, 2017

La La Land: One Movie, Lots of Feels 

Everyone and their mother has at least heard of La La Land, if not seen it multiple times already. I remember when I first saw the trailer; I went to see Bridget Jones' Baby (hilarious, by the way) and it was in the lineup of previews. When I heard Emma Stone singing a shortened rendition of 'Audition (The Fools Who Dream),' I fell in love.

Fast forward a few months, and La La Land came out everywhere it seems but the theater in my hometown, which was where I was at the time for Christmas break. Then came the reviews, one after the other, praising the music, praising the actors, praising everything about this magical film.

This past weekend, a couple of my friends came down to visit and we took the leap; we finally went to see La La Land. I had listened to the soundtrack on Spotify in preparation for seeing it (and by "listened to the soundtrack" I mean I had it on repeat for a full 24 hours), so by the time I actually sat down to watch the movie, I was already pretty much in love with it.

Aside from the overall magical, romantic plot line, I wanted to share with you why I loved La La Land so much, and why you should go see it if you haven't already.

One of the things that makes this movie stand out so much for me was the overall visual effects. From the wardrobe to the set, the colors in the film are rich, bold, and bright, and make for a very pleasant viewing experience. Even the moments of fantasy looked so, so lovely and artistic and colorful that it only played up the dream-like, magical style of the movie that much more.

I mean, it is a musical. If you're a jazz fan, HOW have you not seen this film yet? Like I said, just listening to the soundtrack beforehand made me fall in love with the film. I'm also one of those people who are ridiculously moved by a good piece of music, so from the moment Emma Stone opened her mouth to sing 'Audition' until the end of the film, I had a steady stream of quiet tears pouring from my eyeballs. Speaking of Emma Stone singing, her somewhat breathy voice is probably the sweetest sound that I ever did hear. And of course Ryan Gosling can sing. Of course. That man is perfect. John Legend makes an appearance as a character as well, so there's that. Even if you're not a huge fan of musicals, the music really is an enjoyable part of the film.

La La Land also has phenomenal actors. I love me some good acting, (I mean, I guess who doesn't, right? I've never heard anyone say they like sub-par acting) and Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling did just that. Aside from the fact that they are two wonderfully talented actors on their own, the chemistry that they have together is beautiful. If you don't believe me, just look at the mountain of awards they've already piled up. Not to mention both Emma and Ryan are nominated for Best Actress/Best Actor for the 2017 Academy Awards (along with 12 other nominations for the film).

Finally, what I think tugged at my heartstrings the hardest while watching La La Land was the message that the film conveyed. It's about two young people chasing their dreams, and, ultimately (spoiler alert) achieving those dreams. But more than that, it's about rejection and failure, and getting back up and trying again and again. It's about continuing to strive for your dream, even if people say your crazy, even if people put you down and tell you you're foolish. It's about being passionate about something and never letting anyone stand in your way. It's about creating art and music and it's about dreaming and pursuing those dreams and it will be a favorite of mine, I think, until the day I die. Not to be dramatic.

So there you are! If you're in the mood for a funny, romantic, uplifting musical comedy and you are one of the few people in the world who hasn't seen La La Land, I highly, highly  recommend it. Go with your friends, your family members, your significant other, yourself, whoever. Just go see it. And then watch the Academy Awards on Sunday, February 26th to see La La Land swipe the board and just win everything (at least, I'm hoping).

Let me know what you thought of La La Land if you have seen it, and if you have any other movie recommendations for me that you've seen recently, I'd love to know! Thanks for reading!

*All images were found through Google Images with respective links in captions*

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Recent Favorites

I haven't kept up with the whole "monthly favorites" thing, but that's okay. Because sometimes I don't have a lot of favorites in one month. Because sometimes you can like things for MORE than one month. Anyways, while I was home for Winter Break, I did find that I was favoring several new items, and I thought I would share them with you. So without further ado...

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places is a YA novel about suicide, mental illness, and young love. And let me tell you, this is one of the best YA novels out there. It hurts your heart and twists your stomach in the best way possible. Give it a read. I will always recommend this book to someone.

Bath&BodyWorks Frosted Cranberry Candle

I discovered this scent a few years ago and it has been my favorite winter scent ever since. Being that I can't burn candles when I'm at school, I took advantage of my time home and lit it at every chance I had.

Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips

I'm fairly sure these are relatively new. I bought it at Walmart one day just because I wanted to try it out, and I love it. Not only is it convenient because it's in a nice, slim, tin, but it's also really moisturizing and I love that this one is tinted.

Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet Eau de Toilette

My friend used to work at a perfume counter, and I would always visit her and pick out my favorite perfumes. This was one of them, and my mom surprised me with it this year for Christmas. It's very light and floral and I absolutely adore it. Look at that packaging. I can't even bring myself to throw the box away. 

Brookside Chocolates

Brookside's dark chocolates with fruity centers have been my weakness lately. I bought a huge bag the other day and finished it within the week. I'm not even sorry. My favorite flavor is pomegranate.

Best Fiends

Of course this post isn't sponsored. Come on, really? Me, sponsored? At this stage? In any case, I know Best Fiends sponsors a lot of videos on YouTube, which is how I heard about it. I'm not one for phone games. This is literally the only gaming app on my phone, but that is because I love it. I'm not ashamed to say that I am addicted.

"Black Mirror" on Netflix

And finally, my last favorite is Black Mirror on Netflix. I know, I know, I'm a little late to the game on this one. I hopped on the Stranger Things bandwagon right away, but it took a while with Black Mirror. I'll blame it on the fact that I had too much on my plate with school to handle something as mind-blowing and brain-twisting as Black Mirror. But, I'm here now! And it's an ingenious show and I love it.

Congrats! You've made it to the end of this post! I hope you enjoyed, and be sure to leave me a comment letting me know some of your recent favorites.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Sister Sister

My older sister graduated college last spring, and was accepted into a pretty prestigious volunteer program. In the fall, she went to Washington DC, where she trained for said program. Just three days ago, we dropped her off at the airport where she flew to Bolivia, her assigned destination. She'll be volunteering there for the next two years, and is encouraged not to come home during that time. Needless to say, saying goodbye to her oldest daughter wrecked my mom. My dad even cried a little. My dad. 

While I know she's off doing great things with her life and helping people and having adventures, I will miss her. Hopefully we'll get to visit her while she's there, but for now, these throwback pictures of me and my big sissy will have to suffice.

Enjoy our adorable chubby cheeks and sisterly adoration.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Cheers to 2017!

I know that a lot of people hate the idea of making resolutions - why makes something you know you'll eventually break? I beg to differ. I love making resolutions, even if I don't end up keeping them. As cliche as it may sound, the New Year really does feel like the perfect fresh start. While there's never a bad time to set new goals for yourself, new years resolutions remind us to do so if we haven't in a while.

So, without further ado, here are some completely achievable resolutions that I plan on working towards in this new year.

Maggie's 2017 New Years Resolutions That She Will Carry On For The Entire Year!

1) Do what I love, read what I love, write what I love.

2) Be unapologetic about what I love.

3) Find more ways to outwardly express my creativity. (Blog more, photograph more, start painting, sketching, learn typography, knit, SOMETHING)

4) Get to know my camera.

5) Step out of my comfort zone, take more risks. (Not like, risky risks. Normal risks. But not TOO normal. Risky enough to make it a risk but not too risky that it BECOMES risky. Get what I mean?)

6) Acknowledge and appreciate my strengths. Develop my strengths. Be confident in my strengths.

Basically, I just want it to learn to love myself a little more this year. I want to stop stressing so much and just enjoy life. I want to go on adventures and meet new people and do new things. And I'm starting now.

 Cheers to the New Year, to 2017! I hope your year is filled with laughter and love and positivity! Thank you for reading, and let me know some of your resolutions in the comments below!