Music Monday | Back From Hiatus (Finally)

Long time no see. I feel like I’m always saying this, but boy, life has been crazy! I have been super duper busy with graduation, final exams, and AP tests. However, summer is finally here (thank goodness), and I am determined to get back on schedule with this blog thing.

Being from a remote/small town, I do not have the opportunity to attend music shows/concerts very often. However, in the past few months I’ve attended two different concerts, which is super unusual and super exciting. I apologize for the sub par quality of my photos that were taken via Snapchat.

The first one I went to was The Front Bottoms back in April with two of my closest friends. This was the first concert I had been to in over a year and a half, so I was pretty nervous and didn’t really know what to expect from it. As usual, I was worried for no reason because it was amazing. It was probably the best concert I’ve seen so far. Diet Cig and Brick+Mortar were the openers, and even though I had never listened them before, they were very entertaining and obviously knew how to work the crowd. TFB were also obviously amazing. I can’t wait to be seeing them again in October. All in all, I danced my heart out and loved every second (probably the best therapy for the terrible week I had).

The second show I went to was Panama Wedding, the Griswolds, and Magic Man. This was a very exciting and high energy show. Though I was utterly exhausted from the day’s activities, I still managed to dance and have a blast with my friends.  I also may or may not have fallen in love with Magic Man’s lead, Alex Caplow…

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Summary Sunday | Theatre, Moving, +College

It’s Summary Sunday, the day I update my readers about how my life has been. Lately, life has been quite the roller coaster ride, but an enjoyable ride for the most part. I have been so extremely busy with school and extracurriculars and college work. I feel bamboozled by all of the high school seniors before me that gave me the impression that senior year would be simple because it definitely has not been simple thus far.

Enough of my rambling complaints…here are my updates!

I think I’ve sold my soul to the theatre gods.

I’m totally joking, but theatre has definitely been dominating my life lately–from listening to nothing but the Hamilton and Waitress soundtracks to everyday rehearsals after school. Right now, we are in the middle of our competition season, which means we will be taking a play to competition in two weeks. I am both excited and nervous because it will be my last season, and I am eager to do well. 

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A selfie I snapped after our 7AM makeup rehearsal yesterday.

Honestly, though check out this hauntingly beautiful clip from a rehearsal of Waitress the musical. I may or may not cry every single time I watch this.

My family and I don’t have a house right now

Okay, okay so it’s not quite as dramatic or tragic as I make it sound. My family sold our old house before our new house could be finished being built. Therefore, we have been living in a tiny rental house for over two months now. It’s not too terrible, but living out of a suitcase is beginning to get old, and I am beyond ready to move into the new house and not have to share a room with my brother.

My trip to the University of Texas

Last weekend, I went from BPA in Corpus to a Computer Science session at the University of Texas. After meeting professor and students from the college, I think I may have been convinced on where to attend college. However, as I am the most indecisive person I know, I am still not 100% sold on a college to attend (help me). However, besides the serious stuff, I was also able to kick back and relax a little in Austin, since I met up with my some dear friends, Sab and Sara. We ate yummy food, canoed on the river, laid in the park, and just cuddled and watched Disney movies. It was a short hiatus from work and stress for all of us. Check out some pictures of our adventures below.

That’s all for today! I feel like the whirlwind of my life will never die down. Oh well! Happy Sunday!

 

xoxo serena

International Women’s Day 2016

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I was honored with the opportunity to address my local city council about the goals of the Miss Teen of America Organization and my personal goals as Miss Teen of Texas 2016. What an amazing coincidence that I was able to promote an organization focused on empowering young girls on a day that is focused on empowering women across the world–International Women’s Day.

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As a feminist, I greatly appreciate International Women’s Day and any other day or organization aimed to bring justice and equality to all the members of the world. I know this is a far fetched goal, but through organizations and events like International Women’s Day, we are making progress towards a greater world, and that in itself is a worthy enough reason to lend support.

A common misconception about feminism is that it promotes bigotry and misandry. If this were the case, I would not consider myself a feminist. What many fail to realize is that feminism in its most basic and pure form aims only to promote equality for men, for women, and for all. The reason for this misconception is because often, the most prominent supporters of the feminist movement blatantly screech ideas of misandry. Don’t let a few extreme individuals ruin your overall view of this group or any group for that matter.

Another misconception about feminism is what I like to call the stage of denial, in which it is argued that women are not oppressed at all, and that the world has already achieved gender equality. As much as I wish this were the truth, it simply is not. In 2014, the World Economic Forum estimated that global gender parity would not be achieved until the year 2095. That means it will most likely be 89 years before the gender wage gap dissolves entirely, 89 years before the glass ceiling completely shatters, and 89 years before women are finally going to be treated as equal to men. 89 years is a long time to wait and it might not take as long or it might take longer, but in the end, whether or not I will be around to witness to the successes and conclusion of this ongoing battle, I am still going to promote and support feminism and International Women’s Day if not for me, then for my future daughters and granddaughters and all the future women of the world. As Hamilton says (or sings) in the musical, Hamilton, “I may not live to see our glory, but I will gladly join the fight.” Sorry, I just had to throw that reference in there, for Hamilton has become my newest obsession.

I post this in support of International Women’s Day. Here are some of my favorite youtubers supporting the same cause.


Men are strong. Women are strong. Let’s be strong together.

 

 

Corpus Christi, TX | BPA State Conference

For the last few days, I have been in Corpus Christi for the Texas Business Professionals of America State Conference. My friends and I have been super duper busy with competitions, award banquets, meetings, and internships. Between all the madness we’ve made time to watch movies and indulge in an embarrassing amount of street tacos…yum.

Here are some photos of our adventures.
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This wall was my favorite. +my lipstick matched the paint hehe

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Outfit Details:

Shirt: Forever 21

Blazer: Ann Taylor Loft

Pants: My mom’s closet (I don’t know the brand)

Pins: One was awarded to me. The Airforce one is vintage.

Shoes: Target

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This is my little friend, Summer. She’s adorable.

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Corpus is beautiful.

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We ate at this little taco truck. The food was amazing.

Tonight I head to Austin, so be prepared for more pictures very soon!

Spread the Word Day | 3.2.16

If you follow my Instagram account (@serenanycole), which is unfortunately down right now due to the fact that I gave up social media for Lent (*cries*), you probably know that I currently hold the title of Miss Teen of Texas 2016 for the Miss Teen of America Scholarship and RecognitioPageant.  This amazing pageant system that emphasizes drive, tenacity, and success in young girls throughout the nation has paired with another great organization that tries to emphasize the same qualities in their athletes, Special Olympics. This partnership has opened many doors for both Miss Teen of America titleholders and Special Olympic athletes.

Today is one of those opportunities. Today, March 2, 2016, is Special Olympics Spread the Word Day. This is an anti-bullying campaign with the goal to end the use of the r-word (retard or retarded) in a derogatory manner. The campaign aims to spread tolerance and acceptance of ALL people.

As a titleholder for Miss Teen of America, I am an ambassador for Spread the Word Day. I challenge you to join our movement and take the pledge at www.r-word.org to eliminate the r-word in your dialogue. Remember that big changes often begin with small actions. Let this be your small action/ step to making the world a kinder and more accepting home for all. 

xoxo serena

r-word part 2

I’m Back | A Very Late Post

I was due for my “Favorites Friday” post well over a month ago. However, because of my stressful and the crazy past few weeks, I decided to take a short hiatus from blogging to reevaluate my life. Today, I am back! It is a brand new week, which means a brand new start, and I am ready.

Today I bring you my favorites for the past couple of months:

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  1. NYX Matte Lipgloss in the shade “San Paulo.” Target is always out of NYX matte lipglosses so when I saw this shade a few weeks ago, I had to pick it up. It’s a bit too bright for my daily style, but it’s perfect for fancier events.
  2. Herchel Luggage.  I am a huge fan of the Herchel Supply Co and their products. I started out with their Little America Backpack in navy, which I use for school, and I now have five Herchel products that I use regularly (does this classify me as an addict?). Most recently, I have been using the duffel bag pictured above regularly for school trips and weekends away from home. I think it’s the perfect size to fit all of my necessities, and it’s also very stylish. I’d love to own more Herchel bags in the future if my wallet allows.
  3. Marble Electronics Case. have had a MacBook Air for over three years now, but I have never felt the need to embellish it with skins or cases, until I saw this beauty. Needless to say, it was love at first sight. The marble case is not too bulky and looks extremely chic, but isn’t too pompous. I like the look it gives my workspace. Recently, I have also picked up this matching phone case, and I love that my two most used devices have matching “outfits,” yes, I know I’m a huge dork. 
  4. Pigma Micron Pens. I keep a daily journal, fully equipped with writing, drawings, and keepsakes from my daily life. Therefore, I am always in the market for a hardy and reliable pen. I really like the smooth ink of the Pigma Micron pens. They are extremely handy for anything from math homework to detailed drawings.
  5. Hamilton the Musical. My theatre group is constantly raving about this musical. At first, I refused to fall into the “popular crowd,” but I couldn’t resist. I had heard some individual songs from the musical and I definitely enjoyed them. However, today I took on the challenge of listening to the entire musical, and I have not been disappointed.
  6. The Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler. I have been completely absorbed in this book for the past week. I finally finished it today, and it is definitely one of my favorites. I learned about it from this John Green video, and I am so extremely glad that I read it. It is strange novel about a dystopian United States, but it is also so very different from the other dystopian novels I have read. It covers issues about gender, morality, and religion. In short, it is a beautiful novel. 

This turned out to be a much longer post than I anticipated, but I suppose that’s what I get for waiting so long to start blogging again. I promise I will be back on schedule this week!

xoxo serena

Travel Thursday | Books

Happy Thursday, dear ones! I hope that the new year has treated you well so far. My life is still as busy as ever, but I’m learning to make do. Only 141 more days until graduation. I keep wishing for it to come faster, but I know I will miss high school in the future (maybe).

As for today’s post, I am cheating a bit. I have not traveled anywhere significant in the past few months, so I do not have really have anything to write about for Travel Thursday. However, in the midst of my brainstorming, I derived an idea! Today I will be writing about the most recent books I have read and enjoyed because you know, reading totally counts as traveling–I mean I’m technically traveling into the worlds of the characters, right?

One of my new years resolutions was to read more, and I think I have gotten off to a good start. Here are a some of the most recent books I have read and highly recommend:

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom 

A friend in class recommended this book to me. To be honest, it is not something I would usually read. Though I prefer to stick to fiction novels, I ultimately decided to try this book out, and I am glad that I did. This book centers around a young man and the lessons he has learned and is still learning from his professor, Morrie, who is dying of ALS. Morrie’s self-discipline and life advice is wise beyond words. I find myself taking pieces of Morrie with me wherever I go.

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch 

The librarian at my school recommended this book to me when she saw me reading Tuesdays With Morrie. Both of these books have the same central theme and message, but I was definitely more affected by this one. It is a book of life advice by Randy Pausch, a Computer Science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, who is dying of pancreatic cancer. I thought this was a beautiful book with a beautiful message. Pausch was able to give on last lecture before he passed away and it is entitled “How to Achieve your Childhood Dreams.” It is amazing and inspiring. You may watch it here.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Seabold

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Okay, I feel like this book was really popular a few years ago, and I’m really late with reading it, but I could NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN TO SAVE MY LIFE. I think the book is extremely  unique. Seabold has the talent to portray normal events in a subjective and beautiful way. The book focuses on the murder of fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon, who spends the majority of the novel watching her friends and family from “her heaven.” It has a distinctive twist on how the afterlife is perceived, and I believe it has a beautiful, simple ending.

 

That’s all for now folks!

xoxo serena