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Fall Favorites: NYC

As a habitual planner and goal setter, one season ending and another beginning sends me into a spiral of reflection and thought. I’m the sort of person who wholeheartedly embraces January 1st and the ritual of making new years resolutions, often documenting them visually.

So of course, with all the “so long summer” Instagrams and back-to-school promos, the thoughts started flooding my mind: What do I want to make of my fall? What sort of goals should I set? What have I been wanting to do but putting off?

I am always performing a balancing act between present and planning. While I love making plans, I also have to constantly remind myself to enjoy what I have in the present moment. So I’ve reframed my questions; rather than focusing on the big picture life changes the moment the days start getting shorter, I thought about the beautiful, simple things I love about the fall season. Here is what I came up with:

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I&H Playlist: Labor Day Weekend

Happy long weekend folks! We’ve compiled a playlist with all of our favorite new and new-to-us traveling tunes for your listening pleasure. Whether you’re voyaging by bus, train, car, plane, or subway, we’ve picked some jams that will make your holiday even sweeter:

VMAs 2015: Kanye, Miley and important topics the internet failed to mention

So the VMAs happened on Sunday night and subsequently dominated the internet this week. While watching the show, it seemed obvious that certain things would grab everyone’s attention (Yeezus2020 & Taylor Swift domination), but there were also some aspects of the show that deserved more attention (Twenty One Pilots and A$AP Rocky’s performance), and others that over saturated my news feed in the worst way (it doesn’t matter that Nicki Minaj called Miley Cyrus out. It really doesn’t). Here are my thoughts.

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Untitled, Undefined

“Where are you from?”

A common question we get asked that I often have a hard time answering. My response is always pretty long winded: I grew up in Texas, my family resides in Las Vegas now, I went to school in DC, and now I live in New York City. Sometimes this will lead to a follow up question of “so where is home for you?” And to be honest, I still haven’t figured it out. New York feels like the obvious choice, but I usually resort to an open-ended “Well home for me isn’t linked so much to places, but more to feelings, emotions and memories. Home is my mom’s cooking. It’s my herb garden. It’s my best friends from college. It’s breakfast tacos.” It can’t be defined in a clear cut, obvious way.

In a similar sense, another hard-to-answer question we often face: “So what’s the deal with you and [insert fling/hook up buddy/romantic interests name here]?”

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Pop Culture Corner: “Dear Show”

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Craig Clayton is the writer and producer of several award-winning short films including, Karkass Karts, A Mail Tale: The Untrolled Story, and Mastodon. When not writing for film he Co-edits and contributes to ‘Dear Show,’ a blog dedicated to television criticism.

 
 

Dear “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp,”

It’s been a long time. I won’t lie, I’ve missed you, and when I learned that I would be seeing you again, I was excited, I was expectant, I was nervous. When I last saw you, you were a shoe-string budget indie flick, made with the reckless abandon of youngsters trying to prove something to themselves and the world. Now you would be returning as a highly anticipated television show with Netflix money on your side. If I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t sure the spark would still be there.

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Making Pies

Since writing my last post, I’ve been thinking a lot about making pies. But before I delve any further into an explanation, a song for the theme (one of my all time favorites, an homage to my mother and my Texas roots):

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Distance

Despite not being in school anymore, this time of year surprisingly still feels like a new beginning. Though there are no major changes going on in my life right now (#blessed), some very close people in my life are going through changes and it’s been affecting me too. Some are starting college or graduate school, some are starting a new job, and some are taking on new roles (like fiancé and mother). Thanks to social media, I never miss anything. Although I’m eternally grateful that we have these technological capabilities because it makes my world feel smaller, there are also moments when I’m watching my brother’s graduation on FaceTime or taking a tour of my best friend’s new apartment on Skype that I can’t help but start to miss them more than I did before I called. It’s amazing, but frustrating because you’re so close but you’re not actually there. For me, it’s these important moments that I miss out on when I feel the distance the most.

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Timelines

Sunday afternoon, I sat in my bed trying to finish several blog posts I’d started earlier in the week. As excited as I had been initially to write these posts, not a drop of inspiration was helping me to finish them. Part of the reason I love writing for Island & Hills is because everything that gets published are ideas that inspire me, feel timely and relevant. So sitting around with a bad case of writer’s block, I was forced to do some soul searching; if planned parenthood, career advice, or dating trends weren’t getting me in the mood, what would?

Over the past several months, I have observed a pattern that I’ve been wanting to write about. I, along with some of my close friends, have gone through different life-altering events: falling out of love with a romantic partner, losing a friend or family member, etc. As a way of dealing with these significant, difficult milestones, we often rely on timelines. In the days and weeks following, these sorts of statements become all too common:

“In a month, I’d like to be able to start dating again.”

“In two months, I won’t let myself cry about it anymore.”

“In three weeks, I want to be able to see them and be fine.”

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Love at First Listen: Florence + the Machine, Sylvan Esso & Lucius

I have always been a lover of the ELJ (empowered lady jams) and BBT (bad bitch tunes) genres of music. Yes, maybe I just invented those acronyms, but plenty of my all-time favorite artists fall under these categories. From my Spice Girls Craze of 1995 to my Haim Frenzy of 2013, it is pretty much guaranteed that I won’t go long without finding a new female artist or bad ass girl band to keep on heavy rotation. Today I have rounded up my current favorites — an assembly of new releases and new-to-me discoveries. PLUS, TWO BONUS TRACKS. Surprise! That’s right! If three full albums of melodic goodness wasn’t enough, I’ve included two more songs for you because it’s a Wednesday and you deserve all the good music you can get.

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I & H Spotlight: Kendall Breitman

With the first presidential debate happening tonight, we couldn’t imagine a better spotlight subject than Kendall Breitman. Kendall, 23, currently works as a political reporter in New York City.

kendall_imgMaddie: Tell me what you do.
Kendall: I’m a political reporter at Bloomberg Politics.

M: What made you want to get into journalism and reporting?
K: I didn’t originally think about doing journalism at all. I always liked writing, but I didn’t want to do creative writing, so I didn’t really know what else was on the table. I took a journalism class, and that opened up the whole world of journalism to me. I started editing arts and entertainment for my school’s newspaper (I thought that was what I wanted to do). I got an internship doing political journalism, ended up loving that, so it all came together out of different situations in my life.

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