Ed Sheeran is coming back with new music this week, so here is the video that made me fall in love with him.

2017 is already off to a good start.

Anyone who knows me well knows that Ed Sheeran is my favorite. Period. End of story. His albums are always, and will always be, at the top my list of my all-time favorites, and I truly never get sick of listening to them. Yesterday on New Year’s Day, Ed announced that he was releasing new music this Friday. Today he shared this.

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While this could still mean he is only releasing one song, which was my original assumption,  it also seems like it could be a complete album release. “÷” is likely the name of his album, following his debut “+,” and sophomore album “x.” So, he could be saying that “÷” is coming in full this Friday, or perhaps just one song to start the next chapter. Regardless of the cryptic messaging,  I am so excited and I’m going to be happy with whatever gets released, because I have been waiting for this announcement.

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I was listening to my Ed Sheeran music library this morning after reading the tweet (to prep myself for the new album, of course) and it made me think of when I first discovered/fell in love with him as an artist. I was up really late on my laptop one night while I was still in high school when I stumbled across this video of Ed performing his song “Kiss Me.” It quickly became one of my favorite songs and Ed became my favorite artist. And although I’ve seen countless videos of him singing this song, and plenty of other songs– this one is still my undeniable favorite after almost five years.

So, in honor of new Ed Sheeran music coming this week, I give you the video that started it all (for me, at least). Happy listening! And Happy New Year!

Goodbye Undergrad.

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Three years ago today, I officially made the decision that I would be transferring colleges halfway through my freshman year in order to attend Emerson College. It was a scary, hectic, last-minute decision, but it was the best choice I ever made for myself.

Today, exactly three years later, I walked out of my last ever Emerson class and finished my undergraduate career.

Looking back on it, I could never have imagined the things I would accomplish in my few short years of college. I have switched schools, then switched majors. I have worked in radio, been on the radio, and worked backstage at concerts. I have moved to LA and worked in fashion. I have constantly surprised myself in what I was able to do.

I have laughed, and laughed, and laughed. I have been to (and thrown) more cheesy themed parties than I can count, and I have danced around apartments at 2am to 80s music after everyone left the party. I have had weekly “family dinners” and really felt like I had a family away from home.

I have learned and grown because of my professors and my peers, who I still feel that I  have so much to learn from, and I believe I am a better person for all of it. I’m still the same person as the 18 year old who first moved into Little Building in January 2014, except I am now more confident, more informed and  ready to take on the world (I think).

To my friends: I love you, and thank you. It is a safe feeling knowing I will have you in my life, always. To my family: I love you and thank you for helping me navigate life when I have to make big decisions, and always supporting me as I do.

I’m not exactly sure what’s next, but I know I’m so grateful for these past few years. Tomorrow, I leave the Emerson Los Angeles campus and fly back home, and while I’m a little sad and slightly nostalgic for these years that seem to have passed in the blink of an eye, I am so, so ready for whatever it is that comes next.

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Alfred Tea Room: LA’s Most Instagram-able Tea Shop

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If you’ve ever seen a social media post about Alfred Tea Room, you already know that it is probably the cutest, pink-est little cafe you’ve ever seen.

I have been meaning to visit all semester, but finally just got around to it and I absolutely loved it. It’s super cute inside and outside with the pale, ballerina-pink color scheme, and gold color and floral accents. If I could have designed a cafe in my head, it probably would look something like that.

Everything from the tea cups to the tea related puns written on the wall beg to be photographed for an Instagram, which is why the place is so popular to begin with. It’s tucked away off of Melrose, which also automatically gave it a cool factor.

My chai latte was great, which I’m normally very picky about, and I had a really nice morning there. Just be aware- the name holds true and you can only get tea there. So if you’re more of a coffee person, I’d recommend going to Alfred Coffee, which is pretty much just across the street (but not as beautiful). But if you are a tea person, there’s so many different drinks to choose from I think it will be hard to be disappointed.

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Once a fangirl, always a fangirl: Finding Niall’s Billboard at Capitol Records

This is sort of a two-part blog post: (1)  My official review of Niall Horan’s first solo song, AND (2) the story of trying to find his billboard in Hollywood.

On Wednesday night this past week, there were so many rumors and deleted tweets and screenshots of people trying to prove that there was a solo Niall song coming out on Thursday. So much conversation was happening, that Niall’s unreleased, unconfirmed song was trending worldwide on Twitter (#ThisTown).

After reading through all of the speculation, I was completely on board with the conspiracies and I was so thrilled to see that Niall had actually dropped the song on Thursday morning.

I genuinely love “This Town” and I was really nervous I was going to hate it (Niall had written Summer Love for 1D, which I’m not the biggest fan of). The reason I love it so much is because it’s a song that I know I would like regardless of who the artist is. I’m a big fan of Vance Joy/Ed Sheeran-esque songs and I think “This Town” fits into that genre. It’s folky, I love the story of the lyrics and I think Niall sounds incredible on it. I felt like such a proud fan for the smooth and grown up transition he had made musically.

Which is why when I saw on Instagram that Capitol Records had put up a Niall billboard, I knew I HAD to see it. It was supposedly on the back side of the Capitol Records Tower, which is right in my neck of the woods.

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The only problem is we literally couldn’t find the billboard/had problems getting to it. We were in the general area on Friday night and tried to walk around the Capitol Tower to see the billboard, but a bunch of construction blocked the sidewalk and we couldn’t get around it. Since it was already super late we decided just to head home instead of walking all the way back around the building the other way.

Yesterday we were going to try to find it again, but ended up being too tired after a morning of volunteer work. We didn’t want to bother with wandering around Hollywood Blvd/Vine without any specific information on where the billboard was. So, we went home to rest and I scoured social media posts to figure out exactly where it was and how to get to it.

Today we set out on a walk SPECIFICALLY to find the billboard, and were able to find it with no problems. It really was right behind the Capitol Records tower, and if the construction wasn’t there, we would have found it easily on Friday night. We were literally just around the corner!

But I’m glad we got to see it today when we did. The sun was starting to set and they turned on the billboard lights as we were standing there looking at it.

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This isn’t the coolest or most adventurous LA outing, but it’s something I really enjoyed nonetheless. If I was still in Boston, I would have looked at the photo of the billboard and wished I could’ve seen it in person, and now that I’m here I had the opportunity to. And, I’m a huge geeky One Direction fangirl and that will literally never change. So all that being said, there was no better way for me to spend my Sunday evening. xo

LA County Fair Adventure

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Yesterday, we decided to go to the LA County Fair, which I was SO happy about! It has been running for pretty much all of September, and I have really wanted to go for the whole month but it never seemed to work out. This was the last weekend the fair was going to be open, so it was sort of a “now or never” situation. And despite the fact that it was nearly 100 degrees (and I was sweating all day), I had a great time!

We decided we were going to do rides right when we got to the fair (because we didn’t want to get sick after eating all the food), and my favorite ride was definitely one called G-Force, which is basically an adaptation of the classic “Pirate Ship” type of ride, except you are spinning while you swing back and forth. It was actually a lot scarier than I thought it was going to be, but I love that feeling when your stomach drops as you swing down from super high up!

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I had originally gone into the day super ambitious, wanting to eat so many different fried foods, but the heat definitely got the better of me and kind of ruined my appetite. I was able to get some really yummy garlic fries (with which I downed multiple bottles of water), and then all I wanted after that was a vanilla soft serve- for some reason I think that the soft serve at fairs and carnivals tastes the best.

I had to eat my ice cream super fast because it immediately started melting and losing sprinkles, but it was so refreshing at the end of a long, hot day.

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We all tried to play some of those classic, impossible, carnival games, which we obviously didn’t win. Watching people try to play the ring toss was crazy because I’ve still never seen someone get a ring over a bottle, even though it always looks so close!

I did play the ballon popping game like I used to when I was a kid, but I was even horrible at that game and just got a little tiny stuffed fish. But, it’s cute so who cares, right?

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I hadn’t been to any type of fair in so many years, but I’m so glad we were able to get a group of people to go this weekend. There’s something that I find so fun about just walking around and people watching, plus it’s always great if you’re ready to eat some food that is very, very bad for you.

I will say, however, that I am very much missing the New England fall weather at this point. I wouldn’t have been so hot on a late September afternoon in Boston! But I guess it’s all just part of the LA experience.

Song of the week: “Heartbreaker” by Bad Suns

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It feels like I haven’t highlighted a song of the week for a while, so I am back at it with a solid JAM.

Since I have moved to LA, I have started spending a significant amount of time in the car. I was able to spend the first week listening to the radio, but a minimum of two hours driving per day soon made the radio repetitive and unbearable(“Heathens” by Twenty One Pilots is officially banned from my vehicle now).

So, I finally gave in and bought a subscription to Apple Music so I could have access to unlimited music and make ~sick~ playlists for my ride.

My subscription just happened to coincide with the release of the new Bad Suns album “Disappear Here.” I am a huge fan of the band, and have been since I discovered their song “Cardiac Arrest” as the free iTunes song of the week during my freshman year of college. Their 2014 release “Language and Perspective” has been a constant favorite of mine over the past couple of years. Basically, I had been patiently waiting for this latest release.

First off I’ll say that “Disappear Here” as an entire album is the perfect vibe for driving around LA, and I think I’ll probably always associate it with that now, even if I don’t ultimately end up staying out here when my semester is over.

I genuinely like all of the songs on the album, but one in particular has been stuck in my head nonstop. And that’s “Heartbreaker.” There’s just something about it that I love.

Bad Suns are going to be playing a show here in LA on November 18th, but the show is sold out and I don’t have a ticket, which is a bummer. Hopefully I can find a way to change that between now and then.

Bastille on Jimmy Kimmel & Fan Event

This week, we really took advantage of our new (temporary) home in Hollywood and got some free tickets to a Bastille concert taping at Jimmy Kimmel. As a Bastille fan, I was super excited to get to see the band live- I’ve always missed out on them when they were in my city, so it really felt like a long time coming.5.jpg

Going to a taping is something that I knew I wanted to do during my semester in LA, and the fact that we found such a perfect one so quickly felt like serendipity! It was really interesting to watch the setup of a taping and see how everything works from engaging the fans to watching Kimmel come out to introduce the band.

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Bastille performed a total of 5 songs, 3 from their new album “Wild World” and 2 old songs, including their huge hit “Pompeii.” We weren’t allowed to use our phones during the 1st two performances, because those are the ones they would likely use for the actual TV show, but for the last few performances I was able to snap some pictures.

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At the end of their set, the band told the crowd about a fan event that they were hosting around the corner in celebration of their new album, which we decided we were going to check out. We got to the event site relatively quickly, but the line behind us ended up winding all the way around the corner with the huge number of people who showed!

We waited in line to get into the event for around an hour and a half, and almost left because it was taking so long to get in and we were exhausted, but we stuck it out when the line started to pick up.

The fan event, called WW Comms, was a sort of performance art experience that connected with concepts of the band’s new album. We got to walk through the building and see different stations set up, one of them being the band behind a class pane with the words “I Want To Be Free” on it. It was a little creepy, but definitely cool.

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My biggest complaint about the event is that it took us so long to get in, and then we were really rushed through it. It looked like the event staff really let the first waves of fans linger within the event. So by the time we were allowed in, they were really rushing us through because they were running out of time. I didn’t get to look at everything for as long as I would have liked to, but I’m overall glad that I went. I just think it could have been run a little better.

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We did get this cute picture taken before we left, though. And I was able to buy a signed copy of the vinyl of the new album– so with all things considered it was a positive experience.

I have exactly 3 months until I have to move out of my LA dorm room and I’m so excited to see what adventures I’ll have until then.