what i liked in may! a list of my favorites: music & clothes & movies & more

Hey everyone! Welcome back to my blog!

In this post, I will be talking (well more so writing) about my favorite things this past month from music that i’ve listened to, clothes that i’ve worn, a movie that i’ve recently watched on Netflix and much more.

Let us start off with music that MAY have been on repeat! In terms of albums, stand outs came Carly Rae Jepsen’s Dedicated and also Lizzo’s debut Cuz I Love You. Jepsen’s album shows us a more mature sound that surpasses her Call Me Maybe days, while Lizzo introduces to an album of badass woman anthems.

I have also listened to ME! by Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie, which is huge right now in my playlist for it’s catchy lyrics and message, despite being released towards the end of April. It is a song that is different and a song about self confidence in standing out as oneself. Also, who doesn’t wan’t to shout out the lyrics, “Hey kids, spelling’s fun.” everywhere?

Sabrina Carpenter’s song Exhale has also been on repeat a lot this month. This song talks about feeling pressured and rushed to the point of being stressed out all the time. “Who put the world in my hands? Can I sit down for a second? Can I breathe for a minute? I put too much on myself thinking I don’t deserve what I earned.” To say this song didn’t break my heart is such an understatement. Like damn, Sabrina literally snatched my wig and my heart out of it’s body.

Also, I have been straight up rocking out to the song Killer Queen both the original and lately the discovery I made that is Australian boy band 5 Seconds of Summer’s cover. The cover is fresh and the arraignment with the guitar and sound is such an upbeat tempo that honors the original song very nice. Good job!

Nightmare by Halsey is THAT SONG! Like if you literally for a song that says, “f*** you society” for being repulsive with the climate and attitude associated with the treatment of women, the abortion laws, and more then this is the song for you. It is also majorly a self reflective song about your flaws but also being confident in yourself. It is also a song that has a completely different sound from something that Halsey would write and is also not. It is also a song that when the beat picks up you can’t help but shout, “I don’t owe you…” at 2am at night. (I may or may not be speaking from personal experience on that one.)

The last two songs are today’s newest releases from Cardi B called Press and also Katy Perry’s Never Really OverPress is literally that song that SLAPS. Like the beat starts off and like normal and the lyrical quality is like nothing else. I love the shift in the rhythm when the song hits that DING DONG noise #WhipThatHoeA**.

Perry’s Never Really Over by contrast is literally the catchiest ethereal song about not wanting to move on from a relationship. It is light and airy with matching music video looks to boot. As of now, it is definitely one of my choices for song of the summer.

Stepping out of what is playing in my ear, let me discuss what I am putting on my body and that is what clothes I am wearing. This month of May has been no different.

Dressing like an adult in their mid-20’s is something that is complex and is something I’m trying to navigate every day. This has involved a Marie-Kondoesque cleaning of my closet and saying goodbye to old college and high school t-shirts and oversized straight legged jeans, replacing them with well fitting button-ups and ripped jeans.

Fit is everything. Style is eternal. For my shopping, I typically buy the majority of my clothes online at ASOS and H&M , but I have also picked up some outfits from French brand Maniere De Voir in addition to some thrifted bargains from TJ Maxx and Gabe’s to round out my closet.

My May Closet Shopping List
-Urban Republic Leather Bomber Jacket (thrifted from Gabe’s)
-Timberland x Champion Boots
-Air Jordan Futures
-H&M 2 Pack Printed T-Shirts (Love(d) and Love(r))
-H&M Trashed Skinny Jeans
-H&M Beige Jacket With Standup Collar
-“Dream But Do Not Sleep” Maniere De Voir T-Shirt (out of stock)
Arizona Flex Slim Straight Jeans
Tribal Striped Shirt from Maniere De Voir
ASOS DESIGN Drop Crotch Jeans In Mid Wash Blue With Rips (out of stock)
Brave Soul Chelsea Boots In Brown (out of stock)
Versace Aviator Glasses
ASOS DESIGN skinny oxford shirt with button down collar in light blue
Collusion Burnout Shirt In Burgundy
River Island Poplin Cream Shirt

Beyond looking good, it is also imperative as a man that you have to smell good and that involves using a great smelling cologne. For me, at the moment, the scent that I’ve been using is Tuscany Per Uomo. I got this little gift in a Christmas stocking stuffer by my sisters and it is AMAZING. Much like it’s name, it has a very strong smell to it that lends itself to it’s Italian roots.

It feels very masculine and I appreciate the complements that I have gotten from wearing it. It is quite effective without having to spend the price of say a Versace, a Gucci or even a Tom Ford price for the label. In this blog home, we STAN treating ourselves but we also love doing it on a budget. The only drawback I would say is that don’t use too much or you will be killing others walking by.

RATING: 9.25 out of 10.

When I’m not working, I spent a reasonably healthy time falling down the “rabbit hole” of Youtube watching my fair share of videos on travel, men fashion, lifetime videos, and pretty much everything else in between. I have a lot of favorite Youtube creators, but here are my current three right now.

Sam Carr. He is a British lifestyle vlogger, in his early 20’s, whose Youtube video center around his life- whether that is what music and or concert he attends, traveling on holiday,  graduating university, what he is wearing and much more.

Marcel Florus. He is a male fashion blogger and creator of the channel One Dapper Street that has been active for at least 6 years. Marcel’s videos started out as fashion and dance videos that now range from anything related to “How To Wear A Blazer With Jeans” to “Minimalist Outfits” and even “Spring Lookbooks.” He is great to watch, has incredible charisma and style to boot.

Trisha Paytas. Username: blindsundoll4mj… She is an ICONIC Youtube queen of at least 12+ years known for her controversial videos and publicized relationships and dramatic life. Personal life aside, she is a comedic gold mine of humor whose video feel completely authentic and unique in a time where society tries to make you anything but that.

The last thing that I want to discuss in this month’s favorite shows and movies. Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists and Someone Great are the two that I am highlighting this month.

The Perfectionists is the spin-off of Pretty Little Liars that takes place at the fictional setting of Beacon Heights University in Oregon, starring three new cast members in addition to returning PLL favorites Sasha Pieterse and Janel Parrish. They come with their own secrets that unravel the more the season pass.

As early as episode one, we have a death that centers in the plot of the show and leaves us confused at the end of season one leaving behind more questions with very few answers in true PLL fashion. It is a great watch all around and you don’t even have to watch the original to be able to understand the show.

Someone Great is a movie that stars in New York City, starring actress Gina Rodriguez, who throughout the film plays the role of music journalist Jenny. Rodriguez’s character has to learn to adept to life post-breakup with her boyfriend of nine years Nate, by celebrating her last day in New York with her friends.

The film has an impeccable soundtrack featuring songs from Lizzo and Lorde, to say a few, that tell the story of this relationship and also adding an addition nuance to each scene. The dialogue… Let me just say that to whomever wrote the script. You did THAT! Every piece of writing felt authentic and nothing said felt “cringy” nor did anything feel like it was missing. Same with the directing. Basically this movie did the damn thing!

And that was it for May! So let me know in the comments if there is anything on this list that was your favorite as well? Did you have anything or anyone else I should know about? What did you wear this May that you like?

Let’s see what will come in June!

Yours truly,

Lewis

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#MyMentalHealthAndMe: My Story And Ongoing Journey With My Mental Health

As some of you may know, May is known as the month for raising mental health awareness.

What you may not know, is that one of every five adults in the United States suffer from mental health illness and only 38% of these adults get help for it. And I am and was one of them. With that, I would like to share my story.

Growing up, I was actually a pleasantly happy kid. I would run around in my backyard playing with my slide and creating communities with my Little People figurines, not caring if I had dirt in my fingers and just living carefree. I was imaginative, adventurous and best of all happy. That changed.

I didn’t come from a lot financially. In junior high, my peers would be decked out in their Hollister and Aeropostale t-shirts with their American Eagle jeans and white Converse shoes, as it was the mid-2000’s. I wasn’t that person AT ALL. About 90% of my clothing came from yard sales and $3 sale racks at Rue21.

My self care was not where it was at either. My hair was wavy and unbrushed and my pimples were having their own little party on my face,  and even though to everyone else I looked skinny I felt fat. I would never dress with the other guys in the gym class locker room, opting to chose the bathroom stall instead. I NEVER went to the gym or ate healthy. Cardio? Vegetables? Who are they? They left the group chat.

It crushed me. I didn’t have the body society wanted. I didn’t have the clothes that my peers wore. What did I do? I put on a candy-coated fake smile on my face and pretended to not let it bother me.

I also have had to deal with a lot in my life in regards to my sexuality. I am going to say this now. A man who cares about the way they look isn’t gay. A man who does theatre is not gay. A man who doesn’t care about sports or fishing or hunting or anything that society says “is” masculine isn’t gay. A man who makes out with and kisses other men that are their friends or is a stranger isn’t gay.

A man isn’t gay until they come out and say these words, “Hey I like guys or I am bisexual.”

It has also harmed my love life. At thirteen, at eighteen and now at twenty-three my luck in the romance department has been more so unsaid words and lust than an actual thing. I thought that I needed someone. I still do sometimes. I am okay. I love myself.

Remember that being by yourself is strength and bravery. Being lonely is not the same as being alone.

11033760_841177755994042_7493141798406716237_nI also have had problems my whole life creating and sustaining life long friendships. It was weird though in junior and high school, as I was relatively “popular” and most people liked me. I was voted most unforgettable, I sat in the gym bleachers from time to time with my popular “friends” and talked to everyone. That had led me to graduate high school with like three friends that I felt kind of close with.

Then came college. I joined many clubs freshman year. I got an on campus job in the theatre. Week one of college, I got a lead role in my first play. I wanted to be social. I wanted to make new friends. I did that. Life was going great.

Safe to say, those friends and groups that I were in just “fizzled” out and changed. That happens. That has happened to me a lot. I didn’t think of it as “life happens, people meet and mesh and then just don’t anymore.” I thought of it, “what it wrong with me?” I am a social person. I am outgoing. I will be the person at parties that drinks and twerk and dancing in the middle of the floor. I’m not that way as much.

I will also be the person the next day that cuts everyone off. I don’t maintain friendships. I lose interest in texting. I really do. Then I wonder why people don’t reach me out first. I have threads of texts in my phone that have months apart between them and some that haven’t had a message in years and numbers in my phone that I am pretty sure don’t exist anymore. But I still keep the messages. To think about it, I need to do a phone purge.

I have also suffered from being an alcoholic and almost failing out of college. I wanted to run away. I remember it all so vividly. I spent one in Friday afternoon my sophomore year just laying in bed all day at my lowest point in life. I didn’t eat that day. I didn’t go to class. I didn’t shower. I tuned everyone out.

The semester after I had to go to the campus therapist. Had to. That was my mentality at the time. When there is something wrong with you, you don’t think there is at the time. I blamed classes in my schedule that I wasn’t interested in. I blamed roommates that I barely knew. I blamed a busy college schedule… I blamed everything that I realized that was created by me. Therapy helped. It really did at the time.

Now let’s talk about my future and my self doubts with my career. Four years. Three different career mindsets by the end. I had went into college to be an actor. Then I had took a semester of literature classes. Then I wanted to be a journalist. By the end, social media had entered my mind.

16114316_1071085139669968_1650308517102571327_n-e1559280329718.jpgI found solace and happiness for a time when I was abroad. I went there for much more than just partying and traveling. I was bored back home. I wanted adventure. I wanted something new. I got it. It felt good. England gave me the courage to play a sport for the first time of my life- badminton counts okay. England introduced me to amazing people, who even though I don’t talk with anymore, that I have amazing memories with. England helped me get the confidence to dress the way I want. To be my truest self.

I owe that part of my life to helping me the most becoming who I am now. I finished college and anything was possible.

Now? One year post-college and I am still not sure. I don’t really write, I don’t keep up with the news, I don’t study monologues, I don’t read plays, I haven’t stepped foot on stage since my senior capstone play this time last year, and I don’t have any jobs or internships in these fields like I thought I would.  Adulthood isn’t all the glamorous fantasies we think it is.

For instance, my life is now going to work as a Customer Care Directv Representative five days a week, come home at midnight, get two days off, wake up, exercise, shower, make lunch, binge some Netflix and or Youtube and do it all over again. Sexy isn’t it?

I have rude customers that bark at me over the phone. I have people screaming at me for having to ask them to wait a couple days for a technician AND that they will be charged. I have sweet customers that praise me for teaching them how to program a remote or find a four digit number on their TV.

I’ve done this now for almost nine months. It is not my ideal life but I am doing it well.img_4651-2.jpg

I am still learning that by the way. That even though you might not be where you are yet doesn’t mean that you can’t be the best at what you are currently doing now. There is a difference in the mindset between being stuck and making the most of something.

I think that is a lesson that keeps circling back in my mind with mental health. You aren’t perfect. You aren’t where you want to be yet. You can want more. You can wake up in the morning or many mornings for that matter and feel blah about your life. That is valid. What isn’t is to stop trying all together. What isn’t is to make no effort at all.

That is what I’m trying to be. I am not perfect. I have grew so much. I have to grow. I’m grown. I am still growing. And you are too. And that is beautiful.

Until next time,

Lewis

 

an update on myself and what i’m up to

Well it has been a while hasn’t it?

Honestly… not much has changed.

I still am working at my job for a little over NINE months now. To be truthful, if it wasn’t for my amazing co-workers and trainers and coaches I wouldn’t be the agent I am today or still wanting to work there. I work as a customer care representative and when I say you have to be mentally strong for this job, that’s not a joke, but I don’t hate it.

It is also crazy to think that this time last year I was just graduating and now like I’m an actual adult with all the crazy responsibilities that come with it. (I’m talking to you full time job and student loans.)

It feels weird sometimes not having to scramble out of bed for a 9am class and upsetting not having the joys of $.50 beer nights on Thursdays, but I’m trying to adjust. I try not to think about the past, but it’s hard when I’ve admittedly fallen out of touch with pretty much all of my friends upon graduating.

Just the other day, I was getting new contacts put in and ordered as I am the literal definition of the phrase “blind as a bat” without them. It was just an average Saturday. I woke up super early, got ready, and went straight to my local Walmart in the area to take my eye exam, as I had only one pair left that I’ve worn for like THREE months that made my eyes look blazed and swollen.

I actually met another alumni just the other day and started talking about Juniata and the changes that happened with the campus, dorm rooms, majors and classes- my optometrist Veronica. It was a pretty good conversation.

As for my life outside of work and getting new contacts, I don’t really don’t much. I pretty much am an 83 year old inside of a 23 year old’s body. I don’t really drink or go out. (I think the last time I had alcohol was back on New Years Eve.)

I binge a whole lot of Netflix shows and fall down a rabbit hole of constant Youtube videos. I try to exercise everyday as well. I try to take care of myself a lot more and not stress myself out.

In terms of my future plans? Complex. Up in the air. I don’t know. Coming from a place of knowing exactly what I want to do and always having a plan or a vision for myself, it is odd not to. I don’t know if it is coming from a place of being content or what, but I don’t or haven’t done the things that I want to do with my life.

I don’t write. I don’t really read. I haven’t act in at least a year. Even worse, I haven’t made an attempt to seek employment or an internship in any of these things.

I am a hard worker but on my days off I turn into a veggie plant. Unproductive.

That’s how I’ve been.

Not at all like myself.

I say that I’ll wrap up this post with this — I am at the very least grateful that I have a job that I get to go to with some pretty fun coworkers who honestly make me laugh in a way that cannot be expressed. I am happy that I have money to spend on myself and that I have money in my bank account. I can say that I have paid all my student loan payments so far on time.

I am reminded of something that I’ve found on Pinterest that leads itself very prominent to this part of my life right now. “Live life with the mentality of, ‘I get to…” instead of ‘I have to.'”

For example:

“I have to go to work,” is way worse than saying, “I get to make money to save up on a vacation.”

So I’ve been looking within myself to just take it day by day. I am not where I want to be yet, and I need to take the steps to get there more, but I am heading farther where I was in some places.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oui… To My Parisian Penguin Parka

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It seems like we are in the midst of a huge winter storm this month, with the weather dropping towards single digit numbers all over the west coast, and here in Pennsylvania it is no different. While we were somehow able to do away with this snow and ice for the majority of the past couple months, it has decided to hit us now.

Being born here my whole life, I am no stranger to this bitter cold. Quite often, growing up I’ve had to head to school in quite treacherous weather conditions, sometimes wondering why they didn’t just cancel school completely.

Even in my past four years of college, I’ve had to combat not falling on my face or slipping and hurting my back on the ice to attend my 9am morning class, with very few snow days to look forward to and one informative email about how to safely walk like a penguin. True story.

It only took five years later, but I think I found the perfect winter parka to keep me both warm and looking a stylish emperor penguin. It is the Sixth June Parka with a stone color and faux black hood! If you are looking for a parka at the moment, then you are luck as this one is currently on sale for 50% off on ASOS. [They also have this coat in burgundy, khaki, and black as well]

Don’t let the faces in these photos fool you. I absolutely LOVE my new parka! It is something that I used to never want to buy, when I was younger, but now I am absolutely delighted to go out in it. It is heavy, warm, and has a sophisticated and expensive look to something that was only a little bit over $100. Another added benefit is it also has black faux fur interior throughout the inside of the coat keeping it extra well! [Sixth June also has many more products for purchase here on their website!]

To top off the look, I gave it a little more of a urban streetwear vibe and paired it with a black t-shirt, ripped straight cut jeans from JcPenney’s, and my pair of Timberland x Champions. If you are interested in any pieces of this outfit, check out the links below!

So what do you wear when it’s winter out? Do you like parka jackets? What is your favorite season for fashion? Let me know in the comments!

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WearingSixth June Parka|The Gold Gods Angel and Champagne Pendants |The Gifted Few Iced Cuban LinkArizona JeansTimberland x Champion Boots

 

New Year | New Goals Included

Hello all! It might have seemed like I forgot about this blog, as I always say that I’m going to start posting more but hereby go at least a month in between posting. Lacking of blog posts aside, it is in fact a new year and with that comes a new desire for new goals to be created, stuck to and then forgotten about.

Before I list mine, I just want to take a minute to talk about this past year and all that I have done so far- both good and bad. I had finished college with a degree in hand, started my first time job, developed a new online shopping addiction, made some new friends and lost some old ones, turned twenty three, found my self worth and moved back home with my parents.

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This year I have written down a list of TWENTY FIVE, that’s right.. you heard me, goals (not resolutions as I have a weird distain for calling them by that word) that I want to accomplish if not start this year. Some of them financially responsible, some of them health and wellness oriented, and some of them are just overall goals and things I want this year.

1. exercise 30-45 minutes per day
2. blog one day a week
3. read one play a week
4. read one book a month
5. drink three glasses of water per day
6. devote one hour a week for monologues
7. write a play
8. buy a pair of Gucci sneakers
9. make a monthly payment on my student loans every month
10. audition for at least two shows this year
11. spend ten minutes reading the news daily
12. condense social media and emails
13. look for internships/jobs
14. write online for another website
15. save $3000 to travel on a trip
16. make an acting portfolio
17. make a business website
18. update social media to keep it professional
19. learn Italian
20. listen to one new album a day
21. make a spendage chart
22. get a credit card
23. figure out your insurance
24. wake up before 10 am every day
25. be happy and content if these all don’t come true by the end of the year

I hope if you are reading this post that you are also having a excellent start to your new year as well! I also just want to thank all of you who have stumbled upon this blog this year! We’ve almost hit 900 hits on the website! You are all amazing and thank you for taking the time to read and or comment on my posts! It really does mean a lot!

So, what do you think? Do you have any goals that match up with mine? Let me know what your plans for the new year are in the comments below and let us all motivate ourself to be our best selves in this 2019.

That’s all for this post! See you next time!

Lewis

Let’s Talk Music #4: ‘LM5’ Album Review

Little Mix, an underrated and under appreciated British pop girl group, has dropped their highly anticipated album: LM5. The album itself holds strong powerful themes such as female empowerment, self empowerment, friendship empowerment, and the ever important message of “men aren’t shit.” I strongly believe that for these themes alone and its wig snatching vocals, well-written lyrics, and strong production and beats this album deserves all the awards and recognition that Little Mix has deserved for so long. In this essay I will-

Basing off of the first paragraph alone, we already know that I strongly feel that this album has been a strong improvement for Little Mix showcasing even more their growth as vocalists, song writers, and mature grown powerful women taking the narrative back and rewriting the rules in a male-dominated society.

The album starts right away with the thirty second track, “The National Manthem.” First off, can we just talk about the fact that they started the entire album with the lyric, “she is a bad bitch,” and then on top of that slightly elevate their harmonies on the word honest so effortlessly? I just want to say that is how you start an album artists. Take note. There is not too much else I can say as it set the MOOD for the album and it also left behind a smooth fade and transition into Woman Like Me ft. Nicki Minaj. Like their minds are just powerful.

As someone who used to suffer from depression and insecurity about the way they look, I instantly connected to the lyric, “insecure but I’m working with it.” In a society where we everything we do online is curated and carefully crafted, we don’t often see the bad that comes with the good, leaving us to think that we are in competition to look the best in which are only other competitor is really ourselves.

And then let us talk about that beat and how it just picked up and snatched me dead? I don’t know about you but truthfully I actually love that “boop boop boop” trumpet sound that is sprinkled in the song as well. It added a little something to the song with being overbearing or distracting. A little over two minutes within the song, we then start hearing Nicki Minaj’s feature. I think it fit into the song at the right place and it definitely brought something to the song, with the beat in Minaj’s verses seeming to correlate exactly how Little Mix’s first verse picking up and leaving me dead at first listen.

This song was also the first in three music videos to be released during this new era of music for Little Mix, and let’s just say this video enhanced the song. With fierceness, chair choreography, and incredible looks, it showed off Little Mix breaking down stereotypes of what a women is “supposed” to be by changing from their victorian like dresses and their 1950’s domesticated lifestyle to being the bosses that can do it all and even more.

The third and longest track on the album is the song, “Think About Us.”  This song imposes that teasing question to a former lover of, “Do you think about me when you are in the club and I’m over you hanging out with my girls?” This is the first of many songs on the album where the club itself becomes a metaphor for cheating, which morphs the meaning and evolves it through some other songs on the album such as American BoyForget You Not and Told You So. It does have some good harmonies through out the song and one exceptionally strong high note, but lyrically it is a bit too repetitive making it feel like a filler track in the album for me.

And now we head into the fourth song of the album, the self-confident body loving ANTHEM of the year:  Strip ft. Sharaya J.  First off, this song GOES OFF and I definitely recommend adding this song onto your workout playlist. Much like Woman Like Me, it has fantastic production beats in the background that sound like a battle march of confidence that don’t take away or distract the song at all. And for the lyrics themselves, they talk about embracing your “flaws” and loving them, which for most people it is hard to do now a days with what wee see in the media and society.  Favorite lyrics include: “up in the mirror I’m like oh yeah,” “they either love it or they don’t,” and the very highly underrated gay-friendly lyric: “love who you want don’t give a damn if it is a man or woman.”

Now let us talk about who they chose to collaborate with for the song, which is rapper Sharaya J. I don’t know about you, but before this song was released I had no clue who she was and now after this song…I’m a fan. Like her verse just went off. Coming with this song, we have a black and white music video that is probably my favorite piece of work that they’ve created. It starts off with the girls being primped and polished by makeup artists and hairdressers and then cuts off to shots of them with no makeup celebrating their natural beauty and “imperfections” – as if they had any to begin with. It then cuts to a still of them laying bare naked with their “imperfections” written on them- which that in itself is POWERFUL to witness and see. To go off that, as if Little Mix wasn’t already serving us a self-confident bop off of that alone, the longer into the video we are then introduced to all these diverse women in the background celebrating their natural themselves. Like yes. Little Mix created the kind of art that most clothing stores, makeup companies, and fitness empires can only dream of and should embrace in their work.

Monster In Me is probably the most grown up song on the album filled with sexual innuendos everywhere in the lyrics like, “Touch me. Why do we kill each other slowly?”, “I love the way you make me scream,” and “The monster in me loves the monster in you.” It talks about something good that has happened for two lovers that turn from soulmates to acquaintances to enemies. It is honestly a very beautiful song and does a really good job showcasing the ranges of the girls, as highlighted in the vocals and silences in the song, but for me and don’t come at me… I just couldn’t connect to it as much. It is also to note the power it leaves behind towards the end with the fading sound of the lyrics, “haunting me, haunting you…” which left me quite haunted and showcased the song to be that way.

We go from haunting and sexual to the twerking self-confident club track in the next song Joan of Arc, which is honestly a BOP. I literally can do a whole forty-five minute workout to this song, Strip, Wasabiand Motivate alone. Now if you don’t know who Joan Of Arc is, let me just insert a hyperlink for you to read up on her, because she was THAT ICONIC BITCH, as was the other ruler they sing about briefly: Ms. Cleopatra.  With the beginning lyrics of, “Want to fuck in the club? Everybody watch me,” it is made clear that Little Mix has the most ICONIC song openings of anyone within these past couple of years. Also can we just talk about the level of confidence it takes to sing the words, “stanning myself, fanning myself, love me so much I put my hands on myself?” That is some boss attitude that I can only aspire to have one day.  It is made clear that they are strong independent women themselves letting the unannounced male of the song know that she is only loving him because “she can,” not for attention or because she’s desperate, and that she is a GODDESS. I mean what other song would you rather have belting in your ears in the morning when you are struggling to get those last couple of squats done at the gym?

The second club-inspired cheating song of the album comes in the form of the reggae-inspired salsa sounding dance track number seven Love A Girl Right. This song is a lament to a fuckboy to not mess with a group of girls best friend and honestly this is what female empowerment should be sounding like in 2018, so thank you Little Mix for this track. I also wasn’t expecting the background male voices AT ALL in this song, so much like most- if not all- tracks on the album this only enhanced the quality and production of the song. It actually sounds distinct from anything I’ve listened to recently and I also wrote down on my first listen that this song tells a STORY, so I honestly believe that this song deserves a music video [most likely in the summer].  American Boy picks up from where Love A Girl Right leaves off and starts us off with the introduction of a boy and girl who met in California, had a relationship that didn’t end up well, with the boy telling lies and being defensive and singing about another girl when he plays guitar. I think the song is very catchy but lacks a little bit of lyrical content towards the end of the track, feeling like a filler song.

I just want to say that the next song Told You So is NOTHING compared to anything I’ve ever heard at all in my life. This is the first slower and sadder sounding song on the album that is the sequel to the end of a bad relationship, where a girl is consoled by her best friend with “wine and make up wipes and a kettle of tea,” to talk and cry it all out. The lyrics are soothing and pick up throughout the song reminding the girl that the boy isn’t the one as he isn’t funny, has a hotter best friend, and that he won’t love her like they do. I also love the gradual build ups throughout the song and the vocal quality that just gives this lullaby quality to the track. I really want this song to have a music video with it or have an amazing mashup with another song on tour.

Wasabi is the next track on the album and it is honestly THAT song that just gives the big double middle fingers to the haters. It is that catchy anthem that you will have you feeling ready to take on anyone that doubts you. It also tackles some rumors that the band have been taking on for years head on, such as the way they dress and the band’s separation rumors, with lyrics like,

“The shit the papers write about me
(Oh-oh) I fold it up like origami
(Oh-oh) Like, “She ain’t wearing no clothes”
(Oh-oh) “When she goin’ solo?”
(Oh-oh) “I bet they gonna break up”
(Oh-oh) But what the hell do you know?”

This song is a gentle and polite reminder that anyone who says something ugly to you most likely doesn’t have the guts to actually say something to your face and to stay strong and remain unfazed by the haters. At first listen, I thought it lacked some lyrics and now I just want to apologize to Ms. Wasabi as it is now in my top three songs on the album. This song then transitions to the third collaboration on the album More Than Words ft. Kamille.

More Than Words is the one of the most authentic songs and one, if not the best collaboration they have ever done. It is raw, revealing, and showcases their powerhouse vocals. While personally this song hasn’t really hit me or connected yet, I do strongly believe it will be one of their most underrated and underappreciated songs of all time. I also didn’t know who Kamille was before listening to the track but I do love her voice and the angelic sense of wisdom that it carries throughout the song and the video. THE VIDEO. Let us talk about the video. It had very stunning visuals that were haunting and carried the vocals. Let me just say that I need more words to talk about the beauty that is the song More Than Words.

This songs then transitions us into the highly energetic and upbeat Motivate Me. With an album of songs that stem from the concept of not needing a man and sticking with your friends, this song doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest especially with the lyrics, “When he’s with me b****es hate me.” Now don’t hate me, because I really do love this catchy bop and the way the song transitioned over from More Than Words, but it seems a little interesting to include this as it seems to go against the message of the album. Regardless, I still love it as it is catchy, grown up in the lyrical content, and it does talk about finding someone that inspires you to be the best boss version of yourself- even though it is to have others hate you.

The next track Notice seems to be the sequel to Motivate Me where the relationship seems to go beyond the face value of what others see into what happens within the relationship, with the guy not noticing the girl even if she is wearing something that is very sexy and her singing, “I don’t think you notice. What is the point of wearing something if you don’t notice the sex in the air?” This song is basically saying if you don’t pay attention to me the same way I pay attention to you I will leave. At first listen, to me, it felt like a filler song but after much further examination it has actually become a little bit of grower and it does have an importance to this album of this is the final straw song. This is echoed in the lyric, “I’m going to take off if you don’t notice,” which she does leaving the guy behind to find her self-confidence again in The Cure

The Cure is a beautiful angelic sounding realization of that feeling when you finally find your worth and not just a fake recognization of it- the true pure moment when you can say, “I was a little messed up but I’m not anymore.  I don’t need anyone else. Happiness was always inside of me but lord it took a minute to find me.” The lyrical content alone is beautiful on it’s own, but the overlapping of the voices especially around the 2:30 mark of the song sound heavenly. What can I say? Little Mix are actual angels with this track that provided us the soundtrack this year of finding your worth. Forget You Not is that last song on the regular album that takes the whole album full circle as it talks about the girl being fully confident with her friends and a new man in the club. Like THAT IS AN IMPACT using the one place that broke your heart as the setting for happiness and reminding the boy that she won’t forget him. It is also one of the catchiest songs on the album with the, “bada bang bang,” beat that is infused throughout the chorus and multiple parts of the verses enriching the song and adding a tropical vibe to the song.

The three bonus songs included on the deluxe version of LM5 are Woman’s World, The Cure (Stripped) and Only You ft. Cheat Codes. The first song Woman’s World speaks on the struggles that women are experiencing everyday in the workplace and society, with references made to the irrefutable pay gap between men and women in the office in addition to the stereotypes of the way a woman “has to dress and speak” in society. It is very highly elocuted with the lyric, “she’s overworked and unpaid because of how her body is made ain’t that insane…” and yes it quite frankly is. Even though I can’t personally relate and connect to these struggles, it is the most truest and most unfair thing I get to see and witness everyday. The Cure (Stripped) is the second bonus song on the album, which is just if you take a portion of The Cure and completely strip it back and it honestly sounds so perfect especially around the forty second mark. My only problem with it is that it isn’t longer.

The third and final bonus track, ending the album is the EDM dance song Only You with the duo Cheat Codes. It tells about this relationship where they had all it and then they lost it, falling out of love and only having the memories left of their time together. It is an okay song with catchy lines and it also tells a story, but I’m not quite sure how I feel about it listening to it as the last song on the deluxe. I think it was good that they didn’t take away any of the songs from the main album, but i think it would have been better fitted in the album toward the beginning or the middle kind of before Think About Us or American Boy to make it sound more cohesive with the tone of the album.

I do apologize for the late posting of this album review, but after giving it a couple of weeks of listening to the album I do believe that it is Little Mix’s best work. I think it is confident, empowering, and honestly features some of their best vocals and strongest cases of superb songwriting abilities that Little Mix has ever given. Let us hope that this album finally gives them recognization that they deserve here as artists in the United States.

Overall grade: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Favorite songs: The National ManthemWoman Like Me ft. Nicki Minaj, Strip ft. Sharaya J, Joan of Arc, Love A Girl RightTold You So, Wasabi, The Cure, Forget You Not and Woman’s World.

Franchesco Ferruchi | First Collaboration

I am happy to announce that I am now a visionary for the brand Franchesco Ferruchi! It all started like any other day… I was going through my Instagram feed and thought, “Damn I post way too many selfies on here.”

So in an effort to detract the “selfie content,” I had decided to make a separate secondary Instagram page, not thinking anything would come from it, and deciding to name the page @lewisblookbook. [Disclaimer: we love self promo so if you are not already following you totally should for all your affordable mens fashion inspiration]

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One day into making the page, and right away I was already spamming it with photos of myself that I taken earlier that week from shopping, earlier that summer, last school year, and from my study abroad experience. I was also following accounts, using all the appropriate hashtags I can think of, and also tagging all the brands in the pictures to generate views and increase traffic.

It was later that day that I had gotten a message, underneath a photo of me at The Cliffs, which is a popular Juniata location within just a five to minute radius from campus. The message had stated, “P. Franchesco Ferruchi would love to collab or work with you. Send our Instagram page a direct message if you’re interested.”

I typically never take messages like this seriously, as I haven’t had the best experience in the past with a prior collaboration, but this one felt different. I checked out both the instagram page and the website, and I really liked the quality and look of the products, so I messaged back and got my discount code to place an order for a Maroon Tee and a gold Verona ring.

“Franchesco Ferruchi is an exemption of myself. It is a brand that is inspired by Italian Renaissance roots, and a vintage monotone feel. The website is filled with a collection of handcrafted leather bags, minimalistic jewelry, and timeless fabrics.” –Paolo Franchesco

Just a couple of weeks later, I have received my Maroon Tee in the mail and was instantly surprised where the ring was. I messaged back Mr. Ferruchi on Instagram and we instantly was able to work the whole thing out, receiving an additional ring back for free due to a delayed shipping time. I must say I was quite impressed with the customer service of the brand for making me feel like I was just more than a “promoter.”

I had then gotten straight to work taking photos of myself in the shirt. I must say that I really like the fit of the shirt, as I am someone who is quite small and does not get the best look in small t-shirts, so I am quite impressed in how I looked in the product with it accentuating both my arms and chest. In addition to that, I also really liked the overall design, with the font of the choice of the double FF logo as well as the size and proportion of the logo not swallowing the shirt as a whole.

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I definitely recommend these products to anyone who is look for high quality duffle bags, bookbags, shirts and hoodies, and rings and bracelets at an affordable cost. Check them out here at @franchescoferruci or at the website franchescoferrucci.com! If you like what you see, make sure to use my code LewisB13 for a special 30% off of ALL products!