jan-fav

January Favorites

Hello February! This month I thought a lot about the future: the future of my schooling, my relationships with others, and of course, this blog. I enrolled in summer classes, booked a trip, bought my prom dress, had my final color guard performance, and cooked my heart. What you don’t see here on my blog is that some of the recipes I attempt just don’t turn out well. I start the week off by cooking my first choice recipe. If it turns out good, it gets photographed, typed up, and posted on Saturday. About half of the time the recipe is a fail, so I either have to remake it or start from scratch with a new idea. Don’t worry… no food goes to waste, because someone always ends up eating it!
The Magicians (Netflix)

About a year ago, I heard about this series from Black Nerd Comedy, aka Andre Meadows on YouTube, who describes it as a grown-up version of Harry Potter. Unlike my friends, I wasn’t a huge Potterhead. I thought that since it was just some random SyFy channel show, it would be canceled after one season. This series is a fresh take on what I feel like is the typical fantasy based story. I find The Magicians is more like the Percy Jackson books than Harry Potter. As it takes place in both New York and a fantasy realm, the people are divided into houses based on what they can do. The best way to think about it is taking the overall idea of Camp Half-Blood and replacing the demigods with the wizards from Harry Potter.


Salt Lamp

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001892AX2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I’m a sucker for anything that claims to help with seasonal allergies. In the past, I’ve tried nose strips, vapor rub on my feet, Neti Pots, and even drinking salt water. Supposedly salt lamps can help with congestion by purifying the air. I got one for Christmas from my mom, but I’m still skeptical if it actually works or not. Still, it makes a cool lamp and has an adjusted knob that’s great for at night.

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Beats Solo 3 Wireless

From the moment I get up, I have my headphones in and listening to something. I decided to upgrade my old Beats Solo 2 to the Solo 3 wireless because I like being able to control my phone with ease without having it in my hands. The sound quality hasn’t changed much, but the wireless feature is more convenient for me. For a full battery, it takes about an hour and a half to charge. That by itself usually lasts me a week.

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Split

January is kind of a dead month for movies, and the ones that did come out were garbage. I saw Split on its opening night, and I was really enjoying it until the “beast” came into the story. It’s already better than 90% of any other horror movie that’s going to come out this year, but it tries to make sense of a weird ending with a M. Night Shyamalan signature plot twist. Until the third act, it was set in a believable reality; then out of nowhere a guy is climbing up a wall. Up-and-comer Anya Taylor-Joy did a good job, but James McAvoy carried the story.


Instant Oatmeal 
This month I found three big boxes of oatmeal that I forgot I bought a while back. Most mornings, I add in granola, such as Bear Naked V’nilla Almond Fit, and maybe a tablespoon of peanut butter if it’s too thin. It takes about two minutes to make and keeps me full until I get home.

 

2016-favorites

2016 Favorites


HELLO 2017! Even though 2016 wasn’t the best year ever, I still found a lot of things I liked.


Easy on the eyes
Newt Scamander

A fellow Hufflepuff, Newt Scamander joins my long list of fictional characters that tickle my fancy. Though his eye contact skills are poor, I can overlook that.

newt

BagoGames Film Fallout Podcast #39 – Fantastic Beasts at The Edge of Seventeen November 23, 2016 From Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/31083632901 Via Creative Commons


Women who slayed
Leslie Jones

From being the number one fan of the Olympics to starring in one of the summer’s most anticipated films, Leslie Jones won 2016. Well, her website was hacked… but that didn’t stop her! It even made it into a couple of her different SNL skits.

lesil

Archivo:Leslie jones.jpg From Wiki Commons https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:Leslie_jones.jpg Via Creative Commons


Biggest Obsession
Starbucks Mugs

Ever since I laid eyes on the You Are Here Mug Collection from Starbucks, I’ve been obsessed. Depicting the highlights of specific cities in an Art Deco style, these mugs are the number one souvenir I look for when I’m out of town.

Best of Binge-watching
Red Oak – Amazon
Though it’s not my typical series I would watch, Red Oak centers around a young man who works as a tennis pro at an exclusive country club during the summer. The talented ensemble cast brings to life the characters in the 80s coming of age comedy series.

Glad you came into my life
Duffer Brothers – Stranger Things

The duo introduced us to the eerie world of Stranger Things, serving as the showrunners of the critically acclaimed series. Centering around the disappearance of a young boy in the 1980s, viewers soon realize that not everything is as it seems when a girl with supernatural powers appears. Make a free Netflix account if you don’t have one; you will thank me later.

stange-things

Stranger Things logo Wiki Common Via Creative Commons


Best Splurge Item
Instant Camera – Fujifilm Instax 8

Every once and awhile, you have to treat yourself. Instant camera photography is kind of an expensive hobby, but I buy the film on sale or in bulk. This model is great in both low lighting and in direct sunlight. Each picture has the vintage feel that you can’t get with an Instagram filter.

Best Fashion Purchase
Old Navy – Original Mid Rise Jeans

Anyone with thighs knows that chafing is an issue that causes the inside of the jeans to fade and wear down with time. For the past four years, I’ve exclusively worn only Old Navy jeans. After ripping over half of my jeans last winter, I knew it was time to repurchase my beloved pants. I love these jeans because they are high quality, have a slight stretch to them, come in a vast range of sizes and colors, and are cost efficient. The problem I came across when I went to repurchase them was that Old Navy changed the jeans’ styles and sizes again. Following an hour of intense jean trying on, I found a new style of jeans that fit my body even better than before. I wear the Original Mid Rise Jeans in the regular length. I haven’t bought the skinny jean version because the straight cut fits like that on me already.

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Gift Guide 2016

With 12 days until Christmas, 11 days until Hanukkah, and 13 days until Kwanzaa, this means you have a little under 2 weeks to get all of your holiday shopping done. I’ve compiled a list that I believe can work for anyone on your list. This could include your significant other, parents, Secret Santas, your squad, and even your creepy cousin.
Under $5

Archer Farms Cinnamon Pecan Caramel Corn Clusters 

Archer Farms always have fantastic products, and this festive corn is already gift-wrapped for the holidays.


PocketBac Sanitizers 
Besides being the holiday season, it’s also flu season. No one wants to be sick this time of the year. Treat someone with the gift of germ-free hands! Ocean is my favorite scent at Bath and Body Works, and this sanitizer is the perfect size for a pocket or stocking. I would recommend buying these in store because online you can only snag them in bulk.

Under $10

Lounge Pants

Buying someone clothes is the riskiest gift idea. To make this work, you MUST find out their exact size OR get a gift receipt. Old Navy has been having great sales lately on PJs/ loungewear. Personally, I’ve bought the llama flannel pants and the green reindeer ones.

Portable Charger
For any smartphone user, portable chargers are a lifesaver. Depending on how much you want to spend, chargers can range from $3-$50.

Under $25

Three Wick Candles

Candles are the number one thing I stock up on. They are especially useful for when someone buys you a gift and you didn’t get them anything. Then you grab a candle and BOOM – instant present. I’ve talked before about my love of Bath and Body Works Candles, but my favorite seasonal candles are Spice and Black Tie.

Waterproof Portable Speaker 

For untalented folks like me, the shower is the only place where we can safely sing without criticism. This speaker has a suction cup on the back and Bluetooth capability. I’ve found it to have about five hours of power, which will last me forever.

Under $50

Amazon Fire Stick 

The fire stick is one the greatest inventions in streaming history. It’s easy to install, and unlike other streaming devices, the stick allows Amazon Prime video service, Netflix, and YouTube.

Subscribe Boxes

Who doesn’t want a gift every month of the year? There’s a vast range of subscription boxes that suit all interests and price ranges. Most services are having holiday specials that include discounted pricing when you buy multiple months. Below, I’ll list some boxes that I’m subscribed to or have heard good things about.

  • Birchbox- Beauty
  • Loot crate/ Loot Wear- Geeky fashion & trinkets
  • Dollar Shave Club- High quality razor for cheap
  • Popsugar Must Haves- Lifestyle products
  • Barkbox- New toys & treats for your furry pal
no-fav-2016

November Favorites

THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS HERE! (Cue All I Want For Christmas) It’s the time of gift giving, family arguments, and overpriced ugly sweaters. This year couldn’t be over fast enough because a lot of amazing things are happening in 2017. Not to name everything, but I have graduation, my Chicago trip, my sister’s wedding, my moving out, and gtolley.com launching on January 1st. You heard it first; I’m changing up my blog and getting my own domain name. It’s going to be a busy year, but I still have one month left. So let’s get right into my monthly favorites!

What to listen to…
DNCE
I’m a child of the 00s, so of course I grew up on Disney Channel. Unlike my older sister, I wasn’t in distress when the Jonas Brothers called it quits in 2013. Under recommendation from a Snapchat story, I listened to the whole DNCE album in one sitting. Nothing this year compared to this. Joe Jonas’s R&B vocals mixed with the bubblegum pop and funk indie vibe the band gives off makes it the best album of the year.

What to wear…

UA Blitzing II Stretch Fit- Under Armour Hat

https://www.underarmour.com/en-us/mens-ua-blitzing-ii-stretch-fit-cap/pid1254123-001

I’m always trying new fashion trends, and one I’ve been loving is the sporty/athleisure look. (It gives me an excuse to wear workout pants at school.) During my trip to Indianapolis this month, I was dragged into an Under Armour store and found the perfect hat. Sure, I look like a 34 year old soccer mom or Luke from Gilmore Girls, but I’ve embraced it.

IMG_5990.JPGWhat to stream…
The Crown

The Crown covers Queen Elizabeth following her marriage to Prince Philip and taking on the throne. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are the perfect castings for the royal couple, and their chemistry is phenomenal. Just a heads up: the first episode has more drama in it than every episode of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars combined.

img_3471What to see in theaters….
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Fantastic Beasts is a different perspective into the world of witches and wizards, taking place in 1920’s New York. We are no longer stuck behind a desk for seven years, as we are apparated straight into the action. I wasn’t old enough to understand the awe and wonder Harry Potter had on its viewers when it was first released. The breathtaking visuals and brilliant screenplay, written by J.K. Rowling, caused me to have this feeling for the first time in many years. 2016 was filled with many rehashes of films we’ve already seen. Even being a reboot/ spin-off of the Potter franchise, Beasts is equally unique and brilliant as its predecessors. Although the Goldstein sisters stole the show for me, Newt Scamander played by Eddie Redmayne is an interesting enough lead to carry the inevitable following sequels.

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What to eat…

Pecan Pie

http://houseofyumm.com/pecan-pie/

‘Tis the season of eating endless amounts of leftovers from your holiday meal. As always for Thanksgiving, I was in charge of bringing dessert. This year I spiced the typical pies by making them miniature. My favorite of the three types I made was the pecan, hands down. The recipe I used liked to stick to the pan, so I would recommend making this in a normal sized pie crust.

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What to buy for the house…

Little Christmas Tree- Target

My favorite place in the world is Target’s Dollar Spot. You never know what junk you might find there. Of course during my weekly trip there, I found this cute little tree for $3. It’s the perfect size for a dining room table or in an office.

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travel-essentials

Travel Essentials

It’s good to be home! After an extended weekend in Indianapolis for the National High School Journalism Conference, I’m back to talk about my travel essentials.
1.) Headphones

It doesn’t matter if you’re listening to music or not, headphones are a lifesaver on a crowded charter bus for 12 hours. For someone like me who lives on TV and movies, it’s vital to have a nice pair of headphones. My Beats Solo 2 in Gray have lasted me a year so far and are perfect for traveling because they’re collapsible.

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2.) Audiobooks

I’m not a big reader, but every so often I find something that just pulls me in. Audiobooks are a lifesaver during the school year since I don’t like just sitting down and reading a book. Spotify has a fantastic selection in classical books. I just finished listening to 1984 for my literature class. #PleasesponsormeAudible


3.) Portable charger 

As a tech head, I need power! I have a couple small portable chargers that are good for a quick phone charge. On most trips, I usually bring a mini laptop or iPad to work on stuff. Tzumi Pocket Juice Slim 12,000mAh Solo Portable Charger can charge my iPad three times on a single charge. This one doesn’t need an extra cord to charge it because it has a wall plug-in built in.

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4.) Guidebooks

Whenever I’m in a new city, I make sure I have a guidebook via book or phone. They are usually written by city natives/ experts and feature a vast amount of knowledge on what to do there. In the past, I’ve used the apps Guidebook, Lonely Planet, and eTips.

5.) Camera

I don’t go on vacation to relax; I’m there to explore and make memories. If I wanted to relax I would have stayed at home! I don’t like bringing my expensive Canon camera when I travel because that’s just asking for it to be broken or stolen. You’ve heard me rave about my instant camera by Fujifilm, and ever since I bought it it’s always with me. Each photo captures a single moment in time. One thing is for sure – no Instagram filter compares to the look of Polaroid.
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What’s in my make-up bag? {Fall 2016}

Ever since I started wearing makeup back in middle school, I haven’t gotten much better. (Although, I have learned how to properly put on foundation.) My makeup arsenal is always changing and is a combination of both drugstore and high-end.

Face
Before I even start thinking about putting on makeup, I have to moisturize. This step is necessary for dry skin. Personally, I prefer liquid foundation because it seems to last longer. When blending my foundation I use a beauty blender or a makeup sponge.


Clean & Clear Persa-Gel/ Equate Beauty 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Gel

  • Great for acne spots
  • Day and night
  • Buy off-brand version to save $$$


Olay Complete All Day Moisturize- Normal

  • Keeps skin from getting patchy


NYX Cosmetics Studio Perfect Primer
Shade: Green

  • Works like glue for foundation

  • Helps conceal redness

Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation
Shade: 810 Classic Ivory

  • Full coverage

  • All day wear

  • Shine free

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer

Shade: Light

  • Brightening

  • Doesn’t dry out or crease

  • Blends well


ELF High Definition Powder
Shade: Corrective Yellow

  • Sets foundation all day


Brows

After a waxing mishap a few weeks ago, I had to learn how to fill in my eyebrows. I use the two following products together to make them look as natural as possible.


Maybelline Brow Drama Define & Fill Duo
Shade: Deep Brown

  • Great color match

  • Easy to apply

  • Natural looking

Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara
Shade: Deep Brown

  • Fills in evenly

 

Eyes

Trying a new eye product is the easiest way to change up your look.

Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint
Shade: Bountiful Beige

  • Shimmery

  • Great base

  • Works as both shadow & primer

Lancôme Color Design
Shade: 311 You’ve got the look

  • Great fall color

  • Mega pigmented


ELF Brightening Eye Liner
Shade: Coffee

  • Goes on smooth

  • Good controls

ELF Volume Plumping Mascara
Shade: Black

  • Keeps curl

  • Doesn’t clump after two coats


Lips

Pucker up, buttercup! This is my all-time favorite lipstick!


Lancôme Color Design
Shade: The New Pink (sheen)

  • Pricey, but lasts forever

  • Can be worn all year long

  • Isn’t drying
2007-11-30 19:46	2794×2234× (3103303 bytes)	Evans1551
Crative Commons

October Favorites

Dear Mother Nature, I beg of you to please just let me have one day of fall. This is truly getting out of control! October is over and it’s still t-shirt and shorts weather outside. Besides cooking kettle corn 15 hours a week at work and attending Friday night football, I’ve found a few new things I like this month.

 

Haters Back Off

Miranda Sings, a YouTube sensation, finally had her Netflix show released. The eight episodes are a cringe-worthy experience that serves as the origin story for the character. The ending is way depressing and doesn’t really fit the overall tone that was set up. Unlike other YouTube based media, Haters Back Off is a lighthearted comedy that’s willing to take risks.

Knit Peacoat

http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1070614&vid=1&pid=339302012

Other places in the world are experiencing a season known as fall. I picked this piece up a couple of weeks ago for an upcoming trip to Indianapolis. Guessing by the forecast, it’s probably going to be chilly the five days I’ll be there. I really don’t have the space in my bag for a winter coat. This jacket is super light and doesn’t take up a lot of room. Personally, I own the red, but both colors can be dressed up or down.

L’ORÉAL Sleek It Iron Straight Heatspray

http://www.ulta.com/sleek-it-iron-straight-heatspray?productId=xlsImpprod6330203

A few months back I found out the products I was using by Kerastase is made by L’Oreal, so I switched all my hair products to L’Oreal. I’ve already talked about the shampoo and conditioner, but I love the heat spray just as much. The only issue I found with it is that it isn’t sulfate-free, but who cares when you’re protecting your locks?

 

Holographic Makeup Bag

http://www.forever21.com/Product/Product.aspx?BR=&Category=acc_beauty-acc-bags-storage&ProductID=1000214013&VariantID=

I don’t really consider myself a child of the 90s. (Although, I kind of think that the 90s didn’t really end until 2004.) Recently I’ve been obsessed with everything holographic. It was time to get a new makeup bag since last month I accidently burned my old one with my hair straightener. This bag is big enough for all my essentials and even has a wipeable surface.

 

Pewdiepie’s Tuber Simulator

Felix Kjellberg, AKA Pewdiepie, released his second mobile game. Fans of the channel know that Kjellberg is known for his gameplays and commentary on them. Tuber Simulator takes aspects from social gaming and traditional simulator games. The goal is to get more subscribers than Pewdiepie by creating online videos. It’s free on both iOS and Android.

Louis Beche
uniqlo flannels
April 9, 2008
https://www.flickr.com/photos/beche/2400500463
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flannels_5.jpg

September Favorites 

September Life Update: Still not flannel weather. {Thanks global warming}

Supergirl

The main reason I didn’t watch Supergirl during its initial run on CBS is because I was under the impression it was more of a girl in the big city + aliens comedy. What I learned after watching it was that I was completely right. Compared to the rest of the superhero TV shows currently airing, Supergirl is a lighthearted break. Yeah, it has multiple love triangles and rogues of the week, but it highlights the importance of family.

M.A.C To Boldly Go

Nerdy makeup lovers were living when M.A.C announced a collection in collaboration with Star Trek’s 75th anniversary. Pressed pigments and palettes are the only makeup products that I’m willing to invest my money into. To Boldly Go is a red/copper eyeshadow that is the definition of pigmented. Especially for fall, I’ve been loving putting on this red smokey eye for daily wear.

EverCreme Sulfate-Free Moisture System Intense Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner

My hair is something I take great pride in, especially because of everything I’ve invested in it. Naturally, I have super thick and dry hair. EverCreme Sulfate-Free Moisture System Intense Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner has become my go to hair product. Compared to the overpriced stuff I was using before, this is a steal.

The Pearl

I’m a weirdo who can’t sleep without noise, especially when I’m not in my own bed. Recently I’ve gotten tired of my noise machine app. {One can only listen to Amazon rainforest recordings for so long.} After searching around on Spotify, I was recommended Harold Budd’s The Pearl. I don’t know how, but it puts me right to sleep.

Bowties and Bourbon Candle

I totally forgot about even buying this candle. Currently it’s not sold in stores, but I do believe it’s a seasonal item. Bath & Body Works is the gold standard for all candles. Overall, it’s very masculine and is great for cooler weather. 

Photo By: Austin Kirk
Locker Doors
February 16, 2013
Flickr 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/aukirk/8484660858
Dimensions changed

August Favorites

August is over! That means it’s time to put on a flannel and go get my PSL fix. JK, it’s still 90 degrees here.

Tassel-Front Swing Blouse

I’m so obsessed with this shirt that the day after I first wore it, I went out and bought it in two other colors. It’s perfect right now because we are slowly transitioning into fall. You can still show some skin while continuing to be comfy.

http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1046693&vid=1&pid=225517042

JANSJÖ LED Work Lamp

Originally this was purchased for a friend going off to college, but I fell in love and bought one for myself. It produces enough light to fill my whole room without the overhead lights on. The bendable head is great for late night studying, especially when you’re too lazy to get up and turn off the lightswitch.

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20169658/

E.L.F Makeup Mist & Set

E.L.F Makeup Mist & Set spray is a lifesaver for me because I need my makeup to last the whole school day. In the past twenty days of use, I haven’t had to do any major touch-ups. Let’s hope this stops me from looking like a sweaty goon on the marching band field.

http://www.elfcosmetics.com/p/makeup-mist-and-set

Chobani Flip Yogurt

Toppings make everything taste better. Normally I’m not a huge Greek yogurt fan, but Chobani’s recipe is not as bitter as other brands. It’s not chunky, but it isn’t super thin either. There have only been three flavors I haven’t liked, and those were the cherry, pear, and key lime flavors.

http://www.chobani.com/products/flip#peanut-caramel-satisfactiontrade

Scholly

Everyone who attended, currently attends, or is going to attend college in the future knows that school isn’t cheap. Finding scholarships are key to not having tens of thousands of dollars in student debt. Scholly is a free app that takes all your information (ACT scores, major, grade point average, etc.) and comes out with all these scholarships you are eligible for. It makes it easy to apply and keep track of them.

 

 

John Starnes
April 28, 2012
From Flickr
https://www.flickr.com/photos/muffintoptn/7121669117
Via Creative Commons

July Favorites

What a month! I’ve been keeping quite busy between my online classes and going to the lake. This week is the start of every band geek’s favorite time of the year – Band Camp. All of my friends are sad it’s our last time experiencing it, but I couldn’t be happier. I can’t wait to start the new school year and start the next chapter of my life.

Biore Charcoal Face Cleanser 
I normally have dry skin and have minimal acne. For the past six months, I’ve been using the Biore Charcoal Face Cleanser twice a day. This month I’ve been breaking out like crazy, so I tested out Biore Warming Anti-Blackhead Cleaner. After you use it, you will know why I put it on the list. My face feels like a baby, and my acne cleared up in a week.

http://www.ulta.com/complexion-clearing-warming-anti-blackhead-cleanser?productId=xlsImpprod4141889

Good Morning Call
I have talked shit on my friends for watching anime and reading manga for years; well, here’s your public apology. I’m in love with Good Morning Call! Based on the Japanese anime of the same name, Good Morning Call is a live action TV series co-produced by Fuji TV & Netflix. Basically, it’s about a junior named Nao that moves into an apartment when her parents leave her to move in with her grandpa. After a real estate scam, she is forced to share her apartment with the most popular guy in school. You can see what’s going to happen from a mile away, but I can’t stop watching. I’m almost done with the series, and I’m not sure if there are any plans for a second season. All 17 episodes are on Netflix and last about 45 minutes each.

Boho Bandeaus
This month I cut six inches off my hair, and I was going for a Black Window meets Posh Spice kind of look. Natural Life makes a product called Boho Bandeaus and solves all of your bad hair day problems. They are basically infinity scarves for your head and can be worn in a dozen different ways. At this time I have three of them in gray, tie dye purple, and in a brown and hot pink pattern. https://www.naturallife.com/accessories/all-boho-bandeaus.html

Yesso Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars
In reference to what I said last month, I’ve been trying to eat healthier. Also, it’s been over 100 degrees each day for the past month. Yesso Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars are a gift from God. One bar is just 100 calories and isn’t just cookie dough flavored; there are also chunks of cookie dough inside of it! It’s all natural and kosher as well. https://www.yasso.com/products/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-stick-bars/

Sing Street

If you’re a fan of Screen Junkies, you’ve probably heard of a little movie called Sing Street. It’s about a British teen in the 80’s who creates a band to impress a girl. Sorry Deadpool, but this has the best movie soundtrack of the year! There are eight original songs written for the movie and are performed by the cast. In my opinion, Drive it Like You Stole It is the best, but The Riddle of the Model is a close second. If you haven’t already (and I know you haven’t), just rent the movie on iTunes. It’s better than 90% of the movies in theaters right now.