This is it guys. The big 2-5. Suddenly you find yourself Instagram stalking your younger pledge classes’ house dance outfits and reminiscing about the days when you could stay up until 2 am without feeling like you got hugged by a falling tree. Rent, car payments, electricity, groceries, anxiety meds…they all add up. In addition to having absolutely no money, it’s so easy to get caught up in the demands of life. I’m turning a quarter of a century old on the 31st of this month and have been having one existential crisis after another. Luckily I’m surrounded by amazing girlfriends who love and support me. Kristin, the genius behind the photos you’re about to enjoy, decided we needed a much-needed trip to Cape Kiawanda. If you’re like me and you’ve got mid-twenties blues, here’s a playlist to help you get through it all. While I’m still struggling in life, I’m proud of who I am today, and these songs helped shape me into the woman I am today.
“Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. This song is so classic and so relevant to any woman who has struggled to find her purpose in life. I’ve been so many people in my 25 years, and I’m still figuring out who I am. This is a big one.
“Belle of the Boulevard” by Dashboard Confessional. Sometimes life is just downright hard. It is so important to remember that the struggles you experience make you the beautiful person you are. Never, never let yourself think that you are only worth what certain people think of you.
“Swing Life Away” by Rise Against. When I was a little kid I thought by 25 I’d be married, have a house full of kittens and puppies, and be a successful paleontologist. Today I’m, well, not. That’s just life, and I’m okay with it. Enjoy the simple things in life. You will miss them later on.
“Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane. I tragically lost my first love a few years back. This song has preserved every happy memory we ever shared. Whether it’s a person, a place, a song, a smell, or an idea–it’s okay to hold on to things. Nobody is immune to tragedy, but it takes a great deal of strength to hold on to the happy times in spite of it all.
“Feel the Silence” by Goo Goo Dolls. The part in this song that always gives me chills goes, “we’re drowning in the water that goes under this bridge/when you’re fighting the current you forget how to live.” Pretty explanatory. We are a highly-intelligent species that have emotions in spades. Listen to them. If you spend your life hiding your hurt, you will always feel pain.
“Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel. This song was my Gramma’s absolute favorite song, and for good reason. The point of this song, this blog, and my objective in life, is to offer love and support to those who need it. We hear so much sad news every day, and this song beautifully acknowledges that all of life’s hardships can be overcome with the support of a good friend. You don’t need a ton of friends, just one or two solid ride-or-dies. Most importantly, be the friend that you need in your life.
“Love” by Lana Del Rey. I’ve mentioned this before here on V+V but this song is just. So. Good. It takes me back to the days when all we needed was a 6-pack of PBR, a smooth hill to skate down, and a sunset to cheers to. Watch the video and you will understand. The years go by but we will always have that summer that ignited our souls.
“Your Song” by Elton John. Oh Elton. This song has no particular meaning other than it is simply the best song ever written and I will never stop loving it. Absolute genius.
“Wheels” by Foo Fighters. Easily the most under-rated FF hit. Central thesis is that life will never stop being hard. Your challenges will change, but life will never be easy. That being said–there’s no reason to not enjoy the ride.
“For the First Time” by the Script. Does anyone still listen to them? I love them. Shamelessly. Keep making music, guys. All of their songs are so real and so relevant but this one specifically has helped me calm down when I’m sitting on my couch with my roomie and her cat, telling them about how stressfully my apartment hunt is going/how difficult work is/how much I wish I was Lauren Conrad. It’s so good to know you’re not alone in the struggle. Related: watch St. Elmo’s Fire.
Lastly, “I Want to Break Free” by Queen. In addition to having arguably the most interesting music video ever created, this song is so empowering. Whether you’re struggling to accept your identity, or if you hate your job, or if you’re in a bad relationship–this song will get you through just about anything. And will also make you want to vacuum in a leather mini skirt. Or is that just me? Anyway–cheers to 25 years! Through good times and bad, I love you all and wish you all the best in your life. Take charge and be the lady boss we all know you are!
All the heart eyes for this new post because Smitten issue II is finally here.
We collaborated with Shop Libby in Downtown Cincinnati to style this shoot and made straight magic. A local boutique with hand-picked pieces and hand-crafted jewelry, Shop Libby has an edge to it that doesn’t quite compare to mainstream retailers. The character of the brand exudes cool, collected confidence that translates in the feel of every look.
Can you really have a photoshoot without a LBD?Truth be told, hats aren’t typically my go-to accessory. Still, I decided to defy my comfort zone and silence the self-doubt, and styled this look with minimalistic jewelry and a soft-feel, charcoal colored tee. This heart ring is a handmade piece made by Libby, the owner of the shop, and is a subtle, seamless accessory for every look.
Takeaways from this issue of Smitten? Dare to wear the things you can’t pull off. Happy styling.
Every now and then, we have the chance to meet individuals who have a particularly interesting and insightful view on their life and the industry they work in. In the creative world, it is always rejuvenating to talk to these type of people because they remind us why we create in the first place, and why we must always be open to continuously feeling inspired. We were lucky enough to connect with a musician whose introspection, uniqueness and utter genuineness did all these things for us.
Ryan Guldemond, lead vocalist and lead guitarist of indie-rock 5 piece Mother Mother, just kicked off tour with The Kongos. Right before Mother Mother hit Portland, velvet + vinyl had the chance to chat with him a little bit about song writing, Mother Mother’s abstract approach to creating music and how they as a band set themselves apart in such a vast industry.
Check out our interview with him below, and take a peek at the photos from their show at Hawthorne Theatre in Portland. If you haven’t given this band a listen, you are most definitely missing out. Every song is so different, yet Mother Mother does an excellent job maintaining a uniform, recognizable sound. Perhaps one of the most difficult qualities to master, always innovating but never straying too far from what people like about you, Mother Mother no doubt delivers different flavors of their music while staying true to their roots. Dynamic performers with a great stage presence, don’t make the mistake of not seeing them when they come to your town! You can buy their *stellar* new album “No Culture” HERE and check out their tour schedule HERE!
VV: How is tour going? Which places are you looking forward to performing most in?
R: It’s going really well. We just got off of a big headlining tour in Canada, so it’s quite fun and healthy to switch roles and be the opener. We will do some headlining shows of our own once we part with Kongos, whom I might add are some of the nicest people we’ve toured with, and fantastic musicians. I’m always excited to perform in the places we haven’t been, so on this run that would be Crystal Bay, Nevada and Las Vegas.
VV: If there a certain place you write from? Do you write from a happy, sad, angry, stressed place? Or does it vary?
R: Not so much angry or stressed, but the others work well in getting an idea off the ground. And I’m really all about antonyms and opposites and creating balance, emotionally within a song. If it’s a sad song, there’s got to be a silver lining, and if it’s a happy song, then it needs a dark twist, or sense of irony. Big on irony.
VV: How is the music scene different here than in Canada? How does the energy differ at all?
R: Who knows!? We show up and play music, and people rejoice, in their way. Sometimes it’s timid, and sometimes tumultuous, but the variance I find to be human conditional rather that geographical. Maybe Americans are a little more pronounced and gregarious over all.
VV: How and why do you choose to set yourself apart as band? You’ve approached music a unique way with your sound and videos.
R: We’re not choosing as much as we’re doing what feels natural, then making logical decisions on how to package that. It’s like having kids, makings songs, you don’t really get to choose what they’re gonna be like. They come out how they come out, but then as a parent it’s your job to steer them in the right direction, based on their set of unique proclivities. Our music is naturally a little strange, otherworldly, and quirky, so things ought to follow suit: videos and aesthetics etc.
VV: How much attention do you give social media?
R: We take part, and could get better at it, but it’s not anybody’s born talent. I’m not sure social media is making the world a better place, but maybe it’s a platform to help make the world a better place from?
VV: What food do you guys eat a lot of on tour?
R: We’re pretty healthy on tour and shop more than eat out, so grains, tofu and vegetables, sweet potatoes. I probably eat too many Quest bars. Those are all the rage right now.
VV: For those just getting started in the music industry, do you have any advice to offer them? What are things that “people don’t tell you” when you’re getting started that you should prepare for?
R: Less is more.
VV: What has been the most pivotal or monumental moment for you as a band?
R: We haven’t had one of those moments, where something happened and then everything changed, and turned way bigger. It’s been a million little moments adding up to now. I hear about these moments. They sound exciting, but no, we haven’t had one. Maybe it was our first open mic, when people stopped talking when we played? That’s probably as good as any.
VV: What are you hoping people take away from your newest album you just released?
R: I’d like to leave this cycle having seen more of the world and having made headway in the territories we’ve nurtured over the years, namely Canada and the US. Would love to grow as a musician and writer during this album cycle. I believe chapters of life are, in a sense, instructions for the next chapter, and on and on it goes. So I’d like very much to be informed by these experiences promoting No Culture, of what we’re meant to do next. I want signs and symbols to appear. I want guidance.
Lana Del Rey is the ultimate definition of a beautifully sad yet ever enchanting celebrity and style icon, portraying her endless longing for love, fashion and beauty through her music. She has the effortless ability to bring together her outward femininity with classic Hollywood style in her own unique way. Del Rey always consistently conveys the trials, tribulations and struggles of a female growing up in a world captivated by the so-called “perfect” beauty image and ideal. Though some may view her music as controversial, she integrates topics such as fashion, beauty and the idea of outward appearance in her music to explore her own emotional response to the obligations society thrusts upon women.
I have been following Lana Del Rey for years now, and have grown to admire the way her music makes people think and feel. She leaves messages behind in her words that are extremely influential to girls growing up and feeling exactly what she is writing about. Often her illusions and references to physical beauty encompass what someone is wearing and how make-up and nail polish equates to the way these things make them feel: empowered, strong, independent, feminine, young, carefree, girlish. Del Rey frequently mentions the color red and explores characteristics inspired by it, insisting its power inspires confidence.
While recently wearing my favorite blue velvet tank, the first thing that came to my mind was Lana Del Rey’s rendition of the song ‘Blue Velvet’. Known for its beautiful, simple and mysterious lyrics, the infamous song was originally written by Bernie Wayne and Lee Morris in the 50s, and has since been covered by a multitude of talented artists. Though Blue Velvet is known for its memorable lyrical style, Del Rey has left her mark on the music industry by sharing meaningful stories and contributing to important conversations through her music. Her willingness to use her songs to discuss fashion, beauty, self-love, acceptance, coming of age etc. leaves a bold impact on those who are willing to listen and absorb the lyrics.
The sweetness of spring is finally here. The cherry blossom trees are in full bloom and the temperatures are just right for rolling down the windows and opting for backroads instead of freeways.
For me, music is so synonymous with seasons of my life. And when it’s time to tuck away winter sweaters and wool socks, a new playlist reenergizes me for sunshine, sweet tea and pastel-colored accents to complement my monochromatic wardrobe.
Whether you celebrate the start of spring with farmer’s markets or fresh cut blooms, savor your favorite moments with this new May playlist. A compilation of singer-songwriter-esque hits with a dose of tropical house, a dash of soft country, and some other acoustic inspired twists, this playlist is my go-to. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Share some of your favorite jams with the VV girl gang by tagging us on Instagram!
At the beginning of each month the ladies of Velvet + Vinyl are asked to come up with goals to work towards. There is no limit to what a goal can be and they range from personal goals to big ideas and what we want for the blog. This month, we decided to share our goals in hope that it will motivate you to set your own.
As for me, one of my goals is to focus on self-love and self care. The chaos of life sometimes throws routine out the window and demands attention elsewhere. It doesn’t appear that things will be slowing down anytime soon, so I want to commit to taking a bit of time focus on myself without losing sight of all of my commitments and priorities. It is as simple as watching my eating habits and listening to my body to eat better and disconnecting from technology to get creative and work on some art.
Another goal is to see this blog grow and continue to build relationships with our readers. I wouldn’t be part of this team if I didn’t believe in and have passion for what Velvet + Vinyl is all about. I have nothing but big dreams for V+V and can’t wait to see where May takes us.
My goal for this month is to be more rebellious.
In the past few weeks I’ve been confined to my comfort zone, and I’m determined to challenge that. I want to abandon my inclination to stick with what’s safe and instead find the courage to pursue the thrill of the unknown. I want to feed my curiosity and follow through with the goals and to-do’s I’ve overlooked.
This month, I want to work more deeply on finessing my editing style, and really expanding on new concepts for shoots and video for both the fashion and music industry. Continuing to reach out to artists will be a running goal for the next few months.
Additionally, I want to work more in video. Now that I have my new editing system, I will have more resources to make editing extra clean.
I want to collaborate with lostboycrow in an interview and do a ticket giveaway for mother mother during the month of May.
To shoot a look book with a Portland company I have been talking to. The girl is amazing and I would love to promote how girl next door and effortless the company is/
See how to transform an art pieces into a post that fits the V+V aesthetic.
My goals mainly are to continue to grow in a way that is effective in helping me discover my true passions and style when it comes to fashion, music, art and all things creative. I’ve been recently digging into what I want to do in the future regarding a career and I’ve come to realize I am very passionate about pursuing things I didn’t even recognize that I was before (such as photography and different art styles as opposed to just writing).
I also plan on reaching out to more members of the team to try to get to know them more.
My goals for myself this month is to learn to live a healthier lifestyle. I’m finally home from school and I’m using this time to reset and focus on bettering myself.
My goals are to have 1500 of followers by end of may and to learn how to use DSLR.
My goals is to get us to 1000 followers this month on the Instagram and to keep taking photos that align with our Insta aesthetic yet are still high quality.
Get inspired by the ambitious goals of our girl gang and set some for yourself!
Lately I’ve been missing the tall green fir trees and all my favorite things about the Pacific Northwest. So I’ve partnered with two of my favorite Oregon-based brands to bring you a mini-shoot with a PNW twist to celebrate the start of spring.
Today I’m featuring my favorite Heritage Dry Goods market tote, made in partnership with Apolis. This bag is my go-to – I take it to the market, on Target runs, anytime I need something to carry some goodies. I love knowing I’m not wasting plastic bags, but still always have a reliable (and stylish) alternative.
I’m also featuring my sweet friend Emilie and her beautiful floral designs. She’s got herself a pretty neat Etsy shop and I’m loving her custom drawn temptattoos – so perfect for spring. Treat yo’self and take 20% off with discount code “velvetvinyl” + share your pics with us by tagging @velvetnvinyl and @helloimemilie. Enjoy!