De La Vega Works to Change the Streets.

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

yi_vega388Why is it that half the time I get on the internet looking for something cool and new to learn about I wind up wishing I lived in NYC? (Rhetorical question BTs!) It’s because that city has a magical tractor beam that’s pulling me in.  Okay not really, but the artist that I found to talk about today got his start in NYC like so many others before him.  James De La Vega (I’m obsessed with saying his name out loud!) started as a street artist with a mission: to bring hope and empowerment to the Latino community.

He’s most well known for his fish drawing and positive catch phrases like “Become your dream.” De La Vega chalked and painted these signatures on the walls, sidewalks, and other street-accessible places often enough for it to become his brand before he moved from street art to online artist.  De La Vega has become a presence on Twitter and Facebook to speak out against those that he thinks are working against his community.  He’s spoken out against hazing and the negative messages of rap music through these medium.

de-la-vega-rainHe further made a name for himself by collaborating with designer Tory Burch on a collection of handbags. P art of the proceeds for the designs went toward helping “develop women-owned businesses in the city.” But the handbags weren’t the only online merch to feature his brand.  De La Vega has his own online store through CafePress where he sells the usual CP-type merchandise with variations of his fish design and other quotes from his brand.

39639485_b48625536c_oDespite having his desired audience as the Latin community I find his “become your dream” catch phrase refreshingly positive.  It’s no secret that I get a little fascinated with the tragic and macabre, but it’s very cool to see an artist so focused on bringing something bright into the world when it’s so easy to focus on the dark.

It’s inspiring to see how far he’s come.  Currently De La Vega is working with lawyers, marketers, and consultants who share his beliefs.  They help to protect and grow the De La Vega brand so that it can continue to battle social issues.  The success of his business helps him to do his work using “art to help society see itself.” It’s clear from an interview he did with NY Daily News that De La Vega has a very idealistic attitude.  But I think that works to his advantage.  Pretty awesome what street art and a passion for social change can do for you, isn’t it?

photo-8Keep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

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TBITHS’ 100 Songs To Live By Playlist!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I’m excited to say that this is my 100th post!  I spent a while thinking about how to make this post extra special for the occasion and the first thought was that since it falls on a music day I’d write about my favorite band/artist.  There’s just one problem with that idea, I don’t have a favorite musician.  I’m fickle that way.  So instead I decided to make a playlist: The Boy In The Heart Shades’ 100 Songs to Live By!  All of these songs have an anthem-ish quality for some part of my life.  So here they are in alphabetical order by title! (Most of them have music videos so there are a crap load of links!!)

Absolutely Fabulous – Pet Shop Boys

Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked – Cage The Elephant

Bad Medicine – Bon Jovi

Bad Reputation – Joan Jett

Boston – Augustana

Brokenhearted – Karmin

Bust A Move – Young MC

Come A Little Bit Closer – Jay and the Americans

Come Into My World – Kylie Minogue

Common People – William Shatner

Crazy Beautiful Life – Ke$ha

Crazy Dreams – Smash Cast

Cry Me A River – Julie London

The Curse of Curves – Cute Is What We Aim For

Dancing With Myself – Billy Idol

Dear Diary – Hex RX

Defying Gravity – Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel

Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend (Swing Cats Mix) – Marylin Monroe

Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen

Earn Enough For Life – XTC

Everybody Talks – Neon Trees

F**k You – Lily Allen

Fairytale – Sara Bareilles

Faith – George Michael

Fashionista – Jimmy James

Feeling Good – Nina Simone

Fever – Peggy Lee

Fidelity – Regina Spektor

Flaunt It – TV Rock

Float On – Modest Mouse

Fly (feat. Rihanna) – Nicki Minaj

For Your Entertainment – Adam Lambert

Glamazon – RuPaul

Hair – Lady Gaga

Hand In My Pocket – Alanis Morissette

Hello – Martin Solveig & Dragonette

Hey Man (Now You’re Really Living) – Eels

Holding Out For A Hero – Bonnie Tyler

I Believe In a Thing Called Love – The Darkness

I Don’t Care – Fall Out Boy

I Know What I Am – Band of Skulls

I Like Boys – The Fabulous Miss Wendy

I Love It – Icona Pop

I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston

I Want It Now – Julie Dawn Cole

I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) – Meat Loaf

I’m Not Alone – Patent Pending

I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You – Black Kids

I’m Not Okay (I Promise) – My Chemical Romance

I’m Still Here – John Rzeznik

I’m The Greatest Star – Barbra Streisand

In These Shoes – Kirsty MacColl

Iris – The Goo Goo Dolls

It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) – R.E.M.

The Juggernauts – Zebrahead

Just Give Me A Reason (feat. Nate Ruess) – P!nk

Just What I Need – Rufus King (Bring It On Version!)

Kissing Boys – Brent Braniff Chad Wheeling

Let’s Have a Kiki – Scissor Sisters

Love Today – Mika

Maybe This Time – Kristin Chenoweth

My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It) – En Vogue

New Shoes – Paolo Nutini

No Cure – Megan Hilty

No Sleep Tonight – The Faders

On My Own – Vincent Vincent and The Villains

On The Radio – Regina Spektor

Paso (The Nini Anthem) – Sak Noel

Portions For Foxes – Rilo Kiley

Price Tag – Jessie J

Prince Charming – Jim’s Big Ego

Proud Mary – Ike & Tina Turner

Raise Your Glass – P!nk

Re: Your Brains – Jonathan Coulton

Real World – Matchbox Twenty

Respect – Aretha Franklin

Same Love (feat. Mary Lambert) – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Save The Last Dance For Me – The Drifters

Savior – Rise Against

Self-Esteem Song – Smile Time Puppets (Yes the Silly Song From That One Episode of Angel.)

Set Fire to the Rain – Adele

Some Nights (Intro) – Fun.

Some Nights – Fun. (I almost never listen to one without the other)

Something’s Got A Hold On Me – Etta James

Superheroes – Dani Shay

These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ – Nancy Sinatra

Tightrope – Walk The Moon (New Version)

Till The World End (The Femme Fatale Remix) (feat. Nicki Minaj & Ke$ha) – Britney Spears

Tired of Being Alone – The Spies

Took The Night – Chelley

Vogue – Madonna

Walking On Sunshine – Ghoti Hook

Wannabe – Spice Girls

The Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson (Possibly the most romantic song ever to me!)

Weightless – All Time Low

What A Wonderful World – Joey Ramone

Worst Case Scenario – The Hoosiers

Your Song – Mayday Parade

3AM – Matchbox Twenty

3 Small Words – Josie & The Pussycats

Tell me the songs you live by in the comments to this post BTs.

IMG_2878Keep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

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TBITHS’ Random Pics from the Beach!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I spent the day at the beach with my family and took a lot of random pictures with my iPhone zoom lens! Chek it out.

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Picture of my fun new iPhone camera assessories!

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It’s the whole Heart Shades Family!

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Heart Shades at the beach!

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My shades enjoying their vacation!

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Pic Without the new lens.

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Pic with the new lens.

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Another before pic.

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Another after pic.

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Series of cute umbrellas #1

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Series of cute umbrellas #2

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Series of cute umbrellas #3

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I liked the fish on this lady’s towel.

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Oh no my brother is sinking!

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No wait he’s okay.

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He triuphantly rises from the depths!

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A palm tree. I don’t really miss them living in Orlando.

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A pic of our beach tent from the restaurant we ate at for lunch.

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Some picks of lunch.

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More lunch

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Lunch! I didn’t actually eat any of this one.

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Cool looking Hollywood Beach wall.

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Isn’t that water gorgeous? Rhetorical question. Yes it is!

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Sailboat VS. Speedboat

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Better pic of the sailboat

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Army Helicopter. Randomness yay!

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Pigeons! They’re like rats with wings.

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And the winner of today’s Best Beach Body award goes to (drumroll) this random torso!

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Best Beach Body of the Day Award!

 

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Keep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

 

My Container Store Wishlist!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I’m not the most organized person when it comes to my bedroom, it’s half laziness and half bad habits.  My gorgeous editor Casey can testify to that fact.  The last time she was over, my room was a hot mess.  But I’ve decided I’m cleaning up my act! (Hopefully it’ll stay that way.) So in honor of me going on an organization spree I thought I’d dedicate today’s entry to the Container Store.  We recently got one here in Orlando and I of course want to go on a shopping spree there with the excuse that I need to organize my life.  I went on their website and made myself a wish list of cool stuff I want.  But until I stop wasting my money on gasoline to get to concerts and clubs and get a chance to buy up all this stuff, I’m just going to have to look at this post and dream.

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To keep my necklaces from tangling with each other!

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Cutest way to store scarves ever!

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Not sure what to put in this yet but I stil want it for some reason.

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Completely practical for travel.

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Something you may not know about me yet BTs, I have a lot of boots. I totally need these boot shapers!

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Inflatable verson of the boot shapers, still need them!

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Takes me back to my childhood.

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Ridiculously cute, no?

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I love all things stackable.

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Would be soo cute as party favor boxes if they were cheaper.

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Cool thing about the container store they can help you build your dream closet.

photo-7Keep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

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The Fantastic Conclusion of The Newsflesh Trilogy!!!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

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It’s like she’s my twin!

I promise this is my last zombie book at least for a couple of weeks.  But I have to say I ate up Mira Grant’s Blackout like I was a zombie and it was the most delicious human flesh ever.  Okay that was kind of gross, but in all seriousness this is one of the best book series I’ve read in a while.  What’s better than a book full of crazy zombie world drama?  A book full of zombies, mad science, government conspiracies, and mentally unstable protagonists!  You can expect all this and more as you finish up the Newsflesh Trilogy.  The conclusion to the series is just as compelling as the first and second books.  I almost literally couldn’t put it down, bringing it with me everywhere except the shower until it finished it.  I don’t want to throw out any spoilers, but trust me, whether you’re a zombie fan or not you should be reading this book.

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I need to find these and get them for myself they’re fantastic.

After finishing Blackout I was treated to a nice surprise at the back of the book.  Mira Grant continued the Newsflesh world with a few different novellas.  There’s a sneak peak to Countdown in the back of my copy of Blackout, which takes Grant fans back to the time of the first Rising to give us a look at how the world of the book trilogy was created.  But this isn’t her only novella in the Newsflesh series. She also wrote San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats (Yes Firefly fans, that’s you!), a story that takes place at Comic-Con the year of the Rising.  The next novella, How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea, expected to release July of this year, shows that we haven’t seen the last of this wonderful world of zombies.

If all of that isn’t enough to satisfy your zombie-like appetite for Grant’s universe there is also an alternate ending to the first book, Feed, that one of you beautiful thinkers brought to my attention. (You know who you are gorgeous, thanks for the tip!) Fed, the alternate ending, is available to be read or even downloaded for free online. Just click here!

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This one made me laugh out loud literally!

I’ve already pre-ordered Mira Grant’s next novel Parasite, set to release on October 29, 2013.  The story isn’t part of her zombie series but it looks like we can expect some similar themes.  The future setting and medical subject matter are both going to be factors of this new story line. And the subtitle (Parasitology Volume One) on the amazon page hints that this will be another series for the author.  I hope that Grant can keep all the wit and excitement of the Newsflesh series, while still letting this new world have its one identity and freshness.

photo-6Keep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Gift wrapped special for  a friend of mine!

The Row: Most Fashionable Pajamas Ever!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I’m going a little out of order this week because I wanted the VMK post to go up before I wrote about The Row.  Mary-Kate and Ashley’s fashion line, The Row, started back in 2006.  On the site for the line it’s defined as “a sense of relaxed and timeless elegance, focusing on fine fabrics and the perfect fit.” And I guess I’d have to say looking at their Spring 2013 line that it’s true” their clothing is the most “elegant” pajamas I’ve ever seen.  I can’t say that Elaine Carroll is horribly misinterpreting the fashion in her comedy series Very Mary-Kate.  But I can say that the Olsen twins’ eyewear and handbags are actually much better than the ready-to-wear clothing.  So I’ve found these pictures of VMK and the Olsen sisters for a little compare and contrast today.

Actual Looks From Mary-Kate, Ashely and The Row!

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Ashley Showing us goldfish realness!

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OMG She looks soooo tiny!!

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Check it out bed sheet couture!

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Wearing my nighty in public and I don’t care who sees!

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What do you mean this isn’t a pajama party?!?

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It’s like super burrrr out here you guys.

Very Mary-Kate’s Looks!!!

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That’s totally the face my cat makes after she’s done drinking water too.

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“Bodyguard how do I get to the Internet from my phone?”

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I need that bow!

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“I thought this hat went well with my everything!”

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 Jinkn Monsoon being VMK being MK!!

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Reasons why Jinkx is Amaaaahzing!

photo-4Keep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

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(Yes I totally cheated on the pics this week guys.)

OMG U Guys VMK Is Like Hilarious!!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

verymarykateOh my gosh you guys Very Mary-Kate is like totes my favsies!  The College Humor show telling the story of “the unofficial biography of Mary-Kate Olsen” has just ended its fourth season with a musical number inspired by “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.” I’m going to miss the weekly Thursday updates while Elaine Carroll takes a break from her role portraying our favorite Olsen.  I literally spent the last couple hours watching the series from the very first episode up to this season’s finale.  I simply can’t get enough VMK!

b7d87fc127a803d8abae075359134273-very-mary-kate-conference-callIf you haven’t been keeping up or this is the first time you’re hearing of the web series, you’ve got some time to catch up while we all wait for next season and hidden goodies that may be left from this season.  VMK has her own tumblr which is where the episodes and extras go up first.  But if you’re about to pull a Mary-thon, it’s probably a little easier to speed through the videos on the College Humor page.  Depending on how much of a fanatic you are, you might enjoy going through the tumblr more because there are sometimes extras like wallpapers or other downloads that you can come across as you flip through the pages.

vmk4promo-e1358392727212This season saw the addition of Brandon Scott Jones to the cast as MK’s new man, Olivier Sarkozy.  Jones was featured in four of the new episodes in his role as brother of the French President. (Well now former President of France in reality.) The real Sarkozy is reported to want to marry the real MK so I imagine we’ll be seeing more of him next season.  Hopefully we’ll also see more of the cast we’ve come to know and love: Ashley also played by Elaine Carroll, Bodyguard played by Luke Sholl, Fat Professor played by Will Hines, Jewish-Looking Girl played by Limor Hakim, and Phil Hoffman played by Josh Ruben.

6a00d8341c730253ef0133ed0ec1dd970b-800wiIf you’ve watched all the videos on College Humor and you think “nooooo, I need more MK!” don’t worry!  There are a couple blooper videos on the Facebook fan page and almost all of the repeating characters have twitter accounts that you can follow to feed you’re new obsession.  If that’s still not enough for you guys, because I know it’s not enough for me sometimes, “don’t be mad at me, you’re like my best friend.”

photo-5Keep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

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Junk Mail Mosaics!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

junk mail artI’m sure we’ve all had a day when we open the mailbox and it’s all junk mail.  Those days are particularly frustrating on those of us that have an online shopping addiction, trust me I know.  I just want to throw the junk mail down on the ground an stomp it out of existence for being there instead of the awesome necklace I ordered that should have been here by now.  But today I stumbled across an artist that came up with a better use for the junk mail than ash in my fireplace.  Sandhi Schimmel Gold turns her junk mail into art, more specifically into mosaic portraits most often of beautiful women.

mm-1She was first inspired to try this style of art when she saw a mosaic in Venice.  But it was “too heavy to carry by train,” so she decided to try her hand at making her own.  After a few less-than-successful attempts with glass and a few cut fingers, it became clear that the classic mosaic style wasn’t going to do.  Instead, she took the advertisements and postcards from her mail and glued the paper directly onto her paintings.  And the end result has been getting her quite a bit of attention.

SandhiSchimmelGold12On her website she has a page marked The Collection which includes over 200 different junk mail mosaics that she’s created.  Scrolling down the page it’s impressive to see all the portraits she’s done so far.  Icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Madonna only begin her colorful collections.  While the majority of her work focuses on the female portrait, there are some famous men mixed in such as Shakespeare, Elvis, and Jim Morrison.  Her take on ‘upcycling’ art has gotten her a few solo gallery shows and gained the attention of more than a few celebrities and art collectors.  Still, her work is available for sale on her website for a reasonably affordable price, by art collector standards anyway, ranging in the $300-3,000 range.  If I had that kind of money to blow I think that one of her pieces would be an interesting item to own.  Instead I’ll have to settle for collecting my own junk mail and try my hand at paper mosaics.

PhotoMosaica_1989.pngKeep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

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(Made this pic on an iPhone app called Photo Mosaica)

Iron Man 3 Has An Amazing Bonus Soundtrack!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

814aaHgTiDL__SL1500_I’m sure all of you comic book movie fans have all been going crazy over the most recent one to hit theaters: Iron Man 3. I haven’t seen it yet, sad.com/behindthetimes.  But I have been listening to the Iron Man 3: Heroes Fall soundtrack obsessively.  It’s been a while since I found a soundtrack with this many of my favorite bands on it.  It’s crazy, I’m talking Neon Trees, Passion Pit, Walk The Moon, 3OH!3, and Imagine Dragons all on one album!  Seriously, if you added Fun. and Fall Out Boy to that list I think I might ‘gasm!

As far as I can tell these songs aren’t the ones played in the background of the movie like with a typical soundtrack.  Those are covered on the Iron Man 3 soundtrack put together by Brian Tyler.  Iron Man 3: Heroes Fall is a bonus soundtrack of “music inspired by the motion picture” rather than the average film score.  I found online that only AWOLNATION’s “Some Kind of Joke” is actually featured in the film while the rest were made just for the album.

neon-treesI don’t know who thought up and organized Heroes Fall, but I’m sending out all kinds of warm fuzzy feelings to them for bringing “Some Kind of Monster” by Neon Trees into my life. (Incoming ridiculousness: it’s like OMG Amaaaahzing!!) I seriously can’t get enough from these guys and this song won’t tide me over till they bring out their next album, but it’s certainly going to catch up quickly in play counts to their other fantastic songs off of Habits and Picture Show.

walkthemoon_PressPhoto3Passion Pit’s “American Blood” and Imagine Dragons’ “Ready Aim Fire” are great tracks off the album, as if there was any doubt.  But the group I’m most thrilled to see on the track list is Walk the Moon with their song “Big Bad Wolves.” Still not fully a mainstream band, Walk the Moon stole my heart with their self-titled album last year and I really hope this is just another step for them on their way to insane amounts of success.  They just announced that special tickets to their upcoming tour will go on sale May 9th.  The tickets are being called Early Entry Wristbands and will allow all the hardcore WTM fans to skip the line and go straight into the venue to scout out a choice spot for optimum rocking-out pleasure.  Sadly, the tour dates listed don’t include a show in Florida for some reason.  But I’m enjoying their Iron Man 3 inspired track enough right now that I just might forgive them for missing us this time around.  Back on topic, Heroes Fall has got me pretty hyped to see Iron Man 3 with my siblings when we are all together in SoFlo this month.

photo-2Keep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

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Yes I’m a dork but this is what my Iron Man suit would look like!!

 

Stress Relief For Mother’s Day!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I hope you’re all having an excellent Mother’s Day! For today’s post I thought I’d show you how to make your very own stress relief systems. It’s a little something you might want to give to your mom so she can squeeze it whenever you bug the heck out of her. Here’s what you’ll need:

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A bowl full of flour!

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Balloons! Pick whatever color your mom will like best.

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A tool for getting the flour into the balloons with minimal messiness. A funnel might work too but we used this squeeze bottle.

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And a lovely assistant! If you don’t have a gorgeous sister like me, you’ll have to find someone else to trick into doing all the dirty work.

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This is what I was doing while she was actually filling the balloon. Flour art!

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Tie off the end of the balloon and there you have it! Stress Be Gone.

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It’s cheap and easy to make too. Try it for a party gift bag or maybe a classroom project.

Show you mom some love today guys.

IMG_2651Keep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades