Wednesday, January 27, 2016

5 Pieces of Classical Music You Should Try

Classical music has a bad rep.
Most people find it boring and prefer pop or something they can sing along to
1)It's not boring, it's just long
2)I have definitely sung along to classical music before...just sayin
I find that while doing homework, I can only listen to classical--lyrics distract me. It's calming, it's inspiring, it's timeless. 
You may be someone who swears they hate classical music, but I've compiled at least 5 pieces that I think everyone should at least try:
If you noticed, the background picture from this is from Fantasia, and that's where I heard this for the first time. For most of my childhood, I knew this as the "Pegasus song from Fantasia". The 2 Fantasia movies are where I was first exposed to classical music--if you find yourself unable to just listen to a 30 minute song, I definitely suggest watching them. Because there's something to look at, a story is being told, the viewer is more engaged and less likely to be bored. 
Anyway, this is a masterpiece. It truly does evoke images of a field or a meadow. It's beautiful and lyrical and I just really love listening to it. 

You will 100% recognize at least one of these. Popularized sometime in the 1950s, this 4-movement work tells a story of 2 violent and extreme seasons, and 2 seasons of serenity and frivolity. I've now seen this live twice, and I really do love it. The concert master at the BSO (the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) truly does the solos justice.
This is a great piece to listen to if you're really new to classical music because you'll know the tune of at least one of the seasons and knowing the tune makes it much easier to stomach.

This is the first classical piece that I truly got into.
A few years ago, my parents dragged my brother and I to the BSO to see satellite images of each of the planets accompanying their respective movements. It was fantastic and I found myself really getting into the piece, especially the Mars and Jupiter movements.  Mars is very Star Wars-y, see if you can identify what the Imperial March echoes. 
Today, it's definitely one of my favorite pieces.

Another piece I was exposed to via Fantasia, I had forgotten about it until we sight-read an arrangement of the 4th movement last year in Wind Ensemble and I was like "Oh my gosh! This is the flying whale song!!!"
For any of you who have seen Fantasia 2000, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If not, you probably think I'm insane but that's ok.
It's quite a majestic piece, but I would suggest the 1st and 4th movements...the 2nd and 3rd movements are very very slow and quiet and I prefer the faster moving portions, but this piece has something for everybody.

Another piece I saw live before I really appreciated it, this symphony took me a while to get into, but I'm glad I did. It's truly majestic and you can totally feel the "from the new world" vibe. This has become one of my favorite symphonies and my dad, someone I consider to be more of a classical connoisseur than myself, also placed this in his top 5 most important classical pieces list.
Give it a try!

Do you have any favorite pieces that I've missed?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Dressing in Layers

Throwback to when there was no snow on the ground, amirite?

Sweatshirt: H&M, Peter Pan Blouse, Boots, and Skirt: Old Navy, Coat: Thrifted, Earrings: Francesca's, Tights: gifted 

Two quick things:
1) Apologies for the nasty looking sky...we were t-minus 2 hours from winter storm Jonas
2)These tights are amazing. They're literally like leggings and tights had a baby. They're warm and comfortable and if you don't have a pair, try to go scoop one up (they were a Christmas gift to me, but I believe they're from Marshall's).


Monday, January 18, 2016

Currently Obsessed With: Patches

That moment when a souvenir you’ve been collecting for the past 9 or 10 years has suddenly become a huge trend.
I’ve been collecting patches from the various places my family and I have visited over the years and finally decided to display them by applying them to a sweatshirt.
But then I discovered these adorable and sassy patches.
For those of you who have noticed (and jumped onto) the pin/button/flair bandwagon, you’ll love patches. They’re like temporary tattoos for your clothes!! The best part is that most of the shops that sell flair also sell patches. Valley Cruise PressExplorer’s PressJanet Sung ArtRosehound Apparel, and Tuesday Bassen are just a few of my favorite online shops that provide the most darling (and witty) patches. The best part? They’re usually pretty affordable ($5 or $6). Sometimes they can get pricey, but they’re usually not too bad.
My next project will be to figure out how to combine my pastel and my more Technicolor patches. I’m currently envisioning a very 1980s denim jacket with patches and pins cluttering the front and back. Other fabulous ideas include adding single patches to the back pocket of jeans, emblazoning the chest of a shirt with an emblem of choice (I’m thinking of putting my selfie patch on a black blouse), or if you’re not ready to self-edit your clothes, throw a few patches onto a backpack.
For those of you who are a little more on the crafty side, you can make your own patches by embroidering onto embroidery canvas.
My friend, Jackie, made these and made them at our school's Art Market...of course I bought some!!


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

College Essay

For my Vanderbilt and Yale applications, I chose to write a short supplemental essay about this website and how passionate I am about keeping it alive. I thought I would share it here to talk about the journey that has led to the blog you know today as well as express just how proud I am of this website and why I continue to blog. 
Ten 12-year-olds sat on top of their sleeping bags, wide awake despite the ungodly hour. Our host’s parents had come downstairs 3 times now, telling us to go to bed, but keeping our voices hushed proved harder than expected: we were excited.
Instead of playing a menagerie of card and board games like we normally did, we had decided to make our own virtual magazine. Our mission was to provide advice, quizzes and games, and style tips, from middle schoolers to middle schoolers.
The first edition of “(In) Parenthesis” was published about a month later and we were immensely proud of it: no one else our age (that we knew of) had attempted something like this. Alas, our editor couldn’t handle compiling 20 articles between homework and band practice. The first edition of “(In) Parenthesis” was also its last.
The fashion and interior design sections splintered off and started our own magazine, similar to (In) Parenthesis, but focused solely on style. This too fizzled after a few months, but writing about my style and reflecting on my daily life was something I came to truly enjoy and I wasn’t about to give up on something I had come to be so passionate about. Thus, “Twirl”, my blog, was born. It got, maybe, a view or two a day, but that didn’t deter me. I wasn’t writing this blog for views or for popularity to begin with, I was writing for the same reason I loved making those virtual magazines: my work, my original content, was being published.
After asking my friend to co-write with me, we changed the name to "Freckles and Olives", changed the appearance countless times, and gradually improved our content quality--scrolling through our archive is like watching us grow up. 

We now get about 50 views a day instead of 1 or 2. This past summer, we were invited to join the Her Campus Blogger Network. While we've changed and the blog has changed, its purpose has remained the same: the blog is my excuse to make time in my day for creativity. I love how writing for the school newspaper challenges me and I love running the website for my school's creative writing magazine, but there's nothing more rewarding than the pride that comes from watching something that I've created grow and evolve. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Renwick Gallery

       WONDER is the newest exhibition at the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery located just steps away from the White House. Needless to say, the installations were extraordinary. Nine contemporary artists have taken ordinary items and manipulated them into large-scale installations.

      The building was ridiculously crowded so I apologize for all of the other people in the photos. Even with the crowd, all the pieces were amazing and I highly recommend taking a visit if you have the opportunity. The exhibit is open how through July (although some installations will be closing in May) and you can find more information on the Renwick Gallery website.


Monday, January 4, 2016


    Winter break has been a godsend.Waking up feeling like I have actually gotten a decent amount of sleep is amazing. I've also been liberated by my lack of homework (except college apps are sort of crushing that notion). Although my family and I don't take a vacation over winter break we do like to take some day trips to near-by places. Most of the trips are on a whim, so we don't always know where we'll end up. Last week we found ourselves in an adorable historic town that was filled with "old-timey" charm and that quaint vintage feel. Despite some newer ones, many of the houses and stores were brightly colored and filled with quirky items. After walking up and down the roadway we stopped for some dinner at a brewery. Needless to say my Jagerschnitzel, garlic mashed potatoes, and salted caramel cheesecake meal was delicious.