weekly moments captured from my point of view



Hello friends!

This past January, my very best friend, Lucia, left on an incredible journey to France for a six month study abroad program. She had known for years it would be something she would do after living in Paris for a year when she was younger. Although I was thrilled that she would be able to unleash her independent side and come back with hundreds of fabulous stories to tell, I never imagined it would be this hard to go sixth months without my beloved weirdo of a friend. Of course we text very often and even get to facetime occasionally (even if its secretly in the middle of one of my classes ha ha yaa time difference) but its never as satisfying as I would hope.

I was originally going to try to write about some of the awesome things Lucia’s been up to in good ol’ Francy pants (such as recently moving straight into PARIS!!!) but she already summed it all up beautifully in this lovely little blog post on GO CHECK IT OUT!

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Comment below and let me know where YOU would love to study abroad.

Thanks for stopping by,



photos by Maddy Rotman



flume-cs_10photo from ALL HAIL HARLEY EDWARD STRETEN With an overflow of prominent awards, headlining spots at the world’s biggest music festivals, and a rapidly growing, crazed fan base, the DJ better known as Flume is taking the music industry by storm. On Easter, Flume decided to make a quick stop in my hometown of Santa Barbara, CA right after his set at Coachella (?!?!??! who the hell got that to happen ?!?!!!?). I was fortunate enough to see his godly figure rise for the second weekend in a row from his illuminated infinity prism (talk about resurrection). Being myself, I punched, pushed, and shoved to the front and center to see my love’s face up close and personal. My aggressive tactics were successful and I was basically touching him 🙂 AND HE KILLED IT. unnamed unnamed-1 THREE DAYS LATER… Harley decided to be a bae and release one of the best songs I’ve heard by him in my life so far. Watch the video below (ft. black, female Jesus) in a dark room with your headphones turned all the way up to understand what I’m talking about. Leave me a comment and let me know what your opinion on Flume is! Maddy

Coachella Pt. II


When people say Coachella is the best three days of your life, they’re not exaggerating. When people say the three days after Coachella are the worst days of your life, their REALLY not exaggerating. My Coachella experience consisted mainly of eating, shoving, dancing, and most of all, screaming. Whether I was at the front row of Flume, in the middle of an RL Grime mosh pit, or chilling in the back of the Doo Lab listening to Slow Magic, I was having the best time of my life. Some of the highlights other than the ones listed above included waiting in line next to Vanessa Hudgens for a solid ten minutes, getting to see both Snoop Dog and Gwen Stefani surprise everyone at the Pharrell Williams show, and (my personal favorite) standing under P Diddy as he showered the audience with champagne. It was quite surreal.

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Although 90 degrees during the day, the valley winds picked up at night, just in time time to cool everyone off. This meant more energy for dancing and LIGHT SHOWS. The Sahara tent was the go to spot for an unreal light show, my favorite being Dillon Francis. During his show, I thought I was having a seizure (in a good way).

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Thanks for tuning into part II!


Coachella Pt. I


COACHELLA. Every teenage girl’s dream!

Last weekend I was lucky enough to fulfill this dream of mine. After a week of packing, screaming, and preparing, my friends and I headed down the coast in a decked out coachella-mobile, ready for the three days ahead of us (or so we thought). Our trip started at the bright and early time of 6 AM on Friday morning. After a four hour drive straight into the festival, we were practically peeing our pants with excitement.

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At Coachella, there is a contest called “Carpoolchella” where festival-goers with at least four people in their car can decorate their cars in hopes of being selected by a secret spotter to win a prize which could be back stage passes, merchandise gift cards, or free VIP tickets for life. My friends and I decided to go all out for the contest and paint our car from hood to toe. As we pulled up to the parking lot and were approached by the two secret spotters, we thought we had it in the bag AND WE DID. We won Carpoolchella! BUT… no one ever told us that everyone in the car has to be eighteen years old or over. Consequently our victory was stripped from us and we walked away with nothing. Major damper, yes- but not for long! The moment we stepped foot onto the Empire Polo Field grounds our excitement was rekindled.

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Comment below and tell me what your dream music festival is!

Thanks for reading,




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Last Friday was a very exciting day in my household. For the first time in a year, we got our 1995 Mercedes station wagon to run. The reason this is so exciting is because it is now my car! I could not be more excited to get my license and cruise around Santa Barbara in my old but fun ride.

That same day, my two friends Mackenzie and Nina and I went out to dinner at a fairly new restaurant in the Santa Barbara funk zone called The Lark. With an awesome location on lower Anacapa St., The Lark has a rustic vibe with a modern twist on both its design and its food. All meals are served family style, meaning they are supposed to feed three to six people. After contemplating the many incredible and unique menu options and munching on our complimentary gourmet popcorn (yes, they serve that) Mackenzie, Nina, and I ordered a delicious arugula and asparagus salad appetizer and a massive barbecue braised chicken with smashed yukon potatoes and sautéed spinach as an entree to share. Needless to say, by the time we left we were more than satisfied. This is absolutely my new favorite restaurant and I can’t wait to go back soon.

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photos by Maddy Rotman



Over spring break, my good friend James turned sixteen. To celebrate the day he threw an all day party at the beach. Despite the gloomy, rainy days that led up to the event, the sun must have somehow gotten the memo that it needed to make an appearance for a special someone. Thankful for the great weather, we spent the day lazily lounging in the sun and messing around in the water. James also serenaded us with his guitar as we enjoyed the view.

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After the fun day, my friends and I built up quite the appetite so we headed to our favorite sushi restaurant, Sakana, for dinner. The remainder of the night consisted of more hanging out by my friend’s pool and lots of sleep (all thanks to the sun for tiring us out). Overall, the vibe of the day was very lazy. It felt like another tease of summer where we had all the time in the world at our hands and no worries on our minds until Monday when we realized the pleasure was only temporary. Seven months down, two to go!



photos by Maddy Rotman

Comment below and let me know what your favorite beach pastimes are.

Thanks for reading,



baths_3Isn’t he just fabulous?! picture from

My favorite Baths song ^^


I recently got to go to a very small concert to see the DJ Baths. Baths, aka Will Wiesenfeld is an American electronic musician with an incredibly eclectic sound that I fell in love with last year. Some of his trademarks include sampling very strange child like voices, ambient tracks, and long, majestic fades. Basically, as my friend William likes to put it, he’s an “overweight hipster raping a synth”. Although my interest in his music faded a while ago, his concert at Velvet Jones in Santa Barbara was only $12 so I thought “hey, why not”. Even though he didn’t play my favorite songs by him, his fun vibe and good stage presence made me happy I went.


After his performance, my friends and I waited in line where he was selling merchandise just to thank him for his existence and for the song “Aminals”, a wide eyed bombastic ode to childhood wonder (linked above). He even took a selfie with us!!! (highlight of my life).

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Comment below and let me know who your favorite DJ is.

Thanks for stopping by,


MAD Academy Takes Mexico Pt. II

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If you haven’t already, check out my previous post, MAD Academy Takes Mexico Pt. 1

My other favorite part of the MAD Academy trip to Mexico was the time spent bonding with the other volunteers. Going into the trip, I had already had a very solid group of MAD Academy friends and I was excited to use the trip as an opportunity to get closer to them. In addition to the time spent with my good friends, I got to bond with people who were previously just acquaintances and some people who I had previously never known existed. A huge part of this was due to the fact that our work teams were assigned, specifically so we would be forced to go outside of our comfort zones and reach out to new people. I was amazed by how many new friends I made and created memories with. Anyways, the point of this rant is to tell you that making an effort to talk to new people can result in incredible, long lasting relationships and as scary as it is, you never now what can come out of it.

Here are some other pictures from the work site and nightly campfires. Enjoy!

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Photos taken by Maddy Rotman and Anais Berman

Thanks for reading,


MAD Academy Takes Mexico Pt. I


I am a student of the Multimedia Arts and Design Academy at my school, otherwise known as the MAD Academy. Every year, MAD students volunteer in a group project and it just so happens to be that this year, it took place in Mexico! It was an experience I will never forget and I was so fortunate to be given such an amazing opportunity.


After a four hour drive to the Mexican Border, we made our way to small town on the outskirts of Tijuana where we worked for a week. Each day consisted of getting up bright and early, eating our usual rice, beans, and tortillas (which we also had for lunch and dinner every single day), and leaving our campsite to head off on a bumpy ride to our worksites. The mission of the trip was to build houses for the families in the town who could not afford houses otherwise. Our group of approximately seventy volunteers was split into six teams, each team in charge of building their own house with the guidance of experienced carpenters and program directors.

I use the term “house” loosely for multiple reasons. In America, people often think of a house as a right, not a privilege. Consequently, most homes have excessive luxuries such as multiple floors, extra amounts of rooms, and an insane amount of utilities and electronics. The houses in the town we were volunteering in could not be more different. Many of the existing homes we saw barely had supportive walls or steady roofs. However, because of how accustomed to that way of living the people of the town were, they didn’t seem to realize what they were “missing” and as a result, were very happy. For the people of Mexico, ignorance was bliss and the less materialistic possessions they owned, the more content they were with what they had. This was just one of the many lessons I was able to take away from this experience.


All of that being said, the houses we built were incredibly simple but amazingly, so much more than what the families had to begin with. During our three work days we mixed concrete to create a slab as a base, constructed walls using nothing but hammers, nails, and wood, stuccoed the walls, and glued down a waterproof exterior for the roof using tar.

My favorite moment of the entire trip was sitting on the roof after some volunteers and I finished gluing it down. I remember having such a special feeling of pride in my heart as I was able to sit there on something my friends and I had built with our own hands, in such a short amount of time. I was even more excited to be able to hand the family their brand new house keys and I still constantly think about how grateful the mother of the family was when we gave them to her.


By the end of the trip, the MAD Academy built six houses for six different families. Leaving the trip was the hardest part of it because of how happy I was when I was there. Until next year, Mexico!

Thanks for reading, and comment below to tell me about your favorite volunteer experience.



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We all have our off days.

Most of the time they are because of a specific event that throws you off, but sometimes they are unexplainable and unavoidable. Monday was one of those days for me where I was having a bad day for no particular reason. Being a generally positive person, I always try my hardest to turn bad days around. There are multiple things I can do to make that happen but on Monday, I relied on the beach to lift my spirits.

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The crazy thing is that this was no day for the beach. Not only was it raining, there were also insane winds coming from the ocean current. However, I was determined to not be stopped by this as my friend Lilla and I headed to our favorite private beach after school. Considering how cold it was outside, I had no initial intentions of going in the ocean but as I walked along the sand the soft, gloomy waves looked absolutely irresistible. I ran into the water, I could see Lilla’s stare of utter confusion as she looked at me like I was mental. And looking back on it, I was! But regardless of the temperature, the spontaneous plunge made me feel like a million bucks and the sky even cleared up when I came out. From then on out, my day was completely turned around and I no longer had the unexplainable gloomy feeling hanging over me.

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photos by Maddy Rotman and Lilla Petruska

Next time you’re feeling blue, take a dip in the biggest blue of all!

Thanks for reading,