January 26, 2016

Guest post by Nicole Eddy. Get your own goals.

As you may know, I am a massive fan of YouTube. The fact that a person can independently create a masterpiece (or just fumble along as I do) and then publish it for the world to see is fascinating to me - and of course, I've taken full advantage of it on more than one occasion. Over the past two years or so, I've become rather devoted to watching a few channels in particular - Casey Neistat, FunForLouis, and Ben Brown - admiring the cinematography and storytelling in their own vlogs, and using them as inspiration for my own. Recently I discovered Nicole Eddy's blog - she being the lovely girlfriend of Ben Brown. She published a great post in August of this year, and has kindly granted me permission to share it here. (Thanks, Nicole!)

My simultaneously favorite and least favorite things about social media is that people can pick and choose what parts of their lives to share - usually the best parts, and that's all the public sees. I've done it (there are a multitude of things I left out of my video blogs last year) - I'm sure we all have. Sensible users of social media know how to distinguish between things that could or should be shared for the world to see and things that should be left private. She wrote about the hashtag #goals smattering the content of certain internet creatives, and how sometimes people just need to get their own.

Get Your Own Goals
by Nicole Eddy

 "The greater danger for us lies in not setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark." ~ Michelangelo

After not being able to ignore this 'trend' any longer of hash-tagging almost every picture with #goals, I feel like it is my responsibility to address the issue from where I stand on this, and fill you in on why it is disheartening to read those comments on not just my content, but comments on other influential people's content whom I follow.

Although receiving comments on posts that hashtag some sort of goals may be considered as a compliment as it means that something right is being done to portray an image that tugs on people's heartstrings, it is at the same time disheartening, when realising that for many people, the symbols that images represent on social media such as 'the perfect body,' 'the perfect relationship' and 'the perfect lifestyle' have turned into real life goals for many who blindly double-tap these images and retweet these tweets. As I said, this is a trend and I understand that for many, it is done in jest, however for a majority of people [who] leave these comments, I really believe that it epitomizes the goals that young, educated adolescents and adults are striving for in life.

January 11, 2016

frosty mornings.

Greetings, Hanlin Family!

These are my favorite types of mornings. So quiet and still. Frost glistens and grows away from metal like icy fingers, and exhaled breath plays in the crisp air for a moment before it disappears forever.

"Be still and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth." ~ Psalm 46:10

The world is screwed up - that's not something you need to hear from me. And some people say "God isn't fixing [it]," mocking those who offer prayers for those who suffer, but I think they just don't understand what prayer is really about. Prayer has never been a substitute for action, but that's a rabbit trail I don't want to run down at the moment.

It's mornings like this that remind me to put everything down and be still every so often. It's mornings like these, especially after something like the recent events in Paris or San Bernardino, or what is constantly happening in the middle east, or when I'm just anxious for some indiscernible reason, that remind me that there is someone who still has control - someone who created this world and loves it and died for the people in it. In the beauty and the silence, He says "I got this."

January 6, 2016

a most grand year | 2015

2015 was a good year. So many wonderful things happened. I made a movie about it.

Happy, happy, happy New Year, folks! And thank you for your loyal readership. Y'all rock.

December 26, 2015


Greetings, Hanlin Family!

I hope y'all are having a fantastic and beautiful Christmas. And I hope y'all have more snow than we do... which is none, sadly.

As one might imagine (and relate, I'm sure) this week was probably the busiest one of the year between all the Christmas parties, pet sitting, last minute errand running, and the 4,763 trips to and from the airport in Detroit.

My boyfriend and I celebrated our Christmas with my parents on Sunday before he left for his home down south, and my brother and his fiancĂ©e came to stay for Christmas, and I brought y'all along for a lot of it, so I hope y'all feel at home. It was a really great week. 

Here's a vlog for you.

As I mentioned in my vlog, I'll be making some changes to my YouTube channel in 2016. Don't worry, I'll still be vlogging occasionally - exciting adventures and trips and the like - but after releasing a video every week for almost a year, I think it's time to focus on producing better videos rather than necessarily consistent ones. Looking back, I am thrilled with some of the video blogs I've published, and I cringe at others because they were rushed and poorly made, partly the result of weeks where nothing happened or the bits of my life I keep private taking up all of my free time - two very different ends of the spectrum. Also, writing is something I'd love to take up again in the new year - a hobby that I've foregone over most of 2015 because of focus on other things.

All of that being said, this vlog is possibly the last one you'll have from 2015. Tomorrow evening (Dec. 28), I'll be flying to Louisiana to spend New Years week with Jacob and his family, and I will most likely not be vlogging it for the "public eye."

Finally, I owe all of you a HUGE THANK YOU for watching my lame little videos and sticking around for the past year. Y'all are wonderful.

December 20, 2015


Hey y'all!

Nothing beats trudging through the beautiful Ann Arbor downtown in monsoon-like weather. Umbrellas = useless and boots = soaked. Negativity aside, that little adventure was quite fun, and I brought you along. This week was incredibly busy on my end between petsitting and Christmas shopping and a few other commitments, but I included y'all in as much as I could. Hope you enjoy!

December 15, 2015

my Christmas outfit

Salutations, Hanlin Family!

Merry Only a Few Days Until Christmas (whaaaaaat?)!

The time has rolled around again for my seemingly annual fashion post on this here blog... looking back, I haven't done one of these since November of last year. Yay for commitment, self.

Anyway, my dad kindly surprised me with a beautiful new dress for the holidays a few weeks ago, and I thought... why not show it off a bit while using it as an excuse to see my best friend and justify keeping the "fashion" tab at the top of my blog? So, Aemelia and I met up at our church last Tuesday afternoon, and she was fantastic to brave the Michigan chill to help me shoot some pictures. We have agreed that I owe her the world's largest mug of hot chocolate, on which shall be placed ALL OF THE WHIPPED CREAM.

The outfit:

The dress, a gift from my father (as aforementioned) was found at JC Penney, Black Label by Evan-Picone. / My Kelly & Katie shoes, which have served me well for many a holiday and dance and holiday dance for upwards of three years, were a Black Friday steal at DSW, so unfortunately they have been out of distribution for quite a while.

The mink stole I'm wearing was given to me by my unbelievably classy Grandma Hanlin when I was just a little girl, and since then it's been a staple in my holiday wardrobe - every Christmas and New Years and every so often an Easter. The silk lining is tattered and warn thanks to years of wear and the simple fact that it's aging.. and I've toyed with the idea of having the silk professionally replaced (I think repair is out of the question now), but I just can't bring myself to do it. I love it the way it is.

But Surrusly. How classy is this lady? Very. The answer is very.

December 7, 2015

Shrimp Tikka Masala {recipe + story time}

Hello, Hanlin Family!

A few days before Thanksgiving, Jacob and I tried a recipe I've been meaning to experiment with for a while - since I attended my friends Tim and Amalie's wedding back in June of this year. My friend and second photographer Josie and I were staying together in a hotel, and we both developed a sudden craving for Indian food after an incredibly fun day in downtown St. Louis. Because the internet knows everything we found a small restaurant called Copper Chimney in the strip mall across the street, and decided that would be our destination for dinner. That was an adventure in itself... at first we couldn't find the place (it ended up being in a way-back corner of the mall), and we ended up stopping by a pet treat bakery for directions and bought a few organic treats for ourselves on the way. Technically, everything in the store were made for animals to eat, but they smelled heavenly and they were completely organic... so why not? The cashier thought we were nuts. Not that she was wrong. But anyway. They had these wee pumpkin bites that were out of this world, the eating of which is not a decision I will ever regret.

After about a half hour of wandering aimlessly and trying to locate Copper Chimney (Siri failed us), we finally made it and got ourselves a table. I forget what Josie ordered, but I ended up with shrimp tikka masala, and it was absolutely delicious.

Anyway, short story short... Jacob and I tried our hand at making shrimp tikka masala, and in the interest of full disclosure, our meal ended up being less creamy and having a more pronounced nutmeggy/clovey kick to it than Copper Chimney's did, but it was still gosh-darned good in my opinion. And here is the recipe:

November 29, 2015


Good morrow, Hanlin family!

I hope y'all had a lovely and blessed Thanksgiving filled with family and/or friends and delicious foodstuffs! Life has been exceedingly lazy on my end of the world for the last few days and I've been relishing (almost) every moment of it, though to be honest I can only maintain my sanity for so long with nothing to do. All the Christmas presents I've gathered so far have been wrapped, the kitchen has been cleaned (a few times), and many episodes of Phineas and Ferb have been watched, but now it's safe to say that I'm looking forward to the work week's beginning.

Anywho, my roommate Rebecca and I took another Saturday excursion into town amid the beautiful first snowfall of winter, and I spent Thanksgiving afternoon with my parents. That's this week's vlog. Enjoy!

November 24, 2015

Easy Peasy Mac'n Cheesy (peas optional)

Hello, Hanlin Family!

One of my all-time favorite meals as a child was my mom's from-scratch macaroni and cheese - it was necessary for survival and almost wholly responsible for my physical development into a semi-functional teenage human, and I happily rediscovered it a few weeks ago. So today, I thought I'd pass this recipe on to you, my dear readers, with a few of my own modifications.

Cast of Characters:

November 14, 2015


Salutations, Hanlin family!

I am out of town this weekend, so I have a different sort of video for y'all this time around. On our way to Grand Haven for Memorial Day Weekend back in September (you may remember this trip because we vlogged the whole thing), Aemelia and I decided to film a "best friend tag," since we were stuck in a car for three hours and we'd been meaning to anyway. Annnnnnd, I've just had the chance to edit it. Kids, life gets "totes cray" when you become an adult. Brace yourselves.

Hope you enjoy! (Apologies for the background noise... my vehicle is ancient and grumpy.)