It has been about three years now and I am officially the most basic LA girl…especially now considering my morning routine composed of sunshine, palm trees, and avocado toast.
Cooking and/or baking anything as a college student is always an interesting endeavour, but the key element to it all is eating not only what sounds good, but what is good. I feel my best self when I am eating things that make me feel great and healthy.
So I have become obsessed with avocado toast…and while there are many different recipes already out there for this and it’s pretty self-explanatory to begin with, I thought I would write my delicious, easy, and affordable version.
Easy, Breezy, Lemon-Squeezy
What you need:
fruit of your choice
bread (due to supply on campus, I have been using wheat bread)
No matter what level of schooling you are at (or even if you’re not at all!), having easy and healthy on the go snacks is a great thing. Here are some of my favorite snacks you can pack in a pinch!
It’s light and fun! My favorite brand is Boom Chicka Pop in the sea salt flavor!
Match it with some almond or peanut butter or eat them as is! You can truly never go wrong with carrots.
Skip the messy snacks that leave fingers dusty and orange and choose crackers and/or pretzels! Oyster crackers are amazing and for a filling snack, the Reduced Fat Wheat Thins are incredible.
Cereal is my go to for all great snacking and breakfast delights! I recommend ones that are less to no sugar just for the sake of keeping your energy from peaking and falling mid-day. Special K and Corn Flakes are always ideal! Munch on its own or add some milk.
Fruit can be trickier to pack but it still stands as an amazing snack! One in doubt, fruit cups and applesauce to go are ideal.
Quinoa & Couscous
If you need something a bit heartier, this lovely blend will pick you up while providing some nutrients. It goes well with meals and makes for a great hold-me-over snack! For extra flavor, add some soy sauce!
What are some of your favorite snacks? Let me know in the comments below or tweet them at me @sarahfhamilton!
*This is not a sponsored post! All mentioned above is personal preference. However, please contact me if you or your brand would like to potentially have products featured on this site.
It seems that every company is in this recent trend of trying to push subscribing and signing up. Every service requires an email and probably a monthy or yearly payment subscription. There are so many options and it can seem overwhelming when trying to find what is worth your personal while. So, for the sake of this post, here are the services that are worth my while and why I like them.
I have had a free Spotify account for a couple years and absolutely loved it! (I highly reccomend signing up for a free account if you have not already.) The more I used it though, the more the premium seemed like a perfect option for me. No commercials, offline connection to downloaded songs (airplane access is IDEAL with this!), and the already unlimited song options and playlist creation is something that I use on the daily. Plus, it doesn’t take up the extra space on my phone! *Students get this discounted too.
Chances are, you either already have Netflix or you at the very least know about it. As a pretty regular TV and movie watcher (to be fair, this is technically a part of my professional lifestyle in the entertainment industry!), I like having a surplus of options available. Plus, they add new movies and shows every month!
To be fair, I only have access as this through my free living on campus at LMU perk, but it is really nice! I personally watch more Netflix, but having even more (and different) options for watching is super convienent and entertaining. They also add to the list all of the time which keeps things fresh.
Adobe Creative Cloud
I make lots of art of many forms and Adobe changed over their system in the past couple years where instead of buying the program you want once, it is subscription based and they keep updating the programs through it. With Premiere and Photoshop (but also Audition, After Effects, and Story), I am always working with these programs so personally, this is essential.
That pretty much sums it all up for me, personally. I use a lot of other programs/services as well that offer subscriptions, but choose to stay on the free versions as much as possible. Basically, if there is something that you are contemplating paying for more options and whatnot, figure out your personal usage and decide if it is worth your while.
What do you subscribe to and why? Let me know in the comments below or tweet it at me @sarahfhamilton!
My blog (a.k.a. this website!) has been nominated for the Leibster Award by Kerry Ireland of The Petite Wanderer!
I got sent some questions to answer for this post, so here are my answers:
What is your earliest memory?
This is a tricky question for me since I have a very vivid memory, but I literally do remember being read to before bed back in the very early days that included a crib beside several stuffed animals (in which, one particular “Mr.Monkey” was always my favorite!).
What is your favorite drink?
I drink water the most, but that’s a boring answer so I have to say that my favorite drink would have to be a bold espresso-filled almond latte. This literally changes all of the time though! Hot spiced apple cider in autumn is also a great go-to as well.
What is your dream career?
I like to consider myself a storyteller of many forms, so my dream career has always been the idea of telling stories and just making a comfortable living off of doing the things I love to do.
What are your passions?
I am very passionate about storytelling through filmmaking, creative writing, acting, photography, and art. I do a lot but being so involved with so many passions really keeps me going.
What is the best trip you’ve ever been on?
How does one simply answer this question?!? Hmm. Every trip is super memorable and amazing in their own ways but for the sake of pretending that there is some decisive bone inside of me (where!?!?!?), I would say that the first trip that comes to mind was a trip to British Columbia and then California with my family. During my junior year of high school, I went to Vancouver and areas of British Columbia to visit Stevestons Village (the filming location of the abc show, Once Upon a Time) and tour the office spaces of Club Penguin, which my brother, Adam, designed an entire “Pup1one” persona with online. Afterwards, we flew to LA to tour some college I applied to and I visited the school I currently attend for the first time. I wrote a post about part of this trip that you can read here.
This has been such a great collaboration post and I have to take a moment here to thank Kerry again for nominating me! Check her out online at www.thepetitewanderer.com! You can read my nomination post here.
But for the moment you all have been waiting for… here are my nominees!
Travels of 2 Sisters (http://travelsof2sisters.com/)
Eva and Lara Michelsen are two sisters who use their blog as an outlet to share their stories of traveling while providing advice for those who wish to travel luxuriously even on a budget.
Alannah Williams (https://www.alannahwilliams.com/blog)
Alannah set up her site as a personal site of self-expression and a creative outlet for health, fitness, and lifestyle. With elegant design and fitspiration style, this site encourages a well-balanced life.
Tegan Winters (https://teganwinters.com/)
Eighteen year young Teagan Winters shares her life through her blog and YouTube channel. Her blog style is familiar to mine at LockerStyler and she has a great line up of variety lifestyle posts.
Elysian Moment (http://elysianmoment.com/)
Kate loves to travel and uses her site as a beautiful place to share her experiences and tips. The layout is simple and pink, leaving the site elegant with traces of wanderlust.
Halima is a writer who uses her site as a collage of photos and creative writing pieces of all sorts. As a writer myself, I have massive amounts of appreciation for her site dedicated to creative writing!
Balance and Vine (http://www.balanceandvine.com/)
Jamie Kennedy, a California girl living in Australia loves yoga, wine, and photography. Her site beautifully illustrates and highlights all three and more complete with playlists and blog posts.
Congrats to all of those I nominated! Here are your instructions for the next step:
Give the person who nominated you a shout-out (a.k.a. me, Sarah Hamilton of LockerStyler, www.lockerstyler.com).
Answer the following questions.
Nominate five other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
Write your own set of questions for those nominees!
What inspired you to start your blog/website?
What is your favorite thing to do and why?
What dreams do you wish to accomplish?
Where are you from and what’s it like there?
What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers/writers/dreamers?
I’m looking forward to seeing your responses! Tweet them at me @sarahfhamilton.
I am a film and television production junior. That doesn’t make me a guru in the entertainment industry or even a full-out “professional” quite yet, but I have advice and stories to tell. That being said, if you are considering joining the entertainment industry, especially through the great complex realm that is filmmaking, this is the article for you! (So keep on reading!)
For a bit of good ol’ back story, I should mention that I made some video and film projects throughout middle and high school and had a great passion for all things storytelling (writing, art, theater, music, dance…you name it!) growing up since the start. It wasn’t until half way through junior year of high school that it dawned on me that filmmaking was a career path and storytelling in various ways could be pursued. Long story short, I made the best decision of my life and started my post high school life in sunny Los Angeles (but I prefer calling it LA).
But enough backstory…if you too are considering this path or a similar one and you’re realizing that there is both too much and too little information about it online (trust me, I’ve been there!), then here are some of my tips, tricks, and anecdotes to help you out.
If you have made some videos before or just really love filmmaking as an art medium, then passion is the key element of what you do! If you are in the biz for the fame and/or big money, you are probably better off doing something else. While fame and money is nice, you should be making art for the right reasons (like connecting with others and self-fulfillment).
Finding the Path
Filmmaking doesn’t have a right or wrong path. It is simply your journey to figure out what you like and go for it! Film school is a great opportunity to learn, experience, grow, and network. It also provides a place where you can “fail” without the reprecautions of the “real world”, which will keep such issues from happening in the future. Having experience, leverage, and first hand knowledge is incredibly important.
Communication Over Competition
Filmmaking is a realm of communicating and networking among others. Collaboration is incredibly key. Avoid competition and isolation as much as possible. Keep organized and stay in touch with those you know. Sure, you may PA (production assistant) on one set but that set is filled with people who work various positions on other sets. Believe it or not, the entertainment industry is a small world. The more people you know, the more opportunities are presented. After all, art is by people, for people.
Infinite Opportunities, Open Mind
Keeping an open mind to various avenues within the entertainment industry adds value to your talents. Yes, if you have one specific job you love, that’s great, but those who get the most amount of work are those with the most varied abilities. Cinematographer one day, director the next, sound mixer another…even working in some acting here and there defines more skills you possess, but also, more opportunities to work and meet people along the way.
Glitz & Glam
For the record, the big ol’ Hollywood stereotypes of glam and glitz may be real on some level, but there is work, thinking, deadlines, and a lot more than what meets the eye. Not everything you see in the magazines, online, or on tv is anything close to reality. There is so much more to the story. But yeah, even if you are like me and hit the incredibly cinema trope of “small town girl moves to big city LA with great dreams”, there is a lot of new understanding but a ton of fun. For the record, even in times of chaos and stress, I absolutely love and adore this lifestyle and I know it is perfect for me. Dreams really do come true!
Art is Power
Filmmaking is a form of art and art can be used to not only express one’s self, but to connect with others. The importance of art stems on the impact that it makes and filmmaking is an incredibly powerful medium that can be used to not only entertain the world, but to help better shape it as well.
As you go about, here are some programs/accessories I recommend to the serious film student…
External mic (DSLR’s internal mics aren’t all that great since they focus on image)
Script program (whether you are a screenwriter or not, you will write scripts!) *Adobe Story & Final Draft are great.
Editing program (same thing here) *I personally love the Adobe CC set up! Premiere, After Effects, & Photoshop are amazing.
Tripod/Camera Bag/Camera Shoe/Headphones
Notebook for ideas
Laptop that works well for editing
External hard drive(s) for space (video files take up a ton!)
Have a Vimeo & YouTube. When you get more professional experience, IMDB pro helps too.
Additional tips and advice…
Keep creating. You will get better skilled through experience.
Stay organized on your computer and in your mind.
Learn the details of video specs. For example, frame rates go as following:
24fps – classic film look
30fps – television and web
60fps – typical vlog
Keep an open mind and explore different areas of filmmaking and creativity.
Pre-production is incredibly important to focus on. Production depends on it and the communication of the crew. Post-production is what makes it all worth while. EVERY PART IS IMPORTANT!
That being said, I wish you the best of luck in the world of filmmaking. As always, if you have any additional questions/comments/thoughts, please leave a comment below and/or tweet me @sarahfhamilton. You can see some of my film work at the following links:
Judge my LA basicness all you want but acaí bowls are absolutely amazing! They are…
healthy and filled with great antioxidants
deliciously sweet without added sugars
versatile and vegan
They make for great breakfasts, lunches and snacks. While finding one around town (Whole Foods, Urth Cafe, and Paradise Bowls all have amazing ones!) may be easy, making your own is easy to do. Plus, it’ll save you some money too! This is how I make my version of a delicious acaí bowl.
acaí pack (Sambaza is great!)
almond milk (I use Almond Breeze Original Unsweetened)
In a small blender, add one pack of acaí (run under water for five seconds to break it up).
Add 1/4th cup almond milk (or liquid of choice).
Add some fruit. If adding a banana, slice a full one and put half inside. Leave some fruit for the top.
Toss in 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds.
Blend until smooth texture. Add more liquid if not smooth enough.
Place mixture in bowl and decorate the top with leftover fruit.
Add some granola. For extra flair, add a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
If you try out this recipe, let me know! Comment below and/or tag me @sarahfhamilton on Twitter and Instagram!
If you are visiting and especially if you are living in LA, there are some very important apps that I highly recommend having downloaded onto your phone!
Uber/Lyft – transportation is key!
Postmates/UberEats/DoorDash/Tapingo – when traffic happens, you’re hungry, and it is leagues easier to just order in…
Google Maps – the Safari one is okay, but having both on hand will give more options for optimal driving routes even in the middle of mass traffic.
Venmo/Paypall – who carries cash? pay back your friends and let them pay you back too with this app.
Eventbrite – need something to do? this app literally uses your location and finds current events. you are so very welcome.
Social Media (Twitter, Insta, LinkedIn) – not only are they fun and entertaining, but this is a key way to make connections in a city that uses social media as not only a time-passer, but a business technique.
Photo editing apps like FaceTune, VSCO, PicMonkey…whatever floats your photogenic boat. (But seriously, why is there no photo app that literally does it all!?!?)
Are there any apps I missed? Let me know on twitter (@sarahfhamilton) or in the comments below!
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post but if in the case that any of these apps (or others) would like to sponsor me, i’m cool with that so let me know. 🙂
Morning is a touchy thing…simply waking up and going about your morning routine can set what kind of day you will have and how you will feel about it. Luckily enough, if you want to become more of a morning person, there are definitely some great habits to help your mornings be more peaceful, enjoyable, and even productive! Kick start your days right!
Wake Up Earlier
Whether you have to get up for an early hour and can just barely get by running late or you usually sleep in too much, make it a point to wake up at a reasonable time for you so that you still feel well rested (at least, as much as possible) but you also still have ample time in the morning to get ready. Slower mornings will help you wake up better and boost your mood in the process.
A quick email and social media check is fine, but if you feel like a good part of your morning routine is spent mindlessly scrolling, stop right there! Put the phone down and use that time elsewhere. Which brings me to…
Reading/Music/Art/Yoga/Peace of Mind
With that newfound time not spent on your phone, take a moment for yourself! Morning reading, writing, yoga, music, art, and countless other forms of creative expression and self-awareness will also boost your mood and leave you feeling slightly productive right at the very start of your day.
I know we all hear it all of the time, but breakfast is key! Personally, I really hate eating crazy early and if I can help it, I love waiting until my hunger forms for brunch, but since my schedule is constantly changing when I eat and how much, finding a moment to have something after I wake up is a critically important part of my daily routine. That being said, a small sugar boost is okay, but instead of sugared cereals and pastries, choose oatmeal, eggs, and healthier options! Breakfast gives you the boost throughout the day and leaves you less hungry throughout the rest of the day. (Also, if you’re not getting enough vitamin C from the good ol’ sun, orange juice is wonderful!)
To Coffee or Not to Coffee? That is the question.
I love coffee, usually straight up bold and black (with the occasional almond latte when espresso gets involved at a cafe!). I also really love tea. Balance is great in the morning, so if you typically have coffee, have some! If you want tea, go for that! Avoid caffeine addictions if you can help it and make it a point to make your coffee/tea at home before leaving the house. This will save you money and time standing in line at your local cafe.
A great way to set out goals for the day is to use agendas and/or to-do lists. They don’t have to be anything fancy, but just being able to visually see everything you want to accomplish in the day will help guide you when getting them done and not feeling overwhelmed by looming thoughts cooped up in your head.
Accomplish Smaller Tasks
If you have an extra moment in the morning, accomplish smaller tasks like responding to quick emails or finalizing something that was almost accomplished another day. Even taking a morning walk or getting some exercise in will help you feel accomplished. With smaller tasks out-of-the-way, you may feel more empowered to do the larger tasks.
Plan the Night Before
The night before is a great time to prep for the next day! Give yourself time to sleep earlier, plan out some options of what to wear the next day, relax, and tidy up your space. Even having a clean kitchen will be extra rewarding the next morning when you go to make breakfast!
With a bit of planning and some extra time, mornings can become your best friend. If you try any of these tips or have additional ways in which help you become a better morning person, comment them in below or tweet them at me @sarahfhamilton.
As a film and television production student and all around entertainment enthusiast, yes, I watch as much tv and movies as humanly possible. That being said, there are some movies that are too beautiful and aesthetic to not mention here. So, if you also enjoy a good movie, here are some of my top recommendations.
La La Land
Iconic. Classic. Musical. It has truly become my favorite movie. I love the story, verisimilitude, coloring, costumes, music, and literally every little detail to this beautifully crafted film. Especially if you live in LA, this is a perfect movie for you! See the beautifully tragic and complex relationship bloom and grow with actress, Mia (Emma Stone) and musician, Seb (Ryan Gosling).
Meet Joe Black
Don’t let the long time frame fool you…this movie goes by WAY too quickly! Follow a young Brad Pitt in the role of Joe Black, also known as, Death. You heard me right! But what happens when Death falls in love and perhaps even, experiences life?
This was a movie I watched because it was on Netflix and I recognized Amy Adams in it. Especially at the beginning, it seems like a lovely chick-flick rom-com but quickly slopes to a much darker turn. Also, there is an amazing song (called, Big Eyes) by Lana Del Rey that captures this film’s essence so well. Oh, and it’s directed by Tim Burton but stands out from his usual motifs.
Midnight In Paris
This film had been on my list for a while but watching it made me wish I had watched it sooner! This story follows a writer (Owen Wilson) whom is visiting Paris with his bride to be and stumbles upon a way to time travel back to his desired era; the roaring twenties! The time travel, story complexities, and turning of events are really well done.
The Lovely Bones
Based on the book by Alice Sebold, the movie follows the story of a young girl named Susie (Saoirse Ronan) who gets murdered within the first chapter. The story continues with beautiful imagery to tell the much darker tale of the life she had once led and everything that happened in life and death after her demise.
The Great Gatsby
The Baz Lurmann version is absolutely visually stunning. Not only does it bring the original classic novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald to life, but it combines old with the new through music. I highly recommend watching this if you have not done so already!
So get out the popcorn this movie night and enjoy some seriously well made and very aesthetic movies! What is one of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below or tweet it at me @sarahfhamilton!
I have taken two Warner Brothers backlot studio tours in the past few years and there was two facts about the Ellen Show in particular that I remember:
It is incredibly difficult to get tickets and be an audience member. Tickets are free, but there are so many people going for them, so unless you book months in advance and can work flexibility into the mix (a.k.a., basically live close by and drop everything to go) then you may get to go.
Ellen’s first vacation was to the WB studio tour and now she has her entire show in production there until she basically decides to stop it.
Being in college here and knowing months in advance that there was a slight chance that I would be here in May (which I happen to be!), I signed up for tickets months out. I was originally scheduled for early May and then got an email inviting me to a later date instead since the original day would no longer work for me. I agreed, of course, and then got an email a few weeks later with standby tickets.
Basically, this is how the tickets work:
Standby: You are not guaranteed to be a studio audience member until you are in the studio on the set. If the guaranteed ticket holders don’t all show up, you get a spot. If you don’t get a spot, you get to go right behind where the audience part of the stage is in the special riffraff room during the show. You may be a seat filler for anyone who leaves for whatever reason. If you are in the riffraff room, however, you get a guaranteed ticket for a future show.
guaranteed: This ticket guarantees your attendance as a studio audience member.
A week before, I got a morning call from the Ellen Show team confirming myself and my party. One of my friends could not attend, so I had to cancel out her name but they also allow for changing up your guests up to a week in advance. Information is sent via email for parking, local food options, what to wear, and all that good stuff.
The day of, my friend and I drove out to Burbank and entered Gate 3 for parking (which was free!). At the ground level of that parking complex there was several benches, a pop-up shop, tv sets, snack cart, restrooms, and check-in for the show. We had to show individual ID’s and then were given Ellen blue passes with numbers. We were then informed that we were welcome to stay or leave, but be back by 12:30. So, we took those cool passes and walked over to the local Lemonade for lunch. (Eat before the show!) We came back in time to see a limo enter the lot.
Myth buster right here: most celebrities don’t take limos everywhere and tinted window SUV’s are far more likely. We wondered who would be that extra, but the second we found out that one of the guests that day was Nicki Minaj…the limo made sense.
The next couple hours were a lot of waiting, which is the reality of a lot of TV and movies when you’re going to be in it (or at least, hoping to be!). They played past show clips on the tv’s and offered snacks and such. Audience scouts went around and talked to people, eventually calling them out back. I read a post before the event about this and knew that they were looking for guaranteed guests to potentially be selected for games if there were any during the show that particular day. My number being 314 kept me waiting for a long time, but eventually, we got into a line and crossed the street, going into a side entrance of the studio.
The line just joined another line for security in a long, narrow hallway. Eventually, we got to the riffraff room and they called people into the studio by numbers. Technically, my friend and I were the start of the seatfillers, but we got to sit together and stay in the same seats the whole time. The show began shortly and the fun instantly began! (It was fun to begin with, but there was a lot of waiting in Burbank summer heat.)
We danced. Cameras rolled even when the actual episode wasn’t taped. In fact, nothing was taped in order and with several cameras and the magic of live and post editing, not everything that got on camera got into the actual episode(s) filmed. Parts were filmed out-of-order too. Commercial breaks were spent dancing and having random dance battles.
The show is not filmed live, but they edit the interviews and game portion as if it were. Additional clips are added in afterwards and the order is put together at a different time. I was there on a Monday, which meant that Tuesday and some of Wednesday’s episodes were filmed that day. They don’t film on Friday’s either. Yes, there was a part after filming Monday’s episode where Ellen and Twitch changed and Ellen came out to yet another intro where we all acted like it was a new day. She mentioned something along the lines of being “so glad that it’s a Wednesday, not a Monday”. I haven’t been able to see the episodes myself yet, but if that is left in, most of the viewers will think it is a dig at annoying Mondays but really, all of us laughing audience members were noting the irony because *Hollywood magic* it was still Monday.
The show carried on and it was interesting to watch it all unfold. Despite the fact that we filmed more than just one episode, everything happened so quickly. There were timers for the amount of on-air time and commercial break timing. Every once in a while, we were informed that they were going to film a pick up, which is basically an additional clip to be edited in like it happened in the first place. The guests that day were Nicki Minaj, Robin Wright, and Andy Cohen. Of course, I saw Ellen and Twitch too! Between takes for the interviews for Nicki, what appeared to be her makeup crew kept touching up her makeup. It was strange though listening to Starships and jamming out with the audience but also her right there also jamming mid-makeup touch-up. I also happened to be sitting right behind one of Ellen’s invited guests, so she came over and have him a hug and awkwardly smiled at me since I was, you know, like right there and apparently staring more obviously than I had thought.
Before I knew it, the show was over. There was no time to actually get photos or meet anyone personally, but that was to be expected. We were informed not to take photos while on the set (whoopsies!) and then were directed back to the riffraff room to collect our prizes ($150 visa gift card and drawstring bag). Those selected to be on the episode for the games or dance and singing specials were sent to another room to sign wavers and collect their TV’s and whatnot.
We left the studio the same way we got in at our own pace (some stayed in the riffraff room to shop or use the restroom) and headed back to the parking lot. It was the end to an amazing experience. Plus, if you watch carefully, you can see me in two episodes filmed on the second to last day of taping for Season 14! *14 is my favorite number!