Music: Janaury - March Playlist

I literally live my life to music - which is why I am going to try to incorporate it into my blog more. I decided to make quarterly playlists for the year as well as make quarterly favorites videos on my YouTube channel (which you should totally check out if you haven't already!).

These past three months I’ve been super into Miguel, Frank Ocean, Milky Chance and Chance the Rapper (but then again, when am I not with him). My music taste changes almost daily, which you can most definitely tell from this playlist - enjoy!

Until next time, loves!

Stay positive, ambitious and kind,

Emily Ciavatta

Creative Talks: Jazzmin Martinez

Hey loves! After a minor creative block, I am back to blogging with a brand new segment. As someone who loves to express themselves through things like writing, fashion and pictures, I know how helpful it can be to pull inspiration from other people. Whether it's simply from people I follow on Instagram or my close friends, I am constantly inspired by the tremendous amount of creatives out there, which is why I am launching Creative Talks. In this segment, I am going to be interviewing some of the most inspirational and expressive people I know. Hopefully this serves as some inspiration to those reading, because I know it definitely does that for me! Today, I talked to YouTuber Jazzmin Martinez who has killer style and even better content.

 

Name: Jazzmin Martinez

Age: 22

Location: Eureka, CA

Hey Jazzmin! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi! Well, obviously my name is Jazzmin, but most people just call me Jazz! I’m a fashion/lifestyle vlogger living in Northern California! If I had to describe myself (which honestly is strangely such a hard thing to do) I would say I’m very quirky and weird! Sometimes it turns people off from me, but I honestly love who I am and I embrace every aspect of it. I also say honestly a lot.

Where did you go to school/what did you study/how are you using your major today?

I went to Humboldt State University, which is a local university a few towns over from the one I grew up in! I originally majored in Film, but realized I didn’t necessarily want to tell stories with my films, rather than just use film as a medium for sharing things. I did get to work on a Bigfoot film though which was totally cool. After that, I majored in Communication. I like to think I use my major every day in my life. Not only did it help me learn to analyze situations in my personal life, it taught me so much about paying attention to the perspective of others. It helps me navigate life with an audience, and learning how to best put myself forward in a positive light!

The content on your YouTube channel is incredible - how do you always come up with innovative ideas? Do you ever get a creative block?

Thank you so much! I love that you said that because sometimes the material I put out doesn’t seem that amazing, simply because I’m so hard on myself. I take a lot of inspiration from all the videos I’ve watched growing up on YouTube. When it comes to cinematic styles, I lean towards Amanda Steele’s OOTDs, as well as TheLineUp! There are so many styles of YouTubers, and I feel like taking bits and pieces of the styles you like helps you create content that is 100% you! And YES. Creative blocks happen all the time. My cure to these little bumps always results in a day of playing dress up. Being inspired by street style looks and getting to be creative (and fall in love with my closet again) always inspires me and reminds me of why I started in the first place! Also vlogs. Vlogs are amazing because you can literally just bring the camera along with you and you’ve got content!

What are your favorite type of videos to film? What’s the video you’re most proud of creating?

My favorite types of videos to film are OOTDs. They’re so unique because they can be filmed in so many different styles. Lookbooks are fun too, but sometimes the excess of outfits can make some of the outfits lack detail and flair, therefore sticking to one amazing look is so fun and easy. Plus, editing is always a blast. Add some super cool music, a little slow mo action, and you’ve got yourself an epic OOTD. Surprisingly, the video I’m most proud of is my June Favorites video. I remember wanting to film a favorites video, but not wanting it to be boring and basic, so I decided to just show the things I was loving in a more interactive and fun way. The video turned out so well that I remember making all my family members sit down and watch it with me (so awkward now that I look back on it haha).

Where do you see yourself in five years (in relation to your channel)?

In five years, I hope to have hit 100k subscribers. It’s my ultimate goal, and I work towards it every day! I think I also think at that point in my life I will be so much better at editing! I learn something new with every video, so I can’t even begin to imagine my skill set in five years! Maybe even have a few collabs with some cool people, ya know, usual youtuber stuff. Also, as weird as it is, in five years I hope to have been invited to at least one super cool influencer only pool party. I saw one on snapchat last summer…  and it looked epic.

Now - where do you see yourself in five years otherwise?

Oooo, this one is hard.  I just hope that in five years I am doing something that I love. It’s so important for me to make a name for myself on my own, and to make sure that I pursue my dreams to their fullest potential. I want to look back on my life and be proud of the things I accomplished.  Also I would love to be married by then… ;)

Top three places to shop. Go.

Ahhh! Okay, Brandy Melville, ASOS and Urban Outfitters!

What has been your go-to outfit this fall?

My go to outfit this fall has been a cozy turtleneck, vintage denim and ankle boots! So comfy and ridiculously cool.

What role does fashion play in your life?

I think fashion plays the biggest role in my confidence. I always truly feel my most confident and most myself when I love what I’m wearing. Fashion has become my passion, my hobby, and my past time. It’s just a feel good thing for me that I know I can always fall back on!

Okay now for the last (and most important) question: what’s the secret to your killer Instagram feed?

Oh my gosh! The secret is using the same filter every time. I didn’t start doing this until about 3 months ago. Keeping a “theme” is so hard for me because I end up feeling so limited on what I can post. Using the same filter for everything helps me post whatever I want and lets everything still tie together smoothly. As for my chihuahua’s instagram…. It could use some work. ;)

Thank you for sharing, Jazzmin!

 

Stay positive, ambitious and kind,

Emily Ciavatta

Music Mondays: Record Player and Vinyl Collection

Hello all! I am back for my second Music Monday and this week I’m going to be talking all about my record player and record collection!

Spotify is my absolute favorite place to listen to music, but my record player comes in a very close second. There’s just something so raw about listening to an album on vinyl, making the experience extra special and unique. A few months back, my lovely girlfriend bought me an Audio Technica record player, which was a huge step up from my portable Crosley. The Crosley I was using prior had terrible sound quality because the music came right out of the record player. The Audio Technica doesn’t have that problem because it requires external speakers (which some may think is a con but I promise, it makes for much better sound quality). I plug the Audio Technica right into my Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth Speaker and could not be any more pleased with the way it sounds – highly recommend this combo for those looking for a record player and fun few way to listen to music! Audio Technicas are very easily accessible (I always see them at Barnes and Noble, Urban Outfitters and, of course, online), so definitely grab your hands on one if you’re interested!

Because I have quite a large vinyl collection, I thought it would be cool to film a video talking about all the records I own, where I got them and some of my favorite songs from each of them, that way I could get into more detail! The video is linked below (totally bare with my awkwardness, it was my first YouTube video!). Filming this gave me an excuse to finally jumpstart my YouTube project, something I’ve been itching to do for quite some time now.

Hopefully you all got a little insight on record player options as well as my personal collection, can’t wait to be back for another post!

 

Stay positive, ambitious and kind,

Emily Ciavatta

Travel Adventures: Boston

Hey loves! After writing my last post about my café adventures in Boston, I thought it would be cool to write about the rest of my trip. My non-caffeine quests were equally as thrilling and enjoyable – I got to see a lot of the Boston/New England culture that I’m not super familiar with (thumbs up for getting cultured). Thankfully, in my short time in the historic city, I was able to do quite a bit of exploring. So, in this post, I’m going to be launching the third segment on Kaleidoscopic Dreams – this one is all about travel. I may not travel overseas (or even out of state) often, but I do try to do my fair share of discovering and sightseeing in cities and areas I don’t typically venture to – so here I’ll be able to share all of those experiences.

Boston is a city I have been to twice, but neither trip really stood out in my mind. My first time in Boston was to quickly visit some colleges (plus – it was about 20° outside, so walking around the city wasn’t really an option). My second time there was to simply go to a concert. Neither trip called for exploring, so I made sure to do that when my girlfriend and I visited just a few weeks ago.

(I am often found posing awkwardly in various different places)

(I am often found posing awkwardly in various different places)

Our first day was spent running around the city – we first walked along Charles Street in the Beacon Hill neighborhood (which I discussed in this post), and then we headed over to the Boston Common. We unfortunately got hit with some cold and rainy weather, so exploring the beautiful green common (and rest of the city) was hardly an option. In order to not succumb to the gloomy weather and make the most of our trip, we made the touristy decision to go on a Trolley Tour (there are various stops throughout he city – one was right next to the Boston Common). The Trolley Tour lasted over an hour and it hit some of the most popular and historic sties of both Boston and Cambridge. Overall, I would highly recommend this for someone visiting that doesn’t know much about the city, especially if the weather isn’t great since it doesn’t require any walking. Our ultimate plan was to walk the Freedom Trail (which also hits some of the most popular and historic sites in Boston), but the Trolley Tour was a great alternative since it still showcased some of the city’s coolest scenery.

After our Trolley Tour, we quickly checked out the waterfront, and then made our way over to the Quincy Market. The Quincy Market was a place I remembered loving on my first trip to Boston, so I made sure to make this a must-see for this trip! The market has tons of fun stores and places to eat, and it’s kind of set up like an outlet mall (you have to walk outside to get to the different stores). Here, there are a lot of chain stores (i.e. Urban Outfitters, The Gap, American Eagle, etc.), but there are also some souvenir type shops that are unique just to Boston. My favorite part of the market had to be the New England Clam Chowder I had there – it was just too yummy!

Our last stop on the first day of our trip was to Boston’s Little Italy neighborhood. I had gone here on one of my other trips to Boston and remembered how tasty the food was, so I figured this would be a great place to go for dinner. We went to a restaurant called Benevento’s on Salem Street, and I highly recommend if you like great pasta and seafood! Little Italy in Boston is cool because it’s a pretty large neighborhood in comparison to the tiny one in New York City. New York always wins in my book, but when it comes to Little Italy, I think Boston might just be in first place.

We stayed at The Boxer, which is located on Merrimac Street – and we really couldn’t have chosen a better hotel. The Boxer is in a flatiron style building, and is overall just outrageously adorable. I’m all about atmosphere when it comes to both hotels and restaurants, and this hotel definitely passed the test. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful here, and the location was key (we didn’t take any public transportation on the first day, excluding the Trolley Tour). If I ever come back to Boston, I’ll be sure to come back to this awesome hotel!

On our last day we went to the Back Bay neighborhood to walk along Newbury Street (which I talked about in this post). If you’re not familiar with Newbury Street, it’s a street with tons of high-end shopping. We didn’t do much besides window-shop, but I did score a pair of pants on sale at Urban Outfitters for $10 (one of my biggest accomplishments of the trip). Afterwards, we walked over to Copley Square and went to the Boston Public Library. I know it sounds totally nerdy to go to a library on vacation, but it’s actually a really popular tourist destination. The Boston Public Library was beautiful, so if you’re in that area, definitely stop by!

We ended our trip by getting some lobster rolls at a place called Luke’s Lobster on Exeter Street. The place was insanely well decorated, and you guys know how I feel about a place with great décor and atmosphere. Plus – the food was amazing. Seriously, their lobster roll was killer (and so was their shrimp roll and lobster bisque, hehe).

Overall, my favorite neighborhood in Boston had to be the Back Bay area, and I also loved the Quincy Market and Little Italy. Boston is an extremely picturesque city, and two days there just wasn’t enough. As one of my favorite cities, I hope to get the chance to go back (hopefully over the summer when the weather is a bit better) and explore some other places – most importantly Fenway Park, as I am a Red Sox fan.

If you’re a city lover that enjoys beautiful scenery and some kickass food – Boston is definitely the place for you.

Visit the Trolley Tour website here.

Visit Benevento's website here.

Visit The Boxer website here.

Visit Luke Lobster's website here.

 

Stay positive, ambitious and kind,

Emily Ciavatta

A Café a Day: Tatte Bakery & Café and Pavement Coffeehouse

Hey, loves! Today I’m going to be talking about some super fun coffee shops that I visited in Boston, Massachusetts. Earlier this week, I went up to the awesome city for a few days with my lovely girlfriend (a full post on the trip will be available soon!) and of course made sure to stop at some of the cutest cafés while I was there. The first café we went to was Tatte Bakery & Café located on Charles Street in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. Our next café adventure was to Pavement Coffeehouse on Newbury Street in the Back Bay neighborhood – both cafés have multiple different locations throughout the Boston area! The two were very different, but both super quaint in their own special ways.

Tatte Bakery & Café was the first café we ventured to – and one of the very first stops we made on our trip in general. Upon checking into our adorable hotel, one of the people who worked there suggested we take the long route to the Boston Common and walk along Charles Street – and I’m beyond glad that we took his advice. Charles Street is often referred to as the cutest and most quaint street in Boston. The road is cobblestone and filled with lots of cute stores to get some shopping done (you can find many vintage shops on this street!). The Beacon Hill neighborhood where the café was located was definitely a must-see.

As for the actual coffee shop – Tatte Bakery & Café was outrageously adorable.  The café totally gets brownie points for its killer location – plus everything else about it was outstanding as well. I opted for an iced vanilla latte and my girlfriend got an iced caramel latte, and they were both absolutely to die for. Check for awesome coffee quality! We also got sandwiches, a brownie and some cheesecake at the café – all super tasty!

Another wonderful element to this café was its décor. Tatte Bakery & Café was hands down the most picturesque coffee shop I have ever been to, so of course I had to Instagram it! We sat right in front of a window overlooking the beautiful Charles Street – another check for being extra photogenic! The only downside to this café was that it was super busy, which meant that it was difficult to interact with the baristas and find a good seat (we were lucky to find the spot that we did). Other than that, Tatte Bakery & Café was absolutely perfect, and gets a 5/5 in my book!

On the second (and last) day of our trip, we went to the Back Bay neighborhood in Boston, which is where Pavement Coffeehouse is located. We made sure to go to Newbury Street because we kept hearing people talk about it and figured it was a must-see tourist area – and it definitely was. Newbury Street is a road with tons of shopping opportunities. Particularly, the street contains a lot of upscale stores, so we mostly were just shamelessly window shopping! Besides the stores’ high prices and the unfortunate rainy weather, we still had so much fun in this area of the city and I would highly recommend going here.

We stopped for some coffee and breakfast sandwiches in the morning at Pavement Coffeehouse. Besides the coffee shop’s killer location, its vibe, food and coffee were amazing as well. Much different than Tatte, Pavement was very chill and low-key. The baristas were very friendly and helpful, and the vibe was extremely relaxed. This coffee shop fit perfectly in the historic brownstones on Newbury Street and meshed well with the area’s ambiance. Check for incredible atmosphere!

I got an iced latte once again (I can’t help it when I go to these coffee shops!) and of course, it was super delicious. Me and my girlfriend also got breakfast sandwiches at Pavement, which were super tasty (and convenient, since we didn’t want to sit down anywhere to eat in the middle of shopping around). We sat in front of a window overlooking the beautiful Newbury Street and had a very pleasant experience at Pavement – another 5/5!

Boston clearly has some killer cafés, so if you’re a coffee addict like myself, definitely go to these coffee shops when you visit the city. Tatte Bakery & Café is perfect for the Instagram lover, and Pavement Coffeehouse is a great fit for the low-key hipster (really proud of myself for coming up with these descriptions). Both were cute and high quality, and I indubitably recommend them!

Visit the Tatte Bakery & Café website here and follow them on Instagram here.

Visit the Pavement Coffeehouse website here and follow them on Twitter here.

 

Stay positive, ambitious and kind,

Emily Ciavatta

DIY: Easy Gifts That Take Under an Hour to Make!

Hello my lovelies! Today on Kaleidoscopic Dreams I’m trying something new – I’m talking about fun DIY projects to make for a friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, parent, sibling, or any other loved one (or of course, yourself!). First things first - I am surely no artist, but I still do love to create fun, little gifts for people. Personally, I think that it’s way more important for pieces like these to have character than be the best of the best.

Here’s a little bit of background on my artistic abilities: I’ve always been a very creative person, but didn’t begin to make DIY projects until a little over a year ago (I’m quite the rookie). I started off with painting canvases, and have since tried a few other creative projects, including the ones I’m discussing today. In this post, I’m going to be showing you three quick and easy DIYs that I made for my lovely girlfriend, each in under an hour! If you’re in need of making a gift for someone fast, these are a few fun ideas that you can choose from.

 

1. Canvas

This is an awesome canvas to make for someone if you’re not fond of painting! All you’ll need for this DIY is:

  • A canvas
  • Printed craft paper
  • Printer paper or pre-cut letters
  • Mod podge

The story behind this project: my girlfriend is a huge tech nerd, so she’s of course a fan of Steve Jobs (and even has one of his quotes tattooed on her arm). One of her favorites of his quotes is “We’re here to put a dent in the universe”, and that was the key inspiration to how I came up with this project. I found this world map craft paper at Michael’s for less than five dollars (and it came with a lot of paper, so I’m totally going to use it for future projects as well!). The map paper went perfectly with the quote I chose, but of course choose any patterned paper that goes well with the quote that you decide on! Overall, this is probably my favorite DIY out of all three because it’s very personal along with being a really easy project. Plus, it was a total crowd pleaser!

Here are the steps to make the project:

  1. Cut out the printed paper so it will fit the canvas
  2. Use mod podge to attach the paper to the canvas
  3. Cut the letters out for the quote portion (I just cut out the letters free-hand on plain printer paper, but you can always stencil to be more precise). If you’re using pre-cut letters from a craft store, you can skip this step!
  4. Line up the words where you want them, then attach the letters using the mod podge
  5. Let the letters fully dry, then put a coat or two of mod podge over the entire canvas to give it that glossy finish!

 

2. Mason Jar

This DIY is super easy and fast, so it’s perfect if you’re in a rush to make something or need something small to add to a gift you already have. All you’ll need is:

  • A mason jar
  • Paint
  • Paper
  • A paintbrush

The story behind this project: I wanted to make something small for my girlfriend just for fun one day. I wanted it to be super personal and intimate, and I somehow came up with this idea! My girlfriend loves the shore, so the waves were a perfect fit, and also fit well on the mason jar. If you’re not a fan of the waves, something like flowers or a cute pattern would also work nicely for this project! The little notes on the inside are quotes and lyrics that are favorites of my girlfriend’s (and stuff I shamelessly found on Tumblr). Other things you can put in the jar are things you love about the person you’re making it for or “open whens”, but really, the possibilities are endless!

Here are the steps:

  1. Paint the waves (or whatever else you choose) on the jar. I happened to free-hand it and get it to look pretty decent on the first try, but if you’re nervous, test it out on a piece of paper first!
  2. Write out your notes on post-it notes or pieces of paper (make sure they’re small; you can totally tear or cut a larger piece of paper) and then fold them up and plop them in the jar!

 

3. Arrow

This DIY is definitely super easy to make, but it does require painting. If you have some Picasso in you, give it a try! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A wooden shape (it could be something fun like the arrow I chose, or just a plain ol’ rectangle!)
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush

The story behind this project: I saw this quote on Tumblr, and immediately sent it to my girlfriend because it reminded me of her. As soon as I saw it, I was inspired to make something creative of it. I later stumbled upon the arrow at Target and bought it on a whim. Soon after, I put the two together and birthed this cutie little gift that I gave my girlfriend for Valentine’s Day. I totally threw this together last minute, but I think it has a lot of character and meaning, making it something totally special.

Here are the steps:

  1. Paint the wood (I chose a neutral color because I was inspired by this Tumblr post, but any color will do!)
  2. Outline the words with a pencil once the paint dries!
  3. Paint over your outline with a color that contrasts well with the background

Well, there you have it! Three easy DIYS that can be made under an hour. I’m totally a rookie when it comes to art projects, but I think all of these came out fairly cute, so I of course wanted to share it with you guys. I hope you enjoyed and I can’t wait to blog again!

 

Stay positive, ambitious and kind,

Emily Ciavatta