Watercolor Tattoos: Just Say NO

Water color tattoos are rad right?

Sure, until several years go by and it looks a little “bleh.” They look so bright and crazy when you first get them, but over a period of time, that changes. Every tattoo fades, I know that. But there are two main things that hold a tattoo together for longer that watercolor tattoos generally do not have: solid line work and BLACK.

When I was apprenticing I learned a lot about color theory and lighting and shading and all that good stuff you obviously need to know to be a good artist. One thing that has been burned into my brain is that, If you don’t have solid line work, you don’t have a solid tattoo. Although you may not think about it when you’re flipping through an artist’s portfolio, (at least I HOPE you’re looking through your artist’s work before you decide to let them mark your body permanently.)  Line work is a big deal! Although most watercolor tattoos usually have some guiding lines somewhere, stay away from those that don’t, it won’t be pretty forever. All those shades of blues and grays and purples you want will all look “bleh” at some point. Without any line work, your tattoo isn’t held together.

BLACK. It is so important. Ugh, SO IMPORTANT. Shading gives your tattoo dimension. Makes it come together.  Tattoos hold up so much better when they have some black in them. Promise. Black also makes the rest of the colors pop. I’m a black work nerd though, so I may be a little biased towards having lots of black involved. Some artists may completely disagree with me, everyone has a different opinion, and none of them are wrong. 

Basically my little biased rant is summed up into this: Watercolor tattoos are trendy and pretty to look at now, but I don’t believe they are something that will hold up in the long run. (Also I didn’t post pictures because I think that’s an assy thing to do.) No one should regret their art. At some point you wanted what you got, and you have it. So love it. 

couldn’t help it lol

*Hey! Follow my instagram for some sweet artists and good tattoo sites*

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Support Your Local Whatever

Murfreesboro, Tennessee is expanding at such a crazy rate. Just within 10 years, 2000-2010, this city’s population had grown over 50%. That being said, there’s been many more big box stores and chains coming along with it. It’s easy going to those stores and not even wondering what else is out there. Yes it’s convenient, but how is shopping there benefitting you and your community??

  Supporting your local businesses is such an important decision to make in your community. Not only are you keeping your money local, you’re giving the owners and employees a chance to make their dreams become a reality. Plus it feels rewarding to give back to the place you call home.

Today I was getting rid of some books and buying new ones. I found a local bookstore in a little hole-in-the-wall strip and decided to go there instead of a bigger chain store in town. Not only was the man working there actually PASSIONATE about reading and had a humongous wealth of knowledge about all books and genres, they also gave me wayyyy more money for my books. Which I turned into store credit and got a heap of Russian literature. (Yes, he actually had a very good Russian Lit. section.) After leaving The Grumpy Bookpeddler, I went over to a local coffee shop and roasting company and had a freshly brewed Yirgacheffe coffee. I had never been to Just Love and I have no idea why. As far as coffee goes in Murfreesboro, they know what they’re doing. It’s nice knowing that people actually care (and know) about what they are serving you.

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Whether it’s supporting your local coffee shop, bookstore, music scene, artists, restaurant, bike shop, brewery, oddity shop, farmers’ market, clothing store, whatever it is, know that you are making a huge difference in your community’s economy, character, and well-being.

The BEST Coffee in Nashville, TN

A friend and I decided to spend the day wondering East Nashville. Both of us being coffee snobs we looked into all the different spots. (There’s like a thousand.)

I’ve always heard great things about Barista Parlor, and now I know why. You walk into a giant open air garage turned coffee shop and everything greets you right at the front, there were several different pastries and all kinds of local and organic chocolate. The bar itself is laid out nice and open in the middle of the parlor. The barista helping us was very knowledgeable, welcoming, and friendly. We were afraid we would be scoffed at for asking so many questions, and he did the right opposite. The layout is very open without feeling awkward and the decor was fun, but not kitschy and overwhelming.

I decided to try the barista’s two suggestions: I had the Supersonic espresso shot. It was great, it’s not hard to tell if you get a dead shot, and this was definitely the best I have ever had. Me being a barista myself at several different shops for several years, I have never had a shot that I enjoyed drinking alone that much. They served a caramel and a sparkling water along with the shot which was a nice finish. I had the Whiskey Caramel Latte as well. It was also one of the best espresso drinks I have ever had. I’m a sucker for latte art and it was pretty cute too. They make all their own flavors in house, so it was nice knowing we weren’t just drinking some high fructose corn syrup artificial junk. They had almond milk as an alternative, which I got very excited about seeing I’m not a huge fan of dairy products. It was nice and smooth and easy to drink without being too sweet or taking out the flavor of the espresso itself. They had plenty of other coffee and espresso options as well and numerous ways to have your coffee made, which I plan to try next time.

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Seeing places like this in Nashville makes me proud to be from Tennessee knowing that we are more cultured than most people assume. Nashville is full of great treasures, you just have to look in the right spots. I cannot wait to go back to Barista Parlor, it may possibly be tomorrow.

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why NOT tanning should be the new trend.

Summer is coming and the gym is swarming with girls doing outrageous numbers of squats and waiting in line for the tanning bed. Why? Because Coco Chanel accidentally got sunburned and somehow made it a trend that has lasted ages. Thanks, Coco. 

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Living in the South, there’s 40 year old leather baseball mitts walking around everywhere. That SHOULD be enough of a reason for young girls to reconsider baking themselves. Unfortunately, our media tells them otherwise. “Sun-kissed, bronze, golden,” etc. Of course they want to look how those things sound. We just need to let girls know this isn’t the only option for the summer.  

YOUR NATURAL COMPLEXION IS BEAUTIFUL. IF IT DIDN’T LOOK RIGHT ON YOU, THEN YOU WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN BORN WITH IT.

The cons outweigh the pros when it comes to tanning:

  • Yes, the amount of vitamin D you get from tanning is great for you. You can still get it from the REAL sun, in moderation. Also from vitamins and foods you eat. Your diet can drastically make a difference in your skin. You can have a healthy, natural glow just from eating the right foods.
  • Skin Cancer. Enough said. According to the Mayo Clinic, Melanoma by tanning has increased 705% since 1970. Awful.
  • Save some money! Tanning gets expensive.
  • Wrinkles, wrinkles, and more wrinkles. Although there are some wrinkles that are good to have, like laugh lines and wrinkles from smiling big, no one wants the wrinkly bag wrinkles you get from tanning consistently over the years. My mother was never one to tan heavily, and she has a smoother complexion than most 30 year olds i know. GOALS.
  • Tanning can do a number on your hair, if you’re going to be in the sun a lot, get a sweet hat, or get a nice UV Protector Spray.
  • There are a lot self-tanners on the market that girl are using as well, and not usually with good results. Plus, most of those brands aren’t made with a single natural ingredient, so you’re lathering chemicals all over your skin to change its color. Weird right? Fortunately, Chocolate Sun makes a great self tanner with all natural botanicals, oils, and herbs.
  • Tanning is boring. There’s a million things I’d rather do during my days off in the summer than lay in a spaceship bed or melt in the sun. It doesn’t last long, make the most of it! 

It’s time to show people of all ages that the way they look is fine. Healthy skin beats tanned, wrinkled, possibly cancerous skin every time. Have fun this summer, and love the skin you have. (I wanted to say love the skin you’re in, but I feel like that’s trademarked by some company.)

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Cat

Working Out for Regular Chicks

I’m not a crazy workout buff, nor am I attempting to be. I have no dramatic changes I want to make, I am not trying to reach a certain goal. I just want to feel great and what I have to look good.

Like most girls, I’ve always been afraid of weight training. Thinking I’ll look like the Hulk after a week of workouts. I didn’t. You won’t. No one does.

Lately I’ve been doing more weight training and loving it. Lighter weights with more reps. Just within a couple of weeks I can tell a big difference in how much more toned I am. Plus it’s nice to feel like you’ve had a good workout without looking like you got ran  over by a bus after an hour of cardio. Not saying you shouldn’t do any cardio, because you totally should, but exlpore the rest of the gym, not just the treadmill.

KETTLEBELLS ARE AWESOME. It’s a super easy at home workout and you can tone literally everything. It’s a good mix between a little cardio and some weight training.

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Have Fun,

Cat.

Food Tastes Better When it’s Real

Being broke and eating healthy doesn’t always go together. Good news is, it’s not as hard as it seems. You just have to be smart about it.

I recently purchased a cookbook called Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give A F*ck. It completely breaks down how to do the most basic cooking techniques with great, cheap, HEALTHY recipes. Including vegetarian and vegan.

Last night I made one of the recipes I saw in the book, Roasted Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos. And it KICKED ASS. Cauliflower has all types of health benefits; it’s been shown to kill cancer stem cells, which slows down tumor growth, it’s great for your heart, is loaded full of  vitamins and antioxidants, and aids in digestive health, and the guys at Thug Kitchen found a way to make it taste great. And at $4, it was the most expensive ingredient I had to buy, if that tells you anything. (besides beer)

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The beer I used was the Illusive Traveler Shandy. Which went really great with it since it was made with grapefruit juice. It wasn’t heavy and it still tasted really fresh without an overbearing alcohol taste.

For being a complete kitchen noob, I was really proud with how this turned out and how inexpensive it was to make. Thug Kitchen is chock full of rad recipes and quick tricks, and I can’t wait to use it again.

http://www.thugkitchen.com/