Moving On

7:12 PM

Last year was rough.

I left my job.
I moved back home with my parents.
I went to doctors numerous times to try to find out what’s wrong with my health.
I received depressing news numerous times from friends.
(I could keep going on and on but I’m not going to bore you.)

All of a sudden I felt like my somewhat put-together life was now a complete mess. I felt like a failure. I didn’t know what to do.

I was instantly comparing my life to those of my friends. Is this normal? I’ve always felt like no matter what I do, I’m never 100% confident in my work. Or maybe that has something to do with my childhood (countless incidents of bullying, being told I’m worthless, etc.; I’ll go more into that another day).

I’m also the type of person that hates doing the same stuff every day, so if there was some way to combine my love for music, blogging, interviewing people, making videos, modeling, etc., that would be the perfect job for me.

So much of what has happened to me over the years, I honestly haven’t been able to open up to most people about it…until last year.

For the longest time, I was ashamed and embarrassed of what I’d let others do to me for so long without standing up for myself. I was mostly afraid of hurting other people’s feelings, yet at the same time, how was I supposed to bring up the kinds of stuff I was faced with to my friends and family because a lot of it wasn’t exactly “normal stuff” that everyone else goes through? That’s why I struggled to figure out what to do with my life for so long…until last September.

One of my mentor friends invited me to go to an event called Encounter. (Encounter is a Christ-centered, relationally-styled experience in Christian community. Through the formation of leadership teams, retreat weekends, & various forms of follow-up, the candidates are given the opportunity to grow in personal faith & to express a corporate faith in witness & service to others.

It was there where I felt God nudging me to go outside my comfort level and create a lifestyle brand based on my blog; which is currently eating up a lot of my time and that’s why I haven’t come on here sooner to tell you guys this exciting news.

At first, I had no idea where to begin.

I began asking a few business-oriented people in town that I look up to how they started their companies. Some of them were kind enough to even become mentors to me. One of them even offered me a part-time job. Everyone I asked gave me positive vibes about it; especially after hearing me telling them some of my story and why I started my blog You’re Not Invisible. Now I just needed to figure out how I was going to finance it.

My grandma, unfortunately, lost her battle with cancer in November. It was kind of a blessing in disguise because she left behind some money for all the grandkids.

With that being said, right now I’m in the process of getting an LLC and setting up an online store that will hopefully be open in the next couple of months or so. I also plan to go back to school in the fall to get a second degree in digital marketing so it will help me later down the road with my business. The name of my company will be the same name as my blog…You’re Not Invisible. I hope that by sharing some of my stories I can help others know they are not alone and invisible. 

If you want a little sneak peek of my testimony, please listen to this interview I did on Voice America with my friend, Niccie Kliegl, on her show entitled Living Within the Sweet Spot:

Just in the last year, I’ve seen God at work in many different ways and it’s amazing the opportunities He’ll give you when you fully trust Him instead of worrying about worldly things. He’s brought me from feeling like a complete failure to being thankful for every little thing He created.

Taking this into account, I’ve decided 2018 is finally the year were I start sharing some of my personal experiences here and officially turn You’re Not Invisible into a lifestyle blog. For the longest time, I’ve wanted to not only do interviews with people but also share about other things I love.

For the last few years, I feel like I’ve been hiding behind a computer screen afraid to tell others what I really feel like. Now’s my time to shine and be 100% authentic with you guys. No more hiding!

That also means I’m going to get out of my comfort zone and be starting a YouTube channel soon. Some of the stuff I plan to include on there are going into details on why I’ve never been on an official date before to doing videos on beauty, fashion, freebies, interviews with people I admire, as well as tell you other personal stories that I haven’t told you before.

I hope that explains a little bit of where I’ve been over the last year. I’ve grown so much in my faith and am thankful to every one of you guys who have supported me along the way. Hopefully, by the time I make my next post on here, my online store will be up. Be on the lookout for that.

Until then, please remember: It may be easy to forget, but feelings matter. Life matters. You matter. You’re Not Invisible.



Meet Evan Welcher!!!

5:51 PM

With the recent passing of my Grandpa Peterson, I thought now would finally be a good time to put up an interview I did a while back with my friend, Evan Welcher, since it also deals with death. I met Evan on Twitter through his twin brother, Steele, who happens to be the resident life manager of the dorms at WITCC (where I recently graduated from college). Evan is the senior pastor of First Christian Church in Glenwood, Iowa. In the last five years or so, Evan's been on quite a roller coaster ride of emotions, but that hasn't stopped him from trying to make a smile on other peoples faces. He went from the extreme happiness of meeting and then marrying his lovely wife, Danielle, (whom he refers to as "My Resplendent Bride"), to the agonizing sorrow of her cancer and death. To learn more about Evan and his new journey through life, please check out his personal Twitter, Instagram, or website.

Facts About Evan
People Who Inspire You: My Resplendent Bride, Rich Mullins, John Stott.
Favorite Bible Story: The parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32).
Favorite Bible Verse: John 11:25.

Favorite Musician: Rich Mullins.
Favorite Movie: Lady In The Water.
Favorite Books: Too many to list!
Favorite Color: Yellow.
Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving.
Mac or PC: Mac.
Twitter or Facebook: Twitter.
Blackberry or iPhone: iPhone.
Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate.
Winter or Summer: Summer.
Pancakes or Waffles: Waffles.
Math or Science: Science Fiction.
Past, Present, or Future: Future.

Have you always wanted to become a preacher?
What made me want to be a preacher was the way God comes down into human history and saves fallen, broken, messed up people like me. When Jesus saved me I said to myself, "I have to spend the rest of my life telling people about this Jesus!" He is the only God who gives up His life for His people instead of the other way around.

I did not happen to grow up in a Church going family, but I did, in my totally biased opinion, grow up in the best family. God saved me when I was 16. At the time I wore a lot of black, and was rather unpleasant to be around. I was a committed atheist and my world view was hostile to religion in general organized or otherwise. A friend of mine had become a Christian the summer of my 16th year, and when school resumed had been annoyingly faithful at telling me all about Jesus. She invited me to Church often. I always refused invitations and for my part, faithfully mocked her. One night I had a dream in which Jesus saved me from my wretched self. I awoke the next day perplexed and annoyed. I wondered if I had eaten a bad taco the night before. Nonetheless, despite my attempts to brush off and rationalize the stayed with me. Yes, it gnawed at my pompous faith in my intellect. I began running through the practical ramifications of being wrong about the existence of God. My atheism was based upon the shaky foundation of me assuming there was no God because I had never experienced God in my short life. I wagered that if there was a God He would not take kindly to the immense ungratefulness exhibited by of one of His creations going around telling His other creations that the Creator was, in fact, a fairy tale. My friend invited me to Church again, and I went. The gospel (Good News) was explained to me and for the first time, I believed that God was real, and, that I was alienated from Him because of my own sin, and further more that all that stuff about the Cross was Jesus dying in my place so that I, even I, as under serving as I am, might be declared righteous, and forgiven. Through no goodness or wisdom of my own, I believed that night. Faith was God's gift to me on that October evening. He bids us all to come die with Him that we might live with Him. I love how just God is, because He won't turn anybody away.

When did you find out that your wife had cancer? How did you react to the diagnosis? 

My Resplendent Bride had been coughing for several months. We went to the Dr. and they thought it was anything from her asthma acting up to pneumonia. However after several weeks without improvement they did an X-Ray and saw the baseball sized mass in her anterior mediastinum. The mass was situated between her lungs right next to her heart. It was pushing against her lungs making it difficult to breath. We later learned it was lymphoma, which is a blood cancer. We were sad because we both had seen the pain: cancer caused in our parent's lives. Her father had fought against brain tumors for many years, and my mother died from lung cancer.

I held my Danielle in my arms and we wept together: for the fight ahead, for the fears we harbored, for our unborn children. We were keenly aware of the fight ahead of us, but we also purposed in our hearts to trust in God's sovereignty. We believed that God is in control of all our lives, and that nothing merely happens by coincidence. 

A verse we clung to was Isaiah 41:10, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

My Resplendent Bride fought the cancer like the woman of grace that she was for nearly two years. During that time her lymphoma came back twice and morphed into leukemia. She went home to be with her Savior (John 14) May 3, 2014, dying from complications of a failed bone marrow transplant. 

I have never known anyone like her. She was the love of my life. She is the best person I have ever known. God gave her to me for less than 3 years, but oh, the mark she left on my soul is indelible. Danielle was a woman who had yielded herself to her Lord as much as a human can. She was a missionary to S. Sudan, a teacher, a daughter, a friend to more people than I can count, and my Resplendent Bride. It is not cliche of me to write that her love changed me in ways that I can not fully comprehend or explain. True love has a way of doing that.

Is there anything that we can be praying about for you?

Please be praying for me as I mourn the loss of my Resplendent Bride. The Bible says that two become one in the covenant of marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33). There is something mysteriously powerful about marriage that I fear may be lost on many today. When someone is widowed they have spiritually been torn in two. The beauty of Christ is that He shall put us all back together again.

Many of the people we walk past and ignore everyday are virtual walking Humpty Dumpty's marching along in a daze. The people of God are tasked with waiting with the broken while rescue comes. This is God's beautiful design for the Church.

How do you turn such negative events in your life into positive ones? 
I am thankful that it is not up to me to bring good from evil. God is always working (Romans 8), and it is enough for me to know that He is good, knows what He is doing, and has not forgotten His little lambs.

What does a normal day in your life look like now? I wake up and drink in the coffee as well as tidings of distant lands that transpired while I slumbered (the news). If people are lucky, I take a shower (people are always lucky). Then I head off to my study at the church building and work on whatsoever needs working on! I believe God does powerful things through the proclamation of His word to His saints (don't you love how the Bible calls the Christ's Bride "Saints"? That proves our righteousness comes not from ourselves but Him!) so I spend a good portion my week writing Sunday's sermon.

If you could preach about any topic or Bible story on a Sunday, what would it probably be about and why? 
My favorite thing to preach on is the forgiveness of sins, which is inseparable from the Cross of Christ. The banner we dwell under reads, "Christ Crucified For Sinners". The best thing about the Gospel is that it is not about us, it's about Him. The world has enough people who are really into themselves. The cool thing about God is that He knows our frame, that we are but dust. He knows we dustlings are fragile, broken, and rough around the edges. He also knows that we are battered, bedraggled, broken things looking for shelter. If you think you need to have all your stuff together before God will have anything to do with you: you have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

How would you describe your style of preaching? Also, why should people come to your church? 
I don't yell at people. I don't beat the sheep. 

I preach through books of the Bible, verse by verse. At First Christian Church we believe 2 Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness."

Preaching through entire books ensures that the Church gets a steady diet of God's revelation in the proportions the Holy Spirit doles out. When a guy is just doing topical series after topical series there runs the risk of the people of God only hearing the preacher man's hobby horses.

First Christian Church is an independent church trying to do things as much like the New Testament Church did as we can figure out. We admit that we are only human, and that the first century was a long time ago, but we think there are some clear hints in the New Testament about what the Church should look and feel like. At the same time we deeply value the contributions our brothers and sisters in Christ have made to the global church over the last 2,000 years. Tradition is not a dirty word.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I read, lift weights, bike, write, and try to figure out wood working!

What are five things that most people don’t know about you?
I am painfully shy.
I throw tomahawks.
I don't have all the answers, but I know the one who does.
I am a sinner/saint.
I am rooting for them. 

What’s the best part of being a pastor and why?
The best part of being a pastor is chooses to use us to accomplish His good will, and that goes for all His children.

*All photos belong to Evan Welcher.


Meet Emily Vareé Dean!!!

3:31 PM

Today I am proud to introduce you to someone who happens to be somewhat related to me. Please let me introduce you to my second cousin's husband's sister... Mrs. Emily Vareé Dean!!! This talented 19-year-old not only acts, sings, and models but also just happened to start her own company called Verity Vareé. I never would have found out about Emily if it wasn't for my second cousin Hilary posting some of her modeling pics on Facebook. I came across them and was just stunned by Em's curly hair, Cara Delevingne-like eyebrow's, and soulful voice from her band (Emy & Ethan) that I knew I had to become in contact with her and hear more about her story and adventures. Although I haven't actually gotten to meet her yet since she lives in Berryville, VA (I could of if I had know about her at the time of my second cousin's wedding) I hope to meet this beautiful chic someday. Her energy and perseverance that she puts into everything she does really inspires me to keep going on my worst days. To learn more about Emily, please check her out on Facebook, Instagram, Emy & Ethan's website, or Verity Vareé's website

Facts About Emily
People Who Inspire You: My husband, my buddy, Kara, my family.
Favorite Model: I don't actually follow models, or have a favorite!
Favorite Musicians: Esperanza Spalding, Gladys Knight, John Mark McMillan, Adele.
Favorite Movies: You've Got Mail, Julie & Julia, Leap Year, Hook, Finding Neverland.
Favorite Actors: Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Jessica Chastain.
Favorite Books: Love Walked In, cookbooks, Fancy Nancy series, The Penderwicks.

Favorite Color: Purple. 
Favorite Holiday: Christmas.
Mac or PC: Mac.
Twitter or Facebook: Ehh...Instagram!
Blackberry or iPhone: iPhone.
Chocolate or Vanilla: Can I have both?
Winter or Summer: I can't choose!
Pancakes or Waffles: Waffles.
Math or Science: Science.
Past, Present, or Future: Present.

How did you get your start in the entertainment industry? What came first: the modeling, acting, or singing? 
I was acting and singing in a professional realm before modeling, but I started when I was probably about 10 through a home school co-op, then just kept acting locally until I realized it was something I wanted to do professionally. My dad sang at home all the time, often the same songs over and over, but he had such a rich, soulful voice that I wanted to sing, too. That's where that started. I began professionally modeling, acting, and singing through a talent search conference called SHINE, through AMTC and received a lot of callbacks and many leads that began my journey acting, singing, and modeling professionally with my mom as my manager!

You recently announced on social media that you are pregnant. First of all, congrats!!! How do you think your career will change after you have your baby? Will you still be modeling, acting, and singing in between changing diapers? Or will you just be a stay at home mom? Thank you! I have planned to keep acting, modeling, and singing professionally. I think definitely acting and modeling will go on hold for a while before I am full-time, but I can keep singing and booking shows with my husband since our band is just us, Emy & Ethan. A lot of my time will probably be spent pursuing my new company, Verity Vareé, where I'll be helping other women tell their stories and be the model for a day! God has conveniently given me a new passion and desire for my company which I can keep up with a baby strapped to me and run out of my own home.

If you weren’t in the entertainment industry, what do you think you would be doing for a living and why? 
I'd probably be a writer and a baker, running a freelance baked goods business and writing every chance I had. I love to write. I love to bake. I love to think. I love people. I love moving and doing things with my hands. 

What does a normal day in your life look like now? Hmm...a normal day is get up, make breakfast for my husband, hug him every chance I get before he leaves for work. Then I'll make myself coffee and get an apple or bowl of granola, sit down to read my bible and something inspiring me at the moment (a magazine, an article, a letter from a friend), then journal and write my to-do list for the day. Then I'll probably got to a local coffee shop to work on Verity Vareé and plan/start styling for our upcoming photo shoot. Somewhere in the day I usually have a meeting or an interview either at my house, by phone, or via Skype. Then in the evening I spend as much time as possible with my husband, go for a walk, watch a movie, go up in the recording studio together, keep working side by side, make dinner together, etc. That's a fairly normal day, but it's really truly different every time depending on what is scheduled!!!

Of all the modeling (and acting) shows and shoots you’ve done, have you ever gotten to keep any of the items from the events? If so, what? If not, what is something that you would love to steal from one of those events? Yes! Actually, I recently did a commercial where I had to hurtle over a horse jump and ripped my pants! So, the crew bought me new skinny jeans that I got to keep. I also got to keep a really cute fisherman's sweater from H&M from that commercial shoot. (: Honestly, I'd never want to keep anything from the professional shoots or runways because it's all so expensive I probably wouldn't wear it, or would feel guilty and nervous if I did! There was one time a long time ago when I first started modeling that I got to wear a little Grecian dress that I would have loved to just walk away with. 

You recently created the company called Verity Vareé, which is about revealing the truth about beauty through your story. Please tell us more about that. Why did you decide to create it? Was it inspired by own events in your personal life, since I’m sure just like any girl, has felt “ugly” at some point in their life? How did you come up with the name for your company? Verity Vareé is the culmination of everything I have ever dreamed of. It is a tool to show women their value and worth, an opportunity to speak truth into a world wrought with misconceptions and false standards. It was very much inspired by personal events. When I began modeling professionally I was bombarded with standards and regulations that I could never live up to. Even at the thinnest I'd ever been I was still "too big" for the top agencies I'd interviewed with. I don't blame the agencies solely for that, but I can see a clear line between my insecurities and the things I was told by the acting and modeling world. In that environment I was forced to decide whether to live in misery, with some days feeling pretty enough and most days feeling far below the standard of beauty, or to reach for something higher, something true, something I knew was there, but wasn't quite sure how to identify. Beauty. Real beauty. What is it? I began to search the bible for the true words God speaks on beauty and the results were almost too good to be true. Modeling went from a scary, intimidating career path, to a personal mission. I started looking at modeling as an opportunity to spread the truth about beauty and have used it as a platform for truth ever since. Verity means "truth" and Vareé (my middle name) means "to strike." Verity Vareé aims to "strike the truth" about beauty in a cunning, beautiful, inspiring way. 

We are taking everyday women and giving them two photo shoots and an interview, with the purpose of telling their story in a beautiful, unique way. The first photo shoot is a no-makeup, no styling series of photos showing that woman in her natural, unaltered form. The second photo shoot or "dream shoot" is that woman's ideal photo shoot, showing off her unique style and personality. Each woman will work with a team of stylists, makeup artists, and a photographer to properly express their vision through the photo shoot.

Our goal is to empower women to live in the truth that their internal and external (physical) beauty is a gift.

Through "revealing" their story and personality in the interview with our founder/director (Emily Dean), then going through the photo shoot process with a team of creative artists we hope to encourage women to identify their beauty as something to be cherished, enjoyed, and taken care of. We also encourage women to live their life story with vibrancy and authenticity. 
These "reveals" (stories) of each woman will be posted publicly on our website, intermitted with articles addressing beauty and relevant topics to our day.

Out of all the crazy things you’ve gotten to do in your career, is there anything in particular that stands out? If so, what? If not, what is something you would like to accomplish in the next year or so? One of the coolest things I've ever done was walk into a store with several other models and our agent, while he just grabbed clothes off the racks and gave them to us then told us, "just go up to the cash register, they'll know what to do." We walked up and handed them our clothes and they just put them in bags and handed them to us. Sometimes companies will work out a deal with an agency and just give the clothes back after a runway show or only keep some of them, etc. It was just a really cool, weird experience! Another time I got to meet a world famous photographer in a private meeting. That was pretty incredible. I still to this day am not sure why he wanted to talk to me, but my mom and I both went and received some pretty incredible and amazingly encouraging advice. That was amazing... 

If you could only choose to do one thing (acting, singing, or modeling) to do for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? I think I would choose acting because you can keep modeling in the acting world and you can keep singing in the acting world. We used to have singers, actors, and models, who in those days, couldn't be a one-trick pony, so they had to do it all themselves. So, I'd choose acting because you can keep doing all of it!

What do you like to do in your free time, outside of all of your work? Bake, spend time with my family, and write letters to people. 

What are 5 things that you could tell us that most people don’t know about you?
1. I am the only girl out of 5 brothers.
2. I never wanted to be a model, it was an opportunity God gave me and I try hard to use to His glory.
3. I make really, really ugly faces. Like, UGLY, you-won't-sleep-tonight faces. My brother and I used to stare in the mirror for hrs. to practice...I guess it was worth it! I can literally look like the Grinch.
4. I was a dancer for the first part of my life and wanted to join the Russian ballet.
5. I want to have as many kids as scientifically possible.
6. I am pretty bad at math.

Anything else you would like to share with my lovely followers?
I love Swedish fish, watermelon, coffee, and glitter!!! I aspire to be a fat, jolly, sweet-cheeked grandma to many grandchildren! 


Meet Jessie Hotchkiss!!!

2:15 PM

Of all the people I've gotten to interview over the last year or so, I would have to say Jessie Hotchkiss was one of the sweetest people I've gotten to know. I met Jessie on Twitter after entering the 2013 Acuvue Contest (see my entry here!). It turns out this 19-year-old, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota native happens to have a lot in common with me. Not only do we share a love for music, I also found out that she also has relatives that live near to where I live. Someday I hope to meet Jessie in person and jam out with her. In case you were wondering, Jessie happens to be the first out of seven people to be chosen as winners of the 2013 Acuvue Contest. To learn more about Jessie, her music, and her adventures with Acuvue, please follow her on her Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Ask.FM pages, or Youtube channel. P.S. While on YouTube, don't forget to watch Jessie's winning audition video for the Acuvue Contest or Jessie's Mentorship Episode with Demi Lovato!!!

Facts About Jessie
Favorite Musicians: Demi Lovato, Ed Sheeran, Skillet.
Favorite Movies: Mean Girls, Sleepover, Freaky Friday, Pitch Perfect.
Favorite Book: Hunger Games or Divergent Series.
Favorite Color: Blue.

Favorite Holiday: Halloween.
Mac or PC: Mac.
Twitter or Facebook: Twitter.
Blackberry or iPhone: iPhone.
Chocolate or Vanilla: Vanilla.
Winter or Summer: Summer.
Pancakes or Waffles: Pancakes.
Math or Science: Math.
Past, Present, or Future: Future.

Did you grow up in a musical family? What age/instrument did you learn first? Absolutely not! My sister was the first one to start learning an instrument in 6th grade. Once I got into 6th grade, I started playing the trumpet. So I was about 11 years old.

When you found out that you won the Acuvue contest, how did you/your family and friends react? I actually got a call around 7 am on a Saturday and ignored it because it said “unknown," so I ignored it and went back to bed. They called again about an hour after that and left a voice mail. But I woke up around 9 forgetting about the voice mail and checked my email first, and that’s where I saw (1) in my inbox and looked. I had to stare at it for a good 30 seconds before I realized that it wasn’t a spam! I literally started sobbing and ran into my mom’s room and told her that I won! She didn’t know what contest I was talking about because I enter a ton! So I explained and she couldn’t believe it! I then realized that it was Acuvue trying to call me and I listened to the voicemail. They told me to respond to the email to make sure I’m aware that I’m a winner. My friends didn’t really understand the concept of the contest. They were excited but they didn’t realize how big of a deal it was until the mentorship video came out. It still feels like it didn’t happen, but I’m glad it did!

What was it like working with Demi Lovato? Was she the mentor that you originally hoped for? What's the best advice that she gave you? It was pretty surreal. Its like, when you only see someone online and on TV, it’s almost like you don’t believe they exist (as weird as that sounds). But she is super sweet and genuine and a goofball. She had this aura that she gave off that immediately made me feel comfortable. I was nervous for about the first minute of meeting her, but after that I was totally fine. She honestly was the reason I entered. I told myself I’d be content with whoever was chosen for me as long as I overcame my fears by the end of the day, but I didn’t actually think I was going to be set up with her. It’s funny because I originally wasn’t going to enter just cause it’s such a huge contest and I thought, “What are even the chances?” but I’m glad I at least tried, because you have just as much of a chance as getting chosen as anyone else does as long as you enter. As for advice, I feel really dumb but I honestly can’t remember a whole lot…it was an overwhelming day overall. But something I learned that day is to just own it up on stage. You already know exactly what you’re supposed to do, so why be nervous about it?

Why do you think your video was chosen? For people who want to try out next year, what advice would you give them while making their videos? I’m honestly still trying to figure that out. The Acuvue crew has told me so many times that it really stood out and I was obviously chosen for a reason. When I watched it back when I was about to submit the video, I didn’t think it was all that great. But when I compared it to the others, something did seem a little different about mine, and I’m not just saying that, I truly believe that. For anyone who wants to try out next year, you really want to try to make it stand out. What I did is I watched the submissions for the 5 previous winners from 2012 and asked myself, “What is it about their videos that made them stand out?” I literally watched them about 5 times each. What I found out is they didn’t get off the topic of what they are trying to accomplish. I actually watched every single submission for the 2013 contest and what a lot of people did was talk about their pasts and how maybe they’ve been bullied or depressed (etc.) and they don’t focus on what their dream is. Acuvue wants to know about it and HOW bad you want it, they don’t want your life story and then only one sentence about what you want to do. They want to know how you got started with it and how much you want to progress in either your passion or how to get over your fears that are preventing you from taking your passion further. So I’d suggest that you leave out your life story and focus on your dream; THAT is what they want to know about. 

Has life changed for you much since winning the Acuvue contest? What does a current day in your life look like? As for just day by day, not really. Although since the mentorship I got to attend the 2013 Teen Choice Awards and got to walk the blue carpet (which was a guaranteed prize along with the mentorship). But I also got to do a separate event with my mentor that no one else got to do. So that definitely wasn’t expected. Being able to go to LA three times this year has been amazing; I just wish I could stay there, haha! I actually recently saw Fifth Harmony in concert and got recognized by about 15 people. They just congratulated me and/or told me how jealous they are, which is something I’ve been hearing a lot lately. A typical day for me consists of waking up and going to classes (it differs every day since I’m in college so it’s not the same schedule every day) and depending on what day it is, I go to work, come home and do homework. Then usually play guitar or keyboard till about midnight and may make a cover once a week or so. It’s not too eventful. Most of my friends go to schools far away so I don’t really have anyone to hang with here.

What was it like going to the Teen Choice Awards? Did you run into a lot of celebrities? I did! It was honestly one of the most crazy/surreal things ever (even more so than the mentorship). Our day started around 6-7 am (depending when we got called to the room to get makeup done) and it didn’t end till about midnight when we got back to our hotel and chilled on the rooftop. The day started with us all one by one getting makeup done. After, we went in the room next door to get our wardrobes (which we picked out the day prior out of a crazy amount of choices)! Then we had to go down stairs to do a photo shoot! I ended up being the last one so it was a big rush trying to run all over the hotel and what not. But the photo shoot was very interesting considering I’m so awkward on camera. But they played Demi in the background which made it better, haha! Once that was taken care of, all of us winners hopped on a little bus to go to the TCA site and film a commercial with Shay Mitchell. No one was there yet so we got to see everything while it was clear. Shay got dropped off and I think we all got a little star struck (except Olivia since she was her mentor). We took several takes of it and then immediately had to go back to the hotel because there was a party on the hotel roof with the mentors, out families and the CEO’s (along with their families) of Acuvue. Unfortunately, only Dwight, Joe and Shay could attend. But it was incredible meeting them all! After that was done, all of us (except Anthony and Olivia) got back on the mini bus and drove to the TCA site again. We were dropped off where all the celebrities were and it was the craziest site ever; I have never seen so many paparazzi in my life. We stood by the gate where everyone was dropped and saw about every single celeb that attended. I met Ed Sheeran and other artist and it was insane how close everyone was to us. Even One Direction casually walked inches away to get around us. But we went in, watched the show, got out and went to an after party consisting of free arcade games, bowling, and endless chicken strips and pizza! One of the best days by far. 

In 10 years you will be... Hopefully I’ll be in a successful band, whether it’s a new band, already existing one, or be a backup musician for a solo artist.

Besides music, what do you like to do in your spare time? I love drawing! I used to do it high school a lot, but since I’ve been in college, I don’t have as much free time as I used to. I’m also really into making bracelets. I can make them out of string and rubber bands so if you ever want one, Hit me up! 

What's your favorite quote and why? 
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” I really like this quote because I think so many people just act upon something, fail, and then give up. You’re going to be told “no” a lot in order to get where you want to be. I have, yet that doesn’t stop me. Even though I had this amazing experience happen to me, there’s a little voice in my head that likes to get at me and make me think that I’m not going to end up getting far with music, but I try to shove it aside. Don’t give in to the voices. Listen to your heart, not your head. 

Do you write your own music? If so are we going to hear it soon on your YouTube channel? If not, what's your favorite cover that you've done and why? 

I’ve been trying to write some original stuff lately. I actually do have an original song on my channel, but it’s a very rough version and has been touched up a bit over time since I posted it. I may end up deleting in the future and reposting the version I have now. I’m also working on another one now, but I can’t think of how to make it flow. I have lyrics, just not the music. So I’m working on that currently. I think my favorite cover would actually have to be “Not Gonna Die” by Skillet. I don’t sing, but I’m playing electric guitar and that’s originally what I started out on. I haven’t played one for a few years so it was fun going back to it and playing some rock!

*All photos belong to Jessie Hotchkiss and Acuvue.


Project Of The Day: Collage Flower Vases!!!

8:14 PM

Materials You Will Need
*Magazines With Lots Of Cool Pictures
*FUZE bottles (Or Some Kind Of Other Similar Bottle)
*Hot Glue Gun
*Mod Podge (Optional)

How You Make The Vases
1. Cut out pictures from magazines that you like with your scissors. This can be very time consuming, so I suggest doing it another day in advance. If you want to do what I did above, then cut out only beauty/makeup products and other cool words/quotes/names of companies you like!!!

2. Hot glue the pictures to your bottle.
3. If you want to put water directly in your bottle, then I suggest putting something like Mod Podge over all the pictures. If you don't decide to do that, then I suggest doing what I did, which was to put the flowers in a little water tube (you can buy those online or ask for one at your local flower shop). After this step, you are already done!!! It's a really fun and easy craft to make :D Personally, I think it looks better if you put on a couple of layers with the pictures.

Let me know in the comments if you want me to do more "Project Of The Day" articles in the future!!! Thanks!!! ~Tina xoxo

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