The Wild Detectives: One of My Top Favorite Places in Dallas


The Wild Detectives is probably the coolest coffee shop in Dallas. And anyone who knows me knows that I’ve evaluated about all of them.

Located in the Bishop Arts District, the Wild Detectives is not only a coffee shop, but also a bar, a music venue, and an excellent bookstore.

I wrote an article about this place for the Dallas Observer last year, interviewing my professor and friend Lauren Smart about the events they hold to empower women.Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

I went back this year to cover the Wild Detectives, this time for its 5th year anniversary for my video class. The owners and staff were wonderful and even gave me a Topo Chico. I mean, what’s not to love about this place?

My news package for SMU TV is linked below. It covers the trend of bookstore closings and how the Wild Detectives is doing a stellar job at keeping the interest of their customers.


The Daily Campus | Video Project

Hey again, I’m back with another video on that borrowed $3,000 camera I told you about in previous posts.

For our third video project in my Basic Audio and Video class, I decided to cover our school paper.

The nice thing about doing a video of my fellow journalists is that they made things so easy for me. They knew exactly what I needed when I said things like “match on action” or “checking levels,” all that. They’d all taken this class before so their patience? Amazing.

Our school paper is called the Daily Campus. It is run by a handful of students that were great to spend time with.

Screen Shot 2019-04-10 at 1.35.31 PM.png

After filming one of their meetings, I decided to try for a leadership position on their staff. So we’ll see!


When Sizing Makes You Feel Small

Isn’t it funny that the sizes printed on clothing tags to tell is if we’ll fit something don’t matter at all? We still need to take it all with a grain of salt and make that awkward walk to the dressing room carrying 5 of the same dress in our arms.

We can all be proud of the fashion industry for taking strides towards inclusivity and body positivity. We’ve normalized plus-sized models and welcomed curvy or petite options in many clothing lines.

“…there are major (ultra positive) changes happening in the world of fashion inclusivity, too. “The apparel industry is beginning to see the light—both in terms of financial benefits and the gains to the consumer,” says Alexandra Waldman, co-founder and creative director of Universal Standard, a brand with a mission to bring the same elevated shopping experience to a size 6 and a size 26. J.Crew, Madewell and Reformation are just three of the brands that have expanded their size ranges this year—and there’s more to come in 2019 from lingerie fave Lively and new denim brand ASKK NYY (founded by Rag & Bone alums Katrina Klein and Andrea Suarez), for starters.” – “The Rihanna Effect: Brands Are Getting Real About Sizing and Shades,” Well+Good Editors

For some interesting reading on body positivity, check out this article on Vox called “Body Positivity Is a Scam.”

So though we have made so many amazing steps towards acknowledging that *shocker* the world is made of wonderfully different human beings, we have a ways to go. But there is so much to talk about.

What about vanity sizing? What about stores calling someone a size 2 just because it’s what she wants to hear?

According to Time’s “One Size Fits None” article by Eliana Dockterman, so-called “insanity sizing” is becoming more and more of a problem.

The rise of so-called vanity sizing has rendered most labels meaningless. As Americans have grown physically larger, brands have shifted their metrics to make shoppers feel skinnier—so much so that a women’s size 12 in 1958 is now a size 6. Those numbers are even more confusing given that a pair of size-6 jeans can vary in the waistband by as much as 6 in., according to one estimate. They’re also discriminatory: 67% of American women wear a size 14 or above, and most stores don’t carry those numbers, however arbitrary they may be.

Dockterman also provides an interesting infographic that shows the changes of sizing over the years. For example, Twiggy was dubbed a size 8 in 1967 (the smallest size available at the time), but nowadays would be a 00. Joan Collins was a size 8 in 1983 but now would be called a size 2. Mindy Khaling is today’s size 8.

Living in the US, I’m used to considering myself small. But it’s funny shopping in Asia feeling like a giant. When I’m in the Philippines I walk into a store and reach for my typical size small, but it’s hilarious how tiny those can turn out to be. Things really are so different and I think that’s interesting. But I don’t hold an emotional attachment to the “S” on my shirt. Then again, it’s an “S.”


Video Journalism Adventures Pt. II

Click here for the first post, you know, for context.

This video project was a How-To video. Which is funny because I had no idea how to do the project. I had to move last minute and missed class the day my professor was teaching everything I needed to know for it. So you know, that’s always fun.

Anyway, after some blood, sweat and tears, I made a thing. I made the video about how to cut a mango, because apparently people not from the Philippines usually have no idea how? So I had my mom enlighten them.

Screen Shot 2019-03-24 at 11.40.59 PM.png

Red Carpet with Shawn Mendez, Calvin Harris, NF, and more

There’s no guidebook for this job.

As great as it is, it’s solely a process of trial and error. No one walks you through, “here’s what to do and what not to do on a red carpet.”

I was sent to cover the iHeart Radio Jingle Ball 2018 featuring Calvin Harris, Shawn Mendez, Bazzi, Bebe Rexha, Alessia Cara, Sabrina Carpenter, and more. I was just going to do a review of it, but I was also granted photo access to the red carpet and the show.

Click here for the article on the Dallas Observer!!

I don’t think it’s very common to try to write a review and professionally photograph a concert at the same time. Usually a writer would just go to a show just like any other audience member, take notes, and leave to write. He or she would usually just snap a photo on his or her phone to go with the article, or the Observer would hire a photographer to take care of shooting the show. When I worked the NEEDTOBREATHE show, I did both. It was hectic and involved a lot of running because I had to go return my camera and run back to the show in time to review it. I knew I couldn’t get away with that this time around, because the Jingle Ball, besides being one of the biggest concerts of the year, had 9 acts. I would not be able to shoot every act and also sit in the crowd.

I called in reinforcements.

My friend Jojo is probably the only person I know who goes to more concerts than I do. If going to concerts is a talent, it’s hers. I knew she’d be a reliable assistant.

I may or may not have skipped a class to drive to Dallas early with Jojo.

We brought a ladder, two cameras, three lenses, and a notebook to this concert.

It was madness. We were escorted down the stairs to the tunnel that wraps around the American Airlines Center where all the acts and the crew hang out, into a press room.

The press room had a mini red carpet set up and a table with gourmet popcorn and other snacks. It was great. There was just a LOT of waiting involved because apparently if you’re a pop star you can keep photographers waiting for 3 hours and it’s okay I guess.


The red carpet was supposed to start at 5, but it got pushed back so far that we ended up having to do the red carpet during the show. This meant a lot of running.

Jojo took her place in the audience to write down details for me like what songs each person sang, etc.

So the whole night, the other photographers and I were escorted to and fro from the pit up against the stage to photograph the show and the red carpet backstage.



I would take photos of people at the carpet, doing the whole “look here please,” shebang, then quickly change my camera settings when one of the PR girls yelled “NF’s set is starting!” Then I’d stand right in front of the stage, my ears being blown off from being right up against the speakers, switching back and forth between the two cameras hanging from my neck. All the while, I had to pay attention to the acts. Luckily, when I was backstage, I could see the performances from a TV they had set up in the room.

Pulling triple-duty that night was crazy. My body ached afterwards, but it was fun. I had a good time. Here’s my favorite photos and some highlights from each artist of the night!


Alessia Cara

Alessia was the chillest celebrity EVER. She rocked her set, banging out songs like “Scars to Your Beautiful” wearing baggy pants and an oversized tee. Also, I had no idea she played guitar! Super cool.

When she came up to the red carpet she had just finished performing, and was already wearing sweatpants which I was totally behind. Minimal makeup, natural hair, a scrunchy on her wrist. She stepped on the carpet and when they were telling her to smile she said “Oh, my favorite part,” sarcastically, giving awkward grins in between poses. I loved it, she was a normal girl who feels awkward getting her picture taken. Even after she stepped off the carpet she hung around to talk to people by the free popcorn and I didn’t even notice she was chilling behind me for like 5 minutes.



Sabrina Carpenter

Sabrina was a natural-born Disney starlet. She was a professional through and through, one of those people that walks into a room with star power. After a TV interview on the carpet the reporter realized she hadn’t pressed the record button, so Sabrina re-did the interview, saying, “It’s alright, I’m an actress, I can do this.”



Why Don’t We

I had never heard of this boy band before that night, but they seemed cool. They’re pretty young, but have potential. They were everything you’d expect having 5 teenage boys come to take photos. One of them held his free popcorn during pictures at the red carpet until another guy smacked it away. One of the poor PR girls had to pick up the can. The boys were super nice, though, and really goofy.



Bebe Rexha

Bebe Rexha didn’t say a word, now that I come to think of it. She was a good performer, though there was a wardrobe malfunction that you can read about in my article.




Shawn Mendez

Shawn didn’t come in for the red carpet, and we were also told that he didn’t want to be shot from the front middle of the stage. Maybe for vanity’s sake, but who knows. Two groups of photographers were held towards the ends of the stage. I am not the biggest fan of Mendez but I do have to admit, I did get pretty excited when looked my way a couple times and even smiled at my camera.




NF was so. Freaking. Hard. To photograph. His lighting was very brooding and dark. He was fun to watch, though I wish some of my favorite songs of his were played more. Coolest visuals, though!




Bazzi wasn’t my favorite performer, but the photos I took of him were probably my favorite. He was also super chill on the red carpet. We honestly didn’t even see him standing there for a second.



Calvin Harris

I really couldn’t him. They put us in the sound booth to photograph Harris’ set because it was mostly about the light show, but I honestly didn’t even know if Harris was on stage. I saw him backstage before his set meeting fans while I was on my way to the bathroom, but I could barely make him out in his DJ booth when he was performing.


Getting Paid to Go to a 5 SOS Concert (an update on my latest writing adventures)

My Dallas Observer editor gave me two free tickets to go see 5 Seconds of Summer at the House of Blues Thursday. Isn’t that crazy? And I’m getting paid for this, too!

After a lot of going back and forth with publicists and managers, my editor was able to score tickets and let me know about 4 hours before the show that I could go. So I texted my sister. She was excited.


So within a couple hours we were lining up at the House of the Blues to see one of her favorite bands. (This conveniently doubled up as an early birthday present for her.)

Some things I learned: When your editor tells you your tickets are at “will call,” that just means you’re supposed to ask the ticket booth for your tickets.

Words I actually got to say multiple times that night: “Hi, I’m with the Dallas Observer…” and “Hi, I’m here covering the concert for the Dallas Observer…” does that sound official or what? Granted, I feel like I look like this random 16 year old pretending to be a reporter, so I felt like I had to say things like that to seem more valid. I got a wrist band for “press” and everything!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The concert was a pretty cool thing to do for “work” on a Thursday night.


I was probably the only one taking notes at a concert, so that was interesting.

My editor wanted me to get the review to her by 10am the next morning, so I stayed up until 1am to finish it so I could just sleep in until my class the next day. Got her done!



Click here for the 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER STORY

(Unfortunately… maybe it’s because I was tired or I’ve never written a concert review before, it looks like my editor made more changes than normal. So if it doesn’t sound like me at some points, that’s why!)

I also have two other new articles out, one about a local neon artist and one about a contestant on Lifetime’s new reality dating show! I watched one of the episodes and it’s actually really interesting, go check it out!


Dallas Art Museum

My childhood best friend came back into town, bringing along her boyfriend. The three of us explored Dallas a bit, making a stop at the Dallas Museum of Art.

I love them to death, but don’t even try to bring athletes to an art museum. They’re both in college with huge golf scholarships and are crazy good at what they do, but couldn’t last very long at an art museum. Meanwhile, there was me. I could’ve spent the whole day there, but it’s okay. We went and got popsicles.


0561BF9D-2BF4-4092-901C-3DBFDF63B804Here are a couple of my favorite pieces we saw in our visit. The one above impressed me with its amazing texture. F20D1924-54F5-4E63-A7C5-0E5A77FA56C0

This one was by Félix Hilaire But, called “At the Boulevard de Clichy.” It was in a small section about French sketches. I loved it because it was just pencil, watercolor, and paper, some of my most used mediums, yet it was so masterfully created. The minimalism and simplicity of the lines and the fact that it wasn’t very detailed, yet each stroke served its purpose, amazed me.



Este, Danielle and Alana Haim make up one of my new favorite artists. I’ve talked about them a lot on social media it seems, but I wanted to dedicate a post to talking about their music.

I love, love, love artists that are different! Their vocals, drum beats, and overall songwriting are so unique! For some people their music takes a while to start appreciating, but the way they build each song is super cool to me.

With all the artists out there that either a) make me wonder how they got famous in the first place, b) are not very involved in the songwriting process, c) can’t play any instruments, or d) are not involved in the instrumentals and production of their songs, Haim is the kind of artist that I respect. They not only write their own music, but play most of (if not, all), of the instruments. You can tell that these girls know their music. They build their songs usually from drum beats, and add on playing the electric guitar, bass, piano, synth, and vocals.

So where should you start getting to know these girls? Don’t worry, I gotcha. Here’s a little crash course on HAIM:

  1. Want You Back Video

I like music videos like this- ones that are super simple, yet entertain you the whole time. Here’s one of my favorite songs of theirs!

2. Watch them play!!! Valentine Studios

I love seeing them show off how crazy talented they are… like, can I please be that cool?? Make sure to catch the end though, what’s cooler than three sisters drumming together?


3. The Wire

My other favorite. This video’s got a little humor in it, which is always nice.


Enjoy, my people!

A Documentation of My Coffee Shop Obsession

I noticed that when one scrolls down an Instagram feed, there are certain themes. Things that recur and develop a narrative if you stitch up all the matching posts. The development of a relationship, a talent, or an obsession can sometimes be traced in Instagram history.

I decided to document my obsession with coffee and coffee shops by taking screenshots of my personal Instagram account (@isagram.98, wink wink…), and embellishing it with some artwork I’ve posted in my art Instagram account (@artsyrosebud, nudge nudge…) and further decorating it with some random doodles and notes. I made it in a very long format so that one could do the ever-familiar, Insta-esque, scrolling motion.

Coffe InstaStory

the code of friendship

Coding- it’s super daunting. A whole different language that lives right in your computer.

Don’t get me wrong, I still know nothing about coding. Like, absolutely nothing.

But I got introduced to something that looks a lot like coding. Does it count? Maybe not. Either way, it made me feel cool.

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 3.56.11 PM

Look at that beauty. I have no idea what any of it means. But my art Professor had us open up a .jpeg image in TextEdit, and that’s what came up. All the little bits of information that the computer uses to make up the picture. Here is the original photo:

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

These are 5 of my best friends. We like to think we’re like the TV show “Friends.” (I’m Pheobe, of course.) But that’s all probably for a different blog post.

I took this picture of them a couple weeks back and processed it through VSCO. Then I opened it up in TextEdit to see this random array of letters, numbers and symbols.

This is where the glitch comes in.

My professor taught us how to make glitch art. To mess up images to make cool irregularities.

I started deleting large sections of the code and replacing many parts with the names of my friends typed over and over. For example, here’s Tyler’s section:

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 11.29.41 AM

After a while of totally destroying sections of the code, the results were pretty cool.

the code of friendship

Whistle Magazine


My photography professor gave a final assignment. The theme? Anything I wanted. So, I made a fake magazine.

My made-up “Whistle Magazine” was basically me cutting up photos I had taken of my sister and cousin, adding little watercolor embellishments and writing song lyrics for the text. I wish I could post photos of the actual magazine layout, but they didn’t photograph too well, so I decided to just showcase the actual photo shoot.