10 Quarantine Tips

So much is going on in the world. More states are starting to have a forced quarantine, while others are just coming out of quarantine. Over the past few months, I have learned a lot and want to help those who are struggling being in the house for such an extended period of time.

I am quite familiar with staying in the house for prolonged periods of time, because while I was recovering from my concussion, I spent most of 5 years in my house (because noise and light triggered my painful migraines). Yes, you read that right: 5 years. Let’s hope that this quarantine doesn’t last that long.

Here are some tips and suggestions that I have for making quarantine as comfortable as possible. As usual, wear a mask and stay at home, as much as possible. But, here are some things that I do, so I can stay productive and happy, while also staying safe and healthy in the house!

1. Go outside (safely & wear a mask).

At the start of quarantine, I spent a lot of my time indoors on my computer, and not in the sun and feeling the wind in my hair. Quickly, I started to see the negative effects of this. Not going outside, coupled with not seeing my friends and family, made me feel horrible and empty.

I noticed this feeling, and started doing my work outside in my yard, instead of inside the dark house. Within the first day of doing this, I felt a lot better about my day, and I also felt less isolated. I highly recommend spending more time outside, if you feel like your house’s walls are closing in. It may sound like a simple tip, but this one decision has greatly improved my happiness, while stuck at home.

2. Read a book.

So many people have probably recommended you to read a book, and you probably just shook your head and walked away. I know that you might not normally read, but now you have some extra time, and disappearing into a story for a little while might make you feel like you just went on an adventure with a character.

Reading is something that some people love and others hate, but I think it is worth giving it a try during quarantine because you might find that at this specific time, reading about a character’s funny life, might bring you immense joy and comfort. I have been reading the Harry Potter books, and recently reread The Great Gatsby, which I hated in high school, but I love now. Let me know your book recommendations! DM them to my on Instagram!

3. Find a new hobby.

Instead of sitting in your house worrying about the news 24/7, and trying to predict the unpredictable future, you could spend some of your time honing your skills on a new hobby.

A hobby can be anything from sowing, to growing your own garden, or drawing cartoons. Find something that makes you smile and gets you excited every day. It may take some time to find a hobby that you thoroughly enjoy, but once you find something you love, you will be glad that you went through the dud hobbies to get to the great one! Plus, it will likely have a largely positive effect on your well-being.

4. Watch the clouds.

This might sound extremely stupid, but I have found such comfort in laying outside and looking up at the clouds. Sometimes it can be too bright to look up at the clouds, but right around sunset is my favorite time to cloud-watch.

The colors in the sky are gorgeous and the clouds make an excellent natural television. This is a perfect time to relax and meditate, think about the things that you are grateful for, or just think about the simple beauty of the clouds. It is a time to slow down and just watch.

Photo by Billy Huynh on Unsplash

5. Make your chores into a game.

When I was a child, I would make cleaning my room fun by playing basketball with my toys and my toy box. Now, you may not have toys or a playroom, but I think during this time, it is especially fun and helpful to make ordinary tasks, extraordinary.

Make a fun game out of watering your garden, washing your clothes, or washing the dishes. Create a mini golf course in your backyard while mowing the grass! Be create and embrace your imagination! Find the fun in the simple things. It is very possible to make cleaning the house fun if you try hard enough and have an open mind.

6. Water Balloons.

Water and being outside: what a great combo? Create a made-at-home slip and slide, or buy one online! Fill up water balloons and toss them at your fence to get your anger out. Throw a balloon up in the air and try to catch it before it smashes and splashes you with water! Spend time in a pool, if you are lucky enough to have one.

Have a great summer, even if you can’t head to the beach or waterpark. You can still have fun at home!

7. Foster an animal or take your dog for a walk.

At the start of quarantine, many people had the great idea of fostering animals from shelters. I think that this is brilliant because humans are gaining important company and the animals are benefiting as well. Obviously, only foster if you are able to properly take care and feed the animal, and if you are responsible enough to be reliable.

If you already have a dog, take your dog on a walk around your yard, or wear a mask if you are walking your dog in public. Stay far away from other dog-walkers and bring water for your dog in case they need a drink. Stay hydrated and in the shade on a hot-summer day. Also, make sure that your dog’s paws are not hurting from the hot concrete beneath their feet, before embarking on a very long walk.

8. Start a blog/youtube/instagram for your hobby.

This is very helpful when you are looking for something to put your time into that provides fulfillment to your life. If you love something so much, why not write/talk/photograph it? Share your passion with others and meet other people who share the same hobby as you!

The important part is to make sure that you are having fun. If something feels like a job, or like something that you have to do, the process can be less fun. I think that it is important to focus on what makes you happy, and make sure that what you are doing aligns with your values.

9. Learn a new subject.

Delve into astronomy or learn a new language! This is a time to explore facts and ideas that you have always wanted to research or learn about. Knowledge is so helpful and valuable, so spending your time learning is something that you will likely appreciate in the future.

Find a topic that genuinely interests you, and makes you want to search the Internet for hours searching for answers. For me, this is movie facts and learning about the planets. I love watching the Science Channel and discovering new films and directors. Let me know what new facts you have learned during quarantine! I am interested to hear what you have been learning about. Use your time wisely!

10. Talk to people on the phone.

Spend some time each day calling people that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Reach out to the people that you have been meaning to call, but have not had the chance because of work and your busy social schedule. Reconnect with a family member that had called you three months ago, and you forgot to call back. Call a friend from high school that you heard just got married!

Just because you cannot see someone in person, doesn’t mean you can’t call them, text them or FaceTime them! Technology is at our fingertips (literally), so let’s use it to our advantage during this very hard time. A friend is just a phone call away. 🙂

Thank you for reading! I hope that my thoughts helped you in some way. I also hope that I led you to think of ideas that can make your quarantine more enjoyable for you and your family.

If you want another post like this, let me know and I will be happy to write one. I know that I usually post about movies, but I think that this post was something that I had to write. I want to be as helpful as possible, especially in this scary time.

It is important to keep your mind happy and healthy while staying safe in your house, and I wish you strength in this situation.


Throwback Movies: Part 2

As a continuation of last week’s post, today we are going to get into more of my favorite childhood films. Some of these movies are older than others, but I have watched all of them many, many times. Each of these films makes me laugh and smile; some are cartoons, some are scary, and some are just plain cute. Let’s get started!

6. Johnny Tsunami (1999)

If you are a 90’s kid and grew up on Disney Channel, you probably remember this film. If not, you will probably have no idea who Johnny Tsunami is. I was reminded of this classic while I was watching Disney Plus recently. I love the ocean and I love the outdoors, so this film and its sequel gave me a sense of adventure that I deeply wanted as a kid. Johnny surfs, snowboards, skateboards, so needless to say, he is a pretty cool dude.

If you are a fan of other childhood Disney films, stay tuned because I am working on a post of my favorite Disney movies. But, that post is taking a little longer to write than usual, because it is so hard to choose my favorites! There are so many great films by Disney that were a huge part of my childhood.

from Disney Channel on YouTube

7. Cinderella 2 (2002)

I watched this film over and over again as my family drove from New Jersey to Florida. It was my favorite movie as a small child and watching it today brings me immense joy. All of a sudden, memories come jolting back into my mind and I want to be a kid again with a huge imagination and no worries in sight.

The movie includes talking animals, conflicting characters and humorous scenarios. I think I was most attracted to this film because it centers around a kind girl and her many animal friends. I also like the color blue and that is the color of Cinderella’s dress. It’s a cute film that can easily bring a smile to your face.

from YouTube Movies on YouTube

8. Even Stevens Movie (2003)

Let me warn you that this movie is not for everyone. If you did not watch this movie as a child, you may not want to watch it now. The movie is very childish, predictable, weird and “cheesy.” There is not much special about it, besides the fact that it still reminds me of my childhood and staying up late on school nights to watch Disney movies.

This film is fun for a child, but watching it as an adult, you might be disappointed. But, this film stars Shia LaBeouf, so you may just want to check it out so you can see him act when he was younger and on Disney Channel. Overall, as a kid, I thought this was a good film, but watching it now, it is definitely crazy and weird, but it has fond memories attached to it, so I still watch it.

from YouTube Movies on YouTube

9. Harry Potter (2001-2011)

I think most people have seen, or at least heard of the Harry Potter films. I grew up reading the books and then watching the movies in the theatre as soon as they came out. As I grew up, I began to see the depth of each character and started to love the story even more.

When I was younger, some of the movies scared me, but they intrigued me and kept me watching. I always found the dementors to be very creepy and cold. But, that didn’t stop me from having Harry Potter themed birthday parties and my very own wand. I even visited the Hogwarts castle in Florida and bought as many souvenirs as possible. I also tasted Butterbeer! (It was full of sugar and delicious.)

Clearly, I am a Harry Potter fan. I love the progression of all of the characters throughout the films. Recently been watching some deleted scenes. Specifically, I found a scene from the last film of the series that shows Malfoy completing his character arc, but unfortunately, it did not make it to the final cut of the film.

If you love these movies as much as I do, I recommend looking up some deleted scenes. But, if you have not watched the films yet, don’t watch the deleted scenes because they usually reveal important information that could spoil the story for you. Also, if you want background information, you can read the books to learn even more about the story. (But I am sure you have already heard of the books because they are bestsellers!)

from MovieClips on YouTube

10. Captain America: The Winter Solider (2014)

Marvel films are a phenomenon and the premieres of each of the films are highly anticipated. Although, I enjoy many of the Marvel films now, and admire the many converging story lines, I was not always a Marvel fan.

This Captain America movie is the first Marvel film that I watched and I HATED it when I first watched it. I watched this film while I was in high school, which seems like so long ago. When I watched it, I did not fully understand what was going on in the plot and I thought that there was too much action and not enough story. I also did not see what was so special about this movie. However, I did not have any context for the characters. I did not know who Bucky was in relation to Cap and all of the characters were new to me. However, after watching more Marvel films and learning the context and back stories of each of the characters, I have more appreciation for this film.

I wanted to mention this movie in this post to emphasize how our opinions on movies can change as we grow and learn. A movie that you love now, you may not like in the future. Also, maybe you cannot relate closely to a movie today, but as you get older, you may begin to love the movie.

from Marvel Entertainment on YouTube

Thank you for reading! Let me know on Instagram what your favorite throwback movie is: What movie did you watch over and over as a kid? What movie defined your childhood years? I want to know so I can watch it, too.

Did you watch Cartoon Network more than Disney Channel? Who remembers the show called Total Drama Island? That was one of my favorites. People always talked about it in school and we even made up our own game based off of the T.V. show. I will be writing another post about my favorite childhood T.V. shows, so stay tuned!


P.S. I hope you are healthy and doing ok during this unpredictable time. And I hope you are wearing a mask whenever you can. 🙂

Throwback Movies: Part 1

I find comfort in watching films and tv shows that remind me of a specific time in my life. If I want to feel all warm and fuzzy, I watch a show I watched when I was younger. If want to remember a memory, I watch a movie that I loved during that time period.

Here are some of my favorite throwback movies that make me feel so happy on the inside. These movies may not be the best technical and cinematic films, but I think that is the point I am trying to make.

Sometimes you just want to put on a funny, surface-level movie, so you can laugh and forget about that rude guy at the grocery store. Let’s begin with part 1! (The second part will be coming out in the following weeks.) Oh, and feel free to giggle at my movie choices, I was not always a film buff.

1. Air Bud (1997)

This is a classic film that I used to watch on the weekends. I think I loved it so much because it is about a dog who plays basketball! How cool is that? I love dogs AND basketball AND pudding. If you have seen this film, you know what I mean by that joke.

Anyway, this film is perfect for children, it has some sad parts, but the overall meaning of the film is great.

from YouTube Movies

2. Sound of Music (1965)

I watched this film at my grandparents’ house at least once a summer. I remember it being so hot outside, while I sat inside with my grandmother and brother to watch this film. I typically do not like musicals, but I love this story. Maybe it is because I have so many memories attached to it, or maybe it is because the characters are so likable.

Also, the story is engaging, and although it is a very long movie, I have no problem watching it all in one sitting. It’s a classic!

from Fox Family Entertainment

3. High School Musical (2006)

THIS MOVIE! I was the key demographic when it came out. I remember rewatching it whenever it was on T.V. I knew the dances, the words to all of the songs and I knew that Troy Bolton was extremely cute. Even to this day, I know this film made a huge impact on my life, and I think a lot of people can relate to that statement.

If you have not watched it, I think you should take some time and watch it (even if you think you might be too old for it). It’s pretty great and it is attached to a lot of my great memories from elementary school. Also, don’t forget about High School Musical 2 and 3.

from DisneyMusicVevo

4. Halloween Town (1998)

Another Disney Channel Original Movie! Can you tell I am a 90’s Disney kid?

The shows on Disney today make me cringe and make me feel bad for the kids growing up now. They do not have the great Disney shows that I had whilst I was growing up, that shaped who I was. (I will get into some of my favorite old school Disney shows in an upcoming post.)

This movie is still on the Disney Channel around Halloween and I watch it every year. It is a bit childish, but I still watch it nonetheless.

from Disney Channel

5. Billboard Dad (1998)

The fashion in this movie just screams the 90’s. It takes me back to a different time when I had no worries and I was ignorant to the troubles in the world. This film is fun, cool and exciting, at least it was for me when I was a kid.

The Olsen twins were on a roll when they were younger, they were a part of an incredible selection of work. I also liked their movie, To Grandmother’s House We Go (1992). Their films were staples for my weekends and sleepovers.

Well, those are some of the films that make me happy. I am going to do another post like this one, but I am going to discuss some of the T.V. shows from my childhood.

If you don’t want to miss that post, make sure to sign up with your email to receive a notification whenever I post!

Thanks for reading,


P.S. I am listening to High School Musical songs while I am writing this.

10 Movies That Make You Think

Some movies stay in your mind long after you finish watching them. The acting is realistic and the story leaves an imprint on your life. The characters are relatable, or teach you lessons you can use in your daily life. Here are some movies that had that effect on me. I hope you take the time to watch some of them and talk about them with your friends!

1. Green Book (2018)

A driver (Viggo Mortensen) and a pianist (Mahershala Ali) go on tour through the American South. Together, they experience so much. During the journey, they learn more about one another and the stereotypes that they stray from. Brilliant acting and story-telling!

from Universal Pictures on YouTube

2. Imitation Game (2014)

While trying to figure out the Enigma code during the war with Germany, Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) encounters many challenges, most of which have drastic consequences for his future. The ending is both invigorating and saddening. Hard work, discipline and struggle is shown throughout this film.

from MovieClips Trailers on YouTube

3. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

Gilbert (Johnny Depp) has a lot of responsibilities for a young man. He takes care of his younger brother, Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio), and his mother (Darlene Cates). He struggles to balance everything in his life, but things change drastically when Becky gets stuck in his small town.

from YouTube Movies on YouTube

4. Interstellar (2014)

Set in the future, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and his family have to make huge sacrifices in order to save humanity as a whole. Will their sacrifice be for nothing? Or, will it all be worth it because the his mission will be a success?

from MovieClips Trailers on YouTube

5. Good Will Hunting (1997)

Will Hunting (Matt Damon) has a unique life: he is a genius, but works as a janitor. But when he gets caught up in trouble, he has to make a tough decision that could effect the rest of his life. A very heart-felt movie that is told with humor and care.

from MovieClips Trailers on YouTube

6. Harry Potter (2001-2011)

Although all of the Harry Potter films are set in a fantasy world, their core is realistic and relatable. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) has had a hard life, but when he meets new friends, Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) at Hogwarts, his life changes forever. His teachers and mentors like Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), Snape (Alan Rickman) and Albus Dumbledore (Richard Harris) also profoundly impact his life.

from Warner Bros. Pictures on YouTube

7. The Accountant (2016)

Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is brilliant at math and works as an Accountant. Although his job seems normal at first, his life is far from ordinary. His hard past led him to where he is today, both the good and the bad.

from AMC Theatres on YouTube

8. Gifted (2017)

Mary (Mckenna Grace) is wickedly smart. Frank (Chris Evans), her uncle, becomes her primary caretaker and the situation quickly spirals out of their control. Through it all, their familial bond waves, but then strengthens again. It is so beautiful to watch because the acting is so precious. This movie truly expresses the power of family.

from Zero Media on YouTube

9. Dirty Dancing (1987)

Although this film is the oldest on this list, do not pass it up! It is a must-watch! When Baby (Jennifer Grey) first sees Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) from afar, she is intrigued by him. But their relationship is anything but predictable. They have ups and downs and face their differences. Hopefully soon they realize how much they actually have in common.

from YouTube Movies on YouTube

10. Shutter Island (2010)

This movie is a mind game. Just when you think you have everything figured out, you get thrown on your back and have to rethink everything you just watched. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner (Mark Ruffalo) are on the cusp of figuring out a mystery when the island starts to deceive them, or so they think.

from MovieClips Classic Trailers on YouTube

BONUS: Titanic (1997)

Well known for it’s romance and adventure, this film is so much more. A tale of dreams, conflicting classes and true friendship. Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) has a much different life than Rose (Kate Winslet), yet somehow they are perfect for each other. This movie exemplifies how much one decision, one encounter, can change your life.

from MovieClips Trailers on YouTube

I hope you enjoyed reading about some movies that left an impact on me. Maybe you will feel the need to watch some of these films and see what they have to offer. If you watch any of these films, let me know what you thought of them in the comments, or message me on Instagram! Some movies have drastically changed my life and I hope you find movies that do the same for you.

As always, thank you for reading! Scroll down and subscribe so you never miss a blog post 🙂

Arianna xx

For Gifs and Giggles – School Edition

With so much going on right now, it can be so easy to get overwhelmed with the overflow of knowledge, news stories and the changing reality of everyday. I wanted to take this week to relax, write and watch some films to celebrate being a sophomore at college. (I completed my freshman credits over the course of two years.) After my head injury, I never thought that I would be able to go to college, but even though I took my courses online and took longer to complete my classes than most, I still did it!

I want to use this week’s posts to celebrate our little victories! I think balance is important for a healthy and happy mind. I invite you to think of the positives in your life: from the sun outside, to the warm shower in your house. This is a time to be grateful for what we have, continue to learn and educate ourselves and others, and keep pushing forward, even when there is so much that is still unknown.

Now, let’s get into the gifs! All of these gifs are from giphy.com. I came up with the captions above the gifs. (I was clearly inspired by my schoolwork, professors and hours spent studying and learning!) Enjoy!

1. When your professor gives you an F on an essay you spent 2 weeks working on.

2. When you’re supposed to be doing homework.

3. When you have a group project.

4. Did someone say ‘extra credit’?

5. Lunch break!

6. When your teacher surprises you with a new assignment that is due tomorrow.

7. When you have a term paper due tomorrow and you didn’t even start it yet.

8. When the teacher says, “Choose your partner.”

9. After studying for 10 hours straight.

10. When you finish your last assignment!

I hope this made you laugh. I included some of my favorite shows/movies: Hey Arnold (1996-2004), SNL (1975-), High School Musical (2006) and more. I know that many of you are not in school anymore, but I think most people can relate to these feelings. I also think that many of these gifs are relatable to work.

Thank you for being here. I hope the coming weeks are positive and bring good change. As always, I hope you and your family are happy and healthy.

Arianna xx

P.S. Which was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

Outer Banks Season 1 Review

Outer Banks. This show has been all over my Instagram, so I did what felt natural– I decided that I would not watch it. I tend to not like shows or movies that are generally popular. I usually find these shows stereotypical and not unique.

But, I started watching this show by accident. How, you ask? Well, I had Netflix on my T.V. and it just started playing. Like magic. The show played in the background while I did homework and I started to get interested in it. At first, the characters annoyed me because they seemed like typical teenagers that I would avoid if I saw them at the beach, but the story started to get better as it continued. There was more depth than I first realized, no pun intended.

from Netflix on YouTube

So, what makes it so special?

Simply put: the characters, treasure hunt, atmosphere and the world it creates, the plot, love story, conflict and lots more. Let’s dive right in (pun intended).

Let’s Talk:

The characters are all unique and change throughout the season. At first, none of the characters were very likable, but as I started to understand why they act as they do, I became a little more forgiving. The characters’ backstories are what drew me into the show and made me want to keep watching. While some people are head-over-heels in love with the actors, I am most attracted to the ocean and the idea of living so close to it. But, that’s just me.

Next, let’s discuss the acting. It’s great. The characters and their actions are so believable because the actors are so good and make the story enjoyable to watch. There have been countless shows I have watched that did not work because the actors were not the best, even when the plot of the show was solid. However, this show is great BECAUSE of the acting. And plot. And writing. But the actors played a huge part in the show’s overall storytelling success.

And who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt? It’s easy to live simultaneously through the characters while sitting at home on the couch in the dark eating oreos by the handful. I can relate to that. (insert a pic of me macking on oreos here)

My favorite part about this show is how the setting becomes a character in the story. The lifestyle of the Pogues, the plot that ensues and the conflicts that naturally appear, make this season easy to watch in one day. At least, that’s what I did– that’s dedication. The love story also adds a nice touch for those who like that kind of thing. Sometimes the relationship seems overdone and too “perfect,” but I can deal with that. Overall, the relationship between Sarah and John B is sweet, but sometimes it’s a bit too unrealistic.

from Netflix on YouTube

What to think about:

While watching this show, I thought about ways in which I could relate to it. To my surprise, I could not relate to much (besides the fact that I share the same love for the ocean that the characters do).

All of the characters are part of their own clique and have friends that are more like family. I can’t relate to this, but maybe that is why I liked this show so much. I always wanted to have friends that I could rely on when everything went wrong, but I have never had that. This show reminded me how important and valuable it is to have a strong support system in your life. It made me feel thankful for the friends and family that I do have.

Watch Outer Banks:

Want to watch teens go on a treasure hunt, just barely escape looters, hide from the police and try to escape an island during a tropical storm? Then you are in the right place.

This show premiered on Netflix this April 2020. You can read more about the show on IMDb or just search “OBX” on Instagram and I think you will come across an abundance of information. Check out the show’s official Instagram here.

Outer Banks Season 1: 7.2/10

Rating: 7 out of 10.

I hope that this show has a Season 2. I mean, ending with such a cliff-hanger, Netflix needs to make a Season 2. Please. Although this show is not as intricately detailed as Mr. Robot (2015-2019), or as comedically genius as Barry (2018-), it’s good in its own respect. I especially loved it because I have not been able to go to the beach in a while because of the world right now, so I had a fun time living through the characters.

I enjoyed the writing and how the writers made the characters have more depth than most T.V. show characters. The episodes were fun to watch: an enjoyable experience to say the least. Sad sometimes, but lifted by the bond of strong friendships and the yearning for adventure.

Sentence Summary:

When OBX locals get involved in something that quickly spirals out of their control, their commitment to their friends is tested over and over again.

Thanks for reading. Let me know on my Instagram what film or T.V. show I should talk about next!

Arianna xx

Woogity woogity woogity!

P.S. This has absolutely nothing to do with this review, but why does this video make me laugh so much? I just had to leave this here. Enjoy. Or don’t. Or laugh a lot. Maybe.

from John Mayer on YouTube

Why I Love Movies

With so much going on in the world, I was not going to post today. But then I thought that is exactly why I should post. I am not going to reiterate the news because I think that we all know what is going on, I just want to talk about the power of movies and why I love them so much. They have had such a profound impact on my life and I want to take a moment to appreciate them.

With so much negatively weighing us down, I think movies are a way to reflect and get away, just for a moment, so we can try our best to continue thinking clearly, even in such an unpredictable time. Movies have taught me so much and made me who I am today. They have the power for positive change, especially right now.

1. New Perspectives

When you watch a movie, you are often presented with a new point-of-view, or a new way of life, that you may have never thought about before. Whether you watch a film like Harry Potter, the Avengers, Rocketman, the Quiet Place or Dirty Dancing, you are learning about another person’s life and how and why they make the decisions they do.

Similar to reading a book, movies open our eyes to thoughts that we may have never thought were possible. I have been spending more time reading and watching new films, and I am learning so much. Whether I watch a comedy film, like Ghostbusters or Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, in the end, I spend time thinking about the characters from the movie and what I liked, or did not like about them. Then, I take what I learned and apply it to my own life. First, don’t go looking for ghosts and second, do not crash weddings in Hawaii.

2. Emotions

A lot of the people that I am close to rarely talk about their emotions. I, on the other hand, talk about my emotions freely and it seems to make people uncomfortable. When I watch a movie, I can almost guarantee that I will cry. But I was not always like this. I used to keep all my thoughts to myself. This changed when I started to watch more films and realized the value of wearing your emotions on your sleeve. How can people know what you are thinking if you don’t tell them? (Kindly, of course.) I learned through movie characters who have conflicting wants and needs, how important is is to talk about things, even when they are hard to talk about.

I think movies have the ability to get people more connected to their emotions, so they can open up more to the people that are closest to them. Emotions are beautiful– the bad, the good, the horrendous, but having people to talk to can make the hard times a little more bearable. Movies reminded me the importance of that.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

3. Lessons

It can be hard to evaluate our own lives and see the mistakes that we keep making over and over again. But, when you watch a movie, it can be easier to look at a situation from the outside. I have learned a lot from characters: how to evolve, be more accepting, more confident and kind. How to be determined, have courage and not let unsettling words hold me back. Films allow us to see a glimpse of ourselves in characters, stories, relationships and conflicts, as long as we are open to the experience. We could all have a different reaction to the same film because we relate to the film in different ways.

For instance, I love the Harry Potter films, but I know quite a few people who are not fans. I have liked the character of Harry Potter since I was a kid. It was probably partly because he had glasses and so did I. It was also probably because he was nice and got bullied because so did I. I could relate to the character and I learned a lot from watching him. I learned to stand up for myself, like Harry did to Malfoy, but not to be mean. I learned to push for what is right and be ok with what might look like a failure, because it could end up being a win in the end.

Films are good teachers. Even the worst films often have lessons built into them, like, it’s ok to fail because at least you gave it a try. Trying something and failing is better than not trying at all, especially when you learn from the experience.

Photo by Rob Wingate on Unsplash

4. Not Alone

This is the most important reason why I like movies and why I like to tell stories. I was going through a hard time that caused me to feel desperately alone. I had a head injury and no one understood what I was going through, not even the handful of doctors I went to weekly. No one could tell me if I would ever get better, or how long my recovery would take. I spent years just laying down on a couch in so much pain, no friends, I could barely walk or talk, and my thoughts ran wild in my mind 25/8.

Once I slowly got better, I was able to watch movies again. But now, watching a movie was a much different experience. I felt movies. I felt them, I did not just watch them. When I saw a character cry, I felt their sadness because I felt it in my life, too. When a character was betrayed, I cried from their pain because I felt it, too. Watching films made me feel less alone in my struggle. I related, even when characters were magical or had super powers, their emotions were realistic and I felt understood for the first time in so long.

That is the power of movies.

I love films. They are great. But there are definitely things that can be done to make the movie industry a more welcoming place.

When I was younger I rarely, if ever, saw films that had people that looked like me in them. I was made fun of for the majority of my life for being Asian. (Even though I am also Polish and Italian, and I am just 1/4 Asian.) I was made fun of every day for my eyes, my hair, my good grades. For so long I thought that because I was Asian, I was not good enough for anyone and that no one would want me. It hurts me to type that, but it is true. I believed that to my core.

Television and movies reinforced that mindset because I rarely saw people that looked like me on screen. I hope this generation of cinema can change that and make it so incredibly normal to see a wide variety of people on that big screen. That is what I will be doing for my future films, I will have a diverse cast.

I have hope. I think we can do it, but it needs to be a conscious choice because without that, I fear the next generation of kids will have to deal with the same thing that I had to deal with. I did not have someone that looked like me that I could look up to. I did not have someone to tell me that being and looking different was beautiful, too.

I know we can do better and we will.


I hope you are doing ok.

I am sending you happiness.

I am sending you hope and a smile, even if only for a few seconds.

I know we can do better and we will.

I hope this post helped you in some way.

I will continue educating myself as much as possible.

My Film Timeline

Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

If you go and look up your favorite director, you will likely find that they started by making low-budget short films. Today, I compiled the short films I have created over the span of a few years. Note that I made all of these films with no crew: just me, a camera, an idea or a script. I edited, I directed and most importantly I learned.

In film, like many other aspects of life, you learn by doing, and that is precisely what I did. It took so much courage in me to start making films. I was so afraid that I would create something horrible. But, over time, I learned firsthand that you learn by doing, not by thinking about doing it.

Cheers to dreams and doing what we can to make them happen.

1. My first short film.

I created this film for a contest. I remember finding out about the contest and using it as a reason to finally make a film, instead of just reading about filmmaking. So I actually DID IT. For this contest, the short film had to be filmed on a phone and had to completed in a week.

I chose the category of a documentary and made the film focus on my grandfather and his daily life. I followed him around and filmed some of his daily events.

2. My second short film.

I created this short film for a contest to be able to work with Disney. Find a pattern here? In the beginning, having a set due date helped me get working and come up with a plan. That being said, this film was a huge undertaking. I had so much footage and the only thing I could edit on was an old iPad. On top of that, that said iPad kept crashing and I had to keep re-editing over and over again.

When you watch this, you may not think that it is much, but the meaning it holds is strong for me. I also spent 100 + hours editing it. YES, you read that right. My iPad kept crashing, as I said, and I just kept powering through. This film made me realize how much I love film and how determined I am to tell stories.

3. An experimental film.

This film was highly inspired by the films I was watching in my World Cinema class, specifically by Italian Neorealism. When you watch it, look for notes of Fellini, Bergman, De Sica, etc.

I based this film on a poem I wrote. Looking back now, I probably should have made a voiceover to go along with the film. But this was largely experimental, so I am ok with how it turned out. I just wanted to try something new and be creative.

4. YouTube videos.

Then I took a short break from making short films and started to work on YouTube videos. I was posting twice a week and sometimes more. I filmed some reactions to movie trailers, movie reviews, recreated scenes from my favorite films and made some kind-of “comedic” shorts. Here is one of them.

If you have seen the movie, The Room (2003) by Tommy Wiseau, you may appreciate this video. But if you have not seen that movie, you will just think I am crazy and weird, which is ok too.

5. More YouTube videos.

I continued making some YouTube videos to express myself. I had been watching a lot of SNL, specifically Stefon clips, and I was urged by my inner self to create this film. I won’t give this any context except with the fact that John Mulaney has some comedy specials. In one of his specials, he says how people thought he was an Asian American woman. Now you are free to watch the video.

Enjoy it, or just be alarmed at my weirdness.

6. Inspired by a dream.

I have some really crazy dreams. I know a lot of people say that, but believe me, they are pretty unique. This film was based on an idea that I thought about and then had a dream about. This concoction of ideas led me to create this. Again, I have a lot to learn about directing and such, but I am limited to a crew of 1 (me), so this is what I ended up creating.

I love the writing process and acting the most, but filming, directing and editing all by myself can add up to be quite a trek, especially for a newbie like me.

7. Inspired by a movie and a poem.

I write almost everyday. I write poems, short stories, screenplays, anything to get my ideas on paper and projected from my head. This was a poem I wrote that was inspired by the movie First Man (2018). That film is about Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) and his journey to the moon. I was proud of the poem and wanted to create something to honor Neil. This is what I came up with.

8. Motivated by quarantine to tell a story.

Being stuck at home left me feeling some kind of way, so I went to get my camera and just started filming around my yard. I edited the clips together and got my microphone ready. I recorded the first words that came to my head. I did not plan anything, I just said what was on my mind. Here is a raw piece from my thoughts.

P.S. I am genuinely a very happy person, regardless how I sound in this short film. 🙂

9. Inspired by quarantine feelings. (hey, that should be a title of a song)

Another short, brought to me by my feelings during quarantine. Imagine if I was quarantined with a film crew and a director, I would be creating so many films right now. But I fit all of the above job descriptions, so I have some limitations.

Wow, my creativity is just flowing, man. Creating is how I live, it’s how I deal with feelings of unease and stress. I was just inspired to create this film and I tried to make this one a little more comedic than the last. If you love Hannah Montana, you will love this film. (insert winky face here)

10. Let’s get to know each other!

I am always looking to meet new people who are also interested in film. None of my friends enjoy film like I do. I have met numerous people at film festivals, but many of them reside in L.A., so it is hard to collaborate and stay in contact.

Whether you are a seasoned director and are interested in being a mentor to me, or if you are also an aspiring director, writer and actor, I would truly enjoy getting to know you better.

Feel free to message me through my contact page, my email, or on my instagram!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Arianna 🙂

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