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The Butterfly Effect

If you don’t succeed the first time, there is probably good reason.

Since my last blog post, quite a bit has happened. I moved into my senior year house, started an internship and a server job, made many new friends, and went viral on TikTok. 

For those who have kept up with my blog since last semester, you may have recalled I wrote a post titled, “Life Isn’t Fair Sometimes and That’s Okay.” This post was inspired by an undesirable outcome—the creative piece I had been working on being rejected from the TedXUNC conference. This piece was about living in the present through the lens of my 1 Second Everyday video. I was devastated upon my rejection, yet knew this wasn’t the final opportunity to share my work.

In May, I posted a random TikTok, inspired partially by my piece and partially by a trend where people would list small actions they had taken which had a significant “butterfly effect” in their life. This video went viral, reaching almost 1 million views and receiving lots of comments asking for explanations and follow ups. One of the butterfly effects I discussed in my blog was about “downloading a random app on New Year’s Day.” This app is “1 Second Everyday, ” as mentioned earlier, and serves as a virtual calendar through which a user records one second videos and then the app edits them to create a year-long movie.

After following up with details in a secondary video, employees of 1 Second Everyday found my social media and messaged me, encoring me to apply to their first ever brand ambassador program. I was elated. I have been using this app nearly everyday since 2018. My dream for years has been to work for them or create content for their advertising. On Thursday, I received the email that I had been chosen as a brand ambassador for “The Unit,” their first member-led advertising initiative.

All this to say, negative outcomes can lead to unimaginably better scenarios. While I would have loved to share my piece through TedxUNC, my redirection led me to work for my favorite company in the world. The butterfly effect is real and I can’t help but notice the irony of my video on this topic aiding me in my journey to becoming a 1SE brand ambassador. 

Thank you to everyone that reads these posts. I am excited to start writing again.

With gratitude,

Olivia 

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As seasons change, hair changes!

My hair has undergone a vast transformation over the past year. Since April 2020, I have experimented with five different colors–purple, pink, dark brown, black, and blonde. Some of it has been temporary and some has been permanent. 

In a year where I had no control, my appearance was one of the key factors I could manage. As long as i didn’t do anything too risky, my hair would recover from some experimentation. 

It all started with an Instagram ad for Overtone, a leave-in conditioner which tints your hair. I loved the purple look so much that I continued to try it out with pink. My hair was my outlet for self-expression and gave me a reason to get ready when I was home for so long. 

When summer arrived, I tried going dark brown and loved the contrast. It was that decision that influenced me to go jet black. Although I have the blonde for comparison now, the black was something I enjoyed trying during fall 2020. With masks in public, many people I knew took a while to recognize me. 

The black lasted for a while, but once again my creativity got the best of me and my wallet. Blonde was the next route. This color was by far the most tedious to curate and maintain, but it is by far my favorite. I owe it all to Sierra at Mina’s Studio. She has helped me achieve a beautiful platinum look and keeps it healthy. 

The blonde is my favorite look ever. This includes my natural color.  I feel that it matches my older personality, one which matured rapidly during lockdown. 

While I don’t plan on changing it any time soon, I am thankful for the creativity and confidence changing my hair so much has given me.

With gratitude,

Olivia 

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My Industry Inspiration

This post goes out to Annabelle Kayye, my mentor and dear friend who I admire so much.

We met when I was about to enter high school. Her sister, Olivia Kayye, has been one of my good friends since middle school. Back in the day, Olivia and I assisted Annabelle on a school advertising project and the rest is history. 

Annabelle is one of the people who sparked my interest in advertising. She has always been willing to answer questions, explain terminology, and introduce me to opportunities. This past semester, I was fortunate to see Annabelle again after a long period of separation. 

Anyone would be lucky to know Annabelle. She is driven, kind, and always willing to assist others. I have learned so much from her and am so thankful for all the opportunities she has made known to me. 

She is truly the older sister I never had. Even though we are five years apart and rarely get to see each other in-person, I know she always has my back.

Thank you, Annabelle, for all you have done to support me over all these years. I can’t wait to see where our paths cross in the future.

https://annabellekayye.com/

With gratitude, 

Olivia 

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Planning My Last NC Summer

It dawned on me yesterday that this will most likely be my last NC summer. 

Unless my plans change, I expect to be taking off to the west coast around this time next year. While I have cherished the 18 years I have spent in Chapel Hill, I believe it is time for me to have a new adventure where it all began, California. 

I am in no rush to pack my bags. My summer plans are focused on maximizing the time I have left in my home state. Here is a list of some of the activities I plan to do summer 2021:

  1. Host many picnics at Mapleview Farm 
  2. Take trips around the state to Asheville, Boone, Wilmington, etc. 
  3. Stock up on Cheerwine  
  4. Drive to Smithfields for father’s day dinner 
  5. Paddleboard in my neighborhood lake 

The list goes on but these are a few…

Until next time.

With gratitude,

Olivia 

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Thank You, Taylor

Last week, Taylor Swift re-released her album,  “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

This album holds a lot of meaning to me. Fearless was the first album my dad ever bought me and the soundtrack of my childhood. I have vivid memories of jumping up and down on my bed to “Love Story” and falling asleep to “The Best Day.”  I refer to Fearless as my comfort album and it is amazing how much power it has in my life a decade later. 

Fearless (Taylor’s Version) was the soundtrack of this past weekend, which I spent in Lake Lure. As we navigated the winding roads overlooking the water, songs of my childhood blasted through the speakers. For the first time this whole semester, I was able to take a step back and release my stress. I felt a euphoric joy I had not felt in over a year.

I associate Fearless with many youthful memories and this weekend was the cherry on top. Thank you Taylor, for bringing so much joy into my life. 

With gratitude,

Olivia 

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Growing Up on the Internet

My generation is the first raised by the internet. Not only did we grow up using it for both school and recreationally, but we also became attached to internet personalities who influenced our interests. 

From a young age, I have watched young female Youtubers share their lives with their subscribers. These vloggers would make content about their day to day lives, their style, and discuss important topics relevant to growing up. 

As I enter my senior year of college, it has dawned on me just how much these young women have influenced my life. Many of them are about to graduate college or have become recent alumni. These Youtubers have served as role models for myself and have helped me navigate my high school/college experience. 

At almost 21, I begin to realize that I no longer need them to influence my opinions or decisions. Yet, I feel like stopping watching their videos is like a friend break up. While there is no right answer, I am thankful for the ways these young women have accompanied me on my journey to adulthood. 

Here are some to watch:

  1. Danielle Carolan
  2. Brookie Miccio
  3. Margot Lee

With gratitude,

Olivia   

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Pirates Are Real: It’s Okay if You Didn’t Know That

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I didn’t know pirates were real until a week ago. My entire life, I thought pirates were made up characters for the sake of Johnny Depp and children’s books. My roommates sat me down and made me watch Captain Phillips, so luckily I learned a thing or two.

The idea of “the older you get, the less you know” is accurate. When I was younger and more naive, I was convinced that I knew everything. My pride sometimes prevented me from exploring new topics. However, I am realizing that the pride should come from being willing to learn, not from already knowing. 

So just like pirates, I am exploring uncharted territory. As I enter my senior year of college, my first goal is to commit to asking questions. My second goal is to enter the classroom with the intent of learning, not earning a grade. 

Here are some topics I have learned about this year which may spark some interest in my readers: 

  1. How to build a video game for a VR headset 
  2. The relationship between urban infrastructure and neoliberalism 
  3. Steps in the production process of a film 

Here are some topics I want to learn more about:

  1. Human design charts and bodygraphs 
  2. The impact of affordable housing on local economies 
  3. How to play a drum set

If anybody has any recommendations for resources on these topics, please let me know.

With gratitude,

Olivia

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“When the pandemic is over, I can’t wait to…”

“When the pandemic is over, I can’t wait to…”

This is a phrase many of us have said over the last year. However, with vaccinations ramping up in America, this doesn’t seem like such a distant possibility anymore.

As I will soon be entering my senior year of college (yikes), I want to capitalize on all the fun and ridiculous activities I get to do while I am still considered a young adult. 

Here is a list of some of the activities I want to do in the next year. Feel free to join me:

  1. Attend a fake wedding 
  2. Finally learn the True American game and play with my friends  
  3. Visit my best friend at the University of Michigan 
  4. Go to as many birthday parties as I can 
  5. Stay for a full UNC football game for once 
  6. Throw a tea party and everyone is required to wear ridiculous hats and gloves 
  7. Take advantage of as many free boxing classes as I can from campus rec 
  8. Foster a dog?? Maybe??
  9. Creating an at home karaoke bar 
  10. Do an accent challenge for one full day 

Let me know if you have any other ideas!

With gratitude,

Olivia

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Life Isn’t Fair Sometimes and That’s Okay

From a young age, I assumed that if I worked hard enough for something, it would result in a favorable outcome.

I was wrong.

I identify as a creative person. Both for my advertising major and my extracurriculars, I dedicate myself to my crafts. So, when I decided to enter my creative project in a competition, I was sure that it would lead to my desired result.

Over the span of a few months, I wrote multiple drafts and perfected my piece. I even went so far as to have multiple editing sessions with my English professor dad. My confidence about my work was through the roof and in my mind, there was no way it wouldn’t work out.

And….it didn’t work out. When I first received the news, I started thinking of all the things I did wrong. For some reason, my first instinct was to punish myself rather than show myself love. 

After a tear-filled call with my dad, he reminded me that sometimes life is just not fair. You can create the most perfect product and it is not what someone needs. 

The night before I received the news, I randomly decided to watch Brené Brown: The Call to Courage  on Netflix. The message of this piece could not have come at a more perfect time. 

In her documentary, Brown discusses the idea of vulnerability and courage. According to her, these two values go hand in hand. She brings up one quote which really resonated with me: 

“Vulnerability Is Not About Winning, It’s Not About Losing. It’s Having The Courage To Show Up When You Can’t Control The Outcome.” 

The older I get, the more I realize most outcomes aren’t in my control. Adulthood for me is all about learning how to cope with unexpected realities.

Brown also brings up another quote which holds a new meaning to me.

It is a quote from Theodore Roosevelt which states,  “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.”

Rather than be embarrassed over shortcomings out of my control, I am teaching myself to get comfortable with vulnerability. As long as I continue to get my hands dirty, I will never fall short. All rejection is redirection.

With that being said, I am excited to redirect my creative piece into something new. Something which I will proudly share on this blog when it is complete.

In the meantime, I am learning to not beat myself up so much when things don’t go my way. I am not backing out of the arena anytime soon.

With gratitude,

Olivia 

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The Value of Routine

I am someone who really values routines. 

Whether it is celebrating a holiday or doing the same actions every morning, I find that routine has become even more important to me during a time of uncertainty.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I found myself so thrown out of my routines that my mental health plunged. Even months into quarantine, I refused to make peace with the situation and normalize it. 

However, getting over this hump and creating new structure helped me become much happier. Routine allowed me to find normalcy in the most disruptive year of my life. 

Here are some of my favorite new routines I have formed in the last year: 

  1. Writing in a gratitude journal every night 
  2. Spending every Tuesday at Summit Coffee 
  3. Wednesday morning hangouts with my friend Hannah 
  4. Bachelor Monday’s at my apartment 
  5. Creating a new skincare routine 
  6. Seeing my co-workers on Zoom twice a week for meetings
  7. Weekend coffee dates with my dad 
  8. Nightly TV time with my roommates 
  9. Bi-weekly therapy sessions
  10. Filling up my water bottle first thing in the morning 

Although these are small tasks, they create something to look forward to on a daily and weekly basis. 

If anyone has any routines they love or want to suggest, contact me through my website!

With gratitude,

Olivia 

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An Ode to the One Direction Fashion Show

For as long as I can remember, creativity has taken a forefront in my household. 

I had the best birthday parties growing up. My parents are notorious for creating amazing gatherings, a manifestation of their innovative minds.

Our family created storylines which influenced decor, attire, food, and activities. The most memorable of my birthday’s to this day is the One Direction  fashion show.

The year that the band One Direction made it big, I became obsessed with five pre-teen boys from the UK. As any 11-year-old would do, I rearranged my entire personality around them. Naturally, they had to be incorporated into my birthday celebration.

My parents combined my love of One Direction and dress up to create my dream party. All of my friends were given one task: create the most ridiculous outfit you can and parade down our stairs (catwalk) to a One Direction song.

Not only did this party produce hilarious pictures, but it reminds me of why I love my major. I began incorporating storytelling into my life from a young age. Even if it was as small as creating a character through a costume, I learned how storytelling can bring people together and create lasting memories.

Thank you to my parents for all they did and continue to do to inspire me. Y’all are the best. 

Some honorable event mentions: My brother’s Jedi Knight training bootcamp, Seal Team 6 parkour party, and the Zoom household items scavenger hunt from the first weekend of quarantine

With gratitude,

Olivia

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Weekend in my life: getting vaccinated and other activities

This is my second try at vlogging…

I only said the word excited twice this time and added periods in some of my spoken sentences.

Thank you to everyone who let me record them. I am very thankful for the vaccine and all the people working to produce and distribute it.

Enjoy!

Some links:

Saint Patrick’s Day Desserts

 The Pattern app

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I Learned How to Read Again…

Quarantine helped me rediscover my love of reading. 

When I was younger, I used to speed read up to two books a day. Trips to the library were a constant and it certainly made my parents happy.

After spending several months at home, I forced myself to try and read one book per month. As I rediscovered this passion, the timeline quickly became one book every few days.

I wanted to recommend a few of my favorites and kindly ask for suggestions!

  1. “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle 
  2. “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman
  3. “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom
  4. “It’s All in Your Head” by Russ
  5. “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz
  6. “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown    

If you couldn’t tell, I am a very self-helpy kind of girl and would love to hear recs for these types of books.

With gratitude, 

Olivia

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Welcome to Skate Club

Over the past year, I have been trying to come up with new and creative ways to spend my time. After seeing a TikToker  go viral for roller skating, I knew this was a hobby I wanted to pursue. Roller skating has become trendy once again, with brands like Impala making skates in a variety of patterns and colors. 

This was not my first rodeo with roller skates. For my 10th birthday, I got a white pair with light up wheels–perfect for my eccentric personality at the time. Fast forward a decade and here I am, relearning the old tricks I used to practice in my driveway.

During winter break, I took the skates out for a spin on my apartment’s basketball court. Muscle memory came in clutch, since I was able to quickly make up for lost time with a surprising amount of confidence. 

Roller skating has become my favorite way to work out and bond with others. My friend Hannah and I drive at least once a week to an outdoor skating area to practice. Some of my new skills include skating backwards, on one leg, and while crouching. 

It has been fun to pick up this old hobby but even better to share it with people I care about. If you ever want to learn or practice skating with me, send a message on the contact page!

With gratitude,

Olivia

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The Brand Behind the Branding of Me: Part 2

I have always been someone that values emotionally-driven connections. As a self-proclaimed empath (yes, that is annoying of me to say and I’m sorry), I thrive off of relationships where I can understand how the person’s past and personality drives their decisions. 

Cue We’re Not Really Strangers. 

This brand is a curation of every emotional thought I have ever had. The concept of WNRS began as a card game, where players ask progressively more intimate questions to the other player(s). By the end of the game, participants are supposed to feel a deeper connection with the others and have more empathy. 

I have played this game with my roommates, friends, and other people with whom I want to expand our relationship. This game is my love language and my favorite form of bonding. 

WRNS has expanded beyond the game, creating question packs for self-reflection and healthy relationships in all forms. 

They do a great job appealing to their Gen-Z audience. Their marketing relies heavily on Youtube, Tik Tok, and their text reminder service. I personally love it, except for when a random number texts me advice I don’t want to hear out of the blue. 

In a time where technology impedes every aspect of our lives, I value this company for their dedication to “bring more meaningful connections to everyday life.” 

If I ever ask you to play it with me, it means I care about you 🙂

With gratitude,

Olivia

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ADL Creative

2020 was the year of the pivot. 

This is why I was excited when I found out my friend Ariana Luterman wanted to start a business. One afternoon in August, I saw she was searching for someone interested in working as a creative talent. I reached out and soon ADL Creative  was born.

ADL Creative helps companies expand their digital footprint, enhance their brand and connect with more potential clients. We work hand in hand with businesses to create a customized action plan including website and social media rebranding. 

As the senior creative consultant, I study the culture of our client’s companies to help them rebrand. On a typical day, I run through client’s accounts on a variety of social media platforms including Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. Ariana and I meet routinely to evaluate our client’s social media and website metrics. 

Our first client was Southwest Teepee Rental, a business specializing in customizable Southwestern-inspired furniture and accessories. We loved learning the ropes and helping expand their online presence. 

Linked is a video discussing more about ADL Creative. If you or anyone you know needs help expanding their online presence, please contact us at info@adlcreate.com

With gratitude,

Olivia

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The Brand Behind the Branding of Me

My wardrobe is a walking advertisement for Outdoor Voices.

Outdoor Voices (OV) creates workout clothing and accessories for recreational activities. Not only do I love their products, but I also love their brand messaging.

As a third-year advertising student, I find myself identifying with companies which uphold my values. In a sense, we both share the same “why.” 

On their website, they share their mission statement:

Outdoor Voices is on a mission to get the world moving. We believe freeing fitness from performance starts with having fun and generating endorphins. That’s why we create high quality products for Recreation that make you feel strong, confident, and ready for #DoingThings.

Memorable advertising is all about storytelling–making people feel emotions in correlation with what you are selling. OV puts this effort into all of their narratives. Whether it be their diverse group of social media influencers or hosting Zoom workout classes through their app, OV encourages their customers to participate in activities for the sake of enjoyment, not obligation. 

During the pandemic, I was having difficulty motivating myself to care for my body. With online encouragement from one of their influencers, Ana Coto, I was eventually able to create a routine which improved my mental and physical health. 

I am grateful to OV brand messaging for the way they encouraged me and many others to keep #DoingThings. 

With gratitude,

Olivia 

P.S. Outdoor Voices if you are seeing this please sponsor me 

P.P.S I’m a size small and like exercise dresses

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Redefining Lazy

Since the beginning of spring semester, I have spent almost every day trying to be productive. After an extended winter break, I didn’t feel like I could justify slowing down and taking time off.

The on-and-off rainy weather this month has made my friends and I feel anything but motivated. The beginning of midterm season combined with a lack of social opportunities has left us feeling drained–even lazy. 

I can’t help but feel guilty when I spend the day lying in bed or relaxing. It is not my nature to dedicate time to rest when I know there are things I need to be doing, especially during the work week. I’m writing this post as a reminder to myself and those reading that taking time off is beneficial, if not crucial for being the best version of yourself. 

I recently read the book “The 4-Hour Workweek ” by Tim Ferriss. When thinking about this book, I recall a quote which resonates with me. “Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is not laziness.” 

Depending on the day, work and school are not always my highest priority. I am beginning to realize this is acceptable. College is about much more than grades and internships. If anything, teaching yourself to become a well-rounded adult with solidified interests and routines is just as important. 

On that note, I am reminding myself that it is important to occasionally embrace laziness and make it fun.

Here is a list of my favorite lazy day activities: 

Scrolling through Tik Tok 

Drawing in my adult coloring book 

Watching The Bachelor (I am currently in 4/12 place in my bracket contest)

Making any recipe with funfetti

Reading 

Enjoy your week and make sure to relax.

With gratitude,

Olivia 

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Weekend in My Life: Vlog Edition

This weekend, I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried vlogging for the first time. Through the final video, I learned two things about myself:

  1. I speak in run-on sentences when I’m nervous
  2. We do a lot of baking in my apartment

This was a fun experiment but I don’t think I will be doing it again.

Links to businesses and items I mentioned:

Tru Deli: https://www.trudeli.com/

Scones recipe: https://nevernothungry.com/toffee-butterscotch-scones/

With gratitude,

Olivia

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Welcome to Livithroughthelens

When I was in sixth grade, my mom and I got into a big argument about Instagram. As any validation-seeking tween would do, I created my account with the desire to gain attention from my peers during our prepubescent years. So what was the argument about? My Instagram handle. I decided to use my full name in my username, despite her explicitly saying this was not allowed. Sure enough, she caught on quickly and forced me to shut down my account. After one more Instagram-less year, I was allowed to rebrand my persona as long as I followed her one rule. It was then and there that “Livithroughthelens” was born.

Livithroughthelens is a nickname that has followed me ever since. Many of my friends call me that and even refer to it as “my brand.” I used to hate it, but now it holds a special place in my heart. Along with purple eyeliner and my “One Second of the Day Video,” this nickname is one of the defining traits that identifies me during a time of massive transition. 

When considering names for this blog, I consulted my friends and they all came to the same conclusion: “Livithroughthelens” is the perfect name. Here I am, patting my 6th grade self on the back, as I continue to use the branding knowledge I somehow possessed as a 12-year-old.

Welcome to Livithroughthelens. 

This semester, I will be taking you on a journey through my lens. While this blog doesn’t have one defined topic, I will be delving into various aspects of my life which make me who I am. One of those aspects is TEDxUNC. While I am at it, I want to shoutout our first event, “Intersections,” on February 4th at 8pm .

I hope you enjoy learning a bit about me and please feel free to reach out. 

With gratitude,

Olivia

ADL Creative

Website : LinkedIn

Last semester, Ariana Luterman approached me about joining the ADL Creative team. Her vision: create a consulting firm which aids businesses lacking a strong digital footprint. Our goal is to dive into a company culture’s to help expand their digital footprint, enhance their brand and connect with more potential clients.

Our team creates a highly detailed plan of action with an approximate timeline for deliverables at a fixed cost.

In our duo, I am the senior creative consultant. My work focuses on copywriting, creative management, and branding. 

Our first client was Southwest TeePee Rental. Learn more about them and ADL Creative below: