January 5, 2020

Twenty Things to Do in 2020

As seen in a previous post, I want to have more experiences in 2020. To me, that means doing things that I have never done before that I have been wanting to do for a while. To keep this post brief, I'm going to make this list a page that's easily accessed in the NavBar at the top of this site. With each experience, I'll be taking photos or videos and sharing them with you while we poke through this list this year and kick this decade off right.

  1. Ice skate at Maggie Daley rink
  2. Get more involved in book culture.
  3. Zipline
  4. See Post Malone live (2/11/2020)
  5. Finish 100 movies poster
  6. Finish writing that book
  7. Work on physical and mental health
  8. Be more conscious about shopping small
  9. Visit a national park
  10. Read through my bookshelf
  11. Move out or pay off Sallie Mae
  12. Declutter
  13. Find something to craft and sell
  14. Visit one new thing in Chicago
  15. Have a career in my field
  16. Complete my living space
  17. Kayaking
  18. Take more photos of myself
  19. See the northern lights
  20. Figure out what's next
I can't wait for this year. I think there are good things on the horizon and I'm looking forward to what this year has in store.

Best and welcome. <3

itslaynejoy · A Re-Introduction

As you may have noticed, this page has gone through a bit of a revamp. I have been spending time focusing on me and who I am under the pressure of the new year and the glow-up series, and when I saw this theme on Angelina's Etsy page I had to snatch it immediately. The name of the blog has also changed. For those of you here for a while, my blog was just named Layne Joy for a very long time. Until last year, I changed it to brand me as more of a writer. Neither of these names fit, but other blog names didn't fit. Because this is a lifestyle blog, I wanted my name to be in the title, but just my name sounded too plain. Along came a proposition to change it up and we became itslaynejoy. When this name came, I felt a click, probably the same click when I saw the theme and here we are. Welcome.

My name is Layne (lay-knee). I am twenty-six, five foot nine, and I am on a journey to become the best version of my self I could be. I live in the south suburbs of Chicago with my mom behind the house we all grew up in, which is still inhabited by family. I work at a publishing house and am working toward a Master of Arts in Creative Writing focusing on YA and poetry.

When I was in sixth grade I wrote a short story about two twins on an adventure with their bunny slippers and a mannequin and have been making up stories ever since. I love watching films, especially horror films, and reading, especially YA books. I love to craft and I hope to open an Etsy store and become a piece of the heart that is the craft show circuit soon. I love traveling and seeing new things around Chicago. I spend a lot of time taking in live music at venues and festivals and that birthed my blog back in 2012. I wanted a home to share everything with people and look back on myself. That has grown into this, and I can't wait to work towards it's flourish.

I love journaling, Post Malone, and everything strawberry-flavored. I like being near vast bodies of water and I make a mean iced Vanilla Cinnamon latte. I try to spend the most time with my family and loved ones, and if the opportunities arise, you'll see some of those moments on here. Thank you for reading so far and here's to a renewed sense of being with a fresh slice of the internet to match.

Favorite Movies of 2019

I am a movie fiend. I love to go to the theater (minus the people who eat like baby cows) and the film-watching experience. I enjoy shopping for films, finding hidden gems on streaming apps, and picking out the hidden bits in films that not many people catch (see the scarecrows in Christian's apartment in Midsommar.) After my blog's skincare routine, I want to share my input on films on here because they occupy a large chunk of my spare time. As part of my fivethings series, these are my top five favorite films released this year.

When you've seen a film five times in theaters (three times theatrical cut + two times director's cut), it makes the top of your list. I have never been as immersed in a film as I was in Midsommar, truly from start to finish all five times in theaters. The story is interesting and unpredictable and it made me say 'oh shit' after each scene. It kept me on the edge of my seat and much like director Ari Aster's last film, Hereditary, I caught something new every time I watched it. My mom says it's one of those movies that she isn't surprised I liked because, "it probably has a simile in it," but if you're looking for something different and you can stomach it, give Midsommar your best shot as soon as possible.

Wow, Joaquin Phoenix swooped in and stole the show. I didn't think I could like a film more than Midsommar, but this film slid in just a hair behind. My mouth was agape from start to finish with Phoenix's performance, the plot, the visuals, and of course, the dancing. There was not one moment of this film that I wasn't enamored with. I think it's important to go into the film knowing it isn't a superhero film, I would categorize it as a drama. Even if you're unfamiliar with Batman entirely, go into it for the story and for Phoenix's performance. It was beautiful and I'm anxiously anticipating the DVD release on January 7th.

Art of Racing in the Rain
Talk about the best looking movie of the year thanks to my man Milo.
This movie is going to hit you in feelings you didn't know you were capable of feeling. Obviously, we all know to be wary of dog movies. However, you're prefaced in this one that Enzo is at the end because it's told from Enzo's perspective and his owner is Denny, a race car driver. It's a beautiful tale of friendship, family, and love with a unique spin on narration, but get the box of tissues ready because although you know what's coming, you won't be truly ready.

Marriage Story
I went to the Music Box theater in Chicago to see the Lighthouse, and when I left halfway through the film to renew parking on my phone and I heard Adam Driver (the love of my life) from the other theater. On the table, there were posters from the film and I took one which is now hanging on my wall although I hadn't seen the film yet. I'll admit that the main reason I saw this film was for Adam, but I didn't expect it to break my heart a handful of times. Both I'm and ScarJo give intimate and beautiful portrayals of a relationship. Their chemistry is magic and although the story is simple, it will encapsulate you from the opening monologue. It's on Netflix and way worth your time.
(oh my god)

That gif is my favorite shot from the movie. Peele's sophomore film does not disappoint. Lupita N'yongo took my breath away with her performance in this film, especially in the end scene, but everybody in this movie kicks ass in their acting especially since they need to be themselves and their tethered selves. I didn't think it was as scary as it was a thriller, much like Get Out. Us will keep you on the edge of your seat with a plot twist that I guessed pretty early on, but kept a lot of people guessing. 
Also, what is not to love about Winston Duke? He's the ultimate dad.

This has been an amazing year for film and has created some of my all-time favorite films. I can't wait for what 2020 has in store for us.