Art Journaling

Personal, Writing

Disclaimer: Not all of the art in my journals is my original work. Some were recreated from images I found online. I in no way take creative credit for these drawings and give it fully to the creator of the original work.

I have been keeping journals and sketchbooks for as long as I can remember but it wasn’t until fairly recently that I began to completely finish them. When we were younger my mom showed me sister and me how to make collage journals and a few years later, I elaborated on that idea by starting my  first art journal. It was red, with thin blank pages, and I found it up in my mom’s art stuff. It had french writing down the side that meant draft book and with the addition of a couple stickers, it was incorporated into my daily life. All though I consider it the first journal I finished it is in fact blank for the last ten pages because the binding broke from overuse. Since this journal that began in 2015, I have completed two others and am in the middle of my fourth.

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from left to right: oldest to newest

Everyone is always impressed by how full they are and I attribute that to the fact that I don’t give myself a lot of limits with them. Except one which is that I’m never allowed to rip pages out. If there are pages I absolutely hate, then I cover them up with scrap paper drawings when the journal is complete. Other than that I keep my journals completely free. Sometimes other people draw in them, I write lists in them, and I doodle in them when I am on important phone calls. Besides my work notebook and my planner, my art journal is the only journal I have so it literally holds everything.

I think that once I let go of the need for my journals to be chronological and aesthetically pleasing, I was able to fill them, and usually by the time they were done I was pretty pleased with the final result. It’s nice to just have something that has no limits. Something that can hold all of my bullshit in one small place.

I also became a lot more comfortable with expressing my feelings and more confident in my drawing skills. Art journaling was one of the main ways I combated my social anxiety in high school.

I love looking into other people’s journals, so I thought maybe you would like a peak into mine.

Happy July everyone! Look out for lots of new things on the blog this month!

My Go-To Coffee Orders (at every place in Billings)

Non-fiction, Writing

I’m a coffee person. I went from being a person who drank absolutely no caffeine, to being a person who needs it to survive, over the course of about a year. Naturally, with Billings, Montana being the small town that it is, I have had the opportunity to try many a latte from the few coffee places available. I always find other people’s coffee orders interesting so I had the idea to write about mine for my blog. This idea developed into a full fledged quest for coffee throughout the city. Resulting in 12 coffees, 2 teas, 2 wraps, 1 fritatta, 1 Italian soda, and 3 caffeine crash naps. This is a blog post about that quest.

I would like to start with explaining that this blog post excludes 2 coffee shops that are in Billings due to opposing political beliefs, and my long standing refusal to fund businesses that project hate towards others. With that said it’s time to meet…

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From left to right: Skyler, Maisy, and myself

“The Coffee Crusaders” (Trademark Maisy Jam 2018). I enlisted my sister Maisy (@maisyxjam on Insta) and our honorary sister Skyler (@frances_brauneis on Insta) to join in on my caffeine hijinks. With our team assembled, we were off to the ever-changing, but somehow always a staple…

MAZEVO COFFEE:

The name has changed like 3 times now but Mazevo is probably the most popular of  Billings’ local coffee shops. They have really excellent seasonal specials as well as a good bagel selection. My go-to order here is the Graham Cracker Latte. This is also where we acquired the Italian soda: ordered by Skyler who then decided she didn’t want it, so I drank it instead. Maisy drank most of the latte.

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Mazevo Graham Cracker Latte

 

STARBUCKS: 

I probably go to Starbucks the most, simply because I’m a fan of the drive thru. I actually have a couple staples here but usually I go with a coffee frappuccino. Maisy got a green tea here as well.

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Coffee Frappuccino

 

MOUNTAIN MUDD:

Another longstanding Billings fave; Mountain Mudd is a kiosk only coffee shop. They have a really yummy white chocolate latte but they are also VERY expensive. Maybe because they add sprinkles?

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The less aesthetically pleasing, White Chocolate Latte

 

CITY BREW:

Unpopular Montana opinion here, but I don’t love City Brew’s coffee so I always get strawberry smoothies here. They taste like Candy. Maisy and I also got hungry at this point and got some City Brew wraps as well.

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Smoothie and Sun-dried Tomato Wrap.

 

ROCK CREEK COFFEE:

Our first Downtown location, Rock Creek has been around since I was a baby. Their menu intimidates me so I always just get a vanilla latte. This vanilla latte in particular was made by a guy I matched with on Tinder awhile ago and never messaged. It was delicious. Good job Tinder boy.

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Maisy demonstrates how to put the straw in if the coffee is too full.

EBON COFFEE:

Ebon is the only coffee shop that has peppermint lattes on their menu year round and for that I love them. Also they have really good waffles on the weekend as well as an A+ interior decorator.

 

ANNEX COFFEE:

This is actually my favorite coffee shop to work in and also our scheduled last stop. I always get the lavender rosemary latte here which is amazing. Skyler got a fritatta here and we also took a small break since Maisy was near caffeine overdose level.

 

BLACK DOG COFFEE:

I’d never been here before today but it’s one of Maisy’s favorites so we decided to add it to the list. At this point in the day there was no way I could drink another coffee so I got a juicebox but I will definitely be going back to try their coffee. I also couldn’t not get doughnuts on National Doughnut Day so I got some powdered sugar ones that I could have eaten a million of. Skyler got a muffin and Maisy got another tea and an everything bagel “To soak up the coffee” in her stomach.

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This concluded our coffee adventure and we all promptly went home to take naps (except me who has to post this blog post). Let me know what your favorite kind of coffee is and also let me know if there’s anything else we should try out around the city. Thanks for reading this week and I’ll see you on Monday! (and before anyone asks…yes we did all have to poop afterwards.)

-A

Coffee Convo

Non-fiction, Personal, Writing

Ok, so it’s not really a coffee this time. It’s actually a green tea with honey and an asiago bagel but that’s only because it’s 8,000 degrees here today and I couldn’t be bothered to drink anything that wasn’t refreshing. It’s only May and I’m already so over sun. I mean I’m not asking for 7 foot snow again, I would just like it if it was always 60 degrees and cloudy.

Since I am posting regularly again I figured I should give you a bit of an update and since I haven’t done a coffee convo in a hot minute, I figured I would share my asiago bagel with you all.

For starters, I am turning 20 in a few weeks which feels bizarre. A lot of me still feels like I’m only 14 and the other part of me is coming to terms with the fact that my sister graduates in a couple days. YES MAISY JAM HAS A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA. I’m honestly probably more proud of her than I was of myself. She works insanely hard and is also incredibly smart in ways I have never been and I can’t wait to see where her life takes her now that she has been released from prison/the public school system.

Summer has also officially begun which means lots of plans are being made. I am making a trip to Idaho over the 4th of July with my family as well as trying to figure out all of the logistics of moving, which, if everything goes to plan, should be happening in late August.

My asiago bagel and tea

My asiago bagel and green tea.

I’m trying to find time to spend with all the people I’ve known for years as well as make connections with new people and it really brings to light just how many people come and go in your life. There are people that I still have genuine love for that I haven’t seen in years. It really puts into perspective how much time we set aside for things that don’t give us the love that family and friends give. We put work, money, and material things over interactions that could change our lives and that’s crazy to me.

I haven’t been reading hardly at all this year, which is frustrating because there’s so much I’ve been wanting to read. I think I need to work more on prioritizing the things I love over the things I have to do. I put work over a lot of things, and while I do generally like my job, My life has taught me that I need to make time to do things I like because, I don’t get to re-do life, and I should probably spend it doing things I love.

I’m also working on not caring what other people think about my life. I generally don’t care what others think when it comes to the way I look or act, especially when it comes to strangers. Lately though, I’ve been focusing on not needing validation from the people I’m close to. Even the people I love aren’t going to understand me and I need to accept that and be ok with it.

These are just a couple things that have been thinking about lately. If you have anything to add, I always appreciate your comments and messages, and if you want to see more photos like the one in this post, please follow me on instagram @avejam_ . Thank you for reading and you will hear from me on Monday!

– Avery

Holy Heck She Lives: Florida and Future Content

Personal, Travels

So I want to start by saying that it’s only been two months since I last posted which in comparison to some of my other hiatuses is not that long. However, after a spike of followers and a comment made by my Grandpa about how I should start posting again, I decided I should probably write this.

If you’re new here, welcome. please don’t leave, I promise to be better. I tell this to almost everyone in my life and it’s almost never true so do with that information what you will.

Over Easter, I took a trip to visit my grandparent’s in Florida where the weather was amazing and I didn’t have to go to work or school. Now I’m back in Montana, where I have to do all those things and it’s also snowing…in April. What the actual fuck Montana.

Here are some highlight’s from the trip:

In case you hadn’t noticed yet, I dyed my hair blonde.

Now that I’m back in Billings, it’s back to the daily grind of college which I actually haven’t attended in a few days because I feel empty and like lying in bed all day. (Wow Avery, you haven’t changed a bit.) I have decided that with the end of the school year coming up I will be posting every Monday, Friday, and Sunday and I have put it in writing here so you all can yell at me when I inevitably don’t post.

Some content I have on my to-do list includes:

  • A new coffee convo
  • College with depression
  • Books I’ve read so far this year
  • journal flip-through
  • 2nd semester poetry compilation

I love feedback so let me know what you would like to see next on the blog and also since their are so many new subscribers tell me something about yourself in the comments! Thank you for reading and I’ll see you on Monday!

Coffee Convo

Personal, Writing

My current favorite coffee shop to waste all my time in is moAV, located downtown in my city of Billings. I like it because it’s new and hasn’t really caught on yet, so its still really quiet. All I want in life is to drink a goddamn vanilla latte in peace.

If you were sitting across form me the first thing I would tell you is that I feel VERY pretentious blogging in public. Blogging seems like something that is picked up by every intellectual and creative, to “put themselves out there.” In other words to prove that they deserve attention. I could say I’m doing it ironically but I’m not. I really want your attention. I would also probably comment on the people sitting nearby because one of them is wearing a tutu and her voice is very high pitched and in my opinion disturbing. It’s fine for me to tell you this because you’re not really here and you don’t know her.

My real coffee companion, Maisy, my sister, is drawing a man with a mustache. She started out trying to look at his features out of the corner of her eye but now she is just blatantly staring, she also forgot her glasses so it looks like she is winking at him. When asked about her life, she says she feels bored sometimes. She also says she hates drawing. She is actually really good at drawing.

If you were sitting across from me I would probably tell you a story about work since that is what basically consumes my life, or maybe a funny story about something my boyfriend said. He is my number one source of entertainment. I would also complain about my new tattoo itching, (see Instagram for picture because I’m to lazy to insert it) but then I would comment on how beautiful it is and has now become my favorite part of my body.

Eventually it would grow dark and it would be time to go home. Maisy and I would hop on our Electra Cruisers and ride back home, through the buildings of downtown and I’m not in love with my life very often but I would say tonight I am.