Windows Down, Radio Up (a playlist)

I’m a music lover, but for some reason I never share playlists here. I was driving around a few weeks ago and a song came on the radio that prompted me to roll the windows down and smile up at the sunshine. I’m not the only one who gets the sudden urge to really take in the moment and enjoy the ride, right?

I’m a country music lover so I created a playlist of songs that make me smile and dream about a convertible ride along California’s coastal highway. Even if you hate country, give ’em a chance 😉 They’re pretty upbeat and pop-y.

We have a business road trip coming up so we’re crossing our fingers for warm, sunny weather. I have this happy little vision of cruising down the road with sunglasses on, windows down, and this playlist pumping through the car!

Are you a fan of country music? What songs would you add to my playlist?

Things I Love Right Now

Very rarely am I what people call “trendy.” The black flats that I wear to work almost every day were purchased at the beginning of my college career. The insides are now peeling out and I’m one sharp stone away from a hole in the sole. None of my clothes are designer and I only carry a cross-body purse to hold my wallet and my chapstick. I’m just warning you that A) nothing on this list is new-new and B) nothing here will cost you more that $20.

Also, this isn’t a wishlist. These are tried and true things that I use/listen to/watch/have and love.

MAKE-UP | NYX Solf Matte Lip Cream
I should probably give a shout out to Lindsay for turning me on to this product. Smooth, buttery lip matte that dries immediately and stays put for hours. I own five different shades as of right now.

TELEVISION | The Good Place + Speechless + American Housewife
Apparently I’m all about the comedies this season. These fluctuate between comical and laugh-out-loud humor. I’ve also been trying to keep up with This Is Us and Bull, but sometimes life is heavy enough and I just need a comedy. (I typically watch these on Hulu.)

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First The Good Place retweeted me, then “Janet” herself! ❤︎

NETFLIX | Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
BIG shout out to Kristen for this recommendation. And shame on me for waiting so long to get HOOKED. I’ve just finished season 1 and I am so obsessed. I’m also swooning over Detective Jack Robinson- I love his chemistry with Phryne!

BOOKS | The Lunar Chronicles
I know I’ve been pushing these books for a while now, but it takes me a long time to get through a series. I’m just about to start the final book (and it’s over 800 pages… *gulp*) so I’ll shut up about these soon.

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MUSIC | Christmas Music
My favorite artists/albums right now are Pentatonix, Charlie Brown, and anything “jazzy” (Bing, Frank, etc.).

CLOTHES | No Boundaries Leggings from Wal-Mart
My coworker told me about these/gifted me a pair and now I’m obsessed. They’re as soft as LuLaRoe, they’re warm & colorful, and they’re only $6. Uh- yes please. (The holiday ones appear to be sold out online…)

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HOME | Ello Travel Mug
I am SO in love with this mug. The outside stays cool while the drink inside stays hot for hours. It’s the best travel mug I’ve ever used. The cork bottom keeps it from sweating all over you desk and it’s dishwasher safe. I might be Christmas-gifting a few of these!

*Enjoy whatever days off you may have this week, American friends!*
Happy Thanksgiving!
Hug your friends &  family extra tight, be kind to retail workers, and be safe on the roads! ❤︎

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Silly Songs with Audrey

(Did you get that? It was a Veggie Tales reference #lame Hahaha.)

Today is my Friday and, in celebration of that, I’m sharing some of my favorite jams that define my life, courtesy of Alyssa‘s Back to Blogging non-challenge challenge!

I’ve seen Kathy and Nadine do this already and I didn’t think I’d be able to come up with anything, but they’ve inspired me  🙂 I’ve settled on a solid five.

How I’ll Always Be  [Tim McGraw]

“I’m a little more beer bottle beer joint than a fancy bar | I’m a little more sitting up high on the road than a little car | I’m a little more bust ya back than take it for free”

“I’ll always be a fan of ol’ stray dogs and guitars playin’ | One room churches, back road walks and front porch swingin’ | Sunset skies, bonfire nights, I love the simple things | That’s how I’ll always be”

. . .

Grey Street [Dave Matthews Band]

“Oh look at how she listens | She says nothing of what she thinks | She just goes stumbling through her memories | Staring out on to Grey Street”

. . .

Feel That Fire [Dierks Bentley]

“She wants to wear my shirt to bed | She wants to make every stray a pet | And drive around in my truck with no place to go”

. . .

Caught Up In You [38 Special]

“So caught up in you | Little girl | That I never wanna get myself free | And baby it’s true | You’re the one | Who caught me, baby you taught me | How good it could be”

*Can we please just appreciate how 80s this video is?? Hehe

. . .

Crazy [Ben Rector]

“Last night was crazy, yeah we tore it up again | Kicked off our shoes and went to bed by 9pm | We were balling and Netflix | We turned it up to ten | Last night was crazy”

. . .

I have always been a huge music person, and there are a million songs that I just love, but I wanted to limit this post to ones that I really felt define my life. Our couples song didn’t make the list this time (I’ll Be by Edwin McCain), nor did the song I walked down the aisle to (Baby Blue by DMB). Both great songs, but not necessarily life-defining  🙂 (K is also upset I didn’t share You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate because I tend to sing it loudly when I drink a little too much.)

If you haven’t already done the link-up, what songs define your life?

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Get in Formation

Yesterday I had no idea what I wanted to chat about today. I have some stuff scheduled for later this month, but I was actually a little freaked out about my lack of Wednesday content. I thought about getting all political on y’all, but I feel like we’re all “feeling the bern” and “standing with her” and comparing Republican “hand sizes” on Facebook. You don’t need that kind of migraine here. (Plus Ohio made me a happy little voter for the time being.)

So I was back to square zero. And then I watch this video:

I am not a dancer. I have never studied dance. I took lessons when I was 7 but then I broke my leg (not dancing… I was doing something stupid) and my mom never signed me back up. But I have a serious appreciation for girls & guys & children that can cut a rug.

I’ve made my husband watch this one before:

Apparently “Formation” is a really good song to dance to. Maybe it’s any Beyonce song… I have no idea how you get your body to move like that… And I really want their style but I feel like it’s only appropriate for dancers…

ANYWAY. I don’t have a point or a story or a lesson. I just wanted to share these videos because I find them so incredible.

One more for good measure:

All of these people are stunning. I’m totally spellbound.

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Friday Favorites & All My Love

Happy Friday, everyone!

I had a pretty good week, especially considering how it started… I woke up early on time Monday and I was all showered and ready to treat myself to some iced coffee before work. I was planning to head in early and drop little Christmas gifts on my co-workers’ desks. Five minutes before walking out the dog I noticed Lylee was limping. When I ran my hands down her leg to check for injuries I found none; however, she had a nice, sizable leaf/mud/poop mixture caked into her paw. UGH. So we went straight to the bath and I spent my extra morning minutes scrubbing dog paws and vacuuming/scrubbing the floor.

Needless to say: I welcome you, Friday. (Also, the word “sizable” looks weird…)

Christmas_office_gifts
Goodies for my fellow co-workers elves.

In other news, have you seen Google’s new Santa Village?? You can bet your sweet bottom I will be tracking Santa on Christmas Eve 😉

I’m obsessed with online shopping. Of course there’s Amazon Prime, but there are some serious treasures on Nebrowse, Amber Thomas Makes, Hey June, Good Word Candles… Yep, I’ve browsed all of them this season. If you’re in need of a unique gift you should definitely direct your attention to these artists!

As long as we’re talking about favorites… here are some of my favorite tree ornaments:

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Four out of six have to do with dogs… I’m ok with that.

Breaking from the Christmas mold… If you are a fan of country (like me!) then you’ve probably already heard of Old Dominion. (“Break Up With Him”) If you haven’t listen to their entire CD Meat & Candy, then you should really check it out. My husband and I have been listening to it on repeat! (My favorite song for today is “Half Empty”.)

And now for some blogger love:

  • My very good friend, colleague, and honorary old roommate Dana has joined the blog world! ❤️ I’m a huge fan of this community and Dana has so much to offer with her little corner of the internet! Check her out at The Creative Beastie!!
  • Chelsea at The New Wifestyle just returned from Antarctica. Yes, you read that right. She’s made three posts about her trip that you have to check out!! Start here. Then read this. And finish with this guy.
  • Faith had her first guest post for her “After I do” series (and it was Christine from Christine Everyday!). She talked about a topic that plagues 99.9% of all newly and not-so-newly weds! Check it out!

By the way, I accomplished a few things this week: I finally finished a book, my Christmas shopping is done, and my house is finally clean (a.k.a. I’m caught up on vacuuming, dishes, putting clutter away/Christmas boxes in the attic, & bathrooms are clean).

Bring on the weekend!

-Louise

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In the Midst of Music

A few weeks ago K and I went to a Foo Fighters concert near Pittsburgh, PA. Some people settle for one concert a year (and I guess there are some people that never go to concerts?!) but we decided to go hard and hit three this year- two in a row last week!

Last Thursday we took off to Cleveland with friends to see Ben Rector and Judah & the Lion in Cleveland, and on Friday we went back to PA to see Lady Antebellum, Sam Hunt, and Hunter Hayes. I was a tired girl when the weekend finally hit.

Thursday

(Ben & the band specifically posed for a photo so we could all take one and put our phones away to enjoy the concert.)
(Ben & the band posed for a photo so we could all take one and put our phones away to enjoy the concert.)

On Thursday we headed north, met up with our friends Andy & Kelsey, and continued on to the House of Blues in Cleveland. Kyle surprised me a few weeks ago and said he actually wanted to go to this concert by a guy named Ben Rector. Since it’s incredibly rare to get K to take a day/night off I was all about this little mid-week date night. Then he invited Andy and his wife, and it turned into a party! Woo!

Props to the photo-bomber...
Props to the photo-bomber…

We dined on the patio at the HOB and headed in for the opening act, Judah & the Lion. It was standing room only (heels were a bad choice) but it was a great show by both performers!

If you're ever in Cleveland for the night E 4th Street has some cool restaurants and such.
If you’re ever in Cleveland for the night E 4th Street has some cool restaurants.

. . .

These guys were so entertaining! I would totally see them again!
These guys were so entertaining! I would totally see them again!

. . .

Music 2

Turns out this was the first show of their Brand New Tour and Ben Rector totally admitted to still working out kinks. It was a great show and the talent of all the musicians was well worth the pain my feet were in and the lack of sleep I got that night.

Friday

Since we were so well rested and energetic the next day we did it all again, this time in Pittsburgh with Lady Antebellum. (Sidenote: We were not well rested nor energetic. RIP the days of college and all-nighters.) This time we were a little less impressed… Sam Hunt definitely rocked First Niagara Pavilion, but Hunter Hayes was a serious mess. Lady A was ok, but K made the comment that they seem to take themselves a little to seriously. And I agree.

Anyway, it was a fun night and we had a good time.

Waiting for the show to start!
Waiting for the show to start!

. . .

Having a house party with Sam Hunt :)
Having a house party with Sam Hunt 🙂

. . .

The sunset was more interesting than Hunter Hayes...
The sunset was more interesting than Hunter Hayes…

. . .

Lady Antebellum
Lady Antebellum

. . .

(I swear he had fun. He just hates selfies.)
(I swear he had fun. He just hates selfies.)

And that wraps up our summer concert series 🙂 Hands down, the Foo Fighters were my favorite. Thursday night was a close second, though. K is hoping to find a concert at our favorite venue this winter for us to attend. (The venue is a converted church-to-concert hall in Pittsburgh.) We’ll see if anything comes up!

If you could see any band/singer at any venue, who and where would you choose??

-Louise

 

 

Date Night with the Foo Fighters

Last Monday I voiced how busy I expected my week to be (and I was right), mentioning that K and I were headed to the Foo Fighters concert on Tuesday night. Our concert was at First Niagara Pavilion just outside of Pittsburgh, PA, about an hour and a half from our town.

My hubby & I have seen many bands and singers live, but this was our first Foo experience.

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Overall it was a great concert and the people sitting on either side of us were pretty decent (which definitely affects the experience of a concert). I’d never heard of the opening band, Royal Blood, but they didn’t suck the dudes beside us were pretty jazzed about them.

stage
stage

. . .

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pavilion

. . .

lawn
lawn

When the Foo Fighters came on it was past 8:30 so the old man and I knew we were in for a late night. Fortunately, the band is incredibly good, Dave Grohl is one funny dude, and the concert was very entertaining.

Did you know this summer is called “The Broken Leg Tour”? Dave Grohl spends the entire show on a guitar throne because he broke his leg. Not funny, but actually really funny.

I didn't want to be that girl with my phone out so I took one crappy picture of the band and put it away.
I didn’t want to be that girl with my phone out so I took one crappy picture of the band and put it away.

By the end K and I had newfound respect for Taylor Hawkins and his amazing, resilient drummer body. I can’t fathom playing that hard, fast, and consistent for 3 hours. Dang.

The lawn seats all lit up with phones/lighters.
The lawn seats all lit up with phones/lighters.

I am a firm believer in crowd to concert ratio. If the band has a crappy fan base then the concerts will be a pile of poo. For example, I dread country concerts. I love the music but some people just don’t know how to drink/celebrate/behave and it shows at concert venues.

I was pleasantly surprised by the FF crowd. And shocked at the diversity. Next to Dave Matthews, the Foo crowd might be my favorite. (Worst crowd I’ve ever seen? John Mayer. Rude, drunk, wanna-be hippies.)

In the end, we had a lovely date night and I’m so glad I could pry my husband away from his work long enough to enjoy the evening. Our drive home was quick, I took Wednesday off work, and we got to cross off another concert on our bucket list.

What’s your favorite band to see live? How was your weekend?

-Louise

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey