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 πŸ˜‰ 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 Really Love Right Now

I was going to write a serious post today. I started one about the controversy surrounding the Beauty and the Beast outrage. I thought about screaming ranting about the idiotic administration running our country. But I just can’t. If you’ve been around these parts long enough then you know that I have 0% issue with people’s sexual orientation or gender identity. You also know I loathe the people inhabiting the White House. So let’s talk about something that isn’t going to make me pull my hair out.

I’m going to link up with Kristen & Gretch for some “currently” updates and some favorite things that I want you to know about πŸ™‚

Reading… The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier. Atonement (Ian McEwan) is also on the docket. Last two books for Erin’s Challenge!

Watching… the series finale for Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. I tried to drag the series out as long as I could. I’m sad it’s over but pleased with how it ended. Now I’m trying to convince K to watch Firefly with me. (I’ve seen it, he hasn’t.)

Looking Forward To… my mom’s birthday celebration. Her b-day was Tuesday but I’m surprising her with an outing on Saturday. I can’t say much here because she reads this blog πŸ˜‰

Planning… a fall vacation. We were going to go to Disney, but I couldn’t get K excited about it. He’s never been and wants to see it for the first time with a big family group or with a kid in the picture. Fine. Whatever. I was bitter about it at first, but now I’m looking forward to spending some time at Universal Studios (#DisneyForever) and on a cruise. We compromised.

Loving… my new job with K’s company. I feel so relaxed and fulfilled working for a company that I love and working alongside people that I really enjoy and working in an industry that’s had my heart for +8 years.

(Here’s what I was up to at this exact time last year!)

Now let’s talk about my recent favorites.
(I’m going to style this like Rebecca Jo’s Friday Favorites post.)

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Favorite Reads

I’m going to recommend two authors instead of books.

I’ve gone on and on about The Lunar Chronicles, so it makes sense that I recommend Marissa Meyer to those who love a little fantasy and adventure and retelling. Her newest standalone novel, Heartless, quickly became a favorite for me, too. (I’ll talk about it on Tuesday!)

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The second author that I’ve really enjoyed so far is Ashley Weaver. She writes a 1930s mystery series that centers around Amory Ames and her playboy husband Milo. They’re not thrillers, but they have an air of suspense and romance and betrayal. Plus they’re set in historical England- which is my fav.

Favorite Recent Purchases

Everyone has their favorite place to buy jeans. Mine is Old Navy. If you’re an ON gal check out these jeans! I have three of the same pair, all in different shades (medium wash, light wash and light pachuca). They are so comfy and flattering to my curvy hips!

Also on the recently purchased list: These pajamas from Marshalls (or TJ Maxx, I guess.) The same cross-cross shear pattern around the neck is also down the outside of each leg on the shorts. Perfect as the weather warms up!

…obviously this isn’t my body. Ha.

Favorite Lip Stuff

I’m not a beauty blogger, but I have three lipsticks/stains/things that I’ve been loving lately. Two are Burt’s Bees products (Pink Lagoon gloss lip crayon & Ruby Ripple moisturizing lipstick) and one’s from Wet N Wild (Lady and the Vamp balm stain). Last weekend I got three compliments on the balm stain!

Favorite Funnies

Have you tried any of this stuff? What’s something you’re loving lately?

What's New With You

Add It To My (Media) List

I had no idea what to list off this month. Usually I have a draft with a running list of favorites that I add to throughout the month, but I didn’t do that this time. As time was running out I happened to stumble across three short (very different) online clips that captured my attention.

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I assume that everyone needs a mental break throughout the workday, so hopefully one or two of these videos can provide that today.

James Corden’s Crosswalk the Musical: Beauty & the Beast

I don’t know why this made me laugh as hard as it did. I blame Dan Stevens (and the fact that I still have trouble see him as anyone but Matthew Crawley.)


Emma Watson’s kitten interview

If I ever have kids I hope they see Emma Watson as a role model. I certainly do. Everything about this video is great, especially her shout out to Best Friends Animal Society in Utah!


Elmo Gets Laid Off

To be 100% honest, Sesame Street moved to HBO so it’s probably safe if/when PBS gets the ax. That said, when I was a kid we didn’t have HBO- I still don’t have HBO. I watched Sesame Street on PBS like most kids in America do. So for those 2 to 7-years-olds with moms and dads who aren’t millionaires with a +40,000 channel cable package, they’re just S.O.L.

I’m going to stop because the budget cuts to the arts and education have me livid and terrified. If I keep typing this post will quadruple in length. So suffice it to say, we are so against budget cuts.

Maybe as a consolation prize Tr*mp can take us on one of his million dollar golf trips to Florida 😐

Also… Sesame Street: spoofing on Donald Tr*mp Grump before SNL made it cool.


In other news of things I want to list or bring to your attention, I joined a FB group for bloggers that has been very active and supportive. If you’re in the market for something like that you should check out The Peaceful Posse on FB πŸ™‚

So tell me about something you’ve recently discovered or started that you love! Linking up with Lauren and Bre today!

Eat, Drink, and Be Lauren

Add It To My (Super Random) List

By skipping Mondays I lose my opportunity to recap my weekend. If you were curious, I had a good one πŸ™‚ Fun fact: I spent every weekend in February out of town. First Cleveland, then San Antonio, then Columbus, and then Cleveland again last weekend. Some trips for business, some for pleasure. This weekend Kayla and I visited Aubrey and her fiance Alyssa because Aubs is recovering from surgery and we went up to celebrate her transformation and keep her company. (You can follow her story/creep on her here. She’s #InstaFamous)

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In an attempt to stay hip and trendy I’m trying to keep track of the fun link-ups that go on in the blog world. I managed to jot down the schedule for the Add It To My List link-up with Lauren and Bre, so here we are.

Firstly, these three products were recommended by other bloggers:

I’m easily influence by others… I went out and bought this stuff immediately because I was in the market for some quality polish and comfy shoes for work. (The polish remover is cruelty-free & I needed that toiletry in c.f. form.) All three have my seal of approval!

Bamboo bedding…
Two years ago my grandparents gifted K and I some bamboo bedding. GUYS- we fell in love with it immediately. They’d bought it from Marshalls, so obviously I’ve never come across it again. Then last week this idiot (me) remembered Amazon exists and I have a Prime account. So I ordered some sheets. (How many pairs of sheets do you have for your bed? We have two. I always have to be on my laundry A-game, especially when I peel the sheets right before vacation and make the bed for the dogsitter, then come home and remember that now both sheets are dirty and I’m too exhausted to do laundry.)
I digress. Bamboo sheets are the softest and most comfy sheets ever. Go get some.

On to another random thing…

Go make this recipe:

One-Pan Veggies & Sausage

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I made this last week and it was a hit (with all two of us). It’s crazy simple- the “hardest” part was chopping all the veggies. We had rice with it. (I also made Brussels sprouts separately because they looked so good at the store and K doesn’t like them so I couldn’t mix them in. But then he ate some so…. that was a minor victory in my kitchen.)

(I’m pretty sure I took this recipe and another one (this!) from Nadine’s Pinterest!)

. . .

This fall K and I are planning to visit Disney. I’ve been there a handful of time, but I’ve never planned the trip. (I was a child and/or a band student on prior trips.) Kyle has never been to the happiest place on Earth, so I’m hoping to show him a good time. I’m looking for tips, tricks, and advice right now. I know how to “do” Disney, but any reminders or travel tidbits would be helpful. πŸ™‚

Enjoy these last two days of February!

signatureEat, Drink, and Be Lauren

Friday er, Thursday Favorites

One of the worst parts of this Tu/Th schedule is the loss of Friday alliteration with “favorites” posts. *sigh* I’ll get over it.

Actually, I’m going to start tying this into the ‘Add It To My List’ link-up that happened on Tuesday. I’m late to the party this month, but that’s ok.

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Before I move on to other bloggers’ posts, here are some things across the internet that struck my fancy.

Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Flavored Coffee
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K brought this to my attention and my mouth hasn’t stopped watering. I don’t typically crave whiskey in the morning, but sign me up for this! The description sounds so good! (*It’s non-alcoholic, Mom. Calm down. )

The National Parks Going Rogue

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I made a Facebook status about not believe every headline you read, but I am consciously choosing to believe this. And I love it.

If you haven’t heard, our fearful leader put a temporary gag order on a few agencies. Maybe you hate his “reasoning” (*raises hand*), maybe you agree with it. Either way, this was the response.

And other departments/agencies have followed suit. 😏

Think Dirty – an app

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All credit must be given to Stephanie for this one. She mentioned it in last week’s Three on Thursday. Guys… I’m obsessed with this (free) app. I have searched/scanned all my make-up products as well as my Ulta wishlist. I’ve made a new goal to own products that rank 5 and below on the “dangerous” list. If you’re concerned about what goes into your food and cleaning supplies and make-up then you need this app for make-up/face care.

. . .

Check out some posts from sweet friends (& a celebrity) across the internet who have spoken directly to my heart and soul these last few weeks.

And there you have it. TBH, there were a ton of fantastic posts in January in Blogland. If you have any favorites (or maybe you wrote one that I missed!) feel free to leave the link in a comment!

Linking up with Lauren and Bre for Add It To My List.

Have a Happy Friday / weekend!! ❀︎

signatureEat, Drink, and Be Lauren

Currently…

Holy Moly, it’s December. And just like that 2016 is almost out the door! Lately I’ve been posting lists and reviews but it’s been two months since I’ve done a “currently” post. Since this lines up so nicely with Kristen & Gretch‘s What New With You link-up I figured why not!

Currently

Eating… pizza & leftovers. After botching two of the last HelloFresh dinners we received I decided that I could just as easily meal plan and make my own foods. But… I haven’t done the meal planning part yet so we ordered pizza on Monday and went out to dinner on Tuesday. Whoops.

Drinking… tea and coffee and hot chocolate! As the temperature drops I begin to crave warm beverages. My brother gave me a coffee maker (he had an extra, I guess? ) so once I buy some coffee I’ll be brewing it at home! (Right now I wait until I get to work or swing through a drive thru.)

Reading… The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. A friend recommended it & it’s one of the books I chose for the #SCWBC16. I just started it on Tuesday so I don’t have much to say about it yet…

Watching… as a couple we’ve been sitting down and watching The Voice. We also saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them last Saturday. On my own I binge on American Housewife, Superstore, Speechless, The Good Place, and, of course, Miss Fisher’s!

Listening to… allllll the Christmas music. My favorite Christmas music genres (that’s a thing, right? ) are choruses, orchestras, and anything pre-1950. Also, acapella groups like Pentatonix and Straight No Chaser.

Feeling… patient. I don’t want to rush the Christmas season. I don’t want to lose my temper with holiday traffic. I don’t want to waste lazy nights or squeeze my eyes shut on hectic days. When I’m not feeling patient I’m trying to will myself to feel itΒ  πŸ˜‰

Giving… to some of my favorites this past Tuesday. I’d live in a cardboard box if I gave to every single animal organization that I follow so I have to take turns. On Tuesday I opted to give back to the rescue that raised Enzo (Paws & Prayers). I also “sent” honeybees through the ELCA to a family in need across the globe. (I’m not sharing this for a pat on the back- I just wanted to share some worthwhile charities.)

Loving… all the packages on my front porch!! I love coming home from work & seeing that so-and-so’s gift has arrived! I love planning and buying and wrapping gifts for people! This week I got/am expecting packages from Amazon, Shutterfly, Wild Cedar Co., Carter’s, & Uncommon Goods.

Hating… the weird limbo that I find my life hoovering in. I try to be grateful for all moments and all seasons of life, but right now I feel like I’m sitting in an intersection and there’s something new and exciting down every street…. but I can’t quite pick a direction yet. (It’s as vague in my head as I just made it sound right here. Sorry.)

Looking forward to… Christmas! It’s my favorite time in the church calendar and I’m so excited to give gifts and nom on holiday foods and bask in the glow of trees and fireplaces.

Dreading… bills, early mornings, dirty rooms, mounds of laundry… all the things that accompany my fortunate life. Really I should be thankful for luxuries & utilities to pay for, a job to set an alarm clock for, and a warm house and comfy clothes to clean. #perspective

Praying for… the violence and hate to stop. The OSU stabbings were heartbreaking. I’m also praying for all the people & animals avoiding fires in the south. That’s so, so terrifying. And I’m praying for the folks in ND that are freezing to death because they believe so strongly in their cause. I don’t want to see this country become (more) cold and hateful. This country needs empathy.

Planning… a baby shower sprinkle for my best friend! She’s due in February with a boy (last time it was a girl) and I wanted her to have the opportunity to get some little boy clothes and toys. Plus, I love any excuse to spoil a mother-to-be (round #2)!

So what’s new with you?

*Thanks for hosting, Kristen & Gretch!

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What's New With You

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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