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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

what I learned in May '16

Oh how I love learning new and random things so I'm back again joining up with Emily P. Freeman for her monthly reflection of what we've learned.

Here's five things I learned in May!

1) Spring cleaning is a real thing.  I've never had the desire overtake me and so I never understood it.  But this year that all changed.  I naturally love to organize.  Yes, my room often maintains a 'messy/cluttered' state 70% of the time but there is something so good about organizing a space.  It's like setting yourself up to win. I spent most of a Saturday alone, in the kitchen doing just that.  Lovely.

2) I do better with headphones when running by myself.  I tend to be over ambitious in the beginning and poop out pretty quick if I don't have someone to help pace me.  Having solid beats has become a good solution to running alone.  Don't get me wrong, I definitely wanted to stop running (and did) at times but having a good song to keep me distracted from the fact that I was running and wanting to quit gave me some extra oomph I needed.

3) Two words: Asian Snacks.  I pass by two Asian markets everyday so when I saw this Asian Snacks Roundup I knew I had to give some a try.  The two that stood out to me were the Koala Bites and Shrimp Chips

Asian Snacks Roundup, by TheWoksofLife.com

The Koala's were delicious and made me feel like a kid as I ate them.  Before you wrinkle your nose at the Shrimp chips I have to say they were not as 'shrimpy' as I was expecting and I really enjoyed them.  Take this list with you on your next Asian adventure!

4) Fireflies do still exist.  I remember when I was little fireflies (or lightening bugs) were always everywhere; now its like I rarely see them.  Turns out there is a reason why.  My brother sent this link as we were preparing to spend some time in New Braunfels for Memorial Day.  I had no idea they had such a long breeding process.

Thanks to the rain last year its like we were dropped in the middle of fairy land. It was so fun to be surrounded by something that seems so magical. We couldn't help but just stop and soak it in.

5) There is a water park here in Texas that has a ginormous slide.  Its called the Royal Flush and I really wanna check this out.



This looks like so much fun! Gotta love Texas.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

dont get caught sleepin - music

Music has a strong effect on me.  You know how they tend to build up a scenes in movies? Whether its to make you cry, make you wanna skip with happiness or make you scream for the fear of it.  No matter the type of music it is, I will feel all the feelings its trying to bring.

Because of my musical empathy I tend to gravitate towards real chill or upbeat music as my go to.  (I have yet to listen to Adele's new album for fear that it would send me into an emotional tailspin. Don't judge me.)

Here are a few artists that aren't big in mainstream but have great music.  Whenever I just want something familiar where I can count on liking the whole album I reach for these. They don't seem to get old.  Don't get caught sleepin on this music. ;)

Tori Kelly - This girl is soooo underrated for her talent. I COULD NOT believe that Megan Trainor won Best New Artist at the Grammy's (I mean she's not even new anymore) instead of Tori. She is a powerhouse and has some serious vocal control.  Her music has a nice blend of R&B and Pop. I'm dying for her to actually release this one in an album. Her songs are about more than her body and partying so you gotta appreciate that she's bringing something fresh to the table. ;)  Check out Unbreakable Smile and Dear No One. I wanna link more but that will get you a taste.

Us the Duo - I actually heard about this group from their 2014 mashup and had to hear more.  They are a neat mixture of Folk and Pop. I feel like their music has a sweetness to its upbeat tempo.  Their harmony together has this pure, clear tone. They're well known on vine for singing clips of popular songs showing them from the mouth down. I've found the more I know about artists the more I enjoy them and they don't disappoint with humor and quirkiness. Check out No Matter Where You Are (ignore the oddness of the video) and Close To You.

Johnnyswim - You guys, I'm not the fan-girl type.  I'm more the, "these people are humans just like you and me, so all y'all need to chill out."  However, I'm pretty darn close to fan-girling these two.  I learned about them over two years ago and love them more with each new song.  I saw them in concert earlier this year and it was my favorite concert to date. Their's is the first record I invested in and love to throw it on while I'm cleaning or for a lazy afternoon.  Their music has folk, blues, lots of soul and nods at pop. What makes them special is the heart behind their lyrics.  They sing like they mean it and you just can't fake that. Oh and they have harmonies like none other! Check out Diamonds and Make.  (And then get lost in their New Music Monday YouTube Playlist.)  And if you're curious about their name you'll love this (and if you don't fall in love with them after that video there is nothing I can do for you).

Hollyn - Let me just say when you look at the related artists list in Spotify her style is seriously absent which is such a shame. For being her first record and only having six tracks, this album has a good variety of get up and move as well as take it slow and let it hit your heart.  Its got Pop, but not like in the teeny-bopper kinda way which is impressive considering she is 19.  Her music has maturity with solid beats that leave me eager to see how she will grow on her next release. I'm impressed by the soul that comes out in her voice. Check out Alone and Steady Me.

Whoo! That's some major linkage happening up there.  Hope you enjoy.

Now go get lost in some music.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

what I learned in April '16

I'm joining up with Emily P. Freeman for her monthly reflection of what we've learned.  Since I love to reflect but tend to forget random goodness that happens all the time this seemed like a great way to remember the little things that are important too.

Here are five things I learned in April:

1) Vacuuming my car is an automatic trigger to clean the rest of my car.  If its not vacuumed I have no motivation to wipe it down or get it washed.  In my mind its like, "what's the point, the carpets dirty."  Something about the carpet being free of all the things makes it feel special. The carpet can't be special alone.  Cue the windex and lysol wipes.



2) I love making homemade pizzas.  I saw a this recipe on a blog I follow and just went for it one night.  A few days later I couldn't resist this recipe.  So light and fresh. (If the smoked salmon weird's you out, I saved some pennies and made it with prosciutto too.)


Y'all, it is sooooo easy. (And just to uncomplicate things more, can I get an amen for the just-add-water-dough-mix?) I always thought it was so difficult but its easy peasy.  Even if neither of these recipes look even remotely desirable to you, look around for one that does. Just go for it!

3) I write things I have already done on my to do list just so I can check 'em off.  For real, everyday at work, even if its a seemingly minor task that took up significant time it gets written.  I had been feeling discouraged about not feeling like I was getting anything done at work lately and seeing a long list of completion has helped reassure me that is not the case.  The minor things matter.

4) The Summer Olympics are coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!

big crowd huge crowd rave crowd woahdude

Y'all, this has reignited my love for sports, specifically artistic gymnastics, in a whole. new. way.  I am constantly watching gymnastic competitions online. My roommates are tagging me in videos. It's a beautiful obsession.

Does anyone else glue to the TV and ignore anything happening around them during the Olympics or is it just me?  Check out who the hopefuls are.  If Simone Biles isn't on the team...nah that's impossible.  I mean check her out.  She hasn't even made it to the Olympics and already has a pass named after her.  #powerhouse

5) My roommate could easily be a weather reporter.
I leave you with this.  Tell me if you don't agree. :)