Music - What I'm Listening To

Friday Jam Session: Post Break Up

Just keeping it real over here on all accounts.

First, it’s not Friday. But last Friday, my Wi-fi was down all day due to a crazy wind storm we had and this Friday I have a different post that I want to specifically post on that date. But hey, I definitely jam out other days of the week, so really, it works. #rebelyell

Second, I’m fully aware that it is a bit dramatic to create and share a playlist titled “Post Break Up,” but hey, unfortunately most of us need a playlist like this at point or another. You are welcome.

I’ve been adding songs to this list over the past couple of weeks and it was MUCH harder to keep it under a reasonable number than I thought it would be, which was silly to think because all artists have at least a handful of break up songs to their name. And really, I could have just made the list with only country songs… or only Taylor Swift songs.

So is this list a bit cheesy? Yes, because there was no way I was leaving Dolly out of it. And it is definitely full of angst (my teenage self would be so proud). But it is pretty well-rounded — meaning it covers every stage of a break up and quite a few different situations. So please note, I obviously don’t personally relate to every single song, quite a few are just songs that I enjoy and love to jam out to regardless of what they are about. Enjoy!

p.s. There are a few songs that are explicit, just FYI, if that’s not your thing. #sorrymom

What are you listening to lately?

See past Friday Jam Session posts HERE.

Music - What I'm Listening To

Friday Jam Session Vol. 24

I love music. My taste is very diverse — continually being shaped by an unique combination of people, places and experiences. I never try to pawn myself off as someone who “knows music,” because I have too much respect for those who do. I did dance and took piano lessons growing up, but trust me, you do NOT want to hear me sing. But music is a topic that I never tire of and I love swapping recommendations. Please join in and share your own picks! View past posts HERE.

Friday Jam Session

1.Favorite New(ish) Album
A Head Full of Dreams – Coldplay

Gosh, I love Coldplay. They’ve been a staple on my playlists for as long as I can remember and with so much music and aspiring artists I love that they are still relevant (umm Superbowl… HELLO!?) and putting out great music. The album’s single above “Adventure of a Lifetime,” is timeless, fun and SO different, and I don’t just mean the weird music video. My other favorite off of the album include “Everglow,” which reminds me of their older work, as well as the title track “A Head Full of Dreams,” and the instrumental “Colour Spectrum.”

2. Favorite New(ish) Collaboration
Hollow by Tori Kelly ft. Big Sean

If you’ve read this series before than you know that Tori Kelly is a new artist that I have loved since her first EP came out. Her new collaboration might me my favorite song she’s put out thus far. When I read she was pairing up with Big Sean I was excited. I am usually pretty selective when it comes to rap, only liking one or two of each artists songs, but Big Sean is an exception, I like most of his music. So I was pretty disappointed that the official music video does not feature the collaboration version. It’s a song with a lot of meaning and a really good, progressive beat, which doesn’t always happen when the lyrics are heavy.

3. Favorite New (to me) Artist or Band

This young, new country band is a fun group with a strong single above “Long Live Tonight” and an EP from last year. I don’t know all that much about them yet but they have a lot of energy and stand out to me, among a lot of new country male/band acts. My favorite song so far is “American Love Story”,  and I also really like “Trouble Maker” and “We Do” off of the EP.

4. Jam I Have On Repeat
Drink You Away by Justin Timberlake

I know I already highlighted Chris Stapleton and his performance with Justin Timberlake at the 2015 CMA Awards. But recently I haven’t been able to take JT’s soulful single off of replay. Gosh he’s come along ways from his “Bye Bye Bye” days.

6. Favorite Spotify List
“Young and Free Mix” – Spotify

Soulful and just a tad bit hippy. Signs of spring starting to show outside are perfect for this mix.

7. #SoulMusic I’m obsessing Over
Smokestacks by Layla

This song has been featured on a few different TV shows and you know its something special, when you fall in love with a song without ever hearing the vocals. It’s a ballad, but unless you pay attention to the lyrics, it doesn’t stand out as one. The vocals are warm and textured, and I’m excited to hear more from this indie artist that reminds me of a mix of Florence + The Machines and Lana Del Ray. Definitely check out the rest of her new EP.

9. Current Beat That Makes Me Want to Dance…in the Car…Jamming With the Windows Down
Bang My Head – David Guetta ft. Sia and Fetty Wap

Obviously we knew Guetta and Sia were a good match up after “Titanium,” but Fetty Wap too?
Who knew?
It’s also a great song for my running playlist.
Also, also… I have no idea what this music video is about, but it looks pretty cool.

10. An Oldie, But a Goodie
Brighter Than Sunshine by Aqualung

Back in January my friend Jancey was visiting and got snowed in at my apartment with me during Winter Storm Jonas. With not much else to do we obviously we watched a lot of movies, and I introduced her to “A Lot Like Love” with Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet. This 2005 movie is virtually unknown, but it is my favorite rom-com. Yes, even over classics like How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Sweet Home Alabama. This song was the movie’s theme and after watching the movie for the first time in a couple of years, the song went back on my current playlist.

11. Work, Work It Out
Irresistible by Fall Out Boy ft. Demi Lovato

I’m sure I’ve already said this before, but I am SO happy that Fall Out Boy got back to together making music full-time. Honestly, overall I think I like their comeback music better than their original stuff. Patrick Stump was fine as a solo act, but the sound the guys have as a band, is still pretty unique after all this time. They are always a solid choiceon my workout playlists, and I love this feature with Demi.

12. Making Me Want To Fall In Love
Suitcase by Steven Moakler

This is such a simple, sweet song, and I love this live version above. I’ve discovered this guy back in college, and am kind of disappointed that he is still pretty unknown, because for me his voice and sound rank up there with some of my favorite staple artists in country music. Maybe this single and new music to come will be his turning point.

13. Guilty Listen of The Week

I really, really tried to not like this, and I’m pretty sure it will be a phase that will pass quickly
Nevertheless, sorry Mom.

14. Favorite New(ish) Cover/Remix
Fast Car – Jonas Blue Dakota

I’m really picky about remixes, and even more so when it’s also a cover of an older song. Tracy Chapman’s 1988 “Fast Car” is a classic, but I am loving this new remix. It still captures the trademark tone of the original, but gives it more of a modern beat.

15. Popular Song Making My Ears Bleed
Work by Rihanna ft. Drake

I’m usually a big Rihanna fan but this song is so annoying. What is she even saying?!? One day at the gym I forgot my headphones and the girl on the elliptical next to me must have too… except she decided it was OK just to play the music off her phone anyways, and had this song on repeat THE WHOLE 30 MINUTES. It took everything I had not to scratch at my eyeballs ask her to change the song.

16. Country Pick
Red Fire Night – Green River Ordinance

I just want it to be summer, and to have endless amounts of cheap, bar concerts to go to where half the crowd has never heard of the band.
I recently discovered this band, though in true country fashion, it looks like they’ve been around for a while.


So, what have you been listening to this week?


Music - What I'm Listening To

Friday Jam Session Vol. 23

I love music. My taste is very diverse — continually being shaped by an unique combination of people, places and experiences. I never try to pawn myself off as someone who “knows music,” because I have too much respect for those who do. I did dance and took piano lessons growing up, but trust me, you do NOT want to hear me sing. But music is a topic that I never tire of and I love swapping recommendations. Please join in and share your own picks! View past posts HERE.

Friday Jam Session

1.Favorite New(ish) Album
Illinois – Brett Eldredge

I’ve been meaning to feature this album since it came out in September. Even though his voice is very recognizable, Eldredge wasn’t really someone who was on my radar that much. I liked a few songs from his debut album, but he didn’t stick with me, and I listen to enough music that that’s an important factor. With his new sophomore album, I feel like we get much more genuine personality and there is a really good balance of the types of songs that are on it. I am loving the stripped down version of the single “Drunk on Your Love” above (original HERE), and also enjoying “You Can’t Stop Me” ft. Thomas Rhett, “Wanna Be That Song“and “Fire

2. Favorite New(ish) Collaboration
Back Home – Owl City ft. Jake Owen
Listen HERE

When I saw this in a playlist of new music on Spotify, I clicked out of pure curiosity. I never would have imagined putting these two voices together. I’ve never been much of an Owl City fan and I like Jake Owen, though sometimes he can be a little too much for me. Coincidentally, I’ve actually seen both Owl City and Jake Owen in concert.

I LOVE this song. It’s sweet and simple, and I enjoyed the contrast in their voices, especially in the harmonies. And really, I’m a sucker for any song that is an anthem for small towns, the country and anything that reminds me of home.

3. Favorite New (to me) Artist or Band
Chris Stapleton

I am all about finding new artists and there is a special place in my heart for outlaw country and red dirt music, but I get kind of annoyed when people insist that anything else labeled “country” is trash. OK, maybe we need new labels, but I do enjoy a lot of the new acts from the last few years. Anyway, when Chris Stapleton was nominated for CMA New Artist of the Year, people were beside themselves and carrying on as if the guy was an unsung legend, though surprisingly, I had never heard of him. I never got around to listening until his performance at the award show with Justin Timberlake blew up the internet. Holy crap, I regress. I totally understand the fuss now. That performance, shared above, as well as the performance of Timberlake’s “Drink You Away” immediately after, was amazing. I’m definitely a fan now. Off his new album I’m also really liking “Traveler“, “Fire Away“, “Nobody to Blame“, and “When the Stars Come Out.”

4. Jam I Have On Repeat
Lush Life – Zara Larsson

If you ever wonder what jamming out in your bedroom in front of the mirror with your hairbrush looks like, I’m pretty sure this music video is a great example. At first I thought the song was kind of flat, but over the past week on my walk to and from work I found myself pushing repeat. Don’t know how long that will last, but right now its my jam.

6. Favorite Spotify List
New Boots – Spotify

Always something new to listen too. It’s fun to think back to when so many of my favorite artists, country and not country, were just at the start of their careers.

7. #SoulMusic I’m obsessing Over
Speaking of Truth (Orchestrated) – Lelah

I heard this on a TV show a few weeks ago and instantly pulled up the Shazam app on my phone to figure out what it was. I guess you could say its a bit indie but I LOVE the artists voice blended with the instruments. This is a song that I would LOVE to see used in a dance routine.

9. Current Beat That Makes Me Want to Dance…in the Car…Jamming With the Windows Down
America’s Sweetheart – Elle King
Listen HERE

I have mixed feelings about this artists debut single, “Exes and Ohs,” but this song caught my attention right away. It’s an edgy anthem, and GREAT to jam out to in the car. I keep waiting for it to get old for me, but it hasn’t happened so far.

10. Taking Me Down Memory Lane
Eyes Open – Taylor Swift

I often identify songs that I think would make a great track on a soundtrack for books that I read, so I really enjoy seeing how the real soundtracks are interpreted when those books become movies. (For example, all opinions aside on the Twilight movies and books, I still LOVE each of the soundtracks.) I was really disappointed when I learned that the last installment of the The Hunger Games, Mockingjay Part 2 was not going to have its own.  Overall, I think the first movie’s soundtrack was my favorite and although the other Taylor Swift track got all of the attention, this one above was one of my favorites.

11. Work, Work It Out
Bitch Better Have My Money – Rihanna

Grandma, you probably don’t want to listen to this one. I’ve always been a big Rihanna fan and I love turning this one up with I’m working out. I’ve also become with watching dance videos from this studio featured in the video above. I think because I did dance growing up, I might appreciate their talent even more. Seriously, not in a million years would I have ever been that good.

12. Making Me Want To Fall In Love
I’ll Be Your Man – Zac Brown Band
Listen HERE

Zac Brown Band has one of those sounds and music personalities that remind why I love music. They have carved out their own special spot in the music industry and you can rely on the fact that they will never disappoint you. This one above off of their new (awesome) album is adorable and makes me tear up almost every time. Of course I then found this video that shares the meaning behind the song and how it was recorded, and I did indeed, tear up.

13. Guilty Listen of The Week/ Favorite Cover
Torn – One Direction (Original by Natalie Imbruglia)

Go ahead and judge me. I don’t care, I’ve explained listening to One Direction before. Before I saw this video I didn’t know that this was actually one of the songs they covered when they were on X-Factor. It’s a pretty common song to cover, but it seemed far enough out of their wheelhouse that couldn’t help but check it out. It’s different, and I still think I like it better as a female solo, but I did enjoy their version.

14. Song I Originally Loved But Now Is Overplayed
Here – Alessia Cara
Listen HERE

I wouldn’t say I ever loved it, but it was catchy and different when it first came out. Now it’s just really gets on my nerves. Definitely over it.

15. Popular Song Making My Ears Bleed
My House – Flo Rida
Listen HERE

I can’t handle this song. Flo Rida just needs to stop. Yes, I jammed in my teeny-bopper years to “Low” and a few other songs, and still would if they came on the radio, but I’m pretty sure this one is killing brain cells and you can’t even dance to ti.

16. Country Pick
It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To – Billy Currington
Listen HERE

Considering this song has been on my favorites list for most of 2015, I’m not sure why it hasn’t been mentioned in one of my blog posts yet. Billy Currington is another artists that has been around a while now and in my opinion, still doesn’t get enough attention for his talent. His voice is rich, and his sound choice and sound is always strong.


Dark – Ryan Beaver
Listen HERE

These song could fit under quite a few categories include my selections for #SoulMusic and song on repeat. For me it just has one of those smooth addicting sounds, and the lyrics stand out to me as something a bit different than what I’ve been hearing recently. I haven’t listened to anything else by this new artist yet but this particular song was perfect for his vocals.

BONUS: My Voice Picks, Week 7 – 11

We’re in the second week of live playoffs and honestly, it stresses me out. It’s so hard to choose! The contestants are just now starting to really settle into their own styles and becoming comfortable, so there are so many that still stand out. While song choice is still a big factor is what performances I like, I am finally starting to pick favorites based on wanting to hear more from them regardless of what they are singing.

Week 7 Knockouts
Dare You to Move – Evan McKeel
A Women’s Worth – Nadjah Nicole
Jesus Take The Wheel – Carrie Underwood
Turning Tables – Jeffery Austin
Cowboy Take Me Away – Emily Ann Roberts

Week 8 Live Playoffs

I Drive Your Truck – Barrett Baber
In The Garden – Emily Ann Roberts

Brand New Girlfriend – Zach Seabaugh
Something in the Water – Celeste Betton
Songbird – Madi Davis

Lips of an Angel – Morgan Frazier
Halo – Jordan Smith

Barton Hollow – Chance Pena
Say You Love Me – Jeffery Austin
Never Tear Us Apart – Blaine Mitchell

Week 9 – Top 12 Live
My Love – Zach Zeabaugh
Great is Thy Faithfulness – Jordan Smith
In Color – Shelby Brown
Let It Go – Jeffery Austin
Who Will Save Your Soul – Madi Davis
Blame It On Your Heart – Emily Ann Roberts

Week 10 – Top 11 Live
Why Not Me – Emily Ann Roberts
Love is Blindness – Madi Davis
Only Hope – Korin Bukowski
Delta Dawn – Barrett Baber

Week 11 – Top 10 Live
I’d Love to Lay You Down – Barrett Baber
Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Zach Seabaugh
Hallelujah – Jordan Smith
Go Rest High On That Mountain – Shelby Brown
She’s Got You – Emily Ann Roberts


So, what have you been listening to this week?

Linking up with these blogs today!

Here, Here and HERE.


So There's That Series

What’s Up Wednesday: November 2015

Oh hey, what’s up? Is it SERIOUSLY the end of another month?!

This link up happens the last Wednesday of every month with the same list of questions and is hosted by The Larson Lingo, Mix & Match Family andPinterest Told Me To.


What I’m Eating This Month…

This month went by quick and though I kept up with cooking more and more original things, I didn’t really take pictures. It is the start of the holidays and I love to share with people so I when a made a few things ahead of time for Thanksgiving I also made a few things to share at work and give away to a few people including my great grandma’s nutty sour cream cinnamon rolls and Dad’s smoked salmon dip.
IMG_3212 IMG_3216

What I’m Reminiscing About…

Last year I surprised my whole family by coming home for Thanksgiving for the first time since I was in high school. It was great fun, but I’m not sure I could ever go that long without spilling the beans. I was super proud of myself.


My suprise trip home for Thanksgiving 2014.
My suprise trip home for Thanksgiving 2014.

What I’m Loving…

All of the social media Thanksgiving posts throughout the month.
Listen, I know lots of people think it can be superficial (or annoying) and that “we should be thankful everyday of the year,” but that attitude makes me so mad. Quit trying to find a way to be a gloomy hipster. So what if its really cheesy? I think the world needs a little bit more of that, especially lately, and I enjoy reading those tweets and statuses much more than your well-crafted, bandwagon political opinion. 

NARS Lip Pencils.… long story, but my co-workers and I addicted.
The Bloggess’ Awkwarding Brings Us Together series.
The Timehop App. It’s a brilliant idea, and it never fails to make me smile every day.
My new flannel sheets.
The Prairie Californian’s “Thirty Days of Food” blog series
The Total Wine store.
This quote.


Joseph Gordon Levitt’s mad lip syncing skills

What I’ve Been Up To…
I started out the month at Lake Tahoe for my job’s Fall Board Meeting. It was a beautiful location and I managed to sneak away for a few minutes for some great picture taking…

My Spoo grandparents, who I haven’t been able to see in a few years, live a few hours north of Lake Tahoe. Because of the time difference my flight got in mid-morning, so they made the trip to spend the afternoon with me. Being back in Nevada and visiting with them brought back so many childhood memories of the summer I would spend there with my sister and our cousins. These two are such an important part of who I am and I just love them so much.


What I’m Dreading…
I’m pretty sure I’ve said winter for the last 3 months…

 So, ummm holiday travel? That’s different, right?

What I’m Working On…
Finishing buying and making Christmas gifts… DUH. I am DETERMINED to be done when I leave to go home for my week off.

What I’m Excited About…
Really though, 2015 was incredibly unexpected, exciting, challenging and rewarding… and all in ways that I couldn’t have imagined when I rang in the New Year. But looking ahead as I start to fill in my calendar, set some goals and continue to explore my new home (which will probably always feel new to me), I am so incredibly excited for 2016.

What I’m Watching…
As I expected, shows are starting to lose my interest. I LOVED the first season of How to Get Away With Murder, but there is just way too much going on this season and some of the characters are really starting to annoy me. I just don’t see where the show can continue to go from here and not have those problems. I am about 3 episodes behind, and at some point I will probably binge watch and catch up to the Fall Finale because I “HAVE TO” know a few things in the plot, but after that, who knows. I also dropped Blood and Oil. I really liked the idea of it and the acting is pretty good but its too slow and considering I watch way too much TV, it was easy for me to forget about it.

I’m still kind of keeping up with the Voice but that’s primarily because I just turn the TV up really loud so I can go off and do other things around the house. I still regularly watch Gotham, Criminal Minds and Scandal, though sometimes its later on my computer. The two new shows that I am loving are Blindspot and Quantico.

What I’m Reading…
Except for re-reading Mockingjay before the movie came out (which I haven’t seen yet) I haven’t found the time or haven’t as interested in reading the last two months. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve been indecisive and picky, so I’ve legitimately started 5 different books in the last month and a half and haven’t finished one. I typically don’t have this problem and I’m sure with the cold weather that it will go away soon.

What I’m Listening To…
As always, check out my Friday Jam Session series for what I’m listening to every week (or so). Lately I’ve been enjoying albums from Adele, Eric Church, Sia and Ellie Goulding. There are always a number of new singles that I’m into, and I’ve joined the bandwagon and am STILL obsessing over Chris Stapleton’s (check out his whole album) and Justin Timberlake’s performances at the CMA’s

What I’m Wearing…

…and November here is not nearly as bad as January and February.
(I also failed at taking pictures.)

I’ve had to refrain from buying every flannel I see because they don’t really fit into my work wardrobe, so I just got one new one that is seen in the picture above with my grandparents.  My tall/skinny jean boots are also at their two-year mark and probably wouldn’t make it through another winter just on their own, so I recently got these Steve Madden boots from Off Broadway (I LOVE THAT STORE!) I’m so picky about shoes so I was happy when I finally a pair that worked for me.


What I’m Doing This Weekend…

I am headed down to Raleigh, NC, which will be a little over a 4 hour drive, to spend Thanksgiving with my friends Jake and Nicole. These are two Oregon kids that I helped recruit to K-State and became good friends with along the way. They are now out in North Carolina and I am so excited to see some famiilar faces from home (Oregon AND Kansas!) Based on the chatter from the past few days I think we are going to have plenty to eat (and drink) over the next few days! It should be a fabulous time!


What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month…
 One word.


This Month’s Bonus Question: What’s your favorite Christmas tradition?

– I’m not sure how early it started, but my sister and I have always had this rule or understanding that we DO NOT under any circumstances go look at or go through our stockings until the other one is awake. When we were younger that meant one of us shaking the other awake at 6 am. Last year at ages 20 and 24, I got a mean text message from my sister at 9:28 am (as I could also hear her all the way up the stairs) that she was starting without me at 9:30 and that in the future, if I wasn’t out of bed by that time, she was taking my stuff.

– Pancakes for dinner on Christmas Eve.

– My family is usually pretty tired from our store being busy during the holidays, so Christmas Day is pretty laid back. Someone always gets a movie of some kind so we usually end up watching it and pulled out a board or card game.

– Uncle Jay’s unique gift wrapping. Trashbags are the most repeated, but past years have included newspapers.

Well, that’s what’s up this Wednesday!
Cheers, and Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

Career/Professional, Washington D.C.

April Showers Bring…

april showers bring...

…winter wheat.
In my world, April showers bring May winter wheat.

People, just about this time tomorrow my flight will be landing in Manhappiness. (otherwise known as Manhattan, KS, if your relationship isn’t on nickname level yet.)

Yes, I did leave Manhattan for a new job and new adventures, but that doesn’t in any way lessen my excitement to be going back after two long short months.

For my first big work trip with U.S. Wheat, I will be traveling back to Kansas for the annual Kansas Hard Red Winter (HRW) Wheat Tour. From Monday afternoon through Thursday I will be making a 1,000+ mile loop around Kansas, making overnight stops in Manhattan, Colby, Wichita and Kansas City.

Personally I will be bookending my trip with vacation in Manhattan on the front end and in Wichita on the back end, which means I’ll be able to attend a dear friend’s wedding!

But first, let’s take a look back at April. If you are like me, the month was a cliché  and was gone before you could blink.

I checked a bucket list item off and enjoyed the Cherry Blossom Festival.

cherry blossom selfie magnolias

I continued to learn my way around the city and went on some pretty picturesque runs.

lincoln run FullSizeRender IMG_1703 IMG_1715

I went on a day-trip with some of my co-workers out to rural Maryland to both see the wheat crop and get an idea of what to expect on the upcoming wheat tour. I love wearing my heels, but I was pretty excited to wear my jeans and boots to work, and more importantly, get some dirt underneath them.

My parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary and I wrote this post that got quite a bit of attention…

Julie & Tom

I bought some cool books  and attended a K-State Alumni reception. Work kept me on my toes and took me out to events at places like the National Press Club and USDA, so of course I had to tame down the nerdy googly eyes.  Let’s just say that part of me continues to forget that I live HERE now. But on the other hand, I don’t know if I ever really want to loose that feeling of being awestruck.

And lastly, I spent time with great people. It’s nice that D.C. is a destination both for people to visit and for other young ag professionals to take the next step in their career. April allowed me to enjoy time with both, meaning that slowly, but surely, I’m starting to build a life here.

derek and jen greg

Dear May, please don’t fly by quite as fast, but since that’s exactly what I’m expecting, be prepared for my social media to be filled with wheat, sunshine, purple love and lots of friends.

Oh, and because I can’t help myself….


This cracks me up more than it should, EVERY YEAR.

Happy May friends!