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.

So There's That Series

So There’s That Vol. 20

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five”  or a “Life Lately” except it’s probably not Friday, and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. These are some bits and pieces of my glam #postgradlife. See past posts HERE}

These “So There’s That” posts really have become my favorite thing to blog and are essentially the core of what I share on here. I love that it allows me to properly journal what is going on in my life in a straightforward way and also share what’s making me laugh and influencing my life at the moment in various ways. Unfortunately, I went a little too long without posting one again… the goal is at least every 3 to 4 weeks. So I apologize if this post is a tad long, I’ve been busy since my last series post in mid-December!


DIY New Patio Furniture

To know me is to know how much I hate the winter and being cold, and how much I LOVE sunshine and being outside. My family has always been all about creating spaces outside that are perfect for comfy evenings (or mornings) spent enjoying the weather and good company. All through college and afterward when I lived in Manhattan for 2 years I always had a porch/patio/balcony that allowed me to create that, but my first place in DC didn’t. I moved to my current place almost a year ago now, but by the time I found some extra time last summer it was almost too late to worry about furnishing my new balcony.

So fast forward to this spring, which I have been impatiently waiting for so I could tackle this right away. I did a lot of looking around to determine what I wanted to buy but finally decided that I wanted to go the difficult direction and make a project out of it.

This below was my inspiration from Pinterest. (Original link here.)

I used (14) 8x8x16 cinder blocks and (6) 4×4’s cut to 5.5 feet.

It was actually pretty easy to put all together. It was the loading onto the store cart, then into my car and then 9 trips from my parking garage and up into my condo (I did use a cart for the blocks) that really did me in. Eventually I will take it back apart to stain and seal the wood, and I might end up using nail glue on the top upright blocks.

I splurged a bit too much on the decorative pillows, but I couldn’t help it. Once I saw the crab pillow it all came together quickly! I do need to get rid of an extra coffee and end table set that I was stashing out on the balcony, but once those are gone I will do some planning for small table/rest of some sort and possibly some other decor and something to hold my plants that are currently inside on my window sill.

Soul Sisters


I originally shared this picture a few months ago on Instagram, but I wanted to bring it back around because really, how cute and PERFECT are these mugs! They come as a set (obviously) and I gave Megan hers for Christmas. You can find them on Etsy from “The Sister Studio.” I love so many of her items!



This picture is also a few months old… You see I am always building on these posts so that they are supposed to be easier to pull together and edit once I’m ready to publish. Anyway, I couldn’t not share this photo. That drive way leads into my old apartment complex and I still can’t believe that a bus driver thought it could manage it.

Travel Journal

The biggest thing that has happened in 2017 so far is this little adventure I went on in February and have been busy posting just a few posts about….

Travel Journal: USW South Asia Board Team to Thailand and the Philippines

Travel Journal: Wat Pho, Wat Arun and the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand

Travel Journal: Pak Khlong Talat Flower Market in Bangkok, Thailand

Travel Journal: Chatuchak Weekend Market and Jim Thompson House in Bangkok, Thailand

Travel Journal: Thai Cooking Class and Elephant Rides in Phuket, Thailand

Travel Journal: Koh Hong Island Excursion

Travel Journal: Karon Beach Sunset in Phuket, Thailand

Travel Journal: Candid in Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand

Sister Act

These are all photos and videos with Jancz during my visit home in December. We love to send silly Snapchats back and forth to each other using the selfie filters, but doing them together ended up being really funny… well at least to us.

The Giving Keys

This is my original post from Facebook:

“I spent yesterday afternoon enjoying the DC weather in Georgetown and we stopped for some food and to watch the end of the Masters. A family of four walks up and asks if they can share the other two seats at our high top. Later as they are getting ready to leave the 8 (?) year old girl turns and hands me this necklace and says, “Thank you for being so nice, I want to give you my Giving Key.” Then she explains that you are supposed to wear and embrace your “word” and then pass it along to someone else when you feel ready or when you feel that someone else needs the message more than you. Dear sweet Luchina, thank you for making my day and the little lesson on love. Check out The Giving Keys movement my friends. We certainly need a bit more of this in our lives. #BeTheKey

Happy People

Currently obsessed with this tune. Really in my mind, Little Big Town can do no wrong.

Happy Thursday

Thursday’s are friends, fellowship and impromptu celebratory ice cream cakes.

Administrator of the Year

Back in January my Dad was recognized as Administrator of the Year for the Hermiston School District. I am proud to see him recognized for all of this hard work!

Read HERE —>


Since I moved to the DC area one of the top things on my bucket list was to attend a presidential inauguration and was so thankful that my friend Logan signed us up to get tickets through Senator Moran. I did have a few people question and even shame me for wanting to go. I simply explained to them that 1.) You have no idea who I voted for, nor is it really any of your business to know or make guesses and 2.) I was definitely going to go REGARDLESS of who was being sworn in because I was there to experience a really cool and important part of history.

Aside from the 6(ish) hours that we stood in the misty weather, it really was a cool experience.

*Stole this picture from my friend was working the event up close.

Friends Are Part of the Glue

There are a couple of blogs that I read regularly, and one of those is a young teacher in Texas who mostly falls into the “mom blog” category. A while ago she had a friend pass away from cancer and shared this quote that I cut out of her Instagram comment. The quote resonated with me in so many ways that I immediately took a screenshot.

I didn’t want to share her whole personal post, so I sincerely apologize that I am not properly crediting it. You can find her blog here though:

AFA Alumni Spotlight

My best friend has a pretty unique job and I was so proud to see AFA, an organization I love so much, feature her in its spotlight! Go Megan!!

Read HERE —>

AFA Policy Institute

Speaking of AFA, the organization brought students to town for National Ag Day and I had the opportunity to join these fellow alumni for some round table discussions with the students about career paths and our own experiences. No matter what the event is, I always leave feeling refreshed and a bit more centered when I surrounded by the people brought together by AFA.

Out and About

A few snippets (and Snapchats) of life lately.

Girls Night Out = Korean BBQ and Karoke




Snaps from Janci on the family farm are my favorite.


Last minute free tickets to Red Hot Chili Peppers? Why the heck not?!

Watched my Portland Trailblazers while they were in town to play DC. It was a pretty disappointing loss but great company!

My sleepy puppies back in Oregon.

Original caption from Facebook:

“Nicole and I always joke about how we practically have the same life story. Both Northeast Oregon girls with roots in the Oregon FFA Association who went to K-State Ag to study ag comm and had internships in the grain industry. And both of us ended up on the East Coast where I eventually hired her to do freelance work for my organization… which happens to be part of the grain industry. And that doesn’t even cover all of the other interests we have in common. But while we laugh about it when people ask us how we know each other, its actually the perfect example of how important it is to cultivate and invest in meaningful relationships, both personally and professionally, because you never know where that connection might lead you to or how that person might impact your life many years down the road.

On Sunday, we were able to share that together with Agriculture Future of America (AFA) students visiting DC for National Ag Day. We shared that we are better people and better ag communicators because we blend our personal and professional relationship. We support each other’s careers, the successes and DEFINITELY the challenges, but we are able to do that because of our friendship and respect for each other. And as a BONUS, it is just plain fun to have people to continue to share those life experiences, like #AgDay with.

This is year’s theme was “Food for Life” and I choose to think of that in terms of the relationships and my network in the agriculture industry, and how that fuels my life in every way. Without that network of people that makes me want to always strive to be better, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am in a job and industry that I absolutely love.”

My Life in Memes

Memes that are speaking to me right now… both thought provoking and just plain funny.




Gilmore Girls  GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Wesley and Robin

Obviously I was long overdue for an update on my favorite two little kiddos who both celebrated their birthday’s in the last two months.

Robin: At Christmas time wearing her new bow from me!

Robin: A new one year old!

Wesley: Fortunately my trip home over Christmas meant I got to spend lots of time with him!


So, There’s That.


Music - What I'm Listening To

Friday Jam Session Vol. 13

One of the main things to know about me is how much 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, so I am starting a new version of my Friday Jam Sessions that I hope will become a weekly series. Please join in and share your own picks! Also, you can read my past Friday Jam Session posts HERE.

Friday Jam Session

1.Favorite New(ish) Album
 Dream Your Life Away – Vance Joy

So this album came out almost a year ago (September 2014) but it is still the default CD in my car. I bought it on a whim because it was $8, after only hearing “Riptide.” But when I accidently found that debut song that summer I remember texting my best friend Megan and saying something to the effect of “this guy’s sound is one that we are going to be obsessed over for a LONG time.” Just an FYI though, his music videos are really weird. I also really like “Georgia,” but really you should check out the whole album

2.Favorite New(ish) Collaboration
 Locked Away – R.City ft. Adam Levine
Listen HERE.
I was sold at Adam Levine.

3.Favorite New (new-to-me) Artist/Band
 Tori Kelly

I always say there is something special going on when I LOVE someone’s whole album, especially if it is their debut. Great lyrics, an unique sound and I. LOVE. HER. HAIR! #curlyhairdontcare. And on top of that she has a song featuring Ed Sheeran…but we’ll get to that obsession another time. Her album is called “Unbreakable Smile” and besides the song above I’m also digging “Nobody Love,” First Heartbreak” and “I Was Made For Loving You.”

4.Jam I Have on Repeat
Crash and Burn – Thomas Rhett

The day I made the connection that Thomas Rhett was Rhett Atkins’ son my mind was blown. Though he has already followed his Dad’s footsteps into some successful songwriting, he has definitely created his own successful behind the mic. This song and video continue to crack me up.

5.Favorite Cover, Remix or Mashup
Trap Queen – Ed Sheeran (original by Fetty Wap)

I am pretty sure Ed Sheeran could sing a chemistry equation and I would love it. I have been a fan since his first EP came out and some of my favorites are covers that he flips, which lead me to this one. I am not really a fan of the song itself, so I would not advise scrutinizing the lyrics too closely, but I bookmarked the video on my browser so I could get to it easily…

6.Favorite Spotify List
 “Better Off Without You” by Spotify
I don’t even have anyone do be angry at but this playlist almost makes me wish I did.

7.#SoulMusic I’m Obsessing Over
Bright – Echosmith

In college my roommate and I started referring to certain songs as #SoulMusic. To me is usually refers to something that moved me a bit with its lyrics or sometimes just its sound, and it’s usually something that gets a spot on one of my permanent playlists. But I think the main point is it kind of different for everyone. 

8.”Oldie, But a Goodie” I Heard This Week
Lip Gloss – Lil Mama
Listen HERE
PEOPLE, do you remember this song!? I was out last weekend and this song came on in the bar, and this guy could sing it, in rhythm, word for word. I was so impressed! Now I don’t know if this was ever considered a “good” song by anyone, but I’ve been laughing about it all week so I decided it was worth a shout out and a shared laugh or two.

9. Current Beat That Makes Me Want to Dance…in the Car…Jamming With the Windows Down
I Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd

I have no idea what this song means. I googled it and apparently no one else does either.
But I love it, but love it… see what I did there?

10.Taking Me Down Memory Lane
The Future Freaks Me Out – Motion City Soundtrack
As I was writing each of the categories for this new version of Friday Jam Session I kept thinking of all the songs usually trigger certain memories or represent certain times in my life. Yeah, I am one of those cheesy people. Then, conveniently this very song came on later that day on my iTunes. When I met my best friend in Megan college (you’ll hear that name a lot in this series) we bonded quickly over our love for music. She introduced me to this really weird band, basically by saying, “don’t actually ever try to figure out how they come up with this stuff, just accept the fact that you are going to love it.” Well, six years later I can say cheers to friends and weird music that make the best road trip jams.

11. Work, Work it Out
Don’t Look Down – Martin Garrix ft. Usher
Listen HERE
Get this on your running playlist stat!

12.Making Me Want to Fall in Love
What I Love About You – Logan Mize

 I have legitimately lost count of the amount of times I have seen Logan Mize perform. I know every word, to every song. His music is everything I love about Kansas and it has been fun to watch him over the past few years grow from Aggieville’s stages to his growing success in Nashville. I think his fans in Kansas can be selfish, we love his music, but sometimes what to keep him as our undiscovered, best kept secret. But no, his music should definitely be listened to.

13.Guilty Listen of the Week
 Drag Me Down – One Direction

Don’t even start to judge me. Every generation has its boy bands that you pretend “oh I only know this one song because it’s always on,” but most of us are liars. I listen to a lot of music, most of it objectively really good, but my theory is that boy bands should go into their own shame-free, this-is-wonderful-but-terrible category to every now and then listen to, guilt free. And honestly, I was extremely amused the hysteria created by the one member leaving, so I just  really wanted to see if they could hold it together with their new stuff.

14.Song That I Originally Loved, But Is Now Overplayed
See You Again – Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth

When my sister (who is abnormally obsessed with the movie series) texted me this song immediately loved it. And then in the theater at the end of the movie?! Cue the tears again. But then hear it everywhere I went and on EVERY Spotify playlist and it just started to get old. On another note…Charlie Puth is extremely awkward to watch, both in this video and live TV performances.

15.Popular Song That Is Making My Ears Bleed
Cool For The Summer – Demi Lavato
Listen HERE
Ummm NO.

16.Country Pick of the Week
Save it for a Rainy Day – Kenny Chesney

Growing up Kenny was my favorite country act, so he will always have a special place. Years later, I think I’m just really impressed that he continues to find/write songs that fit his beach bum country persona.

BONUS: 5 Songs On My 2015 Summer Jam Playlist
Most of these first came out last summer, but they’ve been my repeats in 2015
House Party – Sam Hunt
FUN – Pitbull ft. Chris Brown
Kiss You in the Morning – Michael Ray
Shut Up and Dance – Walk The Moon
Day Drinking – Little Big Town

So, what have you been listening to this week?

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Linking up with these blogs today!
* Momfessionals, A Little Bit of Everything and Grace & Love Blog
* Life In Leggings
* Three Sister and Us, Complete Bliss Blog, Mice in The Kitchen and Second Chances Girl