So There's That Series

What’s Up Wednesday: September 2015

Oh hey, what’s up? 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 and Pinterest Told Me To.

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What I’m Eating This Week…
September was a bit unexpectedly busy and stressful, so I just really didn’t feel like spending too much time in the kitchen. This month was a lot of my quick go-to meals that are easy to prepare. I did try a couple of new restaurants though. Jaleo is a Spanish Tapas place in Gallery Place/Chinatown that was amazing!! I went there for a girls night with a few I know through work and there wasn’t a plate we didn’t like. We wrapped up the evening at Oyamel just right across the street for salt foam margaritas. I’m not big on the coarse salt margs are usually served with, but these were so different and so good!

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Another place I tried was the Mitsitam Cafe at the American Indian History Museum. I think all of the Smithsonian’s have some type of cafeteria/food option, but the only other one I had eaten at before had a pretty standard menu. This one though had different stations and menus that reflected on native food from different Indian regions in the Western Hemisphere, so think “Northern Woodlands”, “Meso America”, “Northwest Indian,” etc.

What I’m Reminiscing About…
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Our family friend posted this picture this week of Kelli, who is 10 years old and totally owning her first season showing livestock in 4-H.

My sister and I were Kelli and her brother Vance’s main baby sitters from the time they born, they even picked up on my sisters name for me “Sissy” for a while. One of the saddest things for me was to leave for college and not get to watch them grow up. All of these pictures from her first show season almost made me tear up because she looks so grown up (and almost taller then me) doing this…

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And its so hard to believe that its been 6 years ago since she was doing this…

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But the little girl in this picture will always be my favorite. Love you Kelli Bean!

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2008.

What I’m Loving…

Pieces of home. Even at (almost!) 25, I still have waves of bad homesickness. The past week or so has been particularly strong. This month was a little overwhelming in a lot of ways and I’ve been talking a lot about home because I was making plans for Christmas vacation. My family has had some pretty hilarious group text chats and everyone just has so much going on in their lives that I wish I was closer for. So Snapchats like this one my sister sent me and t-shirts like the one my childhood bestie Kari sent me, are what get me through some days

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What I’ve Been Up To…
 
I started out the month in Guatemala, and each week that followed was full of lots of unexpected things at work. The fact that the month is over blows my mind a little bit. There’s always a few evening happy hours and work events, so honestly I’ve been pretty tired and definitely more than ok with my lazy weekends. The really exciting thing is that K-State football watch party’s have started and I am enjoying spending some of my Saturday in a bar full of purple-clad people.

What I’m Dreading…

Well I’ve been really excited about fall, but the other day my boss and I were in the District for a meeting and grabbed some lunch at a food truck. I start talking about how nice it is that we can enjoy our lunch outside and he immediately responds, “Yes, and that just means that winter is next.”

Thanks Eeyore, I was trying to forget about that part for now…

What I’m Working On…

I finally got my own separate office at work so I am working on making the space my own. I added some fun fall decorations and am making a burlap wreath for it that I will share some time soon!

What I’m Excited About…

My kicked off my new “The Road I Traveled” series this week and I received a lot of interest and some good feedback! I am really excited to see how this project can evolve. A special thanks to my friends Jancey, Jordan, Megan and Lance for helping me work through some of my ideas!

Read the introductory post HERE.
Read my first post featuring yours truly HERE.

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What I’m Watching…

I said last month that I have been working my way through Friends on Netflix from start to finish. The problem is I only have 6 episodes left in the last season and now I am avoiding them. I don’t want it to end!!

Last week was fall premiere week, and I was excited for some of my favorites to be back on. I’m not committed to watching everything in real time, so anything I miss I’ll catch up on later on Hulu or the specific network’s sites. Right now my fall shows are Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder and Criminal Minds. I kind of half-watch, half-listen to The Voice. I enjoy the coaches’ banter and like hearing good covers, but that is just SO MUCH time to commit to a show two nights a week! Usually if I miss an episode completely I’ll just watch the performances and highlight reels on YouTube. The only new show that I’ve checked out the pilot of is Blood & Oil. I wasn’t super impressed but I might give it a few more chances. There are a few others I like such as Gotham, Castle and NCIS: LA but again, I just think its a little unhealthy to spend that much time in front of the TV, so I’ll catch up on those later on a lazy Sunday or while I’m cleaning my apartment.

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What I’m Reading…
I’ll recap my September reading list next week during Molly and Katie’s Bookworm Wednesday link-up.

What I’m Listening To…

Well this week I’ve mainly had Thomas Rhett’s new album “Tangled Up” on replay. You’ll hear more about that on this week’s Friday Jam Session.

But be sure to catch up on all of my September Friday Jam Sessions…

Vol. 16: September 4
Vol. 17: September 11
Vol. 18: September 18
Vol. 19: September 25

What I’m Wearing…

Thunderstorms have made a few afternoons a bit humid, but for the most part it is officially scarf weather here!

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I don’t really make a habit of taking pictures of my outfits because I don’t see myself as that much of a fashionista. I was, however, proud of these outfits and took the pictures to send to my friend Megan…so I guess why not share here. The grey suede booties from Express are my new favorite and I’m excited to try them with different looks. The red Gap pants are my very first colored skinny pants. I’ve tried many on over the past few years but I was never brave enough. The cream sweater in the second picture is from The Limited and my other new favorite fall piece. It is really soft and actually is split from the buttons on the shoulder down to where you can see that it is uneven. Obviously I thought it was cute when I bought it, but didn’t notice that the extra tag said it was apart of the “Scandal’s Olivia Pope” inspired line. Now I love it even more!

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What I’m Doing This Weekend…
So far just planning on watching these boys in their first conference match up of the season. We are 3-0, but I’d still say that the season has started up bit shaky. This weekend’s game against Oklahoma State should give us a better idea how the rest of the season might pan out.

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What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month…
 Ah, I love October! I mean, who doesn’t love their birthday month….

So because I’ve traveled somewhere almost every month since I moved to D.C., I figured, why not continue the streak… Or it was more like I just really missed my Kansas friends and after being a K-State football season ticket holder for the past six years, I couldn’t imagine not going to a single game! I have a three-day weekend coming up with Columbus Day so I am taking advantage of it for a quick trip to the heartland. I have A LOT packed in but I am really excited!

This Month’s Bonus Question: What’s Your Favorite Halloween Tradition…

I’m not a huge Halloween fan. I have this weird phobia of people wearing masks and costumes that hide their face and growing up it was always freezing in Oregon by October 31 so we had to get creative with layers in our costumes to stay warm. In college though, the scholarship house that I lived in my freshman and sophomore year had a really cool philanthropy tradition. The guys from the men’s scholarship house were auctioned off to us girls (I was the auctioneer one year!) and we were in charge of dressing them up for Halloween. We would then go out and trick-or-treat for canned goods that we would then donate, along with the money to the local food drive. Typically girls would group together and pool their money, and it was always really funny to see boyfriends go for a really high price because everyone kept bidding up even though it was kind of an unspoken rule that no one else would buy them. The best part though, was costumes themes. My freshman year our guys were the Spice Girls and we were their groupies. And my sophomore year we were all a box of crayons.

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Well, that’s what’s up this Wednesday!
Cheers!

Music - What I'm Listening To

Friday Jam Session Vol. 19

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.
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Friday Jam Session

1.Favorite New(ish) Album
1989 (Cover Album) – Ryan Adams


The internet about had a heart attack last week when T-Swift herself started promoting the release of Ryan Adams’ full cover album of 1989. I’ve listened to the guy a few times before and I like his sound, but with the craze this cover album started, I found myself just as anxious to hear it.

It’s weird and wonderful all at once, and I think regardless if you are a Taylor Swift fan or not, I’d say that is a testament to her writing. Most of the upbeat songs were slowed down and the slow ones sound more haunting. I was somewhat surprised that my favorites were the exact opposite from my favorites on the original album. His cover of “Style” above was probably my overall pick followed closely by “This Love.” I also really enjoyed “All You Had to Do Was Stay” “Bad Blood” and “Clean.”

2.Favorite New (new-to-me) Artist/Band
Hideaway – Daya
Listen HERE

If you had told me the first few time I heard this song that this girl is only 16, I wouldn’t have believed. Her voice definitely sounds more mature. This is her first single off of her upcoming debut album. I actually haven’t had a chance to really check out any of her other music, but I fear it might be that I just like this particular song. We’ll have to see.

3.Jam I Have on Repeat
T-Shirt – Thomas Rhett


 I kept telling myself that I was going to wait to feature Thomas Rhett again until his full new album came out today. But I CAN’T stopping putting this song on repeat. It’s becoming unhealthy. That said, don’t be surprised when I feature the album next weekend…

4.Favorite Collaboration, Cover, Remix or Mashup
XO – John Mayer
Listen HERE

I love Queen Bey, but I definitely like John Mayer’s version better.

5.Favorite Spotify List
“All Out 90’s” by Spotify

My early childhood was pretty awesome.

6.#SoulMusic I’m Obsessing Over
Burning House – Cam
Listen HERE

This song has such a sad and haunting, but beautiful sound. It actually reminds me a bit of the Dixie Chicks.

7.”Oldie, But a Goodie” I Heard This Week
Holiday in the Sun – Weezer
Listen HERE

So this is where I admit that the straight-to-video Mary-Kate and Ashley movie “Holiday in the Sun” is one of my most watched movies… EVER. Yepp, I am from the Olsen twins generation and for some reason my friend Kari and I were obsessed with that movie. This song always reminds me of our friendship, and of course, how ridiculous that movie is.

8.Current Beat That Makes Me Want to Dance…in the Car…Jamming With the Windows Down
Tear in My Heart – Twenty One Pilots


I’m warning you, this band is weird, and what’s even stranger is how oddly addictive their music is. When they opened for a Imagine Dragons concert I went to a few years ago, that’s all took for me to become a fan. Sure they’re weird but they’re talented and have an energy that is contagious. I’m loving this song off of their new album, but my favorite will always be “Holding Onto You.”

9.Taking Me Down Memory Lane
Vogue – Madonna
 

This week is another trip down memory lane to my dance days. This was the competition performance song the first year I was a competitive team in 5th grade and after dozens of routines since then, this is the one that I still remember the most of.

10.Work, Work it Out
Move Along – All-American Rejects

Ahh the band of my high school days, I miss you guys. This song still gets played at least once every run I go on.

11.Making Me Want to Fall in Love
Fire and The Flood – Vance Joy
 

You know, if I’m just going to feature Vance Joy every single week anyway, maybe he should just get his own category?

Seriously though, this song… swoon.

12.Guilty Listen of the Week
Same Old Love – Selena Gomez
Listen HERE

Don’t know about the rest of the song, but I’m a sucker for a catchy and quirky chorus.

13.Song That I Originally Loved, But Is Now Overplayed
Jason Derulo

This week I’m talking about an artist, not a song. I really liked Jason Derulo when he first came out when I was in college. The song above was probably one of the most played songs on my iPod for a few months straight. I even saw him in concert when he came to K-State. But lately I just find myself annoyed by his music. Sure a lot of it is catchy, and he’s obviously talented, but it just seems all the same and too much. And don’t get me started on his #bromance with Florida Georgia Line…. Just no. I need a break from his music.

14.Popular Song That Is Making My Ears Bleed
Tulips – Christopher
Listen HERE

I have so many mean comments, but lets just talk about what’s really bothering me…Christopher?? Man, have a single stage name is supposed to be cool like Beyoncé, Lorde, Bono, Madonna or heck even Kanye. But Christopher? I just don’t get it.

15.Country Pick of the Week
Before You Drive Me Crazy – Wes Mack

Really loving this song from another new country kid on the block that look’s like the Weasley’s had yet another son that we didn’t know about. The music video is a bit overdramatic but its a solid debut song.

BONUS: My Voice Picks, Week 1

I missed The Voice last season because of my move to DC. By the time I was settled in I was just too behind to even attempt to catch up. I am glad to see that they have Gwen back instead Christina, she’s by far my favorite female coach they’ve had. I’m currently still trying to decide if I am going to stay committed. Let’s be honest, the main reason I watch is for the banter between Adam and Blake. And why do they show SO MANY of the no-turn performances? I felt like that was most of what Tuesday night’s show featured. With that said these are few that really stood out to me during the first week of blind auditions. Seems like a lot of country right now, which is my favorite genre, but I’m hoping and assuming that will eventually balance out. These were my top 5 favorite performances from Week 1. There were a few others who could see myself potentially liking more later on but this is my picks for this week.

Angel Eyes – Barrett Baber


Chandelier – Jordan Smith


Typical – Evan McKeel


Let Her Cry – James Dupré

We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off – Ellie Lawrence

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So, what have you been listening to this week?

(Linkup images)

Linking up with these blogs today!

Here, Here, Here and HERE.

Cheers!

Music - What I'm Listening To

Friday Jam Session: The Voice S7: Part 1

I’m a tad bit late to The Voice craze. I’ve always known what it was, mostly because my sister is an avid fan, but I didn’t have TV (or even Netflix for that matter) in college so my screen time was extremely limited. But I knew I could be a fan because I usually found myself binge watching YouTube video of highlights and performances. So this season I have joined the club. Up until the “Live Playoffs” I’ve been recording it on my DVR and watching it throughout the rest of the week. Two hours is a little too much time to dedicate to sitting and watching one show.

 A few of my early favorites have been cut, but for the most part I can follow the coaches’ train of thought. Lots of great voices come through this show, but there seems to be a specific formula and checklist to be a good fit for this particular environment. Speaking of the coaches, Blake and Adam are both artists that I have been a longtime fan of, and their bromance is just plain hysterical. As for the other two, from what little I’ve seen of past coaches and now of Pharrell and Gwen, I think they’ve got a really strong group. Gwen is the pennant bearer for girl power for all who grew up in the time of No Doubt’s reign. And while Pharrell is an artist that I’ve only become familiar with in the last couple of years, this guy is a master at giving pep talks. Seriously, I kind of wish he could be my life coach.

This week was #TheVoiceTop12 Playoffs where all twelve artists performed live and America chose the Top 10 to move on to next week.
For this post I split the Top 10 down to my Top 5 artists, which was really difficult because I could see myself being a fan of quite a few of them. Now if I was just doing the Top 5 performances, my list might look a little different because that would be heavily influenced by what were already some of my favorite songs. But I chose my Top 5 artists based on their overall appeal, including voice, style and personality, and whether or not I think I would go out and buy their music. This list is not in any particular order.

Disclaimer: I am well aware that 3 out of the 5 are guys with long hair. Despite to my extreme dislike for guys with long hair, they all still made the cut. They should feel honored…

1. Matt McAndrew

So I kind of lied, because I know that Matt’s song choices have definitely influenced his spot on this list. “Yellow” and “Drops of Jupiter” are two of my all-time favorite songs, and I think he did them justice. With that said, I’m oddly fascinated by this guy. I like him now, and I think I could like him in 40 years – even with that ridiculous hair. Then the morning of the playoffs this week I was listening to Hozier’s “Take Me to Church,” (one of my favorite songs of 2014) and thought it would be a great fit for this guy…and what happened? BOOM. I’m a psychic. And while it probably wouldn’t have as much star power with America, I’m dying for him to sing some Mat Kearney…

2. Taylor John Williams

This guy was my early favorites, and no, not just because he’s a fellow Oregonian. Like Matt McAndrew, I’m oddly fascinated by Taylor and his voice. He might not be singing all my favorite songs like Matt is, but each time his performance end, I want to hear more. His blind audition of “Heartless” could have been his own song, “Stuck in the Middle With You” took me back in time and I thought his battle round duet of “Jolene” was endearing. And while I think that he has improved with each week (as they should) my favorite performance of his so far was in the Knockouts with “Mad World.” Guys, the 1:45 mark says it all. Give me this on repeat.

3. Danica Shirey

This girl has some soul pipes. I’d definitely say that this season is male dominated, but homegirl is holding her own. It seems like those who are successful on The Voice are the ones who are really able to sell the big note moments. Danica does that in every performance. Plus it helps that she comes across as extremely down to earth, and even a little shy from too much attention. She makes you want to know what her story is. I’d buy her music AND feel like I could grab a cup of coffee with her. “Creep” and “Help Me” were great performances, but “Saving All My Love for You” was my favorite.

4. Chris Jamison

I like Chris because at first glance he doesn’t seem as unique as Matt and Taylor do, but he quickly makes you forget the pretty boy stereotype you were putting him in and instead creates his own niche. When it comes to his voice think Adam Levine’s sexy falsetto meets Michael Buble’s warm and smooth croons. Just watch Pharrell’s face at 00:45 of his blind audition of “Gravity.” And there’s versatility. He nailed Nick Jonas’ new beat above and threw it back with Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.” I wasn’t a big of fan of “Don’t”, but I definitely want to hear more from this kid.

5. Craig Wayne Boyd

I’ll admit I was weary of Craig at first. My taste in music ranges far and wide, but at the core is country music. And well, the definition of “country” has been thrown around like a rag doll lately. Bro country, nashville, outlaw, red dirt…it all has a place, but it is all making my head hurt. But kind of like his journey on the show, where Craig keeps fighting his way through, he won me over. His voice is most comparable to Travis Tritt’s and he’s got the southern vibe like Confederate Railroad, Shenandoah and maybe even Sawyer Brown that sometimes walks the line between country and rock. To me his turning point “statement moment” was his performance of Marshall Tucker Band’s cover above. He also took on “Some Kind of Wonderful” and the King’s “You Look So Good in Love”.

Favorite Team Performance So Far…

I haven’t really enjoyed that many of the team performances, but I did really like Team Gwen’s performance of “Riptide.”

The Artists I’d Like To Bring Back…

Despite my comments about country music above, I really do wish that James David Carter was still on the show. He had my overall favorite blind audition with “Nobody Knows”, I enjoyed his very laid back persona and his voice was just about as pure, stripped down country as they come. His performances of “Two of a Kind Workin’ on a Full House”  and “You’ve Got a Friend” were good too.

I was really disappointed that Pharrell didn’t save Taylor Phelan when he had the chance. His blind audition of “Sweater Weather” was my next favorite, and considering I really don’t like that song originally, thats impressive. One of the coaches made the comment during his audition that he reminded them of Ryan Tedder (of OneRepublic) by the way he became apart of the music. I agree. He was someone who I wanted to hear more from. He also performed “Rather Be”  and “Cool Kids.”

Other favorite performances

Ryan Sill – “Ordinary World
Luke Wade – “Rich Girl”

Reagan James – “Try”
Taylor Breshears – “Landslide”
Damien – “How Do I Live”
Ricky Manning – “Lay Me Down”
Troy Ritchie – “Hey Ya!”
Jessie Pitts vs. Ryan Sill – “I Need Your Love”
Troy Ritchie vs. Menlik Zergabachew – “Maneater”
Elyjuh Rene vs. Maiya Sykes – “If I Ain’t Got You”
Griffin vs. Luke Wade – “Maybe I’m Amazed”
Jonathan Wyndham – “Say Something”
Anita Antoinette – “Turn Your Lights Down Low”
Menlik Zergabachew – “Santeria”