What I'm Listening To | Female Vocalists

While I was working on an all-time favorites summer playlist, I took a detour and just could not stop listening to atmospheric, soulful, talented female vocalists. The heart wants what it wants, okay? So I made this playlist instead.

Most of these songs are on the slower side, though if you check out these artists' bodies of work, many of them are typically more upbeat. I was just wanting something more chill and gorgeous right now. Get ready for these women to tear your soul open. Close your eyes and breathe.

What are you listening to lately? Also, what are your all-time favorite summer songs? 

Yours Truly, Jen

Friday Favorites

This week has been exhausting ya'll. Adjusting to a new work schedule and being on my feet all day has taken its toll (though I'm not complaining!). I have so many posts I'm excited to share with you, but for one reason or another, I wasn't ready to publish any of them this week. Disappointing, but I'm giving myself some grace.

I get my first paycheck tomorrow and I am so stoked! First order of business? Crossing #4 off my Summer Bucket List and paying down some personal debts. That is going to be a huge weight off my shoulders. Anyway, onto some lovely links.

This episode of This American Life will make you cry.

Hold the phone, Amy and Tina are at it again. YAAS.

Oh, and I'm such a sucker for the J. Law David O. Russell films. Joy comes out this Christmas!

This picture will make you smile.

A new song by Lana del Rey?! You know I'm on it.

As someone who has recently had a first day at a new job, this video hit close to home (in a sympathetic but also funny way). And I'm not even famous.

I have all the googly eyes for this coat rack and this perfect date night outfit.

What were your favorite links and moments this week?

Yours Truly, Jen

Friday Favorites

I love A Cup of Jo's beauty uniform post series, and this one is the picture of elegance. Can't stop looking at these photos!

Need to pick up some of these snacks to keep in my handbag and in the breakroom at work.

This post on stress and happiness. It's good to check in with yourself and see how you're really feeling!

Weekend style envy.

I have been dying over lobs and bobs again (like this one). I think I look better with long hair, but short hair is so easy ya'll. What should I do?!?!

This tiny apartment tour is inspiring.

Are you watching any of these summer TV shows? Inquiring minds want to know!

So many items are 60% off this weekend at Ann Taylor. Tough choices!

Yours Truly, Jen

What I'm Reading | Bad Feminist & The New York Trilogy

Yesterday, I talked about my bangin' reading rotation. Today, I'm here to share the two books I'm currently reading. Let's jump right into it, shall we?

Let me just say that a move isn't official until you've visited your local library. Amiright?

Okay, so...

Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay. This book is everywhere. It's gotten rave reviews and is a best seller. Roxane Gay has been published just about everywhere worth being published, and she's the co-editor of a fabulous literary magazine. So, I've been super interested to dive into these essays. I'm not terribly far in the book, but it's talked more about race than I expected from a book that presents itself as being primarily about feminism via the title. So far, the voice is personable and the writing is honest and captivating. Excited to see how I feel at the end.

The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster. I added this book, along with a slew of others, to my to-read list while scrolling through this Buzzfeed article. The Village Voice reviewer calls it an "inside out" mystery novel, and I think that's a good way of putting it. It seems the author may become a character and/or have some agency in the book at some point, though I haven't gotten far enough to truly find out. I got stuck in a long patch of dialogue, and tons of dialogue isn't really my thing, but I'm still really interested in figuring out what is going on, so I'm definitely going to push through and keep reading. If you're into genre bending, meta storytelling, this is a good one for you!

What are you reading right now, or what's next on your list? Have you read either of these books? Share some recommendations in the comments below!

Yours Truly, Jen

A Bangin' Reading Rotation

Finding time to read can be difficult, I know. I have precious few non-busy hours in the day, and between keeping up with all of my favorite television shows, spending quality time with my dog, and socializing, those hours get sucked up pretty fast. But, I love to read, so this year I've made it a priority activity to find time for, with some pretty good success!

Part of keeping me excited about reading and about carving out the time for it was developing a system for choosing the order of books I want to knock off of my huge and ever expanding to read list. Over the course of the year, I've developed a pretty bangin' reading rotation, and I'm going to keep rocking that until it stops working.

For me, shorter reads tend to be essays, self-help books, and poetry and short story collections. These are all genres in which a book tends to be divided up into (mostly) self-contained sections, and often after I finish one of these sections (a chapter, an essay, a story, a few poems), I want to take a little break from the book.

Longer reads are typically books with an overarching narrative; most often for me, these are novels and memoirs. These are books that are easier to for me to get sucked into–I am more invested in the characters and I want to know what happens!–and they're also books that I don't want to put down for too long of a period of time, or I'll start to forget what I've already read.

Oh! And let me be clear: when I say short or long reads, I'm talking about short or long form. This does not refer to the overall length of the book.

When I have one of each of these types of books on hand, it a) keeps me from getting burnt out too quickly on one or the other (some books are very stressful, have strong voices that can be a little much if read all at once, etc.), b) gives me a couple of options for different reading scenarios. I want to read different things before bed than when I'm chillin by the pool or hanging out in a waiting room. And c) helps me incorporate a variety of types of reading material into my reading rotation. Since fiction is my primary genre to write in, it's important to me to keep reading and being inspired by what's out there in that genre, but I'm also really interested in a lot of other things, and I learn so much through reading.

Readers, what does your reading rotation look like? Is this something you think you want to try? Check back tomorrow to see what two books are currently in my rotation!

Yours Truly, Jen

Friday Favorites


Happy Friday, ya'll! Yesterday I was offered a job, so this weekend is not only Independence Day weekend, but also my last weekend before I (gratefully, happily) re-join the ranks of employed, responsible adults. Though accepting a job offer was definitely my favorite thing this week, check out a few of my favorites from the web below!

I need cold brewed coffee in my life. My body just isn't used to the summer heat anymore and I do not want warm beverages ever. I've done the Pioneer Woman's recipe before, but hers makes a huge bucket full and I don't really feel like making that much right now. Thanks Drea for making a smaller batch recipe!

I love this list of alternative gallery wall alternative to plain ole framed pictures. Still so obsessed with home decor stuff right now. My apartment is coming along, but I definitely have a running list of things to invest in when I have some expendable income!

Heart eyes over this hairstyle. Need my hair to get longer ASAP (and yet, I'm also so tempted to cut it back off. It's so easy short!).

Okay, so I bought Maskcara's IIID foundation on Black Friday when it was first released, and I was not into it. I haven't ever had much luck with cream makeup in general, and I felt like this stuff didn't cover well enough and creased in all the wrong places. BUT, she's done some super clever marketing for her updated foundation palette (like this video) and it would be so quick and easy in the morning if it went on my face like it does in her videos and I'm super tempted to try it again. Has anyone else tried this?! If so, let me know in the comments, pretty please!

This perfectly encapsulates what I felt like last Friday.

This made me laugh out loud.

Obsessed with this song by another St. Edward's alumna.

Share one of your favorite moments/links from the week! You know you want to.

Yours Truly, Jen

Summer Bucket List 2015

After months of moving plans taking over my life, I'm ready to move on and up. I've loved the summer bucket lists going around the blogosphere, and since I never got around to doing a 25 before 25 list, this seemed like the perfect way to redeem 24 and push myself to have a great summer. Here are 15 things I plan (hope) to accomplish before September 1st.

1. Find a job- but seriously though. Being unemployed is the worst.
2. Finish decorating my apartment- I'm super happy with the way it's shaping up!
3. Get student loans in order- I've been putting off re-examining my options for too long.
4. Pay down some personal debt- A lot of people have helped me out during this time of transition. Time to start crossing some names off my list of IOUs.
5. Start a balcony garden- I wasn't able to take any of my plants with me. I'm excited to get some herb plants, and maybe even try my hand and container fruits and vegetables.
6. Get back on the dating scene- Ugh. I stopped dating before the move because obviously. Need to get back out there.
7. Create/Commission a blog logo- Time to start professionalising this space.
8. Host a dinner party- The best way to get together with friends is over good food and good drinks.
9. Write a story- Because it's been a while. Time to re-kindle that passion.
10. Make and blog three new recipes- I have found so many delicious recipes through blogs, and I can't wait to share more of my own.
11. Make plans with friends or family once a week- I have to remind myself to do this. I don't mean to be such a hermit, honest!
12. Make sangria- So much work if you do it right, but so delicious!
13. Buy a couch- Necessary.
14. Take Olive hiking- This will either be a great bonding experience or one of us will end up dead.
15. Plan a fun, stress-free birthday- My birthday is September 1st, so my summer bucket list will lead right into my 26 Before 26 list!

What are some of the top things on your list this summer? Let me know in the comments below!

Yours Truly, Jen