friday favorites :: end of february edition

I've never been so happy to title a post "end of February." Let's get on with spring already! I'm done feeling like I've been locked in a deep freezer for days. Here are some current favorite things to get me through this obnoxiously cold time:

 My faint tan lines
▲ Dark chocolate almond milk & banana smoothies
▲ Upcoming shows (if I go too long without live music I don't feel right)
▲ Going to Preakness this year to watch Lorde twitch around:

all images via google

▲ Nick Miller, always:

▲ Going to the library. Also, never buying an e-reader. NEVER.
▲ Almost falling down the stairs at least once a week and then laughing about it (after a while, it just gets hilarious. PS - socks are slippery)
▲ Creating a spreadsheet to get all my loans paid off this year (no idea if this will work, but it doesn't hurt to try! Well, it might hurt my bank account... whatever. It just makes me feel better. I'm such an adult right now, aren't I?)
▲ Parenthood.
▲ This face scrub. I got the travel size for my trip to FL and it has made my skin feel amazing. I don't know why this one is so great for me, but it's honestly the best one I've ever used!
▲ This song (so good):

In other news... I am sponsoring Smile and Wave this month, so be sure to head over and check out Rachel's posts! Until next week...

throwback thursday :: vacation

As the 16 degree weather welcomed me this morning, I felt a very strong sense that I hate winter and would much rather be where I was two days ago: sunny Fort Lauderdale, with its 80 degree breezes and beach times. Anyway... here's the backstory behind this trip. Last February, my friend Elizabeth and I went to see Further Seems Forever at one of our small, local venues. We went to dinner before the show and were sitting next to some dudes who looked like they were in a band. After we got to the show, we saw them on stage and realized they were the opener, Civilian. We both really liked their music, so after a little chat and drinks after the show, E offered them her house because they didn't have a place to stay that night. And thus a friendship is born! Ryan was so nice to offer to let us come visit and stay with him. We had a great time and I am really looking forward to going back at some point.

my girl!

palms everywhere.


beachin'. love this chick.

i am grilled cheese obsessed. this thing had like, 15 cheeses.

he took us to some awesome places. so good.


what a way to start the morning.

the backyard view.

give me all the sun & sand!

Art Walk. that whole wall is books and i'm obsessed with it.

we checked out some art in Miami.

We had the best time and I was so sad it was only four days. I need more of this in my life! And check out Civilian's music when you get a second... the guys are so talented and their record is one of my favorites.

short & sweet

Hey everyone... sorry I've been MIA since last week! I've been in sunny, gorgeous Florida visiting a friend. Sometimes you just have to trade the computer for the beach! Also, sometimes you come back and hate your home state because it's snowing and you have a tan. Real life. I'll be back tomorrow with a real post!

throwback thursday :: crossroads

photo via weheartit

Danielle over at Sometimes Sweet has begun her journal prompts again! Really excited about this project because it kind of forces you to take a second look at your life, whether it's past or present. More than anything, I like being able to reflect on memories.

Here's today's journal: 

Everyone has a time in their life they view as a crossroad. Sometimes you can see it as it's happening, and you're able to choose one way or another. Other times you may not realize you're there until you look back, and see what a turning point it really was. This week, write about a time you view as a marker in your life; a distinct place where things changed, for better or worse. 

I'm sure a lot of people will say this, but college was a huge turning point in my life. I feel like I didn't even know myself until I went through the experiences that I did there. It's the most distinct place I can think of for change in my life. I learned how to be independent at college. I made friends that are still my lifelong sisters and brothers. I figured out how to trust God but not be the kind of Christian that non-believers hate. I had my heart broken. I had so much fun it was sick. I taught myself how to play guitar. I started writing and recording music. I learned how to get past things that happened to me at home now that I didn't have to be there. People changed my life, and I changed theirs.

If I had to pick a specific time I was at a crossroad, I would say it was when I made an active choice to not be a pushover. That sounds kind of stupid on paper. But a lot of people know me today as someone strong-willed and very confident, I voice my opinions and won't take crap from anyone. That is not who I used to be. I used to be someone who was over-emotional and did things to please people. I never used to question the real situation when someone made me upset or got mad at me. I always assumed it was my fault. I look back on college and think of many times where I wish I could have had a thicker skin and stood up for myself. Even right after college, I wish I could have done that. But I am glad I chose at a certain point (albeit later) to go down a road that made me a stronger person. I am glad I finally allowed myself to feel and present myself in the way that I know I should have all along.

what they wore :: sweater dresses

Yesterday was full of insanity for me. I feel like I could have slept five more hours this morning (ever have a day like that?). So today I treated myself by not looking like a hot mess. (You're welcome, world.) Even though we women can wear tights under dresses, it's still been too cold for me this winter. I've stuck to over-the-knee socks under my dress pants. But it's warmer this week, so I have on my gray sweater dress, leggings, and new boots!

all images via google

I love these styles. And I love that they can be worn from a cooler spring day with bare legs as well as winter with layers. Best of all, they look so thought out but really, you just have to throw them on! I'm all about it.

And to start your day, here's this:

music monday :: abby gundersen

There's something about coming back to work on a Tuesday after having off since Thursday that makes me want to sleep forever. That's how I feel this morning. After late nights and having an irritated throat for days, I could have used one more hour in my bed! But seeing as I'm going to be missing work from Friday to next Tuesday, I can't complain. :) More on that later!

image via google

It may not technically be Monday, but I don't want you to miss out on this chick. I've been posting about Noah Gundersen a fair amount (I am still obsessed with his new album, so good), but have yet to write about his sister. Abby Gundersen usually sings with her brother and is the backup vocal for his album, but she has her own work too. She released a short instrumental album that I love, called Time Moves Quickly. First of all, the Gundersen family's skills are untouchable. Abby has the most clear, amazing voice that adds purity whether she's doing harmony or melody. She is an aficionado of instruments and plays so well. Most of the time you'll hear her on violin, but she showcases her love for piano on her album. It's such a wonderfully soothing album to listen to. It's calming but not boring. It's beautiful and simple while being complex. She makes her work sound effortless (which I also think about her voice). She is refreshing.

On top of that, she's the most lovely person. I had a little chat with her the first time I saw Noah and his siblings when they were the opener at a show a couple years ago. She is a beautiful girl inside and out, and I'm looking forward to seeing her again in March!

friday favorites :: galentine's + darth vader = true love

Even though I'm a single chick, I'm not one to shy away from Valentine's Day. Sure, I think people should show each other love all 365 days of the year anyway, but it's FUN! There's candy! And friends! And an excuse to put hearts and glitter all over everything!

Here's an example of why I love it. I was so excited to give this to my roommate:

It's hilarious because she loves to imitate Paula Deen. (Also, that bottom slogan was posted along the Olympic skiing slopes. Why?! What does it mean??)

Here are the top ten ways I'll be celebrating the day!

1. Trying to get rid of a cough I got. I blame walking around in the 15 degree weather. Thanks a lot, winter.
2. Shoveling my car out of the snow (again).
3. Showering.
4. Hauling a bunch of my stuff to the basement so we can paint a room.
5. Trying to decide what to wear since I will be getting out of sweatpants for the first time in 24 hours.
6. Maybe taking a nap.
7. Drinking my body weight in water and hot tea.
8. Watching episodes of 24. (Happy Valentine's Day, Jack Bauer!)
9. Cuddling with Darth Vader.

And finally... 


Taken from Leslie Knope herself. While I strongly suggest incorporating breakfast like she does (I did have "brinner" last night), my gals and I are going to dinner and a movie. I am going to eat all things at PF Changs and make fun of Winter's Tale (because that movie is begging for it). I told Laura that I was going to drink a lot and when I hear this line from the commercial: "Is it possible to love someone so completely they can't die?" I will stand up and say, "... NOPE!" (There is a 10% chance of this actually happening.)

PS - were you confused about #9?

One of the best gifts I've ever gotten. Happy V Day! May the hearts be with you!

throwback thursday :: the millionth snow day

I just took this from my front door, and oh man. Close enough to a snowpocalypse! I don't have a ruler on hand, but my friend posted a photo with her ruler almost all the way covered up. The poor schoolkids will be learning until July!

Throwback to this week! Well, as you know, the Olympics are happening. So are a scratchy throat for me (blah) and cooking things! RECAP!

1. Hey there, roommate! She is a beautiful blonde goddess, you guys. Out for drinks and friend times.
2. The most gorgeous and delicious cappuccino from Caffe Pronto. Also a three-hour catch up time with two lovely ladies, and randomly spotting an old friend and a current one. Those are the best days.
3. Mus-tache-room! This made me smile.
4. My roommate is nothing if not an Olympics enthusiast. Two years ago she threw an insane party called "Bubble Wrap Olympics" in the summer because she found an industrial sized roll of bubble wrap in a parking lot. There were bubble wrap competitions. And medals. And drinks. And everyone loved it.

5. Yep. A car drove through a CVS down the street from my office. I got a great view out of my 8th floor window.
6. My dinner of choice lately... kale and eggs.
7. Finally writing after a dry spell of not getting anything out that I'm happy with. I think it's coming back!
8. THIS. People who cry about being single and use V Day as an excuse to say their life sucks is sad to me. I, for one, am having Galentine's Day! Dinner and a movie with some girlfriends is the best.

I'm resisting the urge to play Christmas songs because of this white stuff (why does it never snow like this on December 25?!). But since it's February, I'll leave you with this because it's in my head and the title is quite appropriate for today:

what they wore :: actually, what i wore!

Ladies and gentlemen (if any gentlemen read this), remember my post on not being able to find boots I love? Well...

I found them! On Saturday while we were out my pregnant best friend decided she absolutely had to have some snacks, so we stopped at the Annapolis mall. (Everyone knows that a spontaneous trip to the mall means you buy something you didn't plan on.) We set foot in Nordstrom and then... I SAW THEM. The perfect boots. I didn't even have to think twice about them, which is how you know it was meant to be. The price tag, on the other hand, I thought twice about. But after trying them on and getting serious consultation from my friend and unsolicited advice from the salesman (seriously, I know they look great on me, you're not the one I'm asking), I walked out of the store wearing them. Success! The wait is over. I know you are all thrilled.

A little side note: I have a policy where if I spend this much money on a material thing, I donate the same amount to charity or mission project. In case you are looking for a worthy cause, one of my roommates is heading to Egypt in March to serve on a much-needed medical team. She is an amazing ER nurse and has been working really hard doing her job while going to grad school.  If you have any interest in donating to her trip, shoot me an email and I'll give you details.

Have an amazing Wednesday! If you're in the MD area, enjoy the snow tomorrow... assuming the forecast is accurate. :)

the talk :: in all honesty

I've felt lately that I've been struggling to find the perfect balance of music + lifestyle in this space. This is a blog I started to showcase music. But I also have a very busy, lovely social life, and I'd like to share that too. Yesterday's post got me thinking about the importance of sticking to my original goal: introducing musicians that my readers may not have heard of. After I announced the Music Monday post on Instagram (@sarahfisch), Josh Mhire was nice enough to respond and show his appreciation. That is why I do what I do. Not for the recognition part of it, but so musicians that I feature will know they are heard and their hard work is worth it. I'll still share my life on here, but I want to try to keep the music going at the same time. :)

On that note... another album came out today that I am dying to share with you! I've mentioned Noah Gundersen on the blog before. He released "Ledges" today, and I am so excited to give it a listen. "Cigarettes" is already one of my favorite songs, having heard him play it live. Here's a little bit of why you should check him out:

Also this, with his insanely talented siblings. I almost cried the first time I heard them do this live:

You can listen to "Ledges" on Spotify or get it here, and listen to Noah's older work here. I can't wait to see him next month!

music monday :: josh mhire

photo via

Today's Music Monday is inspired by a lovely blog I keep up with, Sincerely Kinsey. She's a photographer of beautiful things, and she just happens to have a husband who makes awesome music. I was going through my Bloglovin posts last week and saw THIS! I was really excited to listen to Josh's new EP, Coalesce. He incorporates everything I love: banjos and other acoustic instruments, a solid male voice that I could listen to for hours and hours, and lyrics that really mean something. You can tell he put a lot of work into this project: that it's part of who he is and he's not trying too hard. 

I've been listening to Coalesce on Spotify, but you can listen to it here as well! It's perfect for a Monday at work or drinking your morning coffee.

friday favorites :: give me the weekend

This week has been so insane, I almost didn't get around to posting yesterday. Thankful for a few minutes to breathe this morning! And really looking forward to my weekend... I have plans to have drinks with friends tonight, then go to lunch in Annapolis tomorrow (expect food pictures). To start the relaxation, here are some favorites of the week!

softest hoodie and Trader Joe's Chai. two days in a row (thank you, causal Friday).

i don't know why i think this is so funny... but it is.

I sent these grilled cheeses to my pregnant friend and I'm pretty sure she wanted to kill me. Not to mention she was in the gym at the time... oops! :)

Have you been hearing all the hype about vaccinating your kids? Read this article and then tell me you shouldn't. People are ridiculous. Vaccination is crucial for your children and those around you. (Read the comments too, they're the best and worst.)

If you want to laugh, read 20 Reasons Why White People Can't Be Trusted. Haha!

A great post about social media issues and how God plays a role in them. Worth reading.

I'm only a little bit obsessed with these two. I NEED MORE!

To conclude, I'd like to point out that my roommate told me I was the Avocado Whisperer. This is such a high achievement, you guys! Do you know how hard it is to open an avocado at the exact right time, the tiny window between not ready at all and way too ripe?

images via google

You know what I'm talking about. Happy Friday!

throwback thursday :: burgers & flowers

This day has been insane so I'm just going to get right to it. This was my weekend! Abbey Burger (yes, a fried egg on top. My cheat day), Pub Dog deliciousness, and Tresa's spoon skills. She'll hate me for putting this on the interwebs, but I had to.

Round two! Saturday was brunch. Oh, brunch. The love of my life. Eggs Benedict is my love language. So are apple cider mimosas. (Metropolitan in Annapolis, in case anyone cares.) Then my roommate bought me and our other roommate flowers! And then I opened the perfect avocado. 

In conclusion... Life is pretty great.

what they wore :: rings and other pretty things!

To be honest, I'm not a daily jewelry wearing person. When I wake up at 6 AM to get ready for work, I'm not really thinking about accessories. But the weekends are a whole other story (thank God). I really do enjoy jewelry and there are some fun pieces out there I'd like to share.

FACT: these two pieces from BaubleBar are my favorite. One time I was convinced that I lost one of my stacking rings, and I was so upset. (I found it in my bed later that day.) They just have the cutest things and their midi rings are so fun to wear. I do a lot with my hands like typing on a computer all day and playing guitar, and these stay out of my way. Pricier than cheap jewelry but a nice little treat. Tell your man for Valentine's day! It won't break the bank but it's probably money you wouldn't spend on yourself.

My roommate got me this necklace for Christmas, and I love it. LOVE IT. I don't think there's anything better than Forever 21 necklaces that don't cost that much but look great. I always layer this over a plain shirt or sweater with jeans. It instantly makes me look less boring. (Trust me, I have a busy life but sometimes I don't look it.)

A couple months ago I was shopping with my roommate and she found this gorgeous necklace (click the link for a better picture, that's an order). She was on the fence about it but after she brought it home and wore it, she fell in love. I think it's the prettiest shade of pink, and she's a total daisy fanatic, so it was just right for her.

For more casual times, I enjoy a classic geometric shape. I like the types where you don't have to think about it too much because it goes with anything and will fit in anywhere you're headed. Easy peasy!

And last but not least... bracelets. A weird subject for me since I rarely wear them... I have skinny wrists and they never seem to fit right. But when I do, I like this kind from Fossil. Simple, cute, and buckles. I always love buckles!

I highly recommend treating yourself this Valentine's day, or getting someone you love to treat you! ;) A little jewel action never hurt anyone and it always makes me feel better when I wear something pretty. You deserve it!

*This is not a sponsored post. All images taken from product websites.