lately + tunes.

image via weheartit

This has been one of those weeks where I wish I was on a week-long vacation at the beach. Instead, I"m in the office trying to push deadline projects out the door and sitting in a million meetings-- not to mention having no time to blog! Here's what I've been up to lately:

 I have switched to natural cleansers and shampoos, just to try it out. I'm using the Yes to Carrots brand and so far, it's good!
 I haven't been getting enough sleep... there are definitely not enough hours in a day.
 I started bringing Belvita breakfast biscuits to work (alliteration!), and they've been a good alternative when I run out of food or don't make anything. Because #lazy. Just letting all of you other early morning people know :)
 My friend Aaron was a second shooter for the wedding this past weekend, and he has a loooooot of incriminating photos of me. Let's just say that it's impossible to make a normal face when you are dancing. He was passing his phone around at band practice last night and no amount of money or threats will make him delete them. 
 So many birthdays this month! I can't keep up.
 When you see me with Starbucks in the morning, there are only two options. I'm either dead tired, or I'm treating myself.
 I went to Mission BBQ for the second time in my life and re-confessed my love for pulled pork and Old Bay BBQ sauce.

And in the spirit of Nigel Lythgoe... "CUE MUSIC!"

it's such a monday.

After a wedding weekend and random hangouts with friends + very little sleep, this is playing over and over again in my mind at work today:

AMEN. I'll catch up with you guys later when I'm not Miranda.

productivity & healthy eats.

Yesterday was an amazingly productive day for me. I did a work from home day and multi-tasked by cleaning out my closet, getting my car detailed (On the Spot if anyone's interested -- they come to you!), doing laundry, reading books that need to be returned to the library, scheduling appointments, and practicing the music for my friend's wedding on Saturday (!!). I haven't had a chance to cook in a while, so I decided to make dinner while I was on a roll. This is a really quick, easy, and healthy one!

It's just quinoa with avocado, red bell pepper, and hot sauce. A couple of tips, though: I use vegetable or chicken stock when I have it instead of water to give the quinoa flavor. And I sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese on it to balance the kick of the hot sauce. The best part about a bowl of quinoa is that you can add anything to it... whatever veggies or meat you have on hand! The health benefits are just a bonus. I like to make a fake Chipotle burrito bowl with quinoa, black beans, salsa, corn, chicken, and avocado. So good! Here's to healthy but satisfying eating.

for your entertainment...

In honor of this season of The Bachelorette coming to a close... enjoy some of my favorite moments. :)

Aaaaaaand this:


a mid-week recap.

I am totally in the middle of a chaotic week over here! You'll have to forgive the blogging hiatus -- I am going to an interview straight from work today, then a dinner with my band folks, then playing an open mic with my friend Brooke. Tomorrow I head from work to my friend Elizabeth's to see an amazing show that will blow your mind (more on that later!). And Friday morning, it's off to the beach bright and early for my friend Tricia's bachelorette weekend. So I guess I'll be back after that :) In the meantime, enjoy what's been happening in my life lately:

my good friends Brooke and Bob got a couple of goats!!

their names are Nick Miller and Moxie Crimefighter.

loving this Old Bay brew from Flying Dog. i'm a Maryland girl forever.

i paid off my car five months early (!!) it feels great.

the most lovely ladies in my life -- out for my birthday :)

i shared a creme brulee with my friend Sarah for our birthdays!

... and a watermelon martini. amazing.

i got this sassy cross-stitch for my friend Sarah's birthday from Alison. check out her shop, she's amazing!

Talk to you guys next week!

music to start your monday.

I know I need some serious waking up... you probably do too ;)

jam of the day.

I can't get this song out of my head. I sang it all the way to work this morning. You're welcome. :)

Also, anyone who doesn't love Adam Levine is wrong. (Except for his blonde hair disaster dye job mistake.)

happy birthday to me!

28 feels good so far, you guys :) I took the day off work, slept in a bit, and woke up to birthday texts, emails, and facebook messages. My friends are the sweetest. I'm having a get together on Friday, so excited to celebrate with everyone in person!

My friend Ashley treated me to breakfast at Bean and Burgundy. That space used to be the Blockbuster I grew up renting videos from (ha!), but I hadn't been back since it turned into a restaurant. I thought it was going to be a cute little coffee shop, but it was so much more! They serve lunch and dinner, even Asian food, and have booths (with pillows!), farm tables, and smaller tables. It's an amazing space, stop by if you can! Here's some photo evidence. I had a delicious latte and french toast. 

Then, on a whim, I decided to get my hair cut. Well, not really cut off since I grow it out to donate every year/two years. But I did get it trimmed and angled. I'm happy with how it turned out! If you're in the area, check out Lucky 3 studio in Catonsville. It's the only place I go now.

And since the massage place I had a Living Social deal for cancelled on me for the second time yesterday (ARGH), I called up good old Massage Envy and they fit me in at 3 today. So ready for that! This birthday has been great so far for a Wednesday :) Hope you're all having a good day too!

the talk :: another year.

Today, I’ve got nothing rolling around in this brain of mine except that this is the last day of my 27-year-old life. AGHHHH. Seriously, I remember turning 25 and wishing I could stop aging! I called it my quarter life crisis. I love my twenties with all my heart. I hope to carry the mentality of my twenties into my thirties. But I know at some point, I will no longer be considered “young.” And that stresses me out.
I feel lucky to know a lot of women who are not young by age, but still live their lives with so much fun and friendship. That’s all I can hope for, really. I want to keep my amazing friends and continue to have a good time. I know that things will change and become different than they are now. I don’t know what is in store for me – trust me, it’s a complete mystery. I haven’t even settled into a job I’m happy with yet, much less the rest of my life. But as Bob Dylan said, “the times, they are a-changin’”.

I know these times I speak of are wayyyy down the road, and I’m only turning 28 tomorrow. There’s nothing to freak out over just yet. But as each year passes (quickly, I might add), I am trying to account for each day and be able to look back on my previous years as good times. I don’t want to waste them. The bigger part of this is being a single woman… it’s a wonderful, often downplayed thing. While there’s nothing going on in that department right now, I know that one day I won’t be able to call myself single anymore. Even though my life will take on something exciting and awesome, I will miss the single days of doing everything on my terms and being completely selfish. :) I enjoy scheduling my time however I want and not having to ask anyone for their opinion unless I want it. I am fiercely independent, and I might have a hard time letting go of that. But until that part of me is gone, I will continue to embrace it.

So here’s to another year, more adventures, less sadness & more happiness, finding joy in the little things, and memories with the great people in my life. I’m (almost) ready for you, 28.

music monday :: the like

Believe it or not, I think it's totally possible to endlessly love bands that are no longer together. That being said, have you heard of The Like? These alternative rock chicas are awesome, even though they haven't been playing for a few years. (I'm sure they're still doing music on their own... that never leaves you!) A few things I enjoy about this band: 1) Their sense of style. Mod, crazy, whatever they want it to be. 2) All girls. The small, feminist part of me loves it. 3) They are genuinely good. There's no doubt when it comes to these ladies that they know what they're doing. Their musicality is authentic and they write really well.

So even though they've gone missing, here's a taste of why you should keep listening to them!

Perfect for a summery Monday!

the talk :: 28 for 28

Warning: this is a birthday post. I don't turn 28 until July 9, but I've been doing some deep thinking about some things I'd like to be proactive about in the upcoming year. So here is my list of 28 things to do while I'm 28.

28 in 28

1. Travel outside the country. (I haven't done that in years).
2. Visit a friend or relative who moved away. (Basically, my friend Emily and my brother.)
3. Find a job I'm passionate about that makes me happy.
4. Try something outdoorsy that I normally wouldn't.
5. Host and cook a dinner for friends.
6. Volunteer somewhere.
7. Give blood, even though I'm terrified of it. (My dad has done it 34985947 times.)
8. Donate to one new charity.
9. Write music again.
10. Live the dream of starting a cover band with Bob & Brooke.
11. Make my own popsicles.
12. Rearrange and redecorate my space. (Not Myspace... my bedroom. This isn't 1999.)
13. Stop biting my nails once and for all.
14. Learn a new instrument.
15. Go to the aquarium. (So expensive, but I love marine life.)
16. Make paying off loans a priority.
17. Spend more time with my sister.
18. Buy a plant and keep it alive for more than a month.
19. Try new food and drinks at restaurants.
20. Get a pet. (Okay, I don't have real control over this one since I'm renting from Laura. But maybe this will be the year I convince her to get a dog!)
21. Get a gel manicure. (Dumb and I feel like it won't last on my guitar playing fingers, but I should try.)
22. Encourage my co-workers.
23. Go out to a fancy dinner just for the heck of it. (Melting Pot probably, since I still haven't been.)
24. Mail surprise notes to friends.
25. Read more books, watch less TV.
26. Remind myself daily that perfection is not a requirement for a full life.
27. Pay for someone's drive thru meal.
28. Enjoy the best moments, embrace my mistakes, and learn some lessons.

what they wore :: 4th of july

I'm a sucker for American flag-themed holidays. Everyone else seems to agree, since there are plenty of pieces in that print to choose from! Today I'm sharing some of my favorites for the upcoming holiday.

 via Forever21

 via Forever21
 via Macy's
 via Toms
 via Charlotte Russe
via American Apparel

American Apparel actually has a whole section of 4th of July things right now (and some of them are even normal and not super sketchy... shock!). Take a look and pick up some pieces for the weekend or for next year! 

the talk :: where you go we'll follow!

As you may have heard, the USMNT has advanced past the "group of death" to face Belgium today in their Round of 16. It's crazy that we've made it this far, but this is what happens when you don't give up and you keep fighting! Going to watch the matches among the crowds of serious supporters has been so fun. Here are some shots from the last match (vs Germany) with our chapter of American Outlaws (AO Annapolis, at Union Jacks).

Jon leading chants!
Jeff is my most patriotic friend. haha
we always wear our wigs! (and people always ask if that's my real hair...)

Even if you're not passionate about soccer or sports in general, the World Cup only happens every four years, so you might as well join in and support! :) If you're in the Annapolis, MD area, head over to Union Jacks for the insanity (I'm not kidding, it's complete chaos... get there early). Here's hoping for another win against a tough team and celebrating our success so far!

We love ya! We love ya! We love ya!
And where you go we'll follow, we'll follow, we'll follow
'Cause we support the US! The US! The US!
And that's the way we like it! We like it! We like it!