snow day :: broods

image via google

Today is supposed to be a snow day for us Maryland/DC-ers. Which, as you may well know, means rain. I just drove to work in it. It made me feel melancholy and wished I was still in bed with Gilmore Girls on Netflix and a thick pair of socks. But as I was heading out the door to run to my car, I thought, "This is the perfect time to put on some weather-appropriate music." And so, Broods.
This brother-sister pair from New Zealand makes some of the most beautiful music. They've been performing together their entire lives (how magical is that?), and they remind me of some of my other favorite musicians, like The Naked and Famous. They use synth and pop in a way that hasn't made my heart feel this happy in a long time. And the writing! Don't get me started on the writing. One of my favorite lyrics is, "I remember a time when a kiss on the hand was enough // Because we knew that we were free // And we knew what it meant to be loved."
Trust me-- this makes a rainy day better. Especially if you're driving somewhere for Thanksgiving! Put it on in the car and just let it happen. ;)

tattoo tuesday

So, most of my weekend was spent at the Baltimore Tattoo Musuem. Elizabeth made me go because she knows a guy that does the piercings there and I needed piercings fixed. Problem #1: my nose ring hole had been closed on the inside for quite some time. Problem #2: I had a ring in my ear cartilage that I couldn't get out and had never taken out. Both got done, but were a little painful-- envision a tool that looks like a small IKEA allen wrench getting pushed through the scar tissue on the inside of my nose. Don't worry, I spared you pictures of that one.
Then Elizabeth and I started talking about our next tattoos, and revisited one idea we've had for more than a year. From my own personal viewpoint, my friendships are extremely important to me. I value my close friends and would do anything to help them. I try to be there for them as much as possible when they need it, and I consider them to be my family. E and I have been through a lot together during the course of our friendship, and we always use the phrase "Corners!" as a way of expressing it. It means that she's in my corner, and I'm in her corner-- always there for each other.
We finally made it happen on Saturday afternoon.

it's above my elbow because E's instagram name is "ellbow". :)

First of all, my tattoo artist looked like Desmond from LOST... I may be watching too much Netflix, but it sold me on him from the get go. (It was the hair.) He's a sweet guy-- I highly recommend him! We talked about how we're too old to go out 'til 2 AM anymore and he made fun of my plans to go to La Palapa later. To which I said, "Don't be a hater, Joe!" It was a good time. Besides the needle pain burning into my arm. (It's not that bad, really.)

I'm happy with how cute it looks and what it means to me... some people might see it as silly, or dumb to get matching tattoos with your friend, or OMG you have to live with that forever! But I just see it as a way to outwardly express my loyalty to friends and honor the most important relationships in my life. It's valuable to me, and my tattoo is forever a reminder of that.

music monday :: joy + hayley

This is the moment in time where two brilliant artists come together and produce something amazing. That's all I'm going to say about it. Read the NPR article here.

FMBW :: friends music babies weekends

I just realized I was trying to make the title of this post work like LAMB worked for Gwen Stefani. Somehow I think it won't have the same effect...
Anyway! It's Friday, and I'm excited about that for a lot of reasons. Elizabeth and I are making a trip to the Baltimore Tattoo Museum tonight for the sole purpose of re-piercing my nose. Fun stuff! Nothing like a needle going through you to start off the weekend right. But since the inside of my piercing has closed up, this will make it infintely easier to wear nose rings... something I'm not willing to part with until I'm 80. And maybe not even then. #problems
Also, I have to help Laura choose what she's wearing to a wedding on Saturday. This is extremely important and I've actually put it on my calendar. There may have been a trial run last night. I found out that I have very strong opinions about pink vs. beige. (The answer is always pink.)
Switching gears: I'm getting really excited for Thanksgiving. My family is all over the place so I spend most holidays with the other best family I know, the Galeanos. Larissa and Amanda were both my roommates in college at one point, and Larissa and I lived in the same room for three years. Which basically means that we can tolerate each other to the extreme :) I love their family and now that they've added four babies to the mix (!!), it's that much more special.

Just look at Evie's face. I mean, really. Can she get any cuter? And this is her expression 100% of the time. Girlfriend doesn't cry, but she also doesn't smile. She wins the Calmest Baby of the Year award. I wish I could bottle up some of that chill. 
And for your weekend enjoyment, an assortment of songs that I haven't been able to get out of my head for the past week. Sorry/you're welcome.

Listen Gwen... I'm going to make FMBW work. You paved the way!

featured :: Seasons 52

Last Friday when I was at the mall stocking up on LUSH products, my friend Elizabeth and I met up with her boyfriend to get dinner. At first we chose PF Changs, a delicious favorite of ours, but it was an hour wait and we were starving. So we headed over to the brand new Seasons 52 to see what the deal was. They were packed as well, but we were able to stalk some people who were leaving and snag a table in the bar area. (Apologies to the nice old man and his wife who I hovered by for the last few minutes before we took your table...)

I'm not a professional restaurant critic or anything, but I do tend to get very critical of food and service when I'm in a new and nice restaurant. I have high expectations! Seasons 52 is cool right off the bat because they change their menu often and keep it seasonal. Honestly, everything looked really amazing and we all had a hard time choosing. Elizabeth is gluten free and she was happy that they had a specific menu for that.
This restaurant is fun in that it's more upscale than your average place, but not so overly fancy that we couldn't go there in jeans after a day of shopping. I always enjoy places that make me feel like I'm in a restaurant I can't afford but I really can ;) Price wise, it's on par with what I would expect fresh, well prepared, seasonal food to be worth. I wasn't shocked by it, nor did I mind the amount I spent. Plus, they had a pianist and singer doing background music, which you know I was all about.
On to the food! I didn't get a cocktail this time, but E started with a mango jalepeno drink that was really good. I had a sip and while I don't typically like spice in drinks, it wasn't overwhelming and I liked it. There was a big debate over whether or not we should get the mushroom soup that our waiter recommended we share, but we didn't in the end. Next time I want to try it! Speaking of our waiter, he was attentive and basically knew everything on the menu by heart. I almost wanted to test him on it but decided that wasn't good dining etiquette. ;)
I ordered the scallops and risotto, as you see above. Ohhhh man. I love a good scallop and risotto is a favorite of mine to order because I never make it at home. I would have killed for a bowl of that alone! It was delicious and perfectly cooked. The scallops were seasoned really well and tasted just as scallops should... light and refreshing. The veggies were crisp and not overcooked or soggy. (PS - you get five scallops with this dish... I got overzealous and ate one before the picture taking!) E got the same dish as I did, but her boyfriend got the swordfish, which was one of the recommendations from our waiter. He said it was really great and enjoyed it a lot.
Overall, this is a great place to meet up with friends for drinks and appetizers (we missed happy hour by 30 minutes, it was sad), a perfect place for a date night, or a fun choice to celebrate something. Someone had a birthday or anniversary while we were there, and the dessert they brought out looked ah-mazing. (Hint hint to all my friends when July rolls around...) If there's a Seasons 52 near you, plan a night out and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

featured :: LUSH

I’m one of those people who have soft hands all year round… except for winter. UGH, winter and your cold! My hands become dry and cracked so easily, it’s ridiculous. Not to mention that people love to come to work while they’re sick in my office, so I use a ton of hand sanitizer, which dries my hands out even more. Before I know it, I have bleeding knuckles and it’s painful.
My good friend Elizabeth had told me about LUSH’s Dream Cream about a year ago. Silly me, I didn’t listen. In fact, I’m not the biggest fan of hand lotions. They tend to make me greasy, and as someone who constantly works with their hands (typing at work, playing guitar, etc.), I got in the habit of suffering through winter with dry hands. Elizabeth and I went to the mall last weekend for a Sephora fix and some new nose rings (where do they all disappear to?!), and decided to stop by LUSH.
E mentioned that she uses the Dream Cream at night and it did wonders for her, so I decided to pick some up. The grease factor isn’t too much of an issue when you’re sleeping! But the lovely lady in the store also gave me a sample of their Helping Hands lotion to try for the daytime, since my hands are usually at their worst in the office.
First up, the Dream Cream: it’s really thick, has a rosy scent and will absolutely heal your hands of all their issues. E didn’t lie when she said it’s the best at night. I go to bed with dry hands and wake up with soft skin. Plus, I use a little extra in the morning before I leave the house, and that helps as well. It’s actually an all-purpose lotion, not just for hands, so I apply some to my legs and arms after I get out of the shower. It comes in a big tub so I know I won’t be running out anytime soon… worth the money!

The Helping Hands lotion is specifically for hands, so I keep it at my work desk. Like I said, I use tons of hand sanitizer throughout the day and am constantly washing my hands with that generic office soap, so it helps a ton. I just dab a small amount on the backs of my hands where they are the driest, and it soothes them immediately. If I use it on my palms, it does stay lotion-y for a few minutes, but it will soak in and then you’re good to go without feeling like it’s getting all over everything. I haven’t felt like it’s spread all over my computer keyboard yet. ;)

Fun fact: if there is a lotion or cream you’d like to try but aren’t sure about, the staff at LUSH is super great about giving you a sample to take home. My Helping Hands sample hasn’t begun to run out because you only need a tiny bit at a time.  I see it lasting at least a month or two, which is amazing for something small and free! Plus, their products are natural—I love when I can recognize every ingredient listed.  I highly recommend these two products for yourself or a holiday gift!


If you know me, you know that one of my favorite bands for the past 10 years has been Copeland. They're not just a band that I've listened to for a long time and love. Their music brings me back to a time and place that I can only describe as musically life-changing. I've written about this a little before, but I wanted to revisit it.

Throwback to college circa 2006 or so. I had a friend that introduced me to Copeland's music and would play it for me all the time. At that point in time, I hadn't listened to anything like it. I had never really listened to a band that wasn't popular or on the radio. It brought me to the realization that there was much more out there and I should be searching for it. I went on a musical journey of sorts that honestly made me the musician I am today and brought me to some of my favorite bands that I never would have discovered otherwise. It might sound really unimportant, but to this day I look back and think about how different I would be if this hadn't happened. It also led me to begin playing guitar, singing more, writing and recording, and that has become a huge part of my life.

Besides the discovery of new music, I got to know the band in a more personal way, because my friend was best friends with the guitarist's brother. They had grown up together, and their music was special for him because of that. I also met one of my best friends through him, and to this day we look back and share our memories of meeting, becoming instant sisters, and going to my first Copeland show all together. When the band decided to stop making music and touring a few years ago, a piece of my heart broke. I remember standing at their farewell show and reminiscing over what they mean to me and what their music has brought to me. And when they announced last year that they would be recording again, I was so happy.

Now their latest project is finally out, Ixora. They are bringing the thoughtful lyrics and incredible musicianship that they always have, but even better this time around. The record is dynamic and symphonic, using woodwinds and strings plus their familiar guitar and drum patterns. They have amazing talent both individually and as a whole, and it's been cool to call one of them a friend over the years and to have seen him grow into their legacy. I'm proud of him and what they've all produced, and I feel like a piece of me is going back to 2006 when I experienced them for the first time.

music monday :: brooke fraser's new one!

I've been a fan of Brooke Fraser since college, when I first heard her album "Albertine." That was an amazing album with a focus all about the world and missions and heart-changing stuff. Since then, she's put out her own kind of music, first with "Flags" and now "Brutal Romantic". I was skeptical about it since I loved her old style of writing so much, but this a really well put together record. Her writing is insightful and extremely instrumental; she goes beyond piano and guitar to include what sounds like a symphony on the tracks. It's great for rainy day driving weather like this morning! I've been craving the release of this album since it came out a while ago, but just got released in the U.S. I'm happy to say that it doesn't disappoint. So far, my two favorites are "Bloodrush" and "Brutal Romance." Take a second today and give it a listen!

featured :: office makeover!

Let's be honest... office cubicles are just about the ugliest work environment in existance. I've worked in many a office, and they are all gray and boring. When I took my current job about a month ago, I was bound and determined to make the place feel like home. I didn't want to come to work every day and sit in a gray/beige bubble. So over it! With the help of Pinterest and the internet in general, I was able to spruce it up a bit. (Excuse the crappy iPhone photos.)


As you can see, pink was a theme :) My first order of business was to cover up the beige pushpin wall behind my computer. It was just too boring. I found the minty green wrapping paper at Target and measured it out so it would fit... everyone who stops by my cube loves it! Everything came from Target, as a matter of fact. That place was sent from the Lord to help people like me get their lives together. The tray was only $5 and is pretty lightweight, but it just needs to hold my materials and it's perfect for that. The pink cup holding my pens came from the kids drinking cup aisle (that's a thing, I swear) for super cheap. And I had to buy my favorite Inkjoy pens, of course! I found the inspirational quotes on the interwebz and printed them on cardstock so they would be more sturdy. I discovered that one of my coworkers loves Beyonce, so that was a crowd pleaser! And as I've shared before, the Hustle mug is my new favorite.(Check out the rest of Charm&Gumption's shop-- super cute!)

I still have a couple more ideas that I'd like to implement... perhaps twinkle lights for the holiday season, and a banner to go on a wall that's still bare. I'm also drying out my roses from Jude's wedding. "Dead" flowers are so much easier than live ones. I kill them all!

And to start off your weekend right: the latest from Meghan Trainor. It's about a thousand times better than "All About That Bass", if you ask me!

how to have a great day

That's a weird title, huh? It came to me this morning as I was driving to work and listening to the radio. "Tearin' Up My Heart" came on and I thought to myself, "This is an excellent way to start the day." I almost never stop and think about what my day will look like before it begins... but maybe I would have better days if I did!

1. Listen to something amazing and old school (*Nsync, BSB, Britney, anything 80's... just not 98°.)
2. Get a delicious treat. Today, my work had a bake sale. Pumpkin, chocolate, cookie... all kinds of goodness! A Starbucks peppermint mocha is acceptable as well.
3. Wear a cozy sweater. This is guaranteed to make you feel warm and happy all day long. Bonus points if it has fun writing on it.
4. Give someone a compliment. It makes them feel good and you feel good doing it.
5. Hold the door for someone. So easy to do, yet very overlooked.
6. Think of three things you're happy about in your life or thankful for. Go for five if three is too easy.
7. Call a friend you haven't talked to in a long time. Or send a note/postcard. Everyone loves getting mail!
8. Go for a walk while the fall weather is still amazing and not yet Polar Vortex-y. Take a mandatory Instagram of the leaves.
9.If you're trying to feel super productive, make a to-do list. If they are small things, get them done and cross them off. If you have tons to do and not enough time to do it, write it down anyway and go watch TV. It'll still be there tomorrow. :)
10. Play some T. Swift and have a dance party. Force your roommate/spouse/friends/dog to do it with you.

Have a great almost-Friday!

currently :: 003

× watching the new T. Swift video and wondering if she really feels that destructive at the end of her relationships.

× making this delicious breakfast for the week (c/o my old roommate!):

× dreading the cold weather... if I were in Minnesota right now, I would jet plane myself right out of there.

× feeling sad that all the pumpkins are rotting and falling apart on my porch. on the bright side... there have been discussions about when our house will be getting our Christmas tree!

× my own soreness woke me up at 3 AM today... apparently falling asleep on your arm isn't as comfortable as one would think.

× does anyone else feel insanely unmotivated to leave the house after it's dark outside?

× thinking often about both friends who are having babies and friends who are struggling to have babies. it's not always as easy as we think it will be, I'm learning. (prayers to all of you!)

× super jealous of anyone who gets to honeymoon in Spain... I'm looking at you, Jude! oh, to go back to 2006 and be in Barcelona again....

× thank you to veterans... young or old, active or retired, fighting on front lines or sitting at a desk, you all matter and are crucial to our country! enjoy your day :)