a very merry galentine's day

Valentine's is always Galentine's for me:

Right you are, Leslie! As someone with an absurd amount of lovely girlfriends, I always celebrate Galentine's Day. This year, it was a girl's dinner and hanging out with friends (dudes were allowed) at my best friend's house. And my favorite... brunch!

I used to do this thing where I wore tights with hearts to work every year, since February is cold. That phase has passed. Now it's obnoxiously great sweaters (my best friend gives the most amazing gifts)!

My friend Krista passed this muffin recipe on to me, and seeing as it's made with Greek yogurt and oats, I knew I would love it. Give it a try! You must add chocolate chips though, no matter how healthy you're trying to be. Mandatory!

My bestie made me this monogrammed  iPhone background with the Monogram app. If you couldn't tell by this and the sweater... she knows me very well.

We had Galentine's drinks! I'm ashamed to admit this was just at Applebees. We were starving and desperate. So starving that we all ordered insane burgers (triple bacon for me, oops. And something called a Cowboy Burger).

Ah, the pièce de résistance! Everyone knows I am a brunch lover. It's become 60% of my Instagrams. Victoria's does brunch so well. My friend Tresa spent the night and we headed to brunch so hungry and ready to conquer. Here's the list:

1. Duck fat fries. A must have at Victoria's, even for breakfast.
2. Mimosas.
3. Coffee.
4. Banana nut french toast and mascarpone/blackberry stuffed french toast.
5. Sausage and bacon.

We. Were. So. Full. WORTH IT. I laid on the couch the rest of the day and didn't even feel bad about it. A Galentine's well spent! Hope your Valentine's/Galentine's was lovely as well!

explosions // oh, to feel

 image via google

I just bought a ticket to see Explosions in the Sky in September. If you don't know what I'm talking about, link up and listen. If you do, I'll give you a minute because you know how great this is.



I don't think I'm going to be able to breathe when I hear their music live. It speaks to me in so many ways. It's so good it doesn't needs words. It inspires words. It makes me think. It's for listening when you're overjoyed, sobbing, restless, excited, and stressed out. It made Friday Night Lights so much better. It's for long drives in the car and when you don't feel like singing. It always reminds me of my honorary brother Zack, who moved away to Texas; I miss playing music with him every second.

I can't wait.

it's tax time

image via google

Guys, I used to be that woman in the above image. Not even kidding. For the past few years I have been on an up and down roller coaster with taxes. I dread them. I tear up when I think about how much I hate math (it's true). I get intimidated and terrified and wonder if I'm making huge mistakes that will put me in jail when I get randomly audited.

For the first couple of years that I had to file on my own, I went to H&R Block and had someone do it for me. 1) That is time consuming and you have to pay them a chunk of money. 2) At the time, it was worth it because I couldn't possibly think about doing it myself. Two years ago I had my roommate, affectionately known as Accounting Major Laura, help me. It still felt complicated to me and I was very relieved to have her by my side as we worked through it  she did all the work. Last year, I successfully did my taxes with H&R Block online by myself for the first time. I felt so proud, but also felt like it was still a challenge.

But this year has been magically different. I decided to try TurboTax. I didn't really know what the difference would be between it and H&R Block, but wanted to give it a shot. I kid you not, it became life-changing for me. You think I'm exaggerating, but as someone who struggles with numbers and wonders if she is chronically doing her taxes incorrectly, it was by far the best tax season experience I've ever had. Here's why:

1) It was free. It's only going to be free for four more days, so take advantage!
2) They make everything incredibly simple. I cannot tell you how much of a difference this makes to someone like me. I'm not stupid (hopefully), but I get easily intimidated by this sort of thing. Their program makes it suuuuuper easy.
3) Everything is laid out one step at a time and clearly explained. If you don't know what you're looking for or need to enter, there's usually a tip to help.
4) I often get confused or frustrated when trying to figure out how to enter my yearly charitable donations, but they made it so easy with a section just for that. Hallelujah!
5) When I was done, I didn't have a doubt in my mind that I had filed everything correctly and was getting the right return. That peace of mind is awesome. And I felt great having done it by myself!

All this being said, I have fairly simple taxes (W-2's, school loan, donations), so I'm not sure how it would go for someone with complicated taxes, but I can definitely say that my experience was awesome and yours probably would be too. You only have four days left to do it for free, so if you still haven't filed, get over there! You won't be sorry!

* this post is not sponsored-- all my opinions are just that enthusiastic!

buzzfeed knows me...

Confession: I'm slightly addicted to Buzzfeed quizzes. They're just fun and I send them to my roommate 90% of the time to compare answers. Especially if they involve "Which Male Celebrity is Your Soul Mate?" or "Which Item of Dessert Are You?".

But here's the thing... these two quizzes we took the other day knew both of us so well. Like, it was weird how much the answers described us. If you know me, you'll get it:

I am a very honest person, it's true. I don't like to BS. And I do what makes me happy. (The last sentences are very encouraging, thanks Buzzfeed!)

First of all, I use this phrase all the time and it's probably really annoying (sorry, world). I am enthusiastic and super supportive of my friends! (I don't know about "hitting the clubs" for Valentines Day, but for my birthday and New Year's, that was true... lots of dancing with my best girlfriends!)

Take the quizzes here and here! Maybe they'll know you in a creepy way too...

music monday :: monica moser

image via google

A friend texted me last week saying I should check out Monica Moser's music. He wasn't wrong... she has a really great voice, a lovely acoustic sound, and the type of songs you want to listen to while lying in a field on a picnic blanket under a blue sky. Too much? Well, she's just got that free spirit thing going on. She's a student at Belmont in Nashville, which is where a lot of great musicians come from. I'm biased, since my friend Cait went there. :) This is a girl who's got something to say, and her music says it.

You can listen to her Soundcloud, find her on Spotify, or download her EP on Noisetrade.

things that have been happening

Monday brunch at Iron Rooster (the pop tart hype is for real):

Re-living Jude's bachelorette.

Transforming Laura into a plaid mermaid named Bubbles.

Moving into a new office cube and putting that Kate Spade wrapping paper to good use.

And... planning a trip to Hawaii in May! I haven't been on a proper vacation since 2010. I cannot wait for a week on an island. I'm coming back with coffee, a ukulele, a tan, and who knows what else.