Around Here

Hello friends! 

I stopped posting Around Here posts a while back since my house wasn't changing too much. This is the longest I've lived somewhere since my childhood home, and somehow I'm not tired of it yet. Maybe it's because since G moved in last year we've been doing a lot of changes. Or maybe because other parts of my life have been hectic that having this restful place has been a relief. Whatever it is, it's nice to keep improving on a home.

I've been struggling a bit with a creative block that I can't seem to get through, hence the lack of blog posts. I was sick most of last week, had a series of busy weeks at work, and just can't bring myself to work on anything that I don't absolutely need to. Does that ever happen to you? I'm always on the look out for ways to motivate my brain, spark some creativity, and light a fire under myself. How do you stay motivated when you aren't feeling your best?

5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

Hi my loves! I hope you're having a Saturday morning filled with strong coffee, cozy socks, and plenty of breakfast foods. Weekends for me have been busy and I'm beyond excited to have a few days to catch up and bum around.

Here's a few things I've been recently loving:

1. Earlier in the summer we had our new sofa delivered! We ordered the Eliot Reversible Sectional in Bella Navy from Joybird and it's GORGEOUS. It's firm but still incredibly comfortable, easy to get cat hair off of, and so huge! The color is bold but not too in your face. Now we just need new pillows...

2. I spent a lot of last year trying to find the perfect black leather boots. After trying to find affordable dupes online that were never perfect, finally ordered the Pauline Boots from Madewell. They're exactly what I was looking for and very comfortable. 

3. After searching for a liquid lipstick that worked for me, I finally found one! On a whim I ordered a lipstick from The Drop Deads who sells LipSense and I'm now completely hooked. All other liquid lipsticks stay on the outside of my lips but wear off in the center also immediately. These babies last all day with minimal touch up. I can eat tacos in them. It's insane. Blue Red and Sassy Z are my favs, but I also own and like Salmon and Purple Rain. 

4. Recently repurchased a handful of Glossier skincare and cosmetics and it's just aces. I forgot how much I loved the boy brow, the stretch concealer in great, and the birthday balm, milky jelly cleanser, and primer are new favorites.

5. We've had a few cooler days here in Philly and I'm loving dressing for fall. I've broken out my boots and sweaters and denim jackets. I'm ready for layers and cool mornings drinking hot apple cider. I'm ready for fall clothes.

Favorite Podcasts

Truth be told, I've been trying to write this little blog posts for weeks. Weeks! And this is the second week in a row without a new recipe *insert sad face* so I thought I would update you a bit. Two Fridays ago I accepted a new job, which I'm pretty excited about, but I've spent the past two weeks doing the stressful interview process and waiting, then giving my two weeks at my current job and transitioning everything I did to others. Plus we spent last weekend away at the beach. All in all, just a busy couple of weeks but I'm feeling anxious to get back in the kitchen this weekend. In the meantime, I thought I would put together a post I've been wanting to write for a while now: fav podcasts.

Podcasts are a huge part of my life these days and I'm always on the hunt for new ones. I have a 45 minute commute each way to work and podcasts have seriously improved that drive. I feel less like I'm just wasting away in my car and feel more like I'm learning something, even if it's mostly true crime stories and useless information. You'll see by the list below that I'm a big true crime junkie so if anyone has any different ones, let me know in the comments!

My Favorite Murder: I don't know when I first heard about MFM, but from the first episode I was hooked. Two women, sitting down and chatting about true crime and serial killers. Sign me up. I think what I like most about this podcast (and what I know a lot of people don't like) is that this podcast feels like a real life conversation. When I listen to it, I feel like I'm being told a story by one of my girlfriends, which I find to be a very interesting approach to a podcast about crime. So if you are looking for a streamline, professional, all-the-facts type of podcast, this is not for you. But, I enjoy most of their episodes.

You Must Remember This: Though originally drawn to this podcast because of her season on Charles Manson, I've since listened to the Dead Blondes and Blacklisted seasons. This podcast is pretty much the opposite of My Favorite Murder when it comes to information and tone. You Must Remember This tells "the secret and forgotten histories of Hollywood's first century." Karina Longworth's stories are incredibly detailed and dense (in the best way possible). The research and preparation that must go into each episode is impressive in itself and each episode is incredibly well written. Plus, I love Karina's voice and pronunciations. 

The Dollop: I just love The Dollop. I love it. Comedians Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds tell stories from American history, but not the stories you learned about in history class. And I know this doesn't sound like it would be funny, but it's honestly hysterical. These are the stories, people, and little blips in history that for the most part have been untold. The man who invented the high five, the first welfare queen, New York City's Gopher Gang to name a few. It's interesting, it's funny, and I feel like I've learned a lot of our country's ridiculous (and many times appalling) history.

Stranglers: This 12-episode podcast details to the crimes of the Boston Strangler and tells the stories of his victims. This is a story that I was obviously aware of, but had never listened/watched anything dedicated to. The story itself is pretty crazy, and has a handful of twists and turns and conspiracies associated with it. Similar to You Must Remember This, Stranglers is beautifully narrated and researched, and hits all the markers for me. Plus, it's still an unsolved case.

S-Town: I think this is maybe my favorite NPR podcast. I loved the first season of Serial and all, but found myself way more all-consumed with S-Town. Such a bizarre and interesting story about interesting people. I binge listened to this in about 4 days. 

This American Life: It felt almost too obvious to add This American Life to a list of my favorite podcasts. Obviously it's a favorite. But even as new podcasts pop up about topics more germane to my interests, I still always enjoy new episodes. It just holds up for me.

Up First: This is a fairly new-to-me podcast but I LOVE it. I've always struggled with keeping up with current events and news and this gives me a quick, thorough update of current events each morning. I listen to it while I'm getting ready and it just works for me.

At Home With...: A new podcast by Anna and Lily of The Anna Edit and Lily Pebbles, two of my favorite beauty/lifestyle vloggers. Way different than many of the other podcasts I love, they go into the homes of women in the beauty business and have a chatty conversation about their work and their home. Maybe it's just because the woman they are interviewing are people of interest to me, but I've been really enjoying this one.

WTF with Marc Maron: WTF is a podcast I've been listening to for years and though I haven't listened to it too much recently, it still remains one of my favorites. This a standard interview-style podcast, with guests ranging from Barack Obama to Anne Hathaway. Comedians, actors, musicians, there's really an interview for everyone in there. My favorite thing about this podcast is that Marc Maron tends to dive deep. Yeah, he talks about their latest projects or what they're most notable for, but dives into their personal lives, aspirations, and the motivations behind their work. He's just a great interviewer.  

Spring Bucket List

petit jardin en ville in old city philadelphia

It's spring folks! And I'm pretty damn happy about it. Things are feeling fresh and new, the city is sunny and people are out and about, my work is in full bloom and very green, it's just a nice time before it turns into Hades. 

The theme this season is cleaning, organizing, and making the house more enjoyable. I love our home, but winter has a way of making papers pile up and clutter just sitting around waiting to be put away. I want to take the next couple of months and really get that in order, along with trying to take more weekend and day trips to spend time outside and together. So here we go!

  1. Hang art in extra bedroom
  2. Take more weekend and day trips
  3. Make headway with the side hustle
  4. Plant herbs in pots out back
  5. Work on ice cream blog post
  6. Buy flowers more often
  7. Cook dinner at home more often
  8. Take bags of clothes to thrift store

5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

Alright friends! I'm fresh back from a whirlwind week of traveling and eating myself into the next pants size last week and ready to share some favorite things with you!

Last week I was in Downtown Los Angeles for a work conference and honestly spent the entire week either learning about social media in higher ed, eating, walking to eat, shopping, or lounging in my hotel bed. Although I don't mind traveling alone, I'm not interested in wandering museums or doing touristy things by myself. Those are experiences I enjoy talking and sharing with another person. So I did the second best thing: went where I wanted to, ate a ton of great food and desserts, shopped in stores we don't have in Philadelphia, and slept in the middle of my king-sized bed. I was home for about 16 hours before we left for a last-minute trip to Buffalo, NY, for G to visit with family and friends. I had some SERIOUS jetlag well into this week but everything is starting to fall back into place.

I'm excited to be home and back focused on things I want to accomplish in the coming months. In the meantime, here are five things I'm loving right now:

1. This post about Nurturing your Creativity by The Crafted Life really hit home for me. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen baking for the blog, and not very much time baking for fun or for the people I love. 

2. I was recommended the book The Devil in the White City while at a conference in LA and decided to pick it up while I was there for the flight home. It's fantastic and I read it for the entire 5+ hour flight home. Definitely a must read for anyone interested in true crime. AND I'm hoping this helps with my recent inability to focus on a book for more than 5 minutes. 

3. I wore this Vintage Color Block Necklace that I got for Christmas while I was in LA last week and had never received so many compliments in one day. It's one of my favorite new jewelry pieces (along with these tassel earrings from Little Arrow Studio in cobalt and pink).

4. I purchased two new pairs of clogs a few weeks ago from Lotta From Stockholm and I'm once again wowed by the quality of these. They're super simple shoes and a bear to break in, but once you do they're absolutely perfect. And they have a great sales and seconds section of their website which I purchase from all the time and have never been let down by.

5. Every time I travel and use hotel bath products, I realize how much I love my shampoo. Is that weird?? I have incredibly straight hair (and a lot of it), which I don't like to wash every day. My hair also needs some extra umph from products to not just lay flat to my head. Because of those things, it can be a little greasier than I'd like at my roots while the ends are still a little too dry. But the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Shampoo is amazing. It's pricey, but a bottle for me lasts a long time. It just makes my hair feel perfectly clean, but not too soft and slippery that it won't hold a style, and that feeling just lasts. It's my fav!

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