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For the Road

What a month! June has been pretty chaotic, and I can’t believe that it’s already gone. This month was filled with job interviews, doubling down on work, wrangling Levi, and a whole week to recover from a pretty crazy oral surgery. I’d love to say things are slowing down for summer after this, but I think it’s going to be just the opposite! I’m doing my best to keep organized and keep calm, making sure to book in time away from the computer to rest, relax, and let my poor eyes recover.

This includes working on my summer bucket list, taking a weekend trip with Cody and Levi, prepping for a nice long road trip, and even planning a dinner party with friends. 

Here’s what you can take for the road from me this month:

For the Bookshelf // City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

I initially got a free sample of City of Girls on my kindle and I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it. Despite my initial reservations, I really liked the first couple chapters in the preview. I ended up finding the book in a sidewalk giveaway box in my neighborhood, which was amazing. I’ve been looking at it unread on my nightstand for months, I’m finally getting around to reading it and loving it!

For the Home // Felt Storage Basket

You may have seen on Instagram, I recently (once again) rearranged my living room again, but this current set up just feels so right for the space. In the process of creating this new layout, we did end up repurposing Levi’s toy basket. Instead of having his 900 miscellaneous toys scattered around the house, it called for an emergency trip to Target. We found this super cute Felt Basket that’s perfect for the miscellaneous storage. Plus, it’s neutral enough that it’ll work within our evolving home decor style!

For the Locals // Farmer’s Markets

When I lived in DC, I loved going to the farmer’s market. It was my favorite Sunday tradition and I have missed the markets since being home, for a while the local markets have just been small. This year though, the local farmer’s markets have stepped up their game! On LBI, Surf City Farmers Market increased their vendors (including my favorite local shop, Root!) and on the Mainland, Stafford opened their first Farmer’s Market! I haven’t been able to go check it out with Levi yet, but hopefully this week I can get over there to shop.

For the Plate // Vegan Penne Alla Vodka

Pasta is my one true love, and the day I realized I had to go dairy-free I truly mourned for all the cheesy, creamy pasta dishes I had to give up. Finding Jenna’s recipe on The Urben Life has been Life. Changing. It’s such an easy dish to cook and it keeps well in the fridge (lunch leftovers!). I’ve been making it once a week minimum, it’s a true essential in my cooking calendar!

25th Birthday: Thoughts & Wishlist

Y’all I’m going to be 25 years old next month. Twenty-freaking-five. Can you believe it? You don’t know me, of course you can. I can’t believe it though. So much has happened this past year and internally I feel like I’ve aged a decade between my 24th and 25th birthdays. I mean I moved out, I adopted a dog, my best friend got married, and I started a freaking business! All in a year! 

I love birthdays. I mean I love my birthday the most, but just birthdays in general. I love giving gifts, celebrating, popping the champagne, baking a cake (more eating than baking it tbh). And just like anyone else, love to get gifts. And I am, in my own words, the pickiest person I know, so I still make myself a birthday list every single year. It’s an open list for everyone in my family, whoever wants it can see it. It works, everyone’s happy, and whenever someone asks me what I want, I’ll never actually forget the things I wanted. 

Picking what I wanted this year was pretty tough. With everything that’s gone on, I just wanted to go out and explore and live. I’m going on two road trips with my SO this summer, both to visit family and to take some time off work. We’re taking more time out and about, spending slow mornings getting brunch, taking Levi with us for coffee. And we’re building up our house, taking it from house to home. Most of what I really want this year is vacation, peace, and the simple joys. But that’s hard to ask for for a birthday. So other than those highly non-corporeal things, here is what I have on my 25th birthday wishlist.

Collage of images representing items on my 25th birthday wishlist including: White Keds Champion, LED Reading Light, Double Curb Chain Bracelet, Books, Patagonia Quandary 5" Short, AT Wireless Turntable, and Washington Capitals Hat

White Keds Champion ($50) // LED Reading Light ($20) // Double Curb Chain Bracelet ($70) // Books // Patagonia Quandary 5″ Short ($60) // AT Wireless Turntable ($150) // Washington Capitals Hat ($25)

LED Reading Neck Light

Is this the ugliest thing I’ve asked for ever? Possibly. Is this the most useful item I’ve asked for? Almost definitely. I love reading in bed but have yet to find a bedside table lamp that I don’t utterly loathe or bulbs that don’t shine like the actual sun. With this LED Reading Neck Light I can sit up and read as late as I want without keeping Cody or Levi up all night with me!

Patagonia Quandary 5” Shorts

I would absolutely not call myself a hiker, but Cody and I have really taken to hiking after our last couple of trips to the Poconos. We had a ton of fun, love the exercise, and the views are stunning. We’re looking forward to taking a few new hikes with Levi this summer, but ya girl is not prepared. It’s not nearly as hot there in the summer as it is here, but it’s still a bit much to be hiking with long leggings. Having a good pair of hiking/walking shorts is a must have and I’m loving the Patagonia Quandary 5″ Shorts!

Record Player

I have a couple of records already, but no record player! I had gotten one for Christmas, but it, unfortunately, had a little damage to it. Now take two, I’m dying to get a record player and start stepping up my record collection! My parents have this Audio Technica player, and I couldn’t imagine having anything better. The quality is great, we’ll connect it to a Bluetooth speaker, and set it right up in the living room.

Books

Hear me out, I know it’s vague. There are a ton of books that I’ve had on my TBR list that I’m dying to read. I don’t know which ones I want the most. Really, anything from the top of the TBR is good. Anything similar to the top of the TBR is a safe pick really. Or a gift card to the local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, any of it. Books are always good. Love books. 

Mejuri Double Curb Chain Bracelet

I love Mejuri jewelry so much. They’re always on my wishlist and this bracelet is definitely a want. I’ve been working on building out a jewelry collection after not wearing any for years. I love pieces that are less delicate looking, and I love gold. Any curb chain accessories, love them. This super cute double curb chain bracelet is definitely on the list. 

White Sneakers

I love sneakers in general. They’re such great go-to shoes and white sneakers are my number 1 summer must-have. If it’s not Sperry’s, it’s white sneaks. Early last spring, I bought these from Old Navy when they were on sale for $5. They were great, but they’ve hit the point of no return, thanks to Levi’s muddy paws. I’m willing to relegate these now greige dirty sneaks to road tripping, Home Depot runs, and dog walking at 6:45am.I was going to buy a new pair myself, but hey, birthday, why not have someone else buy them?? I truly couldn’t pick one, but narrowed it down to two shoes, SuperGa Cotu Sneaker and Ked’s Champion. I’m leaning towards the Keds, but could go either way!

Washington Capitals Hat

The one thing that’s kept my brain in check over the past year(ish) has been getting more into sports. I”m not the world’s greatest sports fan, like don’t ask me any details, but I just enjoy watching football, baseball, hockey, honestly whatever at this point. I like to keep a few merch items around, supporting my Washington teams. I have a couple things for the Nationals, but none for my Caps! Making this new Capitals hat a must-have. I’m a big baseball hat person too, so adding another good hat to my collection is 100% necessary. 


I’m really excited to see what 25 brings and I’m looking forward to the big plans we have for this year!

Sunday Sips 1.17

Good morning all! Writing to you on a Saturday night from the new couch, curled up watching Star Wars with C. It’s been a while couple of weeks, and I really wanted to take some time to sit down and write for a little. What’s on my mind, what I’ve been watching and reading, and whatever else. And of course, what made the name of the most, what I’m sipping while I’m writing.

Caption: Credit to Jenna Urben from TheUrbenLife.com

Today’s Sip: Dairy Free Hot Cocoa

Today’s post is brought to you by The Urben Life’s Dairy Free Hot Cocoa Recipe. For most of my life I eaten pretty dairy free, and doubled down on it a few years ago when I became lactose intolerant. One thing I hadn’t been able to find was an easy cocoa mix, and I missed it so so much. I found Jenna’s recipe last week and I have not been able to stop drinking it. It’s so easy to make, and tastes amazing with Vanilla Almond Milk. You should absolutely check it out, and I’m going to heat up another mug.

Girl Scout Cookie Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Girl Scout Cookie Season is here! My neighbor down the street is selling them, and low key, I may have bought $40 worth of cookies already. I’m not proud, but it’s worth it for the thin mints. Order some here and support a local scout!

Stephanie McNeal – Influencer Reporting 

I started following Stephanie McNeal on Instagram a couple months ago and honestly, I love her account. I don’t follow too too many influencers on my own social channels, but I really enjoy her brief overviews of influencer news, updates on drama and businesses, and just providing the general view of the industry. Plus she’s friendly and funny and relatable, which makes everything way more fun.

Fleabag Season 2 on Prime

Fleabag is totally not a new show on Amazon, but I never got around to catching up on the show. I finally watched this week, and it’s totally worth it! Definitely more of a hefty PG-13 rated watch, and not for mixed company. But it is amazing. Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s writing is aggressively real and there isn’t anything better, currently, than Fleabag.

2021 Inauguration & Far Right Response

For those of you who don’t know me as well, the political process is something I hold pretty near and dear to my heart. I grew up in a very political family, I focused a lot on politics in high school, and I went to DC to major in Political Science. I have spent most of my life following politics, and one day I do see myself doing my civic duty to serve in office. For four years I was frustrated day in and day out seeing Trump’s disregard for this country and the office of the president. And every day it seemed to get worse, culminating in what we saw earlier this month, the President of the United States inciting a riot, inciting violence against congress, inciting an insurrection against the US Government. It’s horrifying to see what division Trump and Republican leadership has brought upon us, and the lack of appropriate response from both sides. And it’s horrifying to see the real sides of people, to find out who does and does not care for others beyond themselves.

Closing this post and opening a new week, I invite any and all of you to do all you can to raise your voice and raise others alongside you. This Tuesday is Nation Run for Office Day, and I’m challenging you to pledge to run for office, especially at local or state levels. Check out Run for Something and see where you can make a difference by running in your community.