Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Music Wednesday: The Sounds of Summer

Summer means driving with the windows down and the air rushing through your hair. Music playing through the car and warm wind drifting through the car. With school starting this week I am trying as hard as possible to hold onto that summer feeling with listening to the songs that remind with this playlist.

If you know me, you know I constantly have music playing. While I am driving, or working, or walking, or heck even grocery shopping.

The above is a playlist of music and artists that have made Repeat appearances on my playlists. These songs I can easily listen to over and over again.
Below I am highlighting four of the top artists that I couldn't stop listening to.

St. Lucia. I couldn't STOP listening to this artist this summer. Seriously, ask my D how many times these songs were played. A LOT. But I have no shame. St. Lucia is Jean-Phillip Grobler of Johannesberg, South Africa. He ended up in New York with his music. His music has a bit of a electronic pop with a dash of eighties feel to it. The music is addicting and I think that is the reason why I can listen to it over and over again. I hope you enjoy St. Lucia as much as I do! 

Haim is a rock band from LA that consists of three sisters. There music as been described as similar to Fleetwood Mac but with a nineties vibe. What I know is I love their few songs they have and these songs have gotten major play this summer. While girls are rocking out to Taylor Swift (can one really rock out to Taylor Swift?) or Pink or whoever is playing on the top 40, I am rocking out to these girls. Perfect Summer Music. I don't lie. Check them out!

Daughter is a indie band from North London who came together in 2010. I would describe their music as the following: haunting, quiet yet powerful, calming and deep. I love their music. Their music was listened to this summer during the times of thought and reflection, the quiet night drives and summer evenings. Their songs are gorgeous. 

The Helio Sequence This album I actually bought last winter. I fell in love with a few songs and listened to them endlessly. This Portland based band has been around since 1999 but came out with the above album in 2008. Their songs have played an important role in a few things I am working on. I just love them! 

There also a few standalone songs I have been crushing on as well. Check out the above playlist and enjoy! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Book Review: Catching Liam by Sophia Bleu

Goodreads Blurb: 

Twenty-one year-old Jillian Nichols only has one rule when it comes to boys: catch and release. Boy-catching isn't just a game for Jillian and her friends, it's a lifestyle. After all, boys might be good for a dance or a drink and certainly a little under-cover action of the scandalous variety, but expect much else and you're bound for heart ache. So when her best friends and fellow boy catchers start dropping like flies junior year, Jillian is determined to keep boys in her bedroom and out of her heart. Until she meets Liam McAvoy, the kind of guy that sticks around to make waffles and who can't—or perhaps won't—take a hint. Study abroad student Liam doesn't want to be another notch on Jillian's bedpost. Actually he has much more interesting ideas for Jillian and her bedposts, but his student visa's set expiration date means he can't promise her forever. That doesn't mean he's going to walk away from the challenge of discovering why Jillian is hell-bent at keeping people at a distance. Before long, neither is sure who is catching who—or if they're playing for keeps. Jillian knows one thing though: falling in love will not only break the only rule of boy-catching, it could also break her heart

This was a sweet book. Liam was absolutely caring, sweet, swoon worthy, and all other adjectives which would describe an overall good guy. I am a sucker for the good guys, the guys who are patient and kind and willing to help. The ones with accents and make your heart melt. That was Liam.

From the beginning of the story you see the attraction between Liam and Jillian but you also know there is something Jillian is hiding, and it really is sad to find out what it is, but also heartwarming to see how Liam deals with it.

"Liam made me more than happy. He made me laugh. Me made my toes curl in bed. But there was one problem..."

Jillian, which seems to be a theme in these books, struggles in letting Liam in. She was never a girl to let guys in, to her heart or her home, so this is a theme which plays through the book. Usually I am so over this, the girl not being happy with themselves to understand they should be loved, but with Jillian I could see why she had her reasons.

"I don't need any favors...I only need you." 

Supporting characters were great, she had wonderful friends and a support system that you knew would  be there for her as she dealt with her circumstances. You see Jillian turn into a stronger women by the end of the book with the support of her friends, Liam, and even her mother after a strained relationship.

"In this moment, I lived a lifetime."

Overall, this was cute, fun, light read with a wonderful swoon worthy scottish boy who made waffles. Really, what more do you need? I suggest you grab a glass of wine, snuggle up on the couch and curl with this book.

Four Stars. Buy here at Amazon

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Inspiration: Back to School

"So the wanderer is followed through the 
entire wide world, sea and land, 
like the historian through all the centuries, by the uniform, 
hopeless picture of divided mankind"

The first day of school. Again. I often say this will be my last first day of school, but who am I kidding. It probably won't so I won't say it. This is the first day of what I hope to be an amazing school year, a fulfilling year as I cross off goals and find passion in the work I get to do. That is something I am looking forward too. This last week D and I both didn't have to work. We crammed in as much nothingness time as possible, knowing today begins our frantic schedules of work, school, and weekends full of social events and celebrating birthday's and babies and what not. 

This semester I am only taking three classes (full time for grad students) and let me tell you, they are THRILLING classes. Ready for it? 
1. Financial Administration and Budgeting 
2. Administrative Law
3. Community and Regional Planning.

Now raise your hand if you think these classes are dull as dull. Surprisingly, I won't be raising my hand. Why? Mostly because I am weird  After doing an internship, I realized how important knowing how to do numbers is and what a great skill it is to have so the Fin Admin class shouldn't be too horrible. I am actually really excited for the planning class because I am hoping to incorporate my enviornmental studies into this. I am still up in the air about Admin Law. We will see. 

This last week D and I enjoyed not working and taking in as much summer as possible. 
We rode bikes, fed ducks, played games, enjoyed great meals with wonderful friends. Saw City of Bones (Jace SWOON) 
 I read. A lot. I think I read almost six books this week. Overall a lovely week. 

Iron and Wine is drifting through the background. Have a wonderful week! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Release Day: Smash Into You by Shelly Crane

Smash Into You
By Shelly Crane


Jude has spent the whole twenty one years of his life running. From what, he wasn't quite sure. His mother tried to keep him safe; a low profile, a constant move on the horizon, a week's pay always stashed away. She tried to instill in him that he was special somehow, though would never elaborate. He never felt different. He was so completely normal and vanilla that he wondered if it had all been in her head. But then she was murdered and all he saw was a running silhouette of a man as his mother said three final words to him. Three words that changed his whole being.

Never stop running…

Now he's semi-settled into a big town. The college is huge and easy to blend into. It's been three months since he had to move because 'Biloxi', as he calls the man who killed his mother, found him once more.

Then Marley, an eighteen year old girl who is as infuriating as she is blissfully ignorant of her gorgeousness, smashes into his car with hers. Then smashes into his life as he realizes that whatever it is he has that Biloxi wants, she has it, too. And now, they're after them both.

Exclusive Excerpt:
I showed up to work with exactly thirty-seven seconds to spare. I blamed gorgeous-crash-into-me-girl. I swore my truck was acting funny and I had no cash to fix it.
                  I nodded to Pepe, the owner, and winked at Mesha, the wife of the owner. She giggled behind her hand, and so our day began just like every other day. Pepe owned a feed store and the guy had muscles the size of tangerines. So, that was my job description. In fact, on occasion, he even called me that instead of-
                  "Hey, we need muscle up here!"
                  I shook my head. "Yep!"
                  I trotted up front to help the dude in duds load thirteen bags of chicken feed. It wasn't a glamorous job by any means, and the pay was caca, but it kept me fit and busy. That was what I needed. If I had to up and leave, I wouldn't be leaving the guy in a jam because guys like me were a dime a dozen.
                  The day wore on and at punch-out time, I felt a familiar hand reach across my back. Slither was more like it. "Hey, Jude."
                  "Mesha," I mumbled back without turning and rolled my annoyed eyes. Were all women the same? They never wanted me for anything but a good time and then see ya later. Which was great for my life, but dang did it get old. Especially since the tune never changed.
                  "Pepe's playing cards tonight." The insinuation hissed from her lips in what I'm sure she thought was a sexy whisper. It made my skin crawl.
                  "That's great for him." I grabbed my metal lunchbox and turned the other way, the long way around the back, but it was worth it to evade her.
                  "That's it?" she practically yelled. "I thought you'd jump on it?"
                  I stopped. Dang. She just caught me on a wrong day. I turned. "Why? Because of what you've got between your legs? Honey, there's a hundred girls on speed dial. Sorry. I'm a busy guy."
                  And wait for it..."You're such an ass, Jude! I was just testing you anyway!"
                  I waved above my head and kept going. Women. Typical.
                  I threw my lunchbox through the open truck window and prayed the truck would start as I climbed in. She sputtered, but held out, I'll give her that. I tapped and rubbed the dash. "Come on, girl. Come on."
                  She cranked and I drove straight to the auto parts place. I popped the hood and waved away the heated smoke. I sighed and closed my eyes. Mother...this was going to cost a paycheck to fix, which I didn't have to spare. I went inside and priced a radiator. I almost punched the man in his teeth when he told me the price. "Are they made with titanium now and I'm just out of the loop?"
                  "Economy's bad for everyone, son."
                  I held the counter with both hands and hung my head. "Well...dang."
                  "Look, uh, I might need a little help here tomorrow. If you come help me for the day, I'll take half off the radiator, all right?"
                  I looked up, unable to stop the incredulous look. People didn't do good deeds for nothing. It just wasn't the world we lived in any longer. But I looked up into the older man's eyes and saw that he was serious. There was a story there. A son, maybe, a nephew, he was trying to make up for. I didn't want to know. I didn't want to get attached.
                  "You serious?"
                  "Dead," he countered.
                  I spoke slowly, "OK. I can be here at around two when I get off from my job. That all right?"
                  "Yep. I need some help stocking the shelves, so that's perfect. I'll work you a full eight hours," he warned.
                  "It's worth it." I swallowed and hesitated. "Thank you."                 
                  "Sure thing, son."
                  I nodded and turned to head back to my busted truck, not real sure what to think. But for now, I'd take it.

About the Author
Shelly is a NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling YA author from a small town in Georgia and loves everything about the south. She is wife to a fantastical husband and stay at home mom to two boisterous and mischievous boys who keep her on her toes. She loves paperbacks, coffee, and candy corn, and to spend time with her family and friends, go out to eat at new restaurants and site see in the new areas they travel to, listen to music and also LOVES to read.
Her own books happen by accident and she revels in the writing and imagination process. She doesn't go anywhere without her notepad for fear of an idea creeping up and not being able to write it down immediately, even in the middle of the night, where her best ideas are born.


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Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Inspiration: Go Outside

"In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks"
-John Muir 
School starts in 2 weeks.

 2 weeks. 

This summer, as most summers, flew by. Soon the snow will be falling and I will be once again missing summer. One of the best parts of living in Pocatello is all the amazing outdoor areas! This summer D and I have a few opportunities to go outside and explore a little bit.  Plus we had an amazing vacation where we got to see some truly beautiful areas in Nevada, California, and Utah. There is just something about going outside, disconnecting from the world and letting the quiet sounds of nature calm your soul. It clears the mind and soothes your worries. If you live in a beautiful spot why not take advantage of it? 

I am posting a few (or alot) pictures of the places we saw this summer, near and far. 


Cherry Springs Nature Area, Pocatello, Idaho 

Camping, Twin Lakes by Preston Idaho 

Bike rides on the Portnuef Greenway, Pocatello, Idaho 

Adventures with this guy, Hwy 1 by Plaskett Campground, California

Pacific Ocean 

Bryce Canyon NP, Southern Utah 

Disc golfing! Bengal Ridge, Pocatello, Idaho 

Hiking! East Mink Creek, Pocatello, ID 

East Mink Creek trail, Pocatello, Idaho Scout Mountain 

This boy talking about rocks.

So before the leaves fall and ground is covered with snow, Go Outside and Play!!!! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tuesday is the New Monday: Uncertainty

So I have Monday's off which means the beginning of my work week (for now) is on Tuesdays. So here is your Tuesday Inspiration!!! :):)

D and I went on a bike ride yesterday during the evening. You live in a city for years and you drive to your places or your work and you see the same thing everyday. It all starts to blur together and becomes common. On our bike ride you get to look around as you leisurely stroll through the town. You get to see the bike paths that need some help, or the greenway that has a side of abandoned buildings next to it. You ride through downtown behind buildings and you see the history of the town on the side of buildings with painted ads, or the smell of chinese food that lingers through the backdoor next to the liquor store. It is all different sights and smells in a city you thought you knew. You are viewing the city in different lens and it opens the your mind to the possibilities the city can have or the downfalls. It brings up change in how you see things.

Where am I going with this you ask?

I quit my job.

I put in my two weeks at Wingers and then left to sign papers for another job. I have one year down and one more to go for my Masters degree and I was offered a job in the History Dept at ISU as a graduate research assistant to do GIS based historical research in Yellowstone park. I am THRILLED about it. I LOVE old things and research and all that jazz. I had known about this before school ended but for D and I, things fall through all the time. Seriously  So when I found out it was a pretty quick decision that made me quit my job and I am still reeling from it a bit.

But I was sad to leave Wingers. After six years and overall nine years of serving, it is very much a part of who I am. I am a server. I like serving, I like working on my feet and I like the feel and pace and atmosphere working in a restaurant. I met D there and all of my amazing friends somehow are connected to that place. So it was really a bittersweet moment. Plus is was my safety net, it was the blur of images I felt when I went about my daily life. Now I will get to see things a bit differently with a different lens.

It brings a feel on uncertainty and change, which I crave but also fear a bit. After the end of this academic year I will be done with my Masters, D will have his Geoscience degree and then......then we figure out whats next. I have no idea where we will end up but hears to hoping for the best!