happy list – spring

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How is everyone’s week going? I can’t believe winter quarter is already drawing to a close. This week at my school, it’s technically “dead week” since next week is finals week. I’m thinking about potentially doing a winter quarter reflection post – this quarter was really a whirlwind, to be honest.

A few days ago I found myself in not the best mood: it had been a really long week and I just needed some alone time. My mood was further dampened by the fact that the people around me were speaking negatively about someone else. If you remember from my new year’s “resolutions”, you might recall that one of mine was to be more intentional, especially with the people I’m surrounded by. This situation snapped me back into that mode. I didn’t want to be part of this conversation, nor did I want to contribute or listen any longer. I went home and compiled a list of things that are positive in my life right now – a gratitude list, if you will, to welcome spring with, and to push away the negativity.

I thought I’d share my list with you all today just because it really lifted me out of my cloudy mood. I think it’s definitely worth trying!

  • dinner with study abroad friends
  • meeting my loved ones’ loved ones over Facetime
  • having the house to myself in the early morning
  • eggs & Tapatio
  • meeting people who walk the walk they talk
  • downtown Seattle
  • people coming to me for advice
  • the buzz of caffeine, like I can take over the world
  • replying to emails
  • cute movies like Valentine’s Day or Up
  • getting to bed by 11pm
  • avoiding the flu all quarter
  • TJ’s: tired jollies, the uncontrollable laugh when you’ve stayed up too late studying and everything is funny
  • devouring Ugly Mug’s Belgian Waffles: the crunch of the waffle, the warmth of the syrup, and the hint of lavender in the whipped cream
  • introducing myself to someone after knowing them from afar for awhile

Thanks for reading,

Jen

 

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spring style

Hello!

It’s crazy to me that it snowed in Seattle all last week – I was definitely one of those people who refused to believe that it would snow in February. I’m so ready for spring weather! One of my midterms got postponed because the professor couldn’t make it in time. Needless to say, I was one of nine other students who asked to take it before the weekend started because I was really prepared to take it and get it over with.

I haven’t talked about style in awhile (since December, in fact), due to the lack of nice weather and availability to do photoshoots. However, I did want to share five spring transitional pieces from J.Crew that I’ve been eyeing and need in my closet ASAP.

Spring 2018 JCrew

1. Scalloped sidewalk skirt

If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for anything that has a scallop trim. This beautiful green is perfect for spring – I can already see myself pairing it with my go-to lace-up flats.

2. Piped loafer mules in calf hair

Who doesn’t love mules?! These mules seem so convenient since they’re simple slip-ons, but they still look professional. I’m a huge fan of cheetah print and my current flats aren’t going to last me much longer.

3. Ruffle neck pullover sweater

Another style I love? Ruffles. This darling pink sweater has the most adorable detailing in the collar; springs in Seattle are definitely still chilly enough to wear light sweaters like this one.

4. Chambray ruffle tie-sleeve dress

Chambray always screams spring/summer to me, and this dress is something I’d love to wear on weekends shopping around Pike Place with a bouquet of tulips in hand or while getting brunch with friends. Yet another detail I love? Bows on the sleeves… I’m obsessed.

5. Bow-neck sweater

Lastly, another sweater! I think y’all get the gist by now: scallops, ruffles, bows, simple as that! This one’s a neutral color and I’d love to wear it with white jeans and maybe some booties.

What do y’all think? Are you guys craving for spring weather like I am?

Thanks for reading,

Jen

recent reads: january & february

Recent Reads - January and February 2018

Hi everyone!

How was everyone’s long weekend? I semi-enjoyed the extra day off but I was mostly in the library studying for my midterm that’s tomorrow (wish me luck!). My sorority did have our winter formal on Friday night though, which I had a great time at. Nothing like a little dancing to rid the mid-winter blues!

Today I wanted to share with y’all what I read in January and February so far. Consider these mini-reviews!

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

If you’ve been following the most popular books of 2018 so far, you’ll undoubtedly come across Little Fires Everywhere. I solely picked this one up based on its hype, and from Celeste Ng’s prior praise from her debut, Everything I Never Told You. This story is one of those quiet, intricate, and poignant novels that keeps readers engaged the entire time. From the beginning, I felt like I was tiptoeing along an empty hallway, and every so often, there would be a creak in the floorboards. Little Fires Everywhere doesn’t necessarily have a big “twist” in the story, but there are multiple small ones all throughout the story. Ng seamlessly develops each character one by one without making it obvious when she shifts the focus of each character’s backstory.

One thing I thought was interesting was the setting, both location and time. It’s set in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and when Ng first introduces the town, I didn’t even realize it was a real place. It seemed too perfect, too quaint – but Ng captures that exact essence. Second, it’s set in the 90’s, and I’ve come to the conclusion that she chose this time period because of the lack of technology and resources that makes the story more compelling and mysterious. Essentially, the lack of technology makes it harder to track people down.

In all, I really enjoyed Little Fires Everywhere. While it was a little overhyped, I can certainly see the appeal that Ng has on her readers. I’m looking forward to reading Ng’s future novels.

Defiance by CJ Redwine

I’d say that these days, I don’t naturally gravitate toward post-apocalyptic fantasy novels, but I bought this one on my Kindle right when I got into ebooks and it was honestly probably on sale for $1.99. If you know what sunk costs are, know that I don’t believe them. I feel guilty if I don’t read what I bought!

Defiance had a lot of potential in the beginning; I forgot what it was like to be immersed in a fantasy world. As the story went on though, I was a little let down by how little world-building was involved. I think C.J. Redwine could have talked more about the history of the world and how it became.

What I did love was the dual perspective of the two main characters, Rachel and Logan. I really enjoyed reading about their character development and how their circumstances affected their decisions.

While it was an enjoyable read overall, I feel that there are better high fantasy reads out there with much better developed worlds. There are two books following Defiance, but I can’t say I’m interested and invested enough in the world and the characters to continue.

I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski

Y’all know that I’ve been missing Europe ever since I came back to the States mid-September. I find something almost everyday that reminds me of my trip, and my heart is squeezed by nostalgia every time. When I heard about I See London, I See France, I jumped on it. It’s a YA Contemporary about two best friends’ summer getaway to Europe. There’s drama, romance and all of the touristy things. It’s a super light beach read, but perfect for those who miss Europe (aka me). This was just what I needed. Definitely keep this fun read in mind if you’re heading to Europe anytime soon (or read it on the plane!)

Finishing three books throughout a month and a half is pretty good, I’d say! I’m currently making my way through Americanah which I’m reading for Panhellenic Book Club and Meet Cute, which is the ideal Valentine’s Day anthology. I’ve been sneaking in 30 minutes or so every other night to read a little before bed. I’m pretty happy with my consistency so far!

What did you read in January and February?

Thanks for reading,

Jen

 

happy galentine’s day

Hello, and happy Valentine’s Day!!

Or should I say – happy Galentine’s because that’s what I primarily celebrated this weekend! Since last week was stressful with all of my exams, I pretty much had the most relaxing weekend ever.

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Earlier in the week, a few girls from my sorority and I headed over to a different sorority’s feed and enjoyed some milkshakes as a study break.

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I pretty much didn’t do any homework all day on Saturday and caught up on Riverdale and just got together with some friends. One of my good friends is working on her own passion project and wanted to interview me. We got together at Broadcast Coffee and just chatted and did a mini photoshoot. I can’t wait to see how the pictures turned out!

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Sunday was all things Galentine’s! I met up with a lovely group of ladies at Thackeray and it was the most amazing brunch experience. The whole restaurant/bar had a farm-chic vibe, which I totally loved. I wished we could have gotten seating at the gingham (!!) booths, but maybe next time.

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Yes, it was a mimosa kind of morning. So delicious!

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I ordered the biscuit + sausage gravy but really, I don’t think you could have gone wrong with any dish.

I continued celebrating Galentine’s with a different group of my girlfriends later that night by going to Hokkaido Ramen in University Village and grabbing frozen yogurt afterward. Such a treat! I think it’s so important to celebrate a good time with your closest friends, even if some of them are in relationships. Because Valentine’s Day is about celebrating all kinds of love.

What are your plans for the night? Whatever they may be, I hope y’all have a good one. Thanks for reading as always!

Jen xx

 

currently listening: podcasts

Hello hello!

How is everyone doing? I have to be honest – this past week was pretty stressful and really not the most fun for me. I took two midterms and also won a case competition (woohoo!) but I was so stressed that I slept restlessly. Needless to say, my brain still feels a little frazzled – it’s definitely time to de-stress. I do pride myself in still eating healthy during all of this midterm craziness though. I’ve been pretty good at staying away from sugar and still exercising regularly.

So what’s been keeping me sane? Podcasts, to be honest. I’ve been listening to a few while I get ready in the morning every day and while I’m working out. You might remember me talking about podcasts earlier from the fall, but I’ve definitely gotten back into them. I wanted to share with y’all some of my favorites today so maybe next time you’re commuting or just getting ready in the morning, you’ll be a little more educated, entertained, or thought-provoked after.

NPR Politics and NPR Up First: Before listening to these two podcasts, I always felt so out-of-the-loop about what was happening in the world. Besides seeing recent news updates on Twitter or the little right-hand column on Facebook, I really didn’t know the up-to-date information. With NPR, I could get details and listen to conversations about current events. Let me tell you – it feels good to know what’s going on (I also love NYT: The Daily‘s news updates!).

Happier with Gretchen RubinGretchen Rubin wrote The Happiness Project which I have yet to read, but I’m liking a lot of the conversations that are happening on this podcast. There are full-length episodes but also “Littles”: short, less than five-minute reminders or mottos about living a happier lifestyle.

Lady Lovin’: This one’s definitely tailored to female listeners, but it’s straight-up hilarious and I can’t even explain how much it’s like being at a sleepover with your best girlfriends. It’s hosted by three women and they have the funniest, most genuine conversations about relationships, empowerment, and being best version of yourself in general.

Hurry Slowly: I started listening to this one based on one of my favorite bloggers out there, Bella from Ciao, Bella’recommendation. It’s a great lifestyle podcast that talks about ways to slow down in a busy life. I definitely need this because I feel like my life is always go-go-go.

Girlboss Radio: Obviously. And it’s not all about girlbosses in the corporate world: it’s girlbosses everywhere. My favorite recently was when Sophia Amoruso invited author Rupi Kaur (author of Milk and Honey) on the show!

The Moth: If you love short stories, definitely give this one a go. Each episode has a certain topic and a ton of storytellers perform a story regarding that topic. These stories are usually recorded from live shows. It’s so neat!

I feel like podcasts are definitely the next big thing, if not already. Have you listened to any podcasts lately? Which ones are your favorites?

Thanks for reading,

Jen