Soul Food

Soul Food {August 2019}

Sometimes, things arrive for you just in time. Other times, it’s time to make things happen. And maybe always, it’s a bit of both. I had a lot of both this month, which required a lot of trusting in that process. What’s for you won’t miss you. If it comes on it’s own or if you fought for it, it will arrive just in time. God always gives good gifts. And not only the ones we need– the ones we want, too.

Here are a few little gifts that came through media for me this month.

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  • “Give A Little” by Maggie Rogers. Quite a few people whose musical opinions I look to for recommendations have had great things to say about her so I’ve been dipping my toes into her music. Her voice is feminine power captured in a sound. I’ll admit it… I wasn’t wowed by her album. But this song stood out and I love the vibe.
  • “Reborn” by Elle Azar. “Thank God I didn’t miss this.” That line alone makes this song. But I love all the other elements, too, dancing in the ethereal, moody atmosphere.
  • Wilder Woods’ self-titled debut album. A legendary project. Every song is masterful and special, making me headbang (it’s not headbanging music, I’m just passionate) or squeezing my heart. Please listen to this album, front to back, and just enjoy. I can’t pick a favorite track. I’m seeing him in October with my mom and I’m so excited!
  • “Almost” and “Friends With Feelings” by Dillon Davis. Learned about this super talented new artist this month! I love his fresh, current sound and his lyricism (especially the last few lines of “Almost”). It feels like a poignant high school journal entry.
  • “Our Love” by Kimberly Knighton. We’re mutuals on Instagram and it makes me feel cool. I love her classic voice; her style reminds me of an updated version of what I listened to growing up.
  • “Good Life” by Kwassa. You already know I love him. He just always brings the cheerful vibes with a one of a kind flavor. The video for this one is super cute, too.
  • “Again” by Landon Austin. I’ve been following Landon since the year I graduated high school (longer ago than you’d think, y’all), and I’m so glad I’ve been here to watch him reach this point in his writing! He was always good but he just gets better. This is an emotional jam, and don’t we all need those?
  • “Morning by Morning” by Scott Mulvahill. Gives me butterflies. Such a sweet love song, holy cow. We need it on Spotify asap, please, thanks.
  • Madison Cunningham’s “Who Are You Now” album. Madison played at my university years ago and I’ve loved her poetic, soulful, 70s-inspired offerings ever since. Her voice is unmatched. So excited that she released a new full length! So many of the songs feel like multiple songs in one because her musicality is so broad. My favorites from it are “Something To Believe In” “L.A. (Looking Alive)” “Like You Do” “Common Language” and “Bound.”
  • Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors’ “Dragons” album. His style isn’t my normal listening but he always manages to draw me in. His songwriting is expertly succinct and his rhymes are brilliant, like classic poetry. My favorites from the album are “Family” “Maybe” (ft. Natalie Hemby) “Make It Look So Easy” and “Bittersweet.”

If you want all of this music in one playlist, I have it! Scroll to the bottom for the newest additions.

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  • Arrival. I’d seen it once before, and I knew after that it would probably be a good idea to rewatch it and see all the dots connect after knowing the twist ending, but I just didn’t do it. I finally rewatched this month, and holy cow. My mind is still blown. If you haven’t seen this film, watch it, then watch it again. There is so much to find in the layers of that experience. An incredible film.
  • Shazam! cast interviews. This one cracked me up so bad. “La Grange by ZZ Top.”
  • Detective Pikachu. Cheesy but sweet. The mystery and the reveal at the end actually surprised me! Even with the voice of 42 year old Ryan Reynolds, Pikachu is probably the cutest thing to exist.
  • Worst Cooks in America. I’ve mentioned it a million times but I never miss a season. It makes me screech-laugh.
  • Videos on open mics. We’re trying to start one at our cafe so I’ve been doing research, both as a host and as a participant. I made a short playlist of videos that had some good tips to save for myself, but you can use it, too, if you want!
  • Avengers: Endgame. I didn’t cry throughout the whole thing this time, just most of it.
  • Continued watching Songland.

Books/Blogs/Articles

  • “We Have a White Nationalist Terrorist Problem.” This is important.
  • This article about the current state of the recycling industry. It honestly shocked me. I’ve kind of lived in a bubble of believing that because I recycle, I have good habits when it comes to waste. But recycling is an industry, and like any other industry, it comes down to the market and the profit– even if, in this case, it means that not everything we put in our recycling bins ends up recycled. Even after it reaches a recycling center, it can still go to a landfill. This really has me thinking about what I can do to reduce my consumption of plastics and single-use items, as well as what habits I can change to do more of my part in keeping our planet livable.
  • I actually did read a book this month… but I didn’t like it. Goodreads has the deets.

Also Worth Mentioning

  • This Instagram post by Tom Holland. He shared it during all the crazy #SaveSpiderMan stuff (which I am still livid about), and I’m just so proud of his attitude and how he’s doing everything he can to show fans he cares. These photos were light in dark place for my Marvel-loving heart.
  • Babies. A few of my friends had babies this month (including my long-distance bestie!) and I cannot be trusted in the baby section of any store for more than two minutes or I will spend all my money.

What fed you this month?

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Soul Food

Soul Food {July 2019}

I think our bodies remember anniversaries. I think that even when we don’t consciously think about something that happened around this time a year ago (or longer), we still somewhat react to it. Science is actually starting to reveal that there’s truth to this. I’ve definitely experienced it this month; July was so rough for me last year, and I’ve had to battle seemingly sourceless bouts of anxiety and sadness throughout July this year, too. But one thing I’m really grateful to know in the midst of it: my life is different now. I made it through those hard things. I began building different, good things, and I’m continuing to. And someday, my body will remember that.

Here are a few things I made new memories with.

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  • Refs’ “Stories” album. Stunning. The writing is intricate and detailed, and meets me by acutely explaining feelings and thoughts I’ve had before. And the production? So cool; current yet timeless and original. Such a special offering, especially for their debut. I discovered them because Rich is also part of Thirdstory, and his vocals are just a constant dream. My favorite track is “Normal Too,” but I also love “Pain Goes Away” “Spotlight” “Fool” “Milk” and “Stories.” I genuinely listen to this album every day.
  • “Cool With It” by Josie Dunne. Her voice is off the charts, first of all. Secondly, such a fun lyricist. An empowering moving-on anthem.
  • “I Don’t Need You (DEMO)” by Andy Mineo. He just writes such real stuff other people don’t usually write about, insecurities that a lot of us share but wouldn’t own up to because we think it’s just us or we’d feel too vulnerable. I love that most of it is angry, and then we see the truth that anger is a secondary emotion. So good. Great beat, too, and passionate delivery.
  • “Electric Woman” by Wilder Woods. Infectious and sexy in the most innocent way. His album comes out in a few weeks; I’m beyond ready.
  • “Dreaming in Electric Blue” by Dave Barnes. I love hearing Dave talk about songwriting, and when he releases new music I see why: he knows what he’s talking about. This song is rich as well as just so fun. In my head for days.
  • “Lying” by PRETTYMUCH ft. Lil Tjay. So catchy. Boy bands are alive and well right now because of these dudes. “Sorry to call you, so unexpected, thought you’d be sleeping, I was gonna leave a message…”
  • “Roddy” by Djo. I was shocked when Joe Keery released this. I’m a big fan of Post Animal, the band he’s part of, and I love that he continued the 1970s-inspired soft rock but also incorporated his own incredible sound for this project. The drop… holy cow. Unexpected and a joy from beginning to end.
  • “How Do You Sleep?” by Sam Smith. Sam is obviously a great singer, and this song is genuine and makes me want to dance (I can’t dance like him, though, dang). “I’m hoping that my love will keep you up tonight…”

If you want all of this music in one playlist, I have it! Scroll to the bottom for the newest additions.

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  • Spider-Man: Far From Home. One of my most joyous movie theater experiences. I love Spider-Man so much, and the way these movies have been capturing the character of Peter Parker so well just makes me so happy. He’s my favorite character ever. This movie was fun, exciting, heart-warming, and incredibly well written. I love that it’s simultaneously a cute high school flick and an intense superhero film. Definitely go see it if you can!
  • So many interviews with the Spider-Man cast, aka my one-sided besties. Too many to share, but definitely watch this one and this one because they crack me up so bad.
  • Matthew Sorgie’s sketchbook tour. One of my favorite genres of videos to watch on YouTube, and this kid is so talented.
  • Shazam! Cheesy but fun. Zac basically just gets to be his goofy self and I love that for him. And thumbs up for positive representation of foster families!
  • Zachary Levi goes comic book shopping. I enjoy this series, I think it’s such a unique concept for doing press. Having a guest that actually loves comics made it even more fun!
  • “7 Cheat Codes for Everyday Life” from my bro Christian Collins. Definitely some wisdom in this.
  • Jeff Buckley’s interview with NPR complete with a performance of “Mojo Pin.” He was such an interesting person with almost other-worldly creative instincts. That note he hits in the live performace? Insane.
  • First Man. Beautifully shot. Wonderful, emotionally intelligent performances by Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy. Subtle, sometimes getting messages across solely through a close up or an expression. A little too slow in pace for me.
  • “Sir Ben Kingsley Breaks Down His Most Iconic Characters.” These videos are so interesting, and Ben Kingsley is just such a thoughtful actor. I loved hearing him speak of the craft and how he approaches it.
  • “Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal being crackheads for three and a half minutes.” ‘Nuff said.
  • Continued watching Songland. I get completely sucked in to observing that writer’s room.
  • I’ve been writing short reviews of basically every movie I’ve ever had any opinion on with random pockets of free time. You can read them on Letterboxd and follow me there if you’d like!

Books/Blogs/Articles

  • “How James Blake learned to not be alone.” A wonderful and inspiring interview with a great artist. His album this year blew me away and it warms my heart to read a behind-the-scenes about why it stands out so much for him, too.

I’m the worst at finishing books lately. You can follow me on Goodreads, though, because I’m trying.

Also Worth Mentioning

  • The Songland Podcast. I caught up on it while cleaning my house and it is just so interesting! We get to hear stories from renowned artists as well as up-and-coming talents, and the process of how they came together to create a song. I love music so much, ugh!
  • All the newly announced Marvel movies. I was screeching all day.
  • Glitter Pop eyeliner from Too Faced. Colorful, glittery eyeliner that stays in place until I peel it off? Yes. I got the color “Fairy Queen” because of course I did.

What fed you this month?

Soul Food

Soul Food {June 2019}

Busy, frazzled, and still the happiest I’ve been. I love that I can look back on my life, at basically any point in time, and still be able to say, “I’m happier than I was before.” It makes me feel more confident in what I’m doing and in the paths I take. Last summer was a bit tumultuous, so those feelings are echoing a bit as the weather and summertime activities look similar to what they did then, but I can still say with, my head held completely erect: I am happier now. And that will only continue to be true.

Here are some other little things that added to my happiness.

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  • “Never Really Over” by Katy Perry. Heard it on the radio the day it released and was hooked immediately. So infectious, especially the post-chorus. Love that she sampled such a great track by Dagny. And the feeling captured in the lyrics is very distinct and accurate.
  • “Sure Ain’t” and “Someday Soon” by Wilder Woods. I mentioned him last month but everything he’s released from the project so far has been consistent listening for me. I yell along with the former and wail along with the latter.
  • The Jonas Brothers’ “Happiness Begins” album. I thought I would probably like it, but I was shocked by just how much I truly do. They stayed true to their signature vibe but modernized it and brought more experience and authenticity to it, and I’m such a fan. I also love that their overall outlook is still positive and hopeful; if they had an angsty phase, they got it out in their solo projects. My favorite has to be “Used to Be,” but I also love “Sucker” “Cool” “I Believe” “Love Her” and “Happy When I’m Sad.” Currently waiting on my signed preorder to come in the mail.
  • “Talk All Night for Nothing” by Tyson Motsenbocker. I knew one song of his when I saw him live, and he didn’t play it. He did play this, though, and I liked it. “But I don’t wanna drive if I can’t keep the keys, and you don’t get to talk if you don’t want me…”
  • “Greenlight” by Able Heart. When he performed this on Songland we all knew it was the winner long before it was announced. It’s released as a Jonas Brothers song now, but I can’t help feeling like the original writer’s performance is a bit better! Really looking forward to hearing more from him. Those beats are too good.
  • “Sue Me” by Sabrina Carpenter. I love a good post-breakup girl power anthem. “So sue me for looking so pretty tonight, wearing your favorite color under the light, for moving on, doing everything right…”
  • “Don’t Go Changing” by Aly & AJ. I’m conflicted about them. I grew up looking up to them, and while their new music is interesting and I want to get into it, I also want to avoid the weird sexual vibe they’ve cultivated. I think this song is a stand out in a good way. “Don’t go changing on me, babe; typical feeling. Who ever told you you’re not good enough? Don’t go changing on me, babe; physical healing. Why don’t we dance away your fear of love?”

If you want all of this music in one place, I have a playlist! I add to it all year, so scroll to the bottom for the latest additions.

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  • Finished The Guardian. The only people who got what they wanted were Lulu and Jake– the two worst characters. But I’m proud of what Nick ended up doing and I guess that’s what counts? Won’t rewatch, but kind of want to rewatch The Mentalist now because of Simon Baker.
  • Songland. My piano teacher recommended it to me for songwriting insights, and boy was she right! I love watching the process of these writers collaborating with experts to refine and hone in on their work, with humble confidence and with excitement about the input they receive. A great reminder for me that it’s all about what’s best for the song.
  • Dina Norlund‘s art videos. I love that YouTube has an art community. It’s relaxing to watch and it inspires me to create more often. Dina’s videos have been a recent favorite. She’s doing a #drawthisinyourstyle challenge right now and I actually participated– on my new art Instagram account!
  • Captain Marvel. I don’t share much of Carol’s personality or her life experiences, but she is still relatable to the point of tears every time I’ve watched her story. Powerful, vulnerable, real women represented in media are important & needed. Love this film a ton. And loved a movie night with my mom and grandma, two of my favorite super-powered women.
  • Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Jacob Batalon Answer The Web’s Most Searched Questions. No one needs to do the autocomplete interview ever again, nothing will top this! So funny oh my gosh! Somebody get me into this friend group!

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  • G’Morning, G’night! Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda, illustrated by Jonny Sun. So sweet! Sometimes they’re fun and quirky, and sometimes they make you tear up a little bit because you needed that.
  • The articles my best friend has been writing for a state paper. She graduated with her masters in journalism this month, y’all!

I’m on Goodreads if you want real-time bookish updates from me.

Also Worth Mentioning

  • Cremosas. Started making them at work; lavender is a favorite.
  • Allergy medicine. Thank God for (mostly) clear sinuses.
  • Tandem bikes. Yep, that happened.
  • Tom Holland on the red carpet at the Spider-Man: Far From Home world premiere. Are you kidding me?! A look.

What fed you this month?

Soul Food

Soul Food {May 2019}

Everything is growing right now, including us, and I love to see it. There might be a few growing pains that come with it, but when we push through those, we are met with such reward on the other side. Praying for a taste of those rewards, in your life and in mine.

Here are a few things I met with on my walk this month.

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  • “Timeless” by James Blake. Makes me feel like I’m in wonderland.
  • “Memorized” by Mat Kearney featuring RAC. It’s on the playlist at our cafe. Dance party every time it comes on.
  • “Clarity” “I Ain’t Done” and “None of My Business” by Andy Mineo. I’ve been slow to digest his most recent work, but it is solid. The lyrics, the beats– two thumbs up. I listen to rap the most when I need a confidence boost or to let out some energy, and Andy is one of my favorites for that.
  • “Love Came Down” by Brian Johnson. One of my piano practice pieces. So special.
  • “Dragons” by Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors ft. The Lone Bellows. Soft Johnny Cash vibes. “Stop spending all your money on forgiveness of sins.”
  • Scott Mulvahill’s version of “Homeless” featuring Alanna Boudreau. I listen to Scott’s album all the time; it’s one of those that you find more and more layers to love as you sit with it.
  • “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over” by Jeff Buckley. I discovered it because Madison Cunningham beautifully covered it, and wow– the soul and emotion in this thunderously gentle ballad is completely entrancing. I can’t stop listening.
  • “Supply and Demand” by Wilder Woods. Bear Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE is putting out a solo project, and if this song he’s released from it is any indication… it’s going to be way too good. My jaw dropped and I screeched in the parking lot the first listen.

If you want these songs all together in one playlist, I made it! I use it all year, so scroll to the bottom for the newest additions.

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  • Avengers: Endgame. This film was everything and more. I’ve never sobbed so many times at a movie — happy, sad, and bittersweet; never cared this much for so many characters, for so long; rarely been so pleased and so satisfied with every twist and turn a story takes. I left the theater with few words, just warmth. And a lot of gratitude to everyone who put so much passion into delivering something so special. There is nothing like it.
  • Continued watching The Guardian. What a ride. One I’m not going to go on again, but still, love you, Simon Baker.
  • Napoleon Dynamite. I hadn’t seen the full thing, and the little bit I had seen was in middle school, so my mom and I spent our holiday afternoon on it. It’s dumb, but in a way that makes you chuckle at it and feel like you didn’t waste your time. So many great quotes. “Knock it off, Napoleon! Just make yourself a dang quesa-dilluh!”
  • Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition. For the lolz. And oh boy are there lolz.

Books/Blogs/Articles

  • “Chris Rice on Walking Away from The Spotlight — And His Sneak Return” on Billboard. He has taught me so much over the years through what he’s shared, and reading his approach to sharing now is another layer of inspiration for this fellow gentle creative. He always gets my big thank you.
  • I’m currently reading a few books, albeit at a slow pace; you can keep up with me on Goodreads if you want “play-by-play” updates.

 

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  • Lucy Boynton’s Met Gala look. The fairy queen I dream of being. I also loved Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Chan, and Zendaya.
  • The Huji Cam app. I took a Huji a day this month, and it reminded me how much I like taking pictures. Huji brings a bit of almost reckless freedom to it, because the photos aren’t going to come out perfectly; they’ll have little quirks, and you expect it, so you just enjoy what they end up being. That’s a sweet thing to cultivate an appreciation for.
  • The AllTrails app. I downloaded it because my mom and I wanted to find a specific trail for our long-weekend hike, and I spent the rest of the week writing reviews of every hike I can remember going on. You can see what’s near you, read reviews, check the conditions, get directions, make lists of hikes you want to try… so fun!

What fed you this month?

Soul Food

Soul Food {April 2019}

So many changes this month. They’re good changes, but they’ve still kind of knocked me off balance. Here are a few things that steadied me a little and brought me some joy.

Music

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  • “God Only Knows” by For King and Country. I don’t know what about this song encourages me so much, but I’m often brought to tears by it. When I feel like I’m walking through life alone, being reminded that I am seen and fully understood and loved by the Lord lets me take a deep breath.
  • “Build My Life” by Pat Barrett. Sang way too loudly and passionately in the car. Beautiful words carried by a beautiful, heartfelt tune.
  • “Be Still and Know” by Steven Curtis Chapman ft. Caleb Chapman. The original was calming and comforting to me growing up, and this newer recording featuring his son has the same warmth with its own touch.
  • “2:20” by Colony House. [Speaking of Caleb Chapman,] These guys are my absolute favorites and I saw them live this month, which reminded me how good this song is. “How am I supposed to keep on standing tall, when everything around me falls apart? I walk the narrow, I walk the line right through the door, I walk the tightrope, but I’m just like I was before.”
  • “Stars” by Switchfoot. I saw them live, too, and they knock it out of the park every single time (this was my fifth, I think?). They’re legends, with so many good words and insane rock-n-roll sensibilities.
  • “Call My Name” by Kirsten Collins. Her range always kind of blows me back. Such a talented woman. Both the sound and the lyrics of this song are unusually infectious; it gets stuck in my head every time I listen. “You got me laughing at our side jokes; when we talk I never feel alone.”
  • “Radio Girl” by Taylor Mathews. I had randomly saved one of his songs to my Spotify and didn’t even remember doing so, but I rediscovered it and, dang, this album is great! Twenty-thirteen-era, singer-songwriter pop is a beloved genre for me and he nestles into it so well. This song in particular makes me want to dance every time. And it’s been on repeat, so a lot of dancing is happening.
  • “Caroline” by Briston Maroney. A reminder that 1) all good things in life take a little time, and 2) sweet ballads can also have guitar solos and it works. “Change is hard, but it’s gonna take you far. Pick up your guitar and tell me why it’s so frustrating.”
  • “Wallpaper” by Spencer Sutherland. Spencer is my guilty pleasure music. Such a talented vocalist with amazing sensibilities. “Yeah I had a bad dream about you last night, but I didn’t lose sleep, no, I slept a full night; you were passive and aggressive all at the same time, and you wonder why I’m red in the eyes.”
  • Kwassa’s “fka kyko” ep. He cannot put out a less than stellar song, it’s impossible. The low notes during the bridge in “woozy”? The drop in “better”? The consistent positive vibes? And of course the songs we already know and dance to on the reg? Love him forever.
  • “Fighting for The Wrong Side” by Scott Mulvahill. I’m always listening to Scott and this has always been my favorite song of his, but I’ve reached a point of processing things in my own life where I get it now. I feel what he’s saying, because it’s what I’m saying, too. He found the words and he offers them as a “me, too.” Thanks, Scott.

If you want a Spotify playlist of all of this music, I have it! I use it all year, so scroll to the bottom for the newest additions.

Movies/YouTube/TV

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  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Did I expect to break down sobbing at the end? No. Did I break down sobbing at the end? Holy cow, yes. Such a beautiful, heartwarming, bittersweetly satisfying ending to a well-written, fun, unique trilogy of films.
  • I also watched How to Train Your Dragon 2 a week later because I realized I’d forgotten most of it. Also good.
  • Zachary Levi’s appearance on Good Mythical Morning. Three of my favorite dudes just making me laugh for fourteen minutes.
  • Continued watching The Guardian with my mom. It has gotten better; we’re almost done with season two. Most episode endings are not satisfying and they rarely revisit an arc, so from a writing standpoint I have some issues with it, but it’s engaging enough to keep me. And while most of the characters frustrate me, I also have soft spots for a lot of them. Except Lulu and Jake, we hate Lulu and Jake.
  • Castle in The Sky. Obsessed with the artwork and the sweet relationship between the two main characters. I also love stories/designs that mix ancient civilizations and architecture with major technological advancement, and this scratches that itch.

Books/Blogs/Articles

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  • Think, Learn, Succeed by Dr. Caroline Leaf. Dr. Leaf is brilliant and shares some life changing concepts in this book. She has called it more of a textbook than anything else, and I think that’s the best way to approach it: take your time, study, make notes, and apply as you go. I’ve used her 21 Day Brain Detox in the past and can attest to the power behind what she shares, as a lot of the concepts behind that program are outlined in this book. Looking forward to seeing more results from the additional concepts as I work on implementing and understanding them. My issue with her books is consistently that she struggles to balance neuroscience jargon with layman’s terms; she either expects you to follow her complex explanations, or she simplifies so much that you can’t see a concept in what she’s saying. She’s a bit better about this in her verbal materials than in her writing, so I’d recommend watching the book club videos on her YouTube channel and/or tuning in to related episodes of her podcast in addition to reading the book.

Also Worth Mentioning

  • The Churchome app. I was skeptical about an app that wants to serve as a virtual church community, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by it and the things it does– and doesn’t do. It doesn’t seek to be a replacement for the local church, rather it’s a resource and a way to connect with the global church. I especially like the “Pray” section where people can share prayer requests (anonymously, if they wish) and indicate that they’ve prayed for the requests of others. And the groups are a great idea and the “Daily Sparks” encouraging words are simple and sweet reminders.
  • Italian sodas. I was never that into them, but now I work at a café and I’m waking up to how refreshing fizzy water with a little fruity flavor can be.
  • Embossing. I embossed the cover on my journal after being inspired by Jenny Journals, and I love how it turned out. My mom already had an embosser she let me use, and I got my powders from Hobby Lobby (the pearlescent pink) and ButtonUpFindings (the metallic set– three for a dollar!).

What fed you this month?

Soul Food

Soul Food {March 2019}

Spring is so good for my soul. I never think the dark and the cold affects me too much, but then spring starts peeking out its head and my spirit immediately lifts. It also seems like my life starts showing growth when the earth does; winter was for waiting, and now spring is bringing proof that I was waiting for something. It still gets cold. But it gets brighter, too.

Here are a few things that accompanied me into the sunlight.

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  • “Sucker” by the Jonas Brothers. I can’t believe they’re back, and with such a jam! They were the one boy band I listened to growing up and I still think their old stuff is fantastic; it looks like they’ll only continue to be great together.
  • “Broke” by Samm Henshaw. I am never disappointed with a Dave Barnes song recommendation. The groove, his voice, the danceability? Yes.
  • “In The Waiting (Reimagined)” by Kina Grannis. This is my favorite song from Kina’s most recent album and I love this slightly more upbeat version of it, too.
  • “Hurt Me” by Lapsley. I’ve known this song for a few years and always loved the sound, but the lyrics just recently hit me, and now it all feels so empowering. “I’m counting down the seconds that we have, I can see the end in sight at last, so if you’re gonna hurt me, why don’t you hurt me a little bit more?”
  • “Elevate” by DJ Khalil ft. Denzel Curry, YBN Cordae, Swavay, and Trevor Rich. Because the Into The Spider-Verse soundtrack is too good.
  • “Change on The Rise” by Avi Kaplan. Grand, resounding, almost jaw-dropping. His vocals continually blow me away and I love the style he’s nestled into.
  • “Can’t Replace You” by Joseph Tilley. The bro makes jams and that’s that.
  • “Stupid Deep” by Jon Bellion. This song is unmatched. The lyrics and the production genuinely blow my mind. And the video is stunning, too, wow.
  • “Shake My Head” by Ivory Layne. I love the version she just did with Jon McLaughlin for his Dueling Pianos series, but any version of it is empowering and pumps me up.

If you want all of this music in a playlist, I’ve already got it on Spotify! I use it for the whole year so scroll to the bottom for the newest additions.

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  • Various John Mulaney interviews. He’s been around for a long time but only recently has he shown up on my radar. I think he’s hilarious, yet with a genuine air, too. He also carries the vibe of someone from the 1950s and it’s so cute!
  • Captain Marvel. I’ve seen it twice, both times with many tears. It’s a Marvel movie and I love pretty much all of them, but one thing that stood out to strongly to me in this one was that Carol’s most celebrated superpower was her refusal to stay knocked down; her other powers were just an addition to that. There’s a wonderful amount of lady power in this movie, and it’s front and center but not defensive. So many fun characters, too. Yeah, just go see it.
  • DrawingWiffWaffle‘s videos. Her art style is so fun and unique, and she experiments with different things all the time so it’s fun to explore that with her. She also has a super sweet and laid-back personality, I just enjoy every video she puts out. And she posts so often, holy cow!
  • Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. It came out on dvd so you know we had to watch it again. I love it so much. Miles and Peter are both absolutely precious.
  • Continued watching The Good Doctor. That season finale was so expectedly satisfying!

Also Worth Mentioning

  • The new posters for Avengers: Endgame. I would never get a tattoo (needles? commitment?), but after they released these I was asking friends, “What do you think is a good placement for the Avengers ‘A’?”
  • New sunglasses. They make me feel almost too good.
  • The newly introduced paninis at my favorite café. Delicious. I’ve tried all but one of them but just give it a few weeks. I’m an employee there now, so I can call it research, right?

What fed you this month?

Soul Food

Soul Food {February 2019}

What even was this month? January seems to take an eternity, then February takes about two seconds. At any rate, I enjoyed all two seconds of it. A lot of growth happened, and kind of unexpectedly. If you’ve been around for a while, you’ve heard me mention how time is a tough love friend but really does do the trick. I was saying that and believing it, but now I’m seeing it to be true. The growth and the healing are sinking in, and the only thing that really brought the change? Time. Give yourself some time, okay? You have been given the time you need. Rest in that, and let it happen.

Here are a few things I enjoyed with some of my time this month.

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  • “Feelings” by Lennon Stella. Her ep was one of my absolute favorites to come out last year and I still listen to it frequently. This song in particular felt so relevant to me this month. But definitely listen to the whole ep, front to back. The way she writes makes me feel both understood and empowered.
  • “The Donor Blues” by Shakey Graves. Such a good songwriter. “I sing sweet songs with the throat that belongs to her; she wears my heart and I wear her words.”
  • “Boyfriend” by Big Time Rush ft. Snoop Dogg. A classic that I still kind of can’t believe exists. Stuck in my head forever.
  • “Captured” by Isla Vista Worship. Good vibes, good words.
  • “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again” by Danny Gokey. I’ve known this song for a while, but sometimes the lyrics hit you at the right time, you know? “Let the shadows fall away, step into the light of day. Yesterday’s a closing door, you don’t live there anymore. Say goodbye to where you’ve been, and tell your heart to beat again.”
  • “Dirt” by Kimberly Knighton. I found her when she posted a Scott Mulvahill cover on Instagram. Her voice is beautiful and warm, and this original song of hers is so heartfelt. It somehow reminds me of the ZOEgirl ballads I listened to growing up.
  • “I Forgot You” by Phangs. One of the most hope-bringing, empowering songs I’ve heard.
  • “Stay Young” by Maisie Peters. The chorus is incredible and so, so catchy! I think we’re gonna hear a lot of good stuff from her.
  • “NONE Of This Has Been About You” by Spencer Sutherland. The lyrics were a weird form of closure for me; I knew someone who would have said those words if they’d known how to, and it was just nice to hear someone else express it and to know it’s a real feeling/thought process. Not to mention the chorus is impossible to not scream along with.

If you want all of this music in one place, I have a playlist! I’ll be using it all year so scroll to the bottom for the newest additions.

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  • George of The Jungle. It’s been cracking me up since I was little and I don’t think it will ever stop.
  • Andy Serkis Breaks Down His Motion Capture Performances. Andy is one of my favorite actors. His work changed the industry, and hearing him speak passionately yet humbly about it is a joy.
  • The Grinch (2018). I know I’m a bit late, but my family didn’t see it while it was in theaters so we recently drank hot chocolate and watched it on dvd. I think the story fits well in the shorter format we’re used to, but they added some cute and sweet elements to this retelling so I didn’t feel it was a waste of time.
  • This video that had my brother and I laughing to the point of my throat hurting. “–stUCK ON A SIM’S HAND– wHILE dRIVNG a CAR”
  • Rosanna Pansino following a Bob Ross tutorial with frostingInsane.
  • Emily Wilson’s video about how to respond to ghosting. I started physically applauding during this video because everything she says is so right on.
  • Matthew Hussey explaining the right mindset for grief after a break up. There are three snippets from his speeches in this video and they’re all good, but the last one is huge and I wish I’d heard that wording earlier in my life.
  • Rosanna Pansino and Mike Lamond’s “Pancake Art Challenge.” I’m a sucker for pancake art videos. And these two are such a cute couple, I enjoy every video they put out together.
  • Continued watching The Good Doctor, Worst Cooks in America, and The Guardian.

Also Worth Mentioning

  • My local record store. I popped in to get an album for my mom because it wouldn’t have shipped in time for her birthday, and I could have spent a lot of time there. To quote the older woman in front of me in line: “We’ll come back to this hippie place sometime.” And to quote the other older woman with her: “You fit right in, you’re not fooling anyone, Joann.”
  • Flo. Is it weird to shout out my period-tracking app? I just really enjoying knowing all I can about what my body is doing and this app is fantastic, not just for making sure I’m regular but also for understanding any hormonal symptoms I experience. I’ve been learning so much!
  • My Infinity Gauntlet pin from Caped Justice Jewelry. If you’re in the market for nerdy enamel pins, this shop has a ton (plus other fun pieces) and the quality is excellent. I got mine for my work lanyard at the movie theater; it sparks little conversations quite often.

What fed you this month?