Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Playlist

This month made me realize just how much of my playlists come from (1) driving between buildings listening to KC radio, which is awesome (The Buzz and The Bridge just get me, ya know?) or (2) listening to Spotify at my desk at work. Since a sizeable chunk of my work time is spent either in my car or at my desk, my new music discoveries (and old music re-discoveries) have really decreased since I've been off work. Even with that, though, this month's playlist might be one of my favorites; I'm SUPER obsessed with Glass Animals lately, and I've been really getting back into Josh Garrels, too. Maybe not being inundated with new music constantly forces me to be more conscious of music I really connect with, rather than just what I like for a month or so at a time? Whatever it is, I'm good with it. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Creative Chat: Michelle Houghton

It's time for another Creative Chat--this is the month of painting, and I'll be interviewing Michelle Houghton. Back in December, when the idea for Creative Chat came up, Michelle was the very first person who came to mind to interview. She is very literally one of the most inspiring and talented people I've ever met, and I can't believe I get to call her my friend. She is constantly just blowing me away with her insight, creativity, and amazing heart. Not only is she an incredible painter, but she's also a counselor, the co-founder of The Bravery Board--a mental wellness and personal growth organization that offers services such as counseling, life coaching, and regular workshops & gatherings--and a writer for The Mystery Hour, an Emmy Award-winning locally televised late night talk show. (You might have seen their hilarious viral video, "Instagram Husband" earlier this year!) Oh, and she's also a wife and a mother to one of the most adorable kids on the planet. She's basically Wonder Woman. No big deal.  
Okay, I'm going to shut up about how amazing Michelle is now, and let her show you herself:

1//When did you first become interested in painting? How did you choose painting out of all the creative mediums that exist?
I’ve been interested in painting since I was a kid. The first time I remember doing a painting I was probably 8 or 9 and painted watercolors on top of a JCPenny box that my mom ended up framing and putting on her wall. (And yes, it's still there in my parents’ house!) Although I always dabbled in painting growing up, I never pursued training for it until college. Throughout childhood and adolescence I mistakenly thought I needed to be naturally talented at painting or drawing in order to sign up for any sort of art classes. Anytime I created anything-- I had a lot of doubts about how good my work was, especially when I thought about how gifted some of my friends were at designing and drawing. Eventually I matured though and stopped taking myself so seriously, so when I took that first drawing class in college I loved it and produced some cool stuff. I’ve painted and drawn as a hobby off and on ever since.

Friday, May 27, 2016

KC Love: Thou Mayest

Is it wrong to declare a favorite coffee shop before you've visited most of the ones in your city? Even if it is, I think I'm okay with it. I mean, Thou Mayest has a lavender latte, the perfect atmosphere, and they're named after my favorite book--it's basically meant to be.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Spring Wishlist


Even though it's officially spring for another month, I'm starting to feel those summer vibes already. This will be our first summer in Kansas City in addition to my first summer off(!), and I can't wait to do lots of exploring...as well as take a couple of trips. It's been a little while since I put together a wishlist, so I thought I would make one to capture my summer mood!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Planet Comicon 2016

I really don't put much effort into hiding the fact that I can be a little bit of a nerd at times (like, um, any time anyone talks about British history or Game of Thrones, for instance). One of those times comes a few days a year in the form of comicon. Tyler and I have gone the last few years, and even though capes & tights aren't really my thing, I've really come to look forward to it.  We went last weekend, and my brother and his girlfriend came up to join us!
Sorry for the crappy iPhone photos--I try to carry as little as possible!
I had my heart set on meeting the green/white Power Ranger, but the universe was working against me--well, the universe, and my aversion to waiting in long lines and paying $50 for a photograph. I still walked by and got to see him, George Takei, Stan Lee, Jason Mewes, Tom Felton (DRACO MALFOY, YOU GUYS!), and a bunch of other interesting folks. (We also ran into Ming Chen from Comic Book Men/Tell 'Em Steve Dave out on the sidewalk Thursday evening and got to chat with him for a bit!)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Currently: Thou Mayest.

Feeling: A little nervous. I have to turn in my first assignment for my photography class tonight, and I really have no idea what I'm doing yet. 

Eating: Nothing, but I'm starting to dream about dinner.....at 3:30 pm.

Drinking: An iced lavender latte. It's the stuff dreams are made of. 

Watching: People mill about in Thou Mayest. This might be my favorite spot in the city so far. 

Wearing: one of those outfits I'm not sure I can pull off--a 90's throwback complete with tights under ripped denim shorts, combat-style boots, and a long plaid sleeveless shirt. Maybe I'll get brave enough to throw some photos up here once I decide if it's really a hit or miss.

Reading: Right now, my blog calendar and notes I took from last week's class. Buuuuuut I brought my Kindle in case I want to/have time to catch up on a little Game of Thrones. :)

Thinking about: Dinner. Seriously, it's 3:30.

Loving: Everything about my plan to camp out at Thou Mayest for a little while. I even nabbed a corner seat! 

Excited about: buying plane tickets to Seattle next week! 

Working on: making a to-do list for the rest of the week. You best believe it's going to include blogging, finishing a painting project, and watching the whole season of Broadchurch (UK edition, of course).

Listening to: An 80s soundtrack that's playing. First it was Land Down Under, and now it's Time After Time. Seriously, I love everything about my decision to come here. 

Worried about: drinking myself poor with those lavender latte's. 

Obsessing over: my summer work schedule! This is what heaven is like you guys--enough time to do the things you love and enough money to eat. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Lately I've been feeling caught at the crossroads between striving and contentment. Ever since I was a kid I've felt the pull--the pressure--to do well, do more, do better. If my family had a motto, it was "Always do your best and give it your all." I'm pretty sure it's just in my DNA somewhere. So I brought home A's straight through grad school. I collected degrees, certifications. I pick new things to learn like some people pick out shoes. I try to be good at a lot of things, and I try even harder not to let my identity get entangled in them.

Don't get me started on societal expectations; there's so much pressure to constantly improve yourself--your looks, your contributions, your education, your weight, your budget, your fitness level, your possessions. "Live your best life!" and all that. It's exhausting. 

I wonder at what point the striving negates the living. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Summer Goals

With only 10 days left until the last day of school, I'm getting the itch to make some summer plans. Bring on the warm weather, pool days, and unlimited reading time! This is the first time I've had a summer off since high school! Even though I'm working summer school, it's only half days....and apart from that I still have a good three weeks or so of pure nothing. I decided to make a list of all the stuff I need to cram into that time--you know, to make sure I make the most of it!

Summer Goals:

1// Read the Song of Ice & Fire (Game of Thrones) book series--I've already gotten a head start on this one!

2// Visit Layne in Seattle!

3// Finally get a Kansas driver's license

4// Konmari the apartment--this is a huge one. How did we collect so much unnecessary stuff?!

5// Spend a whole day reading and drinking coffee at Thou Mayest. Heaven.

6// Spend a few days back home with family

7// Plan a UK trip & budget

8// Work on improving my photography (I finally signed up for a class at the Kansas City Art Institute, so hopefully that will help!)

9// Take a day trip to Springfield and.....

10// Get another tattoo.

11// Study French. I bought Rosetta Stone about three years ago and I still haven't even loaded it on the computer! Ack.

Maybe I'm being a bit ambitious. Ha. Do you have any big summer plans?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

RSD 2016

Ah, Record Store Day. 99% things you could care less about and 1% things you're dying to have. At least that's how it goes for me every year. It's a little bit torturous when you have an aversion to close-quarters-crowds, so usually I just take my chances after the lines die out in the afternoon. (It's really a terrible acquisition strategy, but I've only had to take to ebay once--and it was worth the extra $10 not to have a panic attack in public!)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Book Club: East of the Mountains

**WARNING: Contains some spoilers of David Guterson's books "The Other" and "East of the Mountains." **

Probably the most ironic thing about this month's read is that last month I gave up on a book because it was so depressing...and then this month, I decided to read a book about a man with terminally ill cancer who goes back to the area he grew up in with the intention of committing suicide.

Good one, Jess.

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