Sunday Brunch Playlist: A Curation of Songs That Go Well With Mimosas and Avocado Toast

The playlist provides sweet, upbeat tunes tossed with happy lyrics and floaty melodies. It’s perfect for playing while you and your friends chow down on whatever foods your brunch-loving heart desires. Finally, a playlist full of songs no one would dare complain about. So go ahead, turn on Spotify, bob your head to some happy tunes, and munch on some delicious brunch goodies with your pals.

Here’s the list of songs:

  1. M79 – Vampire Weekend
  2. Hang Loose – Alabama Shakes
  3. Goodmorning – Bleachers
  4. Come Save Me – Jagwar Ma
  5. Island In The Sun – Weezer
  6. Ooh La La – Faces
  7. Where Is My Mind? – Pixies
  8. Let’s Dance – David Bowie
  9. Stay Alive – Jose Gonzalez
  10. Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson
  11. New Soul – Yaem Naim
  12. Society – Eddie Vedder
  13. Be OK – Ingrid Michaelson
  14. After Hours – The Velvet Underground
  15. The Cave – Mumford & Sons
  16. You’ve Got The Love – Florence + The Machine
  17. Someone New – Hozier
  18. Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root
  19. God Only Knows – Beach Boys
  20. Feel It All Around – Washed Out

Alternatively, if you have a Spotify account, you can check out the playlist here:


What are some of your favorite tunes to play during Sunday brunch? Let us know in the comments!

We’re all just faking it

When I was young, I thought all of the adults in my life had all of the answers.

I thought because my mom knew exactly how long to microwave hot pockets without having to look at the instructions on the box, she knew all the secrets to success. “How do they know what to say all the time?” was a common question I internalized when listening to adults speak to each other. They all seemed to have this superpower to memorize strings of numbers: social security numbers, phone numbers, ID numbers, etc. Having a stack of business cards, in my naivety, was equivalent to having stacks of money. And I fantasized that I would one day acquire their abilities.

I put all of the older people in my life on pedestals because these people seemingly knew … well, everything. Everything from the meaning of life, to exactly the direction they were heading with their personal and career endeavors; from what happens to us after we die, to why people suffer. And I thought I would learn all of these things, too.

Now, though, my definition of adulthood is not the moment when you figure everything out, but the moment when you realize no one else has it figured out either.

We’re all faking it. Adults are just better at hiding it.

Think about all the times you’ve lied in response to the question, “How are you?” Even if you were having the most shit day, you’d still make the same exact small talk: “I’m good, and you?” and continue with your shit day. We fake it because we know no one wants to hear our incessant venting. We put on a mask, pretend to enjoy our jobs, then go home and trick ourselves into thinking doing the dishes “isn’t actually that bad.”

Then after we’ve done the dishes, we play video games, watch silly YouTube videos, dance in our underwear, or eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s while watching TV.

Adults are just grown-up kids after all.


Sure, when facing obstacles, I try to extrapolate from my (or others’) past experiences in search of a solution or a workaround. I’m not confident, but I think I’ve developed sufficient critical thinking skills to enough “what if” scenarios in order to avoid complete calamity. But in all honesty, there are so many times when I just throw my hands up in the air, say “I have no fucking clue,” and just wing it.

And I’m not alone.

I used to be relatively oblivious. I think of my time prior to my cross-country move to New York — before I gave all of my belongings away, took a low-paying job, knew what it was like to be truly hungry, experienced some of my lowest of lows in life — I was much more naive. I didn’t, on a daily basis, wonder why I was here on this earth when, now, I contemplate my existence every other hour or so.

Why is it only when we’re deprived of our most basic assumptions, we face the absurdity of existence, and ask, “what is this all about, anyway?”


It gets easier, though.

I’ve found solace in realizing no one knows what they’re doing.

But, no, there’s not really an “Adulting 101” class or a self-help book or a DIY tutorial on getting your shit together. As cliche as it sounds, simply doing my best is my number one goal. Some days I fail to reach that goal, but some days I succeed.

And that’s all anyone can really ask of you.

Five Game of Throne Cocktail Recipes

It’s Sunday, so you know what that means — it’s Game of Thrones Day! To really get in the spirit of the show, I concocted five Game of Throne cocktail recipes that are based on the different houses. We have the Baratheon house, the Tyrell house, the Stark house, the Targaryen house, and the Lannister house. The drinks represent each house. For fun, I even added the house banners (that I got from Pinterest) taped to toothpicks. Check out the recipes below!

The Baratheon

400 ml orange juice

30 ml lemon juice

50 ml gin

2 glasses of ice

Combine all ingredients into a blender and pulse until fully blended. Pour into a tall glass.

The Tyrell

12 mint leaves

1 tsp lime juice

1 tsp sugar

1/2 cup ice

40 ml rum

4.5 oz lemon-lime soda

Place mint, lime juice, and sugar into a muddler. Muddle until mint is crushed and spoon mixture into a glass. Pour ice, then rum and soda. Stir.

The Stark

Tonic water

30 ml gin

15 ml lemon juice

Pour tonic water into a container and place it in the freezer. After it’s frozen, crush the tonic water with a spoon until it resembles slush. In a separate container, mix gin and lemon juice. Spoon slushy tonic water into a glass. Pour gin mixture over slush.

The Targaryen

Cran-apple juice

Cranberry juice

50 ml vodka

Freeze cran-apple juice into ice cubes. After they’re frozen, place ice cubes into a tall glass. Pour in remaining ingredients and stir.

The Lannister

Pineapple-coconut sparkling water

50 ml vodka

Ice

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Pour over ice.


Are you a Game of Thrones fan? What are you looking forward to this season? Let us know in the comments!

DIY Word Applique Pillow

I love making my own pillows. It’s so much cheaper than buying them, and you have free reign of exactly how you want them to look. With this DIY word applique pillow tutorial, you can make your very own. And because this pillowcase is envelope-style, you don’t even need to know how to sew in a zipper.

Using some type of Word program on your computer, type out the message you want on your pillow. I chose “STAY WEIRD” because it’s simple and fun. Choose a large, blocky font, so it will be easier to cut and sew around. Print the message onto paper and cut out each letter.

Pin the letters onto fabric and cut them out.

Cut three pieces of fabric – one of the pieces will be the measurement of your pillow form plus one inch all the way around, and the other two pieces will be the diameter of your pillow form plus one inch by 1/2 the diameter of your pillow form plus six inches. Because I had a 15″ square pillow form, my square piece (in a solid color) was 16″ x 16″. My two rectangle pieces were 16″x13.5″.

Pin the letters you cut out earlier onto the square piece of fabric.

Sew them on using a zig-zag stitch in a matching thread color.

After you’ve sewn all of the letters on, grab your two rectangle pieces and hem one edge on both pieces. Just fold over 1/4″ and then 1/2″, pin, and sew.

Place all of your pieces right sides together. So first lay down your square piece (the one with the letters sewn on) right side up, then one of the rectangles with the hemmed side pointing to the left, then the other rectangle with them hemmed side pointing to the right. Pin all three pieces together and sew, leaving 1/2″ seam allowance on all sides.

Once you turn it right side out, give it a good ironing. It will most likely be a little wrinkled.

Then all you have to put your pillow form inside!

I’m thinking of making a whole bunch of these for our office. 🙂

Making your own pillows > buying. Stay weird!


What home decor items do you prefer to make rather than buy? Let us know in the comments.

Jalapeno Popper Crescent Rolls Recipe

These jalapeno popper crescent rolls are so yummy, and they only take about 20 minutes to make. They make the perfect side dish for any meal.

It only takes four ingredients. All you’ll need is a package of crescent rolls (eight), four jalapenos, a package of cream cheese, and shredded cheese. First, you’ll need to cut your jalapenos into fourths.

Open your package of crescent rolls. Spread a dollop cream cheese on the largest part of the triangle. Place two jalapeno strips and top with some shredded cheese. Roll up the crescent roll.

Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle more cheese if desired.

And it’s that simple! They’re not too spicy and the crescent rolls basically melt in your mouth.


What’s your easiest recipe? Let us know in the comments!

DIY Fake Flower Vase Art

Add some 3D wall art to your life using this fake flower vase art tutorial. All you’ll need to make it is a canvas, fake flowers, acrylic paint, paint brushes, a hot glue gun, a craft knife and a pencil. It probably took me an hour or so from start to finish.

Draw a vase shape in pencil, and start painting.

I chose to paint the vase black.

Then I added some specks of color.

To do that, all you need to do is flick paint off of a paintbrush using your finger.

Use a craft knife to cut a line on the opening of the vase.

Then stick your fake flowers in.

Hot glue them to the canvas.

Then add some greenery.

Cut off the stems (or twist them until they come off) and hot glue them to the back of the canvas.

And that’s it! You’re done.

I asked 9 women what being a 24-year-old was like and here’s what they said

As you may know, I turned 24 this month. Sometimes I look around me — online or IRL — and see other women (and men) my age and I can’t help but compare my life to his/hers. I don’t get out as much as her, I don’t have as many friends as they do, I am not able to go on vacation like a normal person. And I guess this is kind of hinting at what’s known as FOMO (fear of missing out).

I know you’re not supposed to compare yourself to others, but it’s sure as hell easier said than done when you see posts on social media of your friends going to live in other countries, or getting a big promotion at work, or starting their own businesses. And it’s not jealousy, per se, because you’re happy for and proud of your friends. It’s just comparison, which, unfortunately, can only lead to feeling inadequate. How am I supposed to find direction and clarity and meaning when I’m feeling inadequate?

Because of these feelings I’ve been experiencing, I decided to ask some friends and family members of mine to tell me how their lives were going when they were 24 years old. Some of them provided lessons they learned; others told me how hard life was for them back then. Almost all of them said it was the start of big turning points in their lives. But most of all, their stories made me feel human, and that feeling this way is just a part of life. Their stories made me feel like I’m doing something right.


Here’s what 9 of my female friends/family members had to say:

1. “At 24, I thought the world would always be good to me, that love would last forever, that commitment is easy when there’s love, that reading books was the only real way to really relax my mind, that walking in the rain is good for the soul, and that drinking straight from the carton is okay … and I still do.”
— Michelle

2. “My 24th year was a big year for me. It was almost half my lifetime ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the year I chose to turn a page and take charge of my own life. I was a young mother with two small children in an abusive marriage. I was becoming increasingly agitated and torn with decisions that had to be made. I’d put things off, made excuses for inexcusable behavior and ignored red flags for years but, I woke up one morning and the clarity about my situation was something that could no longer be ignored. I felt a panic setting in, it was an overwhelming sense of dread that I couldn’t shake. Throughout the day I found myself operating on auto-pilot; doing laundry, changing diapers, cooking, etc. I made a decision that day to take control of my own life. I knew in my heart that if I continued on the path I was on, my children would grow up thinking that that behavior was normal and the idea of allowing that to happen was something I just couldn’t live with. I wanted my children to know that the behavior they’d seen was unacceptable and the only way to send that message to them was to remove myself and them from the environment we were in. That decision was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made but, here I am, many years later and I can recognize it for what it was, a major turning point in my life. Whenever I hear stories about women who stay in abusive relationships and I hear people say, “Why don’t they just leave?” I know why, and I try not to judge them. There are many reasons people choose not to leave abusive relationships. I look back at this time in my life and I am grateful for the support of my family. I believe it’s important to try and find a balance in life. Remember our past so that we don’t allow history to repeat itself but at the same time, don’t allow ourselves to dwell on it.”
— Kathy

3. “I turned 24 in August 2010, I was going to college online to complete my BA and earned a promotion to the day shift with my current company in Logistics. I previously was working 12 hour night shifts 3-4 days a week tracking the location of semi -trucks. Little did I know, the age of 24 was the start of my professional career. I quickly knew I wanted to stay in Logistics when I grew up. I was given a sizeable monetary raise and handed accounts with which I already had familiarity. I learned how to be professional, tackle and handle issues on my own, and forged a great relationship with my customer. That position opened my eyes to a world of possibility and helped me move into the path I’m on today. Not much happened in my personal life aside from figuring out my small circle of friends. My professional life helped with this because I had goals of where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. I realized that I was completely different from one of my childhood friends who was 2 years younger. While she wanted to play Nintendo 64, eat and get high all the time, I wanted something more. I never partook in getting high and don’t bash those who do (legalize it!), I just realized that aside from playing Mario Kart we had nothing else in common. We became two different people. I was out on my own (admittedly with a roommate) navigating the world and she had yet to start (which is ok because she was only 22). 24 was a good stepping stone year for what ages 25-27 brought.”
— Rachael

4. “I am no longer twenty-four. That year I’d been a college graduate of forty-eight months. That was the last year I’d live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I would leave behind four part times jobs, one I’d held for the same amount of years at a local pizzeria. The others, a vacation rental representative, hospitality specialist, and late night/early morning laundromat cleaner. I’d leave each of these experiences behind when I moved to Greenville, South Carolina in June 2012, to another job as a portrait photographer. My husband would propose one year later.”
— Madison

5. “I felt like a big fat failure. Being a Nanny didn’t work out. The family wanted me to be on call 24 hours a day, so I was watching kids at my mom’s house. When I was 25, I moved to Eureka, SD.”
— Linda

6. “When I was 24, I was the manager of a two screen movie theater. It was built in the 1940s and had a lot of really cool features like a neon marquee, an old, closed down balcony, and access to the roof where my friends and I would go to smoke cigarettes and drink after-hours. I was way too young to be managing, but I loved my job and that building. That year, Saw 4 or 5 came out and a big group of us came to pre-screen the movie after-hours. It was a 35mm film print and, in those days, they came in canisters of four or five reels and someone had to manually splice them together with actual splicing tape and a cutter. It was a long, but relaxing process that I genuinely enjoyed. However, sometimes the reels were mislabeled and we had to watch the movie to make sure that it made sense before we could show it to the public. I was obviously not supposed to invite anyone to come and screen movies but it was a Saw movie and I wasn’t going to watch it by myself. I invited as many people as I could to come and watch it after-hours. There were probably only seven or so people that actually made it out and we watched it. We squirmed and laughed at it. It was a terrible movie. I had a lot of fun, especially afterwards smoking cigarettes outside at 2 in the morning.
I was breaking the rules and it was great. I grew up really sheltered and was not rule-breaker. So having a little bit of power over a building and over my choices was pretty exhilarating. These small incidences of rebellion, of course, led to bigger and more intense rule-breaking. A lot of those had some pretty serious consequences. I think, had I recognized it sooner, I wouldn’t have broken quite as many rules and hearts. I’m really grateful for that part of my of my life and the ability to experiment. At the time, I thought I would never get that desire to break rules out of my system. It’s exhausting being a rebel because some of those rules and norms are there for a reason and it takes a lot of work to not get caught, and even more work dealing with the consequences. Now, at 32, I can honestly say I’m really glad I don’t have to do any of those things anymore.
Except building 35mm film … I really miss that.”
— Maria

7. “I don’t think I want to remember being 24. Working long, horrible hours at WIPP and being totally responsible for two small boys. It was hard.”
— Lisa

8. “When I was twenty-four years old, I had been graduated from college for almost a year, was stuck in a job I didn’t like and was living back at home with my parents once again. I was restless and disappointed that I was back where I had started before going to school- this was not the path I had envisioned for my future. Then, almost out of nowhere, it seemed like my prayers had been answered- a relative of mine in Kansas City, Missouri reached out to me and asked if I would want to intern with him at his company where he did animation and graphic design. I was ecstatic! Finally, I felt like something was going right and I would be doing something that pertained to my interests and be able to learn from someone with a lot of experience. So I did what any unsettled young adult would do… quit my job, packed myself and my two cats up as quickly as possible, and ran away farther than I ever had before.
Moving to a big city is as daunting and exciting as anyone might think- my only experience with a “big” city was Albuquerque, New Mexico, and it had nothing on this sparkly new place I would be calling home for the next two years. But, like with any new adventure, there will always be both the ups and the downs… and the downs is what I seemed to experience right off the bat. The thrill of being in a new place seemed to wear off real fast when not even a few months later my “internship” fell through and I was stuck scrambling for a full-time job to pay the rent. I picked up the first thing that came along, left my part time nightmare of a job and my failed internship behind, and for the next two years, I realized that I was right back where I left off in Artesia- just in a bigger, unfamiliar setting.
Now, don’t get me wrong- there were some positive points in there, I swear! It’s just that those positive points don’t always seem as apparent when they’re happening as they are in hindsight. My positive experiences in Kansas City may have been slightly few and far between, but I do not regret the decision to move there one bit. Moving over thirteen hours away from my home, to a place where my only familiar faces consisted of distant cousins who I hadn’t seen in more than ten years, forced me to really mature and take responsibility for myself and the space I called home. I was once again rediscovering how to make new friends, of which I did make a good few of them that I still talk to now. I also experienced the toil of emotions that come with losing friends that weren’t just created by distance. I experienced my first real auto troubles that I had to take care of by myself, along with the woes of funding said troubles. For the first time, I was completely independent on paying for all of my living expenses with money that I made myself and had to learn how to be smart with my money and budget (in college I did work, but I mostly lived off of my scholarships!). I also learned the hard lesson that, when the idea of something sounds too good to be true… sometimes, it really actually is. My time in Kansas City may not have gone exactly the way I wanted, but I grew a lot from it. I don’t regret it. I’ve learned from it, and with that, I have moved on to my next adventure in life and can’t wait to see where it takes me!”
— Randi

9. “By age 24, I’ve been married to my best friend and graduated from college for over two years and nefariously a smoker for four (not to mention the tattoo I acquired just days ago–I’m a real heathen). I’ve moved cities, switched jobs, purchased a home, seemingly beat my 8-year-long struggle with chronic depression, met my lifelong goal weight, changed the focus of my career, completely shifted my belief system, and managed to keep up with old friends while making many new ones.
At 24, I’m stronger, more whole, more uniquely me than I’ve ever been, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I no longer weep for friendships past or dwell on my former mistakes. To put it simply, I resonate with The Avett Brothers’ “All My Mistakes.” Its chorus reads, “But I can’t go back, And I don’t want to, ‘Cause all my mistakes, They brought me to you.” “You” is myself, you is my husband, you is my best friends, and you is my family, with whom I’ve never been closer. By age 24, my life has seen more hard emotions and high joys than I ever thought possible, and I can’t wait for another 24 years of them.”
— Sarah

 


What was your 24th year like? Let us know in the comments.

DIY Book Safe

When I was a little girl, I loved creating secret hiding spaces for all of my valuables (which was probably only about four dollars and a couple of cocktail rings). My mom taught me how to make this book safe back then, and I’m still a big fan of the idea. I got this Jane Austen compilation book a few weeks back for 25 cents at a library book sale and thought it was perfect for this project.

(For those who can’t even possibly imagine cutting a book apart, this project is definitely not for you.)

You’ll need a measuring tape (or a ruler), a piece of cardstock, a paintbrush, a craft knife (like an X-ACTO knife), a pencil, some scissors, some Mod Podge, and a thick book.

Start by dipping your paint in Mod Podge and sealing the outer pages together.

After that dries, measure your book pages, and cut your piece of cardstock to 2″ less than your book page measurements on both sides. Because my book pages measured 6″ by 9″, I cut my piece of cardstock to 4″ x 7″. Place the cardstock in the middle of the first page and trace around it with a pencil.

Using your craft knife, follow the line you just made and make precise cuts. Be very careful, as these knives are sharp.

Keep cutting. It will probably take you an hour or so of cutting, but be persistent because the end result is so worth it! Depending on how new your blade is on your craft knife, you can get 4 or 5 pages per cut.

When you’re happy with the depth of your new safe, dip your paintbrush in Mod Podge again and “paint” the inside of the book so the pages stick together.

Allow your book to dry for at least an hour. Now you can place all of your valuables inside the book and place it on your shelf! As you can see, my “valuables” are pretty much the same as they were when I was a little girl. 🙂

Happy crafting!

Staying in Playlist: A Curation of Songs for Staying Home on a Saturday Night

The playlist provides a healthy mixture of sultry and sweet tossed with some snarky guitar riffs and hooky melodies. It’s perfect for you to dance all alone in your underwear or eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s on the couch in your pajamas. There’s no fear of missing out here — you’ll be completely satisfied at home listening to music while your friends dance in sweaty clubs and overpay for flat beers.

This playlist is perfect for those who don’t want to go out:

  1. Holy Roller – Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
    2. Why – Andrew Bird
    3. Nova-Leigh – Born Ruffians
    4. Don’t Make Me a Target – Spoon
    5. Dirt on Your Shoes – Bishop Allen
    6. The Dream Lives of Ordinary People – Voxtrot
    7. Home – Great Northern
    8. Bigmouth Strikes Again – The Smiths
    9. Our House – Madness
    10. The Fairest of the Seasons – Nico
    11. Oh Yoko! – John Lennon
    12. The High Road – Broken Bells
    13. Soul Meets Body – Death Cab for Cutie
    14. Champions of Red Wine – The New Pornographers
    15. Gravity Rides Everything – Modest Mouse
    16. Black Coffee in Bed – Squeeze
    17. Meet Me In The Basement – Broken Social Scene
    18. Save Me – Aimee Mann
    19. No Rain – Blind Melon
    20. Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party – Courtney Barnett

If you have a Spotify account, you can check out the playlist here:


What are some songs do you listen to when you just want to chill at home? Let us know in the comments!

DIY Embroidery for Beginners

Embroidery is one of my favorite crafty hobbies. It’s simple, it’s calming, and, depending on the design, it can go pretty quickly. I like to watch (or listen to) movies or tv shows while I embroider. Here I’ll teach you some of the basics, like how to stitch the most common stitch and how to stitch the back closed when you’re finished.

I start my designs by looking on the internet for inspiration. Sometimes I alter some clip art I find, but most of the time I just doodle something on paper and trace it with a sharpie. You could also embroider from coloring books.

You’ll need some light-colored fabric and an embroidery hoop. The embroidery hoop I’m using here is 4″ in diameter. Separate the two wooden pieces of the embroidery hoop, place the fabric in between, and tighten the brass screw on top.

Turn the embroidery hoop upside down and place it over whatever you’d like to embroider.

Lightly trace it with a pencil.

Take the fabric out of the embroidery hoop and put what you just traced on the outside.

Now gather all of the colors you want in your embroidery piece. I wanted dark blue for the body of the UFO, green for outer part of the UFO, a pink-red for the lights, yellow for the light beams, and light blue for the glare.

Thread your needle — arguably the hardest part of embroidering — and, from the backside, poke the needle through on one of the pencil lines.

Poke the needle through on the line, 1/8″ next to where you pulled it through the first time.

Pull the thread through. Then poke the needle through (from the backside) 1/8″ next to where your first stitch was.

And this is where you start to back stitch. Poke the needle through the second hole you made in your first stitch.

Keep doing this for awhile. When you need to change colors, or if you run out of thread and need some more of the same color, tie a knot in the back.

Use smaller stitches for smaller items, like these circles.

And it’s that simple.

To finish, thread your needle with some embroidery thread 1.5 times the circumference of your hoop. You can just eyeball it.

Stitch around the outer part of the fabric, starting at the top near the brass screw.

Pull on the strings to gather, and tie them in a knot. Cut off the excess thread.

You can also tie a string around the brass screw so you can hang it up. Alternatively, you can just lean the embroidery hoop against something on a bookshelf to display it.

What are some of your embroidery tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments.

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