Rita Ora ‘Your Song’

To be completely honest, at first I thought this was Rita Ora doing a cover of Elton John’s infamous ‘Your Song’. And this is the first time I’ve been perfectly content to be wrong when it goes to Sir Elton John.

First off, I’ve only recently discovered Rita Ora and to say i’m obsessed would be a disservice to her talent. She’s from the old country (England) and her songs are just uplifting enough to make you want to dance but they often also are a straight shot to the feels as well. And this song isn’t any different.

It’s basically a song about the honeymoon phase in a relationship. YOu know what I’m talking about, those butterflies in your stomach that won’t stop dancing in your abdomen and that awful waiting time for them to text you back. But she does this in a way where you really capture that excitement only known in the beginning stages of a relationship. For me, at least, this song gets me good.

It perfectly describes the girl that isn’t used to falling in love but does. And it’s new and it’s uncomfortable and it’s weird, but damn, does it feel amazing. This song is me starting off my relationship with my current boyfriend. #blessed #seenoevilmonkeyemoji.

If you haven’t gotten a chance to hear this song, check it out on Youtube.  I promise it’ll make you believe in love again as well as want to hit the dance floor with that person who’s caught your eye recently.

Favourite lyric: I think I’m falling/I’m not proud/But I’m usually the type of girl that would hit and run.

 

Dollop Coffee

Okay so I’m finally settling into a routine back here in Texas and knew that i HAD to do a post on Dollop Coffee in Chicago’s Gold Coast. This place is freakishly adorable and only a couple blocks to Lake Michigan. Which is just plain fantastic since if you sit in the right spot on their patio, you can totally see the lake. And if it’s nice out, there’ll be people out enjoying the start of summer.

If you’ve never been to Chicago, I definitely recommend checking out the lake and surrounding areas. It’s got this vibrancy that isn’t really similar to any place else unless you grew up on an ocean or at another spot on Lake Michigan. This body of water is freakishly huge — i’m still sometimes surprised it’s a lake. But anyway, back to coffee.

Apparently, Dollop Coffee has a few spots around Chicago but the one I went to is just off the Miracle Mile, a go to if you’re a shopping fanatic. I’m not but kudos if you are. I ordered their almond milk vanilla latte and though it wasn’t the best cup I’ve ever had, the location, atmosphere, and the staff more than made up for it.

Their pastries looked fantastic but my stomach was acting funny so decided to stay with something I already knew and take a walk in my old stomping grounds. But this place is small, cute, and totally perfect for what a local Chicago coffee shop should be.

4/5 

4/5

Difficult Women by Roxanne Gay

I am obsessed with this author. Roxanne Gay is phenomenal. I’ve also read her book Bad Feminist and it was enlightening. Difficult Women was no different. Gay divides up the book with short stories about — you guessed it — difficult women. Each story is endearing, heartbreaking, and gut wrenching. They highlight women, real women, with lives, secrets, and scars. It’s beautifully written and you won’t want to put it down.

I highly recommend this book. As a woman reading this, I related to more stories in this than i care to admit publicly. I fell in love with characters as well as the possibility that my story was difficult but still so incredibly valid.

This book is wonderful. It’ll punch you in the gut at times but it’ll make you fall in love with your “flaws” as well. It’ll make you proud of all the things you can accomplish with the body you’ve been given and it’ll remind you that there are women out there just like you.

Pick this book up wherever books are sold. It’s a quick read but it’s worth it.

Lauren Conrad Tea Pot & Earl Gray Tea

So my birthday was just over a week ago and I’ve basically been celebrating a whole bunch. Because birthdays only happen once a year and I’m in an okay place right now, which is awesome. Anyway, so my best friend, who happens to share my love of horrible reality TV and Lauren Conrad, quite possibly sent me the best gift I’ve received in a while.

If you’ve been living under a rock lately and haven’t heard, Lauren Conrad of The Hills fame has her own fair trade line called The Little Market. And all products sold are made fair trade by local female artisans around the world. It’s awesome stuff and all the products are insanely adorable. I love any product that is functional, appealing, and gives back in some way.

So when my bestie said she was mailing me something, I knew it was going to be good. I just didn’t know it was going to be this good.

The tea is organic fair trade earl gray and I’m obsessed. It’s not super fruity but its definitely caffeinated, which I love. And I haven’t had a chance to use to the tea pot, I’m waiting for a morning where I have some time to just sit and enjoy it while overlooking the trees by my apartment. But if you have a chance, check out the Little Market and pick up some goodies for yourself! I promise you won’t regret any purchase. Plus, you’ll feel good doing it too!

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriaty

So I’m almost done with this book and IT’S FANTASTIC. I have yet to see the miniseries on HBO because i wanted to read the book first. And I heard so much hype about this book that i honestly was putting it off because I didn’t want it to let me down. As I’ve often found to be the case with such books that are also made into TV shows. But then again, apparently this mini series was produced by Reese Witherspoon and her production company. Can you really ever go wrong with Elle Woods anyway?

If you’ve been living under a rock the past year or so, Big Little Lies has become a powerhouse book and mini-series. It follows a group of four girlfriends with kids and living in a small town. It covers wealth, greed, sexual assault, abuse, and so much more. It goes deep but it’s also weirdly mysterious and you don’t want to put it down. Real talk, i definitely fell asleep a couple times with the book still open because i was so exhausted and refused to put it down. That might have given my boyfriend some fodder to make fun of me for in the morning….

The book also leads up to a murder but you don’t know who was killed or who did it until literally the last chapter. It’s ridiculous, a total risk, and totally worth the ride. I’m looking at getting a few of LIane’s other books — her writing style is amazing. She’s poignant, hilarious, and sheds light on a lot of real world problems most people shy away from.

Big Little Lies dives into abuse and sexual assault for what they really are. How the survivors often feel incredibly embarassed and even ashamed that they were in that situation. It goes into victim blaming and the shame game as well and provides examples of just how difficult it is to leave an abusive homelife, even if you have small children and are in the process of getting out. It’s difficult, messy, and complicated. And this novel does a fantastic job of creating complex female characters that talk about more than boyfriends and cocktails.

I highly recommend this book. It’ll keep you on the edge of your seat. And the person who ends up getting fed to the fishes (sorry mob life) may not be who you expect.

5/5 

Songs I Can’t Stop Listening To pt. 2

It’s Memorial Day, I’m sitting in one of my favourite coffee shops here in Dallas, and in order to stop thinking about all our fallen soldiers & those who are still MIA, I decided to create a playlist of all the songs I can’t stop listening to right now.

  1. Sam Hunt “Body Like A Backroad” Um, can we just talk about Sam Hunt for a sec? That guy is ridiculously talented and if my boyfriend serenaded me with this, I’m not sure how long I’d last.
  2. Bonnie Raitt “Give Them Something to Talk About” This song reminds me of childhood. I loved Bonnie Raitt and I would dance around our living room to this song without a single care in the world. I probably needed dance lessons but whatever.
  3. Ed Sheeran “Galway Girl” Ugh, Ed Sheeran. Why do i feel the incessant need to be best friends with you? I love this song and I will sing every word.
  4. Shawn Mendes ” There’s Nothing Holding Me Back” Guilty pleasure right here. I love this song and its fun to blast on the freeway.
  5. James Arthur “Say You Won’t Let Go”  I want to walk down the aisle to this song. It perfectly encompasses everything I feel about the current person I’m dating. #mushymuch?

And there you have it! As I’m sure you’ve been able to tell, I have a weird mix of music that I’ll listen to. And i’m thinking of doing posts like this maybe once a month or so? Let me know what you think in the comments! Also, if you have any songs you can’t stop listening to, let me know!

The Coffee Shop in Lafayette, CA

So I recently went back to my hometown/part of California last week for part business part finally seeing my parents new house in the East Bay of San Francisco. And during my super short vacation to my favourite state, I caught up with an old friend of mine who i’ve known since middle school at a place called The Coffee Shop.

At first, when he mentioned meeting there for coffee and catching up, i didn’t know that its actual name was The Coffee Shop. But apparently they also have a location in Walnut Creek and though it may insanely hipster, it has a great atmosphere and great caffeine. I got their matcha latte (sorry, diet, but at least it’s high in antioxidants?) and my friend got some of their coffee. Their ‘for here’ cups are insanely adorable and this great blue colour. And it was a great day for sitting out on their patio at one of the high tops.

I was a little worried when i first walked up because the line was almost out the door and it was only 1030AM or so. I thought at least we’d beat the morning rush! But the line was worth it. The staff was friendly and I wish i lived in he area still so I could make this spot a regular go to to work at! Super cute and in downtown Lafayette as well.

Plus, their colours are yellow, gray, and blue with a logo of an upside down man with a bowler hat. Can it get any more fantastic than that?!

If you’re in the Lamorinda area and have some extra time, check this spot out! There might be a line but it’ll be worth it. I can’t wait to try some of their food and stronger caffeine the next time!