[Do you ever find yourself in a season of self-amnesia? I feel like since coming out of Quarantine that I have been in a fog. A fog of my own existence. I had forgotten what fuels me, what sparks me, what gives me my very effervescent essence.] - I wrote that in July, saved it as a Draft, closed my laptop, and text my girlfrands to apologize for not being myself and asking for forgiveness as I go on a journey of post-isolation soul-searching to get back to the ME I was missing and letting down. >> Here we are two months later, and I want to touch on this, this little cry out into the inter-web, and share with you how I went from fizzle to zizzle. I share this, because maybe you, too, have been feeling *off* - which, I must implore to you is COMPLETELY OKAY AND NORMAL. If you need someone to talk to, I am always here for you.
Firstly, let's talk about Quarantine. As an ambivert, the time that I spent at home awoke in me the perfect balance of not being sucked dry by being constantly "on" in-person, and being able to have countless hours to be creative or work on something tirelessly without distraction and at a pace that allowed for rest and renewal daily ... then it all suddenly changed, and we were expected to act like the past few months hadn't happened and life accelerated at a pace that left me completely dazed, irritable, and anxious. The fog hit, and it took me several weeks to realize, but when I did - I started the work to fight off the mean reds that day. Here is how I identified my fizzle, and got back my zizzle.
1. Getting Outside - In late June, I received one of the greatest material gifts: a hammock. This one item completely changed my life. The hours, days, and months that have now been spent in this glorious outdoor bed have been some of the most healing. There is truly something about getting in some fresh air and some Vitamin D. Once I was outside, and out of my head, the fog lifted. I lived outside during quarantine, and then when we went back to work, it was so stressful and chaotic that I forgot. I forgot to take the TIME. The TIME that we were given SO MUCH of for months. I went back outside. I went back to Saturday Morning brunch on the porch, books in the hammock, and long walks. The fog drifted away.
2. Getting in the Zone - I zoned in and zoned out. I zoned in on why I was feeling the way I was feeling; I pulled out my journal and wrote and wrote. I zoned in on the what, the why, and the how I would turn it all around and cope and heal with the cards we have all been dealt with this unprecedented pandemic. I zoned in deep to the things that bring me joy, the things that makes me ME, those things that give my soul a zing, and my heart a flutter, And I did them. Then I zoned out - I zoned out in the hammock, on the couch with my husband, in a bath filled to the brim with lavish bubbles - pinot noir in hand, and deep into the covers with an amazing book. And I didn't stop.
3. Getting Rest - Every cloud has its silver lining, and the silver lining of the stay home orders, was time. We didn't have calendars booked solid, we didn't have plates full-to-overflowing; we had TIME. We could create, we could cook, we could live at a pace that we had never lived in - we had the time to rest our weary minds, bodies, anxieties, and souls. One of the greatest things I have done in recent months is to be in tune with when I need to rest. To stop. To breathe. To self-care. To dance, To get outside. To listen. To realize when I am getting stressed, anxious, burnt out, over worked, over committed - and take a step back & r e s t. Rest looks differently these days, but it is as easy as saying no when you don't have the time, and realizing that that in-and-of-its-self is an act of self-care, and saying yes to creating vignettes of time to yourself to BE yourself - grabbing an afternoon coffee, picking up a new book and turning off your brain to items that you have no control over at the time, a glass of wine at sunset. Resting when you can, breathing and praying through life when you can't - always listening to your body and taking care of yourself.
4. Getting Healthy - One of the most unlikely things to happen post-quarantine was the decision to get healthy. We are eating better, drinking over a gallon of water daily, going on long walks, and listening to what our bodies need. It is truly amazing how much clearer and lighter you feel when you put effort into your body and nurture it in ways you have unintentionally neglected.
5. Getting Social - The Extroverted part of me missed people like mad. The Introverted part of me was a total weirdo when gathering together was allowed again - I say that, so when you get overzealous or super quiet at random times when back into civilization, that it is completely fine, babe, and beyond being completely fine - it is absolutely normal for us to have to find a little bit of balance and footing when going back to social situations after being at the house for months on end - give yourself all the grace you need. All of that being said; getting back to being with my people was the greatest feeling. While we are still under specific restrictions, being able to safely grab a coffee, a glass of wine, celebrate a special occasion, and just to lay your eyes on your frands and get to be together in the world again - laughing and talking and connecting - is the ultimate in getting back to feeling like yourself.
I pray that this little heart-to-heart helps you in some way to bring back that zizzle in your soul, that feeling of absolute self, and find your very special sparkle that may feel a bit dimmed at the moment. This too shall pass. We will get through this together.
Hey y'all! Comin' atcha from lock-down!
All jokes aside, I earnestly and honestly ask you: How Are You? How are you holding up? What are you doing to combat any anxiety you may be facing? How are you filling your time? I pray you are yours are safe and healthy, and stay that way. Please stay home. This too shall pass.
This is certainly one of, if not the, strangest times in our lives thus far for the majority of us, therefore, from what I have seen, we need to give ourselves some grace and try and find the good in the mundane.
A couple things that have helped me, and my anxiety, during this time have been:
1. During the work week, I have continued to dress the part. As someone who lives to get dressed, especially Dressed Up, this has been KEY for my mental health, not to mention my creativity and productivity! Even if you aren't typically the type to get gussied up for your job, I would encourage you to spend some of your day in a pair of actual shoes, maybe throw on a crisp denim jacket, just something to boost your confidence and appearance, and to not get into a grey sweats routine. Switch it up, sister! The world is forever your oyster! Quarantine or not!
2. On the weekends, give into the need to rest. Take a nap, take a bubble bath, binge a TV show. Relax your mind. Relax your body. The weekends, I have found, are the hardest. There are no schedules, no agendas, no routines...no frands. These are the two days that could really trigger depression and anxiety, especially in those who are prone; so I say again: Rest. Rest, but don't sink. Don't sink into the couch, don't sink into the gloom, or the what-ifs or unknown; if you feel yourself doing this - go for a walk, do some yoga (there are a million workout videos on YouTube), go outside to read, call someone, journal... Just don't sink.
3. The ultimate silver-lining that I have found, has been time. Time to do. Time to be. Whether you spend your time organizing closets that haven't seen the light of day in a while, or you pick up an old hobby you haven't had the time for, or you start a hobby that you hadn't previously had time to invest in learning - the bright side to all of this, is that we now have time. I have personally found the time to write more, to blog again, to be in the kitchen, to create outfits; to do all of the things that make me ME, those things that bring me the most joy and that spark vivid life into my day-to-day! No, this isn't a lot different than how I normally live my life, but having the extra time to commit has been appreciated, and I am using it accordingly!
What brings you the most joy? What have you been putting off? What would perk you up right now? Cultivate those things, you now have been given the time!
The time is now.
Hey y'all! Happy FriYAY! I am going to bring back a series that I LOVE, and that is Top Five Fridays! I do want to also have corresponding YouTube content for these, like I used to, but that will come in time! I came to the conclusion of doing reintroducing this only this morning during my Car Chat! I am seriously loving talking with y'all every morning, and the subsequent conversations throughout the day! Y'all bring me so much JOY!
Today, I really wanted to hone in some things to do to combat the winter blues. We are experiencing very cold temps today, and even have snow in the forecast for tomorrow, so I thought this would be the perfect first TFF! Let's all be happier and healthier as we move into this new year, and go through these months were seasonal depression tends to spike,
1. Go for a walk, meditate, or do some YouTube Yoga - My favorite YouTube Yogi is Erin Motz over at BadYogi, she had a precious wittle baby in 2019, and herself is getting back to basics, and taking a lot of time for herself and her practice; now is great time to join in on the mat!
2. Take a Bubble Bath - Luxuriate. Light some candles, pour some wine, grab a book or magazine, or just grab some lavender oil and a face mask. Whatever you need to get centered and back to feeling like yourself.
3. Journal, Read, Create -This is a BIG one for me. If I am feeling low-energy, or like my center is completely off its axis, I grab a notebook and start journaling, drawing, doodling... Or I pick up a book and read. I especially love to paint while listening to an audiobook or podcast. Preferably something educational or humorous, if I have reached this point. My brain needs to be fed.
4. Meet up with a friend for coffee - Togetherness always makes the heart soar.
5. Take a road trip - I do this a lot, even if it's only an hour or so round-trip. If you are someone who has to recoup after being "on" or high-energy too long, personal road trips are my absolute best advice. Put on your favorite tunes, and get back to the heart of things. Get your head cleared and your soul recharged.
Hey y'all! Happy Friday Eve! Tonight I am bringing you ten of my most-anticipated 2020 book releases! Get your Goodreads ready, and let's get into the list! These are random, and in no particular order of excitement! There is also an Untitled Paula Hawkins, slated for October 2020, that is 100% at the top of my list; it is not included here due to not having a cover or blurb at the current! Just FYI!
Goodreads: "A chilling tale of psychological suspense and an homage to the thriller genre tailor-made for fans: the story of a bookseller who finds himself at the center of an FBI investigation because a very clever killer has started using his list of fiction’s most ingenious murders.
Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, A. A. Milne's Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox's Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain's Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald's The Drowner, and Donna Tartt's A Secret History.
But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookshop in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading. The killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife.
To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects—and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape."
Goodreads: "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will revisit the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games."
Goodreads: "Will the princess save the beast?
For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right?
His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can't shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…
As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending."
Goodreads: "Twenty-seven years have passed since the last sunrise, and for almost three decades, the creatures of the night have walked the day without fear. Once, humanity fought bravely against the coldblood legions, but now, we exist only in a few scattered settlements—tiny sparks of light in a growing sea of darkness.
Gabriel de León is the last of the Silversaints, a holy order dedicated to defending realm and church, now utterly destroyed. Imprisoned for the murder of the vampiric king, Gabriel is charged with telling the story of his life.
His tale spans years, from his youth in the monastery of San Michel, to the forbidden love that spelled his undoing, and the betrayal that saw his order annihilated. Most importantly, Gabriel will tell of his discovery of the Grail—the legendary cup prophesied to bring an end to the eternal night.
But the Grail was no simple chalice; it was a smart-mouthed teenage urchin named Dior. Their journey with a band of unlikely allies would see Dior and Gabriel forge an unbreakable bond, and set the broken paragon on a road to redemption.
But now, the Grail is shattered. And with the cup of the Savior destroyed and the last Silversaint awaiting execution, what can bring an end to this unholy empire?"
Goodreads: "Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor, Morgan Baines, is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie, who is terrified by the thought of a killer in her very own backyard.
But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge. It’s their eerie old home, with its decrepit decor and creepy attic, which they inherited from Will’s sister after she died unexpectedly. It’s Will’s disturbed teenage niece Imogen, with her dark and threatening presence. And it’s the troubling past that continues to wear at the seams of their family.
As the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of Morgan’s death. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light."
Goodreads: "In Fiona Davis's latest historical novel, a series of book thefts roils the iconic New York Public Library, leaving two generations of strong-willed women to pick up the pieces.
It's 1913, and on the surface, Laura Lyons couldn't ask for more out of life—her husband is the superintendent of the New York Public Library, allowing their family to live in an apartment within the grand building, and they are blessed with two children. But headstrong, passionate Laura wants more, and when she takes a leap of faith and applies to the Columbia Journalism School, her world is cracked wide open. As her studies take her all over the city, she finds herself drawn to Greenwich Village's new bohemia, where she discovers the Heterodoxy Club—a radical, all-female group, in which women are encouraged to loudly share their opinions on suffrage, birth control, and women's rights. Soon, Laura finds herself questioning her traditional role as wife and mother. But when valuable books are stolen back at the library, threatening the home and institution she loves, she's forced to confront her shifting priorities head on . . . and may just lose everything in the process.
Eighty years later, in 1993, Sadie Donovan struggles with the legacy of her grandmother, the famous essayist Laura Lyons, especially after she's wrangled her dream job as a curator at the New York Public Library. But the job quickly becomes a nightmare when rare manuscripts, notes, and books for the exhibit Sadie's running begin disappearing from the library's famous Berg Collection. Determined to save both the exhibit and her career, the typically risk-adverse Sadie teams up with the library's private security expert to uncover the culprit. However, things unexpectedly become personal when the investigation leads Sadie to some unwelcome truths about her own family heritage—truths that shed new light on the biggest tragedy in the library's history."
Goodreads: "An explosive, character-driven odyssey through the world of baseball from Emily Nemens, the editor of The Paris Review
Jason Goodyear is the star outfielder for the Los Angeles Lions, stationed with the rest of his team in the punishingly hot Arizona desert for their annual spring training. Handsome, famous, and talented, Goodyear is nonetheless coming apart at the seams. And the coaches, writers, wives, girlfriends, petty criminals, and diehard fans following his every move are eager to find out why--as they hide secrets of their own.
Humming with the energy of a ballpark before the first pitch, Emily Nemens' The Cactus League unravels the tightly connected web of people behind a seemingly linear game. Narrated by a sportscaster, Goodyear's story is interspersed with tales of Michael Taylor, a batting coach trying to stay relevant; Tamara Rowland, a resourceful spring-training paramour, looking for one last catch; Herb Allison, a legendary sports agent grappling with his decline; and a plethora of other richly drawn characters, all striving to be seen as the season approaches. It's a journey that, like the Arizona desert, brims with both possibility and destruction.
Anchored by an expert knowledge of baseball's inner workings, Emily Nemens's The Cactus League is a propulsive and deeply human debut that captures a strange desert world that is both exciting and unforgiving, where the most crucial games are the ones played off the field."
Goodreads: "Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York. But something isnʼt right at the motel, something haunting and scary.
Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv, who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and visit the motel, where she quickly learns that nothing has changed since 1982. And she soon finds herself ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed her aunt."
Goodreads: "Already being hailed as "a Grapes of Wrath for our times" and "a new American classic," American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.
Lydia Quixano Perez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.
Even though she knows they'll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with four books he would like to buy--two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia's husband's tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.
American Dirt will leave readers utterly changed. It is a page-turner; it is a literary achievement; it is filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page. It is one of the most important books for our times."
Goodreads: "A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.
Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.
They're polar opposites.
In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer's block.
Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She'll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he'll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really."
Hey y'all! Happy Wednesday! Today I am bringing you ten of the best fashion-related items that I found on Amazon in 2019! The pictures are linked to the product! Enjoy!
Little did I know when I purchased this sequin blazer on 1/7/2019 (Happy Belated Birthday!) how much of a staple this babe would become in my wardrobe! I cannot live without her now!
Unfortunately, it appears that this gorgeous red is currently sold out of this bag, but if you love this color, hopefully it will come back in stock. This year, I found myself wanting a Celine Luggage Tote, and with the $3K price tag, I knew a divorce would have been immanent, I went on the hunt for a bag with the same shape, at a great price point, that wouldn't be my entire years' shopping budget. and found this GEM! She has so much style and sass that we became instant BFFs!
Yeah, girl. These are $8. EIGHT DOLLARS. Why are you still reading this?? Go purchase!
I wore this top just today! I love her so much! I love a statement sleeve and the drama of this train my extra little heart soar!
Obsessed. I rarely go a day without wearing three to ten of this babies!
I have this babe in red, pink, and black...so yes, I kind of love this dress! The combination of three of my favorite things: bows, ruffles, and a flutter hem! The fit is so divine, also!
I wore this beauty yesterday, it is a near-weekly wear! So effortless!
The best jeans I bought in 2019! Fabulous bell, fabulous fit, fabulous price!
These beauts are not only so stylish, but so comfy! Total plus!
If you don't think a remote-controlled selfie stick is fashion-related, then you really don't know me at all! :)
Hey y'all! Happy Tuesday! I am so excited to share with you the ten books that stole my heart in 2019! I will start with a picture of the book, the blurb from Goodreads, and then any additional gushing that I feel must be shared!
"The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove returns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.
People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.
Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.
Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world."
This is one that I feel should be required reading for High Schoolers. It will absolutely rip your heart out, and have you completely captivated from the first "bang". I included the sequel, because it too is a MUST READ.
"Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.
So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.
A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another."
If you read Little Fires Everywhere, you KNOW the power and enthralling nature of Celeste Ng's work. This book weaves such an incredible web of familial strife, how things left unsaid can bring you to the brink of destruction,
"Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed... again.
It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.
But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.
The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath..."
Oooph! This book. I have never read anything like it, and the complete brilliance of the entire thing left me completely gobsmacked. I cannot wait to see what Stuart Turton writes next! This was a love letter to Doyle and Christie; this man knows the foundation of what a good mystery should be, and executes the entire process so succinctly. Modern day classic.
"From the author of the world-wide bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, a new novel about learning how to listen and how to feel; and about second chances and choosing to be brave despite the odds. Because in the end, music can save us all ...
1988. Frank owns a music shop. It is jam-packed with records of every speed, size and genre. Classical, jazz, punk – as long as it’s vinyl he sells it. Day after day Frank finds his customers the music they need.
Then into his life walks Ilse Brauchmann.
Ilse asks Frank to teach her about music. His instinct is to turn and run. And yet he is drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with her pea-green coat and her eyes as black as vinyl. But Ilse is not what she seems. And Frank has old wounds that threaten to re-open and a past he will never leave behind ..."
My heart. If you know me, you know how massive a part music plays in my life. This book is so griping and so poignant, and will leave you misty and never wanting it to end.
"All of them are friends. One of them is a killer.
During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.
They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world.
Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead.
The trip began innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps.
Now one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it.
Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close?"
Y'all. This book. This brilliant, creepy, edge-of-your-seat book. I love a seclusion trope in a thriller, and this one is the best I have ever read! Lucy Foley takes this trope and turns it on its head! I was enveloped from the first line, and read it this in a day. I could not stop!
"The daughter of a Pentecostal evangelist and a race-car driver, Jessi Colter played piano and sang in church before leaving Arizona to tour with rock-n-roll pioneer Duane Eddy, whom she married. Colter became a successful recording artist, appearing on American Bandstand and befriending stars such as the Everly Brothers and Chet Atkins, while her songs were recorded by Nancy Sinatra, Dottie West, and others. Her marriage to Eddy didn’t last, however, and in 1969 she married the electrifying Waylon Jennings. Together, they made their home in Nashville which in the 1970s, was ground zero for roots music, drawing Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Shel Silverstein, and others to the Nashville Sound. And Jessi was at the center of it all, the only woman on the landmark Wanted: The Outlaws album, the record that launched the Outlaw Country genre and was the first country album to go platinum. She also tasted personal commercial success with the #1-single “I’m Not Lisa.”
But offstage, life was a challenge, as Waylon pursued his addictions and battled his demons. Having drifted from the church as a young woman, Jessi returned to her faith and found in it a source of strength in the turmoil of living with Waylon. In the 1980s, Waylon helped launch the super group The Highwaymen with Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson, and the hits kept rolling, as did Waylon’s reckless living. Amid it all, Jessi faithfully prayed for her husband until finally, at Thanksgiving 2001, Waylon found Jesus, just months before he died.
An Outlaw and a Lady is a powerful story of American music, of love in the midst of heartache, and of faith that sustains."
I still get weepy when I think of this book. My love for Waylon is so deep, and so vast, and to read Jessi's words of their love, his life, their life, his music, their music, their family, their life...and her unwavering faith through it all...it's just almost too much for my heart to handle.
"No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding unnecessary human contact, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen, the three rescue one another from the lives of isolation that they had been living. Ultimately, it is Raymond’s big heart that will help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. If she does, she'll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all.
Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .
the only way to survive is to open your heart."
This book is one of life-changers. Everyone should read this. Grab the tissues, but don't let that deter you. It is a phenomenal tale of grief, love, and growth through finding yourself and your people.
"Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six: The band's album Aurora came to define the rock 'n' roll era of the late seventies, and an entire generation of girls wanted to grow up to be Daisy. But no one knows the reason behind the group's split on the night of their final concert at Chicago Stadium on July 12, 1979 . . . until now.
Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock 'n' roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.
Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.
Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice."
This book. WOW. This takes you on one of the most incredible behind-the-music journeys since Stillwater. (If you get that reference, you are my people and I love you!) I implore you to grab this on audio book as it a full cast recording! Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n Roll, Love, Heartache...this book has it all and so much more! TJR is a mastermind!
"Thou shalt kill.
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own."
Y'all! I picked this YA Sci-Fi up on my husband's recommendation and I was completely shocked by how quickly I consumed it. Almost a one-sitting read! And the best part about a book that envelopes you and leaves you needing more: it is the first book in a trilogy! And all three have been published and are waiting for you to binge them!
"When larger-than-life cattle rancher Jordan "Bick" Benedict arrives at the family home of sharp-witted but genteel Virginia socialite Leslie Lynnton to purchase a racehorse, the two are instantly drawn to each other. But for Leslie, falling in love with a Texan was a lot simpler than falling in love with Texas. Upon their arrival at Bick's ranch, Leslie is confronted not only with the oppressive heat and vastness of Texas but also by the disturbing inequity between runaway riches and the poverty and racism suffered by the Mexican workers on the ranch. Leslie and Bick's loving union endures against all odds, but a reckoning is coming and a price will have to be paid.
A sensational and enthralling saga, Ferber masterfully captures the essence of Texas with all its wealth and excess, cruelty and prejudice, pride and violence."
This book made me so freakin' homesick for Texas I almost couldn't take it. I devoured this, and cannot wait to reread in the very near future! If you love Texas, Westerns, or just a good ole family saga-this classic needs to be on your 2020 TBR!
Happy New Year, Babes! New Year, New Blog Content! Can I get a "whoop, whoop"!?
As I was planning out my new content and scheduling out January, I thought what better way to start off the New Year, than by telling you all about what I loved in 2019!? Obviously, this list isn't going to comprehensive as we just do not have that amount of time! Y'all know I'm a girl who likes to shop, collect, accumulate ... So let's get to the list of my favorite things, wherein inevitably I have forgotten something major. *Angel Emoji*
Welcome (or Welcome Back!) to The Daily AMG! I am Amanda & I have been MIA! Therefore, I wanted to do a bit of an introduction, for those who may be new here! <3
I am a 32 (for a few more days, at least) year old Texan living in Oklahoma, whose hobbies include eating, reading, shopping, sleeping, and working on transitioning to a 'doer' from a 'talker'. That last one has been real hard, y'all! But here we are! I am DOING the DANG THANG today, sister!
Here is what you will and won't find at The Daily AMG:
You won't find me selling you teeth whitening trays, detox teas, or fat wraps...
You won't find my paid vacation to Ibiza by one of the aforementioned products...
You won't find $200 tank tops and $500 flip flops...
You won't find a diet fad that I am getting a kick-back on by selling it to you...
You won't find negativity...
You will find real talk!
You will find book recs & style advice!
You will find self-love, self-care, & self-confidence!
You will find someone who has a passion for women and a passion for encouraging them to find & be their BEST selves!
You will find that I am just a girl, who loves books, style, cultivating a bright & happy life, and sharing the lessons I learn along the way with you!
I am so happy to have you here!
Happy Saturday, Sisters! Wow, I have to start this by saying: I love this community that has developed since I did a bit of a relaunch of The Daily AMG with a crystal-clear focus! Y'all are my people, my tribe, and I absolutely love your feedback and getting to talking with you about books, life, and style! Y'all make me so happy! I cannot thank you enough for your support!
Today, I wanted to take some time to talk about something that I get asked quite a bit, or that I receive comments on quite a bit, I should say... and that is on being a bubbly and excitable person. These comments/questions are typically a "why" or a "how", and I always answer that at the end of the day if I am not happy in my soul, and in my skin, than I have failed the reason God put me here! He didn't create us to be miserable, He wants us to be vibrant and to take the time to cultivate a life that sets our souls ablaze and creates in us a confident voice to share our gifts with the world!
Firstly, I must implore unto you, that you have all of the resources and ammunition, you just need to unearth the confidence in yourself to get out there and create the life you know you are worthy of living. That is such a freeing thought, isn't it? The knowledge that it is all up to you! You have full and total control of your life! The adventure starts now! And be gracious with yourself, it doesn't happen overnight, and you will have setbacks and bad days; just keep your eyes on the prize!
Ever have those mornings where you do either your hair or your makeup, because you have spent 35.7 minutes searching for an outfit, only to hate what you have chosen? So now you show up to your professional workplace with an ill-fitting blouse, a couple swipes of CC cream, and a manic birds-nest... Yikes! The best thing I ever did for myself, as a bona fide night owl and anti-morning person, was to start wardrobe planning on Sundays! This has become nearly my entire platform on the internet, and I am not mad about it, because it truly revolutionized my work life! By choosing and trying on all of my outfits, including a few "back-up" outfits for those days I am bloated or my mood has changed, I can wake up and begin my morning routine with clarity as I am not bogged down by any decision making! I have even evolved this new year, and resolved to doing my makeup at my vanity whilst I am styling my hair, as opposed to doing my face haphazardly on the ride to work, as I have done since 2005 when I began working a "real job". So, again, be gracious with yourself and your journey! Okay, you may be thinking "Amanda, you've already chased a rabbit, sister - how does this relate?!": When you plan ahead, you are taking back control of over your morning! You aren't in a rush or starting on a bad foot that could last all day; you are put together and ready to have a fabulous day, because you know you look good and that changes your entire outlook! I believe wholeheartedly in the way a woman feels when she knows she looks good, because I feel that way every morning when I leave my house! Harnessing your personal style and going out into the world dressing how you want to be addressed, is the number one way to build and boost your self-confidence!
-Saying "No" to Problematic People
Do you have friends, co-workers, or even family members that just cannot seem to be satisfied? Do they complain endlessly, or the worst-yet; do they create the issues and drama themselves? Did anyone pop into your head? I challenge you, the next time you see that person, to be very alert of the way they speak to you and of the subjects in which they discuss. Do they even ask about YOU? Does what they are talking about even concern or interest you? Are you even a part of this narrative? Or are they too busy spewing a diatribe of their problems to even get a word in edgewise? Yes? Then slowly stop feeding into their dramatics, start by inserting positive remarks and helpful solutions, and eventually they will move on to someone who laps up their drama without resistance. They just want to hear themselves talk! And as you begin to disengage, you will see how you actually don't have as much drama in your life as you thought, you were just engaging with dramatic people who were manipulating you into believing their drama was of your concern. It isn't. Move on, sister!
-Saying "Yes!" to Self-Care
The best thing you can do, is take care of YOU! Self-Care is never selfish - get that way of thinking out of your head immediately! Whether you choose a bubble bath, a glass of wine, and a face mask a night or two a week, or you take a mini-vacation alone to get re-centered and recharged; taking the time to care for yourself is extremely important in your growth as a person, friend, parent, etc. As you manifest this way of being, you will learn to listen to your body and mind and know what it needs and when it needs it. You deserve it!
-Self-Reflection and Journaling
Along the same lines of self-care, we have self-reflection and other self-awareness activities. I love to journal, and it is one of my biggest attributes to being so self-aware, and has helped me to know what I love about myself and what areas I need to hone in on. Some of the best questions you can ask yourself are: Why do you act/react the way you do? What insecurities do I need to work out? Why does fear creep up in some situations and not others? Why do you allow people to steal your confidence, or your voice? Who are those people, and what is their relationship to you? Why do you give someone your time when you know they are abusing it? -- etc. There are so many of these question guides on the internet-just google it!
I, again, implore unto you to start journaling and participating in the glorious practice that is self-reflection. You are You, that is all you ever will be. Know yourself, know what you like, what you dislike, what you stand for... but above all: treat yourself with the upmost kindness. Never berate or belittle yourself, never talk down to yourself-only lift yourself higher and higher! (Higher! - Did you just start singing Rita Coolidge, too?)
Own your weird, own your fabulous, own your flaws, own your voice, own what makes you unique, own what makes you-YOU! When we finalize realize that we are the sole key-holder to the door of our life, magic happens! And life is just too short to be nothing but happy, content, and confident in our hearts and in our souls! Get to making the magic happen!
Happy New Year, You Beautiful & Unique Soul!
Hey y'all! HAPPY NEW YEAR! Wow. November and December seriously flew by! I posted about Holiday Footwear, and then danced right on into 2019 without another peep! I resolve to be a better blogger in 2019! So let's get to gettin'!
One thing you will not find here is outrageously priced items! I don't overspend on my wardrobe unless it is a TRUE "investment piece", which is another post for another time! Today, let's talk about three upcoming Spring Trends to begin purchasing and incorporating into your wardrobe NOW!
1. The Pantone Color of the Year: Living Coral
Y'all. I am tickled pinky-orange (I make myself laugh), to see this gorgeous coral plastered everywhere! Not only does coral have enough facets that it is great on just about every skin tone, but it is quintessentially Spring. The airy nature of this particular color, doesn't make it too bold and doesn't make it too precious. Don't get me wrong: it is certainly pink-adjacent, but her cooler, really-into-french-films, older sister.