Life & Leisure

Top Three #3

Time for another top three!

1. Brand New [music]

I finally got to see my favorite band live for the first time. Truly a surreal experience. Throughout the whole concert, I was oddly calm but it keeps hitting me in waves that I got to experience them live. Judging from Youtube videos, they can be hit or miss depending on whether they’re feeling it, but they were fantastic last night. I wish I could say the say about the crowd. The crowd/atmosphere was a bit disappointing (venue was on a college campus so a lot of undergrads/younguns) but I think I managed to stand in a pretty good spot/enough of hardcore fans around me to get me excited too. At concerts/large gatherings, I’m that fan in the crowd with his/her arms crossed because I honestly don’t know how else to behave/express myself but other fans’ energies get me to loosen up a bit.

But holy crap. Such a fantastic night. Major thanks to my two friends I convinced to go with me (story of my life haha). I have yet to find my music soulmate-friend.

2. Speakers [things]

When I initially moved to Michigan, I ran out of room for my nice (aka heavy) three piece speaker set and only had room for my $10 pair that my dad bought for me at Fry’s like five years ago. I’ve been using the $10 pair for most of my first year but last time I was home (May), I was determined to fit my nice speakers into my luggage. Once back at school, I immediately pulled them out and oh man, music/TV/movies have not sounded better since. (And seeing how the $10 pair are still in perfect working condition, I brought them into lab since I don’t mind them getting all grody with science).

3. Kayaking [life]

I’ve caught the kayaking bug. Being on the water seems like a big part of summer life here in Michigan, whether it’s tubing, kayaking, canoeing, etc. A few weekends ago, I went kayaking for the first time in years with a group of friends who were similarly unexperienced. And I went canoeing the following week with a friend who just moved to the area.

The first and last time I went kayaking was probably in middle school and it was kayaking in the Baylands (so like… no current). I was in the back seat of like a three person kayak where the front two people were two dudes. So you have this petite Asian girl, kayaking for the first time, trying to steer a whole kayak through narrow passages where the dudes barely paddled because they thought it’d be funny. I ended up ramming us into a bank by accident and then they realized I physically was not able to move the thing by myself and started helping. But I really love being on the water.

Anyway, today, I went kayaking for the first time since then and it was amazing. I went with three others and was in a kayak with one of the ones who had never kayaked before. One of the best days I’ve had in so long. It’s so much fun and it doesn’t feel like exercise but man, got an arm work out in since my friend was paddling for the first time.

panoramic creeper shot of my friend ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s definitely a wet and messy experience but it’s totally worth it. Would highly recommend and my graduate program has a kayaking/tubing/canoeing trip planned for later this month. Got to get my tan on before the sun disappears.

Advertisements

Bespoke Post reviews: Roam and Vibes

All boxes reviewed were bought with my own money. However, this post contain a coupon and referral link at the end.

Hi everyone! I just want to do a review about the two Bespoke Post boxes I got these past two months. If you’ve never heard of Bespoke Post before, it’s sort of like Birchbox Man where the box is more lifestyle geared. Bespoke Post offers themed boxes and releases new boxes every month and you’re able to get past month’s boxes as long as they’re still in stock. While Bespoke Post is aimed towards men, I find it the boxes/items to be gender neutral and always well curated (sleek and minimal are the words that come to mind). This review is mostly for the Vibes box, but I’ll talk a little bit about the Roam one too.

(more…)

Top Three #2

This post contains affiliate links.

Time for another top three!

1. Wildlife by La Dispute [music]

I’ve mentioned this band so many times on this blog but these guys are just so amazing. I’ve been listening exclusively to their earlier two full lengths and they get better each time.

2. Textured Cross-Back Pulloverย from Banana Republic [fashion/shopping]

This sweater was on sale last week and with an extra 50% off (ended up being $25!), I couldn’t help but pick it up. I usually don’t understand/like many trends but this crossback design caught my eye and I feel like I can still wear it after it’s no longer trendy (I see similar designs everywhere so I’m assuming it’s a trend…). I love the color (I got the light blue one), the feel of the fabric (weighted and textured but cool), the different ways (sleeveless or long sleeve collared button up underneath, tank underneath, paired with a jacket/scarf) I can wear it, the way it looks on me and how I don’t have anything like it. So much win.

3. Peaches/nectarines [food]

Summer is possibly my least favorite month of the year (yeah, I know). I hate the heat/sun, sweating, the clothing and especially here in Michigan, the humidity. However, the one saving grace of summer are the fruit. I love peaches and nectarines. I buy maybe 5-10 a week to keep up with my cravings. I’ve only been able to find good yellow peaches and nectarines so far but I’m hoping the white ones (I could probably only eat white peaches and nectarines for the rest of my life) will be available soon! So so yummy. Thank you nature!

Those are my (maybe trivial) top three things at the moment. I’m going to try and write up Everlane reviews later today (I think I have like 5+ items). But I did a huge Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic haul that I just took all the pics for… So there’s that coming up. ๐Ÿ˜

-amy

Top Three #1

In an effort to try and blog more regularly, I’m going to attempt to post my top three things that I’ve been digging over the week (or two weeks). So without further ado:

1. Gilmore Girls / Gossip Girl [TV]

I finished yet another Gilmore Girls rewatch (I’ve lost count) this week (aka today) and was about to rewatch the series yet again when I decided I wanted to watch something new (to me) and ended up watching Gossip Girl. Back when it first came out, I watched a few episodes here and there during the earlier seasons but by the time season 3 premiered, I had no idea what was going on. Since it’s the show that all my friends were obsessed with and watched during high school and college, I decided to give it a go. Better late than never, right? But man, the music and fashion is so nostalgic. But I’m totally addicted… I forgot that there was a time where Blair and Chuck weren’t together.

2. Baking [life]

Recently, I find myself baking something pretty much every week. It’s mostly because I love eating baked goods and I live in a part of town where there’s no where close by that sells baked goods. But within the past two weeks, I’ve made lemon blueberry bread, banana bread, shortbread cookies and a no-bake Oreo cheesecake. I’ve pretty much perfected my banana bread and shortbread cookies recipes at this point. The lemon blueberry bread was just okay. I think I’ll try just a plain blueberry bread/muffin next. But holy cow, the no-bake Oreo cheesecake was amazing.

 

yum yum in my tum

 
3. Taylor Swift’s 1989 [music]

I haven’t really listened to Taylor Swift since high school when I had to write a review of various albums for my school’s newspaper, but after hearing a lot of her recent singles, I decided to give her latest album a go. I’m not in love with many of the songs on the album (I think most are just average), but I’m in love with Blank Space and Style. Like I have not been able to stop listening to these two songs for the past two weeks (and I’ve just been letting the album play on). So catchy and the whole album reminds me of 90s pop.

That’s it for this week. Hope everyone had a lovely Independence (or Canada) Day!

-amy

New York: the shopping

I took a much needed break during “spring break,” a term which technically applies to the undergrads but since we’re first years, our schedules are still “school-esque,” to go to New York!

This was the third time I went to New York for fun and first time I traveled with this particular friend. We had similar priorities… shop and eat, eat and shop. And maybe a museum.

And we did a lot of shopping… but even more eating. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I thought I’d break up the trip into a shopping post and an eating post starting with the shopping post.

We were in New York from Monday night to Thursday noon and we allotted the entirety of Tuesday for shopping, in and around SoHo.

The two stores we wanted to hit up were & Other Stories and COS, both of which are owned by the H&M Group but only recently came to the US, with physical stores found only in New York. We spent about half of our shopping day in & Other Stories and COS. Amazing. Simply amazing.

IMG_8231

part of the shoe section at & other stories

(more…)

Just a little post

Still not a legit post. Still in the midst of finals week/finishing up my first rotation. Taking a break tonight before diving back into studying. At least it’ll be for immunology (a subject I actually like… versus biochem or cell bio. blech)!

Anyway, last weekend, I spent some time adding some “new” music (most of these were released at least a year ago lol) to my rotation since my playlists were getting way too familiar and boring and made me sleepy instead of keeping me awake.

Here are a few albums I’ve been listening to that I thought I’d share:

1. Rooms of the House by La Dispute

I’m absolutely obsessed with this band and album. Definitely not geared toward the average music listener with their spoken word/punk/hardcore/rock influences but man, they get it so right. Their singer’s voice doesn’t actually sound that special/unique, but it just clicks perfectly with their overall sound and he has great vocal versatility. And their instrumental parts are not too flashy to detract from the vocals and lyrics, but they have these super “catchy” melodies. I definitely think this album is less heavy than their previous releases, but shows the band’s range of sound/musicality.

I’m the absolute worst when it comes to remembering lyrics and song titles, and I usually just make up my own, but I actually went to look the lyrics up for their songs because they’re such a huge part of the overall mood/feel of the songs. Poetic and stream-of-consciousness-like lyrics. Their lyrics are usually quite meaningful and actually “deep” and it’s so nice. And the rhythm of many of their songs makes it easy for me to block out the lyrics, allowing me to really focus on my task at hand. And they happen to be from Grand Rapids, MI so whenever they mention Michigan in their lyrics, I feel all ๐Ÿ™‚ despite having only lived in Michigan for a few months ๐Ÿ˜‰

Favorites on the album: Objects in Space, For Mayor in Splitsville, SCENES FROM HIGHWAYS 1981-2009, Woman (reading)

Click here to listen to the whole album.

2. Simple Math by Manchester Orchestra

Manchester Orchestra has been on my radar for a few years but they’ve never left a large impact on me. It’s one of those bands who have a great following, but I just never “got it,” if you know what I mean. So I’ve put off listening to this album for years(!) before deciding to give it a spin the other day and I’m so happy I did. The first few songs didn’t immediately grab my attention, but oh man this album gets to good. Another band with great lyrics and singer. While I’m not in love with Andy Hull’s voice, he has so much control over his voice and he’s so emotive, much respect.

They intense in a chill way but their songs still have great drama. Would describe them of a mix of alternative, rock and indie/folk. They remind me of a more rock-influenced/”up-beat” Bon Iver (especially in the song “Deer” and I don’t like Bon Iver but I kept listening!). Loving the use of strings in this album.

It’s just a lovely album. I totally “get it” now.

Favorites on the album: Virgin, Simple Math, Apprehension

Click here to listen to the whole album.

3. 9 Dead Alive by Rodrigo y Gabriela

I love these two. Amazing, amazing guitar players and musicians. Like, the album doesn’t even do their playing justice; they’re totally a group you have to see perform live to truly understand how fantastic they are. And I haven’t even seen them live. I just know lol. I wish I’ve seen them live; must be an insane amount of energy and holy shit it’s be a mesmerizing experience (Tammy, please enlighten us with their amazingness).

To be more specific, they are an acoustic guitar duo and their music is a blend of their influences, from flamenco to metal and it’s really interesting to hear these influences come together and in their music. The first time I heard one of their songs, I didn’t realize it was just two people, one guitar each. Like I didn’t believe my friend when she told me and we had to go on Youtube so she could find proof. We spent the next hour or two looking up their live performances and just generally squeeing.

Super happy they released another album and man, it’s so great. I put it on to study and ended up just sitting there, doing nothing, during my first listen. Worth it.

Favorites on the album: Misty Moses, Sunday Neurosis, The Soundmaker, Megalopolis

Click here to listen to the whole album.

happy listening!

-amy

October 2014 Clothing Budget

This post contains affiliate links.

Serious, serious damage was done this month, people. The shopping addiction that I managed to curb last year is back and rearing its ugly head. I’m a bit disappointed in myself for going way over my clothing budget especially since I overspent in other categories too. Some household supplies were needed and ordered, and a Costco haul happened since my roommate and I planned and hosted a Halloween party for some of our fellow grad students. On the positive side, I feel a lot closer to these people now that I’ve seen them drunk. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, onto the purchases. The final prices listed include tax and shipping where appropriate. Since I bought so much, I decided to include my main favorite purchases (noted by a *) in the collage.

october

my tired brain originally called this “November Favorites” but it’s been corrected. sorry for any confusion! lol

(more…)