The Handmaid’s Tale

I’ve been lax on writing this review.  I’m not big into writing out reviews.  We don’t all see the same or have the same opinions.  This is very apparent with the political turmoil we have been entrenched in since November last year (if not longer.) Perhaps it’s more apparent to me now that I’m older and more “wise.”

I don’t typically delve into these sort of topics as finding common ground seems harder and harder.  Few sides give and most of us don’t have the energy to spend our time arguing.  But can I just say that the Handmaid’s Tale was a poignant and terrifying insight on how the world could be.

Written in 1985 and turned into a tv show in 2017, it is a message that resonates with many areas of people.  There is no denying the gap between races, genders and social classes.  If you are claiming we are all equal you are living in a very deluded world.  The world is not equal.  As much as we strive for equality, it is honestly something we may never achieve.  Not because we aren’t trying but simply because we are human.

I’m not going to go too deep into this review but I am going to urge you to watch the show.  Pick up the book.  It is worth the read.  It isn’t a fun, light read.  It isn’t a happy go lucky show.  But it is worth it.  And after that, you can go ahead and pick up a sappy love book.  Binge The Office for the 45th time.

Now before I go on a political rant and piss someone off (I would) I’m going to leave you with a picture of Zoey.


And don’t forget- we are the new generation.  We are the ones who are responsible for where the future is going.



May Reads

In an attempt to read more, I’ve been using my Nook more regularly.  (Anyone have any tips on how to sneak in more reading?  What are your tips and tricks?) Here’s a list of what I’ve downloaded for the month on May/June.

  • Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

I’m almost done with Into the Water.  I wouldn’t recommend it if you are looking to have the same sort of book as The Girl on the Train.  This one definitely pales in comparison.  The way the book flowed made it hard to follow.  I consistently felt myself losing track of where the plot was at.  I don’t mind when there are mulitple charater POV’s but the choppiness of this book didn’t add to it.  It continually detracted from the main plot line.

  • The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood

We are watching this on Hulu right now.  It’s hard to watch but really fascinating.  I’m hoping the book reads the same way the show feels.  It always has me guessing and I feel on edge as I’m watching it.  I’ll post an update once the series has finished and a review on the book.  Really looking forward to this one.

  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

The theme of May for me is appartently empowering women.  I haven’t watched this movie yet but this has been recommended to me several times.  Just the idea of women overcoming so many obstacles over the course of time makes this book worth buying to me.  The women who push boundries are brave, and fierce women.  We should always aspire to be like them and to push the boundaries.

  • #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

This is a show I definitley just binged on Netflix.  The book has been in my pile for awhile.  I found the show relateable and hilarious.  I’ve heard plenty of people talk about how annoying Sophia was but I found her to be real and honest.  Another show I’ve enjoyed.  I typically try to read the books before I watch the show so this is sort of a new experience for me.


What are you currently reading or looking forward to reading this year?

A List of 27 Things

  1. I can buy all the delicious wine I want. And trust me, there is a lot of wine to be tried. ;). For my birthday, my step-dad gave me five bottles of wine from Anneliese Winery!img_1114
  2. My friends are all of these crazy talented and beautiful people. A fair amount of them are public school teachers and I have a great appreciation for all that they deal with.
  3. My mom. She is my sanity and best friend in the whole world. I’m lucky enough to have a (very) close relationship with her. We are basically twins separated by 22 years.
  4. Cats. My cat is adorable. Seriously. She is almost 9 and she still looks like a kitten.img_1269
  5. Books. On my birthday we were out at lunch and made a point to say that I wasn’t allowed to buy any more books right now… And then we went to Prairie Lights and shocker. I bought another book. I’m currently reading Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham. I’m slightly (okay entirely) obsessed with Gilmore Girls so this was a need this year.img_1285
  6. Baby brother.  He is moving to Oregon in a couple of months and while I’m so excited for him and this new adventure, I’m going to miss him.  He is one of my best friends. We bicker and argue but at our core, he is always pushing me to be a better person.  He reminds me that you can reach goals as long as you are always working towards them.  (Shameless plug, check out his website
  7. Mumford and Sons.  If you really know me, this doesn’t surprise you.
  8. Nature.  Spend as much time outside as you can.  I love to go biking, hiking, and kayaking whenever I can.
  9. Golden Retrievers.  Our dog, Zoey, is one of the best dogs we have ever had.  Watching her carry around her babies and all the goofy things she does will never fail to make me smile.img_0180
  10. Musicals.  I’ve always been obsessed with musicals.  I saw LaLa Land recently and it was amazing.  I loved the pace, the actors, and the music.  It was fun, honest and a welcome change to the movies out this season.  Plus, Ryan Gosling.  He’s such a good looking and charming man in all his roles.
  11. Yoga.  I’m not consistent in my practice but it helps me when I really need to relax and loosen up.
  12. Photography.  There is something about capturing the essence of a moment that is absolutely perfect.
  13. Music.  No explanation needed.
  14. Magazines.  Real addiction.  Mom and I always have to stop at the magazine section at Barnes and Noble.  We have several favorites that we always have to snag.
  15. Brunch.  If there is a way we can have adorable brunch every day that would be great. Discovered one my new favorites recently with one of my best friends.  Definitely, check out Leaf Kitchen in Iowa City!IMG_1394
  16. Water Bottles.  If you have ever had to work with me, you know I actually bring two-three water bottles with me a day.  I have so many.  My favorite is currently my Corksickle but I’m really considering getting a yeti.
  17. Fall.  Is there anything better than the perfect fall weather?  You can wear a couple of layers without feeling like a marshmallow and to be exercising outside is just right.  You don’t just step outside and feel like you are instantly sweating.
  18. Makeup.  It’s how I pretty much start every single day.  I love all the looks you can achieve with makeup and I’m absolutely hooked on the beauty gurus on youtube.  I love hitting up Sephora or my personal favorite is a Cedar Falls original, Root!  Root is amazing natural, organic makeup.  They have a shop in Iowa City and Cedar Falls.  I highly recommend checking them out!
  19. Pandas.  Have you ever just spent hours watching pandas on youtube?  Do it.  Trust me.  So rolly poly and SO CUTE.
  20. Chocolate oranges.  Terrys.  Do you know what I’m talking about?  You should.  Only available at Christmas.  Literally the most delicious things ever.  (Although I can’t have them any right now.  Recently gave up sugar due to my CVS to see if that would help.
  21. Pens. Super fine black pens.  Pens so fine that they basically almost rip the paper.
  22. Tea. A great way to relax after a stressful day.  I love popping into Teavana for a fresh cup.
  23. Coffee.  Who doesn’t love coffee?  If you don’t, I don’t understand your life.
  24. Kayaking.  ^^see above.
  25. History.  Can be regularly found googling weird history, trying to figure out why the Titanic sank and watching random documentaries with my old roommates.
  26. Movies & Popcorn.  Self-explanatory.
  27. Journals.  I love to buy all the journals but I’m a little obsessed with what pens are used in them.  Some journals that have been bought for me are pretty much too nice to be written in.  I know, you think I’m kidding.  I’m not.

(Not listed by should probably have been; Lord of the Rings, plants, candles, fresh flannel sheets, and pizza.)


27 is in my very near future.  30 days away actually.  Am I where I thought I would be?  Absolutely not.  But in all honesty, I had no clue where I wanted to be at this point in my life.  I have never had a five-year plan.  Or a year plan.  I’ve pretty much just gone with the flow.  Not exactly the best plan, but it has mostly (?) worked out for me.

This next month/year will be full of some fun adventures.  Skiing next month (praying I don’t break a leg), and I might do Ragbrai this summer.  Hopefully will be visiting family in Oregon since it sounds like my little brother and girlfriend will be moving out there in May.

Now, though, with 30 on the not so distant horizon, I feel like I should make a plan.  A solid, concrete, adult plan for where I want to be in the next few years.


  1. Build a savings account. Rumor has it that setting money aside for emergencies is a good plan.  I should do that.
  2. Get a job that moves me forward financially but doesn’t physically and emotionally drain me.
  3. Move to another state.  (Vermont?  Oregon?  Boston??? (sorry mom))
  4. Travel to another country.  New Zealand sounds like it might be first on the top of my list at the current moment.
  5. Buy a new camera.  Not really a five-year plan but I really want to set aside enough money to buy myself a really nice camera for when I travel.

So, now I ask you wonderful people what should I do before 27.  Or before 30?  Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Craftylicious- Sharpie Mug

Today, we hosted our very first (of hopefully many) Pinterest party.  After pouring over what felt like a million different crafts, we finally decided to give the DIY Sharpie Mug a try.  It appealed to us since it was fun, not too messy and super creative!

We got the oil based sharpies from Michael’s (on sale woo!) and mugs from Pier One.  We also picked up some stickers to use as guidelines for hearts and letters if the girls wanted to use those.  We didn’t seal our mugs since that step was optional but we definitely made sure to bake those bad boys to make sure the art lasts as long as possible!

The best part of this project really was seeing how artistic everyone was.


So, if you are looking for a fun and easy project on a dreary Sunday, I would absolutely recommend this one.  Not only do you get to spend time with great friends, you get a custom mug too!  🙂

Anybody have any Pinterest wins?  Feel free to share yours with me!  I’d love to find some new ones to try out!


**Photocred to Emma Bluemel and myself

What I’m Reading & Why

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I’ve been dying to watch this show but per my personal preference, I need to read the books first.  I actually just finished it yesterday.  Not my favorite but not the worst either.  I appreciate the strong characters and it has a good plot but I’ve never been a big fan of the woman who becomes basically dependent on the man.  This book is leaning towards that but I’m hoping the second book will lean more towards an equal relationship.  I recommend reading it but would warn against very strong content.  (Lots of cooties are spread.  You’ve been warned.)

Adulting by Kelly William Brown

I turn 27 next month it’s only appropriate that I start “adulting.*”. This is more of a humorous read but I am hoping to glean some useful information from it.

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

G.I.L.M.O.R.E.G.I.R.L.S.  DO I NEED TO SAY ANYTHING ELSE???  The plan is to go find an adorably charming diner with a snarky owner and to imbibe a disturbing amount of coffee and food while reading this book.  Now go take the facebook quiz.  “Are you Lorelai, Rory or Emily?”  (Spoiler: I’m a Rory!)


Understanding Exposure by Peterson

As a creative type, I’m always looking to further my education.  And thank god for all the wonderful people in the world who are willing to take the time to make books like these.  This is a book that I’ll probably read completely once and then will occasionally go back to certain parts that will help me in a pinch.  Unless Taylor (baby brother) gets it away from me!

The Photographer’s Handbook by John Hedgecoe

^See above paragraph.

642 Things to Write About

Not a book I’m technically reading.  This book and the blog are both tools I’m using to get back into more writing.  Writing is something I feel people should always be doing.  It’s a great way to preserve moments, to deal with emotions and to write spectacular (or crappy) stories.  Writing also has a tendency to help me think through problems and situations.  I absolutely recommend keeping a journal or a book like this next to your bed.

Designing Your Life by Dave Evans & Bill Burnett

Hello, personal development.  Do you remember when it was frowned upon to read books like this?  You’d hide it in the middle stack of the other books you were buying and tell the cashier it was for a friend.  Those days are long gone.  I have a full shelf of personal development books now.  And there are a few that were meh and some that really struck a cord with me.  I’ve heard great things about this book and I’m hoping they are right.


If you have any recommendations, comment!  Or add me on goodreads.  I love reading books that come with a good recommendation.


* Adulting (v): to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups.
Used in a sentence: Jane is adulting quite well today as she is on time for work promptly at 8am and appears well groomed.


2017 Resolutions

  1.  Write more- people are always buying me journals and writing prompts and I have a tendency to not write in them.  For stupid reasons.  I don’t have the right pen with the right ink and the right tip.  I can’t think.  Words are hard.  You know the usual reasons.
  2. Read more- Mom walked into my room the other day and kindly pointed out that I had 7 unread books sitting on my nightstand…  And that is just a small handful of purchased books that need to be read.
  3. Do new things- so often do I sit at home thinking about how I wished I was doing something I saw on facebook.  I’m guilty of seeing someone out living and feeling jealous.  All from the comfort of my couch.  So, this year, I resolve to go try skiing instead of feeling annoyed that I’ve never done it and others have.*
  4. Save money- actually establish some money in that savings account for once.  It’s responsible, right?  And I’m closer to 30 than 20.  I should have money set aside.
  5. Better eating habits- did I eat a pint of ice cream for breakfast today?  Maybe… But I’ll have a salad for dinner.  And I’ll try to be more aware of how food changes my body and start to figure out a better approach to my relationship with chocolate.**
  6. Workout- move more.  Sweating sucks but you always feel better after.
  7. Listen to more TEDtalks- instead of watching Scandal for hours on end.  It’s engaging and you always enjoy them.
  8. Talk less, think more- self explanatory.  I hate saying something stupid.  Stop and think before spouting nonsense.
  9. Take more photos- it’s hard to get better if you aren’t always learning and trying new techniques.

*note- also spend less time on social media comparing myself to others.  It’s not healthy!  Don’t do it!

**Stop stashing chocolate bars in your nightstand.  Good god.  Chocolate isn’t currency.

The Quarter Life Crisis

Here I sit.

On the quest for purpose that is my 20’s.

And let me tell you.  It feels ridiculous.  My friends  all think I’m kinda crazy right now and quite honestly I don’t blame them.  I’m moving to a new (relatively new) city.  I’m applying for these jobs in fields that I have never worked and I run.  A lot of running has happened in the last couple weeks. I wake up every single day feeling lost and overwhelmed with anxiety.

So, I’m going to let you in on some tricks that have helped save my sanity.

  • Do something on a whim.  You woke up today and want to go to Europe?  Start planning the trip.  Want some froyo?  Treat yourself.
  • Read a book or magazine.  You never know what you might learn!
  • Exercise.  This is key when you are in a slump.  You will always feel better and more motivated after you work out.  I promise.  Even if it’s something as simple as going for a short walk.
  • Don’t eat the whole carton of ice cream.  You don’t need the whole container of Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough.  Not worth the stomach ache.
  • Make time for friends and family.  This is nonnegotiable.  This is your support system.  They hold up when you fall.  Don’t ever cut them out.

I’m not even close to knowing what my purpose is.  Or if I even have one.  All I know for now is that I’m surrounded by amazing friends and family.  I love being outdoors.  Kayaking is my guilty pleasure.  Strawberries and creme froyo is everything you could ever imagine in life.  But I will be here.  Working towards that every single day.  And I want you to know that if you need anything, or somebody to talk to, I’m here.  No matter what kind of crisis you are having.


Veg Out

So yea…

I haven’t posted in forever. I know.

Some things have changed.

I’m an assistant manager at American Eagle Outfitters now. It’s crazy chaos but I love it.

I moved back in with my parents. Free rent. And cute puppies.

Probably the biggest change happened about two months ago.

This Wyoming born, Iowa Country girl willingly chose to give up meat.

Chicken. Burgers. Elk. Buffalo. Beef. Fish.

No. More.

And the craziest thing happened. My Cyclic Vomiting stopped. Completely.

I haven’t had an episode in TWO MONTHS. This is the longest I have gone in over 8 years. I don’t know if it directly correlates with my consumption (or lack of) meat but damn it is one hell of a coincidence.

And on top of that, I lost 20 lbs right off the bat. My energy is better and I feel less lethargic. I’ll take it. It probably helps that I upped my intake of water and tea and cut out a significant amount of pop… 😉

To all you who tease me about the lack of meat in my life. Screw you. I don
t need to explain it you. You do NOT need to try to make me eat it. And honestly. I could care less that you eat it. I am not going to try to change that about you. You are more in danger of me encouraging you to buy local, and organic.

So, sometimes, you just need to try something crazy and the best things might happen. Don’t be afraid to do something unconventional. Embrace it. BE proud. Be healthy. Be happy.


Simply Living

I am writing this late. Often when a moment of realization strikes all you want to do is drift to sleep and hope the moment is still there when you wake up. But I have and am continuing to see that if you don’t seize these opportunities and fully embrace them, then they are too few and rarely captured.


Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my iPad and smartphone. But lately I have found myself mindlessly killing time by playing pointless games and watching too much Netflix. We all spend time looking at Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, and many other social networks longing for what our “friends” are doing, eating, seeing, exploring, ect… So, today [tonight] I deleted all the pointless games. I unsubscribed from Netflix. And I’m strongly considering getting off of social media or at least getting down to just one or two.

I am going to read more. Spend more quality time with friends and family. Work towards my goals. Go outside. And not instagram every moment. I am going to keep my technology but I am not going to let in consume my every day. These are tools to enhance my life, not destroy it.

So, I am simply taking contol