Won’t Look Back | Geowulf

Queen | Perfume Genius

Feel It Still | Portugal. The Man

Water | Ra Ra Riot

Another Way | Ten Fe

Don’t Take the Money | Bleachers

Wanted You | Twin Peaks

I | Foreign Fields

Bellyache | Billy Eilish

13 | LANY


What are you listening to?

– Lauren



I absolutely cannot believe summer break is almost over and that I begin my final semester of my undergraduate degree on Wednesday. I’ve been up to some really exciting things over the past few weeks in terms of working, studying for the GRE, attempting to sort out my post-grad plans (yikes!), and enjoying my summer, all of which has left me with little time to write blog posts or take photos. As usual, I’ve been listening to music nonstop, so I thought I’d write up a quick little post to share the songs, old and new, I’ve been loving recently.


Fountain of Youth | Local Natives

Heart It Races | Dr. Dog

pink skies | LANY

This Empty Northern Hemisphere | Gregory Alan Isakov

Miracle Aligner | The Last Shadow Puppets

Cold | Mating Ritual

Upswing | Prinze George

Wild | Beach House

Garden View | Hales Corner

My Cousin Greg | Houndmouth


What are you listening to?

– Lauren



Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion. I read two of Joan Didion’s memoirs earlier this summer and couldn’t put them down, so when I saw Play It As It Lays, one of her fictions, on the shelves at Barnes & Noble, I had to pick it up. The novel is set in 1960s Hollywood and explores the position of women in society and mental illness, among other themes. It’s very poignantly written, and the reading experience was disturbing and affective despite the fact that the plot isn’t overly momentous or action-driven. Didion is one of my all-time favorite writers, and I highly, highly recommend this novel.

Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch. Though I’ve only read two of his books, Herman Koch is another one of my favorite writers. I read The Dinner last summer and adored it, so I picked up Summer House with Swimming Pool to read on a recent trip to the beach. The novel follows a doctor and his family as they spend their summer vacation at the beach house of one of his clients, a famous but sleazy actor who we know from the outset will die by the narrator’s hands before the novel’s conclusion. Koch is really great at using nonlinear narratives, unreliable narrators, and unlikeable and controversial characters to create his engrossing psychological thrillers. Koch says in interviews that one of his goals in writing his novels is to be controversial, push boundaries, and make readers question societal values and judgments, and this novel definitely does all of those things. Koch plays with the idea of moral absolutism, the boundaries of sexual behaviors, misogyny, and the absurdity of fame and privilege.

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. My Brilliant Friend is, hands down, my favorite read of the summer so far. Lately, I’ve been trying to read a more diverse selection of writers, including those whose works have been translated into English. My Brilliant Friend falls into this category (along with Summer House with Swimming Pool), as it was originally published in Italian. I’ve heard so many intriguing things about Elena Ferrante and her writing and was not let down my My Brilliant Friend. My Brilliant Friend is part of a series by Ferrante and tells the story of friendship between two girls, the unspoken competition within their friendship, and their struggles to feel worthwhile and follow dreams that are different than what is expected of them given the social politics of their poor Italian neighborhood. Definitely read this novel.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. In a moment of nostalgia for last summer when I studied abroad in England, I decided to read some Shakespeare so I could annotate a play or two while I drank tea and pretended I was in Oxford and not spending the summer working at home in Alabama. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is hilarious and tackles some real-life concerns under the guise of lightheartedness. It has magic, fairies, star-crossed lovers, a man with the head of a donkey, love triangles, and it reads with the ease and flow that is typical of Shakespeare’s other plays. References to this play are so pervasive in popular culture, which, combined with the merits of the play itself, makes A Midsummer Night’s Dream a must-read.

An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin. I started reading this book back in high school and abandoned it about halfway through. An Object of Beauty is a novel based in the New York City art world and follows a recent college graduate for a period of several years as she manipulates, schemes, and uses her sexuality to get ahead in the art world. After taking several classes in art history and becoming more familiar with renowned artists, their work, and the nature of the art market, I decided to give An Object of Beauty another try. I did not love this novel. I found the characters to be flat, uninteresting, and cliche, and I thought the ending wrapped up a little too neatly for all the characters involved, but Martin, who is an art lover himself, offers some interesting opinions on the nature and value of art. My advice for you if you decide to read this book is to read it for Martin’s insights about the art market and not for the plot, which I found rather lackluster and contrived. I wouldn’t go so far as to not recommend this book, but I think it’s very much geared toward people who have a better-than-average knowledge of art and artists.

What have you read this summer?

– Lauren

Listen | Summer


Thieves | The Beach

The Vine | Gold Spectacles

Brainwash | Cillie Barnes

Victor | Prinze George

Wildfire | Scavenger Hunt

Swim | Fickle Friends

Bad, Bad, Bad | LANY

NoLo | Grace Mitchell

Swoon | Beach Weather

I Wear Glasses | Mating Ritual


What are you listening to?

– Lauren


“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Headband - Urban Outfitters / Shirt - Target / Skirt - Forever 21 / Necklace - Local Maker / Shoes - Urban Outfitters

To me, summer is all about simplicity. In the summer, life is fuss-free, barefoot, and low-maintenance. I want to spend my days lounging on beaches, reading books outdoors, or getting coffee with friends, not nitpicking over my outfits. Simplicity is the order of the day.

This outfit is one of the easiest in my wardrobe. It’s full of staple pieces – a denim skirt, a black t-shirt, and Oxford flats – with a statement headband and a pop of lipstick. I don’t even have to think about it.

“Simplify” has become something of a life motto for me lately. When I look back on my jam-packed schedule from last school year or all of my possessions sitting in boxes on the floor of my bedroom at home, it’s easy to see how overly complicated I tend to make my life and how much of my stress is self-generated. With this new season upon me, I’ve resolved to simplify my life in small areas, such as my clothes, time commitments, or possessions, in order to focus my attention on enjoying the things around me.


What are your summer resolutions?


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Lip Service


As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently spent four days in Louisville, Kentucky for the Kentucky Derby. I had never been to Louisville before and didn’t know too much about it, but it turns out that there are so many cool things there, such as a walking bridge over the Ohio River that connects Kentucky to Indiana. Neither my friend nor I had ever been to Indiana, so on our last day, we decided to walk across the bridge and add another state to the list of places we’ve been.  Here’s what I wore for a casual spring day spent exploring new cities.


IMG_3429 IMG_3435

I’m trying to teach myself that sometimes it’s good not to have a plan. There is no time like summer break to be spontaneous and take road trips to the Kentucky Derby or walk to Indiana, to make new destinations and do things that will make memories.

What are your spring and summer destinations? -Lauren Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Down at the Derby

About a month ago, my friend called me and asked if I wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby. For a while, I couldn’t decide whether or not I wanted to dish out that much money to watch horse races, but I also knew that if I didn’t go now, I never would. The Derby had always seemed like something that was unattainable for someone like me.  But one of my friends once told me that you’re much less likely to regret the money you spend on experiences and memories rather than material objects, and I completely agree.  So I bought a hat and a dress and made the trip up to Louisville for the Oaks and the Derby.

The Oaks



We arrived at Churchill Downs just in time for The Oaks, and after we watched the race, we scoped out a grassy spot to claim for The Derby the next day.  Because I knew that I would be outside for most of the day, I wanted my Derby outfits to be comfortable and focused around my hat, which I bought from a seller on Etsy because of the adorable bow on the back.  My dresses were lightweight and in neutral colors.  The parking situation at Churchill Downs is a headache, so flat shoes were necessary for all the walking I had to do.

The Derby

Hat- Equine Accents on Etsy / Dress - Francesca's / Sandals - Target / Purse - Vintage

IMG_3392Overall, I had a great time and would recommend taking a trip to the Derby even if you’re like me and know next to nothing about horse racing and are too young to legally bet on the horses.  It’s the perfect opportunity to wear a fun outfit, sip a mint julep (which I unfortunately was unable to do), meet new people, and observe an event that is very stereotypically American. 


Queen of the Crop


With with end of the semester quickly approaching and finals looming just over the horizon, I’ve been in desperate need of some r&r.  Or maybe just a break from writing papers, papers, and more papers.  My university town has a great community of artists and craftspeople that often get overlooked in favor of football and parties, which is such a shame.  But if you know where to look, there are some really cool arts events and festivals throughout the year and opportunities to support local artists and small businesses.  I’ve been attending these events since my Freshman year, and they’re one of my favorite things about where I live.  The most recent arts festival occurred this month, and taking a day off of homework to browse booths, hear some local bands, and buy some one-of-a-kind pieces was just what I needed.

Since the weather was warm, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try out my new crop top.  For me, crop tops are scary things.  I have always been relatively conservative when it comes to my clothes.  Growing up, I definitely was not confident enough to show my stomach, but lately I’ve been loving how crop tops look on other people.  And with certain 80s and 90s fashions coming back into style, I figured I should just bite the bullet and do it, and I’m glad I did.  They’re incredibly figure-flattering and can be paired with looser bottoms and sneakers to create a comfy, slightly sporty vibe.


Necklace - Local artist (Handpicked Goods by Sarah Hart on Facebook)
Necklace – Local artist (Handpicked Goods by Sarah Hart on Facebook)

In addition to crop tops, I’ve been all about the handmade jewelry lately.  I’m a huge advocate of shopping local and supporting artists and small businesses. It’s difficult for artists and craftspeople to support themselves on their art alone when so much of our consumer culture is dominated and perpetuated by large corporations, and products are mass-produced in factories.  But I’ve found through my own experiences with arts festivals and the artist community that when I shop local, I’m more likely to get a product that is well-made and personal.  So for unique pieces that you don’t mind spending a little extra on, I’d recommend you look into your community’s art scene.  I’m obsessed with this necklace I bought from a local jewelry maker.


Finally, on a more frivolous note, scrunchies have come back, and I’m digging them.  My inner 90s child is rejoicing.

What are your favorite styles this season?