Girl Put Your Records On: Volume 4

Photo by Conner Frey

I am sprung for spring. Warmer weather is approaching and the sun is up later in the day (three cheers for daylight savings). Soon I’ll completely stop wearing three layers to shield myself from winter chill, and you’ll find me walking around Echo Park and Silver Lake ogling revived greenery and beautiful blooms. I’m feeling the effects of this seasonal change. Life feels brighter.

I haven’t been the happiest person the last couple of months, and took time away from people to identify how to deal with this. But today I feel good. Life is moving forward, and I’m along for the ride to new destinations, new adventures, new people, and a new perspective. Keep up with the journey on my Instagram where I post much more frequently!

Now for the tunes. Do as I do and hit play, dance around your apartment, and listen closely to the lyrics, especially the first song “Different Now” by Chasity Belt. I relate to every single line of it. 

Girl Put Your Records On: Volume 3

Strange times over here with me and my brain. I’ve been so busy that when I had an abundance of time for myself last weekend, it made me anxious and my mental health took a nose dive. Completely random. A trillion million percent frustrating. 

But I always bounce back. 

Turns out it was necessary for me to have a quiet weekend, where I could really relax and sort out my life after being on the go for a few weeks. I visited some of my favorite neighborhoods, read more, watched more of Chandler, Joey, Rachel, Phoebe, Monica and Ross for the laughs, and danced while cooking some new receipes.

I also thank the ridiculousness of Twitter during the Oscars for making me LOL, pulling my Debbie Downer self back up.

This volume of the playlist series is a bit moody, but then again, that’s typically the kind of music I listen to anyway. Enjoy the feels.

Desert Days: Palm Springs and Joshua Tree

It was a long time coming, but I finally made it to the desert. After too many weeks of feeling overwhelmed and burnt out, I took the opportunity of a visit from my mom to drive us out to Palm Springs for a weekend mother/daughter trip.

I already started feeling more at peace as our scenery changed from congested cities to open land. When we reached a farm of wind mills, I was fully ready for a few days of fresh air, quietness and a change of pace.

First stop, the Ace Hotel for lunch at King’s Highway. Although the two carnitas tacos I got for $15 didn’t blow my mind, the decor of the hotel property made my lil’ hipster heart happy. The Ace wasn’t our home for the weekend, but I was content with walking around and taking this #basic photo.

We filled the rest of our afternoon with exploring the town to find some of the most popular landmarks, walk the shops on Palm Canyon Drive and view some art at one of the Modernism Week exhibits at the Palm Springs Art Museum – Architecture and Design Center. Following the sound of a good time, we stopped by  Las Casuelas Terraza for drinks and live music. The other patrons were unafraid to boogie (my kind of people!), and the restaurant’s chips and guac paired perfectly with my piña colada. I’ve heard the rest of their menu is bomb too.

 

 

For day 2 in the desert, we drove about an hour and a half to the White Tank Campground in the Joshua Tree National Park  to explore its Arch Rock trail. This area was a dream playground with incredible rock formations, perfect for climbing on.




We had no cell service throughout Joshua Tree, which was perfect for truly disconnecting from the rest of the world and connecting with each fun moment in nature.

This visit was a huge bucket list item for me, so I took advantage of strolling around the peculiar and infamous yucca brevifolia.




On the trip back to Palm Springs, we took a detour to Pioneer Town in hopes of eating at Pappy and Harriet’s. We opted out of the 2.5 hour wait, and walked around their shops instead, including a used book store in a super cute barn with globe string lights and a little set up for a live band.

Back down in Yucca Valley, I swiftly pulled over after spotting a colorful building which ended up being the home for The End, a thrift store with a ton of fun trinkets and cool clothing items for men and women.



Now that I’m back in LA, I long for another road trip adventure, or at least more time spent in nature. But cheers to the memories and plans for more desert days.

Girl Put Your Records On: Volume 2

I spend approximately a total of four episodes of Master of None in my car when I commute to/from work. Not ideal, but I deal.

As an avid music consumer, music in my car is essential to drown out the bustle around my little 1997 getaway ride. 

It’s no secret I’ve been listening to the new MUNA album, About U, often. I’m constantly blasting it from my car with the windows down and you can find many tweets about them on my feed. I don’t really plan on shutting up about the band or their album any time soon because it’s a masterpiece. It’s healing. 

Of course I still listen to other artists. I’m not in THAT much of a MUNA trance. 

Here’s volume 2 of my Girl Put Your Records On playlist series, featuring TRACE, isle&fever, Frank Ocean, Thundercat, and more.

Girl Put Your Records On : Volume 1

You know that moment when YOUR song comes on and you can’t help but groove along? Or it’s one that has you completely up in your feels? I have multiple of these. You can definitely catch me yelling, “THIS IS MY JAM,” on more than one occasion during a party.

This new playlist series isn’t aimed to be nostalgic, but instead music (new and old) I’m vibing with REAL hard. 

Check out volume 1 below, and as always, share music with me in the comments section.

The Intimate Morning

My eyes hesitantly open. The lower part of my back aches. I was curled up in a strange way. My blankets are held tighter to protect me from the bitter winter morning air. The pillows are unshared today.

It’s Saturday with peace. No 7am alarms from an iPhone or the monotonous barking of my first floor neighbor’s pup. No screen filled with work emails. Less anxiety.

It’s a slower awakening.

I stare at the glow peeking its way through my window shade. I’m missing the stars on my ceiling that occasionally make an appearance. Only if I’m lucky. Only if the sun hits my disco ball the right way.

I pull my grey sheet and cloud-like blankets tighter around my body again. I’ve created a cocoon. Maybe I’m transforming and this is an intimate time. Only myself allowed.

2017 Vibes: Mood Board + Playlist

Every year there are several moments when I plan to turn right, and then life is like “tut tut, we’re going left instead.” There is no way in telling what my life will be like in 3 months, 3 weeks, or hell, I don’t even know what 3 hours from now could hold for me. All I can do is hope for the best and make moves. I’m a planner so the uncertainty can feel a little uneasy, but I’m learning to take things on as they come.

By Navucko

I purchased my first instant camera yesterday, and I like that it’s an unpredictable tool. What I snap is what I’m going to get. I’m calling her Patsy. She lives in the moment, wears a glitter case and I adore her already.


Here are some photos I took yesterday at the Beating Lights kick off show in East Hollywood. Great jams, good company and the best vibes.

Tea time with Nikita and Ray

Expect to see me in fishnets more often

Family Hahas

With Courtney

Mandla of Ugly Sweaters

I put together a 2k17 mood board on Pinterest and playlist (below) to set the tone for this year. Maybe if I put a bit of my spirit, hopes and desires out there, some of it will stick.

Embracing 2017

 

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Polaroid by Courtney Coles

‪I love this time of year because people are bright eyed, renewed and hyperaware of their goals. ‪No matter how basic or complex their EOY reviews and new year resolutions are, I enjoy reading them. They glow with hope and inspiration, and there’s rarely harm in accepting more of both. For me, writing down my resolutions is cathartic. Sharing them here is my way of connecting with you.

…breathe…

Deep breaths feel so. damn. awesome. I need more of them. Exhale the bad, inhale the good. It’s no big secret I am an anxiety-cursed person. For such a simple act, breathing deeper and slowing my world down helps a lot with my stress. Side note: Does anyone else get a little tripped out when you randomly become more aware of your breathing? Like wow, thanks mind and body for having auto pilot on lock to continue my existence.

This body won’t treat itself

Traditional matcha tea from Midori Matcha, now open in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles

It’s a no brainer, because H20 is v important, but somehow drinking eight glasses of water always seems so HARD and BORING. I’m working on a game plan to motivate myself to guzzle more water because hydration is key. As a tea lover and new owner of a great amount of matcha, I’m also going to learn the proper steps to prep and brew the tea.

Food wise, I own at least four cookbooks, and have online recipes at my fingertips, but somehow end up buying the SAME ingredients week to week. Boring. 2k17 is the year for more meal variety and deliciousness. Also, bless the creator of gummy vitamins for knowing the way to the wannabe healthy hearts of adults who dislike pills. Gotta love fish oil in the form of sugary, fruit-flavored goodness.

Sleep well, sleep more


I have this resolution every year and fail miserably. Waking up to live life really shouldn’t feel like such a drag (especially when I get to wake up in my favorite space of comfort, pictured above). I’m a night owl, and my body is a bully and likes to wake up automatically after five hours of sleep. So this resolution is always tough, but I really need at least seven hours of Zzzz a night. This became even trickier when my team’s office moved to West Hollywood about a month ago forcing me to adjust my alarm to sound off an hour earlier.  Already after a couple days of having a more strict sleep schedule, I’ve felt more alert, less anxious and better prepared to make each day a good one.

Now I need to get in the habit of reading books, instead of scrolling through social media, before resting easy in bed. BY THE WAY (I’m really excited as you can tell), I got a memory foam mattress pad which has been such a treat.

Finish books in a more timely manner


I LOVE reading. Always have. I used to spend hours in one spot on my couch getting lost in a story. But in the last couple of years, I’ve developed a lame habit of starting a book and taking months to finish it. MONTHS. During the lull of leaving an unfinished book on my shelf, I would start a new book. The cycle would continue. Sometimes I’d switch between two books (currently it’s three) by reading a bit of each during the week. Maybe that’s OK for some, but it’s slowing my progress with them. So while I finish my current reads this month, please send me recommendations so I can get my reading habits back on track!

Save, save, save

One of the three books I’m reading is “Get A Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties” by Beth Kobliner. I’ll be 25 in May and realize if I know what’s good for me, I need to be more serious about investing and growing my funds for future major purchases, play/travel, any unexpected and costly life imploding crisis, and retirement (if that is possible for my somewhat poor, workaholic generation??)

KonMari up in this bish

Speaking of saving, how about NOT saving things? Such as a pile of unopened credit card offers, a receipt for an earl grey tea latte I drank three weeks ago, a charging chord that was probably used for my old Nokia 3310, a dress I wore once two years ago, an inbox with 1,000+ retailer promotions, and …you get the point. Marie Kondo‘s book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” is always at the back of my mind, and while I am proud of how tidy I typically keep my room, I know I can do better. Living clutter-free is liberating and easy on the eyes.

Letting go and patching up wounds

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Illustration : Kate Harvey

Easier said, than done of course. Life’s not fun when an unforunate fading friendship or almost-something relationship sits heavily on my heart and mind. Especially when I have to acknowledge the hurt, and make a firm effort to accept the situation and move forward to leave toxic feelings in the past. This is a tough process I’m not sure I’m getting better at yet, but I will.

These situations are reminders to be a better friend and to protect my heart – without ever becoming completely guarded or jaded. My friend Catherine shared F*ck Yes or No with me over the summer and it might be something worthwhile to try.

Dance, Dance


Dance at parties. Dance at shows. Dance in your room. Dance in your bathroom. Dance (safely) in your car. Whether I’m already in good spirits, or in need of a pick me up, doing a little dance actively boosts my mood. See ya on the dance floor?

Quick shout out to my badass pal Courtney Coles for inspiring me to be unapologetically myself and for always being down to shake it like a Polaroid picture.

p.s. A couple months ago, a guy/friend/something(?) started slow dancing with me at a show at The Echo in Echo Park when I was having a bad day, and it was magic. So despite owning a “No Slow Dance Allowed” banner, I can’t *actually* dismiss them 😉

La La Land and new destinations 

I’ve been living in Los Angeles for 6.5 years now, and there’s still so much to discover and explore. How exciting, right?! It’s also a little overwhelming, so I’m making a list (I freaking love making lists) of places to visit each month and challenging myself to actually visit them. My friend Kelly and I have talked about going to The Black Cat in Silver Lake for at least a year…and we still haven’t set foot in the joint.

Other destinations I plan to adventure to are Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Austin, New York and possibly Hawaii twice. Some of these trips will be for work while the others will be for play. My first international vacation will hopefully become the real deal after I save to travel to Tokyo in the next couple of years.

In the meantime, I’m moving full steam ahead, ready for personal growth and new challenges. Cheers to living more in the moment and checking off some bucket list items.  Happy 2k17!

Keep well,
Jenay

I Got Up


2016 was unkind, but I’m still here. How? I got up. Each time something kicked me down, I got up. After I cried myself to sleep, I got up. When my anxiety nearly crippled me, I still got up. When the going gets tough, life can drain your soul, or feel insufferable at times. Despite this, I’m often impressed by our ability to muster up the courage to keep our inner fires burning. Even if it’s just a spark.

The first part of my 2016 was promising and full of light, then it took a dark turn. And I’m sure many of you can relate between your personal tribulations, and the overwhelming turmoil and tragedy our countries have endured. 

Personally, I’ve dealt with a lot of life changing issues, many of them affecting me simultaneously. Existential crisis. Multiple heartaches. A month of not having a home to call my own. My grandfather, the closest person I had to a father figure, passed away. A struggle with my work/life balance. Possible depression. 2016 has been the year to test me more than ever before and sometimes I wasn’t sure how much more of it I could handle.

But despite a sadness that lingers, several key pieces keep a smile on my face: surrounding myself with genuine and kind people, live music, finding peace in nature, diy projects, good reads, dancing, laughter and good matcha tea. I fight to stay positive. I fight to maintain my ability to change my circumstances. I fight to be better. I fight for self-care. Because I am very fortunate to have the life I have. Putting all of the unfavorable parts of it aside, my life can be pretty damn rad and there’s so much more to explore and experience. THAT excites me.

Dear 2017: are you ready for me? I feel a spark and it’s filled with hope.

10 Favorite Albums of 2016

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Oh hey! My life has been a whirlwind and led me to an accidental blog hiatus. I know, I know. I missed you too!

I’m back here just in time to chime in with my favorite albums of 2016. This year was HARD for many of us it seems, but at least we can celebrate some incredible new music releases. Shout out to Spotify for being the MVP of music discovery by knowing my listening habits and taste so well.

Now, the list. There is no particular order and as much as I want to write thoughtful reviews for why these are my favorite albums of 2016, it’s currently 1:07am on a Thursday morning (what is sleep?) and life is busy, so I’m keeping it simple.

Cliff notes for why I chose these albums: I spent a good chunk of 2016 dancing and/or connecting emotionally (aka probably cried) while listening.

Lemonade by Beyoncé
Favorite Tracks: “Sorry,” “Hold Up” and “All Night”

I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet so Unaware of It  by The 1975
Favorite Tracks: “If I Believe You,” “Somebody Else,” and “The Sound”

The Loudspeaker EP by MUNA
OK, this is an EP, but I MUST include this.
Favorite Tracks: All four of them, because each are so important to me.

How to Be a Human Being by Glass Animals
Favorite Tracks: “Life Itself,” “Youth” and “Season 2 Episode 3”

The Altar by BANKS
Favorite Tracks: “Fuck With Myself,” “Weaker Girl” and “Gemini Feed”

Puberty 2 by Mitski
Favorite Tracks: “Once More To See You,” A Loving Feeling” and “Your Best American Girl”

Sunlit Youth by Local Natives
Favorite Tracks: “Fountain of Youth,” “Everything All At Once” and “Past Lives”

Disappear Here by Bad Suns
Favorite Tracks: “Heartbreaker,” “Patience” and “Love Like Revenge”

Pool by Porches
Favorite Tracks: “Be Apart,” “Glow” and “Mood”

A Seat at the Table by Solange
Favorite Tracks: “Don’t Touch My Hair,” “Weary” and “Cranes in the Sky”

Let’s also look at my Spotify Year in Review. Click the images to see them more clearly.

Wow, that’s a lot of time spent doing something I love, and I definitely stayed true to my motto #FangirlForYourFriends with my excessive listening of my pals’ band Bedbugs. Might also like indie music? Can you tell? Not really sure. haha.

Cheers to saying BOY BYE to 2016 and hello to more music we can fall in love with in 2017.

What were your favorite albums or songs this year? Let’s chat in the comments