The Other Stuff

Mid-Year Check-In (Since I’ve Been MIA for Most of 2024)

Sadly, as I take a look at my blog I realize my last post (in March) was also a “What have I been up to?” post. And although I feel like such a crappy blogger for that I find myself torn between trying to do my best to just write about all the things I’ve been up to this year (old habits die hard and I know that this choice would result in, although many posts, poorly written posts), dive back in as if I haven’t neglected this little project of mine for the past five, nearly six months (but that feels irresponsible), or choice three (the one I’ve clearly chosen) take a little bit of time to reflect on what I’ve been up to, some of the big events from the past year, before I dive back into my regularly scheduled content. And although this will be similar to my last post in March, there will be more information and hopefully, it will be a little bit better written.

So without rambling any longer, those of you who would like to take a look at some of the things I’ve been up to, I thank you, and for the rest of you, I don’t blame you and I will talk to you in my next post.

Concerts, Concerts, and… more Concerts

So I can’t talk about what I’ve been up to in 2024, without talking about concerts because there have been a lot and there are many more to come (which I hope to reflect on as they come around).

So far this year I have been to nine different concerts/festivals and all of them have been such amazing experiences. Although I really want to and wish I could go into detail about each and every one, I feel like I couldn’t truly do them justice this far out, but I will touch on the highlights.

Green Day

I got to see Green Day at the House of Blues! I never in my wildest of dreams ever thought I would have the opportunity to see such a major band in such a tiny venue. I thought from here on out my only Green Day experiences were going to be stadiums and major festivals.

Seeing them in such a small venue, so up close and intimate was a dream come true. An experience I will never forget and one I am so thankful to have had.

Taking Back Sunday

So although this one was definitely a highlight and I said I wouldn’t be going back to write about past experiences, this will be my one exception because I actually did sit down and write a draft the day after this show. I never finished it up, but because I did draft it with it fresh in my mind, that Taking Back Sunday post will be my next post following this one.

So stay tuned and I will link it here once it is done.


This is another one (I’m sorry I kind of lied) that I may also go back and write about, but more so, so I can explore a bit more what this band means to me and has meant to me over the years. I haven’t drafted this post so it may never happen, so for now I’ll just summarize here what happened this year.

I cried.

I love music. So many bands and so many songs mean so much to me. And I absolutely love live music. I believe there is something so special and magical about standing in a room with complete strangers all singing together to the same song.

With that being said, despite the deep connection I have to many bands and many songs, and despite how many concerts I have been to, I have never been brought to tears. That is until I saw Augustana perform for the first time last month.

I was brought to tears, not once but twice. Once during “Something Beautiful” which totally caught me off guard, since it is one of their newest songs. And once during “Boston.” Which although I wasn’t expecting it, after “Something Beautiful” made me cry I was honestly a bit surprised I didn’t sob during “Boston.”

All Time Low

Just a few weeks ago I got to see All Time Low perform at The Troubador (note to self and everyone else, don’t drive to West Hollywood the day before Pride unprepared…60 minutes of traffic). It was one of the best concerts I’ve been to this year.

I realize now that I have been consistently listening to All Time Low from the beginning, but they were never a band that was fully on my radar, I just seem to know all their music (because they were so popular in the scene). In high school I bought So Wrong It’s Right, but again they were never a band I followed closely (at least I didn’t think I did).

Over the years when their music would find its way into my Pandora or Spotify rotation, I enjoyed it and even saved a good amount.

When we went to When We Were Young last year, All Time Low was on my list of bands I wanted to see, but they weren’t on my must-see, and in fact, we ended up missing part of their set to go grab some food. We made it back to the stage for their last few songs and I was instantly blown away and regretted my need for food.

As soon as their set was done, I turned to my husband and told him “if they go on tour we need to grab tickets.” Their energy was amazing and I wanted to experience it fully.

After that I went on an All Time Low deep dive and quickly realized although I wasn’t consciously following the band closely, I knew, and really enjoyed a large chunk of their musical library spanning their entire career. I was a big fan and didn’t even realize it.

Then early this year it was announced that they would be going on tour with Avril Lavigne. I was excited and disappointed all at once. I was so excited they were going on tour, but I wanted to be in the pit for a show like this and although I grew up loving Avril, I’m not a huge fan now and wasn’t sure I wanted to spend that kind of money for an opener. I decided I’d hold off until the concert got closer to make a decision and my patience was rewarded.

Shortly after All Time Low began announcing smaller shows throughout the tour. Shows with just them in small venues. LA’s show was at The Troubadour, the smallest of small venues. (I’d seen Durry there last year and fell in love with the venue.) I knew tickets would go fast, but I had to try and was lucky enough to actually get tickets.

The show was the absolute best. Such high energy and so much fun! I’ll probably never get to see them in a venue like this again, but I’m excited to see them perform again nevertheless.

Back to School – Personal Finance

I casually went back to school during COVID, not for anything specific, purely just for fun. It was a chance to take all the classes I never had a chance to or even thought about taking my first time round. Since then I’ve taken a class here or there every semester or so.

I had taken the last few semesters off, but this spring session decided to jump back in and take a personal finance class. This is probably the best, most helpful class I have ever taken and 100% think it should be mandatory for all students.

I learned so much and it has helped me take control of my financial goals, debt, and retirement goals.

Work, Work, Work

COVID gave me a chance to re-evaluate where I was in life, what I wanted, and where I wanted to go next. As I’ve talked about on here, after a brief and miserable stint in retail, I had the opportunity (and the courage) to pursue freelancing full-time and that is what I have been doing since 2022. However, the term “full-time” is used very loosely here. I say full-time as freelancing/contract work became my sole source of income. However, I was not working 40-hour weeks. On average, I was working 20(ish) hours a week, maybe 25-30 if I had several projects come up at the same time. But consistently I was working around 20 hours a week.

I wasn’t thriving but I was getting by (I was making more than I made in retail and about the same I had been making in corporate marketing/communications).

That all changed this year. Starting in February I picked up a new regular contract (regular – meaning I get consistent hours) that nearly doubled my workload. I went from working about 15-17 hours a week to 35 hours a week (up to 40 or more when I have additional projects/contracts come through).

I love my work! All of my jobs are amazing and I never want to ever give up the flexibility of making my own schedule and working when I want from where I want, but it’s been a crazy and challenging few months.

The increase in my workload, coupled with taking a class all at the same time, is probably the biggest reason I had to let this blog slip, at least for the last few months. But that is over now and the next six months are going to be all about finding a balance. Because although I do love my work right now I do still have dreams of truly being my own boss (in whatever form that may take).

“It was never a phase…” Normal Was

At the end of last year, I wrote a blog post about rediscovering myself and the journey I started on last year. Well, that hasn’t changed. Rather than re-capping that post (which you can read here if you’d like), I’ll just say that this year I’ve continued to chip away at the walls I had put up around the real me. I’ve continued to allow myself to have more fun and be more authentic.

We’ve continued to go to more concerts (as I’ve already talked about), something I absolutely love. I’ve started rediscovering some of my favorite bands without any shame or embarrassment (I’m fully embracing my elder emo title). For the first time in over a decade, I dyed my hair a fun color (since working from home I’ve said I would do this, but never committed). In high school, I experimented with purples and pinks and right now I have a full head of mermaid blue (and I love it).

I’m starting to explore fashion again. This one is going to take a while, but I’m sick of living in leggings and oversized shirts. I was never into fashion, but I always liked having fun with the things I wore.

I just want to like myself again and be unapologetically myself again. Something I always prided myself on. And again, I still have a long way to go, but it’s happening.

Perfecting Sourdough and Bringing Back the Garden

The last few months have also been filled with sourdough and expanding our garden.

I started making sourdough early last year (maybe the end of 2022), but it wasn’t until recently (probably the last 6 months) that I really started taking it seriously and the process really started to click. My regular loaf is finally starting to turn out pretty consistent and now I think I’m finally ready to start experimenting with scoring and add-ins. I’m excited but it is going to be a bumpy few months.

Besides the bread, we also decided to bring back our garden, bigger and better this time. We took about a year off from serious gardening, we still had peppers and some small plants here and there, but this summer we decided to go all out once again. This season we are growing:

  • 3 tomato varieties
  • 5 pepper varieties
  • 2 squash varieties
  • 2 lavender varieties
  • 2 basil varieties
  • cucumbers
  • dill
  • cilantro
  • passion fruit
  • grapes
  • and more!

I had a few more things I planned to cover. I wanted to talk about my health and fitness journey and some other stuff, but I hadn’t realized that this post has gotten so long, so I think it’s best I just cut it off here. Plus I want to get this re-cap housekeeping stuff out of the way so I can finally get back to my regular posts.

If you have made it all this way. Thank you! And I will talk to you soon!

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