A sense of belonging - one of mankind's most-basic and innate desires as people go through life. Being a part of something and having connections with other people gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling that you can't find anywhere else. Some people find it within their role at work, others seek it out within a church or political setting. It can be found in dozens of obvious places, but one place you might unexpectedly find your group is in the motoring world. Enthusiast groups exist across the whole spectrum of the automotive world - no matter what brand you drive, you'll probably find a group of like-minded driving fans to bond with.
That said, however, no motoring group in the world is quite like the fandom that is MINI Cooper drivers. Hi, my name is Jami, and I am a proud MINI Cooper owner and Extraordinary Miniac. 🙋🏼♀️
A few weeks back, as we do, Ethan and I came home from work on a Friday afternoon and got the itch to get lost. We made a goal to visit all the neighboring cities around us within about a 4-5 hour driving radius and as of now, we only have two left - Buffalo and Columbus.
On this particular Friday, we decided to pack our bags and head out east to Pennsylvania. The plan? See as much of Pittsburgh as our feet and eyes could handle over 2.5 days.
These audiobooks got me through some of the most boring moments of my summer. A friend at work turned me on to Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and what a fascinating emotional rollercoaster it was to listen to. I don’t care who you are, you’ll find something to love about this book and hearing it read by Cathleen McCarron makes it that much more captivating. I couldn’t recommend it more. For my second choice, I went with an obvious favorite. Queer Eye: Love Yourself. Love Your Life. is perfect for everyone and anyone wanting some life advice, or who can’t get enough of the Fab Five - which is just about everyone. It’s funny, informative, and read by the Fab Five. Need I say more?
We all need a little motivation at the beginning of the week and I saw this done on another blog I enjoy, so I thought I’d share some words of wisdom with you all on this fine Monday. Y’all know how I love a good affirmation. See my previous postfull of them for proof.
"I'm so tired." Raise your hand if you say this either to yourself or to someone around you at least one day a week. 🙋🏼♀️🙋🏼♀️🙋🏼♀️🙋🏼♀️🙋🏼♀️
To some people, sleep comes easily. Ethan, for example, is out like a light almost as soon as his golden locks touch the pillow. He and sleep are the best of friends and can catch up anytime, anywhere.
One of mine and Ethan’s favorite things in this world to do is to travel to exciting and beautiful places near and far. We have made it our unofficial mission to cross as many places off of our to-visit lists as possible before our time ends - one of the many reasons we are such a great match.
We have visited nearly every major (and minor) city in our surrounding states, but one place I’d never been that I was just itching to see was Cincinnati, Ohio. My mom’s originally from Southern Ohio and she’s always raved about her time living in and around CinCin, so I just knew I had to see it for myself. Of course, Ethan obliged.
Sometimes moms come up with some great ideas, and this was one of them.
A few months back my loving and resourceful mother suggested to me and Ethan that we look into food delivery services so that we could be more fiscally responsible - rather than eating out almost every night. Also because it’s healthier for you and, as we’d soon discover, more fun and convenient than trying to shop for groceries and cooking our own food from scratch.
Totally and completely mentally blocked, that’s how I feel right now.
Hello again, friends. You might have noticed I’ve been away for a while. Sorry about that - but I really appreciate you sticking it out with me. Which I’m assuming you have if you’re reading this now. I promise I won’t be MIA forever and I’m not at a loss for words, but rather just feeling lost on how to say them. I did, excitingly, post a new update all about my visit to Jacksonville, Florida recently, which is worth a view and can be found here.
*Sigh* I owe you lovely readers an apology for being MIA for so long. It’s been a combination of many things - primarily a lack of time, motivation, and creative energy. But, with that said, I’m carving out more time in my schedule now to sit down and write for me, and for you, too! So, here’s to new beginnings and starting fresh! Thanks for your support and patience - hopefully this will be the last apology I make for a while. If I have it my way, I’m back for good, and I usually get my way. 😉
Let’s throw it back to a few weeks ago and catch up on some of the things you’ve missed, shall we?
I think there is this misconception that people who showcase a large portion of their life on the internet (i.e. Bloggers, "Instagram Girls", YouTubers, Beauty Gurus, and the like) have it all figured out. Their content often includes advice and clever how-tos that make it seem like they glide through life with ease. But while much of this might be true, I believe it's important to showcase the moments where Bloggers, like myself, and others, need a little help, too.
Ethan and I are both the all-or-nothing type. So, just over a week ago when I said that I thought our living space could use a plant or two, we both took that as an excuse to start a full-on garden. No, seriously. 🙃 We are now the proud Plant Parents to 15 new plant friends. I love each and every one of them for their beauty, and the clean air and peace that they bring to our space. Plus, now I feel very needed. Owning plants is a very fun and rewarding hobby and community that I’m so glad to now be apart of.
Here we are again, friends. Time for Part 3 of mine and Ethan's adventures to my favorite place on earth. And in this post, I'll go into detail about my favorite place within my favorite place, if that makes any sense. 🙃
The middle and the end of our trip were spent on the East Coast of the country. I've always been partial to the Eastern half of Scotland for so many reasons - the accents are nicer to listen to, the cities are more ideal to visit, and the weather tends to be better, just to name a few. Not to mention that Edinburgh is my heart and soul. I can't even begin to explain how much I love that city and have since the very moment my feet stepped on its soil back in 2015.
As promised, it’s time for Part 2 of my Scotland recap! It’s a good one, who’s excited?
When I left off in Part 1, Ethan and I were on our way back to Edinburgh. As I said before, I’m saving the wonders of Edinburgh and the the East for post 3 because I have a desire to save the best (and longest) for last. You can thank me later. 😘
It's the moment that so many of you have been waiting for, folks! It's time for post 1 of 3 about mine and Ethan's Scottish adventure! I'm so excited to share all these amazing stories with you and take you along on our beautiful journey with us. It really was a remarkable trip - the absolute best of my entire life - and I'm looking forward to reliving it again while I write this. I can't wait for our next adventure - any guesses where we might end up? Leave them in the comments below!
One of the COOLEST perks of doing this is the occasional opportunity to work with some really cool companies and brands to showcase their awesome products.
I've done product reviews before on my blog, so many of you know the drill. I try and be as authentic and genuine as possible when shouting out to a company. I want you all to know my honest thoughts so you can make the best judgements for yourself about what to try and buy.
Having that little disclaimer out of the way, let's jump right into the product for today, shall we?
And by back I mean both in the country and back at it with blogging! Exciting, eh? Have you missed me?
Let me begin by saying I'm sorry for my lack of content over the last few weeks. I went on vacation and promised myself that I would be 100% present with Ethan and in Scotland while I was away. Then, when I returned state-side, Ethan I both caught a post-travel cold that knocked us both out for over a week. Ugh. But now that I've recovered, I can happily report that I have a whole list of exciting things coming your way, so buckle up.
Not to brag, but I've been around an airplane cabin a few times. Flying is great - it's an exciting, but taxing experience from take-off to touch-down, on both your mind and body. And after the few dozen flights I've taken in my life, I've gotten a pretty solid survival kit nailed down.
I always find little tips and tricks helpful. And one hot-topic in the travel world is carry-on essentials, so I thought I'd share mine.
Life ever just get away with you? Yeah, well, that's been me for the last few weeks. I'm sorry I've been more than just a little off-grid lately - on social media and on this blog. But, I'm back, and ready to start Espresso-ing Myself once more.
I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers that I follow - and for the record, I follow a quite a few - do cheeky little blog posts just updating their readers about their life and what’s to come. I’ve done a few heavier, reflective life updates in the past, but never have I just sat down and written as if I were speaking to a friend about what’s up. So, here I am. 💁🏼♀️
Can we talk about #Sundayfunday for a minute? I hate Sundays. They are absolutely my least favorite day of the week. I think that #Sundayfunday was just created so that people have a reason to not dislike Sunday so much. Because really, without it, it’s just the day of the week you typically get housework and errands done and when the Monday scaries start to set in. The weekend is nearly over and it’s back to the real world. All in all, Sundays are just not that fun.
Like many other multi-tasking, Type-A folks out there, I love a good planner. It doesn’t help that I have a burning passion for stationary alone, but when you combine stationary with my love of organization, it’s easy to see why a well-filled-out planner tops my list of life’s simple pleasures. Right now, I’m on a pretty intense self-improvement kick and I’ve been spending some serious time researching journals and planners to help me get where I want to go more effectively along the way. So, why not share some of my discoveries with you all? Hopefully, you’ll find the planner of your dreams, too.
Here are the best of the best that I’ve come across so far. Click the images to shop for these planners for yourself.
When I was doing my Master’s in Scotland, I had the pleasure of taking on a research project for a small museum in the almost the northern-most part of the country, in a little town called Helmsdale. Ever heard of it? I didn’t think so.
I'm detoxing and it sucks. Seriously, it sucks. Don't worry, I'm not detoxing from drugs, just donuts… For the last week or so, I've been on a no sugary foods diet. I have not eaten or drank one sugary thing since last Monday and I am both suffering and supremely proud of myself simultaneously.
I have quit on - not everything - but most things that I’ve tried in my life. I’ve given up on so many dreams and plans when the going got too tough. I’ve ALWAYS been a quitter. I quit Girl Scouts in the 2nd grade. I quit volleyball in 3rd. I quit classes when they were too hard. I quit clubs that made me feel out of place. I even quit on career choices and life goals when someone else told me I couldn’t do it… I think you get the picture.
Have you ever been to Fort Wayne, Indiana? I hadn’t until this past weekend. Ethan and I love to get out of the house and see as many places that surround us as we can. So Saturday we decided to head down to Fort Wayne and see what’s up.
A while back, Ethan surprised me with my very first adventure down south for our 6 month anniversary. We spent a few days in Gatlinburg, Tennessee enjoying the mountains and another day out in Asheville, North Carolina enjoying The Biltmore Estate.