Record Store Love

For this edition of 'Fresh Finds & Old Faves,' we ventured out to a couple my fave record stores! I had my mind set on 3 records to buy, so off we went!

First, we headed to Amoeba a.k.a. the mecca of music. It's completely and totally overwhelming. You walk in and are immediately bombarded with bright concert posters, colorful music paraphernalia, and inspiration out the wazoo. It's ginormous and packed wall-to-wall with records (new & used), CDs, movies, books...you name it. I get easily distracted...so with all this sensory overload, each visit tends to last upwards of a couple hours.

I got Traveller by Chris Stapleton, Thickfreakness by The Black Keys, and Nathaniel Ratliff and The Night Sweats' self titled record**. All three are a must and comprise most of my summer playlist!

**they're my latest discovery and I'm borderline obsessed. oldies-feeling, and just amazing. check 'em out!!*

Now, off to The Record Parlour!

This place gives me all the feels of a used bookstore, as all the records have been previously owned. I love these kinds of places, because everything there has had a life already. Who knows who owned the record previously or what that music inspired? I love listening to records with a little bit of static or some imperfections...it feels real and the life it's seen is almost tangible.

Here I picked up the soundtracks from Singin' in the Rain (my all time fave) and Easter Parade. **all the heart eye emojis**

 

My record collection and oldies-loving soul is replenished and happy for the time being. Anyone else out there have a record collection? What's your favorite album for vinyl?

Love & Good Times

Jen

Brunchin' at Blu Jam

Hi, sweet peaches! 

So, anyone who follows our blog, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, whatever---one thing is painfully obvious. We love us some brunch. Eggs, pancakes, waffles, bacon, all of those together, you name it, we'll eat it. Breakfast food all day, err'day. And exploring new brunch spots is one of our favorite things to do together and to blog about! We love sharing the gems we find all around L.A. and the goodies that we get to eat! Because eating is also our favorite, sooooo.

Today, we're sharing one of our favorite little dive spots--Blu Jam! I don't even know how to describe Blu Jam. It's small, cozy, always crowded (for good reason), and kind of tucked away. We both have a spot in our hearts for it because it kind of imitates southern food just a little. Blu Jam definitely isn't your swanky L.A. brunch where you order a single egg white with a flower that was designed out of olive oil surrounding it. Blu Jam is where you go to cure your hangover. You go there to drown your sorrows in syrup after you've been on your fifth crappy Tinder date. Ultimate soul food, y'all. This was the first place we brunched when we finished Whole 30 (and after having a few cocktails the night before) and it. was. everything. 

Seriously, so many things to love about this place. I can't speak enough on the "down home" feel that makes my Tennessee heart so happy (although I love me a good fancy brunch too). They also have vegan options and gluten free options (which we didn't abide by this time, but ya know, ambition for next time, right?). And it's pretty affordable to be one of the most talked about spots in L.A.! Jenna and I always split things everywhere we go, because neither of us can ever decide on just one thing, so we usually wind up with a smorgasbord (which we definitely don't mind!). 

This time, we ordered the Roma Via Paris, which is farm fresh eggs scrambled with spinach, peppers, tomatoes, basil, goat cheese, and mozzarella. Kind of healthy, right? So we decided to balance it out with their legendary blueberry pancakes and dirty chai lattes. 

Side note: blueberry pancakes aren't hard to make, so why the hell do mine NEVER taste this good?! Probably some super simple secret like "add cinnamon" or something. Whatever. I'll just let Blu Jam keep making them for me.  

So, whether you wanna kinda try to be healthy or just totally Regina George it, and carb it up, Blu Jam is your place. Casual, laid back atmosphere (we always try to sit outside!), and delish grub to match.

And while we wish our stomachs were infinitely empty, we aren't able to squeeze all of our faves into one sitting, so here are two of our other ordering recommendations:

Cort's recommendation---Breakfast Quesadilla (if you like spicy!)

Jen's recommendation---Crunchy French Toast (Blu Jam's signature thing)

Any favorite dishes from any of you L.A. babes who have been here? We seriously go probably once a month, so tell us what to order next! Or tell us your fave brunch spot (L.A. or otherwise!). We're always looking to add to our list! 

Love & Lipstick Stained Coffee Mugs ;)

Cort 

5 Favorite, Affordable Beauty Products

Alright, gal pals. Let's talk beauty products. The morning routine that takes way longer than it should, because as we get older, I think it's mandatory that we acquire a friggin' multitude of mascara tubes (mostly half empty, and forgotten about, thus you buy another one), lipsticks/lip balms/lip stains, and anything else involving your lips (thank you, Kylie Jenner), every shade of blush imaginable, and Naked eyeshadow palettes numbered 1 through 1,000 (trust me, they'll get there). And while it's so fun to build this collection and torture yourself each morning over rather you want your lashes super plump or super long for that particular day, it also can get really expensive. Am I right?!

Sephora knows we're addicted, and as we get older, the prices get higher. We're not in the world of $2 Bonne Belle Lip Smackers flavored like Dr. Pepper and $4 Purple Mary-Kate and Ashley eyeliner (sadly enough, right?). And while I'm just as big of a fan of Mac, Tarte, Too Faced, Laura Mercier, and quite a few other high quality makeup brands, ya girl doesn't have the budget to make it all a part of her daily routine. All my broke 20-somethings say heyyyyy! ;)

So, I'm sharing with you today 5 of my favorite beauty products that I keep in my collection on the regular! AND they're affordable! 

1. L'Oreal True Match Lumi Foundation

I'm always so flip-floppy between foundations, and super picky too. I have sensitive skin, and heavy foundations usually make my skin oily or just totally dry it out. While I usually do wear foundation on a regular basis (at least to work), I don't like to actually feel like I'm wearing it. I've never been one to put on a ton of makeup because I hate the cakey feeling it can give. But this foundation is sooooo light! And a little goes a long way. One bottle of this can usually last me a couple of months at least! There is also literally every shade. Don'tcha hate when you buy a foundation you think is just right and then you get home and it's just slightly off to where you can't justify not using it, but it's still annoying. Yeah, me too. But I don't have that problem with this foundation! My shade is C3 (creamy natural).

Found at: Target for $12.19 (at least in Cali). Shop all the shades of this foundation here! 

2. Mario Badescu Rosewater Facial Spray  

This product is one I just recently started buying, and I am in LOVE, people. My days are usually pretty busy. Often times, when I put my makeup on in the morning, it has to last me through a good 12-14 hours. When you're going from work, to drinks, to dinner, or from work to a meeting, it's nice to not feel like you've been wearing your makeup for that long. I always like my face to feel fresh. No droopy eyes, chapped lips, or anything of the sort. This spray instantly makes me feel refreshed & rejuvenated & helps set your makeup for the day! AND it smells like roses. What's not to love?! I usually spray it on once after I finish my makeup routine in the morning, and once more if I'm going somewhere else after work or if I just feel like I need a wake-up! 

Found at: Anthropologie for $7.00. Shop this spray and Mario Badescu's other products here

3. Essie Nail Polish Collection

There's not too much to be said about Essie. Just that you should love it. I've never seen so many color choices that are always, always, always on trend with whatever the big color trends are for the particular season. Pastel & neutral nail colors are super in right now, and I've loved stocking up on my faves! This one's a favorite of mine for spring! It's called Mint Candy Apple! Even the names are cute! 

Found at: Target for $8.59. Shop this color and all the other lovely shades here

4. Olivine Atelier Mini Love & Salt Hair and Body Spray

Another new favorite of mine, especially with summer right around the corner! I wear my hair messy most of the time. Aka, I get up, usually tease it a little, throw some of this spray in it and maybe some hairspray, and call it a day. This spray gives you that effortless, beachy, Cali look with absolutely no effort. Maybe one of the two times that you can say "effortless" and you literally mean it. Made with french sea salt, himalayan pink salt, black coconut, and tiger lily, it smells divine. Even if you don't live near a beach, spray some of this in your hair, and people will think you just came from a surf. You can also spray it on your skin cause it's super hydrating and all natural! 

Found at: Anthropologie (but it's sold elsewhere as well) for $12.00. Shop this spray here

5. REVLON Ultra HD Matte LipColor

Cause you know I'm all about those mattes, bout those mattes, no glossy. Watch out, Meghan Trainor. 

Buuuut seriously, I love a good matte lip color that stays all day (which is hard to find!). And some of the liquid mattes make your lips feel a little dry and cakey after a while. Another thing I'm not a fan of! This one stays on throughout the day AND keeps my lips soft! This particular shade is called Love and it's appropriately named because I am, indeed, smitten. 

Found at: Target for $7.99. Shop this lip color and the other colors in the collection here

 

Now, you know some of my go-to's & favorites in the beauty department that also don't make my bank account and husband really sad. 

What are some of your favorites?! We'd love to hear any recommendations from fellow beauty-gurus! 

Love, Lashes, & Lipstick

Cort 

 

#LocalNewsMatters

**This post is sponsored by The Press-Enterprise & OC Register and we received compensation.**

Eating local, shopping small, supporting your local businesses---being involved in your local community is important, y'all! Picking up a local newspaper (such as The Press-Enterprise or OC Register) is an easy way to figure out just how to support those in the community around you. 

I don't know about you, but I would 100% rather buy a latte from a smaller, independent coffee shop than just going to Starbucks (and I'm not hating on Starbucks!). Being a small business ourselves, we've realized just how important this really is! We recently teamed up with The Press-Enterprise (a local SoCal newspaper) to emphasize the positive impact that results from keeping up with what's going on around you! 

We brought our copies of the P-E to Aroma Coffee & Tea, one of our fave local brunch spots in the Valley, to enjoy a leisurely weekend brunch. Aroma also sources its ingredients from various local vendors (and literally has the best brunch, like ever)! And anytime we brunch anywhere, we have an unwritten agreement---one person orders something sweet, and the other orders something savory, cause hello, we need options! So, Jenna kept it basic and ordered chocolate chip pancakes with strawberries, and Cortney ordered the Salmon Stack (smoked salmon on potato pancakes with poached eggs...yes, yes, and yes.). 

We sipped our coffees and read our papers on the patio while taking note of the cocktail recipes to try later on! 

You all know that we're both southern gals. We grew up in really small towns, both of which consisted mostly of small businesses. Like, we got our eggs from the farm down the road...that kind of small. We both love that small town feel, and while we love the big city vibe L.A. has as well, that feeling of "being a part of something" can get lost in all the hustle & bustle. 

Picking up The Press-Enterprise, along with our morning coffee, has become a delightful addition to our routine here in L.A. Especially in a world that's becoming increasingly digital, it's refreshing to be able to read & hold something tangible reporting on important world & local news, as well as recipes, activities, and what's going on around town! One of our favorite parts about this paper is the Life segment, which usually offers fun cocktail recipes, restaurant reviews, local art exhibits---and if you follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, or anything, you know this is exactly our cup of tea. 

We encourage y'all to challenge yourselves to be active in your local community! If you're in the Orange County or Riverside area, The Press-Enterprise is a good way to get you started! 

Love & Community

Jen & Cort

This is a sponsored conversation written by us on behalf of OC Register & The Press-Enterprise. The opinions and text are all ours.