My Travel Bucket List

     Considering that the word Wandering is in the name of my blog, it's probably pretty obvious that I love to travel.  I really do love to travel whether it's a day trip to a town an hour or so away or if it's a plane ride away.  I just really enjoy visiting new places and exploring.  So like many other people I have a list of places that I hope to visit someday.  This list is always growing but at the moment, here are a couple of places that are giving me major wanderlust!

Book Recommendations!

     Many of you probably aren't aware that this blog and all of my Wistful and Wandering social channels started out solely for me to nerd out about books on.  Then again, you may be very aware of that because I still post about books quite regularly.  Once a book nerd, always a book nerd! On my blog here I use to post a lot of full book reviews and other things of that nature, but I stopped doing that awhile ago and just recently started blogging again more seriously.  I didn't want to be solely a book blog but more of a lifestyle blog because I wanted the freedom to post whatever I felt like. That doesn't mean that I'm going to stop posting about books all together though because reading is a very prevalent part of my life.  So to get back into the swing of things I thought I would do a little post with book recommendations for you.  These are some of the books that I completely devoured and loved in the past couple years! Side note: these are not in any particular order. Another side note: I've ready predominantly fantasy since forever so this list will be heavily saturated with fantasy.  I'm starting to read different genres now though so future posts will have more variety!

Living Thankfully

     Ahhhh, I'm just so thankful for this life that I have!! There is so much to be thankful for and sometimes I forget about all those things because my mind gets fixated on what I don't have.  I think most people face this problem, especially since we live in a world that is always pushing the bigger and better thing in our faces.  Being thankful for what I have is something that I try and keep at the forefront of my mind every single day, not just one day out of the year ( I'm looking at you Thanksgiving).  Thanksgiving is a great reminder of this, but what if we lived everyday as thankful for this life as we are on Thanksgiving?  I think the world would be a much happier place.

Why do you write?

Why do you write? It seems like such a simple question, but for a lot of people you could probably write a novel about why you write novels.  And I'm not just talking to the novelists either because writing can look different for each and every person.  Maybe you journal everyday or maybe you're actually a journalist.  Maybe you write songs or maybe poems.  Perhaps you write children's books, or maybe you write epic adventure novels.  Whatever shape or form your writing takes, there is purpose behind it and it brings you joy.

Experience Nashville on a Budget

     Nashville, Tennessee. Music City, USA.  And as of 8 months ago, my new home.  In the past couple years Nashville has become one of the new "it" cities in the U.S. and that is not without reason! Nashville is a city that's constantly overflowing with activity and bursting with creative minds. There is something to do in this city literally every single night of the week.  One of the great things about that, is that a lot of it is completely free or fairly cheap.  While there are the many tourist traps, like any other big city, there are a lot of ways to experience Nashville on a budget.

Battling Bewilderment

     Do you ever have those moments where you are overcome with panic, maybe not panic, but an uneasiness that you're not doing the right thing with your life? That is me like 75% of the time.  I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING!  I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one either, at least I hope I'm not! I was doing a little brainstorming for this post and my mind went to the word bewilderment.  I looked up the exact meaning of it and it pretty spectacularly describes my state at the moment.  The dictionary definition of bewilderment is the feeling of being perplexed and confused. Perplexed. And. Confused.  That is me.

Rock Island State Park

     This weekend I took a much needed drive out of town with a friend to Rock Island State Park in Tennessee.  For myself, and many other friends I have talked to, this past week was just one of those weeks. Not real great emotionally, circumstantially, or physically.  Those weeks are typically few and far between for me, but when they do hit me I like to give in to a bit of escapism.  As much as I enjoy the city I really needed to get away for a little bit.  This weekend was the perfect weekend to do it too! The weather here in Nashville has been so up and down and while the beginning of the week was cool and rainy, this weekend has been sunny with temps close to 80.  

Taking Time For Tea

     I feel like that sums up American culture and standards pretty well.  Everyone is constantly doing things and it's viewed as a good thing.  We almost brag about it as well.  I'd bet that everyone has had a conversation along the lines of, "Hey, how have you been?", to which you've replied, "I've been SO busy!" Like we're super proud of the fact that we're extremely stressed out and exhausted.  

Discovery Expedition Hiking Boots | Review


     As I'm sure you all have noticed, I've started hiking a lot more in the past couple months. A perk of moving to Tennessee! While I'm usually fine hiking in sneakers, my current pair are extremely slippery which has not mixed well with the terrain here.  After multiple times of almost twisting my ankle I decided to get myself an actual pair of hiking boots!

Striving for Simplicity

     1. The state of being simple, uncomplicated, or uncompounded
     2. Freedom from pretense
     3. Directness of expression
     This idea of simplicity, of living simply, is something that's really been on my mind this past week. Living extravagantly seems to be the thing to strive for with my generation.  I see so many people my age spending ridiculous amounts of money on clothes, makeup, electronics, cars, etc. the list could go on for awhile. That rich and famous lifestyle that we're bombarded with by the media every single day is what people are trying to reach, and for the majority of people it's just not attainable.  That is something many people don't realize though until it's too late.  While there are lot of people who are living way above their means, like in any generation, I've started seeing more and more people who are trying to live simply and it's so encouraging.

Weekend Adventures | Radnor Lake

     This weekend I had the luxury of free time and I used it to my advantage. I laced up my new hiking boots and hit the trails! I obviously took my camera with me, because I just can't resist when I know there's going to be gorgeous views, and I snapped a few pictures.
     This post is going to be more showing than telling, but I will say a few words first.  Most of these pictures are from Radnor Lake in Brentwood, which if you've never been it's absolutely gorgeous.  Radnor is a nature preserve so there is no off trail hiking allowed and you can't have animals, picnics, that kind of stuff on the trail and you also can't run. For a full list of do's and don'ts you can check out their website HERE.
     Because it is a nature preserve the woods and lake are beautiful and pristine. I spent a couple hours out there two days in a row and it was so peaceful.  Definitely a take a deep breath, let it all out, ahhh kind of place.  I also lucked out with the weather because it was perfect for hiking.  We're finally starting to get some fall temperatures here in Nashville, not consistently, but hey it's a start.  The air was cool and crisp and it made my cheeks rosy and cold to the touch.  Just chilly enough to throw on a flannel, but I still worked up a sweat hiking.  Absolutely perfect.
     So here's a few pictures from my adventures this weekend. What adventures did you go on?

Let's Get Lost

I've always been a huge fan of anything magical or fantastical, and if you know me it's pretty apparent. Fantasy is my absolute favorite genre and that crosses through many different avenues.  Books and movies/tv are the obvious ones, but I'm also obsessed with moody and magical looking photography and also music as well.  Dark and moody is my favorite way to edit photos and to me it gives a photo a slightly magical element to it.  For example, in these pictures I took in the woods, because I made the wooded area so dark it looks like there could be magical things lurking behind trees or you could stumble upon a cottage.  The person inside could be good, could be bad, you never know.  That's the magic of stories and that makes them all the more exciting. I'm nowhere near a professional photographer, but I love playing around with photos and seeing what stories I can create with them.

Silence and Serenity

I haven't always been a morning person, in fact I kind of love my sleep, but I've started pushing myself to wake up earlier and take advantage of the morning the past couple of weeks. With each passing day I am becoming more of a morning person because of those beautiful and serene morning hours. That stretch of time when the sun is slowly rising, the air is crisp, coffee is brewing, and there's a peaceful quiet everywhere.  Everything seems new and refreshed.  I've found that quiet calm to be a time of processing, reflection, and discovery.  It is the ideal environment for deep thought.

Cummins Falls State Park

     One of my favorite things about moving to Tennessee has been the abundance of hiking areas.  I've always loved to hike, but I'm from Iowa where everything is flat, so until I moved to Nashville I only had opportunities to hike when I traveled out of state.  Now I can go hike whenever I want and it's only a short drive to the nearest trail.
     This weekends adventure led myself and my friend Liza an hour and a half outside of Nashville to Cummins Falls State Park, one of the many parks in Tennessee with a waterfall.

Stephan's Gap

Weekends are best used for adventure in my opinion, whether that is trying out a new coffee shop in town or driving two hours to explore a cave.  I opted to do the latter of those two last weekend.  My friend Liza and I ventured into Alabama to check out Stephan's Gap and let me tell you, we were not disappointed!


Now that I'm all settled in to my new apartment and new city (sort of, I'm still working on the city part), I have a little time to actually sit down and put together a post! These photos are from my second session with the blogger Forever Mere, which I took forever ago, but hey, better late than never! I have one more session with her to post so keep your eyes peeled for that in the near future :)

River Flows in You

     I have always been one for comfort when it comes to fashion.  Luckily my style is more on the bohemian sides of things which allows me to be comfortable literally ALL THE TIME! Flowy skirts and dresses are my go to in the summer, but I've started to pull those items into my winter wardrobe as well.  The key, I've found, is layering.
     I recently purchased this skirt from Free People and it is from their One collection so it is very thin material. So how do I make it work in the freezing midwest winter? Tights, sweater, and boots! Underneath this gorgeous skirt I threw on a pair of burgundy tights and my slouchy Frye boots (which you can't see, but they're there!) and on top I paired it with a boxy cowl neck sweater from Free People as well.  Unfortunately I got this sweater last year so it's no longer available, but I linked another option that still has the cowl neck!
     When wearing two flowy/bulky pieces of clothing you can really lose the shape of your body, which for people who aren't model thin can be very unflattering.  So to fix that, I added this adorable double buckle belt that I'm obsessed with and was only $16 at Target.  Toss a cute hat on your head and you're ready to go! 
     How do you use your summer clothes in the winter?

Be Wistful and Wander,


     Well, 2016 has come to an end. While it seems crazy that another whole year has passed, I can't express just how excited I am for 2017! But before we get the 2017, lets talk about 2016.
     The past 365 days have been crazy busy, eventful, eye opening, a learning experience, and a time for growth.  I traveled to new cities, performed over 80 shows, watched my brother get married, started my photography business, started a new musical project, grew up a little bit, read a lot of good books...I could go on and on.  A lot of stuff happened!  Although I know I've done a ton of stuff this past year, it still doesn't feel like it.  I feel like the past year, really the past couple years, I've just been stuck where I am in life.  Not that I don't love my life, because I do, but I know there is more for me out there I just haven't been in a position to go after it.  
     With that said, that past couple years, 2016 especially, have still been very important and I think the most important thing about them is the growth that I have gone through as a person.  I have so many new experiences under my belt that forced me to grow up and while I still don't feel like an adult ( even though I am lol) I feel like in 2017 I can take on the next chapter in my life confidently.  And that next step in my life is       *drumroll*        NASHVILLE!
     After traveling back and forth between Nashville the past couple years, I've realized that it is really the place that I need and want to be and I'm finally in a place in my life where I feel like I can make that a reality.  My goal is to get moved down to Nashville as soon as possible and I am determined to do it!  I know it's not going to be easy and that the music industry is not always the kindest, but it's what I love and I've never seen myself doing anything else.  I simply love music.  I love writing it, I love playing it, I love the creative process, and it is the way that I express my emotions and myself.  I'm ready to be completely in and I just can't do that in Iowa (sorry Iowa, I love you, but it's just not going to work out). So here we go! Here's to opening a new chapter in my life.  Here's to overcoming fears.  Here's to being a dreamer.  Here's to taking a chance.  Here's to 2017!  
     In the words of the great Bilbo Baggins, "I'm going on an adventure!"

Be Wistful and Wander,Jacey