Monthly Archives: July 2018

Weekend Update 02 || Harry Styles Live on Tour

July 19, 2018

I wrote a sappy instagram caption last September about how Harry Styles’ solo career has influenced my life here in Los Angeles more than anything else. This is what I wrote:

If there’s one person who’s affected my strange, random move to Los Angeles more than any other, it would be Harry Styles. Not just because he actually started doing stuff when I got to the West Coast (his first song came out my third morning here) but also because he’s out in the world telling people to be brave and kind to others, and love whoever they love, and that it’s okay to be scared of trying new things, and it’s alright to stay home and watch rom-coms, and that not everyone’s going to like you so you should just do what you want to do instead of caring what they think. So to watch him on stage last night when I’m just shy of six months here was deeply emotional and I’ll never forget it. Thanks for the show, @harrystyles, and also for being a really great life inspiration.

I still stand by everything I wrote back then. I got to see him perform another show in Phoenix, AZ a few weeks later, and then I didn’t see him again until this past weekend. I bought the tickets last June, before I even saw him that first time. It happened this weekend, and it was the best, best time. I think people sometimes wonder why you’d go see the same artist multiple times in a year, but to me it’s a different show every time. The basic truth is that I feel like my best, most empowered, happiest self at a concert like Harry’s, and I want to capture that feeling as much as I can.

The opening artist was Kacey Musgraves. I really liked her! My seats both nights were alone, but my roommates and some of my other friends were in the audience too, so it didn’t quite feel like I was alone. I lucked out and had a great seat both nights – I didn’t have to look at the screen and I could see his actual face! That’s never happened to me before. Weirdly, my seat was in the same exact spot both times. Not weirdly, both nights were incredible. After the first night, a bunch of us went to Mel’s Diner to essentially process our feelings. It’s one of the only central 24-hour places around, so the restaurant was filled with people who’d been to the concert. Some of them were wearing merch and some of them I could just tell.

The next day, I had to bring my car in for a new tire, my roommates Liz and Bri hosted a picnic for their friends by our pool, and then we got ready and did it again!

The last show was a blast. He played the last song three times, like he didn’t want the show to end as much as we didn’t want it to. Notes to self: if you can go to the same show multiple nights in a row, do it, and if you can get to the last show of a tour, absolutely do it.

I walked away with a hoodie, a new water bottle, and no voice. We went out to a late-night dinner somewhere else, and I sat around and looked at the people I was with, super grateful for the whole weekend. I had the best time, and I can’t wait to save up money so I can do it again.

Weekend Update 01

July 9, 2018

I downloaded the HUJI app a few weeks ago. It’s the one that everyone’s been using to make their photos look like they came from digital cameras. It’s really cool. I like how artsy it feels; it’s no different than taking a bunch of photos with your regular camera app and then filtering them, but it feels cool and imperfect. I thought it’d be fun to start sharing my week through photos from the app every so often.

Have you used this app before?

The Good Side || Issue 03

July 6, 2018

It’s been a while since I did one of these posts! June was full of job applications and truthfully, a lot of stress and anxiety. My position is changing due to budget issues and so I’m on the hunt for a full time position at the moment. Life lately has looked like job applications before work and emails and phone calls to network after work is done for the day. The process is honestly really anxiety inducing and not fun, but I’m remaining confident that something good will pop up soon. What more can you do, really?

Good life events.

+ Last month one of my favorite things I did was to attend a free General Assembly class hosted by Molly Beck and Jen Glantz. I’ve known Molly for a number of years now from our previous lives on the east coast and last year I found out that she had moved to LA around the same time I did. It was my first time meeting Jen, but she was lovely. The class was about building your personal brand and taking one project and making it your own. I loved it. I’m scheduled to attend another GA class next week, this one about digital marketing.

+ I mentioned that I went to Santa Barbara to visit my friend Sarah last weekend. I went to school with her when I lived in Ireland in 2006, and we’ve seen each other a few times since then. The most recent time was in 2014, when I passed through Ireland on the way home from study abroad. She’s doing her PhD at USCB, so we finally pinned down a weekend for me to visit. I was only there for a night, but we had the best time visiting an outdoor brewery that serves 12 rotating flavors of 50 different cider options a night, walking around her campus, and catching up. It’s really weird and cool how life can unfold and you can suddenly find yourself living in the same area as an old friend!

+ I went to an orchestra performance of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at the Hollywood Bowl last night! There was a live orchestra and they performed the music while the movie played. It was really incredible. I often work out at that venue on Saturday mornings, but it’s an entirely different atmosphere when it’s full of people. A friend posted yesterday that she had extra tickets, and I reached out to ask about them but they were too expensive for an impulse purchase. About an hour later another friend said (totally out of the blue) that she had a spare ticket, and fifteen minutes later the first friend reached out to say that she now had a free ticket. I’d planned on staying in, but it felt a bit like fate. I ended up going with the second friend (since she had asked first) and it was a blast.

Good reads.

+ I loved this interview with Joanna Coles, Chief Content Officer at Hearst. It was nice to read that she prefers picking up the phone to emailing people because she can read their mood (in a work context) because I totally feel the same way.

+ I went through a phase of being obsessed with Refinery29’s Money Diaries series, and I just read this one by a young woman living in LA on a $43,500 yearly salary. My favorite thing about these diaries is that you can see what people spend their money on, whether they make a similar salary to you or way more.

+ I’m obsessed with this Mara Wilson interview. She talks a lot about creativity and how it often comes in forms different than people expect, and the romanticization of the creative process is often detrimental to people’s creativity. I also liked what she had to say about the process differing based on the medium in which she’s working.

+ I thought of my roommate as I read this Girlboss article on balancing your side hustle with your day job. My roommate has a full time day job and then comes home and works a lot more on her side hustle of freelancing. There’s a million articles like this out there, but I liked that this one is straightforward and to the point.

Good podcasts.

+ I started listening to Hysteria, the newest podcast from Crooked Media. It’s a rotating cast of co-hosts, all women, based in LA and NYC. They talk about politics from a woman’s perspective, which is obviously important. I think this one brings me to peak political podcast saturation, but I think it’s important to support this one, so another one might have to go to make room for it!

+ I mentioned Jen Glantz at the beginning of this podcast, and she has a podcast called You’re Not Getting Any Younger. It’s based off the idea that none of us are getting any younger, so we should start pursuing the cool thing we want to do already! She interviews a new person each episode, and she and her guest talk about what they do, what they want to do, and what advice they have for Jen’s listeners. So far I’ve listened to the episode with Hannah Brencher and the one with Gaby Dunn. I highly recommend them both.

Fast facts.

+ I just took four ebooks out of the library in the last week, so I’d say my resolution to use it more than buying books is definitely working out okay! Bonus: no late fees.

+ The three shows I’m watching right now are The Bold Type, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Bachelorette. The three could not be more different, and I love them all.

+ I will eventually do a full post on this, but for the better part of the last year I’ve been using You Need A Budget and it has saved my life. You can get a free trial at this link (that’s an affiliate link, which gives me a free month if you sign up for it!) and I just love it so much. For the first time in a long time, I finally feel in the know about where my money is going.

Currently | July 2018

July 4, 2018

Happy Independence Day! I’m linking up with Anne at In Residence for her monthly Currently link up. I missed last month, but I’m back! I’ll have to do a more complete post at some point, but a lot has changed in recent weeks, mostly for the better. There’s also been a lot of stress and I’ve found that sticking to a regular schedule kind of sucks sometimes, but it does make me feel so much mentally clearer and better overall.

I’ve learned that I really need to commit to a 3x a week workout schedule at the least, as well as taking time offline and reading for a bit every day. Yesterday I ran 2 miles and did some reading, and it felt good to do both of those things for myself. Sometimes the things that are helpful for us are things we don’t want to do, but it’s for the best.


celebrating the fact that it’s the second half of the year! Today marks 15 months since I’ve moved to LA, which is bananas. I still love it here so much.

visiting Santa Barbara! I took a trip up there over the weekend to visit an old friend who’s in school. We had so much fun and I want to write a post all about it. It was just a one-night visit, but I had a great time. I’ll be going home to Boston in a few weeks and visiting Philadelphia on the way, and hoping to get to Martha’s Vineyard as well.

baking nothing! I’ve been trying to get back into cooking regularly after finding myself far too reliant on microwave meals, and it takes up more time, but it will be worth it. I made a big batch of muffins last month and froze some of them; I think I have just one left so I may make some more in the next week or so. I’d love to start baking more but I feel like so often 1) the ingredients are expensive and 2) the foods I want to bake are delicious but not the best healthy choice. Avoiding baking removes the temptation, for the most part. But I do find baking really fun.

wearing real clothes to work for the longest period in a while. My work is pretty casual, and in April or so I realized that I was wearing leggings and sweatshirts every day. I’m happy to say I’ve broken out of that cycle since then and I’ve been wearing “real clothes” all the time to work now!

loving summer weather, the fact that my Harry Styles concerts are just 10 days away, and that I’m going back to the East Coast at the end of the month!

What are you up to this month?

June 2018 Books

July 3, 2018

I read 5 books in July. I’ve fallen out of my reading routine a little bit, but I’m leaning into it. Goodreads says I’m only two books behind my goal, so I’m not as behind as I thought. Also: reading is supposed to be fun!

Because June is Pride month, I intentionally read books that had LGBTQ representation. this month. The representation might be small in some of these books, but it’s definitely there. I’ve avoided pointing this out in the books where applicable because of spoilers!


THE FEMALE PERSUASION by Meg Wolitzer
★★★★

Greer Kadetsky is a shy college freshman when she meets the woman she hopes will change her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant at sixty-three, has been a central pillar of the women’s movement for decades, a figure who inspires others to influence the world. Upon hearing Faith speak for the first time, Greer–madly in love with her boyfriend, Cory, but still full of longing for an ambition that she can’t quite place–feels her inner world light up. Then, astonishingly, Faith invites Greer to make something out of that sense of purpose, leading Greer down the most exciting path of her life as it winds toward and away from her meant-to-be love story with Cory and the future she’d always imagined.


Main thoughts on this: a good story but about 100 pages too long. I flew through the first half and it took so long to get through the second half. I liked the characters (or at least found something redeeming about each of them) and found this a decently interesting story. But I sort of felt like it was missing something. Maybe it was a bit too long. I read Wolitzer’s THE INTERESTINGS a few years ago and didn’t enjoy it as much as this one, which was more relevant to my life and interests. I loved the different depictions of womanhood and making your way in the world.


THE BOOK OF ESSIE by Meghan MacLean Weir
★★★★


Esther Ann Hicks–Essie–is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She’s grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family’s fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie’s mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show’s producers: Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Do they pass the child off as Celia’s? Or do they try to arrange a marriage–and a ratings-blockbuster wedding? Meanwhile, Essie is quietly pairing herself up with Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with a secret of his own to protect. As the newly formed couple attempt to sell their fabricated love story to the media–through exclusive interviews with an infamously conservative reporter named Liberty Bell–Essie finds she has questions of her own: What was the real reason for her older sister leaving home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom?


This book is a cross between 19 Kids and Counting (which I will shamelessly admit I used to be obsessed with) and Teen Mom, with a pinch of a wedding episode of The Bachelor. I loved Essie’s gumption in going after what she wants, and I loved that it read like a reality show. I found it hard to keep track of all the family members and wish that had been clearer from the beginning. I both loved and hated that it felt like there were a bunch of loose threads hanging at the end: it kept me reading for sure, but it annoyed me when I got to the end and couldn’t figure out what those things were supposed to mean. Sometimes I wonder if I take things too literally and don’t pick up on the subtext in books, you know? Overall though, this was a great read. Some of the themes are heavy (sexual assault, murder, cults) but I didn’t think of it as a dark book.


WHEN KATIE MET CASSIDY by Camille Perri
★★★★

Katie Daniels is a perfection-seeking 28-year-old lawyer living the New York dream. She’s engaged to charming art curator Paul Michael, has successfully made her way up the ladder at a multinational law firm and has a hold on apartments in Soho and the West Village. Suffice it to say, she has come a long way from her Kentucky upbringing. But the rug is swept from under Katie when she is suddenly dumped by her fiance, Paul Michael, leaving her devastated and completely lost. On a whim, she agrees to have a drink with Cassidy Price-a self-assured, sexually promiscuous woman she meets at work. The two form a newfound friendship, which soon brings into question everything Katie thought she knew about sex—and love.


This is a well-written romcom on a topic that doesn’t get enough literary attention: what happens when you might not be as straight as you thought? This is one way it could go. I would have liked more info on the character’s backstories and motivations, if I had my way. I liked this more than The Assistants, Perri’s first novel, and its easy reading makes it a great beach read. I definitely don’t think it’ll win any literary awards, and I have some issues with the plot, but beyond that I would recommend it. It was fun.


THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Reid Jenkins
★★★★★

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.


I bought the audiobook of this one last summer, listened to 30% of it, and then decided I needed it in hard copy so I could read it again and lend it to friends. I loved it so much. Evelyn’s story is so intriguing, full of that Old Hollywood glamor that I’m so intrigued by. I loved it for Evelyn’s story of her life as an actress and falling in love with the most unexpected person and learning from your mistakes. It’s a book set in LA that doesn’t feel like the cheesy kind of LA book – since moving here I’ve somehow read far too many of those. I loved it.


THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS by Taylor Jenkins Reid
★★★

This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.


I’d heard so much about it before I finally got around to reading it. While it absolutely had an impact and I’m glad I read it, I didn’t love this book as much as I wanted to! It’s emotionally gut wrenching in so many ways, both good and bad, all about family and identity and what it means to help your kids grow into themselves. I felt like it dragged on a little too long and the metaphors were too drawn out, but beyond that I’d still recommend it for sure.


In total this month:

Total number of books: five
Number of fiction books: five
Number of nonfiction books: zero
Books by people who are not white dudes: five
Total number of books this year: forty eight