Weekend Update 04

September 11, 2018

After having a long weekend last week, this weekend went by far too quickly. I still feel like I packed a lot into it, which was good for me. The main disappointment of the weekend is that I was supposed to do a 24 hour adventure race called Questival from Friday night to Saturday night, but I had to drop out for financial reasons. It was a bummer and it looked like my team had so much fun. I definitely hope to be able to do it next year.

Friday

So instead of spending Friday night on a scavenger hunt around LA like I planned, I spent it writing blog posts and doing freelance work. I did a very tiny bit of grocery shopping because I promised myself I’d eat some vegetables for dinner, so I stopped at Trader Joe’s for a salad. I think I probably read for a bit and then went to bed. I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a little worried I can’t remember what I did? (Where is my brain?) I think this was probably the night that I finished The Heart’s Invisible Furies, which, spoiler, ripped my heart out for all 600 pages.

Saturday

I woke up, made coffee, and then immediately got back in bed to start a new book. I’ve been trying to do this more often. My mom used to sometimes read in bed on the weekends and I never understood how nice it could be until a couple months ago. It feels very luxurious.

After that I took some blog photos and finalized the two book posts I just published (July, August). Then I felt bad about my lack of vegetables again and made some lunch! Then Bri (one of my roommates) and I walked to Starbucks to get some work done. I worked on a freelance article, scheduled some freelance social content, and saw some dogs!  That night I ate dinner, painted my nails, and got ready for a race and a very early wake up on Sunday!

Sunday


I ran my first race since the LA Marathon in March! It was a 5k that finished in the same place as the marathon, so it was very cool to be back running. I’m planning to write a full race recap for my own memories/training log, but the short story is that I didn’t train ahead of time and had barely been running at all. So the race didn’t feel great and I was pretty slow, but I did beat (by approximately two whole seconds) the base goal that I set for myself.


I grocery shopped and then spent a whole bunch of hours doing meal prep. For the first time in a long time, I did breakfast, lunch, and dinner as follows:

  • Breakfast: overnight oats with applesauce, blackberries, blueberries, almond milk, and a pinch of nutmeg
  • Lunch: quinoa, corn, green pepper, beans, and chicken
  • Dinner: garlic parmesan kale pasta with chicken (from Budget Bytes!) 

After feeling like a queen for doing All. The. Meal. Prep., I met up with some friends to celebrate our friend Liz’s birthday, which was the next day. Blake brought a slice of cake to the bar they’d been at (I was late because of endless cooking!) and we sang happy birthday. Then we went to see BlacKKKlansman which was much heavier than I was anticipating (I didn’t know anything about it) and also well-worth seeing. It was a good weekend!

August 2018 Books

September 10, 2018


This was a weird month for reading! Some months I read one or two books, some months I read fifteen. I’m up to 61 out of my goal of 100 this year, as of this writing. Yet this month I didn’t pick up a book til I was more than halfway through the month!

That said, the two books I did manage to read this month I really liked!

BAD BLOOD: SECRETS AND LIES IN A SILICON VALLEY STARTUP by John Carreyrou
★★★


In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.


I read this for book club and I liked it! The story is pretty crazy, all things considered. It’s wild to think about how many people Holmes managed to manipulate. Because there were so many players involved and it detailed the experiences of many of them, I felt like this book was repetitive and thus a bit too long. There’s a certain point at which I get that this person was shady and manipulative; I don’t need more info to back that up! That said, I really respect that this was written by the journalist who broke the story. Just this week I heard that Theranos is dissolving as a company, so we definitely read this at the right time!

BEARTOWN
by Fredrick Backman
★★★★★


People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever-encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.


I only have big feelings about this book! It’s for sure going to be on my top 10 list at the end of the year. It’s like Friday Night Lights but with hockey and set in Sweden. If you’ve watched FNL, though, you know that it’s about so much more than football; it’s about family and love and growing up and all those crucial things that make us happy.

When I started this, I forgot that the author is Swedish and the book had been translated; it helps to remember this when they start talking about moving across the pond to Canada and playing in the NHL. That’s my American bias absolutely showing but I wanted to point it out! I definitely want to read this one again sometime.


In total this month:

Total number of books: two
Number of fiction books: one
Number of nonfiction books: one
Books by people who are not white dudes: zero
Total number of books this year: sixty

July 2018 Books

September 8, 2018

I’m wildly late with this post, but I’m writing it anyway for consistency’s sake! Here’s the books I read in July:

SHE REGRETS NOTHING
by Andrea Dunlop
★★★


When Laila Lawrence becomes an orphan at twenty-three, the sudden loss unexpectedly introduces her to three glamorous cousins from New York who show up unannounced at her mother’s funeral. The three siblings are scions of the wealthy family from which Laila’s father had been estranged long before his own untimely demise ten years before.

Two years later, Laila has left behind her quiet life in Grosse Point, Michigan to move to New York City, landing her smack in the middle of her cousins’ decadent world. As the truth about why Laila’s parents became estranged from the family patriarch becomes clear, Laila grows ever more resolved to claim what’s rightfully hers. Caught between longing for the love of her family and her relentless pursuit of the lifestyle she feels she was unfairly denied, Laila finds herself reawakening a long dead family scandal—not to mention setting off several new ones—as she becomes further enmeshed in the lives and love affairs of her cousins. But will Laila ever, truly, belong in their world? 


I liked this book okay! I read it because I saw it on Instagram, and I’m glad that I borrowed it from the library, because I think I would have been more frustrated if I spent money on it. The cover is gorgeous, but like The Queen of Hearts, that was my favorite part of it. It was fun to step into Laila’s world, so different than mine, but it was hard for me to like any of the characters.


PLAYING WITH MATCHES
by Hannah Orenstein
★★★★★


Sasha Goldberg has a lot going for her: a recent journalism degree from NYU, an apartment with her best friend Caroline, and a relationship that would be amazing if her finance-bro boyfriend Jonathan would ever look up from his BlackBerry. But when her dream career falls through, she uses her family’s darkest secret to land a job as a matchmaker for New York City’s elite at the dating service Bliss.

Despite her inexperience, Sasha throws herself into her new career, trolling for catches on Tinder, coaching her clients through rejection, and dishing out dating advice to people twice her age. She sets up a TV exec who wanted kids five years ago, a forty-year-old baseball-loving virgin, and a consultant with a rigorous five-page checklist for her ideal match.

Sasha hopes to find her clients The One, like she did. But when Jonathan betrays her, she spirals out of control—and right into the arms of a writer with a charming Southern drawl, who she had previously set up with one of her clients. He’s strictly off-limits, but with her relationship on the rocks, all bets are off.

I wrote a full post about this one here!


DUMPLIN’
by Julie Murphy
★★★★★


Dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom, Willowdean has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American-beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . .  until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does.

I read about this one on #bookstagram and knew I needed to check it out. I loved this story because self-proclaimed “fat girl” Willowdean has always been comfortable in her skin, even when people tell her she shouldn’t be. But then she develops a crush on a boy who somehow likes her back, and she starts to doubt herself. This features beauty pageants and new friends and old friends and, unexpectedly, Dolly Parton. I really liked it.⠀


LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT
by Becky Albertalli
★★★★


When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. She’s an anomaly in her friend group: the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

After I watched Love, Simon (and read the book it’s based on immediately after I got home) I kept saying that I wanted to know more about Leah, Simon’s long-term best friend. Enter this sequel that’s all about Leah. Leah is bisexual and hasn’t been able to find the right way to tell her friends – not even Simon, who she knows would be cool with it. I loved this book for its portrayal of high school and feeling like there’s an invisible wall between you and other people. I think it would be a good movie. Definitely a good one to get from the library if you can (this is basically my code for “I wouldn’t spend money on it but I liked it!”).


#GIRLBOSS
by Sophia Amoruso
★★★★


Amoruso spent her teens hitchhiking, committing petty theft, and scrounging in dumpsters for leftover bagels. By age twenty-two she had dropped out of school, and was broke, directionless, and checking IDs in the lobby of an art school—a job she’d taken for the health insurance. It was in that lobby that Sophia decided to start selling vintage clothes on eBay.

Flash forward to today, and she’s the founder of Nasty Gal and the founder and CEO of Girlboss. Sophia was never a typical CEO, or a typical anything, and she’s written #GIRLBOSS for other girls like her: outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success, even when that path is windy as all hell and lined with naysayers.

#GIRLBOSS proves that being successful isn’t about where you went to college or how popular you were in high school. It’s about trusting your instincts and following your gut; knowing which rules to follow and which to break; when to button up and when to let your freak flag fly.

I’m trying to read more biographies + memoirs, and I liked this because it was inspiring to read about how Sophia built her brand Nasty Gal from the ground up, without even really meaning to. It inspired me to work a little harder and not let failure stop me. I don’t actually know much about the brand itself apart from what I read here and the billboards I’ve seen in LA,  but this was a short read that was good for some motivation when I needed it. Definitely a good library read! 


GEORGIA PEACHES AND OTHER FORBIDDEN FRUIT
by Jaye Robin Brown
★★★


Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.

Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?

This is a young adult novel about a teenage girl who’s been out as long as she can remember – until she moves to a new town and her dad asks her to pretend to be straight to fit in. It’s hard enough to move somewhere new as a teenage girl, but what if you’re asked to hide an essential part of yourself? Truthfully, it’s been a number of weeks since I read this, but I remember that I didn’t love it as much as I wanted to. It was entertaining, but it dragged a bit in the middle. I liked the relationships between the characters. I still found it realistic and thought provoking.⠀


COME MATTER HERE
by Hannah Brencher
★★★★★


Life is scary. Adulting is hard. When faced with the challenges of building a life of your own, it’s all too easy to stake your hope and happiness in “someday.” But what if the dotted lines on the map at your feet today mattered just as much as the destination you dream of?

Our hyper-connected era has led us to believe life should be a highlight reel—where what matters most is perfect beauty, instant success, and ready applause. Yet, as Hannah learned, nothing about faith, relationships, or character is instant. So she took up a new mantra: be where your feet are. Give yourself a permission slip to stop chasing the next big thing, and come matter here.

I love Hannah Brencher’s writing so much. This book is exactly what I needed to read in this season of uncertainty and wanting to run away. It’s all about staying put where you are so you can grow roots and be known. Hannah’s struggle of depression is heartwrenching but also one I identify with, so at times this was a hard read. It’s important, though, and I know I’ll be rereading this one.⠀


EDUCATED
by Tara Westover
★★★★★


Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father’s junkyard. 

When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

This is an engaging memoir of a woman who didn’t go to school until she was 17. Instead she stayed home with her family, devout Mormons who attempted to homeschool their kids but really just made them work on a farm. It was so different than my upbringing and parts of it seem too crazy to be true – which means that they must be. After reading it, I found out that some of her family members are suing her for her portrayal of them in the book! It’ll be interesting to see how that goes. I definitely recommend this one.⠀


I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK
by Michelle McNamara
★★★★★


For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.

Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called “the Golden State Killer.” Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.

I’m not usually one for true crime, but I’d heard so much about this that I had to request the ebook from the library. I read it in 24 hours, starting it on a redeye flight to the east coast and finishing in the next night before I fell asleep. Finishing it at night in a strange-to-me place in the middle of the night was probably a bad idea, but regardless, I loved reading this book. It’s told in such a gripping, specific way that’s like a cross between a novel and a textbook. It was never boring and I couldn’t stop reading. I definitely recommend it!⠀


RICH AND PRETTY
by Rumaan Alam
★★


Sarah, the only child of a prominent intellectual and a socialite, works at a charity and is methodically planning her wedding. Lauren—beautiful, independent, and unpredictable—is single and working in publishing, deflecting her parents’ worries and questions about her life and future by trying not to think about it herself. Each woman envies—and is horrified by—particular aspects of the other’s life, topics of conversation they avoid with masterful linguistic pirouettes.

Once, Sarah and Lauren were inseparable; for a long a time now, they’ve been apart. Can two women who rarely see one other, selectively share secrets, and lead different lives still call themselves best friends? Is it their abiding connection—or just force of habit—that keeps them together?

While this was a great beach read that I read in two sittings, I honestly didn’t understand it. It was pretty boring, but since it was about two friends growing up and growing apart, maybe that was the point. Sometimes life is boring! I liked glimpsing their rich people lives, so different than mine, and found the friendship aspects realistic, but I’m not sure I can recommend this one.⠀


In total this month:

Total number of books: ten
Number of fiction books: six
Number of nonfiction books: four
Books by people who are not white dudes: ten
Total number of books this year: fifty eight

Currently | September 2018

September 7, 2018

the view from the getty museum last weekend! so beautiful.

I know I’m two days late with this but I wanted to write it anyway! I missed out on joining up with this linkup through Anne of In Residence in August, and I genuinely missed it, too. It’s fun to do a little catch up every month and have a record of the little things I might otherwise never write about. I think that’s part of why I love blogging: sure, there’s hundreds of photos on Instagram that give a picture of my life, but blogging has always felt different to me. It’s felt like I can be a bit more of myself here. Everyone says blogging is dying but I’m a writer at heart and I’m always going to love it.

starting | I’m starting marathon training at the end of the month! I can’t believe that it’s already time to start again. It’s true that time does really fly sometimes. I think now that I know what to expect, I’m going to write a weekly (or maybe biweekly) “Marathon Monday” series on the blog. I did that three(!!) summers ago when I was training for my first half marathon, and I really liked it. My plan would be to write out my training schedule and some thoughts about how training is going each week. 

buying | I’m buying as little as possible! I did really well with sticking to my food plan this week and didn’t impulse buy any snacks. I do need to buy access to the marathon training plan and next week my hosting for my blog renews. Anyone have a spare $200 they want to gift me?!

sharing | I’m hoping to start sharing more words here again. I’m still sharing a room with my roommate Bri. I’m sharing more of my true self with people, actual feelings rather than what I think people want to hear.

reading | Last night I finished The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. It was absolutely incredible and will 100% be on my top 10 list at the end of the year. It’s long (~600 pages) and heart wrenching, but so, so well-written and entirely worth it. Before that I finished Beartown by Fredrick Backman, which was also incredible. I know I still need to write my book posts for July and August, if only for consistency’s sake. Goodreads says I’m 7 books behind my goal, so I better pick up the pace a little bit!

recording | I just wrote a list of music I’m loving right now. For so long my bullet journal has been solely a planning tool, but many moons ago when I first started (about two years ago) I recorded all sorts of random lists + stories in there. I’d love to do a bit more of that again, as I think it’s so fun to look back and see things I loved. I’m itching to get back to Project Life but it’s hard as I don’t have much space to set it up, since we don’t have any real table space.


Thanks for reading! Would love to hear what you are up to too. I hate when bloggers are all “I’m sorry, I promise I’ll blog more” but what they really mean is “I know I’ve been gone for three months and I swear I’m going to blog more but you’ll actually really only see another post from me in two more months,” so I’ll just say that I have more posts in the works and hopefully you will be reading them soon!

Weekend Update 03 || Labor Day

September 4, 2018

It’s been a few weeks since I wrote anything! Life is crazy busy and lots has happened: a trip to the East Coast, a trip to Denver, the end of summer. But for now, Labor Day.

Friday evening after work I celebrated getting paid and took myself to a cafe whose sandwiches I love to get a bit of freelance work done. Then I went to bed very early.

Saturday, I went to the beach with my coworker (and inevitably got a sunburn to show for it) before going to my friend Blake’s house for a little party with some friends from my workout group. She lives really close to where I used to live, and after I left her house that night I drove past my old apartment for some nostalgia. That was a sweet apartment.

Sunday I went with my roommate Bri to get a tattoo. I thought about getting one but I don’t have the money for it right now. Then we went to the Getty Museum to look for snake rings (we’ve been inspired ever since we saw Taylor Swift in May) since we heard their Egyptian exhibit had some for sale. That turned out to not be the case (either they don’t sell them anymore or they were sold out) but we still had a great time at the museum. It’s gorgeous up there. I can’t wait to go back and then write a proper post about it. After the museum we went directly to our friend Hannah’s house for her birthday party. She did a DIY outdoor movie night and we all watched Now and Then, because it has nostalgic value for her. I’d never seen it before but it was cute.

Yesterday I ended up going to a yoga class at the new gym I joined (that makes two Mondays in a row I’ve gone to yoga now) and then camped out in Starbucks for a few hours to get some work done. My computer’s been acting up and gets frustrated if you don’t pay it attention every day, so it took a while to warm up, but I did manage to get some stuff done! I always find that at least starting things in a new location makes me more inspired to finish them later at home. From there I went to Trader Joe’s and then home to cook, do laundry, and get ready for the week!

It was a good weekend.

Playing With Matches

August 4, 2018

Playing With Matches by Hannah Orenstein

I read too much these days to do in-depth reviews of all the books I read; it would take up all my time! But I wanted to do a special post for this one, since I know Hannah in real life and have been looking forward to this book for a long time!

Here’s the summary:

Sasha Goldberg has a lot going for her: a recent journalism degree from NYU, an apartment with her best friend Caroline, and a relationship that would be amazing if her finance-bro boyfriend Jonathan would ever look up from his BlackBerry. But when her dream career falls through, she uses her family’s darkest secret to land a job as a matchmaker for New York City’s elite at the dating service Bliss.

Despite her inexperience, Sasha throws herself into her new career, trolling for catches on Tinder, coaching her clients through rejection, and dishing out dating advice to people twice her age. She sets up a TV exec who wanted kids five years ago, a forty-year-old baseball-loving virgin, and a consultant with a rigorous five-page checklist for her ideal match.

Sasha hopes to find her clients The One, like she did. But when Jonathan betrays her, she spirals out of control—and right into the arms of a writer with a charming Southern drawl, who she had previously set up with one of her clients. He’s strictly off-limits, but with her relationship on the rocks, all bets are off.


I sat down with this book at the pool one Saturday afternoon and had finished it by Sunday evening. It’s a fun read with a lot of heart – a perfect read for summer time! I identified with Sasha in lots of ways: we’re both recent college graduates with journalism degrees trying to figure out our lives. Where we diverge is that Sasha lands a job at a matchmaking agency.

One of the most interesting aspects of this book for me is the matchmaking. It’s not something that we tend to think of as a career in 2018, but it’s a very real career. Sasha might not be a dating expert (as the summary suggests, she’s dealing with a lot of turmoil in her dating life) but she still manages to set people up. Who among us hasn’t imagined being the driving force in someone’s love story?

I really loved that New York is a character all its own in this book: every place mentioned in the book feels so real, and it’s easy to picture Sasha riding the train and flicking through Tinder matches for her clients or grabbing coffee and bumping into someone she thinks would be a perfect fit for one.

I loved how fresh and modern this book feels. Hannah really nails the realistic aspect of the characters; any one of them could be a friend of mine, and that’s what makes it so fun to read. Of course there’s more drama (and a great twist) than in my real life, but it’s realistic all the same. I also found the friendship aspect of this really important. Sasha and her best friend Caroline go through ups and downs, but they’re always there to support each other, and I find that both important and refreshing.

If you’re looking for an engaging read that will have you flicking through the pages as quick as you flick through Tinder or Bumble matches, this is the book for you!

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?