Saturday, August 27, 2016

Journal Every Day in September

Therapy. I started writing in my journal more consistently again. It feels good. Haven't gone to dark and deep places, but sometimes it's not about that. Sometimes it's just about the writing. On my little outing earlier this week, I made my way into a crafts and hobby store and bought a new art journal for mixed media. I haven't had one in so long. It's the perfect weight, size and paper texture.

September is soon, so I have decided to challenge myself: Every day in September I am going to write in my journal and complete a page/spread in my art journal. I cannot wait to get started. I wish it was already September.

Want to join me?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Monthly Music 2016: July & August

This is a new monthly series, "Monthly Music," in which I share my favorite music for the month.

I want to share the music I've been obsessing over the summer. This mix is a combination of songs that I either was late to learning about, were actually fairly new hits for the summer or songs that I loved before and then obsessed over during the summer.

  1. Swim - Fickle Friends
  2. Make Out - Julia Nunes
  3. Drop - Chloe x Halle 
  4. Wildfire - Demi Lovato 
  5. Boss Mode - Knife Party
  6. Into You - Ariana Grande 
  7. Closer - Nick Jonas, Mike Posner 
  8. Polarize - Twenty One Pilots 
  9. Walking With a Ghost - Tegan and Sara 
  10. Bed Space - Darwin Deez 
  11. Drive - Oh Wonder 
  12. Control - Halsey 
  13. Where You Belong - The Weeknd
  14. Alleyways - The Neighbourhood 
  15. Lost Boy - Ruth B 
  16. When We Were Young - Lucy Schwartz 
  17. Riot Rhythm - Sleigh Bells 
You can also see this playlist on my Spotify and follow it for the rest of summer, if you'd like. What music have you been obsessing over this past month? 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Going Out More Often

This is a post that I have crafted in part with Eventbrite!

I was in a total slump this past summer. Excuses upon excuses of not getting out a lot - mostly just exhaustion the second I stepped outdoors. It's no secret that my favorite seasons are actually fall and spring, but that's not excuse to stay indoors and do nothing during the summer. The summer has some lovely benefits, after all. Especially on the cooler days like we have seen these last few days here in Washington.

I swapped shifts with some of my coworkers and ended up with three days off in a row. Since this isn't a common occurrence for my schedule - and I was starting to seriously lament my current schedule - I decided to stop pouting and start doing. I have been calling this schedule my mini-vacation. 

Monday was day #1 of taking care of myself.

I decided that the best way to take time for myself is to get out of the apartment, walk to somewhere cozy and familiar, get some sun and just read and write all day. That meant a nearby Starbucks; it was an easy enough journey for my first time out in a while.

Tuesday was no different, but maybe a bit more eventful than I anticipated.

I am lucky. This town I live in has a lot to do, even small-town-ish things to do. And in the warmer comfortable days, people are always buzzing around. They're walking dogs. Spending time outdoors with their family. Running errands. Or wandering like me.

There is a coffee shop (I mean, there are many, but...) that Savannah and I refer to as "witch coffee." That's because the day she found it - tucked in a small shop, we would have completely missed had she not been curious- there was a small little huddle of young women who looked like they were part of a coven spending time gazing over crystals and reading their tea leaves. I don't know much about that group, and I haven't seen them there myself, but this shop is the most eclectic and PNW shop I've been to out here. They have all sorts of fog teas, coffees and the like. They have pastries that are delicious - today I had a pumpkin and ginger muffin. There are books about travelling, astrology, religion, philosophy and culture - they actually do a beautiful job of representing all cultures, identities and spiritualities here, including small flags representing literally everything you can think of - and crystals and stones to purchase. Sometimes they have a palm reader come during the weekends. And on Saturdays they do talent shows/host performers on a small stage in the back. I'm just sad this place was hiding from us for so long.

When I walked in Tuesday, a girl with dreads and a cool smirk on her face complimented me on my tattoos, and we gabbed about how we're not vegan but we try to make good choices - how she was a vegan for 9 months and then fell back into old habits - and about how easy it is to eat healthier in this region so even if we aren't the healthiest, we can be when we go out. Then she served me my food and drink and I found a very small, high table, by the door and nested there for 3 hours.

I read from my reading list, and once I started to get a bit sadder during Name of the Wind, I decided to take a break and get up for another adventure. (Besides, witch coffee closes at 6 p.m., and it was getting onto 5 p.m. at this point.)

I ended up at the library. Sure enough, the quiet area of the library was exactly what I needed. It gave my mind a break and gave me somewhere else to go that I love dearly. Plus, on my Washington Bucket List, I have "volunteer for a summer reading program," so it gave me a chance to ask about what programs may be coming up soon since I missed the summer reading program train.

Peep dat deer Snapchat filter, doe.

Towns have so much to offer. People have a tendency to not appreciate what there is to enjoy in a town, especially if it's smaller, but that's exactly the way I like them. They give me a reason to go out and do something simple and fun for myself. Yeah, cities can be great - I love those, too - but man does it feel nice to walk down the street in a town full of people just enjoying the day with you in a quieter setting.

It's good for the soul to take a break from the noise and do something you want to do. If you find time to get out and do more one day, do it. Do the things you haven't had time to do that you've been meaning to do. Do something for you.

I have one more day of freedom today, and I have a feeling I'll be getting out again for it.


By the way, Eventbrite is a company that is all about encouraging folks to get out and do more. I was going to do this outing anyway, but it was fortuitous timing for both of us that they reached out to me. They're motto is GOMO - going out more often - so you can avoid that FOMO.

That sentence makes me feel way hipper. This is weird.

Take the opportunity to enjoy the small (and big) things your town/neighborhood/city has to offer. I bet there is even a small coffee shop hiding that you barely noticed before that deserves your attention. Don't let the summer get to you the way it almost got to me.

You can visit and even learn how to host your own event to get others out there! For more info, check this cool flyer below:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Monthly Reads 2016: August

This is a new monthly series, "Monthly Reads," in which I share what I'm reading and what I think so far.

Hey everyone! How is your August shaping out? It's almost over, I still can't believe it. But that means that we're just that much closer to fall, so that makes me happy. I figured I'd take some time each month to share what I'm reading. You can also follow my progress on Goodreads and interact with me there.

  1. Bright Dead Things - This is a poetry collection by Ada Limon. I have been working on this collection most of the year - the main reason I'm still reading it is because I take a long time with collections. I like to absorb the content just one or two poems at a time. I have been margin writing, as I do, and have found a pretty distinctive pattern with each part. The first section had a very clear pattern of finding growth, strength and security in a new place. It felt very familiar in some parts, and then very sad in others. But her voice is quite interesting. 
  2. The Black Poets - This anthology is probably one of my favorite collections. It actually jumped out at me at Half Price Books a while ago, and like the poetry collection, I've been slowly reading through this piece-by-piece. There are a lot of familiar hymns, chants and poetry, and then some completely new pieces I haven't read before. It is a relatively chronological history of black poetry that begins as far back as American slavery hymns to literary authors closer to modern poetry. I absolutely recommend this to everyone. I stumbled across a few that really hit me with their beauty. 
  3. The Name of the Wind - This is the first of a series, The King Killer Chronicles. I have a borrowed copy from a friend right now. It is a very long book, but I'm trying to read it as quickly as I can so I can give it back to him, but I'm enjoying it so far. I don't explore fantasy a lot, and I adore the setup so far. Not a dull moment yet. I've been trying to get back into fantasy. 
  4. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Bought this on Kindle on the day of release. Haven't really been able to sit through the whole thing yet due to my attention span after work, but I intend to spend a day reading soon, and I will be eating this one up. I really can't wait to explore this story. 
  5. The First Codex: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #1-3 - This collection of the series I bought on Kindle during a super sale some time ago. I remember being much younger and seeing the Nicholas Flamel series on bookshelves in Books-A-Million, and I always wanted to read it. But for one reason or another I just never got to it. The first book was really interesting and had some interesting themes. Admittedly, this isn't the most fantastically written story, but it was keeping my attention. Unfortunately, that attention it held completely petered out in the second book. I haven't picked it up in a few months. I do intend to finish this soon so that I can move on. The biggest problem isn't even that what's happening in the story isn't interesting, I just keep hitting a wall of redundancies that aren't appealing to read through. 
  6. Stephen Hawking's Universe: An Introduction to the Most Remarkable Scientist of Our Time - I nabbed this for about $1 at Half Price Books. I can't wait to actually really get into it beyond the first few pages and finish it. 
There are a ton of books on my Kindle, or books that I want to read, that I haven't gotten to yet, but these are my current ones. Have you read these books? What did you think? What are you currently reading? 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Letter & Email Writing

Recently I was struck with the urge to email my friend Ariel. I'm not completely sure what made me want to do it, but it was nice to send a really long email to someone that I've been missing lately. She and I just can't seem to sync up, even over text messages. Ignoring the fact that I likely overwhelmed her with the length of my last email, it's been nice to really get to the core of letter writing, digitally.

Ariel and I love email and letters. We actually do both. The busier that you get, though, the harder it can be to actually sit down to write a letter, find stamps and send it off. That takes a bit more dedication and time out in a week, and sometimes being an adult means you don't feel like you ever have time. The reward of getting through a lovely letter makes it worth it in the end, though. So, thank goodness we have email and the internet, I guess is what I'm saying.

If you'd like to swap emails with me, I'd love to talk with you, too! Feel free to email me anytime! We'll swap novels about our lives.


In other news, I have plans for some more series on this blog and bringing some more consistent content to this space on the internet of mine. I hope you enjoy it all once it starts rolling in. If you look to the right at my tags section, you'll get a tease of what some of those plans are.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Bits & Pieces

Here's little pieces you've missed from this year, if you aren't following me elsewhere...

Friday, August 5, 2016

Zoo + Pokéventure

Have you been playing Pokémon Go? I have been. I have been a lot. In fact, my phone is currently dead because I've been playing it on my breaks at work. Thankfully I invested in a portable battery for such a charging need.

On Sunday, I went to the zoo with my Team Mystic fellow Chip and her husband Bryan - who is on another team, but we'll just ignore that fact. I went wearing my Fuschia Gym shirt and carrying my Deerling plushie in my bookbag. The zoo is a known Charmander nest - meaning many spawn there, if you weren't familiar with that type of terminology. We caught many Charmanders, tons of other Pokémon as well. We also got to see seals, walruses, gibbons, elephants, sharks, jellyfish, random other fish, otters, goats, leopard cubs, and most importantly tigers. I love tigers. There were about four tigers in this one area of the zoo, and it took everything I had not to cry when I saw these tigers.

I had forgotten all about Pokémon or the other animals at the zoo. All I cared about were the tigers. Two looked like they wanted to eat me, and I would have welcomed it. They deserve the best, after all.

Once we had outstayed our welcome at the zoo, we headed to a park just next door. There were a ton of people of all ages - at least half of them playing Pokémon Go, all searching for the remainder of the Charmander for the night. There were some absolutely stunning gardens in the park and a cute pond with ducks.

I was more than a little exhausted by the end of it all, but it was one of the best weekends I have had in a while. And I was able to evolve a Charmander into a Charmeleon when I got home.