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Friday Favorites: Fall is Here

Friday Favorites Fall

Happy Friday everyone!

This week has been so much better. I’m finally over being sick, the weather cooled off, and the leaves seemed to change overnight. Fall is officially here, and I’m excited to get out and enjoy it!

Since I haven’t done a Friday Favorites in a few weeks, I thought I’d share some things I’ve been loving online since then:

I’m looking forward to spending the weekend hiking, enjoying the cool weather and changing colors. It’s also football season, so I will hopefully get some time to read more too. There is nothing like getting cozy with a book, am I right?

What are your plans this weekend? How have you been ringing in fall where you live?

Reading Lately

Reading Lately

This has been a slow summer for reading. I’ve torn through several magazines, cookbooks, and home decor books, but I haven’t read a lot of books. I’m still trying to get through The Omnivore’s Dilemma too. It’s not the kind of book I can just chew through – it’s graduate-school level academic, which even today still feels like homework.

I have managed to read a few things I found noteworthy, though:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I just got done reading this one last night. I originally bought it to take with me to Portland in May, but didn’t get around to reading it until last week. It’s the first fictional book I’ve read in a long time, but it came strongly recommended, so I gave it a shot. It was a great, quick read, and had a strong message about finding your path in life and deciding what’s important to you. While I’m not usually into those kinds of stories, this one was so well done I really did take a lot of lessons from it.

Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire by Mireille Guiliano

I’ve been a fan of Guiliano’s work since French Girls Don’t Get Fat, and I don’t know how I managed to miss reading this until now! I loved reading about her path to a successful career, balancing life and work, and how to be a great leader in the workplace. She’s a great inspiration to those of us who want great careers, but also want to help others have great careers too.

The Year of the Work by Kayley Vandenberg

Now, I know this isn’t a typical “book.” A few months ago, I subscribed to Kayley’s monthly letters. Each month has a different theme, and delve into a more personal side than we’ve seen from her online writing. I make a point of taking her letters somewhere special to me each month – last month, I ended up at my favorite beach. I haven’t felt confident enough to write her back yet (still kind of fan-girling out a little), but I will whenever I muster up the balls. It’s a great throwback to the old days of having pen pals, and I’m looking forward to my next letter very soon!

*****

I have a few books waiting on my shelf next…but for now, I’ve gotta get myself through that Pollan book before I forget what it’s all about!

2015 Year in Review: Life

2015 Year in Review: Life

Life in 2015 was…a mixed bag.

On the career end, things were frustrating. I’ve learned a lot over the past year about myself, my career wants and needs, and where I want to go in the next year. 2016 is going to be another life-changing year on the career front, and I’m looking forward to seeing where I end up.

As for the rest of it, I’d have to say 2015 was the year of working on myself. I spent a lot of time outside, enjoying the fresh air and amazing views. My pink sneakers show the wear and tear of a hundred hikes, runs, and walks through some of the nation’s most beautiful parks. While they won’t make it long into 2016, I am going to miss my bright neon pink shoes – they’ve come a long way!

2015 Year in Review: Life

Fall Reading List

I also had the chance to read…for fun…a lot this year. I’m pretty sure I read more books for pleasure in 2015 than I have in the past ten years. It wasn’t easy, but I’ve rediscovered my love of reading – and I am definitely going to keep that going next year. In fact, I have that Carrie Brownstein book waiting on a shelf for me (thanks to a very nice and thoughtful brother-in-law). 

2015 Year in Review: Life

PNW Parks: Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park / PNW Parks: Lake Sammamish State Park / PNW Parks: Seward Park / PNW Parks: Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park

One of my favorite features I did this year was my “PNW Parks” series. It was a great opportunity to explore the amazing parks in my area, and I can’t wait to share more with you next year! There are so many parks I want to check out, and I can’t wait for the weather to warm up a bit so I can get back out there!

So here’s to another amazing year of reading, hiking, and getting on with my career!

Friday Favorites: Thanksgiving Prep

Untitled

Happy Friday!

So I dropped the ball pretty hard this week on posting. Two entries never got posted, but honestly it was for good reasons! One reason is I chose to take advantage of the sun being out to do some hiking and thrifting. The other is our apartment complex doing some kind of “mandatory inspection” today, so I spent Wednesday and Thursday tidying up the place (since they said they need access to every nook and cranny of our apartment…for some unknown reason).

I’m stuck at home all day today waiting on this inspection thing, so hopefully I can get more work done to make up for last week!

Until then, enjoy some other things from the internet I’ve been enjoying over the past couple weeks!

      • Goop shared their annual gift guides with readers – which included an under-$50 list that’s perfect for the office Secret Santa (or your own office), and a list with some wacky ideas that are both affordable (like a $55 home vagina steamer, if you like your vagina…steamy) and not so much (who is going to pay $125,000 for a pair of gold dumbells?).
      • Jon Stewart’s retirement was (rather predictably) short-lived – he’s heading over to HBO! It’s still unclear exactly what he’ll be doing, I’m sure whatever it is we’ll all be glued to our televisions.
      • I was admittedly a little bummed when Alexa Chung’s documentary series with British Vogue ended. Apparently I wasn’t alone because Chung announced she’s going to continue the series. If you’ve ever wondered what working in fashion is really like, check these out!
      • Sourdough is something I’m still a bit intimidated by, but this recipe for Sourdough Everything Pretzels from Joy the Baker might get me to try it out!
      • I’ve been on a bit of a “preppy” kick lately, and I’m looking forward to tearing through True Prep: It’s a Whole New Old World this weekend! I couldn’t find a copy of The Official Preppy Handbook through our local library (and they’re pricey online), but the book I got is by the same author, and promises to be a great “update” to the original. I can’t wait to dive into it!

Well, now I’m off to wait on our apartment inspection, and getting ready for what I hope will be a nice, relaxing weekend!

Fall Reading List

Fall Reading List

Welcome to November!

I read a LOT of books in October.

I should be more specific – I attempted to read a lot of books in October.

It’s a rarity for me to pick up a book and not finish it. I’m not sure where that comes from, but I’ve tortured myself through many books I found boring or dumb. Since I’ve been trying to be kinder to myself lately, I actually sent two books back to the library before I finished them. This is major for me.

The first one was The Happiness Project – which I got about three chapters into before quitting. It was excruciatingly boring, and the more I read, the less I found it applied to my own life. I don’t have a clutter problem, my marriage is fine, and I don’t have children or a job. Based on what little of the book I read, I should already be an incredibly happy person, I guess?

The second book I quit reading was The Lost Art of Dress, which I do feel a twinge of guilt about. It read way too much like a graduate school textbook for me to stay awake. If I’m going to read before bed, I don’t want to feel like I should be taking notes for a later research paper.

Anyway, on to the things I did manage to read – and a few I’m hoping to read in the next month!

October Reads

it by Alexa Chung

After tearing through Chung’s YouTube series with British Vogue on the current state of the fashion industry (click the link to watch the entire series in one video), I was tempted to check out her book. I enjoy her writing style, related to a lot of her experiences growing up, and the photos were fun to look at. It was a nice, easy read for a relaxed evening. I remember dreaming of working in the fashion industry when I was a kid, but never thought I could because I sucked at sewing and drawing. Maybe I can weasel my way in there someday, and it’s nice to see someone is out there telling young students that you don’t have to be a designer or model to work there (which would have been nice to hear when I was in high school).

I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley

I didn’t know anything about this book or the author when I picked it up. I’ve seen it in bookstores, and often recommended by people online, so I checked it out. The book is a series of essays by Crosley that share some triumphant, embarrassing, and funny stories of her everyday life. She starts off by asking readers what their family would think if they suddenly died, and their parents now had to go through their apartment – then offers up a cautionary tale of hidden secrets, lost loves, and a kitchen sink horse collection. I quite enjoyed this book, and any woman who has struggled with work, love, and growing into “real” adulthood will relate.

Martha Stewart’s Cakes by Martha Stewart

Of course, I couldn’t do a post about what I’ve been reading lately without a cookbook – especially one by Martha! I didn’t end up having this book for long (someone else had it on hold, so I couldn’t renew it), and it’s one I might go out and buy anyway. I wanted to make damn near everything in that book. I have a serious problem with cakes, in that I love eating them but I’m not great at baking them (unless it’s a boxed mix, which is just cheating).

November Reads (Hopefully)

There were a few books I didn’t get to last month, and some I have on my wish list for the near future, so I thought I’d share those too!

Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life by Erin Gates

I just picked this book up at the library, which was a pleasant surprise because I didn’t know my local library carried stuff like this. I’m excited to read it tonight or tomorrow with a comfy blanket and a hot apple cider. Then I’ll probably spend the rest of the evening bemoaning how lame and ugly our own home decor really is. Seriously, it’s not great.

The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman

I’ve been wanting to read this one for a long time, and just never got around to it. Silverman is one of the funniest people alive, and I can’t wait to dig into this one! I’m planning to read this after Gates’ book makes me think I have made too many huge mistakes in my life (like not wearing enough stripes).

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir by Carrie Brownstein

Everyone and their mom wants to read this book. I’m currently number 150 or something on the waitlist at the library, so we’ll see how long I hold out before buying it instead. I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about Brownstein outside of watching her on Portlandia, so I’m looking forward to this one big time!

Well, now I’m off to dig into some bread that just got done baking, and maybe a book too!