Monthly Archives

November 2016

Lifestyle

Snippets of my favorite place.

Two years ago this month I moved into my own apartment. I’d lived on my own in New Zealand for a while before this, but living in my own apartment in Houston felt like a totally different thing. I had my own space. I could buy furniture and hang things on the walls. I was single and loving every second of reveling in my own space.

img_3378img_3384Where we live says a lot about our personalities, and I think this is vibrantly true in my apartment. I always lust over white, minimal spaces, but in the end it’s never what I end up with. To be fair, my apartment has beige walls with green undertones so my dream of white walls was scrapped a long time ago. But I made due!

I have three furniture pieces that make my day.

  1. Entertainment center that I finally bit the bullet on and painted pink.
  2. DIY hanging clothes rack that my mom made
  3. DIY shelves in my bedroom

All three of these things have one thing in common which is the DIY aspect. If you don’t like something, there is always a hardware store nearby! My entertainment stand came and I was disappointed by how dark it was. The rest of my apartment has light colored furniture and beige walls, so a dark fixture really took away from the vibe. I had a crazy idea to paint it pink. Everyone (and I mean everyone) told me that would be weird. But I couldn’t be happier with it, and I’m pretty sure everyone converted once they saw it! Suckers.

aptshelvesimg_3380The shelves in my room came together (and are still coming together) in such a great way. They took forever to plan out as most DIYs do, but so worth it. Maybe even worth the giant holes in the wall I’ll inevitably have to fill in. I left room to hang prints and posters in between, and have recently made use of that space. I’m still figuring out the top shelf, but it’ll eventually come together.

img_3388 img_3390 img_3394My mom made me a hanging rack for my jackets and dresses because I literally only have one closet in my apartment and it is jam packed. We found a DIY on Pinterest and she did it in an afternoon using copper pipes, a 2×4, and wheels! Love my mother for many reasons, but especially her craftiness. I have dreams of eventually painting the wood on the bottom white, but until then I’m still thrilled with how it looks.

img_3387I feel like my apartment will always be a work in progress, but right now it feels almost complete which is so nice after two years of envisioning things I wanted. Cozy, warm, a tiny bit extravagant (hello, sheepskin rug).

xoxo

Lifestyle

Overwhelmed.

To overwhelm: to bury or drown beneath a huge mass.

This is the first definition when you search overwhelm in google (also it’s completely terrifying). BUT, I think this sums up everyone’s issues in their 20s in one way or another. Us millennials were not properly prepared for this directionless decade of our lives (unless you follow all the rules in which case maybe your 30s will be this way). Lately I have been internally telling myself to not overwhelm. That doesn’t necessarily mean taking on too many tasks or trying too hard. For me it mostly means that I need to not go too deep in thought. Don’t get me wrong, self-introspection is important and needed. But for the most part, if you’re not having a life crisis, it’s really not. What is the point in overwhelming ourselves with hard thoughts? Doesn’t that just make us more stressed and more down? We’re not solving anything because there is nothing immediate to be solved. This brings into play mindfulness, meditation, and living in the moment. All the things that are so trendy to do for the most medicated generation ever.

All of this is easier said than done, of course. But when I feel bad I tend to realize that I’ve just overwhelmed myself with negative thought after negative thought. To help push through this negativity, I have started to picture a hallway in my mind with doors on either side with big labels (i.e. work, relationships, etc) and I like to imagine myself pushing things through the door and gently shutting them. The hallway is quiet and warm, and at the end of it is a big, fluffy bed with a white, plush comforter incase you’re wondering. That’s my happy place. If this sounds cheesy, it’s because it definitely is. Brains are scary organs, and obviously the most complex one that we have. So we need to treat them as such, and remember that there is work to be done there. Some things I’ve read about the brain that have also kind of terrified me lately:

  • Did you know that are brains don’t reach maturity until around age 25?
  • The average brain is believed to generate around 50,000 thoughts per day. Disturbingly, it’s estimated that in most people 70% of these thoughts are negative.
  • Think you’re in control of your life? Think again. 95% of your decisions take place in your subconscious mind.

So, 1) I am just now basically an adult. 2) We have to re-wire our brains for positivity! 3) My subconscious mind has been fucking with me lately.

I have blogged about You are a Badass by Jen Sincero too many times but she delves into our subconscious mind controlling shit in our brains. In the past 6 months I have seen this to be eerily accurate. She believes that while our brains are developing (UNTIL AGE 25) we are developing subconscious beliefs, and that when we’re older those beliefs can come back and haunt us regardless of what our conscious brain believes or tries to make sense of.

No matter what you say you want, if you’ve got an underlying subconscious belief that it’s going to cause you pain or isn’t available to you, you either A) Won’t let yourself have it, or B) You will let yourself have it, but you’ll be rill fucked up about it. And then you’ll go off and lose it anyway. – Jen Sincero

This is what I’ve been thinking on lately. A couple of random brain thoughts for your day. I think some people can relate. Re-wiring our minds for positivity and compassion is the best way to go long-term, but it is definitely a journey to get there. Good luck, fellow millennials. We’re all in this together.

Books

October Books

October was a very successful reading month for me! I am still five books behind on my goodreads challenge (50 books in 2016), but am happy with the choices I made this month. I would like to read a bit more diversely, and I think I’m slowly getting there. I’m not always good at choosing diverse reads, but time to be intentional!img_3368Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

This was the first book I finished in October and it was quite the hefty one. This is a YA fantasy duology that follows six characters through their specific POVs. Led by their criminal mastermind leader, Kaz Brekker, they set out on a mysterious heist that could make them beyond rich. I read the spinoff series to this a few years back and remembered enjoying it, and when this book got hyped up, I couldn’t resist. The characters are relatable and diverse with a nice sense of realism and touches of dark. I like those dark touches. 😉 I gave this one a 4/5 and mostly flew through it!

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

This is the sequel to Six of Crows, so not too much more explaining to do here. This is a duology, which was refreshing. My only issue with this one (and it wasn’t a big one) was that it was a bit too long. Other than that it continued mostly like the first- likable characters, and a lot of action! 4/5 stars. I also read these on my phone, so no photo is included. 🙂

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

I read this over the span of a day, and am kind of obsessed. The best kind of self-help is someone telling you why you are a badass and how to bottle that feeling. In all seriousness, this book was refreshing and made me laugh out loud more than a few times. I felt like she wrote it just for me, and I know I’m not the only whose thought that. I want to go back through slowly and highlight all the important quotes to remember. It’s a quick read, and if you’re looking for some advice/inspiration in the self-help zone, this is a good choice for you! I gave it a 5/5.img_3374Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

This book follows the story of a family living in Seattle. When the mom (Bernadette) goes missing, we follow the family (and numerous other intertwined characters) who explain what happened up to her disappearance, and what comes after, all via electronic and handwritten letters/emails. This is the first book in a while that I gave a 5/5 star rating and feel that I would read it again and again!

“I’m going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it’s boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it’s on you to make life interesting, the better off you’ll be.” – Maria Semple

It was quirky and funny, staying light while also touching on darker subjects like mental health. Bernadette is my weird spirit animal, and I’m all about this book.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

This novel is so good. It delves deeply into the slave trade and British colonization in Ghana, and traces those roots all the way to the effect on the present day. Effia and Esi are sisters (although they have never met) and live very different lives. While Effia is married to a wealthy Englishman and lives in a castle, Esi is below the castle in the dungeons about to be sold into slavery.

“We believe the one who has power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history you must ask yourself, Whose story am I missing?, Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth? Once you have figured that out, you must find that story too. From there you get a clearer, yet still imperfect, picture.” ― Yaa Gyasi

Each chapter of Homegoing is a different point of view following Effia and Esi’ descendants through each generation. Yaa Gyasi writes seamlessly and manages to make you feel connected to each character, even though you’re introduced to them for a short time. Love this. 4.5/5.img_3373For November I’m thinking about reading this, this and FINALLY hoping to read this guy! (Although I kind of just want to read The Infernal Devices trilogy again…)

xoxo