1. a stop in LA
For MLK weekend, we (as in, my family) made the 7ish hour drive down to Los Angeles. In a recurring theme in my life, I forgot my camera, so here are some iPhone photos from the trip!
Our first stop was the Natural History Museum, which my brother picked out. I think it’s the largest natural history museum in the Western US, so there’s that? In any case, lots of bones and lots of shiny stones.
They had an exhibit on Egyptian and Peruvian mummies going on at the time – I didn’t even know Peru had mummies – and there was this creepy-cool glass box at the exit. They probably meant it in a scientific/technology way, but I spent a while thinking about ghosts and spirits and signs from the other side, and ended up giving myself goosebumps.
PSA: if you’re a fan of American Apparel’s clothes and if you’re a fan of cheaper prices, then stop by the AA factory flea market store. It’s this huge warehouse filled with the classic disco pants and high waisted denim, all at less-than-full-price. I scored this pullover, which usually goes for $38, for $15 (!!).
A few blocks away from Venice Beach are the Venice Canals, which are gorgeous, especially on a clear blue-skied day. Basically of equal noteworthiness are the houses on each side, which probably cost more than me, a real human being. There are cute fairytale-like gardens, lifestyle blogger-worthy succulent arrangements, modern/minimal glass cubes – enough to have anyone making heart eyes the whole walk through.
2. reading list
Kara Benz’s planning routine; If anyone knows anything about me, it is that I am a horrible planner who loves planning. I’m constantly looking for ways to streamline my life and fit everything into neat little checklists, so I love peeking into Kara’s organized as hell life. It’s a glimpse of an existence that’s married organization and is forever in the honeymoon stage, and I LOVE IT.
What Goes Through Your Mind: On Nice Parties and Casual Racism; Probably every iteration of this month in review series will have a piece on POC, or women, or queer people, or some other maligned group, and I guess we’ll all have to just resign ourselves to that. This piece, by Nicole Chung, perfectly outlines the (sort of ridiculous) dilemma we all go through when given the choice to laugh something off or call someone out. It doesn’t really offer a solution to the problem, but I guess I just enjoy the reinforcement of my own thoughts in a more articulate manner.
Lace up ballet flats; This isn’t so much a ‘read’ as a ‘casual look/glance’, but I’ve kept this tab open for about three days, so I think it merits a mention here. I’m quite late to this trend, as when they first appeared on the scene I didn’t really spare them a second thought, but now – oh my god. What is it about a pair of flats with a bit of string looped in various places that gets me so atwitter? What is it, I demand?!
3. new in: wardrobe
This month it felt like I acquired a lot of new things, but that was probably just because I returned home and had my whole wardrobe waiting for me. Some sweet shoes I ordered while in China were also waiting for me, though, and I also thrifted another pair a couple days ago!
4. new in: elsewhere
A big thing I acquired this past month, though – this car! It’s not actually mine; it belongs to my cousin, and she’s very generously lending it to me while she’s in China. It’s a Fiat 500, bright yellow, and I have named it Kevin. Not much else to say about this one, because I think the world is unanimous in that cars just make life easier.
Another not-so-big thing I acquired this past month – a beautyblender! It’s part of my quest to learn how to makeup and skincare, and so far, I think I’m doing alright? I’m not sure I’m using it correctly, and I’m definitely not sure I’m cleaning it correctly, but the results of my face makeup aren’t too awful. I’ll keep you updated on this quest.
5. a parting thought re: thriving in 2016
Ever since I watched an Ingrid Nilsen YouTube video where she mentioned the difference between thriving and living, and how important that is to her, I’ve been thinking about it, too. The idea of thriving is a little bit of a foreign concept to me, because for a long time, living was a pretty lofty goal in and of itself (#depressionsubtweet). So, striving to thrive this year will be my Top Priority (capital letters included). I want to look back on 2016 with a sort of triumphant panting, like when you’re at the top of a hike and are hunched over getting your breath back, or maybe something more poetic and less sweaty than that.