One To Nothin'

Fun things!


Wow, so that last post was a bit a downer, am I right? Let's talk about some fun things today! It's my birthweek and I'm going camping/tubing down the river this weekend to celebrate. I'm SO excited to spend time outdoors, in the water, and without screens. But if you're looking for some entertainment, here are some of the things I've been buying, listening to, watching, reading, etc. 


  • Over 80 amazing artists, one incredible coloring book, all because Families Belong Together 
  • This man INVENTED a surgery that cured his chronic illness.
  • New-agey, funny, raunchy, sometimes totally over the top, but I can't get enough of this podcast (I'm even weirdly into most of the sponsor plugs).
  • And speaking of podcasts, this story about cases that have been turned around through the power of crowd-sourcing was fascinating to me (I was a late-convert to Serial, but I'm veryyyy invested now).
  • I'm obsessed with Lizzo and Tiny Desk Concerts, so this is perfection.
  • The other day we bought lactose-free vanilla ice cream and fancy root beer. When was the last time YOU had a root beer float just for funsies? Now I just need these for next time.
  • I bought this five-minute journal a while back, but I think it's time to make it a habit .
  • Just started using Rent The Runway because #weddingszn but I'm loving it so far! 
  • If you haven't been following along with the Gloria Sparks music videos by The Lumineers, you're missing out. It's not cheerful, but I think they're some of the most innovative music videos out there right now (ICYMI I'm 100% obsessed with the ways their last album's music videos overlapped with each other too) 
  • Congrats to Lil Nas! This makes me so happy.
  • Just finished the newest season of Stranger Things(!!!) after rewatching the first two seasons for J's benefit, but it was helpful to remember what all went down. So if you haven't stolen someone else's Netflix login yet, what are you waiting for?
  • And on the Amazon Prime front, FLEABAG! Gah. I've cried in almost every episode (you probably won't, I cry a lot), but it's hilarious and heart breaking and I only just finished season one. Excited to start season 2. 
  • Then just to round it out on the HBO side of things: who else finished Big Little Lies Season 2 already? Let's discuss. Finally, if you don't watch Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, you're doing life wrong (he plays Zazu's voice in the new Lion King and crushes it). 
  • This incredible lady draws oh-so-relatable-emotional illustrations and this guy makes music, is hilarious, and just finished 500 drawings in 500 days.
  • I was recently gifted this crazy (dirty-looking) facial tool at work and I'm VERY excited to try it out.
  • I'm currently reading Educated by Tara Westover. I'm so intrigued and infuriated at the same time. 
  • OBSESSED with this sunscreen (and I attended a talk with the founder a few weeks ago—she's making sure elementary school classrooms are stocked with Supergoop SPF to keep kiddos' skin safe at recess, aka I love the entire brand).
  • Favorite purchase for summer so far.
What fun things have you been enjoying lately? 
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How do you deal with anxiety?


Anxiety.

The other day I was talking with my friend (who has been dealing with myriad health problems and has been through a lot in the past couple years) about anxiety. I started to tell her about it, but not before prefacing with, "I know it's a buzz-word lately, but..." to which she stopped me immediately and asked what I meant by that. She's good like that. 

I think what I meant was there's a huge different between having an anxiety disorder and feeling anxious sometimes, and I know the two can go hand-in-hand, but when it's mental health month and suddenly every influencer known to man finally feels brave enough to say they struggle with anxiety, well, it makes me hesitant. That being said, there's a huge difference between getting anaphylactic shock from dairy and being lactose intolerant, but that doesn't stop me from whining when my stomach explodes from accidental cheese consumption...

...I digress. 

As a person who only used to really understand anxiety in the context of "social anxiety," it's new, it's weird, I hate it, and I'm not sure how to handle it. Maybe it's finally having a name for the feeling, maybe it's staring at my phone all the time, maybe it's growing up, or maybe it's because I've been through a lot of shit lately, but whatever the reason, it's quite disruptive.

Here are some of the normal-not-new-things that have sent me into full-on fight or flight mode lately:
  • A water bottle top popping off on a train ride
  • A man yelling BEAUTIFUL WOMAN at me while I was on a run
  • Something sparking on the train track (I thought it was a bomb)
  • Someone jiggling my door handle (it was my roommate)
  • A fire alarm at work
  • Driving pretty much anywhere that has traffic
  • Having two periods a month for, like, eight months
  • Reading the news
Here are some shitty things that are not so normal that also sent me to a dark place:
  • Nia Wilson was stabbed to death at my train stop one year ago
  • Someone trying to steal my car (bled on my seat, still has the spare key, smashed the window)
  • Someone who rented my car on Getaround smoking INSIDE my car and denting it in several places
  • My dentist knocking my crown off at a routine cleaning
  • Being told I had to get a root canal because of said knocking out of my tooth
  • Spending approximately every other week at the dentist for about three months straight
  • Realizing it was Mike's 30th birthday and I couldn't call him
  • Reading the news
Sooo yea, that combined with days where I want to cry (and often do) uncontrollably, have no energy or will to clean my room even though looking at the mess makes me want to cry more, neglecting exercise for MANY months, etc. etc... 

Cue obsessive problem-solving in the face of an issue. In the past I've dealt with a loss of control by taking control of something, no matter how small, like doing a cleanse, training for a marathon, redoing my bedroom, or focusing on self-care even when it meant dropping $80 a month on mani/pedis (I've always said that self awareness is sexy...), but no amount of manicures helped and I'd inevitably end up binge drinking and blowing money on overpriced dinners any time a coworker would ask. That's not to say I don't still find myself doing that from time to time, but I've been trying other things. 

One, I did a workout challenge in June. This was admittedly mostly because of weight gained during the aforementioned binge drinking and eating of my feelings and the fact that I was about to be on a boat in a bikini with all my best friends from college who also happen to look like supermodels... but it resulted in much more than more confidence in photos. I remembered how important exercise has been to me ever since I was 14, and looking back it probably saved me from falling into a deep, dark hole on a lot of occasions. In fact, the other thing that's kept me sane over the years has been writing. First a journal that I kept religiously and then this blog. I exercised and wrote this blog less in the past year than ever before. They may seem like small things, but I think they added up to much more than I realized.

Two, I started looking for help. I did a therapy consultation to get matched up with my soul-therapist, which was fantastic until I realized it would cost $200 a session, so I went back to the drawing board. I called about 10 different offices in my insurance network and the first person who was actually taking patients stood me up on our first session. Not off to a great start, but it fully got worse. She was ancient, she was judgy, and she couldn't hear me because her hearing aid was dying... I didn't go back. I certainly haven't given up on talk therapy, but the whole experience was extremely overwhelming and I'm still trying to find the answer.

Three, I started acupuncture, regular yoga practice (which includes a lot of intention setting and meditation), and having open, honest conversations with friends about things like anxiety, overwhelm, depression, financial stresses, etc. It's been incredible to see how many people are going through the exact same shit, but are too afraid to bring it up. Finally, I'm more open than ever to podcasts, blog posts, articles, and new-agey stuff that could possibly offer some sense of relief or camaraderie. If you have any suggestions, please send them to me.

It's a work in progress. 

Some days I worry that I'm making the wrong face for the conversation I'm having, panic when someone slams a door, snap at the people around me, and lacerate myself for being ungrateful when I have so much. 

But some days I feel really good and whole and grateful. When I do, I try to think of what all I did leading up to that day and how to recreate it. Lately it's looked like cutting down on alcohol, eating vegetables, working out, and spending time with the people I love. 

And now, I'm adding this whole journaling thing back into the equation. Here's to hoping it helps. 

Have you struggled with anxiety? Let's chat. We're in this together.
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#OTNTravels First Half of 2019


FRIENDS! We're already halfway through 2019, and I'm less than a month from turning 30! Both of these facts are blowing my damn mind. Y'all don't even know how many blog posts I've started and not finished in the past six months (and beyond). There are so many NOT fun things that have happened and topics that I want to cover eventually, but right now I think the easiest (and most fun) thing to do is recap the #OTNTravels I've done so far. So let's just take a little trip down memory lane (since we all know I don't blog in real time anymore). 
JANUARY
After spending Christmas in Florida, I drove up near Tahoe to spend New Year's Eve in a friend's cabin with a whole crew of amazing people. We hiked, told ghost stories, took turns cooking (when no open restaurants were to be found), wore capes, and counted down to 2019 under the stars. It was magical.
FEBRUARY
My friend was about to move to Austin, TX and since she's already made the CA-to-TX drive several times, I volunteered to drive her car across the country for her because road trips are kind of my thing. Jason (oh hey, that's my boyfriend ICYMI) and I used it as an opportunity to drive through all our dream destinations. We went from Joshua Tree, CA to Arizona to New Mexico to Texas to Louisiana where we met up with my family. This road trip deserves its own post, but unclear whether that will ever happen, so here's a one-second-at-a-time video of the trip from start to finish (not shown, but it started with a flat tire and several dead car batteries)

MARCH
One of my best (and most extra) friends from work turned 30 and consequently rented a MANSION in Palm Springs for his birthday. It was one of the most amazing, craziest, drag queeniest weekends of my life. I loved every minute of it. 

APRIL
Jason's birthday was in April and to celebrate we went camping in Yosemite where the rainbows were OUT OF CONTROL (and his last name just so happens to be Rainbow, so you can imagine how much fun I had writing Instagram captions). We ate s'mores, took Ziggy on trails she wasn't supposed to be on, prayed we wouldn't be eaten by wild animals in the middle of the night, and practically swam through rainbows on every hike. 

ALL THE NAPA TRIPS
My roommate, boo, and I all bought Cellar Passes where you get free tastings at select wineries all over Napa for six months. There were about 30 different wineries to choose from, and since Elizabeth is practically a sommelier, she organized an itinerary for us approximately once a month. It was SUCH a win. We probably got about 10x our money's worth with all our fancy AF trips. I highly recommend the wine passport for anyone who's local (or even if you're just visiting and plan on doing more than three tastings).
MAY
For Memorial Day I flew to Florida to spend the long weekend in St. Augustine with my sister and her friends. We played in the (WARM!) ocean, did late-night-drunken yoga, found alligators, explored historic downtown St. Augustine, and even hung out in Silver Springs with my parents. It was so much fun, but I honestly cried on the plane ride home because the trip was too short and I miss those crazies ALL THE TIME. 

I finally stayed put in June (and focused on working out every single day), and I just got back from Maryland for my little's bachelorette party (we captured so much epic content that I'd like to dedicate a whole post to it. Hold me to it?) But I'm happy to report that the second half of 2019 is going to include international trips(!!!) and some of my favorite people in the world's weddings. The best is yet to come.

Where have you travelled to so far in 2019? 
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Let's talk about books, baby

Dudes, I'm obsessed with Goodreads. I ask questions about books on there, I update my progress, I set goals, I find books to read, I get stoked when I can switch a book from "currently reading" to "finished." It's the most underrated social network IMO. The one thing I don't do is leave detailed reviews. It's never been my thing, but I do like talking about books sooo I'm going to stick to my noncommittal, 5-second review technique on this roundup of books I've consumed since the last time I did this (it's been a while—check out my old book posts here, here, here, here). And if you wanna discuss any of them specifically, let me know in the comments. I still have a LOT of unanswered questions on a few of them.

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie -- I hadn't read the story this one was based off of, but it won the women's prize for fiction in 2018, so I gave it a read. It started out kind of confusing and convoluted, but things started to come together and I couldn't put it down until I was done and then I couldn't stop thinking about it. It's about an immigrant family and it's not a happy story. LMK if you read it. Would still very much like to talk through this one with somebody. 

Becoming by Michelle Obama -- God, I miss the Obamas. I was captivated, inspired, nostalgic and mesmerized by her soothing, maternal voice narrating the audiobook. 

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones -- NO. Just no. Do not recommend. Except I do because I want someone else to read it so we can discuss all the GD plot holes in it. WHY IS NO ONE ELSE OUTRAGED ABOUT THIS? The Reese Witherspoon book club really let me down with this one.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur -- This extremely popular book of poems has been all over Instagram forever, but I finally read it on a plane and welled up many times. It's deep, beautiful, graphic, all the feels.

Sober Curious by Ruby Warrington -- If you've ever wondered how much is too much booze (idk about you, but for me it's a huge part of work events, friend outings, celebrations, and even taking the edge off when I'm reaaal down) this is an interesting take on being sober without BEING sober. 

The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman -- Meh. I listened on audiobook and kept dazing off. I finished it, but I think I only absorbed like 70% of it. 

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens -- I loved everything about this book, from the descriptions of the swamp to the untamed spirit of the main character to the mystery to the love story. 

One Day in December by Josie Silver -- lol. I read this over Christmas break and even though it's extremely cheesy and cliche and ripped right out of the plot of Love Actually, it was v enjoyable and still gave me feels at the end.

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum -- This was the cutest. I'm a sucker for High School stories. Makes me nostalgic, and this one was quite well done and pretty light hearted (which is necessary sometimes, man). 

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter -- Blah. I think this one had a lot of potential but the author was just too afraid to actually make anything happen. I was super drawn in at first (I love when there's a bit of magic wound into an otherwise regular-degular story) but I was let down over and over again. 

Let's Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson -- I used to read and look up to The Bloggess so much back in the early days of blogging, so it was really fun to finally get to this one. Jenny reads the audiobook and she's a mess in the best way possible (I really love when people come from quirky families, I can't imagine why).

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han -- I mean we all loved the first one, right? This one's equally cute. If you haven't watched "To All The Boys I Loved Before" on Netflix, get on it. 

Egomaniac by Vi Keeland -- On a very different, filthy note... I signed up for the Audible romance package? I have no idea. Anyway, that's where this one came from and it's not a good story by any means, but if you're just trying to get steamy, do it. 

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid -- Basically the rom-com version of The Butterfly Effect. Meh. 

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn -- Was I the last person to read this? There's a show for it now and I couldn't get through the first episode. This book is dark (sometimes unnecessarily so) but such a captivating mystery. My only complaint is how EVERYTHING is revealed in the last few pages. Seems like she was just over it and wanted to be done.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng -- It took me a long time to remember what this book was about. I feel like that's a bad sign. 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas -- This one broke my heart over and over again. I had to take several breaks while reading it. It's really well written in an easy-to-understand, high school level but so important, especially for people who have never experienced and may not understand police brutality.

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman -- I have questions about this one. I was definitely intrigued and wanted to solve the mystery, but it all just seemed so unprobable. And I didn't really like any of the characters... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Wife Between Us by Greer Henkricks -- which is a pen-name because two women wrote this book together and it shows. I have many questions on this one as well, but like they probably do too? 

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate -- This is a novel diving into the corruption in high profile adoption agencies that *actually* happened. It made me so angry, but I also loved the story. Highly recommend.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls -- Also highly recommend this one. I had no idea it was a true story until the end because it's SO INSANE. I was thoroughly entertained (and as usual a bit heartbroken) throughout. You just have to read it. 

How Not to Die by Michael Greger -- Apparently eating animals is killing us? Idk, I was into it enough to try being vegan for a couple weeks and my stomach was SO pissed off. Still interesting to read and learn about all the case studies where many diseases have literally been cured with plants. If nothing else it encouraged me to eat A LOT more veggies.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcom Gladwell -- Very interesting and upsetting. This is a true neuroscience/psychology book that gives insight into everything from facial expressions that give you away to tunnel vision that results in shooting an innocent person many times. 

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover -- I was entertained and heartbroken. This one definitely left that ughhhh why though? feeling.

I think that about sums it up. I'm now reading Middlesex on paperback (which I've been trying to finish for like five years) and Nine Perfect Strangers on audiobook. BTW I started using Scribd and put my Audible subscription on hold. So far so good. I definitely recommend it if you plow through audiobooks and find yourself wishing you had more than one per month (and it's cheaper than Audible somehow, you just don't get to keep the audiobooks once you cancel, but I'm not one to listen to the same book twice so it's not an issue for me). 

What have you been reading? Do you have recommendations? Can we discuss any of the above? TALK BOOKS W ME PLZ.
 I'm reaaaally not OK with The Other Woman...
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What a year

My 2018 beginning in March, as shown in 1-2 seconds per day

It occurred to me that aside from the travel journal accrued during my solo trip to Vietnam, there weren't all that many personal posts in 2018 or 2017 for that matter. I took on a few sponsored posts here and there because I wanted something to keep me blogging when it felt like the last thing I wanted to do. I enjoyed them, but a lot of life stuff happened in between them and reflection has always kinda been my thing. So here goes.  

I got promoted.

I mourned a relationship I knew I shouldn't have been in to begin with.

I travelled to Asia for the first time on my scariest, coolest, most self-discovery-est solo trip yet.

I wrote a lot of copy and a little bit of my novel.

I started my online dating journey with an amazing first date and promptly friend-zoned him after the second.

I rang in 2018 with some of my closest friends in NYC.

I became really close with my new-at-the-time roommates.

I stoked an old flame and felt the familiar burn I often confuse with warmth. 

I found some of my closest friends who also happen to be my coworkers.

I drank a lot of fancy wine in Napa.

I read my journal I hadn't touched in four years and saw the same names I still heard myself speaking on a regular basis. 

I decided to write a new story and finally let go.

I went on a bunch of terrible dates and a couple good ones that ended in ways that made me question my judgement (and society). Then a bunch more bad ones. 

I started to doubt every relationship decision I'd ever made.


I learned that someone opened fire at my old high school where my nephews are students (no one was killed, thank god).

I travelled all over the US—New York, Vegas, Utah, Colorado, San Diego, Seattle, but my favorite was when I surprised my parents in Florida for Mothers Day (watch the full video here—skip to 3:40 for the reactions).

I read 30 books.

I reached out to that one amazing first date and we went on a second amazing first date. I've lost track of which date we're on now.

I voted.

I saw a ton of concerts.

I helped launch a brand-new program at work and flew to LA basically every two weeks. 

I found out one of my best friends passed away on one of those LA trips and learned what grieving in an Uber, airport, and airplane feels like. 

I missed meetings, had a panic attack in a bathroom, abused alcohol (a lot), and realized how lucky I am to have the support system I have here.

I watched friends get engaged, married, and pregnant. I cheered them on as they bought homes, got promotions, acceptance letters, and grants. As they survived breakups, mourned losses, and started over. 

I remembered how fun it is to be on my own. I remembered how fun it is to fall in love.

I learned so much, including how much I have left to learn, and I'm excited/kind of terrified to see what 2019 has up its sleeve. 

Happy 2019, friends.
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