Favorites

Fall Favorites 2014

Isn’t it gross that winter isn’t technically here yet? I love fall though. I really love the gross weather–it’s so cozy and there’s no pressure to go outside or to be active. Recounting my weekend events as sitting in front of the TV or “doing nothing” is suitable and acceptable. Here are some of the things I’ve been loving recently.

San Francisco. Holy crap guys, San Fran is cool. It made such a great impression on me even though I had only three days to experience it’s greatness. I would’ve had four but United cancelled my flight. I was so livid that day, I cannot even express it in words. But yeah, I went to Alcatraz on Halloween, cycled over the Golden Gate Bridge and visited Sausalito, walked around Chinatown, enlarged my calf muscles by hiking up to Lombard Street, and giggled at barking sea lions on the pier. It was all just too much.tumblr_m6bfftJchs1qi9nyro1_500

Jo Malone Perfume. Like, just stop it with these luxurious scents, Jo. I used to think they were overrated, but I recently decided to take the plunge and I’m oh so happy I did. I walked away with a bottle of English Pear and Freesia along with some sweet sample of Peony and Blush Suede. Heaven.8012594_fpx

 Tattly Temporary Tattoos. If you’re like me and can’t commit to inking your skin, but still have respect for those who do, these might interest you. They have fun, silly designs that truly only work in a temporary sense. The one I’m sporting now looks so real that it fooled a coworker.tattly_fiona_richards_cartolina_blooms_web_design_01_grande

Songza. For those of you unaware, Canadians are too poor and gross to receive Pandora stations so, in turn, Songza is our replacement. It’s pretty decent though. And by pretty decent, I mean that it has a station called Echoes of Fleetwood Mac that I cannot stop jamming to.image

Daddy-O Violet Shampoo. Thanks to Lush, my locks have returned to their golden splendor. I’m totally scared of violet shampoo because it can actually turn your hair violet if you leave it in for too long. However, the Lush employee gave me a huge sample of it and violet hair is kind of in right now, so it was kind of a win/win sitch. And I feel like it actually got some of the brass out of my highlights and lightened them up. 110-Daddy-O-resized

What have been some of your favorite things this season?

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poems

Untitled

She bit her nails down to the quick.

They looked like they hurt a helluva lot though she never winced.

“Get your fingers out of your mouth,” people would say.

I saw her roll her eyes

the way smokers do when told they’ll die.

She said the water stung when she dipped her hands into the sea.

“Like putting salt in a wound,” I muttered.

“Yes.” She said, “Exactly.”tumblr_n0r5e7S3LY1rqbmmzo1_500

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Books

Lily’s Literature #18

I am now ashamed at the rate I read books. I used to cruise through novels (well, compared to people who don’t read at all) and now I hardly have time to read a chapter a day. The struggle is real.

I picked up the book Where’d You Go, Bernadette? a while ago simply based on the cover. This decision-making tactic is usually followed by regret and remorse. This time, however, I was pleasantly surprised.

The author, Maria Semple, tells Bernadette’s story through both Bernadette herself, and her daughter, Bee. Bernadette is a washed up architectural genius of sorts that has given up her passion and dream to living in a stuffy Seattle suburb with her Microsoft CEO of a husband. Because Bee excelled in school, her parents promised her that she could choose any reward she wanted. In turn, Bee decided a trip to Antarctica was a suitable present. That’s when the drama starts to erupt from Bernadette’s life and begins to spill onto those around her.41HGJKFdW3L

To be honest, the book was slightly cheesy. It’s one of those books like, The Rosie Project (Graeme Simsion) or Me Before You (Jojo Moyes) that will definitely make a great chick flick. I really loved the character development and back stories but I didn’t really like the characters themselves.

After that I picked up The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. I wanted to give this one a try because I really liked reading The Maltese Falcon in high school. But I also wanted to give this one a try because it was only $5.

The story follows old-school detective Phillip Marlowe into a troublesome case involving a dying millionaire and his two cheeky daughters who have been blackmailed. Marlowe finds himself in a tangled web of liars, cheats, and addicts all trying to get the upper hand.2052

That’s probably the worst, most vague description, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t remember much of what I read. I was confused for the majority of the book. I don’t know why, but I had trouble following the characters and keeping track of who was who and what they all did. It’s not a very big book, but I still managed to get lost. I should probably just watch the movie.

After those two less than spectacular books, I’m happy to say that I picked up a good one. Well, my friend picked it out for me. That’s the beauty of book clubs, my friends.

The book City of Thieves by David Benioff (who has a really cute author photo, btw) is a story told about David’s grandfather during the German occupation in Leningrad. The somewhat short book takes the reader on an exciting journey through Russia during a horrifying time. Yet it also has the upbeat and often funny outlook that teenage boys tend to have. At the time, Benioff’s grandfather, Lev, was only 17. Through some very odd events Lev was paired up with the unlikely companion of an army deserter and forced to go on a daunting task in order to save his life.81i8JgTuWUL

A couple chapters in I was very unsure about how I liked the story. There were a lot of Russian names and events that kept flying over my head that I couldn’t keep straight. However, once I really delved in, I thoroughly enjoyed it. A fast, sweet, and rewarding read. It also teaches you something about the war as well. Always a bonus.

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TV

Neflix Fix

Hey gals and ghouls. What’s new? What’s the haps? Okay I’m done. I’ll tell you what’s new with me. We cancelled our cable subscription! You’re probably wondering how I’m functioning. That’s so sweet of you to worry about my well-being. I’m doing just fine actually. Cable is one of those things that you don’t miss once it’s gone. Good riddance, sayonara, adieu.

The reason for our extreme decision was that we were spending an unhealthy amount of time positioned in front of our tube, not talking to each other, playing on ipads, and melting our brains. We were like a zombiefied married couple. So we nixed the cable.

We have replaced our TV watching with Netflix (baby steps…), reading, and socializing. However, the cable cancellation has coincided perfectly with my unemployment. In turn, I have nurtured my relationship with Netflix to an unhealthy level. How fun it is to press a button and have hundreds of episodes waiting to be marathoned. C grade movies whispering sweet nothings in my ear, promising entertainment and tickling my guilty pleasure fantasies. tumblr_nb6zw3lCGT1tvaq8go1_1280

Some of the shows I’ve been into lately are:

Kenny Vs. Spenny-Unabashed, silly, and often times cringe-y. This odd couple has won me over tenfold.

Archer- Adult cartoons aren’t for everyone, but Archer is hard to resist. Witty and light–a fun take on the world of secret agents.

The Mindy Project- Definitely a show for all the thoroughly modern gals out there. Mindy Kaling’s character is relatable and definitely puts you in a good mood.

Orange is the New Black (OITNB)- If you like lots of realistic lesbian scenes, this show is right up your alley. Whenever life hands you lemons, you should watch this show and realize that life actually isn’t that bad after all. You could be in prison.

Friday Night Lights- Teenage angst and high school drama. Oh, and add a dash of football and a whole lot of countrified culture.

What have you been watching lately? Any shows I should start watching?

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Feelings, Surroundings

La Lune

I see the moon and the moon sees me and the moon sees somebody I want to see.

Lately I’ve become entranced with the moon. I love how it lights up the night and how it morphs into different shapes yet still remains the same. Waxing and waning. Crescent and gibbous. The sun is always the same. It gives us light, life, and even energy. The moon is different though. It doesn’t require attention. It’s just there. Sometimes it comes out even when it’s not supposed to. Have you ever looked up on a clear day and seen the moon faintly making an appearance? Like it’s always watching over us.tumblr_ncab6dKwep1ssdfcyo1_500

The moon kind of reminds me of the Underworld in Greek mythology. Everyone thinks of Hades and the Underworld as evil or interchangeable with hell. But I don’t really think that was the case. The Underworld was simply where people went when they died. Everyone went there. No exclusions. It wasn’t a bad place at all. But since the myth was painted with a dark undertone, people translate it as a dark place. Because the sun is always associated with light and good it makes sense that the moon would be paired with darkness and even a wicked vibe. But I think the moon gets a bad rap sometimes.

Even though our moon can’t make flowers grow or supply us with a source of vitamins, it has other, equally impressive powers. For example, old Luna can control the ocean’s tide. Whenever I spend a week at the beach with my mom she always asks the life guard what time high tide is. It’s different every day because the moon goes through a different phase each day. tumblr_mgbgjq5cVg1rtuzomo1_400

The moon can also control our personality. The word lunatic gets it’s root from our nightlight. My parents both used to work in a mental health facility and they said that anytime the patients started acting a little bit over the top, they would look out the window and see a full moon staring back at them.

We can even walk on the moon if our heart so desires. And if you have millions of dollars combined with the permission of NASA. For those of us without those means, we can just moon walk down the aisles of the grocery store (the best place to practice). The sun never provides us with dance moves or a place to travel.

Have you ever read the book Goodnight Moon? It’s not a very challenging read, but it’s a classic. The little boy I used to babysit liked to read that one with me. I think the moon is a comfort. It’s always there to tuck us in at night. And everyone sees the same moon. No one really says that about the sun. You can’t look straight into the sun. But the moon will just calmly hang in the sky.tumblr_ncf0rhZP4r1s5u2cno1_500

There was a rare ‘blood moon’ eclipse the other night. Did you see it? 

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Music

Girl Crush of the Week: First Aid Kit

I know the stars have aligned when my new fave musical artist also happens to be my new girl crush. It’s like the world wants to make life easy for me and bundles all of my interests into one. Thanks world.

So um First Aid Kit. I’m pretty sure I first heard their musical styling on Sirius XMU’s channel. In a sense, XMU is like the university station equivalent for satellite radio. They play all the songs and bands you’ve never heard of mixed in with songs and bands no one had heard of five years ago that people still aren’t totally familiar with. It’s pretty good.

Anyway, First Aid Kit at first listen sounds like a folksy band that originated somewhere over the rainbow (but probably Montana?) with their twangy, yet semi-familiar chords that will keep you asking for more. But once you delve deeper, you’ll realize that these melodic voices belong to Swedish sisters, Johanna and Klara Soderberg (mentally insert umlaut over the ‘o’ in Soderberg if you will).first-aid-kit-band

The duo graces us with beautifully crafted lyrics paired with references that fit their indie-folk sound: “I’ll be your Emmylou and I’ll be your June if you’ll be my Graham and my Johnny too/No I’m not asking much of you, just sing little darlin’ sing with me.”

I’m not much of a country girl at all, but for some reason their tunes speak to my soul. It’s a refreshing old-school take on Americana. They have perfectly studied country accents which makes me think they have a thing for 50’s country music. That’s cool because I have a thing for babes from Sweden who can sing.

Two of my favorite First Aid Kit songs are “Emmylou” and “Silver Lining“. Click to listen.

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Books

Lily’s Literature #17

It’s been a while. I’ve been trying to get my reading in despite life’s little distractions. Good distractions, but still. I’ve set a higher reading goal for myself this year compared to last year’s goal of 25 books by the end of the year. This year I was aiming for 30, but I’m only at 19 so far. I say “only” because last year I read 31. But last year I also had no job, no money, and you guessed it, no life. But now I have all of those things but not as many books read. Why am I still talking about this? Moving on…

So I finally read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Despite the thinness of the novel, it took me 5ever (longer than 4ever) to finish it. At first I was really immersed in the book. The writing is beautiful. Actually, that’s an understatement. The writing is some of the best I’ve read. The characters are well-developed and smart. Nabokov’s writing makes you feel witty and perfectly educated. lolita

His character Humbert Humbert is so likable and charismatic that you don’t really mind his thoughts about a 14 year old girl until you actually step back from the book and think about it. And then you realize that Humbert’s thinking is so realistic that only a child-obsessed brain could write these words and perfectly pin-point these observations. Kind of gross.

I was quite bored during a lot of the story. It started out strong for me and then quickly went downhill. I trudged through it and I’m glad to say that I did. Would I read Lolita again? No. Do I appreciate the story for what it is? Sure.

After that I read A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. This book is very original and was definitely a breath of fresh air for me. The story is split between two juxtaposing lives. One being, Nao, a suicidal girl who lives in Japan and wrote a diary explaining her sad and sorry life circumstances. The other, Ruth, a married woman living on one of the small islands surrounding Vancouver. She finds Nao’s journal washed up on shore and becomes engulfed in the girl’s tale.15811545

I have to give extreme props for originality with this one. I really liked the two settings. I learned a lot about ancient and modern Japanese culture yet I could relate to the depictions of Pacific Northwest island life. It was a cool mix that ended up working well. However, I did feel like there were some lulls in the story, but I remained interested because it felt very real.

And most recently I finished another Gillian Flynn book, Dark Places. This one was perhaps my least favorite of Flynn’s three novels. It just seemed kind of rushed and messy. Don’t get me wrong, it made sense, but I just didn’t connect with any of the characters or feel invested in what was going on. It was still an exciting read, but I liked Gone Girl and Sharp Objects slightly better.dark-places-cover-w352

In Dark Places, we meet Libby Day, a survivor of the brutal murders of her mother and two sisters one night in their family home. Her brother, Ben, has been locked away for 25 years accused as the murderer. Libby gathers new information about her family’s untimely deaths and learns that Ben may not be the one who killed her mother and sisters after all.

In all of her books, Flynn tries to throw the audience for a loop in a betcha-didn’t-see-that-one-comin’ kind of way. There is definitely a good element of surprise, a lot of suspicious characters, and a few red herrings, that keep the reader guessing. It’s a fun, easy read to take your mind off of the normalcy of every day life.

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