Once upon a time, around the age of 11 to be precise, I thought I was a lyrical genius. Despite not playing an instrument of any kind or the ability to read music, I thought that my mildly good voice and affinity for writing were the essential ingredients to making me a musical sensation. I will not out the friend who supported this unattainable dream that she and I could be the new M2M (yes, I understand that knowing what we know now that was not a very high musical aspiration; but at the time, M2M was pretty freaking cool). I kept our song lyrics in my binder in the hopes that people at my new school would somehow happen to notice and I would be able to humbly explain how cool I was. HA!
This passion for music, although it led to some misguided notions, also led me to be that person who (when she finally got an iPod c. 2009) constantly had head phones in her ears. In college, I would listen to my iPod (RIP) all day long while riding my bicycle to and from class, singing (albeit quietly) “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae and “Bicycle Race” by Queen shamelessly. In public. Totally fine admitting that now.
I used music to get in to character for plays and rehearsals and block out the world. I use music to take me back in time to happy moments of my life like in my carpool where we would sing all the way to school and all the way home. My friend and I would even harmonize and sing duets. There were no musical boundaries. Music takes me back to the heartbreaks where I would listen to one song on repeat over and over again and make it my anthem. To this day, “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles induces feelings of embarrassment at just how heartbroken I was over someone who did not care a lick about me. If you are not familiar with it, “Gravity” is a horribly heart-wrenching, beautiful masterpiece and I highly recommend it.
Because I now work in an office job where I have little to no privacy, but get phone calls fairly frequently so I can’t always be plugged into headphones. I have gotten into a habit of not listening to music, which quite honestly, depresses me a little. Then one day, I’ll turn on Pandora stations and find music I’ve never heard before. Or Brandi Carlisle comes out with the new album, By the Way, I Forgive You that I listen to while getting two fillings at the dentists office. My love resurrects from the pit of silence and all the obsession bubbles up to the surface and asks me how I ever survived silence. This has happened more than once now, so I’m sure it will happen again, but at this moment, I am blissfully enveloped by The Wailin’ Jennys “By Way of Sorrow” on their Pandora station.
Now that I have less time to discover new music, I wonder how you are discovering new artists and music. The radio only seems to play the same 100 songs over and over again and most of them sound the same. What are your anthems? What song has touched your soul?
I feel like most people who write also love to read. This makes sense, because to be good at writing, you really must be a reader. We learn all of our best writing habits from reading without even knowing that we’re doing it. This is how we learn to spell and where to put those annoying commas (just kidding, I love commas; for me it’s really where not to put commas).
What I mean to say is that reading is important and I love reading. However, in the past few years, I haven’t been as much of a reader and that makes me sad. Towards the end of last year and this year I’ve been picking up my reading again. In honor of reading, I wanted to share with you some of my favorites I’ve read recently.
This novel is so inspiring. It is both a family drama and a coming of age tale of a young woman, Li-Yan who grows up in rural China and tries to strike a delicate balance between the the practices of her culture and her hopes to live the life of an educated woman. I learned so much while reading this as I had no previous exposure to the cultural differences between regions of China. I also found the woven story-telling between times and places to be an extremely effective way of building anticipation and exploring different characters. I highly recommend this pull at your heart strings read.
This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
I couldn’t tell you what it is that makes me this way, but for me, there is nothing I love better in a book than something that makes me cry giant crocodile tears. It makes my husband so concerned and he doesn’t quite understand it, and his reaction makes me laugh. So we come full circle?
This Is How It Always Is is a big crocodile tear book about Rosie and Penn and their five boys. However, their youngest is not quite the same as the others and so it begins. Claude becomes someone new, bringing on changes, questions and challenges that seem like all too much for a child. This novel explores the growth of the family and the people around them as they all discover who this child is and how to help on the journey of growing up.
This one is mostly a break from all the tears. So if you aren’t like me, and prefer a book with lots of laughs, this is one for you. I knew I had to read Where’d You Go, Bernadette? when it was described to me that the relationship between mother and daughter greatly resembled that between Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Although the daughter in this situation is quite a bit younger than Rory when we meet her, the dynamic between mother and daughter is one of selfless love, silliness with a touch of dry humor and absolute stubborn will. I enjoyed this book for all the laughs, but I loved this book for the characters and their individual evolution.
That’s all for now! What are you reading? What have you enjoyed? I’d love to hear about it!
- Denim can go to Blue Jeans Go Green. Bonded Logic turns denim into insulation for homes and they, in turn, donate a portion of their products to build homes for those in need for charities such as Habitat For Humanity. You can donate at Madewell or send in your items.
- Cut up t-shirts, ratty towels and sweatshirts into cleaning fabrics. This will allow you to get the most out of the fabric and use fewer paper towels!
2.) Sell anything that is in excellent condition, high quality, or high-end label to a thrift store or online.
- Salvation Army
- Father Joe’s Village
- San Diego Rescue Mission
- Women’s shelters
- Animal shelters (they need towels and blankets the most, but sometimes have thrift stores of their own)
Summer in San Diego is one of my favorite seasons. While it’s perfect year round (yes, we’re spoiled), summer is when people sit out on their patios, have barbecues and soak up the delicious sunshine. Growing up and living in San Diego, I am a verifiable sunshine addict and I always loved that last weekend of summer: Labor Day. In honor of this joyous end to the season, here are some of my favorite tips for soaking in that vitamin D.
- Get outside and into the water! Find something new ! I am a personal fan of sitting by the pool, kayaking and paddle boarding.
- Protect your hair! Too much sun can turn your hair dry and brittle and damage the color. Wear a hat and/or use a leave in conditioner with UV protection. Here are some of my favorite picks:
- Floppy straw hat from Amour Vert
- Patagonia trucker hat
- A hair spray from Aveda to protect your gorgeous locks : Protects your hair from damaging UV rays
- 3-in-1 Leave in Conditioner from Sun Bum: Protects your hair from damage like split ends and keeps it smooth in spite of the salt and chlorine
- Slather on that SPF! Going back to school or work is a lot less fun if you’ve been burned. My favorite sunscreen this summer is another pick from Sun Bum, their Original 30 SPF Lotion.I used it while I was in Arizona and I can honestly tell you, I have never found a better sunscreen. It’s my favorite because it doesn’t feel like sunscreen, but like a lotion. None of the oily mess I’ve experienced with so many alternatives! Plus this one is BPA & paraben free, vegan, and Made in the USA.
- Sunglasses- I haven’t always been good about this one, but as I’ve gotten older, my eyes have gotten more and more sensitive and I find myself buying more sunglasses. Try this pair from Maven in San Diego.
Love that sun and embrace your Labor Day Weekend, but make sure to take breaks from the heat! No matter how you protect yourself, too much sun can be damaging!
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One of my favorite things to do is try a new restaurant and I am so lucky to live in San Diego where there’s always a new, surprising local restaurant for me to experience.