Summer Time

Milly_for_Kohls_capri_tank

My summer festival outfit (note my hair flattened by sweat): Milly for Kohl’s tank | Rkitekt necklace | secondhand Coach bag | Marc by Marc sunglasses

It’s not technically summer yet, but it already feels like it in Atlanta. I hate the summer. I know. It’s a strong statement, so let me rephrase: I hate the summer unless I’m at the beach. Here are my five reasons to dislike the season:

1. The heat makes me sleepy and I feel like I’m much less productive when it’s hot out.

2. It means the cockroaches come out. Troy and I pay top dollar to get our house filled with chemicals to ward off the little buggers, but there’s nothing that gets rid of cockroaches completely. It’s just part of living in the south. And there’s nothing you can do about them when you’re outside in nature – like on a city sidewalk at night. My coping mechanism is to constantly prance around so one won’t run over my foot. I’m open to other suggestions.

3. I’m naturally a heavy sweater (as in I sweat a lot, not the article of clothing). If I’m walking outside for a few minutes I start getting gross and then it takes me forever to cool off once I’m inside. Troy is a lucky guy!  I have to shower at least once a day and wash my hair every day.

4. Even though sweating in the heat is miserable, I also hate the super frigid, overly air conditioned rooms. My office is so cold in the summer that I wear a sweater and use a heater under my desk. That means the air conditioning is in high gear AND I’m using energy to run the heater, which means I’m giving the environment a double slap in the face (plus there’s that whole showering multiple times a day thing when parts of the country is in a draught).

5. On an even more vain note, sweating outside + freezing inside makes for some seriously unfortunate outfits. For example:  sleeveless dress with ill-fitting sweater I keep in my office for emergencies that makes me look like I stepped out of Lands End catalog from the 1980s. I always forget to bring a better sweater or coverup alternative with me to the office because as I’m running out the door in the morning into the god forsaken heat, the last thing on my mind is more layers.

Am I alone here? I know it’s ridiculous to be so down on summer when I live in the American south, but you have to take the bad with the good. Hot summers also mean not having super cold and long winters. So there’s that. And then Creative Loafing just published its 2015 Summer Guide this week that made me not hate this time of year so much.

I hope you all have a not-too-hot weekend!


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Georgia Cider (and Fried Apple Pie) Tasting

Dearest Lar,

A week after your Amsterdam adventure (which sounded so magical, btw), Troy and I made our way back up to Blue Ridge, Georgia. It had been over a year since we visited last and we thought it was the perfect spot to celebrate our 6 year anniversary.

We stayed at Aska Lodge B&B again – the sweet owners made us chocolate cake and gave us a bottle of champs for the occasion :)

Unfortunately it rained for most of the weekend, but Troy and I aren’t the hiking types anyways. Instead of enjoying the great outdoors, we went back to Mercier Orchards and visited the new cider tasting room.

Merciers_ciders

In my previous Blue Ridge post, I didn’t fully explain how GIANT Mercier Orchards is. I mean, it’s set up for the thousands of tourist that come every year in the fall to pick apples and enjoy the beautiful foliage of Blue Ridge. And they’re constantly updating and adding to their facilities. So in the past year they created an awesome cider tasting room. The experience is very much like a wine tasting with a selection of ciders, some salty bar snacks, and helpful staff explaining the flavors.

Since I don’t like sweet ciders, I choose to taste the four most dry ciders on the list. It was only $8 for a flight of 4 ciders and a souvenir wine glass. Troy and I ended up getting a bottle of Grumpy Granny, Adele’s Choice and Lone Tree. They are all apple-ly, but not sweet. Just what I like!

Merciers_cider_tasting

When you’re at Mercier’s, you cannot NOT stopped by the bakery for a fried pie. Look at all the amazing options:

Merciers_Fried_Pies

Troy and I ended up getting the classic apple fried pie, because, you know, it’s an apple orchard. It did not disappoint!

Merciers_Fried_Apple_pie

Did I mention we did the cider tasting and the fried pie eating before noon? And this was after having huge breakfast at the B&B. So before we headed into downtown Blue Ridge to eat and drink some more, I burned a few calories by visiting the Mercier Orchards gift shop.

hair

The gift shop is endless with every apple-themed item you can think of and so much more. There is a whole room just for kid stuff. Like these creepy/cute big-eyed stuffed animals. This is my impersonation of them:

Merciers_giftshop

And even though I didn’t buy this pretty box of tea, I’m including a photo of it because I love the design – like a pinky, neutral, clean-lined watercolor.

Teaforte_blood_orange

Troy and I walked away from Mercier Orchards with 3 ciders, half a bushel of apples and full bellies. Afterwards we spent the day in downtown Blue Ridge eating and drinking at Chester Brunnemeyer’s Bar and Grill, Masseria and Harvest on Main with a nap in between lunch and dinner. So despite the rainy weather, it was pretty much a perfect mountain getaway weekend.

The setting wasn’t as beautiful as Amsterdam and the winter isn’t the best time to visit Blue Ridge, but it wasn’t bad for a quick 2 hour drive north of Atlanta!

Hope you’re having a wonderful start to the week. Let’s Facetime/Skpye this Saturday!

xoxo, Cath


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Fig and Flower – Natural Beauty

Dearest Lar,

While you’re exploring Amsterdam (finding canals, drinking green juice, buying Van Gogh postcards, etc.), I did a little exploring in my own backyard today. Fig and Flower opened up a little less than a year ago in the Poncey Highland neighborhood and I’ve been meaning to check it out ever since.

fig_and_flower

Fig and Flower sells all natural makeup, skincare, and household cleaning products. So it’s basically a store made for you!

For the past few years, you’ve been inspiring me to switch to more natural products. Sometimes I slip up – like when I’m suppose to make a quick trip to pick up a prescription at CVS and end up with three new chemical-filled lipsticks (I blame the weekly coupons!) – but overall I’ve been trying to clean up my makeup and skincare routine.

fig_and_flower_Atlanta

I seriously wanted to buy everything at Fig and Flower times two (one for me and one for you).

Fig_and_flower_eyeshadow

They even carry Vapour, an all natural makeup brand I’ve been wanting to try forever. Look at all of the pretty lip colors! That’s Troy in the background checking out the selection of beard oil.

fig_and_flower_vapour

I felt like a kid in a candy store. I can’t wait to take you there next time you’re in Atlanta!

fig_and_flower_shopping

Just a few more of the brands they carry: Holly Beth Organics, Indie Lee, Acure, and 100% Pure.

fig_and_flower_products

Also, look at these amazing services they offer:

Fig_and_flower_services

I really want to come back for a makeup application and beauty bag clean out – that’s where they show you how you can replace your favorite items with all natural versions.

Becca, a makeup artist that works at Fig and Flower, was super helpful. I told her that I’m attempting to grow out my eyebrows and she explained the best technique for doing it. I’m listening to her in the photos below, which is why I look so serious – because eyebrows are serious business.

fig_and_flower_seriousface

This is me laughing at the thinness of my brows:

fig_and_flower_eyebrows

If my eyebrow grow-out is successful, I might do a future blog post on it. If not, I will never speak of them again!

I ended up purchasing the 100% Pure Eye Brow Powder Gel in Brunette. I initially thought it was too light, but Becca showed me how it just subtly enhances my brows without making them look drawn on.  I also got the 100% Pure Naked Palette since the only other all natural eye shadow I have is the Josie Maran Argan Beautiful Eyes quad, which is all shimmery shades. I’ve been wanting to jump on the Urban Decay Naked palette bandwagon, but have been hesitant since it’s not an all natural brand. So the 100% Pure palette is exactly what I’ve been looking for – all natural, neutral, matte shades. I’m going to spend a few weeks playing around with it and then I might do a mini 100% Pure Naked Palette makeup tutorial.

I can’t wait to see all of your photos from your long weekend getaway to Amsterdam. I’m so jealous that you got to go to an Other Stories store – and experience a different culture and what not. :) Is it bad that I get more excited about stores you’re visiting than museums. I think I’ve become shallower with age.

Let’s go crazy and Skype during the workweek once you get back to Edinburgh, ok?

xoxo, Cath


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Fall Things

Dearest Lar,

Hello!!! It’s only been 2.5 months since I’ve last written here – and oh, how I’ve missed it!

Cath_plaidscarf

I’ve missed sharing photos with you and telling you about random stuff that’s happening in my life. Skype, Instagram, and FB are great and all, but blogging is better. That being said, I haven’t had much to blog about. I don’t think photos of my school work and regular work are AsianCajun worthy. That’s why it took me 2.5 months to get you a quasi-outfit photo and a picture of my fall mantel. Tah-dah!

fall mantel

Not great styling and vignette-ing, but autumnal! I made the wreath and garland last year and miraculously found them packed up together in the garage (a.k.a. the storage/catch-all room).  Some day I’ll have a Restoration Hardware/Pottery Barn worthy mantel, but not this year. Speaking of home catalogue/stores have you seen the Ikea holiday decor? I want it all!

fall garland

It’s been a typical fall here in Atlanta – 70 degrees one day, 45 degrees the next. The polar vortex is supposed to hit us on Friday so that’ll be the first time I’ll legitimately have to wear a winter coat – maybe even gloves!

cath_backyard

DKNY wool coat (remember when we bought these over 15 years ago?!?!?!) • Hat & scarf from H&M a few years ago • Gap jeans • H by Hudson boots

I so wish I could fly to Scotland next week and we could celebrate Thanksgiving in a giant house together for the second year in a row. I’ll be working for most of Thanksgiving break drowning my I-miss-my-twin sorrows in a bucket of wine. . . I kid. . . kinda ;)

Drink lots of tea and eat some Tunnocks teacakes for me!

Love, cath


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A Trip to the Anthropologie Outlet

Dearest Lar,

I can’t believe it’s been less than a week since you left, but it already feels like I haven’t seen you in ages. So I’m going to distract myself with some blogging!

Yes, an Anthropologie outlet does exist! It’s called Final Cut and it opened this summer in Augusta, GA right next to an URBN (Anthro parent company) call center in a nondescript strip mall. 
Final Cut Anthropologie outlet

What are the odds that the only Anthro (plus Urban Outfitters and Free People) outlet in the country is only 2.5 hours from my house!?!?! I really think the Georgia tourism department should do a whole marketing campaign around Final Cut, IMHO. I mean, Augusta, Georgia! Why not Philly where URBN is headquartered?!

But I digress. A few weekends ago, my friend, Thom, and I spent a Saturday making the trek out to Augusta from Atlanta to check out Final Cut to do some serious shopping for blog research purposes. They don’t allow photos inside the store, so if you want an insider look, check out Effortless Anthropologie’s post here.

Here are my thoughts on the place:

1. It’s huge! One half is mostly furniture and housewares and the other half is chockablock with clothes.

2. A lot of the furniture and rugs looked like they were from Urban Outfitters and there weren’t as many decor items (vases, knick knacks, art etc.) as I was hoping.

3. If you’re looking for a crazy bed, unusual night stand, delicate sofa (i.e. not kid or pet appropriate) or midcentury love seat, this is the place for you.

4. If you’re a soon-to-be bride and need a dress ABSOLUTELY make the trip to final cut. There are tons and tons of BHLDN dresses in great condition for around $100. There are also a handful of bridal shoes (although mostly in large sizes) and some bridal accessories.

5. There is a seemingly endless selection of clothing, but it’s not organized by size, gender, or store (Anthro, Urban, FP). I think most of the clothing was from Urban Outfitters, but I’m not an expert.

6. There’s a huge selection of bags, but they were definitely all from Urban so I didn’t spend too much time looking.

7. The prices are kind of all over the place. Some of the large rugs still seemed overpriced at $300+, but maybe that’s just because I’m cheap. Like I mentioned in #4, the wedding dresses are very well priced. The armchairs and sofas were anywhere between $200 and $900. And the clothing was $5-20-ish. Not bad, but also takes a lot of sifting through the racks to find something that’s your size.

8. The final cut staff is really nice and helpful and update the Final Cut Facebook page regularly.

So, if you’re in the Atlanta/Augusta area, I think it’s worth a trip if you have the time. If you’re in the southeast and looking for a BHLDN wedding dress, definitely make the trip. But if you’re on the other side of the country, it’s not worth a plane ticket.

Here’s my Final Cut haul:

Final cut purchases

  • A 3×5 rug for my laundry room – $25
  • 1 coupe glass – $5 (I would have bought more if they had more)
  • A set of 10 crackers for my mum – $5 (we’ll find out if they have good prizes and jokes in them come Christmas)
  • A midcentury-style ottoman – $30. Update: I was just searching U.O. site and saw that this same ottoman is selling for $129 – on sale! Didn’t realize I got such a steal!

Final cut rug and glass

I’m really pleased with my purchases, but probably won’t be making another trip out to Final Cut anytime soon. Thom just ended up getting two Urban Outfitters hats.

Since Final Cut is so close to downtown Augusta, we decided to have lunch at Nacho Mama’s – a classic burrito joint in a historic building = perfect lunch location.

August Nacho Mamas

Downtown Augusta is mostly restaurants, but we spent some time walking along the main street and near the river. I know this is cheesy, but I had to have a picture of this street sign – James Brown FTW!

Augusta james brown

Edinburgh might have beautiful cobblestone streets and amazing medieval architecture, but do you have a James Brown Boulevard?! I think not! And obviously there’s no Final Cut in the UK. Just a few more reasons why you have to move back to the states.

Miss you so much! Wish we could have explored Final Cut together!

xoxo, Cath


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Touring Ponce City Market

Dearest Lar,

You know I’ve been wanting to take a tour of Ponce City Market, but the public tours always sell out faster than you can say, “Ponce City Market.” This is the closest I’ve been to a tour. So I was super excited when, two weeks ago, Lena and I got the opportunity to take a tour with the Georgia Brownfield Association. 
Exploring Ponce City Market

Jealous of my hat? Everyone on the tour had to wear a hardhat.

PCM Tour Guide

The space actually feels bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside – if that’s even possible. Jamestown Properties is renovating 1 million square feet of the property to turn it into a giant mixed-use project. The photos below probably don’t look like much, but work has come a long way since it began a few years ago. The food court should open up at the end of this year and a handful of the apartments will be ready by this fall.

PCM columns

PCM floors

PCM storefronts

PCM foodcourt

PCM elevator

The food court will house a mix of restaurants and food stalls. The freight elevator will take visitors up to the rooftop where there will be more restaurants and a mini golf course! I don’t know why, but I’m so excited to have a mini golf course nearby.

PCM flats

There’s a gallery space near the leasing office. The current exhibit is Farm to Frame, which features photos of Georgia farms and farmers.

PCM gallery

I can’t wait to see Ponce City Market when it’s finished. I think it’ll be a great addition to Atlanta’s shopping and dining scene. It’s a bummer that there isn’t a MARTA station nearby, but it does run up against the eastside trail of the Beltline.

The urban development nerd in me makes me want to take a tour every couple of months to see the progress. And then I’ll get a chance to wear the hardhat again ;)

PCM hardhat

I can’t wait until you come into town in less than two weeks. You’ll be amazed by how much has changed in this city just in the past few months.

See you in 11 days!!

xoxo, Cath

P.S.: You can also read my Groupon article on Ponce City Market here.

 


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Exploring Ponce City Market

Dancing Goats Coffee bar

Dearest Lar,

Troy and I took a 1.5 hour break from working on the house yesterday and headed over to Ponce City Market so I could get some photos for a Groupon article I’m writing. The area hasn’t changed too much since you saw it this past winter, but give it another six months and you won’t even recognize it.

Dancing Goats is still the only shop/restaurant open (although a number of restaurants have signed leases to move in this coming year). Troy and I were starving, so we stuffed our faces with ordered a homemade blackberry pop tart (which reminded me of your wedding!) and two mini Duck’s donuts with our coffee.

homemade poptarts

Then we headed over to the Historic Fourth Ward Park, which I think I drove you to in January. It’s a gorgeous city park with lots of winding paths, water features and plenty of seating areas. The Old Fourth Ward Arts festival was just wrapping up as we were walking around. Atlanta might not have one giant amalgam of festivals like Edinburgh, but it does have a festival every weekend.

Birkenstocks at the park

Zara t-shirt • H&M jeans • (really old) Birks • necklace from Sq/Ft boutique • Longchamp Le Pliage
I’ve been dying to dress up since this summer has mostly consisted of me sweating in a tank top and yoga pants with all the packing, moving, unpacking I’ve been doing. Well, dressing up didn’t happen yesterday either – ha! But this outfit is the most pulled together I’ve looked for the past four weekends.

stacked rings

Cross ring from Boutique Karma • black and silver ring from a second hang shop in Athens, GA • silver ring purchased at the Decatur Arts Festival

exploring old fourth ward park

At this very moment you are spending your last day in London on your mini weekend trip. I love seeing all of your Instagram pics of your trip (here, here, here, here, and here) and think it’s hilarious that you drank your first fresh coconut in the rain in London. Did you end up running into Wills & Kate?

I promise to include more photos of the house once I get some more artwork up on the walls.

Can’t wait to see more pics from your trip!

xoxo, Cath

yonks

 

 


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Catching Up

Dearest Lar,

It’s been waaaay too long since I’ve posted. You’ve kept me up to date with everything going on in your life with your wonderful posts – cheese! a perfect Sunday, trams, and Calton Hill – but I haven’t done the same.

However, in between starting classes for the summer, closing on a house, packing and moving, I still managed to take some pics over the past few weeks. I owe you lots of posts, so I figured I start with one with lots of photos!

It’s been so hot here that all I want to wear is summer dresses. I’m tempted to buy a handful of cheap dresses for this season, but I can’t spend any money this summer on clothes (all my money and then some will be spent on house stuff). So a few weeks ago I wore this oldie but goodie:

HM summer dress
 H&M zebra dress • Marc by Marc Jacobs sunniesAsh wedges • Sole Society clutch

Neon clutch copy

A week before the move, Troy and I took a break from packing and spent the afternoon in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood (future home of the Atlanta streetcar coming soon!):

Old Fourth Ward

street art

We had lunch at Illegal Food located in Joystick Gamebar and look what was on the wall (nerd alert):

Illegal Food

I haven’t had much downtime, but I’ve been trying to squeeze some time in to read The Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby. It’s a fictionalization of the seamstress that made Jackie Kennedy’s famous suit and it’s been the perfect summer read. Kelby goes into detail about the different fabrics and types of seams the main character uses – which I love to read about even though I hate sewing.

The Pink Suit

Right before we moved, Troy made a batch of the most delicious watermelon mojitos: fresh watermelon juice, simple syrup, mint, Four Roses bourbon, and gin. Yum!

watermelon kentucky mojito

Ali has her wedding photos up online by Once Like a Spark that you can check out since you couldn’t spend a couple thousand and fly back home for it ;) Here’s one of me and Troy (and Greg off to the left) dancing. I wish you had been there!

wedding

Now on to photos of my house! The move probably took us around 4 days with mom and dad, and all of our amazing friends helping. Seriously, if it was just up to me and Troy, the 2 mile move would have taken us weeks! In addition to moving all of our furniture (including a ridiculously heavy music studio console), in the past few days we (Troy and I, family and friends – and some hired help) have unpacked more than half of our stuff, cleared out the overgrown backyard, scrubbed the house from top to bottom, installed my new Ikea chandelier, caulked both showers, reinforced the crawl space door, sold the ridiculously heavy music studio console, and replaced a toilet seat.

I’m desperate to decorate, but there’s still so much unpacking that has to be done! Here’s what the house looks like so far:

The living room – it’s so much bigger than my last living room. I don’t know what to do with so much space! I think it might be the size of your whole flat.

moving_living room

The second bedroom doesn’t have a closet (it was converted into the master bathroom) so for the time being, this bedroom is going to be my closet! Ideally I’d like to streamline my clothes enough where I won’t need a whole room to house all of my clothes. Plus, eventually I want to use this room as our guest bedroom, but I don’t have an extra bed at the moment, so until that changes, it’ll be my walk -in closet.

moving_closet

I threw a bunch of things on this table – so it’s not properly styled – in my closet and then realized that it looks kind of cool. I’ll fix it up a bit, but I love the wire of the hat stand (which I think is yours) and the vintage fan.

moving_vintage fan

Our bedroom – this is probably the neatest it’ll ever look. Pretty soon my side table/lamp thingy will be piled high with mags and books – and dog fur. I’d love to put a great piece of artwork over the bed, but I don’t have one that will work. Maybe I can convince my amazingly talented twinie to paint me something (hint, hint).

moving_bedroom

Mom brought over her label maker the other day and I went a little crazy with it:

moving_labels

I can’t wait for you to see the house in person in a few months. I hope it’ll look much better by then and the third bedroom won’t be piled high with boxes. Who knows, maybe I’ll even have a guest bed :)

I promise my next post will be in a few days and not so hodge-podge as this one.

I miss you so much and wish you could be with me in person during this crazy house-buying/moving process, but getting to see you in August is almost as good!

xoxo, Cath


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Dear Lar

I love the idea of writing more to each other – or making this blog a “full-on epistolary” as you so elegantly put it in the last post :). Skype only goes so far and I haven’t been Instagramming as much because I’ve been so busy. It’s pretty bad when you’re too busy for Instagram!

I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, but whenever I get really busy I just want to keep things simple in the clothing department. It goes along with what you talked about in your post – having a smaller wardrobe, only having one winter coat, etc. That’s why I wore this outfit last weekend:

uniform

It doesn’t get more simple than a white button-up and jeans (with my Feiyue sneakers, Fjallraven backpack, and Jawbone Up).

Anywho, in addition to lots of school work and work work, I’ve also been spending all my time in the kitchen. I know, I know. That doesn’t sound like me at all. I don’t like to cook, I hate dirty dishes, and I love to eat out. You’ve always been more of the cook/baker.

As I told you on Skype, Troy and I are halfway through our Whole30 detox. I’ve been wanting to try Whole30 for a while every since Ashley started writing about it on her blog. So, for the month of April, Troy and I have been making all of our meals and planning ahead for a whole week. I’ve been keeping track of my meals through the Two Grand app:

twogrand

Lucky for me, Troy is an amazing cook and he’s thought up some delicious paleo/Whole30-approved meals. Here’s just a sample of some of the stuff I’ve been eating for the past 14 days:

whole30 meals

From top left:

  • Apple nut porridge – recipe from the Paleo Secret blog.
  • Creamy cauliflower and chicken soup.
  • Cioppino (made without white wine and butter).
  • Tuna lettuce wraps.
  • Sweet potato chips from Trader Joe’s (no additives, just salt).
  • Fish ‘n chips – cashew and coconut breaded fish with sweet potato fries and broccoli slaw.

In general, the detox hasn’t been so much hard as time-consuming. I haven’t gotten out of the house much in the past two weeks, except for this weekend. I actually left the house on Saturday to help judge the Style Competition at Salvage. It was so fun and I felt so lucky to be a part of it. Plus fellow blogger and foodie, Elizabeth Chai, was one of the other judges. It was so nice to see her and I got to meet Tranae Harris, the third judge and fellow lifestyle blogger (see her awesome recap of Salvage here).

salvage judges

Image via Chaiamericano’s Instagram :)

Salvage style contest

I can’t wait for this semester (and detox) to be over just so I can go to more things like Salvage – and have a glass of wine :) Plus, it always pains me not to be blogging on a consistent basis. Skyping, writing this blog, and Instagramming are the few things that make me feel close to you. Hopefully in a few weeks I can spend a lot more time doing those 3 things!

Love, Cath

 


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My Spring Reading List

Use Grammarly for proofreading because, it’s like a little (comma) splice of heaven.*

reading list

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about books on AsianCajuns. Lar and I have always been big readers, but since I’ve been going to graduate school while working full time, my reading has tapered off a little bit in the past few years. Lately, I’ve been trying to take more time to read, even if it’s just a few minutes before bed. Here’s what I’ve been reading/planning on reading these past few months:

Stitches by Anne Lamott – My mom saw Anne Lamott give a talk at our local library and immediately bought a copy Stitches for herself, me and Lar. It’s about dealing with loss and catastrophic events. It sounds dark and self-help-y, but it’s not. I like reading little snippets of it throughout the week.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – This is one of those books that I’m planning on reading. Eric from Mosey bought it for me when Troy and I got to hang out with him in Decatur a few months ago because he said it was one of the best books he’s read in while. I know fellow blogger, Laura, just finished it and loved it. I’ve been holding off reading it until I have a free weekend, but that’s never going to happen and I’m really looking forward to it, so I might start it this week – can’t wait!

Financially Fearless by Alexa Von Tobel – Alexa is the founder of LearnVest.com, which I use to keep my finances in order and occasionally “meet” my online financial advisor. It’s a great book (and website) for anyone needing to up the ante on their personal finances. I haven’t read the entire book, but I know I’ll use it continually as a reference.

Hot Rum Cow – The company that Lar works for in Scotland publishes this independent magazine about beers, wines and spirits. Every time I visit Lar in Scotland or when she comes home for a visit, she brings me the latest issue and I love it. I’ve kept all of the issues she’s given me and have even reread some of the articles. It has everything I love: great writing, awesome design, and a focus on booze!

reading list

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer – A Beautiful Mess started an online book club this year and The Interestings was the January book. I bought it in January with every intention of participating in the online discussion, but have yet to finish it. Whoops! Luckily I got my friend, Alison, and Lar to read it with me so we’re going to have our own little book club chat via Skype soon.

A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman – As much as I love instagramming and taking photos for the blog, I sometimes feel uninspired and “meh” about my photos. I use this book when I need some inspiration and a little pick-me-up.

Brother – I bought this journal at Octane in Grant Park for Lar since she loves independent publications. I was going to wait to read it after her, but I couldn’t help myself and read it before giving it to her. This particular issue was about oysters in Charleston, SC. I read it from cover to cover (it’s not a big publication) and immediately went to the Kimball House to eat some oysters after. I can’t wait for the next issue.

 * Blogger disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Grammarly. All thoughts and views expressed are my own. 


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