Books of the Month: January

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The books, minus Sick in the Head. Because sharing is caring right?

Confession #1: for the first 19 ish years of my recreational reading did not go past the American Girl series and Harry Potter. I never disliked reading, but it was never my instinct to pick up a book and read during my free time. Why read when you can watch American Idol, am I right? But when I went to college in LA I eventually ended up in an apartment with no cable and I found myself wanting to finally read all of the books that everyone was talking about.

Since my college years, my relationship with reading has been up and down. Sometimes I read a lot, sometimes I don’t feel like reading at all. Right now I am in a reading a lot phase and I want to take advantage of it. As an adult I find that there are so many things I am curious about and reading helps me quench this curiosity.

Confession #2: For the past 3 years I have been experiencing semi regular panic attacks. They have changed forms over the years, going from hyperventilating and not being able to breathe to feeling an overwhelming sense of paranoia coupled with stomach problems (you’re welcome for that overshare). As an anxious person who is learning to accept and live with my anxiety, I am always looking for ways to calm and center myself during these moments of panic. Today, while I was sitting in my car attempting to talk myself down from a panic attack so that I could make it through the work day, I realized that I started feeling better as soon as I started reading. For me, reading has not only been a way to learn, it has also been a way to focus and relax my mind. And for that I am very grateful.

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Countdown to the Oscars

I love movies. Always have, always will. I get completely sucked into whatever it is I am watching. I am fascinated by the process that goes into movie making. I have spent hours of my life watching interviews with directors, producers, actors and I nearly went back to school to study entertainment set design.

Every year I keep up on the Academy Award hype and I try to see as many of the nominated films as possible. Admittedly I haven’t watched many movies over the past few years, but this year I once again found myself very excited about watching movies. And this year the Oscar nominees have not disappointed. Here’s what I’ve seen so far:

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Product Junkie – Glossier Edition

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Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser and Balm Dotcom

I have always been a product junkie. I seize every opportunity to try out new skincare and beauty products, much to the chagrin of my bank account. I think I am constantly looking for a magical, holy grail product that will change my life. Thus far I have been unsuccessful. Over the years I have found many products that I have liked but hardly any that I have wanted to stick to.

All my life I have had sensitive, splotchy, oily, acne prone skin. Which has presented it’s challenges….I need products that are gentle and non irritating, yet balance oil and redness. Is it too much to ask for a cleanser that cleans your face and removes makeup and excess dirt without completely stripping your skin?!?!

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A Cabin in the Woods

Over the past few years my family has been struggling with the concept of “holiday traditions.” Or maybe it is just me who has been struggling…either way, the past five years have brought dramatic change to our family. Over the past three ish holiday seasons my dad, sister and I have been exploring how we would like to celebrate and recognize this difficult time of the year. This year brought all three of us to Seattle and we decided to take a trip to Mount Rainier National Park. Despite living in Washington state for over ten years now, I had never been.

We arranged to stay at the Stepping Stone cabins right outside of the park. To be honest my sister was very vague about how she located these cabins and admitted she had not read any Yelp reviews. So we really didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. After driving for about two hours we pulled up to an adorable cabin. When we walked inside we were greeted by the smoky warmth of a fireplace, wood detailing, vintage posters, comfy couches and huge stacks of VHS movies (we ended up watching Beaches, Home Alone and Dirty Dancing).

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The exterior of the adorable Stepping Stone Cabin

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Woman Crush(ers)

Last week I was feeling very inspired by awesome women, specifically Misty Copeland and Ashima Shiraishi. If you’ve never heard of them a) you’re missing out and b) here’s a brief summary:

-Misty recently became the first African American woman to be named a Principle dancer with American Ballet Theatre, the highest rank for professional ballet dancers.

-Ashima is 14 years old and already possibly the strongest female overall climber in the world. She is the youngest climber, of either gender to climb 5.15a and she was the second woman to boulder v14.

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Fall in the PNW

I have very mixed emotions about Fall. One one hand, I love it. Especially the changing of the leaves. I lived in LA for two years and I found myself really sad about the lack of Fall foliage. I also like the coziness of Fall. Perhaps my favorite thing about Fall/Winter is all of the candles that come out at this time of year. I have already managed to burn through pumpkin clove, creamy vanilla chai and spice scented candles. Thanks Anthropologie….

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Flavors of Fall

It’s no secret that if you walk down the streets of practically any neighborhood in Seattle you will find restaurant after delicious restaurant. And it’s also no secret that I consider eating and finding good food one of my many lifelong passions. But I have to admit, sometimes I am overwhelmed by Seattle’s many food options. So many places to try, so little time. I am also very loyal to the things that I know and love.

The north side of 45th street, the Wallingford side, is one of these yummy restaurant filled streets. It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that you can walk down the street and get a taste of the globe. American, Afghani, Thai, Vietnamese, Italian, Mexican, Caribbean, Malaysian, Japanese, the list goes on and on. I hadn’t explored many of the food options until my Dad, aka my foodie partner in crime, moved back to the Seattle. For some reason, in the past few months we have really honed in on N 45th Street. Probably because there are so many options and it is conveniently located. Easy to get to and not to challenging to find street parking. Here are a few of my favorites, which also happen to be great picks for the nonstop grey that is Fall in Seattle.

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