Happy new year, my dears! After an incident with my laptop charger during which it would only charge if it was set on the bookcase opposite of my desk, which hindered my ability to actually sit at my desk, a new charger has been obtained and I can belatedly ring in the new year here. There are books to share, drafts of essays, essential oil things and a million other things to catch up on, friends. But for now, a list of 2016 highlights.
* adventuring with my best friend, car radio turned up
* visiting some family in a charming little town in our beloved home state
* honestly, just hanging out with my sisters– watching movies and making food and just being silly together
* Letters to July
* taking anthropoly 101
* random talks with my mom, in the car or in the kitchen or in the bathroom when we are both getting ready for bed
* met some kindred spirits that have become dear friends
This year, though. This futuristic-sounding year of 2017. It’s gonna be a good one; brimming with golden-ness and change and a faith in God that only grows.
A list of books/sounds/videos to remind us all to listen to our hearts. Because they demand it.
Jessie Mueller singing “She Used to Be Mine” from the musical Waitress. Sara Bareilles composed all the lyrics and music for the production, and oh wow. It’s Broadway, but also not, and I love that contradiction. This song in particular tugs at my heartstrings every time it plays on my spotify. Though I love this lovely live version in particular.
Strangely enough, the required reading for my anthropology class. 1491: New Revelations of America Before Columbus by Charles Mann has opened my eyes to all the heartbreak and hurt the original Americans suffered at the hands of European explorers– but also at their own hand. One tribe that resided by the Mississipi River destroyed themselves through a lack of planning and oh how my heart ached reading their story. The fact that there have been so many misconceptions about Native Americans both in recent years and for centuries beforehand, both intentional and unintentional, breaks my heart. I am glad to be learning their real stories through this volume.
I’ve had JJ Heller’s album, Loved, on repeat for months . It is so soothing and yet brimming with hope. Hope for love, for grace, for forgiveness. When I’m feeling graceless, “Create In Me” is such a necessary assurence that God created me with a purpose in mind, and my clumsyness (both real and metaphorical) cannot change that. And the title track, “Loved“, is just a good old-fashioned reminder that His love pours out to everyone.
This video of Carole King surprising the cast of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical makes my heart well. I cried and got goosebumps watching everyone’s raw joy and treasuring Carole’s radiance in general.
Let your heart feel things today, loves.
White Flag by Joseph has been my anthem the last couple of weeks.
Kitty Cotten’s blog and YouTube channel has been my go-to when I’m in need of inspiration. Also, she’s the adorable-est and I love her voice– I could listen to her talk all day.
This list of “essential” documentaries from Darling is basically the list of all the movies I wanna see next.
Everything from Fat and the Moon.
‘Edgar Allen Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party’ series from Shipwrecked Comedy is my new favourite thing.
New Darlings, a blog made by the cutest married couple is oh-so lovely.
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See more ‘a few favourites’ posts here.
Summer is almost over, and these goodies are helping me transition from bright, hot days to cooler, cloudy ones.
That in-between layer. You know what I’m talking about. At this time of year, it’s good to have a little something on hand in case the air conditioning is a little chilly or you are out and about when the sun goes down along with the temperature, but isn’t heavy or bulky. I found this lovely linen scarf/towel from Fog Linen Work at a local sidewalk sale in the beginning of August, and I’ve been using it pretty much daily ever since. It’s the perfect thing to cover up with in this season. I took it on a rafting/camping trip a few weeks ago and it was PERFECT. I used it as a shawl when cozied up around the campfire with friends and after the inevitable swim while the raft floated us downstream. And I’m sure it’ll be a good layer come autumn, too.
Angels On Bare Skin. This Lush scrub is called that for a reason. Lavender-y and full of ground almonds that gently exfoliate everything from the face to the feet, it leaves my body feeling heavenly (pun totally intended).
Everything’s coming up roses. This rosehip oil makes my skin feel like a metaphorical flower field. I find summer to be too hot to use traditional lotion, and this oil is juuuust rich enough to give my skin moisture and light enough to sink in fast (a.k.a. I’m not sweating in it). My skin has been loving this stuff; I even rub a few drops into the ends of my wet hair after a shower. It’s kept split ends and dry skin at bay– yay!
Avoiding the lobster look. The summer sun can be mean to pale folks like me, which means spraying myself down with Solar Recover. This spray does the job of those ‘sunburns relief’ gels, but in a spray that’s all natural and cruelty free (bonus! it smells like lavender goodness).
Ruby Red. I got this tin of lip tint from Fat & The Moon for my birthday in late July, and it’s been my go-to lip product since then. It gives a bit of burgundy colour along with moisture, so I kill two birds with one stone. And the scent! Gosh! It’s a clove+cinnamon+orange dream.
What self care things are you carrying with you into the fall season?
I know my letters have been spotty to say the least.
There have been days where I felt guilty for not having the time or the stamina to pull out my laptop after long, oft-humid and even more often oh-so heartening days.
But I assure you, it has not been out of laziness.
You have brought the most magnificent vitality to me, mon amie. Memories of myself and my mother and my sisters kneeling in strawberry fields on a Sunday afternoon, rustling the leaves to find the reddest, ripest ones. Last-minute adventurous wanderings with my best friend. Movies shown at my local film festival that fully fall under the category of ‘life-changers’. Birthday celebrations– the best I’ve ever had. That time my sister and I made waffle ice cream sandwiches. My new ‘do that makes me feel so much like myself.
I have been so completely immersed in actively living while you are around that I couldn’t bear to stop it all to turn on my computer.
And to be honest, I don’t regret a thing.
See ya next year, July.
p.s.- I know that you officially leave tomorrow, but in my house Sundays are no-internet day, so I’m bidding adieu a little early.
You know, there are some things that are just quintessentially JULY.
Things like 6 Days of Songs by Florist and my local film festival and the end of strawberry season and mostly all of cherry season. Long, hot afternoons sitting with you having existential crises. My birthday. When I start experimenting with various flavors of lemonade (lavender, rosemary, and basil have become my favourites over the last couple of your visits). The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and The Paris Review. Painting Roses by Dresses. Wildflowers growing on the side of the road that look like daisies but are the most striking periwinkle blue.
These things are sacred, in a way. I cannot listen/read/do them without you. Once I tried to listen to Dresses in June, and, gosh, it felt weird. Stuff has seasons, and experiencing it in another is like experiencing it out of context. Like seeing an old teacher in August or putting up a Christmas tree in May. But when you come around again, I break out the bee books and the music and the lemonade and it’s like a little reunion.
I’m glad we have these things, July.
This week I’ve had a particularly unshakable case of the blahs.
I felt unmotivated and average and apathetic. Uncreative and feeling not enough.
And so I sat on my bedroom floor and binge-watched Friends (which, I learned, is no way to get out of a rut).
But thank God for late night word-vomit sessions with my neighbor/dear gal pal and for dance parties to songs that take me back to bonfire nights with twinkle lights intertwined in trees and for phone calls to my mother.
Now I’m making plans for the end of this month and doing my best to do more than wait till then. I want to make the most of the days I’m given; I want to do/make/be part of stuff that matters .
Hold me accountable, July. Do not let me become indifferent.