Life lately

August 8, 2021

Hello hello. I haven't written one of these since February. And now it is August. So, yeah, right on schedule. :)

I'll spare you from the "I can't believe it is already August" thing because I have a hunch I have felt this way about every single month of 2020 and 2021. It is not a novel feeling, but that doesn't make it any less bewildering. We are all a bit oblivious and stupid in this way.

Anyway! Here are some bits of my brain that have been whizzing around that I've attempted to nail down and organize in some fashion.

Rediscovering a personal finance tool. Once upon a time (according to the app, in 2014 to be exact), I used Mint to organize my personal budget and finances. Now that Corey and I are married, it felt like a good idea to reorganize our budget and finances. We had been diligently using a spreadsheet to track our spending and income for a few months, but, you know, it actually takes quite a lot of work (and patience) to import CSV's from the various bank accounts, dump them into our sheet, clean them up, and categorize them every month. So! I decided to dust off the ol' Mint and was pleased to see that their iOS app has improved a lot. I'll share another update in a few months on how it's going, but so far it's been such a great reality check to see where our dollars are going.

Pinteresting like my life depends on it for home decor stuff. We are slowly starting to pick up some momentum on making changes to our home, which, if you're new around here, we moved into last September. This is our first home and we wanted to take our time in getting to know the space and our use of it first. We've finished or nearly-finished two rooms (dining and bedroom). The tool that's helped me the most so far in all of these various home projects has been Pinterest. I have a few moodboards on there for the various rooms. It's been nice to rediscover the app too...I've had my account since 2008 or around there. I find Pinterest much more pleasant to use vs. Instagram because I am much more intentional in what I save. Follow me if you're on there!(As a side note, can we bring back all the OG internet apps? Tumblr and Livejournal, I'm lookin' at you.)

Rediscovering reading. It feels like I've developed a voracious appetite for reading again. My Goodreads TBR list is stacked!!! Over the past few years, reading felt like work or a chore because it very much was. We had run a book club at Girls' Night In for several years. Recently though, we have switched things up in our model. And somehow, it's like a huge mental block has been lifted. I'm reading again for fun, and it feels wonderful. I just bought a Kindle, which...I definitely have mixed feelings about as someone who loves supporting local bookstores and absolutely loves physical books and everything about them. I mean, I even took a course in college called "The History of the Book." There was a printing press involved) :) But I can't deny that my Kindle has made reading much more convenient. Plus, I now won't have mediocre books piling up in our house, and I'll only purchase physical copies of books I truly love and want to keep forever

I'd love to write mini book reviews soon, but a quick rundown of books I've read and loved recently: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett on audiobook (read by Tom Hanks!), No One Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb, The Idea of You by Robinne Lee (yes, finally), and God Save the Girls by Kelsey McKinney.

Overall, how am I feeling? Our social calendar feels packed which is exciting! But I've also been feeling anxious before any social hangout. This was to be expected. I am an introvert. I settled into new rhythms during lockdown and the pandemic that I was more naturally inclined to: not seeing other humans for days, speaking as few words as possible, lots of time to think and be alone. But I'm powering through, because I recognize that after each hangout, I feel much more energized and fulfilled. Turns out, I've really missed people. :)

At the same time, with the Delta variant and vaccinations stalling, things feel uncertain. We want to go on a honeymoon and travel internationally, but now it feels exhausting to even do the mental calculations when suddenly everything feels a little bit risky. To be clear, we are both very much vaccinated and believe in the vaccine. But the potential of lockdowns happening in other countries is what spooks me and makes me nervous. As a nervous flyer, it also adds another layer of logistics to travel (tests, vaccination records) that increases my anxiety. It alsofeels a little bit like deja vu, although intellectually I know things are not quite the same as last time, thanks to vaccines... If you're planning to travel internationally this fall or winter, I'd love to hear how you're handling things.

Lastly, a few random, recent purchases I recommend...

  • My Kindle Paperwhite ($129). I got mine on sale! Tips: Use the Libby app to support your local library. Use the Send to Kindle Chrome extension for reading articles.
  • This sleek Yamazaki trash can from West Elm ($55). I got it for our office because the design hides "messy" trash really well without it having to have a lid. Simple and genius.
  • Reformation dresses for....all of the occasions. I have the Nikita for an upcoming wedding, and bought a few others for other special occasions. They're easy, always flattering, high quality, and sustainable. It's a good one-and-done brand shop that just works for me, so I rarely bother to shop elsewhere these days for weddings, tbh.
  • A fancy jewelry organizer from Mejuri. I don't own that many pieces of jewelry, but my hope is to slowly and thoughtfully fill this with pieces I love for many years to come. No more tangled necklaces or losing just one earring...let's hope. :)
  • Aerie crossover leggings (on sale for $31 right now!). Oh my GOD. These are now my holy grail leggings. I wore them to yoga last week and they are just so, so comfortable and buttery smooth while also holding you in the right amount. I bought them in size S. I loved these so much that I just bought them in 2 more colorways, plus some matching bra tops. The 30% off sale right now is just too good to pass up.

On a completely random note — have you read the Girls' Night In newsletters recently? I am obviously biased, but if you're looking for good articles to read or things to do or buy for your downtime, I highly recommend it. I was going to rec a bunch of reads here, but...it would basically be a duplicate of our newsletter issues. Here's the most recent one. ;)

That's all for now. Be safe and be well, friends.