I bought my first journal a few years ago. Oddly enough I didn’t buy it with the intention of using it to jot down my feelings or write short stories. Rather, I bought it with the goal of tracking my spending. I was horrible at keeping up with it. There are so many budgeting apps available, so I often asked myself why was I making the task harder than it needed to be.
I got my second journal when I graduated college. It was a gift from my aunt and uncle that I started using to keep track of restaurants I wanted to try, books I wanted to read, ideas for this blog, and my goals/resolutions. It also was a space for me to jot down whatever feelings I was experiencing or things that were on my mind at the time. It was a mish-mash of things and wasn’t very organized, which started to bother me. I knew that if I wanted to create content on my blog more often I would have to get more specific with what I wrote about, and having my blog ideas mixed in with restaurants I wanted to try wasn’t going to be a recipe for success.
My previous post was about the past and this one is about the future! I have quite a few goals for this year that revolve around my blog. I mentioned in my post New Year, New Blog that one of my main goals was to post content more frequently. A few more of my goals include having 100 followers and creating an Instagram account. A personal goal of mine that goes hand-in-hand with my blog is to read more. My goal is to read at least 10 books this year whether they are fiction, nonfiction, or another genre that catches my attention. Although my favorite genre is nonfiction, I’m always willing to read different genres that are recommended to me (except for science fiction – I could never get into those books).
Here are a few books I’m particularly looking forward to reading.
I’m taking us back to 2021 for this one! Keep reading to see a brief summary about the books that were my favorite and why.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
In his book, Desmond uses rigorous sociological research and ethnography to show the brutal truth of poverty in America. It is written so well and does a fantastic job of capturing the individual experiences of tenets and landlords while at the same time showing how their experiences and decisions are intertwined. The stories are so unbelievable that they almost read like fiction. Fortunately I live worlds away from what was described in these pages so the truth of it, the unforgiving honesty in the facts, was equal parts shocking and depressing.
Before I jump into a discussion about my favorite books, I wanted to share my favorite genres of books so you can get an idea about what I’ll be posting. When I was younger, I loved fiction books. I couldn’t get enough of the Pretty Little Liars series, the Twilight Saga series (I think I even had a “Team Edward” shirt), the Clique series, and the Hunger Games series. All of these books and more that I read when I was younger still take up an entire bookshelf in my house.
A few years ago, my genre preference shifted to nonfiction. I remember getting a book recommendation from a friend in college and I absolutely loved it (the book was Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink). My genre preference got more specific after I finished it – I began to look for books to read that were similar to this topic and writing style. Fink is a journalist, and her book was a great example of investigative journalism. I can’t exactly remember what led me to The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, but once I started reading it I knew I needed to find similar books. I posted a photo of it on Instagram and that’s when Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City was recommended to me. Other books similar to these that I love include What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City, The Other Side of the River, and Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America. I’m currently reading Broke in America: Seeing, Understanding, and Ending U.S. Poverty. To me, all of these have the same style of writing as Fink’s and they cover actual events that have happened or are still happening. I’ve grown to be obsessed with these types of books.
Over the past few months, I’ve been thinking about the direction I want my blog to head. I knew I wanted to narrow it down to a specific topic, I just didn’t know what. One thing I did know was the topic had to be something I was passionate about, otherwise I wouldn’t be motivated to think of content.
Reading and writing have always been my two biggest passions for as long as I can remember. Journals I had to write in elementary school were always filled with long, detailed commentary of the book we were reading or what I did over the weekend, reading time was something I always looked forward to, I didn’t dread essays or small papers in middle or high school, and I took creative writing classes in both high school and college. My goal in life has always been to make a career out of writing.
The biggest goal for my blog is to create content more often, whether it’s an infographic, a long or short post, a photo of any recent book purchases with a short description, or tips for starting a research paper or writing a work email.
I know a blog about reading and writing isn’t for everyone, but I hope those who aren’t huge fans of reading or writing (or both) find value in some of my posts. Some things I plan on writing about include:
Fall: the time of year where Bath and Body Works has the best scents, people are debating about whether or not it’s too early for Christmas decorations, and people (me included) begin to transition from bright “Summer” nail polish colors to darker “Fall” colors. Below are my recommendations for Fall polish colors.
Of course, these colors can be worn in the winter as well. To make any of these colors pop even more, add a coat of a glitter polish – either silver or gold.
I’ve also compiled a list of colors I feel are great for any holiday parties you may be attending this year.
The amount of playlists and podcasts on Spotify is never ending – and chances are there is a playlist or podcast out there for everyone. Below are a few of my favorite playlists and podcasts for when you want to dance in your room, sing in your car, or learn a few things.
Over the past few weeks, I have faithfully been using 3 products that have made a noticeable difference in my hair: Olaplex #3, Olaplex #6, and Moroccanoil. I saw the biggest difference after using Olaplex #3 (I seriously saw improvement overnight), but all of these products combined have helped my hair look and feel great between washes and hair appointments.
Since today is Sunday, it’s the end of my 3-day break from working out. Once the weather is consistently nice (consistent weather in Michigan is rare, but fingers crossed) I’ll probably go for a walk one day over the weekend, but for now I exercise on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. It’s a routine I started a few months ago, and I find it’s what works best for me. I enroll in programs on the CCFIT workout app, which helps me stick to the routine even more – the exercises are already planned which takes all the planning out and allows me to just jump into the workout.
Before COVID, I had begun to go to the gym and was feeling my way around and learning the equipment. I remember going one day with my friend and asking her what workout app she uses, and she recommended CCFIT. I went home and downloaded it and perused the different workout programs (at the time, they were almost all intended for the gym). I didn’t have any gym equipment at home, so once quarantine started I resorted to workout videos on YouTube. The one positive that has come from COVID and gyms being closed is the amount of home workout videos that surfaced. They were great options when going to the gym wasn’t an option, but they’re also good for people who are hesitant or uncomfortable to begin work out at a gym.
Hi everyone! Over the past few months I’ve bought new products (thanks quarantine) and now that I’ve had them for a few months, I figured now would be a good time to review them.
Billie Razor: The concept of this razor is awesome – new razor blades are shipped to you for $9 depending on how often you shave. I shave every day, so 4 new blades are sent to me every month. Not only is this a great deal (I get 4 new razor blades foronly $9) but I honestly think the blades have helped my leg hair either grow back slower or lighter. The only downside is that the blades are shipped via USPS so there may be some delay in receiving them.
Time for part 2! All of these products can be found at Target.
First Row: Powerbeats Pro True Wireless In-Ear Earphones, Beats Studio3 Wireless Over-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones, Apple Watch Series 5, JBL Portable Waterproof Speaker Flip 5
Second Row: FitBit Versa 2 Smartwatch, Phillips Norelco Series 3600 Men’s Nose/Ear/Eyebrow Electric Trimmer, Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case, Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer
Third Row: Amazon Echo Dot (3rd generation), Phillips Norelco Series 3000 Multigroom Men’s Rechargeable Electric Trimmer (13 pieces total!), Chi Digital Flat Iron, Apple AirPods Pro, Chi Digital Flat Iron, Keurig K-Mini Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker (perfect for a dorm room!)
Over the next few days/weeks I’m planning on sharing some gift ideas for Christmas. I’m starting with some makeup that I really like and use- there’s a mix of drugstore and mid-end products such as Tarte, ColourPop. If you have a makeup-lover in your life (or you’re looking for some new makeup), below are some ideas.
*I do not get commission for purchases made through links in this post*
A few months ago I wrote about my acne journey. I briefly talked about the products I used, but I didn’t go into much detail. I figured that because its been one year since I had my first dermatologist appointment now would be a good time to discuss the products I use more thoroughly. Two products I use are prescriptions (three if you count the medication I take) and two can be found at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Meijer, or wherever you shop.