Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Reader's Nook: Unconventional Love Stories

This week is about loooove. That was corny - apologies - but I think love stories are probably my favorite books to read. I don't tend to go for obvious love stories, I'm more about love conquering all in the end, ya know? Eleanor & Park, The Fault in Our Stars... Pretty sure this might be why I'm single. We'll discuss later.

By the way if you're ever looking for amazing book recommendations follow Casey's Pinterest page, she always pins good ones there!

Let's dive right into it.

The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston - a recommendation from the lovely Abbey Nova from Abby Goes Design Scouting. I've been reading Abbey's blog for a while and remember doing a specific search for "design blogs" (back when I thought reading design blogs and being "creative" all the time meant you were a real designer - oh how times have changed) and her blog popping up. I think that was 2010. She said, "If you have a thing for magic and love READ THIS!" and I was on my library's website within seconds. It does involve magic and mystery and wide open Welsh plains and love... conquering all. : ) It's hard to describe the book without giving away the book so I'll leave it at that. I think you'll like it!

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - I NEVER give in to bestseller recommendations because, um, GOLDFINCH. And I've always been very against "this is what's in right now DO/READ/EAT/WEAR THIS RIGHT NOW!" That's like a surefire way for me to do the opposite forever. The description of the book drew me in though and the story leaves you sobbing by the end (in a good way). I actually ordered 2 more bestsellers to read and review soon. Things are gettin' crazy y'all! Anyhoo, the story is about Louisa who becomes a caretaker for a quadriplegic man named Will. They form a unique friendship and weave a different kind of love story. UGH JUST READ IT ALREADY, DANG.

Have you found that when you read a really GOOD book you can't describe it to someone? I feel like I just told you to read these books but also told you nothing at all. I'm sorry! OH! I finally saw The Fault in Our Stars (affectionately shortened to TFIOS) in theaters and cried like a freakin BABY. Like wracking sobs, snot everywhere, massive headache afterwards because I lost 12 liters of fluid. Lord above will you go see it? So we can be sad/happy together? Mmkay thanks.

The Reader's Nook is a place I've carved out just for readers and to talk about my favorite books every week. If you have any suggestions on books to read or would like to submit a review email me at thebirdsfly{at}me{dot}com. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Great, Amazing, Wonderful, and Spectacular MONTH OF MAY

I'm just now getting around to writing the wonder that was my birthday because I just cleaned my room. This is relevant. I promise. Just bear with me.

I'm not one to dub a birthday other than what it is - A DAY. Friends on Facebook love to talk about their birthday month like it's an actual thing. It's not. It's not an actual thing you guys, but this month I did a LOT. Most of it was birthday related! It made no sense! I'm gonna tell you about it because a lot of it was really cool. By the way everyone who has a birthday in May happens to be really amazing. Coincidence? NO. IT IS NOT.

Warning: this post will be long and I apologize but there are some moments I just have to gush. And gush I will. Because I'm 28 now.

Can I put it in bullets? I wish my life were laid out in bullets. Goodness.

  • I got my hair did! in what's called Marley twists and they look preeeeeetty freakin' sweet. The girl who did them is/was crazy and I won't be seeing her again but I DID adventure all the way to Uptown and walked around in leggings (!!) and a t-shirt up and down Broadway. I couldn't make this up if I wanted to.
  • I saw Kate like... 3 times in a week and a half because a) she took me to Big Star for one of the best meals ever and a nice long chat about life and babies and Groundhog Day. B) her youngest, Alba, turned 1! And we had more tacos* about it, and c) I watched her oldest, Sofia, dance and definitely NOT dance in her tiny tots dance class at Hubbard Street. I could pretty much see Kate daily and have it be the best day ever every day. I value her friendship as gold. 
  • I'm gonna put periods on these bullet points because they are full sentences. CHECK IT.
  • I spent my birthday with my BFF forever, my momma. We got pedicures, and bought shoes, and I got my mussels and fries for dinner! There is no food picture because I was feeling classy (or maybe I ate them all too fast).
  • Downtown swanky sushi affairs happened. Okay 1 downtown swanky affair happened with some of the coolest co-workers (who don't know I never have anything new going on somehow). And after all the swank was swanked we went to Trader Joe's for pie. Yes. 

This is the part where I'm gonna gush about the Kinfolk dinner for a few paragraphs. Okay, thanks. 

Kinfolk Chicago dinner. *exhales* I don't even have enough words to articulate how cool this was. I decided on a pure whim to buy a ticket to a thing I've never been and I'm so glad I did. I had the pleasure of meeting Amanda Jones, co-founder of Kinfolk, design role model of mine and Instagram queen, her husband, Cree, and her baby, Jane. The weird thing about blogging and Instagram is when you meet someone you admire you already know a TON about them right off the bat, and they know SQUAT about you. So I played it slightly dumb and asked her husband for his name and was like, "Ohhh your baby is cuuute what is her naaame?" while inwardly I'm like, "OMG IT'S CREE AND JANE, IT'S CREE AND JANE, HI CREE AND JANE - HIIIII!" Amanda is super sweet and loves Gilmore Girls. I tried to get her to come home with me but it didn't work. Not sure why.

The theme of the night was "The Spirit of the Sea" and the food was themed to match. Really, it was just a chance to mingle and network a bit - a thing I am not the best at. I did meet some pretty awesome people in the little 2 hour window, though. An architect, a billion event planners, a restaurant event assistant, art teachers - just the coolest people ever. And me. The only black girl there. I am my mother's daughter. Among the swirling mass of late 20's there were 2 (TWO) over 40 ladies there who were my absolute favorite. They found out where I worked and called me a celebrity. They do whatever they dang well please and go where ever they like and the intimidation of the 20-something hipster did not daunt them. I have made them my role models. Did I mention that was the coolest thing I've done in forever? THE COOLEST. Oh! and the cafe we had dinner at was right next to the Robie House built by Frank Lloyd Wright. No big deal. I had to tell myself to play it cool a LOT.

I'm pretty proud though, because through the whole thing I was myself. I didn't feel like I was trying to insert myself into the Hyde Park way of living. I can't compare myself to everyone else all the time. For one thing, it's tiring! There is a niche for me, exactly as I am, somewhere in this world, right? Yes. Back to the bullets.

  • I went on an architectural boat tour of the city with my most goodest friend, Anisha. It was cold and there were A LOT of pre-pubescant children but we survived. I also miss her face already.
  • I witnessed a homeless man try to attack someone with a tiny axe. It did not end well for the homeless man because the guy he attacked seemed like he knew Krav Maga. Pretty sure...
  • My niece graduated high school, and my whole entire family got to be there, which was GREAT. It's rare that we all get together. We went out to eat afterwards, it was just a really nice time. Also I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to enroll in the same university as Autumn - I'm just trying for some Financial Aid at the moment. Small hurdles! 
  • I had my first semi-surprise party! Yeah! I was supposed to meet up with a friend in Naperville and it ended up being my friend AND like 4 other friends, we got ice cream, and Starbucks, naturally, and they gave me a few presents! Seriously it was the sweetest thing. Also, I told my mom this and she cried (happy tears?!) like I told her she won the lottery. Can someone explain this to me?
Things I've learned a bit: it's kind of nice to be celebrated every once in a while. I like making a person feel like they matter, who doesn't want to feel like they matter in this ridiculous world? Buuut I also have little regard for myself or my well-being sometimes (all the time) so having someone say, "Hey! We like you and we're celebrating that," was actually uncomfortable. Stupid right? YEAH. I am very grateful for the people in my life, I feel so blessed and privileged, almost selfish, that I get to have them. 

Woo! Bring on 28. 

*I truly believe the world's problems can be solved over tacos. That is all.


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