June was quite a month! Most of the month was consumed by apartment hunting, furniture buying, and general planning. There wasn't a whole lot of free time this past month, which mainly means there hasn't been as much to photograph but I still tried to document as much as possible. I definitely found myself forgetting to take out my camera during the more exciting parts of the month because I was trying to be more in the moment and whipping out my camera just wasn't the first thing on my mind. However, looking back I wish I had photographed some more of those moments and I definitely will for this next month's post!
We are moving in a couple of weeks and I could not be more excited about it! Obviously I'm incredibly excited to be moving in with Brad, but I'm also really excited about the prospect of building a little home in a very conscious way, with pieces that we will want to keep for years to come. I've aways loved interiors, which I think mainly comes down to the fact that my dad works in construction and home renovation and my parents spent a lot of my childhood renovating our own home with the help of some family friends who were incredible interior designers. I also am someone who is very much affected by the space around me. My mood changes so much depending on how I perceive the space around me, which is why I always feel so stressed when there is any sort of mess in my space.
We are just renting our new apartment, so doing any sort of permanent changes are out the window at the moment, however we have a really great blank canvas to work with in our new place and I think we will be able to make it feel like our own in a lot of other ways. We don't have a ton of furniture, but we definitely have enough to be able to live comfortably. One of the good things about having a pretty minimal furniture collection is that we can wait to buy certain pieces that we know we will want to get a lot of longevity out of. We aren't planning on buying everything as soon as we move in, but rather plan on getting furniture piece by piece so as to guarantee we are finding our favorite pieces. Both Brad and I are very much drawn to the mid-century look, but neither of us want to get everything to look like it came straight out of a West Elm catalogue (although there is absolutely nothing wrong with that). A lot of the pieces we have our eye on definitely lean towards the mid-century look, but we are planning on breaking it up with some more traditional-looking pieces to keep a balance and just put our stamp on the place a bit more.
I've been finding most of my inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram, although it's obviously much easier to find specific things on Pinterest. I want the whole space overall to feel very relaxed and cozy, so I'm sure there will be a lot of throw pillows and blankets involved in our decoration process. The apartment also has really nice soft light and I think that'll just enhance the cozy feel we want the place to have. Of course there will be tons of plants everywhere, and to be honest all I want to spend money on at the moment is plants and furniture.
I'm incredibly excited to document this whole process on the blog, although I'm sure there will be some significant time between when we move in and when we'll feel like it's totally done. I'm very happy that none of this process feels rushed and that hopefully we'll have a place that we will want to stay in for years to come!
I've been quite the reading machine the past couple of months. I've been trying really hard to cut back on my Netflix streaming and screens in general and been spending more of my down time reading. Making the shift away from scrolling through Instagram endlessly or mindlessly watching Netflix for hours on end has massively helped with my general mental well-being, as it helps me to decompress in a much more conscious way. Rambling aside, here are the books I've read over the last season.
The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair ~ This one was definitely of a light, fun read, which was much needed seeing as the books I had read prior were pretty meaty. As a lover of history and color theory this book was super interesting. The book goes through some of the most famous and interesting colors produced and tells the story of how they were made and the historical significance they have. This is a really great book if you just want something to dip in and out of on vacation. I also loved that while it is a kind of nerdy book, it would be very easy to read and understand if you weren’t very well-versed in world history or color theory.
Autumn by Ali Smith ~ I had heard a lot about Autum prior to reading this book and was thoroughly interested in the plot line. The book largely centers around the relationship between Daniel Gluck, an elderly man, and Elizabeth Demand, a 20-something woman, who have been friends and neighbors since Elizabeth was around 12 and how their lives are affected living in post-Brexit England. This is definitely a book I foresee myself re-reading in a couple of years time not only to have more perspective on Brexit itself, but also because Ali Smith writes in a stream-of-consciousness sort of way that lends itself to being re-read.
Himself by Jess Kidd ~ I love true crime but can’t say I’m as much of a fan of mystery or crime novels. However I absolutely loved reading Himself by Jess Kidd. This book was definitely a bit of a slow burner for me, especially because I was reading it during a particularly busy month, but by the last 150 pages or so I was absolutely devouring the book, reading 50-60 pages at a time. The book is about Mahoney, an orphan, who makes his way back to his small west coast Irish hometown from Dublin as an adult to find out what happened to his mother. There is a strong likelihood that his mother was murdered shortly after he was born, but he has no way of knowing for sure. The book is not only a mystery, but also explores the inner-workings of a very old, tight-knit Irish community with a lot of secrets.
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado ~ I heard about this book because of the Belletrist book club pick of the month several months ago. Every couple of months I like reading a book of short stories or essays just to break things up a bit and I’m really glad I finally got into reading this book. Some of the stories are somewhat futuristic and even take a slight surrealist tone. At their core though, every story revolves around the struggles women face on a day-to-day basis, especially those struggles related to female bodies and the trauma that female bodies often endure. This definitely isn’t a light read, but is incredibly rewarding.
When this post goes live it will have been exactly a year since I graduated from college. College, graduating and post-graduation life are things that I've talked about a lot, but I thought that this post could provide a bit more perspective than my previous blog posts have. I guess the best place to start is acknowledging the fact that this past year has been rough, and I think that comes down to two major factors. The first one being that I have always been the person that loved school and for the majority of my life, school was my safety net. So, to be thrown out of my comfort zone and into the work force felt like a major shock to my system. That's not to say I didn't like work, because I absolutely did, but there isn't a clear path set for you finding a career (especially being someone with a liberal arts degree) as there is being in school. The second major factor in my feeling unsettled by this transition was the fact that I moved home after having previously lived completely by myself for the last two years of college. I definitely should make the disclaimer that I am by no means ungrateful about moving home and consider myself incredibly privileged that I have parents who would let me move back and who I have a great relationship with to make a difficult process that much easier. However, when you're so used to creating your own space and having your own routines and ways of doing things, it can be a little bit weird to inhabit someone else's space. Because my boyfriend also moved to San Francisco, I spend a lot of time going back and forth between my parent's house and his apartment, which adds to not feeling fully settled.
I guess a lot of my troubles this year have come down to figuring out a solid direction in my life, and feeling as though I’ve never been fully settled for the past year, which is a feeling I’ve both never really experienced and also am extremely uncomfortable with. I’m someone that sees my life in very black and white terms and I am incredibly hard on myself, so if I’m not doing exactly what I’m passionate about (i.e. creating content and writing) as a job it feels like failure. It’s a trait that I have become more and more aware of over the past year and something that I am trying desperately to work on. Because school was very much my comfort zone and something I was good at, I very rarely felt failure for prolonged periods of time. For most of my academic career I felt like a big fish in a little pond, whereas post-graduation I've definitely been a little fish in a big pond. I've needed to learn how to give myself the space and time to just figure things out and to be more comfortable inhabiting that grey area. After all, I'm only 23, and most people my age have no clue what they want to do or have found a job that is there "dream job".
I don't want this post to be entirely negative, because there have also been some incredibly positive things that have happened this past year, one of which being getting back into blogging on a consistent basis. Even though I don't have nearly enough time to dedicate to blogging and creating content as I'd like, carving out time on my days off and maybe waking up an hour or two early on my working days to just sit down and write has given me a sense of comfort and stability in an otherwise very unstable period. It's also made me realize that this is what I want to dedicate myself to long-term. Whether this becomes my full-fledged career is neither here nor there, but I know that this will always be a creative outlet for me and something I will dedicate time to even if I'm not making money from it.
Another incredibly positive piece of the last year has been building friendships and spending lots of time with my girlfriends. It's something that I wrote an entire blog post about and am extremely grateful for. Not only have I gotten to see some of my oldest friends more, since we are now in the same city again, but I've also been lucky enough to cultivate new friendships with some of my co-workers. I definitely worried a little bit post-graduation about making friends outside of school, simply because making friends and maintaining friendships whilst in school is relatively easy. I was most worried that I'd have trouble meeting new people and making sure I had enough time to spend with friends, despite having a rather packed schedule. I think what it all comes down to is understanding that you might not get to hangout with a certain friend every single week, but to keep the channel of communication clear and stay in contact even if you're too busy to see them in person.
Last, but not least is probably the most positive thing that has come out of this year is that my boyfriend and I found an apartment and will be moving in the next couple of weeks! It was funny timing because we got the place almost a year to the day that we graduated and I'm so incredibly excited not only to have a place that we can call our own and to really settle into, but that it also represents moving on to a new chapter with my best friend. I know moving will be somewhat stressful, but I'm more excited than stressed about the process. I will definitely be sharing aspects of putting our place together on this space.
I know this post has been one hell of a ramble, but it's definitely been therapeutic for me to write. If this helps even one person, I know that spending hours writing this will have been worth it. I want to end things by saying, certain wrinkles from the past year have definitely been ironed out, but I also don't pretend that I've figured out what it means to be an adult fully, and who knows if I ever will (and that's ok!). I've definitely learned more about myself in the last year than I did during my four years in college, and that's mainly down to the fact that I've been thrown out of my comfort zone more than ever and had to face that grey area.
I’ve been trying really hard for the past couple of months to cut down on shopping in general, but especially clothes shopping (a topic that I plan to go more in depth about in a later blog post). I definitely went a bit wild with building up my wardrobe after I graduated, and I feel like now I’m finally completely content with where my wardrobe is at. However, there are things that I’ve bought that I definitely will wear in the future, but I certainly do not need. I’ve also noticed that because I’m constantly consuming other people’s content (especially via Instagram) and creating my own content, I am more influenced than I would like to be to buy things I don’t necessarily need or will have a ton of longevity in my wardrobe. I’ve never been hugely influenced by trends, and I would still confidently say that my style is not heavily trend-driven, but there are so many images on Instagram of people wearing the same stuff that it’s hard not to be drawn to trendy pieces that you normally wouldn’t be drawn to every once and a while.
One of the biggest trends as of late has been the re-emergence of tiny cat eye sunglasses. Don't get me wrong, I love a good cat eye pair of sunnies, but the small ones leave me completely cold. I think some people totally rock them and it goes with their personal style, but they've become such a thing on Instagram that it seems like everyone and their mother has been adopting the trend. Being a child of the 90s, I mainly associate tiny sunglasses with The Matrix and I honestly think that I will never disassociate that movie from this trend. I always think that more classic shapes look better on me personally, and since I also prefer to invest in sunglasses, buying super trendy sunnies is never really my m.o.
I love espadrilles. They always look so summery and effortless, and they've always been a shoe that I've wanted to purchase. However, being in San Francisco we don't have a very hot summer and I don't generally see huge changes in what I wear from season to season. Espadrilles have always felt like an incredibly summery shoe to me, and I just don't think they would fit in my wardrobe as is, and at best I'd probably get a handful of wears out of them per year. If I were going on vacation at some point later this summer I might consider purchasing a pair, but seeing as I have no vacation plans for the next couple of months, I would rather spend my pennies on footwear that will have more longevity in my wardrobe (loafers anyone?).
A trend that I just categorically do not get is the "ugly" sneakers trend. I'm generally not very into sneakers, and if I do wear sneakers I will always be drawn to a very classic option like Converse high tops or Vans Old Skools. I feel like part of me not understanding this trend also has to do with the fact that I am admittedly not very well-versed in streetwear on the whole, which is where this trend mainly came from. I especially don't get shoes like the Balenciaga Triple S's, which are the most eye-wateringly expensive pair of clompy sneakers. I think it's totally a matter of different aesthetics, but I can say without a doubt that I will never buy into this trend.
Another trend that I don't foresee myself buying into is heavily branded handbags, especially designer bags. I have yet to buy a designer bag (and don't have any plans in the near future to purchase one), but if I were in the market for one I definitely would go for something with very understated branding. The main brand that has cornered this heavily branded aesthetic is Gucci, and I have to say that I love what Gucci is doing at the moment. I love the ironic nature that they are taking, putting their logo all over everything and making the best over-the-top pieces of clothing. However, while I love their collections and ad campaigns I would never see myself buying into it. I think at the moment that irony has a lot of relevance and is resonating with people, but I don't foresee it being a trend that will be around in the next five years or so, although I'm sure, like any trend, it will come back around at some point.