A little slice of January…
Highlights: Friends and nature! Two of my favorite people were in from out of town at the beginning of the month! They are more athletic than I am, so we went hiking at Pinnacles National Park, where I’ve never been before. It was spectacular. But later on I found out that tarantulas live here and had a retroactive panic attack, trying to remember if I had stuck my hands into any holes that could have been spider cottages. (Okay, I’m not totally sure where tarantulas live, but I can’t google it because then photos come up and I have nightmares).
We also always go to Point Lobos State Reserve, which is just five minutes down the road and is absolutely gorgeous (and I’m pretty sure there are no tarantulas, just lazy seals and seabirds.)
In the kitchen: Last week it was rainy and grey, and I suddenly decided I wanted to make scones. (If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen my excessive documentation of the scone-making in my Instagram stories.) They were perfect for a cozy rainy day. I used this recipe (it’s in French, but this one is very similar).
Except I did something stupid — I preset the oven to 200, measured out everything, cut out the scones, put them to cook, and they weren’t even nearly done after 20 minutes. What did I do wrong? OH! I forgot to convert the oven temperature to Fahrenheit. #facepalm
What I’m listening to: The only thing I like about going to the gym (I’ve been going for a month, where are my effing endorphins?) is that I get to listen to podcasts. I used to listen to podcasts all the time when I was home alone cooking or cleaning, but since we moved to California I almost never have the occasion to catch up on my favorites (until now).
This month I started listening to Homecoming; the way lifestyle bloggers were raving about it, I was expecting something as riveting as Serial, but I didn’t really get into until the fourth episode. It’s intriguing, but some of it feels a little contrived. Have you listened to it?
Best purchase: Clothes from Grana! I almost never buy new clothes but I’ve been wanting to order from Grana for awhile, and I thought it would be nice to own more than one t-shirt that I actually like. (Now I just wear my two Grana t-shirts all the time. Hopefully no one at school will notice.)
They’re similar to Everlane (quality minimalist products with lower mark-ups than retail) but they are a bit less expensive (silk shirt from Everlane: $88, silk shirt from Grana: $49). They also ship to a lot of European countries (including France), which Everlane does not. (And somehow they managed to get my order from Hong Kong to California in less than 48 hours. Very impressive.)
The one negative thing I learned about Grana is that you have to snap up what you want while it’s available in your size/color. I delayed ordering because I am bad at spending money, and in the meantime the shirt I really really wanted ran out of stock in my size. I was irrationally upset about being deprived of reasonably-priced silk, and Hugo had the nerve to say, “Sweetie, it’s just a shirt” which only enraged me further. (I took a deep breath and got TF over it like a grown up.)
You can get 10% off at Grana if you use my referral link. (I’ll get $20 in store credit, thank youuuuu!!!)
Blogging: I’ve been linking up with #AllAboutFrance (hosted by Phoebe of Lou Messugo) for awhile; it’s fun way to connect with other bloggers. I recently discovered the #FarawayFiles link-up, hosted by Erin of Oregon Girl Around the World, Clare of Suitcases and Sandcastles, and Katy of Untold Morsels, and they are so welcoming to new bloggers! I’ve discovered some great blogs, and I love sharing travel posts I’ve written since those don’t usually get a lot of love. It’s a weekly link-up, so I hope I’ll have time to keep participating regularly once school starts up again.
I’ve also been messing around with my blog design, which is a little tricky since I don’t have access to the CSS. I don’t think I’ll ever get it the way I want it unless I switch to wordpress.org, but it seems overly self-indulgent to do that when I barely have time to blog in the first place.
Here is a great resource for customizing your blog if you’re not an HTML pro.
What I’m reading: I spend a gazillion hours every day reading the internet but I never read novels anymore, and that makes me feel sad and a little stupid, so I went to the library and got some books. I’m currently working on The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Have you read it?
Current favorite Trader Joe’s snack: Toss up between Sour Cream & Onion Corn Puffs and Veggie and Flax Seed Tortilla chips with Spicy Hummus.
It goes without saying that a lot of really shitty things happened at the end of January. I don’t really want to get into it. It makes me sick. I’m also awed by the solidarity people have shown worldwide. I was amazed to see people marching all over the world in the Women’s March. This fury-fueled global protest is the only thing that gives me hope.
In February I’ll be back at school, aka as busy as those bees guarding the rosemary bush in the front yard (I swear they buzz louder when I lean in to rip off a sprig. It’s downright menacing.) I’m also going on an extreme health kick for a few weeks, so next month I’ll tell you if I survived. (If you don’t hear from me, well, then you’ll know.)
What are you looking forward to this month?