My Beach Essentials

Since I’m at Topsail Island, NC with my family this week I figured that I should go ahead and share my beach essentials. I don’t pack a whole lot for the beach, but what I do pack I can’t live without!

Beach Tote: My family has always used a Lands End tote bag to cart all our stuff out to the beach. The monogram helps us know it’s ours! Right now Lands End is having a promotion on these – You can get yours for $25!

Sun Bum Sunscreen: I’m allergic to most sunblocks (don’t ask me why, my skin just sort of did this to me after I started using prescription medication to treat my acne…it’s weird!) but this one seems to work well. I love using the stick for my face and any part of my swimsuit that rubs (hello any suit that ties around my neck). The best part – they’re free of chemicals that bleach coral reefs!

Beach Towel: I’ve collected an interesting menagerie of towels over the years. As long as I can easily spot it from the ocean I don’t care where it’s from or what brand it is. Sometimes the beach grocery stores have the best ones!

Books: I never go to the beach without a good book. This week I’ve packed more than I can handle (what can I say, I have high hopes). The Nightingale, Emergency Contact, Fates and Furies, Prozac Nation, Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea

Water Bottle: I carry a metal insulated water bottle with me almost everywhere now. While I love my Nalgene, Hydro Flasks and their assorted knockoffs are perfect for summer because they keep everything super cold. There’s nothing worse than being thirty on a hot beach and only having lukewarm water!

That’s all from me. What essentials do you pack for a beach trip?

On My Radar

Hello all!

Yesterday was Father’s Day (hi, Dad). I drove Carson home to Asheville for a reunion with my parents. I think it was a very good Father’s Day present. If you’re wondering what I go him, the card I found from Avid Books was on their Instagram! And I also brought home some Athens made beers.

Did you know that the Athena beer from Creature Comforts, in Athens, Georgia, appeared in Endgame? Apparently it’s Thor’s beer of choice!

While I’m not much of a beer person, Will and I have discovered a pineapple cider that we both love (which, if you know us, is a miracle because our food preferences couldn’t be more different). Apparently Trader Joe’s has some and I can’t wait to try it! Sounds like a perfectly ~beachy~ drink.

In other news, I have become slightly obsessed with using canvas bags as purses on the days I run errands. Need a grocery bag? You got it. Running to Target? No need for using plastic bags. Impromptu trip to the farmer’s market? Gotcha. Throwing all your art supplies or writing utensils into one bag that you’ll probably need to wash ten million times to get your paint stains out of it? Look no further. Seriously, I love these things. Bon Appetit wrote an article on them, and what they say about your personality. My favorites are the one from Psychic Wines and Reanimator Coffee Roasters.

That’s the offering for today. Hope you enjoyed my little tid bits on life, although they sometimes seem to go together about as well as all the things you keep in your kitchen’s junk drawer. (Speaking of, if you’re looking to clean out your kitchen Joy the Baker has a post on that.)

What Does Your Restaurant Tote Say About You
from Bon Appetit

Life As A Pioneer (AKA living as a millennial without a microwave)

As my roommates and I all move out to start our new adult lives our stuff has slowly began to disappear from our house. I’m currently sitting in a living room with a tv stand, but no tv, end tables, but no couch, curtain rods, but no curtains…you get the picture. Not throwing shade at my roommates – this is just how adulthood is sometimes. Or, as the kids say nowadays, that’s just “how it be.”

I don’t know about you, but my microwave is an adulthood essential. All of my home cooked meals usually end up in there, most of those meals being a 9pm dinner of popcorn and wine. Living life without a microwave has thus left me without my popcorn, and I have been (somewhat) devastated. It’s crazy to think that I go about my days using technology that could be easily replaced but when I’m left trying to “easily replace” it I’m somewhat dumbfounded by how much my adult self needed it.

People say that a wine glass is basically just an adult sippy cup. If that’s the case, then my microwave is the adult version of a pack’n’play. Instead of reheating my coffee or tea, I have to brew a new batch. Trying to make a frozen meal? Forget it being ready in five minutes because now you have to wait on the oven to heat up. And don’t get me started about popcorn on the stove – I nearly took my own eye out. I’m having to re-learn simple tasks that are crucial to adulthood (like, for example, cooking…). No longer are things quick and easy. I actually have to plan things out. Yeesh.

I hope you all realize that that was sarcasm. If not, it was sarcasm. Cool. Glad we’re on the same page. Anyways! This is a long winded way of saying that I take a lot of things for granted and don’t realize it until it’s 2am and I’m making stove top popcorn and being burned by flying bits of butter. Adulthood is a long and winding road. Simple things like microwaves and iPhones make it a lot easier, but in terms of actually knowing how to do life “right” my generation has a long way to go. We’re so dependent on the technologies of our childhood that when it comes to facing some part of life without them we tend to fall apart and not really know how to carry on as normal. This goes for little things, like single use plastics, too.

Plastics became big during my parents’ childhoods. Tupperware became an especially fast growing phenomenon. My mom remembers having tupperware parties where housewives would gather around to sell each other Rubbermade bowls and lids. Now we’ve become so reliant on it that living life without it seems…awkward, and more effort than it’s worth. For example, why would you go through the trouble of getting out pots and pans if you could just pop that dinner plate into the microwave to heat it up? Why go bring your own cups to Starbucks when they have their own? Get my drift?

It’s so much easier to walk into a store and buy what you need and walk out without having to think about it. Not to mention, it’s much cheaper to buy single use plastics than to purchase things in containers made of glass or metal. Another thing to not mention is the way an entire industry has changed based on the fact that we’re no longer using glass refillable bottles for milk, and it’s no longer a “neighborhood” thing where you leave the bottles at your doorstep and your friendly neighborhood milk bottle boy would pick them up, have them refilled, and bring them back. Instead of a neighborhood enterprise, it’s now national. If I’m being honest, this is pretty remarkable in an oddly awe-inspiring way (keep a lookout for my next memoir Girl Inspired by How Single Use Plastics Changed the National Dairy Industry in Under One Generation. Haha. Just kidding.).

Change is hard. Reverse change is even harder. No one likes to think about going backwards as progress, but hey, sometimes you need to take a step back in order to get a running start, right? And now, as I go back to living life with the crippling anxiety of not having my microwave to assist me in my comfort of superfluous everyday living, I have decided that appliance I cannot live without is my tea kettle, which actually isn’t mine but my roommate’s. Wish me luck.

If you’d like to read more about single use plastics, click on the following links:

If you want to read more about the United State’s milk industry, click here:

Reading Recap

It’s been a whiiiiiile since I did one of these posts. I know I did many many many of them when I first started the blog, but then they tapered off as I decided to write about other things.

Let’s get started!

I read 33 books in 2018. Ready for a rapid fire list? Let’s go!

  1. East of Eden John Steinbeck
  2. A Cold Welcome: The Little Ice Age and Europe’s Encounters with North America Sam White
  3. The Big Burn Timothy Egan
  4. Hemingway Didn’t Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations Garson O’Toole
  5. Dust Bowl Donald Worster
  6. I, Coriander Sally Gardner
  7. Feminism is for Everybody Bell Hooks
  8. Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? Frans de Waal
  9. Gone Girl Gillian Flynn
  10. Modern Romance Aziz Ansari
  11. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Neil DeGrasse Tyson
  12. The Malthusian Moment Thomas Robertson
  13. One Renegade Cell Robert A. Weinberg
  14. The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath
  15. The Fountainhead Ayn Rand
  16. The Radium Girls Kate Moore
  17. Hillbilly Elegy J. D. Vance
  18. Good Omens Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
  19. The Castle Franz Kafka
  20. Sharp Objects Gillian Flynn
  21. Fire and Fury Michael Wolfe
  22. I Felt a Funeral, In My Brain Will Walton
  23. Missing Microbes Martin Blaser
  24. Bandwidth Eliot Peper
  25. Columbine Dave Cullen
  26. The Girls Emma Cline
  27. Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls David Sedaris
  28. The Blood of Emmett Till Timothy Tyson
  29. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone J. K. Rowling
  30. The Sun and Her Flowers Rupi Kaur
  31. Educated Tara Westover
  32. It’s Kind of a Funny Story Ned Vizzini
  33. The Princess Saves Herself in This One Amanda Lovelace

Phew okay that’s a lot. Some of them I read so fast I don’t even remember reading them.

My favorite(s) from 2018: The Fountainhead; I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain; East of Eden; Educated; Hillbilly Elegy

Books I hated with a burning passion: Bandwidth, Hemingway Didn’t Say That, The Castle

I didn’t include any of the textbooks or scholarly architectural novels I read for class in the above list. I did include texts from my environmental history course, but only because I thoroughly enjoyed reading them and didn’t consider them “textbooks”. If I included all my school books, I would have hit 40. A whopping total!

While I read a lot of print books, I also enjoy audiobooks for when I’m traveling. My favorite audiobook from 2018 was Good Omens. It sounded like I was watching a movie rather than a book. As soon as I finished I picked up my dad’s paper copy of the book and read it again in one day flat. And then I made him read it. And then I recommended it to all my friends. I got a little starstruck…but it’s coming to Amazon as a tv series and I couldn’t be happier!

I haven’t read as many books in 2019…The year is almost halfway over but I’m only at 6 books, with 4 more that I’m currently reading. Oops! Hopefully summer will catch me all back up to where I want to be and I’ll have another nice long post for you all come 2020!