February Recap

In my January recap I ended the first paragraph with a hopeful message for February being better than January & spoiler alert- it was NOT. February was bad. It was boring, I was sick, I spent a lot of time in a dark place mentally. I had plans on Valentine’s Day to see one of my favorite DJs from 2015 that I had to cancel because I came down with the flu and everything was just awful this month. Throughout the whole entire month I left my apartment for something besides work or necessities a whopping FOUR times. Y’all I did absolutely nothing this month. I knew I was going to have to scale back what I was doing while I look for a part time job for my “fun income” and I have still come up unemployed in that category. I’m still looking but I’ve been very picky about where I want to work, I think I am justified in that though, I don’t want to have to be miserable in a part time job just so that I can afford to do fun things. I also felt super disconnected from my job and really just had no motivation for anything. So I will be hopeful again for March being better than February. Okay, let’s get into the recap.

Here are my (very few) favorites from the month!

Books: I have only read one book this month. But that means that I am on track for my book goals because I am 2/2 out of the month- I’m hoping that this year I actually reach my goal of 12 books this year. I read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. This one wasn’t on my Winter reading list but it was in my office library so I decided to give it a go. I didn’t love it, but I also didn’t hate it. It was a very slow read but I felt myself needing to know how it ended. It isn’t a book I’d read again but I didn’t feel like it was a waste of my time to read..

Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.

Podcasts: Podcasts are literally my new obsession. I find myself listening to podcasts more than I listen to music these days. While I’m getting ready for work, on my drives, and even during work I am usually listening to a podcast and have set days where I wake up so excited for my next episode of my faves. This month I got into the Betches podcasts and my favorite is Not Another True Crime Podcast. I looooove crime stories and the three hosts are so funny & often end up on completely different topics & I have really been enjoying it. I’ve only listened to about 4 episodes but I’m 100% hooked.

Betches Media presents a podcast for people who love all types of sketchy things—from cults to conspiracy theories to, of course, crime—with a healthy dose of irreverent humor. Your co-hosts, Sara Levine, Casey Balsham, and Danny Murphy give the lowdown on one morbidly fascinating topic per episode. They’ll present the facts of each case, punctuated with jokes and side tangents, along with their own personal theories. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt… and that’s where Not Another True Crime Podcast comes in.

So there it is, my EXTREMELY short February recap. I have a few plans for March so I’m definitely a lot more excited for the next month coming up.

Or, Maybe, It’s The Thought of Not Being So Alone

I was okay being single. For a while I was taking the time to figure out who I was. I was always a relationship girl so when I ended things with my college boyfriend almost two years ago I was stuck with this big question of “who is Katie, really?” and I could not for the life of me answer it. My whole life I was a compilation of all the people I’ve met, all the books I had read, the movies I was watching, the place I was living in,  and of course the person I was dating. I had no idea of who I was or who I wanted to be.

So I took some time to think, about who I am and what I wanted. I was getting close. Though I was still taking the time to date around and sleep with men I was trying really hard to change some things about myself. I reflected on my past relationships and realized what was wrong on my end. I am a jealous girlfriend, I’m really insecure, and I have a hard time communicating. But I figured since I could point out my flaws I could work on them. I also wanted to learn what had been wrong in my past relationships. I looked mainly at my last 2 relationships (because my first one was just an abusive mess so why bother to think about that one.) I realized I dated guys who didn’t care about me, who didn’t listen to me, who didn’t inspire me. Oftentimes being with men who simply wanted to sleep with me and nothing else. I dated guys who couldn’t communicate and didn’t understand what I needed from them.

So when I got back out in the dating scene and wanted to find a boyfriend  and not just a hook up I knew there were things I didn’t want to settle for. I wanted someone that was the complete opposite of the men I had dated previously. And I was kinda shit at it. I found a few men to go out with but nothing that screamed boyfriend material until late November. I had found what I assumed to be the last gentleman on earth. After things ended with him I went back in search for another him.

And I have had no luck. But I’ve been hanging out with someone new, and I feel so “???” about it. He reminds me of everything I hated about my ex boyfriend and I can’t get myself out of it. For some reason, I feel trapped. We got into a fight on Friday and I was hell bent on leaving. I shouldn’t have to put up with this shit, I barely know the guy. But I couldn’t leave. Instead I worked for hours trying to communicate in a healthy way with someone who did not want to at all. I have no idea why I couldn’t leave even though I was SO unhappy in that moment.

But then I thought about it, I have been regressing. I’m so scared of having to be alone that I’m putting up with someone who isn’t treating me half of the way I should be treated. I spent all this time creating a list in my head of what I wanted and what I wouldn’t settle for. So why is it that when I found someone who had those negative qualities I couldn’t walk away. And then it hit me. As we were sitting in his kitchen eating breakfast and listening to Hobo Johnson (he’s the first person I met who knew who HJ was let alone enjoyed his music) this lyric hit me. It’s been one of my favorite lyrics of his since I first listened to his music but on that day it just hit me like a ton of bricks. It goes “I love the thought of being with you, or maybe it’s the thought of not being so alone.”

And THAT’S what I’m doing. I don’t want to be alone so I’m forcing myself into these situations with people who are pretty shitty for me because I don’t want to accept the fact that maybe I should be alone for a while and keep working on myself.

I need to figure out what I’m doing in this weird situation, and fast because I don’t know if I can keep up with these dumb fights that drain the life out of me.

January Recap

In December, I started a “monthly favorites” as a way to look back and reflect on some of my favorite things from the past month. I wasn’t sure how often I’d do it (I was hoping to make it monthly if I could remember- and hey I did). This month I did very little, I spent most of my weekends alone in bed watching TV or reading. Overall, it was kind of a lonely month and I think this is how it’s going to be for a little while. With my student loan payments starting up I’ve barely had enough money to get food & gas for the month, let alone to have any fun with friends. I still managed to do some things but definitely not as much as I would have liked to. Hoping for a change in a positive direction for February!

So let’s get into it, here are my January favorites!

TV Shows: Of course, I watched SO many TV shows over the month- that’s basically the only thing I did all month. I will not detail all the shows I watched because that’s just too much so I’ll just stick to my highlights which were The Bachelor, Cheer, Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, and Don’t F**k With Cats.

I feel like The Bachelor is pretty self explanatory and has been on for so many years that I’m not even going to put a description of the show here. But Peter was one of my favorites from Hannah’s season so I’m super excited for this season. He reminds me of the boy next door and is someone I would want to flirt with if I saw him in a bar around town. The girls are all super gorgeous and super catty so I’m real excited for the drama to continue.

Cheer follows the cheerleaders of Navarro College as they prepare for the biggest moment of their lives. As a former cheerleader myself this was right up my alley but it was so much more than what I was expecting. It was heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. 10/10 would watch again.

After their father’s untimely death, Nicholas and his two half-sisters are left to cope with not only a devastating loss, but also the realization that Nicholas is the one who will have to rise to the occasion and hold it all together on Everything’s Gonna Be Okay. I just think this show is super cute & funny and definitely a good watch while I was hungover in bed since the first 3 episodes were all already on Hulu.

Don’t F**k With Cats was the most surprising show on my favorites list. I put this on one weekend as background noise and I was instantly hooked. It’s about a group of online justice seekers track down a guy who posted a video of himself killing kittens. Now, I’m not a fan of animals (although I in no way support what was being done to the cats) and don’t usually care to watch shows about animals but this was so much more than a show about cats. I could not stop watching and watched all of it in one sitting.

Books: I read 2.5/5 books on my winter reading list so far and I think I’m doing pretty well for how little I have read in the past year. I am unsure if I will finish the book I’m currently reading because it’s just not what I expected & I don’t really like it. It may be a book that I keep by my bed to read every now and again before bed since it’s just a collection of short stories. But my favorite book that I read this month is Know My Name by Chanel Miller. I will not write the description of the book because that can be found on my Winter Reading List post.

This book TORE me apart. I can confidently say I sobbed throughout 89% of the book. It was so raw and real and honest. It took me quite a while to get through because it brought up a bit of negative feelings from my own past but I got through it and I’m so glad I did. This is a book I would recommend to anyone and everyone who will listen.

Things I did: I didn’t do too much this month but what I did was really what I needed at that moment. This month I saw Dear Evan Hansen with my sister on Broadway. The show was absolutely amazing and had both of us in tears. I had a girls Girls night with an old friend that I haven’t seen in a few years, who is like another older sister to me. She gave me a lot of advice and I left her house feeling like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. And lastly my job was given a free happy hour which was so much fun! I haven’t felt super connected to the people I work with- mainly because I spend so much of my time out of the office so it was awesome to get together with everyone and share so many laughs. I’ve been feeling a bit off lately so that night was definitely what I needed  this month and  I didn’t want it to end.

DEH

Dates I went on: I went on two really bad dates and was afraid that that was all that was in store for me for January but I was saved from a month of only bad dates. I went on a midweek date with a guy I matched with on Hinge & we spent a bit more time talking than I have with my previous Hinge dates so I feel like I was able to get a sense of who he is as a person before we actually met up. He seems to match my humor and seems like he would be a blast in a glass on a drunken weekend. Anyway our date was at Hops, which you can read about below and it was absolutely amazing. I had figured since it was a weekday we’d have a few drinks, engage in polite small talk, then eventually go our own ways. But we ended up staying at the bar for 3.5 hours and then going back to his place. At the bar we drank, played foosball, played pool, and talked for a really long time. I enjoyed his company and he made me laugh like no guy has in a long time. We spent the night together and I did  end up sleeping with him even though I’ve been trying to not have as much casual sex. But I’m not upset about it, it was good & he hasn’t ghosted (yet) so hopefully there’s more to come.

Products bought/used: I’ve struggled with acne for as long as I can remember. I’m fricken 25 years old and I’m still breaking out like a pubescent teenager. I have tried everything under the sun but the only thing that really stopped my acne was birth control and tanning beds (I know, so bad for you, but I LOVE tanning). Unfortunately, last year I switched methods of birth control & this kind doesn’t help my acne (it actually made it worse). I spend so much time inside hiding away because I’m so ashamed of my skin. I recently started using this product about 3-5 times a week and my skin is FINALLY getting better. I don’t feel the need to cake makeup on my face because of my acne anymore and I’m hoping in a few months my skin is clear again (as long as I can afford to get my ass in the tanning bed soon). The packaging says it makes about 10-15 masks but I have been using this 1-5 times a week for the past like 2 months and I have barely put a dent in the product. I spent about $13 on it at CVS but this is the only thing that has actually done anything to my skin so I’d spend big bucks on it if I had to.

Places I went to: I have loved exploring Philadelphia and I’ve tried to go to as many new places as possible anytime I’m asked to go out. I’m real big on places that have good vibes whatever that means. I usually pick where I go based on pictures of the place and how cute I think it is. So if you’re in the Philly area and want some places to check out, try these: Wissahickon Brewing Company, Lucky Strike, Max Brenner, and Hops

I went to Wissahickon Brewing Company cause it was super close to my apartment and they have food trucks & street meat is a key to my heart. They do weekly quizzo & yoga. It’s also dog friendly inside for all you animal people!

After Wissahickon Brewing Company, I went to Lucky Strike & granted this would be more fun if I was with fun people, but I was with my really bad date. I did some bowling but they also have ping pong, pool, and big jenga/big connect four along with food and beer. I didn’t have the greatest time because of my company but definitely something I would be open to trying again with a group of friends.

Again, the company I had was awful, but the crepe I had was amazing at Max Brenner. I am a chocoholic so this was right up my alley, my crepe was paired with a scoop of ice cream and a shot of melted chocolate… to die for

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My last awesome place was probably my favorite. I went on a midweek date to Hops in Brewerytown and I picked this place 100% based on how cute I thought it was. And it was more than just cute to look at, the food/drinks were good and there were a lot of fun things to do too! (They also had free street parking which I’m always a fan of) I only ate an appetizer of fried pickles (my weakness) and they were delish! I also drank a few too many blood orange ciders which were a lot cheaper than I was expecting from a bar in philly. On top of good food and drinks they also had lots of games- shuffleboard, foosball, pool, and a bunch of board games by their comfy couches. I can already tell this will be a go to place for me.

Thanks for reaching the end of my super long post, here’s to what’s to come in February!

Worst Dates Ever?

In my job, I spend a LOT of time talking about boundaries with young people. I feel like I am a semi-professional talker of boundaries. But I often find myself unable to stand my ground and set my own boundaries. Until now. I for the first time, stood my ground and clearly explained my boundaries many times only to have them continuously crossed.

Over the weekend, I went on a two dates with the same man. To be more specific I went on two bad dates . Besides the lack of chemistry there was a clear crossing of boundaries. I know for a fact that my boundaries are kinda different than anyone else’s. Sometimes I’m fine with things that I’m not okay with the next day. And you know what… THAT’S FUCKING OKAY. I am allowed to change my boundaries depending on the day, on the person, on how I feel that day. And they’re still just as valid as boundaries that are rigid and unchanging. I know that my past has impacted my boundaries and my boundaries with men have been changed the most and I’m really sick of having to explain my boundaries to men who can’t just accept the word stop.

On my 2 dates, we spent a total of probably an hour at his apartment. Now, I don’t know what his intentions were when bringing me back to his place, but I quickly became uncomfortable. I’m not one to tell men right away what I have been through in past relationships. If it comes up I might talk about it depending on the person but it’s usually not my go-to first date conversation. When at his apartment, he kept trying to cuddle and touch me and I expressed that I wasn’t comfortable with being touchy or intimate with someone I did not know. He didn’t listen to that and continued to try and touch and cuddle me. He eventually then made a comment about “all the dirty things he wanted to do to me.” THIS WAS A FIRST DATE Y’ALL! So I pulled away immediately and said that I didn’t like that and he was trying to move too fast. He apologized and asked if I wanted to talk about it. I said no and he kept pushing the subject as I continued to say no. I told him I wanted to leave. Right then and there- I held my ground and said I’m not okay with this and I’m not letting you continue with it.

Now, I realized that I may have overreacted simply because I was not attracted to him. I am not one to shy away from sleeping with someone on the first date so if it was someone I wanted to sleep with I wouldn’t bat an eye. I figured maybe the first date jitters made things weird so I gave him another chance a few days later.

At this point, I made it VERY clear that I was uncomfortable with touching/physical contact and expected him to change his ways. He didn’t. If at any point I touched a part of my body, he also had to touch it. For example, I had an itch on my elbow and went to scratch it- after I was done scratching he felt the need to touch my elbow (like full blown pull my sleeve up to touch my elbow). Then I had makeup on my pants and picked at that and he pulled me around to be able to see/touch what I was doing. I had ENOUGH of it at that point but we still had to be together for a few more hours cause we were going to a comedy show.

He then tried to talk about my first kiss and when I lost my virginity. Which was WAY over the line and I told him I didn’t want to talk about it and he was super pushy about trying to get that info out of me.

Needless to say, I got the hell outta there right after the show and I will be breaking this off within the next few days (I don’t wanna be rude and make it seem like I just used him to see a comedy show) but I will NOT be seeing him again before breaking things off.

I Got Dumped

As you can tell by the title of this post, I am now extremely single. I had two men on my “roster” and put one of them on the back burner to focus solely on the guy I assumed would be a boyfriend at some point.  I was seeing this guy for about a month and I didn’t even really have time to write about it before it was over! So now that I’m back on the apps (sigh) I wanted a chance to write this last guy out of my life.

So it’s been a week since I got dumped and it hurt at first. I took two days to cry, feel all the emotions that comes with the ending of what you hoped would be a longer relationship, and scream the lyrics to every Lizzo song ever made. But it’s okay, because I allowed myself time to be sad over it and then after I cried out all the tears I was ready to move on. It would have been harder to get over if we were seeing each other for longer but I think that a week of grieving the possibility of him is enough. And now I’m gonna tell you a little bit about him so the memory of him and how he treated me can live on in my blog

We met on Hinge, which is probably my favorite dating app, and we went almost straight from matching to our first date. I think I enjoy that strategy more because we didn’t get stuck in this pen-pal like relationship where all we do is text and never meet. So we got drinks at this Mexican restaurant in between both of our neighborhoods (which I need to go back to at some point because the food smelled delicious). I was hesitant to go on the date at first, I was on the phone with my sister before I was heading out and told her that I was thinking about cancelling. The kind of person I am, if I were to cancel I probably wouldn’t have rescheduled and even though things ended after a little over a month I’m still happy I decided to go that night. He was cuter and shorter in person than I expected from his pictures but he was easy to talk to and I enjoyed his company. After a few hours we parted ways and didn’t end with a goodbye kiss, which immediately made me think he wasn’t into it. So I was prepared to get ghosted and I was fine with it. An hour later, my phone dings and it’s him- saying he hoped I got home safe and he had a good time with me. He said he wanted to do it again so I gave him my number and didn’t hear from him.

A few days later my phone rings and it’s him “What’re you doing this weekend? Let’s get together for Saturday”. To my surprise he WAS still interested. I agreed to meet up Saturday and expected a bit of conversation back and fourth but that was the end of it. I figured, oh well- it was one date out for drinks I don’t care if he flakes. But that Thursday he came back and he came in HOT. In a post a few days ago I mention this amazing date I went on but didn’t go into detail (I figured I’d have more time in the relationship to write about it. I was wrong) He had everything planned for Saturday and I was impressed. I’ve gone on dates before but never like this. This felt like he took the time to plan and really think of what would be fun and enjoyable and took all the responsibility of it upon himself- I didn’t ask him to make reservations or buy tickets. I assumed it would be a spur of the moment decision or an “idk, what do you wanna do” kinda thing cause that’s all I was used to. But he told me to be ready at 6:45 sharp and he would be picking me up. The only thing that would have made this night more romance movie-ish would be if he showed up with flowers haha.  We went to this delicious Italian restaurant  and then out to a comedy show in the city. I really enjoyed his company and he made me feel at ease. After the show neither of us wanted to part ways, so we decided we’d meet up with his roommates at a bar in his neighborhood. The bar they were at was cramped and not what either of us were feeling that night so we went back to his house. On our walk back I found one of those “little libraries” where you take a book and leave a book, and I went full nerd girl on him. I was SO excited to stumble upon one. It was dark out so he held his flashlight up to the books for me so I could go through each one and pick the one I wanted to take home. (It was also raining at this point so how he didn’t hate me yet is beyond me haha). I picked the book I wanted and even though I probably wouldn’t read it, I liked the title- it’s called The Atomic Weight of Love which I guess was me putting things out into the universe. Spoiler alert: that didn’t work. And so now that book sits inside my memory box (not my bookshelf), as a little reminder of the night that I first believed I could love someone again. We got back to his apartment and he showed me around and took me to his rooftop patio from which you can see the Philly skyline. And up there on the roof, while rain was misting around us, he finally kissed me and I felt like I was in a chick-flick romcom. We went back inside and talked in his room for a little while. He told me that his shrink says it’s best to wait three dates before he sleeps with someone and I told him I didn’t mind waiting. He also told me had a hard time finding people he was interested in having more than one date with (hint hint, this was our second) and that he enjoyed spending time with me. We talked about a lot of other stupid things, just getting to know each other, and then… we had sex. After we had sex we hopped in the shower together and I told him I take boiling hot water showers. He made a comment about how the air is cold though after getting out and I responded with the fact that I always go from the hot water to the front of my space heater so I don’t get cold. I got out of the shower and there was his space heater turned on and waiting for me. It was something SO SO SO stupidly small but the gesture made my icy heart melt. I left that night feeling like I was open to a world of men who were different. And I was excited to continue with him.

We spent the next few weekends together, always doing something fun and ending the night cuddled up with a Christmas movie. I really felt like it was my own personal romance movie. I felt myself slowly letting go of all the hardness and walls I built from previous relationships. I was excited to feel giddy and light. I felt like I was really myself around him and not many people see the side of me that isn’t acting. The first night we went out he made a comment that I was different than he expected me to be, personality wise. He told me he expected a loud,wild, party girl type but I seemed quiet and reserved. I think he saw through the mask I wear, and I loved that.

But as my luck would have it, three days into the new year I get a text saying that everything he was dealing with in his personal life is too much to handle right now (he was going through a LOT) and he feels like he wasn’t giving me everything he could so he needed to end things and focus on dealing with everything in his life. He apologized for it being through text but said he’d be traveling for work for the next two weeks. I’m personally happy that it was through text, I don’t wanna get dumped in person cause that just seems awkward and uncomfortable to me. I spent a few days upset and crying but looking back he was what I needed in that time. So I did a clean break- unfollowed, deleted pictures, unmatched, and removed from contacts to ensure I wouldn’t drunkenly stumble upon his texts and say something I shouldn’t. I needed to start fresh and move on completely and let him go- so I am.

This was a pointless story but I felt like to completely rid him from my life I needed to write him out of it. If he comes back around once everything has settled and said he’d wanna try again I can’t say I wouldn’t want to. If anything, I’ve learned from him what to expect from a partner and that I don’t want to settle for anything less than what I deserve. I’m optimistic now that there is someone out there who will love me the way I’m supposed to be loved.

 

2020 Goals

I try this every year. I make a list of things I want to accomplish in the new year but never come close to finishing them, even though they are realistic, because mental illness is a bitch and I spend most of my free time sleeping because I don’t wanna deal with the world. That’s just who I am. And I have finally come to the realization that I can’t magically become the person I want to be overnight- especially because I haven’t bothered to work on my mental health in years. But I’m going to try again, and this year maybe I’ll try not to be so hard on myself when I don’t accomplish nearly any of the items. So lets give it a try, here’s my list of goals to accomplish in 2020

  1. See a show/play/stand-up comedy/concert at least once a month
  2. Work on my mental health
  3. Read 12 new books
    1. Carry a book with me at  all times to read during downtime instead of scrolling social media
  4. Do better self care
  5. Eat better
    1. Less fast food, less soda, less “junk” snacks
  6. Drink less alcohol
  7. Stop dating and sleeping with men and boys who make me feel like shit about myself
  8. Stop talking down to myself
    1. Be happy for others without it making me feel shitty about myself
  9. Actually do something when I say I want to/I’m going to
  10. Take a small vacation (that isn’t music festival related)
  11. Take on a passion project at work
  12. Do a deep cleanse and organization of my bedroom
    1. Get rid of anything old and unused
  13. Follow the news & politics more
  14. Procrastinate less (not stop completely cause that’s impossible)
  15. Stop saying “I just” when saying what I want
  16. Stop apologizing for things out of my control

 

What’re some things on your list?

December Recap

I had this post in my drafts created for November that I never finished (story of my life) and I just realized that I can’t post my November faves when it’s already basically the end of December! So here I am, making a new attempt at this, maybe it’ll become a monthly thing. If my past inconsistencies are any indicator, it probably won’t be.

Anyway, here’s some of my favorite things from December. I’d love to know yours as well!

Movies: I watched a million and one Christmas movies this season to make up for the fact that I didn’t have too much holiday cheer but I didn’t really love any of them. I would say my favorite that I watched was Christmas in the Heartland. It reminded me of The Parent Trap and It Takes Two and I thought it was fun, cute, and not overly cheesy.

Christmas in the Heartland follows two girls who realize they are both visiting grandparents they’ve never met and decide to switch places to see how the other lives.

Podcasts: I recently really got into podcasts, I listen to them as I get ready for work, sometimes on my drive when I’m not in the mood for music, and while I sit at my desk. Right now I have 2 favorite podcasts which are Girls Gotta Eat and Bachelor Party.

Girls Gotta Eat is a dating and lifestyle podcast hosted by Rayna Greenberg & Ashley Hesseltine. They talk about their dating lives and have guests who always have awesome things to say and they are both really funny without trying too hard to be.

Bachelor Party is a podcast about one of my favorite shows, The Bachelor(ette) hosted by Juliet Litman and she talks all things Bachelor Nation- often with guests from the series. Right now Bachelor is not on so I’m getting the fix I need by listening about all the past seasons until Pilot Pete graces the world with his presence.

TV Shows: I have a problem, and that’s that I LOVE binge watching TV shows. I literally cannot get enough of streaming services. I only watched one NEW TV show this month but boy am I hooked! My favorite shows this month were Dollface and Good Trouble. I am writing this before the season 2 premiere of You, which I can only assume I will be as obsessed with as I was with the book and the first season.

Dollface is about a young woman who, after breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, tries to reconnect with the friends she lost during the relationship. I found this show a simple binge and extremely relatable and funny.

Good Trouble is a spin off from The Fosters that follows Callie and Mariana after they move to Los Angeles and begin their lives as young adults. As someone who is also a young adult who is in a new city I relate a lot to struggles they play in the show. I also think they are doing a great job being progressive and showing things we don’t see too often. There was only one 2-hour holiday episode this month but it was a great episode.

Books: I have not had too much time to read at all this year and only read one book this month. But that book was something I actually enjoyed. I read the book Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes. It is the sequal to the book You (which is now a show on Netflix) and the season revolving around this book will be coming out the day before my birthday. This series quickly became one of my FAVORITE books/shows of 2019 so I feel like season 2 is a present specifically for me.

Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.
In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice…

Dates: I’ve only gone on actual dates with one guy, but I’m still technically seeing two guys (one who I’m falling head over heels for, btw). I went on my all time favorite date in all almost 25 years of my life with this guy last month but this month we also did some other fun things. I spent every weekend with this guy and I’m really liking spending time with him. On Saturday night I met one of his old roommates and we went out for drinks and then had a little sleepover, but what we did the next day after breakfast is what I really loved. In Philly there is a little set up of shops and Christmas decorations and ice skating- all the fun shit you do around the holidays. And I wasn’t feeling very “holly-jolly” lately and I told this guy that I needed some Christmas cheer in my life and even though he doesn’t celebrate Christmas we went to the Christmas Village and walked around and I got some hot coco and looked at cute babies. It was everything I needed that day and I was so happy. We ended the night at a sports bar watching football and I just feel very much at peace with this man and I’m excited to see where things go. A couple asked if we could take their picture and he looks at me and says “do you want a picture, are you a picture person?” and that meant a lot to me, because I am SUCH a picture person and it was awful trying to get my ex to take photos with me. I didn’t post it because we’ve only been seeing each other for a month and I think that might be odd, and I thought about posting it here but I think I’m going to keep his identity hidden for now.

Gifts I’ve Bought: So I haven’t given this gift yet because Christmas is still 6 days away. My sister has been going through a tough time lately and I wanted to get her something she would really enjoy. A few years ago we got into Broadway shows together and the one she has been dying to see is Dear Evan Hansen. They aren’t the best seats ever cause oh man were they expensive (and I work for peanuts) but I still think it’s something she will enjoy and I’m really excited to give them to her.

 Gifts I’ve received: So I know I just said Christmas is still a few days away so how on Earth do I already know my favorite gifts? Well that’s because my little told me what she was getting me to avoid me getting the same thing (which I would have). For my birthday (which is the 27th of this month) she bought me tickets to see Girls Gotta Eat’s live show in Philly!!!! I am soooo fricken excited! *cues happy dance*

So I know, December isn’t over yet but I really wanted to write this. Maybe I’ll update it at the end of December with the next few days because I have quite a bit to go.

Still to come in December:

  1. NGHTMRE show tomorrow night
  2. A date night with guy #2 (is that mean hahaha) to celebrate my birthday
  3. A brunch get together with a friend from college for her birthday
  4. My nephew’s first Christmas
  5. My 25th (!!!) birthday in Atlantic City to see Steve Aoki (!!!)  with a group of friends
  6. New Year’s Eve at a location TBD

 

 

 

What were some of your favorite things from this month, or what are you excited about that’s coming up?

My Winter Reading List

Every January, I put the same goal on my list of New Year Goals (I stopped calling them resolutions a few years ago, goals just sounded better to me.) And every November I realize how far I am from reaching the same goal. The goal is 12 new books in a year. It could be simple and I could read a book a month but sometimes I’m working late nights and I don’t feel like reading. Or my weekends in the summer are always spent on the road so my books get pushed aside. Last year by November I read 8 books, and somehow managed to read 11 books before the new year. But so far in 2019 I have only read about 3.5 books and I feel really bad about that.

I LOVE reading, and can sometimes finish up to 4 books a month but this year was so hectic with being overworked at my old job, working a second part time job, traveling around for job interviews, moving, spending almost every weekend for 3 months in a different city/state, that I let my love of books fall to the wayside. And when I DID have time to read, it felt more like a chore than something I enjoy

With winter seeming like it’s going to be a lull in my social life and having 0 boyfriend to spend the cold nights with I’ve decided to pick up reading again. I’ve already started the first book on my list last night and I’m about 50 pages in. I’m super excited to start reading again so I’ve compiled a list of books I want to have done by December 31st.

Hidden Bodies by  Caroline Kepnes:  I watched the series YOU on Netflix in literally a day and was so hooked. It was easily one of my favorite shows I’ve watched all year. I also read through the book within a weekend after finishing the series (which was strangely accurate to the series- probably the closest book to screen adaptation I’ve ever seen). I am super excited to read the second one before the second season comes out, the day before my birthday- happy birthday to me. I read reviews that this book isn’t as good as the first one but I’m still really excited to read it.

Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.

In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice…

Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet by various authors:  I am a SUCKER for Young Adult Romance books. I love them all and they are normally my genre of choice. Sometimes I feel too old for them but I just think they are adorable. They are also usually super easy to read. And after reading something as heavy as Hidden Bodies I think I may need something lighthearted to enjoy. I also love short stories because I feel like I can fly through the book a lot quicker. If a book has short chapters, it keeps my interest more than long chaptered books because I can read a chapter in between doing everyday things because I simply cannot stop reading in the middle of a chapter. I don’t expect this book to blow me away or be the most amazing thing I’ve read this year but I think it could be a cute holiday read- especially since I’ve been feeling super romance-y lately. I also don’t think I’ve read anything by any of these authors so maybe I’ll find a new favorite.

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

Know My Name by Chanel Miller: THIS FUCKING BOOK! I am SO excited for. I put it on my Christmas list so I haven’t bought it yet (I’ll have to buy it if I don’t get it for Christmas) but it’s a 100% definite must read for me. I was blown away by her statement and her tragic story has impacted me in so many ways. I cannot wait to hear more of her voice. I haven’t looked up what it was about or read any reviews about it but it has a 4.82 review on goodreads- and I’m sure it will be phenomenal. I think it may take me a bit longer to get through than the others, because as a victim myself, I know it might be triggering. So I will give myself a pass if I don’t finish it before the new year.

She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford’s campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral–viewed by eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time.

Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words. It was the perfect case, in many ways–there were eyewitnesses, Turner ran away, physical evidence was immediately secured. But her struggles with isolation and shame during the aftermath and the trial reveal the oppression victims face in even the best-case scenarios. Her story illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.

Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. It also introduces readers to an extraordinary writer, one whose words have already changed our world. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell: I’ve read two books by Rainbow and I’ve enjoyed both of them. I wouldn’t say either was the greatest book I’ve ever read but I really enjoyed both and they were easy reads. I think this book sounds super cute and I’m trying to move away from young adult and start reading more adult books. The hardest part about that though is finding adult romance books that aren’t just about sex. I love a good steamy read but I’d also like to be able to read it in public or on my down time at work.

“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you…”

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now—reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers—not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained—and captivated—by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

Fight or Flight by Samantha Young:  This is another adult romance book that seems like it isn’t going to be nonstop sex. It seems fun and lighthearted- which is my choice of books lately. These kinds of books and movies have been my guilty pleasure lately and I can’t help but give in to the romance. I’m hoping that if I expose myself to enough happy mushy love/lust that it will melt my icy heart.

The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn’t hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash traveling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava’s ever had. And that’s all it was–until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.

When pure chance pulls Ava back into Caleb’s orbit, he proposes they enjoy their physical connection while he’s stranded in Boston. Ava agrees, knowing her heart’s in no danger since a) she barely likes Caleb and b) his existence in her life is temporary. Not long thereafter Ava realizes she’s made a terrible error because as it turns out Caleb Scott isn’t quite so unlikeable after all. When his stay in Boston becomes permanent, Ava must decide whether to fight her feelings for him or give into them. But even if she does decide to risk her heart on Caleb, there is no guarantee her stubborn Scot will want to risk his heart on her….

Does anyone have any other books I should add to my list? I have a long way to go until I reach my goal of 12 books before December 31st so I’d greatly take suggestions!

The Funny Thing About Trauma

I have been trying to pick up the pieces of my life for many years. Some days it’s easy- I get out of bed with a smile and brave the day knowing that nothing can bring me down. But some days, I lay in bed afraid of what may happen if I come out from under the covers.

I have been doing well for quite some time. I was able to put my abusive ex boyfriend in the past and started to be able to handle my triggers. We hadn’t spoke in around 3 years and I finally felt like I was free. But the tricky thing about trauma is that it has its way of sneaking in through the cracks.

Last week it felt like all my hard work had come crumbling down. My sister ran into my ex at a bar in our hometown. They had been friends before him and I even dated so naturally, he went to say hello to her. He told my sister he was sorry for all the pain and hurt he caused me and wrote his phone number down to give to me. Had my sister been sober, I’m sure she would not have even mentioned seeing him- but she did. Just the thought of my sister seeing him sent me spiraling. What he said was all I could think about for days. And in my mind I knew the right thing to do for my mental health was to just let it go and not reach out. But the thing about being abused for so long, you sometimes do what you know you shouldn’t because that person still has a hold on you.

So, I messaged him. As soon as I hit send I knew it was a bad idea, but it was too late to take it back. I hit send in the middle of an aisle in Target and immediately felt like all the air was taken out of the room I was in. We chatted a bit, I made a point of telling him how well I was doing and how happy I am in my new city (even if I was exaggerating a little bit, I wanted him to think I’m doing better than I am). And after I said goodbye and told him that being in touch with each other is not healthy for either of us, I put my head on my pillow and cried for the rest of the night.

With one conversation, I suddenly felt like I had barbed wire wrapped around my throat. I couldn’t breathe and was convinced I was on the verge of passing out. I spent the next 24 hours in a fog. I felt like the 16 year old girl who was walking on eggshells all over again and I couldn’t hide it. I got to work the next day and my pain was written all over my face. One conversation pulled me into such a deep hole that I couldn’t go more than a half hour without having a panic attack. And so I left work early that day, climbed into bed, and didn’t move for 24 hours- not to eat, not to shower, not even to put on my pajamas.

I went back to work after staying in bed for an amount of time I’m not proud of and slowly put myself back together. My heart still sunk a bit every time I opened my messages app and saw his name but I for some reason cannot bring myself to delete the conversation. But I was feeling better, it’s been  about 2 weeks since we talked and I feel better than I did when we had first talked. Until this past weekend. I was at the bar with some friends and in a break in our conversation I caught a second of the song that was playing- it was his old ringtone. And I lost it. I ran out of the bar because it felt like the walls were closing in on me. I went and sat on the curb until the song was over, and then put it behind me and tried to move on once again.

Most days I’m fine but sometimes a sound or a smell or someone’s voice will bring me back into those days. Sometimes I can snap right out of if but other times it takes me days. And that’s the funny thing about trauma.

My 2019 Holiday Bucket List

I have a problem. This time of year I get WAY too invested in the Hallmark Christmas movies. Since it’s too cold for me to want to leave the house, after work and on weekends I can usually be found curled up on the couch watching movies with a cup of coco. The problem comes when I’m about three movies deep and all real life fantasies are replaced with the idea that a perfect boyfriend will fall out of thin air to catch me when I’ve slipped on a patch of ice, cause that’s how all these movies go right?

I’ve been, for a lack of a better phrase, romantically challenged  lately especially around the holidays which just leaves me bitter and cranky while I hate-watch these overly cute couples fall in love as the snow falls around them (and somehow doesn’t mess up the girl’s hair???).

I’m really hoping that since I’ve moved from a place who’s “cute available men in their 20’s” population is -10 to a place where I see at least 5 cute men (who’s relationships status is unknown) every time I go to the grocery store that I have a better chance of a holiday fling.

So as I sit at work not in the mood to do anything productive I’ve came up with my holiday bucket list! Enjoy…

  1. Figure out the perfect replacement for Starbucks Gingerbread Latte since they didn’t bring it back for 2019 😦
  2. Make a list of all the things I’m grateful for
  3. Do something “Christmas-y” with my nephew for his 1st Christmas
  4. Visit the Christmas themed pop-up bar in Philly & get holly-jolly-hammered
  5. Go snow-tubing (for someone who has lived in the mountains for almost her whole life, I’ve never gone snow-tubing)
  6. Eat my weight in my uncle’s homemade pumpkin squares & chocolate pie at Thanksgiving dinner
  7. Send out my own holiday cards to family members & friends for the first time ever
  8. Have a spur of the moment snowball fight while strolling in a park which leads to us falling on the ground and sharing a romantic kiss, cause that happens in real life
  9. Do a small act of kindness, like pay for someone’s coffee/food behind me
  10. Kiss someone under a mistletoe
  11. Go to the Christmas Village in Philly
  12. Take myself out on a date for my 25th birthday
  13. Get super drunk and have a great time with my friends for my 25th birthday
  14. Make a gingerbread house
  15. Go ice skating
  16. Go on at least 5, hopefully holiday themed, dates
  17. Have an ugly Christmas sweater party
  18. Make a list of *realistic* goals for 2020
  19. Ring in the new year like Gatsby would
  20. Start a new decade with a heart filled full of love, move on from all the bad that has happened the past 10 years, and focus on personal growth

I’m hoping that as some of these happen I’ll share some pics and stories with you all. I’m thinking this is going to be a great holiday season.

 

Is there anything on your holiday bucket list?