Beach Day Reads

Beach Day Reads

I can’t believe it’s the last week of July! I haven’t even made it to the beach yet, perhaps that’s why it hasn’t quite felt like summer yet. Not to worry, we still have 55 days of the season left. I’m on it!

I found this old photo from one of many summer adventures at Point Dume on a crisp morning, turned hot day – encapsulating all of my beach day essentials. And it’s not quite a beach day without my Kindle loaded with a new book. Does this girl love a delicious summer read!

In the spirit of a lazy Saturday spent on the beaches of Malibu with a good book and an iced latte nearby (one of my absolute favorite ways to kick-off a summer weekend!), I thought I’d share my next 5 reads that will take me through the rest of summer. Some of these are book club selections for the next few months ahead, while others are just stories I’m anxious to delve into on my own.

If you’ve read any of these, please do share your thoughts in the comments section.

Until we meet again…happy reading and happy 55 days of summer left!


Beach Day Reads ATG FINAL

1. MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche

2. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

3. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

4. China Dolls by Lisa See

5. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

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Where Bookworms Go To Party

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What: The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Where: University of Southern California


While it seems nearly everyone left the city over the weekend and migrated to the scorching Indio desert for the annual Coachella music festival, I stayed in town and partied at the other one…the festival where bookworms go. Yes, I’m a total nerd (and proud of it).

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The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is an accomplished mixture of live music, art, food, and of course, all things books. Its goal is to unite authors and readers, those with pure love for the written word together in one venue for a two-day celebration. Approximately 150,000 people make their way to the esteemed USC campus to hear talks with authors; attend poetry readings while lying on the warm grass; rock out to up-and-coming bands; indulge in food trucks galore; and walk booth after booth of local merchants, organizations, and booksellers.

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{People everywhere!}

And so, this past Saturday afternoon found me making the trek East to the other side of town to finally see what all the fuss is about. After a not so happy $10 parking fee (ugh), I quickly perked up at the sight of food everywhere as soon as I stepped out of my car, particularly when I saw the elusive Grilled Cheese Food Truck (that’s been on my list of places to try forever). I perked up some more when I saw the sign for funnel cakes, and full-blown elation hit me when I saw Lindes Almonds and fresh kettle corn one booth over. Yes, this was going to be a special Saturday, indeed.

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{The Grilled Cheese Truck.}

As I walked away from the food trucks (making a mental note to return later), I soon noticed myself grooving to the melody of soulful R&B music, looked up and joined the crowd in front of a large stage and listened to a band that I instantly fell in love with, Idesia. Their sound was fresh, their vibe contagious – the audience clearly feeling the tune to their song and I was one of them. I ended up staying through their entire set.

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{Idesia.}

Having had a feel for what was going on on the food and music front, I turned toward books. I strolled along lanes consumed with booths full of works covering every genre imaginable. I smiled to myself often, thinking about how much I’d always loved being around books, something that stems from my childhood (that I’ve fondly written about before here).

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{Books, books, books!}

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{Again, people everywhere!}

The afternoon found me wandering, people watching, then joining a poetry reading by Douglas Kearney from his collection of poems in Patter. I sat on the grass listening as he lyrically emoted his personal account of struggling with infertility with his wife.

poetryATG{Douglas Kearney poetry reading.}

I browsed the endless rows of booths throughout the day, particularly impressed with Yes & Yes Designs, a company that designs jewelry exclusively made from books! Pretty cool, huh?

Yes & Yes Designs

{Yes & Yes Designs jewelry booth.}

As the sun started to set later in the day, I made my way back to the food trucks and finally stopped at that elusive Grilled Cheese Truck, but not before a visit to the Lindes booth to gather those famous glazed almonds and a bag of fresh kettle corn to-go. It was almost a 20 minute wait, but as I bit into my Cheesy Mac Melt, a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with country-style mac and cheese – it was worth the wait (and the calories).

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{Grilled cheese heaven.}

I made my way back to the car, relaxed and happy – high off that first bite of my grilled cheese sandwich. I had sweet treats to indulge in at home, a couple of books in my bag, a new band that I was excited about, and one memorable Saturday afternoon under my belt.

The LA Times Festival of Books just might become an annual party.

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{I loved this saying.}

 

 

 

 

 

What I’m Lovin’ Right Now

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You wouldn’t know it by looking out the window at our trademark California sunshine as I write this, but a storm is vastly approaching the City of Angels. By the time you read this, we’ll be in the mist of an actual (and very much-needed) rain storm for the next 5 straight days. In “LA speak” this means alternating between downpour then drizzling, on and off, just before the next random heat wave. Not usually one to get too excited at the prospect of rain (especially when I prefer to be wrapped up in a soft blanket at home watching movies all day and not sitting in traffic heading to work) I know that this particular storm is a godsend to our ongoing drought emergency. Looking ahead to an upcoming long weekend on my end, it looks like I’ll be spending the last days of February primarily indoors. It’s prompted me to think about small pleasures on a rainy day: a good book, a warm beverage, things to do to pass the time, and a fun umbrella to have handy when you do brave the outdoors.

Here are a few things I’m lovin’ right now to guide us through the rain and to the rainbow, until our trademark sunshine joins us again. xx


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 rainy day footwear – Knee Length Cozy Socks

rainy day mani inspiration – Suzi and the 7 Dusseldorfs by OPI | Amazon

rainy day protection – Bumble Umbrella | Target

rainy day neck wear – The Nellie Knit Scarf | Grace & Lace

rainy day chocolate fix – Homemade Hot Chocolate |  heart.love.weddings.

rainy day self-care – Why and How to Take a Detox Bath | Healthy Living How To

rainy day read Think on These Things by Jiddu Krishnamurti | Amazon

rainy day organization inspiration – 52 Meticulous Organizing Tips for the OCD Person in You | Buzzfeed


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What I’m Lovin’ Right Now

A few random things bringing a smile to my face at this particular moment and interestingly, that thing we call “love” open and closes my short list today. When I saw Frida Kahlo’s quote on an otherwise blah day, she kinda blew my mind with these 12 words.

And speaking of love – if you’re looking for a good Thanksgiving weekend read to lose yourself in something else besides turkey and pie, check out Falling into You, then the sequel, Falling into Us by Jasinda Wilder. I can’t recall know how I stumbled upon these books and I don’t really read much of this genre (other than 50 Shades, because hey, who hasn’t at this point?), but I couldn’t put either book down. Jasinda Wilder has a way with stories. I read Falling into You this summer (insert a handful of other books in between) and I’m just now finishing up the second. Wow! Alert: they’re “steamy!” though not pushing 50 Shades territory…and much better written.

Insert my “Carrie Bradshaw-esque” voice here: “I couldn’t help but wonder…do people actually have relationships like Colt and Nell; Jason and Becca?”

A girl can dream.

Here’s what i’m lovin’ right now…

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Frida Kahlo kinda just blew my mind | ellafrancessanders.com

Blueberry and Jam Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Buttery Vanilla Glaze | averiecooks.com

Black Rutilated Quartz Gold Necklace | Friedasophie on etsy.com

Studio M Moto Jacket | macys.com

Falling into Us | amazon.com

5 Reasons This Week Will Rock

Happy Monday! A few things that I’m looking forward to that should make for an exciting week…

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1. An impromptu visit to the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica this weekend brought a few new treasures to play with all week long. These big brown eyes of mine will have a little more drama than usual thanks to an old gal pal’s recommendation for Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara. I’m in love! Bonus points for cashing in on my Sephora rewards points for Victor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb – my new signature scent this week. Hello, gorgeous!

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2. Starting a new read for my new book club. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed is on my Kindle and ready to go!

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3. My Chromecast will be here in a few short days and I’m beyond excited to expand my entertainment options. I jumped on this gadget the moment I saw the email announcing its awaited release. A small step for those of us who refuse to pay for cable…at least for the time being.

 


4. Looking forward to getting into the Halloween spirit this coming weekend. A visit to the Sherwood Mansion for the annual Sherwood Scare is sure to set the tone. Beware boys and girls!

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5. Netflix has done it again. Like my recent addictions to Thirty Rock and Friday Night Lights, I’m discovering juicy new entertainment (that’s been off the air for ever and I’m just now getting to it). I’m sure any time I have to myself this week will find me in front of my TV devouring Gossip Girl.

xoxo,

Candi

Highlights

I’ve got a confession to make. I caved in a pretty big way this week. Those who know me, know I’m a total book-worm. I rarely leave the house without a book in my bag. It’s about as essential to me as making sure I have my wallet, phone, and car keys at all times. I’ve been a loyal fan of reading for as long as I can remember – back to the days of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps, The Babysitters Club, and let’s not forget the seemingly never-ending Sweet Valley High series. Friday nights killing time in bookstores and Saturday afternoons in the library were quite common growing up. As I’ve gotten older, I realize just how influential those days were to me the more I think about it. I’ve even blogged about it in my Ode to Bookstores.

The funny things is almost 20 years later, nearly all of the books that I read are still checked out from the library and are, in fact, “real” books! There’s something so nostalgic about being around and carrying physical books. I love the smell. I love to turn pages. I love to see the progression of a bookmark as I make my way through a great novel.  And I love, love, love stories (hence my eternal devotion to film; a story that started on paper that became visual). So the big highlight of my week was making the decision to go digital when I gave into the new Kindle Paperwhite.

I debated for a while over making the switch not only because of the cost, but because I wondered if the experience of reading would be as “genuine” as a real book. And while libraries are slowing building their downloadable e-media content for Kindle’s, I know that buying technology like this inevitably also means that I’ll be spending more money on books, which is something I’ve avoided altogether by using the library. Unlike music or films, I hardly ever re-read books, so while I do enjoy them and have a small book collection at home, I’ve never been able to justify the cost and it’s also saved me a lot of space.

Ultimately, the decision came down to ease (and I won’t lie, a little bit of awe in having a new gadget too – it’s my much belated birthday present to myself!). I can access over a millions books at any time, storing over 1,000 of them in my device; at no where near the bulk that it would take up in my purse to carry a single book (and I’ve stretched out quite a few handbags lugging around 500 page hard cover books over the years). I think future handbags and my aging shoulders are already grateful.

This doesn’t mean that my relationship with books is over, it just means it’s changing…knowing that they won’t be too far away.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Have a great weekend guys!

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|| What I’m Lovin’ Right Now ||

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I am what you call a late bloomer. Suffice to say that I’ve always been this way across many areas of my life. What someone accomplished at age 16, I didn’t until 18. What someone achieved at 28, I probably won’t until…well, I couldn’t say. The one area it seems I crossed the finish line “on time” or before many others, was that I graduated from college (cum laude!) with my Bachelor’s Degree at age 22 and had a full-time job offered to me as soon as I walked off the stage practically (but even this began another 2 year journey toward finding my dream job in the industry). The point being that blooming later in life can be disappointing or liberating depending on what subject we’re talking about at the time.

What I find most fascinating as I get older, is how much more I find myself embracing my femininity. This could open a world of debate about what is defined as “feminine” and whether or not women should even be boxed into such stereotypical terms. So for the sake of opening that can of worms, I’ll acknowledge this off the bat and share my story anyway.

While I’ve always managed to keep myself looking presentable when it came to style (though mine was of the jeans, t-shirts, and even overalls variety in college), I wasn’t one of the first girls to embrace bras, make-up, and dresses as some of my peers were during my developmental years. While yes, I eventually was forced learned to become friends with bras (and now consider them BFFs, in fact), my relationship with dresses didn’t really take off until recently. Unless there was a special celebration (or I was 5 with pigtails) you wouldn’t catch me in a dress too often.

Somehow, very likely due to mass media, fashion blogs, magazines, films, TV…Society…The Man!…I feel like I’m finally embracing a new style and it’s turning out to be much more feminine that I’ve ever experienced personally. There were a lot of reasons looking back that it took awhile for me to be comfortable enough in a casual dress while running errands or getting to a place where I even wanted to wear a polished dress to the office.  That’s another post, for another time. The interesting thing is that while I have grown of love the perfect summer dress or a great skirt, I find that I’m still slightly more conscious of myself than if I were in a pair of jeans. Perhaps there is still part of me fighting “The Man.” This means, you likely won’t ever see me go full Zooey Deschanel – though she totally rocks that look.

When I came across these awesome looks above*, it got me to thinking more about how to incorporate my new evolving style as we move into the warmer season where dresses are a great piece to have handy. My number one rule in anything I purchase moving forward is function and comfort.

Cheers to embracing whatever your definition of femininity is (or is not) while still managing to fight “The Man.”

And to all you late bloomers out there, our time will come. xx


here’s what i’m lovin’ right now


|| ShoeMint’s Lindsey Heels. Though I, personally, could never walk in them.||

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||Being you.||


|| PopSugar Fitness’ Lightened-up 7 Layer Dip.|| cf202f84c3870fc5895c6a52feec4f02


a5045eaf81108dece7a04f52372063f7||A clever and easy way to store reading glasses or your favorite sunnies.||


||Daily Candy’s 19 Books That Celebrate L.A.||e13b06087dd777f3209308075df7f6f6


||Martha Stewart’s Italian Fries.||9b8dde564653afb92f9e647a5c1b251e


|| Intricate pink manicures.|| 6d600fbdf189afe8b3eb23e76e64b88b


*sources to dress images: out & about, office, beach, brunch.