I’m officially on Week 6 of unemployment.
During this period of time, I’ve received so many envious comments: “A break must be nice;” “Spend this time doing what you love;” “I wish I didn’t have to go to work and could kick back all day like you.” You name it.
While there is some truth to these comments (for example, a break has been nice), I haven’t totally taken a complete break…and I’ve certainly been busy and not kicking back. Lately, my days have been filled with extra volunteering at the zoo, hours spent researching and applying to jobs, hustling to interviews, reading, freelance writing, exercising, listening to growth podcasts, planning out some blog growth tactics, cooking, cleaning and finally getting to all of the house projects I planned. I am spending time doing what I love: getting shit done. But, it’s been a surprisingly busy and productive period of life.
Aside from checking off endless to-do items, here’s what else I’m into this week:
I’ve slowly been transitioning all of my skincare and makeup products to clean alternatives. For so long I’ve cared about what goes into my body, but I hardly paid attention to all the chemicals I’ve been putting ON my body…until recently. That’s why I’m excited to partner with Follain, a clean beauty retailer that offers non-toxic products, as I replace my makeup and skincare products as each runs out (read: so it’s not one giant upfront expense and so that I’m not wasting what I own!). I started off with Follain’s Clean Essentials Kit, which offers trial sizes of OSEA’s Ocean Cleanser, Indie Lee’s CoQ-10 Toner, Ursa Major’s Golden Hour Recovery Cream and Face Wipes and Follain’s Refillable Soap, so that I can see what works with my skin. Use code ref15_s968kb for 15% off your Follain purchase!
2. The Bean Trees
In 2018, I ended up reading 18 books…and this year, I am aiming to hit 20. I started off the year by finishing up The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver’s first novel. Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors, so I was excited to give her debut a read. The book started off a bit slow, but my attention was really captured about a quarter of the way through. The novel touched on themes of immigration, poverty, friendship, and parental rights. Though it was written years ago, it felt relevant in today’s day and age. And…all of it was so beautifully and poetically written. I didn’t want the book to end!
3. What Do You Meme?
On New Year’s Eve, I headed to my friends’ house for a relaxed night in with a few other close friends. After snacking for a bit, we eventually busted out What Do You Meme? - a newer board game similar to Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity. The entire game is based on memes, instead of phrases/words, though. Honestly, we could not stop laughing the entire game. It was hilariously fun - and the perfect gift to any friend who is into Internet culture.
When I found out that ClassPass was offering a free month membership in January, I immediately signed up. While I love my fitness routine, I’m always looking to explore new options and local studios. In the last week, I’ve spun at Sparkcycle, blissed out in a yin class at Sojourn Healing Collective and flowed at Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga. I’ve loved sampling new studios - and getting out of my comfort zone.
5. Yeowww! Catnip Banana
This Christmas, my sister gifted me a Catnip Banana for my cat, Walt. I was a little confused until she explained how this toy has been trending all over the Internet. While I’d never given Walt catnip, the moment I opened the package, he immediately ran over. It was a hilarious experience to watch as he went absolutely bananas for this toy. The toy is filled with high-quality, organic catnip and is made of durable cotton that stands up to cat’s attacks.
6. The Keepers
As I mentioned, I have been pretty busy lately, but while I was in Wisconsin for Christmas, I started The Keepers to keep myself occupied as I walked on the treadmill. I know, I know - I’m about a year behind on finally watching this! But, I finally am (slowly). The docuseries covers the case of a murdered nun - and the secret sexual abuse that had been occurring at the school she taught at. The entire case is utterly heartbreaking, but I’m so inspired by the strength of the female community in the show. I’ve yet to finish the series, but I’m hoping to this weekend!
7. San Diego Vintage Flea Market
A vintage flea market is hosted monthly in the lot behind The Observatory, a San Diego concert venue staple that is conveniently a block away from our house. I love to peruse the vintage, thrifted treasures each month, and I have actually ended up with some solid gems - hanging macrame designs, adorable woven planters and a cute clutch, to name a few. This weekend, I popped by the monthly market to casually browse…and ended up scoring the deal of the year (oops, it’s the first week of January). I found a like-new full-length Patagonia winter parka for $70 (normally $349!!). I was shook. It’s perfect for some cold-weather travel I have coming up next month.
8. “Butter” Spotify Playlist
This month, I’m (very apprehensively) doing Whole30 for the second year in a row. If you’re familiar with Whole30, you know this means one thing: I’ve been pretty constantly cooking. As I crank it out in the kitchen, I love to listen to music. My favorite playlist lately? Spotify’s “Butter” playlist. The playlist is described as “where jazz melts with hip hop and soul.” It’s good, easy listening, and I’m very into it.
This weekend, Justin and I embraced the rainy Saturday in San Diego and spent a good chunk of the day, wrapped in blankets on the couch streaming TV and movies. Before delving into a full Breaking Bad binge (we’ve been rewatching the series), we watched Disney Pixar’s Coco. I’m not usually too keen on animated movies (don’t @ me!), but this one was perfect. The entire movie was vibrant, showcased Mexican culture and had a really wonderful storyline (including a big twist!). I may or may not have been crying at the end - it was incredibly touching. I already want to put the movie back on!
10. Saje Pocket Farmacy
A few weeks ago, I pinched a nerve in my neck. It was incredibly painful for awhile, and I was seeking any which way I could get some relief. My favorite option? The Saje Pocket Farmacy, a collection of Saje Wellness’ top essential oil blends in a cute little zip-up pouch. While my neck was sore, I applied both the Peppermint Halo and Pain Relief blends. It felt like an all-natural IcyHot without added crap ingredients (again, moving towards natural alternatives). The Pocket Farmacy also includes Stress Relief, Fortify and Gutzy blends. The whole pouch is easy to travel with and most of all…incredibly effective.