What I'm Reading: April 2017 #2

Sunday, April 30, 2017


I had some time to kill in London and I was very tired after over 3 weeks of travel, so I just sat in Waterstones and read all of Laura Jane Williams' new Ice Cream For Breakfast.  I definitely want to purchase the book at some point so I can highlight my favorite parts and fill in all the prompts that are in the book.

In Waterstones I also picked up Caitlin Moran's new Moranifesto, which is a compilation of her columns for The Times and also some new essays.  I love how Moran writes (the only book of hers I haven't read yet is Moranthology), so I'm trying to be conscious of what I like about her writing so I can use it to improve my own.

I'm currently on track to read 50 books this year, which is pretty impressive because I feel like I don't read much at all!  I'll maybe read a few pages before bed and on my recent three week trip I often chose to listen to podcasts over reading (maybe because it's hard to read when annoying people are talking on the bus).  I definitely do need to commit to reading a little bit more every day though, so I don't do all my readings on binge days.  (Binge reading is fun of course, but not when you're doing it to make sure you're reading enough to hit your reading goal.)


She wrote her boyfriend's obituary and didn't mention herself.  I choked up reading this.

Ask Polly: What Am I Doing Wrong With Men? This article will probably make you realize some things about yourself.

Why women shouldn't stop reading books just because the author is sexist.

Alternatively, young girls shouldn't read books written by men. (If I ever have a daughter I'll encourage her to only read female authors.)

I listened to the podcast S-Town and genuinely thought it was fiction, until I took a break during the middle of the very last episode to Google it.  Now that I know it's a true story with real people, I'm not sure how I feel about it.  Is it a story that should've been told at all?

Another article about S-Town.  Now that I know it's a true story I have this sinking feeling in my stomach and now I'm mildly distraught.

An artificial womb successfully allows little lambs to grow for four weeks in a natural progression.  That's so cool???


Not a specific post, but I get a lot of my suggested articles from Pack-Your-Passport's weekly newsletter!

Also not a specific blog post, but a blog in general.  I'm sure everyone is already reading her, but I just found Meg Fee's blog and I love it.  I'm randomly clicking on months in her archive, trying to absorb as much as I can.

“I wanted to say: do it all whilst you can, you know? Like you are doing. You don’t know when your time is up.”


Apparently I lived under a rock in middle school because I had no idea who Old Greg was until I went to Greggs with my flatmates and can't stop saying "I'm Old Greg. Do you love me?".


Right now I'm just trying to make the most of my time left in Glasgow.  I have just under a month left, and one of those weeks will be spent in Ireland (which I haven't been to before!).  It's just...really bittersweet.  This city means so much to me now.  I dreamed about studying abroad for so long (literal years) and now I'm actually here and it's almost over.  Life comes at you fast, huh?


Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.
Packing for 3 Weeks in Europe (France, Spain, and Portugal)

Packing for 3 Weeks in Europe (France, Spain, and Portugal)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Little Bits & Pieces

  • toothpaste (two of them: one for mornings and one for night with a lot more fluoride), foldable toothbrush from Boots (#nonspon)
  • Vaseline tin, tiny deodorant, nail clippers, Alieve, hair comb, razor, 28 days worth of multivitamins
  • Glasses just in case, backup contacts, contact solution, contact holder (being legally blind is annoying)
  • Concealer, powder foundation, waterproof mascara, eyebrow gel, tweezers, body spray that I got for £1 at Boots
  • Clinique lotion because I'm worth it, hand sanitizer, hair elastics, bandaids
  • Sunscreen.  It says oil free and for face but it STILL make my face super oily, which is why I'm taking the powder foundation
  • 3 squeezy tubes: shampoo, face wash, and laundry detergent
  • Bigelow lemon green tea (am I officially British now? I'm literally packing my own tea)


  • 1 dress
  • 1 pair of navy tights to wear with the dress (they were really cheap from Primark and are holding up surprisingly well)
  • 2 button up shirts
  • 4 t-shirts (the white one can only be worn under the button ups)
  • 1 pair of leggings for bus rides (I ended up ditching these right before Paris since they were pilling SO BAD and getting all over my other clothes)
  • 1 flannel button up
  • 1 sorority sweatshirt for bus rides/cold nights
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of track shorts for sleeping
  • 1 Guns N' Roses shirt for sleeping
  • 3 bras (1 "normal", 1 sports bra, and 1 for sleeping/chilling out)
  • 2 headbands to make my outfits a little bit different (also I'm in that awkward stage of growing out my hair)
  • 1 foldable rain jacket (Parka in a Pocket from Primark)
  • 1 pair of shower flip flops (90pence at Primark)
  • 1 pair of Sketchers walking shoes (judge me idgaf)
  • 1 pair of Chacos (I can't even describe how excited I am to wear my babies again. They're ugly and super American and will probably give me blisters since I haven't worn them in so long but I LOVE THEM)

Electronics and Other

  • Kindle + charger
  • obnoxious American flag plug adapter
  • iPhone charger + cord
  • 2 sets of headphones
  • Canon point and shoot + charger
  • a tiny flashlight
  • Journal + pens and highlighters + washi tape because I'm cReAtIvE
  • cheap earrings, 2 locks, a Lonely Planet guidebook (will eventually do a post comparing Lonely Planet and Rough Guides)
  • Passport + acceptance letter to the University of Glasgow because they won't let me back in the UK without it
I'm very glad I did this mini-trip before I go on my long one over the summer. It really helped me realize what I need, don't need, and would prefer to have.  For instance, I bought a pair of Levi cutoffs in Valencia because it was so hot outside and I wanted some color on my legs.  I'm also really glad I packed my flannel even though I almost left it.  Flannels are very ~American~ but at this point I don't care.  It's great to use as a blanket on cold buses or as a casual pullover for chilly nights.  I also picked up a scarf in Barcelona, which is nice to lie on at the beach or in a park.

I packed all of this in my Osprey Porter 30L, which I'll post a review of soon.  Is it too small?  Too big?  Uncomfortable?  Tune in sometime in the near future to find out!

pin it!

What have your trips taught you about packing?

What I'm Reading: April 2017 #1

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Photo by Emily Morter


I finished Nasty Women on the bus from Madrid to Porto, which is a collection of essays inspired by the presidential election and published by a small press in Edinburgh, 404Ink.  Some essays were good, but most were forgettable.  I feel like they could've taken a little more time with the selection and editing process.

I've started Books v. cigarettes by George Orwell, which is also a collection of essays.  Orwell is just so clever I feel smarter just by reading him.

I also started If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio, which is inspired by Shakespeare and theatre culture in general.  It's by a young, first-time author so I'm a little apprehensive about the writing quality, but I'll give it a shot.


Male authors thank their wives for typing their manuscripts. (And it's always "my wife", they never get a name, even though they did the rough work.)

I haven't watched 13 Reasons Why yet and even though I didn't like the book I'm excited to watch it eventually.  Especially after reading this review on how they managed to avoid using the male gaze in the show.

A 400 mile hiking trail just opened in Jordan. If I had to do a hike (lol as if anyone is forcing me) then I'd definitely choose this over the Camino.

What is your happiness formula? I'm going to write mine out at some point it sounds like a good exercise.

Will we ever stop discussing and dissecting the 2016 election? Probably not.  So here's a piece on the destruction of Hillary Clinton, a part of an entire book that actually looks pretty interesting (and will probably eventually read if my library has it).

"For anyone who has ever loved someone and then stopped loving them, or for anyone who has stopped being loved by someone, it’s a reminder that the immediate exit can be the hardest part." Rumors will forever be the best pop album (until Harry Styles' album drops, that is).


How I ended up writing for Teen Vogue.  I really need to start writing for my school's HerCampus next semester.


I will never stop screaming about this.


How in the world is it already mid-April?  I'm a little more than halfway done with my three week Western Europe trip (I'm not really sure what to call it, because I've done 1 city in England, 1 in France, 3 in Spain, and 2 in Portugal).
I'm currently in Porto, which is beautiful.  I hate being away from my family on Easter (which is tomorrow for all you heathens), but if I have to be away from them I might as well be in a city full of churches, right??


No quote this time I haven't been on the internet enough the past two weeks to find one!

I hope everyone is having a good week!  Happy Easter to those who celebrate!

On the Road Update: London, Pairs, Barcelona

Friday, April 7, 2017

Hello friends!  I am currently writing this from my friend's dorm in Barcelona.  I'm so lucky to have friends studying abroad in different countries because 1) it saves me money and 2) I'm going to places I normally wouldn't go.  The plan was to spend my spring break in Ireland, but right now is the perfect time for me to visit Spain which I never would've done if it weren't for my friend here.  And since I'm already in Barcelona, I might as well visit other Spanish cities and boop over to Portugal, right?
I'll write up a detailed itinerary once I get home, but for now, I'll just give you a little update.

I spent 4 days in London, on another friend's air mattress (God bless kind people), and mainly went to museums because they're free.  I also saw the Cursed Child play.  Shoutout to myself for buying tickets 18 months in advance.

Then I did 4 days in Paris and oh my god now I understand why so many people are Francophiles (which is a term that also fits for lovers of James and Dave Franco).  Paris was absolutely beautiful and if I didn't have my time in Spain already planned/it wasn't so expensive I definitely would have stayed there my entire spring break.

I arrived in Barcelona yesterday and it is so nice being by the water again.  It's also a lot more chill here, so I can catch up with online stuff like this.  Also Harry Styles' first solo single just came out, so if you see me with headphones in then 11 times out of 10 I'll be listening to that.

I have everyone is doing well!  Update me on y'all's lives in the comments!

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