Matcha Bar — Silverlake

I am obsessed with the LA neighbourhood, Silverlake. It’s the first neighbourhood I lived in when I moved to LA a few years ago and was sad to move to Hollywood. Like, genuinely sad. Not that Hollywood doesn’t  have its perks. And no, I’m not talking about the Hollywood you see in the movies. But anyway. Moving on,

I met up with my nutritionist/health coach over in Silverlake (hey Stevie) at this matcha place just off Sunset Boulevard, smack dab in the middle of Silverlake. And it made my internal hipster heart a little bit warmer and a little bit more organic.

The place is called MatchaBar and apparently, it started in New York City of all places. This location is not only their first LA storefront but also seemingly their first venture out on the West Coast (best coast!). Their bread & butter is a matcha latte and for those who haven’t heard of matcha before, IT’S AMAZING. Apparently, it’s basically (one of) nature’s energy drink(s). It’s a green tea basically that’s full of anti-oxidants, naturally detoxifies, boosts metabolism, and other added benefits. Plus it’s caffeinated but doesn’t leave you feeling jittery. Like, at all.  One downside-depending on the kind you get, it can taste like grass at first. But I promise, add a little bit of honey and the right kind of milk and you’ll be in love. Promise.

Anyway, MatchaBar has a variety of other drinks too that all have a matcha base, as does most of their food as well. So you’re getting hipstery whoo goodness in a drink that’ll warm you right up and give you so many benefits. Plus, the decor is beyond adorable and the staff, at least the people working when I was there, are super helpful & friendly, even if you have no idea what you’re doing. Lot’s of greens, blues, and cozy colours.

But if you’re near a location, stop in and get some matcha! It’ll change your life a bit. And if you’re looking to jumpstart your fitness and health for 2018, definitely reach out to Stevie and tell her i sent you!

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We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby

So this book is nearly 300 pages and I finished it in a day. That hardly ever happens, unless the book is freakishly fantastic. And We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby is by far definitely one of those books. I highly recommend it because this book bones up to all the reviews I’ve read online from other authors I’m mildly obsessed with. It’s hilarious, poignant, and moving. It’ll make you tear up, want to punch walls, and snuggle with that adorable dimwit of an animal on an SPCA commercial. You know the one I’m talking about.

Anyway, this book will make you feel things. It’s a compilation of essays drawn from Irby’s life over the years spanning from taking care of her mother with MS to taking home a kitten with a wide array of health issues to road tripping to spread her father’s ashes and it not going according to plan, at all, and everything in between. It’s a book that makes you reevaluate your life in a way and makes you see the good. It’ll make you grateful, angry, sad, and ridiculously excited all at once.

Plus, she tackles dating trouble and how difficult & weird the journey can be along the way to meeting that infamous soul mate. It’s a book that you simply won’t be able to put down. Fair warning, there’s a lot of swearing. So be prepared if you don’t normally read anything that’s peppered with f-bombs and a variety of curse words. It works though, promise.

Samantha Irby also runs a blog called Bitches Gotta Eat (sorry Amah!) and it’s just the same writing style as her book. Apparently, she has a few other essay books out that I will definitely need to pick up next year.

5/5 

Favourite Quote: Don’t be all down in the dumps (like a truck truck truck) and let opportunists and perverts take advantage of some low self-esteem you’re absolutely too awesome to have. When I couldn’t catch a goddamned cold for two-plus years after Fred & I broke up, I DID NOT GIVE A SH*T, because I vowed to stop f*cking around with people who hate me or don’t laugh at my jokes or want me to be thankful for the opportunity to split a lunch check on a Tuesday with a man who was in one motherf*cking Old Navy shorts ad

In other news, can you believe 2018 is a mere 3 days away?! 2017 was, in the words of Samantha Irby, a dumpster fire of a year and I’m sure as heck going to make sure that 2018 will be better. So I’ll be setting intentions for the year – a version of whoo whoo resolutions, because I like setting goals instead of resolutions. Because let’s be honest — who keeps the latter anyway?

 

Junky by William S. Burroughs

For the past few months, I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs and non-fiction. Mostly because I feel like I’m in a rut and need some inspiration. But I’ve always wanted to read this book, Junky, by William S. Burroughs — but honestly was never in the right mindset to do so until now. The last half of 2017 was all about self-reflection and introspection. And I firmly believe I left this book in a better, more clear mindset. Even with the subject better.

First off, wow. This book is deep, intense, and weirdly phenomenal. It follows a fictionalized version of William S. Burroughs himself thru selling heroin and other opiates during the 1940’s. He gets busted for what’d be considered a small crime today and fled to Mexico, jumping bail. I won’t spoil the ending for you but it’s a wild ride to say the list.

My aunt originally recommended Naked Lunch, then Junky. But it’s me and naturally, i do things in reverse. What I liked most about this book, i think, is just how vivid the author’s storytelling is. And how honest it was when discussing drug addiction.

The subject matter is very near & dear to my heart but it’s a fascinating look into the horrendous cycle of addiction and what it does to a person, both personally and their inner circles. Drugs make you do awful things that you never dreamed of doing, yet if deep enough, are no brainers to get another tasted of it.

If you know or are an addict, I promise you are not alone. You’ve got this and can beat it. I’m sure you have people that still wholeheartedly believe in you.

Favourite Quote: “The question is frequently asked: Why does a man become a drug addict? The answer is that he usually does not intend to become an addict. You don’t wake up one morning and decide to be a drug addict….WHy did you ever try narcotics? Why did you continue using it long enough to become an addict? You become a narcotics addict because you do not have strong motivations in any other direction. Junk wins by default. 

4 Books I’m Dying to Read in 2018

First off, can you believe tomorrow’s Christmas Eve?! And just over a week until New Years? I sure can’t. It’s bloody ridiculous how quickly this year went by and I’m not even ashamed to admit I’m writing this post in the airport with over 2 hours to kill before my flight. Because travel anxiety is a real thing and I had to check a bag — something I actively try to avoid unless absolutely necessary.

Anyway, these are the books that are on the top of my list for 2018 *hint hint cough cough* Definitely not a comprehensive list because, ya know, I still want that Belle sized library so the more the merrier!

  1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas  I’ve heard such phenomenal things about this book and the topic seems completely relevant to today’s political and societal environment, unfortunately.
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  2.  The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson I first heard about this book on The Skinny Confidential Podcast and fell in love with the concept. 2017 was a hard year for my confidence and Lauryn Evarts recommendations are ON POINT.
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  3. Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown I’ve made it a goal next year to read more mysteries and I heard about this book thru a friend of mine. She raved about it and said it was such a page turner!
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  4. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samanta Irby First off, I’ve read some of Irby’s essays in the past and she’s absolutely hilarious. Definitely a fan. Second off, the premise ranges from awkward intimate encounters and online dating horror stories to how her childhood helped inspire some questionable decisions. Plus, ow cute is the cover?!
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and there you have it! Four books that are definitely going in my amazon cart in the new year and will set me up for success! What are some of your wish list books for next year? Sound off in the comments!

Trader Joes ‘Winter Wake Up’ Tea

This tea is AMAZING. It literally tastes like fair trade Christmas. And I love it. It’s probably a rip off of Coffee Bean’s Winter Dream because it tastes eerily similar, but, if I’m being honest, I don’t care. Because it’s cheaper and it’s from Trader Joes, which I already have an unhealthy obsession with.

The Winter Wake Up tea by Trader Joes is a black tea with hints of cinnamon, ginger, and other spices that makes you want to snuggle up on the couch, watching cheesy Christmas movies and the snow fall outside your window. And you know you’ve made a good decision when two Trader Joe’s employees tell you that you made the best holiday decision. Which is no easy feat if you’ve ever been in TJ’s and tried to get a compliment from the cashier. Am I the only one who does that? Okay fine, maybe I am. Whatever.

Anyway, I love this tea because it’s only a few bucks, tastes like Christmas, and is a great way to ease into a holiday morning. And I am all about comfort and ease during the holidays. Because, well, who isn’t?

Buy this tea at any Trader Joe’s location or if you’re extra lazy, on Amazon. Happy tea drinking!

Hope your holidays are going amazingly! What are some of your favourite treats during the holidays?

Toasted Coffee + Kitchen

So honest tidbit, the only reason I came here to work was because I have to pick up some alterations down the street and it’s in a neighbourhood (knox/henderson and Lower Greenville) I’m lowkey in love with. And I’ve been itching to find a coffee shop nearby so I could have a reason to come that didn’t involve food trucks or late nights that turn into mornings.

Anyway, I found this place on Yelp and I was instantly sold when I scrolled thru the photos. It’s so hipster that their avocado toast has TWO KINDS OF SIRACHA. the only reason I didn’t get it because I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to the green siracha. Which is just a travesty in of itself. Anyway, first I got their lavender latte — which you CAN CHOOSE WHAT COFFEE BEANS GO INTO YOUR LATTE — and the barista recommended the Ethiopian since I was getting a floral syrup. Can you tell this place is super hipster already?

Then I got their drip coffee and I tried their Guatamala coffee. Which isn’t my favourite by default but still pretty quality. I didn’t try any of their food since I wasn’t super hungry but their menu looked amazing. And the decor is basically an industrial hipster’s dream. Exposed brick, no lampshades over the lights, and lots of exposed beams. Super cute yet also weirdly functional. ANd they have a dog-friendly patio. It’s basically my dream of a coffee shop.

Anyway, this place is adorable. I could easily spend all day here if they wouldn’t kick me out and I had an endless supply of money in my bank account. The decor goes together really well, the baristas (at least the one I had) are super friendly, and I love it here. Plus, they have a hodge podge of for here mugs, which just makes my life.

10/5 

The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety by Alan W. Watts

Though this book was originally written in the 1950’s, The Wisdom of Insecurity still holds up today — just as the reviews mention on the back of it. But it also doesn’t come without a couple questionable comparisons.

As many know, I have anxiety. I’m not ashamed of it but it can be a serious pain and is always evolving. With that being said, I’m always looking for ways to curb it and hold it accountable. My mother sent me this book a few months ago and I’d been meaning to read it but always found a reason not to. So finally, this past week, I made the decision to finally pick it up.

It’s a quick read, just under 200 pages, but it is a little difficult at times because it is written as if we were still in 1950’s, not in the 2000’s. Throughout the book, Alan Watts makes the assumption that anxiety isn’t a be all end all. You find ways to take care of it, often thru your version of a higher power and knowing that you are merely human.

Watts simplifies anxiety and the need to know everything all at once. But it makes sense. He uses theology — in forms of Zen Buddhism, Christianity, and more — to eplaint aht anxiety isn’t merely a mortal issue but can be solved thru finding something larger than yourself.

It’s an interesting read, one I’m still trying to wrap my head around, and it’s a quick finish. I’m sure, because of this, it’ll take a second read to fully understand the message but it’s an interesting take. If you’re looking for a different take on anxiety or if you struggle with it yourself, pick this book up. It’ll make you think.

Favourite quote: By all outward appearances, our life is a spark of light between one eternal darkness and another. Nor is the interval between these two nights an unclouded day, for the more we are able to feel pleasure, the more we are vulnerable to pain — and whether in the background or foreground, the pain is always with us. 

3/5