Books I’m Begging to Read

So even though I’m half way through Before The Fall and i have about two or three books in the rotation to read over, the inner booknerd in me has half a dozen more that I really want to read. Here are a few that are gracing that list

  1. The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. So this book has been compared to Gone Girl, which I hated, but I’m convinced to read it as the reviews said that comparison was a lie. I relate a little too closely to the surprise twist (friends don’t spoil unread books for friends BTW), so I think it’d be a good healing read for me.
  2. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’ve heard fantastic things about this and if you’re in a creative rut like I am, living beyond fear just might help you out too.
  3. Year of Yes by Shonda Rimes. What can’t Shonda Rimes do? I’m hooked on her show ‘How To Get Away with Murder’ and I guess ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ isn’t too shabby either. This woman is a genius and this book is apparently all about throwing caution to the wind, within reason of course, and really living your best life.
  4. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. I’ve been reading a lot of thrillers lately and the reviews on this seem to be pretty great. And I love anything to do with travel by train or ‘unconventional’ ways of doing so.

So if you’re wondering what to get me for Christmas (Ahem, only four months away. Are we taking crazy pills), or you’re looking to add to your own list, check these out. And as always, I’m open to more suggestions! I’m looking to create a Belle sized library after all. Leave suggestions in the comments!

Mudsmith Coffee

So Saturday morning, my boyfriend and I were running errands before going to a celebratory brunch and we decided to get some coffee. He originally recommended Houndstooth Coffee but since I’d already been there, we decided to try Mudsmith Coffee instead, which happened to be just down the street.

And oh boy. This place is the pure definition of Texan Hipster. The tables are made of reclaimed wood, they have reusable mugs if you’re sticking around, and there’s mounted deer heads on the wall. It’s a little creepy at first but the coffee’s good, the cranberry muffins are delicious, and you don’t want to punch the baristas. Overall, pretty good experience.

I got the KC special, a latte with caramel and vanilla, and my boyfriend got a cappuccino. Since we’re a little nauseating, we also split a cranberry something or other muffin and it was fantastic. We bonded with a few other people there too over whether or not you should leave your laptop exposed for long periods of time.

overall, I’d recommend this place. It’s in super fun part of Dallas that i want to spend more time exploring and they’re dog friendly too. Their coffee also doesn’t wreak havoc on your digestive system, if you catch my drift. It’s a good spot and I can totally imagine myself doing some work there or catching up on a book.


My Three Favourite Bookstores

I really shouldn’t be allowed in bookstores alone or right after a paycheck. I can, will, and probably have spent an entire paycheck. Or at least get lost there for hours. Growing up, my mom and her family always were avid readers. SO naturally, I became one too. And they always supported shopping at a bookstore over the internet. Why? Because bookstores are unfortunately not as popular or prevalent as they once were. And we always like the more independent ones because shopping local and supporting your community is an amazing feeling.

Over the years, I’ve been to dozens, if not hundreds, of bookstores. So naturally, I have a few favourites.  If there’s a bookstore in my neighbourhood, I HAVE to stop in. It’s like an addiction, but way better and still hazardous for my pay check. Over the years, here are three of my favourite independent book stores.

  1. Skylight Books – Silverlake, Los Angeles, CA
    1. When I was living in Los Angeles, this was down the street from my favourite brunch spot as well as both my apartments. THere’s a fantastic tree inside complete with a seating area AND A CAT. It’s the epitome of Los Angeles hipster style with independent books. There’s always local writers or poets being highlighted and they have some pretty great events weekly or montly as well.  The staff are well versed and hilarious. I don’t think I ever walked out empty handed. And I went there a lot.
  2. Left Bank Books – Pike’s Place Market, Seattle, WA
    1. When I was going to school just outside Seattle, I always stopped by here when I was at Pike’s. It’s so stereotypical and cozy.  I highly recommend. It’s a little stuffy but the smell of books literally draws you in and you can’t help but think you’re tucked away with Shakespeare or one of the literary greats.
  3. Barnes & Nobles– everywhere
    1. Though not independent at all, Barnes & Nobles is the first bookstore I got a membership at. It will always hold an incredibly special place in my heart and it’s so hard not to get lost here. Plus, they always have such a wide selection and it’s perfect for last minute gifts.

What are some of your favourite book stores? Let me know in the comments!

Teavery Blends

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this company. Recently, we partnered up over Instagram and I have to say, their stuff is wonderful. It’s not only a subscription service for tea but you can also try some of their loose leaf teas as a one off to see which ones you like the best.

If you go subscription based, you can choose the level of ‘tea addict’ you are based on how much you actually want or think you’ll drink. Obviously, you’ll be able to switch it up if things change or you want more.

It’s pretty high quality and it’s based in Seattle. 100% organic and budget friendly as well. Personally, i like their Chai and their Earl Gray with Lavender.

Use code ‘EGT15’ at checkout for 15% off any order and free shipping over $10. Learn more here!

My Nighttime Routine

In a perfect world, I make myself some tea, put some music on, and read a book in bed. And I meditate, reflect on the day, and gently fall asleep into perfect REM, waking up perfectly relaxed the next morning. But in all reality? That happens far less frequently than I care to admit. Why? Because, life happens sometimes and all you want to do is fall into bed, hide yourself in covers, and fall asleep. But there are a few things that I try to do every night before I go to bed. Mostly because I know that my neuroticism won’t shut up until I relax a bit.

  1. Change into something comfy

Even if it’s just a giant T-shirt, getting out of my work clothes is a fantastic feeling. And a huge jump on relaxing for the evening

  1. Catch up with my boyfriend

Since he works from home and I have an office to go to in the morning, it’s nice to have some time on the couch or at the table to catch up with each other and check in. True, we text throughout the day to see if I can pick up anything on the way home but there’s nothing quite like that in person connection after a long day

  1. Meditate & breathing exercises

I’ve been meditating in some form for the past year or so and let me tell you. It has worked wonders for my anxiety, minor depression, and a slew of other mental health stuff I’ve battled. It’s really becoming a habit I’ve incorporated into my daily  life. As for breathing exercises, also a great tool for those spur of the moment attacks where you need a cool down or even a moment to catch your breath

  1. Tea, a good book, and a snuggle fest.

There’s just something about curling up on the couch with something on TV, a book in your other hand, and your boyfriend (or significant other or animal friend) right next to you. It’s absolute perfection

  1. Getting under the covers and building a blanket burrito. Lights out.

This is the final step in my routine and it’s a great way to fall asleep seamlessly. Totally recommend.

What are your nightly routines? How do you relax after a crazy day?


Why Tea?

Over the years, I’ve had several people ask me why I prefer tea over coffee – though, I still enjoy a good cup of coffee with honey-and I never really had an answer for it until now. Tea and a nice warm cup of it is some sort of magic.

Plus, who doesn’t love getting cozy and idealize the imagery of being curled up in a warm blanket in front of a fire with good friends too? Meeting someone at a coffee shop for something warm and cozy is the next best thing. Plus, it usually makes for some really great people watching too.

Also, there are so many different kinds of tea out there that can do so many good things for you too. And technically speaking, it has more caffeine than coffee but also doesn’t because it’s watered down. But chamomile, oolong, and ginger tea all have great benefits-whether it’s a placebo effect or not-which can be really great.

But what it really comes down to is that it gives me warm fuzzies inside. It makes starting the day just a little bit easier and a little bit more fun as well. It gives me a moment of clarity and peace inside. ANd it’s a wonderful, wonderful feeling.

Blink 182, A Day to Remember, and All American Rejects

Sweet mother of pearl, this was an amazing concert. My boyfriend and I bought tickets back in May because after all, who wouldn’t want to see the bands you grew up live, finally? Anyway, it was at a great venue and we were just off the right side of the stage. Great seats with a perfect view. And there was a trex in the mosh pit too. Speaking of which, they even had mosh pit rules on the screens to make sure everyone was safe and uninjured.

We got there about half way through the All American Rejects set but we caught their songs ‘Move Along’ and ‘Give You Hell’, two of my favourite songs by them. And they were hilarious on stage too, it was awesome.

A Day to Remember was pretty alright, they engaged the crowd pretty well but I unfortunately don’t know their songs well so I couldn’t sing along. And it was a little too screamo for me but whatever.

Then there was Blink 182. SO FANTASTIC. So worth the money and I sang, danced, and had a grand time. If you haven’t seen these guys live before, you need to. It’s almost a necessity and I’m so glad we went. Perfect way to spend a Friday night. Plus we ran into some friends I play football with.  It was lovely.

So all in all, it was a great night and I’m still riding that great after concert feeling.