1.) These summer sunsets. Maybe I'm biased, but I honestly don't think there are many things as beautiful as summer sunsets in the south. There's just something different about how big the sky looks, how golden the light turns, and how the world tries to make up for putting us through the southern summer days (thanks for your help, A/C!). Some kind of peace, and some kind of wonderful.
2.) To go along with that, the jasmine's in bloom! I adore the smell of jasmine more than just about anything else. We have an explosion of vines in the garden by our front window, and on summer evenings and summer mornings when the air has turned a bit heavy with the night, the scent completely envelopes our front entry. Aaand this year it's a little extra special because it reminds me of nights last spring and summer when my boyfriend and I had just started dating and spent a lot of time driving, wandering around parking lots, and walking near his place...all of which featured this lovely scent of jasmine. We're both pretty enamored with it now. I may not know where I'll be living in 5 (or 10, or 20) years, but I do sure hope there's always jasmine.
3.) This shirt! Besides the fact that its message rocks, this shirt is also incredibly soft, comfortable, and looks great with anything...a combination that leaves me wanting to wear it just about all the time.
Along with that, I've been making my way through this book (warning: title is NSFW, though I promise it is explained) for a while now, taking lots of time to stop and absorb everything along the way, and I am reveling in it. I love me a sassy author! Though I was initially wary of it, especially as my first serious foray into women's studies literature, I would definitely recommend it if you're looking for an interesting read. Of course, the level to which every person agrees or relates to a specific author's take will always vary, and there are some things I don't 110% agree with throughout the book but I find it to be, on the whole, both grounded and revolutionary. And then there are plenty of parts that I just want to shout out into the faces of the people around me (though I'm sure that wouldn't be completely welcome). Like her chapter on rape culture? I want everyone to read the book just for that. Here's just an example of some of the many (many) quotes I have underlined from this book:
"I learned that the fight for human rights does not take place on some bureaucratic battleground with a bevy of lawyers...The real fight for human rights is inside each and every individual on this earth. [...] Loving, knowing and respecting our bodies is a powerful and invincible act of rebellion in this society...There is bliss, but no freedom, in ignorance."I love it. But okay, I'm rambling. Moving on!
4.) I am a tea drinker. I've somehow made it through 3 years of college without learning to drink coffee (at all), and I never developed a soda-drinking habit. So, generally, the only caffeine I have around my apartment (besides a bevy of chocolate) is a box or two of black tea nestled in among my favorite herbal varieties. Lately I have become relatively addicted to this tea (delicious on its own), sweetened to taste and brewed with a bit of cinnamon, a generous splash of vanilla almond milk, and a spoonful of coconut oil mixed in. I swear, this is big news.
5.) Spending time with sunshine, fresh berries, and a guy I kind of enjoy.
6.) I've been predominantly using these products as face-care for a little while now, and I swear my skin has never felt better. Whole Foods' 365 brand Facial Cleanser, coconut oil (I picked up a jar of Spectrum's Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil at my local Kroger in the natural foods section...bonus for the fact that it's great to cook with, too!), vitamin E (I found the little jar pictured for about $4 at Whole Foods!), and the occasional Burt's Bees Sensitive Facial Cleansing Towelette when I'm running short on time or need extra make-up removing power. I like to keep part of my coconut oil in a small bowl in whipped form with some of the vitamin E oil mixed in.
7.) And, certainly not to be forgotten...chocolate. After finding some passion fruit I finally got to try this recipe for passion fruit chocolate truffles and they. are. delicious. [Pro tip: when trying to photograph chocolate in the best light (that happens to be on the floor) with a curious pup around, set up everything except the chocolate, throw him a treat for distraction, and then quickly get to work!]
8.) I've been watching (and have forced/convinced my boyfriend into watching) Hannibal. I know it sounds completely morbid and generally not-up-my-alley, but I kind of love it? It's by Bryan Fuller, who is also responsible for my all-time favorite show, Pushing Daisies. Now it's obviously in a very different style than that, but the show is incredibly well done and visually stunning. And just generally interesting? Anyway. I promise I'm not as crazy as I sound. I've also been thoroughly enjoying NPR's First Listen to Laura Marling's newest album, due out next week. I adore Laura Marling and her music continues to surprise and astound me (she's only 23 and has 4 good albums?!? what am I doing with my life??), so this has been something to revel in. Otherwise, this song and this song have been getting me in the summer mood...they're ridiculously catchy.
If you've made it all the way through this giant ramble (with way too many links and asides), congratulations/thank you! I hope you all have a wonderful, long, and beautiful Memorial Day weekend and that summer's finding you wherever you are.
(p.s. if it's okay with y'all, I may start sharing a few more "life" posts here, along with the occasional recipe or suggestion...my journey to health, personal happenings, whatever. do you have any suggestions as to what you'd like to see? please do let me know!)