Goin’ Back to Tally

So, as a New Englander, this literally makes no sense to me, but Tallahassee is cool as hell. It is…so much cooler than Boston? It’s in the panhandle/Northern Florida. It’s not even by the ocean. Why is this place perfect?

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I’ve now been down here four times (I’m writing this from Catalina!) and I’m honestly tryna move. It’s February and I’m wearing sandals and a light jean jacket…Heaven.

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This trip we drove down St. Petersburg for some beach action and stopped in Manatee Springs to attempt to see manatees (we were brutally rebuffed).

I already posted a Tallahassee appreciation post a few years back, but I’ve discovered a few new places and wanted to share!

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we are fucking adorable

Tallahassee

Eats

El Cocinero

Definitively the best tacos on planet earth. Since last time I was here, they added a caramelized pineapple and pickled cactus option. YOU HEARD ME CORRECTLY. Other classics are the mushroom taco—it’s utterly, stupidly good. It has some sort of pesto—cilantro, maybe?—with toasted chickpeas and cotija. Sarah’s fave is the fried avocado taco—need I even elaborate? Also, their sangria is legit. It…actually tastes like red wine and isn’t sweet. They do a salsa of the day, and it’s always bomb. Their beans! I have to stop talking about Cocinero, or I’ll end up getting tacos a third time.

The BARK

The BARK is a vegan/vegetarian restaurant in a super cool part of town—the building’s entire exterior is painted with Keith Haring-style murals. They have a limited menu but LITERALLY EVERY OPTION is delicious. Last time I had a Sloppy Jose (a barbecue beans sammie), and this time I had a buffalo tofu sandwich with vegan ranch. Did I mention they bake their own bread?? BARK stands for Bread and Roses Kitchen, after all. I got sautéed garlic kale as a side order and I swear it almost made me believe in God.

SoDOUGH Baking Co.

Donuts. Epic goddamn donuts. Also, their sandwiches are next level. The decadent grilled cheese has tomato jam on it, which almost sounds gross, but is actually amazing! Next time I’m down in FL, I definitely want to hang out here and write in their outdoor seating!

Centrale Pizza, Parm, & Bar

We had such a gorgeous brunch here when I came out in May 2018! Centrale has incredible décor, and is located in a really great part of town. Definitely worth checking out.

Kool Beanz Cafe

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This was another place we hit up when I came out last May. Super cool—they have random dog murals on the walls?—and their menu changes seasonally, which I love. Not a ton of veggie options, but what we did end up getting was delicious.

Taco Republik

Are you sensing that I love tacos? Everything in Tallahassee, inexplicably, has veggie options. We ate here during my May 2018 trip, and we calorie-splurged on queso. So worth it.

Drinks

Warhorse

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I’ve already written about Warhorse but it is my favorite place ever. We did trivia here on my 2nd to last night and it was seriously the most fun! It was audio/visual trivia and one of the rounds was trying to figure out rap lyrics when run through a text-to-speech program in a Scottish accent. No joke. When you’re here, order a New York Sour.

Grasslands Brewing Co.

I’m actually sitting right outside Grasslands right now. At Grasslands, we played Boggle while we drank beer. Truly iconic.

Proof

I’ve talked about Proof before, but they have a new location and it’s epic!

The Edison

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Sarah lives right next to this place. We didn’t make it this trip, but we had cocktails here in May. The décor is out of this world!

Entertainment

The Moon

serving lewks at neko case

WE SAW NEKO CASE, BITCHES! The Moon is honestly one of my favorite venues. It has standing room and tables you can reserve. We were like two feet away from Neko, who was, somehow, even better than you could possibly imagine her being.

Euphoria Tattoo

 

I don’t know if getting tattoos is technically “entertainment,” but I find it entertaining! We got tattooed by Luis—follow him on Instagram!

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beachin’ in st. pete—got so burnt

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When I went down South last May, we took little day trips to Apalachicola & Thomasville, GA. If you’re ever down that way, check these places out!

Apalachicola

Oyster City Brewing Company

Oystercatcher

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Thomasville

The Farmer’s Daughter

La Robe Boutique

Signature Clothing Lounge

The Bookshelf

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The more I travel, the more I fall head-over-heels in love with the South. Maybe one day I’ll get to move down there and actually be warm!

xoxo,

chels

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Shout Out Sunday

Another week in the books! Enjoy this week’s faves!

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this makes me die with laughter every time i see it
  1. Sex Education on Netflix is the most wonderfully charming show. I can’t stop watching! The young actors are absolutely brilliant and the cast is insanely diverse. One wonderful thing about the show is that it is completely inclusive of LGBT sexuality and relationships, which gets nearly as much representation as straight ones. A perfect, perfect show.
  2. Melissa Villaseñor’s Lady Gaga impression is the best thing I’ve ever seen.
  3. I wrote a post a while ago about *feminine products* and trying a menstrual cup and never posted an update! I’ve been using exclusively a cup for a few months now and I’m obsessed. I’ll never go back to tampons and pads! I still keep some on hand for emergencies, but I’m a cup girl for life. The cup I use is not available anymore (it’s Hesta Organic), but I’m interested in trying other brands, like Lunette.
  4. Not to be a dorky dad, but I just checked my credit report on creditkarma and you should too. It’s super important to be aware of your financial health!
  5. This Twitter thread about a college professor assigning his students to make memes is solid gold.
  6. One of you has to buy this because I’m on the Spending Fast and can’t. IT’S PERFECT.
  7. I’m thinking of trying to do Whole30. Have you ever tried it? My best friend did and loved it—and she looks freaking fabulous to boot.
  8. This hash brown recipe looks amazing.
  9. And on that brunch note…Rosé Raspberry Sorbet Mimosas, dude.
  10. This next one is NSFW, so open at your own discretion—I’m a huge, huge fan of this little guy. I’ve been really reticent about this sort of thing, but I’ve been trying to be more open-minded!
  11. Bonus Content: The Head and the Heart covers “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and I am deeply, madly obsessed.

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed some of this #content. As always, follow me on all the socials @highwaytochel, and check out my Poshmark store @highwaytochel. Sayonara!

Shout Out Sunday

Think I’m gonna get right down to business today, guys! Here’s my week in a nutshell:

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  1. I’m actually doing it, fam! I’m doing the Spending Fast. We’re shooting for a year, but it’s based on need. If I can pay my consumer debt down faster (I have a couple of ways I could do this, but they’re both pending/not guaranteed), we might not need to keep going until 2020, but honestly, the experience has been so empowering that I don’t think I’ll want to stop! I’m rereading Anna’s book, and Katy Goodman’s Insta stories have been super inspiring (she has a No Buy highlight). Just with little tweaks, my grocery bill has started to come down, I’m using cash for purchases, and we cancelled cable (finally!). Student loans go into repayment next month, so things will be really tight—I’m working on starting a side hustle job (more on that later). It feels so good to rid yourself of all the stuff in your life that’s weighing you down! P.S. Anna’s book (Kindle version) is on sale for $1.99 right now, so snatch it up!
  2. Catastrophe series 4 is streaming on Amazon starting March 15th and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s one of my favorite pieces of media ever made. Sharon and Rob are geniuses beyond measure. I think I’m going to cancel my Amazon Prime subscription after I watch it, which is kind of a big step for me! I’ll have to buy the season of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel next year, but a one-time $12-ish purchase is better than $49-$99 a year to support a company that sucks!
  3. Since I’m not spending money right now, I’ve been bringing my own lunch to work every day. Sometimes, that means the Trader Joe’s microwave meals that we still have from before the No-Buy, but mostly it’s meant leftovers and jar salads. I stan a jar salad. They are my favorite thing on the planet. People at work think I’m nuts rolling up to the breakroom with a quart Mason jar of lettuce but they don’t even know. You can put literally anything in a jar salad. My last one was champagne-pear salad dressing, snow peas, beet sauerkraut, mixed greens, and vegan cashew parm. Delicious!
  4. I’m psyched to make this soup recipe. I make a mean tomato basil, but subbing cashews in for cream is genius! My belief about food is that, if you can make it vegan with little to no effort, do that shit.
  5. I started using the iBotta app, which gives you cash back for buying certain items and submitting your receipts. It’s like coupons, but 2019. I think apps like this can be a slippery slope and convince people to buy products they don’t need, but I go through and find only things that are already on my grocery list, and choose the most cost effective brand. For instance, there was a $1 back bonus on Health-Ade Kombucha, which made it, effectively, cheaper than even the store brand. I’ve made $13 so far, off of only 2 shopping trips.
  6. Do you read New Darlings? They’re sharing their pregnancy journey right now and it’s so sweet I could scream. I can’t wait until that’s me!
  7. Dogs aren’t actually smart. Sorry not sorry to break this to you.
  8. I saw Neko Case when I was in Tallahassee and holy fucking shit was she amazing. If you haven’t listened to her new album, shame on you.
  9. On that note, Jenny Lewis has two new songs out: “Red Bull and Hennessy” and “Heads Gonna Roll
  10. Don Cheadle’s shirt choices on SNL last night were NEXT LEVEL.
  11. Saved the best for last: RUSSIAN DOLL. RUSSIAN DOLLLLLL! You’ve gotta watch this show. Drop what you’re doing and immediately log in to Netflix. It’s only February but this is definitely the best show of the year. Natasha Lyonne is breathtaking. We just finished last night and I am already yearning for a new season. A perfect, perfect show.

Shout Out Sunday

Greetings, people of earth!  In personal news, I’m still adjusting to having a real job. It’s weird…people with “real jobs” work soooo much lesssss than people with service industry jobs. I actually feel guilty! Well, I’d feel guilty if I were making more money. I’m making starter wages for a 21-year-old, hardly (read: not) enough to be financially solvent.

I actually started this post two whole weeks ago, but somehow, time got away from me. I’ve just been working, cooking, spending as much time with my husband as possible, and getting ready for my week-long trip to Florida! We’re doing an overnight in St. Pete and seeing Neko Case in concert! Oh, and the night before I leave, I’m seeing Dawes at the Wang Center! Feeling very blessed these days.

Alright, without further ado, I present my favorites from the past couple of weeks).

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please enjoy this incredible picture of my cat
  1. New season of Schitt’s Creek started!!
  2. I started using DuoLingo and I can’t stop! I’m brushing up on my French, primarily, but I also started courses in Spanish, Italian, German, Swedish, Welsh, Portuguese, and Russian. I tested into a decent level of Spanish, which is surprising since I’ve never taken a class in it. I can’t believe how much Italian I’ve forgotten—I studied it for over a year in high school. Swedish, however, is by far my favorite. It’s such a cool and logical language. I highly recommend this service to anyone who has an interest in flexing their foreign language skills.
  3. Kevin T. Porter comin’ thru with the updated Marvelous Mrs. Maisel soundtrack playlist!
  4. I know I was sleeping on this, but Lizzo’s new single “Juice” is everything. Also, check out “Scuse Me” which is just a perfect song.
  5. I started meal prepping for the week and it’s honestly changed my life. My digestion has been better, and I have wholesome, healthy breakfasts and lunches prepared every day for work. I was really inspired by McKel at Nutrition Stripped. She recently launched a free e-course on meal planning and it was such a great jumping off point. Gimme all the jar salads and nourish bowls! I have to tell you, jar salads have been a game-changer for office lunch! It’s so much easier to say no to take out when you have a big serving of all your favorite legumes, grains, and veggies waiting for you in the office fridge.
  6. Rob Sheffield wrote an article about Britney Spears’s first album and it is personally so vindicating for me. Fun fact: he’s my 10th grade chemistry teacher’s brother!
  7. I just found out about Unroll.me and I am obsessed! Subscription e-mails are the bane of my existence and this service is my new favorite thing on earth.
  8. Madewell sale is 40% off right now. I got glitter statement earrings because of course I did.
  9. I just bought a tiny humidifier for my cubicle because I am 100 years old.
  10. Can’t get enough of La Neige‘s Water Sleeping Mask and Lip Mask.
  11. I really want to try Purple Carrot but it’s not really in my budget at the moment. I think it would be such a help in getting us to eat exclusively vegan meals.
  12. I’m catching up on back episodes of podcasts and this conversation between Roxane Gay and Cameron Esposito is powerful AF.
  13. I’ve been eating almost exclusively plant-based lately and I’m loving it! I still have the occasional egg and some of my meals include a little bit of cheese, but that’s been it. It’s made my cooking so much more creative. I think I’m going to start posting recipes again, since that was the whole point of this blog in the first place.
  14. Jaboukie Young-White is guesting on Pete Holmes’s Crashing and he’s amazing. I’ve been following him on Twitter forever!
  15. Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, which I’m listening to on audiobook, is so deeply moving that I cry almost every time I listen. It’s somehow even better than I thought it would be. 10/10 recommend.
  16. The Shutdown is (temporarily) over! My heart goes out to the government workers who have been furloughed (without pay) or forced to work without pay. This shutdown was about 15 days longer than any other in history, and the administration should be ashamed of themselves for exploiting workers and neglecting basic services and essential government functions, but they won’t be because they are all chaotic evil. Each and every one of the 800,000 people immediately affected are such heroes.

Shout Out Sunday

So, I mentioned last week that I was thinking of changing the title of the feature. I’m still playing around, but we’ll go with “Shout Out Sunday” for now.

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  1. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season two is sensational, but Amy Sherman-Palladino really likes to leave us on unsatisfying cliffhangers, doesn’t she?
  2. Everlane just added some amazing new styles! The button-fly jeans are everything.
  3. The No-Spend Month has been going…okay. I’ve definitely spent way less than I normally would, but I just went to Target and kind of blew it. But there were penguin-shaped catnip toys on clearance for like, $1! How can I not get that for Della? I may need to get her these, because how freaking cute are they? I mean, I also bought a Hearth & Hand wall shelf (I can’t find the link!), because self-control is hard, guys. And it matches my bathroom! When my spending freeze is over, I’m for sure getting this cactus.
  4. I just discovered this kiddo shop on Amazon and my ovaries are practically jumping out of my body.
  5. The Marie Kondo show is out! I KonMari’d years ago, but it’s so nice seeing other people catch on to what is truly the best organizational system you’ll ever try. Nothing else works. Clutter and “organized chaos” are not cute. It’s not “artsy” to be bogged down by possessions. Especially if you have a family, it’s so essential and time-saving to have a clean, organized space. Doing KonMari has literally improved my mental health and sense of peace. Try it!
  6. I’ve probably pimped this before, but this is my all-time favorite “natural” nail polish.

Short one this week. But isn’t that what self-care’s all about? Knowing your limits. See you next week!

High High Hopes

Happy New Year! I’d say, “I can’t believe it’s 2019!” but we say that every year. I can believe it’s 2019. I can’t believe I have to deal with another presidential race when it seems like the last one isn’t even over, but I can believe that another year passed and I’m thankful that I made it through relatively unscathed. In 2018 I voted, stood up for my beliefs no matter what, finally went to Europe (no big deal) and fought through mental illness to finish a grad program and finally find a job. This is the first year of my life where January 1 has actually felt like a fresh start.

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I find resolutions challenging, because making them, you seem to set yourself up for failure. When you fail your diet, your exercise regimen, or your shopping halt, it’s not a great feeling. So instead of strict rules this year, I’m writing a list of things I will encourage myself to do and be mindful about not doing. That’s it! I’m just going to think before I act. Pretty simple—something we tell little children to do, but something that gets lost in the shuffle of adulthood sometimes. So here are my 2019 guidelines—saving money, spending time more intentionally, taking care of myself, and being grateful.

Goals for 2019

The DOs

  1. Do work out. The most basic New Year’s Resolution. But I have a gym membership to a really nice gym and I really love it there. I no longer have the excuse of having a really physical/active job, so I can’t wait to commit to yoga and running again! I want to do yoga twice a week (Thursday nights and Saturday mornings) and I want to be able to run 5 miles by the end of the year (not holding my breath on this one).
  2. Do be kind to myself. This is the first season of my life where my accomplishments feel tangible. School is over. Service industry work is over (for now and hopefully forever). I’ve got a diagnosis and proper medication for the first time. I feel inspired to push myself beyond my limits, but I need to remember that it took so much work to get where I am, and I deserve to enjoy this.
  3. Do keep writing. I’ve written more (creatively) in the past week than I have in the past like ten years. I feel like I’ve found myself again. I’m already getting good feedback from friends. It feels like what I’m meant to do.
  4. Do finish what I start and use what I have. I posted my 2019 reading list yesterday, so first and foremost, I’m finishing that. Also, I want to watch everything in my Netflix queue. At least every movie (sometimes series are too much of a commitment. There’s so much great content out there! But books and movies are just one aspect—2019 is going to be a year of appreciating and enjoying what I already have instead of seeking new things.
  5. Do protect the earth. I’m not bad when it comes to the environment. I drive a small, fuel-efficient car, we recycle everything, and we do our best to not use plastic. But ordering online, even if all of the packaging is recyclable, is still bringing more waste into my home. I don’t think twice about grabbing a paper towel or single-use disinfectant cloth. I bought these microfiber cloths to use instead of paper towels, I used up all of my non-natural cleaning products, and I’m going into 2019 with a mission to use less. I can buy a head of broccoli instead of pre-cut florets in a plastic bag. The earth is more important than a few minutes of my time.

The DON’Ts

  1. Don’t buy clothes. I’m serious! I just got soooooo much new stuff from all of my favorite shops, and I want to live in them for a while. After the holidays, and the much rejoicing after having found a new job, I absolutely cannot afford a single additional garment. Not to mention I have zero room to store it! I’m sending out a few enormous boxes to thredUP, donating bras and extra sanitary items to I Support the Girls, and then being grateful for what I already have.
  2. Don’t buy handbags. This should be obvious, from the last category, but I have a handbag problem. I have so many I can’t give them away fast enough. Being friends with me is a trial, I’m sure, but the benefit is that you will likely get a brand new designer handbag at least once a year. Handbags are status symbols—having a nice one has always made me feel like I was presenting the aspirational version of myself to the world. But bitch, I am the aspirational version of myself. This year, I invested in some high-quality leather bags and (mostly) said goodbye to the labels.
  3. Don’t eat meat and dairy. I didn’t put this under the DOs, because “Do go vegan” is a larger commitment than just a diet. It’s a lifestyle, one I admire immensely, but not one I can undertake at this time. Not eating meat will be pretty easy—I’m already doing that—but cutting out cheese will be hard. A. Because I have an entire container of herb chèvre and caramelized onion cheddar in my fridge from my NYE apps, and B. Because I have a husband to feed. He’s enthusiastic about cleaner eating (he’s stricter about meat than I am!), but he leads a healthy life already and he deserves a treat! The meat and dairy industries are horrible for the environment and just devastatingly cruel to animals. I have to put my money where my mouth is.
  4. Don’t boredom-shop at Target. This is a killer for me. I can’t remember the last time I went to Target for an actual reason. There’s something about living in suburbia, or the post-college friend diaspora, which makes me feel really alone sometimes. “Running an errand,” in more depressed times, gave me an excuse to get up, shower, get dressed, and leave the house. But I can do better! I can go for a walk in the warmer months. I can make an effort to spend more time with my friends. I can find ways to motivate myself without spending money or inviting more waste into my life.
  5. Don’t look back. I mean, I’m writing a collection of personal essays, so I kind of have to look back for material. But I don’t have to dwell on the sins of the past. Considering myself a failure because I’m at a place in my career I feel I should have been in five years ago is not productive. I can work hard and kick ass to make up for lost time, but wallowing over how unfair the world has been to me is pointless. In 2019 I’m not holding grudges (against anyone except every member of the Republican party), and I’m keeping my eye on the prize—happiness.

I’m ready to crush 2019.

My 2019 Reading List

These are a list of books I have every intention of reading in 2019. I’m only including books that I already own, since I’m not allowed to buy media this year (that’s why libraries exist, y’all). Here’s what on the docket!

  1. Becoming by Michelle Obama. I’m listening to this one, because I want Michelle’s amazing voice to soothe all of my ills.
  2. My Squirrel Days by Ellie Kemper. I’m listening to this on Audible right now and loving it. Ellie is so sweet and super funny.
  3. All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung. I started this about a month ago but had to put it off until school was over so I could truly enjoy it.
  4. Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, edited by Roxane Gay. I read most of this book in the spring but never got around to finishing it. Some of the essays can be extremely challenging to get through. The writers bare their souls.
  5. Shrill by Lindy West. Discovered Lindy way late, on Dear Prudence, and have been obsessed with her ever since.
  6. Wonderful Tonight by Pattie Boyd. Pattie has the up-close-and-personal deets about Harrison and Clapton
  7. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Been meaning to read this one for ages.
  8. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. I started this earlier this year but it got sacrificed to the grad school gods. As soon as I’m finished I’m watching the film.
  9. Live from New York. The SNL book! Been dying to read this ever since it came out.
  10. Waiting for the Punch by Marc Maron. This is a collection of all the wisdom he gained doing his interview podcast WTF with Marc Maron. He basically invented podcasts, and he’s had some of the most incredible guests—Barack Obama say whaaaat?
  11. Bitch Doctrine by Laurie Penny. I discovered Laurie on Dear Prudence and immediately started following her on Twitter. She’s a savage, and I love her.
  12. Unladylike by Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin. The former ladies of Stuff Mom Never Told You wrote a book!
  13. Hard Choices and What Happened by Hillary Clinton. Because of course I am.
  14. In Intimate Detail by Cora Harrington. Remember the thin privilege Twitter thread this summer? That was by Cora, who is a lingerie writer at The Lingerie Addict. I know literally nothing about lingerie, but I’m a grown-ass woman and it’s about time I did.
  15. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Started this one years ago and never finished. I am such a distracted reader!
  16. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. I am a Handmaid’s Tale stan (both the book and the show), so I can’t wait to read more Atwood!
  17. Flaubert’s Parrot by Julian Barnes. JB is one of my favorite short story writers, so I’m pumped to read his novel.
  18. How to Rent a Negro by Damali Ayo. This was on the syllabus for my American Racial Satire class, but I fell behind and never got a chance to read it.
  19. Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I KNOW. It’s insane I haven’t read this already. Don’t come for me. Not every avid reader can read every damn classic.
  20. Erasure by Percival Everett. I Am Not Sidney Poitier is one of my favorite books of all time and apparently this one is even wilder.
  21. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Another classic I should have already read.
  22. Every Day by David Levithan, because who doesn’t need a YA break every once in a while?
  23. Redefining Realness by Janet Mock. For obvious reasons.
  24. The Merry Spinster by Daniel Mallory Ortberg. For obvious reasons.
  25. The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier. Love a good biography, and I find SP so inspiring.
  26. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. I’ve read at least 60% of this book like three times, but always end up not finishing it for some reason! Here’s to a better 2019.
  27. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Same as Housekeeping.
  28. Swing Time by Zadie Smith. Bought this while I was in England. Zadie is bae.
  29. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Heard such good things about this one!
  30. All the Lives I Want by Alana Massey. To be fair, I’m a good chunk of the way through this one on Audible, but I do plan to finish it soon.
  31. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. This is another one I read most of in high school, but I bought it on Audible narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal, so I plan to listen to it on my work commute.
  32. Basic Witches by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman. I am obsessed with Jaya, and who doesn’t want to read a book about summoning success, banishing drama, and raising hell?
  33. MAUS I II by Art Spiegelman. Because I was supposed to read them for class (oops!), and because I want to challenge myself to actually read a graphic novel.
  34. So Close to Being the Shit, Y’all Don’t Even Know by Retta. Audible, and Retta is my favorite.
  35. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara. Audible. When Michelle McNamara died, Julie Klausner re-aired an interview with her and she was such a brilliant mind.
  36. This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps. Audible. Busy is the best, from Kim Kelly to Busy Tonight.
  37. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle. Monty Python is my favorite ever.

I hope to read more than this in 2019, but clearly, I have a great year of reading ahead of me!