Birthday Trip to Dia:Beacon

Oh blog, poor blog, I have neglected you so! But here I am, with a couple new posts in the hopper and a trip to Martha’s Vineyard this weekend, so hold onto your butts. First up, my birthday recap!

Since my birthday in July fell on a Monday, and we had Tuesday off because of Independence Day, I decided to take the day off and do something fun for my 30th!

I’d been meaning to get to Dia:Beacon for at least a year now. I’ve seen tons of images from it on social media, and the art there sounded right up my alley (particularly the Dan Flavin pieces — I have a thing for light art), and it’s only an hour’s drive north from me. Since my dad’s retired and my mom took the day off as well, we decided to make a family trip of it.

Not sure what’s more impressive, the art or the space itself. (Also, I’m obsessed with these pebbled glass windows and how they distort what’s outside them. Kinda need some in my future home.) The building used to be a box factory for Nabisco — so it’s filled with natural light via the skylights so workers could ensure color accuracy on the packaging.

I’ve always been a fan of Dan Flavin, and Dia:Beacon has quite a few of his pieces. Dia has a whole museum dedicated to him on Long Island, that I absolutely need to get to sometime.

A really impressive section of Dia:Beacon is the lower level, with its slender columns another Dan Flavin installation illuminating the whole space in an eerie green light.

Overall, I’d say Dia:Beacon is definitely worth a trip if you’re in the area! It’s quite accessible from NYC as well, with a train station right in the town of Beacon, just a short walk from the museum. I’m really happy I made the trip for my birthday. Almost as happy as I was to cap off the day with Arturo’s pizza and ice cream for dessert back in NJ later that evening. And we played with sparklers, because they’re finally legal in New Jersey!

Couldn’t have asked for a better birthday 🙂

Summer Reading List

Summer Reading 2017

Admittedly, I’ve had less time than I like for reading for pleasure these days. I’m trying to change that this summer with these five new (and old!) purchases that I haven’t gotten around to yet.

Full disclosure: the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links, which means I may receive a portion of the proceeds should you make a purchase. I appreciate if you click the links, but if you don’t want to I get it!

2017 Summer Reading Theft By Finding Diaries by David Sedaris

1 Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) by David Sedaris

“For forty years, David Sedaris has kept a diary in which he records everything that captures his attention-overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. These observations are the source code for his finest work, and through them he has honed his cunning, surprising sentences.”

I adore Sedaris’ writing and have read almost all of his books (just couldn’t get through Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, and somehow completely missed the publication of Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls). His writing is both witty and eyebrow-raising, and I’ll never forget the time at a book signing that he told me the spelling of my name wouldn’t be appropriate past the age of 25.

Summer 2017 Reading List The Girls by Emma Cline

2 The Girls: A Novel by Emma Cline

“Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence.”

I bought this book last summer and never got around to reading it. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, and hope it’s as Gone Girl-y as it seems! I love that feeling of not wanting to put a book down.

Summer 2017 Reading List The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck

3 The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

“For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.”

This is another one I’ve been seeing all over the place. I’ve been feeling a little high-strung lately and absolutely hate it, so I’m hoping the advice herein will help mellow me out a little.

Summer 2017 Reading List The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

4 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

“Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable.”

Confession: I was meant to have read this years ago in my mother-daughter book club, and definitely did not. I completely fell in love with this year’s Hulu series based on the novel, and decided to finally read it.

Summer 2017 Reading List The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

5 The Amber Spyglass: His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

“The unforgettable His Dark Materials trilogy that began with The Golden Compass—the modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an “All-Time Greatest Novel” and Newsweek hailed as a “Top 100 Book of All Time”—and continued with The Subtle Knife, reaches its astonishing conclusion in The Amber Spyglass.”

When it was announced that Philip Pullman would be writing more books in the His Dark Materials universe (first one publishes in October of this year!) I knew I had to re-read the whole series. I suppose it’s geared for a more young adult audience, but by The Amber Spyglass (the third book in the series) the themes become pretty dark, and will definitely hold your interest.

So that’s my list! Are you reading anything good this summer?

& listen: Summerbreeze Playlist

Summer 2017 Spotify Playlist

Summer is always my favorite playlist-making season — is there anything better than listening to music in the car on a sunny day, driving with all the windows down? Not to toot my own playlist-making horn, but there is a ton of good stuff in this one.

> Want You Back – HAIM (The long-awaited sophomore album from my favorite band, HAIM, finally came out July 7th, and I’ve already had this early release from it on repeat for weeks. Which you’ve probably been able to deduce from my “like” history on Facebook)

> Precious – Kevin Garrett

> The Louvre – Lorde (yes, more Lorde! But her album dropped earlier this summer and it was even better than I expected)

> I Know You Know – Ásgeir

> Your Love – HAERTS

> Come Close – Ry-Lo

To hear the rest of my Summerbreeze playlist, head over to Spotify.

30 Things I’ve Learned Before My 30th Birthday

30th Birthday

In trying to remain positive about this alarming development — let me tell you, 30 really sneaks up on you — I’d like to offer up a little bit of advice, based on what little I’ve learned about life over the last three decades:

1. You’ll learn a lot about yourself when you step outside your comfort zone

2. Take time to discover who you are, away from others

3. But don’t forget to take time to cultivate your friendships

4. And know when it’s time to let someone go

5. Wear sunscreen (especially if, like me, your skin tone falls into “glow in the dark” territory)

6. Invest any amount of time and money you can manage in seeing the world outside your front door

7. Live a little, eat that ice cream every now and then

8. But don’t underestimate the power of exercise to make a bad day better (“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”)

9. Don’t build yourself up by putting down others

10. It’s ok to go to dinner and a movie by yourself, no one’s looking at you

11. In that same vein, know that you can travel by yourself, and it can be amazing

12. Cooking is therapeutic

13. So is take-out, if you just don’t have the energy

14. If some random man on the street tells you to smile, don’t — you don’t owe anyone anything

15. Pets always know how to make you feel better

16. Stand up for what you believe in

17. Persist

18. Always carry an extra hair tie

19. Keeping succulents alive is harder than Pinterest would have you believe

20. Ask for help when you need it

21. It’s ok to say no. Don’t go to the party if you don’t want to go to the party

22. Don’t contort yourself to fit other people’s expectations

23. Astrology might be pseudoscience but damn if it isn’t accurate

24. It’s ok to not like what everyone else likes

25. But on the flip side, don’t make someone feel bad for liking what they do

26. Sometimes it’s ok to be cynical

27. Don’t measure yourself against the achievements of others

28. It’s a mark of maturity to be able to admit when you’re wrong

29. Stick to a budget (you’ll thank me later)

30. Not everyone takes the same route in life. It’s not a personal failing if your milestones don’t align with everyone else’s

Hopefully in another 30 years I’ll have another 30 things to add to the list :p

A New Jersey Country Drive

It’s been a minute! I’m juggling quite a few things at the moment, some of which are pretty exciting but I can’t talk about quite yet (stay tuned!) I have a quick little photo post for you today. Back over Memorial Day weekend we had some gorgeous weather, and I decided to go for a random drive through the country (yes, New Jersey has country, and quite a bit more of it than television would lead you to believe)

New Jersey Morris County Drive

I decided this drive would be all about taking roads I’ve always passed and wondered where they went, but never took the time to turn down. I was definitely not disappointed! All photos were taken in New Vernon and Mendham. For those reading who aren’t from New Jersey, this is what we mean when we call it the Garden State.

New Jersey Morris County Drive

New Jersey Morris County Drive

New Jersey Morris County Drive

New Jersey Morris County Drive

New Jersey Morris County Drive

New Jersey Morris County Drive

New Jersey Morris County Drive