I took last week off – from copywriting, blogging, and editing videos – because R and I were in Rome celebrating our anniversary! It felt a little strange, I normally plan to do something each day, but I knew that it was important for both of us to truly feel like we were on vacation together. The two of us had visited Rome before (separately), which meant that we were able to spend our time seeing some of the “B-list” attractions and indulging in an Italian lesson at the Medici Villa and a 4-hour private food tour around the Testaccio neighborhood. On our last day, we rented bikes and cycled 16km down the Appian Way (the oldest and most strategic of ancient Roman roads). It was absolute bliss. We had a fantastic few days filled with history, culture, and lots of good food. Keep your eyes peeled for my vlog on Wednesday and the Rome City Guide coming next week! Here is what else I have been loving this week…
Most of the music we listened to while in Rome either came from playlists with names like “Italian Love Songs” or “Best of Dean Martin.” It just felt wrong to listen to anything else when these tunes paired so well with the neighboring church bells and the perpetual smell of espresso throughout the suite. However, before leaving for Italy, I made sure to download a whole array of new music to keep me occupied throughout the journey. One album that I can’t get enough of is Sophie Auster’s 2019 release Next Time. Her voice is incredible, and each of the tracks is just as sultry and folksy as the last. Rumor has it that she will have more new music out at the beginning of November!
OMG. THIS. BOOK. I started reading it on my flight home on Friday and finished it last night (Sunday), which meant immersing myself in its world for the majority of my weekend. But, wow, it was worth it. Written by the Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma, the book tells the story of Chinonso, a young poultry farmer who embarks on an epic quest to prove himself worthy of the woman he loves. Narrated by his chi, or guardian spirit, who has lived for hundreds of years, the novel is written in the mythic style of the Igbo literary tradition. A contemporary twist of Homer’s Odyssey, this heart-wrenching epic spans continents and cosmic spaces. Oh, and the writing/vocabulary is exquisite. It is so good; please read it. However, if I am not enough to convince you, it has also been shortlisted for this year’s Booker Prize – which is announced today!
After our almost 5-hour food tour, we were exhausted. There was no way we could eat any more, we had been walking all day, and it was far too uncomfortable to have our jeans buttoned; so, we decided to stay in for the evening and start a new Netflix show. I had been so excited about the release of Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy’s latest show that I had made a calendar reminder of its release date. The trailer was fantastic, so I was anticipating enjoying it; but, I was shocked by how much we both loved it. The Politician centers on Payton, a wealthy, high-school student who is obsessed with becoming president of the USA but first has to win his high-school presidential election. It is hilarious and dark, the characters are incredible, the set design and costumes impeccable, and I don’t know if I can wait another year for season two!
Usually, my international flights are overnight so I don’t watch anything, I sleep! On the way back from Rome, I flew in the afternoon and so took the opportunity to watch a couple of movies I have wanted to see. First up, Big Eyes, a film about the life of American artist Margaret Keane whose husband took credit for her phenomenally successful paintings in the 1950s and 1960s. Amy Adams won a Golden Globe for her performance! The story was so riveting that I wanted to watch something else (instead of going back to my book), so I opted for Our Brand is Crisis. Political dramas tend to be my jam, but this (unfortunately) was pretty blah. R suggested I watch Wag The Dog, a 1997 DeNiro and Hoffman “classic” that is also about political spin doctors. It has been added to my list!
I, like many of us, am always looking for ways to better manage my time, reduce my procrastination tendencies, and get everything done. This year I have tried out a whole load of options for my daily to-do lists, from bullet journalling to Evernote folders to (most recently) Google Tasks. For the most part, I was pleased with Google Tasks because it showed up directly on my Google Calendar, but the mobile app was useless, and so it had to go. For a couple of years, I have been eyeing Things3, but the desktop program is pricey ($50), particularly when there are so many free or significantly cheaper options on the market. Todoist and I had a good run in university (I am not sure why I stopped using it), so it got redownloaded for me to try again. In those few years, the interface has been significantly updated, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it had pretty much everything I liked about Google Tasks (subtasks, recurring tasks, and projects) as well as an awesome app. Hopefully, this system is here to stay. Well, until I crack and buy Things3.
A couple of years ago, someone commented on one of my YT videos, saying that my look reminded them of the late Carolyn Bessette. To this day, it remains one of the most blush-inducing compliments that I have received on the world wide web. No matter what she was wearing, jeans and a t-shirt while running errands or a gown for a black-tie gala, Carolyn always looked chic. As I get my fall and winter wardrobe ready, I am going to keep her style formulas at the front of my mind. She knew very well that it was all about the right proportions, a minimalist color palette, and a well-placed accessory. All you need is this Instagram account for reference.
Links I Love
1. A look inside The Row’s new London store.
2. Why you should start every workout with a plank.
3. The future of transportation is electric bikes.
4. The best street style from Shanghai Fashion Week.
5. Coming forward about sexual assault, and what comes after.
6. The ghost towers of Iran’s housing crisis.
7. How 3D digital design and AR can slash textile waste in fashion.
8. A new slate of films depict Asian American mothers as worthy of compassion.
9. The history of dewy skin.
10. Outdoor activities to do this fall.
Word Of The Week
Oneiric (adj) – of or relating to dreams or dreaming
Let me know what you have been loving this week!
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