Recent Thrills

THRILLWeekly Thrill is a feature in which I share my current truths, but I haven’t been around for a while so this is my Recent Thrills edition:

  • T is for taste testing
  • H is for hearing
  • R is for reading
  • I is for interested in 
  • L is for learning
  • L is for loving.
  • Read other weekly thrills here.

Taste testing: Let it be known that I am not the person to go to for recommendations on processed snacks. I make an effort to exclude most processed foods, but do not consider my diet perfect by any means. Recently, I’ve been (over)indulging in these snacks:

Pure Organic Ancient Grains Bar Peanut Butter Chocolate BarsPure Organic Ancient Grains Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

These remind me of the Chewy bars by Quaker that I used to inhale as a kid. If you like peanut butter, whole grains (quinoa, amaranth, flax and hemp) and chocolate — try these. I mean, the ingredients break a lot of the “healthy diet” rules, but there’s no harm in an occasional treat. Deprivation in diet is never the answer.


Annie's Homegrown Cheddar SquaresAnnie’s Homegrown Cheddar Squares

I like to think of these as the healthier version of Cheez-It crackers. I am entirely human and so I know how delicious those processed squares can be and these are just as tasty, if not more. It’s a bonus that they are made from organic wheat and 100 percent real cheese (although I do not think these are one of the brand’s non-GMO products). The squares are particularly delicious paired with organic, crunchy peanut butter.


Hearing: I’ve been listening to a lot of Liam Finn since Record Store Day. Born to musical parents, Sharon and Neil Finn, Liam blends a little dream pop with some psychedelic rock. The result is delicious. I’ve spending a lot of time with his third album, The Nihilist, which he released in April. Below, listen to “Snug as Fuck,” which was my introduction to the band.

Reading: I am a proud member of two book clubs (and may be adding a third in the near future). One of my resolutions for 2015 was to read more and a club really holds you to that. I’ve read three books this year, which actually isn’t that impressive considering it’s May, but it’s better than none.

The Girl on the Train, Way of the Peaceful WarriorMy most recent reads were The Girl on the Train (just finished) and Way of the Peaceful Warrior (still reading so I won’t comment yet). I also read Innocence by Dean Koontz (did not like; already donated) and Mindy Kaling‘s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). I really wanted to love Kaling’s book, but it fell short of my expectations. It did, however, make me want to be a funnier person. (I might elaborate on that last comment in a future post.)

I liked The Girl on the Train, for the most part. In fact, it was probably my favorite read so far this year. It is a sort of drawn-out read — one of those books that could have been wrapped up 100 pages earlier. The start was I-don’t-want-to-put-this-down good, but that feeling wore off too fast. Most of the female characters in the book were portrayed as weak, crazy and with more issues than I could count. I didn’t like that. I did like Paula Hawkins‘ writing, which saved the book in my opinion. It is the reason I would rate it 3.5 out of 5 and read more from her.

Interested In: Consumerism and the manufacturing of trendy clothes — these are recent interests of mine. I have been slowly doing research to become more educated on these topics and form my stance. I’ve also been making a conscious effort to buy less clothes and shoes. When I do buy, I try to purchase from transparent brands, independent brands or second-hand shops that sell gently worn clothes.

||| Recommended videos: John Oliver on fashion DietBlond on consumer culture |||

Every day I become less interested in the fashion industry and what little it has to offer. I buy less, donate more and go deeper into my closet to put together outfits. Denim dresses have become a staple for me. I only have two (one by a brand with questionable ethics, ugh), but they are so perfect. I’m drafting a denim dress post soon, so I’ll talk more on this trend (is it a trend?) later.

Denim dresses

Left: by Sonoma, Right: by Gap, Left & Right: wrinkled (oops)

Learning: I don’t consider myself a follower of the Buddhist religion or any of its teachings, but a friend recommended I look up talks by Ajahn Brahm, a London-born Theravada Buddhist monk. Many of his teachings can be found on YouTube and range in duration from one to two hours. I have only listened to a few (Happiness & Self-Healing Through MindfulnessLetting Go of Fear and Four Ways of Letting Go) so far, but gained a lot. He discusses simple truths in a perspective-shifting way and if you learn best through anecdotes, Brahm is your man.

“When life is good do not take it for granted as it will pass. Be mindful, be compassionate and nurture the circumstances that find you in this good time so it will last longer. When life falls apart always remember that this too will pass. Life will have its unexpected turns.” ― Ajahn Brahm

Carol's Daughter Açai Clarifying Exfoliating TonerLoving: I always say that it is important to feed the skin from within. After all, this is probably the most effective way to get youthful, healthy and glowing skin that everyone seemingly desires. However, a good regime or products can go a long way too.

I’ve heard great things about Carol’s Daughter products and recently purchased the Açai Clarifying Exfoliating Toner on sale. This stuff is great, guys. It’s replaced my basic witch hazel (because it has witch hazel in it, among many other great ingredients). I can’t wait to try out other products by the brand, including its hair care goods. A “summer skin” post is in the works and I’ll elaborate on my experience with this toner in that post.

What have you been loving lately? It’s been a while; let’s catch up in the comments.

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