36 Books

Sometimes you fail. But the books are still good.


2013 was a banner year for reading goals. 2014 did not fare so well…thirty-six out of 50 not so well. But more books are always a good thing, so. I still win.


1. City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) / Cassandra Clare + 7. City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) / Cassandra Clare + 27. City of Heavenly Fire (Mortal Instruments #6) / Cassandra Clare = I finally finished this series! But why do epilogues exist. They so rarely do right.
4. Dead Reckoning /Charlaine Harris – only two left…
31. A Discovery of Witches / Deborah Harkness – ReadItGirls book club pick! Supernatural yoga (!) and yet, no. Just no.
23. Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1) / Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – 1 of 3 Valentine books from bae.

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Living gluten free isn’t hard

I couldn’t just leave you with my Angry Celiac post. It’s Celiac Awareness Month after all.

I was diagnosed with celiac disease five years ago. My life has changed quite a bit since then.

Before my diagnosis, I was sick all. the. time. Like, I couldn’t make plans because I’d never know when my symptoms would strike. For nearly a year, I “lived” like this. I struggled – wondering “Is this just normal? Does everyone live like this? Am I just being weak?”

I was in denial and suffering. Eventually, I faced that fear and got my diagnosis.

photo of new grist on the balcony
March 2, 2013 | New Grist – gluten free beer | Ramallah, Palestine

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2015: Year in Review

One more time

January 2015: Visiting New York for a birthday weekend for my boo, filled with surprises – including his parents arriving for brunch, Aladdin on Broadway, and dinner out with a champagne toast from my parents (via technology).

January 2015 - NYC - Aladdin - birthday
January 10, 2015 | Aladdin on Broadway

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Angry Celiac

Well. It’s Celiac Awareness Month again. I’ve written about living with celiac once or twice before.

Today’s post is for my fellow celiacs who have lived with this damn diagnosis for awhile now (five years for yours truly) and are well and truly over it. This isn’t a “yay we can do it!” post – this is a “yeah but WHY” post.

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Confessions of a Sociopath & a Blog Giveaway

A coworker recently told me about Blogging for Books – free books for bloggers? Yes, please! I signed up immediately.

My first book was Confessions of a Sociopath by M.E. Thomas – I picked it because I thought the topic would be interesting and because the cover looked cool (yes, I’m one of those people that at least partially judges a book by its cover):

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, but Thomas sets up her premise right away:

I figured that if I existed, there must be others like me–other sociopaths who didn’t make their impact in a world of crime but out in the business and professional world. I wanted to shape the dialogue to reflect my point of view. I wanted to expand the discussion of sociopaths beyond the traditional study of incarcerated criminals.

Ok. Let’s go.

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Make it Blue

One of the few things that I knew early on about my wedding was that I wanted to have blue hair. There weren’t many traditions that I felt the need to adhere to, however The Four Somethings (old, new, borrowed, & blue) was one that, for reasons unknown, I felt a deep desire to do.

I didn’t tell many people about this decision as my usual hair stylist flat-out refused and I received a rather tepid response from the groom himself (“Like blue blue?” “You know what else would look good? Your normal hair color.”) (he eventually came around to the idea).

As I searched for a new stylist/colorist, I hit a few dead ends before my sister came through with a solid recommendation: Tricia at Urban Style Lab. (Not currently living in DC, she came upon this recommendation because the salon uses Wella products, which are the same used by her former, much-loved stylist.) They didn’t flinch at all when I described my request and could accommodate my short timeframe. Appointment made.

So it began. With bleach:


We were forced to bleach my hair twice before moving on to coloring. (Here’s another process shot from the Lab’s Instagram feed.) I had erroneously believed/vainly hoped that my lighter brown hair color would mean that only once would do the trick.

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