reading: Cambodia Noir

May 29, 2016

I can feel an obsession starting. I have always loved murder mysteries and thrillers. My Netflix queue is full of Murder She Wrote, Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, Top of the Lake, and Criminal Minds; however, I have now started reading mysteries and thrillers and I am hooked.

I follow @CrimeByTheBook on instagram (who also has a lovely blog) and saw a gorgeous picture she took that included a donut and this book, Cambodia Noir, by Nick Seeley. So, of course I had to read the book.

I downloaded the book to my kindle app, and then became immersed in the journal entries written by the mysterious and absent young journalist, Jun, and the first person narration of jaded photo-journalist, Will. Scarily perceptive Will is hired to investigate the disappearance of an intern from his paper. But, through twists and turns he realizes that Jun is not who he thought she was, and that his complacency in Cambodia is challenged by the danger he is in.

I don't want to give away more than that. This is an intense book- drugs, sex, danger. But, it was an enjoyable read, and I couldn't stop updating my friends on the twists and turns. If you like mystery, and have a stomach for the bleak, pick this one up. It is so good.

styling: floral pattern dress

May 26, 2016

glasses from Warby Parker / LOFT floral dress / shoes and earrings from Target / Apple Watch 38mm Sport Edition 

I am in love with this time of year. My classroom is still relatively cool with the help of a fan, and students are working in groups on argumentative essays. This dress is perfect for this lead up to the end of the year: airy, but substantial. I got it on sale with some of the winter items, and am loving the long sleeves right now. 

What are you wearing as the spring begins to wrap up? 

styling: light layers and polka dots

glasses from Warby Parker / GAP chambray top / school spirit tee / thrifted skirt / shoes from Target / Apple Watch 38mm Sport Edition 

This is an example of the light layering necessary, working in a building without air conditioning. How do you manage to mix it up, even when it starts getting hot out?

reading: Purple Hibiscus

May 17, 2016

Reading Purple Hibiscus was my first experience with the mind and writing of Chimanda Ngozi Adichie. The book is a touching depiction of the fear and courage of a girl growing up under the harsh tyranny of her religious father in Nigeria. The book throws the reader into Nigerian culture- the food, the surroundings, and the variety of people. I really appreciated the world this book opened up for me, and where the book fits with other books. It refers to Things Fall Apart from the beginning, with the family falling apart at the rebellion of Kambili's brother, Jaja; also, the book reminded me of the Poisonwood Bible- the story of a dictatorial religious father told by women.

"We did that often, asking each other questions whose answers we already knew. Perhaps it was so that we would not ask the other questions, the ones whose answers we did not want to know." - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus

This is a story about fathers- the impact of a traditional grandfather, and an ambitious son, on a timid granddaughter- Kambili, the narrator. Her life is framed by the struggle of her harsh Christian father against his father, which symbolizes the struggle of Africa against colonialism. Kambili finds her voice and a hint of freedom as she interacts with her aunt and gets away from the suffocating and sometimes dangerous presence of her father. She gets to know her grandfather, her cousins, and more about herself.

"To call him humble was to make rudeness normal. Besides, humility had always seemed to him a specious thing, invented for the comfort of others; you were praised for humility by people because you did not make them feel any more lacking than they already did. It was honesty that he valued; he had always wished himself to be truly honest, and always feared that he was not." - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus

In the end, the story teaches the strength of true family- family that supports and challenges, rather than stifles and controls. This book describes describes a character- and an Africa- poised to bloom despite hardship, much like the revolutionary purple hibiscus.

“Chineke! Bless the children of my children. Let your eyes follow them away from evil and towards good.” Papa-Nnukwu smiled as he spoke. His few front teeth seemed a deeper yellow in the light, like fresh corn kernels. The wide gaps in his gums were tinged a subtle tawny color. “Chineke! Those who wish others well, keep them well. Those who wish others ill, keep them ill.” - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus

styling: peplum and prints

May 14, 2016

glasses from Warby Parker / Forever 21 Peplum top / GAP patterned skinny pants / shoes from Target / Apple Watch 38mm Sport Edition / Coach wristlet wallet

This was a great spring weekend outfit for a sit down dinner benefit for an arts school in my neighborhood. I particularly love the peplum top.

styling: blush and lace

May 13, 2016

T H U R S D A Y: glasses from Warby Parker / vintage blush blazer / lace top from Target / LOFT pants / DV LOOK sandals from Target / Apple Watch 38mm Sport Edition

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