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Your 20’s are weird fast defining years. These books have helped and guided me, through. Some are books of poems some are stories,  and even a list, but they have been a crutch when I needed, they have served as a friend when lonely, and clarity in crisis. Even if your a little older or younger these books will help you guide you through the trying, happy, and everything in between.

I love the way books smell, I love the way they feel in your hand, I love how intentional someone had to be to make it come to life. I feel like books are dreams you can hold in your hand. So here are some recommendations for people who are just trying to figure it out.

IMG_1130Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur: This book has helped me through so many trying relationship times in my life. I mean every kind of relationship, family, friends, boyfriends. Rupi Kaur’s words are so beautiful. Most of the poems are short, sweet, to the point, and oh so eloquently written. Milk and Honey has brought me to tears in just a few short lines. Its like I can always find clarity in her words, like Rupi knows what I’m feeling and how to say it, when I can’t find the right words. This book is powerful, and also gentle enough to be comforting in a time of need. I’ve said this before, but, in your 20’s when your trying to figure so many things out, and sometimes you can’t quite put your finger on how you feel Rupi Kaur can, and thats why this book is important.

IMG_1108The Opposite of Loneiness, Marina Keegan: The Story of Marina Keegan, the author of this book is a heart wrenching one. She had just graduated STANFORD, with an creative writing degree, I mean freaking STANFORD!!!!!  Marina and her boyfriend were going to visit her family just DAYS after graduation. Driving through the night, and her boyfriend fell asleep at the wheel and she was tragically killed. SO SAD!!!!!! Marina wrote plenty of beautiful imaginative short stories in her short years on earth. This book is a collection of her stories. She lives on through them, and if I ever need a quick but rich story, to get my mind off things this is my go to. As I read, I am also reminded just how beautiful and short life is, and what you can do in just a few short years here, I am also reminded to make them count.IMG_1143

Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert: This book is just as the title says magical. The author, Elizabeth Gilbert, among others, she has also written a tiny book you may be familiar with, Eat Pray Love? lol! Seriously though this lady is a genius! You need to hear the words in this book. It is in the self help realm, but this book is not preachy or cheesy. This book is courageous, and honestly gave me the courage, to get over myself and go towards my dreams (example: THIS BLOG) Elizabeth breaks down why you must create and also why it isn’t that big of a deal. Without this book I don’t know if I would be able to unapologetically put myself out there every week with this blog and anything else I do creatively. Even if you are not trying to do something super creative, even if you just want to follow your dreams and stop being a scaredy cat making a big deal over it, READ THIS BOOK! If you read one of these books I believe this one should be it! Also THANK YOU ELIZABETH GILBERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IMG_1126Brave Enough, Cheryl Strayed: This book is FILLED with inspirations, not just inspirations but words of healing, encouragement, and comfort. I’ve turned to this book in moments when I didn’t feel good enough, I’ve turned to this book when I’ve needed the words to press on, in times of difficulty. I know this is a lot to ask of a book, but its almost been like a friend to me. A friend with the best advice, and who is most always a reach away. I feel like the underlined them in this book of poems, is that its okay to be yourself; and when your figuring it out in your 20’s you need that.

FullSizeRender 2Love Listography, Lisa Nola: This is such an awesome thing. No its not like a real book type book, its a journal like list book thingy lol! Okay let me explain! Its a set of list like probably around 150 blank list for you to fill in with prompts like “List all the boys you’ve ever kissed” “List Relationship moments you’d erase” “List all the gifts you’ve received from lovers” “List the details of your first time” Personally I’ve had this book since I was 19! like nine FREAKING teen! In my sorrow of every breakup I have filled out this book! Some of the things I seriously do not even remember happening but it was been such a cool experience to see how my life, mindset, and myself as a person have changed! I recommend starting this ASAP! Your past can be a great tool, and this has become a comforting way to reflect!

I whole heartedly LOVE these books! I hope they might bring you joy and help along the way if you decide to give them a read! Comment below any books that have helped you grow up! I love you, and I hope your day is filled with TONS of sunshine!!IMG_1149

PS I ALSO MADE A YOUTUBE VIDEO ABOUT THESE BOOKS! CHECK IT OUT AND SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE!!!!!!! CLICK HHHEEERRREEE ALSO IM SCARED BE NICE! LOL

 

IMG_0420IMG_0339IMG_0328So this trip was a little different then most, I wasn’t with my best girl friends, or alone, I was with my boyfriends mother. She’s not so much of a traveler, but was totally up for it!  I am a FUN CRAMER and this trip was no different! We did sssooooo much stuff! Coming back to my real job was tough, exhausted was an understatement, we needed a vacation from our vacation; but we still had all the fun! I’ve had a hard time narrowing down the best things from everything we did. I love New York its so beautiful, it buzzes, not how Vegas buzzes, Vegas buzzes with money excitement and sin. New York buzzes with culture, diversity, and hustle. I would live there, its not my 1st choice, but its definitely top 5.

I was a little nervous because when it comes to traveling I do have a lot of strong suits but where I fall short is NAVIGATION, normally I let someone else take the lead on that. Not to say I can’t though, I did go to Indonesia completely alone, but this time it wasn’t just me. I knew getting us through the subways would be totally up to me, and it made me super nervous, because I don’t care if I get lost but I didn’t want to get her lost! She was a trouper though! Meet Janis! She is a firecracker if I’ve ever met one!IMG_0462

so lets get into it, here are 5 things you HAVE to do in NYC!IMG_0249IMG_2258

  • Fridays at The Met: Okay so The Metropolitan Museum of Art is fantastic enough on its own, its safe to say its my favorite building in NYC; but on Fridays they kick it up a few notches. A few months out of the year they host “Fridays at The Met”, and the museum stays open till 9. Not only are they open for much longer than normal, but they open an indoor tapas restaurant on the second floor which over looks beauty of the museum below you, and they don’t stop there. Not only can you order super yummy food, and drinks, but an orchestra ensemble plays right next to you! I CANNOT MAKE THIS STUFF UP! I was dying inside a little at how perfect it all was! “Fridays at The Met” was probably my FAVORITE thing we did while we were there. We saw my favorite Monet painting that have been, dying to see since I was 5! (My mom bought me a children’s book that incorporated Monet that artwork throughout the story, it was my favorite book) It was a perfect evening! Also They have an upstairs rooftop bar that over looks the city. AND my BFF Megan, who lives in NYC, and her roommate, MET us there! lol get it MET! SO FUN!!!! IMG_0168IMG_0181IMG_0174IMG_0172IMG_0215IMG_0216IMG_0180IMG_0219IMG_0240IMG_0222IMG_0234IMG_0170IMG_2259
  • Go see a Broadway Play, or ANY play: We saw Kinky Boots, but there is really nothing like seeing a play in NYC like that. Everyone is so so so so talented. NYC is obviously flooded with phenomenal, creative, musical, and theatrical people. I would even LOVE to go see an off-broadway play next time too, I’m sure the acting and singing is just as beautiful. The thing about being on Broadway is that they have doll-hairs for the pizzazz aka fancy props and stages. Kinky Boots was AMAZING though!!! I seriously lovvvveeddd it hilarious! We tried to see my talented friend Jessica’s improv group, but they were so good, that by the time we finished our drink from a bar around the corner, that she dropped us off at; the show sold out! Next time Jessica!!! But seriously if you are in NYC go see a show!!! People always amaze me at the talent that pours in from all over the world to the big apple; so go and be amazed!!!                                                                                     PRO-TIP: Put those tiny 99cent vodka shooters in your bra so you don’t have to pay astronomical drink prices! I have tested this out! Works great.

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  • Hotdogs and Buckets of Beer at the Brooklyn Bridge: Right next to this place called The Ice Cream Factory, there is this little covered out door hot-dog place. They have cheapish hotdogs, with butter toasted buns; and cheapish buckets of ice cold BEER! Listen, thats not even the best part! The best part is THE VIEW! You have the most amazing view of the city skyline. We sat out there for HOURS, an had 1 bucket of beers to many! haha! This was one of my favorite things we did! This cheap meal was an experience! You sit at these little red tables and just awe over the NYC skyline!IMG_0422IMG_0430IMG_0418IMG_0428IMG_0405IMG_0409IMG_0415
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  • The MoMa: Museum of Modern Art: This place! So, its not as grand and luxurious as The Met, but it has its own essence of cool. They have some classics as well as PLENTY of modern art! We saw ‘Starry Night‘ here, which was a dream come true for me! It was just a great way to spend an afternoon. Walking among the beautiful art, and interesting history of it all. I love that they thrown in some classics as well! It was relaxing and interesting!                                                                                                    PRO-TIP: They have a huge wrap around couch to chill and put your feet up! Its a great place for a quick rest!
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  • Sleep No More: Unfortunately I only have one blurry phone photo from this AMAZING one of a kind experience!!!!!!! This was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my ENTIRE LIFE! So this is an interactive play! Its loosely based on Shakespeare’s McBeth. It’s a bit complicated to explain but I’ll do my best! Upon entering, you are handed a playing card with a number 1-10, or and jack, king, queen, etc. We got the tickets where we had a table , they are a little more but totally worth it! You are also given this mask. Phones and cameras are forbidden, (hence my lack of photo’s, I snuck this one)! You go into this 1920’s themed lounge (pictured below) As they call your card, you are sent into the “hotel” in groups, separate from the people you came with. It is described as an individual experience. The hotel is dark  and about 8 stories or so. You then follow all the characters throughout the hotel running around. There are many, many scenes going on at once on every floor. Its impossible to see the whole thing on one go, in my opinion. They will whisper things in your ear, and bring you into the play for a few lucky people. I got brought in! Super cool, super creepy! Everything is so so so detailed and thought out, from the papers in the drawers on the desk, to the candy, in little bowls. There is nudity, blood, tears, and love. IT WAS SO FREAKING COOL! If you are looking for a different experience in NYC, this is it! It has a haunted house vibe, but trust me it is not a haunted house. Nothing is going to pop out at you, the goal is not to scare you its just a play! It does feel like you are actually in a play or a movie. I would HIGHLY recommend, DEF going again next time I’m in NYC!IMG_0141 Sorry it has taken me so long to get this post up. I’ve honestly just been focusing on my mental state lately. I’m feeling much better now, and I’m ready to get back to my goals and dreams! Anyway! I hope you can find this of some help for your next trip to NYC, or enjoyed the pictures and short read!  Many more post to come! Thanks for your patience, and hope you had awesome memorial day! YAY!!! I’m going to leave you with some 9/11 memorial pictures in honor of the holiday! Remember I love you!!!!IMG_0519IMG_0511IMG_0506IMG_0501IMG_0553IMG_0502

IMG_9809To be honest with you, I’ve been kinda down lately, thats why my post have been so sparse. For a lot of different reasons, nothing life or death, its hard being in your 20’s not knowing what to do with the rest of your life. Your 20’s are all about life altering important decisions, like WHAM FIND A CAREER WHAM WHERE DO YOU WANT TO LIVE WHAM FIND A LIFE PARTNER, basically your whole rest of your life are riding on these years, or at least it feels like it, its exhausting! Sometimes its frustrating not being where you want to be already, and being worried that you are running out of time to do everything you want to do. I say that, but also have this conflicted feeling of according to who’s timeline? Okay guys, 99.9% of the time when I write these, its to benefit you guys reading. This one is for you of course, but its also for me! These are things I’ve called upon lately to get me out of this funk. I want to share some tips or help make peoples lives even a tiny bit better, because you should always lift up the people around you, in any capacity. These have made me feel tons better lately!FullSizeRender 2

  • ME TIME: Sometimes you just need to shutout the world and be alone with your own thoughts, or you just need something to mindlessly get your head to stop turning in all the circles, of all the life stresses that can play on repeat. For me this is the beach! My friend Emalee its candles and her favorite TV show, in a dark room. My friend Lee a nice bottle of wine and a bubble bath. Spending time with yourself is so important. Something I’ve had to learn that hasn’t come easy to me is as you get older you have to be your own best friend. Part of growing up is relying on and entertaining yourself. Over the past couple of years, I have slowly learned how to enjoy my own company and its probably one of the best pick me ups and lessons! After I have the ME TIME I need I always feel recharged, and ready for whatever!IMG_2309IMG_9580
  •   GO OUTSIDE! Getting outside and feeling the sunshine, and the earth around you can be so calming. Going outside reminds me how big the world is. I feel like being outside releases endorphins! Even if its having your morning coffee outside, or taking a short walk, its important to get out there; and remind yourself that there is more to life, than just the crazy stuff that goes on in your own world. I myself LOVE a good bike ride. Being outside is for sure a mood booster for me!bikes
  • A phone call from your BFF! Seriously this is the BEST therapy, sometimes you just need to talk to someone who actually knows you, like really knows you. Girl friendships can be so powerful, especially if you cherish, nurture, and treat them for what they are worth; they can be the most powerful lifeline you have. Probably my favorite thing to do is have a really big deep conversation with my best friends! There is NO substitute for unconditional, best interest at heart true friend time conversations. This ALWAYS lifts my spirits!
  • LET IT OUT, then let it go! There is NOTHING like a good cry! Sometimes you need to take the time to feel and process everything, talk it out, journal it out if it helps, and cry it out, but then move on. I also highly recommend journaling. Write everything you are feeling even if it doesn’t make sense and contradicts itself, even if you feel crazy or weird for feeling the way you do; I like to get it out and draw pictures as I write. Something that helps when I’m doing this is listening to sad songs, lol I know how is that supposed to make me feel better?! I say that because they can make you feel less alone, like someone else has been through it too!  Just make sure YOU DON’T NOT STAY THERE AND WALLOW FOR TOO LONG! Give yourself a realistic time line! After my cry session I let the calm rush over me, then I put on some happy music and dance around, its called balance lol! After I get everything out and feel all the feels, I usually feel so much better so that in itself is not only a pick me up, its also healing.IMG_1996-2
  • Do something just for YOU! Some examples of this for me are going shopping, getting my hair, or nails done with a friend, going to a yoga class, or on the other end of the spectrum, going out for a drink, OR PIZZA AND ICE CREAM, and binge watching my FAVORITE SHOW! AKA Girls on HBO (duh)! Indulging and splurging on something for yourself is a form of taking care of yourself. Sometimes you need to just be a little selfish and do whatever you feel like doing in that moment, and put a smile on your own face! Its empowering to take matters into your own hands, and make own self happy! It’s being a good friend to yourself, and that is one of the most important relationships you have in this world.    (GirlsHBO pick below)IMG_0126IMG_6007IMG_0484  This was super therapeutic for me! So thank you for letting me not only reflect, but be a little vulnerable, and share something things I’ve been doing lately. Since I have been feeling down. I hope you can use this for when you aren’t feeling so great yourself. The only one left for me to do is the cry/dance session. After that I predict a full recovery! Also NYC blog post coming SUPER soon and ITS GOING TO BE SUPER AWESOME!!!!!!! Okay I love you bbbyyyyeeeIMG_7718

IMG_0088IMG_0089I LOVE some wine! Like, LOVE IT! I’m going to blame my dad for this one. I would have a glass every night, if I could. What is more fun than relaxing with a nice red, some good music, (I’ve been on an Alabama Shakes kick lately) while you become one with the couch? Since I like to drink it often, that means I want something affordable!! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a nice bottle, but my bank account just can’t seem to keep up! lol! So behold, a solution! Ten $10 bottles of wine that are yyuumm!! I put my own personal thoughts and then tasting notes from their websites. I do love wine, but I wouldn’t call myself an expert, just an admirer, and I could taste them as I was typing this! haha! This list will be easy to drink, nothing too sweet, something you can find in the grocery store, or CVS, and still super yum, I promise!

P.S. PLEASE forgive me for these pictures! I am a grease ball who needs a shower in all of these.  Also, yes I am wearing my sunglasses inside because I was def not putting on mascara that day!

IMG_204110. Mènage à Trois, Red Blend: AHH good ole Menage! This wine is a go to for me, if I want something light, drinkable and easily accessible. It’s EVERYWHERE! This stuff goes down like water for me! lol! This is a blend, which I love. It’s mostly Zinfandel which is something I happen to enjoy!

NOTES: Fresh ripe jam, fruity, silky, and soft.

PRICE: $10.99

9. 14 Hands, Hot to Trot, Red BlendThis is another go to if I want something that goes down easy, but just a little sharper than Menage! Drinkable, affordable and a little bit of spice. What more could you want in a wine!?

NOTES:  Cherry, ripe berries, plum, tea, and baking spice

PRICE: $8.99

8.  Apothic Red, Red Blend: This is another FAVORITE of mine. It’s a little thicker and a little bolder than the previous two but so, so, so yum!

NOTES: Black Cherry, vanilla, mocha

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7. Save Me San Francisco, Drops of Jupiter:  No, I’m not just spouting off random Train lyrics. This is a wine and a yum one! ALMOST as good as the song itself! haha! It’s a Petite Sirah. A little on the sweet side, just barley, but I looovvee this one!

NOTES: Fruit-forward, boysenberry

Price: $9.99

FullSizeRender 26. Butternut, Pinot Noir: Easy to drink, jammy, cute name, super yum. And it has a CUTE label! lol! Not that it matters, but it does if you love aesthetics like me! hehe

NOTES: Vanilla, red, and dark berries

Price: $11.99

IMG_00905. Louis Jadot, Beaujolias-Villages: This is a CLASSIC wine! This type of wine actually has a TON of heritage and history. But I won’t bore you with the details, because they are boring me thinking about them. Blah, blah, blah. Grapes. Soil. France. No one cares! I PROMISE it is YUMMYYY though!

NOTES: Violet, and red fruit syrup, fresh and silky

Price: $8.99

4. Pennywise, Pinot NoirThis was the name of a band I was obsessed with in like 7th grade, and a yummy Pinot! There is sooo much flavor up in this bottle! Lately, I’ve been drifting from Pinot to Cabs, but this one keeps me coming back!

NOTES: Crushed rose petal, fresh baked blueberry pie, wild cherry and hints of toasted cedar, tart cherry, cranberry, wild huckleberry and toasty marshmallow, vanilla, toasted coconut, cinnamon and clove.

Price: $8.99

FUNNY STORY ABOUT THIS NEXT ONE! While writing this blog post, I asked Matt: “What’s the name of that cab we always get?” His reply: “UBER” lolllllll!!! Anyways, on to the yummy cab, and I DON’T mean Uber!!!!!

3.  Gnarly Head, Cabernet SauvignonI LOVE THIS WINE AND IT’S SO CHEAP! I feel like it’s easier to find a good cheap Pinot because they are lighter in flavor, but this Cab is still soooo good. Big, bold and beautiful. All for a super low price point! That’s what you call a WIN-WIN

NOTES:  Black fruit, clove, spice and earth.

PRICE: $10.99

2. Trivento, Malbec ReserveI was lucky enough to stumble upon this gem at The Wine Bar in Pensacola. I was with my friend Camilla who was visiting from Denmark, and we both FELL IN LOVE with this wine! She even bought one for her going away dinner. It’s FULL of flavor! Think heavy and bold!

NOTES: Ripe red fruits, strawberries and cherries, with hints of coffee and chocolate from the oak.

PRICE: $8.99IMG_0086

1. Cupcake, Red Velvet Blend: This is my go to cheap bottle. It’s silky, smooth and such a good time. This one hits all my taste buds! I love how it’s easy to drink but you still get all the complex flavors. I don’t know if this make any sense, but the taste just flows nicely for me, lol. I want a bottle right MEOW!

NOTES: Chocolate, deep dark blackberries, luscious red fruits, a hint of coconut and creamy mocha.

PRICE: $9.99

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I really hope you enjoy these yummy cheap reds! Let me know if you know of a good cheap bottle I didn’t mention, or your thoughts on any of the bottles I did mention! I love to talk wine and act fancy sometimes! lollllll! I say that as I sit here with no pants on and hair so greasy you could fry an egg on it! Shut-up Torri you need to go to sleep.

I love you! CHEERS! Or in this case, CLINK! HAHAH

 

“PA-PA-PARA-PARA-PARADISE every time you close your eyes”

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Sorry, I couldn’t resist it! Matt and I are going to be moving to California in one year and I could not be more excited!! However, I love Pensacola, it’s been great. People refer to it as a “little big town”. We have a pretty happening downtown, pro-hockey, pro-baseball, BEAUTIFUL beaches, TONS of hidden gems, and a yummy food scene. Pensacola has given me a lot: education, the love of my life, and my first BIG GIRL job! I wanted to devote a section of my blog to hidden gems/the best things Pensacola has to offer. That way, not only will it be beneficial to anyone who reads and wants to make a little trip over, but I will be able to look back at this and feel all the feels… Oh bitter sweet nostalgia, how I love you.IMG_9566IMG_9620-2IMG_9573

Paradise Inn is probably one of my favorite places on earth, hands down! It has the charm, the quirks and the charisma. That’s right, charisma! Paradise Inn is a one stop shop! I’m all about the the little things in life and Paradise Inn is all about the details, so we are a perfect match! Everything from the art work that is painted on the cinder-block building to the hand painted tip jars. I swear the Eagles wrote a song about this place. You can eat, sleep and drink there. They have live music almost every day in the summer and even during most winter months, too. (They also give a hefty Locals Discount on Sundays, but we’ll get into that later!) It’s one of those places that where you cannot wipe the smile off your face. Palm trees everywhere, your toes are in the sand, good music, good food. Your soul is happy!

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Let’s go on THE Paradise experience, because this place is just that! (Every single thing on Pensacola Beach is in biking distance) So you pull up on your bike, park it along side about 30 other beach cruisers, grab a $ 2 dollar Rolling Rock ($2 all day everyday! hhaaayyy), trek through the white sand, as you hear the live band to the left of you, find a seat at one of the many colorful picnic tables, or beach chairs, watch the waves roll in and relax because you are in PARADISE! Literally and figuratively, lol!

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The food is great (fresh seafood) the fish sandwich is my personal fav! Don’t forget the fried green beans, or the tuna dip! So yumm!! You can hop in the water or jump off the long dock! The dock is up for grabs as well, if you have a boat or even better, a friend with a boat! lol! I like to sit in the beach chairs, watch the boats roll in, and order some food and drinks from a server who WILL come up and serve you in a beach chair! Does it get any better than that? Sometimes jump in the water, you can definitely still hear the live tunes from the ocean! IMG_9575IMG_9614IMG_9589IMG_9615

You really don’t have to EVER leave, because they have hotel rooms there! I know it’s like, “What? Is this place real?” It is! All the rooms are re-done and all have their own charm. To be honest, this is not a resort, but they are so cute to me. They all have quirky decor and furniture. It feels magical! Like you are in a bubble of relaxation, and time has slowed down. After everything winds down, if you did want to go to another bar, you’d just walk about 50 feet to the right, and there you have 3 other beach bars for the late night! Because trust me, you will not want to leave during the day.

PRO TIP: Every Sunday they give Local Discounts! During the winter, rooms are $60 for locals on Sunday! The summer, $100, still not a bad deal!

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I hope you make it out to Paradise Inn if you ever come to Pensacola. So you can relax and get a little piece of a place that is so special. It will stick with you, I promise.

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I’m going to leave you with a pic of my ADORABLE friend Katie, on her first time at Paradise Inn!IMG_1947

I love you, bye!