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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_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

Price:$9.29IMG_0087

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

 

episode-52-1024The first time I ever heard of The Moth was on my favorite show! It’s no secret that the show Girls on HBO is probably one the the things I cherish the most in this whole world! I even embarrassingly created a FB group to connect with other girls who loved the show. lol! I know, I’m lame! (If you want in click > Girls Who Watch Girls…The TV Show) Anyways! I saw this episode where Hannah got on this stage and bared her soul, by telling a true story, in in front of a ton of people at this place called The Moth. It was so beautiful to me. So I did what everyone does when they don’t understand something, I googled it, and I was fascinated by what I found. And I knew right then and there, I HAD to go!

(The pic below is RIGHT before my first Moth experience in New Orleans)IMG_1849

The Moth has been around since 1997. They have events in bigger cities, held once a month. At these open-mic-style events there is one topic which is announced 3 months in advance. The topics are usually one-to-two words, and sort of up for interpretation. They are all something that humans, by nature, experience in some capacity or another. For example the next upcoming months topics (in most locations) are, “Fresh“, “Karma“, “Cheating“. They call these events “StorySLAMS“. People come prepared with a 5 minute TRUE story on the given topic, and the hopeful story-tellers all place their names in a hat. The Moth draws from those names, and 10 people are chosen. The names drawn are the story-tellers for the night. They each get up, one by one, stand on stage and pour their heart out, with experience and truth. There are also 3 judges in the audience, picked at random. Sometimes in teams of two and sometimes just 3 separate people. Judges simply hold up a number that can be seen from the audience to the stage, and it is recorded on stage the old fashion way, hand to paper.  The judging and winning isn’t important though, it’s the  getting up and sharing. That is the real prize. Everyone in attendance can feel it too. However, after 10 StorySLAMS in a city, they have a GrandSLAM Championship, where each winner steps on a bigger stage and again bares all. The only real prize to win is human connection. It’s beautiful, in every sense of the word.IMG_2046 2-2

If you live in the Panhandle of Florida, like myself, the closest cities with The Moth are New Orleans, (3 hours Pensacola, 5 hours from Panama City Beach) or Atlanta (5 hours from Pensacola or Panama City Beach) On The Moth’s Website, is a full list of cities where you can search for events! As I said before, they are in bigger cities all over the country!IMG_3223-2IMG_4313-2IMG_9719

New Orleans is closest to me! 3 hours, not too bad! The GrandSLAM was the next event The Moth had up, so I just had to go! I bought tickets, booked a room at my favorite hotel in Nola, and convinced my mom to come with! We had a magical experience at The Joy Theater. We drank champagne, and listened to stories from people of all different ethnicities and ages, 21-87. The girl who runs The Moth Nola was soooo freaking funny!!! All the stories were so special! We laughed, teared up, and felt almost every emotion. Leaving the theater, I remember feeling buzzed off human connection. It really says something about humans in general, that although we are all so different, with different families, friends and cultures, we all experience the same range of emotions, and that somehow we are all connected. The Moth is really about The Human Experience.

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The Moth made me grateful to be alive, and I hope you make it a point to experience it. I’m thinking of entering next time! Let me know what you think about The Moth, and if you’ve seen that Girls episode I’m referring to! Or even if you watch Girls at all! I really hope you look into The Moth and if you ever want to go, I AM SO DOWN! Seriously, hit me up! Well, I love you! I’m going to leave you with some super cute New Orleans pictures of my FAVORITE hotel The Catahoula!

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Last, but not least, here’s a super cute pic of my mom!!

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Okay, I love you BBYYYEE!

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So I’m going to get a little deep, I hope that’s okay. This is a topic near and dear to my heart! With International Women’s Day, MY OWN AMAZING BFFs, and because I’M OBSESSED with the show GIRLS (it’s on HBO, SERIOUSLY GO WATCH!), I feel inspired to talk about this. Girl friendships are complex, but can be one of the most beautiful and rewarding gifts we have in this world. They enrich, inspire and empower you! They can mold you, shape you and influence you into the person you become. How extraordinary is it to have someone to order a large cheese pizza with and sit on the couch, with no pants and no judgement? To drag to a lame party they REALLY aren’t excited about, just so you can talk to the boy you’ve been obsessing over? Someone to talk about the Illuminati with and debate other dumb conspiracies that don’t even really matter? Who has received numerous pictures of all your shoe-to-outfit combinations because you just need a second opinion? Someone to answer your call at 3 AM when you’re crying over an unworthy boy? Someone to biotch about your job, your boss, your boyfriend, your family? Someone who knows the name of all of your co-workers and all the things that bother you about them, even though they’ve never met anyone you work with? A companion who understands your silence and your words. I feel lucky that as girls, we get to have these unapologetic, deep, soul-touching friendships.

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The hard part comes just like anything else, with age. You move, get jobs, start relationships, life happens. Sometimes, you can feel the once constant everyday presence of your BFF fade and slip away, like sand through your fingers. It’s heart breaking, but life doesn’t come with an instruction manual, and try as you might, things still change. When this happens you can either become bitter and resentful, or understanding and loving. It’s your choice. I, unfortunately, have been both. Resentful of new friends and new lives, and let me tell you, that only furthers the gap. Although it’s immature, we are all human and all anyone can do is try to be better. Here’s the thing, there is only one you! Let your BFF grow and expand into new friends. No one can take away your past and just because things are different, it does not mean that they love you any less or that you are no longer best friends. I said I was lucky before, because surprisingly, I still talk to most of my best friends from high school on a daily, weekly, or bi-weekly basis. It takes work to maintain these friendships as you get older, and to find a new normal. But I have some tips to stay in the know, and to stay connected to your BFF!

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  •  Be INTENTIONAL: This is probably the most important thing. When you make plans, follow through. When you say you’re going to call in an hour, call in an hour! You have to be intentional, because things WILL get in the way! With that being said, it brings me to my next point.
  • Be UNDERSTANDING: You love your BFF and you want her to be the very best version of herself. Sometimes that means letting her grow and understanding life gets in the way. Instead of being passive aggressive (guilty), if she doesn’t call you back when she said, meet her with understanding and love. Life happens, remember that.
  • Turn their Instagram Notifications On: Social media is perfect for staying in touch! For instance, I have my best friend’s Instagram posts set to alert me! So every time they post, I get a reminder. This helps me tremendously! It keeps me in the know and always makes me smile to see what they’re up to! Personally, I always leave a comment too!
  • SCHEDULE Phone Dates: Time Zones are the enemy of long distance relationships. With work and significant others, you have to find your sweet spots. For instance, a few of my BFFs and I have a 2 hour time difference. This makes things a little difficult when I go to call her at 9 AM my time! Find a time that matches both of you! Last, but not least:
  • Be mindful of their Schedule: I’m not going to call my BFF with a 9-5 in the middle of her work day! Be respectful of the lives that they are building!

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    I hope you got some useful information out of this and if you live near your BFFs, don’t take it for granted!

    I love you, and go call your best friend!