2019 Reads, part two

Welcome back!

I’ve been enjoying chronicling the books I’m reading, and I hope this is helpful or interesting to someone out there on the internet. If nothing else it serves as a good archive of my own thoughts!

This is what I read during the second quarter (April, May, June) of 2019! In Q1 I read 17 books, and this time around have been a bit slower. No complaints here though, because we’re going for quality over quantity!


As a reminder, asterisks means I listened to the audiobook, which was sometimes better/worse/neutral. Also! Libraries rule, and I have yet to purchase a book in 2019. All have been borrowed or something I already owned! And as a final note, these are listed in the order I read them, not in any sort of ranking. 

Nonfiction Reads:

  • Fed Up - This started off as an essay on women and emotional labor, and the author then turned the topic into a book, with lots of research referenced throughout. As someone who enjoys reading and learning about productivity systems and how other people live, I enjoyed this, but now, reflecting on it a few months later, I don’t really remember much about it otherwise.

  • Drop the Ball - Another book on emotional labor, but this one follows the author’s personal story and history a little more closely, and then ties in research and broader statements from there. Also was interesting, and had some good applicable reminders for my own life.

  • A Simplified Life - This is an easy read with some solid actionable steps. I’ve read it before, but it was a refreshing re-read during a time when life was NOT feeling very simple.

  • This is Where You Belong - This book is all about feeling settled and ~at home~ where you live! As someone who moved to a brand new city less than two years ago, I am also looking for ways to become more rooted to my new home. While the info wasn’t necessarily new and brain-shattering, it was full of good tidbits and interesting research.

  • *Millenneagram - I read someone else describe this as “the enneagram meets Urban Dictionary” and thought that was so apt! If you like learning about the enneagram, you’ll love this one.

    Fiction Reads:

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone - I don’t think I need to describe Harry Potter lol… I’ve been rereading the series before bed, and I just love it so much.

  • Five Feet Apart - This one was recently made into a movie with Cole Sprouse and… someone? It’s totally classic “young adults, impossible romance, Fault in Our Stars-style terminal illnesses.” Predictable and lovable in all the ways you want it to be.

  • *The Bride Test - This is the second book by the author of The Kiss Quotient, and while it’s not a sequel, it’s main character is a secondary character in TKQ. I loved both books so much! They’re solidly romance but with lovable, flawed characters who grow throughout the story. 

  • There’s Something About Sweetie - This may be my favorite by this author yet! I’ve previously read From Twinkle With Love and When Dimple Met Rishi, and the author has such a fun way of writing YA romance to be dramatic and magical in that perfect high school way.

  • The Woman in Cabin 10 - This was a pick for my book club and I started out cautiously intrigued. For some reason I assumed it would be about a cabin in the woods and didn’t even consider it would be on a ship haha. The mystery started out strong, and while it occasionally felt slow to me, it always kept my interest and ramped up the intensity in the second half, at which point I couldn’t put it down!! I found myself really happy with the ~reveal~ and the ending. 


I know Q3 is basically halfway over and I’m just now posting Q2, but hey, better late than never, right??

Jess Takes A Journey: Washington DC

Coming in hot 2.5 months later, here is a recap of our trip to Washington DC in May 2019! Stephen had never been to DC, and I’d only gone for conferences and had never seen the sites. So we took a Friday off and a made a weekend out of it!

 

Friday May 3rd

We had an early morning flight from Atlanta (with an empty seat in our row!! 🙌🏻) and landed at Reagan around 9:15 AM. After taking the Metro into the city and dropping our stuff at the hotel, our first stop was breakfast!

We went to Farmers and Distillers, which was a quick walk from our hotel, and had a delicious brunch!

Stephen had chicken and waffles and I had an amazing goat cheese and beet hash

Stephen had chicken and waffles and I had an amazing goat cheese and beet hash

We also started off with these EPIC donuts, chocolate coconut and cinnamon roll

We also started off with these EPIC donuts, chocolate coconut and cinnamon roll

We walked/Metro’d the entire trip, clocking in 24+ miles walked in three days!

We spent the rest of Friday exploring! We first walked to The Newseum and spent quite a while taking it all in. Then walked around to see some of the government buildings and just appreciating the beautiful weather.

Views from the roof of The Newseum

Views from the roof of The Newseum

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Stephen practiced his TV reporting skills

Stephen practiced his TV reporting skills

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We stayed in Chinatown and headed back over there for an early dinner at Taco Bamba and dessert from Milk Bar before settling into the hotel for an evening of our guilty pleasure: cable tv.

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Delicious cereal-milk ice cream sundae 😍

Delicious cereal-milk ice cream sundae 😍

 

Saturday May 4th

So many museums and activities to do, so little time! It was hard to prioritize what we wanted to see on this trip, but I think we did a great job of squeezing a lot into one weekend.

Saturday started with brunch at Ted’s Bulletin at their Capitol Hill location, and then spent some time walking through the neighborhood and the Flea Market at Eastern Market.

Homemade Poptarts!

Homemade Poptarts!

I think Stephen got chicken, and I got a southwest eggs benedict, with homemade tater tots!

I think Stephen got chicken, and I got a southwest eggs benedict, with homemade tater tots!

It was still relatively cool and overcast, and a beautiful neighborhood to walk around in.

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Next we headed back to the National Mall to see the monuments!

We walked the Mall and got to see many monuments, along with all the other tourists. We eventually made our way over to see the White House, and they had just happened to clear everyone away from the gates, so we got a pretty solid view.

lol nailed it, Stephen

lol nailed it, Stephen

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Thank you to the tweens who took this photo for us

Thank you to the tweens who took this photo for us

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Before visiting the Museum of National History we had a lovely charcuterie lunch at The Hamilton, aka one of my favorite ways to eat lunch.

The Museum of Natural History was very educational! I think my favorite exhibits were about epidemics and illnesses and how they spread (so interesting!) and then these colorful minerals, of course.

And we also learned that I am as tall as an elephant leg (!!!), so that’s cool I guess.

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Saturday night we met up with a friend of Stephen’s at a bar called 12 Stories in the Wharf, which had a great view at sunset and as the night arrived.

It was an outdoor patio and luckily the rain held off just long enough for us to get this photo :)

It was an outdoor patio and luckily the rain held off just long enough for us to get this photo :)

 

Sunday May 5th

Sunday was our last day in DC, but our flight wasn’t until the evening, so we still had plenty of time for activities! The only damper on the day was the never-ending rain, ugh. But we still walked all around, and only ended up mildly soggy 🙃

More exploring near our hotel for breakfast at A Baked Joint and stopping in to peek around a bookshop.

This was a casual breakfast, but SO tasty! Stephen got a breakfast sandwich on a biscuit, we shared some quiche, and I got a fancy toast made on BLUEBERRY sourdough.

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On the docket for Sunday was the National Museum of American History, and if we could fit it in, the National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian American Art Museum.

I didn’t know exactly what to expect at the National Museum of American History, but I LOVED it! It’s a conglomeration of history and pop culture and they had Julia Child’s actual kitchen, and it was all amazing.

Michelle Obama’s dress!

Michelle Obama’s dress!

Lots of fun pop culture exhibits

Lots of fun pop culture exhibits

Learning about Old Glory

Learning about Old Glory

Not pictured: the dumplings we DEVOURED

Not pictured: the dumplings we DEVOURED

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A final meal in Chinatown, where our hotel was located, at the suggestion of Stephen’s local DC friend. Word of mouth recommendations are the best!

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This was arguably the most photogenic visit on our trip! 📸

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Eventually the time came to head out, so we left the museum, grabbed our bags from the hotel, and took the Metro back to the airport. We were tired (and so were our feet!) but so happy with our great weekend in DC!

There are approximately a million things to do and see there, so we already can’t wait to come back and check more off our list!

xo, jess

2019 Reads, part one

2019 Reads, part one

I wanted to compile the list of what I’ve read so far in 2019 and put it in one convenient place, mostly because I have too many thoughts for Instagram stories. I love sharing book recommendations, and this will be a helpful way for me to remember what exactly it was I loved about each of these books, and therefore why they’d be good recommendations!

Jess Takes A Journey: San Francisco

Jess Takes A Journey: San Francisco

My San Francisco trip was part business, part pleasure, but overall, totally awesome. We spent a lot of time indoors at the Society for News Design conference, but we also made up for lost time on our day off by doing all the San Fran things we could in a single day. This post highlights a lot of our tourist-y endevors, but like I said, we were moving pretty quick, so I may have missed a few photos!