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5 Books I Read in 2016 That You Should Read in 2017

  1. Atonement by Ian McEwan – Assigned as mandated reading for a literature seminar I had last summer, Atonement blew me away. McEwan is an incredible storyteller, not only creating a brilliant setting surrounding the 2nd World War, but also making readers question the very nature of fiction itself.
  2. The Circle by Dave Eggers – Recommended to me by my father, The Circle was an interesting yet terrifying read, painting the picture of an online, social network monopoly that we are not far from. I’m super excited to see the film adaption coming out this year.
  3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – This one was a re-read for me, and, as I did the first time, I cried like a baby. Narrated by Death, the novel follows the life of a young girl in Nazi-occupied Germany, trying to come to terms with and understand the hate in the world around her. Very eye-opening!
  4. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell – This book changed my way (and will change your way) of thinking about success. Gladwell explains the theories as to why some people end up becoming successful, attributing it to circumstance rather than the given goods. Very interesting, and you’ll get through it quickly.
  5. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson – I’ve always had this weird fascination with serial killers, and this book painted an excellent picture of one of America’s very first. The story takes place in Chicago during the 1893 World’s Fair, intertwining the stories of the brilliant architects that created the White City with the story of the man who used the fair to fulfill his own sick needs. You’ll fly through it.

Please leave any book recs down below in the comments, I’m looking to make 2017 a year full of reading!! xx Julia

Travel

Surviving Long-Haul Flights (Introducing YouTube!)

Hello everybody! Just a quick little post from me today, I wanted to let you guys know that I’ve created a YouTube channel and am planning to begin uploading some occasional footage on there! I just thought some of you may be interested in checking it out. In my first video I go into how I survive long-haul flights, taking you through what I pack into my carry-on to come out semi-alive on the other side.

I’ll still be posting primarily on the blog of course, but future posts might come with a video you can watch with it. Thank you so much everybody for your continued support! x Julia

 

Travel

If You Do 5 Things In Amsterdam, Do These

Amsterdam easily counts as one of my favorite cities I’ve ever visited. I was blown away during my first visit back in 2014, and was once again in bliss when I visited this past fall.

Seeing that I gave you guys a plethora of in-depth posts last time I visited, I thought that this time it would be nice to share something shorter: a simple list of 5 things I think any visitor needs to do during a visit. For me, this list of 5 accurately captures the vibes of the city and its many diverse parts. Enjoy!

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Travel

Spending The Perfect Day In Santa Monica

Growing up, I lived in what Angelinos call “The Valley”, or, as you might know it, the San Fernando Valley. However, I had the privilege of living right off of Mulholland Dr., placing me a mere 10 minutes from the West Side. I 100% took advantage of this growing up, exploring Westwood with a friend that lived there or heading towards the beach.

An area that I have always particularly loved is Santa Monica. For me it has it all; hip cafes and boutiques on Main Street, all of your favorite shops on the outdoor 3rd Street, and of course, the ocean. Today I wanted to share everything I like to do to spend a perfect day in Santa Monica, one that goes from early morning shopping to watching the sun fade into the horizon. Enjoy!

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Lifestyle

Looking Back At 2016

2016 was an interesting one. Two years ago, at the end of 2014, I said that 2014 was the best year of my life. One year ago, I said that 2015 was the best year of my life. This year, I can’t say that 2016 has been the best year of my life, but I do think the most important one so far.

2016 was kind of the year where everything settled down. I didn’t change countries (as I had done the previous two years), but rather kept on building the life I had started creating for myself in Munich in 2015. This year I truly came to feel at home in a new place. My friendships are rock-solid (and I’m thankful for them every day), I have my job, and I go to class. The routine is settled in, however, there were always lots of fun moments and travels seeing new and old friends across Europe. I’m a lot more sure of myself now, and am excited for the growth in the year to come.

2017 is already shaping up to be a busy year. I’m moving back to Los Angeles February-April to work in a PR Agency, I’m so excited for this time and am curious to see what it will be like to spend so much time in the mother-land again. I’ve set my travel goals, in 2017 I’m hoping to visit Prague, Dublin and Copenhagen for the first time, along with revisit my old favorite Paris and Berlin again. Plus, I will attend my first music festival this year, and I’m saving up to travel around Europe this summer.

And now a brief roundup of my year, I loved reflecting on it while writing this post, and realized that it was a lot more busy than I had thought it was. Enjoy, and Happy New Year. Here’s to a great 2017!

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Lifestyle

Lentil, Red Beet & Feta Salad

Hello you all, today I’m back with a new recipe. Like the last recipe I shared with you guys, the emphasis on this one is once again inexpensive ingredients, easy and quick prep, and the fact that it’ll make for a delicious lunch the next day.

All of these ingredients are easy to find, and many of them you’ll only have to buy once (such as lentils), but will be able to use for many recipes to come. I got the idea of this recipe because a friend at uni had made a similar version for her lunch, and to me it seemed like a great alternative to the pasta I had been eating that day. After memorizing the basic ingredients, I experimented in the kitchen for a bit, perfecting the post I’m excited to share with you guys today. Enjoy!

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