Sunday, August 18th 2019

July Wrap Up

Saturday, August 17th 2019

The Little Book of Hygge Aesthetic

inspired by booksandlala. images found via pinterest.

Friday, August 16th 2019

Full Moon in Aquarius

Every time I am working with the cards, I cannot help but hold my breath as I flip them over. My reaction is more telling when the cards are revealed than anything else. Which is why I think I struggle to read for others. I am not a predictive reader. I use it as a tool to gauge my responses/reactions to problems in my life. It is a tool to listen to myself in a deeper way than what is bubbling up at the surface. I am sure there is a way to harness the way I read Tarot and read for other people, and I am sure there are readers out there who do it this way. I just haven’t figured it out yet.

Using Ethony’s Tarot by the Moon guide, the Full Moon in Aquarius spread, this was my reading:

  1. What possibilities are being offered to me right now? The Tower
  2. What area of my life is craving freedom and experimentation? The Lovers
  3. Where in my life can I bring more unity? The Hanged Man
  4. What old habits/beliefs need to be released under this Full Moon? Two of Cups
  5. Where do I need to go with the flow? Three of Wands

This reading very quickly became all about my connections with others and upheaval in my life. I have a lot of walls and boundaries in place to protect myself from others. Most people around me are kept at arm’s length. I am comfortable with the distance, physically and emotionally. I did not use to be this way, but continually getting burned makes it hard to get close to the flame.

It may be time for some changes. I need to let go of the relationships that I feel are toxic and that no longer serve a purpose in my life other than stress and discomfort. And I need to be more open with those who I do feel closest to. Those who I trust can be brought in.

Thursday, August 15th 2019


Perfection is an insurmountable mountain I feel I must conquer in order to prove my worth. It causes anxiety-inducing, heart-stopping, soul-crushing doubt in my mind. If I cannot create perfection, then I should not even start to create.

I have many blank notebooks, planners, journals, sketch pads. I have many recorded videos never edited and/or never uploaded. I have half-written poems, stories, ideas. I have many lists without a single thing checked off.

Purchasing craft items/materials and actually crafting are two very separate hobbies. I collect. I do not create.

There is something blocking my path. It is out of focus and hard to see. But when I squint and it becomes less blurred, I can see that it is me.

Monday, July 29th 2019

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Smoke Gets in Your EyesSmoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty
Published by W. W. Norton Company on September 28th 2015
Pages: 272

Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre—took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes tells an unusual coming-of-age story full of bizarre encounters and unforgettable scenes. Caring for dead bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, Caitlin soon becomes an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead. She describes how she swept ashes from the machines (and sometimes onto her clothes) and reveals the strange history of cremation and undertaking, marveling at bizarre and wonderful funeral practices from different cultures.

Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like?

Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin's engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).

I wish I could remember exactly where I heard Caitlin Doughty’s name first. I feel like she was referenced in a podcast that I listen to. It might have been Last Podcast on the Left. Either way, when I heard that she was a mortician with a YouTube series called “ask a mortician,” I knew I had to look her up immediately. And I am so glad I did.

This book reminded me of my favorite Mary Roach book, Stiff. She is just so candid and no-nonsense about the whole process. From cremation to embalming, to putting make-up on the dead, it is a fascinating read and I love her humor sprinkled throughout. If you have any interest whatsoever in what happens to our bodies after we die, I highly recommend this book and her YouTube channel.



follow along @christinavanp