My 2017 Bullet Journal

After one year of bullet journaling, I feel pretty confident in saying that this is the only planning system for me. I decided to treat myself to a fancy new journal to use through 2017 and thought you guys might like a peek inside!

Materials Mentioned:


#Diverseathon & January Wrap Up

If you saw my last video, it'll be no surprise to you that I didn't get as much reading done in January as I would have liked. So I'd like to offer another huge thank you to the hosts of this last round of #Diverseathon for getting me back into the groove of things.

Books Read:
The Buddha in the Attic / Julie Otsuka
Born a Crime / Trevor Noah
The Essential Koran / Thomas Cleary
The Reluctant Fundamentalist / Mohsin Hamid


Born a Crime | Trevor Noah

TITLE / Born a Crime

AUTHOR / Trevor Noah

PUBLISHER / Doubleday Canada

DATE OF PUBLICATION / November 15, 2016

NO. OF PAGES / 304


I listened to Born a Crime on audiobook over the course of a single work week and, boy, was that a mistake. Trevor Noah had me chuckling on more than one occasion and trying to smother my laughs into ill-timed snorts.

This shouldn't have been a surprise to me. I've recently discovered Noah's stand up comedy and, between that and his razor-sharp wit on The Daily Show, have become a real fan of his. I enjoy that he's not only able to see below the surface of the world around him but that he is also able to find the humor in it all. So when I learned that he had written a memoir of his time growing up mixed-race in South Africa, I had to pick it up.

Of course, if you're not a fan of Noah's stand up or only know him within the context of The Daily Show, you might be wondering why on earth you should read his memoir. I can give you a couple of reasons.

First of all, I have never felt so transported by a piece of nonfiction in my life. Noah paints a really vivid, vibrant, and visceral portrait of South Africa. I could really visualize the street corners he hung out on, the streets and alleys he ran through to escape from trouble. From the township to the multitude of languages, if Born a Crime is a love letter to Noah's mother, it's also a love letter to South Africa.

Which brings me to my second point: this is a book that examines post-apartheid South Africa from the inside. As much as this is Noah's coming of age story, it is impossible to separate the man and comedian he becomes from the racial, social, and political world he grew up in. As a fan of his work, I found it incredibly interesting to see the experiences from which he has gained his sometimes uncanny ability to cut through the crap and see the real heart of the issue.

As someone who is mixed-race myself, I was also really intrigued to realize that certain aspects of the mixed-race experience are universal. Although Noah's stories were obviously set against the backdrop of the extreme racial divide created by apartheid, some of the stories he told could have been lifted from my own life.

And finally, if you still need a push, read this because Trevor Noah is one heck of a storyteller. Each life episode is structured like a bit from one of his standup sets: they start off anecdotally, pull in some interesting cultural facts, and crescendo to an emotional high towards the end. Not all of the stories Noah shares are funny, but all of them ring with a real genuine sincerity and respect for experiences and characters he shares.

The only reason I have denied this book just half a star is that, sometimes, the organization of the memoir seemed a tad random. Rather than following a strict chronological structure, Noah jumps around to different moments of his life and this does occasionally get confusing. And yet, after reading the extremely poignant ending, I couldn't imagine the book structured any other way.

Now, I'm not the only one saying great things about Born a Crime. Just this last weekend Noah picked up two NAACP awards for the book. And if you're not yet convinced that this is a memoir worth reading, I guess there is little else I can say except, once more, read it. Seriously, read it and I promise you'll have no regrets.


January was... weird.

I know for a fact that I'm not the only one who found January of 2017 to be very disorienting and difficult to get through. It was also a month of inspiring social movements in which we saw that passion and massive protests can actually get stuff done.

So I think it's fair to say that January was one hell of a weird month.


The Buddha in the Attic | Julie Otsuka

TITLE / The Buddha in the Attic

AUTHOR / Julie Otsuka


DATE OF PUBLICATION / March 20, 2012

NO. OF PAGES / 129