Thoughts on Turning 30

It's hard to believe that I started this blog shortly before my 26th birthday. It seems like a lifetime ago. I seem like a completely different person. Reading posts and viewing pictures shows growth that is never actually tangible until it's all out there to view from start to finish. I like it.

I've been asked by nearly everyone I know how I feel about reaching 30, about leaving my twenties and becoming something that, I want to say, is more grownup. I never have an answer. Or I usually just say, "hmm, I don't really know." I understand the connotation: it's more a question of "how are you dealing with getting old(er)?"

I guess I should respond with something like frightened. Or maybe sad. But, honestly, I'm going with thankful. Yes, I'm thankful to have reached 30, to have spent thirty years with my parents love, to have had the opportunity to witness all the world has to offer and to have occasionally gone out there and taken part, to have met a partner who complements me, to have become an aunt to four amazing kiddos, and to have finally found something I can do that generates income while also feeding my soul.

There are, of course, things I wish I had done in the years leading up to this milestone. I should have saved  more, I should have spent less, I should have taken more opportunities, been out in the world instead of stuck in my little corner (hello, 22-year-old Beth), handled difficult situations better, and on and on. However, going back in time isn't a reality, so there's not much I can do except strive to do all these things moving forward. I won't say these are regrets. I've moved past the age where I let my regrets overwhelm me because there's no benefit in ruminating on something I know I could have handled better. My early twenties were terrible. I did well in college but got caught up in things and people I should have avoided from the start. I barely made it through that time, both physically and emotionally, and I can only say that I'd never choose to relive those years.

So generally, when people ask me how I feel, I honestly want to say that I'm happy about the inevitable prospect. I like thirty-year-old Beth. She's mature, isn't so self-conscience, is ready to jump into a big project and fight to get it off the ground, she's done worrying about everything, and she understands herself more than ever. And while I've made hugh improvements as a person, I still feel that my life should be led with more purpose. Less immediate gratification. More work. Less expecting things to happen. More simply. Less consumer-driven. I could go on and on. I need to work for health and happiness and living in the present, for me, right now. Those are my goals for 30 and beyond. I had dreams prior to this point of creating a great big list of 30 items before 30 and marking them off one by one. I love those lists, but just never sat myself down and did it. So instead of a list, I'm going to be more purposeful and use this written proclamation as a reminder that I need to work to get what I want and to prioritize goals that will matter when I look back 30 years from now... you know, when everyone's asking me about how I feel about turning 60.


Honeymoon Sneak Peek

Salzburg, Austria      

My photography business, bethpriddy.com, is booming! I'm so busy I can't keep my head straight so apologies for the lack of posts here.

The honeymoon came and went and it was AMAZING. Sadly, I haven't had a chance to sit down and edit most of the photos I snapped while abroad, but wanted to share a little something for the time being. Here's a shot of Salzburg, Austria-- the prettiest city in the land. I fell in love instantly and can't wait to see more someday!

Stay tuned for updates on my recent RIP IX reads:

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes was CRAZY good. Loved it.

Making headway on The Haunting of Hill House even if I didn't finish it in time to participate with everyone in the readalong.

And hopefully getting to Tana French's The Secret Place before Halloween. Oh, and The Shining too.

What are you reading/doing/loving? I'd love to hear! 


Seasonal Reads with the RIP IX Challenge

Every year a large number of readers in the blogging community get together and read seasonal, spooky reads to celebrate Autumn and Halloween. Because it's my absolute favorite season, and reading event, and because I just love to read, I'm committing for the 4th year in a row and urge you to do the same!

So what is it, exactly...

Pick a book/movie from the following genres:
Dark Fantasy.
Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.

As time has wound on this event has been honed down to two simple rules:

1. Have fun reading (and watching).
2. Share that fun with others.

My reading list (fingers crossed):
1) The Shining - Stephen King (I'll be attempting the novel and the movie!)
2) Broken Monsters - Lauren Beukes
3) The Secret Place - Tana French
4) The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson (The Estella Society is hosting a readalong.)

  So.. what will you be reading??


Summer Vibes All Year Long

Sighs... By the time I return from my honeymoon, the local pools and beaches will be closed to the public. If that isn't THE sign that summer is over, I don't know what is.

And I'll admit I'm a little bummed in about a hundred ways... The winter was too long. The spring too short. The summer too rainy and cool. I could go on and on and on. I love the summer because I love the activities that accompany its presence. Picnics in the park, drinks on the patio, beach hangs by the lake... It's glorious and the opposite of winter and snow and cold and being trapped in my house. It's also the time of year that my skin glows! Really glows. I know a lot of this is probably in my head, but just a touch of sun and I'm bronze-kissed and glowing. I obviously don't condone bouts of tanning or any other type of activity asking for sun damage, but a little bit of sun on my skin after a long, dark winter is a blessing. Despite the layers of SPF, I still end up a bit bronzed and feel like a million dollars. So I made a vow that I'd find something to hold on to this magical dewey glow with beauty products through the winter to keep my spirits up. Even if I'm not sun-kissed, I'm getting scents of coconut with my scrub, dewey skin with my body oil, and well-rested eyes with my cream. It's a win and a sure way to beat the winter blues.

BODY: Goe Oil

This stuff is AMAZING. It's completely natural - plants, fruits and flowers! Plus, because it's a concentrated oil/butter, a little goes a LONG way. (I justify its price point because 1) it's natural, and 2) lasts forever!) It has the softest floral scent that warms me up just rubbing it on.

EYES: Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Corrective Eye Cream

Everyone I asked seemed to recommend this cream for the eyes when I was desperate to find something that would help with dryness around the eye and those darned dark circles. Admittedly, I hesitated for quite sometime because of the price tag, but am happy to report that it's worth every dollar! Allergies caused my eyes to appear worn out, dry, and flaky. Nightmare! I'm not kidding when I say I go out with this stuff on instead of makeup because it instantly makes me look doe-eyed and dewey. Plus, my dark circles have almost disappeared! Win.

HAIR: Poppy Austin 100% Argan Oil

Because my hair is pretty fine it appears damaged with the slightest provocation. In an attempt to stop dyeing my hair, I recently visited a salon and had an ombre look applied in order to allow the root growth to happen without looking horrific. However, this tiny bit of bleach really killed it despite the fact that I rarely blow dry or use hot tools on my hair. The stylist recommended 100% argan oil to be applied lightly on my ends after every shower to keep them hydrated and healthy. I went with Poppy Austin instead of the more well-known names because they're a small business and it's organic. Fragrance is nutty and glides on. I use it on my ends and when I need to tame fly-aways. Oh, that SHINE!

FACE: Triple Oxygen Facial In A Box by Bliss

Holy hell! I got acquainted with the triple oxygen kit a couple of years ago when I read a post on Design Sponge and none other than THE Grace Bonney was talking about how she LOVED the stuff. While I did like it, the price point was a little high for what it offered so I gradually let it slip off the radar. BUT during a restock trip to Sephora, I noticed these little packs for $12 dollars sitting near the check-out (that's where they always get me). I decided to nab one and give it a go. OH MY! I love it. The pack offers two facials making it perfect for travel, and gives you an opportunity to try the goods without investing an arm and leg. (Note: Users should avoid being out in the sun for extended periods of time after use). Great for gift-giving or for pampering yourself! Think GLOW!

LEGS: Secret of the Island Salt Scrub

Funny story: I found this at a restaurant at a beach in Florida when I was visiting with my girlfriends. We fell in love with it, I purchased a mason jar full of it, and dropped the damn thing trying to open it in the shower. It shattered. I screamed. J came to the rescue. Thinking about it a year later, I was longing for a salt scrub I knew would leave me moisturized but also take me back to those long beach days. I couldn't remember the scent I loved most, so I went with the five mini-jar deal, to sample some I knew I hadn't tried before. The stuff lasts a while so it's a great way to stock up, plus you can travel with them!! Big win. With scents like coconut, bamboo and grapefruit, and hawaiian ginger, I couldn't resist. The only sad bit is that they're not completely natural, and while I love the feeling of my legs after use and the fantastic smell, I'd love to find an alternative that is.

That's it. I'll be glowing all the way into January! Or February... Or March... (you get the point)

 What are you favorite skin care routines? 

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