ladies’ literature


“There is nothing gutsier to me than a person announcing that their story is one that deserves to be told, especially if that person is a woman. As hard as we have worked and as far as we have come, there are still so many forces conspiring to tell women that our concerns are petty, our opinions aren’t needed, that we lack the gravitas necessary for our stories to matter. That personal writing by women is no more than an exercise in vanity and that we should appreciate this new world for women, sit down, and shut up.” –Lena Dunham, “Not That Kind of Girl”

So I inadvertently ended up consecutively checking out three books that all fall under the same genre; personal nonfiction by women. I’ve been going out of my YA comfort zone lately, and I’m glad that doing so introduced me to the works of these talented women.

Hyperbole and a Half, based on the web comic of the same name, is a series of comics about cartoonist Allie Brosh’s life. Some of her comics are endearing, and others are flat-out hilarious. (Her childhood struggle with the letter R had me laughing so hard I was convulsing and sobbing at the same time.) Check out her web comic here.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed surprised me; I wasn’t sure how much I would actually like the story of a woman trying to “find herself” by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, but I found myself getting really involved in Strayed’s emotional journey. (And wincing at some of the stuff she went through on her physical journey—too-small boots and an overly heavy backpack? Yikes.)

Lena Dunham’s book of autobiographical essays was mildly entertaining, but I wasn’t really able to relate to most of it. I briefly skimmed the (mostly bad) reviews of Not That Kind of Girl on Goodreads, and one of the big complaints seemed to be about Dunham’s privilege. Yes, Lena Dunham is extremely privileged (evidenced by her casual mentioning of her family’s summer house and her sister’s $200 jeans), but does that mean she isn’t allowed to tell her stories? Silencing one voice does not make other voices heard.

Have you read any of the above books? Or any other good autobiographies?

pinsday (aka pinterest wednesday)

Here are my favorite finds from Pinterest this week:

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

makeup bag makeover



I have a gross confession to make; I hang on to makeup way longer than you’re supposed to. There’s an expiration date for a reason, but I blatantly ignore it. I think, I paid four bucks for this, and damn it I’m going to use it all no matter how long it takes!

But I finally had enough of my grungy old makeup, and I decided to throw it all out and start over.


I cleaned my good makeup brush (something else I don’t do nearly often enough), threw away the one that was being held together by Scotch tape, and got rid of everything I had been holding on to for a year or more or just didn’t use (including a lipstick I’ve had since high school–ew!). I replaced it all with just the basics, aka only stuff I’m actually going to use–no more unused lipsticks. (Seriously, I never wear lipstick–why do I keep buying it??)


What I bought:

Maybelline Fit Me! blush in Light Pink
CoverGirl Simply Powder foundation in Ivory
CoverGirl pressed powder compact in Translucent Fair
New York Color Sky Rise mascara in Extreme Black
Wet n’ Wild CoverAll Coverstick

Do you also hold on to makeup for too long? What are your favorite makeup products?

imaginary itinerary: japan

My imaginary trip to England is nice, but I think one of the best reasons to travel is to learn about a culture that’s completely different than your own. And since I went through a slight manga phase in college, I think I should do that in Japan. My main stops:

1. Cherry Blossoms


Too pretty not to see in person! (And this photo reminds me, I also want to see Mount Fuji).

2. Buddhist Temples


May seem like an odd choice for a decidedly non-religious person, but I appreciate good architecture when I see it.

3. Tea Ceremony


I’m not sure if this is something that tourists generally get to experience, but how cool would it be? It’s such a cultural staple, and I do love me a good cup of tea…

4. Gardens


Japan is abundant with them. How freaking gorgeous is that photo??

And, of course, I have to eat all the sushi…

What would you want to see on a trip to Japan?

Click each photo for source.

pinsday (aka pinterest wednesday)

Here are my favorite finds from Pinterest this week:

248b049a773a88236faebf9d6c4d18bc 853c001c82969196108d7a28fea50d0c 509108614630612cb13a7785cbdacee6 dfff7d8f75f7a8d0e07b5f7062ceb179 ac7acf30014a0ec1e3bf38f30c6a28be b31d913c8abff6aa6ae04518a1775e0c

Click each image for source.

top 5 things i miss about college

I’ve had my BA for over two years now, but that doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes still think about what I now refer to as “the good ol’ days” (how old am I??) of college. Here’s what I’m most nostalgic about:

  1. Readily available soft serve.
  2. Free coffee at the library (and the library in general, for that matter; we had a great library).
  3. Being close to your best friends 24/7.
  4. Being just adult enough to take care of most things on your own, but not so adult that you had to worry about things like rent or Roth IRAs.
  5. The moments of carefree irresponsibility amongst all the hard work.

exploring the cosmos

For no apparent reason I’ve suddenly decided I’m into cosmology. You guys, our universe is so freaking cool. I don’t really have a head for science or math, but it amazes me what the people who do have figured out about how our universe works and how it may have sprung into existence in the first place.

In addition to watching the documentary series Cosmos, hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, on Netflix (anyone who doesn’t think atheists are capable of awe hasn’t seen me freaking out while watching that show), I also picked up some reading material at the library.


The Manga Guide to the Universe by Kenji Ishikawa & Kiyoshi Kawabata and A Universe from Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss

I was a little bit disappointed by The Manga Guide to the Universe; oddly enough, I didn’t think there was enough manga! The majority of the scientific information is written in a more traditional book format, and the parts that were written as manga didn’t really do anything for me. But, it did give a good, basic overview of modern cosmology and was written in simple language that was easy to understand.

I heard about A Universe from Nothing while watching the documentary The Unbelievers on Netflix. I’ll be honest, a good chunk of it went over my head, but the parts I did understand (it helped that I had read the manga book and watched some episodes of Cosmos first) were so cool.

By the way, tardigrades (aka water bears!) are my new favorite animal.

not’chyo average nachos


Because sometimes eating chips for dinner isn’t the responsible-adult thing to do, I decided to dress these ones up a bit.

I browned some beef with celery and white onion, then dumped it on top of a plate of tortilla chips with a generous sprinkling of white cheddar. A slightly classier version of nachos that still feels like an indulgent supper.

sprinkles cupcake atm


When I heard there was a cupcake vending machine in New York City, I knew I had to check it out. (No, that’s not the reason I moved here…well, not the main reason.) I actually located the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM by accident while wandering on the East Side one day, so I returned shortly thereafter.

All you do is choose your cupcake flavor on the screen on the left, swipe your card and a box with your cupcake in it magically appears behind the small door on the right. I’ll be honest; the cupcake itself was good (I went with classic vanilla), but I’m not sure it was worth the $4.25 that it cost. I guess you’re mostly paying for the unique experience.

homemade smoothies

It’s summer! Or close enough, anyway, which means it’s time to trade in the multiple cups of hot tea for a more cooling beverage. I’ve been whipping up my own smoothies for as long as I remember, and lately I’ve been bringing my concoctions to work as a second breakfast (sure you can find a smoothie shop almost anywhere in the city, but they’re hella pricey).



There’s a million possible combinations, but I usually go with a 2 fruit+yogurt+liquid formula (that can be fresh or frozen fruit, and for the liquid I usually use milk, almond milk or juice).

For the above smoothie I used a banana, a handful of blueberries, vanilla yogurt, whole milk and a drizzle of honey.


Here are some other suggestions:

Bananas+yogurt+peanut butter+milk (Cocoa powder can be added too! Or, substitute the peanut butter for Nutella.)

Peaches+strawberries+yogurt+vanilla almond milk


  • Bloglovin’Twitter Pinterest EmailFlickrGoogle Plus

  • hello! welcome to the little bit of everything that is The Purple Notebook.

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • what i’m reading


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 144 other followers