monday mood / jan. 5th


2015 is here—and things are, as usual, changing at a rate faster than I can comprehend. In order to keep my head on straight, I always try to come up with some solid new year’s resolutions, things that are not necessarily easy to do, but are productive, practical, and uncomplicated. It will take every ounce of me to achieve these goals on a daily basis (especially the last one), but I’m up for the challenge.

Write everyday—free writing, notes, poetry, a short story, anything, everything.
Read everyday—news, fiction, essays, poetry, magazines, anything, everything.
Simplify your life, and don’t take on what you can’t accomplish.
Be open to new experiences and new points-of-view.
Do not procrastinate; each moment is wasted when you’re worrying about what you’re not doing.


Listening to…
The Album Leaf’s In a Safe Place

Ordinary Love & Good Will
by Jane Smiley

Check out…
new NASA photos of the “Pillars of Creation” / an insight into the movie Foxcatcher, and manipulating nonfiction into allegorythe woven art of Maryanne Moody / this inspiring weaving DIY from “A Beautiful Mess”

monday mood / dec. 22nd


Listening to…
Mø’s Mythologies, Rhye’s Woman

Meditations in an Emergency
 by Frank O’Hara

Check out…
Genis Carreras’s “philographics” (graphics explaining philosophical concepts) / these photos of Disney animators studying their own facial expressions / a Flavorwire article that defends watching a movie before its book counterpart (which I don’t agree with, but still found interesting) / this stunning short film by animator Erik Wernquist


The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of finals, gift shopping, and holiday parties. Amidst the craziness I’ve finally found time to read (and blog!) and I’ve never felt so relieved to just relax for awhile. (And as you can see from the images above, I’ve been dreaming in technicolor lately… and unintentionally inspired by the Meditations cover!)

read this, read that


Welcome to “Read This, Read That,” where I invite friends, family, bloggers, and bibliophiles of all sorts to share some of their favorite books or writing with Mode and the Like. From novels and poems to cookbooks and art tomes, you’ll find here a diverse selection of recommended reading in this monthly feature.


The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson / Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen / The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 
recommended by Kendra

I’m always reading. Most of the time I’m drawn to non-fiction books on wellness and business, like Blue Zones by Dan Buettner or Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh. This month, however, has been grey and rainy in San Francisco, compelling me to dive into mysterious historical novels. Rich with themes of murder, magic, and romance, these novels take place at some of history’s most exciting social engagements—the World’s Fair and the traveling circus. None of these books are particularly challenging reads, but they are incredibly imaginative and entertaining.

If you can read only one of these in the near future, I highly recommend grabbing Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White CityIt is the most murderous of the selections. You’ll be lured into the story by either Dr. H.H. Holmes, the story’s cunning yet charming serial killer, or Daniel Burnham, Chicago’s brilliant dreamer and architect, and you’ll stay for the drama that unfolds in the heart of the 1893 World’s Fair.

Water for Elephants is the most romantic of the three, centered around the love between a circus performer and a vagabond veterinarian who “ran away with the circus,” finding home and family in the most unlikely of characters. I walked away from this book wishing Rosie, the elephant, were more central in the story, touched by her tenderness and intelligence and saddened by how much she was misunderstood—much like the novel’s central character, Jacob.

The plot of The Night Circus dances between magic and illusion. The characters are as mysterious as the story, weaving mystery and seduction into their circus act AND their interactions with each other. You’ll be drawn into the exciting, surprising world of the circus and torn between the power of cruelty and the power of love.


Kendra grew up with her nose in a book and her head in the clouds. When she’s not developing children’s literature-inspired apparel at her organic baby apparel company, Obébé Organic, she can be found whipping up a recipe from the Against All Grain cookbook or conversing with friends over a glass of wine. /

Would you like to contribute to “Read This, Read That”? Send me an e-mail.