life etc.

real talk at 25


Yesterday I turned twenty-five. I’ve been here a quarter of a century and lived to tell the tale. I have been a daughter, a musician, a friend, a partner, a slacker, an athlete, a fashion student, a sales associate, an English major, an editor, a freelancer, and a graduate with honors. Now I am a poet, a writer, a coffee drinker, a cat mother, a blogger, and a copywriter. The list goes on, and luckily it will continue to develop.

At twenty-five, I feel I’ve failed in many ways. I’ve wasted time. I’ve wasted money. I’ve lost friends. I’ve been a flake. At times I’ve said too much and others too little. I’ve broken promises. I’ve started projects and then abandoned them. I have also triumphed. I have written stories, essays, and poems that I am proud to call my creative work. I’ve gained new friends. I’ve read amazing literature that excited something deep within me. I’ve cried because a song or a sonata was too beautiful. I have traveled to Japan and China and France. I have lived many lives in these twenty-five years and, unfulfilled, I intend to live many more.

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read this, read that

Read This, Read That

Welcome to “Read This, Read That,” where I invite friends, 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 a diverse selection of recommended reading in this feature.


The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery / The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
recommended by Hannah

As the call of adulthood intensifies, I find myself yearning for the fragile, beautiful world of a child. Icons of a gentle childhood come and gone are invaluable to those living in a world of college textbooks and career planning manuals. I savor the occasional conversation with my peers spent passionately recounting Disney movies. I still remember long summer afternoons stationed in the children’s section of the local library. Amidst busy semesters of philosophy and Old English, the endearing characters and stories of children’s literature remain an oasis, warm and comforting.

This lust for childhood days recently led me back to two of the most well-loved books of my youth—The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. I adored them in a vague, dreamy way as a child, but it was not until reading them as an “adult” (if I can call myself that) that I unearthed much deeper, significant meanings. What I found was just as meaningful to my life as the canonical literature of my studies, lessons that just happened to be delivered in the form of a porcelain rabbit doll and a little prince from another planet.

Both The Little Prince and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane unfold like epics, following the characters as they travel and encounter new friends. The little prince speaks of his travels from planet to planet, remarking on the quirky character of the inhabitants and the way in which each befriended him. He learns that even the memory of great friends makes life worthwhile; the stars are no longer only stars, but the beacon of many profound experiences of love. Edward Tulane, a toy rabbit, is tragically lost by his first owner and finds himself handed from home to home. Readers follow Edward as he loves and leaves family after family, learning to both embrace and let go as time inevitably tears them apart.

I found myself smiling through my tears at the touching portrayals of friendship in both stories. The characters may be innocent, and their ways of loving may be simplified, but it is that kind of love that adult readers need reminding of. While everyone must inevitably leave childhood book collections behind, one need not forget the way of living portrayed in their colorful pages. I am surprised to find that children’s books contain the secret to a storybook adulthood lived both whimsically and lovingly.


Hannah Bendiksen

Hannah Bendiksen is studying Creative Writing at the University of San Francisco. She enjoys scribbling in journals, aimlessly daydreaming, and people-watching through tinted sunglasses.

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

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wish list

autumn obsessions | crossbody craze

Autumn Obsessions | Crossbody Craze

My bag lady streak continues! As I began to compile some of my favorite fall finds, I realized that 99% of the links I’ve saved over the last few months were for crossbodys. Where does it end? Can this crossbody craving be satisfied? Why is one bag never enough!?

Because that’s just how the fashion industry works. Our aspirations seem possible when our desires are filled, but the fashion machine continues to produce more goods, and more fantasies, and just when we think we’re fulfilled, we begin to want something new, we begin to dream, and pretty soon we have new wardrobes and handbags and mountains of shoes and still feel empty inside.

In short, I love these bags. To death. That is all.


(Left to right, from top: Gucci Soho Leather Disco Bag / Saint Laurent Monogramme Sac Université Leather Shoulder Bag / J.Crew Signet Bag in Italian Leopard-Printed Calf Hair / Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C. Crossbody in Black Star / Valentino Rockstud Enchanted Wonderland Calfskin Leather Camera Crossbody Bag / Jimmy Choo Mardy Croc Embossed Leather Crossbody Bag / Chloe Small Faye Leather Shoulder Bag)

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what’s in my bag?

What's in my Bag?

Good morning, readers! I’ve never done a “what’s in my bag?” post before, and since love to get a glimpse into people’s handbags, apartments, and workspaces (i.e. lives), I thought it might be fun to share the contents of my little crossbody with you today. A bag is comparable to a car or a house; it’s an extension of oneself, a functional space that intentionally and unintentionally paints a portrait of its owner. Why are HGTV shows and sites like The Coveteur or Into The Gloss so popular? They provide avenues for us to connect with others. They fulfill our curiosity. They give us ideas.

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best of fillmore beauty mini haul (+ some glossier goodies)

Best of Fillmore Beauty Mini Haul 1

The reason I love speciality beauty stores like Sephora and Ulta is because you can find everything you want in one place. I have the pleasure of living near Fillmore Street in San Francisco, so if you’ve got time to peruse the seven blocks that hold Aesop, Le Labo, Benefit Cosmetics, L’Occitane en Provence, Atelier Cologne, Credo Beauty, MAC, SpaceNK, Kiehl’s, NARS, and Walgreen’s, then you’re basically smack dab in a cosmetic wonderland. When the weekend rolls around I’m usually too lazy to do much of anything, but if I need to get my beauty fix I don’t have far to go. This morning—though it was very tempting—I decided against being a hermit and made my way to Benefit, MAC, and Kiehl’s.

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