Welcome to Ryley Writes, a collection of thoughts, stories, and work from deep in the heart of Texas.

10 Things I'm Loving Lately | Jan '19

10 Things I'm Loving Lately | Jan '19


The first 10TILL of 2019 is here, and it’s full of good things. Let me know what you’ve been loving and I may just add it to my next list, too! (Also, I don’t know what I’m doing in the photo above, either. I just threw it on here because I needed one. Moving on.)

  1. Rock climbing is something that I always wanted to give a shot in college, but was too intimidated to try. So when one of my roommates asked if I wanted to check out the climbing gym down the road here in Katy a couple months ago, I jumped at the chance, and haven’t missed many days on the wall since. It’s fun, super social, a great workout, and, because it takes a lot of on-the-spot thought and problem-solving, a nice mental break for me. It’s really challenging, requiring patience and a willingness to fail… two things I can always stand to cultivate more of in my life. And I think it’s one of the first physical things I’ve ever done that, when I hit my stride, mimics creative flow — that elusive headspace when I’m writing or editing where it just feels like everything is perfectly in balance. Easy. When you hit a rhythm on a climbing route, it feels both incredibly strong and graceful. I can’t dance to save my life, but I imagine that’s how dancing feels? Anyway, 10/10 would recommend climbing some walls.

  2. My roommate’s golden retriever, Tucker, is 10 months old and roughly 70 pounds of love and good intentions and soft fur for snuggling (and sticking to everything you own, especially black jeans). I am obsessed with him, as are all three other women who live here. He has a good life. I love him so much. I never want to live in a house without a dog ever again.

  3. Biking with my dad! (And living close enough to my parents to be able to!)

  4. I picked back up eating according to an IIFYM diet plan (coached by post-college friend, nutrition wiz, and overall wonderful human Christa Roberts) around August of this past year, and I feel so much more… like myself? I’ve been open on this blog about past disordered eating issues (I think so many more people struggle with it than we think!), and nutrition is something I can easily get in my own head about. Outsourcing it to Christa makes it simple — I just hit the macros she gives me without overthinking it and build good habits — both physically (eating enough, learning what types of food my body responds best to, resting, hydrating, etc.) and mentally. Literally the only style of eating I’ve tried that actually works for me and is sustainable.

  5. I’m not usually a big Mumford & Sons fan, but I randomly listened to their most recent album a few weeks ago and have had it on steady rotation since. The whole thing sounds like soundtrack music in a really good way — incredible drum patterns and rhythm changes and it makes you feel things, man!

  6. The One Second Everyday app, which a few different friends introduced me to and I’m really hoping to keep up with through 2019! Hold me accountable, people.

  7. After hearing so many different people rave about them, I bought Mastin Labs Kodak Everyday presets and they have not disappointed. I like my photos to look true to reality but consistent in style, and these have helped me achieve that goal. As a bonus, studying the settings they’re comprised of and learning which ones cause certain effects has made me a better editor myself. I still apply my own tweaks to every photo, but all in all, these have made my life so much easier and I’ve loved the look of my images.

  8. Speaking of photography, I got this camera strap from Bexar Goods as a Christmas gift and it’s gorgeous. That leather smell is so good, and it feels like butter around my neck — no pinching or twisting!

  9. Sara Regan (yes, of Sara Davis Regan FAME check out her music on Spotify and be #blessed) introduced me to Fort Bend Coffee Roasters a few days after I moved back to Katy, and they have since become my go-to office. As the name suggests, they roast their own beans, and the coffee is incredible. They also make all their own syrups from scratch and always have delicious monthly coffee drink creations that I would never have thought of but thoroughly enjoy. Bonus points for big windows and lots of outlets… I’ll probably need to credit them somewhere in the fine print of Kingsland’s LifeGroup curriculum books at this point. If you’re in the K-Town area, check them out!

  10. My neighborhood is basically across the street from Katy Asia Town, and the H-Mart is an absolute gem. I can get all my groceries there, plus a lot of snacks, unusual/alternative ingredients (if you’re gluten free, for example, you should definitely check it out), and sweets that I wouldn’t be able to find at my usual Kroger. Also has a bangin food court. Also also extremely well-priced.

Houston Graffiti Park

Houston Graffiti Park

254 | Harris County

254 | Harris County