Friday, May 27, 2016

Favorite Things

Man, this month was a busy one, but a lot of awesome things happened! One of those awesome things was the Color Vibe 5k. Throwing packets of colored powder, getting covered in colored power, a touch but worth it 3-mile walk, an epic post-run dance party, and taking a million pictures with my friends. It's so much fun!

I also saw Les Miserables on Broadway yesterday! I haven't been to a Broadway show in years. I'm dying to see Aladdin since the Disney movie is one of my favorites. 

How freaking cute are these Pride and Prejudice and Merlin stickers?! I love that Elizabeth is sticking her tongue out. And even years later, I'm still bummed that Merlin ended. The show was so campy, but also so heart-warming. And the bromance between Merlin and Arthur as the best. Who else liked that show?

 A few fun links:

 10 items to use as blog photography props

 How to be more present

 Non-alcoholic raspberry wine spritzer (WANT!)

 How to cope with a book hangover

 Instagram editing tips

 10 holographic DIYs fit for a unicorn

 How to write the perfect bestselling novel ever!

 How to become an inspiration

 Writing for Hufftington Post

 If you're thinking about getting the Urban Decay x Alice Through the Looking Glass make up, here's a great review post

 Sponsors: So excited that Spruce Rose Apothecary is a sponsor this month because their Tea Tree & Ylang Ylang Body Butter sounds amazing! And it's all-natural!

Another favorite of mine is this cute Harry Potter picture I took. *pats self on back* 

Happy Friday!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Outfit: Floral & Flamingos

Where's the fun in sticking to the same print in one outfit? Mixing random prints makes me happy! It makes me feel quirky and eccentric and it means I don't have to think about my outfits too much before walking out the door. Fashion is supposed to be fun anyway. 

Every Saturday morning (or Sunday, it really depends on which day I'm feeling less lazy) I take bookstagram pictures for the coming week and it brings me an immense amount of joy. I can't even tell you how much I enjoy staging my books and bookish props, taking pictures at different angles to get the right shot, and later editing them using Afterlight. Since I've gotten so into photography in the past two years, I've gotten an external flash (mostly for work events) and I'm considering getting another lens.  
Top: Poshmark | Jeans: Hollister | Shoes: DSW
Bag: Target | Ring: Hadaya | Hairpin: gift

Do you like to mix prints?

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Pocket Book Reviews {May 2016} + Giveaway

Unfortunately, this wasn't my favorite reading month. I read six books, but a few were duds for me. The did read three books that I really, really liked. Since I enjoyed reading the Percy Jackson series earlier this year, I decided to continue on my Rick Riordan journey and began listening to The Heroes of Olympus series. Are you a Riordan fan? Did you read either of these series? 

The Westing Game
 (3 out of 5)

Written by Ellen Raskin; A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing's will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger - and a possible murderer - to inherit his vast fortune, one thing's for sure: Sam Westing may be dead... but that won't stop him from playing one last game!

A quick, enjoyable read! I may have only given it three stars, but I did like this book. I found the characters realistic and the mystery intriguing and I had no idea how it was going to end, which made me want to keep reading. However, the clues were just plain weird and it wasn't as thrilling or exciting as I'd hoped it would be. I did enjoy the twist at the end!

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The Girl on the Train
 (3 out of 5)

Written by Paula Hawkins; Rachel takes the same commuter train every day and watches the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Their life is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking and Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

I will say that this book was entertaining and made me want to keep reading to find out what really happened, BUT (and that's a big but) I found the plot slow, the characters unlikable, and the ending unsatisfying. I saw the ending coming a mile away. Oddly enough, I didn't mind that Rachel was an alcoholic, even though I know it bothered some other people, but what really annoyed me was that her warped way of thinking only seemed to happen when it would further the plot and mess things up, and the rest of the time she was somewhat intelligent. Honestly, I just wanted to smack all of these characters.

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The Woods, Vol. 3: New London
 (5 out of 5)

Written by James Tyrion IV, Michael Dialynas, and Josan Gonzalez; 437 students from Bay Point Preparatory High School in suburban Milwaukee, WI vanished without a trace. Countless light years away, they find themselves in the middle of an ancient, primordial wilderness. In Volume 3, with Clay and the Duke teaming up to try and force the school into servitude for the New London army, the kids need to think up a plan to save their peers, and fast. 

This series is incredible! It really is like Lost on a strange planet. You connect so strongly to the main characters, there are crazy woods, there's scary, strange animals, and there's something alive on this planet that wants something from them. It's amazing! There are allies and enemies everywhere, and at first you don't know who is good and who is bad, which makes this story so great. This volume was fantastic -- the teens saw that it's possible to survive on this planet because the people of New London have been there for 200 years, but the question is do they want to find a semi-comfortable life here or do they want to find a way home?

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Paper Girls, Vol. 1*
 (3 out of 5)

Written by Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, and Matthew Wilson; In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

I've never read Saga, but I've heard great things about it, so I decided to read this. It's a good start; it's not amazing, but the characters are believable and individual and the story is intriguing enough that I want to read more. It's a little confusing at first. And the girls don't seem like they're 12. They seem more like they're 14 to 16 to me. The art is very colorful and I really like it. 

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The Winner's Kiss
♥ (4 out of 5)

Written by Marie Rutkoski; War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

An incredible, powerful, emotional, and beautiful ending to this trilogy! We need to talk about the writing first: Just wow. Maria Rutkowski knows how to weave beautifully intricate, delicate, and emotional sentences. She knows just how to say what the character is feeling. This book (the whole trilogy really) is equally driven by character and plot, which makes this series so devourable. The characters and plot are intertwined and sometimes you don't know which is pushing the story forward, which I found fascinating and wonderful. It can be hard to read the ending to a much-loved series, but Rutkowski gave us exactly what we wanted and needed. My one issue with this story is something that happens early in the story and it's always been a pet peeve of mine in books. (Read the spoilery review on Goodreads.)

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The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus #1)
♥ (4 out of 5)

Written by Rick RiordanJason has a problemHe doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper, and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly? 

I enjoyed the Percy Jackson series, don't get me wrong, but I really, really like the start to the Heroes of Olympus series! The Lost Hero is darker, sassier, and more mature. While Percy, AnnaBeth, and Grover will always have a special place in my heart, Jason, Piper, and Leo are just so awesome. I LOVE snarky, wise-cracking Leo, cool and collected Jason, and smart and bad-ass Piper. They make such a great team, which made going on this journey with them so much fun. I did take a point away because towards the middle of their quest it got kind of slow, but the ending is so intriguing.

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*Received from NetGalley.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Inspired By: Alice Through The Looking Glass

I'm am SO pumped for Alice Through the Looking Glass! The first movie is so over-the-top and whimsical and nonsensical, which is why I'm thrilled they made a second film. I can't say no to anything with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. I love that they always play awesomely crazy characters. 

Alice has spent the past three years following in her father's footsteps and sailing the high seas. After returning to London from Asia, Alice re-encounters the Caterpillar and she finds a magical looking glass that returns her to Wonderland. She discovers that things are going very wrong with the Hatter, who is haunted by past events. In order to prevent a heartbreaking end to her friend, she turns to Time himself.

The movie comes out in theatres in the U.S. next Friday.

Alice Through the Looking Glass -- Alice

Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is back in Wonderland after going through a looking glass and thinks in this weird realm are not as happy-go-lucky as they were before. She seeks to change this by using the Chronosphere.

Wear something colorful by throwing on a floral dress, orange pointed flats, a blue bracelet-ring combo, and red lipstick. Or put on something whimsicla: an off-the-shoulder orange top, a printed skirt, a butterfly ring, and olive booties.

The Mad Hatter
Alice Through the Looking Glass -- Mad Hatter
The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) is decidely more mad, but no one knows why because he refuses to say what caused it. Alice must race against time to save Hatter and all of her friends.

Go for a classic Hatter look: wear a green jacket, a blue blouse, black jeans, teacup ring, and beige booties. Or put on a red blazer, tea cup graphic tee, distressed denim, purple lipstick, and yellow flats. 

The Red Queen & The White Queen
Alice Through the Looking Glass -- White Queen & Red Queen
The White Queen (Anne Hathaway) and The Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) are backone of them wants to the Chronosphere for themself. Can you guess which one? 

Dress like the White Queen by putting on a lilac dress, a butterfly clutch, and blue flats. Or go for a fiery outfit based on the Red Queen: a red floral dress, a red bracelet, dak red lipstick, and black booties.

Who else is going to see this?

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Outfit: Colorful Cold Shoulder

You know when you really want to try a trend, but you're not sure it's for you and you can't find that perfect piece of clothing? That was the cold shoulder trend for me. I liked the way those tops looked on others, but I wasn't sure I could pull it off (I don't exactly have dainty shoulders) and none of the tops I saw interested me...until I saw this one. Sometimes it's just a matter of waiting until the perfect piece is right in front of you. 

I did a Color Vibe 5k this past Saturday with three friends and it had the BEST time. It took place just outside the Yonkers train station near the Hudson River; we got there early to do the Zumba warm-up and then the race began. I jogged for maybe five minutes and then walked the rest of the way. A runner I am not. There were color checkpoints where we got covered in colorful powder and at one point a woman dumped a whole box of purple on me! Once we reached the finish line, there was an epic, and very colorful, dance party. Check out some pictures here. Have you done a color run before? 

I totally took inspiration from the always-chic Priya from perfectly Priya for this outfit shoot. Thanks, girl!
Top: Aeropostale | Jeans: Hollister | Necklace: old 
Shoes: T.J. Maxx | Mug: Amazon

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