Friday, December 2, 2016

Watch | Read | Listen {December 2016}

It's crazy that December is already here, but I'm ready for peppermint everything, fairy lights everywhere, buying and getting presents, and some holiday cheer! Oh and also all of the incredible movies coming out this month. I am SO READY for Rogue One!



Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (Casper Phillipson), First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (Natalie Portman) fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband's historic legacy. I'm pretty sure Natalie Portman can do no wrong. (December 2)

Office Christmas Party 
When his uptight CEO sister threatens to shut down his branch, the branch manager throws an epic Christmas party in order to land a big client and save the day, but the party gets way out of hand. Starring Jennifer Aniston, Kate McKinnon, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, and Jason Bateman. Sometimes you just have to watch the silly movie and laugh until you pee! (December 9)

Miss Sloane 
In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is the most sought after and formidable lobbyist in D.C. Known equally for her cunning and her track record of success, she has always done whatever is required to win. But when she takes on the most powerful opponent of her career, she finds that winning may come at too high a price. This looks SO INTENSE! (December 9)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The Rebellion makes a risky move to steal the plans to the Death Star, setting up the epic saga we all know and love. Starring Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelson, Alan Tudyk, Diego Luna, and Forest Whitaker. I already have my tickets! Who else is excited about this movie? (December 16)

A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers (Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt) are awakened 90 years early. THIS LOOKS SO GOOD! (December 21)

A Monster Calls
Based on a book of the same name by Patrick Ness, a boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mom's terminal illness. Starring Lewis MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver, and Felicity Jones. Dying to read the book and see the movie! Have you read the book? (December 23)

Other movies coming out:
  • Anonymous (Dec 2)
  • Best and Most Beautiful Thinsgs (Dec 2)
  • Man Down (Dec 2)
  • All We Had (Dec 9)
  • The Bounce Back (Dec 9)
  • The Brand New Testament (Dec 9)
  • Collateral Beauty (Dec 16)
  • La La Land (Dec 16)
  • Assassins Creed (Dec 21)
  • Sing (Dec 21)
  • Silence (Dec 23)
  • Fences (Dec 25)
  • Gold (Dec 25)
Books & Music -- December 2016
Spindle (A Thousand Nights #2) by E.K. Johnson -- It has been generations since the Storyteller Queen drove the demon out of her husband and saved her country from fire and blood. Her family has prospered and the demons are kept prisoner by bright iron, and by the creatures the Storyteller Queen made to keep them contained. But the prison is crumbling. (December 6)

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis -- Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics. (December 6)

Zero Day by Jan Gangsei -- Eight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping of the decade. Addie vanished. Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the Oval Office after a tumultuous first term. Then the unthinkable happens: the president's daughter resurfaces. Darrow Fergusson, Addie's childhood best frien, agrees to spy on her. (December 6)

The Blood Lie by Shirley Reva Vernick -- Inspired by true events that affected debut novelist Vernick's relatives, this historical drama tackles the weighty issue of anti-Semitism. It's 1928, on the eve of Yom Kippur, and 16-year-old Jack Pool is unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight when a young girl vanishes. Smugglers in need of a distraction blame Jack and the rest of the Jewish community in their small upstate New York town, prompting illegal searches and persecution. (December 13)

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider -- Up until his diagnosis, Lane lived a fairly predictable life. But when he finds himself at a tuberculosis sanatorium called Latham House, he discovers an insular world with paradoxical rules, med sensors, and an eccentric yet utterly compelling confidante named Sadie—and life as Lane knows it will never be the same. (December 20)

Losers Take All by David Klass -- At Jack Logan's sports-crazy New Jersey high school, the new rule is that all kids must play on a team. So Jack and a ragtag group of anti-athletic friends decide to get even. They are going to start a rebel JV soccer team whose mission is to avoid victory at any cost, but somehow the team's losing formula becomes increasingly successful at attracting fans and attention. (December 20)

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill -- Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, a legendary bounty hunter—that is, until her father is murdered. The alleged killer is none other than Cohen Mackay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart.  (December 27)

NBC's Hairspray, Live! (December 9) 

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Outfit: Fall Plaid & Five Year Blogiversary Giveaway!

Happy five year blogiversary to this little slice of the internet! *throws confetti* I honestly can't believe I've been blogging for FIVE YEARS! How is that possible?! When I started I was in my first semester of graduate school for creative writing and now I'm a working girl who has just finished my second first draft a novel! This little hobby has become such a big part of my life. I love writing posts and taking pictures for Sincerely, Sara, but best of all I love connecting with other people from all over the world (AKA you guys!) who also love books and fashion! THANK YOU guys for reading my blog and being my friends! 

Since I love sharing bookish stuff I think you all would like, I wanted to introduce you to Nerdy Post. I've been getting the subscription box for a few months now and it's wonderful. It's a sub box where you get 5-7 original fandom-inspired, hand-lettered goodies — a print, a sticker, a bookmark, a pin, a magnetic, or a notebook. Each month is somewhat different, but the items are always fantastic. This month's was classic romance and I LOVE the pin of stacked books! 
Dress: Old Navy | Scarf: Target | Bag: Target | 
Tights: KushyFoot | Booties: old | Pin: Nerdy Post

As a thank you, I wanted to do a fun giveaway! Actually, two giveaways!

U.S. residents: 
You'll win a box of goodies that contain a Belle Funko Pop, a metallic clutch, 
flowering teas, a BB8 magnetic bookmmark, floral soap, hot coca, 
a Get Cozy mug, and a feather bookmark.

International residents:
You'll win any book $15 or under from Book Depository

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, November 28, 2016

Pocket Book Reviews {November 2016}

I HIT THE GOAL OF 50,000 FOR NANOWRIMO! *screams and dances in excitement* However, I haven't finished the first draft of my novel yet. I still have about 5,000 or so words to go, so I'm still writing every day until I finish. I'm so close, guys!!!

Because I was writing like a maniac this whole month, sacrificing sleep and sanity and focusing on nothing else, I barely read anything. But the three books I did read were incredible!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Original Screenplay
♥ (5 of out 5)

Written by J.K. Rowling; When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt's fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone.

I have to say, I have a better appreciation for the movie after reading this book! I enjoyed the movie immensely, but reading it made me like it even more. 

I got to "see" the little details and jokes that I didn't quite catch while watching the movie. A few examples: When Mary Lou asks Newt is he's a "seeker of truth," but he says he's more of a chaser. Or when the group enters the speakeasy: "Every witch or wizard criminal in New York is here, their wanted posters hanging proudly on the walls." I love that! 

And sometimes you just need to read what's happening to really know what the characters are thinking. While the actors are fantastic, a look doesn't fully convey what's going on at times. Reading this one moment in particular really helped: "Jacob tightens his grip on Queenie. She reads his mind and her expression changes to one of wonderment and tenderness as she sees what he went through in the war. Queenie is moved and appalled. Very slowly, she raises a hand and touches his cheek." Definitely needed to read these words to know what was going on in this touching scene.

I almost wish I'd read the book first actually. So if you were a little iffy on the movie, I would recommend reading the screenplay.

My one disappointment with the movie and book was Tina. When I heard she was an Auror I was looking forward to following her because I was expecting an outspoken, badass woman, but she hardly said anything and she was really just a love interest for Newt and a way to introduce us to Queenie. I'm really hoping we get to know her better and that she'll grow to be a stronger character. 

Overall, an awesome read and a great way to dive back into the Wizarding World!

Add to Goodreads

Giant Days, Vol. 3
♥ (5 of out 5)

Written by John Allison and Max Sarin; Continuing their first semester at university, fast friends Susan, Esther, and Daisy want to find their footing in life. The girls, along with their male hall-mates, Ed and McGraw find that college is more than academics and bad microwavable meals. Add some pub hopping, hookups, breakups and political scandal this might just be the most eventful first semester  ever.

Oh the drama! Giant Days always makes me smile and laugh and wish that I could be friends with all of the characters! They're so quirky! The whole voting storyline was really interesting, especially sine it created some drama with Susan and McGraw, but I wish it had a better ending. I feel like it kind of got dropped very randomly. But the storyline with Esther's old party girl friend from her hometown was hilarious and fun!

Add to Goodreads

The Woods, Vol. 5: The Horde
♥ (5 of out 5)

Written by James Tynion IV, Michael Dialynas, and Josan Gonzalez; Time flies when you're fighting for your life. Over a year has passed since Bay Point Preparatory High School found themselves countless light years away in the middle of an ancient, primordial wilderness. Against all odds, they’ve built their own civilization and made contact with other humans who have inhabited the planet for many years prior. But the crew finds themselves divided, choosing sides in a war that has been raging for hundreds of years.

HOLY F*CK! This series is so damn good and gets better with every issue! The absolute best part of this volume was the drama between Calder and his older brother Casey, and the flashbacks about them. And the big reveal about what Casey was really up to was terrifying and had some MAJOR ramifications! I loved that Karen stepped up in a big way too. Very much looking forward to seeing what happens next!

Add to Goodreads

What did you read this month?

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Outfit: Blush It Up

I've been wanting an olive blazer for a while now, but never really sought to find one, and then I was out shopping with my best buds spotted this comfy jacket. Totally clothing fate! That's a thing, right? And you know what olive goes well with? Pantone's Color of the Year: Rose Quartz! 

If you're looking for an inexpensive olive blazer, here are some options for you: this ruched sleeve one, this open-front one, this drapey one, this collarless, cropped one, and this crochet-trim one

Since November is almost over, here are things I'm looking forward to come December:

  • Not writing every single day. I love writing, but doing it every day for NaNoWriMo is a lot for me. Though I guess I shouldn't hate on it since it's gotten me this far! I'm currently at 40,000 words! *screams in disbelief*
  • Editing! Can you believe it? I hardly can. I usually hate editing, but I'm looking forward to printing out this book, cutting unnecessary words, and adding some more depth to it.
  • Having more time to read! I've hardly read anything this month. I've only completed one book so far this book. Very depressing.
  • Having time to be a lazy ass and binge-watch shows on Netflix! Duh.
  • Shopping for fun gifts for my friends and family and getting into the holiday spirit. 
  • Star Wars: Rogue One. 'Nuff said. 
Jacket: Wet Seal | Top: via Poshmark | Jeans: American Eagle
Bag: Target | Shoes: DSW

What are you looking forward to in December?

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Monday, November 21, 2016

How Harry Potter Has Positively Affected My Life (AKA Why I Love It)

What with everyone diving back into the Wizarding World lately, it's only made my love for Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling's immense and incredible world stronger. From the Cursed Child book to the play to Fantastic Beasts movie to exciting news about castings and set pictures and whatnot, there's so much going on and it's made me so incredibly happy to be a Harry Potter fan! 

But let's backtrack and go down memory lane: I can hardly belive it now, but my first enounter with Harry Potter was when my aunt got me the first four books in 2000. But since I wasn't much of a reader then, I just shrugged them off and let them sit on my shelf untouched. BUT THEN my dad somehow got early tickets to the movie and I remember seeing it with him and my two younger brothers in either late August or early September of 2001, I can't remember which now. I watched the movie in awe and came out a changed person. Honestly! It was like a switch had been flipped and I needed more of this wondrous magic in my life. I immediately read all of the books and then desperately waited for the 5th book to come out. 

In 2005, again my life changed because of a friend and because of Harry Potter. In my junior year of high school, while standing around bored in gym a friend said she wrote fanfiction for The X-Files. It made me realize there might be Harry Potter fanfiction and boy was there ever. I dove deep into the world of fanfiction. Here were other people like me who longed for more of the Wizarding World. But the real change happened when I decided to write one of my own. I came up with a fun idea (Harry doesn't ask to be put in Gryffindor and ends up in Slytherin) and started writing and I haven't stopped since. I wrote Harry Potter fanfiction into my second year of college, but stopped when I decided to focus on my own stories. (This is one of the reasons I love Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl because it sounds just like my own life minus the cute romance!) 

By the way, you can read my cringe-worthy fanfiction here haha!
I honestly don't know where I would be if it wasn't for Harry Potter. If I hadn't seen the first movie, read the books, gotten into fanfiction, and then started writing my own novels my life would look very, very different. When I think about it, I have no clue what my life would be like right now. I think it's also partly because of Harry Potter that I even started a blog because someone told me "a writer should have a blog." I never would've been called a writer if I hadn't gotten into fanfiction in the first place. It's so strange to think about!

Not only have these books encouraged my path in life, but they've also been there for me during difficult times. My paperback copy of Prisoner of Azkaban is falling apart because I've read it so much when I was stressed or angry or sad or just being a moody teenager. And I'll always turn to Harry Potter to get me through life's hard knocks because it's the best kind of escapism, because it makes you realize their there's always a way through your problems, and because J.K. Rowling has an encouraging quote for every situation

One of the best things about Harry Potter though is its fans! Connecting with other Potterheads in person with my best friends while at movie premieres or through fanfiction forums or now through social media helps to relive the magic every day. Us Harry Potter nerds are an awesome, welcoming, and fun bunch. It's fantastic that whenever you want to talk about the movies or a theory or just rave about how much you love the series there will ALWAYS be others there to encourage you
Also, they're just wonderful books and I wish I could live in the Wizarding World and do magic. Is that too much to ask for?!

How has Harry Potter changed your life?
If not HP, what books have impacted your life?

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