Friday, August 22, 2014

My Survival Kit with ManCrates


ManCrates asked me to share the items that I can't live without. As you can tell, they wanted me to have fun with it because these are not items that I would pack in an actual survival kit. In a real emergency, I would reach for a flashlight, not lipstick. Unless it's a lipstick-shaped flashlight. I don't have one, but that would be cool. 

There are definitely a few items that I need in order to survive an average day. I always keep them in my purse for when I need them. They are as follows:
  • My iPad -- I've used this everyday since I got it last year. Now that I work in social media, I use it for work, for blogging, and for fun. I read on it, take pictures, go online, play games, etc. What can't I do with this thing?
  • Notebook & Pen -- I always list these items because I'm always writing notes to myself (I would forget everything otherwise). I write ideas for my novel and for this here blog in notebooks. Even if I don't bring a notebook with me, I always bring a pen because I can find something to write on, like a napkin or receipt. 
  • Lip Balm -- Why is that my lips are always dry no matter how much water I drink? I make sure I have lip balm with me at all times and I like to use lip balm right before going to sleep to wake up with soft and nourished lips. 
  • Lipstick -- Even though I tend to forget to put it on, I always like keeping a tube of lipstick with me. My favorites are the Revlon lip stains because they stay put all day while still being moisturizing. My absolute favorite is the color Cherish. 
  • Books -- While I can have an unlimited number of books on my iPad, there's something wonderful about reading from a real book. If my purse isn't already full of stuff, I stick a book in there for downtime (ie. my lunch break or stuck in traffic). 
By the way, if you have a dad, brother, boyfriend, or guy friend who has a birthday coming up, you should check out ManCrates. They know that it can be difficult to find gifts for men, so they send a whole wooden crate full of awesome gifts, like a retro gamer crate, a zombie survival crate, a whiskey crate, and more. They even send it with a crowbar, so you can open it. 

My dad's birthday is on August 31st and I think he would love to get the outdoor survival crate or the snack pack because he's a little obsessed with candy and snacks.  



**ManCrates asked me to write this post. All opinions are my own.**

What are your essentials?
What do you always keep in your purse?

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Inspired By: Fangirl

August's Novel Tea Book Club selection was Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. This is the absolute perfect book for me. Let's count the reasons: 1. The main character Cath writes Simon Snow (aka Harry Potter) fanfiction. I used to write Harry Potter fanfiction. 2. She takes a fiction writing class. I went to school for creative writing. 3. She's awkward and doesn't know how to talk to guys. I'm awkward and don't know how to talk to guys. 4. She wears a lot of cardigans. I love cardigans. 5. Cath struggles with transitioning from writing fanfic to writing her own work. I struggled with the same thing in college. I could go on and on. 

I'm pretty sure Rainbow Rowell has been watching me. Or we're the same person. But seriously, this book is wonderful; it made me laugh, gasp, root for the characters, make me want to slap another character, and most importantly it made me know that I'm not alone in my love of fanfiction and fandom in general. 

Cath
Fangirl -- Cath

Cath is a young woman starting her first year of college. She starts off unhappy because her twin, Wren, doesn't want to share a room with her and she's unsure that she even wants to go because it means leaving their unstable father alone. She spends most of her time writing her popular fanfic, Carry On, Simon, hanging out with her roommate Reagan, and crushing on Levi. 

Cath's outfits are specifically mentioned in the novel, so here's what she wore: a Carry On t-shirt, a green cardigan, jeans, red Vans, and dark purple glasses. Instead of argyle, I picked a striped cardigan, a graphic tee, jeans, and oxfords. 

Levi
Fangirl -- Levi
Levi is Reagan's friend and ex-boyfriend. He's an ever-smiling, almost always happy and cheerful guy, who is always willing to help a friend. He spends a lot of time in Cath and Reagan's room because he likes talking to Cath and he likes when Cath reads her fanfiction to him. 

Since Levi works at Starbucks, he sometimes wears all black: a black button up, black jeans, a mint watch, and black flats. Or go for his farm boy chic by wearing a thick navy jacket, a red plaid top, brown pants, and black Converse. 

Reagan & Wren
Reagan & Wren
Reagan is Cath's party girl roommate, who is hardly ever in the room because she's always out with guys. She tends to leave an unlit cigarette in her mouth because she's trying to quit. She's the one who gets Cath to come out of the room and out of her shell. Wren is Cath's twin sister, who is the Cool One. She wears cool clothes, she goes to parties, and she doesn't have a problem talking to guys. 

For Reagan, I chose a black moto jacket, a blue blouse, a long tassel necklace, blue stud earrings, jeans, and black booties. In the book, Wren is wearing a pink dress with brown tights, and brown heeled booties.

Before I sign off for today, there are two things I want to share with you:
1. The latest How Do You Deal post on Clear the Way is about disapproval.
2. Below is the #IceBucketChallenge video I did at work.
(You can see how nervous I was to do it haha!)

Have you read Fangirl
Will you be adding it to your to read list?

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Books & Looks: Kristin

Say hello to Kristin! She's the first Books & Looks girl! 


Asking me to name my favorite novel is like asking me to choose between cookie dough or cookies & cream ice cream (read: impossible). My favorite book can change on a whim or depending on what the weather is on a given day, and I have "Top 5" lists for every genre and time period available. 

That said, I chose Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl for my current favorite book because not only does it make me giddy every time I reread it (a fanfic-writing heroine!? Awkward real feelings about things that actually happen in life!? Quirky, fun, quotable lines!? Yes to all!) but the cover has me completely smitten. This is definitely a book I'd pick up from the shelf based on cover alone; give me teal or give me death! Teal infatuation aside, I love Noelle aka gingerhaze's distortedly tall, sketchy style.

Look: When it comes to getting dressed in the morning, I like to keep it simple. And by simple, I mean that most mornings I barely make it out of my pjs. When I do get dressed, I go for comfort, a touch of feminine detailing, and navy blue (because navy blue is simultaneously neutral and a color — score!). I paired my favorite lace top with my navy blue parka, since Pittsburgh is prone to rain. Layering is a must in this city, since it can easily go from 50 degrees in the morning and 80 by noon, even into the fall months.

My favorite piece is my tiny bow charm necklace. I can't think of a day I don't clasp this around my neck, and I find it the perfect piece to accessorize with, whether a casual or a fancy outfit. It's simple, but adds a bit of charm (and is apparently a talking point, as well). 

You'll rarely find me in heels; I jokingly tell my students that I always wear comfortable shoes so that I can run better when Godzilla attacks, or zombies overrun the city, or spaceships land, but I'm not joking. Not even the slightest. Hence, the neutral flats. Comfy, snazzy, and practical.


Thank you, Kristin! 
Have you read Fangirl? I'm reading it now and love it!

Want to be a part of Book & Looks? Pick your favorite book and piece of clothing and take some pictures, then email me at sara.strauss8922@yahoo.com with the subject "Books & Looks". In the email, include: four to five pictures (preferably horizontal), a paragraph or two about why it's your favorite book and why it's your favorite piece of clothing, and three social media links. 

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Outfit: Polka Dot Professional

I threw all of this on one morning before work and really liked the outcome. It's a simple combination (blazer + shirt + jeans + flats), but it's more Sara-like because of the pink blazer, the colorful polka dots, and the leopard print flats. Sometimes its the small things that can elevate an outfit. 

This past weekend I went down to Washington D.C. to see Jackie and her boyfriend Ben. They moved down there last year and this was my first time seeing their apartment and my second time being in the D.C. area. My first time was a trip in 5th grade. Jackie and I sat next to each other on the bus there and back since we've been friends since 3rd grade. 

They took me to several amazing restaurants, like Genghis Grill and Mellow Mushroom, we went to an indoor trampoline place (so much fun!), we saw The Giver (loved it!), and we walked around D.C. to see some of the monuments. Jackie also gave me my birthday present, a beautiful necklace, which you can see on my Instagram. Thanks, Jackie!
Blazer: Uniqlo | Top: Old Navy | Jeans: Hollister 
Flats: Target | Bag: Old Navy | Watch: Fossil

Where did you travel to this summer?
Any upcoming travel plans?

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Looks I Love {Summer}

Everyone may be talking about how summer is coming to an end, but it'll still be warm for another good month and a half. Isn't it always an Indian summer? I desperately want cooler weather, but while I wait I'll be copying these chic outfits below. Which look is your favorite?
Vest + Stripe Dress + Panama Hat
Panama hat, vest, and stripes!

Back to Classics
A jean jacket, summer white dress, and the cutest shoes ever!

The Move to Astoria
All neutrals + stripes

The Perfect Layering Piece
Lightweight sweater, dark florals, and sparkly sandals

Bastille Day-Part 2
This cobalt blue skirt is so gorgeous!

MY DIY | Dotted Denim Skirt | I SPY DIY
Chambray + polka dots

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