Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Winter Reading List + My 2015 Book Goal

I read 33 books this year! My goal was 32 books this year, so I surpassed it by one book. My Goodreads says that I read 34 books, but there's one that I never finished and don't plan to. What do you do with books that you give up on in regards to Goodreads? 

Anyway, I read a lot of fantastic books this year, so it was hard to narrow it down to just my top eight favorites! I picked the eight that left an impression and that I could see myself reading again in the future. My book goal for 2015 is again to read 32 books!
♥ The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a moody story about a man who returns to his childhood home. The memories of that strange time comes flooding back to him and he remembers the magic, the darkness, and the unusual things that occurred. An amazing read!

♥ Fangirl is about Cath, a freshman in college and a fanfiction writer, who is having trouble not being roommates with her twin sister. She wonders if she can do it on her own and if she can start writing her own stories. One of my new favorite books ever!

♥ Perfect Ruin takes place on the floating city of Internment where life is lovely until the first murder in a generation. For Morgan, she starts to sees that their society isn't always perfect and begins to investigate the murder on her own. A fascinating fantasy read. 

♥ Flora & Ulysses is a middle-grade book that is so charming and fun. It's about Flora, a young girl, who witnesses Ulysses, a squirrel, get sucked into a vacuum and then get super powers. It's as adorable as it sounds. 

♥ Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is about Clay, a young man who mans the desk at a 24-hour bookstore. What starts as a simple job turns into something so much more complicated that involves a secret society, history, and a lot of books. This book is amazing. 

♥ Dorothy Must Die is an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. Amy, a girl from Kansas, finds herself transported and then stuck in Oz, but it's not the same place from the book/movie. Soon Amy is recruited to kill the evil queen: Dorothy. It's a fun read that doesn't take itself too seriously. 

♥ Cress is the third in The Lunar Chronicles series (which is my favorite series after Harry Potter). Cinder, Captain Thorne, Scarlet, and Wolf are now fugitives on the run and they're plotting to overthrow Queen Levana. In order to do so they need Cress, a girl stuck on a satellite, who was just given orders by Queen Levana to track Cinder down. Loved it!

♥ Horrorstor is a dark but humorous horror novel. Amy works at Orsk, which is similar to Ikea, and strange things have been happening at night in the store while no one is there, so that night she, the floor manager Basil, and a few others decide to investigate, but what they find is not what they were expecting. A fun read and I love that the book looks like an Ikea catalog. 
I only read three of the books from my summer reading list, but I would still like to get to them at some point. I'm bringing Attachments with me on the plane to Austin and the others will no doubt be read cuddled up in bed with hot chocolate. 

♥ Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
♥ The Savages by Matt Whyman
♥ Pure (Pure #1) by Julianna Baggott 
♥ A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
♥ Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
♥ Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
♥ The Sleeper and The Spindle by Neil Gaiman
♥ Office Girl by Joe Meno

P.S. -- Friend me on Goodreads!

What's currently on your reading list?

Bloglovin ♥ Facebook ♥ Twitter ♥ Pinterest ♥ Instagram
 photo SincerelySaraPostButtonShort_zps1f3e9c17.jpg

Pin It!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Outfit: Away We Go

On January 1st, my younger brothers and I are hopping on a plane to Austin, Texas to attend our cousin's wedding! I've never been to Austin or any part of Texas, so I'm excited to travel to a new place and explore. If you have any recommendations for cool shops or restaurants let me know.

This is the comfortable outfit that I'll be wearing on the plane: loose shirt, scarf, stretchy jeans, and booties. Can you believe I put everything I'm bringing with me (not including my purse) in this backpack? There are heels, flats, two dresses, a top, a cardigan, undergarments, another pair of jeans, toiletries, and some make up in this backpack. Yeah, I'm awesome at packing.

P.S. -- Thanks Yvonne for this pretty purple bracelet!
Top: Target {similar} | Jeans: Hollister | Scarf: gift | Boots: DSW
Bracelet: gift from Yvonne | Backpack: Delia's {similar}

Bloglovin ♥ Facebook ♥ Twitter ♥ Pinterest ♥ Instagram
 photo SincerelySaraPostButtonShort_zps1f3e9c17.jpg

Pin It!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Lusting: Ear Jackets

Have you heard of ear jackets? When I first heard the term I was so confused. What exactly are people putting on their ears? But then I realized that it's a type of earring and I think they look pretty cool. They have a vintage-meets-modern feel to them. Forever 21 has a bunch of great and inexpensive pairs that I wish I could wear, but sadly they're not nickel-free. 
Ear Jackets

Would you wear a pair of ear jackets?

Bloglovin ♥ Facebook ♥ Twitter ♥ Pinterest ♥ Instagram
 photo SincerelySaraPostButtonShort_zps1f3e9c17.jpg

Pin It!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Blogger Secret Santa

Merry Christmas!

I love being a part of gift exchanges! Who doesn't love giving and receiving gifts, right? This year I joined in on Maiedae's Gift Exchange and Jersey Girl Texan Heart's Blogger Gift Exchange.
I'm one of those people that likes to find the absolute perfect gift for someone, but I have to admit that it was hard to find that perfect something for Abby of Face The Mountain because I've never met her. We exchanged gifts through Maiedae's Gift Exchange, and tried to glean as much as I could about her from the questionnaire we all answered and her Instagram account.

I got Abby a fox mug (she loves hiking), an eos lip balm (it's cold out there), red lipstick (her favorite color is red), and a floral notepad (she loves writing).
For Monica's Blogger Gift Exchange, I got Simone of Fashion Runs the World. I've met her a few times now in the city at a few blogger brunches, so I had an idea of what I should get for her. She's a fierce fashionista who loves the color pink and reviewing beauty products, so I got her a very soft pink scarf, an eos lip balm, and a three-pack of NYX butter glosses. 
These are almost all of the gifts that I was given through either gift exchanges or friends. From Abby I got a monogrammed mug, a candle (which smells so amazing!), and A Christmas Carol. From Diane of Style Context I got this adorable "Literature is my boyfriend" necklace, which is so true.

From my friend Brittany I got yummy treats (chocolate truffles and granola) and a clock journal from my friend Lauren. I got the iHome after playing Chinese Grab Bag with my coworkers. I originally had a $25 gift card to a movie theater, but it was "stolen" in the game. Have you played it before?

My blogger friend Naomi of Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups gave me this beautiful Tangled print by Alice Zhang that was on my December wishlist.

Thank you so much everyone for the wonderful gifts! I'm a lucky girl!

Bloglovin ♥ Facebook ♥ Twitter ♥ Pinterest ♥ Instagram
 photo SincerelySaraPostButtonShort_zps1f3e9c17.jpg

Pin It!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Ipsy Glam Bag {December 2014}

This Ipsy bag was by far one of my favorites! I love the items I got and I know I'll get a lot of use out of them. I'm not a fan of the bag itself, but I think it's a nice touch that everyone was divided into a specific and awesome category. I'm an Inspiring Original, but there's also Fearless Heroine, Talented Being, Creative Genius, and Brave Soul. 

What I got:
 Nourishing Organics' Renewing Eye Cream (available in January)
 Bumble and bumble's Repair Blow Dry Serum (full $14, sample $5)
 tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara (full $20, sample $5)
 NYX's Butter Lip Balm in Parfait (full $4)
 CAILYN's Just Mineral Eye Polish in Orchid (full $15)

This bag is worth $29 plus whatever the eye cream is worth!

Nourishing Organics' Renewing Eye Cream

Eye creams are hard to do reviews on because they probably take a few days or weeks to start working, so just based on my first impression this seems like a nice eye cream. It has a subtle scent, it's 100% natural, and it sinks into the skin easily and doesn't feel greasy after. 

Bumble and bumble's Repair Blow Dry Serum

This serum smells so good! I don't blow dry my hair, but I would use it after straightening or curling my hair. I used it after showering on damp hair and I noticed that my hair was smoother and less frizzy the next day. It seems like a multi-use item and not something you just have to use before blow drying. I would recommend this. 

tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara

The thin, short bristles remind me of one of my favorite mascaras: Sephora's Full Action mascara. Though Sephora mascara bristles are in a spiral staircase shape whereas the tarte one is your stand bristle shape. The mascara is that perfect medium where it's not too dry and not too wet, so it easily coats your lashes and makes them look fuller without clumping. I'd say this thickens more than lengths, which I prefer. I would recommend this. 

NYX's Butter Lip Balm in Parfait

I LOVE this lip balm! I'm always excited to get lip balm, but I really like this one because it's from NYX, it has a light wash of color that can be layered to make the color stronger, and it's moisturizing. And it smells amazing -- sweet and delicious. I would definitely recommend this. 

CAILYN's Just Mineral Eye Polish in Orchid 

I'm usually not into things that are too sparkly, but I really like this mineral eye shadow. It's a golden taupe metallic color that can be worn intensified if you pat the applicator on or more subtle if you blend it in, so you have a lot of options. Plus the nail polish bottle shape is really fun. I would recommend this. 

Bloglovin ♥ Facebook ♥ Twitter ♥ Pinterest ♥ Instagram
 photo SincerelySaraPostButtonShort_zps1f3e9c17.jpg

Pin It!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Outfit: Burgundy & Floral

So I found out last Thursday at the office holiday party that two people from work read my blog (Hi, Marisa and Nick!). It shouldn't be, but it's always a little strange when you discover that someone who you know in real life reads what you write on the internet. When Marisa brought it up I was hugely flattered and slightly embarrassed, even though I know that's ridiculous and I shouldn't be because I love this here blog and I'm proud of it. Has this ever happened to you?

By the way, you should check out Marisa's website because she's a great writer and writes a lot about some of my favorite things: films, TV, and pop culture. 

My mom knit me this scarf and I love it because gigantic and keeps me warm!

P.S. -- I started labeling some outfits "office style" if you want to see what outfits I've worn to work.
Scarf: handmade by my mom | Cardigan: Old Navy | Tee: old
Skirt: Francesca's | Leggings: Target | Boots: Amazon

Bloglovin ♥ Facebook ♥ Twitter ♥ Pinterest ♥ Instagram
 photo SincerelySaraPostButtonShort_zps1f3e9c17.jpg

Pin It!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Interview with Jess of Bookworms in Dresses

I'm so excited to share this fun interview with Jess of Bookworms in Dresses! Jess is a blogger friend who loves reading (and she read a lot!), sketching, all things kawaii, travel, photography, and is the first to admit that she's a cat lady.

Hop over to Jess' blog and say hello!

Bloglovin ♥ Facebook ♥ Twitter ♥ Pinterest ♥ Instagram
 photo SincerelySaraPostButtonShort_zps1f3e9c17.jpg

Pin It!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Favorite Things

Anthropologie belt {similar} & Horrorstör by Grady Hendix}

 Kayly of My Open Sketchbook (she did a Books & Looks post) had a Christmas card swap this month! Not only did she send me a lovely card, she also sent this amazing Hermione bookmark that I am completely obsessed with! Thank you, Kayly!

 How awesome is this book pillow?! Answer: So awesome! I had to have the Alice Adventures in Wonderland one because I love the story and my mom's name is Alice. 

 That Elizabeth Mott adds just a touch of glitter to my eye makeup, and I was really excited to get that NYX butter lip balm in this month's Ipsy bag. I read Horrostör by Grady Hendix and loved it! I'm not usually into horror, but this wasn't super scary. It was just freaky enough to freak me out when I read it at night in bed. Have you read it?

A few fun links:

 How to bring the holidays to your blog!

 A fantastic article on beauty during World War II.

 I absolutely adore this post on loving fanfiction. I heart fanfiction too!

 This junk food wishlist is the best!

 Yum: This rosemary green tea milk!

 OMG these photo soaps are hilarious!

 I have definitely used post-it notes as bookmarks! Love this!

 Martie puts together the best gift guides!

 I would vote for Charlotte Steggz!

 Naomi creates the best minimalist art.

 Check out my sponsor spotlight on Bookworms in Dresses.

 I loved The College Prepster's answer to "Aren't you cold?" -- I also only take outfit pictures once a week for 20 to 30 minutes, so sometimes I'm really cold (in winter) and sometimes really hot (in summer), but it's really not that bad.

 The book Perdita by Hilary Scharper sounds super intriguing. Here's the premise:
On assignment to interview the oldest people on the planet, historian Garth Hellyer meets Marged Brice, a spirited woman who claims to be 134 years old. Upon their first meeting, Marged insists that she is ready to die, but the mysterious Perdita is keeping her alive. She entrusts Garth with her diary, which connects him to the early 1900s and to Perdita, a supernatural presence who gives the gift of love.
 Sponsor love:

 Swap friends: The Ashley Marie BlogIt's Emma Elise, The Noire MenagerieRuffled Paper, My Open Sketcbook, Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups, My Life as a Teacup & Novel Style.

 Fashion loves: fun tights, open gray cardigancozy slippers, cable knit sweater, sparkly necklace, pretty blouseplaid infinity scarf, novel clutch, and studded faux-leather weekender

Have a wonderful weekend!

I'm looking for Books & Looks submissions! Click below for more info!

Bloglovin ♥ Facebook ♥ Twitter ♥ Pinterest ♥ Instagram
 photo SincerelySaraPostButtonShort_zps1f3e9c17.jpg

Pin It!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Inspired By: Into The Woods

OMG guys I'm so excited to see Into the Woods! To be perfectly honest, I had no idea it was a Broadway musical before this until I looked into the movie on Wikipedia. Oops. Still, I'm really looking forward to seeing it on Christmas and then getting some Chinese food after. 

Into the Woods interweaves the fairy tale characters of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack and the Beanstalk with the original tale of the Baker and his wife. The Baker and his wife want to reverse a terrible curse, but to do so they need items from the fairy tale characters. They all wish for something, but you should always be careful what you wish for because it might just come true. 

The Witch
The Witch

The Witch (Meryl Streep) is the one who tells the Baker and his wife that their curse can be reversed, but first they must get her four items (a golden slipper, a red hood, a white cow, and yellow hair), but getting these items is not as easy as it seems. 

Go monochromatic in a blue blazer, a black and white striped dress, blue druzy earrings, and lacey heels. Or don a black velvet blazer, a tulle dress, golden stud earrings, and black booties. 

Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) wants nothing more than to go to the ball, but she's also unsure that a fancy life with a prince is what she really wants. She wishes for more in life and that is what she gets. 

Go for a hipster Cinderalla look: a black and white blouse underneath a gray fit and flare dress, a clock necklace, gray thigh high socks, and black booties. Or go glam in a bronze metallic dress, sparkly bracelet, and sequin heels or sparkly bow flats. 

Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy) has lived her whole life trapped in a tower as the "daughter" of the Witch, but she wishes for a life beyond her small, limited tower; she wants to see the world. The world can be a dangerous place, but at times it's the ones closest to us that do us most harm. 

Add a girly touch: wear a pink blazer, a white lace dress, a pink bow headband, and nude bow heels. Or wear a pink and gold dress, a bow bracelet, pink lipstick, and black MaryJane heels. 

The Baker's Wife
The Baker's Wife
The Baker's Wife (Emily Blunt), along with her husband, want get rid of their curse. Due to a curse placed on her husband's father, they can't have children and they will do whatever it takes to reverse it. They interact with all of the fairy tale characters as they try to take the items needed to change the curse. 

Be comfy and cozy: wear a brown faux-leather jacket, a pink and blue striped dress, a sparkly necklace, and buckled ankle boots. Or put on a long brown cardigan, a dark red dress, an arrow cuff, and heeled booties. 

Will you be seeing this movie?

Bloglovin ♥ Facebook ♥ Twitter ♥ Pinterest ♥ Instagram
 photo SincerelySaraPostButtonShort_zps1f3e9c17.jpg

Pin It!
Pin It button on image hover