Friday, February 27, 2015

Favorite Things {February 2015}

Valentine's Day post card from Naomi, thrifted heart ring, 

Surprise gifts are the absolute best! I came home on Tuesday to find a package and immediately ripped it open. Martie sent me a "Good Morning Sunshine" pillowcase for Galentine's Day because she knew that I've been wanting it. It now has a permanent place on my bed! Thank you so much, Martie! And thank you to Naomi for the cutest Valentine's Day card!

Don't get me wrong, I love the library, but it's hard to get newly-released books when I want them, which is immediately. I just started using NetGalley and I'm already obsessed. So far I've been approved to read two books and I'm hoping more come my way. Do you use it?

 A few fun links:

 Gabriele's dedication to learn all the things has inspired me to start CodeAcademy!

 How awesome are these perler bead creations by Naomi?

 A fascinating post: On becoming a little bit American.

 Do Brits like the royal family?

 For writers: When you don't feel like writing and When the first book isn't the one.

 I like this clean slate post by Martie -- it's real and honest.

 How to squeeze more reading into your day.

 Kay has started an Artist Interviews series and Maja Wronska's paintings are beautiful!

 Life in a YA novel.

 Swap friends: You're in Brookelynn, Urban CashmereDisownedPiper & Lilith, Lily and Wes, My Life as a Teacup, Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups, Novelstyle & My Open Sketchbook.

 Fashion love: printed dress, scalloped colorblock sweaterpolka dot sneakerspeplum cami, elephant tank top, purple skater dress, blue lace romperDashshund letter holder.

What are you guys up to this weekend?
I might be going to a bake-off / open mic this weekend!

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

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Inspired By: Broad City

Have you seen Broad City? Please tell me you have! It's like Girls, but for real girls. It follows Ilana and Abbi, two young woman living in New York City (and not Brooklyn), who avoid working as much as possible, get into misadventures, tell it like it is, and are self-professed feminists. And it's hilarious! Whenever I watch it, I find myself actually laughing out loud throughout the episode to how crazy and awesome these women are. 

It's on the second season right now and airs on Comedy Central. 

Broad City -- Ilana
Ilana (Ilana Wexler) is a huge slacker, who frequently smokes weed, she rarely does any work while at her office job, and somehow gets Abbi to follow her crazy antics. She's free-spirited and sexually liberated since she has a friends with benefits relationship with her dentist friend, Lincoln.

Dress like Ilana by wearing a long colorblock cardigan, a "Cold Pizza for Breakfast" graphic tee, yellow short shorts, and teal sneakers. Or throw on as little clothing as possble like Ilana: a gray knotted tank, a chevron necklace, a black mini skirt, ankle-strap heels, and "Oh Hell Nah" stud earrings.

Broad City -- Abbi
Abbi (Abbi Jacobson) is slightly older, more mature (but can still be immature), and responsible. She hates her job as a cleaner at a fitness center when what she really wants to do is be a fitness trainer and illustrator. She can sometimes be a pushover and wishes she were more fun-loving like Ilana. Abbi also has a huge crush on her neighbor Jeremy.

Go casual like Abbi by wearing a "Call Me?" white beanie, a navy and gray plaid top, jeans, a black and gold watch, and polka dot coral flats. Or wear something more sexy: gold dangly earrings, a black blazer, a cobalt dress, a heart ring, and strappy black heels.

Do you watch Broad City?

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pocket Book Reviews {February 2015}

Red Queen
★★★ (5 out of 5)

Written by Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen takes place in a world where you're either a Red (a normal person and commoner) or a Silver (a person with an ability who live like nobility). Mare, a 17-year-old Red is faced with going to war, but everything changes when she (and the king and queen) discover that she has an ability of her own, something entirely unheard of before. 

I LOVED this book! The world feels very real because it's not black-and-white like other YA dystopias. I rooted for Mare because she's strong, but also stuck in a place she doesn't yet understand, which makes her naive. The best part is the plot; you just never know what's going to happen next!

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

The Sleeper and The Spindle
★★★ (4 out of 5)

Written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell, this is a graphic novel is a reimagined fairytale featuring Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. On the eve of her wedding, Queen Snow sets out to rescue a young woman who she learns has been asleep for decades, but it turns out its not what it seems. 

This story is beautifully-illustrated in black and white and gold. When I first got it, I found myself looking through the pages without reading it and just admired the art. I really enjoyed reading this and the twist. I only wish it was longer. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

Work Workout*
★★★ (5 out of 5)

Written by Charles Harrington Elster, this book (I listened to the audio version) is a guide to help you build your vocabulary by teaching you new words and how to use them with a few grammar lessons thrown in.

Read my full review here.

*I recevied this book for free.

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

Emma & Elsie Meet Fitzwilliam Darcy (#1)
★★★ (4 out of 5)

Written by Maddy Raven and Monica Leonelle, this first part of a continued series follows Emma Woodhouse and Elizabeth (aka Elsie) Bennet, who are best friends in Rosebelle, Louisiana. They're lives are changed when Chuck Bingley and Fitz Darcy, school friends of Jace Knightley, come into town. 

I can't turn down a free book and I love Jane Austen reimaginings, so this was a no-brainer. I got into the story so quickly because it's fun having Austen worlds come together. It's a quick and entertaining read and I look forward to reading the next parts. 

Buy the book: Get It Free! | Amazon

Win a copy of Red Queen!
Open internationally.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Outfit: Sheer Blue

It's most certainly not a good idea to wear a sheer blouse when it's 30 degrees outside, but I guess I like living on the wild side. My middle name should be Frostbite.

Does it bother anyone else when rolled up sleeves don't cooperate? I like this shirt because of the pale blue color and relaxed fit, but the sleeves never stay and it annoys me to no end whenever I wear it. 

On an unrelated note, I've been wearing these Old Navy mesh pocket exercise pants when going to the gym and I love them. The mesh pockets make it easy to store my iPhone since I use the Nike+ Running app. I got them in petite small, but despite the petite sizing they're not capris on me, but more liked cropped pants, which is what I was looking for anyway. 
Top: Express (via giveaway) | Necklace: American Eagle | Jeans: Hollister | Booties: DSW
Glasses: Warby Parker | Lipstick: Revlon lip stain in Smitten

How's the weather where you are?
Do you use any exercise apps?

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Lusting: Hair Pins

You can now call me obsessed with hair pins! Ever since getting this one, I've been wearing it all the time and can't stop admiring all of the pretty hair accessories out there. How cool are those leaf and arrow ones?!

Hair Pins

What kind of hair accessories do you wear?

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Review: Word Workout

**I received two lessons of Word Workout for free. All opinions are my own.**

★★★ (5 out of 5)

As a writer (of this blog and my ever in-progress novel), you'd think grammar would be a breeze for me. Alas, that is not the case. My 9th grade teacher can attest to the fact that all of these strange grammar rules confound me, so I was more than happy to listen to the first two levels of Word Workout by Charles Harrington Elster

Although this audiobook has more to do with vocabulary, which I'm pretty good at if I do say so myself, I was pleased to find that in between lessons of 10 words there were "Style Files" about grammar, like a short lesson on the oxford comma and the difference between presume and assume. 

I may be pretty good at vocabulary, but I still learned a lot. I knew most of the words (some of which were depravity, voracious, anachronistic, rapacious, florid), but there were a few that were new to me, like diatribe, poen, gaffe, and impresario. One of my favorite parts is when Elster goes into the etymology of the word, such as, "Depravity began as the shorter word pravity, which came to English in the 16th century through Middle French pravite from the Latin pravatas, crookedness, irregularity, deformity." 

Two other things I liked about this audiobook: 1. The fun quizzes at the end of each 10 word lesson. Yes, I did answer them out loud while driving in my car. 2. Charles Harrington Elster's soothing and professorial voice. His voice makes it easy to pay attention and makes it seem like you're taking a fun college class. 

Want to expand your vocabulary? I would definitely recommend this audiobook!

Buy the book: Amazon | Goodreads 

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Inspired By: The D.U.F.F.

Written by Kody Keplinger, The D.U.F.F. is about Bianca, a high school student who realizes that everyone knows her as the D.U.F.F. (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). To take her mind off of it and the fact that her parent's marriage is falling apart, she starts sleeping with Wesley, the slick man-slut of the school, but starts falling for him. 

I read the book (mini review here), so I'm really looking forward to seeing the movie this weekend with my friend, Avra! Yay!

The Duff -- Bianca

Bianca (Mae Whitman) is the everygirl; she does well in school, has two great best friends, and can be insecure. She finds out that she's the DUFF of her friends and decides to change the way people in her high school see her by asking Wesley for help.

Wear something comfy and casual: a Marsala hoodie, a teal tank top, jeans, double-strand necklace, and Aztec-printed sneakers. Or stomp in the hallways in a gray tee, overalls, a silver bead bracelet, and black heeled booties. 

The DUFF -- Wesley
Wesley (Robbie Amell) is the slick jock, the guy who gets all the girls, and he tells Bianca that she's known as the DUFF. He decides to help her reinvent herself.

Throw on something sport: a "Fries Before Guys" tee, jeans, sneakers, and a tortoise shell watch. Or something casual: a dark blue striped top, distressed jeans, a polka dot backpack, a compass necklace, and blue sneakers.

The DUFF -- Madison
Madison (Bella Thorne) is the mean girl and she gives everyone in school a label. Of course, she labels Bianca "the DUFF" and goes after Wesley. This character isn't in the book, but we'll probably love to hate her in the movie.

Go for something fierce and fun by wearing a red leopard print dress, a rhinestone necklace, stud earrings, and blue and leopard print ankle-strap heels. Or put on a metallic infinity scarf, a gray sweater, a black pleated skirt, and pink bow flats.

Casey & Jessica
The DUFF -- Casey & Jessica
Casey (Bianca Santos) and Jessica (Skyler Samuels) are Bianca's beautiful, funny, and cool best friends, who at times make Bianca feel like the DUFF, but never on purpose.

Dress like Casey, the sportier one, by wearing a striped baseball tee, jean shorts, green flower earrings, and purple sneakers. Or wear something girly like Jessica: a floral top, light green jeans, floral stud earrings, and taupe booties.

P.S. -- Inspired by the book's cover!

Will you be seeing The D.U.F.F.?

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ipsy Glam Bag {February 2015}

It's the month of love, so this month's Ipsy theme is #ipsyLOVE! I actually got this bag the day before Valentine's Day, so I got to have fun with all of the products all weekend and I wore the perfume oil while out and about with friends. I like that the bag is bright pink, but I'm not a huge fan of the print. Maybe it's just me, but I would've preferred some hearts!

What I got:
 China Glaze Nail Polish in Marry A Millionaire (full size $7.50)
 Demeter's First Love Perfume Oil (.29 oz. $10)
 City Color's Creamy Lip Stain in Flirtini (full size $5)
 GlamGlow's BrightMud Eye Treatment (full size $70, sample $5)
 ModelCo's Blush in Peach Bellini (full size $22)

This month's bag is worth almost $50!

China Glaze Nail Polish in Marry A Millionaire 

This nail polish is really pretty. It's a clear base full of purple, silver, blue, and green sparkles of various shapes. It takes two or three coats to get the full effect, but it's a fun polish. I'm sure it's going to take forever to get off however. 

Demeter's First Love Perfume Oil

I don't like overpowering scents, so First Love is the perfect perfume for me. It's delicate and subtle and feminine with notes of jasmine, honeysuckle, lemon zest, water lotus, and white rose. Despite the lightness, I found that it lasts several hours, which is longer than I thought it would. When I run out (probably not for a long time because a little goes a long way), I'll be repurchasing. 

City Color's Creamy Lip Stain in Flirtini

I like creamy lipsticks and I like stains, so a mash-up of the two? Awesome! It's very pigmented, it only takes a little to cover your lips, and it feels smooth. I would say it's more of a creamy lipstick than a stain, but it does stain a little. It does feel like a little chalky at first though. I would recommend this!

GlamGlow's BrightMud Eye Treatment

This eye treatment is designed to have instant results. You tap it on and wipe it off three minutes later. It's supposed to brighten and fight dark circles, lines, and puffiness. Each "chomecell" is meant for a single-use. To be honest, I didn't notice much of a difference, but then again I don't have dark circles, so maybe someone who does will see results. I do however love the smell of the treatment; it smells so good. 

ModelCo's Blush in Peach Bellini

I really love the dark rosy peach color, it has a nice golden shimmer to it, and it's very pigmented, but on me it comes off more orange than rosy, so I probably won't use it much as my other blushes. It is a nice blush though. 

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Outfit: Spring in Winter

This outfit reminds me of spring. I'm not sure what it is about stripes and the color teal, but this outfit will certainly be on repeat when the weather warms up. However, since it's freezing, and will no doubt remain that way for another month and a half, I winterized it with tights and booties (and a scarf and beanie that are not pictured.)

This is completely random, but has anyone been watching 12 Monkeys? It's a TV show on Syfy about a disease that by 2043 has wiped out most of the population. One man named Cole is sent back in time to save humanity. I like that the show is smart and gritty, and that the main character is not necessarily a good guy (he has to do some bad things to save the future), but you still like him and root for him. 
Top: Loft | Skirt: T.J. Maxx | Tights: ℅ KushyFoot | Booties: via Poshmark

What TV show are you obsessed with right now?

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

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