Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Outfit: Coral Floral

The flowers haven't bloomed yet. The trees are still bare. The grass is still patchy and hard. But none of that will stop me from wearing florals and pretending that the weather feels like spring. Hopefully, Mother Nature will get the hint and raise the temperature. I paired my new Jamberry floral nails (full review coming next week!) with this loose floral tee. 

This beautiful new "S" necklace is from my friend Jackie, who I've known since 3rd grade and whose engagement party was this past weekend. I'm so thrilled to be her maid of honor! I've already saved a bunch of articles on how to be the best maid of honor ever. Have you ever been a maid of honor? Do you have any tips for me?
Cardigan: Old Navy | Tee: Loft | Jeans: American Eagle
Necklace: gift | Flats: T.J. Maxx | Bag: Old Navy | Nails: ℅ Jamberry

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Review: Grammarly

Everyone can use a little help with grammar. Let's be honest, there are a lot of crazy rules when it comes to grammar and even seasoned pros can use a bit of assistance in this department. Do I use a comma here? Is it farmers' market or farmer's market? How do I spell that one word I can never remember? 

I'm happy to say Grammarly can help you! If you use Chrome like I do, you can get the free Grammarly extension, which is like autocorrect for your computer. Any time you write something, whether it's an email, a tweet, or a blog post, Grammarly will check what you've written and give you feedback. It will let you know if you misspelled something or used a word incorrectly and much more. If everything is correct, that red little "3" in the picture below will instead be green.
Not only can you get the awesome Chrome extension, but they now have a Microsoft Office (works with Word and Outlook) add-in, though I haven't used it myself. 

Another fantastic thing about Grammarly is the website itself; if you're writing a novel or an essay or a blog post and you know that your friends and family are sick of you asking them to read it, or you're not ready to show it to people yet, you can use Grammarly as a second pair of eyes. Upload or simply copy and paste any document to ensure that your writing has no errors. 
I uploaded the prologue of my novel and I'm happy to say that I got a score of 84 out of 100. I had 13 alerts that were mostly about commas, either there was one that shouldn't be there or there was one missing. As you can see there were two spelling mistakes, but that's because the story takes place in an alternative universe, so the country has a name that I made up and obviously it's not in the dictionary. 

I'm going to continue using both the Grammarly website and the Chrome extension because they're just so darn useful. If you're hesitant to try it, don't be. Grammarly is free to use, or you can get a premium account for $12 a month. They also have this really cool thesaurus

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Are You An Introvert?

I could write a novel about how Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain (which was the Novel Tea Book Club pick for this month) has made me see introversion and myself in a new light, but I figured I would talk about a small portion of the book: the section where Cain mentions self-monitoring. 

When I read this chapter (Chapter 9) it's like a lightbulb when off in my head. I thought, Yes, that's me! I do this! I finally knew the term for what I was doing (ie. self-monitoring) and that I obviously wasn't the only one acting more extroverted than they really are.

Self-monitoring is when you purposefully act differently in social situations, ie. more extroverted.
"It turned out that the introverts who were especially good at acting like extroverts tended to score high for a trait that psychologists call 'self-monitoring.' Self-monitors are highly skilled at modifying their behavior to the social demands of a situation. They look for cues to tell them how to act." 
I read this read the above paragraph and knew that this is 100% me! I've had people tell me that I'm outgoing and that I'm not shy at all, which I've always thought was strange since I would never ever use the term outgoing to describe myself. But now I saw that I was self-monitoring. I used my friendly demeanor to cover my introversion. I walk into a room and subconsciously look at the people around me for social cues on how I should act. I'm "accommodating myself to situational norms." I know that most people do this, but now I see that I'm pretty good at it (AKA a high self-monitor).
Are you an introvert?
Do you self-monitor?

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Favorite Things {March 2015}

Oh man guys, the Andy Grammer and Alex & Sierra concert was incredible! I'll have to post pictures soon. I had such a blast with my friend Avra and then we had a heart-to-heart conversation on the train ride home. Other highlights of the month: seeing Cinderella twice, seeing Insurgent, going to Jackie's engagement party tomorrow, and supporting Brittany at her story reading on Sunday in the city. 

Thanks to Naomi for making me this cute diamond magnet (this girl's got skills!) and for sending me this adorable key tag! I love them!

Things I'll be doing this spring: wearing this NYX lipstick and these flats non-stop and reading Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, which I won from Bibliosmiles. If you haven't checked Bibliosmiles out, you really really should. 

 A few fun links:

 Introverts posts from people in the Novel Tea Book Club: Kristin, Jess, and Kayly.

 Does sexism exist in YA?

 How not to be a horrible person.

 Charlotte has started a podcast called Check This Out.

 I want to go to all of the places on this travel bucket list.

 Are you addicted to your to-do list?

 10 words every girl should learn.

Sponsor love:

Have a fab weekend!

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Inspired By: Once Upon A Time Pt. 1

Who else is completely obsessed with Once Upon A Time? I've been watching it religiously since it started four seasons ago. The show is about Emma, who on her 28th birthday meets Henry, a 10-year-old kid who says he's her son and who brings her to Storybrooke, a little town in Maine. Having grown up in Storybrooke, Henry believes that all of the people in Storybrooke are actually fairytale characters under a curse. Emma doesn't believe him, but slowly comes to terms with the idea that he might be right.

This show is all about family, hope, and love. It's optimistic, cute, dramatic, fun, and just plain wonderful. It airs on Sundays at 8pm EST and you can catch up on Netflix. 


Emma (Jennifer Morrison) is a bounty hunter, a job that works well for her because she doesn't like getting close enough to people to be hurt. She's an orphan who was left on the side of the road and has many pains in her past. Everything starts to change for her when she decides to stay in Storybrooke for her son, Henry. 

Go for Emma's classic look: a red faux-leather jacket, a graphic tee, gray jeans, and lace-up black boots. Or wear an outfit from a flashback to Emma's past instead, like this pale pink jacket, a gray striped dress, a key necklace, and heeled booties. 

Mary Margaret
OUAT -- Mary Margaret
Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) is a soft-spoken, kind-hearted, and optimistic elementary school teacher, who also reads to patients in a coma. She believes the best in people but can also be tough when she has to be. Her fairytale identity is Snow White.

Mary Margaret has the cutest outfits, like this teal cardigan paired with a Peter Pan collar shirt, black pants, a floral scarf, a pink beanie, and blue flats. Or wear an outfit inspired by her Snow White self: a white dress, brown cardigan, and brown T-strap flats. 

OUAT -- David
David (Josh Dallas) is a kind, chivalrous, go-getter guy who always does the right thing. He first "meets" Mary Margaret in Storybrooke while under a coma. David's fairytale identity is Prince Charming, though if you watch the show you know it's a bit more complicated than that. 

Dress like the resident knight in shining armor by wearing a green jacket, a gray henley, gray jeans, an arrow ring, and green sneakers. Or instead a black jacket, a black peplum top, black jeans, and flats. 

OUAT -- Henry
Henry (Jared S. Gilmore) is a smart and adventurous kid who finds his biological mom, Emma, with the intention of bringing her back to Storybrooke in order to break the curse. His book of fairy tales is what made him believe that all of the people are actually fairytale characters. The problem is getting others to believe him. 

Dress like Henry by wearing a plaid shirt, boyfriend jeans, a blue watch, and burgundy sneakers. Or throw on a green jacket, a striped top, black jeans, a striped scarf, and lace sneakers.

P.S. -- Part 2 is coming next month! Time for the baddies!

Who else is obsessed with this show?

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pocket Book Reviews {March 2015}

I read an eclectic bunch of books this month; a fantasy, a non-fiction, a YA romance, and a comedy book. Next month, I'm hoping to get to a book that I won via giveaway and a few that I've had on my to-read list forever. 

A Darker Shade of Magic
★★★ (5 out of 5)

Written by V.E. Schwab, this story takes place in a world where there are three Londons in parallel universes and only the Vitari can cross the barrier between worlds. Kell is one of those people. His home world Red London has magic everywhere, but there's also Grey London with no magic and White London that is desperate for magic, and the king and queen will stop at nothing to get it. 

I love this book! The main characters Kell and Lila Bard, a cross-dressing thief from Grey London, are real and interesting and develop a great friendship. Their banter had me cracking up. The plot is fast-paced and suspenseful and fascinating and I had to read more. I couldn't put it down. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
★★★ (5 out of 5)

Written by Susan Cain, Quiet is essentially about introversion, but it goes deeper than that. It explores what introversion is, why some people are introverts, how it's beneficial to society to have introverts, how extroverts can and should learn from introverts and more.

I found this book (which was Novel Tea Book Club's pick) to be incredibly fascinating. I'm an introvert but didn't know too much about it other than the fact that introverts prefer time alone and to recharge in peace. By reading about introversion and introverts throughout history, I learned a lot about myself. How I might break out of my shell or how to speak better in front of people, etc. I would really recommend this, introvert or not. {Check back for a special post about this book on Friday!}

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

My Faire Lady
★★★ (3 out of 5)

Written by Laura Wettersten, this story follows Rowena, Ro for short, who decides to work at a Renaissance Faire as a face-painter and serving wench to escape her cheating ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend. She decides to take her mind off things with Christian, a gorgeous jouster, but it turns out life in the faux-Renaissance is just as complicated as it is in the real world. 

I wanted to read something light and fluffy and this didn't disappoint. It's cute and fun. Ro is a true teenager; she essentially runs away so as not to bump into her ex-boyfriend, doesn't know yet what she wants to do with her life, and of course instantly falls for the hottest guy at the Ren Faire. I like Ro, but I loved her spitfire friend Suze, who has no trouble flirting for tips and is a great friend to Ro.

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

★★★ (3 out of 5)

Written by Matt Andrews, Textastrophe is a collection of prank texts. While the author worked at a phone store he took advantage of the phones to make prank texts if he found ads on Craigslist with people's phone numbers. 

I have to admit this book is pretty amusing. Prank texts is a funny idea, but I wouldn't call this book laugh out loud funny. I chuckled here and there, but I think this book needs to be read in short bursts because I found myself feeling bad when the people (who had no idea they were being pranked) were getting frustrated. If you know someone who loves this type of humor this would be a great gift for them.

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

*I received this book free for review. All opinions are my own.

Win a copy of A Darker Shade of Magic! International giveaway.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Outfit: Peter Pan

Although I love this tunic that I thrifted last summer with friends, it makes me feel like Peter Pan. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing. I think visiting Neverland would be a wonderful adventure and maybe it wouldn't be so bad to be twenty-five forever, but I also don't mind getting older and hopefully wiser. 

This past Friday I saw Andy Grammer and Alex & Sierra at Webster Hall with my friend Avra. They were incredible and I couldn't stop dancing and throwing my hands up into the air the whole time! Andy Grammer somehow makes it feel like he's playing for all his friends instead of a room full of strangers. Before the headliners, Rachel Platten played a few songs and I'm now obsessed with her. Her two new songs Fight Song and Lone Ranger are addictingly good. 

P.S. -- The latest Feminist Fridays post: How do you deal with injustice in the workplace?
Tunic: thrifted | Jeans: American Eagle | Necklace: gift from Jackie
Belt: thrifted | Oxfords: Modcloth

Have you seen Andy Grammer in concert? 
What was the last concert you went to?

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Ipsy Glam Bag {March 2015}

Hooray for spring! March's Ipsy bag is all about looking fresh and pretty for spring hence the Floral Fantasy theme. I like the abstract floral print of the bag, but it's not my favorite bag I've ever gotten. I'm pretty happy with this month's bag; some of the products were wow-amazing and some were kind of meh. 

What I got:
 NYX Butter Lipstick in Hunk (full size $6)
 pūr~lisse Soy Milk Cleanser (sample $6, full size $36)
 Boo-Boo Cover-Up Concealer (sample $8, full size $20)
 Vintage by Jessica Liebeskind Highlighter (full size $26)
 Dr. Brandt Mattifying Lotion (sample $7, full size $60)

This month's bag is worth $53!
NYX Butter Lipstick in Hunk 

This is my favorite thing from the bag! I was a little startled when I saw the color in the tube because it looks very dark, but when applied it's more of a bright fuchsia than a dark purple. You only need a swipe or two because the color is so saturated. The lipstick feels creamy on the lips and the best thing is that it turns into a stain. I want more of these lipsticks now! 

pūr~lisse Soy Milk Cleanser 

I prefer foaming cleansers to really feel like it's working (anyone else who thinks that?) even though I know that's not true, so I was surprised that I liked this. It doesn't foam, but it's also really moisturizing due to the White Tea (which calms) and the Blue Lotus extract (which leaves skin silky). It smells really nice and it doesn't leave my face dry afterward. 

Boo-Boo Cover-Up Concealer 

Wow, this concealer is thick. On the website, it says that it can cover acne, scars, bruises, and tattoos. It does a fantastic job covering blemishes and scars. I got the medium shade, which is a little too yellow on me, but if I blend it in it's not too bad. I would get this again but in the light shade. 

Vintage by Jessica Liebeskind Highlighter 

Am I the only one loves highlighters? This one is so pretty; it's a pale pink shimmery illuminator that would look great on every skin tone. I used it as a highlighter, dusted over my blush for some sparkle, and as eyeshadow. I would recommend it, but I won't get it again because it's too expensive. 

Dr. Brandt Mattifying Lotion 

The problem with my oily skin is that when I put on any product my face gets oilier faster. I had high hopes for this mattifying lotion, but it didn't keep the oil at bay. When my skin is oily and put a dab on it does mattify my skin, but not for long. I won't be purchasing this.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Life Lately {January, February & March}

So far 2015 has kept me very busy; I flew to Austin, headed into the city to see blog friends, went to a few work events, saw my kid sister perform in a ballet, had a lovely Valentine's Day with my two best friends, kept up my correspondence with my pen pal Naomi, tried new restaurants with my friend Brittany, and read a lot of great books. 

It seems like the new few months are going to be just as busy: I'm seeing Andy Grammar and Alex & Sierra in concert today (yay!), going to my bestie's engagement party, planning some more trips into the city, and there are more awesome food-filled work events coming up.

Anything coming up in your life that you're excited about?

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Inspired By: The Classics, Vol. 11

I'm continuing on with children's stories from last time because who doesn't like reading children's stories and feeling like a kid? That's probably why I love watching Disney movies! Even though I love creating these classic books posts, I'm going to put it on hold and bring back the monthly best-selling books feature.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Written by Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar follows a little green caterpillar as it eats through various foods until at last it creates a cacoon around itself. 

Put on something casual, like a green blouse, white distressed jeans, a bug print scarf, and nude flats. Or wear a green dress, a brown belt, a floral headband, and nude and mint heels. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

Oh, The Places You'll Go
Oh The Places You'll Go
Written by Dr. Seuss, Oh The Places You'll Go tends to be a graduation gift because it's about seeing new sights and experiencing new things, life's ups and downs, and that success lies within. 

The cover is all pastel, which is great for spring, so put on a mint wrap dress, a pastel striped scarf, a teal clutch, and black heels. Or throw on a burgundy striped dress, a pastel necklace, blue stud earrings, and scalloped edge flats. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Written by Judith Viorst, this book follows Alexander, who wakes up one morning with gum in his hair and the day only gets worse from there: he trips on his skateboard and his brothers find prizes in their cereal boxes but not him. As the day gets worse, Alexander considers moving to Australia.

I love the various colors on the cover and if you do too then put on a purple cardigan, a yellow top, jeans, leopard flats, and a fuchsia satchel. Or wear a yellow cardigan, a striped top, jeans, a blue watch, and orange polka dot flats. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

Goodnight Moon
Goodnight Moon
Written by Margaret Wise Brown, Goodnight Moon is the classic bedtime story. In a green room, a little bunny is tucked in bed and says goodnight to all of the items in the room -- the picture of the three little bears, his mittens, and finally the moon. 

Throw on something casual and cute: a star print scarf, a constellation graphic tee, jeans, star earrings, and periwinkle perforated flats. Or be really comfortable in pajamas, especially the "Sleep All Day, Read All Night" shirt. 

Buy the book: B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

Which of these did you read as a kid? 
(I loved Goodnight Moon!)

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