Friday, July 31, 2015

Favorite Things

{Live. Laugh. Love. tray (gift), Disney Princess magnetic bookmarks, Alice Funko Pop
Feather notecards, Stay Focused notebook, Floral bubble necklace (gift), 

It was a Disney Princess kind of month, it seems. Bookmarks, phone case, and I watched Mulan on TV last week. I'm not complaining. I love Disney Princess anything! Would it be bad if I got every Disney Princess Funko Pop?!

See that notebook right there. I mentioned before that I'm writing a new novel. Well, I finished one notebook (it was already half full though) and now I've started this Stay Focused one. Notes of encouragement welcome!

Thanks, Avra, for this pretty tray and cute notecard set! I don't want to send any of the cards because they're so pretty!

 A few fun links:

 Novel Tea Book Club is starting a Book Swap! So excited!

 Buzzfeed Books always has such great posts: 

 5 SEO tips for bloggers.

 Love Super Space Chick's 28 Before 29 List!

 25 things I know to be true (thanks to blogging).

 10 ways to build self-confidence.

 I love Fiction Incarnate's Happy Lists!

 How to make your bedroom an oasis.

 5 ways to make the most of your writing time.

 I want all of these delicate rings.

 How to overcome failure.

 Do you have an impressive word?

 Sponsor love:

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Inspired By: Best Selling Books {July 2015} + Sponsor: Colorfully Carsyn

Hello, new books! All of the books below are on my to-read list (except for one, which I already read) because I've seen fantastic reviews on every single one. Have you read any of these books? 

Go Set A Watchman
Go Set A Watchman

Written by Harper Lee, twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch AKA "Scout" returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. It's set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South. 

Wear outfits with a 1960s flair by putting on a fit and flare dress, a blue cardigan, a leaf ring, and yellow flats. Or put on a blue tee, a leaf necklace, a polka dot and floral midi skirt, and lace blue flats. 

Add to your list on Goodreads

Written by Ernest Cline, Zack has spent his life dreaming that the real world could be more like the videogames he’s spent his life consuming. And then he sees the flying saucer. Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night. It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. 

The perfect outfit for playing video games: "I'd Pause My Game For You" tee, distressed jeans, a watch, and light blue Converse. Or put on an embellished gray dress, a green vest, a black vest, and brown sandals. 

Add to your list on Goodreads

An Ember in the Ashes
An Ember in the Ashes
Written by Sabaa Tahir; Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. But when Laia's brother is arrested for treason, she joins the rebels. 

 Rebel against society in an olive jacket, a gray tee, black jeans, and lace-up boots. Or throw on a yellow sleeveless top, jeans, a "Rebel" cuff (hey, I have one of those!), and brown booties. 

Add to your list on Goodreads

The Wrath and the Dawn
The Wrath and the Dawn
Written by Renee Ahdieh, Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid, but she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge. 

Get your sweet, sweet revenge in a flowy maxi dress: perhaps a black one with a floral shawl, strappy wedges, a collar necklace, and a gold cuff. Or in a pink dress with a long necklace, dangly black earrings, and brown sandals. 

Add to your list on Goodreads

♥ ♥ 
Say hello to Carsyn of Colorfully Carsyn!
Hey y’all! I’m Carsyn, a 20-year-old southern girl from Georgia. I’m currently attending Furman University in Greenville, South Caroline studying Political Science and Sociology. My dream is to go to law school and me the next Elle Woods! My blog, Colorfully Carsyn, focuses on all things fashion, beauty, lifestyle, DIY, and colorful! Do you love getting crafty, testing new beauty products, or finding the latest and greatest fashion steals? If so then I am your girl and my blog is your new favorite read! I would love for y’all to follow along with me and my bright, chaotic, and colorful life! 

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pocket Book Reviews {July 2015} + HP Wishlist {#PotterWeek}

Six books is a pretty good number for me. I already upped my Goodreads goal from 32 to 45, but I'm already at 39, so I think I made the goal too achievable. I'm not going to change the goal number, but I'm just going to read as I normally do and see where it takes me. Here's to hoping I reach 200 books read! Just kidding. 

Love Fortunes and Other Disasters
★★★ (4 out of 5)

Written by Kimberly Karalius; love is real in the town of Grimbaud. Every year, people go to Zita's famous Love Charms Shop to get their accurate love prediction for the year, but when Fallon gets a horrible fortune that says she will never find love she decides to take control of her own fate. 

This book is really cute and charming. If you're looking for a sweet summer read, this is the book for you. I liked how in Grimbaud love fortunes and charms (not just for love, but for everything from the weather to making yourself brave) is a real thing. I liked Fallon and Sebastian's cute love story; even though it was predictable it just still nice to read. One thing I didn't like was that this book tended to get slow at times. 

Add this book to your Goodreads 

The Wrath and The Dawn (#1)
★★★ (5 out of 5)

Written by Renee Ahdieh, this is a reinterpretation of A Thousand and One Nights where a king takes a new bride every night and every morning she is executed at sunrise. 16-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to be Khalid's new bride, but vows to live more than one night in order to exact revenge on him for murdering her best, but she finds that things are not as they seem. 

Wow! I absolutely loved this book because Shahrzad and Khalid felt so real. Shahrzad especially could jump off the page; she's intelligent and stubborn and charming in her own way. The prose is like poetry because it's so beautiful and added color to the story. I just had to keep reading to know what would happen. 

Add this book to your Goodreads 

★★★ (3 out of 5)

Written by Gretchen McNeil, this book is about 10 teens, a party, an isolated island, and a murderer. Ten teenagers are invited to a party at a friend's house on a remote island, but one by one they're killed off and have to figure out who's behind it all. 

Since I love And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and the TV show Harper's Island, I thought I would like this, but sadly this book didn't live up to expectations. It's not a bad book, but it's also not very good either. It's way too predictable and not very thrilling and I didn't care about any of the characters much. 

Add this book to your Goodreads 

★★★ (4 out of 5)

Written by Noelle Stevens, this graphic novel is about Nimona, a shapeshifting sidekick, who teams up with Lord Ballister Blackheart, a villian with a vendetta. They two of them wreck havoc on the kingdom and are out to prove that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and the Institution of Law Enforcement are the heroes everyone thinks they are. 

I read through this so fast that I was depressed when it was over. This book is laugh out loud funny, adorable, witty, heartwarming, and awesome. The thing that I loved best was how gungho Nimona was to cause havoc and how Ballister how to keep her in check. The two of them are a unique little team and I wish this was a series. 

Add this book to your Goodreads 

Yes Please
★★★ (4 out of 5)

Written by Amy Poehler, she offers a small look into her life, both past and present: how she got her start doing comedy, her time at the Upright Citizens Brigade and SNL, what it's like to be friends with Tina Fey, and more, all while making us laugh. 

This book is absolutely hilarious! I listened to the audiobook because Amy Poehler reads it herself and has guests, like Patrick Stewart and Seth Meyers. She's so candid about everything from her comedy to her family to sex and I literally couldn't stop laughing. Do yourself a favor and listen to this. 

Add this book to your Goodreads 

★★★ (3 out of 5)

Written by William Ritter, Jackaby is a mash-up of Sherlock and Doctor Who. He's an investigator of the unexplained and has the ability to see supernatural beings that no one else can. Abigail Rook, his new assistant, helps Jackaby track a serial killer that is one the loose. 

On the one hand I really liked the characters and thought they were all fascinating, but on the other hand I found the plot boring. I liked how this book is a historial supernatural mystery and Jackby's hidden world of strange creatures is really cool, but I didn't care about the murder mystery. This is a series, so I would consider reading the second if the plot sounded intriguing. 

Add this book to your Goodreads 

The Fold*
★★★ (4 out of 5)

Written by Peter Clines, The Fold follows Mike, a highly intelligent man with an eidetic memory, who gets swept up into analyzing a secret project by a friend. This project is called the Albuquerque Door and it "folds" distance, so that the travel can walk thousands of miles in a single step, but the Door isn't completely safe and the creators are hiding a terrible secret. 

I couldn't stop reading this. I HAD to know what was going to happen next. I was invested in the story and the ragtag group from the start. I liked Mike especially because he's straight to the point but not cold and he makes the story interesting due to his eidetic memory. I had an inkling where the story was going and I was right, but it didn't make it any less fun and enjoyable. I breezed through the first 2/3 of the novel and absolutely loved it, but I had issues with the last 1/3. It's not that it wasn't compelling, I just wasn't a fan of where the story went. It also raised more questions that never got answered. Despite the frankly strange end of the book, overall I found The Fold to be gripping, exciting, smart, and cool. 

Add this book to your Goodreads 

*I received a free copy of this from Blogging for Books. All opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
♥ ♥ 

#PotterWeek continues! For today's Common Room prompt I decided to share my Harry Potter wishlist. What I really, really want to get is Hermione's wand because I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter two years ago and regret not getting the wand while I was there. I also want the Hermione Funko Pop, so that she can hang out on my shelf with Belle, Alice, Ana, and Dancing Groot. Also, how great would it be to have your room smell like Dumbledore's office?!
Harry Potter Wishlist

My wishlist:
 "I solemnly swear" T-shirt
 Book Titles Poster
 "Mishcheif Managed" Decal
 Glasses Ring
 Hufflepuff Scarf
 Headmaster's Office Candle
 Hermione Funko Pop
 Hermione's Wand
 "Until the Very End" Wall Hanging
potter-week-gold common room 7 days of potter

What did you read this month?
What's on your Harry Potter wishlist?

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Outfit: The Brightest Witch of Her Age {#PotterWeek}

potterweek harry potter
It's #PotterWeek! Common Room, an awesome website about pop culture, is celebrating Harry Potter all week long (July 25-31) with prompts and podcast episodes. As a huge Harry Potter fan, of course, I had to join in on the fun! The July 26th prompt was PotterPeeps (characters), so I wanted to dress up as Hermione. There are so many options (her Hogwarts uniform, her pink Yule Ball dress, etc.), but I went with the outfit she wears in the poster for the Half Blood Prince (see here and here) since it's always been a favorite of mine. 

I really wish I had a wand, especially Hermione's, for these pictures. How fun would that have been?! I have a time turner keychain, but decided to use this cute little owl pocket watch instead. 
potterweek harry potter
potterweek harry potter
potterweek harry potter
potterweek harry potter
potterweek harry potter
potterweek harry potter
potterweek harry potter
potterweek harry potter
Cardigan: old | Top: Old Navy | Jeans: American Eagle
Necklace: old | Shoes: Keds
potter-week-gold common room 7 days of potter

Is there any outfit from the Harry Potter movies or books that you like?

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: MEKU Sunglasses Case

sunglasses case
sunglasses case
**I received this product for free. All opinions are my own.**

Who knew a sunglasses case could be so fancy? I certainly didn't, but now my mind has been changed by this MEKU sunglasses case. Let me count the ways for why I'm obsessed with it:
  1. It's handmade and made in the U.S. 
  2. It's made from 100% genuine leather (it's so soft and supple!)
  3. It's sturdy, so I know my glasses are secure
  4. It's stylish (I love the shape and the magnetic clasp!)
  5. The clasp is easy to open, but tough enough that it won't pop open if dropped.

I showed the case to my mom when it came in the mail and she loved it so much that she immediately bought one for herself. This MEKU sunglasses case looks so special that it makes me feel like I spent a lot of money on it when in reality it only costs $29.99. I also like that it comes in four beautiful colors: beige, black, brown (which is the one I got), and coffee. 
sunglasses case
sunglasses case
sunglasses case

Would you get a fancy sunglasses case?

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Book Nerdery Tag + Four Things Tag

I generally don't do tags, but I wanted to change it up and do something fun and different! I was tagged by Kristin of My Life as a Teacup (watch her video!) for the Avengers / Book Nerdery Tag, and I was tagged by Kristin of Super Space Chick (read her blog post!) for the Four Things Tag. I swear it's just a coincidence I was tagged by two awesome young ladies who both happened to be named Kristin.
Book Nerdery Tag

Iron Man - A book that made you laugh out loud: Yes Please by Amy Poehler 

This book is absolutely hilarious! I just finished listening to the audiobook because Amy Poehler reads it herself and has guests, like Patrick Stewart and Seth Meyers. She's so candid about everything from her comedy to her family to sex and I literally couldn't stop laughing. I generally don't do tags, but I wanted to change it up and do something fun and different!

Captain America - A book that sends a positive message: In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

This graphic novel is about a teenage girl who joins an online role-playing game and meets people from all over the world. She breaks out of her shell online and in real life, and helps a young man in China via the game who is having real problems trouble at work. I like that it's about people coming together to help one another. 

Thor - A book with a character whose strength you admire: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh 

Sharhzad is one tough young lady. The young king takes a new bride every night and kills them every morning. One day, Shar volunteers to be his newest bride with the intention to kill the king for murdering her best friend, but she finds that things are not as they seem. Shar is strong in the face of adversity that comes from all sides. 

Black Widow - A book with a kick-butt female protagonist: Cinder by Marissa Meyer 

How could I not pick Cinder?! Cinder is a cyborg and gifted mechanic whose life gets intertwined with Prince Kai and soon she's in the middle of an intergalactic struggle for power. She's intelligent, clever, tough, and just plain bad ass. 

The Hulk - A book that made you incredibly angry: Death By Coffee by Alex Erickson 

Please do not read this. The whole thing is just completely ridiculous. You can read my rant here

Hawkeye - An underrated book you wish more people would pay attention to: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano 

I really loved this book! It's a moody YA dystopian book about a city floating in the sky and the people there are forbidden from getting too close to the edge. Life is pretty idyllic until there's a murder. I loved Morgan's slow transition from a girl who believes in and loves this city to one disheartened with it's people and beliefs. 

[BONUS] Loki - A book with a twist or surprise that tricked you: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard 

I did not see that twist at the ending coming! Reds are commoners and Silvers are nobility with powers. Mare is a Red girl, but after getting a job at the palace she discovers that despite her red blood she has a deadly power of her own. 

♥ ♥ 
Four Places I've Lives
I've only lived in New York sadly. 

Four Jobs I've Had
1. Summer camp counselor
2. Assistant for an accountant
3. Assistant for a company that makes baby clothes (which is where my mom works)
4. Social media coordinator at Westchester Magazine (current position)

Four Things I Don't Eat
1. Most seafood, so no octopus, snails, calamari, oysters, but I do like salmon, crab, and lobster. 
2. Licorice. Yuck. 
3. Mushrooms. Gross. 
4. Coffee. I love it, but it upsets my stomach. 
Four of My Favorite Foods
1. Pretty much any kind of soup, but especially chicken noodle and broccoli cheddar.
2. Pizza
3. Sushi, particularly avocado rolls and sweet potato tempura rolls
4. A sandwich with turkey, cranberry, and mayo. Yummmmmm. 

Four Films I've Watched More Than Once
1. Romance: Pride and Prejudice, You've Got Mail, Letters to Juliet
2. Adventure: Harry Potter, Star Wars, The Mummy
3. Classics: Indiana Jones, Back To The Future, Jurassic Park
4. Comedy: Men in Tights, Paul

Four TV Shows I Watch
1. Once Upon A Time
2. Beauty and the Beast
3. Castle
4. Game of Thrones
Four Things I Can't Live Without
1. Books! Le duh. 
2. Pen and paper, or I would never get any writing done. 
3. Iced tea, especially Starbucks' peach green tea lemonade. 
4. Chapstick

Four Places I've Visited
1. Albuquerque, New Mexico
2. Orlando, Florida
3. Israel 
4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Four Things I Wish I Could Do
1. Sing
2. Speak another language fluently
3. Read faster because then I'd get more reading done!
4. And like Kristin, I'll say time travel because that would be awesome.

Four Things Near Me Right Now
1. My iPhone in a Beauty and the Beast case
2. My computer
3. A glass of water
4. A notepad 

It's been a busy week, so there's no post tomorrow. 
Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ipsy Glam Bag {July 2015}

It's Ipsy time! The July bag is all about Summer Lovin' aka sun-kissed, shimmery skin, moisturized lips, and fresh hair. I'd give this bag an A since I loved every product except for one. 

What I got:
 Tarte Amazonian Clay Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess (sample $10, full $30)
 Eva-NYC Freshen Up Dry Shampoo (sample $5, full $24)
 Be A Bombshell Lip Balm in French Kiss (full $14)
 Ofra Eye Shadow & Highlighter in Bliss (full $15)
 Bare Republic's Natural Tinted Face (sample $4, full $15)

This month's bag is worth $48!

Tarte Amazonian Clay Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess 

I've always wanted to try a product from Tarte! A bronzer would not be the first thing I'd pick to try from this company since I don't wear them all that often, but this particular bronzer is beautiful. The color is subtle (which is great for my pale skin), metallic but not shimmery, and the powder itself smells fruity. Also, I really love the packing. The full size is pricey, but I would recommend this if you're looking for a great product. 

Eva-NYC Freshen Up Dry Shampoo 

This doesn't beat my holy grail dry shampoo from Batiste, but it's still a fantastic dry shampoo. It smells very fresh and light, it doesn't leave my residue, and it doesn't leave my hair white. I wouldn't say it works as well as Batiste at soaking up oil, but I would still recommend this. 

Be A Bombshell Lip Balm in French Kiss 

You can't have enough lip balms, right? This one feels silky on the lips and not greasy. It's thick but not too thick. It also has a subtle light pink color, which sadly makes me look sickly, so I've only been putting it on at night. It leaves my lips moisturized and soft. I would recommend this, but maybe get the red color instead. 

Ofra Eye Shadow & Highlighter in Bliss 

Wow! This eye shadow-highlighter combo is the most beautiful color I've ever seen. It's like a bronze-champagne color and it's super pigmented. It's the smoothest shadow I've ever touched. It's seriously like silk. I would 100% recommend this. 

Bare Republic's Natural Tinted Face 

I like BB creams and tinted moisturizer's because I don't like having thick foundation on my skin, but this tinted face cream is too thin and watery. It's smooth and blends well and smells nice, but I can't get over how water it is. I wouldn't recommend this. 

Any new beauty products you're in love with right now?

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Outfit: Druzy (Featuring Simply Chic Jewelry) + Giveaway

I've been wanting a druzy ring for ages, so of course I had to get this beautiful cobalt ring from Simply Chic Jewelry, one of my lovely sponsors. The wrapped wire look makes this ring so unique! The woman behind the shop, Rachael, makes all the jewelry by hand and is always coming up with new jewelry ideas (one of the reasons why I love following her on Instagram is so I can see what she's working on!).  

On an unrelated note, don't you love when you rediscover clothes hidden away in your closet? I've had this top for years, but haven't worn it in almost as long as I've owned it, so I was happy to find it again and happy to find that I like the way it looks. 

P.S. -- Thanks, Brittany, for this pretty necklace with dried flowers encased inside! 

Top: old | Necklace: gift from Brittany | Jeans: American Eagle
Shoes: Charlotte Russe | Ring: ℅ Simply Chic Jewelry | Bag: gift from Martie

One person will win $15* to Simply Chic Jewelry!
*must spend over $16.50 on Etsy.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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