Friday, October 30, 2015

Favorite Things {October 2015}

Form and Flux Dusty Bookshelf Candle, Harry Potter Illustrated, Owl Necklace (gift) & Pencils (gift)}

We need to talk about the new illustrated Harry Potter for a sec. Ready? OMG OMG OMG! I went to the store to pick up and right in front of me was a table covered in Harry Potter editions. It was like a golden light was shining upon it and angels were singing! Or maybe it was just in my head. I grabbed one, held it to my chest, and jumped up and down. The colorful illustrations inside are so beautiful and anyone who loves Harry Potter should get one. 

I got a Fitbit Charge last week in order to help track my health and I really like it. It tracks my steps, how many calories I burn, the distance I walk, calories in and out, how well I sleep, and more. I've also started walking on my lunch break in an effort to lose some weight. 

My dad got me that tiny owl necklace and it's my new favorite. Never. Taking. It. Off. 

 A few fun links:

 7 organization tricks.

 On selfies and social anxiety.

 Why you need a mission statement for your blog.

 How to create a budget that works for you.

 How to improve your travel photos.

 This app will help you find your new favorite lipstick shade.

 33 cute ways to cover your body in books.

 What a gender-swapped Harry Potter would be like.

 An incredible Harry Potter birtday party.

 Thoughts on creativity.

 How to use technology to stay organized.

 Sponsor love:

  • Why have a boring, basic hoodie when you can have one that's beautifully embroidered? Stickt takes organic hoodies and embellishes them with intricate designs. My two favorites: Wanderlust and Constellations
  • If graphic tees are your thing, you should check out the fun collection of tees at Shop4Ever. The bookworm emoji tee is my favorite. 
  • You can never go wrong with handmade artisan jewelry from CyKLu, especially when it's inspired by nature. I can't get enough of this owl ring and these butterfly earrings
  • The jewelry in Cait Johnson's Chloe and Isabel shop looks fit for a princess. And who doesn't want to feel like a princess? In love with this Bouqut Rouge Neckace and this Coastline Statement Bracelet

Happy Halloween weekend!

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Inspired By: Best Selling Books {October 2015}

So I usually don't want to read every best-seller I feature at the end of the month, but this month is different. I want to get my hands on all four of these books! I'm currently reading Carry On and it's wonderful! I've never read a Rick Riordan book, but I'm thinking of starting his new Magnus Chase series. Do you want to read any of these? Have you? 

Carry On
Carry On

Written by Rainbow Rowell, Simon Snow can’t even make his wand work, his mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. It's his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis, Baz, didn’t even bother to show up. Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. 

Get inspired by Baz, Simon's vampire roommate, by wearing a green and black blouse, vampire teeth ring, black jeans, and black loafers. Or go for a Simon Snow outfit: striped blazer, gray sweater, burgundy pants, blue watch, and polka dot coral sneakers. 

Add to your Goodreads

Humans of New York
Humans of NY
Written by Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York: Stories presents a whole new group of people in stunning photographs, with a rich design and, most importantly, longer stories that delve deeper and surprise with greater candor.

Go for a menswear-inspired look of a blue blazer, black trousers, mirrored sunglasses, cat watch, and brown lace oxfords. Or wear a 90s grunge look by putting on an olive cardigan, floral dress, black watch, polka dot travel mug, and black booties. 

Add to your Goodreads

After Alice
After Alice
Written by Gregory Maguire; Ada, a friend of Alice's, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late — and tumbles down the rabbit hole herself. Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home. 

Inspired by Alice's classic outfit wear a blue dress, white scarf, Drink Me necklace, cat loafers, and black backpack. Or wear all-white in order to dress like the rabbit: a white sweater, white jeans, rabbit earrings, a pocket watch necklace, and nude flats. 

Add to your Goodreads

Magnus Chase: The Sword of Summer
Magnus Chase
Written by Rick Riordan, Magnus Chase is tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

Get inspired by Magnus' outfit on the cover: a blue jacket, lace baseball tee, jeans, shield ring, and buckled heeled booties. Or instead put on a green ombre dress, Viking boat necklace, fringe gray boots, and a burgundy backpack. 

Add to your Goodreads

♥ ♥ 
Say hello to Cait's Chloe & Isabel Boutique!
Hello! My name is Cait! I have always loved fashion jewelry so when I had the opportunity to become a merchandiser for Chloe and Isabel I jumped on it! I am a nanny by day and a jewelry stylist by night! I love helping women find the perfect piece to go with a particular outfit or just finding items that are perfect for their style. We believe in our products so much that every piece has a lifetime replacement guarantee! Our motto is: Be creative. Be confident. Be you! I seek to embody that in every aspect of my business!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pocket Book Reviews {October 2015} + Giveaway

Wow, what an eclectic mix of books I read this month! Romance, steampunk, non-fiction, family drama, and fantasy. Then again, most months I read an assortment of novels. I'm not sure why, but I like jumping from genre to genre. Once I satiate my desire to read something romantic, I then went to jump into fantasy or burn my fingers on the pages of a thriller because I'm turning the paper so fast. Are you the same? Do you stick to one genre or jump around?

P.S. -- I wrote a book review blog post for Holl & Lane!

A Little Something Different
★★★ (5 out of 5)

Written by Sandy Hall; Everyone who sees or interacts with them believes that Gabe and Lea should be together because they're in the same creative writing class and like all the same things, but Lea is shy and Gabe has issues. It looks like they're never going to get together, but something is happening between them. 

This book is the definition of cute! It's not your typical romance and that's what I loved about it. It's romance for reserved introverts like me. What I loved about this story is the fact that the whole book is told through everyone else's point of view but Gabe and Lea's (even a squirrel's!), and yet you get to know these two characters so well. Cute to the max! 

★★ (2 out of 5)

Written by Dina L. Sleiman, Gwendolyn longs to be a knight like her chivalrous brothers. However, that is not an option for her, not even in the Arthurian-inspired Eden where she dwells. Her parents view her only as a marriage pawn. Tournaments, intrigue, and battles--along with twists and turns aplenty--await these two as they struggle to find love, identity, and their true destinies.

DNF at 57% | I can't finish this book. I just find it so boring. I keep waiting for something interesting to happen, but I simply don't care enough about the characters to keep going. It feels like any other Medieval romance. Nothing feels new. The love interest, Sir Allen, is too perfect and not believable. The only character I really liked is Rosalind, Gwen's maid. Also, this book was too religious for me. This isn't exactly a problem, considering the time the book takes place, but it's just not my cup of tea. I think I was deceived into thinking the main character Gwen would be this ass-kicking heroine who goes off on an adventure wearing armor because of the cover, but was sorely disappointed.

Locke & Key
★★★ (5 out of 5)

Written Joe Hill, Locke & Key is the six-part story of Keyhouse, a mansion with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them. Home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all. A family (mother, teenage son and daughter, and a kid son) moves into the house, the father's childhood home, after the father's brutal murder, but soon the kids discover that the house can do strange and incredible things. 

This series is absolutely fantastic! It's a graphic novel series about the three children (Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode) and by the end of the first volume I was rooting for them. It's definitely a dark and graphic with adult themes, but it also has moments of humor and child-like wonder. It has a scary elements, but I wouldn't call it horror either.

One Plus One
★★★ (4 out of 5)

Written by Jojo Moyes; Jess' teenage stepson is being bullied, her math whiz daughter needs to go to a better school, but she can't afford it, and her husband is gone. But then Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire, decides to drive her family (and their dog) to Scotland for a math competition. Maybe this trip won't be so bad...

I found this book absolutely delightful. It's laugh out loud funny, raw, and heart-warming. I think one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much was because I listened to the audiobook. The book is read by four different actors as the four main characters (Jess, Ed, Nicky, and Tanzie), which made me feel like I was listening to a movie. 

Batgirl of Burnside (Vol. 1)
★★★ (5 out of 5)

Written by Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr, and Brenden Fletcher; Barbara Gordon is no stranger to dusting herself off when disaster strikes, so when a fire destroys everything she owns, she spots the opportunity for a new lease on life and moves to Burnside. As the hero of Burnside, Barbara begins building an all-new Batgirl. 

This was my first time reading anything about Batgirl and I really enjoyed it. This story has a YA slant, but I was expecting that from the selfie-taking Batgirl on the cover. I thought it was a fun and cheeky read that doesn't take itself to seriously. And now I want to read more Batgirl stories. 

Marvel 1602
★★★ (3 out of 5)

Neil Gaiman, Andy Kubert, Richard Isanove, and Peter Sanderson present a unique vision of the Marvel Universe set four hundred years in the past. Classic Marvel icons such as the X-Men, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and Daredevil appear in this intriguing world of 17th-century science and sorcery.

An intriguing read. This graphic novel is like a puzzle that you're slowly putting together. You meet characters and some of them are recognizable, like Daredevil, and some are a complete mystery until later, which makes figuring out who is on whose side more complex and at times aggravating. 

Lumiere (The Illumination Paradox #1)*
★★★ (3 out of 5)

Written by Jacqueline Garlick, After an unexplained flash shatters her world, seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth sets out to find the Illuminator, her father’s prized invention. With it, she hopes to cure herself of her debilitating seizures before Professor Smrt—her father’s arch nemesis—discovers her secret and locks her away in an asylum. 

The world in this book is a strange one. There's no sun. People are hanged for being witches. Others are put in asylums for having seizures. There is deadly gas and zombie-like creatures. And it's all kind of steampunk-y. This book feels like a mix of too many weird, unconnected things. I also couldn't get myself to care about the main characters at all. 

Why Not Me?**
★★★ (5 out of 5)

Written by Mindy Kaling, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, or believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

And I thought I couldn't love Mindy Kaling more! I was wrong. Everything you love about Mindy is in this book -- it's charming, down-to-earth, self-deprecating, and of course so funny. I like how she doesn't take any of Hollywood's bullshit ideals seriously and does her own thing. Even though this book is about her life and there's a lot of humor, the biggest message I got out of it is that hard work and determination and believing in yourself will get you where you want to go. Everyone go read this now!

The Dining and Social Club for Time Travelers***
★★★ (3 out of 5)

Written by Elyse Kishimoto, Louisa Sparks is thrown into a world of chaos and adventure when she finds an unusual timepiece in the pocket of her grandfather’s old coat. With the press of a button, Louisa is suddenly transported through time. Soon after, she receives an invitation to join the strange fraternity of The Dining and Social Club for Time Travellers. 

To me, the cover is a little deceiving. I wasn't expecting this to be a middle grade book and honestly it took away from my enjoyment of it because I was expecting something different. The main character is a young girl, but at times she annoyed me and every character in the book has a big personality since it's a children's book. I also wasn't clear on what the time period was. The grandfather was a child during WWII, which would mean Louisa a modern kid and yet it felt like the 19th century. Still, I enjoyed Louisa's story and learning more about this strange club of time travelers. 

*via NetGalley.
**via Books for Blogging.
***I got it for free to review. All opinions are my own.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Outfit: A Spoonful of Sugar

I remember watching Mary Poppins as a kid with my two younger brothers and being completely mesmerized by the songs and the story. My favorite character has always been Bert, the chimney sweep (played by Dick Van Dyke). I like his upbeat personality and wide smile. And the song I've always liked best is Step In Time when he and the other chimney sweeps are dancing and jumping on the roof. Even now when I watch it it makes me smile. But I decided to go for the cute and classic Mary Poppins look for Halloween. 
"What did I tell ya? There's a whole world at your feet. And who gets to see it but the birds, the stars, and the chimney sweeps." 
Even though I think this outfit is so cute, I'm going to wear a seagreen flapper-like dress I got from Shop Ruche a few months ago to work on Friday for Halloween. Hopefully I won't be the only one dressing up at the office! 
Hat: old | Blouse: via Poshmark | Skirt: Loft | Tights: ℅ Kushy Foot
Bow Brooch: via giveaway | Booties: Sole Society (via Poshmark)
Umbrella: Barnes & Noble

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Ipsy Glam Bag {October 2015}

1. I love October's Ipsy bag! It's gold on one side and black patent on the other. Very chic. 2. I love the products I unzipped from the pouch! While the theme this month is alter ego, my beauty products aren't very Halloween-y, except for the dark nail polish, but that won't stop me from using them. What's a beauty product you got recently that you really love?

What I got:
 Aurora Gel Effects Nail Polish in Inky Dinky (full size $12)
 The Balm Matte Liquid Lipstick in Committed (full size $17, sample $5)
 Beauty Without Cruelty Lotion (full size $12, sample $4)
 Nourish Organic Argan Face Serum (full size $24, sample $17)
 Emite Slant Tweezers

This bag is worth almost $38!

Aurora Gel Effects Nail Polish in Inky Dinky 

A+ nail polish, guys! I was a little wary of the color since it's so dark, but I really like this midnight purple color. But what I really, really love about this nail polish is how fast it dries. Because of that I'll for sure be getting more. Plus, I've been wearing it for several days now and no chips at all. 

The Balm Matte Liquid Lipstick in Committed 

The vintage-style packaging is so cute! I like the pinky-nude my-lips-but-better color and that it's matte. It goes on smooth and for a few minutes it's a little sticky, but then feels like any other lipstick, though maybe not as smooth feeling on the lips. I even ate with it on and it stayed put. 

Beauty Without Cruelty Lotion 

This is a great lotion; it's fragrance-free and cruelty-free and not tested on animals and not oily. It really sinks into the skin, leaving your skin smooth, rather than sitting on top. I'll definitely keep using this during the winter. 

Nourish Organic Argan Face Serum 

Seeing as this is for normal to dry skin, this isn't made for my oily skin. It's a very oily serum that smells wonderful (like apricot and roses), but I don't like how messy it is. I might use it now and then on my dry patches, but I wouldn't buy this on my own. 

Emite Slant Tweezers

I mean, it's tweezers. What can I really say? It does its job and I like that it's pink.


Say hello to CyKLu, an artisan jewelry shop!

My name is Victoria. I am from Greece and I love anything handmade, especially jewelry. This is the reason I was trained to be a silversmith. I studied jewelry for two years in Mokume school of silversmith and I often attend jewelry seminars about the lost-wax methodI love to work with metals, especially sterling silver and combine them with silk and stones. My style is minimal and I love to create jewelry pieces inspired by nature.Every single piece you find in my store CyKLu has been designed and lovingly hand-sculptured by me. 

The pieces in her shop are beautifully crafted! These butterfly earrings are amazing. 

Get 10% off her shop with code "CYKLU10."

Shop | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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Friday, October 23, 2015

My Favorite Ipsy Products (So Far)

Can you believe I've been getting Ipsy for over two years now?! I have way too many cute zipper pouches from them stuffed in a drawer, though I did give some to my mom and used some for holding gifts. Anyway, getting these bags has helped me cut back on buying beauty products considerably since I know I'll be getting five products in the mail in the middle of the month. So why spend more money? It's only $10 a month for Ipsy. 

Of course, that hasn't stopped me from repurchasing my absolute favorite products (hello Stila Eyeliner in Lionfish and Benefit They're Real Mascara), and now and then I can't help but splurge a bit at Sephora, but I used to spend a lot more on makeup. 

The thing is I've accumulated A LOT of products from Ipsy. Many great. Most good. Some meh. A few horrible. The great ones I use almost every day and have been using them since I got them. Some I've had for over a year and some are newer, but I would highly recommend all of them. 

My favorite Ipsy products:
 Temptu's Champagne Shimmer Highlighter 
 Clarisea Sea Salt Charcoal Exfoliant 
 Tarte Amazonian Clay Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess
 Briogeo's Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioning Spray 
 Pacifica Natural Mineral Shadow in Ethereal
 tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara 
 NYX's Butter Lip Balm in Parfait
 Crown Brush Duet Brush
 Coastal Scents' Forever Blush duo in Fresh and Elegant
 NYX Love in Rio Eye Shadow Palette in Moonlit Skinny Dip 
 Chella Highlighter Pencil
 Prestige Mineral Eyeliner

Totally forgot to include NYX Butter Lipstick in Hunk, which is a wonderful berry lipstick. 

Do you have any favorite beauty brands or products?

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Inspired By: Supergirl

Raise your hand if you're excited about the upcoming show, Supergirl! *raises hand* There are far too many TV shows and movies featuring male superheroes, but none with female ones (Gotham, Arrow, The Flash, and the fact that almost every Marvel hero gets his own movie, but not Black Widow). So I'm really happy that Supergirl is coming to TV. (Also, who else would love to see a Black Widow movie?)

The show premieres on CBS on October 26 at 8:30pm EST. {Watch the trailer here.}

Kara Zor-El
Supergirl -- Kara

Kara (Melissa Benoist) is a 24-year-old Kryptonian who now lives in National City who must embrace her powers after previously hiding them for 12 years. She's the adoptive sister of Alex Danvers, who has always protected her. She is Cat Grant's assistant at CatCo. 

Wear the classic Supergirl colors: a blue blouse, a red a-line skirt, a brown belt, and red flats. Or go undercover by throwing on tortoiseshell glasses, a trench coat, a black sweater, distressed jeans, and brown booties. 

Alex Danvers
Supergirl -- Alex
Alex (Chyler Leigh) is Kara's older sister who is a doctor and scientist and who has protected Kara's secret ever since they were kids. She's the one who tells Kara that she needs to save the city. 

Alex's style is perfect for the office, so put on a navy blazer, a green blouse, black jeans, and blue ankle-strap flats. Or a gray blazer, a navy dress, a gold cuff, and black wedge booties. 

James Olsen
Supergirl -- James
James (Mehcad Brooks) is a former Daily Planet photographer who now lives in National City and also works at CatCo. with Kara. He is friends with Clark Kent and has kept his secret, so Kara trusts him to keep hers. 

For the office, throw on a striped layered top, black pants, a camera necklace, and brown oxfords. Or for a casual day, wear a chambray top, boyfriend jeans, a watch, and gray Keds. 

Cat Grant
Supergirl -- Cat
Cat (Calista Flockhart) is the founder of CatCo., a media congolmerate, and Kara's boss. She is very particular about how things are done. 

Cat is very stylish, so put on a faux leather sleeve gray dress, a sparkly necklace, a black bracelet, and black ankle-strap heels. Or instead a burgundy dress, leopard-print sunglasses, and leopard and nude heels. 

Will you be watching Supergirl?

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fall Wishlist + Sponsor: Stickt Clothing

The leaves are changing and there's a chill in the air. So of course there's nothing better than wearing a cozy sweater, lighting a candle, and reading books with a cute pillow propping you up. Also, I've been wanting adorable brooches to embellish my cardigans. What's on your wishlist?
Fall Wishlist

 Modcloth Plaid Cardigan -- Doesn't this look so warm?
 Pride and Prejudice Pillow -- This pillow is adorable!
 Lightning Bolt Pin -- Cute!
 Feminist Brooch -- Because #feminism.
 Cloud Brooch -- This is too cute for words.
 Fangirl Pin -- Love this, but sadly no longer available.
 Crystal Tealight --
 Cat Candle -- What a fun idea!
 Mischief Managaed Signs -- These metal signs are so cool, but also not available. *sad face*
 Literary Candle -- NEED THIS IN MY LIFE!
 Rifle Paper Co. Alice in Wonderland -- I preordered this in August and I can't wait to get it!
 Owl Earrings -- You know how much I love owls.
 Old Navy Burgundy Infinity Scarf -- Because one can never have enough scarves.

♥ ♥ 

Say hello to my new sponsor Stickt Clothing!
I am ex-punker gone mom. I live in Germany with my husband, two daughters, dog Riley, and started Stickt because I wanted an outlet for my new life to merge with my old life. I buy sweatshirts from Stanley and Stella that are created sweatshop free and embroider them with whatever suits my fancy at the time. No two jackets are exactly the same and they are very limited. I do take special requests, just email me. I made a coupon code, it is Sara10, for 10% off all orders. All jackets come with free shipping.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Outfit: Lace & Wood (With MEKU Wood Watch)

I seem to have a new collection going: wood watches! I have my cherrywood Jord watch and now this black sandalwood MEKU watch. Wearing a wood watch makes me classy and unique because you don't see too many wooden watches around. Metal watches are so last year, right? 

Let me start with what I like about this MEKU watch: it's lightweight, feminine because the straps are thin and the watch face is small, and I really love the dark color, which means this watch literally goes with every outfit imaginable. 

Now the downsides: I had some trouble getting the links out in order to make the watch fit my wrist. The metal pins keeping the links together are hard to push out, but eventually I prevailed (with the help of my dad of course). Also, this metal clasp isn't as easy to put on as the Jord one is. 

On a totally unrelated note: it's sweater weather, which makes me SO excited!

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

Are you a fan of wood watches?

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