Monday, February 29, 2016

Five Spring Fashion Trends {2016}

It's hard to look forward to spring when this winter has barely even felt like winter, but of course I'm still looking forward to wearing fewer layers, eating outdoors, and seeing pretty flowers everywhere. 

The fashion trends this spring are super feminine and pretty and I want to wear all of them! I've already moved my striped shirts to the top of my blouse drawer and I'm itching to get some cute lace tops and lace-up flats. 

ONE | Stripes

Every girl should have a striped top or two! I still prefer polka dots and florals, but stripes are a classic that everyone should have because they go with everything. It would be fun to mix a striped top with jeans and bright sneakers for a casual look or a lace top with a striped skirt and heels for a romantic night. 

TWO | Lace & Lingerie-Inspired
Lace & Lingerie-Inspired
Warmer weather means you can wear lace without freezing your limbs off, so show off your sexy side with lingerie-inspired clothing. Lace is the perfect mix of old-fashioned and modern. For date night, wear a lace dress with lace-up heels. For the office or the weekend, throw on a lace top, jeans, and flats. 

THREE | Off-The-Shoulder Tops
Off The Shoulder
I'm not sure if this style is really for me and my manly shoulders, but I do think the style is really fun and feminine. I love the mint dress! If you have a bohemian style, the white embroidered top with jeans or a flowy skirt and sandals would be cute. Or mix trends by wearing a striped off-the-shoulder top and black pants. 

FOUR | Sportswear
Now being a sweaty mess after going to the gym is in style! Or you can pretend that you went to gym without all of that gross sweatiness! Mix a casual striped top with gray joggers and sneakers. Or have fun with it by wearing an off-the-shoulder black top with marble leggings and flats. 

FIVE | Lace-Up Shoes
Lace-Up Shoes
How pretty are these shoes?! I'm so in love with those brown lace-up heels, but sadly the heel looks too high for me. These are the kind of shoes that do all of the work for you of making you look like you care when really you just threw on whatever and ran out the door. And there are so many styles out there, so win-win!

P.S. -- Mix these trends with the cute fall trends!

What trends do you like?

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Favorite Things

I joined in on Novel Tea Book Club swap and my awesome partner Nicole sent me two books I've been dying to get (The Imposter Queen and If You Find This Letter) plus a Rapunzel Funko Pop and a ton of cute stationery! Thank you so much, Nicole! 

The past two months, I've delved into #bookstagram a lot more and I'm LOVING it! It's such a fun community and I've discovered that taking pictures of books and bookish things (like that really cool Alice in Wonderland legs bookmark above) is one of my new favorite things. So if you follow me on Instagram, you'll continue to see book nerd side!

 A few fun links:

 Why writing is the most important aspect of blogging

 3 ways to enjoy winter

 Tips for flat lay photography

 10 spring craft ideas

 DIY rose petal bar soap (would love to try this!)

 Ways to feel confident

 If you're looking for indie lipstick brands

 In case you're traveling, 7 ways to take better travel photos

 Self-publishing: the new paradigm

 How faithful should book to film adaptations be?

 Sponsors love:
  • This month I worked with HalfTee in an outfit post. If you're looking for a cute way to layer without adding bulk, these cropped shirts are the way to go. I love mine and already want another.  

Happy weekend!

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Outfit: Subtle Lace (with HalfTee)

An easy way to add a layer without the bulk? I'm all about it! In the middle of winter, you want your layers to be cute but you don't want to be weighed down. I'm so thrilled that HalfTee contacted me because their signature tops are half tees. Yep, they're cropped shirts so that you can layer without adding bulk. 

I'm in love with this white lace tank top! The little bit of lace adds something extra to my outfits and since it's not a regular tank top I'm not constantly adjusting it under my shirt. This HalfTee tank is so comfortable because it goes right over my bra. I got the tank, but if you need the extra warmth (it is cold out there right now), there are HalfTees with short sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, and long sleeves. 

Because I like the white tank so much, I'm planning on getting it in black too. For $20 you really can't go wrong. 
Top: old | Lace top: ℅ HalfTee | Scarf: Charming Charlie
Necklace: Charming Charlie | Jeans: Hollister | Booties: DSW

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Pocket Book Reviews {February 2016} + Giveaway

NetGalley is a big source of reading material for me now. I have to say it's fun requesting books and then being able to read them a few weeks or even a few months before the official book birthday (AKA release date). I read four NetGalley books this month; one I didn't like and three I loved. Do you get books from NetGalley?

I'm currently listening to the audiobook of Me Before You and it's quirky and wonderful and I have a feeling this book is going to break my heart! Have you read it? 

The Reader's of Broken Wheel Recommend
 (2 out of 5)

Written by Katarina BivaldIt’s about whether or not books are better than real life. It’s also a book about a Swedish girl called Sara, her elderly American penfriend Amy and what happens when you land a very different kind of bookshop in the middle of a town so broken it’s almost beyond repair. 

DNF at 16%. I couldn't finish this. I found the story lackluster, the characters boring, and I didn't care to continue the story. I'm awkward and I like reading books and so does the main character, Sara (and we also have the same name), but I didn't like her. She has no personality. There are so many side characters that I found it hard to keep track of who was who. I liked the idea of the story, so I might try reading this again, but we'll see. (*Received from NetGalley.)

Percy Jackson: The Battle of the Labyrinth (#4)
 (4 out of 5)

Written by Rick Riordan; Time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable as Kronos's army prepares to invade. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth.

Percy Jackson is definitely a series of middle-grade books, but this fourth book felt more mature than the others. Maybe it's because Percy hit fifteen years old or because I could finally see some romantic tension between Percy and Annabeth. I really enjoyed the plot and how we followed the crew as they ventured into the Labyrinth. 

Percy Jackson: The Last Olympian (#5)
 (4 out of 5)

Written by Rick Riordan; All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of a victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

This was a great ending to the series! This book was full of non-stop action and it was fun reading about my favorite city, New York City, get smashed to pieces by Titans and see how the different plots (Percy vs. Kronos, Rachel and her visions, the Greek Gods fighting the Titans) all come together. It was fun and emotional and a satisfying conclusion.

Undressing Mr. Darcy
 (3 out of 5)

Written by Karen Doornebos; When Vanessa Roberts' elderly Jane Austen–centric aunt needs her to take on the public relations for Julian Chancellor, a man from England who’s written a book called My Year as Mr. Darcy, Vanessa agrees. But she’s not “excessively diverted,” as Jane Austen would say. Until she sees Julian take his tight breeches off for his Undressing Mr. Darcy show.

I really, really wanted to love this. It's about Jane Austen! There's a man that undresses as Mr. Darcy! There's tea and Austen conventions and a man that dresses as a pirate! But the main character, Vanessa, was boring and not very likable. I could totally understand her love for Jane Austen, but she was like a light switch, one second all against it and then completely in love. She became a different person. Her talking about how "quaint" everything was in Egland was so annoying. 

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl
 (5 out of 5)

Written by Melissa Keil; Alba loves her life just as it is. She loves living behind the bakery and waking up in a cloud of sugar and cinnamon. She loves drawing comics and watching bad TV with her friends. As doomsday enthusiasts flock to idyllic Eden Valley, Albas life is thrown into chaos. Whatever happens next, it's the end of the world as she knows it. 

The first thing I need to say is WOW! This novel is like looking through a window into a real small town and getting a glimpse into a real teenage girl's head. Everything about this book felt so real, so authentic, so human. Alba is one of the best character's I've ever had the pleasure to read about. She's spunky and witty and cool and likes drawing an awesome comic book character called Cinnamon Girl. Every character, even the background ones, have personality. Grady is too cute for words and I just love Alba and Grady's dynamic and awesome friendship. It's interesting that this book is kind of about the end of the world, but not really about that at all -- it's about friendship and living in the moment and how delicious apple strudel is. (*Received from NetGalley.)

Batgirl, Vol. 2: Family Business
 (4 out of 5)

Written by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr; There’s a new Batman in town—and that’s bad news for Barbara Gordon! She’s already got enough upheaval in her life, with her roommate Frankie now in on her biggest secret. And what happens when Livewire joins the fight with the intention of taking out both Batgirl and the mysterious new Batman?

Batgirl AKA Barbara Gordon and all of her friends are so fun to follow on their adventures! All of the stories in this volume was action-packed, intriguing, and just plain awesome! I absolutely loved the crossover to Gotham Academy! There's nothing better than seeing characters you adore working with another character you love. And the twist about the new Batman and that a known character is back from the dead?! Freaking awesome! Absolutely loved read this! I took a point away because some of the fighting panels were hard to understand what was going on. But other than that I loved it! (*Received from NetGalley.)

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 4: Last Days
 (5 out of 5)

Written by G. Willow Wilson; From the moment Kamala put on her costume, she's been challenged. But nothing has prepared her for this: the last days of the Marvel Universe. Between teaming up with her personal hero to rescue her brother and trying to keep her city from falling into an all-out frenzy, Kamala has barely had time to come to terms with the fact that the world is literally collapsing around her. 

I can't get enough of Kamala! She's now one of my favorite superheroes. This volume was funny and action-packed and so far the most emotional. The most touching moment was between Kamala and her mom as the world is falling apart around them. I need the next volume to know what's going to happen to the Marvel Universe!

The Girl From Everywhere
 (5 out of 5)

Written by Heidi Heilig; Sixteen-year-old Nix Song is a time-traveller. She and her father travel the world aboard a glorious pirate ship. Old maps allow Nix to navigate not just to distant lands, but distant times. Nix's father is only interested in one time, and one place: Honolulu 1868. A time before Nix was born, and her mother was alive. Something that puts Nix's existence in danger.

If ever a book is going to be a fun adventure ride it's a book about a time traveling pirate ship! I sped through this book so quickly because of the diverse cast of likable characters, the cool concept of Navigating, and the intriguing what-will-happen-to-Nix-if-her-father-goes-back-in-time-to-before-she-was-born plot. Nix and Kashmir's friendship is wonderful and their witty remarks had me smiling the whole time. I like that they have a very strong almost-romance friendship that carries the book. Kashmir is just a super suave and very likable guy. I liked Nix a lot because she's intelligent, quick-thinking, hot-tempered, and believable for a teen who's only ever lived aboard a ship. I had some issues with Slate, Nix's father, at first, but he grew to become an interesting person. And I liked that here was a tiny dragon, but he wasn't even useful! What's the point of having a tiny dragon if he isn't even useful?! But most importantly I LOVED that the ship could travel to real and imaginary places! If there's map of a place, it can go there (mostly), which I thought was the coolest thing! (*Received from NetGalley.)

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
 (3 out of 5)

Written by Elizabeth Gilbert; She digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. 

Reading about creativity and how to be creative is an interesting thing. It's immensely helpful if what the author is saying speaks to you, but if it doesn't then you're just reading about stuff you know about or don't care about. I liked parts of this book; some stories about her books, stories about meeting well-known authors, the part about ideas being alive, like fairies; but the encouraging parts where she tells you to be creative fell flat for me. This book didn't speak to me like I was hoping it would. Most of it was about stuff I've heard a million times already. 

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Inspired By: Best Selling Books

It seems like a truckload of new books came out the past two months! There are a ton that I want to read (like Passenger, Truthwitch, The Forbidden Wish, A Gathering of Shadows, both of which come out next week, and so many more). However, I told myself I would try to get to the unread books I already own, which is proving more and more difficult!

*Sorry for my absence this Wednesday. For the past week, I've been battling a horribly relentess chest cold that had me sleeping for pretty much three days straight and sneezing and coughing for the rest of it. I wanted to take outfit pictures, but not only did I have a cold, but it was also -3 degrees this past weekend. Not a recipe for success. 

The Imposter Queen
The Imposter Queen

Written by Sarah Fine; Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule. But when the queen dies, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands and struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. 

Love the burgundy and black on this cover, so I created two outfits around those colors. One for the weekend (or for living in the outlands) with a burgundy sweater, black pants, boots, and an agate necklace. One outfit for a party (like before Elli ran away) that has a black dress, wine-colored jacket, and black pumps. 

Add it on Goodreads

A Doubter's Almanac
A Doubter's Almanac
Written by Ethan Canin; Milo Andret is born with an unusual mind. A lonely child growing up in the woods of northern Michigan in the 1950s, Milo gives little thought to his talent, and not until his acceptance at U.C. Berkeley does he realize the extent, and the risks, of his singular gifts.

Since this novel starts in the 1950s, these two outfits has a '50s flair: a navy windowpane-print top, scalloped-edge black skirt, and T-strap red flats. Or wear a brown jacket, windowpane shirt, black jeans, and blue loafers. 

Add it on Goodreads

Stars Above
Stars Above
Written by Marissa Meyer; The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

Can't wait to read this! I'm so heartbroken that this series is over, but I'm happy to read this collection of nine short stories. For an outfit based on Scarlet, I went with a red hoodie (of course), a moon tank, jeans, and star-print Converse. And since I love Scarlet and Winter's friendship, I made a cute outfit inspired by Winter: a metallic dress, floral brown, and black heels. 

Add it on Goodreads

Big Magic
Big Magic
Written by Elizabeth Gilbert; Gilbert digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration.

How gorgeous is this cover?! I'm currently reading this for the Novel Tea Book Club. Throw on outfits with an explosion of color: a bright pink dress, a pale pink jacket, and nude wedges. Or a bright blue blazer, yellow tank, rust-colored jeans, and blue sneakers. 

Add it on Goodreads

Which of these have you read?
Any you want to read?

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Inspiration: Floating Bookshelves

I've said this many times before, but if I had enough room I would have a whole wall of bookshelves. And all of my books would be alphabetized by author's last name and everything would look super cute with all of my Funko Pops and mugs and candles and maybe some twinkle lights. 

But alas I have no room for this wonderful dream of mine, so instead I have four floating shelves above my bed. But do they actually hold books? Not really. One does hold my Pride and Prejudice collection, but three shelves hold my Funko Pops. I'm really loving that vertical mint-colored shelving. Damn my lack of wallspace!

How do you store your books and knickknacks? 

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Inspired By: How To Be Single

Based on Liz Tuccillo's book of the same name, How To Be Single is about four friends (Alice, Robin, Lucy, and Meg) in New York City who are seeking the right match, but try to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love. 

I was a little skeptical about this movie when I saw the first trailer, but the extended trailer (see it here) makes me really want to see it. This movie looks snarky and sassy and hilarious, and how could it not be with Rebel Wilson in the mix?! I haven't read the book, but I'm thinking about giving it a try. 

How To Be Single (Alice)

Alice (Dakota Johnson) wants to find love in New York City, but finding the right man is hard to find in a city that never sleeps. Dress like her by wearing a lot of orange, whether it's an orange jacket with a striped top and jeans and black booties, or an orange romper with brown wedges and heart-shaped sunglasses.

How To Be Single (Robin)
Fun-loving Robin  (Rebel Wilson) likes to live on the wild side and that shows in her choice of bright colors and sassy prints. Throw on a gray leopard print sweater with a red skirt and beige booties. Or instead put on a cobalt blue dress, blue sunglasses, a gold necklace, and bright yellow heels. 

How To Be Single (Lucy)
Go for classic looks that are perfect for the office inspired by Lucy (Alison Brie). Try on a gray collared shirt, black jeans, agate necklace, and brown loafers. Or wear a chambray shirtdress with a teal necklace, and floral wedges. 

How To Be Single (Meg)
Meg (Leslie Mann) has an office-appropriate style that easily goes from day to night. Don a black asymmetrical dress, pale pink necklace, burgundy clutch, and strappy heels. Or throw on a chambray shirt, a gray scalloped-hem skirt, and pointed red flats.

Will you be seeing this movie? 
Have you read the book? 

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Outfit: Owl Always Love You

I thought I would list a bunch of things I love since Valentine's Day is coming and love is not just for a significant other, but for all people and all things! Let's spread the love!
  • Pigging out on snacks while watching a funny movie with my two younger brothers
  • Laughing with my friends about the same thing because they just get it (love you, girls!)
  • Finding that perfectly comfortable spot while immersing myself in a book 
  • Being in the moment while writing so that everything else ceases to exist
  • Coming home and no one else is there yet and it's quiet and peaceful
  • Scones from Alice's Tea Cup 
  • When you're in a store and find that one thing that screams "you"
  • Anything with owls
  • When a stranger smiles at you for no reason
  • Going to Starbucks and getting something for free because of a glitch or they have extra
  • When the weather is the perfect temperature (that's sweater weather for me!)
  • Oeros
  • When you're favorite show returns to TV
  • When the stars align and everything works out perfectly
  • & you guys, my readers!
What do you love? 

Jacket: Uniqlo | Shirt: Modcloth (cute alternative) | Jeans: Hollister
Heart Pin: (adorable heart lollipop pin) | Shoes: Keds

What are things you love about Valentine's Day
or just life in general? 

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Galentine's Day Gifts

Galentine's Day is this Saturday! It's a holiday in which us ladies celebrate each other and how awesome we are! #girlpower 

Galentine's Day should always be spent with your bestie or girl squad, so I'm spending the day with my best gal, Avra. We haven't made plans yet, but our day will probably involve Starbucks, shopping at Sephora and LUSH, maybe seeing the movie Hail, Caesar!, and singing along to Coldplay in the car. On a slightly unrelated note, Avra and I started going to the gym together last week and it was awesome. Exercising isn't so bad when you can chat with your bestie!
Galentine's Day
{Click for item info}

How are you spending Galentine's Day?

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Review: Novelly Yours Candle Shop

I'm sure you all know this by now but Harry Potter is my favorite book series. But you might not know that my second favorite series is the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Cinder is one of my favorite books ever; it's a fantasy retelling of Cinderella and it's wonderful, so when I saw that Novelly Yours had a Cinder inspired candle I had to have it. 

Firewood, storms, and white tea? Yes, please! It has a musky and lightly sweet scent that I really love and I've burned it three times now since getting it last week. The scent isn't overpowering while lit, which is nice because sometimes lighting a candle in a small apartment makes me woozy, but not so with this candle. 

Novelly Yours is a shop with candles inspired by popular young adult novels, like Truthwitch, Fangirl, and Harry Potter. The woman behind the shop, Brittany Smith, hand pours all the candles, which are made of all-natural soy wax. Get $4 off four or more 8oz tins with code STOCKUP4.

How perfect is this mug? If you've read this book, you know that it's totally what Cinder is thinking most of the time!

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

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