Friday, April 29, 2016

Favorite Things

{Thin Mints cookies, Marshalls journal, Marshalls teacup, 

Chocolate and coffee in a candle?! Yes, and it's the best thing ever. Every time I burn this Frostbeard candle it makes my apartment smell like a bakery. I used this little candle so much that I already ran out. I have several other Frostbeard candles, so when they run out I'm getting this one again. It's that good. 

In March, I got a starter kit from Young Living that came with eleven essential oils and a teardrop-shaped diffuser and I've used the oils every single day since I first got it in the mail. I like to put lavender, frankincense, purification, and peppermint in the diffuser to make my room smell good. I put some drops of lavender on my hands before I go to sleep. I use panaway on my muscles when I work out too hard. I use stress away when I'm feeling anxious. There are so many ways to use these oils and I love it!

 A few fun links:

 7 hair confessions I hide from my stylists (so true!)

 A guide to mixing fashion and fandom

 How to avoid social media burnout

 Bookstagram hashtags

If you're thinking about going vegan, here's what to know

 How to throw a dinner party like a real adult

 Another reason why I love The Met (need to check this out!)

 10 handmade Mother's Day gifts

 A Beautiful Mess shared some of their favorite podcasts

 Home decor items from around the world

 5 blog photo mistakes I've made

What's your favorite candle?
Have you used essential oils? 

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Outfit: Punk

Have you seen that SNL skit with Adam Driver playing Kylo Ren on Undercover Boss? If you haven't, please click here. If you have, go on watch it again. You know you want to. You know a skit is one of your absolute favorites when you can watch it five times and still find it hilarious. I discovered Jordanden√©'s creative, fandom t-shirts through Instagram and had to have this "Kylo Ren is a Punk Bitch" shirt

The fabric is American-made and super soft, so I'm thinking of getting another one for my birthday in June. Do you think I should get the "I Solemnly Swear I Am Up To No Good" shirt or the "Mischief Managed" one
Cardian: Old Navy | Tee: Jordandené | Jeans: Old Navy
Flats: DSW | Headphones: Amazon | Bracelet: Fandom of the Month Club

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Pocket Book Reviews {April 2016} + Giveaway

At the beginning of the month, I decided I wanted to read as many graphic novels as possible. It started when I went to the comic book store my with brother and realized that he had a bunch of comic books hidden away in his room that I wanted to read. I read eleven books overall and seven of them were graphic novels, so I think I did pretty well. Are you a graphic novel reader? 

Madly (Potion #1)
 (5 out of 5)

Written by Amy Alward; When the Princess of Nova accidentally poisons herself with a love potion meant for her crush, she falls crown-over-heels in love with her own reflection. A nationwide hunt is called to find the cure, with competitors traveling the world for the rarest ingredients, deep in magical forests and frozen tundras, facing death at every turn.

I loved this! I found it interesting that it's set in the 21st century, but magic and potions and fantastical creatures (unicorns!) exist. It could be weird, but somehow it works. It didn't feel forced or strange. And the fact that the princess fell in love with herself? Hilarious! This book is definitely on the light, fluffy side and not to be taken completely serious. It's a fun, adventure ride through the eyes of Samantha, a teen who has a knack for potion-making, as she hunts down the ingredients for the cure. The one thing that really sold me on this book is Sam. She's down-to-earth, smart, naive at times, self-conscious about love, and just a good person. I also adored her grandfather and bad-ass Kirsty. Yes, sometimes the book was a little over-dramatic and unbelievable, but it is fantasy and overall it's just a fun read!

Add to Goodreads

Gotham Academy, Vol. 2: Calamity
 (4 out of 5)

Written by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher; Olive has received information that her mother might be alive—and now, she and her friends must investigate! Of course werewolves, ghosts, and new student Damian Wayne won’t make it easy!

The reason I like Gotham Academy is that it's dark and fun at the same time. The backdrop of Gotham and the mysteries surrounding Olive's mother adds an air of mystery and drama, but Olive's friends, particularly Maps, brings the humor and a lighter touch. Definitely recommend reading this series!

Add to Goodreads

The Woods, Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
 (4 out of 5)

Written by Amy Alward;  On October 16, 2013, 437 students, 52 teachers, and 24 additional staff from Bay Point Preparatory High School in suburban Milwaukee, WI vanished without a trace. Countless light years away, far outside the bounds of the charted universe, 513 people find themselves in the middle of an ancient, primordial wilderness.

Wow! I wasn't sure what to expect with this series since I picked it up on a whim, but it's ca-razy good! Not only do you get to know these teens while on a strange alien planet, but there are flashbacks to their lives before they all vanished. It has a bit of a Lost vibe, but I feel like we get even less answers than with that show and that's saying a lot. 

Add to Goodreads
A Study in Charlotte
 (5 out of 5)

Written by Brittany Cavallaro; Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. Then a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances and Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. 

I suppose murder mysteries are usually dark and gritty because death and murder and bad guys, but one of the reasons I really enjoyed this book is because it's not dark and scary and unnecessarily raining half the time. Yes there are dark moments and themes, but I appreciate that it's a light mystery. This book is delightful and smart and focuses on deduction (obviously) and the growing, at times strained, and strange relationship between Charlotte Holmes and James Watson. They're modern counterparts of their ancestors, but they're still learning the ropes. I enjoyed that the mystery was Sherlock Holmes-related. The story lost me a little towards the end, but a re-read of the end made me understand it better. And it didn't take away from my admiration for this clever mystery and story. Definitely worth a read!

Add to Goodreads

Beyond Citadel 
 (4 out of 5)

Written by Marcos Efron; Jacob has been groomed his whole life to succeed his father as High Minister of Citadel, the last of the walled cities that rose from the ashes of the Cloud Wars. Beyond the impenetrable walls of Citadel lies the Fallow, a treacherous and barren wasteland. When Jacob's father is found dead and he’s accused of murder, Jacob escapes into the Fallow, where all the terrifying tales of savagery are confirmed. 

I want to put it out there that this is my cousin's novel and I proofread the manuscript, but all opinions are my own. This book is everything you want in a dystopian novel: fast pacing, adventure, an interesting setting, great characters you root for, and horribly evil bad guys. I read this so fast because I had to know what was going to happen. The latter half is a little predictable, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment. 

Add to Goodreads (out on May 6th on Amazon only)

Low, Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope 
 (2 out of 5)

Written by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini; Millennia ago, mankind fled the earth's surface into the bottomless depths of the darkest oceans. Shielded from a merciless sun's scorching radiation, the human race tried to stave off certain extinction by sending robotic probes far into the galaxy to search for a new home among the stars. Generations later, one family is about to be torn apart in a conflict that will usher in the final race to save humanity from a world beyond hope.

Hmmm....I had high hopes for this, but really didn't like it. Honestly, I wasn't a huge fan of the art, the story was confusing, and the dialogue was weird at times. The story itself didn't go in a direction I thought it would, which can sometimes be good, but I wanted it to focus on finding a new planet, not her lost daughters. And why are the women always half naked? Pass.

Add to Goodreads

Black Science, Vol. 1: How To Fall Forever 
 (5 out of 5)

Written by Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera, and Dean White; Anarchist scientist Grant McKay has done the impossible. Using the Pillar, he has punched a hole through the barriers between dimensions, allowing travel to all possible universes. But now Grant and his team are trapped in the folds of infinity with no way home.

Imaginative! Beautiful! Emotional! Cool! Terrifying! Fantastic! These are words I would use to describe Black Science. A team of people are stuck hopping from one crazy dimension to another after their invention, the Pillar, is sabotaged. The story and artwork flows so well from one panel to the next that at times I felt I watch watching a cool tv show. Seriously someone needs to make this into a show! It's dramatic, thrilling, and just plain amazing.

Add to Goodreads

Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass and Sorcery 
 (5 out of 5)

Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch; A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they're in the business of killing all god's creatures for profit. 

Reasons why I'm now obsessed with Rat Queens: awesome, butt-kicking female characters, absolutely hilarious, imaginative cursing, sorcery, and cool, mysterious quests. This is one of the best comic book series I've ever read. And Betty is literally one of the greatest characters ever!

Add to Goodreads
Remember Me? 
 (4 out of 5)

Written by Sophie Kinsella; When Lexi Smart wakes up in a London hospital, she’s in for a big surprise. Her teeth are perfect. Her body is toned. Her handbag is Vuitton. Having survived a car accident—in a Mercedes no less—Lexi has lost a big chunk of her memory, three years to be exact, and she’s about to find out just how much things have changed. 

A light, fun, easy read that had me laughing out loud. I decided to try listening to another Kinsella audiobook and I'm glad I did. This story is completely predictable, but so funny and the characters feel so real. I did get annoyed at how often Lexi had to remind people that she couldn't remember anything, but it also felt believable since people tend to forget things that don't concern themselves.  

International Giveaway!

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Inspired By: The Huntsman Winter's War

Let's the honest, the best part of Snow White and The Huntsman was Charlize Theron as Ravenna, so I was thrilled when I heard that the next movie was going to be a prequel about her. She completely carried the first film and I have no doubt that this movie, The Huntsman: Winter's War, is going to be amazing, especially with Emily Blunt playing her sister. 

In The Huntsman: Winter's War, Ravenna learns that her younger sister is having a baby that will grow to be more beautiful than her, but if any harm comes to the child it will unleash her sister's power. After the baby's death, Freya's suppressed ice powers come out and she isolates herself in an ice castle while building herself an army. The movie comes out in theaters today.

The Huntsman -- Ravenna

Ravenna (Charlize Theron) is a powerful sorceress obsessed with beauty, so when she learns that her sister's child will be more beautiful than she Ravenna does something horrible that creates a rift because her and her sister. 

Show off your dark side in a black lace dress, cut-out heels, raven phone case, and gold earrings. Or put on a gold sequin top, scalloped-edge skirt, raven necklace, and nude heels. 

The Huntsman -- Freya
Freya (Emily Blunt) is a normal young woman in love with the Duke of Blackwood and has a beautiful baby girl, but everything is ruined when her baby is murdered and Freya's ice powers are unleashed on the kingdom. 

Dress like the Ice Queen by wearing a lace black top, silver skirt, silver necklace, and black booties. Or a simple white dress, silver rings, and metallic heels. 

Eric & Sara
The Huntsman -- Eric & Sara
Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain) are two of Freya's best warriors, but they fall in love and love is no longer allowed in Freya's world, so she separates them and lets them both think the other is dead. 

Show off your fierce, hunter side by wearing a yellow top, quilted black vest (it's rather cold in the ice castle), green pants, and brown booties. Or if you're into almost all-black then throw on a green fringe vest, black tank, black pants, and black booties. 

Are you seeing The Huntsman this weekend? 

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Outfit: Blush & Burgundy

Have you ever seen that old book from the 80s about seasonal color analysis? It's all about finding the right season of colors that you look best in. I've honestly never thought much about it since I just wear whatever colors I like, but my mom has always gone by it. She never wears navy or gray because she's autumn, which means she wears a lot of warm, golden colors. I like how I look in both bright colors and jewel tones, which means I could be either winter or spring. But according to my hair color, jewelry preference (silver), and the vein test, I'm winter. Do you know what season you are? (Find out here!)

I got into another car accident. (I swear I'm a good driver!) I was stopped at a red light in the middle lane when a truck pulled up into the right lane and got a little too close. The most shocking part was how loud it was. Maybe because it was late at night and no one was around on this normally busy street, but the metal ripping metal was almost thunderous. Our two vehicles even got stuck together and when he pulled his truck back he ripped part of my back bumper off. Of course, there's hardly a scratch on his truck. Luckily everyone is fine and I had three friends there with me to help out. The guy felt so bad that he even changed my tire since it got punctured. All in all, not horrible and it's just a car, but it's an annoyance I didn't want to have to deal with. 
Cardigan: Wet Seal | Top: via Poshmark | Bag: Target
Jeans: Hollister | Flats: DSW {similar}

Do you know what season you are?

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Sponsor Spotlight: A Hundred Tiny Wishes + Giveaway

Hey there Sincerely, Sara readers! 
I am Tabitha, and I write over at a hundred tiny wishes. Sara has graciously allowed me to take over her blog for the day, and I am here to talk about some classic novels... and give you all a chance to win a nice little giveaway package. 

One might say that to be considered a classic novel, it must also be unanimously classified as a great literary creation. I disagree. I believe that classic novels are those that you are able to make a connection with, and after reading they have shaped you in such a way that you start to question the world around you. They are the ones that even fifty years after publication, people are still picking them up to read and falling in love with them all over again. Along with being able to stand the test of time, a classic novel must also be easily readable. Sure, there can be some parts that are just downright confusing, but for the general public, who are not English Lit majors, the novel itself should be at least at a 9th grade reading level. Today, I am sharing five of my favorite classic novels that I believe everyone should read at once in their lifetime.

1 | To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)
Harper Lee
A fixture on all high school reading lists, To Kill A Mockingbird is set in a small town in Alabama in the 1930s, and makes readers question their own humanity while the narrator, six-year-old “Scout”, explains southern racism from the eyes of a child.

2 | Of Mice & Men (1937)
John Steinbeck
In less than 200 pages, Steinbeck tells the story of mentally disabled Lennie and his best friend/ somewhat caretaker, George. Set in 1930s California, the two are migrant workers, who aspire to be more than "help".  The story focuses on loneliness, compassion, and

3 | The Great Gatsby (1925)
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Set in the Jazz age during prohibition, The Great Gatsby is about the wealthy Jay Gatsby, his long lost love, Daisy, and the extravagant parties that he throws in hopes to reunite with her. The book explores the world of social politics, resistance to change, and of course, the American dream.

4 | Pride & Prejudice (1813)
Jane Austen
Austen writes about Elizabeth Bennett, a lively, intelligent, twenty-year-old with four sisters, living in England, in the 19th century. The book puts a great deal of focus on manners, the fact that even though she does not want to, Elizabeth must adhere to certain societal expectations, and of course, putting pride and prejudice aside to succumb to love.

5 | Charlotte’s Web (1952)
A popular children's bedtime book, Charlotte's Web, details the relationship between a pig, Wilbur, and a barn spider, Charlotte. The story truly evokes magic, imagination, and child-like understanding, while exploring humanity, compassion, and love.

Along with having a passion for blogging, reading, and beauty, I operate an Etsy shop- tiny wishes designs- in which I sell hand painted glassware and jewelry. I am currently running a 30% off sale- just use code HAPPYSPRING -- and I bet you would find something that you love!

As a thank you for reading, I am giving you all a chance to win an item from my shop (winner's choice), a $10 gift card to Starbucks, AND $15 to Barnes & Nobles. Good luck & always say yes to the wine!

Terms & Conditions: 
*Giveaway runs from 4/18/16 @12a to 4/25/16 @12am. 
*Winner will be verified.
*Giveaway only open to residents of the Continental United States (I'm sorry international friends, but shipping is super expensive).

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Inspired By: When Calls The Heart

You know when you just need to watch something super cheesy and predictable and romantic? Well, if you're in that mood then I recommend When Calls The Heart. It's a Hallmark Channel show, so at times it's melodramatic and a little ridiculous, but in the best way possible. One episode in and I was addicted. 

The show follows Elizabeth, a rich young woman who moves West in 1910 to be a school teacher in a small mining town in Canada. There she is challenged in several ways by small-town life and the people there, especially the new Constable Jack Thornton of the Mounted Police. 

The first two seasons are available on Netflix. 

When Calls The Heart -- Elizabeth

Elizabeth (Erin Krakow) is a headstrong, risilient, stubborn, kind, and incredibly smart young woman who moves away from her high-class life in the East with her parents and sisters to be a teacher in a small town in the West. She's unaccostumed to this tougher life, but Abigail helps her adjust and gives her advice.

Elizabeth loves pastels, so bring 1910 style into 2016 with soft colors for spring. Wear a lavender dress, pink cardigan, leaf bracelet, and nude wedges. Or try on a white blouse tucked into a purple lace skirt, watch, and nude flats. 

When Calls The Heart -- Jack
Constable Jack (Daniel Lissing) is caring, kind, hardworking, and has a strong sense of justice. He comes to Coal Valley on assignment and immediately wants to leave, especially since he and Elizabeth don't get along at first.

Adjust Jack's Mouned Police uniform for the office by throwing on a red blazer, blue top, black trousers, and brown boots. Or go casual in a light chambray top, distressed denim, teal watch, and blue sneakers. 

When Calls The Heart -- Abigail
After Abigail's husband and son died in a mining accident, she felt lost until Elizabeth came to town and offered her friendship. Later on, Abigail opens a restaurant in town and it's a huge hit. She's motherly and kind and offers advice to everyone and tells it like it is.

Dress like Abigail by wearing a black top, printed kimono, yellow lace skirt, and blue flats. Or instead put on a printed teal blouse, dark green skirt, and black booties. 

When Calls The Heart -- Rosemary
Rosemary (Pascale Hutton) was an actress on Broadway, but comes to town to reunite with Jack after two years. She's dramatic, loud, and self-centered, but ultimately good-natured.

Rosemary likes A LOT of pink, so throw on a pink moto jacket, a t-shirt with "basic just won't do" since she could never be basic, jeans, and pink flats. Or maybe a pink lace top, black skirt, red crossbody bag, and pink heels.

Have you seen this show? 

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Outfit: The Long (And Short) Of It

Here's a statement that won't shock anyone: I love cardigans! I wear them all year round because they're cute, cozy, come in every color of the rainbow, and give me that nerdy flair I adore. I do however seem to wear cardigans more in the spring and summer since they're easy to throw on when there's a slight chill in the air. This burgundy one is my latest cardigan addition and it's super soft. Is there anything better than clothing that's soft? I think not.

I've decided to make this going to be a graphic novel reading month! I'm still planning on reading A Study in Charlotte and The Winner's Kiss, but I also want to read The Woods, Low, Black Science, Descender, Paper Girls, and Rat Queens. I'm also reading two maniscripts this month, one written by my friend Rachel and the other by my cousin Marcos. His novel, Beyond Citadel, is actually coming out on Amazon on May 6th. 
Cardigan: Wet Seal | Top: old | Jeans: Hollister | Flats: Payless

Do you like graphic novels? 

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Mug Wishlist

I'm a total mug addict! So much so that in my future apartment, I want to hang up a wooden board with cute hooks to show off all of my glorious mugs. Something like this from abookishloveaffair's Instagram. I'm honestly not sure where this obsession came from, but I've loved collecting mugs for a few years now. And everyone seems to know it too because without fail I always get one or two mugs for my birthday.

I NEED that "Hermione Granger and The Year She Became A Rebel" mug!
Mug Wishlist

Are you a mug addict too?

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Fitness Wishlist

There's something about going to the gym regularly (three times a week!) that makes me feel like an actual adult. It's probably the fact that I'm making my health a priority and taking care of myself. Adulting for the win! But man this exercise thing is hard. Most days, I want to give up after five minutes, but I power through because I want to see results, because I'm always happy I did it afterwards, because I don't want to let myself down, and because my friend Avra is there encouraging me. (Thanks, girl!) 

And because we've become such gym rats, I've gotten a lot more fitness gear. Recently I bought some new sneakers from Payless, got a new sports bra, and a new peacock feather water bottle, but there's so much great fitness stuff out there. I love my water bottle, but the blue one featured below has space for I.D. and a locker key, which is pretty handy. And I LOVE those floral headphones! Do you go to the gym or are you more of a yoga person or a runner? 
Fitness Wishlist

♥ ♥ 
Hey there, I'm Tabitha. I am one mascara obsessed, wine drinking, mother, wife, & animal lover, who happens to live in the Midwest. I am also a holder of a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice, an Etsy shop owner, a home-grown country girl who is opinionated & sarcastic (at least according to my husband), and the creative mind behind a hundred tiny wishes. I have always been a fan of what writing can do for a person… as it allows for expression of oneself & helps make sense of a world some don’t understand. I started a hundred tiny wishes in Sept ’13 as an outlet… and most of the time it’s a place where I bear my soul by featuring posts about life, family, beauty, diy, motherhood, photography, confessions, and style.

In my spare time, I am the designer behind tiny wishes designs, an Etsy shop that features hand painted, heat cured glassware and jewelry. Each piece of painted glassware is created for the buyer, and is custom. AND if you go visit and see something that you like, use HAPPYSPRING for 30% off! 

Happy Friday!

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Outfit: Lavender Lace

Whenever I go shopping, I look for that thing that makes a piece of clothing special. Embroidery, a cool shape, a fun print, cut-outs, whatever. I picked up this blue shirt and was like, "Oh, it's very soft. That's nice." And then saw the criss-cross back and was all like, "YASSSS! Now we're talking." Doesn't it feel like fate when you find that awesome clothing you didn't know you were looking for, but suddenly need in your life? 

And I love that wearing this criss-cross top reveals the beautiful lavender lace I wore underneath.

I got my new Fitbit Alta and I love it so much more than the Charge. The Alta is sleeker and thinner, you can interchange the bands, it automatically knows when you exercise, and it even reminds you to move every now and then. Just in case you're considering getting a Fitbit tracker. 
Top: Aeropostale | Lace Tank: American Eagle | Jeans: Hollister
Bag: Target | Shoes: Payless | Fitbit Alta 

What do you look for in clothing?  

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