Monday, May 30, 2016

Watch | Read | Listen {June 2016}

June is my birthday month, so I'll be celebrating all month long by seeing a movie every single weekend! Well, I wish that was true! Since I also need to save money for a few books I want to get (ie. The Shadow Queen and The Queen of Hearts), I'll probably just see Me Before You and Finding Dory


Me Before You
Will Traynor (Sam Claflin) was a successful, wealthy man who enjoyed all aspects of his life until being paralyzed in an accident. Two years later, Louisa Clark (Emilia Clarke) loses her job at a local cafĂ© and is offered a unique employment opportunity: help care for a disabled man. Camilla Traynor hires Louisa as caretaker for her son Will, despite her lack of experience. It starts an unlikely and beautiful friendship. {Watch the trailer} I read the book as soon as the trailer came out a few months ago. I'll definitely need to bring tissues. *cries just thinking about it* (June 3)

Now You See Me 2
The Four Horsemen, the remarkable magicians, resurface and are forcibly recruited by a tech genius to pull off their most impossible heist yet. {Watch the trailer} I loved the first movie, so I will definitely be seeing this. And Daniel Radcliffe is in it! And Lizzy Caplan! (June 10)

Finding Dory
The friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish, Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), suddenly recalls her childhood memories. Accompanied by Nemo and Marlin (Hayden Rolence and Albert Brooks), she sets out to find her family and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way. {Watch the trailerChildhood memories returning! Need to see this! (June 17)

Journalist David Farrier stumbles upon a mysterious tickling competition online. As he delves deeper he comes up against fierce resistance, but that doesn't stop him getting to the bottom of a story stranger than fiction.{Watch the trailer} This documentary looks insane! From the trailer, it seems like something funny, but it quickly becomes something scary. I'm so curious about this. (June 17)

Independence Day: Resurgence
Twenty years later, the United Nations creates the Earth Space Defense (ESD), a united global defense program that serves as Earth's early warning system and the main defense force using technology salvaged from remains of the alien forces. However, the aliens were able to send a distress signal to their other battalions before their final defeat. The aliens in deep space received the signal and sent a larger and more powerful battle fleet, threatening the human race, this time, with an extremely powerful gravitational machine. {Watch the trailer} Wow I can't believe the first film came out in 1996 when I was 7. Not sure this movie was needed, but it looks pretty epic! (June 24)

Other movies coming out:
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (June 3)
  • Urge (June 3)
  • Blackway (June 10)
  • Diary of a Chambermaid (June 10)
  • Genius (June 10)
  • The Last Heist (June 17)
  • The Last King (June 17)
  • No Stranger Than Love (June 17)
  • The Call Up (June 24)
  • Free State of Jones (June 24)
  • The Neon Demon (June 24)
  • Yarn (June 24)

Books & Music -- June 2016
  • All The Feels by Danika Stone and Karin Goble -- College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life...and her last tangible connection to her deceased father. Thus, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can't. Deal. Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. (June 7)
  • End of Watch by Stephen King -- In Room 217 of the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, something has awakened. Something evil. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed, has been in the clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. Behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room. (June 7)
  • You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour -- Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed. That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way. (June 7)
  • The Last Star (The 5th Wave #3) by Rick Yancey -- The enemy is Other. The enemy is us. They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us. But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves. (June 8)
  • Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley -- Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga lives repairing the chimneys, towers, and spires of the city of Bar-Selehm. Dramatically different communities live and work alongside each other. The white Feldish command the nation’s higher echelons of society. The native Mahweni are divided between city life and the savannah. And then there’s Ang, part of the Lani community who immigrated over generations ago as servants and now mostly live in poverty on Bar-Selehm’s edges. When Ang is supposed to meet her new apprentice Berrit, she instead finds him dead. That same night, the Beacon, an invaluable historical icon, is stolen. (June 14)
  • Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler -- Kate Battista feels stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Dr. Battista is on the verge of a breakthrough, but there’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. When Dr. Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. (June 21)
  • First Comes Love by Emily Giffin -- Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious, relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing, Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes, their delicate bond splinters. (June 28)

Happy Memorial Day!

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Favorite Things

Man, this month was a busy one, but a lot of awesome things happened! One of those awesome things was the Color Vibe 5k. Throwing packets of colored powder, getting covered in colored power, a touch but worth it 3-mile walk, an epic post-run dance party, and taking a million pictures with my friends. It's so much fun!

I also saw Les Miserables on Broadway yesterday! I haven't been to a Broadway show in years. I'm dying to see Aladdin since the Disney movie is one of my favorites. 

How freaking cute are these Pride and Prejudice and Merlin stickers?! I love that Elizabeth is sticking her tongue out. And even years later, I'm still bummed that Merlin ended. The show was so campy, but also so heart-warming. And the bromance between Merlin and Arthur as the best. Who else liked that show?

 A few fun links:

 10 items to use as blog photography props

 How to be more present

 Non-alcoholic raspberry wine spritzer (WANT!)

 How to cope with a book hangover

 Instagram editing tips

 10 holographic DIYs fit for a unicorn

 How to write the perfect bestselling novel ever!

 How to become an inspiration

 Writing for Hufftington Post

 If you're thinking about getting the Urban Decay x Alice Through the Looking Glass make up, here's a great review post

 Sponsors: So excited that Spruce Rose Apothecary is a sponsor this month because their Tea Tree & Ylang Ylang Body Butter sounds amazing! And it's all-natural!

Another favorite of mine is this cute Harry Potter picture I took. *pats self on back* 

Happy Friday!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Outfit: Floral & Flamingos

Where's the fun in sticking to the same print in one outfit? Mixing random prints makes me happy! It makes me feel quirky and eccentric and it means I don't have to think about my outfits too much before walking out the door. Fashion is supposed to be fun anyway. 

Every Saturday morning (or Sunday, it really depends on which day I'm feeling less lazy) I take bookstagram pictures for the coming week and it brings me an immense amount of joy. I can't even tell you how much I enjoy staging my books and bookish props, taking pictures at different angles to get the right shot, and later editing them using Afterlight. Since I've gotten so into photography in the past two years, I've gotten an external flash (mostly for work events) and I'm considering getting another lens.  
Top: Poshmark | Jeans: Hollister | Shoes: DSW
Bag: Target | Ring: Hadaya | Hairpin: gift

Do you like to mix prints?

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Pocket Book Reviews {May 2016} + Giveaway

Unfortunately, this wasn't my favorite reading month. I read six books, but a few were duds for me. The did read three books that I really, really liked. Since I enjoyed reading the Percy Jackson series earlier this year, I decided to continue on my Rick Riordan journey and began listening to The Heroes of Olympus series. Are you a Riordan fan? Did you read either of these series? 

The Westing Game
 (3 out of 5)

Written by Ellen Raskin; A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing's will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger - and a possible murderer - to inherit his vast fortune, one thing's for sure: Sam Westing may be dead... but that won't stop him from playing one last game!

A quick, enjoyable read! I may have only given it three stars, but I did like this book. I found the characters realistic and the mystery intriguing and I had no idea how it was going to end, which made me want to keep reading. However, the clues were just plain weird and it wasn't as thrilling or exciting as I'd hoped it would be. I did enjoy the twist at the end!

Add to Goodreads

The Girl on the Train
 (3 out of 5)

Written by Paula Hawkins; Rachel takes the same commuter train every day and watches the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Their life is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking and Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

I will say that this book was entertaining and made me want to keep reading to find out what really happened, BUT (and that's a big but) I found the plot slow, the characters unlikable, and the ending unsatisfying. I saw the ending coming a mile away. Oddly enough, I didn't mind that Rachel was an alcoholic, even though I know it bothered some other people, but what really annoyed me was that her warped way of thinking only seemed to happen when it would further the plot and mess things up, and the rest of the time she was somewhat intelligent. Honestly, I just wanted to smack all of these characters.

Add to Goodreads

The Woods, Vol. 3: New London
 (5 out of 5)

Written by James Tyrion IV, Michael Dialynas, and Josan Gonzalez; 437 students from Bay Point Preparatory High School in suburban Milwaukee, WI vanished without a trace. Countless light years away, they find themselves in the middle of an ancient, primordial wilderness. In Volume 3, with Clay and the Duke teaming up to try and force the school into servitude for the New London army, the kids need to think up a plan to save their peers, and fast. 

This series is incredible! It really is like Lost on a strange planet. You connect so strongly to the main characters, there are crazy woods, there's scary, strange animals, and there's something alive on this planet that wants something from them. It's amazing! There are allies and enemies everywhere, and at first you don't know who is good and who is bad, which makes this story so great. This volume was fantastic -- the teens saw that it's possible to survive on this planet because the people of New London have been there for 200 years, but the question is do they want to find a semi-comfortable life here or do they want to find a way home?

Add to Goodreads

Paper Girls, Vol. 1*
 (3 out of 5)

Written by Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, and Matthew Wilson; In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

I've never read Saga, but I've heard great things about it, so I decided to read this. It's a good start; it's not amazing, but the characters are believable and individual and the story is intriguing enough that I want to read more. It's a little confusing at first. And the girls don't seem like they're 12. They seem more like they're 14 to 16 to me. The art is very colorful and I really like it. 

Add to Goodreads
The Winner's Kiss
♥ (4 out of 5)

Written by Marie Rutkoski; War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

An incredible, powerful, emotional, and beautiful ending to this trilogy! We need to talk about the writing first: Just wow. Maria Rutkowski knows how to weave beautifully intricate, delicate, and emotional sentences. She knows just how to say what the character is feeling. This book (the whole trilogy really) is equally driven by character and plot, which makes this series so devourable. The characters and plot are intertwined and sometimes you don't know which is pushing the story forward, which I found fascinating and wonderful. It can be hard to read the ending to a much-loved series, but Rutkowski gave us exactly what we wanted and needed. My one issue with this story is something that happens early in the story and it's always been a pet peeve of mine in books. (Read the spoilery review on Goodreads.)

Add to Goodreads
The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus #1)
♥ (4 out of 5)

Written by Rick RiordanJason has a problemHe doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper, and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly? 

I enjoyed the Percy Jackson series, don't get me wrong, but I really, really like the start to the Heroes of Olympus series! The Lost Hero is darker, sassier, and more mature. While Percy, AnnaBeth, and Grover will always have a special place in my heart, Jason, Piper, and Leo are just so awesome. I LOVE snarky, wise-cracking Leo, cool and collected Jason, and smart and bad-ass Piper. They make such a great team, which made going on this journey with them so much fun. I did take a point away because towards the middle of their quest it got kind of slow, but the ending is so intriguing.

Add to Goodreads

*Received from NetGalley.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Inspired By: Alice Through The Looking Glass

I'm am SO pumped for Alice Through the Looking Glass! The first movie is so over-the-top and whimsical and nonsensical, which is why I'm thrilled they made a second film. I can't say no to anything with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. I love that they always play awesomely crazy characters. 

Alice has spent the past three years following in her father's footsteps and sailing the high seas. After returning to London from Asia, Alice re-encounters the Caterpillar and she finds a magical looking glass that returns her to Wonderland. She discovers that things are going very wrong with the Hatter, who is haunted by past events. In order to prevent a heartbreaking end to her friend, she turns to Time himself.

The movie comes out in theatres in the U.S. next Friday.

Alice Through the Looking Glass -- Alice

Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is back in Wonderland after going through a looking glass and thinks in this weird realm are not as happy-go-lucky as they were before. She seeks to change this by using the Chronosphere.

Wear something colorful by throwing on a floral dress, orange pointed flats, a blue bracelet-ring combo, and red lipstick. Or put on something whimsicla: an off-the-shoulder orange top, a printed skirt, a butterfly ring, and olive booties.

The Mad Hatter
Alice Through the Looking Glass -- Mad Hatter
The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) is decidely more mad, but no one knows why because he refuses to say what caused it. Alice must race against time to save Hatter and all of her friends.

Go for a classic Hatter look: wear a green jacket, a blue blouse, black jeans, teacup ring, and beige booties. Or put on a red blazer, tea cup graphic tee, distressed denim, purple lipstick, and yellow flats. 

The Red Queen & The White Queen
Alice Through the Looking Glass -- White Queen & Red Queen
The White Queen (Anne Hathaway) and The Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) are backone of them wants to the Chronosphere for themself. Can you guess which one? 

Dress like the White Queen by putting on a lilac dress, a butterfly clutch, and blue flats. Or go for a fiery outfit based on the Red Queen: a red floral dress, a red bracelet, dak red lipstick, and black booties.

Who else is going to see this?

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Outfit: Colorful Cold Shoulder

You know when you really want to try a trend, but you're not sure it's for you and you can't find that perfect piece of clothing? That was the cold shoulder trend for me. I liked the way those tops looked on others, but I wasn't sure I could pull it off (I don't exactly have dainty shoulders) and none of the tops I saw interested me...until I saw this one. Sometimes it's just a matter of waiting until the perfect piece is right in front of you. 

I did a Color Vibe 5k this past Saturday with three friends and it had the BEST time. It took place just outside the Yonkers train station near the Hudson River; we got there early to do the Zumba warm-up and then the race began. I jogged for maybe five minutes and then walked the rest of the way. A runner I am not. There were color checkpoints where we got covered in colorful powder and at one point a woman dumped a whole box of purple on me! Once we reached the finish line, there was an epic, and very colorful, dance party. Check out some pictures here. Have you done a color run before? 

I totally took inspiration from the always-chic Priya from perfectly Priya for this outfit shoot. Thanks, girl!
Top: Aeropostale | Jeans: Hollister | Necklace: old 
Shoes: T.J. Maxx | Mug: Amazon

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Influnster SK-II Skincare Vox Box

I've gotten several boxes from Influenster now and I've loved all of the products I've gotten. But I'm going to be honest, this box was kind of a dud for me. 

In this box, I got the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence ($99) and the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask ($17 for one mask). The SK-II Facial Treatment products replenish skin's moisture, prevents skin dryness, smooths skin, helps moderate skin's renewal cycle, and penetrates better than a cream. 

I got this box several weeks ago and have been using the SK-II Essence every night before bed exactly as they said by putting a few drops into my hands and then lightly pressing the liquid onto my face and neck. It's like slightly thicker water and has a very light, almost unnoticeable scent. To be honest, I haven't seen any change in my skin. It hasn't improved my skin as far as I can see, but it also hasn't damaged my skin either (no breakouts, no dry spots). I was kind of hoping my skin would be a little less oily at least, but no luck. I'll probably keep using it since it hasn't harmed my skin, so why not? But at that price point, I won't be purchasing it again. 

I also tried the SK-II Mask and I'm just personally not a fan of those paper masks, no matter what company they're from. I find unravelling them annoying and I'd rather put on masks with my fingers (like a cucumber mask or a mud mask). I also found this mask too goopy for my taste. 

P.S. -- See my previous Influenster boxes reviews.

**I received these products from Influenster for free. All opinions are my own.**

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Inspired By: Love & Friendship

Calling all Jane Austen lovers! Austen's work is always sassy, funny, quick-witted, and critical of society at the time, and Lady Susan is no different. Love & Friendship, based on Lady Susan, is set in the 1790s and the widowed Lady Susan Vernon seeks refuge with her in-laws as rumors about her private life circulate through society. While staying at the estate, Lady Susan decides to find herself and her daughter, Frederica, a husband.

The movie is out in theaters today in select theaters.

Lady Susan Vernon
Love & Friendship -- Lady Susan
Lady Susan (Kate Beckinsale) goes to her in-laws in order to secure a husband for her daughter and of course for herself since she became a widow at a young age. 

Go for a modern meets Georgian look by wearing a blue floppy hat, an off-the-shoulder light blue dress, navy jacket, and floral wedges. Or instead wear a purple lace dress (or maxi dress!) with a colorful necklace, arrow bracelet, and black flats. 

Alicia Johnson
Love & Friendship -- Alicia
Alicia (Chloe Sevingy) is an intimate friend of Lady Susan's to whom she confides all of her scheming and controversial relationships with men. Alicia herself is stuck in a marriage with a man she doesn't love. 

Throw on a light blue cardigan, mustard yellow dress, pink bow headband, and cut-out blue flats. Or if you feel like being fancy, you can wear a black blazer, a white layered dress, and black booties. 

Frederica Vernon
Love & Friendship -- Frederica
Frederica (Morfydd Clark) is Lady Susan's young daughter, who is a shy, sensible girl and she doesn't want to be married off by her mother, whose life revolves around marriage and men.

For the office, put on a black blazer, dark purple dress, and lace-up flats. Or for a modern vibe, wear a fuschia lace romper, black headband, floral bracelet, and black heels.

Are you a Austenite?
Will you be seeing this? 

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Outfit: Double Chambray

It's been raining in New York all week. The day I decide to take pictures it's just cloudy, so I get ready and as I'm walking to my car guess what happens? It starts to drizzle. Just my luck. Luckily I have this cute umbrella, so I used it as a prop. 

Chambray is a great lightweight and soft fabric for summer, so when I saw this ruffled top and these flamingo flats (all on sale) I snatched them up. Who could resist flamingos on their shoes? Not this girl. 
Jacket: Aeropostale | Top: LC Lauren Conrad x Kohls | Jeans: Hollister
Necklace: Charming Charlie | Bag: Target | Shoes: DSW
Bubble Umbrella: old  {similar, similar & similar}

Do you like fun prints? 

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