Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Outfit: Fall Plaid & Five Year Blogiversary Giveaway!

Happy five year blogiversary to this little slice of the internet! *throws confetti* I honestly can't believe I've been blogging for FIVE YEARS! How is that possible?! When I started I was in my first semester of graduate school for creative writing and now I'm a working girl who has just finished my second first draft a novel! This little hobby has become such a big part of my life. I love writing posts and taking pictures for Sincerely, Sara, but best of all I love connecting with other people from all over the world (AKA you guys!) who also love books and fashion! THANK YOU guys for reading my blog and being my friends! 

Since I love sharing bookish stuff I think you all would like, I wanted to introduce you to Nerdy Post. I've been getting the subscription box for a few months now and it's wonderful. It's a sub box where you get 5-7 original fandom-inspired, hand-lettered goodies — a print, a sticker, a bookmark, a pin, a magnetic, or a notebook. Each month is somewhat different, but the items are always fantastic. This month's was classic romance and I LOVE the pin of stacked books! 
Dress: Old Navy | Scarf: Target | Bag: Target | 
Tights: KushyFoot | Booties: old | Pin: Nerdy Post

As a thank you, I wanted to do a fun giveaway! Actually, two giveaways!

U.S. residents: 
You'll win a box of goodies that contain a Belle Funko Pop, a metallic clutch, 
flowering teas, a BB8 magnetic bookmmark, floral soap, hot coca, 
a Get Cozy mug, and a feather bookmark.

International residents:
You'll win any book $15 or under from Book Depository

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, November 28, 2016

Pocket Book Reviews {November 2016}

I HIT THE GOAL OF 50,000 FOR NANOWRIMO! *screams and dances in excitement* However, I haven't finished the first draft of my novel yet. I still have about 5,000 or so words to go, so I'm still writing every day until I finish. I'm so close, guys!!!

Because I was writing like a maniac this whole month, sacrificing sleep and sanity and focusing on nothing else, I barely read anything. But the three books I did read were incredible!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Original Screenplay
♥ (5 of out 5)

Written by J.K. Rowling; When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt's fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone.

I have to say, I have a better appreciation for the movie after reading this book! I enjoyed the movie immensely, but reading it made me like it even more. 

I got to "see" the little details and jokes that I didn't quite catch while watching the movie. A few examples: When Mary Lou asks Newt is he's a "seeker of truth," but he says he's more of a chaser. Or when the group enters the speakeasy: "Every witch or wizard criminal in New York is here, their wanted posters hanging proudly on the walls." I love that! 

And sometimes you just need to read what's happening to really know what the characters are thinking. While the actors are fantastic, a look doesn't fully convey what's going on at times. Reading this one moment in particular really helped: "Jacob tightens his grip on Queenie. She reads his mind and her expression changes to one of wonderment and tenderness as she sees what he went through in the war. Queenie is moved and appalled. Very slowly, she raises a hand and touches his cheek." Definitely needed to read these words to know what was going on in this touching scene.

I almost wish I'd read the book first actually. So if you were a little iffy on the movie, I would recommend reading the screenplay.

My one disappointment with the movie and book was Tina. When I heard she was an Auror I was looking forward to following her because I was expecting an outspoken, badass woman, but she hardly said anything and she was really just a love interest for Newt and a way to introduce us to Queenie. I'm really hoping we get to know her better and that she'll grow to be a stronger character. 

Overall, an awesome read and a great way to dive back into the Wizarding World!

Add to Goodreads

Giant Days, Vol. 3
♥ (5 of out 5)

Written by John Allison and Max Sarin; Continuing their first semester at university, fast friends Susan, Esther, and Daisy want to find their footing in life. The girls, along with their male hall-mates, Ed and McGraw find that college is more than academics and bad microwavable meals. Add some pub hopping, hookups, breakups and political scandal this might just be the most eventful first semester  ever.

Oh the drama! Giant Days always makes me smile and laugh and wish that I could be friends with all of the characters! They're so quirky! The whole voting storyline was really interesting, especially sine it created some drama with Susan and McGraw, but I wish it had a better ending. I feel like it kind of got dropped very randomly. But the storyline with Esther's old party girl friend from her hometown was hilarious and fun!

Add to Goodreads

The Woods, Vol. 5: The Horde
♥ (5 of out 5)

Written by James Tynion IV, Michael Dialynas, and Josan Gonzalez; Time flies when you're fighting for your life. Over a year has passed since Bay Point Preparatory High School found themselves countless light years away in the middle of an ancient, primordial wilderness. Against all odds, they’ve built their own civilization and made contact with other humans who have inhabited the planet for many years prior. But the crew finds themselves divided, choosing sides in a war that has been raging for hundreds of years.

HOLY F*CK! This series is so damn good and gets better with every issue! The absolute best part of this volume was the drama between Calder and his older brother Casey, and the flashbacks about them. And the big reveal about what Casey was really up to was terrifying and had some MAJOR ramifications! I loved that Karen stepped up in a big way too. Very much looking forward to seeing what happens next!

Add to Goodreads

What did you read this month?

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Outfit: Blush It Up

I've been wanting an olive blazer for a while now, but never really sought to find one, and then I was out shopping with my best buds spotted this comfy jacket. Totally clothing fate! That's a thing, right? And you know what olive goes well with? Pantone's Color of the Year: Rose Quartz! 

If you're looking for an inexpensive olive blazer, here are some options for you: this ruched sleeve one, this open-front one, this drapey one, this collarless, cropped one, and this crochet-trim one

Since November is almost over, here are things I'm looking forward to come December:

  • Not writing every single day. I love writing, but doing it every day for NaNoWriMo is a lot for me. Though I guess I shouldn't hate on it since it's gotten me this far! I'm currently at 40,000 words! *screams in disbelief*
  • Editing! Can you believe it? I hardly can. I usually hate editing, but I'm looking forward to printing out this book, cutting unnecessary words, and adding some more depth to it.
  • Having more time to read! I've hardly read anything this month. I've only completed one book so far this book. Very depressing.
  • Having time to be a lazy ass and binge-watch shows on Netflix! Duh.
  • Shopping for fun gifts for my friends and family and getting into the holiday spirit. 
  • Star Wars: Rogue One. 'Nuff said. 
Jacket: Wet Seal | Top: via Poshmark | Jeans: American Eagle
Bag: Target | Shoes: DSW

What are you looking forward to in December?

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Monday, November 21, 2016

How Harry Potter Has Positively Affected My Life (AKA Why I Love It)

What with everyone diving back into the Wizarding World lately, it's only made my love for Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling's immense and incredible world stronger. From the Cursed Child book to the play to Fantastic Beasts movie to exciting news about castings and set pictures and whatnot, there's so much going on and it's made me so incredibly happy to be a Harry Potter fan! 

But let's backtrack and go down memory lane: I can hardly belive it now, but my first enounter with Harry Potter was when my aunt got me the first four books in 2000. But since I wasn't much of a reader then, I just shrugged them off and let them sit on my shelf untouched. BUT THEN my dad somehow got early tickets to the movie and I remember seeing it with him and my two younger brothers in either late August or early September of 2001, I can't remember which now. I watched the movie in awe and came out a changed person. Honestly! It was like a switch had been flipped and I needed more of this wondrous magic in my life. I immediately read all of the books and then desperately waited for the 5th book to come out. 

In 2005, again my life changed because of a friend and because of Harry Potter. In my junior year of high school, while standing around bored in gym a friend said she wrote fanfiction for The X-Files. It made me realize there might be Harry Potter fanfiction and boy was there ever. I dove deep into the world of fanfiction. Here were other people like me who longed for more of the Wizarding World. But the real change happened when I decided to write one of my own. I came up with a fun idea (Harry doesn't ask to be put in Gryffindor and ends up in Slytherin) and started writing and I haven't stopped since. I wrote Harry Potter fanfiction into my second year of college, but stopped when I decided to focus on my own stories. (This is one of the reasons I love Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl because it sounds just like my own life minus the cute romance!) 

By the way, you can read my cringe-worthy fanfiction here haha!
I honestly don't know where I would be if it wasn't for Harry Potter. If I hadn't seen the first movie, read the books, gotten into fanfiction, and then started writing my own novels my life would look very, very different. When I think about it, I have no clue what my life would be like right now. I think it's also partly because of Harry Potter that I even started a blog because someone told me "a writer should have a blog." I never would've been called a writer if I hadn't gotten into fanfiction in the first place. It's so strange to think about!

Not only have these books encouraged my path in life, but they've also been there for me during difficult times. My paperback copy of Prisoner of Azkaban is falling apart because I've read it so much when I was stressed or angry or sad or just being a moody teenager. And I'll always turn to Harry Potter to get me through life's hard knocks because it's the best kind of escapism, because it makes you realize their there's always a way through your problems, and because J.K. Rowling has an encouraging quote for every situation

One of the best things about Harry Potter though is its fans! Connecting with other Potterheads in person with my best friends while at movie premieres or through fanfiction forums or now through social media helps to relive the magic every day. Us Harry Potter nerds are an awesome, welcoming, and fun bunch. It's fantastic that whenever you want to talk about the movies or a theory or just rave about how much you love the series there will ALWAYS be others there to encourage you
Also, they're just wonderful books and I wish I could live in the Wizarding World and do magic. Is that too much to ask for?!

How has Harry Potter changed your life?
If not HP, what books have impacted your life?

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Inspired By: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

WHO ELSE IS EXCITED FOR FANTASTIC BEASTS?! Me too! I already have my tickets for tomorrow and I'm counting down the hours, minutes, and seconds until I can re-enter to Wizarding World! I know it's going to be fantastic and I can't wait! Who else is seeing it this weekend?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is written by J.K. Rowling and follows wizard and magizoologist Newt Scamander, who accidentally lets out several magical creatures in New York City in 1926. While trying to round up the fantastic beasts, he makes friends and enemies, all while sinister things begin brewing in the Wizarding World. 

Let me know if you want me to do another Fantastic Beasts post based on the evil characters!

ALSO, did you see my new blog logo?! I LOVE IT SO MUCH! It's by Jess at Bookworm by Design and if you need a logo or banner or anything you should definitely go to her!

Newt Scamander
Fantastic Beasts - Newt

Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) is a young, eccentric magizoologist (he studies magical creatures), who works for the Ministry of Magic. When somewhat dangerous creatures from his magical suitcase get out, he makes friends and enemies at the Magical Congress of the United States of America (aka MACUSA).  

Go on wizarding adventures while wearing a teal jacket, a yellow top, gray pants, and brown booties. Or instead throw on a blue blazer, yellow dress, black scarf, and brown heeled booties. 

Tina Goldstein
Fantastic Beasts - Tina
Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) is a down-to-earth Auror at the MACUSA, who befriends Newt and decides to help him search for the magical creatures to make New York City safe again.

Keep the Wizarding World safe while wearing a long gray cardigan, purple printed blouse, black velvet pants, and cute black heels (though it might be hard to run in these!). Or dance the night away in a gold sequin dress, gold earrings, and shiny black heels.

Jacob Kowalski
Fantastic Beasts - Jacob
Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) is a newly-single No-Maj factory worker and aspiring baker, who ends up being introduced to the Wizarding community after he meets and befriends Newt. I'm guessing this is before the Statue of Secrecy haha!  

Discover a whole new world of magic and wonder as you wear a black blazer, black printed blouse, pants, and shiny black oxford flats. Or wear a more casual outfit: a printed blouse, black vest, jeans, and brown oxfords. And a No-Maj mug!

Queenie Goldstein
Fantastic Beasts - Queenie
Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) is Tina's free-spirited younger sister and roommate, who is skilled at Legilimency (aka extracting emotions and memories from another person). 

Be fierce and have fun in a pink jacket, black velvet dress, pink beret, and pink booties. Or instead throw on a gold and silver sequin dress, a gold necklace, rose jewelry, and pink pointed heels. 

Are you seeing the movie this weekend?
Which character is your favorite?

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Outfit: Professional Pajamas

What's better than cute professional pants? Pants that are so comfortable they feel like wearing pajamas! I seriously love these Old Navy leggings and wish I could wear them every day, but people might start to notice. I'm thinking about getting them in black too because they're really thick, so they'll be great for winter. P.S. -- They're only $15-18, depending on the color. 

So now that all of the new fall shows have premiered, which of them have you been watching? Besides all of the shows I already watch, the only two new ones that I've been tuning into consistently are Timeless and Designated Survivor. Timeless follows three people who travel through time to stop a guy who's messing with history. It's kind of ridiculous, but it's so fun to watch. Designated Survivor is what happens when pretty much everyone important in the U.S. government dies except for one person. It's dramatic, you never know which characters to trust, and Keifer Sutherland is amazing. Which shows are you watching?
Jacket: Poshmark | Top: Old Navy | Pants: Old Navy
Flats: DSW | Bag: Target | Necklace: old

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Bookish Accessories Wishlist

Guys, it is good to be a bookworm right now! More people are buying real books than ebooks at the moment, there's a new Barnes & Noble (that has a bar!) opening near me, and there are so many cool shops coming out with awesome bookish items right now, like jewelry, tote bags, prints, clutches, and more. I'm pretty sure us book nerds are taking over the world, which makes me really happy. Book nerds unite! Below are some super cute accessories inspired by books that I love, especially the typewriter necklace and the Hogwarts Coffee Tumbler. 
Bookish Accessories
Bookish Accessories:
 Fable and Black's Read More Books Print
 CS Literary Jewelry's Anne of Green Gables Ring
 SmashTat's Marauder's Map Temporary Tattoos
 Modcloth's Quote Earrings
 Erstwhilder's Poetry and Purrs Resin Pin
 Modcloth's Stenography-Spirited Necklace
 Chronicle Books' Typewriter Jewelry Dish
 Peaches and Pebbles' Book Flower Ring
 psBesitos' Wizard of Oz Book Clutch
 Fable and Black's Once Upon A Time Tote
 Knot Knirvana's Hogwarts Coffee Tumbler
 Liselle Made's Hippogriff Feather Quill
 Modcloth's Shakespeare Socks

What bookish items do you love?
Any shops not featured that you like?

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Review: Wilfred Wax Candle Shop

My candle collection is getting way out of hand, but I don't even care! I'm obsessed with candles and I'm not afraid to yell it from the rooftops. My new candle obsession that I'm so happy to share with you is Wilfred Wax

If you like fandom-inspired soy candles with great packaging (I seriously love their no-fuss labels!), then you NEED to give Wilfred Wax's Etsy shop a look. I love candles that have a powerful scent, so that the moment you take off the lid the scent wafts up to you. To me, that's when you know it's an awesome candle and all of their candles do that. I have seven Wilfred Wax's candles and I can tell you that I 100% love every single one and burn one if not every day then every other day. I personally love burning a candle while writing. 

Of their candles, I have Dreamy Midsummer, In A Nutshell (Nutella-inspired candle, guys), Sweet Chai O'Mine, Steamed & Frothed, Halfling HillWon-Won (Ron Weasley-inspired!), and their new holiday candle Merri-Mint Mocha. They also have wax melt versions of all their candles in case you prefer that. 

Wilfred Wax is a new candle shop that just started in February of this year, but you'd think they've been in business for years because their candles and tarts smell fantastic, the scents are strong, their labels and packaging are professional, and the owners, Kenyon and Michelle, are wonderful and cool people. Their candles are made with all-natural, American-grown soy wax that produce a strong fragrance.

Want a candle or five of your own? Use my code SINCERELYSARA10 for 10% off!

(P.S. -- Follow them on Instagram for giveaways and sales!)

Which of their candles do you want?

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Outfit: Wine O'Clock

My love for burgundy and all wine-colored things is still going strong! Sometimes I'm tempted to give people a laugh by wearing my burgundy cardigan, bag, jeans, and dress (which I haven't photographed yet) all at once! I wish I could say that it's because I like to match my clothes to my drink, but I'm not much of a wine drinker. Or much of a drinker at all. Though I do like hard cider, but the title "Hard Cider O'Clock" didn't have quite the same ring to it. 

Netflix is killing it with the fantastic shows lately. The Crown is a superb show about the beginning of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, all of their superhero shows like Luke Cage are dark and exciting and fun, and Black Mirror is chilling and thought-provoking. I was never a fan of Gilmore Girls, but I'll probably watch the new miniseries coming November 25th anyway. And of course there's the new A Series of Unfortunate Events premiering January 13th. Which of these have you watched?
Jacket: Target {similar} | Top: Poshmark | Jeans: American Eagle
Bag: Target | Shoes: old | Bracelet: Bella's Boutique | Earrings: Bauble Bar

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