Friday, April 28, 2017

Pocket Book Reviews {April 2017}

Who else is so happy that it's warm because now they can read outside?! I love grabbing a book and reading outside a Starbucks with a delicious iced peach green tea! It's such a great way to relax on the weekends. Where's your favorite place to read in the spring and summer?

(4 hearts)

Written by Marissa Meyer; Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. She wants to open her own bakery, but her mother wants her to be queen. But at a royal ball Cath meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Now this is a dark, intense version of Wonderland! I really enjoyed following Cath's story from naive baker to the cold-hearted queen we all know from Alice in Wonderland. She starts off as a nice girl with big dreams of opening a bakery, but of course things never go according to plan, and slowly her kindness begins to shed, especially towards the end.

Her secret romance with Jest was so sweet and despite guessing how it would end I rooted for them nonetheless. Jest is an interesting character; he was charming and fun and had a lot of tricks up his sleeve...literally!

This version of Wonderland was intriguing: certainly not as whimsical, but still full of wonder. I liked how Cath's dreams manifest trees and flowers, how like from the original tale some foods and drinks could change your size and you had to be wary, that animals and plants could talk, and that Time was a real person.

The reason I took a point away and didn't give it a full 5 stars was because I didn't feel as connected to Cath as I would've liked. I found her interesting and I was rooting for her, but I found many of the other characters more three-dimensional than her. And I think I'm also a little sad at how Hatter was portrayed in this. He's not the fun and silly person we all love; he's a much crueler version.

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The Fill-In Boyfriend
(4 hearts)

Written by Kasie West; When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

You wouldn't think a YA romance could be deep, but this one is at times. Most of the time it's fun and charming and undeniably cute, but it also delves into self-doubt, lying to yourself and others, and pretending everything is okay when it isn't. Gia is the every girl. She's a good student, a good daughter, a good friend, and a good girlfriend. What I liked about this book in particular is that it shows that just being good to the people you're closest to isn't enough sometimes. Gia never really lets her friends and family get close to her and it harms her relationships. And it's the guy that fills in for her boyfriend and his sister that make Gia open up.

More so than Gia, I loved fill-in boy's sister Bec. She wears all black all the time, she's true to herself, she's tough on the outside but a teddy bear on the inside, and she's snarky. She was my favorite character hands down. At times the drama and the dialogue in this book were dumb, and yet I still really enjoyed this book.

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(5 hearts)

Written by Julie Murphy; Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked until Will takes a job at Harpy’s and meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant. 

OMG! I don't think I can love a book any more than I love this one! Talk about a perfect contemporary read; it's full of sass, friendships, first love, hurt, harsh words, family, and lots of love!

Willowdean is my new favorite character! She's everything I wish I'd been in high school: she's sassy and confident, she stands up for people, she encourages her friends, and yet she's also a realistic and flawed person because she's bad at communicating, she's stubborn, and at times she's judgy. She really comes alive when reading this story.

This book is the perfect amount of awesome and entertaining story with a little bit of a morale-booster thrown in! Willowdean's words of encouragement to herself (and the person reading) are a delight and made me smile. Like how to wear a bathing suit: Have a body. Put a bathing suit on it.

And the part with the cross-dressing Dolly Parton's was amazing! I need more Willowdean, all of these characters, more pageant fun, and more of this little Texas town!

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Anne of Green Gables
(5 hearts)

Written by L.M. Montgomery; The spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.

Why didn't I read this book sooner?! Anne of Greem Gables and Anne herself are a delight! She's firstly, stubborn, talkative, imaginative, compassionate, intelligent, and just downright amazing. I love how creative she is and renames beautiful things in nature to suit her, like the Lake of Shining Waters. Despite the misfortunes of her past, she rises above them and is a strong-willed and kind person who's always willing to help others, even though sometimes it doesn't turn out how she was expecting. All of the characters are so real and go through real problems that anyone could relate to.

You can now call me an Anne of a Green Gables fan! And I'm definitely going to continue reading the books!

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What If?: Serious Scientific Answers To Absurd Hypothetical Questions
(4 hearts)

Written by Randall Munroe; Randall Munroe left NASA in 2005 to start up his popular site XKCD. Every now and then, Munroe would get emails asking him to arbitrate a science debate. He liked these questions so much that he started up What If in order to answer them.

I'm not that big of a science nerd, but I do like knowing lots of useless, random information, so I found this book fantastic! Plus, the hypothetical situations were intriguing and made me really want to know how or if it could be done and what the consequences would be.

All of answers are scientific and yet easy to understand for the layperson and also pretty funny. I found myself cracking up a lot while listening to this. I think it helps that Wil Wheaton read this; his voice just lends itself to weird science humor.

I would totally recommend this!

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What did you read this month?

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Outfit: Floral Silk Jacket

I've been wanting one of these silk jackets for a year now and finally found my perfect one: this dark floral number from Kohls (that sadly doesn't seem to be online)! It was the last one at my local Kohls, so clearly it was meant to be! It's an easy-to-throw-on extra layer for these chilly spring mornings and will be handy on cool summer nights. 

I got my first gel manicure with my friend Avra last week and now I know what the obsession is all about! Instantly dry, no messing up your perfect manicure two seconds after getting it, no chipping! If it wasn't so expensive, I would get a new color every two weeks. Plus, I love this holographic blue color I got. Talk about heart eyes!
Jacket: Kohls {pretty light version} | Top: Kohls | Jeans: American Eagle
Shoes: DSW | Bag: Kohls | Lipstick: Glory Boon in Heather

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Books For People Who Like Death

And by death, I mean Death. As in the Grim Reaper or maybe a Grim Reaper because some of these books have more than one. I find books about the personification of death fascinating because it shows a different side to something we all fear. In these novels, sometimes Death is scary, sometimes Death is funny, and sometimes Death could be the person sitting next to you on the bus.
Scythe by Neal Shusterman 
♥  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
♥  On A Pale Horse by Piers Anthony
♥  The Scythe of God by Terry Rich Hartley
♥  A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
♥  Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
♥  Death of a Grim Reaper by Bali Fields
♥  The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
♥  Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter
♥  Death With Interruptions by Jose Saramago 
♥  Death: A Life by George Pendle
♥  Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

Do you like books about Death? 
Which of these have you read?

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Inspired By: April Reads

I read several books this month with bomb ladies and I wanted to share three of them with you. So if you haven't read these three books then do yourself a favor and get it from the library, Barnes and Nobles, Amazon, steal from a friend, wherever.

Written by Julie Murphy; Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked until Will takes a job at Harpy’s and meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant. 

I LOVED this book! Loved. It. Willowdean is the friend all girls should have because she encourages everyone to be themselves. Get some Willowdean sass by wearing her signature red dress, heart-shaped sunglasses, rose necklace, and black wedges. Or if you want to be more casual, then wear a Texas home shirt (or for your own state), light jeans, a floral backpack, and nude sandals.

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Written by Marissa Meyer; A talented baker, Cath wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen. At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath becomes the Queen of Hearts we all know and love, who has an affinity for shouting, "Off with their heads!" so don a lace red dress, re cut-out heels, a sparkly necklace, and white floral headband. And since she's a wonderful baker, put on a striped pink blouse, a cupcake print skirt, a cupcake bag, a heart ring with a crown, and nude wedges.

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Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green Gables
Written by L.M. Montgomery; Everyone's favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.

I don't know why it took me so long to read Anne of Green Gables when it's my best friend's favorite book, but I'm so glad I did! This book is such a delight and Anne is so imaginative! For a modern version of her clothes, go for a gray floral sweater, boyfriend jeans, and floral sneakers for running around. Or for a more classic look: a black or brown hat, a cold-shoulder green floral dress, a heart ring, a brown backpack, and brown lace-up boots.

Add to Goodreads

Have you read any of these books?
Which outfit is your favorite?

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Outfit: Gems & Genre-Hopping

I have a dilemma: I LOVE these gem-covered sneakers, but they gave me horrible blisters. BUT they're so cute! I added blister cushions (courtesy of my dad, a podiatrist) to the back of the shoe and folded them over the back, but they still hurt a bit. Ugh, the back of the shoe is sadly too stiff, so I got these from Amazon and I'm half-tempted to add the gems to them. Should I do it?

Bookish confession: I'm a genre-hopper! I love jumping from fantasy to romance to sci-fi to murder mystery to historical to graphic novels! Maybe I just like all kinds of stories. Or maybe I'm just easily bored. Who knows? The only genres I don't read are high fantasy because I have little patience for it and horror because I'm a scaredy cat. 🙀🙈

Top: gift | Jeans: American Eagle | Shoes: via Poshmark
Bag: Kohls  | Wrap Bracelet: Francesca's

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Spring Wishlist

Now that spring is finally here that means I obviously want to go shopping for new warm-weather goodies! I've been dying to get a floral silky bomber jacket for a full year now and finally found a cute one for $25 at Kohls. YASSSSSS!

I also need a new pair of sandals, preferably a cool lace-up pair like the one shown, because my favorite ones are falling apart after wearing them for three years. Definitely time to say goodbye to those and hello to new ones.

Also, still totally into pins and these three (the unicorn, the heart, and the rose) are awesome!
Spring Wishlist
Not The Path to Narnia's #bibliostyle tote (I'm a rep for them on Instagram!)
Wilfred Wax's May the Fourth (dark side) candle (Get 10% off with code SINCERELYSARA10)
Lord & Taylor red sandals
Fossil sparkly earrings
Unique Vintage's unicorn brooch
Witchery sunglasses
BP's striped patch sneakers's rose brooch
Fashiony's books and coffee sweater
L.L. Bean striped scarf
Unique Vintage's 90% Into It heart pin
LC Lauren Conrad white floral jacket

What's on your spring wishlist?

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Outfit: Pink Spring

Spring is here! Thank the gods of Westeros! Does anyone else say this in their regular life? I know it's riduclous, but my brother Ben and I say it all the time. One time he said it in public and some older guy looked over at us like we were crazy. I'm going to assume he has no idea Westeros is from Game of Thrones. Speaking of GoT, who else is sad that the new season isn't coming out this month like it usually does? July can't come fast enough!

So I got a new bag from Kohls that's bigger than my usual crossbody bags and I seem to have the opposite problem of most women: I don't carry enough stuff to take up all of the space! The things I always have with me are small, so I guess this means I can actually start carrying physical books around with me! I backed Book Beau on Kickstarter and now I can't wait to get mine! If you like carrying your books around you should check it out.
Cardigan: old | Top: Kohls | Jeans: American Eagle 
Shoes: Old Navy | Bag: Kohls 

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring & Summer TV Shows To Watch

Every year I do a comprehensive Fall TV Guide because that's when most new shows begin, but that's becoming less and less true as shows premiere year round on places like Netflix, Hulu, and subscription-based channels, like HBO. So I thought it would be fun to showcase some new shows coming in the spring and summer months.

I'm particularly looking forward to Bill Nye Saves The World, American Gods, Dark Angel, and The Defenders. What about you?


Bill Nye Saves The World (April 21 on Netflix)
Bill Nye hosts a talk show exploring scientific issues, such as space exploration, vaccinations, genetically modified foods, and climate change. The series will work to debunk myths and refute anti-scientific claims that may be spread by politicians, religious leaders, or titans of industry. Guest appearances will feature Karlie Kloss, Zach Braff, Joel McHale, Tim Gunn, and more. 

Girlboss (April 23 on Netflix)
Girlboss is inspired by the book #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso, founder of the fashion brand Nasty Gal. The series centers on Amoruso (Britt Robertson), who began selling vintage clothes on eBay and, by the age of 28, had built the multi-million dollar fashion empire, Nasty Gal.

Mary Kills People (April 23 on Lifetime)
Set in the morally grey world of assisted suicide, the series follows Dr. Mary Harris (Caroline Dhavernas), a single mother and emergency doctor by day, who also moonlights as an underground angel of death — helping terminally ill patients who want to die and slip away on their own terms. So far Mary has managed to stay under the radar; but business is booming, and her double life is getting complicated. When her world starts to unravel, Mary realizes she's going to have to fight dirty if she's going to stay in the killing game.

The Handmaid's Tale (April 26 on Hulu)

Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood; In a dystopian near-future, the totalitarian and Christian-fundamentalist government of Gilead rules the former United States amidst an ongoing civil war and subjugates women. Widespread infertility due to environmental contamination has resulted in the forced conscription of young fertile women—called Handmaids—who are assigned to the homes of the elite, where they are expected to have ritualized sex with the men in order to bear children. Offred (Elisabeth Moss) has been posted to the home of an elite Commander (Joseph Fiennes) and his wife (Yvonne Strahovski) and must follow the rules of Gilead in hope that she can someday live freely.

Dear White People (April 28 on Netflix)
Set against the backdrop of a predominantly white Ivy League university where racial tensions bubble just below the surface, it's a hilarious send-up of "post-racial" America that weaves together the universal story of finding one’s own identity and forging a wholly unique path. Starring Logan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, Antoinette Robertson, and Giancarlo Esposito.

American Gods (April 30 on Starz)
Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman; A war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of biblical and mythological roots are steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity, and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities. Also starring Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Pablo Schreiber, and Orlando Jones.


Anne (May 2 on Netflix)
Based on the novel by L.M. Montgomery; A coming-of-age story about an outsider who, against all odds and many challenges, fights for love and acceptance and her place in the world. Set in Prince Edward Island in the late 1890s, the series centers on Anne Shirley (Amybeth McNulty), a young orphaned girl who is mistakenly sent to live with an aging sister and brother. Over time, 13-year-old Anne will transform the lives of Marilla (Geraldine James) and Matthew Cuthbert (R.H. Thomson) and eventually the entire small town in which they live with her unique spirit, fierce intellect and brilliant imagination.

I Love Dick (May 12 on Amazon)
Adapted from the lauded feminist novel by Chris Kraus, I Love Dick is set in a colorful academic community in Marfa, Texas. It tells the story of a struggling married couple, Chris and Sylvere, and their obsession with a charismatic professor named Dick (Kevin Bacon). I Love Dick charts the unraveling of a marriage, the awakening of an artist and the deification of a reluctant messiah. 

Downward Dog (May 17 on CBS)
Based on the web series, “Downward Dog” is about a struggling millennial, Nan (Allison Tolman), from the point of view of her lonely and philosophical dog, Martin (voiced by Samm Hodges). One session at obedience school already makes them realize that even at their worst they may be the best thing for each other. 

Twin Peaks (May 21 on Showtime)
Considered one of the most groundbreaking and influential broadcast series of all time, Twin Peaks followed the residents of a quaint northwestern town who were stunned when homecoming queen Laura Palmer was murdered. Twenty-five years later, the story continues.

Dark Angel (May 21 on PBS)
The two-part drama, Dark Angel, is based on the extraordinary true story of the Victorian poisoner Mary Ann Cotton (Joanne Froggatt). Traveling around the North-east, she insinuates herself into unsuspecting families, marrying and creating new families of her own - before killing them, taking their money and moving on. Starring Jonas Armstrong, Sam Hoare, and Alun Armstrong.


I'm Dying Up Here (June 4 on Showtime)
Set in LA’s celebrated, infamous stand-up comedy scene of the 1970s, this show (which has been executive produced by Jim Carrey) delves into the inspired and damaged psyches that inhabit the hilarious, but complex business of making an audience laugh. Starring Melissa Leo, Sebastian Stan, Ronald Cyler II, Ari Graynor, Clarke Duke, and Michael Angarano.

Claws (June 11 on TNT)
A look at the life and crimes of five women who work at a Southern Florida nail salon. Starring Niecy Nash and is being executive-produced by Rashida Jones and Will McCormack.

The Mist (June 22 on Spike)

The Mist, based on a Stephen King novel, tells the story about a seemingly innocuous mist that seeps into a small town but contains limitless havoc. From psychological terrors to otherworldly creatures, the mist causes the town residents' darkest demons to appear forcing them to battle the supernatural event and, more importantly, each other.


Salvation (July 12 on CBS)

Salvation centers on an MIT grad student and a tech superstar who bring a low-level Pentagon official a staggering discovery--that an asteroid is just six months away from colliding with Earth. Starring Ian Anthony Dale, Sean Connolly Affleck, and Dennis Boutsikaris.

Midnight, Texas (July 24 on NBC)

Based on the best-selling book series by Charlaine Harris; The town of Midnight sits on a veil between the living and hell. This supernatural thriller takes a journey into a remote Texas town called Midnight where nothing is what it seems. Where being normal is strange and only outsiders fit in, Midnight is a mysterious safe haven for those who are different - a perfect place for anyone looking to hide from the outside world. Starring Francois Arnaud, Dylan Bruce, Pariza Fitz-Henley, Arielle Kebbel, and Jason Lewis.


Marvel's The Defenders (August 18 on Netflix)
The Defenders will feature the famous Marvel heroes Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) as a legendary superhero-team in New York City, who come together to face a common enemy, The Hand. Starring Sigourney Weaver, Rosario Dawson, Elden Henson, Rachel Taylor, Jessica Henwick, and Scott Glenn.

Which shows will you be watching?

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Inspired By: New April Books

I want all of these books stat! They're all entirely different genres, but as a genre-hopper myself, I'm interested in reading all four of these books at some point. Not into genre-switching? Well, I hope one of these piques your interest. My favorite genre is YA fantasy, but I dabble in YA contemporary, adult fiction, sci-fi, and graphic novels. What about you?

Alex, Approximately
Alex, Approximately
Written by Jenn Bennett; A teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet. Classic movie buff Bailey has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush. Faced with doubts, Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. (April 4)

A young adult version of You've Got Mail! I'm SO in! I can't wait to read this! This book takes place in Cali, so go for a yellow off-the-shoulder top, jean shorts, and wooden wedges. Or instead throw on a striped tee, light overalls, and metallic sandals. If you're a movie buff like Bailey then grab this ticket stub bag and popcorn pillow.

Add to Goodreads

Duels & Deception
Duels & Deception
Written by Cindy Anstey; Lydia Whitfield has her future entirely planned out. She will run the family estate until she marries the man of her late father's choosing. Lydia has tasked her young law clerk, Robert Newton, to begin drawing up the marriage contracts. Everything is going according to plan. Until the day Lydia is kidnapped—and Robert along with her. Someone is after her fortune and won't hesitate to destroy her reputation to get it. (April 11)

This book sounds like a Jane Austen character meets an action movie! Who wouldn't want to read that? Go for a 19th century meets modern attire by wearing a teal dress, sparkly headband, striped scarf, and brown booties. Or if you're a young law clerk, then don a gray blazer, a white blouse, printed pants, a mint bag, and navy Oxford flats.

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Spindle Fire
Spindle Fire
Written by Lexa Hillyer; Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close. And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood, a Faerie Queen who is preparing for war, a strange and enchanting dream realm—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken. (April 11)

Spindle Fire is a cool twist on Sleeping Beauty and it's definitely one I want to read! Want to wear an outfit based on Isabelle? Put on an off-the-shoulder, embroidered black dress, mirrored sunglasses, dangly earrings, and burgundy heels. Or if you want to dress like Aurora, then wear a gray velvet dress, a pink necklace, lace gloves, and pink heels.

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Written by Doree Shafrir; From veteran online journalist and BuzzFeed writer Doree Shafrir comes a hilarious debut novel that proves there are some dilemmas that no app can solve. Mack McAllister has a $600 million dollar idea. His mindfulness app, TakeOff, is already the hottest thing in tech. Before the ink on Mack's latest round of funding is dry, an errant text message hints that he may be working a bit too closely for comfort with a young social media manager in his office. (April 25)

Working in a office that isn't too stuffy? I put together two cute outfits based on the bright cover of Startup. Mix a chambray top with an olive pleated skirt, drop earrings, a mint watch, and navy ankle-strap flats. Or wear a pale pink blouse, coral pants, a colorful bracelet, and fun faux snakeprint heels.

Add to Goodreads

Which of these books do you want to read?
Which outfit set is your favorite?

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Outfit: Birds of a Feather

I saw my friend Jackie on the day of her final wedding dress fitting two weeks ago! I don't see her too often because she lives outside of D.C., but we met up in Manhattan and I finally got to see her in her pretty and very sparkly dress! Then we ate at Fig & Olive, went shopping at Bloomingdale's and H&M, and later met up with our friend Avra to eat at our favorite Chinese restaurant.

I watched the show 13 Reasons Why on Netflix and by the last episode the tears were streaming down my face. It's a tough and emotional show to watch because it's about a teen girl who commits suicide, but so worth it and something everyone should see since it's also about bullying, rape, and depression. Have you watched it? Did you read the book?

I also wanted to let you know that I'm now a rep for Not The Path to Narnia! Kat creates mugs, tote bags, pillow cases, blankets, t-shirts, and more. Follow her Instagram here for updates and discount codes.

Shirt: H&M | Jeans: American Eagle
Shoes: Charlotte Russe | Bag: Target

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