9 Books To Read In March

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Okay so this was going to be a ’10 Books To Read In March,’ list, but the symmetry of the layout was really being thrown off by book #10 so I kicked it to the curb. My apologies, book #10. Anyways, from the ever-so-talked about new thriller to a story told from the viewpoint of a elephant, this is a collection of books that were either recently released or who have release dates later this month that need to be on your reading list:

  1. Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver – I frickin’ LOVE Lauren Oliver. She writes the “stay up til 2am reading” kinds of books that you don’t mind chugging extra coffee in the morning and being perpetually tired all day for. Vanishing Girls is, as you can imagine, is a thriller that deals with two girls that vanish. (Duh?) Read an excerpt from the book here!
  2. Dove Arising by Karen Bao (Out now!): I would just like to point out that the author, Karen Bao, is currently a junior at Columbia University. I’ll just give you a second to let that sink in… KAREN, TEACH ME YOUR WAAAAAAYS. As somebody who really believes in the power and ingenuity of the younger generation to break barriers, I am gonna pick this up if not only to give her a virtual standing ovation, but because the plot line sounds fascinating. Read an article written by Karen here about her journey with this book!
  3. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (Out now!) – This book has gotten SO much hype that I actually don’t know whether to believe if it’s actually that good or if her label just gave a huge marketing budget. Nonetheless, I really want to pick it up!
  4. We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach (Out March 24th!): I’m gonna be real with you and say that the main reason I want to read this is because the cover is so jaw-droppingly gorgeous. But it’s also because the quote “They always say that high school is the best time of your life. Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried “they” might actually be right” speaks to me a level that I do not fully understand. I’m way excited to read this because I think it’s a book that has a lot of heart written into it.
  5. I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios (Out now!): The cover kind of throws me off, but this has such good reviews that I cannot just put this one on the back-burner. It’s the story of a girl whose dreams of escaping small-town-USA might be ruined forever and the story of a boy who finds himself back in that small town after being injured in the Marines.
  6. The Tusk That Did The Damage by Tania James (Out March 10th!): This novel weaves together the story lines of a poacher, a documentary filmmaker, and an elephant. It’s a book that is set up to be nothing but eye-opening and powerful about the reality of the poaching world that we can normally only get an outside view of.
  7. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren (Out March 24th!): This book is written from the viewpoint of an 18-year-old dancer as well as from a girl locked up in a juvenile detention center and a supernatural being that links the two. It sounds really dark and creepy and I’m excited to check it out. You can download the first 7 chapters for free on your Kindle here.
  8. Young Skins by Colin Barrett (Out now!): I’m personally not a huge fan of short stories, but if you are, this is definitely one to check out! It’s a collection of short stories based upon Barrett’s life in Ireland.
  9. The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins (Out now!) – This is a psychological thriller that is being compared to the likes of “Gone Girl,” and according to everyone I’ve talked to about it, it fully lives up to that hype. Seriously, the lady at the book store talked about this book like her child had just won the spelling bee and she wanted everybody to know how proud she was. I am ab-so-lutely gonna read this one at some point.

Take a pick, any pick……..

Tips For Long Flights

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I live for a good ol’ long flight. I actually went through a phase a couple of years ago where anything less than five hours was miserable.  Yes, you read that right. I’m not even sure where my sanity was at that point in my life, but it’s a miracle that I even had any friends at all. I was all about the fourteen-hour rendezvous across the globe where I would partake in no less than three naps, four movies, and two hours of playing Temple Run on my iPhone. Recently, I have taken some long flights, and have re-discovered my love for being brought soda & snacks on an hourly basis and the fact that they give you complimentary pillows and blankets as if they are encouraging to take a nap.

FIRST OF ALL,

Get an aisle seat. Some people are all about the window and their artsy Instagram photos that they take of the skyline with song lyric captions a la “While the world sleeps under my feet tonight, I’ll be up here learning to fly,” but the aisle life is the life you want to live. First of all, you can get up and use the bathroom as many times as you desire without any stress of having to wake up your neighbor who is drooling in his or her sleep. The horror. And second of all, and more importantly, you can see when the food cart is coming and plan your time (and your order) accordingly.

SECOND OF ALL,

Use the bathroom a lot. This is one of those things that I probably shouldn’t have to tell you or explain the science behind… You gotta get up and stretch your legs and empty your bladder in order to keep your blood moving and your limbs active, etc.

THIRDLY,

DRINK WATER. This is related to the above notion. Keep your systems up to speed by hydrating as much as possible. I mean first of all, our body is made of mostly water, so maintaining that level will help with the transport of nutrients, digestion, kidney functioning, and much more.

BUT ALSO,

CAFFEINE. Yes, you want that Coca Cola, and yes, you want a coffee with extra sugar and cream. Delta Airlines serves Starbucks coffee…… I’m just saying………… But, don’t drink caffeine if you’re going to be arriving late into your destination because you are not going to be able to sleep. But on the other hand…….. YOLO.anigif_enhanced-31278-1410901359-8

NEXT AND MOST IMPORTANTLY,

Watch as many episodes of The Mindy Project as humanly possible. And then when you run out of episodes, feel free to start them over again because they are just as good the second time around.

OH,

And wear shorts. After one too many flights where I wore skinny jeans that cut off my circulation after so many hours, I have given in to wearing shorts and then using the complimentary blanket to keep warm. It works like a charm.

SPEAKING OF……

Use that complimentary blanket! Determine where to put it to make you most comfortable. Maybe just drape it over your face to block out the negative energy of those around you who do not love airplane rides as much as you do..

AND FOR GOODNESS SAKES…..

If you see a colonial woman on the wing of the airplane, just keep it to yourself… I mean….

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AND MAYBE…

Maybe don’t drink so much that you think that there is a colonial woman on the wing of the plane. Okay?

Okay.

February Favorites

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There I was thinking that we still had another week or so of February when I realized that it ends today…… I mean you would think that they would give you a warning or a heads-up or something?! Gosh. Anyways, due to our obvious lack of time, let’s delve right into the best things I discovered this month:

  1. Where We Belong by Emily Giffin: Seriously though, this book is good. Emily Giffin is one of my favorite authors, and Where We Belong was nothing short of the best book I’ve read in months. Quick plot summary: Marian Cadwell has the picture perfect life. She’s a big-shot television producer in New York City, is dating the CEO of the network, and has a top-floor penthouse apartment. But what nobody knows is that she has a secret that she’s been keeping for the past 18 years. A secret of a young love gone wrong, a baby she gave up for adoption, and a life she tried to leave behind in Chicago. So when that secret shows up on her front doorstep late one night, what will happen? It’s a story of growing up, family ties, and finding yourself in the midst of immense change.
  2. SWORKIT Lite – I was like “I should do yoga.” And then I was like “I don’t know how to do yoga.” And then I was like “Hmmm, I should download an app to teach me how to do yoga.” And so I did. And I’m obsessed. Seriously, I LOVE THIS APP. In addition to yoga, it has strength, cardio, and stretching, and the format of the workouts is so easy to follow. Definitely recommend if you’re just trying to get back into exercise.
  3. Yorkshire Gold tea: You know your tea-loving best friend has rubbed off on you when you start bringing your own tea with you in your luggage on vacation….. Yes, I did indeed bring a box of Yorkshire Gold tea with me to Hawaii. Cool? Cool.
  4. Anastasia Beverley Hills Contour Kit: If contouring is wrong, then I don’t want to be right. No but seriously, I have never been good at contouring. Ever. Like, it’s the one part of makeup that has always made me run in the opposite direction. But you basically cannot go wrong with this. Trust me on that. If there was a way to mess up contouring with this palette, I would have found it by now.
  5. NARS Eyeliner in Via Veneto: I have been searching for a good eyeliner for tight-lining for going on 2 years now, and I recently discovered this. It stays all day without transferring, and has a twist-up design which I love.
  6. China Glaze nail polish in High Hopes: That one time I actually matched my nails and my toes…….. Yeah, that happened. High Hopes is a pinky orange color that I wore for the majority of the month and that I was very content with. You can see a swatch (kind of) in the top right picture of the collage above.

And there you have it…. the last post of February. Let’s get excited for March, y’all!!!! kbye.

Conferences For Creatives

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There’s a certain brand of individual who yearns for more out of their everyday life and who fully believes that they can make a career out of what they love to do. Take full-time bloggers, for instance… THAT IS THE DREAM. And maybe it’s a symptom of being a millennial or maybe it’s just a state of mind that hasn’t been shattered yet, but it seems that the world is brimming with creative folks. So today, I’ve compiled a list of 4 different conferences/classes that are specifically catered for ‘creatives’, whatever that really means. They are basically gatherings of like-minded people that sound like so much more fun than the typical conference. Let’s take a look, shall we?

  1. CAMP: As somebody who spend her childhood summers running through dirt trails, making lanyards, and melting s’mores around a campfire with her best friends at summer camp, this is basically everything I ever dreamed adult life would look like. And I mean……. this is definitely not what the adult life looks like, but that is besides the point. CAMP is a 4-day conference at the end of May for designers, photographers, entrepreneurs, social media mavens, etc. that is set at a campground in Southern California. It’s basically traditional summer camp as you remember it topped off with creative workshops, speakers, late-night cocktail parties, and early morning yoga. So what do you say? Unplug for a bit and crank up your creative energy at CAMP.
  2. Blogcademy: A class specifically designed to up your blog game. Seriously… how much fun does that sound?!? I’ll answer that for you: SO FUN. This trio has both online and in-person classes to help you grow your blog and to teach you everything from the basics of blogging to how to make it into a business venture! Just take a peek at their website and you’ll be amazed by the world that they have created and by what attendees are saying about it.
  3. Create + Cultivate: This is a conference that I have seen so much buzz about lately. It’s a blogger conference in Los Angeles in late March that will be well worth your time and money. They are bringing in the best of the best, and you will get to spend your weekend surrounded by people who love blogging as much as you do! Hear from speakers from the likes of Whitney Port (Did anybody watch The Hills?) as well as the successful bloggers behind Into The Gloss, Peace Love Shea, and Gal Meets Glam to name a few! Honestly, if I could, I would be there in a snap.
  4. 99U: Hoards of speakers, master classes from creative visionaries, and inside-access to some of New York City’s most creative companies will all combine to form one incredible experience. Oh, and their after-party is at the MoMA. I’m just saying……. This is one weekend you do not want to miss. If you can’t make it to the conference, 99U is also just an incredible resource in general. They’ve got articles, videos, and daily blog posts that will stimulate your brain waves to function at its highest potential.

Oh, to attend them all….

The Three Product Face: Hawaii Edition

IMG_2568Let’s be real, when I was in Hawaii the only thing that was on my mind in regards to makeup was “Does this have sunscreen in it?” because let’s face it…… it’s Hawaii and nobody cares what you look like. You are expected to hop in the ocean at one point or another and your lack thereof a smokey eye is of nobody’s concern. However, I do always like to look somewhat presentable, so these are the products that I went with.

First of all, I love the Benefit ‘Big Easy.’ I had forgotten how much I loved it until it somehow ended up in my carry-on. It’s basically a light-weight cream that evens out your skin tone and controls oils. With an SPF of 35, it has enough sun protection that you don’t need to apply sunscreen later on. It dries into a powder without drying your face out (I’ve found that lots of the liquid-to-powder products dry my skin out, but this doesn’t). I use the shade Light/Medium and just use my fingers to blend it in. And to finish up my face, I used the Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque under my eyes.

To add a tiny bit of color back into my lips, I would swipe on some of the YSL Glossy Balm in Sweet Fig. I’ve had this forever and it’s a high-end product that I will probably always repurchase because it just works so well with my skin tone. It’s a tinted lip balm that works as a sheer red lip except way less dramatic and totally wearable for every day. A drugstore dupe for this would be the Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me.

And that’s it! No mascara, no eyeshadow, no anything else. Basically just enough to even out your skin and run out the door.

Hawaii: A Recap

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I am back home from Hawaii and attempting to rehabilitate back into society and the only way I really know how to do that is to blog about it. So here we are. I might get more in-depth later but today I am going to share my experience by means of gifs that capture my exact emotions during every step of the trip. Enjoy!

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Arriving:

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Four hours into the trip:

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Deciding what to eat:anigif_enhanced-buzz-18719-1424422113-9

Drinking the coffee every morning:

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Spotting a whale:

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Trying to decide whether to paddle board or snorkel:

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Seeing somebody you know:

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Inviting them to dinner:

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Trying to decide on an Instagram filter:

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When the water is too rough to go snorkeling:

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When a whale breaches right next to your paddle board:

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Waking up every morning:

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The number of sea turtles you almost step on at the beach because you think they are rocks:

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When you realize that it’s your last day:

New Girl. Zooey Deschanel. Sobbing. Sad. Crying

Your last meal:

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Arriving back home:

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One Of Those Moments

IMG_8941You know when you’re in a moment and you’re mentally like “I NEED TO REMEMBER THIS MOMENT. This is a moment that I am going to play back in my mind for the rest of my life and I need to remember how the water looks like I am swimming in a dark blue quilt of sea turtle tears and how the island’s silhouette looks the most beautiful at 8 o’clock in the morning” but at the same time you just want to soak in where you are in that present moment and don’t want to constantly be thinking about it so you just float on your back and stare at the sky and thanking yourself for deciding to go on the boat ride at the last minute instead of to yoga class.

This morning we went kayaking (not really kayaking, but I don’t know how to explain it) off the shore and then we jumped in the water at some point to go snorkeling (Note to self: snorkeling in the middle of the ocean is a whole lot of nothing). But then my Aunt Sally and I (Little Sally & Big Sally) never really got back on the boat. We swam back while the rest of the group rode back in the boat. And trying to explain how the ocean water feels in such a capacity is pretty much impossible so I’m just going to leave you with these pictures and you can fill in the dots.

And then we all went and had breakfast together while talking about the presence of tiger sharks in Hawaii and I’m just really glad that we had that conversation after our swim and that I’m able to spend so much time with my family and do things like this.

 

Planes To Hawaii

deltaAfter years and years of deep psychological research on the matter, I have come to the conclusion that people on planes to Hawaii are happier than people on planes to anywhere else.

First of all, the ratio of Hawaiian shirts to non-Hawaiian shirts is significantly greater on flights to Hawaii. And when you’re standing at your gate and you see the sprinkling of floral button-downs amidst the crowd, you subconsciously start thinking about beaches, 80 degree weather, and pineapple slices. H-A-P-P-I-N-E-S-S. Oh and also, the ukelele ratio is higher. Yes, I have seen ukeleles on flights to Hawaii.

Next up, we have the flight attendants who have floral aprons. And they (depending on the airline) will serve you Hawaiian beverages. Okay, so you might have to pay for the Hawaiian beverages, but that is besides the point…

Lastly, I would also just like to point out that when my flight arrived into Hawaii on Sunday, people cheered. Not because there was a lot of turbulence and they were glad to be alive, but simply because they were landing into Hawaii and their excitement was bursting right out of their button-up floral shirts. Do I need to prove this point any further? I do? Okay. Maybe people who fly to Hawaii are happier because they know (or will discover) that when they step off the plane and descend the staircase (outdoor airports, another source of happiness), they will be able to feel the ocean in the air as soon as it touches their face. THE OCEAN. ON THEIR FACE.

The next time you’re on a flight to Hawaii, please just try to tell me that you don’t see all of these factors in play. Just try. You will not win. Oh, and enjoy your trip to Hawaii, it really is a whole ‘nother world out here. We have sea turtles who nap on beaches. I’m just saying…..

 

Book Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

IMG_2525If you haven’t jumped on the Rainbow Rowell train, you need to book a ticket and grab a seat in a sleeper car with the nice pillows and the bedside table mints because you will on board for a while.. Landline is Rowell’s latest release, and I finally got around to reading it after unwrapping it under the Christmas tree back in December.

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Georgie (same name as my cat, it’s fine) is a writer whose script has just been picked up by a major television network, which is WAY exciting, right? The network producer needs four new episodes written in the next week, and given that Georgie and her writing partner/bff Seth have been dreaming about these characters and their story lines ever since they first met back in the break room of their college magazine, this should be a piece of cake. Well, I guess I should say a piece of pie because it’s Christmas-time. Oh, right. It’s Christmas-time.. And Georgie is supposed to be going to Omaha with her husband and kids….

Given the importance of this opportunity, Georgie has no choice but to stay in Los Angeles for Christmas and work while her husband Neal takes the kids to Omaha. And while they’re gone, Georgie finds herself spending a lot of time at her Mom’s house, where her childhood room is still intact, with an overflowing closet and an old landline phone that somehow still works.

Well……

When Georgie uses that landline phone, she finds that that phone is not calling her husband Neal, it is calling her then-boyfriend Neal before they got married. When she picks up that phone, she is quite literally calling up the past.

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Landline is Rowell’s first plunge back into adult fiction after spending some time in young adult (YA) fiction (Eleanor & Park, Fangirl). That being said, Rowell has a very vibrant writing style and it kind of felt like a YA book with adult characters. The concept of a magic phone was interesting, but I found it that it left the book rather event-less in the grand spectrum of things. Despite Georgie’s emotional reaction to the phone calls, the book rather heavily focused on these phone calls, which were pretty much just conversations between Georgie and in-the-past Neal. But even so, I did really enjoy the book and I am forever in love with how Rainbow Rowell crafts her words and her characters.

Have you read Landline? What did you think of it?!

Manicure Monday: Mochacino by Essie

IMG_2424AND MANICURE MONDAY HAS RETURNED. In this week’s episode, we take a trip down to the land of Essie nail polish. Essie Mochacino, most likely named after a mocha/cappuccino fusion that may or may not exist, would be an excellent addition to your nail polish collection.

First of all, I would just like to point out that I took this picture a week ago and my nails still look exactly the same. Staying power = EXCELLENT. The bottle alludes to a muted brown color, but in reality it’s more of grey tone. It basically it looks like a rainstorm puked on your nails. It’s definitely not my favorite color, but the formulation and staying power make up for that.

You can see the bottle itself in my February Reading List post. Until next time, my nail polish-lovers!