Thursday, October 1, 2015

Merry October II

I'm sure I'll be the millionth person to say this today but I really can't believe it's already October. Part of me feels like I was just writing this post from last year. I'm not looking forward to the weather being in the 50s this weekend, but hopefully it's just a cold spell. Just a few random things that have been on my radar that I thought I'd share in this post. And randomly, two books that always make me think of this month Anne of Green Gables and Attachments. Highly recommend both! Linking up with Joey for Stuff & Things.

1. Athleta Petite Length Tights/Leggings: I got these in the spring for my birthday and then it got too hot so I never really had a chance to wear them until recently, but they are the most amazing leggings + they're petite length so no weird scrunching at the bottom! I have a pair of the relay tight (here) and I think the other pair are the cozy drifter (similar), but I got them on a major sale and I don't think they make them anymore which is a shame because I love the pocket placing. Athleta is part of the Gap/Banana/Old Navy company so definitely watch special promos or check the sale section for new markdowns.

2. Old Navy Flannel Boyfriend Shirt: this is a shirt that I kind of want to buy a second one just in case something happens to the first. It's definitely oversized and probably not very flattering, but it's so comfortable-- I may have wore it twice in one week already.

3. We went apple picking over the weekend, so I'm freshly stocked with apples to make pies and crisps and cobblers and all of my favorite fall desserts.

4. I have still been (on and off) obsessively watching Gossip Girl, so I'm loving this Trendy Sparrow mug I got a few weeks (or months?) ago when she was having a sale. (reviewed a window opens in this post)

5. YSL Black Opium: I received this from Influenster to review and was so excited because I love a few of the YSL colognes, but this perfume is not for me! It's WAY too sweet & strong-- so I will be giving it to a friend to hopefully enjoy. It oddly reminds me of Bath & Body Works warm vanilla sugar, which is another scent that instantly gives me a headache. The fragrance notes are coffee accord, orange blossom, cedar wood essence, and patchouli essence. Also, wasn't crazy about the bottle design-- just not my style, I guess.

What have you been binge watching lately? Have you tried the new Black Opium fragrance by YSL? Are you a fan of apple things or do you prefer pumpkin? 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Reading Lately

I keep wanting to revive this little space of mine, but then things happen and posts sit half finished in my drafts for weeks. I finished up the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge and am so grateful for the amazing books I was able to read-- including Anchored and A Window Opens on this list-- both were sent to me to read & review. I attempted (and failed) a few other reading challenges this summer, but had so much fun picking out categories and seeing what other bloggers were also reading. I'm currently at 29 books out of 50 for my goal this year... so I feel like it's still possible! Especially as we go into winter where I'll never feel like leaving the house. Anyway, here are a few recent reads...

Anchored // This book was one of my favorites from the summer, and it was completely unexpected! I received it from BookSparks, but aside from that I hadn't heard anything about it. I still haven't heard very much about it, which is such a shame because it was such a good read. The story follows a news anchor, and as someone who pretty regularly watches the evening news, it was interesting to see all of the behind the scenes things (though I obviously have no idea how accurate they are). While I didn't agree with all of Barbara's decisions, I found the characters likable and was not ready for the story to end when the book was over. If you're into chicklit, definitely add this one to your tbr list!

Saint Anything // I'll start by saying I've always been a huge Sarah Dessen fan. I also will start by saying the first time I tried to read Saint Anything I had re-read This Lullaby like a week before, and that is one of my favorite books ever. I think having that one so fresh in my mind made me have a hard time getting into Saint Anything. Three months later or so I picked it up again and finished it and still felt kind of underwhelemed. The story is about a girl, Sydney, who is trying to navigate life after her brother goes to jail for severely injuring someone after hitting him in his car.

There were parts of the story that I liked, but overall it was too much of the same with no forward progress. I still don't see the point of Sydney's brother's friend, Ames. I think he could have easily been removed from the storyline and there would have still been more than enough going on. I did love the Chathams, and loved their friendship with Sydney-- and there were a few swoon-worthy moments. If you like YA, I think it's definitely worth a read, I just didn't love it as much as a few of her other books.

A Window Opens // I adored this book. The plot wasn't anything new, and it was on the predictable side, but everything happened at the perfect pace to keep you wondering what was going to happen next. As much as I'd categorize it as a light read, there are a few heavy issues that Egan discusses at the same time.

Luckiest Girl Alive // I was so excited to finally read this after seeing it on Reese Witherspoon's instagram, plus hearing so many of you guys talk about it. It had been compared to Gone Girl so I was expecting the same element of mystery or suspense, but it was never there for me. It was sad. I felt like it was 300+ pages of awful things that had happened to someone. Aside from that I can't quite put my finger on what I didn't like about it, but from the beginning I almost put it down probably a dozen times because I just didn't care what happened in the end. I actually might have blocked the entire book from my memory I disliked it that much, haha. This was definitely the biggest let down I've read in a long time-- but tons of people love it!

The Storied Life of AJ Firky // This one was another amazing Kristen recommendation that I LOVED, and was easily one of my favorite books ever. It has a very different, almost quirky element to it, and I could almost see it done as a Wes Anderson film.  My description would never do it justice, so just check out the synopsis and reviews on Goodreads. I would recommend this to anyone who loves books and reading.

What have you read lately? Did anyone else dislike Luckiest Girl Alive as much as I did?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Pass or Purchase Again? [vol 4]

Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes: I don't know if these just enable me to be lazy about washing my face, but I think using them is at least better than going to sleep with my makeup on? I like these because they don't irritate my face at all. No redness or irritation, which is a huge plus for me after a previous bad face wipe experience. Ulta has double packs of these, which were recently bogo50% off so I got 4 packs for like $13!

L'Oreal EverSleek Reparative Smoothing Conditioner: It's crazy I finally used up this conditioner because I did not care for it and I thought it was never going to end! Now I don't have color treated hair, and it's not really excessively damaged, but I guess I thought if I used this maybe it would prevent damage too? It was just way too thick/heavy for my hair. Will definitely pass in the future.

Origins A Perfect World Toner: I picked up this toner after a previous toner I was using was making my skin so dry. This one is alcohol free (along with a bunch of other stuff), and I did really like it-- it had a light, pleasant scent, didn't dry out my skin, or cause any redness or irritation. However for a tiny little bottle it's expensive and it wasn't that great so I won't be picking this up in the future, but it was a really great product.

Almay Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover Pads: I'm not sure these are the most cost effective solution to removing my eye makeup remover, but they're really gentle, non-greasy, and they work. I had picked up the Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover that I've used in the past, but I can't use it because it makes my eyes blurry which totally freaks me out even though it goes away after a few minutes. These Almay pads are my current budget friendly item since the Lancome one is so expensive. I also stocked up on these when they were bogo50%.

Mary Kay Eye Makeup Remover: This is one of the only Mary Kay products I've ever tried, it was a gift from my mom, and I did really like it, but not enough to seek it out to purchase on my own. I liked it more than the Clinique eye makeup removers, but less than Lancome.

Lancome Hypnose Mascara: I've talked about this a million times, but if you're new around here this is my favorite mascara of all time and always a repurchase. Those this time I did pick up the doll lash version.

Have you recently used up any products you're loving?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Favorite Fall Nail Colors

It's official. I'm ready for all things fall. If only we could go fall-spring-summer and skip over winter, right? As much as I think you really can wear whatever color nail polish you want, whenever you want, these colors all scream fall to me-- and I think they're some of my all time favorite shades to wear on my nails.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Nail Polish Purge

After going through my makeup I decided it was time to go through my nail polish as well. I didn't paint my nails very often this summer-- other times I always have polish on my nails, but I've always justified my nail polish collection because I don't get my nails done at the salon. So I'm saving money, right? ;)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

beignets for two please!

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to New Orleans and I'm convinced it needs to be on everyone's vacation list. We had both visited once before (separately), but this was the first time either of us were there just for fun. New Orleans has something for everyone-- so much history, so much good food, beautiful parks, gardens, and nature options. Then there's also the obvious never-ending nightlife options, though I'll be honest, we avoided Bourbon Street as much as possible.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Show Us Your Books: August

I have more books on the blog today! I recently read two books that I loved, and one that was just so-so. I didn't really add in too much of the description and tried to avoid any spoilers. Let me know if you've read any of these books and your thoughts on them! 

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I was provided a copy of this book from BookSparks as part of their summer reading challenge. So this book is written in such a cool way-- each chapter flips back and forth between two "realities" based on a decision Hannah makes in the beginning of the book. Towards the end it got a little bit blurry for me to remember which storyline was which, but I kind of felt like that was the point? Or maybe not, and it was nearing 2am and I had read the book in one sitting...

Anyway, it was a bit slow during the first half, but picked up with some added excitement and drama. It's a book about the choices we make, but also so much about friendship. I found the bits about Hannah's love interest(s) to be cute, but not all that engaging-- however, I loved the friendship she had with her BFF.

The Martain by Andy Weir
It took me forever to read this book because from what I knew about it, it didn't sound like something I would gravitate towards. But seeing it on so many best of lists and hearing Kristen talk so highly about it, I decided to give it a go.

I LOVED it. Like, still can't believe how much I loved it, loved it. It's science-fiction, as someone is living on Mars for over a year, but it doesn't read like sci-fi at all, you literally feel like it could be happening right now. At the beginning of the book I was intrigued but a little concerned it was going to be like the movie Cast Away, where it's just one person and no other interactions for the entire book-- but it flips between other settings, and honestly if it would have just been Mark stuck on Mars for the entire book I probably still would have loved it. If you're on the fence about this, definitely give it a read!

Summer Secrets by Jane Green
This was another book courtesy of BookSparks, and despite not loving the last Jane Green book I read, I was excited to give this one a try... the book is about a woman who struggles with alcohol-- having a huge impact on multiple relationships throughout her life.

This was a book I just didn't really care for-- it could be partly because I read it right after The Martian, which I loved, but I also just didn't feel any kind of connection with the main character. Without giving too much away, I also wish different parts of the story wouldn't have been so rushed. Instead of there being a time lapse where she ends up with the guy, I wanted more about how that came to be.

Make sure to stop by the Show Us Your Books linkup to see what other people have been reading recently. And in case you missed it.... the book you should still add to your summer reading list.