Friday, November 20, 2015

November Wishlist

There are so many things to talk about in this wishlist. I will start with the Azazie Roberta dress because I want this dress in so many colors. I love Azazie because they have so many colors and styles available. I would love this dress in the classic red shown, but also in their rust, silver, dark green, mulberry, and grape shades. So many good colors! I also love this classy lacy dress from ModCloth that would be great for New Year's or just any fancy night out.

Velvet can sometimes go horribly wrong, but there are some pieces and colors that it just works with. I really love deep blue velvet like the BooHoo dress shown and I love the deep burgundy velvet that the ModCloth skirt is made with. Mostly, I crave velvet during the holiday season, but it's definitely a winter fabric in general.

I love Etsy. I definitely do a lot of gift shopping on there, but it's also full of stuff that I love for myself. It's great for finding nerdy gifts for bookworms and Potterheads like me. I'm pretty sure the Drink Tea and Read Books brooch is was made for me. I also really love the dinosaur statement necklace. It's so awesome! And obviously the Dark Mark necklace and book ring are awesome too. Yay Etsy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

26th Birthday

I turned 26 last month! I don't feel too different or weird about it. It's weird to get closer to 30, but that's still a few years away, so I'm not freaking out...yet. Let me be clear. I don't think that 30 is old, but there's no denying there's something weird and significant about being out of your twenties. I'm not sure why. It's going to sneak up on me in no time. It's scary how fast time has been going by. I feel like it was just last week that I was 23. Life is crazy, ya'll.





Anyway...for my birthday Chris and I went on a fall foliage drive. That's right. Another fall foliage drive post. You will deal with it because October. :) We went on a drive through towns we've never been to before, and it was really nice! I loved it.





After we got on the route, we ended up stopping a few times as we saw things that interested us. The first stop was a cool looking old church. It seemed deserted, but I don't think it was. It was so typically New Englandy that I had to stop and take pictures in front of it.





I really love these boots. I have a similar pair that is made by Steve Madden, but these are just from Target! While they don't hurt to wear, they definitely make my feet sore after a while. I knew we weren't going to be doing much walking during this trip, so I felt comfortable wearing them for it.






Once we were done at the church, we got back in the car and continued on. The foliage was gorgeous. So colorful and pretty and amazing. The area was pretty rural, but not too rural. We weren't in the middle of nowhere, but it was definitely a little farmy at times. One of our stops was at an orchard to get some apples to snack on.





Another stop we made was at a tea place, which I was really excited about. We didn't actually get tea or anything there, but they had a little shop with lots of tea stuff that I loved looking at.





Sometimes we just stopped on the side of the road to admire a view or the leaves. It seemed like everywhere we drove through had beautiful trees along the road.



Dress & Belt: Forever 21//Sweater: LE3NO//Tights: Simply Vera by Vera Wang//Boots: Target//Lipstick: Colourpop
After our trip, we met up with some friends for a night out of dancing. The night before my birthday, my mom made me all my favorite foods and we had dinner and cake at my parents' house with my family. I love getting to see everyone I love for my birthday. I'm really thankful that I have people in my life that care so much and always want to give me a good birthday. :)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Literary Lust: Recently Read

I'm trying to read 40 books by the end of 2015. I started this goal in around August, but I counted the books that I read all year towards this goal. Right now, I'm on number 19, so I'm just about halfway to my goal. I will have a month and a half to read 20 books. Hopefully I can do it.

Since I have this goal, I have been reading pretty much constantly in my spare time. I thought I'd share my thoughts on some of the books I've read recently.

The Martian by Andy Weir


I am so surprised at how much I love this book. I didn't want it to end, and when it did, I kept finding myself wanting to re-read it even weeks after. I'm not sure what it is about it. At first, I didn't think I would be too into it. I mean, how can the day by day of a man stuck on Mars be that interesting? It seems like there wouldn't be much for him to really do. Turns out, having two story lines and having a hilarious protagonist really helps. Mark Watney (the main character) is really funny! I kept having to show snippets of the book to people so they could join in on the jokes. The writing is very realistic and modern. It sounds like someone you might know. And Watney's easy going, accepting personality of his situation and all the troubles it brings is really just amazing. It's like nothing phases him. If I were him, I'd be curled in a ball crying, but I guess that's why I'm not an astronaut.

I finished this book about 20 minutes before I saw the movie, so it was fresh in my mind when I went. I gotta say, the movie is very true to the book. They cut out some things that I don't think they should've and they changed the end a little bit, but other than that it was good. I thought Matt Damon did a really good job at being Watney, too. I highly recommend this book, even if you aren't into science fiction. I'm not a big science fiction person, but then again, this book doesn't really come off as science fiction to me. It seems to be well within the realm of possibilities. It's science fiction in the sense that it deals with a field of science and the story is fiction. It uses a lot of technical terms from the field of space travel and exploration, but it's all explained pretty well. It's a lot of math too, but it doesn't matter too much to the story. Watney always explains what his math means for his well being and situation. So yes, read this book, especially if you're into space.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


It was hard for me to put this book down. Now, don't let that sentence fool you because this book was complete garbage. It was insanely unrealistic and none of the characters were likable. I read it because it's one of those books that everyone is talking about and that there was a crazy long wait list for at the library.

The draw to this story is murder and plot twists. People like a good plot twist. But just like a M. Night Shyamalan, once you find out the twist, you realize that a. it was really stupid and b. you don't give a shit about any of the characters. It's like you're so obsessed with knowing what the twist is that you just put up with everything else. That's how this book was. I advise that if you really want to know what happens, just look up a spoiler and save yourself the trouble of reading this terrible book.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon


This is a YA book that has been getting a lot of buzz. It's supposed to be the next big thing in the genre. I can see why. It's reminiscent of A Fault In Our Stars, Eleanor and Park, and If I Stay, the characters especially. The book is about a girl named Madeline who cannot leave her house due to a rare disease that basically makes her allergic to everything in the world. She lives with her mother who is a doctor and she has a nurse come in daily to help take care of her. She isn't sick as in she is bedridden or anything, she just needs to be monitored and checked multiple times a day. Of course, a family moves in next door with an attractive teenage son her age and they end up falling for each other. I'd say sorry about the spoiler, but this is pretty much a given in YA fiction.

The chapters are short and Madeline's personality is great, so it's a really fast and enjoyable read. Towards the end of the book, I was wondering how this story was going to end with the way things were going. It seemed very predictable, but then I got to thinking there could be a twist. Well, there was. I guessed what it was before it happened, so you might say the twist could be predictable, but I'm not sure. Nevertheless, I still liked this book. I liked the characters and it was pretty accurate with how teens feel about their first loves. If you like YA books, you'll probably like this unless you are into the more fantasy type YA books.

Violent Ends (Multiple Authors)


This book made me cry a little at times. It is about a very tough subject: school shootings. What is interesting about it is that it's told from 17 different characters' points of view. Each chapter is a different story, and each story is written by a different author. They each shed light on the situation and the shooter himself in multiple ways. A lot of the stories kept me thinking about them days after reading, which is always a good sign. It was very intriguing to see different layers and perspectives. It wasn't overly gory or horrific. Obviously the event in the book is horrific, but it is not described too much in a disgusting way, so if you tend to feel uncomfortable with graphic stuff then you don't really have to worry about that with this book. I highly encourage people to read this. It will open your eyes and make you think in many different ways. It's amazing some of the things teens have to go through.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Leaf Peeping

I admit it. Even though I live in the midst of New England autumn, I am a leaf peeper who still travels around to see the foliage. If I could, I would follow autumn from where it first starts in the northern states to wear it probably ends in the Carolinas somewhere just so I could make it last as long as possible. The leaves seem to really only last around a month and a half. They start to fall and blow off around this time. Peak for the foliage does not last long. It can end in just a matter of a few days. At least there's the whole lead up to it, though. I always track it every year to try to determine the best times to visit different areas because I'm a nerd like that.







One of the many perks of being a librarian is that I get a lot of the holidays off such as Columbus Day. Another librarian friend of mine also had it off, so we decided to have a mini fall adventure to go exploring and see the leaves.







We went to a few different places in the same area and just kind of followed the scenic back road routes. It was fun to see new places and just spend a day hanging out and relaxing. There was this one place that had a cottage that I thought looked like it could be Belle's from Beauty and the Beast.







The leaves were really pretty. It wasn't peak yet, but it was close to it at this point for where we were. A lot of the leaves were changed and there were lots of different colors. I always like when you get to see all the colors and not just yellow. I prefer the deep red and orange leaves.







Now that Halloween and October is over, I feel pretty blah and anti-social. I do so much in October that in November, I tend to be a bit more of a hermit and want to relax for a while. This past weekend I didn't do much except for shopping and start watching Master of None on Netflix with Chris. I'm also pretty sure I've caught a cold, so I've been loading up on Zicam and tea the last couple of days. It's been surprisingly warm for November. We are still getting 60-degree weather some days. It's really strange, but I'm not complaining.






It seems that the Christmas season starts on November 1st now. Once Halloween is over, they start playing the Christmas music in the stores and you see e-mails and commercials about the holiday season. It's pretty crazy. It's good to be prepared and on top of things, but it's a little too much. For me, the "holiday season" doesn't really start until Thanksgiving/the day after. That's when I start listening to Christmas music in my car. I'm excited for Thanksgiving because it's the holiday with the best food. Turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing and pie is the best.



Dress: Dear Creatures//Sweater: H&M//Tights & Boots: Target//Scarf: Gift//Lipstick: NARS

While we are talking about Christmas, I have no idea what to get anyone. I find that the men in my life are the hardest to shop for. My dad never really wants anything and Chris has a lot of the stuff he wants or needs already. It's hard to keep coming up with ideas! I like to come up with something special and different every year. I don't really like to repeat gifts, unless it's something like clothes. Do any of you find gift-giving hard?