Thursday, December 18, 2014

Recent Reads: end of the year edition

Happy Thursday! It feels good to be back to blogging (kind of) and I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who sent emails and tweets over the last couple of weeks- they really brightened my day. Once again I'm really behind in getting this recent reads post up, but I wanted to do it before the end of the year.

Yeah, Maybe by Jo Hodges: This was an adorable YA novel that will make you feel like you've transported back to high school with all the good & the bad. As much as I hated Annie's BFF at times- Joey kept her so real and honest to how someone at that age would actually behave. I'm hoping for a sequel :)

The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood: This is one of those books that I thought about days after I read it, and after I had time to process it I liked it a little bit more. It reads as a mystery/suspense, but it's really more of a study on each of the different characters. It's a group of individuals who live together in a boarding house and there is a lot of craziness (and a murder) that go on from each of the character's point of view. Because there are quite a few different people to follow I had some trouble keeping them straight at the beginning, but once I got into it, it was easier to follow & an enjoyable read.  [c/o netgalley]

Life Drawing by Robin Black: The story pulled me in immediately but as it progressed it seemed to slow down and I found myself losing interest at times. I found Black's writing to be wonderful, easy to read, with great imagery, but the story fell flat. The story follows a couple who has moved out of a big city to the country in an attempt to get a fresh start after the wife has an affair. This is a book that looks at marriage as well as friendships and how the two intertwine. [c/o netgalley]

A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale: It's no secret I love the cheesy holiday movies, so I figured maybe I would love a book in the same genre...turns out, not so much. The story had a lot of promise for a cute Christmas story-- the nanny falls for single dad and his perfect family. It seemed like Hale glossed over the parts I thought would have been interesting and spent way too much time on Carrie going over the same thoughts- it got boring after a while.

A small thing that bugged me was that the story is set in Virginia, but as I was reading it felt so forced to me. I decided to do a little research and found that while the author does live in Virginia I believe she's British, which made some of the weird word usage make a little more sense. Not a huge takeaway, but it obviously distracted me. [c/o netgalley]

The last thing I'll say is that all four of these books were completely different. A little YA, a suspense, drama, and some chick lit. I'm currently reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and I love what I've read so far! And if you missed it, I did a full post on my thoughts on The Goldfinch.

I have a lot of housekeeping type things to do over here in blog land, but I'm looking forward to posting again.

Have you read any of these books? 
What have you read recently? 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

I kept going back and forth on whether or not I wanted to post about this. I don't like to let things get too personal on my blog, but I didn't feel right going on as though nothing in my life had happened.

My sito (grandmother) passed away this weekend and there aren't enough words to describe the amount of sadness I feel. I'm so thankful for all of the years we got to spend with her here on earth and I have comfort knowing that she's now resting peacefully in heaven.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thoughts on The Goldfinch

I mentioned The Goldfinch for the first time a couple of months ago while I was still reading it, and this book was definitely the standout of all the books I read this year. I almost don't want to bother reviewing it because I don't think I'll do the story justice.

The first thing I'll say is that it's long. It's possibly one of the longest books I've ever read and that's what put me off from reading it for so long. However, the book was so good that even at nearly 800 pages I didn't really want it to be over.

The book starts off in NYC with 13-year old Theo and follows his life over the next 15 years or so. Right away I was pulled into the story because I love all things New York City and I love museums. If you read the synopsis of the book you'll know that Theo's mother dies in a tragic incident in the first few pages. Even though the mother wasn't in the majority of the story I felt like I missed her, just as Theo did throughout the story.

There were parts of the story where I hated what Theo did / what happened to him. So much so that it makes my skin crawl to think about it, but I was so wrapped up in the story, and had so much hope for Theo that even the hard parts were really brilliant to read. Not to mention, I was easily captivated by Tartt's writing style.

There's also a level of suspense and mystery to the story because you're never quite sure what's going to happen-- to Theo, or to the painting.

This is a hard one for me to review without giving too much away, but if you've been debating reading this, I'd say it's a must-read!

Have you read The Goldfinch
What have you been reading lately? 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

November 2014 Favorites

2014 is quickly wrapping up and I'm here to share a few favorites. I apologize for the not-so-great picture, but I quickly snapped a picture on Sunday night so I could get this post ready to go for today.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekending in NYC

Happy Monday! I hope everyone who celebrates had an amazing Thanksgiving weekend. We spent most of the weekend in NYC and now are back trying to catch up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

10 Things on my Christmas 2014 Wish List

The holidays seem to change the older I get- at least when it comes to gift giving and receiving. Whether it's deciding to take a trip, buying a big item purchase for your home or family, or putting money towards an experience of some sort (a concert, play, sporting event, etc), the holidays are less about the presents under the tree.

With that being said, here are a few things I would love to receive this year- and some thing I'd say would make pretty great gifts for someone else too :) I'm linking up with Elise for the These Are a Few of my Favorite Things linkup.

1. I'm pretty set on eye shadow with the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette, but I've heard amazing things about sable & sumptuous olive for people with brown eyes.

2. I'm on the hunt for a new blush and cedar rose by Lancome is the front runner. I had a sample of this shade a few years ago and remember loving it. Exposed by Tarte and Mood Exposure by Hourglass are also up there.

3. I've been into lipsticks lately and would love to try the new line from NARS- the shade Anna looks gorgeous.

4. I keep things pretty simple when it comes to my hair, and I usually use coconut oil when I'm in need of a mask, but I would love a little extra pampering with the Bumble & Bumble Creme De Coco hair mask.

5. I love the mini RL bag I got for my birthday, but something a little bit bigger would be nice and I'm loving both the RL Newbury Double Zip Shopper & the Rebecca Minkoff Amorous Tote.

6. I've always wanted to try a lip scrub so sparkling peach by Sara Happ would be a total splurge and amazing gift.

7. I recently got a sample of the Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gioia perfume and was in love with it! All of my other perfumes are extremely floral, so this one would be something different for my collection.

8. I love this slightly oversized cotton plaid shirt from Madewell- it looks amazingly comfortable and I love the colors, though I actually wouldn't mind one in every color!

9. I've never been huge into jewelry or accessories, but every once in a while something really catches my eye & this necklace from Piperlime by House of Harlow is beautiful with the rose gold and blue quartz is gorgeous.

10. Lastly, I've had my eye on these sunglasses for a while now- I know winter isn't primetime for wearing sunglasses since it seems like the sun is rarely out, but these would be a much welcomed Christmas gift anyway!

There are also a handful of things from Etsy that I would love & a few books I have my eye on, so part two of my wish list might be coming soon. What are some things on your holiday wish list this year?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thursday Ramblings

It's already Thursday, and I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone that November is flying by! I'm linking up with Joey and Annie today to share a few things.

I already can't get enough of the cheesy Christmas movies. I love the classics like White Christmas and Home Alone- but I can get sucked into the Hallmark channel for hours. I've already watched Snow Bride twice this year. One Starry Night is new this year and it's so cute. One of my ABC Family favorites is Holiday in Handcuffs- if you haven't seen these yet, and you enjoy a super cheesy, cute, holiday movie make sure you set your DVR for the next time they're playing!

I'm about two weeks in and I've done well aside from Saturday. It started with ordering pop at lunch with a friend-- I had skipped my coffee that morning and felt like I needed caffeine. Later we had pizza for dinner complete with cinnamon sticks (I could not resist) & more pop...

Other than that I've done really well- even with the constant candy and cookies tempting me at work and the peanut butter cups in our freezer. Drinking tea when I want a snack has been a good distraction so far. I'll do another update at the end of the month, but I'm hoping for no more major slip-ups!

Lunch was at Rosa Mexicana; a Christmas Tree going up at the National Harbor. 
I completed my reading challenge for the year this week and read my 35th book. Its been a while but I'm excited to have a book post coming soon!

What have you been up to this week? How are your November goals going so far? Any favorite holiday movies?