I've never been big into confession posts, but I've had a few of these in my drafts for a couple of months and figured it was finally time to writeup a full post. My first confession really could be that I can't believe there are only two days left of April-- but haven't we all been saying that with every passing month of this year?

... I was initially really annoyed with the new Bloglovin' feed situation. I didn't like that random people kept showing up on my feed even though I was no longer following them (or their blog), but I've actually found a couple of really great posts from blogs that I don't follow because someone I do follow liked their post.

... I'm really bad at revisiting to-do/bucket lists on my blog, which is why I don't really write them anymore even though I love reading other people's posts. I was looking back on my summer bucket list for 2014 (that I never finished updating), and it definitely helped me be more intentional with our weekend activities, so I think a list for summer 2016 is coming soon!

... I finally watched Fuller House a couple of months ago when my husband was super sick and I liked it so much I've considered re-watching the season all over again. I wasn't even that excited when it was first released because I thought it would be way too cheesy (it is), but it's really cute-- and probably just a nice change from all of the dark and intense shows we usually watch.

... I made these chocolate coconut bars a few weeks ago and sent a bunch of them to work with my husband. I still had quite a few left over so I saved one and threw the rest away so I wouldn't be tempted to eat them (all in once day). Later I regretted that decision & definitely almost had a Miranda moment, but I resisted. #sugaraddict

... I don't know if I want to see Me Before You. I  l o v e d  the book- it's one of my all-time favorites- and the movie looks like it's going to be really well done, but I just don't want to be sad all over again.

...Speaking of books and movies- I do want to see The Girl on the Train even though I wasn't totally crazy about the book. Emily Blunt definitely isn't who I pictured for Rachel, but I'm kind of thinking that's a good thing because from the trailer she doesn't seem as unlikable as in the book.

confess your heart out with Nadine &

weekend recap | the last one of 27

Happy Monday! Today I'm inking up with Biana to share some of my weekend highlights. Friday was spent catching up with one of my good friends over lunch and shopping. I needed to pick up my race packet for my 5k, so after my husband finished up work we headed down to Alexandria. While we were down there we decided to check out a new (to us) restaurant Virtue Feed & Grain.


Friday Favorites & Sephora Haul

Happy Friday! I haven't done a favorites post or a haul in a while so I thought I'd combine the two for double the fun. Most of the links in this post are affiliate links so if you click and/or purchase anything I get a few cents. Linking up my Friday favorites with Amanda & Tiff!

Carly Reads Here | april 2016

I'm a week late for the usual show us your books linkup, but I didn't want to hold off until next month to share my most recent reads. I did a mid-March book post and really thought I was going to have so many more books for this post, but I kind of hit a reading wall. I didn't end up reading anything while we were in Boston even though I had quite a bit of downtime because of the weather. This is still a special book post though because I'm finally talking about A Prayer for Owen Meany, which is now one of my favorite books of all time.

A Prayer for Owen Meany | I almost gave this book its own post because it's now one of my top 5 favorite books ever. I wasn't at all familiar with John Irving before reading this-- and actually only picked it up because for some reason I thought my mom had mentioned it to me (she hadn't). From the first page I knew I was going to love it-- something about the voice or writing pulled me in immediately. I later learned that first (and last) sentences are huge for Irving & the first sentence of this book is apparently his favorite ever. I cried a lot when this book was over, my husband thought it was because someone died, but it was more because the book was over. It's a weird thing when you have a book and you're anxious to get to the end, but at the same time you want it to never end. I finished this right before Easter and there's a significant part of the book about Easter so I kept thinking about that...  [5 thousand stars]

Now and Then | I guess this is considered a new adult/contemporary romance? I got it for free on Amazon and admittedly wanted something kind of fluff to read after Owen Meany. The entire book was dialogue with a few description sentences in-between. The characters were interesting enough but a bit on the annoying side. I don't care for books where too much is happening in too short of a time frame and things aren't properly developed-- it felt very one dimensional, but it was a quick read so I didn't invest that much time into it. [2 stars]

Ugly Love | This is the only book I've ever read by Colleen Hoover and while I didn't know exactly what was going to happen, I knew there was something that a lot of people didn't like. This was another read in a couple of hours book full of mainly dialogue & a real lack of character development in my opinion. The majority of the book is told from Tate's point of view and then switches to Miles' point of view when he's in high school- which is an attempt to set up an explanation for why he is the way he is in the current day chapters, but I had a hard time getting past the point that there was no development of Tate. [3 stars]

Pretty Little Liars | I decided this was worth a read since it was available from the library without a wait, and obviously I've been on a YA kick. This book was pretty true to the first episode of the show other than a few small details. The one thing that stood out to me was that Allison disappears when they're in 7th grade-- it does fast forward to 10th grade when Allison's body is found (and where the show starts up)... I was kind of wondering why Ian was hooking up with Spencer when she's in 7th grade? A few things kind of made me wonder what ages the book is really meant for? It read like a middle grade book, but the subjects was definitely for an older audience. [3 stars]

Lastly, Kelly Oxford's book Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar was a did not finish for me. I follow her on twitter and she's definitely funny, but her book just was not funny at all to me. Maybe the second half was better, but I stopped reading when it felt too forced and I found it to be borderline offensive. It wasn't terrible, it just wasn't for me. What have you read recently?

Take a Trip to Boston | part 1

If you follow along on my social media you probably already know I recently got back from a trip to Boston. My husband had the opportunity to go for a conference and I was excited to be able to tag along. It was our first time in Boston and we were lucky enough to get to experience some true New England winter weather almost the entire time we were there. I'm from Michigan so I'm definitely used to winter lasting from October to the end of April, but it's a little bit different when you're somewhere and were planning to be outside, walking around for the majority of the trip. So despite the weather being pretty miserable, we still had a really good trip and enjoyed seeing Boston for the first time!


CRAVINGS: a review

If you've followed my blog for a while you know I'm a huge cookbook fan. I was really excited when I saw that Chrissy Teigen's cookbook was an available option on Blogging for Books. I've followed her on instagram for a while and have always loved seeing her cooking posts. 


currently // vol 3

March was not the month I thought it was going to be, but the cherry blossoms popped out and regardless of how the month goes-- it still goes.


April Wish List

It's a little bit crazy that April is already here-- even though it felt like we were just in the middle of winter where it felt dark and dreary 24/7, it's a good reminder that seasons change (quickly) & to make the most of every moment. April is my birthday month so I thought this was a good time to share my beauty wish list with a few other things thrown in-- which is basically a big list of things I've wanted for the past 3 to 4 months. Other than a few skin care items (and a nail polish & lipstick to get free shipping last week...) I haven't purchased any makeup or beauty products since last year. Not too bad for someone who was obsessed with buying makeup at one point.

Basically I'm wanting all of the tinted lip balms. I recently went through my lip products and got rid of most of them-- they were either way too old or random drugstore colors I never used. I have tiny lips and am low maintenance when it comes to liner and reapplying so tinted lip balms are a really practical option to still get some color.

Tarte recently came out with the rainforest of the sea line & not only do these lip balms have the cutest packaging, they sound like they're ultra hydrating-- nude & rose are the two shades I've had my eye on, but all four look pretty neutral giving just a hint of color.

I've wanted to try one of the Bite Beauty lush lip tints forever-- they have just a hint of color but are packed with vitamin e & argan oil to help keep the lips nice and moisturized.

I think just about everyone raves about the Sugar Lip Treatments and I've never tried one for some reason. I love that they have an spf! If you've used them, which color is your favorite?

Sticking with makeup, I've been eyeing these luminizers! I'm a sucker for the art deco feel of the pan, but all of the swatches I've seen look pretty impressive.

Even though I'm really bad about remembering to apply primer before my foundation I've heard so many good things about the backlight priming filter.

I've wanted to try a thing or two from Pacifica now that they have more makeup items available. While I have a couple of concealers, I love the sound of this under eye brightener-- available in a peachy or more yellow shade.

Moving away from makeup items, these are just a few other random things I've had my eye on:

I actually haven't talked about this book yet (it will be in next tuesday's post), but A Prayer for Owen Meany is my favorite book I've read so far this year. Actually it might be my favorite book I've ever read & I would love a hard copy!

I love lace up shoes-- they tend to be super comfortable and I love this pair from Nordstrom. The block heel combined with the black is unlike any other pair I have and I can see them going with almost anything.

I'm still loving the bracelet from this post-- but this turquoise beaded one is also really pretty.

I saw this BaubleBar happy bracelet in one of their emails & thought it was so fun and happy.

I've been trying to drink tea more often and would really like to move past my usual green ginger or peppermint. The wellness tea sampler from Teavana sounds like such a good variety.  Do you drink loose-leaf teas? What are some of your favorites?

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