Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Favorite Holiday Books

     If there's one thing I anticipate most this time every year, it's all of the holiday books. These stories take place during winter and revolve around the holiday season. If you also love books, then I definitely suggest these:

Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

     A humorous read that is composed of three romantic stories which are connected through characters. Let It Snow is one of those books that you get so caught up in, it becomes hard to put down. One of the things that I find interesting is how the stories have obviously been planned out well and ideas have been discussed as to how they can be tied together, yet each one is so different. What I mean by this is one takes you down the path of a girl who meets a boy that welcomes her into his home and family for the break, while another provides you with story of a group of friends on a mission. Something else that I like is how three unique writing styles merge together to provide an entertaining book full of laughs. This is my favorite recommendation.

Build-a-Bear- Holly and Hal Moose: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure

     This is one that I'm not sure everyone would enjoy reading as I like to flip through the pages again every once in a while because it brings back memories of when I read it as a younger child. I came across this book years back when I used to love walking around in the Build-a-Bear Workshop and saw one day that they were selling a holiday book. It's about two moose who help out in the North Pole on Christmas Eve. It's certainly a book to give to a younger sibling or cousin.

My True Love Gave To Me by Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt De La Pena, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White

     This fantastic novel is composed of 12 short stories written by 12 bestselling YA authors. I'm not usually a fan of anthologies but I decided to try this specific one since some authors I really like contributed to it. I was surprised as to how much I loved it. There were some stories where I know I would love it from the first page, and others that I had to get partway through until I started to grow interested. One intriguing story sticks out in my mind about a mysterious girl who trades airplane tickets with another girl and finds herself living with the girl's ex boyfriend + family. It was one of those that I didn't think I would like as much, but I did as soon as she wouldn't reveal her mysterious past to the boyfriend. My favorite short story is about a girl who wants to ask a special guy a favor to borrow his voice for her animation project. He works with a family business selling christmas trees. She ends up buying one and has a short conversation with him before he helped her carry the tree home. What I find adorable about the illustration on the cover is that each couple ice-skating is from an individual short story in the book. When I finished reading each story, I looked at the cover to see if I could find the people that matched the descriptions I read.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Holiday Lights

     It was time for another annual late night drive among the streets decorated with bright, colorful lights. The strings of holiday lights lining the rooftops have always been something I look forward to around this time of year. It's nice to go out and appreciate the work of others since they put in so much time and effort for their light displays. I hope you enjoy these pictures I took!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Little Clothing Haul

     Since it doesn't get that chilly during the winter season where I'm from, I can still walk around in a tank top paired with a light cardigan. When I go on short mall trips and have time to stop by Love Culture, I always head straight to the back corner where the sales racks are. I have looked around the store before, but the clothes I seem to like most are always in that corner. If there is a Love Culture store in your mall, I do suggest stopping in one day and looking at those racks. The prices are great, and they always have nice tops the closer it gets to winter. This is where I picked up the pink and yellow tops. They are both so soft and comfy to wear! Yes, the polka dotted one is a mustard yellow color which I wasn't too sure about at first, but you can't judge a piece of clothing when it's on a hanger. I tried it on and loved how it looked. It also made me happy, because I was thinking I needed more yellow shirts at the time, and then I found this. The pink top has such a lovely pattern on it and would look great with black jeans and short boots. I was also very excited to find the white and black sweater. I had seen a similar one (but cropped) online from another store but sadly, they were sold out. Finding it among the color-coated racks of the clothes made me thrilled! I stopped in here for a very short time due to the fact that I was with a friend and our ride was waiting outside, but we had spent all of our time in one store, so our solution was to run into Love Culture for 5 minutes and then go into Bath & Body Works for 2 minutes (I might share what scents I'm currently loving from that store in the near future as I do have a slight obsession with B&BW (; ). And by run, I mean we actually ran.
     The other shop I went to (we walked into this one, haha) was H&M. I absolutely love this store.. it's one of my favorites! I especially like how they always have nice blouses and pretty collared-shirts every time I go there. This time around, I was focusing on my need for sweaters, since I have one or two in my closet and I'm traveling someplace cold for Thanksgiving break. At H&M, there were stacks of sweaters on the and sweatshirts piled high at almost every table, which was very convenient. There was a sweatshirt that said "very bien" on it (meaning: very good) which was extremely soft. The other top is a maroon colored sweater to wear with high-waisted jeans. I can never get enough of this color!


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pumpkin Carving 2015

(Mine is Jack Skellington, on the left. My friend's is a creative skeleton head, on the right.)

     In celebration of Halloween being right around the corner, I decided to join the tradition and carve a pumpkin this year with my friend. We went on a little pumpkin chase, starting at a farm that was a little too crowded to stop by for 5 minutes. Instead, we drove to a local halloween store that seemed to have all of the materials needed for carving a pumpkin...except for the actual pumpkin itself. As a result, we found a nice pumpkin patch on our way home and took a quick detour to pick up two. We had such a fun time carving them, and I recorded us in the action (of course! hehe). I hope that we will do it again soon!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Autumn Decor

     The cold breezes, crunching of the leaves, and collections full of sweaters. The pumpkin season is coming up, so I decided to start decorating for it. Some of these decorations were purchased last year and I pulled them out of the closet. I got the rest when I went into Pier 1 Imports the other day. 
     My favorite is the cute sign that reads "There is always something to be thankful for...". It's a nice reminder to have and also a perfect fit for Thanksgiving. The biggest pumpkin with the polka dots is a DIY I made last year, taking a round sponge with gold paint and dotting a plastic pumpkin from Michaels (but you can probably pick up the supplies from any local craft store near you).
     The candles are from two different candle stores. "Autumn Trio" is a mix of 3 different scents: spiced pumpkin, harvest, and apple pumpkin. It is my go-to candle to burn. This one is light, and I will probably finish it soon... "Pumpkin Caramel Latte" fills any room with a sweet aroma. It is strong, so I wouldn't recommend it if you're not into sweet scents, but it's exactly as you would think it smells like, a pumpkin caramel latte.
     The adorable string of ghost lights is also from Pier 1 Imports. I just couldn't pass them up! I think I will place them around my window or shelf to light my room up at night while decorating in season. When I took a quick stroll down one aisle, I found a little bag of acorn fillers. Right beside it was a stack of tea-light candle holders. I decided to put the acorns in the candle holder instead of a small vase. Last but not least, I found two cute little scarecrows in the closet that I decided to bring out for this autumn. They look so happy!


Friday, September 25, 2015

Bronze Goddess Bronzer

     I wasn't always very fond of wearing bronzer since I couldn't always apply it correctly. A while ago, I didn't even know what to use an angle brush for, I'd only ever heard of them. I used the mini brush that came with my first bronzer from then on. Thankfully, I got around to getting an angle brush after one day when my friend came over and asked what had happened to my cheeks (I had put on a tad bit too much and looked like I had 2 bruises...oops!).
     Now, aside from that mini horror story, I've tried a lot of different brands when it comes to bronzers and this is one of my favorites! Estée Lauder's Bronze Goddess powder bronzer is a matte bronzer that adds a nice glow in the sun. I have to mention, the packaging is huge, but it's pretty. It also comes with a mirror which is very useful on the go.
     Overall, I would give this a 4.5/5.
I borrowed the second picture from their website, which you can look at for more details:
Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess powder bronzer

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Grind Cafe

    Recently, I visited a coffee shop with a good friend of mine for an early dinner. I had gone there once before for a quick iced latte, but had only glanced at their menu. This time around, we sat down and enjoyed the food they offered from a list of choices. I was definitely surprised to see the huge selection of sandwiches they had... after all, it is a coffee shop.
    The scenery was a cozy theme, with a brick accent wall where they had set up the microphone for live music, various creative paintings, and wall lamps next to each table. We chose to enjoy our meal on a comfy couch in the corner with a view of the whole place.
I ordered the mozzarella caprese panini, which was delicious! We also got pumpkin spice macarons. Autumn is arriving quickly, so we figured it was only right! haha
    The Grind Cafe is an excellent place to visit for a quick bite to eat, and it's never been too crowded from the times I've stopped by. I will certainly be back again soon!