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Showing posts from July, 2016

Books: Thoughts on The Girl at Midnight and The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey

Ah, Young Adult novels. Is there anything more traumatic than finishing a novel, and realizing it's got a second book? How about finishing the sequel and realizing this series is actually a trilogy. This is what happened to me with The Girl at Midnight and The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey. I picked up the e-book of The Girl at Midnight recently because it had been recommended to be by Amazon, and it was $1.99. I have to be honest, I was not expecting to be completely drawn in immediately, let alone so broken hearted at learning I would need to wait until Summer 2017 for the final book, The Savage Dawn. *le sigh*

I want to hold off on doing a true review until I've read all three, but, I can absolutely tell you that I adore the world that Melissa Grey has created, and the main character, Echo reminds me in the best ways of Karu from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor. Both are strong if somewhat reluctant warriors with difficult childhoods who find family and …

Books: The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Margo "Grots" Oppenheimer has had a rough year. The previous Fall, her grandfather passed away suddenly, her secret boyfriend dumped her, her brother moved away to university, and her father, already a quiet man, became even more withdrawn. So, Margo did her best to push through, and follow all the steps laid out in a pamphlet from the hospital on what to do after someone dies. Cleaning out of possessions, organizing the funeral details, etc.
Somehow, though, she still finds herself losing hours, and conversations. Margo is a smart girl, off the charts smart, so when she begins to notice experiencing "wormholes," "screen wipes," and "reboots," in her daily life she takes her math and science and attempts to solve for x, so to speak. Using her grandfather's diaries, and her own scientific notation, Margo spends the summer skipping through timelines and realities in some pretty charming, if sometimes confusing, examples of magical realism. Th…

Bling: Stella & Dot Engravables

Full disclosure: I am a Stella & Dot Independent Stylist. So, a lot of the Bling I feature will very likely be Stella & Dot - since it's most of what I wear on a regular basis.  With that being said, should you choose to place an order for anything I feature (or anything otherwise,) I do earn money from that sale. That is not why I feature or talk about these pieces though - I will share and talk about whichever bling I write about because I genuinely like it. :) 
All that being said, the Engravables are some of my favorite pieces - and this new thin bar, which comes in gold and silver, is so delicate and lovely. I wanted one the minute they were released, but didn't know what I wanted it to say - so I missed out on getting it at my stylist sample price - and instead just used my regular discount. 
It's been a very difficult three years for me, and my family, and I've really tried to cling to a number of pieces of literature, and music, as sort of mantras to he…

Beauty: Saving Your Skin

It's no secret the sun causes major damage to your skin. Thankfully over the years, more and more information has become available to us about skin cancers, and overall prevention and protection from the sun. Even if you have darker skin, or tan instead of burning right away, you need to look out for your skin and the harmful UV rays that cause long term damage.

I'm not a doctor, and I'm not an expert in skin cancer or sun damage, so if you're looking for more detailed information a good resource is or The Mayo Clinic. Both sites are able to provide you with medically based information on sun protection, and how to check yourself for signs of skin cancers.

All that being said, I'm here to talk about the best way to really save your skin and prevent signs of aging, especially on your face. That way is by using sunscreen on a daily basis. I know, ugh, sunscreen. It can get into your eyes, and feel greasy, or make you break out. I know, as a super pale gi…

Fiction: Breathe

I used to write fiction all the time. I couldn't seem to stop myself. It would happen in the middle of classes, so my notebooks would be one part algebraic equations, one part poetry. I've gone through a definite dry spell in my writing over the last few years - I don't force myself to make time for it, like I used to. So, when I find things I wrote in the past, things I remember coming easily, I want to share them to remind myself to keep pushing. It may not be as easy anymore, but by working at it, it can get closer to easy again.

Written sometime in 2004/2005
"You know I breathe too much anyway, I can do that anyday." - Ani DiFranco "Anyday"

The weed hit rough, and she held back her cough the best she could. the boys were barely coughing at all, and somewhere in the back of her mind, that voice that always pressed into her "you must keep up with the boys." nagged.
she took another hit from the blunt, holding in the smoke, feeling it pulsing t…

Books: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

It has been a difficult few days, emotionally. With the passing of my mom on Sunday (which I wrote about here,) and the aftermath that follows, it's been hard to stay focused on much. I began reading this novel, Passenger, by Alexandra Bracken, on June 30th, and finished it the evening of the 4th. I immediately attempted to purchase the sequel, Wayfarer, only to discover it is not released until January 3rd. So, now I have a book hangover to deal with.  For some reason I kept confusing this novel in my mind with Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys, I think because of the similar coloring on the covers. I still have Salt to the Sea on my wishlist, so I can't yet comment on subject matter.

I digress. I really loved this books, and Bracken had be sucked in almost right away. The character of Etta is fierce, and bold, and driven. All things I love to see in strong female lead characters. I must not have read the dust jacket description, or if I did, I must have forgotten, because mu…

Watching Cancer Take My Mom

I’ve been snooping around my parents house, looking for old photos. I know we have them, my dad loves photography, and I know we have boxes of pictures around here somewhere. Snooping is probably too strong a word, really I’m just searching around. I’m trying to find as many photos of my mom as possible. Most of the photos that are around the house are studio portraits, or other photos of me, from school, from dance. There are few adult pictures of my parents that don’t also include a younger version of me. I want to find these photos because I want to have as many visual reminders of who my mom was, physically, before the cancer came. I want to remember her holding me while I suspiciously suss out Donald Duck, or holding me on her lap in a blue chair that’s almost just as much a part of my childhood memories. I want to remember her smiling, and vibrant, and sometimes, clearly annoyed with the photographer (my dad.) I want all of these as a constant reminder that my mom is so much mor…

Beauty: Younique Cosmetics Foundation & Concealer

I am a makeup and skincare product junkie, but on a day-to-day basis, I frequently go makeup free. Sometimes, it's all makeup, sometimes I wear eye make up and no foundation. There was a time, in my early 20s when I wouldn't think of leaving the house without even a little bit of makeup, but the older I get, the less I care, and it's actually done a couple of things for me. One, it's made me realize that you don't *HAVE* to wear makeup every day, nothing really happend when I wasn't wearing a full face of makeup, and two, my skin got better. I don't know if some of my skin getting better also came with age, or was in part thanks to not putting stuff all over my face,and then removing it each night. The world may never know.

That said, I do keep face makeup for those times when I want a flawless face to start with. A friend of mine from childhood is a Younique presenter, and I have tried the mascara - which I found to be mostly great, so when she invited me…