Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Best Books of 2015

 Good Morning everyone, 

I am so excited for this particular Show Us Your Books linkup! However it was VERY hard for me to narrow down my list to just a top ten but I did it. Now these are in no particular order...it was hard enough just to pick them let alone try and rank them. Now I present to you:


 The Martian by Andy Weir - I seriously didn't think I would love this book as much as I do, but honestly it is so good. So good in fact I actually purchased it on Audible so that I could listen to it over and over again. Hilarious, geeky, snarky, tension building....it's got it all.

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Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon- This book is really a kind of instruction manual for all creative types. It is funny, insightful, and extremely helpful for when you feel like you can't seem to get yourself together and express creatively. *It is more important to be Authentic than Original!
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 The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson- This book was a complete surprise! Very well written and I had no clue what was going to happen next! A great creepy murder mystery-ish book!

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 Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay- This book was just beautiful.

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 Stolen by Lucy Christopher - This book seriously messed with my head. At first I was utterly horrified at her being taken and then by the end I was actually....sad for her captor? I can see how Stockholm Syndrome could really happen to someone. That being said I will never let go of Kyra's hand while out in public....ever.

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A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall- This book was just light-hearted fun. It's romantic and silly but it was so worth reading! It reminded me of my college days and it was a great light book to read between all of these my heavier books.

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All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven- If Stolen messed with my head, this one messed with my heart. I cried buckets and buckets of tears over this book. I want to hate this book for how it made me feel but honestly it did exactly what it was meant to...break my heart.

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If I Stay by Gayle Forman- I really enjoyed this one. I liked the little flashbacks into her life...I liked the struggle to decide what direction she was going to go...and I was even okay with the cliff hanger ending. It was still beautiful and sweet.

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Dark Places by Gillian Flynn-  I almost didn't read this one since I read Gone Girl and basically hated it. This one however didn't disappoint. It was disturbing and uncomfortable (Flynn is VERY good at this.) and yet I wanted to know more. I HAD to know more!

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The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Celeste Ng- Another book that wanted to rip my heart out of my chest. It was gut wrenching and dealt with grief in a way that perfectly explained it.  I loved the main character and understood her fears and anger toward the situation. Another beautiful heartbreaker.

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Seriously I love the Show Us You Books linkup. I wouldn't have found even half of these gems without all of you! I cannot wait to see which books were your favorites this year!
Life According to Steph
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Monday, December 28, 2015

Weekend Recap: The one with a BIG announcement

Good Afternoon Everyone!

This post is going up later than I intended but honestly I am still playing catch up from the holiday and am a little overwhelmed. However better late than never!


Thursday: Happy Birthday to me! It was a great birthday this year. I spent the morning with Robert and Kyra and then the afternoon at my parents for Christmas and the evening with Robert’s Dad and Stepmom and family. It was a pretty busy day but it was also a lot of fun. I am really happy that everyone seemed to enjoy their gifts and of course LOTS and LOTS of amazing foods were eaten. We also received some really nice gifts and Kyra of course made out like a bandit.
 
How adorable is this cutie??

Friday: Merry Christmas! The morning was spent again with Robert and Kyra doing our little family Christmas. 
 
She got a piano and LOVES IT. She really loves jumping up and down on it!

Then the afternoon was spent with Robert’s Mom and Stepdad and Grandfather. Again lots of good food and good fun.
There was also a pretty big announcement made on Christmas. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you have already seen this but if you haven’t….



That is right! Kyra is going to be a big sister! We are so excited to be adding another member to our family. It is still pretty early (about 6.5 weeks) and I know they advise against announcing early but honestly I can’t keep a secret at all. I told everyone about Kyra when I was only about two weeks along so really I did better this time! Either way we are all really happy and cannot wait to meet our new little one!

 Saturday: My parents watched Kyra so that Robert and I could go and see Star Wars. I loved it. It was awesome and that is all I will say so as to avoid spoilers for those that haven’t seen. Although I will say this….HOW is Harrison Ford still so good looking??? Magic has to be involved…..

Sunday: Uber lazy day. I was feeling sick and Kyra just wanted to play with all her new stuff so it was a stay at home and relax day. We enjoyed every minute of it!

So there was a holiday weekend. How was everyone's?  Also HUGE THANK YOU to all those that sent Birthday wishes and Congratulations!

Happy Monday Everyone!
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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Confessions of a Christmas Eve Baby




When you tell people for the first time the date of your birth they usually say "Aw man...that sucks."  But I am here to assure you that it in fact does not.
 
One of the best parts is the fact I get to open presents BEFORE everyone else! 


I confess that my parents are the best parents because they always made my birthday a BIG deal. 


I confess that because of my birth date I have only had to work ONCE on my birthday. No vacation time required. 


I confess that because my birthday is near a holiday it always feels festive and I don't even have to try. Decorations are up and everyone is usually in a really great mood. 

Multiple Parties. If one sucked you are probably invited to about three more. 
 


Happy Humpday Everyone!  Be sure to join the linkups!  Tomorrow is my birthday!!!! 

#Hashtaghumpday @ Genuinely Lauren
More Coffee Less Talky
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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Festive Fifteen Tag





1.Favorite Christmas smell / scent ?
I love the smell of snow. Now it probably won't be a white Christmas this year as it has been pretty warm but I love a white Christmas with that crisp scent of snow.



2. Gingerbread or Candy canes?
I'm not really into either one but Candy Canes over Gingerbread


3. Is your tree real or fake?
Fake. Robert wants a real one someday but I think they are a lot of work. Yes they smell nice but honestly...the fake one is so simple....


4. Quality Street or Roses?
So this must be an oversees thing since those aren't things that I am familiar with...however I am guessing they are chocolates so I'm just going to say that I love Christopher Elbow chocolates. YUM.


5. Do you dress up or down on December 25th?
I used to spend the day in pajamas but now that I'm a married lady and we have to split time we dress up to visit relatives.



6. Do you have any specific festive traditions?
We open one present on Christmas Eve (it's always new pajamas).



7. Any embarrassing Christmas moments that come to mind?
Not really....our Christmas times are pretty much just hilarious and fun....I don't remember anything embarrassing happening!


8. Do you wake up early or late on Christmas morning?
Early. Always. One year my youngest brother and I were up at 4 am. Of course my parents weren't getting up that early so we sat up and sorted the presents and basically stared at them until 6 am.


9. If you had a stocking where did you hang them?
We still do stockings! We hang them on the wall now because the pups are nosy and always try to get a sneak peek!


10. Favorite festive film/s?
How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Muppet Christmas Carol, ELF, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolf, The Holiday, The Family Stone....the list goes on and on.....


11. Was there a present you always asked for as a child but never received?
....I'm going to sound spoiled but I didn't really have one. I usually got what I asked for...and yes I asked for a pony. I didn't get one for Christmas but I did get a horse eventually.....so....yeah.


12. What was the best gift you received  as a child?
I received a lot of great gifts.....I suppose the best one was Jake our German Shepherd. He was such a cute puppy!


13. What is on top of your Christmas tree?
Spider-man.


14. Favorite festive food?
I basically love all the food. I do love that Robert gets me a chocolate orange for my stocking every year though!

15. Favorite Christmas activity?
I love watching my family open their gifts from me. I love the looks on their faces. I try to put a LOT of thought into a gift and I do love to surprise them...even though it PAINS me to wait....honestly I would give everyone their presents tomorrow if I could....


I found this awesome tag over at Milk Bubble Tea Blog

I'm tagging anyone who feels like doing this one! Let me know if you do so I can be sure to read your answers!
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Monday, December 21, 2015

Weekend Recap 12/21

Saturday: 

We spent pretty much the entire day finishing up our shopping list. We hit the mall, various stores, and basically ran all over the city. Kyra was a trooper through the whole thing. It was actually a lot of fun since we were just playing it by ear and weren't on the hunt for anything too specific. 

That night we decided to go to Christmas in the Park which is a massive light display. What we didn't know was that the wait was going to be LONG. Like....2.5 hours long.....

Thankfully Kyra slept the whole time until we finally reached the display and then we woke her up and drove through. She loved every minute. She was so happy to see all the pretty lights and to tell me all the colors. She saw Santa and the reindeer and loved pointing out all the elves and waving to them. 

I have exactly 0 pictures of this. Sometimes you just have to put the phone down and live in the moment. I'm so happy that I did because it was an amazing time. 


Sunday: 

My grandmother had her Christmas celebration yesterday morning. She likes to have Christmas brunch which I think everyone enjoys because Hello? Pancakes? Bacon? It was delicious. 

We all got to visit and Kyra was her adorable self winning everyone over and then she was super happy with her gifts which I know made everyone happy. She is finally old enough to really understand the whole present thing and that makes this year even more fun. 

It was the first Christmas without my grandfather but I think he was there in spirit. I know he was smiling down on us in any case because we were all together laughing and being a family. That's exactly what he would have wanted. 



So there's the weekend recap. Only 4 days until Christmas!!!!

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Favorites 12/18

Good Morning Everyone, 


Apparently I totally missed posting yesterday. This week has just been crazy but I did remember to get up and get today's post done and hopefully next week I'll be back on track. Even with the holiday! 

Here's the Friday Favorites: 


Beauty: 
Holiday Blue Nails:
Loving the blue


Polka dot nails:
I wish I had the patience to do this to my nails. Super cute.




Nerdy Girl: 

Wampa & Ewok from star wars stockings:
Adorable.


the ironic part is that just a few days ago i told my boyfriend that it would be epic if they actually had this:
This would be the most EPIC gift.

Funnies: 
He really, really hates it. | 28 Reasons Chris Pratt Is The Adorable Goofball Of Your Dreams
Chris Pratt knows the struggle.


I'm only laughing because this totally happened to me the other morning!! Lol:
It is embarrassing how many times this happens to me.



Song of the Week: 




Have a safe and fun weekend Everyone!
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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Confessions 12/16

After spending Saturday at the mall (about 45 minutes away) I realized that I REALLY miss our mall. Outdoor concept malls don't work in crazy weather areas like this one. It was so nice to wander around in a climate control area and not have to worry about the weather!

Whoever thought of reversible wrapping paper is a freaking genius and I love you. #prettypresents

Ulta has a 20% off your entire purchase coupon. I am banned from shopping because of birthday/Christmas. It is killing me.

My 81 year old Great Aunt sent me a Christmas card with a 4 page handwritten letter. It was so sweet and adorable.

I love how Kyra is getting so excited about Christmas Lights. She loves all the bright colors.
 



Short and Sweet this week. Happy Humpday Everyone.


Linking up with: 
#Hashtaghumpday @ Genuinely Lauren
More Coffee Less Talky
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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Book Challenge!



So I am officially going to attempt Erin's book challenge! I am normally pretty horrible about these challenges because I either forget about them or else I don't follow the rules properly....womp womp. 

However I am going to complete this one! I'm really excited and I have (tentatively)  picked out my books!


5pts - Read a book, any book that is at least 200 pages long.






         You by Caroline Kepnes
 


10pts - Read a book that begins with the letter "D".
         Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Wood


10pts - Read a book with a four word title.

         Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight
 

15pts - Read a book with one of the following words in the title: "Mother(s), Father(s), Son(s), Daughter(s), Child(ren).
           Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 


20pts - Read a book by amazon's top 100 authors from an author that you've never read before http://www.amazon.com/author-rank
           The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan

           Outlander by Diana Gabaldon


20pts - Read a book set in Asia.
           Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See 

           Secret of a Thousand Beauties by Mingmei Yip

25pts - Read a book with a season in the title ("Summer", "Spring", "Winter", "Autumn", I'll even allow "Fall")
            Summer Knight by Jim Butcher


30pts - Read a book that will make you laugh from the attached list: http://www.buzzfeed.com/…/books-guaranteed-to-make-you-laug… - submitted by Bernadette
           Good Omens by Terry Pratchet and Neil Gaiman


30pts - Read a book that is a friend or family member's favorite (or favorite book from another participant of this challenge) - submitted by Peggy
            TBA-----I have already read most of their favorites so I'm still searching for one that I haven't yet read!


35pts - Read a book published the year you were born. - submitted by Meredith
            The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera




So there you have it my (tentative) list! I am really excited to attempt this challenge and get some serious reading done! 
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Monday, December 14, 2015

Currently: Decemeber 2015













Reading....Cinder by Marissa Meyer . I have heard amazing things about this series and I am really looking forward to getting into this world!
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Watching....Well Watched- Steampunk'd. I love the steampunk style. I think it is so creative and beautiful. This was a fun show that I randomly caught on Hulu and binge watched. Though I can't say that I agreed with the judges on some of the rooms.


Needing.....to finish wrapping gifts. Christmas is NEXT WEEK. 

Wanting.....to get my nails done for the holidays, but at the same time it seems like an unnecessary expense right now. Maybe I should just suck it up and use one of the billion polishes I own and do it myself. 




 Amused....this adorable picture. My husband sometimes has to fill in at school crossings to help out at work and a little boy gave him this the other day. Isn't this so Adorable? 




Enjoying.....Christmas Decorations. My mom is on a whole other level when it comes to this stuff!

Christmas Village

The mantle

Mom made this. Seriously.

Pinterest inspired. All rescued from the thrift store.

Boring Brown wreath transformed into Winter Silver gorgeousness.


Happy Monday Everyone. 
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Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Favorites 12/11

Good Morning Everyone, 

It's finally Friday and that means it is Friday Favorites time! 


Beauty: 
Shimmer and shine! This glamorous look uses your favorite glittery shade of Essie nail polish to create a fall-worthy manicure. Use this color from your beauty favorites and pair it with deeply colored pieces from your closet to really make your nail art pop.:
What shade is this??? Anyone know?????


Dark Nails:
Really feeling this color for the winter.....




Fashion:
rinasenorita‘s Instagram photos | Pinsta.me : The Best Instagram Web Viewer:
Yes big sweater.. Yes.

Today's outfit! It's cool enough today to wear sweater and boots   Sweater: @lookbookstore Jeggings: Supre Booties: Temt Bag: @citybeachaustralia:
I am not a big fashion person really. I just wear what I like but this girl's style speaks to me! @rinasenorita on Instagram





Nerdy Girl:
If Lost, Humor Book Lover Unisex Hoodie, Book Nerd, Funny Hoodie:
Yes. I need this.


Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Bookends:
Yep. Want.




Funnies: 
 :


got my 45 seconds in today:

Song of the Week:




Happy Friday Everyone. Have a safe and happy weekend!
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