For the newcomers: Alexa, DJKristin and I unofficially formed the Paranormal Book Club and the goal is to re-read (or in some cases, read for the first time) old YA paranormal books. The plan is to read a book/series per season (which I'm tracking here) and after, we'll answer five questions.

So far we've read The Iron FeyBeautiful Creatures, Sweet Evil, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Born WickedTiger's Curse, Altered, Unearthly, and Glass Houses together and today I'll be talking about our latest read: Angelfall by Susan Ee.

Here are my thoughts:
  1. What were your initial thoughts about the book? Were you excited to read it?
    This was a re-read for me and I was definitely excited to see how it would hold up. If you don't know, Angelfall is the first in the Penryn & the End of Days trilogy. When I first read this in 2012, it became one of my favorite paranormal books because of the story, the lore (it deals with angels and an apocalypse), and its characters (namely Penryn and Raffe, the protagonists). It was just so different at the time. Unfortunately, I disliked the final book so much that it sort of tainted the entire trilogy for me at the time. Going into this re-read, I knew I'd only read the first book and stop there (I highly recommend this approach). I'm happy to report that I still very much enjoyed Angelfall! I don't five-star love it anymore but even 10 years later, certain scenes were still clear in my mind and re-reading them still made me laugh, swoon, and get caught up in the suspense. 

  2. What was your favorite quote or passage, and why did it resonate with you? 
    This line said by Penryn: "I never thought about it before, but I'm proud to be human. We're ever so flawed. We're frail, confused, violent, and we struggle with so many issues. But all in all, I'm proud to be a Daughter of Man." The sentiment behind it resonated with me. I may not be living in an alternate dystopian universe (even though it feels like it sometimes, especially these last few years), but I want to have that hope and faith. 

  3. Which character did you relate to the most, and what was it about them that you connected with?
    Probably Penryn. I think at first glance we're very different. But I related to the way she looks out for her family and takes initiative. I'd also like to believe I'm as brave and resourceful as she is but more than anything, I connected with her love for her family.

  4. Was there anything you wanted to see more of in the book, like more page time for a secondary character or a plot point you wish was explored more?
    Given how I felt about the following books in the series, I wish this book had been much longer in general so it could be a standalone. Even though Penryn and Raffe spend the entirety of the book together, I still would've been happy with more, especially given how things ended.  

  5. What are your final thoughts? Would you read this book again and/or continue with the series? Would you read another book written by the same author?
    I'm so glad we re-read this! The story and lore actually still felt fresh and different from other YA paranormal books, which is a feat in itself considering how many books fall into this category (I've read a lot of them!) But, as I mentioned earlier, I would not continue with this and I wouldn't read another book from this author. I tried to read the first book in her other series, Cinder & the Prince of Midnight, and I couldn't get past the first chapter. 
*** 
Don't forget to check out what Alexa had to say about Angelfall!

And if you want to learn more about 
Paranormal Book club and our past reads, go here.

It's hard to believe that it was only 4 days ago that I was in Turks & Caicos with Carina! It was amazing and exactly the kind of vacation I didn't know I needed until I was there. First of all, I finally got to scratch my travel itch and fly somewhere for the first time in 2+ years. Secondly, when I think about planning my next trip, destinations in Europe are what usually come to mind rather than beaches and resorts. And that is why this girls getaway ended up being so perfect. Aside from the necessities (plane, hotel, spa, dinners), we didn't plan a single thing other than knowing we wanted to eat, lay by the beach/pool, and shop. So when we got there, I truly got to put work and personal stress behind me to just completely rest, and not worry about anything or anywhere to rush off to. 


We flew in early Tuesday morning and left on Friday so we basically had 2.5 days of vacation time (we definitely should've extended our trip by one more day - now we know for next time!). 

Tuesday


Aside from needing to be at the airport three hours ahead of our flight (which, in our case, meant 5AM), the flight to Turks & Caicos was a breeze! There were no COVID mandates going to the island since we were both vaccinated and we chose to wear our masks for the duration of the short, under three hour flight. 

We booked a shuttle ahead of time to Seven Stars Resort & Spa, which I highly recommend doing (I've become paranoid about just getting into a taxi in a foreign country so I'd rather book things in advance and that way I can read reviews too). And once we arrived at the resort, we were completely taken care of! The hospitality service was spectacular and we loved every minute of our stay. There are three pools (kiddie, family, and adult only), three restaurants (The Deck, Terrace, and Seven -- plus breakfast is free!), a spa, on-site COVID testing center, tennis/basketball/bocce ball courts, and it's right on the beach. We immediately grabbed lunch at The Deck while we waited for our room to be ready and once we had access, we changed into our swimsuits and headed straight for the pool. 

Since we didn't want to be walking around when it was dark out, we had dinner every night on the resort and booked reservations days before our trip for each night. Again, highly recommend doing this, especially for Seven. Our first dinner ended up being at The Deck again but the food was good, so we didn't mind. 

Wednesday

The first thing we did on our second day was go to the beach! The view was beautiful but since I can't swim and the waves were pretty rough, I just ventured into the water up to my knees, which was more than enough for me. There's something about being near the water and hearing the waves crash that I find so soothing. We walked up and down the beach too and relaxed under our umbrellas for a bit. (The sun is pretty strong so if you go, make sure to bring a high SPF, sunglasses, and a hat if you can.) 

After a couple hours on the beach, we went for our spa appointment and we both got the 80 minute "inner calm" massage. Was it pricey? Yes. Was it worth it? 1000% percent. In fact, if we had an extra day of vacation, we would've gone back. It was the most relaxing massage I've ever had and they really tailored it to my problem areas (which are many since I sit at a desk all day). 

From there, we walked off the resort to explore and again, the location was perfect. To our right and under a 10 minute walk were a bunch of plazas (ie. Regent Village) for shopping and eating. Of the places we stopped at, my favorites were: The Studio by Island Organics (soap/jewelry/candles), Lemon 2 Go (I got lotion but didn't get to try food), Beans and Leaves Cafe (Filipino-owned coffee shop), and Island Scoop (ice cream!).  

Once we were done walking around, we went to the pool again (aka how we spent most of our late afternoons) and decided to do room service to eat on our balcony. 

Thursday

Our last day was a bit of a mixed bag because it rained on and off during the day and then it started to come down really hard in the afternoon. But it was no less relaxing and we made the most of it. We started off at the pool again but once it started drizzling, we ventured off the resort for lunch at The Patty Place (which is a must and a 2 min walk from where we stayed!). We walked around to the other nearby plazas, like Ports of Call, but none of the stores appealed to us except Atelys, a beautiful local jewelry designer (I walked out with a bracelet). 

We went back to the room to wait out the rest of the rain (I took advantage of that time to finish my book) and once there was a slight lull in the rain, we sat near the beach to further wait it out, and as soon as the sun came out again, it was back to the pool! 

For our last night, we had dinner at Seven, which a little dressier, and the food and service was so, so good. I ordered grilled octopus (delicious!) and we shared beignets and coconut creme brulee for dessert. It was the perfect dinner to end our trip on.


***

Before I sign off, I wanted to mentioned a few things about COVID and flying home so skip this section if you're not interested ☺

We had to test negative for COVID one calendar day before our trip so it was super convenient to do that on-site and for free (it's $50 if you're not staying at Seven Stars). We made an appointment ahead of time and the whole process took less than 15 minutes. They scan your passport, do the test, and prepare the necessary paperwork for you. All you have to do is sign it and show it at the boarding gate. We also had to fill out an online attestation for JetBlue the night before to confirm we tested negative and didn't feel any symptoms but they didn't ask to see it at the airport, which surprised me because their email said to have it ready. Testing negative was the only thing I stressed about for the trip since we obviously didn't want to get stuck there and quarantine. We both got travel health insurance prior to the trip as a precaution (Seven Corners is my go to!) and I packed 4 COVID tests in case we did start to feel symptoms, which we luckily did not. But I had a feeling we'd be okay because for our stay was spent outdoors and almost everywhere we went was well-ventilated. 

Other tips for the trip home: (1) even if you check in on the app, their airport requires physical boarding passes, which you can print from a kiosk, (2) there's no TSA, and (3) the international area was quite packed and while we would've liked to venture to the second level for more space and food, they only had stairs which was pain for us since we both had carry-ons. 

***
So that was our trip! We loved it and we're seriously considering making this an annual besties getaway, which I am totally down for!


CODA
Available on Apple TV+

CODA is the first non-Marvel, non-Stars Wars movie that I felt excited about watching in a really long time. And when I finally sat down to view it, I was blown away. I laughed, I cried, and I was reminded of why I used to be such a film buff back in the day. It's because of movies like this. CODA, in real life, actually stands for child of deaf adults and that's more or less the premise. Ruby Rossi is the only hearing member of her family; her parents and older brother are all deaf. Because of her family's reliance on her and her atypical upbringing, Ruby is a bit of an outcast at school. But when she sees her crush sign up for choir, she impulsively does the same but the truth is, Ruby actually loves to sing. Her music teacher quickly picks up on her talent and soon Ruby's world begins to expand and she has to figure out what she wants. Does she stay and help out with the family business or does she go on to pursue her dreams? It's very much a coming-of-age story that's filled with so much heart, humor, and music (their cover of "You're All I Need to Get By" has been on all my playlists since watching). It was also amazing to see a movie where ASL and the deaf community could shine and be really highlighted in film. This was, without a doubt, the best movie I've seen, so far, this year. 


The Dropout
Available on Hulu

To be honest, I knew close to nothing about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos when I began watching the 8-episode miniseries, The Dropout, so this story was pretty much "brand new" to me. But man, I was googling after every episode because I couldn't believe something this wild had happened in real life. Elizabeth Holmes is the former founder and CEO of Theranos, a biotechnology company, who claimed they had developed a method for testing blood with only a fingerprick. She became one of the youngest self-made billionaires, famous, and a female CEO in Silicon Valley at the time when there weren't many. But it turns out her company was all a lie and she's now been convicted of criminal fraud and may go to prison. The show gives us her origin story as well as her rise and inevitable fall. I was just really shocked by the whole thing and everyone involved. It was just crazy to see how far she was able to get with her lies and just Elizabeth herself was, wow. Amanda Seyfried did an incredible job playing her. (Sidenote: If her voice throws you off, go to YouTube and listen to the real Elizabeth Holmes -- it's a thing.) 


Crash Landing on You
Available on Netflix

I had been purposely resisting the k-drama craze because I didn't need more TV shows to add to my plate plus I genuinely didn't think it would be for me. AND I WAS SO WRONG. I finally gave Crash Landing on You a try and it might just be one of my top favorite shows ever. (And now I don't want to watch another k-drama because I don't know how anything else could possibly live up.) It's about Yoon Se-ri, a successful businesswoman from South Korea who has proven how capable and independent she is, despite her brothers' and mother's ill will towards her. Just as her father is about to announce his decision to anoint her his successor of the family business, she goes paragliding and gets caught in a tornado that lands her in North Korea, where she meets Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok. Captain Ri and his four patrol officers first try to capture her but end up taking her in to protect her. As they try to help her get back to South Korea, they become friends and learn about each other's culture in a way that's hilarious and heartwarming. More importantly though, Captain Ri and Se-ri start to fall for each another in one epic love story.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. So much happens and while I admittedly wasn't hooked by the first episode, every one proceeding it reeled me in more and more until I found myself binge-watching it (and these episodes are long!). I just fell in love with the characters, the romance, friendships, everything. I loved Se-ri as a heroine and totally swooned over Captain Ri. Even his patrol officers were delightful (shoutout to my fave, Ju-meok). I laughed and cried so much, which I didn't expect to happen at all. Then after I finished the show, I kept rewatching my favorite parts for a week after. It was just that good! 


Honorable mentions
  • Inventing Anna: Another fraudster I knew nothing about but Shonda Rhimes' show about Anna Delvey, the fake heiress who went to jail, was addicting to watch. 
  • Raising Dion (S2): I had given up on a season 2 so I was delighted to see this pop up on Netflix! It's a strong follow-up but I still like the first season more. 
  • Cobra Kai (S4): Another great season but seriously, where are the adults? Why are these children always fighting in public places with no one to stop them? I love the show but I do find this ridiculous at times. 
  • The Last Kingdom (S5): I finally got my final season of this show and it did not disappoint. I love Uhtred (and Finan). 
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: I was not prepared for the horror vibes or the plot of this movie at all but I enjoyed it. One thing did kind of bother me though but I can’t say it without spoiling. Also, the actress who played America Chavez was excellent and really held her own against everyone, which was so impressive. 


***
What have you been watching lately?




pub 5/10/22 by Berkley • Adult Contemporary Romance • Received from pub for review⭐⭐⭐  4 stars | One thing I've realized this year is that my favorite romances might just be the second chance kind that alternate between the present-day adult characters and their past younger selves. Every Summer After totally fits the bill. Persephone (Percy) Fraser and her family spent six summers of her life in Barry's Bay, whether she met and eventually fell in love with Sam Florek. They were inseparable as they went from friends to something entirely more, until it all blew up and they dropped out of their each other's lives. Then Percy gets a call about Sam's mother's funeral and she knows she has to go back. As they reconnect in the present over the course of a weekend, we get frequent glimpses to the past which little by little shed light on their current situation. I enjoyed both timelines, wanting to know more, and I rooted for them to face what was undeniably between them. Their story pulled me in, in a way that I wasn't expecting when I started it. That said, I do think the climax and resolution felt really rushed as certain truths didn't get revealed until there was only 20% left and I wish the former had happened much sooner. But honestly, even with that criticism, it was still a really good book and I'm so glad I decided to read it! 

pub 5/3/22 by Berkley • Adult Contemporary Romance • Received from pub for review⭐⭐⭐💫  3.5 stars |  Unpopular opinion time: I liked this book but I didn't love it. Maybe it was just the timing but this wasn't a new favorite. It was cute though and a great beach read, if that's what you're looking for. We're introduced to successful literary agent, Nora Stephens, who's fully aware that she is not the typical romance novel heroine and in fact, she's usually the one getting dumped (which endeared her to me right away!). She's okay with this and is happy to focus on her career and her younger sister Libby. When she agrees to a sisters' trip in Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for a month, it's meant to broaden her horizons. But instead of falling for a small-town guy like her sister hopes, Nora keeps running into Charlie Lastra, a book editor she knows from the city who's always given her mixed signals. As they get thrown together over and over, there's no denying their interest in the other and their interactions were charming and sweet. I have to say though, I didn't necessarily feel the chemistry. I rooted for them because I was supposed to but to be honest, my heart wasn't in it. I also think the role Libby played and the co-dependency between her and Nora was something that rubbed me the wrong way. I understand a lot about helping family, especially financially, but the way this was portrayed didn't work for me (I think because it is a topic I have personal feelings on). But like I said, it was a cute book and I have been consistently entertained by Emily Henry's romance novels so if you're fan, you're sure to enjoy this one. 

Here are some non-bookish articles I really liked this past month and my latest loves.


Links
1 / Thor has always been my favorite of the Avengers (although I'd say he's tied with Captain America at this point) so I've been waiting for the new trailer for Love & Thunder to drop and it did not disappoint. It's only a teaser but I'll take what I can get! 

2 / I have to admit, I haven't been interested in joining the k-drama craze but I just finished Crash Landing on You and OMG, I am obsessed (full thoughts to come soon). The reason why I'm mentioning it is because the couple got married IRL recently (cue me swooning even more) and I am in love with all of Son Ye Bin's wedding dresses (yes, plural!). I definitely saved a few photos for the future.. just in case. 

3 / I really enjoy Cup of Jo's discussions on dating and relationships and this made me smile (because I immediately knew my answer): "When First Dating, What Movies Do You Show the Other Person?" I would show Before Sunset! I made a guy friend in college (later turned crush) watch it and when a coworker from my first job mentioned how much he loved this movie without prompting from me, I swear I looked at him with brand new eyes. 

4 / The Everygirl's post on "The Best Bags of Summer 2022" was total clickbait for me. I don't necessarily agree with all of them but straw/woven/raffia bags and a good 'ole canvas tote never go out of style IMHO. 

5 / I've been cooking the same things over and over again lately but I do think it's time to try some new recipes. These are the ones from SkinnyTaste that I'd like to try next: Swiss Chard Frittata (can I get away without baking it though?), Salmon Tikka Marsala, and Risotto with Prosciutto, Peas, and Herbs

6 / Apartment Therapy put together a list of "31 Ways to Save for a Down Payment This Month" but I'd argue that these are great trips to saving period, whether your end goal is a down payment on a house, a wedding, or just saving for the future in general. The tip that stood out to me the most as something to personally try was #6, "Limit your spending to one day a week" to curb impulse shopping. I'm going to try that this month! 

7 /  This pink and white kitchen makeover featured on A Beautiful Mess is basically my dream kitchen (except I'd do lavender or more muted blush pink). 


Loves

1 /
I recently tried Yamibuy which is an online Asian Supermarket and of course, all I bought were snacks. I'd been curious about IRVINS Salted Egg Salmon Skin because it reminds me of a Filipino snack and wow, if you like salty food this is seriously addicting. 

2 / I bought my nephew Crocs for his birthday and decided I should get myself a pair too (talking to Alexa also convinced me to try them since she has 2 of her own). I got lavender (of course!) and whoa, I get why people love these. They're incredibly light and comfortable. I'm currently using them as house shoes (which I've decorated with charms for fun). But who knows, I may venture outside with them for errands and such. 

3 / When I got my bracelet from Hermes, the sales associate was kind enough to give me a bunch of samples and I was really hoping I wouldn't like their lipstick but I did. I really, really did. I got 21 Rose Epice, which is a terracotta color that I normally steer clear of but I loved how it looked on me and the texture so after a few weeks of using the sample, I caved and bought myself a full-sized one. 

***

Do you have any links or loves to share?
Would love to hear about them!

pub 4/19/22 by Forever • Adult Contemporary Romance • Received from pub for review⭐⭐⭐💫  3.5 stars | I'm in the minority when I say that I liked Part of Your World but it's my least favorite Abby Jimenez book to date (for the record, The Happy Ever Playlist is still my #1). It was still wildly readable and easy to immerse myself in the romance between Alexis and Daniel. She has an unforgettable (supposedly one) night with him, a gorgeous, down-to-earth, small-town carpenter who's ten years her junior and her complete opposite. She's a city girl who's bearing the weight of her wealthy parents' pressure to be a surgeon instead of a "simple" ER doctor. But, of course, they can't stay away from each other and in the comfort of his small town (with its tight-knit community), they start falling in love (this was the best part!). But I felt like the conflicts that Alexis faced (ie. her family and a crazy ex) didn't work for me. Her parents felt either flat or villainous, for lack of a better word. I just didn't understand them and you know, there probably are people like that in real life but I struggled with it. Same goes for the other conflict with her ex. I even struggled a bit with Alexis herself. Again, I just couldn't imagine my career or my feelings on it being swayed by my parents' opinions (side note: my entire family to this day does not understand what I do). But even though this book ultimately wasn't a favorite, I still liked it and I can see why other people loved it. A lot of my personal feelings certainly played a role in how reacted to the book overall so if you're interested, I think it's worth borrowing from the library.  

pub 4/26/22 by Harper Perennial • Adult Contemporary Romance • Received from pub for review⭐⭐⭐💫  3.5 stars |  If you're a long-time follower of my blog, you know how much I love Katie Cotugno so I was really excited to read her first romance novel under her name (she has 3 under the pen name Ruby McNally). Former child star Fiona St. James had a very well-publicized downward spiral before dropping out of the spotlight completely and now, she's living a much more private and low-key lifestyle. On the other hand, Sam Fox, who played her older brother on their popular sitcom, Birds of California, has been living exactly the kind of life of you'd expect from a Hollywood actor. But with his career taking a dip, he signs on for a revival of their old show and he needs to convince Fiona to get on board. She surprisingly agrees to have lunch with him and both are even more surprised to find that the old sparks between them are very much still there. (We all know where this is going.) But while I enjoyed seeing their romance unfold and my heart ached for the hints to Fiona's past and the reason for her self-destructive behavior, a lot of the story felt very surface level. I wanted more from Sam, from Fiona, from their past and present, and just everything. Up until the last few chapters, I kept waiting for that big moment and it ultimately came way too late. And while the resolution was what I wanted, it wasn't given nearly enough time or the attention it deserved. So unfortunately, this was another case of liking but not loving a book from one of my favorite authors. But I'm still excited for Katie Cotugno's step into the "adult" romance space and I'm looking forward to seeing what she does next. 


Since I last shared my bag collection, I've done quite a bit of selling and donating and only two new additions (one was a present). But I find that I'm getting a lot more selective in what I purchase and that I'd rather save up for what I really want, rather than getting a less expensive bag as a "consolation". Right now, there's actually nothing else left that I'd want to sell (I'm down to 16 bags!), which I'm very happy about. But that means I've been mostly focusing on what I'd like to get next. I've been saving screenshots to my phone, reading/watching reviews, and checking them out in store if possible. So I thought it would be fun to share what's on my wishlist! 

[See image above; from top-bottom, left-right; I'll link what I can]

Hermes Kelly 28 Retourne, gold on gold • Yes, Hermes handbags have finally made their way on my wishlist and this won't be the first time I'll mention the brand in this post. This one is probably my ultimate dream bag from them. I love that it's multi-functional and can be worn crossbody or on the crook of the arm, plus that "gold" (aka tan or caramel) shade is just perfection. 

Hermes Birkin 25 in Togo Leather, rouge sellier with gold hardware • I have to say, I never understood the Birkin hype until recently but now I get it and understand how beautiful the craftsmanship is. The only reason why it's not my dream bag from Hermes is because it can only be worn on the crook of the arm. I've also been wanting a chocolate brown colored bag and again, Hermes is just killing it with the colors. 

Hermes Lindy in Mini or 26, vert de gris with gold hardware •  I had been eyeing this bag before but it wasn't until I recently saw two women wearing the mini and the 26 that I realized just how cute and practical this bag is. I'm torn on the sizes but I do want either the vert de gris color or even the vert rousseau color pictured above. And since you need to show brand loyalty before being offered a Kelly or Birkin, I think this would be a great Hermes starter bag. 

Goyard Mini Anjou in yellow • This is the latest addition to my wishlist. I've been so curious about the brand but their structureless totes never appealed to me, especially since I have my LV Neverfull already. Then I saw this! The size is perfect, it's reversible (so you can see the print or plain leather), and I love the pop of color this would add to my collection. I typically go for neutrals and muted colors but yellow is the one exception. 

Longchamp Mademoiselle Shoulder Bag in Medium • This isn't luxury designer but it does retail over $1K, which surprised me since I usually buy their nylon bags which are all under $150. I saw this when I went to the outlet and I loved the look and size of it. It would be a great shoulder bag to use for work since I usually wear a backpack now or if I want something more casual than my Chanel Classic Flap. I keep thinking about going back to the outlet just to get this, since the price there was < $900. 

Polene Numero Un Nano in MokaHere's another (and my last) non-luxury designer bag on this list. I had originally purchased the regular Numero Un bag in Paris three years ago and while I loved the structure of the bag, the large size didn't really work for me. It was hard to get in and out of, especially when I tried to fit a book in there and it ultimately was too bulky for my frame. When I saw they came out with this size, I knew I wanted to add it my collection so I sold my bag. I don't know when I'll purchase this version but I will! (And hopefully by then I'll know for sure if I want moka or black.)

Hermes Picotin 18 in Craie (or Nata) • This would actually be the most ideal Hermes starter bag since it's surprisingly under $3K and way more affordable than I expected it to be. It's so cute and I love that it's inspired by a horse feedbag. Normally I wouldn't go for a cream color or another crook of the arm bag but in this case, it works perfectly for me. I tend to wear denim all year round and I'd be so paranoid about color transfer if it was a crossbody. 

Christian Dior Medium Book Tote in Blue Toile de JouyOf this entire list, this is the one I've been eyeing the longest (3+ years!) and what I'm planning to get next! It's going to be my birthday present to myself and I can't wait. The embroidery is like a work of art in itself and it's a beautiful statement piece that still feels like a classic. 

***
What bags are on your wishlist?



Alexa and I revived our monthly hangouts! Since June 2020, we've been able to consistently set aside one Saturday a month to spend time together but then with the holidays, work, and just life in general we inadvertently put them on pause. Spending this past Saturday with her in New Jersey (she took the bus to me!) made me realize how much I had missed these outings. 


We started the day off with breakfast at Sugar Tree Cafe. I had never been before but once I saw pictures online, it seemed like our kind of spot and it totally was. We loved the aesthetic of the interior and thought their waffles and cinnamon toast dishes were delicious. Plus their large mugs of coffee really hit the spot since we both had to wake up fairly early.  

From there, we headed to Short Hills Mall (without traffic, it's a little under a 30 min drive from me) and our main reason for going was so Alexa could see Indigo Books (and find out why I loved the store so much). We had a field day in there! It was only my second time visiting but I still found myself being super impressed by the amount of books they had and all the complementary products they sell in store (stationery, puzzles, candles and home goods, backpacks, pajamas, Little Words Project bracelets, and more!). If you're ever in Jersey and you love books, I highly recommend going. 


And since we were at the mall anyway, we ended up walking around a bit too, which was nice. We went inside Hermes (where I may have walked out with something...) and Dior (where we went to "visit" the Dior book tote for the third time and I feel absolutely sure this will be my next bag purchase; Alexa approves!). 

After the mall, it seemed like a good time to grab a snack so we went to Kubo Coffee & Creamery, which is my favorite local Filipino-owned business that sells boba, coffee and ice cream. We got the Ube Mochi Taiyaki and it was honestly better than Taiyaki NYC (yes, we said it!). 

Then to cap off the day, we decided we needed more books so we went to the Barnes & Noble by me and again -- very impressed by the selection and the huge manga wall. We browsed almost every aisle and walked out with three items each. At that point, we went back to my apartment to take a short break and drink coffee before Alexa caught the next bus home (note the last photo above which I took while waiting at the bus stop with her; we have matching kumare bracelets!). 

It was just the loveliest day spent in conversation and indulging in all the things we love! I can't wait until our next hangout. 
Welcome!
Welcome!

Hi, I’m Rachel! New Yorker at heart, Francophile in spirit, and forever wanderlusting. I’m passionate about books, ice cream, photography and finding creativity in my every day life.

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