December 4, 2020

Links + Loves

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

1 / I enjoy looking at holiday gift guides but if I'm being honest, I usually end up finding things to buy for myself! The ones from Lauren Conrad, The Everygirl, Carly, and A Cup of Jo (the title alone cracked me up) were some of my faves. 

2 / Teen Vogue paired holiday movies with Zodiac signs and I, for one, approve of Cancer's: Home Alone!

3 / Do you hate Instagram's new design as much as I do? (The correct is yes.) One of the UX design newsletters I subscribe to did an interesting article about it which I think sheds light on why this terrible design might've done on purpose. 

4 / None of us are strangers to the fact that everyone has responded to COVID in startling different ways. BuzzFeed talks about how friendships (although I'd include family here too) have been tested during the pandemic. Luckily, the people in my life have taken it as seriously as I do but there are some acquaintances who I follow on social media that have me questioning their life choices. 

5 / The Financial Diet's article, "What ‘Toxic Positivity’ Is & How It’s Ruining Your Life" was total clickbait for me as the title alone peaked my interest. I think the writer had a lot of valuable things to say especially on the difference between staying positive and deluding yourself. 

6 / This Verily post, "Celebrating Holiday Traditions As a Single Woman" just spoke to me on so many levels. When I was a lot younger, did I imagine that by the time I hit my mid-30s my holidays would look a certain way? Absolutely. And even though that's not my reality now (or may never be), that doesn't mean I'm not happy or that I don't love creating my own Christmas traditions. 

7 / I'm sure I've mentioned this before but one of my pet peeves is when people says they've had "so much fun that they didn't bother to take a photo." And I get it, not everything needs to end up on Instagram (I have 3K+ photos on my phone; they're certainly not all on my feed). Darling Magazine talks about how photos can be an incredible reminder of specific moments in your life and I 100% feel that way too which is why I treasure the photographs littered through my whole apartment and all my albums. 


1 /
A few of the influencers I follow on Instagram kept talking about Dime Beauty so I decided to give their matte liquid lipstick a try and it has totally lived up to the hype! I've been using it every day this week (I have Bradley!). 

2 / I have a fake Christmas tree which I have no regrets over but I do love the smell of a real tree. I got this candle from Anthropologie to make up for it and it's amazing. 

3 / I love how my hair stylist blows out my hair and I realized, it has to do with the brush she uses. I ordered the same one from Amazon and it is a game changer. 


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

December 3, 2020

Review: How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams

pub 12/1/20 by Berkley
Women's Fiction - Romance
Received e-ARC from pub for review
Goodreads | Author
⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 4.5 stars | How to Fail at Flirting was unexpected in a lot of ways. Even though at face value it lived up to the sweet and sexy moments I had hoped for, it's also emotional and treads on serious ground as well. The author did a fantastic job of balancing both sides of this story and I, for one, can't wait to read more from her. In Flirting, she introduces us to Naya Turner and employs one of my favorite tropes: creating a to-do list for your life. As an overachiever who's hyper-focused on her job and dealing with the emotional aftermath of an abusive ex-boyfriend, she (and her two wonderfully supportive friends) know she needs to have fun and step outside her comfort zone. And on the first night of trying to live it up, she meets an incredible guy named Jake who goes from an almost no-strings-attached hookup to something else entirely. For the whole trajectory of their relationship, I think I might've smiled almost the entire time (or swooning -- find me a Jake IRL please). As individuals and a couple, I appreciated their growth and adored all the little and big ways they worked towards making their relationship work. Of course, the book wouldn't be complete without some conflict but the struggles Naya faced only highlighted her strength, determination, and sense of self.

Do I recommend? Absolutely! I had requested this book on a whim and I am so glad I did! How to Fail at Flirting just came out this past week so do yourself a favor and buy a copy.

November 30, 2020

November Recap

Life lately
I can't believe the last time I did a monthly recap was back in August! Sometimes work just gets so busy that I ended up skipping posts and I didn't realize I skipped this one twice in a row. But here we are, last day of November and about to enter December. I just don't know where the time goes. I took last week off and it was over in a blink. But I'm glad I took the break. Even though I'm thankful to have a job that keeps me busy, I've been feeling pretty burnt out. So it was good to relax, spend time with family, and have a happy Thanksgiving. Even though it was different, I felt so thankful to be with my Dad and the rest of our "pandemic pod" for a night of good food and company. 

This month's ...
Favorite read
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Most liked photo
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On the blog


Read but not reviewed
  • The October Horses by Genevieve Mckay- 3.5 stars
    I'm still on my hunt for good horse books and while this wasn't a new favorite, I did like it! I enjoyed watching the main character fall in love with horses and learn about riding. 
  • With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo - 4 stars
    Another winner from Elizabeth Acevedo! I'm slowly making my way through her backlog and I continue to be a fan. 
  • Racing Manhattan by Terence Blacker - 3 stars
    Truthfully, the writing was not great and the way the author chose to end every single chapter was not a wise choice. That said, I was totally compelled by the story and heroine in spite of it. 
  • Bear Town (Beartown #1) by Fredrik Backman - 3 stars
    It was pretty obvious where the story was headed and I was bracing myself for it from page one. It's absolutely heartbreaking but I found myself unable to truly connect with the book overall. I think it had to do with there being one too many narrators (most of whom I didn't care for). But the last quarter of the book was incredible so I get why readers rate this one so highly. 
  • Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin - 4 stars
    YA Fantasy has been a struggle lately so imagine my surprise when I found myself totally hooked on Serpent & Dove! I loved the story and the main characters. I can't wait to read what happens next! 
  • Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow, Ann Friedman - 3 stars
    I enjoyed this inside look into Aminatou and Ann's friendship, especially since I'm a fan of their podcast (I listen on and off!). But I didn't love it as much as I had hoped? It felt both personal and impersonal at the same time. And it was the latter parts that felt very slow to me. 
  • A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes - 3 stars
    When I think of Helen of Troy, I usually think of the movie Troy with Brad Pitt (because um, did you see him as Achilles?!). I enjoyed how this book flipped the script though and instead chose to tell this myth through the eyes of all the women affected by Troy's downfall. 
  • Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson - 4 stars
    Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down. The storytelling does take a bit of getting used to since it jumps timelines a lot but wow. I don't want to say anything even remotely spoilery but what an unforgettable tale. 
  • A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (Blood and Ash #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout - 5 stars
    I really liked Blood and Ash but omg, this book was amazing! I loved the story, the characters, romance, everything! I need book 3 ASAP. 
  • Skyhunter (Skyhunter #1) by Marie Lu - 3 stars
    I'm starting to think that my favorite Marie Lu world will always be Legend. I liked Skyhunter and there's a good chance I'm going to read the next novel but I wasn't completely hooked. 

How's your month been?

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