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What I'm Listening To | February

Each month I'll share five songs I'm been loving all month and hopefully you'll find a song or two (or all of them!) to love as well.

Just press play to listen to all the songs!

- Ariana Grande | I've been playing Ariana Grande's latest album so much since it released. Of the songs I hadn't heard yet, NASA immediately became a favorite.

needy - Ariana Grande | I mean, I might as well be honest about my Ariana fangirling these days and put two songs on here. Needy is my other fave.

Burning - Maggie Rogers | Another singer I can't stop listening to! I'm so excited to see her live with DJ in a little over a month.

No Scrubs (TLC Cover) - Weezer | I didn't expect to love Weezer's surprise cover album (aka the Teal Album) as much as I did! I'm a fan but if I'm being honest, I think the Blue Album is perfect and then I'll just like random songs here and there (and everything after Raditude doesn't exist to me). But this latest one is so much fun. This cover and Stand by Me are the ones I listen to the most.

Pushin' Time - Miranda Lambert | After reading about Miranda Lambert's wedding announcement, I felt like listening to her album from 2016. At the time I was obsessed with the song "Vice" (I still love it!) but I never actually listened to the whole album. I was struck by her heartfelt lyrics and Pushin' Time, in particular, hit me hard. Even though it's not one of my most listened to songs this month (yet), I needed to include it today.

Which song is your favorite?

Here's my full February playlist if you want to know what else I'm listening to!

Friends with ARCs | The Blood Spell + The Beast's Heart

Collaborative feature with Alexa. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.

pub 2/12/19 by Balzer + Bray
Young Adult - Fantasy Retelling
Received e-ARC from pub
I’ll admit, Cinderella is another one of those fairytales I never quite loved (my favorite part from the animated film was  Gus) but C.J. Redwine continues to impress me with her Ravenspire series and how she manages to turn these well-known stories on their heads. They’re always the perfect balance of paying homage to the source material while making them her own. Needless to say, I loved her take on Cinderella! In The Blood Spell, the heroine is Blue de la Cour who’s been hiding the magic in her blood while simultaneously trying to find ways to use her abilities to help others in need. When her father is murdered, she’s shocked to learn that a powerful (and evil) woman claims to now have custody of both Blue and her home. The only person who can help her uncover the truth about her plus all the mysterious disappearances in the kingdom is Prince Kellan — future king of Balavata, the boy she’s grown up with despite their differences in status and they hate each other. Also known as my romance kryptonite! He’s supposed to be thinking about his future betrothal and what’s happening in the kingdom but as he spends more time with Blue, she becomes the person he’s most himself with. I just loved how the story unfolded. I loved Blue and Kellan (individually and together) but also their families. Every nod to Cinderella was cleverly weaved into the story. The plot was well-written and well-paced. I for one hope she continues this series but I’d love to see which fairytale she tackles next.

What is your favorite adaptation of Cinderella?: Ever After! A conversation with Alexa reminded me of how much I used to love that movie so now I think I’m due for a rewatch.

pub 2/12/19 by Berkley
Adult - Fantasy Retelling
Received e-ARC from pub
The Beast’s Heart is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast through the Beast’s eyes and while it’s largely loyal to the original, the author does add her own spin to it. The Beast was once a man until a curse changed him and after years of solitude, a man stumbles upon his grounds and eventually tries to take a rose from the gardens. The Beast offers him a deal, his safety in exchange for his daughter Isabeau. Sounds familiar, right? And should you read the book, it will continue to sound familiar in a lot of ways. It was easy to get into the story but I will say the back and forth between Isabeau and the Beast did get repetitive. Even though the author did a good job of setting up their relationship for a slow burn, it did feel a bit tiresome at times because they were so confined to the estate and its “magical inhabitants” were not of the Disney variety. Instead what I liked best was actually the author’s decision to give more insight into Isabeau’s backstory, specifically her father and two sisters. It was seeing how their lives went on after Isabeau’s sacrifice, not to mention the sisterly bonds between them all, that intrigued me the most. It also helped to break up the monotony I mentioned earlier. But in the end, the romance failed to tug at my heartstrings and I couldn’t help feeling underwhelmed overall.

What fairytale would you want to read from the guy’s point of view?: My gut instinct response was the Little Mermaid but I also wouldn’t mind Prince Philip from the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty.

Galentine's Day

Alexa, Kristin and I decided to do a belated Galentine's Day outing this past Saturday. The entire day was filled with food (unsurprising), walking around to see various pop-ups in the city, shopping and non-stop chatting. I really love when we plan these full days and I'm already wondering when we can do this again!

We started off with an early breakfast at Buvette, which is a French restaurant I had been wanting to check out. I'd heard good things about it but had no idea how popular it was until I walked in and saw it was a full house. Luckily we only waited 15 minutes before we were seated and it was well worth the wait! The service was lovely and we were very happy with the waffles, french toast, cappuccinos and tea we ordered. From there we walked to the corner of Mott Street and Kenmare to see the new Be Mine mural and then to the Gucci Wooster Bookstore, where we decided to make ourselves comfortable on the yellow couches to chat.

Afterwards, we walked to the brand new ModCloth Fitshop which just so happened to be opening that day. We accidentally waited in line for nearly an hour when we didn't have to which was annoying but the store was cute and we definitely felt like shopping afterwards. But after all that wait, we were more than ready to have ice cream for lunch at Stax. They were doing heart sprinkles in honor of Valentine's Day, which we all got as our ice cream toppings. Stax is one of my favorites. I love their ice cream flavors and their colorful cones. To balance out our cold lunch (which only made us feel chillier when walking outside!), we headed to Remi Flower & Cafe for lattes. It is the cutest cafe! I love that it's paired with a flower shop and I'm a huge fan of their aesthetic. 

After our coffee break, it was time for more shopping! First we stopped at & Other Stories (not pictured) and then we went to Kinokuniya Books, which I had never been to–much to the surprise of the other two! On top of regular books, they have a whole floor dedicated to manga/anime and another dedicated to stationery. I kind of had a field day in there and I blame the both of them for that! I walked out with three mangas (which I typically don't read but I'm excited to give it a try) and a couple other knick-knacks. We may start making field trips there once a month now which I'm very happy about even if my wallet won't be. And lastly, to end our day we walked across the street to Bryant Park for to get poutine from Duck Season.

So that was our Galentine's Day date! I'm so grateful for these two wonderful ladies 
and it makes me so happy that we planned a day to celebrate this holiday and each other.