October 16, 2017

Table for Two #10

Alexa of Alexa Loves Books and I have teamed up to bring you a collaboration that involves two of our favorite things - New York City and food. We're proud to introduce Table for Two, where the two of us will be highlighting restaurants and dessert spots in New York City. You'll be hearing our personal opinions on the place and the food, as well as where you can go to try it out for yourself.

For this month's Table for Two, both Alexa and I will be chatting about Union Fare! I'll be talking about the restaurant though while she'll talk all about their bakery.

Union Fare is right by my office so I pass by it all the time! It's divided into two parts, the bakery (on 17th) and the restaurant (on 18th). That should be a clue already to how big this place is, because from the outside it definitely doesn't seem that way. I love their look with all the hanging lights and rustic feel. Even though it can get pretty packed, it wasn't so loud that we had to yell while speaking to one another (always a plus). Because we've always gone to Union Fare for their croissants (and for good reason), so I was excited to finally check out their dinner. 

We got: homemade ricotta toast to share, their house-made fusili with lamb ragu and their taste of three fries (curly, old bay waffle and shoestring). The toast was delicious but pretty filling so by the time our pasta came, we barely made a dent in it. It was still good though! And we may have underestimated just how much fries we were going to have but we happily munched on all of them. If you get full fast like we do, definitely get the toast, share the pasta and maybe stick to one type of fries. I can see us going back here again! 

You can find Union Fare at 5 E 17th St. Let us know if you check it out!

October 13, 2017

Creating a Capsule Library

First of all, huge thanks to my dear friend Hannah of So Obsessed With for coming up with this fun idea and for asking me to be a part of it! The capsule library is inspired by the concept of a capsule wardrobe, which is a curated collection of staple clothes and accessories and usually limited to a set number of pieces. Hannah tasked me, Alexa of Alexa Loves Books, Kelly of Belle of the Literati and herself to come up with a 10 piece capsule library.

Here's the breakdown:
The Clothes: 5-7 authors (any/all of their books would be in your library)
The Accessories: 3-5 individual books (no cheating with a series! )

This was both easier and harder than I expected it to be! For the most part, I knew all the individual books that would make the list and the majority of the authors but there were a couple I went back and forth on. But in the end, I'm super happy with my perfectly curated library. It feels very, very me!

The Clothes

NAVY CARDIGAN • Sarah J. Maas | I have this navy cardigan from J.Crew that I absolutely love. When it got overly faded from years of use, I bought the exact same one again (and probably will forever). It’s my go-to and that’s how I see Sarah and her books. A staple that’s 100% necessary to have.

COMFY LEGGINGS • Jennifer L. Armentrout | My grey leggings from Target are worn-in and perfect for a day of getting comfortable on the couch. JLA’s books give me that same feeling. (I’ve read my favorite parts of her books a ridiculous number of times.)

BLACK TEE • Leigh Bardugo | Classic with an edge is how I’d describe a black tee and Leigh’s books. Classic because it’s obvious she takes writing seriously as a craft and her books draw on well-known classics or mythology. But if you’ve met Leigh or any of her amazing heroines, they’re all BAMF. (Plus Leigh herself wears a lot of black!)

PINK BOMBER JACKET • Emery Lord | This jacket brightens up any outfit and Emery’s books certainly brighten up my days as well. Even when she deals with tough, messy topics, I just find such joy in reading her stories.

SKINNY HIGH-WAISTED JEANS • Karen Marie Moning | Moning’s books are definitely on the sexy side but also give me that worn-in feeling because I’ve loved her Fever series for so long (and reread it a few times too!).  And that’s exactly how I’d describe my favorite pair of skinny jeans.

The accessories

NUDE FLATS • How to Love by Katie Cotugno | Ever have a pair of shoes that you wear constantly, even when it eventually has holes in it and then you just end up buying the same pair again later because they’re so comfy and amazing? This book is like that. Constant, necessary and wonderful.

GRANDMOTHER'S NECKLACE • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery | This necklace belonged to my great-great grandmother and passed down to me from my grandmother and is very near and dear to my heart. Anne’s story means so much to me and is a book that I’d love to pass on.

LONGCHAMP BAG • Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson | I fell in love with this bag years ago, went through a period of not using it at all and now I’m back to considering it a staple. I fell in love with Tiger Lily 5 years ago, never reread and then I did this year and realized I still loved the book just as much as I did then. Sound familiar?

WIRELESS HEADPHONES • Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey | When I think of this book, I think of dragons (of course!) but also the heroine’s genuine love of music.

ROSE GOLD RING • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle | The few times I've forgotten to wear this ring, it always feels weird – like something is missing. And that's exactly how I'd feel if Wrinkle in Time wasn't in my library! (I passively collect multiple editions of this book.)


What books would be in your capsule library?
If you decide to make a post, link to it in the comments below!

I'm tagging Andi, Tiff, Kristin and DJ to make their own capsule library!

October 11, 2017

Review: Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Collaborative feature with Alexa since Nov 2013. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.

Wild Beauty by
Anna-Marie McLemore
pub 10/3/17 by Feiwel & Friends
YA - Magical Realism
Received ARC from pub for review
Plot • The Nomeolvides women have used their gifts to grow beautiful gardens on the grounds of La Pradera for nearly a century. Their curse is that they can't fall in love too deeply or their lovers vanish, which they have. We're introduced to five girls who all struggle falling in love (or trying not to) and their mothers who have passed on this legacy. Then one day a strange boy named Fel appears in their gardens and Estrella, one of the girls, finds them. Fel doesn't remember a single thing about who is he or where he comes from but because he appeared in their gardens, the Nomeolvides women take him in as one of their own. But it's really Estrella, more than anyone, who is drawn to him and vice-versa. As she helps him try to remember his past, it uncovers secrets about La Pradera and her entire family.

Characters • Every single character felt so vivid even when they only appeared for brief moments. The gardens, these women and the strong emotions they all kept bottled up just leapt from the pages. But of course it was Estrella and Fel that I really connected with and loved reading about the most.

Writing • Anna-Marie McLemore is a favorite when it comes to magical realism. I love how she approaches the genre and each book of hers I've read has been so unique. I enjoy the way she incorporates magic with love, family, sexuality and coming-of-age stories. It's easy to just accept the magical aspects of her world and be drawn into the characters and their lives.

Overall feelings • This might be my favorite from her! Whimsal and beautifully written, I can't wait to read her next book.

Favorite flower • In terms of looks, peonies and roses are my favorite but for smell, jasmine is the one I love most.