Books

Lily’s Literature #16

Ahh sweet summer time. Reading is one of my favorite things to do during these warm months (and cold months…well, any month really). I have some good reads to update you on so let’s dive in, shall we?

So far this year, my favorite book that I’ve read has been Back Roads by Tawni O’Dell. It’s so packed with juicy scenes, drama, and interesting characters that I couldn’t stop reading it. I would highly suggest this read for both men and women. It was also featured in Oprah’s book club, but that might be a deterrent for some folks.Back-Roads

Back Roads is about a 19-year-old guy named Harley who’s stuck raising his three younger sisters in the back roads of Pennsylvania after their mom was sent to prison for shooting their father. Harley works two jobs in order to care for his siblings and their needs. An unconventional love interest walks into Harley’s life and things get too complicated to bare.

I looooved this book. I think I might have loved it because there were a lot of sex scenes. Tee hee. But still, I thought the story was so captivating and chillingly realistic.

After that I picked up The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver which is a pretty thick read with not much pay off. I expected a lot from this one, but it didn’t keep me coming back for more. Poisonwood_Bible

The story follows a family of Southern Baptists into the jungles of the Congo to preach the word of God to the people of Africa. The father, a preacher is too absorbed in self-righteousness to recognize the wants and needs of his family. He has four daughters and a wife that follow his lead and eventually, break away and evolve into the people that they always knew they were.

The aspect of the novel that I liked best was that it was written in the voices of the preacher’s daughters and wife. Each chapter featured a daughter’s insight and all of them were distinctly different, even the two girls who were meant to be twins.  Other than that I felt like it dragged a lot. It was emotional and even educational, but for some reason it bored me a bit. Not my favorite.

And lastly, I read Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. Damn this was a good read. I’m starting to realize that I enjoy a nice murder mystery every so often. It’s important to mix things up, right?9780307341556_p0_v6_s260x420

Sharp Objects is about a reporter from Chicago who is sent to cover a series of murders that took place in the small town she grew up in. Dreading this, the main character agrees to go to her hometown to report on the damage done. Whilst there she becomes absorbed in the case and all of the possible culprits.

I liked this story because it was so precise and to the point. It’s around 250-pages so it’s a perfect summer read to take on vacation or something of the like. I thought the characters were all well-developed despite the thinness of the book. The tone of the novel was perfect as well as the predictability level. Flynn seems to lead the reader in one direction and then whip them around once they believe they’ve figured it out. I would have trouble picking a favorite between Sharp Objects and her other book, Gone Girl.

What have you been reading lately?

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Beauty

Lush Review

Ello ello Lush lovers. Goodbye non-lovers. How’s it hangin? How’ve your baths been? Your skin? Your hair? Ahh well, don’t worry. I’m back and ready for some reviews to sweeten your beauty regime. We’re not getting any younger so lets get into it.

I can’t even explain how long I had my eye on Lush’s massage bars. They fascinated me. I would touch them, smell them, and ask for hand massages every visit I made into a shop. It was bad. But finally someone managed to talk me into purchasing one–Therapy. 00024

Just like it’s name, Therapy is a stress reliever deluxe. It has an aromatherapy essence to it in a spa-like way. When you rub this solid perfumed bar between your hands or on your skin, the warmth starts to melt the oils (lavender, neroli, sweet orange) and gives you the perfect moisturizer and massage. Therapy has a great design because it actually has bumpy ridges that makes you feel like you’re getting a mini massage. Also the cocoa butter that makes up the majority of the bar is nourishing for dry skin. This massage bar is a great purchase for anyone who likes to pamper themselves and feel relaxed after a long day.

One of Lush’s most purchased items of all time is The Comforter bubble bar. Aptly named, The Comforter smells like happy black current sweets–a light scent that would put a smile on anyone’s face. This item also happens to be the best deal that Lush has to offer–the most bang for your buck. One bar gets you about 3-5 baths. All you do is break off a bit of the bubble bar and crumble it under your faucet for big, blooming bubbles.imgres

There’s not much I can really complain about with this product. However, I do loathe the look of Lush’s bubble bars. They look like Play-Doh creations. Very unappealing. But I must admit that they’re fun to play with and they really do work well.

I usually remember my Lush experiences very clearly, but I have trouble recalling my date with Dragon’s Egg bath bomb. I vaguely recall being let down in the scent department because it’s mainly a citrus based bomb, but it seemed too weak for my nose.  Apparently “this mystical Bath Bomb fizzles, crackles, curls, and ends with a glitter explosion” says the Lush site but I don’t remember any of that happening. It must have been a long day for me. I usually don’t forget a bath bomb with glitter so I don’t know what happened. I’ll have to try this one again. I just remember a lot of white, yellow, and orange fizz and not much more.03154

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Beauty, Judging

Girl Crush of the Week: Joanna Krupa

There’s really no explanation for my recent girl crush other than she’s a major babe. Like, her talents include modeling and being part of dramatic situations on Bravo’s Real Housewives of Miami. So there really isn’t much to say other than, nice looks.JOANNA KRUPA at Viva Glam Magazine Party

However, I like to give people a bit of credit and assume they have more going for them than their outer appearances. Sometimes. Joanna Krupa is originally from Poland which definitely gives her a cool cultural factor, despite the fact that she only lived there until she was 5 years old. But perhaps this a good thing because now the world is aware of the beautiful gene pools that Poland has to offer.

Speaking of awareness, Ms. Krupa is a fierce animal lover and is a spokesperson for PETA (I believe. It’s good that I do my research.). I have to give her extreme props for this because animals are the best and anyone that defends the creatures of the world is a friend of mine.Joanna-Krupa-403-1-848x1024

Joanna has some skills in the dance department because she finished in fourth place on Dancing with the Stars. I think this speaks volumes about Joanna. She’s probably the type of person that’s almost good at a lot things but not quite good enough. She is good at spending money though. Luckily she married someone who owns and operates his own nightclub. And we all know that nightclubs in Miami are the big money makers. Joanna and her husband were able to spend $1 million on their wedding and feel totally okay about it so I would assume that nightclubs are the thing to go into.

Anyway I think she’s a super hottie and most likely a good person. People might not be able to take her seriously because of her blindingly good looks but I think she deserves a chance.

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Feelings, Vacation

What the what

You may or may not remember that I was having computer problems last time I posted on here. I continued to have them for a while afterward and was in the early stages of having a mental breakdown because of it. I spent a lot of time complaining to my husband how necessary it is to have a laptop for writing blog posts (among other things) and he gave me this big spiel about how no one will use laptops in a couple of years so I should just calm down. Well, until that technologically savvy year comes I refuse to believe that anything of worth will be written by using an iPad keyboard. Autocorrect can suck it.

But really, friends, foes, how are you? I’ve missed being present in the blogosphere. I’ve been a bad blogger and commentor and just bad in general. I need to redeem myself a bit.

I’m on vacay right now so I have time to take a moment for myself to type and eat Nantucket cookies and Pirouettes. Pepperidge  Farm doesn’t mess around. They know what’s up. However, my enjoyment has ceased a bit because I decided to get sunburned in the worst possible place. My butt. Whenever I sit down, wear underwear that scratches, or try to ride my bike, I’m met with a somewhat painful sensation. Wouldn’t suggest it. I will be looking hella tan back there in a week though.tumblr_mnw1vy45be1rvqzzoo1_500

Anyway, that’s about it. Not much of an update but I suppose it will do. I’ll post my vacation mix if I get enough interest in that. I’m still a fan of making mix cds even though apparently cds will be a thing of the past 5 minutes ago.

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Books

Lily’s Literature # 15

Friends, it’s been too long. I’ve had some computer trouble lately and I’ve also been over-extending myself with work and play. The month is flying by and I’m getting older. Yet I somehow always avoid getting wiser. However, I did manage to read 3 books in the meantime. Let’s converse about them.

I read a pretty interesting book by Ann Patchett called State of Wonder. I hadn’t read any of Patchett’s other novels so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I ended up really enjoying it though. In a nutshell the story is about a research scientist named Marina Singh whose mentor recently died in the Amazon. In turn, she’s sent on a whirlwind adventure to find out what truly happened to her mentor and what kind of research is actually being completed. 9118135

Whilst reading I found the story simple, yet complex, and realistic, yet unbelievable. It was a cool mixture. It’s not the best book in the world by any means, but it’s a very interesting story and it definitely has the power to whisk you away to the Amazon jungle which is pretty cool. Is it sad that the way I visualized the jungle was similar to The Magic Kingdom’s Jungle Cruise ride?

After that, I picked up Mistborn written by Brandon Sanderson. Well, I can’t really say that I picked it up because it was picked for me. My book club was supposed to read this fantasy novel, but I think I might have been the only one who read it through and through. Fantasy isn’t for everyone, I will admit.tumblr_lu3lj5YlKk1qaouh8o1_400

Mistborn is about, gahh how do I explain this?…okay it’s about this girl Vin who lives in a dystopian, corrupt version of Earth. There are many people who seem inhuman and a select few who have been blessed with powers. Vin is one of those people. Once she learns of her special powers she teams up with an outlaw-type gang whose main goal is to overthrow the government and the Lord Ruler. An almost impossible task that brings Vin and her unlikely group together.

I really had a lot of trouble getting into this book because it opened with a map. Any book that has a map on the first page terrifies me because I know I’ll have to make a huge effort in learning a new world. Everything is wayyy easier when things are set on earth. However, I powered through it and have to give Sanderson some recognition in the creative department. The writing however, is subpar, but I’m not one to judge. Actually, yes I am.

And most recently I finished Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. I really loved this book because it not only hooked me in with it’s shocking story, it taught me something along the way. That’s always a bonus. SKUSA

The story is about a girl, Sarah, and how her family reacts to the Jewish Roundup at the Velodrome d’Hiver in Paris. The accounts are horrific, but typical if you’re familiar with the antisemitism that occurred during Hitler’s reign. The story is also crossed with another, more modern tale of a journalist who discovers the secrets that Parisian society kept buried. She finds herself connected to Sarah and opens her eyes to the history around her.

I really loved this book. It was a quick read, yet it was jam-packed with interesting facts and a disturbing storyline. I don’t know why I’m so interested in messed-up stories, but they definitely keep me hooked. This is a good book for anyone to read. There is also a movie version which is supposed to be very good as well.

That’s all folks! Have you read anything good lately?

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Favorites

Spring Favorites

If you’re a new follower, welcome to my seasonal favorites segment where I talk about the things that are currently bringing me joy this time of year. If you’re an old follower, I know, another stupid favorites post.

1. Sleep. In the past, my slumber meter was always filled to the brim. Now that I work I feel like I can’t get enough. I crave it. It will forever be one of my favorite things, but the past few months have taught me not to take it for granted.tumblr_n2jh7zZTPU1r082jyo1_500

2. Nylon Magazine. If you’ve never picked up a copy of Nylon, I feel bad for you son. I’ve got 99 problems and this magazine doesn’t really solve any of them but it’s still a fun read. The magazine got it’s name because it’s based out of New York and London. NY+LON. They focus on music, fashion, art, and talented people. They also have a men’s version called Nylon Guys. No one is excluded from the greatness that is Nylon.

3. Vivian Maier’s photos. Last month I went to the university theater and watched a documentary called Finding Vivian Maier. I’m sure you’ve heard of it because you’re just so in-the-know, aren’tcha? Anyway, it was amahzing and it really blew me away. In short, it’s about this guy who purchased a trunk at an auction house and it was full of black and white photos and papers that belonged to a Chicagoan woman, Vivian Maier. Her life is essentially traced in the film as the pictures unfold. It’s definitely worth a watch. It stuck with me.VivianMaierSelfPortrait

4. Macarons. Not to be confused with coconut macaroons, French macarons give me life. They are the perfect shape and size and the best treat to give yourself when you’re feeling sad. Or happy. Or when you don’t feel anything at all. There is a store near me called Bon Macaron and they have made my life 100 times better. Merci macarons, merci.tumblr_n1b1d8kewJ1s3j204o1_500

5. Laying on the ground. I know you’re probably like, umm okay I’m done with this post. But honestly, when you’re running around all day it feels so nice to go out into the sunshine and lay out on the grass. It’s like the international sign for “I literally quit life” but it makes me feel good so just go with it.tumblr_mv1l8a11821qc6wuio1_500

6. Ink Master. Not one bit of my skin is tattooed. For some reason though, I love watching Ink Master. Not much is better than a reality show about tattoo artists being judged by Dave Navarro and company (Chris Nunez and Oliver Peck). SO much drama, so many sweet tats, and so many terrible ones. An extremely entertaining competition.

7. Stella and Dot Jewelry. Have you ever heard of Stella and Dot? It’s a company that sells jewelry online, but more commonly through trunk shows and jewelry parties. I’ve been to two parties and have spent hundreds of dollars on jewelry. Judge away. I cannot help myself. I march up the stairs to the houses telling myself that I’m not buying anything and the second I walk through the door I pull out my wallet. Just take all my money. Take it all.

What are some of your favorite things?

 

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Artwork

A Poem

I never write poetry. My mom and my brother are really good poets but I just wasn’t blessed with that talent. However, I recently wrote a poem for my brother and I didn’t hate it so I thought I would share it with you. Do you like to write poems?tumblr_mpc5eht1OB1ru6nd4o1_1280

Regulus

rocking in his wooden boat

treading water

barely afloat

dashes of hope

 

eyes sparkling as he glides

currents change

no where to hide

 

fishes for love

throws them all back

hand in glove

heart attack

 

sees the moon as a bowl of milk

drinks it down

feels the guilt

 

swaying gently with the waves

contemplating

final daze

 

how did he get off course?

wasting hours

tour de force

 

the wind slowly chaps his skin

shivers at night

just let him win.

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Judging, Music

Analyzing Avril

If your eyes haven’t had the pleasure of watching Avril Lavigne’s new music video, “Hello Kitty”, you’re probably 84 years old and don’t own a computer. Or even know who Avril is. If that’s the case, would you be willing to trade lives with me?

The mistress of Nickelback has made the entire world cringe with her new song and “dance moves.” The song itself is kind of difficult to understand and not just because some of the lyrics are in Japanese. I’ve listened to the song twice now and all I call decipher are the words “Come come kitty kitty, you’re so pretty pretty.” The next poet laureate, perhaps?

I’d like to give Avril an ounce of credit and assume that someone else wrote this song for her and when she read the title, “Hello Kitty”, she was like, “Oh God. Really? Okay.” So maybe it’s not totally her fault. But I have to give her props for singing a song that makes “Sk8er Boi” sound like something performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

As for the music video, it’s painful to imagine that these are the BEST shots the director could get. Basically Avril dances around in cupcake tutus, blazers, and unflattering tights. She’s followed around by four identically dressed Japanese (I’m assuming) women who don’t look the least bit happy to be trailing this Canadian wannabe around all day. I imagine that the direction given to Avril on set was like “Okay can you just jump around or something? Maybe try to mouth the lyrics like you’re actually saying the words? Try to strum the guitar like you know how to play the guitar.” The beginning of the video seems like Avril is pretty into what she’s doing but by the end, it kind of falls apart. Her heart just isn’t in it. Which is probably a good thing.

If you care to ruin your life by watching this terrible POS, be my guest. CLICK HERE.

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gif posts, Work

The Pros and Cons of Being a Working Woman

Now you have to understand that this list is from the point of view of someone who previously didn’t work for cough*her entire life*cough and is now a full time nanny. If you’re a little slow to the pick up, that someone is me. Your pros and cons list might be extremely different from mine. And probably way better too. Because everyone thinks they’re so frickin’ great these days.

Pro: I get to play and be silly.tumblr_n1gu2lT3gT1rpduwho1_500

Con: I have to wake up at an hour where playing and being silly is the equivalent to death.tumblr_mzz80kyNsU1qj09eqo1_250

Pro: Kids are super honest and you always know where you stand with them.

Con: I’d rather not know.tumblr_mztpmoyuPc1r4y0tco1_500

Pro: I don’t have to get dressed up.tumblr_mmlq2y3wEE1rsz6t0o1_500

Con: I don’t have to get dressed up 😦

Pro: I meet lots of fun kids every day.

Con: Fun kids can be flu carriers. Not fun.tumblr_mzja4inbCb1s5zatco1_r3_500

Pro: I get to eat like a kid!tumblr_mkqfvaxcxa1qc8jh0o1_1280

Con: I have to walk like a kid.tumblr_myhlzexUOD1rgilweo1_500

Pro: I don’t really have to work out because I’m on my feet all day.

Con: When I come home I want to murder everyone.tumblr_mw9ybhHbeV1qgtmlco1_1280

Pro: I make my own money!

Con: I have to spend my own money 😦tumblr_lk0zjjPlts1qb8oz7o1_500

What’s the best thing about your job? What’s the worst?

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Music

Girl Crush of the Week: Iggy Azalea

So um, I know I haven’t been floating around the blogosphere lately, but I just had to get this post out of my system before it’s old news. I mean, technically my girl crush has been on the radar for some time now, what with her new music video being viewed 14.5 million times. I think 10 million of those views were by me. Whoops!

When female rapper Iggy Azalea’s new single “Fancy” was released, Tumblr was all a twitter. I’m sure Twitter was all a twitter too, but like, I only have so much time in the day to read other people’s thought processes. tumblr_n1z9t3otKz1tn9h0go1_400

This Australian blonde bombshell really hooked me with her deep-toned rhymes and slick moves. I almost fainted when I clicked on her music vid and saw that it was inspired by one of my favorite movies of all time, Clueless. I’m cultured, I swear. To be perfectly honest, the music really fits the 90’s vibe that Clueless gives off. Many might disagree, but I’m going to be extreme and say that it’s the work of an artistic genius.

I did some research on Miss Azalea because I refused to believe that was her birth name. I was right. No one would name their daughter Iggy. But apparently some people do name their daughters Amethyst. That’s Iggy’s given name (according to Wiki, of course). She might be the first person in the history of time to have a stage name that’s more normal than her actual name. Little fun fact for ya.tumblr_n22te9vYW21rsxbklo1_500

The best thing about her perhaps, is that her appearance doesn’t fit her voice quality. At least in my humble opinion. It’s kind of fun to listen to her music first and then watch the music video afterwards. White female rappers are few and far between so it’s really refreshing to see her and listen to her skill set. Besides Iggy Azalea, the only white female rapper that I know of is myself. I usually perform behind steering wheels and in showers. Look out, Lil’ Lil might be coming to a venue near you!

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