Thursday, December 8, 2016

My Dream Loot Crate: Cult Classics

Loot Crate is a monthly subscription box that I've been pining over for years.  From popular movies and tv shows to comic book heroes, video games, and anime, everything about it screams my name.  Loot Crate is looking for fans to create their own "Dream Crate" that they would die to receive on their doorstep.  Personally, I'm a big fan of cult classics, so that's the theme I had to go with!

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!


Dance, Magic, Dance


I Put a Spell on You


The Chosen One


Oh, Rocky!


What I love about Loot Crate is that they often include unique and- occasionally- exclusive items in their boxes, so I've tried doing the same by including a lot of great, handmade pieces!   P.S. this can double as my Christmas wishlist, because I need all of these things!  What would be inside your Dream Crate?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Fall Favorites 2016

As soon as September hit, I could barely wait for Fall to arrive.  Now it's nearing the middle of November, which means it's basically Winter in Wisconsin.  Here are a few of my favorite items from the past couple of months!


Urban Decay Naked3 Palette: This is my holy grail palette.  There are so many shimmers, and the rose gold tones suit me perfectly.  I've never used a palette so many times on so many different occasions.  It's so versatile!

NARS The Multiple in Copacabana: This product works as a beautiful, more natural looking cream highlight.

NYX Liquid Suede in Tea & Cookies, Sandstorm, and Brooklyn Thorn: These are the first lip products that I've absolutely fallen in love with.  The formula is comfortable to wear, and the color is long lasting, as it dries matte.  Light pinks, nudes, and browns are perfect for Fall!

Milani Baked Blush in Rose D'Oro: This isn't normally a shade I would have reached for on my own.  I'm pretty pale, and it looks a little daunting, but this is a magical product that seems to work with every skin tone and the color you get from this blush is irresistible.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino: Come on, what's Fall without something Pumpkin Spice flavored?


TV Shows


This is pretty much the same every year around this time, with one exception!  The newest season of Shameless aired this Fall instead of making me wait until January.  All I have to do now is wait for Gilmore Girls to return at the end of the month and all is good in the world.

Books


Okay to be honest, this is the only book I've picked up in a few months...and I haven't completed it yet, but I'm more than halfway there and have enjoyed the story a lot!  Love and First Sight is YouTube-personality Josh Sundquist's fictional debut and it releases in January of 2017.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Urban Decay Electric Palette: Review & Swatches

My newfound love of makeup began over the summer and quickly grew from a couple new lip colors to multiple eyeshadow palettes, face products, and ALL of the highlighters.  When I heard a rumor that the Urban Decay Electric Palette was on sale because they were discontinuing it, I knew I had to have it.  All of the colors in the palette spoke to me.  Even though I'd been wearing nothing but black eyeliner on a daily basis for years, I've always loved bold eyes.

From top to bottom: Revolt (silver shimmer), Gonzo (matte turquoise), Slowburn (matte red-orange), Savage (matte hot pink), Fringe (metallic teal), Chaos (matte blue), Jilted (metallic fuchsia with blue shift), Urban (metallic purple), Freak (bright green with gold shift), and Thrash (matte lime green). 

These are pressed pigments, so they have an impressive color payoff.  Each of the swatches on my arm were done in one swipe.  I'm partial to metallic and shimmer shades, but the mattes are just as pretty!  I'm still trying to figure out a way to use Slowburn, because I've never worn red-orange eyeshadow before.  One thing to keep in mind is that although this is clearly marketed as an eyeshadow palette, like most neon shadows in the United States, not every shade is FDA-approved to use around the eye (Slowburn, Savage, Jilted, and Urban).

From what I've seen so far, Urban Decay always has appealing packaging, but this palette really stands out in my collection.  There's an explosion of color on the hard plastic case, accurate to what you will find inside, with a large mirror and handy double-ended brush.  While the brush is not the best, and the purple bristles feel more like plastic, it still does well in a pinch.  Overall, this palette feels durable and I enjoy throwing it in my travel bag just in case I'm feeling like a change of pace.


As soon as I unboxed this palette, I dipped my brushes in and began to play.  Here I have used Revolt on my inner corner, Freak on my lid, Savage as a transition color, Urban in my crease, and Gonzo on my lower lash line.  With my order, I also received a sample of Urban Decay Revolution high-color lip gloss in the shade Failbait, which perfectly matched Savage.


If you're interested in snagging this palette before it's gone, you can still get it for $24 on the Urban Decay website, Sephora, or Macy's!  I'd say that it's definitely worth the money if you like to live on the wild side and be a little creative with your makeup.

Growing With Your Blog

Earlier in the year I stated that I would like to branch out from books and spend more time writing about some of my other interests.  Although I knew that I would rather be focusing on photography, makeup, and lifestyle in general, I didn't know how to make that work.  I've also had an interest in YouTube, and for years that's all I wanted to be doing, but that will probably be something I'll hold off on, just until I figure out what's right for me.  

As of right now, I feel that changing my blog into something I'll enjoy more is a step in the right direction, because I haven't felt very passionate about blogging in a while.  I will always love literature and writing...I think it's one of the only things I have always come back to; it's my first love...but it's not my only love, and I need an outlet for those other interests.  I still plan to write reviews, share new releases, and post book hauls, but I also dream of writing travel diaries and creating makeup lookbooks.

For as long as I've been blogging, I've kept this world pretty separate from my personal life, but I feel at this point, I would like to find a way to combine them.  Of course, this may be a total fail, but it's something that's been on my mind for months and I've just been waiting for what seemed like the right moment.  Hopefully you will continue to enjoy my content and my blog will continue to grow with me.  Maybe I'll even make a few new friends along the way!  As always, thanks for sticking around...if anything inspires me the most, it's the kind words many of you leave in the comments, on Twitter, or on Instagram!  <3

Saturday, August 20, 2016

July & August Book Haul

I must admit, this summer has been pretty crazy.  I've done so much already, and it's not even over yet!  I've also gotten a ton of incredible and exciting books that I'm going to share with you now. 

July

Review
-The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
-The Smaller Evil by Stephanie Kuehn
-Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana
-Wake the Hollow by Gaby Triana
-Scary Out There by Jonathan Maberry
-Santorini Sunsets by Anita Hughes
-Court of Fives by Kate Elliot
-Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliot
-The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo by Drew Weing

Won
-A Season for Fireflies by Rebecca Maizel
-Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy

NetGalley


Edelweiss



August

Review
-Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
-Breakaway by Kat Spears
-Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton
-The Cat King of Havana by Tom Crosshill
-As I Descended by Robin Talley
-Tetris by Box Brown
-Demon vol. 1 by Jason Shiga
-Science Comics: Dinosaurs by MK Reed and Joe Flood
-Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes
-Secret Coders: Paths and Portals by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes
-Wonder Women by Sam Maggs
-Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein
-Tell Us Something True by Dana Reinhardt
-The Edge of the Light by Elizabeth Brown
-The Muse by Jessie Burton

Won
-P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

NetGalley


Aside from books, I got the Revive VoxBox from Influenster!  Inside are compostable coffee pods, various types of protein powder, cookies, shampoo, and a shaker bottle.  I'm actually loving the protein powders...my boyfriend has been trying to get me to drink more protein shakes, but I never really liked them until now!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Review: Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw

Title: Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here
Author: Anna Breslaw
Publisher: Razorbill
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: April 19th, 2016
Pages: 288 (ARC)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon Author

Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online community of fanfiction writers, world-class nobody at Melville High. Her best (read: only) IRL friends are Avery, a painfully shy and annoyingly attractive bookworm, and Ruth, her weed-smoking, possibly insane seventy-three-year-old neighbor. 

When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series—they’re the real-life kids from her high school. And if they ever find out what Scarlett truly thinks about them, she’ll be thrust into a situation far more dramatic than anything she’s ever seen on TV…

Scarlett isn't the ideal student, she isn't what most would consider the perfect daughter, and she certainly doesn't fit into the popular group at school.  Who is Scarlett Epstein, anyway?  On Tumblr, she's known best as Scarface, a fanfiction author in the Lycanthrope High online community.  These are the people who know her the best-- faceless, nameless fans of the same tv show she's been watching religiously for years...until one day it gets cancelled.  Scarlett is forced into the real world and is surprised to find that high school can be just as interesting as the life she dreamed up.

Anna Breslaw has created a character I can really relate to, and I loved the story because of it.  Scarlett found her passion for writing when she dove headfirst into the world of fanfiction, just as I did when I was a young teen.  She began to find inspiration within her daily life and the people who surrounded her.  Her snarky sense of humor was one of my favorite qualities, making me laugh out loud numerous times over the course of reading this book.

Unfortunately, I didn't fall in love with every character in this story, as Scarlett's best friend was mostly absent, the love interest wasn't very appealing, and I was hoping to see more support from the family, since a typical teenage social life was absent.  The only relationship I really enjoyed was the one between Scarlett and her neighbor, Ruth.  Ruth was a calm, omniscient old woman who took each day at a time.  Scarlett would help her with her garden and listen to stories of her youth, asking advice whenever she needed it.   Many times Scarlett had no one to turn to, Ruth was there.

Another thing I could have probably done without or with less of, was actually getting to see Scarlett's fanfiction.  Although that is a huge factor of what this book is about, I enjoyed reading about her real life more than the one she created online, so whenever parts of her writing popped up, I would speed-read through it just to get back to seeing how she'll actually deal with the situations she gets herself into.  I would have liked to see Scarlett's relationships develop a little more with some of the other characters, such as her love interest, best friend, and family, but overall, Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here was a book that I could see myself reading over and over again just for the laughs.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

What I've Been Watching This Summer

I like to get most of my reading of the year done during the summertime.  Relaxing outside in the shade (I burn easily) with a good book and a glass of iced tea...that's the life.  Unfortunately, it's been way too hot lately to enjoy being outside for more than a few minutes at a time, so I haven't been reading as much as I would like to.  Instead, I've been devoting a lot more of my free time to shows and movies, and I'd like to share a few with you!

TV Shows


Big Brother
I am obsessed.  OBSESSED.  This  is one of my absolute favorite shows, and it's on 3 times a week!  I love that Nicole, James, and Da'vonne are back with a few siblings of past contestants thrown in there.  If you haven't watched it, please do...I want to get you obsessed too!


The Bachelorette
I don't know why I'm watching this...I really don't.  I began watching The Bachelor early in the year as a joke, but I really liked JoJo, so I started watching her season.  I've already fallen behind, and I'm not so sure I want to catch up.  Plus, she said goodbye to the guy who looked like Jim from The Office, and he was (obviously) my favorite of the bunch.


Orange is the New Black
Like many others, I put my life on hold mid-June to binge-watch the new season.  This show is AMAZING.  This season was amazing.  My heart broke for some of my favorite characters, and the only thing I hate about this show is that I have to wait another year to watch new episodes.


American Horror Story: Murder House
This is my favorite season of them all, and I've been waiting to show it to my boyfriend for months.  We finally had the time together to watch it, so we finished it in a couple days.  I can't wait to show him Asylum next!

Movies


Swiss Army Man
This movie was the last movie I've seen in the theater.  It was weird amazing, hilarious, and heart-felt.  We chose to see it, not really knowing anything about it, but oh my god, I'm so glad we did.  I can't remember the last time a movie has made me laugh until I cried.  All you need to know is that Paul Dano's character finds a corpse (Daniel Radcliffe), and together, they go on a magical adventure.  Just go see it, because you won't regret it.


The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Let's be honest, I watched this solely because of Alexander Skarsgard...but it was pretty good.  This movie was all about finding yourself, and the main character does exactly that.  So many parts of me could identify with Minnie, who felt she was undesirable until she caught the attention of an older man.  She spirals out of control, but finds that her family and her passion for art will always remain, even when feelings of love and lust do not.

What I Want to Watch Next (TBW?)


Dead of Summer
I've been seeing a lot of previews for this show over the past month and it shot up to the top of my watch-list.  I'm just hoping that it won't be too watered down.


The Road Within
This is definitely the movie I'm going to watch next.  The Road Within is about three teens who escape their mental health facility and take a roadtrip with the ashes of one's recently deceased mother.


Stranger Things
Here's another amazing Netflix series I need to binge-watch.  I've loved Winona Ryder forever, and I love all things 80's and science fiction.  I've actually already watched the first episode and like many others, I love it and can't wait to watch more!

Have you been watching any of these shows or movies mentioned?  What's on your watch-list for this summer?