Monday, September 28, 2015

Fall To-Do List


It's finally here! Happy Fall friends! It's both mine and Jen's favorite season and we both could not be more excited! If only the weather would cooperate and start feeling a little cooler so we could really start living it up fall style. I've already made my boyfriend take me to Trader Joe's to buy almost everything pumpkin spice related. This year I decided to come up with a fall to-do list of a few fun things I wanted to try to accomplish this fall. What's on your fall to-do list this year? 


1. Go to a pumpkin patch 

2. Bake an apple pie 

3. Carve pumpkins

4. Update my fall wardrobe 

5. Have a scary movie marathon

6. Host a Friendsgiving

7. Go to (or host) a Halloween party 

8. Make a new fall soup 

9. Get fall lattes

10. Buy some house decor (like a rug or art for the walls) 

11. Go on a fall photography hike 

12. Make fall cocktails 

13. Make a weaving to hang on the wall (possibly Halloween/Fall themed?) 

14. Buy a fall tea 

15. Jump in some leaves with my kids 

16. Come up with a cute Halloween costume

17. Have a bonfire & make smores 

18. Go to an Oktoberfest & drink all the beer (or wine!) 

19. Plan a best friend thrifting  trip

20. Attend the Rainbow Rowell book signing


Friday, September 25, 2015

Queen of Shadows {Discussion}


Hello! Here we are for another book discussion! We don't do traditional reviews. Instead, we get together and discuss the books we read over chat and then share them with you! Due to the nature of our discussions, these are very spoiler heavy! If you haven't read Queen of Shadows or the Throne of Glass series, don't read this discussion (definitely go read those books ASAP though!). 

So we will start with a description of Queen of Shadows, then jump into the discussion below! 


QUEEN OF SHADOWS (THRONE OF GLASS BOOK 4) 

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series contrinues Celaena's epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world



Overall Impression of this Book in gif Form


Discussion Time

Heather
Ok! Time for our Queen of Shadows discussion! I know we were both really excited about this new release. Tell me one thing that really stood out for you with this book. 



Jen
Yea, I'm probably going to fangirl all over this discussion because this book was INTENSE. My favorite thing about this book was the continuation of the witch story. Manion is one badass witch and I really love how Aelin and her were able to work together towards a mutual goal even though they are basically enemies.  What did you fangirl over the most?


Heather
I would actually have to agree that the witch story line was my hands down favorite part of this book. I know I mentioned it when we did our reread in August, but I wasn't feeling the witch story line as much the second time around. But in QoS, I felt like I was rushing through chapters to get more Manon in my life! I also have a strong feeling/hope that Manon and the 13 will join forces with Aelin at some point. A Manon/Aelin alliance is my OTP. Was there anything that you didn't LOVE about this book? 




Jen
Oh man, I would squeal so hard if there was a Manon/Aelin alliance in the works! That would just be my dream come true!
I think my biggest complaint was the lack of intimacy between Rowan and Aelin. She had waited with Sam and she missed her opportunity and I just feel like she should have seized the day on this issue because thing got REALLY intense on multiple occasions.  You know she regrets missing out on this opportunity with Sam so I was a little disappointed in them and I felt like it was a little immature. Did you have any issues? 




Heather
Yes if there is a Manon/Aelin alliance, I will lose my mind and probably be cheering to my empty house! 
And I do agree on the intimacy issue. I thought it was even weirder because she didn't wait with Chaol because of the issue of her waiting with Sam and him dying. So I thought it was very strange that she kind of went backwards on this issue. I did have a few problems with this book. I felt like there was so much story jam packed into this one book. I think I would have preferred it to be a little more drawn out. I do like that is kind of has an ending to where I literally have no idea where the next two books will go and that's kind of exciting. I think between the romance aspect and the non-stop action of the story, those were my only two issues. How do you feel about the changes in Aelin's romantic partners? 
Also, I love that they have dropped all pretense and she is just going by Aelin now! 



Jen
Exactly, she basically jumped Chaol's bones but with Rowan, there is so much sexual tension that it is almost ridiculous at this point.  Like eye roll worthy.
I also agree that this book was nonstop action and nonstop plot.  With this story being so consuming, it is so hard to try to figure out how this series is going to end up.  It is very exciting!
And yea, I love who Aelin has completed accepted her fate in life and basically flaunts it.
At first, I was a little sad that it looks like Chaol is completely out of the picture for her romantically, however, he was also being the biggest baby through most of this book so I'm not too heart broken over it.  I'll be interested to see where the Rowan relationship goes.  I still haven't completely made my mind up about Rowan yet.




Heather
I do really hope the next book slows down a little and maybe delves into the emotional ramifications from all the decisions from this book. There's a lot to process and I kind of want to see how that pans out. 
I do also think that Chaol was my number one choice before, but he needs to do a lot of growing before (or if) he could ever be with Aelin. I think it's refreshing that Rowan accepts Aelin, flaws and all. I don't think she has really ever had anyone who has accepted her for who she is entirely. I think at this point that Rowan is the best choice for Aelin at this point, though I'm also thinking a Dorian/Aelin marriage could be kick ass. Or Aelin as a single Queen kicking ass and taking names! Now for freindships....how much did you love the friendship between Aelin and Lysandra? And anything else you want to touch on that we haven't yet? 



Jen
Yea, I'm still figuring out my feelings about Rowan. Part of me feels like he is the convenience choice right now for her. I think he does really accept her for who she is though.
And as much as I didn't dig Aelin/Dorian together in ToG, I think I'd really dig a marriage alliance between the two of them.  They would kick so much ass and take so many names.
I'm so glad you brought up Lysandra. For me, she was like the break out character of this book.  She has evolved so much since this story started. She seemed like such a jealous brat in the beginning but now she is a woman to be admired.  The way Lysandra & Aelin handled Arobynn was classic.
I really like how the author can wrap things up at the end of each book so there really isn't a huge cliffhanger but you are still curious to what is coming up next. 




Heather
I think that Dorian has grown so much since Throne of Glass, that he is a more suitable choice for Aelin now. Or he could be in the future. I'm also fine with them just being friends! 
I do love that everything we thought we knew about Lysandra was kind of thrown out the window and now Aelin has a good female friend in her inner circle. I really do think that this whole book kind of took relationships we thought we knew and turned them on their heads. I do wish we had gotten to see more of Arobynn before he was murdered. I think that dynamic was really interesting. 
I am not as big of a fan of this ending, only because I do want a little kind of a hint on where things are going next. I felt like every other book ended on a note where it felt finished but you knew kind of where you were heading. I feel completely in the dark now! 
And because we are coming up on an hour of chatting, let's wrap this up and give our final thoughts and reviews. 



Jen
I agree so hard about all the relationships really getting turned on their heads and I really enjoyed that. It would have been interesting to see what really made Arobynn tick, but part of me is glad he is out of the way and can't harm all my friends. haha
Alright, for me this book was 5 stars even with its flaws. I'm over looking them because when I sat down to read this one, I was completely engulfed in the story and could not put it down to save my life. Even my normal distractions couldn't penetrate my reading focus. And Manon deserves 5 stars all on her own!




Heather
I agree for the most part! I give the series overall 5 stars, but this book in particular is more like 4 stars for me, only because the issues I had with it kind of stuck with me. I did find it to be a book I didn't want to put down, but I didn't hard core love it as much as the previous books in the series. I do agree that Manon is going to be 5 stars forever for me! #teamManon. 



Jen
I think this is my favorite series since Potter and that is really saying something! And I may have given this book such a high rating because I read all the books back to back so I was on a collective TOG high and I'm having a hard time judging them separately. I just LOVE them so much. #teamManonforever




Heather
Can we make some #teamManon shirts? And I didn't really reflect on my issues with it until like a week later. But Sarah J Maas is still queen in my book! 




Jen
I would die for a #teamManon shirt! I will read ANYTHING that lady writes. She is so inspiring!

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Thanks for stopping by! if you've read Throne of Glass or Queen of Shadows, let's chat in the comments! 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Into the Woods

Hello friends! Can you believe September is already half over? This year is flying by and while the temps have dropped, I do kind of miss summer a little bit. When Jen suggested we take some outfit photos in a forest and she had the perfect location, I jumped at the chance to take what would most likely be our last summer outfit photos. I also had to bring my coffee because I woke up late but also because my cup is the cutest. 

Summer was the best, yet I'm ready to embrace the basic white girl I am when fall rolls around and start going crazy on anything pumpkin. I've already got pumpkin coffee creamer and we had pumpkin cinnamon rolls last week. All I need are some pumpkin candles and to bust out my flannel and boots and I am ready to go. For now, enjoy these dreamy forest photos. We are still working on getting posing down and not feeling like total goofs, but we had fun so that's all the matters right? 





Outfit Details
Dress {Rue 21} / Booties {GoJane} / Gnome Necklace {The Honey Pot-Etsy







Outfit Details
Dress {Forever 21} / Gladiator Sandals {Charlotte Russe} / Coffee Mug {Ban.Do


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Halloween Quilts {Progress}

Jen and I have been working on these Halloween quilts for over a year now. I am pretty sure I bought the first round of fabric in like April of 2014. We are determined to get this finished up so we have plenty of time to snuggle with them by this Halloween. We have been planning a ton of bestie craft days to work on these, since the best part about making crafts is getting to do it together. We are finally in the home stretch and have been working on them separately to kind of get it done quickly so we can bind them at the beginning of October.


A few months ago we laid the blocks out to get a good idea of how we would want to sew the tops together. Jen's quilt is on the left, mine is on the right. Jen went with a whimsical mix of cute Halloween fabrics and I decided to go completely zombie themed. We chose to use a bear paw pattern for our blocks as well. 

Close up of my quilt, which I ended up kind of switching up from this! 

A few weeks ago we got together do take some outfit photos for the blog and we finished up sewing these small blocks to bigger blocks of 4. Here are some photos of our most recent sewing day. We will definitely post pictures of our finished quilts and talk a little more about our process making them! 

Fun Fact: Jen's quilt shirt has the same kind of pattern as our blocks! 


This is my favorite fabric that Jen used in her quilt


My blocks waiting to be finished up



 
 

Monday, September 7, 2015

So Long, Summer!

Happy Labor Day peeps! I hope you are enjoying this extra day off (if you get one!). I'm actually having a lazy day with the boyfriend but we have plans for delicious dinner and pumpkin beers in our future tonight.  I feel like Labor Day is the official end of summer. It's like the last weekend to really enjoy warm weather and all your summer things before it's time to get ready for fall. Summer 2015 was maybe the best summer I've had in awhile. I took a few trips, ate a ton of really good food, and just got to kick it with my beebs and my friends. I thought it would be fun to share some photos from my summer to say goodbye and to get ready for fall! 

Colorado Trip
I started the summer by taking a 4 day trip to Colorado where I promptly fell in love with the mountains and can't wait to go back next year! It was a ton of hiking and good food and beer. 

Hiking in Red Rocks 

We saw this on the side of the road and had to stop for pictures. It was like being in  painting. 

Tour and tasting at New Belgium brewery

Hiking in Rocky National Park 

The best part of the hike was Emerald Lake at the end of the trail. Snowy and cold in May was craziness 


Outdoor Movies 
We went to the drive in to see Jurassic World in June and then last week we went to an outdoor movie at a winery to see Back to the Future. We got to that one late so enjoy this picture from the drive in. 


Baseball Games
Dating a huge Cardinal fan means that we went to 3 games this summer (all of which went into extra innings!) and we also watch games on tv all summer. You can't beat the view at Busch Stadium. 


New York: HAM Reunion
At the end of July I went to Rochester, NY to meet up with my awesome friends Meredith and Amanda. We've been friends since San Diego and haven't gotten together in 2 years! It was the funnest weekend and we all brought our boyfriends so that was cool to all hang out! I am thinking we need HAM reunions every year! (HAM=Heather, Amanda, Meredith) 

Wine tasting at Casa Larga. I learned that I love Reisling. 


Niagara Falls! We stopped here for a few hours before road tripping home. 


Taking Back Sunday at Ballpark Village
I went with my roommate and some friends to see one of our favorite bands, Taking Back Sunday. It was a blast! 


Lake Life 
We also went to the lake for a night to visit Jarrett's dad at his new lake house. The girls had a blast and it was a really fun, chill weekend to be at the lake. 
boat babes

Jarrett water skiing

Tell me all about your summer friends! I hope you had a blast and definitely let me know if there's something I need to add to my list for next summer! 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Cats + Books + Skirts = Heaven

So, last winter Heather sent me a picture of this amazing skirt from a store we both love to stalk but is typically out of our price range.

currently available at Modcloth for $59.99. 
I mean, I fell hard for this skirt.  I knew I couldn't afford it but I've been sewing for 6 years now so I decided it was time to try my hand in sewing clothes! I quickly got on Etsy and was able to find a yard of this exact fabric for $10 and then I picked up some thick elastic at my local craft store. Since I've never attempted sewing any clothing pieces before, I needed the assistance of another avid sewer.  I've been following raegunramblings on instagram for quite a while now and I remembered she makes a lot of different clothing items and offers tutorials on her blog.  Anyway, she had the simplest tutorial for a 1 yard circle skirt pattern, I highly recommend it.

 I was really nervous to even start this project. I think I spent 30 minutes just walking around my craft table thinking it through before I cut into my beautiful fabric. Less than an hour later, I had made the most adorable skirt I own.  I don't think I could have imagined this skirt turning out any better.  This project was a great confidence boost and just very satisfying.




I ended up having some scrap fabric left over (yea!) so I decided to whip up a matching kindle case so I could completely secure my nerdy crazy cat lady persona.  I used this tutorial as a guide.


This skirt makes me feel like a nerdy book princess.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Book Club {Rainbow Rowell}

{image via Tumblr} 


Hello friends! We are so excited to announce our book club selection for September. Since one of our favorite authors, Rainbow Rowell, is releasing a new book in October, we decided to have ourselves another reread of all her books before the next one is released! Her new book, Carry On, is actually based on fictional fan fiction from her book Fangirl, so we are both planning on reading this one last! So the books we plan on reading are all pictured above: Landline, Attachments, Fangirl, and Eleanor & Park.

We know that 4 books is a little ambitious, so feel free to pick one or two and then come tell us all about it! We have been doing this book club for 3 years now and we are so pumped to open it up to other people to join in! Now let's get this reading party started!