Monday, March 28, 2016

Jeggings Freestyle

Hey friends!
Can you tell outfit posts are one of our favorite things to post about? Not only is it fun to play dress up but it gives us an excuse to squeeze in even more bestie time and bestie time is pretty damn important.  As much as I love to get all dressed up, I really love vegging out in a pair of jeggings.  Therefore, we decided to keep it Contempo Casual and do a freestyle theme.  I really hope someone gets this Clueless/90's reference.  I really enjoy seeing what each of us comes up with on a freestyle shoot simply because they are so open ended and we try not to discuss them too much ahead of time to try not to unintentionally steal ideas. I think this shoot in particular, really showcases our different personal styles. 

Outfit Details 
Top (Target) / Vest (Modcloth--no longer even on the website sadly!) / Jeggings (American Eagle--ON SALE) / Booties (Forever 21) / Sunglasses (Amazon) 

I've been experimenting with crop tops for the last year or so.  I find that they are really hit and miss and I like it best if the crop top skims the top of my pants.  I'm still really undecided about this crop top because of how cropped it is.  What do you guys think? Is it a keeper?

Outfit Details
Crop top (Forever 21) / Jeggings (AE) / Kicks (Toms

Well, until next time...
(another great reference, think late 2000s and it is also a book series)
[Gossip Girl!]


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken {Discussion}

Hello friends! We're here to discuss all things Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. I feel really disappointed to tell you that for both Jen and I this book was a huge flop. I decided to put it down around 200 pages and Jen made it farther but also decided to not finish. So this discussion will be short and sweet for us. 

This is the first time we have both not liked a book since we started this blog. It can be hard when you are really excited for a new release and it does not live up to expectations. I do think that time is precious and I've been trying to get better about knowing when it's time to let something I'm not enjoying go. I know plenty of people who really loved this book, it was one of their favorite reads and that is awesome. We all have different tastes and things we enjoy and that's ok. I guess I just want to give the disclaimer that because I didn't like this book, doesn't mean you won't love it.  If you think it sounds cool, then try it! I'm not a book expect and anything on here is just our opinion. I also think it's a good rule to discuss things we don't like, but to not bash them in a hateful way.  So here is our discussion of a book we didn't like that we will discuss in a critical but nice way. I've never written a book and can't imagine how hard it is so I'm not down for bashing any author who goes for it. And now on to the discussion! 

Reaction to this book in GIF form

Discussion Time! 
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken was our February book club pick. Both of us ended up not finishing the book. Why did you decide to put it down and how far into the book did you make it before deciding to stop?

Oh man, I really hate DNFing a book but I decided to at 76%.  Passenger was almost 500 pages and I kept expecting the story to get better but it never did and I think giving it that long of a chance really cemented by decision that there would be no significant improvements.  I was really disappointed because the premises sounded great and the cover was beautiful, but the story was a big ole mess.  What about you? How did you know you hit your stopping point?

I feel the same way about not finishing a book! It's really hard for me to put a book down once I start. However with Passenger I decided to put it down around page 200 I think. For me the story felt really disjointed and clunky. It was hard to get into and I found myself putting off reading because I was not feeling the story at all. It felt like a pale comparison to other, better YA novels I love. Time travel should be interesting but this book was just not able to keep my attention. I agree that the cover was gorgeous and the story had promise, but it did not go anywhere for me. So disappointing! 

I agree, I think the author tried to shove every YA trope into one book and man, the result was just not pretty or cohesive. 

Agreed. It just fell flat for me. With my new job I have such limited reading time now and for me it wasn't worth continuing on with it. I don't feel any regret for putting it down, and I know plenty of people on Goodreads who loved it, so it might just be that it didn't jive with us. I think my standards for great YA has just gotten higher in the past few years. 

Yea, I would completely agree with our standards getting higher.  I don't regret putting it down either.  I really tried to force myself to love it, probably because it was so hyped up, but it was a really weak read for me too.  And if a book is going to be almost 500 pages, it really needs to have some substance to keep me entertained.  I think you were 100% on it when you said the story pales in comparison to better YA books. I think I was most upset because I was on a Game of Thrones roll, took a break to read this for book club and then it was so weak in my mind I just hate that I lost some personal reading momentum. Oh well though, not ever book can at the levels of Sarah J. Maas or Rainbow Rowell.

Yes! Everything you said times 2!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

March Small Goals

Jen's February Small Goals

1. Continuation of Clothing Freeze.  Ok, to be honest this was quite a goal for me to tackle.  I found the perfect pair overalls I broke this goal.  But I would like to report, I did spend a lot less on clothing this month.  Progress is progress.
2. Finish Spooky Halloween Sampler.  Considering I only have half of the border left, I'm calling this goal complete! 
3. Buy supplies for next bestie project.  I encountered some unforeseen bills this month and had to put this goal on hold.
4. Listen to a bookish podcast.  Geez, this is going to sound really silly, but I went to look for a bookish podcast and got seriously overwhelmed by choices.  Anyone have a good recommendation of where to start?
5. Update my crafty to-do list.  I spent A LOT of time thinking about what direction my crafting is taking and I'm still kind of uncertain of where it is going.  I'd love to make some more clothes or to buy some amazing quilting fabric but I don't have the extra fundage for that at the moment.  Lack of funds can really destroy creativity.  I'm tossing around a couple of scrap busting projects including using the vintage Sunbonnet Sue pattern. 

Jen's March Small Goals 
1. Continuation of clothing freeze.    Since I was able to cut my clothing spending by more than half, I'm keeping this goal on the list because I need a constant reminder, like an accountability partner. 
2.  Keep fingernails painted.  Yea, this probably seems like a semi silly goal but if I don't keep polish on my nails than my horrible chewing nails habit kicks in relentlessly when I'm anxious or nervous.
3.  Buy at least 1 comic book.  I'm majorly in love with comics and haven't had a chance to splurge on any new ones this year.  It is happening this month!
4. Finish Parks and Recreations on Netflix.  Man, I really do love this show, but I have not made the time to watch it entirely through. I'm almost to season 3 and hopefully I can bust a good chunk if not all of this show out this month. 
5. Start a stash busting project.  Now that I've evaluated my fundage and my supplies I think the most logical thing to do is start a stash busting quilt project, whether I use the Sunbonnet Sue pattern or I use the 9 patch pattern to make a more light summer blanket.  This isn't something I plan on getting finished in a month or whatever but I'd really like to use up all the little scraps of fabric I've been hoarding. 

Heather's February Small Goals Update

1. Spend zero money on books  Done and done! I'm really glad I was able to accomplish this goal. 
2. Buy knitting supplies  Crushed it! I bought the supplies linked in the last post but haven't busted them out yet. I think I'll do that this weekend possibly! 
3. Move houses with minimal stress Maybe the least stressful move I've ever done. I'm happily now living with my boyfriend and loving it! 
4. Put all my taxes in savings Done! It feels good to have a nice big emergency fund all set up now. 
5. Use my film camera This is the one goal I didn't get to! I'd still like to bust out my film camera and with the nicer weather maybe I'll get to that this March.

Heather's March Small Goals
1. Learn cat eye eyeliner I see people rocking this eyeliner trend and can never get it right. I want to watch all the YouTube videos it takes until I get this one down. 
2. Successfully complete boyfriend birthday surprise! I have an epic birthday surprise planned for Jarrett for his birthday at the end of the month and I cannot wait. He is SO HARD to buy for and really hard to surprise so I'm pumped to really knock his socks off with his birthday this year. 
3. Read 5 books  February was such a bad reading month for me that I want to commit to fitting in at least 5 books this month. 3 of them at least will be book club reads so really planning to squeeze in 2 more shouldn't be too hard. 
4. Spend zero money on clothes/books/non-essentials  I have plans with Jen for a shopping trip in April to splurge a little before we head out to BookCon in May so I really want to put any additional funds I have into savings. I've been spending a little more than normal lately so I really want to focus on resisting those impulse buys. The only exception is book club books I need to buy still. 
5. Work out 3-4 times a week  In January I worked out 3 times a week consistently. Then I got sick in February and didn't work out for 2 weeks. So I am ready to jump back in and keep a consistent routine. I bought T25 and have done 2 of the workouts so far and am loving it. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

February Rewind

Read:  I got on a Game of Thrones kick in February.  I read A Feast of Crows and I'm working on A Dance with Dragons. I'm really looking forward to being caught up on this series. George R. R. Martin, you can announce the release date of book 6 anytime now! I also read Maybe in Another Life on Heather's recommendation and I thought it was really insightful. The parallel universes really made me think and reevaluate some of my own decisions.  I also squeezed in My Heart and Other Black Holes.  This was a super quick read for me but had a pretty heavy topic; a topic which is really hard for me to relate to but I think it is a decent read.

Watched:   The husband and I started watching Master of None with Aziz Ansari.  I've enjoyed Aziz's standup as well as his role on Parks and Rec so I wasn't too surprised that I'm super into this show.  I also started Fuller House, but I'm only 2 episodes in and I'm trying to keep a super open mind about it so I'm withholding any sort of rating or recommendation until next month.

Listening:  I started watching/listening to two new comedy shows this month.  Not Safe with Nikki Glaser and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.  Nikki is hilarious, in a dirty Amy Schumer type of way.  Samantha used to be on the Daily Show and I'm super pumped she has her own political satire show.  She is super feminist and impervious to bullshit.  Both of these girls deserve a shout out!

Also this month: 

1.  Quilt Finish
I started a quilt in January just to exercise my sewing/quilting skills and I finished it up this past weekend.  I used the donut quilt pattern for like the 10th time now.  My house is starting to get overrun with quilts.  Don't tell the husband, but I've secretly have my eye open for an old hutch/curio cabinet I can classily display more quilts in. Both racks are overfull and almost all surfaces have quilts covering them because I have the most spoiled kitties, ever.

2.  Decorated for Spring
I'm big into decorating for different holidays/seasons, even if I'm just putting out a holiday/season themed table runner and gnome set.  Hell, one year I dedicated my crafting time to making only holiday/seasonal decorations such as wall hanging and table runners.  Decorating for each season keeps things super fresh and puts me in my happy place. 

3.  Paid off the Truck
We had some unforeseen expenses this month that caused us to re-evaluate our overall budget and we decided to pay off our 3rd vehicle early.  It was unexpected and sort of nice at the same time. Carrying 3 car payments and a house payment was pretty stressful so I'm looking forward to having less financial responsibilies.  Plus, it makes me feel like I have this adulting thing down. 

This month was not a great reading month for me. I ended up putting down Passenger after 200 pages and didn't really have time to start something new or really commit to anything. I did reread or listen to 2 audio books Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and Why Not Me? both by Mindy Kaling. It made my commute really nice to listen to Mindy and I kind of wish I could listen to her all the time. She needs to come out with more books ASAP. 

This month was all about the Oscars! We kept watching Oscar nominated movies this month and ended up watching some really good ones. Highlights for me would be Brooklyn, Creed, and Spotlight. I also really enjoyed the short film Stutterer. I was also able to fit in the horror movie The Boy with a friend and The Final Girls, which is more of a comedy than horror. All these get high marks from me and are totally worth checking out. 

As mentioned above, I started listening to audiobooks on my commute. It was a nice way to switch it up from podcasts but I'm still figuring out exactly how to make it work. Audiobooks are kind of expensive! I also started listening to the podcast Fake Goth Girls and am really enjoying that as well! I'm working on finding more lady podcasts to check out and this one is at the top of my list now! 

Also this month: 
1) New Job! 
I started my new job on the 16th! It's been really great so far. I was so nervous to start but everyone in my training group has been awesome and it's such a cool environment to work in that I feel so glad that I took the chance and did the scary thing by going for a new job. Training ends this week and I'm nervous but excited to really dig in and see what I can do and accomplish here. I'm also looking forward to building some of the new friendships I have made. 

2) Sickness Galore
Along with starting a new job, I've been sick more this month than ever. I had to miss 2 days of work last week, which really sucked since I ended up having strep. I tried to work through it when I thought it was just a cold but finally gave in and went to Urgent Care where they confirmed strep. Then I had some food poisoning issues, so it's been a real ball of fun for me {enter sarcasm}. So I'm doing a lot of home review to catch up on what I missed with training. Fingers crossed I've gotten enough sickness to last me the next year or so. 

3) Second Annual Oscar Bet 
I think I mentioned this in the January rewind but my boyfriend and I started an Oscar bet last year. We watch all the Oscar nominated movies we can and then we make our individual predictions and whoever wins gets to pick a place to have dinner and the loser buys. I won last year by one point but Jarrett took home the prize this year by two points. I was actually really happy for him, he's much more competitive than I am :) 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

March Book Club

Photo credit: bookktography

Hello friends! Another month, another book club! We will post our Passenger discussion from February at the end of the week, but let's get into what we chose for March. This month we are rereading The Winner's Curse and The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski to prepare for the release of The Winner's Kiss on March 29th.

Book Description of The Winner's Curse
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love...

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

I have actually only read The Winner's Curse so far but I'm excited to catch up in the series! This was one of my favorite reads a few years ago and the covers are so gorgeous that I don't mind one bit having them on my bookshelf. I know 3 books is a large commitment but even if you just check out the first book I think it's definitely worth it. Have you read this series yet? Are you planning on checking it out? Let's chat in the comments!!