Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Comic Books


Ok, guys, today I want to talk about one of my all time favorite things in my nerdy life: comic books. Comic books never even entered into my radar before.  Then a few started popping up on my instagram and goodreads feeds and I got mad curious. Plus my favorite author, Rainbow Rowell, is releasing a graphic novel later this year so I had to see what this junk was all about. I decided to pick a couple that looked super awesome and up my alley and I immediately fell in love. They make me giggle like nothing else.  I think my love of comic books has rubbed on off Heather, as well as her daughter Morgan.  I really get a kick out of trading comic books with a 6 year old. I've read some spectacular ones and some not so good ones and today I thought I would talk about the ones I would personally recommend to everyone, but definitely to the ladies in particular. 

1.  Lumberjanes. This was the comic that started the addiction.  It is just so cute! Imagine a female only summer camp where you and your besties go on lots of adventures, drive your camp counselor crazy and fight all the supernatural creatures, like yetis and whatnot. And it has great catch phrases like "What the Junk" and "Friendship to the Max!".  So obviously my response to everything is "What the Junk!?" even if no one else gets the reference. Solid 5 out 5 kitten holies for me

2.  Giant Days.  I'm going to make a bold statement and say this is my favorite comic book series to date.  It's about 3 very different girls rooming together at college for the first time.  One girl is super nerdy and was raised super religiously, I keep picturing a doomsday cult in my head. The other two are a tad more "normal" in regards to what you think about college students.  It is hilarious to watch their hijinks as the try to navigate college life as independent ladies.  5 out of 5 book clubs for me!

3.  The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.  This one is actually a Marvel, superhero comic.  For some reason, I had a preconceived notion that I would not be into superheros and man was I wrong. Squirrel girl is officially my favorite superhero, ever!  With catch phrases like "Eat Nuts and Kick Butts", I don't know how she couldn't be.  Squirrel Girl, I mean Doreen, is attempting to blend into society by enrolling in college and living a "normal life" but normal and Squirrel Girl just do not go together. Plus her roommate is obsessed with her cat which I just love probably because I'm also pretty obsessed with my cats.  And her ultimate squirrel weapon is the best.  I'd give this one 5 out of 5 squirrels.

4.  Nimona.  To be fair, Nimona is more of a graphic novel but I'm including it in this list because it is probably the best graphic novel, ever. Nimona is a supervillian sidekick. She is ruthless and super mysterious. Like, I personally would not question her past or try to fight her. But she has such amazing energy at the same time.  She is a great companion for Lord Ballister Blakheart, the supervillian, who is a bit more broody than she is.  Their adventures are seriously laugh out loud funny.  I think even Lord Ballister is a little worried about what Nimona might do next.  She is such a fire cracker! 5 our of 5 sharks, ALL THE WAY!!!!  Please Noelle, write more graphic novels!!

Honorable Mentions:  Bitch Planet & Saga.  I also thought both of these comics were great but if I had to pick my favorites, the 4 listed above would tumble out of my mouth without thinking. I think both of these series rang in around 4 stars for me but I plan on continuing both series because they really were enjoyable.

I still feel like I'm pretty new to the comic book world.  I'm sure I've just hit the tip of the iceberg of what is out there. What comics are must reads for you? Let me know in the comments and I'll be sure to check them out! And who knows, it might already be in my amazon wishlist and I just need your influence to help me pull the trigger.  Influence me!

xoxo

Jen

Monday, April 11, 2016

Book Tee

Hey friends!
Man, it seems like this post is a long time coming! We'd be planning on doing book tee fashion shoot since the existence of the blog but somehow we just couldn't fit it in last summer and then we got way too excited about fall outfits.  Bookish tees are a staple in our book obsessed lives.  During the warmer seasons they become part of our weekend rotation.  Plus it is nice to let people know what we are all about in case they try to interrupt our reading or something equally annoying.  Fun fact: Our biggest book pet peeve is when we are reading in public and someone takes that as we aren't doing anything of importance and they interrupt us with some sort of nonsense with zero disregard. And that nonsense is never book related. I don't think either of us would mind being interrupted by someone who wanted to discuss the book we were reading or really anything bookish related.  Wonders how many people are going to be too nervous to approach a reading Heather or Jen without experiencing a major rant. We promise not to bite.

I know each of us has a couple of bookish tees and have plenty more on our wish lists. I personally really love our outfits and they were a great pick for our junking adventures that day. With no further ado, check out our casual bookish styles:


Outfit Details 
Tee (lookhuman) / Chambray shirt (American Eagle) / Jeggings (American Eagle) / Booties (Rue 21)







This is seriously my new all time favorite picture. Jumping photos are actually super hard but seriously hilarious.








Outfit Details
Jacket (Target: similar) / Book Tee (Look Human) / Jeggings (Rue21) / Booties (Forever 21) /Heart sunglasses (Amazon) 




Guys, we are always on the lookout for more bookish tees and really cool pop culture tees in general. Where do you get your favorite tees? Hit us up in the comments because we always need more places on our radar! And really just more excuses to shop!
xoxo
Jen

Thursday, April 7, 2016

April Small Goals

Hello friends! We're once again linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl and sharing our small goals for April. Honestly, March flew by and I didn't really keep track of my small goals like I wanted to. I got 3/5 accomplished but I don't feel like I was really intentional in making sure I was working towards them. This month I'm hoping to keep track and check in with myself a little more throughout the month. I'm really digging spring and all the nice weather. I've been doing a lot of hiking and walking around town lately and I could not be happier. What's on your radar for April friends? 


Jen's March Small Goals 

1. Continuation of clothing freeze. Yea, I failed at this again.  Obviously this isn't a very obtainable goal for me.  I'd like to say I'll try harder this month, but it is probably a lie and a goal I should just abandon. (But I won't.)
2. Keep fingernails painted.  Yes, I rocked this goal! And my chewed on nubs are now looking pretty kick ass.
3. Buy at least 1 comic book. Psssshhhhhh, 1 try more like 4.  My favorite was The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl but Bitch Planet was pretty awesome too. I'm still working through Roller Girl, but is is pretty amazeballs too.
4. Finish Parks and Recreations on Netflix.  Nope, I was dreaming too big with this goal.  I did finish up Season 2! And somehow I got off on a New Girl rewatch.  But, progress is progress!
5. Start a stash busting project.   I'm seriously rocking this goal.  I decided  to take my scraps and make a 9 patch light summer blanket.  I currently have sewn together 48 nine patches which translates into 432 2" blocks. 10-20 more blocks and I should be ready to sew this top together.

Jen's April Small Goals
1. Continuation of Clothing Freeze.  For obvious reasons and for me to be able to finally check this goal off my list. Or should I just admit my failings and that I'm a habitual spender and clothing hoarder. Thoughts?
2. Read 1 Classic Novel.  I've chosen Pride and Prejudice. I started it once and never finished it and that is just unacceptable for an avid reader. I always want to read the classics so hopefully setting a goal will make me follow through.
3. Up workout from 30 minutes to 45 minutes.  Since I started my workout last month, I've consistently worked out for 5 days a week for 30 minutes. I started on the beginner workout and now I've joined in with everyone else and the workout is longer and more intense but I really love it which sounds crazy even to my own ears. 
4. Finish stash busting quilt top.  I'm going to really try to finish up the remainder of blocks I need and to get the top of this quilt put together.  The quilt itself won't have any batting (since it is a summer blanket) and I'm planning on tying it together with yarn as my quilting method so I might make a bold statement and predict I have this quilt finished this month.  But I'm definitely committing to having the quilt top done!
5. Disconnecting.  Social media has become the bane of my existence for reals.  Honestly, the closed minded views of other just rubs me the wrong way sometimes and only I can eliminate that negativity from my life.  And I feel like it just becomes a waste of time.  I'm not an avid poster (instagram is totes my favorite and I'm going to stay present there), but I'm going to disconnect more from facebook in particular and focus on more meaningful things in life.  Peace out facebook!

Heather's March Small Goals
1. Learn cat eye eyeliner Major fail. I honestly forgot this was even one of my goals until now. 
2. Successfully complete boyfriend birthday surprise!  I bought him a bike and some sweet vegan cupcakes and he loved it. 
3. Read 5 books  I read exactly 5 books in March, so CHECK! 
4. Spend zero money on clothes/books/non-essentials  Another MAJOR fail. I'll do better in April! 
5. Work out 3-4 times a week   I worked out 3 times a week for the whole month! It feels good! 

Heather's April Small Goals
1. Start a new craft project  I've been wanting to get back into crafting in the evening. I'd like to work on a cross stitch project or a crochet blanket or something. 
2. Get a massage Dudes. I have the tightest muscles and a ton of issues with back pain that I feel like a massage would help so much. I'm going to make an appointment and treat myself to some self care this month
3. Work out 4-5 times a week  I feel ready to really push myself in my workouts and add in an extra day or two a week. I feel like it's totally doable and I'm actually excited to fit some more in. WHO AM I?! 
4. Redo my monthly budget  I haven't taken a look at my budget since I started my new job in February. I may have been spending a little too much lately and I think sitting down to redo my budget needs to happen this month, especially with a few trips I have planned in the next few months. 
5. Blog post 3 times a week  I'm the blog planner up in here and I can just not keep a consistent posting schedule. I'd like to set one up and post 3 times a week this month and hopefully find a rhythm that will last past April. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

March Rewind


Read:  
Man, I really kicked some reading ass this month.  Not only did I finish up the 5th book of The Game of Thrones I also immersed myself into The Winner's Curse series, which is basically a more gentle version of The Game of Thrones.  If you haven't read it, you should, or just read our discussion if you are on the fence.  We'll push you over.  My comic collection also grew this month. I read Bitch Planet and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.  Squirrel Girl is hands down my favorite super hero ever.  Her catch phrase was enough to get me hooked: "Eating nuts and kicking butts". Yea, you want to read it now too, right?

Watched:   
The husband and I watched Love on Netflix. It was pretty good and pretty quirky and I'm certainly into quirky.  So far there is only one season available, but I felt like it was pretty relatable of what goes on in the dating world (like I would even know since I haven't dated in over 10 years....haha) but I'm sticking with that statement.

Listening:  
I finally found a podcast that I seriously CANNOT live without.  You probably have already picked up on the fact that I love FRIENDS. Like, it is in my top 5 favorite tv shows of all time.  Anyway, I found The Best of Friends Podcast and it has pretty much changed my life.  Not really, but I love listening to other people who love Friends decipher each episode and especially the fashion. Those girls were always rocking it and I'd take legit fashion advice from both Rachel & Monica. 

Also this month: 

1.  New Morning Routine
Guys, 30 is seriously staring me in the face lately.  It is a mere 3 months away and it is prime time for me to realize now is the best time for me to get into shape.  I'm a paralegal so I spend a lot of time behind a desk and a computer and do not move as much as I would like.  I've been struggled with a workout style/how to fit it into my life syndrome for a couple of years.  Randomly this month, without really planning it, I just decided to start getting up, eating breakfast (which my husband cooks me, be jealous) and getting my workout on before I get ready to go off to work.  I would like to add, I hate to exercise. It is seriously the works. But Heather recommended the Blogilates series to me and I'm pretty into is because it is super structured.  I would like to report, after a month of this experiment, that I absolutely love this new morning routine. Not only is my body just feel super strong and flexible, but I just feel so much more awake and focused throughout the day.  I feel like this month, I really jumped on the train taking me straight to adulthood.

2. Lightening Strikes
You know, I think it is just natural if one area of your life is excelling then another area is going to take a major hit.  This month our house was hit by lightening and destroyed the following: 3 tvs, 3 cable boxes, 1 internet modem, 1 wireless router, 1 motherboard of a computer, 1 water heater and the kitchen light fixture.  I'm one who can usually just shake the stress off but I felt legit overwhelmed by this nonsense, especially the water heater since we had just replaced it a couple of years earlier.  Unfortunately hour home insurance deductible was about the same as our overall damage so it is a hit we had to take.  And this kids is why you make your emergency fund a priority. 

3. Junking
I hadn't been out "junking" or searching for vintage treasures in forever, like at least a year.  I used to go a couple of times a month.  This month, our local antique mall had a flea market attraction.  Heather, her beebs and I decided to check it out.  We didn't find a lot but it was fun to get back into the junking world and to see how much the antique mall has improved since we had last been there.  My one find was a framed quilt block which I thought was super cool, especially since it had the creators name and address listed on the back of it. Those are some of my favorite treasures to stumble onto.



Read:  
This month was all about The Winner's Curse series. I seriously fell in love again and it's earned a place as one of my favorite YA fantasy series. So well done and definitely has a Game of Thrones vibe, especially the last two in the series. I also read a few comic books that Jen let me borrow, Lumberjanes and Nimona, both of which were super cute and wonderful. 

Watched:   
I've been watching Grey's Anatomy any spare second I get. After reading Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes is my spirit animal/soul sister and this show is so well written. I'm enjoying all the characters and the story lines. I'm on season 5 finally but there are 12 seasons so far and I usually only watch it in the morning while getting ready for work. I also saw the movie The Witch this month and it was so different from my expectations, not an in your face horror movie, but one I find myself thinking about a lot and really enjoyed. 

Listening:  
I am SO CLOSE to being done with listening to It by Stephen King. The audiobook is 45 hours long and I listen to it on my commute to and from work. I usually listen to 2 hours a day during the week and it's starting to wear on me. I have mixed feelings on this book for sure and it's not one of my favorite Stephen King novels but I'm trying to withhold final judgements until I actually finish (which should be TODAY!) 

Also this month: 

1. I ran a 6k 
With basically no training, I ran a 6k with my boyfriend this month. I had done a trial run the weekend before and it took me an hour and 10 minutes to complete (I run/walk currently). I was so pumped that on race day I beat this time by 15 minutes! It was so cool to push myself and really see what I'm capable of. I have another 6K planned in September so I'm really excited to see how my time changes by then. I'd really love to run it in 40 minutes, so let the training begin! 

2. New schedule 
I started a working a 9:45am-6:45pm schedule at work in March. The day my training group found out we were moving schedules I was pretty upset. I tend to imagine the worst case scenario and then freak out about it. In my mind I would never get to see my kids and it would be miserable. Color me shocked when I actually love this schedule. I get to sleep in, take my time in the mornings, and miss all the crazy city traffic that was the bane of my existence on my morning and evening commutes. I think long term an earlier schedule works better in my life, but for now I'm enjoying this time not having to wake up at 5:45am. 

3. Beer Flights OH MY
My boyfriend had a fantasy baseball draft a few weekends ago and I went with him to a local brewery, book in tow, to hang out while he did that with a few friends. I ended up trying a beer flight and it was so fun! I have never tried dark beers and actually liked them! Maybe not enough to get it all the time, but definitely to try in small batches like that. I want to try beer flights at other places more often now. Any favorite beers I should know about? 

April Book Club


Hey friends! Can you believe it is already April? Who wants to join us on another epic reread/finishing up of a series?! I know we throw epic around pretty willy nilly around here but this is a legit epic fucking book/series. Maybe that will show you how serious I am about this being epic, especially since I'm pretty sure my Mom reads here on occasion (waves to proud mother of a profane adult child).  Like, this series is probably in my top 3 series of all time.  I would randomly recommend this series to a stranger on the street.  It is one of the most original stories I have ever read. I can't even lump it into some sort of category. It needs to be in a "it's fucking epic" category. Let me put my fangirling to a halt for a second and get to the specifics.  We will be rereading the first 3 books of this series (The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue) as well as The Raven King, which is being released on April 26, 2016. Mark your calendars or just go ahead and preorder like the rest of us obsessed book lovers have.

Book Description of The Raven Boys
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.


I was pretty lucky to stumble across this series right before book 2 was being released and I fell head over heels in love with all the characters in this series.  The world building is also phenomenal. The wait in between books has been excruciating, especially this last one which was a good 18 month wait. It has seriously been torture! Like, why Maggie, just why? At least you aren't George R. R. Martining us. Who is joining us on this epic reread and who is about to make this epic journey for the first time? Let us know in the comments, yo!

xoxo

Jen

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Winner's Curse {Discussion}


Hello friends! I'm so excited to get together and discuss our March book club selection. I read this book a few years ago and loved it, but I didn't remember how much until I reread it for book club. I feel like I've finally found a good work/life/book balance with my new job and my reading has felt like it's moving along nicely. Much slower than I'm used to but going along at a nice pace. I was looking forward to discussing this with Jen so much and it did not disappoint. I highly recommend this series if you love fantasy in the Game of Thrones type genre with a little romance thrown in. Now, on to the discussion! 



Our Reaction in a GIF 



Discussion Time 

Heather
March's book club selection was The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski. The last book in the series comes out March 26 so we reread the series, but for this discussion let's just focus on book 1, The Winner's Curse! So what are your thoughts on this month's pick? 



Jen
I'm really into The Winner's Curse. I loved it the first time I read it and I still love it.  I thought the fantasy part of it was on point and I actually didn't hate the forbidden love story they have going on.  But the romance is pretty tame in this book and really isn't the center of attention anyway so that probably attributes to why it didn't bother me.  To me, the book was like one big game of Bite & Sting, or maybe Chess would be a more relatable reference. haha  What are your thoughts?



Heather
I absolutely loved The Winner's Curse! After reading the second book, I got a pretty good Game of Thrones vibe, with less dragons and magic. The secret rebellion brewing and the forbidden romance were so well done and intriguing. I didn't feel like the romance was the biggest part of the story and I actually loved the way it was done. Sometimes romance in YA can be a little like instalove or unrealistic but this felt different. The romance felt like it was real and deep but also there were choices that had to be made that were bigger than love.



Jen
Oh man, I agree so hard.  We are dealing with two very loyal characters.  They are loyal to their separate countries and people but somehow they are able to remain loyal to one another and man, I just thought that was so refreshing for a YA novel.  I love that the romance was never really the center of the story.  And yea, I felt like this book/series was very well written and will remain a personal favorite of mine.  I really can't wait to see how this series ends up. I don't even have any predictions.



Heather
Arin and Kestrel are definitely loyal people and it's interesting to see them both struggle with the loyalty to their countries and families and their relationship. I like that the romance was a slow burn but there was so much else going on at the same time that it was just a part of the story, not the focus of the story. Rereading this book just solidified this series as one of my favorites, one I would be happy to revisit multiple times. I'm actually a little sad that it's only a trilogy and not longer. I don't really have any complaints for this book, it's a solid 5 stars for me. 



Jen
HAHA! I had the same thought earlier, why can't this bee a 5 or 6 book series?! I would agree. 5 stars all the way.  But for real, this series was really well written and I can't wait to see what else Marie Rutkoski has up her sleeve since I've never read anything else by her before.  But I plan to check out more of her work in the future because this book was completely my style of YA fantasy.  I have zero complaints and can honestly say I wouldn't change a thing about this book!



Heather
Same! I'm really interesting in seeing her other work because this book was close to perfection for me. No spoilers, but I think the next book is even better so it really has me excited for The Winner's Kiss on Tuesday. Definitely one of the most solid YA fantasy books I've ever read and I recommend it to everyone (which I've actually been doing IRL at work)! 
Side note, I gotta jet bestie, any last thoughts? 


Jen

Nope, you pretty much summed up my remaining thoughts.  It is going to be really hard to adult on Tuesday!