Archive | September, 2013

The Fault In Our Stars

28 Sep

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”

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I just finished The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green. I’m I am by no means a fast reader and I read this in three days. I literally couldn’t put it down. It’s very good, insightful. I’m finding it difficult to express just exactly how I feel after reading this, but I’ll do my best to explain it.

If you’ve ever lost someone you love to a disease then this will hit exceptionally close to home, especially if that disease happens to be cancer and the person you lose was a girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse. I’ve never lost anyone that close to me, but I did lose my dad when I was young so I can understand it in a way.

The way John Green looks at and discusses issues like cancer, love, and death are very touching and very honest.

The book is about Hazel (endearingly referred to as Hazel Grace), a 16 year old girl who has been fighting cancer for several years. She is a recluse, taken out of school, not willing to really do much of anything. Her mother makes her to go a group therapy session with other kids dealing with the same sort of ailments to get her out of the house. There, she meets Augustus (Gus) a 17 year old who has had his leg amputated due to cancer.

To fall in love with someone you know is dying makes for a powerful and wonderful story. The quote above says so much to me, that you fall in love like you fall asleep, slowly and then all at once. I love that quote, because really, isn’t that the truth? I tend to think so. And when someone you love dies, you don’t love them any less. You continue to love and in that love they do live on in a way.

My other favorite quote from the book (which is actually a true quote according to Wikipedia) is from Dom Perignon after he invented Champagne (my favorite drink ever) “Come quickly: I am tasting the stars.” I never knew why I liked champagne so much, but it is like tasting the stars and I will forever think of that when I am drinking champagne!

I don’t want to spoil the book. Honestly, it’s about cancer and love and loss, so you can probably already guess that it is sad. That being said, even knowing that there is no way to really ruin this book. It’s amazing! I recommend you read it while drinking a glass of the stars. Have some kleenex ready, and if you happen to have someone you love nearby this will make you want to love them more and to make sure they know it.

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Popsugar Must Have September 2013

24 Sep

My Popsugar box for September came today! I was excited to get this one after seeing the spoilers. I’ve heard that a lot of people weren’t happy with this one, but I like it.

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One of my favorite items is the Barr-Co diffuser. I’ve never bought a diffuser before but I love things that make my house smell good so this one makes me happy. The scent is in “original” which is a blend of milk, oatmeal, vanilla, and vetiver. Mostly I smell the vanilla. It’s a nice warm scent, not overly strong, but enough that I can smell it as it sits on the table in front of my computer.

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I do love getting books in my boxes. This isn’t really a book that you read, although you’d have to read some of it to complete anything inside. It’s a DIY book called PS – You’re Invited, by Erica Domesek. The book includes 40 DIY projects from fashion, home decor, to entertaining ideas. Plus, it’s a smart book so you can watch how-to videos that go along with the different projects. I haven’t had a chance to look all the way through the book yet but I’ve seen a few things that have caught my eye (and a few that I’ve thought were really ridiculous too).

I’m actually happy to have the Rifle Paper Co Coaster Set. I have coasters on my coffee table but not on my dining room table, so any time I wanted to use one I’d have to go get one from the living room. And, I’ll be honest, I’m usually too lazy to do that. Now I have a nice set of coasters to keep on my dining room table! They are very pretty. They won’t last forever since they are just paper/cardboard. Kinda like what you’d find at a bar, but much prettier.

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This month’s box also included a set of five headbands from Kitsch, http://www.mykitsch.com I never seem to be able to keep these things on my head. They normally go flying off in a matter of minutes (or seconds). I had to try them out and so far it’s staying put. I’ll be honest though, I’m not moving my head around a lot while typing out a blog! If you’re interesting in purchasing some headbands (I think they also have hairbands), there’s a 20% discount code that can be used on their website through 11/30/13, use POPSUGAR20.

I also received a $25 gift card to shoptiques.com. I’m really not sure that I’ll use it, but I’ll at least take a peek at the site to see if anything catches my interest.

I plan on eating my Sharkies Organic Energy Chews before crossfit tonight. I received Tropical Fruit for the flavor. They also included a That’s It fruit bar that looks pretty delicious.

The Cuckoo’s Calling

23 Sep

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Not long ago there was a lot of media hype about the fact that The Cuckoo’s Calling was actually written by J.K. Rowling, not Robert Galbraith. She had attempted to leave behind the Harry Potter stigma in an attempt at a “fair shot” at writing some other genre, and to see if it/she was actually any good in her own right.

I’m here to tell you, after finishing this book, that she needs to stick with Harry Potter! Don’t get me wrong, I loved Harry Potter. And, no, I didn’t expect this to be anything like it. The Cuckoo’s Calling is an adult book (no, not that kind of adult book, just one written towards a grown-up audience; drugs, sex, and a little rock n’ roll), about a private investigator named Cormoran Strike and his temporary secretary Robin. Strike (as he is most often referred to) is hired to investigate the suicide/murder of a famous model named Lula Laundry, by Lula’s brother John.

This book took me FOREVER to finish, right about two months. It’s not an overly huge book, just over 450 pages. The problem is that none of the characters made me love them, hate them, or want to be them. They were so unbelievable and inhuman that you didn’t care for them one way or the other. I seriously only finished reading the book because I had actually paid for a hardback copy. And, if you know me you know I don’t like to waste money, so I finished the book.

The only redeeming quality is the last 100 or so pages. When you realized that Strike knows the real story and you as the reader still have no idea (or at least I had no idea, right up until the very end when it’s blatantly obvious). The ending really is good, not very good, but good.

Overall I’d give this book two and a half stars, maybe three if I just based it on the last few chapters. I’d NEVER bother to read it again. Too bad for me I also purchased The Casual Vacancy at the same time. I’ll read it because I bought it, but I have a really bad feeling I’m not going to like it. None-the-less I will start it with an open mind and hope to be proven wrong.

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear your comments!

Popsugar Special Edition Must Have Fall Style Box

20 Sep

I finally got my Popsugar Fall Style box in the mail. I’ve been waiting for what seems like forever. I can’t go spoiler free, and I have to say that I was a little bummed about spending $100 on this box after I started seeing the spoilers. Now that I have it all in my hot little hands I actually think the price is more than worth it. I love getting a surprise in the mail that I didn’t exactly pick out…even if I do have to pay for it.

Here’s the box! Much larger than a regular monthly Popsugar box.

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The first thing I opened up was the Rachel Zoe Gold Knot Ring. They sent a spoiler e-mail about the ring long before the boxes were sold out so everyone knew what that was going to be. It didn’t sell the box for me, but they pictures really don’t do it justice. It’s very pretty in person (and I’m not even a fan of regular gold), and much more substantial and sturdy than I thought it was going to be. A lot of people complained that every ring given out was a size 7, but I couldn’t be happier since that fits two of my fingers just perfectly.

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The other items in the box were a Cynthia Vincent Classic Shopper Bag. I didn’t think I needed another large bag, but I do have a trip to Vegas next month, and I go to the gym all the time. I actually think it’ll be really useful. I don’t love the color I got, but I don’t hate it either. It’s a little too Southwestern for my taste, but it could be so much worse. Plus, for a gym/whatever bag, it’s perfect. I’m not overly picky.

There’s also some Library of Flowers Bubble Bath. I think mine is called Arboretum but I’m not sure. It smells pretty good. I don’t take a lot of baths but I will get around to using it sooner or later.

Next up is a Christian Lacroix Notebook. Nothing too exciting. Their big feature seems to be the fact that it lays flat. The one I got has a girl on the cover, maybe it’s supposed to look French? I’m not sure. It’ll mostly stay around the house for writing shopping lists, so again I’m not picky about the style (although I wouldn’t have chosen it).

I’m really excited to try the Goldfaden Ruby Crystal Microderm Exfoliator! Scrubbing my face with rubies?!? Yes please! Although I’d rather be wearing them.

The Stila Luxe Eyeshadow Palette is so much prettier in person that I would have ever guessed. I’m especially excited to try the Pink Diamond and Bordeaux colors. If anything in this box screams fall to me it’s these colors.

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And last, but not least, the Beurre&Sel Rosemary Parmesan Cookies. I had to give them a try since I’ve seen so many mixed reviews. Yes, mine came slightly crushed up too, but they are still edible. I have to say that they aren’t my favorite but they could be so much worse. They are a kind of really soft shortbread cookie. I don’t really taste rosemary or parmesan when I eat them, but they are more savory than sweet.

Here’s a picture of all my items!

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I’m just way too big of a fan of surprises, even if I have to buy them for myself. I can see myself ordering another one of these specialty season boxes in the future!

Crossfit + Herbalife = Success

10 Sep

I’ve been working hard the last five months, eating better (lots of protein), and working out doing crossfit an average or four times a week! I love the progress I’m seeing and the fact that I actually am starting to like my body and the way it looks. One thing I’ve noticed about gaining muscle is that I don’t worry as much about what the scale tells me. Before, I could never weight little enough. If I lost weight then I wanted to lose more. It’s not a healthy perspective but its the truth. Now, I can’t put on enough muscle, but I’m not longer worried about just being thin. Now my focus is on health, muscle tone, and setting new personal records in the gym! I never would have thought that I would enjoy weight lifting, but I love it.

Here my five month progress! Not too shabby.

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