[6] Obsessive Wednesdays: Recaps!

Once again, Tumblr interferes with my writing time. Lol. I’ve spent the entire morning making new friends, though, so – worth it! Sometimes socializing just needs to take precedence over isolated writing time.  Tumblr is definitely in my obsessions list for all-time. Y’all should add me there. Here are a few other things I’m adoring this week:

Beauty

hair collage

Wella 050 Toner

As recommended by the adorable Lauren Bradley Cox, I used this toner to color my hair silver right before Comic Con. For anyone interested in giving it a try (there are lots of other colors to try out, too), here are my tips!

1. Make sure your hair is lightened as far as you can get it, or this product will not work. It may take multiple bleachings (which should be spread out over a few months, with deep conditioning treatments in between) before your color is lifted enough. I highly recommend Olaplex to keep your hair healthy throughout the bleaching process.  Yes, it’s expensive, but the travel kit in that link will last you MULTIPLE bleachings. I’ve used it at least 6 times already.
2. Mix the toner with a 20 vol. developer at a 1:2 ratio of toner-to-developer. This is significantly stronger than what the instructions on the packaging suggest, because this product is intended to be an additive to a toner mixture, not used on its own. I made the mistake of following the box directions & ended up looking like this. YEESH! That’s blue on the length & yellow on the roots. It was NOT a good look, and I had to go out in public like that to pick up my daughter from my in-laws. *cries*

unnamed

3. Apply with a brush, not a bottle. You want even saturation since this is being used as a dye. A bottle will have a harder time distributing the product evenly.
4. Leave on for a full 45 minutes. It might look like the color has fully processed before this, but just leave it on. Since this is a toner & not a dye, it will fade with your initial wash & be much lighter than it appears as it’s processing.
5. If you’re using 050 & it comes out too blue for your liking, I recommend following up with Lee Stafford Beach Blondes purple toning shampoo. This shampoo is a much warmer purple than the majority of toning shampoos I’ve found. It combats the blue & brings it back to a nice lilac-y grey.
6. Love your new hair color 😀

Books

Colorworld

I found Colorworld Books at Wizard World Des Moines this past weekend. I was drawn in by their gorgeous aluminum prints/ bookmarks, and intrigued by the book the store is named after. When I got home on Sunday, I started stalking their social media & found their Etsy shop. I happened to have a $25 Etsy gift card on my account, so I pulled the trigger & ordered the first book. I’m so excited for it to arrive – it sounds amazing, and it looks simply beautiful.

Wendy, a 19-year old college student, can sense emotions when she touches people. As the sole caregiver for her younger brother Ezra, she is strapped for cash and decides to participate in an allergy study. But something goes wrong, and when Wendy wakes up, she learns that someone is dead and it was her skin that did it. Unable to touch people for fear of hurting them, Wendy is on the hunt for answers. Did they mean to make her a weapon, or something else entirely? That’s when she finds out she’s not the only one; superhuman abilities are real. Gabe, who works with the company responsible, feels badly about what happened and offers his help. Together they learn that Wendy was targeted for a specific reason, and it has nothing to do with her death touch.

PS I Still Love You

Yeah, yeah. It was on my list last week, but I just finished it & IT WAS SO GOOD. I’m working up a review with @loudlysilent for the Wind-Up Books Chronicle, so I’ll post a link once that’s ready. I just need to reiterate how obsessed I am with these characters.  I love, love, love them! And the ending. Oh man. *MELT*

SHOPPING

6pm.com

Just discovered 6pm.com, thanks to one of my forever-loves, miss Nicole. It’s essentially Zappos’ outlet site & it has SUCH GREAT DEALS. Go & enjoy, my lovelies. Enjoy the pretty, affordable shoes.

 

I’ve been very distracted lately, so that’s all I’ve got this week. Add yourself to this list. I’m obsessed with you for reading this. Let me know what you’re geeking out over so we can be in it together!

Until Next Time ❤

 

[5] Obsessive Wednesdays: Music Madness!

Welcome back to Obsessive Wednesdays! This week is a little music-heavy (and, consequently, Youtube-heavy). Likely due to the Cincinnati road trip a couple weeks ago 🙂 Kristi & I discovered LOTS of new faves. I’m just gonna share a couple, though. Let’s not get crazy.

MUSIC

New Miley! (Nightmare)

Guys, this song leaked on the internet yesterday & I’m in love. I actually really love the majority of Miley’s music since “We Can’t Stop” came out. And I’m not ashamed to admit that. Sure, her antics have been INCREDIBLY eyeroll-worthy. But I can forgive that. She’s making huge strides with her charity, which I greatly admire. She really does have a heart of gold. And this song is LE-GIT.

1989 Mashup / Sam Tsui & Kurt Schneider

This is maybe my favorite mashup/remake/cover/whatever that I’ve ever found on YouTube. I just can’t. I can. Not. It’s so good.

Also, check out Sam Tsui’s Sam Smith/Ed Sheeran mashup, because it’s a close contender.

Anna Kendrick’s/ John Krasinski Lip Sync Battle

This is maybe old news to some of you, but I just got around to watching it last week and HOLY SHIT. Anna Kendrick is a freaking goddess. It takes a LOT of courage to take on J-Lo and she totally kills it. Even with her little white girl booty. Just more proof that any booty can be a great booty.

Last-minute entry! Happy Playlist!

 

I dare you to be in a bad mood while this playlist is running. I DARE YOU. (playlist by @loudlysilent)

YOUTUBE

Carmilla

 

Moving along from music, bookavid was a terrible human being & made me start watching the web series, Carmilla, about a quirky girl whose roommate disappears & is replaced by a vampire. The cast is just phenomenal, and I blew through the first season in a couple days. The majority of characters in this series are gay, but it’s never really “addressed”, which I found fucking refreshing. Nobody needed to quantify their affections for whoever they were into. Everything was just accepted as normal. This is the way the world should work. Woah. That might have been a borderline rant. My bad.

BOOKS

P.S. I Still Love You / Jenny Han

I finally picked this up from the library & cannot wait to dive in. I need to finish Heir of Fire first, but I’m getting close, so YAY! I really, really enjoyed (review) To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and I am super excited to read the ongoing adventures of the Song Sisters! Also super excited to do a joint review of the book with @loudlysilent for The Wind-Up Books Chronicle this month!

Stephanie Perkins Novels

I also picked up the 3 Stephanie Perkins novels – Anna & The French Kiss, Lola & The Boy Next Door, and Isla & The Happily Ever After – from my library. I’ve definitely gotten the tiniest burnt out on fantasy lately, so I’m really glad to have these contemporaries (with INCREDIBLE reviews) at the ready for me!

A Court of Thorns & Roses

When I’m ready again for more fantasy, I’ve got this beauty at the ready!! I know I should probably move on to another author, but I’ve heard such INCREDIBLE things about this book that I just don’t see the point! Sarah J Maas does fantasy like nobody I’ve ever read, and I am a FAN.

BEAUTY

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

Everybody & their mother is pooping their pants over this. And with good reason. Urban Decay’s Naked Smoky palette is set to be released next month, and people. are. excited. Just look at the gorgeous packaging & the perfection that is every single shade of shadow! I don’t have any UD palettes in my arsenal, but this seems like a good one to get for me. When Kristi & I were sharing makeup, I always reached for her UD palettes before my own, so I know I’ll get good use out of it! These are TOTALLY worth the price tag.

HOME

Julia Goodwin’s San Francisco Home

Holy crap, you guys. This is like my dream interior. Every single photo in this home tour has me slobbering all over my keyboard. Seriously. I had to restrain myself from posting ALL of the photos right here. Every. Single. One is gorgeous & I have so much inspiration for my own spaces now!

Speaking of my spaces…

My New Bookshelves!

IMG_2463

Last but certainly not least – I have bookshelves now! Apologies for the crappy-lighting photo. My bedroom needs some serious work. If you follow me on Instagram or Tumblr, you may have seen that these suckers are getting lots of love from me. They’re a little sparse because my book collection is just getting underway. Having these right next to my bed has been AMAZING this week. They’re the perfect nightstand. I’ll do a whole bedroom tour once my room is no longer an embarrassment. K? Thanks.

I think that’s long enough for today. Let me know in the comments if there’s something YOU’RE completely obsessing over right now? Maybe it’s the new Mockingjay trailer? Or an announcement that something you love is being brought to screen (Lumberjanes, anyone?). I want to know!

Until Next Time ❤

Book Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

Keeping in line with yesterday’s Waiting on Wednesday, I’m here today with a review of Jenny Han’s “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before“. I finished this book around 11:30 last night – kind of unintentionally. It was one of those “one more chapter, one more chapter” kind of nights & before I knew it I only had 20 pages left – so obvi I had to just truck right on to the end!


 

boys

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.


#OGF REVIEW

I really enjoyed this book. It was a huge change of pace from Bloodlines & all the YA Supernatural/ Fantasy I read last year. I’m definitely enjoying all these YA Contemporary titles I’ve been getting my hands on lately.

Lara Jean is an easily identifiable character – just your typical 17-year-old girl with a whole truckload of insecurities. She is devoted to her family & often puts their needs above her own, particularly when her older sister goes abroad for college. Well, sort of.  Her intentions are good, at least.

Peter is the kind of character I love seeing in print. The hot, confident, popular kid who’s really a lot more genuine than people give him credit for. He’s living life for the experience of it and isn’t afraid to ask for what he wants – but that doesn’t mean he’s inherently selfish. He shows incredible compassion towards Lara Jean’s little sister, Kitty, and is surprisingly thoughtful as he & Lara Jean begin their “relationship”.

I think the most frustrating thing about this book for me is how much of the plot is driven by the simple fact that Lara Jean is afraid to drive. Seriously. She’s a nervous  driver, but as the eldest remaining daughter in a family who lost their mother some time ago, the bulk of household responsibilities falls on her shoulders – meaning she’s gotta drive places. There are at least 10 instances where this fear directly affects the narrative in a big way.

It’s always a little difficult to read YA as someone who falls into the “New Adult” category, just because we’ve been through all that teen angst & came out on the other side with a wealth of knowledge on how better to handle situations like the one Lara Jean finds herself in. I’m not saying I dislike the angsty part of YA novels – I mean that’s basically the bread & butter of the genre (and I do love the genre). But I sure as hell find myself doing one of these every 20-or-so pages:

honey

In the end, this was a fun, cheeky look at one girl’s clumsy journey through a HUMILIATING experience. There is a lot of character growth and plenty of real-life issues that get addressed. I think Jenny Han did a great job capturing the mercurial nature of a 17-year-old girl without making her completely insufferable (I’m looking at you, Bella Swan).

The ending was a bit too abrupt for me, but knowing that this was always intended as a 2-part series, I suppose I can forgive the cliffhanger. I will absolutely be picking up the sequel once it’s released.

Final verdict:

4 star


 

Have you read this one? What did you think? I’ve seen a lot of negative commentary floating around Goodreads – are you among the non-lovers?

 

Until Next Time ❤

OGF Signature

 

PS – I can’t decide which book to read next. I have the following books all hanging out next to my bed/on my Kindle & could really use some input!

  1. Paper Towns
  2. Looking for Alaska
  3. Throne of Glass
  4. Red Queen
  5. Yes Please!
  6. Ready Player One!

 

Waiting on Wednesday: P.S. I Still Love You

New WoW“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week, my pick is P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han, which will be released on May 26, 2015.

P.S. I Still Love You on Goodreads

I’m in the middle of reading To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before right now, and it’s been a really cute, fun read. It’s quirky and a little painfully awkward. It’s easy to relate to. I made the mistake of reading the synopsis for the sequel (SPOILERS), so I kind of know what’s going to happen, but that doesn’t really bother me because it’s a little predictable, anyway.  I still really enjoy the characters and the general premise of the book, which is a nice departure from the excessive YA Dystopian/Fantasy I’ve been reading lately.

SINCE the synopsis for the sequel has spoilers, I refuse to post it here.; you can click the link above if you want to read it. But I will put the synopsis for the first book for anyone who may be interested.


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.


Head over to today’s link-up to see what everyone else is waiting on!

Until Next Time ❤

OGF Signature