Friday, April 29, 2016

Bookish (and Not-So Bookish) Thoughts #23

Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Making purchases from these links may result in a small commission so I can feed my turtle :)

1. My Fitbit Alta has already started to make me do some unexplainable things. Like go on hikes. Who am I?! (Also if you wanna be my Fitbit friend please send me your e-mail <3) Andrew has noticed and now he kinda wants one too, but is trying to figure out if he'd be willing to wear one all the time (or even just part of the time). He's considering the Fitbit Flex so he doesn't have to worry about smashing the screen while he's at work. Anyway, my buddy and I (also in the Fitbit cult) went on a little hike last weekend, and we're hoping to go this weekend as well and hopefully make it a regular thing.



2. I binge-watched season two of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt last week. For the most part I enjoyed it, you know, aside from that one really weird and racist episode. I was actually more annoyed with the horde of angry Asian people that came to see the show than I was with Titus being a geisha, but we can talk about that some other time.

3. Last weekend I got to play the Overwatch beta! For just that weekend, but whatever hahah. Andrew plays Overwatch all the time, but I didn't have the beta until that week and I don't like playing on his computer :P It was really fun! Getting the hang of a FPS was a little weird, but I caught on pretty quick (playing Firewatch last month probably helped). I'm still not sure if I'll end up getting the full game when it's officially released, though. Why you gotta be so expensive, Overwatch?! If you're interested in playing, there's going to be an open Beta (free for everyone to play - YOU get an Overwatch, and YOU get an Overwatch!) from May 5 - 9th. Get all the details here. If you're going to play on PC hit me up and we can swap gamertags or something.
4. All month long I've been trying to finish reading What-the-Dickens, but it is JUST. SO. BORING. I don't know how a middle grade book manages to be so incredibly boring. I mean, it's about a tooth fairy for goodness sake! Have I just not gotten to the "good part" yet? Because I'm about ready to give up. I don't like to give up on books, but I don't like to waste my time reading books I don't like, either. Maybe Gregory Maguire books just aren't for me. I read Wicked awhile back, and it was okay (I like the musical more, tbh), but there was definitely a LOT of boring parts to trudge through.

5. In the meantime, I've started another book, The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood. This is the first book I've read by her, but she sounds like a badass lady. I picked this up because it's the May book for NovelTea Book Club! I haven't participated in the last few months; either I was busy or just wasn't into the book for that month. But I'm ready to jump back into it!

6. Summertime project: find a way to replicate these obnoxious $550 underwater sandals to wear with my Aquaman outfit.

7. If you were considering joining my health/fitness group, Powerpuff Bloggers, now's the perfect time to do it! I'm setting up our first group step challenge, which will start early next month. I was inspired by the challenges you can do with your friends on the Fitbit app, but I wanted to make it so ANYONE could participate, not just Fitbit users. I've never done anything like this before, so I'm really hoping it all works smoothly and everyone has fun. So if you have ANY device that can count your steps and are down for a little friendly competition, join us!

Bookish (and Not-So Bookish) Thoughts is hosted every Wednesday by Bookishly Boisterous!

Monday, April 25, 2016

48 Days of Blue


48 Days of Blue

From now until World Oceans Day (June 8th) I'll be participating in 48 Days of Blue!

"In the 48 days between Earth Day and World Oceans Day, help the National Aquarium give something back to our amazing, life-sustaining blue planet!
Every day, we'll overcome an obstacle facing the ocean by completing small conservation challenges. Going a day without straws will keep 127 school buses worth of plastic from out of our natural spaces. Unplugging from our modern, electronic world for just 20 minutes can save enough energy to brew a cup of coffee.

Making these changes in our daily lives will benefit our own health, improve our communities AND help protect the ocean for future generations. 

This movement is about more than just conservation; it’s about connecting a community of change-makers. Whether you’re down the street or continents away, our collective impact is equal, our challenges are similarly difficult and our successes will be felt and celebrated together, loudly!" - aqua.org

You can sign up at the 48 Days of Blue website, sign up is super quick and you're not locked into any commitment - just do the challenges as you please! Each day there's a new challenge, and you just visit the site to check-in once you complete each one. You can also "save for later" if that days challenge won't easily fit in with what you have going on that day. To share your progress (or to get inspiration from others) use the #48DaysofBlue hashtag! My first post will be going up later today (I'm starting two days late, booo) but I'll be checking the tag regularly to see what everyone else is up to! I'll be posting on both my Instagram AND Twitter...Insta when I have a photo to go with that days challenge, and Twitter when I don't ;)

48 Days of Blue is hosted by the National Aquarium, in Baltimore Maryland (that's where I got engaged!). Obviously I don't live in Maryland, so I love that you can just sign up online and participate from anywhere in the world!

So who's ready to save the oceans with me?!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Join The Powerpuff Bloggers!


Happy Wednesday night! I hope you're all doing good...it's almost the weekend! Let me know if you have anything cool planned :) Anyway, I'm posting today because I wanted to invite you to join my latest endeavor - The Powerpuff Bloggers!

What is this?!
It's my first ever Facebook group!

But what for?!
To help me and everyone that wants to join get into shape! I originally had the idea for it because I wanted some accountabilibuddies (aka buddies that help hold you accountable). Some people are great at tackling challenges without outside support, but I am not one of those people. I won't lie, I like being cheered on. I also like cheering other people on! Seeing people working towards the same goals as I am is really inspiring to me. I knew a lot of my blog friends and readers were working towards (or wanted to work towards) taking better care of themselves as well, and I knew I couldn't be the only person that felt the way I did. So I made a group for us all to cheer other on, seek advice, complain about roadblocks (you know, like pizza) and as a safe place to brag about your health accomplishments. Once I get the hang of running a Facebook group I also want to host friendly challenges for members to compete in!

What's up with the name?! I dunno. I suck at coming up with names, and that's the one I ended up with. But The Powerpuff Girls are pretty badass, so I'm ok with it hahah. I wouldn't mind being fit enough to fight crime like they do!

Are there any requirements to join?! Yes, but they're pretty easy! You have to be female and you have to be a blogger. That's it :)

Why do I have to be a blogger?! Because we're a rare breed and we spend a lot of time sitting on our butts. Sorry, friends (although tbh I think most of my readers are both female and bloggers, anyway).

Cool! How do I join?! Click this link, and on the right side of the banner picture click the button that says "join group." It's a closed group, meaning only group members can read our posts (sorry, lurkers)! If you're not sure if this is the group for you, feel free to join and check it out for a few days; if you don't like it you can "unfollow" (get less updates from the group) or just leave the group altogether. No hard feelings!

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bookish (and Not-So Bookish) Thoughts #22

Short and sweet post today :)

X-Files Lego
Random X-Files Lego photo just because I haven't mentioned The X-Files in awhile. (Source)

Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Making purchases from these links may result in a small commission to my site so I can pay rent and feed my turtle.

1. Registration for Armchair BEA is open! Armchair BEA is an online book conference for those that can't attend Book Expo America (the largest annual book fair in the US) in Chicago. You don't have to be a full time book blogger to sign up (because I'm not, obviously), you just need to enjoy writing about and discussing books with fellow bloggers. It runs from May 11-16, and it's a lot of fun! There's daily blog topics, a daily Instagram challenge, lots of giveaways and of course tons of bookish coverage to keep you filled in on what's happening in Chicago. Join usss :D

THEN SIGN UP OK

2. I watched The Visit last weekend. I feel like all the interesting parts (aside from the "twist" towards the end) were already shown in the trailer >_> 6/10 - was ok but wouldn't recommend.

3. I think I want a Fitbit. Actually, I know I want a Fitbit, but can't decide which one to get. I'm really hoping it'll make me less of a couch potato. Being able to track everything and seeing charts and stats is fun for me, so I think that will be really motivating. Also you can connect with all your friends that have one! I already know a few people that want to be accountability buddies with me! So which one do I want? I don't know :( I'll be buying it with a giftcard, so the more expensive Fitbit Blaze and Surge aren't options. I'm torn between the Flex, Charge (which comes in a burgundy color I really like), and Alta. Ideally I want to get the Alta; it has the slim design of the Flex but still has a screen. At first I didn't think I wanted a screen, but not needing my phone to check all my numbers is really appealing. My phone is so big and doesn't fit in most of my clothes pockets, so carrying it everywhere isn't always convenient. However the Flex (which does not have a screen) is the cheapest, which is always appealing as well. If you have a Fitbit I'd love to hear your opinions!

Sophisticated Cat agrees.

4.
 I'm really happy because today I found out I don't have to go to jury duty anymore (sorry, Ashlee)!

5. Did you know that this week is National Library Week? This year Gene Luen Yang is serving as honorary chair. I was just talking about him last week! Unfortunately my library isn't doing much to celebrate, but this week I've been reading a lot of library books in their honor :P

National Library Week

Bookish (and Not-So Bookish) Thoughts is hosted every Wednesday (even though I'm posting mine super late) on Bookishly Boisterous! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Nailed It! by Espionage Cosmetics

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to win a Level Up giveaway from Le Fancy Geek :) Level Up, an extension of Loot Crate, is a monthly subscription service that specializes in geeky clothes and accessories. You can learn more about it here! Anyway, there was a lot of great items inside, but something I was really looking forward to trying was these nail wraps by Espionage Cosmetics. I'm obsessed with doing my nails, so I've been wanting to try nail wraps for awhile! Espionage Cosmetics is a makeup brand that caters to all things nerdy, so I was excited to try their nail wraps in particular. Yay!

Nailed It! by Espionage Cosmetics review

The directions are simple enough, the nail wraps basically work like stickers. you can watch a full tutorial here. Sizing each wrap to my different nail sizes and sticking them on juuust right took me quite awhile. I'm sure next time it'll be easier. After sticking everything on it's recommend that you seal it all up with a clear top coat. Pro tip: it pains me to say it (because this is basically my holy grail product), but DON'T use Seche Vite top coat!!! Luckily I realized pretty quickly and had only used it on one nail. For some reason the Seche Vite caused the wrap on my thump to shrink a bit and start rolling up around my cuticle. I searched online and read that others had the same issue. The only other top coat I had was Sally Hansen Miracle Gel, which I'm generally not a fan of, but for this situation it did its job ;)

Nailed It! by Espionage Cosmetics review

The part I was most curious about was how long these would last. The package claims up to 2 weeks with a topcoat. I'm pretty rough on my nails, so a lasting manicure is important to me (you know, because I want them to look nice, but I'm also too lazy to re-do my nails all the time). When I paint my nails they usually last about 2 - 3 weeks (because all hail the Vite), but the entire painting process takes over an hour (mostly because I'm adding ten coats of glitter but whatever). Anyway, here's what the finished product looked like.

Nailed It! by Espionage Cosmetics review
Hearthstone courtesy of Brittany because shes perfect <3<3<3

I LOVED them! They held up really well for the first few days, but then they started to wear off at the tips. Since the tips of the wraps are white it wasn't too noticeable, but it's definitely something to keep in mind when I buy wraps in the future. By the end of the week they started to peel a bit around the edges as well. When I'd notice a piece peeling I'd snip off the dangling bit as carefully as possible and add another layer of topcoat. That stopped it from peeling more, but it didn't change the fact that a piece was missing, so, yeah. I've read more reviews online and noticed that people with longer nails can't make their wraps last as long as our short nailed friends. This makes sense. My nails are constantly hitting things...especially the keyboard. I spend a lot of time typing at work AND at home, and when I'm not typing I'm still tapping away at the keyboard, playing WoW or something. I also wash all our dishes by hand, so that probably didn't help. Anyway, here's another look after 10 days of wear.

Nailed It! by Espionage Cosmetics review
I swear my hands aren't always so wrinkly. They were dry that day. Hahah.

Even though these didn't last as long as I'd hoped, 10 days isn't that bad. I'd definitely get these again for a special event or just as a fun manicure before going on vacation, but maybe I'd trim my nails first. I like keeping them long because my nail beds are small, so when my nails are short my fingers look short and stumpy :( But I think long nails definitely shortened the life span of my nail wraps, so I'll just have to keep that in mind for next time. Ah, well. Most Espionage wrap sets are $10 each, BUT I found out they send surprise wraps for only $5, or six surprise wraps for $25! I think that's pretty good.

Overall I was really pleased with these. They were so fun to wear, and people complimented me on them everywhere I went! They also glow in the dark! I love glow in the dark nails! You can't tell in the pictures, but they had glitter on them as well. If you've seen any of my nail pics before then you know I'm a sucker for glitter nails (I probably have more bottles of glitter polishes than I do solid colors). Also, if you're the type of person that likes peeling stuff off then you'll find removing these to be suuuper satisfying, so that's fun ;)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Tales From the Bookshelf - March Reads

Last month while I was working on the Month Long Weirdathon I took a break from writing about the other stuff I was reading, so even though we're already almost two weeks into April I'm going to share what else I read in March :D Spoiler- they're all comics >_>


Level Up, by Gene Luen Yang
Level Up, by Gene Luen Yang

Dennis Ouyang has always struggled in the shadow of his parents' expectations. His path is laid out for him: stay focused in high school, become a gastroenterologist. It may be hard work, but it isn't complicated … until suddenly it is. Between his father's death, his academic burnout, and his deep (and distracting) love of video games, Dennis is nowhere near where his family wanted him to be. In fact, he's just been kicked out of college. And that's when things get … weird.

Four adorable—and bossy--angels, straight out of a sappy greeting card, appear and take charge of Dennis's life. And so Dennis finds himself herded back onto the straight and narrow: the path to gastroenterology. But nothing is ever what it seems when life, magic and video games collide.

I'm a big Gene Luen Yang fan, and for the most part I really enjoyed this book. There were parts of the story I had trouble understanding, just because they were so different than my own experiences (yes I am self centered at times). For most of the book everything is just very black and white. Dennis loves video games but his parents want him to be a gastroenterologist, so Dennis decides he's never going to play video games ever again. I just think it's silly to villainize video games so much. Like that's cool if he wants to make his parents happy, but I don't think it means you need to cut out something you're passionate about because of it. Then again, my parents let me study theatre in college, so what do I know? After reading the book I did some nosing around on Gene Luen Yang's website and found this comic about the origins of him writing Level Up, and how his parents were similar to Dennis's. I know parents like this exist, but it was just weird for me to read about because I feel so strongly about ~following your passion~ and all that. Anyway, I'm glad Gene Luen Yang was able to pursue his passion in comics instead of something more "practical" like his parents wanted ;)

 Rating: 4/5 soot sprites

Add it on Goodreads!
Buy it from Book Depository!
Pages: 160
Published: June 2011 by First Second


Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
drama raina telgemeier

PLACES, EVERYONE! Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!

I really, REALLY wanted to like this book, since it's a graphic novel about kids doing backstage theatre and all, but it didn't quite hit the mark. Unfortunately the story is more about our boy-crazy main character, Callie, than anything else. This book focuses heavily on dating, and I'm not a prude or anything, I know middles schoolers date, but the way the characters handle these situations is just weird and stupid. At one point she's telling a friend that this guy she likes has never dated anyone before (gasp), and her friends response is "maybe he's a late bloomer?" These characters are 12! Since when does not having dated someone at 12 years old make you a late bloomer? Maybe 12 year olds really do talk like that, I don't know, its been a long time since I was 12. But even so I just think it's stupid to encourage that kind of idea in a middle grade book. Like if some actual 12 year old reads this and is like, "am I a late bloomer?" Because no! They're not! Anyway, moving on. Another part that bugged me is that Callie is the set designer for the school musical, and she's always talking about how much she knows about theatre, how she's going to make the best set and blah blah blah. I thought it was cool to see someone so passionate about theatre, but then she throws a fit because the drama teacher won't buy and let her include a REAL, WORKING CANNON for them to fire as part of the set. I know she's 12, but it doesn't take a genius to see why that's a bad idea. And she would have ideas like that all the time. Something I did enjoy was the art style, it's colorful and cute. I just wish it had been more about kids actually enjoying theatre.

 Rating: 2/5 soot sprites

Add it on Goodreads!
Buy it from Book Depository!
Pages: 240
Published: September 2012 by GRAPHIX


The Undertaking of Lilly Chen, by Danica Novgorodoff


Deshi Li's brother is dead—and unmarried. Which means that Deshi must find him an eligible body before the week is up. Lily Chen, sweet as a snakebite, needs money and a fast ride out of town. Haunted by the gods of their ancestors and the expectations of the new world, Deshi and Lily embark on a journey with two very different destinations in mind. They travel through a land where the ground is hard and the graves are shallow, where marriage can be murder and where Lily Chen is wanted—dead and alive.

Unfortunately this wasn't a winner for me either. The most interesting part was the artwork, but even that I had mixed feelings on. The watercolor backgrounds are stunning, but the drawings of the characters and things are sloppy and distracting. But let's talk about the story. Deshi plays a part in his brothers death, and feels like it's his responsibility see him into the afterlife properly by finding him a "ghost bride," a dead woman for his brother to marry (which is totally a real thing, read more about it here). After being grossed out by the already-dead options, Deshi decided he needs to kill a living girl to send off with his brother. This is where Lily comes in. While on his hunt for the perfect soon-to-be ghost bride Deshi meets Lilly, who decides to run off with him (not knowing what he's actually looking for) to escape her family. Deshi secretly plans to kill Lilly, until he falls in love with her. My major issue with this book was that their love story was not organic at ALL. They spend most of the book hating each other, until (SPOILER sorry) Deshi goes to Lilly in the middle of the night holding a knife above her, and they end up sleeping together instead. Didn't make any sense at all!

 Rating: 1/5 soot sprites

Add it on Goodreads!
Buy it from Book Depository (if you dare)!
Pages: 430
Published: March 2014 by First Second

Friday, April 8, 2016

Firewatch!


Firewatch

Last month I played through the game Firewatch, a first-person adventure developed by Campo Santo, a studio that's only an hour or so away from me! The trailer really sucked me in with the interesting character dialogue and pretty graphics. I'm not usually one for first person games (they tend to give me a headache), but I knew I wanted to play this game! I didn't even get a headache, hahah. Luckily your movements don't have to be super fast paced, which I think helped. All the pictures below are my own screenshots!



"The year is 1989. You are a man named Henry who has retreated from his messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Perched high atop a mountain, it’s your job to look for smoke and keep the wilderness safe. An especially hot, dry summer has everyone on edge. Your supervisor Delilah is available to you at all times over a small, handheld radio—your only contact with the world you've left behind. But when something strange draws you out of your lookout tower and into the forest, you’ll explore a wild and unknown environment, facing questions and making choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship you have."

Firewatch screenshot

While Firewatch isn't a horror or thriller game, I found myself getting a little spooked quite a few times. Aside from your friend Delilah who you're only able to contact through radio, you spend the game alone. For the most part the woods are quiet, so whenever I'd hear a sudden noise or see a rustling bush I'd jump! "What was that?! Is someone here? Show Yourselves!" I've always been skittish.

Firewatch screenshot
In this scene there were flower petals floating in the wind, but I wasn't able to capture that >:(

Firewatch screenshot

While there's definitely a lot of scenery to take in and places to explore, Firewatch is more of a mystery game about the people involved (that you don't actually see or meet), rather than a rugged outdoor adventure. It's kind of hard to explain much about the story without giving away spoilers. I didn't know much about the story before playing, and I think that really enhanced the experience.

Firewatch screenshot

The only thing that really bugged me about this game was the amount of time I spent getting lost. That isn't really a fault of the game itself, they provide you with a compass and map. But all the paths aren't clearly defined so it's easy to accidentally lose your way. I guess I'm just as bad with directions in game as I am in real life :(

Firewatch screenshot
That one time I got lost for an hour because I was greedy and decided to look for a random supply drop rather than stay on track to Jonesy Lake.

Firewatch screenshot

Firewatch screenshot

The final picture is of my pride and joy, Turt Reynolds. In the game you have the chance to find your own pet turtle and are given a few different name options to choose from. He doesn't really do much except look hella cute, though. I mean, look at that smile!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Bookish (and Not-So Bookish) Thoughts #21

1. Have you seen the collection of Disney Lego minifigs coming out in May? I want ALL OF THEM. I'm a little bummed because like all of the minifigure collection they're going to be released in blind bags, so realistically I won't be collecting all of them. I know blind bags are fun for a lot of people, but personally I hate spending money only to get a character I already have :/

Disney Lego minifigures

2. I went to the library this week and picked up Landline, by Rainbow Rowell. I'm interested in seeing how I like her adult books compared to her YA. I've only read Fangirl though, so I might not be a good judge hahah. I really appreciated Fangirl for being about a more realistic type of girl than we're used to reading about, but it still fell victim to some YA cliches that I don't care for.

3.
Have you seen the game Unravel? I haven't had the chance to play it yet (it's not on Steam, booo) but I think it looks amazing. You play as a yarn doll named Yarny! My brother is also a big fan and found a tutorial on how to make your own Yarny, so he made one for me! Isn't he the best? You might have already seen this on my Instagram, but I wanted to share it again so I could link the tutorial! Why doesn't Insta let you post links yet? That's an update I'd actually appreciate.

Unravel

4. Just like everyone else in the world, I'm totally in love with the new Her Universe for Kohl's active wear line (because I'm sooo active, hahah). I especially like these Black Widow capri leggings and this Black Widow top. There's stuff with Captain America and Iron Man, but I like being able to represent female heroes when I can. They don't get as much time to shine >_> I also looove that they made plus sizes available. I tend to go back and forth between regular sizing and plus, depending on the brand, so it's nice to have options. They're more expensive, though, which is sort of a bummer :P

5. Heroes of the Storm recently came out with a new character that I'm really enjoying, Dehaka! Dehaka is a melee warrior that originates from the Starcraft universe. I love that instead of riding a mount he "stalks," where he basically burrows underground and you transport to different locations on the map! For some reason in Heroes of the Storm I'm really drawn towards melee characters, which is weird because in most other games I choose more passive roles. I'm always looking for more friends to play HotS with, so let me know if you wanna play sometime! It's freeeeeee ;)

Heroes of the Storm Dehaka
'dem teeth tho

6. (One more game related thought) The April game for Indie Game Gang is Oxenfree! I haven't started it yet, but I have my copy downloaded and ready to go. I love the art style and I'm interested in playing something a little spookier than normal (without be a full blown horror game, because no thank you). I'll be playing it on PC, but it's also available for XBoxOne. Join usss :)

Oxenfree

Bookish (and Not-So Bookish) Thoughts is hosted every Wednesday by Bookishly Boisterous. Stop by and say hi! :)

Monday, April 4, 2016

April Goals + March Check-In

This has nothing to do with my post, but here's an adorably nauseating gif of me as a Powerpuff Girl! Am I cute or what? I'm even wearing my favorite leggings, denim jacket and kitty companion! Too bad I couldn't be wearing Crocs. Make your own here!

Alright, let's see how I did with goals last month [cringes].

1. Catch up with Ms. Marvel. I did this! I did this! Now to keep up with it. I'm really enjoying Ms. Marvel and the huge wave of female superhero comics that have been coming out!

2. Exercise every day for at least ten minutes. I really failed at this. And I totally blame it on being sick for most of the month. It's still a goal I want to work on, but since I'm still currently sick I don't think I'll put it on my April goals list and instead will just work on it as soon as I get better :)

3. Play through Firewatch and participate in Indie Game Gang! Yes! I finished Firewatch and I really enjoyed it. I took a lot of nice screen shots that I'm planning to share in a later post, too!

4. Use less coffee creamer. I did really great on this one, but it wasn't because I'm awesome. I read that when you have the flu you should cut back on both dairy AND caffeine, so I haven't had much coffee lately. Life is hard, friends. However when I was still drinking coffee earlier in the month I was also mindful about my cream usage. Those individual creamer cups I mentioned last month really helped (I'm using these International Delight hazelnut ones, yum). When I get better I also want to try this recipe for homemade creamer that Dina shared with me!

5. Cook more often. I've been living on chicken noodle soup and Taco Bell bean burritos lately, so this one was also a fail. I think I made pasta once? As in like, I boiled noodles and added a jar of alfredo sauce.

Ok, I guess that wasn't too bad. Even if one of them was only accomplished by sicky default. Here's what I have planned for April.

1. Read at least one book I already own. Time to tackle my unread bookshelves, once and for all. I'm already working my way through one book (What-the-Dickens, by Gregory Maguire), so I'm fairly confident I can do this, hahah.

2. Write at least 8 blog posts. I know that's not very many, but the last few months I've been averaging around 5 posts. Something I've noticed about myself is that I often feel self-conscious about posting unless I have something specific to talk about (aside from my Bookish Thoughts posts, but I don't even do those every week). I love writing, but I feel like if I don't have something specific to write about or a story to tell, then it's just a waste of time for me to write, and a waste of time for you to read. But that isn't true! Well, maybe the part about you reading it is, but you can decide that on your own, hahah. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, I want to start writing more for me. Even if all I did that day was watch Netflix and fold laundry...if I feel the urge to write about it, then I will! (I probably won't write about Netflix and laundry, but you get it.)

3. Taxes. Self explanatory. Not exciting but definitely important -__-

4. Start shopping for a "cocktail dress." I'm going to my friends wedding next month and that's the dress code. I only have casual and sundress type things, so shopping I go. Normally I'd probably be like whatever and do my best with a dress I already have, but Andrew's actually going to be in the wedding and I don't want him showing up in a tux while I'm chillin' in my sundress from Target. I think I'll check out Torrid, they have some nice dresses and they've been sending me lots of coupons. I really like this Alice in Wonderland print dress, but I don't know if it's fancy enough, hahah. I've only been to one other wedding before so I suck at this!! I also like this dress, but I'm trying to pick something that isn't navy (because almost half of my wardrobe is navy).

Doesn't sound too hard, right? Have a good month, friends!

Linking up with My So-Called Chaos, The Bloggy Brunch and Writes Like a Girl :)

Friday, April 1, 2016

Weirdathon Update: The Stepford Wives

For my final Month-Long Weirdathon read, I picked up the classic, The Stepford Wives, by Ira Levin. If reading more classics has been one of your goals but you find most of them hard to get though, I really recommend this! Easiest book I've read in a long time, and you can finish it in a day or two. I know it isn't March anymore so technically the Weirdathon is already over, but I did finish this book during March so I wanted to wrap up with one final post anyway ;)

"For Joanna, her husband, Walter, and their children, the move to beautiful Stepford seems almost too good to be true. It is. For behind the town's idyllic facade lies a terrible secret -- a secret so shattering that no one who encounters it will ever be the same.

At once a masterpiece of psychological suspense and a savage commentary on a media-driven society that values the pursuit of youth and beauty at all costs, The Stepford Wives is a novel so frightening in its final implications that the title itself has earned a place in the American lexicon." - Goodreads

The Stepford Wives

What's weird about it?
Something's going on in Stepford, and it's slowly turning all the women into domestic, husband pleasing zombies (not actual zombies, but you get it), and Joanne and her friend Bobbie are the only ones that seem to notice (or ARE THEY?!).

Other weird thoughts?
Honestly, the one major thought that kept coming back into my mind while reading this was how not scary it is. While the premise is definitely unsettling, I didn't find the book scary at all (just weird, which is ok because that's what we were going for anyway). I guess I was just a little disappointed because everyone was like "OooooOoooOoooohhh so spooky!" I was more angry at all the husbands in the book, rather than scared. After finishing the book I watched the 1975 movie for comparison. The movie has more thriller elements to it, but at the cost of sacrificing what ACTUALLY happened in the book. But I guess that's a chat for another day.

Weirdness on a scale of 1 - 10?
Probably around a 6. I imagine when it was published in the 70's it was a lot more weird and shocking, but reading it in 2016 it felt really dated.

So that's a wrap! Thanks for talking about weird books with me, and thanks to Julianne, writer of Outlandish Lit for putting this together! Even though I was only able to read three books for the challenge I had a lot of fun, and thanks to everyone else that participated I've added a LOT of weird books to my TBR list! Maybe we can do it again next year? Winkwinknudgenudge.