Holiday Reviews: The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily, Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane, and Snow In Love

Posted December 21, 2018 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily, Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane, and Snow In Love

Story I’ll keep it real – I did not love Dash and Lily as much as everyone else (and any good feelings that led me to rate it four stars have definitely faded over time for some reason). I like to eventually finish things I start though, so I decided to give the sequel a shot. It’s a short book and therefore a short audiobook; I thought it’d be the perfect one to listen to during the Tis the Season-a-thon in early December. I really loathe Lily because of her immaturity and Dash is so pretentious. It’s hard to ship a couple when one of them feels like they’re 10 years old and shouldn’t be in a serious relationship. Speaking of which, how is it possible that after a year of dating, they’re in the exact same place they were in the previous book/year? They did not communicate at all and it’s frustrating to see that they were still dancing around things. I would hope dating someone for that long would open you up a bit. Aside from that, they were constantly running to catch up to each other (so to speak). They were never on the same page. Wintry Setting & Holiday Feels The story was mostly depressing with some holiday feels involved? It happens in the 12 days before Christmas, which should bring about the most Christmassy feels possible. While being in NYC for Christmas is the last thing I want to do because of the crowds, I absolutely […]

2018 Favorite Products

Posted December 20, 2018 / Lifestyle, Personal / Information / Etc. / 0 Comments
2018 Favorite Products

I circled back through my Lauren Lately posts to round up some of my favorite new products, purchases, etc. from 2018. As you’ll see, it’s mostly makeup and healthy/beauty related because that’s where most of my money goes. Sorry, not sorry. [Links will be mostly to where I bought the item, or on Amazon if it makes more sense.] Skincare / Body / Hair Body Anti-Chafe Balm | This was great when I went to NYC for a weekend and walked everywhere! I’m not a city gal and don’t often walk around, but when I visit cities in the summer? This will be my go-to from now on. I love wearing shorts or breezy dresses to keep cool during those months, but walking 20,000+ steps around a city requires some kind of anti-chafing system. This worked well and I didn’t even notice it was there! Keep it in your purse if you have to reapply. Thayer’s Witch Hazel | This stuff just feels so nice on my skin. I learned that witch hazel makes a good toner and this is the one I use during the daytime. It’s light and doesn’t feel like anything, but refreshes my skin. I don’t massage it in with a cotton pad – I just kind of let it absorb and apply the COSRX liquid (below) right after. Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer | I know I just talked about these in my last Lauren Lately but they’re both already favorite purchases this year. I love being […]

2019 Resolutions and Challenge Sign-Up

Posted December 19, 2018 / Book Challenges, Features / 5 Comments
2019 Resolutions and Challenge Sign-Up

I’ve been doing these resolutions for the past couple of years and found that it’s a really nice way to keep track of some goals for the upcoming year. I’ll be honest when I say that generally “resolutions” or the “clean slate of a new year” isn’t my shtick, but sometimes the marking of a new year just helps when setting new goals. It’s an easy marker of time and that’s about it. You can find 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 resolutions as well. Continue to not feel pressured to read and enjoy other hobbies | I feel like a broken record with this one but honestly I have to remind myself every year to KEEP DOING THIS. I used to get so bogged down in meeting my goal or challenges that I would focus exclusively on reading every second I could. I would have the audiobooks going during my morning routine in commute, plus another book to read from the second I sat on the couch after dinner until bedtime. It’s nice to read all time because DUH I love reading, but I really want to feel like I can veg out for a week straight with my favorite show instead. Read 50% or less contemporary novels | I got SO close to completing this goal in 2018 – I was about 3% over! I’m genuinely quite impressed with myself because I think it’s the closest I’ve ever been. I know I can definitely get under 50% for contemporary books in 2019 because […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #214: Winter TBR

Posted December 18, 2018 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 1 Comment
Top Ten Tuesdays #214: Winter TBR

Winter (Bingo) TBR Top Ten Tuesdays were started by The Broke and the Bookish and are now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Book links bring you to Goodreads or my review. What a perfect place to share my ideal bingo TBR for the new Winter Bingo card over at Pretty Deadly Reviews. As you saw in my recent Bookmark Lit Bulletin, I managed to fill out the Fall Bingo card fully except for two boxes. As usual, there are many holiday reads to fill the wintery spaces, and this bingo card also continues into January/February. Here are my ideas along with some of the books I’ve already read for the card. Already Completed / Currently Reading    Features technology: The Towering Sky by Katharine McGee I was hoping to finish this audiobook in November but I wasn’t able to do so in time. It was 13+ hours long and I have a lot of podcasts to listen to or Hallmark movies to watch while I get ready in the morning! I was able to finish this one up in early December though. Technology is super involved here, as the book takes place in the distant future and everyone lives in a tower with 1,000 floors… Blue cover: The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory I randomly decided to start this one on December 1st because somehow – […]

Holiday Hallmark Movies

Posted December 17, 2018 / Media, Personal / Information / Etc. / 2 Comments
Holiday Hallmark Movies

I honestly wasn’t into Hallmark movies until last Christmas, when I discovered their wonderfulness and large amount of Candace Cameron Bure. I just recorded some that looked interesting and reviewed them on the blog throughout December. This year, I downloaded the Hallmark Christmas Movie app, pre-planned which new ones I wanted to watch, and recorded a bunch on my Sling DVR as needed. I figured I would toss ALL of them into one post with some quick thoughts (I’m posting this now but will ADD TO IT LATER). They’re listed here in order of me watching them.    Christmas at Pemberly Manor While I’m not a Pride & Prejudice fangirl, I can often appreciate a “retelling” without knowing the source material very well. This was a cute movie overall! I’ve seen that some people don’t like the female lead very much but I’ve liked her over the years (and really only know her from the 90210 reboot I loved). The male lead was decent too. It was a classic story of a girl putting on a Christmas festival and getting the grumpy workaholic to take some time off for loooooove. Christmas Joy This one was super cute. A market researcher is forced to return to her “hometown” after her aunt suffered an ankle injury. She takes over on the annual Cookie Crawl while trying to balance her work AND the cute Christmas-obsessed guy she used to know from high school. I thought the two leads had really good chemistry and […]

Lauren Lately | December 2018

Posted December 15, 2018 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 5 Comments
Lauren Lately | December 2018

Because my Bookmark Lit Bulletin wrap-ups got out of hand, I wanted to break up my monthly wrap-ups into two posts: one personal and one bookish/bloggy. I created Lauren Lately here to highlight all of the personal happenings in my life: events, activities, shows I’m addicted to, things I’m obsessing over, recipes I’ve loved, and goals for the next month. I decided to space them out so this wrap-up happens around the mid-point of the month and the bookish one happens at the end of the month. ✨ Check out my most recent bookish and bloggy wrap-up HERE ✨ Dogsitting and birthday celebrations | I stayed with my mom’s new puppy overnight when the went to Newport with their friends. Riley is so cute but soooo needy. Definitely reinforced that I do not want a pet in my life right now. We also had Korean BBQ to celebrate a few birthdays in Chris’s family; it was delicious but I didn’t take any pictures. Day in southern Connecticut | We took a mini road trip to the nearest LL Bean outlet to get a few things for Christmas. While we were down there, we went to Donut Crazy (amazing) and got poke bowls on the way back up for dinner. They opened a new Donut Crazy in West Hartford, which is closer to us, but it’s way too busy still; this one is more established and was empty at 3 PM! My sister’s last band event, hiking, and Christmas decorating | The night before Thanksgiving, we […]

ARC Review: The Wicked King

Posted December 14, 2018 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Review: The Wicked King

* No spoilers for this book, but there will be spoilers for THE CRUEL PRINCE * Initial Excitement & Summary There were so many moments since I finished THE CRUEL PRINCE that I just wished I had this book. It’s funny, because I was often in a reading slump this summer and I kept saying “if I just had THE WICKED KING aka the only book I want to read, I wouldn’t be in this predicament.” Needless to say, I was extremely excited and did not want to wait until January to read this. After the events of TCP, I was ready to see what the hell was going to happen next. Jude and Cardan had gotten a bit closer, but then she screwed him over by crowning him Prince. Everyone betrayed everyone and Jude ended up as an adviser (meaning she had a spell/charm on Cardan so she could command him to do whatever she wanted him to do) to him as the king. The events of this book start out with the status of their relationship and how Jude has fallen into her position of power. Without getting too much into it, there was a lot of focus around those relationships and Taryn’s upcoming marriage to Locke. Storytelling, Characters, and Ending I was so eager to see what was going to happen next, after the way TCP ended! Talk about a cliffhanger. I was eager to see how Jude would grow into her new role and power, because […]

Review Round Up | The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, The Towering Sky, and The Chase

Posted December 13, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, The Towering Sky, and The Chase

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I first read THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN when everyone else did and it took the country by storm. I liked the made-for-TV movie version too. My parents even read the book and they don’t read books like this ever (lol). I was pretty excited to see a sequel 15 years later because it’s been a long time since I’ve read any Mitch Albom book, and he is definitely an author I wasn’t sure would “hold up” for me now that my tastes have grown and changed over the years. This book was the best way to check him out again since it would feature some familiar faces AND involve my favorite concept to read about – how everyone is interconnected and one small decision could change everything, and impact everyone. This story is about Annie, the little girl that Eddie saved before dying in the first book. It takes you through her life, leading up to the wedding day that leads to her trip to heaven. She had a difficult life after the accident at the amusement park and finds herself making a lot of mistakes (in her mind at least). It was pretty interesting to follow along and learn about her, but I […]

Favorite Ornaments + Some Holiday Decorations

Posted December 12, 2018 / Personal / Information / Etc. / 2 Comments
Favorite Ornaments + Some Holiday Decorations

I’m here today with a simple post highlighting my favorite Christmas ornaments, as well as the overall decor of my house right now. I’ve loved Christmas as long as I can remember and have acquired at least one new ornament every year. My mom has a bunch of mine from childhood – including this HUGE picture frame of me that’s all glittery – packed away because she’s stopped getting trees for some Scrooge-y reason. In any case, all of my ornaments from my dad’s house (literally 100% Panthers ones) have made their way to me. At some point in my life I’ll have a second tree for just them! Without further ado, here are some highlights of my favorite Christmas ornaments and the memories attached to them. Tree & Ornaments We went to a local farmstand to get our tree right after Thanksgiving, and it was a nice way to spend Small Business Saturday! The people there were super friendly and we LOVE the perfect shape of it. Finn and Jake (from Adventure Time), a pizza, one of the Winged Keys from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, an ornament from book pages, an ice cream cone Panthers airplane with Santa, Lego cat, lounging snowman, WWE chair (from TLC set), Finn Balor WWE gingerbread man, homemade Elmo from childhood Marauder’s Map from Harry Potter, Lego Christmas tree, Tinkerbell, Christmas sweater, Kurt Angle WWE gingerbread man, Panthers bell, John Cena WWE gingerbread man Goofy from a trip to Disney, Tweety ornament from childhood, […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #213: Freebie – Series

Posted December 11, 2018 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 8 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #213: Freebie – Series

Top Series I Need to Finish Top Ten Tuesdays were started by The Broke and the Bookish and are now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Book links bring you to Goodreads or my review. Today’s freebie topic is going to be about some book series I need to finish! There’s usually no in-between for me: I’ll binge-read a series within a short amount of time, or take forever to finish (even if all of the books are released). My goal is definitely to finish off some series next year, so I thought I would make this post to remind myself! Books pictured are the ones I still need to read. Hope’s Crossing Series I kept putting this one off because I wanted to read one per month, allowing the holiday book to be read in December. I ended up messing this up and avoiding the timing I was hoping for, so now (because I’m annoying about reading holiday books only in the winter) I will probably not start this remainder of this series until September 2019… or just read the next three books and wait for the final two later in the year? I’m the worst. Dark Star Trilogy I enjoyed the first book here even though it was definitely out of my comfort zone? These are superhero-ish books from before that genre became […]