Friday, October 30, 2015

Fri-YAY 10.30.15 Blog Love Edition



Do you ever feel like you're failing at this whole blogging thing? I've pretty much felt that way since I started my new job. And I know blogging isn't supposed to feel like a job but when you're an overachiever and have high expectations for yourself, it's hard not to beat yourself up when you know you're not doing the best you could. One of my goals this fall was to blog consistently 3 times a week.  You know how many times I've blogged in the month of October? 7 times! But I didn't come here to be all Debby Downer.  I'm sure and I hope that other bloggers feel the same way every once and awhile so I thought I would send some love out to some of my favorite people I've "met" since starting this whole blogging thing 7 months ago.

Shay @ Great, Now What?

We started blogging at the same time and pretty much found each other from the beginning.  She always makes sure to comment on my posts and I truly appreciate it. I love how her posts read like you are talking to an old friend. She's the perfect mix of quicky and bubbly and it comes through in her posts. Her posts range from running to home DIY. She's always got something interesting to read about. She just celebrated her 100th blog post which I'm not going to lie, I am slightly jealous about.  I have some catching up to do! But such a great accomplishment/milestone!

Michael @ Crazy Tragic Almost Magic

Her and I have kitty twinsies and are both obsessed with our cats. She also shares my love of burgers and beer and has crazy curls like me. She's a fellow bookworm and book people tend to stick together.

Steph @ Life According to Steph

I read Steph before I started blogging but never really commented that much. I guess that makes me a lurker...I love her IDGAF attitude and that she's not afraid to speak her mind or cuss on her blog.  I feel like sometimes bloggers are afraid of offending someone or losing readers so they take the safe route but not her. I admire that because I am still trying to find my blog voice and how much or what I want to say about things. I also am genuinely impressed by the fact that she consistently has a post M-F, even when she's on one of her amazing adventures. And it's good, original stuff! She just fulfilled a huge dream of her's and I think that's amazing. I love celebrating the happy things in life. Plus she co-hosts my favorite link up, Show Us Your Books.

Kristen @ Divulge and Indulge

Number 1, her blog name is top notch but besides that fact, I love getting comments from Kristen. I don't know how she found me but I'm so glad she did. She's always got some amazing recipe she's sharing.  We also share a love of the dark and macabre.

Melissa @ Always Lissa

I only just recently started following and talking to Melissa. She had such kind words to say when my Gram passed away and I genuinely appreciated that she took the time to reach out to me and more than once. I thought it was such a sweet gesture since we really hadn't conversed that much. I love the openness in her writing. Bonus points because she's a baker.
 
What's one of your favorite blogs?
 
 
Linking up with A. Liz Adventure

&

Karli at September Farm
 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Scary & Magical

 
I couldn't come up with ten scary books so I figured I would pick one of my favorite themes in a book; magic. Halloween isn't just about the scary. It's about believing in the supernatural. I haven't read too many books that scares me or has me looking over my shoulder but give me a book with elements of magic and I am hooked.  I love anything that suspends reality. I mixed a few childhood favorites in there as well.  And when I saw The Witches, I really mean the movie.  Anjelica Huston in that movie?  The stuff of nightmares.
 
So tell me, what one book made you want to sleep with the lights on?
 

Linking up with The Broke and the Bookish


Monday, October 19, 2015

Stitch Fix #3

 
After having two fixes that were disappointments, I was debating on giving Stitch Fix another try. I left honest feedback on my order check out and I was surprised to get a personal email from them a few days later.  They offered to waive my styling fee if I was interested in trying another fix. I was impressed that they reached out to me based on my feedback. I've done customer service in the past so I kind of have a high bar when it comes to my expectations. They hit that bar with the unexpected personal contact.
This time around I still asked for some good work appropriate pieces. I wanted some fall transition items. Graphic and colorful blouses. Plaid. Non jean bottoms. Tunics to pair with leggings. Mustard and navy combo. Versatile cardigans. Army fatigue vest and Pixley blouses.

How It Works:

+Fill out the style profile and schedule your first fix.
+Pay $20 for the styling fee
+Receive your box with pieces hand selected by your stylist. You have 3 business days to decide what to keep and what to return. 
+The $20 styling fee is applied as a credit and will be deducted from the total of items kept. If you don't keep anything, you are out the $20. If you keep everything, you also get a 25% discount.
If you're interested, feel free to use my referral link. I'll receive a $25 discount if you schedule your first fix.
Try it here.
 

Le Lis Tilda Rhinestone Detail Sweater $48

Margaret M Emer Jacquard Print Front High Waisted Crop Pants $98


 
First off, this sweater was the softest material I have ever felt.  It was comfy and the fit was right on.  I came really close to keeping it but it was so not my color. It was not flattering at all since it was pretty much flesh colored. If the sweater had been in a different color, I would have kept it.
These pants...I got them in my last fix except in a different pattern. They sized down but I think they went two sizes this time. They fit but they were just a smidge too fitted in the waist. I liked this pattern better than the other ones but I'm just not paying $98 for printed pants.

41Hawthorn Kenny Faux Leather Trim Open Cardigan $88

 
I struggled hard core with keeping this sweater.  I immediately thought it was too bulky when I opened the box and saw it but I tried it on and loved it.  I loved the color and the hint of faux leather. I really wanted to keep this sweater but I own, with all honesty, 10 sweaters with this exact same design; meaning the drapey front. And I couldn't add another one for $88. If this had been around the $50 mark, it would have gone to live in my closet.  I'm still kind of regretting letting it go.

Pixley Stimson Button Down Top $58

 
 
I was so into this blouse until I saw the dreaded button gap. I loved that it was flannel and had a plaid pattern.  Plus it had subtle pattern mixing, which I love. And yes, I could have layered it but I'm not going to buy something if it doesn't fit properly.

Amour Vert Bonn Denim Knit Jacket $88

 
This was the hardest item for me to let go of. I fell in love with it the second I saw it but I knew immediately it wasn't going to get properly.  I have broad shoulders and always have a hard time with jackets. This jacket is my style to a T but the price is what killed it for me and the fact that it was snug.  I've seen this same style jacket at Target for $30. Also, I found this weird rock in one of the pockets. Is this a new freshener thing I'm not aware of? So this went back as well.

Overall Thoughts:

This box was the closest to my style that I've received. For the most part, I liked every item. I had a hard time letting go of the cardigan and jacket.  I felt like they gave me pretty much everything I asked for. It was hard for me to send everything back, especially because I didn't want to lose the styling fee but I don't want to just buy something to buy it. One thing that I thought was weird is that my stylist said they did not have any blouses or tunics that were my style right now. I thought that was a strange comment. But I liked how she mentioned that she looked at my blog and even referenced one of my posts.
I guess I'm a glutton for punishment because I am going to give them one more try.  I asked for a lot of the same thing I asked for last time.
"Specifically want items for work. Graphic/colorful blouses. Love jewel tones and bright pops of color. Plaid. Non jean pants; loved the fit of the Kut from the Kloth pants I received in one fix. I like my work pants to be more neutral colored or something I could pair with multiple things. No accessories this time please. Tunics to pair with leggings. Love mustard and fatigue/army color. Versatile cardigans. Any good leggings-black only."
Fingers crossed that this next one works out.  I should see it right before Thanksgiving. I can't believe I just referenced Thanksgiving as coming up soon...
Also, I woke up to this yesterday.  Just thought I would leave this hear so everyone knows what's coming.
 
 
 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Experience Fall in the White Mountains


When Eventbrite reached out to ask me if I would write a post recommending fall activities to do in my area, I agreed because I love where I live.  I live where thousands of people vacation each year, whether it be to ski in the winter or camp in the summer, the White Mountains of New Hampshire are a big draw to the New England area. Don't believe me, just check out this article.

Thank you, Eventbrite for letting me share my area with everyone and recommend fall activities to do in the White Mountains. Make sure to visit their website to help plan your next local event!

Places to Eat

+ You cannot visit this area without making a stop at Polly's Pancake Parlor. Sure, it's a tourist destination and you might end up waiting an hour to eat but it's worth it.  Try the buckwheat pancake with the maple spread.  And with a mountain backdrop like that, who can go wrong? 


+ The Littleton Diner is a great stop for lunch.  Typical diner food but the ambiance is where it's at.  The diner is located in a converted railway car.
Littleton Diner front

 + My absolute favorite dinner spot is The Commonman in Lincoln.  Commonman has a handful of restaurants scattered throughout NH but this is the one I frequent the most.  They even have locations at the newly renovated rest areas off the tolls in the southern part of the state.  The service can't be beat and the food is excellent.  Bonus points for the white chocolate you get with every meal.

Things to Do

+ I couldn't write a post about the White Mountains without mentioning the hiking.  We are known for our mountains and the trails that lead you to them.  People come from all over the world to hike here.  We have the tallest peak east of the Rockies. I follow quite a few AT thru hikers on Instagram and I'm not going to lie, I loved seeing and hearing them say how challenging the trails were in NH. There are several day hikes to do but a good non-strenuous one I would recommend would be Lonesome Lake.  It's a roughly 5 mile round trip hike that ends at a lake at the top of a mountain.  You could easily hike this in a morning. And just look at that view.



 + As a whole, Franconia Notch cannot be missed. It's located right of I-93 and there's a handful of attractions to stop at, from the Basin and Flume to the Cannon Mountain Tram.



 + After all that exploring, you will need to treat yourself so why not stop at the world's longest candy counter, Chutters. There is every kind of candy imaginable sold by the penny and pound.  Also not to be missed is their fudge.

+ Make sure to stop at the famous Mount Washington Hotel. Directly out of the grand hotel era, with Mt Washington in the background. You might even see a ghost or two.


+ If you still have any energy after all the adventures, you might want to make a pit stop at the outlets in North Conway.  Why am I recommending the outlets?  Because New Hampshire is tax free.  What you see on the price tag is what you pay.

I hope you enjoyed a tour of the must see spots in my area.  Have you ever been to New Hampshire?  What did you do?



Tuesday, October 13, 2015

September Book Review

 
Rating System
5- Loved it! All the feels and flails. New favorite
4- Really liked it
3- Decent
2- Would not recommend. Ehh
1- Did not like.  Didn't finish. Gave book away.


The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway
Rating: 3.5
Literary Ladies book pick
 
A hilarious, action-packed look at the apocalypse that combines a touching tale of friendship, a thrilling war story, and an all out kung-fu infusedmission to save the world.Gonzo Lubitch and his best friend have been inseparable since birth. They grew up together, they studiedmartial arts together, they rebelled in college together, and they fought in the Go-Away War together. Now, with the world in shambles and dark nightmarish clouds billowing over the wastelands, they have been tapped for an incredibly perilous mission. But they quickly realize that this assignment is not all it seems, and before it is over they will have encountered everything from mimes, ninjas, and pirates to one ultra-sinister mastermind, whose only goal is world domination.
Even though it took me a month to finish this book, it was quirky and weirdly wonderful.  I loved the imagination this story had. The characters were weird and you were never quite sure what was going on.  I mean, where else do you get a book that has mimes, ninjas and monsters that come from your dreams? Also, this book had a plethora of vocabulary words. There's a huge turning point in the book that leaves your scratching your head and almost makes you want to go and reread everything you just read.  The back of my ARC said it combined the humor of Vonnegut with the futuristic vision of Clockwork Orange and 1984 with some Mad Max.  I could not have described this book any better.

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy
Rating: 2.5-3
I received a digital copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ben and Caroline Tierney and their two young boys are hoping to start over. Ben has hit a dead end with his new novel, Caroline has lost her banking job, and eight-year-old Charlie is being bullied at his Manhattan school.
  When Ben inherits land in the village of Swannhaven, in a remote corner of upstate New York, the Tierneys believe it’s just the break they need, and they leave behind all they know to restore a sprawling estate. But as Ben uncovers Swannhaven’s chilling secrets and Charlie ventures deeper into the surrounding forest, strange things begin to happen. The Tierneys realize that their new home isn’t the fresh start they needed . . . and that the village’s haunting saga is far from over.

For awhile, I couldn't figure out what the twist was so that's what mainly kept me reading but then I learned there really was no twist. Honestly?  This was a typical horror thriller. I read it during my lunch breaks at work so it was fine enough to pass the time but at the end, I was just left thinking really? That's it?! I hate to give too much away but I thought there was something creepy and sinister going on, maybe even demonic and nope, just a crazy town.

Freaked by JT Dutton
Rating: 2
Literary Ladies book pick

Scotty Loveletter is in big trouble. He's about to be expelled from school, but all he cares about is getting to Freedom to see Jerry Garcia—even though he doesn't have tickets. But if dedicating his life to Jerryism has taught him anything, Scotty knows he's got to keep on trucking and smile, smile, smile.
It was noted as being a modern day Holden Caulfield/Catcher in the Rye....ehh not so much. I just found this book to be pointless.  Scotty is obsessed with Grateful Dead and it reminded me of the festival, JerryJam, that we have every year where I live. About the only person I would recommend this book to would be a Grateful Dead fan.

The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
Rating: 4.5

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.
Spoiler alert: I LOVED this book!  I breezed through it in about 2 days.  It's one of those books where you waffle back and forth between being mad at one character or the other because of the decisions they were making. It also makes you question your morals and how you would react in the same situation. I thought this book was beautifully written and I fell in love with Lulu Lighthouse.

Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon
Rating: 4

Two young lovers find themselves ensnared in a seemingly supernatural web that ties them to a young girl’s disappearance fifteen years earlier in this dark and twisty tale from the New York Times bestselling author of Island of Lost Girls and Promise Not to Tell. Jennifer NcMahon returns with a vengeance with Don’t Breathe a Word—an absolutely chilling and ingenious combination of psychological thriller, literary suspense, and paranormal page-turner that will enthrall a wildly diverse audience.
I think this might be my favorite MacMahon.  I'm currently listening to her newest book, The Winter People, on my way to work but I'm only 20 minutes in.  The only other book of hers I haven't read is Dismantled.  This one literally gave me the creeps.  I found myself looking over my shoulder while reading it before bed. I love that it had a little bit of dark magic to it with faeries playing tricks on you. This story grabbed me from the beginning. It reminded me of something I would dream about. Recommend to any fans of the dark and twisted.

Love it: The Light Between Oceans & Don't Breathe a Word.  Maybe Gone Away World but only to the right person.
Leave it: Freaked

Life According to Steph
Linking up with Steph
 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Imperfection



Life is messy and so are people. Perfection means no flaws, no traits that are unique to you. It means that you always follow the rules and you are the same as the hundreds of other people that surround you each day. No thanks! Not all flaws are bad, nor are they all good.
Today I'm celebrating all the things that make me, me; good and bad.

// I have unruly curly hair.  Most days I don't embrace this but it's probably the thing I get complimented the most on, that is when I do actually wear it down.

// My laugh or cackle as someone referred to it yesterday is loud.  When I laugh, you know it. I don't make any apologies for it.

// I'm impatient. I'm like Veruca Salt that way. Truthfully, it's more in the sense of waiting, waiting for someone to get ready, waiting at an appointment, waiting for someone to provide information that you need at work.

// When I am reading something, I tune out the rest of the world.  It could be a book, a lengthy Instagram post or a flyer.  I don't even realize I'm doing it.  I've done it my whole life. It's probably my boyfriend's biggest pet peeve.

// I have a mustache I have to take care of every week. I was #blessed with black thick hair. Try not to be jealous.

// I'm opinionated. When we were in team building at work the other week, we were asked to write down three positive words that describe yourself and opinionated was one of mine.  The trainer was like but is that really a positive thing.  And I was like totally. The word opinionated gets a bad rap. I'm not going to push my views on anyone but I'm also going to speak my mind if I think I have something of value to say.

// I could be more empathetic. In the grand scheme of things, I care and I would consider myself a sensitive person, just not outwardly.  I will fiercely protect the people I love but when it's a trivial thing that someone is upset about, I find it hard to be empathic.

// When I get really pissed off/upset, I tend to cry.  I hate it.

// Most days, I don't floss.

What's a flaw of yours that you want to celebrate?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Autumn Goals



First off, I want to say thank you to everyone who left kind comments regarding my Gram's passing.  I took an unexpected blog hiatus last week but I'm trying to get back into it this week.
 
I came up with the idea to base my goals on topics this time around, just to spice things up and really focus on certain areas.

Blog Goals

// Consistently blog three times a week for October and November
 
// Figure out a reading and commenting schedule that works out for me.  When my reader gets into the hundreds, it makes me antsy and not want to read posts at all.
 

Fall Seasonal Goal

// Carve a pumpkin
 

Personal Goals

// Host a dinner for my family
 
// Organize and change over my clothes room for fall/winter
 

Work Goal

// Make it a point to get into work a half hour early once a week for a month.
 

Fitness Goals

// Go on a hike before the snow falls
 
// Work out every day for a week
 

Reading Goals

// Read 10 books between October and November
 
// Read Sea of Tranquility due to popular blogger demand
 
What's one goal you have for the fall season?
 

Friday, October 2, 2015

31



I most likely wouldn't have posted today. It's a bittersweet day...today is the funeral for my Gram but it's also the day that my most favorite person in the whole world was born.  And I feel like that deserves to be mentioned. I've seen these posts floating around blogland but I first remembering seeing it on Steph's blog and loved it. I pretty much knew I would be borrowing the idea when Errol's birthday rolled around.

10 Facts About Errol

// He loves wings, preferably bone in style. If we go to a restaurant, it's a guarantee that we are getting an appetizer of wings. His second favorite food is BBQ ribs.

// Errol loves tv shows about gold, Alaska and survival how to; even better shows about gold in Alaska. His favorite show is Gold Rush.

// He knows how to treat himself.  He loves his toys and they have to be fast.

// When he gets an idea into his head, you know it's going to happen. He's driven. Whether that be in his professional life or just knowing what he wants. If he decides he wants something, he will research that thing nonstop for a week and then bam, purchased.

// Chitty and him love each other even if one of them won't admit it. On Friday nights when he comes home from being gone all week, it doesn't take him long to scoop up Chitty and give him some cuddles.


// He takes care of the people he loves. He's not an overly demonstrative person. He shows his love by acts.  It could be in the form of him taking the trash to the dump for his Mom or backing up his Gram's car for her because he knows she hates to back up.  He's always there when you need him.

// I can never tell when he's drunk.  He could have had 5 or 6 Crown and Cokes and he still acts roughly the same. I'm not quite sure how he does it.

// His favorite song right now is Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Five Finger Death Punch but his favorites are Korn, Metallic, Godsmack and Disturbed, with maybe some Bone Thugs thrown in.

 // His Tacoma is his most prized possession. He loves that truck and hates when he spots any truck that is the exact same as his.

// He loves winter. He genuinely enjoys being outside in the winter. He would much rather be cold than hot. He loves being outside in general.  I don't think he could ever have a desk job.  He spends his days busting his butt 30-40 feet in the air under bridges. That's him under a bridge balancing on a cable.


Happy, Happy Birthday, Errol! I'm so happy there's a you for me out there in this world. 

 

 
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