5.26.2022

fresh to def

Free People Fresh To Def Side Tie Tank in HEATHER GRAY.

Digging the sporty flair of this cutie!

xx
SHARE:

5.23.2022

NOTD: NAILS INC. Florals… For Spring? Nail Polish in Primrose Hill Road

Two coats of NAILS INC. Florals… For Spring? Nail Polish in Primrose Hill Road. White Creme.

White polish will forever be my kryptonite, and this beauty didn't disappoint in the least.

Primrose Hill Road is a crisp, clean white creme that will undoubtedly make your tan pop this summer! This beauty is simple in shade; however, I did find the formula to be a little tricky to work with. Unlike most NAILS INC. polishes, this one did get a little flirty with my cuticles on coat one; but after a quick clean-up, and a little extra care, coat two applied perfectly. Loving this one for year-round, obvi.

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?


xx
SHARE:

5.19.2022

BOOK REVIEW: Ghost Town {Saranormal, # 1} by Phoebe Rivers



“It’s hard to see what others can’t, isn’t it, my dear?”

Having grown up obsessed with the show So Weird, and believing that I was an amateur paranormal investigator, my heart skipped a beat when I learned of Phoebe Rivers' Ghost Town {Saranormal, # 1}. This is a series that my younger self craved - so much so that it felt eerily familiar to me; though I can't recall ever having read it in the past. Clearly a mystery in, and of, itself, yes? But I digress...one part Ghost Whisperer, two parts Meg Cabot's The Mediator, this is a short but sweet start to a series that is ideal for those who like a little paranormal phenomena in their lives.

From the outside, twelve-year-old Sara Collins appears totally normal. In fact, her blonde hair might even lead you to believe that she runs with the popular crowd, and is always fielding texts from admirers. You'd be half right. She is quite the popular character - just not with the living. You see, Sara is hiding two things from the world: 1} she can see dead people {ghosts}, and 2} she's psychic. Pretty crazy, right? Armed with the ability to see, and interact with, ghosts since she was a tot, Sara has grown used to her abilities - and the fact that they are detrimental to relationship-building with peers. After all, how can you find a bestie when you've got dead people dancing in your peripheral vision? When Sara's father uproots her from sunny California for an old shore town in New Jersey she thinks maybe things will change for the better...until she reaches her final destination.

Stellamar is everything that Sara didn't want in a new home. Quaint, charming...yes; but also old. Historic old. The type of historic old meaning there are ghosts everywhere - and they're all vying for Sara's attention. The worst part of it all? They're inescapable, because many are residing in the old Victorian she and her father are living in with the intriguing {yet oft-times odd} Lady Azura, an 80-year-old so-called Medium. But that's not the worst of it. While Sara has grown used to seeing ghosts around her, this is the first time she has ever been able to communicate with them - adding a whole new layer of bizarre to her abnormal abilities.

Sara wants to help the dead, especially one older gentleman who seems desperate for her assistance; but she's worried that there will be no turning back once that channel is opened. And now that she has finally begun to build strong friendships with the locals, Lily Randazzo in particular, she's reluctant to do anything that could get in the way of making Stellamar a home, and finally fitting in. Now she's left with the choice of ignoring her calling, or somehow melding it with her social life so that she can have a bit of both worlds for the first time ever.

NGL, mid-grade books tend to be my preference when it comes to reading because I l-o-v-e discovering series that I can share with my students. Plus, many have far more depth then other genres available - at least IMO. While Ghost Town feels more surface-level/shallow in regards to reading, it is a fast-paced tale full of friendship, charming sights, and a subtle mystery that female readers, especially, will enjoy diving into.

Sara is a reserved, fairly one-dimensional character who, while likable, will hopefully open up more in future installments; whereas Lily is a big personality who is playful and fun. While there are hints of future romance to come, I am most interested in learning more about the mysterious Lady Azura, who seems to be full of secrets and suspense. All that said, I found the climax to be an incredible letdown {hence the 3 stars}; and I don't feel anything, or anyone, really intrigued me enough to return for book two, Haunted Memories {Saranormal, # 2}. Not saying I won't; but the jury's still out.


Star Rating: ***


xx
SHARE:

5.16.2022

NOTD: NAILS INC. Florals… For Spring? Nail Polish in Hampstead Road

Two coats of NAILS INC. Florals… For Spring? Nail Polish in Hampstead Road. Pink-Toned Lilac Creme.

I live for a good pastel purple, so y'all know this one made. me. giddy.

Hampstead Road is a lush lilac-toned pink creme that gives me spring fever whenever I take a peek at my tips. This beauty has a blissful formula - applying smoothly and evenly in two coats flat with no running or messy application. This one will look brilliant on tips and toes this summer!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?


xx
SHARE:

5.12.2022

beatrice

Free People Beatrice Two-Piece Jacket & Skirt Set in SILVER COMBO.

Legit loving the idea of a two-piece paired with crisp, clean white kicks. So fresh!

xx
SHARE:

5.09.2022

NOTD: NAILS INC. Florals… For Spring? Nail Polish in Savoy Place

Two coats of NAILS INC. Florals… For Spring? Nail Polish in Savoy Place. Pinky-Nude Creme.

Oh snap! Ladies, this was a surprise hit for me, and I am here. for. it.

Savoy Place is a posh pinky-nude creme that slayed me because it has that iced coffee, rosy nude touch that makes it feel positively perfect for both spring and summer! Formula is a dream with this beauty! It self-levels and dries lickety-split; plus it lasts for so. many. days. Highly, highly recommend this lovely if you're seeking a new neutral for your collection!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?


xx
SHARE:

5.05.2022

BOOK REVIEW: Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan



"We are like the phoenix. Rising again, with a new life ahead of us."

Pam Muñoz Ryan's Esperanza Rising is one of those books that I passed by in bookshops for years, gazing fondly at the gorgeous cover, but never taking even a moment to read the synopsis on the back. When a co-worker recommended it to me after learning that I enjoyed Thanhhà Lai's Inside Out and Back Again, I didn't hesitate in instantly purchasing it on Kindle, and devouring every last word over the course of a single weekend. Timely and touching; Esperanza Rising is a tale that will overwhelm you with hope, sadness, and love - all while giving a bit of food for thought regarding the very of the moment topic of migration to the United States.

The year is 1930. Twelve-year-old Esperanza Ortega Muñoz has the life many girls would dream of in Aguascaliente, Mexico. The daughter of wealthy landowners, Sixto and Ramona Ortega; Esperanza has lived a privileged existence on the sprawling El Rancho de las Rosas, resplendent with rich foods, a collection of porcelain dolls, and extravagant clothes and celebrations. Days away from turning thirteen-years-old, however, Esperanza's world comes crashing down when her father is slain, the victim bandits harboring hate and jealousy towards wealthy landowners in the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution. Now a widow with an inability to run El Rancho de las Rosas alone; Esperanza's mother, Ramona, is faced with the option of marrying a powerful man whom she despises, or fleeing to the United States to provide a new life for her daughter. Selecting the latter; Esperanza's new life begins.

Leaving her beloved grandmother behind; Esperanza and her mother, along with a few of their former servants, secretly make the trek from Aguascaliente to a migrant camp in California, where all must adapt to changes. Once spoiled and pampered; Esperanza is now faced with learning how to do things without servants, and provide for her family all while trying to come to terms with her father's untimely death. When Esperanza's mother becomes gravely ill from a dust storm, then succumbs to depression, everything falls to Esperanza's shoulders. Suddenly, the girl who once spent her days swathed in silk dresses, is learning how to sweep, do laundry, and care for children too young to attend school - all without complaint.

As Esperanza saves her earnings, hoping for the chance to bring her grandmother to the US, she watches the fight for higher wages, better living conditions, and the establishment of a union and strikes formed by other workers swirling around her. It is only through prayer and patience that Esperanza is able to rise stronger and more empathetic than she ever could have imagined - and finally come to the conclusion that all things are possible with perseverance and togetherness.

Admittedly, I never expected to love this story as much as I did; but I didn't fall for it because of the main character. Yes, I was very impressed by the growth we see in Esperanza from beginning to end; but the character who really captured my heart was Isabel. Though only eight-years-old, Isabel was so full of wisdom, curiosity, and hope that I, as the reader, felt it was contagious. Though born to a life of poverty, and harboring an insatiable curiosity about Esperanza's spoiled prior life, Isabel never once projects jealousy; rather, she is proud and grateful of her upbringing. Both selfless and determined, Isabel is a true shining star in the story - showing Esperanza how to do things for herself, and giving her the confidence to be the person she grows into as the story continues. Without Isabel's presence, I truly don't think I would have enjoyed this story as much as I did.

As a new elementary teacher, I feel that this book would be most easily understood and enjoyed by students in fifth grade. Not only does it provide a wondrous story that is easy for numerous students to relate to; it also opens the door for deeper discussions regarding the concepts of racism, class, immigration, and even empathy. This would be a fabulous resource for a cross-curricular lesson with history/social studies or even writing.


Star Rating: ****


xx
SHARE:

5.02.2022

NOTD: NAILS INC. Florals… For Spring? Nail Polish in Mornington Terrace

Two coats of NAILS INC. Florals… For Spring? Nail Polish in Mornington Terrace. Hot Pink Creme.

NGL, I am so tired of pinks rn; but this cutie is in a league of its own.

Mornington Terrace is a haute hot pink creme that was made for all of the spring things! During application I was surprised to see that this one was super thin on coat one; but thickened up to the perfectly plump opacity you see here by coat two. Staying power is utterly incredible - I've been wearing this one for 7 days now with nary a chip or tipwear. Natch!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?


xx
SHARE:

4.30.2022

jenna

Free People Jenna One-Shoulder Top in MOONLIT ORCHID.

That hemline is seriously killing me. Obsessed!

xx
SHARE:

4.28.2022

NAILS INC. Florals...For Spring? 4-Piece Nail Polish Set Swatches + Review

Spring nail polish collections have been few and far between, true story; so when I spotted NAILS INC.'s Florals...For Spring? 4-Piece Nail Polish Set y'all know I couldn't resist tapping that add to cart button. As if the reference to The Devil Wears Prada wasn't enough to reel me in; the gorgeous array of spring shades did the trick lickety-split!
Mornington Terrace is a Hot Pink Creme. NGL, I am so tired of pinks rn; but this cutie is in a league of its own. Mornington Terrace is a haute hot pink creme that was made for all of the spring things! During application I was surprised to see that this one was super thin on coat one; but thickened up to the perfectly plump opacity you see here by coat two. Staying power is utterly incredible - I've been wearing this one for 7 days now with nary a chip or tipwear. Natch! This is 2 coats.
Savoy Place is a Pinky-Nude Creme. Oh snap! Ladies, this was a surprise hit for me, and I am here. for. it. Savoy Place is a posh pinky-nude creme that slayed me because it has that iced coffee, rosy nude touch that makes it feel positively perfect for both spring and summer! Formula is a dream with this beauty! It self-levels and dries lickety-split; plus it lasts for so. many. days. Highly, highly recommend this lovely if you're seeking a new neutral for your collection! This is 2 coats.
Hampstead Road is a Pink-Toned Lilac Creme. I live for a good pastel purple, so y'all know this one made. me. giddy. Hampstead Road is a lush lilac-toned pink creme that gives me spring fever whenever I take a peek at my tips. This beauty has a blissful formula - applying smoothly and evenly in two coats flat with no running or messy application. This one will look brilliant on tips and toes this summer! This is 2 coats.
Primrose Hill Road is a White Creme. White polish will forever be my kryptonite, and this beauty didn't disappoint in the least. Primrose Hill Road is a crisp, clean white creme that will undoubtedly make your tan pop this summer! This beauty is simple in shade; however, I did find the formula to be a little tricky to work with. Unlike most NAILS INC. polishes, this one did get a little flirty with my cuticles on coat one; but after a quick clean-up, and a little extra care, coat two applied perfectly. Loving this one for year-round, obvi. This is 2 coats.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

PRICE: $22.00 for the 4PC Full-Size Set.

SHOP THE POST

xx
SHARE:

4.25.2022

NOTD: OPI Nail Lacquer Collection in In the Cable Car-Pool Lane

Two coats of OPI Nail Lacquer Collection in In the Cable Car-Pool Lane. Plum Purple Crelly.

Ooh ladies, this shade is serving!

In the Cable Car-Pool Lane is a perfect plum purple crelly with reddish undertones that is a true stunner to look at. This one would make a decadent jelly sandwich color {think summer picnics!}; but it is every bit as brilliant flying solo! Yes, it can come across as slightly bald or sheer, but I preferred it that way as it it allowed for the plummy parts to shine through. If you prefer it darker, however, just add another coat. Formula was a dream {no flurting with cuticles wth this beauty}; and there was zero staining upon removal. Loves it!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?


xx
SHARE:

4.21.2022

BOOK REVIEW: Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop {A Beacon Bakeshop Mystery Book 1} by Darci Hannah



"Beacon Harbor’s changed you. In New York you were always in your Wall Street tower counting money. Now you’re frying donuts, conversing with a ghost, and chasing after a backwoods enigma who just might be a closet poisoner. You picked a strange day to give up wine, Lindsey, darling."

After catching her fiance, and rising celebrity chef, Jeffery Plank, in the arms of his pastry chef, Mia Long {on a slab of Himalayan salt, no less!}, thirty-something Wall Street megamind, Lindsey Bakewell, elects to say farewell to the Financial District, packing up her New York City penthouse, and Newfoundland pooch, Wellington {aka Welly}, and fleeing to her childhood vacation destination of Beacon Harbor, Michigan.

The wealthy daughter of an ex-model mother, and a Wall Street wiz father {who moonlights as a baker}, Lindsey has inherited beauty, brains, and baking ability - the latter of which she plans on using to open a bakery and cafe. On a tipsy night alone, Lindsey purchases a fixer-upper lighthouse in idyllic Lake Michigan online; and before she knows it, her new life path is set in motion. However, looks can be deceiving; and Lindsey soon realizes that she has her work cut our for her in getting her new home in tip-top shape for the big bakeshop grand opening.

Fast forward six months, and Lindsey's opening day has arrived - coinciding perfectly with Memorial Day Weekend. As the shop is bombarded with supportive neighbors and legion of influencer and Lindsey's BFF, Kennedy Kapoor, fans alike; it is crashed by an equal amount of haters in the form of local protestor Fiona Dickel and her cronies, and...Mia and Jeffery, here to exact revenge. As things get physical {we're talking flying pastry, stolen americanos, and loads of shoving}, Lindsey's hunky neighbor and resident love interest, Rory Campbell {who happens to be acting as her barista for the day}, takes Mia outside where she promptly collapses, and later dies. When it's determined that cyanide poisoning was the cause of death, Lindsey's shop is closed down indefinitely. Now she's made solving the mystery her mission; but it may just be the death of her.

Oh, how I wanted to love this one, as I adore a good culinary mystery; but right out the gate Darci Hannah's Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop takes a downward turn due to the timeline. Timeline leaps can brilliantly work in the Marvel and DC verses; but in a mystery novel? Absolutely not. Those six months that were completely jumped over were pivotal for understanding and getting to know Lindsey's new community and neighbors, and how they vibe with one another - especially when you're talking about the first book in a new series where you have no background information from prior installments to go on. Not to mention showing us why, precisely, Mia and Jeffery have a score to settle with Lindsey - because obvs it can't just be a breakup. Forgoing this was confusing, and set the tone for frustration as a reader.

That aside, I can't say that I ever warmed up to any of the characters. I found both Lindsey and Kennedy to be a little immature for their late-thirties age {repeatedly referring to a police officer as Officer Cutie-Pie and using social media to drag someone through the mud}; while the insta-romance with Rory Campbell felt unnatural. Not to mention the introduction of a possible ghost haunting the lighthouse and communicating with Lindsey came off as a little too hokey and ridiculous to believe. I did have a soft spot for Welly; however, he alone could not save the story. Womp womp. Had the timeline jump not taken place, I honestly feel as if I could have warmed up to the characters and locale enough to stick around for book two - unfortunately, it did not; therefore, I won't be returning to the Beacon Bakeshop.


Star Rating: **1/2


xx
SHARE:

4.18.2022

NOTD: OPI Downtown LA Nail Lacquer Collection in Metallic Composition

Two coats of OPI Downtown LA Nail Lacquer Collection in Metallic Composition. Rose Gold Shimmer.

'Tis the season for girly shimmers! Y'all, I live for shimmers during the winter season and this one is so. good.

Metallic Composition is a romantic rose gold shimmer that literally screams ice-skating-and-cocoa-in-the-park date, amiright?! The formula here is so brill! It's not streaky, it applies flawlessly, and I didn't see a single chip or signs of wear for all of the 8 days that I wore it. It even survived helping 140 second graders make thumbprint turkeys, and that's saying something. Grab this one fast ladies!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?


xx
SHARE:

4.14.2022

moon city

Free People Moon City Ruffle Hem Top in LOLLIPOP.

Okay, but wouldn't this look so adorbs paired with high top Converse for the warmer months?!

xx
SHARE:

4.11.2022

NOTD: OPI XBox Nail Lacquer Collection in Trading Paint

Two coats of OPI XBox Nail Lacquer Collection in Trading Paint. Apricot Creme.

Y'all, I live for a good juicy shade, but they are few and far between, so major props to OPI for releasing this gem for spring!

Trading Paint is a ripe apricot-meets-peach creme that was made for the playful vibes of spring. This cutie is fruity and fun with a formula that is TDF, and vacay-perfect staying power - we're talking 6 days, no chips, no tipwear. Seriously obsessed, and highly recommended!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?


xx
SHARE:

4.07.2022

BOOK REVIEW: Changeling {Sorcery and Society # 1} by Molly Harper



Ages ago I read Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer's Cecelia and Kate Novels - a trilogy about magic in high society Victorian London. My fondness for those books has remained with me to this day; so when I spotted Molly Harper's Changeling {Sorcery and Society # 1} I surmised that it would enchant me in much the same way as the former. While the time periods are practically spot on, and there is magic involved; I found this one to be lackluster in comparison, and quite trying to make my way through. Though it picked up towards the end; it failed to do so enough for me to be interested in continuing on with the series in Book 2. Womp womp.

Fourteen-year-old Cassandra Reed wasn't born into glamorous Guardian society; rather, she was strategically placed there by one Mrs. Winters following an incident wherein she accidentally displayed her long-dormant {and unbeknownst to her} magical abilities.

Born to a family of {supposed} non-magical Snipes as Sarah Smith; Cassandra has lived her entire life in the Warren serving the magical Winters family as all Snipes do. You see, as per law, Snipes are to pander to Guardians as servants, completely powerless; while Guardians provide them with shelter. A Snipe displaying magical abilities, like Sarah, is taboo, and must be concealed. Thus, Cassandra is born. Though Sarah's family is none to pleased to see their child ripped from their arms; creating a new identity for her in the form of Cassandra Reed is the only way to keep her family, and herself, not to mention the Winters family, safe.

While most young women in Guardian society have trained their entire lives on the ins and outs of society, etiquette, magic, and magical families, Cassandra is given a crash course in all of the above by Mrs. Winters just weeks before her admission to Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladies. It is here that Cassandra must be on her guard - proving to her classmates that she is every bit as posh and well-trained as the rest; while at the very same time working to uncover how, exactly, an ordinary girl such as she became the host of such strong magic.

Le sigh...all of the rave reviews of Changeling have left me dumbfounded, because I felt the complete opposite. In fact, I contemplated returning it a few times, but elected not to as I paid only $0.99 for it on Kindle. This book was a chore to get through. For one, the Harry Potter comparisons have got to stop, because they are false. Two, the extremely poor editing needs to be corrected as it completely disrupts the flow of the story and stifles fluency. And three, the characters are positively boring. Though I had a slight soft spot for Cassandra's friends, Alicia McCray and Ivy Cowel; their presence wasn't enough to keep me engaged. While I applaud any author for being able to pen a novel; I can 100% guarantee that I will not be returning for the sequel, and will likely not try Molly Harper's work again.


Star Rating: **1/2


xx
SHARE:

4.04.2022

NOTD: OPI Nail Lacquer Collection in Complimentary Wine

Two coats of OPI Nail Lacquer Collection in Complimentary Wine. Burgundy Creme.

Y'all I know that it's the time for spring and summer colors, but I was just feeling in the mood for a little vamp so I had to whip this beauty out.

Complimentary Wine is a bold burgundy creme that feels posh and sophisticated and I am l-o-v-i-n-g it. NGL, dark shades freak me out a little because once they hit your cuticles, you're done for; but this one applies perfectly, doesn't run, and dries fast. I was concerned that I would have staining, but 6 days later, no chips, no stains, and I am obsessed! Babes, I stan - and you will too!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?


xx
SHARE:

3.31.2022

daydream

Free People Daydream Indigo Denim Button-Up Shirt in LIGHT INDIGO.

This bad boy is giving me all the summer vibes!

xx
SHARE:

3.28.2022

NOTD: NAILS INC. Sweet Nail Candy Scented Nail Polish in Sugar House Lane

Two coats of NAILS INC. Sweet Nail Candy Scented Nail Polish in Sugar House Lane. Pale Pink Creme.

Hello surprise superstar! Y'all, I didn't think I would love this shade as much as I did, but it. was. fab!

Sugar House Lane is a pretty pale pink creme that is perfect if you want a shade more colorful than white without entering bright pink territory. I am amazed at the quality of this polish! This one held up for more than a week with zero chips or tipwear, and looked just as stunning on day 8 as it did on day 1. Bonus: I subbed for a fifth grade class, and a few of the students told me how much they liked it. #winning!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?


xx
SHARE:

3.24.2022

BOOK REVIEW: Premeditated Myrtle {A Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery} by Elizabeth C. Bunce



"It is hard to describe loss to someone who has never experienced it, impossible to explain all the ways it changes you. But for those who have, not a single word is needed."

Having grown up devouring the likes of Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, The Boxcar Children, Enola Holmes, and Harriet the Spy, I was quick to find myself intrigued by Elizabeth C. Bunce's Premeditated Myrtle. Though, at times, a bit verbose and dragged-out; my overall impression of Premeditated Myrtle is a positive one due to the incredible cast of characters, and entertaining excerpts from Principles of Detection at the start of each chapter.

The year is 1893. Twelve-year-old Myrtle Hardcastle isn't your typical Victorian England preteen. For one, she is forever forgetting the maddening expectations set forth to be considered a Young Lady of Quality. For another, she is grossly obsessed with crime, criminal science, and toxicology - a fact that shouldn't surprise you given the fact that she is the daughter of a prosecutor father, and a {now-deceased} medical student mother. Myrtle's ultimate dream is to be an investigator much like Sherlock Holmes; so when murder comes knocking in her sleepy Swinburne, England village in the form of the suspicious death of her elderly next-door neighbor, Miss Wodehouse, she appoints herself lead investigator. Or rather, the only investigator, save for her governess, Miss Ada Judson, as the unanimous opinion of local officials {including her father} is that Miss Wodehouse died of natural causes in the form of a heart attack. Myrtle, however, knows better. And Miss Judson trusts Myrtle's investigative sixth sense.

To some, Miss Wodehouse may have been considered a wealthy spinster. But Myrtle, having spent much time spying on Miss Wodehouse's home from her window, knows that there is more to Miss Wodehouse than just money. Namely that she was an eccentric breeder of rare flowers. Rare flowers that any number of people would go to great lengths to obtain. Even murder. As a duo of conniving so-called heirs quickly make their way onto the scene, Myrtle is convinced that it is her public duty to thoroughly investigate their ulterior motives and possible hand in Miss Wodehouse's untimely death; but in so doing, she places herself and loved ones in grave danger.

If I'm being honest, I have to say that I found this book to be a little bit too long. Don't get me wrong, I do love a mystery I can truly sink my teeth into; but, at times, I found myself growing bored with the storyline, and just wanted to see the mystery wrapped up once and for all. That said, the cast is incredibly well-drawn, and one of the greatest I have ever encountered in MG fiction.

You have the MC, Myrtle, who is both clever and witty, and would serve as a brilliant BFF. Then there's the ever-patient and encouraging, Miss Judson, who is remarkably reminiscent of Ole Golly from Fitzhugh's timeless classic, Harriet the Spy. Special mentions to both Mr. Blakeney, an entertaining solicitor-in-training; and Cook, who proved her muscle time and again throughout the tale. And it would be wrong of me not to mention the indomitable Peony, Miss Wodehouse's cat who has since been adopted by Myrtle, and went to great {brave} lengths to assist in the investigation. I have already purchased the sequel, How to Get Away with Myrtle, on Kindle, and cannot wait to reacquaint myself with this fabulous cast!


Star Rating: ***1/2


xx
SHARE:

3.21.2022

NOTD: OPI XBox Nail Lacquer Collection in Achievement Unlocked

Two coats of OPI XBox Nail Lacquer Collection in Achievement Unlocked. Lavender Creme.

Y'all, after experiencing the beauty of this bad boy, all I can say is gimme all the pastel purples, lavenders, and lilacs, puh-lease!

Achievement Unlocked is a lush lavender creme that was made for all of the spring things. Opacity is fantastic! With a heavy hand you can easily achieve OCW status. And formula? Unmatched. Nine days with zero chips and no visible tipwear. Take this one along on your next vacay!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?


xx
SHARE:

3.17.2022

fluffy

ASOS DESIGN Fluffy Cutout Midi Dress in LIGHT BLUE.

Seriously feeling the fluffy aesthetic of this fabulous frock. So stunning for spring celebrations!

xx
SHARE:

3.14.2022

NOTD: OPI XBox Nail Lacquer Collection in Can't Ctrl Me

Two coats of OPI XBox Nail Lacquer Collection in Can't Ctrl Me. Pastel Blue Creme with Silver Microshimmer.

It has been a minute since I last used a baby blue, and after seeing this shade, I have so many regrets about it.

Can't Ctrl Me is a brilliant pastel blue creme with silver microshimmer that is giving me all of the spring vibes. NGL, the microshimmer is so micro that it's barely discernible {except in direct sunlight}; nevertheless, this color is still stunning! Formula is a tiny bit thin; but overall covers and levels spectacularly. Highly recommend if pastels are your jam!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?


xx
SHARE:

3.10.2022

OPI XBox Spring 2022 Collection Nail Lacquer Mini 4-Pack Swatches + Review

NGL here, when I saw that OPI had partnered with Xbox for Spring 2022, I knew that I needed the XBox Spring 2022 Collection Nail Lacquer Mini 4-Pack in my life pronto! I'm a huge gamer on the weekends {Fortnite fan here!}, and have actually been able to form such strong relationships with my second and third grade students through our mutual love of gaming, so scooping this quartet up was a total no-brainer! Let me just say that, partnership aside, this collection is fire! Not only all the colors so good for spring; the formula is absolutely incredible - being both long-lasting and chip free. Obsessed does not even begin to describe my love for this collection - I know you'll adore it too!

Pixel Dust is a Light Pink w/ Pearlescent Shimmer. NGL here y'all...I legit gasped when I saw this one on the nail. It is absolutely mesmerizing! Pixel Dust is a sparkling light pink loaded with pearlescent shimmer that is truly out of this world! Tbh, I don't think I have ever seen a pink as unique as this one! Formula is super simple to work with; and opacity is easy to achieve in just two coats. What really clinched this one for me was how fast the dry time was. Highly recommend if you're looking for a playful new shade for your collection! This is 2 coats.

Trading Paint is an Apricot Creme. Y'all, I live for a good juicy shade, but they are few and far between, so major props to OPI for releasing this gem for spring! Trading Paint is a ripe apricot-meets-peach creme that was made for the playful vibes of spring. This cutie is fruity and fun with a formula that is TDF, and vacay-perfect staying power - we're talking 6 days, no chips, no tipwear. Seriously obsessed, and highly recommended! This is 2 coats.

Can't Ctrl Me is a Pastel Blue Creme with Silver Microshimmer. It has been a minute since I last used a baby blue, and after seeing this shade, I have so many regrets about it. Can't Ctrl Me is a brilliant pastel blue creme with silver microshimmer that is giving me all of the spring vibes. NGL, the microshimmer is so micro that it's barely discernible {except in direct sunlight}; nevertheless, this color is still stunning! Formula is a tiny bit thin; but overall covers and levels spectacularly. Highly recommend if pastels are your jam! This is 2 coats.

Achievement Unlocked is a Lavender Creme. Y'all, after experiencing the beauty of this bad boy, all I can say is gimme all the pastel purples, lavenders, and lilacs, puh-lease! Achievement Unlocked is a lush lavender creme that was made for all of the spring things. Opacity is fantastic! With a heavy hand you can easily achieve OCW status. And formula? Unmatched. Nine days with zero chips and no visible tipwear. Take this one along on your next vacay! This is 2 coats.


AVAILABILITY: Ulta

 
PRICE: $17.00 for the 4PC Mini Set; $10.50 for each full-size bottle
.



SHOP THE POST



xx
SHARE:

3.07.2022

NOTD: NAILS INC. Sweet Nail Candy Scented Nail Polish in Treat Street

Two coats of NAILS INC. Sweet Nail Candy Scented Nail Polish in Treat Street. Bright Pink Creme.

Barbie called, she wants her color back. Corny, I know, but I had to do it. #sorrynotsorry.

For reals though, Treat Street is a Barbie-esque bright pink creme that is sending me! It's described as a neon pink by Nails Inc., but I def don't get that vibe from it. This color works for all of the lovey-dovey holidays, spring, or everyday wear. Color aside, the formula is top tier. This one can be a OCW if you apply with a slightly heavy hand; and the staying power is out of this world. No chips, no tipwear, even after seven days of wear - in a classroom full of third graders, mind you. Highly recommend if you dig a good girly shade!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?


xx
SHARE:

3.03.2022

BOOK REVIEW: The Golden Compass {His Dark Materials Book 1} by Philip Pullman



"The powers of this world are very strong. Men and women are moved by tides much fiercer than you can imagine, and they sweep us all up into the current."

Le sigh...this book took me on a journey. And I don't mean merely the adventure found within its pages; rather, I'm referring to the emotional journey I encountered during my reading. There were times when I took a full week break; others when I questioned whether I would finish it at all; and still others when I could not put it down. Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass gutted me; yet took me awhile to reach that point. In fact, it wasn't until Part Three, and my love for Iorek Byrnison and Serafina Pekkala, coupled with my growing fondness of Lyra, that I finally came to the conclusion that I was, in fact, grossly invested in this tome, and eager to see how it would unfold.

Eleven-year-old Lyra Belacqua seemingly has no one championing her on in life. A parentless orphan with no knowledge of her true family, Lyra has grown up untamed by the scholars at Oxford's Jordan College who ensure that she is fed, clothed, and taught {to the best of their ability}. Her few constants are her Daemon Pantalaimon, aka Pan {more on him later}; her best friend, Roger, the son of a kitchen worker employed at Jordan; and her so-called uncle, Lord Asriel, who appears in her life from time to time to check on her progress. It is during one of these impromptu visits from Lord Asriel that Lyra's adventure is set on course.

While hiding away, Lyra and Pan overhear a conversation between the scholars and Lord Asriel about something called Dust. Dust is directly correlated with the Gobbler appearances that have been sensationalized in the community. Gobblers are evil ones stealing children away from their homes for the purpose of studying Dust {which, FYI, is way more sinister than you would think}. Roger has recently been swept away by Gobblers; therefore, Lyra is determined to rescue him.

Before I continue, let me circle back to the concept of Daemons. Each individual is born with a Daemon by their side - a shape-shifting creature of the opposite sex {e.g., if you're female, your Daemon is male and vice versa} that is, essentially, one's spirit; however, it is presented outside of the body. Once a child reaches puberty, the Daemon settles into one animal form, and lacks the ability to shapeshift. Daemons are close, personal confidantes who speak to, and guide their human host. With that description out of the way, I shall move on.

With Roger on her mind, Lyra is wracked with an interest in leaving the grounds of Jordan College and recovering her one true friend; so when Mrs. Coulter presents herself to the scholars, requesting that Lyra accompany her on a quest of a lifetime, Lyra is more than happy to oblige. Mrs. Coulter is glamorous {draped in furs and beauty}, brilliant, and has an intriguing Daemon in her continual presence: a long-haired Golden Monkey who is every bit as glamorous as she, if not a bit devious and cunning. According to Mrs. Coulter, Lyra will be her assistant, collecting notes and measurements to aid in her studies of Dust.

Before embarking on her quest, however, Lyra is gifted an alethiometer {golden compass} by the Master of Jordan College, with a warning to keep it hidden from Mrs. Coulter, and to look to it for truth. With no further guidance on how, precisely, to read the device; Lyra has an innate ability to do so within, which is how she comes to realize, after a short time, that Mrs. Coulter is working with the Gobblers. Narrowly escaping from her clutches, it is now up to Lyra to recover the missing children from the Gobblers, thereby rescuing them from imminent death - a task she will accomplish only with a band of unlikely allies, including Gyptions, witches, polar bears, and a Texas aeronaut.

I was in the midst of Bible Study the other day and saw mention of Dust multiple times in Ecclesiastes, which immediately transported me back to these pages. This book is brilliant. Though it took me a time to become fully vested in the story, it is one that continually returns to my mind. The characters are unforgettable; the world-building is phenomenal; and the story itself, while a bit out there, is a true masterpiece. I am so glad that I took the time to read this tale; and am excited to delve into the sequel, The Subtle Knife.


Star Rating: ***1/2


xx
SHARE:

2.28.2022

NOTD: Essie Nail Polish Collection in Wicked

One coat of Essie Nail Polish Collection in Wicked. Oxblood Creme.

Le sigh. Y'all, this color is so. good.

Wicked is a deep, dark, sinister oxblood creme that is legit mandatory for your winter polish rotation. Babes, this beauty is 100% opaque in one coat and lasts through everything! Craft projects, holiday decorating, cooking...you name it and it is a survivor. Bonus: I experienced zero staining upon removal, so this one is a winner for sure!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?


xx
SHARE:

2.24.2022

extreme

ASOS DESIGN Extreme Man Suit Blazer in BROWN MULTI.

Not usually a fan of menswear, but this look is serving. Obsessed!

xx
SHARE:

2.21.2022

NOTD: NAILS INC. Sweet Nail Candy Scented Nail Polish in Peppermint Place

One coat of NAILS INC. Sweet Nail Candy Scented Nail Polish in Peppermint Place. Dark Red Creme.

Y'all know that red isn't my favorite nail color; but can we take a moment to talk about how ridiculously perfect this seductress is?

Peppermint Place is a ravishing dark red creme that works for V-Day, holiday soirees, or everyday wear. Babes, this one has a flawless formula that is long-wear, super shiny, quick-dry, and a one. coat. wonder. I'm over the moon for this one, and know that you will be too. Grab it girls!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?


xx
SHARE:

2.17.2022

BOOK REVIEW: Warcross by Marie Lu



"It is hard to describe loss to someone who has never experienced it, impossible to explain all the ways it changes you. But for those who have, not a single word is needed."

When I say that I began a long-term relationship with Marie Lu during the pandemic, it is #realtalk y'all. Not in the romantic sense obvi, but in the literary sense. It started with Legend in April 2020 and brings us to the present featuring Warcross. You guys, this book is so. good. It's dystopian science fiction with virtual reality and gaming all rolled into one; and it's done in such a perfect fashion that the entire concept feels 100% feasible. Like I can legit see this happening in the future, and that is equal parts exciting and terrifying. Just saying.

Emika "Emi" Chen is many things: liar, orphan, bounty hunter, college dropout, prodigy, rainbow-haired hacker with daddy issues. Like I said...a lot. The one thing she isn't is a quitter. Take her current sitch, for example. On the verge of being evicted from her home, Emika puts the pedal to the metal to take down an elusive criminal with a major bounty that would save her - at least for the month. And when it doesn't go her way? She decides to veg out on her couch and hack into the annual Warcross Championship event. A move seen around the world; and the very thing that pushes her into her current predicament.

For more than a decade Warcross has been a mainstay in the lives of millions upon millions of users. Though debuted as a virtual reality game, it has become more reality than reality itself, with users entering the world daily to escape their actual lives or turn a profit. For Emika, it's a bit of both, so when she sees an incredibly tempting power-up appear in the annual Warcross Championship, she does what any down-on-her-luck-eviction-facing hacker would do...she tries to anonymously steal it. Emika's plan backfires almost immediately when, instead of stealing the power-up, she hacks her way into the game, thereby exposing her identity to the world, putting herself on billionaire Hideo Tanaka's radar, and transforming her into an overnight celebrity. Random, right?

Though the Warcross Championship is shutdown immediately after Emika's stunt, she is 100% convinced that the next bounty will be for her; so when, instead of being arrested, she's offered something irresistible by Hideo, she is flabbergasted, to say the least. The creator of Warcross, Hideo Tanaka is a tech genius who is young, reserved, rich, and brilliant. He is now also Emika's boss {and love interest}. You see, Emika's hacking move was impressive, to say the least. So impressive, in fact, that Hideo hires her to go undercover as a Wild Card player in the Warcross Championship. Her reward? A possible ten. million. dollars. Oh, and new friendships, a little adventure, and insta-celebrity. Not to mention l-o-v-e. But when Emika's investigation uncovers a plot far more sinister than expected, with consequences that are major to humanity, she needs to rethink where her loyalties lie, and what she needs to do to protect the people.

I went into this book with zero expectations because: 1) the reviews were all over the place {either strongly adored or hard pass}; and 2) I legit loathed the last Lu book I read, The Young Elites. That said, I am so glad I read this one because, le sigh, it was amazing! NGL, I knew the true identity of Zero immediately; but that did not detract my love of the characters and storyline. I will say that I am thrilled that the romance between Hideo and Emika took a backseat to everything else going on because, maybe I'm in the minority here, but I didn't come for a romance. #sorrynotsorry. I did, however, come for incredible characters {Asher and Roshan were personal faves of mine}, bomb world-building, and a virtual thrill ride...the very things I left with. Bravo Lu - bring on Wildcard!


Star Rating: ****1/2


xx
SHARE:

2.14.2022

NOTD: OPI Holiday 2021 Celebration Nail Lacquer Collection in Big Bow Energy

Two coats of OPI Holiday 2021 Celebration Nail Lacquer Collection in Big Bow Energy. Classic Pink Creme.

'Tis the season for pinks to dominate, amiright?!

Big Bow Energy is a bold classic pink creme that gives off all of the Barbie vibes. This one leans a little bit deeper {almost fuschia-esque} than your bubblegum pink, making it a good choice if you're torn between pink and red for V-day. Formula here was fab - depending on how heavy-handed you are during application, you may even be able to make this beauty a OCW.

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?


xx
SHARE:

2.12.2022

get together

Free People Get Together Long Sleeve Top in DANCING QUEEN.

Never met an off the shoulder top I didn't love. Obsessed with the lipstick pink shade of this cutie!

xx
SHARE:

2.10.2022

NAILS INC. Sweet Nail Candy 4-Piece Scented Nail Polish Set Swatches + Review

NGL the Sweet Nail Candy 4-Piece Scented Nail Polish Set from NAILS INC. is something I've been hoarding since the Christmas holidays {hence the December-y names}; but I thought now would be the perfect time to share it with you lovelies because 1} The shades are perfect for Valentine's Day; and 2} This full-size quartet is currently on sale for under $20! Natch!
Sugar House Lane is a Pale Pink. Hello surprise superstar! Y'all, I didn't think I would love this shade as much as I did, but it. was. fab! Sugar House Lane is a pretty pale pink creme that is perfect if you want a shade more colorful than white without entering bright pink territory. I am amazed at the quality of this polish! This one held up for more than a week with zero chips or tipwear, and looked just as stunning on day 8 as it did on day 1. Bonus: I subbed for a fifth grade class, and a few of the students told me how much they liked it. #winning! This is 2 coats.
Treat Street is a Bright Pink Creme. Barbie called, she wants her color back. Corny, I know, but I had to do it. #sorrynotsorry. For reals though, Treat Street is a Barbie-esque bright pink creme that is sending me! It's described as a neon pink by Nails Inc., but I def don't get that vibe from it. This color works for all of the lovey-dovey holidays, spring, or everyday wear. Color aside, the formula is top tier. This one can be a OCW if you apply with a slightly heavy hand; and the staying power is out of this world. No chips, no tipwear, even after seven days of wear - in a classroom full of third graders, mind you. Highly recommend if you dig a good girly shade! This is 2 coats.
Noel Street is a Candy Apple Red Creme. Hey girl, hey. Babes, can we puh-lease take a moment to swoon over this bad boy? Noel Street is a ravishing candy apple red creme that would seamlessly make a splash for all seasons - but feels most apropos for Christmastime or the fast-approaching Valentine's Day. The formula here is absolutely brilliant! Super fast dry, easy to apply, and absolutely stunning to look at. Tipwear was minimal, and there were no chipping issues. Absolutely adore this one and cannot wait to add it to my rotation for the holidays this year! This is 2 coats.
Peppermint Place is a Dark Red Creme. Y'all know that red isn't my favorite nail color; but can we take a moment to talk about how ridiculously perfect this seductress is? Peppermint Place is a ravishing dark red creme that works for V-Day, holiday soirees, or everyday wear. Babes, this one has a flawless formula that is long-wear, super shiny, quick-dry, and a one. coat. wonder. I'm over the moon for this one, and know that you will be too. Grab it girls! This is 1 coat.

AVAILABILITY: Nails Inc.

PRICE: $17.60 for the 4PC Full-Size Set.

SHOP THE POST

xx
SHARE:

2.07.2022

NOTD: OPI XBox Nail Lacquer Collection in Pixel Dust

Two coats of OPI XBox Nail Lacquer Collection in Pixel Dust. Light Pink w/ Pearlescent Shimmer.

NGL here y'all...I legit gasped when I saw this one on the nail. It is absolutely mesmerizing!

Pixel Dust is a sparkling light pink loaded with pearlescent shimmer that is truly out of this world! Tbh, I don't think I have ever seen a pink as unique as this one! Formula is super simple to work with; and opacity is easy to achieve in just two coats. What really clinched this one for me was how fast the dry time was. Highly recommend if you're looking for a playful new shade for your collection!

What nail color are you rocking for #ManicureMonday?


xx
SHARE:

2.05.2022

parka

Sam Edelman Water Repellent Parka with Removable Faux Fur Trim in WHITE.

The faux fur trim hood and snow white shade have me craving a snow day!

xx
SHARE:
© cat eyes & skinny jeans | All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig