NOTD: OPI Power of Hue Nail Lacquer Collection in Feel Bluetiful

Two coats of OPI Power of Hue Nail Lacquer Collection in Feel Bluetiful. Matte Turquoise Blue Shimmer.

Mermaid nails don't care!

Feel Bluetiful is a unicorn-like matte turquoise blue shimmer that legit makes you feel like a mermaid every single time you glance at your fingertips. Formula here was so amazingly simple to work with - applying quickly, and drying even faster. Yes, it has a matte finish; but I'm not a fan, so I added top coat to bring out the shine and shimmer. Y'all, this one earned me multiple comments from 5th graders {the harshest critics}, so you know it's amazing. Great staying power, great color...you need this one in your collection babes!



fresh to def

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

Digging the sporty flair of this cutie!



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?



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: ***



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?




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!



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?



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: ****



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?

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