Luckiest Girl Alive: A Review

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

I haven’t been doing so well with my resolution to read more. Since January, I’ve only read two books. This past week, I read Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, and it is so beautiful. I can already tell that it will be one of those books that you pick up year after year to read again.

I first heard of this book through a weekly newsletter that I am subscribed to. For those who don’t know, I am OBSESSED with Lena Dunham (blog post to come, I’m sure). She and one of the producers of Girls, Jenni Konner, started an online newsletter called Lenny Letter. Knoll wrote a piece in one of the issues a year ago today about her book. In the Lenny Letter, Knoll talked openly about how her personal experience with sexual assault led to the idea of her novel (you can read her piece here). She was so open and raw in her piece that, without even knowing anything else about her book, I had to read it. And on one fine day, I found myself once again strolling the aisles of Target when a familiar book cover caught my eye. I’m so glad it did, because I instantly fell in love.

The novel follows the soon-to-be Ani Harrison (formerly TifAni FaNelli), who strives to recreate herself in an attempt to alter people’s perception of who she was. She is a senior editor at The Women’s Magazine which is most comparable to our Cosmopolitan, and is engaged to the attractive, blue-blooded Luke Harrison. It would appear as though she has the perfect life, but very quickly you can tell that there is something unnerving about her. Throughout most of the novel, the reader is left in the dark about Ani’s past, but through small glimpses and memories, we slowly begin to understand the dark and twisted person that we’ve been unapologetically subjected to. Knoll creates a very realistic mindset that we get to experience throughout the entirety of the book.

Personally, I felt an instant (yet frightening) connection with Ani because her internal monologue mirrored my own in a dark way. Perhaps it is just a testament to Knoll’s writing that her readers can understand her character so well, or perhaps I should seek professional help. Either way, I definitely miss Ani’s quick wit and dark humor.

It is beautiful, inspiring, and suspenseful. I have told all (two) of my friends about this novel, and now I urge all of you to do the same.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Have a “Staycation”

lifestyle, Uncategorized

For my spring break this year, I decided to have a “staycation” right here in Atlanta, Georgia. I probably spent as much money as I would have anywhere else, but it was all worth it. In fact, I highly recommend a staycation to everyone, and here is why:

Housing is Free

You don’t have the hassle of booking a hotel room or an Airbnb, and it also means you get to sleep in the comfort of your own bed (or air mattress, in my case). I spent most of the week in Kennesaw with my friend, Cassandra (check out what she’s been up to these past couple of weeks here!), which meant I spent most of the week on my air mattress, but it’s pretty comfortable compared to sleeping on the floor.

You Get to Experience New Things

We all have a list of things we’ve been meaning to do or see in the city that we live in, but we never get around to doing it. With a staycation, you can check off all of the things on your list. I hardly ever explore Atlanta because I hate driving in the city, but thankfully I had Cassandra and Phoenix (may she rest in peace) who graciously drove us everywhere. One of my favorite places I went to was Cinnaholic, which serves gourmet (vegan friendly) cinnamon rolls. You can pretty much have it made with whatever toppings you want. I got cream cheese icing with Oreo crumbles and cookie dough.

You Can Also Hit Up Your Favorite Places

Sometimes, when you are on vacation, you can be underwhelmed by certain attractions or maybe an experience wasn’t everything you thought it would be. With a staycation, you already know what to expect when you go to your favorite mall or amusement park. One of my favorite places in Atlanta is Ponce City Market, and during my staycation, I went there with a few friends. Going during the week was such a strange, but fun, experience because no one was there. There weren’t any crazy lines or packed boutiques. It was kind of refreshing.

I had such a wonderful spring break, and it was a treat to experience Atlanta as a tourist. If only it hadn’t been 30 DEGREES OUTSIDE, I would have enjoyed it more.

Real quick story time:

Just because you are familiar with a place doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be cautious. One of my days of spring break, we went to the Marietta Square to walk around. While I was taking some pictures of my friends on one of the park benches, I heard footsteps quickly approaching. As I looked up, an old man (who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, or maybe even Satan) fell flat on his face as he was sprinting towards me. He stood up and claimed he was just coming to offer to take a picture of all of us together. As he said this, he reached out towards my phone. I told him I was fine because I just had my own little photoshoot a few minutes prior, but he was really insistent. I was about to just hand it over to get him to leave us alone, when the thought came to me that he might run off with my phone. So, I slid my phone into my purse and told him no once again. He finally walked away, saying something like, “I was just trying to do my one good deed for the day”. It was a very unsettling experience, but I’m glad everyone involved was okay, even him because he definitely took a dive.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you all have/had a great spring break!

March Ipsy Bag!

lifestyle

Good morning!

So last month, I decided to get an Ipsy subscription. A few ladies at my work were talking about it, and I really wanted to give it a try. 

And it’s finally here! 

When I first subscribed, I was too late for the February bag, but the March one is absolutely beautiful.  


It came with this cute inspirational card that you are supposed to pass on to someone else to spread the love, although I might just keep it for myself. 

But seriously, how beautiful is this bag! It has a black mesh overlay and the rose pink fabric is a soft canvas material. 

If you’ve never done Ipsy before, it comes with five beauty products with a mixture of sample size and full size products. 


The first product is INT Goddess Gold eyeshadow. It is a beautiful rose gold color and the gold really comes out on the skin. 


Next is the Air Repair Complexion-Boosting Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid. I tested it on my hand and it is very lightweight with a pleasant floral scent. It feels a little tingly after a while but it made my skin feel very soft afterwards. 


It also comes with a full sized Model Co. black crayon eyeliner. It is smudge and water resistant. In fact it was a pain to remove but that seems to be a trend with the eyeliner in my life. 


The bag also came with a sample sized Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in the color rosé. It is a very beautiful color and once it dries it becomes very matte. Some of the other liquid lipsticks I’ve tried have become kind of sticky and tacky but this is very nice. 


Finally, it came with a Beau Gâchis tapered blending brush. The brush is very soft and this might be what I’m most excited for because I was just thinking this morning about how I needed more eyeshadow brushes in my life. 


I hope you all enjoyed this “haul”! I’m so excited to do this for the future months. 

Beauty Favorites

lifestyle, Uncategorized

I am far from a “beauty-guru”, but I do like to dabble every so often into makeup products. My most recent obsession is nail polish. I have always been a nail-biter (gross, I know), but I have made it a priority to grow out my nails. This also apparently means that I am physically incapable of resisting to buy every nail polish I come in contact with. If you want a great deal, check out the Sinful Colors Professional line available at Target (only $1.99!!!). I have three already  so far!

Eyes

If I had to get rid of everything and keep only one makeup product, it would be my Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette. I still think back fondly on the day I first bought it. I’ve had it for over a year and I absolutely love it.

naked

Another go-to for me is the Wet N Wild black liquid eyeliner. The brush is very stiff so its easy to get straight, dark lines. The only issue I currently face is that it is a huge pain to remove at night, leaving me with odd black marks along my eyelid. But no other eyeliner has come close to its accuracy, plus its super affordable. I know it’s technically water proof, but not even Holy Water from Heaven above could get this stuff off.

P1220506

Lips

A few months ago, I went to Atlanta with Cassandra. While there, I went to Sephora for the first time in my life (sad, I know). I was pretty overwhelmed at first and kept thinking that we would get in trouble for playing with the makeup. Somewhere between Cassandra doing my eyebrows and giving myself a manicure, I fell in love with the Kat Von B. Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (in the shade Lolita). It is such a beautiful color, but sometimes a little dark for everyday wear. However, Cassandra told me that they are almost never in stock, so I snagged it.

lolita

Face

I’ve added a few new products to my (previously non-existent) skin care routine. The first is the Shea Moisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask which I’ve never really done before but now I’m obsessed with. I feel like a whole new person afterwards.

shea moisture

I also recently purchased St. Ives new oil scrub. I use it at night to wash my face. Because it is an oil scrub, it can tend to make my already oil-prone face more oily, but I like the way it leaves me feeling refreshed. So I use it mostly as a way to wash my face after I remove my makeup. Side note: my friends would be so proud of the effort I’ve made to make sure my makeup is off before I go to bed.

oilscrub

My next skin care product is e.l.f.’s Illuminating Eye Cream. It is supposed to get rid of those dark bags that accompany me throughout the day. I just bought it (like today) so I guess I can’t really call it a “favorite”, but I’m really excited to use it, so it counts!

e.l.f.-elf-skincare-illuminating-eye-cream-inhautepursuit-review

Body

My final beauty (?) product is this body wash that Cassandra has me hooked on. It is the Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap in the scent Tea Tree. When we lived together, I hated this stuff because it smelled like twigs, but it’s kind of grown on me, mostly because it leaves me feeling SO CLEAN. Seriously, my entire shower experience has changed. Whenever this one runs out (which will probably be when I’m 87), I want to try the lavender one.

dr-bronners-magic-soap-tea-tree

I hope you beauties enjoyed this post! Hopefully, this awakening I’ve had with beauty products will lead to more informed posts in the future.
***ALL IMAGES ARE FROM GOOGLE

Movies I’m Looking Forward to in 2017

Movie Reviews, Uncategorized

I have always loved movies, but recently that love has intensified. My family hardly ever went to the movies because taking five kids anywhere was always a headache and too expensive. On the few occasions that we did go, it was like we had walked into a different dimension. If you’ve ever seen Annie, it felt something like the scene where Daddy Warbucks takes Annie to the movies for the first time.

annie

So, here is a tentative list of movies that I am looking forward to watching this year!

Beauty and the Beast

B&B

Release Date: March 17, 2017

To be honest, I haven’t been that excited about all these reboots, but when I saw a commercial for the movie in theaters, I almost cried. It brought back memories of re-watching Disney movies for the hundredth time with my little brother.

Life

life

Release Date: March 24, 2017

This movie is about the discovery of life on Mars and has an amazing cast that includes Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal. The trailer is intense enough as it is, so I’m very excited for the actual movie.

Gifted

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Release Date: April 12, 2017

When I was at the movies to see La La Land, there was a commercial about a little girl who is academically gifted in the middle of a custody battle between her grandmother and her uncle. Her uncle wants her to have a normal life, but her grandmother wants her to go to the best schools and not waste her talents. Again, this trailer almost had me in tears, but honestly that is not hard to do. It also features Octavia Spencer who is amazing!

Spider-Man: Homecoming

spider_man__homecoming___poster_by_artbasement-dafrlaf

Release Date: July 7, 2017

I have loved Spider-Man ever since middle school. I will literally see anything that features him, so this is a no-brainer. I also really love superhero movies in general.

Logan Lucky

LoganLuckyFirst

Release Date: August 18, 2017

This movie was filmed in Atlanta and stars MY MAN, Adam Driver. I have seen everything he’s ever done and will continue to do so until I die. For those of you who don’t care/know about him, your main selling point might be the fact that it also stars Channing Tatum and Daniel Craig.

Murder on the Orient Express

Release Date: November 22, 2017

This movie is still being filmed, but it has another great cast like Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Daisy Ridley, and many more. All I know about it is that it is in the drama and suspense genre.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

star_wars_the_last_jedi

Release Date: December 15, 2017

I was never really into Star Wars before having seen the newest one, but then over Christmas break, my brother and mom and I watched all of the movies. Now, I finally have an appreciation for the franchise. Plus it has Adam Driver…

Get Out: A Review

Movie Reviews

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I know I did. MAC was together again for another weekend of adventures. They came over to my neck of the woods and we grabbed dinner at Mellow Mushroom. We had a really great night just laughing and hanging out. We originally planned on seeing Get Out Friday night, but it had a really late showing and 2/3 of us are basically grandmas. 

So, we decided to see it Saturday at the Collections in Forsyth. I have been really looking forward to this movie ever since Allison Williams started promoting it on her social media. And then all of the reviews came pouring in and I had to see it. 

Allison’s Instagram


I won’t give any spoilers but it really was amazing. It was the typical horror/suspense movie on the surface but the underlying truth of racism in America made this movie so moving and beautiful. This film sheds light on how ignorant some people are towards minorities. You are able to experience the film through Chris’s ( the protagonist) perspective. At least for me, it was really eye opening to see something firsthand that I have had the privilege not to experience. 


It’s one of those movies that I want to watch over and over. Even now, I feel like I can’t do it justice because there’s so much I probably missed and didn’t notice the first time. 

My face throughout the entirety of this film tbh


After seeing this movie, I want to bring everyone I know to see it. I hope it opens people’s minds and brings them awareness to what happens everyday all around them. 

Whoever you are or wherever you’re from, just Get Out and see this movie! (I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist.)

***Images from Google 

Happy Lent!

lifestyle, Uncategorized

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of the Lenten season. This would also be why you may have seen some passersby donning black smudges on their foreheads. I view Lent from a Catholic viewpoint, but I know that there are several other religions and denominations that participate in Lent. 

Image by Oliver Tucker

Lent was always one of my favorite parts about Catholicism. Even though it is one of the darkest parts of the faith, it has always been one of the most beautiful parts to me. 

Lent is all about recognizing the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, so usually during this season, you are encouraged to give up something that is interfering with your relationship with Christ. I am a woman of many vices and some of them I’m just not willing to give up for 40 days (read: Diet Coke). Not that I wouldn’t be able to go without soda for our Lord and Savior; I just don’t see how that is interfering with my faith. 

So, in lieu of giving up something so important to my very being, I end up adding something to my life that will bring me closer to Him. In the past, I added extra prayer or only listened to Christian music or attempted to attend daily mass. 

This year is a little different. My relationship with God is not as strong as it used to be. In fact, I was very surprised to find myself at mass yesterday completely of my own will. But as I mentioned in my Resolutions post, there is just something so enticing about a fresh start. I have acknowledged that there is a block between me and my faith so I have decided to add something to my life that will work on dissolving that wall, while also strengthening my creativity. 

I have recently started reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron which is about the beauty of creativity and spirituality. One of the main practices it talks about is Morning Pages, which is a method where you write three pages as soon as you wake up in the morning. It can be absolute gibberish or whatever you dreamed about or really anything that comes to mind.  But the purpose is to keep writing and not stop until you reach three pages. 


Image from Google

For Lent, I want to do this everyday as a way to flush out my mind and hopefully get to the root of my problem. I used to feel God’s presence so easily in my mind, but as of late it feels like I have pushed Him away completely. Now, I have tried Morning Pages before and it is almost physically impossible for me to remember to do them when I wake up, so I have modified it slightly into Nightly Pages. I feel like the result should be the same, but I guess only time will tell. 

I hope that those of you who do participate have a blessed Lenten season.