I recently picked up a penchant for Luna bars. I’ve been waking up early for shifts at my part-time gig, and they are the perfect snack for 15 minute break. I have the Peanut Honey Pretzel and it’s delicious.
I’ve enjoyed hard ciders for a couple of years now, but after while I ended up getting sick of them. In the last month, I was introduced to Stella Artois Cidre and it is so tasty, crisp, and light. It’s a bit pricy for a 4 pack, but the flavor is definitely worth it. A nice end-of-the-week treat, for sure.
With Catching Fire so dang close (I already have my movie ticket for Saturday night…IMAX baby!), I’m trying to reread the book. I forgot just how excellent the book is, how great of a writer Suzanne Collins is. I know I’m not going to finish it in time because my next few days are busy, but it’s still awesome to read. With so many books to choose from at home, I settled for the easy out.
The final series of one of my favorite shows, Misfits, is on Hulu. The latest episodes are on the site the day after they air in the UK. I’ve raved about this show in the past and can’t stress enough how much I recommend it. It’s funny and intense and sad and cheeky, so pretty much perfect! Last series was not a strong point, but they seem to want to go out with a bang. I’ve enjoyed every episode so far. It should also be noted that I’ve decided to re-watch all of How I Met Your Mother from the beginning. I’m on disc three of season 1. Obviously, I have a lot of time on my hands. But it’s fun. I like the idea of going from the beginning and hopefully ending in enough time for the series finale.
I cannot stop singing “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood. It’s a sexy song, but it’s also really fun to sing. Repeat.
I am dying for a pair of ankle boots, something with buckles or straps. Examples here, here, here, and here.


Recent Reads: The Divergent Trilogy


Yesterday, I finished Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy.
I started Divergent in August and only stopped in between Insurgent and Allegiant because the latter just came out at the end of October. I like being able to read a series without waiting too long in between books, but it was also nice that no spoilers were out and I could avoid finding out the end because I would be reading it around the same time as everyone else.

I could’ve written about these individually, but I decided to group them together because, well, they are all one story, just separated. I also believe that it’s hard to determine whether or not you like one or all of the books until you’ve actually gone through the whole collection. That’s where you come to your conclusion.

Our heroine is Beatrice Prior, a 16 year old girl who lives in a city divided by “factions”. They are:
Abnegation – the selfless (her home faction)
Erudite – the intelligent
Candor – the honest
Amity – the peacekeepers
Dauntless – the brave
When you turn 16, you are tested to see which faction best suits you. Even if you are raised in one faction, you can stay or switch over to another, depending on your strengths. After the test, you attend the choosing ceremony and turn yourself over to your new home…in the city, the saying is “Faction over blood.”

Beatrice faces a problem when she is tested and the results are considered inconclusive. This is because she does not fit into just one faction, but the majority of factions. This makes her divergent, according to their laws.
This is a problem because the divergent are seen as a threat to the faction system…Beatrice must keep her divergence a secret. When it comes time to choose, she picks the Dauntless. She is enthralled by their thrill-seeking and fearless behavior. When going through the faction initiation, Tris (as she is now called) must learn to fight in hand-to-hand combat and with guns, as well as facing her fears in a series of simulations. Her trainer, Four, learns that she is Divergent through her reaction to the simulations. They grow close through this and eventually fall in love. However, the world they know starts to crumble as the threat to the divergence grows stronger and the city erupts in war.

Through the three books, we learn a lot about how and why the factions started, secrets that have been kept for a long time, and how far people will go for what they consider to be freedom.

It should be said that I finished the last book’s final 100+ pages this morning and there were definitely tears.

Overall, I liked this series. And I think I liked it even more as a whole, knowing the whole story from start to finish.
I also liked the final book, which can be tough in a trilogy like this. As much as I love The Hunger Games, I did feel like Mockingjay didn’t live up to the standards of the previous books. Still loved it, but it wasn’t my favorite of the three.
Speaking of The Hunger Games, I feel that you’ll enjoy these books if you enjoyed those.
In the beginning, I felt like I was reading a Katniss knock off, but it turned into it’s own story very quickly.
It should also be noted that the author is only 25 years old.  
Ultimately, I would recommend these. They were intriguing and exciting and heartbreaking.

If Divergent sounds familiar, but you haven’t seen the books in stores, maybe you’ve seen the trailer for the movie?
It will be out next spring.
Plenty of time to read up before it premieres!


Nose in a Book


It’s impossible for me to go onto Goodreads or sift through my Entertainment Weekly without finding a new book to read. If I had all the time in the world (and, let’s face it, I do have quite a bit of time on my hands right now), I’d read all of them all of the time. My list grows every week…adding new books from a variety of genres. I have this thing where I absolutely hate to be without a book. That doesn’t mean I need to have a book on me at all times…I just have to be reading a book. There has to be one waiting for me on the nightstand, a page marked for my return.
And there always ALWAYS has to be one waiting for me after that. It used to be that I would make sure to have one back up on hand, but my love of books (and Amazon) has left me with an overstock of un-read books.
Security blanket books. I have a list of over 100 (and counting) books to read when that stash depletes.

On the top of the pile in that picture is my Kindle, which currently has 9 unread books on it (one of which is Infinite Jest, a 1000+ page book that was a daily deal and I couldn’t turn it down, even though I’ll probably never get around to it). I have had The Heart Broke In since February and haven’t gotten around to reading it. I’m also putting off the Tropper because it’s the only book of his I haven’t read yet, and I’m sad to be without one for an extended period of time.

As I spend my days trying to figure myself out, it’s been really eye-opening to see what makes me me. Growing up, books were my life, but that died down for a while. My love for reading came back with my job at the credit union (9the only good thing to come out of that place for myself, really) and I’m so glad…I have read so many wonderful books and now I have favorite authors. Things that feel kind of adult and wonderful.
I’ve always said I wanted to be a part of a book club….when will I finally take the plunge and do it?

Earlier this year, I made a challenge to read 52 books…a bit outlandish now that I look back at it. It might have worked out, but life happened…things got in the way, motivation was lost, I’d be too tired to read and my normal reading time got cut. Still, I’ve read over 30 books this year and I’m excited to read some more and see the final total (and try another challenge next year!).

If you interested in what I’m reading before I make a post, or to see what I have read or will be reading, check out my Goodreads profile! If you have a profile, come follow me! I love seeing what everyone is reading and loving.




See what I did there? It’s still Fall, but it snowed in NEPA last night. The roads are fine, but it’s super chilly today, so it’s sticking on the trees and grass. I came home from Brad’s to find our gourds covered in snow, and it was the strangest sight. I had to take some photos of this hybrid of seasons to share on the blog!

snow1 snow4 snow3 snow5 snow6

I have a love-hate relationship with snow, but it’s mostly verging on hate (like, 80%). It’s beautiful when it first falls, but it’s freezing, sloppy, a pain in the butt to drive in, and don’t forget the shoveling (not necessary today, but still) and car defrosting/cleaning (which did happen, especially since I left for work before 5 AM this morning).
Still, it’s beautiful for a little while, so I guess I can appreciate that!

Oh, and obligatory adorable Artie shot.


Little Happy Things

I’ll be the first to admit that I experience rough patches way too frequently.
I’d love to blame them on actual problems…I have a few, sure….but mostly it’s just me being anxious about everything.
What I love about life is that the tiniest things, the simplest everyday moments, can turn a crappy situation around.
Here are some that truly make me happy.


I can’t get enough of the way Artie prances, and his shadow is one of my favorite things to snap photos of.


A lovely, slightly chilled breeze as I sit on the porch reading.


A crazy poodle wearing my favorite shirt.


Coffee and a book.


Blobs of nail polish that become nail art.


Cotton candy sunsets.


On Wednesdays…

I mentioned last week that fans of American Horror Story: Coven have changed a classic Mean Girls line to show their fandom.

I die over their black outfits in this picture.

On Halloween, I had absolutely no idea what to wear. But I had so much fun doing all that dark makeup the week before (black lipstick is my new favorite thing ever), that I decided to just wear black from head to toe. My wardrobe is full of color, so this is probably only one of two or three all-black outfits I have. It seemed fitting for Halloween…a bit witchy, a bit lady-in-mourning.
There’s something strangely powerful about being cloaked in black.


AHS photo via Tumblr


Festive Fingers

Now that Halloween has come to an end (sadly), I can finally share some Halloween nails I did over the last month.
I’ve been waiting to do a big photo post for these, it’s much more fun that way!


Perhaps these don’t seem to belong here, but I was largely inspired by the slime look from Elleandish’s Halloween nail tutorial. I think purple and lime green have an awesome, slimy, monster-ish effect. Mostly, though, I was super proud of the way they turned out. I had a few people ask if they were stickers, and even I couldn’t believe I did them. This was my first time doing uniform dots (starting from the middle, lining them up a certain way). Usually I’m willy-nilly. If you do it like this, everyone will think they are nail strips, trust me!


Ahhhh, the black cat nails! I actually don’t care much for cats…they are adorable, but I’m allergic…but I had to do a cat manicure! The base is one of my new favorite colors, Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure in Earl Gray (Funny enough, that’s the name of my best friend’s cat!). Again, I used an Elleandish tutorial to get the shape of the cats down, but I kept it simple with some green eyes for that eerie effect.


I was so excited to do these nails, but I know I’m going to try harder next time. I was proud of the (the base color is gorgeous and the clean up was pretty good, too!) but I wanted the bones a lot thinner and smaller. I wanted a ton of bones, like One Nail to Rule Them All, but you live and learn. I don’t think bones need to stay strictly Halloween, so I will be trying them again!


Pumpkin nails! Very necessary. I love playing with negative space, so I decided to keep my nail naked aside from the pumpkins on the tips. I used a lighter color orange to add a little dimension to the pumpkins. And then, for an accent nail, I did a Jack O’ Lantern!


This is another Elleandish look. Instead of doing stitched tips, I decided to go all Frankenstein’s monster and do a bunch of stitches. The green is another favorite, also Sally Hansen, called Loden Green. I don’t have anything else like it…it’s beautiful! The accent is meant to look like the Bride of Frankenstein’s hair! I think it came out nicely.


Despite the immense amount of time and effort put into these, I forgot about them until I glanced through my photos. SHAME ON ME!
These are sugar skulls, and I used CutePolish’s simple tutorial to achieve the look. The most time consuming part was putting the various colors around the eyes. I’m especially proud of the teeth, which were very easy to do!


My final festive look is a cemetery design, which I did using this CutePolish tutorial, and put the design on each hand. I decided to accent the ring finger with a nice full moon. I adore the dusk gradient (she recommended one purple with pink but I used two for a more drastic and blended look) and the little crosses.

There were so many more designs I wanted to do…who knows, I might still pull them out and make them appropriate, whatever I’m doing.
I had a lot of fun doing all of these…one of the best parts about nail art is celebrating holidays, special occasions, fandom, etc. on your nails!