Friday, December 6, 2013

Lust List: Christmas Gifts for My Parents

I really struggle with buying gifts for my parents. It's not super difficult to find something for my mother, but Christmas is also her birthday, so finding two presents at the same time can be a bit much. And my Dad has pretty much always been impossible to shop for. He doesn't give any clues, and while he collects stamps, he always puts a specific list together and my mother buys those for him. So I tend to get my parents repetitive gifts. My sister and I usually split the cost on some sort of sentimental piece of jewelry for my mother, and then I panic on the second gift until she tells me what she wants. And then I buy my father some sort of desk tchotchke, but he's specifically told me he doesn't want one of those this year. After scouring the internet for what felt like forever, I think I've finally picked out gifts for both of my parents, but here's some of the other stuff I was considering.

For Mom
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Cozy Robe     $24.99 (5 additional colors)
Peacock Pill Box     $12
Wire Art Tree     $20
Knitting Bowl     $36
Ceramic Cup     $26

For Dad
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Charlie Brown Shirt     $19.99
Antique Map Paper Cup     $19.95
Apple Paperweight     $18.95

My sister and I already purchased the bracelet set for my mother (as well as another bracelet from the site), and I'm trying to convince my sister to go for the candle holder as well. I bought the vintage baseball for my father a couple of Christmases ago, and he loved it. This year, I'm probably going to go with the teacher nutcracker (my father is a teacher, you'd be surprised how hard it is to find teacher nutcrackers that are men).

Monday, December 2, 2013

Things I Loved in November 2013

I'm having a very hard time accepting the fact that it's December. I feel like this year has just flown by so fast. I have made virtually no progress on my New Year's Resolutions, which is disappointing. But I have managed to start graduate school, which means that this year is automatically more successful that 2012. At least I have that. Hopefully, December is fairly kind to me (and limited in the snow department until I'm done with classes for the semester). I'll probably be spending the month with family and watching my bank account drain as I attempt to buy everyone's Christmas presents. But this post is about November, not December. November was fairly low-key to me. I spent a lot of time on the computer (just like every other month, really), but I did manage to get up to Buffalo to visit my two best friends. I also had some great discoveries!

I made three different things for Thanksgiving dinner, but this fruit dip was definitely the biggest hit. Even my cousins children (who are always picky eaters) devoured it. It's also incredibly easy to make, all you do is measure out three ingredients and mix them together with a spoon. In addition to the apples recommended at the source, I put out strawberries and bananas for everyone to dip into it as well. Personally, I though the bananas went best with it, but I had multiple servings of each fruit.

The Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell
This is the second book in Mitchell's The Vespertine trilogy. I thought the first book was great, but this one is my favorite so far. It focuses on a characters introduced in the first book, as she recovers from tragedy and moves to a frontier town in Oklahoma to help her aunt. Much like the first book, it contains magic and romance, but I especially loved watching the main character develop. If you like historical fiction and fantasy, you should definitely check it out.

I have no shame in admitting that I love a good boy band. And Big Time Rush is definitely my favorite. There music is so much fun. I've been listening to in the car lately, and it's a great way to beat the freezing cold early mornings when I drive to work. And the freezing cold darkness when I leave work at night.

Agents of SHIELD premiered to huge numbers a few months ago, but had a bit of a hard time finding its footing. I've been watching since the premiere, and it definitely gets better with each episode. After episode 6, things start to get really good. At this point, I've completely fallen in love with this show, and I spent a lot of time talking to friends about it. In fact, my interest may have reached the point where fan fiction is involved.

I was fully prepared to rant to you about how much I love AoS, and leave it at that. But about 10 days ago, a friend finally talked me into checking out Haven, which airs on SyFy here in the US. I marathoned all 50 of the currently aired episodes in 8 days, and now I'm anxiously awaiting the start of it's two-part season finale. It's a great fantasy show, and I love all of the characters so much. You should definitely give this show a try, seasons 1-3 are currently up on Netflix. You won't regret it.

Like I said earlier, I flew up to Buffalo to visit friends earlier this month. And, in general, Buffalo is really cold. So the night before I left, I ducked into Target and bought a pair of cheap gloves. These aren't incredibly warm, but they do really well for their $3 price tag. And they have the special tips that allow you to use your phone/iPod without taking them off. And they're small enough that my tiny hands actually fit into them properly. All in all, a very useful purchase.

I have really oily skin, which is naturally prone to acne. And ever since I started using this cleanser, my skin has been the best its ever been (aside from when I was taking pills for acne... maybe). I'm so happy with this product (and all of the REN skincare items I've tried). I did go through my first bottle of it very quick, though, so I'm trying to be a little more careful with the second.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Lust List: My Christmas Wishlist

As a rule, I like to have my Christmas wishlist done by November 25th. I find that it gives my parents a decent amount of time to actually shop for the presents (although considering the fact that most of my wishlist comes from online stores these days, that's not much of an issue) and there's usually a good stock of winter items in store by that time. Also it means that, when Black Friday rolls around, we can take advantage of any deals the stores are offering (and I certainly have; most of my Black Friday shopping was completed shortly after midnight). This year, I gave myself a few rules: 1) No makeup (I did some serious damage at the Sephora VIB sale earlier this month) 2) Try to keep the clothes I ask for work appropriate (even though that seems like the only type of clothing I buy these days). I successfully stuck to those rules. My wishlist this year was actually pretty small (4 total items), because I'm trying to allow myself some room to be surprised (I've always been the kid who snoops for presents, and knowing my mother's email password makes it so easy to find the online receipts these days), so I threw in some of the presents I bought myself from the Black Friday sales.

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Knit Sweater in Dark Gray     $34.95 (3 more colors)
Luck Be A Lady Dress in Avian     $74.99 (I bought one of their other prints, which has since sold out)
Rib Collar Biker Coat     $127.14 (marked down from $170.12)
Urban Developer Top     $47.99
Wool Pencil Skirt in Cabernet    $44.50 (4 more colors)

Just a note about the Black Friday/Cyber Monday discounts I used to buy some of these:
Asos: 20% off everything thru 5AM EST 12/2 with the code "gimme20"
H&M: free shipping on order $50+ thru 11/30 with the code "1088"
J. Crew Factory: 50% off all orders $50+ and free shipping with the code "holiday50"
Madewell: 25% off all orders thru 11:59PM EST 12/2 with the code "feast 25"
Modcloth: Hundred of new items marked down to 50% off (see their sale section) thru 9PM PST 12/1

***I also asked for membership to two local library associations (I'm in grad school for Library Science). And I totally broke my own no makeup rule and bought the Stila Lip & Cheek Palette and the   TokyoMilk Dark Set from the Sephora Black Friday deals.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Book List: Novels in Verse

If you're looking for a quick read, novels in verse are a good thing to look into. When I was in high school, I was really into reading as many books as possible. And I went through a phase where I was reading so many novels in verse, because I could get through two, or even three of them in a day. My reading pace has slowed down substantially since then, but I still do enjoy a good novel in verse.

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Who Will Tell My Brother? by Marlene Carvell
Splintering by Eireann Corrigan
Keesha's House by Helen Frost
Split Image by Mel Glenn
Things Left Unsaid by Stephanie Hemphill
Street Love by Walter Dean Myers
Boris by Cynthia Rylant
Jinx by Margaret Wild

Friday, November 22, 2013

Lust List: Jewelry for Christmas

When it comes to jewelry, I do a lot of online window shopping, but not a lot of actually purchasing. In fact, despite probably having hundreds of jewelry items bookmarked across multiple websites, I've probably only worn 4 different pieces of jewelry in the last year (a watch, a necklace and two brooches). Still, I love looking at the stuff. More than clothes or makeup, there's just so much interesting and different jewelry out there. I wish I was better at remembering to put on the jewelry I do own.

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Royal Gem Cuff Bracelet     $28 (7 colors)
Hard Time Watch     $39.99
Bow Link Bracelet     $28 (3 colors)
Mini Book Pin     $12.49 (8 colors, I own this in yellow)
Crown Ring     $58

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lust List: Christmas Gifts for My Sister

As the winter holidays draw closer, I've decided to throw gift lists into the mix more frequently. So both this blog and the next blog will be Lust Lists. Right now, I'm trying to figure out what I want to get for my younger sister. She's 20 and extremely difficult to shop for, half because she and I have such different taste, and half because she refuses to give me the slightest hint as to what she wants for Christmas. So here are some of the possibilities. Personally, I'm leaning towards #3.

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Knit Sweater     $19.95

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Book List: Science Fiction

I know that the science fiction and fantasy genres have a tendency to be grouped together. But while I've always been a huge fantasy reader, I've never read much science fiction. I think that's going to change. At this point, I'm really into three different science fiction tv shows (Arrow, The Tomorrow People, and Agents of SHIELD), so I should probably expand my book reading to match. Here's what I've enjoyed, let me know if you have any recommendations!

The Future of Us by Jay Asher
Matched by Allie Condie
Karma Girl by Jennifer Estep
Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Hero by Perry Moore
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
I Was a Teenage Popsicle by Bev Katz Rosebaum
Altered by Jennifer Rush

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lust List: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Etsy Picks)

It snowed this morning, so I'm in the Christmas mood (despite Thanksgiving still being weeks away). And that means I've been browsing Etsy for the best in Christmas themed decor and other items. I should probably get started on my present shopping soon (keep an eye out for some future gift-themed Lust Lists), but first I need to deck the halls (and possibly my body).

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Reindeer Brooch from solitttimeco     $33.37

All I need now is a festive sweater (and maybe some hot chocolate) and I'll be ready for Christmas

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Postcard Habit

I collect postcards. I fell into the hobby a few years ago when an internet friend mentioned the website It allows you to send and receive postcards from other users around the world. I've since joined their forum, which allows you to set up private swaps, and participate in other postcard-trading activities. It's been a little over three years since I started collecting and I should hit the 2,000 card mark by the end of the year. I used to post my cards on my tumblr account, as I received them. But I've gotten really bad at scanning them in a timely manner, so I'm usually scanning close to 50 cards in one go. But here are some of my favorites.

*Note: All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them

I collect UNESCO World Heritage Site cards. I think it's really cool way to learn more about history. And some of the natural sites are so gorgeous.
Ayutthaya, Thailand & Salvador de Bahia, Brazil

My childhood love of fairy tales has definitely lead to a love for postcards with castles and palaces. The fact that they're a rarity in the US doesn't hurt.
The Winter Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia & Schloss Neuschwanstein, Germany

As a future librarian, I'm also a huge fan of library and book-related postcards:
Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland & Kremsm√ľnster Abbey Library, Austria

I can't resist the cuteness of Korean Jetoy cards and Russian Kotovasiya cards. They appeal to me so much, as a cat lover.
Kotovasiya & Jetoy

We're now approaching my favorite time of the year for postcards. I love all the different varieties of Christmas-themed cards, but my absolute favorites are photos of cities and towns lit up for the holidays, and the gorgeous Christmas markets of Europe.
Christmas Market in Vienna, Austria & a postcards shaped like a reindeer

Of course, the thing that gets me the most excited is seeing a postcard in my mailbox from a new country. I've got pretty much all of the common ones at this point, but the rare ones get me really excited.

Faroe Islands & Iraq & Valparaiso, Chile & Georgetown, Guyana

My full collection can be seen here.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Book List: My Favorite Realistic Fiction

While the fantasy genre is where I spend most of my reading time, I do enjoy a lot of realistic fiction. It's also a great place to start if you're not much of a reader. No one's asking you to engage in any major suspension of disbelief, like with books that have magic, or dragons, or superheroes, or advanced technology, or the complete dissolution of the United States government. So I thought it would be a good idea to do a basic list of my favorite realistic fiction books. I'll probably do other lists that get more specific within the genre, but for now this is a good place to start.

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Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande
The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones
Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lust List: Cardigans and Sweaters

Cardigans and sweaters are another cold weather favorite of mine. Well, cardigans are a year round favorite, since I tend to run cold and they're so great for layering. As someone with a full-time office job, I tend to stick to more work appropriate styles, which usually means solid color cardigans and more fitted sweaters,  but I do love an oversized sweater for the weekends (they keep me out of the ratty old hoodie I usually wear on my down time). This season's offerings are really great, I had a hard time narrowing this list down.

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Airport Greeting Cardigan in Forest     $54.99 (4 more colors)
Front Pocket Cardigan     $21.99 (on sale from $38, available in more colors, petite, and tall)
Lightweight Boyfriend Cardigan     $24.99 (on sale from $29.95, available in more colors)
Anaheim Sweater Wrap     $54
Tie-dyed and True Cardigan     $59.99
Borrowed-From-The Boys Cardigan in Cocoa     $29.80 (also available in wine)

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Yellow Stripe Crew Neck Sweater     $29 (available in more colors/prints, tall)
Cable-knit Striped Sweater     $44.99 (also in black/white stripe)
3/4 Sleeve Cable Sweater     $29 (available in more colors)
Gamine Sweater    $74 (available in more colors)
Essential Multi-Knit Sweater     $24.80 (also in gray & ivory)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Things I Loved in October 2013

October was good to me. I got a lot of mileage out of minimal spending, which is always a good thing. I spent a lot of evenings plopped in front of my tv, fall 2013 seems to have a lot of good shows. My weekly cooking ventures went better than I anticipated. They opened a Target in my town, which did not disappoint when I went to check it out a couple of weeks ago. Work is going well, school is going well, and I planned a trip to visit friends from college in a couple of weeks. So here are some of the (many) things I enjoyed this month!

This Simple Chicken & Dumplings Recipe
Cooking makes me nervous. I'm always afraid I'm going to screw things up horribly. And I was extra terrified while making this recipe, because I was expecting there to be more liquid in it than ended up in my pot. But everything turned out fine, and both of my parents enjoyed this as much as I did. I substituted cream of chicken soup for the creamy chicken mushroom soup, and corn and green beans for the peas and carrots (my mother hates peas and I hate carrots), and it was fantastic. It tasted so much like the chicken and dumpling meal sets my father used to get from the grocery store. And I'm sure it was a lot healthier.

CrockPot Caramel Apple Cider
The only thing I ever really get from Starbucks is their Caramel Apple Spice, and for some reason it's not on the menu this year (I've been told multiple times that they have all the ingredients in stock, so I can order it regardless, but that still makes me nervous). So I've been looking for a good replacement recipe. This one is delicious, if not exactly the same. The cinnamon taste is much stronger and the caramel taste is much weaker, but I still loved it. And I figure that, with a little experimentation, I can get closer to my preferred taste. I made this for my parents last week, and my mother has now decided that I'll be making it for our extended family on Thanksgiving. So I'd definitely call it a hit.

Atlas Genius
A couple of weekends ago, I went to an Atlas Genius concert with my friend Katie. We saw them open for Imagine Dragons a few months prior and thought they were fantastic. And it turns out their headlining show was even better. So you should take a listen to their songs on youtube and maybe pick up their album.

Bad for Me by Megan & Liz
You might remember this song from the Macy's commercial that aired last year. I thought it was really catchy at the time but didn't end up downloading it until I saw it in another commercial recently, this time for Audi. I had it stuck in my head for days after I downloaded it and it's an excellent addition to my workout playlist. Watch the video for it here.

Never Mind the Buzzcocks
I wish I could say that my favorite British TV show was something critically acclaimed or classy or cult. But it's not. It's Never Mind the Buzzcocks, a music-themed quiz show. The show is currently in it's 27th season, and I've seen all the episodes starting with season 19. It's hilarious and fun, and I say this despite the fact that I have no idea who the celebrity guests are half the time, much less what the answers to most of the questions at home. I can tell you, that I would do horribly on this show because I have never been able to correctly guess any of the songs from the Intros Round. Still, I find myself watching it on YouTube every week.

Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce
Unsurprisingly, my favorite book this month was Tamora Pierce's Battle Magic. Like I've said, Pierce has been my favorite author for over a decade, and I anxiously await each of her new releases. This book was set in her Emelan universe and follows the story of Rosethorn, Briar, and Evvy, who we've seen in her previous books. It follows the trio on the tail end of their world travels, in the lands of Gyonxe and Yanjing, where they get caught in the middle of a brewing war. I really liked getting to see Rosethorn's point of view this time around, as we've never gotten to see things through her eyes. It was yet another wonderful, wonderful story from Tamora Pierce, and I cannot recommend her books highly enough.

Lucky Brand Unitas Lace Front Booties
I bought my first real pair of heels during my Junior year of college. They were a simple pair of black oxford booties with a 2.5 inch heels. I wore them on my first date (with jeans and an argyle sweater, in case you were wondering) and they were my go to shoe for my first year of post-college employment (when you wear a 28" inseam, most of the time you need a pair of heels with even the petite leg work pants). But with plenty of tears in the leather and heel so worn down I could feel the unevenness when I stood in them, it was definitely time to replace them. So when a coupon arrived for 25% off any Lord & Taylor purchase, I decided to finally get new pair of black suede booties I have eyeing. These are so comfortable, they don't rub anywhere. The heel is a bit higher than my old pair (3.25 inches), but still easy to walk in. I don't think I could go much higher than this, though. They also come in oliver suede and brown leather.

TopShop Lips in Beguiled & Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate in 107
Now that it finally feels like autumn, I've been breaking out my autumn colored lipsticks. Both of these are gorgeous burgundy colors. Beguiled is just a tag more purple and 107 is a bit more red. It spent a lot of time tracking down 107 (I ended up buying mine in London, while I was on vacation, but Walgreens seems to have it), and it was definitely worth the effort. I already know I love the TopShop lipsticks, but I can't wait to try out more of Rimmel's Lasting Finish line.

Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo & Conditioner
I bought these in travel size for my vacation in August and I absolutely loved them. They leave my hair feeling so soft. They manage to tone down my frizz while still giving my hair volume. Also, it leaves me hair feeling so clean. I switched back to my old favorite shampoo and conditioner a few weeks ago, and it doesn't even compare to this. I'll definitely switch back to Living Proof, maybe even before my current bottles run out. I'm definitely looking forward to trying more of their products.

And that's the cream of the crop from October. Hopefully I'll find just as much great stuff in November (and I'm looking to try out a bunch of great Thanksgiving recipes). What have you been loving this month?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Book List: My 5 Most Anticipated Releases for November & December

The list of books I'm anticipating for November and December is shorter than it was for September and October. And that's a good thing, considering the fact that my to-be-read list is piling up. I've only managed to get to one book from September/October list (and it will shock no one that is was Tamora Pierce's latest offering), but I'm going to get to them soon. I promise. Unless I get my hands on one of these books first, then who knows what will happen. This set of books includes another favorite author, and a few books that I've added to my list in an attempt to expand my horizons. The exciting news for you guys is that only one of these is a continuation of a series. So here we go:

Technically Cold Spell, which comes out November 5th, is the fourth book in Jackson Pearce's Fairytale Retelling series. But as far as I can tell, while those books are connected in theme, they can each stand alone. Cold Spell is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Snow Queen (Disney is releasing their adaptation of this story, Frozen, a few weeks after this books is released). One of the great things about the original fairy tale is that, unlike a lot of the most popular ones, it the female protagonist does most of the hero-ing. It's the story a girl rescuing her childhood friend, who has been taken by the titular Snow Queen. I'm very excited to see how this is adapted, because I can't recall coming across any other versions of it, despite my many ventures in the fractured fairy tale genre.

As I've previously mentioned, it doesn't make much for a book to turn me into a sobbing mess. And there are few themes that turn me into an emotional wreck as much as cancer stories. Therefore, I'll probable save The F- It List by Julie Halpern for a day when I don't have to worry about getting hysterical at my work desk. Coming out November 12th, it's the story of two estranged friends who, after one of them is diagnosed with cancer, come to together to complete her bucket list. I love stories that are mainly about friendship, so I might even risk the tears at work for this one.

Generally speaking, I'm not much of a science fiction reader. I've always stuck mostly to fantasy books, with a decent amount of realistic fiction as well. In the last couple of months, I've made it a goal of mine to broaden my reading horizons, both in terms of types of characters and genres. And science fiction seems like a promising way to do this (as opposed to the horror genre, which I will probably never be able to read. I'm a huge scaredy cat). December 10th is the release date for Amie Kaufman's These Broken Stars, which tells the story of two people from different walks of life who's spaceship crash lands on another planet. Together, they try to find a way off the planet but even if they do, they won't be the same people who landed there.

December 10th is also the release date for Tammer Stein's Spoils. Leni's family one the lottery when she was a child, and managed to go blow through all that money before she turned 18. Now all that remains in the large trust fund she'll inherit on her upcoming birthday. But before she can give that money to her parents, Leni's sister lets her in on a big secret that could destroy the whole family. Leni needs to fix things, but she's not sure how. I'm really excited for the family aspect of this book. A lot YA books downplay the importance of family, so I'm glad to see one where the major focus is on family.

Finally, December 31st sees the release of Taste of Darkness, the final book in Maria V. Snyder's Healer trilogy. In the few years since I started reading Snyder's books, she's become one of my favorite authors. She comes through on my favorite story elements of richly developed fantasy worlds and well-developed female characters. If you're a fan of Tamora Pierce, you should definitely check out her books. You won't be disappointed.

And that's it. Those are my most anticipated books for the rest of the year. I can't believe we're so close to the end of the year. I did not put a big enough dent in my reading list and there are so many exciting books coming out next year. I'm really looking forward to it. So tell me, what are you hoping to read between now and the end of the year?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Lust List: Dresses & Tights

My go-to outfit for the fall and winter is a dress and tights. I work in an office that tends to run cold, no matter how much I play with the thermostat so the tights are a necessity, even if I'm only out in the elements for all of two minutes moving between the house or office and my car. My dress collection is always expanding, and dresses are always on my list of things I need more of. I'm a sucker for the fit and flare style, as it's so flattering on my straight up and down body, but I'm hoping to expand a bit beyond that in the coming months (knowing me, that means buying 1 dress in a different style and whole bunch that are the same). Fortunately, the variety of dresses on my favorite shopping sites is never really low. Or unfortunately, if you consider my bank account!

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White Pout Dress     $115
I Dusk Be Off Dress     $109.99
Deep Space Diver Dress     $54
Everyday Valentine Dress     $69.99
Mono Stripe Skater Dress     $35.60
Pansy Print Dress     £34
Sunnyside Up Dress     $59.29
Sleeveless Dress     $49.95
Splash Dyed Hand Painted Tunic     $62
Theater Printed Midi Dress     $41.92 (marked down from $42.50)

When it comes to tights I tend to prefer solid and opaque pairs, but some of these are subtle enough that I'm tempted by them. And of course, with temperatures dropping, they need to be warm. My favorites are the Tights for Every Occasion (top row, third pair) from ModCloth, which I own in navy, dark gray, and red. Surprisingly, I don't own a plain black pair of tights, so those will probably be included in my next ModCloth purchase.

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Ribbed Cable Tights in Gray     $12.90
Ombre Tights in Blue/Black     $40 ($47 plus size)
Tights for Every Occasion in Black     $14.99 (more colors available)
Velvet Floral Leggings in Navy Blue     $16.99-18.99
Classic Tights in Olive     $5.80
Paris Skyline Tights Plus Size     $14.24
Cozy Collaborating Tights     $17.99
Opaque Tights Plus Size in Coral     $6.80
Polka Dot Tights in Caramel     $12.99
Burgundy Tights Plus Size     $10.68

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Happy List

This post isn't going up until Wednesday, but I'm currently typing it out at 11:30 AM on Sunday. Normally I don't work weekends, but I decided to cover for the weekend girl in order to compensate for a day I'm taking off in a couple of weeks. I'm excited for that day off, but it's not making today any easier to get through, especially with the knowledge that I'll be working 6 days in row, as opposed to my usual 5. So I figured today would probably be a good day to list all the things that make me happy. I'm going to need it to get through the next 5 and a half hours.

  • when no one is in the office and I can watch YouTube videos or listen to music
  • waking up to discover I still have a few hours until my alarm goes off
  • Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks (I just tried a similar homemade version and it was not up to snuff)
  • freshly laundered sheets and pajamas
  • petting dogs and cats
  • finishing a run without feeling like I'm about to keel over and die
  • blog comments and tumblr ask messages (sorry, I couldn't resist)
  • when someone tells me that they saw/hear/read something that reminded them of me
  • long naps
  • ordering clothes online that end up fitting me perfectly
  • when something you worked really hard on gets good feedback or a good grade
  • my new paycheck being deposited to my back account
  • wrapping up in a million blankets and reading in bed
  • when our electricity came back on after Hurricane Sandy
  • visiting friends from out of town (or having friends from out of town come visit)
  • running on the beach (when it's not insanely hot)
  • traveling to new places
  • when bands I love release new albums
  • going to concerts
  • train travel through the countryside
  • making lists
  • crossing things off of my lists
  • a long, hot bath after coming in from the cold
  • getting something in the mail
  • the smell after it rains
  • not having to set alarm for the next morning
  • falling asleep during a storm
  • when something i've had my eye on goes on sale
  • getting compliments
  • Thanksgiving dinner
  • Intense discussion of television and books
  • airports (not to be confused with actual airplane flights)
  • cozy sweaters
  • New York pizza
  • bagels breakfasts at the office
What would you put on your happy list?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Book List: Adult Department

When it comes to my reading choices, I'm guilty of sticking mostly to young adult books. They're such great reads and they don't deserve the bad rap they sometimes get. Still, I could benefit from expanding my reading choices. And I have been. This year the number of adult books I've read has increased greatly, and things have been a bit more varied that what I read from young adult (look, there's even a non-fiction book). And I've loved nearly all of the ones I've read, which is probably a sign that there's a lot out there for me to enjoy. These are some of my favorites:

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The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
Karma Girl by Jennifer Estep
Daughter of Troy by Sarah B. Franklin
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
The Greedy Bastard Diary: A Comic Tour of America by Eric Idle
Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers
Enchantment Place edited by Denise Little
Graveminder by Melissa Marr
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Stray by Rachel Vincent

I'm trying to expand on the genres, departments, and characters that I read. I think I've been stuck in a bit of a rut for the last couple of years. So let me know what you're currently reading, I'd love to check it out.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lust List: Autumn

It's the middle of October, which means it's technically been autumn for nearly a month. But summer seemed desperate to stick around as long as possible, so it hasn't felt like fall until recently. We've had a few chilly days here on Long Island, but it always seems to bounce back to warm. Hopefully the chill we have now sticks around for a while (and doesn't flip immediately the freezing). In honor of the cooling temperatures, I've rounded up some of my autumnal items from some of my favorite online shops.

Mono Striped Shirt     $64.07
Draped Skirt     $29.95

Fox Mittens     $46
Achillea Bag     $39.98 (marked down from $55)
Puddle Reflection Heel     $59.99 (I own these and they are my favorite shoes in my collection)

What are you looking to buy for autumn. I'm trying to stick to cute dresses and tights, which I actually need more of, but somehow I always end up purchasing more booties. Also, where are your favorite places to shop online?