Friday, October 4, 2013

Things I Loved in September 2013

I can't believe that there are only 3 months left in the year. I have not made nearly enough progress on my New Years Resolutions for it the be the beginning of October already. Unfortunately, my calendar is not lying to me, so here are some of the things I enjoyed this month:

I am in grad school, and I live with my parents in order to save money. I live rent free, but part of the deal is that I have to cook dinner once a week. This recipe is the only one to make multiple appearances on my dinner menu (I think I've actually made it 4 times). When I make it with the chicken, as in the recipe, I buy a pre-cooked rotisserie, shred it, and use that. However, I think I like it even better when I don't use chicken and just include more veggies (personally, I use a frozen carrot, pea, corn, and green bean medley). What's even better, is that it's a big enough recipe to leave me with leftovers for lunch the next day, saving me from yet another sandwich. I wish I'd known this recipe when I was in college, because it's easy, delicious, and still a lot healthier than most of what I was eating back then.

Jack's Mannequin put out fantastic seasonal albums. Everything In Transit is perfect for driving with the windows down in the summer, The Glass Passenger is perfect for fall, and People and Things is my go to album for autumn. Andrew McMahon is my favorite musician, and this album, which was released 2 years ago, is full of beautiful songs. I love singing along to it as I drive to and from work/school. My favorite tracks are "Television," "Amy, I," and "Platform Fire."Also, check out the short films created for each song on youtube.

Fall tv shows are starting up again and, after three episode, I am in love with Sleepy Hollow. As I've mentioned before, I'm a sucker for retellings of famous story, and this is shaping up to be an excellent take on the headless horseman story. It has an eerie but gorgeous setting, complete with an interesting apocalyptic mythology and creepy creatures (which are amazing quality for a tv show). Normally, I shy away from all things horror, but Sleepy Hollow has the perfect amount of scary to keep me on edge without keeping from sleep afterwards. And the best part? That would have to be protagonist Abbie Mills. She's a competent police officer, confronted with the existence of the supernatural (and not for the first time). Abbie is complex, a compelling mixture of strength and vulnerability that you don't get to see in a lot of ladies on tv. I'm excited to watch see more of her, especially in terms of her past relationship with father-figure Sheriff Corbin, and in future interactions with her sister, Jenny.

Crown of Midnight is the second book in Maas's Throne of Glass series. It tells the story of Celaena Sardothien, an assassin in a realm where the king has completely done away with magic. Celaena spent a year as a slave in a mine, which she had been sent to for an unsuccessful murder attempt. I can't tell you much more than that without giving away the plot of the first book, but I'll tell you a few of the elements I enjoyed. The world Maas has created is very vivid, and the circumstances regarding the disappearance of magic are revealed in an intriguing way. Celaena is a well developed protagonist, with realistic skills and faults. She has a grim job, but certainly enjoys the finer things in life. Her job as an assassin doesn't bog her down in darkness, although she has her own demons. She has loved and lost, and that has a huge impact on her mindset and actions in the books. The romance angle within the books is handled very well, with no one shaming Celaena for her past relationships. There is a love triangle, which I normally hate, but it's executed well, in a way that doesn't hurt the characterization of any of its participants. I will now be anxiously awaiting the third book in the series.

All About Me is a bright pink lipstick that adds the perfect pop of color for my work outfits. It goes on smooth and even, isn't too drying and lasts well on the lips. I usually touch it up once after lunch and again at the end of the work day, if I have plans for later. The Convertible Colors are hands down my favorite cream blushes (I own 4), as they aren't too shiny on my oily skin, are easy to blend, and last all day. Gerbera is a very subtle peachy color, which always pairs well with my beauty staple, the bold lip. Finally, I'm pretty sure that there's some sort of magic inside Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray (which I mentioned purchasing in my first ever blog post). My hair is thick, heavy, and prone to being dragged down by its own weight. This spray gives it so much volume, without sacrificing movement. It gives me perfect second day hair, reviving my curls which have usually been flattened by a good night's sleep. I know it's expensive, but I'm so in love with it that I won't be hesitating to repurchase it when my travel size bottle runs out.

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