Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top 20 Reads of 2013

Those of us on the west coast are still waiting for 2014 to ring in. And as I wait, I will quickly finish up this post I've been meaning to put up for the past several days. Let's hope next year involves less procrastination, yeah?

If you read my very-detailed post on everything I read in 2013, then you'll remember that I read nearly 130 books. Because of this relativity large quantity, I'm allowing 20 books to be chosen in this list of Favorite Reads of 2013.

Some notes on this post before I dive in:
  • only new reads of 2013 will be included (this will keep all-time favorites from reappearing on every list)
  • favorites will be split into categories based on genre
  • other than the genre categories, the list is completely at random (i.e. I don't want to make the difficult decision of listing in any other order)

I love making lists such as these. So I hope you enjoy.

**all book cover photos are courtesty of Goodreads

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Year In Books: 2013

The Goliath of reading updates- I present to you, my summary of 2013 in books!

Below, you will find the complete list of books I've read for the last 12 months.

Though I won't be listing my favorites (look for that in a future post!!), the book nerd in me will submerse you in book statistics like you never dreamed possible.

Curious what percentage of books I read were prose vs. graphic novels/comics?
Want to know what genre I read the most of? or what my most read author was>

Keep reading, because this post will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about my reading habits.

Friday, December 27, 2013

December 2013 Reading Update

I can't believe this is the last reading update for 2013.

Time flies by too quickly.

For December. I spent most of this month rereading the entire Harry Potter series, so there wasn't much in terms of other novels.

However, I was able to finish off a few new novels that I have been meaning to read for quite some time.

I'll keep this reading update short and sweet since there are a couple more book posts left to post before the year is up.

As usual, links will be provided.
All photos below are courtesy of Goodreads.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

NOTD: OPI "Cuckoo For This Color" + Glitter

I hope everyone who celebrated had a very happy Christmas. I had a great day, and thought I'd share with you the manicure I sported on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It's not my usual sparkly greens and reds, but I had been wearing sparkly reds all month I had had enough.

Believe it or not, I haven't completely given up on nail polish. I don't post weekly NOTDs like I used to, but I still paint my nails at least twice a week. The manicures have just gotten too repetitive for the internet.

But here I am, with the last NOTD for 2013. I thought it'd be a treat for those of you who like this stuff. And they're too pretty to not let you look at. ;)

The base color I used was OPI "Cuckoo For This Color." Though I've had this color for a couple years now, it hasn't gotten a lot of wear. 2 coats.

The glitter combo is one I've used in past NOTDs.
The first coat of glitter I used was OPI's "Pirouette My Whistle."
The second coat is of China Glaze's "Techno."

And now, the parade of photos.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2014 Book Releases I'm Excited For

While I love reading classics alongside tried-and-true favorites, it's always enjoyable to keep up with what's new in the book world. So rather than do what I did last year and provide a dry list of books I want to read in the upcoming year, I'm going to list new 2014 book releases that I'm excited for.

Some of the following books are sequels to ones I haven't even read the first installments of. That aside, sometimes I like putting off books until the release date of its sequel is nearer so I don't have to wait. So, in my mind, it's still exciting to remember these dates.

As I'm aware I have the tendency to ramble on, I'll stop here.

Links are provided (as usual). All photos are courtesy of Goodreads. Some books I mention don't have their covers and/or titles released yet.

And finally, here is my list of most highly anticipated book releases of 2014, ordered by release dates.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Haul: Black Friday/Cyber Monday

If you've been following my blog for the duration of this year, then you'll probably remember that I tried to give up my intensive book buying by borrowing from the library more. The library has definitely helped to quench my book buying thirst, though I still do buy books (just not in large quantities all at once).

However, with Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales, I couldn't resist but use all the coupon codes available to me.

I try to make "smart" purchases which, in reference to books, are either:

1. books I know I'll want to reread eventually

2. most adored/favorite books (and since they are of that nature, I'll obviously want to reread them)

3. limited edition versions of books

4. books I may want to pass on to future children ;)

5. collector's purposes

Anyway, I have ranted long enough.
Here are the book purchases I've made in the last couple weeks.
I added short descriptions for each book (courtesy of Goodreads) that I cut down to be more spoiler-free.

Friday, December 6, 2013

What to Expect: December 2013

As 2013 comes to a close, there are many posts that I want to get out before the year ends- all of which belong to the book/reading category (apologies to those who only return for the nail stuff).

My mind is continuously racing with what posts I want to get out. I know I want to do another "Favorite Reads" post like I did last year. I would still like to do a monthly reading update solely for December. Also, I wanted to do a cumulative post on everything I have read this year, so you can see the complete list if interested. (Last year I also did a "2013 Reading List" but I probably won't be doing that this year seeing as my actual reading list is neverending and publishing said list would be dry and uninformative.)

Now, that may not seem like a whole lot. But considering I've been barely managing to update once a month, 3 (4 if you count my upcoming book haul) will be a major feat for me. (To imagine I began this year blogging several times a week.) However, I will be on a winter break from work starting mid/late-December so a return to more frequent blogging may be in my future.

Here is how I want to plan out the month:
  • next 1-2 weeks: book haul
  • late December: 
    • December Reading Update
    • Favorite Reads of 2013
    • complete list of books read in 2013

All tentative of course.
Maybe I'll reverse the last two.

I like schedules, lists, planning, and organization if you can't already tell.
Other than monthly reading updates, I have yet to look at all of 2013 as a whole, so I'm quite excited to get started on these posts, and I hope this "What to Expect" post gave you something to look forward to too.

Happy December :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

November 2013 Reading Update

I love November. It's the month when the holiday season begins, families gather, and the weather (in CA) finally gets cooler.

This past month has been another decent month of reading. I don't post as often on this blog anymore, but if there are two things about me that have never and will never change it's that
1. I will always be reading, and
2. I always want to talk about what I'm reading.

So, if you enjoy these monthly updates, fear not, because they are unlikely to stop in the near future.

(This entire reading update is spoiler free and all photos below are courtesy of Goodreads.)

Friday, November 1, 2013

October 2013 Reading Update

It's November! I hope everyone celebrating had a safe and fun Halloween. I, personally, had work yesterday. So I came home, did some Halloween-themed reading and watched the vampire episode of Doctor Who.

I didn't get to as many Halloween-themed books as I wanted this month. But the beauty about Halloween is that it comes every year. So when next year rolls around, I'll have a slew of books to choose from.

This month was mostly composed of 3 different elements:
  • Halloween reads
  • Allegiant!!!
  • reading more books off the longlist for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature
Keep reading to find out which books I loved, which books I didn't, and which ones fell in between. Oh yeah, and no spoilers.

(all photos below are courtesy of Goodreads)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

August & September 2013 Reading Update

Another two-month collaborative reading update!

I apologize for my lack of updates lately. I have no real excuse other than life itself. I started a new job and I find myself much more drained. I'm still adjusting. Hopefully there will be more frequent posts in the future.

For the months of August and September, much of what I read was fairly random. I read some new releases, reread some old favorites, and finished a few books that I've had lying around my room for quite some time.

Enough with the intros. Let's get into the update!

(All photos below are coutesy of Goodreads)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

June & July 2013 Reading Update

So..I skipped my June Reading Update. Not intentionally. About a week into July I realized my mishap, shrugged (the chaos of June didn't allow much reading) and decided I'd just do a collective one for both months.

I've been trying to take charge with my dreams and passions lately and that, in itself, is a full time job. I still squeeze in time for reading, but it's not as much as I was reading before. You can't win at everything, right? Right? Wrong. I try anyway.

Anyway, if you read my May Reading Update then you know I started getting into more graphic novels/comics/manage/etc. I've definitely been incorporating more of that into my reading lately. It's just fun to experience different methods of storytelling. Prose, however, will always be my first and truest love.

On to the reading update!

(The usual: books listed in the order finished, blah blah blah, use links as needed)
*all images below are courtesy of Goodreads

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

NOTD: Butter London "Kerfuffle"

Today's notd is for Butter London's "Kerfuffle." I debated over getting this polish since I thought it too closely resembled one of my favorites, Essie's "Van D'Go." But I have great friends, one of which got me this for my birthday a few weeks back.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

NOTD: Sally Hansen "Plum's the Word"

Hello everyone. Long time, no notds. And generally, in my busy-ness, I still manage to post notds. However, lately, I find myself repeating so many of my old favorites that I've already done reviews for and wearing them for 4-5 days at a time (which is rather long for me). However, let's save any long life updates for a possible future post and get into today's notd.

Today's notd is for Sally Hansen's "Plum's the Word." It's one of the first polishes I ever bought from this line (3+ years ago). As the name suggests its a deep plum color.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

NOTD: Sally Hansen "Barracuda"

Today's notd is for Sally Hansen's "Barracuda." I believe this polish was originally released either last year or the year before. It disappeared before I was able to get my hands on it. But when spring 2013 came around I noticed it reappearing in Targets and Ultas and decided to snatch it up.

"Barracuda" is a creamy baby blue, a very basic color.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

NOTD: MAC "Oriele Orange"

Today's notd is for my second ever MAC polish. I was tempted to get this when it came out last year, but didn't feel it was worth the price. Luckily, on a trip to the cosmetic company store I found this polish at a discounted price!

"Oriele Orange" is a beautiful coral polish with a cream finish.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Polish Comparison: Collective Mint Polishes

Mint nail polishes are one of my weaknesses. When Butter London's "Fiver" was released, I told myself that 6 mint polishes were enough. I did not need a 7th mint polish that retailed for $16. However, I splurged anyway. To make my addiction somewhat useful, I decided to do a collective comparison of all my mint polishes. No two are dupes for one another, though you may find that some are fairly close.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

NOTD: Revlon "Minted"

Today's notd is for my first mint polish ever, Revlon "Minted." It's a very standard mint polish. No blue tones. Cream finish. No grey tones. Not even close to a neon.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

NOTD: Girl On Fire Nails (The Hunger Games Inspired)

I'm very anxious for the release of Catching Fire and on a whim decided to do a Hunger Games inspired manicure. This look is inspired by how Katniss's nails supposedly resembled burning flames and is very, very simple. I've seen some crazy flame nail art out there, but that's far too advanced for me. So, instead, I just did a simple glittered tip that, in itself, resembles the look of rising flames.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

NOTD: Essie "In the Cab-ana"

Today's notd is for Essie's "In the Cab-ana" a polish I had to search long and hard for. It's a beautiful medium sky blue with a nice cream formula.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Book Haul: June 2013

I love book hauls, don't you? The feeling of a new book joining the family. The crisp clean pages and fingerprint-less covers. It's a beautiful thing.

 The library has been a great resource lately,
which has fortunately been subduing my need for purchasing new books. However, if I come across a book I know I'll want to own, the book hoarder in me prefers to purchase it immediately.

As usual, this months haul is filled with books I see myself wanting to read in the future (whether near or far).

 I'll do my usual thing of stating where I bought each and why I chose to purchase these specific books.

Now let's get into the haul.

I included a cover shot of the entire haul so you could get a look at all the pretty covers.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

NOTD: Zoya "Charla"

First thing: yes! A sparkly notd. Second: I apologize for the absence. And while I realize no one is really steaming at the fact that I haven't posted, the apologies are for you (readers) and me both.

Today's notd is for Zoya's Charla. Now, if you have been following this blog since the beginning AND have an amazing memory, then you'll remember that I did a notd for a JulieG polish ("Mermaid's Tale) that I claimed to be a potential dupe for this polish. I had no intention of buying this Zoya polish, but someone gave it to me as a present so I figured I might as well wear it since it is a beautiful color and provide comparison swatches as well.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

NOTD: Butter London "Molly Coddled"

Today's notd is for Butter London's "Molly Coddled." This polish a pretty cool lilac/lavender color.

Monday, June 3, 2013

NOTD: China Glaze "Peachy Keen"

Today's notd is for an older China Glaze polish "Peachy Keen." Peaches are one of my favorite colors to wear for spring. It's the color that's most hard for me to resist from new collection.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

May 2013 Reading Update

May is over. And man is the year passing by quickly.

I normally post these reading updates at the end of the month (as opposed to the beginning of the next) but I've been so busy these past couple weeks I almost forgot about these updates entirely.

This past month has definitely been the most sporadic month in terms of book choices. A large chunk of these books are comics/manga. We also have a couple picture books, a little bit of non-fiction, and of course my old reliable, YA. I can't get through a month without reading some of that YA. It's been a fun month.

As usual, I'll mostly talk about my reactions to each book. If you want a synopsis, use the links.

And without further ado, here are the books I read in May, in the order finished.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Polish Comparison: MAC "Abalone Shell," Sally Hansen "Cafe Au Lait"

Today's nail post is a nail comparison post, which I haven't done in a while. I will be comparing MAC's "Abalone Shell," one of my favorite nude polishes, and Sally Hansen "Cafe Au Lait," which I think is a very close dupe.

I have actually owned "Cafe Au Lait" for almost as long as I have owned MAC "Abalone Shell" (which is what- almost 3 years now?). I let my sister borrow it for a long time and when she gave it back to me I noticed that it really did resemble "Abalone Shell." But since I really don't like the Sally Hansen Salon Manicure line, I threw it into the back of my polish collection and forgot about it.

Since I made the 2013 New Years Resolution to buy less polish, I have been digging through my collection and stumbled across "Cafe Au Lait." I put it next to "Abalone Shell" and was amazed how close the two colors are. Almost dupable from viewing through the bottle.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Book Haul (Library Edition): May 25, 2013

Second visit to the library this month. This time, I really could've used Matilda's wagon.

In my last library haul, I checked out 8 books and was able to finish 5 of them in three weeks. I found it was especially difficult because I also have purchased books that I want to get to as well. This faces me with the dilemma of library due dates versus what I actually feel like reading.

I recently went back to the library and checked out 15 books (plus 1 e-book and 1 dvd).

As I walked out of the library with my plastic bad loaded to full capacity, and several books in arms, I realized I have reached the highest level of book hoarding. There is no way I can finish all 15 (in addition to the ones I renewed from the last haul) in 3 weeks. But I'll admit, when I unloaded the bag on my bedroom floor and spread them all out, I was filled with great zeal at all my choices. I really got a great selection this time and it's going to be so much fun getting to decide which ones get read first.

I'm going to start this haul by including what I renewed/returned from my last book haul.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

NOTD: Essie "Tart Deco"

I think this is the longest I've gone without an update.
Sorry about that! Been really busy yesterday.

But today I have a notd for you. Essie's "Tart Deco" is an old favorite of mine. It's a creamy coral with strong orange and pink tones.

Friday, May 17, 2013

NOTD: Zoya "Stephanie"

Today's notd is for a polish I got from my friend, dafinepolish, for Christmas, Zoya's "Stephanie." The exciting part is that polish name is my name too. (:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Polish Comparison: OPI "Tickle My France-y," Essie "Lady Like," China Glaze "Dress Me Up"

Though I promised a comparison with Zoya's "Neely" with other mint polishes, I seem to not be able to find my Essie's "Absolutely Shore" (the one polish that I really want to compare it to), so I'll have to put that off for now.

Instead, I have another comparison you with a selection of mauve polishes: OPI's "Tickle My France-y," Essie's "Lady Like," and China Glaze's "Dress Me Up."

Monday, May 13, 2013

NOTD: China Glaze "Re-fresh Mint"

Today I have another mint notd for China Glaze's "Re-fresh Mint." I would say that out of all the mints that I own, this one is the truest mint green polish. It's not too bright, too green, too blue, too grey, too anything. It is simply mint.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ruby Oliver Quartet: A Book Series Review

This review contains NO SPOILERS. Enjoy! (:

Today I have for you my first series book review for E. Lockhart's Ruby Oliver Series.
I believe that I first heard about this series through John Green. He mentioned in passing, either in a video, on twitter, or someone other way in which I follow that man. I added it to my "saved items" in my Amazon cart, and there it sat for probably 6+ months. I finally bought it near the beginning of 2013 and read each subsequent book in the series in the following months.

Series: Ruby Oliver Series
Author: E. Lockhart
Book #1: The Boyfriend List
Book #2: The Boy Book
Book #3: The Treasure Map of Boys
Book #4: Real Live Boyfriends
Genre: YA Contemporary/Chick-Lit
Published: 2005-2009
Link: Goodreads

Here's the formatting of this review:
  1. Introductory Comments
  2. Mini reviews for each book (all spoiler-free)
  3. Book standings
  4. Final verdict

So, without further ado, let's get on with this review.


 Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Very short post here, but I've been meaning to do this for quite some time.
Bloglovin is an easy way to follow all the blogs (blogger, tumblr, wordpress, etc) that you enjoying reading.
So you've been enjoying my blog so far you should go follow me on Bloglovin. (:

Happy Sunday.

Follow on Bloglovin

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Book Haul (Library Edition): May 10, 2013

Yes! The library doesn't just supply AC, internet, and DVDs.

If you read my last Book Haul then you know I've been going ever-so-slightly overboard with the book buying. And since I told myself I wouldn't buy any more books in May (which I broke already, but hey, it was a fairly priced first printing international copy of Harry Potter) I thought I should really hit up the library.

When it came to finding what books I wanted to borrow, it was mainly the question of: which books do I need/want in my collection immediately, and which do I not care to own (at the moment)? That became the deciding factor.

I ended up getting quite a lot of YA that I see often but don't know much about (Maureen Johnson and Sarah Dessen), in addition to friend recommendations and children's book.

Oh! I completely forgot to include 1 e-book! It was my first time ever borrowing an e-book on my kindle and it was an overall pleasant experience. I borrowed Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief. Unfortunately, they only allow e-books to be "checked out" for a week. Which just means I'll probably stick to picking shorter/easier reads for my kindle from now on.

Friday, May 10, 2013

NOTD: Zoya "Neely"

Today's notd is for Zoya's "Neely" a light pale green with a slight hint of grey. It's slightly too grey to be mint, yet far lighter and brighter than your standard military green.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Polish Comparison: China Glaze "Tinsel Town" vs. OPI "Metallic 4 Life"

Another polish comparison!
I do these at a fairly slow rate. But I figure there are so many nail bloggers serving as amazing polish comparing resources that my promptness on this matter isn't an utmost necessity.

For today's comparison I have two glitters, China Glaze's "Tinsel Town" from their 2012 Holiday collection and OPI's "Metallic 4 Life" from their Nicki Minaj collection. I'm mostly doing this comparison to debunk the claim my friend, dafinepolish, made that these two polishes are a lot a like. Hopefully it will be helpful to others who think the same as well. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

NOTD: Sally Hansen "Blue Me Away"

Today's notd is for Sally Hansen's "Blue Me Away," a vibrant medium blue. I enjoy this Sally Hansen line quite a lot. Its inexpensive, and all the polishes I have from this line is very opaque.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Thirty Seconds to Die: A Book Review

This review contains NO SPOILERS. Enjoy! (:

**Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author. As always, all opinions are honest and my own.

As the disclaimer read, S.G. Holster gave me a free e-copy of her novel Thirty Seconds to Die. Until then I had yet to hear of this series. But I enjoy new book experiences and plunged right into the book.

(photo source)

Title: Thirty Seconds to Die
Author: S.G. Holster
Series: Thirty Seconds to Die #1
Successor: Terrible Lies (not yet released)
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Pages: 364
Published: January 8, 2013
Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Book description (courtesy of Amazon):

"For Lexi, life had always been - normal. But it only took one moment to change everything. Her life quickly becomes the opposite of normal when Ren Miller moves to the small community where she lives. Mysterious, handsome, and dangerously charming, Lexi discovers Ren is no stranger. They've met before - in another life.

When Ren pulls her into his bizarre world of past lives and secret societies, all bets are off. They become the targets of the Sentori, an ancient, secret society who believes it must protect the sanctity humankind by killing those like Lexi and Ren, those who are reborn.

In an effort to protect Ren from the Sentori, Lexi is forced to enlist the aid of the most unlikely of all allies. Her decision ignites a series of events that lead to a heartbreaking decision and a devastating conclusion.

If your life was all you had to give, wouldn't you give it to save the only person you ever loved?

THIRTY SECONDS TO DIE draws the reader deeply into a story of danger and flight, of love and hate, and of the extraordinary power of the spirit - human or otherwise."

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Book Haul: May 2013

If you read my April Reading Update and remember how I said I would go all of May without purchasing a book, you're probably wondering why I'm posting a haul.

All these books listed are books I purchased within the last week (to week and a half) of April. However, as online purchases usually go, some orders took a while to arrive at my doorstep.

Some purchases are still not scheduled to arrive for a few weeks. But I figured I'd get on with the haul anyway since a significant percentage of them have showed up and I am eager to dive in.

Judging by the pile you can see why I am trying to go all of May without any new purchases (aside from one new release that would only be painful to put off). I have a book buying problem.

Like I did with my April Book Haul, I'll include a photos of the books so you can see their covers as well. I recommend enlarging the photo since there was quite a large number of books to fit in one photo...

Friday, May 3, 2013

NOTD: Butter London "Macbeth"

Today's notd is for Butter London's "Macbeth," a bright red polish with a pink undertone. In the bottle, it seems like a rather ordinary polish, but on the nails its beautiful.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April 2013 Reading Update

Hi everyone.
Another month gone by, another pile of books read.

I always enjoy drawing some sort of theme with monthly reads, but I can't think of much for April.

I did read two books with two individual friends in the book club spirit (a first for me). I've never imagined being able to be part of a book club since my reading can be rather spontaneous and random depending on my mood, but that experience was rather enjoyable. So maybe a theme about sharing experiences...or....yeah I got nothing. Let's just get on with the update.

As usual, I'll list the books in the order finished, followed by my reaction and links if you're interested to learn more. Enjoy!

Monday, April 29, 2013

NOTD: Essie "Turquoise and Caicos"

Today's notd is a tried and true Essie polish, "Turquoise and Caicos." "Turquoise and Caicos" is, as it's name suggest, a turquoise color. The finish neither a true cream finish nor a true jelly finish but a mix of the two. I really enjoy this type of finish on a summer polish. It has a lighter weight look without being too sheer.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Shards & Ashes: A Book Review

There will be NO SPOILERS in this review. Enjoy! (:

After reading Veronica Roth's Divergent and Insurgent I was craving book 3 (Allegiant). So when I heard she would be releasing a short story in this book of dystopian stories, I got very enthusiastically excited. I wasn't only excited for Veronica's story but the fact that there were going to be 9 short stories all catering to the dystopian theme. The review for this book will obviously be different from that of a novel. I'll make it quick by listing my favorite stories and how I felt about the book as a whole.

(photo source)

Title: Shards & Ashes

Veronica Roth, Kelley Armstrong, Margaret STohl, Rachel Caine, Nancy Holder, Melissa Marr, Kami Garcia, Beth Revis, Carrie Ryan

Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian/Paranormal
Pages: 384
Published: February 19, 2013
Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Description (courtesty of Goodreads):

"Gripping original stories of dystopian worlds from nine New York Times bestselling authors, edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong.

The world is gone, destroyed by human, ecological, or supernatural causes. Survivors dodge chemical warfare and cruel gods; they travel the reaches of space and inhabit underground caverns. Their enemies are disease, corrupt corporations, and one another; their resources are few, and their courage is tested.

Powerful original dystopian tales from nine bestselling authors offer bleak insight, prophetic visions, and precious glimmers of light among the shards and ashes of a ruined world.

Friday, April 26, 2013

NOTD: Hard Candy "Sugar Rush"

Today's notd is for Hard Candy's "Sugar Rush."
I've never purchased any Hard Candy polishes before this line came out, but when I saw the Deborah Lippmann Staccato line, I knew my wallet would be happier if I just went with the Hard Candy look-alikes.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Polish Comparison: Revlon "Heavenly" vs. China Glaze "Snow Globe"

I have another polish comparison post for you; this time with glitters.
I will be comparing two iridescent glitters, China Glaze's "Snow Globe" from China Glaze's 2011 Holiday Collection and Revlon "Heavenly" a newer polish from Revlon that is supposedly a dupe for Deborah Lippman's "Stairway to Heaven" (a claim I can neither prove nor refute since I don't own it).

Monday, April 22, 2013

NOTD: OPI "Cajun Shrimp"

So happy to be presenting this polish for today's notd! I don't wear reds often (aside from the winter holiday season) and this used to be my favorite one for summer. OPI's "Cajun Shrimp" is a beautiful coral red. However, the coral component of this polish is subtle enough that it's not too too orange if you're opposed to that.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Escape From Camp 14: A Book Review

This book review contains NO SPOILERS. Enjoy! (:

Escape From Camp 14 is a book I heard about from John. And in discussing Korean historical/current events with my boyfriend, we both decided we would really wanted to read this book together and discuss it as we progressed. We both purchased our copy that exact day and began reading immediately.

My review for this book will be different than usual. Despite it's non-fiction aspect I still will refrain from any spoilers (even though Blaine Harden essentially summarizes it all for you in the beginning anyway). I don't normally review non-fiction so this will be a learning experience for the both of us. I hope you enjoy.

(photo source)

Title: Escape From Camp 14
Author: Blaine Harden
Genre: Non-fiction/Biography
Pages: 205
Published: March 29, 2012
Links: AmazonGoodreads

"I did not know about sympathy or sadness. They educated us from birth so that we were not capable of normal human emotions. Now that I am out, I am learning to be emotional. I have learned to cry. I feel like I am becoming human."

Book description (courtesy of Goodreads):

"North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin's Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped. But Shin Donghyuk did.

In Escape from Camp 14, acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk and through the lens of Shin's life unlocks the secrets of the world's most repressive totalitarian state. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence-he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his own family. Through Harden's harrowing narrative of Shin's life and remarkable escape, he offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world's darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance, courage, and survival.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Polish Comparison: Butter London "Trout Pout" vs. Essie "Cute As a Button"

I haven't done any polish comparisons for quite a while. But I find them quite useful so I'm going to do one today between two colors that I have been rumored to be dupes, Butter London's "Trout Pout" and Essie's "Cute As a Button."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NOTD: Essie "Cute As a Button"

Today's notd is a nice bright polish for spring and summer. Essie's "Cute As a Button" is a bright pink-coral polish. I've had this polish for a couple years. It's never been my favorite, but is one I like to wear occasionally.

When Butter London's "Trout Pout" was released last spring, I was surprised by the amount of people who claimed Essie's "Cute As a Button" was a dupe. They definitely are not. "Cute As a Button" certainly photographs similarly. The camera has a way of subduing its strong pink tones, but in real life it is much much pinker than "Trout Pout."

Monday, April 15, 2013

Eleanor & Park: A Book Review

There are NO SPOILERS in this review. Enjoy! (:

Today's book review is for one that I find to be such a gem in YA literature, Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park. I briefly mentioned this title in my Book Haul and how I was immediately drawn in by the cover, a depiction of two assumed lovers linked by music. I was also intrigued by the quote on the cover that called this book "smart." While "smart" has different meanings to individuals, when it references a book, it conjures the image for me of a book that encapsulates something about reality that so many of us miss. It's smart, not because it makes puns about mathematics or physics, but because it has the uncanny ability to capture (better than a photograph) how people really are with just the use of words. This is what I hoped this novel would be. Keep reading to find how it met my expectations.

(photo source)

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 325
Published: February 26, 2013
Links: AmazonGoodreads

"You look like a protagonist. You look like someone who wins in the end."

Book description (courtesy of Goodreads):

"Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Book Haul: April 2013

Over the past few weeks I have been going crazy (more than normal) with the book buying. I thought it'd be fun to share my insanity so here's my first book haul post. Hope you enjoy!

I purchased all these books within a span of 1.5 weeks. Unfortunately, since I ordered some online and one was shipped at a painfully slow rate,  I already read a couple (I couldn't help myself).

However, aside from 2, the rest are completely new and have not been opened except maybe to read the first paragraph because that's just something I do with all my new books when I purchase them. 

Let's get into the haul!