Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The perfect printed sundress

Express sundress / Target sandals (old, similar) / straw hat (similar) / Baublebar bangle (old, similar) / Shopbop rings here and here / American Eagle denim jacket / Smith sunnies / Rimmel by Kate lipstick in No. 08

Insert happy dance here because this is my first outfit post in two months! Yay! I'm happy to report that I've been back to two regular shoes for about a month now post-surgery, and it's been great. I still can't wear heels, and my right foot is still too swollen to wear some of the cute new shoes I've bought this year — the surgeon said swelling could last for up to 3 months :( — but I'm just happy to have two functional feet again! Anyway, on to the dress...

How fun is this print? I love sundresses, and I've been trying to bring in more colors to my wardrobe this year, so when I saw this dress at Express for 40 percent off, it was a no-brainer. I wanted to keep the accessories simple and let the dress do the work, so I wore tan sandals and dainty gold jewelry and even kept my makeup neutral with a dusty pink lipstick (one of my favorites!). The hat was a fun addition too because, in my opinion, you can't go wrong with a sundress and straw hat combo for summer. I love how simple and easygoing this dress is, yet it was still perfect for the office with a denim jacket over it. And I think it'll be a great transition piece for fall — you can just add ankle boots and the jean jacket for a fun cooler-weather look! 

How do you like to accessorize your sundresses?

Monday, June 29, 2015

An easy way to work out anywhere

It seems weird to do a workout post on a Monday — the hardest of all days to work out, if you ask me — but since we're in the midst of wedding and bikini seasons, I figured now's the time to do it! Plus, I started a new workout regimen a couple weeks ago, and I'm really happy with the progress I've made and my ability to (mostly) stick to it. The hard part with working out in the summer for many people is finding time to do it while traveling or even on vacation, so I wanted to share a new exercise trick I've picked up recently to solve that problem.

I came across this trick while I was looking for new workouts one day a while back. Caitlin of Southern Curls and Pearls wrote about using a deck of cards to create a new and random workout routine every time — so you won't get bored even if you do it several days in a row! Just pick an exercise for each number and go through the deck, performing each one as its corresponding card comes up. Smart, right?

I decided to give it a try recently since I've been dying to work out, but I'm still slightly limited as to what I can do after my foot surgery. (So far, my workouts have ranged from weight lifting to walks to at-home workouts like this one.) This way I can do all the exercises I like (and that won't bother my foot) and still get a good sweat. I created a list of the workouts and card numbers on my phone so I didn't forget or do the wrong ones, which was really helpful. It's turned out to be the perfect compromise for when I want to work out but don't have access to the gym. And it's fun because you never know what's coming next :)

What are your favorite workout routines? Do you have any tips for getting a good workout at home? I'd love to hear them!

P.S. healthy water bottles, the Express One Eleven collection and what kind of workout shoes do you wear?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Wandering the Web: have a fabulous weekend!

wandering the web links miscelenious

Is it just me, or did this week absolutely FLY BY? I feel like I'm just trying to remember what I did each day. But I'm just happy the weekend is here. We're planning to head out to a winery tonight for live music, snacks and (of course) wine — just as long as the vineyard isn't under water...they got about 7+ inches of rain this week!

I've been taking more OOTD photos for the blog, so stay tuned for more of those posts in the upcoming weeks/months! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend, and here are some fun links from this week...

1. 10 popsicle recipes to try this summer. (The Kitchn)

2. These beautiful braids make me wish I had long hair again — and a personal stylist! (Byrdie)

3. Famous women on the best advice they've received. (The Cut)

4. The inspiring story behind Baked By Melissa's adorable bite-size cupcakes. (Cosmopolitan)

5. How to make notepads with your own photos at home. (A Beautiful Mess)

6. Secrets from a former airline attendant. (Refinery 29)

7. Edible sprinkle bowls! (This Heart of Mine)

8. Which group do you belong to? (2 Kinds of People via Apartment Therapy)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fourth of July style

There are so many fun ways to dress up for the Fourth of July — whether you're spending the day on the lake or throwing a party or having a picnic, you can create something fun for any scenario. The truly fun part is playing with colors: you can use one color on its own or accessorize with two of them or use all three! The options for Independence Day style really are endless.

For me, I tend to go the more casual route on July 4th, so I really love these striped espadrilles and the rope necklace. They have a fun nautical look that would be perfect for the boat or a picnic, and for fireworks later, of course! As for the dresses, the white embroidered option would be adorable for the holiday, but it's also neutral enough to transition to regular day-to-day wear.

What do you like to wear for the Fourth of July?

P.S. chic sandals, summer tote bags and swimsuits for every budget

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Favorite summer nail colors Vol. 1

Since it feels like I've been painting my nails about every other day lately, I thought it was time to do a post about my favorite summer nail polish colors, which range from brights to neutrals to pastels. If you remember, I hit the dark shades pretty hard during the winter months, so come summertime, I'm all about the lighter hues. They look so fun and fresh — especially with a tan! (Not that I have one yet, thanks to this weather and a full-time job!) So, finally, here are the colors I've been wearing lately:

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in fuchsia power. This was a sort-of impulse buy that I picked up last weekend while I was traveling because my nail polish was coming off (badly) and I didn't bring any backups with me (rookie mistake!). I'd been wanting a fun summer pink though, and this has turned out to be just that. It's bold and bright without looking Barbie-ish.

OPI in what's with the cattitude (similar). Unfortunately, this OPI shade is pretty much impossible to find anymore. I've had it for a long time — it was actually part of the Shrek collection back when I was in high school. But it's a tried and true favorite that I use all throughout the year. It's a beautiful icy blue that does wonders for brightening up your pedicure without looking too funky or young.

NYC in Nolita's lavender. This is another color I picked up on a whim. I wore this dress on a date with Adam and I wanted to do my nails to match, so I went to Target hunting for a darker purple than the two pastel shades I had. It turned out to be beautiful. But the best part was the quality for the cost. It only costs a couple bucks but it lasted about a week before it started chipping — a solid purchase in my book!

OPI in gargantuan green grape. For an unexpected yet subtle pop of color, I like to use this light green shade. It's sort of a lime-mint combo that looks more white than green from a distance, but looks absolutely stunning in the summer sun.

OPI in samoan sand. And finally, the classic nude. So versatile, yet so classic. This one is perfect for light skin tones (like mine!), and it would look beautiful for wedding season. There are so many fun nail art designs you can do with a nude base, so don't be afraid to experiment!

What are your favorite nail polish colors for summertime? 

P.S. Favorite spring nail colors and favorite winter nail colors

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The sweetest new Instagram account

In case you thought true love was lost for good, Brooklyn Sherman, the 27-year-old behind The Way We Met, is here to show you otherwise. A few weeks ago she started an Instagram account to showcase real couples and the stories of how they met, and it is so sweet.

The account has already garnered tons of publicity — and rightfully so, because it is so fun to read the love stories from the beautiful couples featured there. Brooklyn is originally from the Midwest but now lives in L.A., and says she started The Way We Met because she's a hopeless romantic looking to find real people who are in love. She writes this in her first blog post:
"I'm on a mission. I'm on a mission to find the people out there who ARE in a committed relationships [sic]. Where did they find each other? How did they meet? What is the key to a successful relationship? How are they turning insta-happy into a lifetime of happiness?"
I love the idea behind this. Once I found out about the account, I lost track of time reading through the stories. This one is my favorite.

Are you following The Way We Met? What do you think of the idea?

P.S. How to keep the sparks alive and how to fight successfully

Monday, June 22, 2015

Book review: 'The Vacationers'

When it comes to summer reading, beachy books tend to be among my favorites. I don’t know if it’s being in tune with the season or just a wanderlust sort of thing since I live in the Midwest, but I love reading about beach getaways. Which is precisely the reason I chose to add The Vacationers to my summer reading list, and probably why I zipped through it so quickly. I read it after The Girl on the Train and it was the perfect juxtaposition of the dark mystery novel.

The Vacationers is about a not-so-close family that takes a vacation to Mallorca, Spain, to spend a week together in a friend’s home. You know from that much that there’s bound to be drama. The story is told from third person and alternately focuses on each family member throughout. Franny and Jim are supposed to be celebrating 35 years of marriage, but it’s seems there’s not much to be celebrated by the time the plane leaves. Sylvia has just graduated from high school and is looking to check a few things off her bucket list before she goes to college in the fall, which includes doing more than studying with her Spanish tutor, Joan. Her older brother Bobby brings his long-time girlfriend Carmen, much to his family’s disappointment. And Franny’s best friend Charles brings his partner Lawrence, who spends most of the vacation working and thinking about the baby they’re trying to adopt and whether Charles really wants it.

Many plots are happening at once, but thanks to Emma Straub’s ability to write with clarity and continuity, it never gets confusing. She covers serious topics that many families face and takes a deep look into the reality of relationships, all without losing her sense of humor. There are a few awkward scenes and dialogue, but overall it’s a compassionate picture of the hardships that can tear families apart, but ultimately bring them closer.

The Vacationers isn’t the best summer book I’ve read, but it is a really good one and I’ve already recommended it to several people. It’s an easy read without losing its substance, which not all authors can do. If you’re looking for your next book to read by the pool, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed this one.   

Have you read anything good lately? What are your go-to summer books? 

P.S. 7 books to read this summer, The Girl on the Train and Crazy Rich Asians

Friday, June 19, 2015

Wandering the Web: have a great weekend!

wandering the web miscelenious

This Friday is an extra sweet one because I have the day off! I'm spending this weekend at home with my dad to celebrate Father's Day and it's already been a blast! It's been basically forever since I've been home, and I'm just praying that the weather forecast is wrong and it doesn't rain on Sunday so we can get the pontoon out on the lake. We haven't been able to take it out this year yet, so I'm crossing my fingers! What are your plans for the weekend?

1. What it looks like to model your life after Gossip Girl. (Cosmopolitan)

2. An interesting post on the meaning of "thank you" in different cultures. (Cup of Jo)

3. "Why I'm purposely selfish on Instagram." (Nesting Place)

4. A recipe for rose berry sangria. (Glitter Guide)

5. I'm loving sundresses right now, especially the pattern on this one. (Kendi Everyday)

6. Things that are improved when cold — I wholeheartedly disagree with No. 1! (GQ)

7. Adorable iPhone covers. (Mini in the Box)

8. These DIY ring dishes make storing jewelry so much prettier. (A Beautiful Mess)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Snack attack: healthy fruit dip

Guys — brace yourselves. It’s time for one of those super rare (but always great) food posts. As you may know, I love food, but I’m not so great at making it. But when I was living alone one summer during my college years I did do a fair share of cooking and baking for myself (because a girl can only afford so much Chinese takeout). Though not actually baking, this healthy fruit dip was one of my favorite finds on Pinterest, and I had totally forgotten about it until recently. I found it during one of my health food kicks and tweaked it a little bit to fit my taste. It’s so simple to make, and it’s the perfect healthy snack when you’re craving something sweet. I hope you enjoy it, too!


1 (6-oz) container nonfat vanilla or plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp. peanut butter (I like to use the whipped version because it has fewer calories and is easier to stir, but you'll want to use about 1 1/2 tbsp. if you choose to use it.)
1/2 tbsp. honey (can use more for a sweeter taste)
1/8 tsp. cinnamon


Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until they are all mixed in well — make sure to get all the lumps out. Serve with fruit (strawberries and bananas are my favorites!) and store it in the fridge.

Yep, it’s that easy. How do I not make this every single day?! As you can see, I bought apples, bananas and strawberries to go with mine — and I totally lucked out because I happened to buy the freshest, most delicious strawberries ever. But grapes or graham crackers would be great with it too. 

What are your favorite healthy treats in the summer?

P.S. Fool-proof baking, 10-minute quesadillas and the best pasta you'll ever make

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

That time I went to Comic Con

wizard world comic con des moines

In my attempt to make this summer my best one yet, I went to my first Comic Con last weekend. But before I get into that, let’s talk about the perks of being a journalist. A few weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to interview four celebrities and write a story about Wizard World Comic Con Des Moines. I have never been interested in the whole comic thing, although I do tend to fangirl a little bit about the Avengers and I love the nerdy-ness that is Big Bang Theory. Aside from that, I’ve never seen Star Wars (insert shocked reactions here) and I’ve never so much as touched a comic book. But I was really excited to write this story.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My most-used blogging tools

top 5 blogging tools i use the most

When it comes to blogging, there are so many tools available to help bloggers streamline the process of updating, publishing and promoting content. Many people don’t realize how much work actually goes into blogging (A LOT), so it’s important to find the right tools to help you be successful as a content creator. Even though I’ve been blogging for about 10 months now (crazy how time flies!), I still consider myself “new” to the whole blogging thing because it seems like I learn something about it every other day. The last few months have been a huge learning experience as I’m taking the “Get Noticed” course for bloggers, created by Dana of Wonder Forest, and I’ve started using scheduling apps like Hootsuite and Latergramme — which have made a HUGE difference. So, here are my top blogging tools and why I love them. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Chic sandals from DSW

Goodbye socks, hello pretty pedicures! Sandals are one of my favorite things about summer fashion, but I have to confess that I'm not very good at buying them. By that I mean that I tend to find a style that I like and then only buy similar versions in different colors. And seriously, that's such a shame, because there are so many great styles out there! This year I've been trying to up my sandal game and branch out a little more — starting with these slip-ons that I wish I could wear every day.

Which ones are your favorites?

P.S. Pretty summer totes, swimsuits for every budget and my summer wish list

*This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Wandering the Web: have a fun weekend.

If only there could be more Fridays in the week. I've had an eventful few days this week, and I'm not planning to slow down this weekend! As part of our summer bucket list, Adam and I are going to Wizard World Comic Con Des Moines tonight. I've never been to anything like it before, but I wrote a story about it for work, and now I'm really excited to see what it's all about (and hopefully meet some of the celebs I interviewed!). Adam's birthday is on Sunday, so we'll also be celebrating that this weekend — hopefully the rainy forecast doesn't ruin all of our plans!

I hope you have a great weekend, and here are some interesting links from this week...

1. "Make the evening his," and other dating advice from the 1950s. (My Domaine)

2. Does Google know how many calories are in your food photos? (The Guardian)

3. Starbucks' new frappuccino flavors sound seriously good. (Time)

4. A tour of the most beautifully decorated home. (Apartment Therapy)

5. Art made from everyday objects. (My Modern Met)

6. Iced coffee straight from the tap... Say what? (Esquire)

7. These cotton candy champagne cocktails look beautiful. (LaurenConrad.com)

8. I love my short hair, but I really miss being able to do this. (Le Fashion)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

My summer bucket list

Even though I've lived in Iowa my whole life and in Des Moines for a year, there are still so many things I haven't done here. People always say there is nothing to do in Iowa — I used to be one of those people — but the truth is, if you look for it, you can always find something happening somewhere. And that is why I've resolved to make this summer my best yet: trying new things, meeting new people and just making memories. Here are a few things that are on my summer bucket list:

1. Zoo Brew at Blank Park Zoo. Booze plus animals — what's not to love?

2. Eat at a food truck. I've never done this! Is food better on wheels? I'm going to find out!

3. Walk on the High Trestle Trail Bridge. Because architecturally pleasing bridges are what Instagram is all about.

4. Rent a paddleboat at Grays Lake. The best chance I have at recreating any scene from 10 Things I Hate About You.

5. Go to the Hot Air Balloon Classic. Where else am I going to see a sky filled with giant balloons?

6. Ride bikes downtown. The best place to re-learn a childhood skill is a high-traffic area with lots of people, amiright?

7. Hike at Ledges State Park. Hiking in Iowa? It really can be done!

I'd love to know...what's on your bucket list this summer?

P.S. small town vs. city living, 10 patios in Des Moines and best happy hour specials in Des Moines

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Short hair love

Let's talk about hair. I've always been a fan of hair, but I've never been good at styling it. Example: to this day I cannot make a french braid. For most of my adolescent life I sported a long, lifeless 'do, never giving it much time other than 8 minutes a day to straighten it — which, let's be honest, was a total joke because my hair is straighter than the hair on the models in flat-iron commercials. But I digress. I did get a few perms in my life, because due to the aforementioned straightness, taking a curling iron to my hair resulted in either copious amounts of hairspray or a sad, curl-less mess after a couple hours. Needless to say, something had to be done.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

10 patios to enjoy this summer in Des Moines

First off, let's just get it out there that when I say Des Moines, I'm usually talking about the Des Moines metro as a whole, which includes the surrounding cities. Second, when it comes to eating out, if I'm ever trying to think of places with patios, it always seems like there are only a couple to choose from. But that could not be further from the truth. In making this list, I came across dozens of bars and restaurants with patios in the metro. I even had a hard time narrowing it down to 10, but I think I did a pretty good job with my picks (if I do say so myself ;).

Monday, June 8, 2015

How to make your relationship feel new again

After you've been together for a year or more, things can start to become routine (maybe even predictable) in your relationship. You know each other's favorite foods and restaurants. You know what night you'll be staying in to watch a certain show. And you both know which movies the other person won't watch with you... It's a beautiful thing to know someone so completely, but it's important to keep alive the spark and mystery from those first months together — no matter how long you've been dating (or even married).

Adam and I have only been together for about a year an half, but by now he's learned that I won't leave my place when Dancing with the Stars is on, and I know that he'll say yes to Chinese food for dinner 99% of the time. I love that we know these things about each other, but I also miss the butterflies and excitement that came with our first date or the time we played mini-golf.

It's inevitable that everything will become more familiar after spending so much time together, but that doesn't mean you can't recreate the sparks you felt in the beginning. Adam and I both agree that we never want to feel complacent in our relationship, so we're starting to take steps to avoid that from happening. Here are a few of our tips for keeping the spark alive in your relationships:

1. Ask him to pick you up for a date. Re-create that first date feeling by going traditional. Walking you to your door for a goodnight kiss at the end is a big plus! And if you live together, try meeting each other at the restaurant. It seems a little inconvenient, but it makes the date seem more special when you put in the extra effort.

2. Go on a date that you went on near the beginning. Just like married couples recreate their wedding day by renewing their vows, repeating a date that was special to you at the beginning of your dating will sort of "renew" your relationship. Maybe it's the first restaurant you went to or the time you went to that arcade. It'll make both of you think of your earlier dates and how it felt the first time around.

3. Show affection other than kissing. At the beginning of a new relationship, even brushing arms with your new partner can be exciting. Be intentional by rubbing his back when he tells you about his day or even tracing her fingers while you watch a movie. It'll remind them that you're just as attracted today as you were in the early days.

4. Surprise each other with a gift. After a certain point, you're probably taking turns buying each other's dinners, paying for movie tickets and everything else. It all becomes normal and expected, but surprising each other with something you wouldn't normally buy for yourself is a great way to treat your partner.

5. Don't forget the little things. Buying your partner's favorite ice cream or getting up a little earlier to make coffee for them goes a long way toward making your partner feel special. Those things are small, but they add up to make a big difference over the course of a relationship.

6. Remind each other why you're still together. Of course you love her, but why? Is it still the same reason that made you fall in love, or is there something you've learned that makes you love her more? At this point in the relationship, you can probably add multiple items to the list of why you love each other. It never hurts to remind the other person of those reasons.

P.S. 8 movies to watch with your partner, fighting successfully and the Date Night Des Moines series

Friday, June 5, 2015

Wandering the Web: have a lovely weekend

miscelenious wandering the web links from this week

Happy Friday, friends! How has your week been? I'm excited to get this weekend started because the gorgeous sunny weather of the last few days has made me feel extremely motivated, and I'm ready to get a lot done! I'm officially walking in two normal shoes now, so you can bet I'll be out walking at least a few times this weekend, and I'm going shopping with a friend on Sunday for the first time in basically forever.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and here are a few fun links from this week...

1. The beauty uniform of one of my favorite authors. (Cup of Jo)

2. Apparently geography explains why my wardrobe lacks color... (Glamour)

3. Shopping on Pinterest is about to get a million times easier. (Buzzfeed)

4. How bad are high heels for you actually? Turns out, kinda bad. (Who What Wear)

5. Do you know the reason they started making all refrigerators magnetic? (Esquire)

6. I would love to go to work in this office every day! (Refinery 29)

7. Seriously crushing on these earrings for summer. (Baublebar)

8. I'd love to try these watermelon ice cubes this summer. (The Kitchn)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Pretty summer totes under $50

one ($24) / two ($24) / three ($29) / four ($49) / five ($32) / six ($24)

When it comes to beach bags, I've always been more practical than fashionable. For the last few years I've been rotating between a couple canvas bags I picked up at World Market for a few bucks — not ugly, but I definitely wouldn't call them a statement piece. This year is the first time I've actually had a desire to spend a little (and I mean little) extra money for a pretty tote bag to use when we take the boat out — or if I somehow miraculously stumble upon a beach somewhere!

Since I know a beach tote isn't something I have a huge use for right now, I don't want to spend a lot of money on one... and if you've been shopping for the perfect straw tote yourself, you know they can be incredibly expensive (Seriously?!). I've picked out a few of my current favorites that are all under an affordable $50. The best part? You can save your wallet without sacrificing style. Enjoy!

P.S. Swimsuits for every budget, my summer wish list and this summer's hottest trend

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

How to be productive while working at home

Working from home seems like a dream job. Working on your own time and the ability to wear pajamas all day without getting funny looks from your coworkers. But what about those days when the temptation to watch just one more episode of Friends makes you want to push that to do list back just ten more minutes?

The idea of working from home is dreamy to most people, but for those who do it, they know it's still a job and it requires, well, work. You have to be extra motivated when there's no one there to watch you and make sure you're getting everything done. I would love to work from home, especially after getting a taste of it for two weeks after my surgery last month. But in that time I did realize how difficult it can be to resist all the temptations that come with a home office. That's why I'm sharing some tips I used to help you be productive while working from home.

1. Wake up early and start your day. It seems easy to sleep in when you have nowhere to be, but it's so important to get up and get your day started the same way you would if you were going to the office. I am most productive in the mornings, so I like to wake up, drink my coffee and jump right into work. A productive morning sets the tone (and your mood!) for the rest of the day.

2. Eliminate distractions. When I was at home, I liked to watch the news while I worked, but you have to know when to turn the TV off. I'm talking to you, Gilmore Girls repeats. When those situations came up, I either put on some good music or changed the channel to HGTV, which works for me because I can have it on in the background and still concentrate on my work. It's just about knowing what works best for you.

3. Take breaks. This may sound a little counterintuitive, but hear me out. When you're working from home — especially for those who work alone, without kids, pets or spouses around — it can be easy to zone in and feel like you can't look away from the computer. But I've found I do better work when I take a few breaks throughout the day to free my mind from whatever I'm working on. If you're having a hard time writing something, it helps to let it sit for a while and do something else. Then when you come back to it your mind is fresh and ready to let all its creativity flow out.

4. Find a routine. When you've got the flexibility of working at home, sometimes it helps to set a routine that you'll follow from day to day. Knowing what hours you've designated to work each day helps give you structure and makes it harder to procrastinate because you've already set a time for when everything should be done.

5. Know when to call it a day. As many people who work from home can attest, sometimes it's hard to separate the job from after hours. I think it's important to draw a line between time spent at work and time spent enjoying the rest of your life, so when it comes to the end of the day, make it the end of the day. Put the computer away and close the to-do list until tomorrow. Just enjoy the night and take that time to de-stress from the day.

I hope these tips help! If you work from home, what have you learned to help you accomplish your goals? 

P.S. 5 blogs to help you become a better blogger and taking time to detox

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Book review: 'The Girl on the Train'

The Girl on the Train was the first book on my summer reading list this year, and although I didn't love it, I am glad I read it. Paula Hawkins' debut novel is a psychological mystery thriller that follows Rachel, a 30-something woman who's life has all but fallen apart. Feeling worthless, Rachel follows the same routine each day without a real point to her life, until she becomes involved in a missing persons case.

Riding the same train each morning and evening, Rachel sees the same couple at their house by the tracks every day. She doesn't know them, but she has made up names and a pretend life for them because they seem like a perfect happy couple to her. When the woman from the house goes missing one day, Rachel feels it is her duty to tell the police what she knows and becomes entangled in the messy case.

People have been comparing The Girl on the Train to Gone Girl, but for me, it didn't get to the same level of intensity until the very end. The Girl on the Train was a great mystery, but it didn't have the psychological thriller aspect that Gone Girl did until the last few chapters when we find out what happened. Gone Girl carried it throughout the whole story, which made it a much more exhilarating read. The other thing that made this book more difficult for me to read was the characters. I couldn't find one who I actually liked or wanted to continue reading about. Rachel was a mess from the beginning, and the fact that she kept making horrible and irrational decisions made me hate her a little bit. That being said, I have to give credit to Hawkins for developing her characters well enough for me to actively dislike them.

Although I didn't love the story itself, I very much liked Hawkins' style of writing. She is one of those authors who can create a detailed story in the midst of beautiful prose, which I think is truly an art. There were several passages worth highlighting, but here is one that I really liked:
Beautiful sunshine, cloudless skies, no one to play with, nothing to do. Living like this, the way I'm living at the moment, is harder in the summer when there is so much daylight, so little cover of darkness, when everyone is out and about, being flagrantly, aggressively happy. It's exhausting, and it makes you feel bad if you're not joining in.
Beautiful, don't you think? Have you read The Girl on the Train? Will you? Share your comments below :)

P.S. Reviews of Crazy Rich Asians, Yes Please, Where'd You Go, Bernadette and #GIRLBOSS

Monday, June 1, 2015

Instagram roundup No. 4

Happy Monday, lovelies! It's been a long time since I did an Instagram roundup, and since today is the first day of June (!), I figured it would be a great time for one. The theme of the last couple months seems to be "change" for me, so I'm excited to share some of those moments with you here. To start, this new pineapple phone case was a much-needed change to my phone's appearance ;) 

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