Catching Up

Clearly in my last post when I said I was back, I meant, “But only for a day and then I’ll disappear for 9 more months!” For a while I wasn’t even blogging on tumblr really, but looking back I found a few things there so I’ll post them here and group them by month, I guess. I’m not gonna post the pictures and gifs and stuff because they probably aren’t as important and also I’m no exactly sure how to do it without saving all of them to my computer! I would like to get back to blogging more often, but between work and school I haven’t found the time. The only reason I’m here today is because this is my 10th day with no plans due to Hurricane Sandy. So far I’m going back to work on Wednesday and school on Thursday; we’ll see! 

February 2012:

Comparing Sports to Reality TV:
The other night I came home and my dad had a football game on. I was putting some stuff away and I guess I was listening to some of what was being said on the TV. They said that this was “post-season” football and I asked my dad how that could be. I was like, “Isn’t this the playoffs?” He said yes. I said, “And the Super Bowl didn’t happen yet, so the season can’t be over.” He told me that playoffs are considered post-season because not all the teams are still playing. My reply? “Well, that’s stupid. When American Idol is down to six contestants, not all the contestants are still singing, but it doesn’t mean the season’s over!” Just another reason why reality TV is better than sports! ;)

Overheard in my House:

  • Me: Crap! Friggin’ thing! Ahhh!
  • Caitlin, via text, from her bedroom: I’m trying to sleep you freak.
  • Me: Sorry, I was playing Temple Run!
  • Caitlin: Those damn flying monkeys.
  • Me: I know, right?!

I’m ba-ack!

I had decided to move this blog over to tumblr in hopes that it’d somehow encourage me to post more because I think of a “blog” as being a more serious thing, where I have to post entries that are lengthy and actually good, whereas on tumblr I can post a random conversation and that’s an acceptable post. It’s also easier to post pictures and stuff there. However, the move didn’t seem to motiavte me to update more often at all! So, I decided to come back to WordPress. As far as motivation, I’m still working on that (well, I have motivation but I lack follow-through!). I’ll still use my tumblr for random short posts that are unimportant (although, maybe I could take the blog thing less seriously and post silly things here sometimes too) and I’ll probably post click-through links on there to posts that I write here. I should start posting here again pretty soon. I have some posts written that just need editing, some others that aren’t written but I have ideas for, and I think I’ll probably end up doing some spur-of-the-moment posts if the ideas come at a time when I’m near my computer! Right now I need to re-do some things on here and get used to the new options/placements of things on my dashboard!

Question: Where have I been?

Answer: Working and stuff, I guess! I have a lot of ideas for posts I want to write, but I just have to actually sit down and write them.

Also, I’ve been blogging more on tumblr than here because more people have tumblr and are more likely to read it, I guess. I’ve been posting shorter posts there, but I’ll probably post some that are more like the past few posts I’ve written here. And I may cross-post the entries from there to here, or from here to there or something. I haven’t decided yet if I’m giving up on this blog and moving over there, or if I’m gonna keep this blog and just link to it on tumblr. Right now I’m giving blogging on tumblr a chance and I’ll see how it goes. So, click here to read the past few posts on my tumblr. And let me know if you like reading it better there or if you’d prefer to read it here. I’ll eventually make a decision, but right now I’m mostly blogging over there. I really like Word Press though, so I may end up back here. I don’t know. I think most people who read this are already following me on tumblr, but I wanted to let you all know anyway!

Summer Nails

Summer is a time to have fun with your nail colors! Don’t forget your toes too! Here are a few ideas of colors that are beachy-keen! (Get it? It’s a play on words, like they do with the names of the colors? Okay, I’ll leave that to the naming experts!) I think summer colors are more daring and bold, but if you prefer something more subtle then just opt for paler versions of these colors.

Essie’s Turquoise & Caicos, or any other “mint” colored polish. I had never tried a color like this on my nails, but I bought one the other day (Ulta brand; they had smaller bottles for only $5) and I like it so far!
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Essie’s Lapis of Luxury is another color that I haven’t tried, but again I bought a similar color that I’m going to try soon. It’s a mix between purple and blue; almost periwinkle. Khloe Kardashian was actually wearing a very similar color on an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians, and I’m currently wearing the Ulta brand version of this color.
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Essie’s Cute as a Button is a coral-ish color that I borrowed from my mom once, and now I borrow it frequently because it looks really good and seems very summery!
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OPI’s Japanese Rose Garden is a pretty pink color that I have gotten a few compliments on in the past. You usually can’t go wrong with pink nails!
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OPI’s Do You Lilac It is a nice lilac color that looks good on nails and toes.
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Piggy Polish is a brand I recently saw. It’s meant to be worn on your toes, but I’m sure you could put it on your nails too. Each polish comes with a cute toe ring as well!
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Nail polish can be expensive, so for colors that you might only use during the summer I’d suggest buying the smaller, cheaper bottles. They aren’t always at the drugstores, but stores like Ulta and Sephora should have their own brand in small bottles and also brands like Orly make smaller sized bottles so you can sample the color and if you really like it then buy it in a bigger bottle! If you like to do designs, you can use these as base colors or use it to create the design. Basically, just have fun with your nails in the summer!

Summer Hair

Well, with the impending hurricane supposedly hitting tonight and the fact that this upcoming week is the last week of summer, I figured I should post the last 2 posts from my “summer blog series.” I’ve actually been writing more stuff lately though so I should have some new stuff to post soon. And if we lose power tomorrow I’ll definitely have a lot of time to write!

Summer hairstyles are all about fun, comfort, and easiness (alright, and still looking cute!). You don’t have to be a slave to the flat iron every night for your hair to look good. Here are some ideas incorporating what’s in style right now and how to stay cool!

Braids: Whether it’s a regular braid, a French braid, a fishtail braid, or a side braid, it’s in style this summer. If your hair is layered, like mine, and therefore hard to braid you can braid some hair in the front, then pull it back and secure it with a bobby pin. You can even put small braids randomly throughout your hair. If your hair is long enough you can make a crown braid, going across the top of your head, almost like a headband.

Ponytails: I rarely wear my hair in a ponytail most of the year, but during the summer it’s so hot that I tend to pull my hair in a ponytail fairly often. After swimming you can scrunch your wet hair and pull it in a ponytail for a curlier look. You can also straighten your hair and put it in a side ponytail for a date or party; it goes well with a strapless dress or tank top. Add a ribbon or flower if you want to have a fun accessory. Ponytails don’t always have to be boring; you can have it high one day and low the next for two different looks.

Headbands: Headbands work all year really, but lately I’ve seen some cute ones with flowers or bows on top or on the side. You can wear them if your hair is straight, curly, long, or short so they’re good for just about everyone. If it gets too hot you can even wear it with a ponytail.

Beach Waves: I have to admit that I haven’t quite perfected this look the way some celebrities have, in the magazines where it says, “How to get beachy waves for summer!” Just hop in the shower and let your hair air-dry, occasionally scrunching it with your fingers. You can add mousse if your hair doesn’t stay wavy on its own. You can also try sleeping with it in a messy bun overnight. Once you’ve achieved the desired waves you’re good to go, or you can add an accessory or pull it half back if you want to try something different.

Feather Extensions: Whether it’s a flower, a bow, or just a clip, accessories are trendy right now. The new trend I’ve seen is the feather hair extensions. Sometimes they’re braids or sparkles, but most often I’ve seen feathers. I’m not entirely sure how it works, but there’s a kiosk in the mall here that does it so if you Google you might be able to find someone in your area who can put them in!

Try out some of these ideas and let me know which your favorites are! What other hairstyles do you like for summer?

Summer Reads

The beach is one of my favorite places to read; you can sit there and bask in the sun while listening to the waves crash, and still be entertained by whatever is happening in your book. Or, if you can’t get to a beach, you can sit in your backyard and play a CD of wave sounds and pretend you’re at the beach! Either way, it’s fun to read a few “chick-lit” books during the summer. There are just so many good books that I didn’t know where to start, so for today I just chose ones that are about summer or a beach.

How the Other Half Hamptons by Jasmin Rosemberg: Part of the description of this book says, “One house. Forty strangers. Add vodka and stir . . .” Three best friends from Manhattan are expecting a summer partying with celebrities in the Hamptons, but when they arrive at their share house they find that it’s much less glamorous than they had hoped for! It’s an easy read about the twenty-something friends who attempt to find fun and love in the Hamptons.

The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares: This book is definitely sad at times, but it’s also very good. It’s set on Fire Island, where two sisters spent their summers growing up. Now, as twenty-somethings, they return and meet a man who was one of their friends from childhood. Will one of them fall in love with him? Or both of them? Goodreads.com says this about the two sisters and their friend; you’ll find out “what happens one summer when budding love, sexual curiosity, a sudden serious illness, and a deep secret all collide, launching the friends into an adult world from which their summer haven can no longer protect them.”

LoveHampton by Sherri Rifkin: The main character is a thirty-something workaholic from New York City, who ends up getting a makeover on a friend’s TV show and decides to revamp her personality to go with her new look as she tries to navigate the “unwritten rules” of the Hamptons. Will she find the guy she’s meant to be with? Will she decide she likes the new version of herself or will she change her mind before the end of the summer? What will happen if anyone discovers her “secret” about who she really is?

The Summer Trilogy: The Summer I Turned Pretty, It’s Not Summer Without You, and We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han: Isabel “Belly” and her family always spent their summers at the fictional Cousins Beach with her mom’s best friend and her family, the Fischers. In the first book, Belly is still in high school and starting to wish the Fischer boys would think of her as something more than a “little sister.” However, everything changes for all of them that summer when Mrs. Fischer has some terrible news. In the second book, the adults were thinking about selling the house. One of the Fischer boys called Belly saying that his brother had run away. They wanted to find him and spend their “last” summer together at the beach house. In the third book, Belly is in college and set to marry one of the Fischer boys. Has she made the right decision? Is he really the right brother for her? Can she love one of the brothers without breaking the other’s heart?

Summer Sisters by Judy Blume: I have to admit that I haven’t read this one yet, but it sounds good so I’ll have to read it soon. The description on Goodreads.com says, “Initially, the differences between Caitlin Somers and Victoria Leonard (or “Vix,” as Caitlin christens her) draw them together. Caitlin selects Vix to accompany her to her father’s home in Martha’s Vineyard for the summer, the two become inextricably connected as “summer sisters.” On the Vineyard, Vix and Caitlin first find love, then sex–and lots of it. Yet Blume soon moves beyond hot fun in the summer sun, tracing the romantic and familial travails of the two from pre-adolescence to adulthood. Solid Vix evolves into Victoria, an equally solid, Harvard-educated, Manhattan public-relations exec. Unpredictable Caitlin opts out of college and travels to Europe, where she has a string of short-lived affairs with a series of intriguing (in every sense of the word) foreigners. It is only after she returns to the Vineyard that Caitlin does the unthinkable, forever changing both her friendship with Vix and their lives.”

The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells: Mia is 16 and spending the summer with her family and her cousins in the Hamptons. She and her cousins used to be really close, but now they seem more interested in their cell phones, magazines, and “cool” friends. Mia thinks the summer is going to be awful, until she meets Simon. She often sneaks out at night to go skinny dipping in the ocean with him, and he teaches her how to “let go” of all the things that are bothering her. This sounds like a light beach read, but there are some twists and it’s definitely sad in parts. According to a review on Amazon.com, if you’ve read The Great Gatsby you’ll find “many parallels in this novel and references to Fitzgerald’s famous story of what it means to be an outsider among insiders.”

I know I said I’d stick with the summer theme, but there are two other books I thought were worth mentioning. The first is Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume. I’ve wanted to read this book for a while, so maybe this summer I’ll actually do it! Authors like Jennifer O’Connell, Meg Cabot, Beth Kendrick, and Megan McCafferty share their stories of how the lessons in Judy Blume’s books helped them with situations they were faced with as they grew up. The other book is Perfect on Paper: The (Mis)adventures of Waverly Bryson by Maria Murnane. I read it last summer and I’m looking forward to the sequel, which comes out in November. Waverly is a twenty-something successful businesswoman, who has almost everything she wants, except a boyfriend. She was left at the altar and now has to start over, back in the dating scene. She often writes herself “Honey Notes,” which Goodreads.com describes as “her own brand of self-deprecating wisdom and pipe-dream for a line of greeting cards.” Will she have any luck navigating the dating world this time around? Will Honey Notes turn into something more than she expected? You’ll find out in this book, and be entertained by the funny tales from Waverly’s life.

I’m always looking for new books to read, so what are your favorite summer reads? Share them!

Summer Songs

Every summer there are songs that are on the radio just about every time you turn it on, and somehow those songs become the theme to your summer. Last year Katy Perry’s California Gurls was definitely the theme to my summer! I’m not sure what that song will be this year, but there’s time to figure it out! I have a summer playlist on my iTunes that I edit every year, adding those summer themes and sometimes deleting songs. It’s a fairly long playlist that involves every song in my iTunes that contains the word “summer,” “sun,” “beach,” “ocean,” or anything else that makes me think of summer. It also has some songs that just have a summery feel to them, such as She & Him’s live version of the Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t it be Nice?” and some songs that have a positive or feel-good message because you should feel extra good in the summer! Here are a few suggestions if you’re looking to make a summer playlist or add to your existing one:

Sticking with the first theme, of songs containing summery words, one of my first choices would be “Soak up the Sun” by Sheryl Crow. I actually have some of her other songs on my summer playlist too, like “All I Wanna Do (Is Have Some Fun)” because during the summer who doesn’t want to hear a song about having fun?! Another choice is “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” by Baz Luhrman. I know it’s twelve years old now, but it’s a unique type of song and it has some good advice! Weezer’s “Island in the Sun” is a good one to dance to or just listen to the lyrics and picture yourself on an island! I recently added “Sunburn” by Owl City to my playlist. It’s not the most summery song on my list, but by mentioning sunburn it does remind me of time I’ve spent at the beach! “Summertime” by New Kids on the Block and “Summergirls” by LFO are two upbeat songs I love to listen to. Carrie Underwood’s version of “Independence Day” is good to play around July 4th, and for the rest of the summer. “Summer Day” by Coconut Records featuring Zooey Deschanel is a more mellow song to listen to on a nice calm summer day. I could probably list so many more that fit into this category, but I’ll just throw out a few more suggestions: “Pocketful of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield, “Flip Flop Summer” by Kenny Chesney, “California Sun” by Jem, and “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock.

There are lots of good songs that are older than most of the ones I’ve mentioned so far. How about “Summer of ‘69” by Bryan Adams? If you’re going to be enjoying some cocktails and would like a soundtrack, you can opt for “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffet and “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes. “Summer Nights” by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, from the Grease soundtrack is probably a staple for fans of musicals! Two songs from awesome bands are “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles and “Kokomo” by The Beach Boys. Actually, probably a lot of The Beach Boys songs can be used on a summer playlist!

“Smile” by Vitamin C is one of those “feel-good” songs I mentioned. Another one that isn’t really summer-related, but I’ve really been enjoying lately is “The Good Life” by One Republic. And who hasn’t heard The OC theme song plenty of times already? That always makes me think of summer because I sometimes catch the reruns on SoapNet during the summer! Three songs that share a similar theme are “Our Lives” by The Calling, “Best Days” by Graham Colton, and “Our Time Now” by the Plain White Tee’s.

If you’re looking for summer songs relating to specific themes, you might be able to find one of those too! For instance, if you’re having trouble finding a summer job (if you’re a student or if you’re a teacher looking for something to do for the summer) Emiliana Torrini’s song “Unemployed in Summertime” might capture your mood. “Ocean Size Love” by Leigh Nash has the word “ocean” in it, but it’s not really a summer song; still, I love it so I’ve kept it on the playlist! However, it could be very fitting if you’re in a long-distance relationship this summer. If you happen to like speaking French, like moi, you might enjoy “Itsy Bitsy Petit Bikini” by Richard Anthony, which is a French version of “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.” Maybe you’re taking a road trip and would like to listen to “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman, “Life is a Highway” by Rascal Flatts, and “Every Day is a Winding Road” by Sheryl Crow. There’s the phrase, “The dog days of summer,” so maybe you want to listen to Florence + the Machine’s “The Dog Days Are Over.” Again, the lyrics don’t have much to do with summer, but I like the song! If you’re feeling lonely this summer because all your friends are away or busy, you might feel like blasting “Cruel Summer” by Bananarama!

As the summer nears its end, which I don’t want to think about quite yet, there are some other fitting songs. Justin Timberlake’s “Summer Love” talks about the end of summer. “Summer Skin” by Death Cab for Cutie is a perfect “end of summer” song. “Summertime” by Moonpools and Caterpillars talks about August and September and brings back memories for me because it was on the soundtrack to the Babysitter’s Club movie, which is probably the first soundtrack I bought, and I used to listen to the cassette on my Walkman! Dashboard Confessional has two good ones for the end of summer as well, “Stolen” and “So Long Sweet Summer.”

I hope you’re all enjoying your summer, whatever you’re doing, and maybe some of these songs will help provide a soundtrack to it! What are your favorite songs to listen to during the summer?