surviving cabin fever

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You probably can't tell in these pictures, but pretty much the entire time I had to wait out Storm Jonas the running ticker in my head was going "bored, bored, bored, OMG BORED, bored, bored". I had no idea that I'd become so used to being able to leave my apartment. I'm a reading fiend and even with all the books (and cable, Netflix, Prime, and YouTube) at my fingertips I was antsy as hell.
 

In the end I don't think I have any tips for surviving cabin fever, except possibly getting a pet or a significant other.  Did that help?

Sorry...

Update: Like the art I have up on my walls? I purchased each piece at DragonCon from Mike Bocianowski! His prints are $12 for an 8x10 and I love every one I own.

Snowzilla: The Snow Returns!

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I just posted a bunch of photos on my personal Facebook page, all of them taken when I finally ventured out of my house yesterday, but I figured I'd share a few here too! The snow over the weekend was as extreme as predicted, with a lot of the DMV seeing 2 ft+ in accumulation. Walking around meant I spent most of my time desperately trying not to slip on the ice I could and could not see, lol, as well as sinking up to my thighs in unexpected places. It sure was pretty though!

I fell back in the snow before taking these pictures. It was...a questionable decision >.<.

playing catch up

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So...do people still remember that time I took two weeks in 2015 and went to Asia where I felt like I did ALL the things? Because despite the absolute blog silence about the whole trip (up until now at least) it happened and I wanted to take some time to talk to you about the cool beauty stuff I bought!

Beauty was my primary goal as far as purchasing goes for the trip, which is a pretty easy decision to make when you're going to countries where you don't fit any of the clothes or shoes and the makeup will more than likely not work for your skin tone. All was not lost though, and I got a really diverse - and fun to use - selection of products that I'm excited to share with you all!

**Disclaimer - just to be clear, I bought all these with my own money in local currency.  I'm not trying to brag, just share with you the products that caught my eye and your mileage may vary in terms of product availability and effectiveness.**

Berrisom Lip Tints, pack of six for $24
Couldn't forget these Geek of the Week picks now could I?! I'd put my friend on the hunt for these lip tints before I even arrived, and damned if she didn't see them in the first Sasa we went into in Hong Kong. I bought some for me and a few friends - how could you not? After the tint swatches stayed on my hand for almost a day and a half we went back and I bought the remover. JUST IN CASE.


Sailor Moon Makeup, various, $12-$64 (price depends on item)
I am such a sucker for buying these but I DON'T CARE because it's Sailor Moon eyeliner with the most adorable packaging and I love it. We should all just be proud I talked myself out of the $50 compact, despite how wonderful I knew it would look on my desk.

 This is a slightly more random collection, since these items come from Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan but hey, it fit nicely for pictures so we're gonna go with it. The toner was a last minute addition when mine spilled everywhere - it smells nice and is generally soothing, though it's mattifying properties are still under debate. 

The acne cream I purchased in Thailand and despite the presence of Salicylic Acid and Sulfur in the ingredients list, the fact that it also contains Mineral Oil worried me a bit. Thankfully it's probably one of the best acne products I've ever purchased and does a fantastic job of healing and preventing pimples. 

And of course, the two sunscreens are from Japan. I'm still on the fence about how my face is reacting to the IMAGE sunscreen I purchased, so I had my friend pick up the watery essence due to tons of internet accolades. It's very lightly fragranced, soaks into the skin instantly, and seems to be causing me no adverse affects so I'm happy. The milk sunscreen I feel in love with after watching my friend use hers and after some gentle begging she passed her extra bottle on to me (THANKS MAKIKO!). 

And I think is the perfect time for a page break - click through to see the rest of my Asia haul!

weekend warrior

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Sometimes you find a sweater hanging in the sale section and you just know the universe is looking out for you.

Jacket: Marc New York ~ Sweater: Anthropologie (on sale!) ~ Jeans: Levi's ~ Boots: Old Navy ~ Purse: Georgetown Leather Design (thrifted) ~ Sunglasses: Kate Spade


Friday Book Club #4

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So while it's not the *first* Friday of 2016, it's the first Friday where I actually felt like getting off my tookus and writing about some of the awesome books I've been reading lately so here we go!

Read & Loved: 

Feel the Burn by G.A. Aiken

I, Gaius Domitus, one-eyed rebel dragon king of the Provinces, know that better than most, since I have to fight off half my ungrateful family on a regular basis to keep law and order here in my lands. But I never expected to have to consort with a barbarian human woman.

Kachka is beautiful, if you like them fierce—and of course I do. But she keeps complaining about how spoiled and decadent I am, and how a feared Daughter of the Steppes has no time for foolish dragons. I think she likes my eye patch, though. It is quite dashing. With death always at our tails, we take our passion like we take our allies. As they say, love the barbarian you’re with…

My Thoughts: Feel the Burn came out right before I went to Asia and it was a life savor not only on my flight out but pretty much the entire trip. I spent a few hours devouring it on my first flight and let me tell you, I have no idea how she continues to do what she does. Aiken (aka Shelly Laurenston) has created this incredibly intricate world that I never word have predicted when I picked up Dragon Actually way back when. Each book builds on the one before it (this is definitely not a stand alone) and they consistently have satisfying relationships/HEAs along with enough political intrigue and twists to make your head spin.

Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews

From award-winning author, Ilona Andrews, an original novella, set in the New York Times #1 bestselling Kate Daniels World and featuring fan-favorites, Derek, and Curran and Kate’s very independent ward, Julie.

Scarred, solitary Derek Gaunt has separated from his Pack, and is truly a lone wolf. With no family he answers to no one; but is fiercely loyal to a chosen few. So, when several of those close to him are murdered, he’ll stop at nothing to hunt their killer through the magic-drenched streets of Atlanta.

Never one to be left on the sidelines, equally determined—some might say stubborn—Julie Lennart-Olsen soon joins in his pursuit; and what began as revenge turns into a race to save the city. Their search pits them against powers they never imagined and magic so old, it predates history. It may cost Derek his life, but there are things for which even he would risk everything.

My Thoughts: If you like urban fantasy and you're not reading Ilona Andrews than I'm not sure what to tell you. I've lost touch with a number of series I loved (looking at you Dark Series...) but Andrews is a writing team that consistently knocks it out of the park. Kate and Curran are one of my favorite couples ever and the direction they're starting to take here, focusing on Julie and Derek, is just as good. Magic Stars. Go, buy now (ONLY IF YOU'VE READ THE OTHER ONES FIRST OF COURSE), thank me later.

 Lost to the Desert Warrior by Sarah Morgan


"Walking into the lion's den unprotected, Princess?"

For Layla, princess of Tazkhan, her arranged marriage means one thing—a lifetime of cruelty and captivity. Such an unendurable prospect drives her to throw herself at the mercy of Sheikh Raz Al Zahki—her family's greatest enemy!

Raz demands one thing in return for the safe haven Layla is seeking—this brooding desert king wants to make her his queen! Her freedom might be secured, but now her heart is at risk, for soon she's lost to the scorching heat of their marriage bed. However, it will take more than fire to thaw her guarded husband….

My Thoughts: I picked Lost to the Desert Warrior up for cheap during Harlequin's anniversary sale, almost exclusively because Sarah Morgan somehow manages to make even the most ridiculous sounding plot line work. And she does. Again. Somehow Raz is strong and sympathetic rather than the typical alpha-hole and even in her ignorance of what she's really getting herself into, Layla is ready to do what's necessary and stay true to who she is while protecting her loved ones.

I'm Looking Forward To:

Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

For centuries, the Others and humans have lived side by side in uneasy peace. But when humankind oversteps its bounds, the Others will have to decide how much humanity they’re willing to tolerate—both within themselves and within their community...

Since the Others allied themselves with the cassandra sangue, the fragile yet powerful human blood prophets who were being exploited by their own kind, the delicate dynamic between humans and Others changed. Some, like Simon Wolfgard, wolf shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn, see the new, closer companionship as beneficial—both personally and practically.

But not everyone is convinced. A group of radical humans is seeking to usurp land through a series of violent attacks on the Others. What they don’t realize is that there are older and more dangerous forces than shifters and vampires protecting the land that belongs to the Others—and those forces are willing to do whatever is necessary to protect what is theirs...

My Thoughts: Still an auto-buy series. I'm waiting for Bishop to do something "Bishop-y" and ruin my joy but it hasn't happened yet so I'm still hanging in there. Release Date: March 8, 2016.

The Undoing by Shelly Laurenston

No one would ever accuse Jace Berisha of having an easy life–considering her husband…you know…killed her. But that was then! Now she fights for mighty Viking gods with the spectacular and vicious Crows.

But things are turning very bad, very quickly because a vengeful, ancient goddess has come into the world with just one thing on her mind–ending it. And the only way they can hope to stop her is if the Crows join forces with their one-time enemies, the Protectors. A Viking Clan created to do nothing but kill every Crow they see.

Thankfully, Protector Ski Eriksen is a peace loving kind of guy. Because the woman he is desperately trying to get close to is the beautiful and not-very-chatty Jace. Battling Nordic clans? Unkillable goddesses? Jace’s mean-spirited dog? None of these things would ever get in the way of a true Viking!

My Thoughts: The second book in Laurenston's new "Call of Crows" series, it picks back up a world she debuted in her old e-release Hunting Season. I felt a little like the first book was big on plot at the expense of the main HEA, but all in all her writing still makes me happy and the world/supporting characters are fun to read about. Release Date: March 29, 2016.

So I just realized these last picks are months away - sorry! 
I do have some more recent releases I'm looking forward to so I'll try to feature those soon. What are you guys reading/loving right now?


finding the right words

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So it's 2016! And apparently I haven't worn this dress on the blog since I bought it, but make no mistake - it's still awesome (and going for way too much money on Ebay). I'm not sure what made me throw it on with these boots, probably just the fact that the dress has always felt "short" to me and these boots are so tall, but the final affect is one I really like.

Also - what are your thoughts about the size of these images? It's the built in re-size for the blog design I'm using, but I can't decide if it's a bit too overwhelming.

Blazer: J.Crew (similar) ~ Dress: Tommy Hilfiger (also worn here, similar print) ~ Boots: Free People (& they're on sale!) ~ Sunglasses & Necklace: Kate Spade (necklace) ~ Watch: Ebay (similar) ~ Lipstick: Marc Jacobs "Blow"