September 2017 Reading Wrap Up

Since staring It my reading has slowed down significantly. It's behemoth of a book so I don't carry it around with me whenever I'm commuting so I think that might partially be why it has been a slow read for me. The book itself is really interesting and I don't think I could ever get tired of King's writing.

I still like to carry my Kindle around so I can read shorter, less time consuming books which can also be mindless reads. The only book that I was able to finish in September was Girls in the Moon by Janet NcNally. I remembered that it was one of the Book of the Month club selections a few months back so I decided to give it a go.  I couldn't relate to any of the characters in this book and overall it was full of fluff with no real issue at hand and no solution that the characters were seeking. It basically takes you through a brief period in the life of the main character while also jumping a bit to the past to give us a better idea of her parent's history. Not super interesting but it was a short read so that made it a bit more bearable. I ended up giving it 2 stars and honestly I probably could've give it just 1 but I was feeling nice that particular day so there it is. Once again I find out that I cannot read fluff books and when I do I sorely regret it.

Have you read anything good lately?

I've been kind of slacking from this blog but I have a lot of interesting trips to share with you guys. Starting with the Labor Day trip to DC and also the Euro trip that we just got back from last week. 

August 2017 Reading Wrap Up

August wasn't a super productive reading month for me, but I blame that on just being busier than normal. I'm currently reading It by Stephen King, and I for sure won't finish it this month so September won't have a reading wrap up.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie - (4/5) Awesome mystery novel. Not as good as "And Then There Were None" which is absolutely amazing, but still a very quick and captivating story. Somehow I knew the ending, I may have heard about it forever ago and subconsciously put two and two together. Still, the book was interesting and I definitely want to read more of her books.

Evicted by Matthew Desmond - (5/5) This nonfiction book is a must read. I was blown away at how many housing issues there are and how it's a Catch 22 with a lot of them. So many changes need to be made especially when it comes to people receiving government support. It was terrifying to read about the living conditions of some people and how little help is available. If you're looking to read even one nonfiction book make sure you read this one!

Have you read any good books lately?

August Catch Up

I can't believe summer is almost over, feels like it went by so fast. I'm not entirely unhappy about it though since I'm a little tired of trying to avoid sweating every time I go outside. Looking back on this summer I feel like I haven't done much, definitely didn't make it to the beach and didn't eat as much ice cream as planned. Now I'm anxiously awaiting the festive fall season, can't wait for pumpkin flavored everything.

Watching - Bachelor in Paradise! You know how obsessed I am with all of those shows so I can't help but watch this train wreck too. It's been going good and I'm excited to see what happens next. We've also been watching Game of Thrones. This season isn't as crazy as some others, in my opinion, but it's been good and I'm really anxious to see how the story line develops.

Reading - Still the nonfiction book Evicted. It's a great read but it's the kind of book where you want to read a few chapters a day. It's very well written and has so much information, I highly recommend it if you've been looking for a good nonfiction book. It's also a Pulitzer prize winner, in case that will sway you to read it :) Next on my list is It by Stephen King. It's a beast of a book but I think that I should be able to get through it by Halloween.

Listening - Still Jack Johnson, and I'm anxiously awaiting for his new album to come out in September. Also I've been listening to Lost in the Dream by The War on Drugs, it's a great new album.

Doing - I've been a lot more responsible with taking vitamins and supplements. I don't know how effective they are and maybe it's all for nothing but I enjoy feeling like I'm doing something that is good for me. I want to start taking supplements for better skin, hair, and nails so I might include that in a post one of these days!

Planning - Our trip to D.C. is upon us! We're taking the train there and will be staying for 2 nights. This is my first time going so I don't really know of any good spots to go. We're going to hit all of the monuments and museums but definitely let me know if there is a great restaurant or bar that's worth checking out!

Wanting - To really stick with my exercise plans. After our trip to Nashville I fell off the wagon a bit and it's been a struggle to get back into it. I've been looking up some new workout plans and that's been motivating me to get back in the gym.

Loving - Taking the pressure off Instagram. For a while I was so focused on making all of my images look perfect and edited exactly the same that Instagram stopped being fun for me. Now I've started posting whenever I feel like it, dropped the endless hashtags, and some of my photos look like crap. But I'm fine with that and I feel happier with that platform.

I hope you're enjoying the last few days of summer! What are your plans for Labor Day?

My Makeup Routine

This summer I've finally cut down my makeup routine to take less than 5 minutes. I've just grown so tired of using a bunch of stuff I didn't really need but used anyways just because that's what "everyone does". I stopped using foundation/tinted moisturizer because I don't need any coverage and if I'm being completely honest I don't need to even out my skin tone. I always really liked bb creams and tinted moisturizers that had no coverage so I just thought to myself, what's the point in using them? So I decided to go without and it has been great! I feel like my skin is doing even better and I don't have to be extra careful to remove additional makeup at the end of the night.

I've also cut out blush because my cheeks are naturally pretty red so it was a step I was taking that didn't really make a big difference. I still use bronzer and highlighter occasionally but only if I'm going out somewhere, not if I'm just going to work.

Luckily this routine is also cruelty free so I'm finally 100% happy with the products I'm using. All of them work well and are pretty simple so they make getting ready in the morning a breeze.

So let's get right to it!

Glossier Stretch Concealer - I start off my covering up my under eye area, the main trouble spot. This concealer works great and it's not too intense but you can definitely build it up to some serious coverage. What I like best about it is how dewy it makes my skin look, one of the best concealers I've ever tried.

Anastasia Brow Wiz - I can't live my life when my eyebrows aren't done. I don't know what it is but I just don't feel put together unless my eyebrows are filled in. So this is the first step for me, it helps fill in my eyebrows and make them look a bit thicker because there are some patches that don't look too good.

Glossier Boy Brow - I've heard so much about this product and I kept putting it off, which was a mistake. I remember using Benefit Gimme Brow which always left some residue on my skin around the eyebrows that I had to wipe off. It was slightly annoying. Boy Brow doesn't do that and really holds my brows in place no matter what I'm up to.

ELF Mineral Inflused Mascara - The biggest struggle for me is to find a good mascara that is cruelty free, decently priced, and doesn't flake off. It's been tough and before I used to use Physician's Formula which left black circles under my eyes. This one has been pretty good so far, especially since it's only $3, but I'm always willing to try something different.

There you have it, my daily makeup routine! It's simple and basic but I like not taking a while to get ready.

What's your makeup routine like? 

July Reading Wrap Up

July turned out a pretty slow but productive reading month for me. I started reading The Goldfinch and I was able to finish it too, but it was the only book that I was able to get to.

I've tried reading this book before and I failed miserably. I think the fact that it's 900+ pages scared me off and I really didn't want to commit to a long book. This time around I was really into it right from the start. Her writing was easy to read and I was more concerned with the journey and not so much with how the book was going to end. It felt like 10 books in 1 because there were so many different stories all throughout.

Now I'm a lot less worried whenever large books cross my path and I'm a lot less focused on flying through books as quickly as I can.

Have you read any good books lately? 

Hair Care Routine

I'm pretty basic when it comes to hair care, the main product that I'm using is the dry shampoo because I only wash my hair twice a week.

Step 1 is the shampoo, I've been using this new stuff from Dessert Essence Organic. I really like it and it may be my new favorite shampoo. I know it says it's for oily hair but I didn't feel like it dries out my hair or anything. As always I'm sticking to sulfate free shampoos and this one has awesome organic ingredients.  I've stopped using conditioner because my hair is fine and conditioner really weighs it down. It was also tough to wash out sometimes so I'd end up with really greasy areas.

Next is salt spray, I use it after I get out of the shower. I'm not particularly loyal to any specific brand and I keep switching it up every time one runs out. I got this one in a box from Influencer, and it's been pretty good but I think I'll want to try something new next time. I like salt sprays because they add good texture to my hair which it desperately needs.

I'm juggling between two dry shampoos, they are both rather good. I like the Aveda one because it smells awesome and you can keep the pump and just buy replacement dry shampoo containers for it. It's also easy to use because of that pump so you don't have to sprinkle it on your hands. Acure one is a cheaper option but it also works well. It has good ingredients and doesn't really have a scent. I use dry shampoo in clean hair, and every morning and night.

The sugar texturizing spray is from when I used to get Birchbox, I've never really used texturizing spray before but this one works pretty well. I really want to try Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray but I need to use this up before getting anything new.

Finally, my hairspray. I guess I don't use it that much because I've had this same one since back when we used to live in Nashville. That may be the case because I only use it a couple of times a week and sometimes I just forget to use it. This one is pretty good though, it has a nice hold without making my hair crunchy.

What are your go-to hair products?

July Catch Up

It's time for our monthly catch up! I love seeing posts like this from others because it's such a good way to sum everything up and see what everyone's been up to.

Watching - Still following The Bachelorette, it's going to be over in the next few weeks. This season has been good and I liked the solid amount of drama it delivered. I'm sad about Bachelor in Paradise being on hold but I guess I'll just have to move on with my life. I've also been watching The Handmaid's Tale but it isn't really a show that I felt like binge watching because of how slow moving it is so I've really spread it out. Alex and I usually watch Parks and Rec for a dose of feel good humor, and it also closes up the void that The Office left.

Reading - I'm powering through The Goldfinch. It's an awesome book that I highly recommend you read. It's so well written and the characters are on point. It's a pretty hefty book so it definitely slowed me down but I don't mind.

Listening To - Jack Johnson! Whenever I listen to his music I feel so calm and laid back, it's perfect for relaxing. He's coming out with a new album in September so I'm just preparing myself by listening to his old stuff. Along with that I've been listening to Haim's new album, which is pretty good.

Doing - I'm about to embark on another round of meal prep for the week. Every Sunday I've been choosing a recipe and cooking enough food to last us through majority of the week. It's been going great and I feel like it's an awesome way to save money. Buying lunches is tempting but it's not as healthy or cheap. Also, I've been going to the gym for 2 weeks now and I'm really trying not to fall off the wagon. I found a 12 week workout plan and it's been pretty enjoyable so far so fingers crossed that I stick to it.

Planning - All of the trips! August will be a busy month for us, we're going to Nashville in 2 weeks and will be there for a week. Then we have a wedding in Columbus one weekend. For labor day we're going to D.C. (that trip is all planned already). Finally, in October we're going on a trip to Europe. We will be hitting Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Oslo, it should be a blast!

Wanting - A carry on, and I really need it too because we actually don't own one at the moment. I've been browsing a few of them online (and getting recommendations from Jae, who is very wise) but I still haven't made up my mind. The front runner for me was Away Luggage and I also like Calpak, this will be tough. Any recommendations?

Loving - Not wearing makeup. Primarily because it's summer and I'm feeling lazy. With that being said, I always do my brows. I feel like they really frame my face and luckily it takes me 2 seconds. Also, not having to work hard to make sure all of makeup is washed off properly is a relief.

I hope you're having an awesome summer! What's new with you?
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