reading: the makeup book tag

December 30, 2016

I love makeup and I love books, so I was really excited to see that a makeup book tag has been floating around the internet that combines both. The tag asks for people to pick their favorite books in categories that match with the purpose of different types of makeup. The original video seems to have disappeared, but I found out about this tag from this lovely video created by YouTubers Ariel Bissett and Estée Lalonde. My picks include some books that I read a long time ago, and some that I have finished recently. Here we go!

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Jane's experience of coming into her own, and learning how to be strong despite hardships, is beautiful. I read this as a shy high schooler, and I was instantly entangled by Jane and everything that she went through. 

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith. I love this book so much. It blends my love for J. K Rowling, who wrote this book under a pen name, my love for British culture, and my love of mysteries and detective thrillers. It's a great first book as it introduces characters that I came to care for later, and was a riveting read.

Julia Greenfield from Losing It by Emma Rathbone. Recently, I finished this book for my upcoming book club. I was unimpressed by the whiny and self involved heroine, Julia, who was overly concerned with her virginity, and never really learned anything during the summer that she stayed with her great aunt who was also a virgin. Because Julia didn't really learn anything about herself or caring for others I, as the reader, didn't learn anything new either.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling. Let me count the ways that I love this book as the ending to my favorite book series. This book has such a different feel from the rest of the Harry Potter books because the trio are on the run, rather than at school, and this change in pace was welcomed at the end of the series for me. The protagonists have come of age, and so the issues they deal with are much more serious. I loved the pressure of finding the horcruxes, and the devastating quality of the final battle. This book taught me so much about friendship, courage, and even death.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed. This book's cover features a brown boot with bright red laces on a stark white background with a spindly black serif font title. I love those colors, and they make up the bulk of my wardrobe. The only color missing is a blush pink. This book was a wonderful read that I really enjoyed.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I felt challenged by this book, and appreciated that discomfort as a call to do more about racial injustice. I think that everyone should read it.

The Bat by Jo Nesbø. I also recently finished this book, which is the first book in a Norwegian detective series. This book is set in Australia upon the murder of a young Norwegian murder, and it wends its way through bars and the homes of drug dealers, through boxing rings and theaters. After reading only female authored mysteries this summer, and Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbø previously, I found The Bat to be a let down. Maybe this is because the character is a damaged man who damages those around him rather than a kick ass woman, or because this book isn't as inventive as the previous book I had read by the author. Still a decent read, though.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Ah, I love this one. Moby Dick was my favorite book that I read in college. The deep and multifaceted symbolism of the whale drew me in, as did the huge undertaking of reading this gigantic book. My favorite chapter is called the blanket, and talks about how a whale's skin allows it to remain the same temperature internally despite external changes. Here is my favorite quote from that chapter: "It does seem to me, that herein we see the rare virtue of a strong individual vitality, and the rare virtue of thick walls, and the rare virtue of interior spaciousness. Oh, man! admire and model thyself after the whale! Do thou, too, remain warm among ice. Do thou, too, live in this world without being of it. Be cool at the Equator; keep thy blood fluid at the Pole. Like the great dome of St. Peter’s, and like the great whale, retain, O man! in all seasons a temperature of thine own."

Persuasion by Jane Austen. I don't even remember if there is a kiss in this book, but this is my favorite romance. The slow burn of the connection between two characters who had been in love and fell apart, and are pushed together again can't be beat. Something about the maturity and pleasure of their renewed love, despite everything they went through, makes this my favorite romance over even Pride and Prejudice. 

What is a book that left a lasting impression on you?

three favorites: december 18, 2016

December 18, 2016

1. Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm. This is the best lip balm I have ever tried, and I have tried a lot. The balm is a velvety smooth texture, and smells of honey and citrus. It glides onto my lips, and leaves them smooth and nourished for hours. This is great to use at nighttime, or as a thin layer almost wiped off under lipstick. This lip balm saves my lips every winter, and can be found at Target.

2. Clover Takumi bamboo knitting needles and the lovely Purl Soho knitting patterns. I am getting back into knitting, and am halfway done with a chunky apricot colored pom pom topped beanie hat (pattern here), and have just started a sliver of a large ombre seed stitched wrap (pattern here). It's nice to create something, and knitting is such a cozy activity. I like bamboo needles best because they are warm and slightly grippy. I am also loving the Purl Soho patterns. Their photography is gorgeous, and their patterns are so simple but beautiful. The act is knitting is helping me to feel calmer and more at peace, which I will admit I desperately need.

3. Listening to The Bat by Jo Nesbø on Audible. I got halfway through this story on ebook, but then my copy was returned to the electronic cloud that I borrowed it from through my local library. I bit the bullet, and downloaded The Bat with Audible, and now I am working my way through the story of Harry Hole, a Norwegian detective trying to solve the murder of a Norwegian woman in Australia. I'm still trying to figure out if I like Harry or not. This series is wildly popular, and I am waiting to see why. But, it's fun to listen to while knitting and fills my apparent need for the constant intake of murder mysteries.

three favorites: december 4, 2016

December 5, 2016

1. The Sonia Kashuk Radiant Boost Restorative Oil. This is awesome. The packaging is gorgeous, as the bottle is topped with a gold button that pops up with a twist, picks up the perfect amount of oil in a dropper, and sleekly recedes when you close the bottle. So so nice. This oil smells like Early Gray tea, doesn't clog my pores, and adds a protective layer of moisture to my skin at night. I am a big fan of including oils in my skin care. Even though I have oily skin, the oils help my skin feel more plump and less greasy. If you are feeling especially dry this winter, I would recommend adding an oil to your night time skin care routine.

2. Eggnog. There's just something about sitting down with a cup of creamy and spiced eggnog, with the Christmas tree lights turned on. It's helping with the winter feels.

3. This cover of It's Cold Outside by Lydia Liza. My husband's friend from high school created a cover of It's Cold Outside that focuses on the importance of consent. I love it, especially considering how creepy the original is.

teaching: how to survive cold season

December 2, 2016

1. Make sure your room is stocked with cough drops, tissue, hand sanitizer, and lotion.
I walked around my classroom this week and offered one cough drop to "fake coughers" who wanted something almost like candy but a little grosser, and gave a handful to each freshmen that sounded like they were coughing up a lung. Students also are asking for a tissue left and right at a time when my school is saving money, and not buying tissues for classrooms anymore. It's worth buying a set of Kleenex boxes to get through the cold season, though, for me and the students.

2. Good skincare is a must.
I find that teaching, talking all day, and being blown on by my school's weird air system can really dry out my skin as the weather gets colder. I like to include an extra oil in my nighttime routine after my serum, and include an extra layer of moisture in the morning before my moisturizer, like a spray or an extra daytime serum. For oils, I like the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Oil or the Sonia Kashuk oil, and for moisture I like the Pixi Milky Mist. I also slather on the Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm to make sure my lips don't die. 

3. Invest in a good pair of snow/work boots. 
Buy a pair of boots that you can tromp through snow in and change out of when you get to work. I love my Hunters for this, and wear warm wool socks underneath. I feel chic coming into work in them. Plus, if I forget a change of shoes, I can wear them during work without feeling like I am an arctic scientist weathering a storm inside like I would if I were wearing true snow boots. 

4. Up your vitamin game.
For now, my main vitamin choice is vitamin D. It made a difference in my emotional well being last winter, even if it was just a placebo effect, so I will try to continue to consistently take the supplement this winter. I need it, especially considering what 2016 has been like.

Best of luck surviving this cold season, in both senses of the word! Do you have any tips on handling the cold or colds?

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