To Fill Up & Live BookClub | Attachments

Thursday, July 31, 2014

On the last Thursday of the month, we review books :) Only the second month in and I'm seriously loving it. Click here for more information or check out the link in my navigation bar.

Let's talk about this book, shall we? We shall.

Title: Attachments

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Publication: 2011

Major Characters: Lincoln O'Neill, Beth Fremont, Jennifer Scribner-Snyder

Main Plot: Lincoln never saw himself as an "internet security guard", reading other people's emails and looking for prohibited, personal content. Beth and Jennifer's emails always get flagged as they chat back and forth about their lives, and Lincoln always reads them without reporting it. Soon, he finds himself mesmerized by both their emails and one of the women as well. But how do you tell the woman you stalk on the internet that you love her?

Favorite Quote(s):
"I'd know you in the dark. From a thousand miles away. There's nothing you could become that I haven't already fallen in love with."

"I was born in February, but I come alive in October."

"I think I missed my window... My get-a-life window. I think I was supposed to figure all the stuff out somewhere between twenty-two and twenty-six, and now it's too late."

"It's so easy for someone else to say, 'Don't worry. Everything's going's going to be all right.' Why not say it? It doesn't cost anything. It doesn't mean anything. No one will hold you to it if you're wrong."

"I'm larking through the Baby Gap... And I get totally sucked in by this ridiculous, tiny fur coat. The kind of coat a baby might need to go to the ballet. In Moscow. In 1918. To match her tiny pearls."

"Everything has been a disaster since I decided my life as it was wasn't good enough."
My Rating: 4.8
To begin, let me clarify the incessant number of quotes listed above. That's the edited version. I had to cut like half of the ones I had originally. There are so many quotes from this novel that I just really connected with. Which brings me to my next point, I just really connected with this novel and it's protagonist. The only other character that 'got me' in a way that made me wanna scream it from the rooftops was another one of Rainbow Rowell's characters, Cath from Fangirl. (You don't want to get me started on that book! OMG. A review is coming for that one, believe me! Just know one thing, Fangirl is the reason I can't give Attachments 5 full stars.) I'm convinced that Rainbow and I are just on the same wavelength. Yes. We are on a first name basis. No. She doesn't know it. But she favorited 2 (TWO) of my tweets, so that's basically best friend status, know what I'm sayin'?

Back to Attachments. Lincoln, our protagonist, is 28 years old and feels like he has no real direction. I can relate to that. Not only is he struggling to figure out what he wants to do, he feels so trapped by his age and what he's currently doing, that he has trouble figuring out what he really wants to be doing. (Hello? Is Rainbow trying to tell me something?!) On top of that, Lincoln is dealing with his family members' expectations, unsure as to whether they match his own. The only part of Lincoln that I couldn't grasp at first was how he derived happiness from reading the emails of two women he'd never met or even seen before. After thinking about it, I realized - isn't that what we're doing right now? If you're reading this right now and are one of my readers (and I hope you are!), aren't you doing so because reading about my life intrigues you and brings you a bit of happiness, although you've never met me? It's an interesting thought, and when put in that way, the whole internet creeping doesn't seem so bad.

The novel was hilarious in such a real life way. I laughed my way through at least a dozen Beth-Jennifer emails. (Small spoiler: 4th quote is from an email and said by a very not-pregnant woman.) The snark was off the charts and their friendship played out in such a real way. I connected with so many of the characters and they carried the story straight through to the end. I felt for each of them when they went through difficult situations and I found myself rooting for them. Rainbow created characters that I wanted to see happy regardless of what I personally felt or how toxic I thought a situation was, which is not something that normally happens for me. I found myself saying "well, so long as she/he's happy" frequently. Even the characters, who I clearly wasn't suppose to like, were portrayed in a way that made me understand them. When I didn't agree with their decisions, I still understood how they could feel a particular way.

Without question, I recommend this book. Rainbow combines humor with reality in a way that makes you feel like you are part of her world, cheering the characters on as they deal with many of the same dilemmas you encounter everyday.

Have you read Attachments? What did you think? We didn't promote it much (we will next month), but if you wrote a review, link to it below!


After much deliberation (Kay & I are quite indecisive!), the August book of the month is a new release, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty - an adult book about lies, kindergarten, murder and parenthood. How do those things go together? Join us in reading the novel to find out! Click the book to find out more!

This cover!

I Hate Myself

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

If I'm not working out, you can bet your tushy I'm wearing concealer to cover up these dark under-eye circles of mine. It's just part of my morning (or whenever I wake up) routine. Brush teeth, wash face, tap a little concealer under the eyes, get dressed. In law school, that step was essential to not looking like the walking dead; now that my circles are less sleep-deprived and more a hereditary curse, I just prefer to brighten that area up.

Yesterday, my blogger feed was flooded with beautiful pictures of Kate from The Florkens, sans makeup. And when I read Kate's call to 'bare it all' in her post yesterday, I had to find the courage to participate. One does not simply refuse to pick up a call from Kate. Also, I love the message behind the linkup, don't try so hard, asking us to bravely share a photo of ourselves without all the hair, makeup and other prep that goes into our usual selfies and to share one thing we like about ourselves.

Months ago, I published a post about feeling beautiful, sharing tips I find helpful to reminding myself appreciate my own beauty. But I'll be the first to admit that I feel a bit naked with a completely bare face. One coat of mascara opens up your eyes so nicely and concealer is my best friend as stated above. I can't say I was excited to share this all natural selfie.
It's funny how one thought or observation can lead you to another one that ends up being even more important. Or how something so general can teach you something very personal about yourself. When I first read about this linkup yesterday, I was lying in bed, half-awake, eyes barely open and oily-faced as I tend to wake up. Linkup or not, no one wants a picture of that. So I went searching through my phone for a picture of myself without makeup. And I couldn't find one. Repeat. I could not find a single picture of myself without makeup. Over 2,000 pictures in my phone dating all the way back to 2009, and nothing. My immediate thought was OMG, I hate myself. Not in the sense of "I-hate-myself-for-not-having-one", but in the literal "wow-I-must-hate-myself-if-I-dont-have-one-natural-picture-of-my-face". Almost as if my face, the one I was born with, wasn't good enough or pretty enough or precious enough to commemorate as is. How depressing is that?

I'm not sure why or how this became a reality. It's not that I particularly dislike my face. I'm not one of those girls that cannot go out without "putting her face on" and layering on the products. I have all the products of course because I like makeup and pretty hair. I enjoy having my pick of lipsticks and blushes in a variety of shades and finishes. I like the way false lashes make a girl's eyes look fluttery and flirtatious, although I'm terrible at applying them and usually just give up. I'm in awe of the power of a good contour and highlight (#CheekbonesToHeaven). And who doesn't like shiny, silky hair? But I don't need it. Frequently, all I need is a little concealer, mascara and lip color to feel put together. In fact, I find that I like my lips and my high cheekbones, whether or not I have on makeup. Yet, none of this answers the question as to why I don't take "natural selfies". I don't really have an answer. That is unless you count today when I stepped out without much more than brushing my hair, washing my face and swiping on some chapstick. Not an answer, but it's something.

the florkens

Are you brave enough to share your natural beauty?


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On Wednesdays, when our computer is still out of commission, we post fiction from the drafts files (although it's actually more of a paragraph of thought) and hope our readers don't judge us too harshly :) It hasn't be edited, and it also hasn't been looked at since it was jotted down in a haze of confusion on a post it sometime last fall. We hope to have the computer fixed by tomorrow, but in the spirit of consistency, we present a post dug from the archives of 2013. I'll stop using the enigmatic 'we' now, we think's it's creepy.

It kinda felt like drowning. Like being held under water, but no one was holding you. You can see the surface, and the calm of the water after the crash of each wave beckons you, dares you even, to break through. Just beneath the surface of the water, you can feel the sunlight on your face if you tilt your chin towards it. It warms you as you float within the cool ocean waters. Even though you feel the warmth of possibility, even though you see the opportunity, even though no one is holding you back, you don't reach, you don't even try. You allow the depth of the ocean floor to pull you down deeper. You let the passing of each second become an opportunity lost. You see it happening, in fact, you watch it. You are powerless against it. Yet, who but you could ever have the power to remove the invisible weight you've placed upon yourself? No one's coming to rescue the girl who doesn't want to be saved.

Another Reason I'm Irresponsible.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Before I tell you what makes me a completely irresponsible nincompoop this week, I first have to explain how I got into this situation in the first place. 

Almost 3 years ago (goodness this is worse than I thought), I fell into my bed drunk as a skunk after a few drinks with some law school friends. Sometime in the middle of the night, I jumped out of my captain bed to pee. I remember hearing a crunch, kind of like the way a chip sounds under the sole of a shoe, but thought nothing of it, stumbling into the bathroom and then back into bed. For a while, I was clueless. Then, during some law class, I approached my computer at an angle and saw what literally stopped me in my tracks. Running diagonally across my screen was the largest spidery crack I could imagine. You know when you drop your iPhone face-down, cursing it as it slips from your fingertips and praying it's ok as you pick it up, only to discover you've annihilated your screen? It was that feeling. I cursed not-so-under my breath, prayed I was imagining things and then felt my stomach drop as I dragged my fingers across the jagged edge of the crack. 

Oh but my irresponsibility doesn't stop there, my friends. You couldn't really see the crack if you were sitting in front of the screen and the computer was running fine so I didn't bother getting it fixed. 
For 2+ YEARS. I got so use to it I forget it's there unless someone points it out. 

But guess what? It doesn't end there. In case you don't follow me on Twitter and so don't know already, last Thursday, dear ol' cracked faithful croaked on me. When I turned it on, it booted up but then the screen went black. So who was staring at a black screen crying because she has 5 years worth of documents, pictures, etc., which she never backed up, stored on a computer that is no longer living? This girl, this stupid, irresponsible girl. I swear, I feel like Carrie Bradshaw during that episode when her computer crashed and she's freaking out because she didn't even know what "backing up" meant. Except I'm not Carrie, this is not 1999, and I know better. I repeat, irresponsible. Irresponsibility all around. 

So until I get my computer fixed (when I will hopefully find out the fate of my docs and such), posts may be weirdly formatted (I come to you from my phone today) or lacking. Bear with me, lovelies. 

Color My Mind 'Immaculate Conception'

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What Color Is Your Mind? Strangest opening line ever, huh? I thought the same thing when I stumbled across this quiz, but then intrigue got the best of me, and by the time I hit the 'submit' button I was convinced the cheesy response would be "the world may never know." Serves me right for being so gullible.

Apparently, my mind is purple, which means:
Of all the mind types, yours is the most idealistic.
You tend to think wild, amazing thoughts. Your dreams and fantasies are intense.
Your thoughts are creative, inventive, and without boundaries.
You tend to spend a lot of time thinking of fictional people and places - or a very different life for yourself.
At first glance, I read most of these fantastical qualities as negative ones. What do you mean my dreams are intense? Does that imply they're crazy pipe dreams that will never happen? On what planet could preferring fictional characters to real ones be a good thing? Are they implying that I'd rather live a fictional life? Screw the quiz-creating gods. Something about the results made me feel like that "eccentric" woman who lives down the hallway with 9 cats, which you only know about because you hear the wailing and clawing at the walls late at night. I am not that woman - I'm allergic to cats.

So I took the quiz again. Purple. Shit. Now that I had to accept that this was not a fluke but rather just the color of my maniacal mind, I tried to think about whether these things were true instead of whether they were "positive." Resounding yes.

As an example (I may have posted about this before), I was quite the child. I wasn't a rebellious child per se, but I had my own ideas and would stifle them for no one. At the age of about 6, while other girls in class responded to the "what do you want to be when you grow up" question with talk of weddings and babies and houses and girly things, I informed everyone that I wanted to be a rockstar. I'd have a baby girl of course, a daughter whom I'd take with me everywhere I went, including on stage to belt out my songs. I'd travel from place to place so everyone could hear my voice and see my baby. But that's it. No house, no picket fence, no white frilly dress, and no husband. No baby daddy. Just me and my immaculately conceived baby girl. What in G-d's name?? Wild, amazing thoughts? Intense dreams and fantasies? Check. I was a weird kid.

My idealism didn't stop there. It carried on into middle school and high school on the wings of Harry Potter novels and blank notebooks waiting to be filled. Like any other teenager, my home life was "unsatisfying" (Breakfast Club reference, anyone?), so at times, I preferred living vicariously through others or in the worlds I created myself. I sound like a nut, I blame it on teen angst. I read incessantly and filled notebook upon notebook with my ideas. In short, I spent "a lot of time thinking of fictional people and places - or a very different life for [myself]." That particular notebook (pictured above) still sits on my bookshelves and I open it from time to time but to see how far my writing has come along.

Even now, I enjoy making extensive lists. I list things I need to do, planning everything out on Sunday nights in my beautiful Erin Condren Life Planner; I have a never-ending list of books to read and places to visit. I have a file in my computer under my name, consisting of pictures of hair styles I'd love to have, wardrobes I'd die for, goals I need to complete, routines I want to set in place - basically, any and everything I need to become the person I've always wanted to be. Actually, I'm big on that. I spend a substantial amount of time thinking about the woman I want to be and crafting a way to get there. Even the boundaries of my current life, my current self, are not enough to check my creative and inventive mind.

Go figure. Looks like my mind's purple afterall, and turns out it's not so bad. What color is your mind? Scroll up to find out and let me know what you think of your results in the comments below!

Chick-Flick Movies I'll Never Tire of Watching

Monday, July 14, 2014

I've been MIA for so long I can even remember the last time I posted. Blogger says it was like 2 weeks ago but it feels like so much longer than that. Recently, I've been wrapped up in reading like a mad woman and, you know, just life's happenings in general. If I'm being honest, there's been a short supply of blog ideas in this head of mine and whenever I do start working on a post, I think "eh, no one wants to read this shit" and delete it. Basically, I lost my bloggy mojo. But this weekend, while browsing blogs, I felt left out. Left out of this blogging community that I really wanted to be a part of but felt so disconnected to these past two weeks because I was posting so infrequently. So I brainstormed post ideas, made a list of ones I thought were interesting enough for publication and I'm back on this blog of mine with new dedication, if you will.

With all that said, you'd think I had time for nothing else this weekend. You'd be wrong. Last night, I was pleasantly surprised to find A Walk To Remember on Lifetime and was instantly transported to my 14th year of life and my kind of unhealthy obsession with all things Shane West (seriously though, he was and still is so damn sexy). I could watch that movie a bagillion times without ever getting tired of it. Then, I thought there's quite a few chick-flick-y films that I could, and have, re-watched so many times and loved them just the same each time. (Sings "It feels like the first time...") And so here we are, with a list of movies I'll never get tired of. Let me know if I miss any!

If you were born in the 80's and haven't seen or don't love Clueless, we can't be friends. For real, I don't think it's possible not to love this movie, even though I was only 7 when it came out. It's less than 20 years old, but feels like a classic girl's night in film, the ultimate chick flick.

Breakfast At Tiffany's 
As if this classic wasn't going to make the list! I love quite a few Audrey Hepburn movies, but I can never pass up an opportunity to see this movie. Holly Golightly + her amazing fashion sense + New York City + Cat. What's not to love?

Pride & Prejudice 
Maybe it's because I just love this book or maybe it's because Mr. Darcy melts my heart, but I've watched this film adaptation at least half-a-dozen times since I read the novel last December.

The Breakfast Club 
I know it's not really a "chick-flick", but it's my favorite movie ever so I had to include it. I didn't want to flood this list with all movies Molly Ringwald, but it's safe to assume I could watch anything with her or any other Brat Pack member in it, including 16 Candles and Pretty In Pink (Duckie!).

A Walk To Remember and The Notebook 
Both film adaptations of Nicholas Sparks books with dreamy male leads of the the hot, early 2000s variety, I watch these films every time I catch them on television. When I really think about it, there's something depressing about the endings of both of these stories, yet I love watching the love develop anyway. And of course, I cry every single time.  

Devil Wears Prada 
It's much more humorous than lovey-dovey, but still a favorite. Part of what makes this movie so addicting, aside from the stellar performances of Anne Hathaway and the timeless Meryl Streep, is the inside look at the fashion world. Who knew blue was so serious?

Mean Girls 
This might be one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. Seriously. I laugh-cry through the entire thing every time I watch it. And I quote it, quite frequently, just because.

Dirty Dancing 
It was the beginning of all the "falling in love" dance movies (like Step Up which I also really like). Bad boy meets good girl who just wants to dance, and helps her overcome the non-believers, partnering with her for one stellar final performance. It's an irresistible combination. Plus, Swayze was a stud.

Now I know you're thinking "what is this movie doing on a chick-flick list?" Sure, it's a much darker film (bordering on wildly inappropriate in some ways) about cliques, featuring a suicide obsessed male lead and the one and only Winona Ryder as his female lead and accomplice. But it's also a really witty film that makes me laugh while commenting on pretty serious topics, and I just love it.

The Princess Diaries 
A novice Anne Hathaway and a seasoned veteran in Julie Andrews, it's the feel good story of the nerdy outcast who finds out she's actually royalty, basically every teenager's fantasy.

10 Things I Hate About You 
Even though, there's a sadness to seeing Heath Ledger on the screen as singing and swoon-worthy, I still love this movie. The younger sister's storyline is pretty funny, and I love how hard Heath works to win Julia Stiles over. And can you imagine having to wear "the belly"? :)

The Wedding Planner 
Starring J.Lo in her prime and Matthew McConaughey right when he achieved heart-throb status, moments from this film will always stay with me. Like the fact that brown M&Ms have less artificial coloring because chocolate's already brown.

Sex And The City 
Let's not pretend as though I haven't already expressed my love for these ladies. Any excuse to watch my girls take on the City one last time!

Crazy, Stupid, Love 
Hilarious and super cute, between Emma Stone's witty one-liners and Ryan Gosling's greek god bod, I can't get enough of this movie.

I shouldn't have to explain this. You should just know.

When I compiled this list, I included all kinds of movies, and narrowed it down to chick-flicks later. So, my original list included quite a few Disney movies like Parent Trap, Mighty Ducks, and Brink (but of course!). That's not really relevant to the post but I felt like I had to inform you of my love for Disney channel movies. It's only right.

What movies could you watch over and over again?

2% Milk Manicure.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sure, it's summertime and I should probably be covering my nails in brightly-colored varnish. But I can't deny my love of neutrals. It's clearly not enough that my room is mostly white and that my living room is decked out in browns and whites, I've got to have neutral nails too. And recently, I've been all about Wet n Wild's Megalast polish in 2% Milk. I don't even like milk but I love this shade!

The Wet n Wild Megalast collection of polishes is an amazing line. I have quite a few and they have yet to disappoint. The brush is large, which makes it really easy to cover my entire nail with a few quick strokes, and the colors range from perfectly neutral to wonderfully vibrant. And they're less than two bucks a bottle! 

For me, this color runs a sort of "my nails but better" shade, but then in certain lights, it takes on a pinkish that I adore. The only downside to 2% Milk is that it's pretty freakin' sheer. The polish applies wonderfully, perfectly coating my nails, but I needed to use three coats to get the opaqueness below. It's really no bother to me, so I love it anyway! 

Because one is never enough, tell me about some beautiful nude/neutral polishes you love in the comments below!

Binge-Reading All The Wrong Books?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

So, I missed the first month's check-in for the Semi-Charmed Book Challenge. Not that I would've had much to report (I didn't read very much in May). But I'm checking-in for the second month with suboptimal progress, but nonetheless, checking-in.

I crafted my preliminary challenge list strategically, keeping in mind the books I wanted to read and fitting them into the categories, so that this wouldn't happen. It's weird. I've been reading like a mad woman, but I've so little headway regarding this challenge. I got sucked into the vortex that is The Mortal Instruments and could pick up nothing else for nearly a month. And I still have yet to break out of the YA bubble. (I like my bubble!)

I've only completed two of the challenge categories, totaling 60 points:
  • 15 points for We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (book read by another blogger)
  • 20 points for The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
  • 25 points for Cress by Marissa Meyer
I can't say I'm disappointed in that progress though, at least not in general. I've read 8 books this past month, which averages to a book every 4 days or so. I haven't devoured novels like this for years. I do, however, plan to read at least two of the books on my challenge list very soon. Attachments is the To Fill Up & Live BookClub book of the month for July, and if I don't read Great Gatsby soon, I'm not sure I ever will. I've also heard so many good things about Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor, so that may be moving up on the TBR list as well. And book! So many books, so little time :)

Off I go to continue re-watching (aka binge-watching) Gossip Girl season 2. My addictive personality is showing I know.

What have you read recently? Are you participating in any reading challenges?

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