Monday, April 3, 2017

My Magical, British Room



Hey all! Eight months ago I moved a town with my family, and while you'd think 8 months is enough time to finish organizing and unpacking your room- I guess it isn't for me. *cue monkey covering eyes emoji*. As I'm only home every other weekend or so, I'm still choosing furniture and decorating.

So naturally, when I heard about Loot Crate's fun project, I had no problem coming up with ideas! Loot Crate is a crate subscription service that sends out all different kinds of pop culture theme crates. Different aspects of pop culture they tackle are movies, games, TV shows, books, anime, pro-wrestling, etc. Every month they send out a box of 4-6 cool items with more than $50 value! Recently they've been asking everyone to put together a list of what your dream crate would look like- and they may even make one a reality! 

As you can see from my blog theme, I love London. Be it Sherlock's home town, or the city The Infernal Devices takes place in, or because in it is King's Cross station that first takes Harry to Hogwarts- I've always been enchanted by this city. As I started to brainstorm and google things for my dream crate, it fused with my shopping list for my bedroom and behold, here is some English- themed merch I'd love to have. 



1. London Bridge bookends - I desperately need something nice to hold up the books on my shelves, and what better idea for bookends than a bridge? 

2.  Big Ben clock - what's more appropriate than a clock to represent London?

3. Rainy curtains- every local I've ever spoken to ABSOLUTELY HATES the constant rain in London, but as curtains that can be open and closed at will I think it's beautiful. 

4. Gryffindor hangings - while there are many great soccer clubs that are easily identifiable as British and are well-loved, I am a book lover who grew up on Harry Potter and my room is not complete without this. 

5. Harry Potter lights - I PROMISED myself I wouldn't be so typical and make my whole list about Potter, but I can't help it on this one. I mean, who wouldn't want to light up their bedrooms with a row of floating candles?? That's what I thought. Barring that, I absolutely loved the following stickers. 


So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, my Dream Crate! Go crazy with your own and let me know in the comments! 

Have a wonderful week and wish me luck in my roommaking, 
Esty 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Once Upon A Mattress- Top 5 Tips for the Perfect Day In


Image result for leesa mattress

Hey all! Recently I've been challenged by Leesa Mattresses, an online mattress company, to come up with my ideal day in bed! If you've been thinking about a new mattress, you can read about a few here. Note: This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are totally my own! (: 

Of course, like every avid reader, and pretty much everyone everywhere, for me days in bed are the best. Behold, my top 5 recommendations for the ideal day in!

1. A clean and neat room- a cluttered room is a cluttered mind for me, and I find the activity of cleaning and organizing it is absolutely therapeutic! Once that's done, I can relax in my bed with a clear and free mind, ready to dive into a good read.

2. A calming aroma - open a window! The fresh air is a wonderful way to enjoy the day outside without leaving your blankets. Even when it's rainy! I personally love staying in bed on a rainy day even more. Also, I've recently taken to sheet spray- it's like perfume for your bed! Spritz a little between your pillows and blankets and instantly your room smells refreshed and just washed. 

3. Shams and little pillows- this goes without saying. Perfect for reclining and switching positions while reading. 

4. A cup of tea and a place to put it- need I say more?

5. An old favorite- sure, it's fun and thrilling to read new things, but for my ideal day in? Nothing beats a Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, or some other completely thumbed-through, folded-over, chocolate-finger-stained novel that I know by heart but never ceases to delight me. 

So those are my top 5 tips for the best day in! What do you do when you just need a mental health day? What do you read? Let me know! 

Also, if you're in the mood to do something good- check out Leesa's giving back page. They plant one tree per every mattress they sell, and donate one mattress for every ten. Thank you for the amazing work! 

Have a great week everyone! 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Review: Eleanor and Park

Eleanor & ParkEleanor & Park
Rainbow Rowell
YA Fiction

TWO MISFITS. ONE EXTRAORDINARY LOVE. 
It's 1986 and two star-crossed teens are smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you'll remember your own first love--and just how hard it pulled you under. A cross between the iconic '80s movie Sixteen Candles and the classic coming-of-age novel Looking for Alaska, Eleanor & Park is a brilliantly written young adult novel. 

Considering it takes place in 1986, it's funny to call this book a contemporary. Whatever. 

Beware: unpopular opinion stands before you.

Well, I'm not being fair. 

I picked this book up looking for a short, sweet, quick read. I was NOT expecting a heavy tearjerker. 

What I liked: 
I found their relationship adorably relate-able- the holding hands, being nervous and awkward, first kiss. I liked Park's nerdiness, his family, his wholeheartedness in falling for Eleanor. I like how the book took place in the 80's, and the small town feeling. Having both PoVs was great, and they flowed together smoothly and effortlessly. The short chapters also made it a quick read, so at least that was as expected.

I found that the side characters were important and lovable, and help the reader understand the place and environment. It was nice how in the beginning I judged people like Steve, Tina, and Park's dad, but it turned out that they were nothing like I expected them to be. I loved how Park's mom started to warm up and relate to Eleanor. 

What I didn't like: 
Eleanor's life story was hard for me to swallow in my light, happy mood. Her life was hard, and her decisions not always good. Maybe as a consequence of that, she became a character who was hard to swallow. She was never happy, always too hopeless to try. She never let herself get any help, even from those who could and offered. She never really let Park love her, or even truly agree to love herself. I wanted her to grow throughout the story, and while there were certain scenes towards the end when she allowed herself to enjoy herself with Park, she never allowed herself to love him fully the way he deserved. And that ending. Why?? Her choice is profound and meaningful in the story, and as a reader invested in her I wanted to understand her better. To me, she just made the wrong decision. And it made sad. 

If you can handle and open ending and tragic story, it is a beautiful read- just not my cup of tea on the day I opened it. It's a standalone that was totally meant to be that way, but the kind of novel that if Rainbow Rowell decided to write a sequel five years later or something, I'd totally buy it. 

Rating:

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Review: The 5 Love Languages


The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

Gary Chapman
Psychology

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love-that's the challenge! How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands and conflicts and just plain boredom of everyday life?


A few years back I saw this book everywhere, but being young and scared I thought it was too adult for me. Once however I heard a speaker explain the theory in his lecture, and this year I've been taught it more in depth in the framework of my studies.

The theory is simple. Different things make different people feel loved. By learning the things that express love in a way that your partner (or anyone else in your life) understands, you discover the root of many conflicts and keep love alive in both of you. 

The five languages of love are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

What I liked about reading the actual book as opposed to having the idea presented to me in other ways was that through the examples and anecdotes the writer described I was able to identify the love languages of many other people besides my boyfriend- myself, my family and friends. You realize that at the heart of many cases of fallout there is a misunderstanding of what love is to the other person. 

The book is short and quick read, approachable even if you've heard nothing about the theory. The writer is a Christian and expresses his beliefs throughout but it's nothing too serious or preachy at all. Recommended!