Tasseled and Tousled

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Sometimes an outfit will come together in my mind and then it is quickly forgotten as something else comes up. But I could not get this one out of my head.

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So I put it on. And I was happy.

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I received these booties for Christmas (however did he know?). The booties are sold out at Anthropologie, but the brand is Fortress of Inca and they have similar booties available. They are more than what I paid, but I have seen their site do promotions, so I would watch for that if you want the booties. I wore mine for about ten hours on this day. And they were very comfortable.

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The dress was an awesome sale popback score. I was really worried that this dress would accentuate my hips in a negative way, but it surprisingly does not. It is a very forgiving dress. The only thing I would change would be the v-shaped pretty plaid pattern in the middle. If you stand a certain way, it looks like odd legs. But I can live with that.

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Heather from The Peacock Fairy previously wore her dress here. Can you believe she just had a baby? She looks fantastic! I didn’t get dressed for three months after each baby. She is very inspiring. Bonnie from Small Town Fashionista also rocked the dress early on. In fact, it was after seeing it on her that I added it to my wishlist.

It is a great dress for all body types. You might be able to find The Tasseled Maxi Dress on eBay or as a popback (it is all sold out, but Golden Tote has almost the exact same dress for $35 without the middle panel. I have never shopped there before, so I cannot comment on the site).

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Whew! Mundane details out of the way. Oh! I forgot about the necklace! And I forgot its name! It is from 2013. It has a gold stripe on the other side. I always wear it backwards because I like the pure dark fabric by itself better. The ring was the best deal last month. I had wanted it when it first came out, but never got it. My local store had it for $7.50. I wear it all of the time!

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Okay. Now the mundane details are hopefully out of the way. Who likes mundane details? Not me. And isn’t January full of them as we try to get our lives organized for the new year?

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Such as, I have been purging my closet. I made a pile that I will be donating and the next night at dinner, my daughter came to the table wearing the kimono I had put on top of the donation pile. It is a good thing that I am always slow and behind or she would have missed out!

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It was windy when we took these pictures. Somehow I ended up in positions that resembled ballerina poses as I tried to block the sun and keep my hair in place.

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I find this hilarious as I am the most klutzy person I know. My mother was a beautiful ballerina. I never had the knack. Or the grace. Or the fortitude. I took it for, gosh, seven years. I kept hearing about the blood involved with pointe shoes and that was it for me. It makes me dizzy just thinking about it. And nobody wants a dizzy ballerina. Besides I believe I would be a ditzy dizzy ballerina and that would be a double blow to the craft.

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Did you take a dance class as a child? Do you take it now? Is anyone else still reeling from the talk about the pointe shoes? I can feel the room spinning. I must put my head between my legs.

Don’t worry. If anyone asks I’ll just tell them it is a new dance move.

And they’ll totally not believe me.

I Read “The Hunger Games,” Now What?

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So, you read “The Hunger Games.”

As did we all.

Or say we all.

Or somethin’.

What next? Is there anything else like it? Are there other books that are similar?

Oh.

Yes.

Let’s talk.

I loved “The Hunger Games.” Before The Hunger Games, I had previously read the author Suzanne Collin’s earlier work, The Underland Chronicles. Unfortunately, I barely remember it. I know she killed a lot of the characters and I remember not liking the ending. It was about a world of people who are minature. And they live among giant (to them) rats and cockroaches. I love anything miniature. Um, see the title of my blog. But I did not love this series. I want to discuss books like “The Hunger Games” that I really did enjoy.

But first, I am going to tell ya something embarrassing.

I was at Comic Con last year.

That’s not the embarrassing part.

The very best part about Comic Con are the free books. Every year we come home with about fifty free books. It is fabulous.

Ahem. Jenni. Yous gots to get to the point.

So, I went up to a publisher’s booth and it was being run by a sole girl in her early twenties. It was a booth dedicated to teenage novels. Most of the book booths at Comic Con are manned by the editors for the publishers. Which is cool. And intimidating.

I asked her, “Do you have any free books today?” As one does.

She smiled at me like a cat seeing a canary or a cockroach seeing a human, depending upon which book you are in. In my mind she uncurled from the chair she was sitting in and stretched her arms above her head.

“Su-rrrrrrrre,” she purred. “But first I’m going to ask you a few questions to find you the perfect book.”

“Great!” I said with genuine enthusiasm.

“What type of books do you like?”

My mind went blank. I seriously could not think of a single book. Not one. Not even a genre. I stood there rapidly blinking. My eyes finally landed on a poster for “The Hunger Games” behind the girl’s head. Aha!

“I like the Hunger Games,” I triumphantly declared as I drooled.

I could see her visibly trying not to roll her eyes.

“So you like Dystopian?”

“Um, I’ve never read that book?” I ignorantly replied.

She looked at me and started laughing. “No! It’s not a book! It’s a genre. Like “The Hunger Games.” You know, future apocalyptic science fiction.”

I blushed furiously. In the back of my head… the very, very back… I had somehow known this. But it did not make me feel less dumb or make my husband laugh any less at my answer when I told him the story later that day.

She handed me a dystopian book. Quite honestly, I am not even sure which one. I ran faster from that booth than Katniss from a fireball.

And I quite forgot about that moment… until each time my husband brings it up. It is always when I am reading.

“Whatcha reading?” He’ll innocently ask. But then before I can answer he will insert, “Is it ‘Dystopian’? I’ve heard that is a great book!” Then he will cackle with laughter.

But the truth is, the book I am reading at the time of his question probably is a dystopian novel. I have read many of them. Here are some short reviews of some other enjoyable series similar to “The Hunger Games,” in case you, too, like “Dystopian.”:

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The Maze Runner by James Dashner. This series is perhaps closest to “The Hunger Games” in the bleakness of the world and grownups trying to use children for their own purposes. This is my fifteen year old daughter’s second favorite series. I liked it. However, I did not enjoy the ending of this series. It was not awful, but I felt the series quickly changed in terms of plot from book one to book four. In fact, the theme changes so much it almost feels like a completely different series throughout all four books. And definitely a different world.

The books begin with a boy waking up in a world similar to “Lord Of The Flies.” The kids have to survive on a small patch of land while terrors outside of the walls where they live keep them from exploring. The first book is pretty much based upon why the kids are in this isolated spot and how they are going to get out of it. The first book is the best book of the series.

My daughter appreciated that there was not a lot of romance in these books. I missed it. These books were interesting. The first book earns an 8/10 from me. I would give the series as a whole a 6.5/10. I do recommend them, but they just were not my favorite. It was not a smooth ride.

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy. This series is currently on book two. I am anxiously awaiting book three. This series is about an alien invasion and attack on humans. We start with the main character, a sixteen year old girl, being completely isolated and alone and not knowing if she is the last human being alive. We follow her around in this post-apocalyptic world as she remembers how she got to the place she is in. All of the while, though, she is unknowingly being hunted.

This series has a lot of romance. It has a lot of violence. Again, we are looking at a group of teenagers trying to save the world. I thought it was very brilliantly written. I would give it an 8/10. Many times I could guess what was going to happen, so that earned the series a less than perfect score from me. And book two had some parts that I felt dragged on. However, I highly recommend these books. There are occurrences of sex, but it is more vague, such as they went to bed kissing and it starts with them waking up the next morning together. Nothing, in my opinion, too graphic for teenagers or even the more mature preteen. Of course, this is coming from the girl who read all of the V.C. Andrews books by the age of fourteen, so take that for what you will.

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The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. This was the latest series I read. This series of three books had so much potential. When I think about it my hands immediately go in front of me and I shake a poor sad invisible soul due to my frustration. It makes me sad to reflect upon some of the plot choices that were made or unused talents that went to waste. The premise of the series is a virus sweeps across America and kills almost all of the children twelve and older. Eighteen year olds are safe, but the younger kids could still get the virus as they age. The children who survive the virus are sent to concentration camps because they develop different powers. The powers are condemned by the adults. There are kids who can start fires. Kids who can affect electronics. And children who can read minds. All in all, the powers are concentrated into five groups. Our main character, Ruby, has one of the powers.

I hastily blew through these books. And I liked them, I did. But, there was a great deal of wasted plot opportunities and too many pages of teenage yearnings that I felt could have been curtailed to take it from a good series into a great one. I would give the series a 7/10. I really liked the ending and that seems to be a hard thing to get right in dystopian fiction.

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Inhuman by Kat Falls. A biological apocalypse has happened and it is illegal to travel outside of the city limits. So, you can guess what is about to happen. A teenage girl travels outside of the city limits. Outside of the city zone is called the feral zone, because some humans have turned into different versions of animals due to the biological disaster. The main character gets to witness this biological development first hand as she goes on her journey.

This is my daughter’s favorite book. She begged me to read it. I admit that I thought the premise sounded a bit far-fetched and it did not interest me. However, I read it for my daughter. It is a very easy read. I loved it. Another high mark from me. 8.5/10. I do hope that this series continues. It is only on book one with no release date for book two yet. And with the ending being a cliffhanger, I hope I am not disappointed when the series does continue. I can recommend this book to kids in junior high school and high school. I think it will appeal to most kids (and the kids at heart).

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Uglies by Scott Westerfield. This was a good series. If. And I mean IF. IF you pretend it only had three books and not four. Reading the fourth book ruined it for me. It is completely out of context. It does absolutely nothing for the series. This is a book about children who once they reach the age of sixteen must have an operation that will make them “pretty.” Then the pretties all have mindless parties and life is great. Except, what if it wasn’t? Young Tally is fifteen and is on track to having the operation that will take her from an “Ugly” to a “Pretty.” But before her operation, she is suddenly required to track down her friend Shay, who has escaped Utopia and is living with the rebels. It sounds silly and it is. But it is also surprisingly smart. I give the series with books one through three only, a 6.5/10.

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The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey. This a singular book and not a series. It is in the adult dystopian section, however, I feel it could easily be read by a teenager. I don’t want to write exactly what the book is about because it would ruin the suspense of the first few pages for you. Needless to say it is a very scary and graphic dystopian book. It is told from the point of view of a little girl named Melanie. My husband read this one, too. He liked this book as much as I did. 9/10 from me. It is an enjoyable, smart and easy read. This is an equal parts horror and dystopian book, so keep that in mind when making your selection. Also, due to it being in the adult section, there is a sex scene, so I would not recommend this for preteens.

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“The Reckoners” series by Brandon Sanderson. The series starts with the book Steelheart. This author is one of my very favorites. He typically writes adult fantasy, which is the genre that is number one in my heart. In fact, for one of my birthdays, my husband purchased all of his books signed to me directly from the author. That is the epitome of romance to me.

This series is young adult and about the apocalypse and super heroes. Or what I would define as super heroes in a small description of someone with supernatural abilities. It is a fun series. The world is ruled by evil superheroes. Which I guess are more supervillain than superhero. I hate superheroes. I do not know why, but I do not enjoy any of the “Spiderman,” “Batman” or “Superman” themed books or movies. However, I liked this. It is such a different viewpoint to think of. I have not read a series like it. Brandon Sanderson is the best at surprise twists. Even knowing that this is what he is the master of, he still manages to trick me with each book he writes. Every single one, he blows my mind with a plot twist. And it is genius and it is brilliant. Another 9/10 from me. I think it is recommendable for all ages. I was thrilled, when writing this review, to discover the second book in this series, Firefight just came out this month. It looks like it is getting great reviews. I just ordered mine and will be receiving it on Friday. I cannot wait!

Have you read any of these books? Are there any other dystopian books I should read (not “Divergent”)?

This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing from the links in this post will provide a small commission for the search for “Dystopian” this site.

Craving: Ceramics Teacher

*This post was supposed to go up at midnight on Wednesday, but I just realized that Urban Outfitter’s promo ends today. I wanted to make sure you knew about it before it ended. So, this is Wednesday’s post a bit early.

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Sometimes, I just want to be someone else. My heart will always be bohemian, but there is a part of me that yearns for that modern clean look with a bit of an edge. Think the blog Bleubird. I once took a ceramics class. Quite honestly, I have absolutely no idea what we ever did in that class besides gossip. The whole year, I managed to complete exactly one project. It was a very small bowl shaped in a circle with my face. Odd. True. My mom loved it… Although not as much as she should have… For a piece that took me a year to make. Do you know how much gossiping I put aside to make that bowl? At least two hour’s worth. My life might have turned out much differently if I ever did learn who Jeremy was seen in the locker room with.

Just kidding.

I never knew a Jeremy.

Or did I?

Hmmmm. My head is filled with clay.

Anyhoo, the ceramics teacher would come to school every day dressed in the most amazing clothes. All natural neutral fibers. Layered. Nubby linens. Smooth cottons. Overalls. Fun jewelry (the necklace featured is from Miss Ribby on etsy. I have not purchased from her before today when I purchased one for myself and one to giveaway soon). She always had dried clay on her hands. Her hair was shoulder length and curly. She had the most beautiful laugh lines. And always the coolest cotton shoes on her feet. Honestly, I guess the style is not that much different than traditional bohemian. I mean, does it get much more bohemian than a ceramics teacher? It is just more streamlined.

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So, my February clothing wants are a bit different than normal. My love for embroidery and princess dresses shall never wane, but it is nice to have a different option. I am looking for loose breathable pieces for the warmer months ahead. There are so many great companies with such pieces. However, with natural linens usually comes a higher price tag. I typically cannot afford the stores that specialize in those clothes. I am fickle and only want to dabble in this style. Therefore I needed pieces that were inexpensive and interchangeable with my regular look. I turned to Urban Outfiiters and was happy with the shapes and prices that I discovered there.

With spring coming, I want cozy easy cotton feet. Urban Outfitters has $15 off $75 that ends tonight. Their cotton Mary Janes are 2 for $20. I ordered some for myself and my daughter. They run true to size and are surprisingly comfortable. I am not sure about their longevity but with the promotion, they are around $8 each, so I am not too worried. I will say the colors online are definitely not true to life. Mine are a much more muddied version, except for the teal with is a pretty bright color. They come in T-straps and cute plain ones. I ordered both. I have only received the T-straps so I cannot comment on the other ones yet.

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With easy cotton shoes, comes easy pieces. I also purchased this Denim Shirt Dress (with the discount). I hope it is long enough. It has not arrived yet so I am unsure as to what it will actually look like. I know for this look, I can pair it with cotton shoes or I could easily switch it up with fun boots and gladiator sandals and layered jewelry, if I wanted to go more classic bohemian.

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And this jumpsuit was $17 after their promotion. Oh. This could go terribly, terribly, terribly wrong. Urban Outfitters’ clothing runs small. I purchased a size L. I am kind of scared to receive this. I preferred it in black but it was not on sale. I plan on pairing it with my new favorite basic essential, Anthropologie’s Long Form V-Neck Tee. If you never see this romper on the blog, it is because I returned it… after I locked myself in the bathroom and cried while staring at my eighties style romper and my lumps that have sneakily accumulated in the decades since this style became popular. Jeremy never would have let this happen.

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If I had an unlimited budget, I also would have picked up The Linen Midi Dress (it states it is linen in its title but rayon in its description). I would get it in beige, cut more of the unfinished hem off and go make a different face bowl. I would like to say it would not have changed at all since the one I made twenty years ago. Hey! This is my clothing fantasy, I shall just pretend it is so. Who will ever know?

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And The Ecote Cocoon Dress in grey. It reminds me of the modern dance scene in “White Christmas.” I just imagine bright fun shoes with it and one of those painted ball necklaces.

Do you ever change your style up? Do you ever crave simplicity? I want all of the easy dresses. I just saw this striped dress and my Want Meter shot through the roof. That cannot be good for my meter or the roof.

Did you take an art or ceramics class? Did you make a face bowl? Do you know who Jeremy was with in the locker room? Again, did I even know a Jeremy? The name is sounding very familiar. Hmmmm. Maybe it was me. Nah. I was in ceramics class. Making a head bowl. Dreaming about the teacher’s clothes.

More Sweet Margarita

recipe is for one drink

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Ingredients:

1/3 cup silver tequila
1 tablespoon triple sec
1/4 cup lime juice (about three limes per drink)
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. simple syrup

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Schlooppo. i made a margar-ita. Note to self. Do not type an alcohol lic recipe after consuming the alcoholic drink. Makes snese right?

You would think so.

But sense has never been my middle name.

I was making my chicken tacos (do you know that if you misspell tacos with a “c” for the “a” as tchos, autocorrect will not guess tacos? Nope. It suggests you must be thinking of “tc how.” Which makes as much sense as tchos. I decided to look up acronyms for “tc.” Spoiler: there are a lot of them. My favorite is “take care.” Which really makes total sense. Maybe autocorrect was looking out for me. But then I scrolled further down the list to “Tom Cruise” and then “top cat” and I realized autocorrect was just drunk on margaritas… too). Anyhoo, I decided what would make the meal perfect. Just perfect. Would be a margarita. So, I made two based on this recipe from The Food Network. But it was much too much too tart for the likes of me. If you like your margaritas more authentically tart, I definitely recommend using the original recipe in the link.

I changed it up just a bit and from now on, this is the only way I shall make my margaritas.

Or type a recipe.

Autocorrect never had it so good.

Directions:

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Make your simple syrup. In a small saucepan boil one cup of water and one cup of sugar until sugar dissolves. Whisk occasionally to make sure sugar does not stick to bottom of pan. Set aside. This would be better made in advance and chilled in the refrigerator. It keeps for one month in the refrigerator.

Squeeze limes into a clear 2 cup measuring glass until you have the appropriate measurements for the amount of drinks you are making.

Fill a glass with ice.

You may brush the rim with simple syrup and stick it in sea salt or sugar if you like that sort of thing. I do not. Too Coarse.

Pour your tequila, triple sec, lime juice and simple syrup into the glass. Mix.

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Drink.

Try to type a coherent recipe.

I dare you…

Take Cover.

‘Cause

You’re Too Cool

To Calculate

The Charges.

Now Toast… and Cheers.

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“To Crazy.”