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Spring Things & Wish Listing

Happy first official day of spring! Even though it was still snowy and freezing for most of yesterday and I could do with a lot more 60-70 degree days in the forecast, but such is life. Despite the weather spring has been on my mind for a while, blame that early warm spell we got a few weeks ago, so I thought I'd share some favorite things & a mini wish list.

florals
While fresh flowers are nice, and having the windows down to get fresh air is ideal, we're not quite to those temperatures yet so my floral candles have definitely been getting me in the mood for spring. My current favorite is the holland tulips soy candle I got last summer. It's the smallest single wick candle but the scent throw is amazing & I don't know if anything smells like spring more than tulips. I'm also excited to burn the pink magnolia candle from Target-- from what I found on the website it looks like this fragrance is back this year & available in this really pretty hobnail glass container.

Floral perfumes are my weakness in general. Daisy eau so fresh obviously wins for the prettiest packaging, but english pear & freesia is possibly my all-time favorite scent. While they're both very floral, I find daisy to be more on the sweet side.
a pink lip
My lips get crazily chapped during the winter and the Smith's strawberry lip balm is my all-time favorite. I've tried almost every other version of their lip balms and this one is my absolute favorite. While strawberry strikes me as more summery I wanted to mention it because it's a must if I'm planning on wearing lip color. 

I picked up the Smashbox Liquid Lipstick in babe alert during the VIB sale in the fall. While I immediately loved the formula, I originally planned on switching the shade because even though it swatched beautifully, it looked too orangey on the lips. I ended up trying it on again and actually really liked the color-- I'm not sure if it was the little bit of added color from our trip to Miami, but I think I'll really like it when I totally switch to my darker foundation. I definitely recommend checking out if you're looking for a liquid lipstick that really stays put and doesn't feel overly drying on the lips.
wish listing
With the change of seasons on the way, my wish list is growing a little bit.

(1)I've heard the Charlotte Tilbury lip liner in pillow talk is amazing, so I was really excited to see the shade was now being released in a lipstick formula. It's supposed to be the perfect pinky nude. (2)I'm pretty sure lolita was all of the rage last year, but Kerri always talks about loving Kat Von D lip products, so I'd love to try out the everlasting liquid lipsticks. (3)Apparently I'm all about the lips, but the new Buxum plumping lip liner seems really interesting & has great reviews so far. (4)I don't currently wear eyeshadow enough to justify buying this Smashbox palette, but the colors in the ablaze kit are gorgeous and I love how small and compact it is. (5)I'm not really bit into clothes shopping right now, but I've had my eye on this romper-- I love the structure of it & the burnt sienna color is one of my favorites. 

What's on your wish list for spring? Are you a fan of liquid lipsticks? Floral scents?

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

We finally had the opportunity to visit the Infinity Mirrors exhibit so I thought I would share our visit. Our experience was so different from what I was expecting. I guess because getting tickets was so stressful, and there seemed to be endless articles about it taking 2-3 hours to get through the exhibit, I expected mass chaos or something. Our tickets were for 10:15 and we got there about 15 minutes early-- there were a few people in front of us in line and quite a few people already lined up for the 10:30 time slot, but getting there that early didn't seem necessary. It was all really organized, as you're waiting outside you flash your tickets and get a sticker and a brief rundown of the event and then you get to go inside.

At that point you can check your bags and jackets downstairs, or head right up to the exhibit where you wait in a second line to actually have your tickets scanned before going into the exhibit. While there is an obvious flow, you don't have to go into the rooms in order (with the exception of the last room). Along with the six rooms, there were other amazing art pieces throughout the exhibit, but we kind of breezed over those to take advantage of there being no wait to go into the actual rooms. There were maybe one or two people in front of us and we got through the entire exhibit in about 30 minutes.

You get 20-30 seconds in each of the mirrored rooms and the time goes quickly, but not as fast as I was expecting. In one of the rooms I was actually ready to get out before the time was over. You go in four mirrored rooms, look into one amazing mirrored space, and on the way out pass through the obliteration room and make your mark by adding dot stickers wherever your heart desires.

We snapped about a zillion pictures on our phones, only to look at them later over brunch at B Too and realize that most of the pictures were pretty underwhelming (or blurry)... at least compared to the ultra creative photos splashed all over social media. Lately I've had to stop and remind myself not to compare myself so harshly to others. Life is more than a clever photograph, and the photos we take are our own experiences and memories and nothing in the world can compare to that, so if you're reading this take it as a friendly reminder not to be too hard on yourself.

We definitely hope to go back again while the exhibit is on display so we can take more time looking at the other artwork in the exhibit-- and get a few better photos ;)

carly blogs here; infinity mirrors; hirshhorn;
The exhibit is at the Hirshhorn until May and free tickets become available Monday at 12pm for the following week. It heads to Seattle in June.

Carly Reads Here | March 2017

show us your books, book of the month club, botm, behind her eyes, best thrillers
This post was originally going to be the post of all the new releases, but it turned into the post with all of the thrillers instead. After reading Behind Her Eyes I was in the mood for books I wouldn't be able to put down, and it definitely got me out of my reading lull.

Behind Her Eyes | After hearing all of the hype around the ending of this book, I wanted to read it so bad that I finally joined BOTM(link is my referral code) and eagerly awaited its arrival on my doorstep. It's a psychological thriller about a woman who has an affair with a man, who ends up being her boss, and then she accidentally befriends his wife. I absolutely loved the pace of this book, and how pieces of the puzzle are revealed as you're reading-- not all at once when you get to the end. But the ending made me kind of mad/disappointed. Still 4 stars and highly recommend if you like psychological thrillers.

Friday Things | March 2017

TGIF! Kind of, I'm a little bit bitter that it's going to be in the 30's all weekend. The early snap of warm weather tricked me into thinking spring was coming early and I'm having a hard time readjusting my expectations.
1. While I steered clear of the Christmas themed pop-up because of tales of how insane the lines were, I love all things cherry blossom so really want to try to make it to the pop-up cherry blossom bar. (I'm also really curious to see what happens with the bloom dates with the weird weather we're having)

2. Monk is one of my favorite shows and sadly it isn't available on Netflix or Prime- my mom text me last week to let me know it's going to be on Hallmark-- meaning I can set the DVR and binge to my hearts desire. I'll also add that I felt a little bit like Monk trying to make the above graphic because nothing was lining up correctly.

3. Makeup brush washing mats have been around for quite a while and I was always intrigued, but never enough to pay $20+. A few weeks ago someone mentioned picking one up at TJ Maxx, which was a genius idea, and I was excited when I found one there for $5.99. I was skeptical, because it is kind of gimmicky but it made cleaning my foundation brushes so much easier. Worth every penny!

4. I'm sure this is news to no one but Ed Sheeran released his full album last week and it has been on repeat ever since. He also released his North American tour dates & he's coming to DC in September

5. I wasn't a super fan of The Girl on the Train, but I'm still extremely excited to read Paula Hawkin's new book, coming out in May. On the subject of thrillers, my #showusyourbooks post on Tuesday is going to be all about thrillers I've read recently. Also on the subject of new releases, apparently there's going to be a third book about Louisa Clark (Me Before You, After You) by Jojo Moyes. I'm curious to see what people think because many people weren't fond on the second book.

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with H54Ffab favoritesoh hey friday.

Currently | March 2017

Happy March (and almost springtime), I'm always excited to linkup with Kristen and Gretch to share what I've been up to lately, and Joey for stuff & things.
photo @ convival dc
reading | A Man Called Ove, and I'm mentioning it here because I don't think it's going to make it into a reading recap post. It was the Beyond Words book club pick for February and such a great read. Such good writing, storytelling, character development... you'll laugh and cry.

Current Favorites | Winter 2017

Happy Wednesday, or the day after Valentine's Day, also known as the day to run out and stock up on all of the discounted candy. Just kidding, I'm trying to eat way less sugar as we count down to Easter as visions of jelly beans and Reese's eggs cloud my dreams. Anyway, I've been working on a list of things (mainly beauty) that I've been loving over the past few months.

Candle Glow Sheer Perfecting Powder | I came across this randomly on the Sephora website, and despite never hearing anyone talk about it, I decided I'd order it and try it out. It's a talc-free powder, which is awesome and it's supposed to set, perfect, and leave your skin with a diffused glow. At first I used it to set my under eye area and it did basically nothing. Then I tried it with a big powder brush to apply it all over my entire face and it has some kind of magical power that really does make my skin look a lot more smooth!

Grandiose Extreme Mascara | I finally got around to trying out this mascara even though I accidentally ordered the extreme version. When I first opened the tube I actually thought I was going to take it back because it looks kind of intense between the shape of the wand and the spiky bristles. After using it just once I quickly changed my mind because it's incredible. It gives such a great lift, and the shape of the wand (swan neck) allows you to really coat your lashes without getting mascara onto your waterline or into your eye accidentally. My lashes tend to stick together in the corners and this mascara really helps untangle them. My only complaint is that it's pretty difficult to remove.

Firming Body Scrub | I was in the process of reordering the Acnedote scrub that I love when this one caught my eye. I decided to try this out instead since it doesn't contain any acne medication and I really like it! I've used sugar scrubs in the past and find them a bit too abrasive most of the time, so I really like that this is lightly exfoliating, plus it gets a nice lather.

Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels | I had these for three or four months before I was finally brave enough to try them out and I don't know why I waited so long because they feel incredible on the skin. I'm not sure they actually make a difference in the appearance of my under eye area, but they feel great and definitely add some moisture.

Bobbi Brown Blush | My HG blush, chiffon by Smashbox, got discontinued (apparently all of their single blushes did), so I was on the hunt for a good quality blush to take its place and decided on nectar, a pink-coral. I love the color, the staying power, the size/quality of the compact. If I was a hoarder of blushes I'd love another one or two from BB.

Excursion Tights | I got these for Christmas and I've been stalking the Athleta website ever since to make sure they aren't going to go on sale because I definitely want another pair. They're the perfect running errands tights and I love that they have pockets on the sides and a little bit of structure to them with the detailing around the knees. They're super comfortable, durable, and my most worn pants!

Do you have any new recent favorite products?

Carly Reads Here | February 2017

Despite all my reading last month, this post is a little light because I did an end of the month review post in January and a standalone book review last week. I've been in a weird phase where just about everything feels very average and I can't figure out what I'm in the mood to read.

The Hating Game | While I'm definitely in the minority of not loving this book, I could not put it down! It's about two co-workers who act like they hate each other, but they obviously really like each other and end up going against each other for the same promotion. Parts were really funny and smart while other parts left me bored. The author constantly described Lucy and Joshua in terms of their appearance and it was incredibly too much for me. There was one part where he literally says all he's thought about since the day they met is how tiny she is... and another part where he admits that he keeps a daily tally of when she wears a skirt or a dress. I think it was supposed to be endearing, but it read as off-putting to me. Nonetheless, this was a book that kept me glancing between the time on my iPad and how much left I had to read,  trying to decide if I could finish it all in one night. Sometimes that's just the kind of book you need to read. 3ish stars.

The Underground Railroad | I've never read anything by Colson Whitehead, but this was the National Book Award winner from 2016, and I meant to read it last year but never got around to it. The story is based on Cora, a slave who escapes using the underground railroad, though in this book it's an actual railroad underground. Reading slave narratives are never pleasant or easy to read, but the story was beautifully written and engaging. I wasn't crazy about the flow or transition between chapters, though things came together throughout the chapters and I'm guessing that's Whitehead's writing style, which makes me curious to read something else by him. Worth the read, and would recommend at 4 stars.

Truly Madly Deeply | I couldn't find anything I was in the mood to read and saw this was available on the library homepage so I figured I would give it a try even though I'm not a LM superfan, and had heard this wasn't a favorite among most people who typically love her books.

Right away it reminded me of the same formula of Big Little Lies, where you know something bad happened, but you're not quite sure what it was, and the characters are all meant to be relatable yet you can't relate to any of them. At first I was anxious to find out what happened, but the more I read it felt like the book was getting longer and longer and more and more dull. Once you finally find out what happened on the day of the barbecue, I didn't even care. and I thought it was all kind of silly and at least 100 pages too long. This probably should have been a DNF for me, but I finished it and gave it 2.5 stars.

Young Wives Club | Today is pub day for Julie Pennell, and thank you to Netgalley for providing a copy to me in exchange for an honest review. The story is about four friends from high school who end up back together in their hometown, so it kind of gave me PLL season 6 vibes combined with the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, plus Hart of Dixie because it's in the south... while it's considered women's lit, it definitely read more as YA to me. I found a few of the storylines to be far-fetched and I wish it would have focused more on their friendship and less on their relationships. It was enjoyable and an easy read that might be for you if you're in the mood for something chick lit/YA. 2.5 stars.

If I can stay on top of my library holds this should be a really good reading month for me because (as it goes) all of my library books became available at once and I have some really promising new releases currently on my hold list. What have you read lately? Stop by the Show Us Your Books linkup for more book reviews and recommendations.
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