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Friday Favorites | November 2017

Friday posts are always my favorite to read for some reason- it's so fun to read random bits of everyone's week, or see what people have been loving lately.

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I started reading Anxious For Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World with the P31 online bible study and I have been loving it. Anxiety is a hard thing to talk about, or even put into words, but I've constantly found myself nodding along with what I'm reading and constantly underlining and highlighting.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark has been my treat of choice lately. As someone who struggles with self control when it comes to candy, I love that these are individually wrapped, and they're rich enough that you really do feel satisfied with just one (or maybe two).

I practiced pretty good self control during the Sephora sale, mainly just because two of the things I really wanted were out of stock before I could order, but I did resist adding anything else to my cart. I restocked on my day time moisturizer, the trusty Clinique Dramatically Different Lotion+. I'm really excited to try the new Lancome mascara, and I'm finally going to try the avocado eye cream because my under eyes definitely need a little TLC. Even though it has amazing reviews, I was always a little put off by it because I don't like avocado, but I'm hoping it won't bother me.

I also got this Becca kit, mainly for the Backlight primer, because I'm almost out of the one I got in this post, and it's probably my favorite primer I've ever used, but I definitely didn't need the full-size. I'm also really excited to try the under eye corrector that comes with the kit.

The holiday season is always a little crazy, but it's such a great time to give back where you can. We have to miss the turkey outreach at our church this weekend, but we're hoping to put together a few baskets to drop off at SOME next weekend. If you're local to the DC area they're collecting baskets through the 20th!

On the subject of Thanksgiving, does anyone have any favorite appetizers?

linking up: high five for friday; friday favorites;

Carly Reads Here | November

carly reads here; book bloggers; show us your books; book reviews
I'm so happy to be back linking up with Steph and Jana today to share a couple of books I've read over the past few months. I got in a little bit of a reading slump around June and never really broke out of it. I'm guessing it had something to do with intense morning sickness combined with basically just wanting to watch endless episodes of Jane the Virgin, but I have read a few books here and there. Hopefully by the next show us your books, I'll have finished one or two of the books I want to finish before the end of the year.

The Lying Game | This book was a bit slow and when I think about it not very much happened, but I read it in 24 hours which is rare for me, so it definitely kept me turning the pages. Four girls who became friends one year in boarding school, meet up 17 years later after one of them send a text that says she needs everyone. It kind of gave me those PLL vibes, where you just want to shake the people for still not going to the police. Admittedly the whole premise of the book was a little bit silly to me and I didn't totally get the ending, but I enjoyed it nonetheless for a quick suspense.

Young Jane Young | This was a pretty solid three stars for me-- which isn't bad, I was just expecting to like it a tad more. Basically a woman who changes her identity after having an affair with a congressman and moves from South Florida to Maine. It focuses more on the new life she creates for herself and her daughter based on everything she went through. It was split up in 5 parts, each told from a different point of view. The part told from Jane's daughter's was told through emails she sends to her pen pal-- which was clever, but I realized I wasn't in the mood to read about an angsty 13-year-old. I did really enjoy the first and last parts, and I think there were some strong messages about feminism and workplace harassment.

One of us is Lying | This surprised me in the best way possible and had one of the best YA romances I've read in a long time (it's a mystery/thriller btw). It's about a group of five high school students from different cliques who end up in detention together one day, and one of them ends up dead, but you don't know who did it. From the first few chapters I really enjoyed the tone of the book. The characters all seemed real-- it didn't feel like an adult trying too hard to sound like a teenager, which I think can sometimes happen in YA.

What have you read lately?

An End of the Year Reading List

The end of the year is near and it always seems like these last two months go by extra fast. I lost my reading momentum somewhere around July, so I'm not sure how likely it is I'll be successful at completing this list, but these are a few books I'm hoping to read before the end of the year.

Recent Makeup | Hits & Misses

I can't remember the last time I did a beauty related post, but I wanted to share my thoughts on some new products I've picked up recently (aka over the past year). It's a pretty good mix of makeup, skin care, with one hair product thrown in there.

Merry October IV

Merry October! I never meant to abandon this space completely, I decided on taking a break over the summer (aside from book posts), and had planned on coming back in September. Obviously that didn't happen, but I've done a Merry October post since 2014 and I didn't want to miss out on this year, so I figured better late than never with this post while there's still a few days left in the month.

Carly Reads Here | July 2017

show us your books, recent reads, summer 2017, what should i read next, book bloggers,
Aside from The Likeness taking me forever to finish, I finally got back into a better reading groove this month. I finally got all the way caught up with my library books, which meant I could finally prioritize some of my Netgalley queue.

My Not So Perfect Life This book was pure bliss! Aside from Finding Audrey (which I love, but is YA), I've never read any of Kinsella's standalone books (though I have enjoyed the few Shopaholic books I've read). The story is about Katie, a girl from the countryside who has her dream job in London, though her boss is a bit of a nightmare. The beginning was hilarious and all too relatable as she goes through her hellish commute-- I think most people who have moved to a big city can relate to her experience of using public transportation. Things don't go so well, and she ends up moving back home for a little bit to help her dad and step-mom run a glamping business-- which is every bit as hilariously awesome as it sounds.

Of course there's a love story thrown in there too, though I appreciated it wasn't a central theme of the book. Rounding out the title of the book, she also touches on the danger of falling into the perfect life on instagram thing, that was pretty relatable. Overall, a really fun book, that I wouldn't mind reading again/would really like a sequel!
Thank you Netgalley for providing this book in exchange for an honest review! 

The Likeness | After finishing the first book in this series back in April I couldn't wait to dive back into the world of the Dublin Murder Squad. This book follows Cassie (one of the detectives from the first book), as a dead body is found that looks exactly like her and has the ID of one of her undercover aliases from earlier in her career.

The premise was really interesting to me, but then their game plan after finding the body seemed so farfetched and I wondered if I would be able to get past that, but I'm finding French's books to be more about the characters vs the plot. She has a beautiful way with words and writes interesting characters, but this one was a tad long for me. *though of course, now that I've finally finished it I'm anxious to read the next one-- though kind of not because I really don't care for Frank's character, so I'm not sure how much I'll dig his point of view?

Once and For All | This was a most-anticipated book of summer for me, and right away I was filled with the nostalgia that comes with reading a Sarah Dessen novel when you've been reading her books for years... until things took an unexpected turn that I was not prepared for based on what was on the blurb. This happens around the 30% point, so it isn't like the central theme of the book or anything, just not what I expected.

Basically it's about a girl Louna, who assists her mom in her wedding planning business. There was a tragic ending with her first love, Ethan, but the current love interest in the story is Ambrose. It's kind of told back and forth between how she met Ethan, and currently as she's getting to know Ambrose. I preferred one story to the other, and wished the romance with Ambrose could have been kicked up a notch a little earlier on, but it's worth a read if you're a fan of Sarah Dessen.

Perennials | This is a debut novel about a summer camp-- the synopsis makes it sound like it focuses on two girls, Fiona and Rachel, but it really highlights an entire cast of characters with a different in-depth focus on each character. I think the book was maybe too short for this to work, and  it almost felt like a book of short stories that kind of came together in the end, but not really.

I loved the summer camp setting, a few of the characters were really interesting and well developed, but as a whole the book felt scattered leaving it at 2.5 stars.
Thank you Netgalley for providing this book in exchange for an honest review! 

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore | Like most book lovers, I'm a sucker for a book about books, and I could tell from the first few pages that I was really going to enjoy the writing. The story is about Lydia, who works at a bookstore where a patron committed suicide and left her a message to figure out what happened. Lydia also witnessed a horrific event when she was younger, so the book works through that backstory too, which was a tad more scary/dark than I was expecting. I think there were a few plot holes, but the writing/pace of the story was so good that it wasn't something that bothered me. This is a great choice if you're looking for a bookish book, with a great thriller element thrown in as well. I'm really interested to see what this author writes next. This was available through my library, but if yours doesn't have it there's a Goodreads giveaway going on until the 20th!

The Inn at Lake Devine | I can't get enough of Elinor Lipman, and am happily reading my way through all of her books. This one was published back in 1998 and was definitely different in tone from the other two books I've read so far. The book starts off in 1962 with the protagonist, Natalie, as a child and her family inquires about staying at an Inn in Vermont for their summer vacation-- they get a response back that basically says they aren't welcome because they're Jewish. Natalie ends up going to the Inn a few years later with a friend from summer camp, and then the book switches to part 2, where Natalie is an adult (which is the majority of the book). There's some rom-com going on, but also the tension between Natalie and her parents, and relationships that happen at the Inn over the conflict in religion. There was a bit of a lull in the second half of the book for me, and then a ton of action in the last quarter of the book. I loved Natalie's character and found the minor characters to be really well constructed, which is something I've noticed in all of Lipman's books.

So a pretty good little batch of books this time around! My Not So Perfect Life and Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore were definitely my top two. What books have you read lately? Any perfect summer beachy reads? Make sure you stop by the Show Us Your Books linkup to see what other bloggers have been reading.

Loving Lately

I guess I'm really feeling the random, more spontaneous posts again this month for the first time in a while. Sharing five random recommendations: a tv show, an accessory, a drink, a recipe, and a book.

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