Wednesday, April 23, 2014

5 Things Sabrina the Teenage Witch Helped Me Remember

Did you guys know the entire series of Sabrina the Teenage Witch is on Hulu right now? When I was watching another show and a commercial to announce it came on, I just about died. Obviously I texted several of my friends upon finding this out because...it's SABRINA! I remember watching this when I was a kid. I always knew Harvey was the one. Anyway, I was inspired to write a post about some things that I completely forgot about the 90s and just the show in general. 

Zig Zag Parts: Do you guys remember these? I used to love playing around with crazy parts. Not the worst thing that came out of the 90s but not the best either.

Crop Tops & High-Wasted Pants: How appropriate that when I googled "Sabrina the Teenage Witch fashion" a picture of the episode Britney was in appears? And who better to represent the crop top phenom than Britney and Sabrina? I can't say that I forgot about these but the show definitely made me remember exactly how popular they were.

Long Luscious Boy Locks and Side Burns: oh Harvey. Did anyone else want a boyfriend just like him? But his hair at the beginning of the show was priceless. You wouldn't catch guys with hair like this at all today. The 90s were a whole other time for boy hair, that's for sure.

Choker Necklaces: I have no words.

I want to live in a Victorian house in San Francisco...because how awesome would that be.

Oh, and just because...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Fashion: Dresses

Now that it's finally getting to be nice here in Chicago, I felt it was the perfect time to bring out some spring fashion. I am not a warm weather fan at all but I do love being able to break out some cute dresses. Here are some of my favorite picks from Urban Outfitters
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
If you sign up for Student Rate, they're offering 5% cash back on all Urban Outfitters purchases right now.

What do you guys think? Are you loving these dresses? What's your favorite warm-weather item?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Treats and Trips To Museums

Hey everyone! How was your Easter? I ate soooo much. You have no idea. Just look at this picture of our dessert table and you'll understand what I'm talking about. I dare you to try and not take a full plate of sweets. We had cannoli dip with pizelles, lemon pound cake, chocolate chip cookies, lemon jello cheesecake, Italian cookies and a ton more stuff. I love holidays and I love being Italian. It's the best, seriously. Anyway, today I have a little interview with Betsy from Musings of a Museum Fanatic. She's pretty awesome so make sure to say hello!

Musings of a Museum Fanatic1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog.
I am a museum and culture loving, sometimes recipe cooking, fly by the seat of my pants DIYer, always rocking out and just living life kind of blog. Come join in on the sometimes crazy and usually unorganized but always fun times at Musings of a Museum Fanatic!

2. You absolutely love museums. Do you have a favorite? 
My all time favorite is definitely the Field Museum. I've always loved going to the Field Museum. I can remember visiting the Field and the Museum of Science and Industry when I was little. 

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3. If you were given the option to visit any museum in the entire world, which would it be? I have a few on my list but I'll leave this one entirely up to you.
People are somewhat surprised when I tell them I've never been to the Smithsonian and that it's not on the top of my list. Being a person who has always been more interested in European history those museums have always caught my attention more. Since I've already been to the Louvre and the British Museum I'd probably have to say in Europe my next choice might have to be the Victoria and Albert (pictured right) I've heard it's amazing. In the US I'd have to say The Walt Disney Family Museum.

4. Being a cultural fanatic, have you traveled much? For the places you have traveled, what's been your favorite?
I have traveled quite a bit in the mid to east part of the US and a couple European trips. I wish I could travel more though! My favorite place has probably been my trip to Greece. First off I love ancient Greek history and modern Greek almost everything! So going for a classics class was amazing. I would go back in a heartbeat. 

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5. What are the top three places on your list to visit next if you could go anywhere?
African Safari
Germany
Australia

6. Being the foodie that I am, I have to know, what's your favorite ethnic food?

Greek, German and Italian

Make sure you follow Betsy on BloglovinFacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Louder

I have been a long-time fan of Lea Michele. I loved her before Glee when she starred in Spring Awakening. She is one of the most talented people in the world. She is right up there with Broadway greats like Idina and Barbara. I was thrilled when I found out she was going to release an album. So obviously I needed to write a review. So without further ado, I give you Louder by Lea Michele.
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Burn With You
There is a pretty good chance that this is my favorite song on the album. The conviction and emotion in her voice is so strong that it just shoots right through you. The lyrics are a true testament to love. I have not experienced something this strong before but it's something I feel we should all have one day. To love someone so much that you will follow them to hell is extraordinary. Just the vocals on this record are incredible. You can feel what she's singing rather than just hear it. The first time I heard this song, I got goosebumps.
Battlefield
Battlefield is such a raw song. I was watching her track-by-track interview on Vevo and she mentioned that this song is basically the demo. It was written by Sia and Lea wasn't even sure she would get it. She recorded it twice, Sia and the label loved it and she got the song. They offered a re-record but because it was so emotional and just so honest, they kept it on the album as is. So when we listen to this, we basically get a live performance from her.
You're Mine
You're mine is vastly different than the last two songs. It's upbeat, positive and about a happy time. It's about finding that one person you want to be with the rest of your life and dedicating yourself to them completely. Lea even mentioned that this was her and Cory's song. It represents the best time in her life and I'm so happy she was able to share that with us.
Louder
I love this song. It definitely comes in a close second to Burn With You. I just feel like it's a great anthem. Live life. Be bold. I am predicting that this will be my summer song. What do you guys think?
Empty Handed
This song was written by Christina Perri and it's obviously so. I really do love this song though. The vocals are amazing, as always, but different than the other songs. It's just a happy, pretty song. If Lea Michele were to make a music video for this song, I would imagine her wearing a flowy dress in some kind of garden. I don't say that in jest, I really mean it. It's just a happy and beautiful song.

If You Say So
Listen to this song without crying. I dare you. Lea Michele wrote this with Sia after Cory died and it is potentially one of the most emotional songs on the album in my opinion. You can hear the grief in her voice. It's about the fear of forgetting details of someone who you loved so much and lost. With the passing of time, we naturally begin to forget some things that we never really thought about. For some people I've lost, it's their voice. More importantly, it's just about being desperate to cling on to this person because it hurts too much to let them go.

Have you guys heard Lea Michele's album? What do you think? Any favorites??

*I do not own any of the songs or videos in this post. All rights go to the appropriate owners*

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Postcards from Rachel Sony Cyber-Shot Giveaway

It's giveaway time! Thanks to the amazing Rachel at Postcards from Rachel, I have an insane giveaway to share with you all that me and some other lovely ladies are participating in. We are giving away this SONY Cyber-Shot DSC-H300 Digital Camera. It's the perfect size for travel and obviously blogging. I need to invest in one of these someday.
And check out everyone pitching in for this awesome giveaway!
Sony digital camera giveaway Postcards from Rachel | Helene in Between | To Travel And Beyond digital camera giveaway The Wellness Doer | Team Wiking | Club Narwhal April sponsor giveaway True Colours | Melanie Fontaine | Jade and Oak | Jillian Lorraine giveaway Seeking Sunshine | Independent Travel Cats | Living in Another Language | Life With A Side of Coffee

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How Far Will You Go To Get What You Want? Serena: A Review

Our Literary Junkies read for March was Serena by Ron Rash and I am just now getting around to this review. I need to step it up big time with the reading. You know, I cut my Goodreads goal for the year in half from last year because I've been at an all-time low for books. Luckily, I've already read half the amount of books in four months than I read in all of 2013. I see progress there. Ok, Serena, let's get to it.

What Goodreads Says:
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The year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton travel from Boston to the North Carolina mountains where they plan to create a timber empire. Although George has already lived in the camp long enough to father an illegitimate child, Serena is new to the mountains—but she soon shows herself to be the equal of any man, overseeing crews, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving her husband's life in the wilderness. Together this lord and lady of the woodlands ruthlessly kill or vanquish all who fall out of favor. Yet when Serena learns that she will never bear a child, she sets out to murder the son George fathered without her. Mother and child begin a struggle for their lives, and when Serena suspects George is protecting his illegitimate family, the Pembertons' intense, passionate marriage starts to unravel as the story moves toward its shocking reckoning.

Rash's masterful balance of violence and beauty yields a riveting novel that, at its core, tells of love both honored and betrayed.

What I Say:
I was looking forward to Serena big time. I thought it was going to be this really twisted story with a psychopath as it's main character. Well, I wasn't wrong on one of the main characters being completely crazy but it wasn't really twisted to me. Serena is a very calculated woman who knows exactly what she wants and she will attain it by any means necessary. Her precision in executing everything so perfectly hardly make her crazy. She's just a straight-up terrible person without an ounce of remorse or regret in her body. I'm even convinced that she killed her own family before she was even 18.

Source
Serena is all about extremes. How far will you go do get what you want? How far will you go to save your life? How far will you go to forget the mess that has become your life? Serena goes so far as to kill anyone that gets in her way. Rachel, the mother of Pemberton's son, moves to the complete opposite end of the country without knowing anyone to protect her life and her son's life. Pemberton sinks so far into the bottle that he loses control of himself and his senses because he can't stand the woman he's married to even though he finds himself completely overcome by her. The men that work a the camp turn their heads at everything they notice the Pemberton's do and they turn their head away from the destruction of the land all to keep a job.

Serena is about desperation and lust and greed. Serena and Pemberton don't love each other, they lust for each other. Love doesn't cause you to do terrible things for your partner. Serena doesn't care about the earth or where their lumber is going. She only cares about the money that will fill her pockets, same with Pemberton. All of their investors? Their exactly the same. They will turn their heads away from the murders they know are more than accidents because all they want is more money. Any journey for lust or greed is run by desperation. The need to always come out ahead and be the best.

Serena is many things. It's a novel full of intricate details and lengthy dialogue that you sometimes think is going nowhere. But it really shows the dark side of humanity. I think that's what makes it so interesting. You cannot possibly think it will take you to the places that it does. How could a grown woman be so threatened by a child, so much so that she tries to have it murdered? Serena may not be the twisted novel I was thinking it would be, but it is definitely a journey through the immense darkness that can exists in a human being.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Literary Junkies Tuesday: April

Pink Heels Pink Truck
It's that time of the month again! Time for Literary Junkies Tuesday! Link up with Taylor, Cassie and I and make sure you join us at 7pm CST on Twitter for our chat about What Alice Forgot. Our read for May will be Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.

Grab our button, grab the questions below, write your post and link up with us!!

LITERARY JUNKIES HOSTED BY LIFE WITH A SIDE OF COFFEE AND PINK HEELS PINK TRUCK YOUR APRIL CO-HOST: CASSIE FROM SOUTHEAST BY MIDWEST

1. What are you reading right now? Tell us about it!
I'm actually finishing up What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. It took the book a while to get to me and then I had little time to read it once it arrived so I'm scrambling to finish up.

2. Divergent, Hunger Games, or Twilight. Which do you prefer and why? (If you've never read them which do you think you'd prefer?)
Well, I've read the Twilight books and even though I got super caught up in them, I feel like the Divergent books are so much better. I've been wanting to read them for so long!

3. TV Series Based on Books they start out very close to the book to draw in the fans but then will start to separate themselves by changing things and adding characters. What are you thoughts on this?
One show comes to mind for this question, True Blood. The seasons practically followed the books until the last few. I am obsessed with the show but I was definitely disappointed with the direction. I still have to watch this last season but I have it
under very good authority that it's much better than the one before.

4. You've just been recruited to help a movie studio bring your favorite book to the big screen. What's the movie and who are you choosing to play the main characters?
This is so hard! There are so many books that I would love to see turned into movies. All my absolute favorite books have been turned into movies for the most part, The Great Gatsby, Breakfast at Tiffany's. Great casts that I am definitely not disappointed in, except for Toby McGuire in Gatsby. Who thought of that one???

I'd like to see Wicked turned into a move. The musical was a great adaptation of the book and I'd like to see the movie incorporate equal parts musical and book. I would ideally like the original cast to play in the movie but if this is not possible, I'd choose Lea Michele as Elpheba (duh), Jonathen Groff as Fiyero, Megan Hilty as Glinda and I would stick with Joel Gray as The Wizard. All of these guys have musical backgrounds and they would be perfect for the parts in my opinion. Let's keep Harry Styles out of this, shall we?

5. Going back to the above question, do you keep it word for word the same or do you use this chance to change little things you thought would make the book better?
Since I'd be adapting something that was a book and a musical, I'd make the movie a little darker like the book but keep it a musical. Does that make sense? I'd try to follow the book as much as possible by bringing a little darkness back but I'd keep it a musical. And if you're thinking...musicals can't be dark. I have two words for you...Les Miserables.

6. After you finish a physical copy of a book do you keep it for a reread, put it on a shelf to collect dust, donate it to Goodwill, or do you just not purchase physical copies of books?
I keep it for a reread but it ends up on a shelf collecting dust. I do not throw away books...ever. I loan them, trade them but never pitch them.


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