Friday Faves: Reads for Book Lovers Day

Favorite Reads for Book Lovers Day via @poorandpretty

I have a tendency to book jump. At any given time, I could be reading five or so books in various genres. Since tomorrow is National Book Lover’s Day, I thought I’d share with you a few of my recent favorites and current reads:

We Are Water by Wally Lamb: I have a special love for Wally Lamb because of shared personal experiences and will read everything he writes, so naturally I picked up his latest novel. I just started it, so I am only about 45 pages in. However, his very deep character development (which is so typically Wally) has already engrossed me and I hate putting the book down to go to bed, or eat, or work, or any of those annoying must-do’s that keep me from reading.

Make Me by Rhiannon Holte: I’ll admit it. I still read a ton of young adult literature. I’ve shared my love for The Hunger Games, The Perks of Being a Wallflowerand as with Wally Lamb, I’ll read everything by YA writers Francesca Lia Block and Ellen Wittlinger. Make Me is a wonderfully fresh young adult novel about a former child actress on the cusp of adulthood, determined to make her comeback after falling into the pit of drugs and alcohol. Like so many young celebrities, she takes some pretty drastic measures. She and a friend (the author, Rhiannon) create a website where her fans can suggest and vote on ways to “make Anya over.” Pretty quickly, it turns into a battle between Anya’s true and loyal fans versus the seedy underbelly of the Internet. It’s unlike any novel I’ve read and I am proud to be helping the author promote it.

I Spy DIY Style by Jenni Radosevich: Do you read the blog I Spy DIY? Like me, Jenni shares a love for DIY and unique fashion. While working at InStyle magazine, she developed a monthly do-it-yourself fashion column which eventually turned into her blog and this book! The book is filled with fantastic fashion tutorials for things you’ll actually wear. The tutorials range in skill level, from needing to know how to glue to sewing and using a grommet tool. It’s a great book to keep on hand for inspiration.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: I listened to the audiobook twice during my Road Trip; first on Day 7 as I drove down the Pacific Coast Highway and again on my last day, driving home. Then when I got home, I immediately demanded that Stan and I see the movie that weekend, which we did. The movie was cute, true to the book, but you’ve got to read the book. As I mentioned during my road trip, I was bawling my eyes out listening to the audiobook, narrated spectacularly by Kate Rudd. It’s a beautiful story about star-crossed young love and courage in the face of cancer. Unlike Nicholas Sparks’ A Walk to Remember, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars is very real, raw, and does not shy away from the harsh reality and unglamorous side effects of imminent death. Having watched my Nana suffer from and eventually succumb to lung cancer when I was 11, I am all too familiar with the feelings of pain, empathy, and unconditional love that come with it. All I can do is thank John Green for really getting it and helping others to understand.

Eat Pretty by Jolene Hart: As a certified beauty and health coach, Jolene Hart knows beauty from an inside-out perspective. That is: outer beauty is more dependent on what we put into our bodies than what we slather on our skin. She dives into the right (and wrong!) foods to eat for skin cell renewal and repair, healthy and shiny hair, better sleep, a healthy metabolism, and more. The book also provides a list of where to get a healthy dose of carbs, fats, and proteins, and what to avoid. She even has chapters on what to eat during each season of the year, based on what is in season and of course shares a few healthy recipes. This is not a DIY beauty book, it’s more of a healthy lifestyle guide. And let me just say: I need to eat more fruits and veggies. Good thing we’re growing some!

P.S. You’ll notice that many of these links to not go to Amazon, but instead to Better World Books. This is because they have truly amazing charitable efforts such as Book for Book — every time you purchase a book, they donate one to a children’s literacy program. They also donate profits to Books for Africa, Room to Read, the National Center for Family Literacy, and other global literacy non-profits. They reduce landfills by never throwing away a book. They either find it a home or recycle it — to date, they’ve reused or recycled over 190 million pounds of books. AND in addition to free shipping worldwide, you have the option of carbon-balancing your shipment for pennies. So yeah, I kind of love them.

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Wayback Wednesday: Saved by the Bell

Saved by the Bell cast

I’m not even a little embarrassed to admit how (re)obsessed I am with Saved by the Bell. It’s so fantastically 90s! I’ve been watching it almost every morning on Netflix before I go to work, and okay, sometimes I have marathon nights when Stan isn’t around.

zack morris saved by the bell

I had a major crush on Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who’s still pretty hot today). I remember my friends and I actually kissing the TV once or twice when he came on. We were such dorks!

Apparently, Lifetime is going to be making a behind-the-scenes movie about the show to air later this year, but it will probably be awful because a) it’s Lifetime and b) based on Dustin Diamond’s (Screech) scathing memoir about his fellow cast members. I’m just going to continue nerding out and wishing I had Lisa Turtle’s closet.

Lead image via New York Post.

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¡Cinco de Mayo party essentials!

cinco de mayo party essentials via @poorandpretty

Cinco de Mayo is next Monday! Inspired by the beautiful bright colors I saw during my family trip to Mexico last year, here are a few party essentials you can buy or DIY to make your fiesta muy auténtico (very authentic)!

1. Papel Picado Banner — This is the traditional Mexican paper banner you will see at fiestas or as year-round decor. Buy here via La Fuente or make it here via Frog Prince Paperie.

2. Vintage Mexican Dress — Gorgeous! Pull your hair back, stick a flower or two in it, and it’ll be like you’re really in Mexico. (via trashyvintage on Etsy)

3. DIY Tissue Paper Flowers or Pom-Poms — These are so easy to make and will add lots of color and flair to your party. Make them here. (via Poor & Pretty)

4. Cans and Bottles as Centerpieces — Another simple DIY. Wash out cans and bottles from Mexican food or alcohol and place vibrant flowers in them. (via Ruffled)

5. Recycled Verano Margarita Glasses + Pitcher — What’s a Cinco de Mayo party without margaritas? Serve them in these beautiful glasses and pitcher, hand-blown in Mexico with recycled glass. Glasses and pitcher sold separately. Grab the glasses here and the pitcher here. (via UncommonGoods)

6. Ribbed Glass Lanterns — Available in a bunch of festive colors and sizes, these would make great indoor or outdoor décor. (via World Market)

7. DIY Mexican Table Linens — Sew your own table runner, napkins, or placemats with these bold Mexican fabrics from MexFabricSupplies on Etsy. Use this tutorial from HGTV to help you out.

Don’t forget the fiesta food and drinks! See even more ideas on my Cinco de Mayo Pinterest board.

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4th Annual Trashion Show this Saturday!

Trashion 2014_sm

It’s that time of year again! The 4th Annual Trashion Fashion Show is this Saturday, April 19th 6-9pm at Hartford City Hall. Get your tickets here. (All proceeds support the Sustainable Farm School.)

I’ve been lucky enough to vend at the past two shows, but this year will be a little different. I will be teaching a demonstration on how to make your own sugar scrubs and have tons of info about some of the toxic chemicals you can find in your brand-name cosmetics. Did you see my article on the Evergreen Design Co. blog?

Trashion Show Hartford CT

I am so pumped to see this year’s trashion fashion! It keeps getting better and better every year!

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Valentine party essentials

Valentine’s Day is a week away! Do you have everything you need for partying? Here are my top picks:

Valentine Party Essentials via poorandpretty

1. Party Banner via Urban Outfitters. 2. Valentine’s Mix Cupcake Liners via sweet estelle’s baking supply. 3. Pink Glitter Origami Heart Cupcake Toppers via Pelemele. 4. Valentine’s Day Krazy Straw via Party City. 5. DIY Valentine Party Crowns via mom’s best. 6. Plantable Paper Heart Confetti via Paper Sprouts. 7. Cookie Stamp via UncommonGoods.

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