Waiting on Wednesday: Harry Potter: The Character Vault

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.  This week I’m choosing Harry Potter: The Character Vault by Jody Revenson because obviously.  The book includes an in-depth profile of each beloved character including design sketches, photos of their costumes, an image of their wand and any other props their character is known for.  The book also examines the progression of the fashion in films from years one through seven.  You can pre-order the book on Amazon!

Harry Potter: The Character Vault

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Kristin

Tasty Treats: Sweetapolita Sprinkles

One of my favorite baking bloggers has always been Sweetapolita.  She bakes and posts the most beautiful looking pastel desserts and I’m always swooning over her instagram photos.  I was THRILLED when she came out with a cookbook earlier this year (one that I pre-ordered because NEED) and now she’s opened up a sprinkle shop on Etsy! Her sprinkle store features one of a kind sprinkle medleys in medium and jumbo bottles and the jimmey’s are made by Sweetapolita herself.  I don’t know about you but I cannot wait to bake a cake using the Barbies & Bubblegum medley!  What’s even more exciting is that until July 31st you can use the code SPRINKLEFEVER to get 15% off of your entire order!

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Kristin

BookTube: June Book Haul!

It’s book haul time! These are all the titles I added to my shelf and TBR for the month of June! There ended up being a lot more books than I expected but I love each and every one<3  Let me know if you’ve read any of the books I hauled so I can determine what I should read first!

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Kristin

Makeup Monday: Giambattista Valli For MAC Cosmetics

On July 9th, just a few short days away, MAC cosmetics will be releasing a glorious line of lipstick as part of their newest collab with fashion designer Giambattista Valli.  The line includes 5 lipsticks in matte shades and one high gloss companion which will help you transition your lip color from day to night.  All of the hues Valli chose were inspired by fabric swatches from the Valli vault and they represent his most well known aesthetics: floral hues and textures.  I am completely in love with the packaging of the lipsticks and I love how each case perfectly matches the shade inside.  I definitely have my sights set on four out of five of the new colors!

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Kristin

Fashion Find: Kate Spade Pineapple Collection

I really love pineapples.  They’re definitely up there with strawberries and watermelon as one of the most attractive summer fruits so it’s no surprise that Kate Spade decided to create a mini collection based on the refreshing snack.  I couldn’t resist the super cute necklace, and I’m also eyeing the oversize pineapple tote because it would basically be the most perfect beach bag of all time.  If you’re into more subtle summer accessories, there’s a great pair of pineapple studs, a wallet and an iPhone case!  You can purchase anything in the pineapple collection on the Kate Spade website or in store.  Prices range from $32-$348.

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: Nantucket Red by Leila Howland (Nantucket #2)

**Warning! If you haven’t read Nantucket Blue which is the first book in the duology by Leila Howland, there will be spoilers ahead.  You can read my review of the first book instead if you haven’t started the series yet!**

It took me WAY too long to read the conclusion to Leila Howland’s Nantucket Blue series after having loved the first book as much as I did but it wasn’t completely my fault!  If I had been able to find my copy of Nantucket Red I would’ve read it sooner but despite labeling all of the 20+ boxes of books I packed, it was nowhere to be found until I went through every last box on a mission to find it (of course it was at the bottom on the last box).  I didn’t realize how much I needed more Cricket, Zack and Jules in my reading life until I dove back in and let me tell you, it was a blissful experience.

The second book picks up at the beginning of the school year after Cricket and Zack decide that the long distance thing is not for them.  Instead, they choose to “pause” their relationship while they figure things out but after an unfortunate phone call which Zack misinterprets, he ends up dating the awful girl Parker who Jules had ditched Cricket for in Nantucket Blue.  While it was so great to see Jules and Cricket back as besties, it hurt my heart every time I would read about Zack with Parker.  Cricket is such a driven and exceptional teen and I love being in her head.  I wish Leila Howland would write more stories with these characters because I honestly love them and I want them to succeed in everything they do.  Even though we got a fantastic epilogue, I could see so much more happening for them.

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In Nantucket Red, Leila Howland expanded upon everything I loved about Nantucket Blue.  Being back in the familiar Nantucket setting felt like spending my own second summer there on the beach surrounded by preppy people in pastel colors.  While last summer dealt with handling difficult emotions and finding love, this summer was much more of a personal journey for Cricket.  She’s all set with her Ivy league college plans but after finding a special list, she begins to question what it is she truly desires and what path she needs to take in the future.

Final Thoughts: Nantucket Red is the delightful conclusion to Leila Howland’s Nantucket Blue series.  If you’re looking for an engaging beach read Nantucket Blue and Nantucket Red would be the first books I would suggest.  My only complaint is that there aren’t anymore Nantucket books to read because I’m head over heels for this little summer paradise as well as the main characters.

Rating 6

Cricket Thompson’s lifetime of overachieving has paid off: she’s headed to Brown University in the fall, with a spot on the lacrosse team and a scholarship that covers almost everything. Who knew living in the dorm cost money? An Ivy League education seems to mean living at home for the next four years.

When Cricket is offered the chance to earn enough cash to afford a real college experience, she heads back to Nantucket for the summer. But the faraway island challenges Cricket in ways she hadn’t anticipated. It’s hard to focus on earning money for next year, when she finds her world opening up in entirely new ways-to art, to travel, and, most unexpectedly, to a future completely different from the one she has been working toward her whole life. A friendship blossoms with Ben, the gorgeous surfer and bartender who encourages Cricket to be free, even as she smarts at the pain of seeing Zack, her first love, falling for her worst enemy.

But one night, when Cricket finally lets herself break all her own rules, she realizes she may have ruined her carefully constructed future with one impulsive decision. Cricket must dig deep to fight for her future, discovering that success isn’t just about reaching goals, but also about listening to what she’s been trying to ignore-her own heart. (via Goodreads)

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins (Rebel Belle #1)

I have been drawn to Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins ever since I glimpsed the cover! It depicts a glamorous set of pearls tied together with a pink ribbon and adds an edge by positioning a knife through the bow.   After I finished reading, I read the acknowledgements and learned that Hawkins sold this book as Legally Blonde meets The Terminator and I wish I had known that sooner because I wouldn’t have waited so long to grab it off my shelf!  Rebel Belle was such an enjoyable story.  It was like the equivalent of reading Buffy the Vampire Slayer sans vampires.  The book itself is overflowing with pop culture references to comics, tv shows and movies and it made the story a pleasure to consume.

Harper Price is just your above-average-overachieving-valedictorian-homecoming-queen until one night when she is bestowed with some superpowers.  While Harper is still very concerned with things like lipgloss and clothes, she takes her newfound abilities very seriously and puts in the necessary research hours to assess her situation.  Harper is hilariously funny (I definitely laughed out loud on my commute several times) and while she may seem too perfect, she has much more going on than she lets the world know.  Harper is kind and always trying to protect her loved ones at any cost and she’s incredibly intelligent.  I don’t even want to give anything away about any of the other characters because the story is too good to ruin!

Rebel Belle

I also really enjoyed the little southern touches and places that Harper and her friends frequent.  I would jump at the chance to visit Annemarie’s tearoom with Harper and her aunts.  I adore the phrase “bless your heart,” and although I’ve never partaken in Cotillion, I always find it fascinating to read about (I blame The O.C.).  It was so much fun to read about Harper try to juggle school, family, friends, extracurricular and her ninja moves.  I still can’t believe I waited so long to read it but I’m almost glad I did since I can now jump right into the second book!

Final Thoughts: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins is a must read for any fan of pop culture.  If you’re like me and are still feeling a Buffy the Vampire sized hole in your heart, Harper Price will help you fill that void.  Hawkins developed a very intriguing plot with a rich backstory while referencing all of the best movies, comics and tv shows in the past thirty years (omg the 80’s are not 20 years ago anymore).  Rebel Belle will make you laugh out loud.

Rating 5

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more. (via Goodreads)

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Kristin

BookTube: The Nintendo Book Tag

My most recent BookTube video is one my favorites because video games!  The Nintendo Book Tag was created by Novels & Nonsense who is one of my absolute favorite BookTubers and I love how perfect all of the questions are.  Feel free to do the tag if you so desire!

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Kristin

Wish List Wednesday: Harry Potter Funko Pop Figures

Since the day that Funko pop figures appeared on my radar I’ve been wishing and wishing for a Harry Potter collection and 2015 is the year us Potterheads are finally getting them<3  The first collection (of hopefully many) includes Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Snape, Dumbledore, Hagrid, Voldemort and a newly introduced Qudditch version of Harry which is exclusive to Hot Topic.  These adorable creatures are going to look fantastic on my bookshelf in front of the many editions of Harry Potter I currently own.  The first wave is going to be released in July, just in time for my birthday!  And, there’s a contest you can enter to win a complete set.

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Kristin

Life Lately: I Moved and Stuff!

There’s no place like home <3  Seriously.  As I mentioned in my Mid-Year Resolution post, I decided to move home for the next year or so while I focus on planning for the future.  I was really stressed out and unhappy at my apartment after dealing with a slew of bad roommates (to the point where I would sometimes not even go to my apartment for an entire month just to avoid the situation).  I never thought that being at my apartment could be more stressful than being at my full time job so clearly, a change was needed.  Now I get to bound around barefoot in my spacious house which is a simple pleasure that I now realize I took for granted. I’m still adjusting to my new commuting schedule- this is my first week and I have to leave my house at 6:45 as opposed to 8:20 so yeah, I’m functioning at less than full Kristin capacity- but I’m confident that I’ll get into the groove of it after a few weeks (hence the reduced amount of blog posts this week).  AND I HAVE SO MUCH READING TIME AND IT’S GREAT!  I’m on a train that’s much cleaner and quieter and full of less outwardly insane people than I would encounter daily on the NYC subway.  And I get a seat.  It’s p awesome.

Speaking of operating at full Kristin, I already feel so much better since I got the heck out of that place.  Granted, I have SO MUCH cleaning to do because I can’t even actually sleep in my own bed at this point (I have a lot of stuff [books / clothes / etc.] you guys) but I’m just in a place I adore and I’m surrounded by people I love.  And I bought that new book everyone’s talking about, The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up, so I feel like once I read that I’ll be able to cull all of my collections and minimalize the amount of possessions I own so I’m only holding on to what truly makes me happy.  And I’ve been keeping so on top of news and blogs and other things that I had really fallen completely out of touch with.  I still haven’t resumed my previously overactive nature on Twitter, but it’s a process.  I’ve been planning like mad and I have so many amazing things that I want to share with you all and new weekly columns I’m adding to my blog and I really believe that everything is going to be just wonderful <3  Especially once I unpack and I can find the books I want to read because right now it’s whatever is in the closest vicinity to me.

I hope you’re all doing wonderfully and if there’s something that’s making you unhappy, please make the moves to change it no matter how difficult it may seem!

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P.S. I went to a wedding last weekend, spent more money than anyone ever should on hair that didn’t even last an entire day but several people told me I looked like Taylor Swift so I’m counting it as a win.

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Kristin

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