What I’ve Been Reading: 2018 Edition

Unfortunately with a post-grad move to a new city and a new job, 2017 didn’t leave much time for recreational reading (well, other than “What Happened” by HRC). And so, with the arrival of the 2018, I knew I wanted to started my favorite pastime up again. That, and a good book can instantly relax me. Here’s a quick peek of my recent reads on my nightstand.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Literally as soon as the credits rolled on the final episode of “Big Little Lies” season one (and I blogged my thoughts thereafter, naturally), I went to Amazon and Prime-ordered the original book by Liane Moriarty.

I knew the series had hooked me. I had to keep watching. And since Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman kept discussing how inspired they were by Moriarty’s work to make the HBO show, I knew I needed to read about the Pirriwee Beach mothers and their kindergarteners.

While you may think, “Hey, I watched the series, why should I read?” It’s a gripping, page-turning story and, as with all film and television adaptations: liberties are taken.

 

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Hailed as a “modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice,” I was intrigued by the cast of interesting characters and how despite being a modern version of a classic, it still felt new and current.

Readers meet Liz, a magazine writer (Hey, I knew I liked it already! Lol.), who lives in NYC with her big sis Jane. When the New York-living sisters return home to help their parents and sisters following their father’s health scare, it seems Mama Bennett has other plans: trying to figure out how to marry off her unwed daughters before age 40 arrives. And so, here comes handsome (and quasi-famous) doctor Chip Bingley, who happens to take an immediate interest in Jane, while his surgeon-friend Fitzwilliam Darcy “reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming… and yet, first impressions can be deceiving,” the back cover synopsis explains. Hmm, intrigued? I know I was.

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

This novel stuck out to me upon first glance and first read-through of the back cover summary. Dave describes how Georgia Ford returns home to her family vineyard in Sonoma County just one week before her wedding to her seemingly-perfect fiance once she learns an “explosive” secret that could change everything. Upon arriving home, she learns that her fiance is not the only one keeping secrets. Hmm, a twist.

This gripping novel tells the dramatic story of family, love and how secrets can tear or bring people together.

 

 

 

You Had Me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane

This U.K.-set book seemed like an immediate rom-com type book from first glance. And then I flipped over the back cover. McFarlane tells the story of Rachel and Ben, two university best friends and partners in crime from their first “Hello.” However, a decade later, Rachel’s One Who Got Away comes right back and it seems like “the years melt away.”

The back cover reads, “But life has changed. Ben is married. Rachel is not.yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.” And just like that, I was willing to follow along their journey.

Sort of spoiler, sort of warning: fans of a Happily Ever After, won’t be disappointed in this one.

 

Single State of Mind by Andi Dorfman

On a lighter note for all my single ladies out there, former Bachelorette Andi Dorfman‘s second memoir-type book chronicles her new life as a Manhattanite and attempting the crazy world of NYC dating. It had me laughing at the sheer reliability (which, should I be laughing? Whoops.) and perhaps wondering if that could be a future blog topic on here? We’ll see on that front…

Dorfman’s book picks up where her last left off (post-TV engagement and heartbreak) as she impulsively books a one-way flight to New York City to start a new chapter. She first must deal with the awful situation that is Manhattan apartment hunting and then beginning her life in the city. And what comes next once you get settled, figuring (or attempting to) out the *shudder* dating and dating app scene. She perfectly captures relatable New Yorker life for the single New York girls. A perfect light read to make fun of this crazy life we’ve chosen from living in the crowded little island of Manhattan.

And a preview of what’s next for me on my bookshelf?

From Notting Hill with Love… Actually by Ali McNamara

One: it’s literally named for some of the biggest (British) rom-coms in existence. So, McNamara has that going for her novel.

Two: it takes place in England. Which is one of my favorite places in the world, so that’s a plus.

Also, while it seems like a quintessential romance-type story, the back cover alludes that romantic story is far from easy, which makes it more realistic and something I can appreciate. Color me intrigued to continue reading!

 

 

Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen

The back cover includes quotes such as, “A love letter to New York,” and “Love Actually meets Sex and the City,” and “A story for dreamers, the hopeless in love, or any woman or man in search of a new lease on life.” Sounds like a perfect, easygoing read for this fashion-obsessed Manhattanite.

The Heiresses by Sara Shepara

Hailed as a Pretty Little Liars for adults — I knew this was a must-read for me, especially in a PLL-less TV schedule.

Cut to the Seybrook sisters, a family of heiresses, clocked in mystery in intrigue as they wrestle with their feelings to uncover the truth about the their family before it’s too late. Sounds like the perfect read for all of us that miss the weekly six-season drama of PLL.

 

 

 

 

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

Because all the rom-com-esque novels can get basic after awhile, this family drama seemed equally enticing, especially considering I can relate (cheers to my crazy family back home in the Midwest– love you all).

The inside cover explains how “only the most extraordinary circumstances can reunite the Birch family for the holidays.” While the large family spends their first full family holiday together in years, they all have their own lives. I want to know all the dramatic details when  they are “locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity – and even decent Wi-Fi- and forced into each other’s orbits.” I can only imagine what secrets and drama will unfold. Time to start reading!

 

 

May 2018 inspire you all to keep on reading! 💖

The Best at the People’s Choice Awards

This past week was all about the People at the People’s Choice Awards… So, let’s take a look at the fashion.

rs_634x1024-160106174911-634-Camilla-Luddington-peoples-choice-awards.ls.1616 Camilla Luddington, whose Grey’s character as quite the decision to make when the series returns this spring, looks gorgeous in a white, long sleeved mini complete with bedazzled shoulder accents. But, when does she ever dress poorly? Never.

rs_634x1024-160106183839-634.Katie-Stevens-Peoples-Choice-Awards.ms.010616 I really want to like “Faking It” actress Katie Stevens’ dress… But, I just don’t. I like the concept, theoretically. It just doesn’t work in execution. It looks like a bad dance leotard that the designer just sewed a wide panel between her legs and randomly decided to add fringe to surround the panel. From waist up, it looks good, if that helps.

rs_634x1024-160106184255-634.Ellen-PompeoPeoples-Choice-Awards.ms.010616 There’s something I really like about Ellen Pompeo here. Yes, it’s casual, but think of the nature of the award show; it’s not the Oscars or the Globes, so a gown isn’t really necessary. I like the floppiness, the studded accents, and I think it works on everyone’s favorite pretend doctor.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 1.25.08 PM Lea Michele always pulls great looks. And this look is no exception… Except for the chest area… Doesn’t look too good.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 1.24.55 PM Priyanka Chopra’s dress is… loud. I sort of like it… the silver part. The gold is unnecessary and makes it bulkier.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 1.24.41 PM It’s Chuck Bass— Oh, wait, he’s fictional. The actor, whose fame skyrocketed as Mr. Bass on Gossip Girl, Ed Westwick looks as dapper as his beloved character did. However, the shoes. Why would you put brown shoes against a black suit? And light brown, which really stands out??? No.

rs_634x1024-160106175121-634-allison-brie-peoples-choice-awards.ls.1616 I like this dress: the mint color, the shape, the cutouts. Not bad. But, doesn’t stand out either way in my mind.

rs_634x1024-160106172150-634-troian-bellisario-peoples-choice-awards-010616 Love this dress on PLL star Troian Bellasario! Everything looks perfect. Except I’m not crazy about the slicked back bun. Perhaps a (messy?) side braid would have worked better?

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 1.24.17 PM In the press shots of Claire Danes alone, nothing can capture the beauty of her Burberry dress. So, here (in a photo with her husband) is sort of how elegant and pretty the dress is. It looked the best in motion, so watch clips of her during the show to see my point; the still photos don’t do this beautiful dress justice.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 1.24.00 PM Another PLL star, Ashley Benson, rocks a black mini… Also with bedazzled shoulder detail. Hmm… deja vu?

rs_634x1024-160107090312-634.Kaley-Cuoco-Peoples-Chpice-Red-Carpet.jl.010716 I like Kaley Cuoco’s dress. I don’t like the poor fit and the sneakers. Props to her for breaking the red carpet norm and wanting to be comfortable, but you need heels to tie the look together; the leg room that heels gives you. But, the dress itself is stunning.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 1.23.24 PM “Dance Moms” start Maddie Ziegler attends– no idea why the 13-year-old dance student was there. But, it’s a beautiful dress and beauty look. It just might not be the right look for a middle schooler.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 1.22.36 PM Alright girls, swooning yet? Clearly, Tyler Posey has mastered the “heartthrob” red carpet pose. But, he is wayyyy underdressed for a red carpet.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 1.22.12 PM I LOVE MEGHAN TRAINOR’S BALMAIN DRESS! Gorgeous. Wow. Love it. Best dressed. Nothing else to say. Done.

rs_634x1024-160106172228-634.2-kate-hudson-peoples-choice-awards Blah blah blah Kate Hudson always looks good… But, can we talk about how hard she’s clenching her clutch? What doesn’t she want to let go of?? Also, it doesn’t look like she’s holding a clutch, looks more like she is holding a piece of a pipe.

rs_1024x785-160106175934-1024-pink-ladies-grease-peoples-choice-awards-010616 Black is clearly the word for these Pink Ladies. The stars of Fox’s “Grease Live” decided to coordinate in terms of black/gray gowns. And all gowns look perfectly tailored. But, what is up with Carly Rae Jepsen’s dyed black mullet?? Not cute.

That’s all for my red carpet review. Any thoughts?

Well, this weekend marks the start of award season, so look forward to reading all of my red carpet roundups after watching the shows!

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 1.33.02 PM

Back in the fashion review business….

Hey everyone, I’m officially back from NYC… sad face. 😦 But, with that, time to get back to business on here. And as the Teen Choice Awards happened tonight, here’s my review… (Also, follow along with my travel blog here when I head to London in a few weeks!)

nina-dobrev Nina Dobrev looks gorge and haute couture. Love this fun, brightly colored/ sparkly dress!

rs_634x1024-150816164943-634.gina-rodriguez.cm.81615 The show’s hostess and “Jane the Virgin” Gina Rodriguez looks super pretty, however, I’m not super in love with her extra-long extensions.

rs_634x1024-150816164047-634.EmmaRoberts-jmd-081615 My camp alum, which makes her extra awesome obvi! Anyway. Emma Roberts always knows how to look super high fashion on a red (well, blue) carpet.

rs_634x1024-150816164038-634.lucy-hale.cm.81615 PLL darling Lucy Hale… Love her dress! And shoes! Accessories! Everything! Except her tight bun, maybe a ponytail would have worked better? I just don’t think buns are best when you have to take a “straight-on” photo for events such as a red carpet. (Makes your hair look wayyy different than it is in real life!)

rs_634x1024-150816160728-634.skylar.cm.81615 One of the best dressed males of the night goes to Pitch Perfect star Skylar Astin! Perfectly tailored outfit and fits the fun, summer vibe of the award show.

rs_634x1024-150816181632-634.Grace_Helbig-jmd-081615 Youtuber Grace Helbig: love the high fashion dress on her, and the shoes and hair all work! However, it’s not the most “teen” outfit… definitely more mature than her teen counterparts of fellow nominees and attendees. But, it still looks good.

rs_634x1024-150816181218-634.spears.cm.81615 IT’S BRITNEY. Love the super haute couture skirt on the woman who was my very first concert (in kindergarten!– yes, it was the Oops! tour.). Not a fan of her ombre-dipped locks.

rs_634x1024-150816165552-634.LeaM-jmd-081615 I love Lea Michele’s summer-y dress, however, this pose isn’t doing it justice! Love the dress/pattern/shape and the shoes! Gorge and perfect for the event!

That’s it for tonight! What are your thoughts on the fashions from the show?

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 1.33.02 PM

The best looks from the White House Correspondents Dinner

Tonight the White House rolled out its red carpet for the annual Correspondents Dinner and here were some of the best looks on hand.

rs_634x1024-150425154213-634.JennaDewanTatum-jmd_042515 Jenna Dewan-Tatum looks exquisite in her Reem Acra black gown with a blinged-out top. She looks very stoic and poised, and glam to say the least! Ah-mazing.

rs_634x1024-150425154600-634.GinaR-jmd_042515 Gina Rodriguez stuns in a blush gown. She has a knack for picking out gorgeous, tailored gowns for red carpets.

rs_634x1024-150425151245-634.NayaRivera-jmd_042515 Pregnant “Glee” star Naya Rivera looks ahmazing in her Tadashi Shoji long-sleeve white, pristine gown.

rs_634x1024-150425161343-634.Alima_jmd_042515 Adriana Lima. Who could say anything bad about this supermodel’s look? Absolutely stunning.

rs_634x1024-150425145025-634.Maria_Menounos-jmd_042515 Maria Menounos dress is fab, love the coral color, gold belt, side cutouts. Love!

rs_634x1024-150425161056-634.ChrissyT_jmd_042515 OH MY GOSH, Chrissy Teigen looks FLAWLESS and FABULOUS in her gorgeous Zuhair Murad. OMG, love it!

rs_464x749-150425171241-634.Spencer_Hastings_jmd_042515 PLL star Troian Bellasario looks like a grecian goddess! Love the simplistic white dress with the necklace and accessorized with a gold statement belt!

rs_634x1024-150425170417-634.Indina_jmd_042515 OH MY GOODNESS, IDINA MENZEL LOOKS AHMAZING. Love her two-tone pink dress with the beaded belt! She looks gorge. And I still can’t believe I saw her live on Broadway!!! 🙂

rs_634x1024-150425170719-634.ChanelIman_jmd_042515 Chanel Iman? Flawless, gorge from head-to-toe.

rs_634x1024-150425161808-634.MichelleT_jmd_042515 Love purple and the dress’ shape and accents on Michelle Trachtenberg. But, purple is my favorite color…

rs_634x1024-150425153226-634.Gillian_Jacobs-jmd_042515 Gillian Jacobs: love love love this dress! The print is ahmazing, coupled with the belt, shoes, clutch and hair: it’s perfection.

So many gorgeous dresses for the White House affair.. Thoughts?

My Summer TV Obsessions

Here’s what I’m watching this summer, and obsessing over.

  • Big Brother

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 10.54.49 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 10.55.25 PM

I recently have become so obsessed with CBS’ Big Brother. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s fascinating to watch. Here’s my rundown of the contestants that I’ve seen:

-Amber: Curly hair. Caleb and Cody love triangle.

-Caleb: Country boy aka “Beast Mode Cowboy” who loves Amber, almost to the point it distracts his game.

-Christine: Quiet. Only girl in the large alliance, ‘Detonators.’

-Cody: He’s so pretty. That’s about it.

-Derrick: Clearly, the leader of the group. My pick as to who will win the whole thing.

-Donny: The one with the beard. Team America member. Quiet, I guess.

-Frankie: Ariana Grande’s older brother. Loves show tunes and pink hair. AND as of today, won a Battle of the Block two-person challenge by himself!

-Hayden: He’s what? A pedicab driver?? Does he surf? Wait, he was on the Deans List? Possibly in love with Nicole.

-Jocasta: Bowties. Always on the Block.

-Nicole: What’s with her voice? Does she always have to win HOH? And what’s going on with Hayden?

-Victoria: Why is she still here? She has no athletic prowess and always loses competitions. Seems prissy.

-Zach: WHY IS HE ALWAYS SHIRTLESS OR IN THE SAME FLORIDA GATORS SHIRT AND PINK HAT? Also, Zankie bromance.

  • So You Think You Can Dance

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 10.56.12 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 10.56.22 PM

As a dancer myself, I’ve become obsessed with So You Think You Can Dance recently. I mean, I watch Dance Moms for their choreography, why not SYTYCD? All their choreographers need Emmys!! Ohmygosh, Travis Wall’s (and Mandy Moore’s) routines though. Incredible. I have no idea who will win: maybe Rudy, Tanisha, or Ricky??

  • Chasing Life

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 10.57.23 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 10.57.45 PM

After I watch Pretty Little Liars, I’ve come to enjoy Chasing Life. (And yes, that’s Cappie from Greek, who will play Kristoff on Once Upon A Time.) It takes a TFIOS twist when April (Italia Ricci) gets diagnosed with leukemia. But, she plays a journalist (well, an intern) and as a Journalism major myself, I like it when TV characters resemble things about myself or ordinary people in general–someone I can relate to.

  • Switched at Birth and The Fosters

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 10.58.52 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 10.59.08 PM

I’ve been watching these ABC Family Monday night shows, and it’s getting so addicting. First, there’s Switched at Birth where I get to hone my ASL skills (mostly the only reason I watch) and then The Fosters, which is J.Lo produced is so dramatic and not what I expected from former Disney stars.

  • Pretty Little Liars

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 11.00.00 PM

Of course, PLL makes another appearance. It’s getting so predictable. But, as soon as that happens, the writers throw us another curveball and I’m reminded why I watch the show. That, and the fashion. Plus, they’ve done a good job at employing love interests (I mean, let’s discuss Ian Harding, Keegan Allen, and Tyler Blackburn. No complaints from any girl.)

  • Dance Moms

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 11.24.37 PM

I watch it purely for the dancing, because these little girls are insanely talented. As a dancer myself, I’m envious at what they can do at ages 8-12. I actually tune out the mama drama that occurs— I don’t care. I watch simply as a dancer to applaud these supremely talented little girls and their studio’s choreography.

  • The Bachelorette

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 11.01.08 PM

I know it’s over, but one of my June/July guilty pleasures had to have been The Bachelorette. And I squealed when it was revealed Andi and Josh were engaged. Not to mention, I like following all the happy couples that result from the show on Instagram. And side note: I’m still hopeful that [farmer] Chris, Andi’s castoff, will be the next Bachelor.

Hope you all enjoyed reading this, and hopefully some of y’all will consider watching these shows in the future.

Teen Choice Awards were quite fashionable

Tonight on FOX was the annual Teen Choice Awards. I thought I’d break down some of the best red carpet style of the night.

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 10.26.49 PM

Ariana Grande is fast becoming one of the top artists of the summer. (Have you heard Bang Bang? You should.) Her style is very uniquely her, and she looks just like her brand. The only thing: I never realized how much hair she has??? (It’s so thick… Twins!)

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 10.26.57 PM

The Vampire Diaries’ Nina Dobrev looks fun and edgy in her crop top and shorts. So perfect for summer! And love that side braid she’s working! However, I’m not loving her facial expression—hello? You won a surfboard at the TCA’s… Act like the star you are (As Tyra Banks of ANTM would say, ‘Smize.’)!

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 10.27.07 PM

IT’S LIZZIE MCGUIRE. SHE’S BACK. Not only is her newest song “Chasing the Sun” the perfect catchy summertime hit, she looks modern. Once again, Hilary Duff is the perfect fashion role model. I love her top and skirt, and even her stilettos, however, I’m not loving her pose– it just looks awkward.

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 10.27.12 PM

Pretty Little Liars teen queen Lucy Hale looked pretty in red this evening! Gorgeous, but a little overdressed perhaps?

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 10.27.19 PM

16-year-old starlet Bella Thorne is trying too hard to dress older. While I LOVE this super couture dress, it’s too mature for her. (Maybe someone like Lucy Hale or Ariana Grande would wear this better??) And, from one girl to another, PULL. IT. UP. And another thing: throughout the TCAs, we saw her commercials for Candies brand– she had no enthusiasm for the set or anything. As a communications major, she didn’t sell the brand, the clothes, anything to me. What’s the hurry to grow up, Bella? Stay young as long as you can. You’ll have time to dress like a twenty-something when you get older; don’t rush it.

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 10.27.44 PM

I don’t know much about The Band Perry, but I love the main girl’s dress. Gorgeous, high fashion, and kind of works at the TCAs. LOVE. No complaints from this blogger.

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 10.28.59 PM

Taylor Swift, who may or may not have a new studio album coming out soon, wore this outfit, and to be honest: I’m not feeling it. While I think it’s an adorable ensemble for an ordinary summer day– it doesn’t flow for a red carpet, unless someone like Bella Thorne or Chloe Grace Moretz were to wear it. Love it for a summer day or on a younger star, but Taylor didn’t wow me. AND, when she was presenting, she didn’t show her personality… What’s wrong, Taylor?

Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 10.29.11 PM

Demi Lovato. While I wasn’t a fan of her on-stage apparel, this dress is classy and simple. However, it’s the TCAs–the place to be edgy and fun, not like you’re going to the Emmys or something. This doesn’t scream, “Demi Lovato,” and for her brand, it should have. Gorgeous dress, but not for her. Maybe Taylor Swift or her pal Selena Gomez should have chosen this dress instead?

Who are your Best Dressed picks?

Getting Fashion Inspiration from TV

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 2.43.48 PM

It’s no secret that “Pretty Little Liars” is one of my all-time television guilty pleasures. But as much as I live for the drama of the plot, I’m obsessed with the wardrobe put together by costume designer, Mandi Line. (You may recall her work from MTV’s “Faking It”, Abc Family’s “Greek”, “The Clique” movie, Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva,” among others.)

My personal style as inspired by PLL: I’m mostly a Hanna or a Spencer, though Aria has some pretty cute pieces.

Here’s what Mandi Line said about our favorite Liars’ signature looks:

Aria’s (Lucy Hale) eclectic, trendy style

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 2.30.57 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 2.31.34 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 2.35.08 PM

“Aria wears trends but she doesn’t do it because they’re cool, she does it because likes them.”

Spencer’s (Troian Bellisario) old-school, preppy style

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 2.43.12 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 2.51.02 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 2.31.20 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 2.23.45 PM

“I want to make sure her story looks like she stole something from her mom’s closet, yet she went shopping and topped it off with something classic. I always say Spencer is classic with a twist.”

Emily’s (Shay Mitchell) athletic, simplistic style

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 2.55.47 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 3.03.48 PM

“Emily (Shay Mitchell) to me has had the biggest arc of all the characters because when she came out with her sexuality, she also came out with her strength to speak what she was feeling through her fashion.”

Hanna’s (Ashley Benson) trendy, girly style

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 2.30.52 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 2.56.29 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 3.05.02 PM

“Hannah, or Ms. Ashley Benson, is probably the funniest and most wild one I have. She always wants shorter, sexier and higher heels. Over the seasons she has gotten more risky.”

Check out Mandi Line’s full interview with Huffington Post here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/07/pretty-little-liars-best-dressed_n_4549404.html

The four girls have very distinct plot lines, something that is shown through their wardrobe. Hanna is very glamorous, trendy, and girly. Spencer is classic preppy. Aria is the eclectic risk taker when it comes to fashion (i.e. wearing multiple prints and making it work). Emily is the athletic tomboy, which is the polar opposite of Shay’s real-life glam style.

Which Liar are you most like? An Aria, Hanna, Spencer, Emily, or a mixture?