Month: July 2014

Thought Questions, #134-#140

Unsplash Lou Levit

(photo by Lou Levit via Unsplash)

#134: What’s the difference between settling for things and accepting the way things are? Your mindset. A defeatist mindset says “It’s too hard”. It sees only the negative and therefore it sees a bad situation as something that must grudgingly be settled into, because it is inevitable. A positive mindset can accept something difficult but still see the positive side and possibly a way to change the situation for the better.

#135: How many of your friends would you trust with your life? Well, I don’t have a lot of friends to begin with…I would trust my husband with my life, obvs. He’s my best friend. Other than that I probably have just a couple of very close friends and I would trust them too. I tend to have a small pack of friends instead of an army.

#136: What’s your definition of heaven? Sleeping as late as I want with no alarm clock! A rare luxury these days!

#137: What is your most prized possession? I hate to say this, but probably the computer. I wouldn’t know what to do without endless e-books, Spotify, Pinterest, etc.

#138: How would you describe yourself in one sentence? A quirky, bookish girl who loves animals and is always asking questions.

#139: What stands between you and happiness? Myself, typically. I’m having a deja vu moment of thinking I answered this question earlier, but maybe I didn’t. Anyway, I often stand in the way of my own happiness, either by being ungrateful for what I have or through self-doubt and negative self-talk. I’m working to change that.

#140: What makes a person beautiful? How they treat others. Kind actions are beautiful.

(My friend Celeste is also answering these questions each week, please go check out her wonderful blog here!)

How to get Megan Fox’s makeup look from the 2014 Kids’ Choice Awards

I rarely dislike Megan Fox’s red carpet makeup, and her pretty summer look from last night’s Kids’ Choice Awards is no exception. Peachy, light and sweet, it’s great for both fancy events and low-key casual days. Here’s how to recreate her look.

1. Start with a tinted moisturizer, or use a concealer to cover any blemishes. One of the hallmarks of Megan’s makeup is her flawless skin, so make sure to conceal any redness around the nose and mouth. I like to set my concealer with the E.L.F. HD Undereye Setting Powder ($3) to lock it in place and also brighten up my face.

2. Sweep a peach or apricot blush on the cheekbones (peach is better if you’re very fair, while apricot is better for warmer skin tones).

3. Apply a shimmery champagne shadow over the lid and along the lower lash line. Blend a shimmery medium brown shadow at the outer corners of the upper and lower lash lines.

4. Curl lashes and sweep on two coats of lengthening black mascara (since it’s summer, choose your favorite budgeproof formula).

5. Optional: fill in and define your brows. Megan has very dark, precise arches, but if bold brows aren’t your thing, don’t stress on this point. Make the look your own!

6. Finish with a peachy-nude lipstick.

By the way, isn’t her ombre amazing?

Blog every day in July, #18: Five Favorites



Oh, hello. Excuse me while I totally suck at blogging every day. Well, between the heat and all else, it’s hard to want to hop onto the computer each day, but I’m trying to get back on track, starting today.

Today’s topic is “five new favorite things”, so I thought I’d share the five things I’m loving most at the moment:

Five favorites for BEDJ

1. I can’t stop listening to Turn Blue, the newest album from the Black Keys. So excited to see these guys in October.

2. These heels from Charlotte Russe. Not that I need more shoes, but I’m craving something colorful.

3. “Cameron” polish from Julep ($14). I haven’t found a lavender matte glitter before, and I’m loving it.

4. I forgot how much I enjoyed playing these games as a kid. Now my husband is buying them for me and has me hooked all over again.

5. Back to binge-watching Boardwalk Empire; I need to catch up to the husband so we can watch seasons four and five together!

Thought Questions, field of grass

Thought Questions, #127-#133

Thought Questions, field of grass

(photo by Lucas Lof via Unsplash)

#127: What do you owe yourself? More time to relax. I have a tendency to equate relaxing with laziness.

#128: What would your ‘priceless’ Mastercard-style commercial be? Case of cat food to lure cat into open: $10. Cupcakes for friend after borrowing her cat trap: $5. New work shirt after old one is puked on by sick cat: $15. Vet visit, immunizations, deworming, a bath, and more cat food: $150. Rescuing an abandoned cat and giving it a new home: priceless. Both of my cats are rescues (that’s Max snoozing up top and Jiao, bottom, just a few days after we got her).

Max and Jiao on cat tree

#129: Can you think of a time when impossible became possible? I think most things seem impossible until they’re done–flight, the computer age, a cure for polio, etc.

#130: Why do you matter? Because I’m the only person who can be me.

#131: How have you changed in the last five years? I’d like to think I’m more confident in who I am now then I was at 20. I’m also definitely smarter about life (money, health, relationships, etc.) and I devote more time to learning, rather than simply being entertained. I’d also like to think that I’m a kinder, more peaceful person now.

#132: What are you sure of in your life? That we all have a responsibility to pitch in and speak up whenever possible. Whether it’s just being kind to a stranger, starting an anti-littering campaign in your community, or joining a global mission (like the fight to end human trafficking), we all have something we can do, however small, to make the world a better place. Don’t turn away because you think you can’t do “enough”.


#133: When you think of ‘home,’ what, specifically, do you think of? My family. I don’t really think a place can be a home unless there is someone there who loves you.

A book-themed Liebster Award

Bookstore woman's heart

The hilarious and insightful Em of Backlist Books nominated me for a Liebster Award, and so I have some questions to answer for you! As part of the Liebster Award I’m also supposed to offer eleven random facts about myself, and since Em’s questions are all book-themed, I thought I would offer some book-themed random facts as well.

1. I read about 100 pages per hour, depending on print size and how interesting the book is to me (sometimes I zone out and have to reread a passage).

2. I initially refused to read A Song of Ice and Fire because I thought it looked boring. Boy, was I wrong.

3. I usually have anywhere from two to six books going at once.

4. I do most of my reading on my lunch break at work. I have to wear my earbuds to drown out other people in the lunch room so I can concentrate!

5. I can’t remember the last time I “read” a book on tape. It just isn’t the same. (And yes, I’m so old school I say “book on tape” instead of “audiobook”.)

6. I get almost all of my books from the library and only buy the ones I really love. Saving money + saving space = total win.

7. I have burnt food and gotten sunburned before because I was too focused on my book to notice what was going on around me.

8. The only thing that will cause me to postpone dinner is a good book. Sometimes I skip dinner and eat Cheerios out of the box just so I won’t have to put down my book.

9. A book must be read with a mug of tea at hand, or else it just isn’t quite perfect.

10. My cat Jiao also loves books…she likes to roll all over open books and rub her face on the paper.

11. Some of the first books I remember reading were the classic Nancy Drew mysteries, thereby sparking my lifelong love of mystery novels.

Books are my escape

And now on to Em’s questions!

What’s your favorite part of book blogging? Connecting with other book lovers–I don’t have any local friends who also love books, so I’ve got to find my fellow bookworms through the internetz.

Have you found people in the book blogging community that you really connect with? Anyone you talk to outside of blog comments? Yes, besides Em I chat with my friends Katrin and Celeste!

What’s your favorite genre (or genres) to read? I really love anything to do with time travel–it can be science fiction, historical fiction, romance, mystery, whatever. I know that technically doesn’t count as a “genre” but it’s my post and my rules, so there!

Your least favorite? I’m going to go with romance. For starters, the plot usually just doesn’t hold my attention. Secondly, I usually find the sex scenes to be really poorly written. I’m making a huge exception for the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, which gets pretty steamy at times–but it’s also a historical adventure with (drum roll!) time travel, so maybe that’s why I found it easier to read.

Which book do you think everyone should read? The Art of Happiness, by the Dalai Lama, because it will amazingly reset your thinking about what it takes to make you happy; and anything by Bill Bryson, because he’s hilarious and intelligent–my ideal mix!

What books are on your TBR list for the summer? Nikola Tesla’s autobiography, A Dance With Dragons, Good Omens (which I’ve been saving aside since winter to savor on the deck–Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors of all time), the new Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novel, and hopefully some more Scandinavian crime thrillers.

Which book cover would you be most likely to frame and hang on your wall as a piece of art? Um, I can’t think of one. Sadly a lot of the books I’ve picked up based on the covers have turned out to be not-so-hot.

If you could ask the author of your favorite book two questions, what would they be? I would ask George R.R. Martin about his writing process, how he plots out his books, and whether he knows ahead of time where the characters are going or whether he makes it up from one chapter to the next! I would also ask Arnaldur Indridason about writing mysteries–is there a secret to coming up with such good ones?

Which fictional world do you wish you could move into? I don’t think I have one. I like this one just fine. I do think I’d like to visit Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus though–it sounds truly magical.

What’s your favorite literary adaptation? (Movie, TV Show, etc.) I loved the film version of The Lord of the Rings, and the BBC miniseries adaptation of Pride & Prejudice is awesome. Also, I loved the movie version of The Time Traveler’s Wife more than the book.

When you’re not reading, what else are you doing for fun? Writing, playing Nancy Drew mystery games on the computer, watching movies, and cooking. And sometimes, more than one of those things at the same time!

Well-written lines

Now I have some nominations and questions of my own! I am continuing in a bookish vein and nominating Jasmine from Green-Eyed Monster, Amanda from Sew Much to Say, Amanda from Embracing Adventure, Celeste from Rebel With a Cause, Katrin from Land of Candy Canes, and Em right back because I want to see her answers to my questions! :P Again, my post, my rules. Anyway, here are my questions:

1. What is the most overrated book you’ve ever read?

2. What about the most underrated? Anything other people hated that you loved?

3. Do you have a special reading “spot” or ritual, or are you an anywhere, anytime reader?

4. Do you like book clubs? Why or why not?

5. Do you have a favorite book to gift to other people?

6. Who is your favorite literary character?

7. Ever read a line in a book that really blew you away? What was it?

8. If you could rewrite the ending to a book, which would you rewrite, how, and why?

9. Any favorite book blogs to recommend?

10. If you get partway into a book and just aren’t feeling it, do you give up or push on to see if it gets better? At what point does it go into the “unfinished” pile?

11. Which POV do you prefer–first or third? What are your thoughts on multiple POVs in a book, especially when both are written in the first person?