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Great Gifts

Although I don’t love the idea of celebrating my birthday, the one aspect I can get behind is gifts! Here are a few gifts that are incredibly useful!

This week I celebrated my birthday, well I tried to ignore celebrating my birthday.

All in all, it was a good week and I had a good time catching up with friends and family throughout. One part of birthday’s I do not mind is the presents. I honestly feel like the 5 year-old that asks everyday leading up to their birthday if that day is their birthday because they are so excited for the presents!

Yes, I guess I am a 5 year-old at heart!

However, I have realized that with getting older comes a want for more practical and useful birthday presents. Here are a few things that I would ask for as a birthday present (some of which I did and some that I would) and with a few I was lucky enough to get them early, which means more time to use them!

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Letter Opener – Cooler Tote
Joeseph Adjustable Rolling Pin
 – Garment & Fabric Steamer
Mrs. Anderson’s Baking Easy No-Mess Pie Crust Maker Bag  – iPhone Charging Bracelet
 Nutri Ninja Pro Blender –  Fruit Infuser Pitcher

Joeseph Adjustable Rolling Pin – This wooden rolling pin, which has measuring rings to help you prepare your dough to the exact thickness came early as a surprise. I asked my mom for an old rolling pin and this is what she brought. The best part was that I had been oogling over this exact rolling pin in the kitchen goods section of my grocery store! I have used it several times to make pie crust and sugar cookies since receiving it. I cannot sing enough praise!

Mrs. Anderson’s Baking Easy No-Mess Pie Crust Maker Bag – This bag, which totally goes along with the rolling pin, makes making pies easy as pie! I received this in my stocking years ago and couldn’t imagine rolling out my pie crust any other way! It creates a perfectly round crust of a consistent thickness. In addition, it is easy to wash and store. If I didn’t already have it, it would have been on my list. It is available on Amazon in a 14″ and 11″ bag!

Garment & Fabric Steamer – This item has been on my list for some time. From rarely ever using my mini iron in the dorm I moved into my sorority, which had a steamer. So this is something I need and miss from home. The one I found is a hand-held steamer, unlike the larger model my mom has at home; however, for my apartment living and quick steams I think this would be perfect.

Fruit Infuser Pitcher – I never would have imagined needing this, but one of my best friends took the thinking away and gave one to me as an early birthday present, which she picked up at Bed Bath & Beyond! It is wonderful! I love infusing my water with lemons and limes, and to support the habit I had purchased a simple glass pitcher from Target, which I shattered a week after getting it. I purchased another one and have been incredibly careful with it. However, this Prodyne Fruit Infuser Pitcher is made from a really sturdy plastic that looks like glass. It pours the water out gracefully, and I love it!

Nutri Ninja Pro Blender – My old roommate had a Bullet Blender, which I used all the time to make smoothies and knockoff frappuccinos. After going without it for a while, I realized how much I missed it. I told my parents it would make the perfect early birthday gift if they were so inclined. They were inclined, but after a little research on my own – I decided to go with a Ninja because it has a bit more power. At this stage in my life, this personal blender is overall great in size, compactness and power. It can be found at Target, as well as other stores!

Letter Opener – I am the kind of person who loves sending and receiving mail! Something I would love to have is a letter opener. I typically tear into letters and think a nice, monogrammed letter opener would do me good! Mark & Graham is one of my favorite places to buy gifts because you can personalize anything and they have a couple cute letter openers!

iPhone Charging Bracelet – Speaking of Mark & Graham, on their homepage they had the cutest iPhone Charging Bracelet! OH MY GOSH, so cute and practical. However, with the pending release of the iPhone 7 (which is this fall, right?) I am wondering if the charging abilities will be the same. It comes in two different sizes and a gold, silver and matte black finish!

Cooler Tote – A few years ago I received a Lilly Pulitzer cooler tote as a gift. It was a wonderful gift and one I find myself using all the time. It has great space and the long handles make it easy to carry around. This one, which I found at Nordstrom, is very similar in size and structure.

Extra, Extra – A few other items that never hurt to add to your list are socks, toothbrushes, your favorite soap or candles, desk supplies, stationary or snacks!

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Books to Buy

I’m always craving a good book. Here are 7 books I want to read ASAP!

Since I provided a list of the books I have been reading, I thought it would only be fair to provide a list of books I would like to read. I have two weeks before school starts and in the mean time I have been working and studying for a big test. However, I know I should read a couple good books (or more) while time is seemingly more available.

Speaking of reading books while time allows…I found that when I take time for me, like reading a book for 30 minutes every night that my life seems to be a little less stressful. I know it can seem daunting adding something into your schedule to reduce the stress, but I think it works!

As school approaches, with work and some other activities I know will keep me busy, I want to read at least three books each month. That is a little less than one book a week. I will see if I can do it!

Here are some books in my Amazon cart at this very moment!

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You Are Having a Good TimeThe Hopefuls
Nine Women, One DressModern LoversThe Singles Game
Shadow WorkGrit

Have any good books in your cart? I’m always looking for something new or different!

July-August Reads

I love a good book, but sometimes it takes me a while to get into one. These three books mingle between self-help and fiction and provide a good dose of different.

I go through spirts where I am increasingly bookie. Bookie may not be the best way to describe these phases, but it’s the best I can come up with at this moment.

This past month I have read three new books. Actually, it took me a month to get through one, a week for the other, and a day for this last one. I had the time, so I utilized it.

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Buy it here!

“Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” by Mindy Kaling took me about a month to power through. I think it would have taken significantly less time if I were not moving, traveling, and taking 3 classes. However, it was a great book.

As a young, impressionable college student it was refreshing to read the words of failure and success over a period of time. I think we get so caught up in our world of instant gratification that we forget success takes hard work and time.

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Buy it here!

The second book I dove into was, “Why Not Me?” another book of essays by Kaling. This one only took me less than a week. A lot of the essays were similar to her first book, but followed were enhanced. You learned more about Kaling throughout and were able to relate on a different level.

If you are a big fan of “The Office” or “The Mindy Project,” then this is the book for you. Kaling took quite a few essays to describe her work on the shows, as well as, the work she puts in behind the scenes. You find out where passion stems from in this book.

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Buy it here!

I just finished reading this one, “The Silver Star” by Jeannette Walls. It has been a while since I picked up a fiction book and this one was definitely an impulse buy. As noted by my reading choices listed before this particular one – I went through a self-help book phase. After reading another book by Walls, “The Glass Castle” and becoming completely captivated by her writing I had to pick this one up when I was at Target, like 8 months ago before Christmas.

With this being my second read by Walls, I was a bit disappointed. Where in her last novel, Walls did an incredible job at setting the scene and introducing me to the characters, this one lacked on those two fronts. However, it did not lack on keeping you on your toes. It definitely wants to make me pick up some more fiction.

What I did love most about this particular book was the setting. It was set in a small Virginia town with a cotton mill. It followed two sisters on an adventure to their roots. “The Silver Star” also captured a time in southern history that is not looked at much, full integration.

With everything going on in our country, whether it be politically or race driven, I think everyone should read about how integration changed this community for the better…it just took some time.

I am always looking for new good reads! Suggestions are more than welcome!

2 Girls 4 Movies

We watched some movies and reviewed them in 3ish sentences or less.

Give us 3 nights, we will watch 4 movies! I recently visited my friend Sara before she officially starts her “big girl” job as an eighth grade teacher (Whoop! Whoop! Sara!). It was a great long weekend visiting a couple new states before classes start in August, and to fill our nights, we watched movies! And for you, we reviewed them in 3ish sentences each.

Monty Python & the Holy Grail

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IMDB it here!

Sara: 5 STARS
I really enjoy British humor, so this is a must see for me. The comedy troupe employees historical narratives while also maintaining an absurdity that is also endearing. It also helps that I have memorized practically the entire thing.
Jena: 3 STARS
We are currently still watching this movie. I feel like I may have seen bits and pieces in high school English class. Maybe some parts wouldn’t be so over my head if I was actually watching it; however, I am personally not a huge humor/slapstick comedy person. Jena quote repeated throughout the movie, “They’re so weird! Oh my gosh!”

The Intern

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IMDB it here!

Sara: 4.5 STARS
Anne Hathaway’s performance was absolutely wonderful! I really enjoyed some of the light-heartedness of the movie, but I was also surprised that it could make me cry. It kind of made me want to be the character, Jules.
Jena: 4.5 STARS
Yes. This is the second time I have watched this movie, and it was better the second time around. We all need a mentor and friend we can fall back on, and watching Jules, Anne Hathaway, find that was beautiful. Also, who doesn’t want an uber-successful internet start up?

How to be Single

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Sara: 4 STARS
I really enjoyed the unique perspective, and I liked the different personalities showcased so it could mirror most women in one way or another. However, there were some raunchy scenes.
Jena: 4.5 STARS
No movie deserves 5 stars, with the exception of the Sisterhood of the Traveling pants franchise, but this one was really close! Laugh out loud took on an entirely different meaning while watching the women in this film take on the single life. It was great seeing Alice, played by Dakota Johnson, take on the single life like a boss. This movie sure provides a boost of confidence for women everywhere.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

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IMDB it here!

Sara: 3.5-4 STARS
I liked that they brought back a lot of familiar characters that made us laugh. The plot was a bit meandering and confusing at some points, but all and all it was a lot of laugh.
Jena: 3 STARS
There were bits and pieces that were utterly historical, but there were also parts where I was questioning real life. I enjoy movies that could potentially depict real life, so there were some dissipating parts for me. However, it is always great to bring back an oldie but a goodie!

It’s Simple

We all dream of being effortless. I am not.

We all dream of putting forth that effortless front. We want to make our lives seem utterly effortless in every way. Whether it is the way we dress, style our hair or do our everyday work; there is some force telling us to show effortless perfection.

I have friends who exemplify this effortlessness. I do not. I am constantly falling up the stairs, locking myself out and creating stains on all my clothes, but it is okay. Through a few trials and a lot of ups and downs, I have come to the realization that being perfect and effortless is not the goal.

The goal is to be happy with yourself and where you are.

Am I content with my innate ability to spill whatever I am drinking on myself? Not really, nor am I happy with my indecisiveness; however, I see my utter ability to mess up a lot as slightly motivating.

Being a bit crazy and not together is okay, but it motivates me to get my life together in other ways. So let’s see where this goes. Where will my crazy, indecisive brain take me? Right now I’m okay not knowing, but I sure am excited to find out.