Chocolate for the 4th

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You might be looking at those pictures and thinking… those cupcakes do not look very patriotic, and they don’t. If I am being honest we had a box of chocolate cake mix and I decided I could use the Fourth of July as an excuse to make some cupcakes. Now believe me, I tried to look for red, white and blue sprinkles but couldn’t find them in the grocery store. So now I am left with chocolate cupcakes that don’t scream Fourth of July but I can get past that because they taste so good!

If you are looking for an easy dessert to make for the holiday buy box of cake mix (and icing if you don’t want to make it from scratch) and search for those red, white and blue sprinkles because I know they are out there somewhere!

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The Seaside Town

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Brighton, England. A seaside town with stone beaches, a huge pier, and an assortment of shops to keep you busy. Before going on this trip I tried to do research on every city/town we were visiting so I knew exactly what to expect. But I guess no matter how many pictures you look at and how much you read about the town you never really know exactly what the town will be like. Out of all the towns we visited in England, Brighton was the biggest surprise.

Lets start with the shops. I knew that Brighton would have a lot of shopping but once you are there it is incredibly easy to get lost wandering around the different side streets. Anyone who is a big shopper could easily spend a full day going into all the shops the town has to offer. Now moving on to food….. one thing I loved about all the cities and towns we visited was all the different restaurant options. After living in a small town that has very limited food options going somewhere new and seeing so many different types of restaurants is always a shock.

Anyways, I loved that Brighton was so easy to walk around and explore. We didn’t have a list of places we had to see in Brighton so it was nice to just walk around the town and see what we would find around the next corner.

A Day in London

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After spending nine days traveling around England, the only regret I have is not spending a longer time in London. One day is simply not long enough to see and do everything that the massive city has to offer. However, I am pretty proud of the amount of stuff we fit in in that one day. We started off the day in an Imperial War museum and from there we decided to hop on a bus to take us to the west end of London. We spent some of the day hunting for the best scones in London (The best we had was at the Waldorf Hotel!) and going into all the stores Covent Garden had to offer. We ended the day on a bus doing a final loop of the city so we could see everything we missed when walking.  While we were on the bus everyone was so excited because we were supposed to pass Buckingham Palace and just as we were about to approach it the bus driver turned the other way. Probably the biggest disappointment of the day because we were SO CLOSE!

So that was our twenty-four hours in London. I am not a city person but I loved London. I loved that so many people were walking around or riding bikes (SO many bikes) and that since the city was so huge there is always places to go and things to see. Now I am looking forward to going back some day because there is so much more I want to see and do.

Changes and Updates

Wow. How long has it been this time? three months? four? However long its been, I am back. Three years is how long I have had this blog. I have switched the blog name, subject, format, and a thousand other little things over that time and here I am again….. talking about making more changes. I really can not promise that this will be the last big change I make… I am super indecisive.

I am definitely the only one here that remembers all my different subject changes: from fashion and lifestyle to books and lifestyle to mainly books and travel. Every time I made a knew change I would love it for a month and then get bored of it the next. So I have decided to open my blog to anything. Anything and everything. How can I get bored with that? *fingers crossed I won’t*

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Now moving on to the updates. I recently went to the beach for spring break and I wanted to share some of my pictures. It was pretty chilly so there was no swimming or tanning but it was a relaxing vacation before being dragged back to school.

So there was my (rather short) update. Hopefully there will be more posts to come this summer. Currently without a summer job, so I need something to keep me busy!

Books That Have Me Wishing Summer Was Here Already

img_2822img_2823img_2825I love the winter and cold weather but by February when mother nature is giving us glimpses of warm weather I suddenly find myself wishing for summer. With spring approaching pretty fast I decided to compile a list of books that I love to read whilst sitting on my deck enjoying the warm weather. Comment down below and tell me what summer books are your favorite!

Summer Sister by Judy Blume– When I read this book I honestly did not think I would like it so I was surprised when I found myself unable to put it down. Since reading it I have reread it every summer and it seriously puts me in the summery mood.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson– This book makes me wish I could spend my whole summer following a list my friend gave me. I would never be bored, which sounds pretty exciting. The challenges are fun and weird and it is the perfect book to sit on the deck and read.

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland– Why I decided to read this during the winter… I have no idea. A summer romance can’t not make you wish summer was here.

With Malice by Eileen Cook– A summer mystery will really make you wish you were back on the beach tanning and reading.

Wanderlost by Jen Malone– I know that I talk about this book all the time but it is one of my absolute favorites. A book about summer romance and traveling. How can you not love it?

I am sorry if this post made you really sad that summer is not here and you have to go to school tomorrow. It made me sad just writing it. I am not saying these books will make it better…they are not magic!! But maybe reading them will make you forget that it is actually five degrees out instead of ninety.

 

 

 

Just as Good as the First- Mischief and Magnolias Review

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Author: Kristi Cook

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Rate: 4 stars

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When Ryder Marsden and Jemma Cafferty return to Magnolia Branch for Christmas break following their first semester at their respective universities in New York City (Columbia and NYU), their secret relationship is revealed—they’re literally caught under the mistletoe, kissing. Unexpectedly, their parents—who’ve spent their entire lives pushing them together—are somehow less than thrilled, especially when they realize the depth of their deception.

Tensions mount as the Marsden and Cafferty families struggle to come to terms with Jemma’s and Ryder’s feelings for each other, especially as they prepare to send them back to New York City together. At the same time, Jemma and Ryder must face their own problems that have arisen as a result of attending different schools—there are jealousies to be sorted out and hurt feelings to mend if their relationship is going to stand the test of time.

Will their love last, or are they star-crossed lovers, after all?

HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS BOOK and it is finally here and I read it and I loved it. I read Magnolia for the first time last year and read it again a couple of months ago. I love cute southern stories and this one is one of my all time favorites. The only thing that bummed me out was that it was a novella so it was shorter and I wish it came out during Christmas because that is the time of year the book is set in. However I think I can look past those small details because I am just happy it came out at all.

This book starts around a year after the first book ended and in that year Jemma and Ryder still kept their relationship a secret! I mean can you blame the parents for being upset?? One thing that I loved was that Jemma and Ryder still acted as if they had just gotten together which makes the book so cute! Oh… and getting glimpses into the other characters lives was so exciting because every time an old character was in the story I was thinking “I forgot about him!” or “I remember her!”

My biggest issue with this book was that Kristi Cook did not go into depth when problems arose. The problems resolved pretty quickly but I guess that is because the book was so short?

Anyways… I loved this story and I think it was an amazing ending to the Magnolia books. This book is purely a feel-good book and perfect if you are in the mood for a cute short read. I feel like because this book went by rather quickly there is not much to say about it other than it was amazing and you should go and read it so you can find out for yourself! Tell me down below what you thought of the book

 

Unexpected YA Let Downs

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Reading about new books coming out and adding them to my TBR is one of my favorite activities…. which probably just proves how big of a bookworm I am! Anyways, it is always a disapointment when you finally decide to read a book you are so excited about and then you end up barely getting through the book. It makes me want to yell at myself for getting my hopes up but it doesn’t stop me from becoming excited about another book. So because recently I have been in a book slump and and am having a horrible time finding a book I want to read I decided to create a list of books that have let me down in the past. Probably not the best way to get me out of my slump but what am I going to do?

The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone- The main problem with this book was the plot and the underdeveloped characters. So basically the whole book. I was so excited to read this book but…. 1. I could not relate to the main character and 2. the plot got a little weird for me. The grandmother about to pass made the story sad but the whole death boat cruise thing made it all extremely sad and a bit too weird for me.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han- OK….. To All the Boys I Loved Before had me believing that I would love anything Jenny Han wrote. So I went into reading this series so excited and was completely surprised when I found myself having trouble finishing the book.

Two Summers by Aimee Friedman- I love all books that have to do with travel, except this one. It was cute but I think the characters were not developed enough and some parts were even too cheesy for me (which is saying a lot because I LOVE cheesy books!)

Summer in the Invisible City by Juliana Romano- I could not relate to this book which is 100 percent the reason why I did not like it. I found myself getting extremely annoyed with the main character which was probably the biggest sign that this book was not for me.

My Unscripted Life by Lauren Morrill- This was one of those books that I had kept in my TBR list months before it was supposed to come out. When I was finally able to read it I found it boring at times which was so unexpected and such a let down.

GIVE ME BOOKS TO READ DOWN BELOW BECAUSE I NEED TO GET OUT OF THIS SLUMP!

Series I Have Yet to Finish Because I Get Distracted

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Lately I have been having trouble figuring out what books to read next. So it lead to me to look through the to-read books on Goodreads. Scrolling through all those books I past the ones I have been meaning to read for forever! So I decided to compile a list so that it might help me remember to finish these series!!

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins– I read Rebel Belle because I was craving a nice southern romance story. Well this book kind of made me confused with the whole Paladin and magic issue so I was never itching to read the second book.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han– I love Jenny Han and the To All The Boys I Loved Before series so I am not sure why I never finished this series. I totally forgot about this series until writing this post so maybe I should finish it now while I still remember it.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling– I am completely and totally embarrassed to admit that I have yet to finish the Harry Potter books. When I say that I did not finish I mean that I only read one book. I feel like it is a crime but I keep telling myself I will read them and then another book comes along and well….. as I said in the title, I get distracted!

Divergent by Veronica Roth– I was actually surprised that I liked this book but then more cute/feel-good books came out and I was drawn to them instead. Still have not gotten the motivation to read the second book.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins– Honestly the only reason I did not finish reading The Hunger Games is because I did not like it. At all. So I did not get distracted, I deliberately got rid of the first book and tried to forget about what I had just read.

Valentine’s Day Reads

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If you are anything like me, you will probably be spending Valentine’s Day sitting at home reading some sappy book while simultaneously watching the movie Valentine’s Day!  This year I decided to compile a bunch of books that you might want to read this Valentine’s Day.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins– Since it is Valentine’s Day I had to put in one of the cutest books I have ever read. Im sorry if you are rolling your eyes at me right now… I just could not stop myself.

Since You’ve been Gone by Morgan Matson– I think I have said before that the reason I love Morgan Matson is because her books include romance but also deals with other issues like friendship and family. So if you are looking for a book with romance not being the main focus this book should work for you.

Wanderlust by Jen Malone– Yes, this is another book that has a lot of romance. But this book is one of my favorites and it includes traveling which makes it a thousand times better.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick– I love this book. It is so cute and there is this huge issue at the end that really keeps you reading.

With Malice by Eileen Cook– If on Valentines Day you really are not feeling a romantic book try this. A young adult mystery/thriller might be exactly what you are looking.

So I know almost all of them are sappy romantic books but hey…. it is Valentine’s Day!! What books are you reading this Valentine’s Day? I need suggestions or I might just end up rereading all of these books!

 

Favorite Book of the Month- January 2017

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Summary:

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here – it’s their last year at Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a love letter to love stories and the power of words – to every ‘chosen one’ who ever had more on their mind than saving the world…

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Genre: YA, Romance, Fantasy

Rate: 5 stars

This was one book the I was honestly not expecting to love but I am starting to realize the books that I am least excited to read are the ones I like the most. I loved Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell but after reading the summary for Carry On I decided that it was not my type of book. I assumed it would be boring and I would end up getting confused but because of reviews I have read and by how much I liked Fangirl I decided to try it.

For starters I loved the main character, Simon Snow. He was a bit weird and was totally unsure of himself when he was using magic, which is kind of ironic because he is supposed to save magic by using his own magic. The fact that he was a bit weird and awkward made this book so relatable because Rainbow Rowell was not portraying him as this superior chosen one who had no flaws. His friend was even better, Penelope did remind me of Hermoine at first, which concerned me, but throughout the book she completely grew to become her own person who was spunky and outgoing and…… ahhhh this book had so many good characters.

Baz. His POVs were my favorite. He seemed like this dark and mysterious character and then you get a glimpse inside his head and you instantly love him. Even if he is supposed to bad.

The last sentence of the summary perfectly describes the book and is what I loved most about this story. It is not all about Simon Snow saving the world because he is a teenager with other things going on in his mind.

I am going to stop there because since I am making this book my favorite of the month you  know I absolutely LOVED ALL 518 PAGES OF IT and you just have to read it to know why.