My Most Anticipated Sequels

This week’s Broke and the Bookish weekly meme is about the top ten sequels I cannot wait to get a hold of. Not all of these are super current, some of these sequels are from older series that I’m just now catching up on while others are highly anticipated treasures. Either way I’m anxious to get reading!

*Pictures and links sourced from*

The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)

1. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

I try really hard not to buy too many hardbacks because they’re space hogs on my book shelves. This book, the final book in the All Souls Trilogy, has been out since July and I have been bidding my time until it is released in paperback. I can barely stand it. I am enamoured with Harkness’ series and cannot wait to see how this ends! I’m equally excited to see what she does in the future.


Prototype: A Novel

2. Prototype by M.D. Waters

This is part two of a two book series. You can read my review of book one, Archetype, if you click here. I am so compelled to know what happens to Emma Wade!


A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4)

3. A Feast For Crows by George R.R. Martin

Anyone who has tackled a Martin book knows that these books need to be planned. You can’t casually pick up a book in the Song of Ice and Fire series and just expect to knock it out. Well, you can, but you likely won’t get any work done or have much of a social life. I’m trying to do both at the moment, but mayhap around Christmas time?


Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)

4. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

I read Cinder a few months ago and got sucked in. I’ve just been waiting on a break in my reading schedule to dive into the second book in The Lunar Chronicles. Must. Know. What. Happens.


Crimson Night (Crimison, #2)

5. Crimson Night by Trisha Baker

I really need to get over myself and just buy a used copy of this on Amazon or eBay. This is an out of print series that I fell in love with before I realized it was an out of print series (anyone else have this problem?). Rumor has it that it’s being reprinted, but I live in fear of author edits in series that have been out of print for a significant length of time. One day, I’ll make it happen!


Dark Skye (Immortals After Dark #14)

6. Dark Skye by Kresley Cole

Cole has been building up this storyline for several books now, and I’m so excited Thronos and Lanthe finally get their story told! If you couldn’t tell, I’m a big fan of paranormal romance and Kresley Cole has one of the best, farthest reaching range of creature-characters that fit together in a way that makes sense. Cannot wait to read this one!


Rapture (Fallen Angels, #4)

7. Rapture by J.R. Ward

When I started reading J.R. Ward it was for her Black Dagger Brotherhood series (which is still great) but lately I’ve been more drawn into her Fallen Angels series. Both circle around Caldwell, New York and have very similar types of male protagonists, but I’m always excited to see where Ward takes her characters next. I’m behind on both series but will look forward to catching up!


The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles, #2)

8. The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

This one is probably more wishful thinking on my part. When I get around to reading Anne Rice, I really enjoy it because she has a cinematic quality to her writing. But I hardly ever get around to it. The Vampire Chronicles is one of those series that I always think about and go, “Oh yeah, I should start that back up again.” We’ll see if I get off the ground with this one or not.


Hit List (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #20)

9. Hit List by Laurell K. Hamilton

It’s officially rare for me to be complete a Top Ten Tuesday without mentioning Laurell K. Hamilton. Currently there are twenty-four books in the series, and this is number twenty. Hamilton is still writing the Anita Blake series though so that’s good news for me. This particular novel involves Edward, one of my all time favorite characters in the Anita Blake series. He doesn’t appear often, but when he does I get pumped.


Voyager (Outlander, #3)

10. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

I tend to go long stretches in between reading the different books in the Outlander series, which could be bad for my memory. But these books are such commitments. Don’t get me wrong, they’re worth it every time. I just have to schedule reading this size book. However, I feel the urge coming on again, so perhaps sometime soon.

So there are my most anticipated sequels. Hopefully I’ll be able to dig into a few of these through the new year.

Thanks for popping in!


In talking to friends and family, it has become quite clear that Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Interstellar is rather divisive. Some find the film to be too far-reaching, with plot holes they cannot forgive. Others are willing to connect the dots and have been drawn into Nolan’s bleak, sci-fi future.

As for me, here’s where I stand: Interstellar is necessary.

Nolan’s latest is one of the few original, non-franchise science fiction films to make headway at the box office. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Star Trek movies and The Guardians of the Galaxy too, but there is something to be said for a stand alone sci-fi flick that is its own story, not based on one in another medium. And these days, American sci-fi desperately needs an injection of originality.

Interstellar is a film rooted in enough science for you to accept the premise but with enough fiction to make you believe in infinite possibilities. In fact, the film was largely inspired by the work of physicist Kip Thorne, who also acted as a consultant for the film.

When the film opens, former fighter pilot turned farmer, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is struggling to make a living as a corn farmer in a future where Earth’s sustenance is drying up and dust storms can bring life to a standstill. Cooper is clearly dissatisfied and longs for the days of American exploration, but he finds solace in his kids Tom and Murph.

Murph is inquisitive, with a budding mind for science; in an era that no longer teaches the moon landing, she stands out. Murph’s insistence that there is a ghost sending messages in her room leads Cooper to discover an underground NASA facility headed up by his former boss, Professor Brand (Michael Caine). A team of scientists, including the Professor’s daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway), insist that Murph’s “ghost” are mysterious beings guiding them to find other worlds for humanity’s survival.

When Cooper is offered the chance to fly the spaceship, he cannot get off Earth fast enough, though he is constantly thinking about getting back in time to save his children. Through the time-lapse in space, Cooper is forced to watch his children grow older through the ship’s video screen as humanity continues to struggle. Embittered by her father’s abandonment, Murph (Jessica Chastain) throws herself into the tutelage of Professor Brand, equally desperate to save humanity from the ground. Both father and daughter must race against time and fate to save the people left on Earth.

Image respectfully borrowed from

I find it’s hard to properly summarize this film without giving too much away. But the tension-laden relationship between Cooper and Murph definitely drives the film in a major way. With every peril that Cooper, Amelia, and the team encounter on their journey there is the faint presence of the people left behind on Earth, a reminder of Murph.

There are a definite set of clues about the ending that carry through the film, but Nolan muddies the waters and spirals you off on another leg of the adventure in order to make you forget. It is only after the movie is finished and you’ve had some time to breathe that the clues might come off as heavy-handed; we trick ourselves into thinking we knew it all along.

Much of the story’s strength can be attributed to writer, Jonathan Nolan. Whenever the Nolan brothers collaborate they create stronger films than when they’re apart. Some of the best parts of the film are the feather-light touches of humor that allow you to care about the characters just a few inches more. In particular the robot characters TARS (Bill Irwin) and CASE (Josh Stewart) allow for moments of odd humor and wit that lighten the mood just enough for you to be ready to plunge back into the mystery.

Image respectfully borrowed from


As for the director, Christopher Nolan surely must be one of the greatest of our generation, in large part because he makes a 169 minute (2 hours 49 minutes) movie riveting. He manages to critique our present by presenting a desolate future. It’s a future that isn’t slick. In fact, it’s rather dingy. But the tech for this film feels tangible. All of these factors combine to create a world that might hit a little close to home, but that is also what makes it a good, relevant piece of science fiction.

The acting is strong from all fronts. McConaughey fits the role of reluctant explorer well, looking equal parts rugged and gaunt. Anne Hathaway provides one of the better speeches in the film about the importance of love that will bring tears to the eye. Jessica Chastain continues to be the go-to in Hollywood for strong, emotionally aggressive performances. And if Michael Caine could release an audio-book of him reading classic poetry, that would be fantastic. The only person whom I feel wasn’t fully utilized was Casey Affleck as the adult Tom. Though Affleck is undeniably skilled, his character wasn’t given enough of a chance to do anything more than look resigned or angry.

Image respectfully borrowed from


There are some undeniable comparisons to Gravity (2013)–themes of rebirth, a dark-haired woman of science facing her fears, and the increasing isolation of space to name a few–but for my money, Interstellar is the more satisfying film. For one thing, though there are CGI effects in Interstellar, Nolan blatantly tries to do as much as possible with sets and does not solely rely on computer animation for world building. In the long run, I think Interstellar will age better than Gravity.

It’s equally easy to compare Interstellar to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Nolan clearly created this film as a tip of the hat to one of his favorite films, though he may have tipped his hat a bit too far in some places: I was initially afraid upon meeting TARS and CASE that we would have a HAL situation on our hands. Thankfully, Nolan is able to distinguish himself from his influences overall.

Though critics have given mixed reviews on Interstellar, it is a film undeniably worth seeing if for no other reason that to form your own opinion. For me, Interstellar earns 4 movie bubbles–A Poppable Product.

I get most excited about movies when I get inspired to teach them in a classroom, and I would love to one day teach a class on science fiction that would include Interstellar because it’s a film that forces you to think.

Thanks for popping in!

The Book Thief

Lately, I’ve been making a concentrated effort to read more YA literature. In my teens and early college years I judged what was then only just being officially labeled as YA as being too juvenile, but I’m here today to recant my former snobbery.

The library has been my greatest ally in exploring all kinds of new literature. A recent trip had me picking up Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief. Once again, I found myself wanting to know what all the hype was about, providing that the hype had died down a bit, of course.

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

The Book Thief is actually a perfect example of my previous dismissive habits regarding YA lit. Debuting in 2005, The Book Thief rocketed to the number one spot on the New York Times’ bestseller list. I was fifteen and it seemed that everywhere I looked someone was carting around a copy of this novel. Naturally, my snobbish impulse was to ignore its presence.

Yet if anyone is emblematic of the power of YA, it is Zusack. His writing coaxed laughter, anxiety, and tears out of me with ease. Perhaps Zusack’s greatest skill is that feeling, that illusion, of naturalness: you often forget that someone must have labored over these words while reading this novel and instead find yourself wrapped up in the storytelling rather than the storyteller.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. You’ve come this far, you should at least get a summary.

The Book Thief is about an unlikely family struggling to survive and thrive in the midst of Nazi Germany. Liesel Meminger’s stint as The Book Thief begins with the tragic death of her little brother and the fateful book found in the snow, The Grave Digger’s Handbook. Thrust into a new life,  Liesel finds solace in her stolen book and its complex words as her kind-eyed foster-father teaches Liesel to read. Soon enough, Liesel is itching to steal again: at the Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s library, or wherever else she can manage. But Liesel’s theivery isn’t the only secret in their household. The family is hiding a Jew in their basement, and Liesel finds her world torn apart and put right all at once as the war reaches a fever pitch.

On the surface, the concept of this novel should be rather difficult: making a slew of characters in Nazi Germany not only sympathetic but heroic and loveable. That is not to say that The Book Thief applies rose-colored glasses–there are a fair number of unpleasant folk in this novel–but that the book suggests that the culpability of a country is not as black and white as history books often portray it.

There’s Rudy Steiner, the blonde boy-next-door whose greatest idol is Jesse Owens. Hans Hubberman, Liesel’s foster-father, whose deep well of kindness often gets him into trouble. And of course, Liesel herself is an undeniably compelling character with her select but firm moral compass that allows her to steal and give tremendously by turns. My favorite character, however, is Death.

Death is the most marvelous and considerate narrator. The boldface asides and mild tangents about humanity are beautifully executed. And there is perhaps no better use of an omnipotent narrator in WW II than Death. As a result, we get to see the fate of characters we may never have known about had the story been told from Liesel’s perspective solely.

In many ways, we are drawn to Liesel as readers because Death is drawn to her. Death’s compulsory love and admiration for Liesel is what allows us to care for her so quickly and in spite of her sometimes morally ambiguous behavior.

Zusack has a way with manipulating language that speaks to the heart of a person. Each turn of the page reveals a clever phrase or a profound image. Most often I’d find myself stunned by Death’s or Liesel’s description of the weather, so casually rendered on the page, but so moving.

“The sky was like soup, boiling and stirring. In some places, it was burned. There were black crumbs, and pepper, streaked across the redness.” (12)

Imagery is clearly one of the author’s strong suits.

I’ve yet to read any of Markus Zusack’s other books, but based on The Book Thief, I’d like to read more. I’d give this novel 4 Book Bubbles–A Popping Good Time.

Bookish Verbage

I think it’s safe to say that anyone who loves books is equally fond of words. Some words have a taste of the unique or a delicious weight to work around. Words are food for the soul, and like anyone I have my comfort foods, my guilty pleasures, and my strange cravings.

For this week’s Broke and the Bookish Top Ten Tuesday meme, I am returning to an old topic to give you a culinary tour of my favorite words. In no way is this an exhaustive or definitive list. I will barely be skimming the surface of the decadence that is language. And I will keep myself within the boundaries of English for the time being (though some of my favorites are in Latin).


1. Dapper adj. ~ neat, trim, smart, well put together.

Though John usually wears sweatpants or jeans, he looks dapper in a three piece suit.

Gentlemen, of the world, if I tell you that you look dapper, it is my polite way of saying that you look very attractive when you’ve dressed well. It’s a bit of a special occasion word, because I have yet to meet someone who looks dapper everyday. But that’s OK. That individual would probably intimidate the living daylights out of me anyway.

2. Ethereal adj. ~ light, airy; extremely delicate or refined; heavenly or celestial.

The bride was ethereal in her wedding gown.

Often applied to beauty, I also think of ethereal as a great quality to find in poetry or literature as well.

3. Ergo conjunction, adv. ~ therefore.

Sandra Bullock won an Oscar, ergo she is considered one of the best American actresses. 

Maybe it was my three years in Latin. Maybe it’s my continued pursuit of academia, but I relish any opportunity to use the word ergo. As a word, it’s somewhat stuffy but try throwing it into a sentence where it might not belong and just see if it doesn’t tickle your funny bone a little. ex: Brent cheated on Jessica, ergo she dumped him.

4. Fuck ~ to have sex; to meddle or treat unfairly.

If James Lipton were to ever ask me what my favorite word is, I would answer with a resounding, “Fuck!”

I’m truly sorry if this offends you because that’s never my goal here as a writer, but it would be disingenuous of me to create a list of favorite words and not include fuck. It’s a word I use daily but I try not to use it around children or to scream it in public or even toss it around often on this blog because I understand that not everyone enjoys hearing this word. But for me it’s a rich Merlot or a brick of dark chocolate that just tastes so good. I also admire the versatility of fuck: it can transform into nearly any form of speech.

5. Rogue n. ~ a scoundrel; a playfully mischievous person.

Finnick Odair is such a rogue. 

In the modern era this word has taken on a lighter tone, which is rather enjoyable. But I think I first became acquainted with this word through historical romance novels. No joke, I feel as though historical romance novels prepared me better for my SATs than the vocabulary prep course. Give credit where credit is due.

6. Malicious adj. ~ malevolent, spiteful.

Tabloids are full of malicious gossip.

This word has cropped up in several conversations lately, so I thought it deserved a spot on the list. For such a negative word it has a lovely ring to it.

7. Sustenance n. ~ nourishment; means of a livelihood.

They may not be great sustenance, but potato chips sure are tasty.

If you couldn’t tell, I have a fondness for slightly antiquated words. Craving sustenance also sounds better than simply, “I’m hungry.”

8. Upon proposition ~ immediately or soon after; up and on; from an elevated position; on; on the occasion of.

Once upon a time…

Add a little bit of magic to your life by adding the most stellar opener to a fairy tale into your vocabulary.

9. Spawn n. v. ~ numerous offspring; to give birth or rise to.

Twilight spawned a new interest in YA literature.

I can’t put my finger on why this is one of my favorite words, but I enjoy using the word quite a bit. Probably easier (and more polite) to use the verb form, though I have been known to call an unruly child spawn on a rare occasion.

10. Progeny n. ~ a descendant or offspring; outcome; issue.

The vampire’s progeny ravaged the population.

I’m pretty sure the first time I heard this word was in the movie Van Helsing. Using this word makes me smile. It probably shouldn’t but it does. Both spawn and progeny appear regularly in my vocabulary and I don’t foresee that changing any time soon.

For all of these words, I used to help make sure I got all the parts of speech and definitions right. Again, this is a small slice of my favorite words. After making this list, I realize I have a flair of words that sound slightly old-fashioned.

Let me know in the comments what some of your favorite words are.

Thanks for popping in!

PopSugar Must Have October 2014

Again, sorry for getting behind on my posts. PopSugar was a tad behind this month too. They recently revamped their website and shipping procedures seem to have shifted as well. Hopefully, both of us can get it together for the month of November!

Just looking at this  stuff makes me feel warm and cozy.

Just looking at this stuff makes me feel warm and cozy.

This box made me feel all warm and fuzzy. It was just such a great fall box.

Happy Socks–Animal Socks ($12)

These cozy leopard print socks are the kind of thing I would want in a store but would shy away from because of the price. I just wouldn’t be able to justify them to myself. Which is why it’s great that they came in my Popsugar Must Have Box! I love the charcoal, black, and red combo; some of my favorite colors to wear, no matter the season.

Mine Design Chalkboard Candle ($24)

I can’t complain about getting adorable candles in my subscription boxes. I really don’t use candles enough, but I always love burning them. So with this being the second candle PopSugar has sent my way, I have to start burning these bad boys. I love the chalkboard design for this candle, and the packaging comes with a small stick of chalk for you to draw or write whatever you’d like on the surface. The candle itself smells light and refreshing; it’s a scent that won’t overpower the room. This candle has currently taken up residence on the bookshelf in my bedroom.

Isaac Jacobs International Acrylic Frame ($36)

I love this chunky clear frame! It looks modern without taking away from the photo you place inside. I also think it will be quite durable in the long run, which is always a plus in my life as I tend to be a little clumsy.

Dean & DeLuca Pumpkin Spice Maltballs ($5.75)

Honestly, I haven’t bitten into these yet. Maltballs are a bit of an acquired taste, but I do love pumpkin flavored things. I’ll cave eventually, with sweets I always do.

My Halloween manicure using one of PopSugar's goodies.

My Halloween manicure using one of PopSugar’s goodies.

Halloween Decals by Nailed Kit ($8)

These decals didn’t make it into the whole picture of box goodies because I used them up on my fingers before this post went live. These decals were PopSugar exclusives and were a ton of fun for a Halloween themed manicure. They worked like temporary tattoos instead of the typical stickers or nail wraps. You use water to put them on and once they’re sealed in with topcoat, these decals aren’t going anywhere! I was really pleased with the staying power with this product. My only gripe is that there were four designs instead of five, and you got six different sizes per design. So the math doesn’t quite work out for a consistent manicure. But that’s me being picky.

butter London WINK eye pencil ($18)

I’ve never tried any butter London products before, so this was a welcome surprise in my Must Have Box. The color I received was a smoke grey with a hint of shine. This eyeliner glides on so beautifully. The color reads just a few shades under black, which would make this great for a smokey eye. And despite its creamy formula, the eyeliner stayed put all day long. Big fan of this product.

Shoreline Shea Butter/ Olive Oil Bar Soap by K. Hall Desgings ($10-13)

This is one of PopSugar’s special extras so they don’t have a price listed on their card, but the K. Hall website sells their bars of soap from $10-13. I couldn’t find this specific bar of soap but they seem to have plenty of lovely scents to choose from. I didn’t smell this soap as it’s still in its wrapping and I need to get through some more shower gels before I can use this bar, so the wrapping needs to stay put. But I’m always glad to get fancy bath products. Left to my own devices I stay in the drugstore, which serves my needs quite well, but sometimes it’s nice to receive a fancy soap in a subscription box. This extra is also sponsored by Progresso according to the card and I’m not sure how to feel about that. Why is soup sponsoring my soap? Oh well. Still happy to have this in my box.

PopSugar is the most expensive box service I subscribe to, but it proves its worth every time. This box cost $39.95 and the value of the October Must Have Box is $113.75. I can’t turn that down!

So I’m going to light my candle, snuggle down in my socks, and enjoy the rest of the gorgeous fall weather. If you’d like to join PopSugar click on my referral links page or this link here to get started.

Thanks for popping in!

October Favorites

Ack! Sorry I’m so behind this month! The last few weeks have been a tad crazy (in the best way possible) but things have finally slowed down enough for me to do an October favorites post.

So without further delay, here are my favorites for the month of October!

Just a few of my favorite things.

Just a few of my favorite things.

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer (full size $29.00)

I got this tiny tube in one of Smashbox’s try-it kits at some point within the last year. But for the last few months this under-eye primer has become a staple of my makeup routine. Not so much for the priming aspects, but for the hydration. Recently, the skin under my eyes has been more prone to drying out because of a clinical strength face wash I’ve been using, so this little primer keeps that very tender skin hydrated and smooth throughout the day. I don’t need much, which is why after months of daily use this thing still looks full.

Jet by Julep ($14.00/$11.20 as a Maven)

This is my favorite black nail polish. As a brand, Julep is a tad expensive but they’re also vegan-friendly and 5-free, which I find comforting. I’ve used this creamy black shade in several of my October manicures and it has made its way into being a staple of my collection. Jet is currently out of stock on the Julep website, but hopefully they’ll bring her back soon!

From left to right: Velvet, I Have a Headache, Sequin, and Black Honey

From left to right: Velvet, I Have a Headache, Sequin, and Black Honey

NYX Hot Singles Eyeshadow in Velvet ($4.49)

This milk-chocolate matte shade came in one of my ipsy bags and has been used almost daily since. I would say 90% of my eyeshadow looks have Velvet blended into the crease as either a transition shade or as the prominent color in the crease. The texture of this shadow is a little on the powdery side but it blends beautifully. I can’t seem to stop using this eyeshadow.

NYX Nude Matte Eyeshadow in I Have a Headache ($4.99)

I bought this shade last year because I thought the name was hilarious. It wasn’t until the last few months that I started using this shadow nearly everyday. For my skin tone, I Have a Headache is the perfect brow bone highlight. It’s a very subtle look, and that suits me just fine.

ColourPop Eye Shadow in Sequin ($5.00)

I adore each of my ColourPop shadows, but lately I’ve been drawn to the shiny copper color of Sequin. I think the metallic copper makes my blue eyes really stand out. And this shadow is so easy to swipe over the lids. I’ve used this and Velvet in the crease for a stunning eye look that takes less than five minutes. And for the price tag, this stuff can’t be beat.

Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey ($16.00)

When I saw how dark this lipstick appeared in the tube I was a little bit intimidated. But on the lips the color is so sheer that it only slightly darkens your natural lip tone for a flushed look. I think this lipstick would be flattering on a wide variety of skin tones, and the formula is rather moisturizing which should be a crowd pleaser. This has been my go-to lipstick to throw on before leaving the house. It doesn’t last all day but it fades nicely and gives a great natural look.

Just for fun, I decided to add my favorite movie and book from this month too.

Favorite Movie:

Gone Girl. I didn’t write a review on this one because I was gobsmacked by this film in the best possible way.

Favorite Book:

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. For my full review, check here.

That wraps up my favorites for the month of October!

Thanks for popping in!

Olay Fresh Effects Dew Over Hydrating Gel

Many months ago I got a free sample of Olay’s Fresh Effects {Dew Over!} Hydrating Gel.

Lovely little jar.

Lovely little jar.

My little sample was .5 fl oz, while the full size product is 1.7 fl oz. and retails for $12.99.

Typically, I’ll use this moisturizer once or twice a week, but I’ll use it more often if my skin has been on the dry side. It’s also a great product to use after a cleanser that has ingredients that can by drying like salysilic acid.

The gel is pale green color but the light color doesn’t show up on your skin when you’ve rubbed it in. There is also a lovely scent to this product of honeysuckle and white tea. Putting it on in the morning smells so good but the scent doesn’t linger all day, which is a good thing.

Almost an empty.

Almost an empty.

Olay’s website claims that Dew Over will provide 24 hour moisture, and I’d have to agree with that claim. As with any product, it’s effectiveness lessens with wear, but at the end of the day my skin still feels soft.

This hydrating gel is also formulated with a powder, which means that it absorbs quickly into the skin and helps fight the look of oily skin.

Olay also proudly claims this is an oil free product that won’t clog your pores. I find both of these claims to be true as well. My combination skin leans toward the oily side and it is also sensitive and clogs up easily. I don’t feel oily when I’m using this moisturizer, and I do not feel that it clogs my pores.

However, after further exploring the ingredients list there are three different kinds of parabens in this product, which I found to be extrem disappointing. If you’d like to learn more about parabens, please click this link. I won’t pretend that I’m living an 100% paraben free lifestyle, but I’m trying to make a conscious effort to avoid or minimize their presence in my life.

Originally I wanted to give Olay’s Fresh Effects {Dew Over!} Hydrating Gel 4 beauty bubbles for its performance and great smell. But after doing some research and finding out about the parabens in this product I’m giving it 2 beauty bubbles because it’s still an effective product but my desire to use it and recommend it has gone down.

Bookish Halloween Costumes

This week’s Broke and the Bookish Top Ten Tuesday post is devoted to the best characters to bring to life in costume for Halloween.

I love creating costumes from my own closet and being inspired by characters from books and movies. This list is devoted to the literary characters I’d love to bring to life for Halloween!

1. Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones by  George R.R. Martin

Me and my little dragon friend.

Me and my little dragon friend.

Me and my friend Monica. Halloween 2012

Me and my friend Monica. Halloween 2012

This is a costume I’ve actually completed, two years ago. But I still have it in case I want to break it out again in the future. Daenerys is my favorite character in the series (both book and TV) so it was a lot of fun to create a costume around her. I crimped and braided my hair and wore very natural looking makeup. I found the dragon at a local toy store and then attached it to my sleeve. The “egg” is a Nerf football that I spray painted bronze. I had the belt and the shoes, but I did purchase the long blue dress for the occasion; this was before they had specific Daenerys costumes out, so I had to hunt for something that came close. But I think this turned out well and the people who knew who I was were really impressed.

2. Alanna of Trebond from the Song of the Lioness Series by Tamora Pierce

Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1)

This is the cover I grew up with for Pierce’s series and the other covers aren’t as attractive in my opinion. But this would be such an easy costume! Red leggings, yellow, tunic, puffy shirt, a wig, and boots. So simple! I’ve always wanted to do this for a Halloween costume, so maybe next year?

3. A Hogwarts Student from the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Image respectfully borrowed from the Harry Potter Wiki

I realize this is probably the most obvious costume choice. But it is also the perfect way to reuse your graduation robes from college. To make it more unique, try coming up with your own character. Give yourself a wizard or witch’s name and talk about your classes or the latest Quidditch match.

4. Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

Why go as a simple flapper when you could be Daisy Buchanan? Or better yet get a group together to go as the whole gang: Gatsby, Nick Carraway, and Jordan Baker.

5. Ms. Havisham from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens


Great Expectations

Go to Goodwill, find a wedding dress from the 1980’s (they’re going to be the closest to Victorian with the puffy sleeves and the beading), and carry around a slice of cake all night. Presto! You’re a deranged literary figure. This could be a costume to have a lot of fun with.

6. Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter (Bantam Classics Edition)

The really nice thing about this costume is that it’s warm. If you live somewhere with colder climates during this time of year a long sleeved dress or sweater and skirt combo could be a great idea.

7. Offred from The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale

Along the same lines of number six, being Offred would be warm for a night ought and would offer the same level of societal critique. Costumes six and seven have specific potential for feminist critique given the current issues on voters’ ballots this year.

8. Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1)

Whether you’re male or female this would be a great costume, especially because Halloween is such a candy-centric holiday. This would also be easy to go to a thrift shop or a Goodwill to put together. The trickiest part would be the top hat, but after that almost anything goes!

9.  Lucky Rainbow from A Troll Tale: Lucky Rainbow by Jane Jerrard

Did anyone else have this book as a kid? I did and I read it so many times, I’m sure my Mom was sick of it! It’s a darling story about a troll child who gets teased for having multi-colored hair, but helps discover a crystal cave filled with rainbows so the other kids learn to appreciate Rainbow’s beauty. Maybe I’m not selling this well enough, but I loved this book as a kid! This would be such a cool and simple costume! If anyone knew who I was I would befriend them on the spot!

10. Peter Pan from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Peter Pan

My Mom went as Peter Pan when I was a baby and I went as Tinkerbell. She kept the costume and I went as Pan in high school. It’s a really simple costume: an XL men’s green shirt cut at the collar, sleeves, and hem to look a bit tattered. Add green tights, a pair of boots, and a felt cap to complete the look. I also belted the shirt to add a touch of the feminine to my look, but it really depends on what you’re going for. If I were ever in a jam and needed a last minute costume, this could all be accomplished with a quick trip to Walmart.

So there are my literary inspired costumes. What do you think? But more importantly, who are you going to be for Halloween?

Thanks for popping in!

*All book photos unless otherwise specified were respectfully borrowed from Goodreads*

October Ipsy Bag 2014

Ipsy time come-th! When I first saw the contents of my Glam-Room I was not all that excited. But after trying these products in the last week, I got excited. Here are my first impressions on all these ipsy goodies.

This month’s theme was Beauty Candy, which sounds amazing right? Except for the life of me I cannot connect candy to any of the sights, smells, or concepts behind any of these products. Which kind of drives me nuts. Usually ipsy’s themes are spot on and the products fit perfectly with the bag and theme. I know it’s a little thing when the products themselves are good, but Beauty Candy is a really cool concept that just got wasted on bag contents that didn’t match. Rant over!


I really like the bag this month. After several meh bags, this teal vinyl bag will likely have a long run in my purse. It’s brightly colored and easy to see in the dark depths of my purse and so far has been rather durable.

On to the products!

Ayres Patagonia Body Butter (sample value $4.15)

The primary notes in this scented body butter are jasmine and rosemary. At first, I thought the rosemary would be too overpowering and might make me smell like a biscuit. But the jasmine-rosemary combo smells kind of alluring.  And the scent lasts for several hours, which for me is a good thing. Beyond the scent, this body butter is great. I’ve been using it primarily as a hand cream because the sample is only 1 fl oz, but my hands feel supple and silky to the touch. This body butter is also cruelty free and paraben free. Huzzah! A full size 6.75 oz jar of this body butter costs $28.00. For that price, I’m not sure if I’d purchase a full size (maybe one day if I’d like to splurge?) but I’m really enjoying this little sample. If you’d like 25% off your Ayres purchase, use the code AYRESIPSY at checkout on their website.

Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser (sample value $4.00)

This product has slowly won me over. Right as my ipsy bag arrived I ran out of my drugstore cleanser. Coincidentally, I have a full size of this stashed in my bathroom cabinet from a PopSugar box, but I hadn’t tried it yet because of the aforementioned cleanser. So I switched over to the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser. I’m on my way to becoming a fan. This cleanser is so light and gets a little bit of a lather going when you rub it on your wet face, and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth after. This product is also safe to use on your eyes as one of the recommended uses is for eye-makeup removal. You can supposedly leave this cleanser on for 5-15 minutes and use it as an exfoliating mask because of the strawberry extract acts as a natural exfoliant. There is a slight strawberry scent, which I’m not the biggest fan of, but it doesn’t linger so I think I can overcome it. Plus, a little bit goes a long way: a dime size droplet covers my face.  A full size cleanser is 4 oz. and is worth $32. I’m grateful I received a full size from another subscription box because I fear (or rather my wallet does) this may become a favorite. For 20% off the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser use IPSYBC20 at checkout on their website.

Nicole by OPI in On a Gilt Trip (full size $5.00)

This is a full size product and my first Nicole by OPI product. Which is strange because you can get these just about anywhere. Price range depending on where you buy them and if there is a sale going on, so the price listed above is a median. I have this glitzy gold shade on my toes at the moment and I also used it in a floss manicure last week. The polish has held up rather well and dried incredibly fast. I like that it’s a more subtle gold: there’s still plenty of shimmer but it’s not as in your face with the glitter. I’d buy more from this brand in the future, for sure. Considering how easy it is to get a hold of, there isn’t a discount code for this product.

noyah’s Lipstick in Deeply in Mauve (sample value $3.00)

Jury is still out on this lippie. It’s a lovely shade that on my lips reads more like a light plum when built up, but you can also dab the lipstick on for a more truly mauve color. The staying power on this lipstick is fairly impressive: after a few hours the color is not as intense but it’s not patchy either. The formula is a semi-matte or more of a natural finish. The claim is that this should be a moisturizing lipstick, and that’s where I falter with this product. In no way did it dry my lips, but I didn’t feel they were hydrated either. My lips are going through a bit of a chapped phase at the moment, and I certainly don’t blame noyah for that. So that’s why the jury is still out. A full size noyah lipstick will cost you $18.00 and they only have five shades for now. For 15% off and a free lip balm enter FALLinLOVE at checkout on their website.

Skone Cosmetics TATTOOED Waterproof Eyeliner (full size $15.00)

I took this one for a test drive yesterday and this eyeliner is quite nice. It’s got a matte finish and the pigmentation is a true black. I was able to achieve a basic cat-eye rather quickly with this product. The tapered tip made it easy to draw both fine and thick lines depending on how you hold the pen. The one downside for me is that the felt-tip style applicator is inflexible. My Jesse’s Girl liner, which is of a similar quality and design, has a tip that’s more like a firm paintbrush so that it moves a little bit more, which makes it easier to manage the all-important flick of the cat-eye. So I wish the Skone applicator was more flexible, but that’s my only complaint. I got my brows waxed while my friend Marissa and I were out and I teared up a bit: my mascara ran but my eyeliner was locked in place. Waterproof: check. All-day wear: check. So for 10% off your purchase on Skone’s website, enter the code IPSY at checkout.

Though I wasn’t initially excited about these products, they all won me over to some degree. This is a solid bag from ipsy with absolutely no fails and some good finds. For the $10 price tag of the ipsy bag, this month’s value comes out to $31.15. Not a bad value.

I still think the Beauty Candy theme makes no sense with the bag’s contents, but those contents are pretty nice. Well done, ipsy!

If you’d like to give ipsy a shot, here is my referral link.

Bubbles and Pops: The New Blog Rating System

Over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to hammer down a better rating system for this blog. Particularly since I discuss a little bit of everything from movies to books to beauty. So with the help of my friends Russ and Marissa, I have crafted a more witty, articulate rating system that should help you guys understand where I’m coming from.

This blog got its name from the poppable nature of reviews and the inherent joy in popping bubble wrap, so for the rating system the idea went that the more bubbles popped the better!

Image respectfully borrowed from

I’m sticking with the basic rating of 1-5 bubbles, but from now on you should be able to link to my ratings page for further explanation.

5 Bubbles: Perfectly Poppable in Every Way

I’m channeling my inner Mary Poppins (haha) for this one. If a product is given five bubbles it means I’ve found it worthy not only repeat use/viewing and high praise but possibly a song and dance for how happy I am with it.

4 Bubbles: A Popping Good Time

Anything that receives four bubbles is pretty spiffy. It’s a solid product that’s made me a tad giddy but has stopped just shy of popping perfection.

3 Bubbles: Suitably Poppable

Products that receive three bubbles are pretty darn good. I like them but I don’t love them. They satisfied a need but didn’t blow my mind. I might recommend these products casually or to someone who had a specific interest but I won’t rave about them. Three bubbles are the little things that get you by, really.

2 Bubbles: Nearly Burst Bubble

If I’ve given something two bubbles, it means that movie/book/product was OK. I may have gotten my hopes up or been rather disappointing, but there are still some decent things to say.

1 Bubble: Might as Well be Styrofoam Peanuts

I hate Styrofoam peanuts with a passion. The terrible Styrofoam noise (it’s my personal nails on a chalkboard), their tendency to escape the confines of their box…I’ve given myself goosebumps just explaining that much. Basically, Styrofoam peanuts are the opposite of the joy found in bubble wrap. If I’ve given something one bubble, it is bad news.

Hope you enjoy the more detailed rating system! Thanks for popping in!