Monday, May 21, 2018

2018 Book Review

At the beginning of the year I set a goal to read a book a month as part of my larger goal to read 30 new books for my 101 in 1001 list, and I'm happy to report that I'm currently on track. A couple of weekends ago I went and got my Dallas Public Library card so now I feel like I'm really a Dallas girl. Now that I've gotten my card and I'm feeling more settled I'm hoping to maybe be able to read more than one book a month. I love reading about what others are reading so today I thought I'd share by 2018 book reviews with you.

January - You Can Even by Kate the Wasp - I've long been a fan of Kate Hendrick's Kate the Wasp character, so her 7 chapter Ebook was a no-brainer once I got an Amazon Fire last Christmas. This is the perfect fast read when you need something to help get you over the "not in the mood to read" slump that happens when you've been spending too much time working on your Netflix list.
"After a devastating break-up, Kate sets out on a partly triumphant but mostly hilarious path to rebuild her life."

February - Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger - I really, really wanted to like this one, but it just fell really flat. I think my biggest criticism was that I just didn't like the characters, it makes it really difficult to get through a book without someone to cheer for. This is the only book I would not recommend.
"A delicious novel about a trio of best friends in Manhattan who agree to change their lives in the most personal and dramatic way possible - and to do it within one calendar year."

March - Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid - This was one of the most interestingly written books I've found in a long time, almost like one of those choose your own adventure books from elementary school. My one criticism was that because of the way that each chapter was a different story it made it really confusing to stop in the middle of a chapter. But I really liked how even though both ends were completely different they were both happy endings.
"A breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold - with stunningly different results."

April - The Alice Network by Kate Quinn - This is my favorite of what I've rad so far this year. It tells the fictionalized true story of female spies during WWI France. I love historical fiction so the fact that this one was based on real people made it even more fascinating. And you have to love a story with strong female leads!
"A female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite perching for her cousin in 1947 - are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption."

May - The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe  - I haven't technically finished this one yet, but it's so good I wanted to include it in my review for anyone looking for their next read. Again, this is based on a real story with a very strong female lead. You know this one is good because Reese Witherspoon has picked it up to turn into a movie!
"Historical novel based on the true story of Anita Hemmings, the first black student to attend Vassar, who successfully passed as white - until she let herself grow too attached to the wrong person."

What have you read lately and loved? I'm looking for my next read.

Monday, May 7, 2018

7 Mother's Day Gifts for the Last Minute Shopper

Mother's Day is less than a week away! If you haven't shopped for the most important woman in your life now is the time to do so. Full disclosure I'm actually only buying my mom a card this year. I'm going to visit her at the end of the month and that seems like a better gift than anything I could pick up at Nordstrom. But I've rounded up a few gifts that are perfect for mom if you're planning on gifting something you can put a bow on this year.

What are you getting your mom this year? If you're looking for something a little more personal, or you're reading this on Saturday be sure to check out this post with a DIY last minute gift idea.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Degas exhibit at the Denver Art Museum

The last thing I did in Colorado before moving was tour the Denver Art Museum. When I say last thing I'm not joking; I literally drove out of Denver after leaving the museum. Why did I decide this was such an important thing to do that I made this my last stop? Their special Degas exhibit. Edgar Degas is my favorite artist. So when I saw they had a special limited time exhibit I knew I had to go.

Degas: A Passion for Perfection was interesting even though I already knew a lot about Degas. Even though they didn't have my favorite piece they had a variety of pieces I'd never seen. When you think Degas you probably think ballerinas, but this exhibit also featured many of his early pieces featuring horses. They have it set up so you see his pieces in order from earliest to latest which made it easy to follow the different subjects.

If you have the chance I highly suggest you check out this special exhibit before it ends later this month. You have to buy a special timed ticket to enter the exhibit, but we didn't have any trouble getting them that morning. While you're at the museum I also suggest checking out the exhibit on fashion illustrations. It's much smaller and doesn't require a different ticket, but if you have any interest in fashion you'll find it if nothing else beautiful.

What's your favorite type of art?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Howdy from Texas

Hey What's Up Hello! Still alive over here even though I've basically been silent on all social media. Moving to a new state and getting accustomed to a new job has really taken it out of me. I know I'm tired because I easily pass out on my air mattress every night. I've been in Dallas a little over a week now and with each day I'm even more convinced this was the right decision for me. Hopefully I'll get a real post up soon, but until then here are a few random thoughts (plus one embarrassing photo) from my first few days in the Lone Star State!

Did you really move to a new state if you don't get a photo by the welcome sign 

I have not seen a single bluebonnet, but I have seen a couple of cows on the side of the road.

I've only eaten Whataburger once since moving, which is funny because it wasn't unusual for me to eat it three or more times when the boy friend and I would be visiting.

It's been too cold to wear sandals and I am dying a little/ feel like I brought all the cold weather with me.

Driving in city traffic isn't so bad, but that's probably because I drive the opposite way of traffic to get to/from work.

Speaking of driving, I no longer need to use my gps to get to the mall or Home Goods #priorities

While online shopping (lol that I thought I'd stop that once I lived in civilization) I've only sent things to my old address once.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

top 5 reasons I'm excited to move to Dallas

I'm officially leaving Vail today and it is so bitter sweet. My goal was to keep it together and not ugly cry; so far so good! In all seriousness I am so excited for this new adventure. When I first started thinking about moving it seemed so far off and it's crazy it's actually here now. I know this is the right decision and I'm excited to start my life in a place I see myself forever. Here are the top 5 reasons I'm excited to move to Dallas!

1. No more driving over Vail Pass for the 3 Ts - Target, Taco Bell, and The Boyfriend (who's name also starts with T)

2. Closer to family - Maybe they'll actually agree to come visit me!

3.  The Food - TexMex, BBQ, Fried Food, Sweet Tea, what's not to love

4. Things to do - I can't wait for Rangers games, the State Fair, and days touring the arboretum

5. Lower Cost of Living - my dollar is going to go a lot further being I can actually afford to enjoy all the food and activities

Have you ever been to Dallas? What's your favorite thing about the city?

Monday, April 2, 2018

5 things I'm going to miss about Vail

My final few days in Vail are here and it's so weird. Today is my last day of work and I've already prepared everyone that I'll probably cry 15 times before the day is over. Big live changes make me emotional. I'm very excited for my next chapter, but closing the book on something so good is a little sad. What's the saying, "be thankful you have something that makes saying goodbye so hard"? Honestly I'm so thankful the last 2.5 years turned out as well as they did, because there was a lot that could have gone wrong along the way. Here are the 5 things I'm going to most miss about Vail. 

1. No traffic - One great thing about living in a small town is the lack of traffic. When you take the small town factor and combine it with the vacation town factor the traffic in Vail is extremely minimal. We complain about traffic if there are two cars in the roundabout. Honestly driving in a major city is one of the things giving me the most anxiety about moving. 

2. My Job - While I'm very excited for my new job I'm honestly really sad to be leaving my current job. A little part of me feels like I'm abandoning my team because I still feel like I have so much in me to contribute. When I first moved to Vail I had a goal of getting the experience to work in the events department because I thought it sounded glamorous and fun. It's not really glamorous, but it has been fun; over the last 9 months I've realized events really is my calling and I'll always hold a special place in my heart for the team that helped me realize that. 

3. Natural Beauty - Vail really is the most beautiful place. I'm blessed to have grown up in a beautiful place, but the beauty of the mountains is unlike anything I've ever experienced. There are some moments when something is so beautiful you have no doubts that surely this is God's finest masterpiece. You know how in elementary school you'd post your straight A report card on the fridge because you were so proud of it? If such a concept exists in heaven I have no doubt there's a picture of the Rocky Mountains on His fridge. 

4. Colorado Chill Vibe - I've had a love hate relationship with the chill vibe, but I think when I'm gone I'm going to miss it. Everything and everyone is so laid back in Vail; I tend to be a little high-strung and intense but I've really learned to mellow and relax in the last 2.5 years. It's funny because you think everything will be all fancy in Vail ( I mean our sidewalks are heated) but with the exception of a few tourists everyone is actually very laid back. I think I've worn a dress 5 times since I've lived here and literally haven't worn makeup to work once; live in Dallas will be totally different. 

The final thing I'm going to miss is harder to put into words, and certainly can't be condensed to a couple of words. Moving to Vail was really the first time I took a giant leap of faith in myself and struck out on my own. Yes I went to college 6 hours away from home, but it was on a campus where I had attended summer camps and already had tons of friends going in. In all my job interviews I kept referring to my time in Vail as my mountain adventure, and that's truly what the last 2.5 years have been, an adventure. I was totally unprepared to move to Vail and honestly if I'd given it more thought I probably would have talked myself out of it. But taking this giant leap and not just surviving, but truly thriving on my own is something I am so so proud of myself for doing. Everyday I'm reminded that I am capable and that that constant reminder is something I'm going to miss.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Out West Wednesday : The Final Post

The time has come for me to say goodbye to Vail and my mountain adventure. It's so crazy that two and a half years ago I wrote my first Out West Wednesday post and now they're coming to a close. I have absolutely loved every minute of my Colorado life, but honestly this winter has been really hard. I knew when it was time to leave I wanted it to be with good feelings and I just don't have it in me for another winter. I'm homesick for the South; that's probably something that will only make sense if you've ever moved across the county.

This time next week I'll be packing my jeep to move to Dallas, Texas! If you're a long time reader you might remember Dallas was one of the places I originally thought I wanted to live after college, so this move really feels like everything is coming full circle. I think I always knew I'd return to the South to make my forever home and now feels like the right time. I'm obviously sad to leave my dream job, and if we're being honest I'll probably cry 5 times on my last day, but I'm really excited about my new job and this new adventure.

If you follow me on instagram or twitter none of this is probably big news to you. I've hinted at my move a few times and even documented a little bit of my apartment search last week in Dallas. If you're not already, make sure to follow along with all my moving adventures!

Also if anyone has any good Dallas recommendations send them my way!