February Favorites

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Bee Button – I got this adorable pin while galavanting around Northampton with my friend Emily. She had a matching one, then I bought a bee blouse, and good time was had by all.

Milani Lipsticks (Matte) – Holy cow, these lipsticks are becoming my absolute favorite. They go on easily and aren’t a pain to take off (favorite shade is Matte Passion)

Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events – I am a Very Forceful and Dedicated admirer of Lemony Snicket, so this series was basically all I care about for about six months. I thought it was fantastic, and I binge watched it all and once and then rewatched it again. I’m mostly excited that they are putting so much effort into one of my favorite book series. The casting was impeccable and the acting is excellent. The only criticism I have is that I wish it had that dreary Victorian style that the movie exuded, as it gave off such a dismal mood. But I still loved everything they did with the sets and I am so incredibly ready for the next season.

X-Files – On a much different note, me and my mom have been binge watching X-Files at night. I’m not really sure how this started, but there are so many episodes, so I don’t see it stopping anytime soon. (I want to believe!)

What have you been into this month? I think we are al itching for the weather to warm up so we can go outside, so I’m curious to know what hobbies you’re interested in as well.

-Heather

 

Books & Music

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Hello everyone!

Today I am going to share my favorite books and albums at the moment, as well as some Tv shows and movies. I’ve had a lot of time to explore new shows and music and reading material lately, so I can’t wait to tell you my favorites. This isn’t just necessarily my current favorites, but my all-time favorites as well. I tend to have a certain theme that I get stuck on with my favorite movies, music, books, etc. but I am working to branch out this summer! Having new things to enjoy gives me so much perspective on subjects I never knew about previously. As for now, here are my favorites.

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Favorite Books

It by Alexa Chung

I’m in love with Alexa Chung. This is probably a book that people will see on my favorites list and roll their eyes because of course, every “basic” girl is a fan of this book. I simply don’t care. I think this is a perfect representation of her personality, her likes and dislikes, and her love of style and fashion. She’s one of my favorite people and I will forever recommend this book to someone who isn’t up for any heavy reading at the time.

Also, I love this cover! This was the first cover she released for it and I think it’s beautiful. She discusses her fashion inspiration (Margo from The Royal Tenenbaums) and her heartbreak (Alex Turner from The Arctic Monkeys). If you enjoy fashion and poetry and some weird personal drawings, check out this book.

 

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

I pretty much just laughed and cried through this book. Marina was tragically killed in a car accident and her amazing professors and friends grouped together her writings to compile in this book that includes short stories and non-fiction material, and it’s fantastic.

 

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

It’s difficult to pick out my favorite books. I have a lot of them and they all mean something special to me. But Jane Eyre is truly a kick ass woman and the book is an important piece of literature. So many strong female characters that are written in modern time are inspired by the heroine that Brontë wrote. I think waiting until I was older to read this really forced me to appreciate every part of it. It’s a classic, and it’s amazing, and so is the newest remake.

 

As far as music goes, I tend to love folk. I enjoy different kinds of folk, but if you asked what my favorite genre was, that’s what I’d say. Anything that is peaceful/thoughtful is what I tend to be listening to.

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If you haven’t ever listened to The Staves (especially this album) I recommend doing it right this very second.

Albums

Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

This is one of my favorite albums of all time. I know there are probably better produced albums and more intricate sounds elsewhere, but I don’t care. I think Justin Vernon is a genius and every single time I return to the songs I am comforted. I went through a few hard times over the past 3-4 years and this album specifically pulled me through. I think it’s gorgeous and very raw and honest and I’m in love with it. On all of my favorite playlists and I have at least one song from this album on them.

Favorite songs: Re: Stacks, Flume, Creature Fear, Lump Sum, For Emma

 

Bon Iver – Bon Iver 

Surprise, surprise. I prefer For Emma, but this one is also close to my heart. While the first album is more solemn to me, this one is much more hopeful. I tend to listen to this in the summer and For Emma more in the winter.

Favorite songs: Towers, Wash., Holocene, Calgary

 

The Staves – If I was

Ok, so this album is also produced by Justin Vernon. But what can I say! I love the things he makes. The Staves are three sisters who harmonize so beautifully that when I fist found them I immediately showed them to everyone around me because I could not get over how gorgeous their voices are.

I haven’t listened to this album in awhile because to me, it feels like a fall/winter album. That may sound crazy and obviously you can listen to music whenever you want, but I tend to listen to music by seasons. I found them this past winter and there are so many songs that mean so much to me. The girls themselves are amazing and relatable and funny and beautiful. They made a short documentary on making the album, which you can find on their Youtube, and I highly recommend watching it.

Favorite songs: Make It Holy, Blood I Bled, Steady, Horizons, Teeth White

 

Hozier – Hozier

Um, ok so, I’m in love with Hozier and was really late to the game on this one. I think most of the world appreciates this album, but I need to include it because it contains songs that just find their way into most of my playlists.

Favorite songs: In a Week, Like Real People Do, From Eden, Cherry Wine

 

The Paper Kites – Woodland

I found this album a year ago and it reminds me vividly of spring and summer, so I’ve been listening to this non-stop for about three months now.

Favorite songs: Featherstone, Woodland, Bloom, Halcyon

 

The Lumineers – The Lumineers

I go through really weird phases with The Lumineers where I completely forget about them and then I find them again and I’m amazed that I ever, ever forgot. I can listen to this album year-round, by the way. I love so many of the songs on this album and it has become a staple for me now since rekindling my love for them last year. I love their new album as well, but this one feels really authentic to me. The songs are unique and lovely and all similar but different. They are excellent with lyrics and melodies and I truly adore the songs held in this album.

Favorite songs: Dead Sea, Slow It Down, Flowers in Your Hair, Stubborn Love, Ho Hey, Classy Girls

 

Damien Rice – O

Damien Rice makes me instantly cry. I’ve been listening to him since I was in middle school and I will forever be a fan. This album is my favorite of his and contains some of his most beautiful songs.

I think his voice is really unique in the fact that it doesn’t sound necessarily strong. I don’t mean for that to be an insult, I just think his sound falters. It has an edge and a quiver and it can be heartbreaking. The mood that it sets is unbelievable and the string work gives off a tangible atmosphere. The songs pull at my heartstrings, and as I’ve gotten older, his lyrics mean so much more to me.

Favorite songs: The Blower’s Daughter, Delicate, Amie, Older Chests

 

Arctic Monkeys – AM

We’re deviating from folk for a bit. One of my favorite recent rock albums is AM, mostly because so many songs are good and feel like they go together so cohesively. 

Favorites songs: Knee Socks, Arabella, Do I Wanna Know?, R U Mine?, Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?

 

Favorite TV Shows

The Office (U.S.)

This is my favorite show, hands down, probably for the rest of my life. I feel emotionally attached to it. I love the characters, the writing, the wit. It’s important to me that a comedy show is actually really funny, and this one is. I love dry humor, and this is a show that totally gets it right.

Arrested Development

This is another show that I got insanely obsessed with because, it’s just really good. The humor is fantastic and the writing is involved. Though it can sometimes be outrageous, it’s one of the most entertaining shows to watch. This was the show that introduced me to my favorite comedy actors, like Jason Bateman, David Cross, Tony Hale, and Jeffrey Tambor. I also now own a Bluth’s Frozen Banana Stand shirt. The back says “Mr. Manager.”

Portlandia

Fred and Carrie are geniuses and I really don’t think there is much more to say besides: Go watch it!

Newsroom

I started watching this recently and I was instantly hooked. It’s sometimes really hard for me to hang on to shows that are dramas and not comedies, but this one is perfect. The cast is extremely talented, the dialog is quick and witty, and there are moments that break your heart. I didn’t expect to love this as much as I do.

I think the main message the show wants you to take away is that (especially with media) you need to believe and do what is right. The show tackles real-life issues and talks about how to truly be fair when reporting the news.

 

Favorite Movies

Like Crazy

This movie has always stayed with me. It’s sad, but most of my favorite movies are. Felicity Jones is one of my favorite actors and the mood and dialog are breathtaking.

The Brother’s Bloom

To tell you the truth, this is actually my favorite movie. I remember the very first time I watched it and I have watched it countless times since. It’s about two brothers that are con artists and one brother trying to leave the life behind him (despite complications).

The cast includes some of my favorite actors ever, like Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel Weisz. I know it’s not the best movie out, and ok, there might be a few plot holes, but I don’t care. There is something about it that is magic to me. It’s very funny, very sad, and very uplifting, all at once. Rachel Weisz plays a quirky introvert who collects hobbies and falls in love with Adrien Brody’s character (who can blame her?). There are witty jokes and the directing is top-notch.

Since the movie isn’t super well known, you might need to go searching for it. I have it on DVD because I watch it so much. But Comcast On-Demand tends to have it for free!

 

Favorite Apps

Pokemon Go

Yup, I’m playing this too.

Instagram

I think this app is the most important for me because it’s a huge marketing tool. I’m in charge of my mom’s social media and Instagram is the biggest hitter out of them all. A visual platform for branding is the most effective. If you have a business or blog, posting on Instagram can highly communicate whatever you want to say about your brand. All that, and for free!

Then again, I tend to post a lot of pictures of my dog. But I’ve noticed so many interesting hashtags and accounts sharing photography. It’s amazing to have a platform so easy to use that can help with photography and styling. Getting into those networks is really beneficial!

I post a lot of pictures from this blog on my Instagram. The app has helped me find so many new bloggers and writers that I never knew about before. Sometimes I can get totally lost in the sea of photos and need to put it down. But for marketing, this is the best free advertising you can get.

 

And those are all of my favorites!

Quote for today:

 

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without

the expectations of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon

find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.”

-Ralph Marston