Hello, world.

T.G.I.F. The title of this post explains it all. I want to fly far, far away…

In these clothes:

1)  Colorblock Boyfriend Shirt

Because it's soft and happy and you can wear it on a boat.

Because it’s soft and happy and you can wear it on a boat.

2) Dawnbrook Printed Dress

dawnbrook printed dress

To wear to a nice dinner at sunset, or just walking along old cobblestone streets, antiquing and looking for gelato.

3) Embroidered Flutter Sleeve Tee

To wear with yellow pants.

To wear with yellow pants.

4) Ikat Print Trouser Leg Pants

To fool the world into letting you wear fancy pajamas.

To fool the world into letting you wear fancy pajamas.

5) Marana Chevron Palazzo Pants

Because I'm now obsessed with wearing fancy pajamas.

Because I’m now obsessed with wearing fancy pajamas.

6) Onshore Breeze Lace Top

To stroll around and look so cute and be so comfortable.

To stroll around and look so cute and be so comfortable.

7) Paisley Print Ankle Pants

Because sometimes you need to wear these with a lose chambray shirt and just be a comfy American.

Because sometimes you need to wear these with a lose chambray shirt and just be a comfy American.

8) Piped Broken-In Straight Khakis

To wear with that embroidered shirt. And pretty much anything else. Ever. Summer pants.

To wear with that embroidered shirt. And pretty much anything else. Ever. Summer pants.

9) Stripe Step-Hem Tank

To wear under pretty pink blazers, or with yellow pants, or just in general.

To wear under pretty pink blazers, or with yellow pants, or just in general.

10) Through The Grapevine Chiffon Blazer

Because it's so pretty and so layer-able.

Because it’s so pretty and so layer-able.

11) Time For Reflection Lace Maxi Skirt

To stroll along the sea, or shop, or eat, or both.

To stroll along the sea, or shop, or eat, or anything.

12) Vivian Tulle Dress

To have in case of fashion emergency. Plus it's the two main colors of my wedding. Had to love it.

To have in case of fashion emergency. Plus it’s the two main colors of my wedding. Had to love it.

 

And that’s really all I’m thinkin’ about today.

Y’all have a great weekend!

–Kaitlin

 

I have a confession.

I don’t tend to like contemporary Young Adult/ New Adult literature. Probably because it tends to have, in my opinion, weak, whiny, shallow female characters. Gag. Even worse, characters focused on hook-up culture. Double gag. Or characters who think finding the hottest guy is like, OMG, the most important thing in life. Gag to infinity.

To my absolute joy, I was given the opportunity from 1/2 of the author (more on that later) to read the New Adult novel Boomerang by Noelle August (William Morrow Paperbacks), and it was NONE of those awful things!  Its official release date is July 15th, 2014, and I highly suggest you pre-order it, because it’s a beautiful thing, baby! It has a gigantic list of absolutely lovely story elements and rock-your-world characters. Are you sold yet?

First Impressions: Judging a Book by its Cover

Look. Look at it, with your eyes. And your heart. It’s so cute! My favorite part is how her toenails match her shorts, which match the sketchy little heart. Plus, abs of both genders are sexy. 5/5 coordinating stars.

Boomerang, by Noelle August. Image courtesy of NoelleAugust.com

Dive a little deeper– My Thoughts (Spoiler-Free/Based on Book Jacket)

From the book’s blurb on Goodreads: “Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.

I went into this read with only a little prior knowledge and complete faith that the authors would deliver, and I was right. I was immediately drawn into Mia’s world,and she didn’t let me leave. Sorry for the conflict-free review, but I have nothing bad to say about the book. Even the minor characters jump off the page, taking you along with them through the world of the story. It’s a romance with depth of character, and it will keep you flipping pages to the end. I was hooked immediately, from the first page, and continued to root for the characters until the last page.

Deeper Still– Thoughts Redux (Minor Spoilers Included)

With a premise that relies heavily on that whole S-E-X thing, Boomerang revealed itself to be so much more. I truly loved this story. Mia and Ethan are humanly imperfect perfection. They are so much more nuanced and real than other 20-something characters. Hello, publishing industry. Some of us care deeply about family, careers, friends, hobbies, volunteering, etc. We’re not all out there, looking to meet a stranger in a bar. But we all enjoy reading about people who do. I would like to add that for a book that starts with what appears to be your typical one-night stand, sex is treated in a respectful, meaningful way, which I appreciate. And, trust me, the book doesn’t lose an ounce of sexy because it isn’t graphic. It’s perfect. And that is high praise from me, seeing as I hate most sex scenes I’ve ever read. A++++

I don’t want to spoil any story elements for you, because they’re just so wonderful. I stayed up until one in the morning, huddled under my blanket while my husband snoozed next to me. It was all I could do not to wake him up and squee at him until he acknowledged that such-and-such interaction was “soooo cute.” Luckily for him, I am the very definition of restraint. Sometimes.

Grade Me, Seymore– Give It A Score! -5/5

I honestly can’t think of anything missing from this book. There were poignant moments, but none too sad to make me cry and derail the lighthearted tone of the novel. I actually, swear to gosh, laughed out loud. Multiple times. This book was just a pure delight! I hope you’ll give it a read. It’s sure to give you more than you bargained for, in the best way. Just like that whole S-E-X thing, am I right?

Connect with the Author of Boomerang: Noelle August

Okay, surprise! Noelle is a lie! Or, you know, a pseudonym. This is public knowledge, right there on her Goodreads and Facebook profiles. Noelle is really the brilliant pairing of Lorin Oberweger and Veronica Rossi, both of whom are lovely. You can internet stalk them on your own time. Here are the applicable links to follow their work as Noelle August. And trust me, if Boomerang is any indication, you’ll want to follow them closely.

Website
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook

Please drop me a line in the comments and let me know if you plan to read Boomerang, or if you’ve already ordered your copy!

Y’all have a great rest of the week!

-Kaitlin

 

Looking down on the void
She finds the immeasurable quite fitting
And though she stands secure and strong
There is still a wild part of her
That wants to dip her toe into the nothing
And remember what it was to be lost

Hello, my beautiful Springlings!

If my Facebook newsfeed is any indication, and I choose to believe it is, then half of you are still buried in snow. But here in good ol’ Tejas, the sun is right at the precipice between “Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun” and Dante’s Inferno. Yes, my friends, that was a Raffi reference and an early Italian renaissance literary reference. I know it’s Monday, but keep up.

My dear friend, Beks (love you, boo), asked me to devise a look that can withstand the months of imminent sweat. I happily obliged, and this look was born. Bonus: It’s 100% waterproof and sweat-proof. Double bonus: It’s gorgeous. I have received compliments every time I’ve worn it to work. Triple bonus: It’s easy. You’ll be done in 5 minutes or less! Let’s get to the steps.

Fresh, Five Minute Summer Face

Step 1: Apply your summer foundation routine. What, you don’t change your routine with the seasons? Me neither…

Step 2: Throw Shade.

Makeup Forever Aqua Cream 13

Apply a shimmering taupe/champagne eyecolor from lid to brow. My recommendation is 100% MUFE Aqua Cream 13- Warm Beige. It’s the perfect neutral shimmer; neither too warm, nor too cold. The April 25th of makeup. I highly recommend a cream product here, for ease of application, as well as sweat-proof-edness. The MUFE is a little pricey, but the little tub will honestly last you, well, forever. Makeup Forever. OMGosh, it all makes sense now. If you can’t budget it this month, try Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow in 25- Bad to the Bronze.  It’s slightly darker, but will achieve the same effect for a fraction of the cost. A normal, powder eyeshadow will work as well, just make sure you prime the heck out of it and use a high-pigmented shade.

Step 3: Blush it UpTarina Tarantino Dollskin Cheek Palette Tarte Dollface Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush

This is where the “fresh” part comes in. Color is your friend here. And avoid shimmer. Your sweat/glisten will give you shimmer. You want matte, staying power. Cheap(ly produced) blush won’t cut it here. My favorite is Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Dollface, but I’ve also had rocking variation success with my Tarina Tarantino Dollskin Cheek Palette (more on variations later).

Step 4: Stick Your Lips
YSL Rouge Volupte 29 Opera Rose Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Intense 32 Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain Lovesick

Pick something with a long-lasting formula.
– Break the bank, but slap-yo-mama pretty: YSL Rouge Volupte in 29 Opera Rose.
– Are you kidding me, Smalls, but worth it: MUFE Rouge Artist Intense in 32.
– Bright Bargain so good it’s naughty: Revlon Colorstay/Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Lovesick.

Step 5: Fill Dem Brows, GurlAnastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

Fill dem brows, gurl. Use a pencil, for stay-put-edness. My brow crush is Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, but use whatever makes you comfortable. Seal with a clear brow gel if you plan on swimming or really sweating.

Step 6: Lashtastic

Makeup Forever Aqua Smoky Lash

Mascara. Top lashes only. 2-3 coats waterproof. This will keep you from having the under-eye smudgies, plus helps with the “freshness.” My fave is MUFE Aqua Smoky Lash, but any waterproof Covergirl mascara is a great way to save some ca$h.

VARIATIONS: This also works with a coral blush and lip combo. Or a softer pink lipstick for a very natural, sweet look. Perfect for wooing your crush when you’re 13, or trying to divert FBI attention after your crimes. Also, for a little definition, add a waterproof eyeliner, or even a colored eyeliner for a pop of fun.

Now, enjoy some examples of the look with some awkward car and cubicle selfies, courtesy of moi:

Kaitlin Vincent
But First-
Kaitlin Vincent
-Let me take-
Kaitlin Vincent
-A Selfie.

Y’all have a good week!

-Kaitlin

Does my name taste good,
The way it slithers
Through your fangs?
Do I nourish you,
As you lick your lips
With your forked tongue?
Do you feel satiated,
As you crack my ribs
And drink my blood and marrow?
Does your hunger ache,
As you reach and strain
And realize you will never hold me,
For snakes have no hands.

There’s a pause
And the smell of fresh paint
Makes you wrinkle your nose
It’s so telling, so tacky
It proves you weren’t always like this
Your past is yours
And you will always hold it
But you prefer to keep it to yourself
And if that smell would just go away
You could loosen your grip
And maybe flash that sweet tea grin
And be yourself once again

Listen. I know the first day of spring has sprung and yada yada, but it doesn’t feel real to me yet. And I’m still reaching for my big burgundy sweater coat before realizing I will scorch in the office. So what the heck are we supposed to wear? How do I accessorize when the weather can be hot or cold or both?

Luckily, the internet had the answers. Wear these, fine people, and hope for sun. I’m obsessed with the combination of grey and coral/peach/pink. Perfect for these in-between days.

1) Scarf Pop– adding jazz to a neutral outfit.
Rays on a Cloudy Day Scarf in Peach

Rays on a Cloudy Day

Rays on a Cloudy Day

Maddie Two-Tone Scarf

Maddie Two-Tone

Maddie Two-Tone

Stripe T-Shirt Infinity Scarf

Stripe T-Shirt Infinity Scarf

Stripe T-Shirt Infinity Scarf

Foil-Dot Scarf

Foil-Dot Scarf

Foil-Dot Scarf

2) Jewelry Pop
Bead of Roses Necklace in Petal

Bead of Roses Necklace

Bead of Roses Necklace

Faux-Leather & Links Bracelet

Faux-Leather & Links Bracelet

Faux-Leather & Links Bracelet

Geo Floral-Drop Earrings

Geo Floral-Drop Earrings

Geo Floral-Drop Earrings

Faux-Stones & Links Necklace

Faux-Stones and Links Necklace

Faux-Stones and Links Necklace

A Sweet Embrace Faux Leather Bracelet

A Sweet Embrace Faux Leather Bracelet

A Sweet Embrace Faux Leather Bracelet

3) Shoe Pops
Coastal Cookout Wedge

Coastal Cookout Wedge

Coastal Cookout Wedge

Monique Wedges

Monique Wedges

Monique Wedges

Navigating the Neighborhood Flat in Pink

Navigating the Neighborhood Flat

Navigating the Neighborhood Flat

Wren Two-Toned Flats

Wren Two-Toned Flats

Wren Two-Toned Flats

Book Signing Soiree Heel in Pink

Book Signing Soiree Heel

Book Signing Soiree Heel

Ready for Anything Pumps

Ready for Anything Pumps

Ready for Anything Pumps

And that’s about all I’m thinking about this week!
Y’all have a rose-colored weekend!
–Kaitlin

Hello, fellow book worms!

As you might recall, one of my 2014 goals is to read 50 books this calendar year. I’m a bit behind, due to the tumultuous nature of the first quarter of this year, but I am thrilled to be on my way now! I first read a diet book, that while counting toward my goal, I won’t be reviewing for this blog. SO, I am beyond excited to bring to you my review of the second book, first novel: Wither, by Lauren DeStefano (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers).

First Impressions– Judging a Book by its Cover:
This is a stunning book. I found it on sale at WalMart, and didn’t think twice about buying it. LOOK at this cover!

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

I will be the first to admit that I happily judge a book by its cover. I love dramatic, striking images. I love graphics. I love pretty text. I love girls in gowns. This book has it all. A++++.

Dive a little deeper– My Thoughts (spoiler-free/based on book jacket)
I didn’t even read the book jacket on this book. I went in with no expectations, and was quite quickly drawn into its world. We follow Rhine Ellery, a sixteen-year-old in a world where women only live to see twenty, and men twenty-five. She is kidnapped and forced into a polygamist marriage. And that is how we open. The opening is gripping and dark- right up my alley. I was never bored, and nothing jarred me out of the story. Some parts felt a little indulgent or meandering to me, but the characters and overall story were gripping enough to keep me interested. It is not a romance, though romantic interaction obviously plays a part.

Deeper Still– Thoughts Redux (minor spoilers included)
My main critique with Wither is that I wanted more. I wanted more context about the current state of the world. More information on customs and culture. The premise is intriguing, and I want more! That could have influenced my feelings toward the fact that I wanted less of Rhine laying in bed and remembering her brother. I wanted her to be more proactive. Rhine’s plan for escape didn’t seem urgent enough, or smart enough, for how intelligent she otherwise seemed. She had been raised to hone her survivor instinct, and where was it now? If she struggled harder with maybe wanting to stay, we should have seen that.

Grade Me, Seymore– Give It A Score! -3.5/5
On Goodreads, I gave it 3 stars out of 5, but I would’ve gladly given it a 3.5, had I been able. This is the first book in The Chemical Garden Trilogy, and I’m hoping that because of that, I will be able to give the overall story a 5, as I read the other two installments. I definitely will read them, but I am not clamoring to buy them right now. I would definitely recommend Wither to any readers who enjoy young adult distopian/science fiction. It does explore new themes, and deals with sex in a mature and still respectable (and very PG-rated) way, as well as bringing up questions of marriage. Again, I look forward to see where we get to go in this world, and Wither was a strong introduction.

Connect with the author of Wither, Lauren DeStefano:
Website
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram

Let me know your thoughts on Wither in the comments. Have you read it? Are you adding it to your to-read pile?

Have a great day!-Kaitlin

1. Melpomene

Innocence
Empathy
And the things you have claimed from me
Joyful
Carefree
And the things that I used to be
Youth
Time
All the things that have ceased to be

2. Thalia

Cannot contain the joy
Cannot control the mouth
I love you, I love you, I love you,
Forever isn’t long enough
To tell you I love you
For the thoughts in my head
For the plans in my heart
For the dreams and the schemes
And the jubilation that is each day

The sun sings to me a sweet song
As she rises and she sets
And conspires with the moon
They share in my harmony
My heartsong, my bliss
And the world is ours to take,
If it only would listen
I love you, I love you, I love you
And forever is ours

Hola my little Chicharróns!

I spent the weekend sleeping for twenty hours, thanking God for Texas beef, cleaning my disgusting kitchen, grocery planning and shopping, mastering various trivia categories on QuizUp, and finally being able to breathe through my nose again. Take that, untimely cold! All in all, a superior weekend. I’m almost ready for Monday… if Monday didn’t mean the start of a workweek. But, alas, it is, and so, onward Christian soldier.

I’ve had a question submitted about the elusive makeup term “smokey eye.” What is it? How do you do it? Let’s take a deep breath and break it down, Stephanie Tanner Style:

Q) What is a smokey eye?

A) This, according to Google:

Smokey Eye

Smokey Eye

Smokey Eye

Smokey Eye

Smokey Eye

Smokey Eye

And this, according to me:

“Smokey Eye” is a term someone like Cosmo coined, and, to me, it describes a “look” more than a specific method or even technique. You can use any colors you want, any shade you want, and make any shape you want. The one commonality is the use of blending to create a soft, smokey (apparently) fade from dark to light. Sooo, I encourage you to put “Smokey Eye” into the Pinterest search bar for tutorials, while I will concentrate on on some general guidelines.

Q) How do you smoke your eye?

A) You need at least two colors, but I recommend 3 or 4 for ease of use and forgiveness of error. In general, they need to be shades in the same family, as well as a light highlight color. So, in a traditional smokey eye, you would use black, white, and a shade of grey in the middle. Variations could include Navy, medium blue, white, or dark purple, medium purple, and white. I recommend shades that are matte or only have a slight shimmer.

Also of note, you will need good blending brushes.

Blend a line of either the darkest, or the middle (or a fourth, lighter than middle) shade under your lower lashline to tie everything together. You can even put the darkest color right on the outer corner, and blend into a lighter shade toward your inner corner. The thicker and darker this line, the more dramatic.

Always concentrate the darkest color closest to your lashline. The idea is that the lashes and rim of your eye are the darkest, and it fades up to the white shade on your browbone.

In general, the darkest color is applied from lid through crease. The higher you take the darkest color, the more dramatic your look will be. Keep the darkest color out of the crease for a more natural rendition.

Q) Can you put all that into a convenient list?

A) No. Okay. Yes.

Smokey Eye Directions:
1) Apply darkest color to lid. Blend up toward crease/browbone. (see above for note on drama level)
2) Apply lightest color to browbone. Blend down toward crease.
3) Apply middle color to crease, blending up toward browbone.
4) Reapply lightest color to browbone, and blend down.
5) Reapply middle color and blend up.
6) Repeat 4-5 until there is a gradual, blended gradient.
7) Swirl a clean blending brush over everything, just to make sure.
8) Apply shade (or shades) of your choice under lower lasline, connecting to the top at outer corner.
9) Take clean brush and blend outer line, to smoke it. Optional: use lightest shade to help blend/soften.
10) Apply black eyeliner on upper lashline and lower lashline, as well as upper and lower waterlines, if so inclined.
11) Mascara like you’ve never mascaraed before. Upper and lower. Black. Many coats. Optional: Add false lashes. Optional: Become a Kardashian.

And that’s it! Clear as smoke, right?

Note on variation:

It is common now to make the smokey eye more wearable by putting a softer, neutral shade all over the lid, and then using the above technique in the outer corner and crease only. I don’t consider this a true smokey eye, however. Such interpretation can be seen in the third example above.

Here’s a favorite from my Pinterest makeup board, that gives a fun glitter pop:

Smokey Glitter
f7b066f0e5cf84bf85ecb06ab0a78999

I now challenge all of you to do your homework and try a smokey eye this week!

Note: Pairing it with your face:

Make sure you have filled in your brows. You NEED a strong brow with such a strong makeup. Trust me. Keep cheeks and lips natural, pinky, peachy. Recently, though, strong lips and eyes have been rocked and I am a fan. It all comes down to how vampy you’re feeling that day. Rule of thumb is nude/neutral, though, especially if wearing dramatic eyes during the day.

Let me know if you have follow-up questions… this is not a simple concept, people!

Love,
Kaitlin