Monday, August 31, 2015

P.S. I Still Love You (A Review of Sorts)


If it hasn't been increasingly clear from the few posts that I've done in the past, I do not know how to review things, specifically books. There is absolutely no way that I'm going to be able to get to my goal of 30 something books for the year, so I'm just trying to really enjoy the books that I have time to read. So far, they've all been lovely, and this sequel has certainly been a treat. I did a sort of review on its prequel, To All The Boys I've Done Before, so I figured it would only be right to include a review of this book as well!

As I mentioned in that post, I found out that it had a sequel around halfway through the book, which slightly tarnished the ending for me (but didn't make it any less spectacular). A week later I was leaving Target with this book and ended up saving it for a rainy day. It took me two sittings to finish this book. I probably could have finished it in one sitting if I didn't want to take a break and try to savor it. Set up the same way as the first book, the short chapters make you want to devour the entire thing without breaks. I got so caught up in Lara Jean's newfound drama, the Song family meddling, and the past refusing to stay there. I don't want to spoil too much about the ending of the first book, but this second part picks up where To All the Boys left off around the holidays.

I love that while this book still focused on Lara Jean and her quest for love in high and low places, it still revolved around her family, which is a massive component of her life. Margot had her struggles, Kitty was funny as ever, and the Song girls banded together to try to help their father out. Love was found in hopeless places, just like Rihanna said. God, Rihanna just knows what to say sometimes...

I digress. I even sort of sympathized with the enemies for brief minutes. That's when you know an author has done some hardcore characterization. Or when you know that I am an absolute sap and fall for everything in the book. Regardless, I found myself loving up on most of the characters in this book. Especially John Ambrose McCallen. Mmmmm. He was one of Lara's "old flames" in the sense that she, too, sent him a letter all those years ago. It just took him longer to get back to her about it.

While love triangle tropes aren't necessarily my favorite (fake dating and love/hate relationships really speak to me), I will say it added some nice nail biting moments for me. I was gasping left and right. And it wasn't really a love triangle but it also was not not one. Is this one of those "you had to be there moments?" Like, a "you had to read it moment?" You should totally read this book. And the first one. And anything Jenny Han writes because she's so funny and her writing is so crisp and nice to read.

I will say this though...I'm not super pleased with the ending. Like, I'm not mad about it or anything. I'm pretty content...but I was rooting for somebody else. And I think Lara Jean deserved better. But, as long as everyone else is happy, I'm happy. If Kitty is still feisty, I'm a happy girl.

I would read one thousand books in a row if they were all as easy and pleasant to read as this series by Jenny Han. They're such relaxing reads that just make me feel like I'm floating, a nice escape from reality. I haven't found that sense in a book in such a long, long time that this was so refreshing.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Good Reads

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1. Hello Jumpsuit, So Long Summer Zara knows how to make a jumpsuit, that's all I have to say.

2. Back to the Classics Back to school is in full swing. Once the weather start's cooling down, oxfords and jeans are my life.

3. Long-Sleeved Lace GIVE ME ALL OF THE LACE!!!!!

4. To Smile or Not To Smile: Feminism and RBF I have talked about RBF on more than one occasion this week and how I use it to my advantage when I'm downtown by myself. #RBFsUnite

5. What Your Breakfast Says About You When I'm at school, I'm the New Yorker. When I'm home, I am everything else all at once. I'm a bit sad that cake didn't make the list though...

6. Pineapple Sweater I love that the pineapple trend got even bigger than last summer. Gimme gimme!

7. Six Things Living In NYC Filed under: notes to self...

What have you been reading lately? 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

First Week of Classes Review


On a scale from one to ten, I'd rate the first of classes somewhere around a zero. A definite 0/10 rating, would not recommend. If I wasn't being so dramatic and hadn't ran out of coffee today, maybe this would be a bit higher on my list, but at the moment I am just so over school after the first week. *sigh*

Okay, so my classes aren't awful. I mean, some of them are pretty interesting and totally up my alley, like my Publication Design and Multimedia Storytelling class (even if the video story aspect is going to be the death of me). I'm in a Women's Studies class that I'm already feeling pretty passionate about.   My other two classes, well, they're going to be tough. I'm in a Media Law and Ethics class, so the history portion is going to be super interesting. I like history, I like learning about legal cases and laws (just not enough to go to law school). But a lot of the class relies on classroom participation and taking part in discussions in which you voice your personal opinions...I am over and done for. I don't form opinions on things because I don't like to offend ever. It's already rare enough to get me to talk in class, but when I'm talking about my stance on controversial topics? Goodbye 100 points for the semester.

I'm in a news story writing class, another one that's going to kill me. I'm at the point where I don't think I want to write anymore, but I've never been at the point where I've wanted to write news stories. I don't like it. I genuinely cannot get invested in the stories I write, which makes it incredibly difficult to get anything done. Basically, the first story I choose for this class sets the topic/theme of the next two stories that I'm writing during the semester. So, you know, no pressure or anything...

I've never felt so stressed out so early in the semester, but I have a pretty weird schedule and I'm not living on campus anymore, so those two things coupled together are making things a lot more interesting. Add in a redesign of a website that I can't tweak to how I see it in my head and a total lack of sleep and you get a very, very stressed out Francesca.

But, as awful as this first week seemed, it wasn't all that terrible so my 0/10 rating isn't really fair. I know people in all of my classes, Little Mix released a new song that is my JAM, and, y'know, I got to see those losers in One Direction on Thursday. That was pretty cool.

All I need to do is get my life together, get a hold of my schedule and familiarize myself with the structures of my classes and make us of my free time. Everything will be just fine. Plus, I get to go home the next two weekends in a row (hopefully), which will be fantastic.

Here's to a great semester!

Friday, August 28, 2015

On The Road Again (Or, An Ode To Liam Payne)

After nearly a year of waiting, I got see One Direction live again in Cleveland. To my knowledge, this was their first time in Cleveland which made me insanely excited for the show. Honestly, the past two or so weeks of the tour made me stoked for this show. The boys have been so carefree and goofy on stage and that's my favorite part of concerts. I love entertainers. I like stage presence. I like fun and loving atmospheres at shows. And One Direction sure as hell knows how to combine that with their four individual talents.


I came from class, so I did miss a majority of Icona Pop's set list. I saw them a couple of years back in Buffalo, so I wasn't particularly upset about this. Plus, I got a chance to see "I Love It" live again, which is probably my ultimate jam. I have a tendency to go a little too hard to that song...




I genuinely how no idea where to start. Obviously, I didn't have the greatest seats in the world. I didn't bring my nice camera either, so I relied solely on my trusty iPhone to do most of the work. I did Snapchat the entire concert (at least one video for each song, though "Drag Me Down" definitely got two snaps because Harry's runs at the end needed to be documented)(He nailed them, if you were wondering). This was definitely a more stripped down stage and set-up than last tour. They still have the catwalk and the massive screens, but there's a lot less going on regarding the stage, which gave them a lot of open space to run around (I'm looking at you, Louis and Liam and your water fights!) and just be silly characters. They did utilize the whole "outdoors" element through some fireworks displays at the beginning and end of the show, which was such a cool addition.


The boys played a majority of Four, their newest album (until it is trumped sometime this fall by the fifth studio album, which I am all sorts of excited for) during their set list, but did a great job at including songs from Midnight Memories. They even surprised me with some Take Me Home and Up All Night songs. I will never not be excited to hear the songs "What Makes You Beautiful" and "Kiss You." Never.


I think one thing that really needs to be noted about these boys is their stage presence. They know what they're doing. They know how to utilize free time on stage (usually when one or two or even three of them need to use the bathroom, as they did quite a few times last night)(wow Francesca, way to make this post weird). Liam has his sign-reading routine, Louis and Niall both know how to give those inspirational speeches that make you want to lie down for a while *side-eyes Niall's speech before "Don't Forget Where You Belong"*. And Harry, oh god, Harry just knows how to instigate and be his sassy self. He called out a girl fixing her bra, another girl wearing sunglasses at night, and a couple called Dennis and Phyllis. He posed for pictures, thanked the fans too many times to count, and my god that boy even got down on his knees during "Girl Almighty" (to which I mimicked because that boy makes me weak).


If there is one person in that band that I have to commend after Zayn's departure from the band, it's Liam Payne. Now, my one and only love is Harry Styles. That I am sure of...but Liam has been slowly creeping under my skin for the past year and as much as I want to deny it, that boy has my heart. He's so charming and cuddly. He knows how to work the crowd and knows how to have a great time on stage. While Harry's movements seem almost calculated in a free, Mick Jagger-esque way, Liam engages with his bandmates. He'll have water gun fights, silly string fights. He took some cake frosting to the face like a champ last night. And then his vocals...repeat it with me: Liam Payne is under appreciated. He rocked his falsetto and really took Zayn's parts and made them his own. I am so heart eyes over Liam's existence. His girlfriend is the luckiest woman alive (for multiple reasons. Have you seen her? She's gorgeous).


Two summers in a row, these boys have made my entire year with their banter, their voices, their terrible dancing, their friendship. I'm so glad that they've decided to go out with a bang before their hiatus after this fifth album. While I'm sad that there won't be a fifth tour to promote it, I cannot wait to see what these boys do for themselves during their time away from the band. And I have full faith that they're going to pull a Fall Out Boy and come back after a much needed break and hiatus and knock it out the park with their sixth album.

Cheers!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Things I'm Loving

1. Macadamia Oil Spray

My hair is clearly bleached and despite getting it done quite some time ago, there's always those days where it's not feeling as nice as it could be. It's especially gross on those days where it's extra humid or breezy (or on those awful days where it's both). I always condition in the showers, but sometimes I just need a little bit of extra help in that department in an attempt to keep my hair somewhat manageable and presentable.

I picked up this Macadamia Oil spray at TJ Maxx a couple of weeks ago because I have always heard people rave about the Macadamia Oil hair products and never had a chance to try them myself. So when I saw when that this product had a pretty decent markdown, I decided to try it out. It's not the nicest smelling product, but it also doesn't smell body. It obviously doesn't smell as good at my coconut oil did, but it also doesn't leave my hair incredibly greasy like that product did, so I guess the pros outweigh the cons.

I use it a few times a week. Any time I skip it, it's usually because I simply forgot. My hair always feels smoother the next day, especially if I let it air dry overnight without tying it up into a topknot. I can't use incredibly heavy products on my hair—even if it's a small amount distributed to the end of my hair—because they just make it so oily. This, however, is such a light spray that it does its job without overwhelming my hair. I'm sure if you needed more product, you could totally just spray more but I do a few to each side and comb through my hair to distribute the product everywhere!

2. NYX Nude Pigment

I genuinely forgot I had this. I move it around in my eyeshadow drawer whenever I'm reorganize it, but I never reach for it. Well, that is until late. I picked it up one day last week and decided to give it a shot and oh my god, how could I forget that I owned this? It gives off the most gorgeous pale gold sheen on my lids and just makes them look so alive. This is one of those eyeshadows that I would wear on its own all over my lid with maybe a tiny definition in the crease. No eyeliner, nothing too heavy on the bottom lashes. Just a nice simple and glowy makeup look!

3. "Pity Party" by Melanie Martinez

I was rooting for her all the way when she was on The Voice. I was just so obsessed with her voice and unique song arrangements. And the hair, you cannot forget the two-toned hair. I hadn't realized that she came out with her own album! I'm love love loving this single. "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to," like what kind of genius line is that?

4. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

This is the sequel to To All The Boys I've Loved Before, which was probably one of my favorite books that I've read in quite some time. This was not a disappointing sequel! Well, not entirely. I'll go into more detail about it when I do a proper(ish) book review, but I really did enjoy this book! It had the same amount of humor (if not more, Kitty was out of this world hilarious), romance, and just enough drama to have my keep turning the page. So much so that I finished over half of it in a few hours and finished it a couple of days later in less time.

What have you been loving lately? 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Campus Style #1

Tis the season of college campus fashion. No matter where you go, you're going to see a mixture of students dressing up and dressing down. Nobody cares what you look like on campus, honestly. If they do, they should probably care about other things (unless I see you wearing cargo shorts, I am not physically able to let those slide). However, if you're feeling up for "dressing up" for classes, here are some cute outfits depending on the weather. A lot of the times it's warm outside but freezing in classrooms. Or maybe that's just me because all of my classes are in computer labs...I digress, here are some outfit ideas!




Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Room Tour

Raise your hand if you're sick of hearing me talk about my new apartment. *raises hand* I am definitely the type of person who will not stop talking about something if it's something I'm insanely excited about (which is precisely why I have not shut up about Harry Styles for the past four years). My room is nowhere near complete. It need some new organization (and maybe a new desk), some new wall art, a little this and that, but I'm happy with it right now! 

I'll try to list where I got everything if possible! I wasn't going for any sort of theme. Honestly, I'm the worst at sticking to an "aesthetic" so like one side of my room is totally pink, my bedding is navy and coral, and then the left side of my room is like a mismatch of everything. It's sort of a mess, which is why it's me in a nutshell.


Bedding: (Kensie) Marshall's
Throw pillows: Marshall's, Home Goods, Kate Spade


Desk chair: Target


Bedside table: The Christmas Tree Shoppe
Fur rug: Home Goods



Jewelry box: Urban Outfitters
Candles: Urban Outfitters and Bath and Body Works
Notebook: Kate Spade


Desk: Old (it's the desk I used in elementary school and some of middle school!)



Drawers: Target
Agenda: Ban.do
Calendar: Erin McDowell



Candles: Home Goods
Notebook: Home Goods
Books: Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham, P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han, Suri's Burn Book by Allie Hagan, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso, To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han, and It by Alexa Chung
Marquee Light: Target


Table: Target
Agenda: Kate Spade
Candle: Bath and Body Works


Mug: Francesca's Collection (because I LITERALLY CAN'T with anything)
Magazine rack: Urban Outfitters

Monday, August 24, 2015

I Forgot A Blog Post


For over a year, I've posted a blog post every day. They're not all massive pieces. In fact, most of them are very little copy, a couple of bad jokes, and a mediocre picture. It's something I'm trying to work on, but it always depends on my schedule and my inspiration. I was in a pretty bad creative slump this summer that is still happening, which is a main cause for some less-than-spectacular posts. But, since I cherish being able to keep up with a schedule, I powered through the rut to try to put out content every day.

On Friday, I missed a day. I don't know how it happened. I mean, I do, but I don't know why it happened. I didn't have a post prewritten, I didn't wake up early enough to do it before work, and then I went to hang out with friends as soon as I got home. I ran out of data at work and didn't have my laptop to entertain me. It was the last thing on my mind and I genuinely didn't remember until my friend and I were walking home. It hit me and I was upset for a few seconds until I realized that it wasn't the end of the world. 

Out of the 365+ days that I've been daily blogging, I haven't missed a day. Sure, I've posted later than normal. I've also done double posts. Really, in the grand scheme of things, missing a post isn't a massive deal and I'm sort of proud of myself for not treating it as one (though, I might have to get back into the pre-writing thing because I'd prefer if it didn't happen again). I didn't stress myself out because of it, I didn't let myself get down on it. I decided to write my next post and move on. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Good Reads

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1. Desk Inspiration My desk space is probably the most cherish portion of my room. I live for stationery and all of those goodies that come along with decorating a desk.

2. J'Adore J. Crew God, I can't even bear to look at the J. Crew website. I've been a good girl and haven't given it a scroll in quite some time. I barely even went to the outlet this summer because J. Crew has the ability to rob me of all of my money...but look at how cute those shoes are...

3. Poppy Red I am a massive fan of red lips and lace overlay, so this look was right up my alley.

4. The NEW Bows & Sequins I'm fascinated with redesigns and everything that goes into them, so this was such a cool post to see, especially with the inspiration mood board and the color scheme.

5. Real Talk: On Being a Hermit My biggest issue is getting myself out there. Once I'm out with friends, I'm fine. I just am incapable of making plans myself.

6. How to Track the Success of Your Blog Content Filing this under things I should start paying more attention to

7. Lace-Up Flats Perfect For Fall I need more shoes for fall. It's not even negotiable at this point.

8. 10 Fall Staples For Every Budget All of these fall posts make me want to fast forward through the rest of summer ASAP.

9. Cool Beans! Leandra Made Fall Coats with Veda Ask my roommate, I was practically crying over the tan trench with the red belt.

10. Transitioning to Fall: Summer Cape I WANT A CAPE SO, SO BAD.

11. Romper Rendezvous Is it possible for Jessica to look bad? I don't think so. This romper is AMAZING.

12. On Being Broken Everything Kelsey writes is so beautiful, I just want to bind it up and put it into a book.

What have you been reading lately?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Fall Semester Pep Talk & Goals


Well, here we are, two days away from the start of my third year. I’d be lying if I said that I was excited for fall semester to start. I’m feeling very weary about my classes and my course of study, like maybe it’s not for me anymore. I mean, I decided that I wanted to do it when I was seventeen. Honestly, I was a different person. But, with that unsureness aside, I just can’t help but get nervous about classes starting! I adore learning. I’ve always loved school. I just can’t stop being hard on myself. I tend to overwork myself, spreading myself too thin so I can stay on top of everything and anything. I like to be busy, busy, busy. Maybe it’s so I don’t have time to think about other things in life, or maybe I just genuinely hate sleep and free time that much.

My grades have always been, and will always be as long as it’s still applicable, incredibly important to me. I like seeing A’s on my transcripts, notes from professors on my assignments commending me on good work. I like knowing that all of the time that I’m putting into school pays off. I’m not saying you need A’s to make it seem like your education is worth it. Trust me, as long as you’re feeling like you’re getting something out of it, it’s worth it. I’ve talked about it before, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with B’s and C’s. I think we’re conditioned to believe that anything less than an A is “failure” for some strange reason. You have not failed if you didn’t get a perfect score, if you didn’t ace one exam or two exams or even all of the exams. A lot of emphasis is put on these massive assignments and they drive us so crazy that we don’t even want to do them.

Fall semester seems a lot more terrifying ahead of time. Fifteen weeks seems like such a long time, despite knowing from my past two years that those weeks fly by. It seems so daunting before it starts and then I dive headfirst into it and I don’t even notice the weeks going by. It’s bizarre! Yet, I know this, and I still can’t help but get anxious about classes beginning on Monday. Drats! 

Goals

I have my yearly goals, my seasonal goals, and now I have my goals set for a semester. Most of them are small little things, sort of like a glorified “to do list.” 

1. Go to more school sporting events

2. See at least two concerts (not counting One Direction, you dweeb)

3. Get a pair of riding boots to call your own

4. Take more outfit photos downtown for this blog

5. Be the best Francesca I can be


What’s one thing that you want to get accomplished during your fall semester?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Things I'm Loving

1. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter Pressed in Opal

This was one of those "treat yo'self" purchases that I cherish so dearly. I love rewarding myself for silly little things just as much as I love rewarding myself for big life accomplishments. This was a combination of both, I think. I've had my eyes set on one of these powders on and off for a few months now. As you know, most of my beauty purchases are lipstick, so I put a lot of other things on the back burner. Before lipstick, I was obsessed with blushes and before blushes, it was eyeshadow palettes.

Highlighting my cheekbones is one of those necessary beauty steps for me. I feel like it's such a simple and easy way to add dimension and life into your face. You swipe it on the high points of your face with a light hand and it gives you such a natural glow. This one in particular is so insanely pigmented. All you need is the slightest tap of your brush against it and you can do both cheeks, honestly. I usually run mine along the bridge of my nose, on my cupids bow, and on my forehead and chin just for a little extra glow. The color is the perfect golden shade. It's not so intense that it looks like a halloween costume as a Grecian goddess, but it definitely gives you that summer glow look no matter what time of year.

2. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

I cannot even tell you how long I've been pining after this palette. I almost exclusively go to Sephora's within JcPenneys because that's just where the closest one is. They obviously don't see all of Sephora's products, which means I've been missing out on a good chunk of brands because of where I shop. However, I finally went to a real Sephora and didn't get completely sucked into the lipsticks, which gave me time to look at everything else in the store.

This was all the rage in the YouTube beauty community a year or two ago and I was always super curious about it. But, alas, I had no opportunities to go out and get it. I wanted to be able to see it in person and swatch it, which is ironic because as soon as I passed the Hourglass display at Sephora, I picked up the box without so much as looking at the tester they had on display.

Basically, this is a palette with three different luminous setting powders. Each are meant to reflect light differently off of your face, but I genuinely just mix them all together and apply it lightly as if I was putting on my normal setting powder. I swear, it is magic in a palette. It gives such a nice overall sheen, but it's not sweaty in the slightest. It's not the same glow that a highlighter would give, it's almost just like an overall skin perfecter. I feel like it blends out imperfections with the way it reflects the light and I am so glad to have it in my makeup routine now.


3. Sally Hansen Pacific Blue Polish

I've been pretty lazy about painting my nails as of late, which is something that actually bothers me. When my nails aren't painted, I have a nervous habit of biting them, which is totally gross. It's one of the reasons I constantly have them painted, aside from the fact that unpainted nails on me drives me crazy. I usually use this color on my toes, but I figured that now is as good a time as ever to paint my nails this color. It's a vibrant cobalt blue and is so opaque. It applies like a dream in one coat, two if you really want an intense blue color on your nails. I've had mine on for almost an entire week and it's barely wearing at the tips!

What have you been loving lately?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Open Toe Booties

We've reached the final (tears) look in my little photo series with my friend Katie. I figured we'd end it with a bang, which calls for full-bodied dresses, peep toe booties, and MAC's Party Parrot lipstick. Factor in the beautiful exterior of a museum, your best friend taking your photos, and a gorgeous wedding party coming in halfway through your pictures and nearly making you cry because they were so perfect and you'll get this day!






Dress: eShakti
Shoes: Steve Madden
Lipstick: Party Parrot (LE, Impassioned is similar) from MAC




It's never a proper outfit post without a decent amount of blooper shots. So without further ado...a little #BehindTheBlog of what a majority of photos look like.




This is still my favorite photo of the day, I just wish my hair hadn't blown at the most inopportune time! I tried so hard to retake this photo, but it never quite worked out. *sigh*


I am literally laughing at nothing. What are my legs doing? Why are my feet like that? Why am I like this?


I'm really really into this pose. Perhaps I was giving myself a head massage?


Practicing for that moment when Harry Styles is in front of me...or wiping lipstick off of my teeth, whichever.


Lo and behold, the ultimate sass look for this shoot.


When you're ready come and get it????


I feel like I should be hailing a cab. Or doing a little dance.


BYE FELICIA!


~ BOSSSSSS, Michelle Obama, purse so heavy getting Oprah dollars ~


An crude comment could be made, so I'll let you all get creative with that one...

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Francesca's Bookshelf: August 2015



Vogue - September 2015 / Vanity Fair - September 2015 / 
Glamour - September 2015 / Marie Claire - September 2015 /
Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham / 
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han 

What are you reading this month?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Teen Choice Awards Fashion

As your resident teen (only for a few more months!!!!!), I figured it'd be fun to go through the red carpet (well, blue carpet, but whatever) for yesterday's Teen Choice Awards. I admittedly did not watch any of the show, but I did watch Little Mix's performance because those four ladies are my life as of late.


1. Sarah Hyland in Christian Siriano


2. Gina Rodriquez in Alberta Ferretti


3. Lucy Hale in Julien Macdonald


4. Zendaya in Ashi Studio


5. Maia Mitchell in Giamba

So, it wasn't all that surprising that I wasn't insane impressed by many people on the red carpet, but my red carpet faves didn't disappoint!