Monday, December 31, 2012

Favorite Reads of 2012

My ideal morning is waking up when the sky is gently lit by the sun and going for a morning run. And after jumping in the shower and making breakfast, I enjoy getting back in bed and reading a good book. The feeling is even more amazing when there's heavy rain that can accompany my books. So since 2012 is coming to a close, I thought there would be nothing better than to summarize my 2012 by telling you my favorites reads. 

Back in March, I decided that I wanted to read 50 new books by the end of 2012. Since then, I've changed the contingencies a bit. I decided to allow rereading books since discouraging the act of rereading was a bit ridiculous. With that strict rule, what motivation would I have had to reread The Hobbit, the book I read over a decade ago? Or, Fahrenheit 451 which I probably read about 8 years ago and barely remembered. I realized the rule was slightly too limiting so I changed it to this: books can count towards the 50, as long as they have been unread for at least 1 year. (So despite the numerous times I have read The Fault In Our Stars in the past 12 months, I counted it only once.)

I won't be listing all 50 books since 1.) a list isn't incredibly interesting unless I am able to comment on all the books in some way and 2.) that would take far too much time, and 3.) there were some books I read that I really don't care for and therefore don't want to waste time talking about them.

So the main thing I wanted to accomplish in this post was giving you 10 of my favorite NEW books that I read this year. Keep in mind, this was a difficult list to assemble and there were many books that I wrestled with adding/deleting from this list so if you know I read a book this year and didn't include in on this list (ie: The Casual Vacancy, The Handmaid's Tale) don't assume I didn't enjoy it as well.

But without further ado, here are my favorite books of 2012!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013 New Year Resolutions

When it comes to New Year resolutions, I'm definitely of the kind who believe that it doesn't need to be a new year in order to set new goals. But a new set of 12 months are great markers for change and improvement. And if something can motivate individuals to change for the better, why not embrace it?

runner, Nike photo)

So without the lengthy introduction that I'm prone to supplying, here's my new year resolutions for 2013! (subject to editing if I can think of more)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

NOTD: OPI "The One That Got Away" + Zoya "Kissy"

Today's notd is very much inspired by the fast-approaching new year. It combines a beautiful shimmery magenta, OPI "The One That Got Away" (Katy Perry Collection) with a fun Zoya glitter, "Kissy" (Gem & Jewels Holiday Collection).

([L-R]: OPI "The One That Got Away," Zoya "Kissy")

Sunday, December 23, 2012

25th Day of Christmas: OPI "Goldeneye" + China Glaze "Party Hearty"

Here I present you the last manicure in my 25 Days of Christmas Manicure Series. I knew that for the last manicure I had to do something that just screamed Christmas, and nothing does that more than an incredible gold polish, and an eye-catching holiday glitter!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

24th Day of Christmas: China Glaze "Manhunt" + OPI "Pirouette My Whistle" + China Glaze "Techno"

Today's manicure is a dark blue with some shimmer and matches my pajamas. It involves China Glaze's "Manhunt" with two glitters, OPI's "Pirouette My Whistle" and China Glaze's "Techno."

Friday, December 21, 2012

23rd Day of Christmas: China Glaze "Phat Santa" + Sephora by OPI "Be-Claus I Said So"

I'm actually surprised by the small amount of red holiday manicures I have done. So for the 23rd Day of Christmas I have a red manicure utilizing China Glaze's "Phat Santa," and Sephora by OPI "Be-Claus I Said So."

Thursday, December 20, 2012

22nd Day of Christmas: OPI "Gone Gonzo"

For the 22nd Day of Christmas I have yet another single-polish manicure for a chunky glitter from last year's OPI Muppets collection, "Gone Gonzo."

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

21st Day of Christmas: OPI "Excuse Moi"

For the 21st Day of Christmas Manicure I have another single-polish manicure for OPI's "Excuse Moi" from last years Muppets Collection.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

20th Day of Christmas: China Glaze "Champagne Kisses"

For the 20th Day of Christmas I have another single-polish manicure from the newest China Glaze holiday collection, China Glaze's "Champagne Kisses."

Monday, December 17, 2012

19th Day of Christmas: China Glaze "Frosty" + China Glaze "Party Hearty"

Today I have a festive manicure that looks very delicate, yet fun, if you're headed to a Christmas party. It incorporates one of my favorite holiday glitters, China Glaze's "Party Hearty" over a frosty white, China Glaze "Frosty."

Sunday, December 16, 2012

18th Day of Christmas: Essie "Borrowed and Blue" +

For the 18th Day of Christmas, I have for you a manicure that, to me, screams "winter wonderland." It combines a pale blue, Essie's "Borrowed and Blue," and a silver glitter, OPI's "Pirouette My Whistle."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

17th Day of Christmas: China Glaze "Mistletoe Kisses"

Today's Christmas manicure is less loud than the previous ones. It's a single-polish manicure featuring China Glaze's "Mistletoe Kisses."

Friday, December 14, 2012

Matched: A Book Review

There will be NO SPOILERS in this review. Enjoy! (:

I finished Veronica Roth's Insurgent a week ago and heard that Matched was another decent book in the realm of teen dystopian novels and decided to pick it up.

(photographed: Ally Condie's Matched)

"Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

16th Day of Christmas: China Glaze "Frostbite" + China Glaze "Snow Globe"

Today's nail of the day is a blue one. I've been meaning to disrupt the red and green repetition with a blue manicure and am finally doing so. This manicure uses two China Glaze polishes, "Frostbite" and "Snow Globe."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

15th Day of Christmas: Zoya "Elisa" + China Glaze "Party Hearty"

Today's nail of the day is another incredibly festive one. It uses one of my favorite glitters, China Glaze's "Party Hearty," over a red base, Zoya "Elisa."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

14th Day of Christmas: China Glaze "Glittering Garland" + China Glaze "Winter Holly"

Time for a green holiday nail of the day!

Today nail of the day reminds me of wreaths and Christmas trees. I'll be combining China Glaze's "Glittering Garland" (though any dark green base will do) and China Glaze's "Winter Holly," the star of today's notd.

Monday, December 10, 2012

13th Day of Christmas: China Glaze "White on White" + Sephora by OPI "Be-Claus I Said So"

Today's nail of the day is a fun one. It combines a basic white, China Glaze "White on White" with a chunky red glitter in a clear base, Sephora by OPI's "Be-Claus I Said So."

Saturday, December 8, 2012

12th Day of Christmas: China Glaze "Mrs. Claus"

Happy 12th Day of Christmas Manicure! We are officially halfway there! (technically .5 days to go, but that's not entirely relevant in these terms so I'm going to say we're halfway anyway). And for today's nail of the day, I have a single-polish manicure, China Glaze's "Mrs. Claus."

Friday, December 7, 2012

11th Day of Christmas: OPI "Warm and Fozzie" + OPI "The Living Daylights"

Christmas is only a few weeks away and today I have for you another nail combination that involves OPI "The Living Daylights" from the Skyfall collection. I layered it over OPI's "Warm and Fozzie" from last year's holiday collection and I really like the turnout.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

10th Day of Christmas: China Glaze "Jolly Holly" + China Glaze "Party Hearty"

Get ready for another glittery notd featuring China Glaze's "Party Hearty." This time, I am layering it over a green polish, China Glaze's "Jolly Holly."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

9th Day of Christmas: China Glaze "Phat Santa" + China Glaze "Ring in the Red"

I mentioned in my Holiday notd yesterday that I would would be doing a notd today for what I considered to be the classic holiday manicure. And what I have for you is a gorgeous glittery red manicure using China Glaze 's "Phat Santa" and "Ring in the Red." These two combine to make an eye-catching manicure that is relatively easy to wear, and is a must in the holiday season.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

8th Day of Christmas: OPI "Just A Little At This" + OPI "The Living Daylights"

It's the 8th Day of Christmas Manicures, and I have for you a combination of a deep wine creme and a chunky glitter to put you in the holiday spirit.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Divergent: A Book Review

There will be NO SPOILERS in this review! Enjoy (:

Even though I said I probably wouldn't be posting book reviews for a few more weeks, I couldn't resist. I stumbled across Veronica Roth's Divergent about 1.5 years ago when I was looking for a book that would satisfy my Hunger Games pangs. In passing, I even mistook the flame on the cover for the mockingjay symbol, but I hesitated and put the book out of my mind- until recently. On a whim, and after reading some Defoe, Austen, Radcliffe, and Burney I was itching for something fun (not that society/manners/British culture aren't fun, but you know what I mean). And by now my Hunger Games pangs have dissipated so Divergent didn't have much space to fill. So, why not?

(photographed: Veronica Roth's Divergent)

And because I'm always wary about giving book descriptions (I often give too little, but fear giving too much) here's the description straight from Amazon:

"In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her."