reading list – volume: 2

Wooo! I’ve finally read 3 more books.  As hard as I try to make reading more of a priority in my life, I always end up looking through the DVR instead.  It’s definitely one of the goals I’m working on, and I’m hoping if I make it quantifiable it will help. Look out for a post about goals in the future.

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1. The Girls by Emma Cline

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I had been hearing a lot of hype about this book around the time of its publication from many of the websites and magazines that I read.  Unfortunately, I don’t think it lived up to the hype. As a lover of true crime stories, I was intrigued by a fictional account of a Charles Manson-like cult, but the book just could not hold my attention.

I didn’t go into the book thinking any of the characters would be particularly likable (it is about murderous cult members after all). I guess I just didn’t realize how much I wouldn’t enjoy a book in which I’m not invested in the well being of any of the character. One of the easiest way to gauge my enjoyment of a book is how quick I finish it.  With this book, I never wanted to pick it back up, and when I did, I read fast so I could get through it and on to the next book.

2. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

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As I said, when I like a book I will tear through it, and this was a prime example of that. After my girls’ night last weekend, all I wanted to do on Saturday was chill, and ‘Me Before You’ was the perfect companion. I know I’m a few years behind on this book, but I’ve always wanted to read it.  With the movie starting to arrive OnDemand, I decided it was time to read it so I could watch the movie the next rainy Saturday that comes my way. To be honest, it took me a little bit of time to get hooked, but once Will and Lou’s (I always want to call her Emilia, as she is played by Khaleesi in the movie) relationship really picked up, I was all in. I’m sure many of you have heard that the book is a real tear jerker, so I’d advise not finishing it on a plane or train.

3. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

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My favorite book of this set is ‘Big Little Lies’ which I finished yesterday, after starting it Saturday.  I had a lazy weekend at my parents’ house, and a juicy novel was a great pairing with the puppy snuggles I was receiving. The book is set in modern day Australia, and follows the politics and friendships between the kindergarten mothers in a wealthy suburb.  Doesn’t sound like your cup of tea? Add a murder that is being investigated at the school’s annual trivia night and hop on board. The book has a twist ending (don’t they all?) that delivers, and as I finished I wanted to run to the store to pick up another of Liane Moriarty’s books ASAP. ‘Big Little Lies’ has been developed by Reese Witherspoon’s production company as a mini series for HBO. You can watch the first teaser trailer here.

Have you guys read any good books lately? I’m thinking of picking up ‘Sweetbitter’ next, but I’m easily distracted at Barnes & Noble (and as soon as I log onto Amazon).

Hope everyone has a good week! Happy Halloween!

xo
Em

 

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girls just want to have fun – tips for a grown up slumber party

Now that the weather is getting cooler, I’m much more inclined to curl up on the couch on the weekends instead of hitting up the bars.  Last night was definitely one of those nights. Luckily, I had been planning a sleepover with one of my BFFs Hannah (who is one of Third & Girl’s biggest fans and commenters, Hi Han!), and it was just what the doctor ordered.  Here are my tips for the ultimate girls night:

First and foremost, comfort is key.  You’ve got to be set up in your comfiest athleisure in order to really get the full on slumber party experience. I decided on my Nap Queen sweatshirt (seen here) and some leggings but, I’ve rounded up some of my other favorite pieces below.

sleepover-collageClockwise from top left: BRUNETTE ‘Babes Who Brunch’ Crewneck, SOCKART ‘Squad Goals’ Crew Socks, Ugg ‘Watts’ Terry Leggings, Make + Model Plain Flannel Lounge Pants, patricia green ‘Queen Bee’ Embroidered Slipper, Chaser I Love Dogs Pullover

Next, you need to make sure you’re armed with some delicious beverages.  We decided on Cinnamon Fall Pear Cider, we used this recipe.  A note if you use the same recipe, its only a recipe for one drink, so be sure to multiply as necessary. We ended up using 3 cups of sugar in our simple syrup, which made for a very sticky counter but a very delicious cocktail.

Once we were dressed and had beverage in hand, we curled up on the couch with a movie.  Unfortunately, Hocus Pocus wasn’t on the 13 Nights of Halloween, so we settled on ‘The Intern’.  Some other personal sleepover favorites are: ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’, and ‘Pitch Perfect’.

It was a great night full of laughter, reminiscing, and girl talk. Just what the doctor ordered leading into this chilly Saturday morning.

Do you guys have any other sleepover tips? Favorite drinks? Let me know in the comments.

xo
Em

things I learned – ben & lauren: episode 1

I’m back for the second time this week! Not sure what has gotten into me, but I think I’m just giving myself the freedom to write what I want instead of what I think I should write. As always, what you guys want to read is the most important to me, so please let me know what kinds of posts you like the most!

The long awaited premiere of ‘Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?’ was last night, and it did not disappoint (honestly, this show was never going to disappoint me #Ben+Lauren4Eva). The show follows Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell after their engagement on ‘The Bachelor’ and shows how they are adjusting to life as an engaged couple after only knowing each other for a few months.  I’m not going to get into the nuts and bolts of their relationship, but we did learn some things about both Ben and Lauren over the course of the hour long reality show.

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1. Ben had dreams about clowns and Jesus as a child
Lauren wants to get to know Ben even better so she asks him if he has any deep, dark secrets. His response: “I am super scared of clowns.” Not only that, but he would have dreams about a tall clown and a small clown chasing his family. Only two topics of dreams in that head of Ben Higgins, Jesus and clowns.

2. Lauren is really interested in the art of street sweeping
While sitting on the porch, Lauren comments that she didn’t know street sweeping was real, she thought it was just an excuse for cops to give tickets to cars on the street.  She says, “I would love to do, like a ride-along, one day with a street sweeper”. Ben laughs her off saying that she’s witnessing the job at that very moment, but as Lauren says, “there’s a lot of buttons in there.”

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3. Ben doesn’t know how to pronounce jalapeño.
Ben and Lauren are out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant and are endulging in some nachos. Both of them comment that they are pretty good but are a bit spicy. Ben says, “There’s a lot of jalape-nos in there”. Luckily, Lauren was there to teach him how to pronounce the tilda that accents the ‘n’.

Did you guys learn anything else about Ben and Lauren? Are you excited to follow their relationship? Let me know in the comments!

xo
Em

J.Crew x New Balance Activewear

Have you guys seen the new J.Crew and New Balance collaboration? In case you haven’t, I wanted to share some of the items because I am legit obsessed! I’ve only been able to find a range of price points ($15-$200) and no item specific pricing but I’m praying that the $15 isn’t just for socks or a headband.

Here are some of my favorite looks:

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The polka dot panels on these leggings are so fun! The non-solid print adds an unexpected dimension, and the lines look really flattering.

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The navy and white stripe is classic J.Crew.

jcrew_terry-stripe_tank

I’m unsure what I love so much about this tank top. It might be the pure after workout glow of the model or how comfy it looks. Either way, this tank is super cute, and could definitely be worn from spin class to brunch.

The collection launches tomorrow(!), and a bunch of stores across the country are holding launch parties. You can see if there is a store near you here. If you make a purchase, you receive a pass to a workout!

Are you guys planning on checking out this line? And crossing your fingers that the prices are reasonable? Let me know!

xo
Em

source (you can check out the rest of the collection at this link too!)

small screen standouts: fall tv 2016

Ahh fall – pumpkin spice everything, a chill in the air, and new TV! I’ve taken it upon myself to watch most of the new shows the networks have put on their slate, and save you guys from wasting your time on the ones that are not going to last very long. Let’s get to the good ones!

1. This is Us

this-is-us-gifsource – ‘This is Us gifs’ is a fun google – lots of One Direction

Talking to my friends, it seems like everyone was most excited for ‘This is Us’ to premiere this fall. I’m not sure if it was the 1-2 punch of 90’s nostaliga in Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia or the fact that it gives off serious ‘Parenthood’ vibes that was making everyone so excited, but they were.

I’m happy to say that the hype was well deserved. This show is AMAZING. I’m a big sucker for family shows that leave you with happy tears at some point in every episode, and ‘This is Us’ definitely delivers on that front. The first two episodes had twist endings – I’m not sure if that is going to continue. All I know is my heart can’t take that many  more shocks. Lucky for me (and you!), the show has already been picked up for a full season, so you don’t have to worry about it getting cancelled just as you’re getting sucked in.

2. Speechless

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Based on the previews, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about ‘Speechless’. Its a half hour comedy that follows a family with three children, one who has cerebral palsy. Upon watching the show, it was important to me that J.J., the son with cerebral palsy, be a character vs. a plot device for the show to use.  I can say that I was pleasantly surprised, J.J. is probably the funniest character of them all. The show allows him to be just like any other teenage character on TV, with interests in girls and indepencence, who just happens to be a little different than everyone else. The family is goofy and wacky, very similar to its lead in family, the Goldbergs, but ultimately care about each other and have each others’ backs. Bonus points for featuring the Bachelor at the end of episode 2! ‘Speechless’ has also been picked up for a full season!

3. The Good Place

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The Good Place is an NBC comedy, featuring mega-watt stars Ted Danson and Kristen Bell. Bell stars as Eleanor, a recently deceased woman who has accidentally found herself in “The Good Place”, where everything is perfect and easy. The Good Place is reserved for only the best of the best, all of the U.S Presidents (except Lincoln) and even Florence Nightingale didn’t make the cut. We find out fairly early that Eleanor has been mistaken for some one else, and her life on Earth didn’t exactly qualify for her afterlife to be spent in the Good Place. Everyone in the Good Place meets their soulmate, and Eleanor’s is Chidi, an ethics professor.  As her soulmate, Eleanor trusts Chidi to keep her secret, and she confides in him that she is not supposed to be there. However, not wanting to leave, she counts on him to help her become a better person in order to earn her stay.

The show gives me Parks & Rec vibes, which is enough of a reason to keep me around. I’m interested to see where the storyline goes – as a sitcom that takes place in a perfect place, conflict has to arise from the characters more than the environment. I’m excited to see what stories they have planned.

I watched a few other shows that I definitely wouldn’t recommend (Son of Zorn – unless you like cartoon violence, Kevin Can Wait) and some I’m giving a couple more chances before I ultimately decide (Pitch). A few more shows are premiering in October, and there are a few others I didn’t get to, so I hope to find some more gems in a couple weeks.

Have you guys been watching any of these shows? Any shows I’m missing or should give another chance? Let me know!

xo
Em