Saturday, March 1, 2014

February Recap!

February is finally OVER and I am so OVER winter. Chicago has been the worst this winter. I was joking to my mom the other day that at the start of this winter, there was a group of people who were like, "this is Chicago! Get used to it, babies!" And at this point, even those people are finally admitting that this winter has been too long, too cold, and too gross. I have high hopes that March will finally bring some warmer weather that doesn't make me want to curl up and cry.

I've decided that I would like to start doing a monthly recap to go over the books I've read this month, and the non-bookish things that I have been loving that I don't get a chance to really talk about on this blog. I have a lot of interests and things that take up my time outside of reading and books, so this will be my one time in the month to put it all out there!

Favorite Things That Happened in February: 

  • I kicked off my month by seeing Neutral Milk Hotel at the Riviera! This was the first concert I've ever been to by myself and it was so special. I started listening to Neutral Milk Hotel years ago, and they were one of those bands that I thought I would never get a chance to see live. After years of not touring together, they finally did, and I bought my tickets all the way back in August. It was such a special show, like seeing a comet really. And it was an experience I can't even put into words. I am so happy that I got the chance to see them, and hope to see them again this summer at Pitchfork. 
  • My first short fiction story, "If You Only Had a Heart" was published on Connu! If you download the iPhone/iPad app, it will be in the archives. Or you can read it online at this link. I was so proud of myself for having a published piece, and the feedback that I received from family and friends was amazing. One of the editors of Connu also told me that an actress from Scandal read it and thought it would be a great short film! When I read that at work, I had a huge freakout moment and spent a good fifteen minutes jumping up and down. 

  • A customer brought me flowers on Valentine's Day! It was a very big and sweet surprise. I love Valentine's Day and it was a very chaotic day at work, so that made someone bringing flowers even more special! My boyfriend and I went out to dinner at one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants, Pl-zen, and nommed on steak and mushroom risotto and drank my favorite beer. A+ Valentine's Day.

  • Boyfriend and I had a whirlwind date day! We started a trial membership on HowAboutWe and scooped up some dates for last Saturday. Our date day started out at the IKC Dog Show. I used to be obsessed with dogs when I was little, and who doesn't love the movie Best in Show? We had a lot of fun petting the fluffy show dogs, even though I was afraid I was messing up their hair? It probably would have been more fun if we had a dog, since all of the vendors were dog-related, but it was interesting! After the dog show, we headed to Chinatown for lunch, enjoyed some bubble tea, and spent way too much money on Pocky and candy. Then, we went to The Hashbrown, a chili cook off hosted by Spudnik Press. HowAboutWe hooked it up with that date! We tried ten different chili's from ten different non-profit organizations, some delicious desert tamales, and had two cocktails. It was a ton of fun!
  • I've started to master latte art! After being a barista for several years now, I started to put my efforts into learning something new. I'm no where near pro-status yet, but knocking out these two lattes in a row with a leaf made me very happy! 
February Obsessions:
  • Sun Cups! These things are so delicious. Instead of peanut butter, there is sunflower seed butter encased in dark chocolate. At 99 cents for one cup, they're a little more expensive than the standard peanut butter cup, but they are so creamy and delicious. Addicted for sure. 
  • Lush beauty products. I work down the street from a Lush store and I am fully obsessed. I started using their Herbalism face wash, and even though it looks like green play dough and smells like vinegar, it is fabulous. It makes my face so soft, and I love the exfoliating bits of almonds. I am also a big fan of their Seaweed BB and Oat-i-fix face masks.  
  • MAC lipstick. I became a fan a couple of months ago when I started wearing 'Diva.' Then I got into 'Ruby Woo' when I received it for Christmas. I needed a more neutral color though, so I went to my favorite local MAC store and got hooked up with 'Twig.' I love this color because I can wear it on the daily with just about anything!
Favorite TV Shows: 
  • The wait for Portlandia is OVER. I am a big fan of Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen separately, so it's even better when they are together. I loved Date Fact-Checker, and died laughing over the couple who got a joint bank account together. Oh, and Kirsten Dunst was in that episode, so everything was golden.
  • To celebrate my first publication, boyfriend and I got HBO so now I can watch all of the episodes of Girls that I want. The Beach House episode was one of the best episodes of the whole series, and sparked a wonderful conversation between my friend and I. 
  • Keeping Up With the Kardashian's. Don't judge me! I thought the Kim and Kanye engagement episode was so sweet! 
Books I Read This Month: 
  • And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard : I enjoyed this story of a girl sent to boarding school after her boyfriend kills himself in their high school library, though I had wished the narrative was handled a little differently. 
  • 40 Things I Want to Tell You by Alice Kuipers : I was hooked by the drama in this novel, but was let down by how much the character strayed from her path, and thought one of the major relationships in the novel lacked chemistry. 
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart : I was lucky enough to get my grubby little hands on this book and I. LOVED. IT. SO. MUCH. I cannot wait for this book to come out and see all of the dialogue it sparks. This one had me sobbing and sobbing. 
  • This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales : This book didn't totally live up to the hype for me. I totally related to the theme of being saved by music and loved some of the songs that were mentioned, but I really did not like our main character Elise. 
  • The F-It List by Julie Halpern : I loved the friendship in this story about a girl fulfilling the tasks on her best friend who is dying of cancer's bucket list. This book also got big thumbs up for handling female sexuality in a healthy way that I've never seen before in YA. 
Current Read: 
  • A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki! I am loving this book so far. For the first time in a while, I busted out a pencil to underline my favorite passages. It's a huge book though, so it might take me a while to get through it. 
Now that I look at it, February was a pretty stellar month on all fronts! I hope that March can continue on this path of wonderfulness...and I hope that it brings some warm weather, too! The start of March will also force me to get creative with blog posts around here, because my current read is quite a chunk that might take me a little bit to get through. I'm severely behind on my Goodreads goal, but a lot of these books are worth getting behind!

How was your February? What were some of your favorites?


  1. A Tale for the Time Being has such a lovely cover. I'm glad to see you enjoying it. :)

    1. I am obsessed with this cover! It's a shame that I don't trust myself around books with dust jackets, so the dust jacket never gets to see the public ;)