Holy moly folks, can you believe it is time for another year end round up? I can’t believe that we are already looking back on 2016. Personally, a lot of good came out of 2016 so I’m going to focus on that instead of some of the other atrocities the year had to offer. Let’s accentuate the positive, shall we? Here is what you loved on Falon Loves Life the mostest this year:
10. A look inside the very carefully planned contents of my Disneyland bag. My motto? Be prepared!
9. Over the summer we stayed at the Grand Legacy Hotel in Anaheim, and y’all were interested in what I had to say about the local Disneyland property.
7. AP Days at the Disneyland Resort is always one of my favorite times, and this year’s event was pretty good (though not as good as some years have been, not gonna lie).
6. All the Bright Places was one of the best YA books I have ever read, so I’m not surprised this review made the list.
5. Frozen Live at the Hyperion opened to mixed reviews from Disneyland diehards, these were my personal thoughts on the subject.
4. Anaheim’s only rooftop bar, the Fifth, had it’s grand opening this year, which I was happy to get to attend. I offered you a sneak peek at one of the best fireworks viewing locations there is in the city.
3. It’s hard to believe it has only been a year since I made my first pair of fabric covered ears. I have since made many more, but these Star Wars ones were my first, and your faves.
2. Another popular craft this year was this super cute Harry Potter tote bag that I still love and use all the time.
2016 was an interesting year to say the least. I could say many things about the year in general, but I don’t want to be a downer. Instead, I thought I would share with you some of the best books I read this year because reading is always a good thing. This year I was really able to get back in the swing of things book-reading wise and I am so happy to finally have some time for one of my favorite passions. I hope to read even more books next year, and I think I am going to need to start keeping track because I had a hard time remembering everything I read. But these are the books that stood out the most to me in 2016.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: Not going to lie, I only picked up this book because my version has a pink cover and it’s so pretty. But I really enjoyed reading Fangirl and I’m definitely going to add the companion book, Carry On, to my 2017 reading list.
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell: So I guess I discovered this year that I really like Rainbow Rowell! I picked up Eleanor and Park because there was a piece in one of my Owl Crate boxes designed around it and I was so happy I did. Definitely a fun and easy read, but also one with a lot of substance.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: I actually read the first four books in the Throne of Glass series this year (still waiting for the last one to come out in paperback), but Throne of Glass was my favorite. I haven’t loved the other three as much as I did the first one.
Cress by Marissa Meyer: So the Lunar Chronicles series is one of the few series where I think I equally enjoyed all four books. I read them all this year (if you haven’t read the series yet, make sure you start with Cinder) and I LOVED them. It was hard to pick a favorite, but Cress and her love interest were my favorite couple so I decided to go with her story as my choice.
Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: Look, I read adult books too! So at first I had mixed feelings about Night Circus, but really the writing is just so beautiful that I had to put it on my list. This is one I really want to go back and reread, so I just need to make it through my TBR list so I have time!
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: OMG, another adult book! So Girl on the Train is not in my normal vein of what I like to read, but it was one of those books that everyone was talking about so I figured I had to check it out. It was a fast read for me, and it was entertaining. And even though it was kind of weird and creepy, it didn’t give me nightmares, which I appreciate.
Overall, 2016 was a great year for books in my opinion. I’m currently working on my reading list for 2017. Any recommendations for me to add to my list? Let me know!
Alright homeys, time to get real. Christmas is this week y’all. If you are anything like me then you tend to save a lot of your holiday prep for the last minute (ask me how many presents I’ve wrapped…hint, it starts with a z and ends with an ero). Luckily, I discovered the best way to make cookies in about the shortest amount of time possible. Seriously, the only thing faster than this recipe is buying premade dough or store bought cookies (and I feel like you gotta at least try to do homemade, just for effort’s sake). Plus, you only need four ingredients for these bad boys so set up and clean up is super fast.
Here’s what you need: one box of lemon cake mix, two eggs, 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, and powdered sugar.
First, mix the cake mix, oil, and eggs together. This took me about two minutes. The longest part of this process is the refrigeration. The dough needs to sit in the fridge for about an hour before it will be ready to bake. But the nice thing is that you can get other shit done during that hour while you wait. Toward the end of your hour, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and then get a small bowl ready with some powdered sugar. Once the dough is nice and firm, roll it into small (about one inch) balls and douse those puppies in the powdered sugar.
Place on a baking sheet and then bake at 350 for about nine minutes. Please note during the entire process, powdered sugar is the glitter of baking and it will be everywhere by the time you are done. Luckily, it cleans up nicely with a wet paper towel.
These lemon cookies are super tasty and legit easy to make. About two minutes of prep and nine minutes of bake time and you have yourself some delicious homemade cookies. One batch made about 30 cookies, though you could get more or less depending on the size you want.
Alright, so please tell me I am not the only one who waits until the last minute to get my holiday baking done. Anybody out there with me? Make me feel better about myself in the comments!
This post contains affiliate links. I was provided with a free copy of some or all of these books in exchange for my opinion. All thoughts are my own.
Hello book-loving friends! I have been doing a lot of reading lately and I have read some really great books that I want to share with you! Here is a look at what I recently read, what I am currently reading, and what is coming up next.
Read: I recently finished reading Winter, which is the fourth and final book in the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. This was bittersweet for me because I loved reading this series and I was so sad to see it come to an end. However, I really enjoyed Winter and I thought it was an awesome ending to the series. No spoilers, but I really, really liked how this ending differed from a lot of other YA series. I’ll leave it at that. If you haven’t read the series, get all four books because you are going to want to read them all!
Reading:Shylock is My Name by Howard Jacobson is a little more serious than what I usually like to read, but I was drawn to it because it is a Shakespeare adaptation and I am all about my main man Wills. This book is part of a collection of novels based on Shakespeare plays. This one takes the Merchant of Venice and gives it a bit of a modern spin. I love how the author has made the characters relatable for a modern audience and his spin on the plot is interesting. Definitely not as light and fun as many of my reads, but I’m enjoying it nonetheless.
Up Next: Today I posted some of my to be reads on my bookstagram account (@coffeebookswinerepeat) and asked my followers what I should read next. It was a pretty close vote between Red Queen and The Raven Boys, but TRB won out. I’m excited to start a new YA series and see what this one is all about!
What are you currently reading and what’s up next for you?
Well, folks, it’s Monday, which means we are all in need of a little cocktail, am I right? Today I have a super simple and delicious holiday cocktail recipe for you. This would be great for a party, and you could even make a big batch in a punch bowl if you wanted to serve it as an alcoholic punch. Here’s the ingredients you will need: vodka, cranberry raspberry spritzer (this particular one is from Trader Joe’s, but I have seen similar drinks at most supermarkets), and an orange. How pretty is that orange? I sent Matt to the market and told him I needed a photogenic orange (exact words) and he delivered this beauty!
For the drink, mix two shots of vodka and two shots of the cranberry raspberry spritzer. Then squeeze the juice from half of the orange into your drink and mix together. I don’t recommend shaking since the juice is carbonated, just give it a good stir. If you are not a huge vodka fan, you can always add more of the juices to mask the flavor. Adjust to your taste! You could also add ice if you so desire, but since I always keep my vodka in the freezer and the juice was refrigerated, I didn’t need it.
This cocktail is super yummy and super easy to make, plus it came out to be the perfect color for a holiday drink! I would definitely serve this at a party, it would make a great Christmas cocktail!
All the decor in these pictures can be found at Target. The gold polka dot glasses and the mini Christmas trees were in the dollar bins, and the light up “Cheers” sign was in the party section (and it was only $12, total score in my opinion!).
Happy holidays friends! What are you going to be drinking tonight?
Hello friends and welcome to another edition of Life Right Now. I cannot believe it is already December, and I cannot believe how often I talk about how fast time is going these days. I guess that means I’m officially old. Bleh. Well, despite it being quiet season on the wedding front, I have been slacking like nobody’s business on the blog front. I’m just not feeling super inspired these days, but hopefully I will find my mojo again soon! In the meantime, here’s what’s happening right now…
Making a couple of cute little crafts to give as Christmas gifts. Drinking red wine! I love my summer whites, but I also enjoy the few months out of the year when the weather is cool and red wine actually sounds appealing to me. Reading I am almost finished with the Lunar Chronicles series and it is so good! Wanting motivation to blog again! Playing Christmas music and all my sassy podcasts.
The Lunar Chronicles series is sooooo good!
Wishing time would slow down! Enjoying the new seasons of Vanderpump Rules and Ladies of London. I heart you Bravo. Waiting for the last book in the Lunar Chronicles to arrive! Liking my work space after a huge decluttering! Wondering if my business is going to continue to grow next year (let’s hope!). Loving the freedom of working for myself. Hoping I start to see some success from my blog and social media accounts. Needing some sleep. I have turned into quite the night owl, which is great except for the rare occasions when Squirt decides to wake up early. Wearing sweaters!!!!
The grizzly at California Adventure is also enjoying sweater weather!
Following lots of pretty bookstagram accounts, I even started one of my own! Find me @coffeebookswinerepeat! Noticing how loquacious Squirt is turning out to be. Knowing that it will be 2017 in the blink of an eye! Thinking about Christmas presents I need to buy. Anticipating the onslaught of business brought on by engagement season. Celebrating the holidays! Laughing at Squirt (as usual). His latest gem: Every time anyone says “Oh Squirt” (using his real name, obvs.), he responds with, “Oh [insert person’s name]”. He’s a character! Feeling happy, content, excited, and pensive.
I just wanna pet the elephant!!!
What’s going on it your life right now? Anything exciting planned for the holidays?
It is the season of giving, so today I have for you ten things that I am currently obsessed with. In case you want to buy me stuff, or need gift suggestions, or want to do some holiday shopping for yourself! These are some of my tried and true favorite things!
1. Defy Nail Polish.I discovered this brand at Target when I couldn’t stomach forking over $10 for Essie (my former go to brand). I am now obsessed with Defy. It goes on so easily and lasts a long time. I am tough on my nails, but my manicures have been holding on for at least a week, even with chasing a toddler and setting up a wedding. New favorite brand!
2.The Lunar Chronicles Series. I don’t know how it took me so long to read these books, but I freaking love them. They are sci-fi adaptations of fairy tales, and they are so well written. I have read all of them but the final book, which I am anxiously awaiting as we speak!
3. Romeo and Juliet. Okay, so this one isn’t totally new, but I’m experiencing a resurgence of my love for R and J. I love Shakespeare and R and J was the first Shakespeare play I ever read. I have been rereading the play and watching as many versions as I can. I was not super impressed with the latest Broadway production, Orlando Bloom was one of the few bright spots (and not just because he’s super delicious) but I’m going to cleanse my palette with the Leo version soon.
5. Vanderpump Rules. This again, is nothing new. I have loved VPR from the beginning (as a former waitress, I can attest to it being one of the realest reality shows there is). Now that I am an avid listener of Stassi’s podcast I feel like I have a whole new insight into the cast and their relationships and I love it!
6. Owl Crate. If you are a frequenter of my blog then you have probably happened upon one or more of my Owl Crate reveals. Owl Crate is a subscription box for young adult lit fans like myself and it just keeps on getting better and better. The theme for the December box is Epic and I am so excited to see what it includes!
7. Chapstick, the original. Now that it is winter, my lips have been dry AF and I freaking hate that feeling. I used to use a lot of the trendier “all natural” lip balms, but they seemed to make my lips drier, not more moisturized. So I went back to the original brand and I have been loving how my lips feel!
8. The Crown. I have always been a fan of British history, so I was super psyched to see the trailers for The Crown on Netflix. Well, I of course flew through the first season in a matter of days and now I am waiting on pins and needles for season two–which doesn’t come out for a whole year!
9. Michael Kors Crossbody. This is the perfect bag for a day at Disneyland with Squirt. I can put all my big items (emergency kit, glasses case, etc.) in the diaper bag, but I don’t like leaving my wallet in the stroller when we go on rides. This bag is perfect because it holds my wallet and my phone and it stays out of the way and keeps my hands free to deal with the little dude.
10. Home Goods. From what I can tell, Home Goods stores are not in all areas of the country, and I feel so bad for those of you who may not have access. Home Goods is a discount store selling–wait for it–goods for the home. They have the best selection of cute mugs, plus so many other awesome and unexpected goodies like stationery and kids’ books. It’s basically my favorite store.
Well, that about covers my current obsessions. What are you currently obsessed with? Let me know so I can find some new obsessions for next time!