Books

Owl Crate Subscription Box: July

This month I received my third subscription box from Owl Crate, which focuses on young adult literature, and I think it was my favorite one yet. In last month’s box we got a teaser, letting us know that July’s theme was royalty and I knew that the box was going to be awesome based on the theme alone. I mean, there’s not much I love more than crowns and jewels and books. I was super stoked when I opened up my box, and I wanted to share some of the goodies from inside with you!

owl crate subscription box

First, the novel for this month is My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. Not going to lie, I hadn’t heard of it before receiving my Owl Crate, but I love reading about British history so I think I am really going to like this one. I was also super stoked to open my Mystery Mini Funko and find Belle inside! I usually have the worst luck when it comes to mystery packages (the only Disney Legos I have gotten so far are Donald and Stitch, which were basically the only two I didn’t want) so I was really psyched to see Belle inside. She is one of my favorite Disney princesses.

owl crate subscription box

I really love this bracelet from Rich Love Shoppe, one because it is just really pretty, but also because I love this quote. I am a big fan of book inspired jewelry so this is something I will definitely wear.

owl crate subscription box

And how stinkin’ cute are these magnetic bookmarks from Craftedvan? I used to never use bookmarks because I was young and spry and could remember the page or chapter where I left off, but that is definitely not a thing anymore. So bookmarks are a must for me now and I love these little guys!

Seriously guys, if you are at all a fan of young adult lit, you really need to look into the Owl Crate subscription boxes. I have not been disappointed yet and I am always eagerly anticipating the next box. If you are interested in subscribing, please use this link and help me earn credits toward my Owl Crate account! It would be super cool of you! Click here to subscribe! Next month’s theme is Good vs. Evil and I imagine it’s going to be pretty epic!

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Book Review: The Crown and Flawed

Okay lovies, I don’t know what has gotten into me, but I have been reading like crazy lately (real books, not just free e-book romances!), and it is awesome. I feel like I haven’t been an actual reader since before Squirt was born, since brain power and sleep time haven’t exactly been in abundance for the past two years, but I am finally getting back on the horse and I have read so many good books lately (and some not so good, but still fun ones). I thought I would share two of my more interesting reads with you today and see if you have read them and what you thought of them.

Flawed and The Crown




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Owl Crate Young Adult Lit Book Subscription Box: April

This is NOT a sponsored post, I just love this product and want to share it with you. However there are affiliate links in this post.

I am a serious fan of young adult lit. Obviously you all now know of my intense Harry Potter devotion, but truly I love all (most) YA literature, and given the choice, I would much rather read YA lit than most “grown-up” books. So when I heard about Owl Crate‘s Young Adult Lit subscription box, I was like hells to the yes, sign me up. Actually I just clicked on their link and put in my credit card info. I received my first subscription box last week and I am so freakin’ excited I signed up for this and I CANNOT wait for next month’s box. Here’s what I received in my April box:

owl crate april

April’s box theme is Dystopia, which is a pretty popular genre in YA lit, and one of my faves. Each box comes with a young adult novel, April’s is Flawed by Cecilia Ahren. Flawed has been on my unofficial reading list for a while so I was stoked to see it in the box. It also came with a note from the author, which is super cool. It wouldn’t be Dystopia box without Hunger Games; two items were in the box, a magnet and a bracelet. The Maze Runner is another fave of mine, so the Property of WCKD decal was a cool addition. I’m not a huge 1984 fan, but I love the look of the mini notebook, and I am a notebook hoarder so that will definitely get put to use. Probably my favorite item in the box is the pretty floral “I spent my life folded between the pages of books” coffee coaster. Love.

Owl Crate subscriptions are $29.99 a month, plus shipping, though you can save money if you pay for multiple months in advance. I love that you can cancel at any time so there is no obligation to continue if you don’t like the contents of your subscription boxes (but you totally will). And if you refer friends, you can earn free boxes, which is super awesome!

Speaking of, if you are interested in subscribing to Owl Crate, please use this link right here so I can get myself some free boxes! It would be super cool of you, and I would totally appreciate it, plus you are going to get some super cool stuff! Do you belong to any subscription programs? Let me know so I can check them out!

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Reading List Check In: The Heir, Night Circus, and #GIRLBOSS

This post contains affiliate links.

Hello bookworms! Back in January I shared my 2016 Reading List with you, and I have actually made a (small) bit of progress! I thought I would take some time today to highlight some of the books I have completed, and let you know where I will be heading next.

The first book I finished from the list was #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso…




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A First Look at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood

As mentioned in my DIY Harry Potter tote bag tutorial, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is set to open here in Hollywood later this week (April 7th to be exact). But tons of “soft openings” have been happening over the past couple of months, so last week, Squirt and I headed over to Universal Studios to check it out. A full post on Universal will be coming later, but in terms of the park in general, suffice to say that Disneyland has spoiled me. Universal is definitely not as toddler friendly (and it’s not really a park for small kids so I guess that isn’t their goal). I did end up buying a pass since it was only $40 more than the one day ticket (for So Cal residents) and I’m interested to see just how often I actually use it. The nice thing is that Universal is super close to my mom’s office, so I parked there (free parking woot woot!) and she drove Squirt and me up to the park. Not paying for parking = awesome.




 

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DIY: Harry Potter Tote Bag

So if you live in So Cal, you have probably heard by now that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is opening next month at Universal Studios. And if you follow any theme park/book nerd/awesome people on Instagram, you have probably noticed that they have been having soft openings on a regular basis. In other words, a lot of people have already gotten to experience the magic of WWHP and I am super jealous that I am not one of them. I am planning on sucking it up and investing in an annual pass next week, so stay tuned for reports. In order for me to hit up WWHP in style, I decided to rock some new HP themed crafts, one of them being this super cute tote bag.

harry potter tote bag

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NYC Trip Report Day 4

Our final day in the Big Apple (check out part one and part two of the trip report!) was probably the most uneventful in terms of the touristy stuff, but it was one of my favorite days I have ever spent in the city. When I travel, I like to hang like a local, and that doesn’t typically happen when you are on a tour with students, but we got a small taste of local NYC life on our final day and I loved every minute of it.

We started the day with a walk through Washington Square Park and the West Village. I decided if I ever move to New York, I’m going to have to live in the Village, which means I am going to have to be a millionaire. Gonna need to work on that one.

The park has a really stunning view of the new World Trade Center building. We had seen it before on our water taxi tour, but I almost liked this view better.
After the Village, we went and indulged our inner nerds. First, we stopped at Forbidden Planet, which is every comic book lover’s dream. I am not a comic book lover, but I have enough nerd in me and I was able to walk away with some cool Harry Potter swag and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle travel mug for the hubs.
And then….we went to one of my new favorite places on the entire planet: Strand Bookshop. Holy moly you guys. Words cannot express how much I loved this store and I only had time to explore one floor (I think there are four all together). Outside on the sidewalk is a huge array of used books, most of them for $2.00. I found some fun new reads for me, plus an awesome out of print photography book about Hollywood stars at home in the 1950’s for my mom (she loves that stuff since she grew up in Hollywood around then). In addition to literally thousands of amazing books, Strand also carries so much book nerd goodness I had trouble controlling myself. Bags, mugs, notecards…it’s pure luck I made it out of there without spending my entire life’s savings.
Lucky for me, the students I was with are just as into books as I am (one of those things that makes my teacher heart sing) and we spent a good portion of our afternoon in the hotel reading our new purchases. I did manage to drag my lazy butt up for long enough to go check out the Star Wars Costume Exhibit at the Discovery Center in Times Square. Super cool, you should go check it out!
For dinner that night we went to Junior’s and I had my tenth grilled cheese of the week, but also a delicious vanilla milkshake (gotta get that calcium in).
Then we headed out for our final show of the trip, Aladdin. I have so many fond memories associated with Aladdin and I loved every minute of seeing it on Broadway. I’m looking forward to the upcoming tour!
And then it was back to the hotel to get some sleep so we could be up and ready for our plane ride home. This trip was the first time I had been away from Squirt for more than two days, and that was the hardest part about it. I missed my little man (and my husband, of course) so much more than I had anticipated. But overall, it was an amazing trip, one of my favorites and I am so looking forward to the day when I get to share one of my favorite cities with the kiddo!
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