Friday, January 31, 2014

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars

I put off reading this book for so long. I'd heard so many people say it was heartbreaking, and it made them cry, I don't like sad things, so I while I wanted to read it, because John Green is an amazing writer, I didn't want to because books that make me cry are my least favorite of all the books.


I, however, didn't have the same reaction as apparently every other person I'd seen review this book. I didn't sob and scream about the feels. The strongest feeling I really had was that of being propelled forward, and even when I knew what was coming, I couldn't stop. It was inevitable. I sat down and read this book in 6 hours. The feeling I had that came with the ending was no, this was not enough. I want to know more about Hazel, I want to know more of her life.

It could be said that this book is about two cancer patients. But I think this book is more about two teenagers who just happen to have cancer. The humor is dark, and tragic, but hilarious all the same. Just because I didn't cry, didn't mean this book didn't break my heart. Okay.

I'm really happy I waited until I finished it to watch the movie trailer. I'm so excited for the movie now. The trailer is perfect and from what I see they couldn't have cast it better. But if you aren't as patient as I am, I'll just leave it here for you.

Final Verdict: I recommend this book. I loved this book. I loved it so much I know I'll read it again. It's on the same level as the Virgin Suicides, P.S. I Love You and the Aunt Dimity Series for me. I plan to read everything John Green has written, even his grocery lists. And I want other people to read this book.

Disclaimer: Trailer is property of 20th century fox.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Coziest Soup

Between the flu, colds and sinus infections, I've been nothing but ill all winter long. I'd been complaining to my husband that I wanted to find a really good Chicken Soup, because of how often I'm sick. He suggested that I try my hand at making my own, and while we were at the store this weekend I picked up the ingredients to do just that.

I wasn't expecting to make it so soon, but I woke up with a fever yesterday morning, that while still leaving me feeling off, thankfully broke before the afternoon. So I decided to go ahead and throw together the soup. For my first attempt it turned out beautifully and I'm really quite chuffed about it.


I didn't actually use a receipt for it. I didn't think I'd need one really. I know the basic ingredients of Chicken soup, and I know what goes well with those so I put a bit of a spin on it, but not much. It'll probably come to as a surprise to many people, but I actually do cook really well, I just don't most of the time. So here's my receipt for my cozy and hearty chicken noodle soup.

  • 5 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

  • 1 cup chopped Celery

  • 1 cup chopped Carots

  • 1 cup diced Onions

  • 1 cup diced Peppers

  • 2 cartons Swansons Chicken Broth

  • Tri-Color Rotini

  • Cilantro

  • Garlic Powder

  • McCormick Perfect Chicken Seasoning

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Butter

First I sprinkled the McCormick Perfect Chicken Seasoning, Salt and Pepper on the Chicken Breasts and cooked them for 10 minutes on my George Forman Grill, if you don't have one then you can just cook them in a skillet until done.

Next I put the chopped Celery, the diced Onion and the butter in the soup pot to saute. While I waited for that to get done I put water on medium heat to boil for the Rotini and chopped up the chicken.

Once the onions and celery were done I poured in both cartons of broth and put in all the vegetables and the chicken. Then I seasoned it to tasted with the Cilantro, Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper and a bit of the McCormick Perfect Chicken Seasoning.  I cooked the soup for about 30 minutes

When the water for the noodles was finally boiling I put the whole box of noodles in and cooked for 9 minutes. After they were drained and rinsed, I put a scoop in my bowl, ladled the soup on top, mixed it in and finished it off with a bit more pepper.

The bowl I've had for years and don't know where it's from anymore. The mug is from Starbucks and the tea you see in the background is one of my Favorite Teas from Teavana.  I will have a Teavana Haul up a bit later this week. Along with my For Him: Valentines Day post. Don't to forget to subscribe  on bloglovin or you might miss them.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Howl's Haul

I thought I'd start a new little feature on my blog today, Howl's Haul. I don't know how often these posts will be, but I think they'll be fun. I know there will be a special edition Howl Haul up next week so look forward to that.

Recently I took Howl up to Kenwood, to go to Moochie and Co. We were really just there to browse, but we ended up with a few things.


They were having a 50% off sale on Worthy Dog products so since he was running low on his shampoo, and I already knew we loved the Worthy Dog Harnesses, we decided to try it. We went with the It's a Fur Thing Pomegranate Raspberry Conditioning Shampoo and the No Shakin' Way Aloe Linen Dry Shampoo.

These products are amazing, they leave Howl looking and feeling as though he's just had a bath from the Groomer, rather than one at home where I'm clearly not as skilled as they are. They smell absolutely amazing and I'm a bit sad that I didn't pick up more of the scents, because I can't seem to find them online anywhere.


The other things we picked up were a few of the Etta Says! Crunchy Duck Chews. These are some of Howl's absolute favorite treats. He got some in his stocking this past Christmas and they were by far his favorite thing in his stocking. We made sure to pick him up a few more for when he's been exceptionally good or he's had a really "ruff" day.

[caption id="attachment_2096" align="aligncenter" width="625"]fashionandhappythings-0971 Did someone say Duck Treat?[/caption]

Don't forget to Subscribe on Bloglovin so you don't miss next week's special edition Howl Haul.


Stylish Sundays: Edited

Thursday, January 23, 2014

For Her: Valentines Day

Valentines Day is in less than 3 weeks, I'm so excited for it because it's my one of my favorite days of the year.

for her: Valentine

♥ To begin with I think something cozy would be a lovely present, especially if you live in the east right now. Personally, I've had my eye on this Supermodel Essentials Hoodie and Boyfriend Pants from Victoria's Secret. However a nice sweater from J. Crew would be equally as lovely.

♥ If you're more into a gift that you can use together, I love the idea of a cozy knit throw, a cute throw pillow  and then add in a movie, either a new one or perhaps an old favorite between the 2 of you for a snuggly night in.

♥ If you want to get her an actual thing Frends Headphones are really hot right now. The Taylor ones are pictured, but personally I want the Layla ones.

♥ Jewelry is a classic Valentines gift. These Kate Spade Be Mine earrings are especially sweet, but if she's more into trends then this Roseland Pop bracelet from Baublebar is pretty awesome.

♥ Another classic gift is perfume. I'm really into Atelier Colognes right now, with the Orange Sanguine being my favorite scent.

♥ And finally gift cards are always great, especially if the relationship is new, or you know she's an extremely picky bookworm or makeup junkie.

I'm actually not going to make wishlist for me this year. This pretty much sums it all up. What would you ladies like for Valentines Day this year?

for her: Valentine

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hygiene Haul

So today's haul is kinda a collective one.

I ran out of moisturizer and acne wash on the same day, so I went to Kiehl's in Nordstrom because I love the brand and the packaging. Kiehl's was one of the first higher end skincare lines I've tried, and adored, so I will always go back to them.


I picked up what used to be a staple product for me and that is the Blue Herbal Cleansing Gel. Having severe Hormonal acne means my face was never completely clear,  but it was always better using this. Now that I finally found a dermatologist that understands how to treat hormonal acne without just throwing accutane at it, my skin is doing much better. It's seriously almost completely clear. I plan on doing a post on that after we start the second phase of my treatment.

I also picked up the Sodium PCA "Oil Free" Moisturizer. I've never tried this before but I wanted to try something new, and this had good reviews so I bought it. I plan on doing a full review of this later when it's run out. But I can already say I have my eye on the Rosa Artica Lightweight moisturizer so even if I end up loving this, I probably won't repurchase it immediately.

The wash cloths I picked up at Target, they're plain 100% cotton and I plan on using them instead of the muslin cloths I got from Liz Earle. I still Love those cloths, but they're a bit harsh on my skin right now, so I thought I'd take a cue from FleurDeForce and Caroline Hirons and use flannels instead for a while. I picked up 2 packs btw.

The second part of this haul is a bit silly, but I grabbed two Handsoaps from Bath and Body Works while they were having their $3 sale. I picked up the Aloha Orchid scent, and then because I was feeling sentimental that day Sweet Pea which reminds me of when my son was a baby because he only used the Grins and Giggles Sweet Pea scent.


This post was a bit ramble-y, but Thursdays post will hopefully be the first of my Valentines Day Gift Guides.

What are your favorite handsoaps?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Stylish Sundays: Navy and Oxblood

As you guys know from my recent posts I've been sick for the past few weeks, so this was the first time since Christmas I put on something other than lounge wear.


Navy Toggle Coat: Delia's, Striped Tee: The Limited, Pants: H&M, Ankle Boots: Old Navy


T got me these shoes for my birthday last year and I adore them.



On my face: Nars Sheer Glow, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, Nars Deep Throat, YSL Shocking Mascara, Too Faced Romantic Eye Palette, Victoria's Secret Lip Gloss

Nails: Nails Inc Stratford


Howl was really excited because he got to go with us on our errands. And he will have a haul up later this week of what he got.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cute and Cozy

I'm the kinda girl that likes to be cozy. Seriously the majority of my posts are written in my pajamas or in lounge clothes. But I don't like to be slubby. I think that you can be totally cute and cozy at the same time. So I decided to put together a cute stay at home, cuddled up on the couch outfit to kick off my Valentines Day posts. The Gift Guides will be coming up next week.



I'd like to say that I wouldn't wear this much pink all at once in real life, but that would be a lie. However, I would not wear this much pink in real life outside my house. But for laying around watching romantic comedies and listening to music, then yeah I'd totally wear this.

You'll be seeing a few of these items repeat when I do my gift guides, and my personal Valentines Day wishlist. Because as you all know I love Love.

What do you wear when you know you won't be moving from the couch all day? Would you ever wear this much pink, or is it too much like a pack of bubble gum?




Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale Haul


As I'm sure you all know Victoria's Secret recently had their Semi-Annual Sale, which for me is a can't miss, so of course I went. I didn't end up picking up any clothes or underwear because the shops were just too crowded, but I did manage to pick up a few things.


I ran out of my Shampoo and Conditioner, so I picked those up again (review here) and since they're pretty much always 3 for $24 I got the Hair Mask this time because they were sold out of the Dry Shampoo.

I also fell in love witht he Dream of Forever scent before Christmas so I decided to pick it up when it went on sale. Unfortunately the V.S. I went to was sold out of the body spray when I got there, but they did have the full set of the Dream of Passion scent so I picked that up too since they were 5 for $19.


Since I decided not to do a proper what I got for Christmas post, I'm including the Victoria's Secret body care things I got here. I got the Dream of Kisses set and the Sheer Love body spray. My son got me the lip gloss, in the color Violet Femme which is actually a really pretty color.

I am completely in love with everything I bought, especially the Dream of Forever scent it's Crystallized Ginger and Pralines and it smells absolutely amazing.

Did you pick up anything from the Semi-Annual Sale?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Back to School and Busy

There's not as much hubbub surrounding the after Christmas back to school. Maybe it's because everyone already has their supplies. Perhaps it's because the Holiday Vacation is so short. Either way for most places it's back to school this week, and since I home school, it's back to finding our groove.

So instead of sitting down and writing the posts that I had planned to write, everything is just fallen to the way side for school, work and colds. So I'm sorry, but I hope to be back on a roll again after this weekend. I'm still sick, but slowly getting better.

There will be no more posts this weekend, I'll be taking the time to recover, convince my husband to take some photos, pack away my tree, and get the house back in order. I'll start my Valentines Day posts next week, and I'm super excited for them!

Vampire Howl is also excited about Valentines Day.


Are there any particular Valentines Day posts you would like to see?



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Workout Catch-22

So I've made it no secret that I fail hard at working out. I bring it up, show you workout clothes I want to buy, and then don't bring it up again for months. Plus I'm certain it's clear from my photos I haven't lost any weight (okay I have, 5 lbs but that from the flu so it doesn't count). So obviously I'm not working out and just not talking about it.

You may remember these pictures from early summer.

This one was planned and posed: Taken before I took Howl on a walk around the track



This is an accurate portrayal of how I use my workout gear:fashionandhappythings-9347

There's actually a Catch-22 behind this wanting to work out, but not actually doing it. I should be working out, for the very reason that most of the time, I can't work out. And there's actually two of them.

The biggest reason is also why I'm sick so often. I have Asthma, which by itself isn't that bad, as my sister, who's lived with it her whole life can tell you. But my asthma attacks were being misdiagnosed as bronchitis, which is treated two ways with an inhaler and antibiotics. Since it was Asthma the antibiotics were unnecessary, I was only damaging my immune system by taking them. So now I've been properly diagnosed, but I have a low immune system and without medication, trouble breathing.

So I should be working out to build up my lung capacity and my immune system, but I can't because I almost constantly have a cold or allergies, and I can't breath during the seasons allergies aren't a problem because of heat or cold.

The second catch-22 is I have a bad knee. I did busted it while skateboarding. When I went to the hospital, they said I just bruised my kneecap. Years later during x-rays for another injury, the doctor mentioned I had an awkwardly healed hairline fracture, and offered surgery to repair it. When I said no, he recommend exercise, and said that my knee will probably bother me the rest of my life, and I have a higher risk of arthritis in that knee. If I walk to far, run to fast or if it's going to rain, my knee hurts.

As I mentioned above, I'm not completely in active, I do have a dog who needs to be taken on long walks for his health. We can't go as often as I'd like too, but that's where my husband comes in.

So even though it's the new year, and I don't do resolutions, my goal for this year is to move more. What are your goals for this year?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Tea, Books, and a little Chatter

This is a post to say there will be no Stylish Sundays post tomorrow. It basically boils down to I'm too sick for real clothing, and I don't want to put up another post of me in pajamas or lounge wear. Really there's already too much of that on the internet already, and there will be more in the future, just not today.


So instead this is how my evening is shaping up, I have my ForLife Teapot filled with Tazo Wild Sweet Orange Tea, my favorite Anthropologie tea cup, and the last book in the Laura Childs Scrapbooking series, and the first in her Tea Shop Mystery series. Add in the puffs plus lotion tissues, Don't Trust The B In Apt 23 on Netflix, and my favorite blanket and it's shaping up to be a nice evening. And I'm hoping to eat proper food for dinner tonight because I haven't been able to have anything other than toast since the day before yesterday.

So far I've really adored the Laura Childs Scrapbooking Mystery series. They've all been really fun quick reads. I love the characters and that it's set in the Big Easy. It's a great combo of this can't possibly be real life and completely plausible. They're the perfect quick easy read for when you're sick.

How's you weekend shaping up? And what are your favorite things to read when you're sick?


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, Same Me

It's January 1st 2014, which  means there are an insane amount of New Year, New Me posts coming out with people making all kinds of resolutions and goals to loose weight, and life changes. I however am not a resolution maker. I've been joking that my only resolution is to buy more Victoria's Secret stuff this year.

I guess I'm just really happy with who I am. So instead today's post will be last night's Outfit Of The Night.


I'm wearing the Victoria's Secret Dreamer Flannel Pajamas in Navy Blue Stars and the Dreamer Flannel Slippers in Black/White Metallic Plaid.

On My Face: Nars Vanilla Concealer, Jack Black Lip Balm in Blackberry Tea and YSL Shocking Mascara.

I never go out for New Years Eve. We always stay home, snuggled up in our jammies, on the couch to watch the Ball drop. It's tradition, and the perfect way to usher in a new year. My husband and I toasted with Smirnoff's, our son had a cherry coke, and Howl enjoyed a Duck Stick, which is one of his favorite treats ever.

I've been debating for a few days about doing a what I got for Christmas post, and have finally decided that I might do a paired down version, showing the things that are relevant to what I write about here, but I have to exchange one of the items for a different size so that won't go up for a few days.

It was nice taking a week off, because really starting from week 2 during Blogmas I began suffering from Blogging Burnout, and had no good ideas, but after taking a week off, I've had a chance to regroup and now I have plenty of ideas, some vague, some ready to prewrite, and others that probably should never be written at all. Plus Valentines Day is soon, and I absolutely adore Valentines Day, so be prepared for plenty of posts about that coming up.

Did you guys have a good holiday season? Or even more important did you make any resolutions for the New Year?