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October 29, 2012

book review // gone girl.

"Because isn't that the point of every relationship to be known by someone else, to be understood? He gets me. She gets me. Isn't that the simple magic phrase?"

"There's something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold."

A few weeks ago I finished Gone Girl, a book title that seems to be on the tip of everyone's tongue. The book begins on the morning of Nick Dunne's five year anniversary with his wife Amy, when she mysteriously disappears. Throughout the book we hear Nick's present point of view as the days and weeks that Amy is missing go by, as well as Amy's perspective from past diary entries. It is obvious that the couple has their issues, both misunderstanding each other at times; a very typical relationship in many people's eyes. Everyone looked at the couple as a perfect pair, but people's flaws are always more pronounced when there is a reason to highlight them, something that Nick learns through his experiences throughout the novel. Did Nick kill Amy? Was she taken? Is she alive? Was their marriage actually perfect before Amy's disappearance? 

As with most good books, there's a HUGE plot twist in the middle that I don't really think anyone could actually predict. I had suspicions all the way through that were close, but I could have never completely nailed it. This book was unlike anything I have ever read, and it is definitely a book that I recommend to read because of that. There were a lot of people that didn't love it, especially because of the last portion of the book for a number of different reasons, but you can't always love everything that a book and the author has to offer. I thought that this book was addictive, showing sides of people that we all know could be there, but tend to ignore. It highlights the complexity of the human race and complications in loving relationships, many of which Gillian Flynn describes to a T.

This book is definitely a roller coaster at times, but it was weirdly satisfying even though it is a litttttttle bit crazy. Read it!

October 23, 2012

tunes tuesday // album medley.

The last month and a half in music has been RIDICULOUS. New albums have been released by three of my favorite artists, The Script, Mumford & Sons, and Taylor Swift, and I fell in love with a new artist, Tristan Prettyman, who I saw perform live as an opener for The Script earlier this month.
If you haven't already, you need to go out and buy all four of these albums right now. GO! Haha but seriously, if you need more reasons, I'll give you some!

1. The Script // #3: This album is The Script's third album, and the first hit, though not really mainstreamed on the radio yet, is called "Hall of Fame" and features Will.I.Am, which is kind of a big deal for The Script. The album has their classic sound, but features a few little changes, all of which I think are good for them. It's the type of album you want to listen to when you want a boost in your day. These Irish boys have a lot of energy live, and it really does translate through their recorded music. Check out my favorite track from the album, "Six Degrees of Separation" below!

Six Degrees of Separation
The Script

2. Tristan Prettyman // Cedar & Gold: On October 9 I saw The Script live for the fourth time, this time at Radio City Music Hall in NYC. (The venues the play at get bigger and bigger every time!) My friend and I were under the impression that Hot Chelle Rae was meant to be opening for them, which would have been ok, but instead, this girl Tristan comes on stage and I fell in love with her and her sounds after the first few chords. Her music is beautiful and really catchy, and there is even some humor in her song "The Rebound", which is about meeting a man in Trader Joe's. In person Tristan is hilarious, but her music definitely highlights the very relatable feelings of love and heartbreak. My favorite track from this album, "Never Say Never" is below. Check her out!

Never Say Never
Tristan Prettyman

3. Mumford & Sons // Babel: This is Mumford's second album, which I was busting to hear finished! When I saw them live with my boyfriend over the summer they played a lot of the new tracks and they all sounded so good that I was more than excited when the album finally released in late September. This album has a similar sound to the first album, very folky and upbeat with the occasional slow-down. What I love most about Mumford & Sons is how one song can be so upbeat and the next is slow and somber but beautiful. They are versatile, which is a great quality in an artist. Below is my favorite track from Babel, "Lover of the Light".

Lover of the Light (Live at the 2010 iTunes Music Festival)
Mumford & Sons

4. Taylor Swift // RED: This album is incredible! Taylor Swift is definitely someone I listen to when I want to feel completely understood. Because we're the same age I think that a lot of her music really hits home for me even though we have had very different love lives. She is just the coolest girl and her music is fantastic. I love that she writes all of her own songs, and especially in this album, that she wrote songs with two of my other favorite artists  Ed Sheeran and Gary Lightbody. The deluxe edition of RED, available at Target, is definitely the one you have to go for. Not only are their an additional three tracks, but two original demo recordings and an acoustic version of the opening song "State of Grace". It is impossible to pick just one favorite from this album because right now I just can't get enough of the whole thing, so below is "Red", the album's namesake.

Taylor Swift

Happy listening :]

DIY all that glitters is gold canvas.

Soooooo if you know anything about me, you would know how OBSESSED I am with instagram! I follow some really great people who have scarily similar interests as me, and one girl @thepinkdiary (follow her!) has this cute little canvas in the background of some of her pictures with gold foil and gold glitter polka dots that I immediately fell in love with at first sight. So naturally, I decided to make one!All you really have to do is sit with a circle punch for like, ever, and eventually you will end up with a million little gold foil and glittery circles all ready to be placed on the canvas.All you're really going to do after cutting the circles out is super glue them in any kind of design you want. I made one with all overlapping circles, and because my canvas came in a two pack and I still have about 5,419,517 glitter circles, I'm probably going to do another one with more uniformed polka dots. But you can do anything! It's so easy, and it literally took five minutes once I had all of the circles cut out.

October 10, 2012

oreo chocolate chip cookies.


So it's been forevs since I've blogged because I am super busy and super lazy in my down time, and my photoshop trial expired so I had to beg my friends for a serial number! Don't tell Adobe! BUT, I digress.

I baked these realllllly scrumptious cookies a couple of weeks ago, and it was the easiest thing ever (I needed a quick idea to appease the sweet toothes of my family!)
These puppies are semi in response to the new craze of baking baked goods inside of other baked goods, but I decided that instead of one giant oreo in the middle of a cookie that I want oreo in every single bite! So if you're into that, here ya go.
// 1 stick softened butter
// 6 tbsp. sugar
// 6 tbsp. brown sugar
// 1 egg
// 1 tsp. vanilla extract
// 1¼ cup flour
// ½ tsp. baking soda
// ½ tsp. salt
// 1 cup chocolate chips*
// 11 broken oreos*

* in the future, for more oreo taste, I think I would revise this portion of the recipe to ½ cup chocolate chips, 20 broken oreos (I LOVE oreos, and I didn't think that there ended up being enough oreo taste as I had hoped!)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream butter and sugars until mixed, then add the egg and vanilla until mixed together.
3. Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl, then add the dry ingredients to the wet until mixed thoroughly.
4. Stir in oreo cookies and chocolate chips until incorporated.
5. Scoop cookie dough onto a greased baking sheet, and bake for about 8 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
7. Serve and enjoy!

Bake away!