Books I’ve Read: ‘Matched’ Trilogy

I bought Matched by Ally Condie at the beginning of April and finished the trilogy in late May. I picked up the first one because a) I had heard that it was popular and b) the reviews made me laugh:
WP_001061 WP_001062Matched: The first book basically serves to set up the society the main characters live in (cleverly named The Society). We are introduced to our narrator, Cassia, who is alright and not terribly annoying. We meet love interest #1, Xander, who is awesome and has an awesome name. The society “matches” them together and that’s cool because they were already besties. Then some other dude’s picture pops up on Cassia’s screen when she tries to look at Xander’s picture. Love interest #2: Ky. She starts spending time with Ky instead of Xander and they fall in love. Obviously this is all totally in secret and against the law. Some other stuff happens and Ky gets taken away, Cassia’s family gets relocated, and I just feel sorry for poor Xander. This book was ok. It wanted to be character driven but the characters just aren’t interesting enough for that to work. If you like dystopias this is still a good read because The Society is very well developed. For most of this book I just felt sorry for Xander and thought Cassia was dumb for not picking him.

Crossed: This was better than Matched for me. The chapters alternate between being narrated by Cassia and by Ky. They are both out in the Outer Provinces looking for each other. It was fun to read about all the near misses, when they almost found each other but didn’t. Xander only makes brief appearances, so I was more able to focus on the relationship that was actually happening and not the one I thought should have been. There is another female character introduced who seems to be a future love interest for Xander and this pleases me. Xander needs some love. I don’t remember a lot of the specifics of this one but basically it involves them looking for each other and then looking for this revolution Cassia wants to join. I thought it was a much more engaging read that the first.

Reached: I listened to this on audiobook, and it was my first time to ever listen to a book. It took some time to get used to the voice actors and just to get used to listening while driving, but once I got into the swing of it I really enjoyed it. This novel takes place back in The Society, as the revolution we learned about begins to take over. Xander is added as a third narrator and I was happy to hear his sad of things. It made me more sad though, he is pretty into Cassia still and she clearly is not interested. This book gets a little technical as it talks about the specifics of the revolution and the science behind a disease and its cure, so it was sometimes hard for me to follow. There were also some connections made that were hard for me to remember because my eyes had not made contact with the words. I guess that makes me a visual learner. Anyway, it was a good conclusion and I didn’t feel like anything was really a cop out or that connections were hastily thrown together.

If you’re looking for quick summer reads, I recommend this trilogy. Especially for airplanes. Good airplane books.

PS I still don’t know how to write a book review really. How’d I do?

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So I have short hair now…

…and I love it! I saw this picture on Pinterest and thought to myself, “I WANT SHORTER HAIR!”

This is crazy because I have been wanting to grow my hair out FOREVER. When I was 21 I cut my hair short like this:

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And then later in the year I cut it REALLY short like this:

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And then I decided to grow it out. Here is some of that process, except it took forever because I kept chopping it back to a pixie over and over.

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My hair goal was to grow it really really really long and then get heavy bangs. Basically I wanted to have Zooey Deschanel’s hair. Eventually I got back to this point:

MeSquared

It looks lovely and thick in that picture (at least I think it does) but notice that ALL of my hair is on one side of my shoulder. If it was like that on both sides, I’d be in heaven. But alas, my hair is fine and thin, and therefore I will never actually have Zooey Deschanel hair. I did start to learn however that I have wavy hair, and that if I don’t blow dry it or straighten it, it actually looks pretty good. So I’m rolling with that lately.

Anyway, about a week ago I saw that first picture and decided it was time to cut it off. I asked my stylist if that length would work for me with my hair type and face shape and if it would look good wavy, and she said yes! Ready for the results?

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It’s just above my shoulders and I love it so far! And I’m too excited to write a good conclusion to this post so THE END!

Books I’ve Read: The Passage by Justin Cronin

This post is long overdue, but I liked this book so I decided to post it anyway!

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I purchased this book upon the strong recommendation of one of my friends. She told me it was about vampires, but not the sexy kind. It was really long and looked like the kind of book my dad would read, not me. But I trust my friend’s taste so I bought it anyway. It took me about two and a half months to read (October 23 to January 9) all 879 pages, but I finally finished and I loved it!

I’ve never written a book review before so I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to include. Basically it is about a government project that was supposed to help humans live longer and heal diseases that went wrong and created a type of vampire. But like I said, not the sexy kind. Then it fast forwards 100 years into the future and focuses on a group of people living in an isolated society designed to protect them from the vampires. And there is a mysterious little girl who is involved in both parts of the story. It’s hard to explain because it’s so long and because I don’t want to give anything good away!

I recommend this if you have the time to devote to it! I usually like reading young adult novels because even though they are long, they are quick and satisfying reads. The Passage is not a quick read at all but it is definitely worth it! Click here to buy it on Amazon, it’s cheap!

Stitch Fix #1

I got my very first Stitch Fix on Saturday! I was seriously so excited for this yall. If you’re not sure what Stitch Fix is, I wrote about it last week. But to summarize: You fill out an extensive style profile, you pay $20, a Stitch Fix personal stylist picks out five pieces for you, it comes in the mail, you try them on, pay for what you want to keep and mail the rest back. It’s awesome for people who are stuck in a fashion rut (me!), don’t have time to shop, or who just love fashion!

Anyway, without further ado, here is what I got in my very first Stitch Fix (please ignore my awkward smiles):

1. Corey Pleated Front Top by Tyler Kim – $48
IMG_1488 This was really confusing to put on because the undershirt is attached to the sheer top at the bottom. Once I figured it out though, I actually kind of loved it. I could see myself wearing it with skinny jeans for a night out! Unfortunately, the attached undershirt was too big and hung too low, showing my bra.

Oh, here’s an example of the styling card they send with each piece:
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2. Dharma Bird Print Sheer Blouse by Daniel Rainn – $68
IMG_1486This is the first piece I tried on, and my parents both LOVED it. I liked it a lot, and will you look at how skinny it makes my legs look? I want more printed blouses, and the unusually cool Houston weather has inspired me to buy more long-sleeved, light-weight shirts. This was definitely a contender. Oh, here is a close up of the print if you are curious:
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3. Penrose Lacy Overlay Tank by Mystree – $68
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I loved this the moment I took it out of the box. I was worried it would be too big when I put it on, but it looked like a dream. I feel like my stylist really listened to my interest in adding more bohemian elements to my wardrobe while maintaining an overall classic vibe. The only negative to this one is I already have quite a bit of coral in my wardrobe. Oh but check out the back detail:
penroseback4. Freddy Sleeveless Chiffon Dress by RD Style – $58
IMG_1490I love the color of this dress SO MUCH. It was easy to decide to send this one back though because it was too big on the top. Also I just don’t feel like I want to spend that much money on such a basic dress.

5. Michelle Striped Knit Blazer by THML – $78
IMG_1487This was love at first wear. It is perfectly preppy, it fits perfectly, it’s a great weight, it’s so beautifully constructed. A friend of mine has a striped blazer she also got from Stitch Fix that she wears all the time. As much as I love this though, I’m just not sure I would wear it as much as I would a solid bright colored blazer. Maybe if it was fall instead of spring I would have snatched this up, but for now it just didn’t feel right.

So what did I pick?
It came down to these two:
stitchfix1I passed on the black top and the dress because they didn’t fit, and on the blazer because I just don’t see myself getting a lot of wear out of it right now, despite how much I liked it. Choosing between these two was really difficult. I was immediately drawn to the tank, but my parents and several friends were big supporters of the printed blouse. I asked myself two questions: Which of these am I likely to wear right away? and Would I be sad if I had to send this back?

The answers? I am most likely to wear the tank top right away. I’d wanted to wear it to my graduation party that night but decided to wait to decide until the next day. Would I be sad to send it back? Yes. Would I be sad to send the other one back? Nope. I realized I was only really considering it because I’d gotten such positive feedback, but I didn’t really love it or how I looked in it. So this was the winner!

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So my overall thoughts? This box was ok. I think it’s a good first effort and if my stylist listens to my feedback I am confident my next box will be better. I also realized that I don’t want more off-white/beige so I went back to my profile and made that adjustment. I was also a little annoyed because I specifically requested no polyester and basically everything I got except the blazer was polyester. If I could afford it I would totally schedule another box for next month, but since I can’t, I’ll wait until September and get a jump start on my fall wardrobe!

If you are interested in trying out Stitch Fix please use my referral link! I get $25 credit if you get a Fix using my link!

Things My Students Said

When the Timeline feature first came out on Facebook and I realized that anyone could see every post I’d ever written, I spent several days in early 2012 systematically deleting all the ones that made me look stupid. In the process, I found lots of posts about my students. So here they are, on Teacher Appreciation Day, all in one place, for your enjoyment.

Student: If you like a boy, you should bring him a plate of gelatin.

Alumnus: You’re my inspiration and my role model.

Student: Ms. W_____, I just have to say, I love your outfits.

Student: that’s your phone?
Me: yeah….
Student: …you need a upgrade on yo phone.

Student: Miss, you should get surgery so your eyes will pop more.

Another Teacher: You look so cute today! You look like Sandy at the end of Grease!

On the day I didn’t wear eyeliner…
Student: Miss, what’s wrong with you? Are you sick? Are you tired? You look like you’re dying.

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Student, via a text message around midnight: Have you seen Something Borrowed? You remind me of that girl in it.

DJ at Prom, while playing Boot Scootin Boogie: Come on, gringas!

Students: You do yoga! That is so funny! Does your teacher call you by your first name or your last name? What is your yoga name?

Student: Miss, you have a big ass pimple!

Student: I need to go to the restroom because my arm hurts.

Student, in reference to a Shakespeare activity: I think we’re having fun with this!

Random woman at school, after calling me out of my classroom: Miss, are you single or married?

Student’s example of a simile: bossy like Ms. W_____

Student: You don’t go to the club, miss?
Me: No.
Student: Well what do you DO?

Test response: Holden is in a rehab hospital for his brain.

Test response: Holden is talking to a scientologist at the beginning of the book.

A student was trying to figure out the word fruitful. He decided it was like fresh, because fruit is fresh. Therefore, fruitful is the same as cool. Okay.

Short essay response: “When I was in 9th grade I was so lazy that I did not do my homework and any time or work and I was almost failing all my classes but then one teacher named Ms. W_____ she pushed me around alot to do all my work and my homeowrk so I think that Sedaris’ teacher is almost the same as Ms. W_____ and I also think that she is a good teacher. If I rated those 2 teachers I will give them 10 stars out of 10.”

Student: I like the way you look today.

Student: This is my favorite class this year.

Student: Are you on a diet?
Me: No. Why?
Student: Cause in your high school yearbook picutre you look kinda big.

Student (totally seriously): How do you spell fabulicious?

Me: You only wrote a third of a page in 45 minutes?
Student: i got lost in the dictionary.

Student 1: You look like Natalie Portman!
Student 2: No she doesn’t! She looks like Jennifer Love Hewitt!
(I was having an ugly day, too!)

At a gas station near school.
Student: miss?!?!?!? what are YOU doing here??
Me: Um…getting gas…

Student’s reading journal: And athena convinced telamachus to go find his dad and i was like DAAAAYYYUUM!

The assignment was to write 5 potential test questions from the poetry unit and to include the answer.
Student response: Can you attract girls with poetry? Yes.

From a student’s letter to my future students: You know she’s made because she makes sarcastic smiles.

Student: Miss, do you do triathalons?

Student: Don’t get krunk with me or i’ll get krunk with you!

One of my students kept talking about going to “books and novels”. Took a long time to realize he meant Barnes and Noble.

Student: Miss, you make this class so boring!
Me: ….it’s study hall.

Student: The only book on the list I am interested in is Wuthering Heights and I am only interested in it because they talk about it in Twilight.

Student essay on Romeo and Juliet: Well, this play starts out with two rivals having a gun fight at the gas station.

Student: Are you pregnant? You’re getting a tummy.

Me: I did not say it’s time to go!
Student: You just did!

Did you make it all the way through this insanity? If so, here’s a reward! Buy one get one free at Chipotle with a teacher ID! So take out your closest teacher friend and show some appreciation! Or if you are a teacher, guilt trip somebody into taking you!
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Mini Movie Review: Argo

I saw Argo a long time ago. And then I moved and never got around to writing a review. I was watching the Academy Awards with some friends when two of them said they were leaving rightthissecond to see Argo. So I went! It was about 10:00 on a Sunday and so no one was there, just the three of us in the theater, which is always fun.

Anyway, Argo is not my typical movie. I don’t usually like movies about politics or war, or things based on a true story (unless it’s a funny true story), or dramas unless they are also quirky or something. But I really liked Argo! Why? Because even though I knew what was going to happen (based on a true story) the movie was still truly suspenseful and I was legitimately nervous for the outcome the whole time. Even though I knew everything was going to be ok. So I think that’s a sign of a pretty dang good movie. So you should totally rent it, even if it’s not your typical film genre of choice.

In case you forgot because it was so long ago, here’s the preview:

Stitch Fix: So Excited!

So I know this is totally counter to my claims to be saving money, but I fell victim to an awesome recommendation and awesome marketing! Have you heard of Stitch Fix? It’s basically an online personal shopper. For $20 you get a box of 5 clothing items sent right to your door. If you want to keep something, the $20 goes towards the purchase of the items. If you keep all five items, you get 25% off. If you don’t like any of it, sadly the $20 is lost. But according to my friend who recommended this to me, as well as numerous other bloggers who love Stitch Fix, there’s always something good!

So the first thing you do with Stitch Fix is fill out a fairly extensive style profile. It asks you about your height, weight, sizes, how you like your clothes to fit, and how you describe your proportions. It asks what body parts you like to show off and which you prefer to keep under wraps, if you want them to send you accessories or not, what patterns and prints you like and don’t like, and if you wear more jeans or dresses. It also shows several pictures of different styles and you say if you like that collection, some of it, or none of it. You also get to name your price point, sort of. I put “the cheaper, the better” for all of mine because I know I won’t pay more at this point. Finally, you can actually link to your Pinterest board! Whaaaat? If they are really that thorough, that is awesome.

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I filled out the style profile for fun because I thought it would help me pin down my style. Honestly it didn’t do too much for me, but then something happened. I got put on a wait list. And suddenly I wanted a Stitch Fix box RIGHT NOW. Four weeks later, I am finally off the wait list! I scheduled my first box for May 3, the day after my last final of graduate school! When I scheduled the box it asked me if I was looking for anything in particular. I was caught off guard so I just said I was looking for tops I can wear both for work and for fun. Next time though I will think of more specific pieces I’m looking for, like a white/off-white silk-ish blouse.

I am so excited to see what I get! I can’t justify spending $20 a month at ALL, but a cool thing about Stitch Fix is that you don’t have to opt into a monthly box, you can schedule them as frequently or infrequently as you want! I think I might do this quarterly to help me get a couple of new pieces for each season. Expect a post of Fix #1 as soon as I get it!

Ready to try it out? Use my referral code!

UPDATE: Wanna see what I got? Click here!