Lily Bart Broke My Heart // A Review of ‘The House of Mirth’

The House of Mirth stole my heart—and then bitterly shattered it—all in a neat 347 pages. I loved this book, but I’m never trusting Edith Wharton again. I suppose Ethan Frome should have been my first clue.

The House of Mirth features the dazzling, beautiful, manipulative yet endlessly charming Lily Bart, a New York socialite who has been raised and pampered to be nothing other than the decorative wife of a rich man. At 29, Lily’s time—and her beauty—is running out. To cement her place in high society she must marry, but at each opportunity to marry a rich man she runs away from the opportunity, her instinct and unfortunate morality taking precedence over her one goal: to catch and marry a rich man.

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She’s sometimes arrogant, always charming, putting on a show to satisfy the theatre of a world she lives in. She is aware of her beauty and flaunts it, using it as a weapon against women and men, to either charm or assert her dominance:Continue reading…

Reads and Recs: A Bookish Halloween

Trying to get into the holiday spirit? If you’ve carved pumpkins and made your costume, gone apple picking and are glued to 13 Days of Halloween, reading a Halloweenie book is another great way to spook yourself into the holiday spirit. So I’ll be checking out these books this month!

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Gone Girl

Isn’t everyone reading this book nowadays? I’ve had this book on my Kindle for over a year and have yet to read it. The opportune release of the movie right near Halloween is the perfect time to finally get to it!

The Diviners

This book…is the scariest thing I have ever read. There’s this horrible murderer on the loose in 1920s New York who whistles before he kills you…and then he eats your body parts. I CAN’T EVEN. But still—I love this book because it was written by one of my favorite YA authors whom I’ve been reading since I was 12 years old, Libba Bray. Bonus photo of her signing my circa-2004 copy of A Great and Terrible Beauty at this year’s BookCon:

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The Shining

I’ve never read this book, but I always remember that episode of Friends when Joey stuck the book in the freezer when he got too afraid. I am anticipating a similar recourse from my terror.

What are you guys reading this Halloween?

When the leaves fall down…

I have been having a wonderful, leafy, beer-y, apply fall this year which is why the blog has been just a wee bit quieter lately on the book and fashion fronts…so in lieu of not posting anything, I thought I’d share some highlights of my autumn with you all.

On my birthday weekend I headed upstate again to Glen Brook Farm with my sister, brother-in-law and friends, and autumn had arrived there so much more quickly than it has down here in the ‘burbs. Everything was a lush orange and red, and the ground was covered in fall foliage. Even the misty mountains turned red. It was Oktoberfest weekend, so there was lots of barbecue and plenty of great beer and great friends. It was such a fun weekend and a perfect way to celebrate my 23rd birthday (ouch!).

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Then today I went apple picking with my family and broke the “no climbing trees” rule, except I’m a wuss and only went up like three feet. But my sister and I sat on a low limb and pretended to be wood nymphs or something (wearing jeans). It was a lot of fun! We nearly killed each other and other people with that ten-foot apple picker stick, but it was definitely an experience! I haven’t gone apple picking in three or four years, and it was something I used to do every year when I was a kid, so it brought back some memories.

This past weekend was also my sister’s bachelorette party! A group of like 15 cousins and friends came out for the event, which was so much fun. We went on a vineyard tour of Long Island, got our faces painted at one of my favorite spots in the city, Riff Raff’s, and had an amazing taco-and-margarita dinner at Teqa. I also snapped a few photos of my sisters and me on the balcony of my cousin’s apartment in Chelsea. She has a pretty awesome view:

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What have you all been doing this fall? Any fun festivals or beer-oriented activities you’d like to share?

Beauty Review // Peter Thomas Roth “Oilless Oil”

eBay is my best friend. I first heard about the Peter Thomas Roth “Oilless Oil” through Beauty Army that time when I briefly considered signing up for the service. On the website I heard about this miracle facial oil that uses that mysterious and amazing creation, squalane oil, to moisturize and heal the skin. The oil is called “oilless” because it doesn’t necessarily feel like the way you think an oil would feel: it absorbs into the skin and doesn’t leave a greasy, filmy residue. I am here to tell you not that this product isn’t good, but that my face is Frankenstein. It needs a lot of attention and doesn’t know if it’s human or not. What?

It’s really sensitive, much like Frankenstein. So I can understand why this oil didn’t work as magically as I was expecting it to. I bought a teeny, tiny sample size bottle from eBay for a few bucks (hence the intro) and I’m glad I didn’t splurge and buy the big guy. My nightly facial routine is basically honey-baking soda-apple cider vinegar, so I added the oil as a moisturizer before bed.

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The first two nights the oil worked great. I woke up with glowing, dewy skin and prayed to the gods. But after a couple more nights I realized that the oil was preventing my face from breathing and I started to break out. It took a few days to reverse, and so I figured I couldn’t use it that often but then I just forgot about it at all. My face seemed fine. So I didn’t even finish the minuscule sample size of the oil and haven’t used it since.

Oh, well. This is why I can’t have nice things, Frankenstein face.*

*Frankenstein’s monster, duh.

My Stitch Fix Experience, A Review

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m just a picky person. Or maybe I’m just too damn poor for Stitch Fix.

I took a chance signing up with the service which, if you’ve never heard of it, sends you five items of clothing and jewelry once a month, or as many times as you wish. You can choose the buy the items once they arrive or send them back and pay nothing but a $20 styling fee. If you do choose the buy at least one of the items, the $20 becomes credit toward your purchase. Not bad, right?

So I signed up, fully aware that the items were in the $50-$100 range, whereas I usually spend no more than $30 for a single pair of pants or a top, for example. I’m pretty poor. But still: if there’s something I like then I can use the $20 as credit and maybe splurge a little.

Here’s my first Stitch Fix box:

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I received a pair of maroon corduroy pants, a black and white shift dress, a knit striped sweater, a patterned top, and a black swing cardigan. I tried them on only briefly so I didn’t get a chance to take any pictures of the fit.

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All of the clothes were high quality and beautiful, but none of the items really fit my style, or if they did, I already owned something similar (like the maroon pants). They also didn’t fit well at all. I’m pretty small, especially on top, and even though all the sizes were XS or S, they were all huge! I sent everything back and didn’t sign up for a second box yet. I don’t know when—or if—I will. Oh well! I guess it’s back to haunting clearance racks for me.