Top Knots and Curly Locks

Monday, November 30, 2015

November Book Review

This makes me giggle because it is so true!  Now let's get straight to the books.  Here's a look at what I've read this month.

Playing with Heartstrings by Lydia Winters
I was sent a free copy of this book for my honest, unbiased opinion. I'm not going to lie, I was a little hesitant reading a LDS book, mainly because I'm not that familiar with the Mormon religion. That being said, I LOVED the book! You don't have to know anything about the religion to understand or appreciate the book.  The book focuses on Sienna, a young woman who got pregnant as a teenager and gave her baby up for adoption, and Aaron, a young man who was adopted as a child and feels out of place in his family. As the two become closer, Sienna is forced to decide if she should keep her history of being a birth mother a secret, or risk telling Aaron. Then throw in the fact that Sienna's baby's bio dad comes back into the picture and I couldn't read the book fast enough.

Not Your Match by Lindzee Armstrong
You guys know how much I love Lindzee, right?  (P.S. She also rights under the name Lydia Winters -- see the book above!!) Well, she sent me an advanced copy of this book which made me love her even more!  I absolutely loved this book and couldn't read it fast enough! This book is so unique because it took a minor character from another book I loved and told her side of the story. I liked Andi enough during the first book, but after reading this book and hearing her story, I love her! Her relationship with Ben is so sweet and there were times throughout the book I wanted to reach in there and shake both of them and say "YOU BOTH HAVE FEELINGS FOR ONE ANOTHER!!!" One of the best things about this book is that you can pick it up and just read it without reading any of the others in the series (though I highly recommend that you do!!).  Lindzee doesn't disappoint with this follow up book and I'm already looking forward to the third installment in the series and hope she continues on past three! (Hint hint!! ;) ) In true Lindzee fashion, this book is very wholesome and clean. I cannot say it enough how much I appreciate and admire that in her writing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What's Up Wednesday 11/25/15

Happy Wednesday before Thanksgiving!  I'm linking up with Shay, Mel and Sheaffer for my first ever What's Up Wednesday.

1. What we're eating this week...
Other than all the turkey and side dishes we're eating tomorrow, I've been making cookies getting prepped for the 2nd Annual 12 Cookies of Christmas.  To see all of last year's cookies, click here.

2. What I'm reminiscing about...
When my grandmother was alive, we made homemade Chex Mix and read Christmas books while it baked.  I always think about that and her around this time of year.

3. What I'm loving...
I'm LOVING Bindi Irwin.  I didn't know much about her before Dancing With the Stars, but now that I've been introduced to her, I think she is the cutest. thing. ever.  She's full of joy, positivity and such happiness, I want to be more like her.

4. What we've been up to...
Woof Gang Bakery and Grooming is officially open!  While I don't officially work there, I live above the store and my friends own it so I'm down there all the time.

5. What I'm dreading...
I know it sounds cliche and generic, but I'm dreading the 9 hour drive back to New Jersey.

6. What I'm working on...
I'm officially working on J-14.  We got the January issue, the first issue I worked on, and saw this!! I was so excited I had to snap a picture.

7. What I'm excited about...
Besides the obvious answer of the holidays, my cousin is getting married December 19th in Miami and I can't wait.  I haven't been to Miami in 4 years so it will be good to visit with everyone down there.  Plus, I'm a bridesmaid in the wedding! ;)

8. What I'm watching/reading...
I'm reading Silver Girl by Elin Hildebrand, but as soon as I finish it, you better believe I'll be reading every Christmas book I can get my hands on.

9. What I'm listening to...
No shame over here, I've been listening to the new One Direction CD on repeat.

I've also been listening to the audiobook of Neil Patrick Harris' Choose Your Own Autobiography on my drives.  I love that NPH narrates it, that makes the book even better!

10. What I'm wearing...
Isn't this sweater the cutest?  I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.  Not only is the saying cute, but the sweater itself is super soft and so comfy!  

11. What I'm doing this weekend
Remember how I said my grandma and I used to make homemade Chex mix?  Now, my grandfather and I make it every year and we're making it this weekend.  It's so yummy and I can't wait!

12. What I'm looking forward to next month...
I feel lame using the same answer about what I'm excited for, but that's what I'm looking forward to next month...the holiday's and my cousin's wedding.

13. What else is new...
Nothing.  Pretty boring right now, just working.

14. BONUS QUESTION: What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Every Christmas, we watch the movie Elf in our pajamas and my parents wear their elf costumes.  We've done this since I was in high school and it's a tradition I absolutely love.  We have a couple different families over and Dad makes a big pot of chili.  You HAVE to wear your pajamas, if you don't, you're forced to wear a pair of mine -- and I get to pick the pair.  To see last year's event, click here! It's the last Christmas movie we watch of the season to end the Pino Family Christmas Film Festival. (We kick off the season watching Christmas Vacation on Thanksgiving night and then watch as many movies as possible.)

Monday, November 9, 2015

New Month Resolutions: November

Happy November!  I know I'm a little late, but there's no time like the present for some New Month Resolutions.  Let's take a look back at October...and let me go ahead and warn you, I didn't do the best job with them.

1. Blog books as a go: I did okay on this one.  I finished a couple books while traveling so I didn't blog about them right away, but once I was settled, I blogged about books as I finished them.
2. Read 4 books: Check!  In fact, I read 5 books.  Check out my October book review and be sure to let me know of any recommendations you have!
3. Seamless Bible Study: I hate to say how poorly I did with this one.  I started out strong, but with traveling I got further and further behind.  I have been working on it though.
4. Unpack: I actually did this one, packed, unpacked, packed and then unpacked again.  There was lots of traveling -- and even a big move in there -- for me and believe it or not, I've unpacked (almost) everything.  There are still a couple of pairs of shoes in my car, but I'm counting this one as a success.
5. Embrace fall: This one is a hard one to judge, but I have had lots of pumpkin! ;)  Also, I've really been noticing the changing leaves.  They were so pretty on my drive from Huntington to New Jersey.

1. Get involved: Now that I'm starting to settle into my new place, this month is all about getting involved and making Westfield feel like home.
2. 12 Cookies of Christmas Prep: Last year, I did the 12 Cookies of Christmas on a whim.  It was very last minute and I was making cookies every day.  I haven't decided if I'm doing cookies again this year or different goodies, but whatever I do, I'm going to start making them this month.
3. Wash foundation brush weekly: I know I've tried this one before, but I failed so I'm going to try it again.  My chin has really broken out lately, so I'm hoping washing my brushes more will help.
4. Read 3 books: Last year I read 2 books during November, I'm pushing myself for 3 books this year.
5. Turn 25!: There's not too much I can do about this, but it's just a friendly reminder that my birthday is this month -- the 19th the be exact!  Did you know there are so many freebies you can get for your birthday?  I keep track of them from year to year, so be on the lookout so you can make the most out of your birthday.

Enjoy November!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I know it's been a while but I've been in the middle of a BIG move and a new internship.  I'll be sure to fill you in on that next week when things settle down a little (hopefully!)  Until then, I'm linking up with NarciAndrea and Erika to share this week's Friday Favorites! 

So I mentioned earlier that I've made a big move -- that move was to New Jersey!  It's been a big change, especially when it comes to driving.  Back home we have one interstate and ZERO toll roads, it's the complete opposite in Jersey.  There are SO. MANY. roads and tolls.  Thankfully, I got an E-ZPass and I'm obsessed.  It makes going through tolls so much easier.

If you've followed my blog for a while, you know how much I love Lindzee Armstrong!  Guys, she has not one, but two new books getting ready to be released.  Lindzee was so sweet and sent me advanced copies of both.  I'm already finished with one and halfway done with the other and these books do not disappoint.  These books haven't even been released yet and I'm already ready for her next books!

I blame Shay Shull for this.  My love for plaid has been reignited and I've discovered Elin Hilderbrand.  Before I moved, I wandered into Books a Million to browse their clearance section and found 3 books by Elin and I quickly grabbed them.  I can't wait to read them!  While I took this picture, I looked down and noticed this:

My pajama bottoms are plaid, too.  Whoops.  #sorryimnotsorry

My new internship is for J-14, TWIST and M Magazine and I love it!  I love the "teeny-bopper" life so this internship is perfect for me!  I was sent into New York City this week to cover an event with Cameron Dallas and Nash Grier and instantly fell in love with them.  They were so sweet and goofy and I just want to hang out with them all the time and have some good laughs.  I snapped a couple pictures of the two and they ended up on the magazines' Instagram!

So freaking cute!

Happy weekend, everyone!