Wishful Thinking

Looking for a new book to read? Check out Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff.

Jennifer Sharpe is a divorced mother of two with a problem just about any working parent can relate to: her boss expects her to work as though she doesn’t have children, and her children want her to care for them as though she doesn’t have a boss. But when, through a fateful coincidence, a brilliant physicist comes into possession of Jennifer s phone and decides to play fairy godmother, installing a miraculous time-travel app called Wishful Thinking, Jennifer suddenly finds herself in possession of what seems like the answer to the impossible dream of having it all: an app that lets her be in more than one place at the same time. With the app, Jennifer goes quickly from zero to hero in every part of her life: she is super-worker, the last to leave her office every night; she is super-mom, the first to arrive at pickup every afternoon; and she even becomes super-girlfriend, dating a musician who thinks she has unlimited childcare and a flexible job. But Jennifer soon finds herself facing questions that adding more hours to her day can’t answer… -Goodreads

I think we’ve all been at a point where we wished we could add more hours to the day. There’s so much to do and not enough time to do it all in only 24 hours. But, what if you could add more hours to a day? Would that help? In Kamy Wicoff’s new novel, Wishful Thinking, the main character, Jennifer, is given an extraordinary opportunity to add more hours to her day thanks to the time-traveling Wishful Thinking app. Suddenly, Jennifer is able to live up to the demands of her hard to please boss, spend time with her two young sons, and even start dating again. The extra time should be a dream come true, but instead, Jennifer is exhausted from leading a triple life. Is this new life worth it?

Wishful Thinking is an enjoyable, light read, but it doesn’t shy away from examining the demands on modern mothers who are expected to work, clean house, and raise a family. Is Jennifer cheating by using the app to live up to unrealistic expectations? Jennifer’s coworker is often shamed for not working late and sometimes leaving early because she has a family, yet Jennifer, with the help of the app, is seen as the perfect example of a woman able to do it all. No woman is able to do it all, and I really appreciated that this modern-day fairy tale showed that living up to everyone’s expectations does not in fact give you a dream life.

While Wishful Thinking is easily categorized as mommy lit, I think this is a novel many busy women will enjoy whether or not they have kids.

Inspired by Wishful Thinking 

Take your cellphone addiction to the next level with wearable tech like these MICA Smart Bracelets.

Since Jennifer is obsessed with her cellphone, it makes sense to highlight some fabulous looking wearable tech. While these Opening Ceremony x Intel Snakeskin MICA Smart Bracelets (they come in black and white) do not include a time-traveling app, their wearable tech is the wave of the future. The bracelets not only sync with your Google and Facebook calendars but, also, send and receive texts and important email notifications. I think Jennifer would approve.

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You can find out more about Kamy Wicoff by visiting her website and following her on Twitter and Facebook.

 This book was sent to me by BookSparks in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. If you are looking for books to read and review this summer, don’t miss BookSparks’ Summer Reading Challenge!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see Policies for more information.*

Recycled and Organic Cotton Dresses

Despite the snow flurries earlier this week, the trees are sprouting green buds and the sun is making an occasional appearance. While the spring weather is touch and go at the moment, I am busy planning my spring/summer wardrobe. Honestly, I am wasting too much time looking for clothes I will only wear a few months out of the year, but I cannot resist a good sundress, especially when that dress is made out of recycled or organic cotton. Brands from H&M to Eileen Fisher are offering eco-friendly pieces that allow you to be both stylish and eco-friendly. Recycled and organic cotton dresses can even be found at Modcloth and Yoox. Here are a few of my favorites…

Start summer off right by wearing one of these organic cotton sundresses.

 

1. Short Dress by People Tree (100% Organic cotton)

2. Perpetual Charm Dress in Brushstrokes by People Tree (100% Organic cotton)

3. Maisy Dress by prAna (body 100% organic cotton, trim 56% organic cotton, 44% polyester)

4. Effortless Charm Dress by Synergy (100% Organic cotton)

5. Come Full Cycle Dress from Modcloth (100% Recycled cotton)

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P.S. Follow me on Pinterest to see more eco-friendly styles.

The Soup Club Cookbook

Start your own soup club and enjoy soup all month long without all of the work.

Cookbooks are an expensive indulgence for me (hey, Pinterest is free!), so I jump when I get the chance to review a cookbook, especially when it is a cookbook I’ve been wanting to get. Written by four friends (Courtney Allison, Tina Carr, Caroline Laskow, and Julie Peacock) who started a soup club to help with the nightly meal dilemma. Once a month, each friend would make a large batch of soup and drop off the extras at the other friends’ houses. I know from experience that soup can be a lot of work, so enjoying four different soups but only making one a month is a brilliant idea. The Soup Club Cookbook is the result of this awesome soup club.

The Cookbook explains how to start your own soup club with a group of friends and is, also, full of delicious looking soups and sides. I made the Filipino Healing Soup, which was delicious.

This Filipino Healing Soup from The Soup Club Cookbook is delicious!

Because the soup recipes in the book are made for sharing (8 quarts), I halved the recipe, which was plenty. It was, also, a hit with the family, which was a relief since not everyone enjoys ginger, garlic, and soy.

Since I’ve been dealing with food allergies lately, I’ve only tried one recipe, but I have some other recipes tagged for when I’m ready to experiment again. Chestnut Soup. Chickpea, Roasted Squash, and Farro Soup. Beef Mole Chili. Maple Butter Carrots. Black Olive Shortbread. Doesn’t it all sound delicious?

My main complaint is the one I have with all cookbooks: Why doesn’t every recipe have a picture? Maybe Pinterest has spoiled me when it comes to food photography, but I like to see what I’m making. Otherwise, I think this is a fantastic cookbook for the soup lover. Now, I just need to find some friends who like to cook as much as I do…

This book was provided by Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

In other news…

I’ve posted a new vlog! I’ve joined the Top 5 Wednesday community and am planning on making more book related videos. This week’s theme is Books That Feature Traveling.

P.S. Is anyone interested in reading a post about what I’ve learned from doing an Elimination Diet? It’s been interesting trying to eat while juggling a list of no-nos, but I think cleaning up my diet has really helped me feel better. 

April Wish List: Mules

A girl can never have too many shoes, and this girl is dreaming of adding more shoes to her closet. When I was a young teen, I had a pair of lavender, kitten heeled mules that I adored. I wore them with a purple tank and purple watercolor skirt from dELiA*s and felt incredibly stylish whenever I wore them. Sadly, the lavender mules are long gone, but I am so happy that mules are once again in style. After all, who doesn’t love a shoe that looks professional yet still has personality?

A round up of stylish mules to keep you well heeled this spring.

The Nine West Funnyhow Slide Sandals bring to mind a sassy CEO gracefully gliding through meetings while making the boys jealous of her mad business skills.

I imagine wearing the Vince Camuto ‘Vestata’ Leather Peep Toe Mules with flared jeans and a flowy blouse. Hello, 70’s chic!

For a little downtown vibe, you can’t go wrong with these Ann Taylor Maya Leather Mules. They’d work great for a date or a night out with the girls. Plus, they’re on sale!

Now, we’re entering fantasy territory with these Alexandre Birman Python Mules. If they were mine, I don’t think they would ever leave my feet.

Finally, I’ve spent the last few months drooling over these Miu Miu Bow-Embellished Leather and Patent-Leather Mules. Sigh…

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In other news, the very sweet Andrea of Living on Cloud Nine has nominated me for a Liebster Award!

Here is how it works:
1) Link back and thank the person who nominated you
2) List 11 facts about yourself
3) Answer 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you
4) Nominate 11 blogs with 200 followers or less and give them 11 questions
5) Notify your nominees and give them a link back to your post

11 facts and 11 questions for the Liebster blog award.

11 Facts About Me

  1. I believe healthy eating means eating at least once piece of dark chocolate a day. Sometimes, when I’m feeling really healthy, I like to eat several pieces. For medicinal purposes only…
  2. I would much rather email or text than talk on the phone.
  3. I always look forward to the mail coming, even though most days I only get junk mail. Oh, the happy day when an unexpected check or package arrives!
  4. I’m old enough to remember beepers, VHS tapes, dial up internet, and gas under a dollar.
  5. My favorite color has always been purple.
  6. I can’t stand the sound of squeaky shoes.
  7. Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel.
  8. Rage baking is my favorite way to unwind.
  9. I try to read at least 52 books/plays/graphic novels a year.
  10. People often mistake me for a teenager or, if I’m looking particularly old, a college student.
  11. I’m the shortest person in my family.

Andrea’s Questions for Me

1) Who is your favorite singer or band and why?

I’m not sure I have a favorite, but I like Adele, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Lana Del Rey, Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, Birdy, Aerosmith and the list goes on…

2) If you were a cup of coffee, what would your name be?

I don’t really drink coffee, although I don’t mind a little coffee mixed in with my cream and sugar. Maybe I would be called Not A Latte.

3) What is you favorite make-up item?

It’s a toss-up between lipstick and mascara. To feel put together, I need to leave the house wearing at least lipstick and mascara. But, I do love nail polish, too. I can’t pick a favorite. I like it all.

4) What does your ‘go to’ outfit consist of?

Sadly, it’s been a while since I’ve had a “go to” outfit. Obviously, that means it’s time to go shopping.

5) What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t try to please everyone. It’s impossible. Just be yourself. People who don’t like you for you will never like you no matter who you become.

6) Where is your favorite place to be?

I like to be by the water. Being on the beach, whether it’s by an ocean or large lake, is so soothing. Unfortunately, I don’t live near the water anymore, but I do like bookstores, too. I guess my dream place is a bookstore by the ocean. Oo, that sounds kind of magical.

7) What is your favorite dessert?

Chocolate. Should I be more specific? Chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Chocolate malts. Chocolate muffins. Chocolate covered strawberries. Brownies.

8) What is your favorite thing to blog about?

I always enjoy putting together my Why Don’t You…? and Inspired By posts.

9) If you were on a deserted island, what 3 items would you want with you?

A solar powered cellphone with good reception and plenty of ebooks. A tarp. A multi-tool.

10) What is the best gift you have ever given?

I have no idea. Now, I feel like a bad gift giver. I will have to ask around.

11) What advice would you give to fellow new bloggers?

I’m not really a new blogger, but I would tell new bloggers to keep at it. Post every week and make sure you connect with other bloggers. I’m always surprised when friends start blogs but they refuse to read and comment on other blogs. Blogging is about community. If you want people to read your blog, you need to connect with other people.

Nominees

Why does this section always feel so awkward? I don’t want to leave anyone out, but I, also, know that not everyone enjoys doing these types of posts. So, I’m going to randomly highlight a few amazing blogs from my Bloglovin’ feed. Also, if I’ve nominated you, and you don’t want to participate, that’s cool, too. (Also, I’m totally disregarding the rules about 11 bloggers and 200 followers or less. I know. I’m such a rule breaker.) And, since I’m crunched for time, I’m asking you the same questions Andrea asked me. They were good questions after all.

The nominees are…

JENerally Informed

Mrs. AOK A Work in Progress

Hena Tayeb Photography

Scarberian Fashion Lover

Simple Moments Stick

Domestic Geek Girl

Thank you Andrea for nominating me!

Sweet Links

Sweet links for fun weekend reading.

Stuck at home this weekend? 50 Ways to Have an Adventure Without Leaving Town.

Even after working retail, I often wonder What To Hang Vs. What To Fold In Your Closet.

Skip metallic tattoos and try these temporary tattoos made from dried flowers.

3 Professional Makeup Lines Every Non-Pro Should Know About.

Toast! Now, it’s more than just a slice of bread.

This is very interesting… Looking Like Money: How Wellness Became the New Luxury Status Symbol.

Monica Lewinsky Is Back, but This Time It’s on Her Terms.

The Letter Exchange sounds like fun!

How yummy does this Piña Colada Fudge Recipe look?

I just signed up for this class, and I think it’s going to be amazing!

If you’re feeling productive this weekend, here are 8 Places to Submit Your Writing.

This…

Librarian Chic

The Popbasic Rubi collection takes librarian chic to the next level.

Is librarian chic a thing? I hope so because sweater weather brings out my inner librarian or perhaps I should say Librarian

The Popbasic Rubi collection takes librarian chic to the next level.

While I’m rarely called upon to rescue priceless relics or fight the forces of evil, I like to think that if I were called I would arrive suitably dressed. Take this gray dress for instance. The no-nonsense color and conservative skirt length look polished whether one is running errands or running for one’s life.

The Popbasic Rubi collection takes librarian chic to the next level. Alright, my life is nothing like The Librarian, and that’s probably a good thing since one can only handle so much cheesy action in a day. But, you never know. Something exciting could always happen…

The Popbasic Rubi collection takes librarian chic to the next level.

What I’m wearing: Dress, necklace, and belt from the Popbasic Rubi Collection. (This collection sold out, but Popbasic is always coming out with new collections. Use this link to save $15 off your next purchase.) Dolled Up glasses from BonLook. Hat from Banana Republic. Cardigan from J. Crew. Bag from Coach. Fleece leggings from who knows where. Bracelets from PandoraPamela Love Aeternum Ring and Rag & Bone Classic Newbury Booties c/o Shopbop.

Pineapple Nail Art

The grass is finally green! The last week has had its share of stormy weather, but the good news is it’s starting to feel like spring. Yesterday, I even saw some daffodils in bloom. Speaking of spring weather, pineapple is one of those things that immediately makes me think of warm weather and tropical beaches, so when ModCloth posted a picture of these pineapple nails on Instagram last week, I knew I had to try my own version. This pineapple nail art is easy to do because it’s mainly a bunch of squiggly lines in different colors. I used dotting tools for most of the steps, but nail art pens work, too.

Pineapple Nail Art Tutorial

How to do pineapple nail art

I started with one coat of OPI Natural Nail Base Coat.

How to do pineapple nail art

Next, make crisscrosses with a gold color such as OPI Bling Dynasty.

How to do pineapple nail art

Make a few more crisscrosses with black. The Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in Black is easy to use.

How to do pineapple nail art

Add a little dimension with a few squiggles in a pearly white like OPI Kyoto Pearl.

How to do pineapple nail art

Add some leaves on top with OPI Don’t Mess with OPI.

How to do pineapple nail art

Finish with a coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat. Then clean up your edges.

How to do pineapple nail art

Ta-da!

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P.S. for more pineapple love, check out these adorable, pineapple socks available at ModCloth!

The Love List

The last few weeks I’ve been really stressed. At first, I blamed it on the winter blues, but when my hair suddenly started to resemble the greasy locks of Severus Snape, I knew something else was going on. (It was bad, people. Really. Bad.)

http://threethirtyand30th.tumblr.com/post/55877913665/cant-stop-laughing

Turns out, my doctor thinks I may be dealing with a food allergy, so for the next few weeks, I am on an elimination diet, while I try to figure out which food is the culprit. The good news? I’m starting to feel better and my hair is almost back to its happy self. All of this to say, I think it’s time for a little celebration of the good things in life.

The Love List…

New sketchpads… Making time to draw… These glittery Melissa ballet flats courtesy of Shopbop… Delightful gifts from IGGPPC swaps… Gluten free chocolate cereal… Gluten free waffles… Bacon (never said I was eating completely healthy)… Finding these shoes on sale… Lucky Magazine in my mailbox… Organic dark chocolate… Watching TV with my cat curled up in my lap… Walks in the park… Sunny days… Thunderstorms… Green grass (it’s been so long since I’ve seen you)… Crocheting a new hat… Sewing a gingham dress… Planning my birthday party… Reading The Accidental EmpressPaul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo (I’m convinced it helped save my hair)… Listening to the Into the Woods movie soundtrackThis scene from the movie (so funny!)…

The Love List: Celebrating the good things in life.

What are you loving this month?

That 70’s Look

One of spring’s hottest fashion trends is the 70’s, and this makes me incredibly happy. With festival looks becoming mainstream, it was only a matter of time before subtle 70’s influences started seeping into our wardrobes, too. The key to this modern revival is “subtle”. There’s no need to turn your closet into the Mary Tyler Moore Show, although I wouldn’t hold it against you if you did.

Embrace one of spring's hottest fashion trends with the subtle 70's look.

To get the look, start with something you probably already have in your wardrobe – a button down (Equipment Daddy Tie Front Button Blouse). Pair it with another key piece for spring, the denim skirt (NSF Pencil Skirt). Now that you are rocking a casual-cool look, it’s time to pile on the 70’s inspired accessories. A locket (House of Harlow 1960 Medallion Locket Necklace) and heart-shaped sunglasses (Wildfox Lolita Sunglasses) are playful nods to the 70’s free spirit. For a bolder touch, add wooden, platform sandals (Swedish Hasbeens Suzanne Sandals) and a leather, messenger bag (Sophie Hulme Medium Colorblocked Soft Flap Bag).

What’s your favorite decade for fashion inspiration?

P.S. Shopbop is having a 25% off spring sale! Use code SPRING25 to save through April 9, 2015.

Manicure Mondays with Zoya Nail Polish

Buying new nail polish is one of my guilty pleasures. While my nail polish drawer is full of more colors than a rainbow, I can’t help but indulge in a new shade now and then. One of my favorite brands is ZOYA because the formula is 5 free (no Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, and Camphor), long-lasting, and available in so many different colors and finishes.

Here’s a look at some of my Manicure Monday favorites…

Wearing ZOYA nail polish in Rue. It's a great neutral with a hint of pink or mauve depending on the light.

ZOYA nail polish in Rue

It’s a great neutral with a hint of pink or mauve depending on the light.

Wearing ZOYA nail polish in Ki, a beautiful oil-slick combination of silver, purple, blue, and green.

ZOYA nail polish in Ki

This is a beautiful oil-slick combination of silver, purple, blue, and green.

Wearing Zoya gold nail polish in Severine.

ZOYA nail polish in Severine (promo mini)

Two coats of this gold left my nails gleaming.

Wearing two coats of Zoya nail polish in Anais.

ZOYA nail polish in Anais (promo mini)

My nails are a bit sloppy because I painted them while I was sick in bed, but I love this pearly black.

Zoya Cosmo makes my nails look like they are covered in diamonds.

ZOYA nail polish in Cosmo

I’ve posted this pic before, but the color is too pretty not to show again. Perfect for a glitter lover and not impossibly hard to take off.

ZOYA frequently offers specials, so I like to follow them on Facebook so I don’t miss a deal!

What’s your favorite nail polish brand?

P.S. Follow me on Instagram for more Manicure Monday favorites!