Friday, June 29, 2018

OwlCrate June Review

Hello, all!

It's my favorite time of the month-- OwlCrate time! I always get so excited when I see this box and get to dive into what goodies they sent, so let's get right to it. This months theme was Summer Lovin' and it was just bursting with warm weather goodies.

The first thing I noticed was a bulky bag which turned out to be this lovely beach towel designed exclusively by Stella Bookish Art. I think the design is so cute and the actual quality of the towel feels quite nice as well.

Next up was another exclusive and it was this adorable mason jar mug designed by Michelle Gray and Team OwlCrate. I've never actually used a mason jar to drink out of before but I like how this one has a top on it to make it easier to travel with it.

Oh, how I love stationery. You always need a pen and what better way to jot down your notes than with this cute little cactus pen created by BC Mini?

I think this was my favorite thing in this months box. I love a good cuppa and this apple flavor by Riddle's Tea Shoppe sounds right up my alley. The back even has instructions for making it as iced tea and I can't wait to try it.

How pretty is the artwork on this bookmark by Ink and Wonder Designs? I have one other of their wooden bookmarks and I'm always just blown away by how nice their stuff is. I also love how this tiny little picture just captures the feeling of adventure that summer always brings.

The book for this month is From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon. This story follows Twinkle Mehra who is an aspiring filmmaker who dreams of breaking new ground in the industry. When a fellow film nerd, Sahil, offers her the opportunity to direct a short film for the upcoming summer film festival, Twinkle jumps at the chance. Twinkle's also hoping this'll give her the in she needs to getting closer to Sahil's twin brother, Neil. And what could possibly go wrong with that?

I've heard really good things about this book, so I'm excited to read it. It's all about finding love in unexpected places, growing into your own and finding your tribe. I don't know about you, but I'm all for that!

Has anyone read this yet? If so, lemme know what you thought!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Top 5: Summer Movies

Hello, all!

Today marks the first day of summer and do you know what that means? It means my least favorite season has reared its hot humid head! I've never been a summer person-- I'm far too Irish for direct sunlight (seriously, my skin has only two shades: corpse and lobster), I get super cranky when temperatures rise above the mid-80s (anything above the 70s is pushing it, in my opinion), and having my thighs stick to every surface I sit on is just not my cup of tea. Not to mention the sweat. Just everything is sweaty.

So the way I enjoy the summertime is by living vicariously through summer movies. Here are just a few of my go-to's.

1. Jaws: This one is just a given. I'm allergic to chlorine so the only other means of cooling off for me that involves water is either a kiddie pool (still trying to convince my roommates to get one) or the beach (which I don't go to cause again, the sun). Even though this movie killed any chance of me going into the ocean, it did spur my love of marine biology and shark research. My roommate and I also love to sing the "Show Me The Way to Go Home" song pretty much all the time, and she even made it into a fun sign that we have hanging on our front door.

2. The Sandlot: This one is close to my heart cause all the kids on my block growing up used to play kickball like every day in the summer and I used to pretend I was Squints. Still to this day I can't say "forever" without going "for-ev-er." Also, who didn't have a crush on Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez?

3. Camp Nowhere: I used to go to a day camp when I was younger cause I wasn't cool enough for sleep away camp, so I would just watch this movie on repeat instead. And seriously, what kid didn't wish that they could dupe their parents by hiring Christopher Lloyd as a fake camp counselor so that way they can do whatever they wanted all summer?

4. Heavyweights: Ok, I was only gonna include one camp movie, but this one is just way too good to leave off this list. There's just so much about this movie that I love, namely everything about Ben Stiller's character. Plus, I've always been way jealous of the Blob and always wanted to lay on it and get launched off into the water.

5. Dirty Dancing: I mean, c'mon, nobody puts Baby in a corner. I watched this movie so often when I was little cause it's one of my Mom's favorites. We took a family vacation one year to a resort place sort of like Kellerman's, but it didn't have Patrick Swayze so needless to say, I did not have the time of my life.

What're some of your favorites? Lemme know!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

I'll admit-- I'm terrible when it comes to keeping up with comics. I used to be so on the ball, but you miss one week and all of a sudden you're months behind. Then I always tell myself I'll just hold off until the volumes come out and read everything all at once... and I usually fail at doing that as well.

While at BookCon, I was at least able to pick up one recent comic run I've been wanting to read and two others that I've heard great things on but was just too lazy to start.

Publisher: Boom! Studios/ Archaia
Year: 2017
Written by: Simon Spurrier
Art by: Kelly and Nichole Matthews 
Jim Henson's The Power of the Dark Crystal, Vol. 1: This is a recent series, so thankfully I'm not too far behind. This sequel takes place 100 years after the events of the film, and introduces a new race called Firelings who need a shard of the Dark Crystal in order to save their world-- but doing so will prove disastrous for Thra. I really liked how this feels like a continuation of the original story line, and seems like something that Jim Henson would actually come up with. It does a nice job mixing the original elements from the film with new twists/characters.

Publisher: Image Comics
Year: 2015
Written by: Brian K. Vaughan
Art by: Cliff Chiang
Paper Girls, Vol. 1: Beginning in 2015, this series follows a group of 4 young newspaper delivery girls who get attacked while out on their route by a group of teenagers who steals one of the girls walkie-talkies. The girls follow them to an abandon house and stumble upon what looks to be a time machine in the basement. Oh, and then they find the whole town is being invaded by aliens from the future. I was hooked within the first few panels once I saw a poster for The Monster Squad and noticed that it all kicks off on November 1, 1988, which just so happens to be my birthday. I also really dig the Stranger Things/sci-fi vibe it has.

Publisher: Image Comics
Year: 2012
Written by: Brian K. Vaughan
Art by: Fiona Staples
Saga, Vol. 1: This series, which started back in 2012, revolves around a husband and wife who come from opposite sides of long-warring alien races, and who are fleeing authorities from both sides with their newborn daughter. Most of the time the whole "star-crossed lovers" routine is played out, but I enjoyed this take on it. The story line is engaging and the dialogue flows nicely and doesn't feel forced. The artwork is great and makes it really stand out over other graphic novels that I've read recently. Also, I like how Hazel, Marco and Alana's daughter, narrates the story as it unfolds, it adds a nice depth to it.

Has anyone else read any of these? Lemme know!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

BookCon 2018

Hello, all!

I know I said I'd put up my BookCon recap yesterday, but I was completely wiped out by the time I got home that all I did was eat ice cream and watch the new John Mulaney stand up on Netflix with my roommate. But better late than never, right?

This was only my second year going to BookCon and I just love it so much. Last year, I didn't really get to experience much because I ended up getting really ill about 2 hours in and I had to leave, so this year I was determined to make the most of it, and I'm happy to say that I got everything I set out to get and then some.

I had three main things I really wanted to get: 1. A sampler of King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo, which is the newest book in the Grishaverse which is coming out in January; 2. A full signed copy of Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco, which comes out in September; and 3. Meet Chuck Palahniuk.

I was able to snag both the sampler and book, and I successfully met Chuck Palahniuk without passing out, throwing up on him or saying something idiotic. Although, the last one is a toss up because I did tell him about how my friends have banned me from watching their kids because of my baby fight club idea. He was super into it as well after I told him how I thought they were the perfect participants because they couldn't actually talk about fight club, he actually stopped writing, looked up at me and went, "Cause they don't have any vocalization yet!" He was by far one of the nicest human beings I've ever met and I loved how he wasn't sitting behind a table and just signing things like a conveyor belt,  he was standing in front of it and taking the time to speak and have a conversation with every person in the line. I told him how my brother was a huge fan of him as well, but that he couldn't be there and he gave me a card to give to my brother and said for him to mail him his contact information and that he would send my brother something. He also took a picture with everyone and gave you the option of either picking a pretend fight or pretend choke hold pose. I was so impressed to find out that an author who I've been reading since high school was so down to earth and seemed so grateful for everyone who came out. I know he's been having a tough time lately in his professional life, but you couldn't even tell. He was in such high spirits and I really commend him for that.

The only other thing I wanted to do was get a signing for Leigh Bardugo, but that sold out so quickly that I missed it, but it's all good. The rest of the show floor more than made up for it. I got so many goodies and met so many lovely people in lines and running the booths. I love that even though it's a Con and there's ton of people everywhere, it just seems so chill and laid back. It's definitely something I'm going to try and make a yearly thing.

Here are some pictures and all the stuff I was managed to pick up. Enjoy!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Top 5: Children's Books Series

Hello, all!

Tomorrow I'm going to BookCon, which is a lovely book convention I went to last year, and so I figured I'd dedicate this Top 5 to some of my favorite series to read growing up.

1. Nancy Drew: I started reading Nancy Drew because my Mom recommended me them cause she had read them when she was young as well, and I loved them. I was super into mystery stories when I was a kid (which might seem really weird, but whatever-- I grew up on Scooby Doo), so having an entire series of books dedicated to a female detective was right up my alley. I also heard recently that there's going to be a new Nancy Drew comic coming out soon, so I'm looking forward to that.

2. The Boxcar Children: Whenever I mention these books, not a lot of my friends know what I'm talking about, but those who do almost always yell about how much they also loved it. Something about living in an abandoned train car was so appealing to me as a youngster, so I definitely remember feeling like I was vicariously living through all the escapades the 4 Alden siblings got into.

3. The Magic Tree House: I loved these books when I was a kid. I never had a tree house growing up, but maybe that was a good thing cause if it didn't send me on fun adventures, I'd be super disappointed.

4. Goosebumps: I mean, is this really any surprise? If it was creepy, spooky, or weird, you can bet it was for me. We moved around a lot growing up, and I lost all my copies, so I'm trying to get my hands on all of them again.

5. Choose Your Own Adventure: My brother and I had boxes of these books. We couldn't get enough of them. You never know stress until you're reading to see if your choice is leading you to your death, and so I'll admit I more often than not peeked ahead because I couldn't handle the pressure. These books also led me to believe that quicksand would be way more prominent in my daily life than it actually is.

Honorable Mention:

The Berenstain Bears: I literally carried my Mama Bear stuffed animal around with me everywhere I went.

What're some of your picks? Lemme know and check back tomorrow for my BookCon recap!