Recent Favorites! // Clothes, Music, Books, Skincare & More!

Hey daydreamers! I’m definitely cutting it close this week – I’m writing this at 12:00 on Saturday and I normally post at 10:00 on Saturday. Anyways, today’s post is some products, clothes, music, books, skincare, and more that I’ve been loving recently! Sort of like a shopping haul with things I recently got and love. I’ll link to as much as I can so you can check these items out, and this post isn’t sponsored!

Also, if you haven’t yet, make sure to check out the giveaway! It’s closing this Tuesday, and I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, so make sure to enter before it closes! And remember, you can still use my code EMMIE20 for 20% off your order at TwoFifty Scrunchies through August!

Okay, let’s get onto the post! It’s pretty similar to last week, since I found a really good lighting spot for these kinds of posts, so sorry about that. Also, I’m not trying to brag about anything in any way!! I just really love these items and wanted to recommend them to you, and I’m super grateful to have them.

keep reading

Book Review: 100 Days of Sunlight By Abbie Emmons

Hey daydreamers! Happy Easter, everyone! As I’m writing this, it’s currently still Easter Sunday and I have no idea if I’ll get this post up by the end of the evening, but oh well. It’s definitely been a different Easter than normal for all of us, and even though we’re camping in our backyard instead of the beautiful state park and we’re watching church from our couch instead of at the service it still doesn’t change the fact that Jesus has Risen. 🙃

My mom always makes these cute and fun Easter baskets to give to us every year (thanks Mom!) and this year, one of the things I got was the book 100 Days of Sunlight by the insanely talented Abbie Emmons! Since I didn’t get a post up yesterday on Saturday like I was supposed to, I decided to post a review of this wonderful and amazing book that I devoured in one sitting. Let’s get straight into the review! ⤵⤵⤵

When 16-year-old poetry blogger Tessa Dickinson is involved in a car accident and loses her eyesight for 100 days, she feels like her whole world has been turned upside-down.

Terrified that her vision might never return, Tessa feels like she has nothing left to be happy about. But when her grandparents place an ad in the local newspaper looking for a typist to help Tessa continue writing and blogging, an unlikely answer knocks at their door: Weston Ludovico, a boy her age with bright eyes, an optimistic smile…and no legs.

Knowing how angry and afraid Tessa is feeling, Weston thinks he can help her. But he has one condition: no one can tell Tessa about his disability. And because she can’t see him, she treats him with contempt — screaming at him to get out of her house and never come back. But for Weston, it’s the most amazing feeling: to be treated like a normal person, not just a sob story. So he comes back. Again and again and again.

Tessa spurns Weston’s “obnoxious optimism”, convinced that he has no idea what she’s going through. But Weston knows exactly how she feels and reaches into her darkness to show her that there is more than one way to experience the world. As Tessa grows closer to Weston, she finds it harder and harder to imagine life without him — and Weston can’t imagine life without her. But he still hasn’t told her the truth, and when Tessa’s sight returns he’ll have to make the hardest decision of his life: vanish from Tessa’s world…or overcome his fear of being seen.

100 Days of Sunlight is a poignant and heartfelt novel by debut author Abbie Emmons. If you like sweet contemporary romance and strong family themes then you’ll love this touching story of hope, healing, and getting back up when life knocks you down. AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

Source: https://www.100daysofsunlight.com/about-the-book

💛 my thoughts 💛

I read this book in practically one sitting. Most of it I read outside, feeling the sunshine on my face, the warmth of the beautiful Easter spring day enveloping me…ahh, it was the best feeling. 😌 And add on an absolutely amazing, fluffy contemporary book filled with cute characters, ukeleles, blogging, waffles, and the color yellow? YES PLEASE! 💛

From the first page, I was captivated by the story. It goes on to follow Tessa, who’s lost her sight for 100 days, and Weston, who’s determined to show her that there’s beauty in other things besides sight. But then they start falling for each other, and Weston’s afraid she’ll stop treating him like a normal person if she figures out his secret.

First off: I loved (most of) the characters! Weston was my absolute favorite. He’s such an amazing big brother and he makes amazing waffles and is “obnoxiously optimistic” and plays the ukelele. And for some reason, I kept picturing his character as Joshua Basset (except with no legs) the whole time. 😂

I didn’t like Tessa that much at first, and I definitely preferred reading Weston’s chapters a lot more. Especially because sometimes she would write like this:

i

a m

d r o w n i n g.

It was slightly annoying at first, but then I grew to love her character more and more as the story progressed. It was so cool to “see”, or rather hear, touch, smell, and taste the story and the world through Tessa’s eyes, even though she was blind. And she was so relatable: she’s a writer, has a blog and a super amazing and supportive group of blogging besties, and she writes poetry!

I didn’t care for the character Rudy that much, but I adored Weston’s little brothers and Tessa’s grandparents! And her grandpa’s church and her grandma’s concern for her and Weston’s brothers who literally think he’s a superhero. I loved them all! 💛

Second, the story was amazing! I don’t read very many YA contemporaries (I normally read MG contemporaries or YA fantasy/dystopian), so I was a little worried about the plot going nowhere. It turned out to be a super solid and thoughtful plot, showing the relationship between Tessa and Weston go from hate-to-love with amazing flashbacks to Weston’s past sprinkled in at the perfect moments, and ahh, it was such a cute story! I especially love how it was separated into sections of smell, sound, taste, touch, and sight.

And that cover – I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and everything, but seriously, I can’t stop admiring the cover and all of its gorgeousness. And every little adorable artwork has something significant to do with the story, and you appreciate it so much more after reading the book! At first, I thought the cover was beautiful, but after reading it I was like, “And those are the waffles, and there’s her laptop, and that’s the polaroid camera, and ASFDKASLKDFJ; THAT’S THE YELLOW UKELELE!” The yellowness and aesthetic of it is so gorgeous, and I love the cover so much I ended up taking a ton of aesthetic-looking pictures in the backyard with it. XD

Content: I was very surprised when the characters would swear out of nowhere. One of my main complaints about the book was that sometimes they would say curse words (it wasn’t terribly frequent, thankfully, and I guess it was technically a YA book, so 🤷‍♀️) Also, there were one or two scenes where Weston and Rudy would fight, but it was always a sort of game and it wasn’t described in horribly violent detail or anything. There was also a very brief scene where a creepy dude harasses the main character, Tessa, by grabbing her wrist.

Overall: This book was so incredible! It was a cute, romantic, and poignant read that left me thinking about beauty and made me appreciate the sights I see around me in a whole new way. 10/10 recommend this book and I 11/10 recommend reading it on the porch with a refreshing drink and lots of sunshine. 😉

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Whatdduya know, I finished this by tonight! I hope you guys check out the book because I loved it and think you will, too. Have a happy Easter everyone! Christ has Risen!

Have you ever read this book? Isn’t Abbie Emmons amazing? Do you love waffles? Opinion on the color yellow? Did you like the photos I took? What did your family do for Easter today? (We did online church, Easter baskets, an egg hunt, and me and my sister are going to go camping in our backyard tonight!)

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And remember, if you share this post by reblogging, pinning on Pinterest, sharing on social media, emailing a friend, or any way you’d like, leave a comment letting me know how you shared it and you’ll get 3 FREE desktop wallpapers delivered straight to your inbox! This month’s theme is fruit and I’m super excited to share it with y’all!


10 Things That Make Me Happy! // Tag

I’ve been seeing this tag all around the blogosphere, and OH MY GOODNESS I wanted to steal this tag so bad! It looked so fun and relaxing to write, and it was fun and relaxing and made me so happy to read! So when Madi tagged me for this, I was LITERALLY SO HAPPY. Haha I need to put getting tagged for this post as one of ten things that make me happy!

(Okay, we’re one paragraph in, and I have already said the word happy WAY TOO MANY TIMES. *sigh*)

Anyways, a HUGE thank you to Madi for tagging me, and thank you to Maya for creating this! Let’s jump right in! *dives headfirst* (Wait don’t you always dive headfirst? You wouldn’t dive feet first, because then it wouldn’t be diving…*head spinning*)

dance

When I dance, I just feel so happy and free – when I’m on pointe, I feel like I’m a hundred feet tall. When I leap, I feel like I’m flying in the air. When I turn, I feel like I’m spinning and spinning a hundred miles an hour. I love dance (and I love it so much I do it like 6+ hours a week, lol) and it makes me so happy!

(This is a picture of me in class last Saturday – we were waiting for the teacher to show us the combination!)

My favorite style of dance is (quite obviously!) ballet! I love feeling so graceful when I’m performing, and I really love dancing on pointe. It doesn’t even hurt that bad! I also enjoy the challenge and difficulty of it, how you’re always striving for perfection, pushing yourself to do more.

(This picture was taken onstage at dress rehearsal for our contemporary recital last spring. I’m the one who’s about to be lifted!)

My other favorite style is contemporary! I love how much variation there is: it can be a violently fast, athletic dance or a slow, flowing emotional piece or a mixture of both! I also love the daring lifts and how I can express my emotions with choreography.

my puppy

My little puppy, Chewy, is the softest, fluffiest, cutest, tiniest dog in the whole entire world! I love him so much. *Squeezes* He makes me so happy with his hilarious antics and amazing adorableness!

And guess what? Today is Chewy’s third birthday! *Celebrates by throwing confetti in the air* He’s turning three today!

His activities include eating, sleeping, going on walks, barking at random things that don’t exist, staring at people, staring out the window, being cute, mushing his face into the carpet, sleeping on his back in his dog bed with his head hanging off the side, being adorable, and impersonating a present. (Lol) When we put the Christmas tree up, he loves sitting underneath it like a little Christmas gift! We haven’t put ours up this year yet, but I really want to…

photo from Unsplash

hot chocolate & tea

I LOVE HOT CHOCOLATE AND TEA so much!! I love cozying up with a book and fuzzy socks while sipping skinny hot chocolate from Starbucks. I also started drinking tea in the mornings – my favorite flavor is probably peppermint! I love drinking warm herbal tea in the mornings; even though there isn’t any caffine in the type of tea I always drink, it wakes me up and makes me feel so cozy and warm and safe and…ahhh!

photo from Unsplash

I also really like bringing a to-go cup with my favorite herbal tea to church and I drink it during the sermon. When I’m at home, I use my mom’s old giant mug that says “Mom Fuel!” on it, lol!

Photo from Google

summer/fall/winter/spring (aka ALL THE SEASONS)

Okay, I know this one is kinda weird, but I was going to put that summer makes me happy, but then I’m LOVING fall right now and it’s my birthday season, and winter is so cozy and I love the holiday season, and spring has so much fun stuff that happens and I love all the flowers and weather, so…basically all the different seasons make me happy, each in their own unique way!!

photos from Unsplash

I love how God created seasons, how everything changes, bringing new adventures, feelings, and beauty in nature. The only thing about seasons is, well, we don’t really have them here in southeast Texas. XD Seriously, the leaves are JUST starting to fall, and today it’s 50 degrees but two days ago it was 75…

Photo from Unsplash

music

Music makes me so happy! My favorite artists and bands are: Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers, Matthew Parker, OneRepublic, and for KING&COUNTRY. I think I mainly listen to pop, but also I really like modern Christian music like Hollyn and for KING&COUNTRY!

If I’m not singing, there is probably something seriously wrong with me, because (fun fact!) I’m literally ALWAYS SINGING. While I’m walking around the house, in the shower, whatever I’m doing, I’m constantly belting out whatever song is stuck in my head at the moment! I sing so much to the point that my family gets crazy annoyed with me – after I’ve belted out the same chorus 10 times, I’m rewarded with an “EMMMMMIIIIIEEEE!!!!!” from my sister. XD (Except she uses my real name, of course, that would be super weird if she called me by my online name lol)

photo from Unsplash

reading

Every night before I go to bed, I have to read a book or else I can’t fall asleep! I try to read SOMETHING every day – my Bible, a magazine, a book…and I love reading books so much! I always get way too invested in the characters, the story, the plot, to the point where I feel as if the book is real and I literally cannot put the book down.

photo from Unsplash

My favorite books are: the Hunger Games series, The Maddie Diaries, Life In Motion, and 11 before 12. I always get stuck in a rut of reading the same books over and over again!

photo from Unsplash

drawing

I love drawing! It’s so peaceful and relaxing. I’ll spend hours drawing pretty much anything, but I really love drawing ballerinas and pointe shoes. I also like to follow along to step-by-step drawing tutorials! I’m not the best at drawing realistically and I have a lot to learn, but I think my drawing and doodling skills have improved a lot over the years.

I also really enjoy drawing in my bullet journal! I’m working on a December spread that I’m really proud of so far and I know you guys will love, so I’ll make sure to make a post about that soon! I also doodle everywhere – in class, on my hand, on random sheets of notebook paper…

Photo from Unsplash

making videos

I love, love, love making videos – especially vlogging and making stop motions. It makes me so happy to see all of my hard work pay off when everything finally comes together after hours (in a stop motion’s case, months) of hard work! I’m currently working on a top-secret project that might involve a video…

photo from Unsplash

my friends

Hanging out with all of my amazing friends together makes me so happy. I love you guys!! *hugs* (Also shoutout to Janel, who’s one of my best commenters and a great friend!) When I’m with my friends, I can be myself, share my secrets, and laugh my head off and nobody will judge me. Nothing is ever boring when I’m with my friends!

photo from unsplash

And also all of my amazing online friends make me so happy! I get so happy and excited every time I get a comment from one of you guys! *hugs the entire blogosphere*

Photo from Unsplash

blogging

This one is kinda meta! Blogging makes me feel so happy and relaxed and I just love it so much. I’m free to create, to express myself, and I love writing posts and taking pictures about my life. Ever since I’ve started this blog I realized that lifestyle blogging really suits me and I’m so happy that I have the opportunity to share my creativity on both of my main blogs!

WHEW! That was quite the long post. Now to tag 10 people who make ME happy!

  1. Hannah
  2. Diamond
  3. Natalie
  4. Enni
  5. Mary Elizabeth
  6. Charis
  7. Gracie M
  8. Bekah Banister
  9. Janel (I know you don’t have a blog, but I would love to hear about 10 things that make YOU happy!)
  10. Anybody who wants to steal this tag!

What are some things that make you happy? Tea or hot chocolate? What’s your favorite book? Favorite season?

I challenge you to write down some things that make YOU happy and post it – post it on your blog, post it on your social media, post it on your refrigerator. Just take some time to think about some things that make you happy that you’re grateful for!

P.S. – If you share this post by reblogging, pinning on Pinterest, sharing on social media, or sending the link to a friend, you’ll get three FREE desktop wallpapers sent straight to your inbox! Just leave a comment telling me how you shared this post!


The Pointe Book {Mini Book Review} + Pointe Shoes Expectations VS Reality Ft. Natalie @ Taking The Cake

Whew. That was quite the long title.

Hey daydreamers! Today I’m doing something a little bit different than usual: I have two posts that aren’t really long enough by themselves, but since the topics go PERFECTLY together, I decided to smoosh them into one giant pointe-shoe post!

In case you didn’t catch the CRAZY EXCITING announcement in my last post, I’m getting my pointe shoes in exactly 2 weeks from today! I’m so excited, so while I’m impatiently waiting for October 19, I’m trying to soak up as much pointe shoe information as I can. And what better way to do that than read The Pointe Book by Janice Barringer and Sarah Schlesigner and ask Natalie from Taking The Cake some questions about pointe?

So today I’m going to be doing a miniature book review, plus a super fun collab with Natalie where I share my pointe shoe expectations, and she gives me the reality! This post is going to be AWESOME, so let’s get started!

***Gifs via Google***

A complete examination of the pointe technique and pointe shoes is provided in this guide. Dancers tired of their pointe shoes wearing out too quickly benefit from a thorough explanation of the shoemaking process, and the book includes tips that show how to best fit, care for, and custom order toe shoes. Interviews with ballet stars reveal their highly evolved but proven methods of caring for pointe shoes, while the basics of the pointe technique, different methods, and its history are also discussed. With a handy reference on pointe-related injuries and their remedies, this new edition also offers the latest information on contemporary designs, materials, products, and suppliers. A sampling of pointe technique schools around the country offers an authoritative syllabus for teachers and students alike.

Synopsis & Cover from BarnesAndNoble.Com

Cons

  • The cover is really bland: it’s literally just a bunch of text in boring fonts slapped on a stock photo of pointe shoes. Not exactly my favorite design, but the back cover looks really nice! I think maybe they could’ve used more interesting fonts and aligned the text better, or maybe a different image where the shoes don’t look so yellow.
  • Some of the information was oudated, but that’s expected from a book that was published in 2012. Maybe they’ll make a fourth edition?
  • I didn’t think some of the sizing recommendations were super helpful for a beginner, since I had no idea if I had a high arch or tapered toes or a large instep since I didn’t have anything to compare to. (I did figure out I had high-ish arch and slightly tapered toes, though!)
  • I think the chapter that just listed dance flooring companies was pretty unnecessary. I think they could’ve done a list of the names and websites, maybe not writing out the entire flooring company’s catalog and history.
  • It was pretty wordy.
  • These are actually the only cons. This book was awesome!

Pros

  • This was so inspirational! The history of pointe chapter was mind-blowing, and as I read, I just wanted to dance forever!
  • I thought it was really cool learning about the different pointe shoe companies, how the shoes are made, and different ballet companies and academies.
  • The “Conversations on Pointe” chapter is one of my favorites. It was super cool seeing how famous ballerinas wear their pointe shoes!
  • I’m definitely going to keep this book in my dance bag for reference, especially for the Injuries sections. They had tons of different remedies for lots of different pointe-related injuries, from calluses to corns!
  • I think it was set up really nicely, starting with history and ending with questions on whether pointe shoes are relevant today.

Overall

This book was super helpful and taught me a lot about pointe shoes. It showed me what to expect and cleared up misconceptions. I recommend this book to anyone who’s just starting pointe or has been dancing for years!

🌟🌟🌟🌟☆

I rate this book 4.5/5 stars!

Next, I’m going to be sharing some of my expectations for pointe shoes, and Natalie is going to be debunking them and sharing her pointe shoe realities! Thank you so much for collaborating with me, Natalie! This was so fun! 😉

Emmie’s Expectation: It’s going to take 9 million years to find my first pair of pointe shoes, but once I get them, I’ll never want to take them off!

Natalie’s Reality: Actually, I’m pretty sure it only took about a half hour of trying on shoes for me to find the right ones-I have very wide feet so that kind of narrowed the options down. I’m also still wearing the same kind of pointe shoes, Bloch European Balance. My dance teacher actually told me I wasn’t allowed to wear anything else because my feet are so wide.

Emmie’s Expectation: I’m going to get a TON of blisters.

Natalie’s Reality: I have never ever gotten a single blister, so fear not, young padawan. I have rubbed some skin off on my little toe, but that’s about it and it didn’t hurt.

Emmie’s Expectation: Sewing my pointe shoes will be pretty easy. 

Natalie’s Reality: Well, that depends. I learned to sew when I was really young, so sewing wasn’t hard for me, but I found sewing the ribbons the first time to be stressful since I had just gotten these beautiful shiny pink shoes and I didn’t want to ruin them. Also, sewing elastic is such a huge pain the first time. (at my school, were required to have elastic on our pointe shoes in addition to ribbons)

Emmie’s Expectation: The first time I stand en pointe will be totally magical! And painful. 😂 

Natalie’s Reality: Yes and no. Yes, it’s freaking amazing and it feels like being 8 feet tall and on top of the world. And no, it doesn’t hurt, it actually feels just fine, except for a little pressure on your toes. If the shoes hurt when you step up on them, then they probably aren’t the right shoes.

Emmie’s Expectation: I’m going to need a million layers of padding – tape, Ouch Pouches, lambs’ wool, Second Skin…

Natalie’s Reality: I wear toe pads and that’s it. It’s very important to be able to ‘feel the floor’ beneath the shoe,and with too much padding, that’s really hard. And like I said, I’ve never gotten a blister.

Emmie’s Expectation: My first class will pretty much be sewing and tying ribbons. 

Natalie’s Reality: My first pointe class we actually did get to dance a good bit. At my ballet school, level 4 and up wears ribbons on their flat shoes, so we all knew how to tie them. Our teacher just helped us burn the ends of our ribbons (so they don’t fray) and then we were up and dancing.

Emmie’s Expectation: It’ll be pretty easy to releve, but literally impossible to pirouette or even stand on one foot. 

Natalie’s Reality: Rolling up onto releve feels fine the first time, uncomfortable the fifth time, and ”OH MY GOSH I WANNA DIE” the tenth time. As for pirouettes…eheheh, still working on those. 

And that’s it for this pointe-shoe megapost! I had so much fun doing this collab with Natalie and reviewing The Pointe Book! Thanks for reading!

AND IT JUST OCCURRED TO ME THAT THE NEXT TIME I POST I WILL BE TWELVE. WHAT.

Do you wear pointe shoes? What were some of your expectations that you had? Do you take ballet? Or dance? Have you read The Pointe Book?

P.S. – If you share this post by reblogging, pinning on Pinterest, sharing on social media, or sending the link to a friend, you’ll get three FREE desktop wallpapers sent straight to your inbox! Just leave a comment telling me how you shared this post!