Friday Favs – Fall is Here!


Happy beginning of Fall, y’all! Tis the season of pumpkin spice and… pumpkin spice.


My original plan for this weekend was to participate in my town’s citywide yard sale, but I was sick part of the week and thus didn’t get much done, and it’s supposed to be 90 degrees the next couple of days, so…. no thanks. I’ll wait for early October so I can actually be prepared and not die of heat. Win-win!

Friday favs time!

1. My top favorite this week is awesome people.

Earlier this week, I was on my way to visit mom for dinner. I had to run some errands first and made a mental note that I totally needed to stop and get gas, and then totally forgot. Oops.

Luckily/Unluckily, I ran out of gas at the bottom of the hill that leads up to mom’s nursing home. The “luckily” part of that is that it’s way better than it happening in the middle of nowhere, especially since I know pretty much everyone who works there.

The “unluckily” part of that is that beyond the obvious suckiness of running out of gas, the hill I was at the bottom of is MASSIVE. It’s close to 1/2 mile long, and pretty much straight up. (I used the altitude filter on SnapChat to check, and it says it’s only a 100 ft difference in elevation, but I’m pretty sure it’s actually 100,ooo,ooo.) And it was 88 degrees. And I’d been super sick the day before, so my body was already pretty unhappy with anything that involved moving. I was sweaty and almost in tears by the time I made it to mom’s room, and my mood got worse when I realized I left the dinner & coffee I brought her in my car.

One of mom’s nurses not only drove me down to my car to grab the food and make sure I’d locked it, but she called her in-laws who live nearby to see if they could run me to a gas station. Not only were they totally fine with taking like half an hour out of their day to help some person they’d never met, but they already had a gas container, so I didn’t even have to buy one.

#1 Friday Favorite status well earned.

2. Is ANYONE surprised by this? Didn’t think so.


This was the first time I’ve logged into Pottermore in forever, btw, and if you’re the same, I seriously suggest doing so just to read the article about Ilvermorny. #SOGOOD (I might have cried.)

3. Alice & Olivia at #NYFW


Gandalf starry night tee

Once Upon a Tee is one of my favorite recent internetty discoveries! They release a new series of t-shirts each week, and they’re just $12 each, or 4 shirt collectons for $25! This Starry Hobbiton design is my fav! Other shirts this week include GOT characters and Nightmare Before Christmas. New designs come out Monday!

5. This video might be even better than the viral one Joss Whedon made. The last line is GOLD.

Don’t forget to enter my Bath & Body Works giveaway!

Linking up for Friday awesomeness with…

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Friday Favs – Mid-September

Happy Friday, all! I don’t know about you guys, but I’m personally sitting here wondering why I’m not two weeks into classes at Hogwarts right now. Muggle life is the worst.

I have been so absurdly busy with ALL THE THINGS. I really need to pick ONE to focus on and actually knock it off my to-do list instead of jumping back and forth only making minimal progress on everything and feeling like none of it will ever end. (Cheerful!) Next weekend is my town’s citywide yard sale, so I’m digging through closets and slapping price tags on anything that sits still long enough. I’m also like 12 hours into a freelance project editing a dentist’s website. Nothing says fun like correcting the grammar on a post about gingivitis! #partyhard I think I’m going to put it all on pause today and just spend like an hour browsing NYFW runway shows!

Here’s what I’m digging this week!

1. All of the Halloween Things! I stopped in Target earlier this week and was smacked by the Halloweeny goodness of the Dollar Spot as soon as I walked through the doors. So many Halloween things and I need them all!



It’s summer in a glass, y’all.

(And yes, I just made this image by scanning the bar codes on the bottles in front of me with the Target & Walmart apps and screenshotting the images. Putting technology to excellent use.)

3. This guy documented his first few days working at Target. Hilarious!


I’m still waiting to hear back, but just the hope of getting this is fueling me right now.


5. Finally, a super important political issue that I think we can all agree on.


A video posted by Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) on

Don’t miss my Bath & Body Works Giveaway if you haven’t entered yet!



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September Giveaway!

Saying goodbye to summer always makes me a little sad, even though fall is full of all kinds of magical things like Halloween and pumpkin spice everything. I figured we might as way say sayonara to summer with a fun giveaway!


Because I pink_heart you guys and think you’re rad, I picked up some summery lotions at Bath & Body Works to give away to one of you! (And yes, I totally sniffed every scent of mini lotion they had to make sure I was picking out the best scents.) Hopefully these will transport you back to summery days at the beach when winter rolls around and things get all grey!

Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Open to ages 18+ in the US, because I am poor and international shipping is expensive, yo.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



This giveaway is part of the September To Remember Giveaway Hop hosted by The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island! Be sure to check out the linky below for dozens of other awesome giveaways to enter! (Giveaway hop hosts & participants are not responsible for sponsors or self-sponsoring bloggers who do not fulfill prize obligations.) 

Adnan’s Story – A Must Read for Serial Fans (Show Us Your Books – September)

I was a senior in high school in 1999. So was Adnan Syed. One of us has been in prison since then.

Last year, Serial became a nationwide (worldwide?) obsession, as millions of listeners tuned into the podcast week after week to hear about the mysterious murder case. The story took listeners on a “Did he or didn’t he?” rollercoaster ride; One episode would leave you thinking “Oh wow, Adnan is totally innocent.”, but then the next would reveal some twist that made guilt seem like a possibility again.

Adnan’s Story takes a deep dive into the case, including information that wasn’t covered on Serial or follow-up podcasts like Undisclosed and Truth and Justice. It not only includes copies actual documents like Asia’s letters to Adnan and Hae’s handwritten diary entries, but also passages written by Adnan himself.


We heard from him in a few Serial interviews, but in a case that has been talked about and written about SO much, the reality of life behind bars has made hearing from the actual person we’re all talking about rare. It’s fascinating to finally hear about the events directly from the source, and I was definitely struck by his character – things like how focused he was on making sure his family felt reassured he was doing okay when they would visit him shortly after his arrest. When I think back to being 17, I’m pretty sure I would have looked forward to family visits as an opportunity to seek comfort and reassurance from them – not the other way around.

Author Rabia Chaudrey is a beautiful badass. She’s gone to bat for Adnan so fiercely for the past 17 years, even when hope seemed so dim. If you ever feel like your life is overwhelming, imagine being her with a full time legal career, a popular podcast that’s basically a second full time job, writing a book, raising two daughters, keeping up with the developments in Adnan’s case, and fighting against the current crazy political climate that includes an actual front runner for President who basically says your entire religion should be banned from the country. Plus, she’s a cat lady, so I’m instantly on her team.


The glorious Mr. Beans. I’m a fan of his mismatched socks.

If you’ve listened to Undisclosed, you’ll already be familiar with a lot of the info in the book, but hearing it from Rabia’s experience vs. the more factual viewpoint presented in the show kept it from feeling repetitive, and there was a lot of new info that I don’t remember hearing yet. (BTW, if you’re a Serial fan and haven’t listened to season 1 of Undisclosed yet, GO DO THAT. It blew my mind so many times, especially the “Jay’s Day” episode with the tapping.)

The only part of the book where I felt a little “yeah, I’ve heard this” was the play-by-play of Adnan’s recent PCH (post-conviction hearing), but that’s only because I listened to the bonus Undisclosed episodes that they put out during the hearing, which means I just recently listened to Rabia and her cohosts discuss it for multiple hours.  If you’re reading the book without having listenined to those daily updates, or if I’d been reading it further in the future when it wasn’t so fresh in my memory, I’m sure it would be fascinating. (BTW, I’m pretty sure that even those totally unfamiliar with the story could follow this book, but I think that at least listening to Serial first would really enhance your enjoyment of it.) Everything else was totally engrossing, mostly because it’s a much more personal look at the story. We’ve heard the basic outline of events, but here’s how both the case and the crazy popularity of Serial actually affected the people involved.

Experts estimate that there  are probably over a hundred thousand wrongfully convicted people imprisoned in the US right now. This is the story of one. Other stories like Making a Murderer and the 2nd season of Undisclosed have given us a peek into the cases of two other people who may be innocent, but more importantly, all of these have introduced a LOT of people to the problems with our criminal justice system. Awareness is the first step towards change.

In the spring of 1999, I graduated high school. Adnan recieved his diploma in prison. He’s still there. A new trial may soon mean freedom for him, but I can’t get over all of the years that have already passed. The crazy thing that I keep thinking about is that there’s basically no way this case would play out the same way if it happened to a teenager today. The changes in technology are obviously the biggest difference – most of our phones have GPS running all the time, Adnan and Jay would most likely be texting or FB messaging people instead of calling them so we’d have written records instead of speculation, and destroying the evidence of the last person to contact Hae would not be as easy as throwing her pager into a random dumpster. But there’s another level that Adnan’s Story really made me think about. At the time of Adnan’s arrest, there was a popular belief among classmates who didn’t know him well that the police would never arrest someone without really solid evidence. If the police say someone is guilty, they’re guilty, right? They would never lie, never take away the entire future of someone if they weren’t absolutely certain.

Freddie Gray. Tamir Rice. Eric Garner. Michael Brown.

If the past couple of years have taught us anything, it’s to question everything. We’ve grown into a culture that wants proof. We’ve become a society where people immediately whip out their phones to video tape an arrest, because they no longer trust that the events will be reported accurately. The public at large has not only become more informeda about, but started to actually care about our justice system.

With all of that in mind, if high schoolers now heard that one of their classmates was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend because a) the police say so and b) duh, that’s just like, what Pakistani guys DO, you guys, how many would actually believe it? How many would have a million questions instead?

This has totally veered away from a basic book review, but I feel ways about stuff, y’all.


Listen to Serial, then listen to Undisclosed, then read Adnan’s Story. Be surprised by how much you learn a lot about law along the way. Take it all in, come up with your own theories, draw your on conclusions. Ask questions.

(And then obviously head over to Life According to Steph and/or Jana Says, because it’s Show Us Your Books link-up day, and you totally want to see what everyone else has been reading this month, too!)

Thanks so much to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a complimentary review copy of Adnan’s Story!

Friday Favorites – How Is It September Already?


So… September showed up already, and once again I totally missed getting to Platform 9 3/4 in time to catch the Hogwarts Express. Hopefully the rest of this month goes better than that!


Me every September 1st


Let’s get into this week’s Friday Favs!

1. The image at the top of this post is from one of my new favorite Instagram accounts to follow, lorynbrantz, who does Jellybean Comics. I’m in love.

2. This might not be  very exciting favorite, but it makes me happy!


I always have about a million different pens handy, so I picked up this cute cup from a thrift shop for 50 cents to keep them a little more organized. Loving it!

3. Now that it’s not eleventy billion degrees, I’ve been spending more time at the lake since it’s only like a mile from my house. I like to go out on Sunday evenings with my notebook to plan out my week, or just stop in around sunset for a short walk and some fresh air.



4. I’ve posted about my love of the Nite Nite Munki Munki sleepwear at Target several times (especially my beloved ocean creature print socks that I lovingly refer to as my Socktopus). They have new designs out, and I kinda need everything! A few favorites:


Bears with Coffee and Donuts, Cats in Space , Giraffes on Scooters and Amazing Hedgehogs. I missed getting a pic, but Parachuting Kittens are also on my must-have list!

AND in case you missed it, Target clothes, shoes and accessories are 25% off until 9/5 with promo code LABOR25! WOOT!

5. It’s officially Pumpkin Spice Latte season, and I’m not mad about it at all. #blessed #basic


Hoping the gorgeous weather holds out and I can make it to a hiking trail this weekend! Fingers crossed!

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