Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts Under $30

Do bloggers have their own version of vlogmas where¬†they blog every day for the month of December? That sounds exhausting, although I guess some people daily blog normally. I’m getting more and more in the holiday spirit, so I thought it’d be fun to create a few more gift guides and fill my blog with more frequent festive fun! ūüėČ

Today’s gift guide is gifts under $30. These gifts are perfect stocking stuffers, gifts for friends, or maybe even a gift exchange because they won’t break the bank.

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Which gift would you love to give or receive?

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Holiday Gift Guide – Bookish Gifts

Back when this was a beauty blog, I used to love creating gift guides for the holiday season. With December fast approaching, I thought it’d be fun to make a bookish gift guide. I’m sure we all have someone in our lives who loves to read, and I picked out some of my favorite bookish selections.

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Which bookish gift would you love to give or receive?

Movie Review – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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I’m not sure that movie reviews are going to be a staple feature on my blog, mostly because I’m weird about movies and tend to get bored halfway through and want to move onto something else, but I figured it might be fun to talk about sometimes.

Since I just posted my review of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (the book), I thought it’d be fitting to talk about the movie while it’s still fresh in my mind. This review will contain spoilers, so please stop reading or proceed cautiously if you don’t want anything spoiled.

The movie starts out with a bit of backstory in which the protagonist, Jake (Asa Butterfield), is shown pictures and told stories by his grandfather, Abe (Terrence Stamp), about a home for peculiar children that Abe used to live in, run by Miss Peregrine (Eva Green). The older Jake gets, the less he believes these stories, until his grandfather suddenly dies and Jake comes face to face with something horrifying.

He is sent to therapy to cope, and after getting a birthday present from his late grandfather, he and his father (Chris O’Dowd) set off to a small island off the coast of Wales so that Jake can discover the truth about his grandfather’s stories.

The first half of the movie was pretty fast paced in which Jake met Miss Peregrine and the peculiars, who were charming but didn’t get much of a chance to shine. I didn’t really like¬†the fact that they changed Emma and Olive’s powers for the movie, although I understand why it had to be done to make some later scenes work. I liked Ella Purnell as Emma. She looked perfectly¬†ethereal in her blue dress while floating¬†in the air. I felt that she was a bit more firey in the book, personality-wise and literally with the fire power, and I missed that. I did like her shoes, though. I wouldn’t mind a pair of those myself, as long as they didn’t weigh as much as they did in the movie. ūüėČ

I wanted more time getting to know the kids and Miss Peregrine. I really liked Miss Peregrine in the book, but in the movie I felt like she was there for one minute and gone the next. Judi Dench was on screen for a brief moment as Miss Avocet, which was a tiny role and seemed like a waste of her talent, but I guess even a little cameo is nice.

The second half of the movie is where it started to go downhill for me. Samuel L. Jackson shows up as Mr. Barron, the shapeshifter who has deceived Jake by posing as his therapist and we find out he led the hollow to kill his grandfather, Abe, in the beginning of his movie. Mr. Barron takes Miss Peregrine and other ymbrynes (women who can manipulate time and turn into birds, and overseers of peculiar children to protect them) to perform an experiment try to achieve immortality for himself.

I’m pretty open-minded when movies stray from the books, but I just couldn’t stay on board once they got to the amusement park. It felt like an excuse to use a bunch of CGI, like with the skeleton fight scene. I liked Enoch (Finlay MacMillan) in the movie, but I felt like his struggles in the books with his power, being a dead-riser, felt a lot more believable than all of a sudden commanding an entire skeleton army to do his bidding against the hollows.

I won’t spoil the ending completely, but I thought it felt pretty farfetched and did not go in the direction I thought it would. It strayed a lot from the ending of the book, but I haven’t read the second book yet so maybe it’d still be a good set up for the next movie (if they make another one).

Overall, the movie left me wanting something. Everyone was likeable enough, except Mr. Barron, of course, but I felt like it lacked the charm and depth that the book had. I was so invested in the characters while I was reading the book, but I thought a lot of them felt pretty flat in the movie. The acting was believeable, though, and I liked the cinematography. The town Jake and his dad visit and the house Miss Peregrine and the children live in were exactly how I pictured them. My husband (who has not read the book) thought the movie was good. It seems that the movie is easier to accept when you’re not comparing it to everything that goes on in the book. I still think it’s worth a watch, but I did not like it as much as I hoped I would, and definitely not as much as I liked the book.

Rating:  pink-stars-three

Have you seen the movie? How did you feel about it?

The Bookish Booklover Tag

I thought it’d be fun to kick off the new start of my blog to participate in a book tag.

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I have not been tagged by anyone, but since I’m new to the book blogging world I thought I’d tag myself ūüėČ The tag was created by Shantelle. You can read the rules and find out more information if you click on the link.

Let’s jump in!

What book are you currently reading?

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These are two of the books on my September TBR list. I’ve heard so many good things about The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and I’ve had it for awhile but never had time to properly settle in and read¬†it. I also just started Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman which I’m really looking forward to because it was highly recommended for people who like magical realism in their books, which is one of my favorite themes.

What’s the last book you finished?

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The last book I finished is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I know reactions have been very mixed about this book and although I do not think it anywhere near stands up to the original series, I did end up getting wrapped up in the story and thought it was¬†enjoyable overall. I’d give it 3/5.

Favorite book you read this year?

My favorite book this year was definitely First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen. She is my favorite author because I love the whimsical tone of her books and the settings she creates are beautiful and I feel completely transported when I read the books. First Frost is the sequel to one of her other books, Garden Spells, and I loved getting to know what the characters have been up to.

What genre have you read most this year?

I guess I would have to say young adult or magical realism (does that count?)

What genre have you read least this year?

If least can be interpreted as not at all, then thriller/crime/horror/anything along those lines. I used to love reading scary books, but I seem to have lost my capability to handle them because now I would jump at every noise in the house if I did read one.

What genre do you want to read more of?

Honestly, I just want to read more in general. With working and other hobbies and life getting ahead of me, I had a long period of time in which I didn’t read much at all. Since I’ve always loved reading, I’m looking forward to making sure I read a lot more going forward.

How many books have you read this year and what’s your goal?

Nowhere near as many¬†as I would like to have read, probably 10¬†to 20. I haven’t given myself a goal for the year because I only just started setting aside time specifically for reading, but I’m hoping to read several¬†books each¬†month going forward.

What’s the last book you bought?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

What book are you saving up to buy next?

None in particular because I have a stack of neglected books that I want to read, but I’m definitely open to suggestions!

How many books did you check out last library visit?

Truth be told, I haven’t been to the library in ages. I might have to take a trip there soon and see what I can find.

What’s a book you can’t wait to read?

Whatever Sarah Addison Allen¬†writes¬†next. I’m eagerly awaiting it, even though I think it will be awhile until her next book comes out.

What’s a series you’d recommend to everyone?

This is going to sound way too typical but I can’t NOT say it, the Harry Potter series. I think anyone of all ages would get wrapped up in the magical world and I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t like it.

Who’s an author you’re hoping writes more?

Sarah Addison Allen. (Can you tell she’s my favorite?) I’ve read and reread all of her books, and I know she’s working on her next book, but in my dream world I’d have a never ending supply of books with her perfect magical realism.

A few books your heart adores?

Obviously the Harry Potter series, specifically Goblet of Fire. I also really love Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen and Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles de Lint.

What books are on your wishlist?

  • The Dress Shop of Dreams by¬†Menna van Praag
  • The Glass Magician by¬†Charlie N. Holmberg
  • The Night Garden by¬†Lisa Van Allen

That’s it for the tag! Feel free to let me know which book you’re currently reading or leave some book suggestions because I would love to hear any and all recommendations!

 

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide For Him

One of my recent posts was a Valentine’s Day Gift Guide For Her, and don’t think I’ve left out the special men in your lives! Today I’ve put together a Valentine’s Day gift guide for him.

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Which gift would you give this Valentine’s Day?

The Me-Time Tag

You all know how much I love reading/watching/doing tags, and I thought what better topic to discuss on the weekend than the Me-Time Tag. My job can be pretty draining sometimes, so I enjoy finding some time to read, do my nails, and watch some shows. ūüôā

Me time tag

1. What do you like to watch or read during me-time? 

I love to watch Netflix, it seems like there’s always something new to discover on there. The Harry Potter series has always been a favorite of mine to revisit. It feels just as magical as the first time every time I go back and read it. I also really like to read anything by Sarah Addison Allen. The whimsical nature of her books make for a really fun time.

2. What do you wear during me-time?

I normally wear pajamas (basically a camisole and yoga or pajama pants).

3. What are your favorite me-time beauty products?

I get really dry hands in the winter, so nice lotions are always appreciated (usually from The Body Shop).

4. Current favorite nail polish?

Maybelline Color Show in Gilded Rose. It’s pink and gold and sparkly – three of my favorite things! ūüėČ

5. What do you eat or drink during me-time?

I’m probably pretty boring in this aspect. I normally just drink water all day. Sometimes I’ll have some hot chocolate or tea to relax.

6. Current favorite candle?

Vanilla Snowflake from Bath and Body Works. It smells warm and like sugar cookies.

7. Do you ever have outdoor me-time?

I don’t normally have outdoor me-time. We’re renting a place right now and don’t have a yard or anything like that, so I generally spend my me-time indoors.

8. Would you ever go and watch a film alone?

I probably wouldn’t go watch a film alone. I think it’s really fun to experience with another person, and I love to talk about it afterwards so it sounds a bit lonely to go to the movie theater alone. I watch movies alone at home, though, sometimes!

9. Favorite online shop?

Oh, I can’t pick just one! I’m going to cheat a little and say Etsy, even though it’s made up of tons of individual shops. I love browsing the site and there’s always something new to look at.

10. Anything to add? What else do you do during me-time?

I like to craft – whether it’s something I saw a tutorial for on Pinterest or someone’s blog, or just if something strikes my fancy. I think it’s a perfect way to wind down and end up with something pretty in the end!

Feel free to do this tag and leave your answers in the comments or on your own blog, just send me a link so I can check it out! ūüôā