what i’ve been reading lately vol:six

grey et al's book reviews volume sixSome good, some weird this time around!

The Distance Between Us – B

This was a sweet love story about a poor girl who falls for a rich guy.  Except there’s a lot more to it than that and some secrets that come out.  I really enjoyed the main character’s quirkiness, her perspective was always interesting.

Dark Places – A

In typical Gillian Flynn style, this book was really compelling and also pretty dark.  It’s about a woman, who when she was a young girl, survived when her family was murdered in her home.  At the time, she testified that her brother was the one to do it.  As an adult now, she’s starting to realize that it may not be true, that she may have just been saying what she thought the adults who were helping her through that time wanted to hear.  She then goes through the process of trying to figure out what really happened — and I never would’ve guessed the ending, even though it makes absolute sense.

Dare Me – C

This one was where the weird comes in.  It’s told from the perspective of a high school cheerleader.  Her team gets a new coach, and the coach turns out to be a wildly inappropriate women who has the girls over to her house to drink.  The coach also tangles the main character up in the unexpected death of someone they all know — but no one knows how he died.  It’s just a very strange little book, it seemed a bit too far from reality for me to really enjoy.

The Husband’s Secret – A

Oh my.  This book is about three different women, two who’s husband’s are keeping pretty big secrets, and one older widow who lost her daughter when she was young and now her son, his wife and son are moving overseas.  They all have pretty big things to deal with and very different personalities, but their stories overlap in the most insane ways.  When the big “bomb” of the book was dropped I was seriously mind blown in the best way.

Something Like Normal – B

This book was a sweet teenage romance.  The guy in the book just got back from serving overseas, and he’s required to take a bit of a leave to mentally deal with what he went through.  After reading Marcus Luttrell’s books, it seemed like what he was experiencing was pretty accurate to what Marcus and those he knew experienced in real life.  He also has to visit the family of his best friend, who lost his life.  The girl has a few things to work through as well — and of course, they do it together.  It’s a sweet story.

Keep Quiet – C

This book is about a father and son who accidentally commit a crime, and then chose to cover it up.  It was interesting and I really wanted to know what happened and read it quickly…but the author seemingly tried to make it all better in the end, and to me, what they did was still wrong and couldn’t really have been made all better.  It left me unsatisfied.

outfit :: a day at the zoo

grey et al a day at the zoo 1 grey et al a day at the zoo 2 grey et al a day at the zoo 4 grey et al a day at the zooJacket: GAP
Tee: J.Crew
Jeans: GAP
Flats: Target

Backpack: Candie’s

Where: Ross’s work picnic at the zoo

Why: After three years of upper 80′s/lower 90′s for Ross’s work party, we welcomed cool temps for this year’s trip to the zoo!  I even wore a sweatshirt under the jacket while we were eating.  Then we popped some water bottles in the backpack and strolled through the zoo.  Much more enjoyable than sweating our way through!

what i’ve been reading lately vol:five

grey et al's book reviews volume fivePretty much lived in YA land the last two weeks — can’t help myself.

Eleanor & Park – A

One of those YA novels where it’s about teenagers, but they’re dealing with things that force them to behave like adults before their time.  Eleanor’s life at home is pretty rough and she gets picked on a lot at school.  Then she sits down next to Park on the bus and little by little they develop a friendship and a sweet little romance.  Park’s nerdiness is totally lovable, as are Eleanor’s quirks.  I didn’t love the ending, but overall a good read.

Shine – B

Whoo boy, are there a lot of issues packed into this book!  Right before the book starts, a boy was beaten nearly to death in a small country town for being gay.  The book starts with a friend of his searching to figure out who hurt him.  She questions as many people as she can trying to put the puzzle pieces together, and eventually does.  Along the way you see a lot of fear of the unknown, along with a bit of the desperateness that comes with being born and raised in a small town and waiting more for your own life but not knowing how to get there.

It’s Kind Of a Funny Story – B

The author of this book wrote it right after a five day say in a psychiatric ward, and it’s about a teenage boy named Craig who spends five days in a psychiatric ward.  He admits himself after coming close to committing suicide, and I really enjoyed reading about how he mentally changed in those five days.  It reminded me of Heather Armstrong from dooce and this post.  Because of Ned Vinizzi’s experiences and Heather’s, it seems Craig’s thought process is pretty true to how many people think when they’re struggling with depression — and I found that very interesting.  Plus there’s all the random characters Craig meets in the psychiatric ward with their various quirks that add to the book.

Since You’ve Been Gone – A

This book is about Emily, a generally subdued girl who’s always followed in the footsteps of her friend, Sloane.  Then Sloane suddenly disappears and leaves Emily a list of things to complete — like “ride a horse”, “kiss a stranger”, “dance until dawn”.  Emily first starts out completing the things on the list because she thinks they will lead her to Sloane, and, of course, winds up learning a lot about herself in the process and makes new friends.  It’s a coming-of-age type of book, but I really enjoyed this particular story and the characters.

Paper Towns – A

John Green is just the best.  It doesn’t even matter what this book is about, because the  best part about it is how the teenage characters each have their own set of oddities, and then how well he reinforces those oddities with EVERY SINGLE THING those characters say and do.  BUT, because that doesn’t tell you much about the book, here goes:  Quentin and Margo have lived next door to each other for years, but they haven’t talked since they were little until Margo crawls into Q’s window one night.  They then proceed to go on this crazy adventure for one night, and Q goes to bed excited to see Margo at school the next day, wondering if they’ll go back to not speaking or be friends, and then she’s not there.  For days.  So Q decides he’s going to find her, and my favorite part of the whole book is when he and his friends climb into a van together to go find her — it’s hilarious and exciting and wonderful.

When In Doubt, Add Butter – B

I actually listened to this as a book on tape because I had quite a bit of driving to do, and while it took some getting used to, it certainly helped to pass the time.  This story is about Jemma, a private chef who cooks for different characters each night of the week.  I loved hearing what she made and watching her relationships with her clients.  There is, of course, a man in the book — and while things remain a mystery for Jemma for quite some time I knew what was going to happen when I was barely halfway through.  But it’s a pleasant, enjoyable read, perfect for the beach!

makeup look of the day vol:one

grey et al makeup of the day 1 grey et al makeup of the day 3grey et al makeup of the day 4grey et al makeup of the day 5grey et al makeup of the day 2Since the beginning of this year I’ve collected quite a few new beauty products and product samples outside of my usual MAC routine that I’ve been wanting to share, but I wasn’t quite sure how.  Finally I decided the best way I’d seen it done was to combine a few in one look, and then photograph both the products and the look for you to see!  Here’s what I thought of what I’m wearing:

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Even Finish Foundation: I actually picked this up before Thanksgiving last year when all my foundations weren’t quite the right match.  I love how this feels thin and light on the skin, but does give full coverage.  Also, it smells AMAZING, very spa-like, which makes it soothing to put on.

NARS Laguna Bronzer: A cult classic that I’ve only recently acquired a sample size of — let’s just say it’s worth the hype.  Smooth and blendable, I found it to be a bit darker than my usual bronzer which makes it perfect for summer!

Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil in Boundless Berry: Oh my.  I love this stuff!  It smooths easily over cheeks for a perfect flushed look, though does take a bit of getting used to when blending with your fingers.  I just used it on my cheeks here, but it provides the perfect sheen and subtle color on the lips as well.  Somehow it’s shiny on the lips but not on the cheeks.  Also, it comes in a decent sized tube and you hardly need any — for $18, it’s gonna last forever!

Buxom Divine Goddess Luminizer: This was probably my least favorite highlighter that I’ve tried — it wasn’t bad, just very light and sheer.  It’s more of a sheen than a full on shimmer or glittery look, and while I have other sheen highlighters that I enjoy, this one just didn’t do it for me.

Benefit Gimme Brow: As previously discussed, I really enjoy this brow product.

MAC Paint Pot in Painterly: I’ve used this as a lid primer for years and have found it to work the best for me, even above Urban Decay’s eye primer.  Still completely loyal to MAC on this one!

MAC Eyeshadows in Woodwinked and Kid: I’m also pretty loyal to MAC for eyeshadows — I have a few other ones I enjoy, but the formulation and blendability of MAC’s is hard to beat.  Woodwinked is a shimmery golden color that I love, and Kid is the perfect slightly-darker-than-skin color for my crease on days when I want naturally defined eyes.  Both have been favorites for years.

Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in Kitten:  This little guy was pretty interesting to me.  It’s very glittery and a bit chunky for an eye shadow.  I used it here in the inner corners of my eyes to brighten them, and while I was okay with it there, it’s a bit too glittery for me to use all over my lid.

Marc Jacobs Lash Lifter: Yes, I used two mascaras, I always do.  One first, then I curl my lashes, then the second.  What I look for in the first mascara is one that’s going to separate my lashes more than length them, and I was happy with this one for that.  If you like a super lengthening mascara, this isn’t for you.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara: THIS is the one you want if you’re looking for a lengthening mascara.  I personally love the combination of this with a separating mascara, because the first mascara coats my lashes and sets them apart, and then They’re Real adds all kinds of length to that base.  For a more detailed review and before and after pictures, look here.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Stained Gloss in New Wave: I was really excited to try this product!  New Wave is a very bold bright pink, but here I applied it lightly and it’s not too punchy.  You could certainly make it a lot bolder.  It lasted through til lunch for me, and left a very slight stain on my lips.

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray: I don’t always use a setting spray, but in the summer and occasionally if I’ve done a lot of contouring it just feels nice and helps everything blend together.  I also love spritzing a bit on once we make it to the reception of a long, hot wedding day — helps me feel refreshed!  I’ve been using MAC’s, and the only things I noticed as different between the two was the scent, both are pleasant to me, and the way the spray comes out.  Urban Decay’s has a lighter mist that I did enjoy a bit better, but the difference is small!

I hope this helped you learn more about a product you were interested in, or maybe got you interested in some new products!  What new products have you been loving lately?

wishing :: jean shorts

grey et al is wishing for jean shorts1//2//3//4//5

I turned 25 last July, and I remember hearing a lot of friends comment about how turning 25 had seemed like such a milestone into adulthood for them.  They felt like they were supposed to be more “grown up”.  I didn’t agree with them at the time, and still don’t really — but as I’m nearing my 26th birthday, suddenly the jean shorts I own seem too short.  I guess a bit of that has come to fruition in my life!  The shorts above offer a bit more coverage without consuming my short legs.  I’ve got my eye on the Madewell dark wash and GAP lighter wash pair — just waiting for a sale!