My Style: Little Shop of Horrors

This past Friday, the husband and I ventured on over to Theater Lawrence to watch my favorite spooky musical of all time, Little Shop of Horrors. This 1950s sci-fi cult classic is about a florist with a heart of gold and the strange and interesting plant that finds him success in life. It holds a special place in my heart from when I worked on the makeup crew in my high school’s production way back when. It’s also just a lot of fun, and I was really impressed with our community theater’s rendition of it. (Read more about their production at Lawrence.com.)

When attending fun events such as this, I like to sometimes go the extra mile and really dress the part. When Theater Lawrence put on The Great Gatsby, I pinned my hair into a bob and wore a sparkling headband and a flashy little black dress. For Little Shop, I went for this green polka-dot dress I scored from Ross earlier this past summer. The polka dots feel very vintage, and I love the rich green color, which was very fitting for a musical about a very hungry and blood-thirsty plant. (Theater Lawrence even sold a delicious green cocktail that they called Seymour’s Sipper.) Paired with a fun little floral headband, my favorite ruffled T-strap heels (last seen here) and my favorite lipstick at the moment, I think I put together a retro outfit that folks from Skid Row would be envious of!

Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors

For this look, I attempted to give my hair vintage-style curls. I pinned the simple tutorial that I used, via The Beauty Department, here. It didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it, but I was still impressed. Better luck next time, eh?

Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors

DON’T FEED THE PLANTS!

Dress: Ross Dress for Less; Cardigan: Gap Outlet; Heels: Steve Madden: Purse: Gap Outlet: Belt: Maurices; Headband: Icing; Earrings: gifted

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Five Friday Favorites

This week, I’ve found myself obsessed with a new fashion trend, and am once again hooked on the Gilmore Girls. What are some of your favorite things this week?

Five Friday Favorites

1. This guide to layers: The Beauty Department’s Language of Layers. I’ve always wondered how to talk with my hair stylist about layers. This guide was super helpful!

2. This fashion trend: jogger pants. When did these become a thing? I love it. They look comfy and chic. Which color should I get; beige or black?

3. This recipe: Open-Face Croque Monsieur

4. This song: Chandelier by Sia. I’ve always enjoyed this song (the music video, especially) but I particularly adored the performance to this song from this week’s Dancing with the Stars (a show I don’t even watch), danced by Maddie Ziegler and Allison Holker, my all-time favorite female dancer from So You Think You Can Dance.

5. This BuzzFeed article: 13 Charts All “Gilmore Girls” Fans Will Understand. It’s very fortunate that Netflix has released the entire series of Gilmore Girls at the same time that I have been going through the series via rented DVDs from the library. So many articles have been written in adoration of this show, and this might just be my favorite one. Who doesn’t love charts? (And who doesn’t love Jess? Team Jess all the way.)

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Book Review: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

1Q84 Cover

1 STAR

First published in three parts and originally printed in Japanese, 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami is a book that sounds fascinating: Set in 1984, a ruthless assassin named Aomame starts to notice small changes to the world around her. She soon realizes she’s become transported to an alternate universe, which she later names 1Q84. Meanwhile, an aspiring author named Tengo takes on a ghostwriting project that involves him with a mystical cult. Their stories eventually converge and the mystery begins to unfold. Intriguing, right?

Wrong. This was one of the most boring books I’ve ever read.

Well, not read, I guess. I listened to 1Q84 on audiobook. And I’m glad I did. This beast of a book—at nearly 1,000 pages!—did not deliver an enticing story. Instead of creating a multilayered plot that drew me in, I continuously zoned out during my morning commutes. It constantly repeated itself (no wonder it was so long) and delivered a mediocre “mystery” with an anticlimactic ending. Aomame, the “ruthless assassin,” makes Inspector Gadget look like a savvy adventure series. And the major emotional draw for the entire book is the love she feels for a man whose hand she once held in elementary school, and whom she never saw again. That’s right folks. She fell in love with a man in the third grade. Not really a man, I guess. A boy. She has spent the last 20 years of her life pining for a 10-year-old. Gross. Apparently, not one single man she met in all of her life compared to the boy she fell in love with 20 years ago.

On top of that, the literary device of a parallel universe that really attracted me to this novel was completely wasted. The changes Aomame notices around her when she switches worlds don’t affect her past life in any way. And the cult that Tengo finds himself entangled in is as tame as a kitten. And did I mention that the book is nearly 1,000 pages? At that page length I expected an epic tale of love, war and mystery. What a letdown. I do not recommend it.

Stray Observations
Some spoilers ahead

• Can I reiterate this once more? It was nearly 1,000 pages! That’s more than 45 hours in audiobook world! Edit yourself, dude.

• There’s no way Tengo’s ghostwritten novel, Air Chrysalis, would have become a best seller. Just saying.

• What was the deal with the faceless fee collector? I had to listen to 20 minutes of him berating Aomame and Tengo’s door, never to hear from him again or discover the purpose of his presence, which must have ate up at least 50 pages. Was he Tengo’s dead father? And if so, what was the point? What was the point of the whole story, really?

• How have these two characters clung to that one moment in a grade school classroom for 20 years? The strongest crush I had in grade school involved me saving a pair of scissors my crush had borrowed from me. I preserved them in a Ziploc bag. But then I needed to use the scissors for a class project, so the next day I took them out of the bag. Then my feelings for this boy waned the following year because we no longer shared the same teacher. And also because we were in grade school!

• Who are the Little People? Why did Murakami never spend more time with these mystical creatures? That would have made a much more interesting novel—much more interesting than sitting around with Ushikawa for a third of the book as he investigated Aomame and Tengo, uncovering information about them we already knew.

• I will say this for the book: Reading 1Q84 made me want to read the classic novel its title was based on, George Orwell’s 1984. I have even gone so far as to buy a copy of it from my local used-book store, The Dusty Bookshelf. (My favorite place in Lawrence.) So there’s that. Thanks 1Q84.

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My Style: Coral Craze

It’s officially fall, but I don’t think Kansas received the memo. The temperature keeps hitting the 80s on a regular basis, despite the fact that I’m ready for pumpkin spice lattes, riding boots and scarves. So while the weather has been slowly cooling down, I’ve been easing into the season by combining a few of my favorite summer staples with some of my favorite fall pieces.

Coral Blazer

The star of this look is my coral blazer, a piece I picked up on sale from an adorable little boutique in Leawood, Kansas, called Frankly Basic. It’s very lightweight, so it has the look of a fall blazer while still letting my skin breathe in the warm air. Plus, I love how the coral color works in both a summer and autumn setting.

Teamed up with a pair of dark jeans, a cream, lace-knit blouse, and my tan summer wedges, this look is great for casual days at work.

Coral Blazer

Cream Coach Bag

IMG_3162

Blazer: Frankly Basic; Blouse: Target; Jeans: Joe’s from Saks Off Fifth; Wedges: Biala from Nordstrom; Purse: Coach Outlet; Necklace: Forever 21; Belt: Target; Lipstick: MAC Cosmetics’ Vegas Volt

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Five Friday Favorites

This week, I found myself feeling nostalgic. I also spent an amazing Saturday with my niece at the annual Friends of the Library book sale in Topeka, where I scored a giant stack of books. Here is this week’s favorites.

Five Friday Obsessions 9-26

1. Books, books, books. This Saturday I went to the Kansas Expo Center in Topeka with my niece where the annual Friends of the Library book sale was being held. Like my niece, I have become a total book hoarder. Rounding out my collection with books I’ve read and loved, as well as new books that sound intriguing, I scored 18 new books ($1 small paperbacks and $2 large paperbacks and hardbacks). I’m one book away from completing my Julia Quinn Bridgerton series. Plus, I picked up J.K. Rowling’s two new non-Harry Potter books, The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo’s Calling. Who wants to borrow a book?

2. This song: “Gravity” by Sarah Bareilles. This Tuesday night at the dance class I attend (Point B), we learned a routine to this contemporary classic. Talk about the perfect Tuesday evening. I still get chills watching season 5’s Kayla and Kupono dance to this from “So You Think You Can Dance.”

3. This lipstick: MAC Cosmetic’s Vegas Volt. This orange-coral lipstick has fast become my favorite lip color. It makes a bold statement without looking too over-the-top.

4. This recipe: Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa

5. Vulture’s Friends SAT exam. This week celebrated the 20th anniversary of the timeless sitcom. I got a 37/40…and I’m a little sad about it. Stuipid math questions.

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