One of Us Is Next: Bayview High Book II

Books, Entertainment

How’s that new blog schedule going? Terrible 😛 I have just been incredibly lazy lately, I literally cannot sleep enough even though I’m in bed by 8 most nights. Well, aside from one night where I decided that I would check out the Star Wars saga and stayed up until 3 AM. I can now say that I have watched these movies at the ripe old age of 33. You heard me, I had never seen a single one but they were OK if a little light on plot. Anyway, this post was supposed to be my January To Be Read but it’s already mid-January and I’ve read most of my picks. Instead, I will share my thoughts on the wildly anticipated sequel to the YA novel One of Us Is Lying which I really enjoyed. Now, I’m almost middle-aged and don’t dabble too much into this genre because of the corny high school scenarios but the plot of both books is pretty shocking and twisted for a YA novel which I appreciate.

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This book picks up where the first left off, there’s drama at Bayview High again and this time, the stakes are deadly. The main characters from the first installment have gone off to college, started lives of their own but still share an unbreakable bond after the death of one of their schoolmates, Simon. He ran a gossip app that tormented and entertained the population of Bayview, in his absence some have tried to rekindle the popular gossip forum without much success. That is until an anonymous schemer kicks off a game of Truth or Dare exposing the darkest secrets of the students.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the author brought back some of the main characters from the first one but also fleshed out a few of the supporting characters that we didn’t know a lot about. The story is told from different points of view, the main characters this time are Phoebe, Maeve and Knox whose lives are somewhat already intertwined before they become the focus of the Truth or Dare game in one way or another. I like this narration style but it can be hard to follow each story line which is why I will most likely give this one a second read. As the story picks up towards the end, I found myself losing track of small details. The game kicks off with the anonymous texter exposing Phoebe for sleeping with her sister’s boyfriend which starts a rift between the sisters who are already under strain after the death of their father. Then Knox is exposed for an unfortunate performance during what was supposed to be he and Maeve’s first time. The game turns deadly though when a fellow classmate Brandon falls to his death after deciding to take the seemingly lesser high risk dare option. You’d think that everyone would tell their parents what was going on at this point but in true teenage fashion, they don’t. Problems only escalate when the anonymous texter tries to bomb a rehearsal dinner. Yeah, apparently high school students know how to build bombs and aren’t afraid to use them. Knox and Maeve save the day and we find out that the most unlikely student was involved with the anonymous bomb maker and Brandon’s death.

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It’s really a sad story all around, all of the kids involved have had their lives ruined by some family tragedy. There’s a weird feeling of revenge not being the answer but also thinking that some people deserved what they got. Then, when you find out who was really behind the whole ordeal, it just gets even sadder. After I read these types of books, it always makes me wonder if these things are really happening in schools or if it’s just the author embellishing the sometimes irrational actions of the American teenager. Not to get real dark here but in light of some of the violence that has happened in our schools, some of these events really wouldn’t even shock me. I enjoyed the pace of the writing, the characters are fun if a little moony at times and apparently none of these kids had any homework…or parents around to pay attention to what they are doing. Even if you aren’t into the whole YA genre (which I’m not) I would still recommend both Bayview books as pretty decent thrillers. I also like the writing style of the Author, Karen M. McManus and plan to check out her recent standalone novel.

Have you read either of these, let me know what you thought!

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Blogmas Day 23: Merry Christmas Eve, Eve

Blogmas - 2019

I can’t lie, I’m kinda ready to be done with Blogmas 😂 It’s fun but hard to come up with content that’s unique. Although, I love reading all of the festive posts and will be a little sad going back to business as usual. Tonight’s post will just be a bit of a catch up ☺️ I’m enjoying some hot cocoa and listening to some Christmas tunes, I feel very festive but wish it was snowing.

Today was my last day of work until January 6 and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It’s been a long year, I’m ready to not be at work for awhile. Two blissful weeks of sleeping, snowboarding, snowshoeing and sleeping.

I almost finished wrapping all of my gifts, I’m loving the new wrapping paper and how sparkly it is. I need one of those bins for storing paper though because my cats like to futz around in the rolls. I plan to hit Target bright and early to score some more string and will look for one then. I’m loving the rustic look of the string against the glitzy prints.

I received an Echo Dot as an early Christmas present and it’s the coolest thing! It’s the perfect size for my bedroom and I’m already thinking about one for the living room. I don’t own a television and my apartment can be too quiet at times, I can play just about anything on the Dot and it’s awesome.

I went to confession, it was as boring and sad as I thought it would be 😂 I’m all set for Christmas Mass though which is the only reason I went, that and the damn sign. Confession does have this weird ability to make you feel shiny and new, it’s hard to explain but glad I got it done.

That’s about it in my neck of the woods, a quiet evening before the hustle and bustle of Christmas celebrations commence. I hope you’re having a Merry Christmas Eve, Eve ☺️

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Blogmas Day 19: Christmas Traditions I Can Live Without

Blogmas - 2019

I post something along these lines each year and most of it is hyperbole, I know and love that the holidays mean something different to everyone!

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I know that it’s not raw eggs but I can’t with the texture of eggnog, the flavor or the smell. Why does it always taste and smell like there is booze in it when there isn’t? It’s milk, cream, sugar and whipped eggs, I can’t even. Also, booze doesn’t make it better.

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I think that popcorn garland looks lovely but stringing it is a nightmare. I was terrible at stringing popcorn when I was a kid and repeatedly stabbed myself with the needle, I would never subject myself or others to this activity.

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It’s creepy & everyone knows it, lets all collectively stop doing it.

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I’m probably overthinking this but it’s odd to me that children everywhere are excited about their homes being invaded. I much prefer the kindly, charitable Saint Nicholas as opposed to the modern day, breaking & entering Santa. Who, by the way, doesn’t even eat the cookies that are left for him.

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The milk and cookies thing – what a waste.

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When I was a kid, it literally took my mom like 16 hours to cook a turkey. I have no idea why but it was Christmas Eve tradition that she would be up all night basting this stupid turkey. In my adulthood, I have found out that it does not take that long to cook a turkey – even a big one. I’ll never know why she cooked that thing so long.

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Have you ever really listened to some of the lyrics to popular Christmas songs? Some are really bizarre, Winter Wonderland comes to mind. First of all, who is Parson Brown? Second, that whole are you married bit and the part time husband thing. Again, probably overthinking it but can someone write some new Christmas songs for the love of Parson Brown?!

Let me know what holiday traditions you could do without & thanks for stopping by!

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Blogmas Day 13: Thirteen Festive Facts

Blogmas - 2019

I am delighted that we get a Friday the 13th in December, I’m going to see a horror movie tonight and can’t think of a better way to spend a snowy winter’s eve. I think that there are probably elements of Christmas rooted in the supernatural but I couldn’t find enough facts related to this so just rounded up some kinda’ interesting ones instead!

  1. Evergreen was used during the winter solstice by the ancient Romans and Egyptians as a reminder of spring.
  2. Christmas was deemed a pagan holiday in the colonies from 1659-1681 and anyone caught celebrating it would be fined.
  3. 65% of Americans identify themselves as Christians but 90% celebrate Christmas.
  4. Jesus probably wasn’t born on December 25, the date was likely changed to align with the pagan festival of Saturnalia.
  5. The same man who dreamt up the Headless Horseman is also responsible for Santa’s sleigh.
  6. Eggnog was popularized in Jamestown in 1607.
  7. Christmas wreaths began as symbols of the crown of thorns worn by Jesus.
  8. Tinsel was once made with real silver and was outlawed for a period of time for containing real lead.
  9. Christmas is not actually recognized in the Bible as a holy day.
  10. Coca Cola was the first company to capitalize off the holly jolly image of Santa, he was originally depicted much older & creepier.
  11. Leaving cookies and milk for Santa emulates the Dutch practice of feasting on St. Nicholas day.
  12. Mistletoe was thought to be an aphrodisiac.
  13. According to Austrian folklore, Krampus is the demonic opposite of Santa and will drag naughty kids to hell. Way scarier than coal 😉

There you have it, 13 festive facts. Thanks for reading!

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Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous

Random

Shout out to all of 90’s kids who thought they were punk but were really just wearing too much black eyeliner 😛 I had another post planned for today but am lacking photos and will save it for later in the week. In case you missed it, Kourtney Kardashian’s most recent brainchild Poosh launched yesterday and I am simply baffled. In fairness, Kourtney is my favorite Kardashian (don’t act like you don’t have one) and I am guilty of following the family on some level so of course I had to check it out. It’s just what you’d think; bright white, shiny, gorgeous photos of spacious rooms and stunning decor, pretentious recipes, DIY beauty that only works if you are already stunning and eerily reminiscent of Into the Gloss…Goop…literally any other lifestyle website you can think of…Oh, and it’s also everything I’d like my wesbite to be because obviously this shit sells. First off, you need a completely meaningless name that’s annoying to pronounce but inexplicably unforgettable, I call dibs on Schlep. Then you just need a bathroom the size of a large studio apartment, Beyonce’s makeup artist, a dozen staff writers, camera crew, a closet stocked with designer brands and the whole being gorgeous, rich and/or famous thing certainly will not hurt your cause. The whole idea of putting these ultra-decadent, mostly unattainable lifestyles on blast generally just irks me and yet, I can’t look away. None of the content adds any real value to my life unless of course, I am looking for an $800 sundress or wondering what Emma Watson’s skincare routine is or I have a hankering to become a spiritual herbalist (whatever the fuck that is). That sundress won’t make me look like Gwynnie and in fact, no product mentioned or sold on these sites will transform me into the lifestyle goddess that I so desire to be. When I peruse these sites and take in the perfectly choreographed candid photos I can’t imagine that it’s real, nobody lives like this and that’s just what these sites are for me – a fantasy, an escape from the daily schlep. I find them more fascinating somehow because of how foreign they are to me and probably most normal people.

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Honestly though, do they all have the same web designer?! Anyway, if you were just dying to know what a day in the life of Kourt looks like, head on over but be prepared to not have your life enriched in any way 😛 If you haven’t got sucked into the whole lifestyle site, I recommend Into the Gloss as they are the OG, the content is pretty varied and not completely asinine. Let me know your thoughts on these types of sites, why do people care (myself included)? Also, let me know your thoughts on Schlep, I think it could work 😛

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A Week’s Review

Random

Spring has sprung, I have officially started taking allergy meds again, have seen at least 3 dead squirrels in the road, I have no idea what to wear and am still recovering from the time change. Ahhhhhhh – Spring, can you feel it? The sunshine has been a welcome change but the rest of Spring can go straight to Hades. Here’s a little rundown of what I got up to this week.

One full week in the new car went mostly OK, it doesn’t feel like my car and still has that new car smell. My old car had a very distinct scent to it because I have a very distinct scent, I miss that familiar scent but I suppose the patchouli seeping out of my pores will eventually transfer to the new car 😉

Some of the Lulroe leggings that I ordered have arrived and they are interesting. I didn’t realize that there was such a bustling market for these leggings on apps like Mercari and Poshmark but I managed to find quite a few Halloween prints that are awesome. It’s interesting how varied the pricing can be, some sellers will list certain patterns as being unicorns or rare while others don’t. Mercari I feel has less variety than Poshmark but sellers can offer their items at reduced prices for a limited time and some even offer free shipping. The leggings themselves are very unique feeling and remind me of the material that seamless undies are made of, they have the infinite stretch thing going on. They don’t provide a lot of support and I couldn’t see myself wearing these in public. I’m not a big leggings in public person anyway but these feel like you aren’t even wearing pants. The patterns also don’t stretch weird on the body, the Wolfman pair are so far my favorite. I have a few others on the way and kinda’ want to do like 31 Days of Leggings for October or something, I’m literally just sitting here waiting for Halloween 😆

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I started listening to the Serial podcast and am so hooked! I enjoy police procedural books and documentaries so it’s right up my alley. I just finished season one, I almost want to listen a second time over in case I missed anything.

My hair is slowly but surely getting longer, I’m almost to that weird phase where I’ll just want to cut it but so far so good. I don’t have plans to grow it out terribly long and will probably end up with super short hair again in the future but it’s growing for now.

Have you been following the Operation Varsity Blues bust?! First of all, who got paid to come up with that name? Second, I know that there were loads of wealthy people involved but it especially irks me that people like Olivia Jade got into a great school by lying. Like, what was the point? You’re already rich and pretty and that will get you a long way in today’s society. Didn’t anyone involved think at some point that they were testing their luck? Also, I had no idea who Felicity Huffman was and am now mired in season two of Desperate Housewives.

That’s about it, oh, I joined a bags league with some co-workers to get out of the house this summer. It starts in June, I’m already exhausted 😭 What’s new with you?

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TOMS Wishlist

Sustainable Living

Have you ever eaten something really disappointing and thought, well fuck, I wish I could get those calories back. I wish I was one of those people who could create recipes but I’m not and depend on the internet for most of my recipes. Usually this works for me but this one was a dud.

It was supposed to snow 10 inches today, it didn’t. Instead it rained for hours and only just started snowing about an hour ago. The rain put me in a panic because I need new rainboots. I wear rainboots from about April 1 to Thanksgiving, I wear out a pair a year. Does it rain everyday for 6 months in Minnesota? No, in fact it does not but a few years ago, I stepped in a puddle of slimy water and woke up with a rash all the way up to my thigh. I got a skin infection, I had a fever and now I wear rainboots all of the time because water in the city is wretched. I didn’t find a new pair of rainboots but fell in love with about 10 pairs of new TOMS that I don’t need. I like TOMS, I’ve been sporting them since they became available in 2006. Over the years though, I’ve become more skeptical of this for-profit organization and its good intentions. It’s a couple of things for me, the influx of donated shoes must disrupt the local economies, canvas shoes aren’t great for most terrain, 40 bucks is a lot to pay for some canvas shoes that have basically become the trendy footwear of hipsters and yuppies. Do I like the idea of One-for-One? Yeah, absolutely but it makes me wonder if local businesses struggle to compete with a foreign supply chain. The donated shoes are exported to Ethiopia, Kenya, India and Haiti. Now, their shoes are plenty durable for my pedestrian, desk job working life but that 1/2 centimeter rubber sole wouldn’t hold up to much more. Are they the best shoes for kids in these countries? Being a middle class American, the cost of the shoes is a bit prohibitive. I own about a dozen pairs that I’ve collected over the years but wouldn’t they sell more pairs if they reduced their profit margin and cut the cost of them? I mean, I’m just sayin’. I’ve also owned my TOMS for years so I don’t really consider them fast fashion or wasteful, I get a lot of wear from them. I know that the organization now supports other causes like vaccines, clean water and eyecare so trendy shoes were obviously a great gateway cause. Anyway, I still like the shoes and appreciate the effort and need some spring kicks 😉

Also, I just noticed that the canvas classics are 54.95! Let me know your thoughts on TOMS. How much good are they really doing? They’d just be ugly ass shoes if they weren’t TOMS, right 😉

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