My Halloween Costumes

Tomorrow might be Halloween, but I started dressing up early this weekend at my college. Unlike many other colleges, Halloween is not that big of a deal. I made the most of my weekend, however, by dressing up in a costume at a campus-wide event and the cornmaze with my sorority.

On Friday night, I didn’t plan on attending the dance held at my college, but was dragged by some of my friends. I had to think of a quicky and easy costume to throw on at the last minute. I decided on a frat boy costume. Luckily, my sister is super preppy so I could borrow a lot of her clothes (you can check out her fashion blog, The Queen Bre, here!).

For my frat boy costume, I paired a white button down with pastel blue shorts. i completed the look with a Vineyard Vines hat, boat shoes, and gray socks.

For the corn maze, my sister and I decided to do matching costumes. After scrolling through Pinterest for HOURS, we decided to be aliens! I was really happy that it was around 70 degrees the day we went to the corn maze because I didn’t even need a jacket!

For our look, we decided to wear galaxy print leggings and black sweaters. Luckily, the day we went to the corn maze it was warm outside! We finished our looks with black combat boots, space buns, and sliver glitter hair spray.

Since this was my last Halloween as a student, I was really sad! Luckily, I really loved all of my costumes.

What will you be for Halloween this year?


#SelfieSaturday: My (Somewhat Bookish) Halloween Pumpkin


Last week, I went to the Pumpkin Patch to find the perfect pumpkin to decorate for Halloween. After procrastinating all of my homework by spending longer than I would like to admit on Pinterest, I finally decided on how I wanted to decorate my pumpkin. While I loved all of the pumpkins that showed off my favorite book characters, I opted to create a donut pumpkin instead! To make my pumpkin somewhat relate to my passion for books, I decided to use my dog as a model to resemble a book by one of my favorite children’s book authors: If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff! Here’s how I created my donut-inspired pumpkin:

First, I went to a local pumpkin patch to search for the perfect pumpkin. After circling the patch for about thirty minutes, I picked the perfect pumpkin!

After finding the perfect pumpkin, I headed to Walmart to find supplies to decorate my pumpkin. I settled on four different paint colors from the brand Apple Barrel: Blue Cloudless, Pink Blush, Lite Mocha, and White. Each cost 50 cents, except for Pink Blush because it has a gloss finish. There were pink colors in the 50 cents range, but I opted for Pink Blush because it was the closest to the shade that I envisioned for my pumpkin. For paint brushes, I used painted brushes that I already owned.


After laying out newspaper on my living room table, I painted several layers of Lite Mocha on the bottom 2/3 of my pumpkin. I also painted a circle of Lite Mocha around the base of the stem and on the stem of the pumpkin. I started off by painting from side to side, but had more more successes painting up and down.


Next, I painted several coats of Pink Blush on the top third of the pumpkin. This paint was VERY sheer so it took many coats to get the perfect amount of coverage.


I finished my pumpkin by using a small brush to paint blue and white lines using Blue Cloudless and White.

After my pumpkin completely dried, I snapped a few pictures of the pumpkin with my dog and me!

Fall Activities Book Tag


Last week, I had fall break for my college. When I went home, I got to do so many fall activities such as going to a pumpkin patch, taking a scenic drive, making an apple bar, and finding some fun accessories for my costume. Since I’ve done so many fun fall activities, I thought it would be the perfect time to complete the fall activities book tag! Any book that I have a review for will be linked to the book’s title. Here are my answers:

  • Apple Picking: A book on your TBR that looks so delicious you can’t wait to take a bite out of it.

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)

I’ve wanted to read this book so bad since I finished Cress in August, but I’ll probably have to wait until winter break to read it. This fits perfectly with apple picking because it has a beautiful apple on the cover!

  • Corn Maze: A book that’s so fun to get lost in.

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)

I had my reservations when I picked up The Winner’s Curse, but quickly got immersed in the world as I was reading. I can’t wait to see how the world changes as the series progresses!

  • Haunted Houses: A book that scared you silly.

I don’t read scary books!

  • Pumpkin Patch: The latest book that you picked up (purchased). 

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey!

I actually didn’t purchase this book myself, but I will count it anyway. At my college, they have a book fair every homecoming. This year, they allowed student teachers to create a wish list of books, so anyone visiting could purchase a book for a future teacher’s classroom library. I already have a few books in this series, so I was excited when I found out someone bought this book off of my wish list!

  • Scenic Drives: A book that is lyrically beautiful. 

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

As I read The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, I was blown away by the writing style. I think this is one of Sarah Ockler’s best books in terms of plot and writing. The writing perfectly fits with the novel’s setting.

  • Pumpkin Carving: A book that you didn’t like and wouldn’t mind carving up.

How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You (Aurora Skye #1)

I was very disappointed after reading How to Keep a Boy From Kissing You. From unlikable characters to a ridiculous plot, I felt completely frustrated! Even though I didn’t like it, I couldn’t imagine carving up a copy of any book.

  • Drinking Apple Cider: A sweet book to curl up under the covers with.

The Unexpected Everything

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson is one of my favorite books of the year. I think the romance is absolutely adorable and unlike many other YA books, it happens pretty early on in the book. Seeing Andie and Clark’s relationship develop and grow was one of my favorite parts of the book.

  • Jumping in a Leaf Pile: A book that reminds you of your childhood.

Happy Halloween, Biscuit!

The Biscuit books always remind me of my childhood! For every holiday, I can remember my parents buying me a different Biscuit book.

  • Scary Movie Night: Your favorite spooky read.


I haven’t read many “sppoky” books, but an Rush by Sara Bennett Wealer* contained a little “spooky” element that I didn’t expect.

*Rush by Sarah Bennett Wealer will be available November 15. 

  • Bonus! Costume Party: A book with an eclectic cast of characters. 

My Lady Jane

My Lady Jane is full of eclectic characters! Every character had their quirks, whether it was being a bookworm or a horse for the part of the day.

Which fall activity do you enjoy the most?

Throwback Thursday: Happy Halloween, Biscuit! Review


Woof, woof! (That’s Biscuit talk for “great book!”)

In Happy Halloween, Biscuit!, Biscuit and a little girl travels through various fall activities including a pumpkin patch, choosing their Halloween costumes, and Trick or Treating. Throughout the story, Biscuit interacts adorably within the environment, like knocking down a scarecrow and crawling in a sweater as his Halloween costume.

One of the best aspects of this book is the construction. The pages of the book are tougher than paper, but not as think as a board book. This is the perfect construction for the target age range because it is more mature than a board book, but sturdy enough to not easily be ripped. The flap are also a nice touch because it allows readers to predict what Biscuit is doing before opening the flap.

Another aspect of Biscuit books that I love is the repetitive aspect. By creating a sentence structure that repeats so frequently, readers quickly familiarize themselves with many words in the text. This allows the reader to read at a fast, but accurate pace because they can predict the sequence of words coming up in the sentence.

Biscuit is also one of the positives in this book–he is so cute! If a child has read other books in this series, they will be excited to see Biscuit and all the fun activities he completes throughout the story!

Overall, Biscuit is a fun and appropriate book for its target age range. While this consistency is great for younger readers, older readers might become bored with the predictable sentence structure and situations. I give Happy Halloween, Biscuit! four out of five stars.

ARC Review: The Kindness Club


Release Date: November 1, 2016

They always say if you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say it all… luckily, I have many positive things to say about The Kindness Club by Courtney Shienmel.

The Kindness Club follows Chloe Silver, who despite her parents’ recent divorce and moving to a new school, stays determined to remain positive and find great new friends. Upon arriving at her new schools, Chloe catches the attention of the popular girls, also known as the “It Girls.” Before Chloe can call herself an It Girl, she must do whatever they want until they ask her to officially join the group. Their biggest request is for Chloe to be mean to her science project group.

I’ve read one other book by Courtney Shienmel (Sincerely) and one thing I really appreciate about her books is how realistically she portrays characters and relationships. Chloe struggles with many real life issues–she wants to be accepted, her dad is dating someone besides her mom–and reacts to the situations as you would an expect an 11-year-old to react. As a reader, you can feel Chloe’s pain and easily identify with many of her experiences.

I also love the dimensions that Shienmel adds to her characters. Monroe, the It Girls’ ringleader, isn’t just a stereotypical mean girl with blonde hair, pink wardrobe, and rich parents. With the glimpses you see into different characters’ lives, you can clearly see how their experiences impact their attitudes. That being said, I do think Lucy and Theo, the other Kindness Club members, could be fleshed out more because they came across as a little cartoonish. Since this is the first book in a series, I suspect readers will learn more about those two characters.

While I loved many aspects of this book, there were some aspects that could be improved. Some readers may find the book’s message as a little too overstated and juvenile. Having a popular girls club and Kindness Club seems a little too young for fifth grade, but since the target audience of this book is a little younger, it is not that big of an issue. I also think that their are many other books out right now dealing with the same subject. While Shienmel’s writing is definitely stand-out, the plot may not be exciting or new to readers.

I really appreciated the writing quality and realistic characters in The Kindness Club, but was slightly disappointed by the predictable and overused plot. I give The Kindness Club three out of five stars.

I recieved The Kindness Club from NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review. 

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Halloween Costumes


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is a Halloween freebie. After spending hours on Pinterest deciding my own Halloween costume this year, I found so many wonderful costumes of characters from some of my favorite books. It even reminded me of my go-to costume at the end of high school, Katniss Everdeen (click here to see my Katniss costume DIY). I found all of these costumes on Pinterest and will link the blog that they appeared on (unless the link is just to the image). Here are my top ten book-related costumes:

1.) The Mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

I was actually considering doing this costume for Halloween, but opted for a crazier costume since I can probably do this in my future classroom. Stay tuned during the rest of Blogoween to see what I’m going as this year!

2.) Olivia from Olivia


I LOVE this Olivia costume (and probably would wear it without the ears any day!). I’ve actually been eyeing this dress on Modcloth for awhile, so maybe this gives me an excuse to buy it.

3.) Rainbow Fish from Rainbow Fish

This costume is so fabulous and fun! I love the flouncy skirt and glittery scales.

4.) The Very Hungry Caterpillar from The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I love Eric Carle’s illustrations, so I love this cute and comfortable costume inspired by one of his most popular stories. I would love to wear this one day as a teacher in my future classroom!

5.) Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus

Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus

I loved the days in science class when we got to watch The Magic School Bus. I would love to dress up as Ms. Frizzle–she is such a great inspiration for teachers!

6.) A Book Fairy

DIY halloween costumes for kids

This costume is absolutely magical! You can tell the person who made it put a lot of effort and creativity in the design.

7.) Where the Wild Things Are

Where the wild things are

This looks like such a cute and comfortable costume! Where the Wild Things Are is such a classic story that it makes for a cute and recognizable costume. Check out Medea Giordano’s blog for a complete DIY on these looks.

8.) Pete from Pete the Cat

40 Awesome Halloween Costume Ideas

When I had a field in a preschool, I couldn’t tell you how many times I read Pete the Cat stories to the students. This is a cute costume that would be perfect for chilly fall nights. This costume was originally posted on The Bean Sprout Notes.

9.) The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree Halloween costumes for parent and child along with a coordinating trick-or-treat bag

The Giving Tree is one of my favorite children’s books, so I love this costume! I think the colors are really bright and graphic. Plus, the apple bag would be a great place to store candy! For a complete DIY of these costumes, check out The House that Lars Built.

10.) Alice from Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland costume with house | Cool Mom Picks

I love how this Alice costume goes beyond the typical and showcases another aspect of the book! Originally posted on Misha Lulu.

What was your favorite Halloween costume growing up?

ARC Review: The Best Possible Answer


Release Date: November 1, 2016

Did I enjoy this book? The best possible answer is… yes!

In the Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras, Viviana Rabinovich-Lowe is known for her academic achievements until her ex-boyfriend sends personal photos of her around the school and her family unravels. To combat her constant anxiety and panic attacks, the doctor recommends a stress-free summer. Viviana trades in her SAT prep books for a summer pool job where no one knows anything about her. While Viviana adjusts to her newfound freedom, she also discovers a shocking secret that could tear her family apart once and for all.

When I first read the description of The Best Possible Answer, it sounded like it had the makings of a classic Sarah Dessen novel. While the book ended up not being exactly what I expected, I still really enjoyed this book. Even though some aspects of the book felt a little stereotypical or undeveloped, it also packed an emotion punch and realistically portrayed family relationships.

First, I’ll start with the characters. I liked Viviana, but she definitely isn’t one of my favorite YA characters. Viviana reminded me of many other contemporary female protagonists, so she didn’t really come across as particularly unique. However, I appreciated the Viviana acted like a seventeen-year-old–she acted brashly and often made bad decisions–and her actions carried the plot along. Overall, she is a likable and relatable character even though she doesn’t stand out among female protagonists.

Like Viviana, I liked the secondary characters, but many of them didn’t really stand out or were very underdeveloped. I liked Viviana’s friendship with her best friend, but for the majority of the book it seemed like her best friend was only relevant to cause tension between Viviana and her love interest, Evan. Her sister, Mila, was the cute and sometimes comedic little sister. Professor Cox was the strange character who spouted off random bouts of wisdom. The remaining characters only served to point out that Evan loved Viviana.

Viviana’s relationship was also fairly standard for YA contemporaries. Viviana’s relationship with Evan was extremely underdeveloped and he embodied the stereotypical YA love interest. He was essentially perfect except for one “flaw,” which in this case was switching his major to music despite his father’s wishes. Even though it took awhile for them to get together, their relationship felt extremely rushed because they never actually got to know each other. Other characters constantly pointed out their connection, but I failed to see it through their few interactions.

For the plot, I mostly have positives, but only one negative. I assumed from the summary that the photo scandal would have a larger impact on the story. It did impact Viviana as a character–along with her father, it made her wary of forming new relationships–but in the end it only was used for last second drama to keep Viviana and Evan away from each other longer.

While these problems initially worried me that I would rate this as an okay read, the middle and end of the book really impressed me. One of the most well done parts of this book is Viviana’s relationship with her family and discovering the truth about her father. I especially appreciated Viviana’s relationship with her mother and how it grew towards the end of the book and how her relationship with her father deteriorated based on the choices that they made. The author very realistically portrayed family dynamics and how one person’s choices can lead to a lifetime of consequences.

I also really enjoyed the author’s writing style. It was very smooth to read and packed an emotional punch. I also appreciated the details before each chapter which included a fake SAT questions about Viviana’s life, an essay question that provided backstory, or a preparation tip that related to the next chapter.

Even though the characters didn’t stand out for me, I really enjoyed the family dynamics and writing style of The Best Possible Answer, so I give this book four out of five stars.

I recieved The Best Possible Answer from NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review.


ARC Review: The Row


Release Date: October 11, 2015 

On the counts of underdeveloped characters, a slow-moving plot, and predictable ending, I find The Row by J.R. Johansson guilty as charged.

The Row follows seventeen-year-old Riley Beckett, the daughter of an infamous serial killer who just exhausted all of appeals. Her whole life, Riley believed her father’s innocence… until he admits to the crimes during a visit a few weeks before his scheduled execution. With only days before her father’s death, Riley searches for the truth.

One of The Row’s greatest weaknesses lies in the cast of characters. Riley is a described as a tough girl who survived school without any friends, death threats from neighbors, and numerous trials that repeated the gruesome details of her father’s alleged murders. Riley’s actions, however, suggest otherwise. Riley spills out her father’s biggest secret to the first cute boy she sees (who just so happens to be the police chief’s son), attempts to interfere with a crime scene that could prove her father’s innocence, and agrees to meet people in sketchy places at odd hours of the night. The persona that the author tried to push for Riley never really matched up with her character.

The other characters in the book were cardboard cutouts or extremely underdeveloped to where their motivations made absolutely no sense. Riley’s love interest, Jordan, fell into many young adult cliches. He experienced some traumatic event that he felt responsible, he accepted everything about Riley without question, and had an adorable little brother in tow. The other characters–Riley’s mom, dad, Stacia, and Mr. Masters–were never really developed so I never understood their reactions in certain situations or their motivations at the end.

As for the plot of the book, it moved extremely slow. From the book’s description, I expected fast-paced action with thrilling and heart-stopping moments. I expected Riley to take daring chances in order to prove her father’s innocence. Instead, she spent the first 3/4 of the book taking notes from newspaper articles. This made it really difficult for me to get through majority of the book.

While the action picked up at the end of the book, the ending seemed to come out of nowhere and definitely reminded me of some bad Lifetime movies. Throughout the book, the mystery is never very complex because the author offers very little information about the crimes or any of the characters. At the end the “plot twists” are cliches that would appear in many books of the same genre. If you’ve ever seen a Lifetime movie, think of an ending for any given movie, and you have the end of this book.

One positive aspect of this book were glimpses given of how the crimes psychologically affected Riley’s family, especially after the verdict given after the new crime. I wish the author would have focused more on this than Riley’s lackluster romance or online “detective” skills. Since this book missed the mark for me in many different areas, I give this book two out of five stars.

I recieved The Row from Net Galley for free in exchange for an honedt review.

Candy Book Tag


Dressing up in a fun costume and posting a cute Instagram picture are great, but the real highlight of Halloween is all the free candy. I thought it would be a sweet idea to complete the Candy Book Tag for Day 4 of Blogoween. Here are my answers for the Candy Book Tag:

1.) Apples: Ah. Healthy food. It’s deep, meaningful, and probably won a lot of awards but, um, it really isn’t your thing.

The Kite Runner

So many people that I know rave about The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. It was part of my summer reading for my senior year in high school and I struggled to get through it. I can see why some people would love the story and its message, but I could just never get into it.

2.) Black jellybeans: Why do these exist?

Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds (Captain Underpants, #3)

I’ve actually never read one of these books, so I can’t really judge the content. I do, however, remember in elementary school seeing all the boys in my class reading them and wondering, “Why?” 

3.) Chocolate kisses: Aww… this book had the best romance.

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

I haven’t finished The Lunar Chronicles (yet), but Cress and Thorne are by far my favorite couple! The end of Cress was straight out of a movie.

4.) Gummy spiders: Eek! You make sure to check under your bed every night for a week after reading this scary one.

Image result for scooby doo movie ghost.

I don’t really read scary books, but I do remember freaking out over the ghost at the beginning of the Scooby Doo movie. I cried until my parents turned the movie off! To be honest, looking at it now still freaks me out.

5.) Jumbo lollipop: This took you forever to get through, but hey! You did it!


If I remember correctly, this book was around 700 pages (the original manuscript was over 1000!). I honestly don’t know how I did it–this book was an absolute mess! The world, the slang, the plot… none of it made sense. I did power through it because I needed to see how much crazier it got.

6.) Cotton candy: Admit it, you loved this when you were younger (you probably still do). Think: children’s or middle grade fiction.

Image result

I absolutely LOVED the Babysitter’s Club when I was younger. I remember have stacks of these books that my grandma picked up at a yard sales. This series and the Pony Pals series were definitely by go-to books as a child.

Bookish Costume DIY: Katniss Everdeen


One of my favorite costumes at the end of high school and the beginning of college was Katniss Everdeen. It’s easy, recognizable, and most of the items needed were already in my closet! Even though the movies may be over, the odds are still in your favor of having a great Halloween if you dress up as this dystopian heroine. Here’s how I created my Katniss area look:


Makeup and Hair:

Since Katniss is more concerned about survival than the glitz and glam of the Capitol in the arena, I opted for wearing minimal and neutral makeup. In this look, I used foundation, concealer, and powder on my face. On my eyes, I used a neutral eye shadow quad from Too Faced and finished off the look with some mascara. For my hair, I had one of my sorority sister do the class Katniss braid. Another option for makeup is using brown paint to make smudges on the neck and face.


My sister as Minnie and me as Katniss

For the costume, I started with a black tee shirt and black pants (in the movie, however, Katniss wears cargo pants). Then, I layered two jackets on the tee shirt. The inside jacket is a plain black jacket with red trim and the outside jacket is a plain black rain coat from Target.

In the past, I’ve used two different methods to create the trim on the inside jacket. One way to create the red trim is to buy a duct tape sheet and cut the sheet into equally wide strips and to stick them on the jacket. I’ve also used red construction paper to make equally wide strips and used masking tape to tape them on the jacket. Even though the second method is more time consuming, I found that the collar of the jacket stayed down better using the construction paper.

On the red jacket, I also attached my Mockingjay pin, which can be purchased online, on the collar. As an alternative, you can print off a picture of the Mockingjay online and back it with cardboard. Then, you can hot glue or tape a safety pin on the cardboard and then fasten in on the collar (I did this when I dressed up as Katniss in high school before movie merchandise came out and it worked perfectly!).

I completed the costume with black combat boots.


In the past, I’ve also included a fake, plastic bow and arrow set. Since this is usually in the outdoor summer section, check out your local drugstores to find a set for super cheap (I got mine for only 20 cents!).


What costume will you be for Halloween?