Uncategorized

Holiday Wish List

November 16, 2016
Untitled #6

 

birchjuiceblog

It’s that time of year again, when I can post all of the items that I want for all to see. I’m changing things up a bit and requesting more clothes items, I guess I’ve been eyeing a few things. Less makeup this time because I have so much sitting around that I don’t know if I will ever get around to using it all up.

1. Everlane Cashmere Crew – I’ve been curious about Everlane in general, having never shopped there before, so the first thing I’d like to get would be a cashmere sweater. It looks very cozy and appears to have fine quality, so sign me up.

2. Madewell Leather Loafers – I didn’t use to like loafers but I’ve seen so many of them around that they finally grew on me. They seem like the perfect shoe for the weird weather we’ve been having here. Not to mention they would go with a lot of outfits.

3. J.Crew Cashmere Scarf – Whenever the colder months roll around I pretty much live in scarfs. They are so cozy and add style to any outfit. Since I’m back in the north I think I really need another toasty scarf to keep me warm all winter!

4. Moleskine Notebook – I have a soft spot for notebooks and I’ve been eyeing these for a while. I like writing stuff down and doodling so I could use another notebook for all of that good stuff.

5. Acure Organics Dry Shampoo – I’ve been using natural dry shampoo and it’s been going great. I’ve heard good things about this one so I’m eager to try it out. I’m currently using their shampoo and it’s a pretty good.

What are you wishing for lately?

Books

October Reading Wrap Up

November 9, 2016
Reading

October has been a decent reading month for me, but I didn’t read as many scary books as I had hoped. Fortunately I will get to read some of those in November.

The Nest (2/5 stars) – I was not expecting much from this book in spite of how overhyped it was. It’s a book about a group of siblings who are worried about getting their inheritance. All of the characters are bland and pretty much nothing happens the entire time. I wish I could unread it.

Coraline (3/5 stars) – This was a short and sweet little read. A little bit sinister as the little girl discovers a secret passage in her new home that leads her to another reality where all of the people she knows aren’t really themselves. Awesome Halloween read.

The Catcher in the Rye (4/5 stars) – I found this book very funny in spite of how silly the main character was at times. He got kicked out of his school and instead of going home and confessing this to his parents he chooses to wander around NYC getting into all kinds of situations. Overall a pretty entertaining read and it turned out much better than I expected.

I Let You Go (3/5 stars) – The synopsis of this book is rather misleading and clarifying it would give away one of the main plot twists in this story. The first half of the book was very boring but action picked up in the second half as the earlier mentioned plot twist emerges. Also, in the second half of the book the narration becomes a lot darker and I feel like that would have been good for the entire book.

Results May Vary ( 3/5 stars) – Good read and I never felt bored or tired of it. Best of all the main character was a normal person who didn’t annoy me as a lot of main characters tend to do. I was genuinely worried about what was going on in this book and cared about the main character. The ending was also good and very realistic.

What have you been reading lately?

Life, New York City

A Matter of Convenience

November 2, 2016
off

Before moving to NYC I didn’t really know how conveniently you can live your life. I think that’s because a lot of those sorts of conveniences were easily accessible like a readily available washer and dryer in your apartment. Here though, everything often times is just bare bones. Most people have a tiny kitchen with no counter space. And I mean no counter space. Like here’s your sink and here’s a tiny area beside your sink that’s supposed to have your toaster, coffee maker, drying rack, and whatever else you’re used to have in your kitchen. I don’t love it, especially now that I’ve been dabbling in cooking and counter space is pretty important but I digress.

I guess I should tackle my biggest problem which is doing the laundry. It’s not fun at all, it wasn’t even fun to do when a washer and dryer was in the laundry room right beside my kitchen. Now it’s even less fun when we’re strolling a couple of blocks down with our IKEA bags full of dirty clothes looking hella classy. I don’t even mind the process of doing laundry, because the washer and dryer are doing all of the work, but it just takes so damn long! So there’s a service here in the city that will literally come to your apartment, pick up your dirty clothes, take them to their magical clothes washing facilities, and then return your stuff already clean and folded. You never have to do laundry ever again!

Same goes for tiny kitchens, if you don’t have enough room to cook properly then why cook at all? I think I may have stolen that from one of the Seamless ads on the subway. Before moving to the city I have never been the kind of person to order delivery, because I’m a capable human being and I can go out of my way to pick up Chinese takeout. Seamless is truly glorious though, and others are doing the same kind of thing so much so that there’s now Uber Eats. Not just Uber for driving you places, but a food delivery service through which you can order meals as well as desserts like frozen yogurt and bubble tea (which I may or may not have ordered before).

Task Rabbit is a big thing here, if you need some serious tasks done like having someone assemble your IKEA furniture for you. Though they do a lot more than just that! You can have groceries delivered from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. You can even take part in grocery delivery services through over provides, whatever floats your boat. We just went to Trader Joe’s Wine store for the first time this past weekend and what do you know, they can deliver that Two Buck Chuck for you right to your front door, but it’ll cost ya!

Moral of the story is, you pretty much never have to leave your home to get whatever you want done. But while all of that sounds very tempting and convenient I would still rather go out and get my own wine!

Life

I’m Alive!

October 25, 2016
Currently

You guys, I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything in over a month. Slacking off is pretty easy, whoops.

I figure I may as well update you with everything that I’ve been up to lately with one of my “currently” posts.

Watching: I’ve recently finished Stranger Things and American Horror Story Hotel, both of which were awesome! Right now I’m back on How I Met Your Mother but I’ve also started sprinkling a bit of Friends in the mix too. I didn’t think it was possible but I think Friends is funnier the second time around, such a feel good show.

Reading: September has been an awesome reading month for me! And if you are interested in more of what I read and my book reviews make sure to check out my YouTube channel where I focus on bookish stuff. I’m also a lot better at posting new stuff on there. Right now I’m reading I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. I’m about halfway through and I have to say that the first part of the book was very meh but right now the narrator changed and I’m a lot more into it! I guess we will see how it goes.

Loving: Since moving to NYC I’ve been able to get lots of tasty treats, but one thing that I’m in love with is ramen. I never knew what the big deal with it was, and I always used to think of those 30 cent ramen  noodles that you get at the grocery store, but it’s way different than what you get at a restaurant. There are lots of ingredients and the broth is probably the best part, so I’m addicted. I’ve also developed an addiction to bubble tea, why must it be so good?!

Excited about: Going to Nashville! We’re going to a wedding in the middle of November and I’m so excited to go back there. I’m having serious sweet tea withdrawals, and I’m craving some good Mexican food. It’s also going to be much warmer in the south than here so that will be a nice change too.

Improving: My cooking skills. I’ve been dabbling in cooking for the last month and it’s been going great so far. I’m constantly finding new and interesting recipes and I guess cooking isn’t as tough as I thought it was. Before I was more interested in baking but now it’s the opposite. I think I’m most proud of making soups from scratch, even making my own broth, but I have so much more that I have to learn.

Let me know what you’ve been up to lately!

Uncategorized

Night Time Cruelty Free Routine

September 13, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

I’ve been slowly but surely adjusting my skincare routine to consist of quality products which are good for me and also for the animals that these items are not being tested on. Getting cruelty free products is much easier than it seems, especially if you don’t shop at drugstores (which is always tempting). Overall these are just good items in general, even if you don’t try to go cruelty free.

Glossier Cleanser/Makeup Remover – I’ve been looking forward to trying Glossier and I’m so happy that I gave this face wash a try. It’s very gentle and has the same kind of consistency as Cetaphil. However, it does an amazing job removing eye makeup and making my skin feel very silky smooth. It also has a very mild and pleasant scent, so the face washing experience is very good.

BWC Toner – This is a great company that produces all of their products cruelty free. This toner smells great and has been working well for me at night and in the morning. It’s a pretty mild formula so it’s a lot gentler than some of the other toners I’ve used in the past. My only problem with it is the fact that it’s not a spray top, because I’m trying to stop using cotton swabs because of the waste that they create.

BodyBeeWell Eyecream – This Etsy shop has some seriously nice stuff, and I decided to give their eye cream a shot. It comes in a tiny container but the eye cream is so rich so you don’t need a whole lot of it. I’m a big believer in eye cream, and this one is pleasant because of it’s earthy scent.

EmpireSquid Face Cream – I got the dry skin formula for the winter but it’s been working well in the summer too. This cream is rich, which is something that I look for in a night time cream and like other natural creams it has a light smell. No more dry patches on my skin after starting to use this stuff, and that shop has a lot of products to choose from.

FromTheEarthBodyCare Dry Shampoo – I’ve been putting dry shampoo in my hair at night recently and I feel like it gives me more volume in the mornings. This one is neat because you can get a brown dry shampoo for brunettes, which is a nice touch. I like using natural dry shampoo much better than the stuff that comes as a spray. This store has a lot of goodies that I want to test out in the future.

Have you tried any of these products before? What is your go-to night time product?

 

Books

August 2016 Reading Wrap Up

September 6, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

I’m back from my “hiatus” of sorts. I guess summer is over and I can finally get back into posting regularly. I can’t believe how quickly the summer went by and now before you know it it’s gonna be freezing cold and nasty out. August turned out to be a pretty mediocre reading month for me, I blame the good (blazing hot) weather and just the overall feeling of summer coming to an end. These books were decent, so I guess I did well picking out my reading material.

Sex Object by Jessica Valenti – (4/5) I liked this book because it was informative and really opened up my eyes to some of the most negative experiences that women (in this case Jessica herself) have quite often. It was well written and she shared a bunch of stories from when she was dating and the majority of those stories were pretty negative. The most shocking thing came at the end when she shared some of the emails that she had received from readers and just random people in general. It’s incredible how many ignorant people there are in this world. Overall it’s a great read if you like reading feminist books.

End of Watch by Stephen King – (4/5) I’m a self proclaimed Stephen King lover and I could read pretty much any of his books. I liked how neat the ending was, but I felt like it was all tied up a little too neatly in the end. Sometimes I like it when books end in an unpredictable and often times frustrating manner because as a reader that makes me feel something. With that being said, I for once had the satisfaction of the book ending pretty much exactly how I wanted it to, except for one thing. So it’s a good read if you’re a fan of King’s books.

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub – (3/5) Basically if you didn’t like The Vacationers you won’t like this one. It was a book about nothing, consisting of characters that I couldn’t care any less about. They are all very one dimensional and boring and I honestly wouldn’t tell you what the point of this book was. To me it felt like a pretty mindless read, so I guess it’s probably a good book for the beach. But since the beach days are over I wouldn’t recommend it unless you know you like Straub’s writing.

How was your summer? Have you read any great books lately?