Summer Reads

Summer is always my favorite time to get engrossed in a good book and read my heart out. I have always loved reading, but it can be a little hard to do during the busy school year. When I decided to come to California for three and a half weeks, I was most excited about being able to catch up on reading all the books I've had sitting on my shelf.

So here are the books I managed to squeeze into my reading list this summer!
Don't worry, there are no spoilers, and I linked to the book's synopses so you're not completely bored.

Clockwork Princess
Synopsis. This book is the third (and, unfortunately, final) book in Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices series. It is in the same world as her series The Mortal Instruments, in which the first book is about to become a movie. Trust me, you want to pick up Clare's books. They are based in an interesting and enthralling world filled with Shadowhunters, demons, vampires, warlocks, and more. Trust me, this ain't no Twilight. This series is beautifully written and hooks you from the very beginning. 

I give this book a definite 5/5! A must-read and also a book I would read over again.

Into the Wild
Synopsis. This is a non-fiction book but trust me, that doesn't mean that it's boring. I watched the movie quite a few years ago with some high school friends and absolutely loved it. When I got to California my grandma was in the middle of reading it and let me read it once she was finished. It talks mainly about Chris McCandless's journey but also adds some stories about others who chose to embrace the wild, including the author's own experience. I thought that would bother me at first, but the whole book enthralled me. Ever since seeing the movie years ago I have always wanted to live in Alaska for at least a year (but definitely not in the sole company of mother nature). That movie, plus The Proposal, hahah. But reading this book made that desire even deeper!

I give this book a 4/5! Definitely a good read, but not my usual genre and probably not one I would pick up for a second go-around.

The Maze Runner
Synopsis. This is a book in my favorite genre. A book set in a dystopian future where the government has gone ape-shit crazy and kids are forced to suffer in their wrath. I honestly can't say much about this book without giving stuff away. Here are some key words though: memory loss, kids, maze, runners, tears, monsters, death, surprise, love, determination, revenge. Woah, I bet you're just absolutely intrigued and are already running out the door to buy the book! I must admit though, this book is downright depressing. And since this is just the first of three in the series, I got absolutely no closure from it. Reading the sneak peak of the next book only made me more upset, but it definitely makes me want to go out and buy the last two of the series!

This book gets a 4.5/5! It is the type of book that pulls you in but leaves you without answers, but that just makes you want to read them all!

The Originals
Synopsis. This is again not in my favorite genre, but I loved it all the same. From reading the side flap of the book, I was expecting something quite different than what I got, but that just made it all the more interesting. The book is written from the perspective of Lizzie Best, who is the third "triplet" to Betsey and Ella Best. Even though they are three girls, they live one life. It is a very easy read; I finished it within 24 hours. It does not quite hook you in a way where you just have to read the next chapter because you're dying to find out what happens, but I found myself unable to put it down all the same. It combines romance, coming-of-age, and science all into one, and makes for an interesting and heart-warming story.

This book gets a 4/5! It was an easy and enjoyable book but not in my favorite genre and not one I would be dying to read again later.

Synopsis. And here we go, back to a dystopian future. I think I expected a lot more from this book than I got. My sister recommended it to me and she really loved it, so I was expecting something spectacular. So here's the deal: I love the story line, the characters, and the world they live in. All of that was well written. However, I feel it was a very slow and kind of boring book. Nothing really happened. You could say it was more like "real life" (however much a dystopian future based book can be) in that nothing too incredibly exciting happens.

I give this book a 3.5/5. Despite the fact that it's in the genre I like, it just didn't quite catch my attention and pull me into it as other books have.
Synopsis. Yes, this is the second book to Matched, which I just reviewed. Despite the first book not being my favorite, I had already packed Crossed for my trip to California and decided to read it anyway. And I am seriously so happy that I did! This book was much more thrilling, which is what I felt was lacking in the first. A lot more happened and I found myself not wanting to put it down. So if you decided to read the first but were a little disappointed, I encourage you to read the second! And luckily there is a third book that I will be starting soon!                                                                                                                                                            This book gets a 4.5/5. A definite improvement from the first book of the series!

The Mystic City
Synopsis. I wasn't expecting much from this book. While my sister gave it to me, it wasn't a book she was greatly praising, so I figured it would just be a filler book. However, I was incredibly impressed by it. I went through a lot of emotions while reading this book, which I think it a good indicator of a good book. It made me angry, sad, happy, and in love. It has a sort of Romeo and Juliette feel to it, but mixed with magic. It holds within it an intriguing world and a beautiful love story - but not one you would really expect. It has a lot of twists and turns and you will not be bored!!

I give this book a 5/5! Another great book that adds all the elements I enjoy.

Now You See Her
Synopsis. I left this book for last because I already knew it wasn't in the genre I loved, however I don't know why I waited! I have read one other James Patterson book and I had the same feeling of it not being my favorite, but I ended up loving it, so I don't know why I doubted this book! It has short chapters, which is something I like (for some odd reason) but TONS of twists! I would have never expected half of the things to happen that did. If you're into mystery with a splash of murder (or maybe a lot) then this book is definitely for you!                                                                                                                                                                                        This book is getting a 4/5 from me! Suspenseful and dramatic, not in my genre, but totally worth the read.

Okay, that's it I promise!! Just in case you didn't realize it though...I read all 8 of these books while I was in California...that's 8 books in less than three and a half weeks! It was heaven, I tell ya.
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That Time I (Moved Out)

I guess you could say I moved out of the house when I started my Freshman year of college at the University of Arizona. But honestly, I don't really count it. I lived in the dorms my first year, but I was home almost every weekend. Being only an hour and a half away from my family's home, plus having a boyfriend back home, meant I was making the drive making other people drive me back and forth very often. Still, it was different! Living in a small dorm with another person in a house with 50 girls is much different than having your own room in the house where the rest of your family lives.
Me and my lovely roommate:
And the only picture I can find which shows my side of the room:
Outside of the dorm:
But I think the real moving out happened my sophomore year of college when I moved into a house!
I had planned on just living in the dorms again my second year, mainly because I didn't want to have to buy a car. But my cousin was moving out of her house and her roommates wanted me to move in! And I just couldn't pass it up. The house is just so cute! It's in a gated community, it's way nicer than any house or apartment I have seen my friend's move into, plus since it's a house there is a ton of space! I have now lived there for two years, and this will be my last year in the house! There is really nothing like "growing up" than having to pay rent, utilities, and a car payment every month...so now I would say I'm officially moved out!
This is before I moved in but hey we're cute:
I may or may not have attended a few parties there while my cousin was still living there...it's a fun house guys.
And well, I'm too lazy to go take pictures of the rest of my house, to be honest. But trust me, it's nice!!! :D

Check out Alex over at Let Life Be Like Music!

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I'm Still A Kid at Heart

I think all of us are still kids at heart, whether we're 21 or 81.
At least I really hope so.
Here's why I think I'm still a kid at heart:

I still watch cartoons, and they are my favorite.
I love all things cartoon. Animated Pixar and Disney films? Always amazing. Phineas and Ferb is honestly the best show. Ever. When I was working at the camp this summer me and some of the kids (ages 5-7) were talking excitedly about our favorite episodes. I mean come on, real life tree houses? That is every kid's dream, and still is mine.
Give me some crayons and I'm a happy camper.
Although I have only one creative bone in my body (the smallest bone there is) I still love to color. My roommates made fun of me, but I whipped out those crayons and started coloring in my Pixar cartoons coloring book anyway (see number one of why I'm still a kid at heart). Also, if a restaurant has a paper table cloth and they have crayons, you can bet I'll be doodling all night instead of eating.
Mac and Cheese is my favorite food.
It may also be because of my poor college kid diet, but I have mac and cheese at least once a week. And going along with my first one, I always have to get the shaped ones. Phineas and Ferb mac and cheese is my favorite, however I'm loving the Monsters University one that's out right now.
I still need my mommy and daddy.
Yes, I am very independent - I have my own house, I pay my own bills, and I drive my own car. But when it comes down to it, I will always need my mommy and daddy. And no, I'm not ashamed to say that!
I sleep with a teddy bear.
I made a bear at build-a-bear with my girl scout troop when I was quite young, and I still sleep with her almost every night. At one point I thought I was too cool and tossed her aside, but then I realized I like having something to cuddle with at night. Until Dillon can permanently take her place as my cuddle buddy, I'm going to keep her around.

There really are probably a hundred more ways I am still a kid at heart.
Tell me, what do you love to do that makes you feel like a kid with infinite potential??
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That Time I (Graduated from High School)

So yeah...it happened!
Three years ago, people.
And now in 121 days, I'll be graduating college.
I have been having way too many panic attacks about this.
So let's go back to when things were simple.
I graduated high school, and I thought I was on top of the world.

The pearl necklace I'm wearing was a graduation gift from my Auntie Lee Anne. She gave me a pearl for Christmas every single year, and then surprised me with this gorgeous necklace!
 This was a surprise scrapbook that my mom put together for me! A lot of my family and friends each made a page for me, including pictures and a letter. It was the sweetest gift I could have ever asked for, and I know I will always cherish it.

 Me and the siblings. I cannot believe how young we all look!!
My gorgeous best friend, Morgan did my hair and make up for the big day. :)

And that's all folks!
Excuse me as I go cry in a corner wishing I could go back.

^^You know you want to^^

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30 Before 30

And then I came to the shocking realization that now that I'm in my 20's, the next thing is my 30's.
Honestly, I don't think it's that awful. I don't think you're considered "old" until you're in your 60's.
That's right, I said it. I mean, just look at my mama. She's 50-something and as gorgeous as ever.
So until I reach that age, I won't be too worried.

That being said, I do think my 20's will be some of the best years of my life.
So here is my 30 before 30...well, at least I'm working on it.

1. Graduate college
2. Marry the love of my life
3. Live in at least one other country
4. Have a mini-me
5. Go skydiving
6. Go on (another) Caribbean cruise
7. Live in Alaska for at least a year
8. Go bungee jumping
9. Visit the east coast
10. Go to Disney World/Universal Studios
11. Honeymoon in the Bahamas
12. Start a garden
13. Be an extra in a movie
14. Go to Country Thunder
15. Go camping for a week
16. Get a tattoo
17. Have a kitten and puppy
18. Backpack across Europe
19. Go on a road trip with Dillon
20. Read a book in one sitting
21. Think of nine more things I want to do before I'm 30

So there you have it! Some of these are a little out there, such as backpacking across Europe, living in another country, AND living in Alaska for a year all before I'm 30?? Really these are just lifetime goals but hey, I can try! 
I'll add my 30 before 30 as one of my pages and continue adding on whenever I think of something!

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That Time I (Cried Over a Pair of Shoes)

I have never been one to get too obsessed over material things such as jewelry, clothing, or shoes. I like a new outfit as much as the next girl, but I usually just go to Forever 21, pick up a couple things, and I'm good. I don't normally shop online, or if I do I just bookmark all of the things I wish I could have and then never look at them again. But when I saw these boots...everything changed.

It was around Christmas of last year that I was browsing Amazon when I came upon these boots:
Check them out here!
And I seriously fell in love. I had seen boots similar to these on girls around campus, but nothing as absolutely fabulous as these (I'm only a little biased). The only problem?? They were waaaaaay out of my budget. Over $100 for a pair of boots? I could honestly never justify paying that much. I don't judge those of you who do spend this much, I mean if you can afford it then why not? But with me always complaining about being a poor college kid, there is no way I could buy these and feel good about myself. I personally would rather be able to drive around in my own car than to walk around in these boots.

So I didn't buy them. But I looked at them constantly. I had never been so in love with a pair of shoes before and wanted them so badly. I was always clicking on the bookmarked link, just hoping I would get lucky and the price would go down. I actually think they did go down about $30 from when I first looked at them, but still...way out of my money league.

I started following targetdoesitagain on instagram. Probably one of the worst decisions of my life because it makes me want absolutely everything at Target. As if I didn't already, but this was a friendly reminder of all the cute things I can't have.
Then something magical happened. Yes people...magical. They posted this:
Could it be?? Boots in the exact style that I have been wanting but for more than $100 less???

So I rushed to Target that same weekend. But they weren't there.
Then I tried the Target in Tucson. No dice (can someone please explain this saying to me??).
Finally I decided to just order them online. I didn't want to pay shipping and I don't really like buying stuff before trying it on, but I was desperate.
Get them here!
There they were in all their glory on the Target website. But do you know what those b#$&*es told me?? That they didn't have my size in stock, and that they were not sold in stores yet.
WHAT?!? Do those girls behind targetdoesitagain get a sneak peak of stuff or what?? Because they sure as hell saw them in the store!
Honestly people, why I got so upset still amazes me, but I had been wanting these shoes for the better part of a year; I wanted them and I wanted them now.

Randomly one night after getting to California I decided to check online again. Maybe stores in California have them?? And I was right! I checked a store near me and they were in stock and in my size!!
The next time my grandma sent me out of the house I checked where the nearest Target was and went to buy my precious boots. It said that Target was on Hillsdale and I was like yeah, that street sounds familiar, it must be this one! I walked in, so excited to finally be getting these boots. But they weren't. there.
This was the part where I cried. Okay, okay. I didn't actually cry, but there was extreme sadness; way more than I am happy to admit.

I went back to my grandparents' house, and sadly told my grandma that the stupid online Target b*#&$es lied to me again. She says, "Really? The one on Blossom Hill didn't have them? It's such a huge Target, that's surprising." Oh. People, I went to the wrong Target. I rushed to the right Target the very next day.

When I first got there all I saw were the black boots on display. And the brown ones that were on the shelf weren't in my size. My heart sank. Could this really be happening to me? Why do bad things happen to good people? I grabbed a pair of boots that I knew would be too big, but wanting to try them on anyway. I walked down a random aisle so I could sit down and try them on and in that aisle there just happened to be the brown boots in my size. YAY!!!!!! I tried them on with a huge smile on my face, bought them with a huge smile on my face, and me and the boots are living happily ever after.

If you follow me on instagram or twitter you could tell how excited I was.
Just...look at them. They are gorgeous and all mine.
Plus, look at those sexy hot pink water shoes. In a couple weeks I will be in Colorado for Dillon's third parent's weekend and we are going white water rafting. I saw these and knew I had to have them!
Also, there's a moral to this story. WAIT before you buy something! If I had already gotten these expensive as heck Steve Madden boots when the Target ones came out for less than half the price, I would have been so angry at myself. Yes, they do look a little different but it was more the style that I was aiming for. I am so happy with my purchase. Unfortunately since they're cheaper that means more people will have them but I don't even care. I GOT MY BOOTS! :)

As always, hop on over to Alex's blog where she talks about that time she went to Vancouver! You can also check out my first That Time I post in which I went to Vancouver, as well! You can see that we went to a few of the same places! Best bloggy friends ever. ;)

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Truth Be Told: A Mini Series

Okay people, it's time to get real here.
One thing I hear a lot from bloggers is that you should be completely honest on your blog in order for people to relate to you more. That instead of just sharing all the great things that happen in your life, you should share those shitty things, as well.
So here we go, "Truth Be Told" will be a mini series where I will share some of my "worst" moments, maybe once every other week. (I can't be too negative, right?)
And to start it all out, here's my truth be told: I wasn't a supportive girlfriend.

When Dillon first told me that the Air Force Academy had reached out to him about going there to play baseball, I honestly thought it would never happen. Although it was always his dream to play baseball in college, it had never been a thought in his mind to be in the military. He took the time to think about it and decided against it. As much as he wanted to play baseball, the bottom line was that he did not want to be in the military. But then came the pressure. The pressure from the coach to come out just to have a tour, the pressure from his family to "live up to his potential," the pressure from himself to "ensure a better future for us." So he went on the tour, and decided that he would go to the Academy that coming Fall semester.
I was hurt. I was confused. He had always talked to me about coming to UofA, and although I was the one that kept telling him to keep his options open, that he didn't have to go there just because I did, it was what I was expecting because that's all he would ever say. And he also said he would never play baseball somewhere that it would snow........interesting. ;)
Even though I should have never felt this way, and I should have never made him feel this way, I felt as if he chose baseball over me. Despite his insistence that he was doing it so that we could have a better future, I couldn't see that far ahead, all I could see was the "here and now" and that was that he was leaving me.
From the time he decided to go to the Academy and all through the first year of him being there, I wasn't supportive. It wasn't that I didn't want to be, I honestly just didn't understand his decision. I didn't want to talk about the Academy, and if it was brought up I would get quiet. I literally cried when he got his hair cut (pathetic, I know, but it was just one more reminder of where he was going and that it was somewhere I couldn't follow). Truthfully, we almost didn't make it through that year. I was slightly depressed that whole year and it definitely took its toll on our relationship. We would fight a lot or constantly be in a bad mood.
It wasn't until I joined the USAFA Girlfriend's facebook page that I started to warm up to the idea and become more supportive of Dillon's decision. Well at first it was hard because they were all so proud of their boyfriends and they all seemed so supportive, so it just made me feel like shit. In my defense, most of them would say things like "It has always been my boyfriend's dream to go to the Academy/be a pilot/be in the Air Force" etc.  So it was rough because I felt like I was the only one whose boyfriend went solely for sports. But then they had a "big sister/little sister" program and my "big" was absolutely amazing. I really believe that it is only through my relationship with her and a few of the other girlfriends that I was finally able to wake up and realize that I had to be more supportive of my man.
I still might not fully understand why he made the decision to go to the Academy (and sometimes I don't think he does either!) but I definitely think I have become more supportive, and I really hope he agrees. The Academy has brought some amazing opportunities for both him and us. We probably wouldn't have been able to go to Canada for a whole week if it weren't for the Academy, Dillon probably wouldn't have been able to go to Germany for three weeks this summer, and we probably wouldn't have the opportunity to live in other states (and hopefully countries!) if it weren't for the Academy.
We all have faults, and this was a major one of mine that almost took me away from the love of my life. If there does happen to be a girlfriend reading this that feels/felt the same way I would love for you to email me! It is okay to not understand and to feel sad and hurt, but I have learned that it is not okay to not be supportive of the people you love.
And for Dillon, I love you and I support you in everything you do at the Academy and beyond. As long as we get to live abroad...;)

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