Favorite Books of 2018

Read any good books in 2018? I definitely did. Here are a few of my favorites!

Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay by Phoebe Robinson


It’s hard to write a book that dissects feminism, cuts to the heart of racism and sexism, and also makes you want to pee your pants because you’re laughing so hard. “Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay” is very that, though. Phoebe Robinson is brilliant and hilarious, sharing personal essays that will make you laugh until tears are streaming down your face while you’re on your miserable 45-minute commute to your job driving through the country backroads of western Massachusetts (Amherst is not easy to get to, guys). Each essay was excellent, but I’ll admit it: hearing all about meeting Bono was my absolute favorite. I highly recommend the audiobook for this, too. Though you miss out on some of the photos (you can just stalk her on Instagram to find them!), you get to hear Phoebe read this aloud as it’s intended. Plus, there’s nothing better than when she starts to laugh at her own jokes.

Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Other Four-Letter Words by Michael Ausiello


You’ll need tissues for this one — a moving, real-life love story of TV writer Michael Ausiello and photographer Kit Cowan. Ausiello moves seamlessly between the building blocks of his relationship with Cowan to the present-day horror of what it’s like to find out that the love of your life is dying from cancer. This book will gut you and you’ll find yourself hoping that the title was a mislead, that the hero really doesn’t die in the end, and you’ll be shaken to the core when he does. Still, it’s a beautiful story about life, love, grief, and the adventure of being in a relationship with your person. It devastated me; I loved it.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara


Michelle McNamara has a way of weaving together details about the Golden State Killer in such a way that, at times, you forget you’re reading about a serial killer — but in the best way. Though the book is a true depiction of McNamara’s obsession, it also tells a lot about McNamara, too, from her childhood to what attracted her to this case to her process. Learning about her search is every bit as interesting as the details of the case itself. But fear not: if you’re a true crime lover, the book is every bit as chilling as you think it is; there were parts that gave me chills. I only wish McNamara was around to know how influential her work was.

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older


I’m so pleased that this will be a series. “Shadowshaper” is a fantasy young adult novel that tells the story of a young girl named Sierra who uncovers a supernatural world. It’s hard to describe the plot without spoiling anything, but the Goodreads description had me hooked:

Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “Lo siento” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep…. Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.

Sierra is a great YA character, the kind that you can see so much potential in and root for over and over. The pacing of the book is great, with a great balance between the action and focus on the story’s relationships. The book is exciting and spooky and has supernatural elements that feel pretty believable. All in all, a great read!

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez


It is can be tricky to tackle mental health in a tactful but real way in YA novels. Erika L. Sánchez does it beautifully. She writes of grief and loss, of loneliness and despair, of family and growth in lovely ways. But I am truly grateful for — and impressed by — her no-holds-barred portrayal of what it’s like to deal with depression as a teen. Julia is an unforgettable character with wit and spunk; she’s tough, but lovable as she searchers for the truth about her older sister Olga, who passed away, and may have a secret life Julia never knew about. The book perfectly combines grit with humor as it covers important themes like the immigrant experience, mental health, cultural expectations, family pressure, and chasing your own ambition.

All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung


This was perhaps my favorite book of the year. It was a book that truly transported me; I could picture and feel everything Nicole Chung experienced so fully, despite my life being nothing like it. The book is a memoir of Chung’s life and of her search to learn more about her biological family, set against the backdrop of her own life and motherhood and experiences with her adoptive family. The writing in this book is breathtaking at parts and so vulnerable. Chung’s feelings are ripe and raw for the reader’s consumption and her story truly moved me like a memoir hasn’t before.

What were your favorite reads from 2018?

(Book photos credit to Amazon.com)

Things I Wore (And Did) in February 2018

All month long, I kept telling myself I just needed to get through February and I’d be that much closer to spring—and it ended up being a lot easier than I thought! It helped that February was overall a pretty good month, with lots of fun plans.

I had brunch plans with friends; had an incredible Valentine’s Day with my husband, which included spending time in the Berkshires and Mass MoCA; celebrated Galentine’s Day with friends; enjoyed bonding time with one of my close friends, Laraine, and her son, O; visited my grandma; went house hunting for Bill’s parents (who will be returning to Connecticut soon); and saw Black Panther. Can’t really ask for much more during an otherwise dreary and cold month!

Here’s what I wore.


This LBD from LuLaRoe is one of my favorites. I spent all last year thinking I looked best in LLR Nicole dresses and Perfect Ts… but it turns out the Julia dress is what truly has my heart. I love it! I have three Julias that are staples in my wardrobe, including this recent black purchase.

Outfit details

  • Dress: LuLaRoe Julia
  • Shrug: Forever 21
  • Tights: WeLoveColors.com
  • Boots: DSW


Outfit details

  • Dress: 25 Central
  • Leggings: Old Navy
  • Boots: DSW


I rocked a version of this same outfit last month, but this time I went without leggings because it was a relatively warm day! Realizing now the bottom of the skirt was a tad wrinkly, but oh well.

Outfit details

  • Dress: Target
  • Skirt: LuLaRoe Cassie
  • Shoes: Tieks


My husband summed this outfit up best: “You Blossom-looking motherfucker.” He’s not wrong. (A friend pointed out the outfit is probably more like Six, but you get the point.)

Outfit details

  • Dress: Forever 21
  • Tights: WeLoveColors.com
  • Boots: Payless


With the cold weather fading (no complaints from me!!!), I’m running out of time to wear this sweater dress, so I made the most of it.

Outfit details

  • Dress: 25 Central
  • Leggings: Old Navy
  • Boots: DSW


Another warm day!

Outfit details

  • Shirt: Target
  • Skirt: LuLaRoe Cassie
  • Shoes: Tieks


I’ve had this dress for a bit and I was so excited to wear it on March 1! It really felt like I was saying hello to spring.

Outfit details

  • Dress: Forever 21
  • Shoes: Payless

Here’s a peek into what I did this month, too.


How was your month?


Living Without Fear in 2018

The end of 2017 is here, and I imagine there are many of us who are pleased to say farewell to the year. While I had many moments of personal triumphs, some days, it was hard to exist as a woman of color in Trump’s America. Nevertheless, I persisted. Nevertheless, we persisted.

As a society, we were challenged by this year—at times, vexed, angered, exhausted, overwhelmed. But we were also determined, committed, disciplined, hopeful, and driven, and that’s got to count for something.

I’ve been seeing so many resolutions for 2018 and, perhaps it’s just me, but they seem to be much more thoughtful than I’ve seen in years past. Resolutions to be kinder, to live more meaningfully, to be patient, and one I’ve seen again and again is to live without fear.

As someone living with anxiety, living a life without fear simply isn’t possible for me. But I do think I often let fear hold me back from pursuing things I’m interested in. I’ve gotten better about that in recent years and, as I get ready to look 30 in its face, I’d like to try to adopt a modified version of that motto for 2018: live with less fear. It doesn’t sound as pretty, but it feels more achievable for me, so I’ll try to embrace it.

I spent 2017 trying to live a life I could look back on and be proud of, and I think I mostly achieved that. I traveled. I went on adventures. I laughed. I cried. I persevered. I took leaps of faith. I challenged myself. I tried new things. I said goodbye to things I loved. I said hello to things that scared me. I loved. If I can do all of that again in 2018, it will be a good year.

Here’s to some of the lovely (and not-so-lovely) things I experienced in 2017*…

*some of the captions below may not make sense because they’re part of old posts, but just roll with it!


…And to a 2018 with less fear.

Happy New Year, all.


Things I Wore (and Did) in December 2017

Last December, I complained about not taking many outfit photos throughout the month, and it seems some things don’t change. Whoops!

Here are a few things I wore throughout this brutally cold month (and I do mean just a few).


I wore this 90s-inspired look to see my favorite boy band, Backstreet Boys, perform at Mohegan Sun casino.

Outfit details

  • Shirt: Forever 21
  • Skirt: Forever 21
  • Boots: Rainbow (I think?)
  • Tights: WeLoveColors.com


I had been coveting a crushed velvet dress for months, so I finally bit the bullet and got myself one for my office holiday party. (I definitely also splurged on a crushed velvet pencil skirt but I haven’t worn it yet.) No regrets!

Outfit details

  • Dress: Forever 21
  • Cardigan: Forever 21
  • Boots: Rainbow (I think?)
  • Tights: WeLoveColors.com


After a successful day of shopping with Grandma (one of my favorite things to do), I ended up with these AMAZING slippers and needed to document them. Alas, this outfit was just for around the house. 😉

Outfit details

  • Fleece: Old Navy
  • Leggings: Kohl’s
  • Slippers: Forever 21


Not my favorite outfit or even the most flattering, but so ridiculously comfortable.

Outfit details

  • Dress: Ann Taylor Loft
  • Scarf: Payless (I think)
  • Boots: DSW


Outfit details

  • Dress: Marshall’s
  • Tights: WeLoveColors.com
  • Boots: Rainbow
  • Necklace: 25 Central

And here’s what I did during December!


Things I Bought That I Love: Urban Decay Eye Liner and Essence Lash Princess

I love makeup, but I’m pretty bad at applying it. For years, I swore by Avon’s Glimmersticks for eyeliner and whatever drugstore mascara I felt like buying and called it a day. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that but, in recent years, I’ve grown restless trying to find a better eyeliner and mascara for my daily look—so restless, in fact, that I was strictly no-makeup for a bit. (I may return to it. Who knows?)

I found a few worthy contenders (including benefit They’re Real! Lengthening MascaraMaybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner; and ColourPop Crème Gel Liner), which were all great.

But now I’ve gone from great to OH MY GOD, which is the dream.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (in perversion) and essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara (in black) have become my go-to eye products and I’m so excited to have reliable products that actually last and look good on me that I had to gush.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

Important things to know about my face before I dive in: I have hooded eyelids that tend to give me trouble with eyeliner on my top lid. Despite using matte primer AND a layer of nude eyeshadow, the eyeliner I typically put on my top lid is mostly gone by the afternoon.


I made it through an entire workday and subsequent holiday party without it wearing off! What kind of witchcraft…?

This eyeliner offers the smoothest application I’ve ever experienced. It goes on like I imagine smudging soot would, except this is more controlled and overall better (obviously). One of my biggest complaints with the Colourpop gel pencil liner was that sometimes the soft tip would break off when I was applying it (probably because I don’t have much finesse).

But this isn’t like that. It’s heaven on my MFing eyelids.



This is what the eyeliner looked like around 3 or 4 p.m. (nearly the end of my work day) and just before I left for the holiday party. I’m still very clearly wearing eyeliner! And you can see it! And it’s not all smudged! All good things.

This eyeliner is well worth the $20 (and the extra $10 for the sharpener, too).

essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara

I’ve always wanted long, luscious lashes. Who hasn’t?! But, alas, my eyelashes are stubby and it is what it is.

There have been tons of different types of mascaras I’ve tried—mostly of the drugstore variety, but also a few that I’ve received from my Ipsy subscription, too—and none have ever really made an impression on me.

But I read about the essence Lash Princess mascara on Reddit. I saw a before/after photo of someone using it and desperately wanted to try it, too, and I was ultimately sold when I saw the price tag (less than $5!).

YOU. GUYS. I have eyelashes!

Here’s the brush:


Pretty straightforward (though I did nab two other types of essence Lash Princess mascaras that I’m eager to try, too).

The result is pretty good for me, though! The eye on the left (my right) has mascara; the eye on the right (my left) doesn’t.



Not bad, yeah?

It certainly makes me feel kind of luxurious, and sometimes that’s all that matters.


Although my makeup skills are not beauty guru-level, there’s something so satisfying about finding a product that works for you. I’m pleased! If you give these a shot, let me know what you think!


It’s Not Personal—It’s Drag(Con NYC)

I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again: I. LOVE. RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE.

In April, I was lucky enough to attend my first-ever RuPaul’s DragCon, where I experienced the magic of drag in person and got to meet one of my favorite queens, Trixie Mattel.

Met my fave queen, Trixie Mattel

It was also my first real convention experience, so it was overwhelming in all its beauty and excitement and taught Bill and I a lot about what to expect for DragCon NYC.

We splurged on the VIP option and honey, ohhh honey, it was worth it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself because we kicked off the weekend with another drag-related event: the Hater’s Roast!

Haters Roast

Haters Roast took place at the Beacon Theater on Friday Night. The event featured queens as they shaded, insulted, and joked about one another. (Think Comedy Central roast.) The event featured Jinkx Monsoon, Trixie Mattel, Thorgy Thor, Kim Chi, Phi Phi O’Hara, Darienne Lake, and Ginger Minj as host. Latrice Royale, who was supposed to be there, was unfortunately stuck, but safe, in Florida due to Hurricane Irma (but she Facetimed in during the show to say hello!).

We’d been to one other Murray & Peter show before, War on the Catwalk, and we loved it. Haters Roast was amazing, too! We loved seeing the queens say horrible things about one another. The RuPaul’s Drag Race episodes that feature roasts, as well as the show’s Reading is Fundamental challenge, are some of my favorites, so this was an event made for me.

I was expecting solid performances from most of these queens, and they all delivered—but Thorgy Thor stole the show! It was her first time performing in this type of format with the other queens and she was going on 40 hours of being awake, but she killed it. I could not stop laughing at her very clever jokes.

Other fun things about the show:

  • It was great hearing Trixie’s scream-laugh in person.
  • Latrice Royale missed the show but was able to FaceTime in, which I loved.
  • Several queens who were going to attend DragCon were at the show in the audience, including Ivy Winters, Jiggly Caliente (who was invited up on stage to sit in Latrice’s empty seat), Mrs. Kasha Davis, and Naomi Smalls.
  • I stood RIGHT NEXT TO Naomi Smalls in the lobby, but I drank too much and got too scared to go up and say hello so tripped my way back to my seat.

It was the perfect way to kick off the weekend.

DragCon NYC: Day 1

There’s nothing better than being VIP at DragCon. Nothing! Although VIP at the NYC con was quite a bit more expensive than VIP in LA (which we did not get), it did include several additional perks, including a tote bag with a sweatshirt, enamel pin, button, patch, VIP lanyard, and a surprise that I didn’t even realize was part of it until I got home… scroll down for details.

As VIP, you’re allowed into the con 30 minutes before everyone else. If you use your 30 minutes wisely, this can easily be the best part of your day!

But before we were let in, we waited in line and anxiously watched queens as they arrived: Ongina, Acid Betty, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, India Ferrah, Mariah Balenciaga. They all looked stunning and each queen I saw made me more nervous and excited to get on that pink carpet.

Then they let us in. The thing about being VIP is you’re there so early that lines to meet the queens don’t really exist yet. Which means you can just walk up to a queen’s booth and meet them—incredible and terrifying!

We walked right by a few booths to sort out our nerves before finding Bob the Drag Queen’s booth and hopping in line. While most queens required a purchase in order for you to meet them, Bob didn’t require anything for VIPs; you could just get in line and meet him.

But with Bob’s assistant, Luis, in charge of the merch table, how could you not buy something?! My husband and I ended up with two Bob pins; a Bob shirt; and a Luis print. Luis was so, so sweet and graciously signed a print for me and the shirt for my husband. I wish we’d thought to ask for a photo, but we didn’t. Instead, we got in line to meet Bob and about 10 minutes later IT WAS OUR TURN.

Meeting Bob the Drag Queen was magical. First, her outfit was on point, and she was serving beautiful, mesmerizing clown realness. Second, she was hilarious and amazing and stunning and I’m gushing and I don’t care.

Bob called me beautiful and said the dress I was wearing was fierce and asked me what it said. I told her it was a dress from RedBubble that depicted the iconic Aja/Valentina fight on Untucked. (“You’re perfect, you’re beautiful, you’re a model…”) and she laughed and said she loved it.

I told her I loved her nails and she said, “Do you want to hear a story about these nails?” And then told me the nails were the ones Alexis Michelle wore in her promo video for season 9. Bob asked to borrow them and never gave them back, to which I said of course because they really were dope nails. I asked her to sign a photo for me and she did, then apologized for her writing looking like a serial killer’s. I love Bob.

It was my husband’s turn to meet her next and she greeted him by saying, “Hey, I heard you were Crystal’s husband?” which made me die a thousand times because BOB KNEW MY NAME.

Bob and Bill talked about signing merch and how it’s weird that some fans ask queens to sign merch that actually represents other queens. Bill was equally thrilled by his interaction with one of his favorite queens.

Meeting Bob left us both flying high and we took a few minutes to recover before wandering over to Cynthia “Cucu” Lee Fontaine‘s booth. Given that it was still within the VIP-only window, her line was relatively short. We bought a bracelet and a drink koozie, which Cynthia branded as a #cucuzie (amazing). 

When it was my turn to meet Cynthia, I told her she was beautiful and I loved her and she gave me a hug. She thanked me for coming and also told me she loved my dress (!!) and pointed at it and said, “Ooh, I see Valentina!” and I showed her Aja and said, “Yes, it’s from their fight!” and she was so so sweet. She gave me another hug and then we posed for a photo and she asked if I was going to be back the next day because she was really, really excited about her outfit. I said yes, that I couldn’t wait to see it, and thanked her for being such an incredible, supportive queen. She hugged me again and said it was her pleasure, proving that Cynthia is the most deserving Miss Congeniality of all time.

When it was my husband’s turn to meet Cucu, she grabbed his chest (!!) and said, “I just love touching…” and then posed with him like they were at prom. IT WAS AMAZING.

We were both reeling from the excitement of meeting two queens we loved, so we spent the rest of the con walking around, buying merch, ogling over queens, and checking out the runway. We stopped by Ru’s booth (but the line was so, so long) and admired all of her beautiful gowns on display and her Emmy, which I took a photo with.

We also saw the entrance show by the winning queens (and as they left the stage, a ton of queens walked right by us, including the nearly-nude Violet Chachki) and we caught Joanne the Scammer‘s show on the runway, which was honestly truly ICONIC.

No panels for us, but we did do a few things after leaving the con:

  • We visited Wrecking Club, a demolition room which allows you to smash glasses and break things FOR FUN while your favorite music is playing. We loved it and smashed a bunch of things while listening to Frank Ocean.
  • We trekked along the High Line, a “linear park” that takes you above the city and lets you see it from a new angle. Beautiful views and it was nice to check this one off our bucket list!
  • Ate dinner at Shake Shack because of course.

DragCon NYC: Day 2


She is just as stunning and perfect in real life as you’d imagine.

Her booth was lovely and candy-inspired and her staff were honestly really funny and energetic and fun. But it was all about Pep. We hopped into her line first thing (although I wandered around while my husband graciously waited in line and met a few other queens, which I’ll get back to in a minute) and her team told us she’d be there at 10, which was “a drag queen’s 10:30.” She ended up arriving closer to 11 but IT DID NOT MATTER BECAUSE PEP IS PERFECT.

Watching her walk in was like what I imagine it’s like watching an angel descend from the heavens, except Pep’s hair is bigger and her outfits are more fierce. Obviously.

I was third in line to meet her and she was SO sweet and warm and welcoming and gave me a big hug, called me beautiful (this is all going to go straight to my head), and I told HER she was beautiful. She gave me a hug (!) and then we posed, dahling, while the wind whipped in our hair. As you can see from the photo below, my hair was not loving the wind but not a strand in Peppermint’s is out of place because she’s fucking Peppermint. I thanked her so, so much and THEN SHE GAVE ME AN AIR KISS.

The best part was probably Pep’s interaction with my husband. We bought her album earlier and he got her to sign it to “Bubby”, a nickname we both call one another, so that was very sweet. But Bill was respectful and didn’t want to touch queens without asking, so would stand away and take a photo next to them. Pep laughed and told him to get closer and then put her arms around him! The smile in his photo is everything. (Our professional photos will be available soon, too.)

As I mentioned, while we were waiting for Pep, I slipped out of line and met with two other queens. First was Jaymes Mansfield, who was adorable. When I told her she looked beautiful she said, “Thank you, but I know.” Perfect.

Then I visited Mimi Imfurst‘s booth. I was obsessed with her outfit! She was dressed as a handmaid from The Handmaid’s Tale. I told her her look was one of my favorites of the weekend and she laughed and told me she could hardly see a thing—then let me try on her hat!!! It was so surreal. Mimi was very sweet and down-to-earth and I honestly loved chatting with her. After I purchased a poster from her, she even through in a personalized signed a photo for me and wrote “Peace be with you” (a phrase from the book). It was great!

After meeting Pep, my husband wanted to go grab something to drink, so I got in line to meet Kimora Blac. Kimora is fucking stunning in person and she told me she loved my dress! She said she loved the material it was made out of it and I told her it was from Amazon.com and she high-fived me and called me Prime Fish, which is my new favorite thing. She was very personable and gave compliments freely!

Lastly, we checked out autograph alley, where I met none other than Britney Spears Derrick Barry. Derrick changed my life forever by telling me that when people ask how to spell my name, I should just say, “Crystal—like Swarovski.”

I had SO MUCH FUN at DragCon and I really, really hope Ru continues to bring it to NYC. I loved being a VIP so much and would absolutely do it again next year, especially because I went through the swag bag when I got home and discovered AN AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO FROM MAMA RU HERSELF. I can’t wait to hang this up in the house!

I love you, RuPaul’s Drag Race. Thanks for loving me back!


Outfits of May 2017

May was full of incredible adventures and, looking back, I still can’t believe how much I managed to pack in there.

My husband and I took a trip to California and the moment we got back, I attended a baby shower for one of my good friends (and the shower my lady girl gang from work!). I got my hair cut (!), worked a graduation, turned 29, and celebrated my birthday with family, friends, and my husband, who had a thrilling weekend planned for me.

Here’s what I wore. I originally wanted a Minnie Mouse-inspired dress to wear to Disneyland, but the one I ordered (sadly) didn’t fit. So I had to improvise. I wanted something cute and feminine, but I still wanted to be comfortable. This worked out well!

Outfit details

  • Shirt: Old Navy
  • Skirt: Forever 21
  • Shoes: DSW (Converse)
  • Minnie Mouse ears: Disney World

You can’t see this outfit up close, but I love these photos, so I had to include them! My husband, my parents, and I traveled on a deserted road to get to Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, so we stopped to snap some photos.

Outfit details

  • Dress: LuLaRoe Nicole
  • Shoes: Payless

This outfit served me well at Hearst Castle and at Montano de Oro beach. I DIE for this shirt, which is a reference to both the Coolio song and one of my favorite movies, “Clueless.”

Outfit details

  • Shirt: Ross (I’m OBSESSED. Why don’t we have any in Massachusetts?!)
  • Dress: Forever 21
  • Shoes: DSW

Outfit details

Shirt: Old Navy

Skirt: Forever 21

Shoes: DSW

Outfit details

  • Shirt: H&M (my new fave shirt)
  • Jeans: Marshall’s
  • Shoes: Payless

How beautiful are the women in my lady girl gang?!

Outfit details

  • Dress: LuLaRoe Nicole
  • Shoes: Payless

This was the last photo of me with my long hair!

Outfit details

  • Shirt: Old Navy
  • Leggings: LuLaRoe
  • Cardigan: Forever 21
  • Shoes: Payless

New hair! It was a bit shorter than I asked for (I asked for my hair to stay below my shoulders), but I’m getting used to it.

Outfit details

  • Shirt: Marshall’s
  • Skirt: Forever 21
  • Tights: WeLoveColors.com
  • Shoes: Payless

Outfit details

  • Shirt: Old Navy
  • Skirt: Ross
  • Shoes: Payless

Outfit details

  • Dress: LuLaRoe Amelia (my first!)
  • Cardigan: Gift from my mom
  • Shoes: Payless

Outfit details

  • Dress: Old Navy
  • Jacket: TJ Maxx
  • Shoes: Payless

And here’s a peek at my incredible birthday weekend (and the days leading up to it). My husband planned a surprise weekend, which he revealed to me through a series of riddles given to me each day leading up to it. It was so incredibly creative and romantic and it got me even more pumped for a wonderful weekend. We visited an arcade; went out to dinner; stopped by a brewery; I got my nails done; we went to a vineyard; visited Mystic; and ate all kinds of delicious foods. My friends and family were wonderful to me, too. I’m so lucky.


Things I Bought That I Love: Winky Lux Flower Balm

Sometimes I just like to treat myself to something pretty. The Winky Lux Flower Balm is exactly that—a lovely lipstick that’s also fun.

It’s coconut scented (which is one of my favorites), and the clear balm reacts with your skin’s pH levels “uniquely creating the perfect shade of pink lips just for you,”, according to the website. If that’s not enough, there’s also a flower (chrysanthemum) in each.

The packaging is fun and I love that the lipstick looks like a pill. The $12 lipstick comes in pink, green, and yellow; I opted for pink.

Get yours here.


Things I Bought That I Love: Lillian Crystal Necklace

For a little more than a year now, I’ve been following Yasi, the fashion blogger Hello Gorgeous on Instagram. She’s definitely been a style inspiration to me and I’ve always been especially obsessed with her necklaces.

Recently, Yasi announced the opening of her store, Hello Gorgeous Boutique—which sells the iconic necklaces she wears!

I snatched up the Lillian Crystal Necklace, available for $28, from Hello Gorgeous Boutique. Get yours here.


Friday Favorites: Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

It’s been a while since I did a Friday Favorites—but I need to talk about one of my all-time favorites, “Gilmore Girls.” The revival just came out today and I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS.

Spoilers ahead!

Things I Loved

  • Lorelai and Luke finally (!) get (!) married (!). Teenage me is squealing. Almost-thirty me is also squealing.
  • That “it’s-always-been-you” moment between Luke and Lorelai. Because to Luke, Lorelai is the only person who’s ever mattered.
  • Lorelai’s favorite Richard moment. It was a good story. I’m glad she shared it with her mother.
  • Rory’s struggling career. When the original show aired, I related to Rory so much—a not-so-popular bookworm who yearned to be a journalist. I loved seeing someone I connected with on television. I loved seeing her chase after her dreams. In the revival, though, I liked seeing her struggle a little. She accomplished a lot, yet still felt she hadn’t accomplished enough. I liked seeing that. It’s hard out there. I liked that it was hard for her, too. I liked that she was flailing, insecure, and unsure of herself. I like that her life wasn’t what she had imagined. I liked that she felt she deserved better—because I get it.
  • The wedding. I wish we’d gotten to see the full thing (more on that below), but what we got was beautiful and perfect and made me real emotional. It was so incredible finally seeing two characters I’ve rooted for for years finally get their happily-ever-after.
  • Emily. Her grief was so palpable. Watching her go through the stages of grief felt natural. I keep thinking back to that scene where Richard’s in the hospital and Emily demands that he let her die first. It makes sense that, after 50 years of marriage, she would be devastated by his loss and that devastation would manifest itself in a multitude of ways—trying to purge, trying to start over, lashing out at people she cares about, starting fresh. She has to learn to live again, on her own. I enjoyed her arc (and that larger-than-life painting of Richard).
  • Richard. The entire storyline revolving around the loss of Richard was emotional and handled so well. I loved when Rory kissed Richard’s portrait with her hand and said hello. I loved the references to him and his drink carts. I thought the show honored Richard well.
  • The flashbacks. I thought they might be a little heavy-handed, but I loved the way they wove some of the older scenes into the show. I was touched when Rory returned to her grandparents’ empty home and could see them sitting at the table, and a scene later, watching him typing at his desk in the study. Talk about a punch in the gut.
  • Paris. I’ve always loved Paris (as infuriating as she could be at times) and I loved seeing her on my screen again. I only wish there had been more.
  • Emily yelling “BULLSHIT.” In the middle of a DAR meeting. And then quitting the DAR. And moving to Nantucket. And becoming a museum docent. And learning to be on her own.
  • The confirmation that Christopher is a terrible father. I already knew that, but I’m glad everyone else knows it, too.
  • Lane has a dad!
  • Hep Alien. Still doing their thing forever, please.
  • Lane and Zach performing at a secret bar. And THE SECRET BAR.
  • Townie stuff. I always love townie hijinx, so I enjoyed the town meetings, the town square festivals, and the Kirk endeavors (especially the movie and the Ooober).
  • A return to comfort. I’ve described this show to others as being like wearing a warm blanket. The revival was no different. And, after a not-so-great few weeks, I was grateful for the return to Stars Hollow.

Things I Didn’t Love

  • Not seeing the full wedding. Logistically, I get why they couldn’t film it. But after all these years, I think we deserved both weddings: the elopement and the full, big wedding, with all of the incredible townies we’ve grown to love. I at least wanted Sookie there for the elopement. And Jess. I also wanted to see Lorelai’s wedding dress and I wanted the satisfaction of seeing Emily see Lorelai get married.
  • Not enough Sookie. There’s never enough Sookie, and I couldn’t be more disappointed that Sookie was only in one scene. It was a nice scene, sure, but I found Sookie’s disappearance and new job a bit unbelievable. SOOKIE ST. JAMES, one of the greatest chefs of all time, LEAVES COOKING BEHIND? And her best friend? And her business? And her goddamn husband and her family (maybe, since they don’t really explain how that all works)? It doesn’t feel right.
  • Not enough Paris. Mostly because there’s never enough Paris. But I really wanted more to her story. I didn’t love her freakout over Tristan (who was RECAST and also who never graduated from Chilton so never should have been invited to an alumni event). I wish the freakout had merely been about the being-back-in-high-school-and-having-old-feelings-resurface because that I can understand. But Tristan wasn’t even that big of a deal outside of season one and early season two. I also wanted more from her storyline with Doyle. Like, is Doyle just going to be a douche pandering to Michael Bay forever?
  • Not enough on Lorelai and Emily’s relationship. Although we got a decent amount of screen time on it—through therapy and the fights at the house—I didn’t feel satiated. I liked the authenticity in the sense that tense mother/daughter relationships are not ever really “fixed.” However, one thing I loved about the season seven finale was the moment when Richard, Emily, and Lorelai are saying farewell at Rory’s graduation party. Lorelai says she wants to continue with the Friday night dinners, even sans Rory. It warmed my little heart. But, in the new series, all of that’s disappeared. I know it’s because season seven wasn’t part of ASP’s vision, but I liked the progress of Lorelai’s relationship with her parents. So, I’m a little disappointed that the series had to end with Lorelai asking for money—again. And that it leads to a visitation arrangement—again. I get that it was supposed to mirror the first episode, but given all that’s happened over the years, I didn’t love it.
  • Not enough of Lane and Mrs. Kim. I really wanted to know more about what she was up to. How did her kids grow up? Were she and Zach doing well? (It seemed like yes, but a bit more would have been nice.) I liked to imagine her eventually running the music shop. I don’t know. I wanted something. I also wanted to see Mrs. Kim with her grandkids. There weren’t nearly enough Lane and Mrs. Kim moments. Justice for Lane, guys.
  • Not enough Jess. I’m not even a huge Rory/Jess shipper, but JESUS CHRIST. He’s doing so well and he’s all cleaned up and he looks so good and he’s clearly still into Rory.
  • Logan’s existence. FUCK YOU, LOGAN.
  • The cheating. What the fuck, Rory? I mean, yeah, OK, Rory cheats; it’s kind of her thing. But she didn’t even feel a little bad. Love yourself, Rory!
  • The Life and Death Brigade. I am full of so much hate for how much of the episode this shit took up.
  • That MUSICAL. It was 7,000 minutes too long.
  • ASP’s personal feelings inserted wherever possible. We get it, ASP. You hate technology and social media and millennials and fat people. But you love hats. Horrible, ugly hats.
  • Not enough, period. Goddamnit, guys, four episodes was not enough.

Questions I Had

  • Where was the beloved introduction? I wanted to sing along to that Carole King theme song I’ve heard a zillion times.
  • Is Rory kind of a bad person?
  • Is Paris also pregnant? (She says she missed a period!)
  • Did we really need that Jack Smith storyline?
  • Did Sookie move out of Stars Hollow?
  • Why did Emily say to Lorelai that she’d see her the following Tuesday for therapy in the winter episode, but then we don’t see them in therapy until the spring episode when flowers have already bloomed?
  • Who wrote the letter?
  • How is it possible that ASP intended for Rory to end up pregnant at the conclusion of the original series? Pregnant at 21? What? Why? And, how dare you?
  • Those were the final four words? (I preferred my husband’s prediction, which was, “Let’s get some coffee.”)
  • Will we get a season two? Please say yes. Because I’ve never had enough “Gilmore Girls” in my life.

I just really love this show and I’m happy it came back.