Category: General

General10 Classic Books That Aren’t Boring

Long days and sunny weather are in the forecast, and for me, that’s always meant tan time with a stack of my favorite books! This year, setting aside my unfortunate pile of chick-lit, I’ve decided to dig into some of the classics. Yeah, I know, mental groan, right? Dreary, with big words and a decided lack of anything particularly interesting. Well, that’s what I thought, too, until I decided to change my tune. Could I find any classics that were actually FUN? 

After sorting through some of my old faves and inquiring from friends and family, I present you with a list of classics that are pretty awesome and decidedly unboring.
Jane Austen, 1813
Okay, if you’re into girly love stories, this book might not be for sure. But if you are into romance and grand guestures of affection and gentlemen and dances, then you can’t go wrong. Mr. Darcy will always be my first love.
Mary Shelley, 1823
Widely recognized as one of the first examples of science fiction, Frankenstein is about a monster created in a lab and all the human emotions he and his creator go through. Terrifying, creepy, and awesome all at once. Props to Mary for writing it when she was only eighteen.
Alexandre Dumas, 1855
As the girl whose Netflix queue doesnt even recognize the word “drama,” I still love this book. Here’s the Wiki summary:  “It focuses on a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune and sets about getting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. However, his plans have devastating consequences for the innocent as well as the guilty.” There is buried treasure, hot pirates, and tons of page-turning action. 
Bram Stoker, 1897
Although nowhere near as hot as Eric Northman, Count Dracula is still the original badass vampire. With all the adaptations and spin-offs, it’s a great idea to read how modern vampires got their start. Plus, if you like a certain amount of creep-factor, the Count will do it.
J.D. Salinger, 1951
Often cited as one of the best 100 books of the twentieth century, Catcher in the Rye is chock full of issues that we deal with every day – identity, belonging, connection, and alienation. It’s told from the point of view of Holden Caulfield, a 17 year-old in a mental hospital who describes the events at occured in his prep school the previous December. Fun fact:  it‘s also got a lot of sex and cussing in it.
William Golding, 1954
 
Any Hunger Games fans out there? Well, a friend described Lord of the Flies to me like this: “So, Lord of the Flies = a mixture of ‘Survivor’/Hunger Games, only it’s well-written. Also a quick read.” Sold, right? 
Arthur Conan Doyle, 1892
There is a reason they made it into a movie. It’s action and crime and mystery at it’s best. Just imagine Robert Downey Jr. whenever you’re reading. Also imagine reading with an English accent; way more fun that way.
C.S. Lewis, 1950
Again, there’s a reason they made it a movie. Magical closets we all wish we had when we were little, talking animals, hidden worlds, and epic batttles. Oh yeah, and the main characters get to be kings and queens. It’s like the most amazing combination of fantasy and fun I’ve ever read.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925
So, you probably had to read this in high school and hate the fact that I put it on this list. However, I dare you to go back and read it again when you’re not forced to write a comparative essay on it. Here’s how Cliffs Notes describes it: “The Great Gatsby follows Jay Gatsby, a man who orders his life around one desire: to be reunited with Daisy Buchannan,the love he lost five years earlier. Gatsby’s quest leads him from poverty to wealth, into the arms of his beloved, and eventually to death.” It’s set in the prosperous 1920s, so if you’re a flapper at heart this book is for you.
J.M. Barrie, 1911
Okay, I take back the Mr. Darcy crush; Peter Pan was definitely my first and most favorite boy of all time. And honestly, I can’t think of a better time to read about endless childhood and Lost Boys and fairies and flying than those self-same magical days of summer.

One of the greatest things about classics today is that nearly all of them are available online for FREE! The link on each title of the ten books I listed above will take you to the e-book or downloadable link for the book, in case you want to read them on your phone or computer on lunch breaks. Kindles and Nooks often have these available for free as well, as do websites like Goodreads, Open Culture, and ePub Bud.
 
So, have I convinced you yet? Will you add any of these to your “fun” summer reading?
(Pics courtesy of Tumblr.)

GeneralVamps Brings Back The Clueless Crew

If you loved Cher and Dionne, then wait ’til you meet Goody and Stacy...

I’ve watched/memorized enough Clueless to know: Amy Heckerling + Alicia Silverstone = GOLD. So, when Vamps drops later this year, I can overlook any misgivings about vampire movies and embrace Cher Horowitz as a New York City bloodsucker (as long as she’s not premasticating it). Add Krysten Ritter and Sigourney Weaver… I’m sold. Also joining the warm fuzzy reunion: Wallace Shawn, aka Mr. Hall.



(Images courtesy of Oyster, BAM, & Collider)

GeneralSite to See: Hello Giggles

If you love Zooey Deschanel, then you are going to swoooon over this site:
 
“Founded by actress/musician ZOOEY DESCHANEL, producer SOPHIA ROSSI and writer/Internet Sensation MOLLY MCALEER, hellogiggles.com is the ultimate entertainment destination for smart, independent and creative females. Everything hosted on the site will be lady-friendly, so visitors need not worry about finding the standard Boys Club content that makes many entertainment sites unappealing to so many of us.”
 
 
This site has articles on pretty much everything you could ever want, from awesome recipes to outfit inspirations, to video games, art, and work-related topics. I seriously can (okay, fine, have) spent hours perusing everything on here, and I love the quirky off-beat humor that threads through every article and has Zooey and her friends written all over it.
 
 
In addition to music, videos, shopping, and discussion forums, the individual categories include Entertainment, Treats, Beauty, Fresh Giggles, Cuteness, Home, Social Studies, Rants, Raves, How-Tos, Hot Moms, Hee Haw, and the Daily. You need it, they have it!
 
Intrigued yet? Head on over to Hello Giggles to check it out for yourself, or find them on Facebook and YouTube!

GeneralEnchanting Wisteria Tunnel of Kawachi Fuji Gardens, Japan

No, these aren’t paintings you’re looking at! These are the totally unreal photos taken of the Wisteria Tunnel at Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu, Japan. From April to May, this beautiful tunnel explodes with magnificent color and look as if it was taken from some fairytale fantasy. 
Imagine yourself walking through this lush wonderland of beautiful flowers . . . absolutely breathtaking.
I really need to book a trip to Japan, ASAP! Who’s coming with me?!
(All photos courtesy of JeannieJeannie.com)
 

GeneralInterior Motives: How To Decorate Antique Eclectic

 
This week I’m celebrating my favorite style of interior design, Antique Eclectic, where vintage furniture and knick-knacks are mixed with modern pieces, and textures and color abound. One of the best things about this style is you can do it on a budget. Second-hand pieces can be brought to their full glory, and if you are at all crafty, you’ll have fun repainting furniture or making your own throw pillows or curtains.
 

 

 
 
Pick a Color, Any Color: Like any space, you’ll want to start by picking a color that is interesting but not overwhelming for you. You can take inspiration from a piece of art or decor that you already own. Below is a great example of working around an aqua blue. The color shows up on an accent wall, as well is in the painting, vase and throw pillows.
 

 
Create Space: You’ll want to start by adding interesting shelves and tables in solid colors. Feel free to choose interesting colors that tie into the room, maybe mint, red or cream. If you’re not sure, brown or white is a perfectly acceptable and neutral way to begin.
 
 
Containers and Trays: Now that you’ve got the big surfaces taken care of, you can start filling them in. Vintage apothecary jars and painted trays are great for storage as well as “layering” the eclectic appeal of your space.
 
 
Add a Granny Square!: Use the vintage color palettes in your favorite afghan to pull out other colors in your space, and don’t forget to add plenty of throw pillows!