Weekly Reading | August 16, 2018


College

A new academic year is almost upon us, and the class of 2022 (Dang, I'm getting old) will be starting freshman year in a few weeks. I was in the class of 2014, and since 2010, I've been finding more and more college posts like the ones below that I really wish I'd found before I started college, so for incoming freshman, forget everything you think you know about college because one of the worst things you can do when entering college is to try to "fit in" and do what you think all college students "should" do.


Beauty

Saltiness aside, I also found some pretty rad beauty posts that seem ideal for anyone looking to take the plunge into new beauty territory such as going blonde, splurging on new (or first) lipsticks, and getting a tattoo!


Blogging

In line with plunging into new territory, for my fellow bloggers (or aspiring bloggers) looking to expand (or start) their brands into Instagram or looking to start an email list or considering working with brands, here are some helpful posts I found last week.


For more college posts as well as lifestyle and fashion posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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"Whispers in the Wood" by Clarissa Johal* Review


I received this complimentary book in exchange for an honest review.

Whispers in the Wood by Clarissa Johal follows Rowan the protagonist as she uncovers the mystery of the small town she finds herself in on a backpacking trip through England. Seemingly peaceful and quiet at first, Sheep's Crossing soon reveals itself to be full of deadly secrets. Fueled by the townsfolk's reluctance to talk about it and by her own adventurous spirit, Rowan sets off in search of the whispers in the wood.

What I enjoy most about this book is its natural progression. Events are paced very well, and exposition is provided only when necessary, so the build-up to the climax doesn't feel forced. At the same time, it allows for character development, even of Rowan. I'm usually skeptical of first-person narrative because it's hard to get character development right, and character development is my favorite part of any media, but Johal provides just the right type of exposition in just the right amount at just the right time that we very naturally learn about Rowan and the other characters without feeling like we're being fed exposition fodder just to tide us over to the next crucial turn of events.

A slight, very nitpicky on my part hiccup in this use of first-person narrative, though, is how unnatural some of Rowan's reactions are to the situations she finds herself in. Sure, this book is fantasy with a touch of horror, so there really isn't a natural way of reacting to the situations, but some of her choices seem out of character.

Again, that's a very nitpicky hiccup, so it goes without saying then that I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend Whispers in the Wood to fans of slow-reveal mystery that hints at ecofiction.
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Weekly Reading | August 2, 2018


College

For those of you starting college in the fall or returning for a new semester, here are some articles on getting ready for the fall semester, including a post on how to decorate your dorm or rental without damaging the walls.

"How to Get Organized for the New Semester" via Living in Full Bloom
"How to Prepare for Your Senior Year of College" via Eyeliner Wings & Pretty Things

Lifestyle

While you settle into the new semester, here are some posts to consider.

"Why You Should Unplug More" via Small Towns & City Lights

Fashion

I also looked at some posts with general fashion advice.


For beauty, wellness, and travel posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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Weekly Reading | July 26, 2018


Lifestyle

Last week, I read a mishmash of lifestyle posts, one with suggestions of motivational books, one about why language matters in a relationship, and one about dealing with difficult roommates.


Food

For food posts, I read one about making the perfect avocado post and one with a recipe for grilled chili lime chicken. If you want to try these recipes, I also found a post with time-saving cooking hacks.

"Grilled Chili Lime Chicken" via Strength & Sunshine

Travel

With the summer holidays coming to a close, here are a couple of vacation destination ideas as well as a post about keeping in touch while traveling internationally.

"5 Things to Do in Moscow Beyond Crowds" via Travel with a Silver Lining

For more travel posts as well as blogging and beauty posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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What to Pack for Staying Active on Vacation

This post may contain affiliate links. Affiliate revenue helps me keep ExtraExtravagant running. Thank you for your support!

I have to admit I am someone who sees gyms in hotels and goes, "Why?!" My stance on that has since changed now that I'm actively forcing myself to exercise at least once a week (which is a lot for someone who's used to exercising once a year), and I can see why regular exercisers would appreciate having access to a gym while on vacation.

With that being said, though, I still view exercise as a chore, and ain't nobody got time for chores on vacation! However, even on staycations, I've found myself unintentionally staying active through things like leaving the hotel on foot to check out nearby restaurants, then walking around and exploring the surrounding areas.

Depending on the type of vacation you're on, staying active is just part and parcel of the trip. The first thing that comes to mind is going hiking in Colorado or surfing in California, and that's really what this post focuses on. What should you pack for an active vacation without bringing along your entire closet?


2. Lovers + Friends The Feels One Piece
3. Allihop Lace-Front One-Piece Swimsuit in Moss

Swimsuits can serve double duty if your vacation involves a lot of beach- or pool-going. Throw on some denim shorts and flip-flops, and you're ready for non-water-related activities! Said shorts can then be paired with a dressier top for dinner or a night out on the town.

  

1. Athletic Propulsion Labs: APL Techloom Phantom Sneaker
2. New Balance Cruz V2 Indigo Sneakers
3. Adidas Falcon Sneaker

Sneakers and athletic shoes are my go-to for active vacations. You can get away with wearing the same pair of shoes for the entirety of your trip because they're versatile enough for many occasions. You can even wear them on the flight or drive to your destination, so you don't have to worry about taking up precious suitcase space.


1. Sundry Cropped Stripe Hoodie
2. Alo Haze Funnel Neck Sweatshirt
3. P.E Nation Ali Boxer Sweatshirt

I love, love, love athleisure for active vacations! Throw on a hoodie or sweatshirt over some yoga pants or leggings, and you're prepared for many occasions. Like the sneakers, you can wear them on the trip to avoid packing such a bulky item in your suitcase. Plus, hoodies and sweatshirts will keep you warm on those inevitably cold flights.

Hitting the gym on vacation definitely does not sound appealing at all to me, but I end up finding ways to stay active even on staycations, and one way to be prepared for activities like swimming or hiking or just aimlessly exploring the area is to dress for those occasions. Packing double duty items like swimsuits and wearing versatile items like sneakers and hoodies or sweatshirts will help you be prepared for those activities but still have enough room in your suitcase for those souvenirs you can't help but buy.

What are your space-saving tips when it comes to packing for vacations?
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Weekly Reading | July 19, 2018


Travel


Blogging

"The Truth About PR" via Jasmine Talks Beauty

Beauty

"5 Tips for 5-Minute Makeup" via A Girl, Obsessed

For more beauty posts as well as fashion and health posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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"In the Wrong Hands" by Avi Domoshevizki* Review


I received this complimentary book in exchange for an honest review. This review was also posted as a customer review on Amazon.

In the Wrong Hands by Avi Domoshevizki follows the mystery that unfolds when a geneticist is brutally attacked in what the police assume is a mugging gone south. When Dr. Ronnie Saar, the CEO of the company at which the geneticist works, discovers that his colleague had in fact been attacked for confidential company information he was carrying on his person, he enlists the help of Gadi Abutbul, a private investigator and his friend, to get to the bottom of who was behind the attack. Because the stolen information contains groundbreaking findings that can be used for good or otherwise, Ronnie and Gadi are determined to make sure that the information doesn't end up in the wrong hands.

This book captivated me from the very beginning with its intriguing prologue. Opening in media res, the prologue walked me through a seemingly crucial piece of the book without giving too much away. I was immediately drawn. I wanted--no, I needed--to know how the characters ended up in that situation.

As I progressed through the chapters, I was drawn into the book more and more because each of the chapters introduced a new character into the fold. Even though Domoshevizki did a fantastic job of getting us invested in the characters so early on, I was skeptical about this setup at first because it got to a point where there were too many characters to keep track of. However, the setup ended up working very well because each chapter presents a snapshot of the main storyline from the different characters' perspectives, and it soon dawned on me that these seemingly separate characters and their seemingly disparate lives were in fact connected in the most unexpected ways. It felt like a true murder mystery in the sense that I, along with the characters, started to connect the dots and see the full picture.

The only weakness of the book is the awkward interactions among the characters. Domoshevizki created very real, very deep, fully-formed characters, but once these characters start interacting with one another, it feels slightly cringy. Perhaps Domoshevizki's knack for descriptive writing is as much a strength as it is a weakness. The interactions just don't seem very natural.

With that being said, I still rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. The book markets itself as science fiction, but if you're a fan of thrillers that keep you on your toes and you enjoy being blindsided by unexpected twists and turns, In the Wrong Hands will not disappoint.
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Weekly Reading | July 12, 2018


Fashion

Last week, I found posts about summer fashion.

"Top 10 Summer Wardrobe Pieces" via Audrey Madison Stowe
"4 Ways to Style a Maxi Dress" via Repressing the Crazy
"Accessorizing My Summer Looks" via Style Lullaby

Beauty

I also found some summer DIY beauty posts.


Health

It's also important to keep an eye on your health during hot summer days.


For more beauty posts as well as wellness and travel posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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Summer Style Ideas by Bloggers: How to Style Summer Skirts


We have come to the final installment of this year's Summer Style Ideas by Bloggers series. Previously, we've talked about how to style summer rompers, jumpsuits, and pants and how to style summer dresses. In today's post, fashion bloggers Megan, Caitlin, Dominique, Felicia, and Lauren will show us how they style summer skirts.

Skirts are like dresses in that they're easy to just get on and go, especially in the humid summer months, but one advantage skirts have over dresses is that they're more versatile. You can style them up or down by pairing them with different tops.

Megan, Caitlin, and Dominique will show us a casual approach to summer skirts, while Felicia and Lauren will show us a more dressy approach.


Megan is a sustainable and ethical style blogger hoping to make waves in the fashion industry--the second most polluting industry in the world. She blogs on Tunes & Tunics about conscious consumerism, her favorite sustainable and ethical brands, and steps to becoming a better shopper.

Starting us off is Megan and her denim cutoff skirt, accessorized with black strappy espadrilles and a matching purse and topped off with a polka dot blouse with ruffle accents. Megan's summer skirt outfit is an easy everyday chic look.

Click here to check out her blog.


Sophisticaition is a life and style blog written by Caitlin Patton, a 20-something influencer marketing consultant and stylist based in Chicago. By mixing her southern roots and city sophisticaition into a kickass wardrobe, Caitlin aims to help other young women look and be their best selves.

Caitlin's wraparound skirt is in a fun floral print, and to avoid a cluttered look, she paired the skirt with neutral, undistracting accessories like black sandals, a white tank top, and low-key arm candy. She did, however, use a matching hair band that complements the outfit as a whole.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Dominique is the fashion and travel blogger behind DomBagnoche, where she shares her love for the world through fashion, travel, and lifestyle content on her website, YouTube channel, and social media accounts. She launched her platform to inspire others to be creative and live their lives exactly how they want to.

Dominique's casual approach to summer skirts is more boho chic, especially with those round rose-colored sunglasses. Dominique styled her patterned skater skirt with a slighty sheer white peasant blouse, black strappy sandals, and a brown crossbody.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Felicia Marie is a YouTuber and blogger with a love for everything colorful and dramatic! She has been an avid writer and fashion lover since she discovered the beauty of fashion magazines in the pages of Teen Vogue and Essence. On her blog, you will find the latest fashion trends, travel tips, and hair and beauty product reviews.

Moving onto dressier ways of styling summer skirts, Felicia starts us off with her fancy af outfit. Here, she styled a rose pink ruched pencil skirt by layering it over a romper! They go so well together because the white floral print complements the rose pink perfectly. She also finished the outfit off with a pink choker.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.


Lauren is a style addict and foodie and loves throwing parties for every occasion. On Lifestyles by Lauren, she shares lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food pieces while trying to inspire her readers to find balance in their crazy lives and to always find a reason to be happy! She loves having conversations with her readers on social media, and her goal is to be your virtual bestie. When she's not writing for Lifestyles by Lauren, Lauren works in media in New York City.

Lauren's summer skirt is also rose pink but with a floral print. Lauren took the route of matching separates, and they, when paired with nude heels and a nude crossbody, create a very romantic summertime look.

Click here to read the featured outfit post.

There you have it, summer style ideas by bloggers on how they put together an outfit featuring summer skirts. For more summer style inspiration, here's a post on how fashion bloggers style summer rompers, jumpsuits, and pants, and here's one on how fashion bloggers style summer dresses.

I want to thank these wonderful ladies again for contributing to the series, and I want to thank you for reading! In September, I'll have more fashion bloggers share how they do fall fashion. In the meantime, check back next week for a book review! To be notified of new posts, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!

How would you style these summer skirts?
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Weekly Reading | July 5, 2018


Beauty

"Beauty Accessory Essentials" via Beauty by Miss L

Wellness

"7 Habits of Happy People" via Cocktails and Ambition

Travel

"Chicago at a Glance" via Ambitiously Cierra
"NYC Neighborhood Guide: Nolita" via Keep Calm and Chiffon
"Lost Baggage: What Should I Do" via Beautiful Solutions

For career, blogging, and lifestyle posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading.
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