“Girl Online” Review

Girl Online

With my leftover pounds in an airport in London, I decided to buy Girl Online by Zoe Sugg. Then I read it over the entire flight from London to Madrid. While I was anxious on the flight for some reason, I decided to distract myself by reading the whole entire book on the flight.

It was a book that as soon as I put it away, even for just a second, I wanted to pick it back up and finish it. I know there was this whole thing around when it first came out about it being ghost written, I don’t care. I don’t know why so many people care, Zoe had said since the beginning that she was getting help with it, so I don’t know why it was a surprise, I don’t understand why everyone made it to be this huge deal, but that’s besides the point. Whether it was ghost written or not, I thought it was a great book.

I’m a sucker for YA realistic fiction. I don’t like fantasy books so much, or even those super lovey, dovey books, I like to read books where it seems realistic within reason.

Penny- the main character of the book has anxiety and runs a blog, how relatable is that!? While she remains anonymous for the most part (I don’t want to give it away!) and I don’t, it was still something that I found to hit home with me.  While aspects of the story are not quite realistic, like for example meeting a super famous pop star, and not knowing he’s a super famous pop star (where can I find one?), the book is still very entertaining and quite the page turner. Penny’s family is highly likable, the mean girls at school are hardly mean girls besides the one, which is something that I found really interesting. At my school I didn’t think anyone was ever too mean, which is why I found it difficult sometimes to relate to movies and books that revolved around the idea of “Mean Girls”, this book however explores the idea that you’re friends with the mean girl. I never was, but I found that way more probable than the clique of them “ruling” the school.

I would say that overall Girl Online was an easy read, but I think that was intentional. It’s a book that Zoe intended girls of all ages to read. Her audience is nearly 10 million young girls, probably ranging from 8-28 if not even wider, it had to be something that everyone could get something out of. While the younger audience might not be able to relate to every single plot line yet, they can still read and enjoy the story, and the older audience can put themselves in Penny’s shoes, or maybe even a different character, and have an easy read.

I guess I would have to say that my favorite part of the book was how closely I identified with Penny.  For anyone with anxiety, read this book. It was amazing to see a book character who was going through similar things that I felt in high school but never knew how to describe. My senior year of high school, I left school so many times, went to the doctor several times, trying to figure why I felt so dizzy and shaky all the time, now that I better understand anxiety, I really think that’s what it was.

Any other opinions on the book? Overall I would definitely recommend it.

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IHOP Cinnamon Sugar Double Dipped French Toast Review

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I had this around when it first came out, and of course I was blown away. However, I could not let my first opinion mislead me, I had to try it twice, and it was just as amazing, if not better than I imagined the second time. The Cinnamon Sugar Double Dipped French Toast has beat out every meal I have ever gotten there.

I have since referred to this as the Holy Grail of French Toast, it has beaten out my classic favorite (Double Chocolate Chip Pancakes) and is my now go to order. I didn’t even look at the menu today, I ordered two of these and some turkey bacon. This has quickly turned into my favorite meal.

It’s the brioche french toast double battered with corn flakes and oatmeal. YUM. It’s sweet, but not too sweet if you know what I mean. It’s the perfect balance.

So if you’re heading to IHOP any time soon, definitely try this, also if you weren’t planning on going soon, do go because it’s great.

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Etsy Review: Autumn and Indigo Leather Bracelet

As an avid Etsy shopper, I can honestly say that this is one of the best experiences I have ever had. It took two weeks to get here, but it was totally worth it and expected. When I think of etsy, I think cute, and usually that delivers. Like everything comes in cute little boxes, however, this one came in a cute little box, with a cute little pin, and business cards, one that has a discount.

I bought this for myself after I made it through the last of my group projects. I really, really like it. I don’t take it off. It’s not meant for that so it’s suffered some natural wear and tear. For example the clasp has since come off on both ends where it was attached to the bracelet, because when it’s together it’s very strong. So when it got caught on something it came off on one end, and then it happened again on the other side, but once I put superglue on it, it was fine. The silver on the clasp has also worn off a little bit,  but that’s because I wear it in the shower and literally everywhere so it’s kind of to be expected.

I paid #9.50 for it, it was $7 for the bracelet and then $2.50 for shipping and handling, which depends on where you live. I received it in a little less than three weeks. I love this product and it’s definitely part of my everyday wear now, it goes with everything!!

This was the last in this color (I think) but the shop will be liked here: Autumn and IndigoGo check it out! It’s a really cool shop and the prices aren’t bad. 

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*This is not a sponsored post

#100HappyDays Review

A few days I finished a summer of the 100 Happy Days instagram challenge thing, so I thought why not do a little review of it.

Basically if you don’t know what it is, you can read about it here but basically you post a hundred pictures over the course of one hundred days of something that made you happy that day. A good idea in theory.

For me it just didn’t work like that. On days that I had panic attacks or I was anxious and didn’t want to leave the house, obviously I’m not feeling very happy and it’s not because I’m busy or not making time for happiness it’s because my emotions are out of control and I’m trying to take care of that and honestly not very many things are going to be making me very happy. Sure I can find the little joys, but there are many times where I just want to shut off the world, especially social media so no I don’t really want to worry about posting a picture to Instagram.

The second problem I found with this was that when I was having fun or being happy I didn’t think to document. I was enjoying the memory, not trying to capture it so everyone else could see it. I would get home at like 10 on a work night and go to post a picture to see I had none and it wasn’t because I wasn’t happy it’s because I was busy enjoying the moment.

The point of the project is to make someone happy and I think the majority of the time I spent kind of stressed out about finding a picture or trying to get something posted, and that wasn’t supposed to be the point of the exercise. It felt like I had to post a picture everyday or I would be considered a failure, which again would make me anxious. It made me feel bad about myself.

I did notice a good thing, on an average day I took notice of the happy things in life. It was nice to see the good on a normal day, it’s easy to forget everything that’s good or even just forget that there are things to be happy about. In the hum drum of life things slip by and it’s easy just to be in neutral everyday forgetting all the little things that make life great.

Overall I wouldn’t do it again, but that’s just because of the pressure I felt that it put on me. If you don’t feel that things like that are pressured go for it, it will  help you find happiness in the ordinary and that’s beautiful. This is just my take on the challenge, I know Lindsay loved it all and she wants to keep it up, at least the last time we talked about it. It’s one of those things where it works for some people and not for others. It didn’t work for me. The coolest part about it, if you really get into it, you can get all the pictures made into a book or postcards from $15-$35 which is kinda cool. Has anyone else done this? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

XOXO,

Mary.

Restaurant Review: Brick Alley- Newport, Rhode Island

So in case you weren’t aware I was just in Rhode Island for two night and three days. The night before we left we wanted to have a nicer dinner, well Rhode Island is expensive to have a nice and affordable dinner. We stumbled upon this little place, that was nice, but not too nice, so it was also affordable. It was called Brick Alley. I don’t remember who found it or how we found it but we looked at the menu outside and it looked good enough and it was perfect, well almost. The decor was so neat, imagine Applebees, but better. So all that old fashioned “clutter” but in the cutest way possible. We were sat next to an old fashioned fire truck, but only the front half. Wish I got a picture, darn it Mary.

In addition to that I would say that the food was good. Everyone seemed to really like theirs, my only complaint would be that the french fries were a little thick. I’m very picky about potatoes because I don’t really like them. The staff was friendly, however, I did see them eating at the little section where they ring up the orders. Normally I wouldn’t complain about this, it’s just that they were in plain sight, and in my opinion at least try and hide it! Come on now.

If you are ever in the Newport area, be sure to check this little place out. It’s really good.

XOXO,

Mary.

Book Review: Wide Awake by Tom Levithan

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Since it’s summer break I finally feel like I can read for fun, especially this week since I’m on vacation this week I’ve already read two. Books for me are an escape to another world, very briefly, and I hardly remember them afterwards, however, this book really caught my attention and I thought more people should know about it since it’s not a New York Times Best Seller, and personally I had never heard of the author before so I thought maybe it deserved some more attention.

This book did actually freak me out a little bit for the future, I don’t think it’s as practical anymore since we have a Democratic president, but I think if our country was Republican run we would run into a lot of these problems. Levithan explored two ideas that really hit home with me: the Greater Depression, and the War to End all Wars. Both of these events took place post 9/11 and was due to the aftermath of the tragedy. I think the reason both of these were so frightening because they seem so practical, and if I would’ve read this book a few years ago, I think it would’ve seemed even more realistic. With the recession a few years back I was always waiting for something bad to happen. That’s what happens when you’re a little pessimistic.

The main character, Duncan, is born as he puts it decades after 9/11 and the fight he is fighting for is that the winner of the presidency is gay and Jewish, which had still never happened in the history of the country, but Duncan was also gay and Jewish. He goes through struggles with friends, people accepting him, and even some trouble with his boyfriend.

I really suggest this book for anyone, at least growing up where I did, I could see both sides when it came down to the argument. However, when it comes down to it, people are people and everyone should be treated with the same amount of respect. Everyone should be equal no matter what and I don’t know what this is still an argument. No matter what’s different about someone, they have something in common with you, they have a brain and a heart, and both will be affected by you negatively or positively and I think this book sends that message.

If you are interested you can buy the book here, or if you have an iPad you can download the app OverDrive which you can set your public library system up to and borrow books to read and you might be able to find it there. If you read it or have read it, let me know what you think!