On My Bookshelf: Downside Ghosts Series

One of the best parts of my week’s vacation from work has been the time I get to spend reading.  I so rarely get more than a few stolen moments here and there to read, that being able to wake up in the morning, have a cup of coffee, and read for an hour is such a luxury!  As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been remiss in posting some of the books I’ve been reading lately.  So what better time than when I’m actually getting a chance to enjoy my leisurely reads?

About this time last year I started reading the Downside Ghosts series that had been recommended by a friend.  I read all three books that I thought made up the entirety of the series, but it turns out there are two more books.  Oh happy day – more to read!

The series centers around Chess, the main character, who is also a ghost hunter.  These books are part urban paranormal part mystery.  I started reading Unholy Ghosts right around my birthday last year and zipped through it in a couple of weeks.

I took a little detour after finishing the first book in order to read Gone Girl.  I don’t think I even reviewed that one either (where has my head been??).  Anyway, after reading Gone Girl I went right back to book 2 in the Downside Ghosts series – Unholy Magic.  I read this one in October of last year, and enjoyed it a little more than the first book so I was anxious to pick up the third book as soon as I finished this one.

And I started City of Ghosts in mid-November and it carried over into January.  And the length of time it took me to read this one is in no way a reflection on how good it was.  I finished this one just a few days into the new year and it was absolutely another great read from Stacia Kane.

I’m really anxious to pick up the next two books in the series, now that I know they exist – Sacrificial Magic and Chasing Magic.  And it even looks like book six is due out in October!

The caution I was given when the series was recommended to me is that the main character, Chess, is an addict.  You know that right off the bat, so it’s not spoiler-worthy information.  And while I can see that this would turn a lot of people off, it does really play into who Chess is and why she does some of the things she does.  Definitely well worth reading.

I have the first book in Stacia Kane’s Megan Chase series sitting on my bookshelf to read too.  If that series is as good as this one, I’m already sold!

**In case you’re wondering – polish is Theon’s 5, Essie’s Berry Hard, and Essence’s Edward’s Love from the Breaking Dawn collection.

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First Days of Spring

Oscar Red Carpet
With the first day of Spring this week, my thoughts turn to clear sunny days and soft colors.  Although this morning is full of thunderstorms and chilly winds.  But, I can indulge in my little piece of Spring right here!  Lately I’ve been catching up on my DVR’d shows, which includes several hours of Red Carpet watching.  Seems the days are gone when I can actually watch things live.  But, what surprised me about this year’s Oscar Red Carpet was the overall softness of the colors.  There were very few bright colors, particularly the emerald green I was expecting to see everywhere.   But there was no lack of gorgeous dresses to choose from, as you can see above.  One of my favorites was Jessica Chastain in that amazing coppery beaded Armani Prive gown.  So many subtle shades.

And Chanel has released their lovely Spring collection of nail lacquers, Printemps Precieux.  You know I normally go in for the dark, vampy colors like Accessoire, but I’m really drawn to Emprise, which is a rosy beige.  Perfect almost nude nail that would go perfectly with a brighter wardobe.  And Fracas, who can resist a pretty, bright pink?  This one will most definitely transition into the summer months.

Chanel Spring 2013
Even Starbucks is celebrating Spring in Japan with their new Sakura line. It even includes cherry blossom macarons (which you know I can’t resist).  It’s too bad that this lovely pink deliciousness won’t be available in the States, but from what I hear the taste (not cherry at all) might not translate to the American palate.  But what fun a pink latte would be (as long as it’s not strawberry, since I’m allergic!).

starbucks-japan-sakura-drinks-2013
And I saw a photo on Instagram the other day of the new Coach handbags in Mint.  I can’t resist, such a gorgeous color for Spring.  Too too tempting. Alas, I am on a new handbag hiatus, so no Coach bag for me. But look at those fun tassels too.  Gah!

Coach Bag in Mint
I did have to indulge in my own version of that luxurious mint color though. How do you like my Essie Mint Candy Apple mani this week?  Perfect, huh?  Such a fun color.  I’ve really enjoyed wearing it.

Mint Candy Apple
And how can I resist anything in a bright pretty yellow?  (I can’t) Of course, the J Crew bubble necklaces are almost everywhere these days, but I just love it in yellow.  A fun bright pop of color against a subtle colored top?  Love.  It.

Bubble Necklace

What’s bringing thoughts of Spring to you this week?

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January in Pictures

January 2013

For 2013 I thought it would be fun to start a new tradition at the end of each month and share some photos from the previous month – just as a little look back into my days.

January was definitely a month for refocusing and it seemed to spark my creativity too, since I spent a lot of time working on some crafty projects.  I took a day off work at the beginning of the month to spend with Eric and my niece and go see the Trains at Northpark.  We, of course, had to stop for gelato.  Work has been extra difficult this month, so there were several nights I came home in need of comfort food – like the grilled cheese sandwich Eric made for me.  I did try to take time for myself though, by leaving early one Friday afternoon and going to the quilt shop to pick up my Hex on the Beach kit and a few fabrics I fell in love with.  And we even had snow!  Last Saturday morning I had a couple of hours to kill between my hair appointment and my eyebrow appointment, and I spent that time curled up in a comfy chair, sipping Starbucks and reading.  Decadent!

My last mani of the month was the perfect transition into February – Essie All Tied Up with an accent nail of OPI Berry Berry Broadway.

Looking forward to seeing what February brings!

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Pooltime Lime

So, last week I decided I’d leave my toes in Fear or Desire orange.  But, I wanted a change of pace from the bright summer colors I’ve been drawn to lately.  I needed something darker…

So last week’s mani was Essie Sexy Divide.  And I’d forgotten how much I love this one.  It really is a stunner in the sunlight.  I got lots of compliments on it.  I seem to recall this being my NYE color a few years ago.  Still love it.

But, Sunday rolled around and it was time for a polish change.  So, I dug through my stash, which Eric recently helped me organize when we were going through our bathroom organization project.

I’ve got my polish mostly divided up into Summer and Winter colors.  And after dipping into the dark side, it was time for something bright.  And when I decided on a great summer color – I definitely went bright!

That is OPI Pooltime Lime.  And it now graces both my fingers and my toes.  I’m not entirely sure I’m sold on this one.  I don’t mind the brightness of it, since that’s what I was going for, but it’s rather sheer.  I still have VNL after three coats.  And the color tends more toward the yellow than what I would consider “lime”.  So I’ve redubbed this Pooltime Keylime.  It’s definitely a summery pop of color though!

But now I’m thinking I need a mojito to go with my manicure…

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