Saturday, September 28, 2013

makeup look featuring Benefit's THEY'RE REAL! mascara

A while back (an embarassing amount of time back, if we're being honest) I got a sample size of Benefit's They're real mascara from Sephora for my birthday. 

I created a look with this mascara but before I could post it, my computer was dunzo (10+ points if you get that reference)...but now it's finally here!

Feast your eyes on a purple eyeshadow look I did featuring They're Real!

cranberry and lavender makeup look

More pictures and products used after the jump! -->

Friday, September 27, 2013

YALLFest author spotlight: Veronica Rossi

Cue the intro~
YALLFest is one of the only book festivals focused entirely on Young Adults. It's held in Charleston, South Carolina and this year it starts November 9th. The best part is, it's mostly free! The only thing that cost money are the ticketed events- the keynote conversation and the closing YA smackdown. All signings are free!
I really wanted to go this year! This year's lineup includes 50 young adult authors, including 25 New York Times Bestsellers. That's a pretty impressive lineup! Unfortunately, I don't have the money to go this year, but am definitely planning on going in the near future. If you love to read, live in the South Carolina area (I live in Florida and would DEFINITELY make the drive!)  I absolutely recommend going to this. 
Since I am so sad about missing it this year, I am so excited that I am able to get involved in other ways! I was given the opportunity to host interviews with some of this year's YALLFest authors!
Don't forget for more YALLFest info you can head to their Facebook or website. You can also get updates with their twitter @Yallfest

Veronica Rossi is the author of the post-apocalyptic YA trilogy Under the Never Sky
She, like all the other authors I've hosted interviews for, will be at YALLFest this year!


What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
Yeah, those. And all the ones in between!

Best writing tip you ever received?
$5. Just kidding. Um… tip… I think it’s probably to allow yourself to suck when writing early drafts. It takes away a lot of the fear of generating good material. It’s not easy to be creative when you’re judging your work.  

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
1.  In the past year, I discovered a deep love of Brussel sprouts
2. I talk to myself. Heck. Sometimes I argue with myself.
3. I’m arguing with myself about including that last point at this very moment.
4. My favorite animals are elephants.
5. Dresses with pockets make me happy.

Where's your favorite place to write?
 I usually work in my home office, but I love working in hotel rooms. No distractions!

What are you working on now? 
Something I’m very excited about! Can’t divulge any details yet, but it’s an idea I’ve been mulling over for years.


Check out the other YALLFest author spotlights below!
 
Cinda Williams Chima can be found here
Lauren Oliver can be found here
CJ Lyons can be found here
Sean Williams can be found here:
Rainbow Rowell can be found here
Ransom Riggs can be found here 

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling







Wednesday, September 25, 2013

YALLFest author spotlight: Ransom Riggs

 For those new to the series, I present the intro: 


YALLFest is one of the only book festivals focused entirely on Young Adults. It's held in Charleston, South Carolina and this year it starts November 9th. The best part is, it's mostly free! The only thing that cost money are the ticketed events- the keynote conversation and the closing YA smackdown. All signings are free!
I really wanted to go this year! This year's lineup includes 50 young adult authors, including 25 New York Times Bestsellers. That's a pretty impressive lineup! Unfortunately, I don't have the money to go this year, but am definitely planning on going in the near future. If you love to read, live in the South Carolina area (I live in Florida and would DEFINITELY make the drive!)  I absolutely recommend going to this. 
Since I am so sad about missing it this year, I am so excited that I am able to get involved in other ways! I was given the opportunity to host interviews with some of this year's YALLFest authors!
Don't forget for more YALLFest info you can head to their Facebook or website. You can also get updates with their twitter @Yallfest

Today's interview is with New York Times' Bestseller Ransom Riggs. He is best known for his book, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. This book is also on my must-read list, I've heard lots of good things about it! Just another reason my heart is breaking over missing YALLFest this year!!


What one thing do you need to have when you write?
Silence. My noise-cancelling headphones have become almost essential.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
The first. I rewrite and rewrite it a million times. The last comes easy.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
I’m six foot four. I lived on a working farm until I was five. I used to know how to cook Indian food but now I’ve forgotten. I love documentaries. One day I will conquer the moon.

What are you working on now?
A novel for Little, Brown the plot of which is SECRET! (Sort of, for now. But I’m really excited about it.)

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?
Oh, definitely YA to write in. I read everything, lots of YA, lots of adult, nonfiction of all sorts. I even read poetry when I’m feeling ambitious. I think it’s crucial to have lots of different influences. If you only read in the genre you write in, your writing will sound like everything else that’s already out there.


Have you read anything by Ransom Riggs? Are you planning on going to Yallfest? Can I sneak in your suitcase if you are? :)

To get caught up on the other authors in this series, check them out~
Cinda Williams Chima can be found here
Lauren Oliver can be found here
CJ Lyons can be found here
Sean Williams can be found here:
Rainbow Rowell can be found here

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

YALLFest author spotlight: Rainbow Rowell

Drumroll for the intro, please!
YALLFest is one of the only book festivals focused entirely on Young Adults. It's held in Charleston, South Carolina and this year it starts November 9th. The best part is, it's mostly free! The only thing that cost money are the ticketed events- the keynote conversation and the closing YA smackdown. All signings are free!
I really wanted to go this year! This year's lineup includes 50 young adult authors, including 25 New York Times Bestsellers. That's a pretty impressive lineup! Unfortunately, I don't have the money to go this year, but am definitely planning on going in the near future. If you love to read, live in the South Carolina area (I live in Florida and would DEFINITELY make the drive!)  I absolutely recommend going to this. 
Since I am so sad about missing it this year, I am so excited that I am able to get involved in other ways! I was given the opportunity to host interviews with some of this year's YALLFest authors!
Don't forget for more YALLFest info you can head to their Facebook or website. You can also get updates with their twitter @Yallfest


Rainbow Rowell is known for her best selling books Eleanor & Park and Fangirl. Personally these books are in my to-be-read stack and I am pretty excited to read them because some of my favorite authors have sang praises for them, so they must be good!


Since Rainbow is one of the authors that I wish I was seeing most at YALLFest this year, I'm REALLY really excited to be able to post her interview!

What one thing do you need to have when you write?
Lip balm.

Describe your book in 5 words.
FANGIRL:
Earnest, snowy, swoony, minty, bookish.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
THE FIRST! The whole first page is a nightmare. I want people to just skip it. And I always end up rewriting it.
Best writing tip you ever received?
“Just finish your book.”

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?
Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt. I think it would have made me feel less alone.


Where's your favorite place to write?

At coffeeshops. In giant overstuffed chairs.

What are you working on now?
I’m revising my adult novel, Landline, which comes out in spring 2014, and playing with a romantic/political/tragicomic fantasy.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?
I write mostly contemporary. I read mostly fantasy.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?
All of my ideas are full-length novels. I have a hard time narrowing my scope.


Hope you enjoyed today's edition of YALLFest author spotlight! Check back tomorrow for yet another interview!! 
And see below for all the past authors in this series:
Cinda Williams Chima can be found here
Lauren Oliver can be found here
CJ Lyons can be found here
Sean Williams can be found here:
Posts may come in fast and furious over the next few weeks. Got a lot of info to cover! Hope you can keep up ;)

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Saturday, September 21, 2013

New plate collection from MoYou-London

A little while ago I was introduced to MoYou London, a nail art brand. I heard about them through a couple of different bloggers and after looking at their website realized I had to have, well, basically everything!

I placed an order for 4 stamping plates to start. Their plates are SO cute and original, not to mention  budget friendly! They are listed as £4.99 which is just shy of 8 USD.

Since it is coming from London, I still haven't received my plates. I suspect I will be getting them  soon, since I already got the email that they were on their way! I am so excited to try these stamps out and review them.

However in the mean time the company is definitely after my money! They are making me want to place another order before I even got the first one!! It's not my fault their nail plates are so cute!

In fact, yesterday they launched a collection called Comics Girl and I'm here to show you the awesome plates it includes.


Personally, I don't read comics. However, I would say that I'm pretty involved in the 'culture' that comics are a part of. All of my close friends read comics and go to conventions and all that fun stuff.

The fun and unique thing about these plates is that they have images over the entire plate. If you're like me, you're used to plates that just have several small, separate images. But these take stamping plates to a whole new level!

I love how there are so many different patterns hidden in the bigger picture. You can really create something unique on your nails using these plates.

 

 As you can see there is a definite comic theme here! I especially like the pattern in the cape. 

Love the playing card and horseshoe patterns!

Some more awesome patterns on this plate, as well as some cool imagery in general

Hehe love the money bags. Who doesn't want money bags on their nails?

 And last but not least an anime type plate with little butterflies and flowers! Very cute.

What do you think, will you be picking anything up from this collection?

If this collection isn't your cup of tea, I still highly suggest checking out the brand. I am truly giddy waiting for my stamping plates to arrive!!

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling


full disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for this. All opinions are my own!

Friday, September 20, 2013

YALLFest Author Spotlight: Sean Williams

the YALLFest series intro for those that have missed it~

YALLFest is one of the only book festivals focused entirely on Young Adults. It's held in Charleston, South Carolina and this year it starts November 9th. The best part is, it's mostly free! The only thing that cost money are the ticketed events- the keynote conversation and the closing YA smackdown. All signings are free!
I really wanted to go this year! This year's lineup includes 50 young adult authors, including 25 New York Times Bestsellers. That's a pretty impressive lineup! Unfortunately, I don't have the money to go this year, but am definitely planning on going in the near future. If you love to read, live in the South Carolina area (I live in Florida and would DEFINITELY make the drive!)  I absolutely recommend going to this. 
Since I am so sad about missing it this year, I am so excited that I am able to get involved in other ways! I was given the opportunity to host interviews with some of this year's YALLFest authors!
Don't forget for more YALLFest info you can head to their Facebook or website. You can also get updates with their twitter @Yallfest
 
 
 
This Inner Beauty Friday interview is with author Sean Williams.
Williams is a best selling Science fiction and Fantasy author!
 
While sci-fi and fantasy is more suited than my close friends than me, it's really great to find YA authors in that genre. And, very great that he's attending YALLFest this year!
 
   
photo courtesy of seanwilliams.com
 
Now the best part: the interview!

What one thing do you need to have when you write?
The right music. And chocolate as a reward when I finish.

Describe your book in 5 words
Jump meets Uglies. But different.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last? 
The first line is often the hardest to write, but I like a good challenge. The line I like writing the least is the last because it means I have a whole load of rewriting ahead of me.

Best writing tip you ever received?
Give up. If you can do that, you’ll be happier and probably better off as a result. If you can’t, then you know writing is exactly the right thing for you!

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
1) I live in Adelaide, South Australia, a place that’s home to about a million other people but somehow feels like a small town, which is why I love it.
2) I still think music from the 1980s is cool.
3) My stepson has situs invertus, which means his heart is on the wrong side of his body. That’s not really about me, but it is pretty random.
4) I’m a huge fan of Doctor Who.
5) I’m minding a pair of green tree frogs, Skipper and Jumpy, for a young friend while she’s overseas with her family. You can see pictures of them on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/seanwilliamsauthor/.

Where's your favorite place to write?

In my study, a lovely upstairs nook containing all my favorite book-related things, but I’ve trained myself to write anywhere as long as I have my headphones and some music. I quite like writing in hotels, probably because someone else does all the household chores.

What are you working on now?
Crashland, the sequel to Twinmaker.


Have you read anything by Sean Williams? 

To catch up on other posts in this series:
Cinda Williams Chima can be found here
Lauren Oliver can be found here
CJ Lyons can be found here

Thanks for reading, and get to reading all these awesome authors I'm talking about!

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fing'rs In Mint Condition: Review

Hey beauties! Sorry my beauty posts have been a little MIA lately. I have been keeping up with Inner beauty though, thanks to the YALLFest interviews I am lucky enough to post! 

But this review has been a long time coming. Honestly I'm not thrilled about writing a bad review but I have to be totally honest.

*note: these pictures were taken quite a while ago, before I really hit a niche with photographing, so take THAT with a grain of salt ;) *

Fingrs In Mint Condition
Fingrs Heart 2 Art In Mint Condition
I purchased a few Fing'rs Heart 2 Art polishes a few months ago when the display first appeared at Walmart. You may remember me posting about it in my Walmart haul post. 


See the rest of the review after the jump! -->

Monday, September 16, 2013

YALLFest author spotlight: CJ Lyons

Today's YALLFest Author interview is with CJ Lyons.

The intro in case you missed it:
YALLFest is one of the only book festivals focused entirely on Young Adults. It's held in Charleston, South Carolina and this year it starts November 9th. The best part is, it's mostly free! The only thing that cost money are the ticketed events- the keynote conversation and the closing YA smackdown. All signings are free!
I really wanted to go this year! This year's lineup includes 50 young adult authors, including 25 New York Times Bestsellers. That's a pretty impressive lineup! Unfortunately, I don't have the money to go this year, but am definitely planning on going in the near future. If you love to read, live in the South Carolina area (I live in Florida and would DEFINITELY make the drive!)  I absolutely recommend going to this. 
Since I am so sad about missing it this year, I am so excited that I am able to get involved in other ways! I was given the opportunity to host interviews with some of this year's YALLFest authors!

Don't forget for more YALLFest info you can head to their Facebook or website. You can also get updates with their twitter @Yallfest


CJ Lyons is a New York Times best selling author. She is a former doctor and now she writes medical thriller novels! I think that's pretty cool. You know you're getting realistic details when the author used to be a doctor herself!

What's more exciting is that November 5th she is debuting her first YA novel! It's called Broken, and is now available for preorder. Since it will be her first YA novel, she's attending YALLFest this year where you can see her and meet her for yourself!

Without further ado, here's the interview you've been waiting for!

author CJ Lyons

Describe your book in 5 words:
Girl dying of broken heart (literally)

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
The first. I’ll often return to it over and over again until I’ve sliced and diced and fine-honed it to that perfect combination of intrigue, visceral reaction, and emotional connection with the reader.

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?
Code Name Verity because it is so emotionally honest and inspiring, empowering, not to mention gut-wrenching. Really brings the era to life as well as the sacrifices made in the name of freedom.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
When I was a kid I worked summer stock theatre and was actually a theatre major undergrad before switching to pre-med. I’ve had two hard landings in helicopters while working as a flight doc. I survived rampaging Cape Horn Buffalo and a pack of wild baboons, not to mention a leopard (he’s already eaten) while hiking in Hells Gate Park in Kenya. I’m a Capricorn. I diagnosed my niece with the heart condition that’s at the center of my YA thriller, BROKEN.

What are you working on now?
DAMAGED, my next YA thriller, due out in 2014. It deals with the really tough topic of abuse and coercion and is the most difficult book I’ve ever tackled—there have been times while writing when I was literally in tears as I typed.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?
 I created my own genre of Thrillers with Heart—I love writing fast paced stories with raising stakes but centered on the emotional heart of an evolving relationship. As for reading, I read almost every genre but especially love YA, magical realism, and thrillers. As long as a story grabs me by the throat and won’t let me go because I’m too worried about what the characters are going through, I’ll read it and love it.


In case you missed the first parts to this series you can find them below! 
Cinda Williams Chima can be found here
Lauren Oliver can be found here

Check back on Friday for another great interview with a YALLFest author! 

Are you enjoying these interviews? Have you ever read anything by CJ Lyons? Will you be making it out to YALLFest this year? Sound off in the comments below!

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

YALLFest author spotlight: Lauren Oliver

Today I am so excited to bring you another interview with another great YALLFest author!

If you missed the first post in this series, click here. In it I explain what YALLFest is and how you can get involved! If you're looking for more info on YALLFest head over to their website or their facebook

Today's interview is with Lauren Oliver, author of Before I Fall & the Delirium series
lauren oliver
photo courtesy of deliriumnet.com
Personally I've read Before I Fall and I quite liked it! It had a good message. 
Read on for her interview!

What one thing do you need to have when you write?
Coffee!

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
Honestly, neither. It’s just every single line in between that feels impossible.

Best writing tip you ever received?
Aim for truth and beauty will follow.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
I have fourteen tattoos. I can fall asleep any time, any place. I have a phobia of worms. I hate fruit. I wrote my first novel largely on my Blackberry.

Where's your favorite place to write?
In my sunroom in upstate New York.

What are you working on now?
Two different middle grade books and an untitled young adult novel that my agent described as  “the most disturbing thing he’s ever read.” Oops!

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?
I love realistic books that include just a hint of fantasy.


Ooh I don't know about you but I'm pretty excited about the most disturbing thing her agent's ever read! 

Be sure to check out Lauren at this years YALLFest! Have you read any of her books? Are you looking forward to meeting her at Yallfest this year?

Monday, September 9, 2013

YALLfest author spotlight: Cinda Williams Chima

Consider this an Inner Beauty Monday, if you will.

Have you ever heard of YALLFest? If you're like me and love to read Young Adult novels, then you probably have!


YALLFest is one of the only book festivals focused entirely on Young Adults. It's held in Charleston, South Carolina and this year it starts November 9th. The best part is, it's mostly free! The only thing that cost money are the ticketed events- the keynote conversation and the closing YA smackdown. All signings are free!

I really wanted to go this year! This year's lineup includes 50 young adult authors, including 25 New York Times Bestsellers. That's a pretty impressive lineup! Unfortunately, I don't have the money to go this year, but am definitely planning on going in the near future. If you love to read, live in the South Carolina area (I live in Florida and would DEFINITELY make the drive!)  I absolutely recommend going to this. 

Since I am so sad about missing it this year, I am so excited that I am able to get involved in other ways! I was given the opportunity to host interviews with some of this year's YALLFest authors!


The first installment of this series is an interview with New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima! 

Cinda is the author of The Heir series and the Seven Realms series. You can find her at this year's YALLFest!


What one thing do you need to have when you write?
A computer

Describe your book in 5 words
Wizards misbehave, magic goes mutant.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
Usually the lines in between.

Best writing tip you ever received?
Give yourself permission to write badly.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
1.       I am a twin.
2.       I am named after a character in a novel.
3.       I didn’t really start driving until I was 27.
4.       I am descended from Puritans and scoundrels.
5.       I used to be in a folk music band.

Where's your favorite place to write?
On a balcony overlooking the ocean.

 What are you working on now?
I’m writing The Sorcerer Heir, the fifth book in a trilogy.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?
When I’m finished with a full-length novel.

Well there you have it! As an aspiring writer, I definitely love the writing tip! Sometimes, you have to remind yourself of that. I also can always appreciate an ocean view, I can imagine it is very good inspiration for writing! 

Cinda Williams Chima's new book in the Heir series, The Enchanter Heir comes out October 1st! So be sure to pick up a copy so you can have her sign it at YALLFest! 

All information regarding YALLfest can be found: here, or on their facebook page here.

I hope you're as excited as I am about the upcoming author interviews! Let me know if you're going to YALLFest this year! After crying with jealousy, we'll gush over which authors you're most excited to see! 

And if you're like me and can't go this year, I hope you enjoy this opportunity to learn about new authors! 

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Saturday, September 7, 2013

August in photos

I know I'm like a week late. But I thought about doing a weekly photo dump but decided monthly would probably be better. Especially when I realized I don't take as many pictures as I thought! 

So here's August in photos for me!

At the beginning of the month my boyfriend and I traveled to Jacksonville (which also happens to be one of my favorite cities..I want to move there someday!) to see an old local band My Getaway have a reunion show! It was so good to see them play after 4 years of being broken up. 


My first attempt at a cut crease! There is actually a whole post coming on this, but I'm that far behind that I haven't posted it yet. Whoops!

The middle photo is from a club night. A club that I used to go to a lot was moving locations so it was the last night in the old building. My friends and I went all out. My friend curled my hair, we bought new outfits, and spent way too long getting ready. It was a bittersweet goodbye, but I heard the new location is awesome, so I can't wait to check it out!

I went to a Tampa Bay Rays game against the Blue Jays. Victoria Justice played after the game, it was a fun day! 

While driving to a friends house we spotted an owl just chillin on the side of the road! It didn't move for quite some time and just kept looking at us behind it's back! It was really strange!

I went out to eat for a friend's birthday at a hibachi restaurant. Delicious, delicious, delicious! 

I pet-sat for some friends on labor day weekend and spent some time with this adorable doggy! 


Well that's my August for you! Looking through pictures made me realize I need to get out more! :P 
Hopefully September will have more exciting pictures! I'm sure they will, as I have a lot of fun things lined up this month.

Do you like this feature of a monthly photoshare? Let me know! 

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Friday, September 6, 2013

Inner Beauty Friday: I'm going to gush about my favorite book

 Despite this being a beauty-oriented blog, I believe very much in "inner beauty" and believe it is necessary to work on this type of beauty above all else. Every Friday I share my journey through becoming more beautiful from the inside out!

Again I'm linking up to Jasmine at Green Eyed Monster who gave me the inspiration to start this weekly post!

I love to read. When starting up the Inner Beauty Friday theme, I planned to involve plenty of book reviews, as that is what Jasmine, who inspired me, does.

Unfortunately in the past few weeks I haven't had a lot of time to read. I did read one book, which I will review next Friday. But first, I wanted to talk about my favorite book. 

Looking for Alaska by John Green


LFA is a young adult novel. I guess I should mention that I mainly read young adult novels because for much of my life I aspired to write them. I still feel that aspiration in me and quite frankly, I still feel like a young adult. 

The Goodreads synopsis (which is the same that appears on the back of the book) is: Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

I wanted to talk about a few reasons why I love this book without giving away any spoilers (which will be hard.)

First of all, I love the way it is written. In my opinion it really captures the thought process and attitude of a teenager. It doesn't sound like how an adult thinks a teenager sounds. The way it's written just really resonates with me.

Second of all, I have read this book a handful of times and I still cry every time.  Yes, there are sad parts. And if you're like me, you will cry. Even if you already know exactly what is coming. 

Third, I love the existential element present in most of the book such as "what is the meaning of life?" and thoughts that are explored through Miles's religious studies class, such as "is there an afterlife?" These parts of the book really got me thinking and the way they were written really explain things eloquently.

Finally, the reason I love the book most is Alaska herself. It's like she comes dangerously close to being a real-life Manic Pixie Dream Girl (if you don't know what a MPDG is, you can read more here), so she actively works to counteract that. Her whole purpose is to show that she is a human with flaws and layers and parts of her that are not lovely or make sense. Her whole mission is to make sure you see her as a person instead of an idea. And she's a bit of a feminist so of course, I love her.

Believe me, there is a lot more I could say about this book. I could spend all day talking about it. But I want to keep this short and sweet and I also don't want to spoil anything. 

All in all, I highly recommend everyone on earth read this book. I really do. Of course you knew I was going to say that, since its my FAVORITE book but ah, well. 

Have you ever read Looking for Alaska? Or any of John Green's books? If so, what did you think? If not, do you think you will? I encourage you to :) Let me know!
EmberDarling