Sunday, January 25, 2015

Book Haul!

For Christmas this year, pretty much everyone in my family got me a gift card to Barnes and Noble, and I was pretty much in heaven. Needless to say, I went to Barnes and Noble the day after Christmas to buy some books, so I thought I would share with you guys all of the books I got!

 Once I got the gift cards, I immediately went onto my Goodreads account, and checked my "to-read" book list so I could decide which books I should get. These are all of the books I've been wanting to read for a little while, and also a few that I saw in the store that looked really good!

This book is about a world in which children who got a sickness develop strange powers years later, and are viewed as evil by society. The main character, Adelina, is a girl from a rich family, but looked down upon by society because she survived the fever and had silver hair afterwards. The children who survive the fever have a marking of some sort, but not all of them develop powers. Adelina believes that she doesn't have any powers but is proved wrong one day, and is taken in by a group called the Young Elites. This group is made up of young adults who have developed very large powers from the fever, and who fight back against the crown, which wants all of these survivors dead. I am actually almost done with this book, and I have loved it so far!

This book is the sequel to Defy, and ohmygosh is it good! I really love this series, and this book is definitely as good as the first. Ignite again follows Alexa and Damian, and this time there is a threat against their kingdom from people they thought were their allies. Betrayal, love, and suspense are again big themes in this book, and I ended up finishing it in two days! I don't know what it is about Sara B. Larson's writing, but it is just so good! I really recommend that everyone read this series because you will love it!

I have heard so much about this book, so I'm really excited to get started with reading it. The main premise behind this book is rich kids going to an island, and getting caught up in lies and accidents. I hope that this book lives up to all of the hype surrounding it, because it sounds like an interesting read!

This book is set in the future, and follows two main characters who get stuck on a foreign planet when their spaceship crashes. They seem to be the only survivors of the crash, and they don't encounter anyone on the planet. The two, Lilac and Tarver, come from opposite backgrounds; Lilac's family is extremely wealthy, while Tarver comes from nothing. However, these two have to work together since they are alone in order to find help on the planet.
I haven't started this book yet, but I'm really excited to because I've heard great things!

This book is the sequel to If I Stay, so I don't really want to give too much away, as some people haven't read the book and probably want to since the movie came out last year. It simply follows the characters from the first book, and meets up with them a couple of years later after the accident in the first book. I'm suuuuper excited to read this book, because I absolutely adored the first one.

I feel as though this book really needs no introduction, since most people have probably a) heard of it, or b) read it already. It's written by Blogger and Vlogger Zoe Sugg (Zoella), and is about a girl who is struggling with anxiety after being in a car crash. Her family decides to go to New York for the holidays, and there she meets a boy who changes her outlook on a lot of things.
I'm also really interested in reading this book because there has been a lot of good and bad press surrounding it. I'll be doing a post on what I think about the whole thing - book and rumors - after I have read it.

I can't wait to finish all of these books! I'm back at school now so it's a little hard trying to find time to read for fun, but I am trying!

What books have you guys been reading?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a great day! :)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

I Sent Out My DNA?!

You might be thinking "What the heck do you mean Kendra?!" but I promise, this isn't a part of some strange cult. I have always been interested in genetics, ancestors, and things like family history, so I asked for the DNA Kit from for Christmas. I actually heard about the DNA kit from the show America's Next Top Model (a guilty pleasure of mine), and have been wanting it ever since!

The whole process is really easy; you get the package in the mail, spit in the little tube they give you, activate your test online, and then send the tube back to them in the prepaid box given to you!

 This was actually the day I got my hair done - the last couple of pictures before I colored my hair!

 Wow read those instructions Kendra.

 Starting to spit hahaha.

This may be the best picture of me ever.

You get the results in 6-8 weeks, and they basically just tell you what you are, ethnicity wise! I know I have Scottish, Irish, and Native American in me predominately, but it'll be so interesting to find out just how much I have, and what else I am, if that makes sense haha. I will definitely be sharing the results once I get them!

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)

Disclaimer: this is NOT a sponsored post.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

New Year, New....Hair?

Change is something that I definitely struggle with. It makes me super nervous because I don't know what to expect and I don't know if I'll end up liking the change or not; however, I have been wanting to change up my hair for a while now, and I didn't want to dramatically cut it all off. I also was really worried about coloring it because I colored my hair when I was younger and eventually started to hate it. 
This past August, you guys may remember, I got red in the ends of my hair when I wanted a subtle balyage, but that just ended up washing out after a couple of weeks. Since I wanted the change to be more noticeable than last time, I decided to go for something that would show up more! I also want this year to be a great one, so I decided to start it off with a pretty big change (to me anyway)! I thought, what the heck, I'm only young once, right? And, if I ended up not liking the color, I could just get it colored back to my natural color. So without further ado, here is my new hair!

 Ok, so it isn't as fire engine red as it looks in this picture. The lighting made it look crazy red, but it's actually more of a dark auburn with lighter copper highlights!

 This is what it looks like when it's not directly under the light.

 You can kind of see the copper highlights here!

I really love how it turned out! It's honestly not too drastic of a change, and I think it looks nice against my paler skin, and it brings out my green eyes way more!

These photos were taken when I was home, and I'm back at college now, so I'll probably have a post soon of how it looks now that I've washed it a couple of times. I'm so glad I decided to color it, though! It's the perfect time for a change, and having the different tones in my hair kind of forces me to actually style my hair everyday in order to actually see them, instead of just leaving my hair to dry at night.

Have you guys made any changes so far this year?

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day! :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2015 Will be the Year...

1.....That I go out of my comfort zone and try new things, and talk to new people.
2.....To celebrate myself, and learn to love the person I am. It might take the whole year, but this year I'll learn to love myself.
3.....That I will go on great adventures and STUDY ABROAD.
4.....To expand my blog/work on it more/post more/generally make it better.
5.....To consistently post YouTube videos and work on my channel.
6.....That I will study everyday.
7.....That I workout at least five or six days a week.
8.....That I will eat healthily, and continue vegetarianism.
9.....That I will go out and be with nature more.
10.....That I will read as often as I can.
11.....That I will write at least a little bit everyday (or most days as school permits).
12.....Of random acts of kindness.
13.....Of mistakes that I learn from.
14.....To break out of my shell, and try to be more outgoing.
15.....That I start living my life to the fullest!

I hope you all have a wonderful 2015, and I wish you the best of luck! :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

DIY Gold Dipped and Chalkboard Milk Bottles

It's no secret that I love DIY projects, especially as gifts for my friends and family. I think they are so nice to give to people because it shows you like to put in a little extra effort for them, and the projects are usually so much fun! 
While Christmas shopping this year, I saw cute little milk bottles at my local craft store, and just had to do a project with them for gifts. So, I went on the hunt for gold and chalkboard paint in order to make a gold dipped (I love gold things if you haven't noticed) milk bottle, as well as one painted entirely with chalkboard paint.
Here are the results!

They were both really easy to do, but I will include how I painted them step by step, as well as the supplies you will need!

Gold Dipped Milk Bottles

 For this project, you'll need however many milk bottles you want to paint, painters tape, Liquid Leaf (or any other gold paint you can find, I found the Liquid Leaf at Michael's), and a brush of some sort. If you do use Liquid Leaf, you actually need to use a paint brush with bristles, but use a cheap one unless you have a good cleaner to immediately clean off the paint, or else it will ruin the brush!

 Tape off the part that you don't want to paint with the gold, but you don't need to tape off the whole bottle. Just make sure the line is straight and even all around the bottle!

 I just had to take a picture of the Liquid Leaf - how cool does it look?!

Turn the bottle upside down, and simply paint! Make sure you paint in the same direction (I did up and down brush strokes) around the whole bottle. I did put two coats on one bottle, but there was no visible difference between two coats and one when I compared the two bottles.

That's it, you're done! Carefully take off the tape, and make sure the bottles are completely dry before you do anything with them! I think these are perfect to use a vases, decorations, or anything else you can think of to use them for. This method could also easily be used to make anything else you would want "gold dipped." I also painted a giant seashell gold for my grandma for Christmas because she loves the beach, and it turned out great!

Chalkboard Milk Bottles
 For the chalkboard bottles, you'll need milk bottles, chalkboard paint (you can find this at any craft store, usually by the acrylic craft paint), one of these little sponge brushes, and newspaper to put under the bottles while painting.

 Turn the bottles upside down, and paint away! Again, make sure your brush strokes are consistent the whole way around the bottle. I had to do three coats of chalkboard paint in order to make it completely opaque, and make sure the previous coat is completely dry before you apply another one.

I love how the chalkboard paint looks on the bottles, especially next to the gold dipped ones! This would be really cute to hold things that you could label with chalk. I also think they would look really cool with bright daisies in them!

Well there you go! DIY gold dipped and chalkboard painted milk bottles for you or your friends! This was a really simple project that only took a couple of hours (I made sure the coats had plenty of time to dry between paintings), and wasn't too expensive at all! I had plenty of leftover paint after these bottles, and the possibilities for the Liquid Leaf and chalkboard paints are endless! I have a feeling everything I own is going to be either gold or chalkboard painted...

Have you been liking the gold dipped and chalkboard paint trend lately?

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a great day! :)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

OOTD: Holiday Edition

I'm so sorry I've been MIA for a couple of weeks, but I've been super busy with family stuff, and Christmas in general!

This is what I wore to our church's Christmas Eve service, but I think it would be really cute to wear to any holiday party you might have, or for New Years Eve! It isn't too fancy and it is also really comfy, so you could definitely last all night in it!

 Dress: Nordstrom
Tights: Nordstrom
Bangles: They were actually a gift, but they're just little gold bangles that are sold most places.

 I have really been loving my Ted Baker bag!!

Shoes: Nordstrom Rack

Anyway, I thought I would just show you guys what I wore on Christmas Eve, and the fact that it is really versatile for the holiday season! 

What did you wear for the holidays?

Thanks for reading, and have a great day! :)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Thoughts: The Holiday Season and Giving Back

Blogmas Day Five!

Today I was watching Louise's (from Sprinkle of Glitter) latest Vlogmas vlog, in which she talked about giving back, and how the holiday season is the perfect time. With my last couple of posts being about gift ideas for loved ones, her thoughts got me thinking about the importance of giving back as well. I'm not saying that it's horrible to only give presents to those we love, if that's all you can afford to do, then that's perfectly okay! But if you happen to be fortunate enough to have the time or money to help out, then by all means go ahead. I actually went into a store today, and the fire department was standing outside doing a toy and canned food drive. My family usually donates a couple of cans of food, but this year I really want to do more and try to help a lot more people. With it being the holiday season, giving back is all the more important to help other people have the warm fuzzies associated with Christmas and other holidays. So many people aren't fortunate enough to even have a warm place to be at night, let alone receive presents on Christmas morning. Don't get me wrong, giving back is extremely important all year long, but this time of year really helps people realize that there are others who are in desperate need of help from people who can afford to lend a hand.
Being at college has also opened my eyes to the horrible realities some people face; homelessness, going without food for a couple of days, becoming unemployed, or worse. It's easy to forget how some people live in the world when you aren't surrounded by it everyday. Living is very, very hard in some parts of the world - sometimes it can only be called surviving. This time of year is the time for you to be grateful of what you have and not what you don't have. What I mean is, don't be grateful that your life isn't like the lives of the less fortune, rather be happy with the things that you do have, and try and help others out when you can. I heard a wonderful talk about this, and how the speaker hated it when people were grateful for the wrong things - that they have a home that unlike homeless people, or that their health isn't like that of the ill. Try and always be thankful for the things in your life as they are. Life becomes so much easier when you are able to be thankful for everything you have, and even for the little things in life. And on that same point, trying to help out in little ways, but often, can add up to a lot over time! An act of any kind of kindness goes a long way.
Giving back and helping out has always been something that I've been passionate about, so it's something I could drone on and on about! I just think the world would be a much better place if more people tried to help out, even in the smallest of ways. I know that I could definitely try and help and give back more myself! This is just the perfect time of year to try and help out a little bit more than you usually would, because it helps spread holiday cheer :) This time of year is definitely my favorite for that reason, and all of the warm fuzzy feelings of being with those you love, and being able to give them a gift that shows just how much you care for them. I hope all of you have a great holiday season this year!

What are some of the ways you give back?

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a great day! :)