And… It’s ALMOST Christmas! Less than 20 days to go now <3
I’m a few days late here with my “November Wrap Up”, but I swear I have a really good excuse. Ryan and I were away all weekend, celebrating our nephew Liam’s 2nd Birthday! He is the cutest little boy ever, and I can’t wait to share all the party photos with you guys (stay tuned for an upcoming Travel post).
November was a weird month. It’s sort of a recovery month, after all the craziness of Halloween and family birthdays… while also being a lead-up to the madness that is December. It always feels like a killing-time kind of month. Regardless, I read so many amazing books & discovered so many new incredible TV Shows & Films. I can’t wait to share them all with you guys…
So without anymore rambling…
As always.. lets get right into it.
A Web Series
Created By & Starring… LARRY DAVID’s DAUGHTER Cazzie David
10/10 So amazing seriously watch this. All the episodes are on YouTube!
Okay so you all know how obsessed with Larry David (aka the creator of Seinfeld & Curb Your Enthusiasm, two of my fav shows) I am. I recently discovered his very talented, and VERY funny daughter Cazzie David has her own Web-Series (all episodes on YouTube) series called “86ed). It’s So SO funny, and the sense of humor is VERY Larry David. It’s been described as “Curb Your Enthusiasm for the Millennial Generation”, and I think that’s a perfect way to describe it.
This show is like what would happen if Larry David was a 20-something, living in the very awkward and VERY relateable world of social-media-stalking & living in an Instagram world. I can’t even explain how SPOT-ON and hilarious this show is.
Every episode is around 5-8 minutes long, and they are ALL on You-Tube, to watch for free. I highly, HIGHLY recommend this one.
2.) “Born to Kill”
Terrifying and SO Gripping!
You guys know how much I love a dark and twisted thriller….. This one is maybe one of the darkest and most fucked up shows I’ve seen in a while.. but in the best way. I love seeing portrayals of Serial Killers and Psychopaths.. as children and young adults.. in books and films.. and THIS one was amazing.
This show is basically told from the perspective of a teenage boy, who has very very psychopathic desires and ideas. The show really takes you through his mindset.. and you end up seeing what he may or may not act out and do. It’s SO chilling you guys, I loved it.
His mother is played by the actress Romola Garai, who I have been in love with since seeing her in “Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights” & “Atonement”. She is brilliant in this role, as she shows just how far a mother will go to try and understand her son’s mind.. to try and understand him. This show is quite disturbing, and is definitely not for the faint of heart.
3.) “The Girlfriend Experience”
TV Series based on Steven Soderbergh’s “The Girlfriend Experience” film
I saw Steven Soderbergh’s film “The Girlfriend Experience” a few years ago, and I loved it. I think Steven Soderbergh is an incredible filmmaker, and his directing style is very signature and unique. When I saw this concept was becoming a TV Series, with Riley Keough as the star (who I LOVE), I had to watch it. I marathon-ed the entire series on Starz in one night.
It’s the story of a young law student, who becomes involved in the world of high-class escorting. The show doesn’t “hint” at anything, it runs full force into some very graphic and quite racy scenes. Tons of nudity, and many sex scenes.. but that’s not all the show it about. The minimalistic and elegant way it was shot, REALLY brought this whole idea to another level. I absolutely LOVED Season One, and I am just starting Season 2. Season 2 is focused on an entire new group of characters, and it’s so fantastic as well. Can’t wait to finish off the season tonight!
1.) “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond”
I have been a huge Jim Carrey fan, for as long as I can remember seeing movies. Movies like “Dumb and Dumber”, “Liar,Liar” & “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”, were some of me and my Sister’s absolute favorite films, when we were kids (and STILL are).
I remember years ago when he starred in the bio-pic about Andy Kaufman “Man on the Moon”. I vividly remember my parents renting it one night at Rogers Video, in the “7 Day Rentals” section of the store, and watching it back home with them. It was such a heartbreaking and amazing film…. and yet there was SO much unknown shit going on behind the scenes.
The Netflix Documentary “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond” examines the intense lengths Jim Carrey goes to, in order to get into character for his role as Andy Kaufman. He goes 100% method actor in this, and absolutely refuses to break “character” the ENTIRE time they filmed “Man on the Moon”. He had this footage recorded during filming, by his own crew, and he was forbidden by Universal Studio’s from releasing it.. because he said they thought it would make Jim Carrey look like “an asshole”.
I am SO glad that he finally got the rights to the footage, and that he shared this with the world. He couldn’t look further from being an “asshole” in this footage. What I saw, was an incredibly talented actor, who isn’t afraid to give his entire soul over to the role. You can tell in the beginning that the cast and crew are a bit put off by his intense method acting.. but you begin to see the respect they have for him.. and to see the attachment they all end up having to “Andy” aka Jim. It’s a very gripping story, and I loved it so much. It also showcases, a darker and more depressed look into the real Jim Carrey. He appears even somewhat disillusioned with Hollywood as a whole, and he has never seemed more real.
2.) “Frank and Lola”
Netflix Romantic Drama
I’m not sure if I loved this movie because it was amazing, or because I’m in love with both of the lead actors.
I have always really loved Michael Shannon’s acting work. From “Revolutionary Road”, “Take Shelter”, “Boardwalk Empire”…. to other roles, like his INCREDIBLE work in “Nocturnal Animals”.. he is just amazing. The main actress Imogen Poot’s is one I have always liked, ever since seeing her in “28 Weeks Later”. I think she is absolutely beautiful, and I really love her voice.. as creepy as that sounds.
So.. I was going to like this movie no matter what it consisted of. It was honestly very well directed and so fascinating. It’s a very dark and somber look at a modern day relationship, with some very gritty scenes.. where you can literally FEEL the tension of the scene crawling over your skin. Some of the scenes were just hard to watch, because it felt way too realistic.
Overall I really liked it, and it’s on Netflix.. so make sure to check it out <3 Especially if you have a crush on Michael Shannon like I do.
3.) “Tulip Fever”
Gorgeous Historical Drama Set in the 17th Century, (Starring the gorgeous Alicia Vikander (Ex-Machina) & the young Leonardo DiCaprio look-alike Dane DeHann (A Cure For Wellness) & Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds)
This movie is GORGEOUS. Every set, actor, actress, scenic shot, flower, costume… just everything. It’s quite a racy little story about a young woman who marries an older man, and settles into her married life in 17th century Amsterdam. Her husband hires a talented young painter, to paint a portrait of him and his beautiful young wife. Basically, hot young painter.. meet hot young wife = affair of the century. That’s not a spoiler it’s basically all over the trailer, and it happens in the very beginning. This story isn’t what it seems though, and so many twisted little betrayals and lies begin to form. I really enjoyed this movie, and like I said before.. I could have watched this film with the sound completely turned off, and still loved it. It was that beautiful.
Recently I have ordered a ton of amazing beauty products online, and I really wanted to spread the word & share these incredible products & sites with you guys.
For the past few months.. every SINGLE time I scrolled through the feed on my Instagram… I was constantly bombarded with images of gorgeous makeup by “Glossier”. Girls I followed posted these amazing photos, with the most stunning hi-lighter on their cheeks & the cutest pink packaging I’ve ever seen! I knew after the third or fourth scroll, that I HAD to get over to Glossier’s page, and get some of their makeup ASAP.
I ended up ordering a “Boy-Brow” wand, a “Cloud Paint In Shade: PUFF”, and a GORGEOUS Hi-Lighter In Shade: Haloscope Dew Effect Hi-Lighter.
They arrived in my mailbox, in the cutest little pink box… with an even CUTER pink bubble-wrap looking makeup bag. Not to mention they sent a perfume sample ( THAT WAS WAY TOO GOOD and a total TRICK.. because after using it once.. I immediately put it on my Christmas List).
I ran into the washroom, took off all my makeup.. and tried it all immediately. I loved it all, but my favourite thing was 100% the “Haloscope Dew Effect Hi-Lighter”! It is the most gorgeous, natural looking hi-light.. not glittery at all. I am obsessed. I love the cloud paint too, and the brow tool looks good.. but I am just not skilled at doing my eyebrows.. and I found the liquid formula a bit overwhelming.
Overall A+ Review. It’s quite expensive, but very worth it, in my opinion.
2.) “Fox on an Island”
Tarot + Natural Cosmetics from Gabriola, BC
Absolutely gorgeous & local beauty products, accessories, hand-made goods & tarot cards!
“Fox on an Island” is an Etsy shop, with the most incredible things for sale. The talented artist makes everything homemade from perfumes, tarot cards, makeup, enamel pins, lip balms, oils, lunar calendar’s.. and just so many amazing other things! Her shop is gorgeous, and I want to buy everything from it all at once.
I recently ordered a “Bubblegum Spray” that smells SO amazing. I wear it everyday, and the scent lasts all day long. Also the two gorgeous enamel pins I bought (a Fox & a Magic 8 Ball) are the perfect accessory to my jean jackets. Her packaging is all designed by her, and it’s so beautiful as well. I highly recommend checking out her BLOG “Fox on an Island”, as well as her Etsy shop!
November was such a pleasant surprise in the Reading front. I actually loved every single book I read this month… I think a few of my “Top 10 of the Year” might have been in this month <3
1.) “The Child Finder”
By: Rene Denfeld
First off, this book has one of the most stunning book cover’s of the year. It’s the most gorgeous thing ever, and I just want to casually display this book all year long on the shelf.
Not only is the cover gorgeous, but the STORY is perfection. This is the story of a missing young girl, and an experienced Detective (with her own personal dark history) who helps to find out what happened to the missing girl. What makes this book so incredible isn’t just the actual story (which is gripping), but it’s the writing style. Her writing is so lyrical and beautiful… I wanted to underline every SINGLE page. This book was just so perfect. In addition to being so well written, it was also very dark and nightmare-fueling. If you enjoy a good, winter-y thriller… with a focus on Detective work… this is for you.
I’ll attach the Amazon Plot as well as always, in case you are interested,
(Also PS. I got ALL of my adorable Christmas Tree Decorations (that you can see in these photos) from Canadian Tire! Obsessed).
(A haunting, richly atmospheric, and deeply suspenseful novel from the acclaimed author of The Enchanted about an investigator who must use her unique insights to find a missing little girl.
“Where are you, Madison Culver? Flying with the angels, a silver speck on a wing? Are you dreaming, buried under snow? Or—is it possible—you are still alive?”
Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight-years-old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as “the Child Finder,” Naomi is their last hope.
Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl, too.
As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?
Told in the alternating voices of Naomi and a deeply imaginative child, The Child Finder is a breathtaking, exquisitely rendered literary page-turner about redemption, the line between reality and memories and dreams, and the human capacity to survive.)
2.) “The Girl in 6.E”
By: A.R Torre
Jesus CHRIST you guys. It’s like this book was made for me. It’s so incredibly twisted, horrifying, sick, and overall very endearing.
This book is told in first person, by a girl who is a full blown psychopath/killer.. not to mention also a sex-cam worker. I don’t know about you but the back-page book plot grabbed me RIGHT AWAY, and there was no way I was leaving the store without this.
“My Life is Simple. As Long As I Follow The Rules”
1.) Don’t Leave The Apartment
2.) Never Let Anyone In
3.) Don’t Kill Anyone
“I’ve Obeyed These Rules For Three Years. But Rules Were Made To Be Broken”
So yeah… that sold me. This book was SO good. I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so… erotic? There were some VERY “50 Shades” type of scenes in this.. which is something I normally don’t really read.. but it somehow worked with this book. This book was CRAZY, with so many twisted turns, and shocking reveals… and the main character is just so FUCKED up.. but you can’t help but root for her in the end.
Fantastic read! Couldn’t recommend it enough.
I’ll attach the GoodReads Plot Summary as well, in case you are interested,
(I haven’t touched a human in three years. That seems like it would be a difficult task, but it’s not. Not anymore, thanks to the internet.
I am, quite possibly, the most popular recluse ever. Not many shut-ins have a 200-member fan club, a bank account in the seven-figure range, and hundreds of men lining up to pay for undivided attention.
They get satisfaction, I get a distraction. Their secret desires are nothing compared to why I hide… my lust for blood, my love of death.
Taking their money is easy. Keeping all these secrets… one is bound to escape.
What if you hid yourself away because all you could think of was killing? And what if one girl’s life depending on you venturing into society?)
By, R.J Palacio
“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”
― R.J. Palacio,
This book is a middle-grade Young Adult book, and I’ve heard a ton of buzz about it for the past year or so. Recently it was released as a movie, starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay (amazing young actor from the movie “Room”).
This book is actually heartbreaking, but overall such an inspiring and important story for kids to read. One of my all-time TOP 3 favorite authors Stephen Chbosky (who wrote “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” my fav book), wrote the foreword to this book.. and I’ll attach an excerpt from it here because I think it’s important.. and just beautifully written.
“For what it’s worth, I believe you are holding one of the true masterpieces of American Literature in your hands. Whatever accolades people have given my book “The Perks of Being A Wallflower”, I give to “Wonder” ten times over. I think it is worthy of being on the list with such immortal classics as “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “The Catcher in the Rye”. To put it simply… “Wonder” is the eternal good. R.J Palacio is an eternal great. So, dear friend, I invite you to turn the page and take the journey of a thousand miles that begin with a single step. Because 310 pages from now, you will feel different. Just like I did. Like Julia Roberts did. Like the actors and crew and hundreds of professionals who gave their hearts and souls to make this movie did. R.J Palacio has given our world- and our troubled times- a ray of light. A silver lining big enough for any gray cloud. A standing ovation for empathy itself. She has taught us that no side “owns” kindness. We can only practice it.”- Stephen Chbosky
I’ll attach the GoodReads Plot as well, in case you are interested, xo
(August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?
R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.)
4.) “Emma in the Night”
By: Wendy Walker
This book is a bit hard to review, because I have mixed feelings about it. When I was about 1/2 way through I was a bit bored by it, I almost gave it up…. but THEN it got SO great and I was hooked. I loved the ending, and the twists were killer, and SO deceptive.
It’s too bad because I found the first 1/2 was slightly repetitive and dragging a tad… I just couldn’t get hooked by it. I think I was too distracted while trying to read it. Honestly you guys this book REALLY builds and I’m SO glad I stuck with it….because I ended up completely loving it! It’s one of the most SATISFYING endings I’ve read in a long time.
This is the story of two Sisters Cassandra and Emma who go missing for years. One Sister returns… but not the other. What happened? Where did they go? Who took them? Is the returning Sister telling the truth? It’s a wild story, and I’m afraid to say anything else about it. Highly recommend it, with my slight warning about beginning of the book character-building boredom.
I’ll attach the Amazon Plot Summary in case you guys are interested,
(“Both twisted and twisty, this smart psychological thriller sets a new standard for unreliable narrators.” –Booklist, Starred Review
One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.
Bestselling author Wendy Walker returns with another winning thriller, Emma in the Night.)
And… I saved the BEST for last!
5.) “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck”
By: Mark Manson
10/10 OMG OMG BUY THIS FOR EVERYONE YOU KNOW
“Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.”
― Mark Manson,
I don’t really do Self-Help books, like EVER. I found this on Apple Books and I was caught up with the saucy little title. Also like everyone, I care WAY too much about what other people think. This book is the funniest, realest, harshest, and just more HILARIOUS thing I’ve read in my entire life. Mark Manson is a genius.
To me.. it felt like he took my life, my social media, my issues, my insecurities.. and he just laid them bare and FLATTENED them all with one statement.
“Not Giving a Fuck”
“You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of fucks to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a fuck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice—well, then you’re going to get fucked.”
― Mark Manson,
This was one of the most life-changing books I’ve ever read, and it allowed me to view myself and to laugh at myself in the most honest and brutal way. I shouldn’t care so much about what people… about what STRANGERS think of me? What matters is a very small circle, and not even that much. The lesson in this is to be yourself, to do whatever the hell you want, and to stop caring SO much about what anyone thinks.. because at the end of the day.. it’s just you. I am buying this for everyone I know for Christmas. Genius Book.
Here is the Good-Reads Plot… Seriously You Need This
(In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.
For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Mason doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.
Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.
There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.)
And that’s it!
I can’t wait to see you guys soon, and show you all the amazing photos from this past weekend on Vancouver Island!
Hope you are all having an amazing December so far,
Here are a few random snapshots from the past month.
(All Photography @Carly Ingram Photography 2017
All TV & Movie Images @Google Images 2017)