Author

Emily

24, content management assistant at harpercollins, avid reader, blogger, and lover of tea.

What is happening? Where have I gone? | Update

disney world magic kingdomI know, I know… it’s been a while.

Here I am with another life update, blogging about where I’ve been for the past two months. To start off, I got a second part time job (that I really enjoy). Combined with my original part time job (a job I’ve officially been at for seven years now), I was working give or take 40 hours a week. I got busy. Really busy. I also went on vacation in August with my family, visited with friends in New York, celebrated a few birthdays, went down the shore for the weekend with my boyfriend’s family, and well…worked. A lot.

I planned out a bunch of blog posts, and then got busy with work. I planned on starting the blog back up in September, and then, not only did I work, but I planned a vacation with two of my best friends. The vacation was this past week. I got to spend an entire week with two of my best friends in the most magical place on Earth. Yup. That’s right. Disney World.

Now, here I am. Back from a much needed vacation, getting ready to go to work in the morning. Tomorrow I work both jobs, and the following day, I do the same. Back to my busy work life.

What else has happened? Well, while in Disney World I received great news. My boss from my job of seven years offered me more hours. AND I was offered a remote internship (aka one where I can work from home!) with a publishing company! I’m so excited to get started. Balancing an internship and two jobs will definitely be difficult, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.

So where does that put blogging on my to do lists? Not as high up as I would like, but I definitely want to get started up again within the next month or two. I have a bunch of new features I’ve been working on that I’ll be adding to the blog (like New Review Tuesday). I also have a lot of posts planned. I’m excited to start blogging again, and to get the blog officially up and running, but I want to get a handle on my work life first.

Big things are happening, and I’m so excited. Stay tuned. I’ll be back soon!

Things are changing | Mini Life Update

minilifeupdateHi all! I’m here with a mini life update for you. As you might have noticed, I was full steam ahead on this blog thing, and then suddenly disappeared. I have been busy basically trying to figure out my future and my life now that I’m a college graduate. I also haven’t felt really motivated or inspired to blog lately. I have ideas for different, original content, but everything I write is just… blah.

So in the past few months, especially in the most recent months, I have been reconsidering my future career goals. For the past almost nine years I have known exactly what field I wanted to go into once I graduated college. I knew exactly what I wanted to do (for those that don’t know, I wanted to be a lifestyle/features magazine journalist). Recently, however, I’ve been considering other career choices. After a lot of consideration, research, and deep, deep thinking, I’m still unsure of exactly what I want to do.

I know I want to work in the publishing field. I’m just not sure if I want to work with magazines still, or if I want to work with books. Going off of that, I don’t know if I want to work with print or digital magazines. And even further, I don’t know if I want to even write, or if I want to edit within the magazine field. And if I choose books, would I choose an editorial position or a managing editorial position?

I went to school for journalism, new media, and creative writing, so it’s obvious I like all of the different options I currently am considering. But as you can see, I don’t know what I want to do right now. I have been so focused on entering the magazine journalism world for the past nine years, and now that I’m slightly unsure of what I want to do, I’m a bit shaken up. I’m not used to not knowing what I want to do.

Also, most of the companies I’m interested in and the available jobs that I have the requirements and experience for, are located in New York. Unfortunately, New York is about a two hour commute for me, and moving is currently out of the question (ain’t no college graduate got money for that!). I’m still looking locally, looking for internships, and weighing all of my options, but I’ve recently been presented with a new option: working a second part time job as I continue looking, figuring out what I want to do, and saving money so I can eventually move or commute.

As you can see, there are several decisions I have to make, and I’ve been really focused on that recently. I’m sorry I’ve neglected updating and posting. I will hopefully be back by next week, or the first week of August, with a new blog schedule – expect posts every Tuesday and Friday – and some new features. I also will be writing an entire post related to changing your career/future goals, and what I’m going through currently – a mid-20s life crisis is what I’ve been calling it. See you soon!

Since You’ve Been Gone | Book Review

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson Since You've Been Gone
Published: May 6, 2014 by Simon & Schuster
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 449
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4.25/5 stars

 

synopsis2

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.
Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?
Kiss a stranger? Um…

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait…what?  —  Goodreads

myreviewsinceyouvebeengoneI had very high expectations for this book going into it. I’ve read Morgan Matson’s other young adult contemporaries (Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour and Second Chance Summer), and I’ve absolutely fallen in love with her books. Before reading this book, I had heard that out of Matson’s three books, Since You’ve Been Gone was the best. So naturally, I went in with high hopes of a 5 star book.

Let me start by saying I did not hate this book by any means (hence the 4.25-ish rating). It was a very enjoyable read, and I definitely enjoyed my time reading it. By the middle, I couldn’t put it down, and ended up staying awake until 3 AM reading one night (which typically happens with Morgan Matson’s books). By the end of the book, I started feeling so many feels and there definitely were may have been tears involved. That being said, I hated the main character, Emily, at first. In the beginning of the book she was so shy and timid, to the point where I was frustrated and annoyed with her and her actions. Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to ever like her. I understand being shy – I’m shy myself – but it got to the point where I just felt uncomfortable.

Continue Reading…

It’s finally here!!! | Erin Condren Life Planner Review/Overview

If you’re a planner addict like me, you’ve probably heard of the Erin Condren Life Planner. You might even own one yourself. I’m so excited because mine finally arrived today! It actually got here a few days earlier than expected, which was a nice surprise. This post will be a quick little overview and review of the planner incase you’re looking for a new planner or are on the fence about spending the money on one like I was. This is my first planner from Erin Condren and after receiving it and unwrapping it, I’m very happy with my decision.

First off, the packing the planner comes in is absolutely beautiful. Mine arrived in a pink floral box, wrapped in blue tissue paper and bubble wrap to keep it safe. The care Erin Condren puts into just shipping her products is phenomenal. My box would have been in perfect condition if it weren’t for my mailman trying to shove it into my mailbox. Instead, it was a little bent, and had little rips on the side. However, when I opened the package, absolutely nothing was bent, ripped, or harmed, despite the mailman’s stupidity.

ErinCondrenBox1My current planner runs out at the end of this month (June). I was on the lookout for a new planner, but I couldn’t decide what I wanted. On one hand, I needed a planner now, but getting a planner that ran a school year, June 2015 – June 2016, didn’t make sense to me, especially since I just recently graduated college. However, on the other hand, I didn’t want to spend so much money on a 2015 planner, just to use it half the year, and then have to buy a new one. That’s when I realized Erin Condren’s new life planners were launching. When you purchase the planner, you have the option to buy just the 2016 version, or to buy the 2016 version + whatever months are left in 2015. My planner was up at the end of June, and the new Erin Condren starts the very beginning of July. It was perfect.

ErinCondrenInsideBox

I was up in the air for a while, debating which planner I wanted to buy. I was between a metallic gold planner or one of the regular ones. I ended up choosing the regular one (or the cheaper option), and I’m very happy with how it came out. One of the great benefits of Erin Condren planners are the customization options. Just this year she introduced a horizontal option to go along with the typical vertical weekly spreads she normally offers. All of the planners I have owned in the past have been horizontal, but after much debate and consideration, I made the switch to the vertical layout (and I’m so happy I did!).

ErinCondrenPlanner2If you are interested in seeing detailed overviews in video of the new 2015-2016 Erin Condren Life Planners, including both the horizontal and the vertical spreads, check out Shannon’s video or Andrea’s video. They both go into great detail comparing the planners, and comparing them with last year’s planner.

In the box, a few freebies were included, including some adorable gift tags, a coupon code, and some samples of some of the Erin Condren accessories – including a coil clip (which allows you to stick papers, invitations, tickets, etc. into your planner), a sample sticker sheet, and three compliment cards. Also included in the planner is the perpetual calendar which is perfect for keeping birthdays and important yearly dates in, as well as a clear bookmark and little ziplock case. In the back are little stickers that say “birthday,” “doctor’s appointment,” “vacation,” etc. These come in different colors and fit perfectly in the boxes. There are also two pages of blank stickers for you to write in whatever you choose. If you know how you plan on using and organizing your planner, you can buy customized stickers when you purchase your planner.

Inside the planner, there are two pages with little boxes that are perfect for writing InsideQuoteErinCondren2goals in. In the back is a notes section with lined, blank, and graph pages. Each month has a separate tab, an inspirational quote on the monthly divider, and a two-page monthly view spread. On each monthly view spread, there is a place for you to write down goals (or for you to write whatever else you want). Every month has a different color scheme, and the weekly pages incorporate the colors of whichever month it is. The cool thing is if you’re into decorating your Erin Condren planner with stickers, many Etsy sticker shops specialize in stickers that come in the monthly color schemes and that are cut to fit in the Erin Condren boxes and spreads. Several sticker shops offer monthly kits that are often in the Erin Condren monthly colors. On each weekly page spread, there are three boxes for each day, which instead of having the typical “morning,” “day,” and “evening” headers, they now are left blank for you to customize as you like. I really like this because I don’t typically organize my days by the time of day. I’d rather organize it by “work” or “blog” or “to do” or something similar. There is also a sidebar space, perfect for weekly to-do lists or weekly goals, and a place to write a “thankful thought” up in the lefthand corner. Also on the weekly page spread are little lined spaces below each day, where you can write whatever you want, depending on how you decide to organize your planner.

ErinCondrenVerticalSpread2

Erin Condren also offers many accessories in her shop that you can buy, including a snap in meal plan or more CoilClip connectors. She also came out with a book full of beautiful stickers that you can use to decorate inside your planner. You should definitely check everything out and brainstorm on how you plan on using your planner before you make a purchase.

I know some people are wary of the Erin Condren life planners because of the hype and because of the price. I personally think they’re definitely worth the investment. The weekly (and monthly) spreads are simple, but still pretty, and very customizable. I love that you’re able to decorate the inside spreads however you choose. You have so many options, especially because most of the headers are blank so you can choose how you want to customize your planner each week – or even each day. I’m so happy with my 18 month planner, and I definitely recommend the Erin Condren planner. It’s perfect for organizing your days, keeping track of your meals, or even just writing down simple to-do lists.

If you’re interested in buying an Erin Condren Life Planner (or notebook, or any other Erin Condren product), and you would like $10 off your order, you can use my referral link by clicking here and signing up.

I will also be posting a planner supply (sticker) haul sometime next week after my last two orders arrive. Once July starts, I will hopefully be posting photo planner updates on my Instagram, as well as a Plan with Me/Inside My Planner blog post with tips and details on how I use my planner.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before | Book Review

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Book 1 of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Duology
Published: April 15, 2014 by Simon & Schuster
Format: Hardback
Page Count: 355 pages
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

 

synopsis2

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her.

They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her, these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.  —  Goodreads

myreview

toalltheboysI first read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before right after 2014’s Christmas. It got me out of a huge reading slump. I couldn’t put it down – at work, at home, everywhere. I ended up reading it in about two days, and when I reread it this past weekend in anticipation of picking up the sequel, I did the same thing. I don’t know what it is about Jenny Han, but she really knows how to write the perfect young adult contemporary romance.

To All the Boys does a lot of things right. After first hearing about the book, I thought it would be a typical contemporary. I’m not going to lie, my first thought was, “this is going to be such a cliche.” However, I quickly realized my first impression was wrong… so so SO wrong (I should have known – Jenny Han is a YA queen). I take it back! I’m sorry!

I honestly was surprised the book went in the direction it did. After realizing my initial thought was completely wrong, I had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. The book flies by, and then by the end you’re wondering how it could be over so quickly. After I finished reading it last year, I dreaded having to wait the 5 months until the sequel would be released. Why? Because of course the book leaves off on somewhat of a cliff-hanger. If I hadn’t known it was a duology, I would have cried on Jenny Han’s doorstep, needing to know what happened. Thankfully, P.S. I Still Love You was released at the end of May.

Although it’s a quick read, I found myself incredibly invested in the characters and their lives. This book has a whole cast of characters I found myself loving and adoring. My two favorites were probably Kitty and Peter K. Kitty, Lara Jean’s younger sister, is spunky and hilarious. I loved her interactions with each of the other characters (especially Peter), and I found myself rooting for her as she attempted to convince her father to let her get a dog. I also might have (most definitely have) fallen in love with Peter Kavinsky, one of the male leads. Throughout the book I might have found myself swooning.

He has the look of a handsome boy from a different time. He could be a dashing World War I soldier, handsome enough for a girl to wait years for him to come back from war, so handsome she could wait forever. He could be wearing a red letterman’s jacket, driving around in a Corvette with the top down, one arm on the steering wheel, on his way to pick up his girl for the sock hop. Peter’s kind of wholesome good looks feel more like yesterday than today.

The only reason I gave it 4.5 stars instead of 5 is because at times Lara Jean, the main character, could be a tad frustrating and/or annoying. She’s 16, but at times it felt like she was younger because of her voice. However, that being said, I actually liked her character for the most part, especially as the story progressed. I felt she was relatable, and I loved her quirks.

One of the best things the book has going for it is the family aspect (also, bless Jenny Han for delivering a book that includes diversity – the Song girls are half-Korean and half-Caucasian). It’s not just about a teen romance, but it also focuses on the relationship between three sisters, Margot, Lara Jean, and Kitty. I completely fell in love with the Song girls, and the book made me wish I had sisters of my own. I adored the entire family, including Lara Jean’s widowed father.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is such a fun contemporary. It is an essential read for any Jenny Han fans, or anybody who is looking for a quick, light read. Just make sure you have the sequel, P.S. I Still Love You, ready for when you finish.

★★★★.5/5

3 reasons why you should see the 1989 tour | Review

Last night I had the extreme pleasure of seeing Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour in Philadelphia. I’ve seen Taylor perform multiple times before, but HOLY. CRAP. The concert left me speechless. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know who the opening acts are (although both Shawn Mendes and Vance Joy put on a surprisingly good performance). It doesn’t matter if you only know a few of her songs (it’s the perfect chance to become obsessed with new ones!). And it doesn’t matter if you aren’t her biggest fan. – If the opportunity presents itself, take it. Here are three reasons why you should go see the 1989 tour.

It’s pure entertainment, and completely new.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen Taylor’s previous concerts. Take it from me, a girl who has had the privilege of seeing her six times in the past seven years. She always puts on an amazing show, and this year’s tour is no different. Except, well. It is. If your reasoning is that you’ve seen her before, you should know that every Taylor Swift concert is new and different. Not only does this tour showcase her new music, and her new style of music, but it also puts a spin on old favorites. If you’re sick of “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” that’s okay. Taylor puts a rock spin on the song, which in my opinion, is better than the original. I always claimed “I Knew You Were Trouble” was one of my favorite song…and then I heard the 1989 tour version, and oh. my. gosh. This new tour version is better than I could have ever imagined. Taylor even brings back old favorites like “Love Story” and “Enchanted.”

Taylor’s shows are always entertaining – filled with costume changes, fun props, amazing dancers, and exciting sets. The 1989 tour doesn’t disappoint. You also never know what to expect. Taylor has been bringing special surprise musical guests to the stage, like Rachel Platten and Echosmith. Her friends, like Cara Delevingne and Mariska Hargitay, both who appeared in the Bad Blood music video, have walked the catwalk with her during her hit song, “Style,” at multiple shows. Taylor gives her fans what she believes they deserve – an amazing show.

taylorswift1989tour2You’re surrounded by fellow fans…
I got to the venue at around 3:30 p.m. yesterday with my best friend. Doors didn’t open until 5, but already fans were hanging out, and waiting in line. It was close to 90 degrees, but fans were still dressed in different costumes, excited for the doors to open. The costumes have become a staple at Taylor’s shows. You can show up to one of her concerts and see a person dressed in a Stitch costume (“20 stitches in the hospital room.“) or people dressed with signs that read cherry lips, crystal skies, and not blink an eye. One of my favorite parts was being seated next to a young boy and his mother. He was so excited, and was standing the entire concert. He danced, he clapped, he cheered, and he sang the lyrics with Taylor. It made me so happy seeing HIM so happy (and knowing that Taylor was the reason he was so happy). Once the show started, I was surrounded by 49,999 other fans, singing the same lyrics. This year, Taylor’s team hands out little bracelets for the show that are programmed to light up different colors during each song. Looking around the stadium and seeing all the different lights is a breathtaking view. In that moment, you have a connection with 49,999 other people, and it is an amazing feeling.

…but it’s still an intimate show.
I’ve gone from seeing Taylor when she was a just-starting, brand new, opening act, to seeing her perform stadium shows on her sold out world tours. That being said, she still has a way to make it feel like you are the only person in the room. She makes a show for 50,000 people seem like the most intimate concert. When she talks, it feels like she’s talking directly to you – and that feeling in itself is enough to make me want to travel the world and go to every 1989 show. My favorite parts of Taylor shows are her monologues before songs. I often connect to what she says, and they always make me feel feels (and they usually make me cry). Last night, two of my favorite moments were before she performed “Clean” and before she performed “All You Had to do was Stay.” Taylor has a way of speaking the words that I’m personally feeling. She sings about the emotions that I’ve felt or that I’m feeling. Needless to say, both songs made me cry.

It doesn’t matter where you sit – I sat in the upper level, towards the back of the stadium – you will enjoy the show from any seat. If I had to give a five star rating to the 1989 world tour, I would give it a 5 – based on an amazing setlist, costumes, performance, the emotional level, the show’s entertainment factor, and the care that obviously went into the show itself. It’s worth every second and every penny. If one thing is clear from the start of the show to the end, it’s that Taylor actually cares about her fans.

#TBRTakedown Readathon Wrap Up

So this past week I participated in the #TBRTakedown readathon hosted by BookTuber and book blogger, @leaninglights. This was my first readathon, and I was incredibly excited – and hoping to tackle some books.

It took place from June 1st – June 7th, and there were five fun challenges. If you want to learn more about #TBRTakedown, see Shannon’s original video here (even though the readathon is over, the challenges are great! I definitely read a variety of books because of the challenges. I encourage you to use them throughout the month if you didn’t get the chance to participate).

Here’s a list of what I actually managed to read. Because I had a busy week, I used the same book for some of the challenges.

3 – “A first book in a series on your TBR shelf.” & 5 – “A book from your most recent book haul.” – The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.
I started the week off strong. I FINALLY picked this book up at Barnes and Noble two weeks ago. I’ve heard so many great things about this series, so I was excited to get started. I started this book before the readathon began, but I had only read 180 pages. So I started #TBRTakedown from page 181, and managed to finish it the second day of the readathon… and I really liked it. It started off a little slow, but by the middle/end, I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to pick up the next book.

4 – “An ‘out of your comfort zone’ book on your TBR shelf.” – Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
This was my first graphic novel ever, and definitely out of my comfort zone! It was a quick read (I finished it the second day of the readathon, as well), and I really enjoyed it. I’ve been wanting to read it for a while – ever since I finally bought it a few months ago – and I’ve also been wanting to get into graphic novels. I’m now craving more graphic novels (if you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments below!) Although the short stories were a little creepy and confusing at times, the pictures were absolutely beautiful.

2 – “An unread sequel sitting on your TBR shelf.” – Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
I absolutely loved Anna and the French Kiss, but as of this past week, I still hadn’t read the companion novels. I finally picked this up, and finished it by the fourth day of the readathon. I loved it! Not quite as much as Anna, but almost. It’s a great contemporary read, and I definitely recommend both Anna and Lola. I can’t wait to pick up Isla sometime soon.

1 – “A book that’s been on your TBR shelf for over a year.” – Graduates in Wonderland by Jessica Pan
Ever since this book was released last year, I’ve been itching to buy it. I finally got it back in April, but I was waiting to read it until I officially graduated college. Finally, after a year of waiting, and graduating a few weeks ago, I was really hoping to read it this week… I did SO great during the rest of the readathon. For some reason, once I reached this book, I hit a bit of a reading slump. I only read 70 pages by the end of the readathon. I hardly read at the end of the week, but from what I managed to read before the readathon ended, I really enjoyed it. I’m hoping to finish this within the next day or so, though.

So as the #TBRTakedown readathon comes to a close, I officially managed to read: 3 Books, and a total of 967 pages.

Although it’s a little low, I’m actually really happy with this count! For the first half of the year I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had time to read. It looks like I’m (for the most part) out of my reading slump, and catching up for my 2015 reading challenge goal!

Until next time, you can find me on Goodreads.

Welcome to the party

Welcome to my house party, party – aka the beginning of the rest of my life, aka I’m being dramatic, it’s actually my lifestyle blog. Over the past four years, My Life is Emily has changed from my personal thoughts blog, to my online portfolio, to just a name I used for my social media accounts. Now, as in right now, June 7th, 2015, it is a place where I can write about and talk about five of the things I’m most passionate about:

Beauty, Books, Entertainment, Food, and Real Life.

On My Life is Emily you will find the things that make up my life. You will find all types of reviews, recommendations, and hauls. You will find recipes, personal essays, suggestions, advice, and articles on topics like, college, Greek life, and “real life,” aka the scary career world. Each post will pertain to one of the categories above. Each post will be written to help, encourage, or entertain. I hope to inspire, start conversations, and make new friendships.

My name is Emily. I’m 22, and a recent college grad. I like to write.

Welcome to the party.

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