Fiction Friday ~ A Bright Room Called Day!!

Happy Friday everyone!! I hope you all had a great week! Today, I want to talk about one of my favorite plays. So it’s not so much fiction but I think with everything going on in the world and going on in America specifically, I really want to draw as much attention to this play as I can. I feel that it is my duty as an artist and an American to keep speaking out and speaking loud to my country and the world that this is not normal, this presidency and this administration is not normal and we are better than this… (Fair warning, this is gonna get political)

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This is A Bright Room Called Day by Tony Kushner. First performed in 1985, this play follows a group of artists (mostly behind the scenes in the film industry but a few other types of artists) in 1932 Germany. So we follow these artists as Hitler rises to power. And following these artists and we get to see what happens to their industry and the art community as Hitler gains popularity and control; and a bit before that as well.

I spent a lot of time with this play in college. I directed scenes from it for years, it was our text book for our Directing Class, I’ve acted scenes from it for years. Every page in this books is covered with notes in every available open space.

Now, let me just say, I’m not calling Trump the new Hitler. There can never be another Hitler. But rereading this play things are feeling a bit too close to comfort.

This play doesn’t touch on the murder and capture of millions. It ends right before the camps started. And I keep finding myself reaching for this play at night and reading it over and over and over again, even though I could probably recite the whole thing from memory from how much time I spent with this play in college.

But what it shows is what the government did to artists and to people who spoke out for injustices. It showed the characters who were brave and strong enough to speak out and stand up and showed characters who were so stricken with fear that they felt helpless and unable to do anything and how important it is to stand up for what’s right.

As an artist myself, watching my government call the media “fake news” and telling performers to stay in their lane and not talk about politics, seems eerily similar to what Hitler’s government did. Silence the people who people listen to (artists, media) so that way we get information from the orange horses mouth first. And then he went for the Muslim community and immigrants.

Spolier alert, we don’t really get a happy ending. It’s a political play and we know what happens in Hitler’s Germany so it really can’t end well. But there is hope with some of the characters, that they can fight things.

It really is a beautifully written beautiful play that really makes you think. And makes you feel helpless and angry and scared and leave feeling mortified because you know what is going to happen. And I think the most brilliant plays do that. And this is a brilliant play.

We as a country have to keep fighting. We can’t lose hope. We cannot let this government forget that it doesn’t work for themselves. This government works for me, for you, for us. Not for them. So I’m going to leave you with one quote from this play that I really hope speaks to you (especially if you are an American) as it does to me:

“But see, that’s just the problem. How do we know? What if we lie down and give up just at the moment when… When the whole terrible thing could somehow have been reversed.”

Until next time,

Amy

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February Favorites!!

Happy Wednesday everyone!! I know it’s a tad early for a February favorites, but this month I am so excited for it to be over (even closer to my vacation with my Mom, best friend her sister and her Mom and yeah my birthday I guess haha)! I also have been in love with a lot of products this month (well, a lot for me) and quite a few new/re discoveries!! So let’s jump in!

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Let’s get into the non beauty first!

This candle, from Yankee Candle, was a Christmas gift from my beloved college roommate this year and I just started burning this this month. As you can tell by how much is gone, I’m obsessed. I’ve been burning this every night this month and it’s so calming. This is the same roommate who gave me the last candle I talked about. She knows me too well, this is a such a light fresh clean scent (as you can tell by the name, Island Spa, so it does smell a bit like a spa) it’s very lemon-y which I adore. At night it just calms me down, while I read and/or watch a movie. It’s turned into an important staple in my nighttime routines.

Then, quite random, but we have a scrunchie. I picked this up from Target, by Goody for a pack of 8 for about $6. And I’m obsessed, I would use these all the time as a kid because my hair was so thick and heavy (the thin ones did absolutely nothing haha) and they wouldn’t kink my hair when I would put it up. And lately my hair has been super impressionable so I thought why not take it back to the 90s, and I’m so glad I did! Probably my favorite favorite this month!

Alright, let’s get to some fun beauty stuff!

First off, we have my favorite and signature scent from Giorgio Armani, their “Si” perfume which I honestly live in. It’s my favorite thing in the world. It’s fresh, clean and a bit musky (which I understand is a horrible way to describe something I know) but go to Macy’s or Sephora and smell it, if you haven’t. It’s heaven and this bottle I also got for Christmas!

We then have a nail polish from Zoya that I picked up from Ulta a while ago (and did a post on). Well I finally got around to trying it and I am obsessed. It’s the perfect natural nail color but better AND IT’S NOT PINK BASED, which is my problem with natural nail colors. I really hate pink, always have. I’m a dark vampy nail color or nothing at all or just a clear coat if I need to be super professional. But this is their Naked Manicure Perfector in the shade “Buff Perfector” and it’s a gorgeous your nails but better peach. It wears super well and layers really well depending on the look you want. They have other shades in this range but I am obsessed with this one and highly recommend!

Then I have two new favorite brushes that have become a staple when I do my makeup nowadays!

The first is from EcoTools and it’s their Airbrush Concealer brush and it’s amazing. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get on with this one because it’s super dense and small, for my concealer I usually reach for my Real Techniques Setting Brush but I have given that a rest and have been using this. It really does give you an airbrushed effect and I love it. I also love that when packing and traveling with it, because the hairs are short and densely packed, it’s super hard for the hairs to not get bent and all crazy so it stays looking and performing perfectly!

The next is another brush that I can no long live without. And it’s from “e.l.f.” so SUPER AFFORDABLE. This is their 202 Pencil Brush from the new line and my god it’s super soft and super perfect. As you can see it’s well loved with my next favorite but we’ll get to that. I have been looking for a pencil brush like this for so long and I’m so glad I found it and only had to spend $3 for it…. AMAZING. I’m telling ya e.l.f. brushes are some of the best brushes I’ve used!

And finally an eyeliner that I have pretty much been wearing all month when I am wearing makeup is from MAC. It’s just their regular pencil in the shade “Coffee” and as the name would suggest it’s the perfect dark brown almost black unless you smudge it out which I always do with my 202 Pencil Brush. I think I have spoken about this eyeliner before but I’ve rediscovered it and have been absolutely obsessed with it and how easy and quick it is to put on and I’m out the door!

And that’s it! Those are my favorites this month!! I hope you enjoyed it!

Until next time,

Cheers! xoxo

Amy

Fiction Friday ~ The Secret!!

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you are all well and excited for the weekend! I had a really nice week, was quite productive if I do say so myself. But anyway, it’s another Fiction Friday and today we are talking about one of my absolute favorite authors of all time, the incredible Charlotte Brontë!! So let’s get to it!

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Entitled “The Secret”, this is a series of six short stories that somewhat intertwine (in the first story we meet two characters named Arthur and Marian. Later on we meet Albion and Marina…she even catches herself in her writing which I loved: “On hearing these words, Arthur- Albion, I mean-…” Albion and Marina page 77). If you’re a first time Brontë reader, I wouldn’t suggest starting off with this. These stories were not published until years and years after her death because they were considered lost. The first two stories “The Secret” and “Lily Hart” were published in 1908, though were written around 1833. The other four stories were published alongside with these two in 1978. Which, I find fascinating and makes me love it even more.

Just to give you a little context, “Jane Eyre” was written/published around 1847. So this is definitely her early work and full of fantasies and supernatural experiences. Her writing is not yet as strong as is when she writes “Jane Eyre”, “The Secret” (as a whole) seems very young and fanciful. That doesn’t mean I love it any less but I am a bit biased since I’ve read “Jane Eyre” at a minimum of 200 times and she is one of my most beloved and favorite authors.

These classics are my favorite genre to read just because I am constantly falling in love with the language. (I mean, I’m getting my masters in Shakespeare for crying out loud… So not much of a surprise here) Because these stories are all linked together they follow women, narrated by what seems to be a man (all the Brontë sisters wrote under a pseudonym, fun fact hers was Currer Bell, so it’s not too much of a surprise that this particular set of stories in her early career is told from a man’s perspective until we get to “Jane Eyre” about fourteen years later) and follows a group of about ten or so characters that are related either by birth, marriage or friendship.

They deal with past horrors, duty, love and the supernatural forces (which I really enjoyed reading and Brontë does tend to like writing about). This is a terrible description but I don’t know what to say without giving everything away because they are so short and to talk about each one would give away every single thing haha!

So I am going to leave you with a few quotes that just makes me fall more and more in love with this language!

~ “She was deadly pale and might have passed for a beautiful marble statue, had not the tremor which shook every limb indicated that her form was of living flesh and blood.” –The Secret, page 31

~ “It was a clear and still night; the moon and stars were shining most brilliantly in a perfectly unclouded heaven, and their descending beams revealed the form of a human being stretched on the grass near a little wicket, which was open.” –Lily Hart, page 50

~ “The apparition vanished. It seemed to have appeared merely to assert her superiority over her rival, and indeed the moment Albion beheld her beauty he felt that it was peerless.” –Albion and Marina, page 83

~ “All was darkness except where the silver moonbeams showed a desolate and ruined apartment, instead of the elegant parlor that a few minutes before had gladdened his sight. No trace of Marina was visible, no harp or other instrument or harmony; and the cold lunar light streamed through a void space instead of the glass door.” –Albion and Marina, page 85-86

~ “Pity that the shadow of grief should ever fall where the light of such beauty shines.” –A Peep into a Picture Book, page 118

And that is it for today!! I hope you have a lovely weekend and maybe inspired to read some Brontë, you won’t regret it! :)

Until next time,

Cheers! xoxo

Amy

February Ipsy Bag!!

Happy Wednesday everyone!! I hope you are having a great week! Today’s post is your regularly scheduled Ipsy bag post!! This month, I must say I am quite excited for! So without further ado, let’s get into it!

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Starting off with the two biggest products in the bag this month (so big they didn’t even fit in the bag… Which surprised me that they didn’t break considering one product did this month which was in the bag and in a box). They are two sheet masks both from the brand Soo Ae, I believe. One of them is a Green Tea mask meant to help look luminous and help with hydration. And the other is a purifying black charcoal mask (which are my personal favorites). I love masks, though I have never tried a sheet mask before so I am super excited to try those out!

I then got a NYX Butter Lipstick in the shade “Ripe Berry”. These lipsticks I have tried before and love them, they are a fantastic formula, so comfortable to wear, super moisturizing and quite long wearing! This color is absolutely gorgeous and I might have to wear it on Valentine’s Day… (a holiday I despise but have plans with two great friends)

Then I have a mini eyeliner from Lord&Berry in the shade #221 Travel Black. Eyeliner is always a staple in my looks so, I’m excited to give this a go!

Next from bellápierre cosmetics their VolumeLash Waterproof Mascara. I have never heard of this brand before, but I love a good waterproof mascara (as we all know) and the brush looks extremely promising; a nice plastic wand with lots of little nubs to grab a hold of the lashes!

And finally for the saddest discovery, a gorgeous highlighter from Luna by Luna in the shade “Calypso” that arrived broken. If we could all have a moment of silence, I would greatly appreciate it. It’s a gorgeous bronze/gold shade that does seem to have microglitter in it but it was super soft and really packed an intense punch on my hand! So hopefully I can fix it and put it back together haha!

That’s everything I got this month! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you got in yours this month!!

Until next time,

Cheers! xoxo

Amy

Fiction Friday’s!!

Happy Friday everyone!! I hope that your week has been well! Last Friday, I talked about two books that had an impact in my life and I really enjoyed writing that post (I hope you guys enjoyed reading it!). I read like crazy, it’s my favorite thing to do and I don’t know why I have been so hesitant to write posts on books but I decided that I’m going to start on Friday’s talking about the book I read that week! And we will see how that goes!

So today I want to talk about the incredible Kurt Vonnegut.

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I really enjoy  Vonnegut, he has such a unique writing style that in my mind is cynical, sarcastic, funny, captivating and truthful. And if you’re a fan of his then you’ll enjoy this book even more. (Personally, my favorite of his is “The Sirens of Titan”)

I wasn’t so much a fan of the story as I was his progression as a writer. “We Are What We Pretend to Be” contains two novella’s which are (as it says on the cover) his first and last works; containing “Basic Training” and “If God Were Alive Today”. Claimed to be semi-autobiographical these stories are, in my mind, an incredible though short timeline of his writing. His daughter wrote a forward for this book and not only is she a great writer too, it really help set up her father’s stories that you are about to read.

The stories themselves were entertaining and definitely held my interest but what I found more fascinating was how much his writing style evolved over the years. To me it seemed like I was reading stories written by two different writers.

“Basic Training” is a sweet story about a boy losing his parents and going to move from the city to farm country with his uncle and his daughters. It’s about love, loss, and life lessons, with usual Vonnegut twists.

“If God Were Alive Today” follows a comedian towards the end of his life and spending the night at a comedy club listening to his act. He is a very non-bs comedian who has had a lot of drug addictions and has been sober for a year or so. This story, is a lot more reminiscent of the Vonnegut most people know and are familiar with, with his dark humor and profound truths.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and because of the nature of these two works (being his first and his last and semi-autobiographical) I (or you maybe) feel closer to him. And it’s given me more appreciation for this author who I already thoroughly enjoyed.

Quote from Nanette Vonnegut from the Forward:

~ “My father did with words what Fred Astaire did with his body, something out of this world that no one else could possibly pull off. Even as an old man my dad defied gravity and did the audacious thing of creating something out of nothing.” -page xiii

Quotes from “Basic Training”:

~ “He felt wholly a stranger. None of the old, seemingly sweetly reasonable patterns of the past now applied. He was not actively melancholy-it was too soon for that. Rather, he was like a settler on his first day in a foreign land, bemused by his initial contacts with unfamiliar customs, not yet ready to admit that it would be those customs instead of his own that would enable him to remain and prosper.” -page 17

~ “Everyone seemed intent on worrying him into a pattern of their own making, rather than trying to understand what it might be like to be Harley Brandon.” -page 51

Quotes from “If God Were Alive Today”:

~ “He sure missed drugs, and he was now terrified, as he should have been all along, by their puissance and ubiquity.” -page 119

~ “He had discovered that the silence of a library, somehow always on the verge of uproar, could mute the twang of his need for drugs, provided he had a mission there.” -page 127

 

And that’s all she wrote! Have you read Vonnegut? What are your favorites of his?

Until next time,

Cheers! xoxo

Amy

More Jewelry Loves!!

Happy Wednesday everyone!! I hope that you had a great weekend and that you’re week is going well! Today I wanted to talk about a jewelry company that I have fallen in love with!!

And that is Missoma Jewelry. They are an England based company but let me tell you they have the quickest and most incredible shipping process for shipping to the States. I have never ordered something from England and have it arrive so quickly. It’s packaged beautifully and feels so luxury when you open the box itself and then the box with your piece in!

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I ordered their Evil Eye necklace because I am obsessed. I got it in silver (I wanted the gold but they were out of stock, it’s restocked now and seriously debating getting it and then giving this one to one of my friends…) and it’s gorgeous. It has a line of white topaz stones and turquoise and has three different rings for where you want your necklace to fall.

I personally wear it on the longest setting because I always wear my Tiffany’s Bean necklace that my Mom got me and it layers so beautifully together with the Evil Eye hanging the lowest.

But I am so in love with this company, their shipping policies and their incredibly crafted pieces!

What are your favorite jewelry brands?? I’m always on the hunt for new jewelry pieces haha!

Until next time,

Cheers! xoxo

Amy

Two Books I’ve Fallen In Love With!!

Happy Friday everyone!! I hope you had a great week! Today I wanted to talk about my main love, books!

Books, have a funny way of finding you when you need them. Both of these books I am going to talk about I have had in my collection for a while and as I perusing my shelves looking for something to read these two called to me and after reading them I’m amazed with how much I need to read these and maybe this is your sign to read them too.

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The two books that I read this week are “what is not yours is not yours” by the brilliant Helen Oyeyemi and “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. Both very different in their stories, their styles and subjects but I think they do have similarities (as most things do if you look hard enough).

As someone who is still gainfully unemployed and trying to find my path that makes my dreams and aspirations a reality (something that really hit home when reading “The Alchemist”) and all the horrible and horrific things that are going on not only in my country but countries all around the world reading “what is not yours is not yours” really helped instill hope that we are all connected in some way shape or form and the world might not be such a big scary place.

That might be the simplest way to describe two books that are so inspirational and deep and really make you think. “The Alchemist” follows the story of a boy who is stuck in his routine and life and keeps having this reoccurring dream about finding his personal  legend. And “what is not yours is not yours” is nine stories that tell different stories with different meanings but all connect in some brilliant way.

I don’t want to go into too much detail and give everything away. Just trust me if you find yourself in a bookstore or browsing online and you come across them don’t ignore the signs and read them. Especially if you are in a rut like I am. But what I’m gonna share some quotes that really spoke to me while reading them, I always read with a pen near me so I can underline lines that speak to me (plus when you go back and reread them you can see what you found the first time you read them), I have a lot but I thought I would share a few.

From “what is not yours is not yours”:

~”That went by; so can this.” page 141, is your blood as red as this? 

~”…he would give looks that asked Arkady to perceive the distinction between artist and entertainer.” page 161,  drownings

~”Before assuming ownership of a key you should look at it closely. Not only because you may need to identify it later but because to look at a key is to get an impression of the lock it was made for, and, by extension, the entire establishment surrounding the lock.” page 298, freddy barrandov checks… in?

 

From “The Alchemist”:

~”It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting…” page 13, Part One 

~”It’s a force that appears to be negative, but actually shows you how to realize your Personal Legend. It prepares your spirit and your will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth.” page 24, Part One

~”And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” page 24, Part One 

Until next time,

Cheers! xoxo

Amy