13 Reasons Why Book Review

Unless you’ve been living somewhere completely disconnected from the internet, you’ve probably heard of the newest Netflix sensation 13 Reasons Why. My husband and I recently binge-watched the entire show in a couple of days. It was compelling.

I read the book early on in high school, but I don’t remember it having much of an effect on me. I think this was mostly due to my young age, but I also know part of it was I didn’t relate to the story; it was hard for me to understand something that I had never experienced myself.

Now that I’m older and have more life experience than I did then, the story has a much different effect on me.

In case you aren’t familiar, 13 Reasons Why is about a boy named Clay who mysteriously receives a box of cassette tapes from a girl who committed suicide a few weeks prior. Her name is Hannah Baker, and each side of a tape includes one reason why she killed herself. These reasons aren’t intangible; they’re actually people she met throughout her time in school. After facing excessive bullying and torment from her peers, Hannah decides she would rather fall into a place of ‘nothingness’ than face another day at her high school.

Each person mentioned in the tapes is supposed to listen her story in its entirety and pass them onto the person discussed after them in the tapes. While it may seem a little cruel at first, you begin to understand why she wants each person to know what they did to hurt her, and why she wants everyone else on the tapes to know, too. In some way or another, everyone is connected.

The story itself is very gripping. You ‘listen’ along with Clay as she recounts the horrible experiences of how her reputation was destroyed with no hope of getting it back. You, the reader, see her warning signs as she explains them, but everyone around her turns a blind eye during her most vulnerable moments.

It is a very tragic but realistic story. Since she had no confidant or someone to talk her down, she became a slave to her own demons. The story shows how much of an effect words and actions can have on a person, especially when you don’t know what’s going on in their life at the moment. Without the tapes, each person would have blissfully continued on with their lives, not knowing they were a contributing factor.

It also shows that there are no second chances with suicide. She would never know what her life would bring in the future because she couldn’t see through her darkness. There were experiences she’d never get to have with people who actually cared about her. I think it’s easy for us as outsiders to tell people in pain that life gets better after high school, but the thoughts Hannah was having were so deep-rooted; it takes a lot more time and attention than just those few words.

There are actually some pretty major differences between the book and the TV show, so if you’re at all curious I suggest finishing them both! The book has a solid ending, but the TV show left some open ends (which could possibly mean a second season!) The acting in the beginning is a bit cheesy at first, but it gets better as the characters start to evolve. Overall, the show did a great job reimagining the situations and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it.

I think both the book and TV show share an important message, and I hope the recent spike in popularity will deliver it to a lot more people. Mental health and bullying are serious issues, and sadly, they’re often overlooked. The subjects are intense, but more people need to be aware of the signs and symptoms to stop them before they cause too much damage.

Have you read or watched 13 Reasons Why? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Polka Dot Romper

Let me start off by saying that American Eagle has been killing it lately with their clothes selection! I’ve been shopping at AE since middle school. While I ‘grew out’ of it for awhile, their brand has evolved into something appropriate for a variety of ages, so I’m happy to be shopping there again. Their clothes are good quality, not overly trendy, and affordable (especially when they have sales, which is pretty often!) I’m especially a fan of their jeans. They are also one of the few brands that makes “petite” sizes, which has been an absolute lifesaver for my short self!

This polka dot romper was one of the few things I bought when I went on a spending frenzy a few weeks ago. I love the classic, vintage style. I have slowly been trying to make my wardrobe a bit more feminine, and this romper is a great addition. The fabric is very soft, lightweight, and comfortable, which makes it easy to wear in these warmer months. It’s flowy, but it also accentuates my curves in the right places. It’s a very flattering fit!

Polka Dot RomperPolka Dot Romper Polka Dot RomperPolka Dot RomperPolka Dot Romper

Needless to say, I’m pretty in love with this romper. I also picked up a few other things from AE that I can’t wait to share with you, so stay tuned!

Adopting a Dog Changed My Life

When I moved out of my parents’ house a couple years ago, I knew I wanted to eventually adopt a puppy. Growing up, we always had pets at home, so it only made sense for me to carry on the tradition into my new life.

It wasn’t long after we sent off the first rent check when we had a little furry one in our hands. I work from home, and as nice as it is, it does tend to get a little lonely. I was yearning for a companion.

Only a little convincing was needed to get my boyfriend on board. I was up in Boston for a business conference, and my last night there I called him and asked if we could look at puppies the day after I got back. Listening to my co-workers talk about their dogs only made me want one more!

I woke up earlier than usual that Saturday because I was so excited to go to the pet store. Right before we were about to leave, my boyfriend ended up proposing to me! Of course I said YES, but I also said, “…Can we still get a dog today?” To say I was determined is an understatement.

I remember looking at the cute pups available for adoption in the pen. The local humane society brings their puppies to the pet store every Saturday, and it happened to be National Adoption Weekend so there were plenty of little ones running around! Of course they were all adorable, but I wasn’t getting that “feeling.” My fiancé and I agreed it was important to wait for the right dog.

And then I saw him.

He was carried in after most of the puppies had already settled into their pen. He was the smallest pup in the litter, the runt actually, and he sat quietly in the corner while the other dogs played. The second my fiancé plucked him up, my heart melted. He had the sweetest brown eyes and the cutest sprinkle of freckles on his nose. He was perfect.

We held onto him tightly until the papers were signed – there were a lot of people looking to adopt that day, and we wanted to make sure we were the ones taking him home!

We didn’t have any names picked out originally. It was mostly just a game of back and forth until we found one we liked. We ended up naming him Pickles. Not sure why other than we thought it was a cute name for a dog. It seemed to fit him!

Adopting a Dog Changed My Life
The day we adopted him!

The Challenge.

Being a puppy parent to a 2-month old was challenging to say the least. The first few weeks were an adjustment on both ends. Gone were the days of sleeping in and through the night. When puppy’s gotta go, he’s gotta go (if you know what I mean)! On his end, he had a lot of anxiety being by himself in a house with two humans, but eventually he warmed up to us. While we loved that he was getting more comfortable around us, it also meant we were in for some bad puppy behavior!

Since we adopted Pickles, I’ve learned to be a lot more patient. He is a rambunctious fellow, always looking to get into something new. He’s not little and quiet anymore like when we first met him; he’s actually a 50+lb bundle of barks! He’s part Border Collie, which means he’s very, VERY smart. It also means he needs a lot more stimulation than the average dog, and he tends to get destructive when he’s bored (bye, bye apartment damage deposit…) We paid for a private training lesson, and it helped me understand how to better communicate with him, especially since we don’t speak the same language. He’s come a long way with his manners, but we still have a lot of work to do! He’s almost two years old and we’re still working on leash walking (man, he is STRONG) and getting along with other dogs. We’d love to be able to take him to the public park one day, but we’d like him to learn how interact with “strangers” first. I’m excited, though, because we’re signed up for a 7-week behavior training course. I think it will be fun and informative for both us humans and him.

Adopting a Dog Changed My Life

The Reward.

All the behavior issues become minor once Pickles climbs onto my lap and cuddles with me. He has one of the best personalities I have ever seen; he’s hilarious, spunky, needy, and quite the lap dog! When I go upstairs (where he’s not allowed), he cries for me and waits at the bottom of the stairs until I come down. The genuine excitement in his mannerisms and expressions when he sees me never ceases to bring a smile to my face. He likes to pretend he’s my shadow by following me practically everywhere. He takes the word “companion” to a new level.

Because of Pickles, we’re a lot more responsible both financially and personally. Dogs are expensive. His adoption fee was $250, our apartment pet fee was $300, plus we had to buy bowls, food, toys, beds, medication, and treats, and we had to pay for all of his routine puppy vet visits. We have to have a whole separate budget just for him! As far as personal responsibility, we hardly ever leave the house. When we do, we rarely stay out late because we’d rather be at home with him! He depends on us so we like to be there for him.

He’s also kept me active. Well, active-ish. While he could probably use a good run, I am unfortunately not a runner. I try to take him on two to three walks every day, and sometimes we take him to the apartment complex across the street since they have a small fenced-in dog park for him to run around in. I find myself outside and enjoying nature a lot more often than I used to, and it’s a nice change from staring at a screen or TV all day!

Most important of all, adopting him has given me purpose. As I mentioned before, he depends on me and my husband to take care of him. It’s nice to feel needed, and I truly get the feeling that he loves us back.

Adopting a Dog Changed My Life

The Conclusion.

They aren’t kidding when they say a dog is man’s best friend. It’s crazy how an animal can make such a big impact on your life. We’re lucky to have received the amazing experience of watching him grow up, and our bond only continues to grow stronger. He’s been the absolute best companion to my husband and I, and I’m glad we decided to go to the pet store that lovely September day.

I’m probably a little biased, but I’m convinced we have the best dog ever.

Adopting a Dog Changed My Life

P.S. Sorry for the crappy photo quality. iPhone pics, what can I say? 😉

3 Essie Nail Polishes for Spring

Ok, so tiny little confession here: I’m so bad at keeping my nails painted! I hate the way they look when they’re chipped, so I figure the best way to avoid that is to not paint them at all. It’s logical, but far from aesthetic. The sad thing is I own some pretty good-looking nail polishes, and I don’t even put them to use! I decided to change that this month by featuring three of my favorite Essie colors that are perfect fits for spring.

  1. Sugar Daddy
    I love the understated look of this polish. It has that “your nails but better” thing going on. Even with two coats it has a sheer finish, but it’s very glossy. Perfect for those days when you only want a lil somethin’ somethin’.
  2. Chillato
    My favorite of the three is probably this yellowy-green shade. It’s such a fascinating color; it’s hard to look away from it! I wasn’t sure how this would look against my fair skin, but it really pops. It’s a very bright and sunny color!
  3. Bikini So Teeny
    This is exactly the color I think of when someone says “Periwinkle.” It’s a gorgeous pastel blue, and it reminds me of the spring sky.

So there you have it: my three favorite Essie nail polish colors for spring! They’re all on the pastel-side, which is kind of expected for this season.

What are some of your spring polish favorites? Let me know in the comments!

3 Essie Nail Polishes for Spring

3 Essie Nail Polishes for Spring

Spring Trend: Embroidered Denim

You don’t have to look further than your favorite ‘big-name’ clothing retailer to find an embroidered piece of denim. Embroidery is a huge trend this spring, and that’s clear to see because stores are chock full of it!

I picked up a pair of embroidered jeans from Forever 21 a few months ago. They give me a hint of nostalgia; I feel like I would (or perhaps did) wear jeans just like them in elementary school! These jeans have been such a fun addition to my closet. I love that I can wear a simple top and have my jeans be the statement piece!

What spring fashion trends are you currently loving? Let me know in the comments!

Spring Trend: Embroidered Denim

Spring Trend: Embroidered Denim