Posts Tagged ‘Reading Pretty’

Reading Pretty: Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose. by Lara Casey



I devoured Lara Casey’s book Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live on Purpose in two day. It was a particular gloomy Saturday and I wanted something to break the fiction books I was reading. I received a preview copy of the e-book, but I enjoyed the book so much I wanted to support her and purchased a “real” book.

Lara is a major proponent of looking at your life and making the necessary changes you need to make without blaming someone else for your happiness. She goes deep into her unhappy marriage and work and how she turned it around without making any excuses. I know there are a lot of self-help books out there, but what makes Laura’s book great is her desire to discuss the art of not “being perfect.” I’m still trying to figure out when perfect became the ideal. Life is messy, thank goodness. We need stories to tell and perfect doesn’t make good story telling.

I always say Instagram is the highlight real of your life and not the real dirty work. Yes, I consider what a photo will look like before I post, but actually my bed isn’t made, my office is a hot mess, I’m tired, and the past few days made me realize I need to make some shifts. She has a yearly conference and I’m seriously considering going.

Lara thanks for a great book. Keep making it happen.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Net Galley. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for All About the Pretty. 

Holiday Gift Guide 2014 – The Book Nerd

Book Nerd

I have an addiction to books. I can’t stop buying them in all forms. I read hardback, paperback, and e-books. If I’m having a bad day the best thing for me is to walk around in a bookstore and I feel much better. I have always been a voracious reader and I read all types of books. I have been known to read cookbooks to in bed at night. I’ve read some great books this year and I wanted to give my favorite books for the book lover in your life.

I offer a few of my favorite wellness books because we all can take better care of ourselves. Beauty starts inside dear hearts. You all know about my love for Elena Brower.

At the moment I am blowing through the Daniel Silva ‘Gabriel Allon’ books. I’m obsessed. Seriously. I have been tweeting him and because he lives in Washington, DC I am putting out in the universe that I’m going to meet and talk with him in 2015. I don’t mean book signing chats, but an in depth conversation. I have so many questions I want to ask him and it needs to be in person. As the daughter of a U.S. Marshal and FBI graduate my conspiracy theory brain is always working.

I’m also obsessed with Ann Patchett. As an English major I love a really well written book that causes me to think and engage the brain cells that at times I want to turn off. If you haven’t read Bel Canto do me a favor and go buy it stat. Baby it’s cold outside and these books are perfect for enjoying with a big cuppa tea.

A Discovery of Witches is a must. If you haven’t read Deborah Harkness brilliant trilogy please don’t talk to me. Just kidding. It’s that good. I bought them in ebook and hardback. Yep, I need those beautiful covers on my shelves. My love for her is deep people. Deep. Joy the Baker is my new food girl crush. I’m still making her simple spicy vegetarian tortilla soup at least once a month. Plus, Joy recently moved to Louisiana (my birth state) and that makes her equally as wonderful based on her 504 area code.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Read more because it’s all about the pretty.


Wellness Books









Reading Pretty: How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are

How to Be Parisian

I’m currently in Louisiana and trying to catch up on everything I need to do before the 2014 Paris Beauty Tour that starts next week. It seems like just yesterday I announced the dates and it is amazing that I get to lead and welcome an amazing group of ladies to my favorite city in the world to beauty shop. I will announce the dates for 2015 next month and I can’t wait. In the meantime I am listening to French podcasts, music, and catching up on all my French reading. One book I am devouring and laughing out loud at the same time to is How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret and Sophie Mas.

The book is very tongue-in-cheek compared to a lot of Parisian lifestyle books and this one had me crying out loud at some of their musings. I started this on a plane and it’s one of those books that make a long flight bearable. If you are into all things French then I suggest adding this book to your bookshelf especially with lines such as “Embrace your inner snob. (Because let’s face it, that’s who you are.)

{7.11.14} Le Weekend

Le Weekend.jpg

I hope your week has been great. I have been burning the midnight and midday oil trying to meet a few deadlines. I’m trying to take a little time this weekend to just be, but because I am the queen of over scheduling I won’t have what I consider a real day off until Monday, July 21. Even though I’ve been busy there are a few things I’m looking forward to this weekend.

Happy Weekend! Bisous!

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith. I’m really trying to plow through this one like I did the first Cormoran Strike novel, but for some reason as soon as I start reading it I get sleepy. It’s a lot of detail which I love in a book, but I can’t wait to get to the end. It’s such a rich mystery.

Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara. I really love this mascara. Revlon has stepped up their mascara game in the past few years. This one is luscious and makes my lashes stand out. I love the Blackest Black color. It’s so good. Every time I apply it I want to do a happy beauty dance.#FlashYourLash

Jane Iredale Lip Fixation. I really like these dual lip glosses for summer. I still wear lipstick, but when the temperature reaches a certain degree I find myself reaching for gloss instead because I want something lighter. The color is Compulsion and it’s everything.

Reading Pretty: Sadie Nardini’s 21-Day Yoga Body

Sadie Nardini

I have been following Sadie Nardini since I first discovered yoga. She is an in your face, fun, and very different type of yoga teacher. And I love it. She’s different from what I thought a yoga teacher should be. Now, as a teacher myself I completely get her. She is unapologetically Sadie. I spent a Saturday evening plowing through her 21-Day Yoga Body book. While reading this book I felt I was sitting somewhere in Italy, having an amazing dinner, a glass of a Barolo or Sangiovese, and lots of laughter.

Sadie has this funny and lovable side from her videos that came out in the book. I don’t know any body books that recommend wine with your meals as part of your yoga. Her direction for yoga poses are equally as cute. I had no idea about a Stilet-toeasana, but now I do after reading the book – “pointed through the ball of the foot, with the toes pulled back as if you were wearing high heals.”

We both agree that a bath is the best thing for relaxation, but I don’t recommend reading this book in the tub. You want to enjoy this on a yoga mat, in the kitchen, or sipping a glass of wine. I can’t wait to take a class or workshop with this fun teacher.

Reading Pretty: The Vacationers by Emma Straub

The Vacationers

I decided a few months back that I would stick to mainly fiction for the summer. There isn’t anything better than being able to dive so deep into a good book that sucks you in and doesn’t let go unto the last page. That’s how I felt reading Emma Straub’s The Vacationers. The Vacationers mainly takes place in Mallorca (let’s hear for the travel component people) and that drew me in and didn’t let me go. The family is lovable and downright maddening at the same time. I found myself talking to the book like it was a movie playing before me. The book delves into what happens when secrets are exposed and not at the best of times. I can’t recommend this book enough. Do yourself a favor and get this book – now.

{6.20.14} Le Weekend

6.20.14 Le Weekend

It has a been a busy few weeks over here in my world, but despite some ups and downs I’m still grateful. In the midst of madness I can always find a few pretty things to make me smile. I’m trying to reach my goal of 45 books this year and according to my Goodreads challenge I’m 6 books behind schedule. I can definitely catch up by the end of summer because all I want to do is sit outside in the heat, near water, listen to music and read.

Happy Weekend! Here are my loves of the week.

The Director by David Ignatius. I’ve made it a point to put down all the business books and get back to my favorite summer past time – fiction reading. I want to be taken away, transported, and forget my day-to-day. I’m able to do that with a good book. I’m a tech junkie so the fact that this is involves cyber terrorism, The White House, and written by a local DC author makes this the perfect summer book to me.

Tulsi Jasmine Green Tea. I try to drink a cup of green tea a day. I know it’s good for me, but I’m not a fan of green tea unless it has another flavor added to the mix. This tea tastes delicious hot, but even better cold over ice with a mint leaf. Trust me.

Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Desert Oud Eau de Parfum. I haven’t met an Oud I didn’t like and this one is just as alluring, intriguing, and spicy to tickle my Oud fancy. It smells like woods, reminds me of Egypt, and is perfect for a hot summer day. I’ve been on a floral kick and need to literally “spice” things up and the best way to do that is fragrance. Perfume Junkie, hello!

Reading Pretty: Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore



Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is the perfect book to add to your summer collection. The book’s premise is about the desire and longing to belong to something appears great on the outside. In the world of social media this can be also true. If you glance at most social media posts (Instagram and Twitter), life is painted as always being great. It’s the moments that look good on camera and sometimes that’s not always pretty.

In reality, life is messy, flawed, with loads of ups and downs. They are days when all I need is a good cry and everything will be better. I always believe people see an image in their mind of your life and think it’s all great. What they don’t see is how hard you work, how many late nights, the continual learning, and things you have given up for your dream. I recently came across a great quote. “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” It’s true. There isn’t a testimony without a test.

The next time you look at all the pretty images online know that everyone has a story and they might prefer not to show the bad. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Bittersweet is one of those books that make you an examine your own truth. And we all should do that from time to time.

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