They are viral. They are sold out everywhere. They are the fall shoe to have. Influencers are spotted wearing them. What are they? The Birkenstock Boston Clog.
If you know me, you know that I wear the Birkenstock sandals to death during the spring, summer and fall time. And, with good reason. They have amazing support and I can wear them for hours without them bothering my feet. I also love that I can wear my sandals with dresses, leggings, jeans and even shorts. So, when I learned that there was a clog version, I could not run fast enough to purchase them. Thankfully, they had my size in the black and I snatched them up faster than you can say “add to cart.”
I got mine in my true size and they fit just like a charm. I’m not sure if I’ll be wearing socks with them yet, but I think I have the option.
Now, it is cold enough to actually wear them, and I couldn’t be more happier than I jumped on these.
So far, I’ve worn them a few different ways. The first is to work. I paired them with a pair of ponte pants and a long sweater and they were perfect.
I did wear them for play as well. I went to the Beyond Van Gogh experience this past weekend and wore them. They went extremely well with the outfit. I had on a long sleeved t shirt and some skinny jeans. And, they were really comfortable and I was able to walk around without my feet hurting.
Now, are they worth the hype?
I’d say yes! Like I said, I already love the brand as it is, so I came in a little biased. But, these shoes are a great investment piece because of the quality (I’ve worn mine to death and they still look great), the comfort and the fact that they go with any and everything. For me, having a pair of qualify shoes that you can count on for years is definitely worth the price tag.
That said, these shoes are really hard to come by, because they are sold out everywhere. So, I do recommend checking out places like Nordstrom, HSN, and LL Bean. You can also sign up for in stock emails for when they came in. I know I already have to grab the other color. I did find a pair of mens that were in the same size as the women’s, so we’ll see how that goes.
TGIF! It has been a while since I last posted on here, and I am so sorry for the unexpected break. I have been experiencing a serious case of writer’s block, and so I am hoping that by writing this post, it will help me create more posts.
This week’s favorites are a mixture of TV shows, books, and some fashion items. Yes, they are random. However, I am really happy nonetheless to share them with you all. So, without further a due, here are this week’s favorites:
The Crown: With the death of Queen Elizabeth, I decided to watch the Crown on Netflix as well to learn more about her life. I started this series a while back, so I’m really happy to pick it back up and rewatch it.
Kendra Scott Elisa Necklace: This necklace is something that I have been obsessed with as of late. I got a few colors of this piece, but my ultimate favorite is the black because I wear a lot of black in my wardrobe. What I love about this is that it goes with everything. Of course, you can get it in a ton of colors in any metal you want. However, I prefer the silver. If you’re considering this piece, I highly recommend it!
Web of Make Believe: I am a huge fan of shows like Catfish, and I recently discovered this show. It is a documentary series on Netflix that talks about life online and its deception. What is really awesome about this show is that every story is different. I have been slowly going through the series, and I’m really enjoying it thus far.
Tell Me Lies by Carola Loverig: I read this book, and I was obsessed to the point where I could not put it down. The book tells the story of a relationship in their mid twenties. It is a romance that is told like a thriller. Honestly, it keeps you on your toes, and trust me, you won’t want to put it down.
Back when I worked in the Town Clerk’s office, there was a couple that came in to apply for their marriage license. This was a normal occurrence — especially in the spring and summer time when wedding season is hot and heavy in Connecticut. What made this couple so unique was the bride. She was so excited to be marrying her groom, and her happiness radiated as we processed their paperwork. When they left, my co worker said “I hope my son finds someone that is that excited to marry him.”
I was reminded of that when I picked up the book, Heartbeats by Sarah Cantafio. Cantafio is a Connecticut based author and met her love while attending college. Heartbeats is a 60 page poetry book, and each and every page is filled with love. The poems tell the story about her relationship with her fiancé — from their first meeting to the proposal. She describes moments, and even shares some of their challenges that of course is no match to the strength of love. It also discusses feelings of insecurity and feeling good enough to be with someone, especially after having a tough time finding a partner that is good for them.
As I said, Heartbeats is basically a book about finding love and young love. The poetry is very clean (nothing x rated here), but it’s neither cliche or cheesy. The poetry is authentic and emotional. It gives you the warm and fuzzies on the inside while you’re reading it.
Personally, I related to these poems because I had my share of tricky romantic relationships in the past prior to my current one. To this day, I still feel imposter syndrome when it comes to whether or not I am worthy of a good guy who brings unconditional love. Cantafio touches upon that and relays the following point — love is the answer to that question and love melts away those insecurities.
Now, Heartbeats is Cantafio’s debut release. It was originally print only, but the author recently made it available on Kindle as well. That said, I’m anxious to read Cantafio’s next book (maybe about her and her love’s next chapter?).
Overall, I really enjoyed this quick and beautiful read. And, I honestly recommend it. I recommend it to those who are in committed relationships. I recommend it to those who are in the first stages of a new one. And, finally, I recommend it to those who are struggling to find their person.
I gave this read a solid five stars. Heartbeats is available on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback formats.
Author’s Note: I purchased this with my own money, and all opinions are my own. I was also not compensated for my review.
Maxine does it all. She is a teacher by day and comes home to create amazing content. Whether it’s a review on her Bookstagram, @ captivatedbythecover , an episode on her new podcast, Something Simple, or a vlog, she’s definitely one of the most reliable influencers I know and watch. Maxine was so kind to take some time out to chat about her projects, and about teaching. So, without further adue, let’s let the woman herself speak.
So, how did you get started with creating content for your YouTube/Instagram/Podcast?
– I’ve always loved Youtube. It started with the stupid “creepy pencil” and “Charlie the Unicorn” videos, but the love remained. About 14 years ago, I shifted to watching covers of songs and started posting my own originals and covers on there. About 5 years ago, I started watching vlogs and other content, and wanted to do the same! It always brought laughs when my friends and I would watch them together. Bookstagram started a couple years ago for me. I had no idea this community existed, and not all my friends are big readers, so I knew my following on my regular instagram couldn’t care less about the books I was reading. The podcast came from my friend who suggested I try it! She knows I have a lot to say for a quiet person!
How long have you been creating content?
– For youtube, I started creating content maybe 13 years ago? But the vlogs have been more recent – about 4 years ago!
What is your favorite type of content to create?
– I love creating vlogs and watching the outcome after edits (don’t love the editing process as much – I don’t own a Mac, so it’s tedious to work with iMovie on my phone.) My favorite vlogs are the ones I make with my friends! I’m not a super aesthetic person, but I enjoy creating bright pictures that fit with my bookstagram. It’s also fun to write book reviews. Surprisingly, my longest book review was on a book I didn’t particularly enjoy. Does that say something about me? …
What influencers do you like to watch?
– Nicole Laeno is one of my most recently discovered influencers. She’s literally a junior in high school, but her editing and overall presence is awesome and positive. I’d rather have my 7th grade students watch her than fake tiktok wannabes! Steph Pappas is forever one of my favorites. She’s relaxing to watch after a long day. And of course, the iconic Emma Chamberlain because… duh.
You have a Bookstagram, Captivated by the Cover. What are you reading right now?
– I’m reading Malibu Rising right now as a summer sayonara!
If someone were to ask you for a book recommendation, what would it be? Why?
– It depends what they’re into, but I will usually recommend Perks of Being a Wallflower because the characters will feel like your friends and you, no matter who you are, at some point felt like Charlie. Plus, the movie is just as good. Or, Big Little Lies because it’s a mystery (if you’re in a reading slump, mysteries solve all — literally) and got me out of a pretty big reading slump, orGood Girl’s Guide to Murder for the same reason. I guess I’m not great with “just one”!
You’ve been on YouTube and had a Bookstagram for a while. What made you decide to do a podcast?
– My friend told me I should start one! I didn’t think anyone would listen, but it’s a nice space to share my thoughts (I have quite a lot.) But, I wanted Something Simple to be something people can just hang out and listen to anywhere/any time. It’s very laid back! I’m also big on journaling (like, used to use my facebook status space as a place to journal), so this is one better! Verbally saying my thoughts/venting is therapeutic, too.
Where can people listen to your podcast?
– My podcast can be listened to on Anchor.fm or Spotify! I’ll work to get it on Apple soon, too.
What will be your posting schedule now that school is back in session?
– Great question! I want to keep it as something that feels like a hobby rather than work, so keeping the idea as something “laid back” I’ll try to get to it ideally at least once a week, but that is easier said than done. If people are interested, they can choose to be notified, and hopefully whatever I choose to talk about that week is good for them!
What is something that you wish to tell teachers (or anyone) who is interested in vlogging or doing any kind of podcast?
– Do it because you love it. If you do it for any other reason, there will be an unnecessary pressure to reach a certain following or number of subscribers, or whatever. Do it because you LOVE IT. My dad used to videotape us when we were younger, and we have all of those memories to look back on. He did that for us… because he enjoyed doing it, and that’s the kind of attitude I’m going to keep, too! It can be easy to forget why you truly started when all the other materialistic stuff gets in the way. There will also be people who don’t understand. They don’t have to understand if it brings you joy!
Where can people find you? Please plug away any and all social media accounts!
– yay, friends!! @Captiviatedbythecover is my bookstagram. Something Simple is my podcast. And, Maxine Elyse is my Youtube.
Ever since I was a teenager, I have always dreamed about running a 5k race. For the longest time, I thought that goal was always unattainable and out of reach. That is, until now. This past August, I finally laced up my sneakers and ran. And, I finished my best time. Yesterday, I participated in my second race, and finished in a time I never thought I could.
Running and training for these races have taught me about myself, and have changed my way of thinking completely — even when my running shoes are off. So, here are some things I learned since I began running.
It only matters if you finish. There is always going to be someone who is faster than you will ever be. That said, I have accepted that I am never going to be the fastest nor get the fastest time in the race. For me, it only matters about crossing that finish line, because there is honestly no better feeling.
No one is paying attention to you. One of the many reasons why I never participated in races until now was because I worried that I was always going to be too slow. Truth is, no one at these events is paying attention to you. They are too busy worrying about their own stuff going on. They are not judging you whatsoever. Once I realized that, I began to focus on my own body and my own pace. And, of course, finishing in the best way that I could.
I began to love my body. During COVID, I gained about 20 pounds. I have been struggling to lose the weight since. So, in the last few years, I have developed a negative perception of my body. Running, and the fact that I was able to run these races, has made me realize that my body is strong. I am nowhere where I want to be when it comes to my weight, but the fact that I was able to complete a race in record time has made me appreciate its strength.
I can do anything I set my mind to. Running has continued to teach me that if I set my mind to a goal, I can do it by working hard. It may not be perfect, but I still did it.
This is a book that you’re going to not want to put down. And, you might need some tissues. I discovered the author C.S. McKinney through a friend’s Instagram and immediately downloaded the novel If and Only If: Experience College in Her Running Shoes. It was a novel that I am so glad that I impulsively downloaded, and of course, consumed in less than one day’s time.
It tells the story of Sarah, a senior in college and a member of her college’s track team. Sarah is interested in Paul, but awkwardly doesn’t know if he returns the interest. She soon gravitates towards Nigel, and the course of events lead her running toward a path away from her core values.
Okay so this novel was a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. So many things happen in these 300 pages. However, it wasn’t done in a way that was overwhelming to the reader. It was done in a way that was both suspenseful and entertaining.
This book also shows the stresses of college, the stress of being on a track team, and of course, highlights romances in a realistic light. That said, the novel also shows some other struggles of the main character, including disordered eating, and dealing with health issues.
Now let’s talk about the romance in this book because there was a lot to unpack here, folks. Sarah is very shy — but there’s so much opportunity for her to get together with Paul. The two share the same values, they seem to be into each other, and share a love for running. However, she chooses Niguel. I wanted to pop into her world and say “no don’t.” But, in life, we often don’t choose the right person sometimes, so I do think that it is really realistic.
This book also discussed faith, which was one of the first times I came across it in a romance novel. Sarah’s faith is important to her. She wants to remain pure until marriage. There’s a chance that she may have jeopardized that for herself, something that was causing her to taint her vision of herself. What I loved about this novel is that it wasn’t too much overdone and it wasn’t in your face.
Overall, this novel was an amazing read. In fact, I am so excited to read the author’s next installment in the series (which I hear is to be picked up where this one leaves the readers) that is expected to come out on September 14, 2022. I give this novel five out of five stars, but advise readers for the trigger warnings of eating disorders.
Okay, so I still can’t believe that I am titling a Friday Faves post with the word September in it. 2022 just flew by, everyone. That said, I am excited that for the upcoming three-day weekend, and a chance to watch some television shows. But first, let’s share some of my favorites from the week!
Julia: Thanks to my mother in law to be, I became obsessed with this show. It tells the story of Julia Child as she starts her TV. I am on episode four and I am obsessed with the show. Yes, this is yet another show that I probably shouldn’t start as I’m watching so many at once but that’s okay.
If and Only If: Experience College In Her Running Shoes by C. S. McKinney: This was a solid five star read and I’m not going to say much as a review is to come on this amazing novel.
Amazon Flats:These are the most comfortable and most affordable flats I’ve ever owned. In fact, I actually have four pairs because these are just so good. I recommend them to anyone who is looking out for a basic on a budget. And, the quality has been holding up to date.
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman: This has been on my TBR for the last three years and probably on my mashed potato reading list for the last couple of years. I finally got to it this week and I am so obsessed with the book. And I want to read more of Abbi Waxman’s backlog. The novel is about Nina Hill, a 29 year old introvert who would rather read books at home alone than interact with people. Nina soon learns that she has a dad, well a dad that tried to get to know her, and a family who is curious to know her. It was a great warm and fuzzy romance and I highly recommend reading this one.
Alex and Ani Pull Chain Bracelets: I was in the market for dainty pieces for fall and stumbled across these bracelets on Amazon. And, I’m obsessed. I’ve added a few bracelets to my stacks, including the moon, evil eye, path of life and the elephant. I can already see them being a part of my fall and winter stacks.
Come stay at an island getaway where you can forget all of your worries. The longer you stay, the harder it will be to leave…
Lady Angeline didn’t seem to follow the path that the other ladies did in her town. In the 1800’s, most would have been married off while Angeline found independence and freedom through working closely with her father at his shop. When the deal of a lifetime seemingly falls into their laps, they are quick to take it and start their own inn on an enchanted island. At first glance, everything was perfectly normal until the truths of the island’s cursed nature is revealed in the night. After repeatedly ignoring the warnings from the land’s natives, she falls in love with someone she would’ve least expected to. As Angeline assists her father in the inn’s grand opening masquerade ball, she struggles to grasp reality and finds that there are very few she can actually trust.
Mystery. Immortals. Secret love. What does that mean? It means that Connecticut based author Marissa D’Angelo is back with yet another historical fiction installment of the Charles Island series.
This time, we follow main character Angeline, a young woman who is ahead of her time. While most of the women are married and pregnant at a young age, she is intellect, curious and a business woman. She writes in her journal in solitude. She tags along with her father to purchase an inn on an mysterious island. However, there is a hidden secret on the mysterious island, and not everything is what it seems. There is a secret that lingers into the air and Angeline is determined to find it.
However, that is not the only thing that is in the air. Angeline is fascinated with local Calian, and the two begin a semi secret romance. But, with George — the person whose family previously owned the inn — acting as if he’s entitled to her, that may be tricky.
Okay so I have some opinions on this installment of the series. This, by far, was my favorite of all D’Angelo’s bibliography. There was a ton of action — between the romance between Angeline and Calian, the altercations between Angeline and George, and the sweet moments between Angeline and her father.
The Cursed Inn has many of the common themes that have appeared in the previous installments of the series. This includes the importance of family, death of a loved one, and of course, curiosity. Angeline was curious about the island’s secret, and what was behind that very curse. What was unique about this particular installment was that the mother was deceased versus the father (something that was common in the rest of them). That said, Angeline and her father were extremely close. She noted that her father “treated her as her equal.” And, you can see the development of that relationship throughout the course of the novel.
Now, let’s talk about the romance. Although it was not the center of the novel — the grand opening of the Inn and the Island’s secrets certainly were — I loved seeing Angeline find love. This is something that she has been searching for for years. In fact, the novel opens with her watching couples get married and looking for a relationship that truly lasts. Angeline was drawn to Calian from afar and the two got closer. Calian even got the approval to marry her from her dad, which was amazing.
That said, there was some other conflict other than the mystery of the island. Many of the inn’s employees — James, Alice, and Mary — seem to have a scary secret behind them. And, as I mentioned, there is George. As I said earlier, George is the stereotype of the spoiled rich kid. You see it in his mannerisms. You see in the way he treats people. There is something that is off about him, and readers quickly grow to hate him. I know I did.
Out of all of the installments of this one is definitely one of my favorite reads. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. That said, I do want to warn you that this has a trigger warning for rape.
*Please note: I received an ARC (advanced reader’s copy) in exchange for my honest review. That said, all opinions are my own.
Happy Sunday, everyone! We are back with yet another What I Wore This Week. This week has a few different purses that I wore throughout the week. The first is the Coach Jules Hobo Bag, the second is the Marc Jacobs The Tote Bag, and the third is the Coach Gallery Tote Bag. This week’s post only discusses Monday through Friday, so all of these styles are perfect for the office. I also wanted to point out that many of these pieces are pieces that I’ve had for years. Therefore, I am not sure if I am going to be able to link them.
Monday was a day of introducing new pieces and playing around with them. I purchases these comfy pants off of Amazon, and I love having a khaki option to mix around with all of my black pieces. Last Sunday, my fiancé and I went to a TJ Maxx, where I picked up this Calvin Klein dress shirt. I also paired it with an off white Madewell cardigan (here’s a similar one here), which has been on my wardrobe for the last few years. And of course, I paired this with a T Jazelle Stack which consisted of the Evil Eye, the Sunflower, the One Step at a Time, and the Moonstone Cancer).
This outfit is super simple. I am wearing my Birksenstocks and paired it with a fun dress from Banana Republic from a few years back. When all else fails, dresses and cute sandals are my go-to.
On this day, I had training. So I grabbed a pair of linen pants from Calvin Klein, and the dress shirt from Calvin Klein. As for my sandals, I wore a pair of Steve Madden slides as well. They are on sale at Nordstrom Rack, and I really love how comfortable they are!
Another day, another dress. I wore one of my favorite dresses from Athleta and paired it with the Steve Madden sandals. So easy, so comfy. And of course, I had a stack of T Jazelle Bracelets, which are the onyx lock, the sun and moon, the lightning bolt, and the zodiac.
Happy Friday everyone! I am so excited for the weekend, because I have nothing planned. I have so many style favorites that I am sharing, and I am so excited to pass these along to you. So, without further adue, here are this week’s favorites!
Coach Tech Wallet: I have been using the same wallet pretty much since 2020, and have been on the hunt for a wristlet option. I came across the tech wallet at Coach and knew I had to have it. I started out just using it on some days but soon enough began using it daily. I recommend it for errands as it does hold an iPhone 11 Pro, but also just as a daily wallet.
Coach Jules Hobo: I got this using my birthday coupon and at first, I didn’t use it. I decided to break it out once I started using my tech wallet and I am obsessed with it. I love that you can use it as a true hobo or get a crossbody strap for the bag. It also holds a ton and makes a great work bag.
Birkenstocks: I have been wearing these for over three summers and this year, I decided to invest in a black pair. I’ve had them all summer but lately these have been my go tos.
Meant to Be Mine by Hannah Orenstein: I found a new favorite author, folks. I am obsessing over Love at First Like now, and am enjoying that book as well. That said, this book was so good that I was not able to put it down. It is about Edie, a stylist whose grandma “predicted” the day that she would meet the one. On that day, she meets Theo. She quickly falls for him thinking he’s the one. However, the two may not be a good match. Like I said, this book was light and fluffy and everything I needed.
Steve Madden Shoes: Steve Madden’s shoes have been killing it lately. I recently purchased these from Nordstrom Rack and have been loving them. They are comfortable and they are dressier than my Birkenstocks are. I still rotate between the two pairs but I really love these as well.
I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jeannette McCurdy: I was a huge fan of iCarly when I was a kid. After hearing the hype, I decided to check the book out for myself. I am loving it so far. It is definitely worth the read for sure.