9/29/16

Book Haulin' - Book Depository



I love instant gratification. Sometimes I have a tendency to lack patience, and while I love shopping online, sometimes I get a bit impatient about receiving my order. Book Depository is not a site which ships rather fast. However, they are a site that offers an awesome selection of books, at excellent (competitive) prices, and free bookmarks (I seem to always lose mine so this is a nice touch)!

I also find that I like shopping at Book Depository not only because of their free shipping on EVERY order, but also because I can get covers not easily accessible here in the States. If you're a book nerd like I am, then you might understand. Sometimes, there's just a particular cover that I like more than others, dammit!

Since I recently placed a decent sized order from Book Depository, I figured I'd share what I picked up with you all:


We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - I've wanted to read this for awhile and when I saw the revamped covers available, I figured now was a good time to grab them.

Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank - I'm embarrased to admit that I have never read this book. I've wanted to, and I just never had. So now I own it and hopefully I'll get to it before the years end!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling - I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, and I've read the books over and over. I picked this up because I'm slowly trying to collect the entire series in this particular printing. I just really like the style!

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini - This was a random purchase simply based on the synopsis I read online. Sometimes I like to pick a random book or two!

The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez - Same deal as the book above, I came across it randomly when exploring the Book Depository site and the synopsis got me!


Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - This is another book I've wanted to read for awhile and when I saw the newer covers, I decided to grab it. I just really like the simplistic design!

If you've never ordered from Book Depository before, I would highly recommend them! Shipping can take some time, but they're a really great online bookshop! They also recently revamped their website and it's super easy to navigate now! :)  ...and no, this post is not sponsored!

I'm waiting on another Book Depository order because when it comes to books, I can't stop, won't stop! I'd love to know what you're reading, or what you've picked up lately, so please share in the comments!

9/27/16

I see that train a comin'... Advocating for a train station at the Central Terminal in Buffalo



Our nations history often follows the track of innovation. Railroads helped to build this country. There was a time where we relied on them to carry people, food, raw materials…etc. There was also a time where travelling by train was actually seen as glamorous. In our modern society however, it seems like we have fallen off the tracks. I think its easy to see why train travel isn’t always selected as a first choice: It’s fairly expensive, it isn’t the fastest option, routes are sometimes lacking or don’t offer enough trains, and schedules can frequently be unreliable.

Here in my hometown of Buffalo, we have two Amtrak stations. One station sits out in the suburbs and is fairly busy – I’ve been here a few times as a passenger. The other station I personally have visited once…and only once – years ago. It resides downtown off the beaten path behind our baseball stadium. When I went there, it was to pick up my sister who was visiting during the summer. I didn’t have a car at the time, and my sister didn’t have a cell phone (again this was at least ten years ago!). The station? It was closed. There was literally no one around, and no place to wait. It was hot and her train? It was delayed nearly three hours. I had also drunk too much coffee as per usual, which made the experience all the more enjoyable! >_<

Since then, I’ve essentially acted as if we only have one Amtrak station. Our downtown station is wildly inadequate. It’s inaccessible and in my opinion, it’s unsafe. There’s no place for people to escape the weather (be it hot or cold), no access to bathrooms, and no security. There’s no way to know if a train is delayed, or early. Nada. To make matters worse, recently, the station was damaged during a heavy rain and they announced that the station was closed until further notice….I would argue that it comes from neglect…




Now it might seem like a rather strange story to share here on my blog, but when I heard of a recent proposition to build a new train station, I had to share my thoughts. The dire reality that is our current train station has been a frequent topic of discussion between my sister and I. She really loves trains, and I really like history so we often find ourselves passionately discussing what we would do in terms of our transportation woes in this area (among other things!). 

The recent discussion regarding building a new station comes as no surprise. Buffalo has been steadily picking itself back up after years of economic challenge, and is more vibrant and alive than ever before. With the success of Canalside, it’s not at all surprising, that anyone would want to increase accessibility to our downtown region, for both natives and visitors alike. Our current station is an embarrassment, especially in contrast with the many great things that have been happening here. So when I heard that Brian Higgins was suggesting we need to build a new station, I ran to my computer to find out more!




Higgins is advocating that we consider building a new station now, rather than later. Apparently, the two primary locations being considered are Canalside and The Central Terminal. In my opinion, this is a no brainer. The Central Terminal was a train station!!! The same architect who worked on Grand Central Station designed the gorgeous art deco building! The Central Terminal was built for the New York Central Railroad and served as a station for over forty years from 1929 through 1979. Now? It sees some tours, some odd parties and otherwise sits…. waiting for it’s second chance. There have been talks, about utilizing the building for living space, shopping, office spaces, etc. But for some reason, the idea of utilizing a train station, as a train station has largely been absent from the chatter.

The idea of building a station by Canalside is not a horrible idea, but in my opinion, it’s nearly insulting when we have a historical building just lying in wait. The Central Terminal resides away from the main downtown area, which could help to keep traffic congestion at bay. The terminal could even be used as a traffic hub; with busses and taxis (*cough* *cough* Uber?? *cough* *cough*) ready to service residents and visitors alike.

The Central Terminal and Grand Central station are almost like cousins… it would be great if we looked at Grand Central as an inspiration. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to pick up a coffee from a café, grab a paper from a newsstand and then board your Amtrak train to New York in a gorgeous 1920s art deco facility??

In today’s reality, you can only stand outside waiting for your train and hope it doesn’t rain…or worse: snow.

9/26/16

September 2016 - Monthly Favorites

 F A V O R I T E S

I haven't done a favorites post in awhile, and I feel like this month I discovered (or rediscovered) a lot of great things worth sharing. So without any further blabbing, here are my September favorites:




Pacifica Rainbow Top Coat- This month I was finally able to try out Pacifica nail polishes.When I first heard they were coming out with a line of polishes, I was instantly intrigued and I wanted to try them out. I initially thought Target would be carrying them, but they never did and in all honesty, the Pacifica selection at my local target is not only incredibly underwhelming, but its always a trashed mess. Earlier this month I was browsing Ulta and I came across the Pacifica polishes in store. I was excited to be able to actually see the shades in store rather than having to buy them online and picked up a bunch of shades to try out. I'm considering doing a stand alone post all about the Pacifica nail polish line, but the polish I absolutely loved this month was definitely the rainbow top coat. This polish is CRAZY!! It's a gorgeous shimmery, sort of duo-chrome-y super fine gray-toned iridescent top coat that goes on amazingly well with impressive coverage (how's that for a description??). I used a gray color underneath, but I don't know if I even needed to with the way this polish performs. It also lasts really, really well, and comes off easy with none of that regret that glitter polishes can cause when you're battling to take them off and going through half a packet of cotton rounds. This polish is a total win!

Wegmans Popcorn - Much to the discontent of my teeth, I really love popcorn. This is nothing new, but this month I've been really enjoying the organic bagged popcorn from Wegmans, that is made with Himalayan sea salt and olive oil. It's a more guilt free snack, is usually super fresh and perfectly oiled and salted. It's the perfect snack for my late night Golden Girls/Frasier sessions. Sometimes it is difficult to put the bag down, but hey, there's worse things to snack on! If you have a Wegmans near you, I suggest you try this stuff if you haven't already!

Alaffia Lavender Spice Soap - I really, really, really, hope this is not a seasonal item. If it is though, I'm going to want to stock up!!! Alaffia is one of my favorite brands and this soap is soooo good. The smell is just incredible and I can't get enough of it. It's also just a really decent soap and doesn't leave my hands feeling super dry. But seriously - it's the smell that wins here. Lavender is an alright scent on its own, but this pairing is cozy and smoky and perfect for Fall! It's also super affordable, and cruelty free!

Hedwig soundtrack from the movie - This is the music I've had on loop all month. I'm currently taking a course that explores cultural diversity through musicals, so I blame that class, but this is just a really great soundtrack. I would have loved to see Hedwig on the stage! My favorite song is definitely Origin of Love - it's an incredible epic told through song.

OCHO chocolatates - In a recent post, I discussed the world of chocolate and how I was going to try and purchase only fair trade chocolates. This month in my search for some good chocolate alternatives, I came across OCHO at Target. I picked up their coconut and peanut butter ones. The coconut ones are definitely the winners (No hate against the peanut butter). They're like a mounds bar with a conscience (one of my favorite chocolates). They're not only fair trade and organic, but they're also gluten free, which is great as I've given up gluten about a month ago. If you find yourself in a Target (who doesn't??), I suggest you give this brand a try!! They make some awesome chocolates and without any of the bag ju-ju associated with the chocolate industry!

Years by Bartholomäus Traubeck - I was listening to NPR earlier this month and they were discussion a man who had produced music through the use of tree rings from a variety of different woods in an Austrian forrest. Sounds crazy, right? Well, you've got to listen to this music! It's bizarre, haunting and just plain incredible. My favorite track is Picea (Ash).




Dinato DiCamillo photography - The photography this man creates is haunting, but in a good way. Dinato taught himself photography while he was incarcerated, and upon his release, has really honed his craft. I strongly urge you to check out his Instagram feed. He captures aspects of society which so many choose to ignore, or simply do not consider. His work is poignant.

 I'd love to know what you enjoyed this month - I welcome you to leave your favorites in the comments! 

9/19/16

Monday Fall Premieres - Big Bang Theory & Kevin Can Wait (No Spoilers)

I'm not sure how clear I've made this so far on the blog, but I love TV. Seriously. I really really love TV. I'm not a movie girl really, but I can binge watch TV for hours. Honestly, I used to feel embarrassed for how much I can get into a TV show but I've tried to shed the self-judgement. I'm a total fan girl when I really like a show. Tonight were the first season premieres of the season for me, and I thought I'd share my thoughts on the two show that I watched tonight: The Big Bang Theory, and Kevin Can Wait.



The Big Bang Theory - For some reason, this show gets a lot of hate, and I truly don't get it. I love this show. It's funny, it's nerdy, it's got that sitcom cheese that I love. It hits all the marks for me personally, and even now in its tenth season, it still has me laughing out loud. Tonight's premiere, did just that. There were plenty of great quips going back and forth among the characters and the show had the comfortable feel that I've gotten used to over the many years of being a loyal fan. I can't wait to see where this season takes us (and it'd be great if CBS would keep it on Mondays!!). 10/10



Kevin Can Wait - Kevin Can Wait was a series premiere of a new sitcom featuring a family headed by Kevin James. I absolutely loved watching The King of Queens, and have been a fan of Kevin James ever since. I was excited to see that Kevin had a new sitcom in the works and made a reminder to check out the pilot when it aired. So tonight I sat down to watch Kevin James and his make believe family yet again. I wanted to like this show, and I'm hoping that since it was a pilot, that maybe the first episode was merely a bumpy ride. Kevin's character was the glue that held this show together and without him, I think it would have really been a big fail. In general, the show felt like more of an ABC/Disney esque show (take that as you will), rather than a prime-time sitcom. In general, it just felt too cheese and fell flat for me. I'll likely give it another chance, but so far it's not so great... 4/10