28th Birthday Wishlist

I’m finally going to have a mask-free birthday this time around and I’ve decided to take my PTO to coincide with it so we getting litty this year 🥳

As always, do not feel obligated to get me anything (unless you are a certain person lying on the couch next to me as I start to write this, you know what I want and it’s not on this list!). I simply make these lists for the purpose of having blog content.

In any case, here’s my 28th birthday wishlist:

1. Cheetah Roller Skate Laces: I fully intend to try to get back on my skates this month. Even if I have to bandage myself up in KT tape. Longer laces will make feel a bit more secure if I can tie them around my ankle a few times as my current ones are a bit on the shorter side.

2. Roller Skate Bag: I’m thinking about going into NYC to skate at Flippers when I’m feeling more confident about skating again (most likely in September) so instead of traveling with a huge bookbag it might be nice to have a special skate bag to carry my roller skates in.

3. JBL Bluetooth Earbuds: The Bluetooth pair I use at home are terrible so I’ve been in the market for new earbuds for some time now.

4. Color or Black & White 35mm Film: I’ve been getting into film and have shot a few expired rolls so far but nothing fresh so it would be cool to see how my photos look on non-expired film. (I like Kodak Gold 🤩)

5. Mari by Marsai Nails: Marsai is my celebrity doppelganger so I def should get these in every color at some point.

6. Freeze Dried Skittles and Jolly Rounds: I saw these in Rachel Ballinger’s video and now I’m curious to try them myself.

7. Black Girl Magic Wine: You can never have too much podcast wine, right?

8. Greek Seasoning Olive Oil: I saw this company at an expo a few years back and always wondered how cool it would be to cook with their flavored oils.

9. Tea Forte Presentation Box: I recently tried the Ginger Lemongrass flavor at an event and the teabags are so cute with the little leaves on them!

Don’t forget to use Rakuten if you’re doing any shopping online!

Spring Cleaning 2022 Playlist

Before we begin this playlist, I just want to note that I had all the songs planned out for this in March 2020 right when the pandemic shut everything down and made life miserable. I held off on posting it until we weren’t all going stir crazy right now, so by the time I went back to the playlist I couldn’t remember my reasoning for a few of the songs on it 😅

Also had planned to do a roller skating playlist this spring but I rolled my ankle on day 11 of re-relearning to roller skate after a 15+ year hiatus. So there went that.

In any case, we are now in almost completely mask-free endemic phase, with spring weather hovering in the high 40s. Not pleased with the amount of freeze warnings still happening but it’s now the perfect time to stay indoors to do some spring cleaning.

Enjoy dancing around the house in cleaning gloves with these jams:

1. Hello (ft. Rejjie Snow), Clairo. Hello spring, but also hello to the pollen and other dust allergens.

2. Sugar Daddy, Qveen Herby. Time to don your favorite outfit for a bougie Qveen Herby-esque cleaning sesh.

3. Shock Horror (ft. JONES), Shy Luv. For when you’re both shocked and horrified at the amount of grime that accumulated in hard to reach corners over the last year.

4. House of Cards, Radiohead. My favorite song to partner dance with the broom to.

5. LAVA, Still Woozy. For those of you cleaning both before and after the spring break parties like the one in this music video, my heart goes out to you.

6. Aftershock, Summer Heart. You don’t really realize how much dirt you cleaned until the never ending task of rinsing out the reusable Swiffer rag.

7. Fake It, jesse saint john. Fake your desire to clean until you start feeling like you actually want to (or until you’re done cleaning, whichever comes first).

8. Extra Fresh, Birocratic. A beat to help get your space looking extra fresh.

9. Machine, Lemaitre. This one goes out to all the Roombas.

10. Kimono House, Ruby Empress. Looking forward to lounging around in a kimono when the place is finally all cleaned up.

11. Under the Sheets, Ellie Goulding. Don’t forget to put on some fresh sheets to bask your tired body in after cleaning.

12. April, Blowsom. Closing out April groovy and squeaky clean!

Cheers to a clean spring!

Book Review: ‘Unraveling Magic’ by G.H. Kohn

A former coworker of mine gifted me Unraveling Magic by G.H. Kohn, a book she edited, several months ago. I finished it around Valentine’s Day and have finally found some time during spring break to give my review.

Full disclosure: I had not read a book of the fantasy genre since Lauren Kate’s Fallen series ended in 2015, so I was unsure what to expect from this book as I don’t read fantasy much anymore.

Unraveling Magic focuses on the life of New York City resident Liu Bao Webster, a Crafter who made a pact with what he calls an elf. The elves are crystalline beings made of chemical compounds who give crafters assignments. The reasoning behind the assignments is never really explained to the Crafter receiving the instruction. All they know is that their crafting power is meant to serve the greater good of the world, and the elves, who only reveal themselves to people of their choosing (they are otherwise invisible).

Liu Bao’s craft is creating knot spells. It helps him do cool superhero-esque things such as pulling rugs from beneath villains and escape a burning building with water absorbing knots used on a large blanket that he drapes over him after submerging it and himself in a huge sink. The latter is one of my favorite scenes in the book.

Liu Boa is tasked with figuring out who killed the elf that Congresswoman Tahira Farouk made a pact with. Her name for the elves is mala’ikah, which is explained when Liu Bao refers to the deceased being as an elf, leaving her confused as to who he is referring to. Each Crafter has their own name for the elves.

The story becomes a huge who-dunnit, taking various twists and turns as the Crafters navigate New York City with a dangerous murderer wreaking havoc on the loose. Murder is a serious crime to the elves, and the plot becomes more intense each time there is an incident involving death while Liu Bao is working to figure out who is to blame for killing the congresswoman’s elf.

There are three things I really love about this book:

  1. Each chapter begins with an epigraph, be it a word of the day formatted as a dictionary entry, a chatroom message thread, or an excerpt from a news article. I love epigraphs, as they are great for setting the mood.
  2. The characters are very diverse. Liu Bao Webster himself is mixed race (Asian and Caucasian) and other characters in the book are of various races, including Hispanic and African-American. Liu Bao’s ex-girlfriend, Scotch Bonnet, is described as a tall woman with “clear brown eyes […] “tightly curled […] orange hair and ochre skin.” I’m convinced that she is a Bond girl who makes wound healing smoothies.
  3. Building on the above, the descriptions of the characters in action is so relatable. Liu Bao is sort of an awkward loner who doesn’t really like to hang out with his other Crafter friends outside of their crafting assignments. After blowing one of them off, there is a scene where he says the “rain is killing [his] glasses,” causing him to not see where he is going and walk straight into a lamppost. As a fellow four eyes, I loved this.

Overall I would give this book 4 stars. My reasoning is purely subjective, as I prefer romance fantasy novels while this read more like a superhero fantasy with a bit of a love story and some dirty politics sprinkled in. Nonetheless, I did enjoy it more than I expected to.

Check out Unraveling Magic on lulu.com.

Mid-Winter 2022 Waiting Mini Mix

I meant to write this post last week but I was too busy relaxing 😅

While there is still some ice on the ground from the last time it snowed in the Northeast, it looks as though the weather is warming up (save for a few 20°F nights).

I’m so ready for spring. While I wait for the next season to arrive, I’ll be jammin’ out indoors on my roller skates to this mini mix of songs with the theme of longing.

1. Waited 4 U, Slow Magic. Let’s start this period of longing with a somber electronic beat.

2. Every Breath You Take, The Police. Looking forward to not being able to see every breath I take in the form of condensation.

3. Wait a Minute!, Willow Smith. Couldn’t forget this TikTok gem.

4. Waiting for Tonight, Jennifer Lopez. Don’t mind me, just waiting in ’90s nostalgia.

5. Wait for You, Elliott Yamin. “I’ll be waiting…”

6. Blankets, DWNTWN. Ready to trade these heavy winter blankets for some lighter spring linens.

7. I’ve Been Waiting, Dear David. Indeed we all have “been waiting so long.”

8. If You’re Gone, Matchbox Twenty. It’s time to come home, spring.

Spring 2022 better hurry up.

Pantone Very Peri Valentine’s Day 2022 Gift Guide

*AFFLIATE LINK

Pantone’s 2022 Color of the Year, Very Peri, is very serene and inviting. Very Peri is a purple-ish blue hue (hence the peri, which is short for “periwinkle”) that looks super radiant without going over the top.

As noted on Instagram, the color is quite similar to my favorite Filipino dessert, ube!

If you’re looking to treat your lady (or yourself) this Valentine’s Day, consider a gift in the shade Very Peri to encourage calm vibes in 2022.

1. Matching Pajama Set, Saks Off 5th, $65.00. Get cozy in this two-piece pajama set.

2. Double Tear Earrings, Roxanne Assoulin, $90.00. Very Peri classic teardrop earrings for a night out on the town.

3. iPad Tablet Case, Zazzle, $44.95. Protect your tablet with this simple striped case.

4. Leaf Backpack, Society6, $59.99. A cute backpack for work or school to carry all your essentials.

5. Retro Flower Travel Mug, Society6, $32.99. Keep your coffee, hot chocolate or tea warm in this retro patterned mug.

6. Daisy Print Crew Socks, Forever21, $3.49. Your toesies will love staying warm on a cold night in these adorable socks.

7. Studded Clutch Bag, Bridgette’s Boutique, $39.00. Jazz up your outfit with this stylish clutch.

8. Microfiber Weighted Throw Blanket, Walmart, $32.97. Curl up with a book while you enjoy the warmth of your weighted blanket this winter.

9. Star Bath Bomb, ULTA, $8.00. Relax like the star you are in a warm bath with a fun bath bomb.

10. Wall Hanging, Society6, $31.99. Bring some pizazz to your space with this gorgeous wall hanging.

*Be sure to use Rakuten for $30 cashback on your Valentine’s Day shopping!

Let’s Catch Up + Cliclime Review

*SPONSORED

Since I haven’t uploaded to my YouTube channel for AGES, I figured I’d update you all on some recent happenings before I jump back into uploading content.

Cliclime was kind enough to send me two complimentary pairs of stylish glasses for me to review in the video.

As many of my close friends have heard me complain, I HATE wearing contact lenses but I love wearing sunglasses in warm weather. I definitely don’t love the idea of trying to walk around wearing my prescription lenses under a pair of sunglasses either. 🙅🏽‍♀️

I was so ecstatic to discover Cliclime’s Jones frame, which comes with a magnetic clip-on that turns clear lenses into dark shades in seconds!

Cliclime Jones glasses frame with magnetic clip-on
Magnetic clip-on turns these specs into prescription sunglasses instantly!

It’s perfect for switching from clear lenses to dark sunglasses quickly on days when you’re walking around both indoors and outdoors. Can’t wait to wear these in the spring and summer!

I also received the pair Nora in the color Petal Tortoise. It features a gorgeous dark gray floral pattern on a pinkish-tan background. Nora also comes in Black, Clear, and Champagne.

Cliclime Nora Petal Tortoise glasses
I love how fun the Petal Tortoise pattern looks on these Nora frames.

I can’t tell which pair I love more.

My two pairs of glasses came with an orange Cliclime drawstring bag, glasses cases, lens cloths and a double-sided tool to tighten the screws on the frames.

cliclime.com glasses tool
One of Cliclime’s lens cloths and a double-sided tool to tighten glasses frames.

My only critique of Cliclime is the strange plastic wrap packaging that was placed over the lenses, which got caught in the hinges as I tried to remove it from the glasses.

Cliclime’s selection features both clear eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses, as well as anti-fog lenses and blue light glasses. I’d definitely recommend you check out the site if you’re in the market for new specs.

Use the code Dana for 40% off of your order at cliclime.com!

cliclime.com glasses

2021’s Best in Music

It’s that time of the year again!

Even though the last two years have been nothing but hell, music got many of us through it all. Let’s pay homage to some of my favorite songs, albums, and artists of 2021:

1. “Surprise Surprise”, Andrew Belle, Nightshade. It is no secret that my obsession with Andrew Belle multiplied tenfold this year.

2. “Oh My God”, Adele, 30. I forgot how versatile her voice truly is.

3. “Need to Know”, Doja Cat, Planet Her. All hail Queen Doja.

4. “Starlight (Taylor’s Version)”, Taylor Swift, Red (Taylor’s Version). I feel like I’m a teenager again hearing these songs.

5. “Abracadabra”, Qveen Herby, Halloqveen. Magic.

6. “New Light”, John Mayer, Sob Rock. A classic.

7. “Feels Right,” Roosevelt, Polydans. Indeed, it does.

8. “Lost Cause”, Aly & AJ, a touch of the beat gets you up on your feet gets you out and then into the sun. Hoping 2022 isn’t a lost cause like the last two years.

9. “Animal”, Kye Kye, Arya. KYE KYE IS BACK!

10. “Die for You (ft. Dominic Fike)”, Justin Bieber, Justice. He’s still got it.

11. “Softly,” Amber Mark, Softly. I need to see her live in concert soon.

12. “Pink Noise”, Laura Mvula, Pink Noise. Issa party!

Have a happy and safe New Year!

Friday Night Lights | Poppin’ Bottles & Culture

Our season finale (and last episode of the year) features a special guest! Join us as David helps Meggy and I talk about football bromances, Michael Strahan in Magic Mike, and more!

Consider a donation to our bottle fund.