Gift Guide: Best Book Subscriptions

The best gifts are the ones that keep on giving–which is why a monthly subscription service featuring books makes a great gift for any bookworm in your life.

A lot of these were started by fellow book lovers, who know and understand what readers get excited about, including unique art, special editions, and book-themed goodies.

A few to check out below:

FairyLoot

FairyLoot focuses on Young Adult Fantasy, and their book box includes a newly released special edition title and a few book-related things that tie into a different theme every month. Their special editions are gorgeous, and some can be bought separately in the Fairy Trove.

Illumicrate

Illumicrate is a monthly subscription service with two options: you can choose to receive only a book every month or to receive the full book box. They sometimes offer special edition books and also have Debut Boxes, which features new debut authors. This service features primarily books in the Fantasy and Sci-Fi genre.

Book of the Month

Book of the Month features mostly Fiction books (aimed for adults). Book of the Month is cool because they give you the option of several different books to choose from every month, with options to buy more than one book or to skip the month completely.

The Picture Book Club

The Picture Book Club is aimed for babies and children (ages 0-7). It makes a great gift for parents and children alike, and of course, encourages an early love of reading.

Fae Crate

Fae Crate is another book box that primarily features Young Adult Fantasy and Sci-Fi novels. It comes with fun book-themed objects that all center around a monthly theme. There’s three subscription options, which provides a little more flexibilty.

OwlCrate and OwlCrate Jr.

OwlCrate is awesome because they have two different options for a wide range of readers. OwlCrate Jr. is aimed for middle school readers (ages 8-12), while the regular OwlCrate version is aimed for ages 14+, featuring Young Adult books (which anyone can read!).

Gift Guide: Best Books for Fantasy Lovers

It has been months since I’ve written a blog post. 2020 has just been the craziest year, and naturally, blogging got pushed to the side.

But today, I’m back with *many* book recs. This is the first post in my book gift guides series, and I’m so excited to share gift ideas for the book lovers in your life (or you!)

And since fantasy is my all-time favorite genre, that’s what I’m starting with.

Serpent & Dove

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I read Serpent & Dove earlier this year, and it was so good I read it in less than 24 hours. It was amazing, and one of the best books I’ve read this year, if not the best. Shelby Mahurin perfectly captures the emotions of her characters, and weaves an intriguing plot and romance. And I’m a sucker for any book with an enemies-to-lovers romance.

Recommend this for ages 16+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

witches, magic, romance, funny dialogue, plot twists, family drama, lots of tension, stories with two different perspectives.

The Cruel Prince

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I just finished The Wicked King a few days ago, and this is on track to becoming one of my new favorite series! Another book featuring an enemies-to-lovers romance, lots of magic, Fae, and a kickass heroine.

Recommend this for ages 15+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

magic, humor, heroines that kick a lot of ass, faeries, magical world building, and romance (but nothing too explicit that younger audiences wouldn’t be able to read it).

A Court of Thorns and Roses

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Sarah J. Maas writes really captivating fantasy with extensive worldbuilding, chracters you’d follow anywhere (especially the main character!), and of course, great character romances. This book series also dives deep in mental illness, which I really liked. When I was reading this book, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and immediately bought the next two books in the trilogy.

Recommend this for ages 18+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

magic, faeries, extensive world building, character-driven stories, heroines that kick a lot of ass, and lots of romance (gets pretty steamy so would not recommend for younger audiences. Also a lot of violence, so keep that in mind).

The Starless Sea

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Erin Morgenstern has an amazing imagination, and I will read anything she writes. I first read Night Circus by her (also in this post) and I loved it. But The Starless Sea is an absolute must-read for hardcore fantasy lovers. It starts off a little slow, but Morgenstern weaves all of these different plots together that perfectly make sense at a certain point in the story. Combine this a dreamy underground magical world, intriguing characters, and a LGBTQ+ romance at the center.

Recommend this for ages 18+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

lots of magic, character-driven stories, mystery and intrigue, magical worlds, and stories with different perspectives.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

One of my favorite books of all time. Laini Taylor writes beautifully, and creates these really amazing worlds and characters. This book has some great reveals that’ll make you not want to put this book down.

Recommend this for ages 16+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

mystery and intrigue, plot twists, magical worlds, angels, unique magical creatures, and romance.

Strange the Dreamer

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And speaking of Laini Taylor, she also has Strange the Dreamer (and Muse of Nightmares, the follow-up to this story) which is a really beautiful story about two different characters that completely suck you in and you just can’t wait for them to meet each other. It will also probably break your heart, but it’s completely worth it (and the second book makes up for it!). The world she creates for this book is also amazing, and I wish I had an imagination like Taylor’s.

Recommend this for ages 17+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

a very cute romance, magical worlds, intriguing characters, plot twists, and stories that break your heart but in the best way.

Night Circus

As mentioned earlier, Night Circus made me into a big fan of Erin Morgenstern. This book combines history, lots of magical circus imagery, magic itself, and a seemingly impossible romance. It’ll definitely have you guessing until the end.

Recommend this for ages 17+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

magic, intriguing characters, forbidden romance, magicians, magical circuses, amazing prose, and an epic plot.

Basically anything by Cassandra Clare.

Cassandra Clare has a LOT of books, and I have read a lot of them, so I’m just going to throw them all here. First and foremost, I reccommend reading her Infernal Devices series, which is her best, in my opinion. She really has a talent for creating these lovable and memorable characters that you can’t get enough of. She also has lots of LGBTQ+ representation in her books (which is great!), with the exception of Infernal Devices.

Other recommendations: her Dark Artifices series and The Mortal Instruments series.

Recommend this for ages 15+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

angels, demons, cool world building that exists within our own world, chracter-driven stories, forbidden romance, and an original premise.

Red Queen

Love this series! I really enjoy Mare as a main character, and the premise of this series. The first book is a little bit hard to get through because of writing style, but the plot twist at the end makes you want to keep reading, and every book just gets better. Also talks about mental illness in an accurate way (more in the second book), which is something I always appreciate in books.

Reccomend this for ages 15+

You’ll like it if you’re interested in…

characters with unique powers, power struggles, hidden identities, plot twists, and great characters.

Honorable mentions: Lord of the Rings (classic), The Hobbit (also classic and better than LOTD in my opinion), Harry Potter (obviously classic as well even though JKR sucks as a person), Throne of Glass series, Crescent City, Tithe, and Caravel.

How to Style a Button-Up Shirt During Summer

The button-up shirt: an iconic, timeless closet staple that you can pair with almost anything else you own. Button-up shirts just might be my favorite piece, and are my go-to top for work. You can dress them up with a skirt or dress pants, or dress them down by tucking into jeans or shorts. You can even throw a button-up over your swimsuit and ~voila~ you have a super chic look.

While I could write odes to the classic button-up shirt, I figured it would be better to show you a few different ways to style it instead. Once you figure out all the possibilities one top has to offer, you’re never going back.

Continue reading How to Style a Button-Up Shirt During Summer

How to Style a Casual Mini Dress

Ah, sundress season. It’s how we wave hello to summer through our clothes. In college, I wore dresses whenever an occassion even remotely called for it. Date night? Dress. Dinner with friends? Dress. It was just so easy to put on a dress and feel put-together without that much hassle.

Continue reading How to Style a Casual Mini Dress

How to Wear Wide Leg Jeans

Oof, I have not written a blog post in a long time. With the combined pressures of quarantine and life changes, I’ve been more focused on other things. Despite all of that, I’ve been using my creativity to take @thegirlinpursuit Instagram to a new level, which I’m pretty proud of.

One of my main reasons for keeping up with this blog and my blog’s Instagram is helping people figure out different ways to wear clothes they already have/trends they might want to try. Last summer, I tried on a pair of cropped wide leg pants and absolutely loved them. I was definitely intimidated at first, but decided to buy them and now I have three pairs of wide leg pants that go with most of my wardrobe.

Continue reading How to Wear Wide Leg Jeans

3 Ways to Wear Pink This Spring

For pink enthusiasts, hesitant pink wearers, and everyone inbetween. Pink can be such a fun color to wear, but can also be a turn-off for a lot of people. Here’s three simple ways to wear different shades of the color for spring (and spring outfit ideas!).

Continue reading 3 Ways to Wear Pink This Spring

What to Pack for the Grand Canyon in the Winter

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Hello friends! I know winter is coming to an end, but I figured I would post a winter packing list anyway. If you’re planning on heading to the Grand Canyon in the winter, it can be hard to know what to pack. Also, if you’re thinking of going to the Grand Canyon, I highly recommend going in the winter or toward the end of winter. It’s cheaper to fly to a nearby city, and there are way less tourists.

My friends and I were gifted with beautiful weather while in the park mid-February. There was still snow here and there, and the temperature at night was downright chilly. But I would also be wary of icy and snowy trails while exploring the park in the winter, especially in areas the sun can’t reach.

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Continue reading What to Pack for the Grand Canyon in the Winter

Arizona Photo Round Up

The sun had just began to sink down into the sky when the four of us walked up to Mathers Point to see the Grand Canyon. I could see the tips of the red-orange rock as we walked closer, and my excitement grew.

Laying my eyes upon the Grand Canyon felt like discovering a long-forgetten secret. I didn’t want to look away, for even a second. The setting sun first cast a golden light on the tips of the highest points of the canyon, eventually turning the canyon into shades of pink and dusky purple.

I felt the same amazement the next day at lower antelope canyon in Page, Arizona. As we descended down narrow, steep steps into the canyon, it felt like entering a world within a world. The sunlight that leaked down into the canyon highlighted where the brilliant orange rock had been worn and washed by erosion. At some places in the canyon, it was only a shoulder-width apart. The tour ended with us emerging from a jagged cut in the rock. You would never be able to tell by looking at it the different twists and turns it hid underneath.

Continue reading Arizona Photo Round Up

What to Pack for a Chicago Weekend: Winter

Gift Ideas for the Classy Dad

Chicago winters can be brutal, but the city is still beautiful in the chilliest months of the year.

Here’s what you should pack for a trip to Chicago in the winter:

For Exploring During the Day

Snow boots. Make sure they’re comfortable for walking.

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Long socks. Anything to help fight the cold, especially when there is snow on the ground.

Opt for jeans instead of leggings, especially when the temp drops at night. Or find some fleece-lined leggings.

Hats, gloves and a scarf. Don’t underestimate the brutal lake winds.

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Sweaters, maybe paired with a collared shirt to keep you warmer. We’re all about layering *fashionably* to keep the cold at bay. Opting for a vest under your coat won’t hurt either.

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A warm coat. Make sure to bring a coat that can withstand the wind and low temps. A coat with a hood is preferable!

For Going Out

Chicago bars lean more on the fancy side (especially downtown and the North side). Wanting to go out and look good, but also not freezing between getting in your Uber/walking between bars is a hard balance to obtain. For that, I suggest a jumpsuit with heels, or a long-sleeved dress, tights, and boots/heels.

 

2019 Outfit Roundup

2019 – year of the brown leather jacket, wide-brimmed hats, knotted headbands and wide leg jeans. These were my favorite looks from last year, and rounding them up has helped gain a better sense of my personal style and where I want to go with that in 2020.

More and more, I’m being drawn to neutral shades, classic pieces that can go with anything, hair accessories, and looks with bold pops of color. This new year, I’m excited to establish more of a uniform style and use more of the pieces in my closet in new, fresh ways.

In 2020, it’s also important for me to become a conscious consumer of fashion and pay more attention to the materials I buy and where they’re coming from. In order to help with that, I’m going to read The Conscious Closet to gain some insight into the fashion world. I also plan on avoiding fast fashion places such as Shein, Forever21, etc. The fashion industry is a huge contributor to pollution and we all need to be more aware of what we’re buying and why. I’m also making it a resolution of mine to reduce online shopping (retailers use so much plastic when mailing products!!) and reduce shopping of things I don’t need in general. Not only am I hoping this helps me save money, but also help me pay more attention to what/how much I buy.

Continue reading 2019 Outfit Roundup