As I watched Les Miserables a couple weeks ago, I realized while I’d seen the play on stage I had never read the book. Since the book is usually so much better than the movie version I vowed to read Les Miserables this summer. That decision caused me to realize there are a number of classic works of literature that are missing from my repertoire. So, I decided that this summer would be one filled with reading the classic.
Shhhh… don’t tell my high school English teacher, but I rarely read the entire assigned book. I listened to a few of them on tape and relied on Cliff Notes more than I should have. I’m embarrassed to admit that I have never read anything by Charles Dickens and have only read two works by Shakespeare. I jut never understood the point of reading the book when we were going to talk about every aspect of it in class anyway.
That’s not to say that I don’t like to read. I do. I like to read a lot. I like to write. I love young adult novels. I have at least 50 books that I could happily read over and over again throughout my life. It’s just that a number of the classic somehow slipped through the cracks. One of the years I lived in New York, I decided to use the subway time to get through my first round of classics. During that time I read: The Count of Monte Cristo, Little Women, Till We Have Faces, Cry the Beloved Country, The Black Tulip and a few others that have slipped my mind at the moment.
I skimmed through a list of typical books you should read in High School and made a reading list for the summer months. Extra bonus… most classics are free to download as an ebook so I don’t have to go to the library to check them out or pay to read them on my iPad. A couple clicks on Amazon or iBooks and they are ready to be read.
The Classics I Hope to Read this Summer:
- Les Miserables
- Great Expectations
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
- The Great Gatsby
- A Farewell to Arms
- The Importance of Being Earnest
The Classics I Have Read and Loved:
- Ana Karenina
- Kristin Lavransdatter
- Taming of the Shrew
- The Count of Monte Cristo
- Wuthering Heights
- Jane Eyre
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- Dark is Rising
- The Chosen
- Gone With the Wind
- Screw Tape Letters
- The Picture of Dorian Gray
What’s your favorite classic book?
Do you have one on your reading list for the months ahead?
Alexandra Shook is a publicist and ecommerce strategist by day, fashion and lifestyle blogger by night. Based in New York City, she blogs about fashion, beauty, photography, restaurants and local events at delayedmissives.com. After work she enjoys getting together with friends for dumplings or a well-made cocktail.
Confession: I’ve owned this black waterfall cardigan from Francesca’s Collections for more than five years. It’s one of those items that has grown into a major staple despite the fact that I didn’t have much of an opinion on it at the time of purchase. Now I can’t imagine my closet without it and can only hope it has several more years left before I wear it to pieces. This cardigan is pretty much my MVP: it can be worn just plain open, layers fantastically, is a lifesaver over sleeveless dresses in the winter, and can be tied around the waist in a ton of different ways. In five years it’s been worn and remixed countless times, but these outfits are my favorites.
Rebekah is an editor, wife, and mom from Wisconsin who loves to shop, eat, listen to music, and watch cheesy reality TV. The title of her blog came from the children’s novel From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler because she loved the book as a child and wanted to leave the scope wide open. Rebekah blogs about her personal style, her family, pop culture, and sometimes food.
Hi ModlyChic readers! I’m Rebekah of From the Mixed-up Files. First of all, I wanted to thank Katy for inviting me to do a guest post while she’s on vacation in Texas! Although I’m pretty jealous that she’s enjoying some warm weather while we’re still shivering up here in Wisconsin, I keep reminding myself that my own vacation is coming up – to Florida! My husband, daughter, and I are meeting my parents down there for a visit to Disney World and Universal Orlando, and I can’t wait!
I don’t even want to think about what I have to pack for my husband or my two-year-old daughter quite yet, so let’s focus on what I’m packing for myself. I’ve learned a lot from my friends, who are avid Disney-goers, and now I’d like to pass on some of our packing tips to you.
- Multiple pairs of comfortable sandals. In my opinion, function is more important than fashion in this case. My favorite functional sandals are my Keens. They’re not something I would wear in my day-to-day life, but they keep my feet pain free all day. My backup pair are actually Crocs. I say actually because I made fun of my dad for wearing Crocs for years, and I know he’s going to be wearing his on this same vacation. Two things to consider with Crocs sandals is that some of them have nubbies, which may become uncomfortable if you’re sensitive to that, and they have no traction. So be careful around water rides. I’ve also tried Reebok sandals, and the fabric underside of the straps rubbed the top of my foot raw. I don’t see the kind I bought on their website, so maybe they’ve improved the design since then. Any kind of sandal that fits your foot and has lots of cushion should be good. You don’t want it sliding around too much and end up with blisters. I recommend test driving them on long walks a few times before your vacation. This is a long paragraph on a seemingly simple subject, but it’s seriously the difference between a carefree day and a day of constantly changing bandaids and sitting down as often as possible because you can’t take it anymore. Moving on.
- Cheap, dark sunglasses without nose grips. You’re going to go from bright sunshine to shaded attraction lines to maybe indoor shops, and your sunglasses are going to be on your nose, then on the top of your head, then back again. To prevent messing up your hair any more than the next thrill ride is going to, I recommend plastic sunglasses without nose grips. Try to make sure they’re pretty dark, too. Last time I was in Florida, I was still squinting through my sunglasses. They don’t call it The Sunshine State for nothing. Finally, you probably want to go with cheapies so that you don’t accidentally sit on or lose your nice Ray-Bans.
- Biker shorts and sundresses. This is a combination I never would’ve thought of if my friends hadn’t suggested it; but if you have any concern about chafing or shorts that don’t fit you quite right, a sundress with spandex shorts underneath is the way to go. I’ve found it’s the most comfortable option.
- Cross-body bag. Of course, you want your bag to be big enough to hold everything you need but not so huge as to give you shoulder aches.
Other Things to Bring to the Parks
- Spray-on sunscreen. It’s just easier to apply.
- Plastic baggies to put your cell phone and other belongings in if you go on water rides. Also, you can bring a poncho that folds up smaller than a garbage bag in case you want to enjoy a water ride without getting completely soaked.
- Frozen water bottle to keep you cool and hydrated. Then, you can find a drinking fountain later to fill it up again once it’s empty.
- Bandaids just in case those shoes weren’t as trustworthy as you originally hoped.
- Extra bobby pins because you are probably not going to want any hair touching your face on a hot day.
Now that I’ve over-thought all of this, I better get to packing!
Some people may like to call Chicago a “smaller version of their city” (ahem, New Yorkers) but anyone who has come to visit the city knows that the list of things to do is anything but small. From restaurants to bars and shopping spots that you just can’t miss, planning a trip can be more overwhelming than the wind, so I’ve put together a list of gems around Chicago that are more than worth your vacation time!
Catch a show.
Good music, good drinks, good company, no fuss. What more do you need? The Hideout
is the perfect spot for a fun night out. And the best part is, nobody will judge your dancing after a few drinks.
It doesn’t matter how hungover you are, stopping by Nellcote
for brunch before a day out in the city is a must. The chic decor is accompanied by a friendly staff who will help you pick a delicious meal off the menu.. because trust me, you’ll need help in deciding.
Shop it up.
So the sales tax may sting a bit, but the shops here will make it
all better. And with a mix of vintage goodies and local Chicago designers, Dovetail
should be at the top of your shopping list. You can also get a better feel of their place by checking out their Etsy shop, here
Satisfy your sweet tooth.
Chicago is known for it’s pizza, hot dogs, and it’s new craze- doughnuts. Stop by Glazed and Infused
for one of their wacky, unique yet incomparable flavors (their maple bacon is their best seller).
If you want to be a tourist, do it the smart way.
Who doesn’t want to get a good view of the city (along with a good buzz)? Skip paying admission at the John Hancock Observatory
and use your $18.00 to buy an overpriced drink at the swanky Signature Lounge
on the 96th floor. And make sure you stop by the women’s bathroom to get the best view of the city (and the perfect place for a photo op).
And if you’re lost getting to any of these places, just ask for directions! Unlike those other cities, we won’t bite your head off.
Corleen Heidgerken blogs at BarelyPractical about fashion, shopping, technology, and style. Her love of fashion infused with her day job in technology inspires her to curate fun looks, showcase her local fashion community, and share how she uses technology to better shop and manage her wardrobe.
I always seem to be in a hurry when it comes time to pack. My greatest fear has been having the perfect outfit in mind, but then getting to my destination and not having all of the pieces. This has led me to chronic overpacking. Since it’s getting harder and harder to bring extra things on an airplane without additional fees I needed to find a better way.
Last summer I tried planning ahead and created a packing dress rehearsal so I could make sure I had everything I needed weeks ahead, and then just used pictures as a packing list. This worked, but still required significant effort – and I needed to make sure I noticed every detail of my crowded pictures when pulling items from my closet.
So this year I’m trying something new. I love playing with technology and am currently experimenting with several closet management apps for my iPhone. One of them is called Stylebook and is showing some promise. It has over 90 features, including a section for packing lists. The basic functionality allows you to take pictures of items in your closet and create looks. Once you’ve input most of your closet, the packing feature becomes useful.
The app allows you to create a packing list and add individual clothing items and looks you’ve created. What’s great is that when you add a look, all of the individual items are also saved as separate items. When you’re done, you can easily go to the clothing items view to pack your bag, and then refer to the look view to remember what you wanted to put together once you get to your destination. The notes section can be used for items that you didn’t bring (you need to shop for something on vacation, right?) or maybe didn’t get a chance to photograph.
I’m just getting started with this particular app so I took some pictures with my iPhone to give you an idea of functionality and some of the screens. I’ve only got one full look so far, but you can start to get the idea of what things will look like when more is populated. The end results are interesting, but I’m finding you really need to be committed to get your closet photographed. If you’re interested in learning more about this app or the other closet management apps that I’m experimenting with, stop by the technology section of BarelyPractical.
Pretty Perfect Polished is my guest blogger today!! Shes’s a teacher, lover, fighter, blogger, foodie, diva, critic, stylist, artist, mother, couture lover, wifey; killing clichés one outfit at a time.
Katy asked me to share a great repeat number from my personal closet, and this dress immediately came to mind:
Dress: Old Navy
Shoes: Forever21 (similar, but glittery pair here, equally cute and studded pair here)
This dress will be (where is that darn spring weather?!) on repeat this spring and summer for several reasons:
- Versatility – Pair it with a denim jacket, throw on a pair of sandals for a flirty springtime look; or better yet, throw on a pair of cowgirl boots and kick your heels up for a fun night out with the girls. Dress it up with a casual blazer, use it as a cover-up at the beach (don’t forget your wrap!) or pair it with any button down to switch up your look (and colors!) Perfect for lounging around the house, playdates at the park (yeah, I’m a mom,) date nights, the office, and lunches with the girls.
- Easy-care – That should be self explanatory, but it’s a rayon jersey knit; machine washable, super-soft and easy to pack. (I feel the need to warn you – I’m an air-dry queen, I always air-dry despite what the tag says!)
- Color – The quickest way to add color to your closet; show off your impressive color-blocking skills, or tone-down the fun orange with a neutral (or denim.)
- Quick, effortless, easy, insert-your-favorite-adjective-here – Have you ever stepped out of the shower just as your neighbor (or unexpected guest….or better yet, the FedEx man with that package you’ve been impatiently waiting for) rings the bell? I have, one too many times. I usually race to the closet, grab the nearest dress I can slip over my head and reach the door, breathless, just in the nick of time (and usually glancing down to make sure I didn’t forget my bra, lol!)
- Because every girl needs a skirt she can twirl in, lol!
What’s on repeat in your closet this spring?