Book Club- Funny Girl, The Silkworm, and Orphan Train

Another addition of Book Club?! What??

I read a lot, that’s what.

I always have time during my commute to read, plus lunch breaks, and it’s a much needed break from looking at a screen all day. My Kindle doesn’t count as a screen…right?

Speaking of my Kindle- I love it. I’ve really been craving real books lately, but A. it’s expensive and B. I don’t have space for tons of books. I got my e-reader in college when I was craving reading all the time, but didn’t want to carry books back and forth from school and home. Books are heavy! And there’s that 50 pound limit on checked bags…So I became and e-reader. I still much prefer real books, but in terms of convenience it’s the absolute best. Plus, I can borrow books from my library on my Kindle for free and from my bed 🙂

Onto reviews!

“Funny Girl” by Nick Hornby

I had really high hopes for “Funny Girl,” but I ended up disappointed. Although the writing is good, there was something about the story that made it really slow moving. It may be because it takes places over numerous years, making it seem as though it was never-ending. I did enjoy the story and thought there were some really great parts, but something just didn’t click- to the point where I almost didn’t finish it.

“Orphan Train” by __

“Orphan Train” has been on ‘books you must read’ lists for a while now, hence it’s been in high demand and I had it on hold at the library for at least two months. But it was so worth it. The story was incredibly interesting- going between present time and the past- and there was a mystery aspect to it, making it impossible to put down. I’m pretty sure I read it in two days. I am a sucker for a good historical fiction novel because I love learning about how people lived in the past. “Orphan Train” taught me about an aspect of U.S. history that I’d never heard about. They shipped orphans from NYC out to the Midwest to be adopted/taken into households to help farmers, shop owners, etc. I fell in love with the characters, and their broke my heart a few times, but in the end I came out smiling, just as a good book should.

“The Silkworm” by Robert Gailbraith – AKA JK Rowling

Another amazing book in the Cormoran Strike series. Jo, keep it up 🙂

Also, there are rumors of a BBC “Cuckoo’s Calling” (the first book in the series) TV show!! I have never been more excited!


Book Club- To Kill a Mockingbird, The Cuckoo’s Calling

As you may know, I’m a huge reader. I loved getting lost in books as a kid, and I still do. It’s a great way to escape for a while and forget about all the troubles and things going on in life. I’m trying really hard to not just read romance and chick-flicky novels, but it’s hard. They’re so fun! As you can tell by the title, I’ve been doing really well lately…so without further ado:

To Kill A Mockingbird


Everyone read this in high school, right? Right? I didn’t…I do recall reading at least part of it in 8th grade, but I don’t remember liking it. Probably because I was in 8th grade. Inspired by the new Harper Lee book coming out soon (!), I decided to give it another shot.

I’m really glad I gave it another shot.

I was a little unsure at first, I won’t lie. Some books just take a while to get into. But once I was in, I was hooked. AKA, I read during my lunch break, which I don’t do for any book. This is a classic, a must read, a glimpse into history. I love old books simply because I love history and learning how people lived in the past. ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is so simple, yet delves so clearly into the culture of life in the south during the 1930’s. Scout, the narrator’s, spunk is contagious and I truly wanted to meet this little girl. I can’t wait until the next book comes out!

The Cuckoo’s Calling


I am a huge, HUGE, Harry Potter fan. To the point where I should be embarrassed, but I’m not at all, I totally embrace it. I used to listen to podcasts, visit fansites (like obsessively), and even read some fan fiction in my time. (I even bought a book written by one of the fansites on their predictions of what would happen in book 7. And then I went to a release party of sorts where the authors came and talked about it. I know, I know.)

Naturally, when JK Rowling came out with, ‘A Casual Vacancy’, I was beyond excited. But then I didn’t like the book. I never even finished it…So I was really skeptical to try another non-HP book by Jo, (that’s what we true fans call her), but I figured I’d give ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ a shot.

Again, I’m glad I did it. It was amazing. Edge of my seat amazing. GO READ IT. I have the next book on hold at the library and am eagerly awaiting the email that’ll tell me it’s my turn.

Onto the next set of books. Hopefully it’s as good as this last one 🙂

Spaghetti Vongole- AKA Spaghetti with Clams

Spaghetti Vongole is one of my absolute favorite meals. My mom started making it when I was little and I’ve been hooked ever since. Every time we go to a restaurant and it’s on the menu, you better believe that’s what I (and my dad) always get. But, as my mom says, her recipe is definitely the best. And I completely agree!

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This recipe is super easy, and requires so few ingredients that it’s a great weekday meal.


1lb of fresh manila clams

2 cloves garlic

Olive oil

Handful of parsley

1 tomato

1/4 cup white wine


  1. Let clams soak in salt water for several hours
  2. Clean clams with brush
  3. Cook clams with wine, with lid on, until all of the clams open
  4. While doing this, cut up tomatoes and parsley
  5. Cook garlic in enough olive oil to coat the pan and then some
  6. Once the clams are open, take them out and put them in another covered bowl
  7. Using a small net to catch any sand, pour the juices and wine from the clams into the garlic
  8. Add the tomatoes, and cook until the water has boiled off
  9. Once the sauce is near done, add the parsley, then the clams. Add some more olive oil if necessary and cook until heated

Happy eating!!

Favorite Looks from Oscars 2015

My favorite part of the Oscars each year are the beautiful dresses that are worn. The Oscars are the platform for designers to showcase their best, and sometime their worst looks. I know the night is about the talent of the actors and film creators, but hey the dresses are fun too!

Without further ado, here are a few of my favorite looks from this year’s Oscars:


I love Emma Stone. As a person (not that I actually know her), and as actress. Plus she always stuns on the red carpet. She absolutely shined in this Elie Saab dress. The intricacy of the beading and the pattern is so interesting. Plus, it’s lime green. How many people can pull off lime green??


Anna Faris is so adorable. She and Chris Pratt seem so down to earth and fantastic. And I, love love love this sparkly dress by Zuhair Murad.


First, Eddie Redmayne. Then, his lovely wife, Hannah Bagshawe. I love the simplicity and elegance of her Alexander McQueen dress. She doesn’t have to wear a big ballgown to look like the wife of an Oscar winner!


Obviously, everyone loved JLo’s look. The Elie Saab dress has an amazing shape, color, and again, it sparkles. I didn’t love the plunging v-neck and super cleavage, but she looks amazing. It actually reminds me of a the WTOO by Watters “Olivia” dress. (My absolute favorite dress in the entire store. I’m only slightly obsessed.)


I actually gasped when I saw Lupita Nyong’o. ALL PEARLS. Calvin Klein, you did good. This was definitely the most unique dress I’ve ever seen on the red carpet. Not only does it look AMAZING on her, the pearls drape at the top, and she said it was comfortable.

These are only a few of my favorite things. (Get it?) My absolute favorite part of the night was Lady Gaga’s “Sound of Music” tribute. I started tearing up when Julie Andrews came out and gave Lady Gaga a hug. Such a special moment, and Lady Gaga KILLED the songs. I knew her voice was good, she went to NYU for goodness sake’s, but who knew that she could pull off something as timeless.

Jeggings? Really? – YES!

I am always on the hunt for a great new pair of jeans. I can never find ones that are quite right- their either too long, too high-waisted, or just don’t look great on my body. Although I was very skeptical of “jeggings” I thought I should at least try them on.

Hello Uniqlo Leggings Pants AKA- my new favorite pair of “jeans.”

These pants are incredibly comfortable, plus they look like real jeans, so they’re socially acceptable. My boyfriend, M, has been asking me why I’m wearing jeans on my days off lately- it’s because I just wear the same pair of Leggings Pants. (Yes, I should probably invest in another pair.)

And the best part, they come in all sorts of colors, patterns, and even corduroy (which are super on sale right now!)

❤ Tai

Why “Seeing Common Beauty”

“To see beauty, even in the common things of life,” is my favorite line in my sorority’s symphony. The symphony is a set of guidelines which we strive to live our lives by, and something I’ve completely taken to heart.

Life is hard. We all know that. But by noticing and seeing the good things of everyday life can give you a much more positive attitude towards it. For example, I get really excited when it’s a sunny day out. After a gruesome winter, it’s something I appreciate so much more, even if it’s sunny out everyday.

Take a look at what makes your daily, common, or not so common life special. Whether it’s a new bloom or making the bus just in time, beauty can come from so many things, and of course, is always in the eye of the beholder.

Personal Style

Personal style is something I think is so important for everyone to develop. Whether you like going preppy, classy, edgy, hipster, or a combination of all of them, it’s good to know how you want to represent yourself.
tumblr_meby6sknV71qgc4t1o1_500 (“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” So if you want to be Catwoman, dress like it! It’s part of your style!)

I know it takes a while to create this personal style, I know I’m still in the process of figuring out exactly how I want to portray myself, and it’s definitely an ever-changing process.
In high school, my style changed every year, but mostly relied on printed t-shirts, jeans, and a fleece jacket. (It’s cold every day in the Bay Area no matter the time of year.) Senior year I branched out a bit and decided to wear a bow in my hair every day. And I seriously mean every single day. That became my signature thing, my personal look. Honestly I don’t think I really had a style I was going for until this past year. I’ve definitely always been on the more classic/classy side, but have recently adopted some more preppy looks, and gotten rid of wearing jeans every single day, which I think is quite an improvement.
As I said this is still changing, so I’ll let you know if I ever develop a personal style that’s more “permanent.”