What to read: You Knew Me When

2013-09-06-cover_000I recently came across You Knew Me When on, of all places, Lauren Conrad’s Fall Reading List of 2013. I’d already read a handful of novels LC had included, most notably Where’d You Go, Bernadette, which I absolutely loved and of course To Kill a Mockingbird more than once. It’s an all-time favorite and one of my dog’s names is Harper Lee (her first foster mom named her, it naturally caught my eye on Pet Finder!) Anyhow, I’ll be truthful, the first few chapters of You Knew Me When had me rolling my eyes. Katherine Hill is a very cliché character: the 30-something high-powered NYC executive who has sacrificed life and love for her career. As the story what happened with her ex-best friend, Laney Hancock, unfolds, there is depth in the character development and you do get quite involved. It just isn’t a story with groundbreaking material and it’s rather predictable. I’m not saying it’s not entertaining, as it’s great chick lit, the perfect vacation read or what to pick up once you step off an emotional roller coaster like Labor Day. Or, you know, what to read at 1 a.m. when you’re freaking out over gray hair. Every reader gets something different out of each book he/she reads. All novels don’t have to be award winners or perfectly written to be enjoyable. You will hear more on my opinion of this later, I despise a book (or TV or movie) snob.

As a 10-year marketing veteran and geek though, this is where it gets fun. While Googling reviews of You Knew Me When, I came across this article on HuffPo Books from the release last fall. The book’s author, Emily Liebert, is a smart cookie. Since Katherine is an exec at a cosmetics company in the novel, Liebert teamed up with Zoya Nail Polish and both a fashion and jewelry designer to create products based on the main characters. Studios have been doing this with movies for years. Most recently for Skyfall, Hunger Games and let’s not forget the fashion and cosmetics empire Twilight built. There is already a plethora of, er, merchandise out there branded with 50 Shades of Grey, but it will only increase as August approaches. Make fun of me all you want, I’m not ashamed to say I CAN’T FRIGGIN’ WAIT. However, it’s quite unique and ambitious for a relatively unknown author and first-time novelist such as Liebert to step out and do it all herself for her initial major release. Gotta give her kudos for that.

On the Kindle now is Wild by Cheryl Strayed, which is an upcoming movie with a screenplay from Nick Hornby and starring Reese Witherspoon. Reese I could love again when she finally broke up with Jake Gyllenhaal. Clearly she realized he and I are soul mates…too bad he hasn’t yet. I figured it out 12 years ago; I’m getting impatient.

Xo, Nikki

How to be: 2014

2014I’ve never been a proponent of counting down the days until a year is over. Or when its last days are upon us, bemoaning what a terrible year it was and blasting social media with all that went wrong. I believe every year serves its purpose. However, I struggled immensely with not doing ALL of that in the last few weeks of 2013. It was not a kind year. My grandmother died, I went through a terrible, very unpleasant breakup (and I can’t seem to stop finding out additional information that makes it all worse) and also experienced my first layoff and subsequent unemployment. A situation I’ve not been able to remedy yet. For anyone else going through a long-standing job search, let’s grab a drink. Or four.

Through all of this, there has been one silver lining. I’ve re-established my faith and will be joining a new church this coming weekend. Through all of the studying and meditation I’ve done, I know that I’m right where I need to be. Although it may not be comfortable and no light at the end of the tunnel is visible, this whole experience will serve a greater purpose. I repeated these words to myself over and over again as 2013 wound down. And I put myself to task making big plans for 2014. I will make this my year.

New Years Resolutions are always ambitiously made and rarely kept. I had two pages of absolute gibberish for mine. I started wondering, if I couldn’t organize my goals for the year, how in the world was I going to organize myself for the year? Plus I didn’t want the stereotypical “lose weight” and “save money” mantras. Those are things I need to be doing regardless if it’s the start of a new year. Then I came across a post by Lauren Conrad  (on whom I’ve developed a massive girl crush!) on Pinterest, which laid out eight resolutions of stunning perfection. Naturally I have to share –

1. A bad habit I’m going to break

Drinking too much too often. This has to stop, for many reasons. Most of all my sanity and so I don’t have to self-edit on Twitter and Instagram the next morning! What does the stuff I say even mean?! In addition, my sailor mouth? It must go.

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