Sunday Reads: May 26, 2013

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The Ultimate List of Fictional Boyfriends : Since rewatching Dawson’s Creek last summer I’ve had an unnatural obsession with Pacey Witter. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

Free Breakfasts in Texas Public Schools : Perhaps it’s because I know two people working with TFA in Texas but this article was really eye-opening. For more information I highly recommend my friend Mallory’s blog.

No Signature Required: An interesting little article about how the advent of technology has affect signatures and how we verify our identity.

21 to Drink Coffee? : The FDA has started looking into the effect of caffeine on a young brain. Though I heard about how caffeine is a drug all through high school, it never occurred to me that it could be regulated. I’m interested in where this movement is headed…

Amazon to Sell Fanfiction: This is the strangest development in publishing yet — and that’s saying something. The best thing about fanfiction is the ability to access hundreds of stories at a time for free. I wonder how this will change the fandoms.

 

My Week in Instagram: February 20, 2012

 

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1. I listened to Gabrielle Aplin at Panera and worked on my portfolio!

2. Sometimes you just need a night in with Valentino.

3. Stolen moments before work to read some Vogue.

4. Outfit photos are cliché but fun — here I wore Jbrand (on sale for $50), Banana Republic, and Frye.

Instagram Week Feb 20 2013

5. I tried out a new face mask from Birchbox.

6. Mom and the Merediths sent me lovely Valentine’s Day gifts!

7. On Shrove Tuesday I went on a walk through the UNC Arboretum.

Sunday Reads: February 17, 2013

Books:

The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory

The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory

Coincidentally, I had already started listening to this audiobook when the bones of Richard III were discovered. To be honest, I didn’t even realize that the Richard in Gregory’s book was that Richard until I read this article!

Even without the connection to recent events, Gregory’s book is an interesting portrayal of the oft demonized king. She turns the suspicion of his guilt on its head and makes him into a highly sympathetic character. By the end of the book I was rooting for Richard and the Plantagenets!

If you’re looking for more historical fiction check out my reviews of Above All Things, City of Women and The Pleasures of Men. For more Philippa Gregory try The Other Boleyn Girl. Made into a movie starring Scarlett Johanson and Natalie Portman, this book details Henry VIII’s relationship with Anne Boleyn’s lesser-known sister Mary. It provides an interesting look into the politics of Tudor England!

Newspaper Article:

State of the Union TweetState of the Union
Less of a news article and more of an event, I loved watching and reading the State of the Union address. In following the speech online, I was astounded by the power of social media. The discussions showed a level of political debate usually reserved for the classroom!

Blogs:

Immersed in Stories: From Binge-Watching to Marathon Reading

I love this take on how much our culture loves a good marathon! Though marathons are generally thought of in terms of television (think Law & Order: SVU), the author also considers reading marathons. I think I’d like to take on a good day of reading, what about you?

Sunday Reads: February 10, 2013

Books
By Invitation Only

By Invitation Only: How We Build Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop by Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkins Wilson

The story of how two HBS grads came from wildly different places to start one of the most successful online sample sale sites, By Invitation Only isn’t light reading but it’s definitely fun. I really liked how the A’s (as they refer to themselves) show every step in the startup process and how quickly things change in that environment. They give helpful management tips at the end of every chapter, highlighting what they learned from their experiences – I liked these because I could pretend I was doing homework for my management class!

Of course, I was predisposed to like By Invitation Only. I was an early convert to the online sample sale craze, joining Rue La La, One Kings Lane, Hautelook, and others just weeks after they opened. Even without all of my sample sale love the book stood on its own as an interesting portrayal of life at a startup.

life-below-stairs

Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants by Alison Maloney

As Downton Abbey mania sweeps the United States a whole slew of books about the Edwardian era have come out. Though it’s easy to fall in love with the glamour seen at Downton/Highclere, the reality is that running a house like that was hard work!In this rendition of “Upstairs/Downstairs” Maloney recounts typical menus, daily chores and standards of decorum. Interspersed with excerpts from Punch and other papers, Life Below Stairs was fun to read and definitely made me appreciate my modern household appliances!

Check out some other books about servant’s in the Edwardian era:

Below Stairs by Margaret Powell: This one is a memoir by a woman who was once a kitchen maid.
While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax : A little different, Wax’s book shows how the series bring a group of fictional women together.

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon : If you just can’t get enough of Downton, check out this true history of Highclere Castle where it is filmed. I have this one out from the library right now so I’ll let you know how it is!
The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook: From Lady Mary’s Crab Canapes to Mrs. Patmore’s Christmas Pudding – More Than 150 Recipes from Upstairs and Downstairs by Emily Baines: Looking for something to eat as you watch tonight’s episode of Downton? Why not try Lady Mary’s Crab Canapés?


Films

I haven’t done much magazine or online reading this week, so instead I thought I’d share the films I’ve been enjoying:

 Valentino the last emperor

Valentino: The Last Emperor *– Ever since I saw The September Issue, I’ve been yearning for a good fashion movie. Valentino hits the mark with beautiful dresses, posh Italian accents and sweeping views of Paris – c’est magnifique!

Funny Face

Funny Face* – I’m a sucker for anything starring Audrey Hepburn but this might be my new favorite. She plays a nerdy bookseller who is taken to Paris to be the face of a magazine and a prominent designer’s new collection. As an added bonus the author of Eloise, Kay Thompson, plays the fashion editrix!

J.crew the man who dressed america

J.Crew and the Man Who Dressed America – Part business documentary, part profile of J.Crew this documentary is a wonderful escape from the real world. Clocking in at under an hour it’s the perfect lunchtime treat.

*available on Netflix

~ available on Hulu

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My Week in Instagram: February 4, 2013

My Week in Instagram Feb 41. You know you’re addicted to instagram when a simple breakfast of greek yogurt and berries warrants a picture!

2. Starbucks was just the thing for a break between classes!

3. Caught up on the latest YALSA newsletter with some french toast at Cafe Carolina.

4. Tried a new hairstyle from pinterest — check out my inspirations here.

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5. I made chocolate chip pancakes on a lazy Sunday morning.

6. Panera has the best salads — BBQ Chopped Chicken shown here.

7. Sometimes you just need hot tea, new music, and a view of the great outdoors.

8. ER modeling is hard! Who knew all those mind maps my high school teachers made me do would come in handy?

Don’t forget to follow me on instagram and twitter (@alexandrap529) to see these in real time!