Holiday Q & A

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—next to summer, of course! I celebrate Christmas during the holiday season, and Christmas is my favorite holiday, but not just for the gifts. I just love the feel of the season- listening to Christmas music, decorating, baking holiday treats, and getting to buy presents (and okay, receiving them is pretty nice too). Today, I’ll be doing the Holiday Q & A, hosted by The Blended Blog. I’m so happy that they created this Q & A because I had so much fun doing their Fall Q & A last month.

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Real or fake tree?

Real tree. I love the smell of real Christmas trees too much to not have one.

Favorite Holiday Cookie?

Snickerdoodles! They’re one of my favorite things to make and of course, eat. If you don’t feel like making them from scratch, use yellow cake mix.

Home on Christmas Morning or Travel?

Always home! I couldn’t imagine not being home on Christmas morning and I stay home the entire day in pajamas, watching Christmas movies with my family.

Clear or Colored Lights?

Either! If you’re going for a really festive look, colored lights are the way to go. If you’re looking for a bit more elegant or wintery look, I’d go with clear lights.

Send Christmas Cards?

My family typically sends one out every year with some sort of family photo.

Favorite Christmas Present received?

Santa Claus has always treated me very well, and I don’t think I can decide on just one gift, but I’m going to go with receiving Hamilton tickets last year!

Favorite Christmas Present Given?

My mom and I found classic handheld video games for my dad last year and he absolutely loved them. We gave him Space Invaders and a football handheld game.

Stockings or no stockings?

Stockings! I think stockings are great for giving small Christmas-y treats, like holoiday M&Ms and mini jars of nutella, and for more practical and everyday gifts like, hair ties and fuzzy socks.

Christmas PJs?

Yes!! My grandma gives me a pair of Christmas pajamas every year on Christmas Eve. My favorite pair came with a pair of Christmas shorts with mini Christmas trees and snowflakes.

Favorite Christmas carol?

I love Christmas music so much, and I always start listening to holiday music  on November 1st. This is the hardest question here, so I’m going to go with a few of my favorites: “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Mariah Carey, “Cold December Nigh”t by Michael Bublé, “Do You Hear What I Hear” by Carrie Underwood, and “A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burt Ives

Favorite Holiday tradition?

Decorating the  Christmas tree with my family.

Early Shopper or Last Minute?

Early shopper. This year I picked up one of my siblings’ gifts before Halloween, and I finished up most of my shopping by Thanksgiving weekend. I sometimes pick up a few odds and ends closer to the holiday.

Favorite Christmas Movie or Show?

Another hard question! My favorite Christmas movies include Arthur Christmas, The Santa Clause, A Year Without a Sant ClausNew Year’s EveHome Alone, Elf, and Love Actually. TV-show wise, I always enjoy Full House and Glee‘s holiday specials.

Favorite Holiday Beverage?

It might be considered more of a Thanksgiving drink, but apple cider! If I want something maybe a bit more Christmas-y, I’d go with hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows.

Cookies and Milk for Santa?

Yup! When my siblings and I woke up on Christmas morning, my dad was sure to follow to take a photo of Santa’s eaten plate.

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Now here’s a question for you: What’s your favorite holiday-inspired book? I think mine’s Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle. Share in the comments!

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Fall 2017 Reading and Blogging Recap

Happy December! I am so happy to be jumping into the holiday spirit and do ALL the Christmas-y things and of course, read ALL the books as my finals come to a close. While I’m excited for the winter reason, with the exception of the cold weather, I wanted to reflect on what books I’ve read this fall and some of my favorite blog posts from the past three months.

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The Books 

I read a total of 18 books between September, October, and November and I’m pretty satisfied with that number, considering that I read some of my favorite books of the year and was busy with my university life during this time. I’ll be listing the books below, along with review links if I posted one for that book.

Passing by Nella Larsen | 3/5 Stars

The Girls by Emma Cline | 3/5 Stars

I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott | 5/5 Stars

One Plus One by JoJo Moyes | 4/5 Stars

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu |4.25/5 Stars

The Female of the Species Mindy McGinnis | 4.75/5 Stars

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera | 3.75/ 5 Stars

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys | 2.5/5 Stars

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins | 4.5/5 Stars

This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis | 3.5/5 Stars

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter | 5/5 Stars

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green | 5/5 Stars

A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck| 5/5 Stars

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo | 4/5 Stars

Another Brooklyn by Jacquelyn Woodson |

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo | 4.25/5 Stars

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella | 4.5/5 Stars

Meet Me at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan | 5/5 Stars

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Blog Post Recap 

This fall, I had a few fandom and book related experiences including meeting Jennifer E. Smith, seeing Waitress on Broadway, going to the Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets symphony show, finding an ARC copy of Ruta Sepetys’s Salt to the Sea and signed copy of Turtles All the Way Down, and casually dressing up as Taylor Swift for Halloween .

Meeting Jennifer E. Smith and What I Read in September 2017

My Experience Seeing Waitress the Musical

My Experience at Harry Potter in Concert

Fierce Fangirl Friday: My Most Recent Book Purchases

Channeling My Inner Taylor Swift

In September, I posted reviews of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere and Warcross by Marie Lu, two books that I was very fortunate enough to receive and that became two of my favorite books of the year. I also really enjoyed writing my review for I, Eliza Hamilton, another 2017 favorite, because I got to spread even more Eliza and Hamilton love!

Warcross by Marie Lu

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Right before I went back to school, I read Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, loved it and soon found myself addicted to its TV adaptation. Big Littles is definitely one of my favorite TV shows of 2017, and I have review for both the TV show and book.

Why You Need to be Reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

TV Review: Big Little Lies

And if you’re still looking to hold on to fall, last month I did the Fall-Themed Q & A, hosted by The Blended Blog. Look out for my Holiday Q & A next week!

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Thank you for reading & supporting me here on Fangirl Fury. I wish you a happy holiday season, full of family & friends, Christmas movies, and plenty of books. Happy reading!

Fall-Themed Q & A

In order to feel a bit more festive for Thanksgiving, today I’ll be doing the Fall-Themed Q & A. I am a huge Christmas fan (reminder that I must do a Christmas or winter Q & A as well!) and the holiday season for me begins on November 1st ,my Spotify Christmas playlist ready to go. As much as I love Christmas, I do love the fall and Thanksgiving, and I see Thanksgiving as the last major fall event. The Fall-Themed Q & A was hosted by The Blended Blog and I was inspired to do this post by Kristin of Super Space Chick.

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Favorite fall sweet treat?

Banana bread! I just starting making banana bread this year and it’s become one of my go-to things to bake. If you’re looking to make your recipe a bit healthier, substitute butter with applesauce!

Red, yellow, or green apples?

Green apples forever! I like red apples as well, but Granny Smiths are my absolute favorite. If I’m looking for something sweet, I love dipping green apples in caramel.

Favorite fall sport?

I love going for walks and runs in the fall because the weather isn’t too hot or too cold.

Best drink for fall?

If I want a festive drink, my go-to is apple cider and I love drinking it with Thanksgiving dinner. I also enjoy the fall for feeling that I can really embrace drinking tea and hot chocolate.

Favorite fall activity?

Spending time outside, whether I’m reading, running, or picking pumpkins

Must have fall purchase?

Cardigans! I recently bought a green cardigan from Forever 21 and I’ve been wearing it at least once a week. I’m really impressed with its quality.

Pumpkins: pick your own or store-bought?

Pick your own!

Real or fake pumpkins?

Real

Favorite Halloween costume?

I was really happy with my costume this year—I dressed up as “You Belong With Me” Taylor Swift. I love home-made costumes over store-bought ones, and one of my all-time favorite costumes was being a scarecrow, put together by my mom.

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College football or NFL?

I don’t really watch football, but I’ll go with NFL. If there’s two days that I watch football, it’s Thanksgiving and Super Bowl Sunday.

Fall or Halloween décor?

Halloween décor. I think Halloween décor is really fun, and if you can often implement fall decorations into Halloween, like mums and of course pumpkins.

Raking Leaves or no leaves to rake?

No leaves to rake since I’m at school.

Favorite soup?

Not a soup fan in the least bit.

Favorite fall candle scent?

Apple-cinnamon.

Love or hate pumpkin spice?

Not the biggest fan of pumpkin flavoring in general, so a no-go for me.

Short booties or tall boots?

I love both, but having an athletic build, I often have trouble finding boots that will fit over my calf muscles, so short boots for me!

Favorite Halloween candy?

Ah this is probably the hardest question on here! This year I went through my sister’s Halloween candy for Twix, but I also love Kit Kats and Hershey’s Cookies and Cream.

PSL? Yes or No?

Confession time: I’ve never had a pumpkin spice latte and since I don’t like pumpkin, I think I won’t be trying one for a while.

Hayride or Corn Maze?

Hayride.

Favorite Fall TV Show?

This fall I’ve been keeping up with Riverdale and Season 16 of Project Runway, and I actually enjoyed the first half of season 3 of Fuller House.

My Experience Seeing Waitress the Musical

There are only a few shows on my Broadway bucket list, and Waitress was of course one of them. I’ve wanted to see the show since Sara Bareilles and Jessie Mueller’s performance of “She Used to Be Mine” at the 2016 Tony Awards, so when I had the opportunity to see the show last Tuesday, it was easy as pie to say yes! It’s a musical featuring baking, for crying out loud, my inner Lara Jean Song was screaming!

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I went to the show with a friend and we had little over an hour to kill before the show, so we decided to walk around Times Square and the theatre district, which meant that we were obligated to walk past Hamilton: An American Musical, which also meant going into the Hamilton merchandise shop. AND I’M VERY PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT I RESTRAINED MYSELF FROM BUYING ANYTHING—I kept reminding myself that Christmas is near, despite my NEED for a “Wait for It” mug.

We made it to the theatre a half hour before the show began and that left me plenty of time to buy some Waitress merchandise. I ended up picking up a really cute Waitress mug, and I’m still debating if I’m going to display it on my bookshelf or use it for tea and hot chocolate.waitressmug

Waitress is currently on a national tour in the US right now, but if you see the show at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City, don’t worry about where you sit! While the theater sits around 1000 people, it’s on the smaller side. I sat a few rows back in the center mezzanine and could see everything perfectly!

In short, Waitress was absolutely amazing. I loved how pie was incorporated throughout the set, even though they made me crave something sweet- thank gosh Thanksgiving is this week! I was super lucky to be able to see Jason Mraz as Dr. Pomatter in his ten-week engagement with the show. I never really listened to the Waitress original cast recording prior to the show but now I couldn’t imagine anyone else as Dr. Pomatter. Stephanie Torns played Jenna and she was absolutely perfect, I was so impressed with her singing. While the show is very emotional, there were many comedic moments. As much as I loved Jenna and Dr. Pomatter, the side characters stole the show for me, including Dawn, Becky, Ogie, and Joe. I admit that it takes a lot for me to cry when it comes to books, TV, or musicals, but I was broken during the last five minutes of the show, as there was just such a heartwarming (and a bit heart-breaking) of an ending. My favorite songs from the show include “Opening Up”, “Bad Idea”, and “She Used to be Mine” .

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Waitress was my fourth Broadway show and aside from Hamilton, it was the best Broadway show I’ve ever seen. I highly recommend seeing it if you have the opportunity to and I would love to see it again one day!

Have you seen Waitress the Musical? Share in the comments!

My Experience at Harry Potter in Concert

Last Saturday, I went to the symphony for the first time in my life. But in Fangirl Fury fashion, of course, this concert was based on one of my all-time favorite literary obsessions: Harry Potter. The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra presented Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets In Concert, where the orchestra performed the score of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets while the film played for the audience. I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about these movies meets orchestra performances, especially for Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, and once I heard that my school was hosting a trip to the show, I knew I had to attend.

I attended the event with one of my friends from our university’s music appreciation organization, so it was really awesome to connect through our love of Harry Potter. And we prove that Hufflepuffs and Slytherin can be friends! We sat in the second row of the rear mezzanine, and we were clearly able to see the orchestra on stage and of course, the movie screen. The concert in general had such an awesome atmosphere—how could it not be in a room filled with hundreds of Potterheads?? Throughout the show, the audience would cheer when characters first entered the movie (I think Snape and Hermione received the loudest applause), laugh along with scaredy-cat Ronald Weasley, and applaud during pivotal moments. The orchestra was absolutely phenomenal and there were many times where I became so immersed in Chamber of Secrets that I forgot that the music wasn’t being played on the film’s soundtrack.

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Despite how many times I indulge myself in Harry Potter movie marathons on Freeform, I haven’t watched Chamber of Secrets in full in a long time (I also chalk some of this up to the fact that Freeform definitely plays the last three films the most). It was really fun to go back into Chamber of Secrets and be reintroduced to this chapter in the wizarding world, where we of course meet Dobby and  Gilderoy Lockhart. I also forgot how light this movie is compared to the later films in the series. Ron was so funny and stole the show for me, between his under-the-breath remarks and fear of spiders.

I didn’t buy any merch at the show, although they had some really cute T-shirts that said, “Dobby is a free elf”. I did treat myself to a chocolate frog as a snack, where I received a trading card of Madam Pince inside the pack. This was my second chocolate frog ever (okay, we all know I need to make my way to Universal ASAP), so now I have her card and Professor Sprout from my frog that I bought at the Cursed Child release party. On the way home from the symphony, I fittingly started listening to Carry On by Rainbow Rowell on audiobook.

If you ever have the opportunity to attend a Harry Potter in Concert event, I highly recommend that you do! It was such a cool way to experience the symphony and the music behind the wizarding world of J.K. Rowling.

Channeling My Inner Taylor Swift | My 2017 Halloween Costume

Happy Halloween! I hope your Halloween season has been filled with candy, costumes, festive books and movies, and maybe a pumpkin-flavored treat or two! I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in the past years, but I’ve changed my ways this year by dressing up as Taylor Swift! I’ve loved Taylor Swift from her country days to her really evolving into pop music—I’m excited to see what Reputation will be like, since I’m obsessed with every song that has come out so far (I think “Gorgeous” has been my favorite). As much as Taylor Swift’s image has changed over the years, “You Belong With Me” T-Swift dressed in her Junior Jewels t-shirt will always be the Taylor I imagine.

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So how did I come up with this costume? I’m involved in my school’s music appreciation organization and for my event for this semester, I had everyone create groupie T-shirts. I took mine up a notch by replicating Taylor’s Junior Jewels T-shirt. The names mostly come from her shirt in the “You Belong With Me” music video, but there are a few from the shirt in “Look What You Made Me Do”. I love homemade Halloween costumes so I had a really fun time creating this one and I’m hoping to maybe wear it again at a costume or cosplay event (if not, it’ll be a really comfy pajamas shirt!).

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Are you dressing up for Halloween? Are you a Taylor Swift fan? Share in the comments!

Meeting Jennifer E. Smith & What I Read in September 2017

Oh September, you were filled with days spent in class, combatting summer weather while at university, reuniting with friends, filled with homework, and trying to read as much as I could. This What I Read post is going to be formatted a bit differently than usual, especially since I’ve only read 4 books this month. You’re probably accustomed to scrolling through my list of 10+ books, but since this was my first full month back at school, I’ve had less time to read (*major sigh*). I have my reviews for I, Eliza Hamilton, One Plus One, and Moxie scheduled to come out within the next week, so I’m not going to talk about them right now. However, I will be talking about my experience meeting Jennifer E. Smith below!

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The Girls by Emma Cline | 3/5 Stars

I didn’t really know what to expect going into The Girls, knowing that it has received mixed hype. I decided to pick up book when I found it at a library book sale for 50 cents! The Girls takes place in 1960s Northern California as teenage Evie Boyd is drawn into a cult. This book had a lot more adult content that I would have expected, and all in all, I don’t really know how I feel about the very flowerily writing style.

I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott | 5/5 Stars

One Plus One by JoJo Moyes | 4/5 Stars

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu | 4.25/ 5 Stars

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September 23rd was Barnes and Nobles’ Teen B-Fest, and my local B&N hosted Jennifer E. Smith. Jennifer’s books are YA staples, and I enjoyed reading Windfall this past May alongside Bookspolsion’s read-a-long. Between Book Con and other author events I’ve attended, it was really refreshing to go to a signing that wasn’t ticketed and was pretty calm. I was a bit disappointed that the store didn’t host a Q & A session with Jennifer before the signing, however, I was able to talk to her for a while as she signed my books. We talked about being an English major and getting the classics out of the way in college, what’s it like working for literary agencies, and of course, Book Con,aka the love of my life. Besides signing my copies of The Geography of You and Me and This Is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer gave me a cute magnet and pins based off of Windfall. Overall, it was such a lovely experience meeting Jennifer and I highly recommend checking out her books for all your YA contemporary needs.

What did you read in September? Share in the comments!