Monday, June 27, 2016

June Must Buys Vlog

Last week I did a video about products that you should avoid buying. This week I decided to do the opposite! All of these products are things I have re-purchased multiple times, so I hope you trust my opinion! Links are below! 
Dove Refresh Care Dry Shampoo
Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer
Elf Matte Lip Color in Natural 
Elf Matte Lip Color in Rich Red (on my lips)
Elf Matte Lip Color in Wine (the one I lost but loved :((() 
Elf Brow Pencil
Elf Eyebrow Kit
 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg

Thursday, June 23, 2016

lake powell vlog

So like I said, I didn't really take as much video as I thought I did. I was mostly really worried about dropping my camera in the water so I didn't take it out very much. However I put together a little video of the clips I did get! 

You guys, i'm very aware that this video is shaky but HOW DO I FIX IT!? I don't have a steady hand, and I actually used video stabilizing software to help, but I feel like it made it worse? I don't want those little hip stabilizer things but is there another trick?

You don't have to watch the very very end but these girls were cracking me up for some reason. 

I have one more Lake Powell post coming about how I planned all meals for 25 people! There were almost zero resources online when I was seeking help in preparation for this trip, so I wanted to make some myself. 

Have a good one!

 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

book review: a study in charlotte #rileyreads

You guys, I did a nerdy thing and joined the adult summer reading program at the the Salt Lake County library. (Yes, I drive into another county to go to the library. See my rant here.) 
However, it has motivated me to get through some books!

I just finished a book I was really excited about reading called A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. 
This book is about the the great great great grandchildren of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. They end up at the same private school, "coincidentally". Of course, a string of crimes are committed at the school and it is up to this duo to figure out who dun it. There are a lot of callbacks to the original stories, so if you are a big fan, this book is for you!
First of all, when someone recommended the book to me they said that the descendants were both female, or at least that is how I understood it. So admittedly, I was a little disappointed when I realized it was a boy and a girl because obviously that means it's going to turn into a love story. I just wanted to read a book about girl power, ya know? However, I kept reading because I really respect the person who recommended it to me and she said it is her favorite book of all time. FAVORITE BOOK, you guys!!!
Anyway, I really wanted to like this book, but I found it ridiculous. First, the relationship between Holmes and Watson is totally unbelievable, IMHO. All of the sudden they are best friends when the day before they hated each other? It also was just all over the dang place. I couldn't get invested because I was constantly confused about what was going on. I also didn't love how it glorified drugs to a young adult audience. A huge part of the plot is that Holmes is using oxy, but it really is only seen as a negative thing once. Being around teenagers almost all the time, I can testify that they are really prone to suggestions like this. I did like the basic idea behind it, though. 
I really want someone to read it so we can talk about it and so you can prove me wrong! Please! Maybe it just caught me at a weird time. 
 I give it 2/5 stars, but again, someone prove me wrong! 
 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

what is your favorite book?

There were a lot of comments on my book review last week that people, in general, don't have time to read anymore! In my own life and with my goal of reading more, I realized that if you find a really good book, you tend to make the time to read. So I thought it would be great to make this big database of everyone's favorite books! I often find myself stuck as to what to read, so this would be really handy!
My favorite book of all time is The Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith. You guys, this book hit me on an emotional level I didn't even know I had. If you don't want to cry, reading this book is probably not a good idea. This book is a memoir about Claire's adolescence, and she lived a devastating life by most people's standards. It's such interesting commentary about life and death, and life after death (for the people still living).  It also was essentially her coming of age story. I first picked this book up when I was twenty and starting to grow up myself, (I felt so old typing that sentence) and I just needed to read it in so many ways. Her words are beyond beautiful and poetic. I only recommend this book to certain people, because it is definitely not your average summer beach read and I think you have to have a specific type of personality to enjoy it (my friend calls it a tumblr personality, which... I know exactly what she means but also have no clue how to describe it!). However, I would suggest reading it and deciding for yourself!

I was going to take a picture with my book but I realized it is so tore up it is basically illegible, so I just ordered another copy.
Leave your favorite book (or books!) in the comment section below and I will create a running list! 

 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg

Monday, June 20, 2016

Lake Powell Part Three

Both of my sisters and their families left a few days before we did, so we had a few days with just eight of us on the houseboat and it was so weird after having a houseboat that was a little too full! Less people meant that we could make the two hour speedboat ride to Rainbow Bridge. It is such a pretty drive! We got lost a few times but I didn't even mind. 

When we got to Rainbow Bridge we realized we forgot Brooklyn's shoes, and it was a two-ish mile hike. SuperDad to the rescue! He carried her on his shoulders the whole way. It was HOT too! The entire trip I was just amazed at how my Dad went out of his way to make everyone else happy, he never thought about himself! Even when we got home at midnight he was about to go get milk so Taylor could have cereal. He was pretty beat up at the end of the trip, another reason we probably won't be going back for a while. 
We also took the dogs only to realize that there are no dogs allowed at Rainbow Bridge, so my Mom had to stay in the boat with them. It was such a gorgeous hike despite the heat! It is 
 a must see if you go.  On the way home we stopped and helped a family who had run out of gas, we towed them back to our houseboat and gave them gas. The karma came back to help us in a big way!
A few more stories about things going wrong, I promise it was a fun trip, things just tend to go wrong at Lake Powell! Things just seemed to go downhill fast after my brother in laws left, because my Dad didn't have any help really, besides me and i'm kind of useless.
-When we got back from Rainbow Bridge we were settling down and getting ready to get dinner ready when I realized the anchor had came undone from the houseboat and we were moving! My Dad tried to drive the houseboat back into the beach when we realized the really heavy metal bridge at the front of the houseboat was still down and had fallen in the water and sunk! My dad had hopped out and grabbed it, but he needed help getting it on the boat, so I hopped in the water, but I fell into the hole that the metal ramp had created and my ankle went completely to one side! So as I am crying and trying to get the ramp onto the boat, I realize the water is up to my neck and I have no lifejacket, so I swim to shore and leave my Dad to chase the houseboat. Long, stressful story short, my Dad was swimming as hard as he could to get to the houseboat but he started to get tired. If it hadn't of been for some strangers driving by that decided to stop and help pull my Dad out of the water and untangle the anchor rope from the houseboat engine so it could start, he probably would have drowned! It was so scary because I was watching from the shore but couldn't do anything! Anyway, so we secured the houseboat and went to sleep.
....for like an hour. I woke up at like 1 AM to horrible, insane winds. The houseboat was rocking so hard, the speedboat was crashing up against the houseboat. I managed to crawl downstairs in the wind (remember, i'm sleeping on the upper deck under the stars!) and everyone was awake, my Dad was working hard to make sure the houseboat anchors stayed in. We had to re-tie the speedboat onto the houseboat to make sure it didn't blow away but the waves were so big and the wind was blowing us over!  It was really intense and scary! We kept thinking the wind would let up but they kept getting worse. Eventually I managed to fall asleep but my Dad stayed up all night, reburying the anchors and making sure we didn't go anywhere. 
-The next morning we got up and decided to pack everything up because we were just ready to go home! So we pack everything up and we untie the houseboat to get ready to leave when, after a series of events, the houseboat becomes stuck on a rock. It's not going ANYWHERE. My Dad is panicking and i'm freaked out because I have to drive the houseboat while my Dad is pushing it in the water. I was so stressed that my Dad was going to get caught in the propellers because he was right behind them! And again, a stranger stops and offers to help us and we were able to get out. People really notice when something isn't quite right in Lake Powell, it's like a sixth sense, and it is incredible!

A few more random photos from the week...
I love doing things with my sister because she notices things I skip over, like the texture of this rock!

And this one!

Don't they look like books or something? 

queen of the desert or something

I wish Mark would have been there so we could have taken a cool picture like this! My sister and her husband,

These flowers are cool because they only open at nighttime!

 These two photos are a classic description of what happens when my Dad drives tubers around! Haha!

Here;s a picture of Tucker in my suitcase. He was 100% done at the end of the week haha.
Thanks for listening to my Lake Powell adventures! I might do a vlog but I realized that it is mostly my nephew Jsoh whining at me to get away from him hahaha....the joys of family vaca! 
 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg

Friday, June 17, 2016

products I do not recommend (no buys video)!

In the blogging community, you often hear about all the amazing products that people loved (or were paid to say they loved, happy to be not guilty of that one, but a lot of bloggers are!) but you don't often hear about products that weren't so great! This video is highlighting four products that I DO NOT recommend! I am calling it "no buys!" meaning do NOT waste your money on these products!
Check it out!

 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg

Thursday, June 16, 2016

book review: emmy & oliver #rileyreads

As an English teacher, one thing that is really important for me not to be hypocritical about is reading (don't talk to me about grammar though k thx bye). I tell my students that reading is awesome, they should read, reading makes them better people, so I feel like I need to make an effort to read. It's hard, sometimes. Especially when I would so much rather plop down in front of Netflix and just zone out. Summer is when I get a lot of good reading in because i'm not stressed about work and I can focus.

On Tuesday night at 8:30 pm I picked up Emmy & Oliver from the library. I had it finished by 9 am the next morning. So yeah, I really enjoyed this book.
The premise is that these two childhood best friends, Emmy & Oliver, become separated when they are in elementary school because Oliver is kidnapped. The book flash forwards to ten years later, when Oliver is found. It is about Emmy & Oliver finding their friendship again and dealing with all of these internal struggles from this huge event. 
I give this book 4.5/5 stars. It was such a fun little beach read. It tried to be more "in depth" with the character's internal struggles but I felt like those issues were really cliche and lacked a sense of 
"realness".  I also had a hard time imagining Emmy as a real person, but I had no problem picturing Oliver. Not sure why! However, if you alerting for a cute little read that you can take with you to the pool, or something really quick, this is perfect! 
Also, if you are looking for reading suggestions, I follow two girl bosses on instagram and everything they suggest is golden. @abbimbay and @marcidarling. You're welcome.
 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

pink hair inspo (plus throwback pics lolz)

A little while ago, I won a giveaway on Brookyn's instagram for $20 off a service and it was the push I needed to convince myself to dye my hair pink. 
In high school, I had pink streaks (which got me fired from a job, whoops!) but I have never been all pink and I have wanted to do it since high school. As a teacher, summertime gives me the perfect opportunity to do this because by the time we go back to school in August, it will be washed out of my hair.
I know dying your hair crazy colors is trendy right now, but I honestly get very annoyed when people judge others for doing trendy things. Who even cares? If pink hair makes me happy, i'm dying my hair pink, I don't care if it's every other picture on your instagram feed! We need a lot more happiness in the world right now, and pink hair might be trivial or trendy but that's just fine with me! Sometime's that is just what you need.

Here is the inspiration I am going for: 

I'm so excited to finally do this! I dug up some pictures of my pink streaks in high school. This was the day that we had to take my senior pictures from Lifetouch and we totally forgot. My streaks are really faded!

 Long story short, we hated those pictures of me head to toe in Downeast apparel, plus my Mom wanted my pink hair GONE, AND I got my braces off the next week, so we took new ones. My hair girl had to put this crazy red in my hair to cover the pink! It was such an ordeal. ALSO BANGS!!!!

 HOLY SKINNY RILEY! I was 160 in this picture, my goal weight now, but I was always stressed out about how much bigger I was than my friends. I actually have an entire blog post sitting in my drafts about this issue. Anyway, isn't there so many things you wish you could go back and tell your high school self?? Like have confidence, etc. 

Man, this blog post took a weird turn! Anyway, i'm excited to get my hair dyed pink again! Stay tuned!
 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Lake Powell Part Two

So after the scorching hot night, we made the four hour houseboat drive (later we found out we took the long way and it could have been an hour journey, oh well!)  to find a cave to camp in for the night. We stopped the houseboat halfway through to let the kids jump in the water and cool off. Then when we went to leave, our houseboat WOULD NOT start. We tried everything! To top it off, we didn't have service nor were our emergency radios working. It was so sketchy! My Dad was really good about not showing his panic or worry, but we kept crashing up against these huge rocks and it was just very scary. We realized that someone had bumped up against the emergency fuel shutoff button but didn't know how to fix it. I just kept praying that our boat would start and finally after over an hour, it started! We are still not sure what happened. A little bit later the generator broke meaning we had no electrical anything, including AC! It just isn't Lake Powell without mechanical errors!
So we found his really great spot that had sand for the kids as well as shade, but the problem was there were seven other houseboats on the same beach. We just started anchoring there when a little speedboat full of teenagers came over and this older guy driving the boat told my Dad  that on the boat next to us there were 80 teenagers on a senior trip, just warning us. We didn't really believe them slash were too hot to care very much? Not really sure why we didn't do anything...but anyway. So we camped there. Well, turns out, he was right and we should have gotten the h out of there. At 2 AM they started partying, honking the crazy loud houseboat horns, playing a movie on the top of their houseboat (fast and furious, lots of car engines revving!) it should have been miserable but I was just laughing so hard for some reason! I wouldn't have been if the toddlers had woken up, but the teenagers were all in great spirits about it and we were just laughing about the fact that we knew this would happen and still didn't move! When the kids woke up at 6 AM we tried to be really noisy to pay them back...then we got the heck out of there!
A sad thing that happened this day, our dog Cooper got heat stroke! He was so hot he was delusional. He usually loves my Dad (like, he needs therapy and/or a restraining order) but he refused to let my Dad pick him up and was trying to get these park rangers to pick him up when usually he hates strangers! We dunked him in the water really quickly after that and he was ok, but it was so sad! Chihuahuas are not built for trips like these we realized. 
So after we left that cave, we stopped at a random beach to rest for a while and then continued to search and eventually found the place to park for the rest of our trip. There was a huge rock that blocked the sun in the mornings, a beach for the kids, it was deep in the back and it was close to the marina so we could run our garbage and go get ice very easily! 

 These two boys fished for a majority of the trip! We would drop them off on a rock with a walkie talkie and pick them up later in the day!

A bunch of the group swam out to those rocks and hiked all over them! So tiresome but really fun.
Our houseboat! I slept on top under the canopy and it was really great!

One of my favorite parts of the trip was just floatin around with my Mom while the kids were out boating! Again, there is literally nothing like Lake Powells warm waters. We would take baths in our swimsuits and night and it was so warm, we didn't want to get out! 
This trip almost killed Tucker. He was so scared! However he would have these little moments of bravery where we would be like, "where's Tuck??" and we would look outside and he was cleaaaaar down the beach trying to visit another houseboat. 
 I walked out and saw her like this and ran back in to get my camera. Who does this?? haha! 

This little dude had a rough time on the trip! Houseboats are dangerous for little kids, they literally wore their lifejackets almost the whole time! Trying to contain this kid in a small houseboat was rough!

 This is classic brother sister relationship haha!

 I taught Brooklyn how to use my camera, sort of....
With the help of Mark's photoshop class, we did a really bad job at photoshopping not only a child out of this picture, but a ton of beach toys! Haha! You can totally tell #clonestampfail but I was amazed nonetheless. 

Last Lake Powell post coming!
 photo riley-sig_zps51d1cb9c.jpg