Tag Archives: romance

happy valentine's day

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

I hope you all have some fun plans for today, whether you’re going out with friends or a special someone! If you have no idea what to do (single or not!), I did a post that might give you some ideas – here.

Anyway, my boyfriend and I decided to postpone V-Day plans to the weekend since we both work during the week and won’t really have time to do much, but I figured I’d at least do a Lust List for Valentine’s Day since I think it’s such a fun holiday and it’s been awhile since I’ve done a lust list so I hope you enjoy!

Valentine'sDayLustList-StorybookApothecary.com

RMS Un-Cover Up, SteamCream – Happiness, Scotch Naturals Polish in NeatRMS Cream Shadow in Solar, ILIA Tinted Lip Conditioner in Crimson & Clover, Tarte 12 Hour BB Cream, Le Feu de L’Eau – Le Feu Profound Rose Candle, Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream, Mermaid Perfume, Alice & Peter Cheery Cherry Pie Perfume, Scotch Naturals Polish in Blood & Sand, Kissing Elixirs Fresh Breath Mist in Mint Vanilla, BKR HEARTbkr Limited Edition Glass Bottle, ILIA Copper Mascara in Macao, ECOTOOLS Foam Applicator, & SteamCream – Verona.

On a more eclectic note, I really really want this heart shaped umbrella from Fab.com. Isn’t it cute?!

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Heart Shaped Umbrella – Fab.com

I’d really love to re-create these adorable Valentine’s themed nails as well!

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Valentine’s Day theme nails From shopobaz.tumblr.com

Lastly, this lovely dessert from ABeautifulMess that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day looks delicious!

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Berries in Chocolate Bowl from ABeautifulMess.com

How will you be spending Valentine’s Day?

Related Articles: 

Fun & Girly Ideas for Valentine’s Day For Singles & Couples!

{ The Notebook }

If you didn’t already know, I’m a HUGE fan of films. I love movies of any genre, but as a young woman, there is a special place in my heart of hearts for romance films, or chick flicks. I love them ’til death do us part, but I’m kind of picky when it comes to romance films because a lot of them ( let’s be honest ) are freaking horrible. I don’t mind predictability, but some of them are just plain bad. There certainly is a Hollywood formula when it comes to girly films and that’s fine, but there are 429058498409 mediocre ones and only a couple of really great ones.

Here are the Great Ones to Check Out With or Without Someone Special Because They’re Just That Awesome!

  1. The Notebook. This one is a serious classic. Set in 1940’s, Ally & Noah are just 2 fools in love, but Ally is the daughter of a wealthy southern family who want more for her than the life they think she’ll have with Noah. It’s a tear jerker. Even my tough-as-nails step dad teared up! 
  2. Pride & Prejudice. I love the 2005 version with Keira Knightley, but the story itself is pretty timeless. Although it is a period film and has very wordy dialogue, it’s a great one because in love, we all battle our pride and we are all guilty of misjudging people at some point or another . Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy are just extremely guilty of both when it comes to each other. 
  3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This is a bit of an offbeat romantic film about a couple who break up only Clementine decides to get a procedure done which will erase Joel ( her ex) from her memory forever. Enraged once he discovers that Clementine has erased him, Joel decides to get the same procedure. 
  4. Gone With the Wind. A serious American classic in terms of film, Gone With the Wind takes place during the Civil War era and explores the crazy love affair of Rhett and Scarlett. It’s adapted from an old novel, but the characters are brilliant and hilarious.
  5. A Walk To Remember. Jamie is considered the prude daughter of a pastor at her high school, but seems unaffected by the constant harassment and bullying of her classmates. Landon is the cool popular kid constantly getting into trouble. When their worlds collide, they find they have a lot more in common than they initially thought. 
  6. Crazy Stupid Love. This film follows several couples, but mostly centers on Cal & Emily, a middle aged couple who have drifted apart over the years. When Emily asks Cal for a divorce and announces she cheated on him, Cal must re-evaluate his entire life. Everyone is crazy and stupid in love in this film. It’s really hilarious and brilliantly written. 
  7. A Good Year. I really love the rapport of the 2 characters in this romantic comedy. Max is a brilliant English banker who only cares about money while Fanny Chanel is a French restaurant owner living in Provence. When Max’s closest uncle dies, he must travel to Provence to deal with his uncle’s estate and plans on selling it all until he meets Fanny who, of course, loathes him at first sight. 
  8. The Holiday. 2 women on opposite ends of the world experience ugly break ups and need to get away so they do what anyone else would do in their place – they switch houses for a much needed vacation from their respective lives. Hilarious and easy to relate to the characters.
  9. Elizabethtown. After losing his company billions of dollars, shoe designer Drew goes back to his father’s hometown for his father’s memorial. On his way there, he meets an overly friendly flight attendant, Claire.
  10. Brokeback Mountain. While not your typical love story, I definitely think it’s one that needs and deserves to be told. The love story of 2 cowboys who live in the midwest, an area not that friendly to homosexual relationships, and have trouble coming to terms with their feelings for each other. Super sad. Don’t watch it if you don’t feel like being depressed. 
  11. Atonement. Another tear jerker, this story is about a wealthy girl who falls in love with a poor boy, only so does her younger sister. Her younger sister tells a lie that will change all of their lives forever and then spends the rest of her life “atoning” for it. 
  12. Once. This is a really great film to watch if you like indie or folk music. It deals with 2 musicians who meet by chance and lead entirely different lives. They make beautiful music together, but will they end up together? 
  13. P.S. I Love You. This is the love story as remembered by Holly. After her husband Gerry passes, she is super depressed and decides to take the vacation to Ireland she had planned to take with her husband with her close girl friends instead in an attempt to move on with life.
  14. The Last Song. Although I typically hate all films with Miley Cyrus ( sorry Miley, it’s not your fault you’ve been type casted ), this one is great. The acting isn’t that amazing, but Greg Kinnear is awesome in it and the story is a good one. After Ronnie’s parents divorce, she is so angry at her father, she quits the one thing they both loved and shared – playing piano. She and her younger brother and forced to spend the summer with their father and Ronnie makes it very obvious it’s the least place she’d like to be. 
  15. Ever After. Words can’t really explain how much I love this film! It might just be nostalgia or my fairy tale obsession coming on again, but this one is awesome. It’s the story of Cinderella basically, only more period film and less cheese. Or something. It’s a fun flick and Anjelica Houston is great in a villainess sort of way! 
  16. Slumdog Millionaire. Jamal knows all the answers to India’s “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” and is arrested under suspicion of cheating. During his interrogation, Jamal takes us back through life events which explain how he knows all the answers.
  17. Titanic. If you haven’t seen this one by now, you really ought to! It’s loosely based on the real events of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, but involves a fictional love story between Rose and Jack. Rose is a rich girl, despondent but resigned to her fate of marrying a shallow, cruel man for money and social standing while Jack is a poor artist, happily living without much.
  18. Pretty In Pink. A cult classic 1980’s film, Pretty in Pink tells the story of a less than popular girl who is crushing on the most popular guy in her high school, but feels she has no chance. After passing a note to a friend in class, she mistakenly drops it and the guy picks it up instead of her friend. ‘Lo and behold, he likes her too and they decide to go on a date, but find out all too quickly that they’re living very different lives.
  19. The Adjustment Bureau. Adapted from the novel, this is the story of a politician who meets a woman in the men’s restroom where she’s hiding from security after crashing a wedding for fun, they are immediately attracted. Soon after, the politician, David, is told by the “Adjustment Bureau” that he is never to see her again because it’s not part of his plan. It’s one story of defying predetermined fate in order to be with the one you love. 
  20. Romeo + Juliet. I really love the version with Leo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. It’s set in modern day (at that time) Venice, but they’ve kept the language the same. I think it’s a great way to tell the tragic Shakespeare tale that’s more relevant than traditional plays. I sort of hate the play, Romeo + Juliet, because I just think it’s really stupid for people to kill themselves over love, but I do love the writing and that’s incredible. The film also has great cinematography. 

TV Shows That Are Also Fun for V-Day:

  • Once Upon A Time 
  • Hi, My Sweetheart ( Taiwan drama)
  • Boys Over Flowers ( Korean drama)
  • Fated to Love You ( Taiwan drama )
  • Personal Taste ( K drama )

So, that’s all I’ve got for now!

If you want more film and TV recommendations, check out this post I did on my favorites – here.

What are your favorite films or shows to watch on Valentine’s Day?

I’d love to know in the comments!

Back before I ever met my boyfriend, I often celebrated Valentine’s Day with friends since I was single and we came up with so many fun ideas which made Valentine’s Day a fun day of friendship instead of a day of moping around.

Not that you need to mope around either way, but here are some fun ideas my friends and I came up with as ways to celebrate this hallmark holiday if you’re single and a few more if you’re in a relationship.

Fab.com | Love XOX Choc Dipped Oreos

Fab.com | Love XOX Choc Dipped Oreos – via Pinterest

{ Have A Gift Swap! }

I think a big part of what makes V-Day so depressing for a lot of singles is the idea that you won’t have anyone to gift swap with so you won’t feel loved or special. When I was single, my good friend and I would always swap gifts for fun because we didn’t have anything else to do and we really wanted to avoid the whole blind dating scene (like, at all costs).

Pamper your sweetheart with these decadent Red Velvet Pancakes with Buttermilk Syrup from http://whipperberry.com #valentinesday #breakfast #redvelvet

Red Velvet Pancakes with Buttermilk Syrup from http://WhipperBerry.com via Pinterest

{ Enjoy Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner with Friends! }

So, to continue on with the whole gift swap idea, you can also plan to have dinner together where you can swap said gifts. My friend and I would always meet up on V-Day, whether it was for lunch or dinner or whichever, to eat, swap our gifts and enjoy the day our way. I know a lot of people think you have to be in a relationship to enjoy this little hallmark holiday, but I totally disagree. I actually think it’s a bit more fun to celebrate V-Day as a single girl than it is to celebrate in a relationship (Just don’t tell my boyfriend I said that!). The fun in this is you can choose a fun place you’ll both enjoy and there’s no awkwardness that you often get on those blind dates! The only thing is I advise you to make reservations if you’re doing dinner, otherwise it’s like a cattle call waiting in line for a table. Another thing is avoid really franchise or super popular places as many restaurants add in tables on V-Day in order to make more money (more seats = more couples = more $$$), but you’ll literally be inches away from the next table. One year, my boyfriend and I made the mistake of going to dinner at a popular local restaurant and we were so close to the next table, we could hear their entire conversation and smell their cologne. Thankfully, my boyfriend and I seem to find it hilarious to eavesdrop on the conversations of others, especially if they happen to be on an awkward first date or if they get in a fight. Drama!

22 Amazing DIY Valentine’s Day Cards - Shelterness.com

22 Amazing DIY Valentine’s Day Cards – Shelterness.com – via Pinterest

{ DIY Gifts! }

If the idea of spending a lot of money on a gift swap stresses you out, it’s always a great idea to suggest that everyone gives DIY gifts instead of spending money on expensive ones. I really feel like there’s an adorable kind of charm when it comes to DIY Valentines and cards, especially, because they have cute character and always seem to be much more creative than store bought ones anyway.You can even trade baked goods, which I think is even more fun and personal!

OMG! Want this for no reason but that it's heart shaped! - Fab.com | Art. Lebedev Heart Umbrella

Fab.com | Art. Lebedev Heart Umbrella – via Pinterest

{ Host a Party or Go Shopping! }

I’ve never personally hosted a V-Day party, but all the pink and red and hearts seems like tons of fun, especially if you theme the food to fit the holiday! Enjoy lots of goodies and chick flicks or you can do an Anti – V – Day themed party and serve stuff in a pink, black and white theme and show horror films – Just an idea! 😉 On another thought, when my friend and I would go out to dinner, we’d always end up at Ulta or Sephora afterwards, for some reason, and that seemed to become an unintentional tradition of ours. I think if you’re a single girl out with your girl friends, it’s always a fun idea to end with retail therapy and it’s less likely you’ll deal with too much traffic if you’re avoiding the restaurant scene!

Fab.com | Organic Bouquet Roses & Lilies

Fab.com | Organic Bouquet Roses & Lilies – via Pinterest

{ Some Ideas for Couples }

  • Stay In & Make Dinner At Home. Eating out can be so expensive and read above about the possible seating arrangements! Sometimes it’s a lot easier and special to enjoy your Valentine’s Day lunch or dinner in. Whoever offers to cook will be giving a totally priceless gift otherwise you can coordinate a team effort where you both cook different dishes for the meal. 
  • Enjoy a Weekend Getaway ( somewhere nearby). Groupon and TravelZoo are always offering very affordable rates and depending on your area, there should be some local getaway spots that are an hour to a few hours away which you can enjoy without breaking the bank. I’ve seen some under $100 for a 2 night stay in my area alone so check it out! 
  • Tea Time Valentines. This is something I’d like to do this year with my boyfriend because 1. I’ve never been to a proper tea shop where they serve pastries and all that stuff and 2. I may or may not be living out my own Madame Pudifoot’s Tea Shop fantasy. Don’t judge! One bonus is you can totally avoid the dinner rush of V-Day by doing this! 
  • Go to a Theme Park. Personally, I’m always up to visit Disneyland anytime, anywhere, but depending on where you are, there may not be a local theme park and that’s fine because there’s always museums, art galleries, and other fun attractions to see which you can tailor to yours and your S.O.’s tastes. 
  • Restaurant Crawl. If you’ve never tried this before, you really ought to! Basically, what you do is enjoy each part of your meal at a different restaurant. You start out with drinks at one, appetizers at another, main courses at another and dessert at another. I recommend planning out your spots ahead of time and making reservations accordingly, but it’s a fun and less conventional way to celebrate, try new things and enjoy new food! 
  • Enjoy a Movie Night In. A few years back, my boyfriend and I made the grave mistake of thinking we could go watch a film on V-Day and were met with a literal FLOOD of couples all waiting to see Valentine’s Day (you know, that film). Thankfully we went to watch some kind of thriller instead, but the line itself made it the whole thing kind of taxing in itself. 
  • 14 Days of Valentine Gifts. I’ve been thinking on doing this one, but I think it’ll have to wait until next year because I’m short handed on cash, at the moment. For those of you who have money or who would prefer to DIY your gifts, this is a fun idea to avoid the rush of one day. It’s quite simply that you and your S.O. plan to gift each other every day from February 1st to Valentine’s Day. They can be small gifts or whichever and the last should be extra special. 

I hope you’ve found these ideas helpful and fun and I wish you a fun Valentine’s Day!

For More Fun Valentine’s Day & Romantic Ideas, Check Out My “Hearts & Romance” Pinterest Board – here.

What are your plans for V-Day this year?

RomanceBlogTag-StorybookApothecary.Com

I’ve seen tons of blogger tags and I love doing them personally, but I thought it’d be fun if I made my own up this time because there are a number of questions that I want answered by bloggers which I think are interesting to read, fun to answer and you know, I’m a nosy person who enjoys poking into others’ personal business so, you know.

The theme for this tag is romance and it may not be what you imagine, but I think it’s appropriate for bloggers because, let’s face it, we’re all romantics here otherwise we would not be writers. So, don’t go thinking this post will delve into your personal life (too deeply ;-)) because it’s more about romantic things, likes, dislikes, and all that jazz than it is about people, though feel free to mention those, too, if you like!

There are really no rules or anything other than please link back to this original post in your post if you do this tag on your blog, just answer the questions and pass it on by tagging others at the end of your post! Oh! And please, for God’s sake, enjoy yourself!

  1. What is your favorite romance film and why? My favorite romance film is Pride and Prejudice. Actually my favorite romance novel is also Pride & Prejudice. I absolutely LOVE Elizabeth Bennett’s character.
  2. Which character from a film or book is your ideal and why? Definitely Mr. Darcy. He’s just so perfectly imperfect. I hate when a man looks too perfect or clean cut. I love that he has flaws because it makes him more human. 
  3. Your idea love life in a song – go! Regretting creating this question because now I’m stumped. Uhmm. Honestly, I love film scores so it’s likely that it’s some instrumental on piano or something. Or maybe “The Only Exception” by Paramore or “Shh” by Imogen Heap. 
  4. Song that makes you cry your eyes out for seemingly no reason at all… Not cry my eyes out, but it’s sad is “Someone Like You” or “Take It All” by Adele. Every time she starts talking about not looking back on “this crumbling fool” – oh dear, I’m getting teary eyed just thinking of it! Also, “Breathe” or “My Love” by Sia. Man, all of Sia’s songs are sad (ok so pre 2010 they are all sad).
  5. Film guaranteed to make you cry every time… I cry in a LOT of films because I’m a total sap, but I always cry in Titanic (yes I’m lame AND proud of it). Although it’s not a romance film really, I also cry EVERY SINGLE TIME in the beginning of Deathly Hallows part 1 when Hermione has to erase her parents’ memories. That’s the only scene in the films that wasn’t in the books that was incredible and depressing to see. 
  6. What is your favorite color for romantic makeup looks? Any kind of rose pinks like satiny matte pink rose colors that make you look flushed.
  7. Favorite hair style for a soft, romantic look? I really love 1920’s finger waves and simple low buns with curls hanging out. Or french braids. Hmm…
  8. Which female heroine do you most identify with, either from a book or movie? Elizabeth Bennett. I love that she’s so intelligent, witty and not afraid to fight for what she wants despite being from a period in time where women had little to no rights at all. She has guts. 
  9. Your ideal romance life exists in which time period? Hmm Victorian times probably. I love corsets which makes me sound like I enjoy torture, but whatever. 
  10. What are you wearing in this hypothetical romance? I love this dress, but I hate the hair LOL. So that dress with different hair! 

So, yes, I know they are silly questions, but I find them highly entertaining and for some reason, I spend a great deal thinking about which heroine I most identify with in films and books that I love and which time period I should’ve been born in.

I tag all of you to either answer the questions on your blog (if you have one!) or in the comments below as I’d love to read your answers!

Why Reading This Book Will Inevitably Make You Dumber, Faster, Strangely: 50 Shades of Sh*t (Grey) by E.L. James + 12 Things That Annoy Me About It (18+ MA ONLY PLEASE!)

I was inspired to start posting book reviews by my fellow bloggers, NerdyGirlShops and WandsandPliers. This review in particular was sparked by this post that WandsandPliers did about 50 Shades of Grey which was both hilarious and entertaining.

Anyhow, on with the review!

*WARNING – Spoilers Ahead!*

First of all, absolutely nothing happens in the first 3 chapters of this piece of crap. I got so bored I almost stopped reading. Finally, around chapter 5 or so, the story begins, albeit an unrealistic, annoying one. One thing I just don’t get is Anastasia’s naivete. Even if she is a 23 year old virgin, the extent of her lack of perception of people alone is just unfathomable. As much as James (the author) attempts to project this image of a cozy old hermit bookworm in a drop dead gorgeous (allegedly) girl’s body, I just don’t find it that believable. For her to not pick up on the fact that her “friend” Jose likes her is tantamount to moronic and the fact that she continuously whines in her head about her so-called best friend, Kate, nearly all of the first 3 chapters, but then goes on to say how much she adores her just shows exactly how low her self esteem and how hormonally imbalanced she is.

Another thing is, what exactly does Anastasia (or perhaps E.L. James) have against blondes? To add insult to injury, she completely writes off Jose’s attempt rape as “too much to drink” and endures Christian’s abusive, control freak, possessiveness until he beats her with a belt before leaving him. Ugh, I just don’t get it.

Above all,  I really think the only true accomplishment that E.L. James has is the fact that she’s managed to write a protagonist that I actually despise and who’s well-being I’m just not invested in. Other than that, her story is just another poorly written “romance” novel that she didn’t even write, but pretty much plagiarized from Twilight. As much as I dislike Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, I at least give her the credit for creating the story. James didn’t even do that; the amount of coincidental story elements is too obvious to overlook and what’s left is just bad. One last thing that really bothered me: as much as she’s set this in the USA and has her characters down as American, the language is blatantly British. Don’t get me wrong, I love British vernacular, but what’s the point of setting the story in Seattle (aside from being too lazy to change your Twilight fanfic location to somewhere new) if your “American” characters act and speak like total Brits? Even Brits are reading this going ..“Why are they so formal?”  because no one speaks like the characters in this novel. It’s just not realistic and it’s exhausting to read.

 Actually, I’ve no idea if they are since I’m obviously American, but I like to think that’s what they’re saying!

So, that’s all the motivation I can muster up for this review. I apologize if it’s a bit convoluted, but I hope you enjoyed it anyway!

Here Are 11 (out of the 104998594895) Things That Annoyed Me About 50 Shades of Grey:

  1. Anastasia, the Insecure Hater. I really do not understand what Anastasia has against her so-called “best friend” given that Kate is such a nice girl. I understand the obviously envy given Kate has everything (she’s beautiful, rich AND smart), but if they’re such good friends, you would think she wouldn’t be so bothered about it? 
  2. I Wondered Idly. I cannot express enough how absolutely tired I am of hearing Anastasia’s 3 subconscious voices “wonder idly” about things. It’s just tired. Just STOP IT. 
  3. Licking Christian Upside the Face. This may just be me, but I don’t understand the eroticism behind licking someone’s facial hair and face. Again, maybe it’s just me, but I don’t get it. 
  4. God, what is it about feet? Indeed. WHAT IS IT About Feet Anastasia? You tell me.
  5. Is this legal? I don’t know, why don’t you look it up if you feel the need to ask yourself “50” times a day if something is legal or not?
  6. Poor Jose, the Pathetic Rapist is Forever Friend Zoned and Alone. As much as I am repulsed by Anastasia’s ability to shrug off Jose’s attempted rape, I also feel a tiny shred of sympathy for the inevitability of his “forever alone” future if he keeps on walking sadly after the oblivious and uninterested Anastasia. 
  7. Grey, Grey, Grey, Shades, Shades, Shades, Etc. Man, talk about over-used words and phrases. I am too lazy to count the times Anastasia says “50 shades of [insert noun here]” or mentions “smoldering grey eyes/gaze,” but I’m willing to bet it’s in the 100’s. 
  8. Oh Miss Steele & Mr. Grey. Really?? Good Lord, I feel like I need to pull out my silk robe and pipe to read this shit.
  9. Adjective Abuse. Dear E.L. James, just because you put a million and one adjectives together to describe one thing does NOT make it a vibrant, well written description. It just makes me feel like you’re a terrible writer with no actual talent. Which you are. 
  10. Romanticizing Violence. This is one part of the book that seriously pisses me off. About 2/3 through the book, Christian starts getting a little too hardcore for my taste, though I’ve disliked his control freak possessiveness pretty evenly the entire way through this trash, and toward the very end actually beats Ana with a belt. Now, at this point, he’s already hit her a few times and they aren’t what I’d classify as “love taps,” especially considering he feels the need to give her Tylenol and bruise cream after the fact. Yet, in spite of all this, James still writes it like it’s sexy and romantic in a way. I know this is going into personal preference, but I just can’t help but feel that it’s abuse no matter how you swing it and not because he is into BDSM, but because he has SERIOUS issues that fuel this need to harm and control her and nothing else. 
  11. Control Freak, Possessiveness, Out of Control Jealousy, Etc. Made Attractive. I can wrap my head around the fact that some women enjoy making their man jealous or mad intentionally, but the way it’s portrayed in this is just dysfunctional to me. He’s not just harmlessly envious, he’s downright furious and he wants to punish her for it. Again, if you’re into that, cool, but I’m not and it turned me off. Also, I feel like this isn’t reality. In reality, this relationship would end up on COPS or Forensic Files, not Lifetime. 
  12. Her Sunconscious Has a Subconscious Which Has An Inner Goddess. Lastly, this was one of the most annoying bits. Why does Anastasia have a subconscious with another subconscious which has an inner goddess? If you ask me, she should really visit a shrink for that. 

So, those are all the things that got on my nerves while reading this.

Have you read 50 Shades of Grey?

How did you feel about it?

Let me know in the comments!