Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Top Ten Books of 2014

This week's Top Ten Tuesday (thanks to The Broke and The Bookish) is counting down my FAVORITES from this past year of reading. I read quite a few books this year (though some people have definitely read more) but there are definitely some that stand out among the others. So, in almost NO particular order.

1. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell- Oh yea, don't you remember me ranting and raving about this book? You should. And if you haven't read this one yet, you should. I don't know what it is, but her books just work for me. The characters are so easily relatable. The setting is so familiar (hello Midwest!) and it just flowed. I feel like I got to know Beth the same way that Lincoln did, and what seemed creepy at first turned into something that oddly enough made sense. READ IT! READ IT! This story...it stuck with me.

2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell- Yeaaaa, ok I have more Rainbow to add to this. But Fangirl was so good! Again, so realistic. The characters just felt so real and I wanted to be friends with them. It was a situation I understood so well. Going to college and not knowing anyone but one single person. We've all been there and understand some of Cath's feelings. The only issue I had was my aversion to fan fiction, but I though the story was just so great. I inhaled this book. WHOOOOO RAINBOW ROWELL!

3. The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas (Throne of GlassCrown of MidnightHeir of Fire)- Yea, I started this series about a month and a half, maybe two months ago. Yeaaaaaaa I loved it. Kind of took over my reading life a bit. The world she created is awesome and the story line is so intense. And the characters! AH, the characters. So strong, but not like unrealistically strong. They have weaknesses, they have faults, and they deal with a lot of tough things in very real ways. I loved it. And the wait for book 4 may kill me. Seriously, can I have it now? Those last few chapters...so much I have to know.

4. The Young Elites by Marie Lu- Yet again, a book I read and am dying in anticipation for book #2. This book was fantastic. I loved the Legend series, so I wasn't sure exactly how this would look next to that. It was great. Completely different from Legend (minus having chapters told in various character's perspectives). This book was dark. Kind of eerie. And it showed that even those people that have that darkness inside of them can do good. They can overcome the darkness, even when it's difficult. I am so looking forward to seeing what happens next. I did not expect this book to end as it did, and I need more. Please and thank you.

5. Lady Thief (Scarlet #2) by AC Gaughen- Have you ever read a book that made you so upset that you had to slam it shut? And then did you open that book right back up to keep reading about 5 minutes later? Yea, that's what I did with this book (and with the first book). I love this book series. A little cheesy, but so awesome. Gaughen does things that I DO NOT want her to do, but in a good way. It's like she makes me fall in love with these characters and then has them deal with how life can be. And Scarlet. Scarlet is pretty awesome. This is a series more people need to get on with. The 3rd and final book comes out in May, so you can have less of a wait than me.

6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn- Yes, I did jump on this bandwagon. I'm ok with that. This is not a normal book pick for me. I typically don't like this, and even after reading it I had to make sure to do something happy to make me feel better. So much manipulation, so much pure evil, so much screwing with each other's mind. I honestly HATED all the characters, except for Nick's sister, but I can appreciate that the author can create that. I read this book in 2 days. It sucked me in and I just HAD to know what came next. Worth the read? yes. Will I read it again? Probably not. But it definitely made the top ten for 2014.

7. Where She Went by Gayle Forman- Ok, so this book is the 2nd book to If I Stay. I read that one first and was feeling pretty meh about the mere existence of Where She Went, because I feel like it didn't need a sequel. Man, was I wrong. This book was just as emotional as the first. I was yelling at the characters (yep, I was having a fight with a fictional character). I was sobbing at parts. And I was finding myself really truly relate to these characters who were just trying to sort through their grief. I almost liked this one more than the first one, but you have to read the first one before this (because you would not feel the emotions as much). Gayle Forman, you kill me (in a good way) and I can't wait to read your next book.

8. Champion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu- Well, well, well....look who showed up on my list again. I started the Legend series last year and finished it in the beginning of 2014, and I loved it. Ending a series can be so tricky. EVERYONE has different expectations and wants, but in the end it's the author who has the last say. I won't give out spoilers (but you should probably read this series so we can talk), but I must say I am happy with the ending. I think it ended giving the reader hope. There were points where it seemed hopeless, but she left us with that hope. I loved it.

9. Conquest by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard- Oh...Jake will be so happy. I was forced to read this book. He kept bugging me and bugging me so I gave in. And I liked it. Typically, not into alien books. This was awesome though. So much action. So much happening. So many characters. A little violent, but not more than I could handle reading about. And this is the first in a series, so there are more to look forward to!

10. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley- I loved this book! So sad that I have been struggling to get the next book. This book follows Flavia de Luce, the most awesome 11 year old (besides Harry Potter OBVIOUSLY), as she tries to solve a mystery. This book kept me guessing and even had me learning a bit. It was a simple, fun read that also challenged me a little bit at the same time. It's definitely a mystery series for people that don't typically read mystery (like myself). And they keep releasing new ones! Plenty to go around!

I have read a lot of good books this year. Honestly, there aren't A TON that I rated really poorly. This list is basically what stood out to me the most this past year. And there is so much I wish I would have gotten my hands on, though this list would have been super hard then. Anything awesome I've missed this year?

I hope to have the chance to write something more later, but if I don't....Merry Christmas! Hope you all enjoy this time of year with family and friends!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2015

Look! It's Tuesday again! Maybe one day I'll think of something else to write besides these Top Ten Tuesdays, but until then I will continue to participate and create these fun lists. Thanks The Broke and The Bookish for making something fun I love to participate in! This week I'm listing the top ten books I am looking forward to that come out next year! Can't believe we are already in December and can look forward to next year. Now, I'm not going to lie, after my first 4 I had no idea what else to write. But after some much needed research and reminders of what I have heard other people talk about I was able to think of 10. I'm sure I could find more, but I think this list is perfect! So, in almost no particular order (because my first two listed are ones I really am dying to have soon):

OH MY GOSH! I need this one! So badly. The last book, Lady Thief, left me needing more (which is awesome that an author can do that). I need to know what will happen with my favorite characters, because right now things are looking kind of scary. This isn't released until May 19th (which means you have TONS of time to catch up.

No cover for this one yet, but that does not mean I need it any less. So much happened in Heir of Fire, and there is still so much that can happen. I am looking forward to getting to know certain characters more and I am really dying to know what is happening with everyone (because some were in some sticky situations at the end of book 3).  I have to wait until September 10th(ish). A wait that may kill me.

I think the premise of this one sounds really awesome. I read the first three in the series and while I was reading the third one I heard Cass was publishing a 4th. That kind of confused me but after reading the summary I was intrigued. I would love to see what the Selection is like from the viewpoint of someone who is doing the selecting, and to have it be a female looking for a husband, even more interesting. This one comes out on May 5th.

I must admit, I have loved most of the books I've read by Gayle Forman. I LOVED If I Stay and Where she went (which you should read if you have not already) but was only ok with Just One Day and Just One Year. However, I know she is more than capable of creating a story that I love, and the summary of this books just got me. She writes fantastic books filled with emotions that just really get to me as a reader, and I kind of love that. January 27th isn't too far off right?

I keep hearing more and more about this book, and I keep seeing other blogs that I follow talk it up (mostly lots of anticipation) and I think I really may need this one. The main character just sounds like a badass, and the world needs more badass female characters. I have been on such a fantasy kick lately and this just fits the bill. One of the reviewers compared it to Game of Thrones, which makes me super nervous (just don't compare books to things that are super popular. People end up disappointed) but I am pumped to give this a try. Just gotta wait until March 10th.

It's been such a long time since I've had a good steampunk-y read, and this sounds pretty solid so far. The summary isn't large, but it does say it's the Night Circus meets Pixar (The Night Circus was a fantastic book that you should really read if you haven't, and if you haven't seen a Pixar movie then you are probably dead inside. A little harsh but true). I know I just complained about comparisons like that, but I also have to believe that these comparisons are valid. Story is set in an alternate London, which sounds even more awesome. Can't wait to learn more about it. Another May 19th release!

This book just sounds interesting. Super intriguing and even a little creepy. I just want to read the book right after reading that description. I have to know what happened Roza and how Finn is handling things and what is really with the people of Bone Gap. Definitely looking forward to reading this one. Come on March 3rd!

Fairy tale retellings with more of a mystery vibe? Count me in! I am such a sucker for fairy tale retellings (should we talk about how many times I read Gail Carson Levine books? It was more than I can count). This one is about The Princess & The Pea and her family (who controls black market organ transplants). I definitely can't wait to get my hands on this one. That makes 3 books that come out on May 19th now. 

This book deals with someone who has a hard time distinguish reality from what he makes up in her head. It's just about a young woman's battle with schizophrenia as she is trying to finish up high school and get into college. It sounds really interesting and it is recommended to those that like Silver Linings Playbook (yea...there I go again being "ok" with the comparison. But I loved Silver Linings Playbook, and I would love to read a book that I feel is at that level. A book that can make me laugh out loud at some of the crazy things that happen but at the same time feel for the main character.). Once again, this one comes out on May 19th. Seriously, I'll have a lot of reading to do around then.

I love Elizabeth Wein. Code Name Verity was a book I read in a day and I beg people to read because it's just fantastic. I was feeling pretty so so on her second book but may have to give it a try again. However, I am really intrigued by anything else she writes. It just has so much going on, set in the 1930s with a white woman raising an adoptive black child (seriously, that would be so hard at that time) and then war outbreak when they travel to Ethiopia. I just really need to read this book. It sounds so incredibly interesting. March 31st.

A pretty solid list if I may say so myself. Anything I should add or remove from this list? Anything I haven't really looked into that I should? I always love new suggestions.

And, being that it is December, I will end with a Christmas song :) 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Top Ten Books I Would LIKE to Read This Winter

Yes, this week's Top Ten Tuesday (Thanks to The Broke and The Bookish) is about the books I would LIKE to read this winter. Which was a very difficult list to make seeing as I read 2 of the 10 I had intended to read this fall. So these are just books I hope to read, but we shall see if I do or do not. Who knows, I could maybe even tackle more than what I put on here, or change it around. We shall see. I tried to organize it by what I own with a couple that I do not own, because I have SO many books. So, starting with the books that I currently have physical copies of...

1. I Capture the Castle (Dodie Smith)- It's been on my list for awhile, and now that I finally got a copy at HPB I am thinking this winter it will definitely be something I crack open. I hear a lot of good things about it and am really wanting to be able to know for myself.

2. Scarlet (Marissa Meyer)- I read the first book in this series and loved it. Bought the 2nd book and clearly had anxiety about continuing the series. I really am not always the best at finishing books in a series. I figure I should jump back into this world. I hear nothing but excellent things about this book, and the book that follows it. And if I loved Cinder so much then why have I been waiting so long?

3. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)- I started this book a while back, and then there was a lot of stuff going on in my life that was just a lot to deal with, so I decided to put this book down for something a little more lighthearted. I was really liking his book too, but it just wasn't working at that point in my life. This winter, however, I think is a perfect time to sit in front of my fireplace with this one. And yes, I do have the illustrated one.

4. The Queen of the Tearling (Erika Johansen)- Yeaaaaaa I've really been wanting to read this book. I checked it out at the library once, but ran out of time and couldn't renew it. And of course, when I went back to check it out....it was gone. Lucky for me, it was $1.99 for my nook one day, and I most definitely jumped on that one. Does this not sound exactly like my type of fantasy novel?

5. Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand)- This story has intrigued me, and when I worked at a library I checked it out a few times, but it kept getting pushed to the bottom of my pile and then requested so I had to bring it back. With the movie coming out in December it seems like the perfect time to finally read this one. I hear nothing but wonderful things about this book and it has been constantly recommended to me.

6. Lord of the Flies (William Golding)- Yes...I have never read Lord of the Flies. Keep shaking your head at me all you want. Roll your eyes, I don't care. I guess I never had to read it in high school. I'm definitely tired of getting shamed when it is discovered that I have not read this yet. I hear lots of different things, but I am going to read it so that I can FINALLY cross it off my list, and so I can stop getting all these ridiculous reactions from people.

7. The Flight of Gemma Hardy (Margot Livesey)- This one has been on my radar for awhile as well, though I just remembered to add it to my goodreads list. It sounds like a super interesting and intriguing story set in Ireland and Scotland. Though, it does say it is a wee bit like Jane Eyre, so I may want to try to finish that on first.

And now for the books that I do not have a physical copy of at the moment...

8. Station Eleven (Emily St. John Mandel)- Since learning of this book in the last couple of months I have been dying to get my hands on it. It's been awhile since I've had a dystopian read, and a lot of the book blogs that I follow really seem to LOVE this one (and it seems we have similar tastes). Sadly, I have been able to get a copy of this one and with the holidays fast approaching I am making sure to not buy for myself (HINT HINT FAMILY! I WANT THIS BOOK!) so I will just have to wait. I mean, I have plenty to read so it's not like its URGENT, but I do want it.

Snow Like Ashes (Sara Raasch)- Another book I have been wanting to have in my hands since learning about it. In fact, I almost bought it a couple weeks ago but decided against it. It's just another one of those fantasy novels that sounds just like something I would love to read. I've tried to track it down at the library, but have failed. So I'll wait and read what I have (HINT HINT AGAIN FAMILY!).  I figure I'll have my hands on this book eventually.

10. The Magicians (Lev Grossman)- I have read that this book is being called the adult version of Harry Potter (but, let's be honest....who cares if Harry Potter is for adults or children. Harry Potter is awesome at any age!). This had me, though it also had me nervous. Upon reading the description I could see it and definitely want to give it a try. Let's hope it lives up to my expectations.

Of course, anything that I had said I wanted to read this fall is fair game as well. There are a lot of other books I could have added to this list, but didn't. I kind of just went on a gut feeling (after looking at what I did have a copy of). Anything else I should add? Anything I should just ignore from this list?

Thank goodness winter reading doesn't technically start yet! The Young Elites is just sitting here begging me to read it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Top Ten Characters I Want to Have Their Own Novel

This week's Top Ten Tuesday (thanks to The Broke and The Bookish) is about those secondary characters that I would love to learn more about. In ALMOST no particular order...

Seriously, how awesome would that be? I want to know more about Snape, more about why he is the way he is. More about his LOVE for Lily and his real, true feelings for Harry. I have so many questions, I want to know why he cares so much but shows so little. I want to know Snape more. UGH. PLEASE!

Seriously. I want this. Neville is a character that grew soooooo much throughout the Harry Potter books. And that is something we only see through the eyes of Harry Potter. I'd love to follow Neville through Hogwarts. I'd love to see what it was that changed in him and how he became so brave and strong and confident. I'd also love to see what he thinks of Harry throughout the years. To read through the point of someone who sees what Harry does but does not always participate could be interesting. Would it be 7 books? No.

SIDE NOTE: JK Rowling...if you're reading things (because I'm sure you are) I, and many others I'm sure, would like more about Voldemort's first rise to power. Seriously. How cool would that be? 

Ok, so those are the top two. Like above all else, I would want another book from their perspective. But here are some other ones I would really enjoy (in no particular order).

3. The Rebels (from The Selection series)
I just kind of want to get in their heads. I want to see how they view the system of how things work in Illea and if there are any things they do like about it. I want to get to know some of the faces behind the rebellion, because they can't all be crazy.

4. Princess Nehemia (from the Throne of Glass series)
She's a character I did not fully understand. Like she became such great friends with Calaena but seemed to always be keeping so much of her life hidden. I want to know about her life. I want to know about what is going on in her land and what in the world she was trying to accomplish. I liked her a lot, and I just want to learn more about her.

5. Aedion (from Heir of Fire, the 3rd Throne of Glass book)
He's a new character that's introduced in this book. As much as I grew to love him I was kind of confused by him at first. I understood how he fit in with the story, but I didn't get the character himself. I kind of wanted to know just what he'd been doing since the fall of the kingdom he was a part of. I think he would be even better if I had the time to really get to know him more through another book.

6. Rowan (from Heir of Fire, again...)
Ok, he's another new character that's introduced in this book. And he definitely told Calaena about his past, but I kind of want to learn more. I almost want a book that shows me just how painful things were before we meet him so I can fully understand just why he was in the position he was in for so long. I also really am a sucker for books where it ends in tragedy and the character works hard to rise above it. I dunno, I think Rowan would have such an interesting story. Maybe a little messed up, but I'd be ok with that. 

7. Metias (from the Legend series)
I just want to get to know Metias better. There seems to be so much to him, so much more than I saw. I think it would be awesome to see him grow and become who I saw in this series. Find out how he discovered things, all of that. I just want to be able to like him more, if that's the right way to say it. I just kind of found him to not be very real, and maybe a book about him would help.

8. Reagan (from Fangirl)
I know right, not a series. Shocker! And honestly, the first book that is not a fantasy/dystopian type book. And the only one. I really liked Reagan. She seemed like a great person and I would kind of love to know more about her and not just the person I see through Cath's eyes. I'd love to see what it was like when she started college, if she was at all like Cath or if she was always like how we see her (confident in herself, social, etc.).

9. Po (from the Graceling series)
I just want to see more about his life pre-Katsa, or even while he meets and gets to know Katsa. It gets so centered on her and her fear of commitment (and I loved this book, don't think I didn't). I just want to see what he thinks about things, and where he fits in besides with Katsa.

10. Uriah (from the Divergent series)
I just really want to see what it was like for someone who grew up Dauntless. Obviously this book series centers around Tris and her Abnegation background and Dauntless choice. I want to get to know what it is like to grow up and then choose Dauntless. I am just so curious. I could even be ok with looking into each faction just to see what it was like for a child to grow up in those environments. They all had so many viewpoints on what was going on in their society, and it would be so interesting to see what goes on.

It's so funny that the majority of these are from series, and those series are all in similar genres. But there are so many characters I meet and see through the eyes of the main character. How cool would it be to see the main character through the eyes of a secondary character?

And now I must get back to sorting through my dad's albums. It's crazy what awesomeness I've been finding since visiting home before picking Jake up. Kind of excited to take a little piece of my dad back to Wisconsin with me. And in honor of him we will end with someone that he loved, well one of the many many many musical acts he loved.

(yeaaaaa he really liked Kansas)

Sorted through all my dad's cassette tapes last night, tonight it's all his vinyl. Not all cassette tapes are shown.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Top Ten Books I am DYING to Reread

Another Top Ten Tuesday that I am SO excited to participate in (thank you The Broke and the Bookish). This week's top ten is about rereading. I am one that LOVES to reread, but I seem to hardly ever have the time to do so. And I have really been thinking about it lately and think that rereading may help me out of this slump I seem to be experiencing(though I am really starting to get into Heir of Fire now, thankfully. It's not that didn't love it, it's just I lack motivation.). So here are the top ten books I'd like to reread, in no particular order.

1. HARRY POTTER- Is that even a question? I adored this series so much, and I would love to dive into it again. I have reread the first one and the third one for school, and there were so many things that I did not remember and many things that reminded me of why I loved this series so much. I would love to be able to read them again, and I'm sure I would fly through them. I have definitely made fun of my friend for rereading them, but to be fair she has reread them a million times! And it's friendly making fun, not mean. But here you go Arika...I would love to reread Harry Potter. And then have a movie marathon! Plus, who wouldn't want to love and hate Snape all over again?

2. To Kill A Mockingbird- It has been SO long since I've read this one. I remember loving it when I did read it, but that was a very long time ago. Recently, the library that I worked at back home did a program with this, and of course that started right when I was moving, so I missed out on it and wish I hadn't. I just can't remember a lot from this book minus feeling in love with it, and I would love to reread it and rediscover just what it is I loved about it.

3. Graceling- I flew through this one the first time I read it. I loved the world that Cashore created, and I loved the characters and everything. I have the next book in the series, but before I dive into it I think I would really love to be able to reread this one. I want to remind myself of the world, remind myself of the characters and what they all have had to deal with. I think without a reread I won't be able to dive into the next one. So it seems like this one may have to happen. I want to remind myself how awesome Katsa is (because I know she's awesome, but I just can't remember HOW awesome).

4. Ella Enchanted- I devoured this book over and over again as a kid. I loved it so much. And it is SO different from that ridiculous movie (seriously, if you've only seen the movie and have never read the book you are missing out, so much). It's been years since I've read this one and I would love to be able to read it again. I'm sure it would be one of those that I would read real quick, maybe even in an afternoon.

5. The Looking Glass Wars- I loved this series. Read it when I was in college. Helped me get away from the stress of homework and reading textbooks. It was the best escape from reality. I loved this retelling of Alice in Wonderland. There were a lot of interesting twists and turns and it became a very interesting viewpoint on the world that Lewis Carroll created. If you haven't read this series I definitely think you should. I just put the audiobook of the first one on my phone so that on my long drive back home to get Jake I have something awesome to listen to. I am very excited to listen to it.

6. The Hobbit- With the last movie coming out I am definitely starting to feel the need to reread this. It has been awhile since I've read this too, but I know that I loved this one a lot. I know that the movie is an ADAPTATION of the book (plus some other writings) and not necessarily the book exactly, but there are many things in the book that I have just forgotten about that I feel the need to remember. Plus, it is completely ok to love the adaptation of the book and the book. A movie adaptation would not be any fun if it was exactly like the book. There are so many things in a book that are best left up to your own imagination, and when it is presented in front of you it isn't as amazing as you remember it being in the book. Sorry, my own little rant... I want to reread this one though.

7. Code Name Verity- This book took me one day to read. I loved it so much I was willing to sit all day long and read it. I loved this story so much, and the characters. The author moved me with this book. I felt so many different emotions while reading it, tears were shed. I just love when an author can do that to me as a reader. When they have the ability to get me so wrapped up in their story that I feel the emotions that the characters feel and when I feel that what happens to them happens to me. Ah! I love it. Definitely need to try to reread this one.

8. Cinder- I am really needing to read the second book in this series, but I think before doing that I need to reread the first one. I loved this book so much, I wasn't sure at first, it seemed like the plot was a bit cheesy, but I really loved it. I loved how this fairy tale could be told with a more dystopian/steampunk-y sort of world. I remember having a hard time adjusting to the world that this author created, and there are a lot of things that happened that I do not remember. I think it would be awesome if I were able to reread this one, plus it would help me so much when I start to read the next book, because I plan to read the next book.

9. The Secret Garden- Man, talk about a book that I haven't read in a very long time. I was very into this book as a kid. I read it a couple times and I loved it. But it's been so long since I've read it that I don't remember a lot about it. I would love to remember just what it was I loved about this book. I think this is definitely something I would love to reread.

10. Little Women- This is another book that I read when I was younger, but I can't remember a lot about it. I just remember that I loved it, so much. I want to remember just why I adored this book. I think rereading it now, at this point in my life, I would pick up on so much more of the story, and I hope that means that I would like it as much, if not more, than I did when I was younger.

I am really hoping that in the next year I can get some rereading in. I want to remember just why I fell in love with some of these books. I have this terrible habit of remember general feelings I have for the book that I'm reading. I can remember if a character was pretty awesome or not. I can remember what kind of emotions I have while reading the book, but when it comes to details I tend to forget them. I think that making it my goal to reread some, if not all, of these books would be really great for me especially if I get into a slump like I have been lately. I think it's important to reread those books that helped me fall in love with reading. Cannot wait to try to dive in to some of these. Though I definitely have some other books I need to finish first.

And now a song to send you off. Happy November!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Hunt for a Floor Length Dress.

Seriously, how hard is it to find a floor length dress? Apparently super hard. I haven't actually gone out to stores to look yet, but that's mostly because I won't have the money to actually purchase anything until next week, but let me say I feel pretty discouraged just looking on the internet. Have you googled floor length gowns ever? Do it. Do it now. Here are my issues...

1. I am 25 years old. 25 YEARS OLD! So I am pretty positive that a Mother of the Bride type dress, which typically comes up fairly fast, is going to age me a lot and make me feel just a little bit ridiculous. If you like that kind of dress that's cool, but for a 25 year old it is unacceptable.
Seriously, I'm 25. How old will this make me look? 
2. Did I mention that I am 25? Yes, I am 25...not 17 or 18 and in the market for a prom dress. I am not looking for a sparkly, glitzy, fluffy sort of dress (yes, fluffy...I consider it to be a bit fluffy with all that tulle and such). I can't fit into my old prom dress (nor do I really want to anymore) and it just wouldn't work for me either. I am NOT looking for a prom dress.
Pretty sure I wasn't even looking for this type of dress as I looked for a prom dress.

3. I am pretty anti-strapless dress. Seriously, it doesn't really look that great on anyone and then you're constantly sitting there tugging up your dress just to make sure it doesn't slide down and expose what you do not want exposed. I mean seriously, how stupid do you look constantly tugging that up. I remember that being sooooo hard when I was looking for a wedding dress. Seriously, stop with the strapless dresses already!

So, you might be wondering...what do I actually want. Ugh...it's so hard. I never really thought that I would need a floor length dress until my husband told me right before he left the country (ha, good timing on his part right? He had to have known I'd be annoyed). Well, if you must know...I want something simple. I'm looking at some darker colors, probably sticking close to a black, because I just do not like wearing anything super bright and it'll be winter when I do wear it (in December) so yea, no bright colors. I want straps (duh!) so that I don't look like an idiot constantly tugging it up. I found this dress, which I love, but is sadly out of my price range (who has nearly $300 to drop on a dress like this?)

I love the simplicity. It's not over the top in any way. I want the waistline to be a bit higher, because I tend to lean towards more of an empire type dress, but I love this. But not $300 worth. 

So where should I look? I'm thinking of attempting to hit up thrift stores and consignment shops, because you never know what you will find (I got a really cute black dress for $8 at one, just needs a small adjustment but still...pretty awesome). Suggestions? I am pretty frustrated and not at all excited to start actually going out there to search. But I need to get one since apparently this could be my dress code for various events in my life later on as well. Any and all suggestions are helpful. :)