December was a hectic month, especially working retail. I felt like all I did was work. With the semester coming to an end and the approach of the holidays, I was mentally and physically exhausted from Black Friday up until Christmas Eve eve. Between studying for my final and working long hours I felt like I would never catch up on sleep. I did manage to take some time for myself though, and found some peace in new music, TV and movies that dropped before and after Christmas.
Ms. Swift decided to drop a brand new Christmas song to bless our hearts and ears! The song was written, produced and finished in a weekend and dropped on December 6th, mere days later. Listening to it you are enveloped in a warm hug and feel as if you've just shaken a snow globe and you're watching the town inside it come to life. It brings me back to my childhood of hoping for snow days and writing letters to Santa. Swift captured the magic of the holiday season and the brought back the childlike wonder of the holiday season to those of us who've felt like we've lost it as we've grown up.
On December 13th, Harry Styles dropped his second album Fine Line and he did not disappoint. My top three tracks, as of right now, are To Be So Lonely, Adore You and Falling. He's got a good mix of heartbreak, hope and bops to go around for any kind of listener. It's an album I am sincerely enjoying and I hope to catch him on tour when he comes to MSG this summer. I saw him live twice for his first record and they were two incredible nights even from the nosebleeds. Not only does Harry have soothing, talented vocals but he is a born performer.
"Little Women" premiered on Christmas day and I was utterly thrilled. I've been a fan of this story since I was in middle school, and to see some of my favorite actors portraying iconic fictional characters of my youth warmed my heart. I was obsessed with the Winona Ryder 1994 film, it was the first movie that made me cry! So, when I found out Greta Gerwig was bringing her own version to life with Emma Watson and Saorise Ronan on the cast list I couldn't wait. And I couldn't have asked for a better adaptation. Although this film showed the girls lives through flashbacks, it still upheld the love and friendship the sisters had with one another that I cherished as a young girl myself. Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy were all as I remembered them, but I found it interesting to realize that although Amy never appealed to me before, she and Jo are very similar. They are strong minded and determined and talented in their respective fields. They just approach their separate passions differently. I think in this modern version of the story, Amy shows more growth than I ever recognized from her before. I had always found her selfish and self-centered, but as an adult we see her ambition more clearly. Plus her acknowledgement of the reality of being a woman during her time shows maturity and depth to her seemingly surface level personality. It was a refreshing new outlook for her character. I was also floored by Saoirse Ronan's performance, although I shouldn't be surprised at this point I've loved every film she's been in. In my opinion she was the perfect fit for the role of Jo, she captured her passion, her rowdiness and her spirit effortlessly. One of the final scenes of the film, where Jo exclaims how a woman is more than her heart, was so profound. I could feel everything Saoirse was presenting, she fully embraced the character and did so beautifully.
It had been a while since I'd seen the original, but "Frozen 2" reminded me how absolutely hysterical Olaf is. Yes, that is exactly what I took from this movie...Okay! Fine. The ever present message of Anna and Elsa's bond and their love for each other also brought tears to my eyes multiple times. Being that it is a children's movie, I sort of figured the premise of the plot before the film ended, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. From the powerful new song "Into the Unknown," which I think I will be adopting as my personal mantra for this year, to Kristoff being completely overwhelmed by his feelings the entire time, everything about this new story with our favorite characters made me laugh, cry and want to watch it over and over again.
I was hesitant when I started this book. It seemed like it was teetering on the edge of a Hallmark movie waiting to happen. Plus, for some reason there were a lot of negative reviews that unfortunately influenced my outlook at the start. I was, however pleasantly surprised the story didn't head in the direction I feared. I love romance novels, but sometimes I need more depth. I need to know how the characters do in their career, their friendships, their family life, etc. And this book delivered. It represented a solid, loyal bond between two young women throughout their 20s, it portrayed how hard post-college life can be, and it even gave an incredibly accurate male perspective. I think this story benefitted greatly from having two points of view, male and female, and the progression of the love, the fallout and reconnection of the friendship, and the ultimate happy ending for all is what made this story realistic and compelling for me as a reader. If you plan on reading it make sure you carve out some time, it is quite long, and try the audio book! It's set in London for the majority of the book and the accents make the reading experience even better. And finally, do yourself a favor and don't read the negative reviews. They'll steer you wrong.
I'm a big fan of the Frozen franchise, what can I say! I'm also a big fan of the makeup company Colourpop! As soon as they dropped their Frozen collection I knew what I wanted for Christmas. The Anna box set comes with an eyeshadow pallet, glitter, lipstick and gloss! I have yet to try the glitter and gloss, but I am a big fan of the quality of the eyeshadow, especially the glitter shade. I will most definitely be having a lot of fun experimenting.