Saturday, February 26, 2011


I've not always been such a bookworm (i blame school for this), but lately it's not been uncommon to find me with my nose in a book!  I have quite the collection of books in my room (if i do say so myself :O), but have never felt the urge to read all of them.  But with a bit of inspiration from fellow bloggers (particularly Kelly & Zoe) and a little order from Barnes and Noble, lo & behold, i became a proud nerd.

If you are ever interesting in what i've been/what i'm currently reading, feel free to click on my "Books to Read" page.  I'll try and update it whenever i add another book to the list and whenever i finish one!

I don't know about you, but to me there's nothing really like holding a book in your hands and reading it - flicking through the pages, seeing how far you are from the end, etc.  I don't think i'd ever buy an eBook sort of thing, i think it's really because i'm an old soul and a traditionalist at heart.  I never want to see the day when the stop printing newspapers, magazines, and books :(.  "I pledge to read the printed word!"

 1. Classy by Derek Blasberg - This was one of the books i asked for on my Christmas list.  I love the Tiffany blue color, it's such a coffee table book!  It's a modern twist on those etiquette books you may or may not have read when you were younger.  Has a lot of humor and photos, & offers a man's perspective, but also gives a lot of really great information on how to be a classy, modern lady and not a skank!  (To put it like it is :)

2. Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith - This is more of an creative, art project type of book than it is an actual read.  I got this in an Amazon order at the beginning of summer 2010, but haven't really gotten around to completing a lot of the pages.  You can see some of the pages i did here on my Flickr & other people's (which are FAR better than mine!) here & here.

3. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - I read this book during the week i was waiting for my books from Barnes & Noble to arrive.  I've had it for years, but again, didn't really feel motivated to complete it.  It's quite an easy read, but i think it's a bit overrated.  Maybe that's just me!  It's about this woman in her (i think it's) early-mid 20's who slowly goes insane.  It sounded like a very 'me' book (yes, i'm crazy haha), but i couldn't really get into it.  Did quite enjoy the writing style & the fact that the chapters were short though.

4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov - This is one of the books i ordered from B&N.  This is the book i'm currently reading and i think i should start by saying this book is definitely not for everyone.  It's quite the - shall i say... unconventional? 'love' story.  There's a twelve year old girl who this older man is absolutely fascinated and almost obsessed with... when i read this, for some reason i can't imagine a twelve year old girl and a handsome man, but about an eight year old & a more unattractive older man & it just feels upright creepy.  Really wish my mind's eye would work a bit better, i would be less creeped out when reading this!

5. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - The other book i ordered from B&N and the book i plan to read next.  I got this before i knew it was being made into a movie (starring Rob Pattinson & Reese Witherspoon nonetheless!) - i genuinely thought it sounded interesting!  I didn't know it was coming out so soon, but i went to see True Grit yesterday & the trailer for the movie came on.. i was like WHAT.  Actually looks quite good.  Really want to finish this before i see the movie!  From what i've heard/read, this book is fictional story about a man's life in a traveling circus during the Great Depression.  I'm simultaneously freaked out & intrigued by circus during the turn of the century/early twentieth century, so i think this should be right up my alley :)

6. Tweak by Nic Sheff - This is one of my favorite books - i've had it for a while & read it about twice.  It's a memoir (i know what you're thinking, memoirs = blah, but after this book i absolutely love memoirs) about a young man and his battle with addiction to methamphetamines.  It honestly really opened my mind & offered a different perspective on people simply considered 'druggies' & 'wastes of space'.  The writing style is brilliant and relatable, and it's just one of those books you can't put down.  Really recommend this one!


Would love love love recommendations of books to read!
Feel free to leave any recs. for me to check out in the comments :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

January & February in photos

Quite a lot has happened in the past two months, and i want to thank you all for sticking with me through it all!  I've definitely not been the best blogger & even the times i do blog, i feel like my posts are quite boring or just 'meh'.  I enjoy doing tag posts & chatty posts (e.g. day summaries or even these kind of posts!), but i feel like no one really cares haha :/.  I'll try to do my best in blogging about topics that may actually be interesting to you all.
I think i just compare my blog to other's too often, and that really just makes me feel crap about Big City Dreams and leaves me unmotivated.  Along with all the things i've had going on in January and February, i have just seemed to give up altogether!  Really wish i had more time for blogging.  Until my wish comes true, i'll do my best to post 'quality' posts as much as possible.

Thanks again for bearing with me ♥

-My grandma dropped off an amazing loaf of blueberry bread she made
-Watched the Social Network for the first time - pretty good!  Love the soundtrack (Trent Reznor....*sigh*).
-Sifted through my nail polish collection, got rid of a few i don't use, & re-organized where i store them

-My school is converting from Windows to Mac computers & one of our computer labs is all iMacs - they're so beautiful!  And so huge!
-This month's wardrobe = slippers & sweatshirts.  I NEED to go shopping!

-Had a snow day, so my friends & i went sledding :).  Note to self - jeans do not provide adequate warmth when participating in winter outdoor activities.

-Brownie Obsession dessert from TGI Friday's - SO GOOD.  Have to say this close up shot looks gross haha
-Fooling around at work haha.  Amy's face is blurred out for a reason - no she's not deformed!  Stack of baskets ftw
-Homework and chips & guac :)

-Bullshitting (pardon my French) a pre-calc project.  Raised my grade a bit, so that's good news!
-Took a break from the load of studying & project/paper-completing to make yummy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

-Ordered Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov from Barnes & Noble after seeing them featured in Kelly's video (which is now privated) - can't wait to read these!
-In the break room at work on my first day
-Another break from work - currently reading The Bell Jar!


Didn't take many photos these past two months.  These were all taken on my phone, hence the poorer quality than usual.  I desperately want to get a DSLR camera, especially before i leave for my trip.  Wish they weren't so expensive!  *major sigh*

Monday, February 14, 2011

13 personal questions

One of my favorite Youtubers, Gemma, recently did this 'tag' and you know how i am with tags!  I can't get enough of them ;).  So again, i thought i'd go right ahead and do this one.  Sorry if you don't really enjoy reading tags, they're just quick & easy to do when i don't have time to do an actual beauty/fashion-related post.
You can watch Gemma's video with her answers here
Click photo for credit.


1. What do you order at Starbucks?
I'm actually not a huge Starbucks fan, but if i have a gift card or something i usually get a tall Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino & a chocolate chip cookie.  Haha :)

2. What's one thing in your closet that you cannot live without?
Probably a basic black or white cami - i wear these under everything.  I don't know why, i've been wearing those camis under everything since like fifth grade!  Another thing is probably a pair of dark wash jeggings.

3. What's one thing that most people probably wouldn't know about you?
I'm secretly a huge nerd.  I love learning and reading and watching the History & Discovery channel and such.  I'm a huge nerd when it comes to music and astronomy especially!

4. Name one thing you want to do before you die.
Fall in love & make it last.

5. What's one food that you cannot live without?
I'm sure i can definitely live without these (not by choice :P) but: pizza, brownies, pineapple.
Worst answer ever haha.

6. What quote/phrase do you live your life by?
See the beauty in everything.  Keep an open mind.  Happy girls are the prettiest girls.  Do what you want and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

7. What do you like and dislike about the Youtube/blogging community?
Like - This may sound completely cheesy/dorky, but it's fascinating (to me anyway) learning about how other girls live in countries throughout the world.  I was so used to life where i live, and i didn't really realize how different other girls my age live their lives because of their culture & where they grew up - whether it's in Ireland, England, Spain, or even just the west coast.  I don't know, i'm fascinated by it. :)
Dislike - Like Gemma, i really don't like how judgmental & negative people can be.  Gemma answered this part perfectly, so i don't feel like repeating it!

8. What's your number one most listened to song on iTunes?
Closer by Kings of Leon ~ it's nearing 700 plays now!

9. What kind of style would you define yourself as having?
I honestly don't know, it changes with my mood.  It's also changing a lot at the moment - i've been getting rid of so many of my old clothes because i just can't stand them anymore.  Unfortunately i have no money to get new clothes, so i'm literally living off of a few tops, cardigans, & jeggings.  I hate my life haha.

10. Favorite number?
Am i the only one who thinks it's weird to have a favorite number?  I don't know, i like odd numbers.  And two.

11. Two hobbies.
Tidying things, my room especially.  Blogging.

12. Two pet peeves.
People who use "ur", "u", "y", "r", etc. for your/you're, you, why, are, etc. when they have an adequate amount of space to type the full words.  Unnecessary & compulsive swearing (i'm guilty of this one sometimes, i'll admit!).

13. Guilty pleasure.
Chocolate.  Omg.  If you have a TGI Friday's by you, go and get the "Brownie Obsession" dessert.  Just trust me on this one!  Oh, and you might want to bring someone along to help you finish it haha.

Friday, February 11, 2011


♥ Have been counting the days down to when i go to England & France.  Just checked my calendar & i'll be leaving about 70 days from now!  Wow, that's incredibly close.  I'm scared i won't have enough money to spend!  Haha.  My birthday's in about five weeks so hopefully i'll get some moolah.  I should also mention, i got a job!  Finally, right?  I'm not sure if i mentioned this already, but i applied & got an interview at the thrift store where two of my friends work.  They called me a bit earlier in the week & are going to train me & start giving me hours in about a week.  Let's hope i start raking in the dough ;)

♥ There was an offer going on at Clinique where if you spended a certain amount of money there, you could get a free gift - they do this quite often.  I wanted to repurchase my favorite mascara - High Impact in black - and i was also interested in trying their cream liner because i heard it was really good.  Have been using those products as well as the bronzer that came in the "free" gift & i've been really loving them!  Might do a separate post on these Clinique goodies.

♥ Do you love my moon boots or what?  It's been super snowy & cold lately, and with that comes shoveling & of course sledding!  I went at night last week wednesday with friends because we had a snow day.  Bad idea just wearing jeans, socks, & boots on the bottom half of your body - so incredibly cold!

♥ As you may have seen in my recent outfit of the day post, i got this lovely new bag from H&M.  I adore fringe, big bags, and neutral colors so this is totally up my alley.  A lot of you seemed to like it as well, hope you can get your hands on it if you wanted it!

♥ I recently hit (not physically, haha :/) 500 Google Friend Connect followers on this ol' blog.  I just wanted to let you know that am genuinely grateful for each and every one of you who bothers to read & comment on my blog posts.  This blog would be nothing without you guys - And what would i be without Big City Dreams?!  Probably just another loner who spends her life in her room on her mom's computer playing Solitare ;).  So thankyouthankyouthankyou.  I love you girlzzz ♥ *sappy moment over!*
♥ Have also been OBSESSED with Lady Gaga's new single "Born This Way" - such a tune!  Great message, very dance-able beat, love it lots :).  Link to listen to it here.

Hopefully going out to dinner with my lovely friends once they get off of work in a few hours :)  Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

january favorites

I haven't done a monthly favorites post in what seems like ages, so i figured i'd try and start doing them again. Not making any promises though! ;)  These products are either newer ones that i've just discovered & have really liked or old favorites that i've rediscovered over the past month.
What have you been loving this month?
Dove Heat Defense Therapy conditioner.  This is one of the products i've rediscovered.  I used to use this everyday but i realized that it was contributing to the product buildup in my hair.  I put off using it for a long time, but have come back to it.  It makes my hair smooth & helps protect my hair from the heat.  I generally use this on the days i blow-dry my hair (i usually shower at night & leave my hair to air dry).  This is the old packaging of this conditioner, but this stuff is still available!

Favorite mascara combination.  I've been loving super thick, dark lashes this past month (well, every month really!) and these two products together help achieve the look.  Clinique's High Impact mascara is my favorite mascara i've ever tried, but in tandem the sample of Lancome's Definicils mascara, it's even better.  I probably won't buy the full size of the Lancome mascara as i'm not made of money haha, but i'll enjoy the little sample while it lasts :)

Favorite eyeshadow combination.  I've been finding it hard to get out of bed & putting the effort into looking super done up this past month.  But to prevent looking like a total mess, finding a quick & easy makeup routine in the morning was an essential.  Benefit's Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow in RSVP (review here) was something i ordered from Sephora a little before Christmas and MAC's Satin Taupe eyeshadow is an old favorite of mine.  I put two layers of RSVP all over my lid & into my crease (as a base & lid color in one) and using a MAC 217 brush, i put Satin Taupe in the crease & build it up into the outer v.  Both quick & easy, but it looks nice and put together.

MAC 129 & Sigma E65 Small Angle brushes.  One of the first things i ever purchased from MAC is the 129 Powder/Blush brush.  I love using it for blush, it applies & blends the color with ease.  Since it's getting quite old, it's getting a bit scratchy unfortunately but it's still nice.  I got a few Sigma brushes for Christmas and i have been absolutely loving them.  One of the eye brushes i got was the E65 Small Angle brush.  I love using this to apply eyeshadow on my lower lash line & i'm hoping this will work well for my recently purchased Clinique cream eyeliner.  We'll see how that goes!

Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes.  This was one of the products i purchased in my recent skincare haul & since then, i've been able to try them out for a while.  Many of you commented on that post saying you loved these and they didn't disappoint!  These are really gentle on my skin & get my makeup off really well.  The towelettes are actually pretty big & since i'm quite cheap i cut them in half and find that's enough to do the job!  I use these to remove my makeup when the day's done, before i cleanse my face.  If i'm feeling particularly lazy, i'll just quick wipe my face with these, apply a bit of moisturizer, and go to bed!  Love these.

Three to follow: Morven, Kerti, Kelly.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

four things tag

click photo for credit
Whilst checking my Blogger dashboard as you dooo, i came across this tag on Ellie's blog Little Elfie (go check it out, it's one of my faves & she's lovely ♥).  I've not done one like it before - well, maybe i have but i can't resist these tags - so i thought i'd do it!  I always enjoy reading these, so i hope you like what i've written below :)  If you end up doing this tag, feel free to link it in the comments.  You can read Ellie's answers here.  And here are mine... ♥
*Edit: Ellie seems to have privated her blog, sorry bout that :/ Hopefully it'll come back up soon!*

Four things found in my bag:
- Strawberry Lip Smackers chapstick
- Wallet
- Victoria's Secret Kissing in Paris body mist (if you think you're too old for body mists, you've clearly never been to Victoria's Secret)
- Juicy Fruit Sweet Fruit gum

Four things found in my wallet:
- Learner's permit
- Two five dollar bills (this is so sad haha)
- A plethora of gift cards
- School ID

Four favorite things in my room:
- Blanket
- Figurines my parents have collected over the years from travelling & such
- Framed sheet music
- Book shelf

Four things i've always wanted to do:
- Travel the world
- Fall in love & make it last
- Give back to my parents & thank them for all they've done for me
- Go back to Disney World

Four things i'm currently into:
- Cheerios
- Reading
- Dreaming
- Resisting change

Four things i bet you didn't know about me:
- I think having a favorite number is weird
- I've played the violin for going on eight years now
- I cannot stand romantic comedies, aka chick-flicks
- I hate that they've stopped teaching kids how to write in cursive

Four songs i can't get out of my head:
- Marry You by Bruno Mars
- Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor) by Pitbull & T-Pain
- Read My Mind by The Killers

Four shows that i watch:
- Skins US & UK
- Misfits
- Jeopardy
- Intervention

Four things i'm passionate about:
- Happiness
- Traveling
- Art - music, photography, etc.
- Learning (ahem.. nerd)

Four things i've learned from the past:
- Don't judge a person by what you see or hear of them, you have no idea what they may actually be going through
- Laughter really is the best medicine
- There's beauty in everything
- Although it's scary, sometimes you have to just put yourself out there

Four places i'd like to go:
- Egypt (feel horrible with all the chaos & everything going on over there)
- Germany
- Japan
- New York City

Four things i did yesterday:
- Got out of school early (thank you crazy Midwestern weather)
- Watched Planet Earth
- Made brownies
- Cried until my eyes were sore

Four things i'm looking forward to:
- Playing Mario Kart DS
- My birthday in March
- England & France in April
- Summer & being done with school (except for the humidity & bugs)

I'd also like to add: happy February!  This year is already going by so quickly.  I have an interview at the thrift store tomorrow, so cross your fingers for me please!  My friends who work there are reassuring me that it's really nothing, but i can be such a nervous wreck.