Everything But Books
Fun and more fun, but none of it relating to books (because I have another page for that)

December 12, 2012

Music of my Heart: Christmas Edition

Just like my previous top five film post, I have decided to name my top five Christmas songs. Now, these aren’t your regular Christmas songs, but I promise they are still pretty awesome. I hope you will find them equally awesome! ENJOY!

p.s. That is Brandon Flowers (below) of The Killers with a very cool Santa Claus (you’ll find them on this list).


5. “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”

This song just makes me so happy!! It’s very corny, but it’s also adorable and innocent. It makes me want a hippopotamus!


4. The Killers- “Don’t Shoot Me, Santa”

Definitely a far cry from the previous song BUT hilariously awesome. I mean, why would Santa shoot anyone? He’s Santa! He only shoots people with love and gifts! But, I love this song anyway. Plus, The Killers are awesome so…


3.*NSYNC- “Merry Christmas, and Happy Holiday”

You know I wouldn’t do this list without mentioning *NSYNC! Many people forget about their Christmas album, but boy did they have one. And a GOOD one at that!!! This was probably their most popular Christmas song. Excuse me while I go and sing it 15 times…

2. She & Him- “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

Last year, Zooey Deschanel’s wonderful band, She & Him, made a cute little Christmas record and I bought it, on vinyl. Why vinyl, you ask? Because I feel very old-fashioned around the holidays. So, grab some hot cocoa and snuggle up next to a nice fire, because this is one of those songs that is going to make you want to do that.

1. Coldplay- “Christmas Lights”

Okay! Okay! This song! This song is probably not only one of my FAVORITE Christmas songs, it is definitely up there in my favorite songs of all time. It actually bothers me that they don’t play it on the radio around Christmas. Every time I hear this song, I cry. Not a sad cry, but a nostalgic cry. The combination of Chris Martin’s voice and the beautiful holiday that is Christmas makes me want to grab a tissue box and call the people I love just to say hi.



November 29, 2012

All I want for Christmas is Film

Now that Thanksgiving is done and everyone is in a food coma, I think it is time to think about Christmas. Okay, it may not be December yet, but who cares? I’m ready for another holiday…aren’t you?

In the spirit of the holidays, I have decided to choose my top 5 Christmas movies. Now, some classics may or may not be in here but I promise you all these movies are well worth the watch. The list will go from 5-1, 1 being my favorite. ENJOY!


Because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love Macaulay Culkin. Am I the only person who wished her parents left her home alone so she could make cool traps like that? Sure hope not.



Like every sane person in 1he 90s, I was a huge Tim Allen fan. Although, if you think about it, the storyline is pretty morbid. I mean, he (SPOILER) kills Santa, then replaces him. Not sure that’s how things in the real world go… Great movie though.



Now, I know this should be number one…I mean it’s in my top 5 favorite movies of all time, BUT in my defense numbers 3 and 2 are kind of equal when it comes to how many times I have watched them (which is about 10 times each). This movie makes me seriously appreciate life and realize that the smallest things can have a huge effect on people’s futures.



My god do I love this movie and honestly, I never thought I would love a movie with Jack Black– but behold, I do. Jude Law isn’t bad to look at either. There are some really tender moments in this movie and some really hilarious moments. Definitely a feel good movie– especially toward the end.



Probably the most romantic/heartbreaking/lovable movie ever. My heart hurts a little every time I watch this for various reasons. And for the best reasons. A perfect article to read right after this movie is found below:


Dont try to read it before you have seen the movie, because it won’t make sense. It is probably the only all-star cast film that actually works perfectly. Again, I love this movie so much it hurts!

 Anyway, hope you enjoy this list and it helps you through the holidays. Now I’m going to go and watch Love Actually. So freaking good.


November 10, 2012

Music of my Heart: Agnes Obel

Do you have a rainy day song? The kind of song that you can only listen to when its cold, wet and cloudy out? If you do, then you will love Agnes Obel. If you don’t-well you’ll love her anyway because she has a classic haunting voice that is timeless.



Agnes Obel is a Danish singer/songwriter that is most known for her song “Riverside” featured on Grey’s Anatomy. She has an enchanting voice that is paired with her amazing piano skills. I urge you to play her in the background while reading, painting or writing because she is not only calming but inspirational. Bellow are some links to her song. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Here are some of her more popular songs below.









October 1, 2012

Music of my Heart: Sigur Ros

You don’t always need to understand the lyrics to a song to be moved by it. That’s exactly what the band Sigur Ros thought when they began to make music.

Sigur Ros, originally from Iceland, practices the art of Vonlenska, which is a term used to describe the unintelligible lyrics sung by the band. The band’s website describes it as “a form of gibberish vocals that fits to the music.” Basically, the listener must relate to the music and come up with their own meaning.

I’ll be honest, the first time I heard this band was on the season finale of a Vampire Diaries episode. (Yes, I watch Vampire Diaries and I am proud of it because they have amazing music on that show.) The song that they played, “Dauðalogn” (which I can’t even pronounce), was so moving I decided to look them up and download as many of their songs as fast as possible.

They recently gained some attention for featuring Shia Labeouf completely nude in their music video. That aside, they are an amazing band, especially on a rainy day, and they encourage thinking for yourself. Hope you love them as much as I do. Here are a couple of their songs, which I can’t pronounce, underneath.

Let me know what you think!

September 21, 2012

Music of my Heart: The Melody of France

Because of the soon approaching release of Becoming Clementine, the Jennifer Niven blog posts have become, well, French. I’m sure most of you have tried out Phoebe’s wonderful French recipes (I know I have) so I thought, why not pair them off with some French music to get the full experience…

So get your ears ready and your handy-dandy translators in hand because I found some great French music that I’m sure Velva Jean would enjoy.

First, let’s start with the classic. Edith Piaf was one of the most famous French singers in the 1930s-1960s and is still today the most recognizable name in French-music history. Her hard life only made her voice even more beautiful and haunting. Aside from listening to her music, I suggest watching her 2007 biopic La Vie en rose which won the lead actress an Oscar. Here is her most famous song, La Vie en rose.






Next is my favorite, Charles Aznavour. Why you ask? Because, although his name does not end in “ian”, he is in fact Armenian (his actual last name is Aznavourian). Don’t think I’m biased because of his race though–when you hear his voice you’ll understand. He is the most famous living French singer and although he is 88, he does give performances now and again and boy, he’s still got it! Here is one of his most popular songs, La Boheme.



On to a more modern singer. Although she has the classic French voice, Carla Bruni only just became popular in the last couple of years after her song was featured on the (500) Days of Summer soundtrack. Although I only speak broken French, and by broken French I mean twenty words if not less, I pretend I know exactly what she is saying while I listen to her in my car. Enjoy her amazing song, which I can’t even pronounce, Quelqu’un M’a Dit.



Someone very similar to Carla Bruni is Keren Ann. I recently discovered her,and although she sings both English and French, I prefer her French music. She has a gentle voice that would be amazing on a rainy afternoon. Here is her song Ailleurs meaning “Elsewhere.”




Last but not least, a very famous band that many people do not know are in fact French:  Phoenix. The band gained popularity in 2009 with the release of there record Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, which featured famous songs like “1901and Lisztomania.”  Although not sung in French, this song technically does count as a French song, right?




Well, that’s enough for now! I hope you enjoy this lovely music while you enjoy one of Phoebe’s delicious recipes– and play it in the background while you read Becoming  Clementine. Each of these artists have
other amazing songs, so look them up and enjoy!!!

September 13, 2012

Music of my Heart: The Lumineers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — lara @ 12:12 am

Although my true passions in life include reading, writing, television and film,  music is what moves me most. Nothing changes my day like a song. I can be in a very hyper mood, but if a song with deep lyrics or a soft ballad comes on, I become a new person, a calm person.

A couple of months ago I heard this song. I can’t explain the feeling I had when I heard it, but I can compare it to the first time I had a crush on a boy in kindergarten. (Yes, I know kindergarten is young but what can I say? I was ahead of my age.) Once I heard this song I immediately downloaded the  rest of this band’s music. The band’s name is the Lumineers. I thought that one song, “Ho Hey” was good? Well when I heard the rest of their songs I knew that I had just found my new favorite band, the one I would one day tell my kids about.

A little background about the band:

There are three members


Wesley Schultz
Jeremiah Fraites
Neyla Pekarek

The band is originally from Ramsey, NJ. Their genre of music is a mix of Indie and Folk. In the last two months they have been in Blue Moon’s commercial, a Bing commercial and their song “Ho Hey” is now very familiar to radio play.  You can also buy their album at Starbucks, which I did two days ago even though I already have them downloaded.

I hope this amazing band moves you as much as it did me. I’ve attached a few links below for your ears.

The Lumineers- Ho Hey

The Lumineers- Stubborn Love

The Lumineers- Flowers in Your Hair

The Lumineers- Classy Girls

September 5, 2012

Pucker Up: How To Get Fabulous Lips

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — lara @ 11:08 pm

My mother and my mother’s mother both always say that even with no other make-up, lipstick can make your face look more alive. I am in no way a make-up artist, but from experience I have found ways to take that extra in making my lips look “Old School Hollywood Glam”.


You will need a few things:

-Your lip color of choice (MAC has some great ones)

-A lip brush with a pointed tip

-LUSH Lip Scrub (Comes in great flavors, I recommend the mint. Goes for    about $9)

-Lip Balm (Burt’s Bees is recommended. Its only $3 and its all natural)

-Optional: DuWop Lip Venom. ($16) Sephora.com




Pat your wonderful lips with a warm towel all around. Take your lip scrub and put it around your lips and scrub away. The scrub is edible, so enjoy. When lips are soft, wipe away excess scrub.



Put some lip balm (not Chapstick, because it is known to dry up lips), around your lips. Wait a little until your lips have absorbed the moisture.



My mother and grandmother usually put on lip liner before putting on lipstick, but seeing as I am to clumsy to do that I just use a brush with a pointed tip. A brush goes into the hard corners your lipstick cant. With your lipstick color on the tip of your brush, gently apply your lipstick without going outside the lines. Think of it as being in pre-school and coloring a coloring book. Who said that would never come in use?



If you’re like me and you like to have plumper lips once in a while, take some lips venom on your brush and apply in on top of your lipstick. It will sting a little, but that means it’s working.


NOTE: If you want a more mat look, whip off lip balm before apply mat lipstick. For the lip venom, apply it on right after STEP 2 and wipe it off after 5 minutes, then proceed onto STEP 3.



I hope these steps help your awesome lips look even better!