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Beyond the Table

AS AN AMAZON ASSOCIATE I EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES

Today’s installment of Beyond the Table might be a bit lengthy but I promise you it’s all worth it ;) I just have to much to talk about!

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Is that not the most epic groom’s cake you’ve ever seen? It’s called “Junk Food” cause our friend loves, well, junk food! I think our friend Josh wins the award for most epic groom’s cake ever!

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I recently read three books (a series) that captivated me and I cannot get these books out of my head. They’re all so emotional, gripping, raw, and heartbreaking, however, at the same time they’re loving, full of hope, and endearing. I read each book in a day. I literally sat on my couch and read them, one after another, for three days straight. I became so very attached to the characters and throughout the books, my heart would be racing, I’d have trouble breathing (ha), and I’d all of a sudden be crying or crossing my fingers for the characters. I wish the series didn’t end! It’s seriously one of the most captivating series I’ve ever read and that says a lot coming from a Divergent lover ;)

Reason to Breathe is the first book in the series. You’re introduced to Emma, who is a victim of child abuse. Very difficult subject for some but stick with me, it gets better. You go through her journey of the family she is stuck with. Despite her home life, Emma is an extremely strong woman. She excels at school, is a great athlete, and has the bestest friend anyone could ask for: Sara. Sara sticks up for Emma and yet wishes she could say something or do something to get Emma out of her horrendous home life. Sara is very strong-willed and does whatever she pleases but when you see her break down in the book, you know it’s for real and it’s really intense. Love interest: Evan. He’s absolutely amazing and one of those guys that every girl dreams of and he won’t let Emma go. He knows something is up and tries hard to save Emma from her life but she insists she’s ok. This first book really gets you attached to the characters and takes you through Emma’s journey. The way this book ends…you basically are at the edge of your seat and literally downloading the second book as quickly as you can. It literally made me scream and flip out.

Barely Breathing picks up where Reason to Breathe leaves you hanging. I don’t really want to give too much away but it’s a continuation of Emma, Sara, and Evan’s friendship and relationship in their last year of high school and what is to come. Oh, I think this book you learn more about Emma’s mother and their background and why Emma never lived with her but with other family members.

Out of Breath takes you through Emma, Sara, and Evan in their sophomore year of college. This book, I think, is the clencher. I was sitting in my living room devouring this book because I needed to know what would become of Emma, Sara, and Evan. Throughout books two and three, Emma is pretty much running away from her past and letting go of ones who truly care and love her so she can shed her old life for a new one. What she doesn’t get is that in order to shed the past, you have to come face to face with it and stop running.

You guys. I really could go on and on about this series but I would give way too much away summarizing it all. Just get it. Oh, and these books are FREE on Kindle Unlimited. I signed up for the 30-day trial. So far, I definitely will not be renewing my subscription after my 30 days is up because 95% of the books I want to read are not under Kindle Unlimited so it would be a total waste of $9.99/month. HOWEVER, I would highly recommend you signing up for the 30-day trial Kindle Unlimited just to read these three books because they’re WORTH IT. So worth every second you spend enveloped in it. At the end of the series, I was so devastated that it had come to an end. I honestly felt I was FRIENDS with Emma, Sara, and Evan. It’s as if they were apart of my life. It sounds so dumb but you really do become super attached to these characters.

eyelash-curler

I have horrible Asian lashes. The ones that are stick straight and never curl…….or so I thought.

I have stopped doing eyelash extensions ’cause well, it’s just way too expensive. The upkeep was just insane so I decided I’d invest in a REALLY good eyelash curler. I’ve honestly only used drugstore ones ’cause $20 for an eyelash curler? Are you kidding me? This is where I tell you you get what you pay for. It’s so freaking true. I’ve always heard amazing things about the Shu Uemura eyelash curler but I never wanted to spend the money for it but I’ve always wished for pretty curled lashes. Finally invested in it and OMG. My lashes can actually CURL and stay curled. I think this eyelash curler is maybe more for the Asians out there. I feel like every other ethnicity’s lashes are easy to curl except Asian ones. Anyway, so while purchasing the eyelash curler, I decided to get the petal lash mascara along with it. I read some reviews that it’s a lightweight formula and the brush is made for small, hard to get to lashes, aka Asian lashes. Can’t say enough good things about this combo. My lashes stay curled and the mascara has a light perfume scent to it that I absolutely adore. So so happy!

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We went out to dinner with several friends last Friday and I ordered Brazil’s national cocktail, a caipirinha (so tasty!). It came with a mermaid, too.

Ok so anyway, our server was Russian (there’s more to this). We wanted to do shots (bad idea) and she asked us if we have ever heard of doing a Russian shot before. No, we haven’t, and yes, we were going to try because it was way intriguing ’cause I love pickles. Yes, pickles. So apparently, the way Russians take their vodka shots is a two-ounce shot of vodka then you eat a pickle slice. Honestly, that sounds so good to me because 1. I love vodka and 2. I love dill pickles. We told her to send the shots! And then I was under the table and miserable the next morning BUT really, if you haven’t tried it before, you really should. And totally don’t go for cheap vodka cause that ruins the experience. Go for like Tito’s vodka or something a little more expensive than Burnett’s. Bottom’s up!

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If you haven’t ordered Jess’ cookbook, Seriously Delish, you need to drop everything and order it. I got my mitts on it this Tuesday and it’s littered with post-its now. I want to make EVERYTHING. No, I’m not being paid or given free stuff to say any of this. Just really want to support a fellow food blogger & friend!

Just a note that there are affiliate links within this post! xo

Apple cinnamon cream cheese roll-ups are a great after-school snack for the kids!
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Apple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Roll-Ups
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Basil Pesto Chicken Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Broccoli

Heather Christo

Sunday 7th of September 2014

I am all over the vodka and pickles- sounds perfect for me!

Lisa

Saturday 6th of September 2014

In Austin quite a few bars sell pickle shots: shot of vodka and a shot of pickle juice. It's delicious and I don't know why it isn't more popular!

Gaby

Saturday 6th of September 2014

Love the book recommendations!

Liz

Friday 5th of September 2014

As a fellow Asian I completely understand the ever-problematic stick straight lashes. I've been working on a way to curl them better, but, yep, the drugstore version of the curler is not cutting it. Will definitely need to invest in this one! Thanks for the tip!!

Jenny Flake

Friday 5th of September 2014

That cake is amazing! All of my favorite things wrapped up in one :) Happy Friday!!