Sunday Outfit

Hey guys, I’ve received a bunch of compliments on my outfit today (especially my floral shorts), so I figured I’d share with you guys where I bought them!

I’m all about finding good deals, so I thought this was a pretty good one. I bought the shorts a couple of weeks ago, and I already owned the tank top and headband. I tried finding similar options for you all on Amazon.

Just click here to buy my floral shorts and my tank top!

My hairpiece is just a black headband that you can also purchase here.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful day!

The total cost of my Sunday outfit was: $24

Here’s the breakdown:

shorts: $16

shirt: I actually bought mine from Forever21 at $1.80, but the Amazon option is a good deal as well.

headband: $6

 

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Dear Migraine…

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Hi guys! Today we’re talking about MIGRAINES! How I loathe them 😦

Last night I experienced the most painful migraine of my entire life, and I felt a sudden urge to share this with you guys. If you’ve ever experienced a migraine episode, then you know about the pain I’m talking about.

According to Google, a migraine is “a recurrent throbbing headache that typically affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision.” In my case, my right side is the one most affected.

For those of you who have never experienced a migraine and are wondering what it feels like, just imagine the worst headache you’ve ever had and multiply it by 100. Then add nausea, vomiting, and the sensation of sharp needles constantly stabbing the back of your right (or left) eye. This lasts for about eight hours for me, but I know it can last way longer, even days for some people. When a migraine takes a hold of me, there’s very little I can do to stop it. I can barely speak, walking is dangerous, as I’ve noticed I can pass out from the pain. And I typically have to be in a dark, quiet room for the rest of the day.

***

I experienced my first migraine one day during my Junior year of high school. I remember sitting in my last class period when I started feeling a throbbing pain behind my right eye. I excused myself to go to the bathroom, but while I was walking out I could feel my body shaking and my hands were ice-cold. Realizing I was probably going to pass out, I decided to sit back down and wait for the pain to pass. It didn’t.

When the last bell rang, I met up with my friends and one of them called my dad. When he picked me up from school, I was laying on the floor with my feet up on the wall—a position I learned after I passed out a few times when I was younger (for different reasons).

By this time, the pain I could only explain as a horrible headache continued for about eight to ten hours. Tylenol didn’t help and neither did ibuprofen. That night I thought I was going to die. I obviously didn’t, and with the passing of the years, I noticed my migraines were hormonal. Now I recognize the symptoms, and I try to be proactive and avoid my triggers. However, this doesn’t always work.

Over a decade has gone by and I’m still living with migraines. They have worsened as I age, and last night I experienced my worst one to date. It began like it usually does—I became very sleepy out of nowhere, and if I’m lucky enough to be home when this happens, I try to fall asleep. However, I was grocery shopping when it began to develop, so I had to power through. Florida’s heat and its bipolar weather don’t help either. If you’re a Floridian, you know what I’m talking about.

About an hour later, I was able to lie down and took Excedrin (the only medicine that will help, occasionally). I fell asleep and woke up two hours later with only a mild discomfort behind both of my eyes. Since I was feeling better, I decided to cook while my husband came home from work.

While cooking, I began feeling nauseated, which is one of the varying symptoms of migraines. Then the unstoppable throbbing pain started creeping into the back of my right eye once again. I stopped what I was doing and walked over to the couch. Lying down, I started massaging my right temple to calm a vein that pops out whenever I get a migraine. It gets so bulky that it makes me think it’ll explode one of these days. I said a prayer and continued massaging my head, waiting for the pain to ease. I could feel this one was going to be a tough one because whenever the Excedrin doesn’t work the first time I take it during an episode, I’ve noticed it won’t work at all. I’ve learned to accept that fact, even when the pain is unbearable.

My husband found me still lying on the couch when he came home. We tried everything that I could think of to ease the pain. And I even found myself Googling again—“migraine relief,” like if I didn’t already know that there’s not much to do. I knew this, but I was desperate.

I drank more coffee, inhaled lavender, put half a lemon on my temples, massaged my hands and feet, put an ice pack on my neck, and tried half other “migraine relievers” that don’t really work.

At around 11:00 pm, while I was coming out of the bathroom, I felt my husband’s arms wrap around me as he repeated, “I go you, baby.” I now understand that I was passing out and he caught me in time before I fell. He laid me on the bed and put my feet up on the wall against the bedframe. This took me back to that first migraine episode in high school—my 17-year-old-self had no idea what was happening to her, and last night the throbs were so sharp and painful that they felt like that first time. I felt confused, tired, and in so much pain that I thought for a moment, this was it for me. I’m not kidding.

In the midst of this pain, however, I realized I no longer had to deal with this alone as I had done so for almost ten years. Yesterday I had Eddy to help me through it, even if the pain didn’t go away. I heard him pray for me and tears ran down my face; tears of how much pain I was in but also tears of joy because of how much love this man has for God and for me. He believed I could be healed, and I was reminded of a verse in Ecclesiastes that states:

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.”

I had no strength to have that kind of faith myself, so he had it for me.

For more information on migraines and how to deal with them, click here.

 

The Great Alone

FullSizeRenderThe Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Ever since I read The Nightingale at the beginning of the year, I wanted to read more books by Kristin Hannah. My husband is the sweetest and got me a copy for my birthday, so I knew instantly that I needed to read it asap!

I started it back in June, but work was so hectic that I couldn’t really get into it, so I set it down and didn’t read anything for the entire month of June. After leaving work (for good this time), I decided to pick it up again and read it in two days! I honestly would’ve finished it in one but life happened…

Okay, now let’s talk about the book itself (no spoilers, don’t worry)!

But first, the short synopsis from Google: “Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: He will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.”

                                                                       ***

This is a 450-page book, so Hannah spent the first 150 pages or so on character-building. I thought she explained the backstory of the main characters’ lives and the choices they made in the past fairly well and was thorough enough.

Leni, the main character, and daughter of Ernt and Cora, is a strong-willed teenager who every bookworm will feel identified by because she is one herself. Books become her escape from her stormy, horrid reality, and I think all of us #bookstagrammers have felt that way about books at some point in our lives. So I definitely loved Leni for that reason (and many more).

This book deals with the topic of mental health, most specifically of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the consequences of it when not treated. Since PTSD had not yet been recognized in the 1970s, Hannah focused on this aspect of what this disorder does to a person (and their loved ones) at its core. Personally, I had never read a work of fiction that described this topic in such detail, so l loved learning more. It was both heartbreaking and enlightening to see each character deal with the aftermath of each moment of horror brought on by the demons of Ernt’s past experiences as a soldier and as a POW.

Another aspect I enjoyed about the book was how Hannah portrays Alaska much like a character itself. Alaska’s beauty, as well as her danger, become Leni’s salvation as well as her condemnation (I didn’t mean for that to rhyme lol). She describes Alaska’s scenery as a harsh environment, where only those who truly belong will survive. Reading about the state made me want to visit and also made me never want to. You have to read it to know what I’m talking about!

There were also different strong female characters throughout this book, which I loved. Considering the setting was the ‘70s, feminist views abounded in the narrative.  Women like Large Marge, Thelma, Geneva, and Leni gave voice to those who in real life had none. I loved this SO MUCH!!!!!

In general, the writing was beautiful and the story broke my heart most of the time, but also gave me hope. Overall, this was a book about the endless sacrifices a person will undergo for love and the things one is capable of doing (or of enduring) because of it. Needless to say, The Great Alone is a book that will stay with me for years to come.

 

5/5

Legendary

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Legendary by: Stephanie Garber

It’s no surprise that legendary was going to be a fun read for me. I devoured Caraval and was eagerly waiting to read more about the cliffhanger that it left at the end. So when @magicbooktrap announced its May theme–Is It Magic, I knew Legendary was going to be the new release! I loved everything about that box, and if you haven’t already, check them out by clicking here! I also have a rep code you can use for your first time purchase and it will save you 10% off! Use GIULILAND at checkout!

Okay, so it took me a couple of weeks to get past the first 50 pages or so of Legendary (this is normal in my world of reading), but after I passed the 50-page mark, I was hooked and read it in three days!

The scene building was much less flowery than Caraval, which I appreciated because honestly, I thought Garber described things too much in Caraval to the point of having me roll my eyes. So I’m glad Legendary had more straight to the point descriptions, generally speaking. 

In terms of the characters, I’m so glad I gave Tella a second chance because I seriously disliked her in Caraval. In this sequel, however, we meet a more reasonable Tella, despite some decisions she made that put her in danger–but isn’t that the whole point of the story? Anyway, I enjoyed her character development and the outlooks she took when outweighing the decisions she had to make throughout her journey. Also, I enjoyed Tella’s relationship with Dante as well as her friendship/relationship with Jacks. In fact, I want to know more about Jacks! He was hands down my favorite character in this book, so I hope book three has more on him ❤

Something that fell short for me was the game of Caraval itself. During the first book, Scarlett had to go through overcoming numerous trials, but Tella’s journey was lacking in this sense. I honestly felt that she wasn’t really playing the game like Scarlett did in Caraval, and this disappointed me quite a bit. 

I’m giving the book a 3.8/5 because it didn’t quite make the ⅘ cut for me to be honest, and the four typos I found throughout the book also prevent me from giving it a 4 😦 

It was still entertaining!

 

Giuli ❤

My Blog’s Real Purpose

Initially, I started this blog with the name “giuliland” because that’s what my Instagram handle is. My bookstagram is mostly that—an Instagram dedicated to my love for books (and coffee), and I intend to keep it that way! img_5267However, the real purpose of the name “giuliland” was so I could eventually do what I am doing right now—share more of the other aspects of what happens (and has happened) in “my land.”

From now on, I’ll be sharing more of the other aspects of my life on here, from college/grad-school stories,  living on a tight budget (tips), and family craziness, to marrying the love of my life and finding joy in the little things. So, if you’re interested in getting to know me a bit more, then please subscribe to my blog (thank you in advance). I will, of course, continue to share my thoughts about books that I read, but you will also get to read about my past experiences as well as current ones.

I hope you decide to stick around!

❤ Giuli

The Perfect Gift

JORDHi all!! Today’s post is a bit different than my usual bookish ones, but I’m going to start writing more about other aspects of my life on here, so this post is a start to that.

–True story– 
When my husband and I first started dating, he took me to a watch store and told me to pick my favorite watch from the entire store (Sweet Home, Alabama much?). Anyway, I have to confess; I was never really a watch person, but I became one that day. I still appreciate the fact that he took me there to choose a watch for myself rather than picking one for me. He won major boyfriend points that day.

Fast forward to two years later, and now I am obsessed with watches. I own six so far. They have become part of my daily-worn jewelry, so when the opportunity to own a JORD Watch came along, I couldn’t resist.

–My Unique Timepiece–
Honestly, owning one of these watches is an experience. The wooden jewelry box where it comes in is absolutely stunning–from the color to the finish of the wood. And did I mention the fresh-wooden smell? I’ve added a picture of it because you all need to see the quality and beauty that is this box. The unique watch also comes with a cleaning oil tube that lasts up to four applications. The jewelers were kind enough to adjust my watch perfectly so that I could wear it immediately after I received it. And believe me when I say I haven’t taken it off since—okay maybe I’ve taken it off to sleep and shower.
The watch I own is part of the Cassia series (Ebony and Sable), and it’s delicate in appearance yet strong in its feel. The roman numerals give it a classic, elegant look perfect for a summer date night or to wear at work!! In fact, I’ve been wearing it to work for the past two days and have already received multiple compliments on it.

If you’re planning to buy a unique timepiece, you won’t want to miss the opportunity below:

Follow this link www.jordwatches.com/g/giuliland and sign up to enter to win $100 off your choice of a JORD Wooden Watch! You are a winner regardless if you win the $100 or not because you’ll get 10% off a purchase simply by participating.


Luxury Wooden Watch
//www.jordwatches.com/widget-article/giuliland

And Then There Were None

christie-agathaI’m not a thriller/mystery type of reader, and I get startled pretty easily. Ask my husband. So when I found this book for a $1 at a local, secondhand bookstore, I knew I had to buy it. It was in perfectly new condition and it sounded interesting as well.

At first, it was a bit challenging to get into it because of the vast number of characters being introduced. To be honest, I didn’t really know who was who until a good 60 pages into reading the book. However, this book kept me on my toes since the first murder took place. Every single murder was perfectly planned and executed by both the killer and Christie herself–just brilliant.

Perhaps my favorite scene was when Vera goes to her room and feels the cold, tacky hands of her guilty conscience attacking her. What a vivid scene! It was so creepy and felt so real. I enjoyed the fact that Christie addressed mental health and the reality of it during her time.

The ending was completely unexpected for me. Even though I kept turning back the pages to the Ten Little Soldiers poem every time a victim died, I was not expecting the murderer to actually be one of the ten people. There was a moment in the book where I got so into my own thoughts that I convinced myself they were all committing suicide.

This book was amazing and made me think critically throughout. It challenged me because it made me think outside the box and completely took me out of my comfort zone.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and gave it a 4/5 just because the beginning was a bit confusing.