Sunday, May 31, 2015

Bookcon 2015: Meeting Alfie Deyes, Richelle Mead, and more!

Hello everybody!
Yesterday, Riv and I went to bookcon with one of our friends. I went there mainly for Alfie Deyes and Richelle Mead. I had to buy Alfie and Richelle's books from the bookstore there. It was hectic there, extremely unorganized. That was the worst part of my bookcon experience.

I started lining up 40 minutes before Alfie's autographing session and met him around 15 minutes after it started. So I went up to him and he was like "Hi, how are you?" I said, "I'm good. How are you?" and he said, "I love your necklace!" and I was like, "Thanks!" I was literally too excited to talk... He is so perfect up close. His camera does not do him justice. Literally perfect.

This picture was take by a girl I met while waiting in line.

 (I'm passing my phone to the girl)

These two pictures are screenshots from Alfie's vlog (x) (I was in Alfie's vlog... OMG)

Riv and I went to Richelle Mead and Marie Lu's panel called Brave New Worlds. They talked about their writing process. It was a very fun and relaxed conversation. We left during the Q&A part to run to Richelle's autographing line. We were one of the last ones to meet Richelle even though we started lining up 1 hour before. How insane is that? But on the bright side, WE GOT AN ARC OF SOUNDLESS. YOU KNOW NO IDEA HOW EXCITED I AM TO READ THIS. She is so nice and sooo pretty!!! I was actually able to speak this time. Mostly because it wasn't a very rushed situation where there were people yelling at me to keep moving (like Alfie's). I told her how much I love the Vampire Academy series and how I was sad it was over. She told me she liked my skirt!! I'm so freaking happy I met her, I've been a fan of her books since fifth grade.

(Sorry the pictures are kind of blurry. I had to zoom in since we were sitting near the back.)

The Rube Circle is the last book of The Bloodlines series. I have the first book and that's the only book I've read in the series because I don't really like Sydney (the main character). But I'll try to get through the series now. This series is a spin off Richelle's other series, Vampire Academy. It focus on an alchemist, Sydney Sage. Alchemists protect vampires's secret from the human world. All her life, Sydney has been taught that vampire and half-vampires are unnatural and evil. Now, she's forced to go into hiding with vampires and half-vampies.

Soundless doesn't come out until November. It's about a girl who lives in a village where everyone is deaf. Things start to go wrong there, like people going blind. One day she wakes up and she is suddenly able to hear. She's the only one who can save her village. Richelle described how hard it was to describe what the girl was hearing. She couldn't say "she heard a bell ringing" because the girl wouldn't know what a bell sounds like. 

We also met Sophie Davis. Riv is a big fan, she got a picture with her last year at bookcon. I bought her book, Pawn, for $10 and got it signed. Sophie Davis was so nice. She saw me carrying a bunch of books and gave me a bag to put them in.

I started reading it while waiting in life for Richelle and I like it so far.
After a near death experience, Eel (it's a nickname) finds herself a minion for the gods, fated to live a life that is predetermined.

The last book I got signed was an arc Balancing Act by Margaret Gurevich. It's about a 16 year old fashion designer interning in New York. It comes out in September. This is the second book in the Chloe by Design series. Riv and I were actually trying to find The Little Prince and we saw the line for this. It was a free book and free signing by the author and illustrator, so why not? The cover and pictures inside are gorgeous. They're illustrated by Brooke Hagel. This book is actually for 9-13 year olds... I didn't realize that until after I got it. But, hey, it was free!

I will try to read this, but I'm mainly interested in the pictures.

If you want to see what else Riv and I got up to at Bookcon (including me meeting Alfie and us meeting Richelle), make sure you follow our joint blog, The Little Black Bookmark (x), for a vlog next week! (I need to start editing hahaha)

Thanks so much for reading. I'll see you soon!

Twitter: x
Instagram: x

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Haul: Lancome

Hello everybody!
Originally, I was going to make a post about baking cookies. Unfortunately, they failed miserably. Well... maybe no miserably. They just didn't turn out the way I wanted them to. Once I perfect my cookie making skill, I'll make a post on it. Until then, I'm stuck eating my failed cookies.

Last Thursday, my mom and I went with my sister to look for her prom dress (she didn't find one). We went into Macy's to have a look around. At their makeup counters, they always have some sort of deal where if you spend a certain amount of money, you get free gifts. Normally, I ignore those kinds of things. First of all, I can't afford them, and second, I'm not spending $46 on a moisturizer. But my mom did. So she bought Lancome's Bienfait Aqua Vital. x

This is an oil-free, gel-cream moisturizer. I've tried it once so far and I think it's pretty good. It keeps my face moisturized the entire day.
It came with a 6-piece gift. x
- Definicils Mascara
Lancôme Signature Reversible Tote Bag (solid pink/printed) and matching wristlet
-One night moisturizer:
High Résolution Night Refill-3x Cream: Anti-Aging
Rénergie Lift Multi-Action Night Cream: Lifting and Firming
Bienfait Multi-Vital Night Cream: Moisturizing
- Cleansing or makeup essentials:
Crème Radiance Cleanser & Tonique Radiance Toner
Crème Mousse Confort Cleanser & Tonique Confort Toner
Summer Picnic Eye Shadow (golds and neutrals) and Blush Palette and Le Crayon Khôl Eye Liner in Ebony
- One lipgloss
Juciy Tubes Ultra Shiny Lip Gloss (Simmer or Moulin Rouse)
- Définicils Mascara

I picked Bienfait Multi-Vital Night Cream: Moisturizing, Crème Radiance Cleanser & Tonique Radiance Toner, and Moulin Rouse.

Obviously Lancome is more expensive than the things I buy. Would you have bought a $46 moisturizer for these things? I'd love to know. I don't think I would have. But hey, if my mom wants to pay for it, I'm all for it. (I'm such a bad child.)

Thanks so much for reading. I'll see you soon!

Twitter: x
Instagram: x

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Review: A Work In Progress By Connor Franta

Hello everyone!
Sorry I didn't post last week, I had AP testing. Thank god that's over! Unfortunately, I still have tests and actual work in some of my classes :(
For my birthday, my sister got me Connor Franta's book. I was literally jumping up and down with joy when I got it. Naturally, I sat down and finished it within a few hours.

ISBN: 978-1-4767-9161-6
Goodreads: x
Amazon: x
Barnes and Noble: x

In this intimate memoir of life beyond the camera, Connor Franta shares the lessons he has learned on his journey from small-town boy to Internet sensation so far. Here, Connor offers a look at his Midwestern upbringing as one of four children in the home and one of five in the classroom; his struggles with identity, body image, and sexuality in his teen years; and his decision to finally pursue his creative and artistic passions in his early twenties, setting up his thrilling career as a YouTube personality, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and tastemaker.
Exploring his past with insight and humor, his present with humility, and his future with hope, Connor reveals his private struggles while providing heartfelt words of wisdom for young adults. His words will resonate with anyone coming of age in the digital era, but at the core is a timeless message for people of all ages: don't be afraid to be yourself and to go after what you truly want.
Beautifully designed and including photography and childhood clippings provided by Connor, this is a must-have for those seeking inspiration on their own journeys.

What I liked the most: Everything?
The book was amazing from the front cover to the back cover. First of all, how cool is the cover? Every time I see it I get a mini-heart attack because I think the book is dusty or something. I love the picture behind the cut out triangle, it's so pretty!
Can we talk about the pictures in his book? They're so freaking beautiful and artsy. His instagram game is so on point it hurts. I could go on and on about how much I love his photos, but I'll stop right here.
I love the format of the book. It's not just chapter after chapter. There's one part where his parents each wrote him a letter, which was pretty cool. He also has pages in between about random things, like coffee, saying no, and his arm. Like I said, random, but awesome.
His narrative is so funny and so him, I can just imagine Connor reading it. In fact, he's voicing his audio book, so he will be reading it! Tell me I'm not the only one who read the entire book in his voice.... 
His book isn't just "here's what happened when I was 3... when I was 15..." Some parts are like that, but a lot of parts are so inspirational and motivational. He tells you to embrace your creativity, your uniqueness, and your flaws. He says "Don't underestimate the power of self-belief. Don't be limited by the expectations of others. Don't care what anybody else thinks." (I'm not going to cite the page number or else I feel like I'm writing an english essay... but page 96 if you really want to know). Love every single aspect about you because that's what makes you you! 
One of my favorite chapters in the book was "Numb to the Number." I really had to do some self-reflecting after reading this book because I'm guilty of constantly checking how many likes my instagram post got. If I feel like it isn't high enough, I'll bug my friends into liking my post. Why am I so obsessed with numbers?? I don't even like math!!! Is it the need to fit in... the desire to look popular, to look like I actually have friends?? Why do I care so much that my friends get way more likes on their pictures than I do? 
He mentioned two things that made me very happy. Number one is Troye. He quotes Troye in one of his pages and I was like OMG TRONNOR <3
The second thing he mentioned was my favorite video by him called "Life Doesn't Wait" x The main point of the video is that if you don't like what you are doing right now, stop. Pursue your dreams because life's too short to say "I'll do it tomorrow." 

What I liked the least: Nothing?

The Characters: Connor
Connor's my fav... my precious little baby...

This book has made me look at my life from a different perspective. I try my best not to care what other people think as much. It's hard! Sometimes I go "oh f- this, I'm just going to do whatever I want." 

Rating: 5 / 5
A Work In Progress blew me away. I was totally tempted to give it more than a 5, but I had to stop myself.
The audio of this book will be available on audible this Tuesday, 5/19 x. Like I said before, it's read by Connor, so of course I'm getting it!

More exciting new, I'm going to Bookcon with Riv this year! I'm so excited!! Slightly worried my tickets haven't come yet.... but still really excited!! There may be a slight chance we're going to vlog and post in on our shared blog x. Be sure to check it out this week for a new podcast and June 6th for a potential vlog. (Not guaranteeing a vlog tho, let's see how we feel that day.)

Thanks so much for reading. I'll see you soon!

Twitter: x
Instagram: x

Sunday, May 3, 2015

March/April Favorites

Hello everybody!
Happy May! Actually... I don't know if I'm happy that it's May. The first two weeks of May are filled with AP Exams... so no, I'm not really happy it's May.
All of March and a bit of April was centered around prom for me (as you can tell by the countless amount of prom posts). I bought so much makeup and tried so many different ways to lose weight and clear my skin. So here are some things I have been loving.

1. Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in 004 Sandstorm x

So many Youtubers that I watch have raved about this powder, so I had to try it out. I have to say, it's pretty good! It don't look as shiny. Also, normally I can feel the oil under my makeup (it feel heavy-ish... I just know it's there, okay?), but when I use this powder, I don't feel it as much.

2. Belvita Bites in Mixed Berry x

All of March I was on a vegan diet (for prom). So basically... I wasn't allowed to eat anything. The first week was the hardest. I felt like I was starving most of the time. Then I found these! They are so good that I'm still eating them, even after prom! It makes me feel so full that I can only eat about half a bag each time. 

3. The Republic of Tea: Get Gorgeous x

Once again, prom related. This helped me clear my skin a bit before prom. I drank this 2-3 times a day (I think you're supposed to drink it 3-4 times a day... oops?).  There's no caffeine and it tastes amazing. I would drink it just to drink it. 
Unfortunately, you can only use the tea bag once before tossing it. I've tried making two cups of tea, but the flavor isn't the same, even if you leave the tea bag in for a long time. 

4. Falling Kingdoms Series by Morgan Rhodes




You can read my review on the first book, Falling Kingdoms, here x
At first I thought the series was okay. As you can see in my review, I didn't like the characters. But as I continued on with the series I slowly fell in love with each of the characters. I became obsessed with this series and almost cried when it I finished Gathering Darkness because I have to wait until the next book comes out... WHICH IS IN FOREVER!
I will publish my reviews on the second and third book later. The third review is literally just me fangirling over Cleo and Magnus. I can't help it!

5. Once Upon a Time x
I started watching this after the second season came out. It's one of my (many) favorite TV shows. Each series gets better and better.
It's about fairytale characters in the real world. They live in an enchanted town that's inaccessible to the outside world, but the fairytale characters can leave. It is currently airing it's fourth season (and close to the end.. boo!)
Every episode is a plot twist that leaves me screaming and crying on the ground.
Right now I am so mad at Emma! She makes me so frustrated!! I wish I could watch tonight's episode, but I'm studying for AP exams!
Also, Zoe (Zoella) mentioned it in her favorites recently!

6. Blogilaties x
I had to get in shape for prom, so I turned to Cassey for help. I did a bit of blogilates during the summer and it helped a bit. Her videos are absolute torture. I feel like I'm dying every time and I can't move when I'm done. I don't know how she can talk while she's doing the exercise, I can barely breathe!
The only reason I kept going was Cassey. She is so bubbly and encouraging. She knows exactly what to say and when to say it. She'll say "Keep those legs up!" and I'll realize my legs moved a foot from the original position. How did you know, Cassey?
In addition to those torturous videos, she had videos on eating healthy and positive body image. She's so inspiring and motivating. Almost motivating enough to make me exercise again... almost.

I wanted to add Connor Franta's A Work In Progress x, but I read that Friday... which was May 1. So you can definitely expect to see that in my May/Jun Favorites and a book review soon (next week possibly).

Good luck to anyone taking an AP Exam! Remember, it's okay if you don't do well. You are not defined by your grades (and you don't HAVE to send your scores to any colleges). Relax, breathe, and try your best. You got this!

Thanks so much for reading. I'll see you soon!

Twitter: x
Instagram: x