Sunday, July 26, 2015

Just An Update

Hello everybody!
First of all, I'm so sorry for missing last Sunday's and last Wednesday's post. I've been kind of busy and trying to sort out my life, basically.... 
I was debating between uploading pictures from Canada and writing an OOTD post. I feel like I haven't done an OOTD post in a while, but at the same time, I said I would upload pictures from Canada. 
I just feel like I started this blog with fashion and beauty in mind, but I've moved away from that recently. I know that this is my blog and I'm allowed to post whatever I want on here... but at the same time, I feel pressured to go back to what I started with....
So to sort of balance between random posts and fashion/beauty and to celebrate my blog's one year birthday, I came up with a crazy idea. Okay, I can't take all the credit, I got this idea from Anna Saccone x
Basically, I'm going to be posting five days a week, but they're going to be short posts. Anna does Mommy Monday, Beauty Tuesday, What I Ate Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, and Fashion Friday. 
I'm going to change it up a bit and do Music Monday, Beauty Tuesday, What I Ate Wednesday, Random Thursday, and Fashion Friday. 
So here's what you can expect:
Music Monday: This will basically be the "Song on Repeat" for the week. Just so you know, there might be a lot of Mandarin music since I've been watching this Taiwanese drama and loving the soundtrack. 
Beauty Tuesday: I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do here. Maybe put up some reviews on some products or show you my skin care routine. We'll see.
What I Ate Wednesday: It's pretty self explanatory, I'm going to show you the foods I ate in one day.
Random Thursday: This is where I'll post pictures from whatever trips I take or book reviews.
Fashion Friday: Here is where my OOTD posts will appear. Yay, they're finally coming back! 
I'm going to (hopefully) follow this schedule for the month of August. I know what you're thinking... Claudia.. you can barely post once a week.... five times a week???
Yeah.... wish me luck....

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

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Review: Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes

Hello everybody!
This is a long over due book review... The first book of the series is Falling Kingdoms, which I reviewed in March... sorry! You can refresh you memory here x.
Warning: this may contain some spoilers for the first book. So if you haven't read the first book yet, come back later.

ISBN: 978-1-59514-5932
Goodreads: x
Amazon: x
Barnes & Nobel: x

The road to paved with blood and magic.

 is now a prisoner in her own palace, forced to be an ambassador for Mytica as the evil King Gaius lies to her people.
Magnus stands to eventually inherit the new kingdom but is still obsessed with his feelings for his adopted sister, Lucia.
Lucia is haunted by the outcome of the breathtaking display of magic that allowed her father to capture the kingdoms.
Jonas watched at the palace gates a troop of rebels behind him, waiting for him to tell them how he plans to overtake King Gaius.

After a bloody siege, Auranos has been defeated, its young queen orphaned and dethroned. The three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now unwillingly united as one country called Mytica. But the allure of ancient, dangerous magic beckons still, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the whole world over....

At the heart of the fray are four brave young people grappling for that magic and the power it promises. For Cleo, the magic would enable her to reclaim her royal seat. In Jonas's hands, it frees his nation, and in Lucia's, it fulfills the ancient prophecy of her destiny. And if the magic were Magnus's, he would finally prove his worth in the eyes of his cruel and scheming father, King Gaius, who rules Mytica with a punishing hand.

When Gaius begins to build a road into the Forbidden Mountains to physically link all of Mytica, he sparks a long-smoking fire in the hearts of the people that will forever change the face of this land. For Gaius's road is paved with blood, and its construction will have cosmic consequences.

What I liked the most: The plot
The plot is getting really good. It's fast paced and omg the plot twists! They're so unexpected and leave you like what just happened??
Also, I love the different POV (like I said in the other review) because it gives you a complete perspective of the situation and all the characters. I know some people think there are too many POVs, but I like them.

What I liked the least: The relationship
I don't hate the relationships, I just don't like how fast they form. They literally spend the first book hating each other and then bam, wow I kinda like her??

The characters:
In the previous review, I said I didn't like the characters. But in this book, they develop a lot more. 
After what happened to Cleo in the first book, you can't help but love her. She's so strong and determined. Even though she's going through a lot of adversity, she knows what she wants and will do anything to get it. She's my favorite character so far.
Everyone else is kind of annoying. 
Magnus is trying to find himself, but there's so much self-pity, it gets annoying.
I liked Jonas in the first book, but now... he's just constantly moaning about rich people. Lysandra is basically a female version of Jonas, so yea, I don't like her either.
Lucia is still a Mary Sue..

The plot had me hooked and the characters are slowly getting better. Their personalities are developing, so I can really judge if I like them or not. I've already read the third book, and I can tell you... it gets really good.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Recommend? Yes

That's all I have for now. Sorry this is such a short review but it's been a pretty busy week for me.

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

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Stay Motivated During the Summer

Hello everybody!
We're almost half through July and if you're like me, you've accomplished absolutely nothing. Welllll does watching YouTube for 10 hours count? (Please say yes)
Here are some tips that will hopefully help you stay on track.

1. Write a to-do list
I love writing to-do lists. They make me feel like I'm actually doing something. Even if they're short, at least you're being somewhat productive.

2. Set goals
This is similar to the first one, but more long term goals. Like finishing a book in two days. This way, once you accomplish the goal, you'll feel better about yourself. 

3. Reward yourself
Accomplishing something is a reward itself... but why not treat yourself out to something? Like froyo? shopping trip?

4. Start something new
Starting something brand new makes you want to do stuff. I started this blog last August and it forced me to stop watching YouTube all day and do something else. The excitement of starting something new makes you want to keep doing it.

So that's all I have for now. I'm sorry this is such a short post, but the next post is going to be super long... full of pictures from Canada. 

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

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Hello everybody!
I'm going to make this a really short review since I am currently at camp. Clever little me decided to leave everything to last minute and here I am trying to write four posts. (It's 11:40 PM right now.... I have two more posts to write.... oh boy). This is going to be super quick, so I'm sorry if it seems really rushed and not as detailed as they usually are.

ISBN: 978-0-3126-4297-6
Goodreads: x
Amazon: x
Barnes & Noble: x

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

What I liked the most: The plot
This is the third book of the series, so it's going to be really hard not to spoil the first two books. I think this is the best book out of the three that are out. It's fast paced and really exciting. The plot twits make me want to scream and tear my hair out.. OMG! I have to wait forever for the next book! Whyy????

What I liked the least: The relationships
So the pairings so far are Cinder/Kai, Scarlet/Wolf, and Captain Throne/Cress. I can't say I ship any of them... I'm still meh about Cinder and Kai because they've seriously met a few times and I'm expected to love their relationship? I don't think so. Honestly, nothing they've done together/for each other makes me fawn over them. Scarlet and Wolf could but cute... but like ????? what?????
Cress and Cap are kinda cute... I'll go into their relationship in Characters...

The Characters:
Cress is one of the new characters in the book. She's been stuck n a satellite for years and it's so fun to see her interact with other people. She kind of fangirled/fantasized about Captain Throne before she met him, which is super cute. Sadly, he didn't really need her expectations. He's still kind of ditzy. They're cute together, but sometimes Cress is like, "oh my god..." towards Cap.  

This is my favorite out of the series so far. I love how all their stories intertwine together and the plot twists! OMG plot twists.... I cannot wait to read the next book... but I'll probably have to reread the entire series again to refresh my memory. 

Rate: 4 / 5

Recommend? Yes

Sorry this review is so short, but I hope it's sufficient. Maybe I'll do a makeup review soon... who knows?

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

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Sunday, July 5, 2015

May/June Favorites

Hello everybody!
It's July!!!! SUMMERRRRRRR!!
By the time this post goes up, I'll be at camp, so I'll make this quick.
I don't have a lot of makeup/fashion things in this favorites post because I've been getting so lazy. It's summer and I don't want to be wearing so much makeup. Also, I basically wear the same two pairs of shorts the entire summer.... so nothing new there...
Let's just get on with it.

1. A Work in Progress by Connor Franta

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

So I got Connor's book for my birthday and read the entire thing in one sitting. You can read my review here x. It is absolutely amazing. For someone who's only 22, he's so wise. His book contains so many motivational and life lessons. You don't have to be a fan of his videos to love this book.

2. RCLBeauty101 x
I don't remember which one of her videos I saw first (I think it was her prom hacks), but I basically fell in love with her right away. Her content is so funny and relatable, I just love it! A lot of her videos feature her boyfriend, Isaac, who has amazing eyes. Like seriously... can I have them??
She also does a lot of giveaways. For June and July, she's doing a giveaway every week and is giving away things like Apply watches and Macbook Airs. I don't know how she can afford all those things!

3. Sundress candle

(Bath & Body Works x)

You might remember this from my recent haul post x. I've been burning this candle a lot and it smells amazing!! I'm terrible at describing smells, but I'll try. On the website it says "Bright day lilies, tonka beans and bergamot create a beautiful new style of fragrance." To me, that means nothing. I have no idea what any of those things smell like, much less mixed together. 
I think it smells like soap.... like Irish Spring soap (I think). It just smells like cleanliness. It's very light and refreshing, not really sweet.

4. Peach Green Tea Lemonade

This has been my go to drink at Starbucks lately. Normally, I get some sort of frappuccino, but I feel like that's too heavy for really hot days. When it's blistering outside, I prefer the lightness of the tea to the heaviness of chocolate in the frapp. Not to mention, it's so much cheaper!! Why is Starbucks so expensive??? I'm poor! Help me!!!

5. Lancome Toner and Lotion
Par of a 6-piece gift x

Lancome's Bienfait Aqua Vital x

These were mentioned in my Lancome haul x. I've never actually used a toner before. I like that this picks up any residue that the cleanser may have missed. Whenever I use it, I'll always find makeup or dirt left on the cotton pad. However, I don't like the strong alcohol smell it has. 
This lotion is oil-free, which is great for me. My skin gets very oily, so lotions tend to add onto that (ugh). But this one doesn't! It's very light weight and sinks into your skin immediately. There's no oily feeling afterwards, but your skin still feels hydrated.

6. Teen Wolf and Orange is the New Black
Okay, I've definitely mentioned Teen Wolf in one of my first favorites post... because it's one my of favorite TV shows. The first two seasons contain very typical teenage drama. But starting from the third season.... things get dark really fast. First of all.. ALLISON!!! Omg... *cries*
Every episode leaves me screaming for more. The fifth season just premiered at the end of June (so it still counts) and it's seriously getting scary... I'm so scared for all of them. They're all my babies and I don't want anything to happen to them! Plus, Derek isn't on the show that much, which makes me very sad. I really want to see more of him. 
Another reason to watch the show would be the very hot guys who get casted.... Dylan O'Brien, obviously! But every season they introduce more hot characters, both guys and girls. Like Arden Cho, hello? She's absolutely gorgeous! 
Okay, enough fangirling about Teen Wolf.

I started watching Orange is the New Black when some girls in my English class were going on about the third season, so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm still on season one, but it's really good!
When I think of prison, I automatically think of ruthless murders and rapists. But this makes me think that not everyone is prison is bad. In this show, you see different people's stories and how they ended up in prison.

So that's all I have for these two months. I kind of doubt much will change for July/August since I will be spending most of my time doing summer homework, writing college essays, and preparing for SATs/ACTs again. This is my last summer as a high schooler! *tear* How scary is that? The thought of me going to college scares me so much.. but let's not think about it until we have to.

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

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Hello everybody!
You might not remember this, but I reviewed Cinder by Marissa Meyer a long time ago (holy cow... in March!). You can read it here x. I actually read the next two books right afterwards, but didn't want to fill my blog with reviews, so I sort of put off posting their reviews.... but here they are!

Scarlet is the second book in the series.

ISBN: 978-0-312-64296-9
Pages: 454
Goodreads: x
Amazon: x
Barnes and Noble: x

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive. 

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

What I liked the most: The plot and back story
Scarlet is way more engaging and action packed than Cinder. Marissa Meyer does a nice job building suspense and putting in plot twists. For part of the book, I was dying because I needed to know why Scarlet's grandmother was taken. And then.... Wolf! I was like, OMG, NO! How could you? That little plot twist made me question everything that happened previously in the book. 
Also, I loved the way Cinder's and Scarlet's plot intertwined. Some parts of Cinder's past, which was a bit of a mystery in Cinder, are revealed in this book. 

What I liked the least: Kai and Scarlet/Wolf's relationship
You see more of Kai in this book and how he deals the Lunar problem. However, you don't get more of his personality. He struggles between what he wants and what's good for his country, like in Cinder. The way he handles the Lunar problem makes no sense. What he chooses to do (I'm not going to tell you) does not really help. It just delays the problem a bit. 
While I like Scarlet/Wolf better than Cinder/Kai, Scarlet/Wolf's relationship builds too quickly. Even though I think Scarlet/Wolf are so cute together, where did it come from? One day she thinks he took her grandmother and the next they're together? No, just no....

The characters:
I like Scarlet way more than I like Cinder. She's sassy and I can relate to her more. She's protective of her grandmother and is so determined to rescue her. The only that annoyed me about her was when she got mad at Cinder for not doing anything to stop Queen Levana. 
Wolf is an interesting character. He struggles between protecting Scarlet and his wolf instincts. Despite all the terrible things he's done, I think he's a good person and I'm glad Scarlet gave him a second chance. 
Captain Throne.... this guy..... I don't hate him.. but sometimes I'm just like, why???? He says some irrelevant things sometimes, but other than that, he's okay. Hopefully I'll like him better in the next book. 

Scarlet is definitely better than Cinder. Cinder focuses more on introducing the world and Levana. This one is more fast paced and exciting. It also reveals more secrets and creates suspense for the next book. However, I felt like the ending was very abrupt. It wasn't a cliff hanger that made me feel like I had to read the next book immediately, but the suspense built previously will make me read the next book. 

Rating: 3.5 / 5
Get ready for another review from The Lunar Chronicles!

Recommend? Yes
The series just keeps getting better!

Also, I know I said I'd post pictures from Canada in Sunday's post, but I forgot it's July. So Sunday's post will be May/June favorites and the week after that will be Canada pictures.

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

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