Christmas is JUST around the corner!! I have been decorating the house and looking for new ideas for decorations. One of my FAVORITE sources when it comes to the holidays is MarthaStewart.com!! She has some GREAT ideas! One that I am working on now is a holiday wreath for my mom made from ribbon. You can find the link on how to make it HERE. She has great ideas for wrapping presents, decorating trees and holiday baking. Definitely a go-to site for the holidays!! =)
Check it out at Yahoo! health!!
For this particular movie, I figured "What better symbol to put than the Deathly Hallows themselves?" If anyone is as die-hard a Harry Potter fan as I, they will recognize the symbol :) (As seen in the above pictures.) So here are the simple steps to making your own home-made, one-of-a-kind t-shirt:
1.) Find a nice, plain shirt in the color of your choice (this particular shirt is ovrsized and loose-fitting, very comfy. Any v-neck or crew-neck shirt would be great!)
2.) Get fabric paint. They come in tubes or spray paint but make sure it's for fabric so that when you wash the shirt later the paint doesn't fade or bleed out (Note: if the shirt is a darker color like purple or blue you may want to choose a paint that will show up better like gray or white)
3.) Cut out the symbol, words, shapes, etc. that you want to put on your shirt (Note: I cut these shapes out on a Cricut on the lowest speed as to not rip the freezer paper because it is very thin)
4.) Iron on the freezer paper to your shirt. Make sure that whatever words or shapes you want are centered on the shirt measuring from both sides so that you don't get a crooked picture; Once you put the paint on there's no turning back!!
5.) Once you've ironed on your design, paint the voided areas in the color of your choice. If you are using spray paint, make sure you cover up the entire shirt but for the design you want to paint or else you WILL get paint splatters everywhere. Also, make sure you put carboard, paper or some other type of barrier in between the layers of the shirt so that the paint doesn't bleed through to the back of your shirt. Below is an example of the "Team Edward" shirt I made for the Eclipse premiere!!
6.) After the applied paint dries, peel off the freezer paper and you should have a very neat and clean t-shirt!! Super easy and really fun to do!!
The second novel in Lauren Kate's "Fallen" series.
"How many lives do you need to live before you find someone worth dying for? In the aftermath of what happened at Sword & Cross, Luce has been hidden away by her cursed angelic boyfriend, Daniel, in a new school filled with Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. Daniel promises she will be safe here, protected from those who would kill her. At the school Luce discovers what the Shadows that have followed her all her life mean - and how to manipulate them to see into her other lives. Yet the more Luce learns about herself, the more she realizes that the past is her only key to unlocking her future...and that Daniel hasn't told her everything. What if his version of the past isn't actually the way things happened...what if Luce was really meant to be with someone else?"
NOTE: contains MAJOR spoilers. just saying.
Torment by Lauren Kate
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Great book!! I still wish we were able to find out a little bit more about Daniel and Luce as they were in the past. Such a tease!! And the only disappointment that I have (okay two disappointments)
1.) That Luce and Daniel (who have supposedly loved each other for thousands of years in different lifetimes, in different settings, and almost always come to find each other no matter where they are) struggle with the most minutiae of problems in this book. I mean it's one thing for Daniel to be completely beside himself with fear that Luce is just going to burst into flames right in front of him (let's face it, it's happened to him more times than he can count), yet whenever they get together they fight over the most trivial of things (her hair color, why can't she know the truth?, and why can't she be with him now?). What happened to all that trust that Luce had in Daniel in "Fallen"? Suddenly she forgot that she SHOULD trust his judgment when after all she trusted him when he told her that she was reincarnated every 17 years and that every single one of her lifetimes they fall in love resulting in her ultimate demise! It's just a little ridiculous to think that she could believe that, yet not believe him when he tells her to not leave school and be safe because people are hunting her.
Also, her turning around to kiss another guy?? Really?? I thought you were so in love that you are beside yourself with an overflowing devotion each time you're near him!! Did Luce happen to forget all of that when Miles showed up at her window?? I don't know, maybe it's just me. (I'm ranting; but I just hate that people who are so "devoted" can turn around and betray their "true love" like that. ie: Bella and Edward are engaged, Bella kisses Jacob; Bella is a slut.) & i know i know!! this is all a part of the reason why these books are so addicting... because they're written so well where you hate to love the 3rd wheel which in this case is Miles, because he really is a sweetheart.
and 2.) (despite my qualms about Daniel and Luce's destructive (literally!!) relationship, I am a hopeless romantic despite all that. And I love the parts of the book when they are together and sweet to each other, because they truly are in love. So with that said, the next book cannot come out sooner, and the ending was an AWFUL way to make readers wait until next year.... with so many unanswered questions and DYING to know what happens next :)! Loved it! Agonizingly waiting for 'Passion' to come out next summer. Lucky for me I have a growing list of books to read to tie me over until then.
View all my reviews at goodreads.com
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Really good read. Easy to follow the storyline once you get a grip on who the different characters are. I have to admit that before reading I read a review that explained the big secret but I was still surprised and it actually helped my confusion to know what the deal was with Daniel and Luce. I think people who follow religion will be interested in reading this because it does allude to particular things that one might be more familiar with if they've studied religion or are a bit more familiar with the Bible. SPOILERY: for example, a girl named Gabbe, short for Gabrielle, that happens to also be an angel... Angel Gabriel ring a bell? Or the snake in the grass is quite reminiscent of the serpent in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Or perhaps these are all merely coincidental. :) Either way, this book was very interesting and surprising. But what I loved most was the romantic element. These are star-crossed lovers who can rival even Romeo & Juliet! (just the premise of the story, not that the writing is as brilliant as Shakespeare... however still well-written) The story, when you really look at it, is truly heart-breaking, and I wish more of the novel had revolved around it instead of prepping you for it. Because you really don't get to the "good stuff" until the book is almost finished. Still, couldn't put it down and can't wait to pick up the sequel, "Torment."
View all my reviews at goodreads.com
The seasons are changing and cold weather is actually deciding to stay with us. And what is GREAT about cold weather?? Being able to wear scarves, gloves, boots and all other clothes and accessories affiliated with winter! One EXTREMELY easy and affordable DIY project is to make your own gloves. This is a nice crafty activity because you don't actually have to sew or knit your own gloves. You can find a really cheap yet good quality glove at places like Target, Michaels or Jo-ann Fabrics. The fun part is getting buttons, lace, fabric and other things to embellish these gloves to make them fun and unique!
What you need:
1.) One pair of inexpensive gloves or mittens
2.) Buttons, fabric, lace, fabric paint, etc.
3.) Glue gun or fabric glue to adhere embellishments on gloves; you can also sew on embellishments if you are a more experienced "crafture" as i like to call it =)
Plus side: Perfect inexpensive DIY gift for Christmas!!
Pattern for knitted fingerless gloves coming soon!!
Sugar and Spice by Lauren Conrad
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Read this book in a day. Such an easy read and I wish it was a bit longer. I always say if you're a fan of "The Hills" then this particular series will be perfect for you. This is the last book in Lauren Conrad's "L.A. Candy series" and I have to say that I was a little surprised at how abruptly it ended. When I picked it up I didn't realize it was the last book in the series, so the ending leaves a LOT to be desired because you wonder what the story is after it ends. Other than that, overall it was a pretty good read.
View all my reviews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was just as good as the first if not better! I really loved the introduction of new characters and how the story worked around them as well as the existing main characters. Lena and Ethan's relationship has such a great storyline and at times even though it was a little heartbreaking it was all necessary to make a great and surprising story. Truly loved it and can't wait for the next in the series. I feel like I always say this, but it's easily become one of my favorites! :)
View all my reviews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ethan cannot wait until he graduates to get out of his small, predictable town of Gatlin, North Carolina. The most exciting thing to happen each year is the reenactment of the civil war.
Gatlin seems to be the town that time forgot and as Ethan struggles to find something to tie him to this little town, after his mother passed away last Spring and his father has unexpectedly become the town recluse as a result, he finds himself being drawn to the new student at Jackson High, Lena Duchannes. The irony? Lena is the niece of the town's "Boo Radley" which immediately makes her an outcast with most of the people in town AND Lena happens to be the unnamed face of a girl that Ethan has been having very realistic dreams about for the past couple of months.
The story unravels into a twisted dark fantasy about love, loss and life as a secret Lena's unwilling to share turns Ethan's entire world into chaos. An unforgettable and addicting read! Great story! Loved all the plot twists. Puts a modern take on classic southern setting. I really enjoyed all of the allusions to modern ideas. The dark fantasy of the book was really enhanced with the theme of it being set in the South. I really loved that the storyline was completely unpredictable and truly something I had never read before. Absolutely a favorite!! Can't wait for the sequel "Beautiful Darkness" which will be available October 12, 2010.
View all my reviews from goodreads.com
NOTE** contains minor spoilers.
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I LOVED Clockwork Angel just as much as TMI. I think I may like MI more just because I've been able to read 3 books in that particular world as opposed to 1 in ID. I have to say the plot twists really threw me for a loop but I cannot wait to see what happens to Tessa, Will and Jem along with Jessamine, Sophie, Charlotte, Henry and even Gabriel because his character left me intrigued. It's like Alec (the Lightwood part) with Jace's attitude which I love the idea of!! Can't believe I have to wait an entire year to find out what happens next! Book was amazing and I highly recommend it for Cassandra Clare fans or just fans of fantasy in general.
View all my reviews from goodreads.com
I worked with the Nutrition track and we developed a program on campus for students, faculty and staff to have an easier time choosing healthy food and drink items in our bookstore. It was a great learning experience and a lot of fun too. Many of the items were fresh fruit and veggies, yogurt, string cheese, water, 100% juices and whole grain granola bars or baked chips. For different items you want to look for little to no sugar, low sodium and no trans fats. Also, make sure you look at serving sizes so you don't consume a whole bag of baked chips by the time you realize you just had 3 servings. These are just a couple tips when you're looking for something healthy.
I came across this link on yahoo on new restaurant meals that you should DEFINITELY steer clear of as they are EXTREMELY high in sodium, calories and fat.
You can see the items here.
Check out the list of healthy beverages here
You can check them out here.
NOTE** contains spoilers!!
I knew that I would read this book within a day. The first two in the series were SO good I just could not put them down after I started reading. I just wanted to know the ending so badly that I sped through the pages until all my questions were answered. This is a story that stays with you for many days after you've finished reading it. It's a story about war, loss, love and freedom. And about how it's not just a game when peoples' lives are at stake...
As I literally am turning the last page I cannot even begin to describe what an emotional ride this series has been. "Mockingjay" marks an AMAZING ending to an already amazing series. The surprises and twists that this book sends you on is a palpable thing. You feel like a player in the games; constantly glancing over your shoulder to see if you're being chased. I kept turning the pages and getting ahead of myself to find out if my favorite characters would survive. Katniss and Peeta's relationship was always expected to triumph, but the problems that occured along the way caught me off guard. I really love Gale's character, but as the story evolved I knew that he wasn't right for Katniss. It is perfect that he is her best friend only, as it should be. And I can honestly say that although the ending was quite unexpected, I knew there would be some ridiculous turn of events after a 76th hunger games was announced!! The epilogue was a sweet ending with the line, "there are much worse games to play." Collins has done it again in writing a sequel that surpasses the novel that precedes it. Such a fantastically and intelligently written series. I rank this trilogy as high as i do Harry Potter, which is high praise indeed. A definite MUST READ!
1. Saw Charlie St. Cloud with my bff's. I read this book last month and was mildly surprised at how much I liked it. The movie was quite surprising as well. I think Zac Efron has come a long way since HSM!! Not exactly a "must watch" but still a very good choice if you're thinking of seeing.. oh i don't know.. Piranha 3D or something like that.
2. I have started the second book in Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series but I've been so busy that I'm only halfway through it. I do like it though, maybe not as much as the 1st in the series... but it's still too early to tell.
3. VAMPIRE DIARIES season 2 is premiering on Sept 9th and I am ECSTATIC! You can view a preview of the season opener here.
4. Went to Aloha Fest in San Francisco and it was so much fun! It made me miss Hawaii immensely and the highlight of that day was a little something called "Macadamia Icebox" =) mmm... these were macadamia cookies from Kelley's Kookies based in LA. they are DELISH!! I sampled a few other flavors but the icebox was my fave. You can check out the website and perhaps order some for yourself here.
5. Saw LADY GAGA aka "Mama Monster" in concert last Tuesday. She is AMAZING!! She is highly entertaining and I'm not just talking about her music! She is HILARIOUSLY and (I think) unintentionally funny!! I absolutely loved her concert and it is EASILY one of the best concerts that I have been to which is saying something because I have been to some AMAZING concerts (Janet Jackson, Paramore, John Legend/Corinne Bailey Rae, John Mayer/Maroon 5 to name a few). I highly recommend seeing her in concert because she is fabulous live!
6. Read some of the FIRST reviews for Deathly Hallows today! Anyone who is a die hard Harry Potter fan (not unlike myself) knows just how EPIC this movie will be!! I am too excited for words! MTV has a nice recap of the advanced screening which you can read about here.
7. Lastly, just got back from an annual camping trip with some friends. Portola State Park near Santa Cruz. It was FREEZING and the sun never really warmed us up. But it was still a LOT of fun and we always have a good time hanging out in the woods for a few days =) Highlight of that trip: the raccoon (pronounce "ruh-koon") stole my sister's ENTIRE bag of marshmallows 3 feet away from where we were eating dinner!! All in all it was a great mini-vacay.
So that is all, just a few things to recap. Hopefully I'll be back on to write a review of "Ink Exchange" when I finish or if I see fit and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins is out tomorrow so I'm sure I will have a review of that in a couple of days because her books are so addicting you HAVE to finish it until you're done. Putting it down is NOT an option. =) Summer is almost over, about a month until Fall quarter starts!!
Finished this book in a frenzy to find out the ending. I found myself torn between flying through the pages to savoring the last two chapters because I didn't want the story to end!! It's a great thing however, that there are still three more books to the series, not including this one, and a 5th apparently that should be out sometime next spring. I was so engaged in this book and the storyline that I couldn't sleep; I just kept turning pages. It really draws you into this fantastical world filled with crazy, unique and terrifying characters that you almost wonder whether or not the author was inebriated or high when she thought it up and wrote about it. Anyone who can think up a story world like this must be very gifted indeed.
I was really surprised by how much i liked this book. I do tend to go for Y/A fantasy-fiction and this book was on my list for a while but I was just never that drawn to it that I HAD to pick it out of all others on my list. Suffice it to say that I wish I had picked it up sooner! Melissa Marr does a fantastic job mixing faery tale with modern concepts and emotions. Problems that arise in her story, although quite extraordinary and unique, will still stir up emotions that readers can relate to. It was a good stepping stone in understanding the folklore and legends surrounding the idea of faeries. Most concepts were easy to understand if you've read The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare because some terms and ideas overlap between the two sagas.
You grow close to the characters and torn between which ones you should like and which ones you should... not entirely hate but like a little less given the circumstances. I found myself really despising Keenan's character at first but when it became apparent as to who he was to end up with everything cleared up. Aislinn was a favorite from the beginning, as were Donia and Seth. You really feel attached to these characters, as in any other story that draws your attention enough to finish the book within a couple days, and find yourself secretly hoping the end goes well for them. Very well thought out writing and researching went into this book which you can tell by the way the words just suck you into the story and the romantic chemistry between the characters is an added bonus.
Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty—especially if they learn of her Sight—and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.
Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.
Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.
But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost—regardless of her plans or desires.
Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.
Faerie intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning 21st century faery tale.
Check out my review of Wicked Lovely and other books at good reads.
I read this book overnight and found it to be really beautifully written and touching. It was ironic because I had just finished "Charlie St. Cloud" not too long ago and some of the themes in the storyline were similar. It is also not unlike "Before I Fall" by Lauren Oliver. Both stories are very heartbreaking in that they are intertwined with loss, guilt and pain. They are also very reflective when recounting flashback stories. I really loved that although this book had a very sad main plot, it was lightened by a lot of witty remarks. I also loved how music was a very prominent theme throughout the book and you can tell that the author is very well-educated on the subject (bands like Nirvana, The Smiths and The Clash are mentioned).
Ultimately If I Stay is a story about how a 17 y/o girl named Mia gets into a car accident with her family and in the shock of it all ends up being trapped in an "in between," similar to a limbo. She sees all the things that go on around her as her body is transported (still alive, but barely clinging to life) from the accident site to the hospital, surgery and finally the ICU where she is left to recover whilst in a coma. She finds that her parents were killed on impact and that somewhere in another hospital her little brother is also fighting to stay alive. As the story progresses you learn more about Mia and her family (grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins), best friend Kim and boyfriend Adam. One of the nurses tending to her makes a comment about how it is her decision to come back or not. She could decide to go on and be with her family or learn to live without them. But amidst all the chaos and surgeries and breakdowns Mia has to make the ultimate choice; should she stay?
The latest book I've added to my personal library is The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell (author of Sex & the City). This book, which seems to be the first in a new series by said author, chronicles Carrie Bradshaw's senior year of high school before her big move to New York. She's got great friends, a new and exciting boyfriend, and a love of writing. We find out a little bit more about Carrie's family than we do on the show and much more about how she became a serious and talented writer, author and columnist. A lot of drama unfolds within her new relationship with her boyfriend Sebastian, a guy she's had a crush on since she was a kid, when she steals him away from Donna LaDonna who is a cheerleader, and also happens to be the most popular girl and Queen Bee of Castlebury High School, thus creating an arch-nemesis for herself. Fans might be a little disappointed that this isn't the strong-willed, fierce and fabulous Carrie from the show but it's nice to see how an insecure, young woman faced with a broken family, untrustworthy relationship and a backstabbing best friend became the Carrie Bradshaw we all know and love. Quick and easy read!!
*SPOILER: We find out how Carrie eventually meets Samantha in this novel.
Check out my review of The Carrie Diaries and other books at good reads.
Just finished reading Charlie St. Cloud. I could NOT put the book down. Even watching tv I would pick it back up and read during the commercials. It is easily one of my favorite books. I thought the twists in the plot made it interesting and it didn't at all feel like it lagged at any point. The one thing that did throw me off *SPOILER* was the "Sixth Sense" spin that was thrown in there. I was not at all expecting that!! But it turned out to be a really great ending and I hope the film lives up to the book.
*Also I like how the "afterward" (sort of like an epilogue) at the end of the book filled in the blanks of what happened after the story ended.
I finally got back into the swing of reading books within days. It had been a while since I had time to read. So, a couple days I posted that I just finished "The Magicians" by Lev Grossman. I have a stack of books I've been dying to get around to and I've just finished "White Cat" by Holly Black. I know I must have been living under a rock because believe it or not this is my first Holly Black novel. I have to say... I absolutely loved it! It was suspenseful, thrilling and exciting. It shocked me in the beginning when you find out a little bit of the main character's background and then the plots spiral into a mess of problems after that.
The story is about a young man named Cassel Sharpe who comes from a family of curse workers. Curse workers are people who have the power to control your emotions, your luck, your memories and even your death. All they have to do is touch you. All curse workers are considered criminals because curse work is illegal. Even though Cassel comes from a family of workers, he isn't one and therefore feels like an outsider in his own family. He's just a normal teenager in high school, with one exception... he killed his best friend when he was just 14.
After years of trying to forget and trying to fit in, Cassel's problems start when he finds himself sleepwalking and having dreams about a white cat that's trying to tell him something. Also his two brothers seem to be hiding something from him and he guesses that he's part of a huge con game. The only person he has to talk to is his grandad since his mom is in jail for getting caught working. Secrets start to unravel along with his past and he finds out who it is he can really trust and the truth about the murder he committed 3 years ago.
"Red Glove" and "Black Heart" the 1st and 2nd sequel to "White Cat" will be released May 2011 and May 2012 respectively.
*trivia: Jace (from the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare) makes a slight cameo in the book. :)
So I just finished reading "The Magicians" by Lev Grossman. It took me a while to read because when I started I was still in school and midterms and finals crept up on me so I had to put it on pause for TWO months. But I finally got around to finishing it and I have to say I was was mildly surprised. The book has a very "Narnia-esque" feel to it and also references both Narnia and Harry Potter. Even though it does reference books more suitable for children, it has some very dark and adult themes. What most reviews have said is that it's the adult version of Harry Potter and I don't disagree with that. The middle lags a bit but the ending was very well written and keeps your attention.
The basic premise of the book is that a a young man named Quentin kind of feels out of place with his friends in his home town of Brooklyn. He has some-what of an unhealthy obsession with a series of children's books (not unlike Harry Potter) that take place in a magical land called Fillory. Quentin ends up being invited to join a very prestigious private college called Brakebills that he soon finds out is a school of magic (hello Hogwarts!). Things take a turn when he finds out that Fillory is actually a real place with real dangers and he has to decide which life is the real life for him; the real world or this magical and somewhat cynical world called Fillory.
Other books I've read this year that I highly recommend:
Another book giveaway by blogger Alexandra Shostak! I envy people with the ability to make up their own giveaways with AWESOME prizes!!!! :) Some of the prizes include an ARC of "Clockwork Angel" by Cassandra Clare and a signed cover of "White Cat" by Holly Black (among others). I ADORE Cassandra Clare and would DIE to get an ARC of Clockwork Angel.. *and IF I had a cat i'm sure he/she would love for me to win a copy! ;) Also I'm a college student, and it's the summer so I have no classes until next month. So I can't risk waiting for Clockwork Angel to come out because I'll be in school then, and I'll end up reading Clockwork Angel instead of studying and then I'll flunk out of College my LAST year. Just sayin...
*CHECK OUT DETAILS FOR THE GIVEAWAY
The Hills series finale aired today so I thought I'd share a little info about LC's books!
Lauren Conrad's 3rd book from the "LA Candy" series entitled "Sugar and Spice" is coming out this October! I thought that it wasn't going to be released until next March but Amazon has it coming out on Oct. 5th (pre-order from Amazon here) But I also see that she's coming out with a Style Guide as well. Being a fan of "The Hills" and her laid-back style, I might look into this. =) [NOTE: the other two books in the series are called "LA Candy" and "Sweet Little Lies" which are both really well written and SCANDALOUS!]
Other notable books on fashion that I personally LOVE!!! Christian Siriano's "Fierce Style" is HILARIOUS! And gives really easy and simple tips on how to dress for YOU. Also pretty much any style guide by Tim Gunn because let's face it, he knows his shit! oh and BTW... newest season of Project Runway premieres on August 5th on Lifetime! (you can check out the new designers HERE)
LOVE books, LOVE reading, HUGE GEEK! 8) started following this blog recently because it's HILARIOUS! Doing a giveaway of the Clockwork Angel ARC (1st book of the Infernal Devices series which is the prequel series to Mortal Instruments). Anyway, great blog to read when you want reviews of YA books! LOVES!
CLICK HERE for details on the giveaway!!
Super busy lately! But since graduations are among us I decided to make my gifts instead of buying them (naturally)! :) I made these braided leather charm bracelets for a couple of my cousins. Very easy to make, not at all time consuming and fun! I used a leather rope and braided them, added ribbon ends to connect to the clasps so it goes on like a charm bracelet. I also added charms using jump rings to fasten them onto the bracelet itself. Here is a preview picture, kind of blurry. Will post better pictures soon.
These are "design your own button" earrings. At any craft store or even Wal-Mart they have button makers that you can buy that come with sets of buttons and backings. What you do is cover the button with your choice of fabric and add the backing once the fabric is in place. Then you have your own custom, decorative button.
These are just examples of some earrings we've made.