Book Haul

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I was definitely persuaded to buy more than I anticipated with Amazon's 12 Days of Deals in Books for the holidays. I went searching for one book, thinking I would only spend about $10.00 and rather ended up spending $35.90, but I do not regret it. Six books for that total? That's a steal! If you've been looking to buy a book, I'd urge you to buy it now because you'd probably find it for almost half the regular price with Amazon's sale going on right now! There was also a discount code called BOOKDEAL25 that knocked off another 25% off of select books, and because I spent more than $35.00 I got free shipping! If there was a present I would love to receive for the holidays, it would definitely be a book. I love adding to my collection, and I don't think I could ever have too many. Here are the books that I bought and links to them on Amazon:

This was the book that I was initially going to buy alone. It's a self-help/psychology book and it is definitely a more mature book than the young adult books that I usually read. I read a preview of the book online and I was so intrigued, so I knew that I had to buy a hard copy! The author writes about how love has five languages, and the reason many relationships fall apart is because we fail to realize our partner's love language may be different than our own. The five love languages are quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. I don't want to ramble on too much because I plan to write a separate post dedicated to this book once I finish it, but I can already tell that I would recommend it to others in relationships!

I've only read the first book of this seriesThe Maze Runnerand I absolutely loved it, so I look forward to reading the rest of the series! If you like dystopian books, you'd enjoy The Maze Runner. I feel as though this book is loyal to the dystopian genre, yet it feels fresh. It's not the typical story you'd see of the future government separating society into different groups/districts/factions/occupations in order to maintain control. Does that short description sound like it fits a lot of books all at once? And I'm not bashing the genre; I love my dystopian books and all, but sometimes the stories can get repetitive. That's why I like The Maze Runner: a story about a group of teenage boys and one teenage girl, attempting to escape this maze and figure out who put them into it. It was also made into a movie, which I absolutely loved, unlike another book-turned-movie which I didn't like so much (cough cough, Divergent). The Maze Runner movie had quite a handful of changes, but I still left the theatre feeling completely happy with the changes and how it turned out. I'm looking forward to reading (and watching in 2015) the second book in the seriesThe Scorch Trials!

Now this book I really only bought because I only needed a few more dollars for the total to be $35.00+ and thus get free shipping, but that's not to say that this book isn't just as good as the others! This book has got to be one of my favorites, especially being that it's the book that got me really into reading. This book introduced me to the world of the young adult book genre. I couldn't remember a time before this that I felt so hooked on a book that I literally did not want to put it down. I related so much to this book and it is definitely a tearjerker, so you may want to have some tissues close by. I've always wanted to read John Green's other books but never got around to it. Perhaps I should have bought a book of his that I have never read before, but I knew I just had to have my own copy of Looking for Alaska. I can't wait to re-read this book!

My Homemade "Charging Station"

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sitting at a desk cramped with two laptop cords, a monitor screen cord, two phone chargers, and a tablet charger, I was beginning to feel a little overwhelmed and crowded. Cords seem to have a way of making even the neatest area look cluttered and messy. I knew I had to do something about this, so I decided that I would need to move some of these monstrous cords elsewhere. However, there was no where else I could charge the phones or tablet besides the one outlet beside my bed, and that didn't seem safe or comfortable to have electronics on the bed when trying to sleep in it. That's when the idea came to me...what if I made some sort of "charging station" for the phones and tablet? I decided to research some things and came across this popular post, where someone made a holder for charging their cell phone out of a lotion bottle. It's a really clever idea; however, I knew that I would need something bigger than a lotion bottle because I was planning to place my 10" tablet inside this thing as well. All of my ideas were a jumbled mess inside my head, so I decided to just head on to the store in hopes of finding some inspiration there. As soon as I passed by it, I knew it was the right tool for the job...a tissue box. It was the perfect size; not too bulky but also big enough for my tablet to fit inside of it. I wish I would have taken pictures of the steps with my camera, but I was so excited to make this, and honestly I was just figuring out how to make it as I was going along. It's pretty simple though, so I'll try to explain it. 

The part of the tissue box where the tissue would come out of needs to be either against the wall or on the front of the box. This allows for the box to be more tall/narrow rather than facing it up-right as that would make it short/bulky. First I cut the side of the box that would be on the top once placed on the wall with some scissors. After doing this, I hot glued some felt sheets on the inside of the box; this step is not entirely necessary, but I just felt more comfortable knowing my phone and tablet would be sitting upon something soft rather than cardboard. Next you can decorate your box however you'd like. I tried to find some extra fabric laying around, but to no avail, so I just covered my tissue box with light pink card stock paper and glued artificial flowers along the edges. Now you need to make holes on either the side or the bottom of the box with an X-acto knife so that your charger cords could go through these holes and into the box. I would be placing two phones and a tablet in my box, so I made three holes along the left side. Once your box is ready you can nail it into the wall. I would suggest not relying on tacks to hold this up, just because electronics are going to be inside of it and you wouldn't want an accident to happen! There were other ways that I thought this box could be held up, such as making two holes on the side of the box that would be along the wall and hanging it up using Command hooks. It all depends on what you feel comfortable with, but you can get creative with it.

This project has made me realize how many things I have in that light pink color...But that's all there is to it! My homemade charging station idea came to life, and I couldn't be more happy with the results!

My New Bedding

Thursday, December 11, 2014

After probably about a month of researching comforters, sheets, duvets, and anything you could imagine, I finally have new bedding! Yes, you did read that right; I spent a whole month trying to find the perfect comforter, the perfect sheets, and the best prices. I went through the process of finding something, questioning it, finding something I don't like about it, and then having to start the search all over again...basically I made something way more complicated than it had to be, but it was well worth it because I am in love!

When I initially started looking for a new comforter, I found myself more drawn toward the ones completely covered in flowers and pink hues. But then I realized...Thai probably wouldn't want to sleep in such a girly comforter, and in a few years I would think that my bedding looks too "childish". I came to my senses and started looking for something more gender-neutral and mature. I decided that a white comforter is perfect to be considered gender-neutral and mature, and I would bring the hint of color into my room with the sheets. That's where this ensemble came from! I know that it still looks pretty girly, but I just couldn't resist, and Thai told me that this amount of girly-ness is fine with him. Besides, I also figured that since my comforter is white and versatile, if I tire of the girly-ness of the sheets, I could just change the sheets rather than having to completely change my bedding! Win-win!

At first I bought the Simply Shabby Chic Ruched Comforter Set from Target, but when it arrived I could tell I would hate it without even taking it out of the bag, The fabric just felt so cheap and the stuffing was extremely thin. I returned it immediately. I then found the Sidney Comforter Set in White from Bed Bath and Beyond, and it is just lovely! The fabric is 10x better than the one I bought from Target and it is way thicker. Another plus is that it comes with three decorative pillows. With the 20% off discount I received from their mobile text offers, this purchase was a steal! As I mentioned before, I feel as though this comforter is really versatile. It could be girl'd up by pairing it with pink sheets and pillows, but it could also easily suit a more mature bedroom by pairing it up with neutral colored sheets and pillows! Although the Simply Shabby Chic line from Target disappointed me with their comforter, they redeemed themselves with the Simply Shabby Chic Sheet Set in Pink Rose. Let me tell you, it is extremely hard to find pink sheets outside of kids bedding, and those are usually twin sizes! These simply adorable sheets are not too flimsy but also not too crisp; they are just perfect for me.

I feel as though I'm sleeping on a cloud with this new bedding! It's so beautiful and fluffy and girly and...I just absolutely love it. 

Shadow's Prey

Sunday, November 30, 2014

This world I cannot spin upon the tips of my fingers.
Out of my control, the seasons come and go:
Icicle tears of Winter chiseling down my cheeks,
Spring rains weathering away things that I once held dear,
The Summer Sun setting ablaze fragments that remain,
and Fall, so deceiving with it's colors,
enchanting hues of burgundy and gold,
constructed to signify change: a new beginning...
All it really means is death.

I can feel the darkness curling around my ankles,
drowning me down into the oh so familiar abyss.
A fool was I to believe I had lost this darkness,
because you can never run from your shadow.

Wintertime Sadness

Friday, November 21, 2014

I miss the sun. This cold weather has made me feel really depressed. If you're wondering if I actually stayed consistent with the workout journal I posted, I did. I actually was doing really good. A post about it was going to come soon, but then this cold weather came in and all motivation was lost. I stopped working out, and I felt so unaccomplished that I decided to just forget about posting it. I tried to stay motivated, but sitting out there shivering, cold air piercing my lungs and making my nose numb, all while looking around and seeing nothing but grey clouds in the just really made me feel empty. Grey, everything was so grey...And it makes me feel even worse that everyone around me is so excited for this cold weather. Why? It's so lifeless; so colorless; so depressing. Every time I'm outside it feels as though I'm rushing to get out of the cold. I've learned to appreciate the heat of the warmer seasons, and I miss it oh so much. Spring, please come soon...

I'd like to blame it all on the weather, but I know this feeling goes deeper than that. Apathy is what I feel most days now. I want to disappear. All of my social media sites have been deactivated, and I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. I don't really see the point in having social media. It's just a stupid platform to make people feel validated and worthy by the amount of likes they receive. And even if my posts would get likes and comments, I still didn't feel fulfilled, because all of them were mostly people who I don't give a damn about and who don't give a damn about me. Which is why I made this blog. I only expected a handful of people, maybe three or four, to actually be interested in keeping up with my life. I gave them the link to my blog, but I know that most likely they don't read it. So here's to this post that will go unread by any other eyes but mine. And I know, I know, I sound like such a sob-story, but I really just needed a place to let my thoughts out.

I don't want to feel this way, and I feel as though there's nothing I can do to stop it. I realized that I was trying hard to find a distraction, because I kept going on and on about "finding a hobby", which is where the idea of working out and wanting to get back into photography came from. But this cold weather has taken the joy of working out away from me. Getting into a hobby definitely won't hurt, so I may be getting a new camera on Black Friday, and we'll see how getting my passion back for photography goes. I hate to admit it, but part of me wishes I could go see a doctor to talk about medication. I used to think, "No! You shouldn't have to rely on medication to feel 'normal'.", but I've changed my mind about that. The way I used to think made it seem as though I thought people who took medication for their mental illnesses weren't 'trying' to find a natural way to help themselves, but now I see that it really isn't their fault. In fact, going to the doctor to get help IS trying. The problem is that there is no way I could afford such help. And that makes me feel trapped.

But I guess at least I still want to try. The moment I give up is when I should really be worried. For now, I'll just try to pull through this. I know that even if the night seems long, the sun will always be there in the morning.

Going Back To My Roots

Thursday, October 30, 2014

When I was little I grew up on country music. That's what I would hear in every car ride; that's what I would hear jamming in our tiny living room; that's what I would hear all around me. I can still remember the times I would jam Dixie Chicks in the front yard and dance my heart out. I can still remember the time I put a sad Shania Twain song on while solemnly looking out the living room window when my first grade crush moved away to Florida. It was around middle school that my view on country music started to change. My 6th grade math teacher would allow us to take turns choosing songs to listen to while we were working. To follow everyone else, I would choose the mainstream music of the time such as Akon's 'Lonely' or Gwen Stefani's 'Dirty Escape'. I couldn't tell you the amount of times I heard "Anything but country music" continuously as I grew older. If someone was asked what kind of music they listen to, I would hear the same reply: "I listen to pretty much everything. Except country." Why is country music seen in such a negative light? Why is it considered an embarrassing thing to like country music?

 I can't tell you that I'm exactly innocent from that judgement either. My view on country music changed so drastically that I would look at people as if they were crazy when they told me that they loved country music. My mind would put the automatic "red-neck" impression on that person after becoming aware of the fact that they liked country music. It wasn't until recently that my societal altered view on country music was at last put to rest. A few months ago I was in a car ride with my family, and my sister decided to put on Brad Paisley's 'Letter to Me'. Listening to this beautiful song made me remember all the things that made me love country music when I was younger. Country music has some of the most beautiful lyrics. Country music has some of the most uplifting songs. That 'twang' that I used to find annoying, I now love all over again. I'm going back to my roots. And for some reason it feels as though I've found a part of myself that I didn't even know I had lost.

I'm going to end this post with a few country songs that I just can't get enough of. Try giving them a listen and maybe you'll see why I love this genre all over again. They are all so different but all so great!

Workout Journal (Week 1)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Hey guys! So I decided to try to get back into working out again. I had a whole routine during the summer for a good two to three months, but when the fall semester started for school and I also got a part time job, I couldn't find the motivation to keep working out. :( I've been feeling really sluggish lately and really miss the amazing feeling I got after a good workout, so I decided that I NEED to find time in my schedule somewhere for it.

With my last workout routine, I focused mainly on building muscle with our home gym machine. I told myself that all I needed was to tone up, but the reality was that I just didn't want to do cardio. Despite the fact that so many articles I read stated that I needed to incorporate both weight training and cardio in order to see results, I ignored them and told myself that I didn't need it. I had a specific weight training days for my arms, legs, and chest and a quite extensive ab routine. This time I decided I need to just suck it up and do cardio; in fact, my routine will focus mainly on cardio rather than weight training this time, as you will see from my day to day breakdown. 

Starting back up again was not easy. Taking such a long break from working out changed my excited attitude I developed toward working out back to the dreaded attitude I had before. I didn't expect much on the first day. If you're trying to get back into a workout routine or even just START working out in general, don't get unmotivated. You may say to yourself, "What the hell are these workout freaks talking about when they say they feel amazing after a workout?! I feel like complete, utter shit. How could anyone enjoy this?" It may feel as though you didn't do much and you may think that you're far away from reaching a strong and steady routine, but trust me when I say that it gets easier! Just give your body some time to ease into it, and eventually you'll be able to see what these 'workout freaks' are talking about.

I am honestly at awe with how fast I progressed with my cardio! Here is a breakdown of my week:

Day 1Day 2Day 3
60 Seated Bench Presses60 Seated Bench Presses60 Seated Bench Presses
60 Triceps Pushdowns60 Triceps Pushdowns60 Triceps Pushdowns
60 Leg Extensions60 Leg Extensions60 Leg Extensions
200 Jumping Jacks300 Jumping Jacks800 Jumping Jacks

As you can see, I didn't increase my weight training exercises. Because I want my routine to focus mainly on cardio, I tried to avoid overworking myself with the weights and then becoming too exhausted to have a good cardio workout. This week may not seem so amazing to some people, but knowing myself and just how much I absolutely despise cardio, I can't help but feel proud of my progress. I felt extremely exhausted after doing 200 jumping jacks my first day, and to see that number multiply by four on my last day and knowing that I didn't even feel as exhausted as I did on the first, I know I'm on the road to getting somewhere. Now I did not do those hundreds of jumping jacks all in a row. Like I said, you have to let your body ease into it. On Day 1 and Day 2 I did reps of 20 jumping jacks, and by Day 3 I increased the reps to 25 jumping jacks. I feel as though this is the best way to build endurance and also allow your body to do the most it can do without wearing itself out.  

Once Upon A Time

Friday, October 3, 2014

Oh, how she believed she had it all,
when everything she had was far from that.
It was what she thought was the best it could get
in a world where she was told fairy tales couldn't exist.

She was told that the sparks and the fireworks weren't real
in this world that was known as "reality".
She reminded herself to not waste time on dreams,
for "Time spent on dreams is time wasted."

Then once upon a time, a boy came into her life,
and everything stated to change.
She didn't understand his familiarity,
until she realized he was the prince from her dreams.

With him she felt her cheeks kissed by roses,
and the warmth of the sun tickled her skin.
The Prince of the Rising Sun opened her eyes to the world
in all its shining, shimmering, splendid.

With rain drop kisses and moonlight dances,
you would never guess that their love was forbidden.
It was them against them all, well; they all could have that world,
for a whole new world they would create together.

So the clock struck midnight and the moon shined bright above,
painting shades of blue upon both their faces.
In that moment time had stopped, or perhaps time had just started,
because at last he was hers and she was his.

So my Prince, it is because of you that I believe in true wonder;
for three years now you have proven it true.
I have loved every moment since the first, till the last,
because, love, my happily ever after is with you.

♡ Three Year Anniversary ♡

October 2nd marked my three year anniversary with my Thai-ty Whities! I couldn't have imagined spending this day any better than the way we did. It wasn't anything extraordinary, but I think that's what made it so amazing. We weren't trying too hard to do something extravagant just because we felt like we had to. We woke up this morning and decided to ditch our plans of giving each other our presents at the restaurant and rather gave it to each other then and there, straight out of bed.

Thai got me a natural opal necklace with a sterling silver chain. I still can't believe how beautiful it is, and the picture honestly doesn't do it justice. In real life it is so stunning, shining multiple green, blue, pink, and yellow hues. It makes me feel as though I have my own little rainbow to carry around with me. It's the perfect size, too, because I have been wanting a small dainty necklace to wear; something that's not too flashy and would go with any outfit. I honestly don't want to take it off. ♡

This was my present to him! He had been telling me that he's wanted a watch for quite some time. I think it looks really nice, and it has a lot of cool features as well! He loves it and says he never wants to take it off.

For dinner we decided to go to Pappasito's Cantina, and it was absolutely delicious! I used to go to
this restaurant with my family a lot when I was little. The only thing I'd have to say that I didn't like so much was how loud it was in there! I understand that restaurants usually have that mumbling/chatter noise from all the conversations happening at once, but this place felt like everyone was screaming at each other! It's quite a popular place, and they rarely see a slow night. This day wasn't even considered a busy night, so I'm glad our anniversary did not fall on a weekend! Because I felt very fabulous, I'm going to post a mirror selfie~

I can't wait for the many more anniversaries to come. ♡

Amethyst Pendant Review

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I recently took a Geology class at college and it made me fall in love with crystals, so I just had to get a necklace! A lot of these necklaces are known to have "healing powers" which makes them even more interesting. 

 Amethyst Copper Wrapped Pendant - Etsy - $2.22 

Shipping for this item was $3.00, so the total came out to be $5.22. Not bad! It's exactly what I was looking for. I was personally looking for more of a raw looking crystal pendant rather than those clean cut, clear ones. I didn't want it to look too factory made, I wanted it to be quarter size, and I also wanted it to be a good price. Some of these crystal pendants can cost a lot! This item shipped really quick. I can't remember exactly how long, but I think it took 3-4 days to get to me. Overall I am extremely happy with this!

The only bad thing I'd have to say about this item is about the necklace it came with. It is just one of those cheap black cloth strings with a small chain on the end to adjust the length to where you prefer. I honestly didn't expect it to even come with a necklace, so it's nice that they included it, but one of the chains opened up on just the first day of wearing it! It's a small fix of just fastening the chain back on tighter, but I could have had a lost necklace if I didn't notice it fell off! >.< If you want to buy one of these then I suggest fastening each little chain or buying your own necklace.

The shop's name on Etsy is EarthBeat and they have a lot of different crystal pendants for good prices! I would definitely purchase from this shop again. Here are some pictures of other pendants from the shop.

You can check them out by clicking here!

My Thoughts on Ariana Grande's new album

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ariana Grande's new album My Everything was released today in the states! I tried really hard not to listen to the leaked/released songs, but I just couldn't resist. Although that may have taken away from the surprise of listening to 15 new songs, I am still super excited. I had the released songs on repeat the past few days and now I shall have the entire album on repeat these upcoming days!

I have to say that my least favorite song of the album is Hands On Me (feat. ASAP Ferg). This song just doesn't seem like her. I understand that artists like to try different music styles, but this song just isn't what I'm looking for when thinking "I want to listen to some Ariana Grande!" The lyrics are definitely more explicit compared to Ariana's usual love songs. I guess maybe she's trying to venture more into the sexual music that is really popular today, and I'm not saying that I hate it, but I know this will be her least listened song from me.

There are so many songs that I really enjoy on the album though! It's so hard to pick a favorite, so I'll just list the top five ones I'm just in LOVE with:

  1. One Last Time
  2. Be My Baby (feat. Cashmere Cat)
  3. Why Try
  4. Only 1
  5. You Don't Know Me
This album overall feels like Ariana Grande stayed true to her style, but at the same time I feel like it's different. It's hard for me to put it into words. There is more bass, electronic sounds, and a more pronounced beat compared to Yours Truly which had a lot of piano, violin, and simple beats. My Everything actually doesn't have any songs with violin in it (sadly, because that was one of my favorite aspects of Yours Truly). BUT I still am extremely happy with this album!